Rules Additions

Updated March 18, 2005

One major glitch in the ICON character generation is the fact that Skills ablate during generation - you might receive a Skill, normally worth 3 points, but if you already have the Skill with a different Specialisation, you may only receive a 1 point Specialisation. This is grossly unfair, especially for Lower Decks characters (i.e. junior officers).
My solution: After generating the character, tally up the total points. Each Attribute point is worth 2 Development Points (DP), and each Edge worth its numeric value. Each Skill point is worth 3 DP, and all Specialisation points within a Skill worth 1 DP (remember, the first point of Specialisation within a Skill is free) and Traits at their numeric value. The total value is the Allocated Point Total.

Next, figure the Development Point Allowance by using a value of 125 DP for a character with one Tour of Duty, 5 DP for each additional Tour of Duty, and 1 DP per year of Previous Experience (from the Players' Guide). Subtract the Allocated Point Total from the Development Point Allowance. Points gained from Advanced Training Packages count toward the Allocated Point Total, but these Packages do not raise the Development Point Allowance.

The amount by which the Development Point Allowance exceeds the Allocated Point Total may be spent on additional Attributes, Skills and Traits. If the Allocated Point Total exceeds the Development Point Allowance, the character is not penalised.

In every story or campaign, there's always a character who has a reputation for being extremely lucky or unlucky. Some people can fall headfirst into a pile of industrial waste and find a bar of gold-pressed latinum at the bottom, while others can cause a warp core breach simply by walking into Engineering. Luck Renown is awarded by the Narrator during play, and may not be taken during character generation. Luck Renown is treated the same as other Renown categories.
In the official charecter generation rules, the characters get one free point of Renown. A very few Tours of Duty award Renown, but the PCs by and large wind up with far fewer Renown points than they should, given the guidelines in the TNG core book for command-level characters.

I also award Renown based on Advantages and Disadvantages. I use the Commendations Advantage from the TNG Players' Guide as a pattern - f'rinstance, having the "Species Enemy" Disadvantage would net you X number of negative Openness Renown points, based on how many points you gained from the Disadvantage - 2 points of Renown per DP spent/gained. Use common sense for this, but as a rule any Advantage/Disadvantage that specifies a reputation should have Renown attached. Likewise, I give one point of Skill Renown for every Specialisation held at 4+.

Per comments made by Ross Isaacs in the Forums, both Negative and Positive Renown add to the Total Renown. To this end, I track Negative Renown separately from Positive Renown - it does not subtract from Positive Renown. Thus, a character may have:
      Discipline:+3 / -2

If a Renown Test is being made against an aspect in which the character has both Negative and Positive Renown, rolls are made against both scores, in order to determine in which context the character is known.

Rather than using Psychology as a Specialisation under Medical Sciences per the ST:TNG Core Rules, Psychology is treated as a separate skill with its own Specialisations.
Psychology (Intellect)
Abnormal Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Lie Detection, Psychoanalysis, Psychology (Specific Race or Culture), Xenopsychology

The Psychology skill deals with the workings of the sapient mind. Abnormal Psychology deals with the study of mental illnesses; Forensic Psychology with reconstructing the motivations behind a particular act (usually as part of a criminal investigation), Psychoanalysis with the treatment of psychological disorders; Psychology (Specific Race or Culture) with the psychological processes of a specific species; and Xenopsychology with the study of the psychological processes of unfamiliar races.

Reconaissance (Intellect)
Cartography, Forward Observer, Orienteering

The Reconaissance skill deals with gathering and collating information as regards the physical layout of terrain. Cartography allows the making of maps, Forward Observation allows reporting of enemy forces and fire control for artillery or orbital weapons, and Orienteering deals with map-reading and navigation over land.

Focus (Willpower)
Concentration, Meditation, Ignore Pain

The Focus skill deals with, well, staying focused. Concentration consists of blocking out external stimuli and focusing on the task at hand, Meditation with calming oneself and contemplating a subject, and Ignore Pain with avoiding the penalties from damage taken.

Many rules systems have a skill called Carousing, which reflects the character's ability to locate a party, local nightlife, potable inebriants and the like. The ICON system doesn't have such a skill, but it easily maps in as a specialisation under Streetwise. This one of the very few specialisations of the Streetwise available as a matter of course to Starfleet personnel. It is not a substitute for other specialisations like locate contraband (although illegal inebriants and intoxicants may be determined to be available in small quantities for personal use).
Many rules systems have a skill called Map Reading, which reflects the character's ability to read and interpret maps and navigate overland. This is a new specialisation under Planetside Survival which details a vital survival skill.

This page and all contents ©1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 Owen E. Oulton