30 June 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 30 - Anointed Rings

This is the thirtieth 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.

A thread item written for an online game I offered to help with thread items. This was written with the request of ring mail armor. There's a lot of space to play around there, so I went with toying with the words a little.

Anointed Rings

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

This set of ring mail armor seems entirely normal. The craftsmanship is good, but won’t raise eyebrows. It is well cared for and has seen use, but isn’t notable. When a thread is attached, one of the rings appears notably different for each thread rank. Typically it appears like a different material (e.g., blue glass, crystal, gold, etc.), etched with runes or script; something to clearly set it apart. Each affected ring is distinct from the other rings.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the armor’s Name
Effect: The armor is Mystic Armor 1.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The armor is Mystic Armor 2.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the significance of the different rings.
Effect: The armor gains the Anointed Rings ability and the owner can remove the distinctive rings and anoint them with their blood as a Standard action, taking 1 Blood Magic Damage for each ring anointed. These rings are easy for the owner to remove, requiring a simple tug and the armor shifts to accommodate its removal. Anyone (and only those) wearing an anointed ring benefits from the Anointed Rings ability (this includes the owner, who must be wearing an anointed ring to benefit, though not to use the ability). The anointment lasts until the owner ends it, which they can do at any time, allowing the owner to heal the Blood Magic Damage. Once ended, the ring disappears and reappears in the armor.

As a Simple action for 2 Strain, the armor wearer activates the Anointed Rings ability to give +2 to Mystic Armor until then end of the next round.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: While Anointed Rings is active, the armor wearer can spend a Karma Point on a different character’s Action test. This can be used once per round.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn which ring was the first and the most recent, and about the owner who added them.
Deed: The owner must have a distinctive ring crafted and incorporated into the armor.
Effect: The Anointed Rings ability also gives +2 to Physical Armor until the end of the next round.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: The armor wearer can use the Rank Four effect twice per round.

29 June 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Rules Variant 10 - Part 1 Hindrance

This is the first part of the tenth Rules Variant, part of 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.

All the attributes in Earthdawn are important in their own way, though it’s fairly clear one sticks out as generally less valuable than the others: Strength. It increases combat damage for most characters, except for spellcasters and eventually ranged attackers with Flame Arrow, and is used for resisting knockdown. In many ways the limit on encumbrance is the most important factor as it limits what can be carried.

However, most tables ignore encumbrance as an exercise in bean counting when they want to have fun. Not run a spreadsheet to produce the live total of how much they are carrying. Then you can figure out the optimum amount of stuff to carry back by maximizing the value v. mass. If you have a cart with mules, this may be less important (unless there are obstacles preventing easy access to the phat lewt). But we’re now worrying about domesticated animals left outside to fend for themselves and have I lost everyone yet?

To dig into design a little: There is some merit in putting together a more simplified encumbrance system where only the big things are a concern and they get assigned some number of abstract encumbering units. These can have a rough mass equivalence, but it is still the same situation, just smaller numbers. And it runs afoul of carrying around millions of copper pieces, which may or may not be a problem depending on your view. Suffice it to say, it’s still not the easiest solution.

After all that preamble, what this post is actually about: Hindrance. This is a replacement to Initiative Penalty with the effects of Strength Value built in, rather than attempting to attach them as a post hoc fix. Even though this is a post hoc fix, it goes a little deeper to create a more coherent whole.

The premise is characters have a maximum Hindrance based on their Strength Value. Armor and shields have a Hindrance value equal to their current Initiative Penalty +1. If your Hindrance from armor and shields exceeds your maximum Hindrance, you suffer a -1 penalty to your Initiative Step. If this reduces your Initiative Step to 0 or less, you cannot act in combat. Which is the same premise as Initiative Penalty. This also makes windling flight less excessive by forcing slightly more difficult decisions about equipment, reinforcing the idea of how they wear very light armor.

What this means is very strong characters can wear heavier armor and use bigger shields without it penalizing their Initiative. The Gauntlet Discipline is a specific edge case by how it functions and doesn’t benefit from this and makes their access to heavy armor less impressive. There’s a knack for that at the end.

