Optional Skill System
Some players and Game Masters feel that a pencil-and-paper RPG is incomplete without a skill system. Skills allow an increased level of realism and chance, for the Game Master doesn't always decide whether the player succeeds or fails.
Each skill has a Skill Level, rated from 0(untrained) to 8(master). All skills begin at SL 0, and can be improved as the character gains levels. When the character wishes to perform a task that calls for the use of one of his Skills, the GM decides on a Target Number depending on the difficulty of the task, as per the following guidelines:
To see if the attempt succeeds, the player rolls 1d12 and adds the die roll to his Skill Level. If the result is equal to or greater than the Target Number, he succeeds. Note that for some skills, such as Appraisal, the GM must roll the skill check- the character has no way of knowing if he has failed the skill check or not. Most skills may be attempted with a Skill Level of 0; however, some skills require special training, and may not be performed unless the character has at least a Skill Level of 1. These skills are marked with an asterisk (*). Some skills allow automatic successes for simple tasks. These automatic successes also require that the skill be at least Level 1; otherwise, a check is required.
All characters begin play with 15 points to spend on starting skills. Upon gaining a level, a character gains 3 Skill Points, which are used to improve his skills or learn new ones. He may use the points immediately, or save them to use later. The cost of improving skills is given on the following chart:
|CURRENT SKILL LEVEL||SKILL LEVEL AFTER TRAINING||COST TO INCREASE SKILL LEVEL|
The ability to tumble, somersault, and take falls. On a successful Skill Check, you can perform a difficult feat of agility, such as leaping through a two-foot-square window without hurting yourself. A Skill Check also allows you to reduce damage from hazards, such as falling or certain traps, by 50%.
You can brew potions for 2/3 the listed price. Doing so requires one day for Potions, Ethers, and status cures, two days for Hi Potions, Hi Ethers and Phoenix Downs, three days for Super Potions and Super Ethers, and four days for anything else. Artifact-level potions cost 5000 G create.
On a successful Skill Check, you can estimate the value of an object more or less accurately; a failure means you value it either too highly or too poorly. Note that this check is rolled secretly by the GM.
The skill to craft armor from raw materials. On a successful Skill Check, which has a Target Number of (Armor Level + 4), you can forge any one piece of armor for 2/3 the listed price- as long as you have access to the materials necessary. The process takes two days per level of the item. Artifact-level armor cannot be forged with this skill.
The ability to climb steep slopes. A Skill Check is only necessary when attempting to climb without a rope or ladder, or under other difficult conditions. Even untrained characters can climb a rope or ladder without a check.
Culinary art, the ability to cook well. No Skill Check is required unless you are trying to prepare especially elegant or complicated recipes.
Craft Item (*)
The ability to create rods, wands, machines, or other devices with extraordinary or magical powers. The item created is capable of performing a particular Tech or magic spell with no cost to the user. You may craft an item capable of any single Tech or spell of a level no greater than your Craft Item Skill Level, and also no greater than a Tech or spell you could learn yourself. Creating the item requires two days per level of the power it invokes, and costs (Tech or Spell Level squared) * 50 G. The Skill Check has a Target Number of (Tech or Spell Level) * 2. If the check fails, you get back half of the price you invested in spare parts that may be reused for another item. A newly created item may be used 10 times before its power is exhausted. It may be recharged or reloaded for half its original cost. Alternately, you may create a one-shot item, which is destroyed after one use, but which costs only 1/10 of its normal price. Another use for this skill- is to build devices with special effects, such as a scrying crystal or a teleportation device.
The ability to dance, whether it be exotic gypsy dances or elegant ballroom dances. A Skill Check is only necessary when performing difficult or unknown dances.
A successful Skill Check allows you to accurately determine which way is north. Note that this check is rolled secretly by the GM.
When used against an opponent wielding an unnatural weapon, such as a sword or dagger, a successful Skill Check will disarm his weapon, leaving him unarmed. Doing so requires your action for the round.
The ability to disguise yourself as someone or something else. A basic, simple disguise warrants a bonus, while an attempt to pass yourself off as the king would surely incur a penalty. A failure indicates a flaw in the disguise, which may or may not be noticed, depending on who sees the character and how much the roll was failed by. Note that this check is rolled secretly by the GM.
Find / Remove Trap (*)
The ability to find and disarm traps. Each use of the skill is rolled separately. The Find Trap check is rolled secretly by the GM. Note that a failed Remove Trap roll may set the trap off!
