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  1. #1
    Member Starmage21's Avatar
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    Possible Error in Sanctioned Chapter 2?

    I was looking through the sanctioned rules in chapter 2 and I noticed something. A character with a minor bloodline, no matter his score will ever have any blood abilities at the start. His blood score will never exceed 18, and according to the chart on page 8-9 of Chapter 2(sanctioned).

    I figured that it couldnt be right, since in the old Birthright, even characters with minor bloodlines normally began with 1-2 abilities at least, so I started looking at the old chart.
    It appears that while the odd numbers were removed from the old chart, and the Max Bonus HP column added, that the other figures present in that chart were not adjusted as well. So according to that chart, it takes at least a 20 to get a minor ability, when it used to require a 10.

    At first, this appears to be in error, but then I seen the feat-like ability progression variant. I wondered why would you strip the "extras" from a character when the world they live in is designed for it? I mean, if you play Dark Sun(2e), your abilities in general were 2 points higher(even the maximums; 20STR human FTW!), in the Forgotten Realms PCs have the option of taking Regional Feats, in Birthright your character carries divine blood(which affords him abilities that make him greater than the average adventurer in greyhawk). Why have these been stripped away from beginning PCs?

    Someone make this clear to me please. Is the chart in error? If not, what was the reasoning behind the change?

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    To determine your bloodline score in the sanctioned version your first roll (or assign) ability scores.

    The 7th score (the one used for your blood score) is then doubled. That is your score. The original ability score rolled (or assigned via point buy) is no longer used for anything.

    So in order to have a minor blood ability a scion needs to have had a "10" as his starting number . It is doubled to 20 which grants 1 minor ability.

    The reason this method was chosen was to place things back in the blood score range of 2nd ed.

    By having everyone use 7 abilities at the start it allows those who choose not to be blooded to have better "normal" ability scores if using the variant listed. This was roughly the 10% exp bonus they got in 2nd ed.

    The scion class levels were chosen such that the likelihood of a major bloodline (with 1 level of scion class) is very, very high.

    Starting characters that are scions have an ability score that is not possessed by non-blooded characters. This ability score determines the bloodline power of a character in much the same way that their strength ability score determines the character’s physical strength. This seventh ability score must be generated during character creation following the rules for ability score determination presented in Chapter One: Characters.

    Once the initial ability score is determined this number is then doubled to determine the character’s bloodline score. A character's bloodline score is used to determine the number of blood abilities that they possess. Table 2-2 shows the number of minor, major, and great blood abilities associated with a particular bloodline score. The number of minor abilities is denoted Mi, the number of major abilities denoted Ma, and the number of great abilities denoted Gr. The scion must possess a bloodline of sufficient strength(represented by the levels of the scion class) in order to make full use of these abilities. A scion with a bloodline of Brenna (minor, 32), for example, would receive three minor abilities. Their bloodline score would entitle them to one minor ability, one major ability and one great ability but their minor bloodline strength limits their manifestations to minor abilities only.
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    The scion class levels and the "table" were constructed to give some sort of blance between bloodline score, strength and number of blood abilities.

    In 2nd ed it was possible for a character with a tainted bloodline to have a higher strenght than one with a great bloodline.

    BRRB (Birthright Rulebook) pg 20.

    Tainted: 4d4 (range of 4-16)
    Great 8d8 (range of 8-64)

    In 2nd ed there was a very, very weak correlation between bloodline strength and score. In the BRCS it is more strongly related, although there can be substantial deviation - it is just less when using the scion class levels.

    I hope that helps.
    Duane Eggert

  4. #4
    The only problem i see with this is a point of diminishing returns. While those with minor bloodlines keep the same abilities that they had in the old playtest, those with GH and great bloodlines get less, since those bonuses are technically only 'half' as good as they used to be, under the new ruling.

  5. #5
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikal
    The only problem i see with this is a point of diminishing returns. While those with minor bloodlines keep the same abilities that they had in the old playtest, those with GH and great bloodlines get less, since those bonuses are technically only 'half' as good as they used to be, under the new ruling.
    True.

    But that was mostly by design. The new version was based on what people had learned from using the playtest for over a year (well at least 6 months, but it took another 6 months or so to get the chapter sanctioned).

