Suggestions for caster

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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Bonhumm
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Suggestions for caster

Post by Bonhumm » Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:49 pm

Hello. I would like to have some inputs from you all concerning casters in Earthdawn.

Context: I'm part of a gaming group who played Earthdawn for about 18 months now. I have experience in Earthdawn for more than 20 years but all the others are brand new. Furthermore, in all those years I never really bothered to play a caster as I was too lazy to read 'that other part of the books'.

Also; we are... playing First/Second Edition (yeah, I know). I was not part of the group when they started and that was all the GM had. I'm still working on trying to make him switch.

The problem: one of my friends is playing an Elementalist and he is starting to find it boring in combat. (Remember; Elementalist are much more 'combat' in older editions).

All decent combat spell at his circle are 1 or 2 threads so basically combat is:

step1: spend a round thread weaving
step2: spend another round thread weaving
step3: spend a THIRD round spellcasting
step4: if all of the above went well, roll damage.

If ANY of those steps fail, he has to start all over and even if everything works, the damage/effect roll might still suck. In fact, even when the damage is decent, it's still 'just' comparable to the damage our Swordmaster, Archer and Skyraider are doing... EVERY ROUND.

I'm trying to find ideas to help him out and I don't find any:

- The extra-successes and extra-effect mechanics of 4th edition is not available to him.
- We are still in the low circles so attempting to cast more than 1 thread in a round is a substantial risk and the ratio of fail/success is making it, on average, the same as just casting a single thread per round.
- Willforce is still 2 circles away so no karma on damage.

Now, even tho 4th Edition mitigate that a bit with the Extra-Successes mechanics, I would think the situation is still rather the same for casters now so I must be missing something critical.

I would appreciate any 'power-up' suggestions you can give me.

Thank you.

Slimcreeper
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Re: Suggestions for caster

Post by Slimcreeper » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:10 am

The companion has spellcasting knacks that give you options for threadcasting. I can't remember the details, but if you spend the round threadweaving you can also do some sort of minor damage or buff or something. I can't remember if you can do it at 1st circle or not.

You can also give him a thread item that has combat applications.

You could make up a new spell for the character to learn. Maybe just reskin a spell from another discipline.

Belenus
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Re: Suggestions for caster

Post by Belenus » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:16 pm

Why is he even using spells that need two threads?
Ice Mace and Chain is quite a strong spell and needs no threads at all.

Bonhumm
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Re: Suggestions for caster

Post by Bonhumm » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:57 pm

Belenus wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:16 pm
Why is he even using spells that need two threads?
Ice Mace and Chain is quite a strong spell and needs no threads at all.
*Smash heads on table while reading the spell description*

I did not even know there was such a thing as a no-thread attack spell. I had advised him against taking it because the range sucks and the effect (whether it breaks or not) add a layer of 'tracking' to the game but I completely missed the 'no threads' part.

Thank you very much.

lanir
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Re: Suggestions for caster

Post by lanir » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:18 pm

I don't have a copy of the 1st edition rulebook anymore. My group that played the game in the 90's included me as an illusionist and a friend playing an elementalist. We also found there were issues with scaling the spells. Our GM's solution was to knock one thread off of the spells that had them. It was a quick fix and ended up being pretty arbitrary but it made earth darts stop being pointless.

If you do eventually get your GM to migrate the game to 4th edition you'll find this is fixed in a much better fashion. The spells are rebalanced and threads are a bit less common, at least in the early spells I remember. The effects are brought in line so the game stays balanced and interesting. Then if you want to weave an extra thread, you can do so and get some extra effects. I think it's one of the big selling points of 4th over any earlier edition of Earthdawn.

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