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Author Topic: Physics/Astrophysics  (Read 2128 times)
Scarecrow
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« on: July 31, 2007, 04:07:13 AM »

Im running a Stargate game for my group, and one of them wanted to put some points into an Astrophysics related skill.  Im assuming that you would just make Physics another Science Focus skill, and Astrophysics would be a forte for that focus.... is this a pretty fair call.

What should the skill check for that then cover as well?

On another note, if someone was trying to repair the electronics in an Ancient Puddle Jumper, would it just involve an Electronics check/Complex Task or would there be more too it?

Finally in terms of a cultural expert/archeologist who comes across an unknown language (i.e. they havent been offworld yet as im starting right from the beginning of the series and are seeing Goa'uld for the first time), and whats to try and figure out what the writing is saying, would it require an Analysis/Decipher check or is that covered under a Cultures/Communication check.  I really cant see how a Cultures/Communication check would cover this nor an Analysis/Decipher check.  I can understand the whole cultures thing is a simplification, but if one has say the Middle Eastern culture focus, i can hardly think that entitles the character to know all modern and ancient languages/customs/etc for that whole region...
Yeah Goa'uld is not too different from Egyptian writing, but what about something like Ancient... what check would be required to try and figure something like that language out when it is seen the first time?
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Black Cheese
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2007, 07:23:46 AM »

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Im running a Stargate game for my group, and one of them wanted to put some points into an Astrophysics related skill.  Im assuming that you would just make Physics another Science Focus skill, and Astrophysics would be a forte for that focus.... is this a pretty fair call.

Skills do things. Skills don't really provide huge, bulky knowledge bits of something. If your Stargate game's Science (Phsyics) focus had skill checks associated with it (Activate Stargate, Repair Stargate, etc.) then it would qualify as a new skill focus at least, otherwise if the dude just wants to be able to better answer questions about stars and crap, he should simply take an Interest in physics.

If you're repairing electronics, it's an Electronics/Repair checks, unless it's a security system or some other niche item. It might be a complex task, depending on difficulty, or it just might be an Electronics/Repair check. How important is it that the PCs repair it, and how difficult do you want repairing it to be?

Finally, that sounds exactly like an Analysis/Decipher check. When one party is trying to communicate with another, it's Cultures/Communications. When the text is just sitting there, it's Analysis/Decipher.
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2007, 09:40:28 AM »

The Astrophysics thing would simply be an Interest, which would grant a +1 bonus to appropriate knowledge checks.


As it stands, the current Electronics rules sort of use the concept of familiarity - I say that because although the skill description say squat on the subject, the inference from the relavent Scientist class ability implies it exists. Cross-reffing the Wheelman, the bonus-granting class version of Familiarity is considered to come with spending a number of hours equal to twice the item's caliber using it, a requirement absent from the Scientist version as a balance against the slightly beefier bonuses of the former.

So, with that in mind, we flip it - until you've spent the requisite amount of time with functioning examples of the tech, you're operating with some sort of penalty (gear caliber times tech-difference penalty times mission caliber seems about right). I'd recommend using the medicine check penalties for the various not-baseline-humans depending on how advanced the tech is and how different its user interface and structure are. Ancients essentially use a form of optical circuit board, so that puts them at either near- or semi-. Goa'uld holographic crystolography. which is rather somewhat different from our use of Integrated circuits is either semi- or quasi-. Something like the new series biological cylons or Moya would be quasi- to non- (and get a synergy from Medicine).


As to the unknown language, that'd be a Decipher/Analysis with synergy from Cultures and Science/Mathematics, and a bonus from any interest involving linguistics or codemaking.
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Scarecrow
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2007, 07:03:52 PM »

The thing that has me with the languages part is that if it is in fact an Analysis/Decipher check, then why doesnt the explorer have Analysis as a class skill...

I was doing a bit more reading last night and i might just use the optional rules for the Cultures skill, where languages are tracked separately and a Linguistics/Cultures check is used.  This seems to fit the explorer better imo.  And it works pretty good in that say if the Explorer knew the language Arabic (Egyptian) they would get maybe a +2 Synergy bonus for a check to read Goa'uld, or if they knew Cuniform, they would get a Synergy bonus to read Ancient.

