11 February 2019

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Discipline 33 - Weaponsmith Part 2

This is the thirty-third 4E Anatomy of a Discipline, 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.

I always enjoyed unique mechanics for various Disciplines - things that set them apart beyond their Discipline abilities and talent selections - first introduced in Adept's Way. These were specialties for most Disciplines, which could be a little uneven in application even as they helped show different directions for a Discipline. Some had a little extra, like the sniper's way (Archers), honor braids (Cavalrymen), and soul swords (Swordsmaster). These were even more uneven in application because few Disciplines had them, and the sniper's way for Archers was hardly a good thing.


Still, I liked the thought of them and want to eventually revisit that kind of thing if there's enough inspiration to give every Discipline that kind of treatment. I have no interest in leaving any out in the cold on fun stuff to help them stand out and enhance their characterization.

My favorite of them is a Weaponsmith's heartblade. It communicates what the Discipline is about, is an important achievement for them, and breaks the rules in a way to show everything we know isn't quite right. There's missing pieces. Even the mechanics are an unreliable narrator. That's important.

However, the mechanics of it never quite worked for me. They don't work for me because they're too inaccessible. It also irked me the process was clearly only for a sword. I like swords, but I know that's not for everyone. The bonus is huge, but odds are you're never seeing it. Cool, but not practical or fun. I've been thinking on this a little over the past six years and this is a missing piece of sorts always intended to be introduced which addresses the issue of Weaponsmith's Fifth Circle Karma ability (spending Karma on a Damage test with a weapon they crafted). I decided to share and see where it doesn't work.

This isn't a claim what's presented here is perfect or going to show up (particularly with the names - but as has been mentioned numerous times in the past, names are hard). However, I think it's a big step in the right direction of making various pieces of Weaponsmith come together and give them a big, but attainable goal. It builds on itself, but is expensive and time-consuming at every step. This also breaks it up into smaller pieces which can actually be accomplished and the Weaponsmith have something to show for it.

Forge Heartblade
Talent: Thread Smithing
Requirements: Rank 5
Restrictions: Weaponsmith 5
Skill Use: No
The Weaponsmith begins the first step in the process of creating their heartblade: crafting the weapon. This is time consuming because only perfection is acceptable: the weapon must have at least five successes for Craftsmanship (Companion, p. 148). Once finished, the Weaponsmith must Name the weapon and it is a Core pattern item for the adept. This is an exception to rules regarding creating pattern items.

Enchant Novice Heartblade
Talent: Thread Smithing
Requirements: Rank 5. Craft True Pattern, Forge Heartblade
Restrictions: Weaponsmith 5
Skill Use: No
The Weaponsmith begins the next step of creating their heartblade: imbuing it with a True Pattern. If the Weaponsmith can design their own enchanting patterns, they may do so, but they can also use a common enchanting pattern. The Weaponsmith enchants their heartblade as a Novice thread item, but the Enchanting Difficulty Number increases by +5 if they are using a common enchanting pattern (EDN 20). The heartblade cannot be enchanted at a tier greater than Novice. This is an exception to rules regarding pattern items becoming thread items.

Enchant Journeyman Heartblade
Talent: Thread Smithing
Requirements: Rank 8. Design Enchanting Pattern, Enchant Novice Heartblade
Restrictions: Weaponsmith 8
Skill Use: No
The Weaponsmith begins the next step of creating their heartblade: enhancing the True Pattern. The Weaponsmith must design a Journeyman thread item enchanting pattern for their heartblade (the thread ranks created in the previous step are fixed) and enchants the heartblade with this improved pattern. The heartblade gains the additional thread ranks, but is still a Novice thread item for costs. The process is the same as though the heartblade is an unenchanted item. This is an exception to rules regarding enchanting thread items.

Enchant Warden Heartblade
Talent: Thread Smithing
Requirements: Rank 9. Enchant Journeyman Heartblade
Restrictions: Weaponsmith 9
Skill Use: No
The Weaponsmith begins the next step of creating their heartblade: enhancing the True Pattern. The Weaponsmith must design a Warden thread item enchanting pattern for their heartblade (the thread ranks created in the previous steps are fixed) and enchants the heartblade with this improved pattern. The heartblade gains the additional thread ranks, but is still a Novice thread item for costs. The process is the same as though the heartblade is an unenchanted item. This is an exception to rules regarding enchanting thread items.

Enchant Master Heartblade
Talent: Thread Smithing
Requirements: Rank 13. Enchant Warden Heartblade
Restrictions: Weaponsmith 13
Skill Use: No
The Weaponsmith begins the next step of creating their heartblade: enhancing the True Pattern. The Weaponsmith must design a Master thread item enchanting pattern for their heartblade (the thread ranks created in the previous steps are fixed) and enchants the heartblade with this improved pattern. The heartblade gains the additional thread ranks, but is still a Novice thread item for costs. The process is the same as though the heartblade is an unenchanted item. This is an exception to rules regarding enchanting thread items.