TFT House Rules: Skills/Talents

Skill Points

One of the problems with long-term TFT campaigns is that in order to get more skills, you need to get smarter and smarter. We had one skill-driven character that ended up with an IQ over 25. This seemed ridiculous, since IQ affects other things like IQ rolls and the pool of available skills. So we developed the idea of Skill Points (SP).

The number of skills and spells that may be learned is modified by a new characteristic, Skill Points (SP). Someone may know up to (IQ + 2xSP) points of skills and spells. SP are gained just like other attributes. All people start with no SP and may have no more than IQ/4 rounded down. SP count as normal attributes for most purposes including calculating experience needed to increase an attribute. No rolls are ever made against SP, nor do SP modify IQ rolls. SP may also be considered "Spell Points".

Example: Joe the Barbarian (32 points) buys ST 11, DX 12, and IQ 9. He also buys Sword (2), Axe (2), Shield (1), Horsemanship (1), Alertness (2), and Swimming (1). After several adventures, Joe earns enough experience to get a point to spend. Since he has been studying Running, and he doesn't need more IQ to learn it, Joe decides to buy a Skill Point, instead of an IQ point. Joe is now ST 11, DX 12, IQ 9, and SP 1 with Running (2) added to his skill list.

Learning New Talents

Talents are classified in one of five categories which determine how they may be learned. The categories ('1' through '5') have the following meanings:

  1. This talent may be learned on your own with no assistance from someone already having the talent. Assistance from such a person will reduce the time needed to learn the talent by 25%.
  2. This talent can be learned on your own, but will take longer. Increase the time to learn by 25%, if done alone.
  3. This talent can be learned on your own, but with difficulty. Double the time to learn, if done alone.
  4. This talent can only be learned with an instructor's assistance.
  5. This talent can only be learned with an instructor's assistance and on-the-job training.

Examples of skill categories:

  1. Running, Silent Movement, Climbing, Swimming, Acute Hearing, etc.
  2. Sword, Bow, Crossbow, Horsemanship, Diver, etc.
  3. Thief, Expert Horsemanship, Tactics, Armorer, etc.
  4. Physicker, Literacy, Recognize Value, Fencing, Mechanician, Master Armorer, etc.
  5. Seamanship, Captain, Master Physicker, etc.

You must know all prerequisites talents of a talent before you may study that talent. Thus you may not study both a skill and any of its prerequisites at the same time. For example, you may not study Sword and Fencing at the same time, since Sword is a prerequisite of Fencing.

New and Changed Skills

IQ 8

Snowshoe (1)

A person with this talent and wearing snowshoes can walk on snow as if on solid ground. A +2 DX bonus is gained when fighting foes without snowshoes in snow over knee depth. Those without this talent using snowshoes must make a 2d/adjDX roll when moving more than 1/2 MA or when making any movement in combat, including changing facing. Woodsmen may learn this talent without expending any IQ points by spending one winter (3 months) to learn it. Moving through snow without either snowshoes or skis is as for water of similar depth (with no swimming or chance of drowning).

Sign Language (1)

Those with this talent know how to communicate by signing. There are a number of different sign languages used by various people including merchants, thieves, spies, etc. Someone with this skill knows one language. For each additional IQ point spent, two more languages may be learned. A 3d/adjDX roll is required to correctly sign a complicated message. Of course, no heavy gauntlets may be worn while signing.

Military Discipline (1)

Those with this talent are trained as soldiers. They may act in unison with others knowing this talent to improve their actions during combat. If everyone in a group knows this talent, they gain +1 on all reaction rolls. Only those with this talent may form a shield wall. It takes at least 6 months of soldiering to learn this talent.

IQ 9

Willpower (1)

A person with this talent has an extremely strong will. All rolls against IQ for such things as control spells (Control Person, Geas, etc.), questioning (torture), going berserk, leading people and other similar situations are adjusted by 2 in the person's favor. Also, new skills and spells may be learned in 10% less time. Wizards may learn this talent at normal cost.

Sleight of Hand (1)

Prerequisites: adjDX 13 and no gauntlets being worn when used.

Gives the person possessing this talent the ability to make small, handheld objects "disappear" (into a pocket or sleeve) on a 3d/adjDX roll. Observers can see through the trick on a 5d/IQ roll (4d with Alertness). Thieves with this talent who pickpockets are harder to notice if their target is small enough (increase roll to notice by 1d).

Skiing (1)

A person with this talent has a +4 MA over level snow using skis. Uphil is 1/2 MA and downhill is double MA. Triple MA downhill requires a 3d/adjDX roll every turn to avoid falling, quadruple MA requires a 4d/adjDX roll, etc. A fall means 1d-1 damage at triple MA, 2d-1 at quadruple, etc. A bonus of +2 DX is gained (for these rolls only) if poles are used. Combat is at -2 DX, except for missile and thrown weapons and all spells. An extra point of MA must be used to turn more than one hexside. Those without this talent are at -2 MA and -4 DX for all these rolls and must make a 3d/adjDX roll every turn during combat to avoid falling. The Running talent has no effect on either uphill or dowhill MA, but does on level snow MA.

IQ 10

Advanced Shield (2)

Prerequisites: Shield, adjDX 13.

Ability to use a shield wall and get other shield bonuses (see Advanced Shield Rules).

Pole Weapon Master (3)

Prerequisites: Pole Weapons, adjDX 14.

Talent for pole weapons as Fencing is for swords. See Fencing for other details.

Axeplay (3)

Prerequisites: Axe/Mace, adjDX 14.

Talent for axes, maces and hammers as Fencing is for swords. See Fencing for other details.

First Aid (1)

Very basic knowledge of physicking. Allows the person to heal 1 point of damage as physickers do. Those with this talent may learn Physicker talent for only 1 point.

IQ 11

Master Skier (1)

Prerequisite: Skiing.

Ability to use skis on snow to maximum advantage. On level snow, MA is doubled, uphill is 2/3 MA and downhill is triple MA. Quadruple MA requires a 3d/adjDX, etc. Falls (except during jumps) casue 1d less damage. Master skiers may ski jump when travelling downhill on a 3d/adjDX roll at double MA, 4d/adjDX at triple MA, etc. A fall while jumping adds +1 point of damage per multiple of MA.

Two Weapons (3) (modifications)

The ST required to wield the second weapon must be 1 less than the person's ST, but otherwise has no limitations. So someone with ST 11 could use any ST 10 or lower weapon for the second weapon, while a ST 14 person could use any one-handed weapon. The person must, of course, have the  appropriate weapon talent. The person may choose to parry with the second weapon as per the shield parry or as in the book. The person must state before the first attack if the shield-type parry will be used, and a -2 DX penalty on that attack will occur.

IQ 14

Master Vet (2)

Prerequisite: Vet.

Works for animals as the Master Physicker talent works for people. If you already have the Master Physicker talent, you may learn this talent for 1 point, and visa versa.