4E Quick Summary of how I would do 4E Birthright

DerekSTheRed

Explorer
WotC has hinted that Wizards will be supporting in Dragon and Dungeon other settings including a "semi-obscure but flavorful" setting. I'm hoping it's my personal favorite, Birthright. If it is, my goal of writing my own version will seem obsolete. I've been trying to work on my own for some time since 4E was released. I don't have as much free time as I would like, so the going has been slow. In addition, the new design philosophies of Essentials convinced me to trash at least half of what I had written. Still, I wanted to write a quick summary of what I think 4E Birthright should be in case WotC is writing their version.

Blood Powers
For Blooded heroes, I decided they should be equal in power to non-blooded heroes. This is unlike 2nd Edition where blooded heroes were more powerful but non-blooded PCs received an XP bonus. A PC may choose to be blooded during creation. If so, they get access to extra build options. During combat, if a blooded creature is not marked or the subject of Defender Aura, he or she is marked by the nearest blooded enemy if one exists. Blood Powers are heroic tier utility powers that a PC can select if he or she is blooded. Each Bloodline Derivation (determines which dead god your ancestor got his powers from) has a feat that gives a flavorful ability that is minor, but useful at all levels. A PC can have only one Bloodline Derivation feat. In addition, some of the Blooded utility powers work better if the user has a specific bloodline derivation. The 10th level Blood Utility powers have a requirement of a Bloodline Derivation (feat) in order to select them.

I am writing two Blooded related Paragon Paths. The Blooded Scion will have the updated versions of the 2nd Edition Blood powers Invulnerability and Divine Wrath. The second Paragon Path is the Avatar of Ancient Gods. Each of the dead gods had an animal totem and this Paragon Path will have powers related to the different animal totems. Since Birthright was the first setting to encourage PCs to try to become gods, I have an Epic Destiny, Lesser God, for blooded PCs.

I decided against using the bloodline score. Consequently, Tighmaevril weapons work differently. They are essentially legacy weapons (and implements) that can get more powerful. In the hands of a non-blooded PC, they work as minor magical weapons (and did I mention implements?). In the hands of a blooded PC, they can potentially grow in power if the user kills another blooded creature with the tighmaevril weapon and completes a ritual (no skill check required) that uses enough gold to upgrade the weapon 5 levels. The blooded creature killed with the weapon must be of a certain level and each upgrade will require a higher level enemy slain. The weapon or implement must still be made of blood-silver so only weapons and implements made of metal qualify.

Realm Spells
Realm spells would be Realm Rituals. You have to be blooded or Fey to cast them. They all require a location as a focus. For Arcane Realm Rituals, that would be a ley line nexus. For Divine Realm Rituals, they require a congregation of sufficient size (based on level of Realm Ritual) in a consecrated place of worship. For Natural Realm Rituals (didn't exist in 2nd Edition, but Druids should be able to cast Realm Rituals with the Nature as the primary skill), a consecrated Druid's grove is required.

Finally, blooded PCs who are also rulers can create a blood tie between themselves and the land they rule. This blood tie gives the blooded scion the ability to detect an invading army and sense when his domain is the subject of a Realm Ritual (although they won't know the caster).

Races
For races in Birthright, I give Halflings the option to select Shadow Jaunt (Shadar-Kai racial ability see Dragon 372) instead of Second Chance. I was going to write some shadow related feats for the Halfling, but now I'm writing them as Racial Utility powers seeing as how that's how WotC is doing racial add-ons now. I also took a page from Dark Sun and re-purposed Goliaths as Orogs. Half-Orcs can then be Half-Orogs. Any half human, half beast (Minotuars, Gnolls, Centaurs, Kenkus, and perhaps Dragonborn and Shifters) are collectively known as Beastmen and were created by the now dead evil god Azrai to fight in his armies. Only Gnolls are on Cerillia in any large numbers. I added Tieflings to the island of Torova Temylatin North of the Vos lands (and they speak with an Eastern European accent just like the Vos). Instead of Fire Resistance, they have Cold Resistance since they come from a land of ice and snow.

I ret-conned the history of Birthright to have the Feywild especially close in the Aelvinwode. The difference between the Elves and the Eladrin are their respective ancestral homes. Elves ironically descended from the Sielwode and Eladrins from the Aevlinwode. When the Human migration came to Cerillia, they began in the South in territories that bordered the Sielwode. The humans quickly (or gradually depending on your lifespan) encroached on the Elven homeland and war broke out. Eventually the Sielwode became a fraction of its former size. The Eladrin wielded the power of the Feywild to keep the humans at bay. Both the Eladrin and Elves allied with the evil god Azrai and fought against the humans before switching sides at the climatic battle of Mount Deismaar.

Mount Deismaar saw the death of the old gods and the rise of the new gods. It also saw a re-ordering of the cosmology. The Feywild became more distant, robbing the Eladrin of much of their power. The Shadowfell became much closer and many shadowy creatures passed to the mortal realm. Fortunately many (but not all) of Azrai's lieutenants became trapped in the Shadowfell and now seek to return to the mortal realm with large armies to finish the conquest their master failed to complete.

