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Blastin
08-17-2007, 02:01 AM
Well...it's official. 4th edition is out next year. WOTC boards have crashed under the load, but when they come up they have a whole new section with lots of info.

Sorontar
08-17-2007, 02:59 AM
Hmmm... the press release is at http://ww2.wizards.com/Company/Press/?doc=20070816b. Doesn't say much but spin and timing.

I guess that might explain why WotC wants to know what old worlds the fans want resurrected/reprinted in some way shape or form (see thread at http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?p=12892146#post12892146).
.

Sorontar

Gman
08-17-2007, 04:40 AM
Do they promise to print less books and simplify the rules - AGAIN.

kgauck
08-17-2007, 05:33 AM
If you have been following the podcasts in mailbag, I think there is a lot there about what will be improved in a 4th edition. Monsters were origianlly constructed with an unwieldy system, whereas now a system of benchmarks is being used behind the scenes and is described as much easier. I look forward to it.

RaspK_FOG
08-17-2007, 10:28 AM
It seems that they will be using a bit of the mechanics from Star Wars Saga Edition, but we'll have to wait and see...

It interesting to note that they put up a 4th Edition subforum, and Game_ZerO posted a "what old settings do you want to see" thread there too! :D

BRadmin
08-17-2007, 12:26 PM
gamezer0 also posted some youtube vids

http://tinyurl.com/287lhv

http://tinyurl.com/296zmt

Riggswolfe
08-17-2007, 01:53 PM
Hmm...I have extremely mixed feelings about this...

Arjan
08-17-2007, 02:01 PM
I have not been following all the threads lately about gleemax and the 4th ed, but from what I have read I got some concerns about the continuality of the official websites.

I have noticed a fairly amount of threads by moderators on several forums about reviving old settings.

It seems gleemax will get the functionality that can incorporate everything of what the official websites offer now (even a wikilike thing like we got on Birthright.net)

It seems wotc is trying to build a new center of focus where all fans of all created world and settings will have a home together and not a spread community as it is now, where each fan site follows his own direction and ideas.

This means official websites will not have a purpose anymore.

Aside from that 4th ed will not be an open gaming license, so even if we want we cannot convert our beloved setting to the 4th edition.

Riggswolfe
08-17-2007, 02:10 PM
Aside from that 4th ed will not be an open gaming license, so even if we want we cannot convert our beloved setting to the 4th edition.

Yes it will. They've even specifically mentioned there will be a 4e SRD.

Here we are: (I grabbed this from EN World)

Open Gaming Licence:

3rd party publishers will be able to get licenses to create 4e material from Wizards. (source)
Fans will be able to publish material on Gleemax under (free) license from Wizards. (This material will be available to Wizards to republish; see discussion on Gleemax TOS).
The OGL/SRD/d20 Licenses will still exist - details still to come (Source)

DanMcSorley
08-17-2007, 02:30 PM
On 8/17/07, Arjan <brnetboard@birthright.net> wrote:
> This means official websites will not have a purpose anymore.

Doesn`t mean your website can`t continue, Arjan. There are a ton of
fan websites, and only a handful are "official".

> Aside from that 4th ed will not be an open gaming license, so even if we want we cannot
> convert our beloved setting to the 4th edition.

Report from wotc is that it will.

Regardless: there is no OGL for Hero System, GURPS, etc. But you
would be able to post stats for Birthright characters and creatures in
those systems. People do it all the time- half of RPG.net is "I want
to run this game using this other game system, help me stat it up."

So even if 4e had no OGL content (which it will), you`d still be able
to come up with 4e stats for BR things.
--
Daniel McSorley

Arjan
08-17-2007, 02:36 PM
On 8/17/07, Arjan <brnetboard@birthright.net> wrote:
> This means official websites will not have a purpose anymore.

Doesn`t mean your website can`t continue, Arjan. There are a ton of
fan websites, and only a handful are "official".



well it depends on what they do with the official website license. Current activities are pretty much in the direction that wotc wants to get everything back to one single point of interest.

the gleemax forum is going to be a major hub for everything D&D related.

loosing the license will mean the end of BRnet.

ps, this aint my website.. just keeping it alive ;)

Arjan
08-17-2007, 02:41 PM
there was already a discussion on the official website webmasters mailinglist whether we were able to continue or we have to worry and have to prepare for some kind of transition.

wotc couldnt give us a straight answer to that (back in may)
now that gleemax has been launched and the 4th edition has been announced i have reopened that discussion on the webmasters mailinglist

Riggswolfe
08-17-2007, 02:43 PM
loosing the license will mean the end of BRnet.



Why? Even without a license I doubt you'll get some kind of cease and desist letter. WOTC seems to be pretty savvy about not angering the fans with stuff like that.

Arjan
08-17-2007, 02:47 PM
Why? Even without a license I doubt you'll get some kind of cease and desist letter. WOTC seems to be pretty savvy about not angering the fans with stuff like that.

quite simple..
take a look at the license.
http://www.birthright.net/brwiki/index.php/Birthright_license_agreement

Riggswolfe
08-17-2007, 03:08 PM
I can see a couple of areas for concern, namely:

Official sites must not create their own community sections that duplicate those services and features offered by the Wizards of the Coast website.

So, I guess you're worried you'd be considered in competition with gleemax

And probably this as well:

Have only a single source for all official content, that being your site. Other sites that wish to be listed as part of the IP will be directed to the official website.

I don't know. I still don't see the reason to worry really. Gleemax is already up and running and it's not like they're telling you you're now competing. I just don't think WOTC will shoot itself in the foot by closing the fansites or anything.

Arjan
08-17-2007, 04:00 PM
reply from WotC to my concerns:



Arjan, I think you’re making some pretty big leaps here. The first, and obviously incorrect, one is that OGL is going away. That’s just not true, and we said so yesterday at GenCon.

Frankly, we have discussed the end of the “official” websites, but only in the sense that they would no longer be “official.” We really appreciate all the hard work and time that all the site administrators have put into their worlds, and we don’t see a reason to take any of that away. Even if we did revisit an old campaign world, we wouldn’t ask someone else to take down their fansite dedicated to it. That site might gain some competition from us, but that’s about it. Unfortunately, my “reform WotC’s fan site policy” ship ran aground on the Legal Department rock. Legal wants to make one policy for all brands, and I don’t have the clout to get other brands to make it a priority. They don’t have the same issues that the D&D brand does.

Gleemax poses no new threat to the official fan sites. That threat already exists – that someone else might create a fan site and you lose traffic to it. Gleemax makes it easier to create such a site and to reach other fans, but I don’t know of any plans for us to create “official” sites within Gleemax. In fact, there won’t be anything stopping the official sites from moving content to Gleemax as far as I know.

So I hope that clarifies some misconceptions. If site administrators have questions, they should ask me as you’ve done and as several others have over the last five years. That way misinformation, like that about the OGL, doesn’t spread.

Rich Redman
Assistant Brand Manager, Licensing
Wizards of the Coast
425-204-7224

Riggswolfe
08-17-2007, 04:15 PM
Yep, that's about what I figured. The "official" tag goes away but the site remains and all is well.

kgauck
08-17-2007, 05:50 PM
Wizards needs our free labor to maintain interest in stuff they can't pay someone to work on.

geeman
08-17-2007, 06:46 PM
Riggswolfe wrote:

> Yep, that`s about what I figured. The "official" tag goes away but the
> site remains and all is well.

Not to toss this in anybody`s face or anything, but that would seem to mean
the "official" tag would also go away from fan produced materials created
under the aegis of sites that are themselves no longer "official" doesn`t
it? I mention this because it seems as if that`s been a big motivator for
folks, so it could interefere with the amount of fan-produced (or, at least,
fan-posted) materials and the ability to organize through a particular site.

I should note that personally a 4th edition won`t affect me in particular.
It`s just another rules set. From my POV the "4th" edition is really
somewhere in the neighborhood of the 12th edition if one were to number all
the incarnations of the system that have come out properly. I`ll take what
I want and discard what I don`t. Come to think of it, that`s what I do with
"official" materials too....

Gary

blitzmacher
08-17-2007, 11:16 PM
Does this mean that I better get off my butt and get my BRCS MRQ conversion finished. Before they go changing more rules on ogls.

Sorontar
08-19-2007, 01:54 PM
3rd party publishers will be able to get licenses to create 4e material from Wizards. (source)
Fans will be able to publish material on Gleemax under (free) license from Wizards. (This material will be available to Wizards to republish; see discussion on Gleemax TOS).
The OGL/SRD/d20 Licenses will still exist - details still to come (Source)


My concern isn't with whether or not we have the *label* of being official or not. It is more to do with Br.net presently being given the rights to freely use copyrighted material to further the design of the product. If all fansites including ours are put in the same boat and the copyright permission is not granted to any fans, then we may have to rewrite major components of the wiki and the BRCS, or just stop "publishing" them altogether.

After all, what happens if Anuire or Cerilia is a protected trademark....

Mind you, we are co-copyrighters of what is presently on br.net ... to quote the agreement that br.net abids by as the "official website":


Content created on the official website is considered to be derivative work (as it is based on the intellectual property owned by Wizards of the Coast). This means that fan-created add-ons (such as new net books, adventures, etc.) are jointly owned by both Wizards of the Coast and the creator; neither can do anything outside the official website without the permission of the other.

I would be very disappointed if Gleemax claimed "ownership" over everything "published" within any new forum, rather than acknowledging that the fans are also copyright holders.

Don't forget that the worse case scenario (ie. just being a mailing list on Gleemax) would just be a return to what we were in 2000. While the present situation is far better, the Birthright community survived then.

Sorontar.

einstein_pi
10-22-2007, 05:36 PM
To get a little discussion going...

1. To be clear, does Birthright.net have the rights to do "official" releases for a 4th edition Birthright Campaign Setting, etc? The responses mentioned above were a tad bit vague.

2. Assuming the answer is yes, should we do a 4th edition Birthright? It needs to be asked, as it does take a significant amount of work (note the semi-finished nature of the 3.5 rules) and play-testing.

3. Should we investigate getting pre-release copies in the hands of key people to start working on a conversion?

4. Assuming the answer is yes (to #2), then will we distribute it on Birthright.net exclusively, or also on Gleemax, or exclusively on Gleemax? This needs to be asked for a multitude of reasons. If we keep it exclusive to Birthright.net, it is actually less resource intensive, and has a different audience than adding in Gleemax would. I would suggest, that we strongly consider something on Gleemax. Birthright was never a huge seller or hugely popular due in part to TSR's financial problems, and if we ever want to see our beloved setting published again, we need to find a way to appeal to new audiences. Creating a 4th edition Birthright for Gleemax distribution, including extra content (more examples, streamlined rules, and starting adventure modules), would be a great way to put Birthright on top of the pile of old settings for them to consider for revival.

4a. We need to be sure any play-online portion of 4th edition supports realm play and bloodlines if at all possible. This would be critical.

5. What works, what doesn't, what is too complex, what is too simple, what is missing? Although we know little about 4th edition, there is some info out there - any potential conflicts?

6. Products. It is seriously hard to make a product line and campaign setting thrive based on 1 rulebook, no matter how good. Birthright hasn't had more than 1 book/product since what, 1997? Thats more than a decade by the time 4th edition comes out! Given what exists in the original line, perhaps, when considering 4th edition, we should, as a community, explore additional products, conversions, and even books. This may range from simply converting existing products and re-releasing, to securing the rights to any products we do not have the rights to, securing permission to majorly change the setting (which we do not currently have), to securing new authors, etc.

Perhaps this needs to be its own thread, but I didn't want to be the one to start it. It should all be discussed though.

Instead of worrying about how this will negatively impact our community, we should instead look at the wonderful tools and opportunity we've been given. WoTC only has 2.5 official campaign settings for 4th edition (FR, Eberron, and arguably Greyhawk - I'd probably leave it at 2 personally). Of all the old settings, it's possible that Dark Sun and Planescape may have more fans, but due to a variety of factors (psionics, the planar re-ordering, and internal factors), I'd say Birthright, if it were to put in a strong showing, would have the greatest chance of making a revival (at least as a single rulebook). If we were to basically create a quality, well play-tested product (which this site has done in the past) that seemlessly fits into 4th edition, then it would be very, very simple for WoTC to pick it up and print it.

bluntaxe
10-23-2007, 11:31 AM
1. From the quote given of Rich Redman it sounds like the 'official' status would be dropped of anything anyone does except Wizards themselves. We could curve around that a bit by saying 'From the creators of the official 3.5 Birthright rules', to make it sound official. :)

2. I have a feeling they would pull out Ravenloft, Dragonlance and Dark Sun before they did a revamp of Birthright. That is unless they saw the potential that Birthright is fairly unknown to most and could be re-imagined easier than the other settings. So doing a 4th edition ourselves would be only as much worth as it would give your personal group or hobby satisfaction.

3. Are you talking about the playtest rules of 4e? I think they pretty much have set their playtesting picking procedure.

