Some talents better than others?

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Slloyd14
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Some talents better than others?

Post by Slloyd14 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:35 pm

I was looking at the talents list and the sample heroes. It seems that some talents are rarely used and some are objectively worse in terms of xp cost for the bonus they provide. I'll give a list of some offenders going from least useful to most useful:

Hawkeye: +3 bonus to some Awareness rolls (ones that are based on sight). Bearing in mind that going from going from not having Awareness to having 6 points in Awareness is 220xp and, since this is a talent and so costs 200xp, this is probably the worst talent. Compare to Silvertongued which provides a +3 bonus to four skills in all situations they are used, or Learned which gives a +2 bonus to all knowledge skills.

Arcane:You can avoid the Oops! table on the roll of a 1-4. Granted, the Oops table could be devestating, but this talent only comes in handy when a spellcaster rolls a double 6 (1/36 chance) and only words 4 times out of 6 (2/3 chance), so this talent will come in handy every 1/36 x 2/3 = 2/108 or 1/54 times. So this talent only has a 1/54 chance of being useful whenever the hero casts a spell.

Natural Linguist: This gives you 1 point in every language. There are 11 languages listed in the sourcebook, so even if they were the only languages used, you would be at least breaking even in terms of xp cost (getting your first point in a skill is 20xp, so say a human knows common, so learning 1 point in the other 10 languages would be 200xp, which is the same cost as the talent). However, this would not come in handy too often.

Packhorse: I want to like this and it looks like it should be useful (especially if you're doing an Ian Livingstone adventure), but how often do people get up to 10 items, let alone 20? It might be good to haul out treasure at the end of an adventure or carry loads of stuff, but this would not be useful too often.

Entrepeneur and Natural Leader: I've put these together because although their bonuses are useful, they probably won't come in handy in all situations, unless the campaign is geared towards this style of play. These talents are more in the category of useful in specific situations rather than not useful at all.

My idea to deal with this is to have a list of talents that the heroes can choose in character creation in addition to their other talent (so they have two talents, but one of them will be very narrow).
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torus
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Re: Some talents better than others?

Post by torus » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:17 pm

That's probably a useful idea. I think there's no doubt that some talents - and skills - are more useful than others, and players looking to max their scores will probably end up picking those. I think that's a mistake in many ways, as really they are there to flesh out the hero and should be picked in accordance with the vision the player has for his/her character.

However, because of the issue you mention, I do the same thing with skills and have a bunch of 'lesser' skills which heroes can pick from; not so likely to arise in adventuring but great for developing background.

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Re: Some talents better than others?

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:02 am

torus wrote:That's probably a useful idea. I think there's no doubt that some talents - and skills - are more useful than others, and players looking to max their scores will probably end up picking those. I think that's a mistake in many ways, as really they are there to flesh out the hero and should be picked in accordance with the vision the player has for his/her character.

However, because of the issue you mention, I do the same thing with skills and have a bunch of 'lesser' skills which heroes can pick from; not so likely to arise in adventuring but great for developing background.
I like the idea of giving lesser skills for free. Also finding ways of giving people lesser skills in adventures. for example, you can get 1 point of Dragon Lore in the WOFM adventure without spending experience. It will almost never be used, but it's a bonus and it adds some individuality to a hero.
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bottg
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Re: Some talents better than others?

Post by bottg » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:30 pm

It is true that some seem more useful than others or seem to have higher costs.

You mention for example the Hawkeye one. True you can buy extra ranks in awareness, but if you take this at character creation, you could have +5 to awareness rolls at the start, which may well save you or the party. In addition, it allows you to have maximum ranks in awareness and still get the +3 on top.

As for Arcane, it does occur only once every 54 spell rolls. But in the game i have been playing in, we seem to get 4-5 Oops's per session between our two mages. And in the last session one of those nearly resulted in a TPK.

Natural linguist. There are only 11 languages listed, but there are of course many more than that on Titan. And it would count for a language you didn't know existed. Washed up on a desert island and encounter a strange tribe of humanoids? You can probably avoid being eaten/sacrificed at least.

And so on. Strongarm is of course better and more used than packhorse or natural leader, but the "less useful" ones generally allow you to do something that there is no other way of doing.

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