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Old 10-02-2022, 06:41 PM   #1
Shostak
 
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Default Talent/Spell of the Week: Scholar

This IQ 13 talent represents skill with languages and research, and knowledge of history, art history, anthropology, and geography. One can assume Scholar does not include theology & occultism, zoology, botany, mathematics, or chemistry, since those are represented by other talents. Scholars enjoy status among those who value such learning, getting a bonus on reaction rolls.

One must invest four talent points to learn Scholar, due to its prerequisite of Literacy. The scholarly wizard may be a common cliché in literature, but, in my experience, the scholarly wizard in TFT is somewhat rarer, probably due to the Wizard's Tax which doubles the aforementioned cost.

Scholar could be especially useful in games in which many languages are spoken, or in which there is some advantage to knowing historical or cultural lore, but I've seldom seen Scholar used, even in such games.

Conversation starters:
  • What are the arguments for and against Scholar being revised to be accessible to wizards at standard cost?
  • Are there synergies to be found by combining Scholar with other skills?
  • If you've had a memorable Scholar in your games, share some highlights of their adventures.
  • What character types might work well with a Scholar lens?
  • What incentives might a GM give to entice players to fill the Scholar niche?
  • What challenges does Scholar present a GM?
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Old 10-02-2022, 07:22 PM   #2
Axly Suregrip
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Scholar

Great questions. I have always used Scholar on NPCs and not player characters since it very useful for combat or adventuring.

I agree, it seems it should be allowed for Wizards at normal cost.

To point out one potential synergy: scholar talent should be something someone like a thief or assassin could make use. These types of heroes may get disguised(talent)/glamored(spell) and use mimic(talent) to sound like someone, but that does not make them actually speak the language and speak it like a native. But that is a lot of talents for a thief/spy/assassin to learn the result would be someone that can infiltrate any race that they know the language.
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Old 10-03-2022, 08:02 AM   #3
Bill_in_IN
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Scholar

I think that many of the talents that are reserved for the brainiac types should be standard IQ cost. In my opinion, Scholar talent certainly should be at standard cost for a wizard. It has no basis in physical skills other than the ability to use their eyes, ears, or speaking.

One could argue that mathematics, chemist, and alchemy are not purely magical pursuits or in promotion of manipulating the environment via magic and are more of a physical nature. Thus, allowingfor the wizard tax. However, a talent such Scholar is far more generic like it's prerequisite, Literacy. I think that removing the wizard tax from it is warranted. It also should help a wizard to perform research in creating new spells.
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Old 10-03-2022, 08:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Scholar

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Originally Posted by Bill_in_IN View Post
It also should help a wizard to perform research in creating new spells.
Excellent point, Bill.
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Old 10-03-2022, 09:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Scholar

The concept of a scholarly wizard is attractive. After all, there's a kind of parallel between modern scholars and some of the representations of wizards. (Unseen University is an obvious example.)

However, I always figgered the wizard tax had to do with the fact that wizards spend their time focused on other-worldly things. If you look at the benefits of the Scholar talent, it is rooted in languages, history and customs, which are not quite the interest of the typical Wizard.

If I had a player interested in a Wizard Scholar (or if I wanted an NPC with that combination), I'd write a variant of the current Scholar talent. Advantages would be in the identification and history of magical items, knowledge of the magical races, the cultures of magic throughout the world. I'd probably give the same linguistic advantages for at least the magic-using races. I'd give the same +1 reaction roll because I have a certain interest in believing that well-educated people are respected, and to hell with all the contrary evidence.

So, a wizard wanting the stock Scholar talent would pay the wizard tax, while one wanting a somewhat differently focused Scholar talent would not.
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Old 10-03-2022, 10:52 AM   #6
Bill_in_IN
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Scholar

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
The concept of a scholarly wizard is attractive. After all, there's a kind of parallel between modern scholars and some of the representations of wizards. (Unseen University is an obvious example.)

