Or, How to be The Boss
This post is mostly about Sword of Cepheus, but I will bring it back around to Classic Traveller.
I have not seen a skill by this name, or with its implications, in any other game that I can think of. All that we are given in the Sword of Cepheus skills list is this:
administration and dealing with realms, bureaucracies and the law.
Also covers forgery.” So, what this guy did for a living:
"L'etat, c'est Moi."
As given, Rulership is a conflation of the CT skills Administration, Bribery, Forgery, and Legal. What interests me is the phrase “dealing with realms”.
What does this imply about the setting of the game? My read is that characters may end up in charge of realms, whether kingdoms, duchies, towns etc. They can end up as Rulers in Sword of Cepheus. If Conan the Cimmerian can do it, why can't your PCs? I would love to see Stellagama publish a realm-building supplement.
Let us call this Type I Rulership. There can also by Types II & III.
If your game works better by letting Rulership address all of these disparate tasks equally, well and good. If you want more nuance in handling this broad-application skill, read on.
Who gets Rulership skill? Nobles do, obviously (at Rank 3, 2 skill slots), but so do Commoners (at Rank 3), Pirates (only 1 Adv Ed skill slot), Priests (1 skill slot), Rogues (1 skill slot), Sailors (1 skill slot), Scholars (at Rank 1! 2 skill slots), Soldiers (1 skill slot), and Vagabonds (1 skill slot). So just about everybody except Shamans and Barbarians. I think this is odd. Unless you keep in mind the wide range of tasks this skill covers.