• 📅 February and March 2022 are YE 45.2 in the RP.

Suggestion Make SAOY Occupations More RPG Friendly

Wes

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The ideal size for a group of players in a forum RPG is, by my estimate, like 4-8 players. Most roleplay plot groups are starship crews. But there are currently 48 Star Army occupations and counting. Not every job is found on every ship but there is still a disparity. Recently I have been running into an issue where player characters with exotic, specialized, or uncommon occupations are left without much to do because their role is narrowly defined.

I propose that the Star Army makes some occupations more general and able to do more stuff, merging redundant occupations, and limiting some of the more obscure occupations to NPCs in cases where there is no plot with openings for them.
 

Yuuki

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I am using a whitelist for upcoming 2XF.
Players are people who nyoom and pew in small craft, or are SSS Tanken crew
Co GM/Sub GM are gonna be the command and support.

Always whitelist over blacklist. Narrow what you want instead of excluding specific things.
 

Immortal Cyan

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I noticed "whitelisting" was the approach taken with Hinomaru Sunrises II after the plot was re-updated last December and that approach seems to have worked well.
 

Cowboy

🎖️ Game Master
I agree that some MOSs should be able to do more than just what there listing is. Like caregivers, cooks, supply specialists, all of them should be fully trained to use power armor and act as infantry if needed.

But I also agree with Cyan. If a MOS doesn't fit the plot, it shouldn't be in the plot. GMs have enough to do without having to figure out that one character who's MOS makes no sense to the plot.
 

Yuuki

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I'm saying be upfront, but that's easier in a really focused plot. Nash set the 2XF up to be about fighter craft and that's what I'm rolling with. It was easy for me take responsibility for it in a new plot with a tight focus.

It's harder for Wes because Resurgence is meant to be the big tent and grand tour where everyone sees what Star Army RP is about, and it attracts a lot of people excited about their first character concept in SARP and they see all this big list and who knows what will make their eyes sparkle. And it's one thing they need to understand and accept they may be called upon to do those kinds of things and their SAoY character definitionally is capable of them, but it's another thing for Wes to find excuses for why they have to do it every week instead of what they signed up for, in a well-functioning space navy. Some things are bad because they impact a lot of people directly, some things are bad because they impact Wes particularly hard, and anything that impacts Wes has knock-on effects that also impact almost everything else. This is particularly hard to solve for Resurgence. Controlling the size of the list would, on one hand, limit what new people can get sparkly-eyed over in the first place. There's quite a few things in the other hand. One of them is it will disproportionately impact newer submissions versus ones that have been around being played forever that GMs know what to do with.
 

Ethereal

Banned Member
I have an interesting take on this which I know Wes and I have discussed before in Discord.

My manner of thinking is that all of the MOS' are sensible - what I mean by that is they're worthwhile to play as from a narrative and character development perspective. By reducing the number of MOS', it would cause those people wanting to run a non-standard plot to have the choices for their players reduced.

In my opinion, the more player choice and diversity of experience that a character can have, the better. It's like having more class options in a video game, or more volumes of a book series. There's more to do and more to change to if you get tired of one way of doing things.

I agree with some others in this thread that the correct level of control should be at a GM level rather than an IC/FM/SACOM level when it comes to MOS choice. GMs are already given the choice of whether or not to approve a character based on whether they'd fit into the plot, I think MOS is just another aspect of that same process.

As we covered above, merging MOS could limit player choice for plots where those MOS would be useful to have for more choice.

Cowboy makes a good point which I've thought about for a while in relation to the Infantry MOS. That MOS in particular is quite odd to me. As far as I know, Infantry MOS soldiers have no additional training beyond basic training. All other MOS' go through the same basic training, so unless I'm mistaken, every other MOS' has the same infantry training as actual Infantry.

It may be worth considering the removal of the Infantry MOS, or at least it needing mandatory advanced power armour training to join. If the standard Infantry MOS was removed, this would actually open up opportunity for those MOS that are usually shipbound on damage control watch like cooks. Cooks are on damage control watch usually when in combat, but in reality Yamataian ships are hardly ever damaged. Allowing people playing Cooks to actually join the away teams with their infantry training might be a good idea to spice things up.

If the underlying issue is actually people undertaking MOS' and ranks that they don't have the experience to RP, that's a valid concern but probably worth separating from the question of MOS merging.
 

