Jump to content

What skills are needed


mrk

Recommended Posts

Not to be controversial or stir the pot. But for the few last day as I've been reading the book the thought has popped into my mind a few times: do we need so many skills?

Now, now, before anyone here starts lobbing flaming tomatoes at me :shocked:I'm not saying things have to be changed and we now need to include " levels" or "experience points". But it has dawn on me some things might not be needed when already something else in place that works pretty much the same or is even better. Afterall, if you already have an "agility" stat, do you really need a "dodge" skill as well? Or do you need a skill to "bargain" when "pursuade" pretty much works the same way?

Either way, I look foward to your kind:innocent: and honest:thumb: opinions ( as I hide behind my shield :eek:: )

Edited by mrk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 57
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

No tomatoes from me; I agree. Although I had positive first impressions of the new book, the more I look at it the more dissatisfied and unhappy I am. It is simply one person's set of homebrew rules pasted on to the BRP chassis, as far as I can tell. I would have to work as hard to modify this as I already worked to modify older versions of BRP to get what I wanted before the new book came out. The skills don't really feel right to me, either, and I am not sure whether it is the multi-genre approach or the 'houserule' feel or what. Not a good sign, though. I suppose it is now the 'official' ruleset, but I am not at all happy with it, and do not intend to use it as is. I will stay with what I was already using.

Edited by badcat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always assumed any list of skills/equipment/creatures... in BRP or GURPS or elsewhere... are only a set of variables to flesh out a setting/character/genre... meaning if I don't have any use for distinguishing bargain/persuade I can just go with one of them... but other people are likely to see distinctions between those things and want them broken down into different skills.

Just seems a matter of taste to me... I don't think the number of skills is unmanageable or a detriment to the book.

Edited by Simlasa
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will have to add a couple of skills for my campaign (e.g. Animal Handling),

and I will not use some of the skills listed in the book (e.g. Fly), but I con-

sider it normal to have to adapt a system to my setting.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, it all depends on taste, really.

Just because someone can charm the shirt off your back doesn't necessarily mean he can bargain with a merchant. Similarly, a brilliant merchant might not be the best at persuading armed guards to let him past.

But, I am sure that if you wanted to use a generic skill for both tasks then that would be fine.

Similarly, someone could be naturally dextrous and could dodge based on that, or he could have trained in dodge or have bcome very experienced at dodging and would have a higher skill.

Either would probably work, but I prefer many different skills.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad to see I'm not coverd in tomato paste :D.

Although this might be a little to soon, what do you guys feel if you boiled it all down, would be the "core" skills a PC would apsolutely need. So far maybe you could possibly combine bargin and persuade together ( maybe as negotiate?). Another thing I'm thinking about is putting together a new character sheet that allows more room for things that do need a good amount of space like item lists, discriptions, background history and possibly arranging the hit points, san, fatigue and power point boxes just like how the regular stats are listed.

Ok..time to go hide behind my shield again :innocent:

BTW, I just want to say I still very much think Jason and Sam really did a dam good job of putting this thing together. Of course,some things I wish they added, but in all honesty I'm pretty happy with the book and hope the next BRP book will cover running high fantasy type worlds.

NOTES- I've changed my mind about the dodge skill as it seems to be a necessary part of the combat system. However, there is a difference between dodging a giant rolling bolder compared to doging a vikings' axe blade. Maybe an "agility"roll would be in effect?

Edited by mrk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is the full skill list I tend to use for most games now...

Acting

Animal Husbandry

Arcane Lore

Athletics

Awareness

Bargain

Climbing

Computer Hacking

Computer Programming

Conversation / Whit

Craft (Specific)

Cryptography

Culture (Own)

Culture (Other)

Disguise

Dodge

Drive (Specific Type)

Electronic Design / Repair

Electronic Security

Film & Television

First Aid

General Knowledge

Gunnery (Specific Type)

High tech (Specific Type)

History

Intimidation

Knowledge (Specific)

Law

Leadership

Lip Reading

Magic (Specific Sphere)

Medicine

Melee Weapons (Specific Type)

Natural World

Navigation (Specific Environment)

Painting

Perform

Persuade / Lie

Philosophy

Pilot (Specific Type)

Play (Specific Instrument)

Poetry

Potions / Poisons

Politics

Public Speaking

Ranged Weapon (Specific Type)

Read (Specific language)

Ride (Specific Animal)

Search

Seduction / Charm

Sense Mood

Sing

Slight of Hand

Social Skills

Speak (Own Language)

Speak (Other Language)

Stealth

Streetwise

Storytelling

Swim

Tactics

Track

Theology

Unarmed Combat - Grappling

Unarmed Combat - Striking

Thats it really.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although this might be a little to soon, what do you guys feel if you boiled it all down, would be the "core" skills a PC would apsolutely need.

This is almost impossible to answer, because it depends on the setting used.

For example, while a character on my Pharos IV world really needs Pilot and

Swim, a desert nomad in an Arabian Nights setting could well do without it.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is almost impossible to answer, because it depends on the setting used.

