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View Full Version : Which is the best skill system that you know?



true_shinken
2011-01-08, 12:32 AM
Exactly what it says in the tin.
I personally like Storyteller's skill system a lot; no attribute is tied to a skill at all, you have a fairly large list of skills and it uses a dice pool to determine success.

What about you guys? Which skill system do you find to be better?

Skjaldbakka
2011-01-08, 12:33 AM
The storyteller system is my preferred skill system as well, but it doesn't map well to d20.

woodenbandman
2011-01-08, 03:08 AM
Burning wheel is pretty nice.

It's sort-of like storyteller, but having a 6 strength doesn't mean you automatically get a 7-die pool in strength related skills.

Gralamin
2011-01-08, 03:15 AM
I have yet to find a skill system that I feel addresses skills in more then a simple binary check in most cases, and has the right amount of complexity for the emphasis put onto it in the game.

3.5 is probably the worst offender in this regard, a massive skill list with lots of rules that doesn't really matter much in play.

Storyteller is better, but for a system that allows degrees of success elegantly, it sure fails to deliver that in the core rules.

Exalted is a good step up, but I feel they really dropped the ball with social combat.

So I'm still searching for a game that has what I feel is a good skill system. :smallbiggrin:

Mark Hall
2011-01-08, 12:16 PM
I kinda like the L5R system. Roll Stat + Skill, total it all up... but unless you're trying for greater effect, you get the standard. DC is only 10? I have 10 dice, I'm gonna make it. However, I could try for some "raises" to make whatever I do more effective.

Psyren
2011-01-08, 12:26 PM
I love Pathfinder, which is basically 3.5 having shed some much-needed baggage. I know there are probably better systems out there but Pathfinder wins for compatibility.

Knaight
2011-01-08, 12:42 PM
There are a few that I really like for different reasons.

Cortex. Its a standard roll attribute die, roll skill die, add system. That part is unimpressive, however there is one tweak that works brilliantly. Skills can advance to a d6 in general form, at which point only specialties are advanced above that, with the option to build up several specialties. It isn't particularly well handled, but the concept is brilliant.

Fudge. The amount rolls succeed or fail is extremely relevant, skill-attribute connections are completely optional, and the trait ladder makes assigning difficulties and gauging the capability of characters based on game statistics extremely easy.

ORE. ORE is a special case, in that its skill system is extremely powerful, extremely versatile, and a cut above the other examples. It is a pseudo dice pool system where matches on the dice are looked for instead of dice over a number. Both the number which matches and number of matching dice are relevant, one representing how well an action is performed and the other how quickly. There are methods to set certain dice before rolling others, these consistently make sense and elegantly model what they are supposed to.

The Big Dice
2011-01-08, 12:54 PM
I kinda like the L5R system. Roll Stat + Skill, total it all up... but unless you're trying for greater effect, you get the standard. DC is only 10? I have 10 dice, I'm gonna make it. However, I could try for some "raises" to make whatever I do more effective.
I like L5R myself. I especially like the way that Skills and Traits have often used pairings, but that you don't have to use a skill with a pecific trait. You can use your Kenutsu skill to appraise how well a sword is made by using Perception/Kenjutsu. Or see how good somebody is relative to you by using Awareness/Kenjutsu. Or perform a long demonstration with Stamina/Kenjutsu.

Versatile but not overly complicated, I like that in a game.

true_shinken
2011-01-08, 01:08 PM
Cortex. Its a standard roll attribute die, roll skill die, add system. That part is unimpressive, however there is one tweak that works brilliantly. Skills can advance to a d6 in general form, at which point only specialties are advanced above that, with the option to build up several specialties. It isn't particularly well handled, but the concept is brilliant.
I'm not sure if I understand. So you use a d4 before you get to d6 or something? Or do you use multiple dice, and you instead of multiple d6 then you use -say - multiple d10?

Galdor Miriel
2011-01-08, 01:37 PM
The 4E skill system works great for us. A wizard does not totally suck at stealth, and fighters are not nerfed. Skill challenges done right are tons of fun and it is all built in.

GM

PlzBreakMyCmpAn
2011-01-08, 01:46 PM
Combined skills and class abilities in an older generation DnD MUD

int to speed of learning
wis to point available to use to learn

a low int, low wis fighter wouldn't be able to learn all his abilities/proficiencies/skill :)

Knaight
2011-01-08, 03:28 PM
I'm not sure if I understand. So you use a d4 before you get to d6 or something? Or do you use multiple dice, and you instead of multiple d6 then you use -say - multiple d10?

