Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1

    Interesting level mechanic for BR games

    A friend of mine pointed out a post on a different forum proposing a mechanic idea that after a glance just screamed Birthright to me. The poster was trying to mechanically enforce that mid-level sweet spot of 6th-10th level where characters are getting powerful but not overly so.

    Essentially what it boils down to is dropping the level cap to 6th level (in his example) and every 5,000 xp after that point the character just gets a new feat.

    It just seemed perfect to me, indirectly enforces the low-magic aspect of BR perfectly, and keeps things on an even keel with the cannon NPC levels, as well as avoiding the "my party can single-handedly wipe your army off the battlefield" syndrome.

    I would probably set the cap at 9th to maybe 11th level though, to allow a little more wriggle room for the occasional prestige class and the Scion class levels.

    I can link or just paste his explanation here with pros and how to handle a few other things that come into effect, if anyone's interested.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    California, near LA. (Mo
    Posts
    144
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Sure, why not?

    On 6/26/07, manetherin <brnetboard@birthright.net> wrote:
    >
    > A friend of mine pointed out a post on a different forum proposing a
    > mechanic idea that after a glance just screamed Birthright to me. The poster
    > was trying to mechanically enforce that mid-level sweet spot of 6th-10th
    > level where characters are getting powerful but not overly so.
    >
    > Essentially what it boils down to is dropping the level cap to 6th level
    > (in his example) and every 5,000 xp after that point the character just gets
    > a new feat.
    >
    > It just seemed perfect to me, indirectly enforces the low-magic aspect of
    > BR perfectly, and keeps things on an even keel with the cannon NPC levels,
    > as well as avoiding the "my party can single-handedly wipe your army off the
    > battlefield" syndrome.
    >
    > I would probably set the cap at 9th to maybe 11th level though, to allow a
    > little more wriggle room for the occasional prestige class and the Scion
    > class levels.
    >
    > I can link or just paste his explanation here with pros and how to handle
    > a few other things that come into effect, if anyone`s interested.
    Last edited by Thelandrin; 06-27-2007 at 10:18 AM. Reason: Vertical space

  3. #3
    direct link: http://www.enworld.org/showthread.ph...8&page=1&pp=40

    For simplicity's sake I'll also go ahead and paste the original post details here

    --------------------------------------------
    This game has fewer rules, lower magic, and it is quick and easy to prepare. But you don't need 3D glasses or a degree in cryptology to find this game. With a single rule, you too can find the secret game hidden inside D&D.

    The Rule:

    Character progression from level 1 to level 6 is as per D&D. Upon attaining 6th level, for each 5000 experience a character gains, they earn a new feat.

    Note: Feats with unattainable prerequisites under this system remain unattainable.

    1. Very fast play at every level of the campaign.

    2. Focus on planning, not levelling. To defeat the black dragon Zolanderos, the CR 10 terror of Staunwark Island, the heroes will need help, special resources, and information. I want to further encourage party-directed adventuring, and if the heroes want to take on something 4 to 6 CR above them, then that's what they will require.

    3. A low magic game that everyone knows how to play.

    4. Never a need for meaningless encounters. The players can be involved in a dozen or so major combat scenarios (perhaps more than one encounter each) and have proven themselves and made a major accomplishment. See Lord of the Rings movies, or most fantasy novels.

    5. Classic monsters stay classic throughout the campaign; Chimeras and Aboleths start scary, and stay scary. Dragons are always exciting encounters.

    6. Even legendary heroes remain mortal; while a 6th level fighter who has taken toughness several times can take on a good mob, he isn't invulnerable. The sorcerer's 6d6 fireballs are phenomenal, but not so powerful that he can destroy a village and not fear retaliation.

    7. Quicker prep. Make a 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 6th version of a sorcerer, and now you have a whole sorcerous dragon-cult that can last you through your whole campaign.

    8. You can put what you've learned of the rules to good use. It's hard to know every 4th through 9th level spell out there; they're the ones we see the least. But we've seen 0th through 3rd level spells many, many times, and mastery over them is relatively simple.

    To provide lots of selection and preserve the fun of character building, I allow all WotC books as sources of extra feats. I also allow feats from Phil Reed's Book of Unusual Feats, and the Books of Eldritch Might. Other feats would be approved on an ad-hoc basis, but so far I've never run into players that have been unhappy with this selection.

    If you use races with a level adjustment, the 6th level cap is a big issue. Use the point buy rules in the DMG as follows:
    LA Points
    +0 32
    +1 25
    +2 18
    +3 10
    +4 00

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    He also has a bit in there about an action point-like system called Conviction, but it really doesn't sound like it would really fit in with BR so i didn't paste it here. Probably could have left out the LA point buy adjustment too, but you never know with some players, heh.

