High circle adepts in the books . . . ?

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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High circle adepts in the books . . . ?

Post by Michael » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:06 pm

So I am reading through the Travar book again because everyone ends up there at one point or another. There are a LOT of high circle adepts listed in the book. I mean one is a 12th circle warrior! Forget the ghostmaster ritual, I know where I can get trained my whole life.

So I'm not looking for an explanation as to why so many high circle NPCs. Instead, how do I deal with adepts finding a high level trainer so easily? I've played all the versions of ED and I always felt that finding a trainer, say after 8th, was a quest all to itself.

Can I really just expect the players to accept a "No, I'm busy" or "I don't train adepts anymore"? I mean if I'm a 12th circle warrior adept and a 10-11 wants training, don't I owe it to my Discipline to bring another high circle warrior into the world?

I know some are going to say make the asking price so high that it can't be met but that also seems sort of unfair. I suppose that a term of service in defense of the city for say a year, or serve as bodyguard to a delegation for a few months or something like that.


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Re: High circle adepts in the books . . . ?

Post by Slimcreeper » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:26 pm

Disclosure: I’ve never had a campaign go this far.

My thoughts: They are not just busy they are shaping the world. They have agendas, enemies, and allies. Training is a Large Favor, and the players might need to do something to prove themselves or earn the Favor. Then, accepting the training might be a political statement that puts the players on one side of a serious conflict. And the trainer might feel on the hook for what the PCs do with their new power

Ultimately you want your players to get training, though, right? You just want your GMCs to be believable, textured characters.

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Re: High circle adepts in the books . . . ?

Post by Sharkforce » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:23 pm

yeah, i'd say the challenge mostly isn't in becoming aware of a high circle adept (they're probably quite famous), it's getting to actually meet them (a lot of them will either be out adventuring or have various intermediaries that they work through) and persuading them to take you on as a student when they probably have dozens of people constantly wanting them to do things, and they can't possibly do all of them.

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Re: High circle adepts in the books . . . ?

Post by ManDrake » Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:11 pm

Another choice that I started using for high level characters after the introduction in 1st Edition of the notion of "spontaneous initiation" into Disciplines, was the "spontaneous leveling" in your own discipline. So that's an option to consider as well. I had players chasing all over the country side trying to complete quests so they could actually get the training they needed to level up, and they kept improving their talents and sometimes would be the point that they were ready to do two levels of leveling before they were able to actual get the first level of training. To get around that problem, I basically created this set of rules.

I would make the spontaneous level check anytime they had all the required talents at the level required to level up. Every level beyond the minimum required would count towards the step that I would roll. So if you had everything for 8th circle, and you improved 1 talent to like 9th level, then I'd do a step one dice roll for your chances. Usually the target number was an excellent result for the target circle. Also all other talents didn't count towards the dice roll.

To be clear this happened very rarely, usually on long quests in dangerous territories. But it's another alternative that can be used. It will lead to characters that are fairly focused on their primary discipline talents as it's the most effective way to trigger the event. Players as a general rule prefer to use trainers, because it's predictable and guaranteed for the most part. Even a Ghostmaster with their horrible Blood Pledge Coins are a better choice than this.

All that being said, I've had little trouble with players accepting the fact that higher level adepts are busy people that don't have time to train them. Amusingly I usually have newbie adepts start harassing them after 5th circle, just so they get a sense of what it's like. A few monologues about the injustice of them not training the next generation of adepts to replace them and further the discipline, usually brings the world back into perspective again for them.

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Re: High circle adepts in the books . . . ?

Post by Bonhumm » Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:55 pm

Finding trainers could be a pain indeed. The Ghost Master ritual is the best answer to this but is kinda expensive although it could be argued that, usually, that ritual becomes necessary only at higher Circles and, therefore, the players will (usually) have much more money with them.

Of course, there was some broken mechanics relating to 'finding trainers' back in the old editions:

Population of Barsaive: lets be pessimistic and say its 500 000 (officially: between 500 000 and 1 million)
Windling population: 1% = 5000
Potential(5%) windling Adepts: 250
Windling-compatible Disciplines (including the expended ones): 16
Result: There is 15 windling adepts totals of any Discipline in Barsaive.

Good Luck finding a 12th Circle Windmaster!

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