Pet peeves, and solutions for “my” rpg.
All skills increase as you level. Fix: skills increase through use, with “effect” being the result of the log of the skill value. In other words, 10 points is +1, 100 points is +2, … Base 10 may not be the best choice, but…
Skills should be inter-related, but not perfectly. The way I see doing this is a two-step relation with one of the relations being immune from direct modification. Example in principle: Skills rifle, shotgun, and pistol in general skill slug-thrower. Each increase in rifle gives 50% as much to slug-thrower. Increasing slug-thrower gives 50% to shotgun and pistol. This tree effect can be extended.
What about when you add a new skill? For example it’s a magic system and you, expert in shadowspells, learn the ‘trick’ to nature spells along with, perhaps, entangling vine. My suggestion is ‘lower start’. In this case, say “magic” is 5000, which would nominally make the start for nature spells 2500 and entangling vine 1250. Start both at half that — 1250 and 625 respectively. Thus entangling vine is 625 (or ~2) compared to “cloak of night” which is, perhaps, 20,000 (or ~4).
When building your character, you can use sliders — but only on the lowest level skills. Your ‘focused skill’ points are moved around. The same can apply if re-speccing is allowed.
Another thing that always bothers me is how the toys you get are more important than your actual skills. It seems like every game I play the toy’s (weapon, whatever) level is such that there has to be a ‘user floor’ so some low level beginner doesn’t become superweenie with the Great Sword of Awesomesauce. I’ve a small solution: Skills are modifier to weapon/toy numbers. Thus a moderate level player with mediocre magic aids can still overcome superweenie. Hmm, let’s run an example.
Superweenie has skill 1 with a sword while Modman is skill 4. Superweenie gets a sword of 20, while Modman is puttering around with a sword of 10. Superweenie’s combat value is 20, modman’s value is 40. It ain’t the tool, it’s how you use it.
Note that in none of these have I created anything new, just… these are the obvious things that beat some of my pet peeves.