17 August 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 62 - Retribution

This is the sixty-second 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 belt buckle that gives bonuses the next round if the wearer doesn't attack this round. That's an interesting request. The ability to soak up additional damage while standing there fits. Along with that a knack typically locked behind some additional requirements goes well. An in the proud tradition of all oversized belt buckles from where I grew up, it looks ridiculous.


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

This oversized brass belt buckle is awash with imagery. There’s an upraised mailed fist in the middle, with a goat charging the viewer underneath it, flanked by a rampant bear and rampant wildcat. Then some sheaves of wheat on one side, with a tankard above that. On the other is a barrel, a wall, and someone carrying a barrel. A bird with biceps on its legs appears to be flexing. Other images are more difficult to make out due to the extensive damage it sustained over the years from blocking attacks. Despite all this, the craftsmanship and artistry are excellent and a careful inspection reveals neatly carved runes on the reverse of the buckle, safe from most potential harm.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the belt buckle’s Name.
Effect: The wearer gains +1 to Social Defense.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The wearer gains +1 to Mystic Defense.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The wearer must learn the meaning of the runes.
Effect: The wearer gains the Retribution Stance ability. As a Free action before Initiative is determined for 1 Strain, the wearer takes on an aura of invincibility the likes of which only the foolhardy, young, or very drunk possess. In this stance, the wearer wonders, “Who wants some?” They cannot make any attacks or take a Standard action that round. This includes attacks arising from other abilities (e.g, Air Dance and Riposte). They also gain +2 to Physical and Mystical Armor until their action during the next round and +2 to their first close combat Attack test and the associated Damage test during the next round.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: The Physical and Mystic Armor bonus from Retribution Stance is +3.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The wearer must learn who created the belt buckle.
Effect: The Attack and Damage bonus from Retribution Stance is +3.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: The wearer can use the following special maneuver:
Now We Know (Wearer, Close Combat): The wearer can spend two additional successes on a close combat Attack test against a target who attacked them in the previous round while using Retribution Stance to force the target to make a Knockdown test against a Difficulty Number equal to the Attack test result. If the test fails, the target is knocked down and knocked back a number of yards equal to the total number of successes on the Attack test. This attack must be enhanced by Retribution Stance.

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