31 October 2012

Earthdawn: Adventure Log 06 - Festering Ardanyan

This is the sixth Adventure Log in an ongoing series about Earthdawn.Introduction and Index.

Scorchers are considered a plague across the plains of Barsaive by many; they are considered the only true element of ork culture by others (these would mostly be ork scorchers).  They are tribes of loosely affiliated ork cavalry and are fiercely territorial of what they consider their ancestral lands, particularly towards other scorchers and any other groups that can put up a fight. Given the lifespan of orks, ancestral status may not take very long to reach. Most commonly these savage nomads make their living by taking from others, though some may act as mercenaries, often protecting other Namegivers from the attacks of other scorchers.

Tribes most interested in feeding their families will engage in semi-formal protection rackets; pay them to leave you alone. If you don't pay, they will take and you will be punished. If you pay, they will come back wanting more. Tribes lucky enough to have a chieftain with foresight may take that a step further and actively protect those who pay them. This is by no means altruistic; if they are successful, that means they will be able to pay more and more often. A situation beneficial to everyone, though it lasts only as long as it takes for the newest chieftain to decide they are growing fat on the yoke of these weaklings. Bringing us to tribes that are interested in the glory of conflict in the name of Thystonius, Passion of Combat. Even if the village will pay, they will still engage in an orgy of violence because that is just their way, though they will not necessarily shy away from their equals (or even betters) in conflict - that is the depths of their devotion to their chosen Passion.

Mercenary tribes may evolve from those that see the wisdom in working within the system, or perhaps just engage in a more formalized protection racket with some acceptable civilized trappings. The unfortunate nature of some of these tribes is that when the opportunity seizes them, they may turn against their erstwhile employers and engage in the very behavior they have been paid to prevent. Scorchers can be a fickle lot, likely due to a poor understanding of their social underpinnings. They are, after all, just brutal savages. Not all scorchers fall into these categories, nor should they. The Thunderers are the most famous tribe and with good reason: they have earned a reputation for honor and valor, serving the dwarf kingdom of Throal for years.

In play, they may be a common and convenient enemy. Bands of scorchers can appear nearly anywhere in varying sizes and their attacks are frequent and often brutal. Luckily for civilization as a whole, their organization rarely rises above that of a band, though all of the bands nominally operate under the leadership of the chieftain. The level of coordination, leadership and organization to have all of the bands together as a cohesive whole is extremely rare, but terrifying when it occurs (see the Thunderers for a prime example). Consider the potential threat represented by various scorcher bands becoming organized for an unknown purpose by an effective leader. A mounted horde that gives even the Thunderers pause. Dealing with a threat along those lines is the kind of thing that legends are made of.

Adventure Log – 06 Festering Ardanyan

Recorded By: Jak’Tak

Date: 02 Riag – 08 Riag, 1506 TH
Group Name: Mismatched Steel

Group Members
Elmod the Nethermancer(1)
Honeysuckle Sunspray the Windmaster(2)
Jak’Tak the Weaponsmith(3)
Ting the Swordmaster(4)

We return to Bartertown. Nishta(5) needs a mate. Titanstroke Greybeard, chief of the Thunderers. Skull Wargs(6) – ork scorchers in the area. Brutal and cruel. Warrior brotherhood works for Maester Bleys. Ting takes work as Tarr’s bodyguard. Phregas Kular, as human merchant, hires us to guard his caravan – to Ardanyan. Scorchers attack on the third day – burly orks with skull helmets. Skull Wargs! One raider rushes past and delivered an object. The driver claims ignorance. Elmod is hired as inquisitor. Jak gets a horse. We reach Ardanyan, a fine city. The city guard looks fine, but can they fight?

Karl the dwarf meets with an ork. And hands over a box. Honeysuckle follows to an ork home. In the box is a pigeon, which Honeysuckle kills(7). Elmod meets with the local Nethermancer(8). Gets a job to fetch a necklace. Ting hands out with the t’skrang folk. Eats spiced fish. We tell the authorities. The conspirators are arrested and we head out to find the necklace. Find out that it is an elven burial ground. We were confronted by elves and left empty-handed. Phregas gets arrested, Elmod goes to make a statement. We found some of the forest elves there. Strange. Uncovered a slave ring(9)? The dwarfs are dubious. We take a job collecting a debt from the Council. We are told to return in the morning. Ting and Jak camp in the woods. The Council tells us to get payment from his family. The elves are not trustworthy.(10)

