Lightbearers as a Path

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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Spader
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:33 am

Lightbearers as a Path

Post by Spader » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:26 am

Hey everyone!

I mentionned it in another thread, my players recently enrolled themeselve in the Lightbearer's secret society.
At first, I just wanted some sort of guild or faction that would tie the players in a large scale Group Ritual. And then, something reminded me that the Lightbearers were a thing a long time ago. Though I was never fund of this organisation, I thought its ideas could serve as the backbone of the society I needed for my campaign. And since my players joined in, I had to flesh it out a bit more.

Then The Adept's Journey: Mystic Paths happened. I learned about Path and the more I learned the more I thought "My Lightbearers need their Path too"

So I homebrewed a Path for the Lightbearers. But I wish to do it right before delivering it to my players. I want it to be well aligned with the Earthdawn mechanic and well balanced. Since it's a one man job for now, I fear there might be some loop holes that can be exploited or anything that could make less sense that I think it does.

Anyway, so I'm turning to all of you to help me highlight flaws I left in the work.

I've put all the details in a google doc so everyone could comment or even edit if they want.

Here's the link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Bg6 ... sp=sharing

This is just for the game mechanic part. The organization in itself is loosely based on what already exists but is fleshing out as my campaing progresses. But of course, I'm opened to suggestions. I already read what Mogan wrote on his blog and it was good inspiration.

So thanks in advance for the help.

Panda
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:30 am

Re: Lightbearers as a Path

Post by Panda » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:02 pm

Greetings,

Quick response (I'll try to revisit once back from GenCon): there's an unfortunate dropped "f" in the Astral Shift talent.

Cheers,

Morgan

Tattered Rags
Posts: 359
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:04 am

Re: Lightbearers as a Path

Post by Tattered Rags » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:03 pm

That unfortunate misspelling sounds like the Illusionist's form of Astral Maw.
Adventure I'm running:
Under the Stars

Adventure GM post-mortem:
Under the Stars Postmortem

ChrisDDickey
Posts: 531
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:02 pm

Re: Lightbearers as a Path

Post by ChrisDDickey » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:42 pm

Armor of Light needs a duration.
Astral Shift seems superior to Netherwalk in that it allows others to be shifted, but should probably have some of the same "take damage as long as in astral space" problems as well, otherwise it would be too superior.
Shimmer is messed up, the first paragraph and the rest seem to comprise different versions. Also, Why is there no roll to use it, and the target number for the perception test the Cha + Rank, when every other similar talent has the character make a roll (for example Cha + Rank) and that be the target number to see through the effect? Also it serves as a torch? And unlimited duration? And no strain to turn on or use? It all seems a bit much.
Did you take all the Horror Stalker knacks and repurpose them to Lightbringer? Maybe only half with half new ones would be more restrained.
Does Greater Radiant Circle seems overpowered, especially for rank 3? It has the effect of 5 Radiant Circles, but only costs 3 strain and one action to create. Maybe more than one standard action to erect?
Sublime Radiant Circle seems overpowered. One standard action and 5 strain for all that?
Persistent Radiant Circle, The + in the Strain 2+, and the wording "It cost[s] twice the amount of strain to ma[g->k]e a regular circle persistent." are unneeded, since only one knack can be applied at a time, thus Persistent Radiant Circle can't be applied to Greater or Sublime Radiant Circles. I would suggest against listing this knack as exempting that.

Spader
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:33 am

Re: Lightbearers as a Path

Post by Spader » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:43 am

ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:42 pm
Armor of Light needs a duration.
Done
ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:42 pm
Astral Shift seems superior to Netherwalk in that it allows others to be shifted, but should probably have some of the same "take damage as long as in astral space" problems as well, otherwise it would be too superior.
Didn't tought of that Talent. And now that you mention it, I wonder why the "take damage" thing? Nethermencers already know how to go to astral at 8th circle with Spirit Portal spell without taking damage. So why they learn another methode at 11th circle that is less useful? (there must be something I'm missing)
ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:42 pm
Shimmer is messed up, the first paragraph and the rest seem to comprise different versions.
Check!
ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:42 pm
Also, Why is there no roll to use it, and the target number for the perception test the Cha + Rank, when every other similar talent has the character make a roll (for example Cha + Rank) and that be the target number to see through the effect?
I feel it would just slow down the game.
Also, this Talent is the core power of their secrecy and it has to be reliable. Having to roll means a Lightbearer will expose herself once in while because of failed roll.
ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:42 pm
Also it serves as a torch?
It's a guise made of light... so I figured...
ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:42 pm
And unlimited duration? And no strain to turn on or use?
What would you suggest? 1 Strain every Rank minutes? What do you say?
ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:42 pm
Did you take all the Horror Stalker knacks and repurpose them to Lightbringer? Maybe only half with half new ones would be more restrained.
I did indeed copied every Horror Stalker and Purifier Knack I deemed fit for the Lightbearer. I did not create new one for Karma. I'm aware of that and I'm open to suggestions. Maybe something related to protecting someone.
ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:42 pm
Does Greater Radiant Circle seems overpowered, especially for rank 3? It has the effect of 5 Radiant Circles, but only costs 3 strain and one action to create. Maybe more than one standard action to erect?
Sublime Radiant Circle seems overpowered. One standard action and 5 strain for all that?
The whole idea behind these Knacks was that I felt the area of effect was small for a Path devoted to shielding people from Horrors. I wanted bigger circles, but maybe I got carried away (It's the kind of thing I do).
What if these knacks allows to stack a second then a third circle over one and other, enlarging it at each step?
ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:42 pm
Persistent Radiant [...] since only one knack can be applied at a time...
To be honest, I was kinda of comfortable to allow Persistent Radiant Circle to be combine with the other two Knacks. Maybe I should have mentionned it in the description.

