Monday, April 9, 2012

Rifts proposed skill system (roll high)

Palladium's roll-low skill system is archaic and shitty. Roll-high systems are easier to understand and easier for both players and GMs to use. I've been hating on the system since better roll-low systems (like GURPS or BESM) came around, and since 3e came into being I've pretty much acknowledged its complete superiority in the skill system department.

Like any revised combat system, this will not be fully implemented until sometime during E6. I'll be going over existing character sheets and revising character skills to fit the new system.

While I do feel that 3d10 + modifiers is a much better model of realism/plausibility than a single die, converting Palladium's skills into any method presents a lot of challenges for 3d10; namely, "realistic" skill ratings while maintaining Palladium's level-up system. Converting to a skillpoints-based system is really impossible with existing characters, and even the trouble of hand-to-hand combat skills, weapon proficiencies and upgrading combat skills is pretty hard and not really worth the trouble.

Skill checks in the proposed system will use BESM 3e roll high mechanics. To summarize, 2d6 will be rolled and relevant modifiers will be added and compared to a target number or opposed 2d6 check. This does not affect combat rolls which will still use d20s for everything except damage.

You'll be able to "take 6" in a similar manner to taking 10. You'll also be able to "take 12," which will take 30 times longer than a normal check, in the same manner as taking 20.

Skills will be dramatically streamlined. Cultural and science skills will be lumped into "Profession" or "Craft" skills. Likewise, the technical categories of Electronic and Mechanical will be moved into Craft. A lot of redundant skills will be removed and skills will be combined. As an example, Climbing and Swimming will be combined into Athletics, and the ability to make Jump checks (technically not possible in Palladium) will be added. Horsemanship will split to only allow for riding animals and Animal Husbandry will be used for the care of animals. Social skills will be added (!!).

Stats will give relevant skill modifier bonuses, similar to d20 ability modifiers. This will probably be per 3 points above or below 10 in a statistic (+1 at 11-13, +2 at 14-16, -1 at 7-9 etc.) and yes, this means that stats are more meaningful now. IQ will apply to the vast majority of non-physical skills, excepting social skills which will use MA. Additionally, the previous "IQ bonus" will simply give more skills and more skills at level-up; this does mean Jackie and Gizmo will have a lot more skills than normal. It will still not affect skill training which will stay more or less intact. I will probably allow characters with an IQ bonus train a certain number of known, unrelated skills simultaneously (in order to level their huge skill pools up faster) but will not allow them to learn new skills any faster.

Leveling will work as +1 to known skills per character level (including 1). These will be treated as "ranks" and will be differentiated separately from other modifiers, mainly so that we know how many ranks the character can train to. Class bonuses will range from +0 (most skills) to +3 (Sarah piloting skills). These bonuses count as ranks and are not gained unless you gain the skill as an OCC Related Skill from leveling up or started the game with the skill. You can train them normally; for instance, if Sarah learned to pilot tanks through skill training, she would have 1 rank, but could train up to her character level +3 (reflecting her class' piloting expertise). Class-restricted skills will still be restricted for the most part.

Physical skills will mostly be getting removed, with physical "feats" being selectable skill options. PS can still be raised with +2d6 DC/+2 PS/+1 SPD per skill selection with a maximum of 5 (+10 PS). If Lee already exceeds this he keeps his stats but can't be raised anymore through physical skills -- I will probably also somewhat reduce the reward for any future +PS gains to compensate. For those of you wondering what this means overall:
  • Boxing's +APM will be folded into "man at arms" classes and will be unique to warrior classes. This includes Lee, Sarah and Gizmo.
  • Everyone with a physical skill that increases combat bonuses (such as parry/dodge) is having those bonuses removed. They were power creep and I hated them. I may add some parry/dodge to higher tier combat skills (MA and 4/5 forms) and some extra strike bonus to Assassin to compensate. PP bonus will be applicable to roll with punch now to compensate for the roll loss, and I will be adding a small amount to combat skills.
  • Everyone with +PE or +PP from physical skills keep it. I will retain the ability somehow, to raise PP by 2 maximum and PE by some number, possibly 5. I may fold PE into the physical training skill above, although it seems kind of powerful to get +2 PS, +1 SPD, and +1 PE per skill selection. Actually, that sounds more balanced than the current system, rofl.
  • Boxing's knockout punch and Wrestling's throws and pins will all be retained in some fashion.
  • Fencing is getting totally removed, to include both the bonuses and damage boost. Fuck you, Lee. You can pick something else.
  • Acrobatics/Gymnastics are becoming one skill and will basically be Tumble and Balance.
  • Although not exactly a physical skill, I'm unsure what to do with Sniper. I am honestly cool letting Brit keep it as an artifact of the old system.
 I will be adding skill perks, although I'm not sure how to add them -- either by sacrificing ranks when you level or by spending training time. A skill perk will let you do different things with your skill such as use Mechanical for aircraft or mecha repair, use Medical to install cybernetics, or Electrical to disarm explosives. Combat skill perks will also be added to keep the extra grappling skills of Wrestling or the knockout punch of boxing.

Skills will be loosely grouped into 3 categories. Easy skills will take 2 months of training time to learn. An easy skill has +1 maximum rank, which are learned automatically if you get the skill through leveling up. If you get the skill through training, you can train the extra rank normally. This is cumulative with class rank bonuses (such as Sarah +3 piloting; if she learned "Pilot Bicycle" she would have a total of +4 maximum ranks with the skill). Medium skills take 4 months of training to learn and have no bonus ranks. Hard skills take 6 months of training to learn (default) and have -1 maximum ranks; when you learn a Hard skill, you are effectively -1 on skill checks until you gain ranks in it.

Untrained easy skills suffer no penalty; untrained normal skills will probably suffer -2 to -3 penalty and untrained hard skills will generally be unusable.

Easy skills include things like automobile or bicycle piloting, reading sensory instruments, perception, stealth, and all social skills. Normal skills will include most skills, while hard skills will include Medical, science professions, escape artist, and similar extremely demanding jobs. In general, the maximum roll for an untrained Medium skill check will also be 7.

Weapon Proficiencies will be changing somewhat (streamlined melee weapon bonuses, some skills becoming skill perks, etc.) No idea on whether Sharpshooting will be changed. Quick Draw will be changed.

Input would be appreciated -- except in relation to physical skills. Physical skill bitching will result in experience penalties.

1 comment:

  1. (7:51:47 PM) Blackstream17: teleport and clarivoyance type powers, are they staying the same?

    They are apparently not. Clarivoyance, I'd say make it like a skill, only since it's a psi power, it doesn't need to be trained to get level ranks, since you typically get it from level one. Various questions would have various DCs (making it so a successful roll of 60% doesn't answer any question I could ever ask about the universe), perhaps. Maybe make IQ or MA, or whatever seems most wisdom stat like add a bonus to rolls.

    Teleport I don't have a clue what to do with it.