29 June 2022

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Creature 49 — Mantis, Common Orchid

This is the forty-ninth 4E Anatomy of a Creature, 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.


Apologies for the breaks between posts. There's a lot to get done and not enough time to do it all.


Mantis, Common Orchid

Related to inshalatas and found in similar areas, orchid mantises are thankfully much rarer. They come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, though have some consistent characteristics between all varieties. There’s also some disagreement among scholars whether some of the different types of orchid mantises are actually different, or represent different stages in their lifecycle. Scholars who support this thesis cite the Servos goliath orchid mantis and the lack of eggs which would accompany their size. This focuses on the common orchid mantis — which isn’t common.

Common orchid mantises are slightly larger than their inshalata cousins, just under eight feet tall. They’re significantly more colorful when not actively concealing themselves and position themselves when hiding to look like foliage and enormous flowers which are found in their habitat. Illusion magic helps them with this concealment and their gregarious nature lends to one of their more dangerous traits. Orchid mantises of all types gather together in areas with vast blooms to wait in ambush. However, if such a place can’t be located, they create it on their own by gathering together. What looks like a beautiful place to rest with flowers rustling in the breeze is a deadly trap for even the wariest of creatures and travelers.

Even beyond this, orchid mantises represent an usual threat to many: they perceive and affect astral space. This means even the most thickly armored and/or agile prey may fall to their claws which bypass those standard defenses. Even creatures which perceive astral space to give them an advantage over potential predators and prey find orchid mantises’ illusion magic difficult to penetrate.

Their claws and mandibles can be used as dangerous and beautiful weapons, and are also prized by collectors and smiths alike for decoration. This is also true for their fragile wings which shimmer in the light and have value in enchanting and some decorations popular in Thera and Travar.


Challenge: Journeyman (Seventh Circle)

DEX: 9 Initiative:         15 Unconsciousness: 65

STR: 9 Physical Defense: 14 Death Rating: 75

TOU: 10 Mystic Defense:          14 Wound Threshold: 15

PER: 9 Social Defense:         13 Knockdown: 15

WIL: 8 Physical Armor:         11 Recovery Tests:          3

CHA: 7 Mystic Armor: 7

Movement: 16 (Climbing 16, Flying 16)

Actions: 2; Bite: 16 (20), Claws ×2: 18 (18)

Powers:

Ambush (10)

Astral Attack: Attacks can target Mystic Defense instead of Physical Defense.

Astral Sight (16, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 129.

Awareness (16, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 129.

Enhanced Sense [Sight] (4)

Great Leap (10)

Hardened Armor

Omnivision: The common orchid mantis can effectively see in all directions and cannot be Blindsided due to positioning.

Stealthy Stride (18, Simple): As the talent, Player’s Guide, p. 170. This also functions against astral detection

Special Maneuvers:

Clip the Wing (Opponent)
Crack the Shell (Opponent)
Ethereal Attack (Common Orchid Mantis, Claws): The common orchid mantis may spend an additional success to affect Mystic Armor instead of Physical Armor.
Pry Loose (Opponent, Close Combat)
Squeeze the Life (Common Orchid Mantis, Claws)

Loot: Claws and mandibles worth 2D6×10 silver pieces and wings worth 1D6×10 silver pieces.

22 June 2022

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Creature 48 — Grizz (Legendary Brithan)

This is the forty-eighth 4E Anatomy of a Creature, 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.


Apologies for the breaks between posts. There's a lot to get done and not enough time to do it all.


Grizz

There are legends of a brithan who is hundreds of years old and survived the Scourge. His father was an earth elemental who fell in love with the only creature who could take it in a fight. The brithan calls a Liferock home. When he stomps the ground in challenge, earthquakes ripple across the province. He stands ten- no, twenty feet tall and his claws are made of meteoric iron and he poops diamonds.

Some of those legends are probably true.

The existence of Grizz is true and he’s a very dangerous and old brithan, one adventurers should steer clear of at all costs. The easiest way to deal with him is to simply stay away in the first place. However, that’s not always possible. Luckily, Grizz is honorable and has no interest in killing those who invade his territory, but will absolutely challenge and drive them out.

There are some rumors Grizz developed a taste for ale after running off an encampment of brewers headed to the Grand Bazaar for a competition. The barrels of ale were broken into and drained completely, while the few casks of hurlg were left entirely unmolested. Whether this is true, let alone if Grizz has a preference in style, is fine with large, domestic dwarf producers (it wouldn’t be so popular if it wasn’t good), or requires small-batch, seasonal elf and troll varieties (there should be a realistic limit on hops), doesn’t have any corroboration.


Challenge: Warden (Legendary Ninth Circle)

DEX: 6 Initiative:         16 Unconsciousness: 480

STR: 15 Physical Defense: 16 Death Rating: 565

TOU: 17 Mystic Defense:          20 Wound Threshold: 25

PER: 7 Social Defense:         16 Knockdown: 34

WIL: 11 Physical Armor:         18 Recovery Tests:          6

CHA: 6 Mystic Armor: 13 Karma:                          4 (16)

Movement: 14

Actions: 3; Bite: 22 (30), Claws ×2: 25 (27)

Powers:

Awareness (16, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 129.

Battle Shout (16, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 131.

Enhanced Sense [Smell] (2)

Fearless (10): Grizz gains +10 to his Defenses against fear-based effects.
Frenzy: If more than one character attacks Grizz, he fights back savagely, gaining an additional action and +4 to Attack and Damage tests.
Fury (6)
Grizzled (20, Simple): Grizz spends a Recovery Test and makes a Grizzled test. He heals damage equal to the result.
Hardened Armor
Indomitable: The absolute value of Action test and Defense penalties applied to Grizz are halved (e.g, half of -3 is -2 since the absolute value of -3 is 3 and half of 3 is 1.5, which rounds to 2). This includes penalties from Harried and explicitly does not include bonuses applied against Grizz.
Invincible (Simple): Grizz recovers from one Wound.
Shock and Rage (25, Free): This is triggered the first time one of the following happens: Grizz has 5 Wounds or his current damage is over 240. Grizz bellows with rage, smashing the ground repeatedly and sending out multiple shockwaves. Everything within 100 yards must make a Knockdown test against the Shock and Rage Step. Anyone knocked down also has all spells currently affecting them with a Dispel Difficulty equal to or less than the Shock and Rage dispelled. This power can only be used once per encounter.
Shockwave (25, Standard): Grizz smashes the ground, creating a shockwave emanating from the impact. Everyone within 20 yards makes a Knockdown test against the Shockwave result.
Unconquerable (Simple): Grizz ends an ongoing effect that functionally prevents him from taking actions. These effects include grappling, spells like Crushing Hand of Earth, Spell Cage, talents like Spirit Hold, etc. This power can also be used when Grizz takes a bonus action, but he must make a test as normal. Unflinching applies to this test.
Unflinching (3): Grizz gains a +15 bonus to any test to resist ongoing effects.
Unrelenting (2): After a character opposing Grizz takes their turn, he may take two Standard actions and a Movement action (at half movement rate) against that character. These cannot be continuations of actions taken on Grizz’s turn (e.g., continuing to weave threads for a spell) and must include the character as a target (though the action can affect multiple targets). If Grizz cannot reach or affect the character, he may target a different character.
Unyielding (Simple): Grizz stands up. This can be used once per round at the beginning of their turn or before they take a bonus action.

Willful (2)

Special Maneuvers:

Armor Cutter (Grizz, Claws): Grizz may spend additional successes to reduce the target’s Physical Armor by -1 per success. This may not destroy thread armor.
Grab and Bite (Grizz, Claws)
Earth-Shattering Headache (Grizz, Claws): Grizz may spend two additional successes to strike the target on the top of their head, inflicting Harried until the end of the next round.
Enrage (Opponent): Using this maneuver causes Grizz to frenzy.
Overpower (Grizz, Close Combat): Grizz may spend two additional successes to force the target to make a Knockdown test against the Attack result. If the test fails, the target is knocked down and knocked back a number of yards equal to the total successes on the Attack test.
Pry Loose (Opponent, Close Combat)
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)

15 June 2022

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Creature 47 — Leopard, Ghost

This is the forty-seventh 4E Anatomy of a Creature, 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.


Apologies for the breaks between posts. There's a lot to get done and not enough time to do it all.


Leopard, Ghost

At 15 to 20 pounds, these compact, stocky felines are some of the smallest found in the wilds of Barsaive and beyond. However, their comparatively diminutive stature may be deceiving compared to the danger they may present. Ghost leopards have blue eyes and plush, medium-length, white coats with gray points, some also have shadow markings along their bodies. Their tails are exceptionally long and fluffier than the rest of their body. These make them look somewhat like small snow leopards.

They get their name from their ability to turn semi-transparent and become less substantial, though neither invisible nor insubstantial. Their body looks as though it’s made of fog or mist, though their gleaming blue eyes may still be visible. This ability allows them to regain surprise against their prey after an ambush — assuming it didn’t go in the ghost leopard’s favor — escape, or gain access to places they really shouldn’t be able to. It’s this last ability that makes these exceptionally curious cats even more adorable and frustrating in equal measure.

This trait in particular inclines some scholars to believe they’re related to the swamp-dwelling twilight panthers. Their abilities to perceive and affect astral space only provides more evidence of this connection. However, their morphological differences are significant and this could be an example of convergent evolution, rather than a shared ancestor with these traits.

Ghost leopards seem to enjoy the presence of Namegivers, allowing some lucky few to pet their heads and body, enjoying their incredibly soft coats. This privilege is never free and if not given as a reward, one is expected immediately. Over time, this process of rewards for good behavior (and strikes for poor behavior) is used to train promising Namegivers into being appropriate servants for interested ghost leopards.

They’re remarkably intelligent and some scholars believe ghost leopards can understand spoken languages and some show evidence of being able to read. These conjectures are widely met with ridicule and impossible to prove as the ghost leopards resist any attempt to demonstrate their intelligence for an audience. The variety of vocalizations they’re capable of emitting is impressive and they can be combined and extended into something resembling speech in its own way. This allows them to engage in more complex communication with properly trained Namegivers.

Ghost leopards are suitable as animal companions.


Challenge: Journeyman (Sixth Circle)

DEX: 11 Initiative:         16 Unconsciousness: 48

STR: 4 Physical Defense: 14 Death Rating: 54

TOU: 6 Mystic Defense:          12 Wound Threshold: 9

PER: 8 Social Defense:         12 Knockdown: 8

WIL: 7 Physical Armor:         4 Recovery Tests:          2

CHA: 8 Mystic Armor: 4

Movement: 16 (Climbing 6)

Actions: 2; Bite: 14 (16), Claws ×2: 18 (12)

Powers:

Ambush (10)

Astral Attack: Attacks can target Mystic Defense instead of Physical Defense.

Awareness (16, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 129.

Cat's Grace (Simple): The ghost leopard stands up, no test is required.

Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (2)

Enhanced Sense [Other] (4): Astral Sight, as the talent, Player's Guide, p. 129.

Enhanced Sense [Sight]: Low-light vision

Ghostform (Standard): The ghost leopard becomes less substantial and semi-transparent, like their form is now fog. It makes a Stealthy Stride test and disappears from view even if being observed, allowing it to blindside opponents who cannot detect its presence. Attempts to detect it (including Astral Sight and similar) or affect its Physical or Mystic Defense require an additional success. If the ghost leopard attacks while this is active, it ends as they attack and it cannot be used until the next round. While using this power, the ghost leopard may fit through openings that seem far too small for it, though it isn’t intangible or two-dimensional. Just able to get into surprising, seemingly impossible places when you aren’t looking.

