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  1. #41
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Re: The Shadow World - an article by the main force behind BR, Rich Baker. Be careful of the "spoilers" about who the Cold Rider was meant to be (as if we couldn't already have put it together).

    The essential portion of the file:

    General Appearance and Properties of the Shadow World
    Physically, the Shadow World exactly mirrors Cerilia. Hills, mountains, forests, rivers, and other such features are exactly where you would expect to find them on the daylight world. However, the Shadow World is cold and well, shadowy. There is a pervasive chill to the air that, over the course of a few hours, sinks into a traveller's bones and just aches. The sunlight is weak and dim even at its best, and it is always dark and overcast.

    Time runs strangely in the Shadow World. It may feel like you've been there for hours, when you really have only been there twenty or thirty minutes. Distances and perspective can distort, so that an experienced guide can use the Shadow World as a shortcut (albeit a perilous one) to save hundreds of miles from a trip in the daylight world.

    Buildings and sites of interest often present a different face in the Shadow World. A strong and well-defended castle in the real world may appear ruined, empty, or full of undead in the Shadow World, or it may not even be there at all.

    People don't have shadow doubles in this realm, so a village of three hundred won't normally have a corresponding number of undead lurking about or pursuing a mockery of life. However, the restless spirits of some villagers who might become undead could easily linger in the place they knew in life.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by irdeggman; 09-17-2007 at 11:26 AM.
    Duane Eggert

  2. #42
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Here is a link to an interesting set of posts discussing flavor versus game mechanics and eventually setting definition.

    It did deteriorate into a dwarf DR thing towards the end but the early on discussion of terms can be used as a decent reference point, IMO, to look at what defines a setting.

    http://www.birthright.net/forums/sho...game+mechanics
    Duane Eggert

  3. #43
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    irdeggman schrieb:
    > This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.
    > You can view the entire thread at:
    > http://www.birthright.net/forums/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=3984
    > irdeggman wrote:
    > ------------ QUOTE ----------
    >
    > Not every mage is blooded, and that is part of Regency in Cerilia. Also every swinging fighter regent would be paying big buck for the best in personal defense systems....i.e.. the court mage......and would be offering them lands and hereditary title to keep them faithful. Also looking the other way for an occasional labs assistants untimely demise due to a lab accident.
    > -----------------------------
    >
    >
    >
    > Except that in order to cast true magic you had to either be blooded or of elven blood. Non-blooded, non-elven mages are magicians and magicians are incapable of casting spells that could do the kinds of things that are of real use here. They can only cast up to 2nd level spells except for Illusion and Divination. Divination is real handy for the "detection" types of things and would readily be used in lands that have spellcasters (noting that Rjurik and Vos in essence do not have any but the Khinasi would have a preponderance of magicians since they value "knowledge" and "magic so much). Also note that unless using the "Universal School of Magic" that came out with the Player`s Option Series (and then the Spell Compendiums) an Illusionist couldn`t even create a magic item (lke say a ring of invisibility) since Permancy was in their "forbidden" schools and a magician couldn`t since the spell was above 2nd level. This was one of the reasons they created the Universal School a!
    > s pointed out in the Spell Compendium.
    >
    >
    >
    > ------------ QUOTE ----------
    > Respectfully no, what I do is interpret some guidelines about mage population levels and the density of magic if Cerilia in a higher level than some do.
    > -----------------------------
    >
    >
    >
    > Interesting, how can one interpret a statement that says:
    >
    > ". . .fewer than 150 spellcasters in all of Cerilia can wield true magic."
    >
    > as meaning anything other than what it says without calling it "house rules" and a deviation from the "canon rules" for the setting?
    >
    > I mean that is quite specific and in no way "vague" or open for interpretation as written.
    >
    But we already had discussions about that number years ago. It ranged
    from 150 Mages (True Wizards) of any level to 150 person able to cast
    "true magic" (spells of level 3+ which are barred to Magicians and so
    150 wizards of level 5+). It could could have been the anuirean limited
    view like in the atlas which is described as being from the chamberlains
    point of view which ignores wizards unknown to the Anuireans. Some
    people interpreted it as 150 blooded wizards, guessing that it would not
    include unblooded sidhelien wizards. So the number is open to some
    interpretation.

