Thread: The Talent/Flaw system

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  1. #1
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    Default The Talent/Flaw system

    This is something that I've been tweaking for a few years. It was originally just the traditional table-top RPG system, given a few superficial changes to make it suit the Naruto universe. Now it's much more directed for a free-form/forum-based RPG. Suggestions and critiques are welcome.

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    Naruto RPG Special Abilities. Additional Talent Points can be acquired by taking on Flaws, and extra points may be saved for later use. When selecting Talents and Flaws remember to only choose the ones that will work for your particular character because they may be stuck with them for a long time.

    After character creation, characters may be able to gain more talents/flaws, change the ones they have, or instead they might lose a talent/flaw. NOTE: a character may only have one "chakra nature affinity".

    Talents. Shinobi are highly skilled and versatile warriors; assassins, bodyguards, intelligence and counter-intelligence agents. Even the lowest shinobi can appear to be a other-worldly monster. This can be attributed to the unusual abilities they possess and inhuman training methods they are subjected to, which are expressed as talents.

    Originally Posted by Common Talents
    Common Talents are the basic skills that a character needs to be a shinobi, and all characters except for Candidates must have them.

    Chakra Formation (common) 0pts.
    Chakra is the combination of physical energy (stamina) and spiritual energy (chi), drawn out and formed through the use of Hand Seals and Hand Seal combinations, which is used to fuel Ninjutsu. Every shinobi is expected to be able to use chakra.

    Equipment Useage (common) 0pts.
    All shinobi are taught practical knowledge on how to use traditional weapons and tools: the four-point shuriken, the ring-butt kunai, fiber wire, a grappling hook, a small mirror, a steel file, smoke bombs, and explosive tags. These items are supplied by the ninja's home village.

    Generic Skillset (common) 0pts.
    Jutsu that one learns before becoming an official shinobi. They're typically a wide variety of low-level skills that range from stealth and information-gathering to combat.

    The Leaf Village's generic skillset is: Body Replacement (Ninjutsu, E-rank), Clone (Ninjutsu, E-rank), Rope Escape (Taijutsu, E-rank), and Transformation (Ninjutsu, E-rank). For Chuunin-rank and higher this also includes Wall Walking (Taijutsu, E-rank) and Water Walking (Taijutsu, E-rank).

    Chakra Sense (common/supreme) 0-1, or 4pts.
    Along with Chakra Formations comes the ability to detect other energies. This involves pressing one's own energy aura against another aura and "feeling" it out. The default ability allows only for sensing other auras when massive chakra is being produced for Jutsu at relatively close proximity. 1-point allows for sensing suppressed chakra that is tinted with aggression, known as "killing intent". 4-points enables a rare level of long-distance sensing that can reach out over several miles and improves Skill by 20%.
    Originally Posted by Custom Talents
    Custom Technique (common/supreme) 0-5pts.
    All shinobi are encouraged to experiment and practice their own special techniques. This is a cost guide for what types of techniques may be developed. E-rank techniques can be developed at no cost to the player, but they are the least effective skills. D-A rank techniques may cost between 1 to 5 points depending on its power, effect, and prerequisites.

    Bloodline Limit (super/supreme) 3-5pts.
    A bloodline limit is defined as a hereditary trait that allows access to special techniques. Each bloodline limit is different for each clan.

    Special Equipment (basic/super) 1-5pts.
    This gives the shinobi possession of and skill in using some piece of special equipment. Examples: wind-mill shuriken, unique herbal medicine, or chakra-sensitive weapons.
    Originally Posted by Stat Enhancement Talents
    Increased Chakra Pool (basic/super) 1-3pts.
    If a shinobi has an unusually high amount of stamina they are at a great advantage! This talent enhances the shinobi's Strength by +10% for each Talent Point spent.

    Chakra Control (basic/super) 1-3pts.
    This defines the shinobi's ability for exceptionally precise chakra formation and manipulation. This talent enhances the shinobi's Skill by +10% for each Talent Point spent.

    Performance Improvement (advanced/supreme) 2-5pts.
    Through exercise, practice, study, and tutelage a shinobi can increase their physical ability, technique, or jutsu limitations. Most shinobi are expected to raise these attributes to an appropriate level before being considered for a promotion. Point cost varies between ranks. Candidates have the lowest cost for an improvement (3 TP) while Chuunin have the highest (5 TP). Jounin may gain improvements only if the character is central to the plot or as staff-given prizes.
    Originally Posted by Nature Manipulation Talents
    Manipulating the nature of chakra is a complicated and difficult skill to obtain. For most shinobi it requires years of practice, and even the most talented geniuses may need weeks or months to learn how to control their natural affinity. For this reason, characters may only acquire Nature Manipulations during creation or after "time-skip" events that span several years.

