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  1. #1
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    Birthright In Other Primes

    So I've recently decided to design (with the intention of eventually running, natch) an AD&D campaign. I've always wanted to incorporate kingdom building and management in to my games, but never really got around to following through on those ambitions until I stumbled on the Birthright boxed set in my closet a couple of weeks ago. Now, I've perused the contents of this boxed set a couple of times in the past, but just like all the campaign box sets I own, I mostly just poured over the fluff for things to pilfer for my own home brew setting. This time is barely an exception- rather than raid the setting for fluff, I'm now raiding it for crunch.

    In time I hope to dump my campaign notes in to this thread. Until then, I would like to hear from people who have had experience using Birthright kingdom building and management for games set outside of Cerilia, both as a DM and as a player. Did anyone run in to any unforeseen consequences during this process? How were Bloodlines handled?
    Last edited by BedLlama; 10-07-2013 at 05:13 AM. Reason: typo correction

  2. #2
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Good luck!

    The simplest way to handle bloodlines is simply to ignore them - the only mechanic effect on the domain rules tends to be with regards to the regency collection & maintenance cap. Otherwise blood powers tend to be purely adventure level so easy to set aside if inconvenient.

    So one approach is simply to ignore the cap.

    Or, you could set the cap at, say Leadership+Charisma mod * "x" to encourage certain domain sizes.

    Or you could replace the divine source of bloodline with some equivalent (local gods, alien heritage, etc) and change the names of abilities/feats to suit and keep the concept of regency.

    Etc.

    Another (minor) issue you would have is in dividing up the map to get equally sized provinces, but as long as you are happy with bigger provinces being "Alahara east" and "Alahara west" in BR terms or some such descriptor, you should have no problem.

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    Senior Member arpig2's Avatar
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    I have been running Birthright games in my own homemade worlds ever since the game came out. In fact, I have never played in Cerilia - come to think of it I have never played any form of D&D in any published world.

    Anyway, I had no trouble with the bloodlines at all, we use them completely unchanged except that we just discard the whole gotterdamurung Diesmar thing.

    They are simply some sort of magical essence that runs in some people and not in others, sort of like the medieval idea that the bloodline of any king was somehow magical. I dumped the names of the old Gods and used simple A-G for out of character purposes, and for in-character purposes I just chose the most appropriate local deity to name their bloodline after. Therefore if an elf had an Anduiras bloodline I had them record it as Derivation A (Colleran), and his dwarf buddy would be Derivation A (Moradin) and so on.

    The idea being that nobody actually knew where the powers came from and so attributed them to descent from various gods (sort of like how Julius Ceaser's clan claimed descent from Venus). The actual source of them has always been the magical nature of the land itself, using the same sort of quasi-sentient concept that is behind the idea of "Land's Choice". There is no cataclysmic event before which bloodlines did not exist, they have always existed.

    This has worked just fine for 18 years.

    I strongly recommend you take a look at the Green Knight's Ruins of Empire rules variant, it is a major improvement on the original.
    Call me Bob.
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    Senior Member arpig2's Avatar
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    And as far as Andy's comment regarding the province sizes, well I never had a problem with that, it's my world so the map is whatever I want it to be, right?
    Call me Bob.
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    Ehrshegh of Spelling Thelandrin's Avatar
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    I really like the idea of Leadership * X as a bloodline variant.

    If you wanted to genericise the bloodlines, you could always go with Bloodline of Fire (Basaia), Honour (Anduiras), Intrigue (Brenna), Magic (Vorynn), Nature (Reynir), Shadow (Azrai) and Water (Masela).

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

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    Thanks for the input folk!

    Bloodlines, I've decided to handle in the simplest way- by keeping the mechanics more or less intact. Any time I plan a new campaign the setting gets little revisions to accommodate the direction I want to take things, so adding Bloodlines and powers isn't a really big deal. The fluff needs fiddling though, as my gods are aloof and far removed from mortal affairs. I'm thinking of reversing the source of power from standard Birthright fluff; rather than having a divine bloodline that makes you worthy of holding domains, the fact than one owns domains will instead grant the regent traits of divinity. Since my setting's gods draw power from the collective faith of mortals this actually fits in nicely, a great (or feared) leader could simply be tapping in to a portion of this zeitgeist.

    I'm considering drafting up new Bloodlines for the setting, although for sanity's sake it will have to be a large list of Bloodlines with a narrow selection of powers, as opposed to Cerilia's small number of diverse Bloodlines. This could prove to be entirely too much work, though- we'll see. I'll also need to figure out how to integrate psionic characters in to the rules, and figure out how far to take to integration. Hash out some 'realm manifestations', perhaps? I don't suppose anybody knows if someone else has tried this? Psionicists aren't terribly common, but I don't want them to be any more rare than Magic-Users, either.

    I also want to plug HexMapper. I stumbled across this tool the other day, and while the actual maps aren't too pretty, it does let me make a continent-sized hex map, and then zoom in up to 12 times on progressively smaller scales. The map I'm working on right now can be scaled from 1091 miles per hex, down to a tactical scale of 7 feet per hex. Which is pretty sweet.

