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  1. #1
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    One of the things that I have always found wanting in the game mechanics of BR, ever since I first read the books in the 2nd edition campaign setting, was that the mechanics seem to allow things that the narrative clearly prohibits. I think the most obvious example to this is in regard to elven realms. While the Sielwode, Coullabhie, Innishiere and Lluabraight are described as blatantly anthropophobic, often violently so, there is nothing really in game mechanics to prevent (or even seriously hamper) a human with a large amount of regency in his reserve from establishing law, guild and even temple holdings in those realms. Establishing a human law holding in Innishiere seems easier, in fact, than establishing such a holding in Ghoere.
    Do you think this is not a problem? Do you think this can be ignored? Do you think the DM should intevene in such cases, thus "breaking" the uniformity of the mechanics? If so, how?

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    This was not an issue unique to BR. Most D&D campains had similar problems. Especially those with any amount of fiction that accompanied them.

    Dark Sun was a primary example.

    BR was also one of the most troubled campaigns (editorially), as has been pointed out numerous times. The time period that the setting came out was the most economically challenging period for TSR and hence the rush to put out new products whether or not they were really ready.


    One of the core philosophies of D&D is that the DM can modify his world as he sees fit. So if you think things should be handled different than what one of the 2nd ed books says then do it. The only caveat is to ensure that your players know what you are doing before you spring it on them. Changing the 'rules' in the middle of the game is just rude and does nothing but aggrevate players.

    Now, 3.5 has been structured to be more story oriented in flow. That is it is supposed to be scene-based, written like a movie. This is supposed to give players (and DMs) a more dramatic/epic feel to what they are doing rather than just rolling the dice. In 3.5 dice rolls are not always necessary - this is something to keep in mind throughout all aspects of play, IMO.
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
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    How would 3.5 BR prevent the case I mentioned? The problem with your suggestion is that it breaks the mechanics, which I don't like so much.
    There is another issue derived from the scenario I described - The rules say that occupying your own domain would reduce domain loyalty, however I think that in a case when humans established a law holding in Innishiere, the local elves would probably welcom any actions (including temporary occupation by their own regent) to rid their domain of those filthy humans...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    As a mechanic I (as a DM) would rather add in some severe difficulties to even attempting to establish a holding in a racially different area. As a general rule of thumb, non-human realms in BR are extremely territotrial and distrustful of human expansionism, so how in the world would a human somehow gain a piece of political control, or even more of a stretch, put faith in a human ruler from outside? The only way I could see it is that some competing faction is found within the realm who is willing to work with [for] a human regent against the reigning one. This, however, would be very expensive, and abstracted into something like +5 to +20 DC IMC. If roleplayed out, the human regent would have to go find someone within the realm willing to "sell out" for a chance to get their hands on the throne or at least contend the dictatorship of the reigning monarch.

    With goblins, this isn't so hard: +5 DC would do it. With dwarves, probably +10 DC to any actions (Create, Rule, Contest Holdings there), and with elves, easily +20 DC; the net effect of this is to make it that much easier for a lone racial regent (who don't tend to have other regents as allies) to contend 1-on-1 with an invasive regent trying to get a foothold. Even easier is to let them create a holding at such high expense, then Contest them immediately after with a similar bonus (+20 to the Contest check for elves), which would almost guaranteee success except in a worst case scenario.

    Now, if several allied regents coordinated such a political invasion, they might well succeed - some of them, at least. However, the defending regent could still Contest as a Realm Action against multiple holdings in the same realm, with decent chances of success.

    Bottom line: core mechanics can't handle every contingency, but as a DM I feel quite comfortable adjusting DC's to reflect social reality and unusual conditions in BR. However, I still think it should be possible, as the elves and dwarves and others ARE sitting at the end of a long-losing war against human expansionism - sure there are some small victories. They win battles, but lose wars, 'cause humans just keep on coming- if not in one generation, then in the next. This is exactly the very rational justification for the Gheallie Sidhe.

    So if things get bad, the Gheallie Sidhe might very well mount up and destroy the human invaders (i.e. occupy and pillage the invasive holdings into dust). I think at this point it's fairly justified for there to be an attitude penalty. Under the BRCS rules, the worst that could happen is attitude drops one level that season - reasonable considering the Gheallie Sidhe are not universally accepted among elves, as they [rightfully] fear the human retribution against such violent solutions, not to mention such racial violence isn't exactly ideal [Chaotic Good] behavior, and is something of a radical stance for them. But for the elven sovereigns, they obviously are an evil that can be tolerated, as they have their supporters and their obvious practical uses.

    Osprey

  5. #5
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by anacreon@Aug 10 2004, 05:33 AM
    How would 3.5 BR prevent the case I mentioned? The problem with your suggestion is that it breaks the mechanics, which I don't like so much.
    There is another issue derived from the scenario I described - The rules say that occupying your own domain would reduce domain loyalty, however I think that in a case when humans established a law holding in Innishiere, the local elves would probably welcom any actions (including temporary occupation by their own regent) to rid their domain of those filthy humans...
    You've lost me here.

    I thought you were making a broad statement/question not a comment on a specific rules application.

    Osprey pretty much nailed on the head how the 'rules' for 3.5 are flexible in allowing this sort of thing.

    The 'rules' specified in the BRCS do not call for an automatic adjustment of loyalty if a regetn occupies his own province. It does give an example of a -10 to the loyalty check if the province is under martial law. The listed examples are purely examples which is why the don't say this is the modifier. A Dm can (and should) apply situational modifiers to the DC of the loyalty check based on the types of things you are talking about. This does not break the mechanics but actually works within them to get the situation into something the DM feels is more correct.

    As far as 2nd goes, I've already pointed out that the rules were inconsistent in many places so not much really needs to be said about that.

    Since I don't know what mechanics you are actually using (3.5 or 2nd ed) it is hard to come up with a discussion other than a philosophical one on the issue.
    Duane Eggert

  6. #6
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    anacreon schrieb:



    >This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.

    > You can view the entire thread at:

    > http://www.birthright.net/forums/ind...=ST&f=2&t=2783

    >

    > anacreon wrote:

    > How would 3.5 BR prevent the case I mentioned? The problem with your suggestion is that it breaks the mechanics, which I don`t like so much.There is another issue derived from the scenario I described - The rules say that occupying your own domain would reduce domain loyalty, however I think that in a case when humans established a law holding in Innishiere, the local elves would probably welcom any actions (including temporary occupation by their own regent) to rid their domain of those filthy humans...

    >

    Perhaps. But they are non-lawful and "it´s not in their natures to place

    the values of society above the freedom of the individual" as the 2E

    rulebook says. Oppressive methods, and military occupation is as

    oppressive as it can come, is certainly nothing those freedom loving

    individuals would like. Rather I would expect a reaction in the outcome

    similar to the hippiemovement in the vietnamwar - Yes, there are

    communists, perhaps they are evil - but you force us to fight/pay for

    your forces to fight them (and risk our immortal lives doing that?)...



    No, but a random event of Gheallie Sidhe that is similar to a blood

    challenge/assasination from noone knows every turn, and perhaps a decree

    of the regent to lower the chance of success of actions of that human

    law holding would be in the long run (and anything else would be below

    the notice of the sidhelien) enough to eliminate the law holding.

    bye

    Michael

  7. #7
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    On Wed, 11 Aug 2004, Michael Romes wrote:



    > Perhaps. But they are non-lawful and "it´s not in their natures to

    > place the values of society above the freedom of the individual" as

    > the 2E rulebook says. Oppressive methods, and military occupation is

    > as oppressive as it can come, is certainly nothing those freedom

    > loving individuals would like.



    Except that it`s not oppression of the elves -- it`s oppression of the

    invading humans. I think occupation and holding destruction, at least by

    the Gheallie Sidhe, if not the regent, is the obvious, immediate and

    universal response. Striking back at the offending, intrusive humans

    through actions from Contest to Assassination to even Declare War seem

    to me like perfectly reasonable responses from Cerilian Sidhelien. Their

    way of dealing with humans must be quick and violent, or the stupid,

    shortlived, kleptomaniac humans will never learn.



    > Rather I would expect a reaction in the outcome similar to the

    > hippiemovement in the vietnamwar - Yes, there are communists, perhaps

    > they are evil - but you force us to fight/pay for your forces to fight

    > them (and risk our immortal lives doing that?)...



    On the contrary, I expect their reaction to be that of a RW homeowner who

    discovers his house is being devoured by termites: call the exterminator

    to annihilate the nasty, vicious things. IMO, the Sidhelien see the

    short-lived, fast-breeding, forest-burning humans as an infestation of

    poisonous vermin, to be smashed flat whenever it intrudes on their few

    remaining sanctuaries.





    Ryan Caveney

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by ryancaveney@Aug 12 2004, 06:00 PM
    On the contrary, I expect their reaction to be that of a RW homeowner who

    discovers his house is being devoured by termites: call the exterminator

    to annihilate the nasty, vicious things. IMO, the Sidhelien see the

    short-lived, fast-breeding, forest-burning humans as an infestation of

    poisonous vermin, to be smashed flat whenever it intrudes on their few

    remaining sanctuaries.

    I agree. I think the best description of the elven attitude towards humans in Cerilia can be found in no other place than the original Matrix film, when agent Priscilla Queen of the Desert makes a speech compairing humans to viruses. I don't think anyone in Cerilia is particularly well informed about viruses, but the sentiments are the same.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by irdeggman@Aug 10 2004, 05:43 PM
    You've lost me here.

    I thought you were making a broad statement/question not a comment on a specific rules application.

    I was, I just gave a specific example to a problem. I currently unfortunately do not play any sort of RPG (birthright or otherwise) which leaves me with plenty of time to explore the campaign setting and find problems therein. As I am not one to pay too close an attentions to numeric rules, I tend to come up with questions about genocide and goodness (Hypothetical scenario and ethical implications - http://www.birthright.net/forums/index.php...wtopic=2666&hl= ) Oaths (Khinasi Wizards and their Oaths - http://www.birthright.net/forums/index.php...wtopic=2665&hl= ) bloodtheft between ehrshegh and awnshegh (What if...?, awnshegh/ehrshegh question - http://www.birthright.net/forums/index.php...wtopic=2710&hl= ) and blood history (Blood History Ability, many nagging questions - http://www.birthright.net/forums/index.php...wtopic=2745&hl= ), which are questions that I find interesting, and hope will give ground to a good and fertile discussion (as some of them have).

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