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  1. #1
    Member Arentak's Avatar
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    Class vs Skills for regency

    In the original Birthright rules, the vast majority of rulers were fighters.

    In the dark and middle ages, the vast majority of rulers were fighters.

    Going to a skills-based system as the community choose to do in 3.5 resulted in fighters being a poor choice as regents compared to Nobles or maybe even Rogues.

    I believe a class-based system restores the balance to fighters, a generally low-skill class. I believe the balance should favor fighters so as to reflect the Birthright setting as officially published and what we know of medieval history.

    (Fighter is an inclusive term to represent strong guys in heavy armor who boss others around through force of arms)

  2. #2
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arentak View Post
    In the original Birthright rules, the vast majority of rulers were fighters.
    IMO, that's only because they hadn't yet invented the Aristocrat class. "Fighter" is mostly about one-on-one gladiatorial combat, somewhat less about mass military warfare, and almost not at all related to running a country.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arentak View Post
    (Fighter is an inclusive term to represent strong guys in heavy armor who boss others around through force of arms)
    Birthright regents should be charismatic, strongwilled and clever people in expensive fancy clothes who boss others around through force of personality, family history, and diplomatic connections to other powerful people. In Anuire and Vosgaard, at least, most of them are also heavily armored bruisers, but they have lackeys to do most of their actual bruising for them. Even among Vos and goblins, rulership is about delegation of power -- convince them you could beat them up, then send them out to do your bidding while keeping that image in their heads, and you can get them to beat up other people for you, which is ever so much more efficient. Brecht, Khinasi and Sidhelien rulers, by contrast, are largely *not* do-it-yourself hand-to-hand types.

  3. #3
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I don't even think Anuireans are really all that fighterly. They seem more like Haelyn, the commander of men, rather than Cuiraecen, the lover of battle. I think some of them have enough levels in Fighter not to fall off their horses, the rest don't even bother.

    As for historical nobles;
    In the Migration Period of the Dark Ages, tribes are lead by battle chiefs. As these people settle down and become nobles, they put away the swords and get fat and happy. Neither the Merovingian nor the Carolingian noble was a warrior. These men were closest to what we would call administrators. With the invention of the knight c. 1000 AD, the noble class starts taking on more and more of the show of chivalry and knighthood. This picks up when knightly orders are co-opted by royals to serve as instruments of loyalty to the crown rather than the Crusades. By the late middle ages, the noble class is somewhat definitionally a fighting class, but its really one way to display nobility and still a lot of people claiming a profession very few actually engage in. Being dubbed a knight happened younger and younger for nobles, until boys are being knighted as soon as they can walk instead of toddle.

    The excellent book Strong of Body, Brave and Noble: Chivalry and Society in Medieval France by Constance Brittain Bouchard examines this topic and finds that only three characteristics are claimed by nobles across medieval time and European space: wealth, power, and noble ancestors.

  4. #4
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    If you wanted to make fighters adequate regents you'd just give them reasonable intelligence to reflect the fact that they are a thinker-warrior not a follower-warrior.

    It doesn't take many skills to rule provinces or law - indeed the brcs I think makes ruling guilds so hard purely because it wanted to keep them for guild rulers.

    Ideally you'd have 1 generic rulership skill (administration) and then 1 skill per type of domain - province, law, manor, temple, guild, trade, etc to reflect the specific knowledge required. Whether you have 1 or 2 skills for sources being preference - I can't see them needing administration...

    The aim behind a skill based system in my view merely being to both allow people who want to be top administrators to do so (at the expense of being helpless out of the office and in the field) and preventing people from being ubers who are great in the field and in the office.

    While originally against the idea of following class (about the only alternative in 2e) the other way for 3 or 4e rather than skills is just to grant full RP based on class, or full RP for province+1 type of holding chosen, or full RP full stop - whatever fits your game.

