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  1. #1
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    Something that bothered me about the Birthright Skills and Feats:

    A core character has only a certain amount of skillpoints and feats to spend.
    And he spends them on feats that he can choose, e.g. a fighter on Cleave or
    such.

    Birthright characters, at least those that rule a domain, can now get feats
    and skills that help them to be more effective at the domain level of play -
    but these domainlevel feats, like Regent Focus (domain action) have no
    effect or advantage for the adventure level.

    That means, that Birthright regents will be weaker than core characters when
    it comes to personal skills and feats e.g. in an adventure, or compared to
    characters of other worlds.

    That could be seen as o.k., as they gain more power on the domain level by
    forsaking power on the personal/adventure/dungeon level.

    However e.g. Kings and rulers of other worlds where no "domain level" of
    play exists, only the adventure level these Kings and rulers rule their
    "domains" as good as their Birthright counterparts, and still are able to
    use their "feat slots" for personal feats.

    A regent character taken from Aebrynnis to the Forgotten Realms, where his
    "domain level" feats are useless, as the land has not been infused with the
    blood of the gods, so that he can´t bond with it has in effect a lot of
    useless skills and feats.

    In my personal opinion, Birthright characters should be as different from
    core characters as Aebrynnis is from Forgotten Realms. Birthright regents
    who have to compete to others on the domain level should be able to use
    their normal skill and feat slots to spend on normal skills and feats.

    And the domain level abilities, like Regent Focus feat, should be additional
    feats, available and usable only by Birthright Characters in the Birthright
    setting.

    This would produce characters, who could be identical to their counterparts
    of other worlds (and so a created character could easily be used by the
    player, should he play in another world), but due to their divine blood and
    bond with the land have advantages in their own world on the domain level.

    Of course in their setting these characters would be more powerful than
    other worlds characters - but as Aebrynnis is so secluded from other worlds
    that does not really matter.
    bye
    Michael Romes

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  2. #2
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    I strongly agree with Michael, IN PRINCIPLE. I hate the fact that you have
    to be weaker than a normal adventurer in order to be a better regent. 2e
    Birthright did not have that tradeoff, and "hero-king" was a viable
    character concept.

    I have been thinking about this for some time, and the implementation is
    what is bothering me.

    At 07:27 AM 2/22/2003 -0800, you wrote:
    >Something that bothered me about the Birthright Skills and Feats:
    >
    >A core character has only a certain amount of skillpoints and feats to spend.
    >And he spends them on feats that he can choose, e.g. a fighter on Cleave or
    >such.
    >
    >Birthright characters, at least those that rule a domain, can now get feats
    >and skills that help them to be more effective at the domain level of play -
    >but these domainlevel feats, like Regent Focus (domain action) have no
    >effect or advantage for the adventure level.
    >
    >That means, that Birthright regents will be weaker than core characters when
    >it comes to personal skills and feats e.g. in an adventure, or compared to
    >characters of other worlds.
    >
    >That could be seen as o.k., as they gain more power on the domain level by
    >forsaking power on the personal/adventure/dungeon level.
    >
    >However e.g. Kings and rulers of other worlds where no "domain level" of
    >play exists, only the adventure level these Kings and rulers rule their
    >"domains" as good as their Birthright counterparts, and still are able to
    >use their "feat slots" for personal feats.
    >
    >A regent character taken from Aebrynnis to the Forgotten Realms, where his
    >"domain level" feats are useless, as the land has not been infused with the
    >blood of the gods, so that he can´t bond with it has in effect a lot of
    >useless skills and feats.
    >
    >In my personal opinion, Birthright characters should be as different from
    >core characters as Aebrynnis is from Forgotten Realms. Birthright regents
    >who have to compete to others on the domain level should be able to use
    >their normal skill and feat slots to spend on normal skills and feats.
    >
    >And the domain level abilities, like Regent Focus feat, should be additional
    >feats, available and usable only by Birthright Characters in the Birthright
    >setting.
    >
    >This would produce characters, who could be identical to their counterparts
    >of other worlds (and so a created character could easily be used by the
    >player, should he play in another world), but due to their divine blood and
    >bond with the land have advantages in their own world on the domain level.
    >
    >Of course in their setting these characters would be more powerful than
    >other worlds characters - but as Aebrynnis is so secluded from other worlds
    >that does not really matter.
    >bye
    >Michael Romes
    >
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  3. #3
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    On Sat, 22 Feb 2003, Michael Romes wrote:
    > However e.g. Kings and rulers of other worlds where no "domain level" of
    > play exists, only the adventure level these Kings and rulers rule their
    > "domains" as good as their Birthright counterparts, and still are able to
    > use their "feat slots" for personal feats.
    >
    > A regent character taken from Aebrynnis to the Forgotten Realms, where his
    > "domain level" feats are useless, as the land has not been infused with the
    > blood of the gods, so that he can´t bond with it has in effect a lot of
    > useless skills and feats.

