Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Profession Skill Scope

As work also inspires my gaming, I've come to see Profession more differently.

Market Knowledge

  • Market Cycles. the seasons of the business, when most of its earnings happen and the timing of each aspect that has time sensitivity. 
  • Network 
    • Profile of Clients and Customers. 
    • Suppliers and Sources. Those up the supply chain feeding rawer materials into this business. 
    • Who's who in the industry. 
  • Protocol and Etiquette. 

Working Knowledge

  • Operations
    • Roles and Responsibilities in Operation.
      • Scope of work of each role plus the number ratio needed for each role. 
      • Sub specializations within a line of business.
      • Includes sub-tasks that are modular which can be outsourced or in-sourced.  
    • Work streams or Work groups and their steams of output
    • Costs of materials, consumables, services, and other expenses related to running or operating. 
    • Tools, Equipment, and Capital related to the business. This may include infrastructure if the business has frequent infrastructure related tasks. 
    • Awareness of the risks, possibilities, and consequences. Knowledge of various scenarios these business may have. 
  • Technical Skills. some professions is mostly made up of a core skill while others have a collection of skills that make up most of the work. 
    • Heuristics related to the work. 
    • technical skills 
      • Processes or sequence of activities that are practice often. 
      • These can be very complicated calculations and coding like Coding in modern and sci-fi settings, or Math or Rituals in earlier times.  
    • Time and Motion or the Metrics regarding the core technical aspects of the profession. 
  • The ability to work back this key concepts and heuristics to measure others. 

Imperfect Knowledge
This means that of all the scope mentioned no one knows everything in their profession. Normally people rely on others, reference materials, and best practices to remember these little details. People more readily remember something that they perform regularly and have a vague understanding of others outside their team or sphere.

The Role in a particular Trade
Its important that the character's other skills reflect the role he performs in his Profession. If there is informing details in the game system or setting material about the role more specificity gives a clearer picture of what the character can do.

Ask what does this character do most often, and what is his value in his work and field. If he's a grunt or peon, describe and elaborate the kind of engine and machine he's part off. If he is a special cog or gear get to describing more about it.

Adaptive Problem-solving 
Professional "skills" (as skill from RPG design patterns p.66) can be approached as having a near equal to equal "guage" as the Professional Skill (specify profession) and diminishing guage for taks moving away from the core Task ability.

One can be flexible as to let the Core skill have other applications (those enumerated above) related to the profession or scope of experience the Character has. So an Artist may possibly have some familiarity based on his core Artistic skill relating to the scope above.

DnD 3.5 had profession and craft as a skill as craft, if working or industry knowledge is called for the character can attempt to work a solution at a minor penalty or handicap it is a reworking of the Scope of Work the character is familiar with.

Defaulting in GURPS would be adaptive reasoning, instructional scaffolding, and conceptual framework in real world terms (lolz).

Having a lot of Professions.
As the "Lifetime" professions (20+ years in a single profession) are more quickly disappearing in light of automation this idea of professions needs to be able to scale with the relatively more frequent change of jobs and roles. A character would have a couple of professions or they have trained for a particular profession only to go to another one. These days its quite normal to have 2-3 professions in one's background and adaptively using a similar conceptual framework to marry these different worlds. Those with more than 2 having an interesting story of how they got where they are.

Looking back and we have more generalist and self sufficient professions. When carrying capacity improved because of technology we had greater and greater levels of specialization. When automation improved we have diminishing roles, unusual specializations, and more adaptive job roles (see Knowledge Work)

Application in GURPS. 
The Profession Skill (B215) can make the Job of the GM much easier if this approach is adopted. A Professional: Monger, Merchant, Inkeeper, Urban Prefect, Quaestor, Soldier: Optio, Soldier-Infantry, Homesteader, Tenant Farmer, etc.... can be made soo much simpler.

We can use the Profession as the defaulting attribute relating all the related spheres in the profession. If there is already a skill that deals with the Core role of the profession (like Negotiating, which is diplomacy, for Merchant) grant some flexibility A Roman legionnaire would have Profession (Soldier, Infantryman) and would have a lot of skills relating to his role - if he was a Tetrark or Dekark he may have some leadership, if he's senior enough to specialize maybe he would have some masonry, carpentry, or familiarity with the many specializations of an Infantryman.

Summary and Conclusion.
If your taking anything away it would probably be that you will narrow down the role of the Character in his profession. The GM and Player will work with the oversimplification of what he does and its relation to the narrative.
if you're a GM it may relieve you of some burden if you had these scope to reference when looking at a character Profession or a Profession in your setting you need to clarify.
If you're a player you would probably want to ask your GM these questions to narrow down the role of the character.

No comments: