The basic talents are intended to represent hobby interests, having been an apprentice who never graduated to journeyman, being qualified to serve as an assistant, jobs the character never got the hang of, and perhaps skills the character once had in full form but has allowed to become rusty.
A character learning a talent would normally be expected to learn the basic form first and then upgrade. Upgrading from basic to full level costs the difference between the skills: there is no need to forget the basic version to get the IQ back. A character with the full talent who hasn't used it for a while can with GM approval allow themselves to "get out of practice", reducing the talent to basic status and freeing up the rest of the IQ cost to buy something else.''
Basic talents are cheaper to acquire than their corresponding full talents.
- Minimum IQ requirement is one less than the IQ required for the full talent, or two less if the talent is IQ 12+. Example: BASIC ALERTNESS requires IQ 8, BASIC SCHOLAR requires IQ 11.
- If there is an attribute prerequisite, such as a minimum DX or ST, then reduce it by two. Example: ACROBATICS requires DX 12 so BASIC ACROBATICS requires DX 10.
- Talent prerequisites: Compare the IQ required for the prerequisite with the IQ required for the basic talent being bought.
- If the prerequisite IQ is less than the purchased talent IQ, then the full talent is required. Example: BASIC SCHOLAR (IQ 11) requires LITERACY (IQ 8): BASIC LITERACY (IQ 7) is not sufficient.
- If the prerequisite IQ is greater than or equal to the purchased talent IQ, then only the basic talent is required. Example: BASIC WOODSMAN (IQ 10) does not require NATURALIST (IQ 10), instead BASIC NATURALIST (IQ 9) is sufficient.
- The IQ cost of the basic talent is some fraction of the IQ cost of the full talent.
- For a conservative approach, use one-half.
- For a more generous approach, use one-third. This is probably recommended.
Most talents can be taken in a basic form including ALERTNESS, FLINTKNAPPING, SLEIGHT OF HAND, any of the MUNDANE TALENTS, BOWYER/FLETCHER, ASTROLOGER (if allowed in your game), GAMBLING, SEX APPEAL, SKIING, SNOWSHOE, RUNNING, HORSEMANSHIP, SEAMANSHIP, BOATING, FARMING, LITERACY, SWIMMING, PRIEST, BARD, CHARISMA, SILENT MOVEMENT, ANIMAL HANDLER, RECOGNISE VALUE, DRIVER, CLIMBING, REMOVE TRAPS, NATURALIST, TRACKING, ACROBATICS, BUSINESS SENSE, ARMOURER, TACTICS, SCHOLAR, MECHANICIAN, THIEF, VENTRILOQUIST, WOODSMAN, DETECTION OF LIES, SPYING, FOLLOWER, any LANGUAGE, MATHEMATICIAN.
The effect is up to the GM but typically should be about half as effective as the full version of the skill. Some possible examples include:
- ALERTNESS: +2 to IQ for spotting things
- BARD: provide second-rate entertainment to drunks or accompaniment to a real bard serving as soloist
- BOWYER: make an inferior bow, either -1 DX, -1 damage or +1 ST to use
- REMOVE TRAPS (surely an accident waiting to happen): roll the number of dice times 1.5, with half a die counting as 1-2. For instance if a character with full remove traps rolls three dice against a target DX of 14 then the same character with no remove traps talent would roll 6 dice against 14 and a character with basic remove traps would roll five dice against 16.
- RUNNING: +1 MA
- SEAMANSHIP: -1 DX on board ship
- SEX APPEAL: less reliably attractive, captors will keep the prisoner alive until they lose interest
- TACTICS: win ties in initiative rolls
- THIEF: roll 4 dice to pick a pocket, roll 1.5 times the standard number of dice for picking a lock (as for REMOVE TRAPS).
Basic Advanced Talents and Other Oxymorons
Advanced talents are talents with a similar but less powerful prerequisite: THEOLOGIAN, STRATEGIST, VETERAN, anything with the word EXPERT or MASTER in the title, anything with a Roman numeral greater than I, anything I forgot to list but obviously should have and anything analogous created as a house rule.
It's possible to allow characters to buy the basic form of such a talent. It doesn't add much to the game and I'd probably advise against it, but if allowing it then use the following rules:
- The full version of the similar prerequisite is always required. BASIC MASTER PHYSICKER has PHYSICKER as a prerequisite, BASIC PHYSICKER is not sufficient.
- The cost is half the cost of the full advanced form. STRATEGIST costs 2 IQ to purchase, so it costs 1 IQ to buy BASIC STRATEGIST, and 1 IQ to upgrade to STRATEGIST.
- Minimum IQ is the mean of the standard full form and the advanced full form, rounded up. ''PRIEST requires IQ 9 and THEOLOGIAN requires IQ 14 so BASIC THEOLOGIAN requires IQ 11 and to upgrade to
Examples of effects:
- MASTER PHYSICKER: roll a die, heals 2 on a 1-3 and 3 on a 4-6.
- STRATEGIST: +1 and wins ties for initiative.