A bloodline is a taxonomic term for identifying the inherited source of certain abilities. In the most common examples, bloodragers, sorcerers, and some arcanists derive their arcane magic abilities from their bloodlines.
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Bloodlines as arcane abilities
As a bloodline-derived arcane spellcaster gradually masters their abilities, they may learn spells, gain supernatural powers and spell-like abilities, and sometimes even manifest physiological characteristics reflecting the historical source of their inherited power. Sorcerers claiming an aquatic bloodline, for example, have demonstrated a marked affinity for water-based magic, and there are verifiable accounts of such aquatic sorcerers whose very bodies have developed abilities to withstand the cold and pressure of a deep-water environment.
Sorcerer and bloodrager bloodlines
Although both are called bloodline, and can even derive from similar backgrounds—for example, celestial or arcane—bloodlines exhibit themselves in bloodragers differently from how they manifest in sorcerers. Furthermore, some bloodlines seem to manifest in sorcerers only or bloodragers only.
Bloodlines on Golarion
At least 30 independent bloodlines are widely known to exist across Golarion, most involving a progenitor of highly advanced magical ability or belonging to an arcane or extraplanar race. Some theorize that a few regions may have additional bloodlines native to and largely confined to such regions, but it is well-established that certain regions tend to spawn bloodline-derived spellcasters claiming to have descended from specific bloodlines: the sorcerers of Geb, for example, are highly likely to assert that their powers derive from undead bloodlines, although this is by no means a theory of wide scientific acceptance.
- Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 71. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
- Jason Bulmahn. (2010). Advanced Player's Guide, p. 136. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-246-3
- Jason Bulmahn et al. (2014). Advanced Class Guide, p. 16ff. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-671-3
- The attached template clearly shows which bloodlines have manifested in which type of spellcaster.
- Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 71-77. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
- Jason Bulmahn. (2010). Advanced Player's Guide, p. 136-41. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-246-3
- Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 50. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1