With playtesting, the rules for Libre Solo Role Playing continue to undergo little tweaks to explain the rules more clearly and provide better examples. For example, it wasn’t clear that ally cultures & occupations are part of window dressing that the player could use to get skill check bonuses or penalties.

That one little tweak made for a lot of flow-through changes in the book. Now it’s clear that “dwarven warriors” might have a generic team conflict skill of 0, for example. But they have +1 skill for doing dwarvish warrior things, maybe skill checks for hardy, ax, shield, and repair. They will be at -1 skill for things clearly outside their league such as running, swimming or climbing, any scholarly knowledge, sneak, empathy and animal handling.

The new sections now align with the existing rules about bonuses/penalties for minions and creatures, based on the nature of creatures and minions. Wolves and zombies could both count as minions, for example. But one has a notice bonus, the other a penalty.

This is important to understand because for skill checks, only parties with an effective skill of 0 or better can assist well enough to provide a bonus. That also makes it clearer why well-rounded occupational generalists are valuable. Generalists know a bit of everything: They might not lead skill checks effectively but can always lend a hand.

Another tweak with a lot of flow-through changes are clarifications about follow-up scenes.

Follow-up scenes are particularly nasty because the player character’s group can get trapped in them, unable to escape a threat. The rules are now clear about it. You can’t shut down a scene while it’s in active conflict; you are forced to go directly to a follow-up scene if (a) the player character’s group can’t leave the area freely; or (b) there are outstanding troubles or consequences that haven’t been resolved. 

If there’s no active conflict, the player character group can leave the area freely, and there are no outstanding trouble or consequences, that’s called shutting down a scene “cleanly”. Shutting down a scene cleanly has nothing to do with whether the player achieved meaningful success or threw in the towel for the last scene. It gives the player control over setting up the next scene. Most important, that means the player can decide how much time goes by between scenes, giving the party a chance to rest and recuperate.

And the bugsquashing goes on…