[MUD-Dev] Skill defaulting

Ryan Ryan
Fri Jul 28 16:01:41 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

Hello folks,

Has anyone ever considered the "defaulting" feature of skills in FASA's
Shadowrun universe?  Although Shadowrun skills are mostly those that improve
chances of success on normal actions, the idea could be adapted.

The general idea is that if you attempt to perform an action which is based
on a specific skill, but don't have it, you can have it default to a related
skill at a penalty instead of rolling with no skill at all.  For example (RP
and clerical considerations aside), an unarmed cleric could pick up a sword
from the ground and attempt to slash an oncoming basilisk.  Mr. Cleric has
no skill whatsoever in Edged Weapons, but he has considerable training in
Blunt Weapons.  Thus, when a skill roll is made to see how much damage he
did, instead of using Edged Weapons it uses Blunt Weapons with a -2 penalty.
In SR 3rd Edition, some skills can also default to a character attribute at
a higher penalty.

This could make for some interesting developments of skill trees - for
example, a thief who wants to poison a weapon early, and has a spectacular
knowledge of toxins, may have a chance of using the high-level skill because
of his base of knowledge.  Likewise, a warrior could use specialized
weapons, or a wizard could attempt new spells.  The chances wouldn't be
nearly as high as someone who actually had the skill, but with sufficient
lower level bases it might be usable.

It's my recent mission to eliminate "hauling item x around until my next
level or two" or "damn, so much stuff I can't use/do" syndrome, so this
seems to be one way of doing it.  Let me know what you all think.

-Ryan "BC|Uller" Myers <borisian at planetquake.com>

An infinite number of monkeys, given an infinite amount of time, will
produce a better game design than John Romero's Daikatana.

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