Need help with a journeyman pattern item

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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MightyNeb
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Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:08 am

Need help with a journeyman pattern item

Post by MightyNeb » Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:13 am

I need help rewarding a GM NPC/PC with a pattern item (we switch off GMs, and he's my PC when its my turn to play). My troll skyraider has a battle horn of some sort, its made from the curved horn of some massive beast, bound in silver and engraved with who knows what. It needs a name & stats, and I want to be surprised AND to not grant my own character a cool magic item. It needs to be a journeyman pattern item with two to three tiers of powers. It was found at the wreck of a airship that the party was sent to recover the log & etc from.

Bonhumm
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Re: Need help with a journeyman pattern item

Post by Bonhumm » Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:44 pm

Item: Horn of the Sky Touchers
Maximum Threads: 2
Mystic Defense: 12 Tier: Journeyman
Those magnificent horns, made from the horns of tundra beasts, were inlaid with strips of gold and/or silver and infused with True Air and their owners often carved the names of the victorious battle they had fought in their gleaming ivory. They were a relatively common sight in the Sky Touchers moot before its destruction at the hands of the Therans; nearly every drakkar captains owned one. Nowadays, only a handful still exists to a point where many believe them to be a myth.

Name: no’a’g’ra b’ruar
This particular horn was made for a no’a’g’ra, an adopted member to the Sky Touchers clan, a human Skyraider named Solanj Ninetoes. Although fearsome in combat and never lacking in courage, she was known to often charge toward her foes without looking were she was putting her feet and, more than once, stumbled into the void between two ships and fell to the ground. Unwilling the loose one of their greatest warriors to such falls, the clan provided her with this personalized horn.

Thread Rank One:
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the Name of the Horn (see above).
Effect: Whenever the owner falls for more than 20 feet, the Horn will automatically activate (at the cost of 2 Strains) an effect similar to the Wind Catcher talent, giving the equivalent of a single success with this Talent, thus assuring safe landing for the owner. The owner does not need to know the Wind Catcher talent to use this ability but if he does and wishes to use the talent instead, the Horn gives an extra success to the Wind Catcher test.

Thread Rank Two:
Effect: The owner gains +1 to Physical Defense

Thread Rank Three:
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the name of the mountain where the tundra beast used to craft this item was slain.
Effect: +1 to Mystic Defense

Thread Rank Four:
Effect: For a cost of 1 Strain, the owner can blow through the horn in the direction of an enemy and then do a Battle Shout test as usual. If successful, the usual effect of the Battle Shout affects the targeted enemy in addition to its closest ally. Blowing the horn is a Simple Action.

Thread Rank Five:
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the name of the drakkar that Solanj Ninetoes commanded.
Effect: The owner gains +2 to Physical Defense.

Thread Rank Six:
Effect: The owners gains a +1 bonus to close combat Damage Tests.

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Need help with a journeyman pattern item

Post by ChrisDDickey » Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:36 pm

Wind Catcher is limited by rank. So does the horn have a wind catcher rank of 1, thus saving from falls of up to 100 yards? Or is the horns wind catcher rank equal to the thread rank, being potentially useful up to 600 yards of all 6 ranks are tied? I think it might be saying it works from all heights, but I am not sure? If so, that seems OP, and am not certain why anybody need to bother learning wind catcher after getting this item.

A different way to phrase this might be to give the following as the first two ranks of the item.
(1) The owner gains +1 rank in Wind Catcher.
(2) The owner can spend 2 strain to activate Wind Catcher as a free action (instead of a standard action), and/or can spend 2 strain to activate Wind Catcher with guarantied minimum of one success.

Note that they could use both halves of the rank 2 ability for 4 strain.

Bonhumm
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Re: Need help with a journeyman pattern item

Post by Bonhumm » Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:38 pm

I had missed the 'height-to-rank' part of the talent which is 'conveniently' set at the very end of the talent's description, while the beginning of it instead states 'with a success, he lands safely and takes no damage'.

Although I can understand that one might feel the need to 'scale' the talent height to its rank, I find it questionable, especially since one could, in theory, just wait until he his about 100 feet from the ground before activating the talent, no matter how high he was when the fall began.

Anyway, this was just a template suggestion and you are welcome to modify it as you see fit of course.

Lursi
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Re: Need help with a journeyman pattern item

Post by Lursi » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:18 pm

Bonhumm wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:38 pm
I had missed the 'height-to-rank' part of the talent which is 'conveniently' set at the very end of the talent's description, while the beginning of it instead states 'with a success, he lands safely and takes no damage'.

Although I can understand that one might feel the need to 'scale' the talent height to its rank, I find it questionable, especially since one could, in theory, just wait until he his about 100 feet from the ground before activating the talent, no matter how high he was when the fall began.

Anyway, this was just a template suggestion and you are welcome to modify it as you see fit of course.
I fully agree here. Terminal velocity is reached after 450m so we said Journeymen are safe when they don’t fail their roll.

An interesting aspect of falling damage is the weight of a body.

“To the mouse and any smaller animal [gravity] presents practically no dangers. You can drop a mouse down a thousand-yard mine shaft; and, on arriving at the bottom, it gets a slight shock and walks away. A rat is killed, a man is broken, a horse splashes.”

From:
"On Being the Right Size" a 1926 essay by J. B. S. Haldane, a famous biologist.

The resistance to the air goes with the square of the body dimension while the dissipated energy is a volume function.

Bad news for the Obsidiman...and we probably need to reconsider the amount of falling damage for the Windling that fails the knockdown test while flying too high. ;-)
Of all things I lost, sanity I held dearest.

ChrisDDickey
Posts: 647
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Re: Need help with a journeyman pattern item

Post by ChrisDDickey » Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:52 am

Bonhumm wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:38 pm
Although I can understand that one might feel the need to 'scale' the talent height to its rank, I find it questionable, especially since one could, in theory, just wait until he his about 100 feet from the ground before activating the talent, no matter how high he was when the fall began.11
[climbs up on soapbox]

Everybody always goes straight to "just wait until he is about 100 yards from the ground before activating the talent" to try to get around both the clearly stated letter and spirit of the Talent. Or they will say, "I will use the Talent multiple times while descending".

However almost nobody ever reads the talent description closely enough to notice that these "loopholes" simply do not exist, they just assume the loopholes exist because they want them to exist. The description clearly states that "The adept can safely fall from a maximum height equal to his Wind Catcher rank  × 100 yards." It also states that the Adept uses it "while falling". Which is to say, you are falling the entire trip. It is a controlled fall, but it is still a fall. And the talent has a maximum safe distance you can fall before you go splat.

It does not matter if you activate it at the top of your fall, or the bottom of your fall, or activate it multiple times during your fall. When you hit ground you measure the distance between the point where you started your fall, and where you hit. That is the distance you fell. Subtract from that the distance the Talent lets you safely fall, and if you have a lot of excess, you go splat.

Logic, reason, body weight, terminal velocity and all other aspects of science have absolutely no bearing on how magic works.
I mean I don't get the statement "The rules state that the magic lets you safely fall 500 yards at rank 5. But logic tells me that any magic that keeps me safe for a fall of 500 yards must surely keep me safe from a fall of infinite length"... That's missing something. I can easily think of lots of reasons why a magic that keeps one safe from a fall of 500 yards might not keep you safe from a fall of more than that.
Last edited by ChrisDDickey on Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MightyNeb
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Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:08 am

Re: Need help with a journeyman pattern item

Post by MightyNeb » Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:14 am

Thanks, I really appreciate it, that's perfect.

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