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  1. #1

    One Shot for Convention

    I am going to a convention in a couple of weeks and, since nobody seems to play tabletop Birthright these days (or few in number), I thought I'd try to run a 5th Edition Birthright one-shot during two gaming slots, so that some new people who have no access to Birthright get a feel for the Campaign Setting and hopefully join up.

    My issue is that I am not entirely certain I can fit everything I want into a 4 hour session. I am creating 4x Characters per Domain, 7 Domains playable (just about everything in the South and a few others). They get to choose one main character and a Lt, whereas the other two NPCs are vying for control of their domain. Oh, forgot to mention, the previous regents were assassinated at a Sword and Crown event in Ilien that the Spider planned, and with Ilien's assistance.

    The main plot, however, is that with the realms divided, the Mhor having to deal with the Gorgon, Avanil and Boeruine dealing with Rhoubhe while also trying to assist, the PCs have to gain the majority or full control of their domain, recruit or defeat their competitors, and rise up to oppose Ghoere from trying to capture the Iron Throne to become Emperor.

    Am I trying for too much, or is there any advice that people could give me? I am using the (42?) page rule set for Birthright that I downloaded from here because it seemed the most complete set of rules for 5E.

  2. #2
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Best of luck.

    Are you doing a mix of domain and PC adventure or just domain actions?

    Ideally I always planned to have the adventure actions support the realm actions so that players were 'proper hero-kings/queens' but the more complex you make it the more likely the learning curve will be the learning cliff I guess.

  3. #3
    With only four hours, I intend on doing only domain actions unless the whole group wants to adventure.

  4. #4
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Makes sense, I'd either go that way, or do a tabletop where the domain level is the background and reason for the adventure, with 4 hours you are very limited.

  5. #5
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    I did a test run years ago of a convention AD&DII adventure that was set in Cerilia with some of the party being scions. The writer kept things simple. He gave us prepared characters with the race/nationalities bonus incorporated and a list of spells and one-use-per-day blood abilities when appropriate, but explained little of the background. I can't remember if there was any bloodtheft, but if there was it would have been handwaved as "something mysterious is happening". Birthright gave the setting but didn't dominate the story.

    Sorontar
    Sorontar
    Information Communication ILLUMINATION!!

  6. #6
    I think it's too much material for 4 hours, if played in sandbox mode. A lot of time can go away when explaining new rules, more so with Birthright: 4 hours could not allow players to properly use the mechanics, let alone experience the "tabletop" game.
    It might be useful to take inspiration from the Gorgon's Alliance tutorial: tell a story with sequential stages, whose real purpose is to present domain actions and mechanics. For example, the first part could be learning how to put on an army and fortifications to face the Spider's horde, then use diplomacy and espionage to restore a balance between the kingdoms and manage Ilien's treason, up to the final boss, a massive invasion by Ghoere.
    I think that in this way you can explain the rules in smaller parts, so players can play more and study less.
    Finally I would handle either only realm rulers or guild/temple rulers, internal struggles are extremely amusing and interesting but by inserting both themes the game risks becoming dispersive and the experience less exciting.

  7. #7
    Well, I am going to present them with challenges that they need to respond to or face consequences if they ignore it, but near the end I would have them gather their forces and march on Ghoere or at the very, extreme least being that they need to gather a large enough combined force to make Ghoere think that trying to get the throne would be too costly and cause the Baron to back down.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JakobLiar View Post
    I am going to a convention in a couple of weeks and, since nobody seems to play tabletop Birthright these days (or few in number), I thought I'd try to run a 5th Edition Birthright one-shot during two gaming slots, so that some new people who have no access to Birthright get a feel for the Campaign Setting and hopefully join up.

    My issue is that I am not entirely certain I can fit everything I want into a 4 hour session. I am creating 4x Characters per Domain, 7 Domains playable (just about everything in the South and a few others). They get to choose one main character and a Lt, whereas the other two NPCs are vying for control of their domain. Oh, forgot to mention, the previous regents were assassinated at a Sword and Crown event in Ilien that the Spider planned, and with Ilien's assistance.

    The main plot, however, is that with the realms divided, the Mhor having to deal with the Gorgon, Avanil and Boeruine dealing with Rhoubhe while also trying to assist, the PCs have to gain the majority or full control of their domain, recruit or defeat their competitors, and rise up to oppose Ghoere from trying to capture the Iron Throne to become Emperor.

    Am I trying for too much, or is there any advice that people could give me? I am using the (42?) page rule set for Birthright that I downloaded from here because it seemed the most complete set of rules for 5E.
    Hi,

    I'm running a Birthright campaign using AD&D 2e rules at the moment. I have 10 people playing with 6-8 people showing up for each 3 hr session.

    Basically, I'm focusing on purely traditional adventuring in a D&D world in the beginning and incorporating as much of the Birthright lore and details as possible. Adventures feature roleplaying, encounters, combat, etc. Each session advances the plot a little that will eventually have the PCs become part of one of the domains with one of the PCs ascending to regency and the rest being lieutenants.

    PCs will be introduced to the battlefield system when they get swept up in a confrontation between domains and I will put them in charge of some units and I will control the opposing units.

    Then when they've got some of the domain turn mechanics down I will let the PCs play out 2 or 3 domain turns per session and plan small adventures. The gaming sessions will be flexible so if PCs feel more like adventuring they can do that or if they want to focus more on domain turns they can do that.

    If I were running a campaign where PCs got to run their own domain I would probably limit it to 4 people and have to be very organized about it. We'll, I have to be very organized with the current way I'm running my campaign, organization is always good!

    Anyway, so my advice would be set it up so that players can get a taste of all facets of Birthright, but make it easy and approachable and not too overwhelming.

    Best,
    Messy1

  9. #9
    Agreed and understood.

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