Group Patterns

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
Calamrin
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:18 am

Group Patterns

Post by Calamrin » Mon May 20, 2019 6:37 pm

Was reading the thread on spell matrices where someone said group patterns can eat up 5 ranks of threadweaving, which is true and brought up a personal bug bear of mine with group patterns.

Our group has decided to alter them feeling its a mechanic that really makes the system creak (our groups been going a long time and we are all around circle 7....have 99,800lp)

we came to the conclusion its a rather strange mechanic where whether it be caster or melee for 25klp u can end up with +5PD/+5MD/+5 SD/ +5attack(or spellcasting)/+5effect(or damage)...it just opens up a weird thing where you are half the circle you are and half 5 circles higher for relatively few legend points.

Anyway we have not come to full conclusion on how to change it yet... closest we have come is:

Its one thread, and works off novice/journeyman/warden/master scale
each circle u can put one talent/ defence up...and only once
when hit next level of mastery (say journeyman) you can put one of the novice ones up to +2 or a journeyman one up to +1

(so for example a 7th circle caster could have +1PD +1MD +1SD +1spellcasting +1 threadweaving +1 willforce +1 insert journyman talent or spend differently and have +2md +2PD +2spellcasting +1threadweave)

Like i say its just a dislike our group has with the group pattern mechanic where you can start banging big pluses in there for relatively cheap lp, that kind of slew the circling up lp cost that goes up in a fibonacci sequence.

Lursi
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:09 pm
Location: Münster

Re: Group Patterns

Post by Lursi » Tue May 21, 2019 5:03 am

I totally agree with you that the group pattern is LP wise is too cheap for what it offers.

So far I limited it a bit by requesting deeds that quickly scaled up to advance into higher thread ranks or open up a new one.

That is an alternative to rigid circle based rules.

Alternative is to increase the LP cost, but I like the deed more which can overarch an entire campaign.
Of all things I lost, sanity I held dearest.

Griznah
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:18 am
Location: Norway

Re: Group Patterns

Post by Griznah » Tue May 21, 2019 7:31 am

You have to remember how volatile the item is and how quickly and easy the bonuses can be removed.

Calamrin
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:18 am

Re: Group Patterns

Post by Calamrin » Tue May 21, 2019 2:21 pm

Lursi wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 5:03 am
I totally agree with you that the group pattern is LP wise is too cheap for what it offers.

So far I limited it a bit by requesting deeds that quickly scaled up to advance into higher thread ranks or open up a new one.

That is an alternative to rigid circle based rules.

Alternative is to increase the LP cost, but I like the deed more which can overarch an entire campaign.
Requiring deeds, a bit like needing key knowledges on pattern items, is indeed a good idea.

We toyed with LP increases along the lines of:
Thread one costs 300,500,800,1300,2100
Thread two costs 500,800,1300,2100,3400
Thread three costs 800,1300,2100,3400,5500
etc.

Anyway decided against that (complicated reasons involving certain players turning down cool quirky pattern items to have the threads for the combat bonuses offered by group threads- which is a problem with our group and not the rule!)

Slimcreeper
Posts: 718
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Re: Group Patterns

Post by Slimcreeper » Tue May 21, 2019 3:18 pm

That’s true, but I don’t love that as a balancing mechanic. You can’t just steal from your party every other session. If it’s too to much for a campaign I’d rather impose a tax on its use. For example, requiring a character to burn a karma point at the beginning of the round to activate a bonus.

Scherme
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 2:53 pm
Location: Western Massachusetts

Re: Group Patterns

Post by Scherme » Tue May 21, 2019 3:32 pm

Slimcreeper wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 3:18 pm
You can’t just steal from your party every other session.
Preface - I am incredibly dense

I am confused by this, can you clarify what there is to steal?

Taxing use of a group thread bonus would kill it for me personally.

I am very much in favor of requiring a deed. A story pusher.

How about a deed as well as an lp increase, the deed would bring additional lp income.

Slimcreeper
Posts: 718
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Re: Group Patterns

Post by Slimcreeper » Tue May 21, 2019 6:41 pm

by steal I mean to break the pattern item, or have it get stolen or lost or whatever as a way to nerf group patterns.

