Breaking out adventuring

It occurs to me that it might be interesting to dispense with the assumption that characters begin with adventuring, giving them four general proficiencies, as with zero level characters, and advancing them up to adventuring as they go. This might be useful for a less “outsider” game. Among these initial proficiencies should be some way for the character to make a living.

At first level, they would also get one of four “adventuring” skills, and at level 2, 3, and 4, they swap out one more general proficiency for one more adventuring skill, leading them to eventually lose three of the proficiencies (their old life) as they become adventurers.

The breakout of adventuring might be:
Weapon care
Outdoor Lore
Dungeoneering (secret doors and such)
Valuation (knowing the rough values of treasures and trade goods)

Characters could choose appropriate ones based on their experience, or so they have all bases covered.

I think this is a grand idea.

I didn’t do this in the Core Rules because I wanted to ensure that proficiencies were optional. By “building in” all of the core mechanics (secret doors, hearing noises, and so on) into Adventuring, and making Adventuring a default for all PCs, I was able to implement a proficiency system without imposing a “skill tax” or requiring the system be used.

If you’re certain to use proficiencies, this adds a nice level of granularity that can fractally improve the game.

So I had put this aside, but started thinking about this again. I think I have some rules that make sense.

First off, all characters begin in a fashion like normal men, with 4 general proficiencies. They may also get bonus proficiencies for high intelligence. Use the starting age rules, and allow characters to advance the age of characters in exchange for additional general proficiencies. This will likely result in age related penalties to ability scores, so monitor this closely.

At levels 1 to 4, characters get class proficiencies as normal, but no general proficiencies. Instead, at each level, they select an “adventurer” proficiency. These are:

Equipment care: You know how to maintain your equipment independently, especially arms and armor. You may also supervise the equipment and armor of 3+int bonus others. Characters whose equipment is not being taken care of move as if their equipment was one stone heavier than normal. Arms and armor will deteriorate each day they are used in combat but not maintained. For weapons, record the max damage done each day, X. At the end of the day, roll 1dX on the scavenged weapons table to determine the deerie ration to the weapon. Similarly, record max damage done to a character in one blow during the day, Y. Roll 1dY on scavenged armor table at the end of each day. Having to maintain others equipment

Dungeoncraft: You are savvy in underground environments, and are familiar with dungeon exploration procedures. Characters with this proficiency can read maps, and can create maps with if traveling no faster than their exploration speed.

Characters who lack this proficiency suffer a -4 penalty to rolls to hear noise, locate secret doors, or force them open. In addition they have a -1 penalty to surprise rolls underground.

Bushcraft: You are savvy in wilderness environments. You know how to ride and saddle a trained horse under normal conditions, how to camp and prepare food in the wilderness, and the basics of how to find or hunt for food. You can also manage the camp details of 3 + int bonus others.

Characters who lack this proficiency suffer -4 penalties to foraging, hunting and navigation rolls. They also use one additional days rations and require one additional days rest per week of wilderness travel.

Moneycraft: You know how to handle money, what it can buy, and what it can be used for. In addition, you can determine the basic value of treasures and trade goods.

Characters without this proficiency suffer a 10% penalty in prices when buying or selling, as if their opponent had the bargaining proficiency. Those without the proficiency may attempt to evaluate treasures on a roll of 11+. Each point by which the roll is failed results in a 10% valuation error in a random direction.

You don’t mention trading general profs for the adventuring profs in this version; do you get to keep them all?

If so, a level 4 character would end up with 4 general profs + Adventuring in this version, versus the normal of 1 general prof + Adventuring. (You don’t normally gain a second general prof until level 5).

Not that it would break the game at all to give people three extra general profs (as long as you keep your players from all selecting Healing x3), I just wanted to mention it.

Well, they can’t get to healing 3 much easier this way, unless they want to start out middle aged. The base general profs would let them have a broad base to represent their preadventure lifestyle.

I would hope that a first-level Explorer, for example, would know both how to maintain his gear and how to camp… There might be some other edge cases like that as well.

Yeah, good point. To some extent, the idea here is to encourage/require cooperation, and to treat the early levels like they are less self sufficient. The penalties may be too extreme in this version, but broadly speaking they are supposed to be like one proficiency, so an explorer might be able to choose the equipment option at first level but need to lose one of its class abilities about the outdoors until a higher level. Alternatively, they could get full outdoorsman skill, but need to rely on an armorer to maintain his gear.

Craft (armorer) 1 lets someone maintain 15 people’s armor, so self sufficiency is a less than a full proficiency.