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Author Topic: Skills as Statistics  (Read 734 times)

One Horse Town

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Skills as Statistics
« on: February 04, 2007, 09:15:46 AM »
I've been playing around with a homebrew game for a while now and was thinking about getting rid of statistics entirely.

Instead of stats, i will have 'skill groups' that represent stats. So, for example, if you wish to play a warrior type, you may pick the Physique & Prowess skills groups, a hunter may pick Pragmatism and Alertness skill groups. The rating you have in these skill groups are effectively your stats and determine your chance of success with those groups of skills. The fledgling setting is faux mythic Greek, with humans, mythic races and titanic beasts. The Gods and their children still walk the world and are still expanding the world into the formless void, so character types can be normal mortals, mythic heroes (such as Perseus et al) or even children and agents of the Gods (hopefully with one unifying mechanic to cover all these power levels eventually!). To cover a more mythic setting like this, i plan to have callings, examples are Beast Hunters, Dreamspeakers, Lawmakers & Flameseekers. The plan is to have a racial 'template' for these skill groups, a 'calling' template and finally a 'bonus' template to cover some skills that you would like to improve in or have that are not common to your calling.

What do you think of the idea of skills as stats and would it be better to leave it entirely freeform or to go the background/calling/bonus route?

Thanks for your thoughts. :)

Kashell

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Skills as Statistics
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2007, 08:51:43 AM »
I am of the opinion, that any roleplaying game with simplier rules is a better roleplaying game.

jhkim

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Skills as Statistics
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2007, 12:34:17 PM »
Quote from: One Horse Town
What do you think of the idea of skills as stats and would it be better to leave it entirely freeform or to go the background/calling/bonus route?

I think it's a good idea.  Attributes (i.e. three to twelve numbers for relatively abstract qualities like "Dexterity" and "Intelligence") are a nearly unquestioned feature of many RPGs, but there are good arguments against them.  

Nearly every application of any skill-base attributes like "Dexterity" or "Intelligence" is really more appropriate to treat as a broad skill (i.e. like initiative or puzzle-solving).  A common problem I find with pure skill-based systems is that stage magicians or ballet dancers are actually talented fighter-types, and a few XP quickly turns them into efficient soldiers.  

The exception would be Strength, which is often used as a bare stat, and possibly something like Toughness or Constitution.

One Horse Town

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Skills as Statistics
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2007, 06:19:48 PM »
Quote from: jhkim

Nearly every application of any skill-base attributes like "Dexterity" or "Intelligence" is really more appropriate to treat as a broad skill (i.e. like initiative or puzzle-solving).  A common problem I find with pure skill-based systems is that stage magicians or ballet dancers are actually talented fighter-types, and a few XP quickly turns them into efficient soldiers.


Yeah, i'm keeping an eye out for that. In fact the Physique skill group covers unarmed combat and thrown weapons, the Prowess group covers armed combat and the Alertness group covers missile combat. Agility covers the gymnastic kind of stuff, so would include dodging.

The idea is to 'optimise' certain racial backgrounds towards say four or five callings. So the skill groups you get would make it difficult to start as good in all combat types or as a pacifist master warrior! Same goes for other skill groups. I've also got a Manual Dexterity skill group, so that stage magician is out of luck!

Quote
The exception would be Strength, which is often used as a bare stat, and possibly something like Toughness or Constitution.


Applied Strength is a skill in the Physique skill group and although not really a skill, i was thinking about having some kind of 'health' as a skill in the Endurance group.

Calithena

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Skills as Statistics
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2007, 09:59:56 PM »
I tend to prefer using stats as skills. But using skills as stats works fine too. You can also just use 'descriptors' for either: "I've got 'strong' and 'swordsman' and 'avenging knight of the apocalpyse' - that gets me three dice here..."

There are a variety of games with simplified categories for general skill types that might help you out here, going back at least to Stormbringer 1e.

So, I think the general idea can work fine, and I also think integrating it with the race/calling/bonus triad can work fine as well, as a kind of imagination-meets-numbers dealie. Hard to say more than this without details, but the general idea looks fine.
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