I think I mentioned in a published post that I was going to be reevaluating the trade system that I came up with — I have a game design category called “The Twelve Trades” but all things considered, there will likely be fewer than twelve trades.

When I designed the original twelve — Academics, Athletics, Creation, Cultures, Deception, Discipline, Initiative, Intuition, Perception, Persuasion, Survival, and Theatrics — it was to act as a replacement skill system.

One of the first to go is the ambiguously named “Creation” trade.

I like item creation, and I’d like it to be a part of the system — the thing is I don’t think I can support a generic “trade” version of Creation, and certainly not named as such. Something like Smithing or Crafting seems like it would be better, but another opportunity presented itself that I’m having a hard time ignoring.

See, “Academics” is a thing that should be important — and relates to the activity of study and advancement. Technology is a thing that changes over time, and it seems strange to include a skill like Creation that obsoletes itself.

By comparison, Academics can relate not only the study of let’s say for example, metallurgy and blacksmithing, but also the technologies that eventually replace metallurgy and blacksmithing like material sciences and assembly lines.

There are also a couple trades that I don’t feel really pull enough weight, or don’t describe a trade so much as they describe an intent — and I don’t know how I feel about those anymore. Deception, Perception, and Theatrics for example.

There are a few I’d like to add as well, which I think are missing — so I’ve come up with another list, this one revised and condensed:

  • Academics – research, creation, discourse
  • Athletics – exercise, games, competition
  • Cultures – government, trade, language
  • Espionage – deception, thievery, sabotage
  • Exploration – discovery, travel, colonization
  • Initiative – discipline, scouting, mobilization
  • Intuition – spirituality, emotion, therapy
  • Persuasion – rhetoric, diplomacy, negotiation
  • Protection – fortification, sentry, security
  • Survival – tracking, foraging, camouflage
  • The new ones are Espionage, Exploration, and Protection — and they represent some areas of, life I guess — that I don’t think were covered well, if at all. They read kind of like “spheres/domains” possessed by deities, which suggests to me that I should review those to see if I’m not missing something.