Points to consider regarding making a new skill or riding on an existing skill for spiffy powers.

Up front statement of bias: I prefer a dedicated spiffy powers skill over piggy backing spiffy powers on top of a mundane skill.

So here you are, making your own Fate Core implementation. You have enough of any idea about your setting that you're getting ready to make the rules for the spiffy powers. Magic. The abilities of vampires. Whatever. You're getting ready to design the meaty part of the rules so that you and your players can sit down and do up some characters.

In front of you is an important choice: Do you want a dedicated skill that does spiffy powers (and only spiffy powers), or is the superior option to lock spiffy powers to another skill (typically Will or Lore)?

Some things to consider.

If you bind the spiffy powers in question to a particular mundane skill, you are saying that everyone who's good at those powers is also good at that skill. So if you tie magic to Lore, you're saying that everyone who is going to be good at flinging magic is also going to have a solid mundane education by default.

You also need to think about the character resources associated with binding spiffy powers to a mundane skill. Primarily that's going to be stunts/ refresh. If you need to spend 3 or 4 stunts to get a relatively flexible ability to do spiffy things with your spiffy powers, then that's the baseline cost of having those powers.

However, if you give spiffy powers their own skill, you're saying that people with powers are typically worse at things not related to those powers. This is because you need to expend skill points and a slot for the skill on the powers, and this means less resources for other skills. This is magnified by having more than one skill for powers, because a character with multiple skills dedicated to powers doesn't have that stuff for other non-power skills.

Closely related, there's a risk of skill bloat just in terms of tracking this stuff. If you've got, say, 5 spiffy powers skills, that's 5 more skills you and your players need to be aware of. 5 more skills you all potentially need to track, need to look up, need to understand.

I'm sure that there's more stuff, but this is what I tend to think of as the most important considerations.

And as I said above, I tend to prefer spiffy powers getting their own dedicated skills. I'm okay with a couple extra skills and with giving up general competence for cool abilities. I like it when the spiffy powers don't cost your entire pool of stunts to get basic competence, partially because I like for more than one practitioner of the same magical stuff to be able to use those stunts to be different from each other rather than needing to buy up to basic competence with them.

Thoughts?
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