Great Leap (10)

Stealthy Stride (18, Simple): As the talent, Player’s Guide, p. 170. This also functions against astral detection

Surprise Strike (10)

Willful (2): The ghost leopard cannot be given the Awestruck attitude by any ability and may choose to disregard being given the Loyal attitude at their discretion.

Special Maneuvers:

Ethereal Attack (Ghost Leopard): The ghost leopard may spend an additional success to affect Mystic Armor instead of Physical Armor.

Pounce (Ghost Leopard)

Loot: Pelt worth 2d6×10 silver pieces.

25 May 2022

Earthdawn 4E: Rules Variant 08 - Alternate Advancement [Sentinel]

This is the eighth Rules Variant, part of 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.

This entry continues from the alternate advancement scheme introduced here. The following presents the advancement scheme for Sentinel.

Sentinel
Novice General Talents
  • Anticipate Blow
  • Avoid Blow
  • Awareness
  • Conversation
  • Danger Sense
  • Distract
  • Etiquette
  • Fireblood
  • Maneuver
  • Shield Bash
  • Tiger Spring
  • Unarmed Combat
  • Wound Balance
First Circle
Discipline Talents
  • Melee Weapons
  • Sentry Weaving
  • Open talent
  • Open talent
  • Open talent
Second Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Third Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Fourth Circle
Discipline Talent: Guardian's Service


Journeyman General Talents
  • Blood Share
  • Earth Skin
  • Empathic Sense
  • Fire Heal
  • Iron Constitution
  • Life Check
  • Lion Heart
  • Protector's Reflexes
  • Spot Armor Flaw
  • Steel Thought
  • Steely Stare
  • Tactics
  • Temper Flesh
Fifth Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Sixth Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Seventh Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Eighth Circle
Discipline Talent: Second Attack or open talent


Warden General Talents
  • Astral Sight
  • Burning Vigor
  • Crushing Blow
  • Defensive Posture
  • Lifesight
  • Lion Spirit
  • Momemtum Attack
  • Rally
  • Relentless Recovery
  • Resist Pain
  • Resist Taunt
  • Storm Shield
  • Unflinching Fortitude
  • Vine Armor
Ninth Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Tenth Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Eleventh Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Twelfth Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent


Master General Talents
  • Aura Armor
  • Champion Challenge
  • Eagle Eye
  • Echolocation
  • Safe Thought
  • Second Chance
  • Soul Aegis
  • Stone Skin
  • Thought Link
  • Vital Ward
Thirteenth Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Fourteenth Circle
Discipline Talent: Open talent

Fifteenth Circle
Discipline Talent: Blooded Redoubt or open talent

18 May 2022

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Discipline 43 — Sentinel

This is the fourty-third 4E Anatomy of a Discipline, 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.

This Discipline first appeared in an incomplete form in my discussion regarding creating Disciplines. I noted at the time I was leaving it deliberately incomplete so it couldn't be used. One reason for that is I wanted to explore some of that design in the form of a Path. However, it the important concepts never came together as I wanted; it didn't feel like a coherent organization in the way it should.

The end result is I'm exploring the same design space as a Discipline and incorporating some of those ideas here. While not a requirement, it benefits quite a bit from using a body shield. This is a somewhat underused piece of equipment (not entirely unused) compared to the more popular crystal raider shield. It's understandable since the latter gives 1 more total Defense compared to the former for the same Initiative Penalty. Disciplines with more than enough Mystic Defense are the only ones most likely to be interested in a body shield, which may be a narrow cross-section.

