To Whom It May Concern:

I began playing AD&D at twelve or thirteen, more years ago than I care
to remember. There was Democrat in the White House then, but that one
only had lust in his heart rather than in the Oval Office itself....

I played AD&D faithfully for the next decade or so, spending my
allowance and later my paltry salary on many game worlds. Hungry for
new and exciting places to set our adventures I and my gaming companions
bought all of the TSR campaign settings and several published by other
companies. Eventually, however, we exhausted them all and the gaming
hobby began to lose our interest. I stopped playing AD&D for a good six
or seven years.

The materials published with the Birthright setting brought me back. My
introduction to the BR setting came when glancing through a copy of
Dungeon magazine (issue #59) during a nostalgic trip to a hobby store.
There was an adventure set on Cerilia (sadly the only one that appeared
in that magazine) with a brief description of the campaign world and the
rules for characters who wanted to rule a whole domain. Here was
something truly different, I realized, and it immediately got my

What got me hooked, however, was the concepts behind the setting. A
battle of the gods that embedded mortals with divine powers, a titanic
struggle of good versus evil, the corruption or elevation of mortal
beings into elemental creatures, demi-human races with truly unique
perspectives and attitudes, unlike those published in so many other
"generic" worlds, and human cultures both realistic in their historical
relationship to real life cultures and fantastic in their histories and
motivations. Here was a world that combined some of the greatest
elements of fantasy literature, one in which even a low level character
could make a difference.

I bought as much of the setting as I could get my hands on, and
introduced it to my friends who were as intrigued as I am. For the
first time in years, we sat down and played a game of AD&D. The
richness of the setting made it possible, for these were now educated,
demanding people. Many of them were very critical of plots and motives,
but I had little trouble as a DM satisfying them using the published
materials. That was due not only to the richness of the setting, but
the scope of the domain rules, which turned previously shaky concepts
like rulership, population, domains, taxes, etc. into viable game
effects. The results of an adventure could be seen on the population of
a character's realm. What greater motivation for players? What better
situation for a DM?

Since the "indefinite hiatus" of the setting, it has become more
difficult to get my hands on the Birthright materials that were
published, and the lack of new materials makes this difficulty all that
much more hard to swallow. There is a large, vibrant community of BRers
on the WWW, of which I hope you are aware, but this community lacks a
united focus and the dearth of new materials not only leaves a vacuum,
but makes it unlikely that new participants will become involved in the
setting. We do not, after all, have the kinds of resources to
advertise, or circulate our own materials to people not already involved
in the campaign world. Without such things, I fear the setting can only
die a slow death, which would be a great shame. I suspect that my
participation in AD&D would likewise perish.

In recent years, TSR/WotWC has begun reviving the old Greyhawk campaign
world, which was my first introduction to AD&D. I have great hopes that
a similar revival of the BR setting might be possible. Barring a
re-release of the entire setting, I'd like to see the domain rules begun
in the Birthright materials converted for use in the generic AD&D rules,
replacing the vague (mostly nonexistent) rules for characters who choose
to rule their own domains. Such a conversion, I believe, would raise
the interest level of gamers in the setting that spawned them, and that
could only increase the market for more materials in the BR genre. In
my non-Birthright world, I have converted the domain rules and found
they work quite well with very little modification to other campaigns.
I am quite confident that such rules would be a valuable addition to the
core rules, and would be welcomed by anyone interested in AD&D.

As for the BR materials that were scheduled for release and then put on
hold, I would strongly urge you to at least release some sort of
electronic version of this information. The Book of Regency, for
instance, would be a huge boon to the Birthright gaming community. I
understand that these materials were nearly completed when the decision
was made not to publish them. There are several examples of AD&D
adventures that are on the TSR website, including the Legends and Lore
text. I still have my original copy of Deities and Demigods, so that
electronic release makes little difference to me, but a copy of the Book
of Regency would be much more valuable. Surely it exists in electronic
form somewhere. Putting it on a website would seem a good solution, and
might even whet the casual gamer's appetite for more such materials.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter,

Gary Foss
Whittier, California
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