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[Forge-main] Re: Re: Skills List [LONG] (Ricardo Gladwell)

From: Jerry Stratton
Subject: [Forge-main] Re: Re: Skills List [LONG] (Ricardo Gladwell)
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 22:04:58 -0800

At 7:11 PM -0800 on 12/11/02, Enrique Perez wrote:
>> Another suggestion would be to simply have the skills groups as they
>> were (collections of related skills, such as Animals(Horse),
>> Animals(Dog) and so on) without the generic skills (Animals) and instead
>> have an optional substitution rule - you can subsitute a skill from your
>> group for another skill in the same group, if you don't have it, but
>> only if you make the action at a -3 penalty to difficulty.
>This leads to the same problem as the seperate skills, you could 
>have a higher ability in a
>generic skill than a specific skill. Say for example you have a bow 
>skill of five and a thrown
>dagger skill of one, your generic skill of 5 ( bow ) - 3 ( generic 
>penalty ) = 2 would be higher
>than that of your thrown dagger skill ( 1 ).

While I don't necessarily like the solution for complexity issues, I don't 
think that this is necessarily the same problem. In the previous case, the 
problem was that a character could have a bunch of low-level skills and end up 
having a really high score overall.

In your example above, the high Bow score that produces the "higher" score in 
Dagger was an earned high score. Depending on how skills training is handled, 
being able to do the above is not necessarily a broken or even unrealistic 

If the cost of training is x playing points per rating, then increasing Bow 
from 5 to 6 will cost 6x points. While that will give the character a 3 in 
Dagger when the character uses their Bow knowledge instead of their Dagger 
knowledge, it's an awfully expensive way of getting there; increasing Dagger 
from 1 to 2 only costs 2x points.

If the 'cost' of training is more in line with Chaosium's Basic Role-Playing 
(do you know they've got a new version of this out with the same artwork inside 
as the old original BRP?) using Bow in place of Dagger might well end up 
meaning that the character *never* increases in Dagger, because it will be very 
difficult to increase the high Bow score that's been checked off as "used this 
adventure" and they haven't really used the Dagger during the adventure.


What about making a "scalable" game where the basic game, for simplicity, 
*only* uses skill groups (Animals, Propelled Weapons, Thrown Weapons, Melee 
Weapons), and there are a finite, set number of skill groups? For more advanced 
games, players could be allowed to choose "specialties" within those groups; 
specialties are cheaper to train in but apply only to that particular 
specialty, and are near-infinite in number. So a character could have Animals 
3, with Dogs +2; so that Animals cost 1+2+3; Dogs +2 cost +1+2. The character 
has a skill rating of 3 with all animals except dogs, for which they have a 
skill rating of 5. Or you could charge double or more for the skill group. (If 
using the BRP-style system, the roll would have to be greater than the skill 
group if increasing the entire group, or greater than the bonus, if increasing 
the specialty.)

In this way, players 'pay' for everything they've got, but you keep (and 
emphasize) the simplicity of skill groups, while allowing for the real-world 
complexity of being able to play guitar without being able to play the piano 
particularly well.

(This is a lot like I remember Shadowrun, for which the skill system was about 
the only thing I liked about the game system as I recall.)

address@hidden         Negative Space
"The national media sucks at investigating and reporting, case in point the 
Waco Massacre and their phenomenal manipulation by a relatively minor federal 
agency."--P. Hawthorne-Jones

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