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 Post subject: Best Skill Monkey OCC
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 8:39 am
  

D-Bee

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I searched the forums and couldn't find a good answer. Assuming use of Rifts Conversion book to pull OCCs from other sources, what's the best skill monkey OCC available for Rifts?


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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 11:23 am
  

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The "official" Lemurian Experimenter from Rifter 58 and the Whack Job Scientist from China 2 are the strongest contenders, followed by the Rogue Scientist. In a megaversal game the Natural Genius from Powers Unlimited 2 joins this group. (Edit:whoops)

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Last edited by Curbludgeon on Tue Nov 30, 2021 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 11:44 am
  

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Curbludgeon wrote:
The "official" Lemurian Experimenter from Rifter 58 and the Whack Job Scientist from China 2 are the strongest contenders, followed by the Rogue Scientist. In a megaversal game the Natural Scientist from Powers Unlimited 2 joins this group.


I second the Rogue Scientist (38 skills at Level 1, 53 skills at Level 15): 17 OCC Skills, 15 Other Skills and 6 Secondary and +15 skills throughout to level 15

The Whack Job is a bizarre one (35 skills at Level 1, 54 skills at Level 15): 10 Bonus skills to the RCSG 19 OCC Skills (with 2 overlaps and assuming losing Speak/Literacy American) and only 7 Other and 3 Secondary and +19 skills throughout to level 15

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 12:52 pm
  

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I misspoke. The category from PU2 is the Natural Genius, not Natural Scientist.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 3:20 pm
  

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Aside from the stuff already mentioned, if your GM lets you port in characters from other Palladium games, the Dreamer Gizmoteer is pretty darned good if you swap out martial arts stuff for more skill programs.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 3:44 pm
  

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In Phase World the CAF Fleet Officer has 18 OCC Skills (includes 4 languages and 2 literacies), 10 other skills with very few restrictions and 5 secondaries. And when I say few restrictions there where none originally but I assume that they are restricted from Cowboy skills, every other category is any.

On top of that you start with HtoH Expert, 1 extra attack.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 4:44 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Aside from the stuff already mentioned, if your GM lets you port in characters from other Palladium games, the Dreamer Gizmoteer is pretty darned good if you swap out martial arts stuff for more skill programs.

If you want to play characters with lots of skills then you should be looking at the char templates from Ninjas & Superspies game (where the above Dreamer Gizmoteer is located) and the Heroes Unlimited game.
In both there are mercenary type char templates that can used for modern soldiers/fighters. And they can be imported to the Rifts game easily.

The if you really want to have a real 'skills monkey' you can make a Mutant monkey (ATB2 or HU2), that is an immortal (HU:PU3) making it really old university graduate.

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Last edited by drewkitty ~..~ on Tue Nov 30, 2021 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 4:48 pm
  

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There's a character that can have 64 (sixty-four) skills at level one: The Robot OCC from SB1. You just have to take the right combination of skill programs.

Spoiler:
Per page 18, the N.I. gets the following skill programs:
-- Either the General Labor or General Military program: I took Military (21 skills).
-- Three skill programs at half price: I took Military Mechanical (4 skills), Military Technical Computers (5 skills), Labor Domestic Services (8 skills).
-- Two additional skill programs at full price: I took Military Comm Specialized (7 skills), Military Rogue (5 skills).

Then hidden on page 33 is the option for Expanded Memory:
-- Add two more skill programs. I took Labor Tutorial (9 skills), Labor Farm Work (8 skills).

Now if you add all those up, you get 67 skills, but there's 3 duplicates between the various packages leaving you with 64 skills.

Things I didn't do:
-- I didn't compare all the skill programs to see if you can get more than 64. I'm sure with a little effort someone can beat it.
-- I didn't use the "pre-requisite" rule... For example, if I took Mechanical Engineering I did not claim to automatically have Advanced Math.
-- I didn't use Gymnastics/Acrobatics and claim each of the subskills (like Balance, etc.)

