Saturday, June 7, 2014

Talents in Hero's Journey: Skills for Athletes

And here we are, with the last blog detailing Talents! We've already talked about the Talents of the first five Aspects, and now we're ready to tackle the last two. We kept them until the end and together because, while all the Aspects of course have multiple uses and can be applied to various physical pursuits, these two are the most firmly of the body and involve the most physical skills of running, jumping and climbing of trees.

The Hunter Aspect contains the Naturalism, Pursuit and Tracking Talents, as well as the passive Talent of Mettle.
The Warrior Aspect contains the Athleticism, Unarmed and Weaponry Talents, as well as the passive Talent of Brawn.

The Hunter Aspect is concerned with the mythic roles not just of the hunter, who pursues prey through the wilderness and moves as one with its elements, but also the lords of the wild who protect and nurture flora and fauna alike, or of the hermits who live as one with the land and become part of nature rather than the civilization of humanity. The Naturalism Talent is used to coexist with nature in all its forms, giving Heroes the ability to interact with animal life, find their way in the wilderness, successfully subsist off the land or anything else that involves nature itself. Pursuit, on the other hand, is the quintessential Hunter stat - it's about speed, movement, catching up to your target no matter how far it goes or how swiftly it flees. And Tracking, the last of the Hunter's specialized suite of skills, is for seeking out clues in the environment, following trails, and piecing together images of past events or recently-departed people based on the signs they leave behind.

Warriors, on the other hand, are straightforward: they are the fighters who take on armies or single opponents, who perform great physical feats and mighty deeds by the strengths of their arms alone. The Athleticism Talent is directly designed to do this, and is used for physical competitions and impressive physical deeds, allowing lifting massive weights, climbing mountains, challenging Amazons to a footrace or anything else that tests the limits of the body. Unarmed is the stat of choice for those who want to engage in legendary fisticuffs, fighting tooth and nail against their opponents with physical skill alone. Weaponry, last but not least, is rolled to fight with weapons of any kind, whether shot, thrown or swung - various weapons require different skills to those of us in the mortal world, it's true, but in the mythic world of heroes, the exact weapon doesn't matter, only that a Hero wields it to devastating effect.

As for the passives, the Hunter's Mettle is a spendable resource, similar to Purpose for the Leader or Inspiration for the Lover, while Brawn is unique in that it is a static value that affects the physical capabilities of a given Hero.

Mettle governs a Hero's ability to keep going without suffering from the physical effects of deprivation or exhaustion, just as a Hunter may need to spend weeks on the trail without slowing or succumbing to their tiredness in order to catch up with their quarry. A Hero can spend a point of their Mettle to temporarily avoid the effects of going without food, water or sleep; normally even Heroes begin to suffer from deprivation in these areas, gaining penalties to their actions, but those with enough Mettle can power through the fatigue when it matters most.

The Warrior passive, Brawn, is exactly what it sounds like - raw physical might. It's a static value that governs a Hero's general physical capabilities: how much they can lift and carry or how far they can throw things, and other similar measurements of strength. These are used for everyday issues when a Hero needs to figure out how much they can lift or how far they can hurl a javelin to spear an oncoming monster, although situations where a Hero has to match their prowess against someone else's might involve a roll instead.

Those are the last of the Talents (and some of the most popular for monster-smashing, we imagine), and we hope everyone's got a good idea of the basic heroic skillsets available now. Next week we'll talk about some of the system's other mechanical goodies - if you've got requests, feel free to let us know on the forums!