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  1. #1
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    Dormant/Latent bloodlines

    Hi,

    It's been a while since I posted. I just got done with a 2-year all Dwarf campaign and I wanted to thank those of you who helped me with ideas to make it really cool. My players are ready for another story (on the surface, not just Dwarves).

    I don't post often, as I try to search threads for answers. But, I was toying with the idea of "latent" or "dormant" bloodline that could surface later in a character's career and couldn't seem to get a search term that hit anything. I am aware that awnshegh have something like this in that their form changes (bloodform) as they embrace their evil side (so to speak).

    But, does it seem possible that a bloodline could not be detected for some reason (character is a commoner) and later "discovers" their bloodline? Or, is that really not possible as some awnshegh and such can "sense" if another character is blooded?

    I realize it's my game and I can do what I want, but I try to stay true to the spirit of the game as much as I can. Thanks for any help you could give.

    Audric

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    On 2/27/08, Audric <brnetboard@birthright.net> wrote:

    > I don`t post often, as I try to search threads for answers. But, I was
    > toying with the idea of "latent" or "dormant" bloodline that could surface
    > later in a character`s career and couldn`t seem to get a search term that
    > hit anything. I am aware that awnshegh have something like this in that
    > their form changes (bloodform) as they embrace their evil side (so to
    > speak).
    >
    > But, does it seem possible that a bloodline could not be detected for some
    > reason (character is a commoner) and later "discovers" their bloodline? Or,
    > is that really not possible as some awnshegh and such can "sense" if another
    > character is blooded?

    It would be very easy to have a commoner with a bloodline. An
    illegitimate descendant of some noble or other. If he had no blood
    powers, probably no one would ever suspect he was blooded.

    And that`s the answer, I think- if he`s not noble, displays no blood
    abilities, no one would ever bother to try to detect his bloodline.

    His bloodline can be revealed later, say when he kills another
    scion/awnshegh and gains just enough bloodline to awaken a power, or
    when the land chooses him to inherit some domain, or he discovers his
    aptitude for arcane magic, or any number of other things.

    Don`t worry about "detect bloodline" type spells- there are so many
    people in the world that it`s rather unlikely one would ever detect
    your latent scion.

    --
    Daniel McSorley

  3. #3
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    There is some material out there in the published materials, and I know we've discussed this. Here is a bit of a summary of what I recall.

    Shameas Lavalier (spelling, Ruins of E not handy) had a "latent bloodline" which he only discovered when he stabbed a petty noble with a tighmaeveril spear. So he had a bloodline but didn't know it. Frankly how would you know unless you could do something with it, like activate a blood power, or control a domain? The only other hint you would have is a genealogy linking you to someone who ran a domain or exercised a blood power.

    Land's Choice is mentioned a few times, but isn't mechanized in any way, so that could tie in in some interesting ways with a latent bloodline.

    We've also talked about latent derivations. When someone of clear Anduiras breeds with another clear Anduiras, then the child's bloodline is a clear Anduiras as well. But what is someone had three grandparents with bloodlines as follows
    Paternal Anduiras 29 grandparent
    Paternal Reynir 27 grandparent
    Maternal Masela 28 grandparent
    Maternal Reynir 27 grandparent

    Is this person an Anduiras 28, or a Reynir 28? Under a simple reading of the rules, father is Anduiras 28 and mother is Masela 27(½). Then offspring would be Anduiras 28 or 27, depending on how you handle the half.

    But, even if we don't track the latent derivation that someone has, doesn't it make sense that in this case, the child might have a stronger Reynir derivation than either Anduiras or Masela? Some may elect to trace this information, specially when they like to make blood abilities heritable, and not roll them randomly. This is more of an issue when a campaign enters its second generation. But, with this idea in mind, you could certainly have a storytelling use as well, in which a PC bloodthefts, inherits, or is invested with a derivation witch combines with an existing latent derivation, and the derivation shifts.

    Isn't this what happens with Azrai corruption anyway? May as well do it with all derivations.

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    Thanks

    Hi again,

    Thanks. That's kinda what I was thinking in terms of a character not knowing that they have a bloodline and a means by which others wouldn't think to check.

    Audric

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    We've also talked about latent derivations. When someone of clear Anduiras breeds with another clear Anduiras, then the child's bloodline is a clear Anduiras as well. But what is someone had three grandparents with bloodlines as follows
    Paternal Anduiras 29 grandparent
    Paternal Reynir 27 grandparent
    Maternal Masela 28 grandparent
    Maternal Reynir 27 grandparent

    Is this person an Anduiras 28, or a Reynir 28? Under a simple reading of the rules, father is Anduiras 28 and mother is Masela 27(½). Then offspring would be Anduiras 28 or 27, depending on how you handle the half.
    It depends on the Strength of the derivations (tainted, minor, major, great) of the parents.