For example, while a character on my Pharos IV world really needs Pilot and

Swim, a desert nomad in an Arabian Nights setting could well do without it.

Swiming is one skill that can't be coverd by anything else and should be listed on a character sheet. Don't matter how strong or fast you are, if you can't swim your gonna drown.

Edited by mrk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But swiming is still a basic skill that can't be really coverd by any other stat. that's one that needs to be kept.

Well, I would not put it on a character sheet designed for the desert nomad

setting mentioned above. None of the characters would ever have a chance

to learn and use it, so why keep it ?

Other examples would be the Ride skill in a Maya setting, or the Shield skill in

a WW II setting.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually like the way that MRQ has done it. They have basically posited a relatively short list of universal skills that every character has. Then there is another list of specific skills that need to be acquired specially. In BRP terms this is the difference between skills with a base chance greater than 0% and those with a 0% base chance.

In any given milieu there will be a few specific skills that would be universal. MRQ tends to lump together several skills that are presented as individual skills in other BRP games. I didn't like it at first but in play, with occasional exceptions, I've come to prefer it. It means that a standard character sheet has just 20 skills actually written on it and then a column left for other skills the PCs might gain.

Case study. MRQ uses the skill athletics. It covers swimming, jumping, climbing, running, lifting things up and so on. At first that seems overly broad but most times it is really handy to say "make an athletics roll" and let the players get on with it. In the case of a desert nomad you could add the trait - "Can't swim, won't swim" due to never having seen more water than he could drink at a single sitting. No matter how good his Athletics skill, he still can't swim. Conversely, a creature with wings might have the trait "flying" and could use athletics to make flying skill checks when necessary. Rather than adding skills to a sheet, different characters can do different things with their skills where relevant. The more I play with it, the more I prefer broader skills.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Case study. MRQ uses the skill athletics. It covers swimming, jumping, climbing, running, lifting things up and so on.

I agree, although the use of broad skills becomes difficult once characters

have different values in the sub-skills of a broad skill.

To use an example from my water world setting, most characters there are

excellent swimmers, but miserable runners. Instead of using Athletics for

both sub-skills, it is much easier to use a Swim and a Run skill for such cha-

racters.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd only print a very limited list of skills on the character sheet, and let others be filled-in manually. The vital ones (though as stated this could vary by setting) would be:

Weapons (space for several)

Dodge

Speak & R/W Own Language

Swim

First Aid

Climb

Ride

Spot

Listen

Others are better left off, because attention should be drawn to these when choosing skills.

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd only print a very limited list of skills on the character sheet, and let others be filled-in manually.

I agree with this. The skill-list in the book is about right, I think. It is after all a generic rules-set, and have to cover a lot of ground. But every single skill doesn't need to be printed on the sheet.

And some new character sheets wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. It might just be me, but the BRP-sheet is butt-ugly. It really is. Sorry. Don't mean to offend anyone:o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, although the use of broad skills becomes difficult once characters

have different values in the sub-skills of a broad skill.

To use an example from my water world setting, most characters there are

excellent swimmers, but miserable runners. Instead of using Athletics for

both sub-skills, it is much easier to use a Swim and a Run skill for such cha-

racters.

While I agree that an "athletics" skill might work, for me, in regards to running,

jumping, and lifting, swimming and climbing are highly specialized. Climbing

often requires knowledge of certain equipment (at the bare minimum, rope

and grappling hook) and/or certain techniques (finding suitable handholds)

that certainly go beyond the physical ability implied by a generic "athletics"

skill. And swimming really is another kettle of fish altogether, and since there

are settings where it is an absolute must (lest you drown) or where it is

totally inappropriate (deserts), it makes sense that it be an individual skill.

-V

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lumping and splitting on skills (or stats for that matter) can't help but be a mirror for the observer; it turns entirely on what distinctions you think are worth making and not. I don't see anything in the new BRP list I find excessive personally, but that doesn't mean they couldn't be collapsed; it just means I'd probably find any given collapsing annoying in one spot or another (there are a couple cases as it is where I'm not entirely thrilled with things that were rolled together, but that's the point: its different for everyone).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the Savage Worlds approach to skill lists for most games I run:

Boating, Climbing, Dodging, Driving, Fighting, Gambling, Healing, Intimidation, Investigation, Knowledge, Lockpicking, Magic, Notice, Persuasion, Piloting, Repair, Riding, Shooting, Stealth, Streetwise, Survival, Swimming, Taunt, Throwing, Tracking

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I would not put it on a character sheet designed for the desert nomad setting mentioned above. None of the characters would ever have a chance to learn and use it, so why keep it ?.

