Thursday, April 24, 2014

HT and Simplified Running

Health GURPS Stat

the health stat bugs me because fitness and conditions are separate. Why can't it be just in one stat? If I get healthier all these things improve, an every point of health matters. in the items below, you will note that TALENT plays a big role (one can feel pretty inferior when comparing themselves to people with talent in the field they invest a lot in). 

Building HT with Fitness
  • FP pool - if FP was calculated like BL you will have a curve. (HT^2)/10.  
  • How you Recover FP - 100mins / Base FP (not counting extra FP). 
    • HT 7 (5fp), 20mins per FP
    • HT 8 (6fp) 16.7mins per FP
    • HT 9 (8fp) 12.5 minutes per FP
    • HT 11 (12fp) 8.3 minutes per FP
    • HT 12 (14fp) 7.1 minutes per FP
    • HT 13 (17fp) 5.9 minutes per FP
    • HT 14  (19fp) 5.3 minutes per FP. 
    • HT 15  (22fp) 4.5 minutes per FP.

Simplified Running

Since I run, I want running in gurps to match more of the metrics I studied. 

Sprinting follows the same rules.

Long Distance Running

1 hour, Running defaulting penalty if unskilled, -2 Task Difficulty Modifier, Move*2km/h (or Move*1.25mi/h), costs 2FP. Failure spends one more FP. Success adds a +5% to the performance (in time or distance, which ever you are measuring). Extra Effort rules apply.

Example. A a pretty healthy character, HT12 (14fp), Move-6, and Running HT+2 [8cp]  (This is the equivalent of running for 4 years at about 200 days a year) will need to use extra effort to quality for the Boston marathon. He has to run with Extra Effort -4 spending 1 more FP for 3FP per hour.  If he fails any one of those rolls, will pay an extra 1FP. He cannot allow himself to hit "the wall" because it means half movement penalties, which leaves him 9FP to spend for the entire run. 
An unskilled character cannot attempt Long Distance running at Move*2km and uses the rules in Basic Set under Paced Running.

Pushing the Limit

If the character Hits the wall he can try to push past the limit and take damage to ignore the Half move penalty. The Character Takes damage equal to every FP he spends on the interval.

Ultra Marathons

This is taking a mix of Hiking an Running. Again, like above if you don't have the points invested you will suffer HT-5 penalty in such feats. 

100 Km run 

2 hour intervals, Running defaulting penalty if unskilled with a -4 Task Difficulty Modifier, Move*2km/h (or Move*1.25mi/h), costs 3FP. Failure spends one more FP. Success adds a +5% to the performance (in time or distance, which ever you are measuring). Extra Effort rules apply.

Example. A a very healthy character, HT14 (19fp), Move-6, and Running HT+4 [16cp] (this is the equivalent of running for 8 years at about 200 days a year). He has to run with Extra Effort -4 spending 1 more FP for 4FP per hour.  If he fails any one of those rolls, will pay an extra 1FP. He cannot allow himself to hit "the wall" because it means half movement penalties, which leaves him 13FP to spend for the entire run. If he fails he can end up hurting himself for 5hp damage 
100km runs are finished at 7.5 hours. Record Breakers are at ~6.5 hours.

24 hour Run

8 hour intervals, Running or Hiking, defaulting penalty if unskilled with a -6 Task Difficulty Modifier, Move*1.2km/h (or Move*.75mi/h), costs 5FP. Failure spends one more FP. Success adds a +5% to the performance (in time or distance, which ever you are measuring). Extra Effort rules apply.

Example. A a very healthy character, HT14 (19fp), Move-6, and Running HT+6 [24cp] (this is the equivalent of running for 12 years at about 200 days a year). He has to run with Extra Effort -4 spending 1 more FP for 6FP per hour.  If he fails any one of those rolls, will pay an extra 1FP. He cannot allow himself to hit "the wall" because it means half movement penalties, which leaves him 15FP to spend for the entire run. If he fails he can end up hurting himself for 7hp damage.  
On a 24 hour run. participants can reach up to 200km. Record breakers are at 260km

Other Uses.

Monster Logistics, particularly that used Persistent Hunting (which humans allegedly excelled at). This can help determine migration patterns for such creatures. Personally I’d use it with Giants, like in Attack of Titan, wearing down adventurers who are not logistically prepared.   

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

GURPS Ritual Magic Basics; High Magery Game

Ritual Magic Basics

Ritual Magic under B242 and GURPS Magic p.200. Basically instead of every spell a skill, you have a core skill minus prerequisite counts, this core skill is Very Hard and a Very Hard College/Path Skill. Your college/path skill cannot be higher than your core skill but your core skill casts stuff at a -6 penalty. 

Ask your GM which is the core skill Thaumatology (B225) or Ritual Magic (B218) or an alternative. I think in principle the core skill, what ever it will be has to be a Very Hard skill. Ritual Magic requires a Tradition, while Thaumatology doesn't. These skills are excepted from being subject to the bonuses of talents. But there is a work around I would allow because it adds to flavor.
Example. A character with true devotion and talent can have IQ10, 4 levels of Talent that grants a bonus to Religious Ritual-15 [8] can buy from default. Raising Ritual Magic to 10 will cost only 4 points, instead of 8 points. Then apply Magery. 
Ritual Magic and Thaumotology are both core skills in the War Beneath Heaven Campaign. Thaumatology is for appropriate for Free-mages who pursue magic like a science. Note that Ritual Magic can be defaulted from Religious Ritual at -6. So that a faithful can use their Talent in Religious Ritual as an advantage.

Notes when you are Using Ritual Magic

  • Normal magic vs RM, NM is easier because you as a Player or GM only have a few spells. If you are just using the spells in Basic Set, thats ~106 ish then Normal Magic is just fine. But if you want more spells and magic, Ritual Magic makes it easier to have more spells and magical effects in your game without having a Block of Text on your character sheet for all the spells you invested in. 
  • You will need GURPS Magic, you will need to consult with p.225 to get their prerequisite count OR you can manually take note of all these counts. GURPS magic will add about +500 more spells to your spells list.  I would also like to say you will need to bookmark my notes as well. 
  • RM has a lot of Penalties. Not only does the mage have to keep track of his Range/Distance penalties when casting a spell, he has to apply the prerequisite count. 
  • You need to raise two Very Hard Skill. Because Ritual Magic needs the Core Skill cap the College Skill, this means that it costs about at least 8cp for a Mage to focus on a college since he has to raise both the College and the Core skill simultaneously (B242, M200). 
    • Horizontal Expansion. That investing only 1cp in a College reduces the penalty casting a spell to -3. So a Mage with magery 15 and IQ11, who spends 1cp will have a 23 instead of 20. This means the easiest method to advance is horizontally - mastering more colleges since 1cp does a lot.   
    • Normal magic allows you to specialize in One spell, while Ritual magic keeps you a broad generalist, even if you focus in one college you cannot raise it past your Core skill. But since there are few One

