Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Most Universally Useful Skill Ever Made

Forgive the small post for today, but I've been exhausted lately (unsure if I am fighting off diseases or just lazy...) Anyhow, yesterday's conversation about skills got me to thinking. Originally I was going to make a Discussion post for today, asking you all what you thought the most useful skill ever was, but then I had an epiphany. There really is only one most universally useful skill. This skill is so useful that I've yet to see a system without it (provided the system had a skill mechanic in place.) It is also incredibly rare to find a PC without it, especially if the player of said PC wants to be useful and survive. What skill am I talking about?

Why the search skill of course.

Whether it be called Search, Investigation, or some other variation of the word, the search skill is always in high demand. And why not? GMs are always seeding their plots with mysteries, and those mysteries often revolve around finding key items. Hell, a good chunk of the Rogue classes "specialness" comes from there ability to find things most people can't with a search roll. In AD&D 2nd ed one of the most potent abilities that Elves had was the ability to automatically find hidden things just by passing within 10' of them.

Think about it? When was the last time you made a character without some variation of the search skill and didn't feel the burn at some point in the game? When was the last time you ran a game where the majority of the players were comfortable not having the search skill on their sheets? It is just an amazingly useful skill. In my opinion, the most useful skill due to its ability to be used - for the same key and super important function - regardless of game, system, or genre.

So, now I turn it over to you. Do you agree with my assessment or are they the ramblings of the mad? What skill would you suggest has a similar usefulness to the search skill? Sound off in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. It's certainly true with Cthulhu. Spot Hidden is a skill I always take and always need. A good combination of research skills and stuff like perception/search/whatever it's called is a great thing for a character or group to have in any system I've ever played.
    The ideal Cthulhu character: hypervigilant librarian (shotgun optional).