    Like I said, I would bump the cap to the 9th-11th level range to cover Scion class levels and a little leeway with multiclass or prestige classes. Since the vast majority of the major movers and shakers in BR are in the 4th-9th level range, this would probably help to keep a PC vs NPC conflict from becoming a pushover on a purely statistics basis, as well as keep the party from getting so powerful that the big nasties out there (like our favorite awnie boogeymen) get to remain as big and nasty as they were meant to be.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    California, near LA. (Mo
    Posts
    144
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    I like the idea, personally. I don`t think "an extra feat" is quite enough
    advancement for my taste, but it`s a good start. I`ll think more on the
    idea. I like the 6th level limit, but then, I`ve never used the LA rules
    for scions and whatnot. I`m one of the members of the "scions are just
    better" camp.

    A couple of critiques on the presentation, however:

    1.. Very fast play at every level of the campaign.
    This is pointless rhetoric. D&D has reasonably fast play at all levels.


    2. Focus on planning, not levelling. To defeat the black dragon
    Zolanderos, the CR 10 terror of Staunwark Island, the heroes will need help,
    special resources, and information. I want to further encourage
    party-directed adventuring, and if the heroes want to take on something 4 to
    6 CR above them, then that`s what they will require.
    I understand what he`s trying to say, and agree, but I don`t think its
    presented very well. Technically speaking, you could ALWAYS put something
    4-6 CRs higher than the party (and in fact are supposed to, periodically).
    But I think he`s trying to point out that something that`s tough to beat
    will always be tough to beat, and no amount of advancement is going to solve
    the problem. (Lessen, but not solve.)


    4. Never a need for meaningless encounters. The players can be
    involved in a dozen or so major combat scenarios (perhaps more than one
    encounter each) and have proven themselves and made a major accomplishment.
    See Lord of the Rings movies, or most fantasy novels.
    I don`t get this one at all. It makes no sense. What does the style of
    advancement have to do with the quality of the encounters? You still
    advance, you still acquire experience. Because lower level characters get
    more experience from lower-threat encounters, I would argue that there might
    even be a larger emphasis on "meaningless" encounters. Taking on petty
    crooks and highway bandits will never stop earning experience points. This
    is a feature, as far as I`m concerned, but either way, I don`t see his point
    in #4.


    5. Classic monsters stay classic throughout the campaign; Chimeras
    and Aboleths start scary, and stay scary. Dragons are always exciting
    encounters.
    Yeah, this I like a lot. It helps reinforce things in the setting.
    On the other hand, some people more used to traditional D&D may get bored
    easier. It depends on your style, I suppose. For mine, this would work
    quite well.

    7. Quicker prep. Make a 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 6th version of a sorcerer,
    and now you have a whole sorcerous dragon-cult that can last you through
    your whole campaign.
    This is irrelevent. D&D gives you the tools to make a sorcerours
    dragon-cult (for example) quite easily in much the same manner, regardless
    of your level. It also gives you the ability to scale characters and
    monsters quite easily.


    I agreed with #3, #6, and #8.

    I like the idea. To present the idea, a pros/cons of high vs low magic
    settings might have been a better way to go.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    California, near LA. (Mo
    Posts
    144
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Thanks for posting this.

  6. #6
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Springfield Mo
    Posts
    3,562
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Rahvin View Post
    I don`t get this one at all. It makes no sense. What does the style of advancement have to do with the quality of the encounters? You still advance, you still acquire experience. Because lower level characters get more experience from lower-threat encounters, I would argue that there might even be a larger emphasis on "meaningless" encounters. Taking on petty crooks and highway bandits will never stop earning experience points. This is a feature, as far as I`m concerned, but either way, I don`t see his point in #4.
    I read this to mean that sometimes there is an incentive to add exteraneous encounters because the PC's need to be stronger to encounter the next planned adventure. If 50 more xp means access to a whole new level of spells, or a +1 BAB, +1 to saves, another hit dice, and a feat, you might be inclined to throw an ogre in the path of the PC's to power them up before you start the real action.

    If the difference is only a single feat, you might just cut strait to the next adventure. That's my read of the issue.

  7. #7
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Moschato, Athens, Greece
    Posts
    1,130
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    I tend to believe that all this is, pretty much, a very peculiar aspect in any game; Birthright, in my eyes, for example, is one of the LEAST preferrable grounds for such a mechanic being used...

    The most obvious reason is also the most base of all misconceptions about this setting: Birthright is NOT a low-magic setting, it's a rare-magic setting. Furthermore, magic in Birthright tends to be grande, not plain; if all spellcasters stop at level what-not, they'll never get past some spell-level cap, and that makes the spells in their repertoir as expectable as grass in a herd animal's belly!

    On the other hand, if you want monsters to STAY scary (and that's a good notion, albeit a rather missplaced one for various reasons), the best idea is to bump up heroes and monsters alike! A knight would always be able to deal with a mob, but the wyvern that harry the travelers up the mountain paths would be able to deal with most younger knights quite easily...

