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Talislanta F.A.Q. v. 1.1 (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What support can we expect for Talislanta?

Ans: A variety of projects are currently in the works, or under consideration:

  • The City Guide (working title)
    This supplement will contain nearly 30 detailed writeups of ma close, typical street scenes, what the city looks like at night, what the typical habitation looks like inside and out (room-by-room accounts, and prices are included), breaks down a variety of locales (such as Dens of Iniquity, Artisans, Traders, Official Buildings, etc.), and includes over 200 NPC descriptions.
    In addition to obviously providing a heap of locations to use and abuse, and plenty of NPCs to meet, it also has a lot of sidebars of local laws and customs, and other cultural information. It is also 100% pure background, with no rules material whatsoever.
  • Symposium - The Talislanta Companion
    This will be the first Tal supplement, and will containing guides on how to get the best out of your Tal game (inc. creative spellcasting), a heap of new archetypes, some new cultural writeups (such as Banes), new equipment, new skills, the complete and revised Gastronaut's Guide to Talislanta, a whole chapter on windships (types, costs, running them, windship combat, etc.), and an optional Benefits/Hindrances system for more detailed character creation, among other things.
  • Menagerie - A New Naturalist's Guide to Talislanta
    This is very tentative, but we are considering a guide to ALL of Tal's fauna and flora, gathered from every canon Tal book to date, as well as a few dozen completely new critters and plants.
  • Codex Magicus
    Named after the famous Archaen text, Codex Magicus will feature guides to Talislanta's various planes of existence, details of Tal's cosmology, extensive writeups on all of Tal's religions, a bunch of new archetypes, lost Archaen magic spells and Orders, lots of magical items/artefacts (past and present), magical trinkets, new alchemicals and technomantic devices, and more spell descriptions than you can shake a stick at.
  • The Unknown Lands
    Sporadic work has begun on a detailed guide to the Unknown Lands (Tal's other continents, as mentioned in the old Talislanta Worldbook). It'll likely feature the new adventures of Tamerlin, as well as an extensive Traveler's Guide (as in Tal4) on the Unknown Lands, and appropriate archetypes, magical rules, equipment, critters, etc.

2. Is there a system for creating archetypes?

Ans: Unlike other rpgs, Talislanta displays a realistic lack of artificial balance between the various archetypes. No meta-system was used to create them, and could be constructed to do the game justice. To create a new archetype, you simply ensure you have a clear concept, and sit down and use equal parts creativity, common sense, and comparison with existing archetypes, to create it; just like the game designers do.

3. What's this I hear about the old Cyclopedias being "Non-Canon"?

Ans: All of the Cyclopedias, with the exception of the first, non-regional Cyclopedia, are considered non-canon, for a variety of reasons, ranging from content that clashes with SMS's vision of Talislanta, to irksome issues of ownership. Although they can be scavenged for ideas, they either have been, or will be contradicted and wildly superceded by new edition material. That doesn't stop you using them, of course.

4. Is Enchantment a Mode or a Skill?

Ans: It is a Mode, and should be selected as such, if desired, from a character's starting Modes.

5. The Phantasian Guardian/Zandir Duelist doesn't have enough Strength to wear its armor without penalty! What gives?

Ans: The Phantasian Guardian's armor is clearly noted as "ceremonial" meaning that apart from looking attractive, it is only worn for special events such as galas, high-profile bodyguard duties, and so on. It is a bit cumbersome, and is not intended for regular wear. The Zandir Duelist only wears their armor when actively readying for war or other heavy conflict; on the streets of Zandu they don't wear armor (or wear leather armor at best) in order that they can be as uninhibited, flamboyant, and acrobatic as possible. On the field of battle, they become very business-like, and cannot afford to take flashy risks, trading in a little maneuverability for much greater protection. The battle-field is a very different place than an alley-way. People who don't wear armor, die. The Zandir duelist plays many parts; when he plays soldier, solid armor is called for.

6. What Skill level does a new character's two Common Skills start at?

Ans: +3 each.

7. Rhabdomancy, the Dhuna's Steal Heart ability, and Necromancy's Anatomy skill, all mention that they are based upon the character's Level in a certain Order, but Orders don't have Levels.

Ans: Use the character's highest Mode in their Order as their Order Level.

8. What Level does a character's Background Skill start at?

Ans: +7.

9. The Mirin archetypes all feature a Special Ability called Melding. Where is the ability described?

Ans: On pg. 294 of Talislanta, under "Customs".

10. Where are the rules for the Ariane's Commune with Nature Special Ability?

Ans: There aren't any. Simply by meditating, they can talk with the spirits within all things, up to a radius of 10 feet around them. They do not need to roll to do this, nor is their use of it limited in any way. See the Sidebar on pg. 310 of Talislanta for further information.

11. Isn't topaz blue?

Ans: Topaz comes in a variety of colors, but is most commonly a rich yellow, and that's what we mean when we use the word.