Quick Note – Class vs Skill Based characters
One thing that I have become quite used to in the many Western RPGs I play is the openness of character design on the part of the player. I don’t mean the more casual things like being able to make a 400lbs, 7’7” tall blue man who wears nothing but a lion cloth, but more along the lines that this same blue man can run around with a long sword, beating the crap of lizard men before finally shoving his giant blue hand in their face and casting lightening.
If blue man had been a traditional table top character he would have been rather boned. Sure he could have multi-classed but part of something is still a whole of nothing. A fighter/Mage would have a horrible spell check failure due to the needs of armor for the close to the line stuff and the hp and to-hit vs AC would also suffer due to the nature of multi-classing.
Now, some people will tell me that this is what systems like Fate are for, to be able to approach character creation with wild abandoned. I don’t disagree, I think that Fate is a wonderful system for that (even if I can’t wrap my head around it enough to play), however, I think the framework of the traditional d20 model would work as well …
First let use assume the creation of three generic skills:
All three of those “generic skills” are easily linked to the traditional six attributes of the original fantasy roleplaying game.
Marital – Strength and Constitution
Magical – Intelligence and Wisdom
Espionage – Dexterity and Charisma
From the three generic skills we can then split into six sub-generic skills:
a. School of the Divine
b. School of the Arcane
a. School of the Sword (or other hitty object)
b. School of the Shield (Otherwise known as the school of the eyepatch J )
a. School of Silence
b. School of the Mask
Each generic skill would be able to be trained in at the beginning of the game. Let us say 1d6 skill points at character creation that could be placed in any of the generic skills.
Example: John wants to play an uber-strong barbarian thief from the northlands who abhors magic and believes civilization has made city-folk weak and ripe for the taking. John rules a 4 for his beginning skill points and places 3 in Martial and one in Espionage.
This means now when John wants to sneak around he adds his Espionage rank into the roll with whatever modifier he receives for the action (in this case stealth).
D20+Generic Skill Rank + Appropriate Attribute Modifier = Result
When a character moves from the first to the second level they receive another 1d6 worth of skill points. To “unlock” the individual schools the player would need to use two points. The sub-generic skills would be inline with their heading and linked attribute score. Defense skills with Constitution, offensive skills with Strength, so on and so forth. When roll after the sub-generic skills are unlocked the roll would look like this:
D20+Generic Skill Rank + Sub Generic Skill Rank + Appropriate Attribute Modifier = Result