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darknaj
08-14-2011, 10:27 PM
I've been toying with a concept for a birthright 3/3.5ed campaign and I figured I'd toss the idea to the wolves. Cutting out the flowery descriptions to keep things clearer/short.

Setting;
During the Years of Chaos an exodus away from Cerilia occurs as minor families flee the wars, seek survival, avoid extermination, etc. These human colonists sail towards the sun seeking a new home. They get seperated and/or split up upon making landfall on some unknown continent (Anduria or unique) following whoever they swear loyalty to. Game starts after first towns, minor churches, guilds, etc erected.

Characters;
3 "dominant" families. Histories or minor feats known to all educated persons. Some family present (ie.minor officers) at Mount Deismarr, giving them (slightly) stronger Minor bloodlines.
~7 other notables. 2 other regents, 3 church/cult leaders, 2 guilders. Not planning on any source holding wizards.

--Thinking of making the guilders npcs of general adventurer/mercenary groups. Regents controlling guilds through family connections.

Quirks/Considering;
Requiring exploration/mapping before claiming or expanding into neighbouring regions.
Exploration/mapping "levels" where possible hidden ruins/resources are uncovered.
Other notables may include one or two non-human. Due to timeline elf-human amnosity high.
Non-human regent possibly settled before arrival of humans, but still fresh from the battle.
At least one npc realm will rise with awnsheghlien ruler(s).

AndrewTall
08-15-2011, 08:02 PM
They not be aware of awnsheghlien at first - the transformations would have taken time to occur.

When a noble does go awnie I'd expect all sorts of social issues - will other scions be distrusted, how will the signs be detected, will the change be embraced as a source of power, etc.

Some of those fleeing might have been 'noble' but not scions - some families would have lost out big time as the shift towards scion-domination occured. So some of your domains might have non-scion regents leading to some interesting powerplays as scions naturally move in to the leadership roles.

A big issue is going to be realm magic which will be 'out of the blue' for the colonists but could lead to some interesting power imbalances if learned and a PC or two started researching new spells.

If your PCs are in 'the middle of nowhere' you could throw in some unique races that died out / were never present elsewhere to add some flavour, or perhaps skew the races slightly - I have a particular liking for the elves in the Taladas boxed set and they would fit Cerilia well imho, while Athasian halflings are a fun spin on things.

darknaj
08-16-2011, 12:20 AM
Yes I probably should have strayed from using the word awnsheghlien. In truth I was thinking a <insert race> that has developed animalistic/feral qualities uncommon to the race. A creature on the path towards becoming an awnsheghlien given enough time.

I was considering having players submit their preffered bloodline and then secretly roll to see if there character, or family member if appropriate, were blooded. Having the knowledge revealed by some later event. Would be interesting power struggling between regents, but also in the religious sect as well. However, that depends on players willing to play unblooded characters.

I didn't even consider using non-standard races *blush* thank you for the food for thought.

AndrewTall
08-16-2011, 09:05 PM
Depending on exactly when the game is set, you might actually have a mix of the old gods and new gods - and heresies growing up, such as demon-worship, worship of awnsheghlien or monsters, scion-slaying to free trapped god's essence, etc. This could also lead to limited / no clerical magic if you wanted to remove that from the campaign which would have all sorts of socio-economic implications.

I toyed with creating a continent as an alternative to Cerilia a while back and considered the situation where <all> scions aimed at an ehrsheghlien/awnsheghlien transformation - taking a leaf from the egyptian god approach of bestial heads, etc. That sort of change really does set scions as a breed apart and could easily be embraced by scions wanting to proclaim their godhood loudly.

darknaj
08-16-2011, 11:35 PM
Didn't think too deeply about religions before now. Mixture of new and old gods was as far as I had gotten. Now I can see encouraging someone to lead a religion based on the elements. Stumbled across an elemental binder class for 3.5 earlier that'd fit perfectly. I should set a year start date soon, but the power of clerical magic would be greatly limited for the first few seasons/turns. So I could probably get away with any start date within 5 years of the new gods and goddesses ascending. A little later if I want to play up the idea of fickle gods or too few worshippers.

I'm thinking an apocalyptic cult will be a large presence up until something happens. Maybe hunting down scions and murdering/sacrificing to prevent the doom of the world. Along this line I would hope to encourage a player to rule an anti-scion, or scion-free state to add another dimension to politics. Of course this would have to occur later on as scions discover their innate power.

