05 January 2022

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Creature 38 — Wolfram

This is the thirty-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.

Being perfectly honest, these entries were born from a pun — not even my pun! — but I played them straight rather emphasizing the pun. Hopefully this makes them more relevant and not relegated simply as a gag. Threading the needle on doing both is a challenge and I don't have confidence in pulling it off in this case.

Wolfram

They look like large wolves with curiously long legs, curled horns, and gray-toned pelts. Some people think this is a ridiculous creature with an uncreative name, while others see wolframs as badass. The former are silly people and not worth associating with, so we won’t speak of them anymore.


Wolframs are found throughout the hinterlands of Barsaive, particularly mountainous regions where they can cause considerable problems for shepherds. They’re relatively shy creatures and prefer to avoid Namegivers, though do enjoy a good buffet of domesticated ruminants and are willing to take the risk. Especially when it gets lean at high altitude.


They’re highly social and organized in a classic pack structure, working together to hunt mountain goats or catching smaller prey individually. Wolframs have varied tactics and are highly adaptable, whether ambushing, working as a team, or charging prey and knocking them to the ground.


Wolframs are suitable as animal companions.


Challenge: Novice (Third Circle)

DEX: 8 Initiative:         8 Unconsciousness: 33

STR: 6 Physical Defense: 12 Death Rating: 39

TOU: 6 Mystic Defense:         8 Wound Threshold: 9

PER: 5 Social Defense:         11 Knockdown: 12

WIL: 5 Physical Armor:         4 Recovery Tests:         2

CHA: 5 Mystic Armor: 2

Movement: 16

Actions: 1; Bite: 12 (14), Horns: 13 (13)

Powers:

Awareness (10, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 129.

Charge (5)

Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (2)

Enhanced Sense [Smell] (2): Tracking.

Great Leap (8)

Stealthy Stride (12, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 170.

Surprise Strike (5)

Tracking (10, Standard): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 175.

Willful (2)

Special Maneuvers:

Goring Charge (Wolfram, Charge): The wolfram may spend an additional success to cause a Knockdown test against the target. The Difficulty is the Attack test result.

Hamstring (Wolfram, Bite)

Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)

Loot: Horns worth D4×5 silver pieces and a pelt worth D6×5 silver pieces.


Wolfram, Alpha


Many believe alpha wolframs are simply a myth. It’s worth noting this doesn’t simply refer to the alpha of a pack of wolframs, which clearly exist. Alpha wolframs are veritable legends and the nightmare of many a shepherd. What with them blending perfectly into the flock, just waiting for the chance to kill everything, including the shepherd and family. However, like all things legendary and mythical, there’s a lot more of the former two and actual useful information.


The stories of alpha wolframs are mixed in total. Some indicating they are savage beasts who exist only to slaughter flocks and the Namegivers who tend them and we should all be definitely hunting them to extinction, while others are slightly more nuanced and show there’s definitely some intelligence to them — even intent — and they can be allies to travelers in need. Even taking the latter, there are stories of would-be hunters being stalked for days by unseen predators, then killed on one of many sleepless nights after delirium sets in.


A universal part of these stories is alpha wolframs are beautiful and terrible to see, with pure black, gray, or white coats and brilliant amber, blue, or red eyes. Their horns contrast with their coat and have an almost ethereal nature to them. It’s not unheard of for them to lead a large pack of wolframs, or work with other alpha wolframs as some kind of super group.


Alpha wolframs are suitable as animal companions.


Challenge: Journeyman (Sixth Circle)

DEX: 9 Initiative:         13 Unconsciousness: 51

STR: 7 Physical Defense: 15 Death Rating: 58

TOU: 7 Mystic Defense:         11 Wound Threshold: 10

PER: 6 Social Defense:         14 Knockdown: 14

WIL: 5 Physical Armor:         7 Recovery Tests:         2

CHA: 6 Mystic Armor: 4

Movement: 20

Actions: 2; Bite: 15 (19), Horns: 17 (17)

Powers:

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

Awareness (14, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 129.

Charge (10)

Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (2)

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

Enhanced Sense [Smell] (2): Tracking.

Fog Rolls In (Standard): A seemingly natural fog bank rolls in through the outdoor area and inflicts partial darkness (Player’s Guide, p. 387) on all non-wolf or wolframs in a 1-mile radius. This lasts until the end of the scene and can be used once per day.

Fury (2)

Great Leap (10)

Stealthy Stride (16, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 170.

Surprise Strike (10)

Tracking (14, Standard): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 175.

Willful (3)

Special Maneuvers:

Ethereal Attack (Alpha Wolfram): The alpha wolfram may spend an additional success to affect Mystic Armor instead of Physical Armor.

Goring Charge (Alpha Wolfram, Charge): The wolfram may spend an additional success to cause a Knockdown test against the target. The Difficulty is the Attack test result.

Hamstring (Alpha Wolfram, Bite)

Opening (Alpha Wolfram): The alpha wolfram may spend additional successes against an opponent suffering from Hamstring to give all other wolves and wolframs a +1 bonus per success spent to Attack tests against the opponent until the end of the next round.

Loot: Horns worth 2D6×10 silver pieces and a pelt worth 3D6×5 silver pieces.

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