One of my current projects is Scyld Heim, a campaign book that hopes to emulate a pseudo Viking/Dark Ages setting. In such a setting, a character’s ancestry is an important part of who he is and what he can accomplish. To reflect this importance of a character’s ancestry, I’m working on rules for lineage. The following is an excerpt of the current draft of these rules.
New Ability Score: Lineage
Lineage represents the heroic accomplishments of a player character’s ancestors. These deeds reverberate across time, affecting a character’s fortune. Of course, this assumes the character has a positive Lineage modifier. Characters with a +0 Lineage modifier have no significant ancestral achievements, while characters with a negative Lineage modifier labor under the burden of a blighted family tree.
Effects of Positive Lineage
Lineage potentially affects a single attack roll, combat maneuver check, saving throw, skill check, or ability check. Before making any of the aforementioned rolls, a player may decide to add his Lineage modifier to the d20 roll.
Each time a player decides to add his Lineage modifier to a die roll, his character’s Lineage modifier temporarily reduces by one point (minimum +0).
Effects of Negative Lineage
A character with a negative Lineage modifier is affected differently. Before an attack roll, combat maneuver check, saving throw, skill check, or ability check, the DM may decide to apply a character’s negative Lineage modifier to that single d20 roll.
Each time the DM applies a character’s negative Lineage modifier to a die roll, that character’s Lineage modifier temporarily increases by one point (maximum +0).
Recovering Lineage Modifier
A character’s Lineage modifier resets to its original value after a 10-Minute Rest Period, but only for the cost of one honor point. Otherwise, a character’s Lineage modifier resets once per day.