11 July 2014

Earthdawn 4E: Example Character 29 - Elf Nethermancer

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

There isn't particularly an iconic race for the Nethermancer discipline. Elves, like dwarfs, are mechanically a natural fit for any spellcasting discipline. Their different strengths and weaknesses lend to a different direction. This particular character is built towards supporting the rest of their group, rather than doing damage.

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: Elf

Attributes:
DEX: 16 (7) [+1]   STR: 8 (4) [+0]   TOU: 10 (5) [+1]
PER: 20 (8) [+2]   WIL: 19 (8) [+2]   CHA: 14 (6) [+1]

Characteristics:
Initiative: 8
Physical Defense: 9
Mystic Defense: 14
Social Defense: 9

Physical Armor: 10 (Recommended: Fernweave, Forged +8 [10])
Mystic Armor: 14 (Recommended: Fernweave, Forged +0 [3]; Circle of Astral Protection [8])

Damage: 10 (Recommended: Spirit Grip); 19 (with Willforce)

Unconsciousness: 44
Death: 57
Wound Threshold: 7

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

Talents: 
Astral Sight: 8 (16)
Frighten: 8 (16)
Nethermancy: 9 (17)
Patterncraft: 8 (16)
Spellcasting: 9 (17)
Standard Matrix: 5
Steel Thought: 9 (17)
Command Nightflyer: 8 (16)
Spirit Talk: 8 (14)
Avoid Blow: 8 (15)
Spirit Hold: 8 (16)
Stealthy Stride: 8 (15)
Summon (Ally Spirit): 9 (17)
Enhanced Matrix: 5
Willforce: 9 (17)
Steely Stare: 8 (14)
Orbiting Spy: 8 (16)
Research: 8 (16)
Hold Thread: 8 (16)
Banish: 8 (16)

Spell Matrices: 
Standard Matrix: Circle of Astral Protection [Constant; Extra Thread: Effect x2]
Standard Matrix: Spirit Grip
Enhanced Matrix: Recovery
Enhanced Matrix: Night's Edge [Extra Thread: Additional Targets]

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 expanding versatility and non-combat options, particularly information. Command Nightflyer and Stealthy Stride both open up new information avenues, along with Research. Banish can potentially solve what would normally be combat problems without resorting to violence. This is rather important since this character is rather frail. Characters less interested in supporting the group and more in keeping safe may consider switching out Circle of Astral Protection for Shield Mist.

In combat, Night's Edge should be their first move. This will both improve the group's overall damage and increase the duration/hit rate of Spirit Grip. Spirit Grip will in turn increase the effectiveness of other abilities. You will probably want to increase the penalties associated with each of these spells. Recovery is there to keep people from dying, with Last Chance waiting in the Reattuing on the Fly wings when needed. 

On the whole, this character is going to be in the background of most combat and will want to avoid drawing attention. The low damage of Spirit Grip should help, though it does put them in the thick of things. If Mystic Armor isn't important, Circle of Astral Protection could also be swapped out for Death's Head, Blind, or Pain to provide additional penalties on the opposition.