(1) Known associate of Fastoon Julari Makanth Phunkot of Iopos. Trained under Mestoph, if that information is possibly correct.
(2) An uncommon Discipline, particularly in this part of Barsaive, the Windmaster is a community guardian, similar to a Warrior, for Windlings of Glenwood Deep.
(3) Known associate of Maester Bleys and Omasu.
(4) Known associate of Tarr. Trained under T’Skee “the Magnificent”, Swordmaster of V’Strimon. See cataloged: Adventuring Groups: Exploration: Fourfathers.
(5) Troll Novice Weaponsmith associated with Maester Bleys.
(6) Particularly violent and troublesome. They seem to have a new leader that is exceptionally cautious, determined, and cunning. Little more is known.
(7) This suggests a whole new level of operations for the Skull Whargs. I suggest contacting one of the Houses and arranging for a suitable group to do reconnaissance in the area. Seven Winds of War would be preferable, though expensive.
(8) Issir Fanng, a human Nethermancer residing in Ardanyan.
(9) This must refer to Grankar Eisengeisser, a dwarf merchant of Throal operating in Ardanyan. No Throalic dwarf would ever take or hold slaves.
(10) Received and edited by Zamirica One-Knee.



*     *     *
This session marks the beginning of a three-part arc using the adventure, Ardanyan's Revenge. It is typically suggested and used as an introductory adventure for groups just getting into Earthdawn. There are two different ways in which it can be run: a Group of Initiates starting inside of a sealed kaer, or a group outside of the kaer. The former is the most popular take, which is as expected since having characters come from a recently unsealed kaer is a good way to start of any chronicle. It gives them a common history and reason to be together, and also allows them to explore the world together with limited expectations that they are already familiar with the setting. To those steeped in lore, the issue of spell matrices can be a sticky one (they weren't available until after the Scourge), but there is some discussion on how to handle that within the adventure; including that when they were developed they were immediately a part of the larger Discipline, which is my preference, or characters can be created as "old-style" characters with different Talents.

Since this Group was already well under way, I decided to go with the much less common take and have them become embroiled in the events. Some elements were added to include this arc in the larger story (notably further implications with the scorchers in this session). On the whole, the adventure works much better with the direction that it was clearly intended. There are parts where, depending on your group, keeping them interested and focused on the issues at hand and not walking away from the mess, can be tricky. Besides that, the adventure as a whole is good, though the end can seem like a railroad if your group needs to feel they have agency in every scene and action. I will try to address these specifically as they occur, though they are generally not helped by being outsiders and having no initial buy-in to the premise and actors involved.

Despite using them for all of the sessions, I realized that I had not yet brought up one of my favorite game aids: note cards. These are the best way for me to distribute things that I want players to have in some way and tend to quickly go on replacing traditional ways to track various things. For example, I have cards for every piece of equipment with the game effects and stats (including weight and cost), along with a description. This helps save time looking things up (including buying more, or even making it), gives a place to take notes and also tracks who actually possesses the item in question. All of this is doubly true for Thread Items. They make great handouts and a useful way to introduce new characters. Make a card with their Name and some key traits about them; easy descriptors to convey the important elements about them. Players can then take notes about that character in one place. I prefer to color code my note cards, so I know at a glance what I have; for example, purple is people, green places, red blood magic, white equipment, blue key items, and yellow consumables. An interesting way to implement theft is to quietly remove a card from a stack and then have the theft noted when the player notices the item is missing. This is not a good idea for every group or player, though can be effective for groups that appreciate that kind of play.

30 October 2012

Kickstarter: Part 8 - Retrospective and Updates

This is the eighth part in an ongoing series about crowdfunding. Overview and Index.

This part is going to take a look at all of the crowdfunding gaming projects that I have backed over nearly a year. First, let's take a look at some new projects:


Updates

Base Raiders is a FATE-based superpowered dungeon crawling. It is certainly a strange mash-up of genres, but the setting does a little to explain it: those with natural super powers (hero and villain alike) have mysteriously disappeared, leaving behind their fortified bases of operation. A new breed has emerged that have empowered themselves and go hunting for these demesnes and the treasures within. Also the dangers. It is certainly an interesting pitch, but I'm signing up for what could easily be both an interesting take on supers and fantasy dungeon crawling. The versatile nature of FATE makes this pretty compelling in light of that. At $15 for a pdf and print starting at $30, it's not expensive to get in on this. Already funded with nearly a month left, all of the initial stretch goals are ports to different systems - in case the pitch caught your eye, but the system leaves you wanting. The systems include Wild Talents (ORE), Mutants and Masterminds, and Savage Worlds.