  4. #44
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConjurerDragon View Post
    irdeggman schrieb:
    > This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.
    > You can view the entire thread at:
    > http://www.birthright.net/forums/sho...newpost&t=3984
    > irdeggman wrote:
    > ------------ QUOTE ----------
    >
    > Not every mage is blooded, and that is part of Regency in Cerilia. Also every swinging fighter regent would be paying big buck for the best in personal defense systems....i.e.. the court mage......and would be offering them lands and hereditary title to keep them faithful. Also looking the other way for an occasional labs assistants untimely demise due to a lab accident.
    > -----------------------------
    >
    >
    >
    > Except that in order to cast true magic you had to either be blooded or of elven blood. Non-blooded, non-elven mages are magicians and magicians are incapable of casting spells that could do the kinds of things that are of real use here. They can only cast up to 2nd level spells except for Illusion and Divination. Divination is real handy for the "detection" types of things and would readily be used in lands that have spellcasters (noting that Rjurik and Vos in essence do not have any but the Khinasi would have a preponderance of magicians since they value "knowledge" and "magic so much). Also note that unless using the "Universal School of Magic" that came out with the Player`s Option Series (and then the Spell Compendiums) an Illusionist couldn`t even create a magic item (lke say a ring of invisibility) since Permancy was in their "forbidden" schools and a magician couldn`t since the spell was above 2nd level. This was one of the reasons they created the Universal School a!
    > s pointed out in the Spell Compendium.
    >
    >
    >
    > ------------ QUOTE ----------
    > Respectfully no, what I do is interpret some guidelines about mage population levels and the density of magic if Cerilia in a higher level than some do.
    > -----------------------------
    >
    >
    >
    > Interesting, how can one interpret a statement that says:
    >
    > ". . .fewer than 150 spellcasters in all of Cerilia can wield true magic."
    >
    > as meaning anything other than what it says without calling it "house rules" and a deviation from the "canon rules" for the setting?
    >
    > I mean that is quite specific and in no way "vague" or open for interpretation as written.
    >
    But we already had discussions about that number years ago. It ranged
    from 150 Mages (True Wizards) of any level to 150 person able to cast
    "true magic" (spells of level 3+ which are barred to Magicians and so
    150 wizards of level 5+). It could could have been the anuirean limited
    view like in the atlas which is described as being from the chamberlains
    point of view which ignores wizards unknown to the Anuireans. Some
    people interpreted it as 150 blooded wizards, guessing that it would not
    include unblooded sidhelien wizards. So the number is open to some
    interpretation.

    But not the 20% to 30% of Faerun levels as MT states. Cerilia is a single continent while Faerun is an entire world. With restrictions placed due to ancestry and bloodlines it is entirely possible that only around 150 or so true mages exist in Cerillia - note there may be more in Aduria or any of the other "uncharted" continents since the authors are only talking about Cerillia. This is taking into account the passage in BoM about few elves follow the path of being a true wizard. I can very much see this 150 as a floating number but not one that should stretch into the thousands - especially when one considers that in both the Rjurik Highlands and Vosgaard this number is essentially "0" (well there are a few, specifcally some awnshegh - but the point is still vaild that there are far too few to really count due to cultural mores.)
    Last edited by irdeggman; 09-17-2007 at 08:51 PM.
    Duane Eggert

  5. #45
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    The limit to illusion and divination may not suit your campaigns, but it is not arbitrary - it is too remove the 'combat' magics from the system and allow only spells that have 'low energy' requirements - I might argue that charms should have been included in the low magic list since again they have no physical impact/high energy requirement, but not that the limit on schools is arbitrary. Low energy magic btw means no blood and thunder magic basically. Create a light show or vision - dead easy! Light has no significant mass and the intensity of the light is too weak to harm anything, you could run a BR magician's spells off an AAA battery; a wizard's spells now, they need something with a bit more oomph...

