Thread Weaving & Pattern items

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Thread Weaving & Pattern items

Postby Sangius » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:59 am

Ahoy, Mateys!

My group has been running a very fun pirate-style Air Ship campaign for the last half year. We're enjoying the new edition tremendously, however now I wanted to start looking into the way pattern items work in 4th edition and I am not sure whether I might be missing part of the picture as the Gamemaster books aren't out yet for 4th edition. So here's how I understood it:

Air Ships behave like places. Places can have between none to about five pattern items. With the power of the place, not only the number of items can changed but their power too: there now a minor, major and core pattern items.

Question 1: How do minor, major and core items relate to the old thread items / general treasures / legendary treasures listing?

Now, lets say we're creating core items for a very ancient, highly legendary Drakkar. Lets say the Drakkar used to have four officers: A captain, a Navigator, a Boatswain and a First Mate/Quartermaster. My first approach would be to create the story of the items to get the knowledges out of it. However, I then got confused and started wondering whether there is a difference between how 3rd and 4th edition handle boni from items. I read that in 4th edition, pattern items can boost a specific number of abilities. The rank of the thread attached to the item then determines the magnitude of the effect (e.g. rank 8 thread to a core item can boost up to 5 abilities by 8). However, that doesn't leave much room for, for instance, the classical description of a legendary sabre, granting a higher dmg step with each new thread rank. Lets take the classical Crystal Spear: After learning the first key knowledge (and weaving the first thread), the Damage step of the spear rises to 7. At Thread Rank Two, it grows to 8. At Thread Rank three it can be thrown further, at four it increases the initiative step by 1, at 5 it gives a special ability (for 2 strain, the wielder adds +2 to his phys. and spell defense for a limited titem), at 6 you can take strain to add +3 to your next damage test, at 7 you land armor defeating hits more easily, at 8 you can rally your troops and give them a bonus for 5 strain.

Q2: How does the "can boost up to 1 (minor) / 3 (major) / 5 (core) abilities" relate to the classical descriptions of magical items? Or are those two actually independent kind of items? Can then an item be both a general treasure as well as a major pattern item?

I'd be absolutely thrilled if somebody could actually write up a suggestion so that I can see what way it should work.

Q3: Are there any (house-)rules as to how to handle the growing power of a places pattern items as the place grows more legendary? (e.g. an existing air ship flag, the navigators magical map, the sabre of the captain, ...)

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Re: Thread Weaving & Pattern items

Postby etherial » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:05 am


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Re: Thread Weaving & Pattern items

Postby Mataxes » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:02 pm

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Re: Thread Weaving & Pattern items

Postby freid78 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:34 pm


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Re: Thread Weaving & Pattern items

Postby Mataxes » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:48 pm

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Re: Thread Weaving & Pattern items

Postby Telarus_KSC » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:18 pm

To sum up - Pattern and Thread Magic is an actual metaphysics (like Math - the more you know, ) ;) :lol: :x :!:

I'd like to comment on some key points Mataxes mentioned (good examples there).

+..it ultimately comes to a point where the need to break things down into different categories for the purposes of game rules is a lot more granular than the in-universe reality.+

Pattern items are an expression of Pattern/Thread Magic. So is wielding Named Threaded Items, but the adept is using the magic slightly differently. It can be an important metaphysical difference if you like roleplaying out all that stuff (which I do sometimes - did I mention I was a WW Mage GM for a long time?). Here's the key in how the magic works:

When you are using Thread Magic of any kind (as opposed to spellcasting), you need 3 things (3 is a magical number :angel: ).
1. The NAME of the target (person/place/object/etc) you wish to interact with. This implies Thread Magic only works on Named targets.
2. An item of FOCUS that is deeply magically tied to the target. This is what you tie the mana thread to: one side to your Named Pattern, the other to the pattern in the FOCUS item, and through that to the target Named Pattern.
3. A SECRET - a hidden knowledge that ties the NAME to the FOCUS item, that you can hold in your consciousness while you work the astral plane.

The SECRET category for Threaded Items is pretty accessible in the books. Each Thread Rank requires that you research the story of the item.
For Pattern items, it's more story driven - but it comes down to knowing that this particular unNamed but slightly magical item right here is a link to a Named Pattern and then maybe some details on how they are related.

Either way, you then attempt to weave a thread, and if successful the mana flows to (or from) your Pattern, increasing the power of one of the Patterns. How this manifest differs if you have a Thread Item (individual powers per Rank, available whenever using the item), or a Pattern Item (stricter bonus rules, must be interacting with person/place/object/etc).

