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Anderlith
2011-08-26, 04:49 PM
Is there a game that plays like Shadowrun (4th Ed. preferably) -i.e. has the same way of handling skills, combat & magic, but is an medieval adventure game like D&D?

Emmerask
2011-08-26, 05:19 PM
Hm how about earthdawn?
Ive never played it but seeing that it actually plays in the shadowrun universe (only the past or maybe different dimension) it seems to be what you want ^^

a_humble_lich
2011-08-26, 06:21 PM
Nothing specifically. I've never played Earthdawn, but it predates 4th edition by quite a bit so I would guess it would be more similar to 2nd or 3rd. White Wolf games (like Exalted) have a similar mechanic to Shadowrun, but some significant differences though. I think the best would be to just play Shadowrun and remove all of the high tech elements. Limit players to low tech armor and weapons, remove commlinks and the Matrix, remove technical skills. You might want to add some new skills that are appropriate to a fantasy world. For balance purposes I might also want to recast cyberware as a set of magic items that give bonuses, yet can also interfere with any natural magic a character might have. Otherwise everybody will want to play magicians or adepts.

Timeras
2011-08-27, 12:23 AM
Although Earthdawn is set in the same universe as Shadowrun (it plays in the fourth world, the previous cycle of magic) the rules have nothing in common.
Using the Shadowrun rules would probably work best.

Seerow
2011-08-27, 12:33 AM
I agree with just using the shadowrun ruleset. Remove the guns, modern armor, matrix, cyber/bioware, and tech skills, and you still have a workable ruleset.

Most of your characters will be either full mages or adepts. That's just something you have to accept. But you will still have all your magic stuff, including focii, and you have swords/bows/etc. It shouldn't be too hard to come up with a cross bow with stats based off a single shot pistol. I do think there was even rules for medieval armor in Shadowrun somewhere, I know it was listed in the character builder spreadsheet I used to use, but I don't know if that was something houserule added in, or something that actually came from a source book.

What's really fun is looking at the adept powers and trying to relate them back to D&D concepts. For example it's not too hard to make an Adept Barbarian or Ranger equivalent.

comicshorse
2011-08-27, 08:21 AM
The fun but comes when you try to take on a Dragon without your Panther assault cannons !

Mark Hall
2011-08-27, 12:37 PM
I would second the "Just use Shadowrun" and the "Everyone will be a mage or an adept"... in fact, the latter is part of the premise of Earthdawn... all the PCs are called adepts, and all use magic to improve a variety of skills.

Seerow
2011-08-27, 01:16 PM
I would second the "Just use Shadowrun" and the "Everyone will be a mage or an adept"... in fact, the latter is part of the premise of Earthdawn... all the PCs are called adepts, and all use magic to improve a variety of skills.

I've never looked at Earthdawn, so could you answer me something? Is it that all PCs are adepts, or that every person on earth is an adept?



It just occurred to me that while Shadowrun starts with the Awakening, what if the awakening is a slow process... over the 60 years since the awakening we've seen a second goblinization, and SURGE, plus the awakening of technomancers, like the world as a whole is slowly becoming more magical as time goes on. I'm just wondering if maybe this is an intentional pattern leading up to a 100% magical world, or if I'm just reading too much into things.

KineticDiplomat
2011-08-27, 01:29 PM
I believe the popular theory, which leads to vast and destructive arguments on dumpshock and the official boards as to just how it'll happen and interact, is that yes, the world is trending upwards towards magic.

So much, in fact, that eventually there will be enough to allow The Horrors (the Ancient Evil from Earthdawn) to re-enter this plane. Essentially the last time they came, everyone had to hide out in massive magic cave-city type refuges (Kaerns) that the other great powers (mostly dragons) built as essentially fall out shelters until the mana level dropped again.

It is postulated that many of the 6th world great powers are either fighting to buy metahumanity time, fighting the Horrors, or wittingly or unwittingly helping the Horrors come early.

Of course, much of the argument comes from wondering what happens when you shoot a Horror with Ex Ex or APDS, or mercilessly slam the BBEGs with heimdahl drone missiles and car bombs.

