Friday, April 1, 2011

[Greyhawk] Weapon Proficiencies

Spirit of Greyhawk has characters define themselves according to a Class, consistent with the source material. A character's "level" is then determined as the skill level of what the character has selected as his apex skill--the skill at the top of the pyramid.

The source material places an importance upon the selection of what weapons the character is considered "proficient". Early on, I hadn't intended to bring Weapon Proficiencies over into SoG, but I've realized that by keeping them, it avoids a few problems / concerns:

Weapon Proficiencies are one way to address the concern of how do you keep EVERYONE from wanting to take Melee or Missile as their Apex Skill, to increase chances of survival at low levels.

By allowing Weapon Proficiency at the character's Class Inception, a +1 in combat skill rolls is granted, when using only that weapon.

This would then remove a certain amount of temptation to take Melee / Missile as the Apex skill. Especially for clerics/druids! Also, it gives fighter sub-classes the opportunity to take something else as their Apex Skill (notably, a Ranger could now take Survival as his Apex skill).

Additionally, Weapon Proficiencies also tend to address the question, "Why would anyone choose to be a 'pure' Fighter?" Now, we have a currency with which express a Fighter's ability to use a wide variety of weapons in an effective manner.

Implementing Weapon Proficiencies
I currently consider that a Weapon Proficiency is a Stunt--because it offers a broad +1 benefit (combat) for a weapon you probably already have.

By considering it a Stunt, a player could also elect to expend one of their open Stunt slots on a Weapon Proficiency.

While Weapon Proficiencies stack with skills and aspects, I am uncertain as to whether allow a character to take multiple proficiencies of the same weapon:
  • This is in conflict with the source material.
  • But if a character really wants to become a true specialist in one weapon only (see below about proficiency "granularity"), and wants to spend multiple stunt slots to do it, I don't know that it's really breaking the Fate mechanic. In other words if someone wants to spend 3 Stunt slots to achieve a +3 in "just" the Dagger, I don't know that it's really wrong.

Weapon Proficiency Variables
When considering how many Proficiencies are "granted" (i.e., freebies just for achieving particular apex skill level), there are the following variables:

How Many At Character Creation
Translating the PHB "as is", each class would start with a distinct number of proficiencies the character has at its creation (being defined as your Apex skill at +1):
  • Cleric: 2
  • Druid: 2
  • Fighter: 4
  • Paladin: 3
  • Ranger: 3
  • Wizard: 1
  • Thief: 2
  • Assassin: 3
  • Monk: 1
OPTION: It might be simpler to also do something like: non-Fighters get 1 at inception, Fighter sub-class get 2, and the "pure" Fighter class gets 3, but this tends to flatten things out a bit.

How Often Classes Earn New Proficiencies
Again, translating the PHB "as is", and with the assumption that each Skill level of the Apex skill counts as 2 levels in the source material, we can determine New Proficiencies earned by each class. These proficiencies granted do not count against Stunt slots earned due to regular advancement.

Every class gains a single extra proficiency at the following Apex Skill values:

  • Cleric: (+2, +4, +6, +8)
  • Druid: (+3, +5, +7, +9)
  • Fighter: (+2, +3, +4, +6, +7, +9)
  • Paladin: (+2, +3, +4, +6, +7, +9)
  • Ranger: (+2, +3, +4, +6, +7, +9)
  • Wizard: (+3, +6, +9)
  • Thief: (+2, +4, +6, +8, +9)
  • Assassin: (+2, +4, +6, +8, +9)
  • Monk: (+2, +3, +4, +5, +6, +7, +8, +9)

Proficiency Granularity
Consistent with the source material, SoG takes a very granular (focused) definition of what a proficiency allows. In other words, there is not just a "Sword" proficiency. "Long Sword", "Short Sword", "Broad Sword", "Bastard Sword" are all separate proficiency selections.
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