Front Cover Table of Contents Introduction Chapter 1: Half-breeds in your Campaign Chapter 2: Specific Half-Breeds Half-breeds at a Glance Aellar Alicorn. The d20 core rules let you play half-orcs and half-elves, but why stop there? Bastards & Bloodlines gives you nearly 30 new half-races to play. Bastards & Bloodlines: A Guidebook to Halfbreeds (Races of Renown) [Owen K. C. Races of Destiny (Dungeon & Dragons d20 Fantasy Roleplaying).
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Annd 1 to 10 of Join Date Apr Posts 2, Bastards and Bloodlines The d20 core rules let you play half-orcs and half-elves, but why stop there? Over a dozen new templates, including half-medusas and half-beholders, add even more options to the mix. There are lots of game rules for new half-bred bloodlinss, a new type of magic and plenty of templates.
Despite all the numbers and dice in the pages the book is pleasant and easy to read. The introduction contains an intelligent discussion on the merits and flaws of having half-breeds in your campaign world.
Each half-bred race introduced by the book has an introduction which explains why or how the half-bred race came into being divine magic, polymorph spell, sexual compatibility, etca nicely written description which accompanies excellent artwork for eachplenty of information on the racial demeanor, typical backgrounds for members of the race and their role as adventurers.
The stats include favoured class often the first thing forgotten by third party publishers and level adjustment notes for powerful half-breeds.
D&D 3.5 bastards and bloodline
No one will call the houri half elf, half nymphpiper half halfling, half satyror trixie half gnome, half pixie freaky though. I already look out for the name Macbin on books chiefly thanks to Spaceship Zero. The Specific Half-Breed chapter is about half of the book. It finishes on page 63 and with the Wyrd nice name: That means a level one Wyrd is about equal to a level 7 “normal” character.
One of the reasons your players will read the book and opine “Cool! The good news for the GM is that all these ELs are nicely summarised in tables at the back of the book along with other charts. The most important thing, in my mind, in the Specific Half-Breed chapter is that, again and again, I found myself thinking o O “Yes, I can see that half-breed in play.
I can use that. This is an important success. The summary tables at the back and the high Effective Levels are just two symptoms of this. The templates cater to the stranger of the half-breeds differentiating between half-bred and crossbred, even. I scoffed at the half-elemental too and then read it.
The making your own half-breed chapter can be rather bloodlinew summarised as “use your best judgement. Bastards and Bloodlines offers up some help, some guidance and then swiftly moves on. There are new feats and prestige classes in Bastards. These feats and prestige classes are undeniably best suited to half-breeds. The premise is simple; you have to have the right heritage to cast the spell.
A great GM tool to boot. Bastards and Bloodlines is a rare thing. Crossbreeding seem to be as inevitable as they are inappropriate. Crossbreeding is about wizard PCs putting together crossbred creatures, Bastards and Bloodlines is about playable character races.
Bastards & Bloodlines
The work of Owen K. Stephens isn’t unknown on the net. Why, just over here, http: How does the actual book hold out in play though? It gets off to a good start with some ideas on how and why to incorporate these new races into the campaign, as well as some ideas on how to model a new campaign based off the strangeness of the races presented here. The majority of the book is dedicated to providing us with new half breed races. Each race starts off with name, parent races, size, common information, appearance, demeanor, background, adventurers, and ends with racial traits.
Most of these headings are self explanatory. Adventurers provides a paragraph or two about how these characters might start their adventuring career and how they fit into a regular party. The racial traits include the stat modifications, size, base speed, special abilities, favored class, and level adjustment. Special abilities are fairly standard in most casses like racial bonuses to skill checks or minor spell like abilities as a free action. The breakdown happens at higher levels.
Because all of the races here are 1 HD races, bawtards Ogres, Trolls, and Bugbears who get bonus hit points, feats, and skill points, the creatures are perhaps a little too easy to kill. Game Masters might want to add some base hit points and abilities to these creatures. Not necessarily a bad thing, but when the author does templates like half-titans, they get a CR rating and a Level Adjustment.
Bastards and Bloodlines
Rarely is this number the same. Big difference in the experience awarded for killing the creature and for one trying to gain levels. The book doesn’t just focus on templates and races though. We also get ideas on how to make our own half breeds with advice on advancing challenge ratings and level adjustment factors, as well how how to determine if a race is suitable for players.
Those looking for more mechanical crunch will enjoy the bloodline feats. Most often these act to augment part of a being’s natural arsenal like bite or claws or to grant the character the abilities of one of his parent races like Elven Senses. Those looking for prestige classes to truly make their characters different have more options here. The Autarkic is a survivor with abilities geared towards avoiding being hit and the hit points to survive being hit.
