Tuesday 14 July 2015

Non Combat Skills for The Decline of Overhouse August (White Star)

Players in my White Star campaign, "The Decline of Overhouse August", have been requesting a skill system added to the game to help differentiate their characters a little more. I think this fair, as they can currently only pick from three White Star character classes, Mercenary, Bureaucrat and Pilot (Regul Guard, Spark Agent and Cog Pilot in campaign terms). With most of their Experience Points deriving from mission completion rewarded Credits, I felt it also important to implement another meaningful credit sink for players to spend their money on. Most players already having had their pick from the default purchasable equipment list and, other than the pilots, no one is looking to purchase their own Spacecraft. I've implemented an Ad Hoc cybernetics system (See Cybernetics heading) and eventually I hope to add scope for weapon and spacecraft modification.

Ultimately, I envision four paths in which players can customise there character beyond level advancement; Non Combat Skills, Cybernetics, Weapon Modification and Vehicle Modification.

Rationale: The skill system uses the"Skills: The Middle Road" , modified slightly to better suit the economy of the game, and to reflect the quicker turn around for training I assume in a Sci-Fi world. I envision most of the skills to be against a preordained Skill Check number (the player trying to roll to hit a certain value on the dice) rather than two entities competing against one another. Because of this I have opted to use an increasing bonus to the same type of dice roll, rather than the original system of increasing die type with additional skill training. Originally, this was going to be a d20 because I grasp ascending armour class enough to be able to easily eyeball Skill Check Levels quickly. But, I realised the maximum +1 for attributes bonus in White Star makes this kind of sucky. This, and the fact I feel like I don't get to use d12's enough made me change the system to use d12, with skill check levels ranging from 2 to 17. The impact of a +1 in a range of 2 to 17 is much more so than in a range of 2 to 28 (which would be the swing using d20).

 The g33 House Council Space Station, home of the Academy (Space Station - John Berkey)

Now, onto presenting the The Decline of Overhouse August Non Combat Skill System! 

All skills involve rolling a d12 either against another entity's d12 roll in an opposed skill check, or against a preordained Skill Check number to attempt to roll that number or higher. Skill Check levels range from 2 to 17. All skills receive a +1 from the relevant attribute if the player has a value of 15 or more in said attribute. 

There are four levels of training for each skill level, each giving an increasing bonus to the d12 skill roll. The price in time and credits for training to each level is as follows:

Obviously free and the initial training stage of each credit. Skills in red can not be attempted unskilled.
No bonuses to die rolls

Training:1 week and 2000 Credits
+2 bonus when making skill-related rolls with a d12

Training: 2 weeks and 5000 Credits
+4 bonus when making skill-related rolls with a1d12

Training: 1 month and 15,000 Credits
+5 bonus when making skill-related rolls with a d12

At gradation from the House Council Academy (character creation):
Level 1 House Spark Agents may pick 2 of any type of skill to be “Skilled” in.
Level 1 Cog Pilots may pick any “Intelligence” based skill to be "Skilled" in.

Level 1 Regul Guards are "Skilled" in either Space or World based Survival.

The G33 House Council Space Station offers the following skills for training at its Academy, listed under their bonus giving attribute. (Also listed are current rumoured of, but illegal and not offered by the Academy skills).  

Worship of Overhouse August Lore (Religion)  
Artistry/Performance (Pick an artform)

Human Dialectical Knowledge
Interstellar Navigation Mathematics (A fast dying area of study)    
Nefarious and Intrusive Holonet/Commlink Operation
Nefarious and Intrusive Security Hardware Operations
Repair and Modification of Starships
Repair and Modification of Worldcrafts
Researchification (Choose a field)

Rumoured and illegal Intelligence based skills:
Non-Human Dialectical Knowledge (illegal and not available publicly)

Non-Sentient Lifeform Lore
Bureaucratic Lore (Includes House Council Procedures)
Space-based Survival
World-based Survival
Galactical Planetary Lore (A fast dying area of study)

Rumoured and illegal Wisdom based skills:
Underworld Lore (illegal and not available publicly)
Non-Human-Sentient Lifeform Lore (illegal and not available publicly)
Non-Human-Sentient Lifeform Cultural Lore (illegal and not available publicly)

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