16 June 2021

Earthdawn 4E: Rules Variant 24 - Half-Adepts

This is the twenty-fourth Rules Variant, part of an ongoing series about Earthdawn Fourth Edition. Introduction and Index.

Everything contained here is the work of a fan and not associated with FASA Games.

As requested based on the results from the poll I ran in my Discord server, this rules variant addresses a topic that's never really been discussed in any depth: half-adepts. They've been part of the setting for quite a while, though never received much attention. Which makes sense in terms of effort and page count. The game and setting aren't designed for them; adepts are the stars of the show. Still, this provides some background to fill things out.

To be very clear: these are not designed for players. They're not balanced against anything and pale in comparison to adepts. These are only intended for NPCs and shouldn't be mixed with questors.

Half-Adepts


Magic is all around the world of Earthdawn. While not at the highs seen during the Scourge, it is still enough to support the fantastic scenery, flora, and fauna that call it home. Part of this are the Namegivers who use it to shape the world around them. Adepts are the most well known, but not everyone has the potential or the drive to follow a Discipline. Namegivers who still have magic, but aren’t adepts are referred to as “half-adepts.”


Unlike adepts as they are known through the Theran Empire and surrounding lands, half-adepts can’t be placed in tidy boxes. They don’t have Disciplines to offer discrete classification. As much as Disciplines focus magic and the associated mindset to better access it, this can also be seen as placing strictures on adepts’ ability to access that magic, honing it in focus. Half-adepts lack that focus and thus are ill-defined as a whole. Each half-adept is unique and typically self-trained; learning their magic through trial and error.


Scholars who pay attention and attempt to catalog such things created three tiers to describe half-adepts: lesser, minor, and major. Valid arguments are made regarding these classifications, since it seems in some cases the only thing holding a half-adept back from a greater tier is their dedication or access to training, rather than inherent access to magic. Those advocating for a “core” tier are rebuffed as that clearly refers to actual adepts who make their Discipline the core of their existence. Such is the dedication it takes to journey the path of an adept.


Still, these are useful enough for these purposes. Lesser half-adepts have but one trick, which their life typically revolves around. It’s most often related to their vocation, but could also be a related passion. Whether this became a passion because of their trick, or they developed the trick because of their passion is an open question without a clear answer. Trivial half-adepts lack the magic to become adepts and may also lack the drive or training to further develop their abilities, but it could just be the issue with their raw ability.


For example, a farmer who has uncanny skill for the task and uses small blessings on their crops, or a guard with a knack for swordplay. 


Minor half-adepts have a few tricks which may make them somewhat formidable in a single field, or branch out into different areas. It’s unusual for a minor half-adept’s magic to be wholly unrelated to their vocation and usually expands their ability in the field considerably. Minor half-adepts are likely limited by at least two of their potential, drive, and training. A minor half-adept may have the same potential as a lesser half-adept, but with sufficient drive and training could access this tier of development. This goes to show the difficulty in assigning these designations, however useful at the time. This is also the tier where those with the potential to become adepts who lack the drive and training can develop abilities associated with talents.


For example, a farmer naturally skilled at growing crops, predicting the weather, tending livestock, and who deals with minor elementals to help with the field, or a guard with a talent for combat and exceptional awareness of their surroundings.


Major half-adepts are quite rare by this measure. They typically reflect either those with the potential and drive to become an adept, but lack the training, or Namegivers with the potential most associated with minor half-adepts, but with exceptional drive and training. This allows the magic of the former to grow organically in a fashion not associated with a Discipline, but the natural inclinations of the half-adept for those with the potential. In contrast, half-adepts who lack that potential but are rigorously trained likely have similar strictures as a Discipline, but cannot initiate for some reason and despite what seems like so much potential, can never learn to weave threads.


The rare half-adepts in this category who have the potential to be adepts often display magic typically associated with adepts and their Disciplines. However, it isn’t quite right. These unique expressions reflect the half-adept’s growth on their own and the unrefined nature of their advanced magic shows compared to more codified and understood talents. Though it calls into question the nature of Disciplines and talents. What would magic in our land look like without Disciplines as we know them and what does it look like in lands without our Disciplines? 


For example, a farmer who breeds unique flora, picked at the perfect time and their animals are always healthy and grow quickly, or the captain of the guard from an influential family with exceptional skills in combat, awareness, tactics, and leadership, and has a special bond with their dangerous war hounds.


Half-adepts are rarely questors, though for different reasons than adepts. Most Namegivers who have the dedication to quest for a Passion, rather than simply honor them, also have the dedication to pursue a Discipline if they have the potential. Those who quest rely more on the devotions granted by their Passion than being a half-adept and thus these abilities never develop.


They recover their Karma at dawn each day.


Lesser half-adepts receive:

  • 1 skill they can improve without seeking training and at half the time.

  • They may spend Karma on activities related to that skill.

  • Treat lesser half-adepts as Circle 1 for determining their Karma Pool.


Minor half-adepts receive:

  • A Novice skill they improve without seeking training and the maximum rank is 5. The name of this skill should reflect the theme of their magic.

  • Each rank allows them to learn a skill which they can improve without training and in half the time. The skills learned must be related to the theme of their magic.

  • At ranks 1 and 5, the half-adept gains a Karma Ability to spend Karma Points on activities related to their theme.

  • At ranks 4, the half-adept gains +1 to an appropriate Defense.

  • The skill learned at rank 5 can be unique and similar to a Novice tier talent.

  • Treat minor half-adepts as Circle 1 for determining their Karma Pool. At rank 5, treat them as Circle 2.


Major half-adepts receive:

  • A Novice skill they improve without seeking training and the maximum rank is 10. The name of this skill should reflect the theme of their magic.

  • Each rank allows them to learn a skill which they can improve without training and in half the time. The skills learned must be related to the theme of their magic.

  • At ranks 1, 5, and 10, the half-adept gains a Karma Ability to spend Karma Points on activities related to their theme.

  • At ranks 4, 6, and 9, the half-adept gains +1 to an appropriate Defense. No Defense can receive more than +2, but should reflect their theme.

  • The skills learned at ranks 5-8 can be unique and similar to a Novice tier talent.

  • The skills learned at ranks 9-10 can be unique and similar to a Journeyman tier talent.

  • Treat major half-adepts as Circle 1 for determining their Karma Pool. At rank 5, treat them as Circle 2. At rank 9, treat them as Circle 3.

14 June 2021

Earthdawn 4E: Rules Variant 08 - Alternate Advancement [Bladeweaver]

This is the eighth Rules Variant, part of an ongoing series about Earthdawn Fourth Edition. Introduction and Index.


Everything contained here is the work of a fan and not associated with FASA Games.

This entry continues from the alternate advancement scheme introduced here. The following presents the advancement scheme for Bladeweaver.

Bladeweaver

Novice General Talents
  • Acrobatic Defense
  • Anticipate Blow
  • Astral Sight
  • Avoid Blow
  • Awareness
  • Danger Sense
  • Great Leap
  • Maneuver
  • Research
  • Standard Matrix
  • Steel Thought
  • Tiger Spring
  • Wound Balance
First Circle
Discipline Talents
  • Glyph of the Blade
  • Melee Weapons
  • Patterncraft
  • Spellcasting
  • Thread Weaving (Blade Weaving)
Second Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Third Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Fourth Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent


Journeyman General Talents
  • Dispel Magic
  • Enhanced Matrix
  • Glyph of Speed
  • Iron Constitution
  • Lion Heart
  • Power Mask
  • Spot Armor Flaw
  • Sprint
  • Temper Flesh
  • Tenacious Weave
  • True Sight
  • Willforce
Fifth Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Sixth Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Seventh Circle
Discipline Talent: Glyph of Violence or open talent

Eighth Circle
Discipline Talent: Second Attack or open talent


Warden General Talents
  • Armored Matrix
  • Critical Hit
  • Defensive Posture
  • Ethereal Weapon
  • Fluid Movement
  • Glyph of Shielding
  • Lion Spirit
  • Matrix Sight
  • Momentum Attack
  • Relentless Recovery
  • Resist Pain
  • Spirit Strike
  • Unflinching Fortitude
Ninth Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Tenth Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Eleventh Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Twelfth Circle
Discipline Talent: Concise Casting or open talent


Master General Talents
  • Aura Armor
  • Casting Pattern
  • Chilling Strike
  • Glyph of Attunement
  • Glyph of Reversal
  • Netherwalk
  • Second Chance
  • Shared Matrix
  • Soul Aegis
  • Vicious Wound
Thirteenth Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Fourteenth Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Fifteenth Circle
Discipline Talent: Spliced Weave or Open talent

09 June 2021

Earthdawn 4E: Rules Variant 23 - Teamwork

This is the twenty-third Rules Variant, part of an ongoing series about Earthdawn Fourth Edition. Introduction and Index.

Everything contained here is the work of a fan and not associated with FASA Games.


Various tasks can be performed by groups. Currently there’s minimal support for this in Earthdawn because 1) it’s never been present in previous editions and 2) it’s complicated to model. Design time being what it is, there isn’t always time to get everything you want accomplished. However, this blog is a chance to revisit those topics in some ways and see what can be done as a post-hoc rectification.

The truth is, I did get to sneak in some teamwork mechanics. Working as a group for enchanting (Companion, p. 130). The difficulty with teamwork mechanics is balancing between allowing people to contribute v. making contributions too powerful to make the challenge meaningless. This strikes a balance by making the most skilled character the star of the show—as they should be, they invested the most to get there, it’s their time—allowing other characters to participate beyond everyone throwing dice and seeing who gets the magically highest result (aka D&D 3.X), and keeping contributions meaningful, but not overwhelming.

This post adapts those mechanics to general purposes rather than just enchanting. Gamemasters should have some discretion on what activities can benefit from teamwork and there are no clear and simple delineations on what should or shouldn’t be allowed. For example, working together to pull something heavy is definitely something where teamwork applies, but sneaking down a hallway, not so much. That’s a situation where the more people involved, the worse it gets.

Teamwork

One character is designated the leader for a task, typically the character with the highest rank in the relevant ability. The maximum number of participants allowed is equal to the leader’s rank in the relevant ability. This number includes the leader. Thus, a leader with rank 1 can’t get assistance. They wouldn’t really know what to do with it because they barely know what they’re doing. This limitation shouldn’t apply in situations where no ability reasonably applies, like hauling a big rock.

Each assistant makes a test with the appropriate ability at Difficulty 10 before the leader. Each success gives the leader a +2 bonus to their test. Any given assistant cannot give more successes than their rank in the appropriate ability. Again, this last limitation shouldn’t apply if there is no appropriate ability.

