Let’s make an RPG part 4: Skill Labors

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.“— Lazarus Long

We’ve got some character points.  We’ve bought some stats.  Let’s do something with those stats.

Most tabletop RPGs have some sort of “skill check” system.  The most obvious example is if a thief wants to pick a lock.  This is a fairly complicated action, requiring understanding of lock-picking techniques, as well as the physical dexterity to manipulate lock tumblers into their appropriate positions without the aid of the key originally designed to do so.  Additionally, someone who has some practice in picking locks will, naturally, be better at it than someone who doesn’t, regardless of how smart or dexterous the second person is.

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