21 May 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 19 - Shield Brother

This is the ninteenth 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 crystal raider shield. I went in the direction of a shield which became legendary during Crystal Raider attacks. It offers protection (even very good protection) with a need for a particular kind of reckless abandon. By the end, it's not very reckless at all, just shock and awe as the owner and allies stomp all over.

Shield Brother

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

A battered and chipped crystal raider shield still adorned with cracked and faded battle paint from years past. The crystal is milky where broken arrowheads, dagger and sword tips remain embedded deep within the crystal and it has grown over these old wounds like scar tissue. The leather straps are well oiled and much newer than the shield, but still show signs of regular wear. Each morning, the battle paint returns as it was at the beginning of the previous day, cracked and faded.

It is sized for a troll, but resizes itself to the owner. When the owner picks it up, it almost hums with excitement and the thrill of the impending battle. It is warm and aggressive; it wears its scars with pride.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the Name of the shield.
Effect: The shield is Mystic Defense +3.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The shield is Physical Defense +3.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn where the shield was born (where it was created and where the crystal came from).
Deed: The owner must paint the shield with their symbol. This returns each morning brilliant and new until the shield has a new owner.
Effect: The owner gains the Shield Brother ability. For 1 Strain as a Free action, the wearer’s face is painted with the symbol adorning the shield and the shield thrums with excitement. The wearer does not take Strain for the Aggressive Attack combat option and their penalties to Physical and Mystic Defense are reduced by 1 each until the end of the turn.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: When the wearer uses Shield Brother, their Mystic Defense penalty from the Aggressive Attack combat option is reduced by 2.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn about the previous owner, including their Name and Discipline.
Effect: For 1 Strain per target, the wearer can extend the Shield Brother ability to willing adjacent allies. This ability paints their faces with the shield’s symbol. The wearer must be using Shield Brother to extend it to allies.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: When the wearer uses Shield Brother, their Physical Defense penalty from the Aggressive Attack combat option is reduced by 2.

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