The goal of ascending into an ehrsheghlien/awnsheghlien is a really good idea. Might have just solved what my rising npc kingdom will be modelled after. I was thinking along the lines of Aztec culture with sacrificing, slavery, etc and now I may have a reason as to why/how these people are ruled.

darknaj
08-17-2011, 12:22 AM
Thinking more on the races to incorporate, I'm thinking at most one new/unique race per human kingdom. Probably less than that. These will be discovered hamlets or nomads that players will then have to deal with or ignore. The human refuges will definetly be the new dominate race in this relatively untouched land.

To explain for this there will be some geographic impedement. Mountains with dragons or a great desert perhaps. The desert would be a great way to explain the lack of source magic... a great empire ages past screwed up and destroyed their civilization and turned the land to dust. Leaving ruins all over the continent hinting at their great legacy and terrible downfall. A good way to explain a variety of "new" animals that would resemble old world creatures but with odd features, colourations, behaviour, etc due to magic breeding.

DarkApple
08-17-2011, 01:53 PM
This seems something interesting and worth keeping an eye on :)

darknaj
08-18-2011, 04:18 PM
Thanks DA :) And even more so Andrew.

I'm almost at the point of hashing out how to best run the game. A little more lurking and I should be confident enough to start putting fleshed out ideas to paper.

AndrewTall
08-18-2011, 07:40 PM
If you want a 'virgin land' scenario, how about:

1. The formerly dominant race collapsed after its patron was slain by Azrai as a precursor to the Cerilian/Adurian godswar - or died en masse when Azrai drained their lives to fuel his battle against his siblings.

2. The newcomers brought a plague with them that exterminated many of the locals - quite likely if the former inhabitants weren't city dwellers. Of course this would mean that the void was purely temporary and some of the local populations might be rapidly re-growing and reclaiming their lands.

3. The land could have been formerly occupied only by fairies and spirits who have left/faded - or the opposite could have been abandoned by its former occupants after fey started fleeing to the land from the Spirit World as that world darkens towards becoming the Shadow world.

4. Given that we have at least one mountain removed by the godswar, you could have catastrophic / blessed climate change - the sahara is a good example of terrain which flickers between desert and lush as the axial tilt moves the monsoons north and south but a mountain range rising/sinking could have a similar local effect on rain patterns.

5. A far-out idea would be an entire land shifting from the spirit World into Cerilia at the time of Deismaar when Azrai sought to merge the two planes - many of the inhabitants would have died, faded or left leaving it ripe for colonisation - if a trifle odd in some respects by Cerilian standards.

darknaj
08-19-2011, 01:13 AM
I'm not looking for a 'virgin land', but more of a reason as to why there is no direct threat to this human exodus. The magical and physical backlash should have been an obvious choice for me that I somehow overlooked. Otherwise the dominant cultures of the land would undoubtedly enslave or expell the human "invaders".

One of the races I'm thinking about are fiendish elves. Either being a) natural fey creatures migrating from the shadow world b) an elven colony that Azrai manipulated but didn't join the fight because x and Azrai hadn't punished them before his defeat or c) After Azrai was defeated these still loyal elves managed to transport themselves into the shadow world at the cost of their souls. Just recently freeing themselves and their new shadow allies/minions/slaves back into the world. The very act of this easily being another reason for recent destruction of local powers.

Otherwise the others will be probably more mudane or primitive cultures. If I have Azrai grace this land before his chasing of the tribes and the final confrontation that does give me an excuse to include tainted creatures and beastmen. Everyone loves rampaging gnolls and goblins.

DarkApple
08-19-2011, 09:14 AM
I'm not looking for a 'virgin land', but more of a reason as to why there is no direct threat to this human exodus. The magical and physical backlash should have been an obvious choice for me that I somehow overlooked. Otherwise the dominant cultures of the land would undoubtedly enslave or expell the human "invaders".

One of the races I'm thinking about are fiendish elves. Either being a) natural fey creatures migrating from the shadow world b) an elven colony that Azrai manipulated but didn't join the fight because x and Azrai hadn't punished them before his defeat or c) After Azrai was defeated these still loyal elves managed to transport themselves into the shadow world at the cost of their souls. Just recently freeing themselves and their new shadow allies/minions/slaves back into the world. The very act of this easily being another reason for recent destruction of local powers.

