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  1. #1
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    In the original BR boxed set we had very little game mechanical information

    on awnsheghlien. Several of them were given stats, but the process itself

    was pretty much unexplained. It wasn`t until we got BE:AoC that we saw how

    bloodline interacts with transformation for those characters, but that was

    only in a rather sketchy form that raised several more questions. It

    wasn`t until the BoR came out that there were any actual guidelines for

    adjudicating the transformation of a character into an awnshegh or ershegh.



    In the BoR there are two types of awnsheghlien transformations

    described. The first is the transformation of a character who commits

    bloodtheft upon a scion of Azrai. The transformation described in that

    section is sudden and dramatic. The character takes on characteristics of

    some degenerate awnshegh form as part of the act of bloodtheft itself that

    resulted in the character`s derivation becoming that of Azrai. No use of

    that bloodline, its blood abilities or any other influence are

    necessary. Of the existing awnshegh probably the Boar is the most obvious

    example of this kind of transformation, though one or two other types might

    qualify.



    The second type of transformation is more gradual. It`s more similar to

    the one described in the BE text under the bloodform ability that has the

    transformation occur over time as part of an ongoing process that is

    seductive and corrupting. It is the slow descent into awnshegh form.



    There is a third type of awnshegh origin that might be included. The

    Magian`s spell Bloodline Corruption changes the target`s bloodline to that

    of Azrai "forcing the creature to become an awnshegh." I would suggest,

    however, that since that spell also drains bloodline from the caster (or

    another character who donates its strength) that spell is more similar to

    the first method of awnshegh creation. It`s as if the victim performed an

    act of bloodtheft on the caster (or person to donates) without actually

    killing that person, and it automatically results in a transformation into

    an awnshegh.



    My first question is, how should those two things (or three if one thinks

    something is particularly appropriate for the Magian`s spell) be portrayed

    in a D20 conversion?



    I already use an awnshegh character class that I think is pretty apt for

    the second type of transformation, and I was thinking that the first

    sounded more like a template. There should be particular circumstances for

    that template to get applied, but in general I`m thinking right now that it

    will be a template that grants several transformation effects and half as

    many disadvantages as outlined in the awnshegh class. That is, however,

    just off the cuff and I`m curious what folks in the BR community think

    about the subject.



    So my second question is, what might that template look like and how might

    it be accounted for in 3e/D20 terms? That is, what would be the

    appropriate ECL modifier?



    Gary

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    The second method, by taking classes is balanced for ECL.

    The first method would be much better as a template. But it should not be all benefits. That throws off the balance. I would figure 3 templates (minor, major, great) are needed. Each one gives more power, but give enough penalties that the net ECL is zero.

    Yes the person in that commits a great bloodtheft gets many powerful abilities at once, but there is always a price for that power. So I think maybe even more penalties would be given right from the beginning.

    If you wanted the bloodline to be cruel (I usually do), tempt the player even more. Let them then continue on the path gaining levels in the awnsheghlien class. But let them only have half the penalties for the class levels. They have already been 'cursed' and are now exploring the possibilities. I can see many of the weak willed giving in for the lure of easy power.

  3. #3
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    I like the following (attached). If you want to include being able to transform without the bloodform ability then use the first two columns for major and great bloodlines and save the last column for only the combo of True and bloodform.

    It is an automatic change that is backwards filling. The scion must take a level of awnsh class (which gives the physical changes and accounts for the LA equivalents) or suffer an exp penalty (the price for resisting the draw of the bloodline).
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Duane Eggert

  4. #4
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 08:14 PM 6/21/2004 +0200, destowe wrote:



    >The second method, by taking classes is balanced for ECL.The first method

    >would be much better as a template. But it should not be all

    >benefits. That throws off the balance. I would figure 3 templates

    >(minor, major, great) are needed. Each one gives more power, but give

    >enough penalties that the net ECL is zero.Yes the person in that commits a

    >great bloodtheft gets many powerful abilities at once, but there is always

    >a price for that power. So I think maybe even more penalties would be

    >given right from the beginning.If you wanted the bloodline to be cruel (I

    >usually do), tempt the player even more. Let them then continue on the

    >path gaining levels in the awnsheghlien class. But let them only have

    >half the penalties for the class levels. They have already been `cursed`

    >and are now exploring the possibilities. I can see many of the weak

    >willed giving in for the lure of easy power.



    I was thinking of giving the template for "instantaneous bloodtheft

    awnshegh" something like 4 transformations and 2 disadvantages a la the

    awnshegh character class I use. I`ve posted a version of that class

    before, so it`s in the birthright-l archives at

    http://oracle.wizards.com/scripts/wa...=R5083&m=22768

    or in the birthright.net message boards under the title "Rhoubhe Manslayer."



    So the question becomes how many transformations balanced by how many

    disadvantages equals an ECL? Bear in mind that the transformations are

    supposed to be about equal to a feat while the disadvantages are supposed

    to be about the same power level as a feat, perhaps a bit less since they

    can be min/maxed to a certain extent.



    I want to keep the template at ECL +0 or +1. I think it`s doable to make

    it +1 since that will simply account for the next character level of the

    killer and he did, after all, just scrag a scion of Azrai, so that level

    should be relatively close. While it might not be 3e/D20 cant one could

    make one of the requirements for the application of the template that the

    character who gets it must be close to levelling up anyway. Nobody knows

    what the circumstances are that leads to the act of bloodtheft resulting in

    a scion becoming an awnshegh, so being near enough to level up is as good

    as any other, I suppose.



    Gary

  5. #5
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Gary,
    The 'proper' 3.5 terminology is LA (level adjustment) when refering to what used to be called ECL + (in 3.0). ECL (Effective character level) is defined as the sum of all class levels + monster hit dice (for those that gain extra hit dice) + LA (for those intangeables).

    I know the terms get confusing, especially with the way WotC 'changed' them, but the new terms actually make more sense and are easier to understand than they used to be.

    As far as how many physicals transformations equal a LA - I'd use the guidelines in Savage Species for comparisons. It lists the appropriate LA for certain types of physical abilities (and other things like SR and DR). The LA all depends on the nature of the transformation (and what is gained by it), it is not just a simple number of transformations.
    Duane Eggert

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    I still do not understand why the rules presented in "Savage Species" would not be appropriate for Awnshegh transformation of the second type (or indeed Ehrshegh transformations).

    As for the spell of the Magian, the only known recipient of this spell (to my knowledge) is the Manticore, and it seems as though his transformation is gradual.

    One of the main problems I would have in a birthright campaign (I think) is to make Awnshegh transformation distasteful to players.


    Oh, and Geeman, does BoR mean "Book of Regency"? If so, I must have missed this reference can you tell me where in the book it appears?

  7. #7
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by anacreon@Jun 23 2004, 12:54 AM


    Oh, and Geeman, does BoR mean "Book of Regency"? If so, I must have missed this reference can you tell me where in the book it appears?
    BoR (Book of Regency) starting on pg 24 under "Becoming an Awnshegh" there are two paths described; "The Short Road" (i.e., bloodtheft) and "The Path of Evil" (i.e., the gradual transformation).
    Duane Eggert

  8. #8
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 07:54 AM 6/23/2004 +0200, anacreon wrote:



    >I still do not understand why the rules presented in "Savage Species"

    >would not be appropriate for Awnshegh transformation of the second type

    >(or indeed Ehrshegh transformations).



    The awnshegh character class is IMO very similar to the ideas presented in

    SS. The one I use was written up after I read that book (and a couple of

    other D20 texts.) I think SS was innovative, however, I should also note

    that I don`t think it is entirely appropriate for the particulars of BR

    awnsheghlien and ersheghlien, because there is a weird set of contradictory

    requirements for such a class system. In order to portray awnshegh in a

    single character class that class must have both a general approach in that

    the range of themes for such characters is pretty much unlimited, yet rules

    that fit within the framework of the themes of the BR setting. As such, SS

    is a good place to start and from which to derive some methods, but it

    doesn`t really `port straight as well as all that. At least, I found it

    insufficient when writing up awnsheghlien, so came up with another system.



    A while back someone suggested just using levels from SS for various

    awnsheghlien and ersheghlien by putting them on top of existing stats for

    race and/or character levels. That might work in some cases, but on the

    whole I don`t think it works as a method for two reasons. First, because

    the awnshegh of the BR setting aren`t really the monsters, animals, etc.

    that are portrayed in SS. A character called the Salamander, for instance,

    might be very similar to the elemental creature in D&D, but he might have

    very different qualities and characteristics. He might have very little

    resemblance to the D&D monster. The Gorgon isn`t very much like a gorgon,

    the Hydra very little like a hydra, and the Hag is very different from a

    hag. Simply putting monster levels from a Salamander "racial class" a la

    SS is IMO insufficient to describe all the possibilities for such a

    character. If you consider the various BR awnsheghlien many of them have

    very different abilities and powers than the creatures that bear the same

    name in D&D, so using those D&D monsters to portray them would lose a lot

    of their distinctiveness. Second, I think SS makes one very questionable

    assumption: that CR equates to character level. Whether or not that is

    true in general in D&D, I haven`t found that it works very well as a basis

    for character generation when it comes to awnsheghlien and ersheghlien. YMMV.



    >As for the spell of the Magian, the only known recipient of this spell (to

    >my knowledge) is the Manticore, and it seems as though his transformation

    >is gradual.



    True, and we really don`t know much about how that works. It sounds to me

    from the description and the write up in BE that the event is most like the

    type of "instant awnshegh" created by an act of bloodtheft as described in

    the BoR. I wasn`t really thinking of how to portray the Magian`s bloodline

    corruption spell, however. I`m more interested in how to portray a

    "bloodtheft awnshegh" since that is more common (if still very rare) way of

    becoming an awnshegh than that spell. In fact, it would seem to fit into

    the concept as a whole that the Magian had found a way of replicating the

    act of bloodtheft on a scion of Azrai and "bottled" it into a spell, if you

    will. If we have rules to describe how the "instant awnshegh" from

    bloodtheft happens in 3e terms then we might extrapolate what the Magian`s

    spell is doing. On the whole, though, I`m happy to just get the instant

    awnshegh covered. The Magian`s spell could be handled if someone was using

    that awnshegh (or his magicks....)



    One thing that I think should probably be covered in this context is the

    whole bloodtheft situation. It`s a perennial issue in the BR community,

    because there just aren`t very good rules for handling such a specific

    thing in any edition of D&D or D20, and because it remains one of the

    central issues of the campaign setting. The BRCS update, for instance,

    drops several aspects of the idea and goes with what I think is a very

    different interpretation of bloodtheft. Unfortunately, the original system

    in the RB was very sketchy and created a lot of potential problems as far

    as game mechanics and function in play was concerned. People would

    speculate about whether or not the Gorgon had a stable of offspring that he

    was using to increase his bloodline. After all, why wouldn`t he given the

    rules as presented? There are role-playing reasons why he wouldn`t do that

    (after all, he could create a few dozen opponents, or throw his subjects

    into turmoil should the truth get out) but the situation is created by some

    bad rules in the first place. The method for determining bloodtheft

    happening in the first place was never well described since it requires a

    stab in the heart which doesn`t exist in the abstract combat system of D&D.



    In order to deal with some of those issues, while remaining as close as

    possible to the original themes and ideas of the BR setting, I was thinking

    of doing something like the following:



    Bloodtheft

    When one scion kills another scion by stabbing him in the heart the

    power of dying scion`s bloodline is released. Some of this power is

    transferred into the body of the person holding the weapon that delivers

    the killing blow, possibly increasing the bloodline score of the

    killer. This act is called bloodtheft. Stabbing a person through the

    heart, however, is not simple. An act of bloodtheft only occurs under

    special circumstances. First, bloodtheft can only be performed using a

    piercing or slashing weapons melee weapons. The weapon must be held when

    the killing blow is delivered. One cannot commit an act of bloodtheft by

    throwing a dagger or firing an arrow.

