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thystonius
04-23-2007, 06:25 PM
Hello all

i'am new in Birthright ,Fisrt thing you make great job with the 3 edition .

I have one question for me the spiderfell and Rhubhe look tiny place simple

to crush.

I don't unsterdand the treat that they represent .

They seem weak (not a big army , for the Spider his forest can burn ,and

Rhubhe is near the biggest realm in Anuire Boeruine and Avanil.

So for myself this 2 Awnsheghliens don't still continue to exist after few turn .

As a GM i would like to avoid that , Any GM can give me any tip to make

them not so weak ?

Or i miss something about this 2 Awnsheghliens ?

Thank to help

kgauck
04-23-2007, 08:01 PM
This is a recurring topic of questions. One thread where this is discussed is here. In general the Spider is considered to have a near invicible defensive place, because of his connection to spiders and the density and tenor of the forest that is the Spiderfell. How dangerous he is to a realm is really a function of how well prepared you are.

AndrewTall
04-23-2007, 09:21 PM
While Rhuobhe can disappear behind a warding for centuries without needing to worry - very few could breach his wards...

Also, while you can kill their troops, killing the awnshegh is a far harder task - the spider is unkillable and Rhuobhe is a killing machine second only to the Gorgon or possibly a dragon. Who wants the awnshegh leaving a burned empty realm to seek them out personally - far better to have the awnshegh lording over a handful of followers in some worthless woods far far away

Plus if Rhuobhe dies Avan and Boeruine will be at war almost immediately - the pass is the easiest way from one to the other, so clearing it would be politically unwise unless as preparation for a major conflict.

prince_dios
04-23-2007, 09:58 PM
One thing I think isn't stressed enough is that there's a delicate balance in Anuirea. IE, if I'm ruling Roesone, I probably -could- take over the Spiderfell, but Ghoere would take the chance to invade.

Thelandrin
04-24-2007, 12:05 AM
Well, if I'm playing Endier or an adjacent realm to the Spiderfell in the PC game, one of the first things I do is assassinate the Spider.

The only I've actually played Endier ingame was as a Goblin guilder who came from the Spiderfell and was adopted gy Guilder Kalien, so we were much non-hostile to each other! (Strange story!)

prince_dios
04-24-2007, 08:05 PM
The Spider can only be permanently killed by burning him and mixing the ashes with salt... at least, that's what my memory's telling me. It may be from one of the player's secrets books or Blood Enemies.

Regardless, with so many minions he's a tough nut to crack.

Dcolby
04-24-2007, 11:18 PM
There is also, at least in The manslayers case the Movement rules for invading armies (Even if he did not ward the province) in 3E Birthright the only troops that could move through a mountainous province with less than a three developement and lacking a constructed highway are units with the scout designation or Dwarves. As there are no Dwarven armies hanging about in Avanil, Beoruine or Tuornen it would be left to Human scout units to penetrait the manslayers defenses.

As all elvish units are scouts the Manslayer can move about quite freely in comparison to human units. Standard Anuirean Scouts are useful but of little value against a mixed Elvish force with the (Likely) advantage of terrain. Certainly the Manslayer has little in the way of cash to provide a large army, but if you consider that the elves that follow the Manslayer may be on the more savage/primal side the G.M. could use the optional tribal unit rules to suppliment the forces he pays if the Manslayer comes under attack. A bloody and expensive proposition all in all and so just more convient to leave the manslayer to trouble all your potential rivals as much as he troubles you...

vota dc
04-25-2007, 12:12 AM
Well, if I'm playing Endier or an adjacent realm to the Spiderfell in the PC game, one of the first things I do is assassinate the Spider.

The only I've actually played Endier ingame was as a Goblin guilder who came from the Spiderfell and was adopted gy Guilder Kalien, so we were much non-hostile to each other! (Strange story!)

In the PC game Endier controls the source of Spiderfell...I think it is not very realistic,however with the source you can cast mass destruction against the spider or you can raze his lair.

Thorogood Roele
04-26-2007, 02:37 PM
You also have to remember the Spider has the ability to control spiders. In his realm there are albino spiders the size of about a fingernail. Likely millions of them. They are poisonous, save or die, and likely even if you save.... sick for along time. Not to mention the giant spiders and everything in between. The only way to even get to him, would indeed be likely to burn the whole forest to the ground, I'm sure that the surrounding provinces would really love dealing with the spread of fire and smoke.

Ariadne
04-26-2007, 04:54 PM
You also have to remember the Spider has the ability to control spiders. In his realm there are albino spiders the size of about a fingernail. Likely millions of them. They are poisonous, save or die, and likely even if you save.... sick for along time.
Immunity to poison isn't such a problem. You only need to be a druid of 9th level, member of one of several PrCs (like Celestial Mystic or Contemplative) or otherwise protected (spell etc.) and poisenous spiders are no hazard for you. Combine it with some kind of DR (through template, blood ability, spell or whatever) and even millions of them don't deal one point of damage to you...

Jaleela
04-26-2007, 05:05 PM
If you "knock off" the Spider (or any major Awnsheg) too soon or easily, then I say that the NPC wasn't given a fair shake and their resources weren't realized to their full extent.

I'm speaking from a 2e point of view. So your mileage may vary.

As a GM, imho, one simply doesn't waltz into the Fell and find The Web and take out the Spider, not without an extremely clever plan. The way the Fell's forests are described is more like the interior of Borneo. Have +5 Vorpol Machete will travel, and it's not something an army can lightly traverse, there are no roads.

The Realm is laden with quicksand, marsh, etc... then there's the Albino Spiders. Someone mentioned before, save or die. These range from the size of a fingernail to the size of a human head, and there are 1000s of them. In "The Iron Throne", one description as viewed by Michael Roele's army, has a tree that was covered in them, making it seem to writhe.

