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  1. #1
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    > As for Cerilian gnomes, well, they -could- be added, -if- (and only if) there is consensus to revive them as a race as originally envisioned by Rich Baker. I don`t think most people are interested in that, however, because it`s not true to the original Birthright.


    Why not?! What could possibly be gained in leaving that material out?
    What? Will the setting be "more pure" without these undesireable races
    within the sacred core book?

    If it`s in the core materials and people don`t want in the campaign, they
    won`t allow it. Simple, direct. These people can still play their game.
    If people want it in their campaign, and it`s not in the book, what happens
    then? What good is a game book if you purposefully leave out material
    needed to play the game? All that`s really doing is making sure people play
    their games the way you want it played.

    Beyond space/time limitations, I can see no reason for purposefully
    excluding game materials. To extend the argument to ludicrous proportions:
    If I want to play a game with non-blooded adventurers, I am not extremely
    hindered by the inclusion of bloodline rules within the rulebook. However,
    if I wanted to play a game wherin PCs had these blood abilities and those
    rules were purposefully left out to accomodate non-blooded adventuring
    campaigns, that would be fairly annoying.

    Personally, I hate that everytime I say "Let`s generate characters", soemone
    in my gaming group takes out the DMG and wants to play a damn minotaur. I`m
    thinking my first adventure is going to be about establishing a trade route
    between Roesone up through Ghoere, and my foolheardy patato-chip-munching
    players are trying to create characters that will eventually become a
    Minotaur Monk, a dwarven Paladin of Moridin with his flying warhorse, an
    elven ShadowDancer/Assassin/ArcaneArcher, and a Khinasi wizard with wands of
    fireballs and scrolls of magic missiles. And of course, they all want
    Healing as a blood ability.

    Nevertheless, despite the aggrevation, I`m glad those options are there. I
    like the idea that I can have a minotaur PC in my game, or that I can have
    Minotaur Monks running around as NPCs. It just means I have to go down the
    list each time: This campaign will *not* have gnomes, gnolls, minotaurs,
    tieflings, half-dragon/half-vampire medusa rogue/assassins, etc.

    More options are better. That`s purely it. And if these options can be
    worked out within the core materials, to be as balanced and compatible with
    all the core materials as possible, that`s a much better improvement than
    saying, "Well, if you`re going to run your own custom game, go ahead and
    makeup your own custom rules then. So there."

    Now, there is still the space/time limitations. I`ve tried to say "core
    materials" rather than "core book", because I don`t believe there should be
    only one core book. Indeed, there`s not reason why every chapter shouldn`t
    have a corresponding core supplement. Saying you want to exclude Gnolls
    because you don`t want it in the main core rulebook is an argument I`ll
    accept long before I`ll accept "because it`s not true to the original
    Birthright".

    Personally, I`d like core materials to be modular rather than comprehensive,
    with a section at the end of each chapter giving guidelines on why the
    particular game mechanics of that chapter were included, some ideas that
    were tossed out, and recommendations for some house rules. This whole
    section could also be the introduction to official supplements that would
    expand on these chapters. Personally, I think a book on "Races and Cultures
    of Cerelia" that was specifically divided into two parts: one on setting
    source material and the other part on game mechanics that expend the
    race/culture chapter would be a very desireable approach.

    More options are better. And if someone wants Minotaur Monks in their game
    because there`s a particular niche/story of Cerelia that they`re trying to
    play out, I don`t think its fair for the core materials or their writers to
    say, "You`re not being true to the original Birthright."

    I argue that the entirety of any given system should *not* be agreed on when
    making the core materials. Take bloodlines for an example. We can agree on
    a fairly simple ability-score based bloodline system for the core books.
    But a supplemental expansion I`d like to see in a book focussed purely on
    bloodlines and blood abilities, would be a variety of alternate ways to
    determine and use bloodlines and blood abilities in the Birthright game. A
    checklist could be provided at the end of each book describing all the new
    blood abiltiies, bloodline generation rules, bloodtheft mechanics,
    blood-feats (for those of you into that kind of thing), and such. Then the
    DM just has to go down the checklist and say, "This Southern Coast
    Trade-based campaign will be using this... this... not that... this..."

    We could even have a list of campaign models. For example, War-Themed,
    Intrigue-Themed, Bloodline-Themed, Shadow-World-Themed,
    Unite-The-Empire-Themed, Survive-Winter-Themed campaigns can all have
    recommended pre-generated checklists that could easily be modified and
    customized.

    I strayed a bit. My point was more options are better. Include the gnoll.
    But I`m not going to allow it in my game. As it is, in my game, PCs all
    have to belong to the same family -- same race, same bloodline, etc.

