New ability: Organization

Hiya all,
I had proposed a virtue called "Highly Organized", but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it should be an ability.

Organization (General Ability)
This is the ability to get things accomplished - to plan, arrange and carry out complex tasks. This could be something such as preparing for a feast, running an estate or preparing for a long expedition. This ability covers attention to detail, planning for contingencies and managing subordinates. Magi have the added bonus that they may either take their score worth of extra days off a season, or add their ability to their lab-total. If the ease factor is failed by upto 3 some unimportant details are missed. If it is failed by 4-6 some important details are missed. If it is failed by 7 or more some critical details are missed.
Specialities: Estates, Households, Shops, Labs, Journeys & Occasions.

Ease Factor 3
Manage a small household so that there is always sufficient food and materials.
Arrange a feast or celebration with a months notice.

Ease Factor 6
Manage a small store or workshop making sure that there are always sufficient goods and materials.
Arrange a feast or celebration with a weeks notice.
Arrange a long journey for a few people with a weeks notice.

Ease Factor 9
Manage a small estate including a village.
Manage a large household and all of the staff, goods, materials.
Arrange a spectacular feast with a months notice.
Arrange a long journey for a lot of people with a weeks notice.

Ease Factor 12
Manage a large estate including several villages.
Arrange a spectacular feast with a weeks notice.
Arrange for a long journey for a lot of people with a days notice.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

Given the lack of rapid communication in the period, Id say that a long journey for many people with but a day's notice would be nigh unto impossible to plan let alone supply properly. Either make that a 15 or even 21 ease factor or change it to "Arrange a military expedition for many men at arms with a weeks notice". That would itself be an exceptional feat for any custos.

And you'd roll once/season (or per "event") on that? It could work.

I disagree about the "one day's notice" complaint. Communication is really not a limiter on preparation for sudden departure. Making "reservations" is nice, but a day's notice is a day's notice, and in such cases (even today) it's the "organization" of the trip that matters, the packing and so forth, which (lacking suitcases and a car to toss them into) is easier said than done.

And with Ars Skills tending toward groups rather than specifics, I'd think this could cover all that.

Lots of skills that could be added. This seems well balanced and thought out.

Actually, I think that you might be better off with it being a Virtue.

The trouble with Abilities like these, is that I think it sort of doubles up on existing Abilities.

For example, a character with a good score in Magic Theory already represents a character who is good at organising a Laboratory. Similarly, a character with a good Leadership score is probably good at organising Estates. A character with a good Area Lore score is good at organising journeys in particular locales, and a character with a good Etiquette score is good at organising events.

Instead, perhaps a "Highly Organised Virtue" that added +2 to the use of Abilities in circumstances where "being organised was useful" would be a good option.

Alternatively, why not let character's specialisations be "organised". For example, I could imagine a character whose Etiquette specialisation was "organised", which would mean he would get a +1 to Etiquette activities where planning and organisation was important, such as planning events.

Anyway, just an idea.

I think I prefer the idea of a virtue in this case, given the idea Richard mentions-- how this will overlap so many other skills. It would be very appropriate as a good minor virtue.


I have added the ability "Administration", which of course includes organisation but also is a bit more separate from other abilities.
Its a very good "catch-all" skill for everything that doesnt fall under any other skills.

I think an Administration ability is often just part of the relevant Profession ability, e.g.Steward. I'd go for the Virtue for naturally organised people.

While administration will easily include organisation, the opposite is clearly not true. Also, administrative ability is something you can get better in, its not definetly not something you either have or dont. Making it a virtue makes no sense at all.

Also yes, it could in theory be part of different profession abilities, but that means characters automatically become as good at administration as they do at their "primary part" of their job which might not involve it more than occasionally. So no, i sure prefer to keep it a separate skill.
Means you can have a merchant that is excellent at closing deals and anticipating trends, but so dreadful at the day to day paperwork that he still goes broke. Including the administrative part in the "profession" skill, that is impossible.

Next you'll tell us that fighting with a sword isn't the same as fighting with a mace, so having them under the same skill is impossible. :unamused:

There's something to be said for that.

