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Thread: Atlas Update

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    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    This is a quick update on the progress of the Atlas of Cerilia. In the future I hope to make these updates a regular thing (at least once a month) to keep everyone informed of our progress).

    Update
    As you may be aware write the Atlas of Cerilia is taking a lot longer than initially planned. The is primarily because people who signed up for the project have vanished and not submitted material they had promised and we have been reduced to just a couple of writers from what should be fifteen. This, as you might understand, is a very annoying situation, as I had hoped to have the first part of the Atlas (Anuire) completed by now, when instead it is only about a third complete with a hell of a lot of work still to do. However, I believe I have come up with a solution to this problem, which I will be discussing futher below.

    Atlas Contents
    First, however, I'd like to give you all a quick overview of what we are planning for the Atlas of Cerilia, just so you know what you will be getting in the final product. Also, so you can make suggestions and comments on the contents.

    The Atlas will be divided into three main sections, with some additional rules specific information included at the back. The first section looks at Cerilia as a whole, exploring the continent and its people. There will be information on the history and culture of the Five Tribes, as well as the elven, dwarven, halfling, and non-human races. The idea here is to provide a wealth of background information for DMs and players alike. To flesh out Cerilia and fill in some of the gaps from the original products. There will be information on star signs, festivals, agriculture, major trading routes, and so on. This section will also feature an overview of the rest of the world, looking briefly at Aduria, Djapar, Thaele, and perhaps even more distant lands.

    The second section (Geography of Cerilia) will be the largest and contain information on every realm, kingdom, and empire in Cerilia. Each realm will be looked at in detail, with information on the major NPCs, locations, geographical features, politicals notes, etc. In other words, the descriptions will be similar to a mini player's secret's book for each realm.

    The third section (Organisations of Cerilia) looks at the non-landed regents, the temples, guilds, wizards, and law regents who do not control a kingdom of their own, but have holdings and power. Each organistion will have a brief desciption (with some larger descriptions for the more important organisations). Below is an example (of probably the most insignificant organisation in Cerilia).

    Mourde Alondir

    Alignment: Lawful Neutral (Recommended: Ranger/Rogue)
    Holdings: Guild 1 (Aerenwe 1)
    Treasury: 1 GB / 1 RP
    Income: 2 GB / 1 RP
    Expenses: 0 GB

    Mourde Alondir (MA; Rog1; Scion of Masela, minor, 23) is a new guilder seeking to make his fortune by logging the Erebannien. So far he has made a good profit selling hardwood timber to Aerenwe and beyond, but he has also attracted the attention of the High Mage Aelies, although the protector of Erebannien has yet to step in to stop the small guild’s activities.

    Finally, there will be sections near the rear of the book on prestige classes (or which we have had a surprisingly large number submitted) and an appendix listing all of the rules information for each and every realm, a sort of quick reference for DMs and players to quickly check through.


    How you can help the project
    Now, as I mentioned above, this project is going through a slow patch at the moment because few of those who signed up are still actively involved, and only a couple of us still seem to be working on it. Also, I've been ill for nearly a month and nothing seems to have been done in my absence. So I've decided to make a change to the way this project is being run.

    In the past, many people have complained about not feeling involved in the work the d20 development team have been doing. So I've decided to change all that and open up the project to the entire Birthright community, and give everyone a change to help out and get some of their work in the Atlas. To do this, I will be running a series of contests for people interested in writing for the Atlas. There will be one or two of these a week, announced in this forum, with the best submissions going on to be included in the Atlas (and your names in the Atlas credits). These will not be major things, just small pieces of information that will help fill out the Atlas and hopefully also hurry things along. Hopefully, everyone out there in the BR community will get involved and we can get this thing moving along again.

    Ian Hoskins
    Head of the Atlas Design Team.
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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Ian,
    Just wanted to give two thumbs up to you for taking the initiative to press onward with the project and think of ways to both speed the project along and add in good work form the larger BR community. Good on ya!

    A quick question: Why the division between landed regents (section 2) and all other regents (section 3), rather than a section for the whole of each cultural region? (one for Brechtur, one for Khinasi, one for Vosgaard, Rjurik, etc.)

