This news will probably be lost in a sea of #sports hashtags, but I’m posting it anyway!
Today’s writing agenda is finishing up the Know skill section of the playtest document, explaining the baseline level of knowledge you have if you aren’t trained in a skill. It’s a lot of words. :p
This morning I had some just-woke-up thoughts about resolving issues with “this is what you can do with an Olympic- or Superhuman-level skill” as compared to what you can do with magic at the equivalent character level.
Basically, if you can learn the Fly spell at level 9, you’re able to fly at will, it just uses one of your daily readied feat slots. But if you’re 9th level and you’ve invested a lot of training in the Athletics skill for jumping, you should be able to do some really cool stuff with that… perhaps not quite as much as someone who’s readied Fly that day (skill training is a different resource than the number of available feats you can ready each day), but you still should be in the same ball park. I’m thinking of the Hulk, who has a phenomenal leaping superpower that is very much like flying (except he can’t turn in midair)… if you present the Hulk as a 9th level character (he’s not), he should be able to jump really high and fight flying opponents, even if he’s not using “magic” to do so.
Likewise, at 13th level you can learn the Short Teleport spell, which lets you concentrate for a minute to teleport up to 1,000 feet away to an “anchor” location you designated earlier. Compared to that, what is the character who has a great climb or tumbling skill able to do that’s still cool and relevant?
It almost makes me want to remove training skills as a separate system from the game, and just make skill advancement work like learning feats (including cronks/spells/stunts). And apply the CENOS (Competent, Exceptional, Notable, Olympic, Superhuman) rating to various tasks for each of the feats, whether the feat is a cronk, spell, or stunt.
If I did that, it would work like this: At 9th level you could take the Fly feat, which lets you fly, or you could take the Superhuman Leaping feat (a placeholder name), which lets you jump long distances as if you were flying in a straight line. Or at 13th level you could take the Short Teleport spell, which lets you teleport up to 1,000 feet away, or you could take the Flash Running feat (also placeholder/trademark violation name) that lets you run so fast you can phase through walls and appear at your intended destination.
(Yes, I like superheroes, and playing superhero RPGs has influenced my design ideas for Five Moons.)
I’m a bit too invested in the current playtest setup to rework all of that just yet, but I’d like to hear opinions on it.
A couple of weeks ago I ran a one-shot Numenera game for Monte Cook’s birthday, with Monte, Shanna Germain, and Bruce Cordell as the players. Although I used the Numenera rules, the story and maps were based on what I want to do for the Cavern of the Venomous Pillar adventure. It went well, helped me fill in some of the blanks for the background and story, and overall the result was fun. It won’t be that hard for the author to swap out the placeholder Numenera rules elements for Five Moons elements when it’s written.