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irdeggman
08-09-2006, 01:05 PM
Thought this would help get a cross section of how people use the "rules".

gazza666
08-09-2006, 02:29 PM
I'm voting "BRCS with house rules", but I suspect that some would argue we're actually using a different setting. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

irdeggman
08-09-2006, 02:46 PM
I'm voting "BRCS with house rules", but I suspect that some would argue we're actually using a different setting. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

Based on your previous comments about picking and choosign and dropping things into a home-brewed setting I would say you are correct.

That is it appears to me that you aren't using the setting but only portions of the rules.

At the very least it is "a lot of house rules".

nagebenfro
08-09-2006, 02:52 PM
For me, it was simple. The world is called Senthoi, there is no Plane of Shadow, and Blood abilities were removed becasue they confused the DM. *glares at other players* I'm doing what I can to get rid of house rules slowly but surely, however, but it's taking time. It took me agest to convince the DM and some of the other players that garrison rules were not "optional" and that they were critical, and a lot of their criticisms of the way BR handled armies stemmed directly from the fact that they saw garrisoning as a cheap way out of paying for your army, as opposed to activiating it as the mush more expensive last resort. *sigh*

Slowly but surely, slowly but surely. At least we got rid of the "kingdom traits" ideas that meant you bought your kingdom's background with domain points. (rolls eyes) Next job? Making them realise what holdings are, and why It's not realistic to have a 6 province country where all of your proivinces are lvl 10, with level ten law and guild. :mad:

Fizz
08-09-2006, 04:11 PM
Well, this is a difficult choice for me.

I primarily use the 3E mechanic, but i'm not entirely using the BRCS. It's like 2nd Ed, with a quick and dirty port to d20. In addition, i use my own in-house combat system (armor as DR, defense based on class/level, few hit points, etc). And i use a non-table spell system.

I guess i need to put `other'.


-Fizz

The Swordgaunt
08-09-2006, 05:43 PM
I run with the d20 BRCS, but with a few house-rules. The ones that deviate the most from the official rule-set, is the strategic combat rules. I've described the system briefly here (http://www.birthright.net/showpost.php?p=34895&postcount=7).

That said, I must stress one thing about my DM'ing. I'm not a rules lawyer-type. If I feel that the rules interfer with the story in any way, I ignore them.

cvgawde
08-09-2006, 07:41 PM
I've just started a 3rd edition BR campaign and I'm remaining fairly loyal to the BRCS. We're using the random bloodline variant and i'm allowing some expanded prestige classes from sources at my discretion, in addition to some custom-made Birthright prestige classes. I've also added a few new demigods, made the Rjurik a bit more aggressive (they now cause trouble for some settlements in Northern Anuire and the Western Isles), and I tweaked the deities a bit.

Beyond those changes it's almost 100% dead on so far. Later in the game I plan to introduce some Masetian nations in northwest Aduria who abandoned their worship of Masela before Deismaar, which I'd imagine is a significant change from the original game history. Also, Deismaar did not break the land bridge between Aduria and Cerilia, there never was one. Deismaar is a holy spot in Diemed now.

Mikal
08-09-2006, 08:37 PM
So far we're running BRCS with sanctioned chapters, no house rules, random variant

gazza666
08-10-2006, 12:42 AM
Based on your previous comments about picking and choosign and dropping things into a home-brewed setting I would say you are correct.

Whereas from my perspective I'm absolutely using the setting. We just differ on what we mean by "setting".


At the very least it is "a lot of house rules".
Which is where I voted, but that's a somewhat vague statement. The number of house rules we're using I could count on one hand - it's just that the scope of these house rules is probably enough to bump it into "lots".

ploesch
08-10-2006, 04:47 AM
I always attempt to remain loyal to original rules. I like to try and keep in the spirit of what the authors intend. However, if something doesn't make sense, or I just don't like how it works, I have no qualms about house ruling it, and I do quite often.

Arius Vistoon
08-10-2006, 11:42 AM
i play with D20 BRCS with lot of house rules.

Gheal
08-10-2006, 06:35 PM
Our group play with D20 BRCS, but keep most randomization and bloodline strength from 2E.

irdeggman
08-11-2006, 12:10 AM
Our group play with D20 BRCS, but keep most randomization and bloodline strength from 2E.

This one confuses me.

The sanctioned chap 2 has variants for randomizing blood lines, strengths and abilities.

It also "revised" the blood score to put it back inline with the 2nd ed numbers.

