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Thread: Dragonmarks as Bloodlines
- Join Date
- May 2009
Dragonmarks as BloodlinesLadies and gentlemen, children of all ages! Outsiders and eldritch abominations are welcome too!!
(But not half-dragons this time. Dragons and elves are still kinda pissed.
About a year ago, I decided to make a competition of sorts (more like a poll than anything), where you (well, maybe not you you, but meaning the posters) could choose which piece of homebrew I'd post. With a good majority (only 2-3 votes above the second place, and comparable to the rest of all the votes), my retool of Magic Items was the winner. In the afterword, I made a promise that I'd post the rest of the content in order of position, but a few things during the year made it difficult. Between those:
- My attempt to return to college was stunted.
- My attempt to get a job was stunted.
- Got hooked with 5th Edition, even if I only DM'ed it once.
- Got involved in matters concerning my community.
- Struck a deal to get at least *some* revenue.
- And finally, used a portion of that revenue to get some old games. Oldies but goodies, and some not-oldies either. Thus, the last few weeks have been consumed between Shadowrun Returns and the first Baldur's Gate.
Thus, aside from a few simple attempts at 5th Edition homebrewing, I haven't posted anything of what I promised.
You may start chewing on me now.
However, recently the Muse struck again, and I've been working on some old content...and I noticed the first runner-up of the competition, and I decided I would post it. The runner-up of the competition, and another fan-favorite, was a project to use the rules for Bloodlines (first appearing in Unearthed Arcana, but strictly part of the SRD) to translate the concept of Dragonmarks from Eberron. You see, the idea behind Dragonmarks is that they're exclusive to certain races, and represent certain families that are empowered with magical abilities conductive to a certan task; these families (forming the Twelve Houses) effectively made Eberron into a post-Industrial Revolution (using Earth terms) society, but with the use of Magitek. However, their execution was somewhat lacking: you gained them via feats, and with a limited amount of them, they effectively ate through your choice of feats. After some consideration, inspiration struck, and I figured that Bloodlines could make for a really effective way to deal with the concept of Dragonmarks, with all three Dragonmarks easily represented.
Thus, I took the arduous task of figuring out which abilities fit each House, but inspiration at that date was so powerful I could do it in less than a week (in fact, I believe I finished it in two days?) Once finished, I decided to work on some additional rules for them, but mostly stopped as the lion's share of inspiration was consumed and I got distracted. However, to your benefit, ALL of the Dragonmarked Houses are dealt with, as well as those with Aberrant Dragonmarks. So I figure: one week before Christmas, why not post the runner-up?
Thus, without further ado, I present to you:
DRAGONMARKS AS BLOODLINES
- Basics/Application of Bloodlines
- True Dragonmarks
- Mark of Detection (House Medani)
- Mark of Finding (House Tharashk)
- Mark of Handling (House Vadalis)
- Mark of Healing (House Jorasco)
- Mark of Hospitality (House Ghallanda)
- Mark of Making (House Cannith)
- Mark of Passage (House Orien)
- Mark of Scribing (House Sivis)
- Mark of Sentinel (House Deneith)
- Mark of Shadow (Houses Phiarlan and Thuranni)
- Mark of Storm (House Lyrandar)
- Mark of Warding (House Kundarak)
- Mark of Death (House Vol)
- Aberrant Dragonmarks
- NPCs and Dragonmarks
- Dragonmarked Prestige Classes
- Dragonmarked Heir
- Heir of Siberys
- Child of Khyber
- Dragonmarked Feats
- Join Date
- May 2009
Dragonmarks as Bloodlines - Basics and Application of Dragonmarks
In the Eberron Campaign Setting, one of the key aspects of the world is the existence of powerful mercantile houses that govern nearly all aspects of life in Khorvaire, even though they don’t govern any country. These powerful houses control aspects such as lodging, entertainment and even law enforcement, and some exist since time immemorial. A great deal of this prestige and power comes from the main bloodline within the house, the one that gives its name to each house, and specifically those individuals that manifest the intrinsic powers of the bloodline. This power reflects in a birthmark, commonly known as a dragonmark, which is equal to members of the same house and reflects the same degree of powers. Within the world, members of dragonmarked houses are often considered elite, superior to someone of the same kind of job: a Deneith bodyguard is often better trained than a sellsword, and a Ghallanda innkeeper has a better service than the typical country inn, for example. There are reasons behind this: for example, the houses enforcing a monopoly on their trade, and speaking in game terms, the lack of high-level people who belong to none of the houses and lacks a dragonmark.
Within the game, however, the concept of dragonmarks are represented through feats, which grant only a few uses of spell-like abilities per day, and a single bonus to a specific skill. The cost to gain the strongest dragonmark powers involve three feat slots, something that many characters simply cannot afford, as it consumes essentially half of the build’s total feats (barring a fighter or a wizard, and potentially a rogue, since they get bonus feats). Attempting to advance their dragonmarks consumes even more feats, to the extent that once their feats are consumed, their effects are completely rendered irrelevant (which harms certain classes even more). What’s more: the powers gained by means of these dragonmarks are often limited to once per day, and their caster level is too low, so they end up being novelties at most. Clerics can provide superior healing than Jorasco healers without effort, straight from 1st level, because the former can choose to sacrifice their spell selection for purposes of healing, which gives them far more uses per day, and their bonus to Heal is too small and inconsequential.
In Unearthed Arcana, amongst the wealth of optional rules, exist the concept of bloodlines. People belonging to the specific bloodline gain improvements to ability scores, spell-like abilities, skill bonuses and other benefits, with a cost of three class levels which progress differently. The benefit of these costs is that certain class progressions remain intact (such as caster levels) and apply to any class the character belongs to, so it aids multiclass characters and doesn’t actively hinder the build. Since the concept implies that the character was born into a family or bloodline that holds inherent power, it fits perfectly with the concept of dragonmarked houses.
Turning the concept of dragonmarks into bloodlines is a good beginning. However, to fully exploit the concept of dragonmarks as bloodlines, some changes have to be made.
BASICS OF BLOODLINES
Every bloodline has both 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. Major bloodlines only come from the most powerful and primal of sources; a character with a major bloodline is a potent scion of his ancestor, displaying significant powers and abilities.
Over the course of his 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. 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
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 XP gains. As soon as he meets the minimum bloodline level, he gains all bloodline abilities due him according to his character level, and the XP penalty no longer applies.
Bloodline traits fall into four categories.
Ability Boost: You gain a permanent +1 increase to the given ability score. This is similar to the ability increase gained by characters at every fourth level.
Bloodline Affinity: You gain a bonus (either +2, +4, or +6) on all Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Intimidate, and Perform checks made to interact with creatures of your bloodline.
Skill Boost: You receive a +2 bonus on checks made with the given skill.
Special: You gain a special ability. Common bloodline special abilities include bonus feats, natural armor, special attacks (such as the ability to smite evil or smite good), special qualities (such as resistance to energy, spell resistance, or scent), or spell-like abilities. If you already have a feat that a bloodline provides as a bonus feat, you may choose a different feat.
APPLICATION OF BLOODLINE BASICS TOWARDS DRAGONMARKS
If applied as mentioned above, dragonmarks would be quite interesting, but half of the abilities provided by the bloodlines builds towards the flavor of the creature the bloodline is based upon. Dragonmarked houses don’t focus into specific creatures (though they have heraldic creatures representing them: Deneith is represented by the chimera, Ghallanda is represented by the blink dog and Cannith is represented by the gorgon, for example), but rather into specific purposes. Ideally, the dragonmark should reflect the purpose appropriately.
On the other hand, bloodlines sacrifice three class levels (but not character levels, though this implies a loss of HD, BAB and saves: in essence, it’s “pseudo-LA”), which entails a great loss in power. A wizard with a character level of 20 casts as a 17th level wizard, but with a CL of 20th. This involves a loss of higher level spell slots and a massive delay on spell acquisition. This may not seem particularly painful to the wizard, but it hurts other classes (the Fighter, for example, loses two bonus feats, has its bonus feat progression delayed and ends up with an essentially worthless 17th level. Thus, the exchanges should be appropriate to the levels lost.
The first thing to handle is how to equate the Least, Lesser and Greater Dragonmarks with the bloodlines, which is particularly easy. People manifesting Least Dragonmarks and not advancing to higher dragonmarks should choose a Minor Bloodline; likewise, Lesser Dragonmarks are equated to intermediate bloodlines and Greater Dragonmarks are equated to major bloodlines. Siberys Dragonmarks are extraordinarily rare, and manifest differently: they remain the sole domain of the Heir of Siberys prestige class.
That is a good start, but there are many other issues to handle. For example: when the dragonmark improves, the character gains increased uses of the other dragonmarks. As well, the benefits provided by the bloodlines are often too small to matter. Finally, dragonmarks are limited to certain races, and only the main ethnic types of the race (thus, while there are many classes that may count as humans, only the baseline human gains access to it). Because of this specific restriction, bloodlines must be stronger than what’s presented in the Unearthed Arcana sourcebook. These bloodlines follow the philosophy presented by Welknair’s bloodlines, expanding and adding more flavor to the first attempt of this nature presented by DaTedinator.
The changes, based on how the bloodlines work, act as follows:
House Affinity: as bloodline affinities work by providing bonuses to members of the specific creature types the bloodline represents, the house affinity provides benefits to members of the same House. However, the affinities’ expand: a minor bonus (half the amount) is provided to allies of the house, while the affinity is imposed as a penalty to enemies of the house. All dragonmarks, with a sole exception, only provide their bonuses if they display their mark and let themselves be known as members of said house. The one exception to the rule is people who intimately know the character, to whom the bonuses (or penalties) apply even if the character doesn’t show its mark. Thus, if the character attempts to hide affiliation, the bonuses don’t apply.
Bonus Feats: all bloodlines offer bonus feats which may have prerequisites (generally the second bonus feat). A character following a bloodline gets the indicated feat as a bonus feat even if it doesn’t meet the prerequisites, unless otherwise indicated.
Dragonmark Powers: as all dragonmarks apply spell-like abilities, these are treated separately. Dragonmark powers may be used more than once per day (an exception to the common uses per day of bloodline special abilities), but only if they are indicated in the class description. A Dragonmarked character gains these powers only up to three times (once for every degree of strength of the dragonmark). Dragonmark powers have a caster level based on the strength of the dragonmark:
Least: 1 + once every three levelsCharacters with Greater Dragonmarks gain an extra use of all dragonmark powers at 18th level.
Lesser: 1 + once every two levels
Greater: once every level.
Dragonmark Secondary Powers: aside from the primary powers, the dragonmark bloodlines provide a set of secondary, lesser powers. These powers rarely are bonuses to AC, DR or resistances, and are often flavorful, but powerful as well.
Spoiler: CommentsNothing much, since this pretty much explains it all, but I just want to say that the idea of Least, Lesser and Greater Dragonmarks truly fit the way Bloodlines worked. To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if Keith Baker's original idea for Dragonmarks WAS making them into Bloodlines, but WotC shot that idea down. It fits just so well, it makes no sense why it wasn't used; after all, Eberron used Action Points and was pretty trigger-happy with some rules, so I feel this might have been either a compromise or the Powers that Be exercising their power.
Another thing is the progression of Dragonmark caster levels. Having such a brutal boost to CL from the feat and then nothing save for the Heir's Mark benefit really didn't fit well for me. However, people might be confused by the way it was redacted, so to make it easier to understand - if you choose the Least Dragonmark (the Minor Bloodline version of the Dragonmark), your CL will start at 1st (as it did before) and it'll boost to 7th (1 + 1/3 levels; at 20th level, that means you get one boost of your CL for every level you gain a feat), which is just one point shy of what you gained with the feat. With Lesser Dragonmarks (Major Bloodline features) and Greater Dragonmarks (Greater Bloodline features), the same idea works. Just in case you get confused and think that the CL for Least Dragonmark powers is what appears above; that's not the case at all.
Finally, honor to whom honor is due. Welknair really played hard and fast with an almost forgotten optional rule, and breathed it some much-needed life. DaTedinator had the idea earlier than I did, and I gave him space, but there were a few things I wasn't happy with, and thus I chose to alter benefits a bit in order to fit what I thought made more sense to Dragonmarks as Bloodlines, without ruining existing content as much as possible.
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-18 at 07:03 PM.
- Join Date
- May 2009
Mark of Detection (House Medani)
Mark of Detection (House Medani)
Heraldic Creature: Basilisk
Allies: Breland (+1)
Enemies: Houses Phiarlan and Thuranni, Dark Lanterns, Royal Eyes, the Aurum, the Order of the Emerald Claw (-2)
House Medani controls the trades of investigation and divination in all of Khorvaire. Established in Breland after the War of the Mark, the Inquisitors were already loosely established long before the war itself, hidden within the half-elf communities. House Medani has a single official guild, the Warning Guild, which serves as a private investigation service skilled in unraveling the complex, tangled web of plots across the Five Nations. Medani Inquisitors gain powers to detect magical auras, venoms and the presence of creatures, and other immediate detection abilities.
