View Full Version : Does anybody agree that...

11-23-2001, 11:16 AM
the BR descriptions include too many mages? If there are less than ... was it three-score? - true wizards in Cerilia, I tend to believe that it should include wizards of ALL levels, alignements and derivations. Let us say about 100 true wizards in Cerilia. Many Awnsheghlien are high power mages, as are the Lost (are they included in the count? I'd say yes so as to limit the number of mages). Many mage regents are described in the various rulebooks, all of relatively high power. I haven't counted but I'm sure you've already accounted for most of the 100 wizards already. Add all of the elven wizards (I believe magic should retain a decidedly elven feel to it), the various rare monstrous or humanoid practitioners of the Arts, and you've probably crammed as many wizards as Cerilia should hold. That is why I do not use the Anuirean College of Sorcery in my campaign, which in the Book of Magecraft has at least - was it 9? - senior mages plus a gaggle of students and former students. Mass produced magic does not enter my view of Cerilia. Magic should really remain, well, magic. Rare and wonderful, and even a dancing lights spell should elicit Ahs ond Ohs...
Well, there's my opinion... lets have yours!

11-23-2001, 05:34 PM
Ahhh yes, the Old "How Many Wizards does it take to..." conundrum.

This topic was a popular subject of old in the original BR mailing list. I don't really recall what the outcome of it was, but many of your points were mentioned I can recall. I agree, that most lkely, the wizards described in the various books bring the totals fairly close to the 100 mark. A few points:

1) Perhaps there are only a certain number of 'magical slots' within the tapestry of Aebrynis. If it is 100, and if there are already 100 true wizards described, thenn perhaps there can be no more true mages until a 'slot' opens up? most likely due to the death of one of the existing mages.

2) Perhaps the limit described (I believe it was from the Atlas of Cerilia??) is now out dated. Remember that the entire box set was written as 'In Character' infromation by the Chamberlain. It is thus, from his point of veiw that the limits are set. He could have been wrong, or maybe, he wasn't aware of some 'secret sect' of wizzies.

3) We know what a "true wizard" is in the mechanics of the game, but we do not know what Dosiere based his terminologoy on. Perhaps the count only included those true wizards which held source potentials at the time of it's writing. Since then, doubtless new sources (and thus regents) have sprung up, which would increase the count some.

Regarding the CoS, I can understand your points, but I would suggest that you perhaps approach it from a different angle.

The College is just that, a College. It is not a magic shop of wonders. The items stored there in are ot likely to be loaned out, given away, or such things. I rather think of the cache which the CoS holds to be more like a museum or library of artefacts. They are there to be studied or stored for safe keeping, not to be pawned off to the hero who needs them most.

Also, the COllege Masters might have taken it upon themselves to collect items from their owners, so that the magic need not be feared or used to menace. Sort of like a Police Unit that seizes narcotics or stolen goods. Better to store such items as horns of blasting and wands of lightning in a place where folk know the dangers. You certainly wouldn't want just anyone suddenly coming into an item capable of mass destruction/confusion/mischeif.

Mayhaps, the majority of Wizards in existance are actually part of the COllege itself. (I have been planning on trying to form a database of this very sort, but haven't gotten very far on it yet.) Certainly, many of the Anuirean mages are at the very least, Alumni of the College, and would certainyl feel some sort of bond to that institution. It is quite possible also, that only the ranking memebrs of the CoS are true wizards capable of realm magic. The average student and professor are likely magicians IMO.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on the subject. I hope O ahve at least convinced you that there might be a few options other than simply disregarding the College all together. It is an important insititution IMO, and should not be dismissed so quickly.

