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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Birthright and a game of thrones

    Hey all,
    I'm new to this site, but very familiar with the Birthright campaign setting. I have all the expansions and add ons, even some special ones on the internet. I've always found that this is the best campaign setting ever. However, I've a some problems with the 3.5E and the low magic/high fantasy part of Birthright. I'd like all the magic items to be special and hard to get, as was the idea in the original game setting (before the adventures and expansions). I've found that 'a game of thrones' (aGoT) rpg campaign setting fitts perfectly to Birthright. Not only is social status and influence included, but relative low HP, shock value and effective armour adds to the flavor. I have a problem with the magic system, though. I've tried to make a fireball with 1d4 instead, but its still too powerful. Then I thought about making it only a realm/battle spell, but where's the fun in that? Cure light wounds with 1d4+1 etc. Anybody have any ideas?

    Lundos2
    Last edited by Lundos2; 01-16-2006 at 12:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    Fireball 1d6/level min 5d6 well you will blast away an army with that, i know your problem, cure light wounds give you more hp than an average adult has, big big problem i dont know how to hadle this too.

    I have seen several army blasted away by a singel Spellcaster, wand of fireballs is the Birthright equivalent of an Weapon of Mass destruction, you can argue the battle rules are making an Spellcaster not more Powerfull as an charackter of any other class, and battle spells are nothing more than a good missle attack.
    Yes, thats all right but what will you do if a charackter attacks an army alone, 50 Fireballs, flying and always invisible, there will be no army left, ten units gone , you need an other Spellcaster of equal power or you will loose every Battle before it has begun.

    Help!!

    Has anybody an Idea what to do: making the average NPC thougher that he can withstand 2 or more Fireball will make it very difficult for any low level group. or should it be forbitten to do somthing like i mentioned, by a code of behaviour: "no one uses spells that way or it has rwenty Paladins behind him trying to bring the mage to Justice, and for the Regent all the other regents are trying to stopp you. The same Consequensens if you fire a nuke at your enemy today?

    Any Ideas?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    IMO, D&D as a mechanical game system is a poor vehicle for a low-fantasy setting, particularly with the magic and magic item system, but also because of the massive gap between low and high-level characters.

    My suggestion: if you're serious about a low-magic setting, convert BR into a non-level based system that focuses more on the story and less on stats. I've used the WW Storyteller system for a low-magic fantasy setting before, and it worked very well indeed (though figuring out how to handle magic was kinda' tricky). Ars Magica and Hero Quest also ofer some workable alternatives, too.

    Osprey

  4. #4
    As I see it, if your party's wizard is memorizing more than one fireball, it either means:

    1) Birthright is a political setting. A wizard with Clairadience/Clairyvoyance, Suggestion, or Invisibility Sphere could wreck havoc in the political world. Perhaps you're not giving your group a big enough variety of challenges? I mean, I've seen a lot of GMs who run series of unconnected dungeon crawls and complain about how combat-intensive their group is.

    2) The player is an idiot.

    Also, you could ban fireball(and lightning bolt). The magic in Cerillia has never been flashy, and there are so many neat spells that get neglected in favor of them.

  5. #5
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    I run a low-HP system myself, and i find that simply dividing all damage caused by magic by 2 works quite fine. Your 5d6 fireball would do 5d6/2 imc. Simple yet effective. If that's not enough, divide by 3, 4, etc.

    -Fizz

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    There is a common peception (most of us think it is a misconception) over what it means to be "low magic" in relation to BR. Some see this as meaning low magic (as in spells).

    Most of us believe "low magic" actually refers to low number of magic items instead.

    There are fewer characters capable of casting "higher magic" due to the bloodline/elven blood prerequisite. But this does not mean they can't cast the higher level spells.

    There are cultural issues revolving around spells - most of these were spelled out pretty well in the Book of Magecraft and the BRCS attempted to reproduce these as well.

    Pretty much you are not going to see an elf cast a fireball or most any other "fire" descriptor spell.

    If you enforce these cultural issues then IMO you will do a lot to put the spells into perspective.
    Duane Eggert

  7. #7
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    IMO "low magic" in the Birthright campaigns means that magic is scarce. You will not meet frequently a fireball-wielding-mage or an itemshop in each corner of the world.

    That does not mean that there is no powerfull magic in BR. "A Game of Thrones" is not very well balanced and the magic system is broken. Therefore it's not a very good example for perfect 3Ed Birthright rules. I was highly disappointed with the AGOT rules.
    my purpose is now to lead you into the Pallace where you shall have a clear and delightful view of all those various objects, and scattered excellencies, that lye up and down upon the face of creation, which are only seen by those that go down into the Seas, and by no other....

  8. #8
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    I've never liked the description of `low-magic' for Birthright. The magic in Birthright can be incredibly powerful.

    But this isn't the Forgotten Realms where every other character has magical ability. I think a better descriptor for Birthright is `rare-magic'.

    -Fizz

  9. #9
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    The AgoT RPG is based on the first novel of the same name. In that first Novel "Magic" as such didn't exist as the dragons hadn't hatched. To say the magic system is broken maybe fair but if you are playing the setting in the firmat it was created then you wont need a "Magic System" until the end of A Game of Thrones.

    i don't view Birthright as a low magic setting, i mean you have dozens of churches who at some time must create magic items, predominately one shot items such as potions or scrolls, with the occasional permanent magic item and you have several powerful Wizard Regents in the south alone who conceivable can make items when they have time.

    Take all that into account and you have a world that is potentially "Magic Rich" yet that in itself is controlled by the DM. In my game my player has only a few items but that is because ive Dm'ed the Forgotten Realms where every Tom, Dick and Harry is an Archmage with 47 wands secreted about their person, so ive seen what magic abuse can do.

    Sorry to go off topic.

  10. #10
    If your FR campaign has so much magic floating around,IMHO you are doing something wrong.The vast majority of adventurers have +1-2 items, a few wands maybe, a few scrolls that are low-med in power.Occasionally theres exceptions but in a standard campaign either its run far enough where your characters are established, fairly famous and successful adventurers, or you screwed up somewhere.

    Admittedly i dont know a lot about the FR campaign but if your chars have +5 armors at level 7 or so then theres soemthing wrong.

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