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  1. #1
    Raesene,

    Just was rereading Ch 2, and wanted to ask you if you will be altering the Bloodline scores for the NPCs in the atlas? Considering that PCs will be starting out with much lower bloodline scores compared to the BCRS, and 2e, it would be rather important otherwise PCs wil have a tough time trying to compete.

    My point of reference for this question, is that in 2e the average blood score for a great bloodline for a starting character would be 36. Now with the new Ch 2 revision the average starting bloodscore would be 19. The average major bloodline in 2e is 28 while now its 15.

    So, keeping Avan's bloodscore of 70 would be WAAAY beyond anything a PC could ever reach as a starting character. A less extreme example is the Elinie ruler Hassan Ibn Daouta with major bloodline of Basaia with a bloodscore of 47. Even, Rogr Aglondier with a minor bloodline of Masela has a bloodscore of 21. The typical bloodline scores in 2e range from 20-50... this is significantly different from the range for the new Ch 2 bloodline scores for starting players, who will range from 3-30. So, the upper end is scewed compared to 2e.

    This begs the question, will you be halving the bloodscores of the NPCs or is the revised Ch2 just broken?
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

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  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Well let's see here,

    Avan is not a starting character so the bloodline score a 1st level scion could have doesn't apply.

    If he as being 'built' as a 1st level scion logic similar to the following could be applied:

    Initial 3d6 score for blood score (15, since he is a scion a player would put a higher value here) double this to a 30 for initial score.

    Add 2 levels of scion (he has a great bloodline) this adds +8 to a total of 38.

    It could reasonably be assumed he has the great heritage template due to his family protecting the Imperial City add +4 to a total of 42.

    Now he is a 9th level fighter who has ruled for a fairly long time so it is not out of the question that he has raised his bloodline score by good leadership a few times during his rule so add say 4 or 5 to reflect this to a total of 47.

    There is the possibility of bloodtheft or ursurpation over the years so the possibility exists to raise it even more that way.

    Also there is the investiture at his father's death which would have raised his bloodline score even higher at that time.

    Now since his father was a prestigious ruler himself, Avan's initial bloodline score would most likely not have been determined as would a starting character since it would have been the average of his parents' scores at his birth, which would most likely have yielded a starting number of much higher than 30.

    Bottom line since Avan's life as a ruler has not been documented it is entirely possible for him to end up with a 70 bloodline score by this point in his life. The present chap 2 allows an easier time of 'justifying' the 2nd ed bloodline scores for NPCs using this type of logic. One can't assume that an NPC regent is a starting level character that has had no story or adventures or situations that have caused him/her to advance. The 'missing' history could fairly reasonably be written to 'justify' the present conditions of the NPCs, like Avan for example.
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Irdeggman,

    I think the "double the starting ability score" part was missed.

    But I have a few thoughts, though I know you don't want to re-edit anything in Chapter 2.

    1st: It would be REALLY helpful if the process for determining starting bloodline was made much clearer. I think a table or large print section could help to define these parameters. The "double the starting ability score" part was just a sentence buried in a much larger paragraph. Also, this would map out the order of steps, such as "double the score first, then add any template modifiers."

    2nd: The templates only add +4 (major), or +8 (great), possibly another +4 for Great heritage though very few if any PC's will ever actually start with this (and it can be torn away by a DM quite easily given its current conditions)...

    Doesn't it seem like the differences in bloodline score between minor, major, and great bloodlines are now going to be a good deal less than in the original game? See, the template modifiers were left the same as in the BRCS, but the potency of bloodline scores was essentially halved, meaning the differences between the 3 bloodline strengths is going to be comparatively small. Was this in fact intentional, or something of an oversight within the conversion process? And will it still match up with the NPC's? Or should the templates be adding something like +8 for major, +16 for Great?
    These numbers may sound high at first, but consider: in 2e a Great bloodline was 8d8 starting, or 8-64. Now the max. starting is (18x2)+8 (+12 for great heritage, but technically this is impossible in the official version of Anuire except for Avan, who isn't available as a PC), or 44 max. That's 20 below the original potential! Don't you think this discrepancy is something of a skewed result, or did you want to lower the upper end of PC starting bloodlines by that much?

