I really like Leonard’s suggestion of consistently applying the notion that one gets better at what one practices. I am wondering whether it is practical to do away with character attributes as well as levels, and rely exclusively on skills, or perhaps I should call them aptitudes. There is an enormous list of these, and they are all organized in some sort of cluster network by how closely related they are. If you spend all day swinging a long sword, you get better at that; but you also gain a few points in closely related skills, like bastard sword and saber. You lose a few points in other skills like rapier and dagger; the notion is that you’ve got entirely the wrong habits for those weapons. The higher your actual practiced skill is in something, the less it’s affected by practicing other skills, even if they interfere. And, as queenpam points out while reading this over my shoulder, unpracticed skills decay.
Is this good enough to cover all the times when the computer’s got to pick a random number, is the question.