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    California, near LA. (Mo
    Posts
    144
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    I read this to mean that sometimes there is an incentive to add
    exteraneous encounters because the PC`s need to be stronger to encounter the
    next planned adventure. If 50 more xp means access to a whole new level of
    spells, or a +1 BAB, +1 to saves, another hit dice, and a feat, you might be
    inclined to throw an ogre in the path of the PC`s to power them up before
    you start the real action. If the difference is only a single feat, you
    might just cut strait to the next adventure. That`s my read of the
    issue.
    Oh, I see. Okay, that makes some sense.


    The most obvious reason is also the most base of all misconceptions
    about this setting: Birthright is NOT a low-magic setting, it`s a rare-magic
    setting. Furthermore, magic in Birthright tends to be grande, not plain; if
    all spellcasters stop at level what-not, they`ll never get past some
    spell-level cap, and that makes the spells in their repertoir as expectable
    as grass in a herd animal`s belly!
    I see your point, but I don`t think the argument works The magic of
    Birthright spellcasters doesn`t have to be all-powerful, only more powerful
    than non-magic. 6th level spellcasters would have few precious spells
    available to them, so they wouldn`t treat the spells in their repertoir as
    expendable. Likewise, because they are generally fighting stuff within a
    certain specific range of threats (i.e., they`ll likely never run into an
    npc with 100 hitpoints), the spells remain powerful. Even with magic,
    however, against the toughest threats, you won`t be able to overcome the
    problem with a bigger and better spell, but would have to revert to tactics
    and subterfuge, perhaps with mobility and illusion magics.

    You don`t have to have god-like magic-users to have a high-magic setting,
    but rather, at any given point, magic should be better that non-magic. And
    it is, for the most part. Until it runs out. I think that`s as the author
    intended.

    I understand your point. I`m not saying its wrong. But I could easily
    see it played both ways, and given the other benefits of the system, I can
    easily see a reason to prefer this system and interpretation of Birthright.


    Even if you adopt the system, realm magic doesn`t go away, so Birthright
    continues to be a high-magic magic-rare setting. If anything, adopting the
    system would make the source-regent even more important to the setting,
    which is apt. I think it works fairly well.

    On the other hand, if you want monsters to STAY scary (and that`s a
    good notion, albeit a rather missplaced one for various reasons), the best
    idea is to bump up heroes and monsters alike! A knight would always be able
    to deal with a mob, but the wyvern that harry the travelers up the mountain
    paths would be able to deal with most younger knights quite
    easily...
    No, not monsters that stay scary. Monsters that stay scary to players. Big
    difference. Your way (which would seem to be the default advancement
    method) doesn`t do that. A powerful knight has no need to fear the wyvern.
    The wyvern may have been scary at one point, but is no longer (except to
    other NPC-ish people).

  9. #9
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Moschato, Athens, Greece
    Posts
    1,130
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    About the magic system, well, a 6th-level caster gets 3rd-level spells; tops. One also gets very few spells; unless you rewrite the mechanics from scratch, the whole thing is simply flawed. Using variants from the Black Company d20 from Green Ronin seems a much better idea, too.

    As for my other idea, no, I did not suggest a mere application of the default advancement. My wording was flawed, though, so I should reiterate and elaborate: in this variant, a wyvern may very well be a 16 HD creature right from the start (or, to be more exact, any wyvern the players are likely to encounter has a minimum of 16 HD) - it, of course, can be as high as a 35 HD monster, for example. That certainly leaves even the most powerful of players with more to deal with. Note that you have to do more work to deal with XP thus gained...

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    California, near LA. (Mo
    Posts
    144
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    As for my other idea, no, I did not suggest a mere application of the
    default advancement. My wording was flawed, though, so I should reiterate
    and elaborate: in this variant, a wyvern may very well be a 16 HD creature
    right from the start (or, to be more exact, any wyvern the players are
    likely to encounter has a minimum of 16 HD) - it, of course, can be as high
    as a 35 HD monster, for example. That certainly leaves even the most
    powerful of players with more to deal with. Note that you have to do more
    work to deal with XP thus gained...
    Oh, yeah, completely agree. I think I pointed this out as a weakness in the
    arguments advocating the system, but maybe I could have worded that better.


    (I`m not ignoring the other part of your post. It`s just that we simply have
    differing opinions there.)

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. I found an interesting PBEM tool
    By jumin in forum The Royal Library
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-07-2007, 12:20 PM
  2. Interesting polls on Enworld
    By irdeggman in forum The Royal Library
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-16-2004, 03:41 PM
  3. Low level vs high level
    By Endrin Helrick in forum The Royal Library
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 02-09-2004, 02:50 AM
  4. Replies: 18
    Last Post: 02-05-2002, 02:26 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-01-1970, 12:00 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
BIRTHRIGHT, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D, the BIRTHRIGHT logo, and the D&D logo are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and are used by permission. ©2002-2010 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.