Required Skills. Am I doing it wrong?

Hello all,

I have been GM’ing BW now for nearly a year now, in some sort of the other, but have only had the chance to run one short campaign. It resolved (partly) in about 5 months of bi-weekly game play. Every time I open the book though, I learn some new rule that I must have over looked before.

So now we get closer to my question. Im preparing for a new game, and we should be ‘world burning’ in the next week or so. One of the new players was reading through the skill section and we got to the section on required skills.

SO now we get to the question:

On page 87 of BWG under the ‘Required Skill’ header it states:

‘If the character already has the skill from another, previous path, the next skill in the list is required (and so on)’

I am very familiar with the rule of Diminishing Returns, and originally thought that was what the new player was referring to, but then we discussed it together, and I began to think that perhaps I had been creating characters and teaching players to create characters inappropriately.

Since the beginning I have been adding together all of my LP Skill points into a single pool. This would allow all points to be spent on any and all LP skills.
I have then been writing each skill in order they appear in the LP’s and have purchased the first required skills from each LP. (This always insured that I purchased the required skills)

However, the language on page 87 leads me to believe this may be incorrect.

The language, as I read it seems to imply that you should purchase all skills you want/need per LP, before moving on to the next, and then purchasing those required/wanted skills. That way you know whether or not you have already purchased the second required skill previously in order to know that the second skill in the list is now required.

So is the way I’ve been doing it wrong? Am I missing something, or looking too deep into this?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

You’ve been doing it correctly. Sometimes two lifepaths have the same required skill. Just for example, Midwife and Shepherd both have Animal Husbandry as the required skill. If, for example, you took Born Peasant, Shepherd, Country Wife, Midwife, your required skills would be Animal Husbandry, Child Rearing and Herbalism. Normally, Midwife would require Animal Husbandry, but that’s already required by Shepherd, so you have to look at the second skill on that lifepath.

You still take all of your LP skill points as a single pool.

Oh wow!!

Thanks Thor for the quick response!!

Basically, every LP ties up one of your skill points into a required skill. If the first one is already required of you, then it’s the second skill instead. And so on. (The exception being if you run out of skills, I guess, but that’s almost impossible to manage.)

And it works the same way with required Traits too. So if you were going from (Noble) “Religious Acolyte” to (Religious) “Itenerant Monk” each one has the same required skill (Doctrine) and trait (Tonsured). As “Religious Acolyte” was the first of those two lifepaths you are required to take both Doctrine (skill) and Tonsured (trait) for it. The next skill and trait listed for “Itenerant Monk” would then become required, Suasion becomes the required skill, but Itenerant Monk doesn’t have any more traits after Tonsured, so those trait points are free Diminishing returns would not apply in this case as it is the same trait but not the same lifepath (so you do not lose a point).