    At +16 for great bloodlines, we now have a 52 max. bloodline, which at least approaches the original numbers, while +8 for major would yield a 44 max., which is nicely close to the 2e amount of 8d6 (48 max.).

    Consider carefully the domain effects of lowering the upper end of bloodline scores: domain collections will get capped even faster than before, especially as the Maximum Regency Reserves are now at an all-time low (20% lower than BRCS), bloodline growth through regency is 1/2 that of BRCS (this is fine by me in and of itself, but a problem with lower starting scores I think), and the upper-end NPC's with the original bloodline scores are going to over-muscle the PC's even more.

    The problem with this 2-pronged power-down of bloodline scores from 2e is that domain sizes aren't going to change at all, which means it's going to be even more common than it already was for there to be domains much bigger than bloodline scores can really utilize - a trend I found somewhat annoying in the original game, and now it's going to get worse.
    Larger starting bloodline scores for the major/great scions might help emphasize the differences between the bloodlines on a domain scale (a difference that is rather paltry in the current Ch. 2 system). I think this is important, as it was a prominent theme of 2e BR that great bloodlines could really take advantage of much larger realms.

    Those are my thoughts on the matter. Sorry for bringing it all up again, but I think the domain effects of the Ch. 2 revision are now becoming more apparent as we consider the Ch. 5 domain rules and collections. As much as we'd like to finish one chunk and say "Presto, it is done and unalterable!", the reality is that every chapter is interrelated with every other chapter, and final editing and revision really must be allowed for as a result of the core ideas of every other chapter getting hammered out.

    And a final brighter note : otherwise, as I've begun playtesting the other parts of Ch. 2 in my campaign, I must say they're working really well thus far. My players are really happy with the +2 permanent ability bonus for the Heightened Ability powers, I'm very happy with being able to force my players to roll randomly when they gain bloodline powers , and the Scion Class Levels have worked out very nicely all in all (with the exceptionof Vorynn's, which I've modified to add to arcane caster levels now, and that has also been a real improvement for scions of Vorynn). So for the most part: an excellent product! Hoo-rah!

    Osprey

  4. #4
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Originally posted by tcharazazel@May 8 2004, 02:11 PM
    So, keeping Avan's bloodscore of 70 would be WAAAY beyond anything a PC could ever reach as a starting character. A less extreme example is the Elinie ruler Hassan Ibn Daouta with major bloodline of Basaia with a bloodscore of 47. Even, Rogr Aglondier with a minor bloodline of Masela has a bloodscore of 21. The typical bloodline scores in 2e range from 20-50... this is significantly different from the range for the new Ch 2 bloodline scores for starting players, who will range from 3-30. So, the upper end is scewed compared to 2e.
    The NPCs will start with the same bloodline as they did in 2E. Simple reasoning behind this is that none are starting players, most received their bloodline from their predecessor.

    Looking at your example, Darien Avan may have started with a lower bloodline but when he became prince of Avanil he was invested with the bloodline of his father, the same bloodline that has been built up over many centuries to the level it is today. Same with Ibn Daouta, his family has been ruling Elinie for a while. Rogr Aglondier didn't even have a bloodline before he became ruler of Ilien, he was a commoner.

    So it effectivly doesn't matter what NPC's starting bloodline was, or even if they have one at all. The only thing that matters is what the bloodline they get when they become a regent is...

    The rules in chapter 2 are only meant for start PC scions, not NPCs and PCs seem very capable of raising their own bloodline, after all they are the hero's of the story.
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  5. #5
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    1st: It would be REALLY helpful if the process for determining starting bloodline was made much clearer. I think a table or large print section could help to define these parameters. The "double the starting ability score" part was just a sentence buried in a much larger paragraph. Also, this would map out the order of steps, such as "double the score first, then add any template modifiers."
    Could be, but the 'normal' method of character production is:

    Ability scores (includes blood score)
    Racial modifers
    Class
    Skills/feats
    template additions

    IIRC

    Therefore things should be working the exact sameway as normal. And in reality no player character should be starting with the Great Heritage template, it should be used as a reward/motivation for players to play their characters as the great leaders that they are. Starting out with it is sort of like putting the cart before the horse if you see my drift.

    [/quote]2nd: The templates only add +4 (major), or +8 (great), possibly another +4 for Great heritage though very few if any PC's will ever actually start with this (and it can be torn away by a DM quite easily given its current conditions)...[/quote]


    The numbers were chosen to essentially ensure that a character would revieve a blood ability with the scion class (not they are not templates anymore but actual classes, which require a minimum exp level in order to obtain). The only scion template is the Great Heritage template which in order to keep it from adding a level adjustment it is one that can be lost as well as gained and is totally controlled by the DM.

    Doesn't it seem like the differences in bloodline score between minor, major, and great bloodlines are now going to be a good deal less than in the original game? See, the template modifiers were left the same as in the BRCS, but the potency of bloodline scores was essentially halved, meaning the differences between the 3 bloodline strengths is going to be comparatively small. Was this in fact intentional, or something of an oversight within the conversion process? And will it still match up with the NPC's? Or should the templates be adding something like +8 for major, +16 for Great?

    These numbers may sound high at first, but consider: in 2e a Great bloodline was 8d8 starting, or 8-64. Now the max. starting is (18x2)+8 (+12 for great heritage, but technically this is impossible in the official version of Anuire except for Avan, who isn't available as a PC), or 44 max. That's 20 below the original potential! Don't you think this discrepancy is something of a skewed result, or did you want to lower the upper end of PC starting bloodlines by that much?


    At +16 for great bloodlines, we now have a 52 max. bloodline, which at least approaches the original numbers, while +8 for major would yield a 44 max., which is nicely close to the 2e amount of 8d6 (48 max.).

    Actually they are a whole lot more balanced then they were in 2nd ed. In 2nd ed it was possible for someone with a tainted bloodline to have aa higher bloodline score than one with a great bloodline. 4d14 (4 to 16) versus 8d8 (8 to 64). With the current method the player 'chooses' whether or not he wants a higher bloodline score or a higher standard ability score. Once the scion levels are added then a bonus is applied which should, in most cases, make the scion with the higher bloodline strength end up with a higher bloodline score.

    Consider carefully the domain effects of lowering the upper end of bloodline scores: domain collections will get capped even faster than before, especially as the Maximum Regency Reserves are now at an all-time low (20% lower than BRCS), bloodline growth through regency is 1/2 that of BRCS (this is fine by me in and of itself, but a problem with lower starting scores I think), and the upper-end NPC's with the original bloodline scores are going to over-muscle the PC's even more.

    The problem with this 2-pronged power-down of bloodline scores from 2e is that domain sizes aren't going to change at all, which means it's going to be even more common than it already was for there to be domains much bigger than bloodline scores can really utilize - a trend I found somewhat annoying in the original game, and now it's going to get worse.
    Larger starting bloodline scores for the major/great scions might help emphasize the differences between the bloodlines on a domain scale (a difference that is rather paltry in the current Ch. 2 system). I think this is important, as it was a prominent theme of 2e BR that great bloodlines could really take advantage of much larger realms.
    But unlike the 2nd ed game, RP are not 'required' to be spent on any domain action, except for realm spells. Hence the need for having large amounts of RP in order to be an effective ruler is greatly reduced.

