Sorcerers are set apart from most other spellcasters by being creatures with vast and growing natural magic powers, closer in concept to monsters than the sages of study and learning epitomized by wizards or the agents of divinity that make up the ranks of clerics, druids, inquisitors, oracles and paladins. Even witches and bards are normally presented as drawing on power that originates outside them (from a patron or the power of music, respectively), rather than having power grow from within them. Only sorcerers are commonly presented as having truly innate magic powers which are the legacy of a mystic heritage or special destiny.
The strongest indications of this legacy are the powers granted by a sorcerer’s bloodline. Each bloodline affects a sorcerer’s spells known, class skills, potential training (in the form of bonus feats), special powers, and even how the sorcerer casts spells (as modified by bloodline arcana). Bloodlines are an awesome, flexible, flavorful element of the sorcerer class. As a result, nearly all efforts to create new rule variants for sorcerers do so by creating new sorcerous bloodlines.
That’s fine, as far as it goes. But is that the only way to make sorcerers different? Should these heroes who have magic itself coursing through their veins not have access to any special abilities beyond what their heritage powers grant them? Why can’t sorcerers learn to use their innate spells in whole new ways, develop weird quirks of magic power, or have alternate class abilities similar to the archetypes of other classes? In short, why can’t a sorcerer’s options go beyond bloodlines?
Sorcerer’s Options: Beyond Bloodlines is designed to expand the alternate rules that can be used to make two sorcerers different, even if they select the same bloodline. It does this by presenting arcane endowments (special powers available only to sorcerers, representing quirks in their inherited powers), sorcery spells (arcane spells available only to sorcerers), and alternate class powers built on the model of class archetypes (first presented in the Advanced Player’s Guide).