It did, however change the method for determining number of blood abilities. There is no random method for determining if a scion has any blood abilities only which ones he has.

So, which part of 2nd ed did you keep?

Birthright-L
08-11-2006, 03:03 AM
On 8/9/06, nagebenfro <brnetboard@birthright.net> wrote:
> Next job? Making them realise what holdings are, and
> why It`s not realistic to have a 6 province country where all of your
> proivinces are lvl 10, with level ten law and guild.

A province in Cerilia is typically between 30 and 40 miles square, or
about 1000 (habitable) square miles, give or take. 1000 is a
convenient number for subsequent discussion.

A level 10 province is approximately 100,000 people.

A typical population density in a late medieval/early renaissance
culture with arable countrysite is about 100 people per square mile
(see http://www.io.com/~sjohn/demog.htm ). It takes a lot of labor to
farm using medieval technology.

Relatively poor land would have a population densite of about 30
people per square mile, which corresponds to a province 5 or 6.
Anuire is mostly rich, temperate land, previously forested, farmed and
settled continuously for at least the last 5 centuries, if not the
last 15. It should have population densities on the order of 100 or
120 people per square mile.

I would say the unrealistic countries are all the little duchies with
lots of provinces 3 and 4 and 5 in rich, temperate, arable plains. 25
people per square mile (a province 5) is a quarter of what the
population should be, and a province 3 is 9000 people, less than 1/10
the expected population for that region. This would indicate a plague
that would make the black death look almost merciful by comparison
(estimates put casualties in the bubonic plague of Europe between 1/2
and 2/3), or wars more devestating than most any in human memory- the
30 years war, for instance, a deadly, long-running war by any account,
is variously estimated to have killed between 15 and 30% of Germany`s
population.

Anuire is not noted in any source material as having recently suffered
wars of that scale or significant plague.

A better explanation for the artificially low population of provinces
in BR source material is that the population is there, simply poorly
administered in most cases. A province noted as a 7 (49k people) is
really a 10 with about 50% effective control of the province by the
sovereign. The rest is divided among local barons, counts, knights,
sheriffs, and other vassals of the monarch, or effective ungoverned.
Or perhaps everyone acknowledges the distant, ineffective rule of the
monarch, so you can only collect about half the taxes you might
otherwise.

This helps explain the ease of Ruling provinces in the original rules-
you`re not spontaneously attracting thousands of people to the
province (or worse, springing them forth fully formed from the
overworked wombs of your loyal subjects), you`re simply investing in
legal and administrative infrastructure to extend your authority over
all these people.

So I would say a realm of several provinces (10) is not unrealistic at
all, but simply well-administered and prosperous, especially by
Anuirean standards, a center of trade and industry for the region, and
the seat of an influential, effective monarch.
--
Daniel McSorley

nagebenfro
08-11-2006, 04:34 AM
So I would say a realm of several provinces (10) is not unrealistic at
all, but simply well-administered and prosperous, especially by
Anuirean standards, a center of trade and industry for the region, and
the seat of an influential, effective monarch.
--
Daniel McSorley

I think my beef with the 10/10/0/0/10 provinces stems from the way I understood that table about province population, and also the blank map that came in the BR box set.

In that box set, there is that blank hex map, where you have all the hexes and the map is designed to draw a 4 province kingdom on. It was my understanding that each /hex/ had that 40 mile diameter.

In addition, I read the table about province population slightly differently, I suppose. I pay more attention to the largest settlement size than the citizen number, and usually take the number of citizens to be the number living in that largest settlement, with that settlement having areas around it (remember, bugger province sizes) equal to settlements listed on levels below the "size" of the province. So for me, a level ten province has at least one metropolis in it with 100,000 people in it. But it might also have a large city of 60,000 somewhere on the other side of the province, and a couple of small towns of 4,000-7,000 people in them in between the cities.

Now, both of those might be wrong, but that's how I see them. In my understanding, (although I don't own any of the 2nd ed stuff yet, i'm looking for it at GenCon at the moment) there is only one level ten province on Cerelia? ot me that indicates rarity, or a need for them to be rare large trading metropoli that are recognised as regional hubs of great importance. That is why I feel making an entire nation of them is unrealistic.

Plus, the other reason it gets my goat is that they picked it becasue it meant they were "maxed out" and could get plenty of money from it in taxes, not becasue it reflected how they wanted to represent their kingdoms. I have to get them to realise that the numbers mean something beyond being just numbers.

irdeggman
08-11-2006, 09:22 AM
So I would say a realm of several provinces (10) is not unrealistic at
all, but simply well-administered and prosperous, especially by
Anuirean standards, a center of trade and industry for the region, and
the seat of an influential, effective monarch.
--
Daniel McSorley

And this makes a lot of sense.

