Another factor that's not ready for implementation by a long shot but could be put on the roadmap would be for INT to be the single most important stat when it comes to the logistics of running your own faction. Effecting:
*How fast you teach/can be taught
*How effectively you organize your workforce, I.E. the yield of NPC tasks you assign that are abstracted or take place outside the reality bubble. Farming, mining, assigning construction. Etc.
Just had an idea that works independent of skill rust for high int as a boon. Every so many points of INT could be a milestone that lets you tag a skill for CONTEMPLATION. Skills your character is pondering for the sake of improvement. Activities like reading, construction, repairing and crafting give you ample opportunity to take a thin on the matter and marginally improve. The higher your INT the more you gain from learning this way and the higher a skill can improve in the absence of practical experience.
A possibility I think was mentioned earlier. Have INT push MAX skill level higher every so many points over average intel. Aside from the slight advantage having 11 or 12 over 10 in a skill might add this is how you could intel gate recipes. Have some really cool stuff take 11 or 12 in a skill. Since you can't just drug yourself up over a skill threshold. This stops players from popping some pills to cheese the system. Likewise you could have int BELOW average LOWER max skill levels at the same rate. A sufficiently dumb fellow only able to rise to 9, 8 or god forbid 7. Now that I write this all out, I think this sounds like a pretty good way of doing it.
I don't usually participate in discussions revolving around skills, stats, multipliers, scaling etc. because I'm not very good with numbers, but I really wanted to take a moment and commend you on coming up with these ideas. It's nothing revolutionary, I'm sure, but it's the first time I read these and I didn't know I wanted something like that in my game until I read them. These are some of the few suggestions I felt I could really agree with in the thread. Well done! I'm sure once the NPC/AI aspect of the game improves you could make great use of your companions, or hostile factions via manipulation, assuming your INT is high enough. Perhaps have a better ability to scale other humans' stats up, or guess what they think of you in a more accurate manner. Teach them skills and recipes more effectively, maybe even have their actual trust value change based on your INT - some personalities might feel more comfortable around somebody who knows what they're doing, others may think you're plotting against them and stay distant. Of course with INT high enough you might even know what kind of personality it is right away! That'd be great.
I'd also like to have both other suggestions implemented actually - the ability to choose a skill to "ponder" upon so that you can improve it at a faster rate, but have some form of limitation on it to balance things out. Have INT decide how many skills you can be "passionate" about, whether it's a single one or two or even three at a time. Perhaps the higher INT is, the shorter the "passion" lock time is after you level up a skill you wished to acquire. As for the other suggestion, I like the fact you're indirectly locking recipes behind levels you cannot reach, which requires some think-ahead and makes INT more viable to pick at char gen. I do think stat
limitations are the way to go to "nerf" powerful endgame characters - say, not allow people to go over STR 20, but that's kinda irrelevant so I'll leave it at that.
I believe someone already mentioned the possibility of quality modifiers to crafting. I think that idea is just grand. Even if we don't decide Joe Blow is too dumb to make his own mutagen/CBMs/Nuclear Powered Gizmos/etc surely it is fair for them to get slapped with a FAULTY or BUNGLED flag that effects their base stats? Like armor being more cumbersome/less protective, guns jamming, mutagens having worse odds and radiation leaking where appropriate.
This, on the other hand, could be a bad idea in my opinion. At least if not implemented right, but even then it would be kind of irritating to deal with. Basically, to make the penalty something significant, something people would want to avoid, you'd have to make it a penalty that scales the same way for all the skills inside the skill pool. You'd also need to let people know exact percentages/multiplier values, sort of like you do with "ranged penalty" for PER. If you don't do the latter, you risk the addition being simply annoying to deal with; new players will not understand why a weapon in perfect condition randomly jams, and why they weren't told it would jam in the item/skill description or otherwise. Omitting the former would make the learning curve for the game steeper and memorizing stat thresholds/specific skill penalties that much more of a chore.