Here are the specific rules:
  • A character’s Maximum Hindrance is based on their Strength Value:
    • Strength Value 1-3: 0
    • Strength Value 4-7: 1
    • Strength Value 8-11: 2
    • Strength Value 12-15: 3
    • Strength Value 16-19: 4
    • Strength Value 20-23: 5
    • Strength Value 24-27: 6
    • Strength Value 28-31: 7
  • The Hindrance of an armor or shield is its Initiative Penalty +1.
    • For example: A buckler is Hindrance 1 and hide armor is Hindrance 2.
  • Characters receive a -1 penalty to their Initiative Step for every point they exceed their Maximum Hindrance.
    • For example, Jaye has Hindrance 5 from her crystal raider shield and crystalweave armor and her Strength Value is 13, giving her a Maximum Hindrance of 3. She suffers -2 to her Initiative Step.
  • Windlings cannot fly when they exceed their Maximum Hindrance.
  • Characters on a flying mount cannot fly if they exceed their Maximum Hindrance.
  • Characters on a mount that does not fly reduce their armor’s Hindrance by 2 (this does not affect shields).
  • Strength of Bronze, Iron, and Steel no longer provide any benefit. This alternate rule eliminates the niche they filled.
  • The Strong Back ability does not increase Maximum Hindrance. It was intended as a small benefit, but not an ability with quite this impact.
Here are revised armors to better fit this setup.

Special thank you to Brett Bowen for invaluable assistance with this.


Clarity in Patience
Talent: Deliberate Assault
Requirements: Rank 4
Restrictions: None
Step: Rank
Action: Free
Strain: 1
Skill Use: No
Standard Effects. For every 2 points the adept reduces their Initiative result, they gain +1 to their next Attack or Damage test this round against an opponent with higher Initiative. This bonus combined with the bonus from the difference in Initiative results cannot exceed the talent rank.

For example, Omen got a 9 for her Initiative result, which she reduces to a 0 because of course she does. She has Deliberate Assault rank 6 and can add up to +4 to her Attack or Damage test (in some combination). However, this +4 counts against her maximum +6 from the standard effect. Meaning if she adds +4 to her Damage, she can only gain up to +2 to the Attack test based on the Initiative result difference. Since her target bottomed out with an Initiative result of 1, this is working out well.

26 June 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 29 - Anticipation

This is the twenty-ninth 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.

A thread item written for an online game I offered to help with thread items. This was written with the request of a bonus to ranged Attack ability. I've never been one to resist by basest impulses when it comes to puns and doing something a little weird, and I certainly didn't start here.

Anticipation

Maximum Threads: 2
Mystic Defense: 12
Legend Point Cost: Journeyman

A quiver of beautiful oxblood leather. The design is a work of minimalist art, adorned only by the Sperethiel tooled into the leather, “Anticipation. What the arrow feels before. Kisses sweet, red.”

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the Name of the quiver.
Effect: 24 hours after an arrow is placed in the quiver, it gains all the benefits. The wearer gains +1 to Attack tests with affected arrows.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The wearer gains +2 to Attack tests with affected arrows.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn what creature the leather came from and where.
Effect: The wearer gains the Anticipation ability. As a Free action for 1 Strain, an affected arrow takes on a red sheen and gains an additional +3 to the next Attack test.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: Arrows affected by Anticipation have +2 Damage against opponents with a lower Initiative or who are taking their turn after the wearer. Injuries caused by the arrows are surprisingly bloodless.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the Name of who created the quiver and the significance of the words.
Effect: The wearer gains the Kisses Sweet, Red special maneuver.

Kisses Sweet, Red (Wearer, Affected Arrow): The wearer can spend additional successes on the Attack test to reduce the target’s Wound Threshold by -3 per success. This reduction affects the damage of this attack only.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: Arrows affected by Anticipation have +2 Damage against Wounded opponents.

25 June 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 28 - Crush

This is the twenty-eighth 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.

A thread item written for an online game I offered to help with thread items. This was written with the request of a bonus to close combat Attack ability and "smashination." With that in mind... I'm leaving the notes intact because it makes a lot more sense that way.

