13 May 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 13 - Traceless

This is the thirteenth 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 it be a hooded cloak suitable for a Scout/Thief. Which is broad territory, but has some direction to it. I went with something weird (perhaps deeply weird depending on where you stand) and a little creepy, but with a touch of playfulness. Though, much of this depends on how the wearer uses it.


Maximum Threads: 1
Mystic Defense: 14
Legend Point Cost: Warden

This hooded cloak is completely non-descript, appearing as a drab green, brown, faded gray, or something in-between. Anyone forcing themselves to stare at it—trying to determine it’s true appearance—finds it a deeply unnerving experience. The cloak slithers and shifts, distracting them, almost taunting them to take their eyes away, but never moves. It comes with a plain clasp, but clings to the owner when a thread is attached. Sometimes it brushes against people as it moves by, startling them as though they didn’t realize the owner was there at all.

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

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The wearer gains +1 to their next Charisma-based test when they figuratively “ambush” someone, whether the target didn’t realize they were there or the subject catches them off guard. This can only be used once per target per day and the test cannot be intended to harm the target—take advantage of, but not actually harm.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn who created and enchanted the cloak.
Effect: The wearer gains +2 ranks to Stealthy Stride.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: The wearer gains +2 for the Thread Rank Two effect.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the Name and type of spirit bound to the cloak. This must be more specific than “ally spirit” or “air elemental.”
Effect: The owner gains the Traceless ability. For 1 Strain as a Simple action, the owner makes a Stealthy Stride test and can move through areas without onlookers remembering their presence for up to rank minutes. The owner must avoid drawing attention and cannot be somewhere their presence would naturally draw attention (such as a bedroom or approaching someone under guard). Attempts to remember the owner when Traceless is used require a Willpower test against the owner’s Stealthy Stride result. If the owner does anything to draw attention, this ability immediately ends, though it is not retroactively ended (those previously affected do not suddenly remember). This ability lasts for Thread Rank minutes; observers’ memories of the owner during this time are not restored when the ability ends.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: The wearer gains +3 ranks to Stealthy Stride.

Thread Rank Seven
Deed: The owner must perform a task for the bound spirit.
Effect: The wearer gains +3 for the Thread Rank Two effect and for 1 Strain the wearer can have the interaction slip the target’s mind afterwards. A successful Willpower (10) test allows the target to remember if pressed, but it was simply forgettable.

Thread Rank Eight
Effect: The wearer gains +4 ranks to Stealthy Stride. When the wearer uses Traceless, they appear as someone who belongs in the area but is beneath notice if their presence draws attention. Typically a servant, but could also include beggars of whoever the observer is not inclined to interact with in any way. If the wearer has violent intent, this effect immediately ends.

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