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  1. #1
    Thomas
    Guest

    Levels of Magic in Cerilia

    Here's my two cents, please don't flame me to bad because I don't agree with
    the rest of you ;)

    The concept that Cerilia is a low magic level world is, in my opinion, a
    large contradiction. If you look at the story behind Cerilia, magic
    permeates everything. The blood of the gods was spilled on everything, the
    land itself produces the magic used by blooded mages. Mebhaighl exists in
    all land, and as any substance that exists in an ecosystem it must
    eventually permeate all living things. Thus all people and creatures in
    Cerilia must have mebhaighl in them. Blooded creatures just have more. If
    magic exists in everything, how can Cerilia be a low magic world. The
    ability to directly tap that magic and cast powerful spells (ie be blooded
    mages) may be rare but that doesn't mean magic is rare.

    Also, if magic weapons are extremely rare, then the awnsheghlien become even
    more broken then they already are. Almost all the awnsheghlien require
    magical weapons to hit then. Think, if Rhuobhe Manslayer knew that nobody
    would have a +3 weapon, what would stop him. He wants all humans dead, he
    could do it personally because nobody would have a weapon that could touch
    him. Also, to many of the "generic" enchanted weapons exist in the published
    literature to think that they are hard to find. The "super" weapons that
    have different powers may be rare but the "generic" weapons can't be.

    I've also toyed with the idea that the bloodlines themselves create magical
    weapons. If the bloodlines themselves are magical, then what would happen
    to the weapon that was bathed in that blood. If the blood line is strong
    enough then it would create a magical weapon. For example, the sword that
    kills a major bloodline character would gain a +1 enchantment, a great would
    get +2 and a true +3. Since blooded characters are fairly uncommon, and
    those with major or higher levels even more uncommon, this will still limit
    the number of enchanted weapons but would put it in the realm of possibility
    for the PC's to have them. The weapons created this way would be the
    standard "general" enchanted weapons, any special weapons would still have
    to created by a wizard.

    Thomas

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  2. #2
    ryan.caveney@alum.mit.ed
    Guest

    Levels of Magic in Cerilia

    On Thu, 10 Jun 1999, Thomas wrote:

    > Here's my two cents, please don't flame me to bad because I don't agree with
    > the rest of you ;)

    No flames here -- I, at least, agree with you. =)

    > Mebhaighl exists in all land, and as any substance that exists in an
    > ecosystem it must eventually permeate all living things. Thus all
    > people and creatures in Cerilia must have mebhaighl in them. Blooded
    > creatures just have more.

    YES! This is *exactly* what I think. Thank you for saying it so
    well. I also use this to explain why there are so darn many sentient
    races hanging about (a thing which has always bothered me in other
    campaign worlds): mebhaighl can clearly be shaped and directed by the
    power of thought, so it makes sense that its presence would have helped
    direct evolution towards many kinds of sentient life. It also appears to
    be produced by living things: for those of us who subscribe to the "RPs
    are magical energy" theory, that is clear since ruling more people on the
    same patch of land provides more RP; and (less debatably) plant life
    creates/concentrates mebhaighl quite well -- the towering trees of ancient
    forests provide a much higher source potential than the same land
    without them (plains) would. That extends to a consistent explanation of
    the various forms of sentient plant life, such as treants and shambling
    mounds (and Cerilian forest giants??).

    > If the bloodlines themselves are magical, then what would happen to the
    > weapon that was bathed in that blood. If the blood line is strong
    > enough then it would create a magical weapon.

