Weaving Threads to Pattern Items

Discussion on playing Earthdawn. Experiences, stories, and questions related to being a player.
User avatar
Mataxes
Site Admin
Posts: 907
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:51 pm

Re: Weaving Threads to Pattern Items

Postby Mataxes » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:02 pm

How to clear this up (because I took a look at the section and realized I totally butchered it)... okay.

A pattern item allows a connection to the True Pattern of a person or place, often with the intention of gaining some kind of advantage. The pattern item itself is merely the... conduit, a kind of magical maguffin for that connection. The section in question is describing two different paths, and that fact is not clear at all. (Sorry.)

Path A: The "traditional" path. This pretty much resembles the method for normal thread items. You find an item, examination (Item History) reveals it is a pattern item, and then you need to do research to figure out who/what it is a pattern item for, and why it is significant.

Path B: The "looking for an edge" path. In this case, you have a person or place with a True Pattern and are looking to gain some advantage by finding one of its associated pattern items. In this case you start with the research, in order to figure out what the pattern item(s) might be.

In both cases you need to perform the same steps, it's just that with pattern items it is possible to do them in either order.

Does that clear it up at all?
Josh Harrison -- The Lore Merchant
Troubadour and Magic Theorist
Line Developer: Earthdawn

User avatar
Tattered Rags
Posts: 278
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:44 pm

Re: Weaving Threads to Pattern Items

Postby Tattered Rags » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:11 pm

Well, Mataxes ninja'd me, but here's my post anyway because it took awhile to write.


Aha! Yes, that can be confusing.

The main difference is in how you might obtain Pattern Items versus how you usually get Magic Items, and in how closely the Key Knowledge is related to the creation of a Pattern Item versus how incidental they are to the creation of Magic Items.

Who made a Magic Item, where it was forged, what tree was used to provide the wood, etc., can be Key Knowledges of a Magic Item, but they are merely parts of the process that made it.

Pattern Items are intimately tied to the True Pattern, and what connects them is this Key Knowledge. Because of this, to find Pattern Items, you typically have to research the True Pattern, determine important things about it, and then investigate those important things. They lead you to the Pattern Item.

To use the example from the book, the mug from the Lost Thundra Tavern as a Pattern Item for a Troubadour. You *might* stumble upon the mug. More likely you find out that the Troubadour plays at the tavern every week. You then go there and hope a Pattern Item is there, but you have a good chance because you know the place is important to the Troubadour. When you get there, maybe you find that she always has the same drink after her show, and then you find that the tavern owner gives her the same mug every time because it was the one she drank from when celebrating saving the town from a Horror.

Now you do the Item History test to confirm that the mug is actually a Pattern Item. Lucky! You discover it is, and that the Test Knowledge is "Why does the Lost Thundra Tavern owner serve this mug to the Troubadour?" Great! You already know that Key Knowledge because it was integral to you identifying the mug as a Pattern Item in the first place!

In trying to find the mug you first had to find out that it was important to the Troubadour. To do that, you typically have to determine why it might be important.

So, the act of finding Pattern Items can often yield the Key Knowledge.

Not so with Magic Items. They may simply be purchased, but let's say you are after the Legendary Mug of Infinite Ale. To find it, you may or may not have to research it's past and how it was made. More likely you study where it was last seen and worry about its crafting if and when it becomes important.

Addendum: after reading Mataxes' response, it dawned on me that you COULD research a magic item in an effort to even find it, thus leading to uncovering Key Knowledges before ever finding the Item.

In both cases, if you stumble on an Item, you usually have to research it after the Item History test. If you specifically look for the Item, you may uncover some of the Key Knowledges before doing the Item History test. You just won't know they are Key Knowledges until the Item History test.

Addendum 2: "Looking for an edge" is a good name for the path of researching first and Item History-ing second. Players are likely to hunt down a specific Magic Item because it gives them an edge, just as they might hunt down a Pattern Item for an edge against a True Pattern.

Telarus_KSC
Posts: 744
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:26 am

Re: Weaving Threads to Pattern Items

Postby Telarus_KSC » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:04 pm

Both excellent explanations, thanks guys!

Jaracove
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:20 am

Re: Weaving Threads to Pattern Items

Postby Jaracove » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:29 am

This is getting really confusing (I've got mild autism so certain things throw me for a loop, it's just how my brain works, or doesn't work I guess). I like things spelt out in systematic steps. So to that end...

