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  1. #1

    Question Invulnerable Blood Ability: How do you handle it?

    Hi All,

    In the campaign book "Blood Enemies" there is a blood ability Invulnerability. I'm not new to the campaign setting, but this blood ability has always left me wondering what the best way would be to handle it.

    I would like to get the general vibe for how y'all handle PCs and NPCs with the Blood ability of Invulnerability.

    Do you treat it like Achilles? Nothing can harm him except the shot through the ankle?

    Do you treat him like Rogue from the X-men? The character can have the tar beaten out of them but nothing breaks the skin or breaks bones?

    This brings me to my next issue:

    How do you handle a bloodtheft attack on a character so endowed? Do you have to find their weakness and meet those conditions before bloodtheft can occur or do you allow a nat 20 through the heart to be an automatic bloodtheft that defeats the special conditions of that blood ability?



  2. #2
    Senior Member ausrick's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    Warsaw, Indiana US
    BRCS playtest says this about the ability:
    Level: Great*
    Derivations: Azrai, Basaïa, Vorynn
    This ability grants the scion a limited form of immortality. He
    is not immortal in the true sense of the word, but he cannot be
    killed except under very specific circumstances. *Only characters
    with the Bloodform ability, the Bloodtrait ability, or the
    Great Heritage template may take this ability.
    Great: A scion with Invulnerability can be killed only under
    a particular set of deadly conditions, which are unique for each
    blooded scion. The scion cannot be slain save through this
    vulnerability. The scion is immune to all polymorph and magical
    death effects. The scion cannot be slain by poison, nor can
    any effect reduce their ability scores below 1. If reduced to
    negative hit points the scion is rendered unconscious but can’t
    be reduced below –10 (such damage in instantly regenerated).
    A scion's vulnerability may be as simple as a vulnerability
    to magical weapons to as complex as a need to sever his limbs
    and burn them to ash. Unless the appropriate vulnerability is
    exploited, the scion regenerates at their normal rate.
    This ability seems more geared for villains than PC's (unless of course your PC's are villains). It seems reminiscent of how a lot of the types of monsters in Ravenloft that make unique npc plot villains (hello Van Richten's Guides) have allergins that are specific to each individual character. This usually is designed to pull the PC's into the roll of investigators trying to figure out how they and truelly destroy their advarsary and keep them from coming back. Along this whole process they can even have scrapes and tussles with the villain. Causes for all kinds of plot and suspense. Usually the vulnerability is somehow relevent to the flavor and history of the individual. In undead it might be what killed them, something they coveted in life, or something that represents their folley and how they wound up where they are at. In a construct or item, It might be related to how they were made (Frodo's Ring comes to mind) In anything it would somehow symbolize their character or how they came to get that blood ability anyways. With the prerequisites to the ability there should be a lot of background to work from.

    I immagine the visual effects of this would manifest differently and would be up to your descretion, for instance, peircing them through the heart may actually peirce and draw blood, but actually does no damage, the creature might just smile and laugh, that is until its invulnerability is removed and then it is stabbed through the heart again. Or it could just go in and out like a ghost. The creature could turn into ash at -10 only to reform again angrier than before, or the bloodthefting weapon if non magical could rust or disintigrate when the coup de grace is attempted or just bounce off like the chest cavity was made of solid rock. It would be interesting to look at if it would be possible to bloodtheft the creature after the specific vulnerability was used. For example, If Dorian Gray was a scion with this ability, and he could only be destroyed if he looked at his portrait that captured all his evil deeds, otherwise damage he took was just applied to the magical portrait instead, then making him look at his portrait, at which point the trade places, he ages, takes on all the evil, corruption, and damage that he should have throughout the years, and dies, well if his heart wasn't peirced would the PC's that forced him to meet the gaze of the portrait not get his bloodline? or would it go to the person who peirced him in the heart 5 years ago and it did nothing at the time, OR would he explode in a shockwave of resounding blood energy for those who slew him to take? This I imagine would be up to the DM and maybe the PC's wouldn't even know until the deed was done. That could be fun.

  3. #3

    Thumbs up

    Thanks Ausrick.

    That is what I suspected and was leaning toward.

    Merci beaucoup,


  4. #4
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
    IMC I only allow a scion with a True bloodline (any derivation) to possess Invulnerability. Given this is by far the most powerful blood ability in the game, and well beyond the scope of other Great abilities (see "Designing New Blood Abilities" in the BRCS, Chapter 2), it seemed all too appropriate to make it soley a True bloodline ability only. This limits it to the few ancient awnsheghlien in the world, and keeps it out of the reach of PC's altogether.


  5. #5
    Hi Osprey,

    Thanks for your take on it.

    That would mean reworking some of the awnsheghlien from Blood Enemies as most of them aren't True. If memory serves, the Magian is not True unless he was present at Desimaar.

