View Full Version : Bloodlines of the Ancients [homebrew/setting idea]

2013-05-20, 06:52 PM
I just had this idea of a homebrew setting / alternate system;

Setting Premise
The world of Aetheria is a land of high fantasy and small feudal kingdoms. The Great Cataclysm, a world-spanning disaster that happened so long ago it is only remembered in legends, destroyed any history and civilization before that time; nobody knows where the five races (humans, dwarves, elves, greenskins, merfolk) came from or their very early history, or what are the origins of the countless sentient monsters in the world. Only the history of more modern nations is recorded and is usually obscure.

It is said that the five mortal races were saved from extinction by the great heroes of old, mortals capable of amazing feats of both might and magic. In modern times, the vast majority of mortals do not have access to magic. While some dabble in the arts (bards, alchemists), have links to nature (ranger) or the favor of the gods (paladins, inquisitors), most individuals nowadays have no magic at all even though they can still gain power and glory (barbarian, fighter, rogue, monk, cavalier). But there are exceptions: the noble bloodlines.

Descendants of those heroes of old, those of noble blood have access to powerful magic over what training and experience may give them. Being able to wield power other people cannot, the nobles often become commanders, monster hunters, and powerful rulers in the feudal society their distant ancestors created. Power in the feudal system is often passed father to son and mother to daughter, and the ancient families now each have control of a small but important nation. Beyond their area of influence - and the protection the scions of the family can provide against monsters - the world is a dangerous and chaotic place.

Mechanics Premise

Limited Magic: The only base classes that exist are the alchemist, the bard, the barbarian, the cavalier, the fighter, the inquisitor, the monk, the ranger, the rogue and the paladin. Any prestige classes that would give more / higher level magic than those also do not exist; there are no primary casters in the world.

Heroic Bloodlines: The PCs are descendants of the heroes of old (either nobles or bastards). In addition to their class abilities, they get limited but powerful magical powers. A Scion (member of a Bloodline) can cast one spell of the max level a wizard of his total HD could, plus 2 spells of one level lower plus 3 spells of 2 levels lower or less. For example, a 15th level Scion could cast an 8th level spell, two 7th level spells, and three spells of 6th level or lower. Spells can and usually do change as a Scion levels up.
A Scion needs the relevant mental ability score to cast such spells - wisdom if the spells are divine, charisma or intelligence if the spells are arcane. Each spell can be cast once per 7 rounds, plus the spell's level minus the caster's relevant ability score modifier; enhancement bonuses and temporary bonuses or penalties to such scores do not change the recharge time.

The idea is that heroic characters (PCs or otherwise) have access to magic without resorting to the spell-spamming, multiple buffs and broken combos of normal casters. Everyone gets a few SLAs castable at will but not every round, which is not enough to cover every eventuality and doesn't overshadow their mundane abilities but rather complements them.
In addition, PCs are more MAD than usual (and that is saying something!!) and have to decide whether to be the best casters or the best meleers. Plus, everyone has access to the "good stuff".