Seerow
2011-08-27, 01:38 PM
I believe the popular theory, which leads to vast and destructive arguments on dumpshock and the official boards as to just how it'll happen and interact, is that yes, the world is trending upwards towards magic.

So much, in fact, that eventually there will be enough to allow The Horrors (the Ancient Evil from Earthdawn) to re-enter this plane. Essentially the last time they came, everyone had to hide out in massive magic cave-city type refuges (Kaerns) that the other great powers (mostly dragons) built as essentially fall out shelters until the mana level dropped again.

It is postulated that many of the 6th world great powers are either fighting to buy metahumanity time, fighting the Horrors, or wittingly or unwittingly helping the Horrors come early.

Of course, much of the argument comes from wondering what happens when you shoot a Horror with Ex Ex or APDS, or mercilessly slam the BBEGs with heimdahl drone missiles and car bombs.

Yeah, I've read some about the Horrors, and just found a few quick reviews of Earthdawn (which incidentally continue to specify characters are all adepts. So I'm still not sure if that includes even commoners and the like or just player characters, but I'm rolling with the assumption it includes commoners as well), and remember reading somewhere a while back that one of the Great Dragons (Dunzelkhan?) believes the salvation of the world will be technology, which will give us an edge that we didn't possess in the past against the Horrors.


That said, the Horrors seem to be some time off yet. The review of Earthdawn I read indicated humanity hid in their underground warded bunkers for 400 years before the height of magic died down and the horrors went away. If the absolute high point lasts for 400 years, I can't help but imagining the time before (the build up of magic) and the time after (the decline of magic) both last at least as long, if not longer. After all, how long was Magic gone, a good 2000-3000 years?

Seb Wiers
2011-08-27, 01:42 PM
I've never looked at Earthdawn, so could you answer me something? Is it that all PCs are adepts, or that every person on earth is an adept?

The player characters are all adepts, but adepts only make up maybe 10% of the worlds population. Which is enough that you can count on a fair portion of the folks you face as opponents being adepts, since they are obviously much more heavily represented in combat roles, as spys, leaders, etc. There are also ways for non-adepts to use (limited types of) magic, and types of magic that adepts can't typically do but some other people can (questors, dragon-kin, etc).

KineticDiplomat
2011-08-27, 02:02 PM
Something like that, maybe more, depending on how far back you want to claim human history as extending fluffwise.

As for 400 years: its a very bad 400 years. In the same way a nuclear exchange would be a very bad 36 hours.

Of course, last time around, the population was essentially still classic "fantasy agrarian." And the people meddling with the Astral in ways that brought the horrors closer were, by and large, nothing more than your classic evil/greedy fantasy cabal with the odd cackling wizard.

Comparatively, if say Aztechnology decides to pursue some lines of research that will open the floodgates, they have a ton more resources at hand, combined with bleeding edge scientific method behind them.

Most shadowrun is more about stealing the pay data and living, or taking a wild ride through the Sea Tac with a Go Gang in pursuit, a re-kidnapped yakuza daughter over your shoulder, and a mr. Johnson who plans on shooting you at the end of it all, so its not as developed, but:

The ongoing plots and schemes of the megacorps, great dragons, immortal elves, and even to an extent AIs focus a lot on setting up or denying actions on the astral plane. Blood magic, cybermancy, the bug city and nuking of chicago, the Azzie pyramid, the ongoing resurrection and potential propagation of Deus through the resonance realms (read: the internet made magic). Big, world shaping events and emerging trends in megas tend to point to the big players setting their pieces for an astral show down of some sort. Presumably the "bad" guys winning would result in earlier Horror days.

Seerow
2011-08-27, 02:22 PM
Something like that, maybe more, depending on how far back you want to claim human history as extending fluffwise.

As for 400 years: its a very bad 400 years. In the same way a nuclear exchange would be a very bad 36 hours.

Of course, last time around, the population was essentially still classic "fantasy agrarian." And the people meddling with the Astral in ways that brought the horrors closer were, by and large, nothing more than your classic evil/greedy fantasy cabal with the odd cackling wizard.