The Eladrin over the years have attempted to reestablish the closeness of the Feywild and have had mixed results. The Eladrin of Lluabraight created the Twelve Gems of Arborea (nine of which remain) to reconnect with the magical source holdings of the Feywild. When the Eladrin held all twelve, it was said they were able to cast epic level Realm Rituals. The Eladrin of Cwmb Bheinn managed to transport their entire forest kingdom back to the Feywild for years until the Raven undid their magic. The Eladrin of Tuar Annwn attempted to reestablish their magical source of power in the Feywild in a desperate and failed attempt to stop the human invaders from the nation of Velenoye. While the Eladrin failed, the humans of Velenoye were instead stopped due to a massive influx of monsters from the Shadowfell.
 
Greetings from another Birthright fan! :D

I would do the bloodlines as themes myself, Dark Sun style, so that the characters can swap out classs encounter, daily and utility powers for abilities that represent their bloodline powers. This automatically ensures that no PC can have more than one bloodline. Non-blooded characters can select another theme, so the balance between blooded and non-blooded characters is maintained.

However, I do think your idea of having a common pool of powers for blooded characters to select from (with access to specific powers being dependent on bloodline derivation) is a good one - it would certainly cut down on the number of powers that need to be designed for blooded characters as a whole!
 

DerekSTheRed

Explorer
I did consider Themes for Blood Powers despite the fact that it would require another re-write. However, if you look at the blood powers from the original 2nd Edition box set, most are utility powers. That's why I decided not to use themes. For the few attack powers, I collected them in the two Paragon Paths.
 

Mentat55

Visitor
Many of the new themes do not have swappable attack powers, and even the level 1 theme power is sometimes more utility than attack. I agree with FireLance that themes seem like the way to express these bloodline powers. Feats are ok, but compete with a lot of other stuff.
 

DerekSTheRed

Explorer
Except I'm not suggesting blood powers as feats. All blood powers are heroic tier utility powers. There's an optional feat to establish bloodline derivation and 10th level blood powers require it.

The problem I have with blood powers as theme is that themes are additive. This was true for the 2nd edition version as well except non-blooded PCs got bonus XP. That's not going to work in 4E. That's why I decided to let every PC be blooded but with extra mechanics that acted as a disadvantage in some combats like FR's spellscarred. That disadvantage is the cost for the extra access blooded PCs get. I'm afraid if you make a blooded theme it will be too good and every Birthright PC will select it. That's a sign of a bad game element to me.
 
I'm afraid if you make a blooded theme it will be too good and every Birthright PC will select it. That's a sign of a bad game element to me.
That's why you balance it against other themes, so it isn't outright superior. I would make themes for each bloodline and use different types of themes depending on the bloodline. I could see the Scion of Azrai being a DS-style theme with attack powers, for instance.
 

keterys

Visitor
You can easily have, for example, a theme with various blooded abilities that are balanced against other themes, and swappable level 2, 6, and 10 utility powers that are, again, balanced against class level 2, 6, and 10 utilities. And bam, you're good.
 

Blastin

Visitor
if you are going to drop the bloodline score, are you also gonna scrap the realm level of the game? I know some people hated it, but I always liked it and so did my players.
 

S'mon

Legend
I'd be interested in a 4e Birthright setting. I think it would work best as a Paragon tier campaign; rulership seems like a Paragon activity, Bloodlines can be Paragon paths, etc.

One issue is that I tend to want to run domain-rulership games in homebrew settings or a published one of my choice, so I'd be interested in more generic crunch; I'm not sure I'd want to use a pseudo-Celtic campaign world.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I'd be interested in a 4e Birthright setting. I think it would work best as a Paragon tier campaign; rulership seems like a Paragon activity, Bloodlines can be Paragon paths, etc.

One issue is that I tend to want to run domain-rulership games in homebrew settings or a published one of my choice, so I'd be interested in more generic crunch; I'm not sure I'd want to use a pseudo-Celtic campaign world.
Old post but something I have been thinking about recently so I commit necro-threadism!!!

Sure but I see themes as the lead in to Paragon paths and they can describe the progression into the Paragon level activiites
 
Does the world of Birthright come off anything like the Minaria of the old Divine Right boardgame (published by TSR back in the day)?
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
That's why you balance it against other themes, so it isn't outright superior. I would make themes for each bloodline and use different types of themes depending on the bloodline. I could see the Scion of Azrai being a DS-style theme with attack powers, for instance.
Indeed, things do not have to be better or imbalanced to be selected.
I call it setting "buy in" ... If you have enough setting buy in from your players they can even reflavor other elements in terms of your setting themselves. But I think it helps to provide enough elements to encourage that I see bloodline feats to go with the themes and paragon paths and epic destinies as also being a way of expressing the setting.
 

DerekSTheRed

Explorer
Old post but something I have been thinking about recently so I commit necro-threadism!!!

Sure but I see themes as the lead in to Paragon paths and they can describe the progression into the Paragon level activiites
Wow I haven't thought about this thread in a while. I tried back in the day to create Birthright stuff for 4E but got frustrated with all the work needed to create a whole new sub-class. Everyone here kept saying to use Themes and I probably should have listened.
 
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