Paragon is a whole new take on the HDL system, with dramatically expanded rules, a complete magic system, integrated cybernetics rules, and most importantly, a totally revamped Active Delay combat system. Under the hood, it’s still the best of the original HDL system, with point-based character creation, customizable characters with Backgrounds and Weaknesses, cards for both character-building and in-game effects, and the underlying HDL dice mechanic. But the new Paragon rules take the game to new heights, expanding rules to 334 full-color pages.
The world of the 2160s is a different place, rife with mega-corporations, political machinations, lawless outlands, powerful mecha, and genetic engineering gone out of control. The clouds of a new world war are gathering in the distance, as every corner of the globe clings desperately to the last vestige of what makes up its way of life. Civilization struggles to retain what makes it human, while the engineered nation of Neutopia strives to control it all under the watchful eye of its flawless society.
Is this truly a perfect horizon?
Opening one’s eyes after falling asleep can mean different things to different people. For most, it means awakening to reality. For a few rare individuals, it could mean awakening to a dream; a lucid experience limited only by imagination, but still belonging to the world we know as reality. But when a dream is reality, how does one tell the difference?
We’ve gone ahead and created a Quickstart Guide for the Paragon system, and made it available for free through DriveThruRPG. Head on over there and snag it!
The upcoming Demongate High, Second Edition includes not only almost 20 player-character archetypes, but a slew of new Backgrounds, Weaknesses, and other options. This week, we’re looking at a couple of the new Backgrounds, particularly the inherited Bloodlines.
Most supernatural abilities are inherited, but some bloodlines carry with them additional power. A character can only have one bloodline power; even if such families cross-breed, only one power seems to be dominant and inherited, usually (and strangely) the weaker one. While these abilities vary widely, the examples given can be useful for gauging the power of new ones that come along.
Accommodator (2 points, bloodline)
Members of this family line have an affinity for the souls of humans separated from their bodies. They have the ability to synchronize with stored souls, gaining access to that soul’s memories and powers. This soul must be worn or carried, and the Accommodator can only have one at a time. As long as they carry the soul, they can make KNO checks to access any memory of that soul (at a DIF set by the Narrator, typically 10), and gain the ability to use any powers the soul had in life. This doesn’t instantly bestow any skills, though any skills possessed by the soul are treated as if being taught by a teacher with automatic success. If the object containing such a soul is lost or destroyed, any powers associated with it are also permanently lost.
Bloodbather (2 points, bloodline)
In ancient times, a clan of demon-blooded demon hunters known as Bloodbathers traveled the world in hopes of ridding it of evil. Over time, as the Order of the Keys gained power, the Bloodbathers faded into obscurity. Still, the clan’s bloodline persists in rare humans and Cambions; a bloodline that gains power when demonic blood comes into contact with their skin.
A Bloodbather gains two advantages. First, he is immune to any harmful effects of demon blood (such as burning or poisoning, as well as the transformation into a demon from ongoing demon blood contact; see Chapter 4 for details). Second, when in contact with fresh demon blood, the Bloodbather gains additional supernatural, often demonic power. This comes at a cost, though, as too much demon blood becomes a risk of overdose, invoking demonic rage and slowly withering the Bloodbather’s body.
Normally, the splashing of demonic blood is a non-issue. Summoned demons’ blood vanishes soon after leaving the demon’s body, and otherwise the blood’s flammable nature means most combatants tend to instinctively stay clear. In the case of a Bloodbather, though, they desire contact with the blood, and seem to supernaturally draw it to them. When fighting a demon, even a summoned one, and using edged or pointed weapons or fighting within arm’s reach of someone else using such weapons, a Bloodbather has a chance to come into contact with the blood. He rolls a LUC check, with a difficulty equal to 20 minus the damage inflicted in a blood-drawing attack against the demon. The area touched by the blood is randomly determined. Significant clothing on that area imposes a -4 penalty on the LUC check (meaning most Bloodbathers prefer to dress lightly, exposing as much skin as possible, while in combat). The “value” of blood he contacts is equal to 1 plus the amount by which his LUC check succeeded, but cannot exceed the damage inflicted on the demon. These “blood points” can then be used in several ways:
These blood points persist until spent or as long as the blood remains liquid and in contact with the Bloodbather’s skin, whichever comes first. Blood from a summoned demon evaporates within one turn of being drawn, and “natural” demon blood burns away at a rate of 1 point per turn. In any case, blood points are all lost at the end of a Scene.
If the Bloodbather drinks demon blood, the power persists until used or metabolized (usually 12-CON hours). Ingested blood has a point value of 1 per point of damage sustained (or point of CON lost) in the bloodletting.
Cambion blood does nothing for a Bloodbather; only the blood of a true demon provides any power.
If the Bloodbather’s total blood points exceed her END x RES, she enters what is known as “blood rage.” This dangerous state increases STR considerably (by 1 for every 5 blood points), enables the Bloodbather to bypass invulnerability with unarmed attacks or close combat weapons, and halves any damage sustained, but leaves her unable to think clearly and also drains her life gradually. In this state, she suffers a -4 to all REA-based checks except Initiative and Delay, and is generally overcome with rage, unable to do much beyond attacking those around her. Every turn, she takes 1 Nonlethal damage to the Body. This lasts until she is consecrated by a Holy Chosen, or a similar ability that blesses or purifies, or until the Bloodbather falls unconscious.
Shared Knowledge (2 points, bloodline)
This bloodline of ESPers (and the occasional Seer) has the ability to draw from the knowledge of those around them. In effect, with this power you able to use all KNO-based skills of other characters within as many meters as your INS (using each individual person’s skill rating, but rolling your own KNO). You only receive the highest skill rating for any given skill out of any group, though you also gain all specializations present.
However, this comes at a cost: because you are never sure if you know something or if it is someone else’s knowledge, you effectively have Ineptitude for all KNO-based skills you want to learn yourself.
This particular power is problematic for students at Demongate High, since they can’t help but cheat on every exam. In general, they are required to take tests in isolation, where they must rely on their own knowledge and not that of their peers. To this end, keep in mind that it is almost impossible to keep familial powers a secret from the Foundation, especially with their staff of experienced Seers.
The latest Paragon Errata, 2.0.8, has been released and placed on the Downloads page. You’ll also find a new version of the Paragon Character Sheet and the Paragon Spell Record too.