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View Full Version : The Social Ramification of Bloodtheft



harvs2
02-28-2004, 08:19 PM
I have always been rather curious about how people feel Bloodtheft is seen in Cerilia. It seems to me that it is not seen well at all, but I would love to hear the opinions of others.

ConjurerDragon
02-28-2004, 09:50 PM
harvs2 schrieb:



>This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.

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> harvs2 wrote:

> I have always been rather curious about how people feel Bloodtheft is seen in Cerilia. It seems to me that it is not seen well at all, but I would love to hear the opinions of others.

>

That would highly depend on who your character is and where he is,

e.g. a Vos Barbarian slaying without any warning or reason, some

unprepared, unarmed whiny Brecht scion in Vosgaard who dared to travel

to far east would likely be seen as acting in the best way possible -

strenghtening his power and at the same time culling the weak... I can

see no negative reaction in that climate - neither for the murder, nor

for commiting bloodtheft.



In more civilized areas, and for lawful characters the requirements

would be higher. Murder would be out of question, and a honorable combat

needed. But even if the kill is not murder, and in former times the arms

and weapon of the loser in a tournament went to the victorious fighter,

I can´t see taking the bloodline of the loser in the same way.



Not only does the word itself BloodTHEFT scream out that it is like

stealing, but while the arms and weapon of a character are his personal

property in my view his bloodline is not. It is his connection to the

land and his means to collect regency if he was a ruler and just as the

land it is supposed to be inherited by his heirs so are the RP amassed

by the victim. According to the 2E way of bloodtheft if a regent is

slain normally the heirs get the domain AND the RP score of the victim -

but with bloodtheft the heir gets no RP. With a tighmaevril weapon the

tie between regent and land is severed and the domain falls into chaos.



Commiting bloodtheft on anyone except an ancestral enemy whose whole

family/clan is at war/feud with you, or against monsters I would see as

a chaotic and despised act . Using a tighmaevril weapon that throws a

whole domain into chaos and denies the heir the RP of the slain enemy is

even more chaotic and more despised.



Reading in the BRCS I noticed that the chance to have ones own bloodline

converted to Azrais does not raise if one commits bloodtheft instead of

simply slaying a scion with Azrais blood. (while you get more RP the

chance that you have to make the conversion check is higher but the

check does not become more difficult). Wouldn´t it be approbiate to make

it more likely to have ones bloodline change to Azrai if the character

intentionally kills a monster/awnsheglien using a coup de

grace/tighmaevril instead of just killing it? And the passage in the

BRCS about Bloodtheft (after Usurpation) does not mention the loss of

the victims RP as the 2E Rulebook does so that the heir gains the domain

but no RP.

bye

Michael

irdeggman
02-28-2004, 10:17 PM
Actually in the BRCS-playtest and the revised Chap 2 there is the following:

" While this bloodline usurpation may seem an easy way to increase a scion’s blood power, it does come with its risks. When a scion absorbs the bloodline essence of a scion with a bloodline score higher than his, then he faces the risk of the victim’s bloodline derivation effectively overwhelming his own. It is actually possible for a scion’s bloodline derivation to change as the new, more powerful bloodline grounds itself in the slayer’s body. This can only occur if the slayer absorbs the maximum RP (twice his current bloodline score) during usurpation. If this happens, then the scion must make a contested bloodline check or change the derivation of his bloodline to the newly absorbed derivation.

The scion normally gets a +10 circumstance bonus to this check, unless the slain scion possessed a bloodline derived from Azrai. The corrupting influence of the dark god’s bloodline is particularly difficult to resist, and scions absorbing the energy of Azrai do not gain this bonus. This is one of the reasons why Azrai’s bloodline is still so prevalent in Cerilia; many a scion has slain an Awnshegh only to discover his has become corrupted by Azrai's foul taint. "

So Azrai usurpation will have a greater chance of converting a scion's bloodline.


Bloodtheft is something that all scion's fear. Commoners don't really care either way because it is outside of their control and above their station.

