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cvgawde
08-18-2006, 09:36 PM
I've been lucky enough to have been in a fairly consistent gaming group that is obsessed with the Birthright setting (I actually was introduced to this setting by the group) so I've played roughly 5 campaigns each lasting between one and six years.

In this time I've seen a number of different methods for maintaining the integrity of the Birthright world. I've seen some GM's allow the players to run willynilly with vast, incomprehensible armies - forging themselves a new continental (or at least regional) Empire almost without any significant resistance. I've also seen campaigns where upon the slightest move out of the ordinary they are smited down by overwhelming forces.

I've always prefered to maintain the status quo of Cerilian politics, making every little gain a major event. To me the world has become fairly established after the fall of Anuire and the lines have been drawn for many of the continent's regents. Alliances are forged, trade relations set, enemies and friends named. Also these nations have had decades, if not centuries, of some level of "stagnation" (I use the term loosely, i suppose stability would be more apt) and have some length of time without major events or expansion to accumulate a healthy treasury and a formidable reserve of regency.

That said I've always found it best to place the players as "small fish in a big pond". They're newcomers to this royal members only club, with no friends and no established relations - and quite frankly the established rulers look down on these newcomers. That said I try to make it difficult to expand their influence into all but the most lawless regions. Often attempts to forge holdings are met with heavy resistance from the dominant regents of the area and these contests are often accompanied by threats.

For my players every domain action is a struggle to maintain their holdings, so often expansion must be taken slowly and carefully - the shrewd will inheret the land. Player-run empires covering all holding types and vast expanses simply isn't feasible against the aggressive and disdainful NPCs.

Does this differ for most groups?

epicsoul
08-18-2006, 10:31 PM
I've seen both the vast empires quickly garnered, and the work for every scrap of holding that you have. Obviously, I prefer the latter.

BRCS, IMO, works to limit this better than 2e ever did.

Thomas_Percy
08-19-2006, 10:11 AM
The rules of 2ed Brt don't match with world's history.

ploesch
08-19-2006, 05:53 PM
Every Group is different in My experience. I think that in any setting, inexperienced G's allow players to garner power too quickly, or too slowly. As we gain experience we learn to control things, and allow the players to steadily gain power, but at the rate we want them too.

I never give anything to my players,they have to earn it. The greater the risks, the greater the rewards. Risk too much and lose it.

Another way to put it..

When you play the game of thrones you win or you die.

Cargaroth
08-21-2006, 06:01 AM
Much as previously described, I've seen overhwelming world empires develop. This has created a much less interesting campaign world as all the major challenges have been resolved. That balence is the key to a good ongoing campaign.

dalor
08-21-2006, 06:35 AM
The one thing I try to avoid in any Birthright game I
run: No Tolkien-like scenerio!

I just don`t like it when the Gorgon "nearly conquers
all from his mountain stronghold" and the party stops
him. Don`t like it.

Something I DO like is that the Gorgon is
there...directly bordering three regions. He can be a
great influence on the campaign without actually
trying to conquer the world...something he could never
do...or he would have done it long ago!

Better that the major Awnsheigh are distant threats
until the party is foolish enough to try and prove
their mettle by taking them on..."silly hero, I`m the
Gorgon! You should go away and try to kill a
dragon...which isn`t as dangerous as me, but could
still level your pitiful kingdom like it was a box of
tinder..."


Anthony Edwards

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gazza666
08-21-2006, 06:54 AM
Meh.

My position on this can be summarised as follows: If it has stats, you can kill it.

I don't see what the problem is in PCs eventually taking out the Gorgon, re-establishing the Anuirean empire, and basically "winning". Let them. Doesn't have to be easy, but it doesn't have to be impossible, either.

Thomas_Percy
08-21-2006, 10:25 AM
Every Group is different in My experience. I think that in any setting, inexperienced G's allow players to garner power too quickly, or too slowly.
OK, I wonder there are people who play D&D as a dark low-magic fantasy, but it doesn't mean D&D is such a game. And Brt basic AD&D rules allows to conquer Anuire very quickly.

