High Circle Preview: Elementalist

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Tattered Rags
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High Circle Preview: Elementalist

Post by Tattered Rags » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:03 pm

There is a preview of the Elementalist up today.

Here.

I'll note that there is an error in the Earth and Wind ability. Panda notes that it works only on allies, while the blog post only says "characters" get the +3 MD bonus with no limiting restriction mentioned. Panda's comment agrees with the kickstarter early copy, so I'm inclined to say it was an oversight on Josh's part.
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Mataxes
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Re: High Circle Preview: Elementalist

Post by Mataxes » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:39 pm

Yeah. Typo on my part, flipping between an even older draft and the current version stored on Google Docs.

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The Undying
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Re: High Circle Preview: Elementalist

Post by The Undying » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:00 pm

Plant Talk

I really need this explained. Not only are we saying that this ability is so good that it deserves to be moved from the 1st Circle spell it was in ED3 to a Talent in ED4 (and a Warden Talent no less), we are also saying we need to saddle Elementalists with this as a Discipline Talent although they can basically do the same thing with a 30 minute summoning ritual? I do not understand this in the slightest. It would make good sense for this as Discipline Talent as a Scout (focus is on information gathering, they don't have access to similar ability through Summoning), but as an Elementalist, this seems at best an Option Talent for those that really want the information a Standard Action away rather than a 30 minute Summons away.

Perfect Focus makes FAR more sense as the Discipline Talent at this Circle. It improves Summoning, which is a central element of Elementalists (you have three Discipline Talents pretty much devoted to this ability), and it reinforces the message I'm getting that "Elementalists players should look at crafting/enchanting" with that Circle 9 Karma ability.

Please ... please ... please ... let's just swap these things in the published material ...
Last edited by The Undying on Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The Undying
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Re: High Circle Preview: Elementalist

Post by The Undying » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:52 pm

For the positives:

Elemental Mastery & Elemental Form: I love both of these. I felt it was very, very weird that Elemental spirits don't have some Adept-buffing ability like these out of the box, it just makes sense. I'm glad they came in somewhere.

Vine Armor & Stone Skin with Burning Vigor: SUPER glad that Elementalists get access to the latter Talent Option, I could easily see this as an ALMOST must have, especially for Elementalists playing a Recovery Test support role (save their real RT for healing others rather than on RT-consuming Talents).

Perfect Focus & 9th Circle Karma ability: This, honestly, has got me SUPER stoked. I love the idea of player Enchanting, and if they're giving Elementalists a specific Karma ability that is ONLY going to be useful once in a blue moon, I'm expecting GREAT THINGS from an overhauled Enchanting system ED4. If Enchanting is still kind of an afterthought pinned on system aimed more at explaining how Enchanting works in the setting rather than really encouraging player use (which is how I feel the older systems are), than this ability should really get ditched for the far more use ED3 10th Circle ability "The adept may spend 1 Karma Point on Action Tests made by a spirit or creature under his control."

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The Undying
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Re: High Circle Preview: Elementalist

Post by The Undying » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:06 am

---------- Updated: FEB 15 ----------
The Undying wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:22 am
Looks like this was just an interpretation problem from the preview material.
  • Spliced Weave has an inherent benefit over Threadweaving: Spliced Weave is, in itself, a Simple Action. That means you can Threadweave via Spliced Weave on the same turn as spellcasting (via Spellcasting or Concise Casting).
  • Additional Ranks in Spliced Weave do have value: Rank is the maximum number of threads that can be woven. Therefore, if you want to weave 8 threads, you need at least Spliced Weave 8. Doesn't matter if you can achieve all eight successes on a single Threadweaving test, you still can only use as many (cumulative) successes as you have Ranks in Spliced Weave.
Given the latter element, I don't think there is any problem with Spliced Weave as a Talent (and, honestly, I'm happy with it as an ability). The thread limitation mechanic is very similar to the Item History mechanic, so it isn't that wonky, just a niche situation. Regardless, there is DEFINITELY a reason to improve Spliced Weave, which differentiates it as a Talent over a Knack.
The result is that this Talent does, indeed, have some use for Elementalists. Specifically, the benefit is the LONG march up to being able to use all your successes in a Simple Action Spliced Weave test, thereby avoiding the lost turn with a Standard Action Threadweaving. But, once you get there, it's pretty sweet.