For example, Dougan and Dvarim are attempting to decipher the nearly incomprehensible scrawlings of a clearly deranged individual. They realize they’re going to have to work together to get this done. Dougan is the leader and Dvarim is the assistant as the former is slightly better with Patterncraft. Dvarim makes a Patterncraft (10) and gets a 24 as the result: three successes. Since Dvarim’s Patterncraft rank is greater than 3, all the successes can benefit Dougan’s Patterncraft test, giving a +6 bonus. A significant bonus, but not one that makes the task trivial.

02 June 2021

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Discipline 39 - Bladeweaver Part 2, Spells

This is part 2 of the thirty-ninth 4E Anatomy of a Discipline, an ongoing series about Earthdawn Fourth Edition. Introduction and Index.


Everything contained here is the work of a fan and not associated with FASA Games.

Spells are hard to write. Spells different from existing spells are even more difficult. Some of these are similar to existing spells. Or spells that exist, but haven't been released, which is something of a quantum state where they're real to me, but not anyone else. It's complicated. I limited the number of spells here and didn't include improved spell knacks to keep their options more inline with what other spellcasters get in the Player's Guide.

These spells should showcase how Bladeweavers interact differently with magic from other spellcasters. What their specialties are, what they're working up to as they progress, and what they don't do at all. I'm more a fan of show, don't tell, allowing people to make those discoveries and how everything fits together on their own, rather than just handing out it. This feels more rewarding to me when I'm on the other side because I worked for it.


Bladeweaver Spells


Note: The extra thread for “Increase Effect (+1 attack)” allows the spell’s effect to affect an additional attack that round. It does not grant an additional attack.


First Circle


Channel Chaotic Fixation

Threads: 0

Weaving: 5/10

Casting: 6

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 1 round

Effect: +2 to close combat Damage test and attack

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell covers a glyph blade with swirling, chaotic energy that tears the world around it. The magician forms a glyph with their off hand, runs their hand down their glyph blade, and makes a Spellcasting (6) test. If successful, glyphs appear on the glyph blade which melt into chaotic energy. The magician gains +2 to their next close combat Damage test this round.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty. 

Success Levels: Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Damage test)

Extra Threads: Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Damage test), Increase Effect (+1 attack)


Channel Entropic Shield

Threads: 0

Weaving: 5/10

Casting: 6

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 2 rounds

Effect: Create damage barrier and attack

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell creates a barrier of entropy around the magician, degenerating the next attack. The magician forms a glyph with their off hand and splays their fingers wide, then clenches them into a fist and makes a Spellcasting (6) test. If successful, a faint bubble forms around them, bending light slightly. The next successful, damaging attack against the magician before the end of the next round has its damage result reduced by 6 before armor is applied.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (+4 reduction)


Channel Symmetrical Offensive

Threads: 0

Weaving: 5/10

Casting: 6

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 1 round

Effect: +2 to close combat Attack test

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell harmonizes the magician's intent and glyph blade to improve their attack. The magician forms a glyph in their off-hand, spreads and runs the first two fingers across their glyph blade, and makes a Spellcasting (6) test. If successful, they successfully align their intent and actions with the chaos within their blade and gain a +2 bonus to their next close combat Attack test with their glyph blade this round.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty.

Success Levels: Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Attack test)

Extra Threads: Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Attack test), Increase Effect (+1 attack)


Erode Record

Threads: 1

Weaving: 5/10

Casting: TMD (see text)

Range: Touch

Duration: Instant

Area of Effect: Up to 2 yards by 2 yards

Effect: Remove inscriptions

This spell removes inscriptions from surfaces. The magician draws a glyph on the surface, wipes their hand across it, and makes a Spellcasting test against the greater of the surface’s Mystic Defense or 10. If successful, all carvings, inscriptions, writing, etc., are removed from the surface. There is little trace they were ever there, but it is impossible to reconstruct what they once displayed without viewing the past.

Increasing the area with additional successes does not allow surfaces with greater Mystic Defenses to be affected.

Success Levels: Increase Area (+2 yards)

Extra Threads: Increase Area (+2 yards)


Illuminate

Threads: 1

Weaving: 5/10

Casting: 6

Range: Self

Duration: Rank minutes

Area of Effect: 10-yard radius

Effect: Creates light

This spell creates a small area of light that seeps into astral space. The magician forms a glyph, holds the hand at shoulder level, and makes a Spellcasting (6) test. If successful, cold light illuminates the area around them and follows the magician, but is sourceless. Low-light vision still doubles the range as usual. The light is equivalent to torchlight and is bright enough to read by. Astral Sight or Thread Sight tests to inspect a pattern within the area gain a +2 bonus. This bonus includes inspecting with Systematic Examination, but this does not benefit Astral Sense or similar effects.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 minutes)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 minutes), Increase Area (+2 yards)


Ordered Links

Threads: 1

Weaving: 5/10

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: Rank minutes

Effect: Create a 10 yard chain

This spell crafts a temporary chain from links forged of astral energy. The magician clenches their fists, places them end to end, stretches them apart, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, a chain of solidified energy forms between them up to 10 yards long. The chain is functionally like metal, but nearly weightless. It can leave the magician’s presence, but dissipates when the duration expires. A broken link vanishes as the magic dissipates and multiple chains cannot be connected as they repel from each other like magnets of the same polarity.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 minutes)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 minutes), Increase Effect (+10 yards)


Reality Shards

Threads: 0

Weaving: 5/10

Casting: TMD

Range: 20 yards

Duration: Instant

Effect: WIL+4/Physical

This spell fires shards of condensed magic at a target. The magician forms a glyph with their outstretched hand and arm, and makes a Spellcasting test against the target’s Mystic Defense. If successful, shards of solid magic shoot from their hand at their target, striking and flaying them. The Effect test determines how much damage is inflicted, reduced by Physical Armor.