    Osprey

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    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Well to be honest I'm still depating that exact question. Do we go with a compilation of all the realms into one section, or split the Atlas into cultural region. There are benefits for doing it either way. I do kind of like the idea of having all the realms in one chapter, easily to find, rather than having to search for them, but I'm not totally commited to doing things that way. What is certain is that the realms will be released by cultural region, rather than waiting until the whole Atlas is complete before it is released. I guess I am open for convincing about which way everyone would like to see the project go.

    One thing that will be certain is that there will be some sort of division between the landed and non-landed regents, just as there was in the original books. Also the Atlas will no longer feature the regional divisions like the Taelshore, the Plains States, etc. These will be mentioned, but I don't think it is necessary to divide realms by them, but rather they will be listed alphabetically.
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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    "Easy to find" through a logical organization was exactly what I was thinking about. It seems a lot easier to run a campaign in a single cultural region if all of the regents of that region are in the same section. If the landed regents come first, and the details on the non-landed ones comes as the second part of that section, that's cool.

    I think most campaigns are centered in one cultural region or another, so it definitely seems the most logical to use that as the division for easy reference. I'm talking one broad region (such as Brechtur or Khinasi) per section (not sub-regions such as the Gulf States), which I believe you are also thinking.

    Most of the veteran players of BR will easily be able to follow a format similar to the original books (Ruins of Empire, in particular).

    I'm hoping, however, that the stats for the various non-landed regents and domains will be more complete than RoE, which only highlighted sample ones (and left a few gaping holes concerning certain non-landed domains). I know that's a lot more work, but given the writeup on Mourde Alondir (which is about as insignificant as regents get with 1 holding level), I'm guessing this is exactly your ambition.

    -Osprey

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    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Actually, as it is now, the Atlas is divided like this.

    Introduction
    World of Aebrynis (looking at Aduria, Djapar, background stuff like calander etc)
    History of Cerilia
    Anuire (including culture, organisations, recent events, some NPC descriptions, and so on)
    Elven & Dwarven Realms (as above)
    Khinasi (as above)
    Awnsheghlien Realms (as above)
    Rjurik (as above)
    Non Human Realms (goblin, orog, gnoll, as above)
    Brechtur
    The Ferel Lands (the five peaks, giantdowns, as so on)
    Vosgaard
    Then there would be a couple of appendixs with prestige classes and a quick reference of realm stats.

    However, I was planning on changing the format to include all the realms in one big chapter and seperate the info on the culture of the region into its own chapter.

    Now, the reason for doing this was quite simple. By putting all the actual rules infomation (province stats, a realms income, armies, etc) into a section at the back of the book then we have effectivly created the easy to find, quick reference that was needed. After all, what part of the realm descriptions do you refer to most of the time? It is the holding information, of course. You might read through the description of the realm a couple of times, but most of the time you are looking up the holdings. This is why the decision was made to seperate that information from the realm descriptions so that it could easily be referred to by DMs and players. In fact, I'm considering completing that section of soon and releasing it to the community. (This section would be organised by region).

    For example here is the entry for Roesone from that section.

    Roesone

    Ruler: Baroness Marlae Roesone.
    Alignment: Neutral.
    Capital: Proudglaive.
    Population: 49,000.
    Government: Feudal monarchy.
    Imports: Clothing, coal, fruit, horses, and wine.
    Exports: Grain, livestock, iron, and copper.

    Province Law Temples Guilds Sources
    Abbatuor (3/4) MR (1) IHH (2) OT (3)EH (0) HMA (2)RA (2)
    Bellam (3/2) MR (2) IHH (3) OT (3)SG (0) HMA (2)
    Caercas (4/1) MR (2) IHH (3)RCS (1) EH (2)SG (2)OT (0) RA (1)
    Duerlin (3/2) MR (1) IHH (2) EH (3) RA (2)
    Edlin (3/2) MR (1) IHH (2) EH (3) HMA (2)
    Fairfield (3/2) MR (1) IHH (2) SG (3)OT (0) HMA (2)
    Ghoried (2/3) MR (1) IHH (1) SG (2) HMA (2)

    Abbreviations: MR=Marlae Roesone (Roesone); IHH=Impregnable Heart of Haelyn (Hubaere Armiendin); OT=Orthien Tane (Southern Anuire Shipping and Imports); HMA=High Mage Aelies; EH=el-Hadid (Port of Call Exchange); RA=Rogr Aglondier (Ilien); SG=Siele Ghoried (Spider River Traders); RCS=Ruornil’s Celestial Spell (Suris Enlien).