However, I always figgered the wizard tax had to do with the fact that wizards spend their time focused on other-worldly things. If you look at the benefits of the Scholar talent, it is rooted in languages, history and customs, which are not quite the interest of the typical Wizard.

If I had a player interested in a Wizard Scholar (or if I wanted an NPC with that combination), I'd write a variant of the current Scholar talent. Advantages would be in the identification and history of magical items, knowledge of the magical races, the cultures of magic throughout the world. I'd probably give the same linguistic advantages for at least the magic-using races. I'd give the same +1 reaction roll because I have a certain interest in believing that well-educated people are respected, and to hell with all the contrary evidence.

So, a wizard wanting the stock Scholar talent would pay the wizard tax, while one wanting a somewhat differently focused Scholar talent would not.
Interesting point about the wizardly focus in terms of what it means to them to be scholarly. Such a talent should definitely be a plus for researching existing magic/spells as well as researching new spells and magic items. Some of that is built in based upon IQ level. However, would such a talent trim off IQ differences that govern spell casting requirements (gestures, no gestures, etc.) or levels of new spells researched and/or created.

What would this talent be called and how much IQ would it require? The same IQ as for Scholar Talent would be a fair start.

Potential Names:
Wizardly Scholar
Magic Scholar
Scholastic Wizardry
Magical Knowledge
...

I guess that any further discussion should go into house rules.
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Old 10-03-2022, 12:50 PM   #7
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Scholar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
  • Are there synergies to be found by combining Scholar with other skills?
A scholar who also has Charisma (+1 on reaction rolls), Courtly Graces (+1 on many), and Bard (+1 on most) could be an exceptional "face" for a party of adventurers, since on many reaction rolls they will have at least +3, making a friendly reaction almost guaranteed. Alternatively, use either the Look Your Best (+2) or Persuasiveness (+2) spells to buff up for nearly automatic friendly reactions.
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Old 10-04-2022, 01:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Scholar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
A scholar who also has Charisma (+1 on reaction rolls), Courtly Graces (+1 on many), and Bard (+1 on most) could be an exceptional "face" for a party of adventurers, since on many reaction rolls they will have at least +3, making a friendly reaction almost guaranteed. Alternatively, use either the Look Your Best (+2) or Persuasiveness (+2) spells to buff up for nearly automatic friendly reactions.
Yes there is synergy as you stated. I just want to remind you there is a maximum of +3 to reaction rolls. ITL page 7, "The modifiers to a reaction roll cannot give a character or party better than a +3 bonus. Nobody is so charismatic that they make friends every time."
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Old 10-04-2022, 06:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Scholar

I suggest a sub-talent.

IQ 12 Talent
Learned:(2): Can research and teach. Knows a good deal about history and about customs of various races and peoples, and can (on a 4-die roll vs IQ) make a very good guess about the origin of most artifacts or objects. Prerequisite: Literacy.

Someone that is Learned (LER-ned) does not have the diploma from a university that gives them the respect in all civilized areas. They also might not recognize any languages seen.

Also, here is a thread on Research.
http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread...ed#post2342411

-----------------------------------

My view of a wizard who does research into magic would the LEARNED Talent at the same 2 point cost, but only related to the field of magic.
If they majored in Magic, then they do not get any bonus for other fields. They know a good deal about magical history and about customs of various magical races and magical techniques, and can (on a 4-die roll vs. IQ) make a very good guess about the origin of most magical artifacts or magical objects.
They will always identify Sorcerer's Tongue.
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Old 10-04-2022, 07:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Scholar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axly Suregrip View Post
Yes there is synergy as you stated. I just want to remind you there is a maximum of +3 to reaction rolls. ITL page 7, "The modifiers to a reaction roll cannot give a character or party better than a +3 bonus. Nobody is so charismatic that they make friends every time."
Thanks for that reminder. The bonus cushion beyond +3 could soak up an penalties, though.
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