Otherwise the others will be probably more mudane or primitive cultures. If I have Azrai grace this land before his chasing of the tribes and the final confrontation that does give me an excuse to include tainted creatures and beastmen. Everyone loves rampaging gnolls and goblins.

The more it goes, the more interesting it looks :)

adg
08-19-2011, 09:34 AM
aye. If I might suggest something thou.

putting in elves as only enemies gives them just one dimension, and less dpeth.
If you put in this realm of fiendish elves, I would suggest another, maybe smaller, realm or tribe or something, of less hostile elves. this both to cause conflikt, and to give posibilities for conflikt in how different realms wiew the sidhe.

some would look at the hostile elf realm, where other races are slaughtered, and judge all of them evil. Others would border the less hostile elves, and think them good.

you want to build in lots of opportunity for making the realms come to different conclusions:). Same thing could be done with goblins, or dwarfs, or other races aswell if you will use them in your game. but ofcourse, one needs to give each a different twist, so its not just copy paste over it, but Im sure you can do that:)

Just my opinion ofcourse, your game looks interesting either way.

darknaj
08-19-2011, 09:17 PM
That's a very good point Adg. May have to reconsider how much diversity I incorporate.. ports could mitigate this. Hmm.


Getting around to looking at drafting the map over the course of this week. My first thoughts of player placement is through a flow chart and ending with a die roll for scatter/randomization.

Example: Player A decides to split off from the Armada when land is sighted. Decides to sail west to settle on the coast. Die rolled to see how far.

Player B makes land fall with Armada, but decides to lead his people off to claim some, possibly, better land. Picks direction or feature to follow (forest, river, etc) and roll die.

This should split up the players enough to avoid initial violent struggles while allowing for meaningful interaction. Temples probably getting placed according to leader alignment or race. Maybe offer regents a list and have them bid on the faith... trying to avoid having regents 'stuck' with religions that conflict with their ideologies. I would like temples to not be burned out of their starting homes by regents ;)

ShadowcatX2000
09-03-2011, 05:11 PM
This sounds really interesting, I'd love to know how its going.

darknaj
09-03-2011, 08:27 PM
I'm tweaking the final details and mechanisms (how I will deal with character creation, military units, IC communication, etc). I'm nearly set to create a website and I've got the means to create the player map. The biggest delay is my broken collar bone that has put my dominant hand in a sling and is making typing (and map creating/editting) a bit of a chore.

DarkApple
09-05-2011, 02:25 PM
I'm tweaking the final details and mechanisms (how I will deal with character creation, military units, IC communication, etc). I'm nearly set to create a website and I've got the means to create the player map. The biggest delay is my broken collar bone that has put my dominant hand in a sling and is making typing (and map creating/editting) a bit of a chore.

Sorry to read this. I hope this shall mend soon, the game can wait :)

AndrewTall
09-05-2011, 09:16 PM
I would like temples to not be burned out of their starting homes by regents ;)

I'd suggest getting rid of the concept of 'burning out' domains altogether unless the regent actually destroys population levels - troops could act as effective law levels via martial law to give big bonuses to contest actions, but history is too full of examples of attempts to ban organisations - particularly religions - for it to be easy. One only has to look at the Romans, Henry the 8, etc to see that even big powerful 'domains' could struggle to smash a clerical domain, and suffered badly for trying to do so for years afterwards.

I'm biased on this - I've played non-landed regents with over-bearing princes and dukes whose 'sun-king' style rule (support my lightest whim or die as a traitor) made playing a landless domain miserable.

AndrewTall
09-05-2011, 09:33 PM
Hmm fiendish elves - have you looked at Vosgaard where the sidhe of Tuar Annwyn are described as tied to the plane of Shadow?

If the sidhe realm ties to the Shadow world never broke after Deismaar then the sidhe could start being perverted by evil over time, so you'd get a mix of sidhe curious about Anuireans humans - possibly even welcoming them as allies against the goblins, sidhe ignoring them and wanting nothing to do with humans, sidhe seeing Anuirean as a threat to fight, and sidhe beginning to take a very unwholesome view of living creatures and seeing the Anuirean settlers as easy prey... Basically a re-run of the Cerilian invasion issues - but will the Anuireans make the same mistakes this time?

You could always have refugees from Aduria as well - I doubt that it fared better than Cerilia after the war, so you could have some Minotaurs / gnolls / etc try to settle far from their homes and the foes there - only for their growing colonies to bump into the new Anuirean ones. These 'foe' realms could start small but cease internal bickering and unite if faced with serious Anuirean opposition, etc to maintain an enemy threat while giving options for early expansion.

Incidentally are you going for one big land mass, archipelago, or a mix? Sea / river borders are good for making natural realm sizes, giving routes for travel, etc, etc - a cluster of large islands would also help explain lack of ability to resist the initial settlement if you had each island with its own natives, some of whom were supportive - at least until their hunting/fishing/etc grounds were encroached upon.

Another factor to help the 'invaders' could be technology, the Anuireans should have iron weaponry - if the natives are bronze age they'd be at a significant disadvantage, similarly if they lack a history of mass warfare they might not have the tactics needed to fight Anuirean legions - a mass of screaming savages with spears clubs and axes used to one-on-one combat only or hunting is no match for a disciplined legion.

Or you could try religion - the Aztecs were defeated in large part due to their own myths and mistakenly attributing godhood to the conquistadors - an invading army led by a scion who actually had the power of the gods would be easy to mistake for a people who are abruptly bereft of divine guidance and looking for new divinities. Azrai taught the Cerilian humans sorcery, it may not be known in your land until the settlers get there (aside from the Sidhe / Karamhul) so that could also be mistaken for godly power if you liked.

darknaj
09-07-2011, 12:01 AM
Thanks DarkApple. It's taking forever, but at least I got it confirmed today nothing else is wrong.

Starting with the temples:
Definetly a good idea to tie them to the population. I was thinking of making the populace a god-fearing populace that needs solace that the Gods won't strike them down. The devestation and fighting is obviously because the people have been forsaken. This would strengthen the holyman's power of agitating/controlling the masses.

I have also been toying with the idea of keeping track of a general population alignment. Temples that are within the general population's alignment getting support from the masses and/or cause unrest when damaged. Also would cause resistance for the opposite alignment trying to raise a temple. Lawful vs Chaotic, Good vs Evil, etc. Neutral temples would have a small advantage in this case, but being neutral in a politically charged environment has its own costs.

Adhoc edit::
-population starting alignment set/greatly influenced by leading regents, but can change over time.
-affects the masses responses to decrees/laws/rulership. ie. Chaotic populations like less restrictions.
-may affect type of rulership? some people may be fleeing due to political persecution... one Republic/Council-run kingdom is confirmed.


Landmass:
I have a fractal map of a continent that I will be converting to a playable map. I wanted to avoid requiring navies, at least for the beginning. Rivers, hills and forests will be the deciding territory markers.

Elves:
I must have missed Tuar Annwyn when I was reading the book last week, but I will definetly look into it. An unbroken connection to the shadow world could leave them open to being a vassal of the Unseelie Court. Would be more original than an elven house losing power and mingling their blood with demons.

Refugees:
These will definetly be the most prevalent. I'm looking at most of them being nomadic so they will only concern the paranoid. Beyond the major tribes/kingdoms I have fleshed out, random tribes will no doubt stir up the populace through their actions... the refugees could easily have been forced to flee Aduria because they rejected their warlike people and a terrified human may take the good meaning actions of a goblin the wrong way.

Vos that follow the old ways and some of the Masestian will have made this place their new home as well. Cowards or survivors? Only one way to find out.

Aztecs:
I find it kind of funny you mentioned these people as that's what I will be modelling one kingdom after. If the fiendish elves abandoned the ways of their fellows and lived in grand cities on the open plains they would be a good fit. Or my other thought would be a tainted scion of Azrai would be the god-king that would be "reborn" every few decades. I am slightly attached to this idea... the Fenix Empire, ruled over by a half-Pheonix king that seems immortal to the uneducated and tightly controlled population that worships him.

As I'm finishing this I will probably not have the fiendish elves rule this empire unless I come up with a few co-ruling races. Otherwise it kind of feels like the common dark elf ploy where dark elves rule over all others and hate their fellow elves... evil half-beasts or shapeshifters would be possible, but they'd conflict with my ideas for some other tribes.

darknaj
09-10-2011, 07:10 PM
I'm on the last bit of administration and so I'm wondering if there are any good benchmarks for pbem turn orders and domain sheets? I was thinking of making some tidy excel sheets as they are easier to keep neat compared to just word documents. Thoughts or links anyone?

DarkApple
09-10-2011, 10:17 PM
Would favour Excel, although most of PBEMs currently ongoing either use databases (Dawn / Empire Twilight) or Word submission formats, as far as I am aware...

