Monday, January 31, 2011

New Fading Suns Blog Post: Skills and Synergy

I'm guessing you found out
about this blog through an
image search for Fading
Suns and were curious.
Or am I wrong?

In this latest post, we learn more about Skill, Benefits (Benefices?) and Afflictions in the upcoming 3rd Edition of Fading Suns.

The proposed Skill Synergy mechanic is interesting in conjunction with the Languages and Technical skills, but I suppose I'll have to see how it plays before I pass any verdict. A two-tier view of skills emerges with "primary skills" (my term) used to handle majority of skill checks, that are supported by secondary skills / areas of knowledge or specialization (also my terms).

So your linguist may be able to do translation work over time, but -- without the appropriate culture skill or specialization -- will not be able to hold up a conversation with the diplomatic ambassador from Kurgan space.

Or perhaps your ship's engineer may be a wizard at fixing anything remotely related to ship subsystems, but will be struggling to understand the workings of a terrarforming World Engine -- much less Vau Tech!

It is also my hope, however, that we avoid some of the game system problems of the past directly related to the resolution system. I basically ditched the d20 for a 3d6 bell curve and used the rest of the system more or less as is in my initial passes -- for a more heroic game. I hated the 10% chance for failure, 5% for a fumble in the old system and had mad visions of what mass combat must have been like in the universe: a guaranteed 5% casualty rate in any engagement...

Also there seems to be some clean up work in the Benefits / Afflictions area where there is some discouragement of min/maxing. While I like a good min/max myself if that's what the game group enjoys, I often found myself ditching it for Fading Suns in prior editions. Maybe because I didn't really like the +2 / -2 approach to some of the advantages and disadvantages, and felt that some of the point values were measured against differing scales (some too fine, some too coarse). As a fan of the Hero System and Fuzion and DC Heroes, the character kept pushing me toward that direction instead of back towards the more broadly-grouped approach of White Wolf games.

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That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.