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Thread: Blooded animals

  1. #1

    Blooded animals

    Another possible resource is Blooded Animals.

    In the Highlands, mainly due to Blooded Shapeshifters turning feral, but also possible there and elsewhere because of degenerate practices by individual druids, wielders of True magic etc. there could be a small but continuous influx of new Bloodlines into the animal population.
    In some cases there will actually be an ability in the offspring that will be pro survival (alertness, poison sense etc) so that it's more likely that it too will have offspring. This could mean that in time an entire area's population of that animal type will have a smattering of Blood.

    How many of the blooded will pay to go hunt when there is a chance to increase ones Bloodstrength too?

  2. #2
    Not to go off topic from this interesting discussion, but that's precisely how you get nightmares such as the Boar into existence.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Invoker47 View Post
    Not to go off topic from this interesting discussion, but that's precisely how you get nightmares such as the Boar into existence.
    Characters sewing the seeds of their own destruction through greed, it's enough to bring a smile to any DM.

  4. #4
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    There are a few awnies that were once animals, the boar, the wolf, possibly the basilisk, the sphinx, etc - but not many and all the stated ones are awnshegh, or at least the blood of azrai which fits with the idea of azrai's bloodline as virtualy unquenchable and ready to 'infect' others.

    Given the availability of the land's choice I'd expect it to be fairly rare for an animal to gain a bloodline, although it clearly isn't impossible. Any animal displaying bloodline traits would, as noted, be immediately the subject of intense hunting - and shortly after slain unless it rapidly grows too strong for a hunting party to slay.

    I can see blooded animals surviving in the sidhe lands, or perhaps rjurik if the animals were deemed sacred and acted in an appropriate manner, the rjurik could however transfer the bloodline to someone worthy - sparing the animal (and others of its kind) from the attentions of hunters and effectively ennobling an ally at the same time.

    In other lands the animal would have little chance to survive to the point that it could create an enduring line, the benefit of a bloodline ability or two being far less than the increased chance of being hunted. A blooded beast would make a great random event though - usurpation without any social consequence, woot woot! It would be like a gold rush but with more violence, frankly any adventurer reporting such a beast widely could well be arrested for inciting riots and the like.

    I'm assuming incidentally that bloodlines couldn't be transferred to insects, tiny fish, etc that breed very quickly, at least not without mutating the creature into a non-breedable monstrosity or suchlike - I don't think that I could stand the thought of blooded mosquito's flying around using wither touch or death touch...
    Last edited by AndrewTall; 08-19-2010 at 06:04 AM.

  5. #5
    Lands Choice is to do with succession of Regents, not being born a scion because a parent is blooded.

    Many abilities aren't obvious and positively to the animals advantage e.g. Alertness, Animal Affinity, Direction Sense, Enhanced Sense (no flaming eyes obviously), Heightened Ability, Iron Will, Poison Sense, Regeneration, Resistance.
    Unless someone has some ability to detect blood, and uses it at the right time, why would such animals be hunted automatically?
    Also in any general hunt their abilities will be enough to make them usually the survivors as the animals without abilities will on average be caught first.

    About the insects and such, at what point does bloodline stop being passed to ones offspring?
    It can already cross species between man and elf, and I can't find anything on polymorph written to stop the bllodline still being there.

  6. #6
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    At 07:46 PM 8/22/2010, dooley wrote:

    >Unless someone has some ability to detect blood, and uses it at the
    >right time, why would such animals be hunted automatically?
    >
    >Also in any general hunt their abilities will be enough to make them
    >usually the survivors as the animals without abilities will on
    >average be caught first.
    >
    >About the insects and such, at what point does bloodline stop being
    >passed to ones offspring?

    There`s a little debate about that. Assuming that the scions (animal
    or human...) aren`t inbreeding as well as crossbreeding, the most
    generous interpretation is that a bloodline of 32 or less is going to
    disappear in 6-7 generations. Because a bloodline score is halved at
    each generation it`ll go:

    32
    16
    8
    4
    2
    1
    0

    Marrying cousins isn`t really that peculiar a thing in world history,
    though, so at a certain point a bloodline might continue for a long
    time at 4-8 if one uses this kind of interpretation of how bloodline works.

    However, I think there is a more reasonable interpretation in which
    the bloodlines go away quite a bit sooner than that. In this
    interpretation bloodline strength is given primacy over just
    score. That is, a scion with a tainted bloodline who mates with a
    commoner will have commoner offspring. If that`s the case then a
    major bloodline will disappear in 2-3 generations.

    Major (parent)
    Minor (offspring)
    Tainted (grandchild)
    Commoner (g-grandchild)

    So if the parent has a major bloodline the offspring will have a
    minor one and the grandchild a tainted one. After that any
    crossbreeding will result in commoners. Again, cousins could mate,
    but there`s only one step between that mating and the loss of the bloodline.

    Of course, any parent with a minor bloodline is going to have
    children with tainted bloodlines in this interpretation, so unless
    one is going to propose marrying brothers to sisters then the
    bloodline goes away in one generation.

    >It can already cross species between man and elf, and I can`t find
    >anything on polymorph written to stop the bllodline still being there.

    I agree. I think blooded animals are entirely possible, and the idea
    has all kinds of potential for adventures and characters.

    However, since I think the second interpretation of how bloodline is
    passed down (based on strength, not score) I think those bloodlines
    would disappear pretty quickly in the absence of something continuing
    them. There are ways of increasing or maintaining bloodline
    (bloodtheft, RP expenditure, etc.) but those things seem pretty
    unlikely for an animal, and probably not the kind of thing that would
    continue a bloodline through generations.

    Gary

  7. #7
    Forgot the one Ability that would really skew the standard offspring model.

    Long Life

    An Alpha animal could be having children concurrent with their great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, etc.
    Add to that the chance of another bloodline coming into the species from another scion, and the trickle may go on for a long time.

    This is merely before people actively decide to breed such animals, in whatever way they choose.
    After all, why hunt and kill an animal for a point of bloodstrength, when you can capture it, stud it, and kill it's offspring for LOTS of bloodstrength?
    The more perverse and evil ways I leave to to others to work out for themselves (no animal husbandry jokes please!)

  8. #8
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    At 09:10 AM 8/23/2010, dooley wrote:

    >Forgot the one Ability that would really skew the standard offspring model.
    >
    >Long Life
    >
    >An Alpha animal could be having children concurrent with their
    >great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great,
    >great, great, great, great, etc.

    Given the way bloodline decreases an alpha animal wouldn`t be able to
    mate with that many descendents. The bloodline would disappear in
    2-3 generations using the bloodline strength interpretation, so after
    grandchildren they are commoners anyway.

    >Add to that the chance of another bloodline coming into the species
    >from another scion, and the trickle may go on for a long time.
    >
    >This is merely before people actively decide to breed such animals,
    >in whatever way they choose.

    I find that pretty doubtful. Blooded animals are pretty rare in the
    first place. Sure, there`s a chance that the sequence of events that
    led to a scion/animal could repeat within a generation, but given how
    unusual an animal with a bloodline would be, two animals of the same
    species with a bloodline would be proportionately more rare. That
    is, in the absence of some sort of purposeful effort by some human
    program to breed them, a bloodline in an animal would be very rare.

    Even if one were to propose some sort of program to preserve a
    bloodline in an animal, there`s a fundamental problem: bloodlines
    don`t really work that way thematically. From a raw look at the
    setting materials, yes, that is a theoretical possibility, but one
    has to ignore that bloodlines are, by definition, something that
    makes a scion different from all the commoners. Scions (be they
    human, elven, dwarven, etc.) are creatures of destiny and
    importance. They aren`t simply bred. Thus, a program to breed
    scions (even if they are animals) is going to run headlong against
    the fact that destiny isn`t a manageable resource. But more on that
    in a minute....

