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24 Aug 2003 14:03:54 +0100
The design principal for skills is closer to the d20 approach: that is,
rather than have a more open-ended list of skills, where the effective
list of skills is near-infinite, we have a more close-ended list. This
makes deciding which skills to use for a particular action more of a
science and less ambiguous.
What I need are some thoughts, criticisms and ideas for the skill list
and rules I have compiled so far.
Most skills require a specializations. Like Ability focuses, these impart
a +1 bonus to rolls they are relevant for, for example, Culture (East Africa)
would impart a reduction in difficulty of 1 for any rolls involving
East African culture.
The list I have devised so far is as follows:
Here follows a detailed description of why I have chosen the above
skills (the design rationale) and what precisely those individual skills
Acrobatics represents the basic 'amazing feats of dexterity' skill -
amazing jumps, balancing on tight ropes, swinging from chandeliers. I
intended this skill to encompass a wide scope, including climbing. Do we
need a separate Climb skill or is this skill sufficient?
General unarmed combat skill for punching, kicking, head-butts, biting,
etc.. Is this a good name for this skill and if not is there a better
General negotiations skill, good for dealing with outsiders,
bargaining, basic etiquette and so forth. Is this better represented
with other skills (see Cultures, Intrigue)
Basic dodging skill, making it harder to hit you in combat. Should this
be under acrobatics or does it really deserve its own skill?
Oratory skill - getting your ideas across. Is this the same as
Manipulation or is it different?
This is a tricky one: how does this work across different genres. In
fantasy this would be your basic, primitive ability to clean wounds etc,
but in a modern setting this would be more akin to first aid. And what
about medical science, chirurgy, surgery etc.?
Basic politicking skill - how to handle yourself in sensitive, political
situations, gossip and so on. See Manipulation and Cultures for similar
A generic skill for guessing or determining someone else's intentions
(aka Empathy) or detect lies.
Basic leadership/management skills - motivating and controlling a large
group of people.
Usually most games have several skills (intimidation, lying, seduction,
etc) but I think these can all go under one skill. For example,
intimidation is a Strength/Manpulation roll. Thoughts? Am I mad?
Sport in the old sense of the word - running, jumping, and so on. Basic
ability to run fast, jump high or long and so forth. Is this right or
should there be seperate skills for Run, Jump etc?
Fairly self-explanatory - sneaking around skill for skulking, shadowing
and moving silently.
Basic tactical/warfare skill for determining a good stategy for combat,
and so forth.
Self-explanatory. Is there any place for this skill under another skill?
Basic ability to survive in the wild. Does this skill include Track or
is that a seperate skill?
Ability to follow someone. Is this skill replicated by Stealth, Scent or
Survival. I don't know!
Knowledge of how to handle and care for a particular animal. For example
Animal (Horse) permits you the ability to ride a horse, care for it,
Knowledge and talent for a variety of art forms, such as painting,
drawing, and so forth.
Inlcudes ship-building, blacksmithing, guns manufacture and so forth. Is
this a good, genre-neutral heading for this skill group?
Knowledge of a particular culture or strate of society, including
politics, etiquette and so forth. For example, Culture (New York/Street)
would allow you to get by on the mean streets of New York, whilst
Culture (Nobility) would allow you to pass as a noble in the royal
Basic knowledges, such as History, Occultism, and so forth.
Skill groups for vazrious weapons, from swords, to semi-automatic
Knowledge of various sciences, including Medicine, Chemistry, Psychology
and so forth. More useful than knowledges.
Other Possible Skills
The following skills are quite common in many genres but don't quite fit
into the above. I'm not happy with them unless there can be a method of
turning them into more generic skills or finding a place for them with
the group skills.
Lock Picking (Craft?)
Martial Arts [Group]
Pick Pocket (Craft?)
Ride (same as Animal Handling - perhaps an Animal skill group)
Sleight of Hand
President, Free Roleplaying Community
- [Forge-main] Skills,
Ricardo Gladwell <=