Stat adjustment suggestion for starting abilities
I've probably clocked a couple of hundred hours on this game now, just playing around with the various mechanics, and I can't help but feel that the starting stats are a bit... Borked.
Most are OK, but some really don't reflect "what they are" as it were.
Here's the Skills I'd suggest that should be revalued.
Botany: 3 points (-1 from 4)
Why?: Botany is the vegetarian twin to trapping, however it's no-where near as useful as trapping is overall, fundamentally because
Trapping has FIRE. Fire is vital in this game in some form or another, as it serves many duties, offering you more moves a turn at night thanks to light, purifying water, cooking food, etc.
Plus it lets you more effectively make armour, and it unlocks a pretty nifty combat move, "lure" which can be used to kite enemies as it has a very good range.
The unique part of Botany is the tea you can make to boost your immune system, but it just doesn't compare to everything trapping has.
Plus, Botany has much less use in quests and stories.
Lockpickiing: 1 or 2 points (down from 3)
When you get to lockpick, lockpicking is awesome. But it's only good in that one instance. That's far too much of a niche to be worth 3 points. I mean, what else is worth 3 points? Athletic? Which improves your fatigue, your movements, gives you defence in combat, and the best range-making combat move in the game.
Plus, lockpicking requires you to find small parts, which is easy later on, but at the start when you're more dependent on boosting your scavege chance, it's just not worthwhile.
However, as it's a sizeable boost dropping it down to 1 point might be a bit much, so 2 would be a happy medium.
It too lacks story-related support!
Electrician: Combine it with Mechanic and call it "Engineering)
Electrician just doesn't have enough utility in the game to justify its presence. It's almost never used in stories, offers no unique gear (outside of the Gauss Rifle) and doesn't even generate a resource for you to use.
As such, it could very easily work out folded into Mechanics, to just make an "engineering" ability. Even tracking at least offers a lot of quest support, and has some usage in avoiding combat or finding fleeing enemies.
Medic: 3 Points (-1 down from 4)
Medic suffers from a lack of usefulness due to not generating anything to help the player. Knowing what a pill bottle is is only useful if you can find said pill bottles, and knowing you're dying from blood loss is equally only good if you can do something about it.
As such, most of the advantage of Medic is "knowing" - not generating or finding. In which instances you're more likely to be buying your meds, which'll already explain what they do on the bottle anyway. As such Medic's main use is as a cash-earner from finding meds and selling them at full price.
Trapping: 5 (+1, up from 4)
Fire, food, thirst, and a great combat move. Really, between strong and trapping, I tend to choose trapping, because it'll keep you alive longer to find more Loot. It really is very powerful for what it does, and even later game the ability to just jump into a forest and guarantee some success in getting some squirrel meat is incredibly useful.