AndrewTall
09-11-2011, 03:32 PM
Ruins of Empire uses excel, although it has its own ruleset (for example manor holdings and trade holdings instead of trade routes). If you want me to email it over I can but be warned, it is a monster.

Similarly if you want to look at some prototypes that I've used / played with I can email those over.

I'd note that medieval people might not see warfare as 'wrong' or 'unusual' - some cultures gave nobles the right to make war, and the nobles were expected to do so if offended - it wasn't only God whose wrath was extreme, those blessed (the nobility) were expected to emulate God and so the anger of the king was deliberately excessive.

I'd note that in a world where crops only grow b/c the gods tell them to, disease and famine wreak havok on the ungodly, spirits and witches abound and prey on the unrighteous, etc the common people may be extremely religious regardless of any wrongs that they have done - in a fantasy world where all of the above may be true and where clearly blessed folk walk amongst the population is likely to be even more religious than on earth.

I'd suggest giving chaotic realms bonuses against 'foreigners' etc, otherwise any ruler will try to swing the alignment lawful, if 'once held, rarely threatened' is applied the local law holder need have little fear of challenge to their rule by another law holder as the populace resist foreign rule even more than they do their own rulers.

darknaj
09-11-2011, 07:38 PM
That would be extremely helpful Andrew. I have an idea of what I want, but I rather not revise it after noticing I'm missing something useful. Only ugly part at the moment would be holding levels being hidden unless you have a holding in the provience, or are the Regent.

I was thinking that lawful populations more readily follow the rules of the law holders. Generally speaking they will follow the Regent if (s)he is held in high regard if no law holdings are present. If a vassal or foreign law holder has a a law holding a % of the population will be cowed into following their rules for fear of the lives, the laws are better, etc. Ie. Anuriean realms. **small bonus to establishing law holding

Chaotic populations, however, are more individualistic. A good majority will follow the Regent if (s)he is held in high regard, but they place their own traditions first. Law holdings have less effect for enforcing laws that go against the alignment of the people. Examples would be tribal nations or city states run by chiefs/mayors that may work with or against the Regent. Ie. Rjurik and Goblin tribes. **slightly harder to establish law holding

Outside of IC instances, this has the most effect on levies/conscription. Chaotic populations have a smaller conscription/draft pool than lawful populations unless they are being aggressed. This represents the faction/family/tribe/city-state-oriented nature of the society.

EDIT:: After taking a step back to reconsider this I find this is making things more complicated. Much simplier to just give a modifier to certain actions based on character alignment vs population alignment. So every step away would incur a penalty. Ie. Lawful Evil agitating Chaotic Neutral would gain a -3 to the roll (Lawful -> Neutral -> Chaotic = -2, Evil -> Neutral -1) or a Neutral Good ruling a holding in a Neutral Evil population would get -1 (Neutral +1, Good -> Neutral -> Evil = -2). So a perfect match would get a minor +2 bonus.

darknaj
09-17-2011, 10:31 PM
Just a small update on progress. I'm nearly set to go as I have given up on an awesome map (my skills seem to be vastly smaller than my ego thought heh) and I'm just straightening a few things out before I pay for a website host.

Oh, and thanks again Andrew. I definetly have more to think about after looking over that monster of an excel sheet.

AndrewTall
09-18-2011, 09:04 AM
Bjorn is rebuilding the monster at present to do away with some of the sheets.

When he's finished I plan to 'roll it back' from turn 71 to turn 1 to get a starting sheet, the obvious fun given RoE being how to allocate vassals, deal with additional realms, and deal with Manor/trade holdings.

The basic ruleset for RoE can be downloaded from Twilight Peaks, let me know if you want a copy as it was designed as a 3e conversion independently of the BRCS.

But as monsters go it's such a useful one that it will be worthwhile anyway.

darknaj
09-18-2011, 06:24 PM
That would be a great thing to get a hold of. I have tried half-heartedly to get it myself, but have come short of actually contacting Bjorn to obtain a copy.

AndrewTall
09-19-2011, 09:05 PM
Sent via email. On twilight peaks you can find the current copy of the 'Regent's Guide' at:

http://twilightpeaks.net/forum/index.php?action=downloads

Be warned, it is a sizable document!

darknaj
10-02-2011, 12:42 AM
Sizeable to say the least. It makes me feel like I've found myself wanting.