View Poll Results: Should limited magical transportation (Chap 8) be the default for the setting and not

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  • Yes

    37 84.09%
  • No

    5 11.36%
  • Other, please post a detailed explanation

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  1. #1
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Poll: Limited Magical Transportation?

    After reading several people's opinions over the months I think it is time to codify those opinions.

    So I am starting a poll to determine if the default for the BRCS should be the limited magical transportation from Ch 8 instead of making it a variant.

    As is normal the poll will run 2 weeks before I close it and post the results.

    The goal is to have a "clear majority" that is more than 2 times as many taking one side as another.
    Duane Eggert

  2. #2
    Junior Member nagebenfro's Avatar
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    At risk of sounding ignorant, would it be possible to post in this thread what the current "standard" is regarding magical transportation? Is it the same as transportation in other D&D settings, or is it defined by some other means already?

  3. #3
    I vote yes - Teleport and their ilk are spells that frequently derail many interesting types of adventures in D&D (ie any where you want a journey of significant length).

    However, it could be made a bit clearer. For example, does the table replace or supplement the normal "off course" check for Teleport? Does it still apply to Teleport without Error? What about Dimension Door?

  4. #4
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nagebenfro
    At risk of sounding ignorant, would it be possible to post in this thread what the current "standard" is regarding magical transportation? Is it the same as transportation in other D&D settings, or is it defined by some other means already?
    Chap 8 made it a "variant" to have limited magical transportation so the "standard" is the same as core D&D. It should be remembered that people can still traverse through the Shadow World (either when opening appear or with the aid of a halfing who can open paths on their own) and that "things are different" there.
    Duane Eggert

  5. #5
    Member Starmage21's Avatar
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    the Shadow World sounds an awful lot like a Plane of Shadow with the minor negative energy trait, except that it functions as an Astral and Ethereal plane as well(allowing Teleport spells and Etherealness), unless these planes also exist but are unmentioned.


    limited magical transportation shouldnt become a rule. Its already hard enough to find a wizard capable of casting teleport or the like for you. You dont need anything else.
    Peace is a lie,
    There is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

  6. #6
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    Shadow World

    I've always been fond of this unique aspect of Birthright. The Shadow World envelopes the entire material plane of Aebrynis and thus forces extraplanar creatures one addition stop before arriving into the world.

    Conversely this sort of wet blanket over the material plane hinders the use of magic transportation within the world. I think this would enhance the value of the Travel blood ability and encourage regents to use diplomacy in order to pass through neighboring states (as in life).

  7. #7
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza666
    However, it could be made a bit clearer. For example, does the table replace or supplement the normal "off course" check for Teleport? Does it still apply to Teleport without Error? What about Dimension Door?
    As written in Ch 8 the variant applies to all forms of dimensional or instantaneous magical (e.g., spells) transportation.

    IMO the table would be in addition to any normal penalties the spell would have. This would reflect the differences in reliability between spells instead of suddendly making teleport as reliable as dimensional door. But it shuld be noted that the information in Chap 8 has not been finalized yet so it is subject to "tweaking". Basically I'm looking for a direction for the setting (i.e., BRCS material) that will affect other aspects of the game.


    All spells that involve dimensional or instantaneous travel utilize the Shadow World. Realm transport spells and transportation via blood abilities are powered by the forces of Aebrynis and do not touch the Shadow World unless specifically stated.
    Duane Eggert

  8. #8
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starmage21
    the Shadow World sounds an awful lot like a Plane of Shadow with the minor negative energy trait, except that it functions as an Astral and Ethereal plane as well(allowing Teleport spells and Etherealness), unless these planes also exist but are unmentioned.
    Not quite the same thing really.

    There are 3 places in the playtest document that talk about the Shadow World. The section in Ch 8 mentioned above, thhe following section from Ch 3 and another one in Ch 4.

    A good overview can be gained by reading the "free" download from WotC Shadowspawn.

