One of the optional rules that was designed years ago, but never published (boy there are a lot of those!) was the concept of the “natural”. It started with Convergence aka Alien Armageddon aka that modern LQ game with the aliens. One of the races was a snake centaur - torso, head and arms of a man (sort of) with the body of a snake. Some of these guys had natural defenses: poison fangs, tail spines, some sort of carapace; but the natural defense had to be taken at character creation. This was something they were born with, not something they could train in later. This started me down the road of other things you’re born with. One of the first was a 10 point skilled called “Noble Birth”. Yep - It’s what you think. In a role-playing setting, knowing whether the person is of noble birth can matter. No, not in combat, but Legend Quest is after all a role playing game and not simply a combat system. There was also the 10 point skill - Natural Beauty. These were the people so darn pretty that it affected their social skills. It could be good or bad, because it’s not like ugly folk like those who are vastly better looking. Natural Beauty led to Exceptional Natural Beauty (OK, that’s not the name, but I still haven’t figured out what I want to call it). The exceptional one is a 25 point skill and is twice as good as the other one. These are like the Helen of Troy folks where entire countries go to war to get them back. (Side bar - Don’t you hate when they put some skinny chick in as Helen and tell you how gorgeous she is, when you’re thinking, “Damn girl, eat! There are 14yo boys with more chest than you.” - Please excuse the inappropriateness of that last comment.)
Well this led to Royal Birth - a 25 point enhancement of noble. It also led to the concept of “naturals”. Everybody’s brain is wired a little differently. Some folks pick up certain things better than others. Why not have a character who had a natural affinity for a particular skill? Think magical power or swords. The idea is that the character would get the first skill level for free and every skill level afterwards would be cheaper to buy. Of course this would come at the cost of buying the “natural” talent. It can still only be purchased at the start of the character. To be honest, I haven’t figured out the point cost of this nor the benefit. I haven’t had enough new characters being played to play test the game balance of it. I have thought about just assigning (randomly) natural skills to every character and not telling them until it seemed appropriate. Everybody has to be good at something, don’t they?
Oh, there’s more. What about 0-point skills? Here’s what I mean: You would pick from one of the following faces: Attractive (mild - not like natural beauty), Plain (nothing special), Baby (good for carousing and acting innocent, but bad for leadership), Everyman (the kind of person who very easily melts into the crowd), etc. The idea was to start forcing the players to define their characters a little better, while not distorting the game. These “faces” would be very mild in effect, but there would be an effect. Yeah, there would be Ugly and Sinister too. Sinister - great for intimidation, bad for carousing.
So - Take this as a sneak peek at the optional rules, should they ever come out. First - Book of Wishes. It has been formatted and we’re checking the formatting and some edits now. Some of the artwork is showing shadows and our print guys cannot figure out why. (Not there in the original product, but magically appearing in the pdf version. VERY frustrating!) Anyway, at long last, we seem really close. BoW will hopefully show that while we’re doing a lot of generic stuff, we have not forgotten LQ, nor will we ever!