Background for players

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
Jaracove
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:20 am

Background for players

Postby Jaracove » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:08 pm

I am hoping someone can help me here

I am gearing up to GM Earthdawn 4ed for my friends, and aside from one player who literally created a pc some years ago and played the game for about 30 minutes, none of them have any familiarity with the game.

One of the big selling points about Earthdawn is its background/setting. As a friend once told me, if you don't know the setting (how magic works, horrors, magic and magic items, kaers etc), you won't get the full punch in the face of awesomeness that is Earthdawn.

Earthdawn 1ed had a great story in it (Lorm's Axe?) and a very good but concise background section. Together, they gave players a really good grounding on what to expect. Unfortunately, I don't have 1st ed anymore and the pdf is almost £14 on rpgnow.com, so I don't want to shell out that much money if I can help it.

Does anyone have suggestions on how I might best impart Earthdawn's setting/background to new players?

EDIT: I have not bought the GM's Guide yet so not sure what that contains.

Thanks all

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

Re: Background for players

Postby Telarus_KSC » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:16 pm

I really like the old-school FASA "sizzle" flyers for this, they are on Scribd:
https://www.scribd.com/document/2586503 ... e-Brochure

You have to tell people that certain terms changed (Atlantis -> Thera, Warlock -> Adept), but the 2 stories at the end really nail the feeling of Barsaive. I really think these are worth updating (maybe once I finish the airship rules).

There is also this blurb on ED on scribd:
https://www.scribd.com/document/1661894 ... -Earthdawn

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etherial
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Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:29 am

Re: Background for players

Postby etherial » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:37 pm

ED4GMG has a new fiction story that's pretty good as well as "How It Came To Pass", the History article of the game setting. Over the years, various fansites have summarized it and can still be found with a google search...

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

Re: Background for players

Postby Jaracove » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:07 pm

etherial wrote:ED4GMG has a new fiction story that's pretty good as well as "How It Came To Pass", the History article of the game setting. Over the years, various fansites have summarized it and can still be found with a google search...

The ED4GMG has the 1st ed 'How it Came to Pass' section?

That would be great

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

Re: Background for players

Postby Jaracove » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:08 pm

Telarus_KSC wrote:I really like the old-school FASA "sizzle" flyers for this, they are on Scribd:
https://www.scribd.com/document/2586503 ... e-Brochure

You have to tell people that certain terms changed (Atlantis -> Thera, Warlock -> Adept), but the 2 stories at the end really nail the feeling of Barsaive. I really think these are worth updating (maybe once I finish the airship rules).

There is also this blurb on ED on scribd:
https://www.scribd.com/document/1661894 ... -Earthdawn

Thank you Telarus

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etherial
Posts: 601
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:29 am

Re: Background for players

Postby etherial » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:36 pm

Jaracove wrote:
etherial wrote:ED4GMG has a new fiction story that's pretty good as well as "How It Came To Pass", the History article of the game setting. Over the years, various fansites have summarized it and can still be found with a google search...

The ED4GMG has the 1st ed 'How it Came to Pass' section?

That would be great


It has the 4th Ed "How it Came to Pass" section. It's been updated with details and metaplot that have become relevant since ED1 was released.

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

Re: Background for players

Postby Jaracove » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:38 pm

Does it mention Jaron and the Sphinx?

I'm going to purchase it anyway, but can't for a day or three

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Flowswithdrek
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Location: Travar: The Mercant City

Re: Background for players

Postby Flowswithdrek » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:48 pm

Yes, the GMG 4ed mentions Jargon and the Sphinx...

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

Re: Background for players

Postby Jaracove » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:55 pm

Thank you

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

Re: Background for players

Postby Utsukushi » Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:08 pm

Also... Earthdawn has a great setup for building a lot of the learning curve into the game. I once started a game where I specifically picked people who didn't already know Earthdawn, so that I could introduce them to some of its, um, eccentricities, more organically.

If you start out with the PC's emerging into the world from an until-recently-closed Kaer, you have a lot of control over what they need to know ahead of time. They need to know it's high magic, that there were Horrors, and that everyone went into hiding for what is called the Scourge.

They'll need to know about whatever races and Disciplines are available within the kaer.

And that's just about it. The rest they can learn in-game, and a lot of that can be awesome. Like the oft-touted amusing differences between classic zombies and Cadavermen, or your average green tiger and a Skeorx.


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