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Old 12-20-2021, 02:36 AM   #21
Steve Plambeck
 
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

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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.
Yes Shostak, I'm guilty as charged - LOL. I've been waving the flag for that idea since 1983. Metagaming had even accepted my article on this to publish in Interplay as an optional rule, but it folded before that next issue came out. So now I just wander the moors every night, ranting about it :)

If I've never mentioned it before, I love your approach to how magic and spells should be learned. And quests for musty old scrolls give adventures a certain flavor. In my group's world we even had a religious order devoted entirely to scouring the hidden places of the world for lost knowledge, and a long-lost encyclopedia of spells that was considered to be the holy grail.

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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.
They really need to cost something don't they, just to evenly regulate things. I wonder if fractional costs would be an option -- not quite free but still very inexpensive?
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Old 12-20-2021, 06:58 AM   #22
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

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They really need to cost something don't they, just to evenly regulate things.
And the coin paid is background.
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Old 12-20-2021, 07:05 AM   #23
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

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Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
Yes Shostak, I'm guilty as charged - LOL. I've been waving the flag for that idea since 1983. Metagaming had even accepted my article on this to publish in Interplay as an optional rule, but it folded before that next issue came out. So now I just wander the moors every night, ranting about it :)
Rotten luck! My much younger self would have found that to be such a fruitful article.
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If I've never mentioned it before, I love your approach to how magic and spells should be learned. And quests for musty old scrolls give adventures a certain flavor. In my group's world we even had a religious order devoted entirely to scouring the hidden places of the world for lost knowledge, and a long-lost encyclopedia of spells that was considered to be the holy grail.
Thank you (and I owe it to you).
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They really need to cost something don't they, just to evenly regulate things. I wonder if fractional costs would be an option -- not quite free but still very inexpensive?
Mundane Talents are odd things, since they can only deliver narrative advantage, yet they can cost up to three whopping points. And why are they all IQ 8? Without any guidance on what you get for paying two extra points for Artist than you would for Farmer (Really? Farming is not as simple as a 1-point talent would suggest), it seems the best approach is for a GM to just make them all cost one point and give one away for zero at character generation.
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Old 12-20-2021, 07:59 AM   #24
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

It is tricky to find advantage for many mundane talents, it's true. Some are not too bad. A trapper should be able to make simple traps suitable for animals, snares and such. A hunter should have some of the knowledge a naturalist has, but limited to typical game. A farmer knows a few things about plants, but this seems hard to payoff in-game.

I've allowed a fisherman to feed the party as a Woodsman would, at least when they are in a suitable setting. A beekeeper might know something about insects generally, but that doesn't seem all that helpful. They could, I suppose, find a means of protecting themselves from wasps in order to bypass a nest.

For a good role-player, these talents provide character. A good role-player uses the talents whenever appropriate, even to no particular advantage, just to round out the character. This is, of course, just a matter of "narrative advantage", as Shostak puts it, but it should entail some XP gain at least.
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Old 12-20-2021, 08:17 AM   #25
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

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For a good role-player, these talents provide character. A good role-player uses the talents whenever appropriate, even to no particular advantage, just to round out the character. This is, of course, just a matter of "narrative advantage"... but it should entail some XP gain at least.
That's a good point. It then becomes incumbent upon the GM to make certain there are opportunities for those Mundane Talents to get some time on stage, as Checkhov would have us do.
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Old 12-20-2021, 08:47 AM   #26
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That's a good point. It then becomes incumbent upon the GM to make certain there are opportunities for those Mundane Talents to get some time on stage, as Checkhov would have us do.
Right! Though that can be a bit difficult, especially to do it naturally. How is it that whenever Fred is playing, someone always has a sock that needs darning, but when he's not, there is nary a footwear related incident?
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Old 12-20-2021, 09:00 AM   #27
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

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It is tricky to find advantage for many mundane talents, it's true. Some are not too bad. A trapper should be able to make simple traps suitable for animals, snares and such. A hunter should have some of the knowledge a naturalist has, but limited to typical game. A farmer knows a few things about plants, but this seems hard to payoff in-game.

I've allowed a fisherman to feed the party as a Woodsman would, at least when they are in a suitable setting. A beekeeper might know something about insects generally, but that doesn't seem all that helpful. They could, I suppose, find a means of protecting themselves from wasps in order to bypass a nest.

