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  1. #1

    Looking for help with Domain/Realm play examples

    Greetings!

    This may sound a tad strange, but I've had and adored the Birthright setting for years, gathering a passable collection for it (of which, I've lost a lot of in many moves), but yet..
    I've never actually gotten to play it. Not in any way.

    Currently, I'm working on a game for an entirely different system and setting, and I've got this silly notion to have the major kingdoms, the ones at least not totally directly tied to the main of the plot, run by people not involved in the game.. sort of tossing a strategic pbem in between the weekly tabletop sessions, so the world itself rolls right along in an organic and living way. Just because your not stomping your adventurers through an area shouldn't mean it does nothing, after all.
    The idea I had in mind was that I was going to model rules for handling it on the birthright domain/realm bits. And as interesting as they are, a small problem has come up..
    I've never gotten to try them. I've never used them. Despite the fact that I've read 'em back and forth numerous times, I've no real experience with them..

    So what I'm wondering is if there's anyone that would be interested in running example pieces of purely domain stuff, to show me how it works -in use-, and under the assumption that I've never played and know nothing, since that's semi-true. As it is, I'm not confident enough to put my local player base to this task yet, since I'd be the one teaching them.

    - Shirra

  2. #2
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    One way of learning how the system works in practice is to join a PBEM - you can pick up the rules as you go along that way and generally a number of people will be happy to help out if you have any difficulties.

    BR.net has a conversion to 3.5e - BRCS, which can easily be found on the wiki together with links to explanations, examples, etc.

    Other people use different conversions to 3e - I'm just starting to pick up GreenKnight's conversion for example.

    One issue you will find if playing out domain play is that planning moves ahead is nigh on impossible - there are too many other factions who will make you change your plans.

    Another is that the mechanics are designed to be constrained by the role-playing rather than being a sustainable system in themselves - breaking the system is not difficult for a group of players.

    Do you just want a general guide, or are specific areas getting to you?

    I'm guessing that if the PCs won't be regents, then the domain play should mostly be used to reflect how the world around them changes, estimate relative power of NPCs, and generate adventure ideas. That reduces the complexity a lot as any tangles can get solved by fiat. I tried to create some adventure seeds from the domain play system - look on the wiki under house rules and you'll see my page on random events which tries to create an example adventure seed for every random event.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    One way of learning how the system works in practice is to join a PBEM - you can pick up the rules as you go along that way and generally a number of people will be happy to help out if you have any difficulties.

    BR.net has a conversion to 3.5e - BRCS, which can easily be found on the wiki together with links to explanations, examples, etc.

    Other people use different conversions to 3e - I'm just starting to pick up GreenKnight's conversion for example.
    Well, actually.. I'm going to be converting it very basically and loosely into GURPS. Most of it pulling straight, rule for rule, with just enough conversion to make it accessable. But that's not really important as of the moment.. trying out the normal domain play from several little stand points is.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    One issue you will find if playing out domain play is that planning moves ahead is nigh on impossible - there are too many other factions who will make you change your plans.

    Another is that the mechanics are designed to be constrained by the role-playing rather than being a sustainable system in themselves - breaking the system is not difficult for a group of players.
    Again, not so much of a worry, as this is mostly going to be a tool to easily guide my non-group of 'world leaders' to taking and resolving actions smoothly, more than it will be for players to be involved in.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    Do you just want a general guide, or are specific areas getting to you?

    I'm guessing that if the PCs won't be regents, then the domain play should mostly be used to reflect how the world around them changes, estimate relative power of NPCs, and generate adventure ideas. That reduces the complexity a lot as any tangles can get solved by fiat. I tried to create some adventure seeds from the domain play system - look on the wiki under house rules and you'll see my page on random events which tries to create an example adventure seed for every random event.
    The main thing is that I need to set up a few realms from scratch first watching someone else do it, then with the someone watching how I do it, to find what I might have missed.. Then I need to actually quickly churn through a dozen or more turns with the created realm.. then do it all over again. I need to get a -feel- of it in use. A PBeM is likely to saddle me with a campaign and roleplaying which, while I normally would want if I was playing, I -don't- want for just trying to learn the basics of the domain / strategy game side of Birthright.