The Goblins in BR are not the regular garden variety Goblins and players shouldn't just be able to cut a path through them.

Then you have the Spider. He's been around for a long time. He's insane, but he has his lucid moments. And he's invulnerable. He has to be destroyed in a very specific manner. Burning the forest down around his ears isn't going to do anything to him other than probably tick him off and kill his minions. It may appear to kill him, but he will reconstitute. Might take him a long while, but the PCs may not know that. (In game knowledge vs. Out of game knowledge).

Any webs that the Spider makes are impervious to normal and I believe magical fire. He is incredibly agile, which should make him pretty darn hard to hit.

A player in my campaign managed to secure an agreement with all of his neighbors. He had dealt with the Spider for 11 years in game time. He planned his attack for two years of game time and in the Spring, the Fell was surrounded by 1000s of troops from Diemed, Dhalaene, Endier, Ilien, Roesone, and Medore. In our game, Diemed is the warder of the Fell, so the onus fell on him to deal with the Awnsheg. So, Diemed took the point. In the end, the Player for Diemed never came to blows with the Spider, but pulled a Richard Endier, and tricked the Spider through an created portal to the Shadow World, by offering him the answer to the riddle that Endier had posed. The Spider is insane, but had a lucid moment and was intrigued by the offer, and the player took a Role Playing chance by talking to the Awnsheg instead of trying to kill him outright. :D

So, the Spider is still around and might escape the Shadow World at some point, but for now, cleaning out of the fell can begin.

If they seem like their easy to kill, then the DM should consider how to utilize their strengths and weaknesses. And the books are in the words of Capt'n Barbosa, "...not really rules, think of them more as guidelines." ;)

prince_dios
04-26-2007, 07:26 PM
Finding a level nine druid might be a quest unto itself. Firstly, spellcasters of that level are rare. "The Wizard" that everyone's afraid of is level 10. You might even need to venture to Rjurik lands to dig one up. They are priests of Erik after all. Of course, you'd have to be quite diplomatic about it. Why would a druid risk their neck in order to help you cut down the trees? The Spider's an abomination to be sure, but I'd give the forest a very short life expectancy one he's gone....

So anyways, you've gotten the druid somehow. Better hope the Spider has a brain aneurism and doesn't wear you down with waves of spiders days before confronting you. And that the nocturnal goblins and spiders don't interrupt your druid's regaining of spells.

Point in being that it's not a simple matter.

Dcolby
04-26-2007, 07:52 PM
Judging from the majority of responses either the southern coast is the heaviest played or the Spider is the most often employed D.M. Awnsheghlien. Personaly I do not like spiders....so I rarely use his ickyness.;)

The Manslayer has a somewhat tragic turn to his story (Rather Dracula like) and his decent into serving Azrai can be compelling. I feel that he -at least for me- is a more interesting Awnsheghlien.

Not better...just for me a better storyline.:)

Jaleela
04-26-2007, 08:00 PM
Let's see.

In play in my game:

The Magian <--- major player
The Gorgon <--- victim of another anwnsheg's attack followed up by an Anuirean Cheveux-chez.
The Spider <--- currently vacationing in the Shadow World.
Rhobhe <--- had his blood purified by a major holy relic.

About to come into play: The Sword Hawk. ;-)

I used the Wizard to create some major chaos a little farther afield than Anuire. She was responsible for a Binsadan invasion into Anuire by masquerading as a deity. :D

That was a lot of fun.

AndrewTall
04-26-2007, 08:25 PM
Immunity to poison isn't such a problem. You only need to be a druid of 9th level, member of one of several PrCs (like Celestial Mystic or Contemplative) or otherwise protected (spell etc.) and poisenous spiders are no hazard for you. Combine it with some kind of DR (through template, blood ability, spell or whatever) and even millions of them don't deal one point of damage to you...

Hmm, the Spider is written for mid level play as far as I can see - all of the awnies are with a handful of multi-classed exceptions (which to me is a 2e holdover anyway but that's another thread)

If you are going to have people with absolute-immunity type powers trogging around you need to beef the local awnies - and saying that the spider's venom goes through such anti-venom paragons like a regular giant spiders venom goes through a 'normal' person isn't unreasonable - they still benefit from their power - but it isn't absurdly overpowered given the threat - a L20 characters single greatest attack should not be countered by a common low level solution or it is underpowered.

Also using swarm-type rules the damage resistance problem can easily be overcome - particularly if its not a forcefield type defense - tiny size spiders slip through holes in armour with ease although a contingent fireball is an effective if short term way of dealing with them I find. Swarms should simply damage anyone in their path and cause constant damage - you can avoid a swarm easily enough but they won't be substantially hurt by anything other than an area effect attack...

Ariadne
04-26-2007, 11:21 PM
Hmm, the Spider is written for mid level play as far as I can see -
Yes, and THAT's the problem! Any half-maxed level 15+ group with some preparation beats the spider with a wink. My opinion is not: Don't let a group get above level 15, but improve the awnies. You don't need to get a driud (or priest of Eric), you can PLAY one and gain experience! If you don't abandon a campagn at level 10, you will get powerful enough someday to smash the spider (or whatever awnie, only the Gorgon has to wait a bit longer ;) ). Maybe a level 10 character is "legendary", but what, if you get level 20? Level 30? I mean, as a PC? Ok, it can be, that you never gain this level, never gaining XP above level 15, if you don't face an awnie, because you don't have challanges any more^^. Until now there is nearly nothing between one or two level 16 NPCs in complete Cerilia and the Gorgon. Really? Why? Because nobody plays high level campagns?