Success Levels: Increase Effect (+2 Effect Step)

Extra Threads: Increase Effect (+2 Effect Step), Increase Range (+10 yards), Additional Target (+1)


Reorder Structure

Threads: 2

Weaving: 5/10

Casting: 10

Range: Touch

Duration: Rank minutes

Effect: Increases an object’s size by 2-fold

This spell causes a non-living object to increase in size. The magician draws a glyph on the object with their finger, places their hands with their thumbs and forefingers forming a circle around the glyph, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, the object increases up to twice its original size, but does not change its mass.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 minutes)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 minutes), Increase Effect (+1-fold increase)


Second Circle


Channel Reckless Intent

Threads: 0

Weaving: 6/11

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: Instant

Effect: Move 6 yards and attack

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell propels the magician forward to attack. The magician crouches, forms a glyph with their off-hand, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, the magician conjures an orb of energy that collapses and explodes behind them, sending them forward six yards.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty and cannot be combined with Splitting Movement. Additional successes increase the damage of the close combat attack that immediately follows the movement.

Success Levels: Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Damage test)

Extra Threads: Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Damage test), Increase Effect (+4 yards to Movement), Increase Effect (+1 attack)


Channel Tumultuous Conflict

Threads: 0

Weaving: 6/11

Casting: 6

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 2 rounds

Effect: -2 to Action tests and attack

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell winds a glyph blade with conflicting energy of chaos and order. The magician forms a glyph with their off-hand, slides their fingers around the glyph blade, and makes a Spellcasting (6) test. If successful, glyphs appear along the glyph blade in a double helix; one of chaos and the other order. The magician’s next close combat attack with their glyph blade inflicts tumult on the target with conflicting desires for perfect order and absolute chaos. They suffer -2 to Action tests until the end of the next round.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty. 

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (-2 to Action tests), Increase Effect (+1 attack)


Entropic Spear

Threads: 1

Weaving: 6/11

Casting: TMD

Range: 40 yards

Duration: Instant; 2 rounds

Effect: WIL+2/Mystic and -2 to Physical Armor

This spell throws a spear of entropic energy at a target. The magician forms a glyph with their outstretched hand and arm, and makes a Spellcasting test against the target’s Mystic Defense. If successful, a spear of entropy condenses into their hand which they throw at the target. It strikes them and fractures the patterns of the armor. The Effect test determines how much damage is inflicted, reduced by Mystic Armor and the target then suffers a -2 penalty to their Physical Armor. The damage is only dealt once; the duration refers to the armor reduced effect. The target’s armor returns to normal at the end of the duration.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (+2 Effect Step), Increase Effect (-2 Physical Armor), Increase Range (+10 yards), Additional Target (+1)


Model Reformation

Threads: 2

Weaving: 6/11

Casting: 10

Range: Touch

Duration: 2 hours

Effect: Reforms a non-magical object

This spell changes the shape of a non-magical object into a different non-magical object. The magician draws a glyph on the object, roughly outlines the shape with their hands, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, the object takes its new form with the glyph clearly visible on it. It must be recognizable as a single object, though can be made of multiple parts, and must be something the magician has seen previously. For example, a sword is acceptable, but an herbalist’s kit or quiver of arrows is not.

Complicated objects or objects the magician has only seen and not used or touched may require additional successes. The object can be no more than 5 lbs. If the object is damaged or destroyed in its new form, it is similarly affected when it returns to its original form.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 hours)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 hours), Increase Effect (+5 lbs)


Pattern Gliding

Threads: 0

Weaving: 6/11

Casting: 10

Range: Touch

Duration: Rank rounds

Effect: Allows the target to glide

This spell allows the willing target to glide on barely sensed astral winds that flow naturally through the world. The magician draws a glyph on the willing target with their finger, spreads their arms wide, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, the target’s pattern stretches out from their body in the shape of barely visible, shimmering wings. For every yard the target descends, they can move forward two yards, or spin and maintain their position. The target does not take falling damage for the duration.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Duration (minutes), Additional Target (+Rank)


Third Circle


Channel Degenerate Reorder

Threads: 0

Weaving: 7/12

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 2 rounds

Effect: Reduce Wound Threshold and attack

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell infuses chaotic, rending magic into a glyph blade. The magician forms a glyph with their off hand, rolls their fingers along the glyph blade, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, glyphs appear along the glyph blade and rend into chaos, infusing it. The magician’s next close combat attack with their glyph blade tears at the target’s pattern, temporarily degenerating and weakening it. The target suffers -4 to their Wound Threshold until the end of the next round.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty. 