    - Shirra

  4. #4
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShirraWhitefur View Post
    I'm going to be converting it very basically and loosely into GURPS. Most of it pulling straight, rule for rule, with just enough conversion to make it accessable.
    Excellent! I always like to hear about non-D&D conversions. Please post the results here when you're done, even if you're not happy with them -- they can always be used as a starting point (or at worst, a warning to) others. =)

    Quote Originally Posted by ShirraWhitefur View Post
    The main thing is that I need to set up a few realms from scratch first watching someone else do it, then with the someone watching how I do it, to find what I might have missed.
    Have you looked into the 1997 computer game, "Birthright: The Gorgon's Alliance"? Some of the rules interpretations are rather odd (war and trade in particular), but it does give a good feel for how the domain rules play as a pure wargame. They made a good stab at systematizing diplomacy, for which the original rules provide no guidance at all, which is a good starting point for DMs who want to arrange deals between NPC realms. I've seen it (or at least its demo) on a couple of free download sites, and there are always a bunch of used ones on amazon or ebay for about $15.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShirraWhitefur View Post
    Then I need to actually quickly churn through a dozen or more turns with the created realm.. then do it all over again. I need to get a -feel- of it in use. A PBeM is likely to saddle me with a campaign and roleplaying which, while I normally would want if I was playing, I -don't- want for just trying to learn the basics of the domain / strategy game side of Birthright.
    Huzzah! A pure rulership wargame discussion! We've tried to have those here very very rarely, but they tend to both draw little participation and get sidetracked into silly semantic arguments about certain words in the rulebook. I would be delighted to try to start another, though.

    The first thing to note is that nearly all realms described in the books are extremely weak. The immediate, urgent need for every one of them -- the major villains included! -- is to rule everything up enough to support a decent economy in order to afford a reasonable army. The number one path to money is trade routes -- so much so that many house rules are designed to limit them. In the computer game, every realm starts out limited mostly by cash flow problems; however, once you have all your provinces ruled up to level 4 with a small guild holding in each supporting two trade routes, money will never be a problem again. Of course, if every realm does that, armies tend to get very large indeed, which is one of the things that people feel the need to limit in other ways...

  5. #5
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Hmm, you could try reading an old PBEM forum, but I doubt it would give you enough detail on the actions undertaken. I could send you my domain summary from Rjurik Winds if you like - a dozen turns, but only from the perspective of one domain.

    Otherwise you could try the old computer game, it won't give you the player vs player interaction but is a very quick way of looking at the domain action system from a single player perspective.

    From the sound of it though all you need to do is tack a domain system on to GURPs, the key point then is how you sort out bloodline and regency collection - presumably all the GB stuff will stay the same. One easy way is to say that everyone can get full RP collection from provinces and one other holding type, or get half RP from two (to keep it simple).

    As long as the GB and RP income is the same the system itself should balance for GURPS as much as it does for DnD - so the testing should be limited to the bloodline system. I'd suggest limiting ruling provinces, and try to discourage war though diplomacy of other realms but otherwise the only way to see if it works is try it and fix it as necessary. Good luck

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ryancaveney View Post
    Excellent! I always like to hear about non-D&D conversions. Please post the results here when you're done, even if you're not happy with them -- they can always be used as a starting point (or at worst, a warning to) others. =)
    Well, it's far from pretty or done. I'm probably going to be lopping off the wargame part and working on a different aspect for that, by the time I'm done. I'm still trying to decide if I -really- want the headache of probability alteration that comes from going from a d20 to 3d6 for the regency actions.. I'm leaning towards 'not' and telling the gurps players to just cope for my sanity.

