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  1. #1
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    Modifiers in Birthright

    Another question for the BR sages related again to the computer tool I´m doing to help managing Birthright games.

    This time is about modifiers: things that change the value of something. For example, a modifier could be the Maximum Source Level of a Province if the Province is Elven, it´s not modified by the Population level.

    My idea was to express that along this way (this is a string of characters):

    "Province.SourceLevel = Province.Terrain.SourceLevel"

    This would set the Source level always to be the same as the value indicated by the terrain. Another example could be saying that Dwarves have +1 Maximum Population in Mountains.

    "Province.MaximumPopulation += 1 IF Province.Terrain.Name = "Mountain"

    (the string representation is not important for the question, just an example)

    So, I have an idea on how to handle those modifiers, which are pretty simple, and they give flexibility as they allow GMs to define their own Races, Classes, Blood Powers,...

    But my problem comes if there are crazier modifiers in Birthright. For example: a Spell that reduces the income of a province by 2 if your temple level is higher than double the temple level of an evil deity. That's super hard to manage as it involves a Province (income), two or more different Temple Holdings, the Alignment of Deities,...

    My example was artificial, but thinking about BR rules I can only come with simple modifiers. But maybe there are some obvious crazy ones that I am missing. And that's where I need help, if you can tell me of some of those crazy modifiers I'm missing (either in the official rules, or in Pbem or local games you have played).

    I know ideally a tool should allow any type of crazy modifier, but sadly that's nearly impossible to handle (at least for me and my knowledge), so I need to know what is the hardest case I have to manage because that may influence my implementation a lot (if I only have to handle simple cases I can place some restrictions or make some assumptions that don't work if there are harder ones).
    Last edited by Vicente; 11-16-2011 at 02:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicente View Post
    But my problem comes if there are crazier modifiers in Birthright. For example: a Spell that reduces the income of a province by 2 if your temple level is higher than double the temple level of an evil deity. That's super hard to manage as it involves a Province (income), two or more different Temple Holdings, the Alignment of Deities,...
    so for this you would want to
    • get a list of holdings in a province
    • get a sublist of temple holdings
    • get a sublist of temples which match temple-specific criteria, i.e. deity alignment, not holding alignment
    • get the maximum holding level of the sublist
    • then you can check the conditional for the spell (ie. your temple holding against the maximum returned by the previous step)


    Right?

    I can't think of any specific ones for BR but I imagine that leylines make things awkward for your system.

    Hope that helps

    Sorontar

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    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
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    I am not sure if I am understanding correctly your question since I have no programing (i.e. coding) experience. I have worked with a program as a user and helped in concept design. The question as I understand it would produce an answer with a fairly extensive list. Anything that is a noun in Birthright is subject to modifiers if one really thinks about it. Where you are going with your first example seems to be passive modifiers and the second with active modifiers. Passive being inherent in a state applied to a noun and active being applied as a result of some action.

    So then we are faced with the plethora of items that can apply these modifiers and what objects can be modified. It seems to me at this point the important thing is to distinguish what can be modified and how. In the simplest terms any item that is in the domain system and rpg system can be modified. Then we consider how these can be modified. Simple number values can be applied and specific states also can be applied. We add a number to a holding as a result of an artifact that has that quality, or we add increased income as a result of an applied state by a spell. From attributes, traits, skills, feats, spells, items, and abilities, if not others, we can get ideas of what is a modifier and how it modifies. To articulate it further I would suggest look at the anatomy of the domain system plus the rpg system and take that list of modifiers, add any I left out, read them that are printed that you have, get those from others as you suggested in your post from other games and pbems, and tally them up and see what you have. If there are any other potential ideas that stem from what you have add them as well, then consider what you can put together for the project that you have before you.

    A couple ideas I've played with are a some home rules for elven domains, and an aging system since the passage of time is important to Birthright if you play a legacy type campaign. The elven domains I felt could not meet their domain costs so I added some things specific to that race. It wasn't a popular idea, so I didn't do much with it. The aging system I bring up because it adds another noun that can be modified by things. This of course isn't a high priority for pbems since their longevity doesn't warrant such rules.

