I’ve been playing the James Bond: 007 role playing game since 1983, when the game was released.  The system was more cinematic, and seemed to capture the feel of modern action films much better than it’s competition, Top Secret.

Character creation was tailored to allow the player to create the character they wanted, rather than accept a series of random rolls.  One of the stranger elements of the design was “fields of experience”…essentially skills that the game designed found were useful, but didn’t fit into the design well.  Most of these FOE are knowledge-based skills, things like military science, or skiing.  They have little real “mechanical” use, vis-a-vis skill resolution.

A few years back, I ran a Stargate campaign using JB:007, and one of the modifications to the system I made was in the FOEs.  Here are some suggestions on how to make them useful…

FOEs that have some tie to physical skills:

Fields of experience like “American Football”, “Cricket”, or “Football/Soccer” not only allow you to know the rules of the game, the players and teams, etc.  but could lend an Ease Factor bonus to some skills.  Say your character isn’t just an (American) football fan, but played it in college, this FOE might give them a +1EF to Hand-to-Hand Combat tests involving tackling, or give a bonus to Evasion tests where they’re powering their way through a crowd by shouldering through.  Get creative!  FOE like “Skiing” should give the character a bonus to Evasion tests.

Mental-oriented FOE like Military Science of Political Science might lend a EF bonus to Intelligence tests involving those areas of knowledge.  Forensics might lend a +1EF to Perception tests when looking for evidence.  Computers could lend the same to Cryptography tests to hack into a system, or to Electronics when looking into how to connect a tap on at a phone box, figuring out which blade in the server is the one with the data you need to steal…

This makes the Fields of Experience more than just toss off additions to your JB:007 character, and gives the players a better grasp of who their characters are.

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