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (-2 to Wound Threshold), Increase Effect (+1 attack)


Channel Pattern Defense

Threads: 0

Weaving: 7/12

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 2 rounds

Effect: +2 to Physical Defense and Avoid Blow, and attack

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell creates circles around the magician allowing them to quickly analyze and defend against attacks. The magician forms a glyph with their off-hand, moves it to form magical circles, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, glyph filled circles rotate around the magician at various angles, helping them to analyze attacks. The magician gains +2 to Physical Defense and active defenses (e.g. Avoid Blow and Riposte) which affect abilities that target Physical Defense until the end of the next round.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (+1 to Physical Defense and active defenses)


Circle of Pandemonium

Threads: 0

Weaving: 7/12

Casting: TMD

Range: Self

Duration: Instant

Area of Effect: 4-yards

Effect: Bladeweaver Circle+4/Mystic and Knockdown

This spell creates an area of swirling chaos. The magician crouches, writes a glyph on the ground, and makes a Spellcasting test against the highest Mystic Defense in the area. If successful, the glyph glows brightly, magic encircles the area, and chaos issues forth explosively. The Effect test determines how much damage is inflicted, reduced by Mystic Armor and the targets must resist Knockdown against a Difficulty Number equal to the total damage received after armor.

Success Levels: Increase Effect (+2 to Effect Step)

Extra Threads: Increase Effect (+2 to Effect Step), Increase Area (+2 yards)


Dismantle Astral Threat

Threads: 0

Weaving: 7/12

Casting: 10

Range: Touch

Duration: Rank rounds

Effect: Mystic attack suffers a -4 penalty

This spell creates a shield of entropic energy. The magician makes a glyph with a hand, moves it across their willing target, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, the magician forms a shield of entropic energy in astral space to protect them which degrades and dismantles the power of mystic attacks. The next hostile ability that affects the target’s Mystic Defense suffers a -4 penalty to the test. Once used, the shield dissipates.

This spell requires one the magician’s hands to be empty.

Success Levels: Increase Effect (-2 to test)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (-2 to test), Increase Effect (+1 use), Increase Range (+10 yards)


Systematic Examination

Threads: 1

Weaving: 7/12

Casting: 6

Range: Self

Duration: Rank minutes

Area of Effect: 10-yard radius

Effect: Detect magic through objects

This spell allows the magician’s Astral Sight and Thread Sight talents to extend through non-living physical objects to detect magic. The magician forms a glyph with each hand, places them over their eyes, and makes a Spellcasting (6) test. If successful, the glyphs appear in front of the magician’s eyes. If the magician astrally senses an object with at least one additional success, they can sense beyond or within it. They may astrally sense and examine anything detected in this fashion.

While useful, it is distracting and the magician is Partially Blind while this spell is active. The magician may end the spell at any time only if it affects them. This only detects spell patterns, thread items, pattern items, magic, and other astral energies. The spell does not detect the patterns of living, undead, or similar entities, nor does it work with windling’s natural Astral Sight.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 minutes)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 minutes), Increase Area (+5 yards)


Fourth Circle


Chains of Chaos

Threads: 1

Weaving: 8/13

Casting: TMD

Range: 10 yards

Duration: Rank rounds

Effect: WIL+Bladeweaver Circle

The magician summons chains forged of chaos to secure an opponent. The magician stretches out a free hand to the sky, clenches and pulls it down sharply, and makes a Spellcasting test against the target’s Mystic Defense. If successful, shifting chains strike out from astral space, entangling the target. The target is Harried and their Movement Rate is halved. They can make a Strength test against the Effect Step as a Simple action; Harried penalties don’t apply. If successful, their Movement Rate is no longer reduced. If they succeed on a second Strength test, they are no longer Harried.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (+2 Effect Step), Increase Range (+10 yards), Additional Target (+1)


Channel Astral Decay

Threads: 0

Weaving: 8/13

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 2 rounds

Effect: +2 to Mystic Defense and Steel Thought, and attack

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell warps and degrades offensive magic targeting them with a buffer of chaos. The magician forms a glyph with their off hand, crushes it in a fist, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, the magician’s form warps and bends to all astral viewing and sensing. The magician gains +2 to Mystic Defense and active defenses (e.g. Glyph of Reversal and Steel Thought) which affect abilities that target Mystic Defense until the end of the next round. This breaks any existing astral sensing effects and the magician must be astrally sensed again.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (+1 to Physical Defense and active defenses)


Channel Concussive Force

Threads: 0

Weaving: 8/13

Casting: 6

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 1 round

Effect: Attack causes knockdown

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell gathers chaotic energy into a point on a glyph blade that explodes as it strikes an opponent. The magician forms a glyph with their off-hand, slides their thumb down their glyph blade, and makes a Spellcasting (6) test. If successful the glyph rages then turns into a mote of light on the blade. The next successful close combat attack with the glyph blade this round forces the target to make a Knockdown test against the Attack test result.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty. Additional successes increase the Attack test of the close combat attack that immediately follows this spell.

