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Thread: No. of Mages

  1. #1
    Pieter A de Jong
    Guest

    No. of Mages

    In the Ariya players secrets that I just got, there is an interesting
    paragraph under the heading Demographics. It suggests that of 81000 people
    in the city, 4500 are classed (most of them low level). What is interesting
    is in the next few sentences when it suggests that 1/3 of the classed people
    are mages!!! (and only 500 of them are spell casting priests). Now
    obviously most of these will be magicians, not true mages but still this is
    a very high number. It indicates that many assesments of the level of magic
    in the Birthright world have been low. It also explains the profusion of
    powerful magic items available to the published NPC's eg. Guilder Kalien
    (4th level thief) with a Short Sword +4 and Bracers of Defense!.
    This is a human city, what must elven cities be like? Is this
    section a complete waste or do other people feel that these are reasonable
    numbers of magicians?

    Pieter A de Jong
    Graduate Mechanical Engineering Student
    University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

  2. #2
    gandalf
    Guest

    No. of Mages

    - -----Original Message-----
    From: Pieter A de Jong
    To: birthright@MPGN.COM
    Date: Friday, February 06, 1998 23:09
    Subject: Re: [BIRTHRIGHT] - No. of Mages


    >In the Ariya players secrets that I just got, there is an interesting
    >paragraph under the heading Demographics. It suggests that of 81000 people
    >in the city, 4500 are classed (most of them low level). What is
    interesting
    >is in the next few sentences when it suggests that 1/3 of the classed
    people
    >are mages!!! (and only 500 of them are spell casting priests). Now
    >obviously most of these will be magicians, not true mages but still this is
    >a very high number. It indicates that many assesments of the level of
    magic
    >in the Birthright world have been low. It also explains the profusion of
    >powerful magic items available to the published NPC's eg. Guilder Kalien
    >(4th level thief) with a Short Sword +4 and Bracers of Defense!.
    > This is a human city, what must elven cities be like? Is this
    >section a complete waste or do other people feel that these are reasonable
    >numbers of magicians?


    "most of them of low level"
    No I still can't see how all these items found their way there. It takes a
    16th lvl mage to create a permanent magical item such as armor or a sword.
    Not many there, huh?
    My theory is, all the items are leftovers from a greater age - probably
    elvish.

  3. #3
    RazeDaemon@aol.co
    Guest

    No. of Mages

    I wouldnt pay too much attention to what the demographics on your Players'
    Secrets says... In my campaign, the magic level is low... Like BR was
    intended to be. The mages are feared and respected... Even magicians are
    something to be awestruck by... My PC's didnt get a magic item (excluding the
    initial magic item for being a regent, which is usually pretty lame like a +1
    sword or shield) until around 3-4th level...

    The thing that turned me from the Forgotten Realms to the Birthright campaign
    was the magic... In FR, everyone had magic... Barkeepers could throw a
    fireball at you for spilling a drink... And the characters never had a chance
    to ever become as great as, say, Elminster or Khelben... It was if the
    world's history was created by these huge, legendary people, and our
    characters were only lucky if they were graced by their divine presence...

    BR, on the other hand, lets OUR characters make history. We are important
    people and can be counted amongst the greats... No one is really TOO high
    level and our characters are special.

    I fear that this can be attributed to the newness (is that a word?) of the
    campaign. I pray that in the years to come, BR does not become as the Realms
    has...


    Sorry to go off like that,


    Raze


    - -Would you like some vodka with that?

    -Apu

  4. #4
    prtr02@scorpion.nspco.co
    Guest

    No. of Mages

    >
    > I wouldnt pay too much attention to what the demographics on your Players'
    > Secrets says... In my campaign, the magic level is low... Like BR was
    > intended to be. The mages are feared and respected... Even magicians are
    > something to be awestruck by... My PC's didnt get a magic item (excluding the
    > initial magic item for being a regent, which is usually pretty lame like a +1
    > sword or shield) until around 3-4th level...

    I guess I do. Khinasi lands are known for their magicians. MAGICIANS. There
    should be quite a few low-level magicians running around Khinasi.