    [/quote]Those are my thoughts on the matter. Sorry for bringing it all up again, but I think the domain effects of the Ch. 2 revision are now becoming more apparent as we consider the Ch. 5 domain rules and collections. As much as we'd like to finish one chunk and say "Presto, it is done and unalterable!", the reality is that every chapter is interrelated with every other chapter, and final editing and revision really must be allowed for as a result of the core ideas of every other chapter getting hammered out. [quote]

    Which was why we waited to put out the entire BRCS-playtest as a a whole document instead of individual chapters. If I had advertised that everything was to be revisited and fine tuned after the entire product was revised in order to ensure that it meshed well together then people would have assumed that they would have another chance to get what they considered 'important' reinserted into the individual chapters - that is not going to happen, but the fine tuning for consistency will, of course be open for a good look.

    And a final brighter note : otherwise, as I've begun playtesting the other parts of Ch. 2 in my campaign, I must say they're working really well thus far. My players are really happy with the +2 permanent ability bonus for the Heightened Ability powers, I'm very happy with being able to force my players to roll randomly when they gain bloodline powers , and the Scion Class Levels have worked out very nicely all in all (with the exceptionof Vorynn's, which I've modified to add to arcane caster levels now, and that has also been a real improvement for scions of Vorynn). So for the most part: an excellent product! Hoo-rah!

    Thanks. You know you could have 'forced' them to roll randomly in the first version of Chap 2 also, that wasn't changed.
    Duane Eggert

  6. #6
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    But unlike the 2nd ed game, RP are not 'required' to be spent on any domain action, except for realm spells. Hence the need for having large amounts of RP in order to be an effective ruler is greatly reduced.
    Most actions, with the exception of Rule, were only 1 RP per action in 2e. That isn't a "great reduction" in RP expenditures. The bigger reduction in RP expenditures will actually come from skill and feat synergy bonuses. Though thank heavens Fortify is no longer a Domain action. Was that ever a pain!

    So yeah, I do see your point here. Unfortunately, I'm so deep into my BRCS campaign that it really isn't worth it for me to try and convert the bloodline scores at this point, so I won't be able to playtest the revised 3.5 bloodline system. But I sure hope somebody is or will, because it definitely needs to get played out and reviewed before we know whether or not it really works better. Though you're starting to convince me it could be the best system yet.

    The original reservation about the more powerful NPC's being too far over the PCs' heads still worries me though, as does the size of starting domains. If players cap their regency collections early on, there's much less incentive for them to push out and expand other than money (and this seems rather plentiful in the BRCS system, especially for temple and guild regents), and of course pure ambition (which I don't underestimate after seeing the hunger for power in my own players ).

    And here's another question: raising bloodline scores. I was reading the rev. Ch. 2, and here's a couple of things it says that either should be clarified, or maybe edited if unclear:

    A scion’s bloodline score can be permanently increased by one point by spending a number of RP equal to the character’s target bloodline score, i.e., his current bloodline score plus one. This increase occurs automatically when a scion’s regency reserve exceeds the amount necessary for the increase for two successive domain turns (six months).
    So does a regent with a 35 bloodline score have to make certain he has 36 RP (and never drops below this mark for any reason) from say, the start of Summer to the start of Winter, at which point it automatically goes up? Or can it be done voluntarily AND it happens automatically as well if the above conditions are met?

    A scion's bloodline cannot increase more than two points per year.
    For any reason? So if my PC bloodthefted someone and gained 2 points of bloodline, it would prevent his bloodline being raised through wise rulership until a year had passed? Or is this simply a lack of qualification in the writing? If the latter, then perhaps it should be reworded to indicate that a bloodline cannot be raised through spending RP more than twice a year.

    What I'm starting to see as a trend is the revised system has multiple ways to limit bloodline scores from starting high AND growing quickly (especially compared to BCS, as the new system has essentially halved the rate of bloodline growth through rulership, and far more if the 2 points per year limit includes bloodtheft and great gains of regency).

    Which is going to make those NPC's with higher-than-possible (for PC's) bloodline scores even more lopsidedly powerful-and PC's won't have a chance to match them on their own terms without a VERY long and successful reign, and only then if the NPC's are comparatively stagnant or unsuccessful rulers (an unlikely prospect for many of them).

