Saturday, October 31, 2015

Progress update of Traveller SRD, Character sheet Draft

Draft of the Traveller Character Sheet I made. Its meant to be folded as a Booklet (spine on the left side). Inside is the basic rules. 

Progress: Pretty much need a day (6 hours) to finish the Careers. then another day to polish up the skills and equipment. Hopefully I can do it on sunday. 

The Traveller SRD only has the Scout. So I have to make up everything else. As a bit of a fan of economics, I wanted to make my own professions inspired by my studies. Particularly the concept of Frontier, Emerging, and Developing market and making these ideas more accessible in a game perspective.

In the system you will notice the Frontiersmen, these are the first people to start work on developing the region or resource. They are first if you don't count the Bio-Tech firms that are sending gene-gineered organisms to kick start the planet or gas giant. 

I'd like to draw particular attention to Homesteaders, which are defined by their self sufficiency. They may be mining or farming (bio-tech material) or a strange combination of both. They are the first developers of the region and are the seeds for a market. They are usually contracted with special rights given the risks they will work with. They are very well trained for the hazards, isolation, and vulnerabilities. They are in essence Colonists, but I want to give the impression that these guys are well armed and incredibly independent. I particularly chose Homesteaders from the way the Norse were homesteaders when they were not raiding. 

The Explorers and the Scouts are similar to those found in the Traveller setting. I won't go much into that. 

Next is the Migrants: the Rogues, Workers, and Criminals. These are the next wave who arrive in Frontier and Developing markets, or they migrate towards developed markes. They also move back and forth and where markets are calling for them. In light of the refugee crisis and the negative perception of immigrants, its one of the things I'd like to explore in the game. 

The Civilian comes after the Migrants. They are those who come or arise when the market has become well developed. These are the Specialized services that make up a lot of internal consumption that allows an economy to grow and diversify. Civilians are much more specialized, I planed to allow them greater level of specialization: higher skill level but less skills. I also want to emphasize that in a highly specialized and diversified economy social skills are a must to lower the cost of transaction. 

After the Civilian is the Agency. I had a problem writing this because I want to move away from the Mongoose version of Agent. I want to emphasize the difference with civilians is that Agents rely on the Patronage of their Organization or Gov't. While Civilians tend to be part of smaller and more diverse and independent organizations, Agents are those who have powers and status from their massive and complex organization. Because of that they have greater Social Status, and are almost a State into themselves (and sometimes they are a State). There are Support, Specialists, and Executives. Executives are pretty Special project managers granted special powers to execute a particular task. Specialists range from Enforcers, Intelligence, Security, and Trade specialists. 

Finally the Military. Which follows much of the same ideas Sci-fi. 

Roll 2d6
3rd largest group
largest group (or second largest group)
second largest group

An exclusive group, and status based. 

  • Basic Skills
    • Spacer
    • Survival
    • Mechanical
    • Medic
    • Comm
    • Gun Combat (Any-)
  • Specialization
    • Homesteader
    • Explorer
    • Scout
  • Basic Skills
    • Survival (Specify)
    • Spacer
    • Streetwise
    • Deception
    • Trade (Specify)
    • Trade (Specify)
  • Migrant Specializations
    • Worker
    • Rogue
    • Criminal

  • Basic Skills
    • Trade Skill (Specify) 2
    • Survival (City)
    • Carousing (Networking)
    • Stewardship (Customer Service)
    • Social Status Perk
  • Civilian Specializations
    • Administration
    • Art
    • Bio-Tech
    • Computers
    • Finance
    • Legal
    • Manufacturing
    • Media
    • Medical
  • Basic Skills
    • Trade Skill (Specify) 2
    • Carousing (Networking)
    • Stewardship (Customer Service) 
    • Social Status Perk 2
  • Agency Specializations
    • Support
    • Specialist
    • Executive
  • Basic Skills
    • Athletics
    • Gun Combat
    • Survival (Wilderness)
    • Stealth
    • Powered Suit
  • Specialist
    • Support
    • Mobile
    • Armor
    • Officer
Navy (Gov't)

  • Basic Skills
    • Spacer
    • Powered Suit
    • Gun Combat
    • Mechanic
    • Piloting
    • Comm
    • Sensors
  • Specialist
    • Comms
    • Nav
    • Sensors
    • Fighter
    • Support
    • Engineering
    • Officer

Thursday, October 29, 2015

GMing Technique: Minor Problems for Any Game System

The Minor Problem Technique is basically the GM thinking up of problems that the player overcomes without having to roll, but with having to make trade offs or detailing what he happens to be doing.

