BorisPretzel
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue 15 Oct 2019, 15:49

Some new Talents

Tue 15 Oct 2019, 16:29

Hi everyone,
This is my first post in this forum, so I hope I don't break the rules. I have had the opportunity to play several sessions of Forbidden Lands (and earlier Coriolis) and I liked the system so much that I took part in the latest Kickstarter. Because I played a dwarf-blacksmith (jeweler)-assassin (we created our characters randomly), looking at the Talent list, I thought I would like to expand it.
Although the Artisan class is not ready yet, I came up with some useful Talents (not just for craftsmen), usually based on other Talents' mechanics.
I would be grateful for any suggestions and opinions if something like that is needed at all (or if it would debalance the game).

TALENT: ARTIST
RANK 1: You can CRAFT an item with an additional +1 Gear Bonus to MANIPULATION rolls made to impress someone (which includes selling it). This takes twice as long and your roll is modified by -2.
RANK 2: You can CRAFT a non-utilitarian piece of art (such as a sculpture, a painting, or a piece of jewelry) using Rank 1 of this Talent (or Rank 3, if it is available to you). In order to do it, you need the right amount of materials (which depends on the item's size: tiny = 1, small = 2, normal = 4, heavy = 8). GM determines what kind of materials are needed. The time needed to CRAFT an artwork equals twice the amount of materials counted in Quarter Days for Rank 1 Talent (and four times for Rank 3) and your roll is modified by -2 (or -4). 
The artwork gives a +1 (or +2) Gear Bonus to MANIPULATION rolls made to impress someone (which includes selling it) and it's price equals two times (or four times) the cost of used materials.
RANK 3: You can CRAFT an item with an additional +2 Gear Bonus to MANIPULATION rolls made to impress someone (which includes selling it). This takes four times as long and your roll is modified by -4. 
COMMENT: The Gear Bonus to MANIPULATION is added on top of a Gear Bonus normally provided by the item (so, the master-crafted Dagger created with Rank 3 Artist Talent would provide a +1 MELEE and +2 MANIPULATION <impression, if visible> Gear Bonus).

My comment: So now my dwarf can be a real jeweler.

TALENT: SHADOW
RANK 1: Your STEALTH rolls are modified by +1.
RANK 2: When you hit an enemy with a SNEAK attack or during AMBUSH and inflict at least 1 point of damage, you automatically inflict a critical injury. The critical injury itself doesn’t break your opponent – unless it kills him of course. No effect against monsters.
RANK 3: You can add a D8 Artifact Die to all STEALTH rolls.

My comment: Rank 2 Talent is based on Rank 2 Axe Fighter. It lets you use any weapon (not just an axe), ranged included, but only during Sneak Attack/Ambush, so I hope it's not too strong.

TALENT: ATHLETE
RANK 1: Your MOVE rolls made to jump, climb, move fast, or perform any other action that requires speed or motor control, are modified by +1.
RANK 2: You don’t get a -2 penalty to DODGE when you choose to remain standing.
RANK 3: You can add a D8 Artifact Die to MOVE rolls made to jump, climb, move fast, or perform any other action that requires speed or motor control.
COMMENT: Rank 1 and Rank 3 of this Talent do not apply to DODGE action. 

My comment: I'm not sure if such a boost to general movement checks wouldn't make someone nearly impossible to catch (or escape from). Isn't Rank 2 too strong?

TALENT: STRONGMAN
RANK 1: Your MIGHT rolls are modified by +1.
RANK 2: Your Encumbrance is increased by your MIGHT value. 
RANK 3: You can add a D8 Artifact Die to all MIGHT rolls.

My comment: some people (kin) are stronger than they appear.

TALENT: MIND FORTRESS
RANK 1: Once per check, if you roll 1 when casting a spell, you may spend 3 Willpower Points to ignore this result as if the result was 2-5.
RANK 2: Up to twice per check, if you roll 1 when casting a spell, you may spend 2 Willpower Points to ignore each one of these results as if the result was 2-5.
RANK 3: You may reroll the dice affected by Rank 2 of this Talent. The second roll counts. 

TALENT: MAGIC BINDER
RANK 1: Once a Quarter Day, when you roll on a Magic Mishaps table, you can reroll the result. The lowest roll counts.
RANK 2: Once every Quarter Day, you may reverse the D66 roll for the Magic Mishap – a roll of 61 becomes 16, for example.
RANK 3: Once a Quarter Day, when you roll on a Magic Mishaps table, you may choose freely from the relevant list.
COMMENT: Those three Ranks are treated separately, which means that they may affect three Magic Mishap rolls. However, you can combine them (first reroll, and then choose another result for example), but it counts as multiple use.

