Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Far Marches: Skills

Before we get started on skills in this post I would like to point out that I have had a number really good comments on my previous posts in this series so far. Some people agreed with the decision I made and made some good points on them. Others disagreed with my decisions and called out flaws that they saw. It has been a good conversation overall and it has given me a lot to think about. So, thanks guys I really appreciate the back and forth of it all. In fact I think you have convinced me to work the reputation aspects a bit differently. I will get into that in a future post where I will talk about the Party Sheet.  And now, without further ado, lets dig into skills in The Far Marches.


Skills in the Far Marches will be the same basic skill list as in standard Fate Core. I am considering adding in Survival as a skill. I would also probably want to combine burglary and stealth into a single burglary skill. I always felt that stealth was pretty darn narrow in focus for a specific skill. Though I am not sold on that idea yet, and so I could easily be talked back from the brink on merging those two skills.

Another issue I have with skills is the importance of Will and Physique in relation to stress tracks. I have never been all that pleased with the way stress works in standard Fate Core, so do not be surprised if I make some changes in stress when we get to that. As a bit of a precursor to that Physique and Will will not add stress to the tracks in this hack.

The final issue with skills comes to the pyramid and the alternatives therein. I really like the skill pyramid, however I have noticed certain trends in games I have played and ran that lead me to look for an alternative. I have noticed a trend where people tend to work very hard to only have to roll there top three skills in the pyramid. I do not know if this is a good, bad, or neutral thing but it is something I noticed and I am not sure what to do about it. As of this moment I am still planning on using the skill pyramid, though I am very open to interesting alternatives.  

Unique Skills
Each player gets access to one additional, player designed, skill. These unique skills represent abilities, professions, unique traits, or your fantasy race. While not all elves will have the Elf skill, having the Elf skill would represent your character really focusing on his peoples history and traditions. Your elf would be more elfish than some other elf who did not have the elf unique skill. How you make unique skills is pretty simple. The skill will have access to all four basic actions, however you won't be able to use those basic actions in all circumstances. For example:

Elf: When in the forest you may use the elf skill to gather information about the natural surroundings and identify natural dangers. You may use the elf skill in place of social skills when dealing with eleven court. And you may use the elf skill in combat when using an elven bow or Shamshir.  

While the unique skill is powerful you must make sure that it does not overpower the game. The basic rule of thumb here is this: If everyone at the table agrees that the skill is over powered then it is probably overpowered. I am looking to make these skills a big part of the game without overpowering the game, so if you have ideas for improvement please let me know.

There you go. That is the very basics on how I see skills working in this hack of Fate. I know it is probably not different enough for some of you, and for others it is probably a step too far. I would love to hear your thoughts on this as this is the area I have gone back and forth on the most over time. I will probably go back and forth on it a bunch more moving forward.