Skills clusters by Task, a 'thesaurus' of skills in BWG?

Hey gang,
Has anyone posted a mind cloud or ‘map’ of skills by similar task?
The reason I ask is that most of the time we have this (bad) habit of falling back onto the skills that the characters have on their sheet and fitting the task to those skills, or when faced with an obvious lack of character knowledge or skill, falling back on the beginner’s luck ‘old standbys’: which are more often than not the skills listed in the various conflict types (Range and cover, Fight! and Duel of wits).

I was hoping for a breakdown of the skills, not so much in an alphabetical list but rather a Thesaurus of skills in a quick glance map or cluster chart.

Sothething like…

Sneaking and Being Quiet:
[li]back alley wise
[/li][li]bad-end wise
[/li][li]darkened-streets wise

That sort of thing?

This is what the brief list of FoRKs for each skill is for, but it’s non-exhaustive for a reason. Look at all those skills. Not all apply to every sneaky task, obviously, and the list of wises is potentially infinite. Many skills and wises will apply only to particular circumstances. Is this list really going to help?

Then there’s the list of tasks. There are an infinite number of tasks. There are an large number of common, basic tasks, and they overlap. Again, I’m not sure how useful the result would be.

The biggest issue I have, though, is that I think you’re seeing problems where none exist. Looking at character sheets for solutions? That’s how BW is. You have an intent, you figure out what you can do, and come up with a matching task. Having a standardized list of rolls to do stuff is antithetical to BW. The “old standbys” aren’t accidental; some skills are broad, common, and highly useful, like Stealthy. They’ll easily come up. Some are niche, like Plumbing. It’s okay to have lots of the former and few of the latter; it’s okay to have skills you go back to more than they merit as the style you play in.

What will eventually motivate branching out is the desire for FoRKs, really. If you’ve already got Stealthy and Inconspicuous and need more ways to sneak around, well, it’s easy to ask for Back Alley-Wise or Secret Passage-Wise tests, especially as linked tests. You’ll probably often make things harder while you’re getting your Beginner’s Luck out of the way, but then you’ll have a wider arsenal.

Yeah, its the beginners luck opening of ‘uncommon’ skills I think is where we were looking for suggestions on appropriate skills to match task to intent.

There has been a lot of (for example) ‘I glance surreptitiously at the gathered throng, as they listen adoringly to the dread king’s speech. I slink quietly into the darkened columnade bordering the chamber, then weaving back into the crowd making my way forward to get within striking distance of the usurper without any of them being the wiser.’
Hmmm. sounds like Inconspicuous to me, (which the character is opening at present) but stealthy could be the prime skill too (which the character has at B6)…
There are a few available FoRKs and wises, but I guess its having an idea of ALL the available skills to take note of in broad applications at a glance. I find looking up the skill, scanning the suggested FoRKs and then looking up those entries takes a fair bit of time (even with a few copies of BWG and folks being focused on sharing the referencing).

Intent and Task can lead to characters using the same old skills time after time, but that’s how they improve.
Most players will have their favorite way for their character to do intent and task and sone will get down right creative with it. But in the end, it’s up to the players to decide. The G.M. can offer up challenges that make the old standards face disadvantages or award an advantage die for “thinking outside of the box” (your doing what?!, they’ld never expect that!). I feel perfectly justified in having the guards increasing security measures if they have any reason to be suspicious or otherwise on their toes (usually, from some prior act or complications).

My players always look at their skill lists to determine ForKs (since that’s all they can ForK anyway) but when there’s a task I suggest choosing a skill that should be used in advance, and player colour can change it.

If you as the GM don’t have a sense of what skills there are, burn some characters and just kinda immerse yourself in the skills, but if you can’t think of something better, take reasonable suggestions from the player.

As for your example, if you think the player described Inconspicuous, say that, what they describe matters.

Your group could always make up their own lists in the manner which you’ve suggested. If nothing else, your group will have their lists and most likely will have learned quite a bit about their choices in the process.

This is a big deal. While skills have some overlap, there are also cases where skills are inappropriate for the task or the task is inappropriate for the intent. You can’t use Stealthy to hide in a crowd; that’s not what the skill does, and you can’t explain it away. It’s the wrong skill. Maybe it could be a FoRK if the character describes sticking to the outskirts of the crowd and using cover, but Inconspicuous is the way you move unseen in a group of people.

It’s the GM’s job to be flexible about accepting varied tasks for intents, but it’s also the GM’s job to say no when players are breaking the rules.

Of course some of that also comes from learning the skills. It takes some experience to realize that Inconspicuous even exists, then what the differences between it and Stealthy are. But I still don’t think lists really help with that. What can be helpful is when you get a little red flag in your mind and think, “Huh, but I don’t think that skill really sounds quite right for that…” That’s when you may consider looking through the skill list for more appropriate skills.

Full disclosure: The Master List is out of date but I still consider it indispensable. If you don’t have BWR you can’t log in, which is a huge shame. A searchable skill index is a great tool, especially before you’ve accumulated vast BW experience.

Wayfarer, that’s EXACTLY what I was after! Thank You. In this case, list will most certainly help. Just a quick scan, mouse over skill and boom, I have my answer :slight_smile:
Years of playing this game and never knew this existed. Huh.
Awesome mate.

One thing to note, but BW is very much a game where the book will be referenced. Simply flipping to the skill the player is intending to use will provide some good insight as to exactly what the purpose is. It has the added benefit of listing out the obstacle. I know it will slow play down at first, but I would very much encourage the process.

It also helps if you give that section a read.

Oh Yeah, we’ve being flipping through the book(s) since we started playing BWR - its almost part of the ritual of intent and task. Its just that knowing which skill to look up! The list is so massive, and we have our favourites, or simply the ones the characters are good at / learning. Its the odd little obscure skills that you don’t readily associate with a task, but in actuality are perfect for the task in question. The ‘master list’ that wayfarer linked is what I’ve been looking for for ages.