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 8:42 pm
  

D-Bee

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drewkitty ~..~ wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Aside from the stuff already mentioned, if your GM lets you port in characters from other Palladium games, the Dreamer Gizmoteer is pretty darned good if you swap out martial arts stuff for more skill programs.

If you want to play characters with lots of skills then you should be looking at the char templates from Ninjas & Superspies game (where the above Dreamer Gizmoteer is located) and the Heroes Unlimited game.
In both there are mercenary type char templates that can used for modern soldiers/fighters. And they can be imported to the Rifts game easily.

The if you really want to have a real 'skills monkey' you can make a Mutant monkey (ATB2 or HU2), that is an immortal (HU:PU3) making it really old university graduate.


Thanks Drew Kitty and Killer Cyborg both for the suggestion: NSS seems like the right way to go.

It look like the Operative Agent OCC is the best option (six skill programs, six secondary skills and a martial arts form.) Threw together a quick build in excel, using Tiger Claw King Fu (on a quick skim-through it seems to have the most skills and martial arts powers) and trading martial arts powers for basic skill programs.

Got 88 skills at first level, no cruff except Gardening. I can probably optimize that further with more careful skill program selection. And that doesn't include extra languages they could pick up for character background, or the bonus skills they'd get for importing the character to Rifts.

They'll only pick up three additional secondary skills as they advance, but they can always trade in the extra martial arts powers they pick up with advancement for additional basic skill programs.

That said, I do like the idea of an immortal jack-of-all monkey, or a know-it-all robot.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2021 9:37 am
  

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EliBenedict wrote:
I searched the forums and couldn't find a good answer. Assuming use of Rifts Conversion book to pull OCCs from other sources, what's the best skill monkey OCC available for Rifts?

Just as an FYI there are at least 377skills available in the Rifts setting (per my incomplete library), this does not include subskills (from skills like Doctor, Climb, Gymnastics, Acrobatics, etc) or OCC/RCC based "skills" that are listed in the class only ( ex: Vagabond's 'Eye Ball a Fella', note Cowboy has its own Category in the skill list as is not exempt) or individual entries for Language/Literacy (of which we are looking at over 100 identified in the books alone) though does include sign languages separately (at least 3) and "(pro)" versions of available skills as their own entry on the list (ex. Dance and Dance: Pro are separate skills) and skills that might appear in multiple categories (ex. Prowl in both Rogue and Physical) though these last two aren't going to amount to much. Note this is also using the RUE approach to Robot Combat skills which groups them by categories, prior to RUE we'd probably be looking at Elite providing a bucket load of skills like Language/Literacy.

Mind Melter with the Mind Bond power can theoretically absorb, if only temporary, "all skills" though they don't get attribute bonus. At 10 ISP and no limit to the number of people they can be bonded to could mean at minimum 3 subjects in a short time frame (so with the right selection of subjects).

It should also be noted that some Psionic Powers and Magic Spells can take the place of one or more skills if the character has them. For example, any Mage with "Tongues" or "Eyes of Thoth" essentially has every Language or Literacy skill available to them, which IINM means those two spells confer over 100 "skills" each when activated.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2021 10:26 am
  

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EliBenedict wrote:
drewkitty ~..~ wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Aside from the stuff already mentioned, if your GM lets you port in characters from other Palladium games, the Dreamer Gizmoteer is pretty darned good if you swap out martial arts stuff for more skill programs.

If you want to play characters with lots of skills then you should be looking at the char templates from Ninjas & Superspies game (where the above Dreamer Gizmoteer is located) and the Heroes Unlimited game.
In both there are mercenary type char templates that can used for modern soldiers/fighters. And they can be imported to the Rifts game easily.

The if you really want to have a real 'skills monkey' you can make a Mutant monkey (ATB2 or HU2), that is an immortal (HU:PU3) making it really old university graduate.


Thanks Drew Kitty and Killer Cyborg both for the suggestion: NSS seems like the right way to go.

