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  1. #1

    BR Wiki and Player's Secrets

    I like BRWiki but I really miss reading the Player's Secrets-style format, where the realm's information is presented to the player as if he was a regent.

    Wish we could have more Player's Secrets-style downloads... Does anyone feel the same way?

  2. #2
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 12:06 AM 3/14/2008, Elijah wrote:

    >I like BRWiki but I really miss reading the Player`s Secrets-style
    >format, where the realm`s information is presented to the player as
    >if he was a regent.
    >
    >Wish we could have more Player`s Secrets-style downloads... Does
    >anyone feel the same way?

    I like the concept quite a bit. I`d even suggest it`s one of the BR
    techniques (in this case an admittedly minor example of BR`s
    innovation) that predated what would become 3e practises of
    addressing players directly in the 2nd person.

    However, I do think the technique was problematic because they didn`t
    just address the PSo text to the regent/PC/player, they also assumed
    that the regent in the original materials was dead or had moved on
    somehow, and the rationalizations for that were sometimes very
    strange. One of the most interesting aspects of BR is the cast of
    characters presented in the original materials. It always struck me
    as a bad idea to have a game supplement that is meant to contradict
    that and effectively neutralize the original regent.

    The ideal would be for there to be a PSo text for every BR realm. I
    could see PSo texts to describe even some of the non-landed regent
    domains. The Western Imperial Temple, for example, could have as
    much adventure/PC potential as many landed domains. Even those
    domains that are NPC realms could be described as PSo texts. If the
    "standard" of including materials to rationalize the transfer of the
    realm by eliminating the regent presented in the original materials
    were to be kept then effectively we`d get an awful lot of material
    that cancels out the core texts. That seems like an awful lot of
    effort to go to in texts that are supposed to be a more detailed
    examination of a domain.

    Of course, the idea was that one could simply ignore all that
    material and play the original regent if one wanted, but isn`t that
    always the case? Optional material can be altered with as much
    aplomb as the optional material changed the original stuff. Why
    include so much text under the assumption that it is a sort of
    optional, optional material? Later there are hints and tips based on
    those assumptions, and of course those hints and tips are optional
    too, so we wind up with optional, optional, optional
    material.... Shall we get into what that makes the players` and DM`s
    innovation in that context? It`s just goofy.

    Gary

  3. #3
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    We'd love to be able to put domains into a PS type of format. Some of the entries, like Danigau, are done that way, but that's a lot of content to be created and posted. We've taken the basic Ruins of Empire format and adapted it slightly to fit the organization of the PS. However, its much, much easier to full a Ruins of Empire description of a realm than it is to write a whole PS.

    Anyone can copy information from the various books up into the wiki: eastern Anuire, northern Rjurik, and most of Brectur, Khinasi, and Vosgard still need bsic entries. I don't think a single realm that has a PS, has all of that information posted. Danigau was created as a PS just prior the wiki got uploaded more or less as a PS to the wiki, so its probabaly the most complete realm description posted.

    The wiki is only as good as the BR community wants it to be. If you know someone who has created content, an NPC, a location, or something bigger, encourage them to post it, or ask them if you can post it. I'm sure we all realize that if the people currently using the boards posted one thing to the wiki per week, it would grow at a fantastic rate.

    Getting to PS sized content would be fantastic.

  4. #4
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    I can see the issue on removing the existing regent, and accept that some P's were very weak in that regard (PSoT anyone?) but if a player wants to 'stamp their mark' then it's quite likely that they want to play a character that they have made themselves.

    As someone who has tried to write a PS (about 1.5 done) I'd say it's a major learning process - but that it should be possible to write most of it neutral as regards who the regent is - a lot of the intrigue should be with the nobles, guilds, etc not just focusing on whoever is ruler. In fact writing in regards to the existing regent is probably easier for the most part as reactions will vary to the new regent depending heavily on who they are - put a full blooded human thief on the throne of Dhoesone and it becomes a very different land to if you put in an elven mage...

    That said I would agree with putting in a 'handover' for the introduction and the court advice simply as it is hard to spell things out so simply in terms of who is who and what is what - the existing regent would know it all already and it would be a foolish advisor to tell them such things. Not to mention the fact that the 'loss' of the existing regent lets the DM indicate what might come crawling out of the woodwork for potential newcomers.

  5. #5
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I thought the first PS, Roesone did it just fine by saying that if you play the regent, replace Marla with your own PC. Some of the PS' make such a focus on the disappearance or death of the previous regent that you rather wish they had more to say about the realm in other regards. A who's who can be done without introductions. I prefer to avoid single focus introductions and go with John Laerna is a good, wise steward/ John Laerna is a cruel, avaricious man who controls the king with lies.

