Wednesday, 12 February 2020

A concept for skills

So I run a heavily disfigured version of the GLOG. Running the GLOG is cool because it's simple and versatile.

But skills are not great in the GLOG.

In the GLOG pdf skills go from 1 to 6 and you roll 2d12 to test them, subtracting the lower from the higher. If the result is smaller or equal to your skill level, the thing happens.

This is not great because playing the GLOG is very improvisational.

If a player with no skill in horses says: I want to try to tame the wild horses, I might let them roll a d20 under their willpower (which is the same as charisma in my mess), maybe with a penalty because the horse is skittish and depending on how they describe their approach.

But if a player with a specific skill in horses in level 1 says, I say: ok roll your skill, which means that in many, many cases, having a skill in level 1 is actually WORSE than not having that skill, because the odds of a level 1 skill succeeding is 8%.

Part of the problem is that the GLOG says: you're adults, there's no skill list, just tell me what you want to be good at. It is improvisational. So if someone says: I want to try juggling this stuff, I can't skim down the list of skills to look up if "juggling" is in there and therefore required.

If I was more on my toes as an improviser, this perhaps wouldn't be a problem. But it is. A level 1 skill should be better than not having any skill, ever.

So here's my solution.

SKILLS
You can pick any skill you want.
Your skill rank cannot exceed your level.
You can have as much skills total as your intelligence / 2.

The skill you want starts out at rank 1. The maximum rank of a skill is 6.

When you want to use your skill, roll a d6. If you roll equal or lower than your skill rank, you succeed. Otherwise you fail.

HOWEVER, any action that can be done by a skill check can also be performed by a (difficult) stat check. 
This means that anybody can try to pick a lock if they have the tools. It's a Dexterity check with a heavy -6 modifier. More, if the lock's intricate.

If you fail in your skill check, you can try the stat check. If you fail in the stat check, bad luck. If you succeed in the stat check, you learn something and make a checkmark next to your skill.

(You can only learn something if you do this check in a real-life situation, not as a consequence-free training attempt).

When you have downtime in a city, roll a d6. If you roll higher than your skill rank, your skill improves by 1.

In this system:

  • a skill roll is never worse than an improvised stat roll
  • skills improve quickly
    • because a skill failure is a prerequisite to improving it
    • and because the improvement odds go down as skill goes up
  • a mastered skill always succeeds, but
  • skills take long to reach their max level
    • because a skill failure is a prerequisite to improving it
    • and because the improvement odds go down as skill goes up
Say your lockpick skill is 5. You have a 1-in-6 chance of failing to pick the lock. Then you have a random chance of succeeding the stat check. Then you have a 1-in-6 chance of improving your lockpick skill.
The chance of failing and then improving:

From 1 to 2 = 68%
From 2 to 3 = 44%
From 3 to 4 = 25%
From 4 to 5 = 11%
From 5 to 6 = 2% 

2 comments:

  1. Personally, I run GLOG where you have one skill/background. It gives you advantage on relevant rolls. I don't bother with ranks or anything.

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  2. If there's something I've learned about GLOG, it's that skill systems sprout like mushrooms. It just seems to happen, no idea why. I like this though, and I like your reasoning. Skills definitely shouldn't be a penalty, and you shouldn't be overly advantaged/penalised if the DM just forgets about them a little.

    Maybe run it backwards? Like, if you fail the standard DEX check but have a skill, you can then roll it? Encourages the player to go "but actually" rather than being an upfront issue

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A concept for skills

So I run a heavily disfigured version of the GLOG. Running the GLOG is cool because it's simple and versatile. But skills are not grea...