Sky Raider Preview
This is the fourth preview for upcoming Earthdawn Companion, which will include the Warden and Master tiers for the fifteen core Disciplines. This time around we take a look at the Sky Raider.
Sky Raiders are fierce in combat, emphasizing strength, valor, and ferocity. They also have a connection with the skies and storms across Barsaive. The talents available to them in higher Circles continue their focus on combat prowess, with some talents that add survivability while supporting their combat style. A couple of social abilities emphasize their reputation using fear and intimidation, and a smattering of talents and abilities tie into their relationship with elemental fire and air (particularly storms).
Burning Vigor adds a pool of Recovery tests that can be used to fuel powers like Fireblood, while Unflinching Fortitude increases their Wound Threshold, making it harder to inflict Wounds (and the associated penalties). Optional talents Resist Pain and Relentless Recovery make their ability to take a beating even more effective. Burning Vigor also helps fuel Vital Strike, a talent powered by Recovery tests that deals extra damage, as well as the optional talent Vital Ward, which provides some defensive ability.
The optional talent Storm Shield has seen a change from prior editions. Instead of summoning a shield of lightning from nothing, it adds a lightning effect to the adept’s shield, enhancing their Shield Bash attacks, and also adding a reactive damaging effect to the Sky Raider’s Avoid Blow talent.
In the Master tier, Thunderstruck is a knockdown area-attack. If the Sky Raider uses Down Strike, all opponents in close combat range of the adept and his target must test to avoid knockdown. Vicious Wound reduces an opponent’s Wound Threshold against the Sky Raider’s attacks, and allows the Sky Raider to deal multiple Wounds if the damage result is high enough. Blood of Death’s Sea allows the Sky Raider to use Fireblood as a Simple action (instead of a Standard).
The talent selection, along with the Strength bonus at Circle 9 and the massive lightning attack at Circle 13, give the Sky Raider a powerful kit that will leave opponents reeling, while the Sky Raider can more handily shake off whatever gets thrown at them. If you want Morgan’s take on the new progression, it’s available at his blog.
Warden Talent Options: Air Dance, Impressive Display, Lasting Impression, Life Check, Lion Spirit, Relentless Recovery, Resist Pain, Resist Taunt, Storm Shield, Vital Ward
- Strength of the Sky: The adept performs an eight-hour ritual to draw on the power of storms and enhance their prowess. Each adept’s ritual is unique, often based on their training and personal philosophy. Some climb a tall peak during a violent storm, getting struck by lightning and absorbing its power, others challenge powerful storm spirits or similar elementally-aspected creatures. The ritual is often performed as the last step in 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 Strength Value.
- Karma: The adept may spend a Karma Point on tests to intimidate or cause fear.
- Discipline Talent: Burning Vigor
- Defense: The adept adds +2 to their Social Defense.
- Initiative: The adept adds +1 to their base Initiative Step.
- Discipline Talent: Unflinching Fortitude
- Defense: The adept adds +1 to their Mystic Defense.
- Karma: The adept may spend a Karma Point on Attack tests made against an opponent suffering from a fear or intimidation effect.
- Discipline Talent: Vital Strike
- Defense: The adept adds +4 to their Physical Defense.
- Recovery: The adept gains 2 additional Recovery tests per day.
- Discipline Talent: Second Attack
Master Talent Options: Aura Armor, Champion Challenge, Critical Hit, Eagle Eye, Second Chance, Temper Flesh, Undermine, Weapon Breaker
- Stormcall: When using the Aggressive Attack combat option (Player’s Guide, p, 382), the adept may call down a bolt of lightning to damage their enemies. The adept takes damage equal to their Wound Threshold and the accompanying Wound with no reduction for armor. They then make a Sky Weaving test and compare it to the Mystic Defense of each target within 10 yards. If successful, the target suffers from a Damage Step equal to the adept’s Sky Weaving Step (not rank) plus Wound Threshold, with no reduction for armor. The adept must rest at least ten minutes between uses of this ability, and each subsequent use in the same day causes an additional cumulative Wound (e.g., the third use will cause 3 Wounds). Each day during their Karma Ritual, the adept may designate allies up to their rank in Sky Weaving. Those named are not affected by this ability until dawn the next day.
- Defense: The adept adds +3 to their Social Defense.
- Karma: The adept increases their Karma +1 Step to a d8.
- Mystic Armor: The adept gains +1 Mystic Armor.
- Discipline Talent: Thunderstruck
- Defense: The adept adds +5 to their Physical Defense.
- Initiative: The adept adds +2 to their base Initiative Step.
- Discipline Talent: Vicious Wound
- Defense: The adept adds +2 to their Mystic Defense.
- Recovery: The adept gains 3 additional Recovery tests per day.
- Discipline Talent: Blood of Death’s Sea