Pricing Magical Services

  • This will come very much handy when you start pondering economic Implications of many spells. 
    • Monthly Income of Mage (Wealthy at TL3 would be $3500 as an example). Mo.Inc / Time and Effort. Time is 20 days a month, 8 hours a day, and about 20 minutes per client (or 24 sessions a day). That would be ( Mo.Inc / 480 ) x2-5 depending on market conditions. That would be $15-35 per consultation and $15 per FP spent. 
  • Non-Mages Magical Services. The service would be calculated based on the value of their magic Item, Mo. Income, Time and Effort. 
    • Shape Stone, allowing an artist to Shape Obsidian or other Stones would cost $170k. The Enchanter mage who is his Patron or Partner would be expecting about almost $6000 income per month for 5 years (in return his apprentices maintain and service the Artisans needs). $6000 + Comfortable Monthly Income is $7400 divided by Time and Effort with modifiers for market conditions. Its about $16 per FP. Since a Stone Mage can make several very fine obsidian knives and implements up to its weight. 466kg or 10026lbs of very fine obsidian knives and tools. 

Mana Levels

  • High Mana games means everyone can learn and cast spells. The economy of such a setting would be equal to a very High tech setting with very little scarcity. You can basically take such a high tech setting and make it "Magic". 
  • You may need to setup Demographic assumptions for how frequently the Magery ability shows up or is it something that can be trained. So basically you can treat it like Literacy or the rarity of high hereditary IQ. Its very arbitrary to determine magical demographics and It changes the setting economics very much when there is an advantage one is born with that grants them powers like magery. 
    • Examples: in War Beneath Heaven the demographics is 1:1000 or 0.1% of the population. Then I determined how much of the mage population are born outside of mage families and how hereditary it is. 
    • Mage Population thread in SJgames forums. I'm one of those GMs who think its easier to consider additional levels of magery learn-able, that way I only worry about the magical demographic potential and use medieval education demographics for the higher powered mages. 
  • Sample: Magery Social Class System. As there are Man-at-arms, Squire, and Knights, your fighting potential does not make you Knight. This is the same as mages, your magical potential does not make you a mage. As there are Squires who are squires for life, you have apprentices who are apprentices for life. There is also the matter of education and money, some mages can have the best education money can buy, while others self learned. If magic takes money and time to learn, then the mages who come from noble families will have the advantage. 
    • Wealth and Education as a barrier. Spells are hard skills, already as compared to other skills it takes Intensive Training (B293).  
    • Hereditary magery as a barrier. Mage families who cultivate their bloodlines will produce more mages, and the bastard mages suffer as apprentices and the rare-exception of being better than their full blooded siblings despite lacking in education and opportunity. if magical potential is only the elite class, you can just put it at 1:100. As a society gets more population and bigger, you can see mages being an oligarchy growing farther and farther away from everyone else (rarefied demographics). 
    • Chinese Elite society from evolution of the Mandarins would be a good example of how to to handle Magery with Social Class system. Unfortunately there is not a lot of good Wikipedia articles I can recommend, and my understanding is from sifting through various sources in my Sino studies. Trying to summarize it: as it takes money, resources, and good genes to create an elite warrior - and the same for mages. You will need more bureaucrats in a society that can channel their resources in War and Magic (and Commerce). The greater the ability for the economy to specialize and others purse: War, Magic, and Commerce - such specialization will create a ruling class. Note that a High degree of education will also make a society more like China where there are more competing Ideologies (until one destroys them all; see Hundred Schools). You dont need to go far to find an Alien Culture that is very different. 
    • From Yao to Mao, 5000 years of Chinese history
    • Lazlo Montgomery's Chinesehistory Podcast
    • Note that Magery in a Normal Magic setting has no equivalent that exists in the present or human history. The barriers were illusory (ethnicity and creed are mental constructs that can be overcome) when the definition of humanity was defined by the few and powerful. You can make Magery an illusory barrier. Of course if you make magery a true physical barrier then society can base their Value judgement on magical potential.  

Spell Task Difficulty Modifiers

  • A Simple Barrier is creating Task Difficulty modifiers on casting Spells which create more complex results. Example is that mages who can Shape Stone can shape common stone, but when they shape Obsidian they have  a TDM penalty. If they Make Earth to Metal, they have a penalty when creating certain metals. At a high enough penalty you can reflect some elements of scarcity 

War Beneath Heaven Mages

  • Initiates tend to have an average of 15 on their specialty of Magic and 9 for everything else. They would need to use extra-FP to improve the margin of success. Once spent, they may be out for a couple of hours. 
  • Novices tend to have an average of 20 on their specialty of Magic, and 14 on everything else.  
  • Adept tend to have an average of 25 on their specialty of Magic, and 19 on everything else.
  • Masters tend to have an average of 26-27 on their specialty, Skill-23 in many other colleges, and Skill-21 in those that don't matter to them. They also have a lot of advantages that augment their skills.  

High Magery Game

  • You will need to keep note of how the Colleges are at a certain level of Power Discounts. 
  • Elemental (I realize this is a great specialty against swarms).
    • Air  - Air is the second most cost effective elemental college, it is very useful in low tech and can still be fairly useful in high tech / modern settings.  B378 notes on knock back. Unlike the Fire and Earth that can maintain Shape Element Indefinitely at Skill-15, only has Stench in Basic Set. It has Air Jet in GURPS Magic M24, requiring Skill 18 to be able to cast often without FP lost. If the Mage has College (Air) -23 he can do Air jets at no cost to him at 4d knock back. 
      • Air and Earth are always readily available. 
      • Stench (count 1), and Shape Air (count 2)
        • If you want to calculate the air pattern/current, remember circumference formula. You can make a current of air travel a 5 yrd circle of a radius of  0.8yrs/m at 1FP. So basically the Mage is in the center of a mini vortex of air
        •  At 2FP it is a 1.6m/yrd radius spell and 1d of knock back. its a median average of 2.5m/s wind, if its enough to give 1d knock back it should be enough for some penalties for missile weapons to hit. 
      • Shape Air (count 2), great against missile weapons or swarms or if the GM allows it aid missile weapons in adding range. Since it
      • Air Vision (count  3) and Smoke (count 3) 
    • Fire - Fire can be very destructive, but requires higher skill. The most basic combo is having 17-18 skill so as to maintain Create Fire and Shape Fire Indefinitely. Check Incendiary Attacks in B433. Use fire as a crowd control and cover all the hexes beneath enemies using Shape Fire spell - its bad footing with DAMAGE!.
      • Unlike all the other elements, fire is not easily available. 
      • Simple Combo is Air Vision (count  3) and Smoke (count 3). its funny how a fire mage cannot see through smoke lolz. 
      • Strategic use of Ignite (note the distance penalties to spell casting, which you can limit by making a trail of oil). Take note of grease fire, which would require 3FP but will be very difficult to put out because it spreads when water is used. 
    • Earth - Earth is the most bang for buck among all the elemental colleges. It is limited by the Players and PC's ingenuity and creativity. At Shape Earth-16-17 it becomes very useful and versatile. You will need Innate Attack (Earth) for various techniques. Will be covered in greater detail.
      • Shape Earth use to Shove opponents (see Collision Damage B430; Slam B368; Shove B372) to Calculate Knock Back
        • ( [ Mass(lbs)^(0.33) ] * 8 / 100 ) * yrds/s (2m/s for earth, 1m/s for stone)
        • Example Sand has a density of 1.5-1.7 tons per 1 cu.m/yrd. So 3 tons of sand flowing at 2m/s is a 3d-1 cr  or  6d Knock Back. 
    • Water - In muddy or snowy terrain water is as powerful as Earth requiring only a skill of 16-17 to be constantly useful every round and minute. Composite bows are very useless when wet. Muddying the ground or Fighting in the Rain will grant terrain penalties to opponents, and strategic application of Freeze or Frost can be very effective - freezing wet weapons in their sheathes.  
      • Shape Water use to Shove opponents (see Collision Damage B430; Slam B368; Shove B372) to Calculate Knock Back
        • ( [ Mass(lbs)^(0.33) ] * 8 / 100 ) * yrds/s (3m/s)
        • Example Water has a density of 4.5kg per gallon. So 20 gallons of water flowing at 3m/s is a 1d-2 cr or 1d Knock Back. 
    • Biological
      • Animal - This helps you cultivate powerful and useful animal assets. Birds are often overlooked, swallows and sparrows can be very useful in sending messages and recon. Don't begin by thinking of the most dangerous animal you can get, consider the most useful animals in Communication and Logistics. Training animals in record time would be interesting. 
      • Plant - Shape plant can be used to neutralized wooden weapons at Skill-16-17. Most of the plants spells are very powerful in economics and logistics. 
      • Body - Itch against armored foes and Spasm are all great if the mage had a Skill-21-22 to cast it at no cost. 
      • Healing - At Skill-21, the recover FP spell allows a mage to perform extraordinary feats of logistical endurance. 
    • Wizardry
      • Meta Spell - Scryguard, and Maintain are priority spells and effects for powerful wizards. Many Strategic Spells are found in Meta-Spells. 
      • Enchantment - Make Items and Temporary magic items. It takes a lot of research to find items minor and useful at the same time. 
      • Knowledge - very useful, although many information spells are useless against scrygaurd and have a hard time with conceal magic. Echoes and Visions of the past are powerful spells to determine what happened in an area. 
      • Protection - very limited and many of the spells that would matter is in meta spells. 
    • Necromancy - This is one of the most powerful colleges, it has Enchantment Spells as part of the specialization which basically means you can ignore many other colleges for just Necromancy.
      • Necromancy has Demonic Summoning which allows a character have a demonic ally.  There is one very simple way to min-max this - Get a Demons whose motivations are your own. Its a bit zen to know oneself enough to know that this is the "right demons" for me. But if you get there then just summon the demon you choose to serve. Demonic Contracts basically reduce the cost of the spell equal to x3 their appropriate knowledge of the Black Arts. That means Hidden Lore (Dark Magic) -16, the Mage can reduce it by 48 points!
        • That Translates to 24d ex missile attack, very powerful and large Area effect spells that can cover 1,800sqm or 18,000sqf.  Animate 1800sqf/180sqm room full of dead bodies. Cover 23 hectars or 60 acres in cloudy darkness. 
        • Note this discounts, so it cannot help you add FP to a Maintenance Spell BUT it can bring down a spells power cost so that you can benefit from the x5 duration of maintenance spell for spells that cost nothing to maintain. That means you can maintain massive area effect spells.  
    • Mind Control - Compared to Com/Emp, this is pretty bang for buck. At early levels such mages will augment with social engineering. 
    • Communication and Empathy - not really useful in combat, the easiest spells to cast is mostly in social interactions adding reaction bonuses (pursuasion). Oddly expensive with many spells at 4fp and same to maintain. This mostly deals with communications and influence. sense foes, which is the most basic is hard to use because of the muddiness of intent, the very very small area of effect per FP used, and the lack of other detail.  
    • Making and Breaking spells - Inspired Creation is powerful, the ability to reliably make Very Fine quality work means a lot of things and translates to a lot of potential uses. The spells costs compared to what they do makes it a fair specialization. 
    • Illusion - This needs to be Combined with Meta Spells, particularly Maintain. Its ability to program Servants or even Zombies through Independence makes it worth while especially to necromancers. 
    • Light and Darkness. Darkness Spell is a very powerful tactical advantage used well. You can see going out but no one can see going in. A size big enough can help in ambush and maintain some terrain superiority. 

    Magos Lazarous Olumid, Lord of New Ejeba

    He is an example of a Master, at 200cp he would be a formidable enemy or ally to the PCs. If you look at his disadvantage, it doesn't really make him out to be a bad guy.
    • He is at a median magery level as Masters go, there are other masters who have higher magery. 
    • Lazarus has 35 points invested in Spells
    • Lazarus has 20 points invested in Secondary skills, 
    • He has 2 Special Allies - the Heroic Companion Knight of Ife and a Formidable Familiar the Hawk Jaja. 
      • He doesn't have a demon, which is an odd choice of companions. Demons are the most powerful and effective of companions and very cooperative if both personalities are aligned. His choice of Familiar and Companion can be attributed to sentiment or tradition. 
    • He has about x50 100cp Adepts mages under his control, 10 can be available to him in any time. This is a very powerful resource and marks him as a very successful master, his Talent as a Teacher also supports why he has so many adepts. His adepts and Initiates are put to work, so only a few are available on call when he needs them. 
    • He is basically his own feudal lord in part of Haven he controls. He has network to reflect this, and he serves of at the pleasure of the being known as Olokun.
    • His Politics is 10 and Strategy is 9. This means he can be vulnerable attacked Socially and Strategically. His strong roster of Adepts would be attractive to other Masters and their Arch Mages who find the opportunity move against him.
      • At this level stick to Easy Strategies - go with the herd in Politics and be conservative in strategies.  
    • What he is not is a Leader, he's more of a Teacher and Administrator. He is not a Politician or Courtier, nor is he Strategist or Tactician. Hes not as good a liar as many other mages (who have it as a Talent). Like all mages, in order to survive, they have to be a good judge of character (Psychology-14). 

