Energion Fantasy Role-Playing Game System
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The Energion Role-Playing Game System

Skill System

How Skills Work

Basic skill descriptions require five elements: Name, Base Percentage, Percentage multiple per level, Base Training Points, and Prime Stats. Optional rules may add level factor, basic age, and overlap percentages with other skills.

The skill name is fairly obvious. Make it descriptive and make it short.

The base percentage indicates the difference between someone who has never heard of the skill and someone who has had the most basic training in it. A knowledge field would start low and build steadily as the character studies more. Combat and other physical skills require a certain minimum amount of training to get started, and so should have a more radical jump from zero to first level. In general, skills at zero level should be ignored, except for combat. Details are explained under each skill.

I calculate the percent per level increase in skill by figuring what percentage I need as the maximum possible, and dividing that into 40 increments. Using the base plus the percentage per level plus any bonuses results in the skill percentage (see below).

Base training points indicates how difficult it is for a skill to be learned. I use values ranging from 300 to 22000. These figures provide the training time required to learn each level of the skill. Develop figures based on time required for a person with maximum prime stats and with minimum prime stats to learn the skill. A spreadsheet helps with this process since you can check levels at various training point figures quickly.

Prime stats are the stats which the character requires in order to learn the skill. Instead of imposing arbitrary level limits or stat maximums or minimums, training time and thus practicability of level increase can thus be based on the aptitude of the character. Choose one to four stats which are relevant to the skill. The more prime stats are chosen, the more difficult it will be to become expert at the skill.

Characters gain skills by levels. Each level in any skill costs training points. Training points are gained by performing actions which would provide the character with training, education, or life experience. training points required to attain a level is:

TP-BaseTP/AVG(PrimeStats)*LEVEL*(LEVEL+1)/2

Your skill percentage will be:

SKILL%=BASE+LEVEL+PPL+AVG(PrimeStatBonuses)/4

PPL=points per level

BaseTP is taken from the charts, thus, if a character is using strength, coordination and agility (ST=170, AG=150, CO=160) as prime combat stats, the number of TP required to attain tenth level would be:

15000/((170+150+160)/3)*10*11*.5=5156

First level skill also requires training points, derived from the character's background. The above character would require 3 training points for first level. The Energion game system does not assume that a character will start at first level. In fact it should be extremely unlikely for a character to be first level in all skills possessed.

I use level factors to provide a limit on the number of major professions in which a character can maintain proficiency at one time. Minor ones of course count in this process as well, but not as much as major ones. Some things once learned are learned and require little maintenance. Others require constant practice to maintain a fine edge. A good example of the former is Priest skill--one does not necessarily become less attractive to one's god after a period of time of studying another field. Combat, however, requires constant practice.

Under the level factor rule, a character can have a maximum of 40 factored levels. The LevelFactor is the percentage of the character's levels in that skill which count against the 40 level maximum. Factored levels are the level factor percentage of each of the character's levels.

FactoredLevels=Levels*LevelFactor

The level factor may be further modified by the prime stats, indicating the ease with which the character learns and retains the skill. Thus:

IndividualLevelFactor=LevelFactor/AVG(PrimeStats)*100

The total of all factored levels must never exceed 40.

Basic Age is designed for use in campaigns with extremely detailed background development. This is the minimum age at which a character may gain training points in the skill. I use this is developing cultures and training options with them. Zordo the mage may accept apprentices at age seven, but if you decide that magic training begins only after age 12, then those first five years are spent gaining background knowledge. Don't be too arbitrary on this subject, however, or you can deny some nice possibilities.

Some skills are closely enough related ot make some training useful in both. A priest who has a knowledge field of "World Religions," for example, would study some things useful in the profession of "priest" as well. It is also possible for a character who has specialized in one profession for a while to want to shift emphasis, and even start up a new profession. Often that second profession is related to the first, such as studying a new branch of magic. The character is not in the position of the apprentice starting to study, but still has to do some work.

Skill overlap percentage is a number of training points granted in one skill which may also apply in another. For example, the character who has a knowledge field in theology and is also a priest might get up to 100% of training points for attending a class in his own theology, or perhaps 10% for a class about comparing his to others. The person who is a student of two different sub-fields of magic might get 10-50% of points earned in one field applied to the other. (Note that this can get out of hand, especially if you don't also apply the rules about level factors.)

