A rules idea I had...
SPECIALIZATIONS IN _IN NOMINE_
For any given skill, the GM has the option of allowing a player to specialize in a certain aspect of it. Not all skills are suited for specializations; the GM must decide if a skill is eligible and what general aspects are available. The most common situations are covered below; others can be extrapolated from these. Note that EFFECTIVE skill can often go above 6, but only six character points total may be put into a skill.
Many skills, like a lot of things in In Nomine, fall into three categories. Fighting (and Dodge) can be broken into Corporeal, Ethereal, and Celestial, for example. Medicine can be broken into Diagnosis, Treatment, and Theory.
One can specialize in two aspects of a skill, leaving only a rudimentary knowledge of the third aspect. In this case, add +1 to effective skill for those two aspects, but subtract -2 from skill for the third. EXAMPLE: Tami wants her Cherub to be a good fighter when unencumbered by a vessel. She buys Fighting/4 and specialized in Ethereal and Celestial combat. In those two realms, she effectively has Fighting/5, but on the Corporeal realm, she merely has Fighting/2.
One can also specialize in just one aspect of that skill. To do so, add +1 to effective skill for that aspect, but subtract -1 from skill for the other two. EXAMPLE: Tami wants her Cherub to have First Aid. She takes Medicine/4 and specializes in Treatment. She now has a skill of /5 for treating wounds, but has only a /3 for diagnosing problems and general medical knowledge.
Some skills have two aspects. Lockpicking covers Mechanical and Electronic locks, for example. To specialize in one half of a skill, add +1 to skill for one aspect, but subtract -1 for the other. EXAMPLE: Tami's Cherub is good at picking locks, but doesn't understand electronics well. She buys Lockpicking/3, specializing in Mechanical locks, in which she now has a skill of /4. When picking electronic ones, however, she only has a /2.
Any skill can, with a little thought, be broken into half a dozen or more specialties. One could whittle Medicine down to categories like "treating burns, diagnosing colds, writing prescriptions, closing large wounds," ad infinitum. If a player wants to specialize in just ONE of several aspects of a skill, add +2 to effective skill for that one aspect, but subtract -1 from all the rest. EXAMPLE: Tami's Cherub is good at throwing small (1/4 pound or less) knives. Given all the different things that can be thrown, this is definitely a "many-way" specialization. She buys Throwing/3, which becomes Throwing/5 for small knives, but Throwing/2 for everything else.
ONE FINAL RULE
If a player wants to REALLY specialize, he can get a little bit more of a bonus. By cutting the effecive skill level of all non-specialized aspects in half (rounding down), he can add an extra +1 to effective skill.
EXAMPLE: Tami decides the Cherub really ONLY knows basic First Aid and wants to specialize more heavily. Her skill was Medicine/3 for most things, and Medicine/5 for treatment. She cuts her effective skill of 3 in half, giving her Medicine/1 for diagnosis and knowledge; this gives her Medicine/6 in treatment.
In fact, if the player wants to completely eliminate all other parts of the skill instead, he can add +2 to his specialization. Note that he cannot do this if any aspect of his skill is already /1 (in that case, use the rule above) or /0 (in that case, he is as heavily specialized as he can be).
EXAMPLE: Tami decides that the Cherub ONLY knows how to throw those knives. She completely drops all other aspects of Throwing, giving her Cherub Throwing/0 for almost everything (-3, actually, with the default penalty), but Throwing/7 for small knives.
If the GM feels that these rules are being abused (to regularly raise skills to 10 or more, for example), he is well within his rights to limit effective skill to 6.
Rev. Pee Kitty, of the order Malkavian-Dobbsian (Married to Rev. Unibomber on 11/15/96 - be jealous ;) Meow!
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