HGd10PHB - Chapter 3 - Skills

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CHAPTER 3 - SKILLS[edit]

SKILLS EXPLAINED[edit]

Specialized Skills[edit]

Specialized Skills make up the bulk of the play mechanics. Whenever a character wants to do anything in game, they will likely roll a Specialized Skill. This may be combat, crafting, social, or movement. Casting spells is similar but has a slightly different mechanic that will be explained in Chapter 6.

Each specialized skill has 1 Primary Characteristic (PC) and 1 Secondary Characteristics (SC) that indicate how many points are added to each 1d10 roll.  A Secondary Characteristic Bonus (SCB) is applied based on half of the Secondary Characteristic (SC) truncated.  This is then added to the Base Points and Trained Points gained in that skill for a Total Skill Bonus (TSB).

Each example will have a typical character sheet example above it. Below is the meaning of each column.

TSB

Skill Name

PC

PCB

SC

SCB

BP

TP

XP/XPN

  • TSB - Total Skill Bonus. The total skill bonus is the number added to the die roll when attempting a skill check. TSB = PCB + SCB + BP + TP.
  • Skill Name - this is the name of the particular skill for reference back to the Players Handbook to let you know what it does.
  • PC - Primary Characteristic. This shows which characteristic is the main one the skill is built on.
  • PCB - Primary Characteristic Bonus. This is the points you get to add to your die roll based on your primary characteristic involved in the skill. Basic Skills only use this number.
  • SC - Secondary Characteristics. This is any other characteristic listed in the skill description that pertains to the skill. Some skills may list more than one SC, but only one may be chosen for the bonus. The player and the GM should pick the one that best fits the skill and the character.
  • SCB - Secondary Characteristic Bonus. These are the points you get to add to your die roll based on half of the secondary characteristics involved in the skill. Basic Skills do not have secondary characteristics and so do not get this bonus.
  • BP - Base Points. These are the points you originally spent on the skill at character creation or to learn a new skill.
  • TP - Trained Points. These are the points you gain after leveling up the skill through use.
  • XP/XPN - Experience Points/Experience Points Needed - This column represents the leveling up ability of the skill. The XP is the number of Experience Points gained for using the skill. The XPN are the amount of XP needed to gain 1 TP. XPN = BP + TP. XPN does not exceed 5 without special circumstances.

TSB

Skill Name

PC

PCB

SC

SCB

BP

TP

XP/XPN

+16

1H Melee

STR

8

SPI

4

1

3

3/4

For example, Ethaniel Phorj has a longsword which uses the 1H Melee skill. Strength is the primary characteristic and Ethaniel chose Spirit for the secondary characteristic. Ethaniel has an 8 Strength and a Spirit of 9 (divided by 2). He also has 1 base point and 3 trained points in 1H Melee. Ethaniel gets a total skill bonus of 16 (8 STR + 4 SPI+ 1 BP + 3 TP). The longsword also has an equipment bonus of +8. His roll to make an attack with any standard longsword is 1d10+16+8. The TSB of the skill (not the equipment) can be subtracted in sets of 5 to gain a new die. Ethaniel subtracts 15 for three dice and rolls 4d10+1+8.

Damage is calculated differently based on each skill. For combat, it is the difference between the attack roll and the armor roll.

Base Points[edit]

When a player first creates their character, they start with a number of Base Points (BP) equal to the sum of all characteristic scores divided by 2 truncated. These are used to spend on purchasing new Skills. Both Basic Skills and Specialized Skills such as weapons, armor, spell casting, crafting, and so on cost 1/1 at character creation. If a new Skill is learned In The Moment. Then it costs 3 BP to get 1 BP in the skill line.

TSB

Skill Name

PC.

PCB

BP

TP

XP/XPN

+12

Physical Combat

AGL

8

4

0

0/4

OR

TSB

Skill Name

PC

PCB

SC

SCB

BP

TP

XP/XPN

+15

Bow

AGL

8

PRC

3

4

0

0/4

For example, if Marli Nadjia puts 4 points into Physical Combat, she gets 4 BP to add to her Physical Combat checks to learn new skills. In a pinch, the GM could decide that she can use her Physical Combat check in battle to fire a ranged weapon, but she would get no equipment bonus and no Secondary Characteristic (SCB) bonus. She would get 1 XP per successful attempt to use this Basic Skill as it counts as attempting to learn the specific Skill.

If instead, she decides to train in Bows, she spends 4 points, and not only gains 4 BP to add to her attacks using a longbow, she also gets to use her secondary characteristic bonus (SCB), which is 3 for Perception (6 / 2) as well as any weapon bonuses. *Basic skills do not get base weapon bonuses but do get to add magic bonuses. Training in Bows would also add 1 XP to her Physical Combat.

The benefit of putting Base Points into Specialized Skills is that the character has access to more characteristics than the Basic Skills do as well as weapon, armor, tool, or spell bonuses. More on training below.

