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  1. #1
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    OK, here`s a somewhat long musing on something that most people probably

    could give a DNA sample about, but I`ve been writing up a lot of these new

    awnsheghlien and ersheghlien lately, and something has occurred to me that

    I`m curious what the folks in the BR community think about it.



    In Blood Enemies the terms "major" and "lesser" are used to describe

    awnsheghlien, each category getting their own section of that

    text. (Presumably, ersheghlien could also be so categorized.) There is

    not, however, a lot to indicate what those terms mean. What makes an

    awnsheghlien "major" or "lesser"? Here are four possible things that might

    determine a character`s classification in either category:



    1. Whether the Bloodform or Bloodtrait ability that makes them

    awn-/ersheghlien is a major ability or a great ability might determine

    whether an awnsheghlien is "lesser" or "major". Unfortunately, we have no

    information on what the distinction is between characters with major or

    great Bloodform or Bloodtrait abilities in Blood Enemies. Unlike other

    blood ability descriptions, the differences between major and great

    manifestations of these blood abilities is notably absent, leaving open for

    speculation exactly what the difference is between a major and a great

    manifestation of that blood ability. Presumably, it has to do with the

    strength of the form transformed into (a character with Bloodform(major)

    might transform into The Lion, while Bloodform(great) could become The

    Sphinx) and/or the speed with which the transformation occurs or some

    combination of those factors, but that`s open for speculation. (The 3e

    BRCS Playtest does have a little section in each blood ability in which the

    minor, major and great powers are extolled, but it is also silent in the

    case of Bloodform and Bloodtrait on just what the difference might

    be.) When it comes to classification, at least, this might serve as the

    thing that determines which category the creature fits into.



    2. Similarly, the categorizations might be based on the power of the

    bloodline. Lesser awn-/ersheghlien might be those with tainted and minor

    bloodlines, while those with major bloodlines or above might be major

    awn-/ersheghlien.



    3. Being a "lesser" or "greater" awn-/ersheghlien might be determined by

    political prominence rather than bloodline. A greater awn-/ersheghlien

    might be one that has a domain, so the difference between them could be

    analogous to the difference between a scion and a regent.



    4. The distinction might be drawn based on the relative power of the

    character. As in, what their effective level might be. Characters of a

    particular level might be described as major, while those who are still

    relatively inexperienced might be lesser.



    There are, however, things that indicate that none of these things can be

    what determines which category the character falls under. Specifically:



    1. Several of the creatures described in the "Major Awnsheghlien" section

    of Blood Enemies do not have Bloodform(great) amongst their list of blood

    abilities. The Banshegh, the Raven and Rhoubhe have Bloodform at major

    power not great. As a matter of fact, Apocolypse, the Harpy, the Hydra,

    the Kraken, the Leviathan, Maalvar the Minotaur, the Magian, the Siren, the

    White Witch and the Wolf don`t have Bloodform at all. That`s too many to

    really discount as typos or errors of omission, so it would appear that

    having Bloodform or not has little to do with being a lesser or greater

    awnsheghlien.



    2. Again, several of the creatures described as major awnsheghlien do not

    have very powerful bloodline strength ratings. Several even have

    relatively low bloodline strength ratings. The Boar is tainted(16), the

    Harpy tainted(18), the White Witch is minor(20) and the Wolf is

    tainted(11). Conversely, the Swordhawk appears in the "Lesser

    Awnsheghlien" section and he has a major(??) bloodline.



    3. It also can`t be control of a realm that determines if a creature is

    lesser or greater because several of the awnsheghlien described as major

    (Apocalypse, Kraken, Leviathan, Seadrake) don`t control provinces or

    holdings--though it is possible there is an aerial or underwater version of

    the domain level that isn`t addressed in the books. A couple of other

    major awnsheghlien (the Boar and the Wolf) don`t appear to actually control

    the provinces they reside in. Though the provinces they dominate are

    noted, both have text stating that the actual control of those provinces is

    by another regent, and stats for RP collected/accumulated for these two

    creatures is notably absent. Even if we do suppose that all those

    awnsheghlien control domains per normal, however, there`s still a problem

    in that the Swordhawk does control a domain--a pretty extensive one at

    that--yet he appears in the "Lesser Awnsheghlien" section of Blood

    Enemies. In fact, the Swordhawk`s realm, transformation and influence

    would seem to warrant his own entry in Blood Enemies.



    4. This last one is more difficult to gage because we don`t have stats for

    many of the lesser awnsheghlien. However, the Vampire is 10th level, the

    Banshegh and the Lamia are 9th level, while the Siren the Wolf are merely

    6th (or, at least, they save as characters of those levels.) If the cut

    off point is 6th level that`s pretty low for someone to get classified in

    the same group that contains the Gorgon, the Magian and Rhoubhe. And

    there`s still a problem with the troublesomely classified "lesser

    awnsheghlien" the Swordhawk in that he is 18th level.



