Nothing hit home more than Andrew Marlowe’s article on Tuesday. I discovered my creative vein at the end of 2019, and have been fostering it throughout 2020. It hasn’t been easy folks, that is for sure! Last week’s events threw me for a loop. I was originally planning on working on this amazing archetype last week. Instead, I found myself on Wednesday night pulling it together. Eventually not getting the article out later than normal on Thursday.
I’ve been on a mindfulness journey as well the past year, mostly using the Calm app to meditate and to fall asleep. Right now though, I’ve been doing the Ten Percent Happier’s 21-day New Years challenge. It’s focusing a lot on self-compassion. In the past, I would be really beating myself up for missing my 6am EST posting time. While I do feel bad for missing it, and I’ve apologized to Ryan, I am also doing my best to let the moment pass and do my best to not get my guts into knots.
I’m excited to share with you all the work I’ve done here though, enjoy!
It is pretty straightforward to take a collection of options, re-flavor them into a single theme, and call it an archetype. I struggled the entire time to not just grab abilities almost word-for-word from various archetypes and massage them into the flavor that I want. On the other hand, we want to ensure that the options are balanced against what already exists, and following their formats. It is definitely a balance that I’m working on, hopefully I’ve put together something that isn’t overpowered, but has some uniqueness to it. You’ll see me struggling with that some in my handwritten notes, where I’m comparing a lot of different archetypes to abilities that I want to have. I’d say the one I probably stole the ‘chassis’ of this archetype from is the Dragon Disciple from Everybody Games’ Advanced Occult Guide. The archetype does a lot of neat things with universal monster abilities and allows a character to have a temporary transformation granting them these abilities. You’ll see that throughout with the Blood Surge ability below. Making it a temporary change, I feel allowed for possibly slightly more powerful abilities knowing that the character will be able to ‘nova’ like this once a day without spending other resources like Resolve Points.
Whether through ancient texts, heritage or meditation, you have learned how to control the fluids that carry life essence. Sometimes looked at as evil, there is no inherent good or evil in ability to control blood. You see it as another building block in the universe to be used, just as photonic, gravitonic or entropic energies can be harnessed. In the past, hemotheurges were forced to create massive reserves of blood within themselves. Modern techniques have moved away from that, utilizing not just your own blood but the blood around you as well.
Prerequisite: Only characters who are not permanently immune to the bleed condition may take this archetype
Alternate Class Features
The hemotheurge archetype grants an alternate class feature at 2nd level and an optional alternate class feature that can be selected at any of 4th, 6th, 9th,12th and 18th levels. At each level that you could select an alternate class feature, you can either choose a hemotheurge alternate class feature (selecting a feature of your own class level or lower) or keep the normal class feature of your class at that level. Unless stated otherwise, you can gain each alternate class feature only once.
[SIDEBAR: Blood vs. Vital Fluids: Any instance of the word Blood can easily be replaced with the Vital Fluids for creatures that do not have hemoglobin. As long as a character has some manner of bodily fluids that make them susceptible to the bleed condition, they can use these abilities]
Blood Surge (Su) – 2nd Level
You are able to hyper-activate your blood. When you enter a Blood Surge, you gain one of the two below abilities. As a move action, you enter the blood surge. The Blood Surge lasts a number of rounds equal to your total Resolve Points, though you can end the Blood Surge as a swift action.
The first time after you take a 10-minute rest that you use this ability, it costs no Resolve Points; otherwise it costs 1 Resolve Point to regain the use of this ability during a 10-minute rest separate from any Resolve Points spent to regain stamina.
Flow of Concentration: You gain the Flow of Concentration blood surge ability. When you enter a Blood Surge, your blood cells contain your will to stay focused. When you are casting a spell and you take damage or are subjected to an effect that could break your concentration, your spell does not fail unless the damage or effect kills you instantly.
Blood Strike: You gain the Blood Strike blood surge ability. When you enter a Blood Surge, you have gained control over life fluids to strike at your foes. You gain an entropic strike of a vanguard with a class level equal to your level. If you have levels in both Vanguard, and the class taking this Archetype, you add them together to determine the effectiveness of your entropic strike while you are in a Blood Surge. If you are a Vanguard, select a 2nd level Discipline that is always available to you.
Hemotheurge 4th Level Alternate Class Features
Hemotheurges of 4th level or higher can select from among the following features.
