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Thread: My two cents?

  1. #1
    Michael Goldsworthy
    Guest

    My two cents?

    Wow. First message on this list. :)
    Well, I've been going through the e-mails on this list, (OK, I was lurking),
    and I saw a couple of messages I thought I could reply to...

    1. The game I'm GM-ing right now is Birthright, with a healthy dose of my
    own ideas thrown in (I had originally just gotten the original boxed set,
    and am only now beginning to collect more of it; heck, it suprised me the
    line was discontinued). The game I'm running has 4 players at present, all
    regents. Tough game to run; 4 kingdoms, each far away from one another (the
    PCs involved don't even know each other!). and I run adventures quite
    often, with the PC regent, and the other player playing the regent's
    henchmen or hirelings. The game is quite new - we've only just started the
    second in-game year (total 5-6 domain turns), yet the players love it, even
    when playing the other PC's henchmen (guess I got good players). What has
    this gotten us? Every game has made the world more "real"; the role-playing
    is great; and I've lost a lot of sleep...:) Having a ball, though.
    2. um, shure; if one player/NPC has a holding in a province that another
    rules, and he/she/it wants to oppose/support the action (support? Never
    thought of that...) the ruler of the province wants to do, he should be able
    too, within a limited extent (such as a Rule action to enable more control
    of/more powerful holdings. So what if I've got Guild holdings in your
    province ansd you want to only raise control Law holdings? Of COURSE I'm
    going to oppose it! Think about law holdings - they're capable of 'taxing'
    another holding... like my Guild. And that's just one example... What
    about this: Your Court Wizard, Bob, wants to increase control over one of
    your province's Sourse holdings; you've never used it, and if you trust your
    wizard, shure you'd want to help him to increase control of it. The reverse
    is also true - yeesh, what you can do with just a Source 3...
    4. Does anyone out there have an idea what kind of ratio of Province
    devlopment vs. Source (loss) should be? Example: A rule action that raises a
    province 3/4 to a 4/4... What happens to the source? Does it go down one?
    When should it do so? (since it mentions Elf regents can ignore this
    problem, I know it applies to others.) Also, I still am uncertain - is it
    possible to raise the level of a Source? if so, how?
    5. I know I'll hear from this one: What boxed sets/province player's kits(?)
    would you out there suggest? The Good, the Bad, and the just plain Ugly, as
    it were... I currently have the main boxed set, the sea rules, the book of
    the Anguishen(ugh, excuse spelling, dyletics of the world untie), and the
    northlands boxed set. What do people think of those?
    5. Last but not least: Is it just me, or does the setup/layout of the
    Rulesbook (birthright boxed set) suck rocks? I mean, neat rules, when you
    can find them...


    See ya!
    Mike Goldsworthy
    Vancouver British Columbia, CANADA
    I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe....

    -

  2. #2
    Mark A Vandermeulen
    Guest

    My two cents?

    Hi Michael. Good to hear from you.

    On Tue, 3 Aug 1999, Michael Goldsworthy wrote:

    > 2. um, shure; if one player/NPC has a holding in a province that another
    > rules, and he/she/it wants to oppose/support the action (support? Never
    > thought of that...) the ruler of the province wants to do, he should be able
    > too, within a limited extent (such as a Rule action to enable more control
    > of/more powerful holdings. So what if I've got Guild holdings in your
    > province ansd you want to only raise control Law holdings? Of COURSE I'm
    > going to oppose it! Think about law holdings - they're capable of 'taxing'
    > another holding... like my Guild. And that's just one example... What
    > about this: Your Court Wizard, Bob, wants to increase control over one of
    > your province's Sourse holdings; you've never used it, and if you trust your
    > wizard, shure you'd want to help him to increase control of it. The reverse
    > is also true - yeesh, what you can do with just a Source 3...

    This is the way I've always assumed it to go, as well. Any regent with
    sway over the populace of the region can attempt to bit RP's for or
    against any action that he or she knows about and cares enough about.
    One thing I've thought about was making the "bidding war" that ensues into
    more of a "sealed bids" kind of silent auction. That is, each participant
    knows WHO is supporting or opposing an action, but no one knows HOW
    STRONGLY (i.e. how many RP's) each participant is spending. Then the DM
    gathers all the bids once made, assesses the bonus or penalty to be
    applied, and allows the roll. Perhaps I would introduce a new proficiency
    (which is generally my response to these things--yessiree, you can't have
    too many proficiencies!) called "Politics" or something that would give
    you a general idea of the "level of support" of a participant with a
    successful check.

    And what happened to #3?

    > 4. Does anyone out there have an idea what kind of ratio of Province
    > devlopment vs. Source (loss) should be? Example: A rule action that raises a
    > province 3/4 to a 4/4... What happens to the source? Does it go down one?
    > When should it do so? (since it mentions Elf regents can ignore this
    > problem, I know it applies to others.) Also, I still am uncertain - is it
    > possible to raise the level of a Source? if so, how?

