30 May 2015

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Creature 01 - Mounts, Part 1 (Dwarf Mounts)

This is the first 4E Anatomy of a Creature, an ongoing series about Earthdawn Fourth Edition. Introduction and Index.

Everything contained here is the work of a fan and not associated with FASA Games.

This is the first entry in the Anatomy of a Creature series for Earthdawn Fourth Edition (ED4). The overall goal here is to present new material to the community as a whole and get feedback on the various creatures and new development directions. Popular entries may one day see publication, while those which are less so will not clutter precious page count.


Based on comments and requests, the first series will focus on introducing some new mounts to the game. Specifically, mounts suitable for dwarfs. Due to their awkward size, they have always had a lack of available mounts - not the worst, but notably lacking. To help with this, I have put together four new and (hopefully) suitably dwarfy mounts. They aren't all just for dwarfs, but all of them can be used by a dwarf.

If there is something you do (or do not) like, let me know in the comments. 


Bear, War
These creatures are a mostly domesticated version of the great bear which has been bred to be used as a mount. While they lack most of the sheer fury of their ancestors, war bears are still dangerous and only experienced cavalrymen will ride them into battle. A popular theory is the original stock for these bears was brought to Barsaive from an area to the north by particularly adventurous and brave adepts.
War bears are suitable as mounts for dwarfs, elves, humans, orks, t’skrang, and trolls, and as animal companions.

Challenge: Novice (Fourth Circle)
DEX:    5          Initiative:                  5          Unconsciousness:   50
STR:    10        Physical Defense:   8          Death Rating:           60
TOU:   10        Mystic Defense:       10        Wound Threshold: 15
PER:    5          Social Defense:        9        Knockdown:             14
WIL:    6          Physical Armor:       7          Recovery Tests:      3
CHA:   5          Mystic Armor:          4
Movement:   14
Actions: 1; Bite: 11 (18), Claws: 11 (16)
Powers:
Battle Shout (12): As the skill.
Enhanced Sense [Smell] (2)
Resist Pain (2): The war bear ignores 2 Wounds for penalties.
Stubborn: Talents and abilities used to control, tame, or train a war bear require an additional success.
Combat Options:
Grab and Bite (War Bear, Claws): The great bear may spend an additional success from an Attack test to automatically grapple an opponent. Grappled opponents automatically take bite damage each round.
Pry Loose (Opponent, Close Combat): The attacker may use extra successes on an Attack test to allow a grappled ally to immediately make an escape attempt with a +2 bonus for each success used in this fashion.
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat): The attacker may spend two additional successes to sufficiently enrage the war bear and guarantee he will be the sole target of its next attack(s). If there are multiple instances of this combat option, only the most recent has any use.

Boar, War
War boars have been bred by dwarfs for use as shock cavalry. They are significantly larger than their wild cousins and still quite dangerous, despite being domesticated. In this case, it means they probably won’t attack you unless provoked.
War boars are suitable as mounts for dwarfs, elves, humans, orks, and t’skrang, and as animal companions.

Challenge: Novice (Third Circle)
DEX:    6          Initiative:                 6          Unconsciousness:   42
STR:    8          Physical Defense:   10        Death Rating:           51
TOU:   9          Mystic Defense:       8          Wound Threshold: 13
PER:    4          Social Defense:        8        Knockdown:             12
WIL:    6          Physical Armor:       7          Recovery Tests:      3
CHA:   5          Mystic Armor:          4
Movement:   16
Actions: 1; Tusks: 11 (15)
Powers:
Charge (5): The war boar may move up to twice its Movement and make a single attack. If the boar moves over its base Movement, it gains a +5 bonus to the Attack and Damage test. This ability may be used while the war boar has a rider, though only benefits the war boar.
Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (2)
Enhanced Sense [Smell] (2)
Resist Pain (2): The war boar ignores 2 Wounds for penalties.
Special Maneuvers:
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat): The attacker may spend two additional successes to sufficiently enrage the war boar and guarantee he will be the sole target of its next attack(s). If there are multiple instances of this special maneuver, only the most recent has any use.
Goring Charge (War Boar, Charge): The boar may spend an additional success to cause a Knockdown test against the target. The Difficulty Number is the Attack test result.
Loot: Tusks worth 3D10 silver pieces (worth Legend Points).

Horse, War Pony
Larger and stronger than normal ponies, war ponies are bred to carry heavier loads while remaining able to canter and gallop. War ponies are most frequently used by dwarf cavalry units and often wear barding, which provides the equivalent protection as the type of armor. For example, hardened leather barding provides 5 points of Physical Armor.
War ponies are suitable as mounts for dwarfs, elves, and humans, and as animal companions.

