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  1. #1
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    After reading the Flavour vs. Mechanics forum, I was reminded of a few ideas I've been considering. For the sake of not deviating too much from that thread's purpose, however, I'm posting these in a new topic based on some possible class additions/ rewrites for revised BRCS and/or variant proposals. For now, though, this is just brainstorming.

    8. Paladins and priests.
    I also like the idea of paladins for all religions. As for priests/clerics, I'd have to say that the 2E rules for these speciality priest were unbalanced, but I did like the differences between the religions. I'm proposing changing the domains for the clerics to make them more unique (and to restrict certain news spells that I'm working on just to clerics of a certain faith). Another option is to have a different list of class skills for different faiths, or something like that. The Atlas will also feature some prestige classes for specific religions, but not one for each...
    [Raesene Andu]

    Looking at the 3.5 Mystic Theurge prestige class, I can't help but notice how perfectly it fits as a prestige class for servants of Ruornil. I think it would be great to make this an exclusive option for Priests of Ruornil - OK, possibly priests of Avani too, although I think the Loremaster far more fitting for them.

    Dwarves can’t be wizards. In 2nd ed this is not setting material since this was the standard rule and dwarves were not allowed to be wizards at all. I have never seen a TSR 2nd ed setting that allowed them to be wizards.
    [irdeggman]

    I've been chewing on this idea of a new class or prestige class for dwarven arcane spellcasters: the Runemaster. I tried to work out a set of stats for a prestige class, but so far have been unhappy with the results. But I still like the concept (and maybe some of you can help out with some ideas for ways to make this mechanically viable if it's found to be a good idea).

    Here's the concept: since dwarves are so grounded in the material world, and tied to their earthen nature, it makes sense that arcane magic would be somewhat foreign to them. On the other hand, mebhaighal IS earthpower in its purest form, so it doesn't quite make sense that they would be alienated from such a constant companion. That's where the runemaster comes in (and the more I think about it, the more I think it would be better to make a new variant of the sorcerer or wizard rather than a prestige class).

    The Runemaster uses symbolism as an exclusive focus for his magic. Dwarven runes, when worked by a runemaster, can focus arcane energies and bind them into objects. The simplest form of this is expressed in single-icon runestones, each containing a single spell that must be activated/triggered in some way. As the runemaster progresses in his craft, he learns to bind them into metals (such as weapons and armor) as well, and to inscribe combinations of several runes for more potent effects. It is important to note, however, that runes must always be inscribed in solid, earth-based substances: stone, metal, and dwarven flesh(&#33 all being suitable recipients for runic magic. Heh, heh, yeah, I love the idea of runemasters learning to inscribe runic tatoos, but only dwarves (OK, constructs, stone giants, and any earth elemental natives would also qualify) having the necessary stone-like constitution to accept the magic. This could probably work in a similar fashion to Vos war tattoos.

    Runemasters would necessarily be craftsmen as well, and the idea was that they represent the arcane articifers of the dwarven race. The class would focus on their specialized advantages in this area, while limiting their flexibility compared to other wizards and sorcerers. Honestly, this was meant to be more of an NPC class, as runemasters would rarely (if ever) be adventurers. However, the role they play in dwarven history and present society would be extremely important, hence the necessity for fleshing out their capabilities.

    I know that in many ways this idea resembles prestige classes, but in this case there are 2 BR-specific problems with that:
    1. It allows general dwarven mages to be a viable reality, which really cuts into the general concept of dwarves distrusting mages, or simply not understanding them at all.
    2. Prestige classes encourage higher-level characters, which also conflicts with the lower level setting of Cerilia.

    Thus I'm proposing that Runemasters would be the only arcane spellcasters of the dwarven race, maintaining their distinction as great articifers of stone and metal wonders while limiting an explosion of dwarven mages in Cerilia.

    -Osprey

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Osprey@Oct 9 2003, 08:27 AM
    Thus I'm proposing that Runemasters would be the only arcane spellcasters of the dwarven race, maintaining their distinction as great articifers of stone and metal wonders while limiting an explosion of dwarven mages in Cerilia.

    -Osprey
    Off hand I'd be loathe to restrict dwarven bards. I have never seen any reason why all cultures don't have their own version of a bard. Some distrust them (Khinasi), some make fun and belittle them (Vos), some treat them with ultimate respect (Rjurik) but essentially all cultures have their own version of a bard.

    In 2nd ed the Complete Book of Bards opened the door for bards of nontraditional races (i.e., those normally restricted like halflings).
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Interesting...my first reaction to dwarven bards, in all honesty, was something like..."You're kidding, right?" I never imagined dwarves having sweet voices or any particular appreciation for music. But then I started thinking about work songs, and realized that rythm and percussion might be right up their alley. Miners and blacksmiths probably have an excellent sense of rythm, and dwarves with their long work days might sing/chant to make the time go by. That's what I imagine, anyways - 12 hour shifts, maybe more, in the mines (which by now might be far from their permanent homes), in stints of several weeks or months, and then a vacation period back home for a week or more of good family and social time, drinking, eating, and making merry (dwarven style).

