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Do you play Earthdawn as well as Shadowrun?
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Crimson Jack
post Mar 5 2004, 01:01 AM
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I found a pawn shop up here in Seattle that had a really good price on a bulk supply of Earthdawn books. Looks like they have pretty much everything to get a game going. I've never explored these books and don't have much information about the game world, play mechanics, etc etc.

I'd like to get a general concensus on what the dumpshock crowd thinks of ED as a game, not what they think of the continuity between the system and Shadowrun. It sounds cool to me (story linkage to Shadowrun), but I don't want to waste my money or my players' time with something that isn't nearly as cool as SR.

p.s. we all like fantasy gaming as well.
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Ancient History
post Mar 5 2004, 01:04 AM
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:P
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Crimson Jack
post Mar 5 2004, 01:05 AM
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QUOTE (Ancient History)
:P

I'd bet my left :nuyen: that I know what you picked. :)
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Austere Emancipa...
post Mar 5 2004, 01:11 AM
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There really should be a "No, I know what it is but am not interested" option. Better play ignorant than fake wanting to play it...
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Grey
post Mar 5 2004, 02:09 AM
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Its a great game and worth buying. Even if you don't play it, the books are a good read for the setting alone.
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kevyn668
post Mar 5 2004, 04:07 AM
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....and Go Humans!!
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Raptor1033
post Mar 5 2004, 04:22 AM
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I played it for a while and loved it, but the GM refuses to get off his lazy ass and continue the game. Damnit my archer's itching to snipe some more horrors and make some more enhanced arrows! hehe i still remember a conflict where the gm meant for us to be captured by a slaver team, we did get captured but not before i killed their elementalist with a curving arrow while collapsed on the ground. what can i say? that damn mage really pissed me off. then i went and made a back-up character that was an elementalist cause i was so impressed by what he could do. :P
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Kagetenshi
post Mar 5 2004, 06:32 AM
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My only book is Scourge Unending, but I'm definitely looking to get into it when I get the chance.

~J
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durthang
post Mar 5 2004, 06:49 AM
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I'm probably a rarity around here, but I started playing ED and then moved to SR, and personally i prefer ED.

*dodges the rocks*

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Kagetenshi
post Mar 5 2004, 06:56 AM
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*Throws a stone instead of a rock, catching durthang in the side of the head*

~J
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mfb
post Mar 5 2004, 08:23 AM
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wasn't really impressed. it's just another fantasy setting, to me; if it weren't for SR, i'd have probably never looked at it.
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Sphynx
post Mar 5 2004, 09:27 AM
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Disliked the game. I don't like games where your character-class determines everything about you.

Sphynx
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mfb
post Mar 5 2004, 12:42 PM
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i didn't like the 'everything is magic' thing. what if you don't want to play a mystically-oriented magicalish hoodoo guy?
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Jpwoo
post Mar 5 2004, 01:35 PM
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It has one of the best backgrounds of any fantasy game. It has some story links to SR but the similaritys end there.

The mechanics are completely different. It is class based, your hit points keep on going up and up and up. All of this fits the epic fantasy mood of ED very well.

If you and your friends can stomache d20 fantasy you should love ED.
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Drain Brain
post Mar 5 2004, 02:00 PM
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I picked up the main book on eBay, just because I'd heard the setting mentioned on here. Whilst I think there are some interesting bits about it, I wouldn't foresake my D&D for it...

Sorry. If I'm gonna use a fantasy class system, I'm gonna stick with tradition (and a system I know backwards) rather than trying to sort out something new. And if I WANT to play Fantasy Shadowrun, then I'll use Shadowrun rules and play with them a bit so there's a more direct cross compatability (my players are EASILY confused).

[Edit: placed a null-vote since "I know what it is but can't be arsed to play it" wasn't an option.]

This post has been edited by Drain Brain: Mar 5 2004, 02:02 PM
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Crimson Jack
post Mar 5 2004, 06:55 PM
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QUOTE (Jpwoo)

If you and your friends can stomache d20 fantasy you should love ED.

Ugh, I didn't know it was class based. That's the main reason I don't like D&D. We do play it every once in a while, since its about the only way I ever get to play a game (eternally the GM sadly). Whenever I run a fantasy game, we use Rolemaster. Class-based, yes... kind of. But, it has very cool options for detailing out your character's skills, thus making it less class-oriented. It's a good mix between the SR system and D&D.