With magic items, you:

a) find the magic item
b) use Item History to find the relevant test knowledge
c) go adventuring to find the answer to the test knowledge
d) spend Legend Points to weave a thread to the magic item

With pattern items, you:

a) have a person/place with a true pattern
b) roll research to find info about the true pattern that will lead you to the pattern item
c) obtain the pattern item
d) spend Legend Points to weave a thread to the pattern item

I'm sure I've butchered the 'pattern' item' part so if someone could give me a stepped example that would clear this up for me

Telarus_KSC
Posts: 744
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:26 am

Re: Weaving Threads to Pattern Items

Postby Telarus_KSC » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:45 am

The only thing you are missing in the Pattern Item step is c) obtain the pattern item AND ROLL Item History to confirm your research knowledge is what is needed in the Test Knowledge.


It comes down to: You need both things [Test Knowledge via Item History talent] and [Research Knowledge from Roleplaying and/or Research tests]. The order doesn't really matter. You see the first order you listed for Thread Items most of the time. You see the second order (with my addition) for Pattern Items most of the time. There are weird instances where the other order happens instead (for story reasons).

Jaracove
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:20 am

Re: Weaving Threads to Pattern Items

Postby Jaracove » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:58 am

Telarus_KSC wrote:The only thing you are missing in the Pattern Item step is c) obtain the pattern item AND ROLL Item History to confirm your research knowledge is what is needed in the Test Knowledge.


It comes down to: You need both things [Test Knowledge via Item History talent] and [Research Knowledge from Roleplaying and/or Research tests]. The order doesn't really matter. You see the first order you listed for Thread Items most of the time. You see the second order (with my addition) for Pattern Items most of the time. There are weird instances where the other order happens instead (for story reasons).

Thanks Telarus

When you say the order doesn't really matter, is that true for both magic and pattern items?

Jaracove
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:20 am

Re: Weaving Threads to Pattern Items

Postby Jaracove » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:04 am

Mataxes wrote:How to clear this up (because I took a look at the section and realized I totally butchered it)... okay.

Thanks Mataxes

Will the pdf/print be updated to make this section clearer?

The Undying
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:10 am

Re: Weaving Threads to Pattern Items

Postby The Undying » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:06 am

Order doesn't matter for either. For example let's say you were sent to investigate the disappearance of the Elf named DerpAfterDark. You find the corpse, and there's a thread item sword on it. The Rank 3 knowledge on it happens to be "Who last wielded the blade?" You don't need to research that, you already know it: you found it on his corpse. Keep in mind it would be entirely different if you found it on some random mook corpse - unless he has his name sewn into his underwear or you cart his corpse around asking "you know this Namegiver" then time to hit the books.

I think one of the main things you should take away from all this is, whether Pattern or Thread, magic items are really a way of revealing more of the universe to the players, often times pulling the characters into new stories or adventures either to figure out the research knowledge of the items, to perform deeds, or simply by possessing the item. Magic items knowledge CAN be treated as a simple test - here is your question, now go roll research til you get a success - but it can, and should, be so much more than that. Earthdawn is about legends, both Namegivers and their tools, and the magic item system is really built to draw players and their characters into that legend-building.

Jaracove
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:20 am

Re: Weaving Threads to Pattern Items

Postby Jaracove » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:11 am

Thanks Telarus

I agree that you should conduct some research instead of just rolling dice. In fact the reason I initially asked my question was because it looked like from the rules that for pattern items, you just made a Research skill roll.

Jaracove
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:20 am

Re: Weaving Threads to Pattern Items

Postby Jaracove » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:22 am

One final query:

On Pattern Items
a) Have a person/place with a true pattern
b) Roll Research to find info about true pattern that will lead you to the pattern item
c) Obtain pattern item and roll Item History to confirm your research knowledge is what is needed in the test knowledge
d) Spend Legend Points to weave thread to pattern item

I would like an example of the highlighted text. By happy coincidence, has The Undying already supplied on in his last post above?

"For example let's say you were sent to investigate the disappearance of the Elf named DerpAfterDark. You find the corpse, and there's a thread item sword on it. The Rank 3 knowledge on it happens to be "Who last wielded the blade?" (i) You don't need to research that, you already know it: you found it on his corpse. Keep in mind it would be entirely different if you found it on some random mook corpse - unless he has his name sewn into his underwear or you cart his corpse around asking "you know this Namegiver" then time to hit the books."

(i) So you find out using the Item History skill that the Rank 3 Key Knowledge is to find out who last used the blade, but you've already done that by stumbling upon the corpse?

On page 229, it says the Research skill is used on True Patterns. Can Research also be used on magic items and pattern items or is that the jurisdiction of the Item History talent only? I ask because the text on page 229 says:

"To research a True Pattern the character may use the Research skill"


Return to “For Players”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest