Certificates, tickets, warrants , was Reality intersecting cargo ships in Rules & Errata
time Apr 7 2010, 00:14 Group: Heroes, Orlamist Monk Quote Post
I played Eve Online for about 14 days (just long enough for the free trial). It was intriguing, but not interesting enough to justify me paying a monthly subscription fee. What I liked about it was the certificate system it used for training, or maybe it was leveling. Either way, I would find this to be a good model for how a modern/future merchant vessel will go about hiring crew or at least ensuring they have the right skills on each of their ships. I know a lot of the schools I attend give out certificates of graduation upon completion and this lets the Navy know what skills I have been taught so they know which jobs I can fill.

The Navy has a lot of different ways to track training and skill sets, but the certification process is one.
uncle_jimbo Apr 7 2010, 05:18 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
I agree, I've often thought that certificates, tickets, licences and things along those lines would be a useful addition. edit: It doesn't seem quite right to treat them as Perks - maybe they're some sort of rank benefit combined across several skills. They could even replace levels.

This post has been edited by uncle_jimbo on Apr 10 2010, 01:06
Guardian Apr 7 2010, 14:12 Group: Heroes, WarHulk AI Quote Post
Call them warrants, and feed them into the Social Status system.
uncle_jimbo Apr 7 2010, 21:34 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
Author (Guardian @ Apr 8 2010, 01:12)
Call them warrants, and feed them into the Social Status system.

I like that. It sounds very Traveller or Rogue Trader-ish.

This post has been edited by uncle_jimbo on Apr 9 2010, 00:37
uncle_jimbo Jan 14 2012, 05:36 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
Author (Guardian @ Apr 8 2010, 01:12)
Call them warrants, and feed them into the Social Status system.

Here are some more details about certificates:

Licensed mariners

I might work up similar scales and their in-game requirements (essentially, skills, whether a specified broad skill or number of ranks, a check that the character must pass or some combination of these). I had some earlier ideas about crew qualifications here.

This post has been edited by uncle_jimbo on Jan 14 2012, 05:51
time Jan 14 2012, 13:04 Group: Heroes, Orlamist Monk Quote Post
Author (uncle_jimbo @ Jan 14 2012, 00:36)
Here are some more details about certificates:

Licensed mariners

I might work up similar scales and their in-game requirements (essentially, skills, whether a specified broad skill or number of ranks, a check that the character must pass or some combination of these). I had some earlier ideas about crew qualifications here.

I love this idea and have often thought about codifying a skill set into a "certificate." The only thing not mentioned in the wikipedia article and would be a pain in the neck to deal with is the requirement for continuing education to maintain those certificates. For game purposes, I think I would just skip that requirement, but it's something to think about.
uncle_jimbo Jan 15 2012, 03:12 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
That's very encouraging. Like any specialist subject, we could make this as complicated as a GM can stand, but I'll try to keep it to a minimal framework of considerations:

Time Period
  • Terran Empire: The unified nations of the Earth set out to organise travel and commerce throughout the known Galaxy. Some sentients still living might hold warrants from this era, though their legal status raises thorny questions.
    Among other intelligent beings, Aleerin records of competence and T'sa Cluster warrants served equivalent purposes. Both still exist and hold authority in human space, with necessary adjustments.
  • Interbellum: Each of the new nations hastened to reject the authority of Terra and establish its own system.
  • GW II and the Long Silence: Paradoxically, the early years of the war saw great difficulties and belligerence over merchant shipping (while the nations saw an opportunity before the outbreak of open battle to lay pressure on their rivals by other means) while such commercial ships as were able to travel in the bad times of the 25th century moved with few legal entanglements (once the stellar powers had neither the desire to choke any resources that might flow to their economies nor the capability to regulate trade routes). Commerce raiding and sheer piracy were another matter entirely.
    Many systems of the Verge had to develop their own interim methods to train and accredit ship's crews. Eventually they took steps to align to a Verge-wide arrangement (a possible precedent: STCW). This, too, persists into the present day.
  • Treaty of Concord: The Galactic Concord issues warrants that are, in theory, valid throughout the Ring, but the stellar nations have by no means agreed to dismantle their own regulations.
Some of these also apply to starship registration (which I don't think we've mentioned yet) and arrangements such as insurance (let's not even go there).

Lines

I'll see what I can compile from the US and UK examples, with some information from Warships, careers rules and whatever else seems relevant, to categorise the areas of authority or professions for which to issue warrants.
  • Merchant officers: mates and masters (captains), a.k.a. deck officers
  • Engineer and technician warrants: each specialty has its own line, including engineers, environmental techs, computer techs and communications officers.
  • Pursers (handle money) and stewards (take care of crew and passengers)
  • Ship's medical warrants
  • Pilots, specifically authorised to navigate ships in particular hazardous regions (general navigation is a deck officer's core responsibility)
  • and last but not least, Able Spacehands (who, relevantly, act as helmsman). Leading Spacehand and/or Bosun could be higher ranks.
Rank and Scope

I want to break this down first into basic warrants (which any hero with minimal skills can claim at character creation) and advanced warrants (which cost resources, require tests and increase Social Status).

The distinction between system warrants and driveship warrants seems relevant and certainly should modify required skills. Some lines of warrants also apply to space stations or even surface installations, which begins to overlap (or more likely to conflict) with planetary regulations.

Ranges of ship size might alter a licenced spacer's duties and therefore his qualifying skills. I don't know how often this would come up in a game, with player characters' overwhelming use of small and loosely-at-best regulated ships, but I can think of a few published scenarios where they might have to work on larger vessels.

The qualifications of Able Seaman - Sail and Person in Charge for fueling could suggest some technology-specific warrants.

Unlimited warrants (valid for any class of ship in any location) might be the rule for the Able Spacer and maybe medical lines but constitute advanced warrants for most of the other fields.

This post has been edited by uncle_jimbo on Jan 15 2012, 04:19
Guardian Jan 15 2012, 18:00 Group: Heroes, WarHulk AI Quote Post
I'd imagine the medical warrants would probably split in terms of field of specialisation rather than ship types. Much like now. Most ships will just have a GP, while mining ships will want a trauma team. Large passenger liners will likely want to have an Obstetrician, really want one if trips take any real length of time.

Ships involved in the livestock trade will need vets, of course.
time Jan 19 2012, 01:47 Group: Heroes, Orlamist Monk Quote Post
Author (uncle_jimbo @ Jan 14 2012, 22:12)
That's very encouraging. Like any specialist subject, we could make this as complicated as a GM can stand, but I'll try to keep it to a minimal framework of considerations:

Time Period

  • Terran Empire: The unified nations of the Earth set out to organise travel and commerce throughout the known Galaxy. Some sentients still living might hold warrants from this era, though their legal status raises thorny questions.
    Among other intelligent beings, Aleerin records of competence and T'sa Cluster warrants served equivalent purposes. Both still exist and hold authority in human space, with necessary adjustments.
  • Interbellum: Each of the new nations hastened to reject the authority of Terra and establish its own system.
  • GW II and the Long Silence: Paradoxically, the early years of the war saw great difficulties and belligerence over merchant shipping (while the nations saw an opportunity before the outbreak of open battle to lay pressure on their rivals by other means) while such commercial ships as were able to travel in the bad times of the 25th century moved with few legal entanglements (once the stellar powers had neither the desire to choke any resources that might flow to their economies nor the capability to regulate trade routes). Commerce raiding and sheer piracy were another matter entirely.
    Many systems of the Verge had to develop their own interim methods to train and accredit ship's crews. Eventually they took steps to align to a Verge-wide arrangement (a possible precedent: STCW). This, too, persists into the present day.
  • Treaty of Concord: The Galactic Concord issues warrants that are, in theory, valid throughout the Ring, but the stellar nations have by no means agreed to dismantle their own regulations.
Some of these also apply to starship registration (which I don't think we've mentioned yet) and arrangements such as insurance (let's not even go there).

Lines

I'll see what I can compile from the US and UK examples, with some information from Warships, careers rules and whatever else seems relevant, to categorise the areas of authority or professions for which to issue warrants.

  • Merchant officers: mates and masters (captains), a.k.a. deck officers
  • Engineer and technician warrants: each specialty has its own line, including engineers, environmental techs, computer techs and communications officers.
  • Pursers (handle money) and stewards (take care of crew and passengers)
  • Ship's medical warrants
  • Pilots, specifically authorised to navigate ships in particular hazardous regions (general navigation is a deck officer's core responsibility)
  • and last but not least, Able Spacehands (who, relevantly, act as helmsman). Leading Spacehand and/or Bosun could be higher ranks.
Rank and Scope

I want to break this down first into basic warrants (which any hero with minimal skills can claim at character creation) and advanced warrants (which cost resources, require tests and increase Social Status).

The distinction between system warrants and driveship warrants seems relevant and certainly should modify required skills. Some lines of warrants also apply to space stations or even surface installations, which begins to overlap (or more likely to conflict) with planetary regulations.

Ranges of ship size might alter a licenced spacer's duties and therefore his qualifying skills. I don't know how often this would come up in a game, with player characters' overwhelming use of small and loosely-at-best regulated ships, but I can think of a few published scenarios where they might have to work on larger vessels.

The qualifications of Able Seaman - Sail and Person in Charge for fueling could suggest some technology-specific warrants.

Unlimited warrants (valid for any class of ship in any location) might be the rule for the Able Spacer and maybe medical lines but constitute advanced warrants for most of the other fields.

Yowzers! You're making me do research and stuff! Not to mention, my head hurts now.

My only comment for now is relatively light weight, but still relevant (I think).

I would make the Pilot certification an advanced certification automatically. At least with pilots I've dealt with in many countries around the world, not only do they need a lot of experience handling ships (whether that means starting off as tug boat captains or going out to sea on merchant ships as a Mate of some kind and, in both cases, working their way up), but they also need to have very specific knowledge of the geography and hydrography of the local area in which they work. I know for the US Pilots, they have to essentially draw a chart of the local bodies of water from memory and mark all the major hazards and aids to navigation (including water depth), again from memory. This requires a lot of time gaining experience and studying. Not to say there are no young Pilots, just not very young Pilots. Then again, there were some Pilots in other parts of the world that I swear had the job only because they had a brother in a position of authority. I wouldn't trust those Pilots to keep my ship off the rocks for a second.

I'd be interested on your thoughts on this. I'm also interested in helping you flesh out these ideas some more.

This post has been edited by time on Jan 19 2012, 01:48
uncle_jimbo Jan 19 2012, 10:44 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
Thanks, it's a good point about knowledge of hazards. In space, that'd probably call for Physical Science skills.

It raises questions of how to represent local knowledge (which could be useful generally in driving a vehicle there - I recall Spycraft had similar rules) and navigational records (perhaps just as a Reference program in the PHB's terms). Not least, several kinds of warrants could be specific by location, so it would be good to find an elegant way to describe that.
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