    Reducing the number of invisible stone-skinned teleporting fireball-wielding wizards in the game was, imo, to encourage a game where politics and role-playing could dominate class abilities if the players / DM so desired - it has long been recognised that plentiful magic items and high level magic is where the DnD system really breaks down and PC's become immune to politics as they can wipe out entire armies with ease and have no need to respect 'normals' or their diplomacy.

    Making elves reject religion was again a deliberate change - the elves are meant to be very different in attitude to elves of other settings of the time and the refusal to accept the concept of worship was part of this - and specifically blamed for the ability of the humans to defeat the elves across Cerilia prior to Deismaar. Making the non-human races distinctive in one way or another has always been a way used to try to make settings unique, BR changed attitudes to create 5 human races and give elves and goblins unique twists. Only dwarves are pretty much the same mentally as in other settings and that was regretted in some of the interviews:
    http://www.birthright.net/brwiki/index.php/Interviews.

    Try looking at the setting on its own merits, rather than from a FR perspective the planar wheel-system formed 1 page in the 2e DMG - discarding it was routine for settings of the time to differentiate them. BR, unlike Greyhawk and later FR was never meant to be a generic setting. The setting isn't to all tastes - if it was they wouldn't have canceled it - and a lot of people only bought it for the war system and realm play rules as it was - but rare magic can really bring awe and wonder back into the game - and even a L1 wizard is the subject of awe when their powers are only known from legends of the Lost.

  6. #46
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    Wasn't this supposed to be about the natural resources????? LOL!!

    Here goes...

    Just out of curiosity, why does this appear in your posts?

    Gary
    It means I am smiling, and that the ideas from a diversity of game players still amazes me so much that I just have to roll my eyes when someone sees one point of minutia so differently from my own.

    You are so mistaken.
    Not at all!! LOL!

    But to each his own.
    As it should be!

    Birthright was designed to be the way it was "from the beginning".
    I was there, so respectfully I don’t think it was to be as restricted as The Book Of Magecraft seems to have been trying (unsuccessfully) to make it.

    The logic for having lesser and greater magic was tied into what was necessary to survive harnessing the power of higher magics. The fact that the elves were "magical" in their nature. If you go to Shadowspawn and look at the history of the Sie it becomes even clearer in what was meant.
    The elves in most of the settings have the ability to use High Magic (in groups) so it is easy to see in this setting that the elves (and elvish) blood are tapped to be the magic using part of the Cerilia Setting. They would also be the group I would go to if trying to tap divine/world magics. Especially if a single creature was going to try to attempt to harness them.

    As to the Shadowspawn and the Sie…..I could easily say that they were a type of Shade (See the monster) that is brought about by the melding (thinning of the barriers) with the Shadow World/Plane. It would certainly freak out the elves and halfings by seeing and evil counter self spawned from the thinning of the barrier with the Shadow Plane…er I mean Shadow World.

    Birthright did not change the schools of magic they created an entirely different "class" to fit in with their concept.
    First I see it as a kit (a specialization kit). I would also say that it was less a class of magic change, and more a warping of magic that fit in with keeping the game less magic user driven, and alleviating problems with PC’s & NPC’s as powerful as regents. It is really unnecessary though.

    It really didn’t offer very much in the way of unique playability or atmosphere…it simply limited the types of magic and who could use what they errantly wanted to interpret as some limitation on the magic system.

    Since the used the same spells, schools, magic system, and really didn’t beef up the spell selection or come up with the Lesser Mage Class or the True Mage class; they certainly weakened any argument about this system having a great amount of difference in the magic systems that other TSR settings offered. As I mention above the Magician & Seer could easily be a specialization kit.

    The whole Magician & Seer kit descriptions could easily be integrated into any game as a type of specialist “Kit”, specializing in their own brand of magic without lessening their reputations in magic by calling them lesser mages.

    The idea of True Mages didn’t even have the contrivances of the Magician & Seer. They were simply blooded or elvish blood spell casters who could use the arbitrary distinction of true magic. Where is there class distinctions, where are the kits?????