    I`m curious about this for a couple of reasons. First, to try to figure

    out if there`s some sort of means and method to the

    classification. Second, because there tends to be things in BR (bloodline

    strength, for instance) that have very little actual game mechanical

    significance, but do relate to the bloodline system itself, and are

    significant for purposes of theme, role-playing, etc. Lastly, there`s

    nothing to say that one can`t have some sort of significance to the

    difference between minor and major creatures.



    None of the above classification methods necessarily work then given the

    actual characters in the published materials, and there are too many

    examples that refute the schemes to ignore. So what is it that classifies

    some awnsheghlien as "major" and others as "lesser"?



    Gary

  2. #2
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    (The 3e
    BRCS Playtest does have a little section in each blood ability in which the
    minor, major and great powers are extolled, but it is also silent in the
    case of Bloodform and Bloodtrait on just what the difference might
    be.)
    Check out the monsters section (later chapter, #?) where it describes how to make your own Awnsheighlien. I recall it mentioning that a Great Bloodtrait allows for a monster level to be gained every level of advancement, while a Major version of the ability allowed for something like every other level (don't quote me on that). Point being the great ability allowed for more rapid transformation than the major version.

    I've always thought the great ability should grant more power per monster level gained - more "monster traits" if you will - which could result in a more powerful monster, ultimately.

    As to your ultimate question of classification: don't you think the writers of Blood Enemies might just have used the lesser/greater descriptors as generalized categories? I know, I know, you break everything down into the exacting detail of a point system, but I'd never assume the writers did so. No doubt it won't be long before you have broken down all of the above factors (bloodline strength, Bloodform/-Trait level, regent vs. scion, and total character level) into a point system that gives you a net strength rating with appropriate denominators.

    Seriously, though, I doubt the writers were so logical...if you're hunting for that method in the seeming inconsistencies of Blood Spawn, you might go loopy trying to figure out a logic that was never very precise! :blink:

  3. #3
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Perhaps we should such scrap the whole idea of Major and Lesser Awnshegh.

    I personally would not consider the Boar or the Wolf to be major Awnshegh. Certainly they are powerful, but nothing when combared the the Gorgon, the Raven, or even the Swordhawk.

    One thing to note is that all the lesser Awnshegh are either dead, Erhsegh, only blooded, or still undergoing their transformation. The Swordhawk falls into the last category, he has only just started becoming an Awnshegh (although he has been alive for at least 200 years, so he must also have the long life blood abilities).

    If you take Blood Enemies as a book written by Daznig, then those who fall into the Major category are well know, their powers and abilities recorded, while those who fall into the lesser catergory are less well known, although they still may be quite powerful. Daznig was unable to learn anything more than vague rumours about them.
    Let me claim your Birthright!!

  4. #4
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    Don't forget that we will need to seperate the Awnshegh from the realm if we are to get a true look at the poer of the Blood.

    A good example would be Karl Bissel, the Swordhawk. If you look at him *and* Massenmarch, he is a very powerful opponent. Without his realm, He isn't nearly as tough as alot of the awnsheghlin out there.
    "It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion -- and usually easier."

    - R. A. Heinlien, from The Collected works of Lazarus Long

  5. #5
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 02:39 PM 11/11/2003 +0100, Athos69 wrote:



    > Don`t forget that we will need to seperate the Awnshegh from the realm

    > if we are to get a true look at the poer of the Blood.

    >

    > A good example would be Karl Bissel, the Swordhawk. If you look at him

    > *and* Massenmarch, he is a very powerful opponent. Without his realm, He

    > isn`t nearly as tough as alot of the awnsheghlin out there.



    The Swordhawk is actually relatively powerful in his own right in relation

    to other awnsheghlien, particularly some of the "major" ones. He can`t

    match up to the Gorgon, Magian or the Raven, but as an 18th level character

    with a major bloodline he`s got some juice. The Wolf, by contrast, is 6th

    level with a tainted bloodline, and probably the weakest awnshegh in all

    the BR products. Exactly why he dominates three provinces while other,

    much more powerful creatures can only control one (Rhoubhe, the Spider,

    etc.) is a matter for conjecture. His "realm" is out in the boonies, as it

    were, and his control over those provinces is marginal at best. Even

    though the Wolf doesn`t actually control those provinces, though, his

    influence seems inordinate given his actual character description.



