In this design diary I take a look at the three phases of play and how they might be adapted to Earthdawn.
There are three distinct phases to play in BitD. More or less these run cyclically through Free Play, The Score and Downtime.
Free play in the context of Earthdawn is more or less the default play style for the the game as written. The main difference is that there is a sense of pressure to get things done not really present in the source. Free play in the blades adaptation is about lining up resources, touching base with contacts and setting up the next Score.
Skipping over to Downtime, this is the phase where our heroes lick their wounds, spend some coin indulging their vices and working on long term projects. In Earthdawn these can be relatively mundane or more mystical in nature, such as spell research or the discovery of key knowledge.
Scores in Earthdawn present themselves in a number of guises. Bringing a caravan to its destination through bad country, raiding a kaer, taking out a Scorcher camp are all good Scores, each with their own challenges and all supporting a variety of different approaches.
In summary, although it might not seem the obvious fit, for certain types of game play BitD is a suitable vector for storytelling in the Earthdawn setting. I'm interested to see how this stacks up against the arguably more open Fate Core (one of my all time favourite systems) and also against the new edition of Cortex.