    The entire idea that magic is that different in Cerilia is contrived & artificial, and it could/would/should easily fit into the regular magic scheme that almost all other magic setting by TSR use.

    I want consistency in the magic systems of a large number of their campaigns.

    What they offered here is not so much an abomination, as it is a arbitrary & weakened version of magic that has no real reason to exist!!

    As far as the Shadow World goes - it is much smaller than the Shadow Plane. In fact it is only Aebrynis - that is it is specifically the "Shadow" portion while Cerilia is the "Light" portion of the same place.
    If you read about the shadow plane they talk about the plane mimicking the prime material plane that it is in proximity to. It also has connections that are similar (but different) to the ethereal planes conjunction to the prime material plane.

    Since the shadow plane is as vast as the ethereal, and offers a connection to the prime plane it conjoins, it would be very viable that it would seem Smaller in a border shadow, but as with the Deep Ethereal (away from a conjoining with a prime material plane) the Deep Shadow has pathways of deep chilling evil/cold that can afford passage of evil creatures to arrive on distant shores….i.e…..Azrai.

    More on it way.....

  7. #47
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    It is not any larger and if you read the text in the rulebook and in Bloodspawn and in the novels it becomes clearer as to what the creators were trying to make. It may share aspects of the Shadow Plane but it is much, much smaller. The Shadow Plane didn't have any rules for "seeming" either - which is another "unique" function of the "Shadow World".
    Here is part of my original post about the parallels in the planes. You will note that 2 & 4 could easily be interpreted as part of the seeming. Also 3 would take care of the light vs dark parallels. (i.e. The Prime Material Plane (Cerilia) vs The Shadow Plane).

    The Shadow Plane…..I am only including a little of the material here on the plane. It is several pages long, and if you really want it all you should snatch up a cheap 3.? Manual of the Planes and look into it.

    Pg 59 Manual of the Planes;

    Plane of Shadow: It is a toxic plane of darkness and power. It is the hidden place that hates the light. It is the frontier of worlds unknown. The Plane of Shadow is darkly lighted dimension that is both coterminous to and co existent with the material plane. It overlaps the Material Plane much as the Ethereal Plane does, so a planar traveler can use the Plane of Shadow to cover great distances quickly. The Plane of Shadow is also coterminous to other planes. With the right spell, you can use the Plane of Shadow to visit other realities.

    The Plane of Shadow is a world of black and white; color itself has been bleached from the environment. It is otherwise appears similar (but not exactly identical) to the Material Plane.”

    Here are excerpts from the following four paragraphs.

    1) Black vault with neither sun nor stars, landmarks twisted and warped things, diminished reflections.
    2) Plane of shadow is highly morphic, and parts continually flow onto other planes. Maps are useless despite landmarks…..precision is a lost cause.
    3) The terrain of the Plane of Shadow is usually similar to the area where the traveler enters…….although it usually bears some resemblance to the corresponding terrain on the Material Prime.
    4) Spells often draw forth parts of the Plane of Shadow, in particular for illusions that have the shadow descriptor. The Plane of Shadow is a monochromatic world, but shadow material pulled from it can be any color. The spellcaster usually colors, shapes, and shades of shadowstuff to make it more convincing. A shadow evocation that produces a fireball, for example, appears like any other fireball to those fooled by the illusion. (Fully listed for comparison to Illusion material of the Shadow Realm).
    That is posted in the thread where I show the very close similarities of the planes on this site.

    The Shadow World was also not always a place of "darkness and evil" - that came about due to Deismaar. Before that the differences between the "Light" and "Shadow" could more be more readily percieved as the difference between "order" and "chaos" - and that is clearly presented in the information in Bloodspawn.
    And Deismaar could just as easily caused the very weakening of the border with the Shadow Plane that allowed those on the prime material plane to see into it for the first time. Light (the Prime/Cerilia) the Dark The Shadow Plane superimposed over each other flickering back and forth, with evil shade/sie splitting off and taunting the living, and even possibly dragging them into the Shadow Plane aka Shadow World. It could also work with the order vs chaos contrivance as the seeming would come into play. It all works fine.

