To Ikkutas! – Character backgrounds and talents

Ikkutas Talents: Backgrounds and specialist skills

We will be using the following system for assigning and improving backgrounds, talents and specialist skills. This replaces rules sections 6 and 15, and 12.2 insofar as assigning and improving talents is concerned.

  1. Esgaroth Dwarves, but not other Dwarves, get to begin with and advance backgrounds or talents just like humans.
    Backgrounds provide skilled knowledge that attributes do not sum up. If you can think of a way in which your Dwarf’s background applies to a test, you receive a bonus to your SR depending on Expertise: Novice, Apprentice, Journeyman or Master.
    Talents are more specific to a ‘thing’ about your character. They are akin to feats, and may have very little to do with your Dwarf’s background, such as a warrior being a good cook, or a lot to do with it, such as a rogue being light-fingered. Instead of providing a small bonus to the SR, they reduce the difficulty of the SR.
  2. A Background or Talent is generated at creation using a normal card deck excluding Jokers.
    – If the attribute (among Charisma, Intelligence, or Constitution) a background links to is at least 17, this background is held at ‘Apprentice’ level and adds 5 to a skill or knowledge test that it relates to.
    – If the attribute is 10-16, this background is held at ‘Novice’ and adds 3.
    – If the attribute is lower than 10, raise it to 10 immediately and assign ‘Novice’ expertise to it. It will add 3.
  3. Dwarf rogues gain one extra background or general talent at creation.
  4. After first level, you may spend Adventure Points to gain further expertise in your character’s background, or purchase a new background should one offer itself.

Improving Talents or Background skills

Expertise Saving Roll Bonus Minimum Attribute Required Purchase cost in Adventure Points
Novice/Basic +3 10 300
Apprentice +5 17 600
Journeyman +7 24 900
Master +9 31 1200

Card Draw Backgrounds and Talents

  Diamonds (Luck) Hearts (Charisma) Spades (Intelligence) Clubs (Constitution)
A Student of history Zealot Runebearer (Truerunners) Watch/Jail
2 Speaks an ill-tongue Vagabond Trade – low E.g. Potters, Carriers Mine
3 Reads social cues Valet/Servant Trade – mid E.g. Tailers, Wainwrights Kennel/Rat
4 Knows ropes Thief/robber Trade – high E.g. Smiths, Masons Fisher/Smuggler
5 Knows a martial trick Thug Student Ferry
6 Good with animals Protagonist Scribe Charcoal
7 Good sense of direction Gambler Arts – muses E.g. Artist Brewer
8 Good cook Don Juan Arts – craft E.g. Glassblower Entertainer
9 Exceptionally patient Con-man Barber-surgeon Arbourer
10 Collects superstitions Agitator Apothecary Actor

Drawing a face card:

Fortune smiles on you! If you drew Hearts Spades or Clubs match the suit of the face card to Charisma, Intelligence or Constitution. Roll a d10 to determine a background. At your own discretion and should the attribute concerned have sufficient value to permit, you may add expertise in the background: 1 for a Jack, 2 for a Queen, and 3 for a King.

If you drew a Diamond face card, or should the attribute not permit any advance, you may immediately move the relevant attribute’s value up to a minimum of 10; or otherwise +3 for a Jack, +5 for a Queen, +7 for a King.

Specialist Talents and Classes

Should you roll TARO at creation, you may choose to become a specialist in that attribute with a new class name. It is not compulsory. The alternatives are:

  • Take a specialist talent. Specialist talents relate specifically to one attribute and work by reducing the difficulty of the required roll.
  • Roll a d10 on the appropriate list and take another background, or a further degree of expertise if already possessed and the attribute’s value permits it.

Talents broad or narrow

Example of narrow talent for Dexterity: Sharpshooter – Longbow. The character will need to use his preferred weapon, the Longbow, to use the talent but may be able to get a reduced target score because of that.

Example of broad talent for Dexterity: Light-fingered. This applies to range of dexterous skills such as cutpurse, card-sharp and so on.

If you cannot think of a talent, relax. Your talent does not apply to combat – in other words you cannot have a ‘better at fighting’ talent – and there is no rush, as it is not necessarily part of character background. Possibly the adventuring road ahead will provide you with one.

Specialist classes

Specialist careers are available should you roll TARO on Strength, Dexterity, Wizardry or Speed. You move away from the standard classes of warrior, rogue and wizard and give your character a new class. They keep the benefits of their original class, but also add their level to any saving roll on their specialist attribute. However, they will also receive a limitation based on their new class.

Specialist Class examples

Strength Dexterity Wizardry Speed
Ghetto defender Ranger Healer Bare-hand fighter
Paladin Trickster Combat mage Tunnel fighter
Athlete Artificer mage