Birthright is probably the most geniously constructed campaign world out there. Most of the rules are complicated and apply only to Birthright. In Birthright, a player has three options: Be an unblooded character (and lead an unpreductive, boring, restrictive life), be a blooded noble, or a blooded regent. Those with blood abilities are linked to thier land and it gives its regent regency, which allows the regent to preform actions for his realm/area of control.
This is my current favorite world, better than Dark Sun, because it doesn't give me too much control (although I do enjoy playing Dark Sun, it is a pain to DM, but then again, so is Birthright).
Blood abilities are cool. They are yet another way to get a powerful
character, and you won't find a blooded beings on Athas!
Here's a brief description:
About two thousand years ago, the gods roamed the planet. This was a time when, (on Cerilia,) elves controlled the forests and dwarves the mountains. Humans came from far off continents, fleeing the shadow god, Azrai. They found Cerilia, a forest-covered continent, and started settling it. The humans fought off the elves with strange magics unseen to the elves; the priestly powers. Soon, much of Cerilia was void of forests. Anuire had only a small remaint of the once large Aelvinwode, the Sielwode, and the Erbenian. The other parts of Cerilia had also lost some forests; Khisani's Tarvan Waste is a good example.
Then, Azrai returned. He found that the Vos, the Elves, and the gnolls, goblins, and giants were happy to join him in ridding the world of humans. (Well, the Vos were really tricked by Azrai, and they later changed sides. The elves just wanted humans out of their lives, and enjoyed Azrai's priestly powers, but they soon realized that Azrai was true evil, and so they also changed sides.) Azrai also had thousands of evils from the shadow plane pouring out of Aduria, into Cerilia over a land bridge that became the Straights of Aerele.
Eventually, there was a huge battle at Mount Deismarr, on the land bridge between Aduria and Anuire. The gods themselves teamed and came to the mountain to fight Azrai. The end result was that all of the gods died and the threat of the shadow world was ended. The divine power that exploded from the gods was distributed to the armies. The closer the soldier, the more energy s/he got. Each god had a champion, who was closest to his or her god. These champions became the new gods.
One champion, Haelyn, champion of Adurias, had a brother who was also close to the battle. He became the emperor of the Anurian Empire, and He was patron to a great and powerful family line, named Roele, after him. The last known Roele was Michael Roele, who died fighting the most powerful Awnsheglian (Azrai had no one campion [if he did, then it was this awnsheg], so his derivation is the most powerful, leaving its most powerful with physical technicalities such as becoming a beast), The Gorgon. After the death of Michael Roele, the empire collapsed.
Blooded beings have the powers left to them by their ancestors, who absorbed it from the gods at the Battle of Mount Deismarr (or through investiture). There are all kinds of abilities; affinities with animals, resistance to elements, even regeneration. The amount of abilities one gets is up to his bloodline strength, which can be anywhere from one to infinity. The Gorgon has the most of those that I have seen, ranking about 120.
There are a few good novels in this series, my friends say that all of them are good. For newcomers, I recommend the book The Iron Throne.
Birthright Internet Pages:
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