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Thread: Queations, thoughts and opinion
01-15-1998, 09:17 PM #email@example.comGuest
Queations, thoughts and opinion
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>From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu Jan 15 14:36:07 1998
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From: "Fredrik Lundberg"
To: "Birthright Mailinglist"
Subject: [BIRTHRIGHT] - Queations, thoughts and opinions
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 19:08:14 +0100
Can you tell I'm waiting for a program to finish crunching today?
On the subject of firearms and gunpowder in Cerillia I would like TSR to keep them away. For those DMs that wants to have firearms and gunpowder do use them but please, please, please keep them away from official products. Personally I like the explanation that Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman uses in the Darksword Triology to why there aren't any firearms or any kind of machines. There it exist nine mysteries of magic and one of them is the forbidden mystery of Technology (also known as death) and is only practised by those that "walk the path of darkness".
Ok gunpowderphobes, if you don't like it don't use it, but don't come up with lame excuses
why it doesn't work.
I believe on of the main reasons people are attracted to BR is that it's "low magic".
Low magic makes the world more believable. When you have a high magic world (ie FR), D&D
becomes a game of toys- much like science fiction. The characters that have the neatest toys
(magic items or laser pistol, it doesn't matter) for the situation win. Some people like
thumbing through endless equipment or spell guides. I don't. I want good, mystical, epic
stories. Usually I'd throw gritty and realistic into my list of adjectives, but hey, this is
Anyway, BR is by far more rich, believable and realistic than other worlds. I just makes
sense to have gunpowder at the level of technological and societal sophistication that the
Anuireans and Brechts enjoy. If you don't want vile gunpowder, you should throw out spyglasses,waterclocks, anuirean galleons, caravels, longbowmen, pikemen, countries with free peasents
whose opinion matters, guilds in general, and magical/alchemetical labs. D&D assumes a certainlevel of technological development to support magic users (yes magic users!). This level fell
in the 1300's for our world. In the default D&D setting, the effects of not having a few
small bombards around for siegework doesn't (I suppose) detract much from the game when the
players are busy finding the whizzo wand for the King of Frodor in the evil land of stench.
When you have cultures that are closely tied to historical models, you start to cripple their
I know it has come up =
please bear with me any way. I=20
don't remember exactly what Ed Stark said about the departed gods =
cerillia but I=20
think it where something along the line that since they where dead their =
didn't get any spells.
My question =
According to The Complete Priest's =
are divided into three categories according to what they worship: Gods, =
and Philosophies. Philosophies are faiths worshipping an idea, or a set =
but doesn't all religion have a set of ideas and if so if their god died =
couldn't they be considered to worship a philosophy with the same =
area of command as the dead god as long as they still worshipped the =
their dead god?
The priesthood magical power wouldn't =
be as great=20
as if the god was alive but the priests would still have some magical=20
Assuming that the reasoning above is =
spheres would Adurian priest's who still worships dead gods have access to? or for that matter the priests in =
from where the Basarjis descend from (I don't remember what it's name is =
doesn't the books say that the Khinasi is now forbidden to trade with =
lands since they spread the "heretic" notion that the gods =
worship there are dead).
I would also ask if =
some one who has=20
access to Book of Priestcraft could be so kind as to either post some =
of priestly battle- and realm spells if its not to much to ask (and =
doesn't break any copyright laws).
the subject of=20
firearms and gunpowder in Cerillia I would like TSR to keep them away. =
DMs that wants to have firearms and gunpowder do use them but please, =
please keep them away from official products. Personally I like the =
that Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman uses in the Darksword Triology to =
there aren't any firearms or any kind of machines. There it exist nine =
of magic and one of them is the forbidden mystery of Technology (also =
death) and is only practised by those that "walk the path of=20
And finally I would like to thank TSR =
Players Option book Spells and Magic and specially Rich Baker Who I =
"responsible" for it. It is one =
of the best=20
things that has ever published for AD & D that I have =
Thanks for reading this =
01-16-1998, 06:04 AM #email@example.com.Guest
Queations, thoughts and opinion
On Thu, 15 Jan 1998, Randall W. Porter@6550 wrote:
> Anyway, BR is by far more rich, believable and realistic than other
> worlds. I just makes sense to have gunpowder at the level of
> technological and societal sophistication that the Anuireans and Brechts
> enjoy. If you don't want vile gunpowder, you should throw out spyglasses,
> waterclocks, anuirean galleons, caravels, longbowmen, pikemen, countries
> with free peasents whose opinion matters, guilds in general, and
> magical/alchemetical labs. D&D assumes a certainlevel of technological
> development to support magic users (yes magic users!). This level fell
> in the 1300's for our world. In the default D&D setting, the effects
> of not having a few small bombards around for siegework doesn't (I
> suppose) detract much from the game when the players are busy finding
> the whizzo wand for the King of Frodor in the evil land of stench.
> When you have cultures that are closely tied to historical models, you
> start to cripple their believability.
Randax, you sound like a technological determinist. No particular
technology's development is inevitable. Neither gunpowder, nor the steam
engine, nor splitting the atom. All technologies are developed because
someone was looking for something. If an item exited no interest it could
be put aside, such as Hero's steam engine.
But putting all that aside, there is no reason to assume that our modern
knowledge is true in Cerilia, just waiting to be discovered. Why not take
the late medieval/early modern body of knowledge and decide that it is the
basis for truth in Cerilia. In my campaign when a person takes the
Healing proficency I decide (based on culture of origin) whether they heal
by means of Herbalism, the Four Humors, or Astrology. Players are
familiar with the benifits of taking both Healing and Herbalism. I offer
much the same benifits to taking both Healing and Astrology; or Healing
and the Four Humors. Taking the Four Humors also allows benifits to
psycological applications, such as during Diplomacy attempts. After all,
you would conduct diplomacy differently with a sanguine person as you
would with a phlegmatic one. Today we embrace the Germ Theory of medicine
and reject the others. Of course folk wisdom holds on to Astrology and
Herbalism with various degrees of success.
And so I ask whose beleivability is being crippled? Gunpowder is no
marker of social development (as the other technologies mentioned are not)
for Cerilia. Rather it is a descrite technology based on 1) specific
cultural contexts and 2) the assumption of certain scientific laws.
01-20-1998, 11:35 PM #3Mark A VandermeulenGuest
Queations, thoughts and opinion
On Fri, 16 Jan 1998 firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> On Fri, 16 Jan 1998, Randall W. Porter@6550 wrote:
> Don't even ask me about rust. I'm well enough grounded in late medieval/
> early modern science to apply it in my campaign. And I've always argued
> that if I were to use gunpowder, it would not be better living through
> chemistry, but another magical formula, a secret of nature, along with the
> properties of bat's wings, spider's legs, and eye of newt. I heartily
> recomend Pliny's Natural History for the pharmacopia in it.
How about this: gunpowder is (or requires as a necessary component) the
essence of distilled mebhaighl, properly drawn by a wizard and "cooked" by
an alchemist, at the appropriate astrological time. And, once drawn in and
converted, one "unit" of gunpowder made depletes the mebhaighl supply of
one province by one level for one season. Thus, a source of level 4 can
only be used to power a realm spell that requires a source of 3 in that
season. And say that one "unit" of gunpowder is enough to allow a unit of
"blunderbuss" wielders to fire one shot, or a bombard to fire 10 times.
If this needs tweaking, there are a number of ways to do it:
- -change the # of "shots" produced per "unit" of gunpowder.
- -change the # of depleted levels of the source per unit of gunpowder
- -change the duration of the source depletion
- -change the cost of the process: either in GB for the components or in
action rounds that must be spent by the wizard in completing the process.
I would also require that the regent spend some money on the "Build"
action in order to bring this off. Building some kind of "alchemical
college," which would then have a probability of producing some kind of
neat kickback once a year: say on a roll of 6 on 1d6. Some other things
that an "alchemical college" could provide: improved metallurgy (+1 def
for one "elite" unit), improved guild technique (+1 gb/season for 5 years
for one guild: sold to the highest bidder by a canny wizard), healing
elixyr (possibilities include: ignore next "plague" random event, gain 12
healing potions/year, +1 hit for one "elite" unit), truth potion (obvious
espionage benefits), efficient alchemy (reduce cost or increase yield of
"Alchemy" realm spell), Homestone (a small metal bar which is broken in
half when made, after which each continues to point towards the other if
possible, no matter how far apart they are, a combination compass and
homing device, a million uses to the creative adventurer!), dousing rods
(metal wands attuned to water, gold, magic items, even
mebhaighl--for a slight fee), artificial fertilizer (reroll province
taxation rolls which result in the lowest possible income for one
province), discover new poison (pure Mercury, for example, is absorbed
through the skin and can cause some forms of insanity as it builds up in
the body--we have the phrase "mad as a hatter" because Mercury was used in
the making of felt hats). I'm sure others can think of many more with a
Does this help to balance out the introduction of gunpowder into Cerilia,
esp. if you assume that other regents are doing the same thing? (Darien
Avan and Gavin Tael are surely not to be undone!)
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