+Technically, a traditional thread item is its own pattern item+

And there's the final piece. It's not /just semantics/.
"Threaded Items" are Foci("pattern item", #2 requirement) for the Story of This Thing.
"Pattern Items" are Foci for the Story of Something Else.

(The best thing I've seen so far for Group Pattern Items is that the Group is a mobile Place that needs 2+ members present with aligned intent, then everything makes sense as above.)

So, following this, I don't think Nioku's Bow was ever a pattern item for Nioku. Why? Because it was NAMED 'Nioku's Bow' and started growing a Pattern of it's own ("Don't touch that man, that's Nioku's Bow. She'll know if it was moved, savy?"). Nioku probably had other pattern items. Same with Lorm's Axe. Even if they were, they stopped being pattern items when they got a Name, and some other item that was closely related to the character became a new minor pattern item.

As for Growing items, I've done it a few times. I agree that it should happen at thematic moments in the campaign.

The GM could promote Pattern(minor->major->core) or Threaded Items (increasing ranks) when they magically interact with another Magical Pattern of greater power in a way that irreversibly change the state of the world. The greater the power the better the chance of promotion.

Hm... I need to meditate on the Step Chart a bit, maybe there's a good Step vs Target number that you could roll. Got it.
Target Number is 11 - roll Step 4(d6) if the other magical Pattern was barely more powerful than the item/wielder (5.56% chance), roll Step 8(2d6) if it was significantly more powerful(25.00% chance), and roll Step 12(2d10) if it was overwhelmingly more powerful(55% chance). Maybe put a negative modifier on the roll for the # of thread ranks not yet woven to (for Threaded Items), or some other modifier (-4/-2) for minor/major Pattern items.

For the books, maybe some advice for Growing magical patterns like what we've discussed would be helpful. I wouldn't try to put a mechanic to it unless everyone just loves the simple dice thing I did, but advice on what happens when two magical patterns clash and one survives/grows from it might fit in the ED4 Companion.

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Re: Thread Weaving & Pattern items

Postby freid78 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:10 am


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Re: Thread Weaving & Pattern items

Postby LouProsperi » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:28 am

Hello,

I thought I would share some of my thoughts on this.

First, I generally agree with Josh. Pattern items and thread items are different things.

Secondly, there are a couple of important points that should help clarify why these two types of items are different.

[Note that what follows is based on my understanding of how things work.]

1. Pattern items don't have Names.

The key point here is that an object that becomes a pattern item doesn't have it's own magical pattern. It's essentially part of another pattern, and it used as magical conduit between it's "parent" pattern and the pattern of an adept.

If/when a pattern item is Named, it changes and takes on its own pattern. At this point it would cease working as a pattern item, but may become a legendary item (and the abilities it bestows on its bearer would more than likely be based on its history with its former "parent" pattern). In this event, the benefits gained from the pattern item would fade (perhaps not immediately, since it might take some time for the new pattern to fully form), and the Legend Points spent on the threads would be lost (IMO).

2. An adept can NOT weave threads to their own pattern items.

As noted above, pattern items serve as a magical conduit between other patterns. They do NOT provide a magical conduit between a magical pattern and itself.

So, in the case of legendary items such as Lorm's Axe or Nioku's Box, could they have been pattern items for Lorm and/or Nioku (respectively) that eventually grew into being legendary items? While technically possible, I doubt it.

If Lorm's Axe and Nioku's Bow WERE pattern items for Lorm and Nioku, they could NOT have woven threads to those items during their adventuring career. If we assume that these items used thread magic in some way (i.e. they were magical weapons), they probably started out as regular items or thread items, and only became the legendary items we know them as when they were Named.

And yes, it's possible that they were pattern items, and that Lorm and Nioku didn't weave threads to them (and that others may have done so), but again, once those items were Named, they would STOP being pattern items for Lorm and Nioku, and take on their own patterns.

And FWIW, I think it's entirely possible that the items got their names while being wielded by the namesakes. Who's to say the owner gives an item it's Name? Lorm's Axe might have got it's name because the other adepts he traveled with continually talked about "Lorm's Axe".


Take Care,

Lou Prosperi

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Re: Thread Weaving & Pattern items

Postby Telarus_KSC » Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:15 pm

Those are great points, thanks for jumping in Lou. Those are basically my reasons for thinking those two Named items probably weren't pattern items to start out with. Great to have you around, BTW. :D

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Re: Thread Weaving & Pattern items

Postby Sangius » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:42 pm

A big thumbs up from me too! Its not every day and with every PnP franchise that the line developer himself takes the time to offer his very insightful perspective on things on the forums - and that the community piles on top of it! :)


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