    I don't know how other DM's run their NPC's, but I tend to run mine as if they're just as ambitious, power-hungry, greedy, and capable as the PC's are. Which means they follow all the same rules, and are as dynamic as they can be within the limits of their political situations. Which means the ones in stable realms, and especially those with vassals, are almost guaranteed to keep going up by 2 bloodline points per year. Which means the PC's don't stand a chance of meeting or even approaching that kind of bloodline score unless they pull some amazing heroic tricks out of their hats, and then only if that 2 points per year limit doesn't apply to raises from usurpation/bloodtheft, investiture, and great gains of regency. If it does, well...they're just screwed.

    You know you could have 'forced' them to roll randomly in the first version of Chap 2 also, that wasn't changed.
    Yeah, I did when I first started my BRCS-based game, but I stopped after a while when people kept rolling Long Life when they (and I) didn't even want their PC's to have it. This was one of the reasons I was willing to revise the random tables for Ch. 2...and I'm much happier with their present incarnation, I must say.

    Osprey

  7. #7
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    And here's another question: raising bloodline scores. I was reading the rev. Ch. 2, and here's a couple of things it says that either should be clarified, or maybe edited if unclear:


    QUOTE
    A scion’s bloodline score can be permanently increased by one point by spending a number of RP equal to the character’s target bloodline score, i.e., his current bloodline score plus one. This increase occurs automatically when a scion’s regency reserve exceeds the amount necessary for the increase for two successive domain turns (six months).



    So does a regent with a 35 bloodline score have to make certain he has 36 RP (and never drops below this mark for any reason) from say, the start of Summer to the start of Winter, at which point it automatically goes up? Or can it be done voluntarily AND it happens automatically as well if the above conditions are met?


    QUOTE
    A scion's bloodline cannot increase more than two points per year.


    For any reason? So if my PC bloodthefted someone and gained 2 points of bloodline, it would prevent his bloodline being raised through wise rulership until a year had passed? Or is this simply a lack of qualification in the writing? If the latter, then perhaps it should be reworded to indicate that a bloodline cannot be raised through spending RP more than twice a year.

    The increase is automatic and the character ahs no say on whether or not it occurs. It also doesn't take a domain action, which it did in 2nd ed. The 2 point limit per year only applies to the paragraph that the sentence is in and that paragraph specifically is addressing raising bloodline score via good rulership. Usurpation is addressed (and stated that it is addressed in the section you are referenced) in the subsequent section. There is no limit to the amount by which a scion's bloodline score can increase via usurpation (or investiture covered in the Domain chapter) - neither one of the section addressing those methods of increasing bloodline score has a yearly limit for increases specified.


    What I'm starting to see as a trend is the revised system has multiple ways to limit bloodline scores from starting high AND growing quickly (especially compared to BCS, as the new system has essentially halved the rate of bloodline growth through rulership, and far more if the 2 points per year limit includes bloodtheft and great gains of regency).
    Actually it didn't halve the raising of bloodline scores through good rulership it is exactly the same only the numbers have changed (doubled to keep in line with the increased bloodline score of the revised Chap 2. As far as usurpation, I addressed that one above.


    Which is going to make those NPC's with higher-than-possible (for PC's) bloodline scores even more lopsidedly powerful-and PC's won't have a chance to match them on their own terms without a VERY long and successful reign, and only then if the NPC's are comparatively stagnant or unsuccessful rulers (an unlikely prospect for many of them).
    Well no PC should really have a shot at say Avan or Boureine when they first start out, if so the then the game is out of whack. It reminds me of how one of my players kept OOC planning to get the Gorgon and actually assuming his PC could win in a one-on-one fight while still only a 4-5th level character. The major NPCs have their hands full dealing with each other rather than the PCs. The PCs, at starting level, are nothing more than nats to them and until they actually make a name for themselves via their actions would they deserve much attention.


