30 April 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Creature 30 - Tavithan

This is the thirtieth 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.

Tavithans were developed with the though of diversifying the fauna in Barsaive with creatures related to existing creatures. Similar to how there's multiple varities of a given thing—each adapted different strategies and developed in an environment. Rather than piling on more and more wacky creatures, building out the ecology some. It also looks like a Blue Ogre, Red Ogre scenario, which isn't the worst since, you know, that's what nature does.


Tavithan

The most prominent physical distinctions between tavithan and their more common relatives, brithans, are their size—tavithans are notably smaller—and their webbed feet. Tavithans are powerful swimmers and can hold their breath for at least 30 minutes. As their name suggests, these creatures live almost exclusively within the swamps of Barsaive, but can rarely be found off of small tributaries.

Their behavior is similar to beavers: they harvest trees with their claws and powerful strength, then fashion them to control the flow of water and construct rudimentary fortifications. This establishes the domain of a tavithan family, or a solitary tavithan in search of a mate. Prior to establishing their permanent family, they travel in groups of only one gender, roaming without having any territory.

Through some unknown impetus, which adepts with Animal Talk have said is a “call”, a tavithan, typically male, establishes a domain to entice another tavithan. If they find it acceptable, they join in the construction, now called “nesting” as the domain rapidly grows more complex and extensive. These domains serve as homes for other creatures either symbiotic, or at least not competitive with tavithans. The behavior of same gender pairing is well known and with fundamentally the same results.

A group of tavithans is dangerous by virtue of their numbers, though back down from any conflict not in their favor. Encounters with a band of tavithan of the same gender generally involve displays of dominance, but rarely any fighting. Encounters of the opposite gender are amicable and may briefly travel together. The “call” is more common after such meetings.

When mated tavithans encounter a threat outside of their domain, they commonly retreat to the safety of their home. However, within their home they enter into a frenzy against any threats and fight until death. If one of the pair dies, the survivor searches for a pair of tavithans of the same gender with a domain, leaving the cubs in their care, after which the survivor throws itself into fights it cannot possibly win until it dies. Tavithans pairs of the same gender search for domains where both parents have died protecting their young to rescue them in much the same fashion, raising them as their own.

Tavithans are suitable as animal companions.


Challenge: Novice (Fourth Circle)
DEX: 7        Initiative:                   7       Unconsciousness:      50
STR: 9         Physical Defense:   10     Death Rating:               60
TOU: 10      Mystic Defense:       12     Wound Threshold:     15
PER: 6         Social Defense:        11      Knockdown:                 13
WIL: 7        Physical Armor:       6       Recovery Tests:           3
CHA: 3       Mystic Armor:           4        
Movement: 12 (Swimming 6)
Actions: 1; Bite: 10 (15), Claws ×2: 11 (14)
Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (2)
Enhanced Sense [Smell] (2)
Frenzy: If the tavithan is attacked in its domain, it fights back savagely, gaining an additional Action and a +4 bonus to Attack and Damage tests.
Fury (2)
Semi-Aquatic: The tavithan can hold its breath for 30 minutes before drowning
Willful (1)
Special Maneuvers:
Grab and Bite (Tavithan, Claws)
Pry Loose (Opponent, Close Combat)
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)

29 April 2020

Earthdawn: Champions Challenge

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

This is a complete listing of the completed pages for the Champions Challenge comic by the inestimable Don Higgins for Earthdawn. Currently the archives aren't the easiest to navigate, so this is to help everyone get up to speed and enjoy their favorite pages.


Please check them out at the FASA Games site as they are released weekly!

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Creature 29 - Ork, Feral

This is the twenty-ninth 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.

Feral orks continue to the same cycle Alama were part of, Namegivers who degenerated during the Scourge and became something else. These also have a little plot hook to make them potential long-term threat for settlements in the hinterlands. Or those colonizing lands they already claim.


Ork, Feral

Feral orks appear as hunched, brutish orks with a hairy mane and large tusks, and are not usually encountered alone. They can be seen in small hunting parties of between 8 to 15 members and an entire tribe could number up to 150 individuals. Most tribes keep their non-combatants below ground in the caves they emerged from, but, with their increasing numbers, they’ve needed to create crude communities in forests or occasionally attack small Namegiver settlements so they can take them for themselves. They have a rudimentary intelligence and have some ability with stone tools and working leather, but do not know how to use or make complicated weapons, such as bows. In combat they normally wield fearsome looking stone blades embedded with sharp crystals at the edges.