Comparatively, if say Aztechnology decides to pursue some lines of research that will open the floodgates, they have a ton more resources at hand, combined with bleeding edge scientific method behind them.

Most shadowrun is more about stealing the pay data and living, or taking a wild ride through the Sea Tac with a Go Gang in pursuit, a re-kidnapped yakuza daughter over your shoulder, and a mr. Johnson who plans on shooting you at the end of it all, so its not as developed, but:

The ongoing plots and schemes of the megacorps, great dragons, immortal elves, and even to an extent AIs focus a lot on setting up or denying actions on the astral plane. Blood magic, cybermancy, the bug city and nuking of chicago, the Azzie pyramid, the ongoing resurrection and potential propagation of Deus through the resonance realms (read: the internet made magic). Big, world shaping events and emerging trends in megas tend to point to the big players setting their pieces for an astral show down of some sort. Presumably the "bad" guys winning would result in earlier Horror days.

Wait, the horrors were drawn by our meddling? The bit I read indicated it was more along the lines of something that couldn't be instigated or avoided, the horrors just found us when the world's magic level got high enough for them to cross over and be sustained.

On the other hand, that could be the reason for the meddling to try to draw them in earlier: Perhaps their strength is tied to the magic level in the world. If we draw them in while magic is relatively weak, then they may not be the civilization/world eating monstrosities of the past, but something that could in theory be faced.


Mind you I'm just thinking out loud, all my knowledge is based on a couple reviews, a couple forum posts vaguely remembered, and this thread.

KineticDiplomat
2011-08-27, 02:33 PM
Not so much drawn by our meddling...they'd eventually cross over regardless...but meddling sure doesn't help any. Also, as the bug spirits and the Universal Brotherhood revealed, the astral can use meatside organizations to begin to get a foothold.

Anderlith
2011-08-27, 10:36 PM
If I decide to use the Shadowrun rules I will be graciously increasing the costs for adept & magic & drakes & such.

By the way nothing is more powerful in Shadowrun than a Mage Drake w a big gun & some body armor. I recommend them for BBEGs or PCs, they are really great to use as they can fight on the Astral & Material Plane

Seerow
2011-08-27, 10:39 PM
If I decide to use the Shadowrun rules I will be graciously increasing the costs for adept & magic & drakes & such.

By the way nothing is more powerful in Shadowrun than a Mage Drake w a big gun & some body armor. I recommend them for BBEGs or PCs, they are really great to use as they can fight on the Astral & Material Plane

You're joking right? Drakes are already so expensive they're nearly unplayable. As a BBEG it's fine, but as a PC on a 400bp budget? I'll take the human over the drake any day, twice on sunday.


Also, why increase the cost for adepts and magic? You realize if you play medieval shadowrun, those are your two viable concepts. A straight up unaugmented human is going to be rolling so few dice that it'll be like playing a D&D3.5 monk who is two weapon fighting two one handed weapons sized too large for him.

Cieyrin
2011-08-28, 12:07 PM
Most of your characters will be either full mages or adepts. That's just something you have to accept. But you will still have all your magic stuff, including focii, and you have swords/bows/etc. It shouldn't be too hard to come up with a cross bow with stats based off a single shot pistol. I do think there was even rules for medieval armor in Shadowrun somewhere, I know it was listed in the character builder spreadsheet I used to use, but I don't know if that was something houserule added in, or something that actually came from a source book.

You'll probably want to check Arsenal, as a lot of the more medieval arms and armor got statted out there.

comicshorse
2011-08-28, 12:45 PM
Wait, the horrors were drawn by our meddling? The bit I read indicated it was more along the lines of something that couldn't be instigated or avoided, the horrors just found us when the world's magic level got high enough for them to cross over and be sustained.

On the other hand, that could be the reason for the meddling to try to draw them in earlier: Perhaps their strength is tied to the magic level in the world. If we draw them in while magic is relatively weak, then they may not be the civilization/world eating monstrosities of the past, but something that could in theory be faced.


