Saturday, January 1, 2011

Campaign Design - Heritage Bloodlines

This page is a list of all the playable bloodlines in the Three Worlds campaign setting. If a bloodline is not listed here, then it is not playable as a player option in the setting. For the purposes of the Three Worlds campaign setting, the descriptions and game rules presented here for the listed races supersede any other versions that might be found in any other resource.

Bloodlines can exist for any number of reasons. Perhaps the character has an unusual ancestor, such as a dragon who took alternate form to live among humans or gnomes. The bloodline might be the result of unusual supernatural energies present during the their conception, pregnancy or birth. It could be an omen sent by the Lords of Heaven or the Lords of Hell, part of an ancient prophecy as foretold by Füllar or a dire legend as predicted by Lyßa.

Every bloodline has a source (the kind of creature from which its characteristics are drawn) and a strength (minor, intermediate, or major). The stronger the bloodline, the more potent the traits and benefits granted by it. Every source has a minor bloodline associated with it. A minor bloodline doesn't alter a character much, and thus don't represent a very significant power increase over an ordinary character. In some cases, the only bloodline associated with a source is minor. Many sources also have intermediate bloodlines. These affect the character's power level more drastically, and come from more potent races, such as elementals, and many dragons and giants. Major bloodlines only come from the most powerful and primal of sources, including celestials, demons, devils, and the mightiest of dragons. A character with a major bloodline is a potent scion of his ancestor, displaying significant powers and abilities.

Bloodline Levels
Over the course of their career, a character with a bloodline becomes more powerful than one without a bloodline. Because the power gain is gradual over a span of twenty levels, a static level adjustment doesn't truly reflect this difference. instead, a bloodline character must take one or more levels of "bloodline" at various points in his career, as noted on Table: Bloodline Levels. Before a character with a bloodline reaches the indicated character level, he must take one class level of "bloodline." Class levels of "bloodline" do not increase a character's character level the way a normal class level does, but they do provide certain benefits (see below).

Bloodline LevelMinorIntermediateMajor
If the character does not take a class level of bloodline before reaching the character level indicated on the table, he gains no further bloodline traits and must take a 20% penalty on all future experience point gains. As soon as he meets the minimum bloodline level, he gains all bloodline abilities due him according to his character level, and the experience point penalty no longer applies.

For example, a 1st-level character with a major bloodline (Silver Sûl) receives a +2 bonus on Sense Motive checks as a bloodline trait. When he reaches 2nd character level, he gains the Skill Augmentation (Listen and Spot) feat as a bloodline trait. Before he reaches 3rd character level, he must take a level of bloodline in order to continue gaining bloodline traits. if he reaches 3rd character level and has no bloodline levels, he does not gain the bloodline trait due him at 3rd character level (Strength +1) and must take a 20% reduction on all future experience point gains. If he later meets the minimum required bloodline levels, he gains his 3rd-level trait at that time (as well as any other traits he may have failed to receive for not taking his bloodline level right away), and the experience point reduction no longer applies to future gains. Before reaching his 6th character level, he must have taken two levels of bloodline in order to keep gaining bloodline traits. If he takes his third bloodline level before reaching 12th character level, he becomes eligible to gain all the traits of his bloodline (as they become available when he reaches new character levels).

A bloodline level grants no increase in base attack bonus or base save bonuses, no hit points or skill points, and no class features. It counts as a normal class level (with no class skills) for the purpose of determining maximum skill ranks. Levels of bloodline never result in experience point penalties for multiclass characters.

Include the character's bloodline level when calculating any character ability based on his class levels (such as caster level for spellcasting characters, or save DCs for characters with special abilities whose DCs are based on class level). The character doesn't gain any abilities, spells known, or spells per day from the addition of his bloodline levels, though - only the calculations of his level-based abilities are affected.

If a character has levels in two or more classes in addition to his bloodline levels, each class gains the benefit of adding the bloodline levels when calculating abilities.

For example, a 2nd-level sorcerer with a major bloodline takes a bloodline level when earns enough experience points to advance in level. He is treated as a 3rd-level spellcaster for the purpose of spell durations, caster level checks, and so forth. But he doesn't gain a 3rd-level sorcerer's spells per day or spells known.

Similarly, the stunning attacks of a 3rd-level monk with one bloodline level have a save DC equal to 12 (10 + one-half class level) plus her Wisdom modifier, since the bloodline level is treated as if it were a monk class level when calculating the save DC. A 3rd-level monk/3rd-level sorcerer with two bloodline levels would be treated as a 5th-level spellcaster and a 5th-level monk for determining the effectiveness of level-based abilities.

Three Worlds Bloodlines
There are a few important rules unique to the Three Worlds campaign setting with respect to Bloodlines. These are:
  • Race Restrictions: Some bloodlines are foreclosed to certain races. For example, a dwarf may choose the Elemental bloodline, but may never be Aquan-Blooded or Auran-Blooded. The only Elemental bloodline options available to dwarves are Ignan-Blooded or Terran-Blooded. These restrictions will be detailed in the individual bloodline descriptions.

  • Class Restrictions: Some bloodlines restrict what class options a character may choose. For example, a character who chooses an Elemental bloodline who elects to take levels as a sorcerer must take the Sorcerous Bloodline that matches his elemental bloodline. Further, some characters may find certain classes foreclosed to them as the result of taking a particular bloodline. For example, a character who has chosen the Demon-Blooded bloodline may never become a Paladin. These restrictions will be detailed in the individual bloodline descriptions.

  • Exclusive Class: Taking a bloodline may change a character's available exclusive class. In such a case, the exclusive class associated with their character race is set aside, and the exclusive class associated with the chosen bloodline is substituted instead. For example, a khülen who selected the Hag-Blooded bloodline would no longer have Spirit Shaman as their exclusive class, and would instead have the Witch class as their exclusive class. Bloodlines that alter a character's exclusive class are noted in the individual bloodline descriptions.
All of the material contained on this page and other pages of this blog is presented in accordance with the terms of the Open Game License.


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