    On top of that, more time is required to learn the advanced techniques that combine high-level shape manipulation with a known Nature Manipulation. It's because of this unavoidable difficulty that clans begin training their children in the family arts at a very young age.

    Earth Chakra Manipulation (basic/super) 1 or 3pts.
    The shinobi can learn to produce earth chakra with earth-type nature manipulation. 3-points is for a Natural Affinity towards earth, they can learn earth-type arts more easily. Shinobi who possess an affinity for earth chakra have 15% more Strength than others.

    Fire Chakra Manipulation (basic/super) 1 or 3pts.
    The shinobi can learn to produce fire chakra with fire-type nature manipulation. 3-points is for a Natural Affinity towards fire, they can learn fire-type arts more easily. Characters that have an affinity for fire chakra have 15% more Strength than others.

    Lightning Chakra Manipulation (basic/super) 1 or 3pts.
    The shinobi can learn to produce lightning chakra with lightning-type nature manipulation. 3-points is for a Natural Affinity towards lightning, they can learn lightning-type arts more easily. One who has a lightning affinity also has a 15% increase in Strength.

    Water Chakra Manipulation (basic/super) 1 or 3pts.
    The shinobi can learn to produce water chakra with water-type nature manipulation. 3-points is for a Natural Affinity towards water, they can learn water-type arts more easily. Shinobi that bare an affinity towards water chakra have 15% more Skill than others.

    Wind Chakra Manipulation (advanced/supreme) 2 or 4pts.
    The shinobi can learn to produce wind chakra with wind-type nature manipulation. 4-points is for a Natural Affinity towards wind. Characters that have a wind affinity have 20% more Skill than others.

    Sage Chakra Manipulation (unavailable) ?pts.
    The secret "sixth" element! Whereas all other chakra types are the combination of INTERNAL energies, this chakra draws on EXTERNAL energy: it is the energy hidden inside the earth and sky. It is inherently weak and is easily repelled by a shinobi's own exertion of chakra, so only a small number of people are aware of its existence. One must take absolute care to balance their own energy with the energy around them, drawing it into themselves and combining the physical, spiritual, and natural energies into a single force beyond the mortal level. Even among those that know about Sage chakra, only a select few have ever been able to master it.

    Medicinal Chakra Manipulation (advanced/supreme) 2 or 4pts.
    While the skill required for the medical Ninjutsu arts are high, Konohagakure is famous for their prolific use of medics. The Leaf's squad formation always includes one shinobi who is proficient in the medical arts for every three non-medics. 2pts only permits advanced use of traditional med-kits, and it is a requirement for squad leaders of three-man Genin teams; 4pts allows for the development of actual Medical Ninjutsu and increases Skill by 20%.

    Martial Arts Master (basic/super) 1 or 3pts.
    This increases proficiency with hand-to-hand and weapon-based fighting skill, aka Taijutsu. Taijutsu leans more towards the "light" side of chakra, and draws more heavily on physical energy than spiritual. 3-point lends an affinity towards the physical arts, and allows the shinobi to learn the higher forms of close-quarters combat as well as increasing the shinobi's Strength by 15%.

    Illusionist (basic/super) 1 or 3pts.
    Using the ninja art of illusion takes a well-trained shinobi. Since Genjutsu leans more towards the "dark" side of chakra illusionists develop more spiritual energy than physical. The 3-point Talent gives an affinity towards illusions, increases Skill by 15% and enables the character to learn higher levels of illusion-casting.
    Originally Posted by Misc.
    Advanced Senses (advanced) 2pts.
    Either through natural gifts or training the shinobi's senses may excel beyond the norm. Each sense improved in this way requires a separate Talent. Truly supernatural senses are classified as a bloodline or are limited to highly advanced jutsu effects.

    Summoning (advanced) 2pts.
    All Summoning techniques use the same C-rank Jutsu that summons monsters and items. The summoning involves using the blood of the shinobi as a "signature" and the called creature/item varies depending on the amount of chakra that is used to summon them. If the creatures does not respect the summoner, then the creature may not listen to any commands. When the summoned creature or item is injured or spends all of its chakra then they'll automatically return to their world of origin.

    Sealing (advanced) 2pts.
    The least used ninja art and the most difficult to learn. The effects of a sealing technique may range from physically holding a target in place and sealing large items into easy-to-carry scrolls to inflicting curses and counter-curses, depending on the sealer's individual Skill.