It look like the Operative Agent OCC is the best option (six skill programs, six secondary skills and a martial arts form.) Threw together a quick build in excel, using Tiger Claw King Fu (on a quick skim-through it seems to have the most skills and martial arts powers) and trading martial arts powers for basic skill programs.

Got 88 skills at first level, no cruff except Gardening. I can probably optimize that further with more careful skill program selection. And that doesn't include extra languages they could pick up for character background, or the bonus skills they'd get for importing the character to Rifts.

They'll only pick up three additional secondary skills as they advance, but they can always trade in the extra martial arts powers they pick up with advancement for additional basic skill programs.

That said, I do like the idea of an immortal jack-of-all monkey, or a know-it-all robot.


If you can arrange it, go for a mutant Homidon via Transdimensional TMNT. They can spend Bio-E points on boosting their IQ attribute, and I think I've gotten characters with an IQ of 90+ this way, by dumping all their Bio-E into IQ.
Use the rules in TMNT Adventures for mutant animals with super powers, gaining 50 Bio-E in the process but spending 0 Bio-E for the "Animal Abilities" power, that way you can put all 50 into IQ boosts.
This gives some hefty skill bonuses (which were flat-out insane back before RUE nerfed skill bonuses for IQs over 30), and if your GM uses the semi-official* ruling that the proper way to default skill checks for people lacking a skill is to roll percentile dice against the "appropriate attribute," this would allow for reliable skill checks even when you don't have the actual skill.
Make the Hominid an Operative as you describe above.
Then make the character a Transferred Intelligence Robot via Rifts SB1, so their puny physical attributes from small size (assuming you shrink them down to Size Level 1 during creation, so more Bio-E can be put into IQ) and such become irrelevant.

Then you have a Jack-Of-All-Trades "Monkey" Robot.


*i.e., a Palladium staffer once claimed this as a rule online, but it doesn't seem to be in any books

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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2021 12:22 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
*i.e., a Palladium staffer once claimed this as a rule online, but it doesn't seem to be in any books


It is from Rifter #14 pg 13. That is in the Q&A section, which is labeled as approved by KS in the table of contents. There have been a few books published since April 2001, so you would think it would make it into an actual book if it was really official.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2021 1:13 pm
  

D-Bee

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Aside from the stuff already mentioned, if your GM lets you port in characters from other Palladium games, the Dreamer Gizmoteer is pretty darned good if you swap out martial arts stuff for more skill programs.


Looking at the conversion notes in RCB, it seems that, on further reflection, the Dreamer Gizmoteer might be a better choice (being as they get no conversion penalties for tech skills.) Their more generous alotment of secondary skills at creation partially offsets the fact that they're down one skill program, compared wtih the operative.
.
One questions though. Does any one know what the Rifts Conversion note saying they "can select one additional skill in each available category" means? Do they actually get one skill from each of the 18 categories listed in RUE? Beacuse that, plus their already hefty skill selection, would definitely put them at the top of the pile. In a way, it would fit with the OCCs "Jack of All Trades" background, but it does seem a bit extreme.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:42 pm
  

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Are you talking about the RCB1 or the RCB1r?

Note: there is more than one rifts conversion books so it is appropriate for you to give which version (RCB1 or RCB1r) of which volume (1 or 2) you are talking about.

The person saying "available category" is thinking in Character Class (CC) terms ( like in the avalible cat. for OCCR skills and pre-RUE secondary skills) and that way he is talking '''''does not compute''''' when talking about N&S and HU char templates, because they don't have what the writing is talking about.
This is something that was in the RCB1 that they could of corrected/changed they made the RCB1r.

I might look at it this way, that an 'available category' is; in translation; means skills related to the skill programs the chars have.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2021 5:28 pm
  

D-Bee

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drewkitty ~..~ wrote:
Are you talking about the RCB1 or the RCB1r?

Note: there is more than one rifts conversion books so it is appropriate for you to give which version (RCB1 or RCB1r) of which volume (1 or 2) you are talking about.

