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Old 07-23-2020, 02:48 PM
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Raellus Raellus is offline
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Default Traditional Skills

I discovered the wilderness survival reality show Alone (History Channel) this summer and it got me thinking about how underprepared most 21st folks are to weather a long-term breakdown of modern civilization. With very little manufacturing going on, and electricity a luxury most people in 2000 no longer have, what are some traditional skills- skills that used to be important and common, but that have become much less so in the modern world- that would be valuable in the world of T2k?

Off the top of my head,

Hunting/fishing
Gardening
Tanning
Smoking (meat)
Canning
Woodworking/Carpentry
Weaving
Identifying edible and medicinal wild plants
Pottery

These skills also seem strangely lacking from the v1 and v2.2 skill lists.

Which of these do you think would be most important to have? Which would be easiest/hardest to pick up by a novice? What are some others that are missing from this list?
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:04 PM
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Those "skills" are more groups of skills or knowledge areas than game skills. Hunting is basically tracking and small arms skills. That being said, Cadillacs & Dinosaurs did have some of these sorts of skills and occupations like Farmer.
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:15 PM
Severian Severian is offline
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Blacksmithing
Reloading
Food preservation (salting, drying, pickling - to go with the aforementioned smoking and canning)
Winemaking (or any other alcohol-making skills)
Fletching/Bowmaking
Clothmaking/Weaving/Sewing
Masonry/Brickmaking

Yeah, I'm sure there are plenty more.
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bash View Post
Those "skills" are more groups of skills or knowledge areas than game skills. Hunting is basically tracking and small arms skills. That being said, Cadillacs & Dinosaurs did have some of these sorts of skills and occupations like Farmer.
This is pretty much my thinking

I used to have a vast list of these on a character sheet and recently I have ruthlessly cut them all out and replaced them with generic skill "areas".

The problem I found is that they're all linked and I was unwilling (and due to the peculiar system I'm using unable) to create nested skill trees like Traveller, or better yet 1st edition Paranoia.

The problem arose that players would have a high skill in one tiny thing like "weaving" but couldn't make a rope because they had no "ropemaking" skill. That's a poor analogy but you know what I mean. I tried to introduce a one task difficulty skill level penalty for associated skills but in some cases the players were better off using the base statistic or we'd have extended sessions in-game where a player and I had differences in what we considered "associated". It also made skill allocation difficult for CharGen.

A classic case for this is "armouring", creating armour, and "cutlery", making swords. I can do both, but really I'm an armourer first and foremost. However I can't make textile armours for the life of me, I wouldn't even know how to start.

So now a lot of it is simply broadly-drawn skill areas and I ask for detailed backstories so I can work out what a PC knows with input from the player.

However this works for me, I'm not going to assume it's a universal truth or anything.
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLine View Post
This is pretty much my thinking

I used to have a vast list of these on a character sheet and recently I have ruthlessly cut them all out and replaced them with generic skill "areas".

The problem I found is that they're all linked and I was unwilling (and due to the peculiar system I'm using unable) to create nested skill trees like Traveller, or better yet 1st edition Paranoia.

The problem arose that players would have a high skill in one tiny thing like "weaving" but couldn't make a rope because they had no "ropemaking" skill. That's a poor analogy but you know what I mean. I tried to introduce a one task difficulty skill level penalty for associated skills but in some cases the players were better off using the base statistic or we'd have extended sessions in-game where a player and I had differences in what we considered "associated". It also made skill allocation difficult for CharGen.

A classic case for this is "armouring", creating armour, and "cutlery", making swords. I can do both, but really I'm an armourer first and foremost. However I can't make textile armours for the life of me, I wouldn't even know how to start.

So now a lot of it is simply broadly-drawn skill areas and I ask for detailed backstories so I can work out what a PC knows with input from the player.

