Feats and Skills
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A FEW TALENTS MORE
by Curtis Gibson
Ah, Talents; those fun and useful little abilities somewhere between Powers and Skills. Various rulebooks, and this article’s predecessor, A Fistful of Talents (DH41) present quite a number of them.
Why have so many? They can be used in a number of ways; to help build flavor and color in a game world. They can help give real flair for a character. And when introducing someone to Fantasy Hero from that other really popular fantasy game in its revised third edition, having a laundry list of special abilities might help them make the transition by finding character creation a little more familiar.
And beside, who doesn’t like to look at a list of really fun abilities and think to themselves “I want that, and this, and the other one here….”
The character is very alert, and anytime he makes any kind of Perception Roll, he negates the first -5 in penalties to the roll; this does not affect range penalties, but it does affect any other kind of penalty (cover, darkness, stealth, etc.).
Alertness: 7 Character Points (bought as +5 with All Perception (15 Active Points); Only versus Non-Range Penalties (-1))
The character with this Talent has a specific creature type (Dragons, Elves, Trolls, Orcs, etc.) that he has a historical or personal reason to hate and has trained to be better at combat when dealing with them as foes. He gains +1 OCV, DCV, and Damage Class (with any weapon) when fighting his chosen type of enemy.
Ancestral Enemy: 13 Character Points (bought as + 1 OCV, +1 DCV, +1 DC (20 Active Points); Only versus One Racial Type (-½))
The character has trained to overcome the difficulties in casting spells while in armor. Whatever armor penalties due to encumbrance the character has to his Power Skill Magic roll are halved, rounded in the character’s favor. (-1 becomes no penalty, -3 becomes -1, and so on).
Armored Caster: 4 Character Points (bought as +5 to Power Skill Magic roll (10 Active Points); Only to Offset Armor/Encumbrance Penalties (-1), Can No More Than Halve Penalty (-½))
The character is very aware of combat around him. He can tell friend from foe within his awareness field. If the character cannot see or hear, he loses this ability. No END Cost.
Battlefield Awareness: 13 Character Points (bought as: Spatial Awareness (Unusual Group), Increased Arc of Perception (360o), Range (32 Active Points); Only to Tell Friend/Foe Positions (-1), Affected as Sight and Hearing (-½))
The character can move quickly in combat, coming to full speed from launch, and can stop instantly. END Cost: 2.
Boars’ Run: 3 Character Points (bought as Naked Modifier: Combat Acceleration/Deceleration (+¼) for up to 20 Active Points (5 Active Points); Increased Endurance Cost (x2 END, -½))
CLOSE COMBAT BOW SPECIALIST
The character is extra deadly with his bow when at close range (within 6”) and gains an extra 2 DC of killing damage with his attacks. END Cost: 1.
Close Combat Bow Specialist: 8 Character Points (bought as RKA +½d6 (10 Active Points); Limited Range 6” (-¼))
The character with this Talent has the uncanny knack to know which way his opponent will dodge. An opponent’s +3 DCV from Dodge is negated by the user of this Talent. Martial Dodges are unaffected (so the target still gets the full +5 DCV). This Talent is considered to be in use all the time.
Combat Anticipation: 5 Character Points (bought as +3 with OCV (15 Active Points); Only to Offset Dodge DCV Modifier (-2))
The character takes one turn, doing nothing else and dropping to 0 DCV the entire time. He then makes a Paramedic Roll and pays the Endurance cost. If the roll is made by 2, then the patient stabilizes, and if he was less than 3 body away from death, is also brought back (the SFX is something like “Mostly Dead”). END Cost: 5.
Deathbed Paramedic: 9 Character Points (bought as: Healing BODY 3d6, Resurrection (50 Active Points); Concentration (0 DCV Throughout, Character is Totally Unaware of Nearby Events, -1½), Extra Time (Post-Segment 12, Character May Take No Other Actions, -1½), Gestures (-¼), Only to Stabilize Bleeding/Heal to 1 BODY Away from Death (-1), Requires a Paramedic Roll (-1 per 20 Active Points, -¼))
ENJOYS THE CHALLENGE
Characters with this Talent really relish pitting themselves against others in contests of skill; when he gets into a situation where is being tried by someone else, he seems to do better. The character gains +4 with all skills, but can only use them in an opposed skill roll check.
Enjoys the Challenge: 11 Character Points (bought as +4 with All Non-Combat Skills (32 Active Points); Only for Opposed Skill Rolls (-2))
EXTRA SPELL SLOT
The character with this Talent has one more spell slot available than the normal INT/5.
Extra Spell Slot: 2 Character Points (bought as +5 INT, Only for Calculating the Number of Spells Active (-1½))
The user of this Talent is very good at frightening others, and has a fearsome visage and/or demeanor. He gains +4d6 on fear-based PRE Attacks.
Fearful Presence: 8 Character Points (bought as +20 PRE (20 Active Points); Attack Only (-1), Fear-based Only (-½))
The character is very adept at combat movement, and can move into the hex of a dropped enemy automatically after the enemy drops. END Cost: 1.