The base game mechanic tied into province level is province income.

So if they people are actually there but not well-administered then they are not contributing to the realm's prosperity.

The Jew
08-11-2006, 12:27 PM
This helps explain the ease of Ruling provinces in the original rules-
you`re not spontaneously attracting thousands of people to the
province (or worse, springing them forth fully formed from the
overworked wombs of your loyal subjects), you`re simply investing in
legal and administrative infrastructure to extend your authority over
all these people.

So I would say a realm of several provinces (10) is not unrealistic at
all, but simply well-administered and prosperous, especially by
Anuirean standards, a center of trade and industry for the region, and
the seat of an influential, effective monarch.
--
Daniel McSorley

Tolkienesque too. Like Gondor at the time of Lord of the Rings. As the power of Gondor dwindled so did the loyalty of the populations and so the effective base of taxes and enlistment. It took the Return of the King (books not movies) to rally the people back to allegiance to the Throne. I may be misreading it somewhat as I believe it was actually entire areas that broke away, but still what it reminds me of.

I personally like the explanation a lot, and think it should be added into the revised BRCS. Along with raising the difficulty of Rule Province, but that is another topic.

Robbie
08-12-2006, 09:40 AM
A better explanation for the artificially low population of provinces
in BR source material is that the population is there, simply poorly
administered in most cases. A province noted as a 7 (49k people) is
really a 10 with about 50% effective control of the province by the
sovereign. The rest is divided among local barons, counts, knights,
sheriffs, and other vassals of the monarch, or effective ungoverned.
Or perhaps everyone acknowledges the distant, ineffective rule of the
monarch, so you can only collect about half the taxes you might
otherwise.

This helps explain the ease of Ruling provinces in the original rules-
you`re not spontaneously attracting thousands of people to the
province (or worse, springing them forth fully formed from the
overworked wombs of your loyal subjects), you`re simply investing in
legal and administrative infrastructure to extend your authority over
all these people.
Daniel McSorley

I agree with your explanation regarding population density and rulership, but there is just one thing that doesn't add up: sources. If all of these people are there from the beginning, either as loners, rogues, bandits, independent localr or whatever, then why aren't they affecting the source potential of the province until they swear allegiance to the regent?

irdeggman
08-12-2006, 01:13 PM
I agree with your explanation regarding population density and rulership, but there is just one thing that doesn't add up: sources. If all of these people are there from the beginning, either as loners, rogues, bandits, independent localr or whatever, then why aren't they affecting the source potential of the province until they swear allegiance to the regent?

The affect on sources would come from the infrastructure development. Roads, or paths connecting villages, etc.

The people are spread out so thinnly that the have minimal effect on the environment. It is when groups develop larger centers that major effects on the environment occur. Instead of small personal farms they are creating larger farms so that they can pay tithes and trade with others.

irdeggman
08-12-2006, 01:13 PM
I personally like the explanation a lot, and think it should be added into the revised BRCS. Along with raising the difficulty of Rule Province, but that is another topic.

I tend to agree - especially about the Rule Province issue.

Green Knight
08-12-2006, 07:21 PM
I have to say "Other", since I use my "Ruins of Empire" PBeM rule-set, not onlyfor my PBeM, but for my table-top campaigns as well.

geeman
08-12-2006, 10:17 PM
At 02:40 AM 8/12/2006, Robbie wrote:

>I agree with your explanation regarding population density and
>rulership, but there is just one thing that doesn`t add up: sources.
>If all of these people are there from the beginning, either as
>loners, rogues, bandits, independent localr or whatever, then why
>aren`t they affecting the source potential of the province until
>they swear allegiance to the regent?

There area couple problems with the "population already exists and
population level is merely a reflection of the regent`s control over
that population" rationale. As you note it rather drastically
contradicts the source potential mechanic of the domain rules. It
also makes one wonder why a regent can`t rule a law, temple or guild
holding up higher than the population level. After all, if that
population exists and the population level of a province only
represents the control of some central authority that doesn`t mean
the uncontrolled population has no need to worship at a temple,
participate in a guild, etc. right?