  7. #7
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Hmm, I'll have to go back to the stuff I was doing on Hexographer and try the zoom function, it sounds like just what I was looking for when working on the Utter West expansion I played with ages ago.

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    Campaign Notes

    OK, I've been brainstorming and hacking out rough ideas for a little more than a week now, and I think I have enough to make something workable out of. So here's some campaign notes that I would greatly appreciate some feedback on. Fluff is in quotation blocks, because it's really only being included to lend some context to some of my decisions, and can safely be ignored if that isn't your jam.

    Campaign Synopsis

    Quote Originally Posted by From the Ashes
    In the wake of an extinction-level event scouring the face of The World, survivors emerge from whatever havens they had managed to find. From nodes of habitable terrain on the Elemental Chaos made temporarily stable, to refugees having set up camps in the slums of Sigil, the mortal races came crawling back to the once-more habitable Prime. The Player Characters will be individuals who the populous believes will help to rebuild civilization, and through trust or the fear that these great individuals inspire from the people around them, they gain a fraction of divine power.
    The Crunch: Bloodlines are inappropriate thematically for the setting, but the mechanics of them work fine with a little tweaking. There are no Scions, and there is no Magician class- anybody of any lineage may be a Magic-User or a Specialist (although only Regents may use Realm Magic, as normal). There is also going to be a terminology change; rather than gaining a right to rule through having a Bloodline, a character who earns or lucks in to the right to rule instead forges a Legacy. If a character who lacks a Legacy gains control of a Domain, either through owning Holdings, Provinces, or both, they immediately gain a Tainted Legacy Score with a rating of 15. If someone gains or expands their Domain through inheritance or completely eliminates another's Domain through investiture or Bloodtheft, they gain a Legacy Score of half of the previous Domain's holder if that total would be higher than their current Legacy Score. If a domain is split through inheritance, every individual it is split among is entitled to half of the previous owner's Legacy. Bloodtheft and investiture that does not completely eliminate a Domain follows the normal rules as defined in the Birthright Campaign Setting Rulebook, as does Bloodtheft which eliminates the Domain of someone with an equal lower Legacy Score. Bloodtheft no longer requires piercing the heart- anybody who slays a Regent in single combat commits Bloodtheft, even those who do not control Domains. A person may have a Legacy Score without controlling a Domain, but may not use their Legacy powers at all until they become a Regent. Finally, Bloodtheft will also require a terminology change, though I haven't settled on anything I like.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mortal Races
    The first inhabitants of the Prime were the servants of the higher powers. Over centuries of inhabiting The World, they acclimatized and became mortal. Of the attendants of the Gods, Angels came the Aasimar, from Archons the Beastmen, Devils to Tieflings, and those who acclimatized and intermingled the most became Humans and Halflings, whose lineage is no longer traceable. Of the minions of the Primordials, Elementals became Draconic, Demons transformed to Slaadi, and the Genie (Djinn, Efriti, etc.) became Fey creatures- including Elves and Giants, finally those of Primordial descent with no-longer traceable lineage became the Goblinoids.
    The Crunch: The World itself is largely uninhabited at the beginning of the game. The Player Characters get first crack at carving out Provinces, although the NPC Regents may very well get other boons to compensate (and in some cases, over-compensate).

    Alignment as a mechanic needs to change. Rather than selecting a moral Alignment, they will instead select a behavioural Temperament, each one corresponding to one of the four personality types dictated by Humorism. Swords corresponds to Sanguine, Staves to Choleric, Coins to Melancholic, and Cups to Phlegmatic. Classes with alignment restrictions do not have Temperament restrictions (including Priests), although all other mechanics based on Alignment function with only minor tweaks, which will be noted where relevant. There are no mortal races who are needlessly malicious (or benevolent) as a rule. Societal, and even religious norms are dictated and shaped entirely by the people of The World.

    On a relate note, there are no 'default' Clerical subclasses (and the Cleric as it appears in the PHB is unavailable). Anyone who owns a Temple Holding may design a Clerical subclass following the guidelines in the Complete Priest's Handbook (pending DM approval). Alternatively, if your faith is Druidic you may select, or design a Druid kit (also pending DM approval), or select the Druid as it appears in the Core book. If you are not the leader of your religious order, these selections are also pending the approval of your Patriarch/Matriarch. This selection not only applies to yourself, but also any followers, including Lieutenants you might hire. If you do not own Temple holdings, followers and Lieutenants available to you may be of any faith within your Provinces, in any Provinces in which you own Holdings, and any Provinces connected to either of the former by trade routes. Druids will no longer be considered examples of a Clerical subclass, and instead will be treated as an entirely distinct Priest class. I'll get to the how and why of that when I get around to writing up about magic.

    Races are still being written up, but pretty much everything in the PHB will be available in some form or another, with the addition of Goblinoid races. For character creation, I'm thinking that every PC will start with a Legacy Score of 15, 24 Domain Points to spend, and 70 stat points to be divided on a 1-for-1 basis among their abilities. Class tweaks are still being worked out, although the largest one will be the inclusion and support of Psionicist Regents.

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