A player may spend a maximum number of Base Points on any skill equal to their Primary Characteristic for that skill.

More on this in Chapters 4-8, which cover Specialized Skills.

BASIC SKILLS[edit]

Basic skills are used when a more specific skill is not yet known. This skill is used during Training to learn Specialized Skills and use only 1 Base Point to gain that specific skill. Basic skills do not have Secondary Characteristic Bonuses or equipment bonuses and thus will typically roll much lower than a more specific skill. Basic Skills do get the benefit of temporary buff effects such as magical spells and synergistic effects.

*Note: Mystical Skills cannot be activated using Basic Skills as they require both a Spectrum and Purpose to cast and Aspects to govern limitations of the effect.

There are two ways to learn new Specialized Skills after character creation: In the Moment or by Training.

IN THE MOMENT[edit]

Necessity is the mother of invention, but invention's twin is learning. Skills can be learned on the fly as the need arises. In the heat of combat or maybe an unforeseen obstacle requires the use of a skill no one has trained for or has the correct gear to perform in the normal way.

To learn a skill on the fly, roll the appropriate Basic Skill check related to the Specific Skill. If the Active Roll is greater than the Difficulty Score (DS) for the specialized skill and is a meaningful check, you spend 3 Base Points to put 1 point in the BP slot for the new Specific Skill and can add it to your skill list. That's a 3 cost for 1 point (3/1) toward the skill roll in the BP column, so players won't want to do this often. A successful or failed roll for a Basic Skill roll that is meaningful to the story still gives 1 XP in the Basic Skill being rolled.

For example, Ria Dhoren picks up a spear, a Polearm, in the middle of the battle. Ria is not familiar with Polearms. She rolls a Physical Combat check and scores a 16 which is enough to successfully smack a bandit, but not enough to beat the DS of the new skill. She gains 1 XP in Physical Combat and must keep working at the Polearms to learn how to fight with them.

In that same battle, though, her sister, Iellie Dhoren, picks up a shortbow and arrow. She is unfamiliar with Bows and must roll a basic Physical Combat check. Her roll is a 25 which is enough to beat the DS of the new skill, even though the arrow did not penetrate the armor of her target. She adds Bows to her Combat Skill list and spends 3 Base Points to get 1 BP in the new skill and may start leveling the specific skill (Bows) normally. She also gets 1 XP for Physical Combat.

TRAINING[edit]

New Skills

New skills can also be learned in non-threatening or situations not in the field with ~60+DS of the skill in minutes of training for Physical Combat, Knowledge, Social, or Movement skills, ~1 day (10 hours)+DS in hours of training in Crafting, Mysticism, or Natural Resistance. The trainer must have at least 10 TP to train most skills (see the Training line for each skill for more information. The character then spends 1 Base Point and puts 1 BP in the new skill line for the newly learned skills. The cost per gain for training is 1/1.

Known Skills

To train Specialized Skills already known in a formalized training session, the amount of training needed is as listed after the skill in the lists below. The higher the listed characteristic, the less time it takes to train. The trainer must be at least 10 TP higher than the student at all times during the training for most skills, though some skills have a higher or lower TP threshold. Each training grants 1 XP in the Specialized Skill.

BASIC COMBAT SKILLS[edit]

  • Physical Combat - 300/PCB minutes
  • Mysticism - 60/INT or 60/SPI hours

BASIC NON-COMBAT SKILLS[edit]

  • Crafting - 10/(AGI/WIS/INT) hour
  • Knowledge - 90/INT minutes
  • Movement - 150/(AGL/CON) minutes
  • Social - 10/PRS hour

BASIC SKILLS CONCLUDED[edit]

By this point, we have a pretty good picture of the first page of the character sheet. Below is what it should look like at this point.

Character Sheet[edit]

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Player Name:____________Character Name: _______________ Current Alias: _____________________

Kind:______________________ Age:_______ Gender: ___________ Height: _____________

Weight: ______________ Eye color:______________ Coloring: __________________________________

Occupation: ________________ Faction:_____________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Base Characteristics[edit]

AGL

6

INT

6

LIFE

51/51

Base Points Acquired

30

BEA

7

PRC

5

MYR

11/11

Base Points Spent

22

CON

8

WIS

7

REC

3

Speed

3.3

STR

7

SPI

9

Turns

PRS

5

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

_______________________________________________________________________

Base Skills[edit]

TSB

Skill Name

PC

PCB

BP

TP

XP/XPN

8

Physical Combat

STR/AGL

7

1

0

0/1

10

Mysticism

INT/SPI

6

4

0

0/4

8

Crafting

INT/WIS

7

1

0

0/1

8

Knowledge

INT

6

2

0

0/2

9 Movement AGL 6 3 0 0/3
6

Social

PRS

5

1

0

0/1

As there are no formal classes or professions in the HG D10 system, a character can be anything they choose and call it whatever they wish.  This particular character has focused on a balance of physical and mental things so is likely a battle mage or war priest of some sort.  With high Crafting and Knowledge skills, they may also go into alchemy or enchanting equipment.  However, with the above-average Physical Combat, and Movement, they may also be fairly handy with a bow or other ranged weapon.  There is no reason they cannot have both.  Players just need to keep in mind that while versatility is awesome (my preferred way to play, in fact), it has the drawback of slower progression in any one skill.  They will likely not be the best at anything other than competence in everything.