It also brings up what is in my opinion the more problematic issue
and that is why can`t there be more than one province ruler? If
population is really static and the population level of a province is
just the control that the province ruler has over a number of those
people why can`t another regent step in and control a few levels of
the population too? Effectively, it turns population level into a
sort of holding rather than a province mechanic.

Now, personally, I have to admit I kind of like that as a
solution. Rather than province rulers ALL regents control
holdings. Instead of population levels all the effects (or most of
them, at least) of controlling a province can be rolled into law
holdings. The difference between law holdings and the "recognized
sovereign" of a province is pretty thin, really, and law holdings are
in many ways one of the most vaguely defined holdings, so I think it
would work pretty effectively. Population level can then be handled
as suggested above. (Though it still doesn`t address the source
potential problem.)

Gary

geeman
08-12-2006, 10:30 PM
At 06:13 AM 8/12/2006, irdeggman wrote:

>The affect on sources would come from the infrastructure
>development. Roads, or paths connecting villages, etc.

Well, there already is a game mechanic for building roads and such
and it doesn`t interfere with the source potential of a province, so
unless there`s something particular about those roads as opposed to
the kinds of roads that would be constructed by increasing a
population level this rationale doesn`t really work all that well for me.

>The people are spread out so thinnly that the have minimal effect on
>the environment. It is when groups develop larger centers that
>major effects on the environment occur. Instead of small personal
>farms they are creating larger farms so that they can pay tithes and
>trade with others.

I think the idea of static population levels pretty much begins with
the premise that people are not spread out thinly. The increase in
population level really does nothing to change their distribution or
how they actually live or where. It just changes whether or not they
live under the umbrella of a province ruler`s
authority. Concentrating people into urban areas really doesn`t
change the fundamental dynamic of how a population exists. That is,
for urban areas to be created population has to increase. People
tend to live and work in such a way that is relatively harmless to
the environment not because they fail to recognize an authority, but
because their are so spread out that the impact of their activities
is absorbed by the ecosystem. In fact, the activities of small
populations are actually very often much more destructive to the
environment than larger populations. In a small population slash and
burn farming is common because it is very productive for the amount
of effort required. (It`s the preferred method of most primitive
peoples.) Unfortunately, it usually wipes out the area for plant
life after a few years of high yield crops. Such farmers move on to
another location and don`t return for a decade or so until the
original land has managed to grow back. It isn`t until population
increases that one must develop techniques that have less impact on
the environment. There are gobs of other examples of this process
ranging from specific farming techniques (like the methods used to
raise/breed animals) and the impact of light industrial techniques.

Yes, urban areas have a dramatic effect on the environment than does
a small group of slash and burn farmers, but if you take that same
number of urban people and distribute them without central authority
to engage in slash and burn farming (or other practices) that less
developed communities employ they will rapidly wipe out the
environment of a region the size of a province in a very short
time. The idea that increasing population level just takes rural
people and redistributes them into more urban, centralized or
controlled areas within a province doesn`t really add up IMO.

Gary

geeman
08-12-2006, 11:30 PM
A few comments on the population level issue:

First off, I think there are merits and demerits to all of the
rationales I`ve ever heard used on the subject, and I`ve been reading
them for a long time now. Here`s a summary of them:

1. Population level represents an actual increase in the number of
people in a province. People often have trouble with this one
because we focus mostly on the issue of birth and child-rearing,
which takes a few years as I understand it. That is one way to
increase population, but the other is to keep the existing population
alive. A death prevented is actually better than a life created for
our purposes because we don`t have to deal with the issue of
child-rearing. When it comes to issues like death during childbirth
we get a double-whammy of effective population increases. Increase
the life expectancy of women in childbirth and population figures
start to tip up pretty quickly. Of course, not quickly enough to
rationalize the speed at which population level increases by a long
short, but as a rationale for population level it works in
conjunction with the ones below:

2. Population level increases the number of people in a province
through immigration. There exist in Cerilia large numbers of people
who live migratory, semi-migratory or are simply not counted among
the population numbers of a province and the rule action encourages
these people to settle down under the authority of the province
ruler. There are facts and materials supporting a large number of
people being unaccounted for in BR (particularly in the Rjurik lands)
and the idea of forcing them to settle down under a particular ruler
fits neatly into a few of the themes of the setting (again,
particularly in the Rjurik lands.)

