Saturday, July 21, 2012

Stars Without Number: Variant Experts

Here are a few ideas for variant special abilities for the Expert class. You pick one at first level and that is your ability for the life of the character. The default ability from the rules is Like a Charm.

*Specialty- Pick one specific  non-combat skill. (Tech/Astronautics, Persuasion, etc.) The character always receives a +1 bonus on skill rolls using this skill.
Note: I'm thinking about bumping this up to +2, but that is a bit ridiculous for SWN since the skill rolls are made on 2d6 with a default target number of 7. 

*Learned- The character receives four skill points every level.

*Skin of Your Teeth- The character receives a permanent +2 bonus to one saving throw or a +1 bonus to two saving throws. The saves must be either Evasion, Tech, or Luck.

*Like a Charm- As written.


  1. One caveat for skill specialization is that there are very few situations in which a PC will end up spamming the same skill check. The only time it's going to happen in the rules-as-written is when a pilot wants to make a bunch of skill checks to outrun or outmaneuver an enemy in a space battle. In the vast majority of other situations, the entire problem is going to be resolved in a single skill check.

    Under those circumstances, Like A Charm is /much/ better than a flat skill bonus. The only time a skill bonus specialization outdoes it is when the PC is facing a steady stream of the same sort of skill checks before LAC can come off cooldown.

    If I were going to go with a specialization swap-out, I'd do it like this: Pick a skill. So long as you keep that skill maximized for your level, you fail a skill check only on a natural 2 on the check dice. For opposed checks, treat it as if you rolled a 12.

    This kind of hyper-specialization means that the Expert almost always succeeds at whatever his core concept is, but has only a slight margin of extra skill points to flesh out his other competencies in comparison to the psychic or warrior.

  2. Yes, I think you're right. I'll mull it over. It definitely needs a shot in the arm to compete with Like a Charm.