Skill Guide

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Skill System

The skill system in this game is an open one. Meaning there are no list of skills, abilities, or spells for a player to pick for their character to have. This also means there are character classes, jobs or roles that a player has to pick for their character to be. Instead a player gets to make up their own skills that reflect the various abilities and spells their character can do, and have the potential to come up with all sorts of various concepts.

There are no automated/built in racial/species abilities, or bonuses or random immunities, whatever a given player may imply. All of Vaxia/Sirian's abilities require a skill and the points put into it to give it strength, and must be rolled to have any effect. Also, this makes any "immunity" skill more like a resistance. Some species write ups may mention a species is known for certain abilities, this is only to give players an in setting reason to use a certain skill idea if they want.

Skill Creation

Creating a skill makes use of the following:

  • Pick three aspects/verbs
      This is how we maintain a relative balance for our skills in the system. These aspects or verbs are abstract concepts that help determine how an ability done with the skill modifies the game world. In essence how the skill makes its impact, its mechanics.
  • Pick a theme
      A theme is used to connect the three aspects/verbs into a working skill. This is in part how a player builds up their character concept. The theme of a skill is its flavor, it is how the character is going to demonstrate the abilities they will be using. In essence it is how their abilities will manifest in the game to affect it according to the skill aspects.
  • Write up the skill
      Combining the theme and aspects write a general description of how the theme will connect the aspects. In short describe the intended abilities as determined by the aspects and themes.

Combat skills, which are skills that make use of a fighting style and/or weapons come with 2 aspects already built in: Damage and Avoid. Those cover any kind of attacks or defenses that comes in using those kinds of skills.

Skill Aspects/Verbs

Abstract Concept General Category Skill Aspect/Verb Extra Notes
Create Create Summon Create a temporary effect.
- - Craft Customized permanent effect.
- - Persist Make a temporary effect, permanent.
- Repair Repair Damaged people or objects.
Read Learn Know Pre-existing info, book learning.
- - Discover Gain new info about things that are.
- - Predict Gain new info about things that may be.
- Use Operate Using a thing without changing it.
Update Modify Move From point A to B.
- - Teleport Skipping space between.
- - Change Shape Such as volume, dimensions
- - Change Nature Such as temperature, type. To convert.
- Influence Convince People/Social skills. Persuade.
- - Bolster Positive modifier or remove a negative one. Buff.
- - Weaken Negative modifier or remove a positive one. Debuff.
- Resist Avoid Prevent damage from occurring. Shields, defense, etc.
- - Endure Prevent secondary effects of damage. Hardcore skills.
- - Conceal Hide people, information or things.
- - Bypass Avoid effect without negating it.
Destroy Damage Damage Damage to people or objects

When making a skill players only have to worry about the column that is Skill Aspect/Verbs.

The reason for the table as it is for our purposes with a game system it's worthwhile to go from the super super abstract to something more granular to apply those ideas to parts of the game system and setting. This will allow System to review the skill verb/aspects and determine if we need to make any kind of adjustments.

Extra Notes Regarding Skills

Aiming: In order to 'aim' a skill at a target, the player just has to call their target, the rest is handled by overcoming the target difficulties so it is automatically done in the system.

  • In combat the Stats which are associated with hitting a target are Dexterity for mundane actions and Intelligence for magical/psi actions.
  • A player may 'charge up' an attack, by stating their character is taking a round to 'aim' before attacking in order to boost their actual attack in the next round.

Attacking: Attacks are considered trying to do something to a target. Often it is mostly about trying to do damage, however all kinds of attacks are already covered by the skill aspects. IE to attack to do damage to a target a skill will need a damage aspect.

Cleaving: Any skill can cleave, damage or not, as it is just about targeting multiple targets instead of one. In order to cleave a player has to roll for each target they desire to try and hit. However each roll is an individual action and cleaving does invoke the Multi Action Penalties.

Basic Combat Defense: An Avoid aspect in a mundane or magic/psi skill that is for general defense against mundane or magical/psi attacks gives access to a collection of basic defensive actions: Blocking, Dodging, Parry/Counter, Redirect/Disarm/Deflect, so you do not need an avoid aspect for each of those - just the one.

Physical Shields and Wards: Using a shield or ward doesn't require its own skill, it's an assumed part of any type of combat skill that also has an Avoid aspect that covers the basic types of defenses in combat.

Ammo and Repair: Skills for weapons that require ammo (bows, crossbows, slings) carry the ability to create additional ammo as part of the skill, just like Melee weapons come with the ability to maintain the weapon.

Dual Wielding: Using two weapons comes with no special advantage on its own, and so requires no separate skill (if you have a skill in swords, you can dual-wield swords as long as you have two free hands). Attacking or otherwise using the two weapons separately incurs the normal Multiple-Action Penalties, as if you were attacking twice with the same weapon.

Thrown weapons: Any melee weapon skill with a small weapon designed for throwing (daggers, hatchets, etc) can be thrown using the normal weapon skill. There's no need for a separate skill just to throw a dagger.

Using 'activated' items: A skill is not needed to use already built items such as explosive devices, scrolls, Potions etc. Such items can just be activated and are considered automatic tasks.

Cyberlimbs: (Sirian) For the purposes of skills, cybernetic limbs or robotic attachments are treated like whatever they normally represent. Using a cyberarm to punch someone requires an Unarmed combat skill, just like using a flesh-and-blood arm to punch someone. If the cyberarm has a gun or dagger mounted into it, it requires a separate gun or knife skill to use that attachment. "Cyberlimb combat" cannot function as a catch-all skill for a cyberlimb which can do several very different things.

Explosives and Launchers: (Sirian) You do not need a skill to know how to use explosive devices that have already been built . Using a remote detonator or throwing a grenade are automatic tasks. A skill in Gunnery can enhance the use of guided weaponry like rocket and grenade launchers by hitting targets who are actively trying to dodge, but is not required.

Example Skills

Learning how to make skills can take some time, practice and on occasion a little inspiration to get started.

Below we provide links to examples to help get an idea on how to craft your own skills and to give an idea springboard. If you have an idea for something but don't know how to write it, look here. If you're unfamiliar with a magic and want to be sure it's ok, it might be in here. This place is to get you started. The character itself is up to you.

But remember in the end:
These are skill examples

"Examples" here means "one possibility," "one version," "one way to word it." NEVER think these are the only versions of these skills. Every skill can be written differently, come from a different source, have a different focus or flavor. Just because you see fire magic on one person and metamagic on the other, doesn't mean some player out there can't make a skill that combines elements of both, and still fit the rules.

These examples are also not standards, or markers, and certainly not laws or rules by any stretch. Some are more rigid than others, but in the end the only thing that matters for a skill is: fitting the basic, founding rules for skills. If it does, it doesn't matter what else is out there. If it doesn't, it gets rejected, no matter what it claims to be like.