These creatures derive from tribes of orks who took refuge deep beneath the earth during the Scourge. Like cave trolls, they allowed their culture to stagnate, but were also affected by the elemental magic surrounding them during their time there. As a result of this, their bodies and fertility rate was greatly enhanced, which enabled them to survive the Scourge, despite frequent Horror attacks. Since the Scourge ended, their numbers increased at an astounding rate and, without the Horrors to keep their numbers in check, they are starting to overrun small areas of the wilderness.


Challenge: Novice (Fourth Circle)
DEX: 7        Initiative:                   7       Unconsciousness:      41
STR: 11        Physical Defense:   13     Death Rating:               48
TOU: 7        Mystic Defense:       10     Wound Threshold:    10
PER: 4         Social Defense:        9       Knockdown:                 13
WIL: 5        Physical Armor:       5       Recovery Tests:           2
CHA: 3        Mystic Armor:          2        
Movement: 12
Actions: 1; Blade: 13 (17)
Enhanced Sense [Sight]: Heat Sight
Enhanced Sense [Smell] (2)
Fury (2)
Special Maneuvers:
Enrage (Opponent)
Overpower (Feral Ork, Close Combat): The feral ork spend two additional success on an Attack test to force the target to make a Knockdown test against a Difficulty Number equal to the Attack test result. If the test fails, the target is knocked down and knocked back a number of yards equal to the total number of success on the Attack test.
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)

28 April 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Creature 28 - Wolf, Crag

This is the twenty-eighth 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 was part of a cycle of elemental wolves that went unfinished. The biggest problem was getting good concepts that didn't scream "I'm just an excuse to make an elemental wolf!" Maybe I'll come back to that some day and also finish off the cycle of elemental big cats.


Wolf, Crag

Crag wolves live almost exclusively in mountainous terrain, frequently quite treacherous. While they are clearly related to wolves, their appearance is different in a few notable ways. Their skin is loose on their lanky bodies, hanging in thick wrinkles, and their fur is in shades of brown and gray, clumping and sticking out at strange angles. Crag wolves also have exceptionally flexible rib cages and joints that allow them to achieve strange contortions and lay remarkably flat against the ground. When doing so, it's easy to mistake them as simply part of the landscape. Their large, mobile ears and oversized maws complete their slightly nightmarish appearance.

Unlike other wolves, crag wolves are ambush predators, though they still hunt in packs, waiting completely still in terrain that gives them a natural advantage over their prey. They are vicious and attack anything where they have the upperhand, including Namegivers. Otherwise, crag wolves simply never reveal their presence and wait for a better meal. These creatures are only territorial against other canines, who they viciously attack, but never consume the corpses.

Crag wolves are suitable as animal companions.


Challenge: Novice (Third Circle)
DEX: 7        Initiative:                   9      Unconsciousness:      36
STR:  7        Physical Defense:   10     Death Rating:               43
TOU: 7        Mystic Defense:       8       Wound Threshold:    10
PER: 7         Social Defense:        10     Knockdown:                 13
WIL: 4        Physical Armor:       5       Recovery Tests:           2
CHA: 3        Mystic Armor:          3        
Movement: 14
Actions: 1; Bite: 12 (14)
Ambush (5)
Awareness (10): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 129.
Enhanced Sense [Smell] (2)
Enhanced Sense [Touch] (2): The crag wolf may make an Awareness test aginst anything touching the ground within 40 yards.
Fury (2)
Stealthy Stride (10): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 170.
Willful (1)
Special Maneuvers:
Hamstring (Crag Wolf, Bite)

27 April 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Creature 27 - Leech, Giant

This is the twenty-seventh 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.

Giant leeches. They're pretty much what they say, but as I think on them, there's a pretty good chance these things are harvested for their hallucinogenic anticoagulant. The fact it might have a medical purpose is a bonus. Or a downside for people who don't want to give up their drug of choice for "legitimate medical purposes."


Also, they're pretty horrifying. These can be bad news for a group and giant hallucinogenic ambushing leeches don't typically fall into the category of "things adventurers prepare for." But they should and would if they watched more truly awful horror films found on Amazon Prime.

Leech, Giant

Giant leeches are six feet long, segmented, worm-like beasts that subsist on the blood of large creatures. They are found across Barsiave in damp wetlands or lakes, but are most common in the Mist Swamps.

