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Birthright is a Dungeons and Dragons setting, where players are intended to be the rulers of large realms and receive special powers from their heritage. In the distant past, there were a large number of gods, one of whom was evil and tried to conquer the world. The other gods assembled a large army and fought him directly, then blew themselves up to kill the evil god, creating a bunch of new gods and granting mortals bloodlines that gave powers based off the original god who they drew the power from. The guys empowered by the death of the evil god are called blood abominations and are (almost) invariably evil.

Tropes used in Birthright include:

  • A God Am I: Happened at Mount Deismaar after the original Gods duked it out. Their champions inherited their power.
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause/God's Hands Are Tied: After Deismaar, the new gods agreed to avoid direct interference in the world to prevent a repeat. This is why the Gorgon, rather than the new evil gods, is the Big Bad.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Tighmaevril weapons, if you can get one.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Killing an awnshegh is a good way to become one, since upon acquiring its bloodline power the slayer can get tainted.
  • Bequeathed Power: Blood inheritance. May work, if rarely, even on non-Blooded.
  • Big Bad: The Gorgon. He was the strongest of the evil god's followers, but was too far away from the explosion to become a god, so he ended being the most dangerous Awnshegh instead.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Formed a Wild Hunt to kill humans, one Elf is known by the title Manslayer.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: A few Awnsheghlien are not cunning bloodthirsty monsters, and occasionally even save someone, but even they are very dangerous and excitable.
    • The Vos are not Always Chaotic Evil... of course, since they still are agressive and merciless sort, the part where they are honorable and make loyal allies matters mostly for their friends - and there aren't many of these who aren't Vos themselves, for the same reasons: association with one of them brings all his enemies as a "bonus". It's not that they are always unfriendly to everyone, but outsiders who know better usually themselves go out of their way to avoid any involvement in this frozen meatgrinder. Kozlovnyy is an exclusion, since the local Vos mostly melded with Khinasi and Brecht locals, so they are more civilized.
  • Fantastic Racism: Elves usually don't like humans now - though unlike in many other settings, they don't treat half-elves as lesser creatures. Not that humans are nicer, but they squabble more for politics, religion or business and are interested chiefly in ancestry of the rulers (which due to Bloodlines have practical sense). Dwarves mostly keep aside and humanoids just as eagerly attack everyone, including their cousins.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture
  • Gotterdammerung: Mount Deismaar. So while it does not look like a "Post Apocalyptic" setting, in a very literal sense it is.
  • Grim Up North: Vosgaard is pretty much this, with extra goblins, giants and monsters on top.
  • In the Blood: "Bloodlines" are the central feature.
  • Ley Line: Domain-based magic rules include these.
  • Loads and Loads of Rules: The campaign themed itself on allowing Players to run PC's who ruled a domain(country, temple, guilds), which required more rules.
  • Meaningful Name: As the PC are often rulers with a ancestral bloodline, or birthright.
  • Mirror World: The Shadow World, same as the real one, except inhabited by the dead.
  • Monster Progenitor: Many awnsheghlien.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Avoids the color-based Dragons of regular D&D.
  • Our Elves Are Better: They're more The Fair Folk.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Many monsters that are common Mooks in regular D&D are unique villains called Awnsheghlien or Blood Abominations. (Examples: The Gorgon, the Hag, the Manticore.) They often spawn mook versions as well. While other Bloodlines are less contagious, they are also known to "enhance" normal animals: "Bloodhounds" descended from war-dogs who got spilled power can detect Shadow creatures and tend to be very smart, loyal and strong. Wild dogs with the bloodline of a war-god become natural leaders in their packs just like humans do, and can be really nasty critters -- or legitimate bloodtheft fodder, for those who can pull this.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: They call them Orogs.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The vampire is a blood abomination who used to be a heroic nobleman, but stabbed a previous blood abomination in the heart and got his bloodline.
  • Power Parasite: Some of the raw bloodline strength, sometimes along with abilities, can be stolen by killing its carrier in specific ways. Blood Abominations tend to be very, very powerful because they frequently choose bloodtheft as the road to power and actively seek it -- by the time people knows of them, they usually already have slaughtered and drained lots of "blooded" folk.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Most of the Awnsheghlien, such as The Gorgon or The Manticore.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Kill one of the Blooded by violence, and his spilled power will be inherited by anyone in the vicinity of his death. Kill him with tighmaevril, or by piercing him intentionally through the heart, and you get it all. But since a bloodline may dominate equal or weaker one, the killer sometimes get more changes than just power. Which is one of reasons why Awnsheghlien are hard to eliminate: those who slay one without being more powerful as scions frequently end up tainted by its bloodline, possibly producing several unwilling "heirs" from one killing, eventually turning into new overpowered monsters.
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