Wednesday, March 23, 2016

White Box Cyberpunk Skills 2.1

Update 3/27/16:  Changed the bonus requirement to 15 instead of 13.

I went back and examined the Lamentations "common activities" rules. I took the list of ten tasks and reordered it for a more cyberpunk feel. Here are the tasks. All characters begin with a 1-in-6 chance of accomplishing these tasks. Characters who have a score of 15 or higher in the listed ability score begin with 2 in 6. I included the LotFP equivalents in parenthesis, where applicable.

I'm calling these things "skills," which are things every character can attempt. I am using the term "talents" to refer to things that work mechanically like skills (x in 6) but are restricted by character class. (Most of the face's abilities, for instance)

A new change: Enforcers and faces cannot have a skill higher than 5 in 6, effectively capping them at about 85%. Having a skill at 6 in 6 is now the sole purview of the operative class. (Formerly known as infiltrator, and posting in a few minutes) Faces can have their talents at 6 in 6, but not these skills. 

Acrobatics   [Dex] - Used for balance, tumbling, jumping, and other such feats. A successful acrobatics check might allow a character to roll past an enemy, impose a penalty on an enemy's attack rolls, or other effects determined by the GM.

Bypass (Tinkering, Open Doors) [Int]- A character with a wireless device or electronic tools can use this skill to bypass doors, cameras, and other security measures. Failure may trigger the trap or alarm if there is one.

Climbing [Str]- The ability to make an ascent or descent without climbing gear. Failure might result in being unable to climb, getting stuck halfway, or falling, depending on the circumstances and the GM's discretion.

Decrypt (Languages) [Int]- The ability to unscramble downloaded data that has been encrypted.

Jury-Rig [Int]- The ability to make a quick and dirty repair; hotwire a car, patch up a damaged weapon, etc. These repairs are basic and temporary.

Medic |Int|- This is immediate first aid, meant to prevent characters from bleeding out.

Skulk (Stealth) [Dex]- The ability to move quietly or hide in shadows.

Sleight of Hand [Dex]- The ability to palm objects, pick pockets, and other surreptitious tasks.

Sneak Attack [Dex]- When attacking a target that is unaware of the character's presence, a successful sneak attack roll grants the character a +4 to hit and will double the amount of damage rolled on the dice. On a failure, the character still receives +2 for the opponent being unaware. This can be used with a ranged weapon, but only out to the weapon's short range increment.

Perception (Architecture, Search) [Wis]- This will allow a character to notice hidden things or observe minute details. (A humming invisible laser barrier, approaching guards, conversation on the other side of the door, etc)

I feel a little bit better about this, but now I need to rethink the infiltrator. The face can do things that nobody else can do. A lot of these skills were the purview of my first version of the infiltrator class. I'm of two minds: on one hand, I don't like the idea of the infiltrator just being "the guy who can do stuff everyone else can do, but better." On the other hand, everybody can fight, it's just that the enforcer is better at it. 

With this skill system tentatively in place, I will post a revision of the three classes that takes it into account.


  1. I like this revision, and what you're trying to do overall. In line with my earlier comments, which are essentially irrelevant now. Thats what I get for reading and commenting piecemeal.

    1. No worries, man. I'm posting it piecemeal, after all. I do value your feedback as your Chrome/Cyber74 concept is what got me working on this in the first place.

  2. It really depends on what you're going for...not just in terms of modeling but in terms of what is played at the table.

    I should probably visit this subject on my own blog. Suffice is to say: consider one of the reasons people still play Old School D&D is the LACK of skills, the way classes (generally) take the place of skill systems.

    1. That's how I had it set up last version with the enforcer/face/infiltrator trinity, but you asked why other classes couldn't do the infiltrator's things. I'm getting mixed signals, JB! Mixed signals!

      In all seriousness, I might take a page from LotFP and just say that any class can do the basic tasks, but only one class ever gets better at it.