Wild Talents is a superhero role-playing game published by Arc Dream Publishing.
Written by Dennis Detwiller, with Greg Stoltze, Kenneth Hite, and several other well-known contributors, Wild Talents is a sequel of sorts to the Godlike role-playing game but can also be used as a generic superhero game.
Wild Talents is a 240 page standard-RPG-sized hardback book, printed on glossy paper. Full-colour art is used extensively within it.
The setting is nominally a direct sequel to the world of Godlike, a relatively grim and gritty world where superheroes (or "Talents") first emerged during World War II. However, the game also includes a substantial toolset for use as a generic superhero game. Kenneth Hite provides a chapter/essay on superheroic world/setting design, "Changing the Course of Mighty Rivers", which has been widely praised online.
Wild Talents uses the One-Roll Engine (or ORE) that first appeared in Godlike. A dice pool (typically, though not always, attribute + skill) of d10s are rolled, to a maximum of 10d10. Success is determined by die results which match, such as a pair of 8s. The "Width" of the roll (the number of dice that match) determines the speed (and damage, if in combat) of the action, while the "Height" of the roll (the value of each dice in the matched set), determines how successful an action was (and location of a hit, if in combat). The shorthand for writing results is Width x Height, so a pair of 5s would be written 2x5 while three 9s would be written as 3x9. Outside combat and opposed rolls, you normally have to roll only a single match to succeed at any given task, even a 2x1 will do the trick.
Usually the width and height are both relevant in determining success. For example, in a race to build a boat who wins if opponent A rolls 2x5 while opponent B rolls 3x4? In this case, opponent B is faster. If the question had simply been who had built the best boat, the answer would be opponent A (height 5)
The ORE system in Wild Talents also makes use of two special type of dice:
- Hard Dice are always set to 10, and cannot be adjusted. These represent a character who is always at maximum. A character with a superpower with two hard dice will always succeed, but has no fine control over that power. It's always at maximum strength whether he or she wants it to be or not.
- Wiggle Dice are special dice that can be set to any value desired after the other dice are rolled. A character, therefore, with at least one wiggle die is guaranteed to get at least one match.
Superhumans are different from normal humans in two respects:
- Hyperattributes (i.e, attributes beyond that which a normal human could possess, such as hyper-intelligent or hyper-strong)
- Superpowers, referred to in the game as "miracles". The game provides a comprehensive list of "pre-built" miracles (chapter 11, referred to as the "Miracle Cafeteria") as well as rules for building your own (chapter 9, referred to as "Gourmet rules")
The first edition of Wild Talents was released in a limited (and sold out) edition, with a print run of 1000 copies only available from the publisher and Leisure Games in London.
Work is in progress on a second edition, expected to have a larger release, currently scheduled for a July 2008 release.
Back Cover Text
Superhero Roleplaying Like You've Never Seen Before!
WILD TALENTS is a superhero roleplaying game built for lightning-fast action, deadly suspense and unprecedented flexibility. Written by the creators of the acclaimed wartime game GODLIKE, WILD TALENTS expands its innovative rules to superpowered action in any world and any era. See for yourself what makes it a roleplaying experience like no other:
THE ONE-ROLL ENGINE: Try the system that redefines superhero gaming.
DO-IT-YOURSELF MIRACLES: Choose from a huge list of powers or make one up yourself. You'll find everything you need to build a truly unique superhero.
A WORLD GONE MAD: Explore a fascinating timeline rocked by the worldwide explosion of superhuman Talents.
BUILDING SUPERHEROIC HISTORIES: Create jaw-dropping superhero settings all your own.
And get into the action fast with easy-to-learn rules and a complete adventure.
WILD TALENTS takes you to the brink of what we call reality and beyond!