The rest of this post is still useful, as it shows some math that may be of interest to people, but the "problem" it describes no longer exists.
---------- -------------------- ----------
Given the presence of Elemental Mastery (EM), Spliced Weave (SW) is just shy of mathematically useless. For Novice/Journeyman spells, all can be fully cast with four extra threads in a single turn using only EM at Circle 15; the only value for SW is a single Rank to accommodate dice randomness. For the few time-sensitive Warden spells that may exist, all could be cast in in a single turn using only EM at Circle 15, likely with multiple or all extra threads; the only value for SW is a single Rank to add the to accommodate dice randomness and potentially to add remaining extra threads. When a Talent exists solely for a single Rank, and only to accommodate dice randomness in most uses, it's difficult to consider this anything other than bad design. Justifying presence of SW as support for Multi-Discipline is likewise bad design - it is an optional mechanic for players, one that some/many GMs disagree with, so Talents that target support for Multi-Discipline should be Option Talents.

The remainder of this post provides justification for this conclusion.

Circle 15 Elementalists using Elemental Mastery have a minimum of Step 37 for Threadweaving tests (42 with Karma). Very likely, they have Step 42 with Thread Items / Group Thread (47 with Karma). Itemization is in spoiler below to decrease clutter.
Spoiler:
Here's the math for a Circle 15 Elementalist on their Threadweaving Tests:
  • Perception @ Step 7 (very likely 8, but we'll assume 7 as lowest common denominator)
  • Karma Step 5
  • Threadweaving Rank 15
  • Elemental Mastery Rank 15
  • Result is Step 37 without Karma, 42 with
  • (Optional) It is HIGHLY likely that an Elementalist has at least +5 to Threadweaving tests from Thread Items or Group Threads. Result is Step 42 without Karma, 47 with
  • (Optional) Work-horse spells are LIKELY in Enhanced Matrices. Result is reduction in test objective result by 5 when all extra threads are to be woven
On a purely Step vs Weaving Difficulty basis, Circle 15 Elementalist can weave all base threads and all four extra threads for any Novice/Journeyman spell in a single test using Elemental Mastery. For the few time-sensitive Warden spells that may exist, they likely can weave all base threads plus 1+ extra threads in a single test using Elemental Mastery. Adding the occasional use Elemental Form, these Warden spells can likely be woven with all base threads and all extra threads in a single turn. Itemization is in spoiler below to decrease clutter.
Spoiler:
  • Novice/Journeyman:
    • Circle 8 spell Weaving Difficulty is 12 (8 + 4)
    • Highest time-sensitive spell base thread count is 3
    • Wardens can add 4 extra threads
    • Therefore, a result of 42 is required (12 + 6 extra successes = 12 + 30 = 42) to weave all threads in a single turn
    • Base on math above, Step 42 is the minimum a Circle 15 Elementalist will have when using Elemental Mastery and Karma, meaning all spells can be woven in a single turn with all available extra threads
    • More likely, Elementalist will have Step 47, and work-horse spell will be in an Enhanced Matrix (pre-woven thread means one less success required), meaning that the Step for the test exceeds the difficulty by either 5 or 10, meaning there is a good deal of additional room to deal with dice randomness on the weaving test
    • Adding Elemental Form means that one success listed above is not required (reducing test objective result by 5) and increases the Threadweaving Step by a further three, meaning the Elementalist is at worst attempting a result of 37 with Step 45 or more likely a result of 32 with a Step of 50
  • Warden:
    • Based on ED3, highest non-ritual (ritual threads take more than one turn to weave) spell is Circle 10, and Circle 10 spell Weaving Difficulty is 14 (10 + 4)
    • Highest spell base thread count is 5 (IIRC)
    • Wardens can add 4 extra threads
    • Therefore, a result of 34 is required (14 + 4 extra successes = 14 + 20 = 34) to weave all base threads in a single turn
    • Base on math above, Step 42 is the minimum a Circle 15 Elementalist will have when using Elemental Mastery and Karma, meaning that the spell can be woven with a single extra thread in a single turn with a little head room for dice randomness on the weaving test
    • More likely, Elementalist will have Step 47, and work-horse spell will be in an Enhanced Matrix (pre-woven thread means one less success required), meaning that an additional 1 (2 total) or 2 (3 total) extra threads can be woven in a single turn
    • Adding Elemental Form means that one success listed above is not required (reducing test objective result by 5) and increases the Threadweaving Step by a further three, meaning the Elemenalist is at worst attempt a result of 44 (5 base + 2 extra threads) with Step 45 or more likely a result of 49 (5 base + 4 extra, with 1 pre-woven thread in the Enhanced Matrix) with Step 50
Elemental Mastery isn't necessarily overpowered in comparison to the Circle 10 Talents available to other magicians. Furthermore, of all the magician Disciplines to get high single-turn weaving potential early, Elementalist is likely least game-warping (lower damage, resisted by Physical Defense, primarily buff/debuf or AoE).

