Some time ago, right here in this very column, we debuted a different kind of sorcerer bloodline. Mechanically, this new type of bloodline wasn’t that different: it was perhaps a little less laser-focused than bloodlines like “undead” or “elemental,” but it still looked, rules-wise, more or less the same as any other sorcerer bloodline, albeit with a slightly more diverse suite of abilities.
What set these bloodlines apart was their flavor. The standard sorcerer bloodlines are better considered “bloodline categories.” Your sorcerer doesn’t really derive his power from being the ancestor of Rarzix’thron, the dreaded dragon, he is just a “dragon” sorcerer, who is exactly the same as all the other “dragon” sorcerers. Sure, you can say that your sorcerer bloodline comes from a special dragon, but you can’t actually back it up in any way. You’re the same as anyone else with a scaly grandfather.
Now, in a core rulebook, this kind of flavor neutrality is exactly what you’re looking for, and I don’t mean to say that I would want to have seen sorcerers made any other way, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who would appreciate some slightly more flavorful sorcerer bloodlines. And that’s what these bloodlines were. And they were popular, and fun, and exciting, and so when Advanced Arcana III came around, we decided to make an appendix with five more following the same sort of guideline. And when that was a resounding success, it seemed clear that a whole book with 10 new sorcerer bloodlines was in order. And, so, that’s exactly what we did, and you can find the result, A Necromancer’s Grimoire: Sorcerous Lineages, for a mere $4.99.
But this is far more than just a selection of new run-of-the-mill bloodlines. We know that the flavor aspect of these types of bloodlines is key, and so each comes with a lengthy background section that gives information on where the bloodline comes from, how members of the bloodline tend to live and how its members are organized, and so on, to give players who take the bloodline a sense of identity and some roleplaying hooks, as well as a great resource for GMs who just want to add some more unique and interesting arcane NPCs to the game.
In any case, since this is where it all began, it seems only appropriate that for today’s article, we let you take a peek at one of the bloodlines that you’ll find in the book. So, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the Eigen.
Called mad by some, House Eigen is notorious for their creations, both magical and mundane. They revel in designing and constructing, and in the scientific and academic process. Though many members of this bloodline tend be somewhat odd or eccentric, they are, for the most part, friendly and willing to help those in need. This does not mean they are not dangerous, however, and the Eigen experiments are known to wreak havoc, oftentimes accidentally, but sometimes with a cold and calculating deliberation.
If you need a new sword, see a blacksmith. But if you need a new magic sword, there are none better than the Eigen. Be careful with your dealings with them, however, or you may end up in circumstances far stranger than you had hoped.
The Eigen live spread throughout the land, and, for the most part, tend not to gather together in large communities—most towns or villages with an Eigen presence have only a few members of the bloodline, all in the same household. The closest thing to a headquarters for this arcane family is the University of Bridgerock, a bustling magical college and accompanying small town built on a bluff overlooking the sea. It is tradition in the family that all members of the Eigen bloodline attend Bridgerock for their arcane tutelage, and so nearly all members of this house make a sort of pilgrimage here when they come of age. Because of the large number of Eigen alumni, and the fact that the school was founded by a member of the Eigen family, much of the faculty are themselves members of the Eigen bloodline who have stayed on at Bridgerock to take advantage of its facilities—magically protected and warded laboratories and extensive libraries—in their further experiments, and who teach the next generation of spellcasters in order to maintain their tenure.
It is rumored that the location of the college was chosen for the many storms that come in off the coast, and it is said the Eigen can somehow tap into the immense power in that chaos of the storm to create some of their experiments. Besides these storms, however, and a slightly-higher-than-average incidence of magical experiments going awry, the university is fairly standard for magical colleges, and is a place for spellcasters of any calling to come and study, or work together and do that which the Eigen prize above all else: create new things and push the boundaries of what is known.