    Tactician (advanced/supreme) 2 or 4pts.
    Tacticians are among the most dangerous types of shinobi, and this is often a requirement for a shinobi to be assigned as a squad leader. 2pts and the character can quickly analyze the strengths and weaknesses of other shinobi. 4pts allows for incredible battle tactics and counter-tactics in a variety of situations.

    Technician (advanced/supreme) 2 or 4pts.
    A technician is someone that can understand the methods of a technique just by seeing it once. 2pts may develop new jutsu twice as fast as normal. 4pts gives the shinobi optimum development ability which also adds -1 to the point cost for developing new jutsu (lowering the cost to a minimum of 1 point).

    Animal Familiar (advanced/supreme) 2-5pts.
    Some shinobi and shinobi clans develop strong bonds with particular types of creatures or individual animals. The partnership that grows between the shinobi and their familiar can become quite effective, and the creature(s) themselves can learn to perform and participate in a broad range of ninja activities.
    Flaws. Not all shinobi are elite masters. Some individuals are plagued by problems that can only be cured after long years of hard work. While some flaws can be overcome, others cannot, and more can be picked up throughout a shinobi's lifetime.

    Originally Posted by Stat Reductions
    Regression (Lower Attribute) +2pts.
    Although improving one's attributes is the normal goal for all shinobi, one may have lower-than-average ability in one or more attributes than a given rank may usually require. (Chuunin with low strength instead of moderate strength)

    Weakness (No Increased Chakra Pool) +1-3pts.
    Some shinobi are physically inept. This flaw reduces the character's Strength by 10% for each point gained in this way.

    Bad Chakra Control (No Chakra Control) +1-3.
    Some shinobi have difficulty forming and manipulating their chakra. This flaw reduces Skill by 10% for each point gained in this way.
    Originally Posted by Jutsu Disabilities
    Chakra Senseless (No Chakra Sense) +1-2.
    Occasionally, a shinobi may be inept at using their aura to "sense" other auras, which makes them limited to using their natural senses or some other method of detection. 1-point disables the Chakra Sense Talent; 2-points also makes them completely unable to use any type of "detection" skill.

    Ninjutsu Ineptitude (No Nature Manipulation) +1 or 2pts.
    Some characters are bad at Ninjutsu, placing them at a severe disadvantage. 1-point reduces Strength by 15%, separately, the 2-points Flaw completely disables the use of Ninjutsu.

    Genjutsu Ineptitude (No Illusionist) +1 or 2pts.
    Strange but not unheard of, some shinobi have problems performing Genjutsu. 1-point reduces Skill by 15%, separately, 2-points completely disables the use of Genjutsu.

    Taijutsu Ineptitude (No Martial Arts Master) +1 or 2pts.
    Hand-to-hand fighting arts are essential for close-quarters combat, lacking this ability can be troublesome. 1-point lowers Strength by 15%, separately, 2-points lowers Skill by 15%.
    Originally Posted by Social Disabilities
    Rival (persistent competition) +1 to 3pts.
    A character may have a rival with whom the shinobi has struggles for dominance, either in the squad or ranking heriarchy. 1-point Rivals are shinobi that have inferior heritage, skills, and/or performances, 2-point Rivals are shinobi have a similar level of ability in relation to the character, 3-point Rival are shinobi that have superior heritage, skills, and/or performance ability. The Rival must be involved in most missions assigned to the character. A single character can have multiple rivals, but they cannot add up to more than +3 points at any single time.

    Simpleton (No Tactician/Technician) +2 or 3pts.
    This is a lack of tactical combat ability. 2-points forces the shinobi to only use head-on attacks, 3-points adds +1 to all jutsu development costs. These flaws are not cumulative; each level is a separate flaw.

    Fear (mental handicap) +2 or 3pts.
    Though it is unusual, sometimes shinobi fear something that they shouldn't and most others don't. 2-point fears can be challenging but not detrimental, 3-point fears will cause severe distress.
    Originally Posted by Misc.
    Impairment (physical handicap) +2 or 3pts.
    The medical shinobi of Konoha work hard to keep their comrades in good health, but sometimes that's just not enough. 2-points indicates something like a missing eye or a deformation, 3-points is for severe handicaps such as deafness, blindness, or an amputated limb.
    (The points gained from taking on FLAWS do not balance out with points spent on TALENTS. It's supposed to be that way. Points may also be gained through developing the character's story, but those gains cannot be calculated because it depends on the efforts from the player)
    Last edited by Pink Underoo; 09-09-2008 at 06:56 AM.
  2. #2
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    So let's say I start by taking Medical Ninjutsu for 2 points. Can I then spend only 1 point to upgrade it later? Or will that take the full 3?

