24 August 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 67 - Night Warden

This is the sixty-seventh 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 item had the reqest of a shield. Well now. Since this same character received some armor previously, I decided to make a matching set. Well, kinda matching. Since one is on the lighter end of armor and this is the heaviest shield never printed.

With that in mind, there are some abilities that dovetail nicely. Supporting other either implicitly or directly. They're thematically similar, but not exactly the same. While the armor was friendlier, this is a little more sinister. In a few weeks there will be a pair of items designed to go together from the beginning.

Night Warden

Maximum Threads: 2
Mystic Defense: 14
Legend Point Cost: Warden

A massive sheet of blue, purple, and black crystal fashioned into a rectangular body shield. The boss is shaped like the moon, waxing and waning to match. When light shines on it, the small silver runes carved in crystal sparkle like stars.

The shield is Physical and Mystic Defense +3, Initiative Penalty 3, Shatter Threshold 20, and weighs 22 lbs. This shield can only be used by someone with at least Strength 16 due to the size.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the shield’s Name.
Effect: The shield is Initiative Penalty 2.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: The shield is Physical Defense +4.

Thread Rank Three
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn where the crystal used to create the shield was mined.
Effect: The wearer gains the Night Warden ability. As a Simple action for 1 Strain, darkness flows from the shield and settles in the general area (Thread Rank × 10 yards), dimming it noticeably for Thread Rank minutes. This does not create darkness conditions (Player’s Guide, p. 387), unless it is already dark in the area, but does make it more difficult to see things as usual (Gamemaster’s Guide, p. 165).

Thread Rank Four
Effect: The shield is Mystic Defense +4.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the Name of the spirit bound to the shield.
Effect: While Night Warden is active, as a Simple action the wearer can spend 1 Strain to turn the darkening effect into Ethereal Darkness in a 4-yard radius around them until the end of the next round. This does not give the wearer the ability to see in the darkness.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: While Night Warden is active, an entity slips from the shield as darkness spills from it and moves within the darkened area, prowling and stalking just out of sight. When the wearer is targeted by an attack that affects Physical or Mystic Defense, they can spend 1 Strain as a Free action to cause the entity to emerge from their shadow and strike at their pattern. This inflicts a -2 penalty to Mystic Defense until the end of the next round. This is resolved after the attack is resolved, though does not require the attack to be successful.

Thread Rank Seven
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn about the bound spirit.
Deed: The owner must communicate with the spirit and perform one task for it.
Effect: While Night Warden is active, the wearer gains +2 to Spellcasting and Effect tests against targets suffering a Mystic Defense penalty from the entity.

Thread Rank Eight
Effect: While Night Warden is active, the wearer can cause the magnitude of any penalty inflicted against a target suffering the Mystic Defense penalty from the entity by 2 once per round. For example, the penalty inflicted by the Rank Six effect becomes -4. If an effect has more than one penalty (e.g., Spirit Grip), all are increased by 2.

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