Success Levels: Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Attack test)

Extra Threads: Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Attack test), Increase Effect (+1 attack)


Channel Dissonant Defense

Threads: 0

Weaving: 8/13

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 2 rounds

Effect: -2 to Physical and Mystic Defense, and attack

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell infuses a glyph blade with entropic energy that degrades defenses. The magician forms a glyph with their off-hand, runs their middle two fingers down the length of their glyph blade, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, the glyph blade is filled with swirling, destructive energy and the next successful close combat attack with it causes the target to suffer -2 to Physical and Mystic Defense until the end of the next round.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (-1 to Physical and Mystic Armor), Increase Effect (+1 attack)


Orders Find a Way

Threads: 3

Weaving: 8/13

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: 2 hours

Effect: Delivers a message

This spell creates a messenger of chaos and order. The magician writes a message no more than Spellcasting rank ×10 words, draws a glyph over it, recites the Name of the recipient, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, the message folds itself into a small crystal and flies away, borne by the winds of chaos. It moves at Movement Rate 22 and travels in the most direct route to the recipient, though the message and crystal cannot be tracked to determine their location.

If it can arrive within the duration, the crystal recites the written message in a tinny voice, then explodes into dust and dissipates once done.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 hours)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 hours), Increase Effect (+20 words)


Fifth Circle


Channel Harmonic Imbalance

Threads: 0

Weaving: 9/14

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: Instant

Effect: Close combat attack affects Mystic Armor

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell concentrates magic along the edge of a glyph blade to cut through worlds. The magician forms a glyph with their off hand, runs their hand down their glyph blade, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, glyphs appear on the edge of the glyph blade which form a glowing line in harmony with the veil between worlds. The magician’s next close combat attack with their glyph blade this round affects Mystic Armor.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty. Additional successes increase the Attack test of the close combat attack that immediately follows this spell.

Success Levels: Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Attack test)

Extra Threads: Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Attack test), Increase Effect (+1 attack)


Channel Structured Chaos

Threads: 0

Weaving: 9/14

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 2 rounds

Effect: +2 to close combat Attack and Damage tests, and attack

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell aligns the magicians mind, body, and blade to eliminate stray thoughts and focus on dismantling their opponents. The magician extends their glyph blade, forms a glyph with their off-hand near their body, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, the glyph extends over their body and their consciousness crystallizes on the conflict at hand. The magician gains +2 to close combat Attack and Damage tests with their glyph blade until the end of the next round.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (+1 to close combat Attack and Damage tests)


Force of Order

Threads: 1

Weaving: 9/14

Casting: TMD

Range: 40 yards

Duration: Instant

Effect: WIL+5/Physical and causes Knockdown

This spell strikes a target with sudden force. The magician forms a glyph with their hand, makes a fist, punches down, and makes a Spellcasting test against the target’s Mystic Defense. If successful, space stills around the target and a sudden force pummels them from above. The Effect test determines how much damage is inflicted, reduced by Physical Armor and the target must resist Knockdown against a Difficulty Number equal to the total damage received after armor.

Success Levels: Increase Effect (+2 to Effect Step)

Extra Threads: Increase Effect (+2 to Effect Step), Increase Range (+10 yards), Additional Target (+1)


Structured Link

Threads: 2

Weaving: 9/14

Casting: 10

Range: Touch

Duration: Rank minutes

Area of Effect: 2 yards wide and up to 20 yards long

Effect: Creates a bridge of astral energy

This spell shapes a complicated lattice bridge from energy. The magician stands where they want the bridge to begin, places a glyph on the ground, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, energy cascades in and solidifies into a bridge 2 yards wide and up to 20 yards long; it can be shorter if the magician desires. The bridge’s appearance is unique to the magician. It can hold up to 2000 pounds and is treated as metal, but weighs virtually nothing.

If the bridge does not have a stable position to rest on both sides or becomes unstable, it dissipates.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 minutes)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 minutes), Increase Area (+2 yards wide), Increase Area (+10 yards long)


Tear Down the Walls

Threads: 2

Weaving: 9/14

Casting: TMD (special)

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 2 rounds

Area of Effect: 4-yard radius

Effect: WIL+10/Physical, reduce barrier Physical Armor by -4 

This spell directs a blow of entropic energy at inanimate objects, destroying and weakening them. The magician can choose to affect a single object or direction in the area, or everything in the area. The magician places their glyph in front of them, kneels over it, and makes a Spellcasting test against greater of the highest applicable Mystic Defense in the area the magician is affecting or 10. If successful, a brief, shattering force fills the desired area. The Effect test determines how much damage is inflicted and all barriers suffer a -4 to Physical Armor until the end of the next round.

Animate, living, or objects in the possession of someone are unaffected by this spell.

Success Levels: Increase Effect (+2 Effect Step)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (+2 Effect Step), Increase Area (+2 yards)


Sixth Circle


Channel Crystal Guard

Threads: 0

Weaving: 10/15

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 2 rounds

Effect: +2 to Physical and Mystic Armor, and attack

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell crystallizes astral energy to form sections of armor. The magician forms a glyph with their off hand, runs their hand down their arm, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, glyphs appear on the magician’s body at key locations, leaving customized pieces of crystal armor. The magician gains +2 to Physical and Mystic Armor until the end of the next round.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (+1 to Physical and Mystic Armor)


Channel Descent to Chaos

Threads: 1

Weaving: 10/15

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 2 rounds

Effect: Harried and attack

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell infuses a glyph blade with winding chaos. The magician forms a glyph with their off-hand, runs their palm down the length of their glyph blade, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, the glyph blade is surrounded by a winding trail of chaotic energy. The next successful close combat attack with it this round causes the band of chaos to wrap around the target and torment them, inflicting Harried until the end of the next round.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (+1 attack)


Channel Forced Perspective

Threads: 1

Weaving: 10/15

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 2 rounds

Effect: The target focuses their attention to their detriment and attack

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell gives an opponent tunnel vision on their attacker. The magician forms a glyph with their off-hand, wraps it around the glyph blade, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, the glyph is transferred to the glyph blade. The magician’s next close combat attack with their glyph blade inflicts an incredibly heightened focus on the magician. They are Blindsided to all other attackers until the end of the next round.

