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  1. #1
    Special Guest (Donor) morgramen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Has anyone crafted some juicy material on them? I believe there was more than one wasn't there?
    "You need people of intelligence on this mission... quest... thing."

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    South Australia
    I think in the novel, the stone was referred to as THE Shadow Stone, a major artefact that Alies destroyed. However, I have always assumed that if you create one powerful object, someone is going to come along and create more, so using that as a base, I'm working on creating info for them.

    Basically, they are artefacts, relatively unremarkable in shape or form, just dull grey rocks, but they possess the power to drain a person's lifeforce and then use that lifeforce to power a mage's spells. I'm still working on the details, but I will post the description when I complete it.
    Let me claim your Birthright!!

  3. #3
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    California, USA
    3 +0200, Ariadne wrote:

    > If you ask me, we should NOT buy the 3.5 Edition, but wait till the 4.0.

    > Three years are gone very quickly...

    Heh. That`s quite true. I`ll probably pick them up, though. $100 for 3

    years is about what one would pay for a subscription to maybe two or three

    magazines give or take. Though I do find the need to spend this particular

    $100 a little questionable, I`m not finding it so outrageous as to be a

    complete waste. It`s not like tickets to a boy band concert or money given

    to a political candidate....

    As BR fans, of course, there is the little annoyance that it makes the work

    of our intrepid update team out of date very quickly. The playtest, of

    course, is just that: a playtest, so any 3.5 updates can accompany a new

    revision, but it seems like it would be a good idea for there to be a 3.5

    playtest before the official "official" version.... Like many folks out

    there in the BR wonderland, I personally look at all this kind of thing as

    source material and will take and leave whatever I want, but I can

    understand why it might strike many people as being an annoying situation

    in which nothing ever seems to get finalized.

    When it comes to MC`s review, I disagreed with more of it than I agreed

    with. I don`t think "subtle" changes are really all that much of a

    problem, particularly since many of them are the kind of "global, systemic

    changes" that he and his crew went for--but then didn`t completely

    implement. A standard naming scheme for spells, for instance, is a good

    idea. The complaint about subtle changes being bad seems to contradict in

    large part his earlier suggestion on what the purpose of a revision

    is. The revisions to various spells similarly seem like a good idea--at

    least all of the ones that were mentioned. Generally, I have a bit more

    faith in the ability of the people in the hobby to deal with the minor

    changes in the system. At least, those inclined to memorize such things

    won`t have any more trouble with this edition than any previous one.

    He does make a few good points, however. While I think he may have focused

    a bit too closely on the combat chapter reading like a miniatures game (a

    process that his 3.0 version really endorsed, BTW) I do agree that we need

    some sort of guidelines for how to play D&D combat without a table top. I

    used to play just about anyplace and at anytime. It`s much more difficult

    to play in the backseat of a car on a long road trip or while otherwise

    away from home than it used to be. Being able to conduct combat "on the

    fly" is a distinct advantage of a RPG and something that WotC has largely

    skipped out on. There were other things he is definitely right on, but

    they`re too many to count.

    "Taking levels of a prestige class now apparently forces you to pay

    multiclassing XP costs. Whether intentionally or by accident, the prestige

    class chapter no longer states that they are free of this cost." That`s a

    pretty big deal there, and given the amount of debate that the multi-class

    penalty cost stuff has caused in the past amongst BRers it might spark more.