They feed by biting their victims, embedding three daggers sized teeth into their torso, and using a combination of mucus and vacuum to make a seal around their mouths. They then secrete a strong anticoagulant with hallucinogenic properties and feast on the victim’s blood.


Challenge: Novice (Third Circle)
DEX: 5        Initiative:                   6      Unconsciousness:      39
STR: 5         Physical Defense:   9       Death Rating:               47
TOU: 8        Mystic Defense:       10     Wound Threshold:    129
PER: 5         Social Defense:        10     Knockdown:                 NA
WIL: 6        Physical Armor:       4      Recovery Tests:           3
CHA: 4        Mystic Armor:          4        
Movement: 6 (Swimming 12)
Actions: 1; Bite: 12 (10)
Ambush (5)
Aquatic
Blood Veins (8): Once attached through use of its Bloodsucker special maneuver, the leech injects its target with a powerful anticoagulant. The victim suffers Step 8 damage each round with no reduction for armor while the leech is attached.
Enhanced Sense [Sight]: Heat Sight
Stealthy Stride (10): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 170.
Special Maneuvers:
Bad Trip (Giant Leech): The giant leech may spend an additional success on an Attack test to inject the target with a hallucinogenic anticoagulant. The target is Harried until the end of the next round. This special maneuver is automatically used if the giant leech starts the round grappling the target.
Bloodsucker (Giant Leech): The giant leech may spend an additional success on an Attack test to latch onto the target and use Blood Veins. This special maneuver is automatically used if the giant leech starts the round grappling the target.
Grab and Bite (Giant Leech)
Pry Loose (Opponent, Close Combat)

24 April 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Path 02 - Child of the Phoenix

This is the second 4E Anatomy of a Path, 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.

Child of the Phoenix is a 4E adaptation of the Daughter of Heaven Discipline from 3E's Cathay Player's Guide, p. 31. The biggest change is from Discipline to Path, though there are other changes along the way. While I understand the appeal of Daughter of Heaven as a strong healer and social archetype, this is presents problems for adapting. The biggest is healing. That's a major focus of the Discipline, but it makes healing too available. If they're on par with a spellcaster with healing (Elementalist, Nethermancer, and Shaman), what's the point of having it as a Discipline when spellcasters get lots of other stuff too.


Hence, a Path. Here it's okay to gate a lot of the healing behind knacks with expensive costs. Their value is there aren't spell matrix choices associated with them and they work with existing talents. It means they have healing at their disposal other characters may not, but there are still costs and limitations. This leaves room for everyone.

The change from Daughters of Heaven to Children of the Phoenix is less complex: I don't want to lock things behind genders and the whole women are healers thing is too gender essentialist. Pass. This also avoids ugliness associated with "biological sex." Also pass. Removing gender-based language and opening it to everyone is a win on every level. Heaven isn't a concept that exists in Barsaive, but the association with 
a phoenix works and extends into some new parts of the Path.


Child of the Phoenix

Game Information

Not only does the land of Barsaive need healing, so do its people. The countless threats large and small take their toll on the bodies and spirits of the Namegivers. While they are not unique in their mission, the Children of the Phoenix are legendary in their pursuit of their mission. They’ve earned an outsized reputation from their selfless acts and proven their dedication to the people time and again. They take their Name from a legendary creature or spirit, the phoenix, a symbol for healing and rebirth. These concepts are key to their identity, believing everyone deserves a second chance—a rebirth as something new and more pure.

The healing they offer is for everyone who accepts it and is more than just injuries and illness. Children of the Phoenix are also mediators who seek to heal the wounds that run deeper than flesh. Their most important mission is resolving conflicts, healing societies, and helping those in need. These deeper changes promote the long-term healing the people desperately need.

Because of this, Children of the Phoenix can be unwelcome where they are seen as troublesome at best. Even as they are ostensibly neutral in all conflicts, it can be impossible to remain so in the face of reality. It’s officially and formally frowned upon to favor one side, but so long as all injured are treated the same and Children continue to work to a non-violent resolution, there is little to be done.

