Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Another Damn Skill System

It's like a big smash up of Burning Wheel, BRP, and every single skill system I've ever read, all at once and forever.

You have skill slots equal to your Intelligence score. You can pick up as many skills as you want, but once you run out of skill slots, you need to start overwriting them.

There is no skill list.  You're grown-ups.  If you want to be good at using a rope, then just write it on your character sheet.

Caveats:
  • “Thievery” is too broad of a skill. Use “burglary”, “pick-pocketing”, etc.
  • “Wizard knowledge” is also too broad. Use “necromancy”, “dead languages”, etc.
  • There is no "diplomacy" skill.  Roleplay it and/or roll under your Cha.
  • There is no "search" skill.  Tell the DM where you are looking.
  • There is no "perception" or "bluff" skill either.  
There is some wiggle room. Can “mountaineering” climb a wall? Probably. Ask your DM.

Every skill you have can be represented by a number from 1 to 16, called the rank. To attempt a skill, roll a d20. If you roll on-or-under your skill rank, you succeed. If you succeed by 10 points or more, it is a critical success, and you can choose an adjective to describe exactly how you succeed, like “irreversibly”, “reversibly”, “quietly”, or “impressively”. If you roll a natural 20, you have rolled a fumble, and the DM will invent some dire consequences.

The highest you can raise a skill is 10 + character level.  Or 16.  Whichever is lower.

Assumed Skills and Untrained Ranks
You are assumed to be literate, proficient in basic physical skills (running, jumping, climbing, swimming), familiar with your own background (the culture of your social group, the geography of your homeland, and the language of your people) and anything else that makes sense. For these skills, you have an untrained rank equal to whatever the most relevant stat is.

For skills in which you are non-proficient, you have an untrained rank equal to half of whatever the most relevant stat is.

Gaining New Skills

You start the game with 2 skills at Rank 10. Roll one skill on your racial table, and another skill on your class table. Thieves roll twice on each table, and so start with 4 skills at Rank 10.

You gain new skills by announcing “I want to start learning this skill.” and then writing it down on your character sheet at a starting rank equal to your untrained rank (half the relevant stat for most skills).

You learn Int-based skills (lores) a little differently. You begin learning a lore when you start studying it in a school or library, or from a tutor. There are some exceptions to this. You can learn “wilderness lore” by living in the woods, or “goblin lore” by dissecting a lot of goblins. Use your common sense. All lores start at Rank 1.

Advancing Skills

You advance a skill by using it. When you use a skill and succeed, put a check mark next to it. When you have a few days to relax in town (usually between adventures) you can erase all three check marks and roll a d20. If that d20 roll is equal-to-or-higher than the current skill Rank, the Rank improves by 1. Note that Ranks are limited by level (Max Rank 11 at level 1, for example).

You advance a lore by studying it. You can raise a lore by 1 point when you either (a) studying a new source for a week, or (b) studying an old source for a year. A source can be a book, a library, a sage, or whatever.  New sources are much faster, and so it pays to travel to foreign libraries and seek out distant sages.


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