IMO it would be highly situational as to how bloodtheft is perceived at the time. Was it in single combat? Where was it (e.g., Vosgaard, Rjurik Highlands, Anuire, etc.)? Did it involve another race? Was it an attempt to recover a 'stolen' birthright - like in Osoerde? I don't think there is a simple answer here, as is the case in most things in Birthight, political conditions have a great influence on what happens and why.

kgauck
02-28-2004, 10:50 PM
I don`t think it actually happens.



Kenneth Gauck

kgauck@mchsi.com

Osprey
02-28-2004, 11:35 PM
Well, the answer that perception of bloodtheft is conditional and variable is definitely the easy, broad, catch-all answer that is likely to be true...but here are some examples of my own.

In Anuire (and I'll limit it to that for my purposes here, as it s what I'm most familiar with and where most of my campaign takes place), I think bloodtheft would be considered the right of the victor in honorable combat IF death by combat was considered just in the first place - like on the battlefield.

However, like any political action, it will have consequences as waves rippling forth through time and space. Who were the slainb scion's heirs, if any? Who were their allies? Who were their friends? How well-loved were they by their people and by other regents/scions? If an unpopular or treacherous bloodtheft occurs, I imagine it will be looked on with disdain, even disgust. If it's a righteous slaying of an ancient enemy or an unpopular regent, it will probably be called "justice" by most folks with a medieval mindset.

In most cases, though, I think it falls into that messy gray zone somewhere in-between. Some people will get upset, because they didn't want that scion to die or see their line ended. So bloodtheft goes on the list of crimes committed by the slayer. Others, siding with the slayer(s), will see it as a natural or at least predictable end result of victory over another scion. As I understand the BRCS, heirs always get the RP and half collection from the domains they inherit when their patron/liege dies, even when they're bloodthefted, with the single exception of tighmaevriel, which specifically severs the connection between regent and land/holdings, making that regent's lands and holdings uncontrolled. And of course the heir is left an heir in name only, as I imagine the bloodsilver severs that connection as well (it being essentially of the same nature).

I don't see the act of bloodtheft being condemned in and of itself - I think it's too much a part of Anuire's history to not be somewhat accepted as "how things happen." I believe this is particularly true when one regent conquers another regent's realm - it seems quite natural as the crowning finale to that conquest, though in Anuire best done on the battlefield rather than later as part of a criminal sentencing.

Lastly, keep in mind that all of these things boil down to my interpretation based on the core source material and BRCS - I like the fact that these things aren't spelled out in the publications, because it is one of those issues that each DM may then shape according to how they envision Cerilia and the consequences of character (or NPC) actions. But if you like this version, by all means take what you like! :)

-Osprey

Benjamin
02-29-2004, 03:52 AM
I agree with the general consensus so far. It is variable.

But let me discuss some of the variables.

In Anuire, Brechtur and Khinasi, I would see any bloodtheft in battle to be accepted widely. Duels would also be accepted, provided both parties took a 'till death' position.

Any time bloodtheft was the result of treachery, deceit or magic, though, I can see there being problems. And the same goes for the violation of hospitality rules - you can't drug/poison your guests just to bloodtheft them. However, I can see some vendettas/blood feuds in Khinasi where bloodtheft by deceit is accepted, provided both parties are aware there is a type of feud going on (similar to Dune series kanly).

In Rjurik, I think honor will have more influence, and fewer witnesses on whole. The idea of challenging rulers for position, though, means bloodtheft will likely be more prevalent.

In Vosgaard, bloodtheft will be widely accepted - after all, if you aren't strong enough to keep your bloodline, then you needed to be killed off. This doesn't mean, though, that family members won't come looking for revenge.

Usurpation, though, I will see as abhorrent to most people. The killing by a blow through the heart takes some effort. It usually means the foe is incapacitated and/or helpless. I see it being looked upon as dishonorable and evil in all regions.

And anyone with tighmaevril is just asking to be hunted down, mostly because each and every hunter will want for him/herself. Of course, publicly they will say it's to destroy an evil weapon.