Violence is not a tool. Violence is a last resort. There is always another path to walk, one that heals. Their oath is restrictive, but vital to their mission. It involves a vow of pacifism—they cannot engage in activities they know will end in violence and must find a different way. They can still protect themselves and those who cannot protect themselves, but must always seek to minimize casualties and aid those who fall by their hand. They can engage with Horrors and Horrorspawn freely—they are a blight and there is no way to save them. Any Namegivers afflicted so are better served with a swift and painless end. If the Children of the Phoenix were to find out about the Denairastas and their abominations, there may be difficult discussions about when Namegivers are beyond redemption.

If there is no way to save someone, if they do not wish it or are incapable of such healing, and continue to inflict suffering around them—what is the best course of action? This is a difficult question the order struggles with to this day. There are advocates on both sides, amending the oath versus maintaining it. The heated debates grew less so after the end of the most recent war with Thera, but revelations about the Denairastas may cause a shift. What this means for the order as a whole, the mission, what they fight for, what other changes may come from that, are unknown and what the more traditional members fear. If they allow for such things, what have they become?

Disciplines: Children of the Phoenix care about Namegivers first and foremost. Disciplines that find themselves detached from Namegivers, or more prone to connecting with other things, are much less common as followers. Troubadour and Weaponsmith are the most prevalent Disciplines. While not the most common, there are perhaps a surprising number of Nethermancers and Warriors who follow the Path.

Passions and Questors: Virtually all followers honor Garlen and Mynbruje in action if not in Name. Most don’t favor one over the other, seeing them both as vital to the Path’s mission and goals. Astendar, Floranuus, Jaspree, Lochost, and Upandal may also be honored, but typically to much lesser degrees and often in limited ways—not for all their ideals. Mad Passions are never followed; while there is desire to see them healed, the Children prefer to save those who follow them if possible, rather than devote valuable resources to healing the Mad Passions. If it is possible at all. Such activities would be coordinated with Purifiers, who are more experienced in such matters. Questors are still uncommon among the Children of the Phoenix, however they are significantly more common than among adepts as a whole.

Other Paths: Children of the Phoenix have no specific prohibition about following multiple Paths, so long as it does not affect their oath, which effectively prohibits joining other Paths. There is a deep mutual respect and cooperation with Purifiers, and a significant population follow both Paths. Though most prefer to work together when possible, rather than navigate both sets of duties. Scholars are the other Path seen among the Children, almost exclusively focused on knowledge around healing, physiology, and societal issues.

Some see the almost symbiotic relationship between Children of the Phoenix and Horror Stalkers as bizarre, but Children see the spirit in need of healing within all Horror Stalkers as they seek to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. This resonates within the Children and they always offer succor to a Horror Stalker in need. It’s not unheard of for Horror Stalkers to leave their Path and join with a Child, finding a new purpose together. While Children may desire to heal Outcasts, they learned Outcasts have no desire for such help and it is an affront to their honor. Thankfully, most Outcasts are willing to let such unwitting insults go without incident. Once. Journeymen typically lack the focus necessary to join the Children, but it is not impossible and their unique powers can grant them significant empathy for others. Other Paths’ reliance violence against Namegivers to achieve their means is distasteful at best to Children of the Phoenix.

Initiation: There is no grueling initiation process for the Children of the Phoenix, nor do they scrutinize the background of those who wish to join. The Children believe strongly in second chances and joining their order grants all a spiritual rebirth, a chance to make amends and atone for past misdeeds. Prospective adepts can either be found and offered an audience or seek out a follower. Either way, they end up before a council of elder Children—at least three rank 5—to be interviewed and ensure the Path is right for them. The sincere desire to heal is what brings most to the Children, however the ability to follow their oath is not easy for all. This is the initiation ordeal.

Some who have the former, but need to be shown the latter or are uncertain if the Path is right for them are first apprenticed to an experienced Child and they travel together performing their duties. Their senior works with them and provides honest and constructive feedback, telling them when they are ready, or if this is not the right Path for them. In which case, the Child attempts to help them find what it is they need.

Once admitted, the candidate is dressed in the initiation robes. They are presented before the gathered elders and all other Children who can attend. They are asked a series of questions to confirm this is the Path they wish to walk, they wish to be reborn in the presence of their future siblings as a Child of the Phoenix. Once affirmed, they recite the oath and cast off the white robes of an initiate, wearing the red robes signifying their rebirth underneath. They are presented with a bracer signifying their status among the Path, and granting them safe passage among any who respect the Children.

