30 December 2016

Earthdawn 4E: Companion Discipline Preview 05 - Wizard

This is the fifth 4E Companion Discipline Preview, 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.

Since we've established a pattern (which can only end in disaster, since Disciplines are not perfectly divided), this means a spellcaster is next. The spellcaster in question is Wizard and this is intended to offer some insights into the Discipline design. Obviously the actual progression is missing, which is found at FASA Games.

Something particularly notable about the Wizard progression is how little the Discipline abilities have changed. Just a little tuning, that's it. Both are now Blood Magic Damage, rather than Strain, due to the potentially lengthy duration and associated power. The Casting Triangle is now a little more versatile, affecting talents like Concise Casting. Wizard abilities were top notch and didn't need any help.

Their talents are a completely different story. All the Discipline talents are different and the talent option list is different as well. The following talents have been removed: Astral Web, Detect Falsehood, Detect Influence, Multi-Tongue, Spirit Strike, and Wound Transfer. Some aren't around as talents anymore and the others simply aren't a good fit. Other talents are available at a lower tier (Power Mask and True Sight), while First Ring of Perfection is now Perfect Focus, which is mostly the same.

The three Pattern talents are now talent options rather than Discipline talents to give Wizards more flavor and distinction at higher Circles. It's entirely plausible an adept may not want all of them and while they're good, they're not terribly interesting. Also, having that many Discipline talents the other spellcasters get as talent options hardly feels special.

While "masters of magic" is clearly their primary theme (and how!), it's not their only theme. Wizards also have sub-themes around knowledge and social interaction. The latter is frequently tied to the former, these adepts being somewhat like professors in academia. Which is to say they can be nosy and surprisingly petty. For these two, they have Eidetic Memory as a Discipline talent, and Empathic Sense, First Impression, Memory Probe, Safe Thought, Thought Link, and Undermine as talent options. Graceful Exit and Soul Aegis make appearances to help them either get out of trouble, or survive if the former isn't an option.

Which brings us to their four(!) new and unique talents: Glyphs. All spellcasting Disciplines get access to glyphs for enchanting, though only Wizards currently have a personal glyph. The short story on a glyph is it is the physical shorthand for a pattern, most commonly used in enchanting to include a spell in the process. Laypeople may mistake them for runes and refer to them as such, but anyone with Patterncraft knows better. Wizards can take their personal glyph (which is a shorthand for their pattern) and perform some interesting manipulations of magic.

Ultimately, Wizards are at their finest when they have time to gather information, plan, and prepare, but they manage to bend the rules (never break them, that is for those Illusionists) and have tools to adapt, whether splitting their spell matrices, or swapping out spells as a Simple action with Glyph of Attunement. Truly, no other Discipline has quite the same command of magic as a Wizard. And they are likely to let you know precisely that.

29 December 2016

Earthdawn 4E: Rogues' Gallery 10 - River Pirate, T'skrang

This is the tenth 4E Rogues' Gallery, 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.

The natural adversary to t'skrang boatmen, t'skrang pirates! These are the non-magical pirates who prey on the rivers of Barsaive. They're quite competent in combat, which should come as no surprise given they have to deal with t'skrang boatmen. Who have never been accused of easy pickings.


The combat challenge they represent isn't as finely tuned as an equivalent creature, due to being built like a character, rather than a creature. Also, the list of skills is not intended to be exhaustive. As a specific note for Surprise Strike: I suggest applying it as a bonus to applicable damage tests, this is how it is listed in the stat blocks.

As well, their equipment can be exchanged for whatever is most appropriate for the setting. No blood charms or healing aids have been included - keeping it simple is the goal.

If there are any non-magical archetypes that would be valuable, leave a comment and let me know. As well with comments on the content and format. This is less an exercise in playing with the system and more about making something useful for the community.


