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  1. #1

    My next BR campaign. Input appreciated

    In about a year I will be running a Birthright campaign in my current gaming group using 3.5 rules.

    Basics:

    1. The PCs will be in Turonen. I plan to make them younger siblings of Duchess Flaertes if I can make the timeline work out without mucking things up too much. I plan to allow 1 PC to be an adopted sibling or simply the child of a trusted lieutenant. (This is to give a player a chance to play a demihuman or a different bloodline if needed.) The PCs will start as Lieutenants to Duchess Flaertes, this is to give them a way to get familiar with the rules before jumping in to full domain running.
    2. I plan to allow only one demihuman but will discourage it. This will be to reflect the game setting. I also plan to discourage PC Wizards and Sorcerors. for other reasons which will become clear later. Likewise Druids would be hard to fit into this game.
    3. I plan to have some house rules which I discussed in another thread, a summary: DR for armor, class defense bonuses,and maybe a few rules from Conan D20 brought in.
    4. The PCs will start at 3rd level and have one 2nd level champion and a few 1st level servants/henchmen who can later become lieutenants. I will probably give each PC a virtual Leadership feat or I may give the Noble class Leadership as a bonus feat at first level to encourage use of that class.
    5. This campaigns themes will be the return of the Shadow, in the guise of the Cold Rider and the Lost, as well as the PCs forming a Dynasty and trying to reunite the Empire. This will be a long term game, possibly 2 years or more real time, and the PCs children, or even grandchildren will be the ones who finish things, assuming no PC gets the long life blood ability at some point.
    6. I will pregenerate bloodlines, most will be based of Duches Laerte's, but I will probably throw one or more extras in.
    7. I will primarily focus on Avanil, Boerune and Alamie as the other NPC realms that will be most important. I plan to occasionally have major things happen in other realms that the PCs will hear about. Alot of these will be based off the rumors in the various Players Secrets books and/or the rumors in the Ruins of Empire book from the main boxed set.




    Rough Timeline:

    The beginning

    541 MR: I plan to have a small "prequel" set about 10 years before the game start, with the PCs being around 6-10 years of age. They will be with the Duchess and a small group of guards in a village to oversee some festival or something. Rhoubhe will attack and the PCs will be made to hide in a secret cellar or something. A young girl who was a friend of theirs (I am also debating having this be a favorite cousin or sister) will be taken, much like in the Players Secrets of Tuornen. Also, one of their guards will be killed to give them time to escape.

    551 MR: The PCs all become Lieutenants to Duchess Flaertes as they are now 16 years old or so. I may if some of them are much older, allow them to have been Lieutenants for awhile, but this would have been offscreen stuff before the PCs started. One PC will have a Champion, who is the son of the guard killed by Rhobhe's men in 541 MR. They will start small, handling essentially random events I plan to pregenerate, this first one will most likely be a bandit raid.

    551-553 MR: The PCs continue to be Lieutenants. I will use this time to introduce them to the big movers and shakers in Tuornen as well as the politics that affect the realm, such as the emnity of Alamie. Smart PCs will use this time to begin making alliances. They will also be sent to other domains as ambassadors at times to get them familiar with these domains. Also, they will be introduced to various regents daughters and sons and some not so subtle hints will be dropped that they need to start thinking of a good marriage. I will modify one or two adventures from Legends of the Hero Kings to take place during this time period as well. 553 MR will finish with a heavily modified version of the sample adventure out of the main Birthright book with the marriage of the two feuding noble families.

    554 MR: Duchess Flaertes will step down. I originally planned to have her assassnated, but have decided instead to have her step down, possibly due to some mysterious illness. Her last act as regent will be to order the PCs to jointly rule Tuornen as noted above. I am going to use a modified Sword and Crown as a starting point. This will give a good excuse for me to introduce alot more of the politics into the game. In particular, Boeurune and Avanil will put heavy pressure on the PCs to choose a side. Many events down the road will be modified by the PCs choices during this adventure. At least three noble daughters will be offered to the PCs for marriage purposes:

    1. Aubre Avanil: Marrying her would of course, be a mistake but a very interesting one.
    2. Boerune's Daughter: This could concievably set up a Guinevere type of situation.
    3. Lillean Swordwraith's daughter: This will be an interesting choice since she is potentially descended from a Roele bloodline. This will of course be pointed out to the PCs.Obviously I need to create this NPC.
    4. I also plan to have a few other Noble women feel the PCs out, one or two that would be very deadly for the PCs and a few that would be quite interesting.

