View Poll Results: Which Proposal should be pursued for inclusion in the BRCS?

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  • Proposal A

    7 38.89%
  • Proposal B

    0 0%
  • Proposal C

    1 5.56%
  • Proposal D

    7 38.89%
  • Combination of two (specified in post)

    3 16.67%
  • Don't Care

    0 0%
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  1. #1
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Here is the vote for which proposal to pursue for blood score.

    The link for the proposals is http://www.tuarhievel.org/Blood%20Score%20...sals%205-15.zip

    I included a listing for a combination of 2 proposals - so if you think that is the best way to go, then post which combination you'd like to see. This is not referring to variants but rather a combined proposal, for example proposal A with the scion class descriptions more like those in proposal D, or something like that.

    I will be looking for a clear majority, something along the lines of twice as many favoring one orf the proposals. It is also entirely possible that more than one would be selected, one default and one as a variant.

    Note that this is really independent of anything that 3.5 might affect so don't worry about 3.5's impact on the blood score - although it may affect the blood abilities themselves, but we'll deal with that bridge when we come to it.
    Duane Eggert

  2. #2
    Site Moderator Ariadne's Avatar
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    I would prefer the revised BRCS (your) version as my favourite.

    Otherwise geeman's idea is nice too...
    May Khirdai always bless your sword and his lightning struck your enemies!

  3. #3
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    I have voted for D - the feat like approach.

    The revised BRCS version loses much of it's inherent simplicity by doubling the stat for no real reason other than a sense of backwards compatibility.

    The experience points method relies on probability balancing for its bloodline strength - this is against the tenents of 3rd edition as seen in the revision of psionics.

    The blood-points system would seem to have the most potential, and I do like the clear descriptions of what you get for you for your invested points in each ability. However the inclusion of fractional ECLs, redundant arithmetic and multiple generated attributes (strength, score, points) make the system opaque and initially confusing. If this system was simplified and re-written for clarity, even at the expense of simulation accuracy, it would be a clear winner for me, but for the moment, no.

    Finally, I selected the feat-like approach - but reluctantly. This is solely because of the inclusion for the Scion class - which I am wholly against. I would be much happier if the Noble class gained access to these feats, and the template method was used, but as is it is the lesser evil of the four choices.

    CM.

  4. #4
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    3 +0200, CMonkey wrote:



    >The blood-points system would seem to have the most potential, and I do

    >like the clear descriptions of what you get for you for your invested

    >points in each ability. However the inclusion of fractional ECLs,

    >redundant arithmetic and multiple generated attributes (strength, score,

    >points) make the system opaque and initially confusing. If this system was

    >simplified and re-written for clarity, even at the expense of simulation

    >accuracy, it would be a clear winner for me, but for the moment, no.



    As for the multiple steps in generating attributes, I don`t think there`s

    much to do about that. Pretty much all the proposals as well as the

    original system had that. I`d really hate to eliminate a step by doing

    something like equating bloodline strength with bloodline score since I

    think that`s one of the faults of the playtest`s system of bloodline being

    an ability score. By themselves the steps (3d6-2, d6 x Bloodline Strength

    value, spend BP on blood abilities) are bit more effort to go to than other

    systems--mostly in the area of spending BP, but since that`s one of the

    points in the system I don`t think there`s much for it. Maybe an example

    of character generation would help....



    The decimal ECL aspect of the blood ability point system, however,

    definitely seems to be the thing people take issue with most. That`s

    understandable, I suppose, if for no other reason than because it`s the

    thing that departs most from the typical 3e/d20 rules. The math is really

    quite simple, but I think it`s just too much of a departure from the rules

    set for most people`s taste, particularly since it covers just that single

    aspect of BR characters. If decimal values were included in the standard

    stuff for characters in 3e, or if it accompanied a whole system of variable

    XP (which is how I envision it--picture things like a 1st level spell slot

    equal to a 0.1 modifier on XP required to take a level, 2nd level 0.2,

    etc.) then I think it would be more acceptable and more easily digested,

    but on its own I think people find it too much detail in the name of

    accuracy and balance than is warranted.



