A couple weeks ago, I wrote up an outline of sorts for what I’d consider my perfect system. I said that I likely would never write it up, but thanks to getting my “Saga-ized” psionics rules for SWN written up, I’ve started toying around with writing up the rest of it. It’s not something that I’d be able to share out legally since it uses a lot of SWN whole-cloth. However, I can share bits and pieces that are generally my own ideas or details on how I put together the various systems to build my “perfect” sci-fi system.
Beyond psionics, I don’t have a lot written up as of yet. I’m working on the Equipment chapter at the moment. I do have a skill list done, though, and that’s what I’m offering up today.
The rules for skills are left largely unchanged. Players still roll 2d6, add in any modifiers and try to roll equal to or over a certain Difficulty or Target Number. If no changes has been made from the core rules, they are noted below.
Artists are skilled in the creation of things that stir emotion. There are two varieties of Art that this skill covers (for other forms see Performance): Visual Art and Writing.
Visual Art covers painting, drawing, sculptures and the like.
Writing covers novels, poems, screenplays, and so forth.
Armor does not convey protection simply because someone puts on land warrior armor. It takes training and skill to know to properly don armor to get the maximum protection.
These skills cannot be raised beyond 0 and must be purchased in order (a character cannot select Armor/Heavy without also having Armor/Medium). Simply selecting one of these skills allows the character to wear armor to get the full bonus to AC. Otherwise, donning armor that without being proficient in its use only grants the lower “Unskilled” value. All characters can wear light armor, so there is no need to purchase an Armor/Light skill.
This skill is actually composed of several specialties, each one of which must be learned separately.
Archaic Melee Weapons: Use of muscle-powered weapons such as knives, swords, or clubs, as well as thrown weapons such as grenades. This includes high-tech versions of these weapons.
Archaic Ranged Weapons: Use of ancient ranged weapons such as crossbows, bows, and ancient gunpowder weapons like blunderbusses and muskets.
Energy Weapons: Use of high-tech weaponry that relies on energy emissions such as lasers or plasma.
Gunnery: Use of heavy vehicle-mounted weapons or fixed guns, whether on spacecraft or planetary vehicles.
Projectile Weapons: Use of mechanically-powered weaponry such as pistols, rifles, and the like.
Psitech: Use of psitech weaponry. This skill is usually useless to non-psions, as almost all psitech weaponry requires some psionic talent to use.
Unarmed: Weaponless combat techniques. Unlike other forms of weaponry, a practitioner of unarmed combat can add their Combat/Unarmed skill to the damage roll as well as the hit roll. Characters with Unarmed-2 expertise are so good that they can even injure targets in powered armor and other gear that would otherwise prevent effective Unarmed attacks.
The character knows how to safely and effectively place and detonate explosives. He also has an understanding of structural integrity to make a structure fall the way wants to either maximize or minimize casualties.
A character with this skill is proficient at changing his or her appearance. The character can use clothing, makeup, prosthetics, etc. to either keep from drawing attention to him/herself, appear to be someone else, or even to appear to be a different (but similar sized) species.
The character is adept in caring for and training of animals. He/she can gauge an animal’s temperament and how to best approach the creature. In order for this ability to work, the creature must have at least the intelligence above that of an insect (intelligence 1 or better). GM’s may decide that this skill only works on creatures similar to those found on his homeworld, so a character from Earth may be able to handle dog-like creatures throughout much of the galaxy, but a spore-base animal unlike anything found on Earth would be beyond his ability.
This skill must be taken in a particular specialty. These specialties range from Acting (which covers stand-up comedy and other forms of spoken art), dancing, singing, and various types of musical instruments (keyboard, wind instruments, string instruments, and percussion).
This is a skill that only psions can select. This skill is a measure of the psion’s ability to properly harness and control his powers and is used when activating psionic powers.
The character is skilled at determining psychological disorders in individuals and properly diagnosing a treatment. GM’s may require a character to have Culture/Species in a particular species (other than his own) to be able to use this skill without a penalty (or at all) on a member of a different species.
This skill comes in two varieties: General and Specific.
The General specialty marks the character as a student of the study of how religions form and work in an overall sense. He/she may know more than common knowledge on various religions, both of his own species and others (although, GM’s may require the character to also have the Culture/Species skill for that species), but their knowledge isn’t fluent.
The Specific specialty means the character is fluent in the history, traditions, and rites of the chosen religion. The religion chosen can be one that’s native to his species, or an alien religion.
Sleight of Hand
The character is adept in using misdirection or simply a light touch to lift and conceal objects from other beings. In order for a character to take this skill, the character’s species must be capable of fine motor skills.
This skill is broken down into several specialties, and is required for building or repairing that variety of technology.
Astronautic: Anything on or related to spacecraft comes under the astronautic heading, including spike drives, life support systems, and ship gunnery.
Chemical: Anything related to the mixing of chemicals from creating acids, to bases, to explosives.
Electronics: Building and repairing electronic equipment, including computers. (Programming and using a computer falls under the Computer skill.)
Mechanical: Building and repairing mechanical devices like engines and engine parts, armor, various pieces of non-electronic gear. This is an essential skill for working on any non-astronautic vehicle.
Medical: Surgery, first aid, disease treatment, cybernetics, and biological utility organisms.
Pharmaceutical: The mixing of medicinal compounds to create treatments for ailments, diseases, and toxins.
Precursor: This skill allows the character to discern the purpose and how to use truly alien technology, often times from a long-extinct Precursor species.
Psitech: Repairing and building technology that interfaces with a psion’s psionic powers.
Robotics: Repairing, designing, and building robots to fill a variety of roles.
Structural: Repairing, designing, and building structures like colony pods, homes, bunkers, and the like.
Weapons: Repairing, designing, and building personal weapons.
I’ve added a few skills, and expanded some others to offer a wider array of abilities. I’ve also added more areas of specialty to the Tech skills. This will allow a player to more dial in to what his/her character is an expert in.
Just like with the Psionics rules, these have not been playtested, and may require some tweaking to how many skill points a character is granted to level things out.