Part Two: Game Information

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This section is for the Gamemaster alone. It contains specific rule adjustments for new characters, magic, and the creature statistics as well as other details. Creatures will be contained in the Bestiary section, which will be provided in its own section to be easily printed. New spells are at the end of the magic section for Nethermancers, Elementalists, and Wizards. Of course, the Earthdawn manual and Companion are essential to any campaign. The Earthdawn Survival Guide, specifically pages 74 - 76, and 115 - 117, will be very useful.

The People

In general, characters should be tougher, stronger and more willful than normal. In contrast, they will also be less perceptive and less charismatic. Dexterity does not change. Elves do not fall under the "in general" category since they live in a different environment and are quite xenophobic.

I have chosen not to include Windlings for, what I hope are, obvious reasons. T'skrang, being so closely tied to the water and ships, are also not included.

I am an advocate of letting the dice fall where they may for character creation, however, if you insist on using the point system, new characters should start with 73 points, like the archetypes in the Earthdawn Manual.

Starting characters also start with one artisan skill and four knowledge skills. A final, Waste-related knowledge skill should be chosen from a list defined by the GM. Skills relating to the Wastes are contained in the following section.


These skills have been created specifically for this campaign.

Water Sources
Rank + Perception
This skill allows the character to more readily find water in the Wastes. At higher ranks, it also provides the knowledge of how to purify the water to safely consume it. (Page 116 of the Survival Guide says finding water has a difficulty of 13.)

Waste Plants
Rank + Perception
This skill is essentially a specialized botany skill. It concentrates on knowing what each plant is commonly used for and where it usually grows and when it is best to use.

Healing Remedies
Rank + Perception
This skill concentrates on plants and minerals which heal. It provides the knowledge of how to prepare the plants and minerals and how to apply or administer them.

Animal Handling
Rank + Charisma
This skill facilitates the use of animals in every day life. Higher ranks will allow the character to train most domesticated animals.

Tribal Lore
Rank + Perception
The name of this skill is often preceeded by the name of one of the specific tribes. When it does, the character knows the major events and members of that tribe. When it does not, the character knows only vague details about each tribe, but more about the tribal system overall.

Ancestral Tattooing
Rank + Dexterity
This skill qualifies the character to apply the ritual tattoos when recording ancestry on the skin. It also includes how to make the dyes, how to prepare the spiderspike thorns, and even local anesthetics.

Natural Weapons
Rank + Perception
Individuals with this skill can make weapons from various plants and other supplies found in the wild. This includes preparing the wood or whatnot to curing them and preparing them for use.

Land Navigation
Rank + Perception
Characters with this skill find it easier to navigate in the Wastes even with the black ash in the sky. At higher ranks, the character can create temporary maps and explain to others how to arrive at their desired destination.

Rank + Dexterity
Characters with hunting have a better chance of finding living food as well as following tracks. This skill does not work as well for tracking as the actual skill of tracking.

Haven Building
Rank + Strength
This skill allows the character to quickly build a safe place in case of a storm or another life-threatening crisis.

Rank + Charisma
This skill allows a character to settle disputes between feuding parties, or other disagreements where they are not personally or professionally involved. The difficulty number for the Diplomacy test is the highest social defense of all parties present. An average success results in an agreement that lasts two months. A good success lasts five months. An excellent success lasts eight months, and an extraordinary success lasts for at least a year and a day.

Rank + Perception
This skill allows the character to settle disputes on behalf of a specific party to their advantage. The difficulty number for the Negotiation test is the social defense of the negotiating party. An average success results in an agreement that lasts two months. A good success lasts five months. An excellent success lasts eight months. Renewing the agreement requires a new Negotiation test. An extraordinary success, however, lasts for at least a year and a day, after which the agreement may be extended without further negotiation.

Artisan skills are not as important in the Wastes, but time is taken to teach each child at least one. The most common artisan skills are related to carving, tattooing, and body painting.

The Sickness

Storms in the Wastes tend to sap the energy of people in or nearby. This is the most common cause of infant mortality. Adults are much better able to survive this, and most who live to see old age in the Wastes eventually become immune to it. It takes over thirty years to develop any kind of immunity to it.

Underground caves have been built and tunnels are being expanded every day to combat this problem.

An average adept will suffer some form of weakness from these storms if he or she is caught in them or too near to them. This would result in a temporarily lower toughness, strength, or dexterity step. The duration of the weakness depends on the duration of exposure. Example: 5 minutes would be approximately 2 days, an hour might have an effect for a week or more, change the duration to be most effective for your campaign.

The Disciplines

Horror Stalkers can be found in the Wastes, however, they are not usually born there. Most venture into the Wastes to gain knowledge or experience. This is usually fatal. The other specialty disciplines are not seen here. As stated in Part One, the only discipline that changes is Thief. Here is the revised Thief Discipline. The Bonuses to defenses and so on remain the same.

