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  1. #1

    My houserules for running Birthright in 3.5

    First of all, hi everyone, and I hope this is the right bit of the forum. I'm not directly using the community created 3.5 conversion for Birthright, but rather I want to discuss my own variant, since I believe there is content available that can better represent the setting, and I'm hoping some people can creatively disagree with some of my suggestions in order to make it better. There is a lot of great content on the wiki and forum, and I will definitely be borrowing some bits, with grateful thanks to the creative people who made them.

    I'm primarily aiming to write up a full list of houserules in preparation for running a campaign, so while options are good in an official campaign writeup (whether WotC or your own write up here), I need to pick which options to use. I'm also not shy about changing stuff that is published canon to better fit with my vision of the setting.

    I will try to number each distinct bit of the rules, both to break up the text, and to make it easier to discuss.

    1. Birthright is a low magic setting. 9th level spells are fundamentally incompatible with this. I'm thinking of E8, so casters have access to 4th level spells but no higher. There may be a few individual spells that are problematic, but I like them getting access to Bestow Curse and Dismissal for example.

    2. D&D 3.5 generally tones down racial impact on career options, especially compared to AD&D. I don't really like the way 3.5 or AD&D deal with race, but the rules do need to reflect differences between the races for it to be properly Birthright. I want to streamline the racial traits, to get rid of the minor legacy stuff like the pile of stuff elves and dwarves get, leaving the stuff people actually get as the relevant stuff, that is easier to remember during play, and makes meaningful statements about the differences between races. So all races get no stat modifications. The main impact of this is prevent anyone from having 20 or above at level 1. I always use point buy, and although the world in general is low power, I'm willing to give PCs and other Scions 32pointbuy. Elves are graceful and dwarves and tough, so they are more likely to have good dex and good con, but it's not mandated for PCs, although NPCs will in general conform to the stereotype. If you have a low con dwarf you might have been poisioned in the past or something as part of your concept. Humans get no free skill point or feat, their race has no impact on the character sheet at all(I think the standard human package is overpowered, but I could maybe be persuaded to let them keep the skills, the feat has got to go though). Hmm, for elves, checking their list of stuff, the only things I can really see to remove from their huge list, is the little bonuses, that +2 racial save against enchantments, and the +2 on the various perception checks(the low light vision is enough to represent keen elven eyes to me). I'd really prefer to shorten the list a bit, but the others all seem appropriate(especially the Infamous reputation, which is great for mechanical representation of flavour). For dwarves, I think the dodge, appraise and craft stuff can go, but the rest is fine. Halflings keep Shadow Sense and the bonus against fear, but the skill bonuses and slings can go. Favoured class is the big change in race. Each race should have a favoured class, and that class is the only one that can hit the level cap(or maybe a short list of favoured classes). Human favoured class should definitely be Cleric(and perhaps Crusader), the others are more debateable. Halfling as rogue makes a lot of sense, but that locks them from the top spell levels permanently, and given how magical they are I'm not really sure that makes sense. Rogue is fine for the PHB halflings, but I'm not sure how much it fits their Birthright counterparts. I was thinking Beguiler from PHB2, as the magical rogue might be a better fit. Elves and dwarves need a bigger discussion anyway, so their racial favoured classes will be in a later section.

    3. Classes. I like using the full range of books, plus selected homebrew, but a few classes need special discussion. I like using Tome of Battle as it helps make melee more interesting(although some of the homebrew for archery disciplines needs to be added too). For Birthright, I think those techniques should originate with the Dwarves and Goblins, and have spread from there. The nature magic classes also present a problem in Birthright, because they are divine, and therefore closed to elves, who have strong nature fluff text. Cleric and paladin seem to me to the natural divine traditions of humanity in this setting. Druid and ranger could represent elven influence, but Erik is kind of in the way as he is needed for druids to get their spells according to the setting material, and I don't like divine magic available without gods as that doesn't seem appropriate for Birthright. I think druid should just be removed from the setting, and Erik has normal clerics with his published nature orientated domains. Rangers should just be replaced with scouts in general, and that leaves humans and elves with the same sort of skilled hunters, no divine magic involved. I kind of miss wildshape though, so maybe the spell-less wildshape ranger could be allowed. Wizard and sorcerer are Scion or elf only, and I'm tempted to make cleric Scion only, with Healer or something for the non-Scion priesthood. This restricts the powerful casters in the setting, and reinforces the power of blood and heritage, which seems thematically appropriate. It might weaken humans a bit too much though. Bard is another problem, it's arcane with limited healing, and fits well flavourwise with elves, aside from the healing. I think it should be available, including to elves, and represents a better time, when humans and elves worked together to make something beautiful and useful. This would logically make them awkward socially in the more isolationist realms.

    4. Elves. Hanner Sidhe is definitely being used. I love that stuff. Much thanks to the people who developed this material. (oh and bards would popular with the people working on this project, which fits well with its social manipulation aspects). I want elves to be a valid PC race, but I also want them to lean more to magical beings than humans with pointy ears. I also don't want to give them too many advantages that mean they actually end up completely overwhleming humans. You can play a normal adventuring campaign in Birthright, but the domain stuff is the core of the setting, and that's what I'm going to running with this material, and as it stands elves are crippled in domain turns. Law, Temple, Guild, Source (and I've seen discussion about adding Trade routes to this, which I like). Only Source is available unrestricted, and although elves have an advantage there it really doesn't outweigh the problems the restrictions on the rest cause. Law is easy to fix, just redefine it a little and say high law can also represent a deeply respected and beloved ruler, who only has to ask for a thing to be done, and people are glad to assist, no restrictions on freedom necessary. It becomes a measure of Influence rather than purely the power of the legal courts.(a lot of humans in setting should be ruling that way too anyway). I don't like the very modern tree hugging hippy attitude of all guilds are horribly exploitative, it feels kind of out of place. Its true that elves really like their forests, and deforestation was a really big thing in the historic medieval period, but is it really impossible to have people making things for trade without exploitation of the land(and it's people)? It's true that it would be unusual for humans to act that way given the rest of the cultural premises, and a lot of guild types that are more common among humans would be impossible, but couldn't there be some elfy things they could do for trade(wine, jewellry etc)? Because of the limitations to only appropriately elfy stuff I can see a cap for guilds, maybe half the province level or something, and the more isolationist domains would have less, perhaps not even any at all. Temple, well they don't worship gods, but they surely have spirituality, and strong culturally supported traditions, like the Taelinri. Couldn't Temple be used to represent that? Along the lines of the bardic colleges sort of thing. This would also provide for a source of education etc. This would mean elves would need to use a different skill to gain the benefit, and they obviously would need an alternative to the divine spell access. Switching it to arcane would be easy, but being recognised socially as Taelinri(with the cut-off from other political power that that implies), could work as well. I think losing access to divine magic is already a huge huge disadvantage, and they don't need all this other stuff on top. I need to work out how I want to represent Taelinri, some sort of easy entry PRC would probably do, with the main requirements being social standing and skills. Another class that might be a good fit with elven culture is the Incarnate(the Chaotic Neutral version being the most common of course). A magical skill orientated class, it can fill in the holes created by the removal of AD&D's multiclassing, and if the right stuff is taken, can be used to aid with the effectiveness of bardic healing for damage, without gaining the other benefits of divine magic). It also gives the elves alternative to magical items that seem fitting for an immortal people. To enhance their magical nature I would borrow some stuff from the Ghostwalk setting, and have the elven spirits going into trees upon death. I'm even tempted to borrow an idea from the JRPG Tenra Bansho Zero, of the kugutsu, which are basically special trees carved into humanoid form, and then illusions used which create a sentient being fully capable of learning, and has to grow up naturally, and are also immortal. The elf version would lose the illusion bit, and this would simply be their method of reincarnation. This really makes them into nature spirits given form, but the need for them to grow up and experience the world and train normally gives them enough room to be relatable for players. TYhe only thing holding me back from this was I liked the Hanner Sidhe idea of humans becoming half-elfs, but if elves are magical beings to this extent, then how can the Hanner Sidhe really be called half-elves? I suppose it could be tied to their path of reincarnation, attuning them to one of the funeral trees, which manifests during their life as the visible signs of half-elvishness, and in death they follow the elven path of reincarnation, and can later be reborn as full elves..... This would make the human attack on the elves less of an atrocity, and more self-defence against cultural conquest.

