Talents are the actual realization of your Ring of Power. Suppose you have a Ring of Pyromancy. Think you can just use whatever fire-starting or fire-like ability you want? Think again!
Talents can be thought of as special skills, "signature moves", and so on. They are what sum you up as a player, who may have access to a wide variety of abilities connected to their ring. Talents are more narrowly defined than the Ring of Power itself, but it’s not like you have to write down every detail.
All talents should describe a few things. One: what the talent actually does. Two: Is the talent scalable? Three: Is the talent relevant to your ring? And Four: Does it have weaknesses/tradeoffs? Most of the time you don't need to spell these out, and you can write out your power in a short paragraph or even a sentence or two.
Talents are gained more easily than Psyche or Rings. Every few months, one can request a new talent during a limited time period. These periods will be announced publicly, with plenty reminder to put in a request before the deadline. Typically the request period is two weeks long, and comes every three months.
There are a few other ways to gain talents. The next most common way is complete Episodes under the wing of a Circle leader. Typically, following an Episode to completion allows you to request an additional talent at the next upgrade period. Bonus talents may also be given as rewards for Seasons, or as rewards for completing other kinds of events in Providence.
The number of Talents you may have is limited by your Psyche rank. The number of talents is counted across all rings you may possess, so (for example) having three talents in one ring and four in another counts to a total of seven talents.
There are a lot of talents out there for examples already, and you may notice that they are typically short. Talents are expected to be short and a little vague as to their true strength. This is because, in the end, the strength of your powers is gauged by your psyche!
Often, we will ask people to revise a talent when they miss any of these criteria:
- Talents should do one thing.
For instance, generating a fireball has one fairly straightforward application: you make a fireball and it burns and explodes onto things. Although you might use your fireball in different situations, it should still have the same effects and mechanics to it. An example of an improper talent would be being able to shoot a variety of different elemental attacks - you basically have lightning bolts, fireballs, ice blasts, etc. all rolled into one!
Note there is one major exception to this rule: if you give your character a weapon as a talent, it is assumed they also have the proper skill to use it. You do not need two separate talents for this.
- Talents should be scalable.
This means that there is a clear way for your power to get stronger as your psyche improves. This restriction is more to keep your powers from becoming too weak later in the RP, rather than to keep them from being too strong. Fireballs, for example, can obviously be stronger in their explosive power, heat, speed, and such.
An example of a non-scalable power would be damage reflection: you reflect damage you take onto your enemy. But this never gets any stronger (or appropriately weaker), it has an absolute and static value to it! A quick fix is just to say you reflect some fraction of damage: the stronger your talent, the more damage you reflect! If your opponent has a higher psyche, they take less damage!
- Talents should be relevant to your ring theme.
Most of these should be implicit when you write your talent: just keep them in mind, and don't forget to tell us what your talent does!