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  1. #1
    Hello All,

    I'm trying to set up a new PnP Birthright Campaign along the lines of political action/adventure, basically lots of political intrigue and power plays mixed in with enough running and screaming to keep everybody somewhat happy. Mostly I'm inspired to do this by Atlas Games' "Dynasties and Demagogues" (which I highly recommend, which is why I'm plugging it). So the players would not start out as regents, but could work their way to it eventually with enough backstabbing and conniving (hopefully of NPCs). Now the question I have is, what would be the best setting for such a campaign?

    I sort of want to move away from Anuire, as I've played there almost exclusively and I have the materials for all the other regions. Although the only realm that comes to mind easily as the perfect location is Tuornen: that poor realm is a playing field to the Boeruine-Avan rivalry, with either side siping at each other and also trying to gain more influence over the Duchy, and if that weren't enough there are the agents of Alamie to the north trying to overthrow the realm.

    This sort of setup is ripe for "wheels within wheels" plots where players discover they weren't actually serving faction A, but faction B, when in reality they are serving faction C; or where players can attempt to spin their own webs of deceit and play different factions to gain personal power.

    Does anyone have any ideas as to another good area for that kind of action? Anuire's still fine, as I think having a range of options certainly couldn't hurt. I'm assuming that my best bets are the "civilized" cultures (Anuirean, Khinasi, and Brecht), although if you have an argument for a Rjurik or Vos location I'd love to hear it.

  2. #2
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    Brechtur is a fine location for this -- not only do you have the machinations of the landed Nobility there, but the Guilders have as much, if not more power than they do. Then there's the temples too who have a vested interest in the political blance of the countries....
    "It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion -- and usually easier."

    - R. A. Heinlien, from The Collected works of Lazarus Long

  3. #3
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Almost anywhere in Anuire would be suitable. Otherwise, the Basin States of Brechtur (especially Muden if your PCs aren't regents, plenty of action there.) If you prefer Khinasi then the plains states, specifically Zikala, Ariya, or Aftane would be a good idea as those 3 nations have plenty of action going on there. Many of the other Khinasi nations are also possibilities, but I've always found that the main human vs. human political action is in the plain's states, the other regions are more awnsheghlien - humanoid action.

    You did mention Tuornen, and that would have been my first suggestion to, almost perfect for the situation you described. Another possibility is the Imperial City, as the heart of the old Empire there is plenty of opportunity for political intrigue.

    If you are looking for a slightly different sort of campaign, the some of the Rjurik nations of the Taelshore are a possibility, where you have multiple jarls working with a king, and in some case multiple guilder and the two major temples of Erik, and finally the who urban vs. tribal rjurik situation. The situation there provides for plenty of opportunity, but it is a less developed region, so the Rjurik leaders are going to be looking to hire people who get things done with their sworsds rather than someone who uses words and fancy legal arguments to resolve problems.

    Any nation with multiple regents (especially law) would have plenty of action between the compeditors.
    Let me claim your Birthright!!

  4. #4
    Aye, Brechtur is definitely a nice place to have many layers of political intrigue. So many guilders, many of them landed regents also, seeking to gain power over their competitors and neighbors. Heh, the temples would just be another added layer to that already intricate web of intrigue.

    Example:
    You can have guilders higher adventures to work free-lance in raiding their competitors by land and sea, ie brigands and pirates. They can also be looking for help infiltrating their competitors guilds to spy on them, act as double agents, and find out their competitors contacts to win them over...

    Then a landed guilder may want them to help create unrest in a neighbor's province, while other agents seek to keep that neighbor occupied, with large scale trade raids, and political unrest in the nobility. Soon, the neighbor is assassinated by his own nobility, heheh, and before the heir can take the throne, he is suddenly assassinated by the adventures who take the realm for the landed guilder who hired them.

    After proving themselves trustworthy their employer then sends them onto larger missions. Heheh, and soon the adventures become infamous pirates who rule the seas, supposedly controlling several islands in the sea. From there they go on to conquer their employers lands by bringing false information about other neighbors who would try to take over the employers lands and trade. They may do so by convincing him to send the army and navy out to do a preemptive strike against the neighbor. However, the employer doesn’t have enough troops to garrison his lands so he asks the adventures to lend him some of their pirates, which of course the adventures do.

    Then the adventurers/pirates hit those ships filled with troops and take out, leaving their employer completely open for the military conquest by the pirate garrison troops! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! The adventures send in some more troops under the enemy colors, and as their employer sets up to defend, suddenly finds the pirate garrisons turn on him, catching the remaining forces off guard and force them to surrender.

    Thus, the adventures can then force their employer to step down as regent and transfer power to one or more of the adventurers, maybe even make one of them heir heheh, and then just kill him.
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  5. #5
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Northern Anuire is an oft-overlooked hotspot for intrigue...while more "back woods" then the rest of Anuire, it's also overflowing with corrupt guilders, desperate or weak landed regents, and lots of opportunity for obscure heroes (or competing villains working their way up through the ranks) to carve out a domain of their own.

    Dhoesone, of course, is the only realm realm worth placing this in for a mainly human-centered game. It sounds as if you want to run a "not so friendly" kind of campaign, so what I would suggest is that the PC's get hired on, either freelance or full-time, by one or another of the competing guilds up there. They're all notoriously underhanded and viscious. The nice thing is how this might allow for a balance between intrigue and subterfuge, political scheming and betrayal, and good old-fashioned violence when the time is right...because the law of the land is ultimately going to be one resolved by violence (the north is like the wild west of Anuire... ).

    Osprey

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    I echo with Brechtur. Most decidely political and non-conquest oriented, that is most likely not too many wars going on. So things are more likely decided in the political arena. Also Brectur is the only location where all 5 human cultures could feasably be present in one form or another as well as dwarf, elf and halfling. It is the only location in Cerilia with dwarves and humans sharing residence and actually working together for survival.
    Duane Eggert

  7. #7
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    Aside from what the people have said above, Djafra in Khinasi is ideal. Multi way civil war...

    incompetent dominated sultan
    assassin guild wishing for power
    magician who dominates sultan and works for the guild, and perhaps for his own little self
    Cousin-Prince who is the "good guy"
    benevolent guilder backing him up, but without any promises of special treatment afterwards
    A huge Avani temple wishing for stability perhaps?
    A Sarma temple wishing to dominate Nurida and make a theocracy perhaps?
    The Society of the Serpent... well.. no need to comment
    The bey of Nurida, Serpent's puppet, but for how long?

    Sirad to the north might wish to get involved and Khourane and Min Dhusai and ghamoura might wish to get involved in order to bring stability back

  8. #8
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    The Khnias lands are a good place to have a campaign. They are probably the most difficult to role-play though. The concept of Sayim and how to play it, the intracies of a culture that is very different from the western-european style cultures makes it very rich for role playing but not for beginner player, IMO.
    Duane Eggert

  9. #9
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    > Bearcat wrote:

    > Hello All,I'm trying to set up a new PnP Birthright Campaign along

    > the lines of political action/adventure, basically lots of political

    > intrigue and power plays mixed in with enough running and screaming to

    > keep everybody somewhat happy.

    > Does anyone have any ideas as to another good area for that kind

    > of action? Anuire's still fine, as I think having a range of options

    > certainly couldn't hurt. I'm assuming that my best bets are the

    > "civilized" cultures (Anuirean, Khinasi, and Brecht), although

    > if you have an argument for a Rjurik or Vos location I'd love to

    > hear it.



    Brosengae is mentioned as a center of diplomacy in Anuire, where many

    regents have embassies. Endier is a banking center, balanced precariously

    twixt Ghoere, Alamie, Avanil, Diemed, and the Spider.



    The best crossroads area on the map is Rohrmarch (whew, is that the

    name?), the little brecht kingdom with two kings which borders

    Baruk-Azhik, the gorgon`s lackeys, Coullabhie, and is a major trade route

    from Anuire to Khinasi. Actually, isn`t Sendoure right south of there?

    That has about the same effect, but no immediate civil war as-written.



    --

    Daniel McSorley

  10. #10
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    Hogunmark and Halskapa are also fantastic for this.

    Hogunmark, which having a central authority, is constantly raided by Scarlet Barony and is at perpetual war with White Witch. Throw in the urban/nomad conflict of the people, and you have lots of fun. This can lead to many intrigues.

    Halskapa's king is very old, and gone senile. The jarls are manuevering to take his throne, before or after he dies. Also have the urban/nomad conflict, some White Witch influence. Most importantly, though, have Siren to the south that many want to attack, but just wants to survive. Tons of manipulation possible.

    Also, could look into Urga Zai as goblins. Total anarchy there, practically. Might makes right, so anything can go.

    Grevesmuhl in Brechtur is interesting for this stuff, as it is thoroughly fragmented. Then you can go to any of the nona Vos realms, like Rovninodesk (sp?), Melyy, etc. Wars of theology are always good spots for plots.

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