In preparing for my groups foray into the Weird Adventures in the City, I’ve been thinking about skills. Of course, this isn’t everyone’s old school cup of tea, but particularly in a more technologically advanced setting like this one, I feel like it has its place.
What I don’t want is a complicated system with a lot of different skills to keep track of like GURPS, or even d20, or the like. Instead, I’d like broad abilities that work well with a sort of pulpy not terribly realistic flavor, and won’t bog the GM (myself) or player’s down too much. Most of all, I want them to suggest things the characters can do that enhance role-playing, rather than have players over-concerned with scanning character sheets for what they can or can’t do. In I way, I may be thinking more broadly; maybe abilities is a better descriptor than skills.
I think I’m going to employ Delta's "Target 20" mechanic--not just for combat, but as a central mechanic for skills/abilities, too. Player’s will add the pertinent ability modifier (mostly intelligence) to a role of the d20, and then the GM will apply a modifier based on some determination of difficulty, and the result most be greater than or equal to 20.
This line of though got me thinking about the skills/abilities that character’s have that aren’t (at this point) clearly delineated. Certainly place of origin and social status convey some benefits. The same goes for the "adventuring profession" itself.
Classes would confer skills, too, which would improve with level. Here’s some examples of what I’ve been thinking of:
- Fighters: assess quality of weapons, care of weapons, possibly some tactics, or even strategy
- Clerics: theology, liturgy, performing rituals, church gossip/personalities/history
- Magic-Users: magical history and theory, maybe a bit about magical creatures?
- Thieves: well, thieves already have an array of skills. Maybe these should be moved to a similar mechanic.
Anyway, all somewhat theoretical at this point. I’ll give some examples soon that I intend to use in my Weird Adventures campaign.