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  1. #1
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    Scion class question

    Hmmm... well, on the old page, we had a discussion about the impact of resurrection magic and scion class levels - that it made sense to lose the level of scion should you ever be raised.

    Another ugly one just reared its head IMC. A minor bloodline character was just invested with a major bloodline. Not bloodthefted, mind you, but invested.

    What happens here? I have ruled that the very next level must be the scion level in this case, and that until they level up, they do not get the full benefits (including major blood abilities!) of their bloodline. This accounts for the fact that the blood is partly latent within them at this time - it also means that their bloodline is currently 4 points lower than it will be once they level up.

    Obviously, this gets interesting for commoners inheriting bloodlines of significance too. Especially if they somehow inherited a great line (yeah, I know the odds are so minimal that this should not ever happen).

    Any thoughts, or comments? Perhaps a different viewpoint on how I should handle this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ploesch's Avatar
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    I agree actually. This is basically what I did in the game I'm running, except with characters being born with bloodlines. I wouldn't allow them to use their Blood abilities until they had the appropriate number of levels of scion. I did not lower their Blood points based on not having the scion levels though, I feel the Scion levels are a permanent increase, a reward for the dedication the regent shows in cultivating their bloodline. I don't feel this is out of line since otherwise the scion classes are fairly weak.
    When you play the game of thrones you win or you die.
    George R. R. Martin - A song of Ice and Fire

  3. #3
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    You cannot gain major blood abilities until you have 1 level of scion class.

    Being invested with a major bloodline allows access to that level. Until you take it you gain none of the benefits of having that scion class level (no regency benefits, no class skills, no major blood abilities). If the character chooses to not take that scion class level he is choosing to turn his back on what his potential is.

    You are not invested with blood abilities - only the potential to access them.
    Duane Eggert

  4. #4
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    In a message dated 9/3/06 7:41:02 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
    brnetboard@BIRTHRIGHT.NET writes:

    << Another ugly one just reared its head IMC. A minor bloodline character
    was just invested with a major bloodline. Not bloodthefted, mind you, but
    invested.

    What happens here? I have ruled that the very next level must be the scion
    level in this case, and that until they level up, they do not get the full
    benefits (including major blood abilities!) of their bloodline. This accounts
    for the fact that the blood is partly latent within them at this time - it also
    means that their bloodline is currently 4 points lower than it will be once
    they level up.

    Obviously, this gets interesting for commoners inheriting bloodlines of
    significance too. Especially if they somehow inherited a great line (yeah, I know
    the odds are so minimal that this should not ever happen).

    Any thoughts, or comments? Perhaps a different viewpoint on how I should
    handle this? >>

    I`m agreeing with you. That`s a really big life-adjustment to make: new
    powers, new insights, etc. If they want the bennies, that PC will have to
    suck it up and take the level, just like someone who "took" it at first level.
    FWIW, I`m a DM who makes his players play out at least a little bit, the
    next class they are working toward. The 3e ability to hack, hack, hack all
    week, and say, "hey, look, I`m a druid!" on Sunday bothers me no end.

    Lee.

  5. #5
    Member Starmage21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman
    You cannot gain major blood abilities until you have 1 level of scion class.

    Being invested with a major bloodline allows access to that level. Until you take it you gain none of the benefits of having that scion class level (no regency benefits, no class skills, no major blood abilities). If the character chooses to not take that scion class level he is choosing to turn his back on what his potential is.

    You are not invested with blood abilities - only the potential to access them.
    which doesnt make a lick of sense in the "fluff" of the game. A class level denotes training and effort to manifest those blood abilities, whereas in the books those abilities manifest innately at puberty(with the exception of some abilities which manifest at birth, such as Bloodmark). They take no training to use.

    Much like WotC suggests that LA should be tacked on immediately, the scion levels should be tacked on as soon as the power is gained(either at puberty or when a mundane becomes a scion through bloodtheft/usurpation).
    It is in this case that I believe that the level adjustments of the previous edition of the BRCS were better. The entire party has blood abilities to some extent anyway, making the power increase of the PCs(who were always better than the average D&D PC anyway) that much less significant.
    Peace is a lie,
    There is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

  6. #6
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    I tend to agree with SM21, at least ass far as the original flavour of the game went. By changing Scion to a required Class Level, it changes how Bloodlines feel, and manifest- cool, but it IS a significant change in the Colour of the game world.

    When a Scion relinquishes their Bloodline to a Successor, what of that level? I suppose it becomes like a level of Paladin when his oath is broken- largely wasted.