    /snip/

    > Of course in their setting these characters would be more powerful than
    > other worlds characters - but as Aebrynnis is so secluded from other worlds
    > that does not really matter.

    You directly contradict yourself there. If they`re so separate and
    secluded that it doesn`t matter if BR characters are more powerful, then
    it is equally unimportant if BR regent characters are `less powerful` than
    equivalent levelled characters who haven`t taken regent feats. So your
    argument collapses to being for more powergamable regent characters.

    The other thing you said, about how other lands haven`t been imbued with
    divine blood, is up to the DM to decide, but I always figured that Cerilia
    wasn`t all that different from Toril or Oerth. The blooded characters are
    the only ones who got changed at Deismaar. If a character with a
    bloodline went to Oerth, he could certainly set up a domain in my opinion.

    If a big group of blooded characters went to Oerth, within a thousand
    years their descendants would probably be the only kings, because being
    blooded is that much of an edge in ruling. I`d set up the lords of
    greyhawk and Urnst and whatever as unblooded kings, and they wouldn`t have
    much of a chance compared to RP using people. Their domain actions are
    much less likely to succeed without RP to spend on them, for instance.
    --
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    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  4. #4
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    On Sat, 22 Feb 2003, Lord Shade wrote:
    > I strongly agree with Michael, IN PRINCIPLE. I hate the fact that you have
    > to be weaker than a normal adventurer in order to be a better regent. 2e
    > Birthright did not have that tradeoff, and "hero-king" was a viable
    > character concept.

    Yes it did. Unblooded people got a bonus to experience.
    --
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    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  5. #5
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    daniel mcsorley wrote:

    >On Sat, 22 Feb 2003, Michael Romes wrote:
    >
    ...

    >You directly contradict yourself there. If they`re so separate and
    >secluded that it doesn`t matter if BR characters are more powerful, then
    >it is equally unimportant if BR regent characters are `less powerful` than
    >equivalent levelled characters who haven`t taken regent feats. So your
    >argument collapses to being for more powergamable regent characters.
    >
    Some players (not I, as the only world I play in is currently
    Birthright) use a character they created in more than one world or
    campaign. Having the "domain-level-abilities" of Birthright characters
    added upon a normal character who spends his normal skills and feats
    normally, would allow an easy use of that character elsewhere.

    Another argument would be that Birthright is actually two games. One
    normal adventure/dungeon crawl game and a strategical and tactical
    wargame with economical parts. For me it is less fun to have a character
    who either does the one or the other or is mediocre at both because he
    has feats that are only useful for one game, but not the other -
    especially now that 3E and other books come up with as it seems to me as
    a score of feats that look interesting and a dozen I would like my
    character to have. Chosing the feats/skills for a normal character is
    already difficult, but giving up a number of feat-slots for feats that
    another worlds character would have to spend none on and that are
    useless in adventuring?

    >The other thing you said, about how other lands haven`t been imbued with
    >divine blood, is up to the DM to decide, but I always figured that Cerilia
    >wasn`t all that different from Toril or Oerth. The blooded characters are
    >the only ones who got changed at Deismaar. If a character with a
    >bloodline went to Oerth, he could certainly set up a domain in my opinion.
    >
    Mmmh, if the land has not changed at Deismaar, then how do you explain
    "the land´s choice"?
    In my opinion the land in Aebrynnis (not Cerilia! that is only ONE
    continent on Aebrynnis) became semi-sentient itself after Deismaar - how
    else could it choose who inherits the bloodline and who is best suited
    for the job of regent?

