While I really like the most of core changes made in Earthdawn 4th Edition, such as the new free talent, talent options, and extra success options with most abilities and spells. I feel there are many areas of the rules that negatively suffer from the way these new rules have been interwoven with the old. Many of the chapters appear to me to be a bit of a mess of new content shoved into cut and pasted text and rules from previous editions. Due to the lack of some of the removed text and the odd mixture of 1st, 3rd and 4th edition versions of rules, I find some interpretations difficult and may potentially create serious unbalancing loopholes and unworkable scenarios.
As a blanket rule in any given situation where there is contradiction or difficulty interpreting the system, I will go with the interpretation which I feel results in a fairer, more balanced and generally richer game world.
Below are some clarifications I have identified and will be running as GM for my games.
Movement is generally defined as when a creature expends a least one point of their movement rate to travel from one location to another.
A flying creature may choose to expend zero points of their movement rate to hover.
A swimming creature may choose to expend zero points of their movement rate to tread water
A flying creature hovering or a swimming creature treading water is considered moving while they hover or tread water, even though they expend zero points of their movement rate.
If a flying or swimming creature is not continuously performing movement to fly/swim they will fall/sink.
When a character moves and takes another action during a combat round, his movement must take place all at once, either before or after his actions. No part of the movement can continue during the action unless the splitting movement rule is used.
A flying or swimming creature must use the splitting movement rule to perform actions while flying/swimming without falling/sinking
Forging Weapons/Armor: 3rd Edition restrictions and time frame to forge will apply. Max forge limit on weapons and time to forge (days) will be equal to weapon’s size. Time to forge armor is equal to armor’s total armor rating (physical + mystic) days, max forging is equal to half base armor rating rounded up.
Helmets: 3rd Edition description of the use and benefits/penalties of helmets will apply (slightly modified for 4th edition compatibility).
All armors listed come with helmets. Helmets are made of the same material as the armor if possible, or of a similarly protective material if not possible (some living armors do not allow helmets to be formed or to be implanted in the head). The character is free to wear the helmet or not. While he wears the helmet, he gains a Deflection Bonus to the number of successes required sunder his armor (see Crack the shell combat maneuver), just as for shields, as he has covered a vulnerable area. However, he also receives a -1 penalty to Perception Tests, except for visual perception in his direct field of vision. In contrast to the Deflection Bonus from a shield, the Deflection Bonus from a helmet cannot usually be denied. The Deflection bonus applies only to an Armor Rating the armor has, a helmet for a suit that does not have a Mystic Armor Rating does not offer a Deflection Bonus to attacks against the wearer’s Spell Defense. the gamemaster may apply the –1 penalty to other tests where the helmet might be in the way, such as tests where the adept’s face must be seen for an ability to work.
Going Inside a shield combat option missing from 4th Edition list.
Going Inside a Shield combat option. The character declares his intent to bypass his opponent’s shield during the Declare Actions phase of the combat round, subtracting the shield’s Physical or Mystic defense, as appropriate, from his Initiative Test result. If the character retains a higher Initiative Test result than his opponent, he has successfully maneuvered to a position where he has gotten inside the target’s shield, and his opponent loses the protective benefit of the shield. If the character’s modified Initiative Test result is equal to or lower than his opponent, the defender managed to bring the shield into position to block the attack before the character could complete his action. The character may still attack his opponent normally this round, but suffers a –2 penalty to his Attack Test for failing to get past the shield. The loss of shield bonus is only against the character Going Inside a Shield, and only during the round in which the combat option is used.
The following combat maneuvres will generally be available to any character/creature against all opponents:
The Called Shot combat option may be used to specify a special maneuver. On a successful attack, the character gains an additional success from the called shot, which must be applied to the special maneuver. Any further additional successes applied to the same special maneuver are counted twice.
Clip the Wing: The attacker may spend two additional successes from an Attack test to remove the creature’s ability to fly until the end of the next round. If the attack causes a Wound, the creature cannot fly until the Wound is healed. If the creature is in flight, it falls and suffers falling damage for half the distance fallen.
Crack the Shell: The attacker may spend extra successes from physical attacks (not spells) to reduce the creature’s Physical Armor by 1 per success spent. This reduction takes place after damage is assessed, and lasts until the end of combat. Creatures receiving Deflection Bonuses from Helmets or Shields require 2 successes per point of physical armor reduced. The bonus from a Shield can be negated by using the Going inside a Shield combat option. The bonus from a helmet cannot be negated while the creature continues to wear the helmet. The bonuses from using both a helmet and shield does not stack.
Defang: The opponent may spend additional successes to affect the creature’s ability to use its poison. Each success spent reduces the Poison’s Step by 2. If the attack causes a Wound, the creature cannot use its Poison power at all until the Wound is healed.
Enrage: An opponent may spend additional successes from an Attack test to give a -1 penalty to the creature’s Attack tests and Physical Defense until the end of the next round. Multiple successes may be spent for a cumulative effect.
Hamstring: The creature may spend an additional success from an Attack test to halve the opponent’s Movement until the end of the next round. If the attack causes a Wound, the penalty lasts until the Wound is healed.
Provoke: The attacker may spend two additional successes from an Attack test to enrage the creature and guarantee he will be the sole target of the creature’s next set of attacks. Only the most recent application of this maneuver has any effect.
Pry Loose: The attacker may spend additional successes from an Attack test to allow a grappled ally to immediately make an escape attempt with a +2 bonus per success spent on this maneuver.
Last edited by varrow
on Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.