Emergence is a sci-fantasy game with lovely art. The setting is our world with access to multiple worlds and the various genres that inhabit them, from sci-fi to fantasy. Character creation has an emphasis on varied powers with some strong flavor behind them, from cybernetics and runes, to tattoo magic and fleshcrafting. With only six days left, their reach seems like it will exceed their grasp; a goal of $20,000 is ambitious (though raising over half that is a respectable showing by any account). Rewards start at $15 for the pdf and the first print option is $50, a full-color hardback. I'd love to see this get made, but the odds are against it at this point.

Hillfolk is Robin D. Laws' most recent project and features his new DramaSystem. The game itself is centered around the brutal lives and relationships of competing Iron Age tribes. That is just one of the offered settings for this system and the unlocked stretch goals continue to add more, including: Hollywoodland, exploring the founding figures of American film; Mad Scientists Anonymous, where former villains struggle against relapse; Moscow Station, drama among cold war espionage; and no less than 36 other settings! All of the books have been upgraded to hardcover and full-color at this point. With pdfs starting at $10 and print at $25, this is a pretty amazing deal. Needless to say, but I will anyway, it is fully funded - though it only has three days left.

Wilderness is the most recent expansion for Houses of the Blooded, by John Wick. For the right group, Houses of the Blooded is an amazing game of intrigue, romance and blood. The domain management is one of the best elements for the long-term strategy and sheer avarice it invokes. This book expands on all of that, including new regions, retainers, resources, orks, and a new House, the Boar. Also within are discussions on exploring wild areas and Trouble, as well as portraying adventuring companies for a more traditional experience. For only $10 you get pdfs of both Wilderness and Houses of the Blooded, which is pretty much a steal, and the physical book starts at $25. This project has already reached its first stretch goal and may very well make the next one prior to closing in 12 days.

Magicians is a high school game set in Korea against the backdrop of traditional Korean mythology and superstition (which has been under-represented). What is truly notable about this game is through playing it and using the magic system, you learn Korean and there is even an app to help with this. Which is pretty amazing to me. Well, that and the awesomely insane setting and mythological underpinnings. Any more description I provide probably won't do this project any justice; check this one out. One of the stretch goals, which is within its grasp, is to provide a hack for learning Japanese. The pdfs start at $10 and the physical book is $25.

The Shadows of Esteren Prologue has also launched and is showing all of the signs of success associated with the previous project. This is a low-fantasy/horror setting with some amazing art and interesting takes on the genre as a whole. Beyond the new book, what is awesome about this project is that it allows anyone who missed the previous Kickstarter to get in on nearly everything made available in the first one, including the limited edition core book (except this is all sold out now - oops) and music. There is also a new screen with new art along with numerous other little things that made the initial project memorable. Print starts at $20 and both books can be had on pdf for the same price (just the prologue is only $5).

Retrospective

It has been about a year since I backed my first project, Always/Never/Now, and I have backed 46 rpg projects in total. Not all of the have succeeded (which my wallet is thankful, but my shelves lament), but there have been some real gems in there. The biggest thing to know when getting into backing projects is that it is far more likely for a timeline to slip than not; being on time is such a rarity it deserves an award. This really is a patronage rather than a direct transaction for product, with all of the attendant delays and risks. None of this has dissuaded me, nor should it anyone else as long as you go into it with eyes wide open, understanding of the perils along the way.

Here is a chronological list (by closing date) of the projects I have backed and a snapshot of the progress. (The last update actually about the project will be what I list in that category.)

Quantum Roleplaying Game
Funded on 30Dec2011
Goal: $13,000
Raised: $42,747
Backers: 580
Status: Late; beta PDF has been issued.
Estimated Delivery: Apr2012.
Last Update: #49, 27Sep2012

Always/Never/Now
Funded on 08Jan2012
Goal: $1,500
Raised: $8,363
Backers: 266
Status: Late.
Estimated Delivery: Apr2012.
Last Update: #26, 24Oct2012

Tephra
Funded on 04Feb2012
Goal: $1,000
Raised: $22,821
Backers: 374
Status: Late: Most rewards have been received (late); still awaiting Adversary Book.
Estimated Delivery: Mar2012.
Last Update: #17, 10Jun2012

Monsterhearts
Funded on 22Feb2012
Goal: $2,500
Raised: $11,715
Backers: 346
Status: All rewards have been received. (Review)
Last Update: #15, Jun2012

School Daze
Funded on 25Mar2012
Goal: $3,000
Raised: $6,440
Backers: 159
Status: Late: All physical rewards have been received (late); still awaiting a bonus Group Project. (Review)
Estimated Delivery: Jul2012
Last Update: #32, 30Sep2012

Parsec
Funded on 14Apr2012
Goal: $3,300
Raised: $12,440
Backers: 415
Status: All rewards have been received on time.
Estimated Delivery: Jun2012
Last Update: #26, 29Jun2012

Hellas: Worlds of Sun and Stone
Funded on 20Apr2012
Goal: $10,500
Raised: $11,907
Backers: 210
Status: PDF has been delivered and project still within delivery schedule.
Estimated Delivery: Nov2012
Last Update: #23, 27Oct2012

Witch Girls: Book of Shadows
Funded on 10May2012
Goal: $2,000
Raised: $8,717
Backers: 167
Status: Still within delivery schedule (will be late due to litigation).
Estimated Delivery: Oct2012
Last Update: #55, 29Oct2012

Candycreeps
Funded on 14May2012
Goal: $700
Raised: $2,020
Backers: 83
Status: All rewards have been received on time. (Review)
Estimated Delivery: Jul2012
Last Update: #8, 27Jul2012

Farewell to Fear
Funded on 20May2012
Goal: $4,000
Raised: $18,696
Backers: 420
Status: Late; some pdfs have been provided.
Estimated Delivery: Aug2012
Last Update: #42, 19Oct2012

Mecha Combiners
Funded on 31May2012
Goal: $2,000
Raised: $3,655
Backers: 108
Status: Late.
Estimated Delivery: Sep2012
Last Update: #24, 10Oct2012

The Book of Jade
Funded on 01Jun2012
Goal: $10,000
Raised: $16,794
Backers: 206
Status: Late; updated shipping timeline indicates it should happen by the end of October.
Estimated Delivery: Jun2012
Last Update: #8, 17Sep2012

Lamentations of the Flame Princess
Funded on 01Jun2012
Goal: $7,500
Raised: $16,240
Backers: 314
Status: Within (new) delivery schedule.
Estimated Delivery: Originally late Oct2012, now Nov2012 (as of 15Oct2012).
Last Update: #21, 17Oct2012

Outlive, Outdead
Funded on 02Jun2012
Goal: $2,000
Raised: $3,814
Backers: 121
Status: All rewards have been received (late).
Estimated Delivery: Jun2012
Last Update: #15, 18Jul2012

curse the darkness
Funded on 06Jun2012
Goal: $5,000
Raised: $11,861
Backers: 288
Status: All physical rewards have been received (late); still awaiting some stretch goals.
Estimated Delivery: Aug2012
Last Update: #39, 29Oct2012.

Blade Raiders
Funded on 14Jun2012
Goal: $5,000
Raised: $8,424
Backers: 223
Status: Within delivery schedule.
Estimated Delivery: Nov2012
Last Update: #14, 22Oct2012

Champions of ZED
Funded on 16Jun2012
Goal: $4,600
Raised: $8,077
Backers: 259
Status: Late.
Estimated Delivery: Aug2012
Last Update: #14, 10Sep2012

Our Last Best Hope
Funded on 17Jun2012
Goal: $3,000
Raised: $12,620
Backers: 360
Status: All initial rewards have been received (dice were late); waiting for stretch goals. (Review)
Estimated Delivery: Aug2012
Last Update: #23, 18Oct2012

Dungeon World
Funded on 30Jun2012
Goal: $4,000
Raised: $82,879
Backers: 2,455
Status: Late; beta PDFs have been provided
Estimated Delivery: Aug2012
Last Update: #28, 29Oct2012

Westward
Funded on 01Jul2012
Goal: $3,000
Raised: $19,227
Backers: 454
Status: Within delivery schedule (technically).
Estimated Delivery: Oct2012
Last Update: #15, 16Oct2012

Last Stand
Funded on 02Jul2012
Goal: $1,500
Raised: $11,206
Backers: 245
Status: Late; some electronic files have been provided.
Estimated Delivery: Jul2012
Last Update: #33, 23Oct2012

Division
Failed Funding on 18Jul2012
Goal: $6,000
Raised: $993
Backers: 44
Status: Back as Act Ten (see below).

Project Panda Ninja Taco
Funded on 22Jul2012
Goal: $12,500
Raised: $14,808
Backers: 386
Status: Within delivery schedule.
Estimated Delivery: Dec2012
Last Update: #9, 28Oct2012

Shadows of Esteren
Funded on 30Jul2012
Goal: $3,000
Raised: $55,608
Backers: 705
Status: All rewards delivered (on time).
Estimated Delivery: Aug2012
Last Update: #35, 16Oct2012

Synnibar
Failed Funding on 31Jul2012
Goal: $55,000
Raised: $4,552
Backers: 74
Status: Still completely insane.

Project: Paradigm
Funded on 02Aug2012
Goal: $2,000
Raised: $4,700
Backers: 69
Status: Within delivery schedule.
Estimated Delivery: Apr2013
Last Update: #10, 25Sep2012

SteamCraft
Funded on 19Aug2012
Goal: $5,500
Raised: $7,091
Backers: 126
Status: PDF has been delivered, within delivery schedule.
Estimated Delivery: Nov2012
Last Update: #17, 25Sep2012

Dungeons Unleashed
Cancelled on 21Aug2012
Goal: $2,500
Raised: $695
Backers: 22
Status: Needed more information about the game.

Better Angels
Funded on 26Aug2012
Goal: $5,000
Raised: $21,593
Backers: 639
Status: Within delivery schedule.
Estimated Delivery: Dec2012
Last Update: #13, 02Oct2012

Tenra Bansho Zero
Funded on 16Sep2012
Goal: $9,000
Raised: $129,640
Backers: 1,704
Status: Within delivery schedule
Estimated Delivery: Feb/Mar2013 (as of most recent update)
Last Update: #27, 28Oct2012

Numenera
Funded on 17Sep2012
Goal: $20,000
Raised: $517,255
Backers: 4,658
Status: Within delivery schedule.
Estimated Delivery: Jul2013
Last Update: #45, 19Oct2012

13 True Ways
Funded on 21Sep2012
Goal: $29,800
Raised: $70,101
Backers: 846
Status: Within delivery schedule.
Estimated Delivery: Apr2013
Last Update: #39, 26Oct2012

tremulous
Funded on 01Oct2012
Goal: $5,000
Raised: $62,753
Backers: 1,555
Status: PDFs have been provided; within delivery schedule.
Estimated Delivery: Jan2013
Last Update: #29, 17Oct2012

The Coriolis Defect
Failed Funding on 11Oct2012
Goal: $20,000
Raised: $4,523
Backers: 116
Status: A more modest goal would have succeeded.

Mechanika
Failed Funding on 11Oct2012
Goal: $10,000
Raised: $1,332
Backers: 48
Status: More modest goal and better presentation.

Akyrema City: Quantum Roleplaying Game
Failed Funding on 18Oct2012
Goal: $30,000
Raised: $7,751
Backers: 120
Status: More modest goal and prove that there is product.

Act Ten
Funded on 28Oct2012
Goal: $1,000
Raised: $2,379
Backers: 170
Status: PDF has been provided; within delivery schedule.
Estimated Delivery: Dec2012
Last Update: #11, 28Oct2012

Outlive Outdead Companion
Project closes on 31Oct2012
Goal: $1,300
Raised: $846
Backers: 23
Status: Ongoing
Estimated Delivery: Dec2012
Last Update: #2, 24Oct2012

Hillfolk
Project closes on 02Nov2012
Goal: $3,000
Raised: $61,421
Backers: 1,543
Status: Ongoing [Funded]
Estimated Delivery: Apr 2013
Last Update: #24, 28Oct2012

Emergence
Project closes on 05Nov2012
Goal: $20,000
Raised: $11,027
Backers: 162
Status: Ongoing
Estimated Delivery: Aug2013
Last Update: #17, 27Oct2012

Sixcess
Project closes on 05Nov2012
Goal: $2,500
Raised: $4,833
Backers: 118
Status: Ongoing [Funded]
Estimated Delivery: Feb2013
Last Update: #14, 25Oct2012

