Michael here, back with another Earthdawn blog. Usually I have something specific I want to discuss or explain before I start one of these posts. This time, however, I’ve struggled to come up with an interesting topic for the community. Given that it is Thanksgiving here in the US, I thought perhaps you’d all enjoy a holiday themed thread item. Custom thread items aren’t necessarily difficult to create, but coming up with something thematic and balanced can be challenging. Here’s my first pass at creating a food-based item that utilizes the effect of the Plant Feast spell to create a Thanksgiving dinner.
Losok’s Serving Platter
- Maximum Threads: 2
- Mystic Defense: 10
- Tier: Journeyman
Appearing as a simple copper platter like those found in many households, this item takes on a polished shine after the owner attaches a thread to it. This results in the surface becoming as clear as a flawless mirror and nearly impossible to stain. As the thread rank increases, the platter expands in size to accommodate greater amounts of food. A simple tree branch design along the item’s edge becomes more intricate as this happens and at maximum rank creates a subtle representation of Garlen in the platter’s center.
Losok was a renowned Questor of Garlen who devoted his life to helping any who could not feed themselves. Growing up on a struggling farm gave Losok an appreciation for his ability to improve and transform nourishment with Elementaism later in life. His charitable nature was rumored to have come from his mother, who would never turn a weary traveler away from their table. Losok was known to host a yearly feast for his entire family and any Namegiver in need of a hot meal. His legend also includes mention of a platter used during his travels to serve lavish food to the less fortunate. Lost during the chaos of the Scourge, this platter remains a cherished artifact sought by many Questors of Garlen to this day.
Thread Rank One
- Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the Name of the platter.
- Effect: For 1 Strain, the owner can use the platter to heat one serving of food. Consumption of a heated meal adds a +4 bonus to a character’s next Recovery test.
Thread Rank Two
- Effect: The platter can heat up to three meals per use.
Thread Rank Three
- Deed: The owner must use the platter to heat food for the patrons of a poorhouse for an entire day.
- Effect: For 2 Strain, the owner can convert any kind of plant material into a tasty feast. The platter consumes two intact plants, no matter how scrawny, for each meal that is produced and can create a maximum of six meals per use. All meals are identical, consisting of salad, bread, turkey, corn, string beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin pie. The meals are as nutritious and tasty as their real counterparts, though they do not actually contain meat. Uneaten meals vanish after 1 hour.
Thread Rank Four
- Effect: The platter can produce up to twelve meals from an adequate amount of plant material.
Thread Rank Five
- Deed: The owner must use the platter to create meals for a character’s entire extended family consisting of at least three generations and eight individual Namegivers.
- Effect: For 3 Strain, the owner can spend one of their recovery tests to infuse a single meal heated or produced by the platter with a gift from Garlen. This meal grants a bonus recovery test to whoever eats it on the day it is consumed.
Thread Rank Six
- Effect: The owner gains +1 Recovery test per day.
The effects for this item are slightly more powerful for the thread ranks they are assigned than would normally be found in the world of Earthdawn. I did this to fit the Thanksgiving theme I was trying to capture. To balance this, the higher thread ranks require a deed to weave them in place of a key knowledge (and learning the deed’s requirements acts as the key knowledge for that rank).
A character should expend some effort to complete these tasks. The rank three deed could present several roleplaying opportunities or give someone a reason to rehabilitate an abandoned poorhouse. The rank five deed is also packed with reasons to roleplay, but might also entail a rescue or search mission for a missing person or people. Each of these could be even be used as plot elements in an existing campaign or combined into a special holiday adventure.
That covers it for today–I’ve got some leftovers to get back to. Until next time, thanks for reading!