Minor Problems were featured in my post about Non-Binary Consequences.

you have 1d6 minor problems. the GM rolls secretly for 3. 

GM: Hey (Player) it looks like you have some minor problems come up: 

  1. The supervisor your coming to help fix kinda hates your guts. 
  2. The help you need will be very late. 
  3. The weather report for that day is pretty bad and the drive will be pretty dangerous. 

(Player): "Ok I do the following:

  1. Clear my schedule, and beg off some tasks for another day. I get there early. This way the storm would not be that bad. 
  2. I plan to drop by for some gift food: a nice piping hot pizza for the supervisor and try to recall his family from (social media). 
  3. As I get there with extra time I'll do all the work myself, but call in when I need support.  

You will notice that I have more details to work with and on the table is the nuances and complexity of real life. I can approach any detail as the GM and draw from it more problems or use it to enhance the drama of a particular problem. What was the objective is to get more out of the Player and work with that material. Make sure that the details are trade-offs. 

This technique works best if the GM doesnt need to be the one to add all the details and is keen on listening on the Players details. It allows the players to elaborate and have some small successes and to begin the "build up" or extend the climax point in Storytelling Pacing

Monday, October 26, 2015

IMTU: Defensive Doctrine Spitballing

Common features in Star Systems that have a built up Defense. This is in settings with no FTL communications and no "stealth in space"

Underground Vaults.
IMTU giant worms or bugs are a common Import to a new world. Genetically modified to harvest resources of a given planet and create vast tunnels and with their nests they are the most basic line of defense against orbital bombardment.

A reinforced underground tunnel system would be the easiest to make a home out of. As well as their organic tunnel system can confuse ground penetrating active sensors.

Artificial or Enhanced Belts.
Belts serve a very powerful defensive advantage - cover and concealment. Particularly protection from orbital bombardment. As each chunk of rock can be enhanced and given spoofers it can potentially create an Information Assymetric buffer for defenders.

Artificial Dust Clouds or Rings.
They give more and more concealment especially when there are belts.

Semi-Mobile Space Ports and Stations.
Ports that move around is a good standard, especially given the Evasion and Pursuit Game theory principles. This is truer for military installations and various defensive measures.

Advanced Defense Probes.
Early warning Probes that give out maximum data read out of incoming traffic and threats.

Defense budget.
The more efficient and massively productive economies of such Scifi settings would have a high allocation for defense. Contracts to litter rocks on belts and rings, and creating various redundant installations underground. Contracts for Spoofers and Electronic Warfare Countermeasures, as well as sensor redundancies.

Merchant Fleet.
this was common practice in medieval times: the merchant fleet serves in the Naval activities. Trade, Security and War. This gives economic flexibility as well as much better economies of scale. ,

Q-Ships and Doctrine of Deception. The time proven trick is to hide fighting power behind standardization of design. When Warships pretend to be Merchant Ships and vice versa, States can more efficiently use its numbers. Long traditions of blending what is good for a warship being good for a merchant ship can mean easy retrofitting to serve as combat or trade ship.

Underground or Submerged Fleets.
Planets are great at concealment, while it would be standard to always set a fleet's reserve as far away from observations of "allowed" traffic routes as well as Optimal Advanced Probe Barrages (sending out a ton of probes into a system as a first move), one of the hardest to detect are ships hidden in gravity permitting worlds. Even if the escape would take a number of hours, such concealment and possibility of it is great deterrent.

Defensive Political Will
Economies of peoples with strong memory of war and what happened before is one of the best kind of ways to have defensive measures achieve political will.

The compound Interest of Defensive Productivity.
Using various game systems and compound interest its becomes easy to imagine how much this "rainy day fund" can grow. Start with the fund and budget and set a compound interest over time.

Unintended Consequences
There are many unintended consequences to a defensive mindset.