11-23-2001, 08:57 PM
I agree that a watered down college (maybe only a few truly powerful magi with magician helpers and non-magical sages) should exist in the old imperial city. I still can't make myself accept that just anybody can take up magic (the rules say 'any blooded scion can' but that still seems too much in my view. Any player character should of course have the option of being a mage, but NPC mages in my world view are very rare indeed. Certainly not as abundant as in the variuos rulebooks. To offset for the vacuum so created, in my view mages who announce themselves as such should expect a typical medieval reaction (in Anuire at least) and either cow the populace into leaving them alone or be an all-round do-gooder.
I do not however proposee a fixed number of magi... just that they are even rarer than the few who appear in the book. If we consider the fact that Anuire is about as big as France and that the population in France at that time was probably less than 5 million, having 50 resident mages would make them a true rarity! Most people would never have seen one, and few would believe in them in any case... 'Just tricks' or 'Fiend of Azrai' would be the typical reaction. I'll probably be a bit controversial if I say that magicians should also be very rare (only in my vision of Cerilia, everyone is entitled to his own!) and magic would mostly be based on long incantations and symbols and candles etc... Not fast 'Combat magic'. This would tend to make the adventuring wizard at a disadvantage in combat compared to his more burly escort, but I think the pride of playing one of a very select few should counterbalance that. Besides, at high levels even a long, drawn out incantation would still be extremely powerful. Clerical magic in my world would also be severely restricted to the few champions of the faiths... Most clergymen would be non-magical priests, including some high-ranking prelates, most of level 0. The power of the word would be enough to sway the crowds. Most clerical spells would also themselves need much more lengthy casting times than the rules commonly state. This would make for a world with a very medieval feel, but still a lot of magic just behind the surface. Those few mages who exist are rightly the most powerful people in Cerilia...
I remind you all that this is only my opinion of what Cerilia should look like, and no more valid than any other view of this great setting.

Lord Eldred
11-25-2001, 04:21 AM
I would have to agree that the number of true wizards is limited and thus I have limited the number of PCs in the group who can be wizards. I however think that wouldn't preclude a college of some sort. In fact it makes sense that there would be one. However, just because you have a college doesn't not mean 100s graduate each year. Colleges of magic are dangerous places where many of the students flunk out through death or being kicked out. The main thing is do whatever you are most comfortable with in your Birthright world.

11-29-2001, 04:42 AM
The COS I consider that the wizards in Anuire make up for the most part the members of this along side the residing wizard who is venerable. Perhaps even the Imperial Chamberlain is part of this group.

One side note, isn't it funny that Avan, Diem, and Alam all 3 have daughters who are wizards?

Regarding the power of a wizard, I have been using some new ideas for my wizards in my campaign to give realism to the strength of the regents of the lands. I require that if a wizard is going to research spells he must first, according to the Spells and Powers players option rules, build a research lab and library which cost a hell of a lot of gold even in GB terms. This requires the funding of a regent and protection of one also for the most part. This is not to mention the cost of the books and writing the spells in the spell books. I think for my campaign I will be meticulous about wizards and gaining spells and magical items to balance things out more. Sure they gain powerful spells but they are expensive, take time, and are vulnerable to destruction by looting.

The number of wizards seems just fine to me, there is little room for them to expand so they are not locked up. Also I do not think the wizards are very active in politics, most prefering to study their books. Even Caine the protector of Endier is elusive and eccentric at best. It is my opinion that since source holdings are considered secret holdings from the get go and that armies cannot touch them that wizards for the most part are unseen by the common folk and even the nobles and merchants. Like Merlin, many knew of him, few ever saw him, and a couple knew him.

11-29-2001, 11:52 PM
There is one thing you are wrong about Magian, source holdings can be destroyed by armies.
I don't have my books with me right now but I remember reading somewhere that if a regent deliberately has his scouts search for the sources in his lands he then can have his units destroy the location of the source and therefore the wizards source holdings.

11-30-2001, 10:26 AM
I'm not sure I'd necessarily agree with that rule, since a non-wizard would very likely have no idea what a source should look like. I'd even debate the possibility that a typical Cerilian, including most regents, would know how realm magic is fueled. It wouldn't be in the wizards interest to advertise that fact would it?
Perhaps a regent could order a province to be sacked (trees hewn, rivers poisoned (i.e. the Shire in LoTR)). But it would be very indiscriminate and destructive, and would endear the wizard to no one.