Ethereal

Banned Member
Fair enough, I stand corrected. Very interesting to see that there is actually a ship and fleet command training regimen listed there for officers. I'm not sure if that's currently observed before promoting people into XO/CO/Admiralty positions. The 7 month mandatory minimum training before becoming something like SAINT is worth noting too, as I don't think that's observed or matches with the SAINT page? At least the page says that anyone can download training and info, even non digital minds, which makes that process easier.
 

Yuuki

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Yeah people are supposed to have that 2 month Command Tactics before getting a white panel on the XO/Captain track. I think the Fleet Tactics is for a Taisa.
 

Immortal Cyan

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I think in the case of the Resurgence, things like PC Cooks, Supply Specialists, Counselors, and Pharmacists are fine because those occupations can make their own fun in a sense, which is kind of what I’ve been doing with Chiasa as a Pharmacist (though her duties also include medical stuff since she has training in that) However, small craft pilots and mecha pilots require the GM to build encounters tailored around them, increasing the workload.
 

Whisper

Retired Staff
Maybe just a warning at the beginning of occupations that don't see a lot of IC action? "OOC Note: This occupation is mostly for NPCs and may not have much to do in many plots. Talk to your GM first to make sure to understand if a character of this occupation will be a good fit for the story."

I often see people talk positively about their cooks, morale officers, etc, but I've also experienced the challenge of a cool character idea that doesn't have a good way to be involved. Why should the cook be groundside unless the ship is massively understaffed? Etc etc.
 

Yuuki

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Another group that would be impacted disproportionately are a lot of the ones that are prime transferable-skills ones. In an economy like Yamatai's, a lot choice civilian trades might assume on someone had a specific job in the Star Army. Check out my Merchant Spacy for Yugumo, you can see what roles assume a certain SAoY background, and they aren't all mainstream ones that are either bridge crew or away team focused.

So we should look at the solutions that don't involve axing too much stuff, and see if it maybe something on the chopping block should go into an alternative solution box rather than being slashed, before we slash it.

Is it a case of maybe there are jobs you have to have to submit a plan for how they would fit in, or can't be your first character, or you have to have done X first, or a GM or something needs to invite you to play, or "This is usually an NPC so if you want to be one you have to make a really really good case why" or something?

Are there occupations or specializations you get into mid-career? Like Diplomatic Attaché in the US Army. You can't just enlist as one, but they recruit NCOs mid-service for it. Special Forces used to be that way until the US needed too many of them for the ol GWoT and they started taking candidates off the street.

Are there any that should be sub-specializations? Are there any that should be skill identifiers?

So maybe there are classes of them? We tier it up like how was suggested for RP requirement levels.

Very Easy Tier, anyone can pick these in any "typical Yamatai plot":
Anything that is obviously bridge crew or away team focused, like the bridge stations or any of the infantry (Yamatai uses these where Starfleet would use security), command, or field science types

Easy Tier, a little more specialized:
The stuff that is onscreen a lot but not as much as above, like the people in Medbay or Engineering

Hard Tier, Most of these have in common that they are very specialized so they're harder to use outside of a plot focused on them, but they're perfect for plots that center on them in which case they're the bridge crews and away teams of that story and it's all good:
Fire Support combat units like fighter pilots and tankers, special operations, military police, intel operatives, random lower decks type technical staff like technicians outside engineering, supply, and cooks

Very Hard Tier, most of these are really out there and rely on players to make their own fun
Anything not mentioned, but Cyan got into it above

Special Tier, these things tend to be things the SM/FM/GM/Admiral Player wants someone to handle
Basically just Admin clerks and the Co-GM playing the XO
 

Ethereal

Banned Member
On Whisper's point: For a very very long time I've wanted to play as a damage control officer, but while technically a position on Yamataian ships, in practice it would be one of the dullest professions around, even if I'd find it supremely interesting to run around fighting fires and using the Readiness Conditions, in reality that hardly ever happens.

In my MOS pages that have been approved recently, I always include a "How to Play" section, which acts as a quick guide to how to actually play the character and more importantly so you know what you're getting into. For my ex-Ranger MOS' I always include the "you are not just a better infantry, you do X and Y" and at one point included a "make sure to consult your GM before doing going off on your own" type warning. Certain MOS are by definition harder to just jump into - MPs being a perfect example.
 

