recently I created a new character for a new player and this one has "hardy 3". Like the book suggests, I applied it to the Health pool but now I am considering to apply it also to the Vital Defence. Would this work or would the skill become to powerful?
My initial thought about the "hardy skill" was that you endured extreme conditions without becoming sick to increase this skill. In real life there are people who train to swim in ice cold water and after some time they don't even freeze anymore.
The official skills that boosts VITAL DEFENSE (according to N.E.W. 1.2) are fortitude and resistance. The upcoming 1.2 edition of O.L.D. and the released version of N.O.W. add survival. Making hardy do it too would make those other skills pretty much obsolete, since hardy also gives hit points. The hardy skill is already one of best in the game, and probably among the best things you can spend your first 3 xp on (if you don't start with any ranks in it already).
I think there are three main problems with the skills in general:
1. There is no fixed skill list.
2. You can create your own skills no matter how narrow or broad they are.
3. You can call your skills, what ever you want.
This means that hardy, fortitude and resistance are just interchangeable terms for the ability to be trained to endure extreme conditions, while survival (in most games) covers your knowlegde to find food, water and shelter in the wild.
Maybe the solution in my game, would be to allow extra Health with fortitude and resistance, too or drop these skills completely out of the game.