The most difficult case is a character retraining from one field into another. Take the overlap percentage as the maximum percentage of the points needed for each level which may be taken from the overlapping field, then add newly earned training points to this aount untila level is made. When all matching points have been used, training continues normally. For example, if the character needs 120 points for first level manipulator, and already has earned 500 points in spellcasting (50% overlap), count the character as having 60 points toward the first level as manipulator. After first level has been earned, count 50% of the amount needed for the next level, (240/2=120) then after another 120 points have been earned, the character makes second level. Because there is a 50% overlap, only 250 points of spellcaster credit may be used by this character, so there are 70 points left. Since 360 are needed for the next level, and of those 180 may be for overlap, we apply the whole 70 points, and from here the character must work his or her way up the hard way. Ahhhh!

If the overlap is 100% and one of the skills includes the other, as in Martial Arts and Combat skills as defined in this manual, then work the skills in this way until they match, then consider the lesser one (normal combat) absorbed into the more costly skill.

Basic Skill Use

Unless otherwise specified in the skill description, every maneuver to be performed under a skill should be rated at a difficulty level of one to ten. This figure is then multiplied by 10 to provide a negative modifier on the character's chance to accomplish the action. Special circumstances which make the maneuver more difficult to perform than normal can increase the difficulty level. If the maneuver is already rated as a 10, then decide on a negative modifier.

Classes of Skills

There are four classes of skills: Abilities, Physical Skills, Mental Skills, and Miscellaneous Skills.

Abilities:

Abilities, which were already mentioned in contrast to stats, are a cross between a skill and a stat. They are treated as skills for playing purposes, hut in awarding training points in these areas, the overall environment must be considered, as well as natural tendencies or talents.

They are derived from the character background information, and may be stated as a level, or as a number of training points gained. Besides the standard percentages, a stat equivalent number is derived from an Ability so that it may be used as a prime stat for skills, especially for priests.

The formula for deriving a stat from an ability is:

StatEqwuivalent=AbilityLevel*5+AVG(PrimeBonuses)/4

PrimeBonus is the bonus of any prime stats which the ability may have. These will vary by culture and other environmental factors. In one culture, leadership ability may depend on a warm, friendly disposition; in another it may depend on strength and intelligence, in some cases, such as appearance, an ability may be simulating a characteristic without obvious prime stats. In the latter case I use a stat of 100 as the default prime, and give out training points according to what I want the resulting ability to be.

Abilities make it possible to detail aspects of a character which are extremely subjective, so they do not have the same set of rules concerning primes and levels of training that other skills. They are not roiled up as are stats. They are based on the environment.

Three major abilities are listed. A campaign witn any level of detail will require several more. Each of the abilities listed below should be adjusted to the cultural setting. The Skill Abbreviation is provided for convenience when using these abilities as stats.

Ability List:

Name: Appearance (AP)
Base Percentage: 0
Percent per Level: 5
Level Factor: 0
Prime Stats:
Minimum Training Age: 0
Base Training Points: 700


Name: Attractiveness (AT)
Base Percentage: 0
Percent per Level: 5
Level Factor: 0
Prime Stats:
Minimum Training Age: 0
Base Training Points: 700


Name: Leadership (LD)
Base Percentage: 0
Percent per Level: 5
Level Factor: 0
Prime Stats:
Minimum Training Age: 0
Base Training Points: 1200


Physical Skills:

These skills are counted as physical professions for purpose of calculating Highest Physical Stat used in avoidance rolls.

Physical Skill List:

Name: Acrobatics
Base Percentage: 20
Percent per Level: 2
Level Factor: 10
Prime Stats: AG;CO
Minimum Training Age: 5
Base Training Points: 1500

This skill allows the character to do tightrope walking, climbing, acrobatic jumps, etc. The percentage is the chance to perform difficult maneuvers successfully, or in the case of various jumps or pole vaults, it is the percentage of the record distance which the character can accomplish. This skill, as well as martial arts, allows dodging any blow with AGBO/4+Level% chance.

Mental Skills:

Used for highest mental level under avoidance rolls.