I don’t have a problem with RAW, myself.

Spader
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:33 am

Re: Group Patterns

Post by Spader » Wed May 22, 2019 12:38 am

I can relate alot to that problem too. The group becomes way too powerful for their circle.

In my last campaign I had the same problem plus another one with Group Patterns. The player characters were 8th circle and then one of them died. So she came back with a brand new 8th circle character but couldn't keep up with the might of the group because she wasn't part of it. I tried to balance that by giving her a powerful thread item. But since she didn't have a +5 ranks to Durability like all the other players (because of the group pattern) she died again before she had time to thread all the ranks of her item. And then the character of another player died and his new character wasn't part the group pattern either...

In short, it was a mess and many got frustrated. Most of the time it was me.

Now we just started a new campaing and I tried to address the problem up front. The change I made are simple but has a big impact. Here's how it work: group pattern can no longer be done by a small group of adventurers. The pattern can only be held by a large group of significant importance, like a secret society. So the players don't make a group pattern of their own, the gotta get recruted by a faction that has one. I don't know it will work yet cause it just got started but I have good expectations.


So I recreated the kinda forgotten society of the Lightbearers. I dropped the whole thing about the Great Pattern and the powers that came with it. Instead, I just stated that the magic of the Lightbearers was the magic from the Group Pattern.

What I expect from then: the group will become very powerful, but only on Horror related quests. So for Slimcreeper, I think it's the on and off switch you're looking for. And, (for my other problems) when a player character die, he/she would just have to make another character that is already a Lightbearer. So instant access to Group Pattern and a common interest to ease the integration with the group.


Also, my players could have refused to be part of the Lightbearers. It would have been a good cue for me as the GM. I would have learn my players do not want a Horror oriented campaing. I could've then tried to lure them into another group like the Liferock Rebellion and make it a political oriented campaing. But now that they are Lightbearers, I know how to ajust the rest of my campaing.

Hope it helps.

Lursi
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:09 pm
Location: Münster

Re: Group Patterns

Post by Lursi » Wed May 22, 2019 10:13 am

Also a good concept. My group liked however to have their own pattern identity.

I think the old addage: “the dose makes the poison” is valid here.

Having group threads in a correct dosing makes the game better.

Btw, Metallica also replaced their Drummer and he became part of it. Hence it should be possible to join. Until the empty space is filled, the group pattern is weak and probably looses ranks or threads.

Imagine you face a very powerful group of adepts with such a pattern and you cant bring them all down together but you have to eliminate them one by one to weaken their pattern and finally succeed.
Of all things I lost, sanity I held dearest.

Calamrin
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:18 am

Re: Group Patterns

Post by Calamrin » Wed May 22, 2019 2:22 pm

Lursi wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 10:13 am
Also a good concept. My group liked however to have their own pattern identity.

I think the old addage: “the dose makes the poison” is valid here.

Having group threads in a correct dosing makes the game better.

Totally agree with that. Group patterns do make the game better, and should exist.

Im sure the rules in the book work for a lot of groups, and want to stress i was just saying it didnt sit right with ours and has caused problems, and to see if it had with others...thanks everyone for the replies.

Some of that comes with our group not thinking about them until we were about 6th circle when the we were starting to get a bit of a reputation.
In this group i play an elementalist so an example of me casting elemental flame spear:
5th circle: will+4(+2 elemental staff) (step4 fire damage) = (14) 2D12 D6
6thcircle: Will+4 (+2ele staff) (step4 fire) (7Willforce) (+5willforce group pat)(+karma) = (26) D20 D12 4D6

as spellcasting also +5 through group pattern two additional succsesses not that hard to get step 30 2D20 4D6

I know thats mixed in with getting willforce, and thinking of group patterns at that moment, but it just felt a bit much to us.

Anyway that was only a small part of why it wasnt working for us, there were issues with defences that cant really go up in many other ways suddenly jumping massively for some and not others, and pattern items getting passed on just to leave threads for group patterns by some and not others....like i say im only talking about our group, but it seemed to throw issues up all over the place.

Post Reply