I do want skills, and I think I found an easy hack


Bureaucracy is only an important skill of playing a module or the GM knows none of you have it….that a game has bureaucracy as a skill, let’s you know it won’t be adventure every session.


And you can tell that the person adding Bureaucracy as a skill never did some of that job…


You are probably right… accountants played psykers with laser swords and I had bureaucracy, cause I hate it. But when it got down to accounting or purchasing equipment, stats or character skills didn’t matter…we knew what we had and where it was down to the last credit.

Best group I ever played with if we are talking record keeping.

GM hated us foiling his plans based on pure economics and bribery. Our opponents became much more patriotic and principled after that.

Fun times in a too distant past.


I’m glad you had a good time taking a skill that seems like it wouldn’t be fun, but, uhg, what it says about the game you’re playing! Like, if you have ‘bureaucracy’ as a skill in Electric Bastionland, then it feels like you’ve got an inside track on that crazy world, and you’re a mastermind battling the insanity of a complex system gone mad - or even in something like Paranoia, where maybe you’ve figured out the twisted logic the insane computer system is using. If it’s just because you’re a peon of a space-trucker, and you want to have your scout transport paid off in 20 years - yeesh! Just kill all sense of adventure.


I do want skills as well, since I like the customization (plus it helps with advancement of a character). But I do feel that having a long list of skills to remember is a tad too much to remember. Plus, there’s so many useless skills it’s a bit hard to know which ones don’t help make an adventure more interesting.

I did have a thought, you guys tell me what you think, we could change the spell making method from ICRPG Core 2E into skills: verb+noun=skill. What do you think?


I don’t think I’m familiar with proficiency dice e.e… pls elaborate? :3


I’ve played a crap ton of CoC. Can’t recommend it even on its latest incarnation. Trail of Cthulhu and (my fav) Cthulhu Dark hit the cosmic horror investigation spot waaaaaay better… But if you want the BRP d100 skill-based experience with a clean, crunchy yet logical and organized system, look no further than Mythras (RuneQuest 6e) :slight_smile:


You mean that you can have skills like… Tame Pet or Prepare Coffee? haha


Not so quick synopsis:

This has nothing to do with skill systems and more to do with great gaming environments. So don’t read if not interested in why I love Traveler…or MegaTraveler we where playing some home brew of both.

First couple of sessions was introducing ourselves since we woke from cryo-sleep on a small non-responsive “space-ship” with our own quarters and the captains state room abandoned.

Based on the players, all where weary of each other except half of the players trusted each other and the other half that could be playing in any way possible.

We discovered our ship was some decent sized scout ship, we where on a tidal locked planet on the night side. With nearly no fuel, and coms where blocked.

We did all sorts of silly things to fuel to half propulsion tanks and activate some of the ship systems. Including the ships point defense and main (only) gun. In primordial darkness.

Upon getting to the gas giant and refueling we got a message offering a bounty on the planet we just left as technical consultants.

Bureaucracy and negotiation happened to register ownership of the ship, take out a loan vs the ship and based on us taking the contract. We kitted our individual characters out, and created a co-op for the ship…captains stateroom became a convertible guest quarter and meeting room.

A side quest happened I don’t recall.

We fly back to the original planet, scan and discover jamming satellites are the only satellites…totality goes over all of our heads thinking the planet wants to stay private.

Forgot the tech level, but a twilight zone, was the ones that hired us indirectly, and we descend to find a patriarchal queendom, run by male ministers with the queen as an arbitrator between 4 factions. And that a neighbor planet was about to attack.

We bootstrap the society form 1950s industry ( non- nuclear) patriarchy, faction focused. To Nationalistic with all females over 15 having the equivalent of a of a 1911 pistol, trained in marksmanship and males focused on engineering. Train up a regular nationalist army, with focus on small artillery and women providing the only direct fire weapons.

We then encountered enemy scouts, some in orbit we can’t reach, some land based we captured. We then bribed two enemy generals to wait for the main attack on this planet and then mount a coup d’etat on their own planet.

(Negotiations, spy skills, torture, bureaucracy)

Then some weird robotic army attacked and I got captured ( Starwars episode one was about 9 months old) the Accountants and Bus Drivers got to show off how cool their martial characters where for 2 sessions. I pointlessly tried to outsmart/escape my 3 biological captors who where leading this robotic army.

(The robotic attack destroyed 95 percent of our nascent atmosphere Air Force)

My party beats the enemy robots, the local (from another planet in the same solar system) enemies attack we bombard all their landing zones with indirect fire, we win the day/year and our bounty.

We say no to an offer to help settle the other planet with the coup d’etat that we helped take place. And look for greener pastures.

Hit some main space station that offered us a job to scout a system. We almost complete that ( a few side adventures) when we discover that we are trapped in a tractor beam of a ship that “is really f@$&ing big” after a really good sensor reading from our best gunner/sensor reader.

Then our normal GM says his daughter is old enough for us to start gaming again, and I play D&D PlaneScape for the first time…second best campaign and second best game world I ever played. Just wish it was a different game system.

Then D&D 3 comes out.

I am sooooo old!

In total in 4 months of play, bureaucracy probably saved us (whole party) twice, me once, and made our lives easier about 6 additional times. Gunnery made our lives easier about 10 times…

But more characters had it.
Negotiations is probably the best skill as far as impact, with gunnery and bureaucracy second, but you only need one negotiator or bureaucrat…you want more than one gunner.

For some my dry memories for 20+ years ago might seem boring but it kept 7+ people entertained on every Friday night for 8 or 9 months. Then again YouTube was not around yet.

And I learned that my cerebral entertainment didn’t mean a few people didn’t want to occasionally kill goblins…I mean robots.

Looking back, the GM and me where playing a different game than everyone else, it was philosophical and physiological between ourselves. Trapping each in what we viewed as the pit falls of the other…but everyone ended up having a good time.

For me it was not only entertaining but forced me to study things I hadn’t studied before.

Good Times.


Not sure skills and advancement systems are about the same thing. Most of my favorite skill based games was in part cause advancement took soooooo long. But was noted none the less.

Over 90 ish sessions of ShadowRun and I advanced 4 or 5 high end skills a couple of times or so, I did get sub machine gun from 5 to 7…only used it 8 or nine times.

If I remember correctly going from 6 to 7 cost 7 points. On average we got 0.8 or 0.6 Karma (exp) per session. So 7 points might take 10 sessions.

Now if you are talking the flexibility of advancement…I totally agree!!!


Oddly, I’ve never played RuneQuest…played like 5 or 6 Chaosium titles…but never RuneQuest.


It comes from 5E: instead of a static proficiency bonus based on your level, you instead get a die which you roll with your D20. So, at level 1 you roll 1D4 and add the result to your D20 check.


Now if you are talking the flexibility of advancement…I totally agree!!!