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Don E
05-12-2004, 12:37 PM
I have always wondered why wizards should not be allowed to create and develop sources in areas that are not considered provinces. I have not met many GMs who allow this, but the reasons have mostly been "not allowed" or "doesn't work". Have anybody come up with any better explanations, or do you allow it in your games?

I have personally been tempted to say that non-provinces from a human perspective are really just a zero level province from the perspective of the locals. As such I would say that a non-province is actually -/7 as opposed to non existent for the purpouse of source generation. (Source potential of 7 is just an arbitrary expample here.) This would allow dragons and other reclusive creatures to control sources without being dependant on some pesky local ruler actually controlling the provinces.

Cheers,
E

irdeggman
05-12-2004, 01:14 PM
Mechanically the question to address is where are the boundaries to be drawn? If there is no province then a -/7 would be applicable to everywhere vice a -/7 that is bounded by a set area. What this would do would be to gretly limit how many sources ae available if there are no province lines drawn.

So unless some kind of arbitrary or virtual province is created to bound the source potential boundaries it doesn't really work from a mechanics standpoint.

What dragons?

Don E
05-12-2004, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by irdeggman@May 12 2004, 02:14 PM
Mechanically the question to address is where are the boundaries to be drawn? If there is no province then a -/7 would be applicable to everywhere vice a -/7 that is bounded by a set area. What this would do would be to gretly limit how many sources ae available if there are no province lines drawn.

To me the province boundaries are something that is rather arbitrary. Unless one links the manifestation of the Mehaighl to the drawing of province lines there is little reason why the Mebhaighl should not flow there.


So unless some kind of arbitrary or virtual province is created to bound the source potential boundaries it doesn't really work from a mechanics standpoint.

I have found that many other people play with province borders already drawn up before the provinces are created. Personally I think this is a good idea, as it gives the players some idea of province borders will end up if they create a province.


What dragons?

Where it says 'There be dragons!' on the treasure map. :)

Osprey
05-12-2004, 01:52 PM
Don E,

The one area I've put that into practice is the Sere Coast west of Mieres and the Deismaar Wastes. There is a huge area of mostly uninhabited and desolate wilderness...perfect for a strong wizard to come along and claim the entire region, and calling it Wizard's Reach.

I did exactly what you preferred: drew province lines, regardless if a blooded rgent rules the land there or not - in this case, not. But if someone were to come along and attempt to do so, they'd still have to start with a Create Province action - that action isn't a month-long ritual of drawing boundaries alone, though that might be a decent part of it (Medieval Surveying?). Create Province is also laying down the infrastructure and seeds of establing rulership, taxation, and other holding types.

And since sources thrive in non-civilization, then I think you're exatly right: what is allowed to be a province is ultimately the GM's discretion, not the player arbitrarily deciding "I want this place to be a province." So why not draw everything out as a GM?

Osprey

DanMcSorley
05-12-2004, 02:30 PM
> I have always wondered why wizards should not be allowed to create and

> develop sources in areas that are not considered provinces. I have not

> met many GMs who allow this, but the reasons have mostly been "not

> allowed" or "doesn`t work". Have anybody come up with

> any better explanations, or do you allow it in your games?I have

> personally been tempted to say that non-provinces from a human

> perspective are really just a zero level province from the perspective

> of the locals. As such I would say that a non-province is actually -/7

> as opposed to non existent for the purpouse of source generation.

> (Source potential of 7 is just an arbitrary expample here.) This would

> allow dragons and other reclusive creatures to control sources without

> being dependant on some pesky local ruler actually controlling the

> provinces.Cheers,E



This is entirely reasonable, and there`s no reason to disallow it; it`s

certainly not gamebreaking or out of genre for wizards to have their lairs

far from the normals.



--

Daniel McSorley

irdeggman
05-12-2004, 03:38 PM
Yes all I was refering to is some sort of borders for a virtual province. As long as they are there I see no reason why a wizard couldn't lay claim to source holdings in the area.

Now it would probably be feasable for a DM to 'draw' the boundaries on his map as they pertain to sources for unclaimed 'provinces'.

This would allow wizards to claim an effective area for their sources.

Once (if ever) the land is claimed by a regent as a province then the borders are finitely set since the regent has bound the land to him in some manner. This would supercede the virtual border originally drawn.