3. Population levels already exist and the Rule action simply places
more of those people under the authority of the regent. To a certain
extent this rational and the first one are similar in that they both
assume some unaccounted population somehow are newly influenced by
the province ruler. I separate them mostly because the first implies
a rather broad migration while this one can simply mean there are
people living within a province. Effectively, however, the
rationales are very much alike, though this one does have some issues
as noted in the previous post regarding multiple province rulers,
holding levels going above population level, etc. To some extent the
immigration rationale has the same problems but because those people
are assumed to be on the move they are more easily discounted.

4. Population numbers really represent the total number of family
units or households rather than individuals. This one is really my
favorite because it solves several major issues. First, if
population numbers represent households rather than every single man,
woman and child of a province we get pretty close right there to
solving the issue of population density to make it more in line with
actual medieval and Renaissance population numbers. If every family
unit is made up of 4-12 people (which is pretty conservative given
that we could use any unit up to and including a small clan/tribe)
then a population level 5 province represent 25,000 families for an
actual population of 100,000 to 300,000. A population level 10
province could be as many as 1.2 million people. Second, it gives us
a good rational for the speed at which population level can go
up. Under such a rationale, increasing population level does not
increase the actual number of people in a province. Rather, through
a program of social and economic development the Rule action
increases the number of households under the regent`s
authority. That is, eldest children (or other dependents) are
married off and given the resources to start their own family
units. Where we might have two family units with 12 people in them
we then have three with 8 in them--still well within the range of the
aforementioned conservative family size. The third thing that such a
rationale does is fit neatly into the issues involved in mustering
units, particularly levies. Since overall population numbers have
increased the number of ready troops that can be maintained is a bit
more realistic. Furthermore, when mustering levies or other troops
it is the "head of the household" or most able-bodied of the family
units that is responding. Every old man, child or noncombatant is
not included in the population levels which determine the amount of
troops that can be mustered.

5. Increasing population level does not increase actual population
levels but represents developing more efficient bureaucracy. This
one I think we should be a little careful of because it can lead to
some pretty drastic shifts in explanation. That is, people might see
this as the development of a more effective _method_ of
government--at least, that`s how it has been presented in the
past--and I think that goes a couple steps too far into the realm of
something akin to social technical development. What I mean by
developing a more efficient bureaucracy has more to do with going
through a process of "trimming the fat" or otherwise administering to
the government itself. The population level increases because the
government is more efficient after the regent performs what we might
nowadays call an audit. Graft, incompetent officials, bad policies,
etc. are reviewed and dealt with. Things like that.

There are a few others that I`m sure I`m forgetting, but most can fit
in one way or another under the rationales listed above.

When it boils right down to it I think the solution is simply this:
All those rationales apply at once. Population levels do not
represent an actual count of the total number of people in a
province. There are uncontrolled people in a province and an
increase in population level represents an extension of the province
ruler`s authority over those people. It also represents an influx of
new people into a province who settle down as part of the regent`s
rule action which encourages such things. Most importantly, the
population levels represent "families" as an economic unit rather
than actual individuals. Thus, the population is really much higher
than we had previously assumed and can be expanded much more easily
by turning creating more family units. The weaknesses of any one
rationale can be covered by the strengths of one of the others, and
the whole system starts to take on a kind of holistic integrity where
the combination of the above rationales fit into the description of
population level and works with the rest of the domain system. For
instance, even though there are people in a province that are not
part of the population level a regent cannot rule up a holding higher
than the population level because the number of those uncontrolled
people is not high enough to represent a whole level of a
holding. Some immigration, creation of new family units, etc. would
be required for that....

The increase in population level is still very fast, but if one uses
the combination of those rationales it seems much more
reasonable. Plus, it allows for the full range of role-playing by
the DM and players. If one is to play out a Rule action the DM can
create adventures having to do with all of those rationales (one or
so a week) and have the PCs try to successfully accomplish them. It
makes for a really cool system.

Gary

ausrick
08-15-2006, 02:26 PM
I have to say "Other", since I use my "Ruins of Empire" PBeM rule-set, not onlyfor my PBeM, but for my table-top campaigns as well.


I had to say BRCS 3.5 with lots of house rules, because I primarily use the BRCS 3.5, but I find myself adding more and more rules from Bjorn's Ruins of Empire rules. I like the idea of Manor holdings, and his approach to larger populations. I use an adaptation of Cry Havoc for my mass combat, and I pull a lot from the Ravenloft 3.5 for the Shadow World and to add just that little bit of supernatural darkness to the campaign.

Fizz
08-21-2006, 03:55 PM
I voted other, but lately i've been wondering about running good ol' 2nd Ed again. Sometimes simplicity is a good thing- not worry so much about excessive rules and let the story take precedence.

