Player characters are defined by their tales - each tale provides a thematic set of actions and upgrades to the player that they would otherwise not have access to. As players explore their tales, they unlock synergies and capabilities that set them apart from the average person, making them unique and heroic.
All player characters begin the game with one tale of their choice. At any time they could spend story points (outside of an encounter, or during character creation), they may select up to two more. Choice of tales is permanent, and no character can ever have more than three.
All tales provide seven talents:
In addition, each tale has a mastery track; this track goes from 1 to 10, each stage needing to be unlocked before the next (players start with no mastery in any given tale). A character cannot unlock any mastery until they have unlocked at least one tier 3 talent, at which point they may start unlocking mastery in ascending order. Each point of mastery costs 10SP more than the last, starting at 10SP for rank 1 (therefore, rank 10 mastery costs 100SP). The cost of each point of mastery is reduced by the character's Wits attribute (unmodified); this cannot reduce the cost of any mastery point below 1.
Each mastery track is independent to its tale - they are not shared. Mastery may be used in one of two ways in the tale - either the talents (including the signature talent) may refer to mastery as a value, or the mastery track will have an additional effect associated with it that is enabled once any mastery is unlocked. For example, a talent may say "do d6 + mastery damage", meaning the effect scales as the character's mastery in that tale increases; alternatively, a tale might have a special "Mastery" talent associated with the track that is unlocked as soon as any mastery in that tale is purchased.
Finally, each tale can unlock one innate tarr’ko card. Characters can pay to unlock the tarr’ko card after at least one tier 3 talent has been unlocked in the tale. The cost to unlock the tarr’ko card is 20SP; once unlocked, the character has access to that card when taking the Read the Tarr’ko action, as if they had a physical copy of the card. (Innate tarr’ko cards cannot be lost, stolen, or exchanged; they are gibberish to anyone but the character to whom they belong.)
Each tale belongs to one of six categories; these categories loosely suggest the effects the talents and signature ability will provide, or what broad use the tale has. The six categories are:
The next sections define each of the tales available to the player characters.