River Pirate, T'skrang (Novice)

Challenge: Novice (First Circle)
DEX: 6        Initiative:                  6       Unconsciousness:      28
STR: 6         Physical Defense:  8        Death Rating:               34
TOU: 6        Mystic Defense:      8        Wound Threshold:    9
PER: 6         Social Defense:       7        Knockdown:                 7
WIL: 5        Physical Armor:      3        Recovery Tests:           3
CHA: 5        Mystic Armor:         2
Movement: 12
Actions: 1; Short Sword: 7 (10), Dagger (thrown, 10, 20): 7 (8), Unarmed: 7 (6)
Powers:
Climbing (7): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 134.
Pilot Boat (7): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 199.
Stealthy Stride (7): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 170.
Surprise Strike (1): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 172.
Swimming (9): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 201.
Tail CombatAs the racial ability, Player's Guide, p. 53 and p. 386.
Equipment: Leather armor, short sword, dagger x2 (at least)


River Pirate, T'skrang (Seasoned)

Challenge: Novice (Second Circle)
DEX: 6        Initiative:                  6       Unconsciousness:      30
STR: 6         Physical Defense:  9        Death Rating:               36
TOU: 6        Mystic Defense:      8        Wound Threshold:    10
PER: 6         Social Defense:       7        Knockdown:                 9
WIL: 5        Physical Armor:      4        Recovery Tests:           3
CHA: 5        Mystic Armor:         2
Movement: 12
Actions: 1; Short Sword: 9 (11), Short Sword (attached): 8 (10), Dagger (thrown, 12, 24): 8 (8), Unarmed: 8 (6)
Powers:
Avoid Blow (8): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Climbing (9): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 134.
Conceal Object (8): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 135.
Pilot Boat (9): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 199.
Stealthy Stride (9): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 170.
Surprise Strike (3): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 172.
Swimming (10): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 201.
Tail CombatAs the racial ability, Player's Guide, p. 53 and p. 386.
Equipment: Padded leather armor, short sword (Forged: 1), short sword, dagger x2 (at least)


River Pirate, T'skrang (Veteran)

Challenge: Novice (Third Circle)
DEX: 7        Initiative:                  7       Unconsciousness:      32
STR: 6         Physical Defense:  9        Death Rating:               39
TOU: 7        Mystic Defense:      9        Wound Threshold:    10
PER: 6         Social Defense:       8        Knockdown:                 11
WIL: 5        Physical Armor:      5        Recovery Tests:           3
CHA: 6        Mystic Armor:         2
Movement: 12
Actions: 1; Short Sword: 12 (12), Short Sword (attached): 11 (10), Dagger (thrown, 12, 24): 11 (8), Unarmed: 11 (6)
Powers:
Avoid Blow (12): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Awareness (10): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Climbing (12): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 134.
Conceal Object (12): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 135.
Pilot Boat (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 199.
Stealthy Stride (12): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 170.
Surprise Strike (5): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 172.
Swimming (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 201.
Tail CombatAs the racial ability, Player's Guide, p. 53 and p. 386.
Equipment: Padded leather armor (Forged: 1), short sword (Forged: 2), short sword, dagger x2 (at least)


River Pirate, T'skrang (Elite)

Challenge: Novice (Fourth Circle)
DEX: 7        Initiative:                  7       Unconsciousness:      34
STR: 7         Physical Defense:  10      Death Rating:               41
TOU: 7        Mystic Defense:      9        Wound Threshold:    11
PER: 7         Social Defense:       8        Knockdown:                 14
WIL: 6        Physical Armor:      6        Recovery Tests:           3
CHA: 6        Mystic Armor:         2
Movement: 12
Actions: 2; Short Sword: 14 (14), Short Sword (attached): 13 (12), Dagger (thrown, 12, 24): 13 (9), Unarmed: 13 (7)
Powers:
Avoid Blow (14): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Awareness (14): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Climbing (14): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 134.
Conceal Object (14): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 135.
Pilot Boat (14): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 199.
Stealthy Stride (14): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 170.
Surprise Strike (7): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 172.
Swimming (14): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 201.
Tail CombatAs the racial ability, Player's Guide, p. 53 and p. 386.
Equipment: Padded leather armor (Forged: 2), short sword (Forged: 3), short sword (Forged: 1), dagger x2 (at least)

28 December 2016

Earthdawn 4E: Rogues' Gallery 09 - Boatman, T'skrang

This is the ninth 4E Rogues' Gallery, 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.

From air to water brings us example t'skrang boatmen. These are the non-magical rivermen who ply the rivers of Barsaive. They're quite competent in combat, which should come as no surprise given the number of dangers present. But especially pirates.


The combat challenge they represent isn't as finely tuned as an equivalent creature, due to being built like a character, rather than a creature. Also, the list of skills is not intended to be exhaustive.

As well, their equipment can be exchanged for whatever is most appropriate for the setting. No blood charms or healing aids have been included - keeping it simple is the goal.

