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  1. #1
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    I`ve recently restarted my Anuire campaign and am curious about a couple of
    things.

    In BR campaigns yall have played or DMed, how did the campaign start, and
    what did you have in mind as the eventual goal? How did your campaigns end?

    When a DM starts a normal campaign, he generally has an idea of who the
    Main Bad Guy is and what the stages of the campaign will be like. For
    instance, the campaign is about gathering 7 Magical Things before the Bad
    Guys do, and preventing them from Putting Together the 7 Magical Things to
    form the Super-Evil Artifact Thing. The final adventure might be that you
    barely fail to stop them from forming the Evil Artifact Thing, and you have
    to challenge it in a Final Epic Battle to keep it from destroying the world.

    I get the impression that the designers felt that you could `win` the game
    once you reunite the Empire (or kill the Gorgon, as if he`s some sort of
    `end boss`). I don`t agree with this as an absolute, because I think BR is
    different from a Civilizations type game where you build up, expand, and
    conquer.

    My problem is that my campaign has no direction. It`s not really about
    anything. My players have a lot of fun, running their domains and
    adventuring and dealing with problems that come up and all, but there`s no
    overarching theme or goal. Should I have reunification of the Empire as the
    final goal of my campaign? Another problem is that my players don`t really
    have well-defined goals either. One of them wants to build a flying castle,
    but to what end I don`t know.

    My campaign is set in the classic Southern Coast. PCs include Roesone,
    Ilien, Aerenwe, Medoere, Port of Call Exchange, Spider River Traders, and
    HMA sources. There`s no shortage of antagonists: Diemed, Hermedhie, Orthien
    Tane, Ghoere, Sword Mage, Spider, Mieres, Mhistecai, Eloele of Mieres,
    Ghaellie Sidhe, etc.

    Beyond the day-to-day problems that come up with ruling a realm, like
    invasions, crop failures, assassinations, etc, what kind of things could a
    campaign like this be about? What direction should I take it in? One of the
    major events in my campaign is the discovery of a new trade route to
    Djapar. Should the campaign be about the struggle to control this lucrative
    trade route?

    I`d like to hear what people on the list have done in their campaigns, how
    the storylines have played out, and how they ended.

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  2. #2
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    In a message dated 1/30/03 6:34:52 AM Eastern Standard Time,
    lordshade@SOFTHOME.NET writes:

    << In BR campaigns yall have played or DMed, how did the campaign start, and
    what did you have in mind as the eventual goal? How did your campaigns end?
    >>

    I`m still running Giantdowns, and I`ve been hoping all along that one PC
    would step up and rule the place, but it hasn`t happened yet. The druid was
    pushed into taking over, but he abdicated to an NPC after only a year. No
    one has seriously pushed going after any of the nearby awnsheghlien or
    neighboring countries, either. This may change, now that the
    psycho-min/maxed-unstoppable barbarian who wrecks all my CR/EL calculations
    has obtained a bloodline (Azrai, to boot!) in the last session.

    Lee.

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  3. #3
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    Lee Hanna wrote:

    >In a message dated 1/30/03 6:34:52 AM Eastern Standard Time,
    >lordshade@SOFTHOME.NET writes:
    >
    ><< In BR campaigns yall have played or DMed, how did the campaign start, and
    > what did you have in mind as the eventual goal? How did your campaigns end?
    >
    >I`m still running Giantdowns, and I`ve been hoping all along that one PC
    >would step up and rule the place, but it hasn`t happened yet. The druid was
    >pushed into taking over, but he abdicated to an NPC after only a year. No
    >one has seriously pushed going after any of the nearby awnsheghlien or
    >neighboring countries, either. This may change, now that the
    >psycho-min/maxed-unstoppable barbarian who wrecks all my CR/EL calculations
    >has obtained a bloodline (Azrai, to boot!) in the last session.
    >Lee.
    >
    unstoppable barbarian? ;-)
    Barbarians can rage only so often per day and after this they are weaker
    than fighters - just let a cunning opponent appear, even a goblin clan
    with an intelligent leader suffices, who attacks the barbarian, e.g.
    with arrows from a distance, wait until he rages, then retreats and
    attacks again when he is fatigued

    Or use a spellcaster, as Barbarians have low Will saves...
    bye
    Michael Romes

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  4. #4
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    I agree that the original idea behind the campaign was to reunite the Anuirean empire, kill the Gorgon, live happily ever after. This changed though, as the new regions were released and there was no longer any aim to the setting other than to conquer your enemies and expand (which is fun in its own right).

