14 August 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 61 - Spirit of Adventure, The

This is the sixty-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 cape with an Initiative bonus and is always billowing. Check. With some items, I like to add choices for how players interact with the item. This is especially relevant for some spirits. Even a jokey item can have a serious moment to it, and there are reasons to go with each direction.


Spirit of Adventure, The

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

This high-necked cape is made from a fine sapphire blue cloth of elf make that feels like satin and shines brilliantly in the light. The edges are trimmed in ornate gold embroidery, revealing elven runes along the length. It’s held together by a delicate golden chain with an oak leaf clasp, though once a thread is attached this is purely decorative as the cape always rests comfortably on the wearer’s shoulders regardless of the conditions. Attempting to restrain or any other resistance is futile.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the cape’s Name.
Effect: The wearer gains a +1 bonus to Initiative tests. At times the cape billows behind them dramatically. Sometimes it’s at an appropriate moment, others it’s when they’re sitting in the common room of an inn. A very careful observer notes it looks a little like something is holding onto the cape and flapping it to make it look like it’s billowing in a non-existent wind. There’s a non-zero chance those are grip marks at the end of the cape.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The wearer gains +1 to their Social Defense. The cape spends noticeably more time billowing now, especially in social situations. From giving a grand speech to a clandestine meeting in the shadows: billowing.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the bound spirit’s Name.
Effect: The wearer gains a +2 bonus to Initiative tests. The wearer may think now they know an air elemental is bound to the cloak, they have some ability to mitigate the billowing. They would be wrong. So very wrong. If anything, attempts to get it to stop only make it worse. Or better. Depends where you are on the billowing issue. Watching a play? Definitely not popular. Watching an adult get into an argument with a rebellious piece of fabric? Perhaps the height of comedy.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: The wearer gains +1 to their Mystic Defense. At least the billowing is quite impressive and the cape seems to get almost impossibly long when it billows.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the meaning of the runes.
Effect: The owner can use the runes to keep the bound elemental in line or make peace with them. This decision must be made when this thread is woven and cannot be changed. If the owner uses the runes, they have complete control over the billowing and it looks natural, gaining a +3 bonus to Initiative tests. If they make peace with the bound elemental, they suffer at its whims, but it may listen to requests. It also actively attempts to help; as a Free action the wearer can spend 1 Strain to gain a +3 bonus to an Avoid Blow test.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: If the owner used the runes to control the elemental, they gain +1 to the Physical Defense. If they made peace with the elemental, the spirit allows the owner to store Karma in the cloak, up to the thread rank. The wearer may transfer Karma Points between their Karma pool and the cloak as a Standard action, and may spend Karma from the cloak as if it were in their Karma pool.

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