    Wow. This is really neat! I think I'm stealing it right now. =)
    This also ties in well with the "every magic item has its own story"
    concept. For example: what gives the "Black Spear Tribes" of the Tarvan
    Waste their name? Perhaps the symbol of the leadership of the most
    powerful clan is an ancient, fire-blackened and tarnished but apparently
    unbreakable spear that gained a reputation for deadliness in the years
    immediately following the fall of Djira, for it was touched by the power
    of the gods and became a magic weapon when it slew the last Sultan and was
    bathed in his lifesblood.
    It also gives the unscrupulous yet *another* reason to kidnap and
    murder blooded people. =)

    - --Ryan
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  3. #3
    Olesens
    Guest

    Levels of Magic in Cerilia

    Thomas wrote:

    > Here's my two cents, please don't flame me to bad because I don't agree with
    > the rest of you ;)
    >
    > The concept that Cerilia is a low magic level world is, in my opinion, a
    > large contradiction. If you look at the story behind Cerilia, magic
    > permeates everything. The blood of the gods was spilled on everything, the
    > land itself produces the magic used by blooded mages. Mebhaighl exists in
    > all land, and as any substance that exists in an ecosystem it must
    > eventually permeate all living things. Thus all people and creatures in
    > Cerilia must have mebhaighl in them. Blooded creatures just have more. If
    > magic exists in everything, how can Cerilia be a low magic world. The
    > ability to directly tap that magic and cast powerful spells (ie be blooded
    > mages) may be rare but that doesn't mean magic is rare.

    This is exactly how I feel. Cerilia is low magic in the form of a typical AD&D
    game but that loss of magic is replaced with another kind (possibly the reason I
    like BR). I enjoy the contradiction of "low magic" in Birthright. Which is one
    reason I replace magical swords and necromancers with awnsheglien, ensheglien,
    and other blood/meghbable related items IMC.

    >
    >
    > Also, if magic weapons are extremely rare, then the awnsheghlien become even
    > more broken then they already are. Almost all the awnsheghlien require
    > magical weapons to hit then. Think, if Rhuobhe Manslayer knew that nobody
    > would have a +3 weapon, what would stop him. He wants all humans dead, he
    > could do it personally because nobody would have a weapon that could touch
    > him. Also, to many of the "generic" enchanted weapons exist in the published
    > literature to think that they are hard to find. The "super" weapons that
    > have different powers may be rare but the "generic" weapons can't be.

    I believe that that is part of the idea. Major awnsheglien like the Gorgon,
    Rhuobhe, and so on were, IMO, not meant to be killed. If you do want to kill
    one of them it is a major effort. You've got to find a really awsome weapon,
    armor, and some protective magical items for even a chance. Rhuobhe and the
    Gorgon haven't survived for thousands of years from just what they have, but
    partly from what the world doesn't have. It is my opinion (which I don't this
    is that out of the ordinary) that Cerilia is in a dark age. Most magical items
    were made before human arrival in Cerilia. You'd find a lot of priestly weapons
    burried across Aduria and bunches of wizardly ones in Cerilia. Elves had ley
    lines and realm spells before Diesmaar but, IMO again, the ways of doing such
    were lost after the fall of the Elven Empire.

    >
    >
    > I've also toyed with the idea that the bloodlines themselves create magical
    > weapons. If the bloodlines themselves are magical, then what would happen
    > to the weapon that was bathed in that blood. If the blood line is strong
    > enough then it would create a magical weapon. For example, the sword that
    > kills a major bloodline character would gain a +1 enchantment, a great would
    > get +2 and a true +3. Since blooded characters are fairly uncommon, and
    > those with major or higher levels even more uncommon, this will still limit
    > the number of enchanted weapons but would put it in the realm of possibility
    > for the PC's to have them. The weapons created this way would be the
    > standard "general" enchanted weapons, any special weapons would still have
    > to created by a wizard.

    I like it. I think, however, that it would be best if used in conjection with
    other spells. One possibility is just having scion blood
    as one component of a magical weapon in place of Permenancy. Another possibilty
    is: What happens when you "Enchant an Item" your sword then commit bloodtheft
    with it within the next few hours? Perhaps the bloodline would be drawn into
    the weapon (instead of the weilder, to balance things out). Or what if (going
    off topic a bit) you cast Enchant an Item on an unblooded person then that
    person commited bloodtheft? Perhaps Enchant an Item works like a magnet for
    meghable (which IMO includes bloodlines). Or maybe a priest could cast some
    priest spell on his sword then do bloodtheft. I hope I've said something
    coherent enough to at least spark someone's imagination.
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  4. #4

    Levels of Magic in Cerilia

    Thomas wrote:
    >
    > Here's my two cents, please don't flame me to bad because I don't agree with
    > the rest of you ;)
    > Also, if magic weapons are extremely rare, then the awnsheghlien become even
    > more broken then they already are. Almost all the awnsheghlien require
    > magical weapons to hit then. Think, if Rhuobhe Manslayer knew that nobody
    > would have a +3 weapon, what would stop him. He wants all humans dead, he
    > could do it personally because nobody would have a weapon that could touch
    > him. Also, to many of the "generic" enchanted weapons exist in the published
    > literature to think that they are hard to find. The "super" weapons that
    > have different powers may be rare but the "generic" weapons can't be.

    OK, this requires me to mention something that came up in my campaign.
    What prevents a powerful mage (say 9th-12th level min) from either
    creating a battle spell 'Conjure Elementals' or just summoning up a
    couple pre a battle (or priests for that matter could do it
    too)...what's going to stop a creature that can't be harmed by weapons
    less than +2? One elemental could take out an entire unit, even using
    the rules that the other units are going to be some miles away. I'm
    interested in feedback.

    Thx,
    AlaricTo unsubscribe from this list send mail to majordomo@lists.imagiconline.com
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  5. #5
    Pieter Sleijpen
    Guest

    Levels of Magic in Cerilia

    Alaric wrote:
    >
    > Thomas wrote:
    > >
    > > Here's my two cents, please don't flame me to bad because I don't agree with
    > > the rest of you ;)
    > > Also, if magic weapons are extremely rare, then the awnsheghlien become even
    > > more broken then they already are. Almost all the awnsheghlien require
    > > magical weapons to hit then. Think, if Rhuobhe Manslayer knew that nobody
    > > would have a +3 weapon, what would stop him. He wants all humans dead, he
    > > could do it personally because nobody would have a weapon that could touch
    > > him. Also, to many of the "generic" enchanted weapons exist in the published
    > > literature to think that they are hard to find. The "super" weapons that
    > > have different powers may be rare but the "generic" weapons can't be.
    >
    > OK, this requires me to mention something that came up in my campaign.
    > What prevents a powerful mage (say 9th-12th level min) from either
    > creating a battle spell 'Conjure Elementals' or just summoning up a
    > couple pre a battle (or priests for that matter could do it
    > too)...what's going to stop a creature that can't be harmed by weapons
    > less than +2? One elemental could take out an entire unit, even using
    > the rules that the other units are going to be some miles away. I'm
    > interested in feedback.
    >

    First of all, don't allow this kind of summoning spells as battle
    spells. Secondly, elementals have to be actively controlled or else they
    will run amok. I don't think that wizards could get that control in a
    large battle for a long time. If the wizard looses control the
    elementals will attack the wizard and I don't think any general would
    want to have that risk. A wizard with the power to summon elemental
    could much better use other spells, who are a lot more trustworthy.
    Thirdly, there are fairly streightforward spells that can make weapons
    temporarily magic, like the realm spell "bless army" (bless spell can
    make weapons magical, why not the realm spell?) or the battle spell
    "enchant item".

    Pieter Sleijpen

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  6. #6
    Jeremy Baker
    Guest

    Levels of Magic in Cerilia

    Alaric said,
    >OK, this requires me to mention something that came up in my campaign.
    >What prevents a powerful mage (say 9th-12th level min) from either
    >creating a battle spell 'Conjure Elementals' or just summoning up a
    >couple pre a battle (or priests for that matter could do it
    >too)...what's going to stop a creature that can't be harmed by weapons
    >less than +2? One elemental could take out an entire unit, even using
    >the rules that the other units are going to be some miles away. I'm
    >interested in feedback.