    The Shadow World

    The sages say that long ago, perhaps before humanity existed, the world changed according to its own rules, without rhyme or reason. A lake might form where a mountain had been, white glaciers moved over deserts, and rivers flowed through the sky. This was a time before the gods, yet ultimately resulted in their creation. The gods, it is believed, were formed out of the land, and their natures bound them to it. Not wishing their natures to change without warning, as did the land, they began to enforce their will upon the world. Mountains, rivers, shores, and seas all took shape and stayed constant, bent to the will of the young gods. A rift was formed between the elements of permanence and transience, creating two worlds where once there was one.
    The world of men the gods named Aebrynis. In Aebrynis, the laws of nature and magic both apply: a rock falls when it is dropped, fire burns until it has nothing left to consume, and the mystical energy of a spell discharges according to the rules of magic. The other world is called the Shadow World, a realm of fairy enchantment separate from, but parallel to, Aebrynis. Whereas Aebrynis remains constant, only transforming in response to the actions of its inhabitants over long periods, the Shadow World is mutable and ever-changing. In the Shadow World, the laws of nature are suborned by an even greater force: Awnmebhaighl (also known as the Seeming). An unpredictable force, the Seeming cannot be truly explained, as every rule set to quantify it appears full of exceptions and contradictions. The Shadow World is seeped in the awnmebhaighl in much the same way that Aebrynis is seeped in mebhaighl. Awnmebhaighl strengthens the power of shadow and illusion and it has the power of true illusion.
    Since the battle of Deismaar and the destruction of the old gods, the Shadow World has taken an even darker turn. The taint of Azrai has taken deep root in the Shadow World and it has become a world of cold, eternal twilight. The horrors of mankind's darkest fears now walk the Shadow World. Even during midday, most (if not all) of the Shadow World is cloaked in the darkest of winter nights. The Shadow World has become a place of fear and grave danger and now, more than fifteen hundred years later, only a scant number of people know more than a few tales of the Shadow World and its inhabitants. Common folk everywhere tell terrifying stories of a Shadowy Lord whose taint now seeps through the Shadow World. He's known by many names throughout the land – the Rjurik call him the Night Walker, the Anuireans name him the Cold Rider, while the Khinasi know him as the Darkling. In any event, the borders between the Shadow World and Cerilia have been growing weaker in recent years, and strange things have been happening in the frontier-lands and wild places. The halflings are said to have originated in the Shadow World, fleeing to Aebrynis in response to this terrible danger.
    The Seeming or “true illusion” World dominates existence in the Shadow World. While the Shadow World remains a parallel to Aebrynis, the laws of nature do not always apply there. There, illusions live and shadows walk of their own volition. Powered by the magic of the Seeming, things unreal come to life. Passage between the two worlds is possible, but it is difficult as the rift (or veil) keeps the two worlds apart. Passage between the worlds is possible through the use of magic, but can sometimes be managed without the use of magic in areas where the barriers between the worlds are thin. Some halflings retain the ability to still pass freely between the two worlds, but most are loathe to do so for even they now find the ever-changing Shadow World dangerous and difficult to navigate. The Shadow World confounds all mortal senses. Even the most knowledgeable guides and learned loremasters do not fully understand the workings of this mysterious realm.
    Those who have crossed over to the Shadow World report that it resembles a dark and distorted version of Cerilia itself. There are mountains and rivers where similar features exist in the daylight world, but the land is cold and empty. The veil between the worlds seems to be most weak in areas where the two worlds most closely parallel each other. Thus the Shadow World is nearest to Aebrynis in places touched by darkness. A musty old barrow may hold nothing but moldering bones in Cerilia, but if one were to enter the same barrow in the Shadow World – or even on a night when the Shadow World was near – he might find wights, specters, or worse. In the depths of winter, on the darkest nights of the year, and in places far from the habitation of mankind, it is possible for the Shadow World to be so near that one may pass into it unknowing.
    Long ago, the mages of Aebrynis learned how to draw upon the power of the Seeming to manifest their will in the real world. Even lesser mages are capable of the minor enchantments necessary to pierce the veil between the worlds enough to draw forth small quantities of awnmebhaighlthat can be shaped to the caster's will. The most powerful illusion magics, such as shadow evocation, shadow conjuration, and shades, draw upon the "true illusion" of the Seeming to create quasi-real effects. Likewise, summoning spells such as summon monster draw upon the power of the Seeming to create short-lived but reasonably life-like manifestations of the caster's imagination. Summoning spells cast in areas where the worlds are close may sometimes be more effective then normal, but such casting introduces the risk of attracting the attention of horrors able to cross the weakened boundary.
    The effects of most necromantic magics powered by mebhaighl are weak and short-lived, for the power of the living earth is generally in opposition with necromantic effects. Most powerful necromantic magics therefore draw upon the more mutable power of the seeming. The forces that create and sustain permanent undead are always seeped in the power of the Shadow World. Thus, the barrier between Aebrynis and the Shadow World is always weaker when undead are present.
    The properties of the Shadow World make it ideal for transportation magic as well. Time flows differently in the Shadow World, and dimensional magics such as dimension door or dimension walk use this property by creating a short-lived passage through the Shadow World. Wizards should be very careful of over-using these spells; more than one mage has vanished and never returned from the Shadow World for its very land can warp itself in ways that trick and test those who bring the creative powers of their fears and desires into that mutable realm.
    It is believed that, prior to Deismaar and the emergence of the practice of true magic by humans, the most powerful lesser human mages were capable of channeling awnmebhaighl through sources in much the same way that regent mages channel mebhaighl through sources today. If true, that lore remains a closely guarded secret known to only a select few.
    Duane Eggert

