27 May 2014

Earthdawn 4E: Example Character 01 - T'skrang Swordmaster

This is the first Example Character in an ongoing series about Earthdawn. Introduction and Index.

The t'skrang Swordmaster is probably the single most iconic archetype in the history of Earthdawn. It's no surprise, really: they are an evocative meeting of system and setting. This combination was meant for each other and it happens to be a mechanically good fit as well. Below is what an example of an Eighth Circle t'skrang Swordmaster, along with equipment and play suggestions.

Each Circle saw this character improve one attribute and take a new talent option. There are no Thread Items on this character, however unlikely it may be. 

Note: The entries in this series may be updated periodically as I master the coding to fit all eight of the Circles in a fashion which doesn't result in eye melting. Consider these living entries. Please leave comments if there is anyway this could be made more useful.

Discipline: Swordmaster
Race: T'skrang

Attributes:
DEX: 19 (8) [+2]   STR: 13 (6) [+0]  TOU: 16 (7) [+2]
PER: 14 (6) [+1]   WIL: 10 (5) [+0]   CHA: 18 (7) [+2]

Characteristics:
Initiative: 7 (Recommended: Crystal Ringlet [-2]); 13 (with Cobra Strike); +8 (with Tiger Spring)
Physical Defense: 12
Mystic Defense: 8
Social Defense: 13

Physical Armor: 10 (Recommended: Crystal Ringlet, Forged +6 [10])
Mystic Armor: 8 (Recommended: Crystal Ringlet, Forged +2 [6])

Damage: 19 (Recommended: 2x Broadsword, Forged +8 [13]), 18 (Recommended: Short Sword, Forged +8 [14, Tail])

Unconsciousness: 88
Death: 103
Wound Threshold: 10

Recovery Tests: 3
Knockdown: 6
Karma: 32
Karma: Interaction tests and melee Damage tests.

Talents: 
Avoid Blow: 9 (17)
Maneuver: 9 (17)
Melee Weapons: 9 (17)
Weapon Weaving: 8 (14)
Taunt: 9 (16)
Unarmed Combat: 8 (16) [Tail Combat]
First Impression: 8 (15)
Anticipate Blow: 8 (14)
Riposte: 9 (17)
Tiger Spring: 8
Heartening Laugh: 8 (15)
Impressive Display: 6
Second Weapon: 9 (17)
Cobra Strike: 8 (15)
Disarm: 8 (16)
Spot Armor Flaw: 8 (14)
Resist Taunt: 8 (13)
Lion Heart: 8 (13)
Second Attack: 8 (16)
Lasting Impression: 6 (13)

This character is designed primarily for combat, but with the ability to be the social character for a group as needed. This character is going to be accurate above all else, gaining bonuses from Anticipate Blow, Cobra Strike, and Maneuver. Between Second Attack, Second Weapon, and Tail Combat, this character has access to a lot of attacks, which is going to be important because you can expect damage to be somewhat problematic. Against opponents with low Physical Armor, this isn't a concern, but against opponents kitted out, this poses a challenge. Spot Armor Flaw and the bonuses to attack can help mitigate this with improved damage through finesse. Initiative is an important factor, as two of those talents require a high Initiative, but some speed was sacrificed in the name of greater protection (crystal ringlet).

This reveals the major weakness of this character: Defense. The sacrifice for crystal ringlet was made in the name of magical defense, which is non-existent. Hide armor or padded leather could be traded out for characters looking to nurse every bonus to Initiative they can (5/1/-1 and 4/0/0 respectively), but this can be dangerous ground. This particular character is also weak to knockdown effects as they lack Wound Balance. This can be selected from the Novice talent options, and would likely feature on non-t'skrang adepts, but the value of an additional attack (even at -2) is significant.