Alright, its been a while so I have decided to do a bit of an update...
I have done some major retooling in the Skill department. Originally the game had a big fat skill list. In the previous version that skill list was shortened to 14 skills that encompassed everything needed for FAL. However, after playtesting and getting into it, I thought that 14 was still too many so I condensed those 14 into 5. And, they are no longer skills but rather stats: Bright, Brute, Tinker, Charm, and Nimble. Players get a few points to give to these skills to show what area of training they have.
As for skills, these have been left open and a set of guidelines created in order to allow players to truly define and shape a PC from the ground up, and during play. During PC creation, the player awards 6 skills to the PC, 3 of which are positive, 3 of which are negative. It is from these 5 stats and the 6 skills that the PC is shaped at creation.
As PCs experience the world, they come upon obstacles and situations which may not be covered by their skill set. In this case, based on the type of PC, the PC's history, and other training aspects, players create a flashback, a short narrative story which explores a PC's particular strength or weakness in the situation confronted. Role playing the character in a positive way brings XP while acting outside the PC's area of expertise, limits XP awarded for role playing. Some of this is still being hammered out.
The idea behind this is to allow players a very open freedom in building a PC over the course of the game. As PCs become more defined, there are less flashbacks that are narrated. Also, the stories created in the flashback can serve as elements in the game, setting, and future campaigns. These things will also tie in nicely to the Legacy of Far Away Land in which families and dynasties can be utilized as game elements...
Some things I am thinking about adding into this are: to make it a judged system based on points awarded by the players and the GM. Basically, players and GMs vote based on a series of criteria for the flashback. The vote indicates whether or not the PC gets a positive or negative modifier. Or, just the GM decides. I dunno.
The main thing is to create and stay in line with the progression of a particular character. The idea of power gaming and getting the most awesomely powerful character should be secondary (unless that is inline with the PC) to the creation of cool characters and narratives.
Here is a thread over on the rpg.net forums where we are discussing this new skill/flashback method...
So, that is the big skill update. Another big update is that of the core mechanic.
1d20 + 1/2 level + modifier, while it worked fine, it wasn't as elegant as I wanted. So, I simplified that as well. Now you roll 1d12 + modifier. That's it. Compare your roll to a TN and go from there. Skills and Stats get added into the roll for the total. All around, it is just a simpler more elegant system and in reality, the 1/2 level modifier was pointless as it added an element of level gaining that I wanted to avoid.
One more thing, if you haven't seen it, check out my deviantART page which has some artwork for the game.
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