    I read somewhere that he was one of the Lost, but I think Blood Spawn contradicts that notion as he wasn't listed in the table.


  6. #6
    Senior Member ausrick's Avatar
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    Warsaw, Indiana US
    Semi-related, how does an undead Awnsheghlien, especially a skeletal one (BRCS playtest says Awnsheg can be based off of an undead creature, and I don't have any books on it but I think I remember someone telling me the Magian is kind of like a Lich) handle having a bloodline? Is it actually blood and how do you Theft it per se? Do they somehow still have a heart or is just a chest cavity good enough? Or is the Magian kind of like General Grevous from Episode III?

  7. #7
    Maybe he's more akin to the "Mummy" (gooey) rather than skeletal form. I tend base the Lichs in my campaign around the "Van Richten's Guide to same", many of the illustration would suggest at least partially flesh covered frame.

    Or it could be related to a Lich's phylactery.


  8. #8
    Senior Member ausrick's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    Warsaw, Indiana US
    Good Idea, skeletal AND goey, gaunt and boney, yet covered in decaying flesh, at any rate the blood would be kinda thick, and black. Firan Darcalus Zal'honan the Azal Lan eat your dessicated heart out!

  9. #9
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
    California, USA

    Invulnerable Blood Ability: How do you handle it?

    A few things to note about committing bloodtheft on an awnshegh (or
    ershegh, I suppose) character whose body has been substantially altered
    and/or who has the Invulnerability blood ability:

    1. The difficulty of performing bloodtheft should be accounted for as part
    of the character`s transformation. That is, let`s say The Blob is
    transforming into some sort of gelatinous form. Technically, there`s
    nothing about that transformation that means the character can`t be stabbed
    through the heart. His heart might float about inside his body
    willy-nilly, but it`s still there and the character should still be under
    the threat of bloodtheft. If, however, the DM and the player decide that
    the transformation is going to reach the point where the character no
    longer really has a heart--his cytoplasmic innards are too nonhuman to
    really continue to serve that function, then the immunity to bloodtheft
    should be accounted for as part of the character development/levelling up
    process. It should be factored into whatever method is used to assign
    powers and abilities to the character.

    2. When it comes to performing bloodtheft on characters with the
    Invulnerability blood ability, however, I think it would be doable to just
    rule that the character is immune to bloodtheft under most
    circumstances. Since it is a "great" power and actually prevents death one
    could simply rule that it renders the person with that ability unkillable
    by a stab through the heart and, therefore, impossible to really perform an
    act of bloodtheft upon. We can probably presume that it is the godly life
    energy that is stolen/transferred during bloodtheft, so if a character`s
    mortal energy remains in his body when he would normally be "killed" and it
    is his divine energy that sustains him then that divine energy isn`t
    released either.

    The write up for Invulnerability that I use says that:

    You are only killed after a special procedure is performed after you are
    reduced to -10 (or fewer) hit points. The procedure is a relatively simple
    one, but not one that would occur "naturally." That is, it is a process
    that requires several steps using fairly common items. For instance, your
    body must be burned, decapitated, and sprinkled with holy water. Learning
    the method by which you can be killed can be done with spells like Legend
    Lore or Divination. You are now effectively immune to bloodtheft unless
    the special procedure necessary to kill you includes being stabbed through
    the heart.

    3. It should also be noted that stabbing through the heart is not
    necessarily the only way to commit bloodtheft in the original
    materials. Certain awnsheghlien (the Vampire, for example) have the
    ability to commit bloodtheft by sucking the blood of their
    victims. There`s no reason why that ability should be exclusive to the
    Vampire--though it might have different manifestations. Other characters
    might "commit bloodtheft" after having swallowed a scion`s body whole,
    performed arcane rituals, been the subject of some bizarre version of the
    Land`s Choice or otherwise being the subject of a mystical process of
    transference. Since the rules for D&D combat are abstract, the specific
    game mechanics for a "stab through the heart" are really just portraying
    "an act of bloodtheft." What I mean by that is that bloodtheft is usually
    described as a stab through the heart, but the particulars of the coup de
    grace with a piercing weapon (or whatever other specific one wants) don`t
    necessarily have to be interpreted as a stab through the heart. It could
    be anything that inspires the act of bloodtheft. If an awnshegh was
    transformed into The Crystalman, for example, an act of bloodtheft might be
    performed on him with a bludgeoning weapon that shatters the ruby red
    crystal that his head has evolved into.


  10. #10
    Junior Member DemyztikX's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    It could also be ruled (and this is simple compaired to the others) that his heart must be pierced (assuming he still has one) AND he must be killed.
    So Achillies would first have his heart penitrated and then killed thru his ankle.
    Simple, not as good as some, but not as powerful as being immune to bloodtheft.

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