    >After all, why hunt and kill an animal for a point of bloodstrength,
    >when you can capture it, stud it, and kill it`s offspring for LOTS
    >of bloodstrength?
    >
    >The more perverse and evil ways I leave to to others to work out for
    >themselves (no animal husbandry jokes please!)

    This is an interesting twist on an issue that has been a long running
    point of contention in the Birthright community. Lots of people have
    proposed that any character with the Long Life blood ability (or just
    a member of the immortal elven race) would do the same thing with
    their own offspring; animals notwithstanding. That is, a breeding
    program with the specific intention of creating victims for
    bloodtheft. There have been several remedies proposed for this kind
    of situation when it comes to a breeding program of humans (or elves)
    and the one I find the most compelling is the one that most directly
    involves the DM. That is, there`s one simple concept behind the
    ideas of the setting itself that addresses the issue of a such a
    breeding program: such creatures aren`t going to passively allow
    themselves to be bred and then murdered for their bloodline.

    Of course, that`s not as obvious an issue when it comes to animals,
    but if you`re going to premise that animals can have a bloodline in
    the same way that mortals (and the elves) can, then one must come to
    the same basic conclusion: those animals are going to be special in
    the same way that mortals (+elves) are. They aren`t going to be
    penned, bred and slaughtered without putting up some sort of
    resistance. They do, after all, have the blood of the gods in
    them. By its very nature that gives these creatures a destiny beyond
    that of ordinary creatures. They aren`t going to be any more easy to
    kill off than the player who proposes such a thing would be himself,
    and the DM`s reaction to a player wanting to create such a program
    should be comparable to how the player might react if he set up an
    adventure in which the PC was automatically and inescapably
    killed. The offspring of such a program are NPCs under the control
    of the DM, but they are comparable to PCs in terms of importance and
    significance in the setting. ALL of those with a bloodline are
    creatures of destiny, which means destiny (in the form of the DM)
    would take a hand in such a situation.

    As a DM, I might allow the creation of such a system by an
    NPC/villain. It`s a good adventure hook. The role of the
    players/PCs in that hook, however, is to be the liberators of the
    victims. Should players want to set up some sort of equivalent then
    that means they`d have to face the same sort of issue: bands of
    adventurers seeking to free this prisoners.

    Game mechanically, there`s another way to address this kind of thing,
    and I think this makes as much sense as the DM addressing it based on
    the nature of the setting itself: That is, a scion`s bloodlines
    should not be noticeably increased by an act of bloodtheft upon a
    creature with a bloodline score substantially lower than his/er
    own. In the "New Scions" document I wrote up, for instance, I tried
    to address this issue in a way that makes sense with the rest of the
    setting. In that set of rules, an act of bloodtheft raises the
    thief`s bloodline based on a comparison of his score to that of the
    victim. If the victim`s score is higher than the thief then there`s
    a chance the thief`s bloodline will increase. If not then there`s none.

    In the case of a breeding program with animals the bloodline score is
    immediately going to be halved in the first generation. So, there`d
    have to be a scion at the beginning with a pretty substantial
    bloodline in order for the blooded animals to have a score high
    enough to have any effect. Other folks have suggested that
    bloodlines can`t be increased by acts of bloodtheft within the same
    family or familial line.

    Any of these remedies involves the DM controlling the situation in a
    way that some players might not appreciate, but honestly this is the
    kind of situation that the DM is meant to control. Having a
    bloodline breeding program of the type proposed really is something
    that goes against the fundamental colour of the setting, and the kind
    of thing that should be set up by the DM for the players to expose,
    depose or destroy rather than something the players create on their own.

    Gary

  9. #9
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    We are starting to get a little off the topic of this thread I think....

    but one other thing to consider for humanoids and animals is that most bloodline abilities don't manifest themselves until the creature reaches maturity/puberty. One solution for the DM is to say that bloodlines can't be detected or stolen until they manifest themselves. While waiting 12-14 years may be nothing for a scion with Long Life, it still means that the target of possible bloodtheft will be more capable of independent action than a child and the moment of manifestation will be a big unknown. You would need procedures for monthly checks, someone who has the ability to do the checks, etc etc. While there are many physical signs of puberty, e.g. menstruation, voice breaking, the bloodline may still need a catalyst to make it manifest. That was how I ran my druid. He didn't get his blood abilities until events like a blizzard (Long Life, Resistance) and confronting a villain (Detect Lie) when he was 13 or 14 years old.

    Sorontar

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dooley View Post
    Lands Choice is to do with succession of Regents, not being born a scion because a parent is blooded.
    Land's choice means that a scion who is killed by an animal can pass their bloodline to their heir even without a spell/ceremony - the animal will only get the bloodline in rare cases (i.e. the boar) meaning that the presence of the Land's choice should reduce the likelihood of an animal who kills a scion gaining a bloodline. Also the Land's choice can work at both ends - when the animal dies the bloodline may pass back to a human rather than passing down to one of the animal's offspring.

    Quote Originally Posted by dooley View Post
    Many abilities aren't obvious and positively to the animals advantage e.g. Alertness, Animal Affinity, Direction Sense, Enhanced Sense (no flaming eyes obviously), Heightened Ability, Iron Will, Poison Sense, Regeneration, Resistance.
    Unless someone has some ability to detect blood, and uses it at the right time, why would such animals be hunted automatically?
    Also in any general hunt their abilities will be enough to make them usually the survivors as the animals without abilities will on average be caught first.
    I agree your points regarding evolutionary advantage, but think that it is countered by two key issues.

    Firstly the animal must have gained a bloodline somehow - probably by killing a scion (boar, sphinx, hydra, maybe wolf). Animals that kill people tend to be hunted down and exterminated in short order - particularly when they killed someone important such as a scion. If the animal gained the bloodline through inheritance it is probably fairly old for its kind in the first place and thus unlikely to breed (one does not become a pet more dearly loved than the scion's children in a day, it requires years of tummy rubs and face licking).

    Secondly, as noted by Geeman, the blooded animals in the books are noted as exemplars of their race, and generally are far larger / mutated / etc - as such they may be hunted as 'a magnificent beast' fit for 'royal sport' even without understanding of their true nature - and any animal which was visibly blooded would as noted be hunted relentlessly. A blooded deer with a snow-white fleece/magnificent rack of horns/etc may run a little more swiftly than its normal herd members, but it is the only one of its kind that the hunters gather from across the country to hunt, its lesser peers survive to breed because they are more likely to be ignored - to take the point to inanity, no-one ignores a 6 foot glowing mouse or spider but everyone ignores their normal kin, being special can be more trouble than its worth. There is also the issue that the animal may move into a different ecological niche due to its power / bodily changes - and few bloodline powers will help an enhanced wild animal much against a 'real' monster like a griffin, wyvern, etc if it starts competing with them as top predator/whatever.


    That said, the hydra and sphinx who are both animals who killed and ate scions and became blooded as a result, are noted as having fathered new races - the hydra admittedly by a method not-conducive to inheritance. These offspring and new races are however noted as monstrous not as blooded. Perhaps the idea is that bloodlines simply work differently when inherited by beasts?

    In general I'd support blooded animals as 'wonders' to be used as random events, etc, but discourage any form of 'breeding' or the like as too open to abuse - and use whatever excuse my gamers were happy with to justify it.

    Quote Originally Posted by dooley View Post
    About the insects and such, at what point does bloodline stop being passed to ones offspring?
    It can already cross species between man and elf, and I can't find anything on polymorph written to stop the bllodline still being there.
    Nothing appears to stop a lonely wizard from polymorphing into a ram and starting a non-human family line if that's what you were thinking - but as noted bloodline thins rapidly without regency, inheritance or bloodtheft to sustain it, and at some point it should fizzle out, the shorter lived the species the sooner this will happen. That said, bloodline have existed in sub-domain humans for many generations, so perhaps great deeds can also strengthen the line? An animal can perform great deeds too!
    Last edited by AndrewTall; 08-24-2010 at 06:37 PM.

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