Too bad its nigh impossible to locate any books from the almost defunct company (Iron Crown/I.C.E.).
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spotlite
post Mar 5 2004, 07:11 PM
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H'mm I voted for like to play it but haven't, but I didn't know it was class based either. I don't mind class based, because I think it works well in a fantasy setting - but that's another argument - but I agree that we already know AD&D (2nd edition, anyway), and learning a whole new system would be tricky for people.

But on the other hand, if its unique enough and not a complete D20 clone or heaven forbid something like Rifts (sorry, but I hate it), I'd still give it a go I think. I need to read the books.
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Grey
post Mar 5 2004, 07:21 PM
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Yes it is class based, but there is a reason for that. Each character is what is called an Adept (but it has no relation to the Adepts of Shadowrun). There are different types of Adepts (Archers, Beast Masters, Swordmaster, Necromancer, etc) and when you choose to be trained as an Adept, it is basicly a life path for you. You can pick up another "class", but doing so is VERY expensive, as you are basicly picking up a second life direction. I don't think I can explain it very well, maybe AH can take a crack at it.

Basically, the point I wanted to make is that while it is class based (something I don't usually like), the classes are well done and there is a good background reason for the game to be class based.
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durthang
post Mar 5 2004, 07:41 PM
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QUOTE
*Throws a stone instead of a rock, catching durthang in the side of the head*


Wouldn't be the first time, perhaps that explains a few things...

QUOTE
Disliked the game. I don't like games where your character-class determines everything about you.


While ED is class based, I would disagree with this statement. As far as everything on the stat sheet goes, this is pretty accurate. One troll warrior looks alot like another one. You won't have near the customizability of SR.

It does have it's advantages, though. For one, I have countless character ideas for SR that never make it to paper simply because I don't feel like dealing with balancing my build points, calculating essence, making sure I didn't buy more than the char has...let's face it, building a good SR char can take awhile.

On the flip side, I can have an ED char stated in under and hour, leaving me more time to write out the back ground. For anyone who is into writing detailed backgrounds on your characters, then individualising your characters won't be a problem in ED. I am currently running a game with four and a half players. All of whom have very individual and unique characters, even if their stats are similar to someone elses.

Another advantage is there is no way to build a munchin off the block, or at least i have yet to see one after seven years of play. So if you're thing is number crunching to build the biggest bad-ass, look elsewhere.

QUOTE
i didn't like the 'everything is magic' thing. what if you don't want to play a mystically-oriented magicalish hoodoo guy?


I believe the answer to this came up months ago in one of the medieval SR threads. It was pointed out that if one removes cyber/bio ware from SR, magic dominates. A mundane won't hold a candle to an adept or spellcaster and won't survive long in an adventuring group.

QUOTE
It has one of the best backgrounds of any fantasy game. It has some story links to SR but the similaritys end there.

The mechanics are completely different. It is class based, your hit points keep on going up and up and up. All of this fits the epic fantasy mood of ED very well.

If you and your friends can stomache d20 fantasy you should love ED.


As with SR, the writing is great and much of the art isn't. The mechanics are very different, and IMO simpler. Maybe that has to do with the fact that there is no Matrix and no Riggers *shrugs* The magic system is also easier to understand IMO.

As an avid hater of DnD and all things d20, ED is in a very different league. While your hit points do climb, there is also an ingame reason for it beyond going up a level.

(/rant)
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Ancient History
post Mar 5 2004, 07:54 PM
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The difference between classes in DnD (and its various clones) and Discplines in ED is that ED Disciplines are much more versatile and customizable (in fact, when Dnd 3e came out, people were bitching about how much it appeared to borrow from ED).

In DnD (and its clones), you gain XP, and eventually you move up a level and then you stay at your current abilities until you go up another level. In ED, you actually spend the Legend Points (essentially XP) to improve the skills and talents you want to improve. Then you have to go through increasing your circle (when and if you want to), which is far heavier roleplaying wise than in DnD. This makes the system more complicated than DnD for beginners (who are used to: gain 1,000 XP, hits Level 2, gain hp, skills, better attack bonus, more spells automatically, etc.), because now they have choices to make (gain 1,000 LP, which talents do I want to increase? SHould I improve my circle? Maybe I can work on a skill. Say, I could research a brand-new spell or increase the thread rank on my weapon...)

You can be first-level and max out your first level talents at rank 15 (or even a few talents from higher circles, if you pay the Legend cost); or buy the bare minimum of talents for each circle and gain access to the really cool ones really quick.