I think a couple things need to happen with Birthright/4th edition. Keep in mind, these are just my opinions at this point in time (who knows, they might change). Some of these ideas might seem extreme, especially to those established in their ways, but obviously something needs to be done to freshen it up. Birthright is kind of an oddity as a campaign setting, because basically it is not only a D&D game world with blood abilities added, but it is also a second game of running your guild/temple/wizard tower/etc. It can be one, the other, or a combination of the both of varying degrees.

First, I think it needs to embrace the 4th edition philosophy to simplify a few things. 2nd edition it was pretty clear and easy to determine your regency collection. In 3.5, well when you are looking at 1/4th the sum of ranks in a number of skills to find the % of your collection, it is a little more complicated. I understand why it was done with multi-class combos and the math and logic works pretty well, but I think something cleaner is needed.

Blood score and blood abilities... The original dragonmarks :) Bloodline and blood abilities should be separated up a bit. A wizard is going to want to be blooded, but not at the expense of his ability to cast spells (level adjustment). We know level adjustments are for 4th edition going away, and something like the racial level abilities might have to be done for the blood abilities. However I propose that the blood score and blood abilities shouldn't be directly tied. The bloodline score has a direct influence on the domain gameplay and blood abilities have a direct affect on either type of gameplay depending on the ability. So the bloodline score should be determined by some domain side mechanic, while the abilities only appear if they player wants to 'buy' them with their feats (or some other mechanic). The domain side would allow the gain of domain side powers while the adventuring side would gain combat/adventuring type blood abilities. I'm just brainstorming here and I don't have anything concrete. I can see some debate on which side a certain ability should go under, etc. and we don't know all of the mechanics for 4e.

The gameworld: On the gameworld side of things, I think a major 'event' needs to happen like the spellplauge they are planning for FR. Perhaps push the date forward a bit, etc. 4e is going 'Points of light in a world of darkness'. I see Birthright as points of darkness in a world of gray. I'm not certain if this should change or not. Having the Gorgon and perhaps the Spider or some other Awn. spread out a bit and thrown into their lands a few fortified castles and towns (points of light) still held by the 'good' races would make for some good adventure level gameplay. But I'm not sure how well it would work for the domain level of gameplay.

One more thing that I think should be looked at is the tie of nature to arcane magic in the setting. Their is speculation of martial, arcane, divine and nature (a few others I can't recall right now - like psionics that obviously wouldn't fit birthright) power sources for the character classes. If we could device a way to separate the druid and wizard vying for control of sources, (could tie this into the 'event'), giving the druid the nature based power and the arcane side a new 'source' of power it would clean things up a bit and also make the domain side of rules more adaptable to other campaign settings.

Finnally, I think I'd like to see the new 4e cosmology used (personal taste and it would tie it closer to 4e). You'd still have the shadow-world for the halfling story/abilities, but it would tie in other stuff better.

Another line of thought crossed my mind as well. They are from a design philosophy creating the classes based on role on one axis and power source on the other axis. We could throw 'bloodline' as a new power source into the mix and create a new line of classes from the Leader/Blood (Noble?) to the Striker/Blood (BloodStalker? - out of the blue name) and so forth.

From the most recent poll of the Swordmage and other browsing over the years however, it seems that 'Leave it up to the DM' is a common motto for the old Birthright crowd, which means major change is going to be like pulling teeth (assuming doing any of this is allowed).

The Gleemax vs. Birthright.net question, I would say is a tough question. Gleemax is a mess right now, so who knows what the final product will look like or can do. Being on Gleemax does sound like it would give more awareness to those who weren't around in the 90's for its release.

einstein_pi
10-23-2007, 12:34 PM
Hrm. His response leaves a bit to be desired now that I re-read it.

kgauck
10-24-2007, 03:26 AM
I think a major 'event' needs to happen like the spellplauge they are planning for FR. Perhaps push the date forward a bit, etc.

Our current agreement prohibits major events, and the like. We can add detail, but we can't change essentials.

einstein_pi
10-24-2007, 11:22 AM
Our current agreement prohibits major events, and the like. We can add detail, but we can't change essentials.

It does, but it's amazing what a bunch of small things, and rumors can do to change the feeling of a setting.

AndrewTall
10-25-2007, 05:09 AM
It does, but it's amazing what a bunch of small things, and rumors can do to change the feeling of a setting.

Well I'd hope not to change the feel of the setting as I quite like it :)

I would however probably want more chaos for a campaign less focused on politics - I wouldn't have thought that rotating regents or tweaking realms (other than the big 3 or 4) would be a major change, although getting rid of a major awnshegh probably would be.

The realms, I note, suffers from popularity clutter - it has a lot of supplements, novels, articles etc - which means that periodically parts come into conflict or jar with the way the overall setting is moving and they need to go about pruning. BR had only just got started when they canceled it (relatively speaking, they did pretty well in the time they had) so is still in the opening stage.

The sad thing is that of all the BR areas most likely to need updating for 4e its chapters 1 and 2 - which were the only ones of the play-test finished. The realm rules will still likely be setting specific so if those had been sorted then they'd be fine barring a few tweaks for knock-on changes.

Oh well, at some point more concrete stuff will come out on 4e and we can get started, until then it's fluff ahoy and crunch on stand-by...

kgauck
10-26-2007, 06:20 AM
How popular is the holding system as is or with minor tweaks? How interested are people in seeing a dramatic revision. I don't mean committing ahead of time to a dramatic revision described in vague terms, I mean how many are not so devoted to the existing holdings system (tweaks aside) that if someone came along and said a new and finished domain system was significantly more compatible with the current rules set that you would give it a serious examination.

For example, if I were pitching for BR today, I'd want three teams working on the following three systems - a 3.5 update of the holdings domain system, a skills based system of competitive die rolls where circumstances, holdings, and bloodlines were modifiers, and an elaboration of the organizations rules which appeared in slightly different versions in several books.

I think the current BRCS was trying for system 2 but was trapped in the gravity well of system 1. That's the view of an outsider looking at the rules.

4th Edition will present new challenges and opportunities, which as Andrew suggests, may not present themselves right away.

bbeau22
10-26-2007, 10:24 AM
I have been trying to read up on 4th edition. I can see where obvious changes are and how they will effect BR, but others would be more difficult. Really we just have to wait until release before we can judge.

I would be in for keeping the same holding system but tweak it.

Interesting things I have seen so far. Looks like they are going to a at-will/once a combat/once a day type of powers that could translate into BR. At will/ Once a month/ Once a Turn power.

1. Max out a build action GB roll once a turn.
2. Include an additional province in a Realm Spell once a turn with no cost.
3. Personally agitate for yourself in local province once per month.
4. Allow RP use to Rule a province once a year.

Could be a good way to specialize rulers.

-BB

Thelandrin
10-26-2007, 10:38 AM
Well, regarding construction dice rolls, if the ruler isn't present, I always take a flat roll of 2 (if it's a d4) to indicate that the court is competent and plays safe, without being risky or too innovative.

If the ruler is present in the province (spends a character action or happens to be there anyway), I let him roll, if he wants too. Thus it is generally better for a ruler to personally oversee his realm, but it's quite adequate of looking after itself.

einstein_pi
10-26-2007, 02:15 PM
I'm still pouring through the 3.0 and 3.5 BR rules for Bloodlines and Holdings (and comparing them to the 2ed rules).

I am also assuming that since we have permission to use copyrighted works, that permission extends to updating and reprinting things like adventures, atlases, etc?

The main problem I see with any such extra settings is complication and clarity. The 3.5 rules for Bloodlines for example could have had alot better presentation and clarity at the least as I sit here reading them. Likewise, there is by far, too many optional rules cluttering stuff up. The house GM can create his own stuff or some sort of suppliment can include those sorts of things, but it should not be in the core rules. The domain/holding mechanisms really need to be examined for ease-of-use. I'm not saying there is a problem, but it needs to be a constant goal. If we want players to pick up the Birthright setting, play it, like it, and want to keep using it...we cannot have it be arcane and complicated. I don't mean dumb it down necessarily, but sometimes that may include removing or re-writing things.

I do like the 3 team concept, but I think it should be more - 4th edition rules update for Birthright team, a holding/realm team, and a war team. The rules update most likely has to be started first, and should probably include a sub-team for Bloodlines, that will also work heavily with the holding/realm team. The bloodline team should be more concerned about fitting into 4th edition while keeping in mind domain concerns. The war team should likely be fairly small, and I'd guess it would be more of a review of the current battle system for ease-of-use, 4e battle magic testing/conversion, and then (probably the bulk of the work) packaging and electronic creation of all units/maps/etc. Crap, there really needs to be a 4th team eventually - the Atlas/Lore/Adventure conversion team.

I would furthermore like to see each team/segment able to be distributed as plugins for the core rules. By that, I mean if someone downloaded the core Birthright rules, they would get the core stuff for adventuring plus the bloodline rules (flavor, cultural, and a general atlas and realm description (with none of the provincial info or other such stuff). If the DM wanted to add our realm/domain rules (after the PC's decide they want more than simply running divine-powered PCs), he could simply download it and plug it in. If they went to war, and he decided 4e mechanics wern't cutting it, bam - download the battle system. The Atlas would likely be a component as well, although I'm not sure how to handle this since it's spanned over 4 books in the 2e rules. Converted Adventures would follow, new adventures, new books, etc. I'm not saying we don't need a large core book with everything (we certainly do), I'm just saying that the setting may find more popularity if there was an option that did not include a *daunting* book of epic size with all of these new rules. I realize there is a chapter option (currently) and that a DM can pick and choose rules of course, but how many people will simply download it from gleemax or such thinking it sounds cool, take a glance, go "whoa", and then deleted it? Breaking things apart may help prevent that. Likewise, being able to insert a few bits into people's games (ie the realm or war rules) may result in generating more interest in the actual setting. If your DM suddenly put in realm management into the Forgotten Realms campaign you are running - and you're crazy over finally having rules for being a king, conquering, and raising armies - how interested might you be in the world it all originated in, that integrates it at every level?

Anyways, just spitting out ideas.

AndrewTall
10-27-2007, 03:48 AM
While I recognise that more complicated rules may deter some people, simple does not necessarily equal best. A consistent detailed ruleset actually reduces the DM's work over a campaign, albeit at the cost of a steeper initial learning curve. The less detailed we make the rules, the more need there is for a DM to wing it on decisions and arbitrations - the high number of house rules (1 set per campaign ?) suggests that most DM's think that the existing system is too simple...


1. By preference for the holdings I would:

1.1. Offer a kiddies option: realms have a wealth level of, say, 1-5 with no need to track exact income and expenditure.

1.2. Offer a standard option: realms have income as the BRCS modified to a decimal system with simplified RP collection for guilds, revert courts to a version similar to 2e to simplify speed up.

1.3. Offer a more detailed version: the full monty with seasonal income mods, spring and autumn war mods, additional holdings such as manors, 'shadow holdings', parliaments, 3e courts, etc, etc. Each of these should ideally be discrete so that it can be used/ignored as was found convenient.

I would like to see a single page listing all domain action and marking them as possible by adventure/court/full etc actions - but that's not hard to add.

I'd also like examples. Such as "Bob decides that Lord Boeruine will no longer tolerate the provocations of the Thane of Talinie, he decides to..." to show how the mechanics flow from the desired roleplaying and what sort of things would be represented by diplomacy, decree, contest, occupation and pillage actions - and why each is different.

I have tried setting pages up on the wiki for people to add to but very few people have posted :(


2. Similarly for bloodlines.
2.1. You pick powers as feats, bloodline score tracks the number of feats or is a domain thing only - or whatever ase mechanic 4e uses for ability creep.

2.2. Keep scion as a class but tie it more to the number of powers - so the Gorgon winds up needing 10 levels or so for all his powers, or can only use some of them a day. Powers become a mechanic similar to spells under this system.

2.3. Bloodline score is tracked normally, powers are split out from the standard 4e power system on the understanding that if a player does not have a bloodline then they get some compensation. (Geeman has a gp equivalent system that looks good, others might use xp / additional powers)


It should be remembered that although dropping the IQ minimum in 3e did broaden the game's appeal, BR in particular seems to have attracted the DM's more interested in plot, story, politics etc than just hack 'n' slash and that tended to mean the ones with some nous. As the DM is the only one who needs to know all the rules they are the one we market to - so campaign richness and consistency is key.


I would think that a "BR 101" might be helpful - more of a walk through the book explaining each chapter and the purpose behind it. Similarly with the rues why some act as they do - house rules often go wrong because they 'fix' a mechanic that is actually intended to restrain a specified activity.

I'd like to see a lot more guidance on playing a diplomatic game, possible adventures linking realm and individual action, realm interaction, etc.


I'd note that the wiki is deliberately set up in bite sized pieces to help people navigate, pick and choose, etc. Most new gamers are probably able to get internet connection now - and we have a forum which is happy (some of us anyway) to answer questions, explain, etc, etc. That means that we can keep it more detailed if we want as long as we give directions for people to come here - and possibly add a 'sage advice' board for newbies that want to ask questions but get put off by some of the volume on the other boards.

