Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    53
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Hi, we just strated playing a BR campaign using the BRCS put out by this site as our main sourcebook. We're really enjoying and we like the book very much.

    However, here are at least three things that we struggled with that I believe could have been more clearly presented:

    Number of Blood Abilities
    For example, they say that if you're a major bloodline and you happen to roll that you have a minor, a major, and a great blood ability then you can only learn up to major blood abilities. However, your extra slot for the great bloodline isn't lost, it's absorbed down lower. But they don't say whether it goes to major or minor, and whatever it goes to, I'm not sure if it's consistent (e.g., if I increase my bloodline, up to another great ability, where does it go? All to major? Major then minor?). I'm still confused about this; we just ruled that it goes major then minor and so on.

    The Damage of War
    Another thing was that we finally assumed that all war cards do 1 damage to each other, but it's not addressed anywhere in the BRCS that I can find, it simply says that the cards do damage, but nothing about how much damage.

    Random Blooded Character Generation
    I've found that it's hard to generate a new character on the spot for diplomatic use other than using the DM's tried and true "pull it out of my ass" method. I like how in the 2nd Edition boxed set you get a list of names on a handy card, and a random table to determine blood strength (if any). So when I have a random noble to introduce, I grab my name card, check for blood, if so roll it up, and assign a random class as appropriate. I would like to see a random courtier or a random blooded person table or area of tables to make this easier.

    d20 Battle Magic is Lame
    Just my personal opinion here, but after reading all the nifty battle spells they created in the 2nd edition books of warcraft and priestcraft, I expected more out of the d20 version than 2 paragrahs on how to abstract battle magic to where it's barely satisfying for a wizard to bother with. In 2nd edition, you could create a rain of magic missiles that would inflict 1 damage to an enemy unit on the battlefield. How cool is that? Give me my wizards? Not only that, but the d20 rules make it harder to cast (you need the battle casting feat) and you get less of an impact in terms of role play, cool factor, and uniqueness when your magic missile gives you a +1 to some abstract modifier the DM determines. So, while I love the BRCS book, I think this part is a cop-out to wizards everywhere. I mean, are you Gandalf from the movies (magic, what magic??) or Elminster (BOOM&#33. I'll be using the 2nd edition battle magic rules personally. For all your creativity and style, I think you guys could have improved the 2nd edition system instead of scrapping, and had some fun with new battle magic templates and spells to boot.

    ----------------
    Okay, those are the remarks I have for improving it for now. I hope nobody is offended... and before you rally to show me where all this stuff actually was (which I will appreciate&#33 keep in mind that I'm also saying I would like it to be a bit more obvious. Hope you don't mind the constructive criticism...
    Carpe DM

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18
    Downloads
    3
    Uploads
    0
    Just my very personal opinion: I never liked the BR abstract battle system. I especially disliked the battle spell concept. So, I am quite happy that the team focused elsewhere.

    There are tons of mass battle systems to choose from, why to waste time to create another one? Just because of those silly looking war cards? :P

  3. #3
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Posts
    3,946
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Let's see if I can adress these comments. Don't worry no offense was taken.



    Number of Blood Abilities
    For example, they say that if you're a major bloodline and you happen to roll that you have a minor, a major, and a great blood ability then you can only learn up to major blood abilities. However, your extra slot for the great bloodline isn't lost, it's absorbed down lower. But they don't say whether it goes to major or minor, and whatever it goes to, I'm not sure if it's consistent (e.g., if I increase my bloodline, up to another great ability, where does it go? All to major? Major then minor?). I'm still confused about this; we just ruled that it goes major then minor and so on.
    It is the player's option. Whether or not you decide to use the great slot for a major or a minor ability is up to the character. See the phrase where you have the option to take a lesser level ability if desired (BRCS-playtest pg 39). It is consistent with that and this is consistent with 3/3.5 where most things are player's choice. If you increase your bloodline up to a great level you don't get to retrofit, what blood abilities you had before the ones you have now. The scion can take higher level abilities when they become available as his blood score increases though. An equivalent in 3/3.5 is the 2 spells a wizard can choose when he goes up a level. He can spells of any level he is capable of casting, so if goes to 4th level he can choose either 1st or 2nd level spells, but he can't replace a known spell with a different one when he goes up to 5th level - that is he can't replace the 1slt level spell he chose at 4th level with a 2nd level one at 5th level.