The ability to reproduce documents and falsify papers. A failure indicates a flaw, which may or may not be noticed, depending on who reads the document and how much the roll was failed by. Note that this check is rolled secretly by the GM.
The non-magical ability to diagnose and treat wounds and diseases. Cuts, scratches, and other minor injuries can be tended to without a skill check. More serious injuries or afflictions require a check, as does diagnosing a disease. A particular injury may only be treated once per day. Healing takes time, and may not be used in combat.
Knowledge of plants. On a successful Skill Check, you can identify unusual species of plants. You may also brew various mixtures- including poisons- given the right herbs and a successful Skill Check, as well as a day or two. You cannot mix Potions with this skill. Note that this check is rolled secretly by the GM- a failure means that the mixture may not do what you want it to do!
The ability to conceal oneself in the shadows or behind objects. A successful check rolled secretly by the GM allows you to avoid detection.
You have a certain amount of knowledge of a specific area or event in history. General knowledge does not require a check, but obscure or difficult information does.
The ability to make extraordinary leaps. A Skill Check allows you to jump farther than normal- perhaps much farther. A character with the Jump Minor Ability never needs to make a Jump check.
You have studied a particular foreign language. A successful check rolled by the GM allows you to read, speak, or understand the language correctly in a certain document or conversation.
The knowledge of a particular instrument. A Skill Check is required when playing unfamiliar or difficult songs.
The ability to lift items of value from shops or other people. Note that this check is rolled secretly by the GM. If the check is successful, you have found something of value. If not, you get nothing, and may be noticed by the victim. The chance of being spotted on a failure is (Die roll - Skill Level) x 10 percent.
Ability to ride a specific type of mount. Normal riding requires no check, but under difficult conditions you must make a check to avoid being thrown or falling off.
Set Trap (*)
The ability to set snares or traps. Anyone setting off the trap takes (1d10+5) points of damage per level of the skill, modified by either AP and Defense or MAP and M. Defense. No check is required to set the trap.
The ability to sing. A Skill Check is required when singing unfamiliar or difficult songs.
The skill required to move with stealth. A Skill Check by the GM is required to avoid being heard.
Specific to a certain type of terrain or area. A successful check once per day allows you to find food, water, shelter, or other necessities.
Ability to swim. A Skill Check is required under difficult conditions or when swimming for extended periods of time.
Knowledge of a particular trade, be it shoemaking, researching, carpentry, or anything else. A check is required when doing something difficult or out of the ordinary.
Each time you increase your Training Skill Level, you recieve 2 Bonus Stat Points that can be allocated normally, just as you would the points you gain at each level-up.
The skill to craft weapons from raw materials. On a successful Skill Check, which has a Target Number of (Weapon Level + 4), you can forge any one weapon for 2/3 the listed price- as long as you have access to the materials necessary. The process takes two days per level of the item. Artifact-level weapons cannot be forged with this skill.
Weather Sense (*)
On a successful Skill Check rolled secretly by the GM, you can accurately predict the general weather for the next day or so. A failure indicates an inaccurate prediction.
Weapon Skill (*)
This skill grants a bonus to Accuracy when using a particular type of weapon- swords, axes, crossbows, etc. The bonus is equal to (Skill Level * 2). A character may gain Weapon Skill levels for multiple weapons.
Boogey's Skill System
Skills in ZODIAC are pretty superfluous, as the system itself is pretty light on Roleplay rules, but for those who are interested in a different take on how to work skills into the game I present this. Those that are familiar with Call of Cthulhu will recognize this almost immediately, as I more or less made a bastardized version of its skill system. I'll be listing out what the skills DO in a later post. But first, the ruleset itself!
How to Roll Skills:
When rolling for a skill, roll 1d100 and if the result is equal to or less than the skill's total chance of success, you have succeeded at that skill. All Primary Skills start with a base 20% chance of success. For every five points in the skill's governing attribute add 1 to the base Percentage of success. At first level, a player chooses three "Tagged Skills" and three "Secondary Skills" from the Primary Skill list. Tagged skills receive +25 to the base success chance, and Secondary skills receive +15.
Lore Skills are treated slightly differently. Lore Skills have a Base Success chance of 25%. At first level, a player chooses [1 + (MAG/5)] Tagged Lore Skills. Tagged Lore Skills receive +25 to the base chance of success. As for Primary Skills, for every five points in the skill’s governing stat, add 1 to its base percentage.
