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Detect blood traces

splatter, blood, drops-303569.jpg

Crime and Punishment
Author Keith Baker
Series Campaign Style
Publisher Atlas Games
Publish date 2003

Level: Inq 0
Casting Time: 1 action
Components: V, S
Range: 60 ft.
Area: Quarter circle emanating from you to the extreme of the range
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute/level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

This spell is one of the hallmarks of the inquisitor; it is an invaluable tool when investigating a murder or a brawl. Using this spell, you can sense any blood that has been shed in the area within the previous 48 hours. Inquisitors say that spilled blood retains a mystical connection with the creature whose veins it once flowed through. By reading this aura — referred to as a “bloodtrace an inquisitor can gain a tremendous amount of information about the creature that was injured.

The effects of the spell depend on how long you study a particular Area:

  • 1st round — The presence of spilled blood within the area of effect.
  • 2nd round — The precise location of bloodstains, and the number of different creatures involved.
  • 3rd round — Study the bloodtraces of any blood you have located. This requires the use of the Heal skill; inquisitors who study medicine spend a great deal of time studying the nature of blood. The following checks are possible:
Information Heal Check DC
Precise time blood was spilled10
Confirm identity10
Determine species15
Detect foreign substances15
Determine gender20
Determine age20
Determine nationality30

Each check requires 2 full rounds. A failed roll results in no information as opposed to faulty information. You may retry a check if you fail, or take 20 by spending 4 minutes on the check — but keep the duration of the spell in mind. You would have to be at least 5th level to be able to take 20, and then you’d only have time to make a single check before the spell expired. To clarify the effect of each check:

Precise time blood was spilled is just that how old is the bloodstain?

Confirm identity allows you to compare the bloodtrace to a bloodstone (see form bloodstone) or another sample of blood and determine if they come from the same creature.

Determine species lets you to identify the type of creature from which the blood came. You must be at least somewhat familiar with the creature in order to identify it; otherwise, you will simply know that it is a species you have not encountered before.

Presence of foreign substances allows you to determine whether there was a significantly level of Alcohol, poison, drugs, or any other unusual substance in the blood at the time it was spilled. A successful check will determine the basic nature of the substance (i.e. poison or Alcohol).

However, in a world where inquisitors are common, poisons may have been developed that are harder to Spot by bloodtracing; this would result in an increased DC for the base Heal check. Identifying the precise nature of the substance such as what type of Alcohol it is — requires a successful Craft (alchemy) check (DC 20, modified as the GM sees fit based on the rarity of the substance). You cannot retry a failed Craft (alchemy) check; if you miss the roll, you know the basic nature of the substance but cannot pin down any specifics.

Determine gender, age, and nationality all provide information about the being whose blood is being studied. Nationality is extremely difficult to pin down, and only the most skilled inquisitors can accomplish this task. As with determine species, if you have never encountered a being of a particular nationality before, you will not be able to pinpoint its identity.

Each round, you can turn to examine a new area. The spell can penetrate barriers, but will be blocked by 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or three feet of wood or dirt. Flesh also acts as a barrier; it will not detect blood flowing through the veins of a living creature, or for that matter a vampire. This spell is the foundation of form bloodstone and follow the bloody trail, two other spells that are described later in this section.

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