    Remember that for the most part scions (with some exceptions) get more blood abilities than they did in the 2nd ed version - and the progression is less haphazard than it was. In 2nd ed you could have had a great blood line with a strength of 50 and still had no blood abilities - in fact until you had a score of 80+ there were no automatics. In the present system a score of 50 gives you: 2/2/2 automatically.

    Also note that in the playtest document the GH template has a +1 LA while in the sanctioned version it has +0. This was also part of the reason to change it the way it was.
    Last edited by irdeggman; 07-19-2006 at 06:29 PM.
    Duane Eggert

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Let’s do a comparison build between the “playtest” and “Sanctioned” versions to see how things really compare. If my calculations are correct the follwing is how it works out. While the "playtest" version gives more blood abilities the "sanctioned" version gives a lot more versatility (e.g., hit points, BAB, skills, feats, saving throws, class abilities, etc.)

    Assumptions: ECL 4, 7th ability score die roll = 12, Anduiras derivation, Great Bloodline and Great Heritage Templates, 1 level of fighter.

    Playtest:

    Great bloodline Template: LA +2; +8 to bloodline score; Bonus hitpoints: ½ RP collected (limited by blood score value); regent benefits.

    Great Heritage Template: LA +1; +8 to bloodline score; +4 to leadership score

    Blood score: 12 + 8 + 8 = 28. Blood abilities: 3/2/2; Bld Score mod: +9; Max RP collection: 56; Max RP reserve: 140


    Leadership score: +4

    Gets 1 level of fighter:

    HD: 1d10 (+ regent bonus), BAB: +1, Fort: +2, Ref: +0, Will: +0 (1st level fighter abilities, etc.)


    Sanctioned Chap 2 version:

    Anduiras scion class level 2: +8 Blood score; +4 leadership score; bonus hit points (based on RP collected, up to 1/2 blood score value), Regent benefits. Skill Points 2 + Int mod, class skills (1 of which can be designated a permanent class skill): Lead (Cha), Knowledge (Nobility and royalty) (Int), Ride (Dex) and Warcraft (Int).

    Great Heritage template: LA +0; +4 blood score; +2 Leadership score


    Bloodscore: 12x2 +8 +4 = 36. Blood abilities: 2/1/1; Bld Score Mod: +5; Max RP collection: 36; Max RP Reserve: 72

    Leadership score: +6

    Gets 2 levels of fighter to reach the ECL value of 4.

    HD: 2d8 + 2d10 (+ regent bonus); BAB: +4; Fort: +6; Ref: +0; Will: +0 (1st level fighter abilities, etc.)

    Also gets 1 bonus fighter feat (2nd level fighter), 1 character level feat (3rd level) and 1 ability score increase (4th level). This is in addition to more skills (and max ranks) for the extra 3 class levels gained.

    The level based feats, ability score bonuses and max skill ranks are based on the number of hit dice, LA doesn’t factor in to them.

    Now some of the comparisons aren’t really equivalent. The blood abilities in the Sanctioned version have been changed a lot to bring things more into balance, but they tend to be a little bit buffer overall than the playtest version was.

    Duane Eggert

  7. #7
    yeah, noticed that myself after the kneejerk reaction of 'i got nerfed in my powers' fell away. it seems to work a lot better with the new version. speaking of which, though i may question stuff, i think you guys are doing a great job with it. keep it up!

  8. #8
    Hopefully this won't be considered thread necromancy.

    It has always been my understanding that the descriptor of the bloodline (minor, great, true, tainted) is less a description of how powerful a bloodline *is*, and more of a description of how powerful it *was* at the conclusion of the battle of Mt. Deismaar. True bloodlines are those formed closest to the dying gods, while tainted formed furthest away. Those with more powerful (True, Great, etc.) had more power at the time, and thus were more able to carve a place for themselves in the lands.

    In "modern" times, a once great bloodline is still a "Great" bloodline, but it could easily be far weaker than it once was, while a tainted bloodline would remain "Tainted", but have grown in power from its beginning.

    The minor regent descended from a Great bloodline fallen from what it once was would probably still look down on his neighbor's realm, since it is ruled by someone who merely has a Tainted bloodline, despite the latter regent's greater "bloodline score".

