06 August 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 55 - Protection of a Scholar's Passion

This is the fifty-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 crystal raider shield shaped like a book and increases Mystic Defense for Strain. Shaped like a book is weird and I don't see how that's a shield, but incorporating a book, I dig that. The phrasing on the effect is also interesting because it's typically specified as 1 Strain for +3 to Mystic Defense. The end result is playing with that ambiguity a little bit and the scholarly theme, in addition to some play on words.

Protection of a Scholar's Passion

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

The front of this curious crystal raider shield is carved to appear as though an open tome is set into it. There is a rectangular depression on the back sized so most books and scrolls would fit partially submerged if placed within. Symbols associated with Mynbruje adorn the rim.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the shield’s Name.
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 living crystal was harvested.
Effect: The owner can place a written work into the depression and take 1 Blood Magic Damage. When a text is stored in this fashion, the tome glows faintly gold. The contents of the work can be read from the carved tome on the front of the shield as long as the Blood Magic Damage remains. The owner gains +1 to appropriate knowledge and Research tests when referencing the stored text and can choose to end the ability at any time, allowing the damage to be healed as normal. Only one text may be stored at a time in this fashion, but a new text can be stored immediately after it is ended on the previous text.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: The bonus from a stored text increases to +2.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the first book stored in the shield.
Effect: The wearer gains the Protection of a Scholar’s Passion ability. As a Simple action for 1 Strain, the wearer gains +2 to Mystic Defense until the end of the round.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: While the wearer is using Protection of a Scholar’s Passion and they are targeted by an ability that targets their Mystic Defense (it does not need to be successful), the wearer may take 1 Blood Magic Damage and store the memory of that ability in the shield. When an ability is stored in this fashion, the symbols on the rim glow faintly gold. The wearer gains an additional +2 to their Mystic Defense against future uses of the ability when they are using Protection of a Scholar’s Passion. Only one such ability may be stored at a time and general abilities (e.g., Horror Power or Spellcasting) are not applicable, but the more specific abilities are (e.g., specific Horror powers or spells).

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