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  1. #1
    Senior Member Thomas_Percy's Avatar
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    This is five general observations about Birthright rules, which can be rearranged. I’m interesting of yours opinion about this.

    1. General idea of heroes-kings is controversial. Regents have no reason for adventuring – they can make the world better from the office. They have too much duty and gold, to leave the castle and go to the dungeon. A regent on the adventure is easy target for asassination. Adventure is a job of lieutenants and minor nobles, such as a baron of the province or a knight.

    2. Strategical system for domain (several provinces) rulers is excelent, but there is no system for minor rulers, such as a baron of the province or a knight. It looks like gold and regency of domain regent comes from emptiness. There is no rules to play regent’s vassals.

    3. Whole world is too small. Adventures based on travelling are hard to make, because everything is near. Armies are too fast – you can conquer whole continent in a year.

    4. Realm Spells are not compatibile with PHB spells. I don’t know, if a regent-wizard cast Mass Destruction, what damage it makes to the single target creature.

    5. Strategical system has some bugs, such as possibility to rule province to the level 10 (Constantinpole-like) in 2 years, or muster maximum number of units from the same province again and again and again with no respect for demographics.

  2. #2
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    1) I agree on some points. Some rulers have little reason to go adventuring, but many rulers will see an advantage of doing so. It may not be because of the gold and yes, the adventuring business carries a lot of risks, but on the other hand you achieve a better understanding of yourself and your limitations (getting XP and levels) and you get out with the people, allowing them to look at you and see that you're a ruler that has courage to go out among them. This makes you a better leader in the eyes of the people. Also adventures can take many forms, not just going to the nearby dungeon and remove monsters that threatened the population of your domain, but you may go to nearby realms or examine the regents that are in your realm and get information and such that way too, without it costing you any gold and regency. There are plenty of opportunities where you may want to prove that you're better than the others in your realm.

    2) Minor vassals, such as those handling day to day affairs in your domain, are just part of the system. They get money to sustain a rather good life, a fortress and a few soldiers. And then the rest of the money that are gotten by the tax, are going to the overall ruler. The minor nobles have no say on domain level, but they have a lot to say in day to day affairs and they're excellent to have events around. Other vassals, such as Brosengae, Taeghas and Mieres to Avanil, pay some money and regency each season and in return Avanil protects them. For instance Brosengae may pay 4-8 Regency and an equal amount of GB, depending of how harsh Avan is. It may be a lot more, which it is in some cases, such as the Chimaeron, where the rulers hardly have enough to pay their tribute to the Chimaera. But such a tribute has the tendency of making loyalty less.

    3: Conquering the continent in a year requires more power than the Gorgon possess. You can conquer 12 provinces in a year and that's if you only have war and nothing more than war. Or if you can catch the regent of a realm you invade, you will be able to divest. But it still takes a lot more than a year.

    4) Realm spells aren't meant to be compatible to ordinary spells. Realm spells are rituals that takes a month with 8 hours of chanting per day to pull off. You just don't do that to hit a single creature. If a unit is hit with a player character, then I'd be doing damage like a fireball to the character.

    5) I agree that the system is flawed here. I've seen many attempts to solve the rule to level 10 province in 1 year problem. The one I like the most is the one where you can only rule the province once per province level turns. So ruling Ilien to level 10 will take 7 + 8 + 9 = 24 turns (6 years) and that's if all rolls succeed and the DC is high and with no RP to boost the roll, then several of the attempts should be failing. So I think it would be more realistic with 12 years for it. And that's provided that there is no random disease events, no spells, no wars, no raids, etc. As for the units hired, then most promises can provide many units easily. If you want to house rule it, then just say that you can hire province level when the province is full of warriors and after that, the province counts as level 0 for purposes of recruitment and the virtual province level increases by 1 per season. So if Rogr hires 7 units (or allows someone to hire 7 units) in Ilien, then it takes him 7 turns before there are units enough in Ilien to pull the same stunt again. Disbanding units in the province restores units so one can hire faster.