    So heavy rythm and chants might fit a dwarven bard's style, aye?

  4. #4
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Osprey@Oct 9 2003, 11:27 AM
    Interesting...my first reaction to dwarven bards, in all honesty, was something like..."You're kidding, right?" I never imagined dwarves having sweet voices or any particular appreciation for music. But then I started thinking about work songs, and realized that rythm and percussion might be right up their alley. Miners and blacksmiths probably have an excellent sense of rythm, and dwarves with their long work days might sing/chant to make the time go by. That's what I imagine, anyways - 12 hour shifts, maybe more, in the mines (which by now might be far from their permanent homes), in stints of several weeks or months, and then a vacation period back home for a week or more of good family and social time, drinking, eating, and making merry (dwarven style).

    So heavy rythm and chants might fit a dwarven bard's style, aye?
    Yup pretty much. A player is currently playing a dwarven bard/cleric in our 3rd ed game right now and his character's voice has never been portrayed as particularly sweet. Bards don't always have to sing, they can use many different entertainment styles, drums is particularly good for dwarves and of course the Gregorian chant like style.

    Think of the Wizard of Oz and the songs of the solders by the Wicked Witch of the East - "yo de do, yo do".
    Duane Eggert

  5. #5
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    Well, their only problem (and a BIG one at that) is their penalty to Charisma, but this does not apply to BR!

  6. #6
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----

    From: "Osprey" <brnetboard@BIRTHRIGHT.NET>

    Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2003 11:27 AM





    > So heavy rythm and chants might fit a dwarven bard`s style, aye?



    Exactly. One of the Overthane`s adviser in my 2e campaign was his former

    tutor, a dwarven chanter who could trace everyone`s geneology back into the

    mists of time. He played drums on occasion, and spoke in a low bellowing

    chant.



    The other kind of dwarven bard I had was the tumbler. Rather than singing

    and playing instuments, he performed for groups feats of acrobatics,

    tumbling around.



    Kenneth Gauck

    kgauck@mchsi.com

  7. #7
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    Here is an idea for a dwarven runemaster. Starting with a wizard as a base.
    The changes are:

    hit die: d8
    skill points: 4+int mod
    The bonus scribe scroll feat be switched to an item creation feat

    The runemaster could only cast spells by touch, by drawing a rune on the object or recipient. Would lose most spells from the schools conjuration, evocation and necromancy, many others from the other schools and pick up some spells from clerics.

    The runemaster would be able to create magic items, but only of stone, metal or dwarven flesh. Six item creation feats:
    structures(such as walls, doors, on a trap, etc..)
    wonderous items
    weapons and armour
    tattoos
    rings
    combination creation (allow several dwarves to participate in the creation of the item, sharing the experience costs and time. Important for creating particularly powerful items, such as the main gate to the dwarven kingdom)

    The mechanics for creation would be the same except that the runemaster would have to create the item themselves (the reason for the extra skill points). The cost would be 10% less because of the runemasters complete familiarity with the item.

    This would be a NPC class, though it is strong enough that a PC could play it.
    Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a night. Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Hmmm, interesting...

    Why d8 hit die type? Dwarves already get a Constitution bonus (and DR) to account for their toughness. How about d6 - still a bit tougher than the wizard (its base).

    Why add clerical spells, by the way? And consider that limiting the spell lists too much might preclude the creation of a number of magical items. I think it already balances by the fact that the runemaster has a very limited method of transferring the magic - through runes alone. Powerful under the right circumstances, but nigh-impotent in other situations (where range is an issue, especially). And considering that a good 90% of arcane spells are ranged, that&#39;s a pretty hefty limitation&#33; I don&#39;t think I&#39;d trim down the spell lists at all.

    Also, it might be feasible to allow non-dwarves to have such a class. Crap, who invented the Rjurik anti-magic sentiment, anyways? Suspicion and distrust I could understand, but it really slaps the whole Norse/Celtic derivation right in the face - Odin discovered runic lore in Norse mythology, and later passed it onto man. The Celts&#39; druids seem to have been so wreathed in mystery that they could almost as easily qualify as "sorcerers" as they could priests. And besides, how often could the average, mundane Rjurik person tell if magic is arcane or divine anyways?

    Eh, sorry to go off ranting, the original point was that Rjurik Runemasters might be a pretty cool addition, too.

  9. #9
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    I loathe the old D&D rule sets that created racial limits to classes. Even the elven - clerical rules isnt a racial rule but a cultural rule. An elf that was raise in a human temple could very well become a priest to a human god if such an elf desired to worship the god of its "parents" and the god wanted to accept teh elf as its servant.