If you are going to have people with absolute-immunity type powers trogging around you need to beef the local awnies - and saying that the spider's venom goes through such anti-venom paragons like a regular giant spiders venom goes through a 'normal' person isn't unreasonable - they still benefit from their power - but it isn't absurdly overpowered given the threat - a L20 characters single greatest attack should not be countered by a common low level solution or it is underpowered.
Well, "normal persons" will have troubles to cross the spiderfell, ever and if a low-level character stands two rounds against a level 20 character, the L20 character has either bad luck or is...well...weak. PCs aren't typically "normal" and they may get powerful (and I mean, there is a CHANCE to become epic). That the spider is designed for mid level campagns is nice, but changes nothing, that, if you have a high level group, the group changes the face of Cerila this quickly that you can't blink twice...


Also using swarm-type rules the damage resistance problem can easily be overcome - particularly if its not a forcefield type defense - tiny size spiders slip through holes in armour with ease although a contingent fireball is an effective if short term way of dealing with them I find. Swarms should simply damage anyone in their path and cause constant damage - you can avoid a swarm easily enough but they won't be substantially hurt by anything other than an area effect attack...
Well, in fact they can be hurt. Area spells are a good and I think the first Idea, a group has, but it has other options too. Weapons can be enhanced by the ability to hurt swarms as normal creatures (MIC, I think). Repel Vermin is a nice spell as well ;)

fiftyone
04-26-2007, 11:32 PM
The Spider should never be enountered alone.

hirumatogeru
04-27-2007, 12:18 AM
I tend to agree with a lot of the posters on this topic. I feel the Awnsheghlien need to always present a tough challenge to a PC party, regardless of how high of a level they are. D&D is notorious for drastic power level increases the higher in level that you get.

Add prestige classes to this mix, and it can pose a serious problem for many of the awnshegh as they are written currently.

I find its important to remember the reasons why these awnshegh have been allowed to live for so long, as well as what problems their deaths may bring. This was touched on in regards to Rhoube separating Boeurine and Avan from a full out war.

For the Spider, say the province is razed, the spider defeated and his forces routed by an alliance of 3-4 domains. Who takes the province as a prize? Which domains use this newly cleared out domain as a free ticket to invade their neighbors? What happens if somebody kills the spider and becomes an awnsheigh themselves? The possibilities are endless :)

irdeggman
04-27-2007, 12:18 AM
Yes, and THAT's the problem! Any half-maxed level 15+ group with some preparation beats the spider with a wink. My opinion is not: Don't let a group get above level 15, but improve the awnies. You don't need to get a driud (or priest of Eric), you can PLAY one and gain experience! If you don't abandon a campagn at level 10, you will get powerful enough someday to smash the spider (or whatever awnie, only the Gorgon has to wait a bit longer ;) ). Maybe a level 10 character is "legendary", but what, if you get level 20? Level 30? I mean, as a PC? Ok, it can be, that you never gain this level, never gaining XP above level 15, if you don't face an awnie, because you don't have challanges any more^^. Until now there is nearly nothing between one or two level 16 NPCs in complete Cerilia and the Gorgon. Really? Why? Because nobody plays high level campagns?



Then advance them in levels. The rules exist in the MM for that (or the PHB for non-monster races).

The way I see things is that the awnie as written in the 2nd ed material were based on PCs having a low level (like starting level PCs).

The major NPCs in the game should be advancing in levels as the PCs are (well at least somewhat).

Assuming that the NPCs as statted are static and never changing is to me like playing a PC game and not a true RPG one. Things always change and so the big baddies should be adjusted to fit that change.

kgauck
04-27-2007, 02:20 AM
Hmm, the Spider is written for mid level play as far as I can see.

Yes, and THAT's the problem! Any half-maxed level 15+ group with some preparation beats the spider with a wink. My opinion is not: Don't let a group get above level 15, but improve the awnies.

Then advance them in levels. [...] The way I see things is that the awnie as written in the 2nd ed material were based on PCs having a low level (like starting level PCs).

The BR rulebook made certain assumptions. It made assumptions about what level the PC's were, its made assumptions about what classes look like, and it made assumptions about what common soldiers look like.

I think its unreasonable to ask that the Spider, or any other villain, remain a challenge if you take the character as written, but abandon two or three of these assumptions. A villain created for a low level champaign, where starting PC's might be regents of Roesone or Medoere, where power ramps up at the 2nd edition scale, where soldiers are 0-level characters, and where the most powerful contenders for the Iron Throne are 9th to 12th level, cannot be meaningful opponants without those assumptions.

When Ariadne rejects a character level limit around 15th level (or 12th level, or 10th level) he's rejecting an artificial constraint on play intended to, among other things keep the villains as written. I'll add that its also supposed to maintain a reasonably realistic contrast between the mighty and the meek. Playing only at low to mid level (considering my own poll on What Level you Prefer) is a specific responce to specific problems. If you play the game otherwise, you don't abandon the these problems, you simply approach them differently. Higher level PC's need higher level opponants.


The major NPCs in the game should be advancing in levels as the PCs are (well at least somewhat).
I trust this means Avan, Tael, Boeruine, et all, and that the qualification at the end "well at least somewhat" acknowledges that a two thousand year old villain does not appear to the PC's as the Spider appears to us as roughly a 13th or 14th level fighter with a few monsterous abilities, and some very impressive blood abilities, indeed almost out of whack with the basic character abilities, and then rise to 24th level along with the PC's of an epic level 3e campaign.

Allow me to propose a teleology of all of this. The PC's are intended to capture the Iron Throne. At some point they will reach the ability to stand toe to toe with Avan, Tael, and Boeruine, will have augmented their home realms, but might very well lack the kind of bloodline that those claimaints of the Iron Throne possess. So, the Spider is a kind of prize. High level 2nd edition characters could defeat the spider and accomplish two things, 1) they would elevate themselves to claimants to the Iron Throne by accomplishing this celebrated task, and 2) make themselves seriously eligable to govern like Avan, Boeruine, and perhaps better than Tael, by bloodtheft of the Spider. He's a conventional monster, placed to be defeated at a certain "dungeon level depth" before the PC's move deeper and face greater challenges.

