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  1. #1

    Why is the Gorgon so powerful?

    That is to say, besides the fact that the 2E version has him with 300-some HP in a setting where few characters are above level 12 and more HP than some demigods in the BRCS update.

    1) He has a complete inability to delegate authority and there's no real economy in his territory. There aren't any guilds or temples run by blooded individuals in his domain.

    2) His army has awful morale. He has soldiers from nations that hate each other(Mur-Kilad and Markazor), many mercenary units, and he kills his officers every few years.

    Anyways, now that I have your attention, how have you used the Gorgon in your previous campaigns? Has he make unleashed his armies in a bid for the throne, or taken a back seat during the struggle between Avanil and Boeruine? Also, have you ever killed him off? :P

  2. #2
    Member Cmalik's Avatar
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    He is 1500 plus years old. He has a treasure horde that is vast and beyond comprehension. He uses his very presence (ie RP points accumulated over 1500+ years) to ensure his armies stay compliant.
    He is the perfect warrior. None can come close. He is a living God.

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    Senior Member ausrick's Avatar
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    I'm assuming it's his charming personality that keeps his realm together No?

    He hasn't really come up much. Most of my campaigns don't get very high level before some how life comes in and we wind up starting another campaign. That being said. Most of my PC's are terrified of him. They know that I don't hesitate to reward stupidity with death (Or Worse). The closest regent to him was Tuarhievel once, and they were quaking in fear every domain turn. "When's the Gorgon going to sweep over our realm???" Even in the last one Aerenwe was worried about how many turns it would take the Gorgon from the time he decided to conquer the world until he arrived at their doorstep. The Regent estimated 2 years of war moves. Maybe I just have Cowardly or untrusting players but the Gorgon, out of every nasty NPC ever in existance, has been their most terrifying nightmare, and I've never lifted a finger. I just smile evily and stay silent on the issue. It's so easy its a let down in a way. I as a DM feel I should have to earn a response from the players, all it took was them looking at the card that came with the original box set, and for the last 10 years and 4 campaigns word of mouth has spread the fear of the Gorgon. New players will ask "whats so bad about this Gorgon" and it is hilarious about how my veteran players start telling campfire stories about how horrible he is. They've blown his power so out of proportion just like that rumor game or telephone. I find it so funny to watch. Its the kind of story peasants would tell in the campaign in one of those towns where everyone shutters their windows and bolts the doors at the first sign of dusk.

    I guess I use him to the best effect by not using him. And I am still baffelled by how terrified my PC's are of an NPC they have never met. At the same time I have some Recurring NPC's that are more of an immediate threat and quite capabable of killing players if it wasn't for the villainous cliche flaw of liking to toy with victims. . . Yet my players mostly pay them no mind or even worse go out seeking them so that the PC's can get their rear-ends handed to them again and again. Maybe its vengeance, or maybe surviving a confrontation gives hope, I don't know.
    Regards,
    Ausrick

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    Quote Originally Posted by prince_dios
    1) He has a complete inability to delegate authority and there's no real economy in his territory. There aren't any guilds or temples run by blooded individuals in his domain.
    If you look beyond the box set, several important Lts are outlined(Kiras Earhcore a general/awnie and Tolan a spymaster/guiler/awnie). Kiergard has a vassal ruler, guild, and temple too.
    2) His army has awful morale. He has soldiers from nations that hate each other(Mur-Kilad and Markazor), many mercenary units, and he kills his officers every few years.
    Not so different from a typical goblin kingdom. Evil sorts need a dictator they fear more than each other. Gorgon fits that role nicely.

    The Gorgon is the setting's bogey man. If the DM needs a big stick to keep the players in line, a BBEG is very useful. Just under the power of a God, but more useful because he is of this world. Other regions have similar figures to a lesser extent;white witch, magian, raven, serpent. All are very evil, intelligent, and able to pull the puppet strings of lesser villans/challenges. They have strongholds that would require legendary effort to topple. With seemingly impenatrable protection they work nicely as behind the scenes threats or ever present menaces.