    Lazarus Tactics 

    • Basic Defenses
      • Maintained Scryguard (93 days/45fp) Skill-23 
      • Maintained False Aura (93 days/45fp) - Skill-20
      • Sense Observation Daily (M167) (24 hours) - Skill-19
      • Simple Illusion (-1 on all spell casting) - he appears a much darker and more virile looking, more like a gangster to others. 
    • Lazarus makes use of two zombie guards, who are enchanted with Amulets against Control Zombie. He would sometimes disguise as the zombie and disguise the zombie as himself. 
    • In an emergency he can draw on his 35Fp and his 30fp power stone and in an Emergency he can Burn his HP at no penalty because he can will himself to shrug the pain for a short duration. allowing him to burn as much as 20HP. 
      • What 85 power can do?
        • 43 explosive damage dice
        • 1.8 Hectar (about 4.5 acre) Rainfall
        • Rebuild 12.7 Tons
        • Make a One use Temporary Magical Item worth 566FP.  

    Killian Tarmikos, The Mage Killer

    Killian (real name Kwanele) is free mage, who hires himself out as a trouble shooter among many of the Taipans or Patriarchs. He does not have an Arch-Mage patron and has to live in the fringes of magical society if he wants to keep a low profile.  Killian died in S02E10 in WBH, when the HSS got marked for elimination, he is still a useful template. 
    • He has invested a lot in his spells, about 37cp. He's brought up his effective spell level with Knowledge, Healing, illusion, Protection and Meta-Spells. His default strategy is to keep a low profile and keeping security conscious. 
    • His specialty is studying other mages and looking for weaknesses with Strategy and Information Analysis. He is not more powerful than other mages, he just happen to have to skills that allows him to exploit their weakness better and find it sooner.  Against mages with their many countermeasures he relies on giving them the impression that they are in control through a defensive strategy via defense in depth
      • Since he is observing someone who has Sense Observation and Scry Guard, most of the information he gets are from Indirect Observation and Information Analysis. This problem solving technique simply takes what is unknown and working with economies of efficiency and predictable patterns of development. Much like an investigator who relies on Criminal history to sort patterns in their behavior and strategies. He will create a profile via indirect observation before proceeding, he charges for an evaluation and provides the report (a SWOT analysis) at the end of his research.      
      • He has Traps and Electronics Operation (Comm). This allows him to use radio controlled devices and set up some technological equipment. He can use Inspired Creation to make a Very Fine Trap and Network Set up, one that does not backfire on him and works as it should. He makes use of fine quality equipment and electronics. 
    • Based on the Risk Assessment he tends to work with harassing tactics, creating as many inconvenience and adding as much time wasting projects. For every hour he turns in, he has to create an attrition of hours of 1:5 or 1:10. Enough harassment for his Patron to move in and execute their own plan or to make it too costly for the mage to go on with their original strategy. He draws a lot of "agro" so he does get into fights and escalation, where he fights emotionally unstable and unpredictable mages.  


    • I wish the spells were designed to be more exponential like Area Spells. Many spells are linear like the shape spells, while Area spells are exponential. If you want the same exponential effect per FP: (basically 45 and 90 degrees exponential advancement). 
      • Thanks to +Bertram Jänsch you can by using the (  3n(n-1) ) + 1 formula. 

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

    Sins of the Crusade S01 E03 - Taranto

    Thanks to
    +Wilton Heath - Cato Vorenus an Honest Naepolitan Merchant and client of House Milessenos.+Il Pella - Xenophon Papagiannopolous, Captain of the Zardakos+Thunder Clonch - Teritus Maxentius, Guardsman of the House Milessenos

    • The Party had to have a plan entering an Enemy City, not just any enemy - the Lands of Bohemond of Taranto son of Robert Guiscard and one of the Commanders in the battle of Dyrrhachium. A personal enemy of the Emperor. They had to prepare papers that they came from Syracuse (which I confused for Crete; so if you watch the video I was thinking of Fatamid Controlled Crete). They had Customs Duties officers harass them but the captains experience and talent showed through and verbally bludgeoned the duties officers.  
    • Upon arrival, there was a lot of planning and information gathering. They noticed the City was filled with soldiers. Bohemon was recruiting and training, it showed in the economy and the prices of goods. There were soldiers everywhere and they were poorly paid but well drilled. They manage to learn about the city  and formulated a few plans (this takes a lot of time and discussion). 
    • While learning more about the town they caught someone listening into their conversations. A traveller with a German accent Konrad was able to place. They take a "walk" and get to know each other. The "traveler" is a scout measuring strengths of the Norman armies, particularly the most active one. (see diagram) he pretty much figured they were "with the greeks". They exchanged notes, proposing they try to convince bohemond to fight for the emperor - a very long shot but points out information about him
      • That Bohemmon is very greedy and paranoid, his usurpation of his brothers rights makes this evident. 
      • Relationship o Bohemmon and his brothers. 
      • He is rallying troops with inflated promises. He will stop at nothing to gain glory, and he is incredibly dangerous and resourceful. 
      • he warns them of Silverio and explains the history and relationships they've gathered. 
    • The team had their own plans, and did many arrangements and set about serveral intrigues in motions. They settled on having Tertius and Xeno joining as a mercenaries. While Konrad and Cato as merchants trying to do business in Taranto. 
    • A week has passed when they were settling in and making arrangements when while they were outside of the city looking for a place to secretly meet they stumbled on to some soldiers returning with a captive with them. The Soldiers slipped into a well hidden grove, and when they were splitting the goods the Xeno interceded and tried to talk them down. They were caught red handed in banditry, which meant death or quartering for a soldier. They tried to get rid of the party and the combat lasted only seconds - their greater skill showing through. Xeno took a wound, and it would prove a problem in the training days to come (and having to explain it would get him into trouble).
      • Cato couldn't stand goods going to waste, at the same time conflicted about the fighting which he is deathly afraid of.  
    • They rescued Catena, the victim, who they discretely brought to the church and hid the stolen possessions. Catena is a traders daughter (poorer than a merchant), and she seems to have lost everyone in the ambush. 
    • The weeks that followed was very eventful
      • They discover the courtesan of Bohemmond - Lady Oletta. Cato befriends her agent and maid, Adonai. 
      • They, Xeno and Tertius, get to know Mauger, the Dane-Norman, master at arms of the Behomond. 
      • They train and use Lucretia as discrete armswoman part of the diplomatic core (Cato, Konrad, Bert-hold, and Velus). 
      • Xeno befriends Ponziano. 
      • They maintain connection with Erhard. 
      • They send Miraclones with introduction to the Vorenus family in Naples. they will try recruiting there. They will try to set up a manner of sending messages to Constantinople. 

    It looks like a lot of scenarios will play out next sessions. This session had a lot of foundation and set up. I will try to draw a diagram in prep, hopefully I have the time. A diagram of the Taranto. 

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    GURPS Magic Notes: System Mechanics Review

    Bringing down the information barriers, and helping you get to play a mage or allow supernatural elements in the game. I'm particularly trying to work towards games with strategic and tactical magic. Like any level of complexity its built over a good foundation of fundamentals.