If there are any non-magical archetypes that would be valuable, leave a comment and let me know. As well with comments on the content and format. This is less an exercise in playing with the system and more about making something useful for the community.


Boatman, T'skrang (Recruit)

Challenge: Novice (First Circle)
DEX: 6        Initiative:                  6       Unconsciousness:      26
STR: 5         Physical Defense:  8        Death Rating:               32
TOU: 6        Mystic Defense:      8        Wound Threshold:    9
PER: 6         Social Defense:       8        Knockdown:                 6
WIL: 5        Physical Armor:      2        Recovery Tests:           3
CHA: 6        Mystic Armor:         2
Movement: 12
Actions: 1; Short Sword: 7 (9), Dagger (thrown, 10, 20): 7 (7), Unarmed: 7 (5)
Powers:
Awareness (7): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Climbing (7): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 134.
Conversation (7): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 136.
Pilot Boat (7): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 199.
Swimming (8): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 201.
Tail CombatAs the racial ability, Player's Guide, p. 53 and p. 386.
Equipment: Padded cloth armor, short sword, dagger x2 (at least)


Boatman, T'skrang (Seasoned)

Challenge: Novice (Second Circle)
DEX: 6        Initiative:                  6       Unconsciousness:      28
STR: 5         Physical Defense:  9        Death Rating:               34
TOU: 6        Mystic Defense:      8        Wound Threshold:    9
PER: 6         Social Defense:       9        Knockdown:                 8
WIL: 5        Physical Armor:      3        Recovery Tests:           3
CHA: 6        Mystic Armor:         2
Movement: 12
Actions: 1; Broad Sword: 9 (11), Short Sword (attached): 8: (9), Dagger (thrown, 12, 24): 8 (8), Unarmed: 8 (5)
Powers:
Avoid Blow (8): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Awareness (9): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Climbing (9): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 134.
Conversation (9): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 136.
Great Leap (9): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 151.
Pilot Boat (7): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 199.
Swimming (8): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 201.
Tail CombatAs the racial ability, Player's Guide, p. 53 and p. 386.
Equipment: Broad sword (Forged: 1), leather armor, short sword, dagger x2 (at least)


Boatman, T'skrang (Veteran)

Challenge: Novice (Third Circle)
DEX: 7        Initiative:                  7       Unconsciousness:      30
STR: 5         Physical Defense:  9        Death Rating:               36
TOU: 6        Mystic Defense:      9        Wound Threshold:    10
PER: 6         Social Defense:       9        Knockdown:                 10
WIL: 5        Physical Armor:      5        Recovery Tests:           3
CHA: 7        Mystic Armor:         2
Movement: 12
Actions: 1; Broad Sword: 12 (12), Short Sword (attached): 11: (10), Dagger (thrown, 12, 24): 11 (7), Unarmed: 11 (5)
Powers:
Avoid Blow (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Awareness (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Climbing (12): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 134.
Conversation (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 136.
Great Leap (12): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 151.
Pilot Boat (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 199.
Swimming (10): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 201.
Tail CombatAs the racial ability, Player's Guide, p. 53 and p. 386.
Taunt (10): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 173.
Equipment: Broad sword (Forged: 2), padded leather armor (Forged: 1), short sword (Forged: 1), dagger x2 (at least)


Boatman, T'skrang (Elite)

Challenge: Novice (Fourth Circle)
DEX: 7        Initiative:                  7       Unconsciousness:      32
STR: 6         Physical Defense:  10      Death Rating:               39
TOU: 7        Mystic Defense:      9        Wound Threshold:    10
PER: 7         Social Defense:       10      Knockdown:                 13
WIL: 6        Physical Armor:      6        Recovery Tests:           3
CHA: 7        Mystic Armor:         2
Movement: 12
Actions: 2; Broad Sword: 14 (14), Short Sword (attached): 13 (12), Dagger (thrown, 12, 24): 13 (7), Unarmed: 13 (6)
Powers:
Avoid Blow (14): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Awareness (14): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Climbing (14): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 134.
Conversation (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 136.
Great Leap (12): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 151.
Pilot Boat (14): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 199.
Swimming (13): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 201.
Tail CombatAs the racial ability, Player's Guide, p. 53 and p. 386.
Taunt (14): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 173.
Equipment: Broad sword (Forged: 3), padded leather armor (Forged: 2), short sword (Forged: 2), dagger x2 (at least)

27 December 2016

Earthdawn 4E: Rogues' Gallery 08 - Crystal Raider, Troll

This is the seventh 4E Rogues' Gallery, 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.

