The Talent System serves to model the specific expertise of the player characters by allowing them a selection of talents, which modify the skill checks that they make. Some of them simply increase the CoS, but others modify the roll and its impact in varying ways. In this manner, players can select ways of approaching tasks that fit the style of their character.

Talents either apply to a specific skill (such as "Swindle" or "Determination") or to a larger skill group (such as "Physical" or "Mental".) The application of a talent is chosen when it is selected, and there is no limit to how many different talents you can take applying to one skill. Applying the same talent to the same skill is treated as having multiple ranks of it, which enhances the effect. Characters may have up to four ranks in a given talent applied to a given skill or skill group. (That is, you can have Aptitude IV for Physical and Expertise IV for Swimming, or Aptitude IV for Physical and Extreme Effort IV for Physical, but never more than four ranks in a given talent-talent focus pair.)

Characters select three talents at first level and an additional talent every five levels, until they have selected their twelfth at level 45.

Characters also receive a "free slot" which they may reassign whenever resting or between sessions. It indicates what the character has currently prepared themselves for - if they've been planning for a bombing raid on a reactor, it might be Infiltration, if they've equipped an ability which lets them turn into a toad, it might be Swimming, if they know that they're about to meet the villain that wronged them so many years ago, it might be Determination. It's free - it can be whatever you want, modeling preparation, mental state, specific study, and the obtaining of special equipment.

Some talents allow you options to be performed "once per session per rank" - this means that you can employ this particular talent once for each time you've taken that talent, up to a maximum of four within a single category.

Some talents allow you to repeat the skill check for some other effect - either to challenge for greater reward, or as another chance at success. These repeated skill checks are a seperate skill check, and any talents may be applied to them that one may apply to normal skill checks. However, any prices must be paid again, and all talent usages count as a seperate use for the purpose of per-session limits.

The talents are listed below. Not all of them will make sense applying to all the possible skills or groups to which they can be theoretically be taken. If the players and gamemaster can't come up with a satisfactory explanation as to what your talent will be doing, it is probably best to pick a different talent.

Skill List for Talents


Expertise applies to a skill. When you make a skill check with that skill, Expertise grants +10 CoS per rank. Expertise represents a sort of practiced confidence, making the typical skill check trivial and the unthinkable possible.


Aptitude applies to a skill group, granting +5 CoS per rank to all skill checks belonging to that group. It provides a broad scope and is well suited to creating a character that seems especially at home in a certain adventuring milieu.


Focus applies to a skill group. Once per session per rank, after learning the CoS of the skill check but before you roll, you can choose to activate Focus. Focus increases the CoS of the skill check by 20.


Scrape By applies to a skill group. Once per session per rank when you fail a skill check, you can activate Scrape By to succeed at it instead. You accomplish your goal, but you do it in some way that will cause you and your party trouble - things don't go smooth. You sneak by but leave a trail, you get the elevator working but it starts falling down halfway, and so on. It's still a success, and it still accomplishes the intent of the action, it'll just be back to bite you later.

Characters with Scrape By can be counted on to pull through in a pinch, but their life can seem like a series of close calls on the brink of disaster. Sazh Katzroy had Scrape By for Physical. Selphie Tilmitt had Scrape By for Technical.


Trick applies to a single skill. You can use it on a skill check by paying 25% of your Max MP - if you do so, roll two dice for the skill check instead of one, taking the better result. For each additional rank of Trick taken past the first, reduce the cost by -5% MP. This can literally be applying magic to the problem, but it might also be a cunning technique or a clever gadget - no matter what, it represents some strange ingenuity.

Statistically, Trick helps your chances the most with CoSes around 50.


Extreme Effort applies to a skill group. Once per session per rank, you can use it on a skill check by paying 25% of your Max HP beforehand - if you do so, you succeed the skill check without rolling through application of sheer effort. If you use Extreme Effort outside of a battle, you can't be healed in that session until the beginning of the next battle. Extreme Effort is best used when the stakes are very high; when the character cannot afford to fail, they give their all to succeed. It can be represented by them pouring all their will into magic, staying up all night working in dangerous conditions, or by marching on despite the pain of the strain. For Mental skills, the character might seem cool and collected as they do their talking, but as soon as they step away they break into a cold sweat and the panic of what they just said hits them.

Sabin Figaro used Extreme Effort to hold up a house, Galuf used Extreme Effort to protect his allies from Exdeath.


Exemplar applies to a skill group. When you pass a skill check in that field, others receive a +40 bonus to the CoS to perform that same skill check or a closely related one, as long as they've witnessed you do it or you've offered some advice upon doing it in advance. In the Physical group, this generally means that if you can climb up through the wreckage, your party can, too, so you won't get separated from your party. In other groups, this might mean that if you all make a plan and you pull your section of the job off, everyone else probably will too.

Characters with Exemplar tend to go first, which can make them seem like leaders.


Dependability applies to a skill group. Once per session per rank when you fail a skill check in that group, you can perform the skill check once more. Even if you fail the second skill check, the failure is no greater in magnitude than if you did not use Dependability, no matter the result.


Discretion applies to a skill group. When you fail a skill check with a roll that's no more than 40 higher than the CoS, you can choose to suffer no consequences of the failed check by having realized that the task is beyond your abilities. If time is a pressure, you waste none of it - if you risk offending someone, you politely disengage yourself from the matter with ease. (If you're attempting something physical, say, leaping a chasm - you run up to it and go "…Actually… no.") Doing so also reveals any hidden danger that may have been lurking in wait, had you failed. For each rank of Discretion above the first, increase the range by which it functions by 10.

If you used other talents on the skill check, these are still expended. You may also not attempt the same skill check again.


Double Or Nothing applies to a skill group. After succeeding a skill check, you may choose to use Double or Nothing. Perform the skill check again. If the CoS of the skill check was above 90, it is now 90. If you fail, then the skill check has failed. If you succeed, then your success is greatly increased in magnitude - you move quicker, accomplish more, win the heart of your target, establish a flawless alibi, or whatever applies. If the skill check was a trigger action that inflicted damage, a success with Double Or Nothing doubles the damage. You can't use Double or Nothing more than once on a task.


Quick applies to a skill group - you perform skill checks in this group with unusual haste. Out of combat, Quick simply alleviates time pressures and makes whatever you were attempting seem go smoothly and with ease - you learn what you need to with a few quick words, open locks with a few quick clicks, and know exactly where you need to go in systems and in jungles. When performing applicable skill checks in combat, reduce the delay of those skill actions by 5D.


Wingman applies to a skill group. Once per session per rank, when an ally fails a skill check in that group, if you are capable of interceding - by shouting a warning or leaping to their rescue - you can use Wingman to allow your ally to perform the roll once more. Depending on the situation, Wingman may put you at risk, but generally the consequences for failure are never more grave than they would be if the second roll was not performed - they simply now involve two people and not one.

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