    I did find it very amusing that he commented that there is "Still no good

    guidelines for creating prestige classes, just more of them in the

    DMG." That`s one of my pet peeves as well, though it does strike me as an

    ironic comment given that he`s the gent who apparently penned a lot of that

    chapter in 3e and let the original genie out of the bottle. The prestige

    class system in many ways has just got a more serious version of the more

    generalized ad hoc design philosophy that went into the standard class

    system, and this is something that the designers seem loathe to address. I

    do like it when they show us a peek "behind the curtain" but what we really

    need to do is whip aside the curtain, and goose the little man pulling the

    levers. Maybe even push him aside and start looking at the gears he`s

    manipulating. I`m guessing they don`t because in that direction lies a

    methodology that will ultimately lead to fewer texts since it would come to

    a resolved "perfected" system sooner or later. That is, one that the

    methodology reaches a sort of penultimate, "finished" state--a process that

    most folks could probably point out in other RPGs. Some systems eventually

    reach a point of finality in which the mechanics have had about as much

    tweaking as they can handle and the game either fades away or goes through

    a dramatic change that amounts to a complete alteration of the basic

    premises of the original mechanics. Traveller is probably the most obvious

    example of the latter transformation. That might just be my own little

    bunch of not-so-tasty grapes, since I want a system of character class

    design that could be used for any D20 incarnation not just D&D. Whenever I

    complain about D&D`s class system somebody jumps up my butt like there`s a

    golden tapeworm that grants wishes up there or something, so I`ll leave it

    at that.

    In a like manner I think several of the changes to magic item creation are

    not a big deal... and might be "a good idea" in many cases. He does

    mention several changes to the cost of magic items, but there still does

    not appear to be a very intelligently thought out or articulated system of

    describing magic item creation, however, and that`s something that really

    bugs me. Ditto for the spell level system and spell creation. The decade

    old Dragon article "Spell Law" is still the best and most thought out

    articulation of the magic system extant. That`s a crying shame IMO, and

    something that makes about as much sense as a Mexican screen door on a

    Chinese submarine in a Frenchman`s bathtub crewed by Amish warriors trying

    to find the lost city of Atlantis. It shows the systemic problem with the

    worst aspect of D&D--the magic system that fell out of the lopsided pinball

    machine that is Gary Gygax`s brain sometime in the late 70`s and still has

    not been seriously revised since. (Please excuse the rococo prose,

    discussing the magic system of D&D always inspires zany metaphors....)

    Lastly, it might be just me but despite his paragraph on "sour grapes" much

    of his review really did read like it was sour grapes. Maybe it was the

    comments on who is or isn`t working there anymore or some of the complaints

    that really amounted to mere quibbles leading to much larger and

    not-so-well supported conclusions about "master" of the game and the

    ability of afficianados to participate well, but most of that didn`t really

    ring true IMO.

    My problem with the issues regarding how D&D 3.5 is treating things like

    half-elves and gnomes is that such things eventually bleed into campaign

    material like BR. "D&D does it, therefore BR should mirror that" seems to

    be thinking espoused by many folks who mistake "cant" for "can`t" when it

    comes to changing things for a specific setting. Such things spark much

    commentary on campaign specific lists. They certainly have around here,

    and we`ll probably have to revisit the issue in 3.5 since so many things

    better suited to Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk appear to be right there in

    the core texts. Again. Becoming a dragon disciple, for instance, is

    apparently right there in the core rulebooks now and available to sorcerers

    through that character class`s color text that connects them up with

    dragons, so that (or similar things) will probably need to be addressed, no

    matter how obviously such a prestige class is inappropriate for BR.

    We`ll just have to wait and see,


  4. #4
    Birthright Developer
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    at 07:22:22PM +0200, Osprey wrote:

    The goal seems to be more of a money thing than for lucky

    > group of gamers employed by a company to write creatively

    > and make new ideas come to life.

    > TSR is engulfed by WOTC, who is then swallowed by Hasbro...

    > At each step, the pressure for profit grows, and the wallets

    > of loyal fans suffer. :(

    Actually, I`m not certain that I agree. For one thing, no one`s wallet

    has to suffer at all. The entire 3.5 PH, DMG, and MM are available,

    free of charge, via the 3.5 d20 SRD

    ( If you haven`t

    downloaded the SRD, do so! The SRD includes everything from character

    classes to magic items, epic levels to planes, and spells to psioncs.

    There isn`t any _need_ for anyone to purchase the 3.5 books - the

    important material is all available free.

