Username:    Password:      Remember me       
Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group Forum Index Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Discussion Forum for PEG/GWG
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Variant skill list?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group Forum Index -> SW General Chat & Game Stories
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Steve Dubya
Novice


Joined: 06 Aug 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:53 am    Post subject: Variant skill list? Reply with quote

In preparation for the Savage Worlds one-shot that my group is going to be doing (largely as the GM's way of trying to get everyone to play something a little less prep-necessary) I thumbed through my copy of the SWEE again to brush up on the rules; apart from the GM, I believe I'm the only one really familiar with the system.

As I looked through the list of skills I was struck by how amazing broadly intended some of the skills* were, yet how narrowly focused others** were.

For me personally, I like the more broadly applicable skills - just that much less fiddliness to worry about for character creation/advancement. Has anyone tinkered with the Skills and come up with a variant list that roughly covers the same ground but has grouped some of the more specific stuff together***?

*"Stealth," for instance, which not only covers sneaking around by actions like pick pocketing and palming; also your pick of "Fighting," "Throwing" or "Shooting."
**"Climb" comes to mind; see also "Lockpicking" and "Swimming."
***My best example of this would be the "Thievery" and "Athletics" skills from D&D4E.

_________________
Savage Worlds of Darkness - a conversion from Monte Cook's World of Darkness to Savage Worlds
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Clint
Site Admin


Joined: 13 May 2003
Posts: 18190

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:24 am    Post subject: Re: Variant skill list? Reply with quote

Steve Dubya wrote:
As I looked through the list of skills I was struck by how amazing broadly intended some of the skills* were, yet how narrowly focused others** were.


Just as a sidenote, part of that is purposeful design. A character who takes a more narrowly focused skill then gets to shine when that skill is needed. When you need someone to climb the wall to tie off a rope for the others or swim the moat to let down the drawbridge, it has a bit more impact of who took the skill and has to go as opposed to half the group having Athletics or some similar broad-based skill.

Anyway, nothing wrong with implementing those kinds of things if it fits the game style (or perhaps specific setting); just wanted to explain.
_________________
Clint Black
Savage Worlds Core Rules Brand Manager

www.peginc.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
SlasherEpoch
Legendary


Joined: 07 Jul 2003
Posts: 5625
Location: Off stage left

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of people combine Climb, Swimming, and Throwing into a catchall Athletics skill, and I'm beginning to see the wisdom of that.
_________________
Proud Savagepedia contributor.

Evil Wig Enterprises Minion #15 - "The
Machete"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address MSN Messenger
77IM
Heroic


Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 1591
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the Athletics merge. Depending on the genre, you might also consider:

- Collapsing Boating, Driving, and Piloting into a Vehicles skill.

- Collapsing Lockpicking and Repair into a Tech skill (also covers some tech-related Knowledge skills).

- Collapsing Survival and Tracking into a single Wilderness skill (also covers some nature-related Knowledge skills).

- Collapsing the infinite Knowledges into a small manageable set. You could even have a single Knowledge skill. (Like in James Bond movies, knowledgeable people tend to know everything.)

- Collapse the various people skills (Intimidate, Persuade, Streetwise, Taunt) into a single Social skill (good for genres where you spend all your time in a dungeon slaughtering foes).

- Certain skills might be replaced with Attribute checks, the classic example being to use Spirit instead of Guts in a genre that doesn't feature many fear effects. Another one might be Smarts instead of Investigation in a world that doesn't have many records to investigate.

- One of my favorite house-rules is to give each player free skill points equal to their Smarts die, which can only be spent on Knowledge. This encourages players to take Knowledges which might otherwise be considered weak, but which make for an interesting character concept. So some of the weaker skills (like Boating, Gambling, Investigation, Lockpicking, Survival) could be made into Knowledge skills to benefit from this price-break. Obviously it depends on genre -- in a pirate setting, Boating is a very important skill, but in many other genres, it won't come up very often.

- Although it's more complicated, you can get back some of the lost specialization through Edges and Hindrances. So someone who wants to be a great swimmer can take the Swimmer Edge: "You get a +2 bonus on Athletics checks to swim, and to your swim pace." Someone who grew up in a desert culture can take Lousy Swimmer (Minor): "You suffer a -2 penalty on Athletics checks to swim, and your swim pace is 2." The advantage to such a system is that the average character only needs to worry about the general Athletics skill, but more detailed options are still available for people who want it.


These sorts of changes are all very genre-sensitive so I'm not sure I would recommend any of them for the general game. (Except the second-to-last one, about the free Knowledge skills, which I think is a fantastic rule.)

-- 77IM
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gavinwulf
Seasoned


Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 127
Location: Heber City, UT

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a similar thread at Rpg.net, Asklepios says he's using Careers as skills.
(like Courier, Theif, Warrior, Artificer, Wizard, etc.) When a test requires professional training they use Careers. Other tests are Attribute rolls (kind of like common-knowledge rolls). Or, they can use their Career if it is better and they can describe how they are using their career (For example, one of Asklepios's PCs used their Wizard career to intimidate by doing the whole Gandalf thing- drawing in shadows, looming taller, and talking freaky).
He gave his players 10 'Career' pts. to start and they only get a flat 1pt advance if they choose to buy it at level ups.