    Anyway, what I`m thinking right now in regards to this issue is that maybe

    there should be three progressions for those with Azrai`s bloodline:



    Corrupted: Any scion with Azrai`s derivation. Several awnshegh are simply

    transformed by the corrupting influence of Azrai`s bloodline. The effort

    to remain human (and good-aligned) is something that these characters must

    constantly maintain, but their transformation is in many ways

    inevitable. The power of Azrai is too strong for a mere mortal to fight

    off forever.



    Lesser and Greater Awnsheghlien: I`ve not really decided what the

    differences should be for these characters, but if I can find some

    commonality to the existing ones I`ll base it on that.



    Gary

  6. #6
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 07:58 AM 11/11/2003 +0100, Raesene Andu wrote:



    > Perhaps we should such scrap the whole idea of Major and Lesser Awnshegh.



    I have a feeling something can be derived out of this, which is why I`m

    bothering. The designation doesn`t mean anything at present--kind of like

    bloodline strength didn`t mean much in the original materials--but that

    doesn`t mean it shouldn`t. At the very least, however, I think there`s

    some worth to the concept in that it conveys role-playing dynamics. Some

    characters are "major" while others are "lesser". That can have an effect

    on how a player or DM interacts with/plays those characters.



    Aside from such role-playing issues, however, I think some game effects

    might be appropriate. As in, major awnsheghlien have a bonus to various

    effects, like their ability to intimidate, perform bloodtheft,

    whatever. What if, for instance, "Major Awnsheghlien" is a feat that

    grants effects similar to the blooded feats in the BRCS? The distinction

    could be something as simple as that, and with relatively minor actual game

    effects.



    > One thing to note is that all the lesser Awnshegh are either dead,

    > Erhsegh, only blooded, or still undergoing their transformation. The

    > Swordhawk falls into the last category, he has only just started becoming

    > an Awnshegh (although he has been alive for at least 200 years, so he

    > must also have the long life blood abilities).



    The amount of transformation is another possible difference between major

    and lesser awnsheghlien. Several of the existing ones, however, would seem

    to defy this method. The Siren, for instance, is not particularly

    transformed. Others are kind of questionable. The Banshegh and the White

    Witch may be transformed, or they may not. They retain pretty much their

    human appearance, with notable and temporary changes which may or may not

    even be tied to their awnshegh nature.



    > If you take Blood Enemies as a book written by Daznig, then those who

    > fall into the Major category are well know, their powers and abilities

    > recorded, while those who fall into the lesser catergory are less well

    > known, although they still may be quite powerful. Daznig was unable to

    > learn anything more than vague rumours about them.



    That`s certainly a working definition. "Major Awnsheghlien: those who have

    a write up with background, character stats and other information in

    BE. Minor Awnsheghlien: those who have at most only a brief

    description." In the long run, though, I think I`d prefer something more

    substantial :)



    Gary

  7. #7
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 01:59 AM 11/11/2003 +0100, Osprey wrote:



    >
    (The 3e

    > BRCS Playtest does have a little section in each blood ability in which the

    > minor, major and great powers are extolled, but it is also silent in the

    > case of Bloodform and Bloodtrait on just what the difference might

    > be.)
    >

    > Check out the monsters section (later chapter, #?) where it describes

    > how to make your own Awnsheighlien. I recall it mentioning that a Great

    > Bloodtrait allows for a monster level to be gained every level of

    > advancement, while a Major version of the ability allowed for something

    > like every other level (don`t quote me on that). Point being the great

    > ability allowed for more rapid transformation than the major version.



    Ah, OK. I found it. Note to the BR Team guys: The section in Chapter 9

    that introduces awnsheghlien should probably appear later along with the

    actual game mechanics. As it is, the reference to that chapter is a bit

    vague in that there`s two sections (the first on pp161-162 and the second

    section starting on p174) in that chapter. Putting them together would

    help the layout a bit.



    > As to your ultimate question of classification: don`t you think the

    > writers of Blood Enemies might just have used the lesser/greater

    > descriptors as generalized categories? I know, I know, you break

    > everything down into the exacting detail of a point system, but I`d never

    > assume the writers did so. No doubt it won`t be long before you have

    > broken down all of the above factors (bloodline strength,

    > Bloodform/-Trait level, regent vs. scion, and total character level) into

    > a point system that gives you a net strength rating with appropriate

    > denominators. ;)



    Heaven forbid.... We might end up having to dust off the abacus.



