Skill Checks: What Do You Prefer?


Hey all. A question for everybody. When a game has skills under the stats, do you prefer a percentage/point-based system or a binary system? For instance, do you prefer when you have a skill like “Stealth: Rank 3,” or would you just prefer to have the “Stealth” ability and that’s that?


If your meaning more of…Stealth: 3 or Stealth in comparison with whats that word for not stealthy…hehe too much energy drink…where was I…ah right or Stealth with an ability. I’ll prefer if it didn’t have a number leaning towards either percentage or if possible a Stealth ability a quick description- Stealth:“Here lays the effect of stealth.” ^_^-Hope that helped mate.


Arcana has a good idea. The majority of choicescript games have percentage, at least as far sa I’ve seen, and usually a (simple) change is considered refreshing.

When I say simple, what I mean is that, while it’s not just a percentage or other consisting of numbers, it’s also not a large block of text. It could even be as simple as “Intelligent as a doormouse” which can change to “Mister McSmartypants” and so on.


I’d prefer a percantage; it’s more accurate and visually pleasing.


@Scelous In my opinion it depends on the size of the game you are making.

I am making a game that is, so far, going to be short. I have strength, intelligence, charm and stealth without ranks. Not only that, but you can have only one of those. There are also three types of magic, and again, you can have only one and it ranks only from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10, depending on your character build.

In another game, that is still in the planning stage, I have ten skills and they are all percentages because I am planning that game to be relatively large.


There are skills that, for certain games, might better be handled by a Boolean yes/no: “can_drive”, “speaks_french”, “blind” and so on. But as soon as I listed these I imagined games in which relative driving skill, relative ability to translate, and so on might be important.

So it really does depend on the role the skill plays in the game.


Mmm in a way agreed and disagreed. More or less @DSeg you have a valid point =p. Like in my game legacy of the assassin. It’s more of a simpler game. Health…essence…then there is the balance of morality needing percentage and one simple text on title detail like @Babisko said.

But that’s generally it. Key thing to remember is keeping it nice and simple. But note I don’t recommend mixing all of them like I did, moreover if you plan on having a lot of things in there.


In Life of a Wizard, the stats were extremely extensive, and they were all still important and utilized frequently. I suppose it all depends on what type of story you’re creating.


It’s a total law school answer, but it depends. I think as a rule people like percentages because they like to see their skills increase over the course of the game (it’s also a good way to give choices agency without every choice leading to a major branch). On the other hand, some things just make more sense if they’re on/off, like @cottage14 said, either because of the nature of the thing or because it’s really only going to come up once or twice. Of course, you’re also free to mix and match to your heart’s content.


Almost all stats are going to be boolean, but most likely, 95% of those aren’t displayed in the stats page. Most people like to see percents, so I’d put at least a few of those in the stats page.


From experience I don’t care for the whole slow-----------___fast thing because I end up turned around or over think it. I’ve seen once or twice (mostly in WIPs) where there was just too much writing in the tiny little bar and actually overlapped the words. I just don’t like it.


Hmm @Doctor I’ll have to take a look at the coding for one of those games. Feel free to message me an example of one of these overlapping games.

Future notes :slight_smile:


Depends entirely on the structure of the game, for me. Which makes more sense for your game?

  • If the game’s goal is to max out a skill—where that’s what you
    need to do—a percent makes sense.
  • If the game allows different game options at different tiers—where you can succeed at different levels, just in different ways—a number makes sense.

My opinion, though. :slight_smile:


I went with the percentage because it has a bar that gives a nice visual presentation. Having it as a number just looks so drab and having a percentage gives me a bit more flexibility when it comes to giving out stat upgrades. Of course if there are other ways to have that bar there, it’d be nice too but I’m too lazy to experiment too much at this point of my writing.


I like to use numbers for skills, and then I replace each number with a short description about that specific level.


I do like stats, at least some of the time. Sometimes they can get a little too strict on what they’ll let you do, though. Most recent example to come to mind is The Lost Heir, which I’ve been playing recently. I tried to diversify my skills a bit, majoring in sword play, minoring in magic. And it feels like a lot of early encounters are punishing me for not min-maxing my character. But that’s just one example where I think it could have allowed for a little more flexibility.


I like it when stats are descriptive, Like in Tin Star.

Out of the options you provided then I like it when it tells me how many points I have, Like “Stealth: Rank 3” because that way I can get a clear idea of how good I am at stealth and etc…