The Eigen take a decidedly more practiced approach to spellcraft than most sorcerers, and, in fact, wizardry is not uncommon in their family. Most members of the Eigen bloodline who are not equipped to be sorcerers become wizards, instead, and it is not uncommon for an Eigen to develop talents for both sorcery and wizardry before the end of his career. There is something of a friendly rivalry between sorcerers and wizards in the house, and, at the university, this attitude also spills over onto the non-Eigen students and faculty as often as not. This competition is encouraged, as long as it leads to constructive results: violence on the university grounds in not permitted, but one-upmanship and wagering on experiments are both perfectly acceptable, and it is not uncommon for such rivalries to lead to flurries of fast-paced and dramatic discoveries.
These experiments and competitions occur under the watchful eye of the school’s headmaster, currently the wizard Edgan Eigen. Edgan seems to be immune to the supposed Eigen madness, and, uncharacteristically for his bloodline, focuses more on ensuring that the university runs in a smooth and effective manner than on pursuing his own private lines of research. Though he possesses no formal power throughout his house, he does have the capacity to restrict or open entry to the university to prospective students, and, due to the shame that would be felt by any Eigen who was not allowed entry to the university, only members of the house who are certain they will have no children are likely to slight the school’s headmaster.
For those Eigen who don't find a home near the university, the standard practice is to find a place to settle down, usually far away from their kin. These Eigen usually lead relatively secluded lives, setting up towers or laboratories on the edge of small, quiet towns in which they can conduct experiments in peace. They tend to make their living creating and selling magic items, but devote the majority of their time to personal study and research. Rarely, instead of setting up shop somewhere in the countryside where they are unlikely to be disturbed, some Eigen seek out large cities and other centers of knowledge, gravitating towards large academic communities. Since most Eigen with this disposition can fulfill their needs at the University of Bridgerock, Eigen of this sort are usually at odds with the reigning faculty, and are forced to find the culture they crave elsewhere.
Regardless of where they go or what they do, the Eigen usually come to be known as local experts, and the members of those communities they reside in generally have great respect for their practical knowledge. This does not necessarily mean that most Eigen are well-liked by their neighbors, as their unhindered pursuit of knowledge can sometimes have collateral damage. Further, as they grow older, the reclusive tendencies of most Eigen generally become more pronounced, causing them to become all but shut-ins, and further adding to the distrust that the average person has towards them. On top of that, there are the rumors about the Eigen madness.
The Eigen madness is thought to be a magical curse on the house, but it is unknown exactly when the curse was laid, or the circumstances surrounding its conception. While the curse tends to manifest slightly more regularly in those members of the bloodline who possess sorcerous power, even those rare Eigen who spurn magic altogether have been known to occasionally exhibit its symptoms. As the Eigen madness sets in, the subject becomes more and more unsociable, paranoid, and obsessed with their research. For some unknown reason, it is very common for those suffering from the curse to suddenly become fascinated with the concept of sentient constructs, although it is unclear whether this is coincidence, a strange specification of the curse, or simply a symptom of a greater malady.
New Sorcerer Bloodline
Class Skill: Knowledge (any one).
Bonus Spells: crafter's fortuneAPG(3rd), hideous laughter(5th), mad monkeysUM(7th), confusion (9th), fabricate (11th), guards and wards (13th), arcane cannonUM (15th), polymorph any object (17th), time stop (19th).
Bonus Feats: Arcane BlastAPG, Craft Construct, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wondrous Item, Field RepairUC, Improved Initiative, Persistent Spell, Skill Focus (Craft [any]), Spell Focus (Enchantment).
Bloodline Arcana: A member of the Eigen bloodline is immune to the confused condition, as well as to sleep effects and fear effects. Further, members of the Eigen bloodline gain a +2 bonus on saving throws made to resist mind-affecting effects.
Bloodline Powers: As a scion of the house of Eigen, the blood that flows through your veins entitles you to numerous magical talents, which become available to you as you increase in power.
Tinkering (Ex): Beginning at 1st level, you add your Charisma bonus as an enhancement bonus to any Craft check you make, as long as you have at least 1 rank in the relevant Craft skill.