The person saying "available category" is thinking in Character Class (CC) terms ( like in the avalible cat. for OCCR skills and pre-RUE secondary skills) and that way he is talking '''''does not compute''''' when talking about N&S and HU char templates, because they don't have what the writing is talking about.
This is something that was in the RCB1 that they could of corrected/changed they made the RCB1r.

I might look at it this way, that an 'available category' is; in translation; means skills related to the skill programs the chars have.


The sentence is in Rifts Conversion Book 1, Revised. I get your point though. Seems like a category error.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2021 9:21 pm
  

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Yeah the N&SS characters often have an absurd number of skills. I didn't necessarily go for the max but I have an Operative Agent with 64 skills, and I kept my Martial Arts.

Bodyguard/Assassin
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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2021 7:02 pm
  

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Final Decision:

After crunching the numbers, it looks like the Operative Agent OCC wins sheer skill quantity. With the right program selections (Issin-Ryu, Espionage: Deep Cover and Professional Thief, Military: Advanced Infantry and Armor and Artillery, Gizmoteer: Telephone Hacking and Vehicle Construction, and then trading in your three martial arts powers for Basic: Cultural, Romance Language and Science) you’ve got 96 skills at first level. Granted, you’ll have some goofy skills like Flower Arranging and Esperanto, but you’ve still got a ton of adventuring skills. The best I could manage with the Dreamer Gizmoteer was 78 skills at first level. If you get really lucky rolls on the Country of Origin, Background and Family Background tables, you could pick up another seven languages as skills for either character.

The Dreamer does gain some ground from there though. If they find their way to Rifts Earth, the Operative picks up another 13 skills, making them a 1st level character with between 109 and 116 skills. Interpreting the “one additional skill from each available category” phrase to mean they get one skill from each skill category for which they’ve taken a skill program, the Dreamer picks up 19 additional skills, giving them a 1st level starting total of between 97 adn 104. The Dreamer also has better secondary skill advancement, so by 15th level, the Operative has 112-119, while the Dreamer has 104-111. But, crucially, the Dreamer doesn’t suffer the -20% penalty for using hi-tech skills in Rifts that afflicts the Operative. So, while the Operative wins for quantity, the Dreamer probably wins out in quality.

That said, I decided to go with an actual Monkey, per Drewkitty’s suggestion. Used the Mutant Animal rules form HU2 to give him Extraordinary Intelligence (Power Unlimited 3) and Extraordinary Physical Prowess. Then took the Dreamer Gizmoteer OCC, with Tai Sing Pek War as his fighting style. Not as skils optimal as Tiger Claw, but, you know, Skill Monkey.

With Extraordinary Intelligence and the +3 bonus for a Mutant Monkey, I rolled up a 29 IQ. Extraordinary PP mostly serves to offset the relative weakness of Monkey Style Kung Fu.

After converting to Rifts, he’s got 85 skills at first level, all in the 50-80% range, and apart from Microfiche/Microfilm, they’re all skills he can use on Rifts Earth. My favorite is the Basic Gizmoteer Construction Skill. I took it as one of his areas of focus for Extraordinary Intelligence. He’s got a 78% chance to build gizmos that fall within his skill selections, and a 43% chance at building any gizmo whatsoever.

He’s roughly comparable to the RUE adventurer OCCs for combat, though his first priority is definitely going to have to be finding someone who can make MDC body armor for 4’ tall dude with a tail.


Last edited by EliBenedict on Tue Dec 07, 2021 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2021 10:28 pm
  

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EliBenedict wrote:
his first priority is definitely going to have to be finding someone who can make MDC body armor for 4’ tall dude with a tail.


We always played that mutant animals could pretty easily find Dog Pack armor on the Black Market that would fit them, considering the sheer variety in size and shape when it comes to Dog Boys.
Anything else, they'd have to get custom-made.
I think we just went with x2 the normal price.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2021 7:10 pm
  

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Custom Armor can be found in the Australia book and somewhere in the books about the western part of NA (Arzino Merc is the name that is poping up in my head but I'll let someone else look it up.)

