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Old 12-17-2021, 04:10 PM   #11
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I assume it is pretty common that many wizards learned some non-wizardly talent(s) before it was sorted out that they had wizardly gifts and ought to be studying magic rather than their family trade, etc.
Would you charge double for such non-wizardly mundane talents? Seems like one should, per RAW.
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Old 12-17-2021, 05:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

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I assume it is pretty common that many wizards learned some non-wizardly talent(s) before it was sorted out that they had wizardly gifts and ought to be studying magic rather than their family trade, etc.
Then why aren't these pre-study talents at heroic cost?
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Old 12-17-2021, 05:44 PM   #13
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

It kind of depends on why most Talents cost double for a Wizard. Is it because Wizards must focus on magic because it's difficult to learn? In that case, mundane talents learned before choosing to study magic might not suffer from the Wizard penalty. On the other hand, are those well-suited for wizardry just not good at learning mundane stuff? If so, then Mundane Talents should cost double even if they represent background knowledge.

I could go either way, but I tend to think that one point Mundane Talents aren't all that useful in play but serve to distinguish characters from one another. For that reason, I'm okay with letting Wizards get a one-point Mundane Talent for free, just like Heroes.

I also let that free Mundane point be spent on languages, since otherwise non-human races end up paying an extra IQ point on a language or the races end up so homogenized that no one bats an eye at a dwarf, orc or goblin who speaks only Common. I'm not keen on that. I also disagree with Skarg that the non-human races generally have enough advantages so that the cost of a language evens out. I suppose it's true for lovable halflings, fleet elves and industrious dwarves, but orcs get doodlysquat from their selection, right? And goblins have the curse of stringent promisekeeping.
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Old 12-17-2021, 08:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

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Then why aren't these pre-study talents at heroic cost?
As long as itís house rules, why not ditch the hero/wizard cost penalties altogether and go truly classless?
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Old 12-18-2021, 09:00 AM   #15
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

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Would you charge double for such non-wizardly mundane talents? Seems like one should, per RAW.
Yes, but GMs can do what they want, particularly with what starting characters are allowed, so what I tend to do with such a wizard is give them a 1(x2)-point mundane talent if there is such in their background, though if it's a talent they don't care about and/or haven't kept giving any attention, then it'll be rusty and not as good as someone who actually keeps up with it... if/when that comes into play.

Such talents can add personality to characters, and be fun and amusing whether the talents are neglected ("oh, I actually know something about beekeeping...") or kept fresh ("No! We are not just buying salt pork and jerky for rations! Look at the grower's market over there! I see I'll be the one cooking while we're on the road!")

Last edited by Skarg; 12-18-2021 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 12-18-2021, 09:03 AM   #16
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

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Then why aren't these pre-study talents at heroic cost?
1) Because who cares if a wizard is getting a theoretical discount on Baker?

and/or

2) Because they are, and either the GM gives it to them (if their background and behavior during play supports that they still keep up the talent, rather than having neglected it for years), OR the GM specifies that they only get it for free at a neglected level.
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Old 12-18-2021, 12:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

I tend to approach 'mundane' talents as background color TBH. I let players select any skill they want. I don't charge IQ for them at all, but my list also doesn't include complex professions like lawyers or master musicians.
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Old 12-19-2021, 01:30 AM   #18
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

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As long as itís house rules, why not ditch the hero/wizard cost penalties altogether and go truly classless?
Amen to that! Imagine how much simpler it gets for players and GMs alike when there are no exceptions to whether or not any talents cost double. Everything costs face value for everyone. Problem solved.

If this makes you fear wizards would become too powerful, then call Wizardry itself an (expensive) talent costing 4, 5, or 6 points, thus limiting most wizards to not so many more of the other talents than they can afford already under RAW.

And if you wish to avoid a hero "morphing" into a wizard in actual play (in the rare event they saved up all their XP to make such a transition) simply disallow it. Call the prerequisite for the Wizardry talent "Began study in childhood and completed by late adolescence", thus requiring a new PC that wants to be a wizard to take the Wizardry talent at character creation.
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Old 12-19-2021, 06:36 AM   #19
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

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If this makes you fear wizards would become too powerful, then call Wizardry itself an (expensive) talent costing 4, 5, or 6 points, thus limiting most wizards to not so many more of the other talents than they can afford already under RAW.
This is the approach put forward a long time ago on these forums (maybe by you, Steve?) that I eventually adopted. I also like the idea of books (or scrolls, or carvings on hidden tomb walls, etc) being necessary to learn the art of magic in general and specific spells in particular.

But back to the topic at hand, a free Mundane Talent is an excellent way to fill out a characterís background. But one wonders why all Mundane Talents donít cost 1 point. It would be nice to have some guidance on what you actually get for the investment for 2- and 3-point ones.
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Old 12-19-2021, 09:08 AM   #20
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

I guess I gotta write an article explaining how the mundane talents don't conflict with the other talents.
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