Crush

Maximum Threads: 2
Mystic Defense: 12
Legend Point Cost: Journeyman

This is an impressive spiked mace to behold with remarkable craftsmanship and runes of power along the surface. Everything about it speaks of strength. It is impossible to imagine there was ever a weapon superior for crushing your foes.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the mace’s Name.
Effect: The mace is Damage Step 7.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The mace is Damage Step 8.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the bound spirit’s Name. [It’s Crush, same as the mace. Crush is the kind of spirit signed up to be bound to a mace for all eternity because, “it sounds like a pretty good gig. I mean, just have to crush stuff, right? No more… nothing. No more nothing, bro. We spirits don’t do anything you don’t know about. Hey, brew me, dog, will ya?”]
Effect: The bound spirit can talk with the owner through their connection when the mace is within thread rank ×4 yards. However, the spirit doesn’t have anything useful to say. Ever. The spirit can understand the owner, but the owner has to talk out loud.

The wielder may use the Crush power. As a Free action for 1 Strain, the wielder adds +3 to their next close combat Attack test with the mace. The spirit will yell “Crush!” in the wielder’s head when this power is used cajoles them if they don’t yell it as well. This continues until the wielder starts to yell “Crush!” as well, at which point they’re yelling it together.

Sometimes the spirit wants a high five. This is advised against. Both because it’s a mace with spikes and it’s a high five. If the owner ever attempts to confuse the spirit (it’s not hard, you should feel bad), Crush cannot be used until the owner untangles the proverbial knot they created.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: When the wielder uses Crush, they can spend an additional 1 Strain to envelop the mace in concussive force, giving the wielder a separate Step 3/D4 die of earth damage.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn about who was responsible for the mace and how things ended up like this. Was this on purpose? Did something go wrong? Was it always like this? And their Name, Discipline, and that other stuff too.
Deed: The owner must make an oath to the spirit to crush things. [This isn’t a Blood Oath or even binding, which the spirit fully admits. “This is like a promise between bros. We’re like bound in this whole crushing thing. Together. And that, like, means way more than a Blood Oath. It’s a bro oath. A broath. That’s the deepest oath there is, bro.]
Effect: When the wielder uses Crush, they can use the Crush special maneuver.


Crush (Wielder, Crush): The wielder can spend additional successes on their Attack test to reduce the target’s Physical Armor by 1 per success. This is applied after the wielder’s Damage test.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: The wielder can call upon the spirit’s aid once per day as a Simple action, similar to a modified Enhance Summoner spirit power. They feel something hand-like slap their palm and the spirit’s essence fills them. The wielder can spend up to 3 Strain and gains +2 to an Action test that round per Strain. The Action test must be related to smashing something; this can apply to a Damage test if it is against a barrier or similar inanimate object.

24 June 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 27 - Rillabothien, Autumn of the Queen's Guard

This is the twenty-seventh 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.

A thread item written for an online game I offered to help with thread items. This was written with the request of crystalweave armor with a Karma battery. I decided to use the thread item to tell a little story in the details, and give it a bit more focus. Which includes some extra utility for that Karma within the focus.

Rillabothien, Autumn of the Queen's Guard

Maximum Threads: 2
Mystic Defense: 12
Legend Point Cost: Journeyman

This beautifully crafted crystalweave armor with rose-colored crystal set among periwinkles is an exemplar of the craftsmanship associated with the Elven Court in Wyrm Wood prior to the Scourge. Throughout the day and over the year, the flowers and their greenery shift to create different visible patterns in the underlying crystal.

The armor automatically resizes when a thread is woven.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the armor’s Name.
Effect: The armor is Physical Armor 4.


Thread Rank Two
Effect: The armor is Mystic Armor 5.


Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn where the flowers in the armor came from and what they mean.
Effect: The wearer gains +2 to Making an Impression, Insight, and Favors Interaction tests.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: The wearer can spend a Karma Point on an Interaction test. This is in addition to any other abilities that allow the owner to spend Karma on an associated test.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn how and where the armor got its Name.
Effect: The owner may store Karma Points up to the thread rank in the armor. The wearer may transfer Karma Points between their Karma pool and the armor as a Standard action, and may spend Karma from the armor as if it were in their Karma pool.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: The wearer gains +1 Karma Step when spending Karma Points on Interaction tests.

