Talents: Psionics vs. Traits

In the Hârnmaster rules systems, talents are 'psionic' mental powers and are grouped together as a special set of skills with rules for determining who may possess them and how they generally function.

In Burning Wheel Gold, talents can just be considered unique abilities conferred by traits.

About Talents

Some Hârnians possess unusual, innate, semi-magical talents, such as the ability to perceive magic, sense danger, or see far off places in their minds.

In the Burning Wheel rules, talents can be handled through the selection of appropriate traits. Examples of traits that can be used to represent talents include:


If additional talents of a different nature are desired, traits for them can be created per the "Trait Burner" chapter (pp. 68-81) from the Monster Burner.

Raw Talent(s) & the Gifted Trait

Many Hârnians possess talents, but are unaware of them. Their talents manifest unpredictably— and often without their willing/knowing it. Such characters are often considered mad, clumsy, sickly, possessed, strange, or bewitched.

To reflect that a character has latent, undeveloped talents, the Gifted trait can be used, in conjunction with the rules for Raw Talent (pp. 36-39 of the Magic Burner).

If the character later learns of and becomes able to control a talent (which can be represented in rules terms, by gaining an appropriate trait for that talent) the Gifted trait can be voted away (if desired) or kept to represent that the character possesses still additional latent talents.