Welcome back, faithful readers!
I knew we’d be over-subscribed for the playtest, but not that I’d be disappointing quite so many people. To try to make up for it, spoilers will continue until morale improves.
A looooooong time ago on this blog, I described the design process behind second edition’s re-imagining of the Orders. You can read that post, and the first draft of the Free Council, here.
To reiterate what I said in that post, our goals when describing the Orders this time out were;
- Increase the sense of historicity, relative to first edition.
- Clarify the nature of the Diamond’s “Atlantean” lineage.
- Reject the Tier system.
- Develop the Free Council as a viable sect.
- Show more mages living outside the Orders, but make it clear that they have numerous disadvantages.
- Display internal variation.
- Portray the Pentacle as an Alliance.
- Let Sleepers glimpse the Orders.
- Let Sleepwalkers and Proximi in.
- Show the Orders as mystery cults.
- The Orders have flaws.
In that post, I said that the tone statement for the Adamantine Arrow is “Challenge is Magical.” That was first described in the Mage Chronicler’s Guide, based on the Order’s presentation in their Order book. That book – like its counterparts for the other Pentacle Orders – really laid a lot of the ground work, such that you should be able to read it with Second Edition eyes and see the same faction being described.
One thing I was particularly keen on in the new splat pages for the Arrow was making it clear that although they’re the most combatative Order, they aren’t a “fighter character class;” the Arrow are defined by striving for worthy goals while operating under restraint of oath and right behavior. All Arrow are willing to fight, save for the Vidantus Heretics shunned for their pacifism, but almost anything can be a battlefield with the right mindset.
Put simply, I wanted an Arrow where a lawyer is just as valid a character as a knight, and I think Neall Raemonn Price, long-suffering Scion Developer and oft-fired freelancer, has delivered.
But you can’t ignore the combat side of the Arrow, either, and that really comes out in second edition’s new version of an old favorite: The Adamant Hand. And there’s another small Merit, too, which answers a rules question at least one commentator has had.
Merit: Adamant Hand (••)
Prerequisite: Adamantine Arrow Status •, (Athletics, Brawl, or Weaponry •••, Special)
Effect: Your character has studied extensively in the Adamantine Arrow martial arts. This allows her to use combat techniques as Yantras for instant spells. When taking this Merit, choose Athletics, Weaponry, or Brawl, which your character must have three or more dots in. This Merit allows use of that Skill in combat as a reflexive Order Tool Yantra, adding dice to a spell cast on subsequent turns, or to a spell cast reflexively in the same turn as the combat action. You may purchase this Merit multiple times to reflect the other styles.
Merit: Fast Spells (••)
Prerequisites: Firearms ••, Time •
Effect: Your character’s Aimed spells streak out with the speed of bullets. Subjects may not apply their Defense against your Aimed Spell rolls unless they use a Supernatural power that allows them to use Defense against firearms.
Adamantine Arrow Preview
And, without further preamble, here is a link to the current draft of the Adamantine Arrow.
See you next week, where we’ll lift the Masques of the Guardians of the Veil.