23 June 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 26 - Patternwrack

This is the twenty-sixth 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.

A thread item written for an online game I offered to help with thread items. This was written with the request of an amulet. So I tried some things with a pretty narrow effect, but some interesting boosts to it.


Patternwrack

Maximum Threads: 2
Mystic Defense: 12
Legend Point Cost: Journeyman

A single, bold glyph adorns the otherwise plain obsidian amulet. It hangs from the wearer’s neck on a leather thong affixed to the amulet with wrapped silver wire.

The amulet resizes to the wearer and never pierces their skin when a thread is attached.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the amulet’s Name.
Effect: The wearer gains +1 rank to Spellcasting.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The wearer gains +1 Mystic Armor.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the glyph’s meaning.
Effect: The wearer gains the Patternwrack ability if they are casting or weaving threads for an “astral” or “spirit” spell (this can be in the spell’s name). As a Simple action for 1 Strain, darkness spills out of the amulet and down the wearer’s arms, forming ghostly glyphs along them. If the wearer’s next Spellcasting test is successful, the targets suffer a -2 penalty to their Mystic Armor until the end of the next round. The Spellcasting test does not have to be a spell. None of the penalties from Patternwrack are from a spell.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: When the wearer uses the Patternwrack ability, the glyphs become more distinct and prevalent. If the wearer uses the Patternwrack ability, they can also use the Stagger Pattern special maneuver.
Stagger Pattern (Wearer, Spellcasting): The wearer can spend additional successes on their Spellcasting test to inflict a -1 penalty per success spent to all Attack and Spellcasting tests until the end of the next round. This affects all targets of the Spellcasting test.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the Name of the spirit bound to the amulet.
Effect: When the wearer uses the Patternwrack ability, the glyphs and darkness stretch across their body. The targets also suffer a -2 penalty to Mystic Defense until the end of the next round.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: When the wearer uses the Patternwrack ability, a halo of darkness spreads behind them. The penalties to Mystic Defense and Mystic Armor are now -3.

22 June 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 25 - Third Eye Blinded

This is the twenty-fifth 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.

A thread item written for an online game I offered to help with thread items. This was written with the request of a targeting eye. That's fairly easy to adapt into a thread item, the basic function effectively being a typical effect. However, the permanent Blood Magic Damage for implantation means I gave a couple benefits I wouldn't typically give to two ranks to go with that cost. Performing Item History on this particular thread item probably gets cosy.

Third Eye Blinded

Maximum Threads: 2
Mystic Defense: 14
Legend Point Cost: Warden

When not in use, this appears as a red, crystalline ovoid. The facets are slight and irregular and the largest “sides” bulge out smoothly, though the bulge on one is slightly more pronounced. It’s warm to the touch and when light shines through it, there’s the impression of images through it. Peering through the side with the slight bulge shows nothing, but through the flatter side shows curious things, but it is impossible to focus on them unless it is pressed directly on the eye.

Once seated on a Namegiver, the magic happens. Crystal and orichalcum veins pierce the eye it is over and begin draining the vitreous fluids. Thorns extend from the facets and latch onto the Namegiver’s face. Once touching the character’s eye, it is impossible to remove short of killing the character. Additional veins emerge into the character’s eye as it begins affixing itself to their optical nerves and circulatory system. The thorns dig out the now useless eye, feeding it to the crystal as they make room within the cavity.

The crystal seats itself and begins flexing, adjusting to its new home. Once fully merged with the character, the red, crystalline nictitating membrane slides open to reveal a piercing black eye with the faintest hint of red in the iris, which is barely visible around the huge pupil.

This entire process isn’t pleasant to witness and significantly less so to be on the receiving end. The length could be generously described as “an eternity” to everyone present. The owner suffers 2 Blood Magic Damage which can never be healed.