  2. #2
    Timeline continued

    Trouble with Alamie:

    The next few years will have Alamie as the major villian of the campaign. Depending on choices made during the Sword and Crown, Avanil or Boerune may help the PCs or be additional enemies.

    555 MR:

    1. If the PCs have not allied with Avanil or Boerune, Alamie will strengthen ties to Avanil by marrying Aubrae Avan. Boerune will use this to make very strong hints that the PCs need his help, and will offer his daughter in marriage once again. Clearly, he is mostly concerned that if Tuornen falls, he is almost totally surrounded.
    2. If the PCs have allied with Boerune, it will be similiar to what happened above, but Boerune will of course make it clear that he is willing to help the PCs against this "unholy alliance".
    3. If the PCs have allied with Avanil, Boerune attempts to sway Alamie to his side with promises of crushing Tuornen between them and seeing Alamie made whole again. With the understanding that Alamie would be forever indebted.


    In addition, no matter what else is going on, Aubrae is trying to negotiate with the Gorgon and Rhobhe, for now, nothing comes of these negotions but these will set the stage for later. If Aubrae is not around for some reason, like she was executed or imprisoned during the Sword and Crown I will have another take her place.

    These events will consume the year for those provinces. Alamie will end up allied with one of the two other provinces. I will also run some kind of side adventure this year to keep the PCs busy.

    556 MR: The toymaker plot mentioned in the Ruins of Empire (and Player's Secrets of Tuornen) comes to fruition. Many children and a few parents are killed. Among them is the old Duke of Tuornen and possibly Laela Flaertes. While the PCs are at their funeral, Alamie launches a surpise attack while calling on its ally to help.

    No matter who Alamie is allied with they will not help. If it is Avanil, Brosengae launches an attack on Taeghas with Boerune's help. This happens when Avanil starts to move north. If it is Boerune, then Avanil launches a surprise attack on him through Taeghas, when he starts to move east.

    PC units will have a morale minus during this fight and I plan to have special rules abot how many units they can bring in. Basically, many of the soldiers were at funerals and such and will not be able to respond quickly.

    Hopefully things will go badly for the PCs. When all hope looks lost, Caine will arrive on the scene along with some units from Endier to pull their fat out of the fire. Of course, Endier will expect an alliance and lots of compensation after this.

    557-560 MR:
    This time will be spent recovering from the war with Alamie. I will have a few random adventures take place during this time. Also, a wizard will show up in the Tuornen court and offer his support in exchange for the PCs allowing him to contest Caine's sources.

    561 MR: I plan to run the assassination adventure from Legends of the Herokings. The retainer who turns on the PCs will be the son of the guard killed in 541 MR.

  3. #3
    From here I don't have things as plotted out yet. I have a few things I'd like to happen:

    The Gorgon attacks through the Mhor's provinces. Ghoere uses the oppurtunity to attack southward. This will not involve the PCs most likely but it will definitely be something they have heard about.

    The Duke of Alamie will die and be replaced by his son. His daughter will seek sanctuary in Tuornen, if they refuse, she will find sanctuary elsewhere or be killed by assassins sent by her brother, who fears she has plans on his throne.

    The PCs will go after the Sword of Roele. It is a Legacy Weapon that only one of Roele's bloodline can fully use. If a PC married Lilleane Swordwraith's daughter, it should be clear to them that any child from this union could possibly use the sword.

    The PCs will also recover the missing gem from the Crown of Roele.

    The Wizard Lieutenant or Caine will ask for help recovering a mystic tome, said to have many new domain spells in it. When they find it it will be a Book of Shadows, authered by one of the Lost. Eventually this wizard will be driven mad by it and sucked into the Shadow World. I actually have a prop built to be this book.

    This next part will happen mostly during the lifetime of the PC's children.

    Over time Awnshegh will begin to be killed off by mysterious attackers. This will be the Cold Rider absorbing his bloodline from them. This will take place over a long, long period of time, probably one Awnshegh every 5-10 years will die in this manner. Over time more and more rumors about the "Dark man on his shadow stallion and a group of powerful shadowy wizards" will start to circulate. Only the most powerful will be spared, and this only because they make useful generals.

    The Vos will eventually fall under the Cold Rider's spell.

    Eventually, the PCs will need to reunite the Empire and face off against the Cold Rider and his minions.

  4. #4
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Sounds good. Other interesting other points could be:

    1. marrying Alam's daughter when she flees to Tuornen giving the PC a claim to Alamie - and then a blood challenge to settle matters without weakening both realms...