Mind you I'm just thinking out loud, all my knowledge is based on a couple reviews, a couple forum posts vaguely remembered, and this thread.

The Horrors turn up when the Mana levels (i.e. Magic) are high enough. But somebody is trying to get them here early. This is the mysterious Mr Dark (original I know) in the 'Harlequin's Back' campaign and probably Aztechnology.
There have been 'Spikes' throughout history when the Mana level rose suddenly and then dropped away again allowing mini Awakenings.

Mark Hall
2011-08-28, 01:54 PM
Somewhat summed up by other people, but...

In Earthdawn, the PCs are adepts; there are plenty of normal people about, but the PCs are adepts. Like Shadowrun, an adept can combine mundane and magical learning (i.e. the Melee Weapons talent and the Melee Weapons skill, though the magical talent is more flexible), but mundane learning is harder and more expensive, and sometimes, your magical talents will preclude using mundane skill. For example, the Lock Picking skill and the Lock Pick talent. You'd expect them to work together, but since Lock Pick summons a telekinetic lock pick, your mundane lock picking skill doesn't help you that much.

As for magic levels and horrors, think of magic level as a sine wave with a 5000+ year wave length (Tir Tairngire gave the precise number, but I have forgotten it). When you are above the 0, you have magic and metahumans. When you're below the 0, you've got nothing. In Shadowrun, 0 was about the year 2000 (with the appearance of the Century Ferret), and 1* was December 21st, 2011 (with the return of dragons and the Great Ghost Dance). 2 (where people start to turn into orks and trolls) was in April of 2021. As time has gone on, the count has gone up, making more and more things possible, and some things easier and easier. Once you get to 100, you get Horrors.

Now, there's another aspect... some things, like the Great Ghost Dance and other forms of blood magic, cause "mana spikes"... they lift the local mana count, making it easier to get to the point where Horrors will show up. If you've read "Elfstones of Shanara", it's rather like demons coming through the Forbidding held up by the Elcrys.... before the actual breach that lets everything through, some powerful or tiny Horrors can come through.** You see this in Paranormal Animals of Europe with the Wraith, which is described as being a proto-Horror.

*Numbers are arbitrary.
**It was actually this that lead me to think, for quite some time, that Shadowrun would work very well for a Shannara RPG, and I strung FASA's games into something of a continuum... Earthdawn is 4th age, nothing in the 5th, Shadowrun in the 6th, Battletech in the 7th, and Shannara being the 8th world, a return to magic, but at a lower level than before.

Anderlith
2011-08-28, 02:38 PM
You're joking right? Drakes are already so expensive they're nearly unplayable. As a BBEG it's fine, but as a PC on a 400bp budget? I'll take the human over the drake any day, twice on sunday.


Also, why increase the cost for adepts and magic? You realize if you play medieval shadowrun, those are your two viable concepts. A straight up unaugmented human is going to be rolling so few dice that it'll be like playing a D&D3.5 monk who is two weapon fighting two one handed weapons sized too large for him.

You can get a decent gun skill & a magic skills plus I grabbed four good all-purpose spells, & some coin & contacts at character gen, after that you just got to earn it. I increased my spell knowledge first & then my magic skills, I pretty much kept my gun skill the same. After a few adventurers I could kill just about anything (physical spell buffs helped) I was a horse sized dragon moving in a blur & throwing shockbolts. & I was Russian with mob ties, which was awesome enough.

If you think only about what you can do at character gen then you won't play the unique things the game has to offer. Look at it in scope, what has more potential? A human with cyber or a shapeshifting dragon/man wizard?

Seerow
2011-08-28, 03:29 PM
You can get a decent gun skill & a magic skills plus I grabbed four good all-purpose spells, & some coin & contacts at character gen, after that you just got to earn it. I increased my spell knowledge first & then my magic skills, I pretty much kept my gun skill the same. After a few adventurers I could kill just about anything (physical spell buffs helped) I was a horse sized dragon moving in a blur & throwing shockbolts. & I was Russian with mob ties, which was awesome enough.