Having "a mind for organization" is something that some people just have (or just don't). And while there are tricks to organizing a desk, or a library, or your bills, I'm not quite sure how one would study to become more organized on a universal level, and then keep getting better and better at it in any and every situation, regardless of what they applied it to.

People who are good at organizing armies do not ~tend~ to also be good at organizing corporations and also libraries - unless they have "a gift" in it. It can be trained as part of a profession, but I'm not sure that training would ever be applicable across the board.

Oh what an exquisite piece of constructive criticism!

You get a 10 out of 10 score for "most useless post of the year".

Not true, people trained for organising of one sorts are nearly always able to use that skill in another area as well.

That doesnt mean however that a "highly organised" virtue is a bad idea, as some people are more capable in this with OR without training in it. Either it could just give a straight +X bonus, but i would suggest it instead reduce required time by half or similar, maybe a lesser bonus as well...

Hum... Well, I'm sorry, but, although perhaps not exactly phrased in an adequate fashion, I think that frunny is right about this.

ArsM 5 tends toward vast skills, which are already difficult to improve. If you begin to separate things based on "reality", you may soon have a rolemaster-like skills system, with a lot of narrower and narrower skills.

You've been given, IMO, good suggestions here, and I think you could easily use them and the existing skills to create whatever you want, instead of just creating yet another seldom-used skill (unless you make it a must-have, which'll then lessen the importance of other skills).

Say, consider that a organised merchant will use his merchant skill for all these aspects of his trade. If you want him to be good at it, take a specialty in "organisation". If you want him to be "generally good" or bad at organisation, you could have something like "puissant organisation" minor virtue, giving you +2 to skill rolls involving organising something (however, in light of previous descriptions of the intended use of "organisation" as a "great improver", this should maybe be a major virtue if you wanna follow that way), and a "poorly organised flaw.

Oh, and your merchant, IMO, could be something like this:
A merchant that is excellent at closing deals: Bargain
Anticipating trends: Appropriate lore, such as "paris lore" to anticipate trends in paris
So dreadful at the day to day paperwork that he still goes broke: Profession: Merchant

Which this isnt. Its a catch-all skill that in original rules doesnt have any real equal. The closest you can come is placing it under "profession", which we soon found didnt work very well all the time.

Rolemaster has its good points, but its too messy.

We have used "Administration" for years thank you very much, it fits its role perfectly and tends to be reasonably well used if perhaps not commonly(or by all who might have it). And that completely without infringing on other skills.

And according to your other arguments, that skill should also fall under "profession"...

Ah, so he would then need maybe a thousand or two "Area lore" skills to cover his normal area of trading? That becomes outright ridiculous, screaming "-bad" about adding one skill that isnt really represented else, then suggesting to add a mechanic that is outrageously WORSE??? Forget it.

Bargain is an existing skill, which should be logical for anyone engaging in... well, bargain. If your merchant only run the business, he doesn't need it.

As per Area Lore: This is medieval europe. Unless he's very successful, your merchant will only concern himself with a few towns, which may be different from one another. This is not only logical, but it also, then again, uses an existing skill.
Your medieval merchant will maybe trade in a few areas, but I very much doubt he'll trade and have to anticipate fashion in half mythic europe. Anyway, doesn't it seems logical that he somewhat knows the areas in which he trades? He'll just use skills he'll logicaly already have, or listen to the advices of underlings who know the local market.
You'll notice that, even in a growingly occidental modern world, customs may differ very much, and anticipating new york fashion is something entirely different than anticipating, say, Mexico Fashion.
Hum... I'm not sure I'm very clear there.

Anyway, I was just trying to show you how you could already create your merchant exemple with all its variations within the existing system, and without creating any new skill.

Then, it seems to me you took my comments rather badly, which wasn't my intent and, besides, seems more intent on creating both a generic "organisation" skill and, maybe, a generic "fashion" skill than anything else.

If this is your desire, no problem, do it, it's your game and there's nothing inherently wrong with it, but then, you should also consider, or at least accept that, at least for some other people, the existing skills can work just fine to reflect someone who's "excellent at closing deals and anticipating trends, but so dreadful at the day to day paperwork that he still goes broke", which seemed to me to be exactly the intend behind the creation of these new skills.

