Bitterroot [Magic Weapon]

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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Slimcreeper
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Bitterroot [Magic Weapon]

Post by Slimcreeper » Thu May 20, 2021 8:45 pm

Bitterroot

Bitterroot is a vicious-looking broadsword of black metal. Its blade splits into multiple barbed forks. It doesn’t look like it should have good balance, but it cuts through the air effortlessly. Furthermore, maintenance of the blade should be a nightmare, but it takes and keeps an edge exceedingly well. It does have a magical pattern, but it isn’t a thread item.

Mechanics
Mystic Defense
Bitterroot’s Mystic Defense is 12.

Staging
Bitterroot does +3 damage for each extra success on attacks, rather than +2.

Vicious Strike (Special Maneuver, Wielder, Melee Weapons)
The wielder can spend all of the extra successes on an attack to cause an automatic wound. This is in addition to the weapon's regular damage, and doesn't require that the attack actually causes damage, i.e. gets through the armor.

GM Secrets
Bitterroot is cursed by Raggok. The first time a new owner uses the weapon in combat, it summons a spirit of vengeance to inhabit the blade. The GM may make stats for the spirit if desired. The spirit can communicate telepathically with whoever is touching the sword, and will encourage the wielder to seek vengeance for slights both serious and inconsequential. It is not very concerned with situations where the wielder is attacked in combat. Only very grievous or humiliating wounds would arouse the spirit.

If the wielder acts on the spirit’s suggestion of vengeance, the Spirit casts a spell with the same mechanical effects as Mark of the Boar (Adepts Way p.319) on the wielder, cast at a Circle equal to the wielder's highest Discipline, or 2 if used by a non-adept.. If the wielder decides not to kill the offender for any reason, the spell ends prematurely. If the wielder attacks any other target, they must convince the spirit they are still trying to exact vengeance or the spell ends prematurely.

Questors of Raggok can sense that the wielder has a relationship to the Passion and will seek them out. They may try to recruit the wielder to help them with various missions, or they may confide in the wielder. If the wielder breaks the Questor’s confidence, the spirit abandons the wielder. Questors of Raggok can sense the betrayal and will be inclined to seek vengeance on behalf of their fellow Questor.

Detecting the Curse requires an appropriate test against Bitterroot’s Mystic Defense. Nethermancer or Weaponsmith half-magic, Astral Sight, or certain Knowledge Skills would work. Knowing the exact nature of the curse requires an extra success.
Last edited by Slimcreeper on Fri May 21, 2021 10:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

Belenus
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Re: Bitterroot [Magic Weapon]

Post by Belenus » Thu May 20, 2021 9:44 pm

Nice weapon, it just has one flaw:
The wielder can spend one extra success on an attack to reduce the target’s Wound Threshold by 2 against that attack only.
This ability doesn't make any sense. Increasing the damage by +3 with the extra success should give a higher possibility to inflict a wound than decreasing the threshold by 2.
Even if the damage would only be +2, it still wouldn't make any sense, because the chance to inflict a wound is the same, except that the actual damage dealt is two less.
I would change the abilty as following:
The wielder can spend one extra success on an attack to reduce the target’s Wound Threshold by 2 against that attack only. If the damage dealt is double the threshold, a second wound will be inflicted.

Sharkforce
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Re: Bitterroot [Magic Weapon]

Post by Sharkforce » Thu May 20, 2021 10:14 pm

you need a circle for mark of the boar to work ;)

Slimcreeper
Posts: 1034
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Re: Bitterroot [Magic Weapon]

Post by Slimcreeper » Fri May 21, 2021 10:16 am

Thank you all!

ragbasti
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Re: Bitterroot [Magic Weapon]

Post by ragbasti » Fri May 21, 2021 5:03 pm

One fun thing could be that, instead of Mark of the Boar, Aspect of the Casual Murderer gets cast when the wielder has gotten on the spirit's bad side :P

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Bitterroot [Magic Weapon]

Post by ChrisDDickey » Sat May 22, 2021 12:11 am

The wielder can spend all of the extra successes on an attack to cause an automatic wound.
This feels weird. Normally you want lots of successes so that you can spend a fixed number (such as two or three) on activating a special effect. With this, if there is only one or two extra successes, you will want to cause the automatic wound. But if there are a lot of extra successes it is less worth doing because the high staging might be better to spend a high number of successes on. I am not saying it is bad, just weird.

Belenus
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Re: Bitterroot [Magic Weapon]

Post by Belenus » Sat May 22, 2021 9:47 pm

Slimcreeper wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 8:45 pm
Vicious Strike (Special Maneuver, Wielder, Melee Weapons)
The wielder can spend all of the extra successes on an attack to cause an automatic wound. This is in addition to the weapon's regular damage, and doesn't require that the attack actually causes damage, i.e. gets through the armor.
I'm also not sure if this wound occurs in addition to the one you can inflict with enough damage, or if there can only be one wound.

Slimcreeper
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Re: Bitterroot [Magic Weapon]

Post by Slimcreeper » Sun May 23, 2021 2:21 am

It allows an additional Wound. I think it'd be good as a debuff against something with really high Physical Armor. The player would need to make a decision about which would be better for each situation.

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