Blood Spring [uncategorizable]

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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Blood Spring [uncategorizable]

Post by Slimcreeper » Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:54 pm

*updated after playtesting!*

Blood Spring Armor
Corrupted Blood Charm

The Blood Spring is a classic result of a Weaponsmith delving too far, too deep. During the Scourge in a Kaer lost to memory, a Weaponsmith tried to find a way to armor everyone in her community at once, to protect them against a Horror incursion that never came. She created self-replicating blood pebble armor. Unfortunately, she miscalculated in her design. The Blood Spring, while not living, functions as an aggressive parasite, using Namegivers as hosts in order to reproduce. While it does provide armor while inhabiting the host, the cost is rarely worth the infestation. The inhabitants of the Kaer tried to kill all of the remaining Blood Springs, but were doomed to fail. When the Kaer was opened by a Throalic trading caravan, the community said little about the Blood Springs and scattered across Barsaive. They abide by an unspoken agreement to not speak of their home, but nevertheless have spread its unfortunate legacy throughout the Province. The Blood Springs themselves are regrettably gregarious, sometimes seeking each other out and gathering in groups.

Blood Springs appear to be a chain of jagged rocks linked together in an unknown manner. They form five arms around a central point. Four of the arms are used as locomotion, while the fifth sticks up in the air and moves about like an antennae, sensing prey. The whole assembly stands about as tall as a dwarf. The individual rocks range in size from an inch to 6 inches across. When it is hungry, the rocks are translucent, but as it feeds they gradually fill with a blood-red hue.

Challenge: Journeyman
DEX: 9 Initiative: 11 Unconsciousness: NA
STR: 6 Physical Defense: 14 Death Rating: 54
TOU: 8 Mystic Defense: 11 Wound Threshold: 10
PER: 3 Social Defense: 7 Knockdown: NA (it will not resist getting knocked down)
WIL: 7 Physical Armor: 7 Recovery Tests: 1
CHA: 3 Mystic Armor: 8
Movement: 10
Actions: 2 (special, see below); Strike (Attack 17, Damage 12)

Special Powers:
Stealthy Stride (12)
Spring Up (12) Whenever the Blood Spring is knocked down, it may immediately make a Spring Up test as a Free action in place of a Jump Up test. The TN is still 6 and it still causes 2 points of strain. However, Spring Up also acts as a Great Leap test. If no other potential target is in range of its result, it will simply leap away. If a target is in range, however, it can take a single attack as another Free action as it pounces on them.
Great Leap (12)
Surprise Strike (5) If attacking a Surprised, Blindsided or Knocked Down creature, add 5 steps to its Damage Step.
Blindsense The Blood Spring is blind. However, it can sense heat and vibrations, so suffers no penalties from Darkness or Blindness.
Mindless The Blood Spring is not a Creature or Construct, strictly speaking. It is not affected by any powers that specifically affect Creatures, Constructs, or affect emotions. It will not typically use Combat Options or advanced tactics. They may attack any creature within their great leap range.

Special Maneuvers:
Pounce If attacking from a leap, can spend an additional Success to force target to make a KD test against the Attack result
Implant Seed Pebble May spend an additional Success on an Attack test to implant a seed pebble as a Simple Action. The target must make a Resistance test (12) or a pebble from the Blood Spring implants itself in the skin of the target. Each Blood Spring only grows one Seed Pebble per day. Abilities that provide bonuses against disease help with this test. Once a Namegiver or creature has a seed pebble implanted, no Blood Spring will attack it.

Special Rules:
Infestation: Once a seed pebble is implanted, it is extremely difficult to remove. They send roots deep into the patient and it is difficult to gage how deep to dig. A single pebble can be gouged out with a bladed weapon. Melee Weapons can be used, along with any damage boosters that the improvisational surgeon wishes to apply. To remove the seed, the weapon must cause enough damage in one attack to cause a wound. Alternately, another character may make a Physician or Weaponsmith or Nethermancer half-magic test with a TN of 15. This is a sustained test that takes about 15 minutes and requires a small bladed weapon. If successful, the person takes damage exactly equal to their Wound Threshold, taking a Wound. However, the seed pebble is removed. If it fails, the surgeon makes a damage test against the patient. If it causes a Wound, the seed pebble is removed. Anything that prevents the person from taking the damage or the Wound also prevents the pebble from being removed. If the pebble remains implanted for more than an hour, the person is subjected to the Blood Spring Armor Disease.

Blood Spring Armor
Type: Special Effect: 12 Onset Time: 1 hour Interval: 1 per day
Duration: 1 year and 1 day

One hour after a seed pebble is implanted, the person must make a Resistance test against the effect step. If it fails the disease begins to spread. More pebbles grow on the person’s skin, spreading out from the seed pebble. Each time the person fails a Resistance test, they are affected more and more by the disease.

1st failure: +1 Physical Armor, -1 Initiative Penalty. The Blood Spring pebbles are now spread extensively and protrude in awkward ways. The character can no longer benefit from any other armor. Conventional living armor is forced out of the skin, allowing for its Blood Damage to be healed.
2nd failure: +2 Mystic Armor. 1 point of Blood Damage.
3rd failure: +2 Physical Armor, 2 points of Blood Damage.
4th failure: +3 Physical Armor, +3 Mystic Armor, 3 points of Blood Damage
5th failure: +5 Physical Armor, Blood Spring Armor now appears to be a normal, if graceless, set of normal Blood Pebble armor.

Forging Blood Spring Armor can be done, but it feels wrong to Weaponsmiths. The result of any such forging is permanent, but also applies after the Blood Spring falls off the person. Whatever bonuses the Forging grant apply to the Blood Spring ‘creature’ as well, improving its Physical and/or Mystic Armor. This boost applies to any of its offspring as well.

After a year and a day, the Blood Spring Armor falls off of its own accord while the person is sleeping. It forms into a new Blood Spring and travels for a few days and begins hunting for another victim.

Once Blood Spring Armor begins to spread, it can only be removed by physicians or Questors of Garlen and people who can implant Blood Pebble (such as Weaponsmiths) working in tandem. The Weaponsmith or Nethermancer makes a half-magic test against a TN of 10 and digs into the victim, causing damage equal to their Wound Threshold. Each Success reduces the Armor bonuses by 1. Once the bonuses are reduced to 0, the Initiative penalty is removed as well. However, the attending Physician must successfully treat the Wound as soon as the pebbles are removed. Otherwise, the person will be forced to make another Resistance test to prevent the pebbles from continuing to spread. Once the Initiative Penalty is removed and the Physician treats the last wound, the person is considered healed. As long as no one implants the Blood Spring Armor on anyone, the cycle is broken.
Last edited by Slimcreeper on Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Blood Spring [uncategorizable]

Post by jisidro » Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:15 pm

This is great!

Thank you!

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Re: Blood Spring [uncategorizable]

Post by Sharkforce » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:39 pm

I feel like they must be either a creature or a construct. do you perhaps simply mean that they are not a *horror* construct?

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Re: Blood Spring [uncategorizable]

Post by Slimcreeper » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:51 pm

Earthdawn tends to use Construct to mean Horror Construct. It's supposed to be like a virus, meeting some of the definitions of life but not all.

and thank you isidro! Post feedback if you use it!

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Re: Blood Spring [uncategorizable]

Post by utsukushi » Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:16 pm

OK, having seen them in practice and then come back to read them through, I do have a few thoughts.

First, while I like the general idea of that difference between removing them with or without Physician, the "without Physician" way doesn't really make sense. I don't have any kind of skill at physicking, and have removed, say, splinters, even from someone who was wildly resisting at the time* -- you still don't take a hatchet and swing as hard as you can, or even just start stabbing at them with your needle and hope you hit it. I would shift those back a bit. Removing it without Physician should inflict an automatic wound (gouging something out of someone's flesh without skill fits that description nicely) while with Physician should avoid that (because removing something that is still at the surface of someone's skin when you know what you're doing shouldn't need to inflict an actual Wound, in the game mechanic sense.) Maybe start with the character's Wound Threshold and subtract the Physician roll from the damage they take? That gives it kind of an automatic DN.

Not saying it wasn't fun getting Ziri back, but it doesn't make sense.

Secondly, it's just not in there anywhere, but if their purpose is to spread Blood Pebble Armor, wouldn't they ignore someone who already has it as "already infected"? How does the spread even work on someone who's already covered in Pebbles?

And lastly, I do agree with Vandulus' comment in the game, the mention of a "Resistance test" should be clarified. I do also assume it's Toughness, since they're treated as a Disease, but we resist so many things in Earthdawn, and this is a weird thing.

Very, very neat idea, though, and super creepy to fight! I see why you regretted making them. You should remember that, next time. ;)

*-- In her defense, she was three at the time, and has always been needlephobic.

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Re: Blood Spring [uncategorizable]

Post by Slimcreeper » Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:49 pm

I am going to revise them a bit - I learned quite a bit seeing them in action!

As for removing them without a Physician kit ... I imagine them putting in roots. So it's less slashing wildly and more like trying to dig out a dandelion and trying to get all of the roots. I will fix the description a bit. Letting the party have a non-Physician talent/skill option is just a courtesy!

And sadly, it will not ignore someone who already has blood pebble armor. Like a virus, it wants to replicate itself, not blood pebble in general. The old pebbles will be forced out. I do need to put something in there about what happens ... they should be able to heal the Blood Damage from the original armor.

Other thing I noticed is that the Pounce/Surprise Strike didn't have the synergy I hoped it would, because once they always spend that first success to implant you and then don't want to attack anymore. Instead they should have Ambush.

Or wait! Maybe they only have one seed pebble per encounter! Then they still attack other targets, because by weakening them they make it easier for other Blood Springs to implant seeds. I'll also add text encouraging the GM to have them attack any targets within range at random.

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