  9. #9
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Information from Ch 4 on the Shadow World:

    Cosmology of Aebrynis

    The cosmology of Aebrynis differs significantly from the "standard" cosmologies presented in the Manual of the Planes. Aebrynis connects directly to one, and only one, other plane. This plane, originally called the spirit world, but more recently referred to as the shadow world, is a coexistent plane with the Material plane of Aebrynis. There is no "ethereal plane" or "shadow plane" coexistent to Aebrynis; for the purposes of spell effects, the shadow world fills the roles of both. If a path exists between Aebrynis and any other planes of existence, the path passes through the Shadow World.
    The Shadow World

    Before Deismaar, the Shadow World was a realm of faerie that paralleled Cerilia. This was the home of the halflings, who frequently traveled between the two worlds—hence the name halfling, since they were half of this world and half of another.
    When Azrai's physical form was destroyed at Deismaar, some small part of his soul survived in the ethereal realm of spirit which the halflings inhabited. This was at first no more than an evil taint; Azrai was not conscious, and for all intents and purposes did not exist as a self-aware entity at this time. He was only the memory of evil, but that proved to be enough to corrupt the halfling's idyllic realm.
    Over the course of the three or four centuries immediately after Deismaar, Azrai's corrupt spirit spread throughout the spirit world, much like a drop of oil spreading a sheen over the surface of a lake. His increasing presence twisted the spirit world into the Shadow World, and the halflings left. This evil grows more and more powerful and is rumored to have finally gained the ability to manifest a physical form once again.
    The shadow world reflects the mortal world, but in strange facsimile. Everything is dark and an air of emptiness hangs heavily, as if everything has been long abandoned. Details change between one glance to the next; a building might remain the same, but a wagon parked beside it might be in a slightly different place, or gone, and a door that stood open might close. The more ephemeral a thing is in the real world, the more its position or condition might change – the less firm its reflection. Ancient relics, long since torn down, may still stand in the spirit world. A savage storm stills ravages the seas south of Aerele in response to the cataclysm of the Godswar.
    Everything in the shadow world has a faded look, like clothes washed too often or and left too long in the sun. There are no normal insects, birds, or other animals. No normal animals rustle in the grass, swim in the waters, or sing in the trees. The water is cool and drinkable, but tastes flat, as if it had been boiled. Worst of all, the land seems to twist the eye.
    Everything about the Shadow World is unreal. While the Shadow World remains a parallel to Aebrynis, the laws of nature do not always apply there. There, illusions live and shadows walk of their own volition. Powered by the magic of the Seeming, things unreal come to life. Thus anything, and everything, is possible within the Shadow World for someone skilled in the Seeming, but these changes are largely illusionary; most fade immediately upon returning to the waking world.
    Distances are largely a matter of focus in the shadow world. What is close at hand looks all right, and what is seen straight ahead in the distance, but whenever one turns their head, things that appear distant when seen from the corner of the eye seem to rush forward, to be nearer when looked at head on. Although this effect makes for dizziness, it is also indicative of a truth in the Shadow World; time and distances are deceiving.
    Moving to/from the Shadow World: The barrier between Aebrynis and the Shadow World varies based upon the difference between the two planes at any give time and location. The middle of a crowded city at high noon differs significantly from the coexistent point in the Shadow World, whereas there may be little or no difference between the two in the dark depths of an ancient deserted monument. In areas of near exact similarity, beings can occasionally pass between the two planes unknowing. In general, however, travel to or from the Shadow World requires powerful magic or divine intervention. Some native beings of the Shadow World, including some halflings, have sensitivity to areas of high similarity and can recognize and cross the planar barrier without the use of magical aids.
    Duane Eggert

  10. #10
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    It should be noted that Ch 3 already states that dimensional magic travel spells utilize the Shadow World. It does not however contain any ramifications, leaving it up to the DM to determine appropriate "encounters" instead.
    Duane Eggert

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