Rhuobhe Manslayer likewise, except perhaps you don't reach him until you have either Boeruine or Avanil already in your possession (directly or indiectly). Conquest of The Elf, is really the ultimate or penultimate deed before the PC's reestablish the empire.

Anyway, this is my reading of how a campaign was supposed to go down when Ruins of Empire was put together.

So you have to ask yourself. If you play in 2nd edition, is this the game you want? Are the PC's supposed to win the empire, assemble all the parts, and then having assembled the empire, now possess the power to face the Gorgon? If you do, then things are constructed very nicely indeed.

If you assume otherwise, because you want the abominations to be permanent fixtures, because you want to play the game under assumptions of the third edition (such as how fast and how powerful characters are after "x" number of adventures) or because you read the Heroes of Battle suppliment and decided that veteran soldiers really should be 3rd and 4th level characters, rather than 0-level characters; what you have done is rendered the Spider as written, and then later the Manslayer as written, too weak.

When I confront this same problem- how mighty are the awnsheghlien and how permenant are they? I still rack them up pretty substantially, and I advocate low to mid-level play. My own Siren from last October is a CR 19 creature. I may prefer abominations to be a little more permenant than my fellows, and I see the Siren as on the border between a deposable and a permenant abomination. Indeed I made the Siren stronger intending to make her more menacing in my next campaign, more on the order of the greatest threat which is still defeatable. Neither the White Witch nor the Gorgon are defeatable AFAIC in any kind of personal combat.

What the DM must do, is answer a set of questions for himself about the campaign he envisions. How powerful will the players get, what will they be able to do (based on the classes and bloodlines you allow), and then identify when, if ever, a given awnshegh is fair game for personal destruction.

irdeggman
04-27-2007, 10:41 AM
Kenneth, a few things:


Ariadne is a she not a he.



When I said


The major NPCs in the game should be advancing in levels as the PCs are (well at least somewhat).

I was treating the major awnies as NPCs since they also run domains and for the most part were "classed" characters in 2nd ed.

In 3.5 usage what I meant by advancing at least somewhat was that levels are progressively harder to gain in 3.5. So while a PC advances from 1st to 5th level a 7th level character would not gain as much xp to advance the same number of levels. Also PCs are usually more aggressive in "adventuring" and "risk taking" then are most NPCS.


I generally agree with your premise of how the DM really must determine what kind of game he/she is running and the "overall" goals (or milestones along the way) that will/can be achieved. The rest needs to be "adjusted" to match that vision and that includes the role and level of any major NPCs involved, as well as the details of each domain (they too should not remain constant).

I don't agree with the assumption that character level will determine who sits on the Iron Throne. (Well I read that inference in your post - if it is not true, I apologize). It will be a factor and higher level characters have a better shot at it - but someone who manages to perform great acts will get recognized by the public as such regardless of their actual level.

Ariadne
04-27-2007, 01:13 PM
Then advance them in levels. The rules exist in the MM for that (or the PHB for non-monster races).
Maybe I should really improve them. I would rather add class levels as per the Epic Level Handbook (or SRD). I mean, Awnies like the Gorgon or the Manslayer are 1000 year old characters of INCREDIBLE power and even the minor ones would not last this long, if they aren't epic. Momentarly I think, some of them are powerful and a true challenge for low-level PCs, but you can't tell me, that there was in 1000 years NEVER a high level NPC around who tried to challange them. For example I'm sure, Michael Roele was at least epic too or he never could gain the IDEA to realy try to kill the Gorgon. And why he did not blow away the Spider or the Manslayer first?


The way I see things is that the awnie as written in the 2nd ed material were based on PCs having a low level (like starting level PCs).
With this I'm quite sure, you're right, but meanwhile there must be thought further...


The major NPCs in the game should be advancing in levels as the PCs are (well at least somewhat).
Here I'm completely your opinion too, but it's a bit much work for a GM to consider every turn, if Boruine or Avan got a level (whatever) meanwhile or if the Spider has eaten some new NPCs...


Assuming that the NPCs as statted are static and never changing is to me like playing a PC game and not a true RPG one. Things always change and so the big baddies should be adjusted to fit that change.
Agreed, but the poor GM...


I think its unreasonable to ask that the Spider, or any other villain, remain a challenge if you take the character as written, but abandon two or three of these assumptions. A villain created for a low level champaign, where starting PC's might be regents of Roesone or Medoere, where power ramps up at the 2nd edition scale, where soldiers are 0-level characters, and where the most powerful contenders for the Iron Throne are 9th to 12th level, cannot be meaningful opponants without those assumptions.
For 2nd Edition where you needed Millions and Millions of XP to gain a (higher) level this worked perfect, but in 3.X Edition you can't compare this any more, I fear. There aren't any 0-level characters around any more! They may be commoners, adepts or warriors, but they have at least 1 HD... In 3.X Edition level 9 to 12 is nearly nothing, you can become this level in a half year of playing. So consider a (constantly played) two year campaign. This implicates nearly automatically that you have a real chance to get the Iron Throne. WOW, why this couldn't be reached earlier in history?

Naturally there is a difference between a 2nd Ed and 3rd Ed style of playing. 2nd Ed has (nearly) no multiclassing and you have to befriend yourself with your actual level a LONG time. 3rd Edition has far more options: Multiclassing (who still has one class and no PrC?), Feats, more spells, quicker level up and simply a general boost of power level. PCs in 2nd Edition need about two years to match Avan or Theal, but PCs in 3rd Edition need 1/2 year. So I think this power increase generally should be considered if writing stats for the major NPCs and the Awnies...