Level Least Dragonmark Lesser Dragonmark Greater Dragonmark 1st -- -- +2 on Spot checks 2nd -- +2 on Spot checks Least Dragonmark Power 3rd -- -- Wisdom +1 4th +2 on Spot checks Least Dragonmark Power Alertness 5th -- -- House Affinity (Medani) +2 6th -- Wisdom +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power 7th -- -- +2 on Listen checks 8th Least Dragonmark Power Alertness Uncanny Dodge 9th -- -- Intelligence +1 10th -- House affinity (Medani) +2 Quick ReconnoiterCAdv 11th -- -- House affinity (Medani) +4 12th Wisdom +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power Greater Dragonmark Power 13th -- -- +2 on Search checks 14th -- +2 on Listen checks Skill mastery 15th -- -- Charisma +1 16th Alertness Uncanny dodge +1 insight bonus to AC & Reflex 17th -- -- House affinity (Medani) +6 18th -- Intelligence +1 Dragonmark powers +1 19th -- -- +2 on Sense Motive checks 20th House Affinity (Medani) +2 Quick ReconnoiterCAdv Uncanny foresight
Dragonmark Powers (Sp): A character with the Mark of Detection may choose one of the following spell-like abilities at each moment it gains a new dragonmark power.
Least: detect alignment* 5/day or detect magic 5/day or detect poison 5/day or detect thoughts 3/day
Lesser: detect scrying 3/day or discern lies 2/day or see invisibility 3/day
Greater: greater arcane sight 1/day or true seeing 1/day
*: Detect alignment works like detect chaos, detect evil, detect good or detect law.
Dragonmark Secondary Powers: A character with the Mark of Detection gains the following minor powers.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): a character with the Mark of Detection retains its Dexterity bonus when caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible character, as the rogue’s uncanny dodge class feature. If the character already has uncanny dodge as a class feature, the character instead gains improved uncanny dodge, and the minimum rogue level needed to flank the character is equal to the class that granted uncanny dodge or its character level, whichever is higher.
Skill Mastery: a character with the Mark of Detection may take 10 on all Listen, Search, Sense Motive or Spot checks, even if stress and distractions would otherwise prevent it.
Uncanny Foresight (Su): a character with the Mark of Detection may choose to sacrifice its insight bonus to Armor Class and Reflex saves and provide them to a single ally within 60 ft. as a standard action. While it provides the insight bonus, the character receives warnings about the target creature, as if a foresight spell was cast upon it.
Spoiler: CommentsThe Inquisitors (the title for scions of Medani, not the PF class) are, to me, one of the houses I least know and least used. I have a hang on nearly all of the Houses, even those I rarely use (such as Vadalis), but if I have to tell which is my least-favorite of the Houses, I'd undoubtedly say Medani. They have a cool thing going on them (they make for awesome gumshoes, particularly for "psychic detectives"), but aside from that I really don't dig them.
When I worked on bloodline features, I sought what was more important for them, focusing on their unparalleled powers of perception. This led to the Medani Prophet and their skill at divination, and thus most of their bloodline powers deal with perception and divination, particularly of the kind that is extrasensorial in nature. Thus, it was a natural to give them Uncanny Dodge, even if it's normally a class feature, because it's insanely wrong to have them lack that danger sense most classes have. Quick Reconnoiter allows you to make reflexive Listen and Spot checks with a moment's thought, and Skill Mastery allows you to do them without hassle. Uncanny Foresight, the capstone power, effectively gives them a 9th level spell for free, if they choose to sacrifice their (minor) insight bonuses to AC and Reflex which is pretty much what Foresight grants. They get stat boosts on all mental stats, making them great Diviners or Seers.
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-18 at 06:24 PM.
- Join Date
- May 2009
Mark of Finding (House Tharashk)
Mark of Finding (House Tharashk)
Race: Half-Orc, Human
Heraldic Creature: Dragonne
Allies: Droaam, Houses Lyrandar and Thuranni (+1)
Enemies: Houses Cannith and Deneith (-2)
House Tharashk controls the trades of tracking and prospection, and is one of the greatest providers of dragonshards in Khorvaire. Tharashk, an Orcish term meaning “united”, hails from the Shadow Marches, comprised of the three greatest tribes and a number of lesser ones. The house is comprised of orcs, half-orcs and humans, though orcs are unable to manifest the mark on their own. The house was discovered by a group of Zil gnomes alongside Sivis emissaries, seeking a source of dragonmarks in the Marches. Recently, Tharashk has established negotiations with the monster country of Droaam, serving as a mediator between the humanoid nations and the monster races, offering laborers and mercenaries; this has caused conflicts with Cannith and Deneith as they feel they’re breaching on their terrain. Tharashk Finders gain powers to find their path through large locations and the ability to track objects or creatures. They work as excellent scouts and trackers.
Level Least Dragonmark Lesser Dragonmark Greater Dragonmark 1st -- -- +2 on Survival checks 2nd -- +2 on Survival checks Least Dragonmark Power 3rd -- -- Wisdom +1 4th +2 on Survival checks Least Dragonmark Power Track 5th -- -- House Affinity (Tharashk) +2 6th -- Wisdom +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power 7th -- -- +2 on Search checks 8th Least Dragonmark Power Track Swift tracker 9th -- -- Strength +1 10th -- House affinity (Tharashk) +2 Hear the UnseenCAdv 11th -- -- House affinity (Tharashk) +4 12th Wisdom +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power Greater Dragonmark Power 13th -- -- +2 on Gather Information checks 14th -- +2 on Search checks Tag 15th -- -- Dexterity +1 16th Track Swift tracker Scent 17th -- -- House affinity (Tharashk) +6 18th -- Intelligence +1 Dragonmark powers +1 19th -- -- +2 on Spot checks 20th House Affinity (Tharashk) +2 Hear the UnseenCAdv Blindsight 15 ft.
Dragonmark Powers (Sp): A character with the Mark of Finding may choose one of the following spell-like abilities each time it gains a new dragonmark power:
Least: detect animals or plants 5/day or identify 3/day or know direction 5/day or locate object 3/day
Lesser: arcane eye 3/day or helping hand 3/day or locate creature 3/day
Greater: find the path 1/day or prying eyes 1/day
Dragonmark Secondary Powers: A character with the Mark of Finding gains the following minor powers.
Swift Tracker (Ex): A character with the Mark of Finding can move at its normal speed while following tracks without taking the normal -5 penalty. The character takes only a -10 penalty (instead of -20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking. If the character reaches the 8th level of ranger (where it would otherwise gain the swift tracker feat), it takes no penalties when moving at up to twice normal speed.
Tag (Su): A character with the Mark of Finding can place a tag upon a certain creature or object. This tag allows the character to easily follow the target, by granting a +10 bonus on all Survival checks when tracking the targeted creature or object.
Scent (Ex): A character with the Mark of Finding can track creatures by means of scent.
Blindsight (Ex): The character with the Mark of Finding gains blindsight up to 15 ft. If the character gains blindsight by means of class levels or templates, the range increases by 15 ft. instead.
Spoiler: CommentsTharashk Finders are a fun batch to play with. They're the only mark available to Half-Orcs, and the only mark available to two races at once. I got inspired by Rangers when working with this Bloodline, since they're the original hunters and trackers, and thus a good deal of their bloodline powers deal with tracking.
As you'll notice, being inspired by the Ranger class, they get all the boosts to the ability scores that Rangers favor (Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom), plus bonuses on three of the key Ranger skills (Search, Spot, Survival), plus Gather Information for good measure. Their scent ability, and their capstone power Blindsight exemplify just how good these guys are at finding people, and their SLAs do so. That's probably why they're so fun: they're easy to work with. Naturally, Track must be on their list of bonus feats, and to give them some key abilities to find people without the need for sight (and as a way to mimic a supernatural hearing ability), they get Hear the Unseen as a bonus feat, even if they lack Blind-Fight. The way Bonus Feats for Dragonmarks work, Rangers might get a bit shafted, but you can find a way to replace Track for a different ability and still get superb tracking capabilities. It's also great for Scouts, BTW.
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-18 at 06:22 PM.
- Join Date
- May 2009
Mark of Handling (House Vadalis)
Mark of Handling (House Vadalis)
Heraldic Creature: Hippogriff
Allies: House Orien, Wardens of the Wood sect (+1)
Enemies: Ashbound sect, Valenar (-2)
House Vadalis controls the trades of animal handling, providing some of the finest breeds at the best prices. This human-centered house was founded in Aundair, though its main holdings are located in the Eldeen Reaches after the country declared its independence. Vadalis is often considered one of the most benign houses, providing the beasts that House Orien needs for its caravans, and generally seen as a non-interfering power amongst the houses. Vadalis’ Handlers are tightly bound by family, understanding the importance of unity and familiarity amongst each other. They gain the power to manipulate the emotions of animals and beasts, as well as enhancing them.
Level Least Dragonmark Lesser Dragonmark Greater Dragonmark 1st -- -- +2 on Handle Animal checks 2nd -- +2 on Handle Animal checks Least Dragonmark Power 3rd -- -- Charisma +1 4th +2 on Handle Animal checks Least Dragonmark Power Animal Affinity 5th -- -- House Affinity (Vadalis) +2 6th -- Charisma +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power 7th -- -- +2 on Ride checks 8th Least Dragonmark Power Animal Affinity Wild empathy 9th -- -- Wisdom +1 10th -- House affinity (Vadalis) +2 Creature TrainerA&EG 11th -- -- House affinity (Vadalis) +4 12th Charisma +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power Greater Dragonmark Power 13th -- -- +2 on Use Rope checks 14th -- +2 on Ride checks Magebred cohort 15th -- -- Dexterity +1 16th Animal Affinity Wild empathy Improved wild empathy 17th -- -- House affinity (Vadalis) +6 18th -- Wisdom +1 Dragonmark powers +1 19th -- -- +2 on Knowledge (nature) checks 20th House Affinity (Vadalis) +2 Creature TrainerA&EG Intelligent cohort
Dragonmark Powers (Sp): A character with the Mark of Handling may choose one of the following spell-like abilities at each moment it gains a new dragonmark power.
Least: animal trance 5/day or calm animal 5/day or charm animal 3/day or speak with animals 5/day
Lesser: dominate animal 2/day or greater magic fang 3/day or reduce animal 3/day
Greater: animal growth 1/day or summon nature’s ally VII 1/day
Dragonmark Secondary Powers: A character with the Mark of Handling gains the following minor powers.
Wild Empathy(Ex): A character with the Mark of Handling can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The character rolls 1d20 and adds half its class level and its Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result. If the character has the wild empathy class feature, the bonus on the roll is instead the level of all classes that grant wild empathy plus half the levels on all other classes (this includes racial Hit Dice).
Creature Trainer: The character with the Mark of Handling gains this feat as a bonus feat, even if it does not meet the prerequisites. If Arms and Equipment Guide is not available, treat as follows: choose a type of creature other than animal. The character can rear and train creatures of that type, using the Handle Animal skill, provided their Intelligence score is 4 or lower (this includes creatures with no Intelligence score, such as oozes, which are treated as if they had an Intelligence score lower than 4; however, the DCs to rear or train them increase by 20). The feat name is based on the creature type chosen (Magical Beast Trainer for magical beasts, Ooze Trainer for oozes, and so forth).
Magebred Cohort: At character level 14th, the character with the Mark of Handling gains the service of a loyal companion, selected from the list of animal companions available to a 1st level druid. The creature gains the magebred template, but otherwise is identical to a typical creature of its kind. The creature is treated as a cohort, and may increase its Hit Dice by gaining experience as if it were a cohort. A character with an animal companion (a druid, a ranger or a character with the Wild Cohort feat) may instead choose to grant it the magebred template, but gains no other benefit from this ability.
Improved Wild Empathy (Ex): The character with the Mark of Handling can improve the attitude of an animal faster than the norm. The character may use wild empathy as a standard action. Furthermore, the character takes no penalties when attempting to influence magical beasts.
Intelligent Cohort (Su): A character’s animal companion or magebred cohort is treated as if the awaken spell had been cast upon it. The animal companion or magebred cohort doesn’t lose its link, however, and may be dealt with using the Handle Animal and wild empathy checks, but only with its owner.
Spoiler: CommentsThe Handlers can, if played correctly, be the most powerful of the Houses, since they deal with creatures that are magically empowered. Any class that provides animal companions, or even just getting the Wild Cohort feat, incredibly empowers this bloodline. Druids, in particular, get a pretty solid (and scary) boost from it, particularly from the capstone power, Intelligent Cohort; getting the benefits of the Awaken spell without losing your connection can be downright scary.
However, it doesn't stop there. The [Creature] Trainer feat is an old feat that, to my knowledge, never got updated. This allows you to rear and tame unusual creatures, such as oozes or plants, which increases the range of creatures they can handle safely. Naturally, they get bonuses to Handle Animal to the extent few can truly top them, and knowledge of two pretty nice skills (plus Use Rope). Not only that, you can safely trade away Wild Empathy and you can still recover it, which is a nice touch, and eventually you can empathize with Magical Beasts without problems. Really, as you can see, most of the bloodline powers are pretty minor, and just because of Magebred Cohort and Intelligent Cohort, they end up being really strong. Mix that to Summon Nature's Ally VII up to twice per day and you can become a pretty nasty fellow. Even if you don't deal with animals.
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-18 at 06:36 PM.
- Join Date
- May 2009
Mark of Healing (House Jorasco)
Mark of Healing (House Jorasco)
Heraldic Creature: Griffon
Allies: Houses Cannith and Sivis, the wealthy (+1)
Enemies: The poor and impoverished (-2)
House Jorasco controls the all important trade of health and recovery. Originally a tribe of families in the Talenta Plains, the House entered business thanks to Houses Cannith and Sivis. While at first the healers did their work out of charity, the business nature of the houses forced them to pay for their talents, and this has taken its toll. The halflings of Jorasco abandoned their tribal ways and embraced the cosmopolitan nature of the Five Nations, and the Last War essentially turned them into a monopoly, as their healing powers easily exceeded those of adepts and low-ranking priests. Yet, the House has focused on profit over charity, making them friends of the rich and enemies of the poor, who cannot afford their healing capabilities. Jorasco Healers not only heal wounds, but also cure diseases, remove poisons and restore the crippled, the lame, the weak, the addle-minded, the listless and even those with magically lowered self-esteem to their original selves. They also do mundane healing and midwifery.
Level Least Dragonmark Lesser Dragonmark Greater Dragonmark 1st -- -- +2 on Heal checks 2nd -- +2 on Heal checks Least Dragonmark Power 3rd -- -- Charisma +1 4th +2 on Heal checks Least Dragonmark Power Self-Sufficient 5th -- -- House Affinity (Jorasco) +2 6th -- Charisma +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power 7th -- -- +2 on Concentration checks 8th Least Dragonmark Power Self-Sufficient Minor healing touch 9th -- -- Wisdom +1 10th -- House affinity (Jorasco) +2 Ritual BlessingPHBII 11th -- -- House affinity (Jorasco) +4 12th Charisma +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power Greater Dragonmark Power 13th -- -- +2 on Survival checks 14th -- +2 on Concentration checks Detoxification 15th -- -- Constitution +1 16th Self-Sufficient Minor healing touch Improved healing 17th -- -- House affinity (Jorasco) +6 18th -- Wisdom +1 Dragonmark powers +1 19th -- -- +2 on Diplomacy checks 20th House Affinity (Jorasco) +2 Ritual BlessingPHBII Minor restoration
Dragonmark Powers (Sp): A character with the Mark of Healing may choose one of the following spell-like abilities at each moment it gains a new dragonmark power.
Least: cure light wounds 5/day or delay poison 3/day or lesser restoration 3/day or remove paralysis 3/day
Lesser: cure serious wounds 3/day or neutralize poison 2/day or remove disease 3/day or restoration 2/day
Greater: heal 1/day or mass cure moderate wounds 2/day
Dragonmark Secondary Powers: A character with the Mark of Handling gains the following minor powers.
Minor Healing Touch (Sp): A character with the Mark of Healing can remove minor wounds by touch. The character can use cure minor wounds at-will as a spell-like ability. By making a Heal check, the character may increase the amount of healing provided: for every 5 points in the Heal check above 10, the target restores 1 extra hit point. This application of the Heal check works only once per hour per character affected.
Furthermore, when using long-term care, all affected creatures recover an amount of extra hit points based on the character’s ranks in the Heal skill, and recover from ability damage, drain and burn by an amount equal to 1 point for every 5 ranks above the first four (+1 point at 9 ranks, +2 points at 13 ranks, and so forth).
Being a positive energy effect, minor healing touch causes damage to undead creatures with a successful melee touch. Instead of dealing an extra point of damage with a successful Heal check, a character with the sneak attack ability may apply 1 extra dice of damage for every 5 points in the Heal check above 10.
Detoxification (Su): A character with the Mark of Healing can improve the condition of poisoned or diseased characters faster than the norm. By accepting a -20 penalty on the Heal check, the character may attempt to remove poison from a creature with treatment, or speed the recovery of a natural disease with treatment (essentially, treat as if the character were to make a saving throw at the moment the character uses this ability). This ability may only be used once (for purposes of poison) or once per hour (if treating a disease).
Improved Healing (Su): When a character with the Mark of Healing uses a spell, psionic power, spell-like ability (including their dragonmark powers) or psi-like ability that restores hit point damage, they restore an extra amount of hit points based on their Heal ranks. The character restores 1 extra hit point if it has at least four ranks in the Heal skill, plus 1 point of damage for every 5 points in the skill above 4 (+2 at 9 ranks, +3 at 13 ranks, and so forth). This ability does not stack with the character’s minor healing touch dragonmark secondary power, or any supernatural abilities that provide healing (such as the paladin’s lay on hands ability).
Minor Restoration (Sp): A character with the Mark of Healing may use the Heal skill to restore ability scores. When using the minor healing touch ability, the character may choose to remove 1 point of physical ability damage with a successful DC 25 Heal check, or 1 point of physical ability drain with a successful DC 40 check. For every 10 points the Heal check succeeds, the character restores 1 extra point in the same ability score. This ability may be used only once per hour, and is treated as if the character had boosted its minor healing touch.
Spoiler: CommentsOne of the reasons I decided to work with Dragonmarks as Bloodlines is because some of the bloodlines end up being weaker than the real deal as they have to spend feat slots to duplicate what a Cleric can do effortlessly. Jorasco, of all Houses, exemplifies this. They're supposed to be so efficient at healing that they overpower Clerics (and Healers), and even then, they still can't hold a candle to a Cleric going full healer.
The first and most important change was to do what not even Pathfinder could: turn Cure Minor Wounds into an at-will ability. That simple power, acquired somewhat late but still capable of being acquired by the scions with the Greater Dragonmark relatively early, makes them infinitely more efficient out of combat than a Cleric or Healer, than a Wand of Cure Light Wounds (Eternal or otherwise), a Wand of Lesser Vigor or a Healing Belt, since they don't spend anything else but time. Minor Healing Touch was the result of that. However, it still wasn't good enough, and for one reason.
It cheated them out of the Heal skill. So, what to do in that regard? Well...how about making the Heal skill important? Thus, Minor Healing Touch can be improved via the Heal skill, and the other secondary powers (such as Detoxification, Improved Healing and Minor Restoration) are also based on the Heal skill, either on its ranks or by actually making a skill check. That should leave Jorasco as the ultimate healers.
But that wasn't enough. They get a nice set of skill boosts, particularly on the important Concentration skill (for casters, anyways), and one of the few bloodlines with a Ceremony feat (a feat type oft unused). Their ability score improvements are fit for Clerics and to a certain extent Healers, though Paladins also benefit from it.
As for the tidbit about Jorasco going greedy... I recall having seen that on the Dragonmarked supplement. Certainly, they aren't as beholden to their roots as their Ghallanda brethren, which means they might have seen the value of money. However, that might just be a leap of logic from my part. It certainly makes them less likeable, no? Add to that the Nosomatic Chirurgeon and you're looking at a pretty dark Dragonmarked House gifted with the power of life. No, I don't hate Jorasco (quite the contrary; I prefer it over Ghallanda, since healers are always a must), but being the goody-goody healers just doesn't fit a business that much.
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-18 at 06:54 PM.
- Join Date
- May 2009
Mark of Hospitality (House Ghallanda)
Mark of Hospitality (House Ghallanda)
Heraldic Creature: Blink dog
Allies: Houses Jorasco, Phiarlan and Thuranni, Talenta halflings (+1)
Enemies: None known.
House Ghallanda handles many of the best inns and taverns around, offering the best services of food and lodging in all of Khorvaire. Much like their Jorasco cousins, Ghallanda began as a loose set of tribes in the Talenta Plains, who thought their divinely-granted mission was to attend all weary travelers in the best way possible. In this way, they caught the attention of the dragonmarked houses, and through cunning borne of experience, the tribes became an important house. Unlike other houses, members of House Ghallanda are extremely benevolent (though their altruistic bent doesn’t dull them to people who may attempt to fool them into indentured service, or take advantage of their hospitality), and very few are truly capable of saying otherwise. As well, they dominate the lodging market through their quality service, rather than underhanded methods. Ghallanda Hostelers provide the best food, drink and lodging, but their greatest gift is their social connections, which serve as seeds for adventure and an alternative method of currency in a society where favors rule. To become the enemy of a Ghallanda scion is a fool’s act, to say the least.
Level Least Dragonmark Lesser Dragonmark Greater Dragonmark 1st -- -- +2 on Diplomacy checks 2nd -- +2 on Diplomacy checks Least Dragonmark Power 3rd -- -- Charisma +1 4th +2 on Diplomacy checks Least Dragonmark Power Negotiatior 5th -- -- House Affinity (Ghallanda) +2 6th -- Charisma +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power 7th -- -- +2 on Gather Information checks 8th Least Dragonmark Power Negotiator Hosteler’s grace 9th -- -- Dexterity +1 10th -- House affinity (Ghallanda) +2 Wanderer’s DiplomacyPHBII 11th -- -- House affinity (Ghallanda) +4 12th Charisma +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power Greater Dragonmark Power 13th -- -- +2 on Bluff checks 14th -- +2 on Gather Information checks Contact 15th -- -- Constitution +1 16th Negotiator Improved survivalist Hosteler’s bounty 17th -- -- House affinity (Ghallanda) +6 18th -- Dexterity +1 Dragonmark powers +1 19th -- -- +2 on Knowledge (local) checks 20th House Affinity (Ghallanda) +2 Wanderer’s DiplomacyPHBII Supreme rest
Dragonmark Powers (Sp): A character with the Mark of Hospitality may choose one of the following spell-like abilities at each moment it gains a new dragonmark power.
Least: purify food and drink 5/day or prestidigitation 5/day or rope trick 3/day or unseen servant 3/day
Lesser: create food and water 3/day or Leomund’s secure shelter 2/day or Leomund’s tiny hut 3/day
Greater: heroes’ feast 1/day or Mordenkainen’s magnificent mansion 1/day
Dragonmark Secondary Powers: A character with the Mark of Hospitality gains the following minor powers.
Hosteler’s Grace (Su): A character with the Mark of Hospitality provides a larger amount of bounties with its spells and abilities. If a beneficial spell, spell-like ability, psionic power, psi-like ability, mystery, utterance, magic or psionic item affects only a limited amount of people and the character either uses it on itself and at least one target, or is the target of said ability alongside at least one more creature, the character does not count towards that limitation.
Contact: A character with the Mark of Hospitality will always have a contact on hand. Once per week, the character may use one of its many contacts to ask for a favor. If the favor requires a skill check, make a Diplomacy check against the skill check DC +10; if the favor requires another effect (such as casting a spell), make a Charisma check against a suitable DC (DC 10 + spell level for a required spell, power or similar effect; DC 10 for a minor social favor, DC 15 for an intermediate social favor, DC 20 for a major social favor; DC 5 + level for one week’s service as a hireling for no pay). Alternatively, the character may ask for a loan with a successful Diplomacy check (DC 5 for 1000 copper, DC 10 for 500 silver, DC 15 for 20 gold, DC 20 for 5 platinum; +1 point for every 100 copper, 50 silver, 20 gold or 5 platinum coins). Finally, the character may use its contact to gain information as if using the contact other plane spell, but as follows: the character doesn’t need to make an Intelligence check to avoid taking a penalty to Intelligence and Charisma, the character must make a Gather Information check before asking the question, and the answer is true on a d% result of 01 or higher, up to a number equal to 1 + 1 for every 2 points of the Gather Information check over 10 (else, treat as if contacting the Astral Plane, with a result higher than the number provided by the Gather Information check but lower than 68 counting as a “don’t know” answer. For example, if the result of the Gather Information check is 30, the contact provides a true answer with a result between 01-11%, a “don’t know” answer on a result between 12-67%, a lie on a result of 68-88%, and a random answer between 89-00%
Hosteler’s Bounty (Su): When a character with the Mark of Hospitality uses a spell, spell-like ability, psionic power, psi-like ability, mystery, utterance, or a magic/psionic item on an allied target that provides a static bonus to ability scores, attack rolls, skill checks or saving throws, the effect is boosted by 150%. Thus, a bull’s strength spell cast by the character (or from a wand of bull’s strength successfully used by it) provides a +6 enhancement bonus to Strength, instead of a +4.
Supreme Rest (Su): Once per week, a character with the Mark of Hospitality may expend a great deal of lifeforce to provide a boost to allies. The character takes 2 points of ability burn to all ability scores for 1 ally, plus 1 point per every other ally affected; this effect applies only at the end of the effect. If the character and its allies rest for 5 minutes, they are treated as if they had 8 hours of rest, including the ability to recharge arcane spells and power points. This does not affect divine spells or magic items with daily uses, but it does affect supernatural abilities with daily uses, as well as bound vestiges and shaped soulmelds.
Spoiler: CommentsRemember what I said about Medani? Skip that: making Ghallanda a useful Dragonmarked Bloodline was a nightmare. No class whatsoever fits their idea other than, well, Experts. An NPC class. That's a challenge like...say, playing a Shepherd on Ultima IV, or playing a Commoner in D&D. This Bloodline needed a lot of love, and I feel that after flashes of inspiration, I hit the jackpot.
Let's start bit by bit. Looking for inspiration, I figured, "what I can do to make hosts interesting businessmen and adventurers?" Their skill bonuses and feats were pretty much a given: Diplomacy, Gather Information and Knowledge (local) are a must, and Bluff also works well - that makes them faces, which are always welcome at parties. Negotiator isn't that great, but Wanderer's Diplomacy couldn't be ignored; it is a Halfling-specific feat, and not only that, a feat perfect for faces. That's one aspect that makes them good.
The second was their SLAs. Most of them work with making the hassles of travel far, far easier. Always have food and shelter ready; that's what makes a good host. So, they're faces and they're hosts. Formidable cohort material, still not so great as adventurer material. The ability scores are somewhat irregular: Charisma works for their face side, but they also get Dexterity and Constitution, which are odd mixes. Good for Barbarians and Rogues, but not many others (maybe Totemist?).