Mental Skill List:

Name: Priest
Base Percentage: 0
Percent per Level: 0
Level Factor: 33
Prime Stats: By religion
Minimum Training Age: 0
Base Training Points: 13500

Priests perform as the representatives of a god. Their powers, capabilities, and motivations must be determined by individual religion. (See the Religions Manual.)

Name: Manipulator
Base Percentage: 0
Percent per Level: 0
Level Factor: 50
Prime Stats: IQ;WI;CO
Minimum Training Age: 12
Base Training Points: 22000

Manipulators are similar to spellcasters except that their energy source is the plane of bounded chaos. (See the Mental Skills Manual.) Note that the age to start includes completion of primary education.

Name: Mind Master
Base Percentage: 0
Percent per Level: 0
Level Factor: 66
Prime Stats: IQ;WI;EN
Minimum Training Age: 7
Base Training Points: 20000

A mindmaster's power is entirely over his own body. He generally learns some other skills to allow himself the full benefit of those capabilities. (See the Mental Skills Manual.)

Name: Psionics
Base Percentage: 0
Percent per Level: 0
Level Factor: 16
Prime Stats: IQ;WI;FO
Minimum Training Age: 3
Base Training Points: 18500

Psionicists use their minds to directly affect themselves or things they are near. They may also focus mental energy transmission for purposes of command and or communication. A person can become psionic accidentally, but great benefits may be derived from training. (See the Mental Skills Manual.)

Name: Enchanter
Base Percentage: 100
Percent per Level: 2
Level Factor: 10
Prime Stats: IQ;WI;EN
Minimum Training Age: 7
Base Training Points: 12000

This skill is used for the casting of all incantations of summoners, necromancers and other ritualists. Each ritual is rated according to difficulty, and its rating from (1 to 10)*10 is used as a negative modifier to the base chance of success. Failure normally results in nothing happening, but sometimes may cause backfires, Spellcasters and Manipulators may also cast rituals, but they can cast only those with a difficulty rating of the spell level they can cast or less. (See the Mental Skills Manual.)

Name: Spellcaster
Base Percentage: 0
Percent per Level: 0
Level Factor: 50
Prime Stats: IQ;AG;CO
Minimum Training Age: 12
Base Training Points: 22000

Spellcasters perform magic by means of energy gathered from the paramaterial plane. (See the Mental Skills Manual.)

Miscellaneous Skills:

These are all useful skills but don't count in stats or as physical and mental skills for purposes of avoidance rolls.

Miscellaneous Skill List:

Name: Assess Value
Base Percentage: 10
Percent per Level: 2
Level Factor: 2
Prime Stats: IQ
Minimum Training Age: 9
Base Training Points: 500

Assess approximate value of any item which is saleable. The character must be familiar with the specific market area or customer base in question.

Name: Cryptology
Base Percentage: 10
Percent per Level: 6
Level Factor: 4
Prime Stats: IQ;WI
Minimum Training Age: 9
Base Training Points: 500

Decipher difficult enciphered text or design effective ciphers.

Name: Environment
Base Percentage: 20
Percent per Level: 2
Level Factor: 2
Prime Stats: IQ;BEST(HE;EN;WI;FO;ST,1)
Minimum Training Age: 3
Base Training Points: 500

The ability to live naturally in an enviroment. This skill may be acquired naturally sin by liviny in a place for some time. Every character will have a good level in their native envirormient. Some skill In an enviromnent may be required for any perception roll. Levels up to 10 are considered survival levels.

Name: Find Traps
Base Percentage: 30
Percent per Level: 2
Level Factor: 1
Prime Stats: IQ;WI
Minimum Training Age: 5
Base Training Points: 300

Percentage chance to locate traps. Use Set/Remove Traps for those functions.

Name: Hide
Base Percentage: 30
Percent per Level: 2
Level Factor: 1
Prime Stats: CO;IQ;BEST(WI;EN,1)
Minimum Training Age: 3
Base Training Points: 300

Percentage chance is to find and stay in a good hiding place. Nonually each ten percent by which the roll is failed adds one to the type of perception roll required to spot the hiding character. (Option #1) One half the percentage chance in this skill may be applied as a bonus to perception rolls when the character is searching for someone else he or she knows or expects to be hiding in the area. (Option #2) Rather than (1) you may wish to treat the Hide chance as a chance to find someone hiding. Use the amount by which the hiding character made his roll as a penalty to the searching character's chances."