Nova Praxis
Project closes on 10Nov2012
Goal: $10,000
Raised: $19,613
Backers: 415
Status: Ongoing [Funded]
Estimated Delivery: Feb2013
Last Update: #8, 21Oct2012

Wilderness: Houses of the Blooded
Project closes on 11Nov2012
Goal: $3,000
Raised: $7,880
Backers: 162
Status: Ongoing [Funded]
Estimated Delivery: Dec 2012
Last Update: #6, 24Oct2012

Magicians
Project closes on 18Nov2012
Goal: $3,000
Raised: $16,097
Backers: 466
Status: Ongoing [Funded]
Estimated Delivery: Apr 2013
Last Update: #11, 26Oct2012

Base Raiders
Project closes on 24Nov2012
Goal: $6,000
Raised: $6,522
Backers: 175
Status: Ongoing [Funded]
Estimated Delivery: Jul2013
Last Update: #5, 28Oct2012

Shadows of Esteren Prologue
Project closes on 26Nov2012
Goal: $3,000
Raised: $24,754
Backers: 263
Status: Ongoing [Funded]
Estimated Delivery: Mar 2013
Last Update: #5, 28Oct2012

While that is a rather and (hopefully) objective look at where things stand, I really don't begrudge any of the projects that are late, particularly if a stretch goal is what is delaying things. Communication is always going to be important, even if you haven't neared your delivery - most backers want to hear how things are going, it goes along with the patronage model. While direct input should be a reward, updates are an expectation.

Probably the biggest lessons from this are not just what goes into a successful project, but always where unsuccessful ones went wrong. Looking back, it's generally obvious why it was destined to fail (usually a goal that is just too high). My hope is that this is somehow useful to someone, or at least a point of curiosity. I would love to know about others crowdfunding experiences, or if you have any specific questions, leave a comment.

27 October 2012

Earthdawn: Part 16 - Comparison of 3E and Revised

This is the fifteenth part in an ongoing series about Earthdawn. Introduction and Index.

This is a list of all the changes I could find while reviewing the Earthdawn Revised Edition Player's Guide (often referred to as EDR, ED3R, or Revised). As advertised the changes were fairly minor over all, but there were hints that the overall release plans for the line are going to be different. For example, there were references to Adept's Way and Magic: A Manual of Mystic Secrets for material that was included in the Player's Compendium during the 3E publication run. As well, the spell and equipment lists reflect the 1E core book; I will cover what was specifically removed. Here is the list:

Chapter 1 - Introduction
  • Result Level Table: Now follows the following formulas: Poor = Average/2; Good = Average x 1.5; Excellent = Average x 2; Extraordinary = Average x 2.5
  • Minimum Difficulty: 3.
  • Default Measurements: Now in yards, not hexes. This may have caused some issues with unintentionally altered distances, or they may have been changed intentionally.
Chapter 2 - Characters
  • Humans: Karma Step 5.
  • Orks: Karma Step 5.
  • Windlings: Karma Step 5.
  • Carrying Capacity: Reduced (starting at Strength 7).
  • Death Rating: Figured by the following formula: 10 + Toughness x 2
  • Unconsciousness Ratings: Increased.
  • Wound Threshold: Reduced slightly for some very high ratings (starting at 25).
  • Recovery Tests: Slightly altered, 1 is the minimum and an additional per day is gained at one less Toughness (7, 13, 19, etc, instead of 8, 14, 20, etc).
  • Encumbrance: Moved to Chapter 2. [Organization]
  • Building Your Legend: Moved to Chapter 2. [Organization]
  • Training Pledges: Included in the Player's Guide. [Organization] 
Chapter 3 - Disciplines
  • Example Adepts: Included in Chapter 3. [Organization]
  • Durability: Now a Discipline Talent. This explicitly means there are two Discipline Talents at 2nd Circle and both are required for advancement.
  • Beastmaster: Primal Urges now has a duration, 10 minutes.
  • Spell Matrices: Numbered for convenience. [Organization]
  • Troubadour: One Last Word no longer costs Karma.
Chapter 4 - Talents
  • Battle Bellow: Range has been halved. (This may be an editing error.)
  • Battle Shout: Range has increased by 50% (Rank x 3 yards).
  • Call Missile: Range has been halved. (This may be an editing error.)
  • Familiar Durability: Removed.
  • Gliding Stride: Distance has been halved, with the exception of reducing distance fallen. (The former may be an editing error.)
  • Great Leap: Distance has been halved, movement leaped counts for overall movement that turn. (The former may be an editing error.)
  • Quick Shot: Has been included despite being a Warden tier Talent.
  • Sprint: Distance has been halved. (This may be an editing error.)
Chapter 5 - Skills
  • Default Skill Use: No longer requires a Good Result, but imposes a -2 penalty on the roll.
  • Alchemy: Refers to Magic: A Manual of Mystic Secrets and all of the Enchanting Difficulty Numbers (EDN) are missing from the equipment.
Chapter 6 - Magic
  • Astral Sensing: Difficulties in Open and Tainted areas has increased.
  • Thread Weaving: Difficulties have slightly increased.
  • Spell Learning: Difficulties have slightly increased (uses same table as Thread Weaving).
  • Dispel: Difficulties have slightly increased (uses same table as Thread Weaving).
  • Pushing Talents: The bonuses have increased.
  • Familiars: Removed.
  • Named Spells: Referenced in Magic: A Manual of Mystic Secrets.
  • Concentration: There is now casual and active concentration for spells.
  • Lowering Spell Defense: Cannot take Spell Defense below a 3. When a spellcasting lowers their own Spell Defense, they take a -3 penalty for the turn.
  • Raw Magic Casting: Horror Mark Steps have increased.
  • Raw Magic Casting: Penalties for every two Circles the spell is above the caster's highest magician Circle.
  • Grimoire Casting: Costs 1 Strain and has the same penalties as Raw Magic casting (above), with a minimum penalty of -2. It affects the Thread Weaving, Spellcasting and Effect Tests now.
  • Illusion Sensing: Difficulty is now 10 + 2 x Spell's Circle.
  • Multiple Spells: There is an expanded clarification for casting a spell on a target that is already affected by that spell.
  • Summoning: Chapter has been removed.
Chapter 7 - Spells

