Skills in War for the Throne

So, with playtesting for Escape From Tentacle City starting up (email me if you’re interested)- I’m turning my design attentions to War for the Throne, a FATE game inspired by a number of sources, primarily L5R and my attempt to run a high-level play by post game of it.

So, in War for the Throne, you play the potential heirs to the empire.  The whole game is about the sibling rivalry struggle, and whether the heirs can peacefully choose one of their own, or whether they’ll tear the empire apart fighting for it.  I’m pretty excited about it.

Mechanically, the heirs are badass, but they aren’t on the level of SotC or Awesome Adventures heroes.  They have a skill pyramid topping out at Great.  Like Awesome Adventures, I want every skill to be on the character sheet, which means 15 skills total.  And I’ve rounded the list down to 14.  I need one more.

Here’s what I have right now:

Physical:

Athletics, Endurance, Fighting, Stealth, “Outdoors”

Mental:

Mystic Lore, Perception, Resolve, Scholastic Lore, ????

Social:

Charm, Contacts, Empathy, Intimidate, Leadership

Obviously, these skills are quite a bit broader than those in SotC, or even Awesome Adventures.  Stealth, for example, includes Stealth, Burglary, and Slight of Hand.  Might is rolled into Athletics.  Fighting includes all kinds of fighting.  I’m pretty happy with this framework because it means the heirs will be very well-rounded and very generally competent, especially in their area of expertise.

What I need it a punchier name for Outdoors, and a suggestion for the missing Mental skill.  Outdoors includes Wilderness Survival, Wilderness Lore, and things like hunting, riding, piloting boats, etc.   I’d call it ‘Badass Outdoorsman,’ but that doesn’t fit the naming scheme.

For the mental skill, I’ve been pondering things like Finance (not broad enough), or Cunning (too broad- what do you use it for?)  I’m sure the perfect skill is out there, but it’s not popping yet.

Any ideas?

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3 thoughts on “Skills in War for the Throne

  1. What was wrong with “Survival”?

    Also, hmm… maybe, “Savoir Faire”? I’m not sure if that’s quite what you’re looking for, and it’s certainly not in-genre… maybe Savvy? That’s just as broad as Cunning, though. Can you be more specific about what you want it to cover?

  2. SabreCat says:

    For the mental skill: maybe some sort of Sherlock Holmes-y investigative thing? Investigation, Deduction… I.e., I don’t see a “reasoning” skill there yet.

    Outdoors: Survival and Nature are popular ones. Navigation, Orienteering, Trailblazing, hrm, all probably too specific. Scout/Ranger something?

  3. Willow says:

    Right now I’m leaning towards Craft as the last skill.

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