I think I might try this but I would only give out 5, maybe 7 'Career' pts. at character generation since Attributes don't provide any sort of limiting cap anymore. And then only allow a one die increase to 'Careers' at levelups.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
DerFinsterling
Legendary


Joined: 13 May 2003
Posts: 5677
Location: Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more word of advice: If you start to decrease the number of available skills, you should also decrease the number of available skill points.
_________________
Markus
The Sundered Skies Serial - full of spoilers!
Savagepedia at wikispaces
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Sitting Duck
Legendary


Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 5103
Location: Podunk Junction, State of Confusion

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if and where it's still up, but Wiggy's Whispers from the Pit #4 had some advice on broadening the application of some of the more focused skills.
_________________
The rabbit is cuddly. Kids like little cuddly sidekicks. I mean... The rabbit... It's a time-tested... Okay, the rabbit bites.
Blog: http://sittingduck1313.livejournal.com
The Gamer's Codex Reviewer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Tabris
Novice


Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ravaged Society has rules for characters interests and hobbies. The character simply chooses a number of the based on Smarts. I'm really thinking about incorporating that rule.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
shadd4d
Legendary


Joined: 24 Sep 2003
Posts: 3991
Location: Charlottesville, VA...I miss Deutschland and Chicago.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That Ravaged Society is also in Realms of Cthulhu as defining interests...modifiers to common knowledge or bonuses for the character based on backstory.

Don
_________________
Don

"But there is a difference between fear and horror. An important difference.
Fear is when you worry about what might be.
Horror is when you are certain." Dannyboy01
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
Thasmodious
Seasoned


Joined: 01 Aug 2009
Posts: 324

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did some similar merging for my Savaged Firefly game, added a Thievin' skill to cover, stealth, lockpicking and things like security setups. minor explosives, safecracking, pick pocketing, etc. I merged athletics as mentioned, and added a general knowledge skill, which represents the character who knows a bit about everything. They can use it roll a check for almost anything that comes up and I'll give them some very general knowledge.

I go back and forth on merging the social skills (I've had the same back and forth for doing it in 4e D&D). My game will have plenty of use for gettin' talky and I can certainly see some characters being more intimidating than they are persuasive. Then again, with one skill, how they do it would really come down to roleplaying. A tough, mean character would be more intimidating while a con man more persuasive, even while rolling the same thing. With separate skills, a character pretty much always takes a particular path (their best skill), leading to a bit of sameness. Different tactics coming into play for the same character is appealing. On the other hand, again, I like the sort of rock-paper-scissors interplay of the split skills. It allows the GM to think about what would or wouldn't work against a particular NPC. Then again, that can be easily winged and come out in the actual in game RP...

Hmmm...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sitting Duck
Legendary


Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 5103
Location: Podunk Junction, State of Confusion

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thasmodious wrote:
... and added a general knowledge skill, which represents the character who knows a bit about everything. They can use it roll a check for almost anything that comes up and I'll give them some very general knowledge.


That sounds a lot like Common Knowledge.
_________________
The rabbit is cuddly. Kids like little cuddly sidekicks. I mean... The rabbit... It's a time-tested... Okay, the rabbit bites.
Blog: http://sittingduck1313.livejournal.com
The Gamer's Codex Reviewer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Thasmodious
Seasoned


Joined: 01 Aug 2009
Posts: 324

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I need a better name for it. Common knowledge is well, common. This 'general' would represent the knowledge of a highly educated person or someone with a depth of experience. Compare the general level of knowledge that we geeks tend to enjoy versus the common knowledge of the average joe.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
shadd4d
Legendary


Joined: 24 Sep 2003
Posts: 3991
Location: Charlottesville, VA...I miss Deutschland and Chicago.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, that's because we have better back-stories than the common joe. Wink

Seriously, if you take yourself as a character, your backstory is better fleshed out compared to a mook. You might have a higher than d6 smarts attribute and more defining interests as we mentioned above. But trivia is common knowledge. That better backstory gives you a +1 to +X on making you common knowledge rolls with your higher than d6 smarts.

Here the thing: if a specific branch of knowledge is going to pop up in your setting, then those branches of knowledge should be your setting knowledge skills.

Don
_________________
Don

"But there is a difference between fear and horror. An important difference.
Fear is when you worry about what might be.
Horror is when you are certain." Dannyboy01
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
Thasmodious
Seasoned


Joined: 01 Aug 2009
Posts: 324

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadd4d wrote:
Actually, that's because we have better back-stories than the common joe. Wink


Ha.

And you guys convinced me. Bonuses seem a much better way to handle such things than a separate skill.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group Forum Index -> SW General Chat & Game Stories All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum