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  1. #1
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    I posted this in a thread that was a critique on the whole poll /call for elven druids and after reading the debate and thinking on the subject i posted thisthe following. I feel that is should be discussed seperatly on its own merits and thus its own thread.


    There is an inherent dificulty with converting 2nd edition material to 3/3.5 edition rule sets. This is the basic shift in the design philosophy of D&D. The first incarnations of the game 1st and 2nd edition were about creating balance through restriction. Classes and Races were all heavily restricted and the worlds reflected this. Including birthright. BR made a MINOR shift with the druid in that it made them ALL nature clerics of a specific god. This did little to upset the spirit of teh rules from 2E. A greater rule change was no elven clerics, but again this was still not a large diparture from the "spirit" of teh old rules. It was a large deaparture from teh rules themselves in restricting the elves from the cleric class but it wasnt a large shift in the spirit of the rules which were all about creating balance through restrictions. Enter 3rd edition.

    3rd edition is about freedom. It tries to create balance without using restrictions to create balance. This is causing friction while BR is converted to 3e. The players or many players are rebeling from what they see as a violation to the spirit of the new rule set. They want freedon. Enter the traditionalists they see the desire for elven druids as a fundemental violation of the birthright setting.

    If the idea that ALL druids in birthright are clerics then elven druids appear to be a direct violation of the setting. But this is a slap in the face to common sense. Of all the cultures that would druids would flurish in its the sidhelean. The druids are a logical extention of the nature connection that the elfs have in this setting. So to have them restricted is 100% counter intuitive. Yet Druids are clerics in birthright.

    The best solution would be to make druids as the class is presented in the PHB a arcane spell caster that has learned to cast spells in natural armour, restricted to non-human or to the rare human . Then create a special nature cleric class for clerics of Erik. This i think would be more in teh spirit of both the campaign setting and the new rules edition. Its obvious to me that the reason it wasnt done in the first place with the original rules was because it was easy and a new class that mirrors a druid in many ways seemed redundent and with commercial publications you have time contrants and profit margins. It takes both time and money to create a balanced class. We dont have these retraints. Taking a cleric and modifing its skills and special abilities to to be more nature orientated would seem closer to the intention of the nature clerics.

    There is also a fundemental difference in teh cosmology of teh birthright setting and the core rules. Arcane magic is a speerate power source for spells from nature and deities. But in birthright you have divine magic directly from the divine beings and arcane magic that is directly dirived from nature. This causes areas where direct conversion doesnt fit well. This shift in cosmology is a huge diparture to the core rules of both 2e and 3* edition. Nature's magical manifistations have always been divine magic in birthright they are arcane. So rangers and druids which are nature spell casters are divine spell casters in teh cosmology of birthright they should be arcane. Birthright sidesteped the issue with druids by making them nature clerics but it does so in a manner that has caused the unsatisfied feeling that has sparked teh whole elven druid debate. What should be done is to make the character classes in the game fit the cosmology of the setting. Making a ranger an arcane spell caster that can cast spells like a bard (ie in light armour they dont suffer spell failure) and use Int instead of wisdom as its spell casting stat. has a better feel for birthright and if a Erik cleric class is created specific for teh nature clerics make druid use Int as well and have them arcane spell casters. They dont suffer arcane spell failure when they use armour with no metal. The shift in the nature spell casters in terms of the speical rules to excempt them from standard arcane spell failure, has presedent with the special rules for arcane spell casting with 3.5 bards. So these minor changes shouldnt cause a huge up roar.

    What i think the Arcane druid/ranger and the creation of a special nature cleric class does is solve all the major issues with the elven druid without violating the spirit of birthright or the freedom created in the new edition of D&D. These changes also seem to make the cosmology of birthright fit better. The changes are also balanced as much as they are in the core rules. Changing wis to int shouldnt cause a fundemental shift in balance. The real issue with this proposed idea is creating and balancing the new nature cleric class. But adding a class isnt unpresidented either we have the magician and the noble class.

    Is there any fundemental reason why we cant add these changes? They do add size to the final download but they, i feel, create a better solution and they DONT add a varient which many GM dismiss out of hand.

    Does this not solve all the objections to the elven druid and all the justifications for allowing teh elven druid? If it does shouldnt serious consideration be made to working on these changes?

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Is there any fundemental reason why we cant add these changes? They do add size to the final download but they, i feel, create a better solution and they DONT add a varient which many GM dismiss out of hand.
    Basically yes there is a fundamental problem. It has to do with what the campaign setting definition material is. That is what defines a setting. As I went in on another thread campaign setting material is that material that differs from the core rules. In 2nd ed BR elves couldn't be priests was a setting specific definition. BR went in to define the role of druids - they are all priests of Erik. In the 2nd ed core rules druids (and rangers) could derive their power directly from nature of from a nature based deity. BR chose to specify those - druids gained their power from a nature god and rangers gained theirs from the power of nature. These options for where druids/rangers gained their powers from didn't change in 3/3.5.

    BR also stated that one of the main reasons the elves 'lost' the war to humans was clerical magic, specifically healing magic.

    Inserting arcane based druidic magic just destroys these premises. THis is like writing a generic campaign with just adding in blood abilities and some rules for how to run a domain. Shoot it might as well be a module for Forgotten Realms.

    Adding a variant that is in direct opposition to the standard is like writing 2 separate campaign settings. In one elves can't be druids, in the other they can.
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by irdeggman@Mar 13 2004, 12:32 PM
    Is there any fundemental reason why we cant add these changes? They do add size to the final download but they, i feel, create a better solution and they DONT add a varient which many GM dismiss out of hand.
    Basically yes there is a fundamental problem. It has to do with what the campaign setting definition material is. That is what defines a setting. As I went in on another thread campaign setting material is that material that differs from the core rules. In 2nd ed BR elves couldn't be priests was a setting specific definition. BR went in to define the role of druids - they are all priests of Erik. In the 2nd ed core rules druids (and rangers) could derive their power directly from nature of from a nature based deity. BR chose to specify those - druids gained their power from a nature god and rangers gained theirs from the power of nature. These options for where druids/rangers gained their powers from didn't change in 3/3.5.

    BR also stated that one of the main reasons the elves 'lost' the war to humans was clerical magic, specifically healing magic.

    Inserting arcane based druidic magic just destroys these premises. THis is like writing a generic campaign with just adding in blood abilities and some rules for how to run a domain. Shoot it might as well be a module for Forgotten Realms.

    Adding a variant that is in direct opposition to the standard is like writing 2 separate campaign settings. In one elves can't be druids, in the other they can.
    i think you use hyperbaly to say that adding an arcane druid results in a NEW generic setting that adds blood lines and abilities.

    First the birthright setting doesnt really have arcane magic. It has divine magic and nature magic. They in tern stated that 2e arcane magic was actually nature magic and taht druids were preists. they really didnt deal with the ranger issue. They are divine spell casters but this really is a violation of teh cosmology of teh BR setting. They should be arcane/nature spell casters. Why didnt they cange rangers? they didnt because it would cost alot of time and effort to make the distintion for little game effect rules wise. They didnt add a new nature priest for the reasons I outlines in teh opening post of this thread, time and money.

    I think that anyone can see that the definitions given in BR setting have left a "bad taste" im many peoples mouths and that is why their is a debate about the elven druid. The definitions are not satisfactory based on teh cosmology of the setting and teh rules. If they where then there would be no debate. There is a major push for the change. There are logical reasons for the change too. There are also reason for not changing things as well and logical reasons to oppose the changes. But you cant simply ignore the reasons on each side. I feel that i do alot to address both sides on the issues and admit that its only on a conceptual level they are not given any depth. An agrement in principle is needed first.

    You can remove the healing abilities of druids completely or reduced them to teh level of bards who can now heal. This would do much to shift the elven druid towards the setting ideals. The fact remans that D&D doesnt provide a really good way to make arcane magic, nature magic. In the core rules arcane magic is radicaly different and speerate from nature magic. In birthright arcane magic is nature magic yet teh spells dont reflect this. the druid "fells" right for elves culturaly it "feels" wrong to band elves fron druids, blinding following the setting definitions doesnt address these very issues. Making changes to the druid and creating a nature cleric seem to address the issue far better than the settings definitions.

    I ask again. Is there any fundemental reason why we cant add these changes? taking into consideration BOTH sides of the issue? Or is there no way that any changes could satify you because the setting has its definitions and thats final?

  4. #4
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    I already made a comment on the aforementioned thread, but let me add a little extra here:

    There actually is arcane magic: the Lesser magic of Cerilia and True magic are both forms of arcane magic!

    Now, your problem lies in the fact that you have accepted your own perception of the BR setting as the best and cannot "bend" things to make them fit; you need to hack them open to achieve the same result.

    It is just like food chains, your point of view: pretty neat, clear, nice and stuff, but it does not really exist on its own; True arcane magicks, druidic magicks, and ranger magicks all draw from nature, the former from mebhaigal, the second from a deity of nature, and the latter from nature itself as a form of divine essence. To say any of this is different reminds of the erroneously converted FR setting: they removed the "any good" restriction from the ranger, and with the ranger's ability to fight with two weapons at 1st level, FRCS 3e is just fed up of EVIL rangers who leave in cities!

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