  3. #3
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    1. I agree that players of regents have a harder time rationalizing individual adventures then standard DnD players. This is actually one of the things I like most about Birthright. Birthright regents arnt well suited to a 'back to the dungeon' campaign. Regents tend not to be "adventurers"; as in "I have nothing to lose and a sharp sword, I think I'll throw my life away for some spare change."

    Standard boring hooks like "your all sitting in the inn one day," "word of goblins in nearby ruins," or "a strange hooded figure approaches" arnt so useful to DMs in Cerelia. Adventures can be so much better motivated for regents; defense of the kingdom, the great game of politics and such. Of course, this means a bit more effort on the adventuring DM's side. Getting the players into the DMs beloved store bought module adventure can be a struggle. And keeping them from calling in the cavalry to save the day is hard, because they often own some cavalry.

    2. I agree with you again. Campaigns with a lively society just below the regent (nobles, notables, constables, etc) are pretty much left up to the DM to figure out. If a character falls a little below regent level in power the player is out of the domain system. With the earlier point you noted this creates a little bit of a delema. Those below regent level have more opportunities and easier motivations for varied adventures, but an undefined role in the domain system. The Robin Hood with bandits in one part of one province, the minor noble with a several village estate, the king's children or cohorts all can fall into this nebulous zone. These situations can be shoe-horned into the domain system, but the system works best for mulitprovince realms.
    This is kind of a shame because several of the recommended (and fun) ways to play in Cerelia involved having only one or two of the players in a party be regents. The other players tend to then be bored with domain level actions and might not even bother to learn the domain system.
    The Book of Regency is a good read for DMs and players alike in fleshing out situations like this.

    3. Cant comment to much on the speed of armies, but I have felt the small size of Cerelia to be a deficit myself. A recent party from Brecthur traveled to Khinasi. Looking on the map it is a short hike overland. Telling them that there are moutains and all sorts of monsters in the way didnt impress upon them the separation of these two regions.
    The small size of nations and armies is also less then epic. Especially navies. A party of fifth level doesnt have that much trouble taking out a single ship (a fireball here, web there, darkenss too) even if it has a full military crew. Then check the suitable atlas for that nation.... Oh, you just took out a third of their navy...hmmm.

    4. Never though of this. This actually wouldnt be too hard to fix I think. Some sort of description of the effects of battle spells in normal DnD lingo would be possible. What actually happens when you blast a hit off of a unit? And the party in that unit? Anyone have houserules they use for this?

    5. Looks like you have been reading the forums. For every way someone has exploited the system some DM has houseruled. But that is what the BRCS playtest is all about.

  4. #4
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Danip@Jan 13 2005, 11:26 AM
    4. Never though of this. This actually wouldnt be too hard to fix I think. Some sort of description of the effects of battle spells in normal DnD lingo would be possible. What actually happens when you blast a hit off of a unit? And the party in that unit? Anyone have houserules they use for this?
    Interestingly this is one thing that was discussed when designing the BRCS, if information on the effect of the realm spell on individuals shouldn't be included. For example...

    Invoked Devastation
    Evocation
    Level: Arcane 9
    Cost: 10 RP/province level
    Effect: Up to one province / 3 levels
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Prerequisites: ?

    This surpassingly powerful realm spell ravages the land; the very elements themselves aid the wizard in destroying any sentient life caught within the provinces affected, and casting down most structures.
    This spell immediately reduces the province level(s) of the affected province(s) as the wizard sees fit. It similarly reduces the levels of any structures within the provinces; if a structure has no levels, it is 90% likely to be destroyed by the force of this spell.
    Components: The material component for this spell is a complete royal outfit, including a scepter and crown, worth at least 5000 gp, all burned at a funeral pyre.
    Casting this spell causes tremendous stress on the spellcaster; the spell costs 1000 XP per province level to be affected.
    Individual Effect: Any individual caught within the affected province(s) takes 2d6 points of damage, plus 1d6 points of damage per province level affected; a Reflex save is allowed for half damage.


    However, as you know, this never made it into the final version. Another idea that was being tossed around was to give realm spells prerequesites, spells the caster needed to know before they can learn the realm spell, but this was dropped, which is a good thing I think.

    It wouldn't be too hard to reintroduce information about individual effects of realm spells if you want, anyone want to volunteer to do it?
    Let me claim your Birthright!!

  5. #5
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    you can play minor counts etc by having them collect taxes and rp from the province and send them to the central regent

    Situations like this exist in rjurik with the jarls or in Djafra with the 3 regents, or in Aftane with the 3 landed regents and the temple, source, guild, bard regents. Each can control one province and all is happy...

  6. #6
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Just an idea...

    If you really want to play on the a-knight-and-his-manor level, you can rule that the GB/RP provided to the province ruler actually represents about half of what there is, and that the rest goes to the upkeep of various petty lords and so.

    Then, if you rule that 1 province level can support 1 minor noble (income/RP divided among them), you're set. You can even have a bit more powerful minor nobles who control 2 or more of these "shadow holdings".

    This could be extrapolated to other types of holdings as well. For each temple lvl there could be one minor religious leader, and each guild lvl could be one group of minor guilds. Probably could be used for sources as well, at least in terms of mechanics, but that may not be appropriate given the low number of existing mages.

    I'm sure there is a few more things that should be outlined as well. I may find time between map-making and PBeMing to actually make a brief set of rules for it (but not right now).

    B
    Cheers
    Bjørn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  7. #7
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Thomas_Percy@Jan 12 2005, 11:36 PM
    3. Whole world is too small. Adventures based on travelling are hard to make, because everything is near.
    Agreed!

    Which is why I increased the size of Cerilia to actually make it the size of Europe...and it could perhaps have been even bigger still if you wanted Cerilia to be a real continent.

    Check out the new world maps from the Download section
    Cheers
    Bjørn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  8. #8
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Thomas_Percy@Jan 12 2005, 11:36 PM
    4. Realm Spells are not compatibile with PHB spells. I don’t know, if a regent-wizard cast Mass Destruction, what damage it makes to the single target creature.
    In my gamer es I've written out the spells with a section called Character Level Effects - which basically tells you how the spell would affect a character in a unit that is say hit by Mass Destruction.

    Not all the spells ahve such descriptions, so I've also included a bit about how the judge realm spell effects on the fly.

    I'd suggest adding something similar to the rules in the BRCS.

    B
    Cheers
    Bjørn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  9. #9
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Thomas_Percy@Jan 12 2005, 11:36 PM
    5. Strategical system has some bugs, such as possibility to rule province to the level 10 (Constantinpole-like) in 2 years, or muster maximum number of units from the same province again and again and again with no respect for demographics.
    Like the small size of Cerilia, this one always bothered me greatly.

    I have my own fix for it; basically a province grows slowly in level over the course of years and decades. Regents can spend Gbs and rule rpovince actions to speed it up, but except for the low leves the cost is so great that they can only hastent the level increase slightly, with no hope of speedy province gains. If not, the province will eventually grown in level by itself.

    How it is solved isn't that important, but it MUST be fixed.

    B
    Cheers
    Bjørn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  10. #10
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Thomas_Percy@Jan 12 2005, 11:36 PM
    Armies are too fast – you can conquer whole continent in a year.
    Given the small size of Cerilia I'd rater say that armies are on the slow side...even when you figure friction into the movement values of units/armies, they are pretty slow moving - oooh, my infantry can move 30 miles in one 8 day week!

    That aside, an army would move at a speed of 1 province/war move for an infantry army. So that's 48 provinces a year...it can move a distance, but moving and conquering are two different things...

    If you feel that conquest is too easy, then I suggest that the movment rate is not the problem, nor the size of Cerilia, but rather something about the warfare system as a whole.

    B
    Cheers
    Bjørn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

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