Can you choose a talent option multiple times?

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Sharkforce
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Can you choose a talent option multiple times?

Post by Sharkforce » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:10 am

for clarity, i'm mostly looking at spell matrix talents. there may be some other situations where it might be potentially useful (perhaps for some talent that just straight up gives you a thing, rather than an ability... although astral pocket, for example, explicitly says you can only have one, so maybe there aren't others), but i think by far the most common talent that i'd expect people to want multiple copies of would be spell matrix talents.

i normally wouldn't ask... i got my first look at earthdawn years ago and i'm pretty sure in those earlier editions, you quite explicitly could not choose a talent twice unless it was listed twice. with that said, i've gone back and checked those books, and it really feels like magicians got more spell matrixes back then (or, i suppose, *could* get more, since it wasn't required iirc, just as it isn't strictly required for a magician to take spell matrix talent options in 4th edition).

looking at the elementalist, for example, it has 2 at circle 1, another at circle 2, and another at circle 4. they do have to wait until circle 7 for their next one, which is their first enhanced one, but they still got theirs earlier, and go higher at 7th and more so at 8th, placing them 2 above their 4th edition counterpart. at 9th, they're still one up as they get their first armoured matrix, then go back up to having more matrices at 12th. they go even at 13th, because their shared matrices aren't until 14th and 15th respectively, but still wind up with more total matrices. (note: this is comparing the max that could be gained in their respective editions).

(it gets a bit more wonky with multi-discipline because iirc if the talent came at a different circle, even if it was the same talent you could still take it... so an armoured matrix at 11th like the illusionist got was not the same as the armoured matrix an elementalist gets at 12th... but that's a pretty niche scenario i would think. maybe that was just a human versatility thing).

now, that changes if a magician can choose spell matrix multiple times. i don't think it's explicitly mentioned anywhere, possibly because nobody thought to mention it (as i mentioned, i'm pretty sure the rules were quite clear on that in the older edition i have, though i don't really care to scour the whole thing just to find it... in which case, the designer may have just forgotten to make it explicit). on the flip side, it may change rather more than i would have ever thought would be intended; in theory, a magician could have circle + 2 matrices, which seems rather much. then again, maybe the assumption was that any given magician would likely have at least a *few* talents they'd be interested in from their talent options that aren't spell matrix (or upgraded version of it) - most of the defensive talents available to magicians are talent options for example, and you'd think magicians like not getting stabbed as much as anyone else.

anyways, my gut feeling is that the answer is no. magicians just get fewer matrices in this edition than were possible to get in prior editions. but i figured i'd ask in case i get pleasantly surprised :P

your thoughts?

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Mataxes
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Re: Can you choose a talent option multiple times?

Post by Mataxes » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:47 am

Your gut is right on this one. In Fourth Edition you can only take any listed talent options once, and this does mean that magician get fewer inherent spell matrices than they did in previous editions.

That said, standard spell matrix objects aren't supposed to be super rare, and I think spell matrices should often be one of the powers of a "magician" thread item. That design choice isn't really intended to nerf spell casters -- I think it's entirely reasonable for magicians to have a couple of additional matrices via items.

It's mainly about making the optional talent system support more varied and interesting choices, giving the magician characters the ability to pick up something other than an additional spell matrix without feeling like they're falling behind in the spell arms race.
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Sharkforce
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Re: Can you choose a talent option multiple times?

Post by Sharkforce » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:16 pm

well, that was kinda what i figured, so no real surprise there =S

ottdmk
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Re: Can you choose a talent option multiple times?

Post by ottdmk » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:48 pm

It's also far easier to create a Spell Matrix item than any other "magical" item (common or thread) IMHO. Two Knacks will let you create a Matrix item of any matrix you know. The cost is high in Silver, but the only special ingredient needed is Orichalcum.

Sharkforce
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Re: Can you choose a talent option multiple times?

