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  1. #1
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    OK, folks, I've gotten my Bloodline Points document all typed up, and Arjan has had the goodness to put it up on Birthright.net. It's pretty rough, and I'm sure there are several aspects of it that people will take issue with, but it is complete enough to be the basis of a gaming session, so at this point I think comments would be useful. I have not yet had the opportunity to playtest any of it, and I'm always particularly interested in the results of such experiments.

    The URl is: http://www.birthright.net/download/B...ity_Points.zip

    Some notes on the thinking that went into creating this system:

    A. An alternate bloodline system is the first difference. I've posted most of that information before, so hopefully it won't be too much of a shock to anyone's sensibilities, but at it's core it is much more like the original 2e system of bloodline. Certain things had to be altered to fit into the BP system, and I took advantage of that to make some changes I've always felt needed changing anyway. I presented most of that in a rather haphazard way in various posts, but here it is all in one place so people can get a better feel for it.

    B. Customization. The first principle that went into this system was that blood ability creation should allow for as much customization as possible within the framework of the "theme" of the blood ability. There are, therefore, some restrictions on the progression of the blood abilities, and often a set group of powers, but in many other cases two characters with the same amount of bloodline points to spend on the same blood abilities could have powers that wound up being very different from one another. That isn't always the case, but it was one of the things I was going for. The ideas are in many ways related to the systems for superhero characters presented in the Four Colors to Fantasy and Mutants & Masterminds texts.

    C. Scaling up/scaling down. It was important that all blood abilities be available at every level of power. In the original BR system of blood abilities, many blood abilities had only a "minor" manifestation, while others were only available at "major" or "great" manifestations. With bloodline points, blood abilities are more articulated than they were in the original system. Each level of blood ability represents a range of 3 bloodline points. Minor is 1-3, major 4-6 and great 7-9. (Actually it's 7+. There's a guideline for not spending more than 9 BP on a single ability, but there's also an awnsheghlien/ersheghlien exception and that particular guideline could be easily ignored anyway should the DM allow it.) With the Bloodline Points system all blood abilities scale from 1 to 9 points. That meant those blood abilities that were only "minor" had to have be scaled up dramatically, and those that had only "major" and/or "great" levels had to be scaled down. For the most part, I think this is the most successful aspect of the system since it makes for some very interesting permutations of powers and abilities. In this regard, the ideas expressed owe a debt to the Savage Species text in addition to the concepts presented by 4CtF and M&M.

    D. 2e to 3e. Many of the basic game mechanics of D&D have changed between the editions, and the blood ability system should really reflect that. You'll see lots of skills and feats described in this system. Skills are often influenced only at the lower levels of BP expenditure for the base power of various blood abilities, and feats at higher levels, but this was more of a guideline than a rule. When it comes to how those things were implemented, I tried to affect only a single skill with a "scaling" modifier (like that provided by the modifier for bloodline strength) and a "flat" modifier for occasions when two or more skills were to be influenced by the ability. Again, there's a bit of ad hoc thinking that went into this kind of thing since the 3e skill system is a bit of a mish mash of utility. When it comes to feats the general idea was that a feat is not alone enough to qualify as a full BP, so they are often paired with additional effects. This kind of thing is imminently debatable, of course, and I wouldn't mind at all hearing from people who think Power X of ability Y is too powerful, or not powerful enough.

    E. If it ain't broke don't fix it... but go ahead and tweak it if you want. I'm going to go ahead and be blunt on this one. Some of the blood abilities in the original system sucked. They just sucked, man. I'm not going to detail too many of those, but a blood ability that isn't useful is a waste of time effort, ink on the page and, for that matter, pages. Whenever possible I tried to make every blood ability USEFUL to characters at the adventure level of play. Situations can always alter such utility, of course, but the idea was to make the blood abilities as useable as possible. Whenever practicable I used a character level's special ability as the "base line" for determining what a BP should be worth. These decisions were again, however, made on an ad hoc basis, so the power granted by various BP costs are undoubtedly debatable.

    F. Colour commentary or "read, read, read... oh, there's the rule." I tried to limit the prose as much as possible to keep things substantive. Prolixity is pleasant but brevity is beautiful. That may backfire a bit in that certain areas need to be more fully expressed, but that's kind of the point in having people take a look at the system at this stage in its development. Anything that doesn't seem clear from the text I would appreciate hearing about. Similarly, my grammar may be questionable in several places, or my spell checker on the fritz, so if anyone with an eye for that sort of thing could bring their powers to bear on this document it would be greatly appreciated.

    I'm sure there are some other things I should mention about the system, but those are the major issues, and at this point I think I'd be more interested in other people's comments....

    Laters,
    Gary

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Gary,
    Is this the one you wanted me to include in the d20 discussion or is it supposed to be a "separate" out of context type of thing?
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    Yes, that one's it.

    Gary

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