Help and suggestions needed! Which skill system do you favor?

I posted at Trollbrigde a question regarding skill systems. Here is the repost:

I am finishing my version of T&T (here a google translated introduction, perhaps a hand-made translation will follow, here my trollbridge-thread) and now I am stuck in a dead end. Please help me out!

The problem lies in the Skill or Talent System. T&T is so elegant and simple, it is shame to burden it with Skill Lists. (Here is a good overview of the general problems of Skill Systems) But why Talents/Skills? It helps fleshing out the character. The players think about their character’s origin, interests, personality.


Now I thought about following „system“:
Every player may choose one „talent“. This may be something like „burglar“. It can also be something like „Master of Thieves“. You see this is going into a Fate-like direction. If the talent is mostly atmospheric and the GM doesn’t see a concrete possibility to use it at the game (e.g. „womanizer“ in a group which is predominantly dungeoneering), he may grant a 2nd talent. If the talent has no obvious negative side, the player should choose and write down a negative side of this talent. A „womanizer“ talent could be extended with anything related, e.g. with „has a problem with other womanizers around him“.

Then characters have a Talent Point (TP). They start each session with at least one TP. They may use the TP to activate the positive side of a Talent. Also the GM may activate the negative side of a Talent to evoke problems. In this case the character gains another TP (or even more if he has additional Talents that could facilitate the situation for his character). He may also spend one TP to avert the GM intervention. The maximum number of TPs is equal to the level of the character.

What happens when a Talent is activated?
Right now I have basically two options in my mind:
1a. The player may reroll one roll and take the new roll. The GM may force the player to reroll a roll and take the new result.
1b. the better or worse result
2. The player may roll two rolls and take the better. The GM may force the player to roll two rolls and take the worse one.
The first option (1a) would be very powerful. The advantage is, even few TPs are useful. Any roll may be rerolled afterwards. Together with 1b it would be even more powerful.
The second option would not allow a reroll. The player and GM must announce the activation of a Talent in advance. It would not be so powerful as 1b but it mostly yields a better result than option 1a. This option would challenge the player’s skill more, as he must decide when to activate a talent. Perhaps it must be used with more TPs.

I think the principle differences between options 1 and 2 are the required number of TP to use the Skill System effectively. The difference lies in the prevalence of the TP. In option 1 the players wouldn’t have to think about his character’s talents, in option 2 he should ask himself before every roll whether he uses a talent to boost his result.


After a feedback on g+ I thought about the issue again.

What are my problems with the T&T 7E skill system? It always bothered me that talents could be focused or broadly and this wasn’t factored in mechanically.

I thought if every character could activate 5 Talents per session then it doesn’t matter too much if you have broad or focused talents. But this is perhaps not the best solution. I thought about it and now I am thinking about a different idea:

Talents can be broad or narrow. Also there are situation where you see a talent’s advantage clearly, there is also the possibility to interprete the usability of a talent in a certain situation in a more associative way.
Those two aspects will matter in game mechanics.
It will be always better to apply a narrow formulated talent in a way where its advantage in a certain situation is evident.

Now it’s still tedious to interpret this aspects every time you are making a SR. This is clearly not the way to go. It’s still better to be able to use a talent just few times but then its mechanical advantage will be negotiated and judged in the situation.

So I’m still using Talent Points (TP). You gain one per session. You can’t have more than Character Level.

Now there are two ways to use talents. My first idea was following:

+3 per TP in a SR
+3 if the Talent is narrowly defined
+3 if the Talent is applicable to the situation right to the point

That’s all.

Now I still tend to another system:

Activate a Talent before rolling a roll (doesn’t have to be a SR, but could be). You get a reroll. If you take this, it counts even if the result is lower than the first roll

If the Talent is narrowly defined: you can activate the Talent afterwards.

If the Talent is applicable to the situation right to the point: you get a reroll and the better result counts.

Both effects can be combined. For an additional TP you can get one effect of the above.

So for 3 TP you (*) may activate a Talent after having rolled, you get a reroll and (*) the better result counts.
For 2 TP you may choose just one of the marked advantages.

What do you think?


What do you think of this Talent System? Would you use it and which option would you favor?


4 Antworten to “Help and suggestions needed! Which skill system do you favor?”

  1. Grimtooth favored the original 7E skill system on g+, it made me think about the issue.. here’s my response:

    „hm I guess I never really liked the T&T skill system. I like that there are just few talents. But it always bothered me that talents could be focused or broadly. Restricting skills (with activations points) is not the best solution but it is one way. If every character can activate 5 Talents per session then it doesn’t matter too much if you have broad or focused talents. There is another bottleneck to its usage.

    Perhaps the solution to me would be the 7E skill system with variable bonus, depending on how plausible it is to apply the skill to the situation. +2 for very associative situations, +6 for focused talents that match the SR perfectly?“

  2. I honestly like 1a. Given that 5th ed. / Katabasis characters don’t advance in levels that quickly, it won’t be that many re-rolls per session, and success still isn’t guaranteed. It might serve to mitigate the effect of your Erschoepfung rules a bit too; with almost all the attributes lowered, SRs get harder and harder.

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