It’s that time again, where we take a look at the high-Circle progression that will be included in the upcoming Earthdawn Companion. This time, at fan request, we present the Swordmaster. For another behind-the-scenes take, check out Morgan’s commentary over on his blog.
We’re starting to get to the point where there’s not as much new stuff to talk about. As a combination combat and social Discipline, many of the things you’ll see in the Swordmaster progression have made appearances in one of our earlier previews.
Blood Bound Blades bears a striking resemblance to the Archer’s Blood Bound Bow, not surprising given each Discipline’s devotion to a favored weapon.
Undermine, Witty Repartee, and Cutting Words all appear in the Troubadour progression. Vicious Wound appears in the Sky Raider list, along with the typical suite of combat talents like Critical Hit, Defensive Posture (formerly Defense), and Momentum Attack.
Two talents appear here that haven’t been discussed before.
Fluid Movement (Circle 12) increases the adept’s Movement rate, and allows them to use the Splitting Movement option without penalty to attack up to their rank in the talent per round. In other words, they can dash about the battlefield, striking multiple opponents.
Chilling Strike (Master Option) enhances the adept’s attacks to reduce the target’s next Initiative test; their strikes slow the opponent down.
Morgan mentions it in his blog, but Audacious Bravado deserves mention as well. There’s a saying in my local game community that, “no plan survives contact with the player characters.” Well, this ability encourages the Swordmaster to skip the plan entirely, and gives a bonus to those who go along with them.
Warden Talent Options: Champion Challenge, Empathic Sense, Ethereal Weapon, Life Check, Lion Spirit, Matrix Sight, Relentless Recovery, Spirit Strike, Undermine, Witty Repartee
- Blood Bound Blades: The adept performs an eight-hour ritual to attune a specific melee weapon, taking 1 Blood Magic Damage. Each adept’s ritual is unique, usually based on their training and personal philosophy. It is commonly performed as the last step in becoming a Warden, but may be done at any time. After the ritual, the weapon gains +3 Damage Steps while the adept wields it. The adept may cancel the effect at any time, allowing them to heal the damage and bind a new weapon. Up to two weapons may be bound at a time.
- Karma: The adept may spend a Karma Point on Recovery tests.
- Discipline Talent: Critical Hit
- Defense: The adept adds +3 to their Social Defense,
- Recovery: The adept gains an additional Recovery test per day.
- Discipline Talent: Defensive Posture
- Defense: The adept adds +1 to their Mystic Defense.
- Karma: The adept may spend a Karma point on an Attack test made against an opponent currently affected by Taunt.
- Discipline Talent: Momentum Attack
- Defense: The adept adds +3 to their Physical Defense.
- Initiative: The adept adds +2 to their base Initiative Step,
- Discipline Talent: Fluid Movement
Master Talent Options: Aura Armor, Bardic Voice, Chilling Strike, Resist Pain, Second Chance, Soul Aegis, Unflinching Fortitude, Vital Ward
- Audacious Bravado: The adept can inspire their allies to feats of reckless excellence by charging headlong into a dangerous situation. For a cost of 2 Strain, all those who take part in the ill-advised course of action gain a +3 bonus to one Action test each round (character’s choice), for three rounds.
- Defense: The adept adds +4 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: Cutting Words
- Defense: The adept adds +4 to their Physical Defense.
- Recovery: The adept gains 2 additional Recovery tests per day.
- Discipline Talent: Vicious Wound
- Defense: The adept adds +2 to their Mystic Defense.
- Initiative: The adept adds +3 to their base Initiative Step,
- Discipline Talent: Multi-Strike