Without a thread attached, this functions as a targeting eye and always resizes to the recipient.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the eye’s Name.
Effect: The eye continues to fuse with the owner’s system and sharpens their vision and sensitivity to movement. For 1 Strain, the owner gains +3 to their next ranged combat Attack test. This replaces the standard benefit from a targeting eye.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The eye’s lens and cornea are more flexible, allowing the owner to focus better at distance. The owner has Enhanced Sense [Sight] (2) and no longer suffers penalties from distance for vision-based Awareness tests.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn what type of animal the eye originally came from. [Blood raven]
Effect: The crystal and orichalcum veins travel along the adept’s optic nerves and to their other eye, which appears slightly bloodshot and occasionally shimmers with gold or sparkles with color. The owner gains +1 rank to Astral Sight.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: The eye has modified the owner’s optic nerves and brain to see the ultraviolet spectrum. This spectrum is still unknown to Barsaive and functions as the owner has Enhanced Sense [Sight] (4). The owner can gain additional information based on this spectrum at the gamemaster's discretion and can do things like make special ultraviolet dyes only they and other diurnal birds can see.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn about who created this, including their Name and Discipline (and what is wrong with them, what made them like this).
Effect: Almost invisible red crystal and orichalcum veins spread out from around the eye as it integrates further. The owner can spend a Karma Point on Perception-based tests that rely on vision. This is in addition to any other abilities that allow the owner to spend Karma on an associated test.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: The owner gains the Eye Gouge special maneuver, which can be used with close combat or ranged combat attacks.
Eye Gouge (Owner): The owner may spend two additional successes on an Attack test to inflict Partial Blindness on an opponent until the end of the next round. If the target is affected by this special maneuver again in the same conflict, it inflicts Full Blindness. If the damage causes a Wound, the blindness penalty lasts until the Wound is healed.

Thread Rank Seven
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the creature’s Name.
Effect: The red crystal and orichalcum veins in the owner’s other eye become more pronounced and they gain +3 ranks to Astral Sight.

Thread Rank Eight
Effect: While impossible to detect unless closed, the owner develops a nictitating membrane over their other eye. If the owner has astrally sensed a target, they gain +2 to ranged combat Attack tests against the target and Perception-based Action tests that target their Mystic Defense.

19 June 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 24 - Lady Haytrish’s Borrum Hat for Full Moons in 742 TH

This is the twenty-fourth 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.

A thread item written for an online game I offered to help with thread items. This was written with the request of a fancy hat with a bonus to Animal Training. The effects may seem a little incongrous if you assume it was purpose made rather than a legendary item around a specific event.


Lady Haytrish's Borrum Hat for Full Moons in 742 TH

Maximum Threads: 2
Mystic Defense: 12
Legend Point Cost: Journeyman

The craftsmanship of this hat made of red silk and black velvet is exquisite. It was once the height of fashion among dwarfs, however, that time has long since passed. It is an exceptionally tall cylinder that flares out to a flat top. A golden ornament is affixed to the black silk band at the top of the hat. It is always clean and in pristine condition, and will definitely catch the eye of anyone in the area.

The hat resizes to the wearer when a thread is attached and never falls off of the owner’s head.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the hat’s Name.
Effect: The owner gains +1 rank to Animal Bond.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The owner gains +1 rank to Animal Training.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn of the first owner’s favorite pets. [Menagerie of beloved war bears]
Effect: The owner gains a +1 bonus to Interaction tests.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: The owner gains +1 rank to Enhance Animal Companion.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the significance of the ornament. [It commemorates her beloved bears slaying an unwanted and pugnacious suitor Named Lord Grimheld Standent as he sought to defend her from her pets.]
Effect: The owner gains a +2 bonus to Interaction tests.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: The owner can spend 1 Strain to spend a Karma Point on an animal companion’s Action test. This can be used once per animal companion per round.

18 June 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 23 - Bird Harness

This is the twenty-third 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.

A thread item written for an online game I offered to help with thread items. This was written with the request of crystal ringlet armor with a spell matrix. Apparently, request a matrix in some armor and things gonna get weird. Also, this makes more sense when you know the character's last name is "Vogel."

Bird Harness

Maximum Threads: 2
Mystic Defense: 12
Legend Point Cost: Journeyman

This set of crystal ringlet armor uses additional colors of living crystal for the interlocking rings. The pattern and blue and gray coloration give the impression of a bird. Feathers affixed along the armor serve to enhance this impression.

