30 January 2017

Earthdawn 4E: Namegiver Variants 4 - Troll

This is the fourth 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 is the final entry and covers trolls. Trolls didn't have any of the issues encountered when adapting dwarfs, elves, or orks. Though their attributes don't align well to what is seen in Earthdawn and the racial feature most likely to be removed for balance, dermal armor, isn't present. Regardless, the primary goals - maintaining the spirit and ensuring the resulting variants offer something different - were maintained.


Cyclops
DEX: 10
STR: 16
TOU: 12
PER: 9
WIL: 11
CHA: 10
Move: 14
Karma: 3
Racial Abilities: One Eye (-2 to all Action tests that require vision and range)

The cyclops variant is from the Mediterranean area and thus almost certainly known by the Theran Empire. They're distinguishable from standard trolls by their heavy musculature and general lack of dermal bone deposits. In particular, they have only one horn (typical) or no horns at all (more rarely). Oh yeah, and they have one eye. Which really does them no favors when it comes to any task that requires depth perception of any kind.

In Shadowrun, they are distinguished from trolls with more Strength, loss of dermal armor, ranged penalties, and no heat vision. This is mostly maintained, though there isn't the dermal armor to play around with. The hope is the penalty to ranged actions and loss of heat vision are sufficient to account for the net bonus to Strength.


Fomori
DEX: 10
STR: 13
TOU: 11
PER: 10
WIL: 11
CHA: 11
Move: 14
Karma: 3
Racial Abilities: Heat Vision

Precious little of note is really said about these trolls in the source material being used, but they originate from Celtic areas, have no or very little in the way of dermal bone deposits, and a greater tendency for magic. Based on their attribute modifications, it's probably safe to assume they have a slighter build in general and they do benefit spellcasters more.

The conversion here was fairly simple, as the original version has less Body and Strength, while eliminating the penalty to Charisma. The first two are easy, but trolls in Earthdawn don't have a penalty to Charisma. So, they get a small bonus and their penalty to Perception is eliminated, which aligns with their increased magic usage.


Giant
DEX: 9
STR: 15
TOU: 12
PER: 9
WIL: 11
CHA: 10
Move: 14
Karma: 3
Racial Abilities: Heat Vision

Hailing from the Nordic region, giants are possibly the largest Namegivers around (dragons consider themselves to be Nametakers and all that) at around 11'6" (3.5 m). They're fairer and and lack the horns and dermal deposits common to most trolls (well, except for these variants). It's probably fair to say they're somewhat lankier than other trolls.

Adapting giants fell into the problem addressed at the beginning: dermal armor. They get a bonus to Strength at the cost of losing their dermal armor. Reducing their Toughness may make sense, but a base of 11 for something that big just doesn't seem right. However, Shadowrun trolls have a Quickness penalty and that seems like an appropriate place to look for something simply that large.


Minotaur
DEX: 10
STR: 13
TOU: 12
PER: 10
WIL: 11
CHA: 10
Move: 14
Karma: 3
Racial Abilities: Heat Vision


Another Mediterranean variant with bovine facial features (snout instead of nose, wide-set eyes, etc.), rather long horns, and lots of body hair. You know, they look like the Minotaur, except for the legs, which are just furry.

Like many before them, their Shadowrun attributes don't quite align with Earthdawn; their penalties to Charisma and Intelligence are reduced, as are their bonuses to Body and Strength. A bonus to Charisma isn't a good solution, since that puts them in the category of fomori who have a larger bonus to Charisma. Same with reducing their Strength and Toughness. Instead, they got a reduction to Strength and an equivalent bonus to Perception. They're still pretty similar to fomori, but a different option is to make their base Perception and Willpower both 10, instead of reducing their Strength.