The compacted comon skills evens the diferences between % rise between RQ3 and MRQ a little, but if you use a full skill list, then the PCS might as well stay at home and train than risk life and limb trying to gain a hand full of XP/HP.
I disagree. If the PC's are regarded as actual characters rather than just as collections of numbers on a sheet of paper, then their reason for adventuring is not to reach "90% skill level" or some other measure of advancement. It may be "to learn to fight" or "learn magic", but that is more abstract. Most characters
will be motivated by tangible rewards such as treasure, saving the local village, or the thrill of bringing evildoers to justice 8)
Personally, I don't like campaigns where advancement is too fast, because it makes me feel that it is just an exercise in character sheet development rather than character development. OTOH, advancement is also fun, but I'd much prefer a "realistic" system of advancement over one designed to meet a certain rate target.
Hmm. In re-reading this thread, maybe it's just the "brute force" part of the Athletics skill I don't like. While I still think that swimming should be Athletics(Swimming), for instance, I'm really liking the idea of making "brute force Athletics" synonymous with STRx5.
I'd say that Brute Force is definitely the worst offender. Not only does it seem like something that should be a Strength check, but the fact that it has a different default (STR + SIZE) than the other Athletics tasks (STR + DEX) indicates to me that it should really
be a separate skill, if it exists at all as a % skill.
I would rule that different tasks of the same skill must use the same default, and that by that logic, Brute Force is a different skill than Athletics.
Whether Athletics should be broken out into Swimming, Climbing, Jumping, etc, is another opinion. I can see an argument for breaking out Swimming as an advanced skill, because while everybody can try to climb, jump, or run fast, not everybody can even try to swim. Thus, I've decided to break Swimming out as a separate skill, the way Brute Force was.
My criterion for determining whether something is one skill or two is to ask whether a person trained in that skill could be expected to be good at both tasks. Thus, one could argue that Perception is one skill, because different senses can reinforce one another, and someone who can't see as well may be able to hear something suspicious, and vice versa. Swimming, Climbing, and Brute Force seem to me like these should be three different skills.