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Sensuki's Suggestions #021: Talents AND Feats


Sensuki

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This suggestion aims to solve three perceived problems:

 

  1. Some classes are a bit inflexible

    Barbarians, Monks and Fighters can't really be effective ranged characters, because their abilities do not support it. Casters don't have as broad spell selection as the IE games.
     
  2. Character Progression is pretty banal

    Compared to Icewind Dale 2 and BG2:TOB character progression feels pretty automatic and not really that 'exciting'.
     
  3. Talents are imbalanced

At the moment there are two types of Talents. Talents that are on the same level as a class ability, or close to it - such as "Bonus Knock Down", Talents that grant completely new active, modal or (good) passive abilities, or extra uses of existing ones; and Talents that are derivatives of D&D Feats that give a small passive bonus such as the Weapon Focus feats, Penetrating Blast and stuff like that.

 

In my opinion it is pretty clear that the actual ability style talents where you get something fairly substantial are superior to small passive bonuses.

 

My suggestion to fix this is to split Talents into two distinctive pools: Talents, which are effectively optional class abilities [active, modal or significant passive] or additional uses of current active abilities; and Feats, which are small passive benefits that give new small passive bonuses or augment existing class abilities with a small bonus.

 

An example of a Talent would be "Bonus Knock Down" or "Extra 1st Level Spell Cast"

 

An example of a Feat would be "Weapon Focus" or "Penetrating Blast"

 

Talents can be used to give classes a choice in how they want to build their character. Do you want to make a Ranged Fighter? Perhaps you can choose a bunch of Talents to augment that build and make it viable. Want to make a Gish? Pick Gish style Talents.

 

And finally, the progression of Talents and Feats should be something like this

 

Level 1: Talent

Level 2: Feat

Level 3: -

Level 4: Talent

Level 5: Feat

Level 6: - (Perhaps bonus Attribute?)

Level 7: Talent

Level 8: Feat

Level 9: -

Level 10: Talent

Level 11: Feat

Level 12: - (Perhaps bonus Attribute?)

 

or even Talent: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 / Feat: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12

 

This would be pretty easy to implement as well (other than the work on the Talents and Feats themselves) as all it really requires is a copy pasta of the Talent code, and some renaming and re-classification of Talents, Feats.

 

What do you guys think?

 

 

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I don't know dude. Adding one more layer to the already bloated system with unnecessary mechanics seems like overkill. As I suggested earlier to your comment: Why not have two types of talents instead? Would that not keep it simple?

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"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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Not at all a bad idea. I definitely think that, with only 12 levels, level-up needs to feel pretty significant in the "I'm developing my character's abilities in a way of my choosing" department.

 

Honestly, I don't even think getting something every level is crazy at all (even, in your system, a Talent AND Feat every level). That's how Fallout 3 did it, and there were far more than just 12 levels in that. Now, obviously the things gained would have to be designed to be so numerous. You couldn't just take the ones currently designed for every few levels and suddenly pick one every level. But, I think the frequency works better with the whole "lower total levels = more significance per level" idea.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I don't know dude. Adding one more layer to the already bloated system with unnecessary mechanics seems like overkill. As I suggested earlier to your comment: Why not have two types of talents instead? Would that not keep it simple?

 

Well that could also be confusing, may as well just rename the second talent pool. Could call em traits, perks, feats whatever. Doesn't matter.

Edited by Sensuki
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I agree with your points 1-3 100%! That's the sad truth as things stand now.

 

I love your idea of talents, as this would diversify the class builds by quite a margin. However, will feats added to this save the day? Not sure. I'd argue, make lots of new and useful talents, and then remove your feats and simply  add in talents there too at level up - so, basically, new talents, almost every level. :)

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

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I don't know dude. Adding one more layer to the already bloated system with unnecessary mechanics seems like overkill. As I suggested earlier to your comment: Why not have two types of talents instead? Would that not keep it simple?

 

Well that could also be confusing, may as well just rename the second talent pool. Could call em traits, perks, feats whatever. Doesn't matter.

 

Why would it be confusing? Talents can't be modal/active/passive ?

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"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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Why would it be confusing? Talents can't be modal/active/passive ?

If they are both called Talents but different pools, people are going to wonder why they can't choose the talent they wanted to get next. That's why I think they should be called different things.

Edited by Sensuki
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Actually no different pools are needed. Just give them every level. Level lock the more powerful ones directly or indirectly like DND does through skills/char level/class level/AB/other talents. 

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"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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First what the crap is a gish? I've seen the term thrown around like it's common knowledge. Well I've played rpgs since pool of radiance and beat the wizardrys, played pen and paper 3.5 and the horror of d&d 4, pathfinder, and a billion others and I never once encountered that term.