  6. #6
    I thought the first PS, Roesone did it just fine by saying that if you play the regent, replace Marla with your own PC. Some of the PS' make such a focus on the disappearance or death of the previous regent that you rather wish they had more to say about the realm in other regards. A who's who can be done without introductions. I prefer to avoid single focus introductions and go with John Laerna is a good, wise steward/ John Laerna is a cruel, avaricious man who controls the king with lies.
    Word. If you're going to put origional characters in charge, chances are your DM allready has a plan of action. Considering the nature of the Wiki, I'd say assuming that the NPC regent is alive, with maybe a letter like the one in Daingau has, is your best bet.

    Speaking of PSes, is anyone working on Daikhar Zighun? Seems like an interesting place to develop, if only because it's a dwarf realm that actually has options outside of "Stand still, don't ask for help, fight endless hordes of orogs.".

  7. #7
    I think that the format of the PSs is that a new regent has become in charge, and the regent is given a briefing (i.e., the PS) on the state of the realm. This is not a huge problem to me. It's not as if, all of a sudden, all the regents in Cerilia have died. PSs are only given to players in a particular campaign and it's not as if you're running a campaign with hundreds of players all playing new regents! So the majority of the regents detailed in BR are still there and will serve as NPCs to the PCs.

    As for the transition from the old regent to the new, the transition can be smooth, i.e., just a simple, "the old fella died and now there's a new guy", or elaborate like Talinie. The PS is intended as a plot device and if succession can be made use of as an appropriate plot device, why not?

    I wrote the Rohrmarch PS in which I set the scene after a major battle in the civil war, which killed the two protagonists detailed in HotGB and set the player as the new regent, whose major task was now reconciliation and reconstruction. Of course, I could have set it another way, e.g., Alaric died but the player is Alaric's successor and the civil war continues. I just preferred the reconciliation and reconstruction plot line.

  8. #8
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    In my campaign in Stjordvik, the players never became king. Leaders in the realm (Eorl of Hollenvik, Marshal of Stjordvik, high ranking druid and skald in the Oaken Grove), but not king. We visited Hogunmark, Halskapa, Svinik, Rjuvik, Jankapining, Dhoesone, the Giantdowns, and Talinie, and didn't become king there either. So none of the replace the king material in the 4 published PS's would have been any good.

    What is a PS for? Certainly its for the realm that is the central playing area in the campaign, where someone may become king (why no provisions for becoming high priest or chief guilder though, if its so useful?). But aren't PS's also for the neighboring realm where you expect to have plenty of action, maybe some wars, plenty of diplomacy, and so on? Certainly no need for the new king deal there.

    My previous campaign took place in Baruk-Azhik, and the civil war in Rohrmarch was a central bit of constant action in the campaign. The Overthane wanted to stay out of it, but some of the players (especially a priest of Cuiraecen) and some NPC's who had not received offices, were interested in getting involved. I backed up the timeline and had the events which started the civil war take place just after the start of the campaign. If I were to write a PS of Rohrmarch, the king you replace is Wilhelm, just killed by the boar a day ago. Especially as a neighboring realm, a realm in collapse and civil war is a good source of action, adventure, and intrigue with opportunities for lots of combat, without the requirement of combat.

    So the way I see it, if someone, say Andrew, was going to put in a hundred hours of work on the wiki, would you rather have him detailing places, people, and situations, or writing those two or three letters at the beginning of a PS that introduces the realm and coming up with novel explanations of what happened to the previous regent? Given the number of realms that currently have no content, I'd want people, places, and situations. The question of replacing the old regent with a new regent should wait until most realms are pretty well described. Unless someone really likes to write that kind of thing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lawgiver's Avatar
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    How difficult would it be to convert the wiki content to a PDF that could be downloaded? Then you could have a reference tool to print/read with the core content of the realms in one resource rather than the separate modules.
    Servant of the Most High,
    Lawgiver

    Isaiah 1:17
    Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.

  10. #10
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    There are ways to make hyperlinked pdfs, but I suspect the editing would be something huge. Plus the wiki is pretty large. I know that I've accessed around a thousand pages, I probably average around two edits for each new page, so my pages alone probably number several hundred. Some pages are longer than a printed page, some are smaller, so the wiki is probabaly a several hundred page document under the best circumstances. Plus, its constantly changing. A printed version would miss all the edits and new pages.

    Its probably easier to print stuff off ad hoc as you need it.

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