Oh! And thanks for the comments. I it is really appreciated!

ChrisDDickey
Posts: 531
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:02 pm

Re: Lightbearers as a Path

Post by ChrisDDickey » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:59 am

Spader wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:43 am
ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:42 pm
Astral Shift seems superior to Netherwalk in that it allows others to be shifted, but should probably have some of the same "take damage as long as in astral space" problems as well, otherwise it would be too superior.
Didn't think of that Talent. And now that you mention it, I wonder why the "take damage" thing? Nethermencers already know how to go to astral at 8th circle with Spirit Portal spell without taking damage. So why they learn another method at 11th circle that is less useful? (there must be something I'm missing)
I will point out that Spirit Portal does not actually say that characters that travel to Astral Space via Spirit Portal do not take damage from being in astral space. It simply does not mention whether or not they do. Other places where astral travel and raw astral viewing are discussed it mentions environmental damage. Spirit Portal and Astral Portal do not. The question is whether that lack of mention of damage in those sections is proof of protection from damage mentioned elsewhere.

Here is a thread where some theories on the dangers of Astral Space are bandied about.
http://www.fasagames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1340

So this is kind of for the GM to put together, but on page 209 of the players guide it mentions that viewing astral space without a filter can drive you mad. It also talks about the corruption of astral space. No numbers are mentioned but it mentions that the Astral Sight talent provides protective filtering to keep Adepts from suffering the damage of viewing astral space directly. The spell "Aspect of the Astral Savant" specifically says that it removes that filtering, and tells you how much damage per round a native of the Material plane suffers from unfiltered viewing of the Astral Plane.

The Talent Netherwalk says "While Netherwalking, the adept exposes themselves to the dangers of astral space. Each minute of travel, the adept suffers damage based on the level of astral corruption in the region. The adept’s natural Mystic Armor plus their Netherwalk rank protects against this damage." Note that this is worded that "there is damage per minute in being in astral space, and this talent provides armor to that damage".

The spell Spirit Portal and the spirit power Astral Portal don't say anything about any damage from being in astral space, A GM could, I suppose, take that lack of damage being mentioned as an indication that using this method means the user suffers no damage.

My interpretation would be that you suffer the damage, you get only your Natural Mystic Armor, not the additional armor that the Netherwalk talent provides.

As the Astral Shift Talent is written, it does not mention that ether the Adept with the Talent nor his passengers has any protection from the corruption of Astral Space. You might want to just give the lightbringer Netherwalk, and add a Knack that they can bring other lightbringers or oathbound with them, (I would expect those to not get the advantage of the armor). That is, of course, assuming you accept the premise that characters who enter via spirit portal or astral portal are suffering the same damage without armor.

Spader wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:43 am
Also, this Talent is the core power of their secrecy and it has to be reliable. Having to roll means a Lightbearer will expose herself once in while because of failed roll.
I can see why the lightbearers would want it to be reliable, but you don't always get everything you want, and everybody ought to have some sort of risk of their powers failing. I mean if a Sky Raider risks instant death if they ever fail to roll at least a 6 on their Wind Catcher talent, I don't see how Light Bringers are entitled to disguise that never falters.There should be a risk that sometimes the shimmer is not very good.
Spader wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:43 am
I did indeed copied every Horror Stalker and Purifier Knack I deemed fit for the Lightbearer. I did not create new one for Karma. I'm aware of that and I'm open to suggestions. Maybe something related to protecting someone.
I personally don't really like to see all the best powers cherry picked from other paths. I mean yes, adding Lightbearer as an option to fulfill the requirements for the Banish or Dispel Magic Knacks are OK, it does make sense that a Lightbearer that has those talents could do those knacks. But saying that all Lightbearer's get all of both Horror Stalkers and Purifiers formerly unique powers seems very, very wrong to me. I mean if you want to be lazy, pick one or the other. but writing a set of unique powers would be much better. Giving Lightbearers both Horror Stalker and Purifier powers seems both lazy and overly generous. One or the other at most, but not both.
Spader wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:43 am
To be honest, I was kinda of comfortable to allow Persistent Radiant Circle to be combine with the other two Knacks. Maybe I should have mentioned it in the description.
If that is the intention, then yes it ought to be stated, because the general rule is that each test can only be modified by one knack, so an exemption would need to be clearly stated. But also consider... Why would the exemption be there? I mean aside from a big fat sloppy love note to the Path? Is it so horrible that a player should be confronted with an actual choice as to which of the knacks he wants to apply and only be able to choose one of them?

But yes, for example, I think that an Adept being able to spend extra time and strain to build bigger circles is better than allowing a huge circle to be constructed with a single standard action. Otherwise it just becomes too easy.

I am not saying that I have any better suggestions for any of the things that I called out in my first post. I am just saying that these are the things that at first glance struck me as worth a 2nd consideration. Some of the powers seem to me to be way to better than what other paths have available to them. Others seem to have all the limitations that other Talents have removed. Some of the ideas struck me as being somewhat cherry picking all the best powers to achieve the best path, rather than a balanced path.

My humble opinion only.

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