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Skill Category Bonuses w/o Education Characteristic


nerdvana

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So, has anyone dealt with this quandary? Education is an optional rule that I don't want to turn on but Skill Category Bonuses (a completely different optional rule that I like) includes Education as a factor for Mental skills. I've been trying to come up with a solution myself but haven't found one that satisfies me yet so I wanted to ask others opinions.
 
The solutions I have come up with are:
 
  1. Use Education also (not a solution I like as I dislike the trait, but that's another discussion entirely)
  2. Don't use Skill Category Bonuses (also not a solution as I think Characteristics should affect skill, but I don't want to go to Legend where /all/ skill bases are Characteristics, I like the fact that some skill bases are very low from the BGB)
  3. Drop EDU from the Mental bonuses and do nothing else - unfortunately this disadvantages Mental skills as it looses a quarter of the potential bonuses the other skills enjoy
  4. Drop EDU from the Mental bonuses and make POW a co-primary with INT - this balances the potential bonuses but makes Mental different from the others again... but this is potentially okay because Physical is also different as it is the only one suffering a penalty from SIZ
  5. Drop EDU from the Mental bonuses and drop one from every other Skill category also - this again balances the potential bonuses but is a much farther deviation from the RAW (for example: Combat Skills - normally DEX primary, INT and STR secondary - could be split into "Brainy" Combat Skills which would be all ranged weapons except for Missile Weapons plus Martial Arts would have DEX primary and INT secondary while "Brawny" Combat Skills which would be all close combat skills except for Martial Arts plus Missile Weapons would have DEX primary and STR secondary; naturally the other categories would need to be divided up like that)
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So, has anyone dealt with this quandary? Education is an optional rule that I don't want to turn on but Skill Category Bonuses (a completely different optional rule that I like) includes Education as a factor for Mental skills. I've been trying to come up with a solution myself but haven't found one that satisfies me yet so I wanted to ask others opinions.
 
The solutions I have come up with are:
 
  1. Use Education also (not a solution I like as I dislike the trait, but that's another discussion entirely)
  2. Don't use Skill Category Bonuses (also not a solution as I think Characteristics should affect skill, but I don't want to go to Legend where /all/ skill bases are Characteristics, I like the fact that some skill bases are very low from the BGB)
  3. Drop EDU from the Mental bonuses and do nothing else - unfortunately this disadvantages Mental skills as it looses a quarter of the potential bonuses the other skills enjoy
  4. Drop EDU from the Mental bonuses and make POW a co-primary with INT - this balances the potential bonuses but makes Mental different from the others again... but this is potentially okay because Physical is also different as it is the only one suffering a penalty from SIZ
  5. Drop EDU from the Mental bonuses and drop one from every other Skill category also - this again balances the potential bonuses but is a much farther deviation from the RAW (for example: Combat Skills - normally DEX primary, INT and STR secondary - could be split into "Brainy" Combat Skills which would be all ranged weapons except for Missile Weapons plus Martial Arts would have DEX primary and INT secondary while "Brawny" Combat Skills which would be all close combat skills except for Martial Arts plus Missile Weapons would have DEX primary and STR secondary; naturally the other categories would need to be divided up like that)

 

Um, just drop EDU from calculating the Mental bonus? That's pretty explicitly the intention in the core rule book: see the example in the right hand half of the box on page 31.

 

Just to be clear, the categories are not intended / required to be specifically or exactly symmetrical - for example, note that Physical skills category as written DOESN'T match the others.

 

Alternatively, you could borrow the simplified Categories from Magic World:

 

Communication 1/2 APP

Manipulation      1/2 DEX (this also includes Combat - or you could make Combat 1/2 POW)

Mental                1/2 INT

Perception          1/2 CON

Physical              1/2 STR

 

Cheers,

 

NIck

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I prefer the Skill calculation from LEGEND/RQ6/OQ as it places more direct emphasis on the characteristics, although my troupe is used to BRP from the BGB so I keep with that. I used to play RQ3 in the 1980s/1990s so I was used to Skill Category modifiers from there, and when we started using the BGB I tended to follow a lot of optional rules that was more or less consistent with RQ3, such as Hit Locations and Skill Category modifiers.

I don't use EDU anymore, it's not inherent so it just doesn't fit my world view of the character sheet either. You can pretty much play without it.

For rolling skill checks I just get the players to have a bonus equal to their skill category modifier, and that seems to work. For long campaigns I slow the rate of experience accumulation by allowing a +1% to their skill check for each time a skill is successfully used, but the Skill Category modifier is the maximum limit on bonuses.

For calculating Skill Category modifiers you can pretty much replace EDU with INT and it seems to work fine. I have done that for a few years and it's not an issue.

Seems to work fine with our troupe, so I would ditch EDU if it isn't to your tastes, the game can run fine without it.

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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I prefer the Skill calculation from LEGEND/RQ6/OQ as it places more direct emphasis on the characteristics,

 

I was considering using Legend but I am concerned about the fact that skills can never be as low as in the BGB. (i.e. no skills below 10% or so) However that would give a benefit of more likely successes... And that would fix my concern about Skill Category Bonuses.

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  • 1 month later...

 

So, has anyone dealt with this quandary? Education is an optional rule that I don't want to turn on but Skill Category Bonuses (a completely different optional rule that I like) includes Education as a factor for Mental skills. I've been trying to come up with a solution myself but haven't found one that satisfies me yet so I wanted to ask others opinions.

 

I too am not a fan of the EDU characteristic. I used the Skill Category bonuses for a while before I switched to a homebrew characteristic (+ or multiplied by something) starting base for a skill, similar to what you see in Legend/RQ6. When I used SCB, I substituted POW in for EDU and had no issues. In fact, it worked decently well because it gave POW another use besides generating PP and Luck.

 

You could always start a skill with 1/2 a characteristic as the base score. For instance, 1/2 INT could be the base rating for Science and Knowledge skills, as it is in my games.

 

The disadvantage is that it brings more math to the game table, but seeing as how you are thinking about using the Skill Category Bonuses that probably isn't an issue for you.

 

Best of luck, I'm interested to hear what you decide.

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