Thus, we end up with secondary Dragonmark powers, and here is where I draw a blank. What kind of secondary powers makes sense for them? Well, Contacts (from d20 Modern, but also an optional rule from Unearthed Arcana) makes sense: you can expect the local barman or hostel-keeper to have its ears set on the ground, and a contact is an excellent way to keep on touch with people. That makes sense out of adventure, but also before adventuring, since you can ask a contact to cast an important spell or lend you some money for consumables. The rest...well, I hit a blank there, and then I realized...
If the idea of a Ghallanda scion is to make people feel better...why not provide boosts to buffing spells and a wicked awesome capstone?
Thus, the other Dragonmarked powers. Hosteler's Grace means you can effectively cast a Mass (or Legion's) spell on one additional creature, which is good earlier on, and thus conductive for maximum buffing; it also works on spells like Plane Shift, powers like Astral Caravan, and even magic items like that pesky Rod of Security! Hosteler's Bounty makes you the ultimate buffer, and that immediately opens it to just about everyone. Have a Rogue with the Greater Dragonmark of Hospitality use a scroll of Mass Bull's Strength to grant +6 to Strength! Note that, since you count as an ally, it also works with Personal spells, which is a massive boost.
However, it is the capstone which I believe really settles it in. Supreme Rest provides you with a 1/week way to ignore the 5-minute workday for many of the classes, at the expense of some serious ability burn (nothing that Naberius can't handle?). This can be a very useful way to deal with a powerful entity, and it fits the ultimate expression of their Mark.
Finally: notice they have no enemies? You can expect the scions of Hospitality to have no enemies. However, that also means they make for some serious enemies, since being denied stay in nearly all hotels in the continent can be detrimental...unless you're used to live in the wild. Or worse: have a Black Dog sent towards you.
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-18 at 09:00 PM.
- Join Date
- May 2009
Mark of Making (House Cannith)
Mark of Making (House Cannith)
Heraldic Creature: Gorgon
Allies: House Deneith, the Twelve (+1)
Enemies: Houses Tharashk and Vadalis (-2). Furthermore, House Cannith is divided, and gains its bonus only to members of its faction, while taking a -1 penalty with members of the others.
House Cannith is one of the most powerful mercantile houses, handling the trades of tinkering and forging, and known for the construction of the warforged and many of the magic-technological advancements of Khorvaire. As one of the oldest mercantile houses, Cannith had old Cyre as its ancestral home, and pioneered many of the developments of Khorvaire. Alongside other sources such as House Orien and the gnome artificers of Zilargo, Cannith crafted such wonders as the lightning rail and the elemental-powered ships, but it was the creation (or rather, the discovery) of the warforged that granted them great power. However, the Day of Mourning struck the house straight to its core: Cyre became the Mournlands, causing Cannith scions to lose their ancestral home of Whitehearth and other important locations, and the Treaty of Thronehold gave warforged the same rights as other sentient beings, stopping their production indefinitely. The final wound came with the inability to choose a house leader, fracturing the house in three main factions: Cannith South, led by the ambitious Merrix; Cannith West, led by the diplomatic Jorlanna, and Cannith East, ruled by the belligerent Zorlan. Cannith Crafters split into two great guilds; the Tinkers, who deal with repairs abroad, and the Fabricators, who craft new items.
Level Least Dragonmark Lesser Dragonmark Greater Dragonmark 1st -- -- +2 on Craft checks 2nd -- +2 on Craft checks Least Dragonmark Power 3rd -- -- Intelligence +1 4th +2 on Craft checks Least Dragonmark Power Skill Focus (Craft) 5th -- -- House Affinity (Cannith) +2 6th -- Intelligence +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power 7th -- -- +2 on Appraise checks 8th Least Dragonmark Power Skill Focus (Craft) Magic crafting 9th -- -- Dexterity +1 10th -- House affinity (Cannith) +2 Bonus item creation feat 11th -- -- House affinity (Cannith) +4 12th Intelligence +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power Greater Dragonmark Power 13th -- -- +2 on Use Magic Device checks 14th -- +2 on Appraise checks Minor repairs 15th -- -- Constitution +1 16th Skill Focus (Craft) Magic crafting Advanced magic crafting 17th -- -- House affinity (Cannith) +6 18th -- Dexterity +1 Dragonmark powers +1 19th -- -- +2 on Spellcraft checks 20th House Affinity (Cannith) +2 Bonus item creation feat Magic item efficiency
Dragonmark Powers (Sp): A character with the Mark of Making may choose one of the following spell-like abilities at each moment it gains a new dragonmark power.
Least: lesser armor augmentation 3/day or lesser weapon augmentation 3/day or make whole 3/day or repair light damage 5/day
Lesser: minor creation 2/day or repair serious damage 3/day
Greater: fabricate 1/day or major creation 1/day
Dragonmark Secondary Powers: A character with the Mark of Making gains the following minor powers.
Magic Crafting (Ex): A character with the Mark of Making combines its inherent dragonmark powers with its crafting skills to great extent. The character counts as a spellcaster for purposes of gaining item creation feats and crafting alchemical items, using its dragonmark caster level for all prerequisites. The character cannot make magic items that require specific spells unless it has the ability to cast spells, however. If the character can cast spells, it uses its dragonmark caster level or its actual caster level, whichever is higher, when crafting items. As well, it can make Spellcraft and Use Magic Device checks untrained.
Bonus Item Creation Feat: A character with the Mark of Making may choose an item creation feat at this level (other than Scribe Scroll, Scribe Martial Scroll, Inscribe Tattoo or any feat that requires scribing). The character must meet the prerequisites to choose the feat, unlike other bonus feats gained by means of dragonmarks.
Minor Repairs (Sp): A character with the Mark of Making can make repairs almost effortlessly. The character may use repair minor damage and mending at-will as spell-like abilities.
Advanced Magic Crafting (Ex): A character with the Mark of Making that reaches this level can make Use Magic Device checks to emulate magic items, as per the artificer’s item creation class feature. If the character has this class feature, it may make items as if its caster level was two higher (thus, it can make items at its caster level +4). This ability does not work on scrolls.
Magic Item Efficiency (Sp): A character with the Mark of Making may, once per day, activate a charged magic item without expending a charge. This does not apply to scrolls, but it applies to wands and staffs.
Spoiler: CommentsArguably the most famous of the
megacorporationsDragonmarked Houses, Cannith is a house divided. The schism isn't so deep yet, thus they work from the same bloodline (unlike the situation with Phiarlan and Thuranni, whose focuses are pretty distinct) and have only one progression.
This bloodline gave me an excuse to deliver a certain thing I like: provide characters with ways of crafting magic items without being spellcasters. In this case, it comes with a pair of secondary powers: the first, Magic Crafting, unlocks your crafting potential without the need for spellcasting, while the secondary benefit, Advanced Magic Crafting, provides with a way to enchant more powerful items via the ever-useful Use Magic Device skill...effectively providing the benefit that was previously exclusive to Warlocks. Note, though, that it remains the sole province of psionic creatures to craft psionic items, but it's not something that can be played with.
The other benefits are up to par. The first ability every Cannith heir gets is a bonus on ALL Craft checks, effectively doubling (almost tripling) the bonus provided to skills. Splitting the Craft skill into its constituent parts would have been enough to cover all, but I declined on it, and thus went for Appraise, Use Magic Device and eventually Spellcraft, other necessary tools for the development of crafting. The ability score improvements fit Artificers well, particularly in the case of Intelligence and Dexterity; that said, Rogues also benefit greatly from all three ability score improvements.
The kicker, though? Minor Repairs is cool, but you might have noticed Magic Item Efficiency. This ability works with ANY charged item, primarily to wands or scrolls, but with liberal interpretation it can work on just about anything else. Ring of the Ram? Sure. Belt of Battle? Go for it! Ring of Three Wishes? Well...yeah, go for it... Luck Blade? Erm... You probably noticed this because of how "exploitable" it may be, but note that it's the reward for spending 20 levels and sacrificing three levels to bloodlines. Also: potions are NOT charged items, and thus don't work with this benefit.
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-18 at 10:20 PM.
- Join Date
- May 2009
Mark of Passage (House Orien)
Mark of Passage (House Orien)
Heraldic Creature: Unicorn
Allies: Citizens of Passage, House Vadalis (+1)
Enemies: House Lyrandar (-2)
House Orien controls the trade routes and the all-important lightning rail, offering affordable transportation of goods and people across all Khorvaire. Founded almost nineteen centuries ago, during a moment where the dragonmarks were fully established, Orien swiftly became a relevant house because of its ability to cross borders amongst warring lords and, after the unification of Khorvaire as the nation of Galifar, the best way to travel across the continent swiftly and safely. Alongside House Cannith, the house of transportation built the ever-impressive lightning rail, which became the way upon which Galifar was fully connected outside of their abilities of large-scale teleportation. With the Day of Mourning, however, Orien took a brutal blow, as the lightning rails crossed (and connected through) Metron, one of the most important cities of Cyre, a blow of which the house has yet to recover. With the emergence of the airship and the elemental galleon, house Lyrandar has acquired a great deal of the transportation business, causing the once-respected house to suffer intense competition. Yet, while Lyrandar has conquered sea and air, Orien is still the undisputed master of land travel, and also the master of very long-distance immediate travel. Orien Couriers handle the delivery of parcels to all places amongst the continent (aside from the Demon Wastes and the Mournlands), while the Transporters’ Guild handles personal transportation.
Level Least Dragonmark Lesser Dragonmark Greater Dragonmark 1st -- -- +2 on Survival checks 2nd -- +2 on Survival checks Least Dragonmark Power 3rd -- -- Dexterity +1 4th +2 on Survival checks Least Dragonmark Power Run 5th -- -- House Affinity (Orien) +2 6th -- Dexterity +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power 7th -- -- +2 on Tumble checks 8th Least Dragonmark Power Run Fast movement 9th -- -- Strength +1 10th -- House affinity (Orien) +2 Spring Attack 11th -- -- House affinity (Orien) +4 12th Dexterity +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power Greater Dragonmark Power 13th -- -- +2 on Balance checks 14th -- +2 on Tumble checks Woodland stride 15th -- -- Constitution +1 16th Run Fast movement Enlarge distance 17th -- -- House affinity (Orien) +6 18th -- Strength +1 Dragonmark powers +1 19th -- -- +2 on Jump checks 20th House Affinity (Orien) +2 Spring Attack Quick jaunt
Dragonmark Powers (Sp): A character with the Mark of Passage may choose one of the following spell-like abilities at each moment it gains a new dragonmark power.
Least: expeditious retreat 5/day or jump 5/day or longstrider 3/day or mount 2/day
Lesser: dimension door 3/day or fly 3/day or phantom steed 1/day
Greater: overland flight 1/day or teleport 1/day
Dragonmark Secondary Powers: A character with the Mark of Passage gains the following minor powers.
Fast Movement (Ex): A character with the Mark of Passage gains a 10 ft. increment to its base land speed. This is not considered an enhancement bonus, and thus stacks with other bonuses.
Spring Attack: A character with the Mark of Passage gains Spring Attack as a bonus feat, even if it does not meet the prerequisites. Only characters with the Mark of Passage can use the Spring Attack (including similar feats or feats based on it) when using its dragonmark powers related to teleportation, spells from the conjuration (teleportation) school, spells from the psychoportation discipline that allow teleportation, or supernatural abilities that grant teleportation.
Woodland Stride (Ex): A character with the Mark of Passage may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at its normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment, as per the ranger’s woodland stride class feature.
Enlarge Distance (Sp): When a character with the Mark of Passage uses a spell or spell-like ability of the conjuration (teleportation) school (including dragonmark powers), a power/psi-like ability of the psychoportation discipline, a supernatural ability that allows teleportation, or a magic item that duplicates the effects, double the maximum distance (as well as any increments, if the distance can be covered in specific range increments such as 10 ft.) the character can travel.
Quick Jaunt (Sp): A character with the Mark of Passage using a spell/spell-like ability of the conjuration (teleportation) school, a power/psi-like ability of the psychoportation school or a supernatural ability that allows teleportation can activate the ability one step faster (full-round -> standard -> move -> swift).
Spoiler: CommentsOne of the most entertaining NPCs I've played with is a variation of the Blade of Orien, using a portion of my homebrewed rules on my ongoing Eberron campaign. As a way to have a Fighter that's entertaining, and to cover for a proper martial character for my 2-man party, I decided to adapt the (female) example Blade of Orien NPC into a male character, known as...Francis Maarten d'Orien (alias "the Transporter"). Yes, I intentionally ripped off this character as a one-shot NPC, but my players liked him enough, and I liked his teleporting tactics, and then I looked at Jaunter and...well, it clicked.