    This is an important concept: the two numbers, province level and source
    level add up to a number that REMAINS ETERNALLY CONSTANT. Thus, is the
    province rating goes up, the source rating MUST DROP. Thus one of the poor
    wizards looses a level of source holding, assuming he had it built up to
    the max. The Eternal Constant is determined by the terrain type of the
    province (mentioned somewhere near the back of the Rulebook). And yes--it
    IS possible to rule up sources, but it is generally necessary to
    depopulate the land first. One of the benefits of war to a wizard is it's
    decimating effect on the population--although it usually takes some years
    (perhaps a decade or more) for the depopulated lands to grow "Wild" enough
    to rise back up on the Source side of the scale. So in that sense, the
    Eternal Constant (and this is only my name for it--you won't find it in
    the book) can be changed, can only be changed in reduction. It serves as
    the maximum, sort of like max hit points. No matter how much healing you
    get, you can't get better than max. Elves get around this by being able to
    live in tune with the land, but they have their own drawbacks, cheif of
    which is inability to create the gold-gathering guilds of the humans, as
    well as a tendency to grow much more slowly, which some DM's set rules to.

    > 5. I know I'll hear from this one: What boxed sets/province player's kits(?)
    > would you out there suggest? The Good, the Bad, and the just plain Ugly, as
    > it were... I currently have the main boxed set, the sea rules, the book of
    > the Anguishen(ugh, excuse spelling, dyletics of the world untie), and the
    > northlands boxed set. What do people think of those?

    Get all of the territory gets--they're the best of the lot. Beyond that
    the King of the Giantdowns and the Legends of the Hero-Kings are the best
    of the adventure books. Avoid all of the other adventures (well, some like
    Sword and Crown) as they require much too much adaptation to be useful in
    all but the most high-level adventures, and BR is really at it's strength
    at lower levels. Beyond that, the Players Secrets books are WAY optional
    (and probably not too useful unless it happens to be the realm you're
    playing in), but the PS book of Tuarhievel and Baruk-Azik have some pretty
    good background and flavors to the cultures of the elves and dwarves,
    respectively, of Cerilia. Most important, however, are the Books of
    Magecraft and Priestcraft. Beyond the region boxes (or booklet in the case
    of the Heartless Wastes), the Craftbooks should be highest on your list.

    > 5. Last but not least: Is it just me, or does the setup/layout of the
    > Rulesbook (birthright boxed set) suck rocks? I mean, neat rules, when you
    > can find them...

    Yeah, an old lament on this list. We were all hoping that the wrinkles
    and rules-confusion in the RB would be ironed out in the much anticipated
    but regretfully cancelled Birthright Rerelease.

    Mark VanderMeulen
    vander+@pitt.edu
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  3. #3
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    My two cents?

    Michael Goldsworthy wrote:

    > Wow. First message on this list. :)
    > Well, I've been going through the e-mails on this list, (OK, I was lurking),
    > and I saw a couple of messages I thought I could reply to...

    Welcome, MG. Glad you are chiming in.

    > 1. The game I'm GM-ing right now is Birthright, with a healthy dose of my
    > own ideas thrown in (I had originally just gotten the original boxed set,
    > and am only now beginning to collect more of it; heck, it suprised me the
    > line was discontinued). The game I'm running has 4 players at present, all
    > regents. Tough game to run; 4 kingdoms, each far away from one another (the
    > PCs involved don't even know each other!). and I run adventures quite
    > often, with the PC regent, and the other player playing the regent's
    > henchmen or hirelings. The game is quite new - we've only just started the
    > second in-game year (total 5-6 domain turns), yet the players love it, even
    > when playing the other PC's henchmen (guess I got good players). What has
    > this gotten us? Every game has made the world more "real"; the role-playing
    > is great; and I've lost a lot of sleep...:) Having a ball, though.

    Sounds great. Personally, I prefer a high adventure ratio in my games vs domain
    rules. I love the domain rules because they provide some guidelines for aspects
    of the game that have long been overlooked, but I usually use them as a sort of
    backdrop to the actual adventuring and as a way to determine the results of
    those adventures.

    > 4. Does anyone out there have an idea what kind of ratio of Province
    > devlopment vs. Source (loss) should be? Example: A rule action that raises a
    > province 3/4 to a 4/4... What happens to the source? Does it go down one?
    > When should it do so? (since it mentions Elf regents can ignore this
    > problem, I know it applies to others.) Also, I still am uncertain - is it
    > possible to raise the level of a Source? if so, how?

    Yup, the source goes down right then and there... except if the ruler (or I
    would suggest, more appropriately, the population of the province) is elvish.

    Do you have a copy of the Book of Magecraft? In it there is a description of
    how long it takes for sources to return after the population goes due to
    whatever reason. Anybody have that info handy? I'm not near my books.

    > 5. I know I'll hear from this one: What boxed sets/province player's kits(?)
    > would you out there suggest? The Good, the Bad, and the just plain Ugly, as
    > it were... I currently have the main boxed set, the sea rules, the book of
    > the Anguishen(ugh, excuse spelling, dyletics of the world untie), and the
    > northlands boxed set. What do people think of those?

