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  1. #1
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    Shadow World adventures?

    Hi all...

    It's been awhile, but i'm getting back into Birthright again. Has anyone done any adventures in the Shadow World? I've been reading Blood Spawn, getting plenty of ideas.

    How do you find it? Is handling the Seeming and characters' perception a problem mechanically? Or does it run smoothly? The Seeming seems like such a dynamic thing that i can see it being difficult to adjudicate. Is this the case?

    Mind you, i'm still reading about the Seeming and the rules governing it. Very creepy cool stuff though.


    -Fizz

  2. #2
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    So no one has any adventures in the Shadow World? What?

    -Fizz

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    My campaign is not based on pc's but on regents, and as of yet non adventuring regents.

    didn't dungeon magazine do one, issue 53?(!)

  4. #4
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    Shadow World adventures?

    In a message dated 12/2/05 11:16:11 AM Eastern Standard Time,
    brnetboard@BIRTHRIGHT.NET writes:

    << So no one has any adventures in the Shadow World? What? >>

    I did a short in-and-out, as the tail end of a long adventure-- the BBEG
    retreated to the SW, and the PCs went in to root him out. It was a few years
    ago, when 3E first came out. All of the players had made the conversion to
    their PCs, but I initially told them that we would convert after the adventure
    was over. Instead, once they wen through the portal, I said, "For you,
    everything feels different. Pull out those 3E sheets now. A three-armed giant is
    throwing rocks at you."
    I`ve not liked the "always-changing" aspect in Blood Shadows, I prefer
    the Ravenloft-ish feel of the mirror-Cerilia concept.

    Lee.

  5. #5
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Dungeon #59 - Seeking Bloodsilver.

    One of my personal favorites.

    Nice portrayal of how things are the same and yet different in the Shadow World.
    Duane Eggert

  6. #6
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    Our PC campaign occasionally gets into the SW. While my character has been with the party, we have been lead into the SW by
    - black dark segments in a marshland, whilst pouring with rain and mist, running away from the Raven or Lamia's soldiers... that eventually took us to the Seelie Court and magic bonus for some of our items
    - a trap laid to waylay us when we finally saw a kidnapped ex-party member (now a regent mage). This lead into a lengthy SW saga involving dragons, cooperating and living with goblins (and my druid recruiting one), and defeating a city of ghouls. Our out was thanks to the seelie court opening a shadowgate.
    - our halfling PC who just shadow walked us (IIRC) out of the Gorgon's forge (science and armour factory) and back to Calrie.
    - the odd dim door or similar travel spells that pass momentarily through the SW

    The only non-blooded PC has written extensively (using a pseudonym) on the SW and we have come across various stolen ancient family tomes that talk of trips in the SW. This PC has travelled so extensively that he was affected and is now grey-skinned and has to wear dark spectacles.... goes well with the hat and trenchcoat. And he tries to be discreet!

    We have been keeping a watch on our PC's seeming and perception. If any of us get seeming too high IIRC then we too might start to change. Every extensive trip tends to change the S/P values. In contrast, my Druid hates the cursed land of shadows, so he mentally rejects that it is different and tries to view it as what it is. Hence, he doesn't get the S/P change and is probably going to be hoodwinked easier.

    Sorontar
    Sorontar
    Information Communication ILLUMINATION!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member ausrick's Avatar
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    This is just for the fun of it and I know doesn't have much basis in the books, but I like to approach it from the mirror cerillia angle too, especially if I can do it so subtly that the PC's don't notice the change right away. In my campaign the Shadow world is renowned as a particularly unpleasant place, so when the PC's do finally realize that all is not as it seems then you can really see the fear take ahold of them.

    I kind of treat it as a "DM's playground", mostly it mirrors cerillia but little things are different as hints, then it grows. I use a lot of Ravenloft rules, and try to blend the different approaches. For instance, I use a lot of the Ravenloft rules for Ethereal resonance and sinkholes of evil, but I use seeming/perception for a lot of the results of those. I like to throw in where sometimes the unbelievable IS Real, just to keep everyone on their toes, and then with a touch of the idea of things being changeable and mutable mixed with a dash of RavenLoft Dark Powers I can change the terrain and landscape on a whim so that people can get lost in the mists or in the forest, and loop around or find their way to someplace that shouldn't be there but is. i.e. (been through this woods a hundred times on this trail, but now I ran into a small country manor. Did it appear? or did I manage to get lost?

