Words from the Wise (Guys)

Copyright Peter Mork © 2012

Edited by Peter Mork for The Guild Companion

Welcome to the 157th edition of the Guild Companion. This month we have the penultimate installment of the Art of Fighting. Using the Art of Fighting rules, a character cannot learn many skills unless he knows a combat style that teaches the skill. So, unlike Martial Arts Companion styles that give bonuses to combat skills, the Art of Fighting styles provide access to those skills. In this month's installment you can find simple and moderately complex styles; next month we will conclude with the most advanced styles.

Richard Runyan also returns to our (virtual) pages with a Celestial Body Classification System. While the system presented is a work of fiction, it draws heavily from real-world classification systems. As such, this article is of great value to Spacemaster players and gamemasters. The rest of us should read the article to learn some science.

In ICE news, Nicholas Caldwell discusses the complexities of print-on-demand. The good news is that ICE seems to have figured out how to make its material available using this technology. Let us know if you agree "that the process works reliably."

Finally, let's check in with our nascent gods. Since last month, the gods have discovered their imprisonment at the hands of Utu and Nin. Like good PCs everywhere, the characters set about the task of escaping with gusto, using every skill at their disposal.

In RM2, during character design, the players would have pre-allocated their gods' DP for next level. In RMSS, the players would wait until gaining a level to spend those DP. However, in this game, the level 1 gods have access to a full level's worth of DP from level 2 (720 DP). Whenever they use a skill, they gain one rank in that skill.

This approach has some interesting ramifications. 1) The players are trying to work into the story those skills they want to get better at. 2) The players are not using skills they don't want to learn, just to have a shot at getting lucky (rolling open-ended). I consider these impacts to be positive. On the negative side, we do have to keep track of who's using what skills, and for many skills we simply estimate the character's bonus (based on the category bonus). But overall, I think I plan to stick with this approach for future levels.

Until next month, may all of your Large criticals be open-ended.
Peter Mork
General Editor