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Yondalor

The Specialist Talent

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Hi there!

 

I haven't played the beta yet, beyond creating characters with my group, but I've already found some peculiarities in the rules. Reading this thread, I found some others have had similar thoughts in the past.

 

The Specialist talent seems a bit...unevocative of the setting. I wanted to have a Sage who's read some tomes he wasn't supposed to, and took the Specialist (Daemons) talent, but when I read the rules for it, they basically said: "You speak every daemonic language there is, you know how to heal daemons and you know how their infernal machines work."

 

That seems a little too...easy for a starting character. Daemonic languages and forbidden lore have always been somehow hard to acquire in 40K, so just bluntly saying you know them feels a little too much.

 

Now, we're having the first session of our beta test campaign later today, so my opinion might change, but for the moment it feels a little too blatant.

 

What do you think?

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I think it is still up to the GM, IF you may learn a certain Specialist-Talent at all, and in how far you learned it that it has use in certain situations.

 

Maybe it would make sense to add a certain "deepness" to it though, like Specialist Level 1-3

Edited by GauntZero

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The GM controls the difficulty of any tests, and may rule that a test simply isn't possible.

 

It's an abstraction, I guess - taking Specialist(Daemons) just means that the character might know something. It's probably better to look at it in reverse: Someone who doesn't have Specialist(Daemons) definitely doesn't know these things.

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I think I'd like the relevant areas of knowledge split out into separate Lore skills again. I think there is room for a general knowledge skill - it's too unwieldy and a points sink otherwise. But there are some things that really should be their own area - basically the forbidden lores such as Demonology, etc. It adds a dimension of forbidden knowledge and more depth to an investigation, that I enjoy.

 

It depends what sort of game you're running though. A game with the occasional deamon, you'd want to have a generic skill so someone could just say: "Oh, that's a Nurgle demon." A game where deamons are a big part of the stories, you'd want to be making rolls to see if you could tell what kind of demon a particular type of sacrifice has brought and what its motivations will be, etc.

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So, we had our first session today and I think I learned something more about what troubles me about the Specialist talent. It's not how it works in game but rather how available it is to everyone.

 

In the first edition even the least daemons were spoken of like a serious threat, and their names and natures were not mentioned lightly. Now it feels like every citizen of the Imperium could know of them if he had the inclination to study. Same with the xenos, it feels like information about them is as commonplace as information about Adeptus Arbites or the Ministorum.

 

I know some of you might not agree with me, but I feel the Specialist talent would be better off reserved to the institutions of the Imperium, while knowledge of daemonology, the Warp and xenos could be a different talent altogether, with perhaps higher requirements, or maybe even an Elite Advance in itself.

 

What are your thoughts on this?

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"Such possibly forbidden knowledge should come with a sufficient tale of how the Acolyte came by this information however, either through prior experience or associations."

This really flags to me that Specialist is a talent well within the realms of GM approval. It's not something you should take without significant explanation, and the GM's go ahead.

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"Such possibly forbidden knowledge should come with a sufficient tale of how the Acolyte came by this information however, either through prior experience or associations."

This really flags to me that Specialist is a talent well within the realms of GM approval. It's not something you should take without significant explanation, and the GM's go ahead.

 

I agree with this, don't allow the players to know everything about demons if they do not have the necessary background or have come across the means to learn it (means that the GM has provided).

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"You speak every daemonic language there is, you know how to heal daemons and you know how their infernal machines work."

Provided you can pass all the Linguistics, Medicae and Tech Use tests involved in either of these.

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Yup. If a player can't come up with a good story how he acquired daemonic lore (and got away with it), he can't have it. On the other hand, if you're playing a Malleus and combat-oriented campaign, you wouldn't want your players to spend half their EXP on a collection of obscure skills, for it's quite possible they end up knowing all about daemons but unable to actually harm one :)

 

The Specialist talent is actually a very good idea, IMHO. It takes a single skill for remembering things and then expands upon it by setting many areas of expertise. In essence, it's not so different from the old Knowledge skills, but it avoids overcrowding of a skill tree, which is great.

