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Earthdawn Campaign with Pathfinder 1e Rules

Old Feb 23 '19, 3:55am
Sensibleshoes Sensibleshoes is offline
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Earthdawn Campaign with Pathfinder 1e Rules

Earthdawn Setting With Pathfinder 1e Rules - Forum

Fellow Weavers,

I'm new to these boards but I have a few years of experience online DMing. I'm itching to run an Earthdawn game, but I don't have time or energy to relearn the rules, or pick up the poorly-reviewed conversion. I'm just going to house rule a bunch of stuff to get a similar effect. It would be a fairly high-powered game (Gestalt, extra feats, etc.).

EDIT: I'm going to take Arklyttes's suggestion below and just list some crazy build rules (this will sound totally insane -- I run several games like this on the Paizo boards and I always get plenty of applications, so I guess I'll try it here).

It's your job to make something out of it that fits into Earthdawn lore.

This will be a relatively high-powered game. I think I want to do a rendition of the module Shattered Pattern about the Cult of the Great Hunter

Rule System: Pathfinder.
Source(s): Anything -- 3pp., whatever.
Stats: 51pt. buy. Min 1., Max nothing (you can buy 50 and dump other stats if you want).
Races: Any race and any template(s).
Class: Gestalt 6th level. 3 Mythic Tiers. Gestalt the Mythic Tiers as well.
Feats: 45 at first level. After that, each side of the gestalt progresses like a Fighter that was getting 1 feat per level (i.e., 2-4 feats per level). The 'bonus' feat slots don't have to be spent on combat feats. The Mythic Tiers get the same progression for mythic feats for each side of the mythic gestalt. Everyone gets the Fighter Stamina Feat and the Rogue Skill Unlock Feat for free.
Health: Wounds and Vigor system except you get to add your constitution bonus to the Vigor roll, as well as get double Vigor at 1st level. Maximum at every level.
Equipment: just pick stuff. All the magic items have to be named and have setting appropriate back stories.
Skills: Background skills.
Hero Points (to represent Karma)

Further Notes:

-We will use both the Automatic Bonus Progression system (beginning as if 3rd level), and this system from the Giant in the Playground Forums Given this, you shouldn't have more than 1-3 very special magical items with a story and background.

--I have home brewed rules for healing surges I'll post.

--In combat you will choose every round to use either the standard or unchained action economy.

I'm still looking at how to deal with magic -- I'm thinking maybe spell points and wild magic rules for raw casting, I need to consider it more, let me know if anyone has any suggestions.

Given that huge playground, give me a pitch for what Earthdawn character you're trying to model -- race and discipline -- so I can evaluate your build. The key here is a good modeling of something recognizably Earthdawn.

EDIT: Just to clarify what I'm look for -- I want with a character sheet with an introductory sentence like "I'm modeling a windling swordmaster/elementalist," or whatever the case may be.

EDIT: I'll probably also use subsystems from Horror and Occult Adventures to deal with Horrors.

Last edited by Sensibleshoes; Feb 27 '19 at 9:59pm..
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I remember seeing some Earthdawn materials in College, but never had a group run it. Is there a manual for its conversion to PF or is this more of a convert on the fly situation?

Yes it would be new -- it wold be custom conversions for everything, I'd want character concepts first, then I'll give you the rules for it. It would involve mashing up existing classes and races and such.

Wow...Earthdawn...Now thats a name I haven't heard in a long time... a long time.

This looks super intriguing. I loved Earthdawn back in the day, and would definitely be interested. I even have a somewhat out there concept. I actually created a character for Shadowrun several years ago that was a Pixie (Windling in ED) who was an extremely powerful sorcerer in the Third Age, who, while fighting a Dragon (Lofwyr) got himself encased in crystal and tossed into a live volcano. He survived, frozen like a fly in amber, until the Fifth age, where he escaped his prison due to massive magic upheavals, but he'd lost much of his power, since he'd been subconsciously devoting almost everything he had to keeping himself alive (he was in suspended animation). He's always been one of my favorite SR character concepts.

So...since you're talking about a high level ED campaign, it seems like the perfect time to re-create the character in his original setting. He's a powerful spellcaster...a battle mage type (he fights dragons, after all), with strong magical combat abilities, powerful illusions, and life magic.

