Awarding thread items

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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TheOracle
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Awarding thread items

Post by TheOracle » Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:39 am

How do you handle thread items?

Do you allow players to influence what items their characters find? If so, how does this influence look like?

How often do your groups find thread items?

Does the group find items that no one in the group can use sensibly? If so, what is the proportion of these items?

Lursi
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Re: Awarding thread items

Post by Lursi » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:56 pm

When Attributes were still rolled with 4D6 disregarding the lowest roll, I took the unmodified sum of all attibutes and substracted this from 110.

This was the "Luck" attribute for this character. I used this to determine whether there is any thing suitable as artifact.

For me those with bad luck at generation should have a something in return... and when there is some random trouble to distrubute, the players had to roll their luck and the lowest roll had the shortest straw...
Of all things I lost, sanity I held dearest.

Geekabilly
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Re: Awarding thread items

Post by Geekabilly » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:44 pm

TheOracle wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:39 am
How do you handle thread items?

Do you allow players to influence what items their characters find? If so, how does this influence look like?

How often do your groups find thread items?

Does the group find items that no one in the group can use sensibly? If so, what is the proportion of these items?
Myself (and my Earthdawn GMs) have always created items that were clearly designed for the Disciplines that's the player characters followed. So, if we happened to find some black leather armour that granted the ability to step from shadow to shadow, you could be certain that it was created for our Thief. Justifying this in game was always a matter of 'the universe wants this item in the hands of X Discipline'.

I've always struggled with introducing the common Thread Items into my game, I've never really liked the idea of being able to buy a Thread Item that some Weaponsmith has crafted, much preferred to have unique named treasures.

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etherial
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Re: Awarding thread items

Post by etherial » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:13 pm

Geekabilly wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:44 pm
Myself (and my Earthdawn GMs) have always created items that were clearly designed for the Disciplines that's the player characters followed. So, if we happened to find some black leather armour that granted the ability to step from shadow to shadow, you could be certain that it was created for our Thief. Justifying this in game was always a matter of 'the universe wants this item in the hands of X Discipline'.
I have found that you can't always rely on the players agreeing with you about what you think their character wants in a Magic Item, so I try to find ways to make Thread Items appeal to multiple characters. The Magic Fountain Pen that stored Namegiver Blood that let you mimic Wizard Marks ended up going to the Warrior when he decided to take up Nethermancy.

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Flowswithdrek
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Re: Awarding thread items

Post by Flowswithdrek » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:18 am

I tend to write adventures long before I know who is going to be playing them, so thread items are rarely tailored toward the group. So often characters find items they have no interest in. Life is like that. Sometimes they find something awesome

Telarus
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Re: Awarding thread items

Post by Telarus » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:24 pm

The great thing about using Thread Items that "aren't meant for your Discipline" is that it is one of the only ways to access magical powers and Talents that fall outside your Discipline. If those boots give you +1 to the Sprint Talent (and you could never buy it otherwise), then suddenly you can do things others of your Discipline/Circle can not. See the Warrior Scarves (I think) in the companion.

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Awarding thread items

Post by ChrisDDickey » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:52 pm

One rank in most talents is pretty useless. Especially since you still can't spend karma upon them. Most things, if you can't do them well are not worth attempting.
There are a few exceptions. A single rank in the Great Leap Talent converts your leaps from "result feet" to "result yards", so a single rank triples your leaps. Likewise a single rank in Life Check or Blood of the Deaths Seas. But being able to move one extra yard for the cost of one strain... very rare that this will make a difference. Any Talent that requires you to hit an opponents PD or MD is going to be functionally useless unless you can get a bunch of ranks in it.
Last edited by ChrisDDickey on Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Taffy
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Re: Awarding thread items

Post by Taffy » Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:11 am

I tend to use a hybrid approach. About 70% of the items given out are given with specific characters in mind (but the plays can still surprise you by giving them to a different character). the remaining 30% (or so) tend to be interesting items that I throw into the mix to see how if mixes things up a bit
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ragbasti
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Re: Awarding thread items

Post by ragbasti » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:47 am

I actually start every campaign with a set of small thread items which give the characters utility plus 1 or 2 relevant stats.
These items are always presented as heirlooms and are immediately given significance from the respective character through a set of questions.

Threads are discovered throughout the first set of adventures and the players will therefor get a feel for what thread magic is.
These items always have the strict limit of offering utility, like a pot that can quickly prepare a meal, a backpack that reduces weight or a coat that can turn into a tent for the whole group.
Usually, these items also receive quirks, just to underline the whole feeling of them being weird heirlooms that have been passed down.
So the pot can only prepare a single meal, the backpack is easily unhinged and things always get lost in that tent and show up 2 days later.

Later on through the campaign, I give every player the chance to make a wishlist. Depending on how reasonable they are, some might end up with more thread items that are less powerful while some characters only ever get a single thread item until much later into their adventuring live.

If a player HAS to have that one warden tier thread item, then another player could easily get 1 journeyman item + 1 novice items for that.
Or by the time that warden tier owner gets their second item, some players might already have 2 journeyman items or multiple lower tier ones.
We're all adults at my table and this will have been communicated from the start, so any decision the players make will therefore be their own.

I've done this with every campaign I ran so far and never had any strife amongst the group. Some players changed their mind and revised their wishlist, which I am also open to.

Aside from that I drop some treasure as part of major adventures, which the players can hand out to whoever they feel needs the item the most.

Only Master Tier items are off limits in this for me. Most of them are too specific and require deeds that I either don't like or don't fit into my campaign.

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