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Species' derived from existing talents

A conversation on another thread got me thinking about something I’d been meaning to table for discussion. Here was the exchange:

I think that, as Jim mentioned, if a player is coming up with a custom species of their own that almost all talents should be on the table as long as they have a logical (and not obviously entirely mechanical) reason for choosing said Traits.
I would also allow a character to take talents of another species if they are fitting. For example, I would allow a Klingon to take Proud and Honorable (Andorian) and a Denobulan to take Communal (Grazerite) or Peaceful Existence (Risian). Also, there are many species talents that are entirely character based, and in those instances, if the player has made a character whose personality is suited to one of those character-based talents, I would also allow that.

Now this (finally) brings me to what I actually want to discuss. Personally, I don’t like to use homebrew talents to make new species, especially when that species may later be introduced officially. Instead, I like to use existing talents handpicked from other official species’ to create them. I’ve included some examples where I was able to find talents that are fitting to them (that I would still allow a character of that species to have even if their species had their own talents to choose from). I included their 3 +1 Attributes in case anyone wants to use these as options in their campaign.

Aenar: Control, Insight, Reason (I think they’re too different from Andorians to use their Attributes)
Telepathy (Betazoid)
Communal (Grazerite)

Bynar: Control, Insight, Reason
Positronic brain (Soong-type Android)
R’uustai (Klingon)

El-Aurian: Insight, Presence, Reason
The long view (Edosian)
Open and insightful (Risian)

Gorn: Daring, Fitness, Reason
Hardened hide (Zaranite)
Stun resistance (Xindi-Reptilian)

Idanian: Control, Insight, Reason
Suspicious by nature (Cardassian)
Former initiate (Trill)

Jarada: Daring, Insight, Presence
The protocol of politics (Arbazan)
Cool under pressure (Arkarian)

Mizarian: Control, Insight, Presence
Peaceful existence (Risian)
Warm welcome (Bolian)

Nasat: Control, Insight, Reason
Chelon Shell (Rigellian Chelon)
Industrious mind (Rigellian Jelna)

Orion: Daring, Fitness, Presence
Deltan pheromones (Deltan)
Disarming nature (Caitian)

Reman: Daring, Fitness, Insight
Zenite in the soul (Ardanan)
Telepathic (Betazoid)

Retellian: Control, Daring, Fitness
Quick recovery (Arkarian)

Romulan: Control, Fitness, Reason
Suspicious by nature (Cardassian)
Hear all, trust nothing (Ferengi)

Takaran: Control, Fitness, Reason
Stun resistance (Xindi-Reptilian)
Brak’lul (Klingon)

Vissian: Control, Insight, Presence
Regimented mind (Cardassian)
Industrious mind (Rigellian Jelna)

Obviously in several instances the talent will need to be renamed, but doing it this way affords you further species options without having to use homebrew talents. Of course, if you like homebrew talents, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I figured the others that don’t might enjoy this method.

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This is a fantastic use of the system. I need to remember to copy this when I’m not on my phone, for use later.

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Nicely done! :smiley: So glad to see some creativity with the materials.

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Interesting idea for a thread, certainly. Nothing I need to add to the main thrust of the topic, but I’ll talk a little about other ways to use species talents outside of their originating species:

One extra consideration may be that characters raised amongst another culture may have talents from the culture where they grew up; this is less about talents that reflect physiological differences and more about ones that reflect the skills and techniques learned in that culture. For example, Michael Burnham demonstrably learned some aspects of Vulcan neuropressure and hand-to-hand combat growing up, as demonstrated by her use of the Vulcan Nerve Pinch. I’d arguably allow Worf to take human talents for the same reason.

Similarly, characters who have strong connections to a culture other than their own are good candidates for the more cultural type of species talent. Ben Sisko is arguably the human with the best claim to the Orb Encounter talent, as he’s the Emissary to the Prophets (though pretty much all the main DS9 cast have an encounter with one of the Orbs of the Prophets at some point).

Telepathy and Empathy are things that (more in TOS than later shows) turn up on characters seemingly at random (humans do produce telepaths, but only occasionally), so I’ll allow those on characters of any species so long as there’s a good justification.

(At times, I may also allow the one-off/one-scene use of a talent as a Determination point spend if it can be justified, such as with Data using the nerve pinch in TNG - he only uses it once, in Reunification - or grant temporary use of a talent if the situation justifies it, such as a character gaining a strange new ability because of plot shenanigans).

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This is cool. I’ll add these options into Continuing Mission’s Species Index soon.

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If you’re looking for names to change the talents to when necessary, here are some suggestions:

Former initiate: Diligent
Brak’lul: Biological Redundancies
Zenite in the soul: Miner
Deltan pheromones: Orion pheromones (naturally)
Chelon Shell: Nasat shell (also naturally)
Positronic brain: Synaptic processor
R’uustai: Partner
Hear all, trust nothing: Sceptical (I would change this one too because it seems odd to have a Ferengi rule of acquisition as a Romulan talent)

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So Riker and Troi communicating via telepathy for instance

That would be already covered by the Betazoid Empath talent:

You […] can communicate telepathically with […] those with whom you are extremely familiar.

TBH I don’t have the book to hand and have yet to play a Betazoid :wink:

With a new book out, I thought I’d expand on some options for a couple that I already mentioned and add another one:

Bynar: Control, Insight, Reason
Positronic brain (Soong-type Android)
R’uustai (Klingon)
Maximized Efficiency (Jye)

El-Aurian: Insight, Presence, Reason
The long view (Edosian)
Open and insightful (Risian)
Widely Traveled (Talaxian)

Nausicaan: Daring, Fitness, Presence
Born to Fight (Pendari)
The Ushaan (Andorian)
Into the Beach (Lurian)