The magic system is a big draw for the game (at least in first edition; go back and find Magic: A Manual of Mystic Secrets. Much better.) Unlike DnD, you don't just pick up a magic sword and use it. But unlike DnD, every weapon has at least a little history and can grow in power by inevest time and energy in weaving a thread to it (far less "Okay, I take the dead bad guy's weapon 'cause its more powerful than mine.") Spells aren't ten-a-penny like DnD, and ED spellcasters don't tend to the uber-Godlike levels that DnDers seek and progress to (no Wish spells, no need for Wish spells).

Item creation is single-handedly the best aspect of the entire system, and little things like ritual magic, half-magic, conjuring and, of course, blood magic add spice to life.

MultiDisciplining is more difficult than MultiClassing in DnD, and there are no Feats or Prestige classes. Hell, you have to buy your own attribute increases as you go up in Circle. Likewise, ED is still on "monster worth X LP" rather than the level-based CR of DnD; which has both good and bad aspects to it.

Finally, ED has plot and backstory. DnD doesn't, period. DnD is a system with umpteen different world settings, ED has one (but it kicks ass!).
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Austere Emancipa...
post Mar 5 2004, 08:00 PM
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QUOTE (durthang)
I believe the answer to this came up months ago in one of the medieval SR threads. It was pointed out that if one removes cyber/bio ware from SR, magic dominates. A mundane won't hold a candle to an adept or spellcaster and won't survive long in an adventuring group.

Well, sort of. I think this referred to the FR port-thing that I'm doing? (Right now, as a matter of fact...) As it is, starting with 225 Karma BeCKS characters, the complete mundanes can hold their own at least until ~350 Karma. Beyond that, it becomes more and more "sensible" to take up magic.

Think of it like this: How far can you get in a D&D game with a Fighter character than cannot do anything that is not easily achievable by very ordinary means? A purely shadowrun-ish system has no other means of achieving the extraordinary than magic, so just to keep up with the jumping distance of his D&D counterpart a shadowrun hero has to go Adept at some point.
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Frag-o Delux
post Mar 5 2004, 08:18 PM
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I have had a few characters in the 350 karma range and a 1 or 2 of those closer tot he 600 to 700 karma range and never had the need to go magic, nor did I ever wish they had. I have one character that is so damn lucky I he never been to deadly in stun or physical. So going adept makes no sense to me. I have had a few characters that were mages and physical adepts that are in the 350 range, true they kick much ass, but if a straight fight or what ever they don't stand a chance. I guess my character really specialize in a slim field that allows every karma point to be invested in that field.

Contacts in our games play such a role, that no matter your Karma level, if you can't get the gear or the spells, a well connected guy with mediocre skills will stump on your guts.

I have seen 200 karma point characters killed by first run characters, in a relativley fair fight.

Mages with almost every spell in the book have been killed by a well connected Sam.

I just don't see what you mean by getting 350 karma a Shadowrunner needs to take up magic.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Mar 5 2004, 08:33 PM
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I meant my Forgotten Realms Shadowrun-port, which tunes the rules here and there to better fit the FR world. As well as tuning the FR world to fit the SR rules, of course.

With the tuned system, in the current set-up, it costs so much Karma to gain significant magical abilities that a mundane is just as well or better off until the total karma spent on the character (using a BeCKS-like character creation system) hits ~350.

The current system also allows characters to gain magical abilities in-game, so someone could be mundane up to 350 Karma and then learn to be a full mage -- though that will take him/her the next ~120+ Karma, plus skills and spells.

As for why the mundane vs awakened balance necessarily shifts significantly when you go medieval on the group's ass, check the Awakened vs Mundane discussion here.
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Jpwoo
post Mar 5 2004, 09:50 PM
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The second edition ED from living room games addresses the "every swordmaster is like every other swordmaster" issue somewhat. Much like the knowlage skills from SR3 they do a similar thing. This does help distinguish one character from another.

While it is class based, it is not entirely level based. Essentially going up in levels can help you, but it isn't required.

If you want to try a fantasy system and you aren't throughly entrenched in one already, give ED a try.

If this was a thread about why ED was better than D20 we could go on and on.

But I should have that if I ever find an ED message board as good as Dumpshock is for SR.
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durthang
post Mar 6 2004, 02:19 AM
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QUOTE
The second edition ED from living room games addresses the "every swordmaster is like every other swordmaster" issue somewhat. Much like the knowlage skills from SR3 they do a similar thing. This does help distinguish one character from another.


And this is why I am currently running 1.5 edition rules for ED, but that's another story.

Out of curiosity, would you mind letting us know what you end up doing about those books Crimson Jack? It'd be interesting to see if you end up buying them and if so, what you and your players think?
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