10 July 2014

Earthdawn 4E: Example Character 28 - Dwarf Nethermancer

This is the twenty-eighth Example Character in an ongoing series about Earthdawn. Introduction and Index.

There isn't particularly an iconic race for the Nethermancer discipline. With dwarfs natural aptitude for spellcasting and their ability to take a hit, they make excellent combat casters.

Each Circle saw this character improve one attribute (as noted after each Attribute Step) 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: Nethermancer
Race: Dwarf

Attributes:
DEX: 8 (4) [+1]   STR: 8 (4) [+0]   TOU: 16 (7) [+1]
PER: 20 (8) [+2]   WIL: 20 (8) [+2]   CHA: 13 (6) [+1]

Characteristics:
Initiative: 5
Physical Defense: 5
Mystic Defense: 14
Social Defense: 9

Physical Armor: 10 (Recommended: Fernweave, Forged +8 [10])
Mystic Armor: 7 (Recommended: Fernweave, Forged +0 [3])

Damage: 12 (Recommended: Astral Spear); 21 (with Willforce); 10 (Recommended: Spirit Dart); 19 (with Willforce)

Unconsciousness: 56
Death: 71
Wound Threshold: 10

Recovery Tests: 3
Knockdown: 4
Karma: 32
Karma: Once per turn against a Horror/construct/undead, increase penalty of a spell by 2.

Talents: 
Astral Sight: 9 (17)
Frighten: 8 (16)
Nethermancy: 9 (17)
Patterncraft: 8 (16)
Spellcasting: 9 (17)
Standard Matrix: 5
Steel Thought 9 (17)
Dispel Magic: 8 (16)
Spirit Talk: 8 (14)
Avoid Blow: 8 (12)
Spirit Hold: 8 (16)
Suppress Curse: 8 (16)
Summon (Ally Spirit): 9 (17)
Enhanced Matrix: 5
Willforce: 9 (17)
Blood Share: 8 (15)
Orbiting Spy: 8 (16)
Lion Heart: 8 (16)
Hold Thread: 8 (16)
Lifesght: 6 (14)

Spell Matrices: 
Standard Matrix: Spirit Dart
Standard Matrix: Shield Mist
Enhanced Matrix: Aspect of the Astral Savant
Enhanced Matrix: Astral Spear

To start with, almost every spellcaster is going to find a way to get more spell matrices long before this point. The spells listed make up the core competency of what this example character is about: pure damage.

Like all spellcasters, this adept is extremely versatile. Outside of a situation where the are limited to only their spell matrices, they have a variety of spells at their disposal. This is the area where all magicians are most powerful and with the ability to summon ally spirits, Nethermancers have quite a bit going for them. In the interest of expediency, all of those options will not be discussed. 

The emphasis of the talent selection here is on magical control and general combat readiness. While they will never match a Wizard for magical control, they can certainly bring the violence. The first action this character takes in any conflict should be Shield Mist. Unless they can avoid attacks through other means, life is going to be difficult. Aspect of the Astral Savant probably isn't an all-of-the-time spell (unless you are crazy, but anyone casting it in the first place probably fits the bill), but it can significantly boost the Nethermancer's capabilities when it is active.

Spirit Dart and Astral Spear make a particularly effective combination. The former should always be the first of the two out of the gate and the penalty to Mystic Armor should be increased with Karma. Followed up with Astral Spear to take advantage of its increased damage with extra successes and (effectively) a +4 damage boost from Spirit Dart. The extended range on Astral Spear also helps with those hard to reach places.

This particular character doesn't have a lot of versatility in combat and also isn't particularly group oriented (unless there is a Wizard or Illusionist in the group).