-Fizz

Autarkis
08-21-2006, 05:31 PM
Though I like the work everyone did on the BRCS and have played in several BRCS games, I never did understand the need to convert the entire Birthright Ruleset to 3.0 or 3.5. The Domain level play is basically unaffected by 3.5 rulesets with the only two things needing updating being the skills Administration, Diplomacy, Intrigue, Law, Leadership, Strategy and Siegecraft and updating the Blood Abilities to be racial templates. (And I guess war since it would be cumbersome to try and find war cards.)

I think both games have the same setting but approach it differently. In 2nd Edition, it is true Domain level play with the character really only determining regency collection. In BRCS 3.5, it is more about the character with him personally having more impact and Domains succeeding and failing based at the Character level (i.e. Skill Modifications to Domain Actions, Skill Modifacations to Regency Collection %, Feats, and "Domain" Feats.)

gazza666
08-22-2006, 02:18 AM
I voted other, but lately i've been wondering about running good ol' 2nd Ed again. Sometimes simplicity is a good thing- not worry so much about excessive rules and let the story take precedence.
I guess that's a "horses for courses" thing.

Basing it on page count, I don't think there's much difference between the core three books of 2nd and 3rd edition. 3rd edition is a lot more consistent, though, so it manages to cram more rules into a similar space.

I'm pretty hard pressed to see a lot of rules as a bad thing - it's much easier to ignore rules than to invent them - but that's a personal preference.

Green Knight
08-22-2006, 12:42 PM
Loyal to the orignal rules or the original setting? The two are not always easily compatible.

Fizz
08-22-2006, 03:22 PM
I'm pretty hard pressed to see a lot of rules as a bad thing - it's much easier to ignore rules than to invent them - but that's a personal preference.

Yeah, i'm not saying more rules is a bad thing per se. It is a personal preference.

There are certainly a lot more things to keep track of in 3E than in 2nd Ed. In my experience those extra things don't add much to the story. That is, i've personally not found them to be worth the extra work.

But of course, your milage may vary.


-Fizz

geeman
08-23-2006, 02:15 AM
At 05:42 AM 8/22/2006, Green Knight wrote:

>Loyal to the orignal rules or the original setting? The two are not
>always easily compatible.

I don`t think the original 2e rules were all that much better or
worse at describing the dynamics of the original setting. Certain
things are certainly better in 3e. In fact, the majority of things
are better. If nothing else 3e is a more articulated and
intelligently designed set of rules. A few things are worse. The
important thing is to try to stick with the themes of the setting as
much as possible and adjudicate them on that basis rather than on the
"standards" (which is a subjective standard and can be as much in the
mind of the person making the argument as it is in the actual gaming
materials) of the system being used.

At 08:22 AM 8/22/2006, Fizz wrote:

>>I`m pretty hard pressed to see a lot of rules as a bad thing - it`s
>>much easier to ignore rules than to invent them - but that`s a
>>personal preference.
>
>Yeah, i`m not saying more rules is a bad thing per se. It is a
>personal preference.
>
>There are certainly a lot more things to keep track of in 3E than in
>2nd Ed. In my experience those extra things don`t add much to the
>story. That is, i`ve not found them to be worth the extra work.

I like a lot of rules... and then I like to ignore them as the
story/theme of the adventure/campaign demands. That is, I`m
perfectly happy to have rules for adjudicating a Reflex save for a
character who steps onto a trap door, but if that trap door is there
because I as DM want to split up the party so that they can each
engage in their own little solo adventures then the Reflex save might
not be an option. Similarly, when it comes to things like the
background of a character its nice if there are game mechanical
explanations for their abilities but it`s more important for the
character to be well thought out than abide by a particular set of stats.

That said, one has to be careful that players don`t wind up doing the
role-player`s equivalent of munchkin behavior. If the DM isn`t
careful his players will try to maneuver around situations by
"role-playing" their way through them.

Player: "Well, I said my character grew up in a circus in a family of
trapezists, so I should be able to swing across the chasm without difficulty."

DM: "You`re playing a 3rd level wizard with 8 strength, 10 dex and no
ranks in jump or balance."

THAT said, a lot of rules are good because it gives the DM methods to
adjudicate various situations should they arise. Rules discussions
are good because very often the DM has to improvise--players can be
very innovative in determining they PC`s actions--and if the DM has
had the opportunity to discuss an issue on a message board or where
ever then he`s better equipped to deal with that situation.