    With the Ninjutsu/Genjutsu/Taijutsu Ineptitudes, 2 points seems way too low for a completely and permanent inability to use an entire school of techniques. Will there be a way for someone with an Ineptitude flaw to later learn those kinds of techniques?

    With the fear flaw, can a player specify what they're afraid of? Bill Yen, for example, might be horrible afraid of snakes, but nothing else. Would that fly?

    Does a player have to specify whether or not they're taking the common techs? I'm imagining a situation where someone wanted to RP their character actually learning to use equipment/basic techniques/chakra formation and have their "roster" -- if you will -- reflect their progress.

    Will you allow players to come up with their own flaws? Like maybe a Nature Ineptitude where I couldn't use any fire techniques and then you say how many points that would be worth.

    In Shippuden, we see a lot of people carrying around scrolls that contain things like basic weapons and the like. Would characters be able to do this for things like shuriken or kunai or med kits from the get-go, or would that require summoning/sealing?

    BTW, I really like having the "super" Nature Affinities provide different "statistical" bonuses.

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    So let's say I start by taking Medical Ninjutsu for 2 points. Can I then spend only 1 point to upgrade it later? Or will that take the full 3?
    You can "upgrade" it later, the same goes with getting something like Fire Nature Manipulation and later upgrading it to a Fire Affinity. The same goes with "Custom Techniques": you can make some cheesy D-rank jutsu then later upgrade it one point at a time if you want to ala Naruto's Rasengan.

    With the Ninjutsu/Genjutsu/Taijutsu Ineptitudes, 2 points seems way too low for a completely and permanent inability to use an entire school of techniques. Will there be a way for someone with an Ineptitude flaw to later learn those kinds of techniques?
    Flaws are supposed to give less points than Talents cost, it's to encourage people to gain Talents by developing their character instead of only exchanging Flaws for Talents. No Talent/Flaw is permanent. They can be changed or lost depending on how you develop your character. If you want something to be permanent then it can be, I suppose.

    With the fear flaw, can a player specify what they're afraid of? Bill Yen, for example, might be horrible afraid of snakes, but nothing else. Would that fly?
    Yes.

    Does a player have to specify whether or not they're taking the common techs? I'm imagining a situation where someone wanted to RP their character actually learning to use equipment/basic techniques/chakra formation and have their "roster" -- if you will -- reflect their progress.
    Candidates can be created without any of the Common Talents (Chakra Formation, Equipment Usage, Generic Skillset). However, characters who are officially ranked shinobi (Genin and above) must have these Talents because they're a prerequisite for becoming a shinobi.

    Additionally, certain Flaws may disallow certain jutsu from the Generic Skillset (for example, 2-point Bad Ninjutsu doesn't allow you to use any Ninjutsu). It's assumed that taking on such Flaws will be balanced out with some kind of Talent so the character may still be created at an official rank.

    Will you allow players to come up with their own flaws? Like maybe a Nature Ineptitude where I couldn't use any fire techniques and then you say how many points that would be worth.
    Everyone is encouraged to make up as much as they can.

    However, in the specific example you brought up I don't think I'd allow it. At one point I did have it set up so being unable to use a specific Nature Manipulation was counted as a Flaw, but after a while I figured that since most characters only use one or two types of Nature Manipulation anyway it would be abusive to gain points for something that isn't a true Flaw.

    In Shippuden, we see a lot of people carrying around scrolls that contain things like basic weapons and the like. Would characters be able to do this for things like shuriken or kunai or med kits from the get-go, or would that require summoning/sealing?
    The short answer is "you need Sealing to seal things inside scrolls". For instance, I'm sure that the manga character Tenten either knows someone who seals all of those weapons inside her giant scrolls or she does it herself. So, if you really need that kind of ability then your character should probably have that Talent or pair up with someone else who does.

    In a worst case scenario I suppose there could be a "Sealing Specialist" in Konoha who will seal minor items for you when you're at the village, but don't hold your breath. :X

    BTW, I really like having the "super" Nature Affinities provide different "statistical" bonuses.
    Yeah, I thought that the Talent itself wasn't really good enough to justify it. I mean, it only gives you the ability to learn certain types of jutsu which also cost Talent points. Some kind of additional bonus had to be tacked on.
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    However, in the specific example you brought up I don't think I'd allow it. At one point I did have it set up so being unable to use a specific Nature Manipulation was counted as a Flaw, but after a while I figured that since most characters only use one or two types of Nature Manipulation anyway it would be abusive to gain points for something that isn't a true Flaw.
    Just kind of playing Devil's Advocate now.

