Zenbitz: Thoughts on skills

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Wip mechanic.png This article covers a work in progress game mechanic.

Work in progress mechanics get currently fleshed out and are not ready for review yet. Once they have been fleshed out in detail and are ready to be reviewed, they become submitted game mechanics.

Uh, there will be skills in the game. They will allow your dude to do stuff. They are important.


Some open questions

  • Values (i.e, "scores") or "ranks" (could be named or numbered)?
  • Linear or Non-linear values (compare 3d6 to d100 or d20 for integer skills, for ranks consider a rank2 might be 4 times better than rank1?
  • How to handle defaults (player has not "paid" for skill? (typically attribute or talent based)
  • Tree system or flat (i.e, does having a score in skill X give you a better-than-default roll in skill Y?). This can work both ways - e.g., maybe a first aid of 80% gives you a "medicine" of 40%. OR if you have have pistol at 80, and you have practiced with the Wather PPK, you have a 85 due to weapon proficiency/familiarity
  • Should there be prerequisites? Do you need a "math" rating to get a "physics" rating?
  • Should we attempt to balance "Jack of all trades" vs. "Specialist" player.

Price of skills

The basic assumption here is that player pays points for skills. To avoid unbalancing, the more "popular" or "useful" skills have to cost more. This was also mentioned in a forum topic

Incredibly Useful

Used in basic, day-to-day game play - but most PCs are not good at ALL of these:

  • Fighting
  • Survival (including area knowledge)
  • "Trauma" medical (i.e, from bandaids to bullet removal)
  • Stealth

Moderately Useful

You might have a few, NPCs might help you out (recruitable or no):

  • Communication
  • Barter
  • Tech repair
  • Vehicle
  • "Internal" medicine (disease, pharmacy)
  • Crafting
  • Tactics
  • Leadership
  • Farming and agriculture
  • Brewing and distilling
  • Food preservation
  • Animal husbandry

Once in a life time

0-1 sidequests... NPCs MUST be available for help:

  • Hard sciences (biochemistry, nuclear engineering)
  • Air craft mechanic
  • Seamanship
  • Computer programming

Utterly useless

But these skills might get into the game as pure flavor:

  • Game design
  • Mathematics* (possibly could be used as prereq for engineering/sciences)
  • Fashion sense
  • Music
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Television trivia
  • Wiki mastery
  • Sports

Hmm.... "Utterly useless" perhaps... but what if they represent your characters' INTERESTS. And NPCs would have them too - the game function is simply that they are more likely to be your friend (better reaction roll, "escape valve") if you share interests. It would cool if this was like secret easter egg feature, hidden from Player.

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