Hey Game Fans, we’re back with another article on one of our favorite games, Edge of the Empire from Fantasy Flight Games. Today we’re going to take a look at Talents, how they work, how you get them, what you can do with them and hopefully answer some interesting character building questions. Let’s start the deep dive into talents, and see what we can figure out.
Talents (what do they do?)
Talents alter the game in one of four key ways (In most cases). They will either increase the amount of friendly dice to the pool (adding Boost dice to the pool), decrease the amount of hostile dice in the pool (reducing the number of Setback dice to the pool), give the character new options in interacting with the universe (either as combat actions or other actions), or increase the character’s statistics. There are a few that do other things, or do things in addition to these effects.
Talents are one of the ways that the game gives you to specialize your character to do some extremely cool things. Some talents let you add additional modifications to items, reduce the cost of building your own gear, shoot people in the face from a mile away (kind of) or push yourself past the normal limits a character of this career would be able to. Unless another character has access to the exact same Talent Tree you do (and the only way that usually happens is if they start with the same Specialization you did or bought into it later), they just don’t have the access to the Talents you do.
Talents are one of the ways that you can build your character in a different way from another character that has the same career and specialization as yours. The Talent trees (more on those in a bit) give you some flexibility in what talents you want to pick up, and you can always purchase access to new Talent trees by spending experience points to pick up a Specialization. This leads us into…
Talents (How do i get them?)
Talents (unlike money) are laid out in trees. Each career specialization has a specific talent tree attached to it, and when you choose that as your starting specialization, you get access to the talents on the tree. This means you can purchase individual talents from your tree, but there are some restrictions. You have to read the tree from top to bottom, and there are lines that move down the tree. You can only purchase a talent on the tree if you can connect the lines from the talents you have to the talent you’re purchasing. If there’s a gap, you have to pick up the talents in between before you can pick up the one you’re looking for. Not all of the trees are connected the same way, and it’s a good idea to look ahead to the talents you’re wanting to pick up so you can plan for the talents you need along the way.
Each Talent has a specific XP Cost associated with them, and you have to spend those experience points to add the talent to your character. Some talents can be purchased more than once, but you can only add a talent once from it’s slot on the talent tree, (you can’t purchase the same talent from the same spot on a talent tree more than once). So what do you do when you buy all the Talents on your Talent Tree?
Well, you probably should consider picking up another Specialization. This also costs some experience points, (depending on how many other specializations you have), but gives you access to the career skills for that specialization, and opens up another Talent Tree to make purchases from. This is the only method to acquire force abilities in Edge of the Empire, (and we’ll cover that eventually, if we get to force powers).
Talents are an interesting resource to manage in Edge of the Empire. There are a few different things you can spend experience points on, but Talents are the only way to increase your thresholds for your physical and mental damage values, and the only way you can increase your attributes after character creation.
Talents (Do I Need them?)
Probably the answer is yes. Talents enhance the skills and ideas behind a career and can give you a much better chance at succeeding at the tasks you’re trying for. If you’re looking for a way to expand your character in a new arc or direction, take a look at the available specializations and their talent trees. The extra career skills (each specialization has four associated with it) and the new talent tree can broaden your horizons or allow you to double down on the things you want your character to be good at. Overall, Talents are an incredibly useful addition to the Edge of the Empire Game.
Now, we’re not going to go through the massive list and chart of Talents because some of them are only found on one Talent Tree, and frankly, you need to read through this section of the book anyway. Do your research, and figure out what Talents you want your character to have and build to meet your character’s needs. You can pick up as many Talents as you can afford, or as few as you think you need. They all have a beneficial application for your character, so see what you think you’re going to put together and plan accordingly.
That’s it for today’s feature on Edge of the Empire, next week we’re going to be talking about credits and gear. Have fun, enjoy the shadows, and Game On, Game Fans.