By the way, the easiest way for a DM to make daemonic / xenos / other forbidden lore feel 'more special' is to split up the respective talent into more numerous groups. For example, in addition to 'Daemons' you can have 'Khorne', 'Nurgle', 'Malal', 'Angron'... and any other number of daemonic-related groups of knowledge. They should probably cost less than the general talent (but have it as a prerequisite, as they essentially expand upon it), but could provide access to detailed areas of expertise otherwise unavailable to a player.

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So, we had our first session today and I think I learned something more about what troubles me about the Specialist talent. It's not how it works in game but rather how available it is to everyone.

 

 

I agree. They really should explicitly require GM approval.

 

 

Yup. If a player can't come up with a good story how he acquired daemonic lore (and got away with it), he can't have it. On the other hand, if you're playing a Malleus and combat-oriented campaign, you wouldn't want your players to spend half their EXP on a collection of obscure skills, for it's quite possible they end up knowing all about daemons but unable to actually harm one :)

 

The Specialist talent is actually a very good idea, IMHO. It takes a single skill for remembering things and then expands upon it by setting many areas of expertise. In essence, it's not so different from the old Knowledge skills, but it avoids overcrowding of a skill tree, which is great.

By the way, the easiest way for a DM to make daemonic / xenos / other forbidden lore feel 'more special' is to split up the respective talent into more numerous groups. For example, in addition to 'Daemons' you can have 'Khorne', 'Nurgle', 'Malal', 'Angron'... and any other number of daemonic-related groups of knowledge. They should probably cost less than the general talent (but have it as a prerequisite, as they essentially expand upon it), but could provide access to detailed areas of expertise otherwise unavailable to a player.

 

What about, instead of costing more than a generic specialist talent, require a generic specialist talent as a prerequisite ?

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What about, instead of costing more than a generic specialist talent, require a generic specialist talent as a prerequisite ?

 

Ehm... that's what I said, no? :)

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Xenos are already divided by types.

 

Seeing as knowing about, repectively, daemons, mutants, heretical cults and chaos space marines takes a Talent each already, I really don't think we're dealing with too broad fields of expertise here. More specific knowledge is better left to GM adjudication.

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Xenos being divided by types is one I find iffy, honestly. Purely because not having a plain and simple "Xenos" speciality means you're leaving out a LOT of potential species. There's more out there than Orks, Tau, Eldar, Necrons and Tyranids.

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It seems to me that categories here are very easily house-ruled.

I'd rather the book mentioned that the GM might add/remove categories as befits the campaign, rather than FFG trying to cover every conceivable category.

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Yeah I think the talent should have things really specialized and generic things you can say your good at.  Like say you have a talent for xenos, but your really specialized with dark eldars because you fought a decade long campaign against those things.  Your going to know more about those than some guy with just a xeno specialists.

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Perhaps it might be worth splitting the talent into specialties and sub-specialties, like someone above said? Say, you buy Specialist (Xenos) for 300XP, then for 200XP (maybe less) each, you can buy Eldar, Dark Eldar, Orks etc. General knowledge should come before specialisation, after all.

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Yeah I kinda what to see this.

 

Specialist (Imperium)  -->  Specialist (Adeptus Astartus)  -->  Specialist (Space Wolves)

 

Specialist (Chaos)  -->  Specialist (Daemons)  -->  Specialist (Chaos Undivided)

 

Specialist (Xenos)  -->  Specialist (Tau)  -->  Specialist (Kroot)

 

I think those are a find example of what I am talking about.

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Re-thinking this, I would leave it up to the GM to change/add knowledge categories.

To balance the categories a little out, one could say, the broader to category, the less specific is the players knowledge.

E.g. Lore Xenos can definitely cover more, but certain details for specific races are not covered or only very hard to obtain.

In contrast, Lore Craftworld Eldar would include nothing about the Slaught, but can provide with ver detailed information about the Eldar.

Very secret knowledge is something I would only grant with the right talent PLUS an appropriate ingame source (e.g. a tome, an appointment with a farseer, a daemonic ritual, a secret inquisition protocoll, membership in a secret society...)

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I would prefer if Specialist Knowledge (Chaos) was Specialist Knowledge (Warp).  They are very similar and interrelated but I think warp fits better.

 

I was thinking warp would be more neutral actually.  Given that sanctioned psykers and navigators would use that.

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