Just some thoughts.

Osprey
05-12-2004, 03:44 PM
The really sticky issue revolving around this is the sources that are not provinces at all. The outstanding example is the River Maesil, mentioned in RoE as one of the primary sources for Caine of Endier's regency, yet he isn't listed as getting any actual RP or a source rating from the river. Has anyone come up with some decent mechanics to deal with this sort of thing? It's a big deal, since most rivers of consequence, in Anuire at least, always run along borders of provinces rather than through them. A river through a province would be easy, it would just add to the source potential of the province. But the Maesil especially is so big that it could be imagined to be a potent source in and of itself.

I have come up with 3 contrasting possibilities for this, though I haven't decided on anything at this point in time:

1. Ignore the reference to Caine in RoE, and instead say big rivers are no different than oceans. Running water is actually a problem for sources and ley lines, being a wilder sort of mebhaighl difficult or impossible for mages to channel.

2. Allow that rivers, because they flow in predictable channels, can be harnessed as sources in and of themselves. I think the easiest thing then would be to break rivers into large chunks as source potential.
-ex: The Maesil: the Lower Maesil would run from Endier to the Imperial City, and being so wide and deep might be as high as a level 9 source potential. This may in fact have been the primary source of the Royal College of Sorcery, though it may also be that Caine has been contesting their control of it over the years. Likewise, the Tuor River (4), the Stonebyrn (5-7), the Midlands Maesil (source 5-7 potential, from Gheire, where the Stonebyrn meets the Maesil, to Endier), the Heartlands Maesil (5-7, Elinie-Ghoere section), and the Upper Maesil along the Mhoried-Markazor border (7).

Some other major rivers of Anuire that lie between provinces:
-The Spider River (5-7, high since its source is the Spiderfell)
-The Adele (3)
-The Calrie River [name? the river between Aerenwe and Osoerde] (4)
-Bog River [name? Elinie-Coeranys river, through Ruorven] (4)
-Chimaeron River [name? Coeranys-Chimaeron border] (5)
-Elfwash River (7)
-Boeruine-Talinie border [name?] (5)
-Lower Rulde River (5) [Riverford - Nolien]
-Middle Rulde River (7) [Tuarhievel border]
-Upper Rulde (7) [Gorgon's Crown-Giantdowns border]

3. The 3rd option, which I favor least because it requires complete rearrangement of the existing map, is that border rivers should have added source potential (+1 normally, possibly up to +3, depending on the river and province) to each of the provinces bordering it. This would be a mjor pain in the butt, and make less sense than the rivers being sources independent of neighboring province sources.

Obviously I'm very interested in the 2nd option, rivers as independent sources. This would add a large number of potential sources to Anuire, which is frankly in desperate need of more sources to balance out the wizards as regents compared to other regent types. Wizards have to look much harder than other regents for a sizable domain, particularly in the south and Heartlands, and this problem only grows in games where province levels start rising as regents continue to Rule them to higher levels.

What do folks think of this? I know there's been discussion on the subject before, but I've never seen anyone put actual numbers to it.

Osprey

Don E
05-12-2004, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by Osprey@May 12 2004, 04:44 PM
1. Ignore the reference to Caine in RoE, and instead say big rivers are no different than oceans.* Running water is actually a problem for sources and ley lines, being a wilder sort of mebhaighl difficult or impossible for mages to channel.

It would most certainly not be the first time one did a handwave due to some inconsistency in BR.


2. Allow that rivers, because they flow in predictable channels, can be harnessed as sources in and of themselves.* I think the easiest thing then would be to break rivers into large chunks as source potential.

I'm not a big fan of this solution. Not only would this incrase the amount of sources avalable quite drastically, it would also open the question regarding sources and the ocean. I'm quite happy with wizards having trouble with water.


3. The 3rd option, which I favor least because it requires complete rearrangement of the existing map, is that border rivers should have added source potential (+1 normally, possibly up to +3, depending on the river and province) to each of the provinces bordering it.* This would be a mjor pain in the butt, and make less sense than the rivers being sources independent of neighboring province sources.

I think this might be the prefered solution if one see it as a problem. A flat bonus of +1 would be my choice. This would not be because the river or sea is untampered wilderness, but because it generally allows for a more fertile land along it. I also think there should be a cap on this bonus to prevent source of level 10 (or higher if one gives a +2 bonus or more).

Another similar option is to give river and coastal provinces a specified magic potential that is used if the province terrain would normally put it lower. In the RoE PBeM this level is set to 6, and appers to be working reasonably. This is actually how it was presented in the original BR rules book, but for some reason not implemented in the domain writeups. On p81 you'll find that river and coast is listed with a magic potential of 7. Did I just write something about inconsistencies? :P

Cheers,
E

Osprey
05-12-2004, 04:38 PM
I think this might be the prefered solution if one see it as a problem. A flat bonus of +1 would be my choice. This would not be because the river or sea is untampered wilderness, but because it generally allows for a more fertile land along it. I also think there should be a cap on this bonus to prevent source of level 10 (or higher if one gives a +2 bonus or more).


What is the problem with source potential of 10? Why not allow source 10 as a cap, rather than 9? Seems balanced to me, given that provinces can get this high.

I think +1 as a default is reasonable too, I was just thinking of +2 for special types infused with mebhaighl, such as [perhaps] the Spider River and the Elfwash.


Another similar option is to give river and coastal provinces a specified magic potential that is used if the province terrain would normally put it lower. In the RoE PBeM this level is set to 6, and appers to be working reasonably. This is actually how it was presented in the original BR rules book, but for some reason not implemented in the domain writeups. On p81 you'll find that river and coast is listed with a magic potential of 7. Did I just write something about inconsistencies?

I think in general there are too few sources in Anuire compared to potential for other holding types, which is why I'm not averse to adding to potential source options.

And if I were to believe the Rulebook, then coastal and river plains would be at +2, not +1, right? the PBeM seems a bit biased against sources to me, or is making some wierd compromise.

A possible reason that river is source 7 potential, but it doesn't show up in RoE writeups: there isn't a single river in Anuire that goes through a province. Every single one is a provincial border. It's possible they intended the river potential for a case which didn't actually become reality on the maps, at least in Anuire.

I don't quite agree with coastal provinces being better for sources. I see the ocean as being the ultimate in untameable wild magic. Rivers, however, are very defined and fairly predictable in their flows, though speed and flow of water of course varies by weather and season. The ocean, on the other hand, constantly mixes and defies any lasting boundaries besides the actual landmasses. But if the water itself is the source of mebhaighl, imagine how maddening it would be for a wizard to try and capture that essence when it's constantly shifting, mixing, coming and going with the tides...

A reasonable analogy is contemporary uses of rivers and the sea as energy sources: damming rivers provides large amounts of predictable electricty for cheap, while tidal energy is notoriuosly expensive and low-yield. While the ocean represents an immense source of potential energy, the actual process of harnessing that power is still incredibly difficult and impractical.

geeman
05-12-2004, 05:10 PM
Irdeggman is correct in pointing out that the fundamental question with

non-province sources is how to locate them, and the most obvious answer (as

pointed out by Don E) is that the DM can just sketch in those province

borders since they are, more or less, arbitrary. They do tend to follow

major terrain features, but not exactly and not with any particular

consistency. Province borders also tend not to meet up to form "corners"

in a "four-points" kind of way in which four different provinces all meet

up at the same point. They do that occasionally, but not very often. Most

often the borders are "perpendicular" to one another. The only other

consideration is province size. Smallest to largest, provinces on the BR

maps seem to have a range of about 500%. That is, the smallest province is

one fifth the size of the largest one. In some respects this seems to be a

matter of terrain, with "less habitable" areas getting more area. While

none of these things are hard and fast rules, given those considerations

one could just draw in borders over the entire continent without too much

difficulty--just a little time and eyeball strain.



In the past fiddled around with the idea of a provinceless domain

system. A holding has a central point--a headquarters, guild office, main

temple or source, and their influence radiates out from that locale. A

level 4 holding, for instance, would have four "rings" of influence with

each ring representing the amount of control over that aspect of the

population the holding exerts. Control over additional holdings of the

same type represents having additional radii of influence. That is, if a

regent controlled two level 4 holdings he`d have two concentric circles of

control radiating out from two different locations, each with a diminishing

amount of influence as the circles grow larger. In such a system the map

is gridded (I actually prefer hexes since they fit "circles" better and

have a nice, nostalgic D&D feel) and the influence of the holdings are

plotted much the way spell effects are in 3e/3.5 with the level of the

holding representing the radius of the influence. Rival holdings can exist

as nearby or far away as one wants, but their influence doesn`t stack, so

having holdings overlapping each other doesn`t do any particular

good. Competing or cooperating regents, however, can use their levels in

much the same way they can within provinces in the standard BR domain

level--adding or subtracting those levels to influence other`s actions and

the ability to engage in RP bidding to influence the outcome of the

actions. In such a system one needn`t draw province borders, just

establish a holding in a grid square and have its influence radiate out

from there.