RiTz21
10-30-2007, 09:37 AM
Arjan, I think you’re making some pretty big leaps here. The first, and obviously incorrect, one is that OGL is going away.

If the OGL goes away, this will hurt many who have products using it... So that quote is a bit of hope for the future of my product!!

RiTz21

Denakhan
11-23-2007, 04:40 PM
Hiya.

The 3.x OGL can not "go away". It's forever. In 100 years, you could still be using it to produce stuff. Now, a 4e OGL...that's a different story. :)

Michael Lloric
12-02-2007, 12:29 AM
In principle, the conversion to 4.0 was to prepare to try to sell the online gaming concept, where pen and paper games are eventually eliminated for an entirely online, fee-based gaming system. The success initially of Everquest and more obviously World of Warcraft has turned Hasbro and it's subsidiary WOTC from the traditional gaming community as a business. The fact is, 4.0 is a step in converting gamers to an entirely online community, where all materials and content will generate revenue for Hasbro.

Reality is, companies exist to make money. And to make money, you have to either keep offering new content, or force people to buy an all new product line. I just simply refuse after the massive investment in 3.5 materials and books to consider a new conversion to 4.0, even if they decide to bring back Birthright as an active official WOTC campaign setting. I have other things to do with my money (stocks, a new Harley, a house, etc) than to support Hasbro corporate profits with yet ANOTHER edition.

I laud you all for your efforts to make Birthright 3.5 possible. If I had a chance to see the initial 3.0 rules from 'back in the day' and the current 3.5 rules you are developing (.rar format? I never heard of it before tonight!) I might start a new campaign based on Birthright again for a new generation of gamers. I might also consider taking a shot at developing something for 3.5 myself.

But spending more money just to start D&D 4.0? Even if it means Birthright comes back to an active system? I'd sooner sell my dice on Ebay as ballast and take up oragami with my old character sheets and books.

Don't mind the rant, the rave, it's what happens when I get decaf instead of high-test!

Elton Robb
12-11-2007, 05:32 PM
Wizards' new branch of lawyers HATE the OGL and everything it stands for.

Elton

kgauck
12-11-2007, 07:07 PM
There are two competing models and both of them are on-line models. One is the community commons type of model where ownership is kept to a minimum because copy write prevents development. The other model is the on-line gaming model. However, whether the lawyers know it or not (and why should lawyers know how gaming works) what you are paying for in an on-line gaming world isn't the creative content, its the infrastructure required to keep the gaming experience on-line. The OGL was lost cost, low risk, which is the only way gaming companies have ever made any money. Shifting from that model to the on-line gaming model means a high risk, high cost model. That means as soon as the next big thing comes along, the whole business will decline to irrelevance. Maybe Hasbro will have made bad all of their risk capital, and maybe they will have made a bucket of money before the game falls into irrelevance.

Star Wars Galaxies, which had the branding of Star Wars to boost interest, got up as high as 250,000 subscribers in its third quarter after release, but now is running at half that, and active players number 20,000. While the business model is only interested in subscribers, people only subscribe and play infrequently while they await the next big thing, then they move their subscription dollars away and actively play somewhere else.

Its also worth noting that the MMORPG field is much more crowded now than it was in 2004. For D&D to thing about putting all of its eggs into that basket is to go from being the very big fish in the table top gaming world, to being just one of many along side established players like Everquest, Worlds of Warcraft, and now Vanguard. Does Hasbro really want to take on Sony Online Entertainment?

If Hasbro would seriously consider abandoning their dominance of one market segment into order to climb into a crowded field, then they are violating one of the great principles of successful businesses: "First, Second, or get out".

Generally only the top two companies in a market segment make any money. Everyone else is basically breaking even, or loosing money. This becomes more and more true the longer term you look. So, if Hasbro seriously thinks they can abandon table top and go for the lure of on-line gaming, they will either be spectacularly successful, or they will fail bigger than Philip Morris did when they acquired 7-UP. On-line is high cost, high risk.

If the people making the decisions have any sense, they'll stick with the low cost, low risk model of distributed content (OGL distributes risk) and stay in the market where they are the undisputed giant.

Sinister
12-11-2007, 07:53 PM
couple of points:

1. You can't legally own a role playing mechanic, you can legally own the presentation. The OGL is the crux of that. They want you using their materials because they know that sells their book. A D20 mechanic isn't legally protected but using any of their material is. Thus the whole OGL was a big attempt to make people think they they could avoid lots of legal hassles and make money by using and alluding to using wotc materials. That made the OGL brilliant for wotc. IT made alot of other publishers money. But live by the OGL die by the OGL. WotC can yank it anytime and yes you can make a d20 mechanic but you can't touch any of the wotc presentation.

2. WotC doesn't want the world of warcraft world yet. What they want is that monthly income for paid table top content. They need a reason to make you pay a monthy fee and pen and paper doesn't cut it so they've opted for electronic "enhancements".

The big thing will be to see how many fans want "enhancements" and how many think it's a waste of money. If this gamble tanks its bad for pen and paper rpgs , of course from a sells standpoint right now it can't get any worse. If the trend continues gaming stores will have to rely on metal minis to pay the bills, because rpgs aren't selling out of game stores at all.

Thelandrin
12-11-2007, 10:22 PM
Well, they can remove the OGL from the website, but I thought the whole idea was that it was a perpetual license.

Sinister
01-08-2008, 10:51 PM
actually according to monte cook's website WotC can't yank the OGL so I may be mistaken.

irdeggman
01-09-2008, 12:47 AM
EnWorld has a very good summation of details of conversation with some major independents and WotC on this very subject.

http://www.enworld.org/

In essence the 4th ed SRD will not be a stripped down PHB (and other books) {like the present 3.5 SRD is}, you will not be able to play the game based solely on the SRD content.

The SRD is basically a set of design guidelines for writing material that works with the 4th ed rules - you will still have to have a copy of the 4th ed PHB in order to actually play the game.

So there is no way to have a 4th ed BR product from a fan site like the BRCS anymore :(

ryancaveney
01-09-2008, 02:37 AM
does Birthright.net have the rights to do "official" releases for a 4th edition Birthright Campaign Setting, etc?

I sure hope not!!!

We should do a dozen *different* 4e conversions, not a single one of them "official" in any way! Same thing with Ars Magica, GURPS, Hero Quest, Role Master and everything else! The only thing that ever was or ever will be official is the original 2e boxed set, unless Hasbro decides to hire somebody to publish a revision in-house under their editorial control -- and even then all of us grognards here will just complain about it that much more, especially as we all recognize that the original was riddled with logical holes big enough to drive a tarrasque through. =) The BRCS is just one fish in a vast sea of homebrewed house rule sets, and no one should ever have treated it as more than that. We need a million different house rules on a vast smorgasbord, not some silly prix fixe that selects one and only one of the permutations of the vast array of options for every individual topic. The attempt to be official is what ruined the well-intentioned effort to produce a 3e fan consensus conversion, since the primary thing we learned in the initial discussions is that there just *isn't* any fan consensus -- sure, we all like something called "Birthright", but each and every one of us has a different idea of what Birthright "really" is. I haven't even thought about what's in the BRCS since the first month after it came out. I stopped caring long before that, since it had long before become apparent that it would be useless to me because its idea of what was important to change and what was important to keep varied so greatly from my own. The only thing about it which I found useful was the discussion itself, since it drew out such a wide range of options in so short a time. Any future conversion document should never say anything more than "on topic X, here are nine different things you could try." At most, list the results of a poll on the topic, but keep *all* the entries.

Please please please please please please please never try to make anything "official" ever again! The last thing this community needs is another multi-year argument over how to make just one conversion. "Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend," but this time, *don't* execute dissidents like me.

kgauck
01-09-2008, 02:56 AM
I hardly think there is no way to produce a 4e BR setting here. What I find in the document (and what makes perfect sense) is that they want to get away from a campaign setting having everything you need to play the game. They want players to own the PBH. I own five campaign settings and each one is a stand alone product. You can generate characters and have everything you need in that setting book. Why buy the PHB if all you want to do is play in a specific setting?

Now there is a good reason for this besides the business sense of the people who write the books. They were disappointed by how much the rules got cut and pasted into new settings. Part of the genius of the OGL in the first place is how it gave the framework of the game over to other designers to invent new things. Many were content to tinker on the edges and produce something essentially the same as D&D with a few house rules and some interesting setting color.

One way to look at this is that we can assume that people interested in a 4e BR have the PHB when they are looking at whatever we produce and we are free to concentrate on what BR looks like in 4e, rather than reproducing core rules for the sake of completeness.

Rowan
01-09-2008, 04:40 AM
Ryan, I see where you're coming from, but I think we do need to work towards complete rulesets if we want Birthright to thrive. BRCS, however you may dislike it, has become a standard that people can easily refer to and discuss, and those without the energy and time to create their own solutions can plug and play a single, mostly consistent ruleset.

While a BR rules reference containing many options for each area that needs to be covered is valuable, its value is primarily for those with the time and energy to go through it and to hammer the disparate parts into a consistent, usable whole for their game. Then they have to teach that to their players.

We have an "official" BRCS for the same reason that we base Birthright on D&D at all--that people familiar with D&D can jump right into the system and reduce the learning curve by that much.

While we might shy away from an "official" BRCS next time, I think we still need to organize a project to create complete rulesets with internal consistency so that people can reference them as easily as they could download and use BRCS3.5.

Maybe there should be several of these; with the differences of opinion within the fan community, perhaps it would actually take less energy to originate several projects with specific guiding principles, goals, and objectives for each version (since there would be less dispute over just how to do something if you could didn't have just one do-or-die version to try to get your idea into).

For instance: I do like the idea of several levels of complication for game play, to nurture new gamers. Perhaps there could be two or three progressively more complex versions.

It would be useful to have a streamlined version created specifically with PBEMs in mind.

Other versions could have specific guiding principles, like a focus on war, diplomacy, civilization-liked development, historical simulation, etc. I'd favor a version that incorporated the Shadow World and other continents more, or played with the idea of making non-human races even more non-human and unique (like some of the discussions about just how alien the elves could be). We've also never fully broken the boundaries of Anuire, much less Cerilia, or different time periods of play...it seems to me that we've been shy to present Ruins of Empire details for these different time periods and geographical regions.

So just how much time and energy exists out there for BR?

stv2brown1988
01-12-2008, 07:53 PM
So there is no way to have a 4th ed BR product from a fan site like the BRCS anymore :(

I read the article but I do not understand what your saying. I would view the 4th Ed BRCS (if one is created) as a campaign setting that is compatible with the 4th Ed version of D&D. As such, under the OGL, I do not see what could stop the members of this site from creating a 4th ed.

Hope that makes sense.

Steve

irdeggman
01-13-2008, 01:22 AM
I read the article but I do not understand what your saying. I would view the 4th Ed BRCS (if one is created) as a campaign setting that is compatible with the 4th Ed version of D&D. As such, under the OGL, I do not see what could stop the members of this site from creating a 4th ed.

Hope that makes sense.

Steve


Problem with that is the way that the 4th ed SRD will be structured is that it will not be a "rules set", lke the 3.5 one. It will be a writer's guide with essentially no rules contained within it. There appears to be much more strict "licensing" approach in the future.

You will not be able to play 4th ed without the core books at all (so pretty much no rules content will be OGL as I can understand it).

Also the "official" fan site moniker will go away so that makes things very limited IMO.

http://www.birthright.net/forums/showpost.php?p=41465&postcount=16

So pretty much the only thing we would be albe to do would be a "color" and non-rules based project, which would leve things extremely "light" in my opinion.

But having said that only time will tell what the SRD will actually say.

Rowan
01-13-2008, 10:50 PM
Just because the SRD won't contain rules doesn't mean that original rules content cannot be created. For one, it's not being sold, which essentially means that it's just as legal as house rules at your table, shared over the internet.

For another, original rules are original intellectual property, copy-writable by the inventor of them. We can't use "official" or logos, but we can always say "compatible with the 4e d20 system."

In fact, what is stopping us from creating "unofficial" campaign settings for Birthright, complete with realm rulership material and so forth? The very worst thing they could do is reclaim "Birthright" as a trademark (that we would then have to reference) and prevent us from using the logo. That would leave us with just adding the caveat: "compatible with" or "inspired by" or "based on" or similar weasel language. It gives credit to the original creators while remaining legitimate 3rd party material.

As I think was said here, earlier, WotC actually cannot prevent people from creating and even selling rules material that is designed to be compatible with their game system.

kgauck
01-14-2008, 02:15 AM
There is no evidence that they are pulling back nearly this far. They are pulling back only enough that the core books are required to play. If one recalls the old sourcebooks from 2e, they assumed you knew some basic rules and then told you how to play in the Viking world, or in the classical Greek. Indeed the BR boxed set didn't tell you how to make a character. They told you how BR was different from the standard, but assumed you had a PHB and knew how to make a PC.

