Boy, have I got a lot to tell you about.

I have a list of 60 skills that I’m building into a Career system to replace 5e skills, proficiency, and backgrounds–the Career system is similar to how careers function in Traveller. I forget if the Social classes are another name for the same thing, or if they’re the archetypes that Careers are based on.

Let me check my notes really quick.

Yeah, okay. Careers and Social classes are the same thing. Lol.

There are 12, which function as archetypes. They are intentionally designed to parallel the Citizens/Pops of games like Civilization and Victoria, because they will plug into the city-building portion of the game.

Skills are grouped in ten categories of six skills each–they’re organized thematically to basically represent “ability scores” in the context of different genres or scenarios. For example, if your group is engaged in a “medical drama”-type situation, you have the First Aid, Medicine, Nursing, Revive, Surgery, and Implant skills at your disposal.

Many skills can be used outside the context in which they are categorized, and in fact, that’s what you should kind of hope for–Language skills like Abstract, Reading, Rhetoric, Semantic, Symbols, and Broker may seldom be used together unless you have multiple scholar-type characters in the group. You’re more likely to one-and-done skills in the Language group.

I have worked on a lot of skill lists over the years, and this list in particular has been in the works since about this time last year. Feels good to be putting the finishing touches on this particular draft. *pats self on shoulder*

Until last month, I was hovering somewhere around 90 skills, and that just seemed excessive. I made an effort to merge, remove, and reorganize what I had–with 60 being my goal. Now, that might still sound like… way too many to you, but I’ve put in some shortcuts to help players digest the large number of skills:

First of all, there are just 18 “common skills,” which are generally campaign- or setting-oriented, and the sort of skills you’d expect an adventurer to acquire.

Those skills are–Athletics, Brawling, Burglary, Conceal, Dancing, Drinking, Firearms, First Aid, Gambling, Leader, Melee, Missile, Provoke, Prowl, Rapport, Search, Singing, and Vehicle. THAT is the list which would appear on a character sheet.

Most are pretty self-explanatory, I think.

Anyway, you totally get other skills when you take a career or social class, and you just add them in as you go along. You can cross out and replace the ones on the character sheet (which would never list -ALL- the skills… it’s just too much stuff to try and process).

My idea for the skill list goes something like this–every group and every player is bringing their own experiences to the table. D&D (and other roleplaying games) aren’t limited to -MERELY- the genre of “dungeon crawling,” and the skill system needs to facilitate that.

Ideally, the skill system suggests to the players the sorts of things their characters might be capable of whether they have the requisite skills or not. I mean, that’s why I included computer programming among other things. In my experience, roleplaying games can get pretty weird.

Now, I personally find the “transported to another world” trope to be pretty hackneyed, but it’s so old and well-trod that I think it would be fallacy -NOT- to include the sorts of tools that would enable a player to be exactly the sort of character implied by that trope.

So, your character can be a code monkey who one day found themselves transported to a fantasy medieval-stasis world. Woo? There’s a firearms skill because you should be ready for them in case they ever make an appearance in your campaign. SOME player is bound to recall something from their hobby or chemistry class, and want to invent them because why the hell shouldn’t they?

I’ve only shared the full list with a few people because I’m working on something else at the moment–the subject of my next blog post. Which I guess I’ll spoil? Character classes!