[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Forge-main] Re: [freeroleplay] Re: Skills

From: Ricardo Gladwell
Subject: [Forge-main] Re: [freeroleplay] Re: Skills
Date: 30 Aug 2003 15:09:50 +0100


I think this all depends on what the 'base line' is for your characters.
In RPG there is an unspoken structure which I will refer to as Average
Human. This is basically a character with average abilities (strength,
etc), that is unskilled in most skills and possesses no other unique
traits (advantages, etc). In many ways, when developing a roleplaying
game the first thing you must do is decide what this character is like.
For most games, whatever biases the RPG writer has informs what this
Average Human is like. Since most game designers I would assume tend to
be university graduates (my own bias here?) the basic assumption that
the character has easy access to education also comes into play.

This explains why many early RPGs didn't take into consideration the
concept that pre-20th century people were largely illiterate (most have
wised up to this now) and why many 'university skills' have equivalent
cost to normal skills.

So, when you say: "You must use at least one point in each of the
following areas: Mathematics, Science, and Language/Literature." you are
using an implicit assumption that the Average Human has had a basic
education in science, numeracy and literacy, not an entirely unfair
assumption in a modern Western country, although further research might
be necessary to make this assumption totally sound. You could, however,
simply state that Average Human has this level of education already and
that not having them is a form of social disadvantage (perhaps we should
think about the concept of negative skills).

On Tue, 2003-08-26 at 04:19, Jerry Stratton wrote:
> You could even combine them into one skill called "General Culture" or
> "General Education". If they went to technical school, they might have
> "General Education (Cosmetology)" for example; if they went to college,
> they might have "General Education (Psychology)". If they focussed on
> sports, they might have "General Education (Sports)" or even "General
> Education (Football)".

I think a General Culture skill would be an over-complication: should we
make characters roll to find out, for example, if they've ever heard of
Britney Speares? (I would rather make a roll to try and forget she ever
existed :) Or, roll to count the change in their pockets? Similarly, you
don't have to have a college/uni education to know anything about
football: many people pickup a lot of knowledge without even playing,
from following the sports as spectators.

Also, beware your biases. In England, you stop being taught sport at
ages 16/17 in school, so include Sport of Football would also be an
American cultural bias.

My idea would be to have 'packages' or 'templates' that would include a
bunch of skills in a single cost. For example, you could have a Graduate
package that would include a basic list of skills that an average
graduate would have.

Ricardo Gladwell
President, Free Roleplaying Community

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]