Higher level PC's need higher level opponants.
Agreed competely, but there aren't any apart from the Awnies (OK, at least there aren't, if you don't advance them or create own)...



Ariadne is a she not a he.
Thanks :)

kgauck
04-27-2007, 04:10 PM
Ariadne is a she not a he.Applogies to Ariandne.

Regarding power level in the BR setting. I have made certain comprimises. I have limited play to mid levels, and there are two things I like about doing that.

1st, I like the fact that the powerful characters in the game are not so profoundly different from the regular folk. (This is a genre issue)
2nd, I like the fact that by mid-level, characters begin to invest in their realms, rather than their persons, and expect to see rewards in terms of a better and more seccure realm, rather than a tougher and more impressive character. (also a genre issue)


However, I am very aware that I am giving up articulation in character design. I really like the way a character gets a new ability when he, or she, advances. I think that one of the real advantages of 3rd edition is that character improvement adds neat choices and options for a character, and that halting advancement artificially means I don't get to experience that continued articulation of character.

Its a comprimise, I get some things and lose others.

The shift from a campaign where leaders are like followers, only more skilled and experienced, to a Heroic campaign where kings are more like Theseus, Odyseus, Achillies, and Hercules, and their soldiers and citizens are mere spear carriers is something I could get behind. In some ways its more appropriate for Birthright, if somehow the players of unblooded characters were willing to accept that they could never rise to the magnificence of blooded. Enter Ars Magica companions.

One of my concerns about heroic play is that it still doesn't involve the kind of rampling up of power from hapless babe to demigod. Odyseus is not a spear carrier who got promoted. One of the heroic notions, articulated by both Hesiod and Plato is that there are men of gold, men of silver, men of bronze, and men of iron. Our own game system might recognize these as great bloodlines, major, minor, and unblooded. I know that the ancients had notions of essentialism in human character, because things that were real did not change, so the real hero was always a hero, and could not rise from a genuine obscurity. Birthright doesn't have to be essentialist. But outside of D&D I have no experience with characters start out so helpless and ending up so powerful.

Perhaps the solution is to start PC's with an ECL of substance, and make them effectively 4th level when they start, either directly through begining as 4th level characters, or 2nd or 3rd level characters with a blooded template.

I am already happy to imagine commoners as 4th level Commoners and so on.

What this really means is cutting off the bottom several levels in order to make the higher ones more accesable. I already start at 2nd level, because I have background and professional classes.

Switching from a low-mid level approach to a mid-high, to perhaps very high and epic, does seem to abandon something of the original material, but that might just be constraints that 2nd edition had that simply can't be converted to 3rd edition without giving something significant up elsewhere.

More pondering is required.

Ariadne
04-27-2007, 04:40 PM
Applogies to Ariandne.

Nothing bad happened ;)

BTW, my name is Ariadne, think of the girl, that gave Theseus the red wool wire, so he could enter the labyrith of the minotaur and escape again. ;)


Regarding power level in the BR setting. I have made certain comprimises. I have limited play to mid levels, and there are two things I like about doing that.

1st, I like the fact that the powerful characters in the game are not so profoundly different from the regular folk. (This is a genre issue)

Powerful Characters are typically scions, so they have a profoundly difference from the regular folk. It's named bloodline...


2nd, I like the fact that by mid-level, characters begin to invest in their realms, rather than their persons, and expect to see rewards in terms of a better and more seccure realm, rather than a tougher and more impressive character. (also a genre issue)

I don't see a problem to combine both: INvesting in the realm AND investing in a high level. High level = more protection for the realm, at least in my opinion...

irdeggman
04-27-2007, 05:10 PM
Maybe I should really improve them. I would rather add class levels as per the Epic Level Handbook (or SRD). I mean, Awnies like the Gorgon or the Manslayer are 1000 year old characters of INCREDIBLE power and even the minor ones would not last this long, if they aren't epic. Momentarly I think, some of them are powerful and a true challenge for low-level PCs, but you can't tell me, that there was in 1000 years NEVER a high level NPC around who tried to challange them. For example I'm sure, Michael Roele was at least epic too or he never could gain the IDEA to realy try to kill the Gorgon. And why he did not blow away the Spider or the Manslayer first?


No reason at all to think that Michael Roele was the equivalent of 3.5 epic level.

Why did he go after the Gorgon and not the other anwnies?

It was personal. It had to do with his wife and the relationship betwen Roeles and Raesene.

Why he didn't succeed?

He was overmatched.

kgauck
04-27-2007, 07:32 PM
Powerful Characters are typically scions, so they have a profoundly difference from the regular folk. It's named bloodline...What if a player didn't want to play a blooded character? Would they have to play it more like the spear carriers?


I don't see a problem to combine both: INvesting in the realm AND investing in a high level. High level = more protection for the realm, at least in my opinion...What happens when the regent dies or otherwise passes their realm to a successor?

Dcolby
04-27-2007, 07:48 PM
What happens when the regent dies or otherwise passes their realm to a successor?


Alas what was the Fate of Alexanders empire after his demise...

When the once in a hundred years leader passes on those that follow are unlikely to have the ability of the Great/High Level leader.

If his/her rise to power was especialy rapid with no great dynasty or tradition to fall back upon the effects could be even more dramatic!

Great Roleplaying oppurtunity imo..:D

Thelandrin
04-29-2007, 11:17 AM
I can guess why Michael didn't go after Rhuobhe or the Spider. The Spider generally keeps to himself and anyhow provided a distraction for Diemed and its offshoots. Likewise, Rhuobhe presents a powerful distraction for the two most powerful men in Anuire - Aeric Boeruine and Darien Avan. Chances are that there was a similar dynamic when Michael was alive and he preferred to keep his noblemen busy!

