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Thread: Scions of Vorynn
03-17-2004, 08:07 PM #1
While the Chapter 2 revisions are generally beyond further revision at this point, I still wanted to propose this idea for anyone interested in it as a variant/change to the existing revision. Unfortunately, many of those ideas are only now getting aired and playtested in my own campaign [which took a month long break over Christmas vacation, thus bad timing for new Ch. 2 playtesting ].
First off, I really like the addition of individual scion classes based on one's bloodline derivation. Very cool, as it adds unique flavor and customization to the various derivations. However, the one scion class I was disappointed in was Vorynn's. A few arcane cantrips seemed especially worthless for them.
My proposal is to allow scion levels of Vorynn to add to any arcane spellcaster's caster level. This means increasing all level-dependent effects such as damage dice, range, duration, and spell penetration when applicable, but NOT spells per level or spells known. And helping to keep it balanced, give only 1d4 hp per scion level.
Here is the reasoning, using a comparison between Great Scions of Vorynn and Minor Scions (of any derivation), especially in the case of true mages. Major scions will, of course, fall somewhere in the middle of these 2 extremes.
A Great Scion of Vorynn is effectively 2 class levels lower than a minor scion of the same class. For dedicated true mages, this is a significant difference in personal power. Thematically, I find this disturbing, as the minor scions of the same character level are always decisively stronger mages than those with great bloodlines of the old God of Magic. I feel that Great Scions of Vorynn should represent the strongest potential true mages in Cerilia...not just on a domain level as source regents (and even then, lower caster levels = weaker realm spells), but also on a personal level. When 2 ECL 11 wizards square off in an arcane duel, and one is a great scion of Vorynn (Wizard 9/ Scion 2) while the other is a minor scion (Wizard 11), can you guess who is more likely to win?
Now, by adding +2 caster levels to the great scion of Vorynn, they are far more competent when dealing with rival mages and magical creatures with Spell Resistance, and more potent as mages in general (including bards and magicians). Thus more impresive as such, which I think, thematically, they should be.
The trade-off is that they still don't get the higher level spells nor as many spells per day as the minor scion, their familiars aren't quite as good most of the time, minor scion wizards will get a bonus feat 2 levels sooner, and minor scion bards and magicians will have 2 additional levels of extra skill points, better potential hit points, and more or stronger class abilities (bard songs, bardic lore, magician class abilities sooner).
In exchange, they get a stronger Will save (though this is partially traded for weaker Fort and Ref saves), Leadership bonuses (better apprentices and/or lieutenants, in many cases) and most importantly, the major and great blood abilities and stronger bloodlines. As regents, they still are potentially stronger as source regents, and they gain the bonus hit points (though in my campaign, I still give bonus hit points to minor scion regents, too, since their weaker bloodlines still limit this advantage compared to stronger bloodlines with large domains). And the minor scion source regents will still have slightly stronger potential as casters of Realm Spells, in that they have access to higher level spells, balanced by the great scions' potentially larger RP reserves.
So with the caster level variant in place, the arcane duel scenario I used above becomes a much more evenly-matched contest. While the minor scion has the better spell selection (in terms of spells known and higher level spells), more spells available, and stronger class abilities, the great scion has equal spell potency and stronger blood abilities to compensate (Vorynn's Resistance being particularly useful in this scenario), plus bonus HP if a regent. I'd say this makes for a fairly balanced situation, all other variables being roughly equal.
What sayeth the community?
03-18-2004, 05:46 PM #2
Um...one little additional piece of errata I should have written in for the original description. The scion's levels would add arcane caster levels to one arcane spellcaster class of the scion's choice. (Just in case some bozo wanted a bard/wizard/sorcerer/magician scion of Vorynn! <_< )
03-21-2004, 12:01 PM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
- Gothenburg, Sweden
I think I've written up something on this problem before; I don't remember if the idea was in my proposal or not, though.
Basically, it added a couple of blood abilities to the system.
One would be a minor or major blood ability, available to Azrai, Basaïa, and Vorynn, adding +2 to all spellcasting ability scores for all spellcasting purposes only (i.e. spell DC and bonus spells).
The other would be a great ability, having the former as a prerequisite, only available to Vorynn, adding +1 effective spellcaster level to arcane spellcasting classes.
There were some other elements involved, though, but I can be darned if I remember what.
Your idea sounds pretty good, though - it might be interesting to take it one step further, and use it in conjunction with the Unearthed Arcana magic rating system for balancing multiclass spellcasters somewhat.Jan E. Juvstad.
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