I mention this here because it occurs to me that one could just assume that

in regions that aren`t already mapped out for provinces that one could just

locate the points on the map where the "source" is located and give access

to the source levels from that. It might save some time if one doesn`t

want to scrawl province borders on a whole continent....



Gary

geeman
05-12-2004, 05:30 PM
At 05:44 PM 5/12/2004 +0200, Osprey wrote:



>The 3rd option, which I favor least because it requires complete

>rearrangement of the existing map, is that border rivers should have added

>source potential (+1 normally, possibly up to +3, depending on the river

>and province) to each of the provinces bordering it. This would be a mjor

>pain in the butt, and make less sense than the rivers being sources

>independent of neighboring province sources.



I`ve favored this option in the past since it is the simplest. In fact, I

had a list of terrain effects that all added +1 to +3 to the potential

source level of a province. If a province had the "seaside" terrain type

(one of its border was the ocean) it got a bonus, for instance.



Generally, I assume that a river could be a source in the sense that it is

the focus of a source holding. That is, source holdings represent control

over the magical energies of a location or focus point. "Sources" are

those locales. A source might represent control over sylvan glen, an

outcropping of rock, an ancient oak tree, etc. The "control" over such

things is essentially mystical and "psychic" if you will, but in game terms

the regent must adventure to gain control over that source by defeating or

otherwise subjugating the creatures who surround it, performing various

deeds to establish a connection to the source, etc. In that context, the

river would be the source upon which the wizard is focusing his

efforts. One could locate the source holding in an adjacent province, or

it could be its own little source potential with a range of

1-3. Personally, I`d favor the former solution in a domain system that

uses provinces since the river itself has a relatively small area and would

represent a rather odd (and long) "province" in terms of affect.



I should note, however, that I see ley lines as functioning in essentially

the same manner as a source. That is, the wizard creates a

psychic/mystical connection to some natural phenomenon that crosses over

between the provinces, and if one were to establish a ley line between

provinces that were linked by having a border with the same river that

phenomenon is pretty well exemplified... so I`d make that a bit easier to

do than if they had to create a ley line between provinces that have no

terrain in common. In cases where their is no obvious connection between

the provinces one can go with something as simple as the wind, morning

mist, the light reflecting from a crystalline peak, or one can go with

something less demonstrable like a vein of rock or other subterranean

condition. A river is such a good terrain condition to exemplify a ley

line, though, that I`d give the person a bonus or make the adventuring to

establish that line easier.



Gary

geeman
05-12-2004, 05:30 PM
At 06:38 PM 5/12/2004 +0200, Osprey wrote:



>I don`t quite agree with coastal provinces being better for sources. I

>see the ocean as being the ultimate in untameable wild magic.



It isn`t so much the ocean that I see as being better for sources as it is

the coast, the meeting point of ocean and land. Waves crashing on the

beach or up against a craggy cliff face have a nice, "natural" effect--and

are relatively easy locations to establish an adventure around.



Oceans, on the other hand, should be their own provinces IMO. They would

get a bonus to their potential source levels for being "coastal" too, and

would be uncontrollable by land-based wizards without some sort of

extenuating conditions being met, but on the whole I see them operating the

same way land provinces do.



Gary

Benjamin
05-12-2004, 05:50 PM
Virtual Provinces / Sources
I agree that the DM and player can work it out between them to draw up provinces and tap into the magic there. The fact that it hasn't been done yet is proof that wizards aren't that clever. :)

But we also have to remember that ley lines can't be indefinitely long across water. There is that 150 mile restriction. Now truly, that means you can forge one giant ley line, so I always thought that was a ridiculous distance. So maybe this needs to be defined a bit better too, especially the line "before terminating in a province on dry land". Technically speaking, the Gorgon could forge a ley line from Dhalier in Mieres to Kal Saitharak - he has the GB and RP. It doesn't go more than 150 miles over water, so he's fine. I think there should be a greater cost for crossing water regions, and the distance be shortened.

