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  1. #1
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Improving domain interaction outside Anuire

    This goes for all domain-based games, both PbeM and PnP:

    In Anuire you have what is essentially a '3D' lattice of domains, with overlapping temple/guilds/mages to make it even more interconnected. Physical obstacles are relatively few, terrain is cleat and there is little in the way of massive Awnie realms blocking movement.

    Elsewhere (Rjurik, Brechtür, Vosgaard and Khinasi) this is not the case. Oh, there are some exception, of course, but largely the setup in clearly more '2D' - i.e. just look at the string of Rjurik realms, or the string of Brecht realms etc., cut of from other playable realms by massive physical barriers or awnie/nonhuman lands.

    This really doesn't add much to the game experience IMO and this might be part of the reason why Anuire is heavily favored when it comes to domain games.

    Can anything be done to remedy this? I'm looking for ideas here...

    Personally I've had success with the area centered on Rohrmarch before...but to make the area truly interesting you must set it us so that it's possible to interact with such places as Massenmarch, Kiergard, the Chimaeron etc.
    Cheers
    Bjørn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  2. #2
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    I'm tempted to think that you need to change the map...

    The Highlands can be merged to a degree if the Barony is smashed - but even then there is precious little common ground between the white witch and the taelshore unless one softens the white witch angle sharply. You could reshape the realms to make a realm along the hjarring I guess, but it would be horribly vulnerable to the barony - and protect everyone else...

    The Brecht depends I guess on ships - how much traffic do you get across the great bay? Would it be better with a proper realm swapped for the kraken's isle?

    The Vos suffer for lack of realms anyway, and less focus on guilds and sources wipes out 2 potential holding types to a degree.

    It all depend on things like realm size - you could keep the number of boundaries by making realms smaller in the highlands of perhaps vosgaard but that then leads to runaway states more easily - if the average is 3 or 4 provinces, the player who captures 1 or 2 more has a major advantage.

  3. #3
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I recommend not regarding some of the realms listed, such as Massenmarch, Kiergard, the Chimaeron, as effectively out of play. This continues some of the ideas in the Carilon Alam thread, but I would regard all of these as normal realms with mad rulers. PC realms can interact with officials, temporarily, before the mad ruler shifts policy, temporarily seizes direction of policy, or removes the NPC's the PC's had been dealing with. These realms become complicated spaces, but not out of bounds.

    As far as Rjurik, all of the Rjurik realms are adjacent and connected without any obstacles. The Blood Skull Barony separates only Stjordvik and Hugunmmark, though it is still easy enough to get between them. The Siren is on the margin, the White Witch is on the margin. Every proper Rjurik realm is adjacent to Jankapining except Stjordvik.

    True there are colonial realms, but these are adjacent to Brecht realms, and its the nature of colonies to be away from the home region.

    I think the premise of the Brecht and to a degree Khinasi is that they are seafaring people. So the ocean is a highway, not an obstacle.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    I recommend not regarding some of the realms listed, such as Massenmarch, Kiergard, the Chimaeron, as effectively out of play. This continues some of the ideas in the Carilon Alam thread, but I would regard all of these as normal realms with mad rulers. PC realms can interact with officials, temporarily, before the mad ruler shifts policy, temporarily seizes direction of policy, or removes the NPC's the PC's had been dealing with. These realms become complicated spaces, but not out of bounds.

    As far as Rjurik, all of the Rjurik realms are adjacent and connected without any obstacles. The Blood Skull Barony separates only Stjordvik and Hugunmmark, though it is still easy enough to get between them. The Siren is on the margin, the White Witch is on the margin. Every proper Rjurik realm is adjacent to Jankapining except Stjordvik.

    True there are colonial realms, but these are adjacent to Brecht realms, and its the nature of colonies to be away from the home region.

    I think the premise of the Brecht and to a degree Khinasi is that they are seafaring people. So the ocean is a highway, not an obstacle.
    I agree with Ken on this one with regards to Brecht. The Great Bay is one of the most attractive parts of the area and if you are running a campaign and not using the sea heavily then you are really missing out.

    Khanasi isn't so bad. Other than the large mountains dividing the land it is fairly connected.

