In one of my posts for Stellar Quest, I provided a list of Specialties (essentially skills in that system) that were useful for science fiction gaming. Obviously, it's much shorter than the traditional Traveller skill list. That list has inspired me to explore the possibility of consolidating the existing skill list from the Traveller System Reference into a much shorter skill selection, perhaps using skill specializations to help further distinguish specific variants of a primary skill from one another.
In order to properly reduce the skill list to its most effective and concise nature, I am taking the Savage Worlds approach to skills. In essence, I want to define somewhat broad skills that are actually used in play, and get rid of the chafe. If it hasn't had a significant use in my own campaigns or the Convention sessions I've ran at Gen Con, I'm going to drop it or make it a part of a much broader skill.
The first draft of my consolidation efforts are included below. The primary skill is listed first, and appropriate specializations are included in parentheses following the primary skill. Obviously, this is simply a thought experiment.
A Shorter Traveller Skill List, First Draft:
- Acrobatics (Flying, Zero-G Environs)
- Astrogation (Normal Space, Jump Space)
- Athletics (Endurance, Heavy-G Environs)
- Bureaucratics (Admin, Advocate)
- Computers (Comms, Programming, Remote Operations, Robotics, Sensors)
- Culture (High Society, *Specific Cultures*, Streetwise)
- Engineering (Demolitions, Electronics, Gravitics, Mechanics)
- Gun Combat (Archery, Energy Weapons, Slug Weapons)
- Gunnery (Heavy Weapons, Screens, Spinal Mounts, Turrets)
- Linguistics (*Specific Languages*)
- Medicine (Human, Veterinary, Xeno-Medicine)
- Melee Combat (Natural, Bludgeoning, Piercing, Slashing)
- Perception (Investigate, Research)
- Persuasion (Broker, Carouse, Deception, Leadership)
- Profession (Artist, Construction, Gambler, Steward)
- Sciences (Life, Physical, Social, Space)
- Survival (Orienteering, Recon, *Specific Climates/Terrains*, Tracking)
- Tactics (Military, Naval)
- Transport (Aerospace, Aquatic, Armor, Ground-based, Riding)
After reviewing the list above, do you think that your personal Traveller game would benefit from such a consolidation of skills? And if so, do you have any suggestions, comments or concerns regarding the contents of the first draft of the list above?