    Birthright has a very specific place for "magicians", those who can wield only "lesser" magic - these are the "court" mages, the "diviners", the ones who "advised" the rulers. The "true" mages, as you pointed out, tend to be less interested in ruling and "politics" and more in "knowledge", "research", and the like. The ones that are listed as "realm" regents - that is "protectors" of certain realms have somewhere in their personal history a reason for doing so and thus some kind of "duty". Very, very few would be under the "guns for hire" category.
    With due respect. Not for some of us.

    It was an arbitrary contrivance, as with all other settings any mage could be (A Magician). Magicians were never truly as class like Sorcerers & Wu Jen became. They both had class skills that were based on unique natures of magic use. Sorcerers memorize spells in a different way from generalists & Wu Jen can actually sacrifice life in order to power spells past their normal capabilities. The Magicians & Sees are simply a kit for specialists.

    I also know of several variations on what people termed “Magicians” on the net. So for me they are just another class variation for magic users…..albeit the one that the Book of Magecraft tried to present years after the creation of the original Cerilia/Birthright setting. I use other Magicians, but not the arbitrary Less/True Magic distinctions!!!

    Bottom line is that in all things rules wise there is an order of precedence.
    With continued respect, but if we as informed DM’s find an inconsistency that we find abhorrent and not useful, the we can fundamentally alter a thing in order to put it into perspective for our games (and players).

    What I have said is that the system is a contrivance that deviates without purpose from what are the accepted norms in magic use in the earlier system. (As a side note the newer system didn’t really offer very much for me either). The old system could be used to define any type of current magic or created magic.

    More detailed supercedes the broad.
    I have been detailed in my analysis of the deviations in the magic system that took it far from the basic magic system. I also analyze all the presented rebuttals and offer where I think it fits into a broader system that was part of TSR for magic and planar connection. It is detailed, but I would never go as far as to say that it supersedes your analysis of the system. You are a fellow DM afterall.

    Setting supercedes the general.
    Setting is set by the DM, and when there are so many holes in the basis of the system, then you are leaving it to individual DM’s to find their way out of the morass that the creators seem to have been satisfied with. So really DM supersedes the Setting!....LOL..

    You need to recognize that what you have done is to make campaign that is based on aspects of different campaigns and various house-rules and not to put down people who disagree - based on the "canon" of the setting.
    Canon is what we as DM’s make of it, especially in the currently dead setting of Birthright. If you want to spin it your way that is fine, but Canon does evolve. It is hardly set in stone. So what is house rule today could be Canon later. It is up to individual DM’s period.

    If Canon couldn’t evolve then the Catholics (and I was one) would still be using the inquisition to change peoples minds about the church’s canon. Also there would have been the Lutheran, Protestant, or Orthodox reformations. It is a matter of evolution in the truth of the matters that will determine what Canon sticks and what is thrown into the garbage heap.

    Telling people that it is a "matter of interpretation" is simply incorrect when the specific rules are clear. Sometimes they are indeed vague and designed for individual intepretation but when they are not the setting is what the setting rules state it is - anything else is a "variant" and a "home brewed" setting.
    Except that if we want to integrate Birthright into the greater settings that TSR took the time to interlink, we have to counter a Canon that lacks reliable substance, and can easily be integrated & interpreted into the 2nd ed systems dynamics of planes and magic use. It is up to each DM to spin their Cerilia in their own image (yes even the one you have adopted and are defending). There is nothing home brewed or variant in this for me…..it is you who want to ignore the presented data on the magic system norms & the connections of the shadow plane.

    It is you who don’t want to see the truth that Birthright was meant to connect to the other prime material planes & settings even if tenuously.

    That's okay...you are a fellow DM and site contributor.

    PS: And please MT, try to be more; ahem, "diplomatic" in pointing Your arguments for Your campaign and interpretations...
    With complete & due respect I have been. What I won’t do (and don’t expect others to do) is to knuckle under or kow tow to a prevalent thought line that I consider ill informed if not outright wrong. I would say it is a bit of gaming responsibility to point out the possible connections for the review of my fellow games!!!

    And to all members of our worthy "covenant"; let the Birthright remain Birthright, not some generic Xena/FR/whatever-like game...
    As a member of our worthy covenant, I would say that the setting can certainly survive the realization that is part of a bigger (& not quite so unique) cosmos, that can certainly have a flavor that any DM wishes.

    My points of debate seamlessly integrates the ideas into a continuous system of magic and planar connection that connects settings of the same period & creator. It is far what some purists want to represent, but let the purists deny the truth at their own risk, as those who preach Canon that is out of favor are regularly disregarded as less than reliable sources. (Not that you are, I am thinking of a recent show on the History Channel and two scientists with different ideas of the big bang and creation of the universe).

    More.....

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    General Appearance and Properties of the Shadow World
    Physically, the Shadow World exactly mirrors Cerilia. Hills, mountains, forests, rivers, and other such features are exactly where you would expect to find them on the daylight world. However, the Shadow World is cold and well, shadowy. There is a pervasive chill to the air that, over the course of a few hours, sinks into a traveller's bones and just aches. The sunlight is weak and dim even at its best, and it is always dark and overcast.
    I don’t want to have to repost the whole thing here, but you can easily use the same description for the shadow plane. I have recorded the page numbers and descriptors on this site in a thread I started about the Shadow Plane & Shadow World are one and the same.

    The shadow plane descriptors are very much in line with what you have here, especially in the border regions near prime material planes. You can also refer to some of my other responses above about the similarities.

    Time runs strangely in the Shadow World. It may feel like you've been there for hours, when you really have only been there twenty or thirty minutes. Distances and perspective can distort, so that an experienced guide can use the Shadow World as a shortcut (albeit a perilous one) to save hundreds of miles from a trip in the daylight world.
    Planar travel almost always includes a time vs prime time modifier. It has since the early advent of planar travel & exploration.

    Buildings and sites of interest often present a different face in the Shadow World. A strong and well-defended castle in the real world may appear ruined, empty, or full of undead in the Shadow World, or it may not even be there at all.
    It also plays entirely into the Shadow World see my correlations and page numbers there. It mirrors the real world though in a decayed, cold, & evil/twisted fashion.

    People don't have shadow doubles in this realm, so a village of three hundred won't normally have a corresponding number of undead lurking about or pursuing a mockery of life. However, the restless spirits of some villagers who might become undead could easily linger in the place they knew in life.
    And the shadow plane is a world of undead, and as I mention in a response above, it also has the possibility that the weakening of the barrier between the Shadow Plane/World could offer formulas for the creation of Shade selves (another denizen of the Shadow World & Negative Planes). It all works seamlessly if you want to recognize the connections are there.

    If you are a DM who wants to be a purist of Birthright differentness then no prob.. It does fly in the face of verifiable facts in the wider world of TSR’s version of planar connection & magic systems.

    But we already had discussions about that number years ago. It ranged
    from 150 Mages (True Wizards) of any level to 150 person able to cast
    "true magic" (spells of level 3+ which are barred to Magicians and so
    150 wizards of level 5+). It could could have been the anuirean limited
    view like in the atlas which is described as being from the chamberlains
    point of view which ignores wizards unknown to the Anuireans. Some
    people interpreted it as 150 blooded wizards, guessing that it would not
    include unblooded sidhelien wizards. So the number is open to some
    interpretation.
    Which is what I had sort of alluded to. When the poll was taken there may have been this or that number, but there is always room for recognition that mages are more prevalent then presented by these designers.

    I could come up with a whole set of groups of mages that could conceal themselves from the count, and avoid some of the prohibitions of magic from groups like the Khanasi. It would be something like the Veiled Alliance (preservest’s) of Dark Sun.