I think that's the assumption to make here, because everything they are saying suggests this is where we're going to be. If it was in the BR Rulebook, it will go in our 4e work. If it was only found in the PHB in 2e, then it won't be in the SRD.

Even so, this is not a bar. The princple behind the SRD and stated above by Sinister is that "You can't legally own a role playing mechanic, you can legally own the presentation." That means no cutting and pasting from the SRD, a stated objection in the enworld document, but right after word they actively encouraged creative new descriptions of the rules. So its not a ban on core rules they seek, but the rampant copying and pasting.

bbeau22
01-26-2008, 04:36 PM
So I was looking at the Saga edition for for Star Wars Roleplaying game and knowing this is a bit of a preview of 4th edition some things struck me that would work really well with Birthright.

First is the way they use the force. This could be copied pretty closely to blood powers in Birthright. In Star Wars you need to take a feat called force sensitive to be able to use force powers. Once you have that feat you can take another feat that actually gives you a number of force powers equal 3 + your wisdom modifier (or something like that) that you can use per encounter. You can take that feat over and over and each time you will get force powers you can use per encounter.

With the force powers they have a one time use. Say you have a force power that shoves enemies back. If you take that as a force power you can use it once in an encounter. If you take that force power twice you can use it twice per encounter.

Blood powers could be similer in use. If a blooded character uses a feat he can get blood powers choosen from his derivation that he can use per encounter or per day or even per week.

Also instead of getting special abilities for classes as you go up in level Saga edition gives many of these abilities as talents and list many of them as options right at the start and as the character goes up he can pick and choose which ones they want.

In birthright blooded characters will be able to pick not only from their class talents but from a set of blooded talents depending on their derivation. These can boost their blood abilities in different ways. So regents will need to decide if they want more talents to rule better or increase their blood powers.

Thats all I got. I know it is early but I felt the star wars rules with force users are very similer to blooded people in Birthright. They have seperate powers no one else has. This helps even out the playing field with non-blooded and blooded because while blooded folks are using their talents and feats to increase blood abilities .... non-blooded folk are becoming better warriors or whatever they are focused on.

-BB

Sinister
01-27-2008, 04:25 AM
Just to chime in....

I don't think I'll be playing much of 4E. The electronic content of 4E will be designed to make sure you pay the monthly fee to access all the extras, and its possible they will make new rules/special abilities/prestige classes part of that 14.99 access.

Most of my rpg collection has essentially gone out of print with 7th Sea, Classic Deadlands, and now D&D. Even L5R isn't publishing many books. I don't mind. I spent well over 3 grand in roleplaying books from about 94 - 2004 but in the past 4 years maybe, just maybe, 200 bucks.

There just isn't enough repackaging of mechanics to make me want to convert. They have already shown with 3.5 that a 4.5 is possible. How many times do I need to pay for books that offer just rule content and not much setting info anyway.

Even if it's a HUGE improvement, which it's not, it just isn't worth the cost and time and effort to convert the settings I love like ravenloft and birthright to a new system AGAIN. Not to mention the need to access content for a monthly fee just isn't my style.

I do want to try 4E just to see the differences but like I said it would have to be some sort of miracle super system to make me convert settings and pay a monthly fee. As I get older I want more and more of the work done for me, not work I have to do. If the made the birthright settting, maybe I'd go for it.

kgauck
01-27-2008, 09:25 AM
About accessing content through a subscription wall, even the New York Times has abandoned its wall for its opinion writers.

Its one thing to ask people to pay for fresh, creative content. Dragon magazine had a subcription. But to ask people to subscribe to the game itself doesn't make sense, given what has happened so often when business look for the revenue stream on the web. Ultimatly the barriers come down and you give away free stuff on-line to drive sales of descrete products.

So I'm dubious that its gonna work the way a lot people seem to think, and even if they tried it, so goes the Times, so goes the rest of publishing.

RaspK_FOG
01-27-2008, 12:36 PM
Actually, the company has been pretty clear on the matter: no subscription fee will ever be needed for anyone to play 4e. :P

Sinister
01-27-2008, 06:53 PM
there's a big difference between being able to play DnD and having all the material. Techinically speaking anyone can make the claim that by just owning a player's handbook you can "play the game". It's very easy for anyone, including wotc to make that claim. I'd like to say that I can play DnD without a warlock, but I still have to own the complete arcane to access those rules.

As a company you don't spend this kind of money to create a new online website without doing everything possible to "sell" the online experience. EXPECT special content including rules. The goal is to have a high % of players paying this fee.

Sinister
01-27-2008, 07:02 PM
About accessing content through a subscription wall, even the New York Times has abandoned its wall for its opinion writers.

Its one thing to ask people to pay for fresh, creative content. Dragon magazine had a subcription. But to ask people to subscribe to the game itself doesn't make sense, given what has happened so often when business look for the revenue stream on the web. Ultimatly the barriers come down and you give away free stuff on-line to drive sales of descrete products.

So I'm dubious that its gonna work the way a lot people seem to think, and even if they tried it, so goes the Times, so goes the rest of publishing.

Well for starters the times has a much older demographic than the target audience of DnD, which spends awhole lot of time online anyway. Secondly the times operates on news and opinions. Its very easy to get that information elsewhere, unlike wotc controlling all of DnD. It's very easy to release core mechanics, then make accessing prestige classes, and new feats, as part of the online experience of content. And finally the idea is to move away from publishing to create an online role playing event. If a can access the pages that run my games why do I need 50 books? In fact an EXCELLENT example of this is the birthright wiki. With the wiki (particularly when it's complete) it will replace the need for ANY Birthright books. In fact I run my Birthright game off the wiki and nothing else. What's interesting is that the wiki you could probably get me to pay for since its a one stop place for Birthright and I no longer have to carry the product line around with me. This has to be very very appealing for DnD players looking forward to 4E.

Things like the SRD will be free because it's great advertising for the online content. It'll be the perfect place to tell you about the online magazines or the character generator or the online table top.

Thus getting a taste of DnD is only the cost of the core books, having the full experience will be tied to a subscription fee. People who pay the fee will be telling the others about all the cool content selling it to other players. I'm not saying this is bad thing, could very well be an easier experience, especially having all the info centralized and most likely hyperlinked. For many this could be a big improvement.

irdeggman
01-27-2008, 08:32 PM
there's a big difference between being able to play DnD and having all the material. Techinically speaking anyone can make the claim that by just owning a player's handbook you can "play the game". It's very easy for anyone, including wotc to make that claim. I'd like to say that I can play DnD without a warlock, but I still have to own the complete arcane to access those rules.

As a company you don't spend this kind of money to create a new online website without doing everything possible to "sell" the online experience. EXPECT special content including rules. The goal is to have a high % of players paying this fee.


You are confusing the DI and the hard copy products.

To access "live" (their on-line gaming system) you will need the "access codes" from the cooks to have full on-line content.

WotC has also made it evident that they will publish hard copy supplemental books (not everything will be only electronic from the DI).

So - you will not have to pay a subscription fee to play (or to update) your 4th ed game.

You will have to pay if you want on-line access and "early" access to some things that will up included in supplemental hard copy products.

The two are completely different concepts.

I am reserving judgement on 4th ed. What I have heard I generally like, but we will see how it pans out.

Sinister
01-27-2008, 09:23 PM
You are confusing the DI and the hard copy products.

To access "live" (their on-line gaming system) you will need the "access codes" from the cooks to have full on-line content.

WotC has also made it evident that they will publish hard copy supplemental books (not everything will be only electronic from the DI).

So - you will not have to pay a subscription fee to play (or to update) your 4th ed game.

You will have to pay if you want on-line access and "early" access to some things that will up included in supplemental hard copy products.

The two are completely different concepts.

I am reserving judgement on 4th ed. What I have heard I generally like, but we will see how it pans out.




The codes you speak of, will get you an online version of the book you bought, for a small fee, wotc has said for "about the cup of coffee". This isn't a free service nor part of the DDI monthly fee. So buying the print book doesn't get you the electronic copy for free. Thus another fee on top of your print book to use a electronic copy. Expect another 2-3 dollars per book for the electronic copy.

irdeggman
01-27-2008, 11:27 PM
The codes you speak of, will get you an online version of the book you bought, for a small fee, wotc has said for "about the cup of coffee". This isn't a free service nor part of the DDI monthly fee. So buying the print book doesn't get you the electronic copy for free. Thus another fee on top of your print book to use a electronic copy. Expect another 2-3 dollars per book for the electronic copy.


No but what I was saying was that it grants you access to that book for the on-line gaming.

That is, when you play their on-line gaming you will be limited to what books you have access to.

I was not talking about a pdf version of the book.

spehar
02-27-2008, 04:25 AM
Duane,

I already told Travis we're doing a 4th Ed Conversation. He hasn't signed on yet, but I'll twist his arm. Little things like the obstacles in this thread won't stop us.

Pauper
02-27-2008, 02:02 PM
Greetings,

I do not know, what this is about. I still wish you well on it.

ThatSeanGuy
02-28-2008, 12:10 AM
Duane,

I already told Travis we're doing a 4th Ed Conversation. He hasn't signed on yet, but I'll twist his arm. Little things like the obstacles in this thread won't stop us.

I'd love to get in on that, if at all possible. Is there some sort of sign up sheet or e-mail I can send to?

Sinister
02-29-2008, 09:37 PM
DDI will be 14.99 a month or 9.99 a month for a year's subscription.

JoseFreitas
03-03-2008, 12:15 PM
Being one of the old farts who never even converted to 3rd edition - heck, I barrely converted to 2nd as is - what I'd like is to see Brithright converted to OSRIC.... I don't think it'll be done, but hey, one can dream... :D

In any case, and more seriously.... how many of us here will be playing 4ed? How many of the young kids buying 4e will be interested in Birthiright? Are you sure that working on a 4e conersion will ultimately be any help for the popularity of Birthright? Why not simply leave at that, and work on improving the 3.5 version?

kgauck
03-03-2008, 03:02 PM
Nothing converts itself, but there is no reason anyone can't convert BR to OSRIC, its an open game format. In one sense, having the OSRIC explanation of how to make a character might be useful for people who started 3.0 and later to make sense of the the published materials.

However, I think 4.0 is going in a direction that is very well suited for BR, and that BR will be better reflected in 4.0 than in any previous edition.

Its fun looking over the old tables, but I was happy to abandon these tables for the ones in 3.0. Further, the purpose of OSRIC is to facilitate game play in the 1st edition style. I think for BR, 1st edition style would be a big step backward. In those days I needed a collection of house rules as big as the DMG, and that collection has blessedly shrunk to near nothing as we've progressed to 3.5.

1st edition, even more than 2nd edition, let alone standard D&D in 3e, was about playing the ultimate outsider who buys a map or hears a rumor in a tavern, and is off to the races. That might be fun for a pick-up game, but I wouldn't want to run a campaign old style.

Sinister
03-05-2008, 08:38 PM
I don't think BR and 4E go together at all that's mainly because I play it because it's the most "real" of all settings.

Almost all the classes in 4E get some sort of at -will supernatural attack at first level (and more beyond). I like birthright because it made the world more "real historical earth" than any setting. Clerics and wizards often have to resort to real physical combat ( a result of AD&D no doubt). But I've seen alot of the 4E at will abilities and they just aren't very "real" (frankly they are power munchkin gamey) which adds a whole new very fantasy, less earth theme to the game when everyone is using supernatural abilities. Also, the 6 hour heal and everything is restored (health, abilities, once per day abilities) is a result of encounter-encounter-level mechanics of other settings and seems a bit goofy and overtly fantasy here. On top of that now everyone has healing and doesn't need to pay attention to a cleric.

4E is about the mechanics of the classic encounters and are very MMO, or boardgame-ish imo. It's not that I'm condeming that style of play but that style of play was exactly the opposite of what I try to do with this setting. I want clerics to be much more "middle ages" and much less "power of god makes me indestructable..eat this beam of light" kind of clerics. What's funny is I think 4E might have missed the boat with 100% focus on combat. Why does every player in this day and age need to be a bad ass in combat? I think more classes like the noble class is needed, people who can do other things besides win an encounter. I've noticed as well that the game just upped the power curve to make first level combat seem like 3rd level combat. Kobolds went from 4 hp to 27 hp. Then they tacked on more starting level character damage. So having a higher damage total = "I'm having more fun?"

Lastely, and here is my biggest gripe I wish I didn't have to make. There are some real gamey mechanics in 4E such as the ability to hit a monster a slide it 3 spaces, or the ability of the paladin to force a creature to attack it or suffer -2 to all attacks and take 8 damage each turn. It's all about tichy battlefield elements in a game style meant to simulate a board game and not a conflict. I was using the example of the ability to hit a monster and move it 3 squares. So if I write a story about a final confrontation on the mountian of doom, on the bridge of dispair over the volcano of death, some first level punk that rolls to hit my monster can use that special slide ability and just move it into the lava or over the mountain. Granted, I haven't seen what the monsters can do to the player's yet, but clearly they won't be able to do stuff like that that since the game is SO clearly focused on the player's winning. Winning however, does not mean role playing nor does it mean always having a good time.

