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Thread: Status quo

  1. #1
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    Status quo

    I've been lucky enough to have been in a fairly consistent gaming group that is obsessed with the Birthright setting (I actually was introduced to this setting by the group) so I've played roughly 5 campaigns each lasting between one and six years.

    In this time I've seen a number of different methods for maintaining the integrity of the Birthright world. I've seen some GM's allow the players to run willynilly with vast, incomprehensible armies - forging themselves a new continental (or at least regional) Empire almost without any significant resistance. I've also seen campaigns where upon the slightest move out of the ordinary they are smited down by overwhelming forces.

    I've always prefered to maintain the status quo of Cerilian politics, making every little gain a major event. To me the world has become fairly established after the fall of Anuire and the lines have been drawn for many of the continent's regents. Alliances are forged, trade relations set, enemies and friends named. Also these nations have had decades, if not centuries, of some level of "stagnation" (I use the term loosely, i suppose stability would be more apt) and have some length of time without major events or expansion to accumulate a healthy treasury and a formidable reserve of regency.

    That said I've always found it best to place the players as "small fish in a big pond". They're newcomers to this royal members only club, with no friends and no established relations - and quite frankly the established rulers look down on these newcomers. That said I try to make it difficult to expand their influence into all but the most lawless regions. Often attempts to forge holdings are met with heavy resistance from the dominant regents of the area and these contests are often accompanied by threats.

    For my players every domain action is a struggle to maintain their holdings, so often expansion must be taken slowly and carefully - the shrewd will inheret the land. Player-run empires covering all holding types and vast expanses simply isn't feasible against the aggressive and disdainful NPCs.

    Does this differ for most groups?

  2. #2
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    I've seen both the vast empires quickly garnered, and the work for every scrap of holding that you have. Obviously, I prefer the latter.

    BRCS, IMO, works to limit this better than 2e ever did.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Thomas_Percy's Avatar
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    The rules of 2ed Brt don't match with world's history.

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    Senior Member ploesch's Avatar
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    Every Group is different in My experience. I think that in any setting, inexperienced G's allow players to garner power too quickly, or too slowly. As we gain experience we learn to control things, and allow the players to steadily gain power, but at the rate we want them too.

    I never give anything to my players,they have to earn it. The greater the risks, the greater the rewards. Risk too much and lose it.

    Another way to put it..

    When you play the game of thrones you win or you die.

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    Member Cargaroth's Avatar
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    Too much sessess leads to stagnation

    Much as previously described, I've seen overhwelming world empires develop. This has created a much less interesting campaign world as all the major challenges have been resolved. That balence is the key to a good ongoing campaign.

  6. #6
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    The one thing I try to avoid in any Birthright game I
    run: No Tolkien-like scenerio!

    I just don`t like it when the Gorgon "nearly conquers
    all from his mountain stronghold" and the party stops
    him. Don`t like it.

    Something I DO like is that the Gorgon is
    there...directly bordering three regions. He can be a
    great influence on the campaign without actually
    trying to conquer the world...something he could never
    do...or he would have done it long ago!

    Better that the major Awnsheigh are distant threats
    until the party is foolish enough to try and prove
    their mettle by taking them on..."silly hero, I`m the
    Gorgon! You should go away and try to kill a
    dragon...which isn`t as dangerous as me, but could
    still level your pitiful kingdom like it was a box of
    tinder..."


    Anthony Edwards

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  7. #7
    Meh.

    My position on this can be summarised as follows: If it has stats, you can kill it.

    I don't see what the problem is in PCs eventually taking out the Gorgon, re-establishing the Anuirean empire, and basically "winning". Let them. Doesn't have to be easy, but it doesn't have to be impossible, either.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Thomas_Percy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ploesch
    Every Group is different in My experience. I think that in any setting, inexperienced G's allow players to garner power too quickly, or too slowly.
    OK, I wonder there are people who play D&D as a dark low-magic fantasy, but it doesn't mean D&D is such a game. And Brt basic AD&D rules allows to conquer Anuire very quickly.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Thomas_Percy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cargaroth
    Much as previously described, I've seen overhwelming world empires develop. This has created a much less interesting campaign world as all the major challenges have been resolved. That balence is the key to a good ongoing campaign.
    I agree with every single word.

  10. #10
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    Not impossible...just nearly so.

    If a being has been alive for well over 1500 years, he
    should have an escape plan at least! And the more
    powerful Awnsheigh should have so many contingency
    plans that it boggles the mind.

    Its just that the very first thing I noticed about
    Birthright was the Tolkien feel of the Gorgon as a
    Sauron type figure...should only be ONE way to get rid
    of the guy...and he should have "Mount Doom" a LITTLE
    more guarded!


    Anthony Edwards

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    > gazza666 wrote:
    > Meh.
    >
    > My position on this can be summarised as follows: If
    > it has stats, you can kill it.
    >
    > I don`t see what the problem is in PCs eventually
    > taking out the Gorgon, re-establishing the Anuirean
    > empire, and basically "winning". Let them. Doesn`t
    > have to be easy, but it doesn`t have to be
    > impossible, either.
    >
    >

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