First Draft Talents: Skill Talents from the Tome of Awesome

The Tome of Awesome collects material posted primarily by Frank Trollman and Keith (no last name provided, not me).

I have seen statements from Frank that this is ‘freeware’ and ‘creative commons’, but no formal license statement in the document itself. Since I am using this as a placeholder at the moment and am likely to replace this later, I am considering this ‘conversation’ rather than ‘publication’.

The skill feats as presented in the Tome scale automatically with the number of ranks held in the related skill, just as Tome combat feats scale with Base Attack Bonus. The assignments, based on class skill maximum ranks, are:

Ranks RSRD Level Echelon Level Echelon Tier
0 0 Basic
4 1 5 Expert
9 6 10 Heroic
14 11 15 Master
19 16 20 Champion

I could probably pretty reasonably increase the tier of abilities currently assigned (by the Tome) at Master and Champion by one tier, but I have not yet done so because the talents are likely to be rewritten.

At the Basic tier, all skill talents grant “Trained {Skill}”. This provides a +4 competence bonus to all checks with the skill and the character is considered ‘Trained’ in the skill (many RSRD skills restrict check results for untrained characters).

At the Master tier, all skill talents granted Skill Mastery with the skill. Characters may always Take 10 with Mastered skills regardless of distraction or danger. I may increase the competence bonus to +8, but have not yet decided to do this.

Not all skills are currently represented. Climb, Craft, several Knowledge, Open Lock, Perform, Profession, and Speak Language are all unrepresented here.

Echelon Tome Skill Talents
Echelon Tome Skill Talents, click to download PDF

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  1. David Lamb

    ISTM the value of these talents varies a lot more than those in some of the previous talent lists. The Appraise talent looks a lot narrower to me than the Diplomacy variants, or Hide:Stealthy, for example. By contrast, most of the Iron Heroes talents I looked at seemed roughly equal, as did the Divine talents.

    Legendary forgery ought to be the equivalent of Dr. Who’s Psychic Paper, which counterfeits whatever ID or other similar documentation the reader expects to see.

    I’m included to combine Open Locks with Disable Device; without the need for distinct ability scores they look a lot more alike than in 3e. I’ll think about a proposal but right now am in the throes of finishing NaNoWriMo.

    I hope to have more comments later; I really like seeing more non-combat, non-spell talents.

    • The talents are, as a rule, pretty varied in power and applicability right now. They’re drawn from a number of sources with different assumptions and power curves.

      This is okay, though. Echelon can be adjusted, through selection of available talents, to fit a number of curves. This has not been done yet, so sadly it’s a bit of a mess that way. I expect to be either adjusting or rewriting many of them, or possibly just identifying what curve the talents fit so they can be chosen accordingly.

      In other words, I agree with your assessment, I just haven’t taken time to do anything about it yet 🙂

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