Scars and 'advanced' healing

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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Scars and 'advanced' healing

Post by Bonhumm » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:29 pm

I would like to have you opinions concerning how much scaring wounds should 'left behind' and how to heal those scars.

Two examples:

1- Just finished 'Shattered Patterns' and a character managed to get Shift Skin cast on the face. Although the wounds themselves have now been healed, I would expect such an horrible spell to leave its 'mark' behind (yes/no?)

2- A character is an ex-slave and had many (many!) scars from years of whipping and/or was branded as a slave.

So, how would you deal with someone who would want to have those scars healed? Is there anything 'canon' about that or should we 'invent' something with a questor of Garlen or the likes?

Thank you.

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Re: Scars and 'advanced' healing

Post by Belenus » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:04 pm


1. Scars remain because the wounds heal slowly and not carefully. But if they were healed very quickly and with magic help (e.g. Healing Potions or Questor), I wouldn't leave any scars unless the player had no problems with them.
Afterall Earthdawn is a system of heroes and legends (with horror elements) where the main focus is to create a character you can be proud of.
Such scars can be considered a trophy for a warrior, but also a disgrace.
And especially a troubadour wouldn't want to live with it or he will hide it behind a magic mask (Speaking here from experience. This also happened to my Troubadour / Questor Astendars at that time and I had a big "disagreement" with the gamemaster then. In the end we both didn't enjoy the situation and that's what it's all about.)
Edit: Actually my Nick here (Belenus) is the characters name :D
I miss him / the group :cry:

2. Scars that have already been created can possibly be "cured" by a powerful Questor Garlens or even Astendars, even if not canon.
A strong illusionist with blood magic could help too. But of course the character will be indepted to him, perhaps even with a blood oath.

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Re: Scars and 'advanced' healing

Post by ManDrake » Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:34 pm

Belenus makes some good suggestions. I'd add the following, but they are like his second choice, high level solutions to the problem, so will likely come with a costly quest or favor.

1) The location escapes me at the moment, but I recall there used to be a talent knack for the elementalist's Reshape Object talent that removed skin abnormalities in the 1st edition game. I don't find it in my searchable 3rd edition books, so it may not survive into current versions. (Found it in 2nd Edition, it's under the name Cosmetics)

2) The ButterSpider box magical item. I pretty much made this a mandatory magical item for all my campaigns to avoid problems just like this one. It can not only fix something as simple as a scar, at higher thread ranks it can regrow missing body parts. So a scar doesn't even qualify as a challenge for it. It can even cure those transformed into horror constructs back into humans, it's one of the most OP healing items in the game.

3) The Nethermancers Alter Life spell can pretty much change everything about a person, scars also don't represent a challenge for it.

4) Believe it or not the Illusionist's Restore Pattern spell would also work for this problem most likely. Ultimately it would be a GM call, but the fact that scars are distortions to the true pattern of a person, should be a fairly easy case to me.

Generally these could all lead to a lot of exciting adventure opportunities. I mean even Garlen herself could step in, is feeling generous. Or a Lochost inspired magical item that for every 10 or 20 slaves rescued that a scar disappears. Or a new talent knack for the Liberator discipline, that former slaves can heal their scars from their time as a slave by getting revenge on their slavers.

The Shift Skin stuff is usually a non-issue. When you are that high level, you never heal in a natural way anyway, and all magical methods of a healing leave very little in the way of scaring.

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