    5. Dwarves. The standard religion seems a little out of place here to me. I like them having religion, as a contrast to the elves, but Moradin just seems a little dull, in a setting that otherwise takes a fresh look at things. The lack of the other gods of the standard pantheon does make them a little different though I suppose. The fact they can live off rocks and dirt, seems to make them a more elemental race, despite their inability to use arcane magic, which usually represents ties to nature in Birthright. I like the dwarven smith archetype, and there is a prestige class in Magic of Incarnum called Ironsoul Forgemaster which would be perfect for them. It would need some more divine flavour text to fit the published material on dwarves. Their inability to gain benefits from Source holdings is a weakness, but at least they get all the other holding types, plus the full clerical magic options. I'll leave their lack of access to arcane magic alone, but I'm still not happy with the religion issue. What about changing them to ancestor worship, with an emphasis on the deification of important dwarves as well are some more general ancestor worship? There also needs to be a few more dwarven domains on the map. Yes humans are dominant now on Cerilia, but would a few more options for dwarf PCs regents not be nice? Favoured racial classes of cleric and warblade. Their martial tradition does not seem to be as strongly religious as crusader would imply. I found a nice homebrew for a martial artificier, which would also fit nicely for them, but I've lost the details at the moment, I think it was called the warcrafter.

    6. Halflings. Desperatly need more than one domain. Given their strange and magical nature, it doesn't make sense for them to be acting so much like standard halflings and living so well integrated with humanity. Swordsage could work well as one of their favoured classes, given the shadow hand options, and it can work as an alternative way of representing rogue with special tricks that might look like magic to the uninitiated.

    7. Bloodlines. I like the idea of using the Unearthed Arcana rules to represent this mechanicallyt, but at the time time it would mean losing a whole lot of the rather flavourful options from the AD&D material since you don't get as much stuff, and a lot of them are too strong to fit in that framework. Given PCs being Scions is kind of assumed in the game I would run though, it could perhaps be made to fit, with them just being a little stronger than those abilities would normally be, and PCs simply picking for the big list a few thematically appropriate abilities.

    8. Psionics. I had at one point thought of using psionics as a way to to represent elven magic, and it basically doesn't have the human distinction between arcane and divine, and elves get the full options for magical healing. I also think psionics is just a better system in general, being more balanced than the broken core. However, I think that combined with the changes to the elven domain rules, it might make elves too strong, since theyt would be effectively equal to humans, aside from the population problem with the slow birth rate(or slow carving rate if I go with the trees option). Would probably need to have some sort of psionic bard if did this.

    9. I had more, but it's getting pretty late here, and I've lost my train of though, so I'll take a break here for now, please comment!

  2. #2
    Ehrshegh of Spelling Thelandrin's Avatar
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    I recently tackled the issue of half-Elves when designing my upcoming game Mistridge. Here's what I went with:

    Half-Sidhe – Extremely uncommon and often of unknown provenance, half-Sidhe are either the physical union between a man and an elf or a human exposed to long-term Elven influence. Their Sidhelien heritage allows them to become true mages, even if unblooded, so they can never become magicians. Whilst most elves would gladly take in a half-Sidhe, their alien attitudes and not quite human bodies make them a figure of suspicion of dislike in the human lands.

    As you may be able to guess, I was going for the Shakespearian maxim - some are born Elven, some train to be Elven and others have "Elven-ness" thrust upon them.
    Last edited by Thelandrin; 04-22-2013 at 10:38 AM.

    Ius Hibernicum, in nomine juris. Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

  3. #3

    Half-Elves

    Yes I would definitely give half-elves access to full wizardry as part of the elven blood concept, but I like the move away from the option of them being biological descendants, and it being a more mystical and or cultural process. Essentially I like the idea of it being something the human is tricked or persuaded into accepting, but always with the key element of choice, even if they don't fully understand the consquences they choose to become other. Thanks for the reminder about half-elves and wizardry access.

