I’m currently working on an RPG… It’s not even in a playtestable form, yet. However, I have some ideas I’d like to share.
A bit of background: my working title for the RPG is AA RPG (Asmor’s Awesome RPG). I’ll change it when I come up with something better.
It’s sort of a hybrid of a class-based system and a point-based one. Each character will have three important choices to make; race, background, and class.
Today I’ll be talking about background. Background primarily affects your skills. So first, I’ve got to talk about skills…
Skill checks, like most things in the system, are d100 based. The GM assigns a difficulty, and you roll d100 and add your modifier. If you meet or beat the difficulty, you pass.
Most skills are categorized into one of 5 skill groups. There are also some combat skills which do not fall into any skill group.
- Athletics: Running, Jumping, Strength, Climbing, Swimming, Balance, Block
- Crime: Disable Device, Stealth, Pick Pocket, Sleight of Hand, Hide, Disguise
- Knowledge: History, Science, Strategy, Religion, Arcana, Nature, Geography, Resist Magic
- Social: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Empathy, Detect Lies
- Awareness: Spot, Search, Listen, Intuition, Detect Magic, Dodge
- Special (not a skill group): Parry, Ranged, Melee, Initiative
Your skill modifier is the sum of the points you’ve placed in the skill, your mastery for that skill’s group, and any other bonuses, e.g. racial bonuses.
Skill Group Mastery
One important innovation in my skill system is that training any skill actually makes you better with a variety of related skills. You have a mastery rating for each skill group, equal to half the sum of the points you’ve spent in that skill group, rounded down. For example, if you’ve got 5 points in stealth and 10 points in hide, you’d have a Crime Mastery rating of 7 ([10+5]/2). Your total modifier for stealth checks would be 12 (7+5) and your modifier for hide would be 17 (7+10). For any other skills in the Crime skill group, you’d have a modifier of 7.
The special skills do not belong to a skill group and do not receive any mastery bonuses. It’s also important to note that only spent skill points grant mastery; other skill bonuses do not.
Your background gives you a number of skill points for certain skill groups, and a number of general skill points which can be spent as you please, per the table below.
- Martial: Someone trained to fight. E.g. bodyguard, militia
- Religious: Someone trained in the ways of the clergy. E.g. priest, temple maiden
- Nobility: Someone from the noble courts. E.g. prince, vizier
- Street: A poor peasant from an urban area. E.g. beggar, thief
- Rural: Someone raised in the countryside. E.g. farmer, hunter
- Merchant: “Middle-class” people with decent jobs. E.g. trader, cobbler
- Entertainer: Someone skilled in giving others a good time. E.g. jester, courtesan.
- Academic: Someone who’s spent a significant portion of their life studying or experimenting. E.g. student, professor.
A starting character may not put more than 10 points in any single skill, and not more than 40 points in any skill group.