However, spells, talents, and other abilities (this does not include benefits from pattern items, thread items, Discipline bonuses and other permanent bonuses) do not increase the magician’s Defenses against the affected opponent as they can see clearly through them. The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty. Additional successes increase the Attack test of the close combat attack that immediately follows this spell.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Attack test)


Prism Scout

Threads: 3

Weaving: 10/15

Casting: 10

Range: Touch

Duration: Rank minutes

Effect: Creates a small scout

This spell summons astral energy and suspends it into a tiny, crystalline form the magician can control and observe through. The magician draws a glyph, cups their hands around it, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, a shiny, faceted pebble is revealed when they remove their hands. The magician controls it and uses their senses through it, though can only use mundane perception abilities through it (e.g. Awareness talent, not Astral Sight). It has Movement Rate 10 and is easy to overlook as a shiny pebble, but not stealthy. It can climb sheer surfaces with its spindly legs, but is immediately destroyed if attacked. Once destroyed or the duration expires, it dissipates.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 minutes)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 minutes), Increase Effect (+2 Movement Rate)


Shifting Forms

Threads: 2

Weaving: 10/15

Casting: TMD (Special)

Range: 10 yards

Duration: Rank minutes

Effect: Exchanges the shape of two objects

This spell exchanges the form of two similarly sized, small, non-magical objects. The magician makes a glyph for each of two non-magical objects within range. This spell requires an additional success for each object the magician doesn’t place the glyph directly on. After the glyphs are created, they make a Spellcasting test against the greater of the highest Mystic Defense of the two objects (use possessor’s Mystic Defense if they are in someone’s possession) or 10. If successful, each object takes on the form of the other. Each object returns to its normal form when the duration expires.

The objects can be no more than 5 lbs and must be palm sized.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 minutes)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 minutes), Increase Effect (+5 lbs and similar increase in size), Increase Range (+10 yards)


Seventh Circle


Channel Bastion Crumble

Threads: 0

Weaving: 11/16

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 2 rounds

Effect: -2 to Physical and Mystic Armor, and attack

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell infuses a glyph blade with entropic energy that degrades armor. The magician forms a glyph with their off-hand, runs their last two fingers down the length of their glyph blade, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, the glyph blade is filled with dark, destructive energy and the next successful close combat attack with it causes the target to suffer -2 to Physical and Mystic Armor until the end of the next round. The penalties are inflicted after damage is assessed.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (-1 to Physical and Mystic Armor), Increase Effect (+1 attack)


Channel Static Motion

Threads: 0

Weaving: 11/16

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 2 rounds

Effect: Reduces target’s Movement Rate to 0 and attack

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell eliminates the target’s opportunities for movement. The magician forms a glyph with their off-hand, runs their first two fingers across their glyph blade, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, the area around the glyph blade becomes unnaturally still. The next successful close combat attack with the glyph blade this round reduces the target’s Movement Rate to 0 until the end of the next round. It cannot be increased during this time and the Movement Rate of anyone touching them is also reduced to 0.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty.  Additional successes increase the Attack test of the close combat attack that immediately follows this spell.

Success Levels: Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Attack test)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Attack test), Increase Effect (+1 attack)


Disorder Location

Threads: 2

Weaving: 11/16

Casting: TMD (Special)

Range: 10 yards

Duration: Instant

Effect: Switch the position of two objects

This spell exchanges the location of two similarly sized, small, objects. The magician makes a glyph for each of two objects within range. This spell requires an additional success for each object the magician doesn’t place the glyph directly on. After the glyphs are created, they make a Spellcasting test against the greater of the highest Mystic Defense of the two objects (use possessor’s Mystic Defense if they are in someone’s possession) or 10. If successful, each object exchanges location with the other.

The objects can be no more than 5 lbs and must be palm sized.

Success Levels: None

Extra Threads: Increase Effect (+5 lbs and similar increase in size), Increase Range (+10 yards)


Disorienting Field

Threads: 2

Weaving: 11/16

Casting: TMD (see text)

Range: Self

Duration: Rank rounds

Area of Effect: 8-yard radius

Effect: Causes Harried in the area

This spell brings chaotic and disorienting magic to the area. The magician places a glyph at their feet, lifts their hands to the sky, sweeps them down into a bow, and makes a Spellcasting test against the greater of the highest Mystic Defense in the area or 10. If successful, energy seeps in through the glyph and distorts reality slightly, making anyone unfamiliar with Blade Weaving Harried while in the affected area. Those familiar with Blade Weaving are unaffected.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Duration (minutes), Increase Area (+2 yards)


[Disrupted/Focused] Thoughts

Threads: 2

Weaving: 11/16

Casting: TMD

Range: 10 yards

Duration: Rank minutes

Effect: Distracts target

This spell distracts a target. There are two versions of this spell, one for chaos and the other for order. Each version is learned separately, but can be held in the same spell matrix. The magician forms a glyph with their hand, runs it down their face, and makes a Spellcasting test against the target’s Mystic Defense. If successful, the target is distracted.

