Monday, December 21, 2015

Wildcard Skills: Artificer!

Wildcard Skills, as explained in Basic Set - Characters is an optional rule for simplifying skill lists by grouping a bunch of skills into one "super skill".. It caught my attention that there are wildcard skills for all of the templates in Dungeon Fantasy 1, but none for the characters in Dungeon Fantasy 4 (or any other templates after Dungeon Fantasy 1, it seems, for that matter.) So I got myself Power Ups 7: Wildcard Skills and decided to give it a try.

Designing the Wildcard Skill

Important Reference Material.
For reference we can look at the type of things that the wildcard skills in Dungeon Fantasy 1 cover, and combine it with advice from Wildcard Skills. First thing we can noticed from reading Dungeon Fantasy 1 is that the wildcard skill usually replaces a talent that is closely associated with the class. There is a talent introduced in Sages just for Artificers, "Dungeon Artificer" on page 4, that offers us a few good skills to start with for our wildcard skill list.
Artificers, being a type of sage, will probably use IQ as the commanding attribute for the skill.
Using guidance from page 9 of Wildcard Skills, we can see from repurposing the talent into the wildcard skill, we have about 75% fair saturation of a wild card skill. Looking at the skills and talents covered, we will be able to scrounge up 32 points, or almost enough to get all those skills to Attribute +1 (We need 36 points for that,) but we can fit maybe 3-ish more skills into the wildcard skill and still be fair, which might help us scrounge up some more points.
I think, just looking at the list, Smith, Lockpicking, and Jeweler fit the bill. I have taken 2 skills from the optional background skills list, so to get the 4 points I said I needed earlier, we need to make a note on the wildcard skill that taking the wildcard skill means only 3 points are available for background skills. All the rest of the skills on the list are mandatory skills for the Artificer template, so will not change anything.

Putting It All Together

Formatting what we have into 1 wildcard skill, I'd write it like this:
Artificer! (IQ)
Skills: Alchemy, Armoury (all), Engineer (Gadgets), and Traps, Smith (all), Lockpicking, and Jeweler. Make a DX roll for Fast-Draw (Gadget), and a Per roll for Scrounging.
Suggested Benefits: Hyper-Competency Options when rolling to invent, and reaction bonuses when impressing someone with a cool invention. Bonuses when using inventions.


It wasn't that challenging to create a wildcard skill from nothing I guess. Power-Ups 7 rightly mentions that the point cost of a wildcard skill is almost always less efficient than other means of raising skills, but it gives the advice that to counter-act this, wildcards could have interesting side-benefits. Applying some of those to the wildcard skill seem to make it a little more attractive than straight application of talents and attributes. Still, the character is worse at most skills using the wildcard skill than not, but the hyper competency might help rectify the difficulty this adds to inventing... or it might be totally unbalancing, but it seems in-line with the spirit of the wildcard skill.

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