My comment: those two magic-related Talents would be for those who don't want their Sorcerer/Druid dead too soon. It makes casting spells much safer (unless you are really unlucky or out of WP).

Let me know if there is anything to modify or throw away. Feel free to comment :)
 
iyze
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon 14 Oct 2019, 22:03

Re: Some new Talents

Tue 15 Oct 2019, 19:54

Nice work. I personally believe the game has a lot of design space and potential when it comes to homebrew. It's light enough that completely unique systems can be layered on top of the vanilla game without stressing the cognitive load of players or GMs too much.
One of my approaches to homebrew and creating new content is essentially a philosophy of "filling in the gaps", especially in terms of flavor. It looks like that's what you've tried to do too; you've identified some neglected or overlooked aspects of the game that you deemed unsatisfying to play or develop your character in the way you envisioned it. That being said, it's important to know what gaps are also already filled when developing a homebrew in this manner.

TALENT: SHADOW
This gap was definitely unfilled and I personally think it was a good talent to create. Imitating the talent structure the game uses is a safe bet. I like your idea for RANK 2. For RANK 2 Axe Fighter, being in melee range is a prerequisite and, of course, is more dangerous. But there's a double up: stealth modifiers for range bands favor ranged weapons already. This is offset by the stealth requirement. Axe fighting can perform multiple critical injuries and acquire more value from the talent than sneak attacking, which only allows you one opportunity to use the talent. In-game, it would play out as wounding an enemy before the fight starts, which is very much cool and dynamic; it allows the fight to take place with a persisting state upon an enemy, changing how the fight, interactions and scene plays out.
EXECUTIONER RANK 3 combined with this talent steps on Path of the Killer's RANK 1 though. It leaves that feature in the path useless, which is painful, because an assassin archetype would want both EXECUTIONER and SHADOW.
RANK 1 and RANK 3 look good to me. Small note, STEALTH is often an opposed roll, so the D8 artifact die is slightly stronger in this talent set than in others (I wouldn't worry about it though).

TALENT: ATHLETE
I'd be careful not to tread over other design spaces with this one. While the flavor is covered by other talents such as FAST FOOTWORK and LIGHTNING FAST, mechanically they cover different ground. However, the RANK 2 grinds against FAST FOOTWORK's territory mechanically, and is just a tad strong (FAST FOOTWORK, the talent dedicated to dodging, only gives you a +1 modifier on RANK 2. This talent 'effectively' provides you with a +2 modifier). I'm not completely opposed, but I would be cautious and perhaps revise for an alternative.
That aside, if someone was going to invest into the talent, they'd want to feel like their character is very slippery and fast, so it almost feels as if you're concerned about achieving the goal set out by the talent in the first place.
MOVE is often reactionary, whereas the other talents have you initiating the action. This means, balancing-wise, you only get to use it as much as your GM allows you to.

TALENT: STRONGMAN
Pretty solid. Watch out for PACK RAT, though.
Personally, I think that talents shouldn't be... more skill levels. Talents have a unique design space that I feel could be utilized better here. You can invest skills to heighten your MIGHT, but I would use these particular talent ranks to delve further or expand what MIGHT can do. That's as far as my suggestion goes, however.

TALENT: MIND FORTRESS
TALENT: MAGIC BINDER

This one is tricky. I would be extremely careful of messing with the lethality of spell-casting. Good homebrew should try not to betray the original design goals of the system that they're homebrewing for. Spells are strong and versatile, balanced by their capacities to self-destruct. Talents that mitigate these dangers may trivialize the statement that Fria Ligan had planned for spell-casting and magic. That doesn't mean there isn't a spot for them; I think they just need to be made very carefully. As I see it, if you're a sorcerer or a druid, you would be a fool not to pick these talents up, and that's not a good sign.
As for the talents themselves, MAGIC BINDER's quarter day reactivation seems almost equivalent to having it up all the time. In my game, sorcerers seldom use spells even twice a day.