My previous post was eaten by the forum, so I'll make this short. Both skills and attributes are rated on a die scale, you roll the skill and roll the attribute, then add them. Furthermore, skills split past d6, meaning that while one might be able to take something along the lines of Melee Combat to d6, they might have to pick Swordsmanship for a d8 skill. A simple example.

Snowboard Racing
Snowboarder A:
Agility d6
Winter Sports d6

Snowboarder B: Agility d10
Winter Sports d6
-Snowboarding d8
-Skiing d10

Snowboarder A would roll d6+d6 in a snowboard race, Snowboarder B would roll d10+d8. If they were both skiing instead, it becomes d6+d6 against d10+d10.

TheCountAlucard
2011-01-08, 03:42 PM
d20-based skill system I like best? Gotta go with SWSE. :smallbiggrin: Did it way better than 4e, before 4e.

OWoD would be up there as one of my favorites, if they were the least bit consistent with each other. Okay, so vampires use this set of talents, skills, and knowledges that represent all the different things they can do... until these other books come out, with new talents, skills, and knowledges that frankly seem superfluous. Lip-reading? That could go under Alertness. Vampire Lore? Sounds like an Occult specialty to me. And that's not counting the other splats out there.

Exalted is in the same boat: a contender with consistency issues. Why invest in the Sail skill, since airships run off of Lore? Why is Magitech its own Craft Ability when Necrotech isn't? Why is Craft broken up into a bazillionty subsets anyway, when none of the rest of the skills are?

Then again, now that I'm getting all nitpicky, I guess I should go ahead and say that my favorite skill system is not without its flaws. That's right, I'm looking at you, Shadowrun. :smallsigh:

fryplink
2011-01-08, 03:44 PM
I know 3.5 best (I DM it quite a bit), but Paranioa, plays much faster and is probably a better system (I'd have to actually learn the rules, which my GM has forbidden unless you have a valid reason) from what I know of it (the GM knows 3.5 just as well as I do and swears by paranoia, and he can run it much more smoothly with many more people than I can 3.5)

grimbold
2011-01-08, 03:48 PM
i think if you play a stripped down version of 3.5 for the skill list (like i do) its actually really good, but if you pay attention to all the rules then it starts to suck
all you need is d20+modifier

Beleriphon
2011-01-08, 04:27 PM
I'm fond of Mutants and Masterminds Third Edition/DC Adventures. Buy ups skills individually, broad Expertise skill (Expertise: Reporter, Scientist, etc.) make for lots of comic book fun.

Britter
2011-01-08, 10:34 PM
I like the Specialty system in Icons, Steve Kenson's rules-lite supers system.

I like Mouse Guard and Burning Wheel quite a bit as far as skill system as well. I think they are very well set up, and I like the way both systems handle failure.

NX_Phoenix
2011-01-08, 10:56 PM
The Brutal system used in Corporation has you roll under the sum of your skill and applicable stat with modifiers to the sum for difficulty and multiple success for highly difficult and drawn out tasks. The thing is this: stats and skills are completely independent of each other so as long as you can justify the combination of stat and skill for the task you're good. Add on top of that the fact that you can add to the sum half of the value of a second skill that could be applicable and the system really allows for flexibility.

Zaq
2011-01-09, 06:15 AM
If you like a rules-light and silly system, I find that you can have a lot of fun with something like the BEER engine or Risus. Actions or tasks might have suggested skills or stats to go under, but they're not locked into place; if you can convince the GM and/or the group that what you're trying to do is related to another skill or stat, then you get to use that skill or that stat. (Sure, if you're willing to bend things, any system can be like this, but systems that are designed with this kind of flexibility in mind tend to run into fewer weird edge cases.) I find that I tend to enjoy games that are more rules-heavy for combat and more rules-light for skills, but that's just me.

JaronK
2011-01-09, 07:45 AM
I'm a fan of Shadowrun 3e for this. Characters get a wide variety of skills, including more random ones that round out the character, and yet unlike 4e you actually need points in the skill (a high agility or logic skill isn't enough). Plus, you almost never just auto fail, but difficulty is pretty easy to set.

JaronK