    I guess in the end it matters little- when building a high-level character, it actually helps slightly. I guess I'm just conservative, and since it didn't seem broken, it didn't seem like it needed fixing.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ploesch's Avatar
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    I tend to agree with SM21 also. In 2E Blood Abilities had the mystic/Divine feeling they were intended to. That's the one thing that has bugged me about 3E, instead of feeling Divine, Blood Abilities feel like any commodity a player might want to use.

    Through careful Roleplaying and House Rules, I've tried to keep that feeling in the game.

    However, I do agree with the Mechanics of using the scion level. Sure, it does have an effect on the feel of blood abilities, but the mechanics of it work well, especially in the area of balance. I always felt that Scions had too man advantages over non-scions, and this does serve well to balance that out.

    Still, IMO, we have to tread carefully to preserve the original feel of what a Bloodline is, while still being fun.
    When you play the game of thrones you win or you die.
    George R. R. Martin - A song of Ice and Fire

  8. #8
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starmage21
    which doesnt make a lick of sense in the "fluff" of the game. A class level denotes training and effort to manifest those blood abilities, whereas in the books those abilities manifest innately at puberty(with the exception of some abilities which manifest at birth, such as Bloodmark). They take no training to use.

    Much like WotC suggests that LA should be tacked on immediately, the scion levels should be tacked on as soon as the power is gained(either at puberty or when a mundane becomes a scion through bloodtheft/usurpation).
    It is in this case that I believe that the level adjustments of the previous edition of the BRCS were better. The entire party has blood abilities to some extent anyway, making the power increase of the PCs(who were always better than the average D&D PC anyway) that much less significant.

    Here are examples of where WotC has put out things that don't follow that logic.

    The Savage Progression series on the WotC site. Which covers how to gain templates mid-level - and is a very good example of a similar thing to how a character can gain a bloodline after 1st elvel.

    • Characters are not required to complete all the levels of a given template class in uninterrupted succession. For example, a character who takes a level of wereboar could then take a level of fighter and a level of rogue (or any other combination of other class levels) before taking another level of wereboar. A character must still take the first level of wereboar before taking the second, just as with a normal class.
    The paragon racial clases contained in Unearthed Arcana. These are means where a character can become the epitomy of his race. These levels are not required to be taken immediately or in a consecutive series (i.e., without taking any other classes between).
    Racial substitution levels. A character is not required to take any of them. And if they take one they are not required to take any of the others.
    "Training" is not something that is "core" in the 3.5 rules. Training is actually a variant contained in the DMG (pg 197+).

    The scion classes were designed to follow the level progressions that have become the norm in D&D and to account for the inherent EL associated with increased power.

    They were also designed to be consistent with the player's choice concept. If a player chooses to to not "embrace" the strengths of his PC then so be it- he will never be as strong or capable as he could be.
    Duane Eggert

  9. #9
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuchulainshound
    When a Scion relinquishes their Bloodline to a Successor, what of that level? I suppose it becomes like a level of Paladin when his oath is broken- largely wasted.
    Treat it as a level loss. There are already rules for that. The use of scion class levels makes for a smoother transition this way then via use of LA templates.
    Duane Eggert

  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 10:59 AM 9/4/2006, Starmage21 wrote:

    >>You cannot gain major blood abilities until you have 1 level of scion class.
    >
    >which doesnt make a lick of sense in the "fluff" of the game. A
    >class level denotes training and effort to manifest those blood
    >abilities, whereas in the books those abilities manifest innately at
    >puberty(with the exception of some abilities which manifest at
    >birth, such as Bloodmark). They take no training to use.

    I`ve never bought the blood abilities as character class game
    mechanic either for the reason you state plus a few having to do with
    issues of bloodline alone. A character who loses his bloodline is
    similarly weird to handle game mechanically, for example, and the
    setting itself is supposed to be "low-level" so using levels to
    express one of the setting`s basic properties seems the wrong way to
    go. It works for other BR-specific concepts. Even prestige classes
    (a subject that I personally find to be misused more often than used
    well in D20) make sense for BR. But bloodline as a character class
    doesn`t really fit IMO. A template works better. A system of
    accounting for bloodline as if it were a part of inventory, the way
    character`s might account for other permanent magical abilities that
    they purchase, is the best fit.

    Nonetheless, these arguments have been made before.... The system of
    balancing bloodline was subjected to a pretty rigorous review process
    and voted on, so the majority of folks prefer it.

    Gary

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