    Quote Originally Posted by ryancaveney View Post
    Have you looked into the 1997 computer game, "Birthright: The Gorgon's Alliance"? Some of the rules interpretations are rather odd (war and trade in particular), but it does give a good feel for how the domain rules play as a pure wargame. They made a good stab at systematizing diplomacy, for which the original rules provide no guidance at all, which is a good starting point for DMs who want to arrange deals between NPC realms. I've seen it (or at least its demo) on a couple of free download sites, and there are always a bunch of used ones on amazon or ebay for about $15.
    I've been hunting lazily for it for a while.. but I always forget to do so when I have any cash on hand. I figured it'd make a good starting point for getting an idea of how things flow, but the opportunity hasn't presented itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by ryancaveney View Post
    Huzzah! A pure rulership wargame discussion! We've tried to have those here very very rarely, but they tend to both draw little participation and get sidetracked into silly semantic arguments about certain words in the rulebook. I would be delighted to try to start another, though.

    The first thing to note is that nearly all realms described in the books are extremely weak. The immediate, urgent need for every one of them -- the major villains included! -- is to rule everything up enough to support a decent economy in order to afford a reasonable army. The number one path to money is trade routes -- so much so that many house rules are designed to limit them. In the computer game, every realm starts out limited mostly by cash flow problems; however, once you have all your provinces ruled up to level 4 with a small guild holding in each supporting two trade routes, money will never be a problem again. Of course, if every realm does that, armies tend to get very large indeed, which is one of the things that people feel the need to limit in other ways...
    Well, if you've got the wild urge to perhaps sit down with me on a messenger other slightly more actively responsive tool than a forum and help me set up and run a dozen turns with one set of things, a dozen with another.. I sure wouldn't mind the aide of someone who knows what they're dealing with!

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    Hmm, you could try reading an old PBEM forum, but I doubt it would give you enough detail on the actions undertaken. I could send you my domain summary from Rjurik Winds if you like - a dozen turns, but only from the perspective of one domain.
    Actually, the domain summary does sound useful. It's more information than I would have had before!

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    From the sound of it though all you need to do is tack a domain system on to GURPs, the key point then is how you sort out bloodline and regency collection - presumably all the GB stuff will stay the same. One easy way is to say that everyone can get full RP collection from provinces and one other holding type, or get half RP from two (to keep it simple).
    Well, at the moment, I'm trying to determine how to make Bloodline points fully useful in Gurps, without breaking things. Without that, then RP doesn't have it's full value and merit, as it looked from reading that using RP was a balance between 'getting the job done' and 'keeping enough to advance your bloodline'. As for what people get RP from, I dug through the class templates I've seen and thought of for the base four classes (warrior/wizard/priest/rogue), and grabbed a few skills for each out of the myriad ones for gurps. To be able to tag yourself as the class for the 'perks' it gets, you need basic skill levels in a few matching skills.. and to get 'multiclass' effect, you need higher levels of skill in both matching skillsets. For those that just have a lot of basics, I'll let 'em pick, which'll hold true from there out till they put together more points and buy things up. It's messy, but something I'll poke at later, after I get more ideas.

    But still, it boils down now to finding people to run tests and example ideas with me of normal birthright. Then I can worry about the rest of the stuff, heh. Lets just pretend I haven't been using this as a wee bit of an excuse to delay working really hard on my own campaign world properly. ^_^

    - Shirra
    Last edited by Sorontar; 01-05-2009 at 12:28 AM. Reason: fixing quotes

  7. #7
    ------------
    Quote Originally Posted by ryancaveney View Post
    Excellent! I always like to hear about non-D&D conversions. Please post the results here when you're done, even if you're not happy with them -- they can always be used as a starting point (or at worst, a warning to) others. =)
    ------------

    Well, it's far from pretty or done. I'm probably going to be lopping off the wargame part and working on a different aspect for that, by the time I'm done.
    I'm still trying to decide if I -really- want the headache of probability alteration that comes from going from a d20 to 3d6 for the regency actions.. I'm leaning towards 'not' and telling the gurps players to just cope for my sanity.

