So, the talent trees in EotE – or specialisations as they are called – are mostly career specific and usually offer a wide range of abilities, some of these overlap with other talent trees. These talent trees are also tied to career – with the one exception of the Force Sensitive Exile tree. While a lot can be said about pros and cons of class/career based systems, I for one like them. Yes, a career-less system gives greater freedom, but can also be harder to balance. I’d prefer a good career-less system, but the solution is easier to balance and it gives more edge to people who specialise within their careers “early” on – by which I mean the first hundred or two hundred XP. This post is not about creating a career-less system though, nor that I think the game needs it.
Universal talent trees where introduced in one of the later updates, particularly for the FSE talent tree (to keep cost down). This part of the rules is pretty nice – it opens up for the creation of specific talent trees, that cost less than cross-career trees, but offer – in my opinion – a lot more specific talents and abilities.
I’ve been thinking about a Teräs Käsi talent tree. A tree that offers brawl/martial art specific version of other talents, plus one or two specialisation skill through buying a talent, i.e. not by default.
Initial thoughts would be Feral Strength for brawl only, Lethal Strike for brawl only, toughness, grit, a talent or two that gives you the brawl, vigilance, discipline and cool skills as career skills (perhaps some others too/instead). Furthermore it should have some talent that, by spending a destiny point – or taking X amount of strain – can ignore 1 soak (this could be a ranked talent also), another talent that ignores 1 point of defence from armour/defensive equipment (i.e. static bonuses not manoeuvre based bonuses). A similar talent to Point Blank shot – that adds +1 to brawl damage (perhaps per rank). The idea is to make it narrow in effect, but effective within that niche. A high-ranking talent could also allow for one (1) melee weapon of a certain type (present a list of limited choices) that could receive the benefits of the Teräs Käsi talents when used in a type of weapon-kata situation.
I’m still miles away from making a proposal for such a tree, but I throw the idea out there for someone else to see, use or think about. My basic take on the universal talent trees are that they should be limited in scope, focusing on a (very) narrow area of expertise, rather than more general combat skills, medical skills and the like.