To 4E design credit I do think the new save defenses are brilliant and the new spell durations being standard time (per encounter, per day) are very excellent ways to speed up what was sort of a clunky 3.5 system. The five minute rest rule is also a great rule. Bottom line 4E makes all the settings more fantasy which works for almost all the settings, save this one. It works REALLY well for the people looking for the encounter-encounter-level sessions.

ThatSeanGuy
03-05-2008, 09:07 PM
I think you're overestimating some things on the combat there, dude. The idea isn't, "I must be Bad Bad Leeroy Brown." but, "I must have something to do.". I think they're assuming that a DM can provide non-combat challanges on his or her own, but I am not a doctor. It's not "Higher damage", it's "Everyone gets to feel cool."

As for as 'realistic', though, I mean. If you like playing low magic? Awesome, that's your bag. But Birthright is a setting where the ruling class are adventurer-types, because they're the ones who are most likely to be able to handle having the blood of ancient dieties that exploded on a mountain, giving the ideas of 'tied to the land' and 'divine right to rule' real, tangable signifigance. There's a shadow world where unliving monsters wait to creep through the veil of existance into reality, and where the halflings fled from some kind of nightmare creature.

I mean, who your parents are doesn't just mean money and influence, but what kind of crazy superpowers your magic god blood gives you, and your chances of turning into a corrupted blood monster that exists to steal other bloodlines in some desperate, instinctual grasp at demigodhood.

There's giant ice lizard cavalry.

It's as 'realistic' as you want it to be, y'know? I'm not saying you can't play it like that, but if you want to play the game with more of a high fantasy feel, there's room for that too. The central idea of Birthright isn't "realistic fantasy", it's, "Your adventuring party starts off running its own kingdom! Awesome!".

Gheal
03-05-2008, 09:14 PM
"Once per encounter", IMO, is one of worst things for BR-like settings. When heroes participate in great battle, which lasts for hours (or are present at grand faest with same duration), "encounter" became very non-precise time unit. As I wrote in another thread, "at will" is scary thing too. When plot evolution will be measured in weeks, and events - in domain turns, machinegun-like abilities break medieval feel of our beloved BR.

Sinister
03-05-2008, 09:33 PM
It's as 'realistic' as you want it to be, y'know? I'm not saying you can't play it like that, but if you want to play the game with more of a high fantasy feel, there's room for that too. The central idea of Birthright isn't "realistic fantasy", it's, "Your adventuring party starts off running its own kingdom! Awesome!".


Well it's fantasy but it's as close to tolkien and real earth out of all the DnD settings ever published. Lots of people suggest "hey do what you want, it's your game" but outlawing supernatural combat abilities just makes it look like I'm trying to nerf the cleric so people then decide not to play one.

Why do all the published settings NEED to have everyone be big and bad in combat? What's wrong with attempting to swing a sword? I don't buy the "so everyone has something to do in combat arguement". If I run a murder mystery the dumb witted fighter with a 6 intelligence, and a 8 wisdom, has nothing to do but the game system suddenly doesn't create supernatural ways of him discovering the murderer. Some people should be good at combat some shouldn't, but I shouldn't have to outlaw 40 special abilities just because I want my game to be more realistic fantasy as opposed to high fantasy. Possibly this means that different mechanics are needed for different settings and we can't use a generic ruleset, but I don't think the original designers intended the theme to be impacted by everyone running around with about 75% more special supernatural abilities than what was done in AD&D.

It's particularly saddening when you consider that DnD was born out a fantasy supplement to historical gaming. It just seems with each passing rules edition we get further and further from this kind of setting in favor of more spectacular and over the top combat.

Rowan
03-05-2008, 09:38 PM
4e, like any rules system, will require tweaks to make it work at domain-level play. One of the easy tweaks is the hit point system. Yes hit point recovery is much easier in 4e, because it is finally being acknowledged as being much more abstract, taking into account someone's combat endurance, will to fight, tolerance for pain, fate/luck, ability to minimize the physical reception of damage by rolling with or dodging mostly away from blows, etc. You don't need divine power or healing balms with rest to replace those kinds of hp, because they don't reflect serious wounds in your flesh that must be knit.

I don't know if 4e is going to incorporate the Star Wars Saga "Impairments" system (or whatever they call it), but that is an easy and realistic house rule that actually represents the physical damage of serious wounds. Every time a damage threshold is exceeded, you receive an impairment. Each impairment is a -2 to all actions. Healing an impairment cannot be done with the "healing surge" or "second wind" of 4e; it must be done with divine magic or with rest and natural healing. You can linger in a hospital for weeks recovering from 6 impairments you received on the battlefield.

That's the easy way to adapt that back into realistic BR, and it even relies on a d20 system precedent from Saga. I hope they incorporate it into standard rules, but if not, I hope all necessary changes will be as easy to house rule as that.

I've always felt that many magical powers should be at will, but not all. How this will work for 4e when extrapolated to the domain level depends on how they write the spells. There will be virtually no negative game impact for at will 0-level spells, or for most utility spells and low level combat spells for that matter. If they keep the earth-shattering magics more limited, then there shouldn't be a problem.

Similarly, I don't see many problems so far with the special maneuvers. It makes perfect sense to me that a character can knock an opponent back a distance or knock them down. All previous rules systems were severely lacking in that sense of realism. A huge Vos barbarian with a two-handed hammer is going to smash you off the cliff if you let him hit you when you're too close. The Gorgon is going to smack people to the ground or many feat away with most attacks with his strength of 50k or whatever it is. A holy paladin SHOULD be able to lock his gaze on a foe and force it into single combat, denying which should invoke a saving throw as the opponent breaks away through force of will--or the deity rebukes it for denying the challenge to honorable combat. Most of those powers can be explained so as to fit well, IMO.

The non-combat encounters that 4e is working on should help BR game play immensely, if they are done right. Social interactions handled like combat? Yes please!

The big failing of previous editions of BR, I think, is that blood abilities are almost all focused on adventuring. Rubbish. We need some with serious domain level consequeces, for they are at least as appropriate there. I'm hoping some 4e mechanics will help us establish better systems for blood abilities.

Sinister
03-05-2008, 09:55 PM
Similarly, I don't see many problems so far with the special maneuvers. It makes perfect sense to me that a character can knock an opponent back a distance or knock them down. All previous rules systems were severely lacking in that sense of realism. A huge Vos barbarian with a two-handed hammer is going to smash you off the cliff if you let him hit you when you're too close. The Gorgon is going to smack people to the ground or many feat away with most attacks with his strength of 50k or whatever it is. A holy paladin SHOULD be able to lock his gaze on a foe and force it into single combat, denying which should invoke a saving throw as the opponent breaks away through force of will--or the deity rebukes it for denying the challenge to honorable combat. Most of those powers can be explained so as to fit well, IMO.
.

Well here's where I disagree because sure knockbacks should be possible but then again, you shouldn't be able to think about or use knockback to your advantage on a tatical map beyond the benefit that the character is knocked down.

As the game gets more board-gamey it becomes a contest of metagame (feats+abilities = victory) instead of role playing combat. The problem is that great heroes of mythology and lore didn't think in combat "b button A button, right trigger, a, b, a" much like they don't think "power attack, cleave, great cleave, supreme cleave" Combo attacks are a real board game/ video game way of looking at role playing as winning, not role playing as surviving. And all the monsters don't get to be custom built with all the whistles and bells and feats.

Also it makes role playing too character centric. If a paladin stares down a monster, why should that monster suffer? I can think of 100 reasons why that monster might not fight the paladin or why it might just have a nastier evil presence than a 1st level paladin. I think monsters should get to act like they have a brain and not be the XP punching bags of players.

However, I would LOVE to see if they are doing story oriented special abilites.

kgauck
03-05-2008, 10:32 PM
The problem is that great heroes of mythology and lore didn't think in combat "b button A button, right trigger, a, b, a" much like they don't think "power attack, cleave, great cleave, supreme cleave" Combo attacks are a real board game/ video game way of looking at role playing as winning, not role playing as surviving.

I'm not sure that's true. Here are several ways to look at this. One is from a martial arts standpoint. Here you can see how fighters do plan their moves. 1st I will use this move to get him into this vulnerable position, then I'll do this to neutralize his better move, then I go for the choke/pin/takedown/knockout as called for. I've done a little of this in sparring, and the better fighters are often the one's like in chess, who are thinking a few moves ahead, rather than those who are just reacting. Second, we have fighting manuals for the renaissance, and they are full of moves that have names and are called for in specific situations. This is a take down move, this is how to overwhelm a guy with a small fast weapon, or a large, long weapon. And again, the impression seems to be of a series of maneuvers.

If I were to criticize how these things work in games, its that in real life, the moves only have an effect of putting the opponent in a more and more vulnerable position until you can start getting critical blows or holds that lead to the pin/choke/&c. In games moves often come with their own bonus impact, so that a beginning (as in first in a sequence) move often does extra damage, rather than just setting up the possibility for cool moves later on.

I would do several things. One, take some of the cool moves like improved critical, and require that the follow the successful implementation of a prior move. I think the old 3e crit and confirmation was supposed to do some of this, but was too complicated. However, if they can figure out how to put maneuvers (as in 9 Swords) or skill tricks (as in Scoundrel) then this kind of thing might be very nice.

Combat that is just whittling away at hp is the combat that seems least satisfying to me.

Rowan
03-05-2008, 10:46 PM
From what I understand, monsters will have many of the same abilities, and their strategic capabilities will be even better than in 3.5. For example, in 3.5 I had to assign a variety of class levels or just class abilities to make the great majority of stock humanoids interesting or worth anything. I gave most goblins the equivalent of Vexing Flanker and Sneak Attack-- +4 to hit when flanking and +1d6 damage. Who better than a swarm of goblins to fight dirty and bring down the unwary warrior?

In 4e, as I understand it, these types of abilities will be much more common and intuitive, making monsters much more interesting tactical challenges.

I see your point about combos, but it's all about how you choose to explain things. I DO think a skilled combatant can control the battlefield by forcing a foe back in the direction he wants him to go, or even knocking him back in a desired direction. It's not wholly random. Fighters don't just flaily wildly until they cut people down. There is/can be more strategy involved.

The feat succession you described is only a game mechanic recognition of the advancement of the skill of a brutal fighter. Power Attack is essentially the same as making reckless attacks--huge sweeping swings with plenty of force behind them. Cleave gets replaced by its successors, as one becomes better at following through with attacks.

A recent wonderful illustration of Great/Supreme Cleave and/or Whirlwind Attack is Gimli and Aragorn breaking up the advance of the orc battering ram at Helm's Deep in the Two Towers movie. Also, two of the Spartans from 300 go on a rampage swirling around and taking out many foes in surround slow motion cinematics. They're basically follow-through opportunity attacks taken as one foe is eliminated and unable to continue to pose a threat (therefore the fighter can devote his full attention to the next foe without having to worry about defense against the previous). Granted, both of those (particularly 300) are rather Hollywood-ized--but D&D should always be, to some degree.

With the paladin, if there's divine power involved, that's an easy explanation. If not, then it's more like the more formalized Eastern methods of mental challenge and iajatsu. Even animals stare each other down--have you ever seen two cats face off? Again, the "damage" need not be physical wounds, but is the more abstract representation of hp as will to fight, combat focus, etc. Presumably monsters can get second winds, too--a reason that PC's need to press the attack--and recover from such minor "damage" by catching their breath and shoring up their resolve to fight or recovering their focus.

It's all in how you explain it. I know the new hp system seems really abstract to a lot of people, but lets face it, "traditional" ideas of hp being strictly your ability to take physical damage is ridiculous in the extreme. A 4hp commoner can be felled with a single sword stroke, but a level 20 fighter with 160 hit points has enough more vitality and "meat" that he can take 40 hits from a longsword? Please. More like the commoner has little combat savvy or focus and simply can do very little to avoid a full impact mortal blow that also destroys any of his ability to fight, whereas the fighter is quick and canny, suffering near misses, heavy impacts on armor that don't quite penetrate, or rolling with/dodging most of the blow to take only minor, shallow cuts, gradually wearing at his stamina and focus but doing little real damage individually. When his hp are worn down all the way, he is heavily battered and bruised, impaired by many minor wounds, and just a little too slow to avoid that final, full-force mortal blow. Critical hits in the meantime are simply more serious ones that get through his guard.

Sinister
03-06-2008, 12:02 AM
well if that's true monsters could rock in 4E, I'm all for that.

ThatSeanGuy
03-06-2008, 12:43 AM
Yeah, but if I was running a mystery and I had a fighter with 8 intellegence and 6 wisdom...well, first, I'd seriously think about running something else, and second, I'd make sure he could do something that session becides stand in the background and be bored.

