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æthereal FORGE ™

The MUD Slide

Iconoclast -- RPG -- Skill Tiers

Skill Tiers
Skills are ranked in up to three tiers, or levels of mastery: Broad, Narrowed and Specific. As might be surmised, the Broad tier represents the broadest range of knowledge, and Narrowed and Specific skill tiers represent more focused skill knowledge, allowing your icon to target areas that he or she would like to have more experience in.

Ex.1: Rahl is an icon who happens to have a Broad tier Piloting skill of
25, meaning that he knows just about all the basics of piloting/ driving
all manner of vehicles. Furthermore, he has a Narrowed area of knowledge
in Ground-based, 4-Wheeled Vehicles (20), and he's gone further in
specializing to pick up Specific knowledge in Racing (10) those types of
vehicles. Rahl would make a good race car driver.

Ex.2: Rahl is a bad dancer, but at least he knows the basics. He has a
Broad tier Creative Expression skill level of 5, and a Narrowed tier
Dance skill level of 3, but that's it.

Ex.3: Rahl is an average fighter, possessing a Broad tier Combat skill
of 10, but he has no additional training in more specific forms of
fighting and combat.

These tiers represent different degrees of focus in learning the skill, and may be advanced independently of one another in ranges of 1 to 25. A score of 1 in any tier signifies the lowest level of mastery in a specific skill tier, and a 25 represents the highest possible achievement in that skill tier. These levels are not mystical magical numbers; they are percentage points. One level is equal to one percent. Thus, if you have Swashbuckling 25, it means you add 25 percent to your Swashbuckling roll. One point is worth one point--no conversion or advanced calculus necessary.

Skill tiers are best understood in relation to one another. In the following example, all statistics are considered to be 15.

Skill(Attribute):Level      Target 
Adapt(PM):15                  30       <--This is a Broad skill tier 
 \ \__Darksight(PM):10        40 
  \__Devolution(PM):15        45       <--This is a Narrowed skill tier

Combat(PA):15 30 \ \__Unarmed(PS):10 40 \__Firearms(PA):15 45 \__Pistols(PA):10 55 <--This is a Specific skill tier __________________________________

As you can see, the basic format for a skill listing on an icon dossier is:


Skill <--The name of the skill
(Attribute) <--The attribute associated with the skill
:Level <--The level the skill is currently at

In addition, to make rolls easier, you will be recording your Target on your icon's dossier. This raw target is the combination of a skill level, the attribute associated with that skill, and any higher-tier skills that precede that skill.

Ex: In "Adapt(PM):15", my skill level is a 15, and my PM (Physical
Mutation) is a 15--thus, my target for that skill is a 30.

Skills in Narrowed and Specific tiers are listed below their parent skills. They may be portrayed in different ways. In the above example, lines connect each child skill with its parent. In Adapt, both Darksight and Devolution are Narrowed skills, being as they are one tier below their parent, the Broad skill of Adapt.

Ex.1: As concerns "Adapt:Darksight", my skill level in Adapt is a 15, my
skill level in Darksight is a 10, and my PM (Physical Mutation) is a
15--thus, my target for that skill is a 45.

Ex.2: As concerns Combat:Firearms:Pistols, I add the levels of each tier
(15+15+10) and my PA (Physical Agility) of 15 and get a Target of 55.

Every skill is associated with a core attribute, listed beside that skill in its listing and on your icon dossier. In most cases, this choice of attribute is obvious, and easy to remember. However, it is important to realize that not all tiers of the same skill tree share the same attribute. Whereas a Broader level of knowledge might be associated with one attribute, a Narrowed or Specific focus in that same skill might require different movements or efforts.

When calculating targets, you only add in the most relevant attribute for the most specific tier you're using.

Ex.: As concerns "Combat:Unarmed", my skill level in Combat is a 15, and
my skill level in Unarmed is a 10. The Narrowed tier of Unarmed calls on
PS (Physical Strength) instead of PA (Physical Agility), like the Broad
tier of Combat does. This means I add in my PA to the two skill levels,
not my PS, and not both. My PS is a 15, and thus my Target is 15+10+15,
or 40.

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