  • An Awesome Inflation Sink. Measures set aside for defense is "out" of the economy and circulation. Finance AIs and Policy Makers can make it as a way to control inflation as well as to motivate greater and greater productivity. 
  • Amassing a Fleet that can be used for Aggression. 
  • More extensive Bio-mods for survival or aggressive population diaspora (Zerg strategy)
  • Paranoia and Fearfulness. Possible Isolation. 
  • Failing to see a crucial weakness. Tunneling mindset is natural when using fear based motivation. A crucial weakness typically emerges and there is a rush to close this gap when spotted. Its possible to have such peoples all die off and leave behind massive reserves of technology and supplies. 
  • A bleak culture of death and obsession over it. all the joy is sucked out of enterprise.
  • Void Nomads - peoples whose home systems were destroyed because they focused on the Merchant fleet aspect. Or this was their strategy all along, to just keep moving. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

IMTU: Panspermia, Phylogenic Tree, "Democratic Republic"

Bouncing ideas off +Nick de Vera when I learned this term. For lack of imagination I will move the panspermia IMTU back to early biologicals instead of "human" transplantation. So basically its at the most root of the Phylogenic tree that can survive space travel.

But not all alien life forms will be from the same Panspermia Earth is from and many truly alien life forms exist, even within Sol. This is only to connection with IMTU Vilani. And the existence of several panspermias where more alien life forms can be found to fuel a discovery based campaign when there is more Imagination about the forms of life that can exist divergent from our own origins.

With Pantropic humans, the standard for what is "Alien" would be much looser. As well as the existence of Pantropic Aliens. The Villani's Feudalistic System can be great "propaganda" of evil, and Sol would be using key words like "Alliances, Democratic, Peaceful" the way countries like The Democractic Republic of the Congo and Korea use such terms. Memetic countermeasures are used extensively to misinform intentions and decieve.

Drawing from the real world, I realize that a stable developed world would have an economy designed to export its rebellious or divisive people. An Economy based on the short term memory of the majority of its population could get away shipping out its Brightest and most Disruptive people to found new colonies in hope they would fail and die.

What would be interesting is that such a great idea to keep stability (an economy designed to expel them in the propaganda of "discovery" and "enterprise") would also be a great way to get people to adopt Pantropic physiology in resource rich systems.

After a terrible life of colonizing a world and returning to Sol to show that they have found a new way to live harmony, where they are instantly seen as a threat and Sol has a variety of ways to deal with them:
  • Bring them under Sols "Protection" and "re-education"
  • Trigger some dormant clauses in their Colony Contract with Compound Interest
  • Let them into the "Alliance" and Draft them into: 
    • Making more Colonies 
    • Enter into Trade War with other resistant Colonies 
    • Enter into War with Hostile Colonies
    • Defend the Frontier from Space Faring Aliens
I can imagine Anarchists, Dictatorships, Oligarchies, Hegemonies, and Kingdoms that would fall prey in the memetic traps of being "Evil" and "Oppressive".

I want to explore Truely Alien life which have a very alien sense of time: 
What if Saturn and Jupiter has life forms that exist in its storms made of the an energy network, giving the Gas Giant a somewhat Sapient capability. Its storms is the chemistry of its physiology. 

Many life forms that arise and disintegrate and a brand new life form is created with traces of the past life forms, but never gaining a level of complexity as plants or animals. Emergent sapiens like slime molds that die and recombine into a different organism again and again. 

Stuff that I would possibly imagine if I had an acid trip.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Scope of a Hard Sci-Fi RPG Setting

    One of the things I've mused is what I would need, as a non-programmer, to run a hard sci-fi setting. 

    One big barrier to Sci-fi is the data dump of the setting. Fantasy has a "medieval" earth and Tolkien as a baseline. Traveller was that kind of baseline as there were IMTUs and various settings that springs up.

    One big advantage of a Hard Sci-fi RPG setting is that because technology and understanding advance one can justify Version updates which incorporates 3-5 years worth of innovations and changes in understanding. Of course because of editing and peer review, by the time the latest version hits the market its about 1-3 years out of date.

    • The Baseline. An Open setting Timeline that have its core Assumptions spelled out.
      • This open license setting has sample Best Practices aka the Nash Equilibrium of various practices in Trade, Warfare, Society, Information, etc... 
    • The Library. A site that discusses Hard Scifi (Atomic Rockets fits the bill) and various forums that go into illuminating some key scientific principles. 
      • Not just NASA science, but economics and biology sections. 
    • Automation. A Vetted Star System Generator which has Support, that its star generation program updates as there are advances in stellar formation understanding. 
      • It might be subscription based so that it will continually update. 
      • Templates for Star System Mapping for 2d presentation. The Fading Suns stellar map comes to mind and various improvements. 
      • Open access to older Near star system maps and a way to view and explore these files.
        • Maybe Collaborative Projects that details and create content, exchange and trading content. (I have this cluster filled up, can I exchange it with yours).   
      • Apps that Calculate Travel time and various Astrological Occurrences.
      • Apps that aid the GM in running the game by having many of the tables available or automating a ton of the tables. 
    •  The Community. A community of various artists, programmers, writers, that trade and sell their services and material. 
      • With community projects that create a larger and larger pool of usable sci-fi art and resources. 
      • There is open content and pay wall content for supporting. Various types of patronage is available. The point is that the community makes it easy to find options and substitutes. 
      • It has a Forums dedicated in spitballing or answering questions about these practices and provides various alternate equilibrium. 