Foundry_Dwarf
03-02-2004, 08:43 AM
Originally posted by Benjamin@Feb 29 2004, 04:52 AM
In Anuire, Brechtur and Khinasi, I would see any bloodtheft in battle to be accepted widely. Duels would also be accepted, provided both parties took a 'till death' position.
I agree with this wholeheartedly. I can easily see one blooded character challenging another for the right to wed and thus advance one step closer to the throne (I can even see characters being forced to either "step aside" or face all reasonable challengers). Such would help ensure the strength of the bloodlines and, at the same time, permanently still any possiblity of the loser trying to reclaim what once was his (ressurection does not restore taken bloodlines IIRC).
In a game I ran one Khinasi paladin sought out and challenged another (his cousin no less) because the cousin was bethrothed to one a step higher up in the hierarchy). :) [Translation: PC rolled "Blood Challenge" and I fleshed it out :D ]

Osprey
03-02-2004, 02:53 PM
And given the number of references and hints as to the frequency of Blood Challenges, I think it safe to assume that most regents face Blood Challenges sooner or later, and that in general this is simply not all that uncommon.

BUT...I also think it's important to emphasize that this is deadly serious. Duels to the death, especially when an invested regent is involved, causes a serious upset in the stability of things...and as regents must always concern themselves with the people, we must ask ourselves: just how much of this "changing of the kings" could the people really stomach? At what point would too many usurpations simply collapse the system altogether and pitch the land into anarchy and civil war?

Heh heh, well there's a dark future seed for Cerilia...the times when the people say "enough is enough" and rebel against the blooded altogether...to be blooded is to be hunted, hated, and blamed for the misery of the people, who were the pawns of the scions in century upon century of endless warfare, strife, espionage, deceit, and struggles for power.

An idea, anyways. <_<

ConjurerDragon
03-02-2004, 07:00 PM
Foundry_Dwarf schrieb:



>This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.

> You can view the entire thread at:

> http://www.birthright.net/forums/index.php?act=ST&f=2&t=2309

>

> Foundry_Dwarf wrote:

>
Originally posted by Benjamin@Feb 29 2004, 04:52 AM
[b] In Anuire, Brechtur and Khinasi, I would see any bloodtheft in battle to be accepted widely. Duels would also be accepted, provided both parties took a `till death` position.

> I agree with this wholeheartedly. I can easily see one blooded character challenging another for the right to wed and thus advance one step closer to the throne (I can even see characters being forced to either "step aside" or face all reasonable challengers). Such would help ensure the strength of the bloodlines and, at the same time, permanently still any possiblity of the loser trying to reclaim what once was his (ressurection does not restore taken bloodlines IIRC).

> In a game I ran one Khinasi paladin sought out and challenged another (his cousin no less) because the cousin was bethrothed to one a step higher up in the hierarchy). :) [Translation: PC rolled "Blood Challenge" and I fleshed it out :D ]

>

A Khinasi Paladin? And he did ignore the example of glorious El-Arrasi

who spared the life of his brother Eirat?

bye

Michael

kgauck
03-02-2004, 09:20 PM
Osprey`s post is an intriguing thought on bloodtheft, but also serves as an

example of what I totally reject in BR. My own view is to see the story

from the point of view of the PC`s as nobles, and heroic nobles. They are

right and good. Portraying the vary nature of things as dark and corrupt

doesn`t fit with my vision of the game. Boodtheft understood in that way

rubs me the wrong way. As a mechanism that can reflect the shift in power

that comes from victory, I can embrace. The notion that anyone (except

maybe abominations) seeks to steal, hence bloodtheft, someone`s bloodline I

reject.



YMMV

Kenneth Gauck

kgauck@mchsi.com

Osprey
03-03-2004, 03:38 AM
Kenneth,
May I ask which post or part of a post you are referring to? I&#39;m a bit confused as to what exactly you are responding to. Thanks in advance&#33;

Osprey

kgauck
03-03-2004, 04:50 AM
----- Original Message -----

From: "Osprey" <brnetboard@BIRTHRIGHT.NET>

Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 9:38 PM



> May I ask which post or part of a post you are referring to?

