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Talents Explainer: Magic talents improve the game with a snap

Talents Explainer: Magic talents improve the game with a snap

Talents are the Tales of the Valiant (ToV) equivalent of feats. Frankly, many feats in D&D are a little lackluster. And there’s only one feat in the whole SRD, which tells you what its authors thought about feats. We knew we could do better.

ToV grabbed this issue by every horn. In 5E terms, talents are like feats PLUS. You will want to take talents for your character, because they powerful and interesting.

Last time we gave a bunch of love to our martial classes, but let’s be real for a second. Without spellcasters—the healers, the fireball throwers, the extreme pain droppers—the weapon-wielders wouldn’t get far. This time, here are some of the exciting magic talents currently available for Tale of the Valiant.

Talents, A Reminder

Just in case you’ve been too busy defeating evil or looting ancient tombs, here’s a reminder about what talents are.

Talents represent the specific ways an adventurer improves over the course of adventures. They are divided into three categories: magic talents, martial talents, and technical talents.

Magic talents affect a character’s spellcasting but also include features that strengthen the mind and defend against harmful magic effects. Martial talents affect a character’s combat abilities, including enhancements to overall fitness and the ability to wield weaponry. Technical talents affect a character’s non-combat abilities, granting utility-based improvements to social encounters, exploration, and object interactions.

Some Amazing Magic Talents

What you see here is just the tip of the magical iceberg for talents. Try these tips for picking talents on your way to ultimate spellcasting prowess!

Want Spells Themed Around a Damage Type, But Still Need Your Fireball or Lightning Bolt?

One cool thing about playing a spellcaster is choosing thematic spells to fit your character vision. But sometimes the available spells aren’t on point for that. You might decide to specialize in acid-based attacks, for example, but not picking a big damage dealer like fireball is a handicap. What do you do? We’ve got you covered with Elemental Savant.


Choose one of the following elemental damage types: acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder.

  • When you cast a spell that deals damage, you can convert the damage type of that spell to your chosen elemental damage type. You must decide to convert the damage type when you declare you are casting the spell.

  • In addition, when you roll damage for a spell that naturally uses your chosen elemental damage type—not a spell you convert to your chosen type—you can reroll any damage dice results of 1. You must keep the new result.

You can select this talent multiple times, selecting a different damage type each time.

Something like this was around previously, but this is so much better! First of all, the ability to convert a spell’s damage type to one you’ve chosen totally gives you that thematic caster vibe. Fireball? No! I burst eardrums with Thunderball! Then there is that second feature. Sometimes you see benefits that change a die roll of 1 into a 2. I mean, that’s fine. It’s one more, right? But getting a whole reroll on a 1? Yes please!

Wanna Double Down on a Concept?

While some talents are like feats, a new angle on things is the Focus Talents. These talents expand your powers with new options themed around a central concept. Let’s look at one.


Your focus on spells of the fey have instilled in you these benefits:

  • When you expend a spell slot to cast an enchantment or illusion spell of 1st circle or higher, roll a d6. On a roll of 6, the spell slot isn’t expended.

  • You learn one 1st-circle enchantment or illusion spell from any source spell list. When you cast that spell, you can choose to expend 2 hit dice instead of a spell slot to cast it at its lowest circle.

You can have only one focus talent.

Oh. My. Glob. Okay, okay. Need to calm down. Full disclosure. I hate (HATE) running out of spell slots, so any time I can grab something that keeps me swimming in slots I jump at it. While this talent is limited to two schools, it still gives you a ton of options. On top of the d6 roll, the second part of the talent lets you burn off hit dice to cast a spell. Short rest hit point recovery? Don’t need it if my meat shields—I mean my brave companions—are doing their jobs and protecting me!

Even though you can only take one focus talent, each one targets two spell schools so there is something for everyone!

Maybe You Want to be a Spell Sharpshooter?

If something gives you the option of slinging more spells, wouldn’t you want it? I sure would. Cantrips are amazing because they have unlimited uses, but wouldn’t it be super sweet to have more ways to use those unlimited uses? Let me introduce you to this little beauty!


When a creature you can see damages you with a spell, you can use your reaction to cast a cantrip targeting that creature.

In addition, when you cast a spell that requires an attack roll, you gain these benefits:

  • Double the range of the spell. If the spell’s range is touch, its range increases to 15 feet.

  • The spell ignores any AC bonus granted by cover.

You know what’s better than casting a spell? Hitting someone back with a quick cantrip if they have the audacity to damage you. As if that wasn’t cool enough, you also can double the range of attack roll spells to hit those pesky archers, AND those kinds of spells ignore cover!

Let’s Get Technical

Next week, we’ll get fine-tuned with technical talents.

Until then, be valiant!

Tales of the Valiant books are on sale! Put your manos on some manuals!
And don’t forget, Caverns of the Spore Lord is a perfect start a new adventure!

about Brian Suskind

A multiple ENnie award winning designer, Brian has worked on nearly all of the products for Kobold Press. He’s also co-lead game designer for Draco Studios and has created TTRPG products for Legendary Games, Beadle & Grimm, Zombie Sky Press, and Storm Bunny Studios, among others. In his spare time, he’s a screenwriter and noted mimic aficionado.

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