River / Ocean Sources
I tend to agree more with option 3. After all, the rules clearly state that provinces with rivers and coastal provinces have a potential of 7 (RoE pg. 81). Yes, the maps don't show this, but I think this is just a case of the right and left hands not talking. I think it would be fairly simple for someone to alter the map and distribute to everyone a new 'official' version that is accurate. Plus, this boosts the power of the existing mages considerably with little headaches.

I do not think that making ocean and river sources is a good idea. You have to mark up the map for new 'water provinces' then distribute to mages. Making a new province just opens up a whole can of worms that I don't like.

Don E
05-12-2004, 07:15 PM
Originally posted by Osprey@May 12 2004, 05:38 PM
What is the problem with source potential of 10? Why not allow source 10 as a cap, rather than 9? Seems balanced to me, given that provinces can get this high.


As I see it the river or sea does not contribute any source in itself, it simply makes it possible for the surrounding land to be a bit more lush and alive. The ancient forests are about as fertile as it is possible to get, river or not.


I think +1 as a default is reasonable too, I was just thinking of +2 for special types infused with mebhaighl, such as [perhaps] the Spider River and the Elfwash.

I think in general there are too few sources in Anuire compared to potential for other holding types, which is why I'm not averse to adding to potential source options.

And if I were to believe the Rulebook, then coastal and river plains would be at +2, not +1, right? the PBeM seems a bit biased against sources to me, or is making some wierd compromise.


It was not my decision to set the level at 6, but I can reason with it. As above I don't see the sea as the source, it just helps the land. No matter how big or nice the river it won't make the whole province as vegetated as a forest is, which has the level 7 source. Because this is actually implemented, as opposed to in 2e BR, there are more sources to go around.


A possible reason that river is source 7 potential, but it doesn't show up in RoE writeups: there isn't a single river in Anuire that goes through a province. Every single one is a provincial border. It's possible they intended the river potential for a case which didn't actually become reality on the maps, at least in Anuire.


I don't think it was intended for the rivers to be part of the provinces, they just make too good borders. Just like a coastline being sufficient to increase the source potential, so I think the river bank should be acceptable. In general I think Gary's arguments for the costal increase is quite valid.

Cheers,
E

ryancaveney
05-13-2004, 01:40 AM
On Wed, 12 May 2004, Gary wrote:



> the DM can just sketch in those province

> borders since they are, more or less, arbitrary.



Another reason to draw province borders in all areas currently outside

provinces is that they are necessary to allow military movement into or

through those areas. I agree that wizards should be able to create

sources in such places, but even anyone who doesn`t ought to agree that

lack of official provincehood doesn`t make a place impossible to march

through -- and army movement is defined by number of provinces traversed.



> They do tend to follow major terrain features, but not exactly and not

> with any particular consistency.



Artistically, they`re pretty good; and as you say, many even make sense

from a "natural frontiers" perspective; but that inconsistency makes them

problematic for the army marching application I`ve just mentioned.



> Smallest to largest, provinces on the BR maps seem to have a range of

> about 500%. That is, the smallest province is one fifth the size of

> the largest one. In some respects this seems to be a matter of

> terrain, with "less habitable" areas getting more area.



Now this is a real problem. This is my biggest gripe with the BR map.

For one thing, the maximum province level rules mean there is no need to

make provinces different sizes -- habitability is already well accounted

for by capping desert at level 3 and tundra at level 2, for example.

Furthermore, it does serious damage to the military movement purpose of

province boundaries: it actually makes it faster and cheaper to march a

large army through a desolate wasteland than through fertile civilization,

which is certainly not the case in practice.



> That is, if a regent controlled two level 4 holdings he`d have two

> concentric circles of control radiating out from two different

> locations, each with a diminishing amount of influence as the circles

> grow larger.



This sounds like a really neat idea! Also, sadly, like a logistical

nightmare to keep track of it all. Did you ever get to use it in play?