  5. #5
    Remember that Classes now are way fuzzier regarding the characters profession or interest. A Fighter is defined by its role in the battle and the exploits he has learned how to use. He can be a perfect mechant and manage Guild domains smoothly, just as a Wizard can learn about armed foces and lawwkeeping to manage Law domains. The “Martial  Law” / “Arcane  Source” approach constraints player options a lot, since there is no more free multiclassing.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Pabloj View Post
    Remember that Classes now are way fuzzier regarding the characters profession or interest. A Fighter is defined by its role in the battle and the exploits he has learned how to use. He can be a perfect mechant and manage Guild domains smoothly, just as a Wizard can learn about armed foces and lawwkeeping to manage Law domains. The “Martial  Law” / “Arcane  Source” approach constraints player options a lot, since there is no more free multiclassing.
    It is my belief that we should forget that the 3.x birthright ever existed and build from 2e. 2e didn't have free multiclassing either but it RP was based on domain power or bloodline power whatever was lower. I am using the 2e version for most things except Domain Actions since the only ones that are written up that players can have easy access to are the 3.x ones. I just ignore the ones that are connected to skills though I do follow the 4e style of one half level modifiers plus bloodline mod score then the players just spend RP for additional bonuses.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dundjinnmasta View Post
    It is my belief that we should forget that the 3.x birthright ever existed and build from 2e.
    I think this is too radical. Im sure the tons of effort that was put to bring BR to 3x should not be wasted and will certainly help to make this updating to 4th ed even better. But I agree we should go back to 2nd Ed for inspiration and building anew, rather than forcing something to go to 4th ed that was already converted from 2nd Ed.

  8. #8
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Moving back from skills base to class based would in my view be an error - frankly, why assume that the two are linked at all? 2e was limited by proficiency slots so couldn't use those, class was all that was left...

    A better way, if you want to keep it simple would be full regency from two holding types, or full from 1 and half from another, etc - quick, easy, and your fighter or mage can be a ruler (province+law), master merchant (guild+law) or so on easily whichever fits them.

    The BRCS conversion actually stuck very closely to 2e - look at the choice of skills for each holding type and consider the usual skills chosen by each class - they match very closely to the arch-type class RP gains in 2e even on 2 skill points a level.

    A Fighter needs diplomacy+lead+warcraft to be the 'perfect' ruler - that's just 2 skill points so any fighter with int 12 could max out, and most 'leader' type warriors will take leadership anyway.

    Similarly for priests (knowledge religion and lead for temple holdings, diplomacy+warcraft for law) - not quite as good at being province ruler as a fighter, but int 14 cancels it out - and 14 int is hardly amazing for a priest! Again, knowledge religion, diplomacy, leadership - fairly obvious priestly skills.

    Mages? Knowledge arcana and knowledge nature - the first is likely maxed out by most wizards anyway and the second fairly in keeping for wizards in BR.

    In fact only guild holdings were hard for a fighter/priest/mage to rule - leaving them for the rogues - exactly as in 2e.

    So pretty much you had exactly the distribution as before, the only real difference being that very low level regents were outclassed in RP collection, since BR tops out at L8-12 the RP top-out at as low as L7 is irrelevant.

    If building from scratch? I'd prefer skills as that allows people to go tall or broad as they please, but have a gestalt class approach - easily recognised mechanic, flexible approach. By making it gestalt with no cross-over it becomes completely separate so should be easier to maintain.

  9. #9
    Frankly I don't think it is an error. 2e Domain System did not connect to anything from the character except for Bloodline and class if you were building your own domain from the beginning. It seems quite enough for me to make it cheaper for certain classes to during their domain creation phase then force new skills into a system and then force characters to make choices between Domain level skills and Character level skills which is completely contary to 2e Birthright as Regents are suppose to be effective adventurers but now you are forcing some seperation by making them lean points towards ruling their domains.

    I considered building a domain action system similiar to the Alchemy/Ritual system where each action does draw from a certain skill but I certain don't think that any new skills should be added to the domain level nor do I think that RP collection should be based off more then the Domain/Bloodline system.

    Ultimately I don't think connecting the Domain System to the Skill System is the best idea. This is why I have also decided to use the Bloodline Modifier + One-half Level which is standard for 4e and makes sense that the realm/land will respond more favorably to the higher bloodline and higher influence of the ruler. Then you just spend your influence (Regency) to add more modifiers to your rules as the land/realm further response to you.

  10. #10
    I think the skills worked well for 3.5 edition. There is no doubt. With the mixing of classes it was simply the best option.

    In 4th edition, I think linking classes to domains make sense. Many feel that adding an entire layer to the system for domain makes sense ... personally I like to link them as much as possible.

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