Disrupted Thoughts causes the target’s thoughts to become a jumble of confusing images and contradictions. The target forgets what they were doing and is easily distracted. All attempts to distract them gain a +8 bonus.

Focused Thoughts causes the target to be myopically focused on one task. They perform this to the exclusion of everything else, though it must be a task they would normally consider focusing intently on, though this may not be the appropriate time. They suffer -8 to notice anything outside of their task.

Violent action of any kind around them immediately ends the spell.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 minutes)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 minutes), Increase Effect (+/-2) Additional Target (+1)


Eighth Circle


Blade Genesis

Threads: 2

Weaving: 12/17

Casting: TMD

Range: Self

Duration: Instant

Area of Effect: 4-yards

Effect: Bladeweaver Circle+Glyph Blade/Physical and a Wound

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell creates numerous copies of the magician’s glyph blade piercing opponents. The magician kneels, writes their glyph of the blade on the ground, slams their hand on it, and makes a Spellcasting test against their opponents’ highest Mystic Defense in the area. If successful, hundreds of copies of their glyph blade are created in the area in a vertical column, piercing their opponents from the ground and appearing in mid-air as appropriate. The Effect test determines how much damage is inflicted, reduced by Physical Armor; use the glyph blade’s current Damage Step (this includes bonuses from Glyph of Violence). Each target which suffers damage also takes a Wound in addition to any Wounds they would normally suffer.

This spell requires one the magician's hands to be empty.

Success Levels: Increase Effect (+2 to Effect Step)

Extra Threads: Increase Effect (+2 to Effect Step), Increase Area (+2 yards)


Channel Cyclonic Purge

Threads: 1

Weaving: 12/17

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: Instant

Area of Effect: 2-yard radius

Effect: Area attack

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell allows the magician to attack everyone within their magical circle. The magician places their off-hand at their chest, forms a glyph with it, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, the glyph expands out within a magical circle roiling with chaotic energy and makes a close combat Attack test using their glyph blade. The Attack test result is applied to every opponent within the area and the magician makes one Damage test (apply damage modifiers for extra successes individually).

The magician may not have made or make other close combat attacks this round. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty.  Additional successes increase the Attack test of the close combat attack that immediately follows this spell.

Success Levels: Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Attack test)

Extra Threads: Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Attack test), Increase Area (+2 yards)


Channel Discord of Life

Threads: 0

Weaving: 12/17

Casting: 10

Range: Self

Duration: Instant; 1 round

Effect: Close combat attack inflicts a Wound

Keywords: Glyph Blade.

This spell concentrates chaotic magic along the edge of a glyph blade to in discord with life. The magician forms a glyph with their off hand, runs the back of their hand down their glyph blade, and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. If successful, glyphs appear on the edge of the glyph blade which form a void-like line. The magician’s next close combat attack with their glyph blade this round inflicts a Wound if it causes damage. This is in addition to other Wounds the attack may inflict.

The magician may make a close combat attack with their glyph blade. This spell requires the magician’s off-hand to be empty. Additional successes increase the Attack test of the close combat attack that immediately follows this spell.

Success Levels: Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Attack test)

Extra Threads: Increase Effect (+2 to close combat Attack test), Increase Effect (+1 Wound), Increase Effect (+1 attack)


Chaotic Rearrangement

Threads: 3

Weaving: 12/17

Casting: TMD (Special)

Range: 10 yards

Duration: Instant; Rank minutes

Effect: Switch the position and shape of two objects

This spell exchanges the form and location of two similarly sized, small, non-magical objects. The magician makes a glyph for each of two non-magical objects within range. This spell requires an additional success for each object the magician doesn’t place the glyph directly on. After the glyphs are created, they make a Spellcasting test against the greater of the highest Mystic Defense of the two objects (use possessor’s Mystic Defense if they are in someone’s possession) or 10. If successful, each object takes on the form of the other and exchanges location. Each object returns to its normal form when the duration expires; their location doesn’t change.

The objects can be no more than 5 lbs and must be palm sized.

Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 minutes)

Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 minutes), Increase Effect (+5 lbs and similar increase in size), Increase Range (+10 yards)


Rearrange Position [Chaos/Order]

Threads: 2

Weaving: 12/17

Casting: 15

Range: Self

Duration: Instant

Area of Effect: 200-yard radius

Effect: Changes location 

This spell instantly moves the magician to a different location within the area. There are two versions of this spell, one for chaos and the other for order. Each version of Rearrange Position is learned separately, but can be held in the same spell matrix.

The magician draws a glyph on their chest (chaos) or the ground (order) and makes a Spellcasting (10) test. For order, the magician must be able to see their destination or know its exact location by some other means (gamemaster’s discretion). If successful, the order spell rearranges reality to place the magician at the desired location. The chaos spell simply moves the magician somewhere in the area, though it is not into a physical object or immediate environmental danger, but that doesn’t mean it is safe. This choice is used when it is assumed anywhere is better than here. Sometimes it is.

If the magician gets one success, they are disoriented and cannot act during the next round. On two successes, they may act normally on the following round. With three successes, they may immediately act as though they hadn’t taken actions yet this round.

Success Levels: See text

Extra Threads: Increase Area (+20 yards)