Since a number of people have lately been expressing opinions on various
modules they love/hate, find useful/useless for Birthright campaigns, I
wanted to share my thoughts on a module that has been EXTREMELY USEFUL to
me in the two Birthrigh Campaigns I have running. This module is Colin
McComb's Sword and Crown.

In campaign #1 I used the module components much as they are (like most DMs
I tend to change and adapt some parts especially in a module that long, but
I used it much as it was presented).

In campaign #2 I broke it into components which I have been using bit by bit:
Here are the components I split it into:
1)Sword and Crown-- a meeting held every five years (is that quinturnal?)
which is attended by rulers of countries, guilders, priests, mages, and
pretty much anyone else who can wrangle an invitation. Each type of regent
has meetings specific to their interests. The thing lasts an entire month
and has entertainments of all kinds. Direct confrontation at this time is
seriously discouraged and most honor the truce (at least on the surface).
At the end, the rulers of countries vote on the next host for Sword and
Crown (no one can have it twice till all have had it once). So you have a
reason to get everyone together in one place for a month. Plots and
schemes can be hatched. Alliances are formed. Snooping and spying goes
on. Marriages are planned, etc. PCs may wish to vote for their enemies to
have to host the thing next thing since it is expensive to do etc. or they
may want to host it themselves for reasons of their own. Prior to the
event, many messages pass from PC to PC, NPC to PC, PC to NPC etc., trying
to get others on their side for certain discussions or to set the scene for
the meetings themselves. Since I lke this to be a big event, I allow the
PCs to count attending Sword and Crown as a single monthly action. Once
they are there any diplomacy, etc. that happens is considered part of that
month's attendance at S&C rather than separate actions. PCs bring up
subjects for discussion at the meetings for regents of their type, meet
some of the NPC regents, etc. We are one the 4th Sword and Crown in the
1st campaign (once was sveral game months after they began, the latest will
be 15 years after they took over) and the 2nd one in the other campaign and
the PCs enjoy it as much as I do.

2)the elven tower with teleportation devices--these could be found in other
places on Cerilia as ways for the elven rulers and high officials (I can't
see every elf knowing about them) to make contact quickly and safely
without using personal spells.

3)the dwarven fortress--it need not be just a place to travel to as it is
in the module. It could be a place to discover lost dwarven secrest in if
you have dwearf PCs or it can be an independent place to explore, with or
without the elven gates. I left the mines connected to the fortress in
campaign #2 but didi not connect them to the orog city.

4)the orog city and the fiend Spirit Render: this is an interesting stand
alone as well. Also since Spriritrender is Rhuobhe Manslayer's son, that
makes him the great uncle of Prince Fhileraene of Tuarhievel and also of
the Prince's half-sister the ruler of Dhoesone (if you leave the world as
written). In one of my campaigns, there is a different regent in Dhoesone
(a PC) but I decided that allowing him to have the half-elf who would have
been the ruler as his lieutenant was feasible. Suddenly this PC is face to
face with a fiend who very closely resembles the woman who is his
lietuenant and whom he is in love with! What to do? Does she know of this
fiend? If so, how does she feel about it? Lots of fun there for devious

5)Rhuobhe Manslayer's Tower--also well developed enough for a stand alone,
with Aubrae's scheme included, but not connected to the orog city etc., as
part of a different scheme.

6)Aubrae Avan--a new NPC for players to love/hate, DMs to have fun with.
Whether you use her scheme or not, ( In one case I did, in the other I did
not) she is a great addition to the already busy plots and schemes in

I hope I haven't bored anyone with this description of why I love the Sword
and Crown module. I find that bookkeeping and GMing in a Birthirght
campain is very intensive work,both in the preparation and the doing of it.
I enjoy it, but modules like this that are so multi-faceted are a great

I am presently using the various components of another Birthright
module,Warlock of the Stonecrowns by Wolfgang Bauer, in a similar way.
This module suggests splitting the components up to suit your campaign

Brenda Santer:

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