> In such a system the map is gridded (I actually prefer hexes since

> they fit "circles" better and have a nice, nostalgic D&D feel)



As Kenneth Gauck and others have suggested, there is much in favor of

treating a province as simply a name for a certain collection of hexes on

a smaller-scale map. At the very least, something like this really ought

to be done to regulate movement if province size and shape is not kept

very close to equal. Personally, I favor doing such a remapping (Kenneth

uses three-mile hexes) and then making all provinces exactly equal in

number of hexes (though not necessarily in shape), and then rewriting the

army movement rules to fit the newly-drawn hexes.





Ryan Caveney

Osprey
05-13-2004, 04:10 AM
Oceans, on the other hand, should be their own provinces IMO. They would
get a bonus to their potential source levels for being "coastal" too, and
would be uncontrollable by land-based wizards without some sort of
extenuating conditions being met, but on the whole I see them operating the
same way land provinces do.

Gary


Are you perhaps thinking of awnshegh/ershegh mages of the sea, just possibly? ;)

Osprey
05-13-2004, 04:23 AM
As I see it the river or sea does not contribute any source in itself, it simply makes it possible for the surrounding land to be a bit more lush and alive. The ancient forests are about as fertile as it is possible to get, river or not.


I think perhaps your view of mebhaighl is a bit limited. You seem to equate it primarily with living things, a rather Star Wars force-like idea...however, I think the original concept was broader than that as it included elemental forces as well. Why else would high, stark mountains have the same source potential as forests? By your definition, mountains should have very low source potential as they are rather devoid of life compared to forests.

I recall reading that there were other things that could grant +1 to +3 bonuses to source potential in certain magic-rich areas: dragon bones, unusual clusters of magical energies (some sort of vortex or nexus perhaps?), etc. Given that swamps, the actual highest base source potential, have an 8 source potential, this suggests that it is concievable to have source levels as high as 11 without any sentient interference.

As I mentioned earlier, there are in general far fewer source levels available than province levels, except in the more remote parts of Cerilia, and rare indeed is the level 0 province...non-existent, in fact, at least on the official map. The place that aren't named as provinces are the only possible examples of such places.

geeman
05-13-2004, 05:20 AM
At 09:20 PM 5/12/2004 -0400, Ryan Caveney wrote:



> > the DM can just sketch in those province

> > borders since they are, more or less, arbitrary.

>

>Another reason to draw province borders in all areas currently outside

>provinces is that they are necessary to allow military movement into or

>through those areas. I agree that wizards should be able to create

>sources in such places, but even anyone who doesn`t ought to agree that

>lack of official provincehood doesn`t make a place impossible to march

>through -- and army movement is defined by number of provinces traversed.



That`s a good point. In a "provinceless" system, however, one could use

the grid (or a hex map) in a way similar to D&D combat, or one could just

measure out the movement according to the appropriate scale. That way

movement isn`t locked into a sort of "points of the compass" or six

directions, though that is more difficult to compute.



> > That is, if a regent controlled two level 4 holdings he`d have two

> > concentric circles of control radiating out from two different

> > locations, each with a diminishing amount of influence as the circles

> > grow larger.

>

>This sounds like a really neat idea! Also, sadly, like a logistical

>nightmare to keep track of it all. Did you ever get to use it in play?



It`s never been playtested. In fact, the idea is mostly just germinating

in the back of my mind... not unlike a psychosis. I have playtested grids

for an unrelated domain system instead of "artistically" drawn province

borders and it seems to work fine. Something about the inorganic,

mathematical nature of a grid, however, turns me off. In a perfect world

there`d be something that had the functionality of a grid with the more

naturalistic method of more irregular borders.



> > In such a system the map is gridded (I actually prefer hexes since

> > they fit "circles" better and have a nice, nostalgic D&D feel)

>

>As Kenneth Gauck and others have suggested, there is much in favor of

>treating a province as simply a name for a certain collection of hexes on

>a smaller-scale map. At the very least, something like this really ought

>to be done to regulate movement if province size and shape is not kept

>very close to equal. Personally, I favor doing such a remapping (Kenneth

>uses three-mile hexes) and then making all provinces exactly equal in

>number of hexes (though not necessarily in shape), and then rewriting the

>army movement rules to fit the newly-drawn hexes.



