Splitting up SKILL

Advanced Fighting Fantasy discussion
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:57 am
Location: Gravesend

Splitting up SKILL

Post by Phantomdoodler » Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:22 pm

SKILL covers a lot of ground. In many ways you can consider it a measure of adventuring experience since aside from magical skills, it is used for practically everything the player rolls for. I was thinking of splitting SKILL into three separate attributes:

Physical SKILL represents the characters combat skills and physical prowess. It would typically used for most Combat and Movement based skills.

Mental SKILL represents the characters intelligence and perception and typically used for most Knowledge based skills, and any skill where you are applying your intelligence (such as using Swords to determine where a sword was manufactured).

Social SKILL represents the characters presence and persuasiveness and is used for Con, Disguise, Bargain, leadership, Strength (when intimidating) and any other skill when you are using a skill to impress someone (such as convincing a guard that you to be trusted using your Battle Tactics, for example.

To keep things easier, NPC's still have a single SKILL rating. During character generation, Physical SKILL is based on the species SKILL value. Social SKILL and Mental SKILL are based on the creatures SKILL but are modified by its Reaction and Intelligence:


Friendly: +1 Social SKILL
Neutral: -
Unfriendly: -1 Social SKILL
Hostile: -2 Social SKILL


High: -
Average: -1 Mental SKILL
Low: -2 Mental SKILL
None: The species cannot make rolls involving Mental SKILL

* If a range is given, take the middle value if 3 choices are given, or the worst value if 2 choices are given. So Dwarves, rated Friendly to Unfriendly- are treated as Neutral so gain no bonus. Black Elves, rated Neutral to Unfriendly, are treated as Unfriendly so suffer -1 Social SKILL.

Since there are now two additional attributes, players gain 4 additional points (12 in total) to create their character.

In combat, as a result of taking a critical hit, roll 1d6 to determine what type of SKILL is reduced:

1-3 Physical SKILL (Mangled arm, severed tendon, chest wound etc)
4-5 Mental SKILL (Damaged eye, concussion, scalp wound etc)
6 Social SKILL (Disfiguring scar etc)

A Potion of SKILL restores all lost SKILL, although weaker potions may only affect a single type of SKILL. During character generation a player could choose any two potions of Physical SKILL,Mental SKILL or Social SKILL instead of a Potion of SKILL.

When improving SKILL with experience, Mental SKILL and Physical SKILL cost 20 times the new value as usual (There are still many skills based off these). Social SKILL, however, is much more limiting and only costs 15 times the new value.
Last edited by Phantomdoodler on Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: Splitting up SKILL

Post by torus » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:16 am

Some very interesting ideas. Splitting SKILL is a commonly suggested house rule, and pretty much all previous attempts to update or revise AFF have done it. I also divide SKILL in two: STRENGTH and ABILITY - see my house rules here: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=588.

Nevertheless, I think Arion was entirely correct not to do this in AFF2. In fact I think it reflects an intuitive and authentic feeling for Fighting Fantasy as a set of rules, and how important simplicity is to its success. Over the last few years I've come up with a whole bunch of potential additional rules & modifications, but in play I always end up coming back to the simple core rule set, with only a few minor changes. Splitting SKILL is probably the biggest one, and even that isn't really such a big deal.

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 1369
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 10:53 pm

Re: Splitting up SKILL

Post by bottg » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:19 am

It is of course fairly easy to do. It changes the feel slightly, but if that suits your game, go for it. The one "blind spot" i can see with one skill is for priests/warrior mages/sorcerers. A Fighter has high skill, applied to all special skills. A Wizard has high magic, applied to knowledge skills at least. The aforementioned types tend to have 5-6 SKILL and 3-5 MAGIC. Thus they are worse at physical and knowledge skills.

User avatar
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:57 am
Location: Gravesend

Re: Splitting up SKILL

Post by Phantomdoodler » Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:36 am

After thinking about this, I think I will try out my campaign using the standard rules before tinkering, even though splitting SKILL is highly tempting. It may be just the nostalgic feel of having just SKILL STAMINA and LUCK (now with added MAGIC stat from Citadel of Chaos)

User avatar
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: Splitting up SKILL

Post by torus » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:47 pm

That nostalgic feel counts for a lot! But splitting SKILL is no big deal - it doesn't really affect actual play much at all after chargen. I like your idea for extending starting values in other playable species, based on the info in OotP.

User avatar
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:57 am
Location: Gravesend

Re: Splitting up SKILL

Post by Phantomdoodler » Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:31 pm

Another idea I had, way back, was to split SKILL into three values:

Strength represents the Hero's physical strength, toughness and skill with melee weapons
Agility represents the Hero's coordination, dexterity and skill with missile weapons
Reasoning represents the characters intelligence and intuition and is used for Knowledge skills.

Armour (Strength)
Axes (Strength)
Battle Tactics (Reasoning)
Bows (Agility)
Brawling (Strength)
Clubs (Strength)
Mounted Combat (Agility)
Firepowder (Agility or Reasoning)
Polarms (Strength)
Staves (Strength
Might (Strength - replaces Strength skill)
Swords (Strength)
Thrown (Strength)

Acrobatics (Agility)
Climb (Strength)
Dodge (Agility)
Jump (Strength)
Ride (Agility)
Swim (Strength)

Awareness (Reasoning)
Disguise (Reasoning)
Locks (Agility)
Sleight of Hand (Agility)
Sneaking (Agility)
Trap Knowledge (Reasoning/Agility)

Animal Lore (Reasoning)
Bargain (Reasoning)
City Lore (Reasoning)
Con (Reasoning)
Crafting (Agility/Reasoning)
Engineering (Agility/Reasoning)
Etiquette (Reasoning)
Evaluate (Reasoning)
Fishing (Agility/Reasoning)
Terrain Lore (Reasoning)
Healing (Reasoning
Huntng (Agility/Reasoning)
Languages (Reasoning)
Law (Reasoning)
Leadership (Reasoning)
Navigation (Reasoning)
Religion Lore (Reasoning)
Sea Lore (Agility/Reasoning)
Secret Signs (Reasoning)
Stewardship (Reasoning)
Underground Lore (Reasoning)
World Lore (Reasoning)

However I have noticed that with only four choices at character gen (SKILL, STAMINA LUCK and MAGIC), the Special Skills really come into their own when defining a character- this effect is lessened when several incarnations of SKILL are used.

User avatar
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 9:55 pm

Re: Splitting up SKILL

Post by Skywalker » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:24 am

Personally I like the single Skill value. Its not unlike "level" in D&D as a measure of overall competence, and tends to make AFF both fast moving (as its simple) and more adventurous in feel as its forgiving. With one Skill value, most PCs can try something, even though Special Skills make some better than others.

It also tends to focus the PCs on their Special Skills as a point of differentiation, which provide a fuller description of their abilities, rather than abstract Skill groups.

Its feels a little different from the commonly used Attribute + Skill approach, but it works well as it is.

Post Reply