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Pathfinder - Bloodrager Bloodlines Breakdown

Disclaimer

I will use content from the core rules, but will intentionally omit any content not published on the official Pathfinder SRD due to the unmanageable volume of non-SRD content, and the wildly varying quality of non-SRD content. If you would like me to write handbooks for specific content not published on the official SRD, please email me and I will consider it on a case-by-case basis. I will use the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks. Also note that many colored items are also links to the Paizo SRD.

Temporary Note: Pathfinder Unchained and Occult Adventures were both recently added to the SRD. I'm excited to explore them, and I am actively working on adding their contents to my collection of handbooks. I appreciate your patience while I make these changes.

Bloodlines

Bloodlines greatly determine the play style of the Bloodrager.

Bloodragers get 5 Bloodline bonus feats (6, 9, 12, 15, 18), and typically have 7 feat choices. Bonus spells are typically awarded for a spell level at the same level at which the Bloodrager gains access to their next level of spells (except 4th-level spells, of course), which is annoying because the Bloodrager likely wants to use those spells much earlier. The rules don't specify what happens if you learn your bonus spells early then learn them again, but your GM may allow you to replace the bonus spell with a new spell known.

Aberrant

The Aberrant bloodline is a Defender bloodline, plain and simple. It provides reach and access to Combat Reflexes, which are the first two things you need to be a Defender. If you pick up Stand Still or Improved Trip, you're good to go.

Bonus Feats: Very few worthwhile options.

Bonus Spells: Several good options which contribute to the Aberrant bloodlines capabilities as a Defender.

Staggering Strike (Su): You have to confirm a critical hit to activate this, and the target still gets a saving throw.

Abnormal Reach (Su): Reach is fantastic for Defenders, and this reach extension can combine with a polearm to give you really fantastic area control.

Aberrant Fortitude (Su): Sickened and Nauseated are very annoying effects, but they're fairly uncommon.

Unusual Anatomy (Su): Sneak Attacks are pretty rare, but 50% immunity to critical hits could sabe your life from a lucky roll by an enemy.

Aberrant Resistance (Su): Disease and Poison are very common at high level, and immunity to them can save you a lot of trouble.

Aberrant Form (Su): 60 foot blindsense is incredible. Most things with blindsense don't get more than 10 or 20 feet. Access to these abilities while not bloodraging means that you will always detect enemies trying to surprise you.

Abyssal`

The Abyssal Bloodline is a very simple Striker bloodline. Abyssal grants extra Strength while Bloodraging, lets you become Large without a spell, and grants a splash of energy resistance. If all you need is more damage, Abyssal is a good choice.

Bonus Feats: Most of the options are situational, and Power Attack is included even though any Bloodrager with a brain will take it at first level.

Bonus Spells: Nothing really spectacular.

Claws (Su): Two claws are as goood as Two-Weapon Fighting at least until level 6. If you use a manufactured weapon, you can still use your off hand to make a single claw attack (at a -5 penalty because it's a secondary attack). The damage and effectiveness scales a bit as you level, which can keep your claws a viable option as you level. Rules as written, you can use a weapon two-handed, then spend a free action to take one hand off your weapon and make a claw attack, then return your hand to your weapon so that you can use it two-handed for attacks of opportunity. This is a somewhat liberal reading of the rules, so check with your GM to make sure that will allow it.

Demonic Bulk (Su): Enlarging yourself is a fantastic option for front-line martial characters like the Bloodrager, and this allows you to replicate Enlarge Person at a moments notice without relying on Greater Bloodrage.

Demon Resistances (Su): The amount is small, but you get resistance to three of the most common energy types.

Abyssal Bloodrage (Su): With Demonic Bulk, you are getting +4 more strength than the average Bloodrager, but with the size and Dexterity penalties you're taking a total -4 penalty to AC over of the normal Bloodrager (-6 total). The bonus from Abyssal Bloodrage also scales as you level, which can give you truly absurd Strength at high levels.

Demonic Aura (Su): At this level 2d6+con isn't a huge amount of damage, but it's free damage with no save and if you can force enemies to stay in melee with you it's guaranteed damage. Unfortunately, it doesn't apply to enemies just passing through it, so it's not a great area control ability.

Demonic Immunities (Su): At this level poison is very common, and immunity to electricity covers the last common energy type to which you are not resistant.