Untrained[edit]

Many skills can be used without the Specific Skill being known. To do this, the player rolls the Basic Skill associated with the Specific Skill as outlined above. The skill will be noted if it can be used Untrained.

For all skills where they can be attempted Untrained, if the Basic Skill check is sufficient to learn the skill, then 1 or 3 BP must be spent to acquire the skill - depending on if this is during training or in the moment. This is to prevent players from simply using only Basic Skills to do everything under that skill umbrella. When the character does not have sufficient BP to learn the skill in reserve, they may not use the skill Untrained regardless if the skill can normally be used that way.

At this point, the player has enough information to begin playing the game, although their character will be more on par with an NPC townsfolk than an active member of the Hero’s Guild.  It is not advisable for the character to wander out of town just yet, not without a few specialized skills at least.

The next section is about improving skills. A player may want to skim over that section and come back after looking at the various specialized skills.

Improving Skills[edit]

BASE POINTS[edit]

Base Points do not need to be spent immediately but should be spent in keeping with the overall picture the player has in mind for their character, not just because of the need of the moment (which costs more anyway). Base points may be gained in one of two ways.

1. They may be awarded generally for the player to use as they see fit on the fly or in town.

2. They may be awarded to start a new Specialized Skill for heroic deeds as the GM sees fit.

For example, a character picks up an unknown device and fiddles with it. After pressing a button they did not know was there, the device emits a cohesive beam of sunlight. They may now add that device to their Specialized Skills and begin using it with 1 BP awarded by the GM for that new skill for figuring out how it works.

Base Points awards should be a rare occurrence, no more than 1-2 per long session or 'Chapter'.

TRAINED POINTS

As is often the case, when someone fails at something, there is often the opportunity to learn from the mistakes that were made. When a character uses a Specialized Skill in a meaningful way in the storyline, whether they succeed or fail, they gain experience in that skill. Each meaningful use is worth 1 experience point under current Experience Points (XP). When the amount of experience equals BP + TP, Experience Needed to level (XPN), then the character gains a new training point (TP). This, of course, makes the new total higher and therefore it becomes harder to earn the next TP.

TSB

Skill Name

PC

PCB

SC

SCB

BP

TP

XP/XPN

+13

Bows

AGL

8

PRC

3

2

0

0/2

13
Bows AGL 8 PRC 3 2 0 1/2

+13

Bows

AGL

8

PRC

3

2

0

2/2

+14

Bows

AGL

8

PRC

3

2

1

0/3

For example, Marli Nadjia has 2 base points in Bows, but has no trained points. She attacks a goblin with her longbow and misses it. She gains 1 XP. However she needs a total of 2 XP to gain a Trained Point (her total bonus in Bows is 2 BP + 0 TP = 2 XPN). She continues hunting the gang and kills another goblin gaining another XP for 2/2 XPN. This means she gets 1 TP and a new total skill bonus (TSB) of 14. Her new XPN is 2 BP + 1 TP = 3 XPN. Now she must use attacks 3 times with her longbow during combat to go up in the Bows Skill.

Xd10[edit]

Once a character reaches 5 Total Skill Bonus (TSB) in a Specialized Skill, they may choose to temporarily subtract 5 from their TSB and add another die to their roll instead. This has the benefit of potentially rolling more 10s, but the drawback of not always having the highest possible score. The choice is up to the player depending on their style of play.

Note, once this becomes available, the change from 5 TSB to additional d10 can be done before each roll. For attempts that need more surety, the 5 might be desired (akin to "taking 10" in d20 systems), even though they get less chance of amazing rolls. For attempts where the risk is worth the payoff, every 5 bonus can be converted into a d10 instead. However, once the roll is made, then it is made and there is no going back to the other option after the fact.

This conversion only applies to TSB, not to equipment bonuses or magical enhancements.

Conclusion

Every action a character takes in the game can be considered a skill. Some skills, like walking, opening a door, eating food are mundane and so common that there is no need to have these on the character sheet or roll for them (an absurd amount of tedium indeed!). However, every significant action requires a skill check, especially if there is a possibility of failure or consequence for failure. Characters will eventually develop a living list of skills they actually use instead of guessing at character creation or leveling up. The skills they use more will grow and eventually the dice will be nothing more than gravy on any check...or perhaps the only thing between success and victory between them and an equally skilled opponent.

In the following sections and chapters are the categories and the skills that fit into them. Each category will have its own set of rules for how the skill is set up.

Navigation[edit]