Non-combat skills

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ShaunPWelch
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Re: Non-combat skills

Post by ShaunPWelch » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:00 pm

I mentioned it in e-mail already, but I really like this idea of comparison tests instead of a percentage roll. I don't think there is any need to justify, story-wise, the extra points you can spend. It's easy enough to gloss them over as "extra effort" to a player. Sometimes you can push yourself to do better, but it makes you tired (so limited points)!

Also, just a thought, but this is The Future, so most doors will probably be keycoded and made out of material you can't just bash in with your shoulder. So physical skill may not matter too much for that. ;)

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jack1974
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Re: Non-combat skills

Post by jack1974 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:08 pm

Yes the effort thing should be good enough :)
As for the doors, yes the human built one for sure, but maybe some alien races still have "old fashioned way" doors :lol: but I agree, most doors will be the futuristic sliding-door ones!

Falaris
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Re: Non-combat skills

Post by Falaris » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:11 am

jack1974 wrote:While Anima is in charge of doing the battle rules, I am in charge of the non-combat skills :mrgreen:

Now about the real question, I want to narrow the skills into 8 non-combat skills. Doing more would be too much, since even in this list there are already some skills that could be similar for certain situation (like lockpicking, could be either sabotage or science even if this last one would involve more hacking than lockpicking). I have this list:
1.Physical (jumping high, resisting impact, etc)
2.Survival (like finding food in a inhospitable environment, scouting, etc)
3. ??? (was Psionics, but I'm looking for another skill)
4.Charisma (leadership abilities, convince others of your ideas)
5.Science (hacking a terminal, fixing a device, etc)
6.Medicine (healing someone, human/alien anatomy knowledge, etc)
7.Sabotage (both using explosives, or stealth to infiltrate)
8.ESP (empathy, sixth sense)
Hm.

The 'skill boost' could be an aspect of leadership - getting the most out of your team, basically. Have stress be part of the stats (PTSD or similar), which would also be a good reason to leave some troops in the base at times, and make using the skill boost add to a team member's stress. (In another post you mentioned wanting to differentiate between members in team and out of team, this could be an aspect of that.).

Physical. This sounds a bit odd to me - physical isn't a skill, athletics is a skill.

Survival, Sabotage, Science, Medicine. This is a bit muddled, I think. Survival skills include first aid, normally. But that's also medicine. Sneaky is in both survival and sabotage. Bomb disposal or bomb manufacture would easily fit in science even when sabotage is the specific skill for it. I can't help think this could do with a bit of rephrasing or redefining. I also feel mechanic is missing.

Psychic, ESP, Charisma. Psychic has allready been discussed, but in some RPG's the skill 'Insight' is used, as a sort of 'how good you are at reading people' skill combined with social awareness. ESP and Charisma.. those works fine.

About survival, if you want to make it less vague, another term you could use could be Fieldcraft. It would help a bit on separating it from sabotage and medicine, if that is an advantage.
About sabotage, tradecraft could be an alternative. (A catch-all for all sorts of covert, spyish stuff including encryption, lockpicking etc, but it is a bit Tom Clancy.
(Doing things subtly while seen = tradecraft, not being seen = fieldcraft, for a distinction on which wold be used for what sort of stealthy bits).

I would consider doing away with science, psychic/lore and ESP and turn it into Academics (The theoretical aspects of science + lore), Mechanics (The mechanical aspects of science + the parts of sabotage and survival that would be applicable), and Insight or Empathy (ESP + 'people reading' + social awareness).

I do not mean that you should take all these suggestions to heart and scrap what you have - that would be rather presumptous of me, because what you have works, and you've probably given it more thought than I. If you did, the skill list would be like this:

Athletics
Fieldcraft
Tradecraft
Academic
Mechanic
Empathy (Or insight)
Charisma
Medicine

I feel like the boundaries between the skills are clearer with this set, but I do not know if you then suddenly end up with skill checks you want to do that has no applicable skill anymore.

Another thing that would heavily influence this division is the amount of skill checks there would be on each skill. If you suddenly end up using science for 1/3 of the skill checks in the game, it really needs splitting up, for instance. May be interesting to run a bit of statistics on that and see if anything pops up suspiciously often or rarely, because that would probably be a good indication that a little restructuring might be necessary. :)

Regards,
Me

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jack1974
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Re: Non-combat skills

Post by jack1974 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:27 am

Thanks for the suggestion :) Yes it's not always easy to come up with *really unique* skills. I agree that survival might also mean first aid, and that science and medicine are similar too. Ultimately is just a game so need to take some decisions even if maybe they're not 100% accurate/right.
I could replace physical with Athletics since sounds better.

The system was allowing skills and specializations, so we could had:
Science with specialization in: Medicine, Engineering, etc
But while was cool, was too big scope for this game (I can't include 150 different skill checks!).