The armor automatically resizes to the wearer when a thread is woven.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the armor’s Name.
Effect: The armor contains a Standard Matrix with rank equal to the Thread Rank.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The wearer gains the Bird Harness ability. As a Free action for 1 Strain, the armor glows and the feathers flutter and move. The wearer gains +2 to Initiative. Bird Harness lasts until the end of the next round. If used after Initiative is determined, this does not change the wearer’s current Initiative.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the specific bird the armor is patterned after.
Effect: The Bird Harness ability causes more feathers to appear along the armor and the wearer gains +4 to their Movement Rate while it is active.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: When the wearer uses Bird Harness, their hair turns faintly blue and gray, matching the armor and feathers. Bird Harness now gives +3 to Initiative. If this is activated after Initiative is determined, their Initiative is retroactively increased by +3. This cannot be used to interrupt another character’s turn.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn about the armor’s creator (including Name and Discipline).
Effect: When the wearer uses Bird Harness, their features sharpen and the feathers along the armor become even more prevalent. The wearer gains a +2 to Action tests when dealing with birds, this includes Action tests dealing with bird spirits (e.g., raptor spirits), weaving threads for and casting bird-related spells (e.g. Beastform or Invoke Crow Tear), or talking to birds (e.g., Animal Talk). If used for Sustained actions (e.g. Summon), this only needs to be used once for the action.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: When the wearer uses Bird Harness, they appear as an anthropomorphic bird, though their identity is still clear. Just as a bird. Bird Harness now gives +4 to Initiative. If this is activated after Initiative is determined, their Initiative is retroactively increased by +4. This cannot be used to interrupt another character’s turn.

17 June 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Rogues' Gallery 33 - Air Sailor [Alt]

This is the thirty-third 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.

Like other entries in the Rogues' Gallery [Alt] series, this presents NPCs in a different fashion easier to use in combat. Essentially, these are disposable opponents who don't need to have skills referenced. They are also written to be more appropriate as combat challenges for the given Circle.


This particular entry presents soldiers a various degrees of competency to be easily dropped into any game. The intent is to build this up with more such simplified entries over time.


Air Sailor [Recruit]

They have the worse jobs and the most supervision for everything they do. And with good reason, they still need to learn the ropes (literally) and their screw-ups affect everyone else. However, there's also an understanding everyone started here, so as much as the hazing can be unrelenting and they almost certainly earn an embarassing nickname about some screw-up, everyone has nickname based around such a screw-up. While they are green, they are less likely than many to break in combat because there's few places to run and their crew depends on them.

Challenge: Novice (First Circle)
DEX: 6        Initiative:                  6        Unconsciousness:      20
STR: 5         Physical Defense:  9         Death Rating:               25
TOU: 5        Mystic Defense:      9        Wound Threshold:     7
PER: 6         Social Defense:       8        Knockdown:                  8
WIL: 6        Physical Armor:      2        Recovery Tests:            2
CHA: 5        Mystic Armor:         2
Movement: 12
Actions: 1; Short Sword: 11 (9), Throwing Axe (thrown: 12, 24): 11 (8)
Powers:
Awareness (8): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 130.
Great Leap (3): Gamemaster's Guide, p. 251.
Special Maneuvers:
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)
Equipment: Padded cloth armor, short sword, throwing axe x2


Air Sailor [Seasoned]

The typical air sailor who is competent at their job, but still has things to learn. They're dedicated to the ship and crew, and are unlikely to abandon either unless the odds of survival on doing so are significantly better than not doing so. Seasoned air sailors can be very dangerous when their backs are against the wall.

Challenge: Novice (Second Circle)
DEX: 6        Initiative:                  6        Unconsciousness:      28
STR: 5         Physical Defense:  10       Death Rating:              34
TOU: 6        Mystic Defense:      9         Wound Threshold:    9
PER: 6         Social Defense:       9        Knockdown:                  9
WIL: 6        Physical Armor:      3        Recovery Tests:            2
CHA: 6        Mystic Armor:         2
Movement: 12
Actions: 1; Broadsword: 12 (10), Throwing Axe (thrown: 12, 24): 12 (9)
Powers:
Awareness (9): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 130.
Great Leap (3): Gamemaster's Guide, p. 251.
Special Maneuvers:
Opening (Air Sailor): The air sailor may spend additional successes from an Attack test to give their allies a +1 bonus per success spent to Attack tests against the opponent until the end of the next round.
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)
Equipment: Broadsword, leather armor, throwing axe x2


Air Sailor [Veteran]

Veteran air sailors have leadership positions among the crew. They typically oversee some department on the ship and are known for their grumpy demeanors. Tall tales are their bread and butter, though it's common for some truth in them. These sailors can be extremely dangerous when their ship and crew are under threat; they have little inclination to break, though may offer surrender if it will be accepted.