    One possibility is making the ECL modifier for bloodline scores based on

    the "average" bloodline strength that one needs to get that score and just

    round them to whole numbers. Or, I suppose, just assign values--which

    appears to be how most ECLs are set anyway.... Using an "average" ECL

    modifier Table 3 would look like this:



    Table 3: Bloodline Score

    Bloodline Bloodline Maximum

    Score Points Abilities ECL

    1-7 0 0 0

    8-14 1 1 0

    15-21 2 1 1

    22-28 3 2 1

    29-35 4 2 1

    36-42 5 2 1

    43-49 6 3 2

    50-56 7 3 2

    57-63 8 3 2

    64-70 9 4 2

    71-77 10 4 3

    78-84 11 4 3

    85-91 12 5 3

    92-98 13 5 3

    99-105 14 5 4



    That way there`s just the one number. Would something like that be better?



    Gary

  5. #5
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    Would something like that be better?
    Yes, I think it would.

    Thinking about it, I agree with your argument that it's not more complex, just more different and that is the problem - but unfortunately I think you're stuck with making it simpler than the more familiar systems to compensate.

    On the "redundant arithmetic" I mentioned: why 3d6 - 2 ? The 3d6 (or 4d6-drop-1 nowadays) is the most "comforting" of the familiar D&D generation mechanics. Why not just have the table start at 3?

    On clarity and formatting: you can summarise the generation in less than 10 words ("3d6-2, d6 x Bloodline Strength value, spend BP on blood abilities") and yet in your proposal the reader has to scan 3 pages before they hit the step-summary. Consider on the first page a dominating boxout, reading something like this:
    • Determine heritage strength. This will also determine your bloodline modifier. See Section 1.
    • Determine bloodline score. This will also determine your maximum number of blood abilities and the bloodpoints (BP) you can spend on them. See Section 2.
    • Determine your bloodline derivation. This will determine which blood abilities you can select from. See Section 3.
    • Spend bloodpoints (BP) on blood abilities. See Section 4.


    Note that I've re-named bloodline strength to heritage strength (heresy&#33 and bloodline points to bloodpoints. This is because, with bloodline strength, bloodline modifier, bloodline score and bloodline points, it seems like there must be redundancy in the system (4 stats for the one attribute?) even though they all serve different purposes. Plus for beginners it is hard to remember which does what when they all have very similar names.

    As to the section references, each section could similarly start with a summary boxout with the detail, exceptions and additions in the body text around it.

    Hope this all seems constructive!

    CM.

  6. #6
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    By the way Geeman, have you not voted for your own proposal?

    CM.

  7. #7
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    3 +0200, CMonkey wrote:



    >
    Would something like that be better?
    >

    > Yes, I think it would.

    >

    > Thinking about it, I agree with your argument that it`s not more

    > complex, just more different and that is the problem - but unfortunately

    > I think you`re stuck with making it simpler than the more familiar

    > systems to compensate.

    >

    > On the "redundant arithmetic" I mentioned: why 3d6 - 2 ? The

    > 3d6 (or 4d6-drop-1 nowadays) is the most "comforting" of the

    > familiar D&D generation mechanics. Why not just have the table start at 3?



    I did it that way for two reasons. The first is because the Bloodline

    Score is based on that Bloodline Strength value (d6 rolled once for each

    point of that 3d6-2) so making it a simple 3d6 would result in the minimum

    bloodline score also being a range of 3d6 (3-18) rather than something

    closer to the original BR bloodline system in which it could range as low

    as 1. Second, I included a feats in that system that effectively adds +2

    to one`s bloodline strength, cancelling the -2, and returning things to the

    3-18 "standard." In my sometimes munchkinny gaming group I fully expected

    the players to make use of that feat.



    I could still keep it 3d6 and have the bloodline score then rolled up by

    rolling a number of dice equal to that value -2. It`s purely cosmetic, but

    if it would make more in keeping with D&D methods it`d be a good change.



