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Thread: Blood Abilities

  1. #1

    Blood Abilities

    I've never been terribly happy with the blood abilities. Some are great, others are so limited in usefulness my players feel gipped when they get them. And Masela's options are pretty lackluster compared to many of the others. I've been messing with ideas for a few new ones to spice things up and add some more flavor to the whole thing. Has anyone else come up with interesting blood abilities for different derivations? I'd be interested in hearing others' creative fruits.

  2. #2
    Interested to see ur suggestions.

    I pretty much compensate for this by granting 3 re rolls to each player during the bloodline generation.

  3. #3
    Right now I haven't thought of much addition, just the current abilities I don't like and think need some tweaking. Here's a couple of my thoughts off the top of my head.

    Animal affinity: Interesting flavor, but not much use for a lot of them, such as Masela (dolphins) and Andurias (lions). Don't get a chance to interact with those creatures often in Anuire.

    Detect Life: I don't really see the flavor in this ability, I mean I guess it's useful but, eh.

    Healing: The minor ability is nigh useless past 1st level, the others are decent.

    Heightened ability: I'd like to see higher bonuses at higher blood levels, personally. Also every derivation should have 2 abilities that get bonuses, Masela doesn't even get one. I've already done this one.

    Long Life: the ability that every player wants to get even though it generally never comes into play. Good enough.

    Light of Reason: It's alright, but since I use Pathfinder, the minor ability is literally worthless. The others are okay.

    Blood history: Best DM plot device ever.

    Direction sense: Somewhat interesting, but not that useful for most parties.

    And so on. I know I may seem like I'm all into combat advantages here, which I'm not. But I think each ability should have good and frequent opportunity for use, in addition to providing flavor. Secondly, there's a lot of inequity. Literally every single Azrai ability is highly great, which I guess is fine since it's Azrai. Andurias' are almost all great. Masela? Eh, not so much.

    Finally, each derivation only gets 1-2 abilities unique to it, which I think there should be some more variance. There should be plenty of abilities for each derivation that make it unique.

    Just my initial thoughts on the matter. I understand why they were not modified for the 3rd edition conversion, this is mostly just my own musing for my own campaigns.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2001
    southwest Ontario, Canada
    Well, blood abilities are like character classes: it depends on the scenario. Some days fighters are more useful. Other days, rogues are. Same with blood abilities. Depending on the setting and nature of the campaign, some will shine and others will not.

    Of course, blood abilities were originally written for 2nd Ed AD&D, where power balance wasn't the prime driver. They were meant more for flavor. While the BR3E writers may have accounted for this, i don't know that everything translates perfectly due to rule differences.

    I think Azrai's were deliberately meant to be a bit more powerful. After all, it did take six other gods to take him down; he was a bad-ass. And there is always potential... baggage... that comes with that bloodline. Heh.

    Masela does have a few powerful abilities: Sea Song is a great source of information. Their Travel ability, since the two places must be connected by water, can get them to most places in Cerilia almost instantly.

    I disagree with you on Detect Life. It can be very useful: "Are there any monsters behind that door?" detect "Ayup, prepare for battle."

    Note that your criticism of Animal Affinity applies to all of the derivations. There are no wolves (Reynir) in Khinasi, no serpents (Azrai) in most of Rjurik and Vosgaard. That's just one that will be location dependent.

    Heightened Ability could certainly have a Major and Great version. Maybe 1.5x bloodline bonus for Major, and 2x bloodline bonus for Great.

    But nothing wrong with some new ones either. What about these?

    Luck (Major, Brenna): once per day, roll two dice for any attack/check/save, use the better result.

    Water Form (Great, Masela): once per day, shapechange into water equivalent to small water elemental. Must stay connected to large body (ocean, lake, river, swamp).


  5. #5
    I agree on Azrai. His should be the best, by far. I also consider his the most unique, in that all sorts of interesting things can happen to you with it as it corrupts you.

