Questions about Fourth World

(Lester Ward) #1

Fourth World is a drift of the Dungeon World rules to play in the setting of Earthdawn. It’s built for longer term campaigns, and is a bit more crunchy than straight Dungeon World (but nowhere near as crunchy as Earthdawn).

The current version is 1.4, and it has drifted further from RAW Dungeon World. Version 1.5 approaches completion, and will drift even further (to the point that this will be the final 1.x version).

If you have questions, requests, or comments, you have a couple of weeks to voice them and influence version 1.5, so fire away.

(A link that leads to all the posts tagged with Fourth World on my blog, which includes all past versions and some mechanical analysis.)

(Lester Ward) #2

Just so I don’t lose it when G+ dies, I asked this question there a couple days ago:

For each spellcasting discipline, what is the most “iconic” spell of that discipline at each circle? (edition doesn’t matter)

I’m asking because I want the spell selection in 1.5 to hit the highlights that capture the essence of each spellcasting discipline/playbook. The reply I got back was:


  • First Circle Flame Weapon
  • Second Circle Icy Surface
  • Third Circle Ice Mace & Chain
  • Fourth Circle Blizzard Sphere
  • Fifth Circle Fireball
  • Sixth Circle Ricochet Attack
  • Seventh Circle Death Rain
  • Eighth Circle Silver Shadow
  • Ninth Circle Cloud Banish
  • Tenth Circle Elemental Merchant
  • Fifteenth Circle Call for the Maelstrom


  • First Circle Displace Image
  • Second Circle Ephemeral Bolt
  • Third Circle Alarm
  • Fourth Circle Stop Right There
  • Fifth Circle Phantom Fireball
  • Sixth Circle Bouncing Blaster
  • Seventh Circle Rebel Limb
  • Eighth Circle Leaping Lizards
  • Ninth Circle One with the Crowd
  • Tenth Circle Haunted House


  • First Circle Spirit Grip
  • Second Circle Shield Mist
  • Third Circle Pain
  • Fourth Circle Animate Skeleton
  • Fifth Circle Wither Limb
  • Sixth Circle Bone Shatter
  • Seventh Circle Constrict Heart
  • Eighth Circle Shadow Tether
  • Ninth Circle Shift Skin
  • Tenth Circle Animate Dead
  • Eleventh Circle Shatter Pattern
  • Twelfth Circle Forge Falsemen
  • Thirteenth Circle Erase Horror Mark


  • First Circle Mind Dagger
  • Second Circle Vines
  • Third Circle Leaps and Bounds
  • Fourth Circle Trust
  • Fifth Circle Counterspell
  • Sixth Circle Doom Missile
  • Seventh Circle Blood Boil
  • Eighth Circle Woundmask
  • Ninth Circle Reattach Limb
  • Tenth Circle Draw and Quarter
(Emir Pasanovic) #3

Still trying to wrap my head around the weaves and spell casting, but my question was about the mechanics of “Weaving Through the Grimoire”:

If the spell is of a higher circle than you have in your discipline, take –1. If the grimoire is not yours, take –1. If the spell is from a discipline you do not follow, take –1.

So these stack up, so that a person can actually get a -3 to the roll?

(Lester Ward) #4

Yup. Weaving through a grimore is not at all safe. Casting another discipline’s high level spell from a strange book even more so. They still add whatever trait they use for weaving, so the net effect would be close to roll+nothing.

Sane magicians usually don’t cast through grimoires (especially someone else’s) unless they had no other choice.

I should mention that one big change in 1.5 is that weaving has been retooled to be less of a mathematical death spiral. The point of weaving (through matrices, anyway) is to make casting take longer than punching someone in the face, not to ensure failure.

(Emir Pasanovic) #5

I’d still like to see an example of play, but I foresee a lot of defend moves for everyone else except the spellcaster.

(Lester Ward) #6

One other thing not obvious in 1.4 that is hopefully a bit more clear in 1.5: intentionally missing from the weaving and casting rules is anything along the lines of “if you take damage, all is lost”. It’s not like d20 concentration, or whatever. A weaving magician can move around, take damage, even attack in the middle of weaving threads, and still just keep on weaving. Some monsters (and disciplines) may have moves to specifically disrupt spellcasting, but it’s not disrupted by mere damage or distraction.

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(Lester Ward) #7

I have released Fourth World version 1.5.

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