As a result, as a Discipline Talent, the only value of Spliced Weave for an Elementalist is either:
  • A single Rank to accommodate dice randomness for Novice/Journeyman spells. As demonstrated above, this isn't actually necessary as the Elementalist Threadweaving Step likely already exceeds the objective result by 5/10 as the norm or by as much as 18 with Elemental Form
  • A single Rank to add the couple remaining extra threads and to accommodate dice randomness for Warden spells. As demonstrated above, it's actually likely this Rank is only needed to accommodate dice randomness, not extra threads, given common extra Rank/bonuses and use of Elemental Form
Given the fact that Splice Weave exists to provide a single Rank, and only to normally accommodate dice randomness, it's difficult to see this as anything but bad design. The Talent does have benefit for Multi-Discipline Elementalists where the extra Discipline(s) are magician Disciplines. However, not all players want to Multi-Discipline, and not all GMs permit Multi-Discipline (especially dual-magician Adepts). As such, Splice Weave for Multi-Discipline support is at best made available as an Option Talent.
Last edited by The Undying on Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

Dougansf
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Re: High Circle Preview: Elementalist

Post by Dougansf » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:44 pm

Plant Talk strikes me like it would be much better as an Elemental Tongues Knack instead of a Warden Discipline Talent.

The combo of Elemental Mastery and Spliced Weave seems a little gratuitous. 2 Strain to practically double your Threadweaving (and allow 2 Karma on the roll), or 1 Strain to roll Threadweaving again (and spend 1 Karma on each roll).

11th Circle Karma ability: Is it 1 Karma per target in a multi-target spell?

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etherial
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Re: High Circle Preview: Elementalist

Post by etherial » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:02 pm

Dougansf wrote:
Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:44 pm
Plant Talk strikes me like it would be much better as an Elemental Tongues Knack instead of a Warden Discipline Talent.
Plant Talk was originally a First Circle Spell and it was underpowered there. I had assumed they had simply moved it to being a Companion Spell when ED4 came out without it. I think you're right that it should just be an Elemental Tongues Knack. Then we give Scouts Elemental Tongues instead as a Warden Talent Option (which makes a heck of a lot of sense to me ITFP) and then we just need a new Elementalist Talent.

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The Undying
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Re: High Circle Preview: Elementalist

Post by The Undying » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:23 pm

Dougansf wrote:
Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:44 pm
The combo of Elemental Mastery and Spliced Weave seems a little gratuitous. 2 Strain to practically double your Threadweaving (and allow 2 Karma on the roll), or 1 Strain to roll Threadweaving again (and spend 1 Karma on each roll).
With Elemental Mastery, Spliced Weave is just shy of mathematically useless. For Journeyman & Novice spells, it exists to provide a single Rank for no purpose other than to accommodate dice randomness. Independently, both are bad reasons for a Talent to exist. Together, it is straight broken level bad where Circle 15 exists as a dead Discipline Talent space for Elementalists.

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The Undying
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Re: High Circle Preview: Elementalist

Post by The Undying » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:36 pm

etherial wrote:
Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:02 pm
I think you're right that it should just be an Elemental Tongues Knack. Then we give Scouts Elemental Tongues instead as a Warden Talent Option (which makes a heck of a lot of sense to me ITFP) and then we just need a new Elementalist Talent.
Granting Scouts access to Elemental Tongues is a bit too much, I think. Summoning is two parts: the Summon, and then the Negotiation. The Summon in ED4 guarantees one service, but the summoner can negotiate more for a price during negotiations. If you give Scouts Elemental Tongues, you open an unintended capability: they can negotiate with local Elemental spirits at a cost to theoretically receive the benefits of summoning. They're far more limited because they cannot target spirit strengths and most local spirits would be very weak (most spirits for Plant Talk likely aren't even strength rating 1), but I'd interpret it to be there.

Otherwise, I'd be okay with this change. Scouts get lots of outdoor-y stuff, and the ability to speak with local Element spirits is a good fit. Plant Talk as a Knack can serve as a special-purpose Summon, allowing the Adept the very limited function of asking about surrounding happenings but much faster than a summoning due to the limited nature of the Knack. It's also an Option Talent, so urban-focused Scouts aren't required to take it (much like info gathering for Elementalists has strictly been an Option space up to this point and there's no reason for them to get forced a single Discipline Talent in what is otherwise an Option space).

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The Undying
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Re: High Circle Preview: Elementalist

Post by The Undying » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:08 am

[Editing this post rather than creating a new one]

Thanks to some clarification by Mataxes in a separate thread, there's definitely good value to Splice Weave, both as a Talent and as a Talent available to Elementalists. Once again, I back-edited the post herein to include that conclusion: http://www.fasagames.com/forum/viewtopi ... =148#p1465

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