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Thread: Too easy?
03-08-1998, 05:17 AM #1James RuhlandGuest
> Wars, awnsheghlin, corruption, blood challenges, natural disasters, even
> visit from The Wizard while the characters were low-level... It just
> too easy.
> I would like to hear how everyone else's campaigns are going just so I
> compare... Province/Holding levels, blood strength of the PCs, magical
> owned, etc.
Well, this isn't exactly a new problem. I remember my 1st D&D character, &
then translating him to AD&D, way back. . .he was something like a
Paladin/Mage and reached ungodly levels farly quickly. It was all new &
exciting and neither I nor the folks I played with even knew the phrase
"game balance". . .and it took us years even once we had heard that phrase
to understand the concept. I'm not sure I'm that successful in implementing
it even now.
BR is still in that kinda stage, it seems. You have to find a way to
balance the power of the PCs, especially in a situation like this where the
players are cooperating rather than competing. . .
That brings me back, again. . .for a lot of gamers it took a long time to
learn that the goal was to cooperate with the other PCs, not compete
against them (I.E. not nessisarily that everyone was reaching for their
sword all the time, but just that the goal sometimes seemed to be who could
outwit the guy next to them to get the most goodies etc.) Most role-players
(I could be wrong/overly optimistic. . .) seem to have learned that lesson
by the early '90s, at least with regards to the people they regularly play
with. But IMO, Birthright works best when the players are competing, not
cooperating fully. No, that doesn't mean they should be at war with each
other all the time. But Birthright is, IMO, a more complex version of, say,
Diplomacy (the game. . .oh, and a much more complex version). Question
becomes how you get the player's characters to be willing to be friendly &
go on adventures etc. while still being agressive in competing against each
But perhaps you don't want to go that route at all, you and your players
prefer to cooperate, to stand strong, together, against the rest of the
(NPC) world. How do you keep them from being unbeatable right off the bat?
Well, one way is to limit their choices a bit, I suppose. Instead of
playing Aerenwe, Roesone, and Illien, say that one player plays Roesone,
one the Impregnable Heart of Haelyn, one the Spider River Traders, and the
last Illien. You have players running complimentary realms with similar
interests, but they don't have their own private Empire right off the bat.
They have to watch out for the more powerful High Mage, be careful of
competing merchants like el-Hadid, and beware of the might of Ghoere.
Also, in BR the DM's job can get a lot tougher, fairly fast. Why? Because
the NPCs can't just be inert, waiting for the players to come into the
dongeon and fight them. Neighboring NPC realms have to be as dynamic &
ambitious as the players are in pursuing their own interests, growing, and
using their own initiative in thwarting the goals of the players.
Otherwise, in a fairly short period of time, they'll be left in the dust,
and the situation you describe will occur. . .it will all seem too easy.
IMO, you could do worse than check out Darkstar's PBeM; take a look at the
realms the PCs rule, and the realms the NPCs hold, especially in Anuire.
Some PCs are fairly powerful. But the NPCs are not pushovers by any means;
in fact, IMO, the more powerful realms (landed especially) remain NPC
realms. Why? because the DM puts time & effort into maintaining the
challenge, and makes sure that nothing comes to easy.
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