26 January 2017

Earthdawn 4E: Namegiver Variants 3 - Ork

This is the third 4E Namegiver Variants, 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 short series assumes you are familiar with the connections between Earthdawn and Shadowrun before they separated by licensing; being the Fourth and Sixth Ages respectively of the same world. Shadowrun introduced a number of metahuman variants to elves, dwarfs, orks, and trolls - most based on mythology from global locales. For a bit of fun, this four part series converts them to Earthdawn.


The basis used are the versions from the 3E Shadowrun Companion. These are not going to be perfect because each setting has some very different assumptions of what each race looks like. Getting the spirit close enough and making sure there are some differences between the variants presented.

This entry converts some ork variants. Some because one is left out: ogre. There's a few reasons for this. First, Earthdawn already has ogres, though this could be resolved similarly to dwarfs and simply have the orks of Barsaive (this variant comes from Europe) and "standard" orks. However, I don't really want to do that again and the mechanical differences for ogres don't support it so much: no penalty to Charisma and no low-light vision. Even without ogres, there are still three variants presented here:


Hobgoblin
DEX: 10
STR: 12
TOU: 11
PER: 10
WIL: 9
CHA: 9
Move: 12
Karma: 5
Racial Abilities: Gahad (modified), Low-Light Vision

This variant from the Middle East are shorter than typical orks and have a slightly build with sharper features. They share a strong sense of honor with trolls and, combined with their vicious tempers, they avenge even the smallest slight. Orks in Shadowrun have a slightly different attribute distribution, favoring Body over Strength, whereas Earthdawn is the opposite, favoring Strength over Toughness. In Shadowrun, hobgoblins have less Body and no penalty to Intelligence. Taking this as a whole, reducing their Strength feels consistent with the description and mechanics.

Since orks don't have a penalty to Perception in Earthdawn, that's a bit of a problem. Looking ahead at the other races, this is an area where they can easily start coming out too similar. Instead of Perception, reducing the Willpower penalty feels right while still be true to the ork nature.

Gahad for this variant is a little different in that it must be linked to the character's sense of honor


Oni
DEX: 10
STR: 12
TOU: 11
PER: 10
WIL: 10
CHA: 8
Move: 14
Karma: 5
Racial Abilities: Gahad, Low-Light Vision

With bright blue, orange, or red skin, and big, pointed ears, this ork variant from Japan is bound to stick out. Their attribute modifications from base orks are reduced Body and increased Willpower. Which is easy enough to translate to Earthdawn: reduced Strength (for the same reasons as hobgoblins) and increased Willpower. To reflect they should have a bonus in Shadowrun, they don't have a penalty in Earthdawn. Which means another point needs to come from somewhere. Charisma is the winner; they are described as being treacherous and hostile, though this may just be prejudice. Regardless of the reality, a penalty to Charisma makes sense, either it's right, or they aren't good a presentation.


Satyr
DEX: 9
STR: 13
TOU: 11
PER: 10
WIL: 10
CHA: 8
Move: 14
Karma: 5
Racial Abilities: Low-Light Vision

This variant looks like you expect: curled horns, and a furry lower body with cloven hooves. They're from the Mediterranean, so it's fair to assume Therans have contact with them, though may not consider them to be orks at all, given the distinct differences in appearance. These orks are described as being smaller, though their physical attributes certainly don't reflect it, receiving only a penalty to Quickness due to their hooves, which converts easily to Dexterity. Much like oni, they have a bonus to Willpower in Shadowrun, so the same solution was applied: no penalty to Willpower and a small reduction to Charisma. This is likely reflected in their curious form. While less nimble, their legs are faster, so an increased Movement Rate. Nothing is particularly mentioned regarding their disposition, so gahad was removed, but there is absolutely no reason it cannot stick around if desired.