Main Page » DM Tips
Birthright can be a very challenging game to run as a DM – in addition to all the usual background activity, the DM may need to run dozens of realms actively to compete against the PC’s realms, and generate adventures that challenge and interest a regent not merely the typical gold and glory obsessed adventurer.
This page is designed as an index sheet for hints for DM’s thinking of running a Birthright game.
A few obvious areas where tips could be helpful are laid out below, to add a tip please add a link below to direct people to your hint page, or rename one of the unused links below (several are placed to indicate potential topics and naming conventions).
Character Creation Tips
Birthright character creation is key in setting the tone of the campaign, the standard Birthright campaign makes a number of assumptions in the ideology of elves and halflings for example that are distinct from ‘standard’ campaigns while magic is often far more rare than in other games – which has a major impact on challenge ratings and the ability of PCs to sidestep problems at high level.
Races in Cerilia
Race tips cover suggestions for playing both realms and individuals of the given race, alternate mechanics or explanations and racial history, and hints on different kinds of adventure that can be found in the lands in question.
Master or Minion
A Birthright campaign can be set at the individual level only, ignoring the domain rules except as a backdrop (like a standard D&D campaign) or can be almost entirely domain level almost ignoring character action (many PBeM’s)
- Born to rule - Suggestions for playing a blooded campaign of scions who will one day become regents of domains in Birthright – if they survive and win the respect of their peers…
- It’s lonely at the top - Suggestions for playing a campaign with only 1 regent character in the party.
- The high king - Suggestions for playing a campaign of regents where one is pre-chosen as the high king around which the primary story will unfold.
- Interlocking realms - Suggestions to play a campaign based around a small number of realms in which the players control different types of holding.
This section is for comments on issues that arise in domain play, challenges for domains that can inspire adventures and the like.
- The court in action - Notes on how their court and fellow nobles, etc can restrict or otherwise influence a regent’s options – and how you can keep the story and campaign intact but allow the PC to decide their own course for their realm.
- Running realms - Notes on different strategies and tactics that NPC realms can adopt, possible diplomatic activity, etc.
- Building your campaign - A starting Birthright DM needs to build not just a village or suchlike in which the first few adventurers can be played, they need to build an entire system of interlocking realms – it can seem an overwhelming task but here are some handy tips
- Domain action summary - So what domain actions are there in Birthright? And what do the mechanics represent in role-play terms? This page summarizes the possible domain actions in the BRCS and links to sub-pages explaining them in detail.
- Reining in the ruler - So what happens when a player sees any opposition as treason? When a guilder's forgetting to pay their taxes is grounds for execution and a priest who remonstrates over the morality of an act is dragged to the palace in chains to be flogged to teach them to mind their place? It's good to be king, but what rights does a ruler have compared to other regents, how can they bend others to their will - and what rights do other regents have in the realm?
Notes on how to play and design memorable and effective awnsheghlien characters and foes.
Bloodlines are, or at least can be, more than just a handy game mechanic to explain regency points and add some flavor to an otherwise bog-standard fighter; this section includes tips on how different bloodlines and abilities can be interpreted with different flavors, how bloodlines are seen by the natives of Cerilia.
- Foreign lands - Cerilia is the most explored Birthright continent by far - but others exist including Aduria, Djapar, and less well known realms. These notes explore using the domain rules in other continents, the creation of 'micro' continents to keep play localized, and so on.
- PBEM tips - some tips on creating and running a PBEM