Anyways: playing with Francis Maarten gave me a lot of insight on how an Orien character can be played, particularly one mostly mundane. Orien Couriers and Transporters are prized for being fast bastards, good on various kinds of movement and with good agility. I figured a Fighter could make good use of it, and so would a Warblade and a Swashbuckler, but that wasn't really the inspiration. You'll notice because, much like House Medani, I gave the Orien bloodline bonuses to all physical ability scores, which any mundane class could favor. The skill bonuses include Balance, Tumble and Jump (aka, PF's Acrobatics), plus the Survival skill which is the key skill of the House (for some reason...). The feats may seem a bit sketchy, since they're universally considered bad (Run is sorta nice but nothing to boast about, and Spring Attack is universally reviled), but since I knew Spring Attack would suck, this version of the feat has its own corollary in that it can be used with teleportation abilities. To explain better: you can, if you want, jaunt a certain distance (adjacent to an enemy), make a single attack, and then jaunt the remaining distance if you want to. This is a cool tactic, since it allows for martial harassment tactics (preferably known as "hit and run" tactics, but not just comprised of those).
The secondary powers are what makes them shine. Fast movement that counts as an untyped bonus by definition is always a good thing to have; Enlarge Distance makes your teleportation powers incredibly useful, and the capstone power Quick Jaunt makes various teleportation abilities activate faster (note that this works with Shadow Hand teleportation maneuvers). Just so you can't be stopped, Woodland Stride is provided as a secondary power, and not given a special bonus if you acquire it later, unlike others. Of course, I didn't thought of giving shadow pounce, because that would be too much; that said, shadow-pouncing isn't that hard to get, and with Quick Jaunt and a move or swift-action teleportation ability, you can do a double full attack (the free one usually granted by the pouncing ability and your normal one, depending on the interpretation).
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-19 at 12:05 AM.
- Join Date
- May 2009
Mark of Scribing (House Sivis)
Mark of Scribing (House Sivis)
Heraldic Creature: Unicorn
Allies: House Kundarak (+1)
Enemies: Unknown (-2)
House Sivis handles the creation and notarization of documents across Khorvaire. Sivis is one of the oldest established houses (only younger than house Phiarlan), but laid the foundation for all dragonmarked houses, and helped on the discovery and development of the youngest. It can be said that House Sivis is the most important of the houses, but one of their greatest virtues is their professed neutrality. True to gnome nature, House Sivis pursues, codifies and protects all kinds of information. Gnome Scribes have their own, unique arcane marks which can be used to notarize any official document, which they craft as well; furthermore, they are the foremost authority in linguistics, able to understand and translate any language, including ancient and dead.
Level Least Dragonmark Lesser Dragonmark Greater Dragonmark 1st -- -- +2 on Decipher Script checks 2nd -- +2 on Decipher Script checks Least Dragonmark Power 3rd -- -- Intelligence +1 4th +2 on Decipher Script checks Least Dragonmark Power Diligent 5th -- -- House Affinity (Sivis) +2 6th -- Intelligence +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power 7th -- -- +2 on Knowledge (any) checks 8th Least Dragonmark Power Diligent Scroll casting 9th -- -- Charisma +1 10th -- House affinity (Sivis) +2 Scribe Scroll 11th -- -- House affinity (Sivis) +4 12th Intelligence +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power Greater Dragonmark Power 13th -- -- New language 14th -- +2 on Knowledge (any) checks Scroll power 15th -- -- Wisdom +1 16th Diligent Scroll casting Scroll focus 17th -- -- House affinity (Sivis) +6 18th -- Charisma +1 Dragonmark powers +1 19th -- -- +2 on Use Magic Device checks 20th House Affinity (Sivis) +2 Scribe Scroll Scroll specialization
Dragonmark Powers (Sp): A character with the Mark of Scribing may choose one of the following spell-like abilities at each moment it gains a new dragonmark power.
Least: arcane mark 5/day or comprehend languages 5/day or message 5/day or whispering wind 5/day
Lesser: illusory script 3/day or secret page 3/day or tongues 2/day
Greater: sending 1/day or telepathic bond 1/day
Dragonmark Secondary Powers: A character with the Mark of Scribing gains the following minor powers.
Scroll Casting (Sp): A character with the Mark of Scribing treats half its caster level to activate dragonmarks as levels in wizard or sorcerer for purposes of activating scrolls. As well, the character can make Use Magic Device checks to activate scrolls untrained.
Scribe Scroll: A character with the Mark of Scribing gains Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat even if it doesn’t meet the prerequisites. The character may make Use Magic Device checks to emulate spells, as per the artificer’s item creation class feature, but only when creating scrolls. A character with the Mark of Making is also treated as if having the Scribe Martial Scroll feat for purposes of crafting martial scrolls, but only for maneuvers it knows.
New Language: A 13th level character with the Mark of Scribing learns a new language of its choice. The character can learn any language, except for secret ones (such as Druidic).
Scroll Power: A character with the Mark of Scribing treats any spell it casts by means of scrolls as if its caster level was two levels higher.
Scroll Focus: A character with the Mark of Scribing increases the Difficulty Class of any spell cast by means of scrolls by 1.
Scroll Specialization: A character with the Mark of Scribing using a spell from a scroll that deals hit point damage or ability damage increases the damage dealt by one extra die (for hit point damage) or 1 (for ability damage).
Spoiler: CommentsYou know how the old adage goes? "Sivis pacem, para vellum." Or, translated from the Draconic: House Sivis is coming, prepare for paperwork!
...no, it's not my joke, and it's so old it's a sig right here in the Playground. Anyways: this clever pun details one thing: Notaries aren't the best at combat, and their true power lies on handling scrolls like nobody's business. In that regard, if working with the Mark of Scribing, chances are they should be the masters of scroll using; not necessarily Wizards, but work should go on making them almost as good as spellcasters on that regard. Naturally, they're good with Decipher Script and the mastery of all Knowledge checks, and Use Magic Device makes those scrolls easier to use. Now, the surprise is...they also get a "bonus" on Speak Language...by having a new language at their disposal. As with Medani, they also have bonuses to all mental ability scores, and sort of like Ghallanda, they aren't really enemies of anyone, but you never know with those corliganos.
However, it is their ability to craft, use and empower scrolls what makes them interesting. I had ideas on how to boost the power of scrolls within the Alternate Rules related to combat, as well as with the yet-unreleased Shugenja retool, and I figured they'd make a good fit. Thus, a Gnome Shugenja with the Greater Dragonmark of Scribing would be a pretty interesting scroll master, particularly if they then shift into Unbound Scroll. As it stands, Scroll Casting grants any child of Sivis the ability to activate any scroll as if they had the Magic domain class feature but washed down. Scroll Focus increases the DC of the used scroll, while Scroll Specialization improved the effect of the scroll. As a capstone, compared to stuff like Intelligent Cohort or Supreme Rest, this is tame, but it's thematically fitting.
Undoubtedly, though, the true power of a Sivis Notary is the ability to create just about ANY scroll as if it had the Item Creation class feature of the Artificer, thus making it the premier scroll-vendor and friend to any Archivist or Wizard. Not only that, a gnome Swordsage with the Mark of Scribing ALSO gets (well, technically) the Scribe Martial Scroll feat, thus becoming capable of providing even mundane allies with incredible flexibility. Compared to their powers, Sivis Notaries aren't as tame as the pun would suggest.
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-19 at 01:13 AM.
- Join Date
- May 2009
Mark of Sentinel (House Deneith)
Mark of Sentinel (House Deneith)
Heraldic Creature: Chimera
Allies: Darguun, nobility (+1)
Enemies: Criminals, house Tharashk, order of the Emerald Claw (-2)
House Deneith has been, for generations, the bodyguards of the Galifar empire, and the house that provides expertly-trained mercenaries and bodyguards. Emerging from Karrnath, Deneith kept its neutral position during the Last War, making it one of the few houses that could keep its military power as part of the Treaty of Thronehold. Shifting its focus from mercenary job to law enforcement, Deneith is capable of traversing all Five Nations freely in pursuit of dangerous criminals. The Last War, and particularly House Tharashk, have placed their once-favored position as the main source of well-trained warriors in jeopardy, as the Finders have made contacts with citizens of Droaam, selling monstrous mercenaries at the highest bidder. With internal conflicts pushing for a show of martial supremacy from the house, Deneith’s neutrality may be placed in jeopardy. Deneith Sentinels offers the best-trained human warriors, and contacts with various Darguun soldiers, to the highest bidder; furthermore, they serve as trained reinforcements for local law enforcement and as “international police”.
Level Least Dragonmark Lesser Dragonmark Greater Dragonmark 1st -- -- +2 on Sense Motive checks 2nd -- +2 on Sense Motive checks Least Dragonmark Power 3rd -- -- Constitution +1 4th +2 on Sense Motive checks Least Dragonmark Power Dodge 5th -- -- House Affinity (Deneith) +2 6th -- Constitution +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power 7th -- -- +2 on Intimidate checks 8th Least Dragonmark Power Dodge Bulwark of defense 9th -- -- Strength +1 10th -- House affinity (Deneith) +2 Combat IntuitionCAdv 11th -- -- House affinity (Deneith) +4 12th Constitution +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power Greater Dragonmark Power 13th -- -- +2 on Knowledge (nobility and royalty) checks 14th -- +2 on Intimidate checks Sentinel strike 15th -- -- Charisma +1 16th Dodge Bulwark of defense Damage reduction 10/- 17th -- -- House affinity (Deneith) +6 18th -- Strength +1 Dragonmark powers +1 19th -- -- +2 on Concentration checks 20th House Affinity (Deneith) +2 Combat IntuitionCAdv Fight to the end
Dragonmark Powers (Sp): A character with the Mark of Sentinel may choose one of the following spell-like abilities at each moment it gains a new dragonmark power.
Least: barkskin 5/day or protection from arrows 5/day or shield of faith 5/day or shield other 3/day
Lesser: lesser globe of invulnerability 3/day or protection from energy 3/day or stoneskin 3/day
Greater: globe of invulnerability 1/day or spell resistance 1/day
Dragonmark Secondary Powers: A character with the Mark of Sentinel gains the following minor powers.
Bulwark of Defense (Ex): A character with the Mark of Sentinel causes all opponents beginning their turn within its area to treat all squares threatened by it as difficult terrain, as per the knight’s bulwark of defense class feature (see Player’s Handbook II for more details). If the character already has this class feature, the effective area that it threatens increases by 10 ft.; the squares are not considered threatened, but they count as difficult terrain nonetheless.
Sentinel Strike (Ex): A character with the Mark of Sentinel may, once per round, make a potent attack of opportunity. If the character makes multiple attacks of opportunity, it may choose to which attack it applies. The effect only applies if the character makes a melee attack, not if the character attempts to disarm, trip, or otherwise attempt any combat maneuver as part of its attack of opportunity, unless it occurs as an effect of the melee attack (for example, if the character gains the ability to trip an opponent as part of a successful melee attack). When using a sentinel strike, the character adds its Constitution modifier to the attack and deals an extra point of damage per character level. Sentinel strike is considered as a smite for purposes of feats and magic items that improve it, except that the character is always limited to one sentinel strike per round (even with Combat Reflexes)
Fight to the End (Ex): Once per day, a character with the Mark of Sentinel may remain fighting even if its hit points remain negative. As an immediate action, the character gains the benefit of the Diehard feat and may remain fighting even if its hit points reach below -10 until the end of the encounter. The effort done by the character, however, is extenuating; at the end of the encounter, if it survives, it takes 1d6 points of ability burn to its Constitution score and becomes exhausted for a number of minutes equal to the amount of ability burn taken. The exhaustion effect may be healed as normal, but the ability burn cannot be healed except by natural means (through resting, for example).
Spoiler: CommentWell, as I mentioned that Medani was my least favorite of the Dragonmarked Houses, you must be wondering: what's my favorite one? If you see a lot of love towards House Deneith, it's for one reason. Between my time playing Dungeons & Dragons Online with a Paladin having the Mark of Sentinel, and reading their fluff on the Dragonmarked supplement, I developed a lot of love for the House. The SLAs you gained through their mark, however, really made it click: some of the spells were must-have for any tank, and with Shield Other as one of the choices, you could make a pretty effective tank that used Damage Redirection (aka, to take damage from allies and/or reflect that to the enemy) with little effort. However, that wasn't really enough.
As you can see, this bloodline is perfect for Fighters, Paladins and Knights, which benefit the most (you can also add Crusaders to the list, because adding some protection buffs to an already powerful build, while delaying maneuver progression to get the right stances makes it golden). The ability score increases favor all but the Fighter (and even then, it makes Intimidate a bit nicer), the skill bonuses are really good (Intimidate for debuffing, Sense Motive as one of the best skills around, and Concentration for Paladins or Diamond Mind users), and while the feats aren't that great, it does mean you can get Dodge for free without having a Dexterity of 13 (not to mention Combat Intuition is both thematically fitting and actually quite good). Also, you get a VERY hefty amount of Damage Reduction (10 points by 16th level seems like a lot, but not really).
However, it's the secondary powers where you may cry foul, and I don't feel sorry for it. Bulwark of Defense is one of the best ways to provide Lockdown, as it disables Tumble and makes even 5-ft. steps difficult to execute, so you have strong chances of keeping people nearby. Sentinel Strike is, effectively, a Smite but as an Attack of Opportunity once per round, and extraordinary to boot; the fact that it counts as a Smite for a lot of stuff (Improved Smiting, Sapphire Smite damage bonus, Mighty Smiting damage bonus, and if you really want to push it, the benefits from Fist of Raziel (though they ONLY apply to Smite Evil, and Sentinel Strike is NOT Smite Evil). Finally, Fight to the End is an awesome way to remain in combat pretty much indefinitely, despite the ability burn and being usable once per day. As you can see, ALL secondary class features are incredibly good, perhaps better than those of others. However, they are as good as the whole package, and the package is pretty comparable to that of a Cannith or Vadalis dragonmarked scion.