As a counterpart to the non-adept air sailor from yesterday, here is a non-adept troll crystal raider. They're tough, dangerous, and even worse when working together.


While these are pretty dangerous in combat, even for non-dapts, the combat challenge they represent isn't as finely tuned as an equivalent creature, due to being built like a character, rather than a creature. Also, the list of skills is not intended to be exhaustive.

As well, their equipment can be exchanged for whatever is most appropriate for the setting. No blood charms or healing aids have been included - keeping it simple is the goal.

If there are any non-magical archetypes that would be valuable, leave a comment and let me know. As well with comments on the content and format. This is less an exercise in playing with the system and more about making something useful for the community.


Crystal Raider, Troll (Novice)

Challenge: Novice (First Circle)
DEX: 6        Initiative:                  4       Unconsciousness:      30
STR: 7         Physical Defense:   10     Death Rating:               36
TOU: 6        Mystic Defense:      6        Wound Threshold:    10
PER: 4         Social Defense:       7        Knockdown:                  8
WIL: 6        Physical Armor:      5       Recovery Tests:            3
CHA: 5        Mystic Armor:         2
Movement: 14
Actions: 1; Spear (thrown, 10, 20): 7 (11)
Powers:
Air Sailing (7): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 125.
Battle Shout (6): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 131.
Climbing (7): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 134.
Great Leap (7): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 151.
Shield Bash (8): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 166.
Equipment: Footman's shield, hardened leather armor, spear x3


Crystal Raider, Troll (Seasoned)

Challenge: Novice (Second Circle)
DEX: 6        Initiative:                  3       Unconsciousness:      32
STR: 7         Physical Defense:   10     Death Rating:               39
TOU: 7        Mystic Defense:      8        Wound Threshold:    10
PER: 5         Social Defense:       7        Knockdown:                 10
WIL: 6        Physical Armor:      5       Recovery Tests:            3
CHA: 5        Mystic Armor:         2
Movement: 14
Actions: 1; Troll Sword: 9 (14), Spear (thrown, 10, 20): 9 (11)
Powers:
Air Sailing (9): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 125.
Avoid Blow (8): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Awareness (7): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Battle Shout (8): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 131.
Climbing (9): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 134.
Great Leap (9): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 151.
Shield Bash (10): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 166.
Equipment: Crystal raider shield, hardened leather armor, troll sword (Forged: 1)


Crystal Raider, Troll (Veteran)

Challenge: Novice (Third Circle)
DEX: 6        Initiative:                  2       Unconsciousness:      34
STR: 8         Physical Defense:   11     Death Rating:               41
TOU: 7        Mystic Defense:      9        Wound Threshold:    11
PER: 5         Social Defense:       8        Knockdown:                 13
WIL: 6        Physical Armor:      6       Recovery Tests:            3
CHA: 6        Mystic Armor:         7
Movement: 14
Actions: 1; Troll Sword: 11 (16), Spear (thrown, 10, 20): 11 (12)
Powers:
Air Sailing (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 125.
Avoid Blow (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Awareness (9): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Battle Shout (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 131.
Climbing (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 134.
Great Leap (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 151.
Navigation (8): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 160.
Shield Bash (13): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 166.
Equipment: Crystal raider shield, crystal ringlet armor (Forged: 2), troll sword (Forged: 2)


Crystal Raider, Troll (Elite)

Challenge: Novice (Fourth Circle)
DEX: 7        Initiative:                  3       Unconsciousness:      36
STR: 8         Physical Defense:   11     Death Rating:               43
TOU: 7        Mystic Defense:      9        Wound Threshold:    11
PER: 5         Social Defense:       8        Knockdown:                 15
WIL: 7        Physical Armor:      6       Recovery Tests:            3
CHA: 6        Mystic Armor:         7
Movement: 14
Actions: 2; Troll Sword: 14 (17), Spear (thrown, 10, 20): 14 (12)
Powers:
Air Sailing (15): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 125.
Avoid Blow (14): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Awareness (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Battle Shout (13): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 131.
Climbing (14): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 134.
Great Leap (14): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 151.
Navigation (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 160.
Shield Bash (15): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 166.
Equipment: Crystal raider shield, crystal ringlet armor (Forged: 3), troll sword (Forged: 3)