> I`m a bit confused as to what exactly you are responding to.



The one posted Mar 2 2004, 08:53 AM, its up two from mine on the boards.



Kenneth Gauck

kgauck@mchsi.com

Osprey
03-03-2004, 08:02 AM
> May I ask which post or part of a post you are referring to?
> I`m a bit confused as to what exactly you are responding to.

The one posted Mar 2 2004, 08:53 AM, its up two from mine on the boards.

Kenneth Gauck
kgauck@mchsi.com


Ok, thanks. In response, I would say that as a DM in my own BR campaign I, too, tend to favor the heroic story perspective...but I also prefer to challenge players to think about the consequences of their actions. This can work on many levels. What do other regents think of their actions? How do merchants, scholars, and other medieval "middle class" types see those same actions? How do the common folk see them? And how do all of these people actually experience the consequences of things like wars of conquest, blood challenges and the death of a ruler, and so on...

So that post was just an imagining of a "what if" scenario, one in which things like bloodtheft and strife become so prevalent that the people simply rebel against the blooded. It&#39;s a quite believable scenario, IMO; prejudice and racism, revolution and inquisition...they&#39;re all an ugly but real part of human history, aren&#39;t they?

So the idea was put out there as an idea not for a typical or even likely BR campaign...just a possibility, that&#39;s all. And if it&#39;s any comfort, my BR campaign bears no resemblance to that dark scenario. :) It&#39;s quite the campaign of heroic ascendance.

A final thought: I love a good story, and I love to craft one with my players. But right in there with that love is a love of teaching: one of the most rewarding feelings for me as a gamemaster is when I know my players learn something from those stories that they can take with them beyond the game room and through their lives.

Cheers,
Osprey

Raesene Andu
03-03-2004, 10:36 AM
While I would probably prefer if all my players were nice heroic types, they aren&#39;t unfortunately. One is an evil elven sorceror with a habit of toturing those who cross him, another is a dwarven cleric that won&#39;t heal anyone in the party unless they swear alliegence to Moradin, and another is a mad Rjurik babarian with a tendancy to do really stupid things. The two half-elves are generally good, although the sorceror often leads them astray, especially when it comes to hunting down anyone who cheats them.

In the last gaming session they tried to cheat Mheallie Bireon with cleverly faked gemstones they were given by an elven noble in return for some treasures they stole from a tomb in the giantdowns, then after learning of the deception, they raided the elven noble&#39;s home in the Tuarhievel capital, while his wife was hosting a party for the elite of elven nobility. They then masquaraded as a troop of wandering performers there to provide some of the entertainment, while at the same time casing the mansion, only to break in later that night and kill half the guards before learning that the noble they were seeking was out of town. They then made a deal with his wife to... remove him... and are now on their way to a ruined castle where the noble is searching for a lost treasure...


Anyway, getting back to the topic of bloodtheft, it hasn&#39;t cropped up much in my campaign yet, but with at least one evil character in the game, it won&#39;t be long before he is looking for scions to slay (in fact, he already is). If he gets out of hand, then I plan to have some blood hunter&#39;s come looking for him. After all, it is a lot easier to slay 1 powerful scion with a bloodline stronger than yours, than kill several weaker for the same benefit.

kgauck
03-03-2004, 05:10 PM
That`s what I figured from the context of your first post, Osprey. The post

appeared conjectural. I thought its a good idea from a story perspective.

My reaction was based on my genre reaction to it, which was 180 degrees away

from that kind of approach. There is nothing wrong with a Cerilia torn by

prejudice and racism, revolution and inquisition, except that`s not the kind

of stories I want to craft. I appreciate discussion of it, but part of that

discussion will include the alternatives.



In the same vein, I think its a good thing for the bloodtheft to be

interpreted broadly so that different DM`s can do different things with it.

Whether that means a Highlander style in one campiagn, occasional duels for

blood in another, or limiting the concept to fights that would have taken

place without bloodtheft, the setting is all the richer.



Kenneth Gauck

kgauck@mchsi.com