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-19 at 03:01 AM.
- Join Date
- May 2009
Mark of Shadow (Houses Phiarlan and Thuranni)
Mark of Shadow (House Phiarlan, House Thuranni)
Heraldic Creature: Hydra (Phiarlan), displacer beast (Thuranni)
Allies (Phiarlan): House Ghallanda (+1)
Allies (Thuranni): House Tharashk (+1)
Enemies (Phiarlan): Bloody Shadows (Paelion), House Thuranni (-2)
Enemies (Thuranni): Bloody Shadows (Paelion), House Phiarlan (-2)
Dragonmark Powers (Sp): A character with the Mark of Shadow may choose one of the following spell-like abilities at each moment it gains a new dragonmark power. The dragonmarked powers are similar, regardless of the House the character belongs to.
Least: darkness 3/day or disguise self 5/day or minor image 5/day or misdirection 5/day
Lesser: clairaudience/clairvoyance 3/day or scrying 3/day or shadow conjuration 3/day
Greater: mislead 1/day or shadow walk 1/day
Spoiler: CommentsUnlike Cannith, where the three factions do the same work and thus share the same attributes, Houses Phiarlan and Thuranni are so divided, their bloodline benefits likewise are different. This is easy to explain, after all: after so many years of secession, each bloodline has developed the Mark of Shadow in their own way, and they have achieved such a deep approach to their art that their innate abilities (literally speaking, and not figuratively as I often use the term "innate"; as in, abilities gained from birth or, rather, due to the characteristics of their birth). Because of this, both houses will have their own bloodlines, rather than have the same bloodline for both and risk misrepresenting one. After all, the applications to their art differ. For example...
House Phiarlan is well known for its main source of business: entertainment. The oldest of all houses, Phiarlan’s name is based on the old Elven name for entertainers, or “spirit keepers”, holding the dual task of entertaining and acting from the shadows to pursue the enemies of the race. When the first dragonmarks emerged, all families known for their phiarlan tradition acquired the Mark of Shadow, and the families have kept the tradition ever since, at least until the Shadow Schism that ended with the Paelion bloodline and caused the Thuranni bloodline to become independent. Phiarlan Entertainers focus on the interpretative arts, such as song, dance, theater and even more exclusive venues; however, the house is lesser known for its acts of espionage and assassination by means of the Serpentine Table, the “sixth” head of the heraldic creature of Phiarlan, the hydra, and by many the house of shadows.
Level Least Dragonmark Lesser Dragonmark Greater Dragonmark 1st -- -- +2 on Gather Information checks 2nd -- +2 on Gather Information checks Least Dragonmark Power 3rd -- -- Charisma +1 4th +2 on Gather Information checks Least Dragonmark Power Skill Focus (Perform) 5th -- -- House Affinity (Phiarlan) +2 6th -- Charisma +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power 7th -- -- +2 on Perform checks 8th Least Dragonmark Power Skill Focus (Perform) Sudden trick 9th -- -- Dexterity +1 10th -- House affinity (Phiarlan) +2 Versatile PerformerCAdv 11th -- -- House affinity (Phiarlan) +4 12th Charisma +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power Greater Dragonmark Power 13th -- -- +2 on Hide checks 14th -- +2 on Perform checks Blend into crowd 15th -- -- Intelligence +1 16th Skill Focus (Perform) Sudden trick Bonus skill trick 17th -- -- House affinity (Phiarlan) +6 18th -- Dexterity +1 Dragonmark powers +1 19th -- -- +2 on Move Silently checks 20th House Affinity (Phiarlan) +2 Versatile PerformerCAdv Hide in plain sight
Dragonmark Secondary Powers: A character with the Mark of Shadow belonging to House Phiarlan gains the following minor powers.
Sudden Trick (Ex): A Phiarlan scion with the Mark of Shadow may use a quickened Perform check to outsmart the opponent, allowing creating a distraction. As a swift action, the character makes a Perform check against the target’s Sense Motive; all opponents gain a +10 bonus on the check. If the character’s Perform check is higher, the target is considered as if fascinated for 1 round. During the round, the creature may attempt a rushed Bluff or Diplomacy check to improve the creature’s attitude, make a Sleight of Hand check against the target or use it as a distraction to hide. Once a creature is affected by this ability, its attitude worsens by 1 step and may not be affected by this ability for 24 hours. This is not a mind-affecting ability, but only works against creatures with Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores higher than 3.
Blend into Crowd (Ex): A Phiarlan scion with the Mark of Shadow can use a Perform check instead of a Hide check in order to blend into a crowd. This effect only lasts for a round, but the character can use the Hide check afterwards to remain hidden, as usual.
Bonus Skill Trick: A Phiarlan scion with the Mark of Shadow learns a new skill trick at this level. The scion must fulfill the prerequisites to acquire the new skill trick. This skill trick does not count towards the number of skill tricks a character may learn based on its level, and the character does not need to spend skill points to learn the trick.
Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): A Phiarlan scion with the Mark of Shadow can use the Hide skill even while being observed, as per the ranger’s class feature. This ability works on any urban environment.
Spoiler: Comments on Phiarlan...Phiarlan devotes itself to the performing arts, evoking the tradition of the ancient phiarlans, or elven entertainers. They do well the art of espionage and have centuries of tradition regarding said task. Thus, it is natural that they use their mark in a more subtle way, mastering the art of stealth. In this regard, Phiarlan entertainers gain tricks related to stealth and distraction: they keep their bonus to Gather Information (their house skill), but they focus more on performance and stealth skills. Their ability scores are good for a Rogue or Spellthief, and specifically to Arcane Tricksters who may favor two of the three (if not all three) scores. Their feats don't exactly boost stealth; instead, they boost performance, their actual art.
To further distance Phiarlan from Thuranni, the Entertainers' secondary powers boost performance over stealth, but in a way where the former enables the latter.. Blend into Crowd is a great way to provide a distraction for purposes of hiding away, and eventually they get Hide in Plain Sight to do the same but limited specifically to urban environments. Sudden Trick is pretty cool, since it turns a Perform check into an opportunity to improve the target's attitude or hide. Finally, you can get a bonus Skill Trick, a nice way to apply a cool feature and expand the wealth of options of the character.
Taking in many ways from its parent house, Thuranni also dabbles in espionage and assassination, but their business is more direct. In 972 YK, a confidence caused the Thuranni line to exterminate the Paelion line, causing a schism that split the House of Shadow into two, with the leading Phiarlan families excoriating the entire Thuranni bloodline only to have the latter declare itself a new house. Thuranni has become the youngest house, thus, and has served as competition for Phiarlan. Thuranni, unlike Phiarlan, focuses on the plastic arts, and houses the finest painters, architects and sculptors of any house.
Level Least Dragonmark Lesser Dragonmark Greater Dragonmark 1st -- -- +2 on Gather Information checks 2nd -- +2 on Gather Information checks Least Dragonmark Power 3rd -- -- Wisdom +1 4th +2 on Gather Information checks Least Dragonmark Power Skill Focus (Profession) 5th -- -- House Affinity (Thuranni) +2 6th -- Wisdom +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power 7th -- -- +2 on Profession checks 8th Least Dragonmark Power Skill Focus (Profession) Veil of shadows 9th -- -- Dexterity +1 10th -- House affinity (Thuranni) +2 Nocturnal CasterToM 11th -- -- House affinity (Thuranni) +4 12th Wisdom +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power Greater Dragonmark Power 13th -- -- +2 on Knowledge (architecture and engineering) checks 14th -- +2 on Profession checks Shape shadow 15th -- -- Intelligence +1 16th Skill Focus (Profession) Veil of shadows Hide in plain sight 17th -- -- House affinity (Thuranni) +6 18th -- Dexterity +1 Dragonmark powers +1 19th -- -- +2 on Hide checks 20th House Affinity (Thuranni) +2 Nocturnal CasterToM Minor shadow illusion
Dragonmark Secondary Powers: A character with the Mark of Shadow belonging to House Thuranni gains the following minor powers.
Veil of Shadows (Su): A Thuranni scion with the Mark of Shadow gains the ability to make its flesh hazy, almost translucent, for a brief amount of time. Whenever it uses a mystery (see Tome of Magic for more details), or a spell or spell-like ability from the illusion school, on itself, the character gains a bonus on Hide checks equal to its half its dragonmark spell-like ability caster level once the effect expires, lasting for 1 round per dragonmark caster level. For example, a 13th level character with the Lesser Dragonmark bloodline that uses the disguise self spell-like ability as part of its dragonmark gains a +3 bonus to its Hide checks for 6 rounds after the spell expires. This bonus stacks with the cloak of shadows class feature of the child of night (see Tome of Magic, page 117, for more details).
Nocturnal Caster (Su): A Thuranni scion with the Mark of Shadow gains the Nocturnal Caster feat (see Tome of Magic, page 137 for more details), even if it doesn’t meet the prerequisites. The benefits apply to all spell-like abilities gained by means of the dragonmark.
Shape Shadow (Su): A Thuranni scion with the Mark of Shadow gains greater control over its ability to manipulate shadows. When using any spell or spell-like ability with the [shadow] descriptor, the DC to disbelieve the spell increases by 1 and the strength of the effect increases by 10%.
Minor Shadow Illusion (Su): A Thuranni scion with the Mark of Shadow learns to imbue and shape a portion of shadow into any illusion it uses. Whenever the character uses a spell or spell-like ability from the illusion (figment or glamer) subschool, it gets treated as if having the [shadow] descriptor. If the spell is disbelieved (by making a successful Will save, for example), the spell is still 10% as strong; this applies to any numerical variable explained in the effect (thus, for example, a creature interacting with a character receiving the benefit of disguise self, or a creature affected by a seeming or veil spell cast by the character, still retains a +1 bonus to the Disguise check by means of the shadow effect). This doesn’t work if the spell already has the shadow descriptor.
Spoiler: Comments on ThuranniOn the other hand, Thuranni masters the art of hiding in plain sight, and not in the way Phiarlan does. Thuranni is, on its job, a bit more straightforward; if Phiarlan is the Performer, Thuranni is the Technician (correlation not intentional). One of the things I found interesting while reading the Dragonmarked supplement was that Thuranni, while still dabbling on the performance acts, also dealt with the plastic arts, and I figured this was a marvelous way to make them distinguish; one thing is to fool everyone by being the rock superstar, but a worse thing is to fool everyone by being the utilities technician (after all, you can expect the actor to be a spy, but never expect the prop worker to hide a real weapon within the props and hide its tools so cleanly). In that regard, I focused on letting them tap into the creative flow and end up with shadowcasting. While they don't get unique access to shadow spells or mysteries, Thuranni nonetheless works well to provide Shadowcasters (and mystery users) with some strong utility. Sure, Shadowcasters will have to wait until 15th level to get a bonus to their key ability score, but in the meanwhile they get Dexterity to boost. Their skill bonuses are pretty rare, but they still get Hide in the end. Their feats improve Profession, of all skills, but eventually end up boosting the spells AND the Dragonmark SLAs.
Yet, it is the secondary powers of the Bloodline what make them distinguish. While Phiarlan relies on performance to improve their stealth and focus more on improving their stealth, Thuranni only briefly focuses on stealth and dabbles into shadow manipulation. Shape Shadow works as a Spell Focus effect for both spells with the [shadow] descriptor and their SLA counterparts, which includes Shadow Conjuration; this is pretty cool, since it's effectively a portion of the bonus from the ever-famous Shadowcraft Mage. Minor Shadow Illusion, though, allows the Thuranni to dabble into the full benefit of Shadowcraft Mage and apply it to their dragonmark SLAs with haunting ease. This is their main contrast; while Phiarlan's secondary powers focus on providing distractions and using performances to hide, Thuranni masters their mark into near-full shadow manipulation. It's easy to get that a Thuranni scion may focus on being an Illusionist, Shadowcaster or dabbler in mysteries, even if it doesn't really seem like it. On the other hand, shifting Wisdom and Intelligence may be a thing. What do you think?
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-19 at 03:33 AM.
- Join Date
- May 2009
Mark of Storm (House Lyrandar)
Mark of Storm (House Lyrandar)
Heraldic Creature: Kraken
Allies: Half-elves (non-inclined), houses Deneith, Phiarlan, Thuranni and Tharashk (+1)
Enemies: Half-elves (human-inclined or elf-inclined), houses Medani and Orien (-2)
House Lyrandar has a strong tie to Khorvaire, and is the undisputed master of air and sea. Their foundation hails from the first migration of elves from Aerenal, where human and elf first blended into a new race. The term “Lyrandar” comes from their quasi-mythical foundation, claiming themselves heirs of Lyran the Firstborn, the first half-elf who, alongside Selavash, became the first wielders of the Mark of Storm. Lyrandar believes their existence is blessed by the Sovereign Host, and claim themselves the title of “children of Khorvaire”, the Khoravar. Claiming command of storms, Lyrandar formed a small fleet and helped farmers by calling upon the rain and shielding them from storms. After the Korth Edicts, Lyrandar has expanded its business with Cannith’s elemental galleons, including the greatest innovation thus far, the airship. Lyrandar Firstborn are known for being skilled sailors and pilots, as well as offering the services of “rain-calling” that are important in case of droughts and ill weather.