    However, I believe that the designers were planning to introduce a new adventure/grand theme with the cancelled re-release of the rules (the hard cover rulebook). This new goal for regents was to prevent the return of Azrai, and it is something very easy to introduce to your campaign.

    Basically all you need to do is set up the storyline and slowy introduce it over several gaming sessions and the idea should evolve from there. Perhaps to start with, your player's realms are subject to a rise in undead sightings (the cold rider is trying to break out of the shadow world). These sightings would slowly increase as the months and years pass. Just when the undead are starting to become a serious problem, introduce the players to a lost prophey predicting the return of "the darkness". This can be anything, but it will alert your players and start them thinking that these undead may have a purpose after all. Researching the prophecy should take time, cover several adventures and journey to far off places, but eventually the players would learn that "the darkness" is Azrai and the prophecy predicts his return. One of my favourites has always been to say that Azrai will return when "the hand, heart and soul combine on the night of darkness". The hand being the Gorgon (last of Azrai chosen champions), the heart is an ancient temple in Aduria that was once centre of Azrai's church, and the soul is the cold rider. The night of darkness could be any time. The PCs then have to work to stop Azrai's return, either by killing Raesene, of preventing the Cold Rider's charge into the real world.

    This is just one example. Another idea to give your campaign direction is to slowly introduce a new secret society (perhaps dedicated to putting their candidate on the throne). To start with there may be an assasination attempt on one of your players. When searching the assassin the PCs might find a strange item that seems out of place (perhaps a strip of white silk tied around his ankle). They would find no apparent use for this item and will probably eventually disregard it as irrelevent.
    Then, a gaming session or two later when they are on an adventure have them attacked again, by either an assassin or just a monster. When they search the body (as PCs usually do) they again find the same, seemingly useless item. They should now be suspicious and you can proceed with whatever grand adventure of campaign you have planned for them.

    I've used both of these ideas and they were quite successful. However, it is important that you personally decide where your game is going. Also any change, or grand campaign theme, needs to be introduced slowly and carefully. Intice your players with hints and clue and let them follow them up. Also give up the idea of random events. Any event or occurances in your PCs lands should be guided by you.

    The idea of a new trade route is a good one. Perhaps there could be kind of gold rush as merchants hurry to take advantage, or possibly it could lead to people from Djapar coming to Anuire, and that may change things. This idea could lead to hundreds of new adventures.
    For Example, pirates...
    Ok, pirates attack one of the PCs ships. What did they steal? How many ships were there? Were they led by a famous pirate? Were they state-sponsered or independant? Where are they based? Can they be recuited to attack the PCs enemies? Will they attack again?

    You could quickly build a simple pirate attack into a major campaign spanning several gaming sessions and adventures as the PC fight to end the pirate menace once and for all.
    Let me claim your Birthright!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    On Fri, 31 Jan 2003, Raesene Andu wrote:

    > I agree that the original idea behind the campaign was to reunite the
    > Anuirean empire, kill the Gorgon, live happily ever after. This
    > changed though, as the new regions were released and there was no
    > longer any aim to the setting other than to conquer your enemies and
    > expand (which is fun in its own right).

    Well, really, what you characterize as "the original idea" is just the
    good little Anuirean`s PR version of "conquer your enemies and expand."
    Equally valid variants can be constructed for all the other major regions
    and groups in Cerilia:

    Reunite the Brecht League, kill the Gorgon, live happily ever after.

    Reunite the Khir-aften el-Arrasi, kill the Magian, live happily ever after.

    Unite Vosgaard into an empire, kill the Raven, live happily ever after.

    Unite all the Rjurik, kill the White Witch, live happily ever after.

    Form a dwarven empire, kill all the orogs, live happily ever after.

    Form an orog empire, kill all the dwarves, live happily ever after.

    Form a goblin empire, become a new Gorgon, live happily ever after.

    Gather the halflings, kill the Cold Rider, live happily ever after in the
    reclaimed Shadow World.

    Or, my personal favorite: Reunite the Sidhelien empire, kill all the
    humans, replant all the forests, live happily ever after. The Gheallie
    Sidhe writ large, grinding mortals into mulch.