The wording is also a bit confusing at times. This is what I think you meant:

TALENT: MIND FORTRESS
RANK 1: While spell-casting, you may spend 3 WP to ignore one BANE, treating it as if it were a 2, 3, 4 or 5. You may only perform this once per roll.*
RANK 2: While spell-casting, you may spend 2 WP to ignore one BANE, treating it as if it were a 2, 3, 4 or 5. You may perform this twice per roll.
RANK 3: As per RANK 2, but you may re-roll the dice instead of ignoring the BANE. You must accept the roll.**

TALENT: MAGIC BINDER

RANK 1: When you roll on the Magic Mishaps table, you may re-roll and use the lowest result. You may only activate this once a quarter day.
RANK 2: When you roll on the Magic Mishaps table, you may reverse the D66 roll - for example, a roll of 61 becomes a 16. You may only activate this once a quarter day.***
RANK 3: When you roll on a Magic Mishaps table, you may choose freely from the relevant list.
COMMENT: Those three Ranks are treated separately, which means that they may affect three Magic Mishap rolls. However, you can combine them (first reroll, and then choose another result for example), but it counts as multiple use.
*When do you spend the WP? Before pushing? This would allow you to re-roll the BANE. After pushing? This would allow you to ignore BANES that occur after pushing. Both have mechanical significance.
**Again, when do they spend the WP? Re-rolling the selected dice before and after the push have mechanical consequences.
***I assume when you combine RANK 1 and RANK 2 and re-roll, you reverse the lowest roll between the two. This isn't too clear however, and should be added to the description.


I didn't talk about your ARTIST talent because I assumed it's just for you and your game. I would just add that you might want to try and avoid making your GM subjectively rule things up on the spot ("GM determines what kind of materials are needed"), because it puts some cognitive strain on him/her on top of everything else they have to do. The wording of it also seems a bit iffy at points. Better to revise it a bit.

Be vigilant about your wording. Make sure things stay consistent if they're similar (e.g. "Once a quarter day" and "Once every quarter day" isn't desirable) and imitate the original game's vocabulary and sentence construction. Pretend you're a player and then purposely misinterpret sentences and whatnot. It's hard if English is your second language, but necessary if other people (like your GM) are going to have to interpret it.

This wasn't meant to be discouraging. On the contrary, I was really excited to see someone post their own creations, and just wanted to be thorough and helpful.
I've sent you a PM if you're willing to discuss homebrew design further. I'm extending this invitation to anyone who sees this post: my Discord is iyze#9407. Feel free to shoot me a message.
iyze#9407
 
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MegaMagus
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu 29 Aug 2019, 05:03

Re: Some new Talents

Wed 16 Oct 2019, 01:26

Great discussions guys! Keep up the good work.
 
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faun
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu 23 May 2019, 20:02
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

Re: Some new Talents

Wed 23 Oct 2019, 09:25

great ideas, I like the feedback izye provided, seems useful and helpful. 
I think the question on when you spend the WP for the MIND FORTRESS is important. In most cases having the character spend the WP up front gives them the assurance that the magic will work without dire issues (mostly) but will also limit how much WP they have for following spells of any sort. I'd wonder how this could be generalized. Talents are supposed to be useful for all characters. It would be interesting if other PCs could learn this talent to resist magic. Essentially causing a bane to spells cast against them, if they had enough ranks they could cause multiple banes.

One of the main problems I have with Magic Binder is that it's also not a general talent. If you were to generalize this is there a way to make it useful to others? Perhaps like executioner it affects magic cast against them, making the caster reroll and chose the worst result. Flip the results to take the worst outcome, the recipient chooses the mishap. These two talents would be great for a witch hunter build, or a slayer. 

the artist talent seems complex, but not overly. I agree the character should pick the materials rather than make the GM pick it on the fly. I'm also thinking the prices that could be made would be similar to other crafting talents can garner.
 
BorisPretzel
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue 15 Oct 2019, 15:49

Re: Some new Talents

Mon 28 Oct 2019, 00:30

Thank you for so many insightful remarks, I haven't noticed most of the problems you're writing about (and that's why I posted those Talents here) :)

TALENT: SHADOW
So maybe changing it to a "Melee weapon attack only" Talent would be enough to make it usable, but not abusable?

RANK 2: When you use a Melee weapon and hit an enemy with a SNEAK attack or during AMBUSH and inflict at least 1 point of damage, you automatically inflict a critical injury. The critical injury itself doesn’t break your opponent – unless it kills him of course. No effect against monsters.

TALENT: ATHLETE
It might not be the best idea, but what about making it easier to Get Up? Normally it's a Fast Action, but it could become a part of another Move Action:

RANK 2: When you are prone, you may Get Up as part of Flee, Run or Retreat Action.

TALENT: STRONGMAN
Good point with the Pack Rat talent, I knew I saw something like this before... maybe I'll leave it like that. For now.

