Whether The Blood Hunt is a mechanic or an optional DM tool depends on your perspective.
Our idea behind The Blood Hunt was as follows:
Most adventure modules are prepared for standard adventures. Similarly, in most settings, while civilized cities and towns are detailed, the specifics of the wild lands are often missing.
Why was this important to us?
Much of the existing materials available to DMs don’t fully cater to the needs of Brutal Races games. If a DM isn’t experienced enough or wants to create specific challenges for these races, they lack certain options.
With The Blood Hunt, we aimed to provide a challenge option triggered entirely at the DM’s discretion.
From a role-play perspective, The Blood Hunt sheds light on the circumstances of these “brutal” races. For instance, a successful elf ranger has clear enemies and allies. But what if this ranger were an orc? Even if they have a Good alignment, they would still face animosity from good races due to prejudice, much like the famous Drizzt Do’urden. If they were Evil-aligned, would they receive support from their own people? That’s also quite challenging. Thus, in practical terms, the enemies of Brutal Races members will always outnumber those of civilized races. This means everything they do and every achievement they gain will attract much more attention.
And in dangerous realms, drawing attention isn’t a good thing. Someone could start tailing you. Their intentions might be revenge, reclaiming an item you’ve taken, seeking fame, or simply envying or considering you a threat. This is the core difficulty of being a Brutal Race.
The Blood Hunt, whether triggered after several sessions, specific story milestones, or at certain level ranges, implies a group of pursuing enemies.
The dynamics of this group could be randomly determined or created by the DM as needed by the story. At this point, the leader of The Blood Hunt party becomes significant. Depending on the leader’s class, their approach to your party will differ. A paladin or barbarian leader’s party will be optimized against them and it’s harder to intimidate them away. However, you might try to negotiate with a bard or rogue. The rogue will approach you stealthily, while the bard’s party might be larger. A wizard leader’s party might have followers from other dimensions, and a ranger might attack when you least expect it. Characteristics determined by the leader offer a variety of alternatives to the DM.
From a narrative perspective, your conflicts with some of The Blood Hunt parties might never end. In such cases, you might even find that they become integral to the main story. The potential challenge scenarios arising from this add a lot of diversity to the game.
Also, just between us, there might be days when you, as a DM, aren’t well-prepared. Who among us hasn’t experienced that? In such times, these combat sessions that you can quickly generate could save the day!
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