    Ryan Caveney

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  6. #6
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    >Reunite the Brecht League, kill the Gorgon, live happily ever after.
    >
    >Reunite the Khir-aften el-Arrasi, kill the Magian, live happily ever after.
    >
    >Unite Vosgaard into an empire, kill the Raven, live happily ever after.
    >
    >Unite all the Rjurik, kill the White Witch, live happily ever after.
    >
    >Form a dwarven empire, kill all the orogs, live happily ever after.
    >
    >Form an orog empire, kill all the dwarves, live happily ever after.
    >
    >Form a goblin empire, become a new Gorgon, live happily ever after.
    >
    >Gather the halflings, kill the Cold Rider, live happily ever after in the
    >reclaimed Shadow World.
    >
    >Or, my personal favorite: Reunite the Sidhelien empire, kill all the
    >humans, replant all the forests, live happily ever after. The Gheallie
    >Sidhe writ large, grinding mortals into mulch.

    Well this is all well and good, but I`m looking for something a little
    different. Did your campaigns go like this?

    I like some of Raesene Andu`s ideas, specifically about the rebirth of
    Azrai. Reuniting the Empire seems a bit too obvious for me as a campaign
    goal.

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  7. #7
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    It also should be noted that most the player realms are not really powerful enough to conquer all of Anuire to start with. Certainly a realm like Roesone would be little match for Ghoere, Avanil, Boeruine, and Mhoried, the big four powers.

    Therefore, even if the players set the claiming of the Iron Throne as an ultimate goal, it will take many, many years to achieve this, and while they are doing so, the other nations will not be standing by and letting it happen easily. Remembering back to my first Birthright campaign it was focused in the same region, and the rulers of Roesone, Medoere, and Ilien ended up in a battle to the death against Ghoere. After several turns worth of conflic the conflict eventually ended with a peace treaty, and neither side victorious. Then the ruler of Ilien (one of the PC) made a secret deal with the Gorgon, and began his plan for conquest of his "allies". Actual this began over a disagreement over a magical sword that the PC running Medoere claimed. It took my players about 20 turns to find out he was betraying them, and another couple of months of gaming sessions (we played every Sunday) to defeat Ilien's armies. The rest of the story from this campaign can be found at http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Realm...aper/index.html
    All of this took approximately 2 years of gaming, and the net result was that most of the realms were still where they were to begin with, albeit a bit richer and more powerful, but not ready to conquer the world. The game then shifted to the pbem game.

    And ryancaveney, I do agree somewhat with what you are saying, but the original Boxed set focused only on Anuire and had the semi-clear goal of killing the Gorgon and reuniting the empire. The other regions had no such clear goal, and had multiple enemies. Sure in Khinasi you had the Magin, but what about the Sphinx, el-Sheghul, or the Serpent. All are equally dangerous in my opinion.

    Actually, this is a timely discussion as the d20 Birthright team are about to begin work on an Atlas of Cerila, which will be an expanded look at the contient of Cerilia, the realms, the people, and entities that call it home. While we won't be making major alterations like changing the locations of the kingdoms, or killing off the Gorgon, there will be hundreds of smaller changes, and one thing I would like to do is look further at the goals and plans of some of the continent's powers.
    Let me claim your Birthright!!

  8. #8
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    I had a guy that wanted to kill the Cold Rider/Azrai; but he settled for
    wanting to just kill off all the Awnsheigh he could get to. Too bad he got
    offed by the Chimera in the Iron Peaks on round one of the "Great Awnsheigh
    Killing Spree Hunt" and then we went on to a different campaign (maybe that
    is why he was so eager to burn down the Spiderfell as Baron of
    Roesone.....?????).

    One of my favorite game ideas (that I didn`t get to use) was letting my
    players explore the expanses of Aduria and found a new kingdom maybe.
    Another (again unused) was a Quest to actually save the endangered Dragons
    of Cerilia (which are some bad flaming-acid breathing mofo`s even in 2nd
    Ed). One of my favorite branch offs was actually a spin on "Warlock of the
    Stonecrowns" where the players tried to find out the secret to the Dark
    Skinned Elves (NOT DROW...but they were all decended from Rhoubhe and lived
    under the ground because they hated the sun like their father/ancestor).
    The party knocked off Rhoubhe`s extended family; mainly because they were
    enslaving an army of humanoids to set lose on the surface kingdoms.

    I even did a "Reverse" campaign where my players were all either Goblins,
    Orogs, Ogres, Half-Ogres, etc (used Humanoids Handbook) and they
    adventured/raided the "goodie" kingdoms. The party had a Lesser Goblin
    Wolfrider Fighter, a Half-Ogre Fighter (Berserker Kit), a Common Goblin
    Anti-Paladin Type, a Lesser Goblin Thief, a Orog Cleric of Torozan (sp?),
    and an Elven Female Wizard who dubbed herself "The Goblin Queen" named
    Maebhe. The campaign ended without a true goal having been accomplished;
    but all the in-party scheming against each other made it fun.

