quick question on additional threads

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Calamrin
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quick question on additional threads

Post by Calamrin » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:20 pm

`Right our group delving into circle 5.

We have a wizzie and an elementalist

Wizzie questioning enhanced matrix.

Im reading it as its just a tool to save a round/thread...can have a thread woven in with it.

-so with a zero thread spell you can all an extra thread you have to declare when attuning it?

-At 5th you can weave 2 extra threads.... now im not 100% on this does that limit u to 2 outside of matrix or 2 overall...ive no clue?

-Im assuming that you declare extra threads after deciding to cast whatevers in the enhanced matrix?

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etherial
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Re: quick question on additional threads

Post by etherial » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:31 pm

Calamrin wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:20 pm
-so with a zero thread spell you can all an extra thread you have to declare when attuning it?
Correct.

A spell in an Enhanced Matrix has one Thread pre-tied. In the case of a spell that already requires Threads, such as Astral Sense, it counts as one of the required Threads. For a zero-Thread Spell, such as Mage Armor, you specify which Extra Thread Effect will be counted when you Attune the Matrix (probably +Duration or +Targets).
Calamrin wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:20 pm
-At 5th you can weave 2 extra threads.... now im not 100% on this does that limit u to 2 outside of matrix or 2 overall...ive no clue?
2 more than the minimum. You can cast Mage Armor with 0 Threads, 1 Thread, or 2 Threads. If it's in an Enhanced Matrix, you can only cast it at 1 Thread or 2 Threads.
Calamrin wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:20 pm
-Im assuming that you declare extra threads after deciding to cast whatevers in the enhanced matrix?
You declare how many Extra Threads and what they will Increase when you make the first Thread Weaving Test for Casting the Spell.

Calamrin
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Re: quick question on additional threads

Post by Calamrin » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:25 pm

thankyou, covers everything)

badlore
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Re: quick question on additional threads

Post by badlore » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:56 am

Hi,

I'm the wizard at Calamrin's table - I greatly appreciate him asking the question, and any responses!

One of the other things I was really trying to get at in our group discussions (and this is by no means just about the raw mechanics of the system - which I'm now confident I understand), is this:

If, for example, a Circle 5 Wizard is casting a Mind Dagger out of a standard matrix, and she decides to add two additional threads, she declares the extra threads and what they are for beforehand, and has to weave them all before she can cast that spell. So if she rolls poorly and only manages to weave one of the threads, she cannot then change her mind about the makeup of the spell by abandoning the last thread and just casting the spell with the one additional thread. The rules are clear about that and I wouldn't question it.

So now the same circle 5 wizard has Mind Dagger in an enhanced matrix - this contains a "pre-woven" thread in the matrix which has been declared as boosting the spells range. So far so good. Now we are all saying that when she comes to casting this spell she can opt to add another additional thread - she can alter the pattern of the spell in the matrix which has already had a thread woven into it. Now in the first example of casting out of the standard matrix this is exactly what is prohibited - i.e. altering the makeup of a spell after the first thread weaving (and declarations of thread intent) in it has occurred. As I said I don't have an issue with the way it works rule-wise, I just can't find an explanation in the book as to why this works in terms of the magical framework Earthdawn provides - and given this is one of Earthdawn's strengths it's been bugging me; is this just part of the power of an enhanced matrix? Playing a wizard I feel my character should have a strong understanding of how spell patterns can and can't be created. I'm wondering if other casters who perhaps like to be able to explain how their patterns work have ever come up with any reasons concerning this, or have other interpretations for the way magic is working?

Any thoughts more than welcome.

Badlore

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Mataxes
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Re: quick question on additional threads

Post by Mataxes » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:10 pm

badlore wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:56 am
is this just part of the power of an enhanced matrix?
Yes.

To use a crude, off-the-cuff analogy...

Spell patterns require a certain amount of magical energy to do their thing. The more complex/powerful a spell, the more energy it needs.

A spell matrix holds a certain amount of energy. If the amount of energy the spell needs fits in the matrix, then you can cast it every round. If not, then you need to add energy by weaving threads.

An enhanced matrix holds more energy than a standard matrix. This is why it allows a single thread to be woven in advance. If the spell doesn't require threads, you can decide what to do with that extra available energy, but it needs to be "locked in" at the time you attune the matrix. You can think of the spell at that point as an "upgraded" one-thread version that has whatever enhanced capability you had decided on for that attunement.

Or perhaps, another way, each time you use the spell in that matrix, you decide "I'm going to do extra thread X. Hey, look, that thread is already woven." If you want to use 2 extra threads, you're saying, "I want extra threads X and Y. One of them is already in place. Yay."
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badlore
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Re: quick question on additional threads

Post by badlore » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:05 pm

Wow - thanks for that quick response!