    But not the 20% to 30% of Faerun levels as MT states. Cerilia is a single continent while Faerun is an entire world. With restrictions placed due to ancestry and bloodlines it is entirely possible that only around 150 or so true mages exist in Cerillia - note there may be more in Aduria or any of the other "uncharted" continents since the authors are only talking about Cerillia. This is taking into account the passage in BoM about few elves follow the path of being a true wizard. I can very much see this 150 as a floating number but not one that should stretch into the thousands - especially when one considers that in both the Rjurik Highlands and Vosgaard this number is essentially "0" (well there are a few, specifcally some awnshegh - but the point is still vaild that there are far too few to really count due to cultural mores.)
    Once again the total number of spell hurlers can fit to an individual DM’s style, even if some of us dump superfluous monikers like True Wizards……

    The limit to illusion and divination may not suit your campaigns, but it is not arbitrary - it is too remove the 'combat' magics from the system and allow only spells that have 'low energy' requirements –
    Not if our specialist illusionist that have the ability to create tactile illusions. Add to this permanent illusions, phantasmal representations of psyche, and other factors and the mere light worker creates intelligent Virtually Alive illusions that can do all manner of things magical. I would say that your vision of illusion magic is less than fully informed on the issue (without being needlessly negative about it).

    Shadow Magic mimics real battle damage in a way that inflicts real damage (via a connection to the shadow plane….ooooooo) in simulated evocation magic, and when you factor in that it is only a Lv 5 spell and upgraded versions could certainly allow for greater amounts of damage to become real, and well, you can see how I find your ideas on the school less than realistic.

    Greater Divination can yield a very clear picture of future events, with spells like Vision & Foresight. Not to mention that spell invention due to specialization could easily yield a plethora of new divination magics that might put the DM out of business. Oopppsss, wait a minute, don’t you remember my divinations from last week. I had a vision of death in the near future, so my PC does get a save to avoid the attack, as I mentioned that I was being very, very careful this week.

    I might argue that charms should have been included in the low magic list since again they have no physical impact/high energy requirement, but not that the limit on schools is arbitrary.
    I would hardly say that any school of magic is low magic, but I would certainly recognize each schools usefulness in each type of mission. Unfortunately, I would agree to disagree with your analysis that the school distinctions are not arbitrary

    If I cant get another post in tonite I will finish this tomorrow....

  9. #49
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    Low energy magic btw means no blood and thunder magic basically. Create a light show or vision - dead easy! Light has no significant mass and the intensity of the light is too weak to harm anything, you could run a BR magician's spells off an AAA battery; a wizard's spells now, they need something with a bit more oomph...
    Honestly. The illusion magic does a great deal with sound, and I have mentioned before shadow magic mimics real magic (even if they mention some type of limitations on it, which I couldn’t find readily at the time of posting….I did look though).

    Illusions can have tactile sensations, phantasms have animating forces that simulate if not outright mimic life. A mage can impress his current psyche on an phantasm with the right spells though.

    If you want to be a purist and ignore the entirety of illusion and diviner magic then that is you decision as a DM. I would of course argue that the Grand Coulee Dam might be needed to power some illusions though…..easilly!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reducing the number of invisible stone-skinned teleporting fireball-wielding wizards in the game was, imo, to encourage a game where politics and role-playing could dominate class abilities if the players / DM so desired - it has long been recognised that plentiful magic items and high level magic is where the DnD system really breaks down and PC's become immune to politics as they can wipe out entire armies with ease and have no need to respect 'normals' or their diplomacy.
    This is once again a matter of DM style. Some people have more information and understanding of issues in magic. In my own experience there is a counter spell for every spell or affect, and if you integrate it into the system, then you need to recognize your NPC’s have access to the counter measures.

    If in negotiations a regent changes his course suddenly and inexplicably, then his court mage is certain to be secretly checking on him for enchantment/charm. It works that way for all the schools of magic, and in every situation that I have encountered. It is a matter of experience and personal DM choice.

    The room/area the Fireball hurler entered had several hung spells on it. It had a clerical invisibility purge that neutralized the invis magic. It was protected from evocation magic throughout the area either the room, or in the near proximity of the regent by device. The teleport spell triggers a spell trigger spell that sets off a Teleport block spell on one of the guards pikes. I.e…..the mage in his magic robes is now at the whim of the pike wielding guards and hidden archers….what level did you say he was……how many hits can he/she take before they will start dealing real damage to his/her low hp total. They should have looked up my divination specialist before they made that career move…..LOL!!!