    Quick Review 

    • B234 Glossary of Terms - I skipped this and went back to it (now that I looked at it seems I never really paid attention to this). 
      • Note the Spell Classes (B239): Regular, Area, Missile, Melee, Information, 
      • Area spells are funky when calculating area of effect. For every increment calculate it as as ((X*0.6)^2) * pi. Where X is the number of increments. 
        • It follows close to the hex area formula in very large values which is about (t^2)*2.6 where t is radius which is also equal to the length of a side.
        • +Bertram Jänsch If you want to be precise then the area of a regular hexagon is (sqrt(3)/2)/(d^2) where d ist the distance between the parallel sides, ie 0.866 sq yds for a hex of 1 yard. (0.866 m^2 for a 1 meter hex if you're living in the world of modern units ;).)The number of hexes can be found by using 3n(n-1)+1 where n ist the number of increments.So just multiply the number of hexes with the area you want to use and voila.Hope this helps.
      • Note the Colleges, in GURPS Magic there is a TON of them, about 20s compared to DnD's 7-8 groups. 
    • B235 under Casting Spells - Spells are Skills. Pay the FP cost of the Spell and Roll your Spell Skill
      • Your spell skill is IQ + Magery (B66-67) + Controlling Attribute Modifier (B167). Mana Levels are a Factor (B235), and only Low Mana matters in most situation because it imposes a -5 penalty. 
      • Magical Rituals (B237) - skill 9 and below sucks and you look silly casting a spell, 10-14 makes you look funny, and 15-19 is where most cinematic fantasy fiction fall under, and 20 and up makes you look bad ass. 
      • You can burn HP (B237) but it Penalizes the spell at -1 per HP burned due to something like shock. Immunity or Resistance to Pain has to be house ruled (B80). Note that since it says that its due to Shock but it says High Pain threshold has no effect its shock but not shock (make your ruling). Numbness should help (B146). 
        • I house ruled Immune to Pain (but still you can feel damage since this is still not Numbness) as 20cp. GURPS Powers gives the maximum duration limitations and if I need an ability check to activate. I basically made it a 4cp ability with 80% limitations that brought down its duration and ability to use, you have to make a will check to activate this and it lasts only 1 minute. Note the Missile Class spell rules, since it takes turns to "Power Up" a missile spell, you may not be able to burn HP enough and in time when the pain will start giving penalties. 
    • B348 Critical Failure - at level 16, only an 18 is a critical failure (made that mistake last game a player rolled an 18; still erred on the side of the player). 
      • There is a Critical Spell Failure Table in B236. The odds of getting the worse result (18 and 18 again) is about 1:46k or 0.002% ish which is a demon. On the Table >70% of the effects are not so bad. Only 17-18 makes you the GM's bitch.
    • B308 A lot of Spells. There are about 106 spells in the Basic Set and about a total of 600 more spells in GURPS Magic. 
    • B242 Ritual Magic Rules in the box, under Clerical Magic System. 
    • B201 Innate Attack (specify) is needed for various attack modes. Read more M12/B240 
    • B226 Throwing Skill for spells which can be hurled. 
    • B238 Casting While Maintaining Other Spells basically is your Multi-Tasking rules.  Unfortunately Multi-Tasking rules are not consolidated and come from ISW226 and Gurps Spaceships 1 p. 59. 
      • Some Spells require Skills like Art like Illusion, Art (illusion), or Shape Earth, Art (sculpting). Since these are mental skills it takes a concentration maneuver (see B366) to use them. Since Shaping these things are speed of thought, the GM calls how much time it is to form.  
      • M7 or  B236 Distraction and Injury rules. 
    • B349 Rule of 16, Basically in a Quick Contest Roll (B348) an uber-powerful spell casters margin of success is capped at 16 or the target's contesting stat. So a Mage with skill-36 which targets HT would be used on a PC with only 12 HT can only have a margin of success limited as to only 16 (and not his 36 skill). 
      • So if the PC rolls a margin of 5 by rolling a 7, the Mage needs to roll at least a 10 and below Instead of rolling a 15 and still succeeding. Since the margin of success is using 16 to calculate a roll of 15 would have a margin of 1, instead of 11.  
    • B241 or M13 Blocking spells have no discount. 

    In Summary 

    • B234 Normal Magic:  Roll your IQ + Magery (B66-67) + Your spells Controlling Attribute Modifier (that's a mouth full). Lets just call the Basic Set's core normal magic system NM vs Ritual Magics RM. in B242 its calls it "Normal" magic system.  
    • B242 Ritual Magic:  Roll your IQ + Magery (B66-67) + Ritual Magic's or Thaumatology's Controlling Attribute Modifier - Prerequisite Count of the Spell (the counts can be found in GURPS Magic B225; I have a suspicion there are some errors but to check them would be such a head ache and I'm fine with the approximations). 
    • In both NM (Normal magic) and RM high skill discounts (See B237 under Magic Ritual). Basically 15, you have a discount of 1FP, and every 5 levels after that is 1FP more discount. So at 20, -2FP discount, 25 -3 FP. The sweet spot is 25. In RM your Pre-requisite Count or your "count" brings down your skill, so more powerful spells (those with higher counts) don't get a discount. 
    • Your Effective Skill matters a lot. It determines a Spells' Endurance (M20; not found in the Basic Set as far as I can research), a spells ability to contest other spells that try to affect it. 
    • Resisted Spells, Note that many spells make the target roll HT or Will or even a Skill to resist the effects.  Note that some Area effect spells can be Dodged, with Drop and Dodge (B377). So if you see someone look at you funny in a magic game setting, it would be acceptable to Dodge and Drop for cover the same as you would if you heard gun fire. 

    Strategy Guide and Tips

    • Familiars or Companion one of the largest sources of limitations for Magery. Its basically -40% and its not so visible, you will find it in the Allies Advantage in B38 on the very lower left corner of the page. 
    • Aspects are pretty much a must. You can make an Aspect just lower your effective by halving the Limitations effect (see Accessibility B110, 2nd to the last paragraph). So a Mage that is Half as powerful in the Day will have Half the Night Aspect limitation (B67) at -20%. If you want Mudras  aka Somatic Components, Poetry like in Visionaries aka Verbal Components, or Prepared Material Components like in DnD I recommend just basing it off the Aspects and House rule it or you can use my house rules for it (C'mon you don't really need someone else to make this and I'm sure someone online has made it already).  
    • GMs who wants to play around with various mage builds should consider the following: 
      • LIMIT THE COLLEGES! yes, limit it to like 10 or 7! This will make your life so much easier. 
      • Use Ritual Magic. If your going to Build Mages and have to list every spells, F-that! Just write down your Ritual Magic (VH) IQ [8], College of Choice (VH) IQ [8] etc... Its so much easier. 
    • Be a nice guy and point out this post about Modular Abilities: Super Memorization Spells to your GM. Basically I can make it 0.6cp per 1 modular CP with limitations. That means every 3cp I spend in Modular Ability: Super Memorization, I can have 5cp to allocate for spells. If he allows it great, if not you never ever entertained it or wasted your time with it. 
    • Energy Reserves and Extra Fatigue. With the right amount, your mage can do a lot of cool stuff. If you bring down the cost to 0.6cp per 1FP than you have 3cp for 5fp. 15 points invested is 25FP of energy. Its not so bad or broken, its actually fun of course you may run some simulations and scenarios how much you would allow. 