Advancement and Ordeals: It isn’t enough for a Child of the Phoenix to heal, they must make a difference. Ordeals among the Children require followers to use their abilities to make a difference. Typically this involves healing something larger than just some wounded, but a community, a devastating disease, a generations old feud that continues to claim lives, etc. Children who solely heal the sick and injured earn no less respect among their peers, but they do not advance among them. Healing the body is the easiest thing to heal, but many wounds run deeper.

Elders meet throughout the year and discuss the deeds performed by Children. Any whose actions have merit and work to heal more than just the superficial injuries in Barsaive are considered to advancement. Most decisions are unanimous, but this is not always the case. Some Children push the boundaries on what is acceptable in an effort to make a difference and realize the necessary healing. The Children of the Phoenix are traditional, but actions cannot be denied. This can bring strife to an order accustomed to harmony, which makes some followers uncomfortable or resentful of their peers.

The ceremony for advancement is a simple affair. Children in the area gather to hear the accomplishments of their peers as they are related by the elders who supported their advancement. The Children reaffirm their oaths and those advancing receive a pearl to place in their bracer.

Karma Ritual: Changes to Karma Rituals after joining the Children are often subtle, though most notable for adepts whose rituals contain acts of violence. These may appear superficially similar, but close observation shows they are more defensive and often in the act of protecting imagined innocents. For example, a Nethermancer may speak of esoteric healing techniques, or seek to mend fences between differing spirits. While a Weaponsmith still fashions an imperfect weapon and shatters it, the meaning is not just because it’s defective, but because they seek a world where it’s unnecessary.

Half-Magic: The adept can also use their Half-Magic to find other Children of the Phoenix and know the history of the Children of the Phoenix. Additionally, the adept can make Half-Magic tests to know basic information about Namegiver physiology, diseases, and poisons, as well as medicinal plants. This does not replace the more detailed and valuable knowledge from an appropriate Knowledge skill.

Child of the Phoenix Talent Cost
  • Journeyman, Maximum Rank 5
Child of the Phoenix Rank Bonuses
  • Rank 2: +1 Social Defense
  • Rank 4: +1 Mystic Defense
Child of the Phoenix Talent Options

Rank 1+ (Purchased as Journeyman tier talents)
Cold Purify, Conversation, Danger Sense, Empathic Sense, Etiquette, First Impression, Graceful Exit

Rank 5+ (Purchased as Warden tier talents)
Diplomacy, Lifesight


Child of the Phoenix Talents

Child of the Phoenix
Step: Rank
Action: NA
Strain: 0
Skill Use: No
This talent measures the adept’s advancement on the Child of the Phoenix Path. The adept can learn one Child of the Phoenix talent option for each rank and gains their Child of the Phoenix rank as a bonus to Interaction tests for making an impression or asking for favors of other Child of the Phoenix and those who are sympathetic to their cause. In Barsaive, this typically includes at least Purifiers, and questors of Garlen and Mynbruje. This talent’s maximum rank is 5 and costs Journeyman tier to advance.


Child of the Phoenix Knacks

Cold Purify

Breath of the Phoenix
Talent: Cold Purify
Requirements: Rank 9, Lifesight rank 5
Restrictions: Child of the Phoenix rank 5
Step: Rank+CHA
Action: Standard
Strain: 4 (special)
Skill Use: No
The adept has learned a dangerous technique to revive a target who has more current damage than their Death Rating—the target may have had current damage above their Death Rating no more than the adept’s Cold Purify rank in minutes. The adept must touch the target with both hands and breath into the target’s mouth, exhaling their life energy into the target. The adept spends a Recovery Test and makes a Breath of the Phoenix test against the target’s Mystic Defense (this cannot be reduced and is not affected by being knocked down or similar; though the target can have thread or pattern items enhancing it hastily removed). The adept may give a bonus to this test up to their Breath of the Phoenix Step + Toughness Step + Willpower Step. If successful, the target makes a Recovery test with a +2 bonus for each additional success. This knack can only be used once per target per day. The target does not spend a Recovery Test for this.

After the effects are assessed—the results of the Recovery test if one is made—the adept suffers Step X damage where X is equal to the bonus they previously applied to their Breath of the Phoenix test.

Cleansing Chill: See The Adept’s Journey: Mystic Paths, p. 226. This Cold Purify knack can be learned as a Cold Purify knack with Child of the Phoenix rank 2 as an additional restriction.

