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  1. #1

    Mages in Birthright. Boring?

    Hi all,

    I was wondering if any of you encountered the same problem in his Birthright campaign.
    We've been playing BR since the game came out and we also had a problem with the mage role in our campaign.

    The player who plays the mage character and manages the sources always finds himself less involved than the other players (guilds, temples, realms) in the game. It seems his range of actions is more limited.

    He has very little revenues so cannot really muster military units and the available spots for new source holdings is very limited as the level of all provinces tends to go up progressively during the campaign (decreasing the max level of source holdings).

    But maybe we just had players playing mages who were less proactive. I am curious to hear what was your experience of that role in your campaigns.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    aberdeen, scotland
    There can be some issues. I am thinking of running a pbem or tabletop game some months down the road as there is a lot of prep work to do. Part of that is me looking at events tables and the like.

    A lot can be down to the DM or how proactive a player the Wizard is. What opportunities are there for the wizard to be involved.

    Population creep can be a real problem in some games as most rulers want to increase the population and find it easy to do so. This reduces the power of a wizard in many cases unless he fights back.

    I am thinking of event tables as there should always be events that a court, ruler and domain have to deal with. Not just as domain rivalry's and wars but justice matters, brigandage etc. I am looking at season blocks of three months for turns with an event role each month with a one in three chance of an event. There would almost always be at least one event to deal with.

    Players would need to deal with the events and realms may find themselves going up and down in terms of power and population instead of always up depending on events.

    Like anything its a balance between any DM and his players.

  3. #3
    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Thief River Falls, MN
    The wizard is my favorite class. I have struggled with them in Birthright campaigns that are PBEM where the DM is dealing with many realms and domains each turn. There is plenty for the bookworm and artifact and rare component hunter to do in a Birthright campaign. They just aren't so political where most of the RPing and player interaction is at.

    Builds are a good thing to develop for a wizard. They can always use a library and a laboratory and a personal tower. An imaginative mind could come up with more builds that could provide for more benefits.

    Researching spells will likely be a large part of the early game if not the entire game of actions. Getting those realm and wizard spells known is a key function for the class after all.

    Adventures certainly with the group or their own LT adventure team, which would take some time to build up.

    Some time spent building up max HP would be ideal for survivability.

    Divination in my opinion is one of the most useful schools of magic, even if the books say it is weak. It is the wizard's own spy network. There a vibrant arsenal of these spells for the information gathering a wizard can do and will provide him an opportunity with any RP situation. Illusions and shapechange just enhances this. I played High Mage Aelies (HMA) once and used his info gathering abilities to spy on a guilder that was well known for destroying forests. I played him as very sympathetic to the Hunt of the Elves. Changed him into all sorts of critters to get around and watch and listen. Another mage I made was good at camouflage since he was low level I didn't have a good arsenal of spells yet. He was limited to not moving or be seen, so I had to build those spells up as he leveled up to be more like HMA.

    Having your character be well read on useful subjects could help too. This would allow for a position as an advisor, but that may just happen naturally playing and RP game and being part of a group of players anyway. As a player they could get into some interesting reading and learn about things that the others don't know and use that to be your character's advise. For example books like the Art of War, or the Prince, or The Courtier. There are many out there. I used the book the Courtier once to play as Boeruine's wife in the imperial senate and she started a game. Rather than have the players discuss what would make a perfect courtier, I made it a game of what would make a perfect emperor. It seemed rather popular.

    Strategy would be to keep your buddies close and your holdings safe. Set up a ley line network both offensive and defensive. Negotiate with the land lords that you need at least a one level 5 source holding if not 2 for redundancy. Level 6 and 7 are harder to get, but if you can get them, then do so and protect them. Reason for these numbers are the spells you will want to cast and maybe even a trade route access at level 7. Level 4 source he can agitate and build and fortify as well as muster armies.

    The search for Caerbhaighlien later in game may be a worth while pursuit.

    There also seems to be hints that a true wizard's ties to mebhaighl lengthens their life spans. Perhaps that could be made a thing for your own wizard.

    The sky is the limit. Like the first reply it is up to the player and DM. Set some goals to keep one's self busy in the game. Political players have natural goals that are organic to the political playing field. The wizard is like an inventor, he has to make is own path.
    Last edited by Magian; 06-07-2018 at 05:16 PM.
    One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.

  4. #4
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    London, England
    Mystical events as randoms that need to be resolved by a wizard (maybe a priest of ruornil) are one way to tie in mages.

    Another is to make more of the world as a magical place, ideas I had for a game (that sadly rolled a 1 on the old d4-1) were to have elemental spirits for rivers, forests, mountains, etc and for these to manifest and interact, with pollution, population shifts etc causing changes in the elementals that might be resisted by the old spirit requiring it to be appeased, etc - a natural thing for a wizard to get involved with (albeit also druids).

    One change I would make is to take some hints from the Deverry books, and have the wizard run their source via minor spirits, elementals, etc so that they have a 'fae court' and so on. That gives them retainers, some court intrigue, diplomatic opportunities, etc. Admittedly the diplomacy might be with a river to avoid it spontaneously generating water elementals to swamp a new mining site that is polluting it, but it is a means of giving the wizard non-realm-spell means of interacting with other regents.

    I considered but never really got into giving them 'mebhaighl points' equivalent to GB that worked only on source-related action or actions involving the shadow world/fae/other spirits, on the downside it would reduce the need for a patron with GB-generating holdings, on the upside the wizard would actually be able to undertake actions like everyone else.

  5. #5
    Thanks a lot for your feedback guys!

    I am currently working on a new Birthright-like RPG supported by a web application (as you might have read in another post on this forum) and your comments are very helpful.


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