Level Least Dragonmark Lesser Dragonmark Greater Dragonmark 1st -- -- +2 on Balance checks 2nd -- +2 on Balance checks Least Dragonmark Power 3rd -- -- Dexterity +1 4th +2 on Balance checks Least Dragonmark Power Acrobatics 5th -- -- House Affinity (Lyrandar) +2 6th -- Dexterity +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power 7th -- -- +2 on Profession (sailor) checks 8th Least Dragonmark Power Acrobatics Air mastery 9th -- -- Strength +1 10th -- House affinity (Lyrandar) +2 Old SaltStorm 11th -- -- House affinity (Lyrandar) +4 12th Dexterity +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power Greater Dragonmark Power 13th -- -- +2 on Tumble checks 14th -- +2 on Profession (sailor) checks Wind at your back 15th -- -- Wisdom +1 16th Acrobatics Air mastery Resistance to electricity 10 17th -- -- House affinity (Lyrandar) +6 18th -- Strength +1 Dragonmark powers +1 19th -- -- +2 on Use Rope checks 20th House Affinity (Lyrandar) +2 Old SaltStorm Dominate elemental
Dragonmark Powers (Sp): A character with the Mark of Storm may choose one of the following spell-like abilities at each moment it gains a new dragonmark power.
Least: create water 5/day or endure elements 5/day or fog cloud 5/day or gust of wind 5/day
Lesser: call lightning 3/day or sleet storm 3/day or wind wall 3/day
Greater: call lightning storm 2/day or control weather 1/day
Dragonmark Secondary Powers: A character with the Mark of Storm gains the following minor powers.
Air Mastery (Ex): Airborne creatures take a -1 penalty on attack and damage rolls against a character with the Mark of Storm.
Wind at your Back (Ex): A character with the Mark of Storm uses its mastery of navigation to coax additional speed from your ship by directing the most efficient placement of sails or encouraging rowers to exert themselves, causing any ship (including elemental galleons and airships, but not land vehicles) to move 20% faster (to a minimum of 5 ft.)
Dominate Elemental (Sp): Once per week, a character with the Mark of Storm can use the effect of a dominate monster spell against any elemental. The saving throw against the character’s effect is equal to 10 + half the character’s level + the character’s Charisma modifier. The character is treated as if having a caster level equal to its dragonmark caster level, and may only have one elemental dominated at any moment; if the character attempts to dominate another elemental, the already dominated one is instantly freed (and becomes immediately hostile against the character). If the character has not dominated an elemental, it may use this ability to gain control of a ship with a bound elemental; using this ability in this way does not count as the weekly use of this ability, and the elemental automatically fails the saving throw (but if liberated, it automatically gains a saving throw to resist the effect).
Spoiler: CommentsJust as Cannith, Orien, Vadalis and specifically Deneith, I like House Lyrandar, but this preference comes from an unlikely source: the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge. When ICOC had the Dread Pirate as a Secret Ingredient, I did two entries. The best-resulting entry, and one of my only two entries to get on the top 3 was Halavin d'Lyrandar, an awesome build that nonetheless ended up with a lot of troubles that took it from top spot to (respectable) 2nd place in a heartbeat. With one or two changes, it could have tied or even beaten that edition's champion.
Anyways: working on that entry made me read and digest all I could regarding Lyrandar, and I found it to be a really interesting House. Fast forward to when I made this work, and I read the description from Dragonmarked, and extrapolated a bit from the Player's Guide to Eberron. That's THREE books I had to read in order to better understand the fluff behind it, and for someone who prefers the crunch to the fluff, that is a surprising achievement. That, and being the ONLY Dragonmarked House that has offensive SLAs made it for me. Had Halavin took this bloodline, chances would have been that the build really kicked in and became even more glorious. Anyways, for all those reasons, Lyrandar is relatively respectable, and with a pretty powerful capstone.
So: the ability score improvements make for another good Ranger set-up, while the skill choices combined agility with typical traits for sailors (I also read quite a bit of Stormwrack, BTW). Between the Dragonmark SLAs and Air Mastery, fighting against a Lyrandar Captain can be a headache. Wind at your Back works as a solid boost to the movement speed of your vessels, and it's a nice fluffy ability. So far, so good, right? The resistance to electricity attacks comes a tad too late, which may be the only trifle you guys have.
Then we get to Dominate Elemental. Having a completely dominated elemental at your service (not just an Air Elemental, but ANY Elemental, even the Omnimental or the Elemental Weirds or the Paraelementals or...heck, maybe even the Princes of Elemental Evil!) if they fail the (well-scaling) DC can be pretty brutal. A thing to note, though, is that elementals have generally poor Will saves, and if they have a decent bonus, that is because they have a lot of HD. Try nudging it down with effects like shaken, and you can have your own elemental at your control for a long while! This also works to take complete control of elementals bound to elemental galleons or airships, and it works almost always, so you can take control of any ship with bound elementals without really asking. Pretty nice effect if you ask me; certainly comparable to the ones from Cannith, Deneith or Vadalis...which should give you an idea of which Houses I favor.
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-19 at 04:04 AM.
- Join Date
- May 2009
Mark of Warding (House Kundarak)
Mark of Warding (House Kundarak)
Heraldic Creature: Manticore
Allies: House Sivis, Mror clans (+1)
Enemies: Indebted individuals (-2)
House Kundarak holds in its hands (or rather, its vaults) the entire fortune of Khorvaire (monetary fortune, to be clear). Once a group of fractured clans banished by their brethren, the Kundarak clan became the wardens of the dwarven territories until their barbaric ways ended, alongside those of the other clans who were likewise banished. This happened after conquest by Karrn, the legendary warrior that conquered all of Khorvaire in the name of Galifar, upon which the subjugated clans unified in a whole nation. Upon returning to their old strongholds, they found their lands devastated by their duergar cousins, and they found themselves relieved of their duties. With aid from house Sivis, the nascent house Kundarak offered their talent at protecting large structures, taking under their wing the valuables of many. The house eventually became a powerful financial institution, offering loans and letters of credit to many nations, and serving as a bank where gold, gems, art and treasures can be protected. Kundarak Wardens hold nigh-impenetrable wards littered with traps of their own construction (which they personally test), coupled with their magical wards to provide the best protection money can afford, which is always at their disposal as they hold a great amount of the continent’s fortunes.
Level Least Dragonmark Lesser Dragonmark Greater Dragonmark 1st -- -- +2 on Search checks 2nd -- +2 on Search checks Least Dragonmark Power 3rd -- -- Dexterity +1 4th +2 on Search checks Least Dragonmark Power Investigator 5th -- -- House affinity (Kundarak) +2 6th -- Dexterity +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power 7th -- -- +2 on Disable Device checks 8th Least Dragonmark Power Investigator Trapbusting 9th -- -- Intelligence +1 10th -- House affinity (Kundarak) +2 Tactile TrapsmithCAdv 11th -- -- House affinity (Kundarak) +4 12th Dexterity +1 Lesser Dragonmark Power Greater Dragonmark Power 13th -- -- +2 on Craft (trapsmith) checks 14th -- +2 on Disable Device checks Disenchanting picks 15th -- -- Constitution +1 16th Investigator Trapbusting Jury-rig trap 17th -- -- House affinity (Kundarak) +6 18th -- Intelligence +1 Dragonmark powers +1 19th -- -- +2 on Open Lock checks 20th House affinity (Kundarak) +2 Tactile TrapsmithCAdv Glyph transfer
Dragonmark Powers (Sp): A character with the Mark of Warding may choose one of the following spell-like abilities at each moment it gains a new dragonmark power.
Least: alarm 5/day or arcane lock 5/day or fire trap 5/day or misdirection 5/day
Lesser: explosive runes 3/day or glyph of warding 3/day or nondetection 3/day
Greater: greater glyph of warding 2/day or guards and wards 1/day
Dragonmark Secondary Powers: A character with the Mark of Warding gains the following minor powers.
Trapbusting (Ex): A character with the Mark of Warding may make Disable Device and Open Lock checks untrained. Furthermore, it may search for traps with a DC higher than 20, as if having the trapfinding class feature.
Disenchanting Picks (Su): A character with the Mark of Warding may use the Open Lock skill to unlock magically bound locks (such as those bound by arcane lock), but the check DC increases by 10.
Jury-Rig Trap (Ex): A character with the Mark of Warding that succeeds on disarming a trap may attempt to re-arm the trap as a full-round action with a successful Craft (trapmaking) check equal or higher than the original Disable Device check of the trap. A re-armed trap works as normal, except the Search and Disable Device check DCs decrease by 5 and the character that re-arms it can disable it again without making a Disable Device check.
Glyph Transfer (Su): A character with the Mark of Warding that successfully disarms a magic trap such as a glyph of warding or a symbol and bypasses the check by 10 or more can choose to suspend the effect of the spell and bind it to an object (such as an empty parchment or a stone slab). Thus, as a full-round action, the character may reactivate the trap on a different location it chooses, as if it had cast it on its own, but using the parameters of the original caster (such as the save DC, the remaining duration and the effect of the trap). This allows the character (and any allies it chooses) to become immune to the effects of the trap, but the original caster is likewise not affected.
Spoiler: CommentsI can't help but feel a tad sorry for the Wardens. With a name like that, you should expect a nice tank, compared to the Sentinel which you expect as a watchman. However, you instead get a bunch of guys who work magic traps and...are bankers? The reason why I feel sorry for them is that they're the only other Dragonmarked House (aside from Lyrandar, as mentioned above) that has offensive spells, but while the former have direct offensive spells, Kundarak Wardens have traps that take a lot of time and very few applications other than chokeholds. In that regard, I kept their flavor and tried to make them a bit better.
Ability score-wise, Wardens get bonuses similar to, of all houses, Cannith. This makes them great Rogues or Artificers, which seems to be their favored classes. Likewise, they get skills related to traps and other mechanical devices. Their feats make them use their Dexterity for Disable Device, thus freeing some skill points, and giving you near-superb chances of success with those skills.
Of their secondary powers, a good deal of them is to make them better at finding and disabling traps, but also to deal with some of the difficulties set to mundane trapsmiths and trapbusters. Trapbusting is essentially Trapfinding as a bloodline feature, but limited only to Dwarves; Disenchanting Picks helps erase the problem with Arcane Locks, while Jury-Rig Trap lets you re-set a trap you disamed just by the grit of your teeth. Glyph Transfer is a way to provide Kundarak scions with methods to set traps without the excessive amounts of time some of these spells require (though not with entire control of the set trap). The former two features make for a better trap disarmer, while the last feature provides some much-needed offensive punch.
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-19 at 04:42 AM.
- Join Date
- May 2009
Mark of Death (House Vol)
Mark of Death (House Vol)
Heraldic Creature: Unknown
The last true dragonmark, this mark belonged to House Vol. However, it is now extinct. Rumors speak of possible survivors holding the mark, the best known being Erandis d’Vol, the rumored spiritual leader of the Blood of Vol, but because of her current situation she is unable to use her powers. The powers and effects of the Mark of Death are yet unknown, and thus there’s no record of what powers and abilities they may have.
Spoiler: CommentsYeah, you should have expected that. The Mark of Death, just like the Day of Mourning, is that part of the "number 13 is mysterious" thing Eberron has. There's no official records of what the Mark of Death provides in any of the supplements, and virtually nothing is known other than the only survivor is a half-dragon lich. That, and that there may be a child with the Mark, but that's part of Eberron fiction which has never been as popular as books set in the Forgotten Realms (specifically those dealing with Drizzt or Elminster).
However, if for some strange and odd reason the Mark of Death was ever revealed, this would be the place where you'd see it.
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-19 at 04:49 AM.
- Join Date
- May 2009
Aberrant dragonmarks work in a very different way than regular dragonmarks. At their core, they behave mostly like regular dragonmarks: they have a defined progression much like regular ones, with the exception of Siberys-equivalent marks, in terms of the feat requirements to get the abilities. However, while true dragonmarks often share similar characteristics, aberrant dragonmarks are completely unpredictable. Aberrant dragonmarks don’t necessarily share the same theme; while some of the powers are related to fire, fear, plague and others, some may be completely inoffensive, and the least power doesn’t have to correlate to the lesser one. Aberrant dragonmarks appear without warning; a child of two people with aberrant dragonmarks may manifest none at all, and if they do, might not manifest the same powers of its parents at all.
Translating into a bloodline, thus, is a challenge for aberrant dragonmarks, as retaining the feats isn’t entirely viable for characters but each aberrant is far too different to each other to standardize into a bloodline. The best way to handle it, thus, is noticing two main concepts of aberrant dragonmarks:
- The power of aberrant dragonmarks is innately destructive, both to the target and to the user. Thus, part of the bloodline’s benefits include minimizing the risks of using the dragonmark, so that users of minor dragonmarks have less risks but less capabilities to resist it, while more powerful dragonmarks are more dangerous but can be resisted better (and allow least dragonmarks to essentially be used without problems).
- Aberrant dragonmarks are still feared. Part of the abilities they acquire must be focused on the fear they inspire, which is a constant on any and all dragonmarked characters.