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    Senior Member ausrick's Avatar
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    He's a straight-up evil overlord. I wonder if he has ever said "This is the price of failure" to one of his lieutenants who has failed him and then turned around and slayed an unrelated servant. I know that in my campaign, his fortress in Kal-Saitharak will not have air ducts big enough for a person to crawl through and any of his doomsday artifacts will not have a self-destruct mechanism or be designed in such a way that they are indestructable except for one single flaw.
    Regards,
    Ausrick

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    ive decided that i'm going to use the Gorgon in a similar way right up to the point that Pc has to seek an alliance with him to save all of Cerilia from the Return of Azrai!!!

    after 6 games years i have him stirring in the north building troop levels up in preperation for a big push south. My player is concerned and rightly so but then he doesn't know what i do

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    I'm extremely curious about the Gorgon as he relates to the game mechanics of the Birthright world.
    Let me first say that the campaign that I've been running has been on and, in some cases, very off, for about seven years now. That's a very long time to have progressed so little, but life, other campaigns, and the introduction of 3E D&D complicated this particular one. I also do not play with a number of the game mechanics first introduced in the box set, and then continued with the conversion. Most of the mechanics relate to regency, turns, realm magic, and the system of mass warfare originally put forth. Basically, the campaign is pretty much like any other D&D campaign, just within the Birthright world. The story revolves around Sabastian, a prince of Darian Avan, and the quests he finds placed in front of himself as the continent begins to slide into massive warfare with, yup, the Gorgon.
    Sabastian is a paladin, an archetypal knight in shining armor, and the hope of the story arc--unexpected player actions notwithstanding--is a final confrontation between the heroic prince and the Gorgon.
    However, given his game statistics, this final encounter appears to me to be almost 100% certain to fail. The Gorgon, for all intents and purposes, IS a god, a demigod more accurately i suppose, but god-like to say the very least. A party of four 20th level characters would have an incredibly difficult time defeating him, especially with the little accurate knowledge they would have of the Gorgon.
    Which leads me to the puzzling conclusion...why doesn't the Gorgon himself simply walk through Anuire and conquer the whole damn continent single handedly?
    There are many answers to this question, of course, and some of them would even be logical, but looking at it from a purely mechanical point of view, almost nothing human can stand up to the Gorgon, unless we are talking some serious epic level characters. And exactly how many of them exist in Anuire at a given point? More than likely not enough to crowd a doorway. So as a DM looking at stats, I have a hard time figuring out why the Gorgon for so long has sat in his territory just dreaming of total domination and conquest. Add to his depressingly impressive personal stats a massive army with incredibly powerful lieutenants, and you should have a recipe for uncontested victory.
    Who would stop him? The two current contenders for the Iron Throne and the most powerful figures in Anuire, Darian Avan and Aeric Boeruine? A quaint thought indeed, but being something like 12th or 13th level, if i'm not mistaken, they wouldn't have a cold beer's chance of survival in a raging frat party.
    Does any of this make sense to you all out there? I confess that i've never Dm'd an extremely high level campaign, and have only ever taken a character up to a high level, 18th i believe, once. Like Ausrick, life has always gotten in the way. But I have played and read enough to know that at 20th level you do have numerous options. Even so, against a creature that, for starters, has a free gaze attack each round requiring a DC 58 (58!?) Fortitude save to avoid instant death, i can't see the fight lasting very long. For the characters, i mean. Unless the Gorgon is run as an utter imbecile--i've experienced other dm's do worse with less.
    So, to all who have actually run the Gorgon directly, with game mechanics, I'd love to hear exactly how it went. I've already decided that i need to run a gametest fight with the gorgon against some 20th level characters to see how it goes. And again, keep in mind that i don't use the regency rules, so i don't know if that has an effect or not. I hope to use some of the Heroes of Battle structures to help run massive warfare encounters, but the games i play and dm are really not war games, they are roleplaying and storytelling with some rules to help the world along.
    sorry for the long thread...and thanks in advance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by prince_dios
    That is to say, besides the fact that the 2E version has him with 300-some HP in a setting where few characters are above level 12 and more HP than some demigods in the BRCS update.

