Saturday, January 29, 2011

Elthos ODS Skills System

Just a few words about the Elthos  'One Die System' (ODS)  Skill Learning Points system.  The basic idea of the system is that as Characters go up in Levels they gain Skill Learning Points at each level, which they can either save or spend.  If they spend them they can learn new skills, or beef up their level at already learned skills.

Currently the Elthos ODS Rules Book states:

Skills are learned by spending SLP, which are granted when the Character achieves each new Level. At each new Level the Character gets:

SLP = (# Of Sub Classes) + 1.

SLP can be saved up between Levels for a costly Skill.

For example, an Outlaw (Fighter-Thief), at 3rd Level gets this number of new SLP: (2 Sub Classes) + 1 = 2 + 1 = 3 SLP (and has a cumulative Total of 9).

Note: Higher Level Characters get more SLP.  Multi-Class Characters must spend their SLP on each of the Classes to which they belong.  So if a Spell Chanter + Fighter  at 3rd Level he gets new 3 SLP, of which he must spend 1 SLP on Spell Chanter Skills, and 1 SLP on Fighter Skills, or he can choose to learn Elective Skills.

Primary Skills (“Y” on the Skills Chart) are Class-Specific, always used at the current Level of the Character, and earn “Prime Experience” when used successfully.  Class-Prohibited Skills (“N”) can not be learned if the Character is a Member of that Class, unless he is a Multi-Class Character where one of his Classes has the Skill as Primary Skill (“Y”), or he is a Freeman.  Elective Skills (“E”) can be learned by the Class but using it does not gain Prime Experience.

Freemen  do not join the Adventurers’ Guild, but instead purchase Skill lessons from the Guild ad-hoc at twice the monetary cost of Guild Members.   They, however, can learn any Skills, and all of their Class-Skills (“Y”) give them Prime Experience.  If a Freeman has Requisites below what the normal Guild Class requires for a “Y” Skill, then learning that Skill costs +1 SLP for each point below the required Requisite.  Freemen get 3 SLP per Level.

Players can add Bonus SLP when learning any Skill or Mystic Power in multiples of the SLP cost for the Skill, to gain additional Skill Levels for that Skill.  For example, a 2nd Level Fighter adds +1 SLP for Medium Weapon (which normally costs 1 SLP to learn) would use Medium Weapons at 3rd Level, instead of 2nd Level, and it would cost him 2 SLP.

To determine how many SLP a Character has at a particular Level use this formula:

Total SLP at any Level = (Level * # of Classes) + 1

The Skills chart is this:

Skill Name              SLP     Thief   Fighter  MU   Cleric  Gold 
Light Weapons           1        Y       Y*      E      E b      1
Medium Weapons          1        N       Y*      N      E b      1
Heavy Weapons           2        N       Y*      N      N        2
Pick Pockets            1        Y*      N       N      N        1
Stealth                 3        Y*      N       N      N        3
Horse Riding            3        E       Y*      E      E        3
Reading Writing         1        E       E       Y      Y*       1
Archery                 2        Y*      Y       E      N        3
Rhetoric                2        N       N       Y*     Y        2
Gambling                2        Y*      E       E      N        2
Swimming                1        Y       Y*      E      E        1
Spell Casting         1 / L      N       N       Y*     N      1 / L
Miracle Invocation    1 / L      N       N       N      Y*     1 / L

Note that the chart is a small sample of skills. The Spells (and Invocations) cost 1 SLP / Spell Level. * means that the Skill is taught by the particular Guild in whose column the * appears. b means blunt weapons only.

We've experimented lately with a number of alternative formulas, my current favorite being this one:

CharacterLevel * NumberOfClasses * NumSkillsOfLevelAtLevel

The current system as a whole is a work in progress. There are issues with it which are being ironed out during the Elthos play testing. So far though, I am liking the system. I'm wondering if anyone cares to offer any thoughts or suggestions on the system as it is here.
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