Organization (to me) falls straight into one ability that has existed during a few editions: Profession: Autocrat. I wouldn't comp`lain if someone wanted a virtue dealing with organization, though.



Thats possibly as close as it gets. Except then it STILL becomes a "separate skill". Otherwise, ONLY autocrats or those trained as such can be good administrators, ooops... :wink:

Exactly. And if a person hires someone else to do day-to-day administration/organisation, he doesnt need that skill either.

Far from logical. You generalise based on what would be true for SOME.

Oh im not saying that Area Lore cant be used for such a thing, certainly it would be quite useful indeed. However, continuing the example, there are plenty of people who are quite capable of doing the same kind of anticipating of trends extremely well while "completely" oblivious to local conditions.
Requiring such a thing to be based on Area Lore ONLY however, thats the problem, because that does cause the requirement for any successful merchant or trader to have literally hundreds or thousands of Area Lore scores.
No, such a thing CAN use area lore but unless high, it will use "Profession" score instead as it clearly falls under specific knowledge(or perhaps rather, way of thinking) that such a profession will include.

As i said, its years ago that the skill Administration was included as a regular/standard skill, because multiple players realised that it was indeed very much needed.

Its to a large extent simply copied from the Mechwarrior RPG, used similarily, works perfectly within the system and is useful. Its not a matter of creating anything, because we already have used it for several years in AM.

No it wasnt, that was ONE example where applying existing skill system fell apart. Administration is used as a broad catchall skill to cover the parts that ALMOST but far too often does NOT fall properly under the "Profession X" skill.

Putting it as part of "Profession" WAS tried, as keeping as part of "Leadership", both of which caused the creation of some very "funny" characters more than once.

Not really. A guy with feral upbringing can be a fairly good organizer to me. He could have profession autocrat with no biggie if the character concept justifies it well. To me, a profession does not require formal training necessarily. Your character development storyteller might be more strict in this, though. But as Ars is, Autocrats are the organizers of the setting. No need to introduce a new ability that does exactly the same as autocracy. Fine if you renamed it into organization, but the final result is the one and the same: a guy/gal able to put things right out of a bunch messy stuff in an orderly way so it is useful.

As with most stuff in Ars, there are several ways to skin a cat. You can use Autocrat, but you can probably use bargain aas well and a few charm trolls to achieve the same result. Or area lore to know whom you must talk to to get the right stuff at the right price.... ALL those abilities overlap somewhat, so you can use all of them to do the same. The ArM5 syustem is just the contrary of restrictive when it comes to abilities in this sense. If you can argue that you are using ability X for something, do it! :slight_smile:



Thats what i AM doing... :wink:

Exactly. IMO.

??? How so???

Hum... That's well, but haven't I justly proved that it doesn't?

Ars tend toward some vast skills (Artes Liberales...) rather than a lot of precise little one (Rhetoric, Grammar, arithmetic...) and diverse ways to achieve the same result.

Ah. It seemed to me that you instead wanted to create at least 2 other skills (Administration and "Predict fashion") instead of using the existing ones. Sorry if I was wrong.

Not nearly, you showed that its POSSIBLE to use some of the existing skills in THAT case.

So, a maid or servant who has had to learn quickly to organise according to their master/mistress excentricities? Where would you place their ability to organise or administer?
According to Xavi for example, it means they would gain Prof: Autocrat score, and while that is proper to SOME degree, it certainly isnt great, as again it creates people that becomes skilled in something "else" because their experience in one thing.

Thats also why Fruny´s gig was so silly, because fighting with a mace or a sword, its still fighting in a very roughly similar way, organising a large household and bookkeeping probably isnt.

Eh? Well its like basing statistics on just the numbers you like to base it on. "-1st and 2nd quarter revenues were no fun, so we´ll just skip them from the yearly revenue report, ok?"...

Rethorical skill(ie spoken) i have broken out from that(Art.Lib.) because it often screwed up the system, apart from that it works ok.
Its very odd when a bookworm par excellence also is an amazingly good speaker, just didnt work out well.

Administration is the skill we have used for a long time and will keep using, works perfectly.

"predict fashion" would fall under any relevant Profession.
And i said predict TRENDS, there are economical trends as well as fashion ones, the former were the ones i was referring to.
I though that was obvious, but oh well...