    I don't know how other DM's run their NPC's, but I tend to run mine as if they're just as ambitious, power-hungry, greedy, and capable as the PC's are. Which means they follow all the same rules, and are as dynamic as they can be within the limits of their political situations. Which means the ones in stable realms, and especially those with vassals, are almost guaranteed to keep going up by 2 bloodline points per year. Which means the PC's don't stand a chance of meeting or even approaching that kind of bloodline score unless they pull some amazing heroic tricks out of their hats, and then only if that 2 points per year limit doesn't apply to raises from usurpation/bloodtheft, investiture, and great gains of regency. If it does, well...they're just screwed.
    Except that they need to be dealing with their peers who are in a more evenly balanced place of power. Most of this is invisible to the PCs and only the actual wars would generally be commonly known.
    Duane Eggert

  8. #8
    ah cool, i missed that you double the score. makes it less of a discrepency at least, though it does still cut off the higher end of the bloodline score.

    In 2nd ed it was possible for someone with a tainted bloodline to have aa higher bloodline score than one with a great bloodline. 4d14 (4 to 16) versus 8d8 (8 to 64).
    Heheh, well with this new method a person can still have a minor bloodline [6-36]with a score higher than a great bloodline [14-44]. So in theory a tainted bloodline could still be higher than a great bloodline. Of course its not very likely though still possible.

    With regard to the NPCs we seem to take for granted that the DM will be running EVERY single NPC regent in the game... which isnt a logical assumption to make. Most DMs would play those NPCs that were in the immediate area and maybe some that are just outside of it in the Region. So for those NPCs outside of these areas, DMs would likely just have them run automatically as a stable domain... rather like how you described the NPCs running on automatic in 2e and just having huge RP reserves when the PCs finally made contact with them. So, with that in mind wouldn't they just be rasing their bloodline up 2 every year? Thus, far surpassing the PCs?
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

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  9. #9
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by tcharazazel@May 9 2004, 05:09 PM
    With regard to the NPCs we seem to take for granted that the DM will be running EVERY single NPC regent in the game... which isnt a logical assumption to make. Most DMs would play those NPCs that were in the immediate area and maybe some that are just outside of it in the Region. So for those NPCs outside of these areas, DMs would likely just have them run automatically as a stable domain... rather like how you described the NPCs running on automatic in 2e and just having huge RP reserves when the PCs finally made contact with them. So, with that in mind wouldn't they just be rasing their bloodline up 2 every year? Thus, far surpassing the PCs?
    Yup, that's how I usually run them but I assume that they only gain a fraction of their potential RP every turn, the rest being spent on defending themselves from the other NPCs that I am also not running directly at the time. The NPCs not being active will still be competing against each other in one way or another hence it is not logical to assume that they are constantly gaining the max RP every turn.

    Major NPCs perform major functions and major events, e.g., adventures, blood contests, assassination attempts, etc. Just because their performances aren't directly documented doesn't mean that they haven't happened. Pretty much whatever the PCs have been doing it is ony logical to assume that the major NPCs have done the same or similarly rated things - only usually for a longer period of time.
    Duane Eggert

  10. #10
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by tcharazazel@May 9 2004, 05:09 PM

    Heheh, well with this new method a person can still have a minor bloodline [6-36]with a score higher than a great bloodline [14-44]. So in theory a tainted bloodline could still be higher than a great bloodline. Of course its not very likely though still possible.
    There is really no such thing as a tainted bloodline anymore, there is a minor bloodline with a strength of less than 20 which is usually referred to as tainted since the scion has no manifestations.

    There is no direct correlation between bloodline strength and bloodline score. If a scion with a great bloodline has a lower starting bloodline score (well after the 2 levels of scion class that he can take so at 3rd level) has a lower bloodline score than a scion with a minor bloodline it is because the player chose to have a lower score by placing a lower number in his starting blood ability score than the player with the PC with the minor bloodline. That is unless using random dice rolls and the player with the minor bloodline has extremely good luck - but oh well that happens with any ability score spread.

    What this comes down to is that in almost all cases (taking into account the random spreads possible) it is up to the player and how he wants to play his character - it is his choice whether or not to use his highest rolls for his bloodline score or not.
    Duane Eggert

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