I mean unless your PC's are living on Dune, there's alway a chance they may encounter a large body of water at somepoint. What if they come across a lake and take a swim? Or cross an ocean and get tossed from the boat? Like I said, it's the one basic skill that can't be coverd by any other stat and should be listed. Even if it's just 0%

Edited by mrk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spend a lot of time before I start a new campaign thinking about what skills will be included. For me, it is the most important thing I can do towards defining the feel of the game. In my mind, skill sets come in two forms that I call “open” and “closed”. When I run a game with open skills, I allow a long list of specific skills that represent what a character has learned and how they went about learning it – for example I would allow Science (Biochemistry) and Science (Molecular Biology) as separate skills in a modern game. On the other hand, in a closed skills game, before the start of play I create a list of every action that I care about, and that a character can have experience with (independent of related attributes). When I build a closed skill list, I am focusing the players on the actions that this game is about. A desert nomad game, I would not include swimming because it will not be called for. By excluding a skill, I am not saying that it does not exist, only that it will not be used in the telling of this story.

Advantages of a closed list:

1) Focuses the player’s thoughts towards my vision of the story.

2) Removes the “skill haggle” – that is my term for the negotiation of which skills can be used to solve a particular problem.

Disadvantages of a closed list:

1) Focuses the player’s thoughts towards my vision of the story.

2) Requires a predetermined list of all skills.

As an example of a closed skill list, here is what I gave players for a recent post-apocalyptic game:

Physical

Climb: Climbing.

Drive: Actually covers driving in an un-safe way. Anyone with a drive skill of 25% + can drive safely with no skill rolls. Each full 10% gives another class of vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles etc)

Escape: Getting out of bonds, and tight spots.

Jump: Add your jump percent to your base jump distance.

Ride

Rope-Work

Slight: Covers pick pockets, hold out and the like.

Sneak: Moving silently and hiding.

Swim: Stay afloat in rough water, and move.

Use: Each 10% gives one more of the following: Bikes, skateboards, hand glider, parachutes etc..

Mental

Computers: Handles all aspects of using computers.

Conceal: Covers hiding something so that a search roll is required to find it.

Crafts: Covers all sorts of skills used in making things from scratch.

Engineering: This skill covers spotting structural dangers before you fall into them, or they fall on you. It can also be used to repair/strengthen structures.

Evaluate: Knowing the worth of objects.

Explosives (Simple): Covers use of, knowledge of, and disposal of, things that go boom.

Explosives (Complex): Covers use of, knowledge of, and disposal of, modern things that go boom.

Farming: Make one roll a year for dirt farming.

Find Water: Find clean water.

First Aid

Food: Covers both salvaging and preparing food.

History: Covers knowledge of what happened before the fall.

Improvise: This skill covers taking junk that you find and turning it into something that, for the most part works. It is different from crafts which use the correct tools and a great deal of time to build something correctly, and from the repair skill which is used to restore something to working order. This skill takes, say, old car parts, and turns them into, say, body armor.

Lay of the Land: Knowing where things are in the city, as well as the safest way to get from here to there.

Listen: Hearing sounds.

Medic:

Medical Care

Pilot: Each full 10% gives one of the following: Single Engine Prop, Multi Engine Prop., Helicopter, Small Jet, Fighter Jet, Commercial Jet, Other.

Repair: Modifiers depend on how complex the job is.

Scan: Seeing things.

Science: This skill covers all aspects of science. Harder questions will have greater minuses.

Search

Security: Covers picking locks, bypassing electronic alarms -- and using the same.

Theology-Occult

Tracking: Following someone by the signs they leave.

Surgery: Cutting people.

Weather Watching

Social

Entertain

Folks: Knowing who is who in the city. Typically, -20% to know someone’s friends, and -30% to know something of their past.

Impersonate: Covers dressing and acting like members of another group.

Intimidate: Getting people to act “your way” through the threat of force.

Lying: Covers quickly convincing people to do things, bluffing, haggling etc.

Rubblewise: Covers recognizing people and group motives.

Speak Language: Each language is its own skill. Spanish, English and Korean are the three common in the area. Native tongue starts at Int x 5.

Sweet Talk: Covers condensing people to do things pleasantly.

Weapons

Bow: Covers bows and cross bows.

Brawling: Covers fighting without a weapon.

Heavy Weapons: Covers special heavy weapons like LAW rockets and machine guns.

Knife: Covers close fighting with knives.

Longarm: Covers rifles and shotguns.

Melee: Covers hand to hand fighting with swung and thrust weapons.

Sidearm: Covers pistols, revolvers and submachine guns.

Throw: Covers spears, grenades, knives, whatever.

Block: If successful provides 2x(damage bonus of weapon) in melee AV (or provides the shields AV).

Edited by rleduc
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like I said, it's the one basic skill that can't be coverd by any other stat and should be listed. Even if it's just 0%

I fail to see any practical difference between a skill listed at 0 % and a skill

not listed at all. But we do not have to agree on this, everyone as he likes. :)

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my mind, skill sets come in two forms that I call “open” and “closed”.

This is a very interesting approach. I usually write a skill list for a specific

setting, but allow the players to convince me to add a certain skill to this

list if they really think that their character concept requires it.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I fail to see any practical difference between a skill listed at 0 % and a skill not listed at all.

Ah, with it listed at 0% the player knows he can't swim. (And so can't say "oh that's silly, of course I can swim" - and try to wangle more skills than he cared to spend his points on).

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...