Friday, January 06, 2012

Sample Rules part 5 musings on skills

My game is basically a fantasy setting, with hints of technology. The catch is the technology is organic rather than mechanical or electronic.  From a fiction perspective I would call it a planetary romance, in the vein of John Carter.  The role playing game that were influence by these books are are also sources of inspiration.  Jorune and Empire of the Petal throne are both settings that have the feel I am looking for.  But perhaps the greatest influence is the character of Arzak.

I mention the influences to give a hint at the desired ton of the game.  The skills that are included should look and feel much like any adventuring game with some heavier focuses to add to that feel.  

An aspect of skills that I have also been toying with is having them explode and collapse in detail from time to time.  This comes from the idea that Eskimos have fifty words for snow.  You live in San Jose like me and you only need one, but if you go skiing maybe you need more.  Some of this is to combat the Decker effect of games like shadowrun having a game within the game.  The last thing I want is the majority of the table sitting around talking about glass blowing an artifical phallus for Andy Gibb (Sadly a true story).

What I would like is a skill that looks like Net running 90% of the time but has a series of options and specifications at a level below.  We would play with the net running skill most of the time but would actually use the more evolved if something more was needed.  This could allow for games to take a more detailed turn driven by the needs of the game.

Also I have always thought certain locations within the game world may ambiently increase skills.  This is a little like the Torg game from the early nineties.  A place like the city of Carinthis may be high flying and acrobatic in feel.  Players may just be given increased states in related skills.  Players with detailed related skills may have them forced open so this sort of play is required.

I am a little not sure what to do about having people with skills that have these hidden detailed skill trees and those that don't though.  I don't want the non tree players to have an advantage and I don't want the player to sink points in when it may not be commonly used. 

Perhaps this only is available when a skill is beyond a certain point and the character concept calls for it.  So rogues may have the option on stealth and intrigue skills but may not be able to expand this way in magic skills like this.

Also Rule 1 would be applied if the GM doesnt want to do it then it's skipped. Maybe he only allows it for a few skills that are the focus of the campaign. 

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