Throw Blood (Su)
You can use blood to carry your spells. While in a Blood Surge, you can change the range of spells from touch to a range of Close. If the spell requires an attack roll, it changes to a Ranged Attack vs. the targets EAC. You must have the Flow of Concentration blood surge ability to select this feature.
Blood Gem (Su)
During your daily preparations, you crystalize the magical energies in your blood and create a Spell Gem. You may create a Spell Gem with a spell level of a maximum level no greater than 1 lower than the highest level spell you can cast. At 18th level, you may create a spell gem up to the highest level spell you can cast.
Blood Control (Sp)
You have learned how to control not just your own blood, but that of others as well. You may spend a Resolve Point to cast hold person, using your Key Ability modifier to calculate the spell DC.
Blood in Their Eyes (Ex)
You have learned how to utilize blood to distract your enemies. You gain the Blood in Their Eyes combat feat.
Armor of Blood (Su)
As you enter a Blood Surge, blood moves about you like water, protecting you from attacks. Upon selecting this ability, you gain reflecting armor or a modified version of junk armor that does have the inert electronic equipment requirement. Either ability activates when you enter a Blood Surge. At 6th-level you may change you selection to supercharge armor as well. You may change your selection each time you level up. You must have the blood strike blood surge ability to select this feature.
Clotting Blood (Su)
With your control of blood, you are able to force your bleeding to stop. After taking damage from a bleed condition the first time, you lose the bleed condition automatically. When you initially gain the bleed condition, as a reaction you may spend a Resolve Point to not gain the bleed condition.
Hemotheurge 9th Level Alternate Class Features
Hemotheurges of 9th level or higher can select from among the following features.
Blood Surge Mastery (Su)
You have gained mastery over blood and other vital fluids. You gain a second blood surge ability. You can only have one blood surge ability active at a time. The duration of your blood surge improves to a number of minutes equal to your level.
Control Mastery (Sp)
Humanoids are pretty straight forward, others though are a bit more complicated. You have learned how to stop the movement of many other types of creatures as well. You may now spend a Resolve Point to cast hold monster instead. You must have the Blood Control feature to select this feature
Potent Blood (Su)
Your blood increases the potency of your spells. When you are in a Blood Surge increase the DCs of the spells you cast by 1 and you have a +1 bonus to caster level checks to overcome a creature’s spell resistance. You must have the flow of concentration blood surge to select this feature.
Augmentation of the Blood (Su)
You’ve learned that with the help of nerves and blood you are able to command your body to change. When you enter a blood surge, you are able to select up to your level-1 of biotech augmentations that are active while you are in your blood surge.
This does not include cybernetic, magitech, necrograft or any other kind of augmentation that may be converted to a biotech augmentation for a credit increase. Augmentation of the Blood only applies to original biotech augmentations.
You must have the blood strike blood surge ability to select this feature.
Devastating Blood Infection(Su)
You have developed the ability to infect other people’s blood with impurities to devastating effect. Add infect blood to your spells known list. If it is already in your spells known list, select another 3rd-Level spell that is on your class spell list. When you cast the spell, the first round of damage adds half your level to the damage dealt.
When you are in a Blood Surge, this damage increases to your level. You must have the flow of concentration blood surge ability to select this feature.
After the amount of work I did, I’m not sold that this shouldn’t be two different archetypes instead of one. I don’t feel that I got to spend enough time exploring each path fully enough. However, there are definitely some abilities that I added that I might’ve wanted to give to both of them. It was also surprisingly hard to come up with ability names that didn’t have the first word as “Blood”. I feel that names should be evocative of what an ability does, but I will profess that I am not great at coming up with less obvious and cool names for things. Surprisingly, I actually had an easier time coming up with neat things to do with the Blood Strike line of abilities than I did with the Flow of Concentration line of abilities. I attribute this mostly to the fact that with Vanguards and Solarions as mystical-esque warriors I had a lot to pull from for neat things to do. Where-as with spellcasters, there are only so many ways you can modify things without really breaking the game. This was a problem in Pathfinder 1st Edition as well, but not as pronounced in Starfinder I think. I’d love feedback on this archetype from folks if you get a chance!
Over the next two weeks, I’m going to take a look at my quest series. Taking notes and then providing you all my editing & development pass notes. I’m still deciding if I want to keep the original articles with the errors or if I should fix them as I go along. This will be something I’ll be working with the Network to decide. See you then!