    1) He has a complete inability to delegate authority and there's no real economy in his territory. There aren't any guilds or temples run by blooded individuals in his domain.

    2) His army has awful morale. He has soldiers from nations that hate each other(Mur-Kilad and Markazor), many mercenary units, and he kills his officers every few years.

    Anyways, now that I have your attention, how have you used the Gorgon in your previous campaigns? Has he make unleashed his armies in a bid for the throne, or taken a back seat during the struggle between Avanil and Boeruine? Also, have you ever killed him off? :P

    The Gorgon is a bit like Sauron. He rules with fear, might and power. His charming ability gives him strong possibilities.
    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....

  9. #9
    Senior Member ausrick's Avatar
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    Arlyquino, You have a good question. It caused a 30 response thread several months back when someone else asked the same thing. "Why doesn't the Gorgon just roll over the whole world already". You can find it at http://www.birthright.net/showthread...ghlight=gorgonHere is a quote from Irdeggman, one of the developers, summing up some of the possibilities and points of view.

    There are a couple of thoughts concerning the Gorgon:


    One commonly posted concept is that when Michael Rhoele gave up his bloodline to the land he "trapped" the Gorgon in his own province. One way it fits is there is no "history" of a Gorgon's march (by himself and not his minions) since his encounter with MR, only rumors and fears.


    Another possiblity is because other than the NPC regents there are also the Awnshegh ones. They have at best a shaky alliance with the Gorgon. It is very logical that they would throw in with the humans, elves, dwarves, etc. to prevent the Gorgon from turning on them also. There is no one creature in all of Cerilia that can withstand the onslaught of the combined might of all (or at least a majority) of the remaining creatures. I believe that Raesene, being the military genius he is supposed to be, has learned from what happened at Deismaar and is waiting for the appropriate time to take the Iron Throne. {The elves turned on Azrai at the last minute and it was this coordination of enemies (elves and humans) that turned the tide. So he has seen how enemies will work together for a common goal, he doesn't want to be that goal.} That time being when the most chaos is involved, say a large war between Avan and Beorine (spelling) and after neutralization of some of his most powerful brethren (Rhoube, etc.) this hasn't happened yet in the published material and only when the individual games have evolved to that point would it happen, at least IMO.

    Another thing to keep in mind, and something that always bothered me about how the setting was designed - is that once the Gorgon is defeated the game is over. What I mean is that, as Osprey pointed out, the original setting (at least in Anuire) is set up to restore the empire and claim the Iron Throne. This is something that has varying effects throughout Cerilia, but is an essential part of Anuirean culture.

    The Gorgon was designed to be the biggest and baddest threat in all of Cerilia. With the setting limitations on other powerful creatures (a lack of dragons for example) without moving on to other "undiscovered" continents or the Shadow World, there is just nothing left to provide an outright challenge in a confrontation. There just can't be any "new" Awnsheglien that suddenly pop up that are more powerful than those with True Bloodlines (Gorgon, Rhoube, Spider, etc.) since one can't suddenly gain a true bloodline or develop one via actions (neither in 2nd ed rules nor in the BRCS). The only ways to get a true bloodline was to have been at Deismaar, be a direct descendant of one who was or through investiture. Pretty much all of which would have been documented via historians throughout Cerilia (especially Anuire and Khinasi).

    After defeating the Gorgon the only thing left for heroes is to handle the more mundane politicking of rulership. Gosh anyone that defeats (and can prove it) the Gorgon would pretty much be handed the Iron Throne, if not by the chamberlain than by the people.
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    Ausrick

  10. #10
    "this hasn't happened yet in the published material and only when the individual games have evolved to that point would it happen, at least IMO."

    Speaking of which, I think one of the charming things about Birthright is that there isn't a metaplot, so to speak. The GM is given things that are likely to happen, probably will happen, and the goals of NPCs - but there's no 'canon' storyline. I hope that the new Atlas won't try to advance the plot beyond what the original BR set down, if only for the sake of GMs who are unadventurous or saddled with plot-lawyers.

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