If you think only about what you can do at character gen then you won't play the unique things the game has to offer. Look at it in scope, what has more potential? A human with cyber or a shapeshifting dragon/man wizard?

Sure the dragon has more potential than a cybered human, when you're several hundred karma into the game. Of course, a human mage has EVEN MORE potential at that point due to the huge starting advantage.

That drake is missing a lot of really key skills to survival, and is probably on the very low end of gear. If he has a commlink at all, it's low quality and easily hacked. He has no perception skill, no stealth skill, no social skills. No tech skills (probably not even basic data search). If he only had one magic skill he was probably also missing assensing/astral combat, and as a dual natured creature missing those can really suck. Missing summoning/binding hurts as well, but that is something that can be picked up later, or ignored if you really want to.

A character with 2 skills hardly qualifies as a character. I rarely see a character with less than 100bp invested in skills (my most recent is closer to 170). You're saying you want to make it more expensive, so they'd start with even less. Penalizing someone so heavily for wanting to make a cool concept rather than game balance is stupid.

And that is what you're doing boils down to. Drakes in concept are cool. And it's fun to imagine a gun toting magic slinging dragon. But seriously, it's already crazy expensive and not worth actually playing. Making it more expensive just makes it worse.



[edit: On an off-topic note, I did post some SR4 homebrew a while ago that didn't really get any attention that may interest you: The Sharpshooter's Way (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=211705). Since you were so adamant about having a guy who could shoot and do magic, an adept path that does magic by shooting may be of interest to you]

Anderlith
2011-08-30, 08:40 PM
I don't want everyone & their grandmother casting magic in my game. hence the price increase. Also I do not plan on letting anyone take Drake (maybe latent Drake)

Cieyrin
2011-08-31, 02:01 PM
I don't want everyone & their grandmother casting magic in my game. hence the price increase. Also I do not plan on letting anyone take Drake (maybe latent Drake)

What's the point of running Earthdawn if not everybody in the party is an Adept? That's the point of the setting, since there's no tech to fall back on. And if you don't want people being Drakes, just tell them they can't take it, you don't have to go the long way around by making it more expensive.

Anderlith
2011-08-31, 10:59 PM
I'm not going to run Earthdawn. & as I stated I am not going to allow Drakes to begin with.

Seerow
2011-08-31, 11:15 PM
Well if you're wanting to encourage non-mages/adepts...


1) Where do you expect players to advance? Attributes and skills can be nearly hardcapped for a character at character generation, especially one who doesn't have to spend half his BP on money or magic. In fact, rather than raising the cost of magic, I'd strongly recommend just lowering starting BP. Start at 250 or 300 BP, this will keep a non-magic starting character at a spot where they have room to grow, and make a magically active character far less powerful at the start.

2) Will foci be available for non-awakened characters? If so, will they need to pay karma to bond them? Will you be sticking just to shadowrun focii or making other magic items (ie making a higher magic world)

3) You will definitely want to rework starting money and gear costs. I doubt they're using nuyen in an ancient world.

4) Consider making some upgrades for bows and melee weapons like shadowrun currently has for guns, to give a little more customization. Similarly some of the armor mods could still be included, or refluffed and made into magic upgrades.

5) Brush up on the martial arts rules, and the animal handling rules. Both of these options become much more attractive in a low powered setting. Animal Handling lets you get a pretty decent companion (doubly so if it's an adept with a Bonded Animal, or a full mage who has a Possession Ally Spirit controlling an animal), and martial arts will be a huge boon for any melee focused character

6) Consider that if you are discouraging adepts and magic in general, in a setting without guns and the like, most combat options are going to be highly strength reliant, meaning that trolls and dwarves are going to be at a pretty strong advantage. You may or may not want to consider toning down their abilities. (For reference, the oh so overpowered drake pays 75 bp and gets a form with +1 reach, +4 body, +5 strength, plus an elemental attack option. The troll gets +1 reach +4 body and +4 strength. He takes a few penalties in exchange that the dragon doesn't, but it's still a solid +2 damage advantage with most weapons, and a +4 damage advantage with a bow.