You can shrink the skill list by using Familiarity Penalties instead

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whitespace551 whitespace551's picture
You can shrink the skill list by using Familiarity Penalties instead

So, re this FATE conversion thing:

Separate skills for "Athletics" and "Somatics", or "Impersonation" and "Deception", or any number of other closely related skills, are unnecessary. You can trim it down by using something I'm going to call a familiarity penalty.

Basically, if you're using a skill for something just outside its purview - for example, if you're trying to use a "Deception" skill to impersonate - you can do it, but at a penalty to the roll. If you continue to use "Deception" to impersonate, the penalty will shrink and eventually disappear.

Similarly, if you're trying to freerun across rooftops on Titan, and you have "Freerunning" but you hail from Mars, attempting to use the skill will incur a familiarity penalty for the different amount of gravity. Once you practice enough on Titan, the familiarity penalty will disappear.

This requires some GM eyeballing but it is much closer to the spirit of FATE/narrativist systems in general than ridiculously long skill lists are.

(I originally borrowed this notion from Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine but GURPS has it too, sort of.)

jackgraham jackgraham's picture
Hmm, this is an interesting

Hmm, this is an interesting idea, although I'm now wondering if you're looking at the most current skill list, as we've already collapsed Impersonate and Freerunning into Deception and Athletics, respectively. Somatics I think we'll be keeping, as it's a re-skin of the Fate Core skill Physique.


This is the skill list as it currently stands:

Athletics XX Aptitude regarding physical movement in various gravities, and used to avoid being physically harmed
Civ Rep XX Contacts, allies, and favors owned in the world outside Firewall
Cover XX Ability to assume false identities and avoid positive ID by the opposition
Credit XX Being able to bring to bear currency, liquid assets, and financial intelligence
Deceive XX Lying, misdirection, and other subtle ways of manipulating others without their knowledge
Eye Rep XX Political clout, access to information, and access to material aid within Firewall
Fight XX Close-quarters and melee combat
Hardware XX Ability to build, repair, physically hack, and upgrade equipment; demolitions
Infiltrate XX Avoiding detection, sleight of hand, and creating misdirection
Infosec XX Electronic intrusion and counterintrusion techniques, encryption and decryption
Investigate XX Research, analysis, interviewing, and other information gathering and collating skills
Kinesics XX Ability to read other people via empathy and non-vocal communication
Medicine XX Applied care and maintenance of biological beings; psychosurgery
Notice XX Situational awareness and noticing casual things
Pilot XX Operating various vehicles, remote controlling bots, related applied knowledge
Programming XX Writing and modifying software code, programming bots and nanoswarms, nanofabrication
Provoke XX Intimidating, scaring, or otherwise hostilely manipulating others
Rapport XX Making positive connections and eliciting positive emotion
Shoot XX Ranged combat
Somatics XX Ability to use morph’s strength and its capacity to endure physical harm
Survival XX Endure, navigate, and thrive in various environments
Willpower XX Ability to keep one’s composure; used in horror tests and for psi
X-Risks XX Knowledge of existential threats to transhumanity

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