Robert Trifts wrote:

> If you want to assess the Raven as a power - look to his potential and his
> drive. His ability to inspire loyalty in those who follow his banner. His
> ability to be NOBLE - or at least to have others see that quality in him -
> even though they know what he is.

> You must learn to look past the simple "level=power". That is just not an
> accurate reflection of the designer's vision for the Birthright setting,
> IMO.
> And to be perfectly honest - in doing so you have to step back from a *VERY*
> AD&Dish approach to an FRPG. The level of a being does not necessarily
> equal the threat it poses.

Hmm, I regret choosing the generic term "power" in my post on the Raven.
Power encompasses many things, some of which Robert touches upon in his
post. At least 3 types of power, plus a hybrid, come to mind.

Incidentally, I already snipped off the first part of Robert's post. His
(and Mr. Cooper's, IIRC) view of the Raven may be more true to the Blood
Enemies description than mine. They see him as a warlord first and a
wizard second. I always assumed the Lost were wizards first and whatever
else second. IMC the Raven's true calling was as a wizard, and he became a
warlord after Azrai left the scene because he desired to grab additional
domain power. Kind of the opposite of the Gorgon, who is a warlord first
and a wizard second. The following has little to do with those perceptual
differences, however.

Types of Power:
1- Power of intellect and leadership: The ability of an individual to lead
individuals and come up with plans that allow those he leads to achieve the
chosen goals. To some extent the AD&D game "quantifies" this in terms of
the Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma ability scores. That's not to say
these stats should be the ultimate determining factor in which characters
are crafty and which are mindless destructors. I think most would agree
that the Raven (Int 22, Wis 22, Cha 17) is as mighty as they come in this
respect. These attributes are of paramount importance in a BR "regents"
campaign, and a good DM will play NPCs differently depending on how
"powerful" their leadership skills and intellect are.

2- Domain power: This is both a measure of how powerful a regent's domain
is, and also a measure of the extent he can harness the domain's
potential. The blood score is of paramount importance, of course. A
regent of Avanil with a blood score of 5 misses out on much of his domain's
potential. However, the sheer magnitude of the domain's power will make
Avanil's prince a force to be reckoned with, regardless of the number of
RPs he holds. All neighboring domains are going to fear and/or respect the
regent of Avanil to some degree. A 1st level warrior regent of Avanil or
thief regent of Endier is much more powerful, from a domain standpoint that
a 21st level warrior or thief with a very small domain. The same is true
of priests and wizards, although to a lesser degree (more on that in a

3- Character power: BR is not entirely designed to be a game of rulership.
Character actions are every bit as large a part of the game, and here the
level of a character comes into play. Our 1st level Prince of Avanil may
be quite powerful from a domain standpoint, but that doesn't mean much if
he meets a 10th level fighter in a dark alley. This "character power"
difference is perhaps even more pronounced with spellcasters, since the
very spells they have access to change drastically as character levels

4- Character power and domain power intermingle with regard to
spellcasters: With regard to "land" and guild regents, character level is
relatively unimportant. In fact, I've always thought most landed regents
should be very low level. What duke would want his son or daughter
spending years slogging through monster lairs when they should be learning
how to run a kingdom?
However, character level is very much intermingled with the domain power
priests have, and it is absolutely critical for a wizard regent. Most
wizards don't generate GBs from taxation, they can't raise armies, and they
are limited with regard to some of the other mundane "domain power"
actions. They basically are spellcasters, plain and simple. Wizard (and
to a lesser extent priest) regents gain access to more powerful realm
spells as they advance in level, and they can cast realm spells to much
greater effect with more "character power". Take the Summoning spell as an
example. A 3rd level wizard could Summon 1 unit of goblin skirmishers with
this spell. His 15th level rival, on the other hand, could summon 5 units
of ogres. 1 unit of goblin skirmishers is basically nothing, while 5 units
of ogres would turn the tide in most BR wars. A low to mid-level wizard is
a nuisance in domain-level conflict, while a high level wizard can
single-handedly hold off an entire realm. Look at el-Sirad in the Khinasi
lands for proof.

I guess I'm saying that I certainly agree character level is not the only
measure of "power" in BR, but I'm also saying that it's extremely important
for wizards (and, to a lesser extent, priests). Of course, that doesn't
answer the question of whether the Raven is a warrior with wizard powers or
a wizard with warrior powers. The BE book favors Robert's view, so he's
probably right in an "official" sense, although I like Mr. Nutting's
version better for my own campaign.

> ROLEPLAY the Raven and all the BEs differently. You'll have a better
> campaign for it.

This, of course, is very important to the feel of a BR "regents" campaign.
The BE book presents all the major awnsheghlien in enough detail that you
truly get a feel for their differences, and this can help make for a much
richer campaign.