Free skills and special interests


I am working on the section where I explain how players may spend their PC's beginning skill points. And have a few considerations I'd like to consider.

I already have a "Breadth of Knowledge" rule, which says each PC gets 10 times her Intelligence to distribute among skills, with up to 20 points added to any one skill.

Characters also get skill points determined by their Training pseudo-charactistic (3-18, rolled as their characteristics are rolled). I'm wondering whether to limit how many skill points can be spent on a particular skill. I'm thinking perhaps limitting points spent on defense skills such as Dodge, and probably limitting points spent on attack skills.

Perhaps it would be reasonable to say no more than 1/3 the skill points spent on attack skills, no more than 1/3 the skill points spend on defense skills.

Finally, I've found that in just about every RPG, there are never enough skill points to define a character's "special interests" such as chess or Shakespearean literature, unless the character is willing to take a hit to her adventuring effectiveness. So I'd like to be able to define a number of special interests like that, which usually would have no direct adventuring application. (Although you never know when knowledge of Shakespearean Literature would come in handy....)

Maybe add another 5*INT points that can only be used for specific skills such as Lore, Craft, sports, games, etc.

What you could do is take your idea of INTx10 and apply it to the other stats. FOr instnace, a character could get something like DEXx10 points to break up among DEX based skills and so forth.

THis would tie skills tot he controlling stats and give more points, but limit them to certain areas. THat would help to give hopbby ansd special interest skills.
A good idea, but I'd suggest that you might like to be careful about Lore skills. In some games Lore/Knowledge checks are key... (though Lore(History of Rafia) would probably not be that useful)
So far I've decided on the following:

1. Breadth of Knowledge skills consisting of 10*INT divided as desired, with no more than 20 of these points added to any one skill,

2. Special Interest skills consisting of 70 points, divided among a restricted list consisting of skills like the various Lore, Craft, and Sports skills, with no more than 40 of these points added to any one skill,

3. Training consisting of 9-648 skill points (although more realistically between 80 and 240 skill points) divided as desired, but with no more than 2/5 of these points added to defensive skills like Dodge and Parry, and no more than 2/5 of these points added to attack skills like Weapon Use or Martial Arts skills, and a minimum of 1/5 of these points reserved to skills that are not attack or defense skills.

I'm not entirely satisfied with step 3 of this process. The intent is to 1) avoid having PCs with everything in attack or everything in defense, and 2) avoid having PCs with everything in combat skills.