If you're allowing Spheres, I'm thinking that Fey Adept is a pretty natural fit...he's a Windling and a master of illusion, and for the other side...probably someone who specializes in either Telekinesis or Destruction, with a secondary emphasis on Life.

At least, that's what I'm currently envisioning...I might change up the mechanics a bit once I get into the nuts and bolts, but that's what's leaping to mind just at the moment.

I'm gonna let it percolate on the subconscious and see what bubbles to the surface. I'd love some feedback on whether you think this is even remotely something you're interested in.

Fun and excellent concept, Arklytte.

Wasn't there a ED novel with something similar? Horror-touched Windling trapped in amber or some such? I know I read it.. I may still have the book somewhere.

Talisman, I think it was.

I think for that I would use a pixie as the base. You'd just start with the pixie stats as your base array.

I'm open to Spheres -- I need to think about a spell casting system that would retain at least part of the flavor of the threads and all that.

So basically you're looking at the equivalent of what? An Illusionist/Elementalist?

For the T'skrang I'm this is the build I'm suggesting based on a mashup of some pterran conversions from Dark Sun, I'll work on it more if there's sufficient interest:

Maybe a 'Swordmaster' could be a mashup of a Path of War Stalker and a Steelfist Commando.


Ability Modifiers: +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma, and -2 Dexterity.
Humanoid (Reptilian)
Base land speed 30 feet
+5 natural armor bonus
Natural Weapons: 2 Claw Attacks (primary, 1d4), 1 Bite Attack (secondary, 1d3)
Naturally Psionic: Pterrans gain the Wild Talent feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. If a member of this race takes levels in a psionic class, he instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
Plains Hunter: Pterrans are experienecd at stalking prey in the Hinterlands. They gain a +2 racial bonus to Perception and Survival checks while in any plains terrian type. Also, Pterrans normally leave no trail and cannot be tracked by mundane means in plains (though they may leave a trail if they so choose).
Psi-Like Ability: At will - missive. All pterrans are gifted from the day they hatch with the ability to communicate telepathically. Manifester level is equal to the Pterran's Hit Dice.
Psionic Aptitude: When a Pterran takes a level in a favored class, he can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.
Scent: Pterran's gain the scent ability.
+4 racial bonus on Balance and Jump checks
Inborn Power: 3 psionic power points at 1st level and the ability to cast Burst with them, with manifester level equal to character levels and keying off of Charisma. If the pterran takes a psionic class, add these +3 power points and Burst to the points & psionics granted by their class; additionally, a pterran psion or psychic warrior can choose to use their class's relevant ability score instead of Charisma to set save DCs.
Weapon Familiarity: Pterrans are proficient with the thanak and oslak. They are more common among pterrans than among other races.

This is honestly going to be kind of involved -- once you give me a character concept I'm going to look through the ocean of pathfinder materials and give each player a mashup of lots of different stuff that I think covers the 'concept' from Earthdawn. I'm also going to have to devise some refinements to the magic system and so on. It's going to be kind of a journey if you'll take it with me.

A lot of that doesn't really mesh with how I remember the T'skrang. I mean, they're generally described as being very athletic, lucky, and charismatic; that -2 to Dexterity in particular seems odd. Not sure where the psionics are coming from either, and there's no mention of their trademark tail lash and swimming adeptness.

Originally Posted by Duskblade View Post
Fun and excellent concept, Arklytte.

Wasn't there a ED novel with something similar? Horror-touched Windling trapped in amber or some such? I know I read it.. I may still have the book somewhere.

Talisman, I think it was.
Heya Duskblade! Thanks for the compliment. I look forward to seeing your idea so I can return the favor.

I'm not sure about the origin of the concept...I dont recall ever reading an ED novel...though, considering it's been well over a decade since I last was into ED, it's entirely possible I might have forgotten. I'll have to take a look though...My character is an original concept, but it's possible I read the novel, or maybe an excerpt, and got inspired. Besides, the 'magical creature trapped in amber for centuries, then released into an unfamiliar world' trope is probably common enough that that's where I got the inspiration too. Either way, I'm sure he's probably derivative of something.
Originally Posted by Sensibleshoes View Post
I think for that I would use a pixie as the base. You'd just start with the pixie stats as your base array.

I'm open to Spheres -- I need to think about a spell casting system that would retain at least part of the flavor of the threads and all that.

