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[TLP] SWADE update Electronics core skill

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  • [TLP] SWADE update Electronics core skill

    The TLP to SWADE conversion document says this: "Characters in The Last Parsec begin with their native language and Electronics at d6"

    What is the reason behind this? Why does every character have a d6 in Electronics? SWADE says this about the Electronics skill: "... Consumer or electronic devices common to the setting don’t require Electronics — Common Knowledge suffices if a roll is required at all. ..."

    This means that Electronics is something specialized, required to operate complex devices. Does a marine, a doctor, etc need this? Not necessarily. It's of course nice to have, but I don't see why this is a core skill. And if it needs to be a core skill, why at d6? All other core skills according to SWADE start at d4.

  • #2
    Moved to General Chat. This isn't a rules question so much as a debate.

    That said, Electronics is not a Core skill, you just start with it in this setting. Keep in mind these conversion documents there to allow you to play with SWADE while keeping the setting as "As Is" as possible. Electronics is called on a lot in a typical Last Parsec game. As always, you can feel free to take the document with a grain of salt.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by stadi View Post
      What is the reason behind this? Why does every character have a d6 in Electronics? SWADE says this about the Electronics skill: "... Consumer or electronic devices common to the setting don’t require Electronics — Common Knowledge suffices if a roll is required at all. ..."
      As Ron stated, it is based on the setting rules the The Last Parsec (page 67). While the Deluxe Edition version is more flexible, Electronics at d6 is a pretty good choice.

      This means that Electronics is something specialized, required to operate complex devices. Does a marine, a doctor, etc need this?
      Yes, they do. Electronics is used for sensor systems, advanced communication systems, life support systems, airlock overrides, read diagnostic data, etc.... Jump Corp members are part of small teams that need to troubleshoot many problems and often Electronics is needed to start to identify the problems are.

      Comment


      • #4
        I understand that it's a really useful skill to have, but I don't believe that every character in TLP worlds needs to have it. Even if we decide that we are only talking about Jump Corp Agents.

        I like the flexibility of the Deluxe Edition version more. There you can select a knowledge skill that is really appropriate for the character. As I said, a medic won't need it, Science (Biology, or Exobiology) is more appropriate for them. I also can't imagine a heavy-weapons marine grunt to have Electronics. Survival or some kind of Explosives or Battle knowledge is more appropriate.

        Yes, they do. Electronics is used for sensor systems, advanced communication systems, life support systems, airlock overrides, read diagnostic data, etc.... Jump Corp members are part of small teams that need to troubleshoot many problems and often Electronics is needed to start to identify the problems are.
        I agree, it's nice to have. But you could argue that they will need Fighting and Shooting as well. Maybe Repair as well, etc.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by stadi View Post
          I understand that it's a really useful skill to have, but I don't believe that every character in TLP worlds needs to have it.
          Not every character does need it. But every player character does need it. So, they get it for free.
          Is it a little much? Yeah, I think a d4 would have been more appropriate but I wasn't writing the conversion.

          I like the flexibility of the Deluxe Edition version more. There you can select a knowledge skill that is really appropriate for the character.
          Great, then house rule that instead of the official free Electronics and get to playing. You're wasting good game time.
          ... a medic won't need it ....
          Unless he wants to use his fancy diagnostic equipment, the organ replicator, or the nano-surgery suite. Then he'll need Electronics.
          I also can't imagine a heavy-weapons marine grunt to have Electronics.
          That's just a failure of your imagination. As a former Marine, I quickly learned that everyone had some oddball skills tucked away - everyone had some basics like sewing, land navigation, and minor repairs while most had some repair ability. Heck, the guy that couldn't be trusted around explosives or heavy weapons was a heck of a salesman and very savvy with social media.
          Given the prevalence of sensors, drones, and combat electronics, the Electronics skill is going to be as necessary to a basic space marine (let alone the heavy-weapons guys) as zero-g training.
          I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

          Comment


          • #6
            The player characters are all astronauts. Electronics is then an essential skill for the survival aboard a spacecraft. The setting is also post-information age, there is probably very little equipment that doesn't incorporate control and diagnostic systems not covered by an Electronics roll. Like ValhallaGH, I think it should be a d4 to align with the standard of Core Skills. I also think Repair should be a Core Skill for the same reasons Electronics should.

            One thing that does raise an eyebrow is lowering a character's native language proficiency from d8 to d6. "The speaker can carry on a prolonged but occasionally halting conversation." This is native language proficiency?

            Comment


            • ValhallaGH
              ValhallaGH commented
              Editing a comment
              ... The language thing could also be post-information age. If text-speak became normal conversation then native speakers would have low proficiency.
              More likely a typo, but potentially an interesting comment upon the evolution of spoken language.

            • paladin2019
              paladin2019 commented
              Editing a comment
              It's a repeat of the original default rules, when SWD didn't include any rating for a character's native language as a game mechanic. (SWD also doesn't restrict social skills to foreign language proficiency.) But I do like the idea that it's a comment on language evolution.

            • gigacanuck
              gigacanuck commented
              Editing a comment
              It could make sense if everyone in the setting had some kind of speech impediment, but somehow I suspect that's not the case.

          • #7
            Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
            Unless he wants to use his fancy diagnostic equipment, the organ replicator, or the nano-surgery suite. Then he'll need Electronics.
            That could be just as well Healing or some kind of Science.