    A fair point on animal affinity. I just noted it since all my campaigns tend to be in Anuire, although I'm considering somewhere else for my next one to freshen things up.

    Detect life is useful, my issue with it is it ruins some of my plotting as a DM for ambushes and the like, but that's just me being picky.

    Overall I'm just looking to mix it up a bit with some new ideas, since my players know most of the current abilities and I'd like to throw them some new stuff. Currently the fighter has had his bloodline replaced by Reynir, I'm cooking up some interesting stuff for that right now.

  6. #6
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    London, England
    I expanded the list of sacred animals in the wiki (links for each god come of the Old gods page; which can make animal affinity more useful.

    I always meant to do some stuff on blood abilities, particularly ones with realm level effects, but never got to it.

    I did however do some new powers in the PS Danigau and Ps Dhoesone.

    Taking a look it appears I never finished putting PS Dhoesone up on the wiki, but the powers there were Swiftfoot (from blood enemies), Animal Affinity Horse, and Life Transfer (ability to transfer hit points to or from another).
    Last edited by AndrewTall; 05-09-2015 at 03:16 PM.

  7. #7
    Ehrshegh of Spelling Thelandrin's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    I quite like those ideas, Andrew.

    For my next PBEM game, I'm been clumping together various blood powers or adding effects and the like, so that they all have realm-level effects. I think it will make them a much more interesting choice then.

    Ius Hibernicum, in nomine juris. Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

  8. #8
    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
    Thief River Falls, MN
    I've always wanted to put together a revamped system for blood abilities that could apply to any deity. A system similar to the 3E that deconstructs the blood abilities into lists that may or may not be relevant to specific domains that a deity has. I was thinking of a generic system so that people could insert the blood abilities to their own world campaign more easily without having to have the rigid structure of the 2E lists that may or may not fit in their world. The system I am envisioning would also work to add blood abilities to existing settings like Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, etc.

    Also, for expansions to the BR world as well, if the DM simply ruled that the event of Deismaar as written is the Anuirean or Cerillian version of a global event.

    I know the BA system is largely deity and campaign specific flavor, so that would be the main guideline of course,

    One thing that I am not in favor of is implementing a +X to epl for bloodlines. To me the hero class system of balance is fine, but when a hero has the blood of a god in them, then they should be considered a step beyond the standard hero and not be slowed down by it. I think of the story of Hercules who in my mind being a demi-god is a step beyond a scion.

    So, though I've not come up with anything yet, I'd like to see a set of generic guidelines for BA that could be opened up for play outside of Cerillia. Something like the spell creation rules from the D20 book by Badaxe Games "Elves" in their "Heroes of High Favor" line. I just seem to hit a stumbling block when it comes to this for some reason every time I consider it.
    One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.

  9. #9
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    London, England

    I'd start such a system by reverse engineering it from existing abilities.

    Read the abilities and consider what they do, the gives you some basic categories for abilities

    Assign the abilities to the categories, and then try to even out the categories somewhat.

    Then have the system tailor to the setting by, for example.

    Anduiras. At least half abilities must be from "rule" or "war" categories
    Avani. At least half abilities must be from "energy" or "discovery" categories sort of thing.

    Pantheons usually cover common bases so it's really just a nature god, war god, hearth goddess sort of system where you slot gods into the roles for each setting.

    As for level, I've toyed, but never really done anything with the idea of a 2-tier class system, a "ruler" class which relates to GB, RP and MP (mebhaighl points, used instead of gold for magical actions), domain action types, domain action bonuses, and has blood abilities relevant to those. Then a system of bloodline abilities which can be substituted for normal feats and abilities.

    That would however not lead to many abilities in adventure level play, since I like balance I'd have to come up with something for non-scions and that's where I normally got stuck.

  10. #10
    Senior Member arpig2's Avatar
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    The only "useless" power or ability is one possessed by the character of a useless player. If you can't see how to make use of a power then you should stick to online "role-playing".
    Call me Bob.
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    My game design blog: Bob's Worlds

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