    As for what the original BR writers had in mind, I can`t really say. The

    BR texts were subject to a rather haphazard editing, which was pretty

    common to all D&D products to be honest. I _think_ there`s something

    worthwhile in this issue, however, so I`d like to bounce it off the folks

    around here. For instance, I`m pretty sure we need a more generalized

    system of creating awnsheghlien. The method proposed by the BRCS is a good

    place to start, but in the long run it`s a bit abstract for actual use. On

    the other hand, I think my own class system for awnsheghlien/ersheghlien is

    too limited to reflect the varieties of the concept, since there are more

    aspects to it than I think have really be considered before. In the long

    run, I hope some exploration of the concept as a whole can be derived from

    this basic point.



    Gary

  8. #8
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    I think this is a pretty useless exercise. What is the point in

    generalizing and putting things in labeled boxes?



    I`d say this distinction is of purely meta-game interest, and even then

    I cannot say I perceive any immediate benefits. If this is part of an

    effort to formalize the creation of awnsheghlien, I`m all against it.

    Awnsheghlien are unique NPCs that should each be master-crafted from

    scratch to fit each individual campaign.



    Cheers

    Bj°rn



    -----Original Message-----

    From: Birthright Roleplaying Game Discussion

    [mailto:BIRTHRIGHT-L@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM] On Behalf Of Gary

    Sent: 11. november 2003 17:24

    To: BIRTHRIGHT-L@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM

    Subject: Re: Ranking Awnsheghlien [2#2084]



    At 07:58 AM 11/11/2003 +0100, Raesene Andu wrote:



    > Perhaps we should such scrap the whole idea of Major and Lesser

    Awnshegh.



    I have a feeling something can be derived out of this, which is why I`m

    bothering. The designation doesn`t mean anything at present--kind of

    like

    bloodline strength didn`t mean much in the original materials--but that

    doesn`t mean it shouldn`t. At the very least, however, I think there`s

    some worth to the concept in that it conveys role-playing dynamics.

    Some

    characters are "major" while others are "lesser". That can have an

    effect

    on how a player or DM interacts with/plays those characters.



    Aside from such role-playing issues, however, I think some game effects

    might be appropriate. As in, major awnsheghlien have a bonus to various

    effects, like their ability to intimidate, perform bloodtheft,

    whatever. What if, for instance, "Major Awnsheghlien" is a feat that

    grants effects similar to the blooded feats in the BRCS? The

    distinction

    could be something as simple as that, and with relatively minor actual

    game

    effects.



    > One thing to note is that all the lesser Awnshegh are either dead,

    > Erhsegh, only blooded, or still undergoing their transformation. The

    > Swordhawk falls into the last category, he has only just started

    becoming

    > an Awnshegh (although he has been alive for at least 200 years, so he

    > must also have the long life blood abilities).



    The amount of transformation is another possible difference between

    major

    and lesser awnsheghlien. Several of the existing ones, however, would

    seem

    to defy this method. The Siren, for instance, is not particularly

    transformed. Others are kind of questionable. The Banshegh and the

    White

    Witch may be transformed, or they may not. They retain pretty much

    their

    human appearance, with notable and temporary changes which may or may

    not

    even be tied to their awnshegh nature.



    > If you take Blood Enemies as a book written by Daznig, then those who

    > fall into the Major category are well know, their powers and abilities

    > recorded, while those who fall into the lesser catergory are less well

    > known, although they still may be quite powerful. Daznig was unable to

    > learn anything more than vague rumours about them.



    That`s certainly a working definition. "Major Awnsheghlien: those who

    have

    a write up with background, character stats and other information in

    BE. Minor Awnsheghlien: those who have at most only a brief

    description." In the long run, though, I think I`d prefer something

    more

    substantial :)



    Gary



    ************************************************** **********************

    ****



    Birthright-l Archives:

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    Cheers
    Bj°rn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  9. #9
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 06:06 PM 11/11/2003 +0100, Bj°rn wrote:



    >Awnsheghlien are unique NPCs that should each be master-crafted from

    >scratch to fit each individual campaign.



    I`m all for customizing NPCs for an individual campaign, but that doesn`t

    preclude guidelines for going about it, does it? As always one can ignore

    such guidelines or use them as one likes, but having some sort of method

    for going about master crafting such characters is a good thing,

    particularly for something that is going to go out to a broad group of

    people who can then have some common ground from which to discuss the

    characters and come up with new ones.



    Gary

  10. #10
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    I actually like this idea of having a tier structure of the brood of azrai.
    I would make the level 1 be just those with his blood whether they are good , neutral or evil.
    Level 2 would be those that have actually transformed and all but do not have a realm of their own...yet
    Level three would be those that transformed and had their own realm
    And i would have a level 4 for those tha had their own realm and were transformed and were getting close to godhood-like the gorgon
    Is all just my opinion though here.
    Later all
    peace
    Check this out From Thanatos Arch-Necromancer of undeath

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