    The Can of Worms

    • Air and Earth Spells. if we go science-y does mean I can create, seek, and shape various Minerals and Gasses. Its not so bad but its going to make you learn more about science in a fun way
    • Prerequisite Count for Related Spells. Talisman and Amulet (M58) affect spells of the same family. Example Dull (M133) and Dullness (M134) can be affected by a Talisman and Amulet. 
      • Here is the annoying follow up, Enchant spell (B480 or M56) and Temporary Enchantment have prerequisites of -11 and -12 respectively. Does that means that my master for Enchantment will not carry over my proficiency of Temporary Enchantment? you make your ruling. 
        •   My ruling - I don't want a lot of point inflation and messy character sheets and enchantment is very expensive in my game setting at $250 1FP worth. Guess how I'm going to rule? - yeah it carries over but it has to be as strong relationship. So a Mage with Enchantment (H) [12] has a -1 to cast Temporary Enchantment. Note that these spells depend on a second spell skill so its kinda balances out. I've not thought as far as Enchantment Spells like Accuracy and the Like.  
    • Extra Fatigue and Energy Reserve. It can be broken. Introduce a Cap. Stop a player from doing a yenkidama explosive fireball for 25d ex damage if he goes around and spends 30cp.   

    More Material

    • Magical Familiar and Companions - why can't dogs and horses be companions? Well join me in magical heresy - this is gurps after all and I want to have horses and dogs.  
    • Sample Mages - An experiment in magical demographics and work force allocation. 
    • Zombie and Zombie Companion - inspired by almost human and resurrection lolz
    • Minor Spirit Servants  - Inspried by hayao miyazaki takes on such creatures.
    • Proto Lichs - Because there is so much sacred cows when it comes to vampires. 
    • Swarm Familiar - the most dangerous familiar, GMs should really limit who gets these. Inspired by Chinese cockroach farms and some basic biology that comes with gurps gaming (like the square cubed law). Imagine where 2/3 of food wasted goes. 
    • Information Gathering - Note that you should check out GURPS Mysteries, it has a chapter on the value of each spells in crime and investigation. 
    • Darkness Mages - Because there is a scary combo asking to be used. Needs to be reworked a bit but the basic combo is still powerful. 
    • Demon Ally - a review of contract and negotiation basics, because your dealing with the devil here. 
    • Ghostly Companion - for those who really can't let go and leave things to rest. 
    Next Article will focus on Ritual Magic and High Magery Campaign. Hopefully I covered the most basic and key points, and did a bunch to bring down the complexity of the game. I will feature 2 Master level mages and their Best Practices. They are what I use to gauge the level of preparation and organization the mages have in the War Beneath Heaven. 

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    Gurps talents, combat talents.

    As part of the Cult of stat normalization I found talents to be indispensable and it models so many things so well. I interchange talent with Aptitude, we may be somewhere else later in life where our aptitudes change - certain skills are easier to raise than others given time opportunity and resources.

    I've been building a small collection of templates around just two levels of 5pt talents and I've been able to make well rounded realistic professionals. It's better you saw it for yourself. Modern Templates under Construction

    Anyway, one of the more interesting things to think of is talents in respect to modeling our-self. I made a requirement that talents have to follow a themes but talents can be unrelated and born from the chaos of circumstance. In such cases we gain Reputation only from our most valued and highest skill.

    Defaulting more

    - 6 to - 2. What I love about talents is that we default more. We use what we know and try to adapt it the different circumstance.  It also makes us pursue and choose skills because it gives us more things to default to or we realize.

    Looking at the defaulting penalties a skill is more valuable when you can default tasks at -2 to -4, and diminishing returns are at around -5 and worse.

    Merchant and Psychology have a lot of defaults. Soldier should have a lot of defaults, and other professions that have a lot of training and a lot of change of lifestyle.

    Why can't we have combat Skills as talents?

    How the system is designed comes to mind, this rule basically means its unbalanced to have combat skills as part of talents, while violating this in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy lolz. Ok so lets just look at the Game Design.

    Lets try having Weapon Talents and all of a sudden we have a +2 to +4 bump in over all skils. That means a soldier whose works with the sword for 4 years (8cp of work experience) now can have a +2 bump... making him an Expert at 14. Why is that so bad?

    In a Realistic Combat Game, with none of the special advantages like Gunslinger, Heroic Archer, Weapon Master, Enhance Parry etc... around a +2 to +4 bumb in skill at the cost of 10-20 points is not so bad. Quickly weapons have diminishing returns for every weapon skill you add. The only time you would add weapon skill if a weapon can be wielded by other weapon skills like an Axe can be used by Axe/Mace or 2h-Axe/Mace or a Spear with Staff and Spear and even Pole Arm, a Naginata or dueling Pole-sword with Staff, Pole-arms, 2h-sword etc.

    What it does really do is change the landscape of the game a bit. What I love about Low Power games is that Talents are easier to calculate diminishing returns vs bringing up a Stat. So you don't have really Dexterous Swordsmen, you have TALENTED swordsmen. Since talent is a combination of genetics, background, and education, and "je ne se quoi" in the resolution level of gurps, it fits quite well in the things we have trouble measuring... unlike DX or IQ across the board.

    Are all Skills equal in value? Thats the thing, they are not all valuable and some skills are not valuable without some other complimentary skills. Programming is great and a valuable skill, but it needs other complimentary skills to add its value (merchant skill, computer expertise, electronic operation skill etc...). They are not equal and the Game system should not make a value judgement on it except for how hard the skill is to learn based on many discover-able factors

    One non-combat skill to one combat skill

    So why not allow it? not because of other gurps products violating this rule, but because of how skills and aptitudes/talents are supposed to work. If your really conservative, why not try this: substitute 1 combat skill for 3 non-combat skills until? So Talented Roman Soldier with Armatura will have talents in soldier skills and shield and sword?

    The Cult

    The Cult of stat normalization is the nickname of the group in gurps who are not satisfied with the assumptions of the system and try to tweak and adjust the assumptions so that stats are closer to real. World expectation. They tend to limit stats to 15 instead of 20 because they base it on humans and not adventurers.