I don't see how 'Being able to be cool.' is any more unrealistic than any other part of D&D. Fighters special abilities are basicly, 'Doing cool stuff with the weapon you have.'-how is that a bad thing?

As for the whole per encounter deal, remember that their ultimate goal was to do away with the thirty minute adventurer's workday. Better to take several small rests throughout a single day's worth of adventuring, than to run an encounter or two, go back to sleep for a day, rinse repeat. It's a simple matter of having the big epic battle be several encounters, instead of one massive one: Fighting through the guards, dealing with the enemy's spellcaster, getting over a raging river, putting out a fire before it can consume your side's tents, and finally squaring off with the enemy captain and his or her elite guard. You've got a whole adventure's worth of encounters out of one military action.

Rowan
03-06-2008, 02:46 AM
Sean, I like that--just break down the war actions or battlefield rounds into encounters to deal with the encounter powers...

There still may be a problem when considering what to do with spellcasters in particular, if they could theoretically churn out dozens of spells of a certain type per day. It all will depend on the spells I think, though.

irdeggman
03-06-2008, 10:43 AM
Pretty much everything I've heard about 4th ed so far sounds at the very least interesting.

I have one problem with it and that is something that so far is in inherent design - it revolves around combat. Skills are all supposed to be useful in combat, the "interaction" skill system is gone (at least from the first set of rules, at least that is the last thing I read on the subject). To me this is something that will greatly hurt BR since a lot of the political intrigue is tied up with interactions.

Now the designers rationale for the interaction decision is that it is a role-playing issue and that those who role-play will do so, regardless of any mechanics. To me it just is something that would need working over in a setting that has so much interaction as an inherent component.

The talent tree concept is something that readily be done to capture blood abilites, at least IMO. Bloodline score is something else that would have to be looked at how to incorporate, but the basic mechanics sound like they could be "tweaked" to handle it, at least from the very preliminary reports from playtesters.

Time will only tell - but pretty much if someone wants to use a specific system they will find a way to make a conversion that works for them.

Rowan
03-06-2008, 03:11 PM
There was a lot of talk last fall about social interaction encounters being played out with many rolls based on skills, making it more akin to combat. I haven't followed the staff blogs since about November, but there was a lot of excitement about that back then...have they scrapped that idea?

ThatSeanGuy
03-06-2008, 03:33 PM
Sean, I like that--just break down the war actions or battlefield rounds into encounters to deal with the encounter powers...

There still may be a problem when considering what to do with spellcasters in particular, if they could theoretically churn out dozens of spells of a certain type per day. It all will depend on the spells I think, though.

Thank you! You raise a good point, naturally, and I can understand the reluctance.

But well, partially: That's why spellcasters on the battlefield are scary. They throw fire from their hands and make the skies weep acid, though I'm assuming really huge effects are going to be rituals, which'll require a defense of the spellcaster from the suddenly desperate enemy soldiers. A DM who can't find a way to keep an encounter going while letting the party's spell flinger feel cool is a DM who needs to remember just how insanely frustrating it is to be a player who's powers are constantly shot down.

Which could be a cool encounter, now that I think of it: Guard your wizard long enough to let her get a battle-winning spell off, with the stakes rising exponentially as the magical energy starts gathering and even a dumb general realizes, "Oh snap, kill that chick in the bathrobe!". But I digress.

Also, don't forget about countermagic. I mean, everyone has a few defense strategies stored away for when the DM gets clever with the enemy spellcasters: Why not assume that the enemy soldiers have the same amount of intellegence? If a wizard's going to throw a fireball, charge into skirmishing range so he can't hit you without hitting his own people. If she's set up as a walking artillery turret, suprise her with a pit trap, or concentration-destroying humming bulb arrows, or shoot down a tree to try and smash her with-won't kill her, but she'll be too busy not getting hit with a tree to cast that cone of cold.

As a DM, I try and remember an old adage: It's not a problem, it's an adventure hook you haven't developed yet. When you start going, "No, you can't do this evar!!!" that's exactly when your players decide that, one way or another, they're getting to do this, and PCs with an idea stuck in their head are pretty much excempt from Newton's Second Law of Motion. Better to give 'em their moment and then suprise them by adapting to it. It makes your players happier, it gives you more material to use in the game, and it just leaves the group with a more fun experience.

Mirviriam
04-24-2008, 05:41 AM
To get a little discussion going...

2. Assuming the answer is yes, should we do a 4th edition Birthright? It needs to be asked, as it does take a significant amount of work (note the semi-finished nature of the 3.5 rules) and play-testing.

4a. We need to be sure any play-online portion of 4th edition supports realm play and bloodlines if at all possible. This would be critical.

5. What works, what doesn't, what is too complex, what is too simple, what is missing? Although we know little about 4th edition, there is some info out there - any potential conflicts?

Perhaps this needs to be its own thread, but I didn't want to be the one to start it. It should all be discussed though.

Instead of worrying about how this will negatively impact our community, we should instead look at the wonderful tools and opportunity we've been given. WoTC only has 2.5 official campaign settings for 4th edition (FR, Eberron, and arguably Greyhawk - I'd probably leave it at 2 personally). Of all the old settings, it's possible that Dark Sun and Planescape may have more fans, but due to a variety of factors (psionics, the planar re-ordering, and internal factors), I'd say Birthright, if it were to put in a strong showing, would have the greatest chance of making a revival (at least as a single rulebook). If we were to basically create a quality, well play-tested product (which this site has done in the past) that seemlessly fits into 4th edition, then it would be very, very simple for WoTC to pick it up and print it.

I will say here, we should use a set format with a php webinterface to enter the wiki 3.5 rules. This would make conversions of characters, army stats, etc extremely simple. Leaving us to wrestle with the mechanical section of the game only. Using that web interface we could even have a line add function & delete/archive portion if parts become useless in the wiki.

It is one of the things I hoped to get down in my side project on the royal library thread was the standardization of game information as it is entered into the wiki. (along with new npc, new campaign, new realms, holdings etc utilities).

All that pending a test run of the rehauling the Gorgon's Alliance & a lot of long chats with wiki member/teams in a few months at the earliest.

Vicente
04-24-2008, 08:04 AM
EnWorld is full of info about the DnD 4e. It seems that the online tools will support house rules and customization (I'm pretty sure bloodlines could be tracked with it, but realms seem too much for customization).

Also, Wizards has stated that maybe they will revisit old settings in the future (3 books for each setting, 1 setting per year). They will start with FR in 2008, Eberron in 2009 and who knows beyond that.

Regards

hirumatogeru
04-30-2008, 04:55 PM
I would take the "revisiting settings" comments with a grain of salt. I know a large portion of the FR community is up in arms about what they did to Forgotten Realms to make it fit into 4e, and it doesn't sound like a very good approach in my opinion.

I believe it is similar to what Paizo did to Dark Sun a couple years back, where they basically took 3.5 and the expanded psionics handbook, and crowbarred in a few dark sun flavored elements and advanced the timeline to explain why all that happened.

So while I will probably still buy a Dark Sun or Birthright campaign setting, if they're even made, it will most likely be for setting material and to mine for new ideas. I will stick with my trusty Savage Worlds rulebooks for the mechanics.

But this is all speculation of course ;)

kgauck
04-30-2008, 05:21 PM
Except that the changes being suggested sound much more BR than 2nd or 3rd editions were. It may happen that Cerilia is a better fit for vanilla 4e than Farun or Greyhawk or anyone else.

Magian
05-01-2008, 08:17 AM
Here's to hoping Kenneth.

bbeau22
05-01-2008, 02:13 PM
Well my campaign I was running is on hold now that my second child was born, but my plan is to buy the books and really study them. I will immeditely begin putting together ideas for how they will fit into a Brightright Campaign.

I came up with a lot of new ideas when the read the Star Wars Saga edition rulebook. Jedi have much in common with Blooded individuals and might be a good blueprint on how to treat blooded characters compared to the more mudane non-blooded folks.

Read it when you get a chance and I think you will see what I mean. Every blood derivation would have its own talent tree. There would also be a set of powers that can be accessed by spending feats. You would need the proper pre-req to take certain powers but it is a way to balance blooded characters.

-BB

kgauck
05-01-2008, 08:27 PM
I agree that jedi and blooded individuals are very similar (and since the midochlorian explanation, basically jedi are just blooded themselves). Plus being a jedi allows normal progression of power without awkward issues of effective character level and so on.

What would be ideal is not requiring specific classes for development of blood abilities, but using the mechanics of the jedi, making powers skill based by having blood skills and blood feats.

However having the scion class as a blood abilities specialty isn't a bad idea, and may be an ideal starting class. I currently require all nobles to start with the noble class and then multi-class into their professional class. The noble presumes leadership and realm management skills, where the scion class might be more about blood abilities.

I also like starting at 2nd level because characters are so much more robust than at 1st level.

bbeau22
05-01-2008, 09:46 PM
Well here is a way to do it. Which matches the Saga edition.

For someone to be blooded they would need to take a feat that denotes it. In Star Wars it is force sensitive. It gives characters the ability to take force powers and access to certain talent trees. Lets just call this feat blood sensitive.

In Star Wars then you can have access to a couple of classes that allow more access to different force talent trees (Jedi Knight, Jedi Master.) With Birthright we can just have blood score be that virtual class. At certain levels you have access to talents from your derivation and blood powers. We could play it a totally different way by having scion levels continue. As a character gets more powerful they can take additional levels in their derivation giving them access to blood powers and talents. But that would be a very large deviation from the old rules.

In Star Wars the talents matches different type of force powers. They allow you to be better at certain types of force powers. One talent tree would specialize in moving objects, another would be combat, another would be influencing others with your mind. In Birthright, the talent trees would just match the different derivations. If you are blooded of Reynir you would have access to Reynir's blood talents.

Bonus Feats in Star Wars happen every other level when you don't gain a new talent. Jedi can spend that feat giving them more active force powers. Things include Force Lightening, Force Push .... all that fun stuff. They work as a once per encounter, per day fashion. Everytime a force sensitive person chooses the bonus feat force powers .... they can choose a certain amount of powers according to their Intellegence. They can do this whenever this bonus feat comes up.

For Birthright, I could see a certain amount of blood powers being a per encounter, per day or per week. Everytime a bonus feat comes up a blooded individual could choose from these active abilities. The abilities would have prereqs like only certain derivations would have access to them. These types of powers would be Healing, Dectect Illusion, Detect Lie, Summoning elementals, Travel.

I hope that makes sense to people who haven't read Saga edition yet. The question would be in my mind if you wanted to link it to character levels like they do in star wars or just link it to blood score. At certain bloodscore levels character have access to either a bonus feat to be spent on blood powers or talents.

I had some stuff already written up on what were good blood powers vs. talents. Talents would be passive blood powers and power boosts, powers would be activation powers.

Alright I have written enough. Let me know if this makes sense to people.

-BB

kgauck
05-02-2008, 04:57 AM
The question would be in my mind if you wanted to link it to character levels like they do in star wars or just link it to blood score. At certain bloodscore levels character have access to either a bonus feat to be spent on blood powers or talents.

This is essentially how bloodlines work in Unearthed Arcana. Character levels unlock a program of benefits.

Getting additional feats based on bloodscore brings up the nasty business of ECL.

irdeggman
05-02-2008, 10:42 AM
This is essentially how bloodlines work in Unearthed Arcana. Character levels unlock a program of benefits.

Getting additional feats based on bloodscore brings up the nasty business of ECL.


Right and this is one big conflict with the way 2nd ed handled such things. Blood abilities were tied to blood score but had no relation to character level.

The Dragon version of BR (3.x) had a feat based system that had a tie into character level (as I recall). But this too missed the direct tie between bloodline score and number of blood abilities that was an inherent design of the 2nd ed system.

irdeggman
05-02-2008, 10:48 AM
Most everythig I have heard (or read) about 4th ed I like.

But the one thing that really, really makes me hesitant is the "marketing" aspect of the entire switch. Basically WotC will be issuing supplemental books (as is the normal business practice) but they they will also be the way of incorporating errata. Essentially a PHB II, a PHB III etc.

Also 3rd party companies will either be able to publish 4th ed or 3.x ed material - but not both.

Paizo is getting around this by having Paizo do 3.5 (via the Pathfinder series) - and attempting to take over the mantle of 3.5 using the Pathfinder stuff as the new core rules. One of their "partners" (I think it is Necromancer) is doing 4th ed.

But in general the business strategy leaves a cold feeling with me. I will buy the core books and then evaluate what I'm going to do afterwards (which I think will be the norm for D&D fans).

Green Knight
05-02-2008, 02:28 PM
I have this bad feeling the 4E will be even for combat-oriented than the previous edition...and that everything is focused on maximum ECL-balanced firepower per character level...

bbeau22
05-02-2008, 04:29 PM
Well it looks like they are combining skills. I know with rogues you are talking about one skill for all of their rogue abilites. I would guess diplomacy, bluff, sense motive would all be one skill also. I don't think it is a bad thing and in this case simplifying is certainly an improvement. Everyone can do the same things, just less numbers to look at and track.