Arcane

The Arcane bloodline has two important mechanics: Arcane Bloodrage and disrupting spellcasters. Arcane Bloodrage allows you to apply free buffs whenever you start a Bloodrage, and many of the buffs are absolutely fantastic, and go beyond the Bloodrager spell list. Even if you're not facing a lot of spellcasters, the Arcane bloodline may be worthwhile purely for Arcane Bloodrage.

Bonus Feats: Several fantastic options, including Disruptive, which is usually exclusive to Fighters.

Bonus Spells: Some good utility options, and a couple of totally unnecessary offensive options.

Disruptive Bloodrage (Su): Excellent at any level, but somewhat situational.

Arcane Bloodrage (Sp): All four choices are excellent. Blur is particularly good because it complements the Bloodrager's poor AC. This works with Greater Bloodrage, which means you can buff yourself twice when you start a new Bloodrage.

Greater Arcane Bloodrage (Sp): Haste is one of the most important buffs in the game, and Displacement will make you hugely difficult to kill. Either one is a fantastic choice, but it's more likely that someone in your party will caste Haste because it affects multiple targets.

Caster's Scourge (Ex): This won't come up often, and you should probably have Combat Reflexes already.

True Arcane Bloodrage (Sp): Depending on your build you might be able to make use of Beast Shape or Form of the Dragon, but you can always make use of Transformation. If you already have enhancements bonuses to your abilities and a bonus to your natural armor, you may still want to stick to the options provided by Greater Arcane Bloodrage.

Caster's Bane (Ex): At 20th level most spellcasters will be lower level than you, but this is still situational..

Celestial

If you're in an all-good campaign, the Celestial Bloodline has some good options. However, it doesn't provide a clear role for the Bloodrager. If you want a generally good option, Celestial will do, but it doesn't particularly contribute to the Bloodrager's role as a Defender or Striker.

Bonus Feats: A few good options, but nothing spectacular.

Bonus Spells: Several fantastic buffs.

Angelic Attacks (Su): Evil outsiders are common enemies in a lot of good-aligned campaigns, and this will save you a lot of trouble with DR. The bonus damage is nice, too, but it's not significant.

Celestial Resistances (Ex): Resistance to two energy types, and it scales a little bit as you level.

Conviction (Su): One reroll per Bloodrage is excellent, and if you can rage cycle, this could be a reroll every round.

Wings of Heaven (Su): Free flight! Don't try to rage cycle while flying, or you will fall out of the sky.

Angelic Protection (Su): Effectively double the bonuses from Protection From Evil.

Ascension (Su): A whole bunch of excellent immunities and resistances.

Destined

The Destined bloodline makes it very hard to kill the Bloodrager. If you can put together enough damage output to draw attention to yourself, this can be a good Tank option.

Bonus Feats: Very few worthwhile options.

Bonus Spells: Some good buffs.

Destined Strike (Su): Helpful, but this isn't going to fix any specific problems with your character.

Fated Bloodrager (Su): Luck bonuses are very rare, and the Fate's Favored trait boosts both bonuses by 1. The scaling is fantastic.

Certain Strike (Su): Rerolls are great, and once you can rage cycle this becomes even better.

Defy Death (Su): Between the Bloodrager's good Fortitude save and the luck bonus from Fated Bloodrager, your Fortitude saves should be good enough that you can count on this to work.

Unstoppable (Su): I hope you're using a Falchion.

Victory or Death (Su): Somewhat situational, but all of the listed conditions are hugely debilitating.

Draconic

Despite a poor list of Bonus Feats, the Draconic Bloodline is very solid. It includes a nice mix of buffs, offensive options, and mobility. At high level you gain the ability to polymorph with Form of the Dragon II, which you shouldn't need to do much additional preparation for because Bloodragers already need such high physical ability scores.

Bonus Feats: Very few worthwhile options.

Bonus Spells: Several excellent buffs, including Fly.

Claws (Su): Two claws are as goood as Two-Weapon Fighting at least until level 6. If you use a manufactured weapon, you can still use your off hand to make a single claw attack (at a -5 penalty because it's a secondary attack). The damage and effectiveness scales a bit as you level, which can keep your claws a viable option as you level. Rules as written, you can use a weapon two-handed, then spend a free action to take one hand off your weapon and make a claw attack, then return your hand to your weapon so that you can use it two-handed for attacks of opportunity. This is a somewhat liberal reading of the rules, so check with your GM to make sure that will allow it.

Draconic Resistance (Ex): Very little energy resistance, but the natural armor bonus is nice and the scaling is decent.

Breath Weapon (Su): Finally a reasonable AOE effect for the Bloodrager with a decent DC. The damage will keep up with spells, so you can count on this for your whole career.

Dragon Wings (Su): Free flight! Don't try to rage cycle while flying, or you will fall out of the sky.

Dragon Form (Su): Most Bloodragers will be good polymorphers almost entirely by accident, purely by virtue of their high physical ability scores.

Power of Wyrms (Su): The immunities are cool, but the Blindsense is absolutely fantastic.

Elemental

A few of the options provided by the Elemental Bloodline are fantastic, and it includes the best bonus feat list of any Bloodrager Bloodline, but overall the Bloodline just isn't great.

Bonus Feats: No bad options.

Bonus Spells: A couple of good options, but nothing that really contributes to the Bloodrager.

Elemental Strikes (Su): Not a lot of damage, but it can be nice to have when your enemies are weak to your energy type.

Elemental Resistance (Ex): Not a lot of resistance, and no scaling, but nice to have.

Elemental Movement (Su): All of the options are great.

Power of the Elements (Su): This is a really cool, but Elemental Strikes is still only 1d6 damage per attack for one round.

Elemental Form (Su): Elemental Body could be a great option if you use it right, but limiting it to one rage per day makes it hard to justify putting any effort into using it.

Elemental Body (Su): Some nice immunities, but they're fairly situational.

Fey

The Fey bloodline hits the ever-present problem that combat in Pathfinder tends to be very static, but doesn't actually do anything to fix it. Blurring Movement, for example, gives you an excellent defensive buff when you're mobile, but other options like Quickling Bloodrage largely require you to stand still to make a Full Attack.

Bonus Feats: Several excellent options.

Bonus Spells: Haste is the only worthwhile option.

Confusing Critical (Su): You have to confirm a critical hit to activate this, and the target still gets a saving throw, and then they're affected by Confusion, which is garbage. Three sequential rolls have to go your way for this to have any affect at all.

Leaping Charger (Su): Situational.

Blurring Movement (Su): Blur is fantastic, but if you're moving that much then you're not full attacking.

Quickling Bloodrage (Sp): Haste is one of the best buffs in the game.

One with Nature (Su): Situational.

Fury of the Fey (Su): Very versatile. This effectively lets you ignore all DR, and gives you 2d6 bonus damage against whatever you're fighting.

Infernal

Disappointing. The Infernal Bloodline provides very few good options.

Bonus Feats: A couple of decent options, but msotly bad.

Bonus Spells: Nothing special.

Hellfire Strike (Su): Amusing, but the limited uses per day make this a very small amount of damage per day.

Infernal Resistance (Ex): Not a lot of resistance, but it's nice to have.

Diabolical Arrogance (Su): Enchantment effects are among the scariest in the game, and fear effects also exist. Bonuses to saves against both will help with the Bloodrager's poor Will saves.

Dark Wings (Su): Free flight! Don't try to rage cycle while flying, or you will fall out of the sky.

Hellfire Charge (Su): 1d6 fire damage on your charges. Exciting.

Fiend of the Pit (Su): Excellent resistances, and See In Darkness is much better than Darkvision.

Undead

The Undead Bloodline is a nice Tank option, and is good for fear stacking. With a few feats and some help from allies, you can keep enemies in a perpetual state of panic.

Bonus Feats: Only a couple good options.

Bonus Spells: False Life and Vampiric touch are absolutely fantastic buffs for a front-line melee character like the Bloodrager.

Frightful Charger (Su): Frightful Strikes will eclipse this ability, but making the target Shaken with no save is a great option.

Ghost Strike (Su): Situational, but nice to have.

Death's Gift (Su): Resistance to cold is nice, but you only get 10 points. Nonlethal damage is extremely uncommon.

Frightful Strikes (Su): By this level you have three iterative attacks, so you can make one enemy frightened every round. There is no save against this ability, which makes it particularly effective. I'm not sure what the duration on the fear effect is. Technically, rules as written, they are frightened forever. I imagine that this will be covered by eratta at some point.

Incorporeal Bloodrager (Su): This is a fantastic defensive ability because of Ghost Strike.

One Foot in the Grave (Ex): A nice undead-related list of immunities and resistances.