Counteract
Talent: Cold Purify
Requirements: Rank 6
Restrictions: Child of the Phoenix rank 1, any Discipline 7
Step: Rank+WIL
Action: Standard
Strain: 2
Skill Use: No
The adept empowers their ability to heal poison and disease using their life force. The adept touches the target’s open wound, spends a Recovery Test, and transfers their energy into the target, drawing the poison or disease out by making a Counteract test against the poison or disease’s Effect Step. If successful, the effects of the poison or disease are stopped and the victim recovers a number of Damage Points equal to the difference between the test result and the Difficulty Number. The blood falls to the ground thick and sickened—it cannot be used to further spread poison or disease.

Improvised Poultice
Talent: Cold Purify
Requirements: Rank 7
Restrictions: Child of the Phoenix rank 3
Step: Rank+PER
Action: Sustained (1+ hour)
Strain: 5+ (special)
Skill Use: No
The adept can quickly produce temporary healing aids to assist in recovery from injuries, poison, or disease. The adept chooses the type of poultice (injury, poison, or disease) and makes an Improvised Poultice (10) test. Each success produces a suitable improvised poultice. This uses 5 silver pieces of appropriate alchemical reagents per poultice and takes one hour per poultice. The adept may choose to make less poultices than the full number they can, if they wish to take less Strain, don’t have enough alchemical reagents, or don’t wish to take the full time. Improvised poultices last for five days, after which they are rendered useless.

Injury poultices provide +4 to the target’s next Recovery test within one hour. The target cannot engage in strenuous activity after the poultice is applied and before the Recovery test is made, or the benefit is lost. Poison and disease poultices add +3 to any tests to resist the effects of a poison or disease currently affecting the target for 24 hours.

Mending Frost: See The Adept’s Journey: Mystic Paths, p. 226. This Cold Purify knack can be learned as a Cold Purify knack with Child of the Phoenix rank 5 as an additional restriction.

Purge Pattern
Talent: Cold Purify
Requirements: Rank 9, Lightsight rank 9
Restrictions: Child of the Phoenix rank 5, any Discipline 10
Step: Rank+WIL
Action: Sustained (1 hour)
Strain: 4
Skill Use: No
The adept ends lingering magical effects on the target’s pattern by spending a Recovery Test and making a Purge Pattern test against the highest Dispel Difficulty (Player’s Guide, p. 265) of the effects on the target (this includes beneficial effects). The adept can remove one effect for each success—they may not know exactly what each effect is, but get a general idea of the consequences. This cannot affect Horror powers, but can affect talents, spells (including those cast by a Horror), devotions, and other curses. This ability can be used once per month on a target. More than that risks permanent pattern damage.

Touch of the Phoenix
Talent: Cold Purify
Requirements: Rank 7
Restrictions: Child of the Phoenix rank 3
Step: Rank+CHA
Action: Standard
Strain: 2
Skill Use: No
The adept empowers their ability to heal injuries using their life force. The adept touches the willing target’s open wound, spends a Recovery Test, and transfers their energy into the target by making a Touch of the Phoenix (5) test. If successful, the target spends a Recovery Test and makes a Recovery test with a +2 bonus per additional success. This talent always generates at least one success.

Comfort of the Phoenix
Talent: Cold Purify
Requirements: Rank 6
Restrictions: Child of the Phoenix rank 2
Step: Rank+CHA
Action: Standard
Strain: 2
Skill Use: No
The adept temporarily relieves the target of their fatigue and pain. The adept touches the willing target and makes a Comfort of the Phoenix test against the target’s Mystic Defense (this cannot be reduced and is not affected by being knocked down or similar; though the target can have thread or pattern items enhancing it hastily removed). If successful, the target ignores penalties due to fatigue and Wounds up to the number of successes for Cold Purify rank ×10 minutes. This does not treat or eliminate the underlying causes.

Child of the Phoenix

Bearing of the Phoenix [Karma]
Talent: Child of the Phoenix
Requirements: Rank 4
Restrictions: None
Strain: 0
The adept can spend a Karma Point on an Interaction test (Gamemaster’s Guide, p. 144) to Make an Impression, gain Insight, or ask for a Favor. The favor must be selfless in nature.

Embrace of the Phoenix
Talent: Child of the Phoenix
Requirements: Rank 5, Cold Purify rank 8
Restrictions: None
Step: Rank+TOU
Action: Free
Strain: 0
Skill Use: No
The adept may spend a Recovery Test to add their Embrace of the Phoenix Step as a bonus to a Cold Purify test.

