Thursday, May 28, 2015

Special Talents for White Star

I have been reading through James Spahn's excellent space opera RPG White Star this week and the notion of special talents struck me. Characters in the space opera genre (and many other genres, really) often seem to have special abilities, talents or unique things about them that set them apart.

I have used these types of "special talents" before in B/X games, so I looked up some old files and re-tooled them with a hydrospanner for use with White Star.

Presenting below, a quick list of special talents for PCs...

SPECIAL TALENTS
Special talents are unique traits possessed by PCs or notable NPCs. Special talents may be inherent or genetic traits, mystical powers, mutations from being exposed to weird radiation, benefits or knowledge gained from a background or upbringing, or simply well-practiced skills—whatever explanation works for the referee. Numerous special talents are presented below, some provide minor statistical benefits and others are general or knowledge-based traits.



GENERATING SPECIAL TALENTS

PCs gain one special talent roll at 1st level.



SPECIAL TALENTS TABLE

Roll d8   Special Talent
1             Dirty Fighter
2             Gizmo Sense
3             Linguist
4             Lucky
5             Mentalist
6             Quick Healer
7             Servant
8             Starbrat



Dirty Fighter: You know how to piss off your foes. Each combat round you may designate one opponent that you have already damaged. If that opponent attacks anyone other than you, he suffers a -1 penalty to his attack roll.

Gizmo Sense: You have a 10% chance per level (max 90% at 9th level) to identify the general purpose and function of any “magical,” ancient, pan-dimensional, or otherwise bizarre technological device. You can try this once per day.

Linguist: You possess a natural gift with languages. Regardless of your Intelligence score, you know two additional languages.

Lucky: You have the favor of the cosmos, are fated to do great deeds, or are just plain lucky. Once per day you can invoke your luck and roll two dice for any single die roll and take the better of the two results. You can decide before or after you’ve made the first die roll.

Mentalist: You are a mentalist. You possess a mysterious gift, as hard to command as a dream, which enables you to sense echoes of the past. Once per day, you can invoke a vision tied to the immediate area in which you are standing. A vision augments your rational senses, providing you with information about events and people at that location during the past. The vision lasts for one minute or until you leave the immediate area.

Quick Healer: You heal quickly from injury. You naturally heal 1d4 plus your Constitution modifier in hit points for a complete day of rest.

Servant: You have a butler, handmaiden, apprentice, servant android or some other assistant appropriate to your class and social standing. You may call upon your servant to perform any tasks or duties he is trained for. Your servant is not an adventurer (i.e. doesn’t possess a class) and will not fight for you, but he does know some useful skills appropriate to his training. You are required to provide and pay for your servant. At the referee’s discretion, your servant is not replaceable. If he is killed, you cannot call upon another servant until you perform a particular task or make an appropriate payment.

Starbrat: You grew up in starports and aboard starships. You know your way around them (including the service corridors and crawlspaces) and won’t get lost, no matter their size. You also know where to find interesting or black market items and people who don’t usually want to be found.