  • Typos:
    • Dispel Elementalism: Listed in both 2nd and 3rd Circle.
    • Detect Nethermancy: Listed in both 2nd and 3rd Circle.
    • Grave Message: There is no Spell Distance Difficulty table.
  • Removed Spells
    • Elementalist
      • First Circle
        • Air Armor
        • Moonglow
        • Purify Earth
      • Second Circle
        • Air Mattress
        • Billowing Cloak
        • Flame Strike
        • Hunter's Sense
        • Shield Willow
        • Small Slayer
      • Third Circle
        • Fingers of Wind
        • Fuel Flame
        • Grounding
        • Lightning Bolt
        • Rust
        • Smoke Cloud
        • Snuff
        • Sunlight
        • Thrive
        • Winds of Deflection
      • Fourth Circle
        • [Element] Spear
        • Falcon's Cloak
        • Fire Whip
        • Great Sticky Vines
        • Lightning Step
        • Liquid Arrow
        • Loadstone's Touch
        • Root Trap
        • Shield of Warping
        • Spirits of Death's Sea
      • Fifth Circle
        • Balloons of Mist
        • Inflame Self
        • Ironwood
        • Nutritious Earth
        • Resist Poison
        • Shattering Stone
      • Sixth Circle
        • Fireweave
        • Living Wall
        • Stone Rain
        • Tree Merge
      • Seventh Circle
        • Beast Form
        • Earth Q'wril
        • Earth Surfing
        • Engulf [Element]
        • Fire Houds
        • Flame Darts
        • Grasping Hand of Earth
        • Thunderclap
      • Eighth Circle
        • Crushing Hand of Earth
        • Waterspout
    • Illusionist
      • First Circle
        • Bellow of the Thundras
        • Blazing Fists of Rage
        • Catseyes
        • Fun with Doors
        • True Blazing Fists of Rage
      • Second Circle
        • Blindness
        • Disaster
        • Encrypt
        • Impossible Knot
        • Remove Shadow
        • You Got Me
      • Third Circle
        • And Then I Woke Up
        • Blinding Glare
        • Phantom Warrior
        • See the Unseen
        • Soothe the Savage Beast
      • Fourth Circle
        • Aura
        • Bleeding Edge
        • Conceal Tracks
        • Great Weapon
        • Hunger
        • Memory Blank
        • Nightmare of Foreboding
        • Unmask
      • Fifth Circle
        • Awaken
        • Bond of Silence
        • Clothing Gone
        • Enter and Exit
        • Flesh Eater
        • Illusion Switch
      • Sixth Circle
        • Astral Shadow
        • Foreseeing
        • Memory Scribe
        • Stench
      • Seventh Circle
        • Dream Sight
        • Drunken Stagger
        • Reversal of Passion
        • Silent Stampede
        • Stampede
        • Time Flies
      • Eighth Circle
        • Dreamsend
        • Shadow Spell
    • Nethermancer
      • First Circle
        • Astral Spear
        • Mount Scare
        • Spirit Dart
      • Second Circle
        • Gadfly
        • Shadow's Whisper
      • Third Circle
        • Arrow of Night
        • Dark Messenger
        • Death Trance
        • Preserve
        • Shadow Meld
        • Summon Bone Ghost
      • Fourth Circle
        • Blood Servitor
        • Dark Spy
        • Friend or Foe
        • Last Chance
        • Night Flyer's Cloak
      • Fifth Circle
        • Astral Mount
        • Astral Whisper
        • Blind
        • Incessant Talking
        • Sculpt Darkness
        • Sense Horror
        • Shadow Hunter
        • Spiritual Guidance
        • Star Shower
        • Tears of the Scourge
        • Whisper Through the Night
      • Sixth Circle
        • Bone Puppet
        • Bone Walker
        • Dust to Dust
        • Wall of Darkness
      • Seventh Circle
        • Astral Beacon
        • Astral Maw
        • Banquet of Dis
        • Bone Pudding
        • Cold Storage
        • Damage Shift
        • Marathon Run
        • Spirit Bolt
        • Steal Strength
        • Step Through Shadow
      • Eighth Circle
        • Globe of Silence
        • Netherblade
        • Visit Death
        • Wall of Bones
        • Wither Away
    • Wizard
      • First Circle
        • Bedazzling Display of Logical Analysis
        • Silent Converse
        • Triangulate
      • Second Circle
        • Seal
      • Third Circle
        • Aura Strike
        • Catwalk
        • False Aura
        • Healing Sleep
        • Identify Spell
        • Ork Stoke
        • Water Wings
        • Wizard Mark
      • Fourth Circle
        • Binding Threads
        • Buoyancy
        • Hair Frenzy
        • Icy Protection
        • Identify Magic
        • Juggler's touch
        • Karmic Connection
        • Wizard's Cloak
      • Fifth Circle
        • Giant Size
        • Heat Metal Armor
        • Mystic Shock
        • Sanctuary
        • Study Thread
      • Sixth Circle
        • Blood Lost
        • Loan Spell
        • Mental Library
        • Multi-Mind Dagger
        • Rampage
        • Spellstore
      • Seventh Circle
        • Astral Gift
        • Call
        • Dislodge Spell
        • Liquid Eyes
        • Mystic Net
      • Eighth Circle
        • Catch Spell
        • Peacebond
        • Spell Snatcher
Chapter 9 - Goods
  • The following items have been removed:
    • Weapons
      • Scythan Axe
    • Armor
      • Bark
      • Living Hair Barding
    • Shields
      • Bark
    • Blood Charms
      • Blood Karma
      • Blood Weapon
      • Bone Charm
      • Crystal Arm
      • Disturbing Appearance
      • Karma Absorber
      • Poison Sac
      • Spore Glands
      • Winds of Fire
    • Common Magic Items
      • Boots, Huntsman's
      • Cloak, Oakleaf
    • Healing Aids
      • Anti-Sporific Potion
      • Cure Disease Potion
    • Mounts
      • Dyre
      • Stajian
    • Thread Items
      • Section removed
Chapter 10 - Passions
  • Passions: Now included in the Player's Guide; though mechanics for Questors are not included. [Organization]
Overall the changes are very minor. Most of the omissions are likely to accommodate the new, smaller book format. Though they do also signal a return to including material that was in the original 1E release and not offering material from across the line. This makes me wonder if it is related to the return to FASA. Turning various table values into formulas appeals to me since it will be easier to handle those on the fly. The changes to Karma and Durability are also good, though I'm uncertain how I feel about the improved Karma Step for humans - Versatility is already an amazingly powerful Talent. Many of the halved distances may, or may not be artifacts of the measurement change. I am curious to see how the future releases are affected by the new format.

If you have any questions, or note something that I have missed, leave a comment.