Gary

graham anderson
08-28-2006, 11:09 AM
I use the brcs as a base and then proceed to change everything in it. A better question might be what do I use from it.

I change the races, classes, alignments, spells, domain actions and then some.

I have been thinking of dumping 3rd ed/3.5ed for the artesia rules when I have the time to change them to birthright.

godlearner
08-31-2006, 02:13 PM
I am bit strange, so I am using Basic Fantasy Role Playing rule system with heavy influences from RuneQuest as my game system.

The system is 3d6 based for stats and 1d100 for skills, with no levels or classes. So far its been working fairly well.

Fizz
08-31-2006, 04:22 PM
I am bit strange, so I am using Basic Fantasy Role Playing rule system with heavy influences from RuneQuest as my game system.

The system is 3d6 based for stats and 1d100 for skills, with no levels or classes. So far its been working fairly well.

Um, i have the Basic Fantasy Role Playing game. It does have classes (the 4 basic) and levels.

To what system are you referring?


-Fizz

gazza666
08-31-2006, 10:57 PM
While RuneQuest is one of my all time favourite games, I've never owned Basic Role Playing. With that said, I'm fairly sure that BRP does not have classes - are you sure that Basic Fantasy Roleplaying is the same thing?

BRP measures all skills in percentages (you roll equal to or less than the skill for a success; there are also "special successes", "criticals", and "fumbles" - but I couldn't swear to you that BRP has these, although RuneQuest certainly does). It would also have an ability score for POW (Power), and would lack Wisdom.

You may be right - maybe BRP does use classes as a structure for its skills system - but the games derived from it (of which RuneQuest and Call of Cthulu are the most famous) do not.

addendum: Not that D&D3e is really a class system anymore anyway. Free multiclassing turns it into, mechanically, a skill based system.

Cuchulainshound
09-01-2006, 04:21 PM
Hey all- new here.

I think that perhaps a better question (or a better initial one) would be "How do you use BR in your campaign?"

BR is, I believe, actually 2 games in one. Many people see it as a political RPG, a sort of "meta-Risk", where each player runs a faction and these factions battle it out with the Scion characters occasionally finding adventure in between turns. IMO, the game (at least the BRCS version) is not well suited to that.

The other game, and the role I think it was better designed to fill (intentionally or not), is as a RP accessory, a "background" mechanic for campaigns that want the characters to pursue such, but not as a focus, nor a stand-alone game.

If you don't agree, that's fine- but by the book, the former has lots of BR action and the occasional side adventure, and the latter has lots of adventure and the occasional BR mechanic to be considered. Meh, dealer's choice, but anyone who's tried to run a "game" of BR with all the factions, week by week, turn by turn, knows exactly how massive and daunting an undertaking that rapidly becomes.

Anyway, that said and to answer the question at hand- I use BRCS with signficant house rules. Nothing major in and of itself, just a LOT of tweaks that, IMO, make the game far more playable for the average RP'er, such as...

1) Lose the "fractional" money costs, and make it decimal. No more "3/16 + 5/8 + 17/32 + 2/3 + 3/4 + 1/24"... instead, all converted into multiples of .05GB (1/20th).

Doesn't actually change the game itself, just the playability side. Ahhh.

geeman
09-01-2006, 08:51 PM
At 09:21 AM 9/1/2006, Cuchulainshound wrote:

>BR is, I believe, actually 2 games in one. Many people see it as a
>political RPG, a sort of "meta-Risk", where each player runs a
>faction and these factions battle it out with the Scion characters
>occasionally finding adventure in between turns. IMO, the game (at
>least the BRCS version) is not well suited to that.
>
>The other game, and the role I think it was better designed to fill
>(intentionally or not), is as a RP accessory, a "background"
>mechanic for campaigns that want the characters to pursue such, but
>not as a focus, nor a stand-alone game.

I think these two descriptions describe a range of possible campaign
styles in BR. That is, people often fit somewhere between the "all
domain rules" and "all adventure level" scale of the campaign. Most
people really participate somewhere in the middle. Neither side is
really superior to the other, it`s just a matter of how one wants to
conduct a game.

>1) Lose the "fractional" money costs, and make it decimal. No more
>"3/16 + 5/8 + 17/32 + 2/3 + 3/4 + 1/24"... instead, all converted
>into multiples of .05GB (1/20th).

Yeah, I find the fractions of a GB to be distracting and unnecessary,
especially in a 3e update since the 3e monetary system has such a
simple decimal system. In fact, I think we`d be better of with
1,000gp or 10,000gp GB just to maintain parity with the more
functional 3e system of handling money.

