I was watching some Star Trek: TNG this weekend and it got me thinking about my house system for sci-fi again. During the development of the system I've found myself falling into the trap of adding too much to the system. I'm not really happy with certain aspects of the system when playtesting. It's one of those things that certain aspects sound good, but when implemented don't turn out quite right. Plus, with my recent work with the Swords & Wizardry rules, I've got to thinking about how I can change things around to make certain aspects easier to run.
First off, I'm taking a play out of the S&W rules and changing saves to a single save column.
Skills are going to be implemented in the same way as is presented in Basic D&D. Characters stat play with 4 skill selections (humans start with 6). Skill rolls are simply a d20 roll against the character's attribute score. A roll under the score succeeds, with a roll of 20 always failing. Skills don't increase other than using additional skill selections on the same skill. Each additional skill selection applied to a trained grants a -1 bonus to the skill roll. Class skill lists are still used with Cross Class skills requiring 2 selections to gain training. Classes are granted the chance to become proficient with weapons, which will now have a "Proficiency Rating" that is a bonus to attack rolls. Each class, however, will have a set list of weapon and armor proficiencies. Some classes, like Diplomat, may not be proficient with any weapons. Requiring them to spend a skill selection if they want to gain the proficiency rating bonus. For armor, each skill spent in armor allows the character to wear the next category of armor (Light/Medium/Heavy/Power), but all characters can wear light armor.
I'm removing all of the career builds for characters. It's a neat idea, but it really doesn't add that much to the ease of the character creation process. Plus, I find that builds such as that tend to get players to see them as really the only such option for that type of characters. Better to just get rid of them.
Psionics...I'm waffling a bit on this. I may go the standard SWN route, but the idea of scrapping the Psion class altogether in lieu of characters having a chance of having a psionic power, a single power, has some appeal.
Much of the rest of the work I've done will still be usable, but as I go through the changes more things may crop up.