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  1. #1
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    This is really not a well concieved poll.

    For the following reasons:

    It is structured poorly in its wording - by the way it is written it 'leads' to the answer that elven druids should be allowed (3 out of 4 choices are yes and the 1 that is a no is an extreme-case wording)

    It avoids defining what is meant by druid - is it the 2nd/3/3.5 default druid (one whose powers come directly from nature) or is it the druid as defined by 2nd ed BR - that is a priest of Erik?

    It is based on a rather shaky premise. There is only one place in all of the 2nd ed BR material that even refers to the 'possibility' of elves worshipping human gods (I believe that is the PS of Tuarvhiel). And even then that is just a small write up with no examples of any elves that are druids (i.e., priests of Erik given). So essentially it comes down to an incorporation of house-rules based upon what people envision (or have adapted elves in their campaigns to be) and not really anything based on 2nd ed BR setting material.

    While there is sufficient color writings in the novels to describe elves as having access to more abilities and powers than a strict reading of the 2nd ed rules have - there is really nothing there to indicate a 'true druid' or a worshipping of human deities (i.e., Erik) such that the elf could be a druid.


    Now -
    While I have (in addition to the quotes that Kenneth posted, not necessarily trying to prove the same point but using the same rules) have quoted both the 2nd ed (core and supplemental books) and 3.5 core books in justification for an almost direct porting of the 2nd ed BR rules on druids into 3.5 no one has cited the location on the rules that states this direct porting is a 'violation' of the 3.5 rules. Some have alluded to it but have not proven their point rule-wise, at least not yet.

    I am not going to re-post those quotes, mostly as a deference to Lord R - but they are there and most were posted recently.

    Essentially in 2nd ed and 3.5:
    Rangers can get their abilities directly from nature or from a nature deity.
    Druids can get their poweres directly from nature or from a nature deity.

    In 2nd ed BR rangers got their powers directly from nature.
    Druids got their powers from a nature deity (Erik).

    So essentially 2nd ed BR choose a specific option from the existing rules for the campaign setting. These choices/definitions are still consistent with the rules in 3.5.
    Duane Eggert

  2. #2
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    The poll also makes the mistake of giving false information to its reader: a decision has already been taken, and one that had to do with the real subject at hand, which was that, since there are no elven BR druids (aka priests who revere nature by worshipping Erik, since there are no elven priests at all, or at least too few of them [5 at most, 10? You get what I mean...]), elven arcane spellcasters have nature-related spells added to their spell lists!

    As for the whole other points, allow me to put my 2 coppers worth of an opinion:
    • Healing was incuded in druid spell lists due to their divine-servant stature... That is the reason a couple 3._e settings specifically say that bards are not able to cast cure spells. It has nothing to do with a druid's connection to nature!
    • The options of the poll should be more like:
      • No elven druids at all! :angry:
      • If the odd elf (0,0001%) chose to be a priest of Erik, becoming an outcast of the wolrd, believer of gods to elves, sidhelien to humans, well, why not? In the end, if Erik has no problem... :unsure:
      • Yes, but give elves a background for such a thing (RaspK FOG's note: this is generally the poorest choice, as it generally is based on some people's absolute love for elves and no other reason at all, something that is bad for the game and most other players's enjoyment most of the time).
      • Yes, definitely!

  3. #3
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    By the way, for those of you who do not remember it, older D&D versions (I think it was in D&D 1e) presented the bard as a class combination: he had to take thief levels, then at a specific point he would advance as a fighter, and after a few levels he became... a druid! :lol:

    This was thematically inspired (IMO) from the fact that bards and druids were the two higher classes of the old celtic civilisation.

  4. #4
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RaspK_FOG@Feb 9 2004, 07:20 AM
    By the way, for those of you who do not remember it, older D&D versions (I think it was in D&D 1e) presented the bard as a class combination: he had to take thief levels, then at a specific point he would advance as a fighter, and after a few levels he became... a druid! :lol:

    This was thematically inspired (IMO) from the fact that bards and druids were the two higher classes of the old celtic civilisation.
    It was in 1st ed and I gamed with an individual that actually had a character become a bard. As I recall the advancement was thief, wizard, ranger, druid then bard (one from each class category).

    As I recall the ranger spells included some real wizard type spells also and not real nature themed ones.

    But anyway, this is really a moot point since BR was 2nd ed and by then the class struture had evolved drastically from 1st ed. Heck in the 'original D&D - prior to AD&D) elf was a class and not a race.
    Duane Eggert

  5. #5
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    As I recall the ranger spells included some real wizard type spells also and not real nature themed ones.
    Yep! Rangers were essentially arcane spellcasters in AD&D(1st ed). They could memorize and cast low-level magic-user spells.

