New Discipline Creation

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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Valentius
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New Discipline Creation

Post by Valentius » Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:16 am

Hey folks, I was wondering if any official rules or guidelines have ever been published on how to go about creating your own Disciplines? I have some conceptual ideas but aside from some design standards I've managed to glean from the current Disciplines, I don't really have any idea of where to start.

Any ideas?

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Mataxes
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Re: New Discipline Creation

Post by Mataxes » Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:00 am

There were rules included in the original (ED1) Earthdawn Companion (The Scout and Air Sailor were introduced as examples from the system). There were also rules provided in the ED3 Gamemaster's Companion.

There haven't been any posted for ED4. They may be a web supplement for them in the future, but nothing specifically planned right now.
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Valentius
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Re: New Discipline Creation

Post by Valentius » Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:37 am

Thank you for the quick reply! I think I have a copy of the 3rd ed Gamemaster's Companion so I'll check that out. In the mean time, how do you decide which talents belong in which tier? I'm guessing that all of the talents on the core book are generally considered Novice or Journeyman. Do you guys have some sort of guideline?

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Mataxes
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Re: New Discipline Creation

Post by Mataxes » Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:30 am

That.... would be a question better suited to Morgan, since he's the one who really spearheaded the Discipline redesign.

Yes, the talents in the Player's Guide are all Novice/Journeyman... at least for the Disciplines that first get them. That doesn't prevent them from becoming available to other Disciplines later in their progression. (For example, if you look at the recent Archer preview, they get Astral Sight as a Warden option, when it's available as a Novice talent for most magicians.)

There's a lot of "art" involved. That is, taking a look at things and getting a feel for it.

Some are obvious -- like, basic attack types (Melee Weapons, for example) obviously need to be Novice. Standard defensive stuff (like Avoid Blow) as well. But beyond that... we avoid giving straight-up extra attacks as Novice talents. There are one or two exceptions (like Air Dance) that do that sort of thing as a secondary effect. But part of the design is making a list of everything that seems thematic and appropriate, and then sorting them into groups. There are only so many slots, and some things need to be provided before others... again, your basic attacks, defenses, etc.
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Valentius
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Re: New Discipline Creation

Post by Valentius » Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:40 am

Yeah, I've been following Morgan's/Panda's blog with great enthusiasm. His discipline builds have taught me a lot about the game, so I'm gonna go back over those posts and try to glean more nuggets of wisdom. :) And thank you very much for taking some time out to answer my questions.

On a side note I thought I'd share the concepts I have brewing in the back of my mind.

The Seeker: Part detective, part bounty hunter, part scholar; Seekers magic revolves around finding "things." Whether that thing is a person, object, or something less tangible it's all the same the The Seeker. To Seekers it is the journey of discovery that is the most important.

The Reaper: A less generous person would call them assassin, though never to their face. The Reaper is dedicated to removing those people from the world who cause suffering, pain and evil; according to their own moral code. They believe that for the world to become a better place certain influences must be removed and take steps to remove those influences.

The Mentalist: To the Mentalist, will is everything. These spell casters subscribe to a worldview of willpower and control; control of oneself, of others, and of the world. Basically I wanted psychics and this is the budding idea.

Any opinions?

Lys
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Re: New Discipline Creation

Post by Lys » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:56 am

Valentius wrote:Thank you for the quick reply! I think I have a copy of the 3rd ed Gamemaster's Companion so I'll check that out. In the mean time, how do you decide which talents belong in which tier? I'm guessing that all of the talents on the core book are generally considered Novice or Journeyman. Do you guys have some sort of guideline?
Page 178 of the 3E Gamemaster's Companion has a list of every single talent in 3rd Edition grouped according to the minimum tier that it can be learned at. For example Battle Shout is Novice tier, but Battle Bellow is Journeyman tier, while Great Leap is Novice tier and Gliding Stride is Journeyman tier. Every one of the basic multiple attack Talents except for Air Dance is Journeyman tier. Two of my favourite high end charms, Rushing Attack and Whirlwind are both Warden tier. Going higher up, Multi-Charge, Multi-Shot, Multi-Strike, and Multi-Weaving are all Master tier. It's possible for Disciplines to get access to talents way after their minimum tier, as in the example Metaxes gave, but no Discipline should get access to a Talent before its tier.

One thing to keep in mind is that when you make something a Talent Option, an Adept can get it as soon as she hits the lowest circle of that tier, while if you make it a Discipline Talent it's only available when she reaches the appropriate circle. This is why Double Charge, Claw Frenzy, Second Attack, and Second Shot are all 8th Circle Discipline Talents, they may be Journeyman Talents, but they are too strong for 5th Circle. It's also why in 4th Edition Willforce is a 6th Circle Discipline Talent for all spellcasters.

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