The Brood Sorcerer blend their heritage towards new abilities in the field of magic and get brood powers every other level. These abilities function as metamagic feats. The Brood Champion, a leader whose abilities with her natural heritage makes them dangerous combatants are the opposite of the Changeling who seeks strength in having numerous forms.
While the section on spells and magic items isn’t vast, it does provide new options. The Blood Spells require the caster to have a specific ability or heritage and add a nice touch to the game without being overbalanced.
The weapon properties include Angered, an orc property, that provides a bonus to strength and constitution when in a barbarian rage to Strafing, a halfling property that allows the thrown weapon to utilize the full attack action. Editing is good as is the use of white space. Layout is standard two-column. What makes the book are the visuals. James Ryman, Toren Atkinson and Julian Allen don’t provide a single bad or even ‘okay’ piece of work.
Those looking for new options that weren’t satisfied by the Book of Templates should definitely consider this book in their quest. Join Date Jan Location Co. Wexford, Ireland Posts This is not a playtest review. Font and margins are fairly standard, though the font used for titles and subtitles takes the equivalent of two or three standard lines. There is little wasted space one ad at the back.
As the back cover proclaims, the art is very evocative, and the various half-breeds are all illustrated alongside the text sections. The writing style is engaging, and the editing generally sound. Halfbreeds In Your Campaign This chapter looks at the logistics behind the existence of more half-breeds than just half-orcs and half-elves.
Further discussion looks at the role of the half-breed in society and offers a dozen or so roleplaying archetypes e. Unlike Mongoose’s archetypes, these have no game-related advantages or disadvantages. Specific Half-Breeds This chapter offers twenty-eight specific half-breeds and includes information on appearance, demeanour, background, suggestions for why these half-breeds might be found adventuring, and game rules for racial traits including favoured class and level adjustment.
All of them are based on at least one humanoid parent.
D&D bastards and bloodline – [PDF Document]
A set of tables at the beginning of the chapter summarises ECL, Ability adjustments, parents’ races, lifespans, and height and weight. Making More Crossbreeds Most of this chapter uses templates to create such crossbreeds as half-beholders, half-doppelgangers, half-vampires, and half-elementals.
The remainder of the chapter gives advice on designing your own half-breeds, discussing the differences in outcome between using the template system as this book does or an averaging of stats which Mongoose’s ‘Crossbreeding’ product does.
The advice mainly centres on template design with a few generalised paragraphs on melding creature’s stats. Using The Blood This chapter begins with a range of bloodline feats – feats that are usually taken at 1st level and are only available to certain races. For example, the Elven Senses feat is only available to those with some elven blood running through their veins and already have a racial bonus to Listen, Search and Spot checks.
There are also a number of general feats that are available to any race but give benefits related to a racial ability or quality. Four level prestige classes are presented available to half-breeds only: They also gain school specialisation. Fifteen new spells are also provided which require certain racial blood to be flowing through one’s veins to be able to cast.
Magic items with similar restrictions are offered such as the dwarven stonecutting weapon, and the gnomish ioun gem that holds ioun stones inconspicuously but still allows them to function. The book ends with a summary of the tables from the book and an index. This product really opens up the possibilities for playing half-breed PCs or creating half-breed NPCs. Mixing standard PC races and ‘savage’ species provides a proliferation of choice for GMs and players who like to play something a little different.
The feats, spells and magic items specifically designed for half-breeds expand these possibilities further by allowing a player to revel in his choice rather than regret it. As the author decided to use the template system or otherwise create half-breed creatures, and despite the explanation of logic at the beginning of the product, I sometimes found my suspension of disbelief crashing to the ground as I tried to imagine the processes of crossbreeding between two very different species.
Whilst some of the mixes seemed reasonable, others seemed to stretch the imagination to breaking point. Maybe my imagination is lacking or maybe I just don’t want to go therebut sex between a treant and an elf, a beholder and a hill giant, etc. But, horses for corsairs, and all that – others may find it fine.
In addition, the section on creating your own half-breeds came over weaker than the actual examples given. Unlike Mongoose’s ‘Crossbreeding’, the rules given here are more nebulous and less helpful, leaving a lot to the GM’s judgement. Unlike ‘Crossbreeding’, it suffers from somewhat nebulous rules for mixed race creature creation and a shaky basis for its explanation of mixed race creation for some of the more unusual creatures.