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08-26-1998, 01:23 PM #1TheMotive@aol.coGuest
My whole take on this gun situation is as follows, and feel free to kill me
I *hate* magic and I *hate* mages. I hate elves too. The reason I like
Birthright so much is because, even though it is magical in nature (what with
the destruction of gods and bloodlines and such), it is *more* realistic then
a lot of TSR games.
I'm big on the "Divine Right" idea. Although I don't support the idea of some
egomaniac running this country without anyone to stop him, I do think the idea
of God choosing a ruler and that ruler being a messenger of God is pretty damn
cool. That's another thing about Birthright I like.
But I don't like mages. I didn't like Forgotten Realms 'cause it was so
magical, and I didn't like Dark Sun because the mages were even *more*
powerful then in any other setting. I liked Birthright because mages did not
run the show--it was more focused on what *our* world was like.
So, I brought guns into my campaign. And the guns beat the mages. And for all
of you who are arguing that a high-level mage can take out a battalion of
cannons, I tell you this. Sure, it a mage can cast fireball in a few seconds,
and it takes a cannon 30 rounds to load. But to do you ACTUALLY think these
cannons are rolled onto the field un-loaded?! All it takes it one lucky
cannonball and guess what? Your mage is toast. Dead. Broken ribs, internal
injuries, smashed bones, etc. I like technology *A LOT* more then I like
Fireball, and I personnally don't think bringing gunpowder into *any* setting
ruins that setting. I think it just gives the peasants and the fighters and
the thieves a bit more leverage.
In my opinion, mages are too powerful. Sure, the low levels, all it takes it a
trip down the stairs and their dead. But you get into the 9+ levels, and
that's the end of the story. On the flip side of that, a fighter is "strong"
the first few levels, because he has a lot of hitpoints, but you get past 9th
level and the mages start stealing the show with their flashy lightning bolts
and such. I think guns give fighters that little bit of flare that they need,
and I honestly think that gunpowder would have been invented in Birthright by
- - The Motive
08-26-1998, 03:53 PM #2Pieter A de JongGuest
At 01:13 AM 8/26/98 -0700, Gary V. Foss wrote:
>Daniel McSorley wrote:
>Besides, if there is a FRish influence around here, I'm probably it! :-) [Note
>the incredibly stupid use of the emoticon.] After all, I've advocating more
>magic items, I've made arguments that there are literally thousands of mages
>running around Cerilia and I've tried to get everybody to allow non-blooded
>rulers to collect RPs based upon their experience level rather than just
>bloodline.... In the immortal words of Elminster: Bwuahahahaha!
You think you're the FR influence around here? I'm the guy with the 35th+
ancient elven mages argument (gotta love that elven immortality)! Not to
mention that the humans won the original elven war through direct divine
>Anyway, here's an idea I've been thinking about recently:
>Wizard regents are screwed. They get no GBs/domain turn, no infrastructure
>along with their source holdings, no right to raise troops from sources,
>pay RPs to maintain ley lines or they fizzle away (though very few people seem
>to use this rule--I tossed it out sometime in the middle of the first gaming
>session myself) and all of their realm spells affect provinces on a
>military basis. Why would a mage want to become a source holder? For the
>power? The power is all directed towards politics. Why not control a province
>or two rather than sources? You get taxes that way. It makes your role as
>regent much easier if you don't have to take a month and burn massive RPs just
>to conjure up a few GBs.
>Sure there are those people in the world who actually LIKE being in the
>political sphere. But mages are supposed to be guys dedicated to their mystical
>studies, aren't they? Why throw your gauntlet into the political ring if you
>are really just interested in magic?
>Controlling sources grants very few actual benefits to a mage on a personal
>power level. If he controls all the sources of the realm he can walk about in
>it as if he were a natural part of the province; the animals do not flee from
>him, and the bees presumably do not sting. He can dance about like Julie
>Andrews in The Sound of Music, singing The Hills are Alive, but so what?
>Petting bunnies is not what being a wizard is all about.
>Here are a few ideas I have for making mages with sources more equitable with
>other regents, or at least give them a few reasons why they might be interested
>in getting control of a source or two and fight to keep them.
>1. When in a province in which a mage controls sources, the wizard can tap the
>magical energies of the source to increase the power of the spells he
>may add the level of the source (or the level of the highest source on a ley
>line to that province) to his level for the purposes of determining the spell
>duration, area of effect, etc. of the spell. For example, a 4th level
>a province in which he controls a source 3 would be considered 7th level for
>determining the effects of the spells he cast. Instead of two magic missiles,
>he produces four. A Detect Invisibility spell (Duration: 5 rds/level, Area of
>Effect: 10 yds/level) would last thirty-five rounds, not twenty and reach
>seventy yards. A wizard gains no actual levels from this ability. He can
>cast only 3 first and 2 second level spells.
>2. A mage who stays in a province in which he controls a source heals a number
>of hit points per day equal to his normal healing rate plus the level of the
>source in the province, or the highest level source on a ley line to the
>3. A wizard effectively has the Survival proficiency in any province in
>controls all the sources.
>4. A wizard also has the ability to work with untrained, natural animals in a
>province in which he controls all the sources as a ranger of equal (unmodified)
>5. A wizard in control of all sources in a province can cast the equivalent
>Commune With Nature spell in that province 1/month at the level determined
>above.. Only one such casting is possible, even if the mage controls all the
>sources in more than one province.
>6. In a province in which a wizard controls all the sources he may cast Locate
>Animals or Plants 1/day at the level determined by #1 above.
>7. In a province in which he controls all the sources, the wizard gains the
>druid ability to identify plants, animals and pure water.
>8. A mage can disperse magical energies away from him, giving him a +1 on
>throws vs. spells per 3 levels of sources controlled in the province, or the
>highest level source on a ley line connected to the province in which he is in.
>That is +1 for sources 1-3, +2 for 4-6 and +3 for sources 7+.
>9. Saving throws for targets of a mage that are in a province in which he
>controls sources are at -1 for every 3 levels of the source, as above.
>Anyway, that's what I've come up with off the top of my head. What do you guys
Well Gary, the problem I have with this is that individual mages are already
tend to get out of hand on the personal power scale. I mean, 1 mage, 4
assistants, a wall of force spell, several battle spells, has already chased
off a medium sized army IMC. And all of these suggestions add to a Wizards
personal power, not to his ability to function in the Birthright political
arena. Although some variation of the increased spell power thing
(suggestion #1) could be very effective together with charm type spells.
For example, if you cast a spell in a province where you have a source, you
can choose to multiply the duration of said spell by your source level.
Rather, to improve a Wizards viability in the political arena, my own
suggestion would be simple. Improve his money making capability. One way
to do this is to make the alchemy spell much more efficient (perhaps up to
5GB out for every RP in?). Alternatively, there is a rule saying that a
level 7+ source can act as a lvl 0 guild to produce a trade route. As an
alternative, you might say instead of a lvl 7+ source that controlling a
source Lvl > province lvl will allow one to find some secret resource (eg.
the bar of river gravel that is practically all gold nuggets, or the
"elephant graveyard" where the ivory is piled as high as a man's head,
whatever) that would allow him to set up a trade route. I'm sure that you
can think of some other ways to do this.
>>'unsubscribe birthright' as the body of the message.
Pieter A de Jong
Graduate Mechanical Engineering Student
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
08-26-1998, 04:02 PM #3Samuel WeissGuest
>But to do you ACTUALLY think these
cannons are rolled onto the field un-loaded?!<
Ummm...well actually yes. I am not particularly even sure what kind of
"rolling" you are thinking about here (considering the nature and size of
early bombards, the word "dragged" seems much more appropriate), but no one
hauled those things around loaded. If you consider the nature of early
gunpowder and the time it took to properly deploy one of those
monstorsities, it is quite likely the gunpowder inside a loaded cannon would
settle out, almost guaranteeing a misfire. Not to mention you also seem to
imply that the cannon ball is also already loaded, which can then do such
fun things as shift and settle within the mass of gunpowder, or even do
something totally useless let detonate the gunpowder prematurely. So pretty
much, no way.
As for a previous argument of everyone and their brothers mixing up
gunpowder on their own, well it is possible, but it is slightly more
difficult than that. Aside from finding high quality charcoal, saltpeter and
sulfur, the mixing and storing and setting up a primitive grenade is
wonderfully dangerous. And while genrals certainly do not care about how
many peasants tey blow up to get one successful petard attack off, I think
anyones players might be a little more than irked at a progression of blown
proficiency checks at making such things. The failed grenades being bad
enough, but the splattered before the adventure begins heroes would be much
But go ahead and use gunpowder, it won't bother me. But try and be just
slightly more historical. It seems there is a desire to skip about 300+
years of developement with guns and gunpowder both to get to where they are
fun and very effective to use.
08-26-1998, 04:14 PM #4Pieter A de JongGuest
At 09:23 AM 8/26/98 -0400, TheMotive wrote:
By the way, I'm not actually trying to falme you, I'm just naturally a
little on the sarcastic side
>My whole take on this gun situation is as follows, and feel free to kill me
>I *hate* magic and I *hate* mages. I hate elves too. The reason I like
>Birthright so much is because, even though it is magical in nature (what with
>the destruction of gods and bloodlines and such), it is *more* realistic then
>a lot of TSR games.
I have to ask, why are you playing AD&D at all? It is a fantasy RPG, which
generally implies magic. Why don't you go over to a set of rules like GURPS
which can be played without any fantastic elements at all? If you want
realism from a RPG, I assure you that AD&D is not the place to look.
Especially AD&D combat rules.
>I'm big on the "Divine Right" idea. Although I don't support the idea of some
>egomaniac running this country without anyone to stop him, I do think the idea
>of God choosing a ruler and that ruler being a messenger of God is pretty damn
>cool. That's another thing about Birthright I like.
>But I don't like mages. I didn't like Forgotten Realms 'cause it was so
>magical, and I didn't like Dark Sun because the mages were even *more*
>powerful then in any other setting. I liked Birthright because mages did not
>run the show--it was more focused on what *our* world was like.
>So, I brought guns into my campaign. And the guns beat the mages. And for all
>of you who are arguing that a high-level mage can take out a battalion of
>cannons, I tell you this. Sure, it a mage can cast fireball in a few seconds,
>and it takes a cannon 30 rounds to load. But to do you ACTUALLY think these
>cannons are rolled onto the field un-loaded?! All it takes it one lucky
>cannonball and guess what? Your mage is toast. Dead. Broken ribs, internal
>injuries, smashed bones, etc. I like technology *A LOT* more then I like
>Fireball, and I personnally don't think bringing gunpowder into *any* setting
>ruins that setting. I think it just gives the peasants and the fighters and
>the thieves a bit more leverage.
I would suggest that smart high level mages don't get shot. They usually
use such magics as Improved Invisibility, or Protection from All Missiles.
Finally, you comment that all it takes is one lucky shot. You try and hit
one individual person directly with modern cannon, never mind rennaisance
ones, and you will discover that they are not designed to hit small,
irregularly moving targets, like people. A rennaisance cannon has about 1
chance in 1000 of hitting a man directly, and don't have access to exploding
shells for shrapnel. Guns don't really mean that much to people who can
circumvent natural law almost at will.
>In my opinion, mages are too powerful. Sure, the low levels, all it takes it a
>trip down the stairs and their dead. But you get into the 9+ levels, and
>that's the end of the story. On the flip side of that, a fighter is "strong"
>the first few levels, because he has a lot of hitpoints, but you get past 9th
>level and the mages start stealing the show with their flashy lightning bolts
>and such. I think guns give fighters that little bit of flare that they need,
>and I honestly think that gunpowder would have been invented in Birthright by
My own suggestion for limiting a mages power is strictly controlling their
spell selection. If you don't count the elves, because they won't teach
humans anyway, there are what 120 true mages in the world. An individual
mage who is charismatic and well travelled might have met maybe 20 of them?
Of those 20, he might be friendly enough with 4 of them to trade spells.
This means that he is mostly going to have to do his own spell research, and
lots of it (I mean whats the use of being able to cast 5th level spells if
you don't know any). Find an expensive set of spell research rules, both in
time and money, and apply them strictly. At which point, most mages will
remain relatively wimpy, and you will only have to worry about clerics
dominating your game, as they are mostly more powerful than the mages anyay.
And now they are the only effective spell casting class remaining.
Pieter A de Jong
Graduate Mechanical Engineering Student
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
08-26-1998, 04:20 PM #5Pieter A de JongGuest
At 09:53 AM 8/26/98 -0600, Pieter wrote:
>At 01:13 AM 8/26/98 -0700, Gary V. Foss wrote:
< big snip, regarding who is the FR influence around here>
>>Here are a few ideas I have for making mages with sources more equitable with
>>other regents, or at least give them a few reasons why they might be
>>in getting control of a source or two and fight to keep them.
08-26-1998, 04:34 PM #6TheMotive@aol.coGuest
In a message dated 8/26/98 12:29:31 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
08-26-1998, 04:38 PM #7TheMotive@aol.coGuest
In a message dated 8/26/98 12:36:03 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
And why shouldn't we? =P Why do mages have to have all the fun?
- - The
08-26-1998, 04:42 PM #8TheMotive@aol.coGuest
I retract all my stuff about gunpowder and cannons then. Maybe AD&D shouldn't
have gunpowder and artillery such as that in their games, because, yes, it is
a fantasy setting (as much as that pisses me off =)).
So, I'll just hobble on back to my custom made setting, and go out and buy
GURPS (as one of you suggested). You win, I lose..stop bending my leg
backwards now, please. =)
- - The Motive
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