Pat / Alex: If you have already made a decision for SC3 / 10kB or don't want this discussion, then feel free to delete this thread (or just say "hey, we've made a decision already"). I'm looking for my own improvisation use for home games, but I figure that some fan feedback might help you guys make a decision too. Plus with the Combat, Gearing Up, Firearms and general Wishlist threads, it seemed like a good fit.
I'm looking at a more modern FC game, and have been considering how to handle technological skills, so I figured I'd seek some board feedback. Looking through the skill list, almost everything has a match up to existing FC skills.
Going through the list, all that's missing from FC is:
Analysis (Authenticate1, Examine Media, Forensics)
Computers (Hacking (Dramatic Conflict) - Optimise is covered by Craft)
Manipulate (Harass, Slander)
Cultures became a Study, Electronics / Mechanics / Science are all covered by Craft (which has Build, Disable, Modify, Optimise, and Repair), and Networking became the new Contact prize option. Security is a funny one - it became Craft and Prestidigitation, but those checks should still fit in a modern context.
1 - Covered by Search / Notice in FC, but I've kept it in the above list for more advanced / technological forgeries.
The way I see it, there are two approaches for modern skills:
1: Add more skills.
From the above list, the things that look important are Analysis and Computers. The former covering Forensics, Analyse Media, and Authenticating items (in fact, I'd consider calling the skill Forensics). Computers would be a cinematic hacking skill, as well as covering computer operations. We'll continue to ignore Bureaucracy and Manipulate because the checks that they cover are easily handled through roleplaying - and if Mechanics are necessary, they can be folded into Haggle (Bureaucracy: Bribe) and Intimidate (Harass and Slander). Having 2 new skills makes it easy to put a new Basic Skill pair into the mix, though I'm not sure what to call it (one could rejigger the existing pairs though, for a modern environment).
2: Add more checks to existing skills.
Investigate (Decipher) already covers codes, puzzles and the like so it's easy to extend to cracking Computer Passwords - which lets it be used for Hacking checks pretty easily. Authenticate is easily handled as a Search check with a synergy from Craft (since it covers forgery). Examine Media and Forensics is covered to a lesser degree already in Investigate, so leaving those checks in there seems like a pretty small logical leap. The big advantage of this is that it leaves Spellbound (and Fantasy Craft) 100% plug and play with with 10k Bullets, which makes games like Dresden Files, Vow of Silence, or Shadowrun fairly easy to run with little hassle. Classes are equally easy to port between games - if you want to play a modern Swashbuckler, no problem. It might make Investigate a little bit too butch though, which is my only real concern.
Thoughts, opinions, etc?