When you’re good…
In my Monday night game, my PC has played a very successful game of chess. The game uses Storytelling/WoD rules. Game mechanically, we just treated chess as Int+Academics rolls. My die pool in that is 6. Pretty good, but far from awesome.
The thing is, I’ve rolled it twice for playing chess – and got amazing levels of success (4 or 5 successes) both times. Unfortunately, my die pool won’t sustain anywhere near that level of success. I’m tempted to buy an appropriate specialty in order to improve my chess-playing abilities over the long-term.
This got me to thinking.
I’ve run into similar situations in a number of games, where PCs who aren’t mechanically speaking particularly awesome at a task do really well at it the first few times they try it. Do any games have a formal method of solidifying that level of specialized skill? It seems like a no-brainer to me…
I think it’s still the case that games emulate getting better at things really poorly. “Oh, I go up a level, now I can hit things harder!” Or, “Oh, I did really well on that last mission, now suddenly I can learn how to pilot a submarine?”
I don’t know of any games that let you solidify a skill like that, but I think it’s definitely something a talented RPG designer should get to grips with.
In a homebrew game of mine, every time you rolled a 20 on a skill roll, you got a learning roll for that particular skill. Enough learning rolls and the skill would increase.
For WoD, earmarked experience might work; if the character overachieves at some skill, GM may grant extra experience that can only be used to increase that particular skill.
Another option would be to allow minor rearranging of skills.