Then again, the Gorgon was clearly the greatest threat, especially considering the abilities to hide away of Rhuobhe and the Spider and any possible political fall-out from Tuarhievel over the death of Rhuobhe. (And of course that Michael was a distant nephew of the Gorgon.)

However, the Emperor clearly had to be highish-level, 12th to 15th say. The Imperial Chamberlain is near epic himself and the modern claimants are all in the low double figures themselves.

Thorogood Roele
05-07-2007, 03:23 AM
Immunity to poison isn't such a problem. You only need to be a druid of 9th level, member of one of several PrCs (like Celestial Mystic or Contemplative) or otherwise protected (spell etc.) and poisenous spiders are no hazard for you. Combine it with some kind of DR (through template, blood ability, spell or whatever) and even millions of them don't deal one point of damage to you...

That may be true to a single individual, but explain how a single Druid is going to deal with the non-poisonous damage (ie bites) from the millions of little spiders, the thousands of giant spiders the 10's of thousands of goblins etc. A single character of less than god status couldn't even reach the Spider, assuming they knew what they had to do to get past his blood ability that makes him impossible to kill without doing certain things, otherwise he just regenerates over and over. Remember than just learning how to truly kill him is a monumental task in itself requiring massive research, and likely having to test each new theory on the Spider himself just to see if it would work. Either that or divination of nearly godlike status.

dalor
05-07-2007, 04:20 AM
It is much easier to do away with the Spider than
people seem to think...you don`t have to kill him is
the key!

It IS a hard task to get to him, but if you can manage
that it is better to CAPTURE the Spider and imprison
him by magic.

There is always the option of burning the Spiderfell
to the ground and wait for the Spider to come into a
well laid trap...that is what I would do.



--- Thorogood Roele <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/forums/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=3659
>
> Thorogood Roele wrote:
> ------------ QUOTE ----------
> Immunity to poison isn`t such a problem. You only
> need to be a druid of 9th level, member of one of
> several PrCs (like Celestial Mystic or
> Contemplative) or otherwise protected (spell etc.)
> and poisenous spiders are no hazard for you. Combine
> it with some kind of DR (through template, blood
> ability, spell or whatever) and even millions of
> them don`t deal one point of damage to you...
> -----------------------------
>
>
>
> That may be true to a single individual, but explain
> how a single Druid is going to deal with the
> non-poisonous damage (ie bites) from the millions of
> little spiders, the thousands of giant spiders the
> 10`s of thousands of goblins etc. A single character
> of less than god status couldn`t even reach the
> Spider, assuming they knew what they had to do to
> get past his blood ability that makes him impossible
> to kill without doing certain things, otherwise he
> just regenerates over and over. Remember than just
> learning how to truly kill him is a monumental task
> in itself requiring massive research, and likely
> having to test each new theory on the Spider himself
> just to see if it would work. Either that or
> divination of nearly godlike status.
>
>

>
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Kalien
05-07-2007, 05:44 AM
There is always the option of burning the Spiderfell to the ground and wait for the Spider to come into a well laid trap...that is what I would do.

I've always thought that if it was as simple as setting the Spiderfell on fire, it would have been tried before. The Deretha have been warring with Tal Qazar for about 2,000 years and I'm sure that in all that time someone would have tried a major burn-off.

There are a few factors counting against the flammability of the Spiderfell, I think. You have the massive dark cloud that sits about the Spiderfell, ready to drop large amounts of rain on the forest. Also, I've always pictured the forest as being dense, very damp, with lots of moist rotting foliage on the ground - that is, not terrible vulnerable to fire.

But I certainly agree that the best way to defeat the Spider is to trap or otherwise incapacitate him rather than trying to kill him. This method also has the added benefit of no-one killing him, becoming infected with the blood of Azrai, and turning into another awnsheghlien.

Sorontar
05-07-2007, 05:49 AM
The other way is play on the Spider's insecurities and draw him out into a location that is more favourable to you. For our campaign, DM Doyle has told us the Spider has already been killed by a third party. The PCs know little about it but my druid knows that he was killed just outside of the Spiderfell in a one-on-one duel with someone who seems to have challenged him. The same method could have been tried by Michael Roele or any other bigwig.

As to the methods of keeping him dead.... I don't know if they apply to our campaign (Doyle has a habit of manipulating D&D reality for his own nefarious DM purposes), but the PCs believe that they have seen the Spider's head being stuffed and preserved for public display.

Sorontar

geeman
05-07-2007, 06:45 AM
At 09:17 PM 5/6/2007, Anthony Edward wrote:

>There is always the option of burning the Spiderfell to the ground
>and wait for the Spider to come into a well laid trap...that is what
>I would do.

Actually, I think this is the only way one should be able to deal
with the Spider/Spiderfell. The rules and materials we have don`t
really reflect this, but IMO the Spider`s "home field" advantage
within his domain should be so overwhelming as to prevent anything
but the most massive invasion and attack by high level characters.

Gary

ShadowMoon
05-07-2007, 09:58 AM
Yup, I agree that only plausable option would be to somehow draw the Spider out of that dreadful forrest. You really have to have an iconic leader to force men into Spider's domain. Poor visibility, heavy dump air, impassable terrain, hidden pitfalls, and countless spiders of all kind. So troops would be highly demoralized, disorganised, and dancing on the brink of a panic.

I go too, with the idea that since the forrest is so humid, it is hard to set it afire. Caine would also have something to say about turning Spiderfell into the ash waste.

Spider is just not worth the trouble. Prolly through history some champions managed to defeat him, but since the Spider has Invulnerability (Great), blood ability, he would rise again. All in all, to much resources and effort for something so uncertain.

Best thing You can do is to reinforce borders around Spiderfell to counter his raiding parties...