    Now that I'm awake I can add in a few of the other things I wanted.

    10. Human religion. I don't really like the weird pseudo-monotheistic version of polytheism that D&D does, with clerics only getting their powers from one deity. There is some awesome flavour with the various temples, but I still think it just doesn't fit the milieu. There should be shrines to the individual deities, but the priesthood should be more polytheistic, with certain gods having mystery traditions that they initiate in, kind of like AD&D's speciailist priests. There should be more temples to all the gods, especially in the heartland region. Mechanically I would represent this with human clerics having all access to any two domains their pantheon offers, with a feat that represents the initiation to the deeper mysteries of the faith, and grants access to one other domain of a specific deity. Making it feat based is good for E8 because it means in the long term there is a possibility for a human priest to initiate into all the mysteries of the human gods, which would be impossible if it was a prestige level. Actually, rather than the domain, it could be the Domain Devotion feats from Complete Champion. It just adds an extra social meaning to the feat, which is fine for balance. There could still infighting within the faith, with various highpriests having separate holdings, but an actual schism is not an appropriate part of the polytheistic worldview. The holdings would more be webs of influence and patronage than something with official legal recognition.

    11. Elves again. There is some nice fluff in one of the Mongoose Quintessential books about elves being able to find stones and sing to awaken crystal within them, which has various quasi-magical powers, and can be used as building materials(to represent the crystal palace in one of the elven kingdoms), and magical weapons and jewellry, to remove the need for smithing industry. Like all Mongoose stuff there is no real thought to balance, so the mechanics would need to be thoroughly checked, but the flavour seems very setting appropriate.
    Last edited by Alkaru Anwamane; 04-22-2013 at 11:49 AM.

  4. #4
    Ehrshegh of Spelling Thelandrin's Avatar
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    I've long thought that the Ways And Means section in Q. Elf II could easily be adapted for Cerilian Elves. The grown crystals, living magic and woven light all seem to fit a mysterious and alien magical race far more than the more laborious (and more regimented) default system of item creation.

    Ius Hibernicum, in nomine juris. Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

  5. #5
    That's the stuff I was thinking about. There's also some nice stuff in Quintessential Druid about enchanting plants so they produce a supply of potions, wands or arrows etc that slowly regenerates over time. It's really expensive compared to normal enchantment IIRC but totally worth it to a truly immortal race like Cerilian elves.

  6. #6
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Given the power of mebhaighl and its tie to the land, having druids and shaman-types run off mebhaighl seems perfectly reasonable to me (it also gives the sidhe some much needed healing ability).

    You can then allow the sidhe to have druids (and the taelini then run primal-temple holdings if you like) and have the rjurik mix in "proper" godly worship with the "elder ways" of druidism - or simply have Erik as a hero with all Rjurik temples actually drawing power from mebhaighl rather than conventional god-power. The problem is the blurring of the line between wizardry power and primal druidic power - both run off the same power source which is a problem at domain level.

    You could see that as a good thing as the Rjurik are otherwise under-powered with low population reducing the spell capability of their temples, so you could say that they can claim source holdings equal to temple holding level and combine the two for spellcasting which also handily explains the dislike that the druids have for wizards.

    The sidhe already use their sources which are very high level, so giving them both temples and sources gives them a huge amount of magical power, plus if using primal magic for temples you are somehwat double-counting the mebhaighl. I wonder however if the split between clerical and wizardly magic is necessary for the sidhe given that in BR wizards are oriented towards nature, perhaps their domain level schticks would be:

    1. No temple holdings
    2. Guild holdings as normal, but without the ability to form trade routes
    3. Source holdings produce income as though a temple of 1/3 their level and can cast primal clerical realm spells as well as wizardly spells.

    The sidhe sources are then very powerful (although arguably less strong than a temple holding they are much higher level - basically you can see them as akin to a human realm but stacking one holding type (sources) on top of the other (temples) with a few spare source holdings). I note that to bolster sidhe armies and make them able to tolerate casualties I give the sidhe an elemental spirit type equivalent to skeletons/zombies made from roots, branches, grasses, etc with a few more powerful natural allies that can be summoned if required - something to slow down the enemy mass while the archers and spellcasters unleash hell on the invader.