    That per the reading of the rules:

    Book of Regency (pg 16)

    When a scion has a child, that child gains a bloodline with a strength, score, and derivation that reflects those of his parents.



    If two scions have a child, his bloodline score is
    determined by averaging the scores of his parents.
    The child receives the bloodline strength
    and derivation of the parent with the highest
    bloodline score. So if a scion of Brenna with a
    great bloodline and a strength score of 30 has a
    child with a scion of Reynir who has a major
    bloodline of 40, the child has a bloodline of
    Reynir, major, 35.



    Should a scion have a child with an unblooded
    person, the child gains the bloodline strength and
    derivation of his blooded parent, but only half the
    parent’s bloodline strength score (round up).
    This number results from averaging the two
    bloodline strength scores—one a number greater
    than zero, the other zero.



    BRCS (sanctioned Chapter 2) {it is less strict and allows for more DM fiat to cover "history"}


    Direct descendents of the greatest heroes of Deismaar

    tend to have stronger bloodlines than those whose
    bloodlines have been diluted by common blood, or
    whose ancestors were only on the periphery of the
    cataclysm. When a scion has a child, that child's
    bloodline (which manifests at puberty) reflects the
    bloodlines of its parents. In the same way that the
    physical attributes (such as skin color or constitution)
    of parents tends to determine the attributes of their
    children, the bloodlines (measured by the bloodline
    strength, derivation, and score) of the parents also
    tend to dictate the bloodline attributes of their
    children.



    Children always share the bloodline derivation of
    one of their parents. This derivation is generally
    inherited from the parent with the strongest
    bloodline, although this is not always the case. The
    bloodline strength of the child is generally that of the
    parent having the weakest bloodline strength (or
    minor, if one of the parents is non-blooded).
    Powerful scions must often arrange marriages with
    other powerful houses to maintain the purity of their
    bloodlines.



    Children tend to have a bloodline score that is the
    average of their parent's bloodline scores, but this is
    subject to the same variation as other inherited
    physical properties. Siblings may differ greatly in
    bloodline scores. A child's bloodline manifestations
    cannot usually be determined until puberty, at which
    time the child's latent bloodline stirs. A Bloodmark
    (should one run in the line of one of the parents)
    the only manifestation of bloodline that is present
    from birth.

    Last edited by irdeggman; 02-27-2008 at 06:58 PM.
    Duane Eggert

  6. #6
    Really, there's two signifigant examples of a commoner stumbling on a bloodline in Ruins of Empire. Shaemes Lavalier, who was unblooded until he slew a baronet, and Rogr Algondier, who inherited his bloodline unexpectantly from the old regent of Ilien.

    Scions are rare, sure, but so are heroic adventurers; in other words, they're as rare as the story needs them to be. In Cerelia, the woodsman who saves the princess or the heroic bandit fighting the evil lord are probably expected to be Scions, if not lost heirs to the throne, because of the hero component of hero kings. Characters that accomplish great, epic deeds are likely to stumble on a bloodline one way or another, and regents who do epic, heroic deeds(Not nessicarily /good/ ones, mind.) find their bloodlines growing stronger. That's why all of the rulers aren't Aristocrats, but have classes and are expected to occasionaly go on an adventure to slay a giant or overthrow a mad wizard or something.

    So, yeah. The whole idea of, "The commoner who finds out that he is really of noble heritage." is a classic story, so I don't see any reason why it can't happen with a Birthright PC.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DanMcSorley View Post
    And that`s the answer, I think- if he`s not noble, displays no blood
    abilities, no one would ever bother to try to detect his bloodline.
    I would say one could even have powers but because nobody bothers to look for them, its possible some of them might never be noticed as bloodline derived. Minor courage comes to mind here as just one example. Its quite probable that new characters have never faced any of those fear effects or for that matter anything all that frightening, and people just assumed they were a bit on the brave side. Or even someone with say Brenna's Travel. Adventuring suddenly isn't so glorious as they are trying to trudge 200 miles on foot, they're thinking about getting to the destination with a desire they've never felt before.... poof, suddenly they leave their group behind and arrive there.

    From this perspective, I would say that you'd want to rule out some blood abilities (bloodmark and divine aura for instance) and even less obvious ones would need to have a good reason for why they were latent and why they manifested at that time.

    I think beings that can detect bloodline (awnshegh, magic users, etc.) are rare enough that they can't find/track every minor scion floating around out there.

    While even someone without abilities might be noticed if they lived on the Gorgon's doorstep, I can easily see getting away with it in Mieres or Kozlovnyy for instance.

    While it may not have been intended as such, I've always read the material to hint that bloodlines manifesting themselves was possible, if a rare case. It fits into the classic story Sean mentions so I've likely been biased to believe how I want it to work.

  8. #8
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 10:19 AM 2/27/2008, Audric wrote:

    >Thanks. That`s kinda what I was thinking in terms of a character
    >not knowing that they have a bloodline and a means by which others
    >wouldn`t think to check.

    I`m of the opinion that scions know about their bloodlines
    instinctively when they come of age. It can`t manifest at birth
    generally speaking for a few reasons, and it seems important both
    thematically and common sensibly that the blood of the gods isn`t the
    kind of thing one wouldn`t notice kicking in. It "awakens" in them
    and they sense it automatically the way someone would notice a sort
    of rapid onset puberty by cattle prod. Scions know they have the
    ability to rule in a way that is beyond that of other leaders, and
    it`s pretty much fundamental to that process that one understand at
    least that one has that capacity. The only way a scion wouldn`t know
    he had a bloodline would be severe amnesia or something on that order.

    There is an argument to be made that a character might have some sort
    of remnant of a bloodline. That is, there was a bloodline in his
    heritage, but it`s been a generation since it manifested as even the
    lowest possible value (bloodline score 1) and now the blood of the
    gods is only some fractional thing. Such a character might be more
    receptive to taking on a full-fledged bloodline, particularly in the
    case of bloodtheft, and especially if the victim of the bloodtheft is
    a scion of Azrai, whose bloodline derivation is more
    corruptive. Such a character could go his whole life without knowing
    he had a bit of the blood of the gods in him until he was "struck by
    lightning" through some sort of transfer from a full-fledged scion.

    Explanations like that are enough rationale IMO for the existence of
    the few exceptional characters in the original materials who gained a
    bloodline through bloodtheft without having been scions in the first
    place, even though such a thing wasn`t supposed to be possible. It`s
    nice when there are more elaborate explanations, but it`s enough to
    say that a character`s grandfather had a tainted bloodline, and the
    event awakened the "potential" in the slayer.

    For a "dormant" bloodline, I think there might be some advanced,
    magical way of detecting such a thing, but no standard method, so
    such a character could go indefinitely without fear of
    detection. For a character with even any sort of actual bloodline to
    be undetected as a scion such that nobody else has the means to
    detect his heritage, I think he`d certainly have to manifest no blood
    abilities, particularly those that are apparent on the character`s
    body, or never use any in public. There are a few magical methods of
    hiding such things. Any method of hiding a character`s bloodline
    would have to be magical. At least, I wouldn`t allow it for anything
    less than something very weird and rare if some mundane method were
    to be used. That is, it should be distilled juice from the berries
    of a bush that grew on the grave of a scion killed by bloodtheft and
    collected in the full moon on the anniversary of his death, not just
    a lead coating applied to the inside of his codpiece....

    Just as important as that kind of thing, though, is that he`d have to
    be someone who was also disconnected from his family heritage by a
    generation or two so others would have no knowledge of that a
    bloodline was in his background.

    Gary

  9. #9
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geeman View Post
    Scions know they have the ability to rule in a way that is beyond that of other leaders, and it`s pretty much fundamental to that process that one understand at least that one has that capacity. The only way a scion wouldn`t know he had a bloodline would be severe amnesia or something on that order.

    Gary

    Or it is more along the lines of having a strong desire (or pull) towards ruling. The bloodline is exerting it's affinity on the scion to make him a ruler.

    Now since technically bloodlines are specific to a "family", a scion may not know what his "bloodline" is. Rich's lost files talk about the last of the Roele bloodline (Aquitaine) and that is something that is important to keep in the bak of one's mind here. Bloodlines are not merely a game mechanic - they are a pedigree too.
    Duane Eggert

  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 04:43 AM 2/28/2008, irdeggman wrote:

    >>Scions know they have the ability to rule in a way that is beyond
    >>that of other leaders, and it`s pretty much fundamental to that
    >>process that one understand at least that one has that capacity.
    >
    >Or it is more along the lines of having a strong desire (or pull)
    >towards ruling. The bloodline is exerting it`s affinity on the scion
    >to make him a ruler.

    People have a strong desire or pull towards ruling in our mundane
    world, so I think it has to be something different. Besides, does
    every scion have the desire to rule? Aren`t there some who check out
    of the process?

    >Now since technically bloodlines are specific to a "family", a scion
    >may not know what his "bloodline" is. Rich`s lost files talk about
    >the last of the Roele bloodline (Aquitaine) and that is something
    >that is important to keep in the bak of one`s mind here. Bloodlines
    >are not merely a game mechanic - they are a pedigree too.

    Bloodlines aren`t just a game mechanic--at least, not any more than
    anything else is.... But isn`t pedigree incidental to
    bloodline? The Roele bloodline has a lot of significance, but if two
    characters appeared in the Imperial City, one with a tainted
    bloodline that was directly descended from MR after centuries of that
    bloodline being "dilluted" by marriages with commoners or other
    relatively low scions, and another character who was born a commoner,
    but who had somehow adventured his way through the Gorgon`s Crown to
    recover the magical essence of MR`s original bloodline where it has
    lain dormant for 500 years, would the pedigree matter as much as the power?

    Gary

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