4th Edition Reviews?

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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Re: 4th Edition Reviews?

Postby Mataxes » Wed May 04, 2016 2:54 pm

It's interesting to see the reactions of people who are coming back to Earthdawn after some time. As somebody who has been with the game one way or another through every iteration... it's easy for me to forget how dramatic some of the changes can be.

FWIW, the "only Discipline talents to advance" is a remnant from ED3 that I waffled a bit on whether to keep or not. I think the revised talent progressions makes it better than it was... but it's still not my preferred choice.
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Re: 4th Edition Reviews?

Postby Fusilliban » Thu May 05, 2016 3:18 pm


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Re: 4th Edition Reviews?

Postby Mataxes » Thu May 05, 2016 10:24 pm

I get that... it's one of the things that often makes ED grognards (and I count myself among them -- bought the original core in hardcover in '93) growl.

But, honestly... outside of Durability, are the free talents good enough to justify spending points on them?

-- Air Sailing: It makes sense that the better the Air Sailor, the better their Air Sailing. They should be able to, and I've seen too many examples (and not just in my games) of Air Sailors that were taken for the rest of their abilities and the Air Sailing was ignored.*
-- Call Missile: Great flavor for the Archer. In actual play, almost always lost out to more 'effective' talents.
-- Navigation: Another ability that it totally makes sense for the Discipline, but in practice... not so much.
-- Danger Sense: Maybe not quite as thematic a bond as the other ones. But I'm not sure there are any better choices.
-- Entertainer: Eliminate the need for Troubadours to learn various performance skills, and codifies something that was often handled by Half-Magic
-- Craftsman: Does for Weaponsmith what Entertainer does for Troubadour.

* Not so much a problem in ED3, where it was a Discipline talent, but unless you were running a game that featured airships, the points spent to advance could be considered "wasted" -- which brings up an issue I've had with Air Sailors (and to a greater or lesser extent, Cavalrymen).

There are plans to talk about fiddling with free talents and Durability in the Companion, especially with regard to thread magic.
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Re: 4th Edition Reviews?

Postby Telarus_KSC » Thu May 05, 2016 10:47 pm

Yes, I think that Thread magic, and other in-game modifications, is the way to extend the free talents now.

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Re: 4th Edition Reviews?

Postby Fusilliban » Fri May 06, 2016 9:55 am


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Re: 4th Edition Reviews?

Postby Slimcreeper » Mon May 09, 2016 4:24 pm

Just got my book the other day, and I am so pleased. Only wish I'd sprung for the hard cover. I still will have some house rules, mostly to eliminate some rolls where possible, and I'm going to use the optional advancement rule. But: great job you guys.

For the auto talents - I like the idea. For a player that gripped, I would be totally willing to work something out with a skill that could interact with it, perhaps as a flat +1 bonus to the result per rank or something. I don't think there are anythere that would be game breaking ... maybe danger sense ... but I say try to say yes to cool and to whatever gets them excited other than combat boosts.

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Re: 4th Edition Reviews?

Postby Mataxes » Mon May 09, 2016 8:48 pm

We're talking about different options on "advancing" free talents beyond the default. One of the issues is balancing the cost out properly.

Easiest way to go, would be to allow a character to purchase higher ranks "at cost" and then refund the Legend when they get to that Circle.

So, for example, a Third Circle Air Sailor buys R4 Air Sailing for 500 Legend. When they reach 4th Circle, they get that 500 Legend refunded (and could use it toward 'buying' R5 if they want).

As usual, those additional ranks in free talents would not count towards advancement.
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Re: 4th Edition Reviews?

Postby Fusilliban » Tue May 10, 2016 7:36 am

Yeah, that's pretty much the way to do it. Except I think avoid the word "refund". Just say that when you Circle, you gain free Legend equal to what the rank *would* cost, and also that they can wrap one meditation session on that Talent into the training to raise Circle.

This HR would need to somehow address what happens when a Sky Raider takes Air Sailing and then later becomes and Air Sailor as well. And/or what happens when someone has more than one spellcasting Discipline - how many matrices should they get? Two more free ones? 0 free ones but the ability to spend a Talent Option on an extra? If you're 5th Circle in two spellcasting disciplines, do you get two free Enhanced Matrices?

My gut says the answer to just about all of those is "no more free cookies from this thing", especially the Matrix stuff.

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Re: 4th Edition Reviews?

Postby ArcadianRefugee » Tue May 10, 2016 8:25 am


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Re: 4th Edition Reviews?

Postby Mataxes » Tue May 10, 2016 9:54 am

Yes, the intention for matrices is that you only get the "free" ones once, but you could (in theory) use option slots to pick up extras.

So a Wizard/Elementalist would have two "free" based on his highest Circle, then could have two additional matrices (one from each Discipline's options) for Novice tier, etc.
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