Sunday, June 3, 2012

Proficiencies in LotFP

When I look at LotFP, I see a game that I really like and that reminds me of older versions of the popular fantasy role-playing game. But that is the referee perspective. There is also the player perspective. From their point, LotFP is missing the "fiddly bits". The bits a player can use to fine-tune his character and develop a vision of that character.

Clerics, magic-users, specialists and elves each have something to decide when adding a new level. They get new toys to play with (either spells or dots in common activities). Also, clerics, magic-users and elves have the mini-game of spells to keep them occuppied during play. Whereas the fighter, the dwarf and the halfling don't really have any decisions to make beyond buying equipment.

That is not enough. I want them to have something to decide as well. Here, I like what ACKS is doing with the proficiencies. Every couple of levels, you get a new proficieny. Something that differentiates your character and supports a concept beyond "fighter" by using evocative names. That's something I'd like to see in LotFP. ACKS even gives abstract rules when to gain a new proficiency:

"All characters may choose one additional proficiency from the general list at levels 5, 9, and ... 13. Characters may choose one additional proficiency chosen from their class list each time they complete a full (2-point) saving throw progression." (ACKS, page 56)

Using these rules, it would be easy to add something similar to LotFP. The only things I would make different:
  • Proficiencies are listed in a simple table offering quick options.
  • Proficiencies are not divided into general and class-based tables. Instead, if you are able to use a certain feature, you could use the proficiency.
  • No front-loading. Bonus proficiencies for a high ability score would be spread out over the advancement table (like INT 13+ gains one additional proficiency at first level, INT 16+ gains one additional proficiency at a later level, INT 18+ gains another additional proficiency at an even later level).
  • Optionally: They would not be called proficiencies.
I am going to see what I can come up with in the next couple of weeks based on the lists in ACKS.

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