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  1. #1

    Winning as Tuornen

    Hi guys.

    I am new here so pardon some breaches in protocol.

    I had a question about 'winning' in birthright. I know, winning is not a term one uses in the grimdark setting of birthright, where survival is scarce. But I am trying to get the best I can while playing as Tuornen in our P&P campaign as its Duke.

    Some background:

    In our campaign that has lasted for 2 and a half years now, we have reached a level equivalent to that of 12 or 13 in D&D in an in house developed ruleset. We have recently managed to Kill Rhuobhe with some one time use story powah!!! However this only replaced him with his son, Spiritrender from the Sword and the Crown adventure.

    So Tuornen still faced Rhuobhe, but with a window of time to make some quick advances against other fronts.

    Additionally, I am allied with Avanil and right *now* avanil and boruine are at peace. Moreover, I have passably good relations with Boruine as well.

    Thus the main problems to me appear from Alamie or Five peaks. Alamie is now allied with Mhoried with marriage ties.

    Can you guys suggest some long term strategy that can take clear advanteage of these situations?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    No breaches, we are fairly informal here.

    One approach is to see the ties between Mhoried and Alamie not as threat but as opportunity, the shield is ever hopeful for allies against the Gorgon and given some support may encourage Alamie to tolerate a free Tuornen.

    Otherwise Ghoere is doubtless deeply concerned by the alliance of Alamie and Mhoried, its mercenary links give it significant deniable aid and while one must be wary dealing with such folk, and mindful of your alliance with Avanil, support may be available if requested in appropriate manner.

    The clear approach is to request support from Avanil given its rivalry with Mhoried, likely available given the Mhor's increasing influence, such support may of course come at a price but then all support does I fear.

    On other matters Boeruine clearly has bored soldiers if it isn't at odds with Avanil, perhaps it would be interested in clearing some of the unclaimed forest land to the north?

    Endier has its own awnsheghlien issues, and you've clearly proved your prowess in that field, perhaps given your alliance with Avanil and a basic agreement with Ghoere you could 'persuade' the free city to accept your 'support'?

  3. #3
    Senior Member arpig2's Avatar
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    Hit whoever is weak and alone
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  4. #4
    Thanks Andrew. More background:

    Endier is already a very strong ally to Tuornen. I fear, however, that going after the spider right after killing Roubhe would be pressing my luck too much. The circumstances leading to Rhuobhe death were very specific/unique. I do not think we will have a similar opportunity with the Spider as well.

    Going into the FIve peaks sounds intriguing. I am just wondering if it is worth it. Considering that this border is right now chaotic, entering there would invite/create another hostile enemy. On the other hand, there is a definite ooportunity there. I was planning to ask one of the PCs to carve out a realm there with my support. That way a buffer is formed between me and the five peaks.

    I think I will elect to make peace with Alamie. However, their leaders are vile and trecherous. How does one befriend such regents? Another option for me, would be to use guile of the same sort that Alamie does and convince Mhoried that they are plotting againt the Mhor. The sister of the duke of Alamie is married to the Mhor. Maybe I could convince the Mhor that she is poisoning him?

  5. #5
    I would consider allying with the Western Imperial Temple.

    One of the interesting dimensions here is that it is in the Western Imperial Temple's interest to see Alamie and Tuornen united under one ruler. It gives them a distinct advantage as the state religion -- with a 1/2 to 1/4-1/4 advantage, as opposed to their current 1/2-1/2 split in each realm. They also have a lot of money.

    The problem there is that none of the other major powers (Avanil, Boeruine, Mhoried, or Ghoere) would normally want to see a restored Greater Duchy as it adds a fifth potential contender. However, they might see it as a possible counterbalance to the Mhoried-Alamie alignment.

    You have a natural shared faith alignment with Avanil through the Western Imperial Temple. Ghoere has a natural interest in countering Mhoried's growing interest. And, after killing the Manslayer (whom the Archduke saw as a personal enemy), you might be able to get Boeruine to overlook your manuever. (His personality seems the most likely to consider "repaying" the debt of killing off one of his enemies.)

    So, you might just be able to make it work -- maybe garnering aid from all three of the other major powers if you made it clear that you had no interest in the Iron Throne, perhaps even signing an agreement to that effect. That would be somewhat believable too because you could "suggest" that Mhoried is already aiding Alamie in creating a restored Greater Duchy. Your argument might be that the other powers should consider whether they want a house with a direct traceable line to one of the ancient great houses (who might be a possible contender) or a house descended from a collateral bastard, who lacks the dignity to make a true claim on the Iron Throne.
    Last edited by Nicholas Harrison; 07-01-2015 at 08:36 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Harrison View Post
    I would consider allying with the Western Imperial Temple.

    One of the interesting dimensions here is that it is in the Western Imperial Temple's interest to see Alamie and Tuornen united under one ruler. It gives them a distinct advantage as the state religion -- with a 1/2 to 1/4-1/4 advantage, as opposed to their current 1/2-1/2 split in each realm. They also have a lot of money.

