Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 27
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Edinburgh, UK
    Posts
    190
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    I have always wondered why wizards should not be allowed to create and develop sources in areas that are not considered provinces. I have not met many GMs who allow this, but the reasons have mostly been "not allowed" or "doesn't work". Have anybody come up with any better explanations, or do you allow it in your games?

    I have personally been tempted to say that non-provinces from a human perspective are really just a zero level province from the perspective of the locals. As such I would say that a non-province is actually -/7 as opposed to non existent for the purpouse of source generation. (Source potential of 7 is just an arbitrary expample here.) This would allow dragons and other reclusive creatures to control sources without being dependant on some pesky local ruler actually controlling the provinces.

    Cheers,
    E

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Posts
    3,946
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Mechanically the question to address is where are the boundaries to be drawn? If there is no province then a -/7 would be applicable to everywhere vice a -/7 that is bounded by a set area. What this would do would be to gretly limit how many sources ae available if there are no province lines drawn.

    So unless some kind of arbitrary or virtual province is created to bound the source potential boundaries it doesn't really work from a mechanics standpoint.

    What dragons?
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Edinburgh, UK
    Posts
    190
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    Originally posted by irdeggman@May 12 2004, 02:14 PM
    Mechanically the question to address is where are the boundaries to be drawn? If there is no province then a -/7 would be applicable to everywhere vice a -/7 that is bounded by a set area. What this would do would be to gretly limit how many sources ae available if there are no province lines drawn.
    To me the province boundaries are something that is rather arbitrary. Unless one links the manifestation of the Mehaighl to the drawing of province lines there is little reason why the Mebhaighl should not flow there.

    So unless some kind of arbitrary or virtual province is created to bound the source potential boundaries it doesn't really work from a mechanics standpoint.
    I have found that many other people play with province borders already drawn up before the provinces are created. Personally I think this is a good idea, as it gives the players some idea of province borders will end up if they create a province.

    What dragons?
    Where it says 'There be dragons!' on the treasure map.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Ashland, NH
    Posts
    1,377
    Downloads
    6
    Uploads
    0
    Don E,

    The one area I've put that into practice is the Sere Coast west of Mieres and the Deismaar Wastes. There is a huge area of mostly uninhabited and desolate wilderness...perfect for a strong wizard to come along and claim the entire region, and calling it Wizard's Reach.

    I did exactly what you preferred: drew province lines, regardless if a blooded rgent rules the land there or not - in this case, not. But if someone were to come along and attempt to do so, they'd still have to start with a Create Province action - that action isn't a month-long ritual of drawing boundaries alone, though that might be a decent part of it (Medieval Surveying?). Create Province is also laying down the infrastructure and seeds of establing rulership, taxation, and other holding types.

    And since sources thrive in non-civilization, then I think you're exatly right: what is allowed to be a province is ultimately the GM's discretion, not the player arbitrarily deciding "I want this place to be a province." So why not draw everything out as a GM?

    Osprey

  5. #5
    Birthright Developer
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    388
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    > I have always wondered why wizards should not be allowed to create and

    > develop sources in areas that are not considered provinces. I have not

    > met many GMs who allow this, but the reasons have mostly been "not

    > allowed" or "doesn`t work". Have anybody come up with

    > any better explanations, or do you allow it in your games?I have

    > personally been tempted to say that non-provinces from a human

    > perspective are really just a zero level province from the perspective

    > of the locals. As such I would say that a non-province is actually -/7

    > as opposed to non existent for the purpouse of source generation.

    > (Source potential of 7 is just an arbitrary expample here.) This would

    > allow dragons and other reclusive creatures to control sources without

    > being dependant on some pesky local ruler actually controlling the

    > provinces.Cheers,E



    This is entirely reasonable, and there`s no reason to disallow it; it`s

    certainly not gamebreaking or out of genre for wizards to have their lairs

    far from the normals.



    --

    Daniel McSorley

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Posts
    3,946
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Yes all I was refering to is some sort of borders for a virtual province. As long as they are there I see no reason why a wizard couldn't lay claim to source holdings in the area.

    Now it would probably be feasable for a DM to 'draw' the boundaries on his map as they pertain to sources for unclaimed 'provinces'.

    This would allow wizards to claim an effective area for their sources.

    Once (if ever) the land is claimed by a regent as a province then the borders are finitely set since the regent has bound the land to him in some manner. This would supercede the virtual border originally drawn.

    Just some thoughts.
    Duane Eggert

  7. #7
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Ashland, NH
    Posts
    1,377
    Downloads
    6
    Uploads
    0
    The really sticky issue revolving around this is the sources that are not provinces at all. The outstanding example is the River Maesil, mentioned in RoE as one of the primary sources for Caine of Endier's regency, yet he isn't listed as getting any actual RP or a source rating from the river. Has anyone come up with some decent mechanics to deal with this sort of thing? It's a big deal, since most rivers of consequence, in Anuire at least, always run along borders of provinces rather than through them. A river through a province would be easy, it would just add to the source potential of the province. But the Maesil especially is so big that it could be imagined to be a potent source in and of itself.

    I have come up with 3 contrasting possibilities for this, though I haven't decided on anything at this point in time:

    1. Ignore the reference to Caine in RoE, and instead say big rivers are no different than oceans. Running water is actually a problem for sources and ley lines, being a wilder sort of mebhaighl difficult or impossible for mages to channel.

    2. Allow that rivers, because they flow in predictable channels, can be harnessed as sources in and of themselves. I think the easiest thing then would be to break rivers into large chunks as source potential.
    -ex: The Maesil: the Lower Maesil would run from Endier to the Imperial City, and being so wide and deep might be as high as a level 9 source potential. This may in fact have been the primary source of the Royal College of Sorcery, though it may also be that Caine has been contesting their control of it over the years. Likewise, the Tuor River (4), the Stonebyrn (5-7), the Midlands Maesil (source 5-7 potential, from Gheire, where the Stonebyrn meets the Maesil, to Endier), the Heartlands Maesil (5-7, Elinie-Ghoere section), and the Upper Maesil along the Mhoried-Markazor border (7).

    Some other major rivers of Anuire that lie between provinces:
    -The Spider River (5-7, high since its source is the Spiderfell)
    -The Adele (3)
    -The Calrie River [name? the river between Aerenwe and Osoerde] (4)
    -Bog River [name? Elinie-Coeranys river, through Ruorven] (4)
    -Chimaeron River [name? Coeranys-Chimaeron border] (5)
    -Elfwash River (7)
    -Boeruine-Talinie border [name?] (5)
    -Lower Rulde River (5) [Riverford - Nolien]
    -Middle Rulde River (7) [Tuarhievel border]
    -Upper Rulde (7) [Gorgon's Crown-Giantdowns border]

    3. The 3rd option, which I favor least because it requires complete rearrangement of the existing map, is that border rivers should have added source potential (+1 normally, possibly up to +3, depending on the river and province) to each of the provinces bordering it. This would be a mjor pain in the butt, and make less sense than the rivers being sources independent of neighboring province sources.

    Obviously I'm very interested in the 2nd option, rivers as independent sources. This would add a large number of potential sources to Anuire, which is frankly in desperate need of more sources to balance out the wizards as regents compared to other regent types. Wizards have to look much harder than other regents for a sizable domain, particularly in the south and Heartlands, and this problem only grows in games where province levels start rising as regents continue to Rule them to higher levels.

    What do folks think of this? I know there's been discussion on the subject before, but I've never seen anyone put actual numbers to it.

    Osprey

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Edinburgh, UK
    Posts
    190
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    Originally posted by Osprey@May 12 2004, 04:44 PM
    1. Ignore the reference to Caine in RoE, and instead say big rivers are no different than oceans.* Running water is actually a problem for sources and ley lines, being a wilder sort of mebhaighl difficult or impossible for mages to channel.
    It would most certainly not be the first time one did a handwave due to some inconsistency in BR.

    2. Allow that rivers, because they flow in predictable channels, can be harnessed as sources in and of themselves.* I think the easiest thing then would be to break rivers into large chunks as source potential.
    I'm not a big fan of this solution. Not only would this incrase the amount of sources avalable quite drastically, it would also open the question regarding sources and the ocean. I'm quite happy with wizards having trouble with water.

    3. The 3rd option, which I favor least because it requires complete rearrangement of the existing map, is that border rivers should have added source potential (+1 normally, possibly up to +3, depending on the river and province) to each of the provinces bordering it.* This would be a mjor pain in the butt, and make less sense than the rivers being sources independent of neighboring province sources.
    I think this might be the prefered solution if one see it as a problem. A flat bonus of +1 would be my choice. This would not be because the river or sea is untampered wilderness, but because it generally allows for a more fertile land along it. I also think there should be a cap on this bonus to prevent source of level 10 (or higher if one gives a +2 bonus or more).

    Another similar option is to give river and coastal provinces a specified magic potential that is used if the province terrain would normally put it lower. In the RoE PBeM this level is set to 6, and appers to be working reasonably. This is actually how it was presented in the original BR rules book, but for some reason not implemented in the domain writeups. On p81 you'll find that river and coast is listed with a magic potential of 7. Did I just write something about inconsistencies? :P

    Cheers,
    E

  9. #9
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Ashland, NH
    Posts
    1,377
    Downloads
    6
    Uploads
    0
    I think this might be the prefered solution if one see it as a problem. A flat bonus of +1 would be my choice. This would not be because the river or sea is untampered wilderness, but because it generally allows for a more fertile land along it. I also think there should be a cap on this bonus to prevent source of level 10 (or higher if one gives a +2 bonus or more).
    What is the problem with source potential of 10? Why not allow source 10 as a cap, rather than 9? Seems balanced to me, given that provinces can get this high.

    I think +1 as a default is reasonable too, I was just thinking of +2 for special types infused with mebhaighl, such as [perhaps] the Spider River and the Elfwash.

    Another similar option is to give river and coastal provinces a specified magic potential that is used if the province terrain would normally put it lower. In the RoE PBeM this level is set to 6, and appers to be working reasonably. This is actually how it was presented in the original BR rules book, but for some reason not implemented in the domain writeups. On p81 you'll find that river and coast is listed with a magic potential of 7. Did I just write something about inconsistencies?
    I think in general there are too few sources in Anuire compared to potential for other holding types, which is why I'm not averse to adding to potential source options.

    And if I were to believe the Rulebook, then coastal and river plains would be at +2, not +1, right? the PBeM seems a bit biased against sources to me, or is making some wierd compromise.

    A possible reason that river is source 7 potential, but it doesn't show up in RoE writeups: there isn't a single river in Anuire that goes through a province. Every single one is a provincial border. It's possible they intended the river potential for a case which didn't actually become reality on the maps, at least in Anuire.

    I don't quite agree with coastal provinces being better for sources. I see the ocean as being the ultimate in untameable wild magic. Rivers, however, are very defined and fairly predictable in their flows, though speed and flow of water of course varies by weather and season. The ocean, on the other hand, constantly mixes and defies any lasting boundaries besides the actual landmasses. But if the water itself is the source of mebhaighl, imagine how maddening it would be for a wizard to try and capture that essence when it's constantly shifting, mixing, coming and going with the tides...

    A reasonable analogy is contemporary uses of rivers and the sea as energy sources: damming rivers provides large amounts of predictable electricty for cheap, while tidal energy is notoriuosly expensive and low-yield. While the ocean represents an immense source of potential energy, the actual process of harnessing that power is still incredibly difficult and impractical.

  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    2,178
    Downloads
    4
    Uploads
    7
    Irdeggman is correct in pointing out that the fundamental question with

    non-province sources is how to locate them, and the most obvious answer (as

    pointed out by Don E) is that the DM can just sketch in those province

    borders since they are, more or less, arbitrary. They do tend to follow

    major terrain features, but not exactly and not with any particular

    consistency. Province borders also tend not to meet up to form "corners"

    in a "four-points" kind of way in which four different provinces all meet

    up at the same point. They do that occasionally, but not very often. Most

    often the borders are "perpendicular" to one another. The only other

    consideration is province size. Smallest to largest, provinces on the BR

    maps seem to have a range of about 500%. That is, the smallest province is

    one fifth the size of the largest one. In some respects this seems to be a

    matter of terrain, with "less habitable" areas getting more area. While

    none of these things are hard and fast rules, given those considerations

    one could just draw in borders over the entire continent without too much

    difficulty--just a little time and eyeball strain.



    In the past fiddled around with the idea of a provinceless domain

    system. A holding has a central point--a headquarters, guild office, main

    temple or source, and their influence radiates out from that locale. A

    level 4 holding, for instance, would have four "rings" of influence with

    each ring representing the amount of control over that aspect of the

    population the holding exerts. Control over additional holdings of the

    same type represents having additional radii of influence. That is, if a

    regent controlled two level 4 holdings he`d have two concentric circles of

    control radiating out from two different locations, each with a diminishing

    amount of influence as the circles grow larger. In such a system the map

    is gridded (I actually prefer hexes since they fit "circles" better and

    have a nice, nostalgic D&D feel) and the influence of the holdings are

    plotted much the way spell effects are in 3e/3.5 with the level of the

    holding representing the radius of the influence. Rival holdings can exist

    as nearby or far away as one wants, but their influence doesn`t stack, so

    having holdings overlapping each other doesn`t do any particular

    good. Competing or cooperating regents, however, can use their levels in

    much the same way they can within provinces in the standard BR domain

    level--adding or subtracting those levels to influence other`s actions and

    the ability to engage in RP bidding to influence the outcome of the

    actions. In such a system one needn`t draw province borders, just

    establish a holding in a grid square and have its influence radiate out

    from there.



    I mention this here because it occurs to me that one could just assume that

    in regions that aren`t already mapped out for provinces that one could just

    locate the points on the map where the "source" is located and give access

    to the source levels from that. It might save some time if one doesn`t

    want to scrawl province borders on a whole continent....



    Gary

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
BIRTHRIGHT, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D, the BIRTHRIGHT logo, and the D&D logo are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and are used by permission. ©2002-2010 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.