Follow Through: 3 Character Points (bought As Running 1”, Trigger (Takes No Time, Resets Automatically Immediately after It Activates, +1) (4 Active Points); Only to Move into the Hex of Opponent That Just Went Down (-½))
This Talent if for characters that help others in what they do. It grants them +4 with any skill, but only when Assisting another with the skill. Commonly used for assistants or master teachers.
Great Helper: 11 Character Points (bought as +4 with All Non-Combat Skills (32 Active Points); Only for Assisting Another (-2))
The character is extremely resistant to damage, and 1 point of his base PD & ED are Resistant. A favorite of those barbarians that don’t wear much armor.
Hardy: 1 Character Point (bought as Damage Resistance (1 PD/1 ED))
A character with this Talent is exceptionally good at dispelling magic. Anytime the caster uses a dispel spell, he may spend the END for this Talent and add +5d6 to the Dispel. END Cost: 2.
Improved Dispel: 13 Character Points (bought as Dispel +5d6, Variable Special Effects (Any One Magical Effect, +¼) (19 Active Points); Variable Limitation -½ [takes -1 worth of limitations that the original spell has: usually Gestures, Incantation and Requires a Skill Roll])
INSTANT SHIELD BASH
The character who takes this Talent has trained to be able to take advantage of openings in combat, and if he makes an attack by 2 or more, he gets a free shield bash attack in. The damage of this is the normal damage for the shield bash, but the character does not take the OCV penalty usually associated with the bash. END Cost: 3.
Instant Shield Bash: 13 Character Points (bought as Hand Attack +3d6, Trigger (Makes an Attack by -2, Takes No Time, Requires a Zero Phase Action to Reset, +¾) (26 Active Points); Hand Attack (-½), OIF (-½))
The character can eat spoiled or generally inedible food, or drink brackish and salt water, and suffer no ill effects. It is as if he ate normal food.
Iron Stomach: 1 Character Point (bought as Life Support (Eating: Spoiled or Inedible Food, Brackish or Salt Water))
KICK UP, PICK UP
The character is very talented at using his feet, and can do a quick kick on an object to flick it to his hand. Flipping an object to his hand in this way takes no time. A favored Talent of fencers. END Cost: 1.
Kick Up, Pick Up: 4 Character Points (bought as Telekinesis (3 STR), Trigger (Takes No Time, Resets Automatically Immediately after It Activates, +1) (9 Active Points); No Range (-½), Only to Pick up Small Objects on the Ground (-1))
The character has the ability to siphon just a bit of Mana from any spell that targets him (aside from those he casts himself). He gains 1 Mana for each spell cast on him (this could be another mage casting a helpful spell, or an opponent casting a damaging spell). If multiple spells hit the target, then he gains 1 Mana from each one. The siphoning is not automatic; the character has to roll 14 or less for each chance. This Talent costs no Endurance.
Mana Stealer: 9 Character Points (bought as Healing Mana Battery 1 point (standard effect: 1 point), Reduced Endurance (0 END, 2) (13 Active Points); Activation Roll 14- (-½))
The character with this Talent has learned a type of attack that is so intense that is virtually impossible to ignore. The character makes a normal melee attack, and rolls 10d6. This is applied to the target’s CON, and if beats the CON+10, then the target engages the character. All rules for Mind Control apply, including the first breakout roll, and all negative modifiers for rolling greater than the needed effect.
This ability costs 6 END to initiate and 3 END per phase to maintain. The character must stay engaged with the target (with normal attacks and defenses) to keep this Talent going.
Like the Really Impressive Talent, this is an example of a world class combatant, one that can distract or face down an enemy due to skill and reputation.
Massive Attack: 14 Character Points (bought as Mind Control 10d6 (Human Class of Minds), Telepathic (+¼) (62 Active Points); Based on CON (versus Mental Defense, -1), User Must Spend Each Phase Attacking to Maintain (-1), Restrainable (-½), Single Command: Attack/Defend against ME! (-½), Costs END to Maintain (Half END Cost, -¼))
The character with this Talent is very good at holding onto an opponent. He adds 10 STR to his effective STR when holding someone; this is in addition to any martial maneuvers he may have. It does not affect damage.
Master Grappler: 6 Character Points (bought as +10 STR, Reduced Endurance (0 END, +½) (15 Active Points); Only for Holding on with Grabs (-1), No Figured Characteristics (-½))
The character with this Talent is always welcome on shipboard. When he takes the helm the ship moves faster; whatever it’s noncombat movement multiplier is, increase it by one, so a standard x2 would become a x3. This takes exceptional concentration, so when in use the character is at 0 DCV. The increase in speed happens a Turn after the character takes the helm.
Master Helmsmen: 8 Character Points (bought as Swimming 0” (2” Total) (x4 Noncombat), Reduced Endurance (0 END, x1) to Speed, Not Doubling (i.e. from x2 to x3 or x4 to x5) (-1), Concentration (0 DCV Throughout, -1), Extra Time (Post-Segment 12, Only to Activate, -¾))
MASTER OF KNOWLEDGE
This character knows a little bit about everything. He can make an 8- skill check with any Knowledge Skill he wishes to attempt.