    Most of the adventures are OK, though they tend to be "high magic" or "Monty
    Haul" in comparison to the flavor of the setting, and your take on the
    prevalence of magic in the campaign. I'm told Giantdowns is the worst
    transgressor in this regard. Sword of Roele is pretty bad too, though I'm
    pretty sure these are both OK adventures with a little reworking, mostly by
    cutting out the excessive magic.

    I would suggest getting your hands on all five of the campaign setting
    expansions. They are all worthwile and a good read.

    DO NOT buy the naval combat rules boxed set. Everything in it is already in the
    Khinasi, Cities of the Sun, boxed info, so unless you want to spend $12 for an
    extra set of naval warcards it is a waste of money.

    Baruk-Azhik is a really good description of an elven realm, but it has this
    freaky thing about Grimm Graybeard changing into this weird spirit of the stone
    kind of creature who haunts the Orog caverns and can appear spectrally to the
    new regent like some sort of geological specter. If you can get past the
    goofiness of that idea and read the sourcebook for its content regarding dwarves
    it is a good buy.

    Ilien: It's kind of cool. I have a soft spot for little ole' Rogr, though, so I
    suppose I might be biased here. I like this one because A) it emphasizes magic
    and B) it's a single province and I like focussing a whole sourebook on a 30x30
    mile plot of land.

    Endier: I liked this one for the same reason minus magic, but plus some info on
    the Spider one of the more neglected awnsheghlien out there.

    Roesone: It's OK. Buy other ones first unless you are going to run something in
    this realm.

    Tuornen: ditto.

    Tuarhieval: Kinda liked this one and it's mix of human and elven cultures. It
    gives you a good compare/contrast on that level. Again, weird plot stuff where
    the Prince went off to parley with the Gorgon and is being held captive in some
    birdcage after he turned over the realm and his bloodline to his pregant human
    girlfriend. She's not a mage, which basically renders the realms powerful
    sources useless, and she's not an elf, which makes her running one of the oldest
    elven nations a bit tweaky. Again, if you can get past this stuff, the book
    itself has good info in it. (Hosestly, I got kind of a kick out of this plot
    stuff. Much more entertaining the Baruk-Azhik stuff because it has racism, sex,
    love, passion, intrigue, good, evil, etc. in it. Making Grimm Graybeard a rock
    spirit is just weird....)

    Do get the Book of Priestcraft and the Book of Magecraft if you can get your
    hands on them. Also pick up the Blood Enemies book, if for no other reason than
    examples of how to make up awnsheghlien.

    I really liked Legends of the Hero-Kings because it gives a good example of how
    adventures can be used for Random Events (and extrapolating that into domain
    actions is pretty easy) so get that one if you can too.

    > 5. Last but not least: Is it just me, or does the setup/layout of the
    > Rulesbook (birthright boxed set) suck rocks? I mean, neat rules, when you
    > can find them...

    Huh. I hadn't really thought of it.... I guess that's because I never felt
    there was ENOUGH information, so I didn't worry about how it was preseneted, you
    know? I was just pretty jazzed to get the data.... I'll have to look through
    it with an eye towards that.

    Gary
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  4. #4
    Kenneth Gauck
    Guest

    My two cents?

    - -----Original Message-----
    From: Mark A Vandermeulen
    Date: Tuesday, August 03, 1999 6:30 PM

    >Perhaps I would introduce a new proficiency (which is generally my
    >response to these things--yessiree, you can't have
    >too many proficiencies!) called "Politics" or something that would give
    >you a general idea of the "level of support" of a participant with a
    >successful check.
    >

    There is a Politics proficency described in the "The Glory of Rome"
    historical campaign sourcebook. It is very appropriot to what you have
    described.

    Kenneth Gauck
    c558382@earthlink.net


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  5. #5
    Kenneth Gauck
    Guest

    My two cents?

    - -----Original Message-----
    From: GeeMan
    Date: Tuesday, August 03, 1999 8:21 PM
    >
    >Baruk-Azhik is a really good description of an [dwarven] realm, but it has
    this
    >freaky thing about Grimm Graybeard changing into this weird spirit of the
    stone
    >kind of creature who haunts the Orog caverns and can appear spectrally to
    the
    >new regent like some sort of geological specter. If you can get past the
    >goofiness of that idea and read the sourcebook for its content regarding
    dwarves
    >it is a good buy.

    IMC, Grimm died in the Orog wars, like his brother. The first adventure for
    then new Regent of Baruk-Azhik was to recover his father's battle axe +3,
    Orogbane. I droped the goofy spirit life of Grimm. I also changed most
    names to more dwarven sounding names, traced the geneology of all the clan
    leaders, thanes, and blooded dwarves in Baruk-Azhik back four generations.
    Devised the full clan structure of the realms, and their political
    positions. I also dropped the over-socialized nature of dwarven society
    described in the supliment. There may not be a lot of individuals causing
    trouble in my Baruk-Azhik, but there is alot of inter-group conflict.

    Kenneth Gauck
    c558382@earthlink.net


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