    -Lord Rahvin

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  2. #2
    >>>>>Why not?! What could possibly be gained in leaving that material out? What? Will the setting be "more pure" without these undesirable races within the sacred core book? >>>>>


    A system should be inclusionary, but it is detrimental to a setting. Example: maybe I want to play a cyborg T-1000 terminator in BR - after all there are d20 rules for them? Why don`t we throw those in the main rulebook also?

    In converting a setting from XX to 3E the main goal (IMO) is to preserve the setting, not standard D&D. Star Wars, Wheel of Time, Judge Dread, Ever Quest and on and on have demonstrated that the setting is paramount, not the ability to use all the magic weapons from the DMG or the MM. The attitude of everything and the kitchen sink steals the very thing from Birthright that keeps people playing it after several years of being oop.

    Birthright is a setting that has a specific flavor, say like Coke. Other colas are out there and people like those well enough, but mixing Coke, Pepsi, Dr Pepper and RC into one bottle will not please anyone. They are all basically made from the same things, but by freely mixing them we have disturbed the subtle balance of ingredients of each separate product and turned them into one great big homogenous glass of blllaaaghhh.

    Why can`t I play a Jedi in the Star Trek campaign? Because it does not belong. Pretty simple answer.

    Eosin the Red

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  3. #3
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    Originally posted by Eosin the Red
    A system should be inclusionary, but it is detrimental to a setting. Example: maybe I want to play a cyborg T-1000 terminator in BR - after all there are d20 rules for them? Why don`t we throw those in the main rulebook also?
    Now you're just being silly. There's a vast difference between the inclusion of things in the core D&D game and the inclusion of non-D&D material.


    In converting a setting from XX to 3E the main goal (IMO) is to preserve the setting, not standard D&D. Star Wars, Wheel of Time, Judge Dread, Ever Quest and on and on have demonstrated that the setting is paramount, not the ability to use all the magic weapons from the DMG or the MM. The attitude of everything and the kitchen sink steals the very thing from Birthright that keeps people playing it after several years of being oop.
    Star Wars is not a D&D campaign setting. Wheel of Time is not a D&D campaign setting. Judge Dredd is not a D&D campaign setting. EverQuest is not a D&D campaign setting.

    Birthright is a D&D campaign setting. Birthright should not rewrite the core mechanics of the game. It may choose not to include certain magical items, spells, and monsters, but it should not take core classes and mechanics, then change them. And honestly, most of the mechanic revisions have been of extremely poor quality, without any sort of balance.


    Birthright is a setting that has a specific flavor, say like Coke. Other colas are out there and people like those well enough, but mixing Coke, Pepsi, Dr Pepper and RC into one bottle will not please anyone. They are all basically made from the same things, but by freely mixing them we have disturbed the subtle balance of ingredients of each separate product and turned them into one great big homogenous glass of blllaaaghhh.
    Yes, but there is a difference between preserving the flavor of a game by not adding certain things, and allowing the game to stagnate by not coming up with new material. The BRCS should not just be a rewrite of 2nd edition with 3rd edition rules. It should be a complete update, allowing for new rules, further development of the setting, and most definitely a progressive timeline.

    The Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting changed the way a lot of things were done in 2nd edition, and it is so much better for it.


    Why can`t I play a Jedi in the Star Trek campaign? Because it does not belong. Pretty simple answer.
    Actually, the real answer to that question is "The GM said no." You could play a goddamn tarrasque Jedi, piloting the Defiant through the Delta Quadrant if your GM allowed you to.

    I think that everyone needs to realize that 2nd edition is DEAD and any holdovers from its days are DEAD as well. Every single game mechanic needs to be completely overhauled and reevaluated, without a thought for how 2nd edition did it. If 2nd edition handled the system so well, then it wouldn't have died.
    I walk this fine thread...

    Mourn

  4. #4
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    > What? Will the setting be "more pure" without these undesireable races
    > within the sacred core book?
    >
    > If it`s in the core materials and people don`t want in the campaign, they
    > won`t allow it. Simple, direct. These people can still play their game.
    > If people want it in their campaign, and it`s not in the book, what happens
    > then? What good is a game book if you purposefully leave out material
    > needed to play the game? All that`s really doing is making sure people play
    > their games the way you want it played.
    >
    My understanding of this project was that it was supposed to be a
    conversion...not a revision. There are no gnomes as PCs in Birthright.
    The original books are very specific about this. The reasoning is
    somewhat vague, however, it is one of those things that makes this setting
    a bit different. There are no psionics either...same reasoning.