    >If a big group of blooded characters went to Oerth, within a thousand
    >years their descendants would probably be the only kings, because being
    >blooded is that much of an edge in ruling. I`d set up the lords of
    >greyhawk and Urnst and whatever as unblooded kings, and they wouldn`t have
    >much of a chance compared to RP using people. Their domain actions are
    >much less likely to succeed without RP to spend on them, for instance.
    >
    Why? RP are only a measure of several things of which one could be
    political power/influence or similar.
    President Bush certainly is not able to spend RP but still manages his
    domain - somehow at least ;-)
    So even IF you allow Birthright characters to travel to other worlds
    (what should be really difficult and a rare occurance), and even IF you
    allow their bloodabilities to work on other worlds (why should they?
    There are other gods that decide what happens in other worlds and
    bloodabilites could be tied to the land of Aebrynnis as the world where
    the old gods died) and even IF you allow them to bond with the land in
    Oerth or Toril (why? This land has nothing to do with divine bloodlines
    of gods that do not belong to this world) - why should rulers native to
    that setting not be able to have political power and influence to use
    against them?
    bye
    Michael Romes

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  6. #6
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    On Sat, 22 Feb 2003 13:49:49 -0500, daniel mcsorley
    <mcsorley@CIS.OHIO-STATE.EDU> wrote:

    >On Sat, 22 Feb 2003, Lord Shade wrote:
    >> I strongly agree with Michael, IN PRINCIPLE. I hate the fact that you have
    >> to be weaker than a normal adventurer in order to be a better regent. 2e
    >> Birthright did not have that tradeoff, and "hero-king" was a viable
    >> character concept.
    >
    >Yes it did. Unblooded people got a bonus to experience.

    Not exactly. Unblooded people of AEBRYNNIS got a bonus of 10% to their
    experience to balance them with the blooded scions of Aebrynnis.

    People of OTHER worlds did not get that bonus (at least I never have heard
    that characters of the Forgotten Realms or other worlds earn 10% more
    experience because there are blooded scions on Aebrynnis ;-)), so even if an
    unblooded Birthright character (without any domain-level feats/skills) and
    no bloodline would somehow be transported to other worlds would be
    personally more powerful than the characters of other worlds.

    Now if even a commoner from Birthright is personally (not overall, as anyone
    from Birthright lacks the abundance of magical items in other worlds) more
    powerful than characters of other worlds, then I fail to see why a blooded
    scion or even regent should not be.

    If for example a vile Wizard in the service of Aeric Boeruine would
    transport the Prince of Avanil to Toril - would then this Prince be only a
    weak fighter, as he certainly has spend several of his feat-slots for feats
    that allow him to rule better a Birthright-Domain that is bonded to him by
    blood, but has because of this less normal feats?

    Or would this Prince (who normally never should be in another place!) be a
    character like anyone from Toril and have abilites in addition to theirs,
    that -however the DM decideds- might be great or useless in other worlds?
    bye
    Michael Romes

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  7. #7
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Seems to me that no matter how you cut it if a DM "allows" a player to use his character in more than one campaign setting that the DM will have to deal with each occurance on an individual basis.

    I don't really see how we, any of us, can come up with a set of rules (or guidelines even) to address all the possibilities. Going to a Dark Sun or Planescape setting with a Birthright character, or vice versa, would be extremely difficult.

    The only time I had ever allowed characters access to more than one DM was when they were "generic" campaigns and not specific campaign settings. This is the same with every DM I have played under. This is just too difficult otherwise, this isn't the RPGA with a "set of standards" to accomplish this intertwining.
    Duane Eggert

  8. #8
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    On Sat, 22 Feb 2003, Michael Romes wrote:
    > Some players (not I, as the only world I play in is currently
    > Birthright) use a character they created in more than one world or
    > campaign. Having the "domain-level-abilities" of Birthright characters
    > added upon a normal character who spends his normal skills and feats
    > normally, would allow an easy use of that character elsewhere.

    I don`t think it`s our responsibility to support this mechanically. If
    people want to do this, they`re perfectly capable of negotiating with the
    DM that `my Baron Ghoere has these domain feats which aren`t used in
    Greyhawk, so when I play him in Greyhawk I want to put them into Great
    Cleave and Expertise`.

    > Another argument would be that Birthright is actually two games. One
    > normal adventure/dungeon crawl game and a strategical and tactical
    > wargame with economical parts. For me it is less fun to have a character
    > who either does the one or the other or is mediocre at both because he
    > has feats that are only useful for one game, but not the other -
    > especially now that 3E and other books come up with as it seems to me as
    > a score of feats that look interesting and a dozen I would like my
    > character to have. Chosing the feats/skills for a normal character is
    > already difficult, but giving up a number of feat-slots for feats that
    > another worlds character would have to spend none on and that are
    > useless in adventuring?