Sentinel as a concept is one which interested me for a while, but it's not easy to create. It must walk a fine line of doing its job, but not doing it too well — that leads to a lack of danger and potentially long, grindy conflicts. Also, it needs to offer interesting things to do in addition to the defensive supporting nature of it's core theme. I'm not claiming this is a success, but I have to start somewhere to make any progress. For example, compare the initial Shaman design to where it ended when published in The Adept's Journey: Mystic Paths

One reason I wanted to explore this design space as a Path is how I can focus on the core pieces of the idea without worrying as much about ancillary details. No need to include things like Melee Weapons or Avoid Blow, those should already selected. However, I came to realize there's still a diverse number of potential entries and the concept of "using a body shield" was too restrictive. It could be the primary flavor, but not the meal in itself. Many of my thoughts on this don't translate well, so I will just leave it there for now.

Suffice it to say, I came to realize this was the best place to start putting the concept down because it wasn't going anywhere trying to figure out an idealized implementation. I may revisit it as a Path again in the future after working with it in this form. There's a least one Discipline I have which could work well in that structure instead, but I won't actually know until I try.

So here we are. My hope is there's enough interest in the concept to generate characters and see play. Through that, I can start addressing the issues and developing revisions. I'm fairly certain this type of character is likely to appeal to at least one person out there.


Sentinel

Those unfamiliar with the nuances between similar Disciplines frequently mistake Sentinels for Warriors. Both are at home on the battlefield and are patient, reserved combatants. However, where Warriors seek to strike a balance, between offense and defense, between the elements they harness, Sentinels seek to be the rock the river breaks against, to provide a bastion of support to their allies.

It isn't unheard of for adepts to follow both of these Disciplines, though it's less common than many outside may think. Their perspectives and approaches aren't necessarily complementary — where a Warrior adapts to the battlefield, a Sentinel forces the battlefield to adapt to them. They impose their will on their surroundings, establishing order in their wake. This mentality and desire for stability and protection makes them more akin to Weaponsmiths in many ways.

Sentinels may be dedicated to ideals, people, a place, or even coin, but they are dedicated to whatever they put their mind to. They're unwavering and stubborn. Relinquishing a position, both literal and metaphorical, only when there is no other recourse. These adepts are steadfast companions and will never leave an ally to their fate. A Sentinel's role is to stand before that fate and stare it down.

This can easily make them irritating to deal with, particularly for adepts with flexible mindsets — such as Swordmasters and Thieves — or similarly stubborn adepts, but with entire different approaches — like Archers and Sky Raiders. However, there are few adepts anyone would rather have in their corner than a Sentinel. Their word is their bond, honor is more than just a word, and they never give up as long as there is hope.

All this isn't to say they aren't pragmatic when it's called for. However, there are things they will never waver on regardless of what is most convenient. Honor isn't easy, if it was it wouldn't be something to continually aspire to. These lofty ideals may be inconvenient, but are also what makes a Sentinel what they are. Why they're universally trusted and respected, even by their enemies.

These traits can make them easy to manipulate. They're bound by their Discipline and what it means, just as they are their heavy armor. For this, they need allies as their allies need them. They aren't so naive as to believe all Namegivers hold themselves to their standards, it is still much more of a blindspot for them than they will ever admit. In the mind of a Sentinel, they have no weaknesses. For as much as they protect their allies during battle, the need their allies to protect them in less direct conflicts. 

Sentinels who renege on deals, speak lies, abandon what is important, or otherwise tarnish what their Discipline aspires to be may face Discipline crises for their actions — or lack thereof as the case may be. Their fellows see no shame in these missteps as they know all too well how high the standards they hold themselves to are. Other Sentinels rally to their comrade, seeing their struggle and refusing to leave them in a time of need.

Important Attributes: Dexterity, Perception, Willpower

Karma Ritual: The adept stands stoically, feeling their feet planted to the ground. They hear, see, and smell everything around them. Their senses extend through their feet into the ground so they can feel everything around them. Each movement is tracked as a potential threat and the adept assesses them, slowly working through the area. Once they are completely aware of their surroundings and all potential threats after 30 minutes, the ritual is complete and this supernal awareness leaves with it.