Post by Sharkforce » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:34 pm

ottdmk wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:48 pm
It's also far easier to create a Spell Matrix item than any other "magical" item (common or thread) IMHO. Two Knacks will let you create a Matrix item of any matrix you know. The cost is high in Silver, but the only special ingredient needed is Orichalcum.
sure, but unless i'm remembering wrong there's a limit to how many threads you can tie which will be taken up by those matrix items. meaning every thread you tie to a matrix object is a thread you're not able to use to increase your effectiveness in other ways (like group threads, thread items, tying threads to pattern items, etc). likewise with the silver; money you spend on making matrix objects is not spent on buying last chance charms, healing potions, bribing annoying officials, etc.

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Re: Can you choose a talent option multiple times?

Post by Tattered Rags » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:34 pm

And every Legend Point you spend on Talents is a Legend Point you can't spend on new spells or threads.
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Sharkforce
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Re: Can you choose a talent option multiple times?

Post by Sharkforce » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:14 pm

Tattered Rags wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:34 pm
And every Legend Point you spend on Talents is a Legend Point you can't spend on new spells or threads.
the difference here is that talents cost only legend points, while matrix objects are being presented as an option that costs legend points *and* silver *and* threads tied.

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Re: Can you choose a talent option multiple times?

Post by Mataxes » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:06 am

I don't generally consider "threads tied" to be terribly limiting, but that largely depends on how common thread items are in a given campaign. (I personally prefer to have fewer thread items, in order to focus more story potential on them and thereby make them more special.)
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Re: Can you choose a talent option multiple times?

Post by Sharkforce » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:02 am

Mataxes wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:06 am
I don't generally consider "threads tied" to be terribly limiting, but that largely depends on how common thread items are in a given campaign. (I personally prefer to have fewer thread items, in order to focus more story potential on them and thereby make them more special.)
well, let's consider how you could use your threads tied if you were so inclined. it's pretty worthwhile to try and make a formal group if you're playing in a regular campaign, that's up to 5 threads right there. if you also want to weave a thread to a location (a training ground for a beastmaster or cavalryman to train their animal companions, a laboratory/study for anyone to do research, a weaponsmith's forge, etc) there's another one gone.

at this point, we're already looking at up to 6 threads accounted for before even considering thread items at all, and i would argue that it's pretty reasonable for a circle 6-going-on-7 adept that is part of an experienced adventuring group to have a pattern item somewhere, so that could be another thread tied for each member of the group (possibly multiples, but pattern items are not really a set thing, so there's nothing conclusive on that). and i would argue that a large part of the difficulty of obtaining pattern items is related to the person you're trying to get a pattern item of stopping you (for example if you're looking for a pattern item of a powerful spirit you wish to summon regularly or a horror you're attempting to fight or a powerful questor of raggok that you're trying to stop, and thus wish to be more effective against), so i wouldn't expect finding a pattern item of one of your best friends that you've been working together with towards a common goal is going to be extremely hard either.

so i mean, that right there, that's a pretty easy 6-7 threads tied for anyone looking to make use of a resource that is often just lying there waiting to be used, at least in standard groups (in the west marches campaign you've got going on these forums, i've noticed group threads are not allowed to prevent favouritism). i don't think it's unreasonable to say that if threads tied are not limiting, it is probably because you're not taking advantage of your ability to tie threads to things. now add regular thread items on top of that (i don't think 1-2 thread items is particularly unreasonable to assume in the case of our theoretical circle 6+ adept) and you definitely need to ask yourself what you're willing to give up so that you can make room for a spell matrix object, at least until you've got a rather high thread weaving talent score (which most likely isn't going to happen until you're at a fairly high circle, i would suspect).

note: this presumes that you aren't allowing people to use thread weaving to boost thread weaving so that they can tie more threads and bigger threads. if you are, then i suppose someone could just make sure one of the talents they boost is thread weaving, but that feels a little sketchy to me... i'm not sure if it's explicitly restricted, but i have noticed that in all of the sample thread items in the books you are perfectly comfortable giving out a bonus to thread weaving tests, but not to thread weaving itself, and i've also noticed that the campaign people are coordinating on these forums has an explicit rule that thread items can never give a bonus to thread weaving as well, so it seems i'm not the only one who feels it's a teensy bit sketchy...

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