Hand of the Phoenix [Karma]
Talent: Child of the Phoenix
Requirements: Rank 1
Restrictions: None
Strain: 1
The adept can spend a Karma Point on a test to heal or treat the injuries of a living target (including disease and poison). This knack can be used once per round.

Sincerity of the Phoenix [Karma]
Talent: Child of the Phoenix
Requirements: Rank 2
Restrictions: None
Strain: 1
The adept can spend a Karma Point on a test to convince a target of their sincerity and earn the target’s trust. The adept cannot deceive the target, though they are not required to be wholly forthcoming.

Vision of the Phoenix [Karma]
Talent: Child of the Phoenix
Requirements: Rank 3
Restrictions: None
Strain: 1
The adept can spend a Karma Point on a test to assess the health or pattern of a target. This includes using Lifesight to detect living targets.

Diplomacy

Enhanced Trust
Talent: Diplomacy
Requirements: Rank 6, Trust of the Phoenix
Restrictions: Child of the Phoenix rank 5
Step: Rank
Action: Free
Strain: 1
Skill Use: No
The adept gains their Diplomacy rank as a bonus to Trust of the Phoenix tests.

Path of the Righteous
Talent: Diplomacy
Requirements: Rank 5
Restrictions: Child of the Phoenix rank 5
Step: Rank
Action: Standard
Strain: 2
Skill Use: No
The adept uses their assumed authority and purpose to cut through a crowd, including a hostile crowd. The adept must state loudly and clearly their purpose and authority, waving back those in their path. Onlookers don’t need to understand exactly what is said as long as the intent, tone, and body language are clear, but it is more difficult if they do not speak the language. The adept makes a Path of the Righteous test against the highest Social Defense among those gathered; +1 for each additional five targets directly impeding their path. If successful, the targets are moved out of the adept’s way, creating a 4-yard wide and Diplomacy rank ×4 long.

If the adept or their companions use this access to take advantage of anyone (such as conducting espionage, violence, transgressing, etc.), this violates the Path’s blood oath and the adept is immediately in crisis. Targets betrayed in this fashion are immune to all future tests by the adept against their Social Defense to influence them or win their trust. Their anger and outrage gives them a +2 bonus to any tests they make against the offenders.

Empathic Sense

Gift of the Phoenix
Talent: Empathic Sense
Requirements: Rank 8
Restrictions: Child of the Phoenix rank 4
Step: NA
Action: Standard
Strain: 1
Skill Use: No
The adept touches their willing target and transfers a Recovery Test to the target. This Recovery Test is lost if not used before the target regains their daily Recovery Tests. Recovery Tests gained from devotions and talents cannot be transferred in this fashion. This knack can be used once per target per day.

Etiquette

Trust of the Phoenix
Talent: Etiquette
Requirements: Rank 5
Restrictions: Child of the Phoenix rank 1
Step: Rank+CHA
Action: Standard
Strain: 1
Skill Use: No
The adept convinces anyone preventing them from healing a patient of that need. This can include a reluctant patient, guards preventing them from reaching the patient, or a similar situation. This cannot end active combat, nor will it change the mind of anyone who wants to see the patient harmed. The adept makes a Trust of the Phoenix test against the target’s Social Defense. If successful, the adept’s progres is no longer stymied by the target. Each additional success allows two companions to travel with the adept.

If the adept or their companions betray this trust in any way (such as using their access to conduct espionage, burglary, violence, etc.) and are discovered (including by the adept), this violates the Path’s blood oath and the adept is immediately in crisis. Targets betrayed in this fashion are immune to all future tests by the adept against their Social Defense to influence them or win their trust. Their anger and outrage gives them a +2 bonus to any tests they make against the offenders.