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by paladin2019 View Post
              The player characters are all astronauts. Electronics is then an essential skill for the survival aboard a spacecraft. The setting is also post-information age, there is probably very little equipment that doesn't incorporate control and diagnostic systems not covered by an Electronics roll. Like ValhallaGH, I think it should be a d4 to align with the standard of Core Skills. I also think Repair should be a Core Skill for the same reasons Electronics should.

              One thing that does raise an eyebrow is lowering a character's native language proficiency from d8 to d6. "The speaker can carry on a prolonged but occasionally halting conversation." This is native language proficiency?
              They are not always astronauts. In the Leviathan Plot Point Campaign they are not.

              Also if Electronics is so prevalent, then we are back at the definition of Electronics: "... Consumer or electronic devices common to the setting don’t require Electronics — Common Knowledge suffices if a roll is required at all. ..."

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by stadi View Post
                That could be just as well Healing or some kind of Science.
                Given that repairing an electronic device uses the lower of a characters' Electronics and Repair skill, it's more likely that it would require the lowest of Electronics and Healing or some kind of Science. I think you're misunderstanding the first part of the definition of the electronics skill, emphasis mine:

                Electronics allows a hero to use complex or specialized devices such as the control panels on industrial machines or the sensor systems found on spaceships in futuristic settings.
                It's not entirely about how common the device is; it's also about how complex normal operation of the device is, or in some cases how complex the more advanced operations of the device is. For example, arguably a car would be a consumer device in a modern setting, but operating one would still use Drive instead of Common Knowledge, and likewise fixing one would still use Repair. Locks are very common as well, but picking one uses Thievery. Consider also the average PC or laptop: everyone knows how to use them, and using them in a regular manner is a Common Knowledge roll....I don't think any GM would object to a player using Electronics or Hacking instead. But not everyone knows how to write even a simple program (which would be Hacking) or take apart and put back together a computer's internal hardware (which would be the lowest of Electronics and Repair). In addition to that, there are some programs require specialized skills to use effectively, like AutoCAD and derivative engineering programs or Photoshop or whatever art programs kids use these days. And that's to say nothing of what technology we might find in a hospital or an air control tower. If we continue, we also have emphasis mine:

                Consumer or electronic devices common to the setting don’t require Electronics—Common Knowledge suffices if a roll is required at all. In the modern world, this applies to video recorders, cell phones, etc.
                I interpret this as meaning that operating the ABCD (Appetizing Biomass Conversion Device) to produce a plate of spaghetti, a serving of fish and chips or a steak dinner would be handled by a Common Knowledge roll if a roll is even required at all....so long as it has a file for the food or beverage in question, it's no more complex a task than printing a pdf or word document. You might even be able to fiddle around with basic or partial substitutions or slightly alterring the cooking method with a Common Knowledge roll, but programming a meal from scratch is going to require the lowest of Electronics and Science. Or maybe it's Hacking and Science, since Hacking covers writing programs. Things like "sensor systems, advanced communication systems, life support systems, airlock overrides, read diagnostic data, etc...." as well as more role-specific technology such as "fancy diagnostic equipment, the organ replicator, or the nano-surgery suite", weapon targeting systems and whatever kinds of powerplants and engines are used in this setting require Electronics because of their complexity. And even if they are ruled to be as simple as using a video recorder or a cellphone in all their operations (a ruling some would object to), it's still in one's best interest to possess Electronics (as well as Repair) just to be able to fix these devices should they break or otherwise go wrong.
                Last edited by gigacanuck; 12-24-2019, 02:47 AM.

                Comment


                • gigacanuck
                  gigacanuck commented
                  Editing a comment
                  But you forget: we're still talking about specialized experts. How many random Joes picked off the street do know what buttons to press, or where to put the sensors? Is that knowledge a medical skill, or a technical skill learned in medical school? What you might actually be seeing is technical skills becoming more and more mainstream, especially as part of other skilled lines of work. Remember, Rules As Written Electronics only covers how to operate devices, not necessarily knowledge of how they work (for that you need Electronics and Repair) and the given examples of devices that would only require Common Knowledge are video recorders and cellphones....devices that a mere child could reasonable be expected to operate.

                • stadi
                  stadi commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Unfortunately the description of the Healing skill is rather short so this is really up to interpretation. I understand why some people would use Electronics where I would use Healing

                • gigacanuck
                  gigacanuck commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That is unfortunate, but maybe it will help you to think of it like this: the difference between a d6 Healing in 1900 and a d6 healing in 2000 is the difference between how much those periods understood about anatomy, diseases, drugs and surgery; the ability to operate electronic diagnosis machines and whatnot falls under the purview of 2000s doctors having both Healing and Electronics.

              • #10
                Originally posted by stadi View Post

                They are not always astronauts. In the Leviathan Plot Point Campaign they are not.
                Does this PPC move away from the campaign conceit that all PCs are spacefaring employees/troubleshooters for JumpCorp?

                Comment


                • stadi
                  stadi commented
                  Editing a comment
                  They are spacefaring employees as in they are flown to the planet in a spaceship, but they are not a spaceship crew.

                • paladin2019
                  paladin2019 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Okay, your game.

                • stadi
                  stadi commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That's everyone's game that is playing the Leviathan PPC. No one tells you you are not allowed to play a starship crew, but you won't get a ship and other skills are required.
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