    2. the chance for the toymaker plot to backfire horribly - a persuasive PC could use the plot to rouse a ferocious response as grieving parents seek revenge on Alamie en masse, or could persuade neighbouring realms to give aid due to the attack on children - who knows where the toys actually ended up when gifts from one family to another are taken into account? Presumably they are activated by some spell to avoid the need for each toy to be handled immediately before the attack by Baubb, but in that case the gods aid Alamie if Kalien's daughter / etc was given one of the toys by countess Tuor as a present or suchlike...

    3. The marriage position could get interesting if several PC's are regents (over guilds, churches, law, etc) and PC's get bids from opposing families - the spouse of a PC is pretty much untouchable even if they do spend every waking moment plotting to have 'their PC' take over the realm from another 'lesser' PC...

    4. A dwarf from the mountains to the north-west would be interesting as a player in terms of a connection to the elves (for good or bad) and Avanil (where the mountain folk are noted as unhappy with Avan's attention to the south). Halflings are also low impact - only elves and goblins are hard to work in - but Braedonnal commands the armies in Tuornen so an elf, or better half elf is possible - a half elf child of Braedonnal could be interesting and give 'dad' carte blanch to pursue his own agenda in some cases while making interaction with the army and churches interesting one way or the other.

    5. A war between the surviving lieutenants of Azrai (i.e. The Gorgon, Rhoubhe and the Serpent with others used as fodder) and the Lost could be very interesting - and sweep up a lot of bystanders - all together now 'vote Gorgon' to prevent Azrai's victory...

    6. I'd consider working in a quest to find the unicorn / pegasus or other mythic ehrshegh, the secrets of forging tighmaevril and agreement from elves and/or dwarves to thereby create a weapon to kill the cold rider, etc.

    7. Don't forget Aduria - it was Azrai's historic stronghold, and similarly the Djapur might be vulnerable to conquest before Cerilia. At the least some heroes from these far off strange lands might travel to Cerilia to 'stand against the darkness before it grows and engulfs us all' - aid from afar, even nominal, aids the epic feel to the campaign.

    8. I see no reason for Azrai not to absorb lesser deities such as the goblin gods, the Drake, etc and take control over the humanoids giving him automatic strongholds near to PC lands - and 'manageable foes' at early stages. This may even be welcomed at first as the church's see 'evil turning on itself to its ultimate doom' - they may even discourage intervention to 'give the savages time to slay one another' allowing Azrai to effectively take over without interference.
    Last edited by AndrewTall; 10-30-2010 at 05:40 PM. Reason: pure pedantry

  5. #5
    Several of your ideas are quite good, especially marrying Alam's daughter. From my take on her I viewed her as not terribly ambitious and wanting to be left alone mostly. But her being forced to marry the regent of Tuornen for the good of both countries could be an interesting twist.

  6. #6
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    I have been enjoying GMing a cult of the cold rider dedicated to his return.

    Sick sinister individuals who have been granted a ritual of the blood.

    This involves them being baptised in the blood of a non Azrai bloodline - and has more power if it is also while desecrating the holy site of another god.

    - gave them a template a bit like the blooded ones of the red wizards FR but nastier.

    Gives you some sinister ultra bad guys to lurk in the background that almost anyone could learn to hate. + you could base the cult in old Azrai bastions and have them infiltrated through society. (gave many of them gifts from the cold rider such as amulets and spells to hide their alignment from those detect evil spells)

    and they love kidnapping blooded folks for their evil rituals.

  7. #7
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    I've been running the Age of Worms (generic setting) and keep thinking it would make a great BR adventure path involving Azrai and the Cold Rider.
    Duane Eggert

  8. #8
    Another bit I have been thinking of including, is having the PCs dream of events with the Cold Rider. Perhaps even run dream adventures in the Shadow World, that will have real consequences, like if a PC is injured in the dream, he wakes up injured in real life. This would help the PCs figure out what's going on.

  9. #9
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I use dreams a lot. The dream world is naturally a part of the shadow world. Its where we in the real world have practical experience with something like the Seeming.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    I use dreams a lot. The dream world is naturally a part of the shadow world. Its where we in the real world have practical experience with something like the Seeming.
    That was exactly my thought. Now, I've gathered a ton of information from various Birthright sites, brainstormed probably two good campaign overall goals and am considering stealing/borrowing the idea another guy posted about Baldur's Gate in Birthright. Now I need to hunker down and start writing the campaign seriously, as well as house rules before I burn myself out by taking in so much information.

    ETA: Who knows, if I do a ton of writeups I may actually see if there is a way to submit it here as a homebrew download. The problem being that I have borrowed a ton of stuff from various sites, like Bloodsilver.com and I don't think I've noted where it came from since I only intended it for my tabletop.

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