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  1. #1
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    How to incorporate birthright in non-birthright setting ?

    Hi !

    Long ago a I played a very pleasant birthright campaign. Now, I am DMing in the Forgotten Realms, more precisely in Tethyr which is very King-like realm. There are Duchies and Counties that looks like Domain and Province.

    I was looking to incorporate the birthright d20 3.5 in this realm because my characters are now becoming powerful enough to rule a part of the country. But some questions rose.

    Looking in the birthright book, i see that a GB is roughly equivalent to 2,000 GP and I wondered how easily it would be for a PC to bring 2,000 GP, and construct a law or guild holding. Looking at standard DMG stats... well dosen't quite fit...

    So, now for simplicity I would love to use birthright but I fear that it would be too easy for my PC to rule the entire domain by pouring there many gold pieces ! And that it would be more lucrative to start a Guild than using DMG2 rules for commerce.

    I was wondering if somebody fumble in the same nightmare as I and how he survived in creating rules for Governing PCs or a way to use Birthright ?

    thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panics

    Looking in the birthright book, i see that a GB is roughly equivalent to 2,000 GP and I wondered how easily it would be for a PC to bring 2,000 GP, and construct a law or guild holding. Looking at standard DMG stats... well dosen't quite fit...

    So, now for simplicity I would love to use birthright but I fear that it would be too easy for my PC to rule the entire domain by pouring there many gold pieces ! And that it would be more lucrative to start a Guild than using DMG2 rules for commerce.
    Hello!

    One of the easiest ways is to just change the value of a gold bar. A GB is a fairly arbitrary unit of wealth that represents many parts of commence and income other than raw coin, so you can change the actual GP value without changing the idea behind it too much. Usually changing it to worth 5,000 GP is enough to make them slightly harder to obtain, although you can change it to whatever value you deem appropriate.

    As for guilds, there are many ways to alter their income if you want, but I haven't experimented with this in my campaign so I'll leave it for others who have more experience with it to answer.

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    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    In FR I would certainly scale up the GB. FR has a lot more accessible magic than BR and this needs to be taken into account as well.

    Also, you need to decide if you are going to use an RP-surrogate (perhaps non magical "political influence points") or just use GB. If you do go with and Influence Point system you need to decide if you will limit how they can be applied and transferred.

    You also need to decide if you will import sources to FR. Personally, I would not and would (as some have suggested ages ago) to replace them with "magical colleges" that represent groups of allied wizards. In FR there are a enough spellcasters around to make this viable. (Presumably they will use something like a "super spellpool" to cast the local equivalent of realm spells).
    John 'Trithemius' Machin
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    Thanks for the help !

    But I already tought to raise the GB value and found it wasn't quite the right thing. Mainly because if you raise GB value, you raise Profit value and all other values.

    ex: If you have a simple Guild (1)... you would make 3,333 gp for a 5,000 gp/GB equivalent. Which is awesome profits for 90 days.

    If you keep it at 2,000 gp/GB... a Guild (1) would still make 1,333 gp per 90 days or 444 gp/month. And this doesn't fit with DMG2 rules where its hard to do a 100 gp profit !

    Also, my characters would rule a province (1) where they are the Law (1). But they must answer to the Duchy Ruler (Domain ruler). Would they only receive the GB for the Law holding... and the Domain ruler would receive the 1 GB for the province ?

    Finally, I wouldn't use the Source nor the RP...or maybe RP would be used with the Character Level as bonus (as stated in the options in BRCS).

  5. #5
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Here is what to keep in mind.

    GB are not gold pieces.

    From Chap 5:
    Domain collections

    The power and profitability of a domain are represented by two important domain assets: the regency reserve of the domain's regent and the size of the domain's treasury. A regent's available regency is measured in regency points (RP). RP represent political or divine power which allows the regent to influence political affairs to their advantage. A domain's treasury is measured in gold bars (GB). A gold bar abstractly represents things of worth owed to the regent, be they in cash or commodity, in service or in kind. The default gold bar is roughly equivalent to 2,000 gp in coin value if quickly disposed of, but this value may differ regionally. The things of worth represented by a GB varies by the nature through which the revenue is generated – generally through taxes on commodities, but also in part direct seizure of such (the lord’s share of corn, ground wheat, etc.), and extraction of certain feudal services (including military obligation or scutage). A GB of value often consists of a wide variety of things of value. The exact nature of these things is usually irrelevant, as GBs are only used to finance domain level actions and pay for domain actions. A regent who wishes to use GBs for another purpose must do so using the Finance domain action.

    So in order to spend GB a regent must first "convert" them into usable currency. This is doen by the finance action - which would convert gold pieces into food, equipment and supplies to so perform the action required.

    Keeping that in mind might well aid in keeping things in check. Forcing a regent to spend an action to get his money in the right form to use would put him at a disadvantage - especially when there are those who aren't wasting time doing such things.
    Duane Eggert

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Also Chapt 8 has some information on non-Cerilian settings.