    They don`t have to buy the domain feats. Those didn`t even exist in 2nd
    edition, and regents ruled effectively without them. But it`s perfectly
    reasonable that a person who puts so much focus into ruling that they get
    a bonus to certain domain actions would have less time to expend training
    for hand-to-hand combat.

    > >The other thing you said, about how other lands haven`t been imbued with
    > >divine blood, is up to the DM to decide, but I always figured that Cerilia
    > >wasn`t all that different from Toril or Oerth. The blooded characters are
    > >the only ones who got changed at Deismaar. If a character with a
    > >bloodline went to Oerth, he could certainly set up a domain in my opinion.
    >
    > Mmmh, if the land has not changed at Deismaar, then how do you explain
    > "the land´s choice"?

    Regency is equivalent to the D&D concept of gods. Gods get power from
    being worshipped, regents get power from ruling people. What is
    euphemistically called the `land`s choice` makes more sense if it
    represents the collective will of the people, similar to a Great Captain
    event or something.

    > So even IF you allow Birthright characters to travel to other worlds
    > (what should be really difficult and a rare occurance),

    You`re the one that brought it up. :)

    > and even IF you allow their bloodabilities to work on other worlds
    > (why should they? There are other gods that decide what happens in
    > other worlds and bloodabilites could be tied to the land of Aebrynnis
    > as the world where the old gods died)

    The land has nothing to do with it. It`s divine blood in their veins.
    That doesn`t disappear because they travel, or go to sea, or plane hop, or
    anything.

    > and even IF you allow them to bond with the land in Oerth or Toril
    > (why? This land has nothing to do with divine bloodlines of gods that
    > do not belong to this world)

    `The land` is pretty much the same everywhere. Gods everywhere in D&D
    draw power the same way from worshippers. Actually, some of the same gods
    are in BR as are elsewhere, Moradin for example. A character with a
    bloodline could operate the same everywhere; the unblooded people they
    ruled would be the same.

    > - why should rulers native to that setting not be able to have
    > political power and influence to use against them?

    They`d have money, but not RP, since the ability to manipulate belief and
    power that way is derived from being partly divine. The same way a king
    who was worshipped couldn`t grant spells to clerics like a god, because he
    wasn`t one.
    --
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    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  9. #9
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    daniel mcsorley wrote:

    >On Sat, 22 Feb 2003, Michael Romes wrote:
    >
    ...

    >>and even IF you allow them to bond with the land in Oerth or Toril
    >>(why? This land has nothing to do with divine bloodlines of gods that
    >>do not belong to this world)
    >>
    >
    >`The land` is pretty much the same everywhere. Gods everywhere in D&D
    >draw power the same way from worshippers. Actually, some of the same gods
    >are in BR as are elsewhere, Moradin for example. A character with a
    >bloodline could operate the same everywhere; the unblooded people they
    >ruled would be the same.
    >
    There are not bloodlines or bloodabilites of Moradin, as Moradin did not
    die at Deismaar. Dwarves could for example have bloodlines of Anduiras
    who died at Deismaar.

    >>- why should rulers native to that setting not be able to have
    >>political power and influence to use against them?
    >>
    >
    >They`d have money, but not RP, since the ability to manipulate belief and
    >power that way is derived from being partly divine. The same way a king
    >who was worshipped couldn`t grant spells to clerics like a god, because he
    >wasn`t one.
    >
    Which could also lead to a witchhunt: In a world, where OTHER gods are
    prayed to, would not every cleric see the claim to have divine blood see
    as heresy?
    bye
    Michael Romes

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  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 01:53 PM 2/23/2003 +0100, Michael Romes wrote:

    >>Gods everywhere in D&D draw power the same way from
    >>worshippers. Actually, some of the same gods are in BR as are elsewhere,
    >>Moradin for example. A character with a bloodline could operate the same
    >>everywhere; the unblooded people they ruled would be the same.
    >
    >There are not bloodlines or bloodabilites of Moradin, as Moradin did not
    >die at Deismaar. Dwarves could for example have bloodlines of Anduiras who
    >died at Deismaar.

    In other campaign settings one could come up with all kinds of explanations
    for the equivalent of bloodlines. Proxies, for instance, could be very
    much like blooded characters and could have blood abilities of any derivation.

    Gary

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