    If you want to have gnomes and psionics (or any of the other things that
    aren`t "supposed" to be there) in your game..go ahead.. The basic rules
    are in the PHB for playing one. The team can`t really come up with the
    conversion for you, as there isn`t anything to convert, so you are kind of
    on your own on this.

    If the point was to redesign the setting, there is a ton of things to
    change..as you mentioned, should they include stats for PC minotaurs? How
    about titans? Beholders? I`ve been a DM for 20 years, and have been
    asked to allow about every monser variety in the books as a PC.. I don`t
    think the "core" rules are the place for these varients. Convert the
    original rules as well as possible, and additional info can be distributed
    in an additional "suppliment"

    Sean

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  5. #5
    >>>>>Birthright is a D&D campaign setting.

    No, D&D is a setting called Greyhawk. d20 is a game system used in all of the mentioned settings, including D&D & BR. However, you were correct when you said SW, WoT, JD, etc... were not D&D settings, they are not. They are d20 settings.

    >>>> I think that everyone needs to realize that 2nd edition is DEAD and any holdovers from its days are DEAD as well. Every single game mechanic needs to be completely overhauled and reevaluated, without a thought for how 2nd edition did it. If 2nd edition handled the system so well, then it wouldn`t have died.

    Won`t be a problem, never played 2e. I am fairly new to BR.


    Eosin the Red

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  6. #6
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Mourn" <brnetboard@TUARHIEVEL.ORG>
    Sent: Friday, March 07, 2003 7:32 PM


    > I think that everyone needs to realize that 2nd edition is DEAD
    > and any holdovers from its days are DEAD as well. Every single
    > game mechanic needs to be completely overhauled and reevaluated,
    > without a thought for how 2nd edition did it. If 2nd edition handled
    > the system so well, then it wouldn`t have died.

    The body be cold, but the spirit lives on for many on this forum. I detect
    a serious attempt by the BRCS team to remain true to that spirit, and to
    focus on the new mechanics. Setting material, like the frequency or
    availablilty of non-standard races as PC`s is pretty well set out in the
    material. The one exception I notice is the goblin, which has a pretty wide
    acceptance as a viable class (under the right circumstances) among many
    here.

    What dies has less to do with its quality than it does with its popularity,
    marketing, the health of the publisher, and the philosophy of the publisher
    to proliferate or retrench the number of settings.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Eosin the Red
    No, D&D is a setting called Greyhawk. d20 is a game system used in all of the mentioned settings, including D&D & BR. However, you were correct when you said SW, WoT, JD, etc... were not D&D settings, they are not. They are d20 settings.
    Since you're new, you obviously don't know the history of things. Birthright was a campaign setting developed for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition game. This was years before 3rd Edition D&D, which is the core system of the d20 System. Birthright is a D&D campaign setting, which is why it is still owned by Wizards of the Coast.

    Won`t be a problem, never played 2e. I am fairly new to BR.
    Good. Then that does not apply to you.
    I walk this fine thread...

    Mourn

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by kgauck
    The body be cold, but the spirit lives on for many on this forum. I detect
    a serious attempt by the BRCS team to remain true to that spirit, and to
    focus on the new mechanics. Setting material, like the frequency or
    availablilty of non-standard races as PC`s is pretty well set out in the
    material. The one exception I notice is the goblin, which has a pretty wide
    acceptance as a viable class (under the right circumstances) among many
    here.
    That's not what I'm disputing. Without the spirit and fervor of the people on this forum, this would never have come to be. Remaining true to the spirit of Birthright is essential, but there has to be new growth.

    What dies has less to do with its quality than it does with its popularity,
    marketing, the health of the publisher, and the philosophy of the publisher
    to proliferate or retrench the number of settings.
    Poorly written material does not sell. Gamers always say they would pay money for a cheap, crappy copy of some long abandoned campaign setting, but in truth, they wouldn't. When a publisher begins to steadily put out lousy material, just as TSR did toward the end of its life, it loses its popularity. The 3rd Edition core books have been out for about 3 years now, and have already outsold the 2nd Edition core books. Quality has a direct bearing on popularity.
    I walk this fine thread...

    Mourn

  9. #9
    > Mourn wrote:
    >
    Originally posted by Eosin the Red
    > No, D&D is a setting called Greyhawk. d20 is a game system used in all of
    the mentioned settings, including D&D & BR. However, you were correct when
    you said SW, WoT, JD, etc... were not D&D settings, they are not. They are
    d20 settings.
    >
    >
    > Since you`re new, you obviously don`t know the history of things.
    Birthright was a campaign setting developed for the Advanced Dungeons &
    Dragons 2nd Edition game. This was years before 3rd Edition D&D, which is
    the core system of the d20 System. Birthright is a D&D campaign setting,
    which is why it is still owned by Wizards of the Coast.