So far I have: Athletics Survival Culture Charisma Science Medicine Sabotage ESP

But since in the game there are 3 missions each faction in the first two chapters, and each mission allows you to use 2 non-combat skills, for the sake of balancing and to reduce the skills from 8 to 6, I might group Survival on Sabotage (since I was using it for scouting, hunting, etc) and maybe group Culture & Charisma under Leadership (even if they ARE different: you could be a good charismatic leader but not know about the alien races/lore). The most similar would be Science and Medicine I guess, even if Medicine was used to determine the amount of HP healed with first aid kits, I guess that the value could be influenced by Science now.

Anyway about the balancing don't worry, I keep a spreadsheet with each skill usage in the whole game to make sure that they are all used in the same amount, so there can't be a skill more used and another almost never used :)

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nullzero
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Re: Non-combat skills

Post by nullzero » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:30 pm

jack1974 wrote:The system was allowing skills and specializations, so we could had:
Science with specialization in: Medicine, Engineering, etc
:shock: ohhh! brilliant lots and lots of skills, but then...
jack1974 wrote:But while was cool, was too big scope for this game (I can't include 150 different skill checks!).
:o ... Oh well... But yes, a more limited skill list is probably better for this game. At least if we want to use a skill more than one or two times to be relevant.
jack1974 wrote:So far I have: Athletics Survival Culture Charisma Science Medicine Sabotage ESP

But since in the game there are 3 missions each faction in the first two chapters, and each mission allows you to use 2 non-combat skills, for the sake of balancing and to reduce the skills from 8 to 6, I might group Survival on Sabotage (since I was using it for scouting, hunting, etc) and maybe group Culture & Charisma under Leadership (even if they ARE different: you could be a good charismatic leader but not know about the alien races/lore). The most similar would be Science and Medicine I guess, even if Medicine was used to determine the amount of HP healed with first aid kits, I guess that the value could be influenced by Science now.
I like the idea of grouping Culture, Charisma, Leadership into one.

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nullzero
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Re: Non-combat skills

Post by nullzero » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:37 pm

Falaris wrote: Survival, Sabotage, Science, Medicine. This is a bit muddled, I think. Survival skills include first aid, normally. But that's also medicine. Sneaky is in both survival and sabotage. Bomb disposal or bomb manufacture would easily fit in science even when sabotage is the specific skill for it. I can't help think this could do with a bit of rephrasing or redefining. I also feel mechanic is missing.
I also think the distinction between this skills is a bit fuzzy.
Falaris wrote: About survival, if you want to make it less vague, another term you could use could be Fieldcraft. It would help a bit on separating it from sabotage and medicine, if that is an advantage.
About sabotage, tradecraft could be an alternative. (A catch-all for all sorts of covert, spyish stuff including encryption, lockpicking etc, but it is a bit Tom Clancy.
(Doing things subtly while seen = tradecraft, not being seen = fieldcraft, for a distinction on which wold be used for what sort of stealthy bits).
If instead of survival it was named "scouting" it would also include stealth, the survive in the wilderness but not the medical bonus. And then Sabotage could be more explosions/mechanics/hacking without stealth.

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jack1974
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Re: Non-combat skills

Post by jack1974 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:22 pm

nullzero wrote:If instead of survival it was named "scouting" it would also include stealth, the survive in the wilderness but not the medical bonus. And then Sabotage could be more explosions/mechanics/hacking without stealth.
Yes that's how I consider them for this game. I think as long as I write clearly in the skills description the definition should be OK :)

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jack1974
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Re: Non-combat skills

Post by jack1974 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:45 pm

All right! After so much brainstorming, thanks to a last-minute suggestion by Anima I managed to make the final list. I wanted 8 skills because each NPC will start with a good knowledge of a specific skill (you can always customize them later of course, but is cool to give them more personality from the start).

Code: Select all

1	Rumi	ESP
2	Damien	Sabotage
3	Tom	Piloting
4	Philipp	Scouting
5	Rebecca	Athletics
6	Michelle	Charisma
7	Jacob	Science
8	Milo	Culture
so Anima's suggestion was vehicle driving, which after some twitter consultation I changed into Piloting (that works for both normal and flying vehicles). Obviously TOM SHATZ is your man for that!! 8)
Then I changed Survival into Scouting as suggested, and also merged Medicine under Science (wasn't making much sense to have them separated). Now is all good to resume writing more missions. 7 finished so far :)

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nullzero
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Re: Non-combat skills

Post by nullzero » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:24 pm

sounds good! Looking forward to see the piloting part.

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DunKalar
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Re: Non-combat skills

Post by DunKalar » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:11 pm

Michelle <3

best charakter so far ... after chamby ]:->

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