    The Karamhul were under-done in BR, I would definitely shift them towards temples as moral/ethical centres based around ancestor heroism and cautionary tales, remove the 2e "no-wizards for dwarves" limitation so that they can hold sources, and allow them to build engineering style traps (bridges rigged to collapse, dams with huge floodgates, etc to allow them to store realm-spell type physical traps for invaders - costly to set and re-build each time but very dwarven, overall I'd make them as elemental-spirit taken humanoid form much like the sidhe but earth/fire oriented instead of air/water. I like to think of them having elemental allies (much like the sidhe would have fey, treants, etc as allies) with possibly warforged from eberron reflecting bodies crafted by master craftsmen in which their spirits live on, or bodies for elemental spirit allies of the karamhul to inhabit.

    Halflings should be able to make awesome illusionists - magician is a class which suits them to a "T" (although I add charms to the divinations and illusions for magicians as charms are similarly low-power historical-witch type magic and I'm not sure if charms suit halflings).

    I'd suggest adding spirit world and shadow world provinces - Rhoubhe for example might link to several otherworldly forests (as might the Erebannien) where the darkness of the shadow world has yet to encroach.

  7. #7
    Some great ideas AndrewTall, thanks for that. I understand what you're saying about ties to the land represented by both wizardry and druidry in Birthright, but I'm uncertain about the conclusions you draw. You clearly identify the problem when you say "The problem is the blurring of the line between wizardry power and primal druidic power - both run off the same power source which is a problem at domain level."

    I found some nice stuff in a fan magazine for Greyhawk that'd I'd wanted to add in anyway, but wanted to recheck a few details before mentioning. Oerth Journal 11, the second section is called Iron Enchantments. Basically it's community rituals for human cities, which bind up the magic, so civilization can prosper, and lowers the risk from magical threats. It seems clearly well suited to represented what exactly humans do that lowers the source rating. It's also a distinct and active choice, rather than general mumblings about ecofriendliness, and it's well suited to play, since it's a conspiracy centred in the temples of humanity, giving humans a big social conspiracy too. As the name implies it's all tied to iron which fits with fey theme for elves and nature, the rules were originally designing to give humans a valid reason to be socially dominant. It's also good for creating a conspircacy that can be infiltrated, and the iron objects used in the spells can be targetted by saboteurs. The rules are for AD&D but any Birthright fan should be used to dealing with that They should probably be divine only for Birthright.

    Greyhawk had some recurring themes about the transition from druidry(the old faith), to the worship of the gods(as I understand, I've never really played the setting). This was essentially the rivalry of nature and civilization. With the strong ties of wizardry to nature in Birthright, I'm not sure druids really need a place. Humans and elves have different views of the world, so I can see the logic of a human divine nature tradition, but at the same time, I would rather there was an objective truth, trying nature to wizardry and sources, and not confusing the matter, with additional divine nature magic.

    I think some unblooded scions becoming half-elves, and learning wizardry should take the place of druids. It's a strongly spiritual tradition, but no divine ties at all. Druid could be used as a social title, but should probably be avoided due to the risk of confusion for players. Given Erik was archdruid before Deismaar, that would be replaced with him becoming Hanner Sidhe, and learning wizardry. It would make sense to do the same to Ruornil. This would make two of the human gods into half-elves though, so I can see why some might consider that a bit drastic of a change. In the modern setting Erik tries to balance his human and elven natures, ending up promoting a very religious worship of nature, with his priesthood a mixture of clerics and wizards(I forgot to mention I've always treated priesthood as more a matter of social and religious standing than tied to class, cleric is simply training in a divine magical tradition, which requires service to the gods). Ruornil should have a priesthood dominated by wizards, given all their interest in sources and ley lines, and without AD&D's multiclassing options. I suppose you could have Deismaar be the moment they chose to fully embrace their human heritage, and ascension stripped their elven blood from them, but given their ties to nature and arcane magic, I don't think that really makes sense.

