A Skill Set as used in the Cyborgs & Sorcerers game is a general area of knowledge. Within a particular Skill Set are a group of Aptitudes. It is these Aptitudes which will allow PCs to accomplish a wide array of tasks.
A cursory review of Skill Sets and individual Aptitudes shows they are purposefully being left vague. Putting large numbers of stat blocks and onerous rule sets would place more boundaries and limits on games and take away much of the discussion, bartering, or dare I say it – role-playing out of the game. The capabilities, profession and backstory of each character (if clearly defined) will help the Game Master and the Player achieve a good working understanding of a character’s ability to resolve situations in a mutually satisfactory manner
As an example: Noric the Sapien wishes to hack into his father’s personal files. He must have the Technical Knowledge – Electrical and the Spycraft – Hardware in order to make a successful hacking attempt.
If you have a set of skills, it follows that you understand the basics and have the ability to attain more knowledge and information, as well as an idea of who might be the best sources for what you may not know or have including training and support.
Now, how do these work in the game?
Determine Aptitude Points, and Aptitudes
Aptitude scores are determined by two things, the associated Capability score, and the number of points put into a particular aptitude. Those two numbers added equal the total amount of aptitude a player character has. In game play, a player would roll a D20, then add their aptitude score to find their total
To determine available aptitude points to assign, refer to the appropriate Profession in later in this chapter to determine number of points available for distribution.
Aptitude points / Aptitudes chosen + Aptitude Specific Capability score = Aptitude Level
In order to see if a character’s attempt use an aptitude is successful, a player must roll a D20 then add their aptitude level to find the result. Upon reporting their result to the Game Master, if the result equals or exceeds the difficulty of the task, it is a success.
D20 + Aptitude Level = Aptitude attempt result
Note that general aptitude groups for each Profession are suggested within each individual Profession listing. The number of allowable points of any given aptitude is listed in the Level Advancement table below. Skill descriptions and rules are in Chapter 10: Skills. Please refer to that chapter when selecting skills, and note that any skill you do not want can be traded for a different one.
Please note: Attempts to gather information or acquire greater understanding of a subject is part of any skill set, and having an aptitude is even more specific, and will lead to greater understanding and depth of knowledge.
Skill Set: Technical Knowledge
Aptitudes: Electrical: computers, electrical devices, even cybernetics
Engineering: building and tearing down structures, including demolition and military applications
Mechanical: vehicles and machines without, or not primarily made with electronic components
Skill Set: General Knowledge
Aptitudes: General Scholarship: other subjects not covered within other skills. The subject of a character’s general scholarship should be decided upon and noted on their character sheet. If a player wishes to spend aptitude points on more than one general scholarship field, they may do so.
History: having factual knowledge of events and people known to be real and proven
Lore: knowing history and stories of people, places and things which are not strictly factual, especially mythology, magical beasts, legends, etc.
Please note: Lore and History may overlap in some areas
Skill Set: Social
Aptitudes: Political: having knowledge of current politics, governments and laws
Personal: being able to sympathize, empathize, find common ground with, persuade and understand motives
Forceful: bluff, intimidate, coerce, understanding motives, blackmail, etc.
Please note: Personal, Forceful, and Political can overlap
Mercantile: buying, selling, appraising,
Skill Set: Nature
Aptitudes: Flora: plants and growing things (including sentient flora) including, but not limited to defining, identifying and using or controlling
Fauna: animals and natural creatures including, but not limited to defining, identifying and using, training and/or controlling
Magical: creatures and plants which are magical in nature
Other: knowledge of beings, creatures and monsters from other planes or existence and/or other universes
Skill Set: Spycraft
Aptitudes: Hardware: locks, traps, alarms, anti-theft measures, forgery, Hacking (see note below) including the ability to set up, or disable or discover such things
Note: If Technical Knowledge – Electrical and Spycraft – Hardware are both known skills, Hacking becomes possiblePhysical: escape and evade, hiding, moving silently, effective disguise, sleight of hand
I am trying to make skills simpler, and easier to handle in-game, while encouraging player/GM interaction. I think this system will make it happen.