Earthdawn

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Bouv
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Earthdawn

Post by Bouv » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:33 pm

I never played the system but I like the concept of it. Actually, 4th Edition seems to pull a lot from it (civilizations decimated and now humanity is pulling itself back out again)

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Re: Earthdawn

Post by timemrick » Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:11 pm

Earthdawn's mechanics do take a bit of getting used to--particularly the way the dice types used shift whenever anything is modified--but I've enjoyed it the few times I've played. I'm hoping that once my wife's spring class is over and she has some head space free for the summer, she can resume the campaign she started last summer.

Earthdawn borrowed a number of ideas from D&D and similar games but then put its own unique spin on them. For example:
  • PCs are different from normal people because they are Adepts, who gain special powers through magic. Each Discipline (class) manifests that magic differently, whether it be a warrior's prowess with weapons, a thief's uncanny stealth, or a spellcaster's direct manipulation of astral space.
  • Instead of acquiring XP and getting a new level's benefits at specific thresholds, you spend the Legend Points (XP) you earn to raise your Discipline's talents. When those talents are high enough, you can train for the next Circle (level), which gives you access to more powerful talents. But you're always improving your talents, regardless of when you can fit in that training for a new Circle. In fact, an Adept almost always has a few key talents at a rank well above their current Circle.
  • Building your legend--having your hero's story retold throughout the world--is an integral part of the setting. You earn Legend Points for keeping an in-character journal, and for depositing copies in the Great Library. Very literally, the better known your story is, the more powerful you become.
  • Minor magical items (light stones, healing aids, etc.) are widespread and available for purchase (even starting characters can afford a few of them), but truly powerful items are few and far between. Like Adepts, such magic items are legendary in nature, and require the Adept to learn the item's name and story in order to unlock its secrets and use its powers. A hero's signature item might even spontaneously acquire a name (and magical abilities) if it plays a key part in a great story.
Given how thoroughly these mechanics are integrated into the setting, Earthdawn would lose a lot of its unique flavor if converted to another system. Personally, I'd only be interested in playing Earthdawn using Earthdawn, but YMMV.
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Re: Earthdawn

Post by dulsi » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:19 pm

Earthdawn seems to be going the multisystem route. Just noticed the Pathfinder version on drivethrurpg. There is also a Savage Worlds version. (Do they really need to complicate things by having a "classic" edition? Granted it warns you on the product page that 3rd edition is more recent.)
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Big Mac
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Re: Earthdawn

Post by Big Mac » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:37 am

timemrick wrote:Earthdawn borrowed a number of ideas from D&D and similar games but then put its own unique spin on them. For example:
  • PCs are different from normal people because they are Adepts, who gain special powers through magic. Each Discipline (class) manifests that magic differently, whether it be a warrior's prowess with weapons, a thief's uncanny stealth, or a spellcaster's direct manipulation of astral space.
That does sound very much like the mechanics of 4th Edition D&D, but then again, there are races that can cast spell-like abilities once per day in older editions.

It wouldn't be too hard for me to buy into Earthdawn as a campaign world with modified classes "Warrior Adept", "Thief Adept", etc, that have additional abilities that other D&D classes have.
timemrick wrote:
  • Instead of acquiring XP and getting a new level's benefits at specific thresholds, you spend the Legend Points (XP) you earn to raise your Discipline's talents. When those talents are high enough, you can train for the next Circle (level), which gives you access to more powerful talents. But you're always improving your talents, regardless of when you can fit in that training for a new Circle. In fact, an Adept almost always has a few key talents at a rank well above their current Circle.
This actually sounds pretty interesting. I've heard of people talking about training, for D&D characters, before. I think it could be possible to award character levels, feats and skills (or character levels, weapon proficiencies and non-weapon proficiencies) at different times (with some things kicking in automatically and others involving a return to base and a training session).

It might even be fun to break down character levels into smaller steps, so that characters don't earn all their skill points in a single hit or so that spellcasters gain one new spell slot at a time.
timemrick wrote:
  • Building your legend--having your hero's story retold throughout the world--is an integral part of the setting. You earn Legend Points for keeping an in-character journal, and for depositing copies in the Great Library. Very literally, the better known your story is, the more powerful you become.
In some ways this reminds me of Labyrinth LARP (in Chislehurst Caves in South East London). They used to give an XP bonus for having a good costume.

That was really an out-of-character thing, but Earthdawn's tie-in with the Great Library makes it an in-character thing. But it is kind of like having "boasting points". The more you "talk yourself up" the more power you get! :lol:
timemrick wrote:
  • Minor magical items (light stones, healing aids, etc.) are widespread and available for purchase (even starting characters can afford a few of them), but truly powerful items are few and far between. Like Adepts, such magic items are legendary in nature, and require the Adept to learn the item's name and story in order to unlock its secrets and use its powers. A hero's signature item might even spontaneously acquire a name (and magical abilities) if it plays a key part in a great story.
Hmm. This does seem like higher than normal magic (but focused on low power stuff). I like this.

And I like the idea of needing to learn an item's name and story to unlock its powers. (I'm a fan of 3e's Intellegent Items and hope to use some in a game at some point.)
dulsi wrote:Earthdawn seems to be going the multisystem route. Just noticed the Pathfinder version on drivethrurpg. There is also a Savage Worlds version. (Do they really need to complicate things by having a "classic" edition? Granted it warns you on the product page that 3rd edition is more recent.)
I wonder what implications the return of FASA will have on the multi-system support.
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Re: Earthdawn

Post by Bouv » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:30 am

When I read D&D 4E it seems that it borrowed the "Points of Light" setting idea from Earthdawn as it has a similar approach - civilization few and far between and the in-between is quite hostile.

