by Jacob

Steal This Character: Blood Mage

This Steal This article is a little bit different for me than the others I’ve posted. It’s less of a character idea than it is a class idea, but I didn’t want to make a whole new category on the Steal This… page :). I came up with this idea at least 3 years ago, and a very similar idea is going to be used in the setting that Delos and I are working on, and you’ll probably hear about that in the coming months.

I’m not doing a full write-up up the class here; I’m just explaining the principles behind it so that you can try to emulate or build it in whatever system you’re playing.

I’ll do a write-up for the class in D&D Next later in the month, so stay tuned.

Origin

The biggest reason this class even came into being is because I noticed a trend in caster classes in D&D: none have Constitution as the major stat, and very few even suggest it as a secondary. I thought that this was preposterous, so I tried to think of a reason why Constitution would be used as a main power behind the caster’s power.

Explanation

The explanation came to me as blood magic. The caster’s power comes from within, from a precious resource: their own blood. They bleed themselves in order to use their power. This allows for the higher hit point count that comes from the high constitution to be partially nullified. You do still want the hit points to be relatively high, though, since I envision the caster to be a near-melee caster anyway. But, if you take this idea and toy with it, you obviously don’t need to restrict yourself to my whims. Feel free to tweak what it means to be a blood mage all you want.

So what can a blood mage do? Well, I’d like most of their abilities to be self-buffs and short-range bursts of magic, so that’s most of what you’ll see in my write-up later this month.

There are two main ways that blood magic can be used: through sheer magic and through rune drawings made of blood (think of Full Metal Alchemist when Ed made the circle with his blood to bring Al back). Sheer magic is faster, but weaker, since it doesn’t have a focus. Blood runes are slower and sometimes take more blood, but more powerful, thanks to the rune focus.

That’s All?

I guess there’s not a lot more I can tell you without being very implementation-specific. I’ll leave the rest open to you so that you can do what you want with it, and so that I can save the specifics for the class write-up.

Do you want some Aspect suggestions?  How about “Blood Is Power”, “Pain Is Power”, “Crimson Magician”, “I Bleed For <insert ideal, cause, people/person, or some other motivation here>”, or “Scarred By Power”.

New to Steal This…?

If you’re new to the Steal This… series, go to the Steal This… manifesto and archives to find out what it’s about or to see the other Steal This… articles.





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