    -BB

  5. #5
    As others have said, the Rjurik lands west from Stjordvik and Hogunmark form a good area for interaction. There are good external/awnshegh threats that threaten the area and a strong culture that binds people together. If you are interested, you can add Anuirean complications, either from Dhoesone, or from Boeruine/Talinie. Natural elements and weather can add another dimension that I've found is often overlooked in Anuirean games.

    I've also had a lot of fun in table-top games set in the Zhainge Valley and a few of the Plains States in Khinasi. There's some interesting cultural interactions with sidhe, awnshegh, Khinasi, vos, etc.

    I've generally found that while open areas of sea can add an interesting dimension to play, they do tend to reduce the frequency and intensity of regent interaction compared to, say, the Anuirean Heartlands.

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    I agree with Kenneth too.

    But I think that you are missing something here.

    Part of the "reason" for the physical map difference is the reason that the Anuireans settled where they did. Of all of the human cultures they are the ones that rely on farming and livestock to the point of "clearing" the forest. Remember that they were the ones who essentially moved the elves out of the way in the first place with their land clearing (thus leading to the "war").

    Also the Anuirean culture is one of more diversity than the others are. What I mean by this is that they embraced the pantheon type of deity worship to a much greater extent than did any of the other cultures (hence the greater diversity in temple holdings there).

    And as others have stated do not underestimate the seas as a highway for seafaring cultures.
    Duane Eggert

  7. #7
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    I agree with Kenneth too.

    But I think that you are missing something here.

    Part of the "reason" for the physical map difference is the reason that the Anuireans settled where they did. Of all of the human cultures they are the ones that rely on farming and livestock to the point of "clearing" the forest. Remember that they were the ones who essentially moved the elves out of the way in the first place with their land clearing (thus leading to the "war").

    Also the Anuirean culture is one of more diversity than the others are. What I mean by this is that they embraced the pantheon type of deity worship to a much greater extent than did any of the other cultures (hence the greater diversity in temple holdings there).

    And as others have stated do not underestimate the seas as a highway for seafaring cultures.
    That may well be - but that's not the point here - I'm just looking for way to enhance interaction, not explain why it's not there in the first place.

    Sea-as-highway does have strong merits, IMO especially areound the Thaelshore, Great Bay, Straits of Aerele/Gulf of Coerany and Island States/Plains States.

    Toning down the 'monster' part of awnie realms and making the interactive political entries is also very valid.
    Cheers
    Bjørn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  8. #8
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    A few islands off the coasts are always another easy fix, albeit a breakable one. As is simply having a big bad awnie abruptly die and leave its realm fractious.

    That said some awnies, like the basilisk, are simply the equivalent of a natural barrier - remove them and you are left with a void not a potential trading partner / conquest.

  9. #9
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Knight View Post
    That may well be - but that's not the point here - I'm just looking for way to enhance interaction, not explain why it's not there in the first place.
    Well short of "reinventing" the cultures you have to go with the social issues.

    Now if you just want to use the maps and domain actions of the BR system and ignore all of the cultural aspects then you can pretty much do what you wish to without worrying about maintaining the essence of the setting itself.
    Duane Eggert

  10. #10
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    A few islands off the coasts are always another easy fix, albeit a breakable one. As is simply having a big bad awnie abruptly die and leave its realm fractious.

    That said some awnies, like the basilisk, are simply the equivalent of a natural barrier - remove them and you are left with a void not a potential trading partner / conquest.
    Take the Basilisk - there used to be a realm in that area before, a proper one. Now, what if that realm was restored and the awnie killed in the process? This is not an instant fix, as the new realm will need time to grow, but it also opens up interesting political options for neighbors - will they leave it alone or interfere? Could change the dynamics of an entire region.

    It works only so many times before the idea becomes stale, but its an option. I've had both the Chimaera and the Basilisk (!) killed of in this fashion...the destruction of the Chimaera will hopefully turn Coeranys into a more central location, since it can now interact more freely not only with the Chimaeron but also with Rohrmarch, Kierdard, Sendoure etc.

    Ridding the land of even a small awnie like the Basilisk, purifying the land and ruling a small realm out of the wasteland could be the basis of a very nice adventure-style play turns into domain-style play.
    Cheers
    Bjørn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

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