Saturday, April 21, 2012

Talents - character traits in T&T

It seems I write more on T&T than I've done in a while. Today's post can be fitted to D&D as well if you like, though. You will have to expand your game with rolls against the stats Dave Arneson's style, though. I will probably write more upon that at a later stage.

One new addition to the game with the 7th ed. is Talents. 5th ed. diehards do without, but those of us who have embraced 7th ed. feel it's an innovation that have some merits. I'm going to talk about how I think the idea can be used and even improved upon.

Talents are defining skills, the abilities that make you the special individual you are. They can be narrow like "Playing Cards", or more broad like "Gambling". Those are two examples from the rules. According to the rules all new characters get a Talent. Then, as they go up in level, they may add another. Simple enough.

There are some problems with this, of course. While this all makes sense, the fact that some character types gets Talents as part of their class abilities is written in a way which makes it unclear if it is in addition to the Talent eveyone gets or not. In the specific case of the Rogue, the example character of Zam the Bony (p.32-33) is awarded a Talent of Thievery while there's no mention of a Roguery Talent.

Just like in OD&D, the Thief breaks the mould and creates problems. I suggest the following way to handle Talents, and the special case of the Rogue.

Every character gets one Talent when created, regardless if high stats rolled makes you start the game on a higher level than one. The Talent is written as Stat + Bonus, and the initial bonus is rolled on 1d6.

Every time a character gains a level through AP expended on raising a stat, another Talent may be added to the character. The bonus for that Talent is rolled on 1d6.


Rogues may at character creation, since they rely so much upon their smarts and good fortune, add their level to the bonus to their first level Talent. This is a set bonus, and does not increase at the Rogue gain levels.

This is a clear set of rules which unifies the mechanic, and gives the Rogue that extra flexibility with going totally over board with a Talent with a potential +6 usable for multiple SRs!

I hope you like that, or voice your disagreement. This probably they way I'll play the game from now on.
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