Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Free-form Skills

I'm reading Unknown Armies and it is fantastic. It isn't a sword and sorcery game but it would good to stretch myself from time to time. Very much reminds me of my favorite China MiƩville novel - Kraken. I was a little startled when I discovered the skill system operates a lot like what I've finally settled on for my S&W games.

I've talked from time to time about adapting the Stars Without Number skill system for fantasy games. Well, it's too much work to detail a bunch of skills and packages. Instead of a fixed skill list I've decided to just say: all adventurers have basic scouting style skills (camping, fire-making, first-aid, etc.) and whatever skills are appropriate to their class (e.g. fighters can repair and maintain weapons, use sophisticated battlefield tactics, and the like). Additionally I have players define a few skills that the character has. These can be as broad or specific as the player likes.

Maybe up to 4, or three plus an advanced one. These can be anything that seems setting and character appropriate. The more specialized the skill is the lower the difficulty of your rolls (e.g. a character with survival would have to roll to make a trap, a character with trap-making would only need to roll to create something unique or especially dangerous).

The skill-check is resolved with a roll of 2d6, stat bonuses add to the roll if applicable. 6 is an easy roll, 8 is a typical challenging task.

The first level of a skill gives a +0, every level thereafter a +1. Skills are only improved with time, effort, and training.

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