    So, will all players be limited to only being able to learn techniques from a couple of different elements? If I have Fire and Earth, will I not be able to learn Wind or Water, for example?

    It makes sense that people choose to specialize one element over another, its fun and thematic, but its still a conscious choice. Point being that someone else could just easily have an Earth, a Wind, and a couple Fire techniques. Its just letting people take a "flaw" without gaining the benefits of taking a flaw, at that point.

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    Just kind of playing Devil's Advocate now.

    So, will all players be limited to only being able to learn techniques from a couple of different elements? If I have Fire and Earth, will I not be able to learn Wind or Water, for example?

    It makes sense that people choose to specialize one element over another, its fun and thematic, but its still a conscious choice. Point being that someone else could just easily have an Earth, a Wind, and a couple Fire techniques. Its just letting people take a "flaw" without gaining the benefits of taking a flaw, at that point.
    Well, you can get all the Nature Manipulation Talents if you really want to. On the other hand, if you choose to ignore all of the Nature Manipulations that isn't really the same as the Ninjutsu Ineptitude Flaw. (although, if you're not going to use Ninjutsu then I would recommend that Flaw :X) It just means that your character has more points to spend on other Talents like Illusionist or Martial Arts Master or a bloodline art.
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    Hmmm... I just assumed the Natural Affinities were mutually exclusive, but it definitely doesn't say that anywhere. My bad.

    When you say "bloodline art" are you including things like multi-size, shadow mimic, and body swap?

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    Hmmm... I just assumed the Natural Affinities were mutually exclusive, but it definitely doesn't say that anywhere. My bad.

    When you say "bloodline art" are you including things like multi-size, shadow mimic, and body swap?
    That's a dicey subject. Those jutsu are definitely family-oriented but there's nothing that I can find that states they are family-only. For the sake of simplicity they probably would be considered bloodlines, though.
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    Yeah, I've seen people go both ways on it. Some of them make sense to call bloodlines (like Shino and Kiba), but some of them don't so much. When Shikamaru used his Kage Mane no Jutsu, for example, the people he was using it against usually knew what they had been hit by. The implication there, in my mind, is that more than Naru family can use it.

    If you didn't declare those bloodlines, what would the point cost be for, say, the Kage Mane?

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    I'm actually in the middle of working on a list of canon-related bloodlines. Here's what I have so far for the Nara "bloodline".

    The Nara family are one of the original families in Konohagakure, although they only recently began to gain notoriety due to the exploits of the super-genius tactician Shikamaru. The Shadow-Bind uses a constant flow of chakra to alter the caster's own shadow and turns it into a weapon. By extending the shadow and connecting it to someone else's shadow the opponent becomes bound to shinobi as long as the shadows remain linked! The shadow may also move freely among other types of shadows, and the closer the two shinobi are the stronger the Shadow-Bind becomes. Lower levels (3pts) of the Shadow-Bind cause the opponent to mimic the physical movements of the shinobi, while moderate levels (4pts) allow the shinobi to control the opponent independantly from their own movements and to bind up multiple opponents, while the highest levels (5pts) turn the shadow into a physical weapon capable of rising off of the ground and dealing physical damage.
    I think bloodlines will all be designed to be used with the "upgrade" system. You get a basic ability for the lowest cost, then improve it over time.
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    Well, you can get all the Nature Manipulation Talents if you really want to.
    I figured out where I got confused. Here's what the OP said:

    NOTE: a character may only have one "chakra nature affinity".
    Reading back through the descriptions of "[Element] Natured Chakra" I now see where I was confused. Getting the two-point talent gives you, for example, "Fire Nature Manipulation" while the three-point talent is "Fire Chakra Affinity." That's seems to be the way you're referring to them, anyway. If that's the case, it might not be a bad idea to reword the descriptions so its absolutely as clear as possible.

    Alternatively, change the name of the base talent to "[Element] Chakra Manipulation" and leave the description as it is.

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    Due to recent developments in the manga, I've added the "sixth" type of chakra element: Wild. Its description is located beneath Wind Chakra Manipulation under the Nature Manipulation Talents list.
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    I see the view counter going up! Don't think that I don't watch shit like that. I know you're all out there stealin' mah ideauz. >:E
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    Yeah, it makes me think of the trait systems that Master of Orion 2 and some D&D games and others have used before.


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