    If those basic conditions are met, an act of bloodtheft can occur under

    the following circumstances:

    1. When a scion performs a coup de grace upon another scion.

    2. Whenever a deathblow is dealt to a scion. That is, a killing blow

    that reduces the victim`s hit points below 0 or 10 (depending on whether

    one is using the 10 rule.)

    3. When the blow that reduces a scion`s hit points below 0 is a

    critical hit.



    If a scion is killed in any of the above circumstances you must check to

    see if an act of bloodtheft occurs. Successfully performing bloodtheft

    requires that the killer make check using his dexterity modifier. The DC

    of the check depends upon the circumstances of the potential act of

    bloodtheft as described on the table below:



    Table 5: Bloodtheft modifiers

    DC Condition

    5 The killing blow is a coup de grace.

    15 The killer is using a piercing weapon.

    20 The killer is using a slashing weapon.



    When bloodtheft occurs it may increase the bloodline score of the scion

    who committed the act depending upon the bloodline score of the killer and

    his victim.

    If the bloodline score of the victim is less than or equal to the

    bloodline score of the killer use the respective bloodline scores as

    modifiers on an opposed roll. If the result of the victim`s roll is higher

    than the killer`s roll then the killer`s bloodline score increases by 1 point.

    For example, a scion with a bloodline score of 14 kills another blooded

    character with a bloodline score of 10. Roll d20 + 14 for the killer and

    d20 +10 for the victim. If the result of the victim`s check exceeds that

    of the killer then the killer`s bloodline score will raise to 15.

    If the bloodline score of the victim is greater than that of the killer

    then the killer`s bloodline score increases by +1. Subtract the killer`s

    new bloodline score from that of the victim. If the remainder is still

    greater than that of the killer then increase the killer`s new bloodline

    score by another +1 and subtract this number from the remainder of the

    victim`s bloodline score. If this second remainder is still greater than

    that of the killer`s new bloodline score continue the process until the

    remainder is less than or equal to the killer`s bloodline score. Any

    remainder then becomes a modifier in an opposed roll just as if the

    bloodline score of the victim were lower than that of the killer above.

    For example, a scion with a bloodline score of 12 kills a scion with a

    bloodline score of 29. The killer adds +1 to bloodline score (12 +1 = 13)

    and subtracts that from the bloodline score of his victim (29 13 =

    16.) Since the remainder of 16 is still higher than the new bloodline

    score of the killer add +1 to the killer`s bloodline score (13 +1 = 14) and

    subtract this new number from the remaining bloodline score of the victim

    (16 14 = 2.) Since that remainder (2) is now lower than the killer`s

    bloodline score both values are used as modifiers on an opposed roll. If

    the result of the victim`s roll (d20 + 2) is greater than that of the

    killer (d20 +15) then the killer`s bloodline score will increase a third

    time to 16.



    Gary

  9. #9
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 05:39 PM 6/22/2004 +0200, irdeggman wrote:



    >As far as how many physicals transformations equal a LA - I`d use the

    >guidelines in Savage Species for comparisons. It lists the appropriate LA

    >for certain types of physical abilities (and other things like SR and

    >DR). The LA all depends on the nature of the transformation (and what is

    >gained by it), it is not just a simple number of transformations.



    I`ve got a whole list of transformations in the character class, and though

    nothing is ever really perfectly balanced in D20 they are generally

    described in a regular manner that is (if I say so myself) pretty well

    balanced as a system against the effects of character class and the BP

    system. In any case, let`s assume that`s true for the purpose of

    developing a template, shall we? :)



    I was thinking it should just have transformation effects and

    disadvantages. That`s it. Probably four transformations and two

    disadvantages, but maybe six and three.



    Gary

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by geeman@Jun 23 2004, 12:10 PM
    Second, I think SS makes one very questionable

    assumption: that CR equates to character level. Whether or not that is

    true in general in D&D, I haven`t found that it works very well as a basis

    for character generation when it comes to awnsheghlien and ersheghlien. YMMV.



    CR equals Character Level??? You must have misunderstood the book. LA+HD = Character Level, which is more often than not twice the CR...

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