Artisan Skills: Rune Carving, Tattooing

Half-Magic: 
Sentinels use half-magic when caring for and repairing their weapons and armor, and knowledge of various military, mercenary, and bandit companies. They also use half-magic to perform basic first aid, such as staunching bleeding. This doesn’t heal damage, but prevents things from getting worse.


Novice

Novice Talent Options: Conversation, Distract, Etiqutte, Fireblood, Heartening Laugh, Maneuver, Shield Bash, Tiger Spring, Unarmed Combat, Wood Skin

First Circle
  • Durability 7
  • Discipline Talents: Avoid Blow, Awareness, Danger Sense, Melee Weapons, Sentry Weaving
Second Circle
  • Defense: The adept gains +1 Physical Defense.
  • Discipline Talent: Anticipate Blow
Third Circle
  • Karma: The adept may spend a Karma Point on Recovery tests.
  • Discipline Talent: Wound Balance
Fourth Circle
  • Defense: The adept gains +1 Mystic Defense.
  • Discipline Talent: Guardian's Service

Journeyman

Journeyman Talent Options: Blood Share, Earth Skin, Empathic Sense, Fire Heal, Iron Constitution, Lion Heart, Spot Armor Flaw, Steel Thought, Steely Stare, Tactics

Fifth Circle
  • Sentinel Stance: As a Free action for 1 Strain, the adept may adopt the Sentinel Stance — a variation of the Defensive Stance. Sentinel Stance appears different for each adept based on their training and personality, but always appears purely defensive. Perhaps the adept moves loosely as though flowing with water, or takes a rigid position and appears forged from steel. They make a Sentry Weaving (10) Action test. Each success reduces the penalties from Defensive Stance by 1 until the end of the round. This ability must be used when Defensive Stance is announced. Sentinel Stance is also Defensive Stance for meeting any requirements.
  • Karma: Once per round, the adept may spend a Karma Point on any test while in Defensive Stance.
  • Discipline Talent: Protector's Reflexes
Sixth Circle
  • Defense: The adept gains +2 Physical Defense.
  • Discipline Talent: Temper Flesh
Seventh Circle
  • Bonus: The adept gains +1 Recovery Test per day.
  • Discipline Talent: Life Check
Eighth Circle
  • Defense: The adept gains +3 Physical Defense.
  • Discipline Talent: Second Attack

Warden
  • Warden Talent Options: Astral Sight, Burning Vigor, Crushing Blow, Lifesight, Lion Spirit, Momentum Attack, Resist Pain, Resist Taunt, Storm Shield, Vine Armor
Ninth Circle
  • Armor Bond: The adept performs an eight-hour ritual to bind their armor to their pattern, taking 1 Blood Magic Damage. Each adept’s ritual is unique, usually based on their training and personal philosophy. It’s usually performed as the last step in becoming a Warden, but may be completed at any time. After the ritual, the armor gains +2 Physical and Mystic Armor. The adept may end the effect at any time, allowing them to heal the damage and bind new armor.
  • Karma: Once per round, the adept may spend a Karma Point on any test when adjacent to an ally in combat.
  • Discipline Talent: Defensive Posture
Tenth Circle
  • Defense: The adept gains +2 Mystic Defense.
  • Bonus: The adept gains +1 Mystic Armor.
  • Discipline Talent: Rally
Eleventh Circle
  • Defense: The adept gains +1 Social Defense.
  • Karma: Once per round, the adept may spend a Karma Point on any test made by an adjacent ally.
  • Discipline Talent: Unflinching Fortitude
Twelfth Circle
  • Defense: The adept gains +4 Physical Defense.
  • Bonus: The adept gains +2 Recovery Tests per day.
  • Discipline Talent: Relentless Recovery