Gary

irdeggman
09-01-2006, 09:56 PM
At 09:21 AM 9/1/2006, Cuchulainshound wrote:

>BR is, I believe, actually 2 games in one. Many people see it as a
>political RPG, a sort of "meta-Risk", where each player runs a
>faction and these factions battle it out with the Scion characters
>occasionally finding adventure in between turns. IMO, the game (at
>least the BRCS version) is not well suited to that.
>
>The other game, and the role I think it was better designed to fill
>(intentionally or not), is as a RP accessory, a "background"
>mechanic for campaigns that want the characters to pursue such, but
>not as a focus, nor a stand-alone game.

I think these two descriptions describe a range of possible campaign
styles in BR. That is, people often fit somewhere between the "all
domain rules" and "all adventure level" scale of the campaign. Most
people really participate somewhere in the middle. Neither side is
really superior to the other, it`s just a matter of how one wants to
conduct a game.

Gary

Right. And there was actually a different poll on this subject. Which style of game do you play?

Birthright is the setting.

The rules only codify or capture game mechanics to portray the setting.

It seems that a lot of people are confusing the "rules" with the setting. There is a major difference, IMO.

Cuchulainshound
09-02-2006, 07:09 AM
Respect for tempering that statement with an "IMO", but I don't think it'd be going out on a limb to assert that distinction as self-obvious fact- Rules are indeed different from Setting. In the best games, they dovetail elegantly, but they are still two separate aspects- the former involve the Player, the latter the Character; the former definitions and formulae, the latter verbal description of social/environmental concepts, etc.

But many RP'ers, especially ones that have not consciously thought about game-philosophy/etc at that level, see a sourcebook and think of it as "rules." And, if "rules is rules", then it's an understandable, if at times frustrating, over-generalization.

And of course, Gary/Geeman is right- the "best" way to play is the way you and your group want to. Enjoyment is the final goal, not some slavish adherence to one approach or another. Good gaming, one and all!

<hr>
btw, Geeman- altho' this is not the place to discuss such rules changes, where would be? (new here.)

Autarkis
09-04-2006, 03:59 AM
Right. And there was actually a different poll on this subject. Which style of game do you play?

Birthright is the setting.

The rules only codify or capture game mechanics to portray the setting.

It seems that a lot of people are confusing the "rules" with the setting. There is a major difference, IMO.
I would disagree. The rule differences effects the setting. For example, Sir William, loyal servant to the Duke, was just made his heir and invested with the Duke's bloodline, a Great bloodline.

In 2nd edition, Sir William would automatically receive the full benefits of this position (barring political.) He gains full access to his blood abilities and full access to his regency.

In 3.5, Sir William would not automatically receive the full benefits. He would 1st need to gain two levels of scion to access his blood abilities and score. In addition, to gain access to his regency he would need to ensure that his skill levels were high enough or else he would, again, only reach part of his potential.

2nd edition lead to divine ascension once you received your bloodscore. It was divine and inate.

BRCS, you need to learn to harnass and funnel that divine state.

Big difference in the setting. 2nd edition leads itself to farm boy ascending to King. BRCS leads itself to groomed heir ascends to King.

gazza666
09-04-2006, 04:11 AM
2nd edition lead to divine ascension once you received your bloodscore. It was divine and inate.

BRCS, you need to learn to harnass and funnel that divine state.

Big difference in the setting. 2nd edition leads itself to farm boy ascending to King. BRCS leads itself to groomed heir ascends to King.
I wouldn't actually agree that any of the above (while quite correct) is part of the setting. There is a definite mechanical difference (in BRCS you have to rise in level to fully tap your powers), but what does "level" mean in setting terms? The closest analogue is simply "power" - and in both cases, a "regent with powerful blood abilities" is still "powerful" by the nebulous in-game use of the phrase.

Remember also that NPCs don't have to play by the same rules. If it suits a DM to have an NPC suddenly get the full benefit of his new investiture (adding as many levels as necessary), then so be it. Game balance only applies to PCs.

Indeed, from the perspective of the setting, there really aren't any NPCs in 2nd edition that are low level and yet have great bloodlines. The fact that it was possible to do this as a PC can be viewed as a flaw in the rules rather than a feature, and that the BRCS "patch" fixes things to better reflect the intention of the setting.

Naturally that's a subjective opinion, but it seems to be a valid position to hold.