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Earthdawn: Session One Recap & Armor-Defeating Hits



The first session of the actual campaign went well in my opinion.  Most of it was spent actually fighting, but isn’t that usually the case with our group?  I think you all did very well, especially with feeling out your character’s actions and roles.  All of you did well helping to flesh out the mechanics of game play and more specifically the combat system.  Hishou did really well with his ability to quickly move using flight and get attacks off from a distance with his throwing daggers.  Stubbz and Seaster were really effective at close and ranged ground combat by putting a hurtin’ on the enemy whenever possible.  Red was a vital part of the game for a couple reasons of which include realizing his role in the party by discovering what he could do to be a better tank as well as being a rather effective meat shield for the party when it counted.  Kirk and I spent yesterday working on his character, getting a better understanding of how his talents and skills work.  I’ll be discussing that in a different article later.  I believe everyone had at least one critical attack on any one particular mob, which is always fun to see that discovery happen.   Every time anyone crits an enemy my eyes always light up and I sit in anticipation for the damage roll to see how badass the characters can be.  

The combat VIP of the session was Mike with Ebon’s uber hits, rolling in the 20’s to hit and sometimes in the 20’s for damage.  So far in my minimal table top experience, Ebon’s the most effective caster I’ve seen yet.  He packed a wallop the first night and I’m excited to see what he and the rest of the party brings to the table.

The role playing VIP was Eric with his wily antics and funny side comments.  He’s a natural at keeping the party laughing and having a good time.  He’s also equally good at getting off topic.  (HEY ‘OOOH)

The discovery VIP was Kirk by realizing what he wants in his character’s abilities and what he wants to contribute to the game.  I’m pleasantly surprised with his level of involvement and also his ability to take verbal jab’s from the rest of the party.  Well done bro.

The most helpful and well rounded VIP goes to John for not only playing Stubbz true to Stubbz’s role but also be a very effective during combat.  In addition to that, he gets a kudos for playing not only one but two characters and helping to maintain the initiative for the party.  Thanks for being so dedicated the game, you’ve always been dependable with that sort of stuff.


As the gamemaster, you’d think I’d be rooting for my enemy NPCs in hopes of whipping the player’s behinds, but the truth is I’m rooting for the players for a couple reasons.  I want to see how effective they can be in battle and when they crit, their talents shine through.  Another reason is because I want to see the players progress through the campaign and if I were trying to make the session or campaign difficult or impossible it wouldn’t be fun for anyone including myself.  Yet another reason I want them to be successful versus my NPCs is because as a relatively new gamemaster to the Earthdawn system it helps me to see how I can improve the gameplay, from actually role playing to the combat system, so that I can ensure the players are successful and are having fun while doing so.  Of course I don’t want to make it too easy, but if I stay ignorant to how the game works then I’ll never really know if the player’s are overpowered or if they’re worthless against any particular mob.

As we play through Earthdawn there are a lot of different things to keep track of and I know we’re not keeping track of all of them yet, which I’m completely fine with as this is our first real attempt at properly playing this game system.  As I have likely mentioned to you all, this is the first time I’m playing Earthdawn as it was written and intended.  Before, I would simply read only the minimal rules and go forth and conquer.  The sessions were fun, but they could have been more enriched with lore and story and because I always wanted to run my own campaigns instead of the preprinted campaigns there wasn’t a whole lot of story involved.  In hindsight I should have read through a campaign book or two to get a feeling for how to actually run a TTRPG system effectively and properly, but that’s neither here nor there now.  Which brings me to the next topic of Armor-Defeating hits.


The last topic I wanted to touch on was the combat mechanic/rule of Armor-Defeating hits, which is a pretty simple rule that we haven’t been tracking thus far and is really easy to account for, so long as we remember to do so.  (Of course that is true of anything in this game.)  Knowing when to utilize a certain rule is always beneficial to game play as it tends to help progress the game play in a quicker and more efficient fashion and the armor-defeating hits rule is no exception.

Armor-Defeating hits occur when you’ve achieved an Excellent (or higher) attack on an opponent.  The effect when achieving an armor-defeating hit is that the armor is no longer included in the reduction of damage.  Using the example from the book:

Broomé, a windling Elementalist, casts his Earth Darts spell at an angry cave troll. His Spellcasting Result of 23 achieves an Extraordinary Result against the cave troll’s low Spell Defense of 6. The damage inflicted by the earth darts is Armor-Defeating; the cave troll does not receive any benefit from his armor. And a Damage Test result of 17 gets the troll even more upset—he suffers a Wound as well! Too bad the Elementalist is out of reach of his axe…

So you can see that by utilizing this rule, we can be more effective at dishing out damage when it counts.  Please help me to remember this during our next gaming session and every one after that.  This can potentially cut down the time involved with combat so we can move forward with the story even quicker.

So, what do you think ?

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