Beginning at 5th level, you gain the Master Craftsman feat as a bonus feat. Additionally, when you attempt to create a magic item for which you do not meet all of the prerequisites, you do not increase the DC by +5 for the first prerequisite you do not meet (you do increase the DC by +5 for any subsequent prerequisites you do not meet, as normal). This ability does not allow you to bypass prerequisites that you would not normally be able to bypass; it only reduces the DC increase for bypassing prerequisites that you could already bypass.
Beginning at 8th level, when you create an item that requires you to expend one or more spells as part of the item’s creation, you may expend an unused spell slot of the same spell level as the spell in question in order to meet that prerequisite. You do not need to know the specified spell in order to use this ability, but the spell must appear on the sorcerer/wizard spell list. The spell slot is expended exactly as though it had been used to cast the required spell.
Madness-Tainted Spell (Sp): Beginning at 3rd level, you can manifest a slight touch of the Eigen madness in your spells, befuddling those touched by them. When you cast a spell that has a single target and allows a saving throw, you may choose to make that spell madness-tainted. If you do, and the target fails the spell’s saving throw, he must make an additional Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your sorcerer level + your Charisma modifier) or gain the confused condition for one round. If the target succeeds on either saving throw, this ability has no effect. You may use this ability 3 times per day.
Beginning at 9th level, creatures affected by this ability are instead confused for a number of rounds equal to your sorcerer level. Beginning at 15th level, the confusion lasts for 1 day per sorcerer level you possess, and can only be ended before that time by spells such as greater restoration, heal, and more powerful magic.
Arc Lightning (Sp): At 9th level, you can channel the power of lightning to electrocute your enemies. As a standard action, you can conjure a bolt of lightning, which flies from your fingertips to strike a single creature within 30 feet of you. This requires a ranged touch attack and, if the attack hits, it deals 1d6 points of electricity damage per sorcerer level you possess. A successful Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 your sorcerer level + your Charisma modifier) halves this damage. Additionally, if the target fails its saving throw, you may have the lightning arc to another target within 30 feet of the previous target. This requires a new ranged touch attack, with a -2 penalty for each previous target that the lightning has already struck. This process continues until you miss, a target succeeds on its saving throw, or there are no valid targets in range. You may not target the same creature twice with a single use of this ability. You may use this ability once per day at 9th level, plus an additional time per day for every three sorcerer levels you attain beyond 9th.
The Eigen Legacy (Ex): At 15th level, you are able to create magic items more cheaply and easily than others, though they are not always the most reliable. When you create a magic item, you may choose to add up to three drawbacks to the item. You determine the number of drawbacks to be added, then roll randomly on the drawback table in the cursed items section of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook to determine the exact drawbacks added. For each drawback added, reduce the cost to create the item by 10% (to a maximum of 30% for three drawbacks). Once you choose to add a drawback to the item, you cannot later change your mind.
Additionally, whenever you create a construct with the Create Constructs feat, you may choose to decrease the cost by increasing the chance that it will go berserk. A construct created in this way gains the berserk quality, if it would not already have it, and the chance of going berserk is increased from 1% to 3%, but costs 10% less to make. If desired, you can increase the chance of going berserk further, to 5%, in order to reduce the cost by 20%, instead, or increase the berserk chance as high as 10% in order to reduce the cost by 30%.
Imbue Item (Su): At 20th level, as a standard action, you can imbue a single mundane item with magical power, allowing it to be used to cast a spell as a one-time use-activated item. You can imbue this power into just about anything you can imagine: a deck of cards, a sword, a rock, a hunk of cheese, and so on. When you imbue the item, choose any spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list that has a casting time of 1 standard action or less and does not have a costly material component. Additionally, choose a command word.
From that point on, anyone who holds or touches the item and speaks the command word can, as a standard action, cast the chosen spell. The spell uses your caster level and Charisma modifier (as appropriate). The person activating the item makes all decisions about the spell (such as targets, modes, and so on). Once the item has been used once, the magic effect ends, the object becomes normal again.
You may imbue an item in this way once per day. The magic imbued in items in this way does not last forever, and if the item’s power has not been used within 3 days, the item loses its power and can no longer be used to cast the imbued spell, unless you imbue it again.