    To be honest, making bloodline "look 3e" is not IMO a very needful or even

    a very wise goal. The whole bloodline strength = 3d6 thing was a bit of a

    nod towards the first bloodline update by Travis Doom that is, by and

    large, the same one in the BRCS playtest. I don`t much like making

    bloodline an ability score (in fact, I really think it`s a Bad Idea) but at

    that time it seemed to be what everyone wanted to see. I wrote it up in

    deference to that, just to see what would come out. Later, I found I kind

    of liked the way that aspects of the system worked. The math fell into

    line and the dice were mostly the nice cubey ones that I like so much. So

    I ended up using it in the later expansion of the bloodline system that

    included bloodline points.



    Rules mechanically, I think the Bloodline Point stuff more resembles

    several D20 texts that have come out in the years between 3.0 and 3.5. (Is

    Savage Species 3.4?) Some of the really basic inspiration for it was from

    the way the superhero d20 games Four Colors to Fantasy and Mutants &

    Masterminds dole out super powers. Anyone familiar with either of those

    two systems will probably feel much more at home with blood ability points.



    >On clarity and formatting: you can summarise the generation in less than

    >10 words ("3d6-2, d6 x Bloodline Strength value, spend BP on blood

    >abilities") and yet in your proposal the reader has to scan 3 pages

    >before they hit the step-summary. Consider on the first page a dominating

    >boxout, reading something like this:

    >
    • >
    • Determine heritage strength. This will also determine your

      > bloodline modifier. See Section 1.

      >
    • Determine bloodline score. This will also determine your

      > maximum number of blood abilities and the bloodpoints (BP) you can spend

      > on them. See Section 2.

      >
    • Determine your bloodline derivation. This will determine which

      > blood abilities you can select from. See Section 3.

      >
    • Spend bloodpoints (BP) on blood abilities. See Section 4.

      >




    There is a little "Bloodline Determination Checklist" in there that has

    those basic steps in, perhaps, more detailed form in order to accommodate

    the various details like feats, the requirement of a random method of blood

    ability determination, etc. Here it is:



    Bloodline Determination Checklist

    Below is a step-by-step guide to determining bloodline.



    1. Determine bloodline strength using whatever method the DM assigns (3d6,

    4d6 ignore lowest, point buy, etc.) Subtract 2 from that total for a range

    of 1-16, and add any bonus from the Ancient Bloodline feat. Compare that

    result to Table 1: Bloodline Strength on page 10 to get your bloodline

    modifier (bld.)



    2. Determine your bloodline score by rolling d6 for every point of your

    bloodline strength. Compare the result to Table 3: Bloodline Score on page

    11 to get the number of bloodline points (BP) you may have and the maximum

    number of blood abilities possible for your character.



    3. Determine your bloodline derivation. (Either roll randomly on Table 4:

    Bloodline Derivation on page 11 or choose one at the DM`s option.)



    4. Spend bloodline points (BP) on blood abilities.



    I`m not really much of a formatting/editting guy, I`m afraid, so I

    generally defer to people who have more of a sense for layout and design

    than I. Having said that, a box out for those steps would be a good

    thing. Moving it up to the front might also be a good plan. In that

    bloodline proposals document I think the goal was to format everything as

    closely like each other as possible, however, just to let people focus on

    the ideas rather than the look of the thing. The original Bloodline Point

    System document (I don`t know if that`s still available on birthright.net)

    was more complete and formatted in a way that sort of mimics the original

    BR materials. At least, I used the Bebris font for titles....



    > Note that I`ve re-named bloodline strength to heritage strength

    > (heresy!) and bloodline points to bloodpoints. This is because, with

    > bloodline strength, bloodline modifier, bloodline score and

    > bloodline points, it seems like there must be redundancy in the

    > system (4 stats for the one attribute?) even though they all serve

    > different purposes. Plus for beginners it is hard to remember which does

    > what when they all have very similar names.



    Yeah, the vocabulary is a bit confusing, particularly in the original

    materials in which IIRC they sometimes refer to "bloodline strength score"

    meaning bloodline strength and things like that. I tried to stay as close

    as possible to the original terminology but using "strength" and "score" to

    designate the difference between the two. It`s easiest to think of the

    different aspects of bloodline as "strength, score, abilities and

    points." Unfortunately, if one says "strength" without modifying it with

    "bloodline" then one can confuse that with the ability score strength, etc.



