A few notes regarding the initial playtesting of the blood ability points
system in my group.

Initially everyone wanted to use the point buy method for determining
bloodline and ability scores. Apparently the ECL modifiers for the
"4-step" method seemed too dire. After characters were generated using
point buy I suggested someone try rolling up a character or two and after
the first person did so everyone wound up following suit and it turned out
the PCs they wanted to use were all rolled randomly. Such are the
peccadillos of playtesting, I guess.

Anyway, my group seems to prefer the random method at present. We used 4d6
ignore lowest and placed resulting number in whatever ability score the
player wants. For playtesting purposes I included the 4d6 for the
bloodline strength as one of those rolls, and let the players put whichever
result they wanted into bloodline strength. Normally, I wouldn`t do
that--I think the roll for bloodline strength should be announced
beforehand and the result taken no matter how high or low it might be--but
I wanted to see how players would respond if they had 5-8 BP to spend in
order to see how the actual blood abilities would pan out.

The tenth values for ECL seemed to work out fine. I thought that might be
a sticking point for some reason, but it didn`t seem to be a problem at
all. Since most of the PCs have similar bloodlines, however, it might have
been more of a problem had the bloodline rolls been more varied. I`ll have
to try that next time to see.

As far as the blood abilities are concerned a couple of things became
quickly apparent. In addition to several of the changes Mark suggested,
some of changes below will be made to the document, so anyone interested in
an update can get at it when I`ve finished.

1. There`s a bit of a stutter in Table 1: Bloodline Strength. The
increment for a minor bloodline is 5-8 and 9-10 with +2 and +3
modifiers. When I wrote up that table that seemed like a good idea given
the range of strengths on the table on p20 of the RB, and there`s no reason
why there can`t be a third "level" of minor bloodlines for 7-8, so I`m
going to try it out that way and see if it really makes any difference.

2. The write up for Heightened Ability is too powerful. The ability score
increases are fine, but the duration of the effect (1d4 + Bld hours) was
too long, especially because of the enhancement for that ability that
doubles the duration of the effect. For scions with high bloodline
strength modifiers that effectively allowed them to increase their ability
scores for every waking hour or nearly so. The fix to this one will be
that the effect lasts for 1d4+1 hours, and the enhancement will allow a
scion to increase that duration by +1 or +2 hours per additional BP spent.

3. The Awnsheghlien/Ersheghlien prestige class needs a few tweaks. I like
the basic idea but it needs to be fleshed out in a couple of places and can
stand a little streamlining in a few others. There are several problems
with it.

A. The corrupting nature of Azrai`s derivation only takes effect when the
scion has spent 4BP and, therefore, gained access to the prestige
class. Due to the scaling of the BP system, such a character already has
two "transformations" for the second and third BP spent on the
ability. Effectively 1 BP equates to the 2e Bloodmark ability and anything
more than that to the beginning stages of the transformation into some
other form, so the scion is an awnsheghlien as soon as 2 BP are spent on
Bloodform. There needs to be some way to "force" the character to continue
his degeneration into an awnsheghlien form once s/he spends two points (or
maybe just one) on the Bloodform ability if the system is to remain true to
the original awnsheghlien concept. Also, since the change to awnsheghlien
is not voluntary, and the campaign setting implies in several cases that
Azrai`s scions often become awnsheghlien as their bloodline increases there
should be some way of reflecting that in the BP system. I`ve got a few
ideas for this, mostly having to do with such characters needing to make
what amounts to a Will save to spend BP on something other than Bloodform
after character generation, but if anyone has a take on how this might be
accomplished I`d love to hear it.

B. There needs to be more advantages and disadvantages, particularly
disadvantages. There are several examples of these kinds of transformative
effects in several prestige classes (mostly in MotW) but if there are any
in particularly that seem apt then I`d like to hear about those as well. I
also changed the vulnerability to particular types of energy from -5 to the
save to double damage. -5 on a save is just not significant enough.

C. I`m considering getting rid of the Bonus BP special ability and rolling
that into the Transformation special ability. That is, a player will be
able to choose some sort of transformative effect like those listed, or a
BP to spend however s/he pleases. I suspect, however, that that will only
lead to players taking all their levels in such a class to improve their
blood abilities, ignoring actual changes into awn-/ersheghlien form. It
may be that I`m just not satisfied with the rate of transformation accorded
to awn-/ersheghlien as a prestige class, though. A little more playtesting
might be appropriate.


************************************************** **************************
The Birthright Homepage: http://www.birthright.net
Birthright-l Archives: http://oracle.wizards.com/archives/birthright-l.html
To unsubscribe, send email to LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM
with UNSUB BIRTHRIGHT-L in the body of the message.