Master

Master Talent Options: Champion Challenge, 
Eagle Eye, Echolocation, Safe Thought, Second Chance, Stone Skin, Thought Link, Vital Ward

Thirteenth Circle
  • Blooded Protection: The adept performs a 30 min ritual, then Names and places a drop of blood on up to Sentry Weaving rank allies, marking them and taking 1 Blood Magic Damage for each ally. The blood forms the personal mark of the adept, which can be astrally detected, until the next sunrise. The adept may use Guardian’s Service on all affected allies, not just one, as long as they are within Sentry Weaving ×2 yards of the adept; each ally is affected individually as part of the same Simple action. The bonus provided to marked allies is doubled. For example, the adept may reduce their Physical Defense by 5, distributing 2 to one ally and 3 to another. The first ally gains +4 Physical Defense and the second gains +6.
  • Defense: The adept gains +3 Mystic Defense.
  • Karma: The adept increases their Karma +1 Step to a d8.
  • Bonus: The adept gains +1 Initiative Step.
  • Discipline Talent: Aura Armor
Fourteenth Circle
  • Defense: The adept gains +5 Physical Defense.
  • Bonus: The adept gains +2 Mystic Armor.
  • Discipline Talent: Soul Aegis
Fifteenth Circle
  • Defense: The adept gains +2 Social Defense.
  • Bonus: The adept adds +3 Recovery Tests.
  • Discipline Talent: Blooded Redoubt

Talents

Blooded Redoubt
Step: Rank+DEX
Action: Free
Strain: 2
Skill Use: No
Keywords: Attack. Karma. Limited.
The adept uses their connection provided through Blooded Protection to defend their allies. When an ally marked with Blooded Protection is targeted by a close combat attack, but before the attack is made, the adept moves adjacent to the attacker and makes a close combat attack using Blooded Redoubt. Once this attack is resolved, the interrupted action continues, though is affected by appropriate penalties (e.g. knockdown and Wounds). Any distance moved as part of this talent is part of the adept’s available movement for the round and they must have enough to cover the distance. This talent provides a pool of additional movement equal to their Blooded Redoubt rank ×2 yards which is used first, then the adept’s normal movement. The adept may only interrupt one attack against a marked ally per round. The adept's Blooded Redoubt Step is limited to their Melee Weapons or Unarmed Combat Step as appropriate.

Protector's Reflexes
Step: Rank+DEX
Action: Free
Strain: 2
Skill Use: No
Keywords: Defensive. Exclusive. Karma. Replacement.
The adept is preternaturally aware of the unfolding conflict and uses that knowledge to evade rather than press the attack. This calmness and mental state allows them to overcome hindrances when properly harnessed. The adept substitutes their Protector’s Reflexes Step for their Dexterity Step when making their Initiative test, suffering penalties as normal, as well as applying any other bonuses to Initiative (e.g. Discipline bonuses). This result is compared against Difficulty 10 and the adept gains +1 Physical Defense per success until the end of the round against opponents with a lower Initiative. If the adept is in the Defensive Stance, they don’t suffer Initiative penalties from their armor or shield. Successes on Initiative can only be spent on the talent and its knacks.


Knacks

Anticipate Blow

Blooded Defender
Talent: Anticipate Blow
Requirements: Rank 13, Take the Hit
Restrictions: Sentinel Circle 13
Step: Rank+PER
Action: Simple
Strain: 1+ (Special)
Skill Use: No
Keywords: Standard Effects.
The adept uses their heightened awareness and prescience to protect an ally against their opponents. When Blooded Defender is successfully used, the adept may select an adjacent ally marked with Blooded Protection. When the ally is targeted by an opponent’s attack that affects Physical Defense, the adept may spend 1 Strain to change the target of the attack to the adept. The adept must successfully use Blooded Defender against the opponent and the ally must be adjacent to the adept to use this effect. This may be used after an attack with Blooded Redout is resolved, before the initiating attack is resolved, if the adept is adjacent to their ally.