Challenge: Novice (Third Circle)
DEX: 6        Initiative:                  6        Unconsciousness:      33
STR: 5         Physical Defense:  11       Death Rating:               39
TOU: 6        Mystic Defense:      11       Wound Threshold:    9
PER: 6         Social Defense:      10       Knockdown:                  10
WIL: 6        Physical Armor:      4        Recovery Tests:            2
CHA: 6        Mystic Armor:         3
Movement: 12
Actions: 1; Broadsword: 14 (12), Throwing Axe (thrown: 12, 24): 14 (11)
Powers:
Awareness (10): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 130.
Great Leap (4): Gamemaster's Guide, p. 251.
Taunt (10): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 173.
Special Maneuvers:
Opening (Air Sailor): The air sailor may spend additional successes from an Attack test to give their allies a +1 bonus per success spent to Attack tests against the opponent until the end of the next round.
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)
Equipment: Broadsword, padded leather armor, throwing axe x2


Air Sailor [Elite]

These air sailors are a cut above and have a reputation on the ships they serve, and likely beyond. They're not adepts, but they're about as good as it gets without magic. Their department is probably notable for its efficiency and they accept nothing less.

Challenge: Novice (Fourth Circle)
DEX: 7        Initiative:                  7         Unconsciousness:      38
STR: 6         Physical Defense:  12       Death Rating:               44
TOU: 6        Mystic Defense:      11        Wound Threshold:     9
PER: 7         Social Defense:       11        Knockdown:                 12
WIL: 7        Physical Armor:      5         Recovery Tests:            2
CHA: 6        Mystic Armor:         3
Movement: 12
Actions: 1; Broadsword: 15 (13), Throwing Axe (thrown: 12, 24): 15 (12)
Powers:
Awareness (12): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 130.
Great Leap (5): Gamemaster's Guide, p. 251.
Taunt (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 173.
Special Maneuvers:
Opening (Air Sailor): The air sailor may spend additional successes from an Attack test to give their allies a +1 bonus per success spent to Attack tests against the opponent until the end of the next round.
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)
Equipment: Broadswordpadded leather armor, throwing axe x2

16 June 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Rogues' Gallery 32 - Scorcher, Mounted (Horse) [Alt]

This is the thirty-second 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.

Like other entries in the Rogues' Gallery [Alt] series, this presents NPCs in a different fashion easier to use in combat. Essentially, these are disposable opponents who don't need to have skills referenced. They are also written to be more appropriate as combat challenges for the given Circle.


This particular entry presents soldiers a various degrees of competency to be easily dropped into any game. The intent is to build this up with more such simplified entries over time.


Scorcher, Mounted (Horse) [Novice]

A young, relatively inexperienced scorcher out to do some good ol' scorching. There's probably a bunch of them and that battle axe may be "gently used." A few times. They're definitely extremely brave right up until things go sideways. Some may continue to fight to the glorious death, others realize they travel pretty fast on their horse and make an escape.

Challenge: Novice (First Circle)
DEX: 6        Initiative:                  5        Unconsciousness:      23
STR: 7         Physical Defense:   8       Death Rating:               29
TOU: 6        Mystic Defense:      7        Wound Threshold:     9
PER: 5         Social Defense:       6        Knockdown:                  10
WIL: 5        Physical Armor:      5        Recovery Tests:            2
CHA: 5        Mystic Armor:         2
Movement: 12 (Mounted 20)
Actions: 1; Battleaxe: 9 (12)
Powers:
Battle Shout (7): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 131.
Charge (5): This is allowed with a rider, Gamemaster's Guide, p. 250.
Great Leap (3): Gamemaster's Guide, p. 251.
Special Maneuvers:
Enrage (Opponent)
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)
Equipment: Battleaxe, hardened leather armor, riding horse (Gamemaster's Guide, p. 301)


Scorcher, Mounted (Horse) [Seasoned]

Scorchers who have been around and seen some scorching. They're less likely to pick obviously bad targets, but also know you can frequently cow people into surrender with the threat of the scorching. They're plenty brave, but value the mobility of their horses and use it to their advantage. Like escaping when it's clear they're outmatched and regrouping to try again.