    Lately, I started thinking that "bloodline strength value" might better

    designate the 1-16 number than simply "bloodline strength." I tried to

    define each of those terms separately in the introduction, but only the

    first occurrence of the term is italicized, and probably nothing cries out

    for a glossary quite so loudly.... "Heritage" is an interesting and quite

    possibly better term to use overall, so I`ll have to think on that a bit.



    > As to the section references, each section could similarly start with a

    > summary boxout with the detail, exceptions and additions in the body text

    > around it.

    >

    > Hope this all seems constructive



    Very. Thanks.



    At 03:01 PM 7/25/2003 +0200, CMonkey also wrote:



    > By the way Geeman, have you not voted for your own proposal?



    Heh. You know, I don`t recall.... I _think_ I did. Frankly, I`m not

    really concerned with whether it makes it into BRCS or not. The stuff I

    put out into the BR community is stuff I write for my own purposes. I put

    it out there because it might be of help or interest to someone someplace

    or because I`m curious what other people`s opinions might be on the

    subject. Getting into the BRCS stuff would be nice, but it`s not that big

    a deal to me. Not to disparage the work of the design team (some of their

    material is IMO inspired) but I probably spend as much time rereading the

    br-l archives than I do their BRCS and the archives are also more likely to

    influence my table top game.



    However, having seen the film _Election_ I think I probably should at least

    vote for myself, so I`ll make sure I have.



    Gary

  8. #8
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    After reviewing the proposals (now that I finally was able to download them properly), here are my thoughts and suggestions:

    I like Mark Aurel's idea that Charisma can substitute for a Bloodline Score modifier. After all, the 3e PHB describes Charisma as one's inner power, and it further encourages scions to have a high Charisma - which they should.

    In general, I like the BRCS playtest version as is. Most of the proposals seem to make things more complicated, not less so. So far (in my own playtesting) I haven't found it to unbalance the game or make for ridiculous amounts of math. Some of the proposals look like ways to make the bloodline scores synonomous with the original 2e edition.

    I'm generally a fan of random ability score generation, so I don't run into the "being penalized by starting points" problem that others have talked about with a seventh ability score.

    I definitely like the idea of scion class levels (from proposal A) to help balance out the ECL adjustments. Just giving the scions some skill points and hp for each level, along with the existing blood abilities and regent bonus HP, goes a long way toward making those extra levels feel worthwhile.

    I wouldn't cry if the Great Heritage template disappeared. I think True Bloodlines end up competing with Great Heritage for the same spot. Aren't Great bloodlines already representative of a great heritage?

    If scions of Great bloodlines regained access to the bloodline abilities that Great Heritage scions get (like Divine Wrath and Regeneration), it would vindicate their rarity and "greatness," rather than playing them off as 3rd rate (behind Great Heritage-Great and True bloodlines).

    On the other hand, a power like Invulnerability should definitely be limited to True Bloodlines. It's a truly legendary quality, right out of myths and legends, and thus should be limited to the legendary figures of Cerilia.

    As for Bloodtrait and Bloodform as prerequisites: don't the abilities gained from monster levels already justify many of the special powers inaccessible to normal scions? Why give them exclusive access to blood abilities? I recommend keeping it really simple, and making powers available based solely on the four bloodline strength templates (Minor, Major, Great, True).

    That's my 2 cents (well, maybe 3...).
    -Osprey

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Originally posted by Osprey@Jul 31 2003, 07:22 PM
    In general, I like the BRCS playtest version as is. Most of the proposals seem to make things more complicated, not less so.
    Ooo! That makes two of us! Woo!

    Unfortunately, dispite winning the last poll, they're determined to change it

    Heyho.

    CM.

    PS.
    (Sorry about using "Ooo" and "Woo" in the same sentence. That was excessive. )

  10. #10
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Yeah well, you can't win 'em all, aye? Still, I can see a less drastic change being appropriate. There are good points to the proposals, I'm just a little miffed at the insistence on making blood scores like the old 2e ones. Is it really a problem to just halve the old scores to make them compatible with new ones? Or are there other problems there that I'm not aware of?
    Osprey

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