Also in my campaign Spider has few Druid levels (ofcourse not as a servant of Erik), and shares Mebhaighl power of the Spiderfell with Cain (in my campaign Druids use Sources like Wizards to cast Realm magic). So invading Spiderfell gets even harder, both by mundane means or by magic.

irdeggman
05-07-2007, 11:28 AM
The spiders should be of the swarm subtype (3.5 that is) which creates a whole bunch of issues when attempting to defeat them.



SPIDER SWARM

Diminutive Vermin (Swarm)
Hit Dice: 2d8 (9 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), climb 20 ft.
Armor Class: 17 (+4 size, +3 Dex), touch 17, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/—
Attack: Swarm (1d6 plus poison)
Full Attack: Swarm (1d6 plus poison)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: Distraction, poison
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., swarm traits, tremorsense 30 ft., vermin traits
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +0
Abilities: Str 1, Dex 17, Con 10, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 2
Skills: Climb +11, Listen +4, Spot +4
Environment: Warm forests
Organization: Solitary, tangle (2–4 swarms), or colony (7–12 swarms)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: None
Level Adjustment: —


Combat
A spider swarm seeks to surround and attack any living prey it encounters. A swarm deals 1d6 points of damage to any creature whose space it occupies at the end of its move.
Distraction (Ex): Any living creature that begins its turn with a spider swarm in its space must succeed on a DC 11 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 11, initial and secondary damage 1d3 Str. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Skills: A spider swarm has a +4 racial bonus on Hide and Spot checks and a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks. It uses its Dexterity modifier instead of its Strength modifier for Climb checks. It can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened.

[B]Swarm Subtype:
A swarm of Tiny creatures consists of 300 nonflying creatures or 1,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Diminutive creatures consists of 1,500 nonflying creatures or 5,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Fine creatures consists of 10,000 creatures, whether they are flying or not. Swarms of nonflying creatures include many more creatures than could normally fit in a 10-foot square based on their normal space, because creatures in a swarm are packed tightly together and generally crawl over each other and their prey when moving or attacking. Larger swarms are represented by multiples of single swarms. The area occupied by a large swarm is completely shapeable, though the swarm usually remains in contiguous squares.

Traits: A swarm has no clear front or back and no discernable anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits or flanking. A swarm made up of Tiny creatures takes half damage from slashing and piercing weapons. A swarm composed of Fine or Diminutive creatures is immune to all weapon damage. Reducing a swarm to 0 hit points or lower causes it to break up, though damage taken until that point does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack. Swarms are never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage. Also, they cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed, and they cannot grapple an opponent.

A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate), with the exception of mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects) if the swarm has an Intelligence score and a hive mind. A swarm takes half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many evocation spells.

Swarm Attack: Creatures with the swarm subtype don’t make standard melee attacks. Instead, they deal automatic damage to any creature whose space they occupy at the end of their move, with no attack roll needed. Swarm attacks are not subject to a miss chance for concealment or cover. A swarm’s statistics block has “swarm” in the Attack and Full Attack entries, with no attack bonus given. The amount of damage a swarm deals is based on its Hit Dice, as shown below.



Distraction (Ex): Any living creature vulnerable to a swarm’s damage that begins its turn with a swarm in its square is nauseated for 1 round; a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 swarm’s HD + swarm’s Con modifier; the exact DC is given in a swarm’s description) negates the effect. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a swarm requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Concentration check.


Swarms are subject to fire and splash based damage though.

But the question to ask is how many swarms would be present?

geeman
05-07-2007, 09:31 PM
At 10:44 PM 5/6/2007, Kalien wrote:

>>There is always the option of burning the Spiderfell to the ground
>>and wait for the Spider to come into a well laid trap...that is
>>what I would do.
>
>I`ve always thought that if it was as simple as setting the
>Spiderfell on fire, it would have been tried before. The Deretha
>have been warring with Tal Qazar for about 2,000 years and I`m sure
>that in all that time someone would have tried a major burn-off.

I`m reminded of a kind of uber-D&D geek I met once who developed the
D&D 1e character class called... the anti-Druid. Yeah, that`s
right. It was about as horrifyingly obnoxious as you might
think. The guy actually went around saying, "Burn forest burn!" as a
sort of mantra....

>There are a few factors counting against the flammability of the
>Spiderfell, I think. You have the massive dark cloud that sits
>about the Spiderfell, ready to drop large amounts of rain on the
>forest. Also, I`ve always pictured the forest as being dense, very
>damp, with lots of moist rotting foliage on the ground - that is,
>not terrible vulnerable to fire.

I`m reminded of the Japanese attempt during WWII to set North America
ablaze using giant, paper balloons with incendiary bombs strapped to
them... sort of the military strategic equivalent of the anti-druid,
or an international bombing campaign conceived by some demented,
balloon shaping clown.

>But I certainly agree that the best way to defeat the Spider is to
>trap or otherwise incapacitate him rather than trying to kill
>him. This method also has the added benefit of no-one killing him,
>becoming infected with the blood of Azrai, and turning into another
>awnsheghlien.

Easier said than done....

G

irdeggman
05-07-2007, 10:03 PM
In regards to burning the Spiderfell, what is its relation to the "old forests"?

It is not as clear as the Erbannien tie, but that could be a major factor in why no one has burned it down.

AndrewTall
05-07-2007, 10:08 PM
Another factor stopping people from burning down is the near certainty of a swarm of poisonous spiders fleeing the fire and seeking to make a new home in Ghoere, Endier, Diemed, Medoere, etc, etc. - Whoever does it will not be remembered as a hero...


Plus the near permanent rain and clouds should make it way too soggy to burn - if someone really wants to spend their life figuring out how to burn it down fine - but the Spider doesn't seem interested in expansion so its easier to just deal with the odd raiding party.

