Sunday, November 30, 2014

Use-based Improvement in D6

So, an argument on Dragonsfoot lead to me spending some time on my Star Wars and D6 Space books this week, and then another discussion on Giant in the Playground lead to me working out a system for auto-improving skills in D6... skills that, like skills in the Elder Scrolls games, automatically increase as you use them more.

Set a threshold, and any difficulties above that threshold are added together, and once you achieve a certain amount of "XP" in a given skill, then it goes up by a pip, and then you start your XP over. Using WEG's D6, I might go with something like

Skill/Threshold/XP
1D/5/20
2D/10/40
3D/15/60
4D/20/80
...usw

So it would work out that 4 very hard checks (average of 5 or better on your D6s) would improve you by 1 pip. It would take 12 such checks to improve you by a die (4D->4D+1->4D+2->5D). You could achieve it faster by doing harder things, but those things would be VERY hard for someone of your skill. You don't get any XP for doing easy things repeatedly, and this only applies to skills, not the attributes themselves.

Now, this would mean you reduce the awarding of Character Points (since mundane advancement is taken care of), but it also means that they and Fate/Force points play into advancing skills and abilities, since adding a +1, a die, or doubling the dice on important and difficult rolls makes it more likely that you'll succeed, and thus gain XP in that ability. You can also include them as a "training system"... so the pip-increases from use happen automatically, but if you want to improve your blaster skill and haven't been taking enough really hard shots (once you hit 5D in blaster, you either have to be facing an excellent dodger, a jedi who is trying to deflect your shots, or making extreme long range shots through cover), you spend CP like normal.

Now, this is going to run into problems with attributes and force skills. I tend to treat Force "skills" as being more akin to attributes, with force "powers" being treated like skills... if you have a 3D Control and learn a Control power, you have that power at 3D, and can improve it independently of your Control Skill. As such, I'd lump Force Skills and Attributes into the same category as only being able to improve through active training... pretty much any time you're using an attribute, you're actually using a skill under that attribute.