Uncommon Birthrights of Atheria: Part I

   First up for today, it’s a few more of the Atherian Birthrights. On Atheria, the lands and seas are divided into a variety of magical Domains, each the province of a different type of magic. Creatures born in a particular Domain are infused with that sort of magic – their Birthrights. Most of the major Domains are covered on the the Races of Atheria page – but there are minor domains as well. Here are a few of them.

   Characters for the setting use the abilities from Eclipse: The Codex Persona, a classless d20 system (also available in a shareware version HERE).

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Absolute Command Birthright (South of the Thousand Peaks)

  • Inherent Spells: 4xL1 (6 CP), 4x L2 (12 CP), 4x L3 (11 CP): Specialized and Corrupted: Only usable to power Theurgy, immediate commands only, requires a fortitude save at +4 against the user’s own spell to avoid fatigue. Net cost: 10 CP. Caster Level = User’s Level
  • Reflex Action with +3 Bonus Uses: Specialized in Theurgy (12 Uses/Day, 11 CP)
  • Mastery x2 (all Theurgy Verb Skills) (8 CP): Specialist, Immediate commands only: No long-term enchantments, no duration spells, etc. No triggered or waiting effects, etc. Corrupted: Requires a Will save against fatigue. Double Effect (May “Take 20”), 2/3’rds cost.
  • Resist: +2 on saving throws against Mental Effects, Corrupted: Mind Control Only (2 CP).

   “Immediate Commands Only” restricts these spell effects to immediate and relatively simple effects. Typical “spells” of absolute command include things like – “Burn!” “Begone!” “Shatter!” and “Heal!”. Commands have little or no duration, cannot produce multiple or complex effects, and cannot create delayed effects. They are also very tiring to use, given the tremendous focus of will that they require. Still, they are also very fast – making them both an excellent defensive technique and very useful to adventurers.

   Fortunately, Theurgy requires the ability to speak, at least a basic comprehension of how the world functions, a clear sense of self, and a reasonable degree of focus. Most children will not begin working even simple spells until they are at least five, and they will not fully master their Birthrights for some years after that. This doesn’t eliminate magical casualties in childhood, but it does tend to hold them down to a relatively modest percentage.

   Creatures of the Domain come in two basic varieties. The vast majority are simply animals, with latent Birthrights. Those awakened to sentience – an effect which is more common here than elsewhere, and occasionally occurs spontaneously – seem to gain the same abilities as Humans do.

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Divination (The Dain Peninsula, Northeast of HuSung)

  • Double Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted (Occult Senses only, triple effect/6 CP) (6 CP).
  • Immunity/Most of the time normally required to swap Enthusiast Points, reducing it to 3d6 minutes (Common / Minor / Major, 6 CP).
  • Occult Ritual (6 CP)
  • 2x Adept/All Knowledge Skills (12 CP)
  • Enthusiast: Specialized in Knowledge Skills (1 CP).

   The Divination Birthright is relatively subtle. It does not provide strange powers or high-level abilities at first – but it does provide a gift of understanding, as well as the ability for its bearers to adjust their perceptions for a wide variety of purposes. On Atheria, where knowledge is literally power, at high levels it may be the most potent Birthright of them all.

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Venom (The open ocean, south of the Negation and Absolute Command Domains)

  • 4 Levels of Wilder Power Progression: Specialized for double effect/8 effective levels: Venom Powers Only. Base Power: 58 + (Con Mod x 4). All powers cost 5 Power each to invoke: Bestow Curse, Poison Touch (damages attributes), Venomous Whisper (a social poison which disrupts influences, relationships, and reputations), Disruption Touch (disrupts magical and psychic abilities), and Corruption (inflicts damage) (24 CP). The save DC is normally (13+Con Mod).
  • Resist/+4 Bonus to Saves versus Poison (6 CP).
  • +3 Knowledge Speciality/Poisons and Toxins (1 CP).

   The venom domain is usually fatal at birth or shortly thereafter, whether because the child is unable to control the disruptive power flooding his or her body, because of accidently killing the mother in reaction to the stressed of birth, or due to being abandoned or killed when it becomes apparent that this infant – if upset or injured – can kill with a touch and is not yet sensible enough to exercise discretion in using that power. As with most Birthrights, it’s possible to play a character with a Venom Birthright: it just requires that something odd happened. Perhaps someone was experimenting, took a pregnant slave girl out to the domain and then took special precautions in raising the child so as to find out what the Birthright was like. Alternatively, someone could have given birth while adrift, at sea, or some such and gotten really really lucky – or had good advice early on.

   Unsurprisingly, the primary creatures of the Venom Domain are those which hatch from eggs, and most of its inhabitants are virulently poisonous. Fortunately, the domain is isolated by the even more dangerous domains about it, restraining the spread of such creatures.

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Warding Birthright (The Thousand Peaks)

  • Innate Enchantment (17,000 GP Value, 18 CP. All spells use-activated, base caster level one, 2000 GP each): Shield (+4 Shield Bonus to AC), Least Spell Resistance (6+Level, 13 Max), Lesser Energy Resistance (5 to all, 10 at Level 6+), Warding Rune (1+Level/3, +4 Max, Resistance Bonus to all Saves), Environmental Protection (fends off toxic gases and such. If no breathable atmosphere is available at all, the air bubble will run out in half an hour or so of minor activities, +4 Circumstance Bonus on relevant saves), Shield of Faith (+2 + Level/6 up to +5 at 18+ deflection bonus to AC), Rune of Defense (provides your armor or clothing with a +2 enhancement bonus increasing to +3 at Level 6+), Flesh Ward (+2/- Physical DR), and Outreach (provides the previous spells, but only those spells [half cost], with Short range – allowing all of them except Shield to be shared with the rest of the group).
  • Empowerment Specialized in Innate Enchantments, Corrupted: Birthright Powers Only (All innate spells have an effective caster level equal to the character’s level, 4 CP)
  • Immunity/Dispelling (Common/Minor/Major, Specialized: Only protects the Innate Enchantment functions, and only on the Birthright user, 3 CP).
  • Immunity/Divination (Common/Minor/Major: covers effects of up to level five, 6 CP).

   The Warding Birthright isn’t as obvious as some – but it offers a remarkable degree of protection from a wide variety of threats and will – if the bearer wills it – protect those nearby as well. This makes it an extremely potent benefit to a group. Unfortunately, in most settings, it gets less useful later on, since most of its benefits won’t stack with other defensive powers and items.

   Creatures of this domain simply tend to be very, very, well defended. There are few predators here; virtually every animal is well enough protected to make attempting to survive by hunting a losing game, although there are scavengers and creatures that will eat unattended eggs and such if they can find any. As a sort of corollary, most animals here are relatively tame and unafraid.

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2 Responses

  1. The divination and venom birthrights I find very intriguing and I think would be fun to play some time. Ah well.

  2. […] +0 ECL Atherian Races/Magical Birthrights*: Blood, Crystal, Death, Dimensional, Elemental, Forest/Plant, Ice, Illusion, Life, Light, Lunar, Order, Shadow, Solar, Totemism, and Dragon, Absolute Command, Divination, Venom, and Warding. […]

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