Hunter (Thief)
First Circle
-Melee Weapons
-Karma Ritual
-Surprise Strike
-Silent Walk

Second Circle
-Creature Analysis

Third Circle
-Avoid Blow
-Missile Weapons

Fourth Circle
-Thread Weaving
-Trap Initiative

Fifth Circle
-Disarm Mechanical Trap
-Detect Trap

Sixth Circle
-Lip Reading

Seventh Circle
-Detect Weapon
-Throwing Weapons

Eighth Circle
-Conceal Weapon
-Wound Balance

Ninth Circle
-Gold Sense
-Speak Language
-Item History

Tenth Circle
-Disarm Magical Trap
- Read and Write Language

Eleventh Circle
-Bank Shot
-Unarmed Combat

Twelfth Circle
-Second Attack

Thirteenth Circle
-Called Shot

Fourteenth Circle
-Fast Hand

Fifteenth Circle
-Gain Surprise
-True Sight

Ritual Master

A Ritual Master can be any spellcaster who has completed the training under another Ritual Master.

The following skills (and/or talents) are required by Ritual Masters:

Read and Write Language; rank 7
Speak Language; rank 5
Read and Write Magic; rank 7
Diplomacy; rank 6
Negotiation; rank 6
Trading, rank 6 (ED 134)
Etiquette; rank 6 (ED 130)
Navigation; rank 8 (ED 131)
Research; rank 7 (ED 132)
Ancestral Tattooing; rank 4
Tribal Lore; rank 5
And at least 7th circle in their chosen spellcasting discipline

Ghost Masters

Groups of four or more have a 25% chance of attracting a Ghost Master spirit wandering lost through the Wastes. Please refer to Part One for the behavior of these spirits. To determine what discipline the spirit is, either choose what will be most fun for you or use the random chart below. In the case of 17-20, the group may be "discovered" by a spirit later in the game.

Some of the disciplines that are no longer in use are in this chart. These spirits are much older and may not be aware of how much life has changed in the area.


Magic works the same, but its effects are a little different. Those characters who wish to constantly control their spells take 1 strain whenever they use their spellcasting talent. Those who do not exert control are a little more complicated.

When a player makes his or her spellcasting test and does not take the optional strain, look at the success table. If the result is an excellent success, the spell proceeds as it normally does. Karma, though it may be used, does not count toward this test for the purpose of screwing up the spellcasting. If the result is only a good success, the physical appearance of the spell changes, but the effect remains the same unless it is only a physical spell (such as changing an appearance). If the result is average, the spell fails and the caster takes half the damage of the spell if it is a damage spell. Mystic armor does not protect against this damage. If it is not, make a knockdown test with the following formula:

Difficulty number = (e.s.d.n.*) - (spellcasting result) + 4
If the willpower/force test vs. the difficult number succeeds, character stays standing.
*excellent success difficulty number

Example 1:
Spell: Silver Shadow
Target for an excellent success is: 24
Spellcasting result is: 15
Difficulty number is 24 - 15 + 4 = 13
Willpower = step 7, result = 11
The character falls down from the force of the failed spell.

Example 2:
Spell: Fireball
Target for an excellent success is: 19
Spellcasting result is: 11
Damage of the spell is: (willforce + 8) with a willforce of step 12 = 20
The character takes step 10 damage.

Raw Magic

In some parts of the Wastes lie oases. Magic can be cast here as it is outside the Wastes, with no penalties and no abnormalities. These regions are "pure" on the table below. For the sake of humor (and because some of you know I can't resist). "Farked" is reserved only for locations where Horrors have entered the land and is much worse than "corrupted." (Unmodified table: ED 156)

Raw Magic Table


For the sake of convience, the spells are contained on another page. Please look here.

Bestiary and Horrors

(Unlike the PDF version, the creatures are presented here in alphabetical order. They are also presented in a separate page.)



As mentioned at the end of Part One, Bluetorch is the "writer" of that piece. In truth, Bluetorch is a deceased dragon whose spirit, like so many others, was denied peace. Though he was not yet a Great Dragon, he was well on his way to becoming one. The Monarch and her minions destroyed him. He knows all there is to know about the Wastes but only provides information about what he deems necessary. He has two ultimate goals: to see the Monarch destroyed and to have the Wastes cleansed.


Items are contained on a separate page. Items.


So, here you have it. The basis for the campaign that I am currently running. For survival purposes, I suggest a group of at least 4 adventurers, the more there are, the better their chance at survival. Part three contains a few adventure ideas that I have already implemented.

The game must go on!
J. Anne Mauck

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