Clarification on Talents

This morning I posted what is likely to be the core of the combat talents (Martial Training) and some examples of what supporting talents might look like.

There were some questions about how the individual talents work, particularly with regard to improving over time.

Unless otherwise indicated, at each tier a talent does everything it did at lower tiers, plus something new or more. Sometimes the new ability is described in terms of a lower-tier ability, sometimes it is net new and does not.

For instance, Martial Training improves your Martial Training bonus by +1 per tier. If you have it at Master tier you get a +3 bonus, if you have it at Champion tier you get a +4 bonus. If you previously had this talent at the Master Tier the +4 bonus replaces the +3 bonus and the Master slot previously used is available for reuse to gain a different talent or upgrade another one that is Heroic or lower.

If a talent has specific benefits at each tier, the benefits accrue. They don’t stack, per se, because there may be no numeric benefit. For instance, the Ride talent below has nothing that can stack, but you gain the benefits of each tier at or below the tier of the slot used to take the talent.


Tier Benefit
Basic +5 competence to Ride checks, you are considered a trained rider.
Heroic When riding, difficult terrain (anything that reduces movement to half) is no longer impeding – you can charge through the forest or across broken ground if you need to.
Master When riding you need only a nominal surface to ride on (you can ride across the top of an area full of brambles or on water or quicksand).
Champion When riding you are no longer limited to the ground, and can ride across open air or into the sky.
Legendary When riding you can travel between planes, as the plane shift spell.

If you have Master Ride you can easily ride across broken ground, through the forest, or across the lake – literally – as you will. If you later upgrade the talent to Champion you can ride into the air, and still ride on water or across broken ground without impediment. In all cases you get a +5 competence bonus to Ride checks.


  1. hadsil

    Just to be clear, and I’m not asking as if it’s a bad idea or anything, Master Ride allows you to make a normal warhorse walk on water? Champion makes it fly? I know you mentioned you want non-spellcasters to be able to do Wow stuff at the higher levels, and this qualifies. Now seeing an example of it will take some getting used to.

  2. Hadsil, you have it correct. If you’re good enough, you can make a horse do these things. Why? That Damn Good.

    When you bear in mind that at ninth level (when your horse can walk on water) your buddy the wizard can /teleport/ to the other side of the lake, this does not bother me at all in terms of balance. It’s a little gonzo in that you can’t do this in the real world, but by the outline of Echelon, you’re well beyond what we can actually do for real.

    And yeah, it takes a bit of getting used to.

  3. I’m actually tempted to make this a ‘Mount’ talent, where you just have a mount of a certain tier and that provides the special abilities (and hit points, and armor, and so on). That doesn’t make it a ‘skill’ talent, though — but it might be more reasonable to have ‘mounted combat’ talent be the skill talent for Ride and just make the unusual movements part of the mount instead.

    Yeah, it’s the details that’ll kill me.

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