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losing skills from lack of use


Simlasa

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I'm trying to remember if there were any of the various BRP variants that had rules for LOSING skill ratings... basically 'use it or lose it'.

Not necessarily completely forgetting stuff but getting 'rusty' at it.

I seem to remember reading such a thing somewhere but no idea where.

I was kind of thinking there might be a way to flesh out a character by having some skills be current and others past... such as if you used a rifle in the army, but that was 10 yrs ago... so you're not such a good shot anymore but it will come back to you faster than someone who is a complete novice.

Maybe list the skill as 10 (60) with 10 being the current/active level and (60) being the past level that could be reached in about half the normal time for gaining such a skill... and letting people buy up such skills at a lesser cost.

Any ideas? Does anyone do this sort of thing in their games?

Edited by Simlasa
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I don't remember that in a previous version. I wrote a house rule for it, but discarded it as too much book keeping and not much fun. My goal was to discourage skill caddies, but it turned out not to be a real problem with my players.

My houserule was that once per year each character lost 5% from all skills, but the player needed to keep track of the maximum reached. If a character gets a skill check during the course of play, they automatically succeeded when it came time to check for skill advancement, until they reached the previous maximum.

The idea being that when a character started using the skill again, they could recover their old skill pretty quickly.

But, it was far more work than anyone wanted to do, and just not fun.

Steve

Bathalians, the newest UberVillians!

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Yeah... that's a pretty minor effect for the bookkeeping involved...

I was just curious... I've been on a jag against 'character progression' lately... wanting to play without the carrot-on-a-stick of 'leveling'... and curious if anyone did any anti-progression stuff.

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Off the top of my head, here's my suggestion :

An extra tick when a skill is used, not to show progression but to show simply that it is still in use.

At the end of a given time period any skills not checked in this way drop by 5% (or 1D6 or 1% or whatever you like).

That way unused skills will slowly atrophy. I leave time scales up to you because that'll vary depending on the game.

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I did some anti-progession stuff in another way. I introduced a toxin that affected memory. It was administered in small doses in the wild by the flora/fauna, and the more doses one took, the greater the memory loss was. When the toxin took effect, I basically had the players deduct points from the skills they had most recently increased.

They never want to go back to that swamp again! :thumb:

"Tell me what you found, not what you lost" Mesopotamian proverb

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Hmm, RuneQuest II had rules for rune priests - on becoming a priest, their DEX-based skills dropped to DEX x 5. No time for practice or training, so skills could only go up through experience. Also, no increases for STR, CON or DEX (although no loss, either).

In RuneQuest III, the skill maximums varied by cult, but I can't recall any actual skill loss.

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I'm trying to remember if there were any of the various BRP variants that had rules for LOSING skill ratings... basically 'use it or lose it'.

Not necessarily completely forgetting stuff but getting 'rusty' at it.

I seem to remember reading such a thing somewhere but no idea where.

I was kind of thinking there might be a way to flesh out a character by having some skills be current and others past... such as if you used a rifle in the army, but that was 10 yrs ago... so you're not such a good shot anymore but it will come back to you faster than someone who is a complete novice.

Maybe list the skill as 10 (60) with 10 being the current/active level and (60) being the past level that could be reached in about half the normal time for gaining such a skill... and letting people buy up such skills at a lesser cost.

Any ideas? Does anyone do this sort of thing in their games?

Maybe tie it into the Age and Inaction rules from page 183 of BRP. These only handle Characteristic loss, but you could have it effect any skill also effected by said characteristic. For example, if the character looses 1 point of STR, all skills based on STR could be lowered by 5%. This ties in nicely with the Age and Inaction rules and the 5% is what a point of an attribute is worth according to Characteristic Rolls.

This is off the top of my head and may be full of holes. The rule, not my head.

Rod

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