Graceful Exit

Shield the Innocent
Talent: Graceful Exit
Requirements: Rank 6
Restrictions: Child of the Phoenix rank 2
Step: Rank+CHA
Action: Standard
Strain: 1
Skill Use: No
The adept places targets weaker than the adept under the adept’s protection, preventing hostilities against them as long as the adept does not engage in any aggressive acts. The adept makes a Shield the Innocent test against the highest Social Defense in the opposing group. If successful, the opposing group cannot attack those under the adept’s protection for Graceful Exit ×10 minutes. This offers no protection to the adept and if the adept falls unconscious, this talent no longer provides any protection. If the adept or those under their protection act aggressively in any way (such violence, hurling insults that should be answered, theft, etc.), this ends the talent’s effects and violates the Path’s blood oath and the adept is immediately in crisis. Targets betrayed in this fashion are immune to all future tests by the adept against their Social Defense to influence them, win their trust, or use this talent against them. Their anger and outrage gives them a +2 bonus to any tests they make against the offenders.

Lifesight

Assess Living Pattern
Talent: Lifesight
Requirements: Rank 8, Cold Purify 8
Restrictions: Child of the Phoenix rank 4, any Discipline 10
Step: Rank+PER
Action: Standard
Strain: 2
Skill Use: No
The adept assesses the target’s pattern and injuries with Lifesight, seeing how to best heal them. The adept makes a See Injuries test against the target’s Mystic Defense (this cannot be reduced and is not affected by being knocked down or similar; though the target can remove thread or pattern items enhancing it). If successful, the adept gains a bonus equal to their Lifesight rank to their next Cold Purify test against the target. This test must be made within Lifesight rank minutes.

The adept may spend additional successes to glean information about the target, though some healers consider this invasive and unnecessary. One additional success provides information about the target’s injuries and how they were sustained. Two additional indicates information about the target’s physiology, such as old wounds. Three additional successes reveal congenital effects, some the target may not realize. Four additional successes can indicate magical effects hidden in the target’s pattern, though no details on what exactly they are.

Mystic Surgery
Talent: Lifesight
Requirements: Rank 9, Cold Purify rank 9, Assess Living Pattern
Restrictions: Child of the Phoenix rank 5, any Discipline 11
Step: Rank+PER
Action: Free
Strain: 2
Skill Use: No
The adept uses their Lifesight to assist in treating injuries, disease, poison, and/or Wounds with Cold Purify, allowing the adept to use much less invasive techniques. The adept makes a Mystic Surgery test against the target’s Mystic Defense (this cannot be reduced and is not affected by being knocked down or similar; though the target can remove thread or pattern items enhancing it). If successful, the adept does not need to cause a Wound to treat the target, but only inflict 1 point of damage.

Path Knacks

Child of the Phoenix [Path]
Talent: Thread Weaving
Rank: 5
Cost: 500 Legend Points
Requirements: Must complete a Child of the Phoenix ordeal
Restrictions: Any Discipline Circle 5
The adept performs the initiation ritual and weaves a thread to the Child of the Phoenix pattern, taking 2 Blood Magic Damage, and gains Child of the Phoenix at rank 1.

23 April 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 10 - Stone of Wisdom, The

This is the tenth 4E Anatomy of a Thread Item, 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 presents an update to The Stone of Wisdom (Shards Collection vol. 1, p. 29). A truly faithful adaptation isn't possible due to the Detect Influence ability which isn't present in 4E (and not coming back). This update is entirely focused on being a good leader. Also, Detect Influence is a really weird ability to give to an item from long before the Scourge. When Horrors weren't a thing.


The Stone of Wisdom

Maximum Threads: 1
Mystic Defense: 12
Legend Point Cost: Journeyman

The Stone of Wisdom is a beautiful pearl, about two inches in diameter, suspended on a silver chain of windling design. Within the pearl, a finely carved face is visible.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the Name of the item.
Effect: The owner gains +1 to Interaction tests.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The owner gains +1 to Social Defense.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the Name of the item's creator (the face within the pearl).
Effect: The owner gains and additional +2 to Interaction (Insight) tests.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: The owner gains +2 to Social Defense.

Thread Rank Five
Deed: The owner must assist a community leader in making a wise decision. The decision must be important enough to decide the fate of at least 30 Namegivers/
Effect: Once per day, the owner can meditate on a question for 1 hour and ask the pearl's wisdom. The question must be regarding governance and/or civil leadership. The owner makes an Interaction (Insight) test against Difficulty Number 10 and adds the thread rank as a bonus to the test. If successful, the owner gains insight into their question, but the pearl does not possess additional information, just a different, more objective perspective. Each additional success allows the owner to ask a follow-up question with the same restrictions as the initial question. The owner cannot ask the same question multiple times unless the situation changes significantly or the owner ganes significant additional information.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: The owner gains +3 to Social Defense.