25 May 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 21 - Mourning Star

This is the twenty-first 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 broadsword that enhances close combat. The last part made feel a little bad since that's ostensibly what every thread broadsword should do unless it's really unusual. So, looking more at the character, they're a Horror Stalker. Instead of just making it Horror directed, I went a little broader than that, but also the kind of awful a Horror Stalker should be totally comfortable with: unrelenting despair.

Mourning Star

Maximum Threads: 2

Mystic Defense: 14
Legend Point Cost: Warden

This broadsword appears simple and practical to the untrained eye. Perhaps workmanlike. However, a skilled craftsman sees the perfect balance even with its deceptively heavy blade. Dark swirl patterns are incorporated into the dull gray metal which never seems to dull.

Without a thread attached, the sword uses the statistics of a normal broadsword, except with a Strength Minimum of 15. It resizes to the wielder’s one-handed weapon size limit with a thread attached and has a typical Strength Minimum.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the sword’s Name.
Effect: The sword is Damage Step 6.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The wielder gains +1 to Attack tests with the sword.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn about the sword’s creator (including Name and Discipline).
Effect: The wielder gains the Mourning Star special maneuver. When the sword is held, the wielder can hear whispers in different voices. They speak of personal fear, pain, and despair inflicted upon them by Horrors. As each voice speaks, a different mote of light appears on the blade, shining as though alone in the night.

Mourning Star (Wielder): The wielder can spend additional successes on an Attack test with the sword to share the fear, pain, and despair with the target, inflicting a -1 penalty to Physical, Mystic, and Social Defenses on the target per success until the end of the next round.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: The wielder gains +2 to Damage tests with the sword against targets affected by Mourning Star.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn what the metal used to craft the sword is and where it was harvested.
Effect: The wielder gains +2 to Attack tests with the sword against targets affected by Mourning Star.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: If the wielder damages a Horrorspawn with the sword while it is affected by Mourning Star (this cannot include the attack that inflicts Mourning Star), they may spend a Recovery Test to channel all the built up emotions into the attack. The adept adds their Toughness Step + Thread Rank to the Damage test.

Thread Rank Seven
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the fate of one of the voices they hear.
Deed: The owner must kill the Horror responsible.
Effect: The wielder gains +3 to Attack and Damage tests with the sword against targets affected by Mourning Star.

Thread Rank Eight
Effect: The penalty to Physical, Mystic, and Social Defenses inflicted by Mourning Star is now -2.








If you have trouble with realizing to adjust the Damage Step as appropriate to reflect the weapon adjusting size and think the Damage Step is fixed regardless of the size, may whatever you believe in have mercy on your soul. Because that is the kind of interpretation that turns any and all mechanics into the driest of legalese to cover every possible angle and every possible question. It is simply, the worst. Don't do that. Don't be that.

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