    I'd missed the issues with Rjurik holdings before, previous games haven't really involved that part of the world too much. I don't want to spread Hanner Sidhe around too much, but if they take the role of Erik's initiates, they should be small in numbers, and maybe a little more distant from ordinary worshippers that helps mask their nature. Hoods could be common wear.... Also my level cap means that the biggest issue with province level capping access to domain spells isn't a big problem anyone. For arcane they would need to invest in ley lines and some zero level holdings to move the power around.

    Elven domain holdings would become
    Law - standard access, no alignment stuff blocking raising them any more.
    Guild - I'd rather cap at half province, and limit trade routes the same, they seem likely to regularly trade a small handful of goods like medicinal herbs from the forest for human metalwork or something.
    Source - your changes here make good sense to me, but I kind of wanted the option of opposing cultural and spiritual forces, being represented with contested temple holdings, so overall I'd rather leave source as published for elves.
    Temple - spiritual and cultural as described before. Only primal clerical realm magic available.

    Humans get a boost from Iron Enchantment, which compensates for some of the things elves have gained, which lets them compete with the same traits on the character sheet, but representing different things in a few places.

    You make a good point about elven war casualties. Summons work here, as do illusions, magical animals, fey, treants and a few other things along that line.

    Dwarves definitely got the short end of the stick, and you're right about giving them wizardry - that was just a pointless legacy of AD&D I was holding on to for no good reason, they are clearly rather similiar to elves in their nature ties, and so should have wizardry. I like warforged as the work of mastercrafters for elemental spirits to inhabit, rather than dwarven ancestors, given I'm already using elves carved from wood, which overlaps a little too much. Those engineering traps sound great, they're definitely in, thanks. Glad to get some confirmation ancestor worship wasn't too big a shift for Birthright, that's set then. I've always seen dwarves as having a naturally democractic tradition, which would lead to heavy use of investiture for appropriately choosen successors in Birthright, probably with an obligation for the elected ruler to have children, to protect the bloodline, and with undercurrents that mean sometimes there is some dispute about whether an elected successor is truly worthy, so some extra tests get added on, but social pressure is heavy on not prolonging this too much. That lawful emphasis in their alignment is as much about the force of tradition as their legal system.

    Halfing illusionists sound fine, but I'm not keen on that Magician class at all. It's spell list get all the cool wizard spells(I'm not a fan of blasting) plus healing. There needs to be a class in the lesser arcane wizard role, but I think bard fills that role fine. I'd just allow halflings to be wizards, just like elves can without needing to be scion, halflings are pretty damn magical in Birthright after all.

    Spirit and shadow world provinces are a great idea. I'll need to dig up some sort of map I can use for them though. The elven ancestor trees should be there, rather than Cerilia, so a good reason for the elves to make ventures there, basically makes their reincarnation a rather manual process though. I'd say that would probably brought about by the split of the worlds.

  8. #8
    Ehrshegh of Spelling Thelandrin's Avatar
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    I like the idea that dwarves can't be wizards. After all, elves can't be priests, so there's a distinct parallel there. Ruornil doesn't need to be half-Elven; he was likely the magician/high priest of Vorynn, just as Erik was the chosen disciple of Reynir.

    When talking about the Younger Gods, there must have been a reason that they ascended (Haelyn, Belinik and Kriesha did; Roele, Raesene and Traederic didn't), so you don't need to worry about them following the rules retroactively. After all, there are rumours that the Lost were able to use true magic before Deismaar due to the unwholesome influence of Azrai.
    Last edited by Thelandrin; 04-23-2013 at 11:11 AM.

    Ius Hibernicum, in nomine juris. Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

  9. #9
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Well, in fairness I didn't really go for a conclusion, I was hoping to spark ideas. When I was last campaign building I merged all magic into one and just had priests with one set of spells per priesthood and had wizards pretty much open in what they cast - healing spells or charms or fireballs.

