Learn by Doing

    Version: 1/21/2014
    Project: OGL Star Frontiers
    File Name: Learn by Doing.pdf
    File Size: 92.07 KB
    File Type: application/pdf
    Updated: January 21, 2014 - 12:40am
    Submitted: Blankbeard
    An alternate skill system for Star Frontiers

    Instead of a PSA, a beginning character picks two skills to be trained in, and one more to be his favored skill. All other skills are untrained. Learn by doing skills do not have separate levels, instead your raw percentage based on your ability score and experience is your skill level. So you might have Pistol skill 45% and Computers skill 80%.

    Quick Summary

    Using a skill during an adventure grants the character an improvement roll for that skill. If the improvement roll succeeds, the skill rises – 1d5% for untrained skills and 2d5% for trained and favored skills. Favored skills rise by 1% even if the improvement roll fails. You can improve every single skill you use once each adventure.

    The improvement roll is based on your chance of skill failure. So you have a 55% chance to improve a skill of 45%. Improvement rolls may also be made for ability scores in the same fashion. An ability rises by 1d5% when improved.


    jedion357's picture
    January 21, 2014 - 5:27am
    I've seen this before, Terl Obar was explaining it to me from another rule system.

    I think its interesting and probably just have to pull the trigger on using it to fall in love with it.

    One thing though, and this is just from that fact that I joined the parents class at my daughters' dance school, I improve at dance not during a recital (there is a parents dance) when I'm on the spot and have to perform do or die which is much like a combat situation stress wise but rather improvement comes from hours of practice.

    I'm betting that pistol shooting is the same- hours of practice. the act of shooting in a stressful situation not so much.
    I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

    Blankbeard's picture
    January 21, 2014 - 12:17pm
    Oh, you found this before I wrote the post explaining it.  :) It's going up now in the Game Rules forum.

    Yes, the core improvement is like Basic Roleplay/ Call of Cthulu. I've added on training levels and alternate means of gaining an improvement roll.

    The intent isn't that you pick up a laser pistol, shoot a bad guy, and get an improvement roll without ever shooting again. Rather, skills you use during an adventure consistently and in important ways are those that improve. Climbing one cliff might be enough to justify improment as that's a significant action with time to see what works and what doesn't. Likewise, using that laser pistol over the course of an adventure is enough to gain an improvement roll.

    The distinction you're making shows up in the gaining skills by training rules. You need weeks or months to move a skill from untrained to trained (or to acquire a new specialist skill). Instead of thinking of a recital as an adventure, think of it as a single encounter. The adventure would be a season of dance. Over the course of the season, you're training and having the rare encounter. You get an improment roll. Your referee might still allow you one if you trained and didn't have a recital, but a recital by itself isn't a really significant. It's more like entering a shooting contest than having a gun battle.

    There's a level of abstraction here. You probably spend much more time outside of adventures than in one. So relatively, the adventure should be unimportant in your advancement. You could require that a character spend so many hours training in a skill he wishes to advance but that's not really appropriate for many skills, particularly body skills and survival type skills.