Challenge: Novice (Second Circle)
DEX:    7          Initiative:                 9          Unconsciousness:   34
STR:    7          Physical Defense:   10        Death Rating:           42
TOU:   8          Mystic Defense:       9          Wound Threshold: 12
PER:    5          Social Defense:        9          Knockdown:             11
WIL:    7          Physical Armor:       1          Recovery Tests:      3
CHA:   6          Mystic Armor:          3
Movement:   16
Actions: 1; Kick: 11 (12), Trample: 11 (10)
Powers:
Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (2)
Enhanced Sense [Smell] (2)
Special Maneuvers:
Overrun (War Pony, Trample): The war pony may spend an additional success to cause a Knockdown test against the target if the target has a lower Strength Step. The Difficulty Number is the Attack test result.

Ram, War
These creatures were originally hardy mountain sheep which were raised for a variety of purposes in the Scytha and Throal Mountains. Since these humble origins, various lines have been bred to be mounts for dwarf cavalry. Now, these large rams are powerfully muscled with enormous horns. They still have the excessively fluffy wool of their line, coming most commonly in white, but black and gray are not rare.
While they are more aggressive than a typically ram, they are still quite docile with their handlers. This temperament maintains their popularity with dwarf military units stationed in the mountains for both their comfort in the terrain and companionship. While others may mock the appearance of their mounts, these dwarfs take great pride in the upkeep of their war rams’ wool and will frequently have it made into their clothing.
War rams are suitable as mounts for dwarfs and as animal companions.

Challenge: Novice (Second Circle)
DEX:    6          Initiative:                 6          Unconsciousness:   34
STR:    7          Physical Defense:   10        Death Rating:           42
TOU:   8          Mystic Defense:       9          Wound Threshold: 12
PER:    5          Social Defense:        7          Knockdown:             15
WIL:    4          Physical Armor:       4          Recovery Tests:      3
CHA:   4          Mystic Armor:          2
Movement:   14
Actions: 1; Horns: 9 (12), Trample: 9 (10)
Powers:
Charge (5): The war ram may move up to twice its Movement and make a single attack. If the boar moves over its base Movement, it gains a +5 bonus to the Attack and Damage test. This ability may be not used while the war ram has a rider.
Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (2)
Enhanced Sense [Smell] (2)
Resist Pain (2): The war ram ignores 2 Wounds for penalties.
Special Maneuvers:
Overrun (War Ram, Trample): The war ram may spend an additional success to cause a Knockdown test against the target if the target has a lower Strength Step. The Difficulty Number is the Attack test result.

21 May 2015

Earthdawn 4E: Gauging Interest

It has been over a month since my last post and I regret not having the time to provide new content for everyone out there. The reason for the absence is so I could focus all of my attention on completing some new assignments for the Gamemaster's Guide. While I have been able to do both in the past, I wanted to ensure there were no distractions so the drafts could be completed as soon as possible.

One of the things I have been doing, and intend to continue doing, with this blog is to introduce and test out new material for Earthdawn Fourth Edition (ED4). Who knows where it may end up, but this is also a chance everyone to voice their opinions on what you would like to see. Both as an impetus to develop something new, or as support of something you like.

Towards this end, I'm looking for ideas on kinds of things you would like to see developed. Right now, specifically with regard to creatures and thread items. Below is a hastily constructed list of creatures which could be further developed if there is interest. Some of them even as mounts. If any seem like a good (or terrible) idea, let me know.
  • Ant Lion
  • Bear, War (Mount)
  • Boar, Razor
  • Boar, War (Mount)
  • Bukavac
  • Elk, Tundra (Mount)
  • Espagra, Badlands
  • Espagra, Jungle
  • Espagra, Mountain
  • Hawk, Silver
  • Hawk, War (Mount)
  • Hippogriff (Mount)
  • Horse, War Pony (Mount)
  • Leopard, Snow
  • Pangolin, Steel
  • Pegasus (Mount)
  • Simargl
  • Snowbird
  • Terror Bird (Mount)
  • Thunder Cat
  • Toad, Thorned
  • Winterhawk
  • Wolf, Crag
  • Wolf, Grove
  • Wolf, Poison
  • Wolf, Winter
Thread items are in a similar boat, though if there is a particular thread item which was never updated to Third Edition, a type which didn't seem to give enough love, etc., leave a comment and let me know.