17 July 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 41 - Stranger Boots

This is the forty-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 huntsman's boots. Using an existing magic item as a base for a thread item means there's going to be an effect dedicated to what that magic item does. In this case, allow you to travel further each day and keep your feet dry.

Since this is Scout related from top to bottom, I kept the effects in that lane. Though they may have gotten a little strange in application. For example, Safe Path is a useful talent. However, is a very boring talent. It explicitly keeps interesting things from happening. So I went askew and it keeps you safe, but makes your life a little more surreal. Give it some nice teeth. Which are how most of the effects pan out: useful effects in isolation, but might be a bit off.


Stranger Boots

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

Finely crafted boots from some unknown leather. They were woven with True air and water, replicating the effects of huntsman’s boots (and by extension dry boots). However, the leather is really weird. It’s clearly leather, with a smooth texture in one direction and a slight bite as though scaled in the other. But it looks indistinguishable and someone touching it might swear the “directionality” was different moments ago. Nonetheless, the circular brass buckles are worn, well polished, and keep the knee-high—what color even are these? Is that brown, black, grey?—boots cinched to the wearer. The small teeth protruding from the soles give the wearer excellent traction.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the boots’ Name.
Effect: The wearer travels overland as though they were mounted (45 miles a day instead of 25 miles a day). While the boots can leave tracks, they never make sense to a tracker and the Difficulty Number to track them is increased by +5.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The wearer gains +1 rank to Safe Path. While the path is no more or less “dangerous” than the talent otherwise indicates, the elementals summoned tend to be much stranger and the paths offered can be significantly weirder. Traveling with the wearer can show the more surreal side of the world others may never see.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn what the leather and teeth to make the boots came from.
Effect: The wearer can use the Stranger Boots power. As a Simple action for 1 Strain, the teeth from the boots extend slightly and bite into the ground, giving the wearer a little more traction and allow them to feel the ground through the boots for thread rank minutes. The wearer’s Movement Rate increases by +4.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: When the wearer uses the Stranger Boots power, they can use the following special maneuver:

Stranger Boots (Wearer, Tracking): By walking in the tracks the wearer is following, they can spend additional successes to ask one “what” or “how” about their quarry for each additional success. The tracks are gone and replaced only by the wearer’s tracks once walked in them in this fashion.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn who made the boots.
Effect: When the wearer uses the Stranger Boots power, they can see as though there are eyes in the boots’ buckles. This gives them +1 to Perception-based tests that rely on sight, +2 if it involves magical phenomena. Anyone looking closely at the boots swears there are eyes where the buckles are, but the wearer just doesn’t see it.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: When the wearer uses the Stranger Boots power, their Movement Rate while using Stealthy Stride is not reduced and they can include Great Leap as part of their movement.

Thread Rank Seven
Deed: The owner must hunt whatever creature the teeth came from to acquire new teeth and replace any damaged teeth in the soles. May as well add some new teeth in there as well—more teeth is more better. Also, eat the eyes.
Effect: The wearer gains +1 rank to Tracking. The teeth and soles of the boots now naturally “eat” the wearer’s tracks, leaving behind only irregular, strange shapes which do not resemble tracks. The wearer is automatically obscuring their tracks using their Tracking Step as the Difficulty to follow them. This does not slow the wearer.

Thread Rank Eight
Effect: The wearer gains +1 rank to Awareness. When the wearer uses Stranger Boots, they can see through the strange shapes that are now their “tracks” they left within the past day. The boots must be planted firmly on the ground to do this and it takes 1 minute to connect with a particular print.

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