14 July 2014

Earthdawn 4E: Example Character 30 - Dwarf Wizard

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

There isn't particularly an iconic race for the Wizard 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: Wizard
Race: Dwarf

Attributes:
DEX: 10 (5) [+2]   STR: 8 (4) [+0]   TOU: 17 (7) [+2]
PER: 20 (8) [+1]   WIL: 20 (8) [+2]   CHA: 8 (4) [+0]

Characteristics:
Initiative: 6
Physical Defense: 6
Mystic Defense: 14
Social Defense: 6

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

Damage: 13 (Recommended: Aura Strike, Astral Targeting [5]); 22 (with Willforce); 12 (Recommended: Hypervelocity, Astral Targeting [4]); 21 (with Willforce)

Unconsciousness: 58
Death: 73
Wound Threshold: 10

Recovery Tests: 3
Knockdown: 4
Karma: 32
Karma: Recall information, Change spell range from "self" to "touch"

Talents: 
Dispel Magic: 8 (16)
Patterncraft: 8 (16)
Research: 8 (16)
Spellcasting: 9 (17)
Wizardry: 9 (17)
Standard Matrix: 5
Astral Sight 9 (17)
Book Memory: 8 (16)
Tenacious Weave: 8 (16)
Awareness: 8 (16)
Steel Thought: 9 (17)
Item History: 8 (16)
Astral Interference: 8 (16)
Enhanced Matrix: 5
Willforce: 9 (17)
Avoid Blow: 8 (13)
Hold Thread: 8 (16)
Evidence Analysis: 8 (16)
Suppress Curse: 8 (16)
Resist Taunt: 8 (16)

Spell Matrices: 
Standard Matrix: Energy Shield [Constant; Extra Thread: Increase Duration; Extra Thread: Increase Effect]
Standard Matrix: Astral Targeting [Constant; Extra Thread: Increase Duration]
Enhanced Matrix: Hypervelocity
Enhanced Matrix: Aura Strike

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, though Wizardry spells cover a quite a bit of space, they focus most on knowledge and magic. And bonuses to Action tests; they can bring a lot of different bonuses to the table. In the interest of expediency, all of those options will not be discussed. 

The emphasis of the talent selection here is on combat. There is nothing particularly subtle about this character, between their glowing eyes and arcane, glowing shield. With more spell matrices, they can have even more defensive effects active, such as Astral Armor, Astral Sense (cuts down on Strain from Astral Targeting), Displace Self, Dodge Boost, and Mage Armor. It is vitally important to always astrally sense the target of any spells.

Aura Strike and Hypervelocity are two good general purpose combat spells to have on hand. The former will likely see the most use due to the secondary effect of always causing a Wound, though remember it requires the Wizard to astrally sense the target first (as does Astral Targeting). This spell is great against targets with poor Mystic Armor. However, against targets with high Mystic Armor, there are two directions to go: Physical damage or Hypervelocity. The former is the standard option and good for most character's lifespan up until recently; Flash Flame was probably in that spell matrix. The damage may seem unimpressive, but it works well against those hard to crack targets by ignoring armor entirely. The attendant warning is: this is going to attract some unwanted attention.


As mentioned above, this character is not subtle. They have a good defensive effect, but are almost entirely devoted to offense. Also, besides Energy Shield, they have nothing to benefit the rest of their group. Well, nothing besides their damage output. Without Astral Sense active, their Strain usage can start to catch up with them from astrally sensing targets. While they have good health for a Wizard, they still don't have a lot and things can get grim if opposition manages to get adjacent to them.