20 March, 2015

Skill List

When you come up with a skill list, you really define what your game is about. Even when you tell players "here's a basic starting list, feel free to come up with new ideas of your own", you've already set their minds down specific paths and their future choices will reflect the initial direction in which you sent them.

A game with dozens of described combat options, and no obvious ways for players to investigate the world around them doesn't lend itself to any style of play beyond hitting things (and maybe taking their stuff). This paints a very different picture to a game with pages of detail about political machinations and the various ways players may interact with the world socially.

White Wolf's Classic World of Darkness gave each of its races a slightly different set of abilities on the character sheets (beyond the differences required by the varying power sets), it didn't necessarily mean that werewolves couldn't learn the skills of etiquette and intrigue, but was more of an indication that a traditional "Werewolf" story didn't see a lot of this.

So I'm trying to think of what might be the core abilities associated with a bizarre, slightly arcane and monstrous game about mutant animals in a world like our own.

Here's what I've got so far.

Move [Biped]

Dance (A)
Sneak (W)
Run (A)
Charge (F)
Climb (A)
Chase (F)
(Glide)* (A)
(Fly - Glide) (A)
Talk [Speech]
Interrogate (F)
Negotiate (W)
Intimidate (F)
Taunt (W)
Convince (A)
Inspire (A)
Study (E)
Meditate (W)
Read (E)
Search (W)
Slash (F)
Punch (F)
Crush (E)
Impale (F)
Tackle (E)
Throw (A)
(Swoop – Glide or Fly) (A)
(Stomp – Size) (E)
Block (E)
Dodge (A)
Protect (E)
Redirect (W)
Counterattack (F)
(Absorb – Armour) (E)
Concoct (W)
Construct (E)
Build (E)
Fortify (E)
Manufacture (E)
Cook (E)
Jury Rig (W)
Reinforce (E)
Restore (E)
Refine (W)
Pick (W)
Disarm (A)
Snipe (W)
Cover (A)
Spray (F)
Aim (W)
Drive (E)
Activate (W)
Deactivate (E)
Cure (W)
Diagnose (A)
Patch (W)
Perform Surgery (E)
Psychoanalyse (A)
Conceal (A)
Stalk (W)
Hunt (F)
Burrow (E)
Buttress (E)
Excavate (E)
Mine (E)
Empathise (A)
Identify (W)
Soothe (A)
Bolster (W)
See (A)
Smell (A)
Taste (W)
Hear (A)
Feel (E)
Intuit (F)
Fish (W)
Project (Psy/Magic) (F)
Poison (E)
Lift (F)
Enchant (Psy/Magic) (A)
Curse (Psy/Magic) (E)
Navigate (W)
Track (A)
Tumble (A)
Perform (A)
Mimic (A)
Hypnotize (Power) (A)
Play Dead (Power) (E)
Demolish (F)
Tie (E)
If a wide verb is in Bold it means that everyone starts with this. Otherwise, characters will start with around four "wide" verbs, and once they've picked a wide verb they may learn a "narrow" verb within it (or may learn one of the "other" narrow verbs). In total, I'm thinking that most characters will start with about a dozen of these "narrow" verbs with the ability to pick up another every second game.

Each of the narrow verbs is specific lined to an elemental force, the character needs to be in the right frame of mind to engage such a verb. If not, they are limited to wide verbs. Many of the wide verbs have a trait attached to them (eg [Hands]), this indicates that if the mutant animal has insufficiently developed traits (or bears the animalistic version of such a trait), they might find tasks of this type difficult.

That's where my mind is at the moment, at it seems pretty content.      
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