TALENT: ARTIST
I didn't want to make a whole new table for possible art objects and materials, but yeah, maybe some kind of example would be helpful. About GM's decision - if an artist is creating a Heavy stone sculpture, it's obvious that he uses 8 Stone as raw material (not counting tools); but when she is creating something that requires multiple different materials (paints and wooden or cloth canvas for a piece of painting, or paper, ink and wood block for a relief print), maybe it's better to leave some space for DM/player (whoever knows better in this particular area).
Thinking of it, I probably should prepare such a table (as various materials' weight differs so much that a Heavy wooden sculpture would be significantly larger than a stone one. I assume that weight category also includes the size or convenience for the purpose of carrying?).

MAGIC TALENTS
My main idea was to choose only one of them (better one hopefully), as combining two would make magic not dangerous enough for its user.
In both cases, I thought of spending WP after the roll (as a reaction to result of 1 or especially nasty Magic Mishap), but forcing someone to spend WP before the roll sounds interesting (probably not for them) - it would be something like life insurance: you pay, but you get benefits only when something bad happens (which you don't want). Tempting.
Rerolling and reversing results: rerolling is a chance to change a result, but one can be unlucky and roll the same (bad luck) or worse (use the better roll - or less damaging - then); reversing a result gives you an obvious (non-random) result, but it sometimes could result in something worse - in such a situation, when you are able to reroll and reverse, and reversing is a bad idea, one may reroll first and see: 1) if the new result is rewarding for them, 2) or they prefere the previous result, 3) or any of the reversed results (from 1st or 2nd roll)... if you roll 66 in both cases, nothing will help you anyway.
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I think that making them somehow useful for others (non-magic users) is a great idea, but - on the other hand - it would make those talents even more powerful (so, maybe there should be two talents: one for "your" magic, and another for resisting others' magic). I don't know. Changing magic via talents seems to me more and more like something against the spirit of the game (magic just happens and there's not much to do about it). It could be the best idea not to do anything in this area.
 
KurtVannaguts
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri 25 Oct 2019, 22:33

Re: Some new Talents

Mon 28 Oct 2019, 23:32

Hey BorisPretzel, I have an idea for the Athlete talent.

RANK 2: You get one free GET UP every round of combat. The extra GET UP doesn’t count as one of your actions in the round.

I based this off of the Defender and Fast Footwork talents, and I think it works to make it fairly useful, but not overpowered.

What do you think?

Cheers,

Kurt
 
iyze
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon 14 Oct 2019, 22:03

Re: Some new Talents

Tue 29 Oct 2019, 16:20

Actually, I think it's completely fine for a RANGED SNEAK ATTACK to trigger a critical injury, I just think the interaction with EXECUTIONER makes it broken. Only allowing MELEE ATTACKS to trigger it balances it a little more for sure, but only as a band-aid fix. This might look even MORE band-aidy, but I would just write a comment somewhere saying that "RANK 3 EXECUTIONER does not work with this talent, blah blah". That's just me, though.

EDIT: On second thought, I think only allowing MELEE ATTACKS would work just fine. Instant-kill ranged attacks work just as well for the path's niche.

I would suggest against a free GET UP action. RANK 3 of Steady Feet allows you to GET UP as a free action already.

STEADY FEET You have good balance and cannot be knocked over easily.
✥ RANK 1: SHOVING you to the ground requires two x instead of one.
✥ RANK 2: You cannot be SHOVED to the ground.
✥ RANK 3: You get up from a prone position without spending an action on it. It still needs to happen at your turn in the round.

If you'd like, you can use an edited version of something I've been working on:
✥ RANK 2: When you take damage by falling, you may make an opposed roll using your MOVE skill to reduce the damage.
Falling damage makes you roll a number of base dice. Each SUCCESS with your opposed MOVE roll will just allow you to eliminate one SUCCESS rolled by the fall. This ensures that the talent has nothing to do with combat, but still remains relevant and provides new avenues of competency to the player.

Something I've also been thinking about is that +1 modifier talent structures should only be applied to certain actions that use that SKILL. For example, the HERBALIST and QUARTERMASTER both provide +1 modifiers to certain actions within SURVIVAL. This makes sense, given that it requires 3 exp to gain a very specialized talent, rather than 5 exp to gain a more generalized SURVIVAL skill. 

Creating a STEALTH, MIGHT and MOVE talent may not want to follow the +1 modifier talent structure because the SKILL itself is all-encompassing. That means, there are no separate actions to take within the SKILL itself; you roll STEALTH, or MIGHT, or MOVE, and that's it. Therefore, the +1 modifier might be at RANK 2, and it should probably not provide a D8 artifact dice. The RANK 1 for these talents should be very minor and situational benefits or new abilities; be creative!
iyze#9407
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