Dana

🎖️ Game Master
Why not just make MOS' qualifications instead of actual job postings. Characters start off as generic "crew" that gain or come with one qualification such as infantry, navigator, cook, power armor, pilot etc etc.
 

Yuuki

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I do think it is probably fair for Wes to be like
"Resurgence is kinda like Star Trek, it's gonna be about the bridge crew, the away teams, medbay, engineering, and MAYBE JUST MAYBE a little bit of lower deckers shenanigans."

Why not just make MOS' qualifications instead of actual job postings. Characters start off as generic "crew" that gain or come with one qualification such as infantry, navigator, cook, power armor, pilot etc etc.
I was having that thought, the thing that stopped me from including it in my big list was some occupations just couldn't work with starting off generic and gaining them like that and have different paths of entry. But "Generic Soldier" does exist for a reason. Those are the people who only had Basic Training and everything else is on the job. Like Cassie in Resurgence.
 

Soban

Convention Veteran
Here is my perspective, I think we do need to reduce the number of occupations on the main list to roughly twelve or less. Each occupation should have its own wiki-page with sub occupations that are qualifications and specialties one can have. A sub occupation is basically "I'm good at this, I'm assigned to do this / I do this first."

Here is my suggested list.

Soldier
Command Officer(Taisa+/Captain)
Intelligence
Logistics
Engineer
Science
Medical
Flight
Military Police
Personnel

The non-obvious condensations would go like this: Journalist, cook, caretaker, and recruiter would go into logistics. Pilot, Combat Vehicle Operator, and Mecha Pilot would go into Flight. Combat Search And Rescue would probably be medical. Emergency Services would go into engineering. Musician would probably be Logistics, but it's the only one that I don't think is a main occupation but doesn't fit well into the others is Musician.
 

ajax228

Banned Member
Literally right as the Mecha pilot MOS was approved Demi messaged me and suggested we change it to a project thought MOS where the soldier would be trained to use anything that has project thought. Fighters, mecha, power armor name it and they would be trained on it as long as it has a project thought device.
 

Alex Hart

FM of NDC
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Maybe just a warning at the beginning of occupations that don't see a lot of IC action? "OOC Note: This occupation is mostly for NPCs and may not have much to do in many plots. Talk to your GM first to make sure to understand if a character of this occupation will be a good fit for the story."

I often see people talk positively about their cooks, morale officers, etc, but I've also experienced the challenge of a cool character idea that doesn't have a good way to be involved. Why should the cook be groundside unless the ship is massively understaffed? Etc etc.
This approach is also something I've taken when preparing for the Ravenaca's Watch reboot, and I agree with the general sentiment in the thread that it's better to be up-front with your players about what occupations and MOSes will do best in the plot you plan to run, rather than trying to basically "trim the fat" on the faction level.
 

Locked_0ut

Convention Veteran
I agree that some MOSs should be able to do more than just what there listing is. Like caregivers, cooks, supply specialists, all of them should be fully trained to use power armor and act as infantry if needed.

But I also agree with Cyan. If a MOS doesn't fit the plot, it shouldn't be in the plot. GMs have enough to do without having to figure out that one character who's MOS makes no sense to the plot.
Not sure if they should be in that position if the player doesn't want to play infantry. Kinda makes infantry redundant. That said, whether or not you want somebody playing a cook in your plot depends on what kind if plot you want or where the conflict is coming from. Is it a lot of away team missions? Events and incidents happening on the ship itself?

Reading what @Ethereal Said, maybe generic infantry should function more like a marine/naval infanty. Trained more for raiding other ships and facilities, zero g combat snd the like. Advanced PA trianing as well. Clear like between whst they do, what a ranger does, and rikugun infantry who would be used to combined arms, survival, working as part of much larger units to take and hold territory and operate as part of a manuver element.





In general I agree that the decisions about MOSs should be done at the GM or plot level instead of the faction level. A wide array of MOS means a wide array of plots. Not every plot has a space for every MOS.
If you run one focused more on a ship dealing with a weird space anomaly you might need more scientists and techs than fighters and pilots. A plot revolving around ground combat might need more mecha pilots and infantry than ships bridge crew. Trimming it down feels more like we're making MOSs RPG classes and that's not really the goal is it? If it is then disregard that.
 
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