Thomas_Percy
08-21-2006, 10:26 AM
Much as previously described, I've seen overhwelming world empires develop. This has created a much less interesting campaign world as all the major challenges have been resolved. That balence is the key to a good ongoing campaign.
I agree with every single word.

dalor
08-21-2006, 05:31 PM
Not impossible...just nearly so.

If a being has been alive for well over 1500 years, he
should have an escape plan at least! And the more
powerful Awnsheigh should have so many contingency
plans that it boggles the mind.

Its just that the very first thing I noticed about
Birthright was the Tolkien feel of the Gorgon as a
Sauron type figure...should only be ONE way to get rid
of the guy...and he should have "Mount Doom" a LITTLE
more guarded!


Anthony Edwards

--- gazza666 <brnetboard@BIRTHRIGHT.NET> wrote:

> This post was generated by the Birthright.net
> message forum.
> You can view the entire thread at:
>
http://www.birthright.net/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=3076
>
> gazza666 wrote:
> Meh.
>
> My position on this can be summarised as follows: If
> it has stats, you can kill it.
>
> I don`t see what the problem is in PCs eventually
> taking out the Gorgon, re-establishing the Anuirean
> empire, and basically "winning". Let them. Doesn`t
> have to be easy, but it doesn`t have to be
> impossible, either.
>
>

>
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cvgawde
08-21-2006, 08:06 PM
Not impossible...just nearly so.

If a being has been alive for well over 1500 years, he
should have an escape plan at least! And the more
powerful Awnsheigh should have so many contingency
plans that it boggles the mind.

Its just that the very first thing I noticed about
Birthright was the Tolkien feel of the Gorgon as a
Sauron type figure...should only be ONE way to get rid
of the guy...and he should have "Mount Doom" a LITTLE
more guarded!



Yeah, we've always played the Gorgon as not the all-powerful threat but the most noticeable threat. The enemy standing on the mountaintop yelling 'Look at my evil power' is rarely a real concern, the scary bad guys are the ones that lurk in the shadows and veil their power only using it when they are assured of victory. I think most of the time we've seen the Raven or the Cold Rider emerge as the real threat to Cerilia.

gazza666
08-22-2006, 02:26 AM
Not impossible...just nearly so.

If a being has been alive for well over 1500 years, he should have an escape plan at least! And the more powerful Awnsheigh should have so many contingency plans that it boggles the mind.

See, this is where we differ.

My perspective is that if the guy hasn't managed to conquer the world in 1500 years, he's probably not going to. At the very least, he's a slacking underachiever.


Its just that the very first thing I noticed about Birthright was the Tolkien feel of the Gorgon as a Sauron type figure...should only be ONE way to get rid of the guy...and he should have "Mount Doom" a LITTLE more guarded!
Well, Sauron was effectively banished from Middle Earth for a long time; he got a lot done as soon as he got back in a pretty short time.

As I understand it, the Gorgon has been around for all of that time. Yes, he's made a nuisance of himself, but that's about all. Give any competent player a PC with a power comparable to the Gorgon - or even a lot less powerful - and he'll conquer the place in a lot less than 1500 years.

ploesch
08-22-2006, 03:39 AM
Something us humans have a hard time understanding is time. Our brains don't comprehend it, and we live such short lives we rush through everything.

Immortal Beings like the elves, and nearly immortal ones like the gorgon don't feel the same pressure to make somethig of themselves like shorter lived people like us. They know their lives are meaningful, and they know they have time.

This can be an advantage, you have time to create defenses, and to build up your power for when you are ready, but having all the time in the world can make you overly cautious and allow you to plan too much, or make you arrogant thinking your plan cannot fail. It's a common theme in Sci-Fi and fantasy. The ancient evil is too cautious, but when they finally strike, beliveing they've covered/considered all the possibilities,and that they are invincible anyway, they leave a small opening for smart PC's.

This is the way it should be. Lord of the rings, for example, wouldn't have been as good if the good guys couldn't win, or it took years or more to bring an army to Sauron, and then 10's of thousands died in the final push.

geeman
08-22-2006, 04:05 AM
At 07:26 PM 8/21/2006, gazza666 wrote:

>>If a being has been alive for well over 1500 years, he should have
>>an escape plan at least! And the more powerful Awnsheigh should
>>have so many contingency plans that it boggles the mind.
>
>See, this is where we differ.
>
>My perspective is that if the guy hasn`t managed to conquer the
>world in 1500 years, he`s probably not going to. At the very least,
>he`s a slacking underachiever.