    "Regents and bloodlines" and "The value of a gold bar" specifically.

    Sorry, my references are to the BRCS and not the 2nd ed material. But the same logic can still be applied regardless of the system being used.
    Duane Eggert

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    I would note that a godawful exchange rate is quite reasonable, particularly in a medieval society; so 10,000GP could make 1 GB, but 1 GB make only 1,000 gp if converted back.

    This is partly because most of the GB income does not need to be gold - it can be barter, labor and the like. People will, to a degree, work for loyalty; but parting with scarce coin is hardship.

    Do remember also that a single guild holding is a truly awesome business undertaking, amounting to the profit on hundreds of people's labor even for a L1 guild. A L4 in a L4 province amounts to organizing the labor of around 10,000 people...

    I would say that if your characters are ruling holdings, they should really not be worrying about a few hundred, even a few thousand gold. Your problem will be in stopping them spending it on dozens of magic items in FR and 'tanking up' - in BR magic is almost impossible to buy and the gold winds up more a way of keeping score and boosting holding size than actually being spent on anything to boost the personal power of the regent, so it doesn't unbalance the game.

    Good luck, and enjoy the game.

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Labor creates property, but it also does contain limits to its accumulation: man’s capacity to produce and man’s capacity to consume. According to John Locke, unused property is waste because it just wastes away (think of owning 10,000 uneaten apples). However, with the introduction of “durable” goods, men could exchange their excessive perishable goods for goods that would last longer. So now I can store value buildings and objects. Some objects, like textiles are semi-durable, wood tools mostly durable, but some objects, like metal tools are very durable if maintained. The introduction of money marks the culmination of this process. Money makes possible the unlimited accumulation of property without causing waste through spoilage. He also includes gold or silver as money because they may be “hoarded up without injury to anyone,” since they do not spoil or decay in the hands of the possessor. The introduction of money eliminates the limits of accumulation.

    A gold bar is some combination of money, durable goods (like tools), goods suceptable to spoilage (like food), and labor. The DM can make this balance almost anything he wants. From a medieval (or ancient) perspective, a great deal of common things can be done with labor alone (since labor can produce durable and spoilable goods).

    If a gold bar is mostly labor, with a healthy chunk of spoilable goods, and very small amounts of durable goods and coinage, then a Gold Bar is very hard to convert. In the post immediate to this, Andrew suggests that a 10% return on converting a GB would be reasonable, as its only 10% that is composed of durable goods or coin. One might also note that spoilable goods can be sold, but if people have as much as they want of spoilable goods, they won't buy extra, since they will spoil.

    One may then counter, well if the value of a gold bar is labor and so much spoilable goods, why can I accumulate GB's without limits and without attrition as if they were all coin. The answer is that we can assume that you have a variety of projects in the works, and that for accounting simplicity (being that we have a game) you pay for something in total, rather than allocating labor and other resources per project (try that in a PBeM!) So its a shorthand. When I spend 3 GB on new fortifications, its then assumed that for the past (during accumulation) and the future (since constructions take time) I am spending this labor, feeding it with perishable food, and providing durable tools for the tasks, and spending coin on a few master craftsmen who are not already in my service and paid for elsewhere, such as holding maintenance.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck
    One may then counter, well if the value of a gold bar is labor and so much spoilable goods, why can I accumulate GB's without limits and without attrition as if they were all coin. The answer is that we can assume that you have a variety of projects in the works, and that for accounting simplicity (being that we have a game) you pay for something in total, rather than allocating labor and other resources per project (try that in a PBeM!) So its a shorthand. When I spend 3 GB on new fortifications, its then assumed that for the past (during accumulation) and the future (since constructions take time) I am spending this labor, feeding it with perishable food, and providing durable tools for the tasks, and spending coin on a few master craftsmen who are not already in my service and paid for elsewhere, such as holding maintenance.
    Indeed, no money need ever change hands. For example, the troops that protect my fortress and the bridge it guards may be supported by the tax revenues from that road and bridge.* The fact that my sheet says I get 1GB from a guilder with the trade route and that I pay 1GB maintain the archers in my fort does not mean that two thousand shiny coins make their way from the guilder, to the capital, and then back again to the troops, each season.

    *Possibly Interesting Historical Note: this was how the Ottomans started off paying for troops to defend important bridges and passes.
    Last edited by Trithemius; 04-03-2007 at 09:47 AM.
    John 'Trithemius' Machin
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    hmm ok

    I found that it was more balancing to simply reduce the income from Guild and Temple. Receiving "equivalency" to 200 gp per month is nearer to Core Rules income (ie ½ profession/craft skill check) plus some extras...

    another question would be... how a PC can become an Holder ? How much must he invest to be recognize ?

    Equivalency of 2,000 gp to form is holding and promote him ?

    thanks !

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