    I try to not really have a Main Campaign Goal in my games; but instead set
    all kinds of smaller goals to be done. It gives the players more leeway and
    personal creativity that way. Just my thing though.

    Tony



    [quote]
    Well this is all well and good, but I`m looking for something a little
    different. Did your campaigns go like this?

    I like some of Raesene Andu`s ideas, specifically about the rebirth of
    Azrai. Reuniting the Empire seems a bit too obvious for me as a campaign
    goal.
    [end quote]

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  9. #9
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Actually, I have an idea I was developing re the Cold Rider/Azrai. Basically, it goes along the lines that Azrai is the Cold Rider, although much reduced from his previous godhood. He is probably now best described as a demi-god, with some of the memories of the dark god, but none of the power.

    However, he could regain that power and the people to restore him would be the PCs. For each time they killed an awnshegh, the blood power of the abbomination is sucked into the Shadow World and increases the power of the Cold Rider, making him more sentient, and regaining more of Azrai's powers. Therefore, as the PCs calmly go about slaughtering awnsheghlien, they are, in fact, restoring the god of evil. It adds a nice twist to the return of Azrai storyline.

    Of course, the Gorgon has learned of this and plans to kill the Cold Rider and claim Azrai's power, thus becoming the new evil power on Aebrynis and kicking out Kriesha and Belinik at the same time.
    Let me claim your Birthright!!

  10. #10
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    I ran two different games in 2nd Edition BR.

    In the first, my now-wife was the Regent of Coeranys, who styled herself as
    Queen. Working with the local Haelynite high priest (also a PC), the realm
    mage (he was Khinasi) and the guilder (who traded with the elves -- he gave
    them condemned prisoners for the hunt; if any escaped, he hired them, as
    they must be good to escape), they took down Osoerde and the Usurper,
    ending in a fiery battle that saw Osoerde`s capital explode from the naptha
    stored under the city by the Usurper.

    Various local domains took a sharp interest in this, so a regional council
    was convened -- sans Ghoere -- where they handed out provinces from Osoerde
    to each nation to keep the peace (the true heir was killed fighting the
    Usurper, or so they thought).

    Eventually war would have come with Ghoere, and the Chimera had basically
    made the realm mage her servant.

    In the second game, I wrote the basic Players Secrets of Taeghas in about
    two days (available here: http://www.gamersnook.com/br/index.html) and had
    a great plan worked out. The new countess was a Paladin of Nesirie, who
    worked hand-in-hand with the High Priestess of Nesirie and the local
    guilder to keep the Elf at bay. I`d created a mebhaighl gauth who drained
    power from sources, who was going to end up being the servant of a new
    awnsheghlien called, yes, The Beholder.

    The Beholder was going to be controlling Brosengae, utilizing a clan of
    dopplegangers to assume roles as needed, while keeping the duchess charmed.
    It was going to slowly start a war with Taeghas that would bring the
    regents down to be killed (and their power drained). Eventually, it would
    close its borders and rule with an iron fist.

    Imagine a beholder on the battlefield in BR . . .

    We never got past the third session in this game, alas.

    -Scott

    At 05:53 AM 2/1/2003 +0100, you wrote:
    >This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.
    > You can view the entire thread
    > at: http://www.birthright.net/read.php?TID=1242
    >
    > Raesene Andu wrote:
    > Actually, I have an idea I was developing re the Cold Rider/Azrai.
    > Basically, it goes along the lines that Azrai is the Cold Rider, although
    > much reduced from his previous godhood. He is probably now best described
    > as a demi-god, with some of the memories of the dark god, but none of the
    > power.
    >
    >However, he could regain that power and the people to restore him would be
    >the PCs. For each time they killed an awnshegh, the blood power of the
    >abbomination is sucked into the Shadow World and increases the power of
    >the Cold Rider, making him more sentient, and regaining more of Azrai`s
    >powers. Therefore, as the PCs calmly go about slaughtering awnsheghlien,
    >they are, in fact, restoring the god of evil. It adds a nice twist to the
    >return of Azrai storyline.
    >
    >Of course, the Gorgon has learned of this and plans to kill the Cold Rider
    >and claim Azrai`s power, thus becoming the new evil power on Aebrynis and
    >kicking out Kriesha and Belinik at the same time.
    >
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