The Gorgon is the premier villain of the Birthright campaign setting,
excepting the gods themselves. A characterization of the character
that reduces his aura and reputation strikes me as being a woeful
disservice to the character and even the setting itself. In fact,
there are much more useful and playable explanations for his
inability to conquer Anuire (or other parts of Cerilia) which make
for a much more interesting character. At a most obvious it`s easy
to see that if anything were able to galvanize the people of Anuire
(or, indeed, all the people of Cerilia) a concerted effort on the
part of the Gorgon to gain the Iron Throne would be the thing to do
it. That`s just for starters. There are a whole slew of reasons why
the Gorgon hasn`t been able to take over.

>As I understand it, the Gorgon has been around for all of that time.
>Yes, he`s made a nuisance of himself, but that`s about all. Give any
>competent player a PC with a power comparable to the Gorgon - or
>even a lot less powerful - and he`ll conquer the place in a lot less
>than 1500 years.

Well, that might be true in a typical D&D campaign, but it misses the
essential idea behind the BR setting. That is, ALL the regents are
characters of drive and determination who are equal to the
Gorgon`s. While their personal power level does not compare the
campaign setting is designed to elevate not the character but the
domain. It`s the domain versus domain aspect of the setting that is
at issue when describing how/why/when the Gorgon can or can`t take
over the continent.

Now, nobody`s saying one can`t play a campaign in which the PCs take
over Anuire. After all, it has a nice epic feel to it. However, I
would suggest that such a campaign misses the essential nature of the setting.

Gary

dalor
08-22-2006, 05:38 AM
No...we don`t disagree...I think he is slack too. He
was put there to be the ultimate bad guy...but he
isn`t doing his job.

I think he must have periods of inactivity...he has
become so stony that maybe he just sits for MONTHS on
end doing nothing at all...

Nope...we don`t disagree at all.

What I`m saying is: if someone goes after him they
will most likely fail...conquer his lands maybe...but
take him out personally...nope; don`t see it happening
with his level of power.


Anthony Edwards

--- gazza666 <brnetboard@BIRTHRIGHT.NET> wrote:
> ------------ QUOTE ----------
> Not impossible...just nearly so.
>
> If a being has been alive for well over 1500 years,
> he should have an escape plan at least! And the
> more powerful Awnsheigh should have so many
> contingency plans that it boggles the mind.
>
> -----------------------------
>
>
> See, this is where we differ.
>
> My perspective is that if the guy hasn`t managed to
> conquer the world in 1500 years, he`s probably not
> going to. At the very least, he`s a slacking
> underachiever.
>
>
>
> ------------ QUOTE ----------
> Its just that the very first thing I noticed about
> Birthright was the Tolkien feel of the Gorgon as a
> Sauron type figure...should only be ONE way to get
> rid of the guy...and he should have "Mount Doom" a
> LITTLE more guarded!
> -----------------------------
>
>
> Well, Sauron was effectively banished from Middle
> Earth for a long time; he got a lot done as soon as
> he got back in a pretty short time.
>
> As I understand it, the Gorgon has been around for
> all of that time. Yes, he`s made a nuisance of
> himself, but that`s about all. Give any competent
> player a PC with a power comparable to the Gorgon -
> or even a lot less powerful - and he`ll conquer the
> place in a lot less than 1500 years.

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Cargaroth
08-22-2006, 06:21 AM
One of the things about the Gorgon is that it would be difficult for him to attract allies, particularly the type of allies that he can trust. A Emporer ruling Anuire may have many rivals and enemies, but it is really an alliance between himself, his supporters and his vassals. The gorgon has tried this before, but has been regularly betrayed (e.g the Swordhawk, Diabolik etc.). Understandably he is probably cautious about relenquishing or sharing power. So what does he do? He slowly and carefully appropriates one realm after another, Matkazor, Kiergard, Mur Kilad. Surely the Giantdowns or another rjurik realm would be next. He consolidates, then moves on. He may also have other goals (such as divinity) that distracts him from an all out assault upon neighbouring lands.