Subterfuge or Awareness?

In the Tempora Mutantur core rules, there are three ‘adventuring skills’ – Athletics, Subterfuge, and Lore. These are taken from Tempora Mutantur’s ancestor, SoTU Refired.

These dungeoneering abilities make perfect sense in the context of Fighter / Thief / Wizard class selection of SoTU Refired. In Tempora Mutantur, I still like Athletics for Enforcers and Lore for Thinkers, but I’m starting to question Subterfuge for Scouts. I’ve toyed before with replacing Subterfuge with Awareness, and I think I might make the switch in the next revision.

This would imply several rule changes. Awareness could be used for Surprise checks at the start of combat. Scouts should be better at figuring out when the party has become lost, or if a rad storm is forthcoming. I had previously used Lore in these cases, but Awareness would be a better fit. Also, it never quite felt right using a skill called ‘Subterfuge’ as the key skill for searching ruins. Modifications to some mutations would also be in order.

If anyone has an opinion on this matter, I would be interested in hearing it (feel free to leave a comment to this post). In the meantime, here are some alternate takes on some Tempora Mutantur rules:

6 Responses to “Subterfuge or Awareness?”

  1. To me, Awareness seems a much better fit for TM. It makes scouts less like thieves and more like rangers.

  2. Yeah; I think that you are right. I've just updated the Wilderness Exploration rules (see download link, above) and Scouts fare much better with Awareness as a 'class skill' than the previous rules.

  3. Golan has given some feedback that the armour penalty to skill checks doesn't really make sense for Awareness or Lore. In SotU, the skills are Athletics, Subterfuge, and Lore. Subterfuge is for sneaky stuff, and Lore is used basically as a magic check. An armour penalty makes sense for all of these.I took all three of these skills in the original revision of the Tempora Mutantur rules, but adapted Lore to be a Tech Use check. 'Tech Use' doesn't fit too well with an armour penalty, but I liked the idea of lightly-armoured thinkers. Later on, I switched Subterfuge to Awareness to fit the Scout concept better (there's a post somewhere on the blog discussing this). Again, I like lightly-armoured scouts. But from a logical perspective, neither Awareness nor Lore make much sense with an armour penalty.I'll put some thought about going back to Subterfuge, but I am likely to hand-wave the Lore armour penalty because I still don't like highly-armoured Thinkers.

  4. Well, in the last three sessions I have used Subterfuge instead of Awareness and preferred it overall. The armour penalty makes more sense, and the players have to describe what they're checking out instead of just leaving it to a skill check.The rules on Google docs have been updated to reflect this change.

  5. Why do you not like highly armored thinkers? This is a PA game, and while armor can make you slow and clumsy, it dose not make you stupid. It might, if you are wearing a helmet interfere with your vision, if waring gloves make you less dexterous, or (armor in general)harder to heal, but stupid??? NO! Also the person who needs armor the most, (arguably) is the person who is the least suited to fighting. Smart people also tend to live by the motto- the less those bulets can hurt me the longer I live.

  6. We should try this out in our next game: Armour penalties to Lore checks only apply to psionics (which won't affect any current PCs).

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