    ------------
    Quote Originally Posted by ryancaveney View Post
    Have you looked into the 1997 computer game, "Birthright: The Gorgon's Alliance"? Some of the rules interpretations are rather odd (war and trade in particular), but it does give a good feel for how the domain rules play as a pure wargame. They made a good stab at systematizing diplomacy, for which the original rules provide no guidance at all, which is a good starting point for DMs who want to arrange deals between NPC realms. I've seen it (or at least its demo) on a couple of free download sites, and there are always a bunch of used ones on amazon or ebay for about $15.
    ------------

    I've been hunting lazily for it for a while.. but I always forget to do so when I have any cash on hand. I figured it'd make a good starting point for getting
    an idea of how things flow, but the opportunity hasn't presented itself.

    ------------
    Quote Originally Posted by ryancaveney View Post
    Huzzah! A pure rulership wargame discussion! We've tried to have those here very very rarely, but they tend to both draw little participation and get sidetracked into silly semantic arguments about certain words in the rulebook. I would be delighted to try to start another, though.
    The first thing to note is that nearly all realms described in the books are extremely weak. The immediate, urgent need for every one of them -- the major villains included! -- is to rule everything up enough to support a decent economy in order to afford a reasonable army. The number one path to money is trade routes -- so much so that many house rules are designed to limit them. In the computer game, every realm starts out limited mostly by cash flow problems; however, once you have all your provinces ruled up to level 4 with a small guild holding in each supporting two trade routes, money will never be a problem again. Of course, if every realm does that, armies tend to get very large indeed, which is one of the things that people feel the need to limit in other ways...
    ------------

    Well, if you've got the wild urge to perhaps sit down with me on a messenger other slightly more actively responsive tool than a forum and help me set up and run a dozen turns with one set of things, a dozen with another.. I sure wouldn't mind the aide of someone who knows what they're dealing with!

    ------------
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    Hmm, you could try reading an old PBEM forum, but I doubt it would give you enough detail on the actions undertaken. I could send you my domain summary from Rjurik Winds if you like - a dozen turns, but only from the perspective of one domain.
    ------------

    Actually, the domain summary does sound useful. It's more information than I would have had before!

    ------------
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    From the sound of it though all you need to do is tack a domain system on to GURPs, the key point then is how you sort out bloodline and regency collection - presumably all the GB stuff will stay the same. One easy way is to say that everyone can get full RP collection from provinces and one other holding type, or get half RP from two (to keep it simple).
    ------------

    Well, at the moment, I'm trying to determine how to make Bloodline points fully useful in Gurps, without breaking things. Without that, then RP doesn't have it's full value and merit, as it looked from reading that using RP was a balance between 'getting the job done' and 'keeping enough to advance your bloodline'.

    As for what people get RP from, I dug through the class templates I've seen and thought of for the base four classes (warrior/wizard/priest/rogue), and grabbed a few skills for each out of the myriad ones for gurps. To be able to tag yourself as the class for the 'perks' it gets, you need basic skill levels in a few matching skills.. and to get 'multiclass' effect, you need higher levels of skill in both matching skillsets. For those that just have a lot of basics, I'll let 'em pick, which'll hold true from there out till they put together more points and buy things up. It's messy, but something I'll poke at later, after I get more ideas.

    But still, it boils down now to finding people to run tests and example ideas with me of normal birthright. Then I can worry about the rest of the stuff, heh. Lets just pretend I haven't been using this as a wee bit of an excuse to delay working really hard on my own campaign world properly. ^_^

    - Shirra

    (And pardon the mess, the qoute function borked on me earlier..)
    Last edited by Sorontar; 01-05-2009 at 12:28 AM. Reason: fixing quotes

  8. #8
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Eden Press' Fields of Blood has a pretty good domain system that is not at all tied into bloodline or anything like that - its all gold based.
    Duane Eggert

  9. #9
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShirraWhitefur View Post
    Actually, the domain summary does sound useful. It's more information than I would have had before!
    PM me your email address or mail me at abotall@yahoo.co.uk and I'll mail it to you - its a word doc so should be easy to send.

  10. #10
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShirraWhitefur View Post
    (And pardon the mess, the qoute function borked on me earlier..)
    A simple typo. Your message is full of "qoute" instead of "quote". Prevented the code from being read correctly.

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