    One idea I had is to merge druids and wizards at least a little - some druid stuff really fits Cerilian wizards, some of the old stories of Merlin fit a druid much better than a D&D blood-and-thunder wizard, I'm increasingly less keen on evocations and the like but some players love them - the lack of healing bothers me though due to sidhe longevity, unless they are all to be a mass of scars and whatnot they need to have magical healing, although I guess you could just say that they regenerate as long as the mebhaighl is strong suggesting why they haven't spread out when neighbours weaken.

  10. #10
    Sorry Andrew, I didn't mean to offend, so please don't let me discourage you from throwing out ideas, I've been very happy with the reponses so far from you and Thelandrin, it's given me some good stuff, and helped me question some of my initial ideas.

    I feel that dwarves are too tied to nature to miss out on wizardry, and the access to sources that grants. Perhaps their divine magic users are spirit shamans(which use the druid spell list), and can interact with both temple and source holdings. Oh and Thelandrin, if you really don't like the idea of dwarven wizards, and want to keep them unable to use sources at all, check out that iron enchantment stuff I mentioned before, it was written for AD&D so assumed wizardless dwarves, and they are meant to have access to it too, I just preferred the idea of it being a human divine conspiracy. Here's a link to the download page http://oerthjournal.blogspot.co.uk/p...downloads.html

    It's in Journal 11, second article, right after the stuff on Joramy.

    I do need to worry about them following the rules, because I don't like making arbitary exceptions as GM if at all possible. The world and rules should reflect each other, so I never have to players that they can't use that bit of the rules, because I think it goes against some flavour stuff that is unclearly defined. Awnshliegen are the only exception since their whole thing is being unique monsters. This comes down to difference in taste in GM styles I think.

    I'd kind of forgotten to account for the old gods, Vorynn should have been connected with the land's magic too. As primal gods they don't belong to any mortal race, but their initiates should have had access to classes which represent their interests.

    Andrew's ideas about merging druids and wizards would fit in here I think. I don't actually want elves to have too much access to healing magic, I want them to be more limited in that regard than humans. Druidic healing is not as good in combat as clerics due to spontaneous healing, but out of combat it is just as good really.

    I like the idea of elves having limited access to healing magic through casters, and having to hoard their resources. This meshes with the stuff about living magic items mentioned above. They can enchant a bush to slowly produce goodberrys(for instance), and stockpile them for emergencies. Elves going into battle have to carefully manage their rations, but a major wound can be fully healed.

    If dwarves as above have a divine magic tradition that is not tied to gods, that opens up options for others too. Maybe half-elves have something similar, and it's them that work to help create the bushes for the community. This isn't as good as the human access to clerics, but it's far better than nothing, and being able to fully heal injuries some elves might have suffered for centuries would give half-elves a strong role in elven society, and helps explain why they are so welcomed there. Dwarven spirit shamans are about reverence for ancestors as guardians of the land(as per the stuff about the old dwarven king merging with the land in the Secrets books for Barak-Azhik), half-elven spirit shamans are more about about a connection with the fey perhaps, in their role as a differnent sort of guardian of the land. This would also help to strengthen their role in elven society, due to obvious connection with the ancient Sie, with perhaps some optimists having hope that through humans joining the elven way, that the damage wrought by Azrai on the worlds could be restored. Spirit shamans would make good Talinrie, but I don't know if I'd want to go as far as giving elves a divine magical tradition, even if it involves no worship of deities.... Not sure though, it could work.

    If half-elves later reincarnate as elves as one option I mentioned earlier, then elves need to recruit a few new half-elves every so often to ensure they can continue the production of the living magic. So some half-elves get recruited and never leave the forests, living a peaceful life growing plants for the elves, and some instead continue in the human realms as active agents as per standard Hanner Sidhe plan. Not everyone who could be recruited as Hanner Sidhe would necessarily be suited to life as a secret agent, so this would give those others something to do.

    Btw, I'm aware of the canon that elves have no soul and don't reincarnate at all, but reincarnation is too much of the natural order for that make sense to me. I'd say their reincarnation has serious problems because of the split of Sie, but it still exists, and they have a spirit rather than a soul (and the difference explains a little of why their reincarnation always did work differently from others, but is by and large a purely academic matter for philosophers to ponder).

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