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signoftheserpent

Trade (soothsayer)

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Hi Sign,

hi sign. Sadly, it is like Tom said. Some GM take this (and any other) Trade skill as a justification to give a PC a "Merchant Class Income". But since each and every standard Psyker has either this or "Trade(Merchant)" one wonders why they are labeled as "Supine Class" to begin with.

Especially note worthy in this regard in the Imperial Diviner alternate carerr rank (RH; p.49) which allows to get "Trade(Soothsayer)" at +10 and +20.
Same as Scholastic Lore (Numerology) which has an equal limited field of use unless your GM announced that s/he has special plans for that skill.

*sigh*

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I assume these trades provide the knowledge implicit in using them, so that Trade (Soothsayer) would also let you recognize items used for divination in a sorceror's lair and so forth and Scholastic Lore (Numerology) would assist in anything involving numbers, like understanding an occult diagram or star chart.

According to the IH, any Trade skill does increase your income. Numerology also assists tests in Barter, Evaluate and Logic (p. 236). The IH also has a discussion (p. 242) of using Trade (Soothsayer) as a longer-lasting, more controllable version of Charm. While we're at it, Trade (Miner) gives a bonus to Navigation Tests underground; Trade (Tanner) allows you to identify what animal a hide (e.g., the Xenos hide covering a book) comes from; Trade (Embalmer) allows you to determine how decompsed things looked when alive. There are several other uses.

Any skill can be useful. Just think about what the skill logically entails and how it would be useful in a real situation.

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also you can use a trade to justify your actions!! one of my players favorite sayings is "trust me I'm a doctor" because he has trade (apothecary), my parties psyker has on numerous occasions used his merchant trade to have pleasant dealings with people, and sell of the excess items in his inventory from body looting... but unless you apply them, and give your players some leeway.. then yes they are useless..

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I like how Darkmittens put it, and I had a player, a scum, do much the same thing... and then detonate a promethium truck next to a local government building... but point being that bogi_khaosa is correct, the trade skills can give you plenty of bonuses, quite a few are listed and since you are the GM if someones skill makes logical sense to give them a 5 or 10 bonus for a specific roll, that makes it more the interesting.  Not to mention that trade skills also add a layer of completeness to characters, helps to flush them out.  In the last game I ran I had one character (the scum) with trade apothecary and used it to mix drugs and in conjuction with the assassin who had trade armourer they created some pretty lethal gas grenades, with luck and three fate points didn't kill themselves.

As far the use of the soothsayer trade skill, one, its a quick justification to raise the player income but more to the point it can be used to tell the diffrence between a street charlatan and an actual heretic.  Or it can be used to infiltrate a heretic cell, mixed with deception.  and as earlier mentioned it can be used to help identify items used in actual divination.  And I am sure there are other reasons, just let the players come up with a few and look for areas where knowledge may overlap, and if something is said that you the GM think is too much of a stretch than say no, and don't give them a bonus.

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Soothsayer is a very particular instance as it's meant to do with fortune telling. That's not to say it doesn't have it's uses, but they will be very finite.

Personally i've never been a huge fan of games with lots of skill specialisations for this reason (he also has pilot spacecraft, being voidborn - that's not going to come up).

Ideally the GM would look at the skills of his player characters and design the adventure around that, but such disparate skills do make things tricky, and those big 40k spaceships aren't going to rely on just a single pilot, like him, if needed!

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well for ships i let my players have a chase scene with hovercraft, and with a player piloting a ship while the others shot guns at a fleeing vessel it worked out rather well..... but yes piloting a space craft is rather big, but instead say he can 'command' the ships pilots to agree with him and then be able to 'pilot' through them...

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