[Runequest] Quick-and-dirty skill pyramid

Phil Hendry philhendry at macace.net
Tue Nov 19 19:14:19 EST 2013

On 19 Nov 2013, at 07:56, karl at rpgreview.net wrote:

> Hmmm. THere's a challenge, as an ambidexterous I've always hated how in games ambidexterity equates to excellent agility or 'dexterity'. Take it from me it aint nessisarily so. In my case I have excellent micro-manipulation skills under the microscope but on the playing field I've always been picked last with good reason.

I'm much more left-handed than ambidextrous...  But we left-handers have to adapt to living in a 'right-handed world', so we tend to be better at using our right hands than right-handers are at using their left hands. This was very neatly illustrated by a friend of mine once, who did a 'random', fairly unscientific test with a large bunch of people - he handed out equal numbers of left and right-handed scissors, and with each one he gave out a piece of paper with a circle on it.

Right handers with right-handed scissors did just fine at cutting out their circle, as did left-handers with right-handed scissors.  Left handers with left-handed scissors struggled a wee bit, but got the hang of it once they realised.  Right-handers with left-handed scissors just mangled the paper.

I used to play water-polo (no jokes about drowning horses please).  I'm left-handed.  It's an enormous advantage - largely because everyone expects you to be right-handed, and people tend to mark on the assumption you'll be catching and throwing with the right - the extra split-second you get if you're left-handed makes a big difference.  I can catch and throw nearly as well with my right too.  There are other sports too, where being left-handed is an advantage simply because people aren't used to playing against them, whilst the left-hander nearly always plays against right-handed opposition.  I suspect the same may be true of close combat too.

I like using advantages and disadvantages in games; it does add some 'character' and flavour, and provides opportunities for role-playing. I don't get many 'mini-maxers' in my games, but if someone does indulge, I usually subtly level the playing field a bit during the game.


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