    My first thought that came to mind was the episode of "Buffy,
    the Vampire Slayer" in which "the Judge" appeared, a demon that 'could not
    be killed by any weapon forged by man.' The previous time he had been
    summoned was in an age of similar technological standards to BR and the only
    way he was stopped was by being over-run by armies of men who chopped him to
    pieces and then spread the parts all over the known world, he was not dead,
    he just couldn't do anything bad until he was put back together.
    Sorry for the ramble, but I agree Alaric does bring up an
    interesting point, especially since it does not even need a battle spell to
    be effective, of course it would make a battle version of Protection from
    Evil be very useful.

    Jeremy Baker.
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  7. #7
    Kenneth Gauck
    Guest

    Levels of Magic in Cerilia

    - -----Original Message-----
    From: Alaric
    Date: Friday, June 11, 1999 2:21 AM

    >...what's going to stop a creature that can't be harmed by weapons
    >less than +2? One elemental could take out an entire unit, even using
    >the rules that the other units are going to be some miles away. I'm
    >interested in feedback.

    Clearly in a campaign where the normal distribution of magical weapons is
    far lower than normal, either such creatures must be adusted too. My
    suggestion is that for each plus of invulnerability that the standard
    monster has, the BR version is immune to the first 2 hp damage of every
    attack. This system has limits if you plan to intruduce monsters beyond +3
    magical weapon invulnerability. My suggestion is a limit to 6 hp's shaken
    off per attack.

    Kenneth Gauck
    c558382@earthlink.net


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  8. #8
    Craig Dalrymple
    Guest

    Levels of Magic in Cerilia

    - -----Original Message-----
    >From: Alaric
    >Date: Friday, June 11, 1999 2:21 AM
    >
    >...what's going to stop a creature that can't be harmed by weapons
    >less than +2? One elemental could take out an entire unit, even using
    >the rules that the other units are going to be some miles away. I'm
    >interested in feedback.
    >


    Something you might try is creating one vulnerability for the creature.
    Perhaps a specific type of material really screws the creature up. Cold
    forged iron weapons, or something like that. Make sure that the material is
    common enough to be found and used out of desperation; but not so common
    that it can be mass produced. This is a great way to get hero's to go after
    a big bad guy: give them the only weapons (magical or otherwise) that can
    actualy do the creature harm.

    If they are cowards, they give the weapons away. If they are hero's the
    hunker down and go get the bad guy.

    Somewhat simplistic, but effective.
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  9. #9

    Levels of Magic in Cerilia

    Pieter Sleijpen wrote:
    >
    > Alaric wrote:
    > >
    > > OK, this requires me to mention something that came up in my campaign.
    > > What prevents a powerful mage (say 9th-12th level min) from either
    > > creating a battle spell 'Conjure Elementals' or just summoning up a
    > > couple pre a battle (or priests for that matter could do it
    > > too)...what's going to stop a creature that can't be harmed by weapons
    > > less than +2? One elemental could take out an entire unit, even using
    > > the rules that the other units are going to be some miles away. I'm
    > > interested in feedback.
    > >
    >
    > First of all, don't allow this kind of summoning spells as battle
    > spells. Secondly, elementals have to be actively controlled or else they
    > will run amok. I don't think that wizards could get that control in a
    > large battle for a long time. If the wizard looses control the
    > elementals will attack the wizard and I don't think any general would
    > want to have that risk. A wizard with the power to summon elemental
    > could much better use other spells, who are a lot more trustworthy.
    > Thirdly, there are fairly streightforward spells that can make weapons
    > temporarily magic, like the realm spell "bless army" (bless spell can
    > make weapons magical, why not the realm spell?) or the battle spell
    > "enchant item".
    >
    > Pieter Sleijpen
    >
    Well there are precedents for allowing summoning spells, such as Monster
    Unit Summoning I, which is the same level and essentially the same
    result as Monster Summoning I. Enchanted Weapons is a good spell, but
    hardly the same as wiping out a unit before. That concentration thing
    had slipped by however, so I think I've got a pretty good handle on it
    now, with the exception of items that aid in the summoning and control
    of elementals. What, then, of the Gorgon on the battlefield? He's far
    worse than any elemental. or any awnshegh resistant to normal weapons
    and to most magic?
    Thx,
    AlaricTo unsubscribe from this list send mail to majordomo@lists.imagiconline.com
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  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    Levels of Magic in Cerilia