    GB Income: 24 GB (Province 21 GB; Law 3 GB).
    RP Income: 30→24 RP (Province 21 RP; Law 9 RP).
    GB Expenses: 17 GB (Army 11 GB; Fortifications 3 GB; Court 3 GB).
    Treasury: 15 GB.
    Accumulated Regency: 36 RP.
    Armies: Archers (x3), Artillery, Infantry, Knights, Pikemen (x3).
    Fortifications: Blacktower Castle (Level 3); Castle Bellamie (Level 2).
    Court Level: 3.

    That covers all the information that you need to run Roesone as a realm, but none of the other background information that helps flesh out the realm, that is all found in the realms chapter. (Let me know if you think something should be added to this). You might read through the description of Roesone only a couple of times in a campaign, but you would refer to this information many times.

    Now, as for the holding regents, the intention is to look at each one more fully that was done in the original material (1/4 to a page description for each). We probably won't be fleshing out there stats quite as much as the realms (no complete listings of holdings, etc). Here is an example (less the descriptive text)

    Eastern Temple of Nesirie

    Alignment: Chaotic Good (Recommended: Cleric)
    Holdings: Temple 26 (Aerenwe 17; Ilien 3; Mieres 6)
    Treasury: 14 GB / 21 RP
    Income: 17.5 GB / 18 RP
    Expenses: 11 GB (Navy: 6 GB; Fortifications 2 GB; Court 3 GB)

    To look quickly at each line.

    The alignment is fairly self explanatory, the recommendation at the end is simply there to advise which class this realm would best suit. Some have more than one class. For example the NIT is recommended for a cleric and paladin.

    The holdings list the number of holdings the organisation has, and more importantly where they are located. So in this case, the ETN has holdings listed for Aerenwe, Ilien, and Mieres. Once you know where they are, you look up realm stats at the end of the book to get the exact details.

    Treasury is the accumulated GB/RP

    Income (using the tables from the d20 rulebook) is the GB and RP income of the organisation. Any special form of income will be listed here. Vassalage agreement that might exist are not listed. We will be leaving it up to the DM to decide who pays what to who. Similarly, no trade routes have been set in stone. Either you start play with no trade routes in existence, or the DM will decide on those as well.

    Finally, we have the expenses section, which covers the organisations military, court, etc cost. The description of the realm will mention the exact details of the organisations military and fortifications.


    Oh, and as a final word, I should point out that the Atlas of Cerilia is being created, not with vetern players in mind (although they will get a lot out of it), but rather it is focused on new players. So what we are looking for here, is something that newcomers to the setting can understand and wade through. Which is sort of why I went with the all realms in one chapter thing, to fit in with the way other campaign setting (Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance) have been done.
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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    GB Income: 24 GB (Province 21 GB; Law 3 GB).
    RP Income: 30→24 RP (Province 21 RP; Law 9 RP).
    GB Expenses: 17 GB (Army 11 GB; Fortifications 3 GB; Court 3 GB).
    Treasury: 15 GB.
    Accumulated Regency: 36 RP.
    Armies: Archers (x3), Artillery, Infantry, Knights, Pikemen (x3).
    Fortifications: Blacktower Castle (Level 3); Castle Bellamie (Level 2).
    Court Level: 3.