Take the Hit
Sentinel Circle 5 is added to the list of restrictions.


Blooded Redoubt

Shielded Redoubt
Talent: Blooded Redoubt
Requirements: Rank 8, Shield Bash rank 12
Restrictions: Sentinel Circle 15
Step: Rank+DEX
Action: Free
Strain: 2
Skill Use: No
Keywords: Standard Effects.
Instead of using a close combat weapon, the adept uses their shield, allowing them to use Shield Bash. The adept must be using a body shield (or equivalent).

Steadfast Vanguard
Talent: Blooded Redoubt
Requirements: Rank 10, Distract rank 10
Restrictions: Sentinel Circle 15
Step: Rank
Action: Free
Strain: 2
Skill Use: No
Keywords: NA
The adept ensures all attention is directed at them. They add their Blooded Redoubt rank to a Distract test.


Sentry Weaving

Bastion Stance
Talent: Sentry Weaving
Requirements: Rank 9
Restrictions: Sentry Circle 9
Step: Rank+WIL
Action: Free
Strain: 2
Skill Use: No
Keywords: Karma.
The adept adopts the Bastion Stance, an improved version of the Sentinel Stance. It appears different for each adept based on their training and personality, but always appears purely defensive and is impressive to behold. Perhaps the adept’s motions are accompanied by mystic water, rebuffing attacks, or they appear crafted from rune-carved crystal, orichalcum, and steel. They make a Bastion Stance (10) Action test. Each success reduces the penalties from Defensive Stance by 1. Any successes which would reduce the penalties below 0 instead give the adept +1 to Physical and Mystic Defense per success. This lasts until the end of the round and must be used when Defensive Stance is announced. Bastion Stance is also Defensive Stance and Sentinel Stance for meeting any requirements.

Common Cause [Karma]
Talent: Sentry Weaving
Requirements: Rank 13
Restrictions: Sentinel Circle 13
Action: Free
Strain: 1
The adept may spend a Karma Point on any test made by an ally within Sentry Weaving rank ×2 yards affected by Blooded Protection. This may be used once per ally per round.


Shield Bash

Crushing Shield Bash
Talent: Shield Bash
Requirements: Rank 10, Crushing Blow 10
Restrictions: Sentinel Circle 10
Step: Rank+STR
Action: Simple
Strain: 3
Skill Use: No
Keywords: Standard Effects.
The adept enhances their shield with magic, creating an even more powerful strike with a shockwave emanating from it. They add their Crushing Blow rank to their Shield Bash Step. The adept must be using a body shield (or equivalent) to use this knack.

Sentinel's Shield
Talent: Shield Bash
Requirements: Rank 7, Shield Drive
Restrictions: Sentinel Circle 7
Step: Rank+STR
Action: Simple
Strain: 3
Skill Use: No
Keywords: Karma.
The adept quickly bashes the target with their shield and makes a Sentinel’s Shield test against the target’s Physical Defense. If successful, the target makes a Knockdown test against the Sentinel’s Shield result. The adept must be using a body shield (or equivalent) and Sentinel Stance to use this knack.

Thundering Shield Bash
Talent: Shield Bash
Requirements: Rank 14, Storm Shield Rank 14, Crushing Shield Bash
Restrictions: Sentinel Circle 14
Step: Rank+STR
Action: Simple
Strain: 5
Skill Use: No
Keywords: Standard Effects.
The adept enhances their shield with magic, creating an even more powerful strike with a shockwave emanating from it. They add their Crushing Blow rank to their Shield Bash Step. Everyone adjacent to the target must resist the subsequent Knockdown test, except for the adept and allies affected by Blooded Protection. The adept must be using a body shield (or equivalent) and have Storm Shield active to use this knack. This ability may only be used once per round regardless of any other abilities which could allow it to be used more than once.