    New does not equal stupid. Maybe we should define a few things, since I
    obviously do not know your history of things. New to BR, does not equal new
    to D&D, 3E, or d20 - it means new to BR. You seem to like to change what I
    say?

    2nd edition = all campaigns were D&D campaigns, except for Amazing Engine,
    Alternity, and Dark Matter, possibly others that I do not know about.

    D&D = Greyhawk, the default setting. That is what the book called the
    players handbook details. Nothing more, nothing less. It uses an engine
    called the d20 system.

    SRD = core of d20 system, not the PHB.

    WotC ownership = not automatically D&D. They also own several settings that
    you rightfully pointed out were not D&D but wrongfully included some that
    were like BR or FR. If ownership is the only criteria to be D&D then SW,
    WoT, Diablo, and Call of Cthulu would all be D&D settings. They aren`t.

    Birthright = an AD&D setting or a setting that is being adapted to the d20
    system with strong influence from 3E (meaning core Wizards products -
    including FR materials and splatt books).

    Now, back to flavor and setting. RPG settings need not include everything to
    be good. Often times the opposite is true, by trying to please everyone, you
    ensure that no one is happy with the product. I already included the coke +
    pepsi + Dp + RC example, so refer to it. Someone, somewhere has to draw a
    line that says -"these things are not in the spirit of BR." You might
    consider a minotaur ok but not a Terminator. I might like Demons and Angels
    in BR. We all have things that we add or subtract to the setting to make it
    our setting but the public setting was defined long ago in a series of RPG
    supplements. The BR team can include what they personally like to see in
    their home games or what they think would be cool to see or they can try to
    update the rules from second edition and leave the setting alone. Including
    everything that is in the players handbook, DMG, & MM diminishes the
    setting - they had to pick and choose based on precedent. I think they did a
    good job in their stated objective for the core book.

    They (or others) have said that other books are possible and some of those
    might explore humanoid characters (like Gnomes). The objection raised is why
    include things that were never in BR within the core book, to my
    understanding your reply is cause it is in GH or the FR? I can and do change
    things to make them more like the game I want to play but I do not tell
    everyone that they should use Chromatic Dragons, Bahamut and Tiamat just
    because I like them and they are part of the core setting. Let BR be itself
    and not a pale shadow of GH or FR. I can buy supplements to those worlds if
    I want, BR.net is where I get BR material.

    Eosin

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  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 07:29 AM 3/8/2003 +0100, Mourn wrote:

    >
    Originally posted by kgauck
    >The body be cold, but the spirit lives on for many on this forum. I detect
    >a serious attempt by the BRCS team to remain true to that spirit, and to
    >focus on the new mechanics. Setting material, like the frequency or
    >availablilty of non-standard races as PC`s is pretty well set out in the
    >material. The one exception I notice is the goblin, which has a pretty wide
    >acceptance as a viable class (under the right circumstances) among many
    >here.
    >
    >That`s not what I`m disputing. Without the spirit and fervor of the
    >people on this forum, this would never have come to be. Remaining true to
    >the spirit of Birthright is essential, but there has to be new growth.

    I think the dispute is that some folks seem to think that growth should
    take the form of any and every template or character class available in 3e
    as opposed to templates and character classes different from those in the
    core D&D books that are developed particularly for BR. Emulating every
    aspect (particularly the goofier and more pointless ones) of 3e is not the
    way to go. It is, in fact, at best the illusion of growth. At best it is
    just emulation, but I think it would be more aptly described as
    dissolution. Many of the same things that are 3e templates or character
    classes were available in 2e and were expressly excluded from the campaign
    setting when it was devised. Putting them into an update because a new
    edition of the core rules has come out misses the point in excluding them
    in the first place, which is that they do not conform to the themes
    expressed by the setting.

    That, of course, does not mean that someone can`t include whatever they
    want in their homebrew. The argument that every possibility of the core
    materials should be included in the setting material in order to make it a
    third edition product (which if you`ll notice the BRCS document is not--it
    says "D20" right there on the cover) completely misses the point in
    devising setting material that is different from the core settings in the
    first place. One can bring in material from other sources certainly if one
    wants, but including so much of that stuff in the setting material not only
    is an amazingly good example of redundancy but a superfluous one at that.

    Gary

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