    I guess it comes down to if Cerillians are afraid of the shadow world, it has to be subtle, full of the unknown, people will have less control of their environments, and usually encounter a higher level of maliciousness from dangers. (and you can mix the unknown and control of environments with such things as "can the PC's count on the forces of nature to work like they should ALL the time.")

    Thats just the approach I've taken to it.
    Regards,
    Ausrick

  8. #8
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    The Ravenloft analogy is a good one. Different "lords" of the Shadow World, through control of the Seeming, can control different sections entirely... especially if they are one of the Lost.

    My campaign, so far, has only encountered the Shadow World twice. First, as a standard zombie hackfest, having seen too many Romero movies one night - the PCs holed up in a small house they found, and held out until the halfling they were with could get them out.

    Secondly, as a means of promoting plot. A "lord" of the Shadow World (won't reveal whom, as some of my players may read this) tried to escape the SW, and partially possessed someone near and dear to the PCs... they partially thwarted it, but in exchange, made a bargain with a creature bound to an ancient stone circle, and now are in turn bound to do it a favour.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Doyle's Avatar
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    Most of my PC's now cautiously look out for anything that might signify a gate to the SW and actively avoid it. I mean, just because the opponents are nastier, many of the treasures dissolve within a few hours when returned to Cerilia and exposure to this world is damaging to any elf or half elf in the party, - is that any reason for the knight to pale, the rogue to wail and the mage to start muttering nasty things at me in Gaelic. And then there's what the druid (Sorontar) thinks of it (see below ;)
    While SW adventures are few in the campaign I run, many of the larger plot elements are sourced from there - I may detail these after the current campaign has finished, no need to stress Sorontar too much further.

    Getting back to Fizz's original question - I run seeming and perception pretty much as suggested in Bloodspawn and it seems to run smoothly enough, even with the little additions / extrapolations that I use. For example (with inspiration from Lovecraft's Cuthulu), the more a PC denies the unnatural SW, the more easily he can be fooled by it (low gain in perception), but the less it will leave its taint on him (no gain in Seeming). The more a PC actively pursues the study of the SW, the more he can understand and defend against it (more rapid gain in perception), but in doing so becomes more a part of it (slowly gains Seeming), with both the benefits and drawbacks. The rogue determined to understand it all can simply fade from view at will, but when seen has an unnatural grey colour to his skin. He has gained an extension to his infravision, but now must protect his eyes in direct sunlight. All abilities gained are mostly in line with the scale set out in Bloodspawn, but the actual effects are GM decision with the PC’s personality in mind.
    For the SW ‘landscape’, I use several sources – primarily the dark mirror of Cerilia, but also a lot of Zelazny’s shadow worlds stuff (Amber series), plus a little Ravenloft to keep the PC’s nervous. Given the nigh infinite possibilities all sorts of things can be used as the source –the example following was based on a horror flick called ‘the house’ (or similar) that I’d seen as a kid.
    During the last part of a solo game in the SW (the rogue PC needed to prove has value to the guild before gaining advancement in it and I needed drop a clue for a later scenario), I had the PC escape from a unit of Orogs by hiding in a keep only to run afoul of some sentient Seeming that was effectively haunting the keep. The PC’s perception was high enough that the Seeming effect was not dangerous to him, but he could not leave with the 80+ Orogs searching the keep. This part of the session became role-play only as the Seeming played with/ tortured/ sent insane the Orogs, while chatting ‘pleasantly’ to an increasingly panicky rogue.

    Hope this is of help,

    Doyle.

  10. #10
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    Well, thanks to eBay, i now have a my own copy of Dungeon # 59 with Seeking Bloodsilver. Looking forward to reading it thorughly, but it looks very intriguing just flipping through.

    Thanks much for the suggestion!

    -Fizz

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