For our sixth preview of the Discipline progression in the upcoming Earthdawn Companion, we bring another specialist into focus: the Scout. If you’re looking for a little more behind-the-scenes discussion of the design, you can get that — as usual — at Morgan’s blog.

One thing that can be said about high Circle Scouts… they are masters of their environment, and knowledge about their environment in a way few adepts can match. To support those ends, there are four talents I want to highlight.

Bloodhound Form is an enhancement to Tracking. It provides a bonus to Tracking, allows the adept to identify a target or creature by scent, and allows the adept to track a target by scent alone. This last bit means the adept can try tracking the target even without the presence of the physical trail required by the default Tracking talent.

Alley Cat Approach wins the award, I think, for one of the best-Named new talents introduced. It’s an enhancement that provides bonuses in urban environments, adding to Initiative, as well as any tests made to navigate or maneuver through cities (or large towns), which includes climbing, chasing, and escaping, though outside of Initiative it doesn’t provide any direct combat bonuses.

Elemental Walk allows the adept to withstand severe elemental damage, though only for a short time, and only one type at a time. While under its effects, an adept could, for example, not drown (if protected from water), or suffer from poisonous fumes (if attuned to air), and is even immune to the Engulf power possessed by some elemental spirits.

Finally, World Pulse gives the adept the potential to learn quite a bit about the surrounding area, and as a result provides bonuses to tests related to find places or other useful tasks related to knowledge of the area (for example, Wilderness Survival).

Warden Talent Options: Animal Possession, Animal Talk, Animal Training. Critical Hit, Etiquette, Iron Constitution, Life Check, Plant Talk, Relentless Recovery, Wood Skin

Ninth Circle

  • Supernal Awareness: The adept performs an eight-hour ritual to heighten their senses to supernal levels. Each adept’s ritual is unique, often based on their training and personal philosophy. Some forge a deep connection with nature, losing a bit of themselves in the process, while others may commune with the spirit–literal or metaphorical–of a city. The ritual is often performed as the last step of becoming a Warden, but may be done at any time. After the ritual, the adept takes 1 Blood Magic Damage and permanently adds +3 to their Perception Value.
  • Karma: The adept may spend a Karma Point on any test made to escape detection.
  • Discipline Talent: Eagle Eye

Tenth Circle

  • Defense: The adept adds +2 to their Mystic Defense.
  • Recovery: The adept gains an additional Recovery test per day.
  • Discipline Talent: Chameleon

Eleventh Circle

  • Defense: The adept adds +1 to their Social Defense.
  • Karma: The adept may spend a Karma Point on Attack tests made against opponents who have not yet attacked the adept that encounter.
  • Discipline Talent: Echolocation

Twelfth Circle

  • Defense: The adept adds +4 to their Physical Defense.
  • Initiative: The adept adds +2 to their base Initiative Step.
  • Discipline Talent: Bloodhound Form

Master Talent Options: Eidetic Memory, Matrix Sight, Netherwalk, Second Attack, Second Chance, Second Shot, Soul Aegis, Spirit Strike

Thirteenth Circle

  • One With the World: The adept can transform and become a natural part of their surroundings. They take 3 Blood Magic Damage, ad make a Scout Weaving test against their Mystic Defense. The adept’s appearance, accent, demeanor, and so forth adapt to the environment. In wild areas they change to fit in with the scenery, while in populated areas they will naturally look and behave as a native. The adept gains a +2 bonus per success to any tests made to go unnoticed, blend in, or otherwise appear as if they belong. If they do nothing out of the ordinary or to attract attention, tests to notice the adept should only be allowed if specifically looking for them. Each success also gives the adept a +2 bonus to notice if something doesn’t fit or is amiss while the ability is active. Use of this ability always scores at least one success, and lasts until the adept cancels it, at which point the damage can be healed.
  • Defense: The adept adds +3 to their Mystic Defense.
  • Karma: The adept increases their Karma +1 Step to a d8.
  • Mystic Armor: The adept gains +1 Mystic Armor.
  • Discipline Talent: Alley Cat Approach

Fourteenth Circle

  • Defense: The adept adds +5 to their Physical Defense.
  • Recovery: The adept gains 2 additional Recovery tests per day.
  • Discipline Talent: Elemental Walk

Fifteenth Circle

  • Defense: The adept adds +2 to their Social Defense
  • Initiative: The adept adds +3 to their base Initiative Step.
  • Discipline Talent: World Pulse