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  1. #11
    Special Guest (Donor)
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Quote Originally Posted by Swashbuckler View Post
    My question, then, is:

    What tools are available out there for DM's/GM's who are interested in running a Birthright game? Haven't seen a thread on the boards that consolidates that kind of info, which might be nice to have.

    It would also be nice if we could note which ruleset they support. There are some good domain tools in the downloads/tools folder, that much I am aware of. But do other people use home-made spreadsheets or ...?
    As far as I know, there are quite a few custom ones out there, but no tool is 100% feature complete and they are custom tailored for the each GM preferences. I did my own for a while (Birthright Campaign Manager) and I talked a lot with other creators, but this was 2-3 years ago so things may have changed meanwhile.

    And then you need the tool to integrate somehow with a good communication system (Legacy of Blood games are the ones that got this better I think).


  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Vicente View Post
    The problem is that the whole thing is asynchronous. Imagine you wanted to run a DnD combat with 30 people but:

    - There is no turn order.
    - Combat is free form.
    - Every player may react in a different way than their original planned move depending on what other of the 29 people do.
    - The resolution procedure has to take into account people who act often and people who do not.

    Then you will have a general idea of the incredible mess and effort that is to run BR on a PBP game, even with electronic tools aiding you.

    Well summarized. As someone who struggles to keep up with any gaming because of other commitments, that last point matters a lot to me (making the game work for gamers with little time as well as those with a lot), and when you consider the other factors you mention, is another huge difficulty preventing me from even being part of a GM team.

    Even in my tabletop games (of which I manage a short game session less than monthly), I struggle with those issues, wanting something more streamlined, that works well for casual and heavily dedicated gamers alike, and that can handle some deviation from turn-based actions.

    To a significant extent, the wheeling and dealing of diplomacy and in-character forum posts is something that inevitably grants advantage to players with a lot of time. To date, these are the only that I have been able to come up with which may help mitigate that:

    1. The less time you have to spend on rules, turn write ups, and administration, the more players and GMs are freed up to spend interacting

    2. Have a resolution system that can receive submissions, alert when there are conflicts or interactions, and resolve things rather more simultaneously. Results get surfaced for GM and, where it makes sense, player review before being committed.

    3. Currently in the realm of speculation and wishful thinking: If you could achieve a back end video game-like system that decently auto-runs NPCs, and the ability to interact with NPCs meaningfully (taking some cues from Gorgon's Alliance and new games), and possibly even allow such NPC interactions to offset player interaction for the less active (by having the "AI" compensate for number of diplomatic interactions or agreements entered into, using some sort of measure based on domain power and court size as is already somewhat built into the game), you may be able to keep a lively world and keep less active players relevant (not fall quite so far behind). This could also be seen as a fallback for player attrition, as the domains would fall back to the NPC AI. Another way of looking at it is thinking of a world that keeps churning, and the more active you want to be, the more you take control of interactions that are otherwise taking place; the less active you are, the more of these interactions still happen, just without your direct involvement.

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I found a bunch of old stuff on that is interesting. Incomplete projects

    Interactive Map:
    Downloads section for Maps:

    An interactive map someone was trying to build to essentially replace Gorgon's Alliance, the old Sierra game: He had rebuilt much of the functionality, but not released it publicly, because he was still debugging and testing. And then I think it died as he moved on when he realized he needed to abandon Flash and didn't yet have the skills or plan to convert to a replacement.

    Managing Tool for Birthright:
    This guy created an impressive game tracker. Would love to integrate something like this into a map, by connecting the data. Track the data with the tool, display on map, allow to drill into data on the map and link back to the tool.

    Currently I'm still keeping in the running the idea about Visio overlays onto the continent map, because I know that I can link Visio shape data to an external data source that I am used to working with and that I know can allow players to interact with forms and reports accessing the same data (Excel, Access, SharePoint, SQL). It also presents well in a Visio web page. I'm still stuck with the painful problem right now of possibly needing to rebuild a new shape or stencil for each polygon, or to tug borders of the polygons around if I want to reshape an existing polygon. Still hoping to find a way around that.

    Another layered map: and supporting info:

    Blank vector drawing of all provinces in continent:

    However, I think even more than an interactive map, the Holy Grail of Birthright may just be an automated AI that could run the NPC domains, even interact on some level with the PCs (maybe somewhat like Gorgon's Alliance).

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