Master of Knowledge: 10 Character Points (bought as Universal Knowledge (20 Active Points); Activation 8- (-1))
MASTER OF MINOR MAGICS
The caster has mastered the ability to cast minor spells. He gains a +4 to his Power Skill Magic Roll, but only when casting spells that have a -1 or a -2 Magic modifier due to Active Points. These levels are not just offsetting penalties; the net effect of a -2 spell with this Talent is a +2 to the Magic Roll. Note that if the character has levels to negate Magic penalties due to Active Points, such as the Talent These Spells Aren’t That Tough to Cast, that would bring the adjusted penalty to -2 or less, then this Talent also applies.
Master of Minor Magics: 4 Character Points (bought as + 4 to Power Skill Magic Roll (8 Active Points); Only when Casting Spells with a -1 or a -2 Magic modifier (-1))
The character can drop into a meditative trance and while in the trance, he can recover Mana. The character can take no other actions, and is at 0 DCV throughout this trance. The recovery of Mana starts five minutes after the meditation begins, and the character gains 1 END per Minute, not to exceed half of his Mana pool.
Mystic Trance: 1 Character Points (bought as 1 REC for Mana Pool (1 Active Point); Extra Time (5 Minutes, Only to Activate, Character May Take No Other Actions, -1¼), Concentration (0 DCV Throughout, -1), Extra Time (1 Minute between Applications, -½), Cannot Recover More Than Half of Mana Pool (-½))
The character can carry much more than normal. His STR is increased by 10 for purposes of figured encumbrance. This Talent costs no Endurance, and is considered in effect all the time.
Pack Mule: 4 Character Points (bought as +10 STR, Reduced Endurance (0 END, +½) (15 Active Points); Only for Calculating Encumbrance (-2), No Figured Characteristics (-½))
PAIRED BLADES DEFENSES
A character with this Talent is skilled at defending when holding two weapons. The character needs to have purchased Weapon Familiarity: Off Hand to use this Talent; but with it, he gains an additional +1 DCV with a blade in each hand.
Paired Blades Defenses: 3 Character Points (bought as +1 with DCV (5 Active Points); OIF (-½), Only with a Weapon in Each Hand (-¼), Requires WF: Off Hand (-0))
A character with this Talent gains bonuses to hit by waiting for just the right time to attack. If the character uses one Phase for a defensive action (Dodge, Block, etc.), then on his next Phase attacks, he gains +2 OCV. If he spends two Phases performing defensive actions then attacks, he gains +4 OCV.
Patient: 11 Character Points (bought as +4 with OCV (20 Active Points); Only Gets +2 OCV for each Defensive Action in Previous Phases (-¾)
This Talent represents a character who is so impressive in combat that he daunts those he fights with his skill and displays of combat expertise. Any target fighting him in hand-to-hand combat is at -2 OCV to hit him. Obviously this Talent only works on those that can be impressed by his swordplay – and thus does not work on those that have no mind, or those with a base CV of 2 over the character’s. The motions that the character add are somewhat tiring, and take 1 END per Phase he keeps up the intimidation.
Really Impressive: 6 Character Points (bought as Change Environment 1” radius, -2 OCV, Personal Immunity (+¼) (12 Active Points); No Range (-½), Only versus Sentient Beings (-¼), Not versus Targets That Have a CV of 2 over Character’s (-¼))
The character is resistant to Werewolf and Vampire Bites, Undead Characteristic Drains, and certain Demon or Devil attacks. The character gains 5 points of Power Defense against the natural (or rather, unnatural) attacks of such creatures. This has no effect on any spell, even if from the same beings.
Reinforced Soul: 2 Character Points (bought as Power Defense (5 points) (5 Active Points); Only versus the Natural Abilities (Not Magic) of Demons, Devils, Lycanthropes, etc.) (-1))
A character with this Talent has a real knack when taking extra time to cast a spell. For each step up on the time chart, he gains +2 to his roll, rather than the customary +1.
Ritual Master: 5 Character Points (bought as +6 to Power Skill Magic Roll (12 Active Points); Adds +1 per Step on the Time Chart (in Addition to the One Normally Gained) (-1½))
The character has a knack for hanging on to his weapon. When making a STR versus STR Roll to defend against a Disarm the character adds +30 STR. This is cumulative with other modifiers, such as bonuses for martial maneuvers. There is no Endurance cost.
Solid Grip: 7 Character Points (bought as Clinging (STR + 30) (20 Active Points); Only to Hold onto Held Weapon (-2))
TOUGHENED PERSONAL ARMOR
This Talent represents characters who already have armor as a racial ability, and are just much tougher than others of his race. Only those that have natural armor can purchase this Talent.
Toughened Personal Armor: 5 Character Points (bought as Armor (2 PD/2 ED) (6 Active Points); Only to Add to Personal Natural Armor (-¼))
The character is very very good at taking falls. Any time he falls, is knocked back, or is thrown, he takes half damage after defenses. This is a common Talent for Monks.
Ultimate Breakfall: 10 Character Points (bought as Physical Damage Reduction 50% (20 Active Points); Only against Damage from Falls, Knockback, or Throws (-1))