    We are admittedly a bunch of killjoy if you think such benchmarks and statistics ruin fun. But in our defense it makes us appreciate exceptional Abilities more when we are very conservative and skeptical of ability ranges. When things are awesome and the data proves so we really gush. It means everyday marvels rarely escape our attention and do not Attribute to malice what can be attributed to incompetence.

    My current qualm is that Physical stats do not distribute as well as IQ in the current system. The most gross example is just looking at running statistics for amateur runners (which affect DX and HT, fitness and actually economic circumstance). Also when you factor economic circumstances like poverty line and the world instead of just the US (which GURPS bases off) there is a

    Saturday, April 12, 2014

    War Beneath Heaven S02 E10 - The End has Arrived

    1. Speedy is in the infirmary. Sam was taking care of him. Jeni visits him and this happens while the team was fighting the dragon. Sam notices something odd about Merle and Jakub. Jakub begins having violent seizures. Constanz arrives seems to calm him down. When everyone was distracted, Merle grabs the Sam who manages to escape. Sam tries to escape. Jakub smashes speedy back, and merle begins to strangle jeni. Speedy uses a flashbang, which knocks them out. 
    2. The guys get back down only to find Jakub up and Merle standing among st slain staff. Jakub charges and proves very difficult to kill. Merle gets lead in the face and goes down. Zombies attack them from the rear. They manage to kill Jakub by bringing up a thin concrete barrier and shooting through it preventing him from dodging or parrying their weapons from arms reach. 
      1. Fish is hurt terribly. The guys go through two M4 30-round mags against Jakub. 
    3. The guys discover Speedy, Jeni and Sam guarded by zombies who attack and harm speedy as he tries to escape. The guys make use of the many secret stashes HSS has to scrounge and re-equip. They manage to recover a bit. They proceed to recover more gear in the infirmary. 
      1.  All the bases are under attack. 
      2. Tasha survives an ambush when she fails to appear in a trap because of her intense hate for Cheng. Cheng sets up a meeting with the partners only to kill them all, Emily survives because she's been too haggard and weak from the constant work. Someone raids his home in brighton trying to kill Emily and Osmans child but they managed to escape. 
      3. A lot of time getting ready and doing evaluations.
    4. The are able to distract some ghouls enough to get to parking where they were able to load up. A loud car door opener gives away their position, and they rush to get out fighting of two powerful ghouls. Speedy and Eeshu manage to fight them off.
    5. Tasha meets them outside, but someone manages to shoot her from the building. She is badly wounded but still manages to drive them. Speedy sends out one of the last remaining drones to check on what happened to everyone
      1. They find bodies, Chengs gang being consumed. 
      2. they find Cheng impaled in his board room. 
      3. They find Killian on the floor dying while Sid defending him. Sid's true form emerges as she fights off well armed and equipped vampires. Speedy detonates one more flash bang before the drone dies. It last vision is another swordsman facing Sid. 
    6. The group tries to navigate through the heights but the area has become abandoned and filled with creatures who emerged from the gash in the mountain to feed on the populace. they are trying to getting to Brighton. The encounter one of them, sending it pipe bombs, they manage to bring it down in a rain of meat. 
    7. Tasha navigates and Speedy tries to correct her. He is unable to change her mind (fails leadership) and she goes on her expertise. She manages to get them out, but on the forested jungle mountain and into a dead end. 

    Killing of much of the old Cast and Pregens

    • avoiding GM PCs. 
    • removing the Clutter in the Cast
    • More opportunity for the PCs to shine. 

    Other Notes

    • to build a setting and let it all go to hell to make for a good ending and add drama. 
    • When I was preparing my guidelines were - which would make more drama for the character - loved ones and survival were easy marks but I wanted other sources of conflict. When tasha argued with speedy and speedy didnt have any leadership to correct her, it was two friends having a really bad fight and a wounded relationship. 
    • Now I'm looking for conflict, as in two beliefes that draw the player in directions they cannot align so easily. 

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    Interesting Notes on GURPS Skilll and then some.

    What I've noticed is that some skills can be bundled as part of a broader skill - exam

