The Skill Rules

In the history of RPGs we have seen a development from characters having just about no skills (e. g. early D&D) to having so many skills that you pretty much needed to be autistic to remember even half of them (e. g. early-to-mid Rolemaster), and then finally to the pretty well-balanced skill system (e. g. the highly recommendable Stalker the SciFi Roleplaying Game). In MYFAROG there are some 51 skills, and this is probably close to becoming a bit too much for some, but they are all neccessary and they will all be used by the characters, and they (I think) cover everything the players might want their characters to do in Þulê. Now, one of the skills in particular, the «Crafts» skill, might sound a bit too general to some, but I have done it this way for the sake of playability and also out of experience; the very specialised craft skills such as «Fletching», «Pottery» and «Masonry» (to give a few examples) might be more realistic, but they are hardly ever used by the majority of players and end up just taking up space on the character sheet. If a GM still wants to include them he can simply exchange the «Crafts» skill with all the different crafts skills he may want. No problem. (On popular demand I’ll even make a separate character skills sheet where this is easily implemented, and make it a downloadable PDF here on the MYFAROG blog). In MYFAROG the «Crafts» skill will be used by characters mainly to repair broken weapons and armour.

Yet again I don’t try to re-invent the wheel, so I use a skill system that you will be familiar with from other games. You test skills against a DD (Degree of Difficulty) by casting 3D6, adding skill proficiency and any mods and then if this is equal to or higher than the DD it is a semi-success or success. If not it is a failure. You can also achieve critical successes or critical failures with very poor or very good results, and you can fumble and also achieve lucky successes (meaning that if you cast three natural sixes on the dice you generally speaking automatically succeed no matter the DD). I use 3D6 because this not only allows for a more predictable result (in contrast to the total randomness of the D20 and the higher randomness of the D%), but also makes the actual skill proficiency of the character more important. It further makes any fumbles (three natural 1s) and automatic successes more rare. Finally, I think the use of only the D6 is a good choice for the simple reason that we all have these dice. If you – like most do – have a set of Monopoly, Ludo or something like that you don’t need additional purchases to be able to play MYFAROG.

In the Skills chapter of MYFAROG I include some general rules that apply to all skills, or just to one of the categories of skills (like only to MS [Movement Skills]), and then under the description of each skill I include all the information you need to know about that skill, including all relevant tables and lists. So if you want your character to e. g. Forage you have all the information you need under the description of the Forage skill.

Yes, MYFAROG is going to be an AIO book. I prefer to release the game in just one high quality book rather than charge gamers for three (or even more) separate books. Like I have said already; additional character sheets, GM’s screens and other useful accessories will be available as free and downloadable PDFs here on the MYFAROG blog. GMs who want to preserve their rule book as much as possible can easily scan and print out or Xerox e. g. the entire Skills chapter or the entire Creatures & Phenomena in Þulê chapter, tack it all together and keep it as a supplement for easy access and use. All the most commonly used tables will in any case be found in the GM’s screen.

Skills can generally speaking be improved by up to 15 ranks, and is then modified by one of the character attributes, and potentially also a racial modification and perhaps also a special modification. The «Absurd» DD would then be 33 (or more), meaning you (if you have no bonus from the relevant attribute and no mods) have to cast 18 on the dice and have 15 ranks to achieve a success.

Your character generally speaking gains XP (experience points) when you at least succeed with a skill test.

Like with the other rules of MYFAROG it is very easy to simplify, come up with good ad hoc solutions and make the skill system work very fast, or you can use all the mods and twists and make it highly realistic. It is all up to you, the gamer. The same can be said about XP. You can follow the rules slavishly, or you can as a GM simply award XP as you see fit.

A very – to my knowledge – new concept in MYFAROG is the “Power of Will” rule, that allows players to have their characters occasionally perform better by effort alone. Some times the most incompetent person can achieve great results from his efforts alone. And this is included as a factor in MYFAROG. So yet again the Willpower attribute will be of great value…. and the strong and powerful might fall to the power of the will of the weaker ones.

I can add that some of the skills that to my experience are often very much worthless in at least most other RPGs are very useful in MYFAROG, such as “Lyre Playing”, “Flute Playing”, “Singing”, “Dancing” and “Poetry”, which are instrumental for religious characters who wish to gain favour from the deities; by playing music, singing, reciting poetry and dancing for them in their temples. And they do need favour from the deities if they want to ask for Favours when in need, or if they want to ask for Divine Aid when using their skills. Sorcerers too need proficiency in the “Poetry” and “Singing” skills if they want to learn and cast powerful spells. 

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