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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 12:45 am
  

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Don't have 2nd Ed N&SS...but presuming the Background and Education tables are the same as the first book...

Combining the N&SS and HU background and education charts...

Presuming you don't mind being language heavy, and your GM allows you to pick and choose...or you score REALLY hot with your die rolls, select/roll your Country, then (essentially) your ethnicity...this gives you up to four to five languges.
Select/roll "Raised by Parents - lived in multiple Countries - (roll/select 4 additional Countries where you've lived). This can see you with up to 8-10 additional languages.

A PhD means 4 skill programs and 10 secondary skills. That works out at over 40 skills (over 50 if you count literacies seperately) before you choose a power class.

If the GM allows swapping of Martial Arts Powers for Skill Programs...that's 3-7 skills for a single Power swap! ;)
Scary, since depending on the Martial Art, you can score either up to half a dozen skills PLUS a handful of powers, or a MASSIVE amount of Ancient Weapons Proficiencies!

Maybe not the best definition of "Skill Monkey," but remember that you have a chance of being able to recognize weapon quality of any Ancient WPs you have.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2021 11:24 pm
  

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Regarding "one additional skill in each available category" as seen in Rifts Conversion Book 1, I liked guardiandashi's take from when I last posted a thread about it.

There are a couple of things of varying cheese not yet brought up in this thread, for which I wanted to get at least something down. I reckon I'll reckon a total for the most gonzo character at some point. To wit, it's something akin to a 1 pound hominid whose parents traveled from another dimension to give birth next to an orbital ley line nexus before leaving that child to develop mutations at Outcast Station for whatever reason, after which said child may or may not have been an indifferent student of Chinese opera-style martial arts while simultaneously developing micronized brain implants.

*A couple of gestalt options from PU2 allow multiple people to contribute their individual skills to a composite character. While up to 5 people can be included in either a character controlled by multiple players or an NPC, the rules suggest 2-3 people be the maximum for a PC played by a single player. The Mental Giant Psychic Gestalt gives a 30% bonus to any skills possessed by any constituent member in addition to several programs known only to the gestalt at +20%, such that a 3 member collective of 1 Military Specialist and 2 Bachelor Degree and up characters could know 18 programs and 25 secondaries.

*One of the better ways to take advantage of the larger skill programs N&SS players have over the programs of other settings is with a genius character from Outcast Station. As detailed in Mutants in Orbit, these characters can be created as, among other options, Gizmoteers. If a given table takes the Rifter 14 Q&A as errata, then upon obtaining a high enough "I.Q." (methods for such listed here) it paradoxically becomes advantageous to instead limit the number of skills a character has. In that case a Genius built using the BTS Genius class becomes the better choice, particularly when combined with some of the mutant options from Transdimensional TMNT. It's worth noting that the table from TMNT Adventures which could be used to garner 50 Bio-E doesn't have an entry for the Hominid which could best leverage such towards "I.Q.", so including that is its own level of cheese.

*The Martial Art Form Chao Ta Kung Fu from Mystic China grants 10 abilities arguably exchangeable for skill programs. While Mystic China doesn't use skill programs, it does state that MC characters may be created using N&SS classes, which do. In that each N&SS MAF's entry lists that abilities may be exchanged for programs, and that there are multiple forms each detailed in both books, it doesn't seem like much of a stretch. A stretch that likely wouldn't fly at many tables would be to extend the skill program exchange to mudras, in which case An Yin Kung Fu wins out at 15.

*Rifts Conversion Book 1 Revised details exchanging psionic powers for martial art abilities. At a table where conversion daisy chaining was cool these could then be exchanged for skill programs. In addition to that being a bit cheesy, it has the problem that the above options don't really provide the opportunity for a character to get enough powers to make the exchange, save perhaps through psynetics or the like.

*Heroes of Humanity's advanced training programs can be used to exchange future available skill selections for currently usable ones. The options is largely limited to "Men at Arms" O.C.C.s, but exceptions are listed for classes such as Wilderness Scouts/Scholars/Scientists/Vagabonds whom received military training.

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