I'm running a Fate Core game with Free-Form Professions as skill list. Now different actions may be more or less difficult from the perspective of different skills. Breaking into a house unseen should work both with the Thug and with the Cat Burglar, but is different in difficulty.
Setting passive opposition of such an obstacle to an appropriate value is one thing. I even thought I had read some notes on this in the Toolkit, but I cannot find it it the SRD online.
However, how do I make up for the difference in a roll with active opposition from another character with an explicit skill? In our last session (the setting is Ancient Greece), the Thug +4 was trying to get away unseen after breaking and entering into a Villa, where a Watchman +1 was on duty. I felt that this should be quite difficult, despite the large difference in skills in favour of the Thug (which would give the Thug about 95% chance to get away, modulo invoking aspects). However, when Cat Burglar tries to break into a house which has a Gossiper around (assuming it has been established that a Gossiper pays attention to what's going on in the neighbourhood, but is mostly concerned with gathering and spreading rumours), not being seen should be very easy for the Cat Burglar.
It feels like there should be some situational bonuses for the Watchman to detect the Thug. In the scene in our session, I gave the Watchman an arbitrary bonus, but that felt wrong, because generally situational bonuses in Fate come from Aspects. How do I deal with this discrepancy?
The solutions I can see are as follows.
- Different professions allow different actions, and different Advantages to be created. Therefore, the Cat Burglar will have had the chance to case the house, and the Policeman will have had the chance of setting up a professional observation post. The ultimate roll will be just skill vs. skill, but there should be aspects around to modify the difficulty. The disadvantage of this approach is that it always requires setup.
- There is no reason to not use situational modifiers in this situation, and therefore to give the Cat Burglar a +3 to remain unseen (or similar)
- Profession skills are in some way themselves Aspects, so the Cat Burglar could invoke that this is at the core of what being a Cat Burglar is about, and gain +2 for the cost of a FP, so could the Policeman in the opposite example.
Is there a good case to prefer any of these or a totally different solution?