    I would suggest a system allowing for the modification of just about anything in the domain/rpg system creating an open system allowing for any unforeseen modifications that others may consider. I guess that would mean a modifiers section applied to each noun in the system of your tool. Perhaps even a modifiable modifiers section to allow changes and additions to current modifiers. This would allow anyone to modify anything how they want by creating modifiers and adding new modifications. The second part may not be so important as I think you could come up with all the possible things to be modified, it is a rather closed system. However, opening up the ability for people to make their own things to use as modifiers would be a very good idea. It opens up the tool to home rules and the like. Would even allow you to work on the tool while others add their own items that modify perhaps saving you some time. I don't know if I am way off base here with what you had in mind. Sorry if its a hard read, but I figure if you are playing with code, then this shouldn't be that difficult.
    One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorontar View Post
    so for this you would want to
    • get a list of holdings in a province
    • get a sublist of temple holdings
    • get a sublist of temples which match temple-specific criteria, i.e. deity alignment, not holding alignment
    • get the maximum holding level of the sublist
    • then you can check the conditional for the spell (ie. your temple holding against the maximum returned by the previous step)


    Right?
    Yep, those would be more or less the steps, the problem is that doing that process generic is really hard (or I haven't found a good way of doing it).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorontar View Post
    I can't think of any specific ones for BR but I imagine that leylines make things awkward for your system.

    Hope that helps

    Sorontar
    Thanks for the input, I will check the Book of Magecraft to read about Ley Lines and spells related to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magian View Post
    I would suggest a system allowing for the modification of just about anything in the domain/rpg system creating an open system allowing for any unforeseen modifications that others may consider. I guess that would mean a modifiers section applied to each noun in the system of your tool. Perhaps even a modifiable modifiers section to allow changes and additions to current modifiers. This would allow anyone to modify anything how they want by creating modifiers and adding new modifications. The second part may not be so important as I think you could come up with all the possible things to be modified, it is a rather closed system. However, opening up the ability for people to make their own things to use as modifiers would be a very good idea. It opens up the tool to home rules and the like. Would even allow you to work on the tool while others add their own items that modify perhaps saving you some time. I don't know if I am way off base here with what you had in mind. Sorry if its a hard read, but I figure if you are playing with code, then this shouldn't be that difficult.
    This is my idea, a generic system where the GMs can write their own modifiers. As it is in my draft right now, any numeric value can be affected by a modifier. But those modifiers have to be pretty simple:

    a) They have to be a number
    b) They have to be a mathematical operation that involves a property in the Target that is receiving the modifier
    c) They have to be a mathematical operation that involves a property in the Owner of the modifier

    An example for A is a Spell that gives +1GB to the Province Income (Target of the Modifier).
    An example for B is the magic when the population are elves: magic in the Province (Target of the Modifier) is always equal to the magic of the Province Terrain
    An example for C is a Building that Gives +1GB * Level of the Building (the Building is the Owner of the Modifier) to the Province Income (Target of the Modifier)

    The coding problem I have is trying to resolve a variable that is not in the Target or the Owner. That involves defining modifiers using a complex language, which in turn I have to parse and transform into program instructions (which is VERY hard). In fact, that requires me writing my own "pseudo-programming" language, which is more than I want to do.

    So my question was is those 3 types of modifiers are enough to handle most customization cases in BR? If there are common cases that are not covered by them then they are useless, but if they are enough then I will not break my head much more (as this is already complicated enough for the first version, I can try to tackle harder things later).

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    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
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    Ultimately the BR system ends in all things tied to an owner and allowing for targets owned by the owner to be modified seems like a good link for logic IMO.
    One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.

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    So far I think it covers all the cases I have thought. But well, I am sure something will appear in the future that will need more than this But for now, it seems enough.

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