    I don't think the poll was so terrible - I believe it was trying to create choices based on prevailing opinions about the elves/druid issue.

    On the other hand, what it comes down to is what's appropriate for the BRCS, what should be variants, and what should be left as more extreme variants that shouldn't be printed in an official revision.

    Too many variants makes the document too big. So we are back to an older thread (Royal Library, from late summer/early autumn) about what to do with them. I'm still all for easy-access on the archives here (or an equivalent, regardless of the system) that would allow lots of neat ideas and variations for personalizing and molding your Birthright campaign setting to suit.

    I think, though, that it's very difficult to keep all discussion in this forum strictly "publishable BRCS material." Because this forum is also about playtesting comments, responses, and feedback, and that really feeds into everything, doesn't it? So the borders blur, and I hate to see good ideas get shoved under the rug just because they aren't going to be "official publication inclusions." For myself, and I would say many of the posters here, a lot of problems and solutions come out of our playtesting experiences, and the forum provides a place to air those things and get some perspective, insights, and ideas from one another.

    Of course, it's also important for the BRCS Revision team to narrow down the specifics of what should be published as official, which variants are viable enough to include, and which ones don't make the cut.

    So maybe it's time to get clear: what are the parameters for variant rules being included in the publication? At what point should we let go of certain issues, or at least shift threads over to the Royal Library for less 'official' (BRCS) discussion?

  6. #6
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    The best solution to the question of varients is to keep any single document

    lean and to include occasiona references to BR.net`s downloads and documents

    where I can post my dwarven druid, if I haven`t already.



    The contributions section is so easy to use, that there is little reason to

    fill the BRCS with varients.



    Kenneth Gauck

    kgauck@mchsi.com

  7. #7
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 06:24 PM 2/9/2004 +0100, Osprey wrote:



    >So maybe it`s time to get clear: what are the parameters for variant rules

    >being included in the publication? At what point should we let go of

    >certain issues, or at least shift threads over to the Royal Library for

    >less `official` (BRCS) discussion?



    This is a fuzzy line sometimes. It`s the role of a campaign setting to

    have material that differs from the core materials, so sometimes I think

    what gets called a "variant" really is campaign material the differs from

    the core rules, and should probably be written up as regular campaign

    material rather than put into its own little category. "Variant" to me

    often expresses methods rather than mechanic. That is, the requirement for

    random blood ability generation is a variant. I`d suggest the following

    guidelines:



    1. How well does the "variant" really express a campaign theme? This is,

    of course, a subjective standard, but if one can point to some of the

    original campaign material (not a 2e mechanic, mind you, but the themes

    expressed in the colour text of the published materials) that is being

    portrayed then I think its worth considering as part of the BRCS.



    2. Is the "variant" too complex? That is, is it more difficult to employ

    than a core rule? Again, this is a subjective standard, but if one were to

    try to quantify this one should guesstimate that if the idea was "twice" as

    hard to employ than the core rule then one should drop it. A simple

    "lateral shift" of game mechanics (the DR=con bonus for Cerilian dwarves,

    for instance) might require a bit of text, but the argument that "it`s not

    how 3e/3.5 does things" is not by itself something that should be a

    consideration.



    3. Will people use it? If it seems like more people will use it than not

    then it should be "core" campaign material. If it seems like a good

    percentage of people (10% maybe) will use it than it could be written up as

    a variant.



    4. Most importantly, the issue of whether variants should be included in

    the BRCS document should probably be, "would it have gone into the original

    BR Rulebook?" Lots of things brought up by the BR community should IMO go

    into an offical BR update document, but not necessarily the BRCS

    itself. The things covered by the BRCS should be the things covered in the

    original BR Rulebook, and should be given about the same treatment. Where

    the material is brief in that document the BRCS should be similarly brief.



    Having said that, I should note that I agree with Kenneth that the BRCS

    should be as lean as possible. However, I would suggest that the best way

    to go about doing that is to cut some of the more redundant stuff by

    applying some of the above guidelines to decide if it should be dropped or

    moved to another updated BR document. For the former, there is a lot of

    stuff that most gamers are pretty familiar with in a D20 product. We don`t

    need, for instance, the standard character class information for the

    Magician PC class even though it is "new" to the setting. It really is

    very similar to existing classes, so I don`t think we need the

    "Adventures," "Characteristics," "Alignment," "Starting Package," etc.

    sections for it. We do kind of need the table, but the rest of the

    description could be handled much as the other character classes are in the

    document. (Personally, I`d also lose the spontaneous casting aspect of the

    class and make it more like the wizard for reasons of theme, simplicity and

    parity with existing classes--then the table could also be dropped.) On

    the other hand, the Noble is a bit more of a leap from standard core class,

    so that one should probably have the standard description as it does in the

    Playtest--though one could probably take a blue pencil to it.



    I`d also pare down the text in a couple of the chapters, most notably

    chapters 3, 4 and 8. A lot of that material could go into updated versions

    of the BoM and the BoP, and some of it should be dropped entirely. At a

    guess, around two thirds to three quarters of Chapter 4 belongs in an

    update of the BoP--and I`m not sure some of it needs be described at all in

    that text. The information on the Afterlife, for example, is over a page

    of text and really could be dropped. There is no specific reason for

    including it that I can see, and I doubt most people will use it in any

    way. It`s not bad material, mind you, but it smacks of an individual

    homebrew`s interpretation of some rather obscure cosmological issues,

    rather than basic campaign material, and should either go in some other

    document or be removed. (If it had been sent to the message boards by a

    person in the BR community, I`m pretty sure it`d be the kind of thing that

    someone would suggest belongs in the "Royal Library" section.)



    Similarly, things like the material on magic items (chapter 8) should go in

    an update of the BoM or BoP. I can see putting it in the playtest version

    of the BRCS since it`d be pretty difficult to play an updated version of

    the setting without it, but it`s quite detailed for inclusion in the

    "basic" setting.



    I`d also reconsider a few of the monster/character descriptions in chapter

    9. Some are definitely worthwhile (the ones that were on cards in the

    original boxed set) but we don`t really need write ups for elven horses,

    caracdir, meharmain or skuhlzecki. Those belong in their respective BR

    text update, as do several others.



    Lastly, while I can sympathize with the desire to write a document that has

    uses beyond BR... it`s just not the role of the BRCS to be that

    document. I think you should lose the material having to do with using the

    BR domain rules in any other setting. Not only is it not the role of the

    BRCS, but it seems to me to have colored some of the thinking that went

    into the update of the domain rules--in particular allowing things like

    non-regents to control BR domains, and RP costs for domain actions. The

    BRCS update should not IMO be developed with an eye towards use in any

    setting other than BR.



    Gary

  8. #8
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    I think you misunderstood what Osprey meant, Gary: his saying "variant" means variants on the standard BR rulings, not standard core rulings. For example, the DMG presents a variant for AC rolls, where the standard 10 base for AC is accounted as a take 10 action, and creatures may roll 1d20 against any or all attacks (DM's choice how this should be handled) instead of "taking 10"; similarly, standard rules for BR now present elves in one manner, while there could also be a variant, like Teloft's take on sidhelien...

  9. #9
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    Gary schrieb:



    > ...

    > Having said that, I should note that I agree with Kenneth that the BRCS

    > should be as lean as possible. However, I would suggest that the best

    > way

    > to go about doing that is to cut some of the more redundant stuff by

    > applying some of the above guidelines to decide if it should be

    > dropped or

    > moved to another updated BR document. For the former, there is a lot of

    > stuff that most gamers are pretty familiar with in a D20 product. We

    > don`t

    > need, for instance, the standard character class information for the

    > Magician PC class even though it is "new" to the setting. It really is

    > very similar to existing classes, so I don`t think we need the

    > "Adventures," "Characteristics," "Alignment," "Starting Package," etc.

    > sections for it. We do kind of need the table, but the rest of the

    > description could be handled much as the other character classes are

    > in the

    > document. (Personally, I`d also lose the spontaneous casting aspect

    > of the

    > class and make it more like the wizard for reasons of theme,

    > simplicity and

    > parity with existing classes--then the table could also be dropped.)



    Especially as the Wizard Specialists in the 3.5 Edition have been made

    more balanced as far as I´ve read, the Magician as double-specialized

    Wizard should not really need something like spontaneous casting which

    he did not have in 2E.



    > On the other hand, the Noble is a bit more of a leap from standard

    > core class,

    > so that one should probably have the standard description as it does

    > in the

    > Playtest--though one could probably take a blue pencil to it.



    Take a blue pencil to it? What does that mean?

    bye

    Michael

  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 10:40 PM 2/9/2004 +0100, Michael Romes wrote:



    >Take a blue pencil to it? What does that mean?



    Sorry... obscure publishing reference. Print editors traditionally use a

    blue pencil when marking manuscripts--and generally being edited means

    cuts--so by "taking a blue pencil to it" I mean that it needs to be revised

    or rewritten (and preferably shortened.)



    Gary

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