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Re: Earthdawn

Post by Havard » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:18 am

As I seem to remember, there originally was a connection between Earthdawn and Shadowrun, with Earthdawn being the ancient pre-historical age of the Shadowrun world. Can anyone confirm this?

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Re: Earthdawn

Post by nerik » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:49 pm

Havard wrote:As I seem to remember, there originally was a connection between Earthdawn and Shadowrun, with Earthdawn being the ancient pre-historical age of the Shadowrun world. Can anyone confirm this?

-Havard
Yes - Barsaive (the Earthdawn core setting) is the Ukraine, about 6000 years ago. Death's Sea is the Black Sea, but on fire :twisted:

There are links in some of the modules as well.

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Re: Earthdawn

Post by Havard » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:59 pm

nerik wrote:Yes - Barsaive (the Earthdawn core setting) is the Ukraine, about 6000 years ago. Death's Sea is the Black Sea, but on fire :twisted:

There are links in some of the modules as well.
Wow,
I had no idea it was that specific. I assumed it was just a "mythic past". Does that mean Egypt etc is still around in other parts of the world, or is earth's history completely revised?

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Re: Earthdawn

Post by nerik » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:31 pm

Havard wrote:
nerik wrote:Yes - Barsaive (the Earthdawn core setting) is the Ukraine, about 6000 years ago. Death's Sea is the Black Sea, but on fire :twisted:

There are links in some of the modules as well.
Wow,
I had no idea it was that specific. I assumed it was just a "mythic past". Does that mean Egypt etc is still around in other parts of the world, or is earth's history completely revised?

-Havard
I'm not near my books ATM, so I might be out on the date, but the major 'bad guy' power, Thera, has its capitol on (or rather, floating above) the island that will become Santorini. :o

And the setting can be described as 'Fantasy Fallout', so I think some historical revision might have occured. ;)

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Re: Earthdawn

Post by timemrick » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:57 pm

There are a number of supplements covering regions outside of Barsaive (the province that is the main focus of the game), but never having GMed Earthdawn, I haven't read any of them. I have seen some overview maps of the larger world, however, and the land masses are very recognizable as Asia, Europe, and so on.

As I understand it, Earthdawn is set in a heroic age lost in the dawn of time. When the magic of the world went away, any lasting memory of that period soon vanished as well. Shadowdawn is set in our near future, when the magic starts to return, and the fantasy races (elves, orks, trolls) with it.
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Re: Earthdawn

Post by Big Mac » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:40 pm

timemrick wrote:As I understand it, Earthdawn is set in a heroic age lost in the dawn of time. When the magic of the world went away, any lasting memory of that period soon vanished as well. Shadowdawn is set in our near future, when the magic starts to return, and the fantasy races (elves, orks, trolls) with it.
Do the Shadowrun races all appear in Earthdawn?

How much time (game time) does the Earthdawn Campaign Setting provide for people to run campaigns before the various races vanish (presumably getting transformed into humans)?
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Re: Earthdawn

Post by Havard » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:49 pm

Big Mac wrote:Do the Shadowrun races all appear in Earthdawn?
AFAIK yes. The core ones certainly do. Notably, the Earthdawn Trolls appear similar to Shadowrun Trolls rather than D&D Trolls or whatever. Although there are races in Earthdawn that do not appear in Earthdawn, such as the T'Skrang (Lizardmen) and Obsidimen. This makes me wonder if these could be reborn in the future Shadowrun once magic grows even stronger. Or perhaps they are already out there, just that they are staying in the background...
How much time (game time) does the Earthdawn Campaign Setting provide for people to run campaigns before the various races vanish (presumably getting transformed into humans)?
Not sure, but I would guess centuries.

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Re: Earthdawn

Post by The Dark » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:56 pm

Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Do the Shadowrun races all appear in Earthdawn?
AFAIK yes. The core ones certainly do. Notably, the Earthdawn Trolls appear similar to Shadowrun Trolls rather than D&D Trolls or whatever. Although there are races in Earthdawn that do not appear in Earthdawn, such as the T'Skrang (Lizardmen) and Obsidimen. This makes me wonder if these could be reborn in the future Shadowrun once magic grows even stronger. Or perhaps they are already out there, just that they are staying in the background...
There are two possible appearances of obsidimen in Shadowrun that I know of - Shadows of Asia mentions rock creatures on Olkhon Island in Yakut, and System Failure has a Yamatetsu board member SURGE into a rock-like changeling. Other SURGE effects from Year of the Comet resemble thorn elves and t'skrang.

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Re: Earthdawn

Post by Dragon Turtle » Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:36 pm

Discussion of d20 conversions for Earthdawn are split into a separate thread here: viewtopic.php?f=44&t=15870&p=100243#p100243

Other Earthdawn Threads on The Piazza:


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Re: Earthdawn

Post by Havard » Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:57 pm

The Dark wrote:There are two possible appearances of obsidimen in Shadowrun that I know of - Shadows of Asia mentions rock creatures on Olkhon Island in Yakut, and System Failure has a Yamatetsu board member SURGE into a rock-like changeling. Other SURGE effects from Year of the Comet resemble thorn elves and t'skrang.
Wow, that is pretty cool. I had no idea those races were referenced in Shadowrun material. I really like the idea that these settings are connected.

T'skrang is probably one of my favourite Earthdawn races. I love the concept of swashbuckling lizardmen. I dont think I have seen something like that anywhere else? :)

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