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First what the crap is a gish? I've seen the term thrown around like it's common knowledge. Well I've played rpgs since pool of radiance and beat the wizardrys, played pen and paper 3.5 and the horror of d&d 4, pathfinder, and a billion others and I never once encountered that term.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/gish

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"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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Spilting talents and feats seems like a good way to provide more class flexibility as well as universial boni. As it is, I don't see a Gish Cipher or sniper Rogue as viable builds.

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Second, the op suggestion make sense. Give a feat (generic bonus) every two levels, and a talent (class ability-specific bonus) every three. Plus one of each at first level.

Talent should improve class variety or class specialization. What distinguishes two types of fighters for instance, should mainly be due to the choice of talents. Feats should improve general things.

* 10% accuracy with bows is a feat.
* Ranged knockdown is a talent.

 

* 10% boost to duration is a feat.

* Change duration spells to have double effect for half the length is a talent.

 

* +5 to defenses is a feat.

* Use fortitude instead of will is a talent.

Edited by Headbomb
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Don't care about unbalanced talents as long as there's a lot of them - diversity.

 

Attributes should only be affected by chargen and items. I hate the levels that attributes get in NwN2, 30 STR fighter, no thank you.

You can only do that in epic. And by that time John Doe Fighters suck donkey marbles. 

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"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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There ought to be weapon specialization point every 2 or 5 so levels that let you pick either weapon accuracy bonuses or + defenses such as the new talents. That theres a "poison your weapon" talent available to everyone is petty nice, even if its an ability insead of a passive like Rogue´s Deep Wounds.

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I like the general concept but the wording is awkward...not sure what feats should be called, and how they should be presented...But I almost think it should be similar to skills.  

 

Actually, way back during the Kickstarter, Obsidian said there would a combat/non-combat division of skills.  So why don't they just have all of these perks/feats/ traits whatever they need to be called, treated like combat skills....set it up like the IE weapon proficiencies where every other level you can invest a point in something, and put caps on them by class.

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This suggestion aims to solve three perceived problems:

 

  1. Some classes are a bit inflexible

     

    Barbarians, Monks and Fighters can't really be effective ranged characters, because their abilities do not support it. Casters don't have as broad spell selection as the IE games.

     

  2. Character Progression is pretty banal

     

    Compared to Icewind Dale 2 and BG2:TOB character progression feels pretty automatic and not really that 'exciting'.

     

  3. Talents are imbalanced

At the moment there are two types of Talents. Talents that are on the same level as a class ability, or close to it - such as "Bonus Knock Down", Talents that grant completely new active, modal or (good) passive abilities, or extra uses of existing ones; and Talents that are derivatives of D&D Feats that give a small passive bonus such as the Weapon Focus feats, Penetrating Blast and stuff like that.

 

In my opinion it is pretty clear that the actual ability style talents where you get something fairly substantial are superior to small passive bonuses.

 

My suggestion to fix this is to split Talents into two distinctive pools: Talents, which are effectively optional class abilities [active, modal or significant passive] or additional uses of current active abilities; and Feats, which are small passive benefits that give new small passive bonuses or augment existing class abilities with a small bonus.

 

An example of a Talent would be "Bonus Knock Down" or "Extra 1st Level Spell Cast"

 

An example of a Feat would be "Weapon Focus" or "Penetrating Blast"

 

Talents can be used to give classes a choice in how they want to build their character. Do you want to make a Ranged Fighter? Perhaps you can choose a bunch of Talents to augment that build and make it viable. Want to make a Gish? Pick Gish style Talents.

 

And finally, the progression of Talents and Feats should be something like this

 

Level 1: Talent

Level 2: Feat

Level 3: -

Level 4: Talent

Level 5: Feat

Level 6: - (Perhaps bonus Attribute?)

Level 7: Talent

Level 8: Feat

Level 9: -

Level 10: Talent

Level 11: Feat

Level 12: - (Perhaps bonus Attribute?)

 

or even Talent: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 / Feat: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12

 

This would be pretty easy to implement as well (other than the work on the Talents and Feats themselves) as all it really requires is a copy pasta of the Talent code, and some renaming and re-classification of Talents, Feats.

 

What do you guys think?

 

I like everything about this.

More like KOTOR2 and Fallout series the better.

 

Classes are indeed very inflexible.

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Instead of adding feats why not make some of the class abilities optional. For instance instead of every fighter starting with knockdown you could get several choices of abilities and more would unlock on later levels. Rogues could choose between 1/use encounter "Blinding strike" or 2/use encounter "Crippling strike" etc.

 

That would really increase flexibiliy in my opinion.

 

 

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