For a good role-player, these talents provide character. A good role-player uses the talents whenever appropriate, even to no particular advantage, just to round out the character. This is, of course, just a matter of "narrative advantage", as Shostak puts it, but it should entail some XP gain at least.
Yes.

That last part is how I think it's meant. Those talents are mostly not adventuring talents - they're just things people may know because practically no one gets raised as just "an adventurer".

And it seems natural to me that the higher costs are for talents that take more to get a useful level of skill. As ITL says, Mundane talents are also available at Master level for 3 points. So yes, there can be a lot to Farming, but 1 point in Farming is also very useful - for doing much of the basic work of farming, and knowing things about it.

Artist/Calligrapher costs 3 points because it represents a high degree of ability. It lets you do something along the lines of this: https://pro-cdn.pixelmator.com/pro/s...anuscripts.jpg If you just want to be able to make reasonably good drawings, you could take "Drawing" for 1 point. (Drawing isn't listed, but as ITL says, not everything is.)


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That's a good point. It then becomes incumbent upon the GM to make certain there are opportunities for those Mundane Talents to get some time on stage, as Checkhov would have us do.
Well, I see games worlds like places you can visit or be a part of through roleplaying, and I want them to behave as makes sense, and if the players or GM can find logical ways that non-adventuring talents become relevant or interesting, or if that leads to play being something worth telling a story about later, then I see that as a nice bonus, but NOT something I'd want the GM to intentionally go out of the way of logic to artificially set up.

Last edited by Skarg; 12-20-2021 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 12-20-2021, 09:54 AM   #28
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

Note that Calligrapher is the required talent to copy magical books at ITL 141.
I'd like to know what Handyman enable, other than taking doors off their hinges in the labyrinth.
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Old 12-20-2021, 12:03 PM   #29
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

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And it seems natural to me that the higher costs are for talents that take more to get a useful level of skill. As ITL says, Mundane talents are also available at Master level for 3 points. So yes, there can be a lot to Farming, but 1 point in Farming is also very useful - for doing much of the basic work of farming, and knowing things about it.

Artist/Calligrapher costs 3 points because it represents a high degree of ability.
Then all Mundane Talents should be one point for the basic level, two for better, and three for master level, to allow for mediocre Calligraphers and Master Farmers. But again, the question is why bother if there isn't some kind of real payoff for the investment? You can put three points into Master Guitarist, but it doesn't actually give you anything nearly as useful as two points in Bard (which, admittedly, requires a modestly higher IQ).

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Well, I see games worlds like places you can visit or be a part of through roleplaying, and I want them to behave as makes sense, and if the players or GM can find logical ways that non-adventuring talents become relevant or interesting, or if that leads to play being something worth telling a story about later, then I see that as a nice bonus, but NOT something I'd want the GM to intentionally go out of the way of logic to artificially set up.
I wouldn't want the GM to go so far out of the way as to suspend the logic of the game, either. But, if I spent three precious points on Artist, I'd be more than a little disappointed if the GM made minimal attempt to have it be relevant in the adventures, just as I would if I spent points on Remove Traps and never found opportunity to utilize the talent.
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Old 12-20-2021, 03:38 PM   #30
Axly Suregrip
 
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Default Re: Mundane Talents and Backgrounds

This is how I use the Mundane talents. They allow for mundane jobs. Unfortunately, the Jobs Table does not list these as necessary for skills, so I have added these jobs to the table. Also note that any cost 1 or cost 2 Mundane talent has a Master level at cost 3 (this is in ITL). So, I have that added too. It just always seemed an obvious hole that job talents did not have jobs. This is what I have:

- All cost 1 Mundane Talents, but not Miner: $15, Risk 3/18
- All cost 2 Mundane Talents: $30, Risk 3/18
- All cost 3 Mundane Talents including Master Mundane talents but not Master Miner: $50, Risk 3/18

- Miner (cost 1): $30, 4/17
- Master Miner (cost 3): $55, 4/17

Miner is separate since it is a more dangerous profession.

Also note that there already is "fisherman" and "scribe" jobs on the job table. So, I say these are different than the mundane talent ones. For example, the mundane talent fisherman is shore fishing, while the job table fisherman that requires Seamanship talent is fishing from a boat/ship.

I did not bring this up in the House Rule collecting topic as I did not see it as a big deal. But maybe I should have.
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