I didn't sleep well last night, which is usually when I have weird dreams. I had a number of them in fact, but one in particular stayed with me this morning. In it, someone came to me and asked me to explain the Space Opera skill system. Oddly, I was able to explain the system quite easily and simply to the person who came to me and they thanked me for my help. I say "oddly," because I'm still not sure that I actually understand how the skill system works, as it's one of the more confusing aspects of the game (for me anyway).
As is so often the case with dreams, the "knowledge" I'd possessed in it lingered for a time after I woke up. Usually, I forget it once I become lucid; this time, though, I retained it. Indeed, what I remembered from my dream was so clear that I briefly thought that my unconscious mind really had unraveled the mystery of Space Opera's skill system for me. Alas, what my dream had taught me, while interesting, bears little connection to what's in Space Opera.
In my dream, all skills had levels. These levels were plugged in to a simple calculation to give a base percentile chance to succeed at a skill under "standard" stressful conditions (no rolls were required otherwise). The base chance could be modified (always downward -- remember, there are no skill rolls for non-stressful situations) by the complexity of the task at hand. Finally, each characteristic of a player character had a characteristic modifier associated with it, a bonus or penalty ranging from (I think) -15% to +15%. At the discretion of the Star Master (what Space Opera calls the referee), one modifier from an appropriate characteristic can be applied to the D% roll to determine success with a skill. Which characteristic is appropriate is up to the player, with the Star Master's concurrence. There is no standard one-to-one correspondence between skills and characteristics, thereby allowing leeway for player creativity, as he might argue that, in a particular case, Empathy is more pertinent than Intuition or whatever.
It all great sense to me at the time and I found myself cheered by this newfound understanding of the main part of Space Opera that continues to elude my comprehension. I have no idea whatsoever why I was thinking about Space Opera. It might well have been a spin-off from my immersion in the first edition of Chivalry & Sorcery, written by the same authors and published by the same company. Still, it was a very strange dream.