The artifact Mask of Sthenelus has this action.
Action: You may spend 1 Improvement or Impairment token to improve 1 skill of your choice or gain 1 Talent Condition.
I'm playing it as an investigator mush spend an Improvement or Impairment Token to get the Talent Condition. Otherwise I would read it as an investigator could have a choice between getting a talent condition or using Improve/Impair tokens to improve skills. If this were the case an investigator could just use the action to gain many talent conditions over several rounds and that seems too powerful to me. I just want to be sure I'm playing this correctly by having to spend Improvement/Impairment tokens for either option.
Yes, I'm pretty sure you're reading this right. To put it in a more wordy way, it should probably say:
Action: You may spend 1 Improvement or Impairment token; if you do, either improve 1 skill of your choice or gain 1 Talent Condition.
That is, as an action you make an exchange. There are two possible costs (improvement or impairment), and two possible rewards (improvement or talent). You pay 1 and you get 1.
I'm not sure if there's any specific precedence or FAQ to cover this exact wording, but I think there's little doubt that that's how it [i]should[/u] be read.