Sorry I’ve been slow to post today, it’s been a busy day at work, and I decided to go out for lunch. Right now, what I’d like to talk about is character classes, skills, and special dice. Oh, and dice pools, just a little bit.

I’ve had this idea to build characters around their skills for a while, but also to make the classes separate and equal to skills in terms of character build. You could think of the skills like character races, and people would be free to imagine their characters however they like, using the skills they’ve chosen in combination with their skills.

What I’ve had in mind in particular, is this idea of some custom dice to just make the experience magical. If you’re familiar with Elder Sign, which you might not be ’cause it’s still a pretty new game, you might be familiar with its special dice. Green dice have faces for terror, peril, lore, and investigation. (They remind me of Clue tokens.)

I have this picture in my head of a six-sided die with little stacks of arrows on three faces, kind of like what the eagle has in its claws on the U.S. Presidential Seal. On one face, there would be a laurel wreath to represent Athletics, on another face, there’d be a winged sandal for Initiative, and on the last face, a banner for Discipline.

My notes have these down as “conflict dice.”

The basic idea would be for a character to roll said dice, and score successes for each die that came up with their corresponding skill as a result. Literally, it’s their skill that makes the venture a success. In the case where they’re running a Challenge particular to their skill, they’d be allowed to change one die result to their skill.

In other words, during a Discipline Challenge, a Discipline Hero would be allowed to turn an Athletics result into a Discipline result. Just once per Challenge, of course, and it would only effect one die. (Fudge dice results under specific circumstances.) For things to really work in the players’ favor, they’ll want to form a group.

If you have three heroes working together, say an Athletics, a Discipline, and an Initiative Hero are all working together on the same Challenge, they all count their skills as successes on the Challenge. They’ll have to split the resulting experience points three ways, but they’re guaranteed success by working together.

Not all situations call for Conflict dice, though. There will be times when Trade dice come up, when Culture dice are needed, or Explorer dice are called for — and that’s where the other nine skills come in. With few exceptions, the skills will remain in the same groups with their associated suits. (Swords, Wands, Cups, and Coins.)