More than one Talent Option each circle?

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
daniel_a
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More than one Talent Option each circle?

Post by daniel_a » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:19 pm

One if my players has suggested a house rule that would allow a player to choose more than one Talent Option each circle. His reasoning is that the Adept will advance more slowly through the circles, if he spends more LP on getting more Talents, and Ranks in more Talents, and that that will balance the increased number of Talents for the adept.
I understand his reasoning, but at the same time I wonder if there is something he or I have overlooked, when it comes to game balance, if I would allow this house rule. Will there be any balance issues, now or later on in the campaign, if an adept is allowed to have more Talents, if that is balanced by a slower Circle advancement?

Cheers,
Daniel

Belenus
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Re: More than one Talent Option each circle?

Post by Belenus » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:40 pm

He could just learn a second and third and so on discipline, if he wants to have more abilites ;)

daniel_a
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Re: More than one Talent Option each circle?

Post by daniel_a » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:50 pm

According to the rules he is allowed to pick one Talent Option each circle. He wants to pick more than one Talent Option each circle. And he can't get it via the Versatility Talent, since he's a dwarf.

Bonhumm
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Re: More than one Talent Option each circle?

Post by Bonhumm » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:15 pm

I was part of a group that house ruled that we could take 'unlimited' amount of Talent Option at any time BUT, to balances it a bit, it was ruled that Karma could only be used on the Discipline talents, not the talent options.

It went so-so. I did not stay long enough to figure out if there was any major issue with that for the balance but it was definitely adding a layer of complexity. Personally I would advise against it but this is up to the GM of course.

Such a rule, however, could conflict with the official optional rule of 'using all talents to advance' because you could end up with taking all the talent options that you care about at the first circle and then none later; thus forcing you to level up the Discipline talent of each Circle instead of a talent that you really care about for progression.

daniel_a
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Re: More than one Talent Option each circle?

Post by daniel_a » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:59 pm

Thanks for the insights. As the GM I will have to think a little about this before I allow the house rule or turn it down. But it was good to read about your experiences and thoughts on the matter.
/Daniel

Sharkforce
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Re: More than one Talent Option each circle?

Post by Sharkforce » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:18 pm

i would expect it to be a little bit stronger, but not dramatically so.

it will be stronger, because versatility is a form of power, and people aren't going to take an optional ability that they don't think is worth taking so they're only getting good stuff. that will of course be mitigated by cost, but still i expect a net gain.

it may also very slightly unbalance some things, though it's hard to say by how much.

consider the difference between, say.... elementalist (most of their options do different things from each other and/or add to things that the base discipline does not help with, although some of them could certainly be replaced with skills) as compared to warrior (2 talents that are extremely similar, a third that can only work in combination with one of those talents, 2 forms of combat that compete with the warrior's primary option for combat, and a talent that does nothing if the warrior decides not to use a shield) at first circle.

obviously, neither of them are forced to take *every* option, but the elementalist practically speaking has more useful options than the warrior. additionally, some of those options the elementalist might urgently want to take and would otherwise be in competition with each other (extra matrix or avoid blow at circle 1 is a difficult choice).

might i suggest that you look at the skills chapter and see which, if any, of the player's optional talents could have instead been skills? that would seem to sidestep the entire issue, and obviously places an increased cost on gaining the greater options to help compensate for the greater amount of power.

sigfriedmcwild
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Re: More than one Talent Option each circle?

Post by sigfriedmcwild » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:52 pm

Maybe you could allow people to pick extra talents from the options for the previous tier (so Novice can't, Journeyman gets to pick from Novice, and so on)

This maintains the hard choices at each tier that sharkforce mentions and (if you cost the new talents for the current tier) keeps the cost roughly in line with things like a second discipline. It also completely sidesteps the question of someone running out of talent options by buying too many talents too early.

I would still avoid mixing this with the all talents to advance option, although with the costing I suggest above it may be ok

Slimcreeper
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Re: More than one Talent Option each circle?

Post by Slimcreeper » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:48 pm

sigfriedmcwild wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:52 pm
Maybe you could allow people to pick extra talents from the options for the previous tier (so Novice can't, Journeyman gets to pick from Novice, and so on)
This seems reasonable. I’d also see giving a free skill rank at every circle, increasing the beginning free skill ranks, or just being generous with LP. It shouldn’t compete it’s versatility.

I’m in the game with the unlimited talent options and I don’t really care for it.

*edit don’t care for the house rule, not the game

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Mataxes
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Re: More than one Talent Option each circle?

Post by Mataxes » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:07 am

sigfriedmcwild wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:52 pm
Maybe you could allow people to pick extra talents from the options for the previous tier (so Novice can't, Journeyman gets to pick from Novice, and so on)
This is already allowed. Most players won't, though, because the Journeyman options are (broadly speaking) more powerful/better than the Novice by design.
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Sharkforce
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Re: More than one Talent Option each circle?

Post by Sharkforce » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:25 am

one other possible way to get the results the player might be hoping for would be to consider thread items. not every thread item does it, but for example if you were to look at the frost pouch, it allows you to use thread rank in place of spellcasting for a few tests related to using abilities that the frost pouch grants. and many thread items do have "+1 rank to <talent>" as something they grant, which the rules explicitly do tell us grants them the ability to use the talent if they didn't have it previously. that won't let them improve it to just whatever rank they like, or to choose knacks, but it still gives at least the basic skill to a low level, which may help give the player what they're looking for.

alternately, as mentioned... you can always multi-discipline :)

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