    The problem there is that none of the other major powers (Avanil, Boeruine, Mhoried, or Ghoere) would normally want to see a restored Greater Duchy as it adds a fifth potential contender. However, they might see it as a possible counterbalance to the Mhoried-Alamie alignment.

    You have a natural shared faith alignment with Avanil through the Western Imperial Temple. Ghoere has a natural interest in countering Mhoried's growing interest. And, after killing the Manslayer (whom the Archduke saw as a personal enemy), you might be able to get Boeruine to overlook your manuever. (His personality seems the most likely to consider "repaying" the debt of killing off one of his enemies.)

    So, you might just be able to make it work -- maybe garnering aid from all three of the other major powers if you made it clear that you had no interest in the Iron Throne, perhaps even signing an agreement to that effect. That would be somewhat believable too because you could "suggest" that Mhoried is already aiding Alamie in creating a restored Greater Duchy. Your argument might be that the other powers should consider whether they want a house with a direct traceable line to one of the ancient great houses (who might be a possible contender) or a house descended from a collateral bastard, who lacks the dignity to make a true claim on the Iron Throne.
    Wow. This is a really thorough, real-politic advice. My sincere thanks. I am planning to adopt segments of this advice. I will NOT sign an agreement that Tuornen is WILL not stake claim to the throne. There are two reasons: I do not plan to deny future regents of Tuornen their possbly legitimate claim. No one will believe it anyway.

    However, I can personally claim to have no interest in being an Emperor.

    Another reson why it might not work, is that I am not really a direct descendent of Dalton. I am in fact a Tuor, who have a claim to old dynasties on their own. My mother was Leila Flaertaes. Since you gave such a ridiculously good answer, can you suggest a way to make Alamie actually being aligned with Tuornen? I am thinking about using religious sentiments of the people to make that happen based on your post. But that seems inadaquate to allay the problems with the current dutchy. A military solution is simply inacceptable. Not only it has a good chance to fail, but it will make any future efforts difficult if not outright impossible.

  7. #7
    I tend to think military solutions are the most practical and realistic. You can't really hope to reunite the Duchy without employing that.

    The Western Imperial Temple would probably be a good resource there -- since they have ties to both realms. They could assert that your line has done what the Alams have been unable or unwilling to do by eliminating the Manslayer. Another PR move might be to "recapture" the northern province that Alamie lost to the Five Peaks. Both of those would show that you're taking on the lordly responsibilities that the Alams have neglected.

    I don't know how much you can do in-character to uncover the Duke's plot involving the toymaker. However, that would be a pretty good move if it comes out. You could assert that the Duke had pulled troops to protect the people -- building up the knightly garrison. You could even try to plant a story of other kids (Alamien children) who had disappeared and the Duke covered it up so that he could use the toymaker against the Tuors. The Western Imperial Temple could help spread that story as well -- citing it as a reason they might decide the Alams were no longer rightful rulers. Crimes against children are pretty potent weapons.

    Finally, if the Alams were to take an action against Ghoere's interests -- or if an agent of Alam were to do so of his/her own accord and you were to say that the agent was acting on the Duke's orders. (I know there are some guilds in the south that belong to them.) You could use that to get Ghoere's support and you could also claim that it was the Duke acting against the common people -- possibly inciting a popular rebellion that you would move in (with the other major powers) to support. (I've always said that the guilds are the truest representation of the commoner. They're associations of free craftsmen -- rather than the greedy, corporate business interests they're so commonly portrayed as. And, the provide all sorts of medieval social services.) Ghoere's guilds might even be willing to hatch a few of these plots to help undermine one of Mhoried's allies.

  8. #8
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    The question for me is who are the heirs in Alamie? The current bunch may be rotten, but sooner or later they will be replaced by the next generation - who might be very interested in support against rivals, even from Tuornen - look at it from their perspective, an alamie scion who is betrothed to your heir is a sure winner if they inherit, and heirs have all sorts of ways to get themselves disinherited or die young...

    Of course your people may not want a united duchy either, particularly if the Alamian heir is seen as the dominant partner.

  9. #9
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    Five Peaks is the Birthright version of Afghanistan, also even if you manage to occupy and mantain it then Boeruine would border only with Talinie, Avanil & vassals, and your realm.

  10. #10
    I don't think the Five Peaks is quite as bad as you suggest. You could make a reasonable argument that the provinces which were originally part of other duchies might be easier to reclaim (i.e. Puinol was originally part of Cariele and Sufhanie was originally part of Alamie).

    I also wouldn't argue for an invasion of the entire area -- just the single province that was "lost" by the Duke of Alamie. Perhaps, you could even mount a coordinated assault with Cariele and enlist Mheallie Bireon's aid. She has holdings in Tuornen and I'm sure she could be convinced to contribute -- as she'd be taking two provinces with holdings held by her rivals in Dhoesone, adding one of them to the puppet government in Cariele. If you played your cards right (promising her the guild holdings and maybe even a marriage alliance between Entier Gladinil and Tuornen's regent), she might even fund the invasion.
    Last edited by Nicholas Harrison; 07-06-2015 at 02:10 PM.

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