So basically you're looking at the equivalent of what? An Illusionist/Elementalist?
I'm assuming that only this part applied to me, so I snipped the rest.

One of the things I like about Spheres, rather than Vancian casting, is the flexibility. With Vancian casting, I have to take a bunch of predetermined spells with predetermined effects that all look basically the same. Totally generic. With Spheres, you have so much freedom that you can make literally anything you want. It all still fits within the Pathfinder milieu, and mechanically it's pretty well balanced, but it's so much more fun and interesting.

AFA caster type, I was actually thinking more along the lines of a Telekineticist. Rather than blasting away at enemies with elemental powers, my guy went another way, and went with physical attacks. There's a Spheres class, Armorist that is able to summon weapons and armour from thin air. And there's an archetype of that class, called the Soaring Blade that summons their weapons and can then wield them with the power of their mind. Mechanically, Armorist's dont get a ton of magical talents, but the few that the Soaring Blade does get would be all dedicated to their TK. I picture my little pixie summoning weapons of magical energy (that are mechanically based on regular weapons...the 'glowy blade of doom' is pure fluff) and using those to smite his enemies. It has the advantage of being simple and effective, and allows him to fight 'the biggens' on their own terms, but he can also best them at their own game. Plus, physical weapons are effective against pretty much anything/anyone, whereas elemental attacks (while arguably more powerful on an individual attack basis) can be easily defended against magically. But beating on someone with a big hunk of flying steel (or magic formed into steel) almost always works.

As for the other half, I was actually thinking more along the lines of someone who's primarily a manipulator of Life energy, who can cause both healing and harm with it, and who's power is such that, in addition to physical effects, he is able to affect people's perceptions (basically that's my fluffy reasoning for having Life and Illusion magic). Class-wise, I was thinking of the Soul Weaver with the Dual Channeler archetype. That basically lets them manipulate positive and negative energy for various effects. Soul Weavers are more traditional casters (basically, they're the Sphere specific version of a 'sorta Cleric'), so there'd be enough talents available to mostly spend them on Life talents, with a few left over for Illusion (again, the fluff is that they can affect people's perceptions by manipulating their life energy, in addition to affecting their bodies).

That's the basic pitch, anyway. The concept pretty much sprang up fully formed while I was looking at the ad earlier. Obviously much of this would depend on what level you're planning to have us play at, as well as other mechanical specifics.

If I might make a might be easier (and keep you from pulling your hair out) to simply put together a list of character creation rules, and then require people to keep the fluff in line with ED, rather than trying to do a bunch of individual conversions. You'll probably need to convert the races (or just base them on existing races with some tweaking/refluffing), but if you just put together a set of build guidelines, rather than trying to cram ED classes into PF rules, it'll probably result in a lot less heartburn on your part. With moderate to high class levels, gestalt, a lot of sources, and an interesting setting, I predict you'll get a LOT of applications, and doing individual conversions for 30 or 40 (or possibly even more) characters could get...time consuming.

That's just my two cents, though. Take it for what you will.

Originally Posted by Arklytte View Post
Heya Duskblade! Thanks for the compliment.
Looking over my previous post, I realized it may have came off more as criticism than compliment, which it wasn't meant to. Sorry about that, I really do like the concept.

I have very fond memories of ED, and for quite a while it was my jam, to the exclusion of all other RPGs. I'm oldish, so my version was the original, FASA 1st edition. I had I think 4 copies of the core book, one for each of my players, and all the other books to go along. So, yeah.. love me some ED.

If I were to play, I'd probably put forth an Obsidiman Nethermancer. Attached to his Liferock, he slumbered through most of the Scourge. He and his stone-mates were awakened to find the small enclave they'd hidden in breached by a Horror intent on corrupting the Liferock and those minds attached to it. The Horror fused with the stone, and began to infest those minds. With little choice left, those few who had awoken before the corrupting influence took hold broke free and sundered the stone. Knowing this meant Death, those few burrowed deeper into the earth and fell into an endless hibernation which they had no hope of recovering from.

Post-Scourge, explorers into the catacombs found these slumbering Obsidimen and brought them to the surface. Most had been corrupted by the Horrors, but my guy was lucky. Now he fights the Horrors and searches for any other survivors from his Liferock.


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