Godlike: Comfort Skills

“Comfort Skills” — by Allan Goodall, (c) 2011 — is an optional rule that first appeared in Black Devils Brigade. It can be adapted to any Godlike campaign.

Optional Rule: Comfort Skills

There are four special skills that behave differently from regular skills. These four skills, Bureaucracy, Carousing, Family, and Foraging, are termed “comfort skills.” When a player rolls a success in one of these skills, the character gains 1 Will point.

During character creation, the skills are purchased with Will Points at the same cost as Hyperskills: 1 point for a regular die, 3 points for a hard die, 7 points for a wiggle die. However, these skills are not supernatural in nature (unless a player purchases hard or wiggle dice in them) and are not hyperskills (again, unless they have hard dice or wiggle dice). They represent the character’s innate ability to bring himself a little pleasure in the midst of war’s misery.

The GM is free to insert comfort skills into any ongoing Godlike campaign. If the characters have already been generated, the GM might want to grant the characters up to 4 free points in these skills. The GM might want to require characters to take one or more specific skills based on what has already transpired in the campaign. For example, if a player has already made a point of receiving lots of letters from home, the GM should require that the character put at least a couple of points in the Family comfort skill.

Each of these skills is attached to a stat, which adds to the dice pool:

Bureaucracy (Brains): Need a two day furlough, or trying to requisition the latest Humphrey Bogart movie? Roll Brains+Bureaucracy.

Carousing (Command): Find yourself a drinking buddy or a date with a local girl. Roll Command+Carousing.

Family (Cool): Did you get a letter or package from home? Maybe you hear that your brother’s unit has moved into the line beside you, and he slips over to see you. Roll Cool+Family.

Foraging (Sense): You manage to find a basket of eggs, or you find an unbroken wine bottle in a destroyed house. Roll Sense+Foraging.

Typically, a comfort skill awards a character no more than 1 Will point per day. In addition, you don’t roll for the skill (and don’t gain the 1 Will, either) if success is automatic. You’re not going to gain 1 Will from “foraging” a nice meal while on leave in London, or hiring a prostitute in Naples. You do gain a point of Will—if your skill roll succeeds—for organizing a poker game in the midst of sporadic shelling (Carousing), or for finding new boots and dry socks after spending three days in a foxhole during a torrential downpour (Foraging, or even Bureaucracy).

It is up to the player to request the roll. Ultimately, it is the GM’s decision whether or not the roll is appropriate. If the characters are holding the top of a barren mountain close to enemy lines, the GM is well within his rights to rule that the player isn’t going to find a pretty girl wandering around. The GM is also free to add Difficulty to the skill.

Example: The character is in a shell hole during a lull between German counterattacks. The player asks the GM if he can roll for his Family comfort skill. The GM decides that it’s highly unlikely that there would be a mail call at that moment in time, but stranger things have happened in the army. He imposes a Difficulty of 4. The player rolls Cool+Family, and gets a 2×9 result. Good enough! A buddy crawls into the shell hole. “Hey, Mac, I forgot. I got one of your letters by mistake. Here.” The character gets a letter from home and 1 Will point.

 

Talents always have an edge when impressing the local girls.

Talents always have an edge when it comes to impressing the local girls.

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