Aberrants (Independent, House Tarkanan)
Race: Dwarf, Elf, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Halfling, Human, Gnome
Heraldic Creature: Beholder (House Tarkanan only)
Allies: Aberrant dragonmarked, House Tarkanan (+1)
Enemies: All dragonmarked houses, minor communities (-2)
Level Least Dragonmark Lesser Dragonmark Greater Dragonmark 1st -- -- +2 on Intimidate checks 2nd -- +2 on Intimidate checks Least Aberrant Power 3rd -- -- Charisma +1 4th +2 on Intimidate checks Least Aberrant Power Aberrant resilience 5th -- -- Aberrant affinity +2 6th -- Charisma +1 Lesser Aberrant Power 7th -- -- +2 on Bluff checks 8th Least Aberrant Power Aberrant resilience Aberrant fortitude 9th -- -- Constitution +1 10th -- Aberrant affinity +2 Bonus aberrant feat 11th -- -- Aberrant affinity +4 12th Charisma +1 Lesser Aberrant Power Greater Aberrant Power 13th -- -- +2 on Disguise checks 14th -- +2 on Bluff checks Greater aberrant resilience 15th -- -- Ability score +1 16th Aberrant resilience Aberrant fortitude Hide dragonmark 17th -- -- Aberrant affinity +6 18th -- Constitution +1 Greater aberrant fortitude 19th -- -- +2 on Sleight of Hand checks 20th Aberrant affinity +2 Bonus aberrant feat Aberrant power +1
Aberrant Powers: All aberrant dragonmarked may choose one of the following spell-like abilities each time they gain a new aberrant power. All aberrant dragonmark powers have a backlash, which the character suffers based on their aberrant dragonmark caster level; these effects are indicated on parenthesis. The caster levels for each aberrant bloodline are indicated after each degree of power; the character uses the highest caster level available.
Least (1 + 1/four levels): acid arrow 3/day (1 point of acid damage/2 CL), bane 5/day (-1 penalty to Will saves), burning hands 5/day (1 point of fire damage/2 CL), chill touch 3/day (1 point of cold damage per touch), darkness 5/day (Will DC 10 or become dazzled for 1 round), doom 5/day (Will DC 10 or become shaken for 1 round), ghoul touch 5/day (Fortitude DC 10 or become sickened for 1 round), inflict light wounds (1 point of negative energy damage/2 CL), lesser confusion 5/day (Will DC 10 or dazed for 1 round), produce flame 3/day (1 point of fire damage/minute), shatter 5/day (1 point of sonic damage/2 CL)
Lesser (1 + 1/two levels): bestow curse 2/day (-3 penalty to Will saves), confusion 3/day (Will DC 15 or dazed for 1 round), contagion 3/day (Fortitude DC 15 or become sickened for 5 rounds), deeper darkness 3/day (Will DC 15 or become dazzled for 1 minute), fear 3/day (Will DC 15 or become shaken for 1 round), fireball 3/day (1 point of fire damage/CL), inflict serious wounds (1 point of negative energy damage/CL), poison 3/day (1 point of acid damage/CL), vampiric touch 3/day (Fortitude DC 15 or become vulnerable to conjuration [healing] spells for 1 round)
Greater (1/level): acid fog 1/day (1 point of acid damage/CL), cloudkill 1/day (Fortitude save DC 20 or 1 point of Constitution damage), enervation 2/day (1 point of negative energy damage/HD), eyebite 2/day (Will DC 20 or become frightened for 1 round), feeblemind 1/day (Will DC 20 or stunned for 1 round), flame strike 2/day (1 point of fire damage/CL plus 1 point of untyped damage/CL), mass inflict light wounds 2/day (1 point of negative energy damage/CL; take 1 point of bleeding damage/four CL for 1 minute), phantasmal killer 1/day (Will DC 20 or become frightened for 1 round)
Aberrant Secondary Powers: A character with an aberrant dragonmark gains the following minor powers:
Aberrant Resilience (Su): A character with an aberrant dragonmark learns to withstand the backlash effects of its powers. The character gains resistance 5 against all backlash damage taken when using aberrant powers, which also applies against aberrant powers used against it. As well, the character gains a +1 bonus to natural armor.
Aberrant Fortitude (Ex): A character with an aberrant dragonmark learns to withstand the physical and mental repercussions of its powers. The character gains a +2 bonus on all Fortitude and Will saves to resist the effects of aberrant powers (both those the character uses, and those that affect the character).
Bonus Aberrant Feat: A character with an aberrant dragonmark learns to improve the power it acquires from it. The character gains a bonus feat from the list of feats appearing in the Dragonmarked supplement that apply to aberrant dragonmarked. The character must fulfill the prerequisites to gain the feat, as usual.
Greater Aberrant Resilience (Su): A character with an aberrant dragonmark learns to withstand furthermore the effects of its powers, which manifests against all other kinds of powers. The character gains resistance 20 against all backlash damage taken when using aberrant powers, which also applies against aberrant powers used against it. The character also gains resistance 5 to acid and fire attacks.
Hide Dragonmark (Su): A character with an aberrant dragonmark can subsume its dragonmark. As a move action, the character can hide its dragonmark, rendering it undetectable by mundane means. Against magical or supernatural means, the character is effectively treated as having spell resistance 15 + its class level, even if the spell bypasses spell resistance. The effect lasts until the character manifests a dragonmark power. This effect may be used at-will.
Greater Aberrant Fortitude (Ex): A character with an aberrant dragonmark learns to further withstand the physical and mental repercussions of its powers, which manifests against all other kinds of powers. The character gains a +5 bonus on all Fortitude and Will saves to resist the effect of aberrant powers (both those the character uses, and those that affect the character). Furthermore, the character gains a +2 bonus on all Fortitude and Will saves it makes, which doesn’t stack with the bonus against aberrant powers.
Spoiler: CommentsJust as I dealt with True Dragonmarks, Aberrant Dragonmarks get their own bloodline. While I could make several variants, I decided to make a flexible one that everyone could work with, providing a wide amount of choices. Between the choice of bonus aberrant (dragonmark) feat and choice of ability score increase, you can bet there'll be no two same aberrants.
Mostly, aberrants are geared towards a certain degree of optimization of resources. Charisma boosts their SLAs save DC, whereas Constitution increases HP and Fortitude save bonus, which is good to resist the majority of the backlash effects of the SLAs. The secondary abilities also aid on resisting the backlash effect: the ability to resist some of the damage, succeed on the necessary saves, and finally get a way to resist detection. Finally, the choice of skill bonuses helps them hide their mark and dissuade people from harming them, because of the power of their mark (and the stigma behind it).
This leads to, of course, the Dragonmark Powers, or the SLAs they provide. You'll notice a great deal of them are offensive spells, or spells that are meant to cause pain or weakening. All of them, as per the original version, have a backlash effect, but each backlash effect is customized to the power you gain. You can gain ANY power (without necessarily incurring on a theme); the backlash, likewise, shouldn't be limited to one effect. Most people won't like the backlash effect (even if for some effects is really minor), but it's a necessary evil to compensate for effects like Bestow Curse or Phantasmal Killer.
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-19 at 03:45 PM.
- Join Date
- May 2009
NPCs and Dragonmarks
NPCS AND DRAGONMARKS
One of the key aspects of Eberron is its lack of high-level characters, and how even low-level characters can be considered legendary heroes on their own right. The power of dragonmarks, thus, is accessible at early levels by means of feats, with greater dragonmarks manifesting at 8th-9th level (either by means of feats, or through the dragonmarked heir prestige class, which can be accessed as early as 4th level). The idea behind making dragonmarks as bloodlines was to provide options for characters to save their feats, even if they sacrifice class levels (though gaining pseudo-character levels in exchange), but their access to greater dragonmarks are delayed.
NPCs, by virtue of being mostly low-level characters, don’t have that advantage. Many of them will rarely reach their first actual dragonmark power with a least dragonmark, pretty much forcing them into greater dragonmark bloodline progression: something that should be unusual. Furthermore, not all characters will desire to enter dragonmark heir to gain their powers, and certainly not NPCs either.
There are two solutions to the problem. The first is based on what already exists: the Least Dragonmark, Lesser Dragonmark and Greater Dragonmark feats still exist, but are limited only to NPCs. This allows dragonmarked NPCs to gain dragonmark powers earlier than the norm, sacrificing their feats instead of their class levels. This isn’t the best idea, as they still sacrifice feats to acquire their powers, which can be a problem if they’re built for combat. However, it is still an option. If using this option, adjust as follows:
- The Least Dragonmark feat allows the choice of a single Least Dragonmark Power, which can be used from 3-5 times per day. The character has a caster level of 1st, and increases the caster level by 1 every four character levels (4th, 8th, 12th, etc.)
- The Lesser Dragonmark feat allows the choice of a single Lesser Dragonmark Power, which can be used from 2-3 times per day. Furthermore, the character can use its Least Dragonmark Power one more time per day. The character has a caster level of 3rd, and increases the caster level by 1 every two character levels (8th, 10th, 12th, etc.)
- The Greater Dragonmark feat allows the choice of a single Greater Dragonmark Power, which can be used from 3-5 times per day. Furthermore, the character can use its Least and Lesser Dragonmark Powers one more time per day. The character has a caster level equal to its character level.
- Siberys Dragonmarks, as usual, are very rare. Only by the Heir of Siberys prestige class (or, as presented below, as a NPC-exclusive unique ability) they can acquire a dragonmark of this kind.
The second method is to treat each dragonmarked power as a unique ability, as presented in the Dungeon Master’s Guide II. As unique abilities, they can be added to NPCs without sacrificing anything, at any level they desire (even 1st level!), only having an increase in CR. Through this option, a character can gain dragonmark powers out of order. If using this method, treat as follows:
- Least Dragonmarks grant the character the ability to use a single Least Dragonmark Power, with a caster level of 1st, which increases by 1 every four character levels. Only the proper dragonmarked races can gain this ability (thus, only a human can gain powers from the Mark of Making, Mark of Handling, Mark of Passage and Mark of Sentinel, for example). This unique ability increases the character’s CR by 1.This unique ability may be acquired more than once, but only grants a new power from the same mark (thus, if a human took a power from the Mark of Making, it may only choose a power from the Mark of Making, not one from the Marks of Handling, Passage or Sentinel).
- Lesser Dragonmarks grant the character the ability to use a single Lesser Dragonmark Power, with a caster level of 1st, which increases by 1 every two character levels. This unique ability increases the character’s CR by 2. This unique ability may be acquired one more time, but only grants a new power from the same mark; otherwise, it behaves like a Least Dragonmark.
- Greater Dragonmarks grant the character the ability to use a single Greater Dragonmark Power, with a caster level equal to their character level. This unique ability increases the character’s CR by 3. This unique ability may only be chosen once; otherwise, it behaves like a Least Dragonmark.
- Siberys Dragonmarks can be granted as unique abilities without entering the Heir of Siberys class. This unique ability grants the character the ability to use the Siberys power of its Dragonmark once per day, with a caster level equal to its character level. This ability may only be chosen by characters with a character level of 9th or higher, and increase the character’s CR by 1.
- If using dragonmarks as unique abilities instead of bloodlines, their level adjustment for PCs is as follows: Least - +1 LA, Lesser - +2 LA, Greater - +4 LA. Siberys Dragonmarks cannot be acquired by player characters by these means. Because of this effect, it is more favorable to enter the bloodlines instead of gaining them as unique abilities, but the latter has the chance of LA buy-off, which may be just as desirable. The DM has the final hearsay on the matter, though it is recommendable that the characters either use the feat option or the bloodline option.
Spoiler: CommentsWith all these changes, comes the question: what about NPCs? Particularly on Eberron, which is meant to be a campaign setting designed with low-level adventuring in mind, requiring 12th level for the good powers may seem preposterous, particularly when the feats granted them 4 levels earlier.
Thus, in the case of NPCs, they can choose to get the Dragonmark powers without delving in the bloodline itself. The first is the "traditional" option: just add the feats to the character and call it a day. You won't get the secondary powers of the bloodline, but you'll definitely get the primary ones, and the skill bonus to its primary skill as well. In that regard, you can have an NPC with a Least Dragonmark power at 1st level (rather than 2nd), without having to invest in the Greater Dragonmark bloodline. Same for the Lesser Dragonmark option.
The second uses another optional rule, this time from the Dungeon Master's Guide II: unique abilities. This allows them to get the powers without expending feats, but adjusting their CR in a likely manner. Certainly, some caution has to be exercised: a CR 1 Human Warrior with the Least, Lesser and Greater Dragonmarks would count as a CR 7 character, but it certainly doesn't behave like one. On the other hand, a CR 4 Human Fighter with a Least and Lesser Dragonmark certainly can be a challenge to ECL 7 parties, because the two SLAs they gain can counteract some of their tactics.
Of course, you're free to mix and match if you feel like it. For example: If you feel that a 10th level character with the Least Dragonmark bloodline should get the Lesser Dragonmark feat and the Greater Dragonmark as a unique ability, then by all means go ahead! Just...mind the choices. Progressing the Greater Dragonmark bloodline should disqualify you from the enabling feats (but not the feats that require Dragonmarks), and you shouldn't double-down on unique abilities and feats.
Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-12-19 at 03:57 PM.
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- May 2009
Dragonmarked Prestige Classes - Dragonmarked Heir
(Reserved for Dragonmarked Heir)
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- May 2009
Dragonmarked Prestige Classes - Heir of Siberys
(Reserved for Heir of Siberys)
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- May 2009
Dragonmarked Prestige Classes - Child of Khyber
(Reserved for Child of Khyber)
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- May 2009
(Reserved for Dragonmarked feat changes and miscellaneous content)
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- May 2009
Re: Dragonmarks as Bloodlines
(And one more for good measure)