    > The thing that turned me from the Forgotten Realms to the Birthright campaign
    > was the magic... In FR, everyone had magic... Barkeepers could throw a
    > fireball at you for spilling a drink... And the characters never had a chance
    > to ever become as great as, say, Elminster or Khelben... It was if the
    > world's history was created by these huge, legendary people, and our
    > characters were only lucky if they were graced by their divine presence...
    >
    > BR, on the other hand, lets OUR characters make history. We are important
    > people and can be counted amongst the greats... No one is really TOO high
    > level and our characters are special.
    >
    > I fear that this can be attributed to the newness (is that a word?) of the
    > campaign. I pray that in the years to come, BR does not become as the Realms
    > has...
    >
    Yes. Hopefully, boards like this can help avoid that. TSR usually (at least
    in the past) publishes items like NEW MONSTERS! NEW TREASURES! which ups the
    power level of the campaign world. Sadly, we ourselves do the same- just look
    at the netbook- NEW BLOODPOWERS! NEW REALM SPELLS! NEW WICKEY AWNSHEGH! It's
    sometimes hard not to do because it's fun to create a new character, item or
    country. TSR does it because NEW! sells products. We do it because it's fun.

    What does this mean? It probably means that some escalation in the power level
    is unavoidable. It's definately something to keep an eye on as your campaign
    moves on.

    IMC I've toyed with the idea of having magic "fade" somewhat from Cerilia as
    time passes and the cultures move into the Renaissance. Possibly reducing the
    value of all sources by one or eliminating 9th (or W9 and P7) level spells.
    Perhaps increasing casting times or adding some limitation as suggested in PO:
    spells & magic. Most of this would never affect PCs, who would certainly be
    lucky to reach 12th level, let alone 15+, in a BR campaign. It would knock the
    top end off and/or make magic harder to use. Just an idea.

    Randax

  5. #5
    James Ruhland
    Guest

    No. of Mages

    .
    >
    > > The thing that turned me from the Forgotten Realms to the Birthright
    campaign
    > > was the magic... In FR, everyone had magic... Barkeepers could throw
    a
    > > fireball at you for spilling a drink... And the characters never had a
    chance
    > > to ever become as great as, say, Elminster or Khelben... It was if the
    > > world's history was created by these huge, legendary people, and our
    > > characters were only lucky if they were graced by their divine
    presence...
    > power level of the campaign world. Sadly, we ourselves do the same- just
    look
    > at the netbook- NEW BLOODPOWERS! NEW REALM SPELLS! NEW WICKEY AWNSHEGH!
    It's
    > sometimes hard not to do because it's fun to create a new character, item
    or
    > country. TSR does it because NEW! sells products. We do it because it's
    fun.
    >
    I for one don't mind the introduction of new spells, and certainly not new
    villians; what, to me, ruins the FR isn't nessisarily the high power/high
    magic level; it's the fact that good-aligned NPCs dominate the realms; the
    NPCs are the heros. I say add in more Awnshegh, more villians; the more
    evil, the better; it gives *our* hero's something to combat, somthing to be
    heroic against. And new spells just increase the options (you can't cast
    'em all in the same action round, anyhow).
    I just hope that the future-history/adventures that are planned increase,
    rather than end up decreasing, the opposition players face. In the realms,
    all the evil places are in retreat (NPCs killed off the Horde, Zhentil Keep
    was nuked in a novel, etc.) NPCs killed the Sorceror Kings & Dragon of Dark
    Sun, not even a hint at an option for players to be the hero's. That's what
    bugs me; I don't care if the hero's are supposedly low-powered types with
    limited capabilities (like most of the dudes in the DS books were, asside
    from the half-elf who became a demigod in a fashion most TSR folks would
    deride if they heard some player gabbing about it at a convention), or
    semi-divine like Elminster and the 7 Sisters. I want *players*, not NPCs,
    to be the focus. "Low Power" can be cool, but I really don't think BR is
    "low power" (perhaps "rare power", but anyplace with earth shattering realm
    spells is not exactly for the weak).

  6. #6
    Bill Seurer
    Guest

    No. of Mages

    > Excerpts from mail: 6-Feb-98 birthright-digest V1998 #43 (34910)

    > >It also explains the profusion of
    > >powerful magic items available to the published NPC's eg. Guilder
    > Kalien
    > >(4th level thief) with a Short Sword +4 and Bracers of Defense!.
    > > This is a human city, what must elven cities be like? Is
    > this
    > >section a complete waste or do other people feel that these are
    > reasonable
    > >numbers of magicians?

    > "most of them of low level"
    > No I still can't see how all these items found their way there. It
    > takes a
    > 16th lvl mage to create a permanent magical item such as armor or
    > a sword.
    > Not many there, huh?
    > My theory is, all the items are leftovers from a greater age -
    > probably
    > elvish.

    I think that the writer of that book (or the editors) screwed up. The
    writers who gave the hordes of magic items to all the NPCs are being
    very sloppy. If you just ignore most of the items the NPCs have it
    really makes no difference in the characters nor how you play them. If
    a character needs a magic item to be memorable the character is weak.

    I gave my players one magic item each as per the rules. Most were
    family heirlooms and were tailored to the player, not "+x Longsword"
    knockoffs. They haven't found any other magic items yet and haven't
    even been looking for them because they don't expect them. This has
    worked out really well compared to other campaigns which all eventually
    seem to fall into the, "What, another lousy Vorpal Sword?" trap.

    Actually, a few of them didn't get an item but had hints as to where
    such an item could be found. One guy's father had spent his life
    searching for this mythical magic item and was considered crazy because
    of it. The reputation had rubbed off on his son who staunchly defended
    his father whenever someone called his sanity into question. Eventually
    he got a letter that his father had written to him (to be delivered at a
    certain time) containing some hints where the item could be found. They
    went on a quest for the item just recently and recovered it and, alas,
    his father's body.


    - - Bill Seurer ID Tools and Compiler Development IBM Rochester, MN
    Business: BillSeurer@vnet.ibm.com Home: BillSeurer@aol.com
    Home page: http://members.aol.com/BillSeurer/

  7. #7
    c558382@showme.missouri.
    Guest

    No. of Mages

    On Mon, 9 Feb 1998, Randall W. Porter@6550 wrote:

    > > I fear that this can be attributed to the newness (is that a word?) of the
    > > campaign. I pray that in the years to come, BR does not become as the Realms
    > > has...
    >
    > Yes. Hopefully, boards like this can help avoid that. TSR usually (at least
    > in the past) publishes items like NEW MONSTERS! NEW TREASURES! which ups the
    > power level of the campaign world. Sadly, we ourselves do the same- just look
    > at the netbook- NEW BLOODPOWERS! NEW REALM SPELLS! NEW WICKEY AWNSHEGH! It's
    > sometimes hard not to do because it's fun to create a new character, item or
    > country. TSR does it because NEW! sells products. We do it because it's fun.
    >

    "New!" information should probably focus more on new for low level
    characters. I designed an axe for the Overthane's consort (she's a hearth
    guard) that was +1, +2 vs orogs, and had a speed of zero. The main
    benifit is the bonus to initiative. I have created other magic items
    which are otherwise normal, except have an encumbrance of next to nothing.

    Many ancient and medieval texts refer to magical items which are not
    designed for adventuring, but can be useful, especially in a BR campaign.
    Such items include a table cloth which makes all food extra-nutritive, or
    neutralizes poisons, &c.

    Minor enchantments can be given more freely, hence the fun part, while
    doing almost nothing to unbalance your campaign.

    I had a Rjurik character join my Baruk-Azhik campaign and I gave him a
    shirt of heat resistance (as the ring) before comming down south, where it
    has been of much less utility. The character treasures it though, because
    it is magical, and it is a symbol of his origin.

    Kenneth Gauck
    c558382@showme.missouri.edu

  8. #8
    Manta
    Guest

    No. of Mages

    Agreed. My king of Aerenwe┬┤s magical item is ┬┤┬┤Arabel┬┤l huggable
    bear┬┤┬┤(Enciclopedia magica Vol1 pp58)
    Has saved his life and especially his cousin┬┤s (also PC- impulsive type of
    guy, always creating problems for the party).
    Suppose a Longsword+5 w/ Vorpality would┬┤t have been as useful...

    Manta

    > Many ancient and medieval texts refer to magical items which are not
    > designed for adventuring, but can be useful, especially in a BR campaign.
    > Such items include a table cloth which makes all food extra-nutritive, or
    > neutralizes poisons, &c.
    >
    > Minor enchantments can be given more freely, hence the fun part, while
    > doing almost nothing to unbalance your campaign.
    >
    > I had a Rjurik character join my Baruk-Azhik campaign and I gave him a
    > shirt of heat resistance (as the ring) before comming down south, where
    it
    > has been of much less utility. The character treasures it though,
    because
    > it is magical, and it is a symbol of his origin.
    >
    > Kenneth Gauck
    > c558382@showme.missouri.edu
    >
    >> To unsubscribe from this list send mail to majordomo@mpgn.com with the
    line
    > 'unsubscribe birthright' as the body of the message.

  9. #9
    James Ray
    Guest

    No. of Mages

    I agree with you, Mr Ruhland. As long as characers in books arent the only
    characters having truly heroic adventures in Cerilia, I'll keep buying the
    stuff. Someone needs to tell the people who write those novels not to go
    too crazy sending their chacracters into the campaign, changing things and
    killing villains. I dont want some goofy NPC to kill the Gorgon, i dont
    want a cheesey band of low-level, magic item rich NPCs to restore the
    Anuirean Empire some cold wet day.

    However events unfold in Cerilia, i want it to be because my players DID
    things, DIDNT do things, or HAVENT had the opportunity to do anything about
    them yet. I dont want "what will sell a few more copies of THIS novel" to
    dictate what happens in Cerilia, the way it ruined Athas, so long ago.
    - ----------
    > From: James Ruhland
    > To: birthright@MPGN.COM
    > Subject: Re: [BIRTHRIGHT] - No. of Mages
    > Date: Monday, February 09, 1998 2:22 PM
    >
    > I just hope that the future-history/adventures that are planned
    increase,
    > rather than end up decreasing, the opposition players face. In the
    realms,
    > all the evil places are in retreat (NPCs killed off the Horde, Zhentil
    Keep
    > was nuked in a novel, etc.) NPCs killed the Sorceror Kings & Dragon of
    Dark
    > Sun, not even a hint at an option for players to be the hero's. That's
    what
    > bugs me; I don't care if the hero's are supposedly low-powered types with
    > limited capabilities (like most of the dudes in the DS books were, asside
    > from the half-elf who became a demigod in a fashion most TSR folks would
    > deride if they heard some player gabbing about it at a convention), or
    > semi-divine like Elminster and the 7 Sisters. I want *players*, not NPCs,
    > to be the focus. "Low Power" can be cool, but I really don't think BR is
    > "low power" (perhaps "rare power", but anyplace with earth shattering
    realm
    > spells is not exactly for the weak).
    >
    >> To unsubscribe from this list send mail to majordomo@mpgn.com with the
    line
    > 'unsubscribe birthright' as the body of the message.

  10. #10
    c558382@showme.missouri.
    Guest

    No. of Mages

    On Wed, 11 Feb 1998, James Ray wrote:

    > However events unfold in Cerilia, i want it to be because my players DID
    > things, DIDNT do things, or HAVENT had the opportunity to do anything about
    > them yet. I dont want "what will sell a few more copies of THIS novel" to
    > dictate what happens in Cerilia, the way it ruined Athas, so long ago.

    I have never read any D&D books, and read no fiction in general. So, I am
    unaware of how the books have influenced other campaigns, or how they
    might influence BR. If someone who has seen this process would explain to
    me, how have novels "ruined" other campaigns, and how does the fiction
    effect the game supliments.

    I know its official policy in the Star Trek franchise that the novels are
    unofficial, and that any contradiction between movies & TV and any books
    are to beresolved in favor of the large or small screen.

    How does it work in BR?

    Kenneth Gauck
    c558382@showme.missouri.edu

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