Campaign of the Month: September 2013
Questors pledge themselves to one Passion. They dedicate their lives to it, trying to foster its ideals in the lives of all people. The characteristics of questors vary from Passion to Passion. Some general traits exist among most or all questors, as discussed below.
With the exception of those who follow the Mad Passions, questors with different patron Passions do not bear each other ill will. Each Passion embodies different ideals and emotions, and their questors understand that they are all equally significant parts of a whole that comprises the life of Name-givers.
Becoming a Questor
Every Name-giver can become a questor, adept and non-adept alike. Adhering to a Passion’s ideals is the only thing all questors have in common—being a questor is a specific, directed quest a character undertakes at a later stage in his life.
To become a questor, the character simply declares his intention (which must be approved by the gamemaster), and starts devoting his life to a single Passion, living that Passion’s ideals and helping spread the influence of their patron Passion across Barsaive. In return, he gains access to the Questor talent. The rank of the Questor talent serves as a measure of devotion, and supports the use of the powers granted to the questor by his patron Passion
The Questor Talent
The Questor talent alone does not give the character any special abilities, but is used as a measure of the questor’s abilities as granted by his patron Passion. As the character increases the rank of the Questor talent, the strength of his Passion-granted powers also increases. The Questor rank simply provides a gauge by which both the player and gamemaster can describe how much power the Passion grants the questor.
In game terms, as the questor performs acts of devotion worthy of his patron Passion, he can increase the rank of his Questor talent (see Acts of Devotion, below). In the world of Earthdawn, as a questor performs acts worthy of his patron Passion, the Passion rewards him with greater power.
Accumulating a certain number of Devotion Points does not automatically increase the Questor rank. The Devotion Point total only indicates the current maximum Questor rank possible. Player characters purchase ranks in the Questor talent in the same manner as they purchase ranks of other Fifth Circle talents. See Questor talent for a description.
When a character purchases the Questor talent at Rank 1, he receives the three basic questor powers listed with his patron Passion (see Questor Powers, under each Passion Descriptions. All powers are based on the questor’s Questor rank; purchasing a new rank in the Questor talent increases all of the character’s questor powers.
Acts of Devotion
In order to live out the ideals of their patron Passion, questors must act in ways that reflect their chosen path. That is, they are expected to take actions that support the ideals of their patron Passion. For example, a questor of Garlen is expected to heal those in need, while a questor of Upandal should be a builder of some sort, or regularly aid those whose goal is to construct something.
By acting in a way that embodies the ideals of his patron Passion, a questor helps keep those ideals, and so the Passion, alive and real in the minds and hearts of the people of Barsaive. Players should feel free to create acts of devotion other than those listed for each Passion. Any act that demonstrates the ideals of a questor’s patron Passion is appropriate, but the gamemaster must approve any new acts of devotion the player creates.
To help gamemasters determine the scale of an act of devotion, we suggest the following four categories: Minor Acts, Major Acts, Zealous Acts and Quests. Examples of typical acts of devotion appear below, and examples of acts appropriate to each Passion appear in the descriptions of each Passion.
Devotion Point Awards
Acts of devotion are defined as actions that the character performs that imitate the spirit and ideals of the questor’s Passion. Questors who perform acts of devotion are rewarded with Devotion Points. The gamemaster determines the scale of the character’s act of devotion based on the examples given in the Passion Descriptions earlier in this chapter, awarding Devotion Points accordingly.
Minor Act: The gamemaster should award the character any time the questor uses his talents, questor powers, skills, or other abilities to further the cause of the Passion in any way. Though special this reward may seem small, a questor who regularly performs minor acts of devotion in accordance with the Passion’s ideals and powers will accumulate Devotion Points quickly.
Major Act: The gamemaster should award the questor each time he performs an act of devotion that involves time or effort, but does not actually put him in any danger.
Zealous Act: The gamemaster should award the questor for performing an act of devotion that puts him at risk while personifying his patron Passion. This risk does not need to be physical. For example, a questor of Chorrolis, the Passion of trade, might risk a large sum of capital in a deal. If the risk could potentially break the questor’s influence and power, Chorrolis would take notice and reward the character. Questors of the Passion Thystonius, whose ideals embody the virtue of physical risk, must face almost certain death to receive this reward.
Quest: As opposed to the other acts of devotion above, a quest is almost always imposed on the questor — a sacred task he needs to carry out for his patron Passion. There are no hard and fast rules on how long a quest is—some are completed within a few days, others take an entire lifetime to complete. A quest may include any number of devotional acts, which are awarded separately from the final award for completing the quest. For example, most of the people living in the settlement of Trosk are questors of Jaspree. They have a sacred duty to perform in the name of their patron Passion, which is to find a way to stop the growth of the Badlands.
Accumulating Devotion Points
Like Legend Points, all Devotion Point awards a questor earns are cumulative.
The questor need only attempt the act of devotion: he need not necessarily succeed in order to receive the Devotion Point award. What matters is that the questor throws his heart and soul into the act. The Passions ask only that their questors model their behavior on the Passions’ ideals. They do not require the behavior to result in victory.
A questor’s Devotion Points accumulate to create a Devotion Point total. This total offers a quick way to estimate how many acts of devotion the questor has performed, and so judge the questor’s devotion to his chosen Passion. A questor’s Devotion Point total also determines the maximum rank he can have in the Questor talent, as shown on the Devotion Point table. For example, a questor with a Devotion Point total of 500 has a maximum Questor rank of 4, and a questor who has accumulated at least 2,100 Devotion Points has a maximum Questor rank of 7.
Failing to Act
Questors must accept every opportunity to act like their patron Passion. If a questor fails to imitate the nature of his patron Passion when he has the chance, he loses Devotion Points. The scale of the ignored opportunity helps the gamemaster to determine how many points the questor loses.
When the questor loses Devotion Points, the player must subtract these points from the character’s Devotion Point total. If the questor’s Devotion Point total falls below the number required for his current Questor rank, the questor loses one rank in the Questor talent.
If a questor loses a rank in his talent, he loses all the Legend Points spent to purchase that rank. A questor who wants to regain a lost rank must pay the required number of Legend Points a second time. Every time the questor has an opportunity to imitate his Passion, the gamemaster must tell the questor’s player that a test is at hand. If the player chooses to ignore the test, the questor loses the appropriate number of points. If the questor accepts the challenge and fails, he receives the appropriate Devotion Points and suffers no ill effect.
Falling Out of Favor
If a Rank 1 questor ignores one opportunity to perform an act of devotion, he falls out of favor with his Passion and loses his questor powers. The character no longer has access to the powers of the Passion. He can only regain these powers by performing a Zealous act of devotion: he cannot accumulate 100 points through a series of Minor and Major acts of devotion—instead, he must seek out danger and put himself at risk to imitate his Passion’s ideals.
By performing this act of devotion, whether successful or not, the questor regains the Questor talent at rank 1, but now has zero Devotion Points. The Devotion Points earned to regain his Questor talent do not accumulate toward a new Devotion Point total. The questor must begin again to accumulate Devotion Points by performing further acts of devotion, and can then increase his Questor rank as normal.
Although it is very rare, a fallen questor might choose to follow a different Passion instead. In this case, the restrictions above do not apply. The Mad Passions are known to court questors who have fallen into disgrace with their patron Passion.