So our current skill system will need some major adjustment to work with the new system. Some skills can be bunched in with their groups. Perhaps we can revisit the system of skills giving regency once we see it.

I think what they are thinking is the system is battle based, but roleplaying would be up to the DM's.

-BB

Vicente
05-02-2008, 04:48 PM
Wizards is promoting a lot their "non-combat encounter system" (I don't remember the exact name) where most skills are useful to solve non-combat situations and they spend a part of the DMG explaining it.

Thelandrin
05-08-2008, 04:48 PM
I looked at the monsters preview PDF and the sample monsters do seem much simpler to run, if a little robotic. The human wizard can swing his quarterstaff at will or throw off a magic missile at will for instance.

The skills seem greatly reduced, with "Thievery" covering Disable Device, Open Locks and Sleight of Hand. I'm all for "Stealth" and "Perception" covering Hide/Move Silently and Listen/Search/Spot, but "Thievery" may be a step too far.

hirumatogeru
05-20-2008, 11:15 PM
I got a scan from the Keep on the Shadowfell preview adventure and I noticed a nice little blurb about Noncombat Encounters. It reads as follows:

"Noncombat encounters focus on skill use, utility powers, your wits, and your roleplaying skills. These encounters include dealing with traps and hazards, solving puzzles, and overcoming skill challenges."

I take this to mean that you can now have roleplaying-only encounters in your games that still grant XP points as regular combat encounters would. Its just instead of swinging a sword, you use your diplomacy or bluff and insight skill checks, maybe even intimidate. There is also a thing called skill challenges, which basically breaks down these types of encounters into a certain number of successes. You roll 8 diplomacy checks over the course of an encounter say, and if you get 4 successes you come out on top, if you get 3 failures before that, you fail overall. This gives the DM lots of flexibility in negotiations that can be backed up with skill checks for those players who are rules lawyers.

BTW, here's the master list of skills for 4E from the adventure as well:

Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, Bluff, Diplomacy, Dungeoneering, Endurance, Heal, History, Insight, Intimidate, Nature, Perception, Religion, Stealth, Streetwise, and Thievery.

hirumatogeru
05-20-2008, 11:23 PM
I'll one other post here too about 4e that I really like. The ability to play in low-magic campaigns.

4e doesn't rely on magic items, at all. You can play awesome campaigns with zero magic items and don't need to worry about your PC's wealth levels, etc. There are clear and concise rules about this in the DMG and different ways to plug them into your game. Also, you can run a group with any combination of PC's and classes/races. If you want a guild only campaign with all rogues they will be just as effective as one with a fighter, wizard, cleric, and rogue. Since every class has healing surges that they can increase or modify using feats or class powers, you don't need a cleric or a wand of CLW anymore.

With these rules in mind, it would seem that the Birthright rules would fit perfectly with 4e. The only foreseeable hurdle is the blood abilities which I believe could be done using a feat/class based system similar to SW SAGA edition or Bloodmarks from Eberron.

Rowan
05-28-2008, 07:54 PM
Boy, Rituals (see DnD Feature page) were sure a long time in coming. Executed pretty well. They'll make things a lot easier in BR, and more fun, since most of the spells the wizards and clerics will be concerned about gaining will be rituals.

Plus, it will be easy enough to adjust rules a bit to accommodate rituals, allowing regents to stack their appropriate spellcasting holding levels to the level of ritual they can cast, and letting RP stand in for Residuum.

These are the sorts of things that will make 4e better for BR. The new systems will lend themselves much better to merging into the domain level of play, I think.

Some obvious adjustments that will be needed should be fairly simple: adjusting the levels of realm spells; adding Skills for domain level play; fitting in a scion factor. I have long thought blood abilities need a major overhaul, anyway, and I bet they'll be much easier to do in 4e, as well (directly proportionate levels, ease of stacking bloodline/RP/derivation/strength/holding levels with other powers to reflect the power of regents even at low levels, etc.). Two more weeks!

Fearless_Leader
05-31-2008, 08:08 PM
I just recently ran the preview adventure ("Keep on the Shadowfell"). It went pretty well. It certainly opens up a lot more options and tactics in terms of combat. In times past combat would sometimes devolve into two foes taking turns rolling dice at each other. Whatever the case, I don't see any great difficulty in converting the rules set to 4e. The biggest hurdle, I think, would be in converting the races, as I just don't see dragonborn and tieflings running around Cerilia. Perhaps in other parts of the world, just not Cerilia.

Rowan
06-01-2008, 05:45 AM
I don't see any reason why various races and classes need be included in Birthright. I generally dislike settings that have a dozen races milling about in cosmopolitan settings that make you think more of Mos Eisley or Babylon 5 than about a more medieval milieu. So while most classes could probably fit in BR (warlock and warlord sound like they would fit in fairly well), I don't see why any races beyond BR's traditional ones need be included. I also expect that the races will need to be customized for BR, rather than using standard 4e powers.

Blackfrost
06-01-2008, 08:02 AM
I've had a chance to review the Player's Handbook for 4th edition and there are many major changes that will take getting used to.

For one, you can't really multiclass anymore. You now only have the option of selecting a feat that will grant you a single, watered down version of a "power" available to that second class. Example, A Fighter wishing to "multiclass" as a Wizard would select the Arcane Initiate feat and receive only two benefits: (1) he gains traing in the Arcana skill, and (2) he gains access to one "at-will" power (such as Magic Missile) which he or she may use once per encounter. That's basically all one gets.

Another thing is that most of the class features once possessed by the classes have been converted into powers (at-will powers, encounter powers, daily powers and utility powers). Characters start with two at-will powers, one encounter and one daily (modified by race). For example, a Fighter now has two class features (Combat Challenge - can mark a target causing the target to suffer a - 2 attack penalty if he attacks someone other than the Fighter that marked him - and Combat Superiority - gain a bonus to opportunity attacks equal to your WIS modifier) and another feature called Fighter Weapon Talent that grants a + 1 bonus to attack rolls when he uses a weapon of his chosen style. The Fighetr no longer receives bonus feats at even levels (his feat progression is now the same as everyone elses) and he is no longer proficient in heavy armor (meaning if he wants it he must now spend a feat on it).

Anyway, not quite what I was expecting to see...

Vicente
06-01-2008, 11:15 AM
I haven't read the manuals, but reading characters in ENWorld and RPG.net forums I would say multiclass is a viable option (and it doesn't seem broken as in other editions).

Check for example this thread:

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?p=8943842

There's an Eladrin Fighter/Wizard 11 (Wizard of the Spiral Tower) and it seems really nice.

I agree that 4e has changed a lot compared to 3e, but so far things look pretty good.

Blackfrost
06-01-2008, 01:26 PM
Sure, some of the choices aren't too bad. For instance, if you choose to multiclass as a Rogue one thing you receive is the Thievery skill as a trained skill (+ 5 bonus). Since Thievery now includes Open Locks, Pick Pockets, Disable Trap and Sleight of Hand that's not too bad a deal just for expending a feat.

It may make conversion from 3rd to 4th a bit difficult for some of the NPC characters though. A villain like the Gorgan could no longer be the master swordsman/wizard he is at the moment under this rule system as he would only have access to a single spell like ability that's usable only once per encounter. There are a few more feats that allow you to swap out powers from the characters secondary class and their primary one but since you are restricted to gaining powers from the lowest tier (heroic) only, they likely would be worth much at higher levels.

Vicente
06-01-2008, 04:23 PM
I might be wrong, but you can swap a power of any level when you multiclass (as long as it's equal or lower level than the power you are swaping), you aren't tied to heroic tier powers only. And you can choose a second class instead of a Paragon Path if you want to truly multiclass (humans with their extra at will power are great for this).

So I don't see many problems translating someone like the Gorgon from 3e to 4e.

Vicente
06-01-2008, 04:47 PM
I've been checking Wizards site and now I'm sure you can swap a power of any level. What you can't do is change a power gained specifically from your Paragon Path or Epic Destiny:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080430a

But you can change normal powers as shown in this excerpt:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080416a

If you check the table, you'll see that powers are changed when you gains levels. For example, at level 13 you can change your level 1 encounter power for a level 13 encounter power. So you could change your level 1 warrior encounter power for a level 13 wizard power (if you have the feats). But you can't change the power marked as P (from the Paragon Path).

Blackfrost
06-01-2008, 08:41 PM
You can do a bit more power swapping if you choose to give up access to your Paragon Path. It would cost you a total of four feats do do it though (the multiclass feat along with the three mentioned below).

Here's the rule on how to do it:

Paragon Multiclassing

If you have the Novice Power, Acolyte Power, and Adept Power feats for a class, you can choose to continue to gain powers from that class rather than take a paragon path. If you choose this option, you gain several benefits. At 11th level, you can choose to replace one of your at-will powers with an at-will power from your second class. In place of the paragon path encounter power gained at 11th level, you can select any encounter power of 7th level or lower from your second class. In place of the paragon path utility power gained at 12th level, you can select any utility power of 10th level or lower from your second class. In place of the paragon path daily power gained at 20th level, you can select any daily power of 19th level or lower from your second class.

At 30th level, the maximum number of powers you will is 2/4/4/7 (modified by race) which is at-will/encounter/daily/utility. Unless your race grants you bonus powers this is the most that you can ever have.

I feel it's worth it to take the multiclass feat because you get a skill, once power, acccess to feats retricted to that class, and, in some cases access to magic items usable by that class.

geeman
06-02-2008, 01:02 AM
When it comes to multi-classing in 4e it looks like its a set of
feats and then possibly switching around into "paragon" classes (4e`s
version of "prestige classes") at 11-20th levels. It might look a
bit odd to folks at first glance but being multi-classed in 4e
doesn`t require actually taking levels in a character class.

This shouldn`t really be a problem in BR. A lot of folks thought
multi-classing would be a bad thing when 3e came out because of RP
collection, but that never really seemed to be a problem in
practice. I don`t think that will be an issue in 4e either.

However, it will be a bit odd in trying to portray certain D&D
characters who in the original materials have multi- or dual
classed. The classic being, of course, the Gorgon, whose 16 wizard
levels are so problematic. But I think we could probably get away
pretty easily with 10 fighter levels, some "paragon" levels in an
appropriate class, some multi-class feats and then remaining levels
in paragon or epic classes that have to do with wizards. It`s kind
of hard to resist the possibility of the Gorgon having levels in the
demi-god epic level class, since that would appear to be his stony
heart`s desire, but I don`t think the powers and abilities of that
class really reflect the Gorgon all that well... and his inability to
take such levels might be an appropriate way of reflecting his
failure in that regard.

Of course, 4e also wants characters to "retire" at 30th level and
seems to have capped progression at that point, but as an iconic
campaign setting NPC we can surely ignore that sort of thing.

Gary

Vicente
06-02-2008, 08:21 AM
Yeah, probably multiclassing into a wizard Paragon path would be a nice idea for the Gorgon (I think there's one that allows to use swords as implements, so something along those lines could be nice for him). Add the human bonus at will power and feat, take the power swap feats and you could get a nice character. For the epic destiny the probem seems more related to the lack of destinies in the Player Handbook, let's hope the Martial Sourcebook or future books solve that.

And about the level 30 thing, I agree there shouldn't be any problem having more than that, as there are monsters higher than level 30 in the Monster Manual (at least one, Orcus).

Rowan
06-02-2008, 03:02 PM
If multiclassing is a problem because of the number of feats required, it may be possible to make a simple tweak to allow versatility more akin to some of the other major RPG's, where characters can essentially choose almost any powers and build their characters with little in the way of class-based straightjackets. That tweak might be just reducing the number of feats required to allow a character to select from another classes' options. Mixing and matching powers should be much easier in this edition than in any other because they are balanced better by level and broken down into easily-swappable at-will, encounter, daily, and ritual powers.

geeman
06-02-2008, 10:30 PM
At 08:02 AM 6/2/2008, Rowan wrote:
>If multiclassing is a problem because of the number of feats required, it may be possible to make a simple tweak to allow versatility more akin to some of the other major RPG`s, where characters can essentially choose almost any powers and build their characters with little in the way of class-based straightjackets. That tweak might be just reducing the number of feats required to allow a character to select from another classes` options. Mixing and matching powers should be much easier in this edition than in any other because they are balanced better by level and broken down into easily-swappable at-will, encounter, daily, and ritual powers.

It looks like characters get a lot more feats in 4e than they did before, so my impression is that the number of them will not be that much of an issue. From what I`ve gleaned, feats are now available every other level rather than every third, one gets an extra feat here and there, and humans get extra as a racial ability. It does look very easy to "multi-class" using feats, though, and that`ll probably be an issue for our purposes.