I think I get it
- woven threads must have their purpose declared at the point of weaving, whether attuning an enhanced matrix or at the point of casting (weaving to cast).
- you can add threads onto an existing spell pattern, either base threads to complete it, or extra threads to enhance it (or both), within the limitations of your circle.

That being said though, why is it that if you're trying to cast a 2 thread mind dagger (standard matrix), but you only manage to weave one of the extra threads in round 1, you cannot change your intention in round 2 and cast that as a one thread mind dagger? I understand that from the game mechanics point of view this would lead to casters always trying to weave the max number of threads, but in the Earthdawn world is there a difference between that spells pattern at that point and the pattern it would have if you'd declared it as a 1 thread mind dagger? And if so can this difference be perceived by someone astrally examining the matrix at that point i.e. can you see if the spell is in a form ready to cast or requires more additional threads because of the casters declaration? I'm not trying to find problems where there are none - just curious as to how the magic framework works.

Are two additional threads just one on top of the other (how enhanced matrix casting seems to portray them), or are they mixed together like the ingredients of a cake (how standard matrix casting seems to portray them). Sorry for the baking analogy.

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etherial
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Re: quick question on additional threads

Post by etherial » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:04 pm

badlore wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:05 pm
That being said though, why is it that if you're trying to cast a 2 thread mind dagger (standard matrix), but you only manage to weave one of the extra threads in round 1, you cannot change your intention in round 2 and cast that as a one thread mind dagger? I understand that from the game mechanics point of view this would lead to casters always trying to weave the max number of threads...
There are a couple of possibilities.

1. Extra Threads are really designed for keeping low Circle Spells viable at higher Tiers. By limiting Extra Threads to before-declarations-only, the Developers are discouraging "roll-and-sort-it-out" and encouraging players to only attempt Extra Threads when they have a 90+% success rate.

2. There's Knacks coming down the Pike that will make this more powerful/versatile/user-friendly in a number of ways.

3. Insufficient Playtesting. I suspect the Developers underestimated the degree by which Extra Threads are great in concept but difficult in execution. They don't add much to the Spellcasters' already limited Action-Economy because they don't increase Effect as much as just Casting the Spell twice does. As a result, Chain Casting your Buff Spells with Extra Threads is great, but Combat Casting 0-Thread Spells with Extra Threads is terrible.

I don't think cake has anything to do with it.

badlore
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Re: quick question on additional threads

Post by badlore » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:45 pm

Thanks etherial that is certainly food for thought (albeit not cake).

I'm really looking forward to the Companion - is that where the knacks you mentioned are going to be published do you know?

I'm a big fan of the extra thread mechanic in terms of adding versatility and in some circumstances I'd say it can be worth an extra round (extra targets; duration to minutes), but it's not escaped my attention that while I'm spending time weaving threads the warrior and thief in our group are burning karma and dishing out damage like there's no tomorrow. The main issue here is that by about round 5 they're running on empty and calamrin and I are looking at each other as casters with our Karma in double figures - we seem to operate at a different pace altogether but maybe the advent of Willforce at Circle 6 will mitigate that - I'm only circle 5.

Quick anecdote - I cast a spell last meeting (Binding Threads) and tried to get 3 threads off in one round (about a 50/50 chance), failed, and so just had to spend an extra round casting it - but it worked and caused a Queen Invae to be bound up looking for 14 on a Strength test to get out - which took her a couple of rounds but it did help getting that target up to 14.

Slimcreeper
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Re: quick question on additional threads

Post by Slimcreeper » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:27 pm

I picture the matrices as astral latticework that acts as a filter and a mold. It is resilient and flexible enough to be reformed into most spells, but some are complex or powerful enough that the basic spell matrix needs another layer of latticed structure woven into it before it can purify and shape the amount of energy required. Adding your first thread in with the expectation of adding another means that you've got gaps and weak spots in the latticework. If you push the energy through, it'll just collapse the jerry-rigged thread structure.

Mages are not as dangerous in a fight as the fighters by design. Once you can put that extra thread in an Enhanced Matrix, I think it's less problematic. That said, it bugs enough people that houseruling something is certainly an option. I think letting an extra success on a Threadweaving test should give the option change the test to a move action from a standard action could be a solution.

badlore
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Re: quick question on additional threads

Post by badlore » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:24 pm

I think letting an extra success on a Threadweaving test should give the option change the test to a move action from a standard action could be a solution.
That could work.. now to sell it to the GM!

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