    Alaric wrote:

    > OK, this requires me to mention something that came up in my campaign.
    > What prevents a powerful mage (say 9th-12th level min) from either
    > creating a battle spell 'Conjure Elementals' or just summoning up a
    > couple pre a battle (or priests for that matter could do it
    > too)...what's going to stop a creature that can't be harmed by weapons
    > less than +2? One elemental could take out an entire unit, even using
    > the rules that the other units are going to be some miles away. I'm
    > interested in feedback.

    I have kind of a different take on this from what I've read of the other replies
    to this message.

    First of all, I think you are pointing out one of the basic flaws of the BR
    published materials: battlespells. I don't use battlespells IMC, and I think they
    are a really bad idea. I just can't see the justification for allowing a mage to
    come up with a souped up version of an already existing spell that can effect 200+
    individuals. It's totally outside the standard character class description in the
    core rules, and makes even a first level magician a force to be reckoned with on
    the battlefield, which seems to contradict the "low magic" theme of the setting.

    (I know I've argued that BR really isn't a low magic setting, but battlespells
    ain't what I had in mind when juicing up the magic of the campaign....)

    If one can summon a single elemental using the standard Conjure Elemental spell
    why not summon a unit of them using a battlespell equivalent? There are, of
    course, rationalizations that a DM might use to prevent a PC from doing this, but
    you really have to do some intrusive refereeing in order to keep a PC from doing
    this. Personally, I'd rather not bother with it, so I just ruled "no
    battlespells" in my campaign. I was a player in a campaign that (briefly) allowed
    battlespells and all hell broke loose very quickly, so the DM of that one had to
    put a stop to it pretty quickly.

    The other problem I have with battlespells is that they reduce the significance of
    realm spells. If you can summon creatures using a battlespell why go to the
    trouble of summoning them with a realm spell?

    Anyway, my first reaction to your question about the resistence of the creatures
    summoned by the battlespell equivalent of Conjure Elemental to normal weapons
    is... it doesn't matter. From what I can tell, a BR unit is comprised of roughtly
    200-800 HD of creatures, which means if your battlespell summons a single unit of
    elementals it should be comprised of between 25 and 100 8HD elementals. Even if
    it were possible to hit them with nonmagical wepaons, that many monsters of that
    much strength ought to be able to go through a unit of standard humans like a hot
    knife through butter. Assuming that your mage summons earth elementals (which
    seem like the most likely) they would do individually an average of 18hp/hit in a
    regular, melee based battle, and that's enough to smoosh a heavy warhorse. If you
    were going to make up a unit summoned by this spell they would have to be much
    more powerful than the most powerful warcard in the published materials. I'd
    guess (without doing any comparisons to existing warcards) that it'd probably look
    like this:

    Move: 2
    Defense: 4 (equal to knights) *
    Morale: 3 **
    Melee: 9
    Hits: 5

    * Earth elementals are AC2 like an armored knight, so I used that defense value.

    ** Morale is most effected for these guys by the concentration of the mage
    controlling them, per the spell description.

    Note that the above defense number is based upon the possibility of the elementals
    being hit at all, which I'm afraid I must disagree with my fellow list members who
    have suggested that they could be. If you are going to allow battlespells based
    on regular spells I think you really have to keep as much as possible from the
    original spell, and to me that means keeping the magical weapon required to hit
    the creatures summoned If you change this requirement for the battlespell I
    think that means you really should change it for individual elementals summoned by
    the standard spell. I'd rather not open a campaign up to so many contradictions,
    so I just don't use battlespells.

    Lastly, I really think the standard spells available to a wizard that have an
    effect on units are sufficient to make them a feared and fearsome presence on the
    battlefield. Fireballs can route units. That's just a 3rd level spell, which
    means a 5th level mage can use it. That's plenty powerful enough for me. I don't
    think we need to give them battlespells so a 1st level mage can have a similar
    effect.

    Gary
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