However this works for me, I'm not going to assume it's a universal truth or anything.
GURPS introduced the bang! skills for their action supplements for the same reason. Particularly for GURPS it works.
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:12 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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I break down more skills into CASCADES to take into account some of your list Raelius. For example:

CONSTRUCTION (cascade skill)
- Welding & Metal Fabrication
- Carpentry & Wood Working
- Plumbing & Hydraulics
- Electrical & HVAC
- Concrete Finishing & Bricklaying

PRIMITIVE TRADES (cascade skill)
- Tanning & Leather Working
- Forging & Smithing
- Weaving & Sewing
- Pottery and Sculpting
- Food Preservation & Brewing

I also include QUALIFICATIONS from TW2K13 as a "Skill within a Skill" to address specialty skills (like Hacking as a Qualification of Computer Skill and Rebreather as a Qualification of Scuba skill). This allows the inclusion of specialty skills under the more general skills listed in the game.

Some Skills are very easy to learn. If you use the RUTH STOUT method of gardening, you can grow food almost effortlessly. I've used it for years to great success.
https://youtu.be/bfi-n0Oq38E

Tanning animal hides is another skill that is easy to learn IF you have someone to show you how to do it (I NEED to thank my Amish neighbors for the skills they have taught me). EVERY animal has enough Tannic Acid in their own brain to tan their own skin (even us Humans).

- After carefully skinning the animal and scraping off ALL the excess fat and meat from the hide, you soak the hide for 24 hours in a container with enough water to submerge the hide. In this water, you will have stirred in the animal's ground up brain (to harness the Tannic Acid) and a small amount of vinegar to leven the reaction that will occur.

- You will then remove the hide from the solution and stretch it TAUNT over a framework that supports it. You may need to scape the hide again to get rid of fat that "renders" out from the soaking. BEFORE the hide drys, stretch it over a LOW HEAT fire made from HARDWOOD. The goal here is to provide a uniform low heat (around 200F) with LOTS of SMOKE (as though you were smoking meat). You will keep the hide stretched over this fire for at least 24 hours but potentially as long as THREE days. The hide should be about a foot above the flame. You want the hide to dry SLOWLY while absorbing the smoke from the hardwood to complete the Tanning process.

- After the hide has dried (it will change color slightly) and smoked, you can remove your now-tanned hide from the rack it is stretched over. I treat my skins with neat's foot oil but some people wax them or just leave them "raw."

Welcome to Basic Tanning 101
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:18 PM
Milano Milano is offline
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As a Rancher/Cowboy I am outside all day long. We pack into BLM for a few weeks every year, manage fix and improve ranches, and mostly dealing with livestock. If I had to lay out as a set of skills that we use would be:
Horsemanship
Packing Horses
Construction of temporary housing (Think tent but making the campsite better for rain snow etc)
Small Arms Rifle
Butchering
Animal Behavior
Drinking (LOTS of this with cowboys)
Tracking
BBQing (NOT cooking. My wife kicks me out of the kitchen!)
Vet Medicine
Roping
Mountaineering (mostly tieing knots etc)
Meteorology (Is there a storm coming in?)
Driving vehicles of ALL types, quads, pickups, bull dozers, excavators, backhoes mostly
Story Telling (Communication or Persuasion possibly)
Sewing
Horse shoeing
Leatherwork
Welding and Fabricating
Mechanic
Plumbing

I don't know how relevant this is but if it gives you some ideas there you go!
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:10 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLine View Post
This is pretty much my thinking

I used to have a vast list of these on a character sheet and recently I have ruthlessly cut them all out and replaced them with generic skill "areas".

The problem I found is that they're all linked and I was unwilling (and due to the peculiar system I'm using unable) to create nested skill trees like Traveller, or better yet 1st edition Paranoia.

The problem arose that players would have a high skill in one tiny thing like "weaving" but couldn't make a rope because they had no "ropemaking" skill. That's a poor analogy but you know what I mean. I tried to introduce a one task difficulty skill level penalty for associated skills but in some cases the players were better off using the base statistic or we'd have extended sessions in-game where a player and I had differences in what we considered "associated". It also made skill allocation difficult for CharGen.

