Howdy folks, saw some slightly outdated conversations in the character generation thread regarding skills and how they'd potentially rework them since I agree with the sentiment that three skills per stat really doesn't seem like enough for a T2K-themed game. I'm trying to come up with a list of skill additions/reworks without getting too vague or specific in scope and am curious what other people have been coming up with!
- Close Combat
- Heavy Weapons
- Intimidation: I'm a sucker for giving meat-head characters SOME kind of social skill they can use
- Mechanics: I feel like there should be distinction between mechanical repair/electronic repair. Tech as a skill just seemed like it covered way too much ground and breaking it up makes sense to me, otherwise you'll probably only really have one "tech guy" in the party who can handle a multitude of things ranging from demolitions, BTR repair, and computer hacking in one skill.
- Construction: While Mechanics could also serve as the go-to "building stuff" skill, I think Construction is worthwhile to have because the action of repairing up buildings, building fortifications, and expanding seems to be a pretty common theme at SOME point in most T2K games. I also just liked the idea from previous editions that some characters were useful not because they were audacious, buff, rambo-esque woodsmen, but rather, they were well-educated and lucky enough to know about all the shit mankind is going to need to get back up on two feet again.
- Ranged Combat
- Intrusion: Pretty much same application as in previous editions, but making it more of a general skullduggery/thievery skill as opposed to JUST being used for opening locks. Casing a place to find the best place to break is an example off the top of my head.
- Stealth: Recon strikes me as one of those skills that covers TOO much and is conversely way more useful than other skills by comparison. Splitting the skill between stealth/actual observation makes sense to me.
- First Aid: I'm in the camp of not liking Medical Aid being in Empathy, just feels like they were trying to stick to three skills per stat and needed somewhere to shove a medical skill into. Along with that, I think it covers far too much for just one single skill. I think battlefield trauma, on-the-scene style medical care should be separated to this skill to represent the focus on muscle memory/quick thinking that lends itself to combat trauma care.
- Demolitions: Explosives always feel dangerous enough to me in games like this that handwaving the use of it underneath another technical skill can sometimes take away the threat of an explosive all together. If you want to rig up the road that MILGOV convoy is rolling through with explosives, you're going to need a guy who specializers in that to do it for you, otherwise your expertly laid trap not going off will be the least of your worries!
- Recon: Remove the stealth applications and make it more for observation/ambush prevention. Could definitely be used in conjunction with artillery weapons as a sort of forward observation skill too, perhaps.
- Electronics: Make this skill purely for electronics (radios, computers, certain military hardware, etc) to separate a more tech-minded character concept from your usual grease monkey.
- Scrounging: I felt like just because you were a grease-monkey/radio nerd character, didn't necessarily instantly make you good at finding the materials you need for your projects. You can easily learn what's worth scavenging and how to find it easily without directly knowing how something functions/what it can be used for. Also helps make Tech not one of those skills you can use for pretty much anything.
- Medicine: Whereas something like first-aid is more applicable for the guy who just lost his leg after the squad decided to roll through a mindfield, there needs to be a skill that can apply to long-term/disease care. It'll help distinguish the educated characters who are either medical corp officers/civilian healthcare workers from the infantry platoon medic or EMT who got drafted into a militia.
- Education (Type): Maybe a bit more vague, but I feel like the lack of an Education stat kind of limits options for a significant amount of skills that thematically would fit well for a character while having some use every now and then. So instead why not have a broad Education skill that can be used to represent a wide array of knowledge a player could know that doesn't necessarily fit into anything else or warrant its own unique skill. Education (History) for the character who majored it in college, Education (Civil Engineering) for more applicable construction knowledge that would definitely be useful for a campaign centered around community building, or more creative applications, like the pre-med student who knew a bit of Education (Chemistry) and is now pumping out drugs for a local marauder gang.
- Profession (Type): I like cascading skills, sue me. Profession as a skill just seems like a solid way to cover a bunch of other job-related knowledge and info that otherwise you'd have to force into skills that don't make sense, handwave and just let them do it because it's a part of their backstory, or make new skills for in the similar vein that the Education skill does for academic knowledge.
- Persuasion: Narrow the focus to just purely persuasion checks, not literally any kind of social skill a character could make.
- Deception: Persuasion being a catch-all social skill is a bit boring, for the same reasons I've mentioned in similar skills. Deception seems like an easy fit.
- Interrogation: Good niche to fill that doesn't necessarily fall plainly underneath any other skill.
- Language: Another one that's more of a "maybe" for me, but I think there's value in rating how well a character knows secondary languages besides just either knowing it/not knowing it. Each rating could represent a degree of competency in the language: A being native equivalency and D being tourist-tier knowledge of the language. Any attempts to convey/garner information in a level of complexity above that of your own skill level would require a skill check. Could potentially give different players more opportunities for the spot-light, considering most T2K set-pieces tend to have a wide array of friendly/opposed forces made up of coalition units intermingled with locals, so you never know when knowing a little bit of something like Ukranian could save your skin!
- HUMINT: A mix of a sense-motive equivalent as well as gathering information, the general ability to read people and interpret that accordingly.