A player may sacrifice one, and ONLY one, of his three Secondary Skills from the Primary List to gain another Lore Skill instead.
The maximum Percentage for any skill is 99%. After all, no matter how good someone is at something, there's always a small chance of failure.
Depending on the difficulty of a skill, there may be conditional modifiers added to or subtracted from the die result. These modifiers should only be used when a task is meant to be easy or substantially more difficult.
Very Easy: Subtract 40 from the result
Easy: Subtract 20 from the result
Difficult: Add 20 to the result
Very Difficult: Add 40 to the result
Here’s an example on how skills work. Sir Bob of Manwich has these stats at first level:
And from the Primary Skill lists chooses Acrobatics, Athletics and Endurance as Tagged Skills. He then chooses Heal, Insight and Perception as Secondary skills. From the Lore Skill list he is able to Tag two skills thanks to his MAG stat, so he chooses Dungeoneering and Nature.
His skills read as follows:
Acrobatics (AGI) 47%
Athletics (STR) 47%
Endurance (VIT) 47%
Heal (MAG) 36%
Insight (SPR) 36%
Perception (SPR) 36%
Speechcraft (SPR) 21%
Stealth (AGI) 22%
Thievery (AGI) 22%
Arcana (MAG) 26%
Dungeoneering (VIT) 52%
History (MAG) 26%
Nature (SPR) 51%
Religion (SPR) 26%
Oh no! Bob needs to jump over a pit! That requires an Athletics roll! He rolls 1d100 and it comes up a 54. This is a particularly easy pit to jump across so he gets to subtract 20 from his roll, leaving him at a result of 34. That’s lower than his 47% in Athletics, so Bob has safely made it across the pit! Hooray!
About Primary Skills:
In general, skills won’t come up in combat that often, but when they do, all skills take 8 SPD, and thus, your turn.
Use Acrobatics to perform acrobatic stunts, like swinging from a chandelier, somersault over an opponent, slide down a staircase on your shield, or attempt any other acrobatic stunt that you can imagine and that your GM agrees to let you try.
Make an Athletics check to attempt physical activities that rely on muscular strength, including climbing, escaping from someone’s grip, jumping or swimming.
Make an Endurance check to stave off ill effects and to push yourself beyond normal physical limits. You can hold your breath for long periods of time, forestall the effects of hunger and thirst, and swim or tread water for long periods of time. Some environmental hazards-including extreme temperatures or violent weather-require you to make an Endurance check to resist their effects. An Endurance check may be made to avoid the effects of Poison and Venom for one round.
You know how to help someone recover from wounds or debilitating conditions. You can also identify ailments and effects of disease. A common use for Heal would be to administer First Aid. If you succeed on a Heal check, you may restore [20 + (MAG/2)] HP to one target. Another use for Heal is to remove Status Effects. A successful check removes one status effect at a time, beginning with the lowest leveled status effect. You may also revive a fallen character with Heal, but this is very difficult. A Heal check used in this manner adds +20 to the result of the roll and unlike traditional Revive Techs, the target is revived with only 1 HP.
You can discern intent and decipher body language during social interactions. You make an Insight check to comprehend motives, to read between the lines, to get a sense of moods and attitudes, and to determine how truthful someone is being.
Insight can also be used to gain clues, figure out how well you might be doing in a social situation, and to determine if someone is under the influence of an outside force.
Whenever you use Insight, you’re making a best guess as to what you think a motive or attitude is or how truthful a target is being. Insight is not an exact science or a supernatural power; it represents your ability to get a sense of how a person is behaving.
You may also use Insight to perform a limited form of Scan. When you successfully use Insight in this fashion, you learn one of the following about the nature of the target: An Elemental Weakness, Resistance, Immunity, Lesser Absorbency, or Absorbency. Each time you use this skill you may learn a new fact. You may also use this skill to learn things Scan may not tell you, for example whether an enemy has Unusual Defenses, or Agile.
Make a Perception check to notice clues, detect secret doors, spot imminent dangers, find traps, follow tracks, listen for sounds behind a closed door, or locate hidden objects.
Speechcraft is an amalgamation of various social skills. You may use Speechcraft to win over someone in a diplomatic argument, bluff someone into believing a lie, intimidate someone, or find the word on the street.