    I, for one, am more than willing to pay the fairly low cost (less than

    $60, including shipping from for the three 3.5 books

    primarily to cast my vote _in favor_ of WotC producing exactly this

    sort of work. 3.5 addresses many issues that everyone has made

    houserules on and the "official" update helps address issues in a

    uniform enough fashion that everyone can share/use ideas from other

    players easily. For instance, we`ll now be able to incorporate into

    the d20 Birthright Rulebook the specific planar terminology that

    has been developed by WotC. It was available before (in the Manual

    of the Planes), but now has been specificly including in the SRD, and

    thus we can use it without concerns over copyright issues. In short,

    I think that WotC`s buisness plan for D&D (even under Hasbro) is

    one in which everyone (players of the game and Hasbro stockholders)

    benefits. My biggest concern, honestly, is that D&D was making so

    little money that WotC had to let some of their best talent go. I can`t

    see how that is good for the game.

    As an on-topic note, it seems to me that the new bard (although still

    underpowered, particularly due to the changes in Perform) has made yet

    another step in the direction of the Birthright Magician. I think that

    the 3.5 Bard fills so much of the "magician`s niche" in BR that it is

    hardly worth having a magician PC class.

    - Doom

  5. #5
    Birthright Developer
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    On Mon, 8 Sep 2003, Airgedok wrote:

    > I have been trying to find this game for ages. I dont want to buy a

    > 1997 game and they often dont work on xp machines now so paying for a

    > game that has no tech support anymore seems foolish. I dont suppose you

    > know where you can get this game for free do you?

    If you don`t want to buy it, don`t play it. Neither the mailing list nor are for soliciting illegal material.


    Daniel McSorley

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Airgedok schrieb:

    >This post was generated by the message forum.

    > You can view the entire thread at:



    > Airgedok wrote:

    > I am unaware of such a program.

    > I have been trying to find this game for ages. I dont want to buy a 1997 game and they often dont work on xp machines now so paying for a game that has no tech support anymore seems foolish. I dont suppose you know where you can get this game for free do you?



    If you tried to find the game for ages you must have looked with closed

    eyes. Ebay or Amazon list several auctions every few month. The local

    stores might have run out of stock but even right now at Ebay are two

    copies sold, e.g.:



  7. #7
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    As an on-topic note, it seems to me that the new bard (although still
    underpowered, particularly due to the changes in Perform) has made yet
    another step in the direction of the Birthright Magician. I think that
    the 3.5 Bard fills so much of the "magician`s niche" in BR that it is
    hardly worth having a magician PC class.

    - Doom
    Yeah, but the Magician makes such a great NPC class that I think it should still be included for that reason, at least. A Magician's ability to learn spells as a wizard gives him far more flexibility, and they make great articifers as a result. Besides, a Bard is a very specific sort of arcane caster - Music is always at the center of a Bard's magic, which is an entirely different concept than a magician. Magicians are very much like Raymond E. Feist's sorcerers of the "Lesser Path," while true wizards and sorcerers in BR are of the "Greater Path." I personally love that distinction. Bards, however, really fall into a category all their own; in Cerilia, it is that branch of performance and magic derived from the elven spellsong magics.


  8. #8
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Most of my BR campaigns revolve around fighter, rogue, noble etc character types. Politics, war, love, and swordplay have their place.

    Arcane magic, however, I'm quite reluctant to allow (this is purely personal preference I suppose). True wizards and sorcerers have I suppose, never really been PCs in any major camapign of mine. Magicians however, I could more easily live with - they fit much more nicely in with the rest of the crew.

    So please, let the magician remain a viable PC class. the fact that he can't cast fireballs is what makes him greatly playable in the Br setting - which is more important to me than any ability to go up against high CR monsters...

    On a side is the difference between high ECL and high CR exemplified. The magician might be less powerful when encountered in a typical combat encounter (lower CR than an equal-level wiz/sor), but just as good (or better maybe) when it come to playability and flexibility (same ECL as an equal-lelve sor/wiz). Think on that...
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  9. #9
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Springfield Mo
    No, I`m writing from the list. Though I did pop over to the site, run

    Strongest Army through the search and the thread was right there.

    Kenneth Gauck

  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    California, USA
    Opinions vary as to why the Gorgon hasn`t taken over Anuire

    yet. Personally, I like the idea that taking over Anuire and claiming the

    Iron Throne is one of the "Herculean" tasks the Gorgon must complete in

    order to ascend, so I`m not satisfied with the explanation that he is lying

    in wait, "farming" Anuire for bloodlines over the centuries by occasionally

    rampaging. Even if that`s not the interpretation one prefers then one must

    speculate upon why he would continue to prey upon Cerilian nobles. His

    bloodline is already 100+ (whatever that means) so what good does it do him

    to continue to commit bloodtheft? There is either some other reason for

    him not having conquered Anuire by now, or there`s a whole new level of

    bloodline that occurs when bloodline score hits the triple digits that we

    can speculate about. (Those aren`t mutually exclusive possibilities,

    really, since he could be doing a little bit of both.)

    There are a few game mechanical/meta-reasons:

    1. He can only personally control a realm of a certain size. Even if his

    bloodline score is 300 that means he`s got 300 levels of holdings and

    provinces he can control. With vassalage, of course, his realm can be

    larger, but we still run into a similar issue regarding bloodline in that

    what`s he doing with such amounts of regency? Is there something that can

    be done with that energy beyond the standard domain level?

    2. Thematically, the Gorgon is the ultimate villain for the setting. A

    victorious or defeated Gorgon detracts from the campaign. Therefore, the

    Gorgon remains perpetually poised... ominous... but he never actually

    strikes. The Gorgon striking is as final as the Gorgon being defeated as

    far as a major theme of the campaign is concerned. Anyone who`s ever

    played the BR computer game can probably attest to how anti-climactic it

    was defeated the Gorgon in battle or in one of the adventures.

    In addition to those, however, there are some more legitimate reasons that

    one might point to:

    3. Anuire is fractured, but nothing would be more likely to unite the

    competing factions than a massive invasion from the most obvious and

    traditional villain. (Well, maybe a reincarnation of Roele`s bloodline, I

    suppose....) The Gorgon`s personal power is great, but if faced with the

    combined powers of all the regents of Cerilia (some of whom are quite

    powerful--it`s hard to picture the High Mage, for instance, sitting out

    such a battle) he`d likely be defeated. Along those lines, a full out

    assault on Anuire would probably not be against Anuire alone. Other

    Cerilians would probably get involved--even other awnsheghlien might fight

    him, jealous of his success--making a full out attack by the Gorgon against

    Anuire a war with several fronts that he can`t win.

    4. The Gorgon`s personal power can decide battles, but it can`t necessarily

    win wars. He`d have to be able to consolidate his victories after the

    battles were fought, and for various reasons (the limitations of bloodline,

    the nature of his conquest, the speed at which the domain level works) the

    likelihood of consolidating several hundred provinces is pretty low.

    There might also be weird, personal reasons for the Gorgon`s failure:

    5. One of the things about the Gorgon is that he is, essentially, a

    failure. At least, it would not be difficult to apply that kind of

    thinking to his character. A bastard, ill-used by his family,

    over-shadowed by the accomplishments of his brothers, lacking the kind of

    goals and guidance others have received, and finally passed over for

    ascension himself when his "allies" at Deismaar took on the mantle of

    godhood from the deity for whom he turned his back on his family, his

    nation, his species and his birthright. His insecurities have inspired his

    rise to power--but they also prevent him from completing the effort. After

    1,500 years of spite, what would the Gorgon be without his hatred? If he

    were a success he`d also be rendered purposeless. Elves are naturally

    long-lived and we can suppose that their psychology is somehow geared

    towards that, but Raesene may not be capable of dealing with the onslaught

    of centuries of psychological torment. He might be so rooted in his

    isolation and individualism that he`s psychological incapable of completing

    his goal in life.

    6. Azrai failed. What chance does the Gorgon have? Azrai was the most

    powerful of the gods--it took seven of them to defeat him, but he was

    defeated nonetheless. The Gorgon has not got that kind of power--and the

    gods who defeated Azrai remain. Yes, they appear to be avoiding getting

    involved in mortal affairs, but would that oath actually survive his

    conquest? Probably not.

    There are other reasons; unreliability of his own troops, his lack of

    control over his current realm, a deficit in the "magical arms race"

    between his realm and others (he doesn`t have the same temple holdings or

    elven arcane casters who can create magic items without any restriction in

    BR), etc.


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