    Making elves reject religion was again a deliberate change - the elves are meant to be very different in attitude to elves of other settings of the time and the refusal to accept the concept of worship was part of this - and specifically blamed for the ability of the humans to defeat the elves across Cerilia prior to Deismaar. Making the non-human races distinctive in one way or another has always been a way used to try to make settings unique, BR changed attitudes to create 5 human races and give elves and goblins unique twists. Only dwarves are pretty much the same mentally as in other settings and that was regretted in some of the interviews:
    I did mention that this branch of early elves became haughty and spurned the Seladrine (spelling error possible). Other races like dwarves draw from a known racial deity aka Moradin in the setting....so I would as that they once again were inconsistent in the creation process. Some few elves will turn to the Cerilian pantheon or back to the old gods....not many but some..

    As to the other races.

    All realms have their unique human stories. It is hardly a unique idea….look at the forward in the Atlas of Cerilia…the German Merchants & Russians guys is hardly that unique of an idea either…in fact it could have been a mantra for TSR…..look at all the settings and look for the Egyptian nock off’s shall we….LOL

    It is not unique…it is just another setting even to its creator.

    Try looking at the setting on its own merits, rather than from a FR perspective the planar wheel-system formed 1 page in the 2e DMG - discarding it was routine for settings of the time to differentiate them. BR, unlike Greyhawk and later FR was never meant to be a generic setting.
    It copies many other systems in so many ways that it really lacks it’s own merits unless you as the DM see it that way and want to be a purist. This means you want it different from the interconnected settings produced by TSR. More power to you and those like you. Your games and ideas are just as valid as mine in the bigger picture.

    To not recognize that it lacked the possibilities that it had those connections flies in the face of game facts and details that I have presented from that system and time frame.

    The setting isn't to all tastes - if it was they wouldn't have canceled it - and a lot of people only bought it for the war system and realm play rules as it was - but rare magic can really bring awe and wonder back into the game - and even a L1 wizard is the subject of awe when their powers are only known from legends of the Lost.
    The reasons they cancelled it were many. Lack of interest in, what the 6th setting or was it 7th or 8th???? Also they were hyping a whole bunch of other systems like Gamma World, a wild west RPG, Twilight something…mercenary RPG, and other assorted materials, and you can see that the whole TSR lacked focus. They also had the Battlesystem for mass war games if you liked it….I liked Birthright better….you need less space, and there was room to expand the system if good ideas were added.

    This was in part due to a lack of…..dare I say it…….I will….Gary Gygax’s direct control in the company. Gary was off in Hollywood hyping the D&D Cartoon and trying to work up movies for the system.

    He left his now ex wife and a number of staff members that ran around willy nilly creating worlds here and there, without having the focus and vision to try to come up with some type of product line up that would make up each setting.

    How about some better info on Aduria & Thaele…….real details…how about the rest of the planets continents…..only Faerun got the full mock up, although even it lacked definition for what was on the other side of the Maztica continent.

    No TSR lacked leadership. Which is why when Gary came back from Hollywood, he found that his ex and some backers had seized control and shut him out……..

    So they didn't finish things, started too many projects, had a full run of changes in ownership, direction, and design and sold the whole thing to the highest bidder... WotC, a division of Hasbro.

    Later

    Last edited by Thelandrin; 10-17-2007 at 06:26 PM. Reason: Removed asterisks from company name.

  10. #50
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    If your talking planes then "the seeming" most closely resembles some of the effects in the plane of Limbo. Denizens are able to bend parts of their environment to their will and reality is what the strongest "will" chooses to exist.

    Glamour magic is what it is intended to reflect.

    It seems that what we are discussing follows the rules of the study of Literature or theology. What the author is trying to portray vs what the reader understands. Interpretation is possible but within certain limits before it becomes a completely inaccurate presentation.

    Ahh Postmodernity/ deconstructionism and D&D.

    Running a High magic Birthright campaign myself I do sympathise with may points that are being made but I don't view them as entirely in keeping with the BR canon.

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