Friday, November 11, 2005

Should weapons be skills?

Joe Kushner thinks maybe so.

Personally I'm of two minds on the subject. Part of me says this is just another step toward making D&D into a point based system. Something I argued against rather vehemently here.

It's not that I don't like point-based systems. Far from it, I have been tinkering with GURPs through a couple of editions and was playing Hero... well, before it was Hero (back when it was Champions and Danger Internation and Justice Inc... ahhh good times).

But I also like variety. In a lot of ways we're in a "one system to rule them all" environment in the minds of many d20 gamers (thank you very much Ryan Dancey). d20 gamers have a tendency to think that they can tweak the system to maximum efficiency, borrowing elements from GURPs and Hero and Traveller and Marvel until they get just the right mix in and BOOM... there is only one game.

I "grew up" (from a gaming perspective) in which people would look around on a Saturday night while Toshiro Mifune was killing things on cable and say "I'm bored, let's play Supers. But not Champions. Let's play Marvel instead".

The next Saturday you might have the same chat but play Villains and Vigilantes... or Hero.

We didn't think we needed one system for all our games. Or even one system for the same GENRE of games. We could appreciate Hero's complexity and Marvel's elegant simplicity equally.

However, the idea of expanding what you do with skills does intrigue me. Which is why I wrote a magic system that is completely skill based. No spell slots... no spell points... just skill checks.

And GURPs does weapons as skills in a way I really like.

Maybe I'll think about it some more and maybe a book like that will be on its way soon.


C. Baize said...

Skill based magic system.

That could be very interesting. I'll look forward to reading that.

Steve Peterson said...

My problem with weapons as skills is then you get these fighters who are masters of the katana but can't use a battle-axe for shit -- it becomes too cost-effective for any but the most ardent roleplayers to simply specialize.

D&D's system of establishing a general level of effectiveness with fighting, then nuancing with particular feats like Exotic WP, Weapon Finesse, and so on works well -- and, even if I were to push it toward a more purely point based system I'd keep the general level of ability with melee.

Moreover, I think fighting in melee comes less from particular skill in using one type of weapon or other, and more to do with a wide variety of factors such as situational awareness, aggressiveness, cool under pressure, and so on that are best handled through broader abstractions.

Anyway, glad to have you back blogging!

Chuck said...

Hey thanks for that Steve... glad to know people still look in here occasionally lol.

Chuck said...

Oh and Im sorry about the stupid word thingie for comments... but I didnt want anymore comments from the "work at home" people ;)

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