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Khrysanth
    In "modern" times, a once great bloodline is still a "Great" bloodline, but it could easily be far weaker than it once was, while a tainted bloodline would remain "Tainted", but have grown in power from its beginning.
    This isn't really fundamentally different from the way the rules work. The only addition is that you can (with great effort) improve the "power" of your bloodline or, if several generations of poor regents are particularly unlucky, the power of your bloodline can decrease.

    (I'm using "power" here to refer to tainted, minor, major, great, true - I'm not sure what the official term is, except that obviously it isn't "strength" since that means something else only loosely correlated to power).

    I believe the current rules for improving the power of your bloodline require you to increase your bloodline strength to 10 points higher than it was originally - which, given that it says most regents will never increase their bloodline strength, qualifies as a reasonably rare event. (In practice, it isn't at all unlikely that PCs will be able to do this, but it would take a minimum of 5 years of game time - and PCs are the exceptions to many generalisations).

    Incidentally, while we're on this subject, the rules also say that you can't improve the power of your bloodline more than once per generation. While this makes plenty of sense for most regents, I'm wondering how appropriate it is to elves. Elves are (at least) much less likely to be involved in generational games, as much of the impetus to do so is negated by the fact that they aren't going to get older. (Of course you might decide to retire your older characters and play new ones, but that seems a very metagame concept to me - I can't see any reason why "real" elves would see the need to step aside for the younger generation, when the ancients clearly have much more experience and no less vigour). There's also somewhat vague indications as to how long it takes an elf to grow to adulthood, because the concept of age is meaningless to an immortal (I'd agree this attitude was understandable for a mature immortal, but unless elves are born as adults - for all I know, they might be - then surely the passage of time that it takes to grow to maturity is still relevant).

    Should elves be able to increase their bloodline power more than once, perhaps?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by gazza666
    This isn't really fundamentally different from the way the rules work. The only addition is that you can (with great effort) improve the "power" of your bloodline or, if several generations of poor regents are particularly unlucky, the power of your bloodline can decrease.

    (I'm using "power" here to refer to tainted, minor, major, great, true - I'm not sure what the official term is, except that obviously it isn't "strength" since that means something else only loosely correlated to power).

    I believe the current rules for improving the power of your bloodline require you to increase your bloodline strength to 10 points higher than it was originally - which, given that it says most regents will never increase their bloodline strength, qualifies as a reasonably rare event. (In practice, it isn't at all unlikely that PCs will be able to do this, but it would take a minimum of 5 years of game time - and PCs are the exceptions to many generalisations).
    As far as mechanics go, increasing the potency from "tainted" to "minor", and so on, make sense. What doesn't make sense is that many in-character concepts are tied to those terms, which I believe (thus being my opinion) should be reserved for the original potency of the bloodline. Those with "Great" bloodlines can trace their ancestry to those who were standing in the middle of the battle, while someone with a "tainted" bloodline can only trace it back to someone on the periphery of the explosion of power, people who were, for all practical purposes, non-combatants, injured, or fleeing.

    Quote Originally Posted by gazza666
    Incidentally, while we're on this subject, the rules also say that you can't improve the power of your bloodline more than once per generation. While this makes plenty of sense for most regents, I'm wondering how appropriate it is to elves. Elves are (at least) much less likely to be involved in generational games, as much of the impetus to do so is negated by the fact that they aren't going to get older. (Of course you might decide to retire your older characters and play new ones, but that seems a very metagame concept to me - I can't see any reason why "real" elves would see the need to step aside for the younger generation, when the ancients clearly have much more experience and no less vigour). There's also somewhat vague indications as to how long it takes an elf to grow to adulthood, because the concept of age is meaningless to an immortal (I'd agree this attitude was understandable for a mature immortal, but unless elves are born as adults - for all I know, they might be - then surely the passage of time that it takes to grow to maturity is still relevant).

    Should elves be able to increase their bloodline power more than once, perhaps?
    In terms of the Sidhelien, I'd simply use the age categories of elves in the Player's Handbook, but without the aging penalties or maximum age. As they grow older, they'd still certainly learn from experience (bonuses from aging), but being immortal they wouldn't deteriorate physically. Alternatively, simply extend the "adult" category to eternity (or until someone sticks sharp pointy objects in them.)

    As far as "once per generation" goes, I don't think it particularly affects things one way or the other if Sidhelien are allowed to increase it more than once, provided that sufficient time passes.

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