    A day where people can just rip a setting and file of the serial numbers and run it as their own. When there is an update, the World Builder just checks the change log and updates based on that. There are custom content and open content. There are various Convention designed Intros for the setting that lower the complexity barrier and let people easily jump in the community.

    Monday, October 19, 2015

    System Mechanics Basics: the most basic situational modifiers for the CORE mechanics

    When ever I look at system mechanics I kinda get into the mindset of the designers. I tend to look for how carefully they have considered all the modifiers that affect failure or success, and how well they communicate the idea.

    More importantly to me is if the Game System uses the CORE mechanics consistently. One of my problems with OSR was the lack of using the core mechanics. How initiative was determined was different, spotting was different, ability checks was different from skill checks, checking for traps was different, damage is different, determining PC condition, and every time something came up they managed to make up something instead of their initial resolution system. I am not a fan of having to learn or TEACH people 7 different types of RESOLUTION systems.

    To me, a good design is 1 core system that is used in many creative ways. The True 20 system was one of the most elegantly designed systems I first encountered that met this requirement. While there was slight variations in how the basic Target Number vs D20 was made, it was easy to remember because it was design decisions that made sense to me.

    But here is something that I have not found yet in a game system: Listing the Key factors that influence a situation of a Roll. Let us assume that a roll is a dramatically appropriate Call of the GM, so we will be in the same page as importance (which is an ambiguous matter that should be tackled in some other post).

    Here are my key Factors in a Roll: 

    the baseline of the difficulties are the same as Player and GM expectations. What the designer is communicating makes sense statistically in a game where the GM would call rolls in a given frequency.
    I had a game system where the typical odds of success for a player, for an basic roll was 20-30%. That was weird, and the baseline was not well described or communicated. I find this an important thing to always describe and set expectations. And only in narrative games which tell GMs to reduce rolling to one every 10-30 minutes of play have a better baseline of success.

    In real life: we can always adjust the "scope" of the task. It takes a bunch of inquiry or framing skills to get at a scope that is sufficient for needs and easy enough that success is certain.

    I always check the Multi-tasking and Distraction ruleset and how well connected it is to the Core mechanics chapter. The GM and Player scans the situations for distractions, this includes pending tasks that can put emotional or psychological pressure on the current task.

    In real life: As someone who teaches, and "spots" for other people when they are performing a task, Distractions is the thing I help fix before they make their "roll" or engage in the task. Such distractions eliminating prep includes cleaning or organizing, as well as planning (and writing down that plan) so that people can do a "working memory dump" so they can focus better on the task.

    Multi-Tasking Rules
    Does the system allow for it, and how do they resolve it. I've seen overly complex, and simple ways to do it. When I compare it to when I do multi-tasking and when I've read up on it in work-flow and cognition related articles - simple is better. This ruleset is often poorly connected or discussed in an obscure chapter like it was done as an afterthought.

    In real life: Variable Priority Cycling is a kind of Multi-Tasking that can be achieved without distracting. It requires a lot of prep since it requires some scoping (limiting the complexity) and simplifying the group of tasks, as well as the order of tasks being done. When failure is an option multitasking is what I personally do when possible, since I'm of the philosophy - get it out there, and edit edit edit.

    After taking a lecture of complexity theory and adaptive leadership, discussing work stream or work load, complexity is something I've not seen anyone take up although I can understand because its logistics - and no one likes logistics (but this guy).

    In real Life: This is where Scoping to simplify and Organizing the tasks matters a lot. If one doesnt really have a system for this, the ad hoc method of doing this in the game can be inconsistent. Interestingly - Unless I try to do something ambitious, I dont really  know what it takes to be done. No one likes sharing the details of what makes an ambitious tasks, the cost of failure is recouped sharing the lessons, so no one shares it freely.