I`m leaning towards coming up with some sort of sequenced set of

hexes. Back in the early D&D days we used to map out the domains ruled by

PCs using 1 mile hexes inside larger, 30 mile hexes. That was a big of a

leap in scale, but I`m thinking that something like that would work, and

would allow for a scaling effect of a domain from the local, manse level to

whatever level one wanted.



Gary

Don E
05-13-2004, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by Osprey@May 13 2004, 05:23 AM
I think perhaps your view of mebhaighl is a bit limited. You seem to equate it primarily with living things, a rather Star Wars force-like idea...however, I think the original concept was broader than that as it included elemental forces as well. Why else would high, stark mountains have the same source potential as forests? By your definition, mountains should have very low source potential as they are rather devoid of life compared to forests.

Yes, the example was very simplistic. It is not only how verdant a province is that decides how high a source potential is. The more 'extreme' a province is, the higher potential. Fertility is one, but it can equally be high mountains or deep canyons. In hill terrain provinces the river (or coastline) can easily make the scenery more spectacular by eroding huge cliffs or caves.


I recall reading that there were other things that could grant +1 to +3 bonuses to source potential in certain magic-rich areas: dragon bones, unusual clusters of magical energies (some sort of vortex or nexus perhaps?), etc. Given that swamps, the actual highest base source potential, have an 8 source potential, this suggests that it is concievable to have source levels as high as 11 without any sentient interference.


Why not 12, a +3 bonus in high mountains? I think there are few examples of this as presented, although that is no real argument for you not using it. Personally I would also scale the bonus a bit, what might give a +3 bonus on the plains outside Ilien might only give a +1 bonus in the already magic filled Erebannien.


As I mentioned earlier, there are in general far fewer source levels available than province levels, except in the more remote parts of Cerilia, and rare indeed is the level 0 province...non-existent, in fact, at least on the official map. The place that aren't named as provinces are the only possible examples of such places.

While I disagree with this really being a problem, as I find wizards to be more than powerful enough in most BR games, it was part of the reason I asked the question to begin with. If Anuire is so starved on Mebhaighl, why don't at least some wizards try their way down by Mieres? (This the time I usually get "won't work" or "can' be done" answers :) ) While the GM might rule against a wizard having a ley line across the strait (most seem do dislike the 150 mile rule), they could easily get some RP they can use closer to home.

IMO the sources are already taken by others, but they are just outside the scope of the original BR product. Perhaps even an adurian dragon... :o

Cheers,
E

Benjamin
05-13-2004, 12:01 PM
OK, time to show my ignorance. :(

Even though I bought the BR sets back in 1995, and own every product that talks about BR, I have never played a BR campaign other than PBEMs.

But a 'house rule' I've always felt I would enforce if I ever were to play a game is that ley lines can't extend more than 50 miles between sources. You could have ley lines that are hundreds of miles long, so long as they hooked up to a source along the way.

That would explain why wizard regents haven't gone off and tapped the wilderness dry - they can't maintain the network of sources to draw the power to their homes. Everytime they set up the source network, another wizard contests away the 'invader'.

My proposed house rule would be a fix to the problem.

ryancaveney
05-14-2004, 03:50 AM
On Wed, 12 May 2004, Gary wrote:



> Something about the inorganic, mathematical nature of a grid, however,

> turns me off. In a perfect world there`d be something that had the

> functionality of a grid with the more naturalistic method of more

> irregular borders.



There`s no reason you can`t have both: that`s what using many small hexes

is for. A hex three miles in diameter has an area of about 7.8 square

miles; you can fit 128 to 192 of these in a "typical" rulebook province of

1000 to 1500 square miles. With that many little bits to arrange, it`s

perfectly possible to represent even weird shapes like Bhaine in Taeghas

tolerably well; the only drawback is that it`s a rather time-consuming

task. Ideally, all one really has to do is photo-enlarge sections of the

map enough that you can just lay over them one of the clear plastic sheets

printed with a small hex grid which were distributed in several of the

other 2e boxed sets. If I were running an active campaign, I`d be headed

to Kinko`s right now to do just this.



> Back in the early D&D days we used to map out the domains ruled by PCs

> using 1 mile hexes inside larger, 30 mile hexes.



The Companion Set used squares inside of the hex, as I recall (or at

least, modules like CM2 did), but yes. =) A BR province is about one and

a half 30-mile hexes, such as may be found on the 1983 Greyhawk map.



