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The Versatility talent allows a human character to learn a talent from Disciplines other than their own.

The only limitations to casting spells are: (ED r2, p152)

  • Your character must have learnt the spell
  • To cast from a spell matrix you must have achieved a circle of their discipline equal to that of the spell circle.
  • The character must have the appropriate Thread Weaving talent for the discipline

So if a human spell caster learnt the thread weaving talents from the other spell casting disciplines (using Versatility) could they cast any spell?

Eg A human Wizard learns Thread Weaving (Elementalism) Thread Weaving (Illusion) and Thread Weaving (Nethermancy) in addition to their own Thread Weaving (Wizardry) - can they now potentially learn and cast any spell from any of the spell casting classes?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ But wouldn't you still not have a high enough circle in the spell's discipline? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 15 '13 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's what I'm wondering; does that simply stop you doing it (ie let human mages multiclass very cheaply) put that as an answer? \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Jun 15 '13 at 17:22
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Depends on how you play, rules depend on edition. And I personally would advise against it. Imbalanced characters always destroy games, and games should be fun for all, not just imbalancing players. Balance is crucial.

Back to the question though:

  1. True for FASA's 1st edition.
  2. Made more difficult in Living Room Games' 2nd edition: spell matrices need to be obtained or you're stuck with grimoire casting.
  3. RedBrick's Classic edition (Player Compendium, "Human Versatility and SpellCasting") imposes even further limitations — apparently they wanted to curb it more:
    • grimoire or raw spell don't have circle limitations in general
    • matrix spells when cast by a human wizard and not from his Discipline are limited by either his circle or said Discipline's thread weaving level, whichever's lower.

Keep in mind, human wizard needs to learn from someone. Not every discipline is keen to teach humans their thread weaving and spell matrix secrets.


Sources

  1. See here for answer verified by LRG Earthdawn Line Developer — note my remark below
  2. RedBrick Player Compendium search on thread weaving and versatility (via Google Books)

About LRG and FASA:

Living Room Games bought the Earthdawn licence from FASA and they did change some rules, yet did so aiming for more well-rounded gameplay. So, while it should be clear these are two different companies, I'd say it's highly likely they knew the original 1st edition rules well in the places where they made changes, such as with versatility and spell-casting.

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