And i quite like that idea of using the familiarity rules from the Wheelman class, that makes perfect sense.  Its kinda the way i see people like Carter and McKay develop in the show.  They suck with the tech initially, but as they are exposed to more of it, they get better at repairing and understanding what it all does, etc.

And in terms of the Astrophysics thing, if you were making a Carter type character who has a PhD in Astrophysics or Theoretical Physics, whatever it was, would it really be covered by just having Astrophysics as an Interest?
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2007, 07:54:39 PM »

The thing that has me with the languages part is that if it is in fact an Analysis/Decipher check, then why doesnt the explorer have Analysis as a class skill...

Explorer = Rick
Scientist = Evey

Wink
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2007, 07:59:15 PM »

The thing that has me with the languages part is that if it is in fact an Analysis/Decipher check, then why doesnt the explorer have Analysis as a class skill...

What would you have them loose from their skill list? Personnally I'd toss Science - it's really not the most thematically appropriate, and Analysis so really is. As it's a home game, just swap them.

Quote
I was doing a bit more reading last night and i might just use the optional rules for the Cultures skill, where languages are tracked separately and a Linguistics/Cultures check is used.  This seems to fit the explorer better imo.  And it works pretty good in that say if the Explorer knew the language Arabic (Egyptian) they would get maybe a +2 Synergy bonus for a check to read Goa'uld, or if they knew Cuniform, they would get a Synergy bonus to read Ancient.

I personally wouldn't simply for ease of housekeeping

Quote
And in terms of the Astrophysics thing, if you were making a Carter type character who has a PhD in Astrophysics or Theoretical Physics, whatever it was, would it really be covered by just having Astrophysics as an Interest?

Yup. They're really just making Knowledge checks, or glorified Anaysis checks
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2007, 09:12:38 PM »

I'd just add a focus and be done with it. A focus isn't a big cost, it could credibly prove of use in a stargate game (make a world around a flare star or suffering a solar disasters like in the Niven stories "Flare Time" or "Inconstant Moon".) As for knowledge checks... you only get the synergy bonus from science and associated skill boosters if you have the focus, so a focus still makes sense.
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Scarecrow
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2007, 09:24:16 PM »

Yeah science doesnt quite seem right for an explorer, so ill probably get rid of that.

I was reading over the Stargate SG-1 RPG to see how they cover the Astrophysics stuff, and they have it as a Knowledge skill.

Are all knowledge skills in those rules now covered by Knowledge checks in 2.0?  Because if thats the case, im not too sure that fits...  I mean in the 1st ed rules, you can put skill points into knowledge skills, so you can become more knowledgable in that field, and it wasnt dependant on character level, whereas in 2.0 you really only increase your knowledge by +1 every time your level increases... doesnt quite seem right.

I may be looking at things the wrong way thought...
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Morgenstern
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2007, 03:14:22 AM »

This single best thing about this conversation is that there is "is that too powerfull?" or "couldn't I just add that one skill and call it good?" or anything like that - you folks know exactly what you need to do to tune the class for your own campaign (swap one skill for another) and are doing so with confidence. That is actually pretty awesome compared to a lot of... questionable... class tweaking you see going on in d20 settings.
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Morgenstern
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2007, 03:18:37 AM »

The most important thing is what do you want astrophysics checks to DO?

...Everything coming to my mind actually sounds like a Survival skill-based knowledge check to me. Because outside of pure research questions (which might be mission goals, and therefore valuable in their own right) the only practical astrophysics questions involve avoiding natural hazards (Survival) or possible navigation hazards (Drive).
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Scarecrow
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2007, 03:38:13 AM »

*bows to your infinite wisdom*

i knew i was looking at things the wrong way.  As Mr A mentioned the interest in astrophysics will help with any knowledge checks.  And what u have said regarding the other skills works well for what i want.

I will swap Science for Analysis tho for my campaign as i think it fits better.

Thanks for the help!
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