12-01-2001, 12:38 AM
I was somewhat wrong, a source holding can only be temporarily destroyed by a severe physical assault. The destruction only lasting for 1 to 3 months depending on the damage done according to the DM, pg 22 BoM.
As far as a non-wizard not knowing how realm magic is feuled, it wouldn't be to hard to figure out, unless a regent is completely ignorant or doesn't know how to use their resources to find out how.

12-02-2001, 04:46 AM
You were right the first time, blitzmacher -- it's not really the sources that regenerate, it's the magical potential of the land. For example, take a province (6/3), with 3 source (1)'s in it. Some soldiers rampage through the province, and all the sources get reduced to level (0). Those sources aren't going to be renewed (that sort of loss is permanent). If the province were to fall victim to a Death Plague, it would be reduced to a province (5/3), and in 5 years would become a province (5/4) (assuming the province's regent doesn't rule it before then).

If that province got hit by 6 Death Plagues (making it 0/3), it's rating would change to (0/4) the next spring (assuming the province's regent doesn't rule it before then).

12-02-2001, 05:24 AM
Well I must admit my interpretation of the rules is very different from either of yours. The source can only be affected by the rule action, natural recovery, or another wizard/source owning regent. Actions of a source holder can be affected by the ruler of the province with the province level and a source holder in the province. Armies cannot touch a source what so ever but spells can. If it only required a scout to find sources then wizards would not exist cause all the regents would destroy their power.

Considering all that I have said I get this interpretation from reading both the rulebook and book of magecraft. I will have to go home and recheck my books however but I definitely do not think an army can touch a source holding.

12-02-2001, 08:38 AM
Better to try having a friendly wizard than torch the sources in case an enemy wizard decides to settle in. Wizards are any ruler's best friends... trust me on this one =)

Btw Magian, I still haven't gotten your reply to the message I sent you! Its in My Message at the bottom of the forum =)

12-04-2001, 04:42 AM
Orginally posted by Magian

Considering all that I have said I get this interpretation from reading both the rulebook and book of magecraft. I will have to go home and recheck my books however but I definitely do not think an army can touch a source holding.

Variety is the spice of life and all of that, but if you're going to look it up in your BR Rulebook, look under "Conquest and Occupation" in the "Armies and Warfare" section:

"When a regent occupies a province, he can reduce any or all law, guild, or temple holdings to 0, even if they belong to neutral regents, or he can choose to reduce the value of each of the province's sources by 1."

However, sources can't be contested by military forces occupying a province the way law, guild, and temple holdings can be.

12-04-2001, 05:04 PM
Yes sorry I don't get to the message board everyday, I did see that part about reducing the source by one level similar to a castle seige in the occupation phase, however I still haven't found where I saw that sources are treated as secret holdings, because this would make it impossible to occupy them without a scry or espionage action first, or a wizard.

That is my main point really, anyway I will continue to be tortured by this until I find it.

12-04-2001, 05:11 PM
Temujin wrote:
"Btw Magian, I still haven't gotten your reply to the message I sent you! Its in My Message at the bottom of the forum =)"

I am not sure where the message you sent me is. I would gladly respond to it if I could find it. ;)

12-05-2001, 06:02 AM
All I have to say about the limited magic in Birthright... Thank God its not like Forgotten Realms!!!

I have always hated Forgotten Realms simply for the plethora of magic that invaded every aspect of the game. I mean how many 30th level wizards does a campaign need?

Its pathetic when your PC hits 3rd level and if you don't have at least 5 magical items your DM is shafting you.

Magical items are quite rare in my campaign and by golly if you have one its definately well earned and well admired! As it should be. In fact if the item is good enough a person's fame can be spread simply by his weapon regardless of his true fighting prowess!

12-05-2001, 07:43 PM

I agree with this outlook. To me it enhances the game and players appreciate it more. Not to mention games like that last longer cause too much too soon makes the game very dull. Limits to a campaign add to its realism and makes for an overall better game because the focus is not the stats of the character rather it is on the game and storyline.

12-06-2001, 03:25 PM
Go to the forum mainpage, and look at the very bottom of the forums, just above Active Users, you'll see My Messages, its a private message box for people who use this forum. The message should be there, if it isn't... I did something wrong =)

12-07-2001, 12:23 AM
Sorry man I didn't find it.