13 August 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 60 - Bells' Reply, The

This is the sixtieth 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 long spear that increases Physical Defense. It does that, but I decided to support both defense and offense since it's a weapon.


The Bells' Reply

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

This long, delicate-looking spear is a style once very popular with the Elf Court and outlying lands, though fell out of fashion in Barsaive following the Schism. The clever positioning of the leaf blade and wings with rare woods for the haft allows the wielder to deliver more power in thrusting. Slashing in wide arcs is also possible with the wide blade. However, this construction also makes it no better than other weapons when used in mounted combat.

Without a thread attached, the long spear is Damage Step 6 and otherwise a long spear (except for the mounted combat thing up there and the cost, which is effectively priceless because it’s not for sale).

The dark wood of the haft is carved in delicate runes inlaid with silver matching the blade and wings. Similar runes adorn the blade, parted by a runnel along the spine. Red tassels with small silver bells within are tied below the wings on the socket.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the spear's Name.
Effect: The spear is Damage Step 7.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The wielder gains +1 to Physical Defense.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn which elf land the spear originated.
Effect: The wielder gains The Bells’ Reply ability. As a Free action for 1 Strain, the bells tinkle in the song of the battle, allowing the wielder to hear her opponents’ actions in the melody. The wielder gains +2 ranks to Riposte until the end of the next round.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: While The Bells’ Reply is active, their song incorporates a thrum of rhythm through the spear’s haft, keeping time for the wielder and alerting them when best to act. The wielder may spend an additional Karma Point on Riposte tests.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the origin of the tassels and bells.
Effect: While The Bells’ Reply is active, their song grows more complex with a second harmony allowing a wielder who follows the notes to find weaknesses in their defense. The wielder gains +2 to Attack tests against an opponent they successfully used Riposte against until the end of the next round. This applies to the Attack test following a successful Riposte test (improving the Riposte test result for only this purpose). This effect can only be applied when Riposte is used against successful Attack tests.

Sam used The Bells’ Reply earlier this round and uses Riposte against an attack that succeeds against her Physical Defense (9) with a 13. She makes a Riposte test (including the +2 from the Rank Three effect) and gets 20. This succeeds with an extra success, meaning she can turn the tables and use the result as an Attack test against her attacker. Since this is a successful Riposte against the attacker and it is now an Attack test, she gains the +2 bonus to the Attack test from The Bells’ Reply, becoming a 22. It doesn’t apply to the initial Riposte test even if she successfully used Riposte the previous round because it isn’t an Attack test yet.


Thread Rank Six
Effect: While The Bells’ Reply is active, their song grows more complex with a third harmony allowing a wielder who follows the notes to find weaknesses in their protection. The wielder gains +2 to Damage tests against an opponent they successfully used Riposte against until the end of the next round. This applies to the Attack test following a successful Riposte test. This effect can only be applied when Riposte is used against successful Attack tests.

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