> That was a big of a leap in scale, but I`m thinking that something

> like that would work, and would allow for a scaling effect of a domain

> from the local, manse level to whatever level one wanted.



Those rules were designed for minor nobles who only ruled one or two

provinces; beyond that, they grew too unwieldy. The thing which first

drew me to Birthright was the larger scale of domains it made practical;

perhaps all one really needs to describe the low-level structure of

province and guild holdings is a translation table to the "old way"....





Ryan Caveney

Raesene Andu
05-14-2004, 07:05 AM
With regard to the various coastal province that are only level */5 (i.e coastal provinces that seem to be lacking the +2 bonus and so forth.) I've only ever applied those bonus for provinces that are primarily coastal (i.e islands).

Also, the maximum source level I capped at 10, to match up with the province level. I can't remember having a source holding higher than 9 though.

In most of the regions of Aduria I've mapped out provinces, unclaimed provinces are still mapped out, they are just uncontrolled, so you can create holdings (primarily source holdings) there, but until someone wants to claim those lands, the remain uncontrolled wilderness.

geeman
05-14-2004, 03:50 PM
Raesene Andu writes:



> Also, the maximum source level I capped at 10, to match up with

> the province level. I can`t remember having a source holding higher

> than 9 though.



In the past I`ve argued for both province population levels and source

potential of provinces of 10+. I have population tables that reach as high

as population levels written out that go to level 30+ and, technically,

using the rules as originally published the source potential of a province

could reach 12+ fairly easily. Game mechanically I don`t think there`s any

particular reason why one needs to cap province population or holding levels

at 10, or the maximum source level of a province at 9-.



Gary

geeman
05-19-2004, 02:50 AM
At 06:10 AM 5/13/2004 +0200, Osprey wrote:



>
Oceans, on the other hand, should be their own provinces IMO.

> They would

> get a bonus to their potential source levels for being

> "coastal" too, and

> would be uncontrollable by land-based wizards without some sort of

> extenuating conditions being met, but on the whole I see them operating the

> same way land provinces do.

>

>

> Are you perhaps thinking of awnshegh/ershegh mages of the sea, just

> possibly? ;)



Absolutely. There are a few sentient aquatic races in BR, though one

doesn`t necessarily think of them having bloodlines and, therefore, access

to both true magic and realm spells. I do, however, like the idea and in a

few cases there are reasons why an awn-/ershegh that had been based on the

land might go to the sea. More often than not the sea-based awn-/ershegh

tend to be prototypically bestial, but there`s no reason why that has to

always be the case. I`ve been thinking of writing up the Kelpie, for instance.



Gary

Raesene Andu
05-19-2004, 05:44 AM
For ocean province you could potentially use the ocean areas from the naval rules... I haven't done that myself, but it is a possibility.

Don E
05-19-2004, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by Benjamin@May 13 2004, 01:01 PM
But a 'house rule' I've always felt I would enforce if I ever were to play a game is that ley lines can't extend more than 50 miles between sources. You could have ley lines that are hundreds of miles long, so long as they hooked up to a source along the way.

That would explain why wizard regents haven't gone off and tapped the wilderness dry - they can't maintain the network of sources to draw the power to their homes. Everytime they set up the source network, another wizard contests away the 'invader'.
First off only 50 miles between sounds a bit harsh, but that might be your intention. With a hookup in every province it would cost the wizard a significant number of RP to maintain,

There is also no need for the wizard to have a ley line connected to a source for RP collection, so the proposed rule would not deter a wizard too much. Unless you would change that as well.

Cheers,
E

Foundry_Dwarf
05-19-2004, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by ryancaveney@May 13 2004, 02:40 AM
On Wed, 12 May 2004, Gary wrote:

Personally, I favor doing such a remapping (Kenneth

uses three-mile hexes) and then making all provinces exactly equal in

number of hexes (though not necessarily in shape), and then rewriting the

army movement rules to fit the newly-drawn hexes.





Ryan Caveney


This is exactly what I did for my homemade map.
Each province was defined as a single hex on the world map, but the borders could "gerrymander" when I moved in as long as the exact same number of hexes was covered ;) (IIRC I used 30 mile hexes followed by 10 mile hexes in the more detailed map ... each hex was divided into 9, or something like that)
-Dwarf