Sorcerer Levels and the Bloodline Development Arcanist Exploit

Rules Questions

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

If I have a level of Sorcerer, and then go into Arcanist and grab the Bloodline Development exploit, it says:

"If the arcanist already has a bloodline (or gains one later), taking this exploit instead allows her arcanist levels to stack with the levels of the class that granted her access to the bloodline when determining the powers and abilities of her bloodline."

What all exactly is being inherited with this? What falls under "powers and abilities"? If its just the Bloodline Powers, whats the "and abilities" text referring to? Does it get the Bloodline Arcana? The Bloodline Feats or Bloodline Spells? All of those things fall under the "Bloodline" Class Feature of the Sorcerer and could I suppose be described as "abilities". It seems like getting access to all of those things for a level dip and an exploit would be too much, but that "powers and abilities" text is throwing me off.

A sorcerer 1/arcanist already gets the bloodline arcana without an exploit.

Bloodline powers and abilities are basically synonymous. A sorcerer 1/arcanist with bloodline development treats their sorcerer level as (1 + ). For example, an arcane sorcerer 1/arcanist 8 has arcane bond and metamagic adept and can use the latter twice per day.

Bloodline feats and bloodline spells are neither powers nor abilities. You only get those when you have sufficient sorcerer levels.

If its just Powers, then why would it have the "and abilities" text? I'm not sure what exactly falls under "abilities", but having that there really seems to imply that it grants something other than just the Powers.

Eh, I wouldn't read too much into that. Paizo isn't always surgically precise with its rules text.

If we want to get crazy in the scrutiny department, . . . There's no direct definition of "bloodline ability". Digging for references to that phrase comes up with the general rule text for bloodline mutations:

Alternatively, a bloodrager or sorcerer can select a bloodline mutation in place of a bloodline bonus feat, provided her class level is at least equal to the level of the bloodline ability the mutation normally

The abilities in question are invariably bloodline powers and don't include feats, spells, or arcana, suggesting that the terms "bloodline ability" and "bloodline power" are equivalent.

There's also the scorpion bloodline power:

Progenitor’s Sting (Sp) wrote:
At 11th level, whenever you apply your progenitor’s sting to a weapon, you can magically apply it onto all willing allies’ weapons within 20 feet as well. This counts as one use of your bloodline ability.

And a trait:

Blood Resonance wrote:
Select one racial, inherited template (such as half-dragon), or bloodline ability you can currently use at least three times each day. Once per day when you are within 60 feet of another character with this family trait who shares the race, template, or bloodline, you can use the selected ability without it counting against your normal daily limit.

Either the two terms are equivalent . . . or perhaps the distinction is that a bloodline ability is the thing you activate (Ex/Su/Sp) while a bloodline power is more general and may or may not grant a bloodline ability (rather than a more constant effect). But that would imply that bloodline mutations can't replace bloodline powers that don't grant abilities*, which I doubt was intended.

*Note: I don't actually know if any such bloodline powers exist. X D

The Exchange

“Ability / abilities” is one of those words that - like “level” - is used in far too many contexts in Pathfinder.

I’ve always thought Bloodline Development only applied to the powers, not spells or feats, but I can see your argument. The glossary of terms on pages 11-13 of the CRB only defines “ability” in terms of your Ability Score. But other terms refer to abilities, such as Feats, which says

...some classes and other abilities grant bonus feats.

I still think it’s just supposed to apply to bloodline powers, but this could definitely use a FAQ/errata.

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