[WIR] Earthdawn Core Rules (1993)

Cadderlyspindledisks2

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The simple fact is that ED was no longer selling well enough for FASA to justify the expense of producing it. They stopped production of the game in June 1998, and shifted focus to other games that they felt could be more profitable.


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Lou Prosperi
Obviously if the ED line was not selling well I would not expect them to keep publishing at a loss. I just found it strange that they wiuld say drop ED in favor of something risky like VOR. It seemed they made to me the mistake of trying to compete against Games Workshop.

They went from having an rpg line that was not selling well to taking a huge and imo unnessary gamble against a competitor which they had no chance against. I would have refocused on Shadowrun and Battletech.
 

Praetorian

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I really like Nethermancers. I think they are probably one of the most Earthdawn-y twists on a particular archetype. Most people have a first impression of them as your stereotypical necromancer, and while that might be true in some respects, I think there’s a lot more to them than that first impression.
Like many ED players, I really liked the Nethermancer, too.

In restrospect, I wish ED (any edition, actually) focused more on the archetypes and disciplines that really highlighted the setting and tweaked the disciplines to feel a bit more characterful. I think all four spellcasters are pretty aligned with the setting -- especially in terms of mechanics and the use of matrices. They build on the setting with their mechanics and the game is all the stronger for it.

The Horror Stalker is another... I dearly wish the Swordmaster and the Horror Stalker were combined into one very characterful Discipline deeply grounded in fighting the setting's nasties. Likewise, I wish the Beastmaster was less about mundane animals and instead highlighted the unique creatures to Barsaive (F'rex, 'Lion Heart' should be renamed to something more setting specific). I'd also have taken elements of the Journeyman and integrated them into the Warrior to underscore the magical nature of the Discipline (underlying the pervasive nature of magic) as well as to have the archetype reflect the setting.

The Disciplines struck me as far too generic in many cases. These characters are supposed to be wielding magic even in the most mundane sword swings. Their talents really should be tied a bit more to the world around them. Otherwise, playing a Warrior as a discipline really isnt that much different from a narrative perspective than a mundane fighter.
 

Cadderlyspindledisks2

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Nethermancer was the most interesting class in ED. I like all the casting classes to be sure yet Nethermancers hold a special place in my heart. It's a versatile class and according to the game being one is frowned upon which just made me want to take the class even more.
 

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Grumpy Grognard
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The Disciplines struck me as far too generic in many cases. These characters are supposed to be wielding magic even in the most mundane sword swings. Their talents really should be tied a bit more to the world around them. Otherwise, playing a Warrior as a discipline really isnt that much different from a narrative perspective than a mundane fighter.
I suspect for many players that was a virtue. They might enjoy the magical enhancement, but they didn't want to have mysticism rubbed in their face constantly when they just wanted to play a fighter.
 

vitus979

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I suspect for many players that was a virtue. They might enjoy the magical enhancement, but they didn't want to have mysticism rubbed in their face constantly when they just wanted to play a fighter.
I can see where you're coming from, but I also think some of the later revisions have been good for making the Disciplines more thematic. In either 3e or 4e they moved Gliding Stride + Downstrike to the Skyraider and Crushing Blow to the Warrior, both of which make a LOT of sense thematically.
 

randlathor66

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I'd also have taken elements of the Journeyman and integrated them into the Warrior to underscore the magical nature of the Discipline (underlying the pervasive nature of magic) as well as to have the archetype reflect the setting.
Actually, I feel that the Journeyman was one of the best ways to make "regular" humans feel more a part of the setting. The entire discipline is about picking and choosing talents from other disciplines, having to bargain, cajole, beg, basically do whatever they could to get access to talents from people that really didn't want to give them up to an "outsider."

The Disciplines struck me as far too generic in many cases. These characters are supposed to be wielding magic even in the most mundane sword swings. Their talents really should be tied a bit more to the world around them. Otherwise, playing a Warrior as a discipline really isnt that much different from a narrative perspective than a mundane fighter.[/QUOTE]I will respond to this statement buy responding to the next one. ;)
I can see where you're coming from, but I also think some of the later revisions have been good for making the Disciplines more thematic. In either 3e or 4e they moved Gliding Stride + Downstrike to the Skyraider and Crushing Blow to the Warrior, both of which make a LOT of sense thematically.
I don't agree here at all. Nothing screamed "I AM NOT PLAYING D&D" more than my (1st ever ED character) obsidiman warrior gliding his 800-lbs butt across a battlefield like he was frikkin Dorothy Hamill at the Olympics. (Did you know that Dorothy Hamill is in the spellcheck, I didn't until just now.)

I feel that the later editions, by genericizing the talents have actually taken the flavor out of the game. I do believe that talents that do similar things should have some mechanical differences, such as on requiring karma (particularly if you are going to get it earlier) and the other requiring strain or an action, or whatever. Of course, they should have their own flavor/descriptive differences, such as thematic visual elements.
 

vitus979

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I don't agree here at all. Nothing screamed "I AM NOT PLAYING D&D" more than my (1st ever ED character) obsidiman warrior gliding his 800-lbs butt across a battlefield like he was frikkin Dorothy Hamill at the Olympics. (Did you know that Dorothy Hamill is in the spellcheck, I didn't until just now.)

I feel that the later editions, by genericizing the talents have actually taken the flavor out of the game. I do believe that talents that do similar things should have some mechanical differences, such as on requiring karma (particularly if you are going to get it earlier) and the other requiring strain or an action, or whatever. Of course, they should have their own flavor/descriptive differences, such as thematic visual elements.
But you can hardly agree that making the Warrior the recipient to a bunch of air based Talents makes more thematic sense compared to giving those Talents to the "Sky Viking" class. You want each of the Disciplines to get Talents that make sense thematically for them. The Swordsmaster gets a bunch of "3 Musketeers"-esque talents, the Nethermancer gets a bunch of "Fear and Spirit" based talents. You want the Sky Raider to have talents revolving around being a Viking who raids airships. Gliding Stride + Downstrike going to the Sky Raider wasn't something I ever thought of, but made 100% sense to me when it happened.

EDIT: I'm willing to table this until we get to the end of the Discipline section.
 
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Praetorian

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I suspect for many players that was a virtue. They might enjoy the magical enhancement, but they didn't want to have mysticism rubbed in their face constantly when they just wanted to play a fighter.
Which is a damn shame. You could play a regular fighter in other games, and even in Earthdawn (with just a little bit of house rules), but what made the Warrior in ED different was that it was supposed to be dripping with magic. Every action driven by a talent was the magical equivalent of being crazy juiced on steroids. That is cool, flavorful and thematic and could have set ED apart from the pack.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
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I can see where you're coming from, but I also think some of the later revisions have been good for making the Disciplines more thematic. In either 3e or 4e they moved Gliding Stride + Downstrike to the Skyraider and Crushing Blow to the Warrior, both of which make a LOT of sense thematically.
Sure. I just think for some of the Disciplines, a focus on the more mystical elements wouldn't have served the end-users all that well, uniformly. That doesn't mean there wasn't room to tighten the focus of the discipline a bit.
 
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