Hello! Welcome to our latest DevBlog, we've been immensely busy (more so than usual!) the last week pulling all the bits together for our upcoming Kickstarter and ensuring everything is just right for the upcoming gameplay video so It'll be a relatively short one (he lied) this week. Anyway, today we're looking at how skills and knowledge interact and going into a bit more detail as to how they work gameplay wise. This blog follows on from last week's so if you haven't read that already you can find it here.
Let’s get straight into a pretty picture:
The above screenshot shows the skills tab of a Tribe Member we're calling “Sam” for the sake of this blog. It'll probably look familiar to anyone who has played a pen and paper RPG such as Dungeons & Dragons. Each skill has its own parent ability, shown in the screenshot in the “Ability” column. The numbers next to each of these represent the bonus that ability applies to each given skill, Sam has a Strength score of 7 which is giving her a base bonus to her Combat skill. The next column is “Ranks” which represent a character's training and practice in a skill – ranks can be increased by using a skill or by being taught about it. The next column “Misc.” displays any buffs or debuffs that character may have at that time. The last column “Total” is well, the total of the rest of the row.
Skills themselves represent a specific character's capability at related tasks, for example the survival skill shows a character's ability to track animals, find and gather food, flint and building materials just to name a few of the tasks related to it.
So let's go back and look at Sam's Survival skill then, her Intellect is giving her a base of 3 and she has 5 ranks from using it, giving her a total of 8. This number is applied to difficulty checks (DC for short) which represent how hard a task is to complete, to complete a task you must beat it's DC. e.g Tracking a small mammal through grassland might have a pretty high DC, say 25. A character always gets a random number (like a dice roll) between 1 and 20 added to their skill every time they attempt to beat a task's DC. So in the case above tracking the rabbit is very difficult for Sam – to the point where she'll only be successful on a roll of 17 or more (17+8(bonus) = 25). A roll of 1 is always a failure no matter how high a character's skill and a 20 is always a success, even if normally completing the task would be impossible for that character as the DC is too high.
All of this rolling and random is done behind the scenes so the player just needs to pay attention to the character's skills and make sure that they're using them to the best of their ability.
So now we have a good idea of what skills do by themselves, let's see how knowledge ties into it all. The relationship between skills and knowledge is incredibly simple – discovering a new knowledge allows you to use an existing skill in a new way. Expanding on last week's blog with “Fishing I”, when a character gains this knowledge then can then use their survival skill to fish! So simply, but importantly: Knowledge expands how character's use skills. This runs in the now familiar theme of Lithic where we try to take from real world examples, a skilled carpenter would quickly adapt to new methods of building for example, apply their old skills to the new methods.
That's all for this week folks, hope it's given a bit of insight into the relationship between skills and knowledge. You know where to fire off any questions: our Forum here or our twitter @lithictheGame. Until next week, I bid you adieu!