    This is something that was done as an after thought in some systems that manage to tackle it. And this comes from their Warfare or Mass Combat system. If I had more manpower than the other guy, what would be my advantage. This applies to not just combat but in many tasks where there is manpower or units of resource (time, agents, consumable resources) advantage.
    You can also use this for combat. I use the force multiplier rule of thumb as my game rules and in airsoft.

    Ex. Besieging this fortification, which grants a force multiplier of (e.g x3) to its defending force would need 3x more attackers than the defenders for a 50:50 odd or x9 if I want a success with 3 : 1 odds (with minimum causalities).  (If you want more of this, you may have to wait for my Open Warfare Game system) 

    1 vs 1
    1 vs 1.5
    1 vs 2
    1 vs 3-4
    +2 and +1 per unit of odds greater
    +2 and +1.5 per unit of odds greater
    +2 and +1.5 per unit of odds greater
    +1 and +1 per unit of odds greater
    ex. 1 vs 7
    +8 dice
    * this bonus is to the superior force, or you can make this a penalty to the inferior force. Notice the OR, do not apply a positive and a negative to the superior and inferior force.

    Real Life: When I started thinking in workstreams it helped put a lot of perspective if in what is needed for X to happen. There are many historical analysis in man-hours to build X or Y. There is also such for having an economy or administration run properly. All that needs manpower, and its inescapable unless you have the imagination to reduce the scope yet minimize the loss of potency of its impact. This is what makes Logistics like Magic to me.

    Friday, October 16, 2015

    Pantropy in my Traveller

    I had a terrible time finding this word: Pantropy and of all the search I did I could always rely on Atomic Rockets to have exactly what I needed.

    So I plan to replace the Homeworld aspect of MGTraveller with the Market Classification and Pantropic Templates. Remaking the Background into a Random thing with options to roll on tables - kinda like life - our ability to choose is minimal and there is a lot of situation momentum to fight or ride on.

    Pantropic Humans is something sad and exciting. Its humans who made a deal with a corporation (the DEVIL) or gov't (the other DEVIL) to work a particular planet for resources. Its the next level of Human Specialization in economics. Of course this ties them down to that planet, and corporations can do a slow squeeze on these peoples (easily treating them like shit as they are dehumanized by distance and red tape). They can begin as assets, as real working citizens, or in various social states of freedom and human dignity. In Emerging Markets they would have the most freedoms, in Frontiers it would be the extremes of freedom or slavery. In developed worlds they would have been given upliftment cybernetics to make them more adaptable and socially mobile (at least within their calcified classes: warrior, religious, merchant).

    There is a mix and match. Some worlds will be a combination of two aspects or three. Note that conservation of energy (like I learned in the cave fish losing its eyes to conserve 20% of its energy, or the jokes in The Martian of cutting off his arm to save 20% calorie usage). The goal of each is to make life support more efficient and have a greater amount of safety buffer.

    Most of them would have IR vision, they can see into the IR spectrum for many reasons. Ice or Fire worlders would need it. Storm, Void or Barren Pantropics would need a greater spectrum to see some hazards.

    Storm Worlders - Humans adapted to floating cities and habitats. They have grasping feet, lighter but much stronger limbs. They have good 3d spatial sense and internal compass. Venus and our Gass Giants would have such humans. Their habitats would be buffeted constantly with 100-200mph winds and they are constantly moving.

    Heavy Worlders - Humans that have high gravity adaptions, they will look more squat and broader at the base. +Nick de Vera pointed out that naturally, because of High Gs, they would have Acrophobic.

    Void Nomads. Some Pantropic Humans are nomads of space and have been adapted for such for space station maintenance or mercantile activity. What ever the case they have similar adaptation from Storm Worlders, but with physiology intended for maximum energy conservation in space. High G resistance in small bursts, special tumor resistance like in elephants for radiation damage, and proportions that would allow them easy mobility in suits.

    Fire Worlders - bodies of low density that can shed heat quickly and metabolisms that can aid in heat.

    Barren Worlders - bodies designed for Rocks like Mars. They may have the heaviest mods, because they've been developed for the longest.

    Ice Worlders - High density and heat conservation bodies. Typically slightly bigger than the norm, but their extreme ranges are going to be much bigger than baseline humans are capable off.

    There are no Baseline humans, they have been assumed to be extinct. Some mods can be very extreme and alien. Consider that if 3d vision is more important and what that would do to the eye placement. I was thinking a hairless bald head of light sensitive skin that acts as 360 sensing, because the distance scanning of the front eyes will still take priority especially since there will be digital video devices that need to be in one place.

    I have a much more simplified set of economics rules of thumb which comes from my work experience dealing with suppliers at work that can be used for the GM in place of the tables. As a rule of thumb, its just a bunch of maxims that say if there is an opportunity for money or in what form opportunities take.

    So if the character is emerging they may have cyberware, developed would have cyberware, and frontier is extremes of chance. Cybernetics is Social Mobility.

    Barred from PCs are Enhanced versions used by the Society Elite, the super smart and very much alien Ruling Elite who suffer the cognitive dissonance that they are part of their people while treating them like disposable assets lolz. To never suffer the problems of regular people is to be alien to them, and dehumanize them. Well enough of the social commentary.

    Wednesday, October 14, 2015

    Traveller Musings; the world of 2015 as opposed to the 70s.

     reading up on traveller got me thinking:

    1) a system for preparation and training lacking in the game system is strange. If they have 168 hours on the ship per jump in travel time, there should be rules for self training. It would be incredibly boring. A lot of morale sustainability is having causes and ideals greater than oneself - lifelong learning is a stabilizing trait. Especially when there is so much time and knowledge.

    2) In light of the martian and harder SF, i want to change the homeworld system into a "Physical" adaption system. Note that to be physically adapted to a particular planet is a Social De-mobilizer. Space travel capability is social mobility.

    I want to use Developed, Emerging, and Frontier market system to make backgrounds and use the modern world and our enhanced as the template, as the 70s America was for traveller. But thats me wanting to have a wider view of the world, and look at the emerging and frontier market in a new light. Challenging the stereo types africa, china, and india, are fighting against.

    This means Large Emerging Markets (Brazil, China, ASEA, and India) are rapidly overtaking the developed markets (but these entities are multifaceted and heterogeneous and with many internal conflicts ), Societal Stagnation in Developed markets and the lowering mobility (as it slides into entropy) of its Middle class, and Frontier Markets like Africa as an inspiration for frontier worlds.

    Particularly the Social mobility limitations of Post-Humans. Heavy Worlders, Storm Worlders, Cold Worlders, Fire worlders, Barren Worlders, and Void Nomads make up most of the Frontier Worlds.

    Emerging market economies have the largest middle class of all (if you combine the middle class of all the emerging markets they are the fastest growing in the world as to the declining middle class in the developed markets) are similar except they have more cyberware that allow them greater survivability and social mobility.

    And in developed markets only the Warrior or Merchant or Religious class makes up their "adventuring" personas as they have a very calcified underclass that is trapped.

    I realized the perspective of the Emerging market middle class is something very new and different. With a lot of influence from the middle class of developed economies but nuanced in a totally alien way. 

    Sunday, October 4, 2015

    Gear Reliability and Trade-Offs [Rough Draft]

    As you may know I draw from Airsoft a lot of inspiration for games. One great inspiration is the Equipment Trade-offs.

    Basically, look at Load Outs as Trade-offs between the following:
    1. Tactical Advantage
    2. Reliability 
    3. Options
    Gear is a mix of trade offs: typically there is a tactical advantage: 
    1. Speed (specifically movement), or Endurance (leaving the PC with a lower energy reserve). 
    2. Comfort (lack of it translate distraction penalties), 
    3. Initiative (accessibility to a particular option or set of manoeuvres)
    4. a particular advantage in using a particular set of manurers. 

    Simpler way to do this is to state Gear or Load-Out aspects. The Players work with the GM the trade-offs of their load out. It begins with the player listing his gear and the GM setting consequences and modifiers based on the list, and the GM and Players working together with the aspects.

    How I imagine this works:
    Every combat encounter or scenario, the GM has set of number of possible malfunctions (instead of being a factor of every roll). I would recommend a roll in the beginning, and every 10 or 15 minutes. When the player choose his gear based on reliability he just gets a bonus against malfunctions. 
    Then he gets bonus on where he specializes on and penalties based on the trade-offs. 

    1. Avoid a lot of rolls. I am of the game design philosophy that wants less rolls affecting the narrative and players working with the limits. I find it runs smoother. 
    2. have the decisions and trade-offs of the gear/load-out matter in the narrative. if it matters, then it should incentive to pay attention and think about what they want out of it.  
    3. Make it easier to set up gear and makes people get into gear set up with the right mindset. 
    Hopefully a gateway to Gear-head or an appreciate for good craftsmanship.