Thread Items

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
User avatar
etherial
Posts: 601
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:29 am

Re: Thread Items

Postby etherial » Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:37 am

Anoush wrote:
etherial wrote:
Anoush wrote:Thank you for the suggestions. It makes a lot of sense when you describe it like that -- I never thought to ask the players ahead of time what they might want. Nor did I think of giving the items abilities special effects like that. Very fun!


When in doubt, make them too powerful. You can always contrive for the players to sacrifice their Thread Items for the Greater Good if they end up too powerful.


Really? I can't imagine my players giving up a thread item, or anything powerful, for the greater good! How do you manage it?


Appeal to their sense of duty. Or survival.

Utsukushi
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:05 pm

Re: Thread Items

Postby Utsukushi » Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:49 pm

I'd really focus on the story/theme element of what Panda and Mataxes described, more than just `special effects'. One of the aspects of Earthdawn that people-who-love-Earthdawn love is that the magic items have that potential to be so unique -- plot elements, adventure hooks, almost characters of their own. There's... well, there is such a thing as a generic "+1 short sword", but, as your players demonstrated, who cares?

If I had a choice between a +5 Holy Avenger -- once among the most coveted weapons I could think of for a character -- or the Blade of V'rax, Named for the great T'skrang Swordmaster who used it in the Battle of Four Rivers to slay the aquatic Horror Murkweed...

...Honestly, I don't care what the Blade of V'rax actually does, that's the one I'm picking.

And coming in from that mindset, if it turns out to give me +2 to my Melee Weapons and +1 to my Social Defense, I'm going to be a little disappointed. +2 to my Melee Weapons and being able to breathe underwater, maybe something about making a riverboat sail faster... that's more what I'm looking for, even if it's not what my character usually does.

User avatar
EDChronicler
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:40 pm
Location: Travar

Re: Thread Items

Postby EDChronicler » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:21 pm

A Thought: First I suspect you are underselling your "thread items" to your players.

You have a great potential in said Thread Armor you mentioned:
I will assume its Hide. So, you have a set of Hide Armor (5 / 1).
Now you went rather, nice, but simple: Physical Defense Bonus: Lets say it was a +2 PD Max at this point.
Now you also gave it a great potential story "factor" the Knowledge Ranks, while yes, they are not particularly exciting you could have done so much with it.

Now you have Scout + Questor of Jaspree

So .... Lets start with the armor itself, "It was made from the hides of two adult skeorx." Now you have given it a color and a character. (Drab Brownish Green) and (Paired Creation Myth - via 2 Skeorx)

"I came across the signs of a slaughter two adult skeorx a male and a female lay on the ground many broken arrows around them. Their heads and paws and tails were missing. I find part of me is furious while another part of me mourns the loss of some of Jaspree's majestic creatures. The signs the four maybe five poachers left are easy to follow, the trail is only a candlemark old at most. I wait for my companions to catch up and a quarter-mark later the five of us follow the poachers trail."

There, now your armor has an interesting start. I personally see the talker as an Obsidiman Purifier. But now, you have a potential purpose for the armor. (Protecting not just the wearer, but perhaps nature as well.)

Name of the Armor:
Base Armor Rating: 5 / 1
Threads: 2

The inside of the armor contains a written account of the above story. Written in Sperethiel. It also contains a map to the location the bones of the two skeorx.

Rank One:
KN: Name
E: At Rank One the armor grants a bonus of +2 Ranks to Wilderness Lore and +2 Ranks to Passion Lore (Specifically Jaspree). This happens via glowing text along the armor that only the thread-weaver is able to read. Wearing the armor is not required to utilize this ability, but the armor must still be handled by the thread-weaver. Those who do not have a thread woven to the armor notice a vague greenish glow to the armor, not enough to light an area, but enough to affect stealth attempts while using this ability.

Rank Two:
Deed: Visit the cairn site. Repair the cairn and markings.
E: Bonus +2 Physical Defense.

Rank Three:
E: For 2 Strain the thread-weaver gains +3 to any stealth roll while wearing this armor.

Rank Four:
KN: The name of who made the armor.
E: The Initiative Penalty of the Armor is now 0.

