Ok, that wasn’t as long a read as I feared.
Couple quick thoughts not so much to do with proficiencies, as with the MUCH longer skill learn times that are proposed. That’s fundamentally far more important than the proficiency system itself, with much more halo on the game.
- Bump the skill learning tracks, probably bump skill/recipe granularity from 10->100.
Doesn’t REALLY change anything, but it lets you break up the math a bit more nicely, and more importantly it gives the player a sense of concrete advancement over a much, much longer grind, and that kind of perception is quite important. Yeah, the ding from 26->27 doesn’t really do anything but improve my fail rates slightly, but at least it DID something.
- I think you want to get rid of ‘shared pool’ character gen options. Stats, Skills, and Traits should have permanently separate pools. Why? Because right now most characters are created as amnesiac imbeciles with great stats and no life experience whatsoever - because doing otherwise is foolish and crippling.
You can learn most of the skills you’ll need for basic survival within 24 hours, and develop advanced skills within 1-2 weeks - obviously that will be impossible with dramatically slower skill development, so the option to create the amnesiac imbecile should be a bizarre outlier challenge profession, not normal. Splitting up the pools permanently ensures that players have points to spend on starting skills and professions appropriately, without sabotaging their permanent stats and traits, and will make the earlier phases of a game with a much longer skill learn cycle far more realistic and playable. A standard character should probably also start with a fairly sizable skill pool, rather than a tiny handful of points.
- Probably will have to rework focus considerably. It’s a frustrating mechanic as is, and dragging out the focus maintenance game-play over MONTHS rather than days is a recipe for tooth grinding tedium of the worst kind. Not saying trash focus, but seriously rethink how the pool works, how fast it drains/recovers, what factors affect it and so on. It isn’t scaled for the kind of time factors you’re suggesting.
One possibility is to attach focus to specific skills. It burns down quickly when you are practicing a given skill, allowing you to advance the skill very quickly for a relatively limited amount of time each day, then your pools recover overnight, encouraging non-monotonous gameplay cycles for players. Do project A for a bit, go kill some stuff, come back, work or project’s B & C, go loot, etc. If your character is able to maintain a generally high mood, their focus pools recover to higher values so that the next day’s training is more productive.
As long as it’s not… read, eat, read, read, read, read, eat, read, read, read, sleep, eat, read read read…
(repeat for next 60 game days to master fabrication, begin again for tailoring)
That’s only something we put up with because we get past that phase of the game relatively quickly and get on into the endgame - but now that phase could easily extend into several months making it untenable.
- Consider changing books into ADJUNCTS to skill use and practice, rather than an either/or replacement. You always advance skills by use, but if you have a book on you that covers the relevant skill levels, it significantly speeds xp gain and reduces fail rates for challenging projects - again, some effort needs to be made to tone down the emphasis on sitting still and reading for skill gain if the process is going to be exponentially longer.