    That covers all the information that you need to run Roesone as a realm, but none of the other background information that helps flesh out the realm, that is all found in the realms chapter. (Let me know if you think something should be added to this). You might read through the description of Roesone only a couple of times in a campaign, but you would refer to this information many times.
    When listing Maintenance Expenses, perhaps using the header "Assets" would be appropriate (to keep it in line with the BRCS terminology and help organize it a bit). It's pretty sharp as is, and I imagine you would include any assets that cost money in that list. I was thinking of things like roads & bridges, palaces, and pay for lieutenants (I tend to think some realms would pay their lieutenants at least 1 GB per season, perhaps more for good ones - that's actually a rather low stipend compared to the incomes for the Profession actions; I consider Lieutenants an extra asset that isn't covered by the basic court expenses). Some low-level lieutenants might be absorbed in the general expenses, or nobly work for little pay, but can that be the case in every realm? Of course, the Leadership feat can account for such a loyal right hand, but otherwise I think Lt.'s should be considered an expense.

    No point in listing the individual castles here unless you're naming their actual locations. Otherwise, I'd just list the total levels of provincial castles and fortified holdings (if any).

    One quick-reference notation I developed was to use footnote-type indicators of castles. So a province (3/2)F3 (the "F3" would be a raised footnote, but can't do that on this forum) would be a level 3 province with a level 3 provincial fortification. I would then put Fx next to the regent's law holding if it was included in the prov. castle.

    Just a suggestion. It doesn't name the castle, though, which leaves a second option: create an "Other" column to the right of the province stats, and write in castles and other key (permanent) assets there.

    The imports/exports stats are interesting. Is this setting up a more refined system for determining the eligibility for trade? What if trade goods produced could actually be broken down to provincial levels? Trade routes could then be determined by swapping actual goods rather than a base of different terrain/cultural types (which is distinctly over-simplified, IMO).

    All in all, a great job, Ian. I hope some of these suggestions might be helpful, or at least provide a few threads to chew on...

    -Osprey

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    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Osprey@Sep 15 2003, 05:15 PM
    No point in listing the individual castles here unless you're naming their actual locations. Otherwise, I'd just list the total levels of provincial castles and fortified holdings (if any).

    The imports/exports stats are interesting. Is this setting up a more refined system for determining the eligibility for trade? What if trade goods produced could actually be broken down to provincial levels? Trade routes could then be determined by swapping actual goods rather than a base of different terrain/cultural types (which is distinctly over-simplified, IMO).
    Actually, just looking through my notes, the original copy of that info list the fortifications like this.

    Fortifications: Blacktower Castle (Level 3, Caercas); Castle Bellamie (Level 2, Bellam)

    So it did give their locations. I'll have to update that. I think the rest of the draft realms are listed similarly as well, with the province name included.

    As for the import/export stats, as far as I know there are no plans to expand or refine the trade system, but I thought I would include those to leave open the possibility that someone would like to come up with one.

    Oh, and in case anyone is interested, here is the list of trade goods I came up with back when this project was being planned. It might be of use to someone.

    Industries/Resources of Cerilia


    Imports from outside Cerilia
    Tobacco (Djapar)
    Coffee (Djapar)
    Spices (Aduria, Djapar)
    Exotic Animals (Aduria)
    Olives & Olive Oil (Aduria)
    Ivory (Aduria)
    Sugar (Djapar)

    Luxuries
    Incense (Khinasi)
    Silk (Khinasi)
    Gemstones (All)
    Pearls (Khinasi)
    Perfume (Brechtür)
    Spices (Khinasi)

    Base Materials
    Stone (All)
    Timber (All)
    Furs (Rjurik, Vosgaard)
    Wool (Anuire, Brechtür, Rjurik, Vosgaard)
    Cotton (Khinasi)
    Linen (All)
    Hemp (Anuire, Brechtür)

    Metals
    Copper (All)
    Tin (All)
    Lead (All)
    Iron (All)
    Silver (All)
    Gold (All)

    Livestock & Animals
    Pork (Anuire, Brechtür)
    Beef (All)
    Fish (All)
    Sheep (All)
    Goats (All)
    Horses (All)
    Poultry (All)
    Camels (Khinasi)
    Exotic – Varsk (Vosgaard)

