Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Traveller - House Rule: Skills Training

I never liked Traveller skill advancement rule (first edition by Mongoose), because it's based on the supposition that the more things you know, the more time you'll spend to learn new ones.
I think this is plain wrong, and that's why I created this house rule.

It is a fact that the more skilled you are in something, the hardest / longest you must train or study to get better at it, be it because the subject becomes harder at higher levels or the the specialized info is more difficult to find or whatever.

But this stands true only for that single skill or knowledge, be it theoretical physics or piloting starcrafts, and not for every existing one.
If today I manage learn the whole Canticle of Aldebaran, it does not mean that tomorrow I'll have to spend more time or that I'll have to train harder to learn how to fire a pistol!

Time's the point, I think. The focus must go in how much time I'll have to spend to train a skill, paying attention on what I already know about that skill.
That, and in which way I'll train. Will I hire a professional teacher? Or just ask my ship's pilot to show me?

Being trained by a qualified instructor is not exactly the same thing than learning how to fix a maneuver drive by watching a video on the planet's net!


Skills Training

There are 3 training methods, from the quickest to the slowest:
  1. With a qualified instructor
  2. With a non-qualified instructor or with a Training software.
  3. Self-training
To raise a skill of 1 level (or to gain it at level 0) you must train for as many training months as the skill level you will reach summed to the training method "value".

A training month is 4 training hours a day for 30 days.
You will take 1 training month to learn Medic 0 with a qualified instructor.
To increase Gun Combat from 2 to 3 you will take 6 training months by self-training.
To increase Stealth from level 1 to level 2 you will take 4 training month with a non-qualified instructor or with a Training software.
After finishing the training period you will make a Characteristic check with the one more apt to the skill you have been training (Average, +0) added to the qualified instructor's Teaching skill (if it's the case).

If the roll is successful the skill is raised of 1 level (or gained at level 0).

Otherwise, if it is failed, the Characteristic check can be rolled again after another training month, with a cumulative +1 DM.
After three months of training to raise Medic from 1 to 2, I failed the check roll. I can retry after another training month with a +1 DM. If I fail again, I will try again after training a month more, this time with a +2 DM. And so on.
It is not possible to raise a skill of more levels at once, but I can train more skills in the same time, increasing of course the overall time.
  • A qualified instructor has the Teaching skill (at any level) and the skill you want to train at least one level higher than that you want to reach.
  • A non-qualified instructor has the skill you want to train at least one level higher than that you want to reach, but has no Teaching skill.
  • A Training software is a program especially created to train skills, and must be a level higher than that you want to reach.

The Teaching skill is used to effectively transmit knowledge, to clearly explain a difficult concept, or even to write a good manual or school text.
It also allows to train someone to raise someone else's skill by 1 level or to teach him a new one at level 0.
It is also useful to raise money giving lessons, with a gain of 1d6 x 100 x Teaching skill level in credits per month.

The Teaching skill can be obtained during the Character Generation by replacing any skill in the Advancement Education column.

Training Software
A Training software is a program especially created to allow people to train skills or to learn knowledge without the need of an actual teacher and in an easier way than by reading a schoolbook or a manual.
These programs need an Intelligent Interface in order to work.

Their base price is equivalent to an Expert software of the same level, and their Technology Level is one level lower.

These Training programs have the advantage that can be used by different people in the same time period (but not simultaneously) and once they have been bought they can be reused as any software, or they can be resold.

Soon I'll post an adventure seed based on this, stay tuned!

And what about you? Do you use the advancement rule by-the-book or do you made your own method?

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