A successful Speechcraft used to bluff someone adds 20 to any Insight rolls the opponent may make. A failure subtracts 20 to any Insight rolls the opponent may make against you.
Make a Stealth check to conceal yourself from enemies, slink past guards, slip away without being noticed, and sneak up on people without being seen or heard. When you succeed at this skill, it adds 20 to any perception checks made against you. However, when you fail, it subtracts 20 from any opposed perception checks.
You have picked up thieving abilities and can perform tasks that require nerves of steel and a steady hand: disabling traps, opening locks, picking pockets, and sleight of hand. The GM might decide that some uses of this skill are so specialized that you are required to take it as either a Tagged Skill or a Secondary in order to be able to perform the check.
When you succeed at this skill to steal an object from someone’s person, it adds 20 to any perception checks made against you. However, when you fail, it subtracts 20 from any opposed perception checks.
This skill may be used in place of the Steal Command in combat, but add 20 to the result. It is much harder to use this skill in combat than outside of combat.
About Lore Skills:
You have picked up knowledge about magic related lore and magic effects. One unique use of the Arcana skill is to create magical items that aid in battle. This item performs an Attack Magic Tech with no cost to user, however, these items are single use only. Once they are used, they are gone. The Tech can be of any strength and any secondaries can be tacked onto it as normal. The cost of creating such an item is equal to (The Tech’s Level Squared) * 50. You lose no money if you fail this check, but you may only attempt to create such an item three times per day.
You have picked up knowledge and skills related to dungeoneering, including finding your way through dungeon complexes, navigating winding caves, recognizing dungeon hazards, and foraging for food in any such place.
Examples of dungeoneering knowledge include determining cardinal directions underround, recognizing dangerous underground plants or spotting new construction or noticing a change in depth while eploring.
Another unique use of the Dungeoneering skill is to create items that aid in battle. This item performs a Power Attack Tech with no cost to user, however, these items are single use only. Once they are used, they are gone. The Tech can be of any strength and any secondaries can be tacked onto it as normal. The cost of creating such an item is equal to (The Tech’s Level Squared) * 50. You lose no money if you fail this check, but you may only attempt to create such an item three times per day.
You have picked up knowledge related to the history of a region and beyond, including the chronological record of significant events and an explanation of their causes. This includes information pertaining to royalty and other leaders, wars, legend, significant personalities, laws, customs, traditions, and memorable events.
You have picked up knowledge and skills related to nature, including finding your way through the wilderness, recognizing natural hazards, dealing with and identifying natural creatures, and living off the land.
Another unique use of the Nature skill is to create items that aid in battle. This item performs a Status Effect Tech with no cost to user, however, these items are single use only. Once they are used, they are gone. The Tech can be of any strength and any secondaries can be tacked onto it as normal. The cost of creating such an item is equal to (The Tech’s Level Squared) * 50. You lose no money if you fail this check, but you may only attempt to create such an item three times per day.
You have picked up knowledge about gods, religious symbols and ceremonies, divine effects, holy symbols and theology. This knowledge extends to information about undead.
Another unique use of the Religion skill is to create items that aid in battle. This item performs a Healing or Dispel Tech with no cost to user, however, these items are single use only. Once they are used, they are gone. The Tech can be of any strength and any secondaries can be tacked onto it as normal. The cost of creating such an item is equal to (The Tech’s Level Squared) * 50. You lose no money if you fail this check, but you may only attempt to create such an item three times per day.
Support Skill Synergies
Attack Up grants a 5% bonus Athletics and Dungeoneering. In addition, for every 15 points of STR the character has, they receive an additional 1% to Athletics.
The Concentrate secondary grants a bonus of 1% to all AGI based skills for every 15 points of AGI the character has. In addition, the character gains a 5% bonus to Insight and Perception.
A character with the Counter Secondary gains a benefit depending on the type of Counter chosen at character creation:
1) Normal Attack: You gain a 5% bonus to Athletics. In addition, you may substitute an Athletics roll with a +25 penalty in place of the normal 30% chance whenever this support skill is subject to being triggered.
2) Command Skill: You gain a 5% bonus to Insight. In addition, during combat you may attempt an Insight on your turn with a +25 penalty in order to force-trigger the Command skill tied to this support skill.
