Continuing in the vein of Craft, Knowledge, Perform, and Profession from before, I want to talk a little bit more about world interaction and skill systems.
My work on Crafts and Professions divides them into four basic themes based on suits: Swords, Coins, Cups, and Wands. They correspond roughly to the concepts of Conflict, Commerce, Community, and Crafts, though the last one there really needs a new name so it doesn’t conflict with the Crafts-Crafts. (The four Cs!)
Conflict is represented by the combat system, more or less, and the Crafts of Athletics, Discipline, and Initiative all tie directly into that. I’ve been thinking of ways in which to construct quests and such, that only Initiative heroes can be “proactive” about rooting out enemies, while others are reactive. It’s difficult to describe at this point.
Let’s say a Discipline Hero (normally represented by the Soldier class) is able to rest and take advantage of an extended rest more often than normal – and not always at night, as discussed before. I mean, I know *I* find it really frustrating for PCs taking a rest in the middle of the day after one fight. I get the “wait twelve hours” rule.
I’m interested in how being an Initiative Hero might open up new options to a player, say by enabling a certain amount of preemptive action. Let’s say most heroes take quests, or need some external motivation to travel from one locale to the next, and fight enemies. Maybe not monsters, I suppose. Defining monsters could be integral.
I remember reading a study explaining the reality of “Stormtrooper Marksmanship,” which had to do with soldiers’ inability to kill enemies. The article described how much of a military’s resources were spent dehumanizing the enemy to make combat possible. Propaganda plays a huge role in this as well, but was only barely.
Even then, I think it turned out that only twenty percent of soldiers were doing any real fighting, in another interesting application of the 80-20 rule. Some twenty percent of active soldiers were doing eighty percent of the fighting. I forget the specific numbers, but that was what the propaganda was able to achieve.
Initiative, as a Craft, might enable a character a certain amount of abstract thinking, and the ability to motivate allies to fight. It represents the ability to whip up a fighting force and keep them moving from one objective to the next. Characters with Discipline are ideal here, since they can rest more often and recover for the next fight.