    The Damage of War
    Another thing was that we finally assumed that all war cards do 1 damage to each other, but it's not addressed anywhere in the BRCS that I can find, it simply says that the cards do damage, but nothing about how much damage.
    The assumption was for 1 point of damage with a successful, unmodified hit. Pretty much what happened in 2nd ed. Good point though, this wasn't clearly presented. Daniel is revising this chapter so we'll have to see what he comes up with for discussion when he's done. It is definitely changing that much I can tell you, how and how much I can't since I haven't seen exactly where he's taking it yet.


    Random Blooded Character Generation
    I've found that it's hard to generate a new character on the spot for diplomatic use other than using the DM's tried and true "pull it out of my ass" method. I like how in the 2nd Edition boxed set you get a list of names on a handy card, and a random table to determine blood strength (if any). So when I have a random noble to introduce, I grab my name card, check for blood, if so roll it up, and assign a random class as appropriate. I would like to see a random courtier or a random blooded person table or area of tables to make this easier.
    Check out the revised Chap 2. It has these tables included. Well for blood line strength that is. Names, well I'm not certain if they will be included in the Atlas or not. If they are to be included anywhere that is the place since it will be culturally oriented.


    d20 Battle Magic is Lame
    Just my personal opinion here, but after reading all the nifty battle spells they created in the 2nd edition books of warcraft and priestcraft, I expected more out of the d20 version than 2 paragrahs on how to abstract battle magic to where it's barely satisfying for a wizard to bother with. In 2nd edition, you could create a rain of magic missiles that would inflict 1 damage to an enemy unit on the battlefield. How cool is that? Give me my wizards? Not only that, but the d20 rules make it harder to cast (you need the battle casting feat) and you get less of an impact in terms of role play, cool factor, and uniqueness when your magic missile gives you a +1 to some abstract modifier the DM determines. So, while I love the BRCS book, I think this part is a cop-out to wizards everywhere. I mean, are you Gandalf from the movies (magic, what magic??) or Elminster (BOOM&#33. I'll be using the 2nd edition battle magic rules personally. For all your creativity and style, I think you guys could have improved the 2nd edition system instead of scrapping, and had some fun with new battle magic templates and spells to boot.
    The reason we took the approach we did, was basically we thought that the 2nd ed battle magic system was severly broken. This sentiment was echoed by many people over the years. For a recent opinion, check out camelotcrusade's comment.

    The 2nd ed system had area effect spells translating directly into battle effects. This didn't make sense since not all area effect spells worked, why didn't invisibility 10' radius translate into a battle spell for instance? Some spells had saving throws some did not, some didn't make any sense at all and the guidelines for creating a battle spell in 2nd ed were out of whack - or using 3/3.5 terminology 'not balanced'. Following the 3rd ed structure of trying to group things into similar categories (even more developed in 3.5 by the way) it made a whole lot of sense to have a battle spell reduced to a given effect on the battle field hence the +1/-1 concept to various attributes. Now Daniel is curretnly revising the battle system rules and he said something about working in battle magic so we'll have to see what he manages to come up with for the revision (and subsequent discussion).

    The reason for the battle magic feat was for balance. Nothing for free in 3/3.5. It also reflected a certain amount of dedication to not inflicted friendly damage since the caster is supposed to be present in a unit (was in 2nd ed too as I recall).


    ----------------
    Okay, those are the remarks I have for improving it for now. I hope nobody is offended... and before you rally to show me where all this stuff actually was (which I will appreciate&#33 keep in mind that I'm also saying I would like it to be a bit more obvious. Hope you don't mind the constructive criticism...
    No offense received. But check out the revised Chapt 2 rules, more feedback is desired for it since I haven't gotten much feedback so far.
    Duane Eggert

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    53
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Hey there irdeggman, thanks for your gracious reply to my feedback.

    I'm happy to hear about the revisions... you can't be perfect (not even TSR was) but I think you guys are doing a great job. I'm also glad that you're doing revisions of all, that takes a lot of dedication and the ability to take constructive criticism. I might include an extra sentence right next to where it explains the blood abilities gained that points out a character may choose to put the extra ones where he wants them at the DM's discretion.

    I'll give the revised ch. 2 a read... desktop publishing snob that I am I was waiting until it came out in the lovely type setting, but it sounds like I better ready it now.

    Interesting to hear your take on battle magic there. As much as hearing how parts of D&D can be broken makes me shudder (before the age of forums, those were just the parts we ignored ) I can see where establishing a consistent system would be challenging and run into problems.

    However, I stand by my original assertion that D&D is better suited for wizards like Elminster and the Red Wizards who can hur fireballs of doom to great effect -- rather than wizards like Gandalf, who look cool and are pretty smart but are limited to cantrips and the occasional turn undead. Maybe it's up to the DM to decide who war magic should go in his campaign, and you guys could present a few loosely developed rule sets to accomodate the Gandalfs AND the Fireball happy among us.

    Another thing that occurred to me to include someday might be a short chapter that has a written example of a domain turn with players in it. They are undeniably corny when WoTC does it, but if I hadn't played the birthright computer game and had nothing else to refer to, I would have been so confused. Just a thought.
    Carpe DM

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    13
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Examples are key. They really help flesh out the rules.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    13
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    There are a couple of things that I didn't really like when I was reading the book... But overall I think it's a pretty good job and can't have been easy...

    My two main dislikes were:

    1. The differences between the number of blood abilities you had in 2e compared to 3e. I'm just guessing because I don't have either books handy but I felt that the blood abilities were severely downplayed. If I was to run a campaign (using the current 3e playtest) I'd just scrap the BLD score and use the 2e method. I remember as a player (maybe I'm too much of a munchkin) really loving two to three blood abilities. Sometimes four, if we rolled well and had a great bloodline - say we were playing Heirld Diem.

    2. I didn't really like the rules for reducing RP based on certain skills. Whilst I can understand the reasoning behind them I didnt necessarily agree with the exact mechanism. Especially for guild holdings. I remember making up a Rogue who was 6th lvl and they still only had a 80% rate. I think they could be softened a lot as generally characters are low to mid level, and if your running adventures as well the characters may be focusing a portion of their skills towards those sorts of skills...

    I haven't read through the book from cover to cover though, but I'd have to concur with the examples of a domain turn. I found it quite hard to do that the first few times. I'd start with calculating everything to do with a domain, from RP and GB collection as well...

    Keep up the good work though, as I cannot wait for the new revision and the Atlas!!!

    Andrew

  7. #7
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Posts
    3,946
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Originally posted by accasey@Jan 26 2004, 06:51 AM

    1. The differences between the number of blood abilities you had in 2e compared to 3e. I'm just guessing because I don't have either books handy but I felt that the blood abilities were severely downplayed. If I was to run a campaign (using the current 3e playtest) I'd just scrap the BLD score and use the 2e method. I remember as a player (maybe I'm too much of a munchkin) really loving two to three blood abilities. Sometimes four, if we rolled well and had a great bloodline - say we were playing Heirld Diem.

    Andrew
    Welcome.

    Make sure you are reading the revised Chapt 2 instead of the one in the BRCS. There is another thread for the link. It has been 3.5'd (well except for a couple of errors on my part, but it is pretty close).

    I don't really understand the "downplaying of blood abilities" comment though.

    If you converted the 2nd ed system to the BRCS-playtest one the average number of blood abilities came out pretty close. There are always exceptions and not all of the NPCs listed seemed to follow the rules, or at least not the statistical averages so they are pretty bad examples. Also, the blood ability acquistition tables in 2nd ed were pretty obviously out of whack. There have been discussions concerning this one, basically one of the 'tables' was out of order progression wise.

    Overall, IMO the BRCS-playtest (and the revised Chap 2) systems granted more blood abilities than did the 2nd ed one. There is the option to randomly determine the blood abilities, but keeping with 3/3.5 philosphy the default is to have the player 'pick his own' as long as he is eligible.

    Again, check out the revised Chapt 2 instead of the BRCS-playtest version - it is far superior and incorporates a lot of feedback from discussions on the playtest version.
    Duane Eggert

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    13
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Hi Duane

    Yes you're right, I was referring to the original book and not the revised one.
    I guess I was referring more to the potential of gaining abilities (not NPCs).
    Eg with a Bloodline of 30 I could potentially (although unlikely) have 4 abilities, comprising from "Minor" to "Great" (although more likely "Minor" or "Major").
    With a BLD of 15 you could have 1 minor and 1 major.

    But I'll definitely have to review the chapter....
    I'll even try and find it.. :blink:

    Cheers

    Andrew

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
BIRTHRIGHT, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D, the BIRTHRIGHT logo, and the D&D logo are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and are used by permission. ©2002-2010 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.