Rank Five:
(Create this using the player's experience / story) i.e. While in Bartertown the player witness' some form of animal cruelty, a bear clearly malnourished, cuts unhealed, patches of fur missing in some spots held in a cage in front of a store selling various animal pelt rugs and such.
If he holds true to his character and the story, reward him with this rank. and possibly a new animal companion. So thus, KN: The name of the Animal Companion (xxxx character) rescued.

------------------------------
To Finalize:

A thread item isn't just about what the character gets. Its also about how it adds to the character's story.

So let me finish with this:

B'eree, Seventh Circle Scout in the Jedan Order approaches a band of ork scorchers under stealth he manages to get within eight meters of the campfire avoiding all detection thus far. But his job is to provide a distraction, so he stands, but rather than noise, he uses his armor to access its lore which also happens to make his armor glow a shade of green highlighting him. Then he states: Judgement is here.

J.G.

Anoush
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:23 am

Re: Thread Items

Postby Anoush » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:55 pm

Thanks for the wonderful example of the armor made from 2 skeorx hides. That's exactly the sort of item history that I want to develop in my game.

I'm now starting a new campaign using 4E. Using this as an opportunity to start afresh, I'm going to work at coming up with creation stories for anything the group finds, and then adding their deeds to the items' patterns. At least, that's how I hope it will flow.

In the past, I feel like I've often glossed off this aspect of the game too much, coming from a D&D background where a magic sword is a magic sword is a magic sword, no story or history behind it. I'm determined to make it different this time.

User avatar
Mataxes
Site Admin
Posts: 907
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:51 pm

Re: Thread Items

Postby Mataxes » Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:12 pm

One of the things I've done in the past as part of my campaign design is to create a couple (or a few) "linked" items that share a history, usually by being items that belonged to the previous group that had them, with items that are thematically appropriate for the members of the group.

For example, in one game I had three items: a sword (for the Warrior), a staff (for the magician -- an Elementalist, IIRC), and a collar (for the Beastmaster -- this was an item that allowed her animal companion to grow in power along with the characters, and served as something of an inspiration for the talents that do a similar thing in ED4).

I 'delivered' the items when the group just reached Circle 3. These were still the days of non-casters not getting Thread Weaving until C4, which gave them time to have Item History done and learn the first Key Knowledge for each item. The magician had motive to push this, since he could use the item right away, but I provided the knowledge for the other items as well so that when the other characters reached C4, they would be motivated to learn Thread Weaving and start using their respective item.

Subsequent Key Knowledges were similarly tied together. Since the research and adventuring would pay off for everyone, motivating the group was easier -- no fighting over which goal to pursue when they share the same one. It also saves me work -- I only need to come up with one thread of lore and backstory, rather than three. (Bonus GM tip: Figure out how to save yourself effort whenever possible.)
Josh Harrison -- The Lore Merchant
Troubadour and Magic Theorist
Line Developer: Earthdawn

User avatar
Mataxes
Site Admin
Posts: 907
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:51 pm

Re: Thread Items

Postby Mataxes » Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:15 pm

Oh, and don't be afraid to talk to your players about the sort of bonuses they want to see in their thread items. Honestly, it's a good idea in general to keep in touch with your players and talk about the game, what they like, what they want, that sort of thing. It can help them be more engaged.

...and again, save you some work. (You know that old saw about the best GMs listening to their player's spin theories and picking the best one? Yeah. I've done that.)
Josh Harrison -- The Lore Merchant
Troubadour and Magic Theorist
Line Developer: Earthdawn

Drall
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:56 am

Re: Thread Items

Postby Drall » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:37 am

For my own campaign I've created a dozen Thread Items are varying Tiers and the one thing that makes them 'cool' for players is to have them have abilities that are similar to spells.

The Wizard Spell selection alone has a lot of great abilities you can apply to Thread Items.

If you like, I can send you my Thread Items for inspiration/use?

User avatar
EDChronicler
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:40 pm
Location: Travar

Re: Thread Items

Postby EDChronicler » Sat Sep 10, 2016 1:46 pm

I'm glad I was able to be of some assistance.


Return to “For Game Masters”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest