Skills defines how well a character is able to do things.
Every character is able to learn every skill (except of intrinsic ones and meditation). There can't exists real distinctions this way.
The problem is that you can't deny classes to learn some skills which are not likely for the class. This will work good in party oriented game engines, but not so well with CF.
Because CF should be playable for a single character without a party, every player still needs the ability to learn all skills.
But the goal is to have real distinctions between high level character; not those uniform ones we have right now.
One step to reach this goal are the guild (see guilds). The other step is the “capability value” for each skill.
The capability value will be a range between 5 and 0.2 and is used as an divisor for the xp gain. Having a capability value below 1 means, you'll gain faster xp. But having a capability value above 1 will slow down your xp gain.
The capability value can be improved after reaching a new overall level. The capability value of the five skills where the character gains most xp between two levels will become reduced by the following formula:
Cn - new capability value
Co - old capability value
Cn = Co - Co * 0.04
Starting with the capability value of 5 you'll get this grades after x advances:
|5.0 - 3.4||1 - 10|
|3.4 - 2.3||11 - 20|
|2.3 - 1.5||21 - 30|
|1.5 - 1.0||31 - 40|
|1.0 - 0.65||41 - 50|
|0.65 - 0.44||51 - 60|
|0.44 - 0.29||61 - 70|
|0.29 - 0.20||71 - 80|
After 80 advances (starting with 5.0) you reached the lowest possible value of 0.2. That's not the same with level 80 of that skill!
For example, between level 4 and 5 (8000 xp needed) a player used skill A to get 500 xp of those 8000, skill B 1500, skill C 750, skill D 2000, skill E 250, skill F 1000 and skill G 2000. The five best skills (D, G, B, F and C) will be reduced by the formula above. The other two skills won't - not enough training to become better there (see guilds for exceptions).
If the character just used a single skill to get those 8000 xp for the new level, only this skill will get one advance. The other four advances are lost!
This system can be tuned by having more or less skills which will become better after level gain. Or by using percentages, like all skills above 5% of the xp gain for the new level will be improved.
We also need to change the xp table because it's now much harder to gain levels than before (for low level characters).
In combination with the guilds this will result into a clear distinction between members of different class guilds. Sure, in theory everbody is able to reach level 100 in every skill. But the most powerful items or spells for a skill are only available via the guilds teaching this skill. And without the chance to recude the capability value below 1 for any other than the class skills, it becomes even more unlikely to ever reach level 100.
We also can introduce a skill grade which is calculated by level divided by the capability value:
|Grade||Level / Capability Value|
|Novice||3 - 10|
|Apprentice||10 - 25|
|Amateur||25 - 40|
|Adept||40 - 60|
|Expert||60 - 150|
|Master||150 - 400|
|Grand Master||400 - 500|
|Legendary Master||> 500|
Without a guild master teaching a skill the capability level can't be reduced below 1. Having level 100 as nearly impossible to reach, nobody is able to reach a master grade in any other skill than the ones taught in the guild. But this grade is just a title without any other impact.
The leading value is still the skill level. The capability value just modifies the xp gain of the skill. The level of the skill is used for guild rule checking (see guilds) and still for all the other checks e.g. ability to learn a new spell, how much damage is made, …
The capability value could be hidden and just shown if someone uses perceive self.