I was thinking today about different ways to implement a skill system.
The question I asked myself was: how often did I “fail” a “test” at work?
Ok, I get it, developing ecommerce software in Perl is hardly an epic adventure that our PCs regularly face, but there are parallels:
- A fantasy group haggling with a merchant
- A scifi group working on fixing the stardrive or whatever
- A cyberpunk group fencing stolen data
So relative to those sorts of tests, I thought about the Powered by the Apocalypse “success with complications”. That’s pretty interesting, but not quite what I was thinking about.
The mechanic I was envisioning probably exists in many systems: it’s a question of time. How long does a task take to succeed?
This goes back to my thought about work. I rarely failed but some of the time, it took me a considerably longer time to complete the task. Still other times, I had a sudden flash of inspiration or just a solid work day and knocked out whatever was on my plate. Similarly, adding more people to a task often helped (and sometimes hurt – you can’t have 9 women birth a baby in a month).
I think this resolution method applies mostly to professional or vocational skills, not “instant” actions (although, if you’re a professional locksmith …).
Still, something to think about when working out how your PCs tackle a task.