Spacer Skills Revisited

By [[Menoitios]]

Modified Prerequisites for Knight Hawks

It has been pointed out that the prerequisites for spacer skills are burdensome and such levels are rarely met by players in normal game-play. I have heard of many people that have modified the prerequisites for Knight Hawks’s skills, so I present my system with a fair amount of humility. It enables new characters to go to the stars more quickly and lowers the levels of NPCs who the characters encounter; do you really want to have a brand new PC fight a pirate with a 6 Beam weapons skill?

Recall the original requirements for first level in spacer skills:

Spacer Skill Prerequisites

Technician 6
Computer 6

Technician 4
Robotics 2

Computer 6

Energy Weapons 
Beam Weapons 6

Rocket Weapons 
Projectile Weapons 4
Gyrojet Weapons 2

If a NPC with a Tech skill of 6 is at the highest possible level of intelligent species technical ability, might not employment other than pilot of a pirate ship be found for such a being? Not to get too realistic, in a game that does not aim for excessive realism, but being a pirate is rather desperate work for rather desperate people.

In addition I find that the high levels required for most KHs adventures require overly powerful player characters and NPCs, and imbalanced interaction with low level PCs.

Indeed often the requirement that players have spacer skills means that new players have to use a pre-rolled character rather than start their own from scratch and get the enjoyment of earning and spending those precious XP points. 

Instead of requiring a high level of skill in the prerequisites before achieving even a low level spaceship skill, I propose a different system that allows you to get your beginning level of spacer skills with only a low level prerequisite skill. However, in order to increase your spacer skill, you must also increase you level in the foundation skills as well. 

The following table lists the required prerequisite skill level in the foundations skills needed before acquiring the specified level of the spacer skill:

   Skill Level
Knight Hawks Alpha Dawn 56 
PilotTechnician2 2
 Computer 1
Engineer Technician 
Energy WeaponsBeam 
Rocket WeaponsProjectile 

For example, a PC could get his first level pilot skill after only achieving a level 2 Technician skill and a level 1 Computer Skill. However, in order to get a level 2 Pilot skill, he must first advance his Computer skill to level 2. Then he will have the prerequisites needed for a level 2 Pilot.

With these skill levels prerequisites, players can level up in a few adventures and take to the stars with ease, or referees can give players spacer skills at character creation without worry of unbalancing the game too much. 

This creates a more "space opera" feel to the game allowing dirt farmers on back worlds to have the pilot and weapon skills necessary to destroy the enemy battle station, with a well placed shot, at the apex of their first adventure.

If a more restrained and slightly more realistic game world is desired, where only highly trained people have  spacer skills, one can use the original system or some compromise between the above system and the original.