    • Police Work is a Optional Specialty of Law. In fact this is true with some of the paralegal work for business. You can say Law (Law Enforcement) is a sub specialty of Law compared to the various other specialties. These days with Law outsourcing services for information analysis, they still need para legal or people with legal background, so it actually make sense that there are more Law Optional Specializations being used regularly. 
      •  Procedural processing of a criminal should be under Law, IMO. Usually a Optional Specialization  Law (Criminal, Law Enforcement) (IQ/A).
      • Example. Law (Business) can have Subspeciality Law (Business, government regulations) (A) instead of (H). 
    • Criminology and Psychology, basically you can say Criminology is a Optional Specialization of Psychology. The big deal is the defaults and the ability to "predict" a particular behavior. Depends how you're GM sees the field of Criminology vs Psychology, what is normal or more applicable to most people vs what is applicable only to deviants behavior.
    • Heraldry and History. History in low tech for characters of such an age would be specialized in  Dynasties and War (counting grudges). Dynasties can have an optional specialization: Heraldry... depending in what culture and if they have such or similar systems. thats how I see it, History: Dynasties should be broader and better in identifying High Status NPCs by their relationships. 
      • History and Current Events? The Question arises is how much of History is part of the skill, yesterdays news can be history. Given how heavy it is, and to prevent from having too many facets of the same skill in play or on the character sheet, Id recommend that Current Events should be part of History.
        • Example. TTC History of Economics has lectures about the earliest philosophies of merchantilism, through the birth of Lassie Faire, in many eras up to the present (tackled in bands of decades).  It is actually a pretty good look at Business History and how policies changed and how it affected everything as a whole. This would be an example of History (Business) TL8
        • admittedly I'm a history nerd, so knowing how things came about is what I find important although more academic.    
    • Administration being more. RAW Administration is a reaction roll in basic set, in Mass Combat its part of a logistics roll. Although its a really important skill in business and an expectation form many professional where I come from the organization skill is part of leadership skill.  In call centers its how big a team you can lead or manage given that you have enough sub ranked personnel. Now why is this an issue of Administration and not leadership is because of my anecdotal experience. In short it takes very good prioritization and organization to expand your leadership influence. 
      • Administration is pretty important because there are MANY standards that certify for levels of administration - ISO, Six Sigma, and various other certification bodies... even Agile is a kind of organization, and its applied for some other work. 
      • Math (Statistics) would be a requirement for higher levels of Administration. It means a character can use many of the Statistic based techniques and disciplines that have these in mind. It would be what is use when using powerful computing tools and attacking information barriers (like Intelligence Analysis). 
    • Merchant a requirement for Freelancers. A character who freelances must have merchant, or will be screwed. They can even use optional specialization, particularly their industry (example. freelancer computer programmer, IT, artist, etc...) That means haggling, pricing, learning industry practices, and knowing how to set up the business aka paper work. This reflects why many free lancers have a hard time, since they're dividing their time between work and the "running" of the business. It also accounts for how some freelancers have median ability but can get a lot of gigs and work.  
    • Leadership as an Influence skill. its strangely an organizational skill but when it gets everyone to work together. In my experience with it, its often when the leader talk to the group or individual discretely about the situation and gets them in the right motivation or alignment. Pep talks as Public Speaking can work, but the way good leaders work dont usually  for oration and handling press conferences or debates. When your in a closed door meeting with your elements, you tend to use leadership. Strange its in work I see these "skills" being used and as a Gamer I cannot help but really watch attentively and take notes. 
      • SUB- reaction roll.  Basically you are all friends, so you are all within the Friendly band of Reaction Table. In this Sub-Band, there is a reaction roll where the player can attempt to ignore or aggravates one of their many motives and disads. No need for the table, just translate the Raction Table roll into the Bands of how you react to a friends/team-mate's most negative or most positive reaction rolls, modified by the stuff they do (ex. betrayal can be a large penalty, and "watching their back" being the biggest bonus)
    • Leadership as an IMPORTANT skill. Democratic doesnt work in decision making, some one really has to take charge but that person still needs to consider the ideas and opinions of his group. Leadership is under-rated in the system and to fix that here are my notes:
      • Conflicting Information should be role-played, but a failed leadership roll means lack of Initiative. The group loses their initiative advantage from the leaders's combat reflex, or they all have 1 less initiative OR they baddies move up in the turn order. 
      • Characters with different Moral or Ethical lines and qualms are addressed by the leader in a period where there is Haste and Initiative can be taken. Roll and Role-play.
      • Morale and Various Social Engineering attacks on the Group can be applied to the Leader's Attribute Modifier (talent applies) with the average of the groups ability score (typically will). 
      • In my field of work, good leadership is defined broad generalizations but it can be boiled down to:
        • Getting everyone's motivations align to the goal of the group
        • preventing large and small problems from coming up with a number of rules of thumb along with an instinct for sniffing out mis-alignment. 
        • Being able to maintain cohesion and conflict at the same time by judicially tackling or coping interpersonal problems - either buying time, satisfying demands or needs, channeling the negativity somewhere else or giving a place for vent. 
        • Promoting a particular culture, this is a sign of a strong charismatic leader (leadership +15!), when there is a strong tangible team culture that is enforced and easily assimilated. The group adopts the leaders own motivations and goals, to a limited degree (particularly the Code of Honor), and a protocol is developed handling all the other distracting and divisive motivations or forces. 
        • A leader is able to shuffle his inconsistencies into the inconsistencies and flaws of his own team, it doesn't diminish his credibility but endears him to them. 
        • Leaderships is a Conditioned response and behavior. If you would try to use Psychology, Intimidation, and Acting to promote it impose a -5 penalty and use the lower of IQ or Will because of the duration and mental endurance needed. 
    • Interrogation vs Body Language or Detect lies. Interrogation is special because it should be noted that it can compel people to talk or answer IMO. People can just keep silent, and we assume everyone is not stupid enough to talk (roll will +5 for a perp to remember what all their betters tell them: Keep your trap shut). Note that an interrogator or interviewer wants people to keep talking, even the noise gives clues. 
    • Intelligence analysis Game Uses. The skill doesn't really have a lot of game applications. From my own studies, the skill would reflect for dealing with noise, filtering information, and looking for patterns. Think of it like Cryptography roll - breaking Information barriers. Usually its in hours and requires a lot of tools and other skills. 
    • Years of Experience. One year is equal to 2cp of practicing the job. This is common in many job requirements. So 10 years of experience is at least 20cp in the core skill (enough for a attribute +4 for a hard skill). Years of self study is 4cp each year, example a hobby which you can really find time to do (and you have a certificate or some way to verify the level of attainment). Dedicated Study or Guided Study is worth 8cp per year. This assumes typical modern labor paramters of 200 days a year, although most of the world experience ~240 or even countries that have 288-313 days a year still suffer off days because of health reasons.  Unlike GURPS, real life requires more attention and practice. 
    • Make Workaholic a DISADVANTAGE - Treat it as an Odious Personal Habit or a severe penalty (-3) in occasions where one has to take away from work. People at home will have a -3 reaction penalty to their workaholic family member in some way. In social occassions they bring up work to a fault for up to -1 to -3 disadvantage. When the socialize FOR work, they are Hard Sell and get a -3 penalty.  If they try to meditate or relax or sleep AT WORK they may have problems relaxing. ... definitely GMs who want to emphasize work life balance or who are haggard because of work will echo such sentiments about taking on such a disadvantages. Cultures with Workaholic as an Ideal or Accepted lifestyle will have its trade offs... the typical statistical markers of unhappiness still follows them despite it being "culturally acceptable". lolz - the heart wants what the heart wants.  

    Workload Assessment

    Being able to Asses workload or give benchmarks is a little peeve of mine when it comes to game systems. GURPS does this for a few skills, Traveller has this completely arbitrary (roll 1d6 hours or minutes or 10 minutes), DnD 3.0-3.5 was inconsistent, in some systems it doesnt matter or "skills" take a level of abstraction that uses no assumptions and has moving goal posts it amazing people are still able to communicate ideas in them!

    Some GM skills I realized that is hard to get is multi-disciplinary exposure to Workloads. I'm in a strange circumstance since the family business is into construction, IT, logistics, and manufacturing. The wife and my parents are accounting and finance in training, and I was lucky to have a grandfather who was into science and I got to to study a bit about the industry (and learned a lot about the Pharma industry recently). Taken in all, Workload patterns is something that I got to particularly observe and see a pattern into. Basically how to analyze it or forensically look for it when I look at a system. So its a great thing as a GM to know what each tasks MAY entails when I ask people to Roll for their skill.

    Again my 4 hour unit of work, finding it in other systems is kinda neat. Anyway, projects take time and not all projects are expected to be done at X amount of time. Given how arbitrary things can be in an industry, typically people are comfortable doing Tasks in x2 to x4 amount of time than it normally is possible. Engineering related industry people typically throw you time to completion of that much, while some give you optimistic times (only to fall short of expectation). It is a "grown up" or sign of maturity and reflection to be able to quickly make estimates about how much time it really takes to do a project.

    Sales will always give optimistic values (short times), while the guys on the ground will give you longer than what you can afford to wait. its a puzzle and in the end the GM makes the call. I talk about these things when I can on the blog, but really who reads this shit lolz. I had to separate work-game writing another blog lolz.

    you know that saying, if all you've got is a hammer everything is a nail? Its discussed in JDMS (judgement and decision making science), whats funny is what if your brain is a GAMER and everything is a Game Challenge to be "gamed". This is pretty much a fault of mine and why I am able to fill this blog with non-sense always lolz.