XDrake
08-30-2007, 01:26 AM
Anuire is a delicate balance much like Europe was. If Rhoube was vanquished it upsets the regional balance. The same with Spiderfell. Spiderfell protects Diemed, Medoere, and Endier from Ghoere. The number of kingdoms that need to work together to deal with the Spider and his kingdom is a hard enough task. Then, let's say they deal with him... Who gets the realm? Things like that make it a not very rewarding task.

I also think nations like Endier want the Spider to remain. Gives the other kingdoms a bigger fish to fry.

Gman
08-30-2007, 05:08 AM
At the risk of being harsh - the threat any NPC poses is entirely up to the GM.

If they turn The Spider into a lame easy kill then they need to start thinking a bit more.

No AWNSHEGHLEIN that has been around for 100's or 1000's of years is an easy kill. Lots of people have tried - and died. They have every option available to them that players do and usually a heck of a lot more resources and experience.

Assassinate The Spider - the assassin you try to hire is likely to laugh in your face and tell you its impossible - you can't just walk into the spiderfell in your little Ninja uniform and slip a poison in his broth.

If you have choosen a high level path then make sure you make sure that the threats players face are up to the challenge - Zero research and Zero information on their enemy and expecting to rock into "his domain" with a pack of 6-8 pcs and bowl him over should be akin to running down a dragons throat while insulting his mother and expecting him not to chew.

Personally these additions are fun -

The spider has bred half breed children - half Goblin/half spider (use drider template with nasty venom).

The Spider can see and hear anything any spider can if he so desires. - which means that regents plotting against him can almost inevitably expect counter plots - "oh no the spider seems to know everything and be laying in wait...."

Feel free to drop any spider type or subtype listed anywhere in D&D rules into the spiderfell with monstrous and other templates whenever you like.
Look at some of the waterskimming and trapdoor spiders in nature - web "net" throwers and the like for inspiration.

Spiders are cunning hunters and trappers and lay very patient plans - they do not allow enemies a second chance. BE MEAN if they want to mess with the best the they can expect to be HURT.

Players should not expect the rulebook writeup to be correct - feel free to alter it - Some enemies may have very little information available on them - most will be hearsay and rumor.

Bialaska
08-30-2007, 09:02 AM
In my honest opinion I think there are a few things that one should note before saying that Rhuobe and the Spider would easily be taken out.

In personal power the two are immensely powerful, far surpassing the other regents and even 99,9999999% of all adventurers, surpassed only by only a few other Awnsheglien. Assassinating them would be impossible, because there are no assassins that are capable of performing such a feat. That leaves only the option of invasion. An invasion is a nice thing, surely, but both Rhuobhe and Spiderfell are locations that are hard to maneuver in for most armies. And even if you slay all the defending units, you most likely won't even have scratched the Awnies. And after this the Awnsheglien you have attacked most likely get pretty annoyed, travels to your capital, burns down your castle, slays your family, burns your magical library, uses some special power that allows him to divest you of your bloodline, then stabs out your eyes and removes your tongue, puts you in a beggars outfit and throws you in a ditch somewhere in Imperial City for you to live the rest of your miserable life knowing that if you had listened to your advisors and figured out why both Spiderfell and Rhuobhe has been located where it has since the founding of the Empire without having been conquered before. For future generations your nickname will be the Imbecile and rulers for the next many generations will look at your example and do everything they can to avoid such situations themselves...

irdeggman
08-30-2007, 10:02 AM
I think that people are looking at this from two different standpoints.

1. Adventuring level. That is for PCs that are primarily adventurers and the domain/political issue is in the background.

2. From a domain ruling level. that is for PCs who are primarily regents and adventure much less.

For 1 - it becomes an issue of "pure personal power" that is "my 18th level PC should be able to wipe the floor man-o on man-o with pretty much any "listed" Awnie"

For 2 - it becomes an issue of "my PC can send in more armies than that Awnie can possibly muster".

The problem with either of these is that the rules were written for a mix of the two.

For either one it is important to recognize (as has been pointed out many times) the NPCs written in the books were for "guidance" and their stats were actually for DMs to use (not for players). In general it is not considered "proper" for players to use the MM as a sourcebook. There are exceptions of course, druids shapeshifting, animal companions, and now "using other races for PCs" - but in general that information (and the DMG) has been consideredunder the DM's perview.

Combining that with the "fog of war" issue, players should not know "everything" about the NPCs. I have always told my players that what is listed may or may not be true and that they should not expect any major NPC to be what is written, everyone changes over time.

Forgetting the "political" aspect of Birthright is IMO just way wrong. I mean the setting was based on "politcs" and that is the underlying current of pretty much everything ever written for the setting. It was one of the major differences between BR and any other D&D setting. To drop that is to drop the setting itself, IMO. The Anuire region sourcebook was titled "Ruins of Empire" for a reason, it set the tone for the setting as much as did the first novel "The Iron Throne".

Having said that - it doesn't mean that people can't run the game as primarily adventurers and have the politcs "in the background". But those politcs should never be forgotten. They determine what is going on, were the PCs "need to go", what opponents are present to overcome, etc.

IMO the defeating the Spider relies tremendously on the "political" aspect of the setting. How much would each of the surrounding realms be investing in defeating the Spider? How much would this "investment" cost them with regards to defending their "other" borders? How much could Medoere afford to invest with Endier and Diemed having so much "interest" in the land? Just look at the lands surrounding the lands surrounding the Spiderfell and an idea of the political ramifications of mounting a front on the Spider can readily be envisioned.

Now attempting to take on a major regent on a personal level is forgetting all the things that made that person a regent in the first place. Armies, special defenses, etc. Many of the possible "special defenses" and "obstacles" facing PCs attempting to personnaly reach the Spider have been presented already.

IMO BR should not be merely a "numbers" game where stats determine everything. That is too much like a computer game and does not truely capture the "feel" and "essence" of the setting. But that is just my opinion.