3) Tech: You gain a 5% bonus to Endurance. In addition, whenever this counter is triggered, you may make an Endurance check at a penalty of +25 in order to eliminate any cost associated with using the Tech.
4) Mirror Tech: You gain a 5% bonus to Insight. In addition, whenever this counter is triggered, you may make an Insight check at a penalty of +25 in order to eliminate any cost associated with using the Tech.
The Cover secondary grants a 5% bonus to Acrobatics and Endurance. In addition, a character may choose to make an Endurance Check with a +25 Penalty in order to reduce the damage by half when this support skill is triggered.
The Flight secondary grants a 5% bonus to Acrobatics and Stealth. In addition, subtract 40 from all Athletics rolls used to Climb or Jump.
The Lucky secondary grants a 5% bonus to the character’s non-tagged, non-secondary Primary Skills. This bonus also applies to any non-tagged Lore Skills.
The Magic Up secondary grants a 5% bonus to Arcana. In addition, whenever the character uses the Arcana skill to create a magical item, treat the character’s Arcana skill as 20% higher than normal.
The Mental Strength secondary grants a 5% bonus to all SPR based skills. In addition, for every 15 points of SPR the character has, they receive an additional 1% to all SPR based skills.
The Natural Resistance secondary grants a 5% bonus to Endurance. In addition, whenever the character takes damage from the element tied to this support skill, they may roll an Endurance check with a +40 penalty to reduce the damage to 0.
The Quickness secondary grants the character a 6% bonus to all AGI based skills.
A character with Secret Hunt gains a 5% bonus to Dungeoneering and Nature. In addition, the player may increase the difficulty of Item Creation checks that use Dungeoneering and Nature by 25 in order to cut the item creation cost by half.
The Toughness secondary grants the character a 5% bonus to Athletics, Endurance and Dungeoneering. In addition, whenever the character uses Endurance to stave off the effects of Poison or Venom, treat their percentage as 20% higher.
The bonus to the character’s Evade derived stat granted by the Weapon Guard support skill also adds to the character’s Acrobatics skill percentage while that weapon is equipped.
Frogg's Modification of Boogey's System
Alchemy: Base Stat is Magic. Allows the creation of Potion-Type Items, as well as any item not covered by Lore skills. The amount you succeed as determines if there is an added beneficial effect to your new potion.the benefit gained is determined by the Master. You can only make potions twice per day
Succeed by 10 or more points, but less then 20 points = Minor Beneficial Effect, (Potion Cost *.75) to create.
Succeed 20 or more points, but less then 40 points = Moderate Beneficial Effect (Potion Cost *.66) to create.
Succeed by more then 40 Points = Major Beneficial Effect. (Potion Cost *.5) to create.
Potion difficulties rise with Character Level and is determined by the Master. Creating an Easy potion will suffer a -1 point gain, to a minimum of 0. Very Easy Potions give no bonus to Alchemy if successful. Hard Potions grant 1 point more to Alchemy Skill if successful, and Very hard potions grant 2 more points if successful.
Perform: Base Stat is Spirit. Allows a character to perform, anything from acting, singing, dancing, or even circus oddities like palm reading. The amount you succeed by will determine how much coin you earn. You can only perform twice per day. There is no set difficulty for differant performances, except in competitive performances.
Succeed by less then 10 points = (Level + Spirit)
Succeed by 10 or more points, but less then 20 points = ((Level + Spirit)*2) gil earned
Succeed 20 or more points, but less then 40 points = ((Level+Spirit)*5 gil earned
Succeed by more then 40 Points = ((Level+Spirit)*10 gil earned
The KICK to the skills
The kick is this. For every successful use of a skill you perform yourself (or a skill the GM doesn't tell you you need to roll, but you choose to roll yourself), increase your skill by a set amount. If you succeed by more then 20 points, you get +1 point added to your skill. If You succeed by more then 40, it's +2, and if you roll a 1 (a perfect success), You gain +3 to the skill.
Additionally, At Level 1, and every Level after, The character can roll on a single skill of his choice to see if he or she succeeds. The value of the success is the same as above, and is added to the skill +1. You can earn anywhere between 1 to 4 points on a skill this way. You cannot perform a check on the same Skill twice in a row. Lore skills can only be increased through special means (Reading books, Listening to stories from people, or even watching a few people train or meditate)
Note: You gain one extra Secondary Skill (the skill type with +15 added to it as a base value rather then +25 or +0)