    Foodstuffs
    Grains (All)
    Fruit (All)
    Vegetables (All)
    Cheese (All)
    Wine (Anuire, Brechtür)
    Ale (All)
    Salt (Khinasi)
    Herbs (All)

    Manufactured Goods/Materials
    Rope (All)
    Whale Oil (Rjurik)
    Clothing (All)
    Jewellery (All)
    Rugs (Anuire, Brechtür, Khinasi)
    Pottery (All)
    Books (Anuire, Brechtür, Khinasi)
    Weapons (All)
    Armour (All)
    Leather goods (All)
    Glass (Anuire, Brechtür, Khinasi)
    Artwork (Anuire, Brechtür, Khinasi)

    Other
    Mercenaries (All)
    Ships (Anuire, Brechtür, Khinasi, Rjurik)
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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Where is Djapar?

    Also, is the Adurian stuff mostly new stuff (I remember that you were piloting that project), or was there some 2e "official" publications on that?

    -Osprey

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    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Djapar is the original home of the Khinasi (or Basarji) tribe. If you look at the Khinasi map in the Cities of the Sun expansion it shows you its location. It is to the south-east of Khinasi, well within range of any trading vessels, so it goes without saying that there is trade between the two lands.

    As for Aduria, there is a small amount of official material written by Rich Baker as part of a series of articles planned for Dragon Magazine, but little beyond that. Most trade with that continent would be to the northern most regions, which were conquered by the Anuireans following Diesmaar, latter abandoned to the local population when the empire collapsed, but still retain significant links with Anuire, especially trade
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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Ian,

    Just before I learned that you were working on a writeup on Aduria, I had decided to flesh that out for my own campaign. A player was playing the young heir of Mieres (which was renamed a Duchey, and Aaron Vaumel was still the scheming guildmaster who wanted to be the Duke. The heriditary dukes of Mieres hailed from one of the last Great bloodlines of Masela, distinguished by their black dolphin eyes as a bloodmark).

    It is traditional custom among this line that every scion goes on a voyage of exploration as a coming-of-age rite of passage. So Blaede Mieres (the heir) and his twin sister, Jetana (who is in line to inherit the Southern Temple of Neserie), decide to attempt a voyage to rediscover Aduria, and possibly establish friendly relations there for future trade.

    So for the sake of one adventure and a broader campaign in the future, sat down and wrote up what the eastern coast and offshore islands of Aduria were like, along with the history of the Adurian Empire and its fall after Deismaar.

    I imagined that the Empire was ruled by a theocracy - there were landed warrior rulers, but they were totally controlled by the fear and magic of the Temple of Azrai, who drove the Adurians to forge a great imperial war machine leading up to the ultimate defeat of the other tribes at Deismaar.

    Imagine what would happen back in Aduria, however, when Azrai was destroyed and the priests suddenly lost their divine powers - the magical base of their power disappeared, and chaos and civil war began to wrack the "Empire." The civil war and anarchy that followed was unparalleled. I can only imagine what would go down in a land once fully under the Shadow, but now left to a mostly mundane population struggling for freedom, power, wealth...and eventually just food and shelter as centuries of brutal warfare took their toll. I imagine post-Deismaar Aduria as a kind of apocalyptic, "Mad Maxx" world - eventually making the land infertile, resources rare, and money useless.

    What I envisioned was a breakdown into warlord-ruled provinces (like Greek city-states and their tyrants), and the occasional council of elders as the remnants of successful slave uprisings. But there are no realms of multiple provinces, no new empires, no great kingdoms. Why?

    Xenophobia. Who can you trust? Your neighbors, maybe - but the people across the border? Trust them to raid you for food, tools, and captives, maybe, but trade? It seems unlikely without outside intervention.

    Anyways, that's the gist of my Aduria. There's plenty more to it, of course, especially in the details, but I wanted to let you know at least one other version that was developed and see if you find any ideas you might want to integrate or collaborate upon. I'm very interested in reading your own ideas on the place (I've seen bits and hints thus far). You can email me, too, if you want to do it off the forum.

    -Osprey

    osprey424@yahoo.com

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