2 thoughts on “Question about the Alchemist?”

  1. It is probably for a separate set of rules that would include D&D/Pathfinder/WoD style skills to all classes. So if your character was specialized in something, they would get a bonus to their roll instead of a flat attribute roll.

    For example, let’s say that we have a character who is an overweight mechanic type. Well, if we ruled that “pick locks” or “disarm traps” were Dexterity checks, then the character couldn’t be good at those things unless he was also good at doing acrobatics, balance, and other assorted things that would also be “Dexterity checks”, but by the plain description of the character we would understand he is not.

    The system as it stands has no functional way to handle the kind of disparity created by the fact that the attributes might cover too wide of categories to properly allow these sorts of differences to exist outside of GM fiat or class features. I suppose if the GM could also rule that for this character Intelligence or Wisdom is more their core attribute for picking locks since his mechanical abilities have much less to do with the nimbleness of his fingers and a lot more to do with knowing what he is doing.

    So whomever created that playbook probably intended to include such a ruleset in their game.

    And before you get a bunch of ‘skills suck! all you need of DM fiat!! you is playing its wong!!: bullshit that is no doubt going to come up when talking about a game that attracts so many thick-headed, conservative, grognards afraid of any idea conceived after 1980…

    There are two fundamental issues in regards to implementing skills. The first is the fact that whenever you make a skill list, it is really never clear where one should make the division between skills. Does one treat knowledge about the region the game takes place in and details of how the government works as separate skills? How about treating sneaking in the city different from sneaking in the forest? Or should going undetected by people’s eyes be a totally separate skill from going undetected by their ears? Are finding traps and disabling traps the same thing or different things? No matter where you go ahead and make your divisions, they are going to come off as unnecessarily arbitrary. Worse, you are going to end up with some skills that are used CONSTANTLY throughout the game with some pretty nasty penalties for failing the roll…while other skills are virtually never going to come up and the penalty for failure is never going to be particularly harmful or meaningful. This means everyone who isn’t either being silly or doesn’t know what they are doing is going to choose those first skills. Literally every single player.

    And the second issue is that if skills improve over time, then you are going to have to keep increasing the target number they need to roll in order to keep any real challenge. Soon enough you will arrive at a situation where it is only feasible for the person who has the skill to pass the roll and if they have that skill, then passing is pretty much automatic.

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