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  1. #1
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    Hi everybody. We just started a BR campaign and are having fun with it. I'm modeling a lot of it off the computer game (which I really liked) and as the DM, I interact with my players primarily by having 4 advisers who are ever present in the court. The PCs are the regent and her lieutenants.

    Anyway, we've got 4 advisers, each with distinct personalities and tendencies to jockey for favor and "air time" to tell the PCs what they think they should do. We have:

    The Chamberlain -- His job is to inform and advise the PCs of the political status of their realm and the surrounding areas. In our campaign he's a bit overbearing and always ready to advise on what he thinks the PC should do, from his LN point of view of course.

    The General -- His job is track the strength and movement of armies in their realm and the surrounding areas. In our campaign he's a bit of a warmonger (he's LN) and sounds like a Republican trying to increase the defense budget. He works hand in hand with the spymaster (below) for information.

    The Magical Advisor -- Her job is to keep tabs on the magical power and potential thereof in our realm. In our campaign, since our realm doesn't own any sources and we have a temple regent, she is strictly a "Divine" magical advisor and is quite suspicious of mages. She tends to recommend divination and also offers spiritual advice according to the recommendations of the church (NG). She also may be sharing her post soon as a court wizard is close to being hired.

    The Spymaster -- His job is to inform the regent of the rumors, plots, and intrigues developing in and his realm. In our campaign he's dejected and a bit of a smartass, as our realm has only 1guild and no spy network to speak of. He likes to mention all the time that if we had spies we could rely on information we paid for rather on on whatever spills from the chamberlain's mouth. The PCs have taken a liking to him though and are currently working on spy networks. (AL: CN)

    Anyway, just thought I'd share that "advisor interface" I use to interact with the PCs during domain actions. They occasionally request audiences behind closed doors (so I keep my mouth shut) but we've all been enjoying the well-meaning and bickering personalities of the court advisors.

    camelotcrusade
    Carpe DM

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a good start to me! Keep it up and see how it works. I think you have things covered, because you can meddle and cajole, but it's still up to the PCs to decide. If the PCs get too far out of line, though, the NPCs could make life miserable.

  3. #3
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Be careful not to have the NPC advisors 'spoil' the players. Don't give them too much information, ensure that they use domain actions when appropriate and 'think for themselves' They may come to rely on the "I'll just go to the next room and ask my advisor" instead of seeking out someone who knows what they want to find out.

    One of the worst times I've ever had (and so did my fellow players) was when the DM ran more NPCs in an adventuring party than there were PCs. It was basically the DM playing his own game with the rest of us along for the ride. Bad planning and challenge management.

    It is a fine line to tread when determining how many and how to utilize NPS, especially when it comes to Birthright, what with Advisors and Lts. Good luck in your attempt to keep the balance.
    Duane Eggert

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    Thanks for the tip!! That's definitely something inexperienced DMs need to watch for. I've been running a campaign for 10 years now though, so I got it covered. Balancing is something dynamic that you gotta keep your eye on for sure.

    No worries though... I'm new at BR but my players expect me to play lots of different personalities, and I'm a pretty good voice actor to boot. It's hard to explain, but sometimes it's the backdrop of so many characters that makes the PCs unique. They choose their friends and enemies not just based on alignment or even on their actions... but often on how much they like their personality.
    Carpe DM

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----

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

    Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2004 12:19 PM





    > As the DM, I interact with my players primarily by having 4 advisers

    > who are ever present in the court. The PCs are the regent and her

    > lieutenants.



    I used a very similar set-up in my previous BR campaign, which was on the

    high king model, with one player the royal and the other PC`s as his

    friends. I found it worked exceedingly well.



    In my current campaign, the king is an NPC, and now the PC`s have grown to

    occupy some of the more important roles in the kingdom as Chamberlain,

    Marshal, and Eorl. Of the other two primary PC`s, one is a count in

    Talinie, and one holds the title of Golden Baugh, as second to the Archdruid

    of Stjordvik.



    Part of the key to having so many important PC`s, is to have them be as much

    of a problem as they are a benefit. Or, to put it more accurately, to have

    them represent problems that the realm has. The general should be insistent

    on more forces, or better forces, because there are real threats to the

    realm. Better to move first when you are ready, rather than wait for your

    enemies to strike when they are ready. I like to divide the realm into

    different religious ideas (dividing not only different temples, but those

    within temples too), guild affiliation, policy ideas, great families, center

    vs periphery, and anything that might divide people. Because for the most

    part, you don`t want to encourage the ruler to just find councilors who

    don`t have personality defects, you want these problems to more or less

    unsolvable.



    Kenneth Gauck

    kgauck@mchsi.com

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----

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

    Sent: Friday, January 16, 2004 3:16 PM



    > No worries though... I`m new at BR but my players expect me to play

    > lots of different personalities, and I`m a pretty good voice actor to

    boot.

    > It`s hard to explain, but sometimes it`s the backdrop of so many

    > characters that makes the PCs unique. They choose their friends and

    > enemies not just based on alignment or even on their actions... but often

    > on how much they like their personality. :)



    Interesting. My main court PC`s mostly communicate by letter, or

    conversations are largely one-sided and written out and sent by e-mail. I

    take care to develop a distinct written persona, but don`t have voices for

    many of them.



    Players do choose their friends based on personality, but in my experience

    they choose their enemies based on more objective criterion. Typically

    players don`t cotton to their court figures because they have strong

    interests. They take them seriously, respect their advice and even trust

    them more or less, but they don`t ever seem to like them. Non-advisor NPC`s

    run the gamut, from becoming close friends of NPC`s to rivals and enemies,

    so I tend to think its their representation of a faction within the realm

    rather than the realm as a whole as the ruler does.



    Kenneth Gauck

    kgauck@mchsi.com

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