    The point being that cultural rules are always better than racial rules. In the most well known fantasy setting tolkien&#39;s middle earth dwarves are great users of magic&#33; But in the form of item creation they are second only to the elves in the creation of magic items. The point I&#39;m making is that D&D in the earlier versions was very very limiting and the 3x version have allowed you to create a vast difference within the classes a a rogue can be a diplomate or a thug yet they both use the same rogue template but one is part of the ruling class and the other is a lower class criminal. Yet they are both rogues. One is a theif one is a diplomate. The class distinctions in 3x editions are very broad and thus none limiting and thats why they didnt make rules that eliminated dwarven magic users like they did in 2e or 1e ad&D. Because a Wizard that concentrates on item creation is well within most fantasy literature of dwarven cultures. And yet who&#39;s to say taht there isnt a dwarven gandalf? Why is it important to eliminate choice to the races? The human advantages teh extra feat and teh skill points are far more powerful than most racial abilities in 3x edition rules, so it not a balance issue.

    I just find it strange why people are so against giving players choice in the game. Does it really ruin the birthright setting to have dwarven wizards? Does it really complete the birthright setting to disallow dwarven wizards? What makes a setting and what breaks a setting? While Gandalf the grey is a major icon in tolken&#39;s lord of teh rings his magic power is almost never displayed and yet he is used as a symbol of magical power in the setting. But I ask how can that one symbol of a NON-HUMAN be the basis of so many human wizards? i mean its well within the realm of reason to eliminate human wizards and socerers as a viable class options in a d20 middle earth setting but it would cause 100&#39;s of people to say "hey thats not fair&#33;" So inturn isnt it just a viable that if human wizards are aceptable in middle earth that dwarves would be too? and cant this same argument to transplanted in birthright? Why cant dwarves be arcane magic users? What does it hurt? i think 3x edition did alot to address the failings of D&D with its racial restrictions. I think teh game is better for its more open rules. The weapon restrictions are now gone again a better way to address weapons is handled in the current editions. I guess it falls under the subjective view point of if you think D&D has gone the better route with its sules in allowing greater diversity with character classes and races or if you prefer the more structured but restictive rules of teh older system? Does birthright want to be part of the former or latter? It appears that all adaptations of the older 2e settings that have been converted for 3e have kept the the new spirit of teh 3e rules of non-racial restrictions for the 3e version of teh setting. Shouldnt birthright keep to that spirit and allow individual GM/DM add more restrictive rules if they desire?

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Osprey schrieb:

    > This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.

    > You can view the entire thread at:

    > http://www.birthright.net/forums/ind...ST&f=36&t=2000

    > Osprey wrote:

    > Hmmm, interesting...

    > Why d8 hit die type? Dwarves already get a Constitution bonus (and DR) to account for their

    toughness. How about d6 - still a bit tougher than the wizard (its base).

    > Why add clerical spells, by the way? And consider that limiting the spell lists too much

    > might preclude the creation of a number of magical items. I think it

    already balances by the

    > fact that the runemaster has a very limited method of transferring

    the magic - through runes

    > alone. Powerful under the right circumstances, but nigh-impotent in

    other situations (where

    > range is an issue, especially). And considering that a good 90% of

    arcane spells are ranged,

    > that`s a pretty hefty limitation&#33; I don`t think I`d trim down

    the spell lists at all.



    When seen as an NPC class which as most dwarves can only be found in

    dwarven provinces and underground then the range issue of arcane magic

    is not so great a problem. Underground, with the exception of larger

    dwarven halls there should not be so much room that the long and medium

    ranges of spells really could be used to advantage by some human or

    other races wizard to compare to the runemaster. Additionally his racial

    darkvision would allow him to take advantage over the humans need for a

    light spell/torch to light him a limited area underground.



    As a PC who would like to adventure outside the normal dwarven society

    and on the surface, there it would really difficult to compete.



    > Also, it might be feasible to allow non-dwarves to have such a

    class. Crap, who invented the

    > Rjurik anti-magic sentiment, anyways? Suspicion and distrust I could

    understand, but it really

    > slaps the whole Norse/Celtic derivation right in the face - Odin

    discovered runic lore in Norse

    > mythology, and later passed it onto man. The Celts` druids seem to

    have been so wreathed in

    > mystery that they could almost as easily qualify as

    "sorcerers" as they could

    > priests. And besides, how often could the average, mundane Rjurik

    person tell if magic is

    >arcane or divine anyways?



    The last statement is the reason that rjurik wizards tend to use spells

    which look like comparable druidic/clerical counterparts. The unschooled

    eye of commoners can´t see the difference so they are safe - until a

    real druid or priest wanders through that village and discovers that the

    village druid is a wizard ;-)

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