Name: Horsemanship
Base Percentage: 20
Percent per Level: 2
Level Factor: 2
Prime Stats: AG;CO;EN
Minimum Training Age: 5
Base Training Points: 500

Horse raising and handling.

Name: Infiltration
Base Percentage: 20
Percent per Level: 2
Level Factor: 3
Prime Stats: IQ
Minimum Training Age: 12
Base Training Points: 5000

The capability to live long term in another culture or situation without being detected. The cha must be trained for each target culture.

Name: Knowledge Field
Base Percentage: 10
Percent per Level: 4
Level Factor: 5
Prime Stats: IQ
Minimum Training Age: 6
Base Training Points: 6000

Knowledge of a specific subject, such as history of a specific country.

Name: Language
Base Percentage: 15
Percent per Level: 4
Level Factor: 3
Prime Stats: IQ;CO
Minimum Training Age: 0
Base Training Points: 1000

Learn to read, write and speak a language.

Name: Locks
Base Percentage: 20
Percent per Level: 2
Level Factor: 2
Prime Stats: IQ;CO
Minimum Training Age: 9
Base Training Points: 1500

Open or pick locks other than combination or puzzle type.

Name: Pastor
Base Percentage: 0
Percent per Level: 0
Level Factor: 5
Prime Stats: By religion
Minimum Training Age: 0
Base Training Points: 1000

Pastor is similar to priest in being related to a god, but a pastor is simply a person who takes care of worshippers of a particular god. He/she may perform the sacraments and services of the church, but will probably not be able to perform any miracles otherwise. Pastors are used most often by religions with an orientation toward people.

Name: Poisons
Base Percentage: 15
Percent per Level: 4
Level Factor: 10
Prime Stats: IQ;CO
Minimum Training Age: 12
Base Training Points: 5000

Manufacture, handling and use of poisons.

Name: Seamanship
Base Percentage: 20
Percent per Level: 2
Level Factor: 10
Prime Stats: IQ;BEST(HE;EN,1)
Minimum Training Age: 5
Base Training Points: 1500

Ability to pilot and navigate a ship, as well as perform other shipboard tasks. May be split down to navigation and Pilot skill at 800 TP each. Use a 5% skill overlap.

Name: Set/Remove Traps
Base Percentage: 10
Percent per Level: 3
Level Factor: 1
Prime Stats: IQ;CO
Minimum Training Age: 7
Base Training Points: 500

Chance to successfully set or remove traps. Failures should be handled creatively.

Name: Simple Disguise
Base Percentage: 10
Percent per Level: 3
Level Factor: 2
Prime Stats: IQ
Minimum Training Age: 9
Base Training Points: 500

Short term disguise such as in the wearing of makeup. This does not include learning the language of the target culture or more than cursory knowledge of customs. it is normally used in one own culture.

Name: Sleight of Hand
Base Percentage: 40
Percent per Level: 2
Level Factor: 2
Prime Stats: CO;AG
Minimum Training Age: 7
Base Training Points: 500

Pick pocket, make concealed motions, party tricks.

Name: Sneak
Base Percentage: 20
Percent per Level: 2
Level Factor: 2
Prime Stats: CO;AG;BEST(WI;IQ,1)
Minimum Training Age: 3
Base Training Points: 300

The ability to move silently and without being noticeable. (Option #1) One half the percentage chance in this skill may be applied as a bonus to perception rolls when the character is searching for someone else he or she knows or expects to be sneaking in the area. (Option #2) Rather than (1) you may wish to treat the Sneak chance as a chance to find someone sneaking. Use the amount by which the sneaking character made his roll as a penalty to the searching chatacter's chances.

Name: Track
Base Percentage: 10
Percent per Level: 3
Level Factor: 2
Prime Stats: CO;AG;BEST(WI;IQ,1)
Minimum Training Age: 3
Base Training Points: 300

Ability to follow tracks or other signs of passage in an environment with which the tracker is acquainted.