A classic case for this is "armouring", creating armour, and "cutlery", making swords. I can do both, but really I'm an armourer first and foremost. However I can't make textile armours for the life of me, I wouldn't even know how to start.

So now a lot of it is simply broadly-drawn skill areas and I ask for detailed backstories so I can work out what a PC knows with input from the player.

However this works for me, I'm not going to assume it's a universal truth or anything.
I have adopted a system where if a Skill is part of a Cascade, I give them a 0 Level in the other Skill choices in the Cascade list if they need to attemp to use another skill in that Cascade. IF a person doesn't have the relevant Skill, I will let them try with a 0 Skill... but I will also apply DISADVANTAGE to the task roll for their lack of knowledge/skill. I basically use the D&D5e ADVANTAGE/DISADVANTAGE system, but I am currently renaming it to BOON & BANE like the Mongoose Traveller game uses (for continuity with Marc's works).

However, this works because my PCs get more skills than RAW. I give a player INT+CHA+EDU in EXPERIENCE POINTS every Term. The players can then place a number of experience points in a single Skill per Term equal to the LOWEST SCORE of the three Characteristics used to determine their Experience point total per Term. All "Initial Skills" for a Term are now just Experience Points which must be added to that specific skill. Skills cost:
0 Level (familiarization) = 1 point
1 Level = 1 point
2 Level = 2 points
3 Level = 3 points
4 Level = 4 points
...and so forth. A player MUST buy EVERY LEVEL of a Skill so getting to Level 3 would cost 7 Experience Points. This system creates Characters with lots of Skills but at a lower level than RAW.
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  #9  
Old 07-24-2020, 08:19 PM
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Raellus Raellus is offline
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Default Oh, yeah...

I like the cascade mechanic a lot. This makes me routinely forgetting about it all the more strange. I agree with you, Swag, on its particular applicability to related survival skills/tasks.

I also like the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic from D&D 5e, and have been trying to figure out how to incorporate it into a T2k game using the v2.2 rules set.
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https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
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  #10  
Old 07-24-2020, 09:01 PM
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ChalkLine ChalkLine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
I have adopted a system where if a Skill is part of a Cascade . . .
The issue I found in play as a personal difficulty was when cascade skills came under different stats.
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Old 07-24-2020, 09:28 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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Originally Posted by ChalkLine View Post
The issue I found in play as a personal difficulty was when cascade skills came under different stats.
I have made the decision to go the MegaTraveller route and built Task Profiles nowadays. I divorced ALL CHARACTERISTICS from skills and now I write a profile where I NAME the Characteristic (or Characteristics...plural) that will be used in the Task in question. IF I call for multiple Characteristics to be used, they are AVERAGED (always rounding down) to determine the number used for that Task. I then build the Number Needed To Succeed for the Task. For example;

To climb the wall is an AVERAGE: Climbing + [STR/DEX/CON], Hazardous, 1 Round.

So Joe would add STR, DEX, & CON together and divide by 3(rd) then add that to his Climb Skill to determine his success.

If joe needs to fabricate climbing gear, I'd use INT+EDU with Intelligence representing his creativity in replicating the gear and his Education representing his understanding of exactly how a given climbing device (like say a CamLock, or Grigri) works. So the Task might look like...

To fabricate climbing gear is a DIFFICULT: Climbing + [INT/EDU], 1 hour.

Thus, I no longer have to worry about how the Characteristics affect my Skills because I determine which ones are used.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Off the top of my head,

Hunting/fishing
Gardening
Tanning
Smoking (meat)
Canning
Woodworking/Carpentry
Weaving
Identifying edible and medicinal wild plants
Pottery

These skills also seem strangely lacking from the v1 and v2.2 skill lists
Actually many of these skills are found in v2.2 skill lists on page 264-265 in the skill list, if you read the descriptions you be surprised what each skill overs.

Also look at page 272 you see the designer note and what skills are new and why they changed them with old descriptions
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