After fans and patrons expressed concerns about the intended changes re Talents, Professional Talents/Abilities, and related modifications to the rules, Liz and Bear met to discuss these twice when he was in Tucson earlier in November. Ken was not able to attend, but did follow the discussion afterward. This is the upshot.
(1) WARRIORS: No changes to what’s in the beta. Your warriors get the perks of being a warrior — armor bonus and weapons bonus — simply for showing up as that character type.
(2) WIZARDS: Wizard get to spend their adventure points like everyone else, in attribute raises and talents. However, in addition, wizards (and only wizards) may opt to specialize in a particular school of magic if have the AP to spend. Once per level, they can invest 300 AP to become an Adept in a particular school of magic. This represents advanced studies in that school, and allows spells within that school of magic to be cast more easily: a flat -3 cost to cast spells from that school. (All other restrictions still apply.)
(3) ROGUES: Rogues already benefit by being able to fight reasonably well and also cast spells. Early editions of the game forced rogues to make a choice between their fighting abilities and their magical inclinations at L7, becoming a full-fledged warrior or a full-fledged wizard, but they “forgot” their previous abilities. Later, they stopped having to choose but were left rather unremarkable, a substandard character type with little to recommend their use. The discussion led to this proposal, picking up elements introduced in many different editions, plus a new spin:
Rogues get one extra talent at the time of being rolled up. In addition, if they choose certain typically-rogue-like talents (suggestions are listed below; these will be starred in the final talents list), they can continue to take them as one more “free” talent at every other (even-numbered) level in addition to their more ordinary talents. These are treated exactly the same as all other talents, but rogues get extras.
At level 7, a rogue has the OPTION to specialize as a warrior or wizard, gaining the abilities of those classes without completely forgetting the knowledge or abilities he or she has acquired to date. In effect, these characters become the warrior-wizards of yore. Making the shift is not a requirement, but an option. If chosen, it is permanent.
A new warrior-rogue would have the armor bonus; the weapons bonus; but would retain the ability to cast those spells he or she has learned up to that time. They cannot learn to cast any new magic thereafter, and they can no longer get the rogues’ additional talents at each level.
A new magician-rogue would have the ability to use focus objects, to cast magic more easily for being higher level, to invent spells, and to benefit from specializing in particular schools of magic. They retain the ability to get their weapon adds for weapons greater than 2d6. They can no longer get the rogues’ additional talents at each level.
If, at level 7, the rogue chooses to remain a rogue, he or she will be able to continue collecting extra talents from among those described. (Because we do not consider these lists limited or definitive, players and GMs can develop other “rogue-like” abilities not described here, if they wish.) However, her or she may not morph into a warrior-rogue or a magician-rogue at a later stage of life. Old dogs, new tricks, and all that.
All characters may take these talents (which are all drawn from the main list of talents), but rogues pick them up more easily.
Sleight of hand
Stealth: hiding, tailing, evasion
Exceptional use of weapons: daggers
Let us know what you think of these new changes. How does this compare with the previous version? We look forward to hearing from you – and thanks for your patience. Right now we are working on the last section of the book, so progress continues!