[Runequest] Skill Categories (was Re: Slightly OT: Ringworld?)

lev at rpgreview.net lev at rpgreview.net
Fri Jun 8 17:01:26 EST 2012

> Would love to see it.  I think the RQ skill system very much logically
> supports trees - in fact it's already there, with the
> Agility/Communication/Stealth (etc.) categories, which then subdivide into
> specifics.  Continuing this into even more narrow specific subskills makes
> sense.

Yes, very much so. It's not a long way to go to further degrees of

> I've always DM'd that weapon skills are (with some exceptions) by
> category,
> not specific weapon.   Seems reasonable that 1h mace skill would be pretty
> much the same as club for much of the 'span' of ability.

Same with me. 1HSword, rather than the specific variants.

> Or maybe it's not either/or?  Perhaps one HAS to advance to 75% (frex) in
> a
> general category like First Aid, and then specify to advance further in
> poison treatment or trauma care.  Maybe they have to specify even further
> to get past 100?  So perhaps 'melee weapon' to 50, 1h weapon to 75, 1h
> sword to 100, and scimitar 150?

Heh, I developed an almost identical model once, which had variant
starting values for skill categories (high base levels for physical
skills, low base levels for knowledges), then a series of capped levels
for very broad "Basic Skills", then more specialised "Expert skills", even
more specialisted "Advanced skills" etc. Worked quite well. The simpler
skills were easier to learn.

> How does Ringworld do it?

Not nearly as detailed (or as complex). There are two broad skill types,
"Single Skills" and "Root/Branch Skills". The latter have a maximum based
on skill category for the "root skills", which then can be developed into
"branch skills" e.g. (from the book)

Example: Myron Mellow's Physics root skill is 30% [INT+EDU max]. His
Physics/Cryogenics is 85%, and his Physics/Crystallography is 35%. Every
other conceivable branch of Physics for Myron is exactly 30% until Myron
improves another branch (perhaps Physics/Spectrography).

It's not a bad method, but I prefer mine :)

Hope this makes sense,


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