Because multi-classing in 4e is a bit more conceptual, that might cause some confusion when it comes to the domain system. From what I
understand, one "multi-classes" by taking feats that give the character slightly watered down versions of powers and abilities from other classes. One can`t actually take levels in that other class, though. At the point at which one switches to "paragon" (at 11th level) or "epic" (21st level), then one can take a "paragon" class for something other the character`s standard "heroic" (1-10th level) only if one has taken the appropriate "multi-class" feat(s) for that class. In fact, "multi-classing" would appear to be something of a misnomer. It looks like no character ever has more classes than any other. One takes levels of a class for 10 level blocks and then one has access to a new pool of classes, and each class pool is discretely different from earlier blocks. What is called "multi-classing" is really more like cross-classing since one doesn`t really take levels in another class any more often than one would normally.

So, if my understanding of how this`ll work is correct, those who are concerned with RP collection need to decide when a regent is actually
multi-classed. Is it when he takes the first feat? Is it when he takes several? Is it not until he takes a paragon class that differs from those available to his original class? Should a regent get half RP collection for feats and full once he`s taken actual class levels? That sort of thing.

In more definitive terms, it might look like this:

A: Regent with one path of classes. That is, a cleric who takes levels as a war priest or whatever the paragon class might be.
B: Regent who has taken a "multi-class" feat that gives him access to another class` ability. That is, a fighter who has taken a feat that
gives him an ability that belong to the wizard class.
C: Regent who has taken 2+ such feats. (I think a total of 5 are possible, but all must be from one particular class.) This could be just B1-5, if one wants to be that particular....
D: Regent who has taken levels in a paragon or epic class that belongs to a class other than his original class.

The simplest solution is probably just to say everybody from B+ is multi-classed, but I expect people will have different ways of portraying this sort of thing. After all, there were a lot of opinions on how multi-classing should work before and after 3e came out, and just about every permutation under the sun was floated at one point or another. With this feat series in there between actually taking levels in a class, I expect some folks will want to differentiate between a cleric and a fighter who has clerical abilities through a feat for the purpose of RP collection. It seems reasonable, for example, that a DM might rule that one must have at least 2 or 3 such feats before one can collect RP from another type of holding.

Gary

kgauck
06-02-2008, 11:38 PM
Its still eight days from my ship date of the new books, so thoughts here are tentative, but looking back on the conversion to 3e, I rather felt that there was too much confusion of the adventure level and realm level. BR, containing a full realm level of play should have its own skills and feats. I would prefer that a facility with any kind of domain require at least a single feat (Leadership, for instance).

Thelandrin
06-03-2008, 12:34 AM
Well, the Leadership feat makes perfect sense, but wasn't it deliberate that the skills you need for realm-ruling are useful in adventuring and vice versa? The feats on the other hand weren't that integrable and blood abilities were pretty much ignored in realm play.

Rowan
06-03-2008, 04:20 AM
I think blood abilities should be geared at least as much towards realm-level play as adventure-level, if not moreso. Perhaps each having an adventure-level effect (an at will, encounter, or daily power) and a realm-level effect?

Part of the fun and uniqueness of BR is the divine blood of the regents, yet this has fairly little effect beyond RP measures--blood abilities really aren't that big a deal as they are right now. This being the case, I wouldn't have a problem working up something special for scions reflecting a bit more of their divine heritage. For instance, perhaps there are indeed skills specific to realm rulership, but scions also attain more feats--primarily feats allowing more and better access to the skills or to realm-level play. These are instinctive aptitudes, divine talents made manifest in reality. This way, regents can remain strong adventurer-kings in tabletop play, but also effective rulers. The two dimensions of play need not detract from each other, and the bloodlines provide a mechanism for explaining this.

The blood abilities would exist on top of these, of course.

kgauck
06-03-2008, 04:34 AM
Well, the Leadership feat makes perfect sense, but wasn't it deliberate that the skills you need for realm-ruling are useful in adventuring and vice versa? The feats on the other hand weren't that integrable and blood abilities were pretty much ignored in realm play.

I was thinking more about class design. But what skills are you referring to? Administration doesn't seem like much of an adventure skill. Warcraft and Lead are the only other BR skills as I recall, and Lead might have some adventure application, but if you have enough troops to use Warcraft, your at the realm level.

There are skills in the core rules made useful at the domain level (some of which are dubious, such as Diplomacy), but I would say the BR skills were not useful at the adventure level.

Surely ruling a realm is a different an occupation from adventuring as soldiering is from priesthood.

Vicente
06-03-2008, 07:37 AM
Maybe this is a crazy idea, but let's try. In the 4e clerics and domains work differently than in 3e. Clerics have now a base cleric ability (turning undead) they can use once per encounter (not sure on this) and then they can use feats to get a different ability depending on their god (so instead of turn undead they can do something else).

Maybe a similar approach for bloodlines would be useful? All regent characters get a basic encounter power and they can personalize it taking a feat for his own derivation. At paragon and epic tiers they can get a second and a third power (and there could be paragon and epic power feats for each derivation).

Blackfrost
06-03-2008, 08:21 AM
I apologize, Vincente! I had to rush to the airport and didn’t have time to finish my response.

You are correct about the power swapping, you can select powers from whatever tiers you have access too as long as you have the feat that lets you do it. You just can’t swap out the Paragon Path powers or Epic powers I guess.

Once you have taken the multiclass feat it also looks like you can choose to follow the Paragon Path of whichever class you have access too.

Here are the descriptions given for these feats:

Class-Specific Feats

There are two restrictions on your choice of a class-specific multiclass feat. First, you can’t take a multiclass feat for your own class. Second, once you take a multiclass feat, you can’t take a class-specific feat for a different class. You can dabble in a second class but not a third. A character who has taken a class-specific multiclass feat counts as a member of that class for the purpose of meeting prerequisites for taking other feats and qualifying for paragon paths. For example, a character who takes Initiate of the Faith counts as a cleric for the purpose of selecting feats that have cleric as a prerequisite. These feats can qualify you for other feats; for example, a warlock who takes Sneak of Shadows can use the rogue’s Sneak Attack class feature, which means that
he meets the prerequisite for the Backstabber feat.

Power-Swap Feats

The Novice Power, Acolyte Power, and Adept Power feats give you access to a power from the class for which you took a class-specific multiclass feat. That power replaces a power you would normally have from your primary class. When you take one of these power-swap feats, you give up a power of your choice from your primary class and replace it with a power of the same level or lower from the class you have multiclassed in.
Any time you gain a level, you can alter that decision. Effectively, pretend you’re choosing the power-swap feat for the first time at the new level you’ve just gained. You gain back the power that you gave up originally from your primary class, lose the power that you chose from your second class, and make the trade again. You give up a different power from your primary class and replace it with a new power of the same level from your second class. You can’t use power-swap feats to replace powers you gain from your paragon path or epic destiny. If you use retraining to replace a power-swap feat with another feat, you lose any power gained from the power-swap feat and regain a power of the same level from your primary class.

With this system, it looks like multiclassing doesn’t give you the armor/weapon proficiencies, class features, etc of your secondary class. You just get one skill, and one feature that is treated as an encounter power (usable once per encounter). Also, once a character reaches 30th level he is effectively retired from the game. At least that’s how it stands right now…

Vicente
06-03-2008, 10:31 AM
No problem man :) I had to review the excerpt on the Wizards site as I wasn't sure myself about the subject, but I suppose that if multiclassing was horribly broken I would have seen lots of posts about it on ENWorld and so far no one is complaining about the subject, so I think people in general like the rules for it.

Thelandrin
06-03-2008, 11:09 AM
I was thinking more about class design. But what skills are you referring to? Administration doesn't seem like much of an adventure skill. Warcraft and Lead are the only other BR skills as I recall, and Lead might have some adventure application, but if you have enough troops to use Warcraft, your at the realm level.

There are skills in the core rules made useful at the domain level (some of which are dubious, such as Diplomacy), but I would say the BR skills were not useful at the adventure level.

Well, I was thinking of the Knowledges and most of the guild regency skills, but yes, the new BR skills are mostly irrelevant in adventure play.

Green Knight
06-03-2008, 12:42 PM
Although I reserve the final verdict until after I've actually bought and read the books, I must say that I'm not too keen on the new 4E. Maybe Ićm just a boor, but even though it certainyl seems like a great deal of though has gone into the design process, it looks to me like all it really does is present a way of balancing 'encounters'. And to me that really doesn't bring a lot to the table...balancing encounters and chracters is the least of my 'problems' during adventure play.

So I'll have a close look at the rules, and the probably/maybe stick with 3.5 and steal whatever ideas look the most promising. It's not as if there are any new BR 4E supplements being published...so everything needs 'conversion' anyway ;)

Vicente
06-04-2008, 08:41 AM
Well, before 4e the classes balance has been pretty bad specially with wizards. Given a high level enough wizard you don't need anyone else because the wizard can perform the work of the rest of the players and most times better than them (except healing probably).

Now that all classes follow the same mechanics they feel much more balanced between themselves and all players are equally useful in combat and out of it. In 4e there's the problem that maybe all the classes will feel too similar, but until we play it's hard to know if that will happen or not.

Green Knight
06-04-2008, 09:07 AM
This is where I fundamentally disagree - IMCs adventures are commonplace enough, but encounters and challenges are so varied as to make use of the strengths (or perhaps even more - weaknesses) of the various characters - a wizard certainly has a lot more options than some of the other classes (on a side note, that seems perhaps one of the strengths of 4E - giving non-spellcasters more options), but any good DM can make things challenging even for a spellcaster.

And high character level was never really a problem before either...if I end up using 4E, then most characters will be below the Paragon level anyway...as they tended to stay below 11th level before.

ShadowMoon
06-04-2008, 01:41 PM
Why does 4E sound like MMO on paper ><;

Vicente
06-04-2008, 03:57 PM
The wizard having far more options would be bad even if those options were balanced. But with lots of those options totally broken (hello polymorph) it's not bad, it's very bad ;).

But more related to the topic, this thread from ENWorld is pretty interesting:

http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=228940

I specially like Mourn suggestion although it's a big change in how Birthright works right now (specially for inheriting bloodline, but I could "forget" about that one to have a rule that goes better with the game spirit).

bbeau22
06-04-2008, 03:58 PM
Well the rules needed to be balanced a bit. The spell system they had for both clerics and wizards created too much of a power difference between the have and have nots. When playing with a group the fighter often was the least effective in combat, died the most often while engaged hand to hand overwhelming single creatures, extremely dependant on magic gear to succeed and had the least amount of options once the combat began.

There needed to be a way for a group of 4 friends to get together and have each person contribute to a combat equally or close to equal depending on the encounter. Spells simply got too powerful and replaced many of the things other classes could contribute. They needed to change spell usage fundamentally to create a slightly more level playing field, which they did. If they left the spell system similer to before I don't think they could have ever truely balanced the other classes in.

The thing about D&D is that the stories and the roleplaying really doesn't change and never will. They can change skills all they want and merge them (which I like) but in the end roleplaying and having fun will dominate. The rules are primaraly for combat, and even though I haven't read through them yet I feel that anything that helps balance between classes is a good thing and healthy for repeated play.

-BB

Pabloj
06-04-2008, 05:36 PM
Greetings! My name is Pablo and I´m a fresh newbie in this forum. I´m also the one who started the En World Birthright thread (http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=228940)) but I guess I should have come here in the first place.

For now, I just wanted to say hi!
I´m looking forward to contribute to keep Birthright alive.

Pablo

kgauck
06-04-2008, 07:16 PM
I've never understood the desire to make everyone equal in combat. One guy, the fighter, spends his whole youth and much of his adult life training and preparing from combat and people whose core skills supposedly lay elsewhere, can keep up?

Some classes can make claims to combat by other means, but the whole thing just feels so gamey. Characters should be good at different things, not the same things differently.

Wilenburg
06-05-2008, 01:19 AM
after reading all of the messages in the 4th edition forum this really needs to be split up int separate topics because i have seen it jumped from blood abilities to rp then to multi class characters they all start from one another. But to develop the ideas into something more usable to get these concepts going and to focus them so they can be usable i like the ideas of the blood abilities and how to handle them but we still need to refine them into a usable playing feature.

kgauck
06-05-2008, 01:32 AM
Well, the topics were also separated by weeks of time. I'm sure once real books are in the hands of members, we'll start separate topics.

Green Knight
06-05-2008, 04:47 AM
The wizard having far more options would be bad even if those options were balanced. But with lots of those options totally broken (hello polymorph) it's not bad, it's very bad ;).

But more related to the topic, this thread from ENWorld is pretty interesting:

http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=228940

I specially like Mourn suggestion although it's a big change in how Birthright works right now (specially for inheriting bloodline, but I could "forget" about that one to have a rule that goes better with the game spirit).

Hey, that's cool...there are more than one Green Knight in the world...maybe we could have a slumber party (in green armor) sometime :)

Vicente
06-05-2008, 07:03 AM
Lol, I thought that Green Knight was you :p

I think too that until we have the books we can just use this thread to brainstorm and later on split the topic.

Green Knight
06-05-2008, 07:57 AM
I think I have an EnWorld user, but Green Knight was taken :( But I never post anyway, just browse...