Challenge: Novice (Second Circle)
DEX: 6        Initiative:                  3        Unconsciousness:      28
STR: 7         Physical Defense:   9        Death Rating:               34
TOU: 6        Mystic Defense:      7         Wound Threshold:     9
PER: 5         Social Defense:       6        Knockdown:                  11
WIL: 5        Physical Armor:      7        Recovery Tests:            2
CHA: 5        Mystic Armor:         2
Movement: 12 (Mounted 20)
Actions: 1; Pole Axe: 10 (13), Trample: 10 (11)
Powers:
Battle Shout (8): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 131.
Charge (5): This is allowed with a riderGamemaster's Guide, p. 250.
Great Leap (3): Gamemaster's Guide, p. 251.
Special Maneuvers:
Enrage (Opponent)
Overrun (Mounted Scorcher, Trample)
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)
Equipment: Chainmail, pole axe, riding horse (Gamemaster's Guide, p. 301)


Scorcher, Mounted (Horse) [Veteran]

Veteran scorchers typically lead their raiding parties and try to keep the unruly younger scorchers in line. Scorch this. Scorch that. It's all... really awesome. You live to scorch and scorch to live. Still, you didn't get to be a veteran by making all the old stupid mistakes. But that doesn't mean you won't make new stupid mistakes. Though the speed of your horse gives you some leeway to get away with those mistakes.

Challenge: Novice (Third Circle)
DEX: 6        Initiative:                  3        Unconsciousness:      36
STR: 7         Physical Defense:  10       Death Rating:               43
TOU: 7        Mystic Defense:      8         Wound Threshold:    9
PER: 5         Social Defense:       7        Knockdown:                  12
WIL: 5        Physical Armor:      8        Recovery Tests:            2
CHA: 5        Mystic Armor:         3
Movement: 12 (Mounted 20)
Actions: 1; Pole Axe: 12 (16), Trample: 12 (14)
Powers:
Battle Shout (9): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 131.
Charge (5): This is allowed with a riderGamemaster's Guide, p. 250.
Great Leap (4): Gamemaster's Guide, p. 251.
Special Maneuvers:
Enrage (Opponent)
Overrun (Mounted Scorcher, Trample)
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)
Equipment: Chainmail, pole axe, riding horse (Gamemaster's Guide, p. 301)


Scorcher, Mounted (Horse) [Elite]

A scorcher above the rest. About as dangerous as they get without being an adept and having a Name. They have a Name, but you'll probably never know this scorcher's Name, even if they prove exceptionally dangerous and cagey (which they are), still won't be in the credits. They're not just in this for the money and the scorching, but in it for the glory and the battle. They will fight to the death if it's worth it, but aren't going to put their lives down for just anything. They also prefer to win and aren't above stacking the deck in their favor.

Challenge: Novice (Fourth Circle)
DEX: 7        Initiative:                  4         Unconsciousness:      41
STR: 8         Physical Defense:  11       Death Rating:               48
TOU: 7        Mystic Defense:      9         Wound Threshold:    10
PER: 6         Social Defense:       8        Knockdown:                  14
WIL: 6        Physical Armor:      8        Recovery Tests:            2
CHA: 6        Mystic Armor:         3
Movement: 12 (Mounted 20)
Actions: 1; Pole Axe: 13 (17), Trample: 13 (16)
Powers:
Battle Shout (11): As the skill, Player's Guide, p. 131.
Charge (5): This is allowed with a riderGamemaster's Guide, p. 250.
Great Leap (5): Gamemaster's Guide, p. 251.
Special Maneuvers:
Enrage (Opponent)
Overrun (Mounted Scorcher, Trample)
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)
Equipment: Chainmail, pole axe, riding horse (Gamemaster's Guide, p. 301)