Topic: OOC: New Skill System

There's a new skill system for Seed - the Second Chance, striving to both increase flexibility and decreased complexity of the skill tree.

Base Skills

There are a relatively small set of base skills, that have a traditional level progression. They are:

Power Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Structural Engineering
Hardware Engineering
Software Engineering

Human Sciences

History (Any historical knowledge from Earth falls under this, including religion and philosophy. Unlike other skills, History can't be learned after speedgrowth.)

Action (This skill encompasses physical provess, agility, reactions, crawling quickly in small tunnels... An integral part of this skill is physical ability which must be trained outside the floatbed.)

They're trained in the familiar time-based fashion. The training times (in days) for levels 1 to 20 are the same for all skills, namely (total times listed in brackets):

1: 20 (20)
2: 60 (80)
3: 100 (180)
4: 140 (320)
5: 180 (500)
6: 220 (720)
7: 260 (980)
8: 300 (1280)
9: 340 (1620)
10: 380 (2000)
11: 420 (2420)
12: 460 (2880)
13: 500 (3380)
14: 540 (3920)
15: 580 (4500)
16: 620 (5120)
17: 660 (5780)
18: 700 (6480)
19: 740 (7220)
20: 780 (8000)

This leads to a nice progression in which whenever the level is doubled, the total training time (counting the time for previous levels) is quadrapled. Focusing on one skill only, level 20 can be reached in a little over 20 years.

There are some guidelines for how much proficiency each level means (specialities count when determining your grading on your speciality area):

1: You're pretty much a newbie in the area, being able to do simple things on your own but mostly assist others in their work.

5: You're a professional capable of standing on your own and leading small groups of young people. In bigger projects, however, you'd usually work under someone more experienced.

10: You're a seasoned professional. Many leaders of small and mid-sized projects (10 to 100 people) are on this level. In your areas of speciality, you're considered a valuable expert. From this point on, much of the learning is done outside TAU. It still provides a lot of useful material but you have to apply most of it to practice yourself.

15: You're an expert renowned for your abilities. People seek to work under you just to learn from you. You're regularly consulted on your areas of speciality, and your judgement on them is relied upon. Many leaders of bigger rings are on this level in their highest skills. TAU's teaching capabilities have pretty much ran out at this point - you're on your own.

20: You've reached the limit of natural human capacity, making you the top person - or in the very least one of the very top - in your area. Any progress from now on must be aided by transhuman technology, such as genetic engineering or cybernetics.


Every three levels you gain in a base skill, starting on level 1 (that is, 1, 4, 7...), you get to choose a speciality in the area covered by that skill. There are no predetermined specialities - you get to define it yourself.

Each speciality has a bonus attatched to it, from +1 to +3, depending on the broadness of the speciality (the more specialized, the higher bonus). For example, a broad area like Security would get +1, while something like Chimbot Navigation Protocols would get +3. This is added to the base skill when performing tasks falling under the speciality area.

Character creation

Each new character gets 100 days worth of training that was done during speedgrowth.

(Also maybe some special affinities, but those are not yet specified.)

Skill comparisons

In situations where two characters are using their skills against each other, usually the one with a higher skill (with specialities considered) wins. However, the circumstances, roleplaying, and luck may tip the balance in one way or another. Here are some guidelines for how to interpret skill differences:

Equal skills: The winner is determined by circumstances, RP, and luck.

Difference of 1: It's rather easy to overcome this difference by circumstances, RP, or luck. Simple creativity gets you a long way in these situations.

Difference of 3: At this point, it's rare that plain RP or luck would carry you to victory. You need to convince the GM that you have a substantial advantage over the other side. It's possible, though.

Difference of 5: Winning in a situation like this is a major thing that should be celebrated for months. Usually it just won't happen.

These guidelines assume both parties are trying their best to beat the other side, have some tools to work with, etc. So if you lock the hacking expert of the other side in a hole, they obviously can't hack your database.

These guidelines apply regardless of the skill levels being talked about. That is, level 13 is quite as far from level 11 as level 3 is from level 1 in this regard.