Savage World of Black Tokyo: The Bloodstrong

This week we’re looking at the Bloodstrong species, proud demon-hunting families with divine blood who trace their lineage back to the founding of Japan.

In the source material the Bloodstrong Men are instead practiced controlled incest and selective breeding to the point they advanced beyond humanity, reaching heaven through eugenics. Much focus is placed on the incestuous part of their culture, including racial abilities that are enhanced by — or even triggered by — sexual encounters with direct relatives.

I took a different approach, inspired by an obscure Role-Playing Game that never headed west called Ore no Shikabane wo Koeteyuke (の屍を越えてゆけ), which roughly translates as Over My Dead Body or Step Forward Over My Corpse. The plot involves a family of demon-hunters cursed to age rapidly, each dying of old age only 2 years after being born. Various goddesses pledge to help this family by, for want of a better term, mating with them and ensuring there is always another generation to carry on the fight.

I believe following this model I’ve created a species that pays tribute to iconic abilities of the original while still being balanced and fun to play within Savage Worlds. Hit the jump to see my results.

Bloodstrong (血の強い)

Brief: At the dawn of Japan, the gods lay with mankind to sire secret bloodlines. The Imperial Family can trace their ancestry back to Jinmu-Tenno and the sun goddess Amaterasu-no-Okami, but other families still exist in the shadows. Each is trained from birth to remain loyal to the throne and hunt down demonkind.

The Bloodstrong are a vanishingly rare species, and less than one hundred are known to exist in modern Japan.


— Human Blood (+0): Bloodstrong count as human for all requirements and effects.

— Lantern of the Clan (+2): While two bloodstrong are touching skin on skin, they both glow as though using the light power.

— Need-Fire (+2): Bloodstrong have a pool of 5 Power Points, which recharge at a rate of 1 per hour and are unaffected by Rapid Recharge. They can spend these Power Points only to use the blinding aura power, with their Vigor die as the arcane skill.

— Racial Enemies (-2): The first Bloodstrong were sired to fight against the darkness. They suffer a –4 Charisma penalty when dealing with Demons and with Undead.

— Size +1 (+2): Bloodstrong are larger than humans, often standing 7 feet tall.

— The Best of Us (-2): Their divine blood drives them to acts of heroism. Bloodstrong start with the Heroic hindrance.

Blinding Aura is a new power created for the Bloodstrong, made from stitching together the damage field and blind powers from the Fantasy Companion. It is presented below.

Blinding Aura
• Rank: Novice
• Power Points: 4
• Range: Touch
• Duration: 3 (1/round)
• Trapping: Glowing white flames.

Blinding Aura creates an effect around the user that attempts to blind anything demonic that contacts them in close combat. The blinding effects any adjacent Demon or Undead character who makes a successful attack roll against the user.

Those affected must make an Agility roll at -2 to avert their gaze and avoid the effect. On a failure, the victim is Shaken and –2 to Parry until their next action. If the target rolls a 1 on their Agility die (regardless of the Wild Die), they are Shaken and fully blind until they recover from being Shaken. If a blinded target spends a benny to remove the Shaken before their next action, they retain the –2 to Parry as for a normal failure. Blinded victims suffer –6 penalty to all Trait rolls that require vision and have their Parry reduced to 2.

Species Edges

The following edges are available only during character creation.

— Bloodstrong Bust
Requirements: Arcane Background (Busty), Bloodstrong
You gain an additional +10 Power Points for Arcane Background (Busty).

— Shojo Bloodstrong
Requirements: Bloodstrong, Vigor d8+
While drunk, you can breathe fire using the Cone Template. Every target within this cone may make an Agility roll at -2 to avoid the attack. Those who fail suffer 2d10 fire damage and must check to see if they catch fire (see Fire, core book). You cannot attack in the same round you breathe fire, and breathing fire leaves you Shaken.

— Snow Tribe
Requirements: Bloodstrong, Vigor d6+
You gain a +4 bonus to resist the effects of cold, and Armor +2 against cold and ice damage.

— Volcanic Tribe
Requirements: Bloodstrong, Vigor d6+
You gain a +4 bonus to resist the effects of fire and heat, and Armor +2 against fire damage.

— Warrior Culture
Requirements: Bloodstrong, Fighting or Shooting d6+
Gain a Combat Edge that you meet the requirements for, ignoring any rank requirements.

— Yokai Knowledge
Requirements: Bloodstrong, Smarts d8+
You add +2 to Knowledge (Religion) checks relating to Japanese folklore and mythology, and to Tracking checks made to track creatures of Japanese folklore.

So there we have it, another species knocked off the list. Next on the species list are the Daughters of Kirin, the first Cultural Template in the hopper is the Burakumin which lets me talk about the Tatakama side of the setting, and the first Class (yes, a class in Savage Worlds) is the Assault Witch.

Promise the next post will take less than a fortnight to come out. For real.


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