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  1. #1

    Playing along the Tael Firth

    I'm trying to start a combo PBEM/FTF Birthright campaign, and I plan to use the Tael Firth as the starting grounds. All PCs are regents. I like the area because it is a good spot to combine the separate cultures of the Anuireans and the Rjurik. I had a couple questions:

    Would 2e or 3.5e work better, in your opinion?

    How do jarls affect the running of Rjurik domains?

    How have others run cross-cultural regions before?

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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    I always took the jarls of Stjordvik to be vassals. They pay tithes to the king but play important parts in the government of the kingdom. Inside their own province, they do what they like (within reason).

    If they want to interfere with the running of another province, they should be allowed to, but the king could deinvest them and pass the control of the province to someone-else. Of course, the king would need the approval of the government before that happened.

    Sorontar

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Everything depends on what you mean by running the domain. If you mean politics, I would certainly say yes.

    I ran a complete campaign on the Tael Firth, mostly around Stjordvik, Dhoesone, and Talinie.

    Contact zones are nice because it easily explains characters from both cultures, and creates reasons to visit back and forth.

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    Member rjurikwinds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas View Post
    I'm trying to start a combo PBEM/FTF Birthright campaign, and I plan to use the Tael Firth as the starting grounds. All PCs are regents. I like the area because it is a good spot to combine the separate cultures of the Anuireans and the Rjurik.
    Great! totally love the Taelfirth/Taelshore - I personally ran a PBEM (no tabletop though). Really kgauck is the foremost expert on this region/setting.

    Quote Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas View Post
    I had a couple questions:
    Would 2e or 3.5e work better, in your opinion?
    I'm partial, I prefer (and recommend) 2ed, mostly because it allows the DM to follow "printed material" without the risk of interpretation... i guess it might be somewhat "orthodox" .

    Quote Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas View Post
    How do jarls affect the running of Rjurik domains?
    I recommend treating Jarls as small holding rullers (King Rules the province, jarl handles local law/guild, much like a trader would have guilds in Anuirean realms). In a PBEM best is to have them NPC, and give them little involvement; perhaps similar to Anuirean "counts" that count no more than for roleplaying or to "occupy" an aspect of political life.

    Quote Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas View Post
    How have others run cross-cultural regions before?
    I usually run Rjurik-centered campaigns, but I use the threat of an "anuirean invasion" from Boeruine or Avanil, (or potential new trade routes with the same realms) as "random events" -- there is nothing as scary to a PC as a letter from Boeruine saying they are looking for an ally to reconquer the area to create a domain for a "bastard", or a loyal henchman!

    There is also the all-useful Rjuvik; as a former piracy-friendly realm it helps build "fronts" -- as do anti-Bloodskull-Thurazor alliances

    Cheers and good luck with the PBEM - I'm still not ready to relaunch mine...
    Last edited by rjurikwinds; 05-30-2009 at 02:28 AM.

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    The Anuirean invasion, of course, being provoked by the peace treaty between Rjurik realms that forces Rjuvik to raid south until Talinie begs Boeruine for aid...

    I'd consider sticking an island of the west coast to make another realm, or making a small 1-2 province realm surrounded by Thurazor and happy to trade north. Even if these realms were small they'd expand the number of players / main npc's.

    Jarls could vary from the regent's best lieutenants and generals, to his enemies actively seeking to take the throne. Ideally you'd have a balance between giving them enough power and respect to keep them sweet, and letting them get too much and seeing them get drunk on it (Stjordvik anyone?)

    In RW the White Witch was not known as an awnie by everyone, instead the white Queeen of Gandvick, though known to follow Kreisha (lady of winter to eri's lord of summer, two parts of the same cycle, etc, etc) and somewhat feared was not automatically an enemy. This of course let her be far more active that would otherwise be the case - Hogunmark even wound up looking like the aggressor in the war between them! We should have explained it better to new players but it still made the WW playable.

    The Siren similarly could either be thought of as a cursed scion, or as an ehrshegh rather than as an awnie - she's cute enough to pull off either. Otherwsie you are asking for Halskapa to march south and 'reclaim its ancient' provinces (ancient as in pre-empire!)

    The Barony is somewhat stuck, if you give it guild (slavers, loggers, miners, etc) then it has a bit more income, but basically it is at war with <everyone> - and will probably be crushed early as a result - think now about your rules on genocide...

    The Giantdowns would be a challenge as a player, either for the Watch or Ghuralli, but a few extra province levels could make all the difference.

    The elves are harder if you spread north at all, Llua is just plain invincible. Warding cast by a L18 wizard? No mortal can pass the mists and the elves could strike without warning at any time...

    I'd split it into traditional Llua and a smaller realm of young elves who want to try reaching out and forming alliances, the older elves know that it won't work, but don't mind 'the kids' playing for a decade or two if they grow out of it - learning by your own mistakes is afterall the best way to learn. Put the small realm in the south and it can ally with the dwarves of the northern downs, maybe the watch...

    Oh, and if you are planning to include Dhoesone, I've posted quite a lot on the wiki about it... I'd be interested in any comments.

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    Member rjurikwinds's Avatar
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    Rjurik is popular

    Yeah, I don't know if there was a poll done at one point, but I'm positive that after Anuire, the Rjurik Highlands would be the second most popular area...

    I do like your idea of moving play into the Firth; I'm re-looking into the geographics of things; Would you go down south as far as Cariele? and west as far as Boeruine?

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    Member Exile's Avatar
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    One major thing to watch out for with the jarls is the impact on the central king's income and troop-raising potential if the base rules are interpreted harshly: all those law holdings out of his hands can wreak merry havoc with his ability to tax, and can leave him with almost no ability to raise troops. By default, loyalty losses are enhanced if the taxing regent has no law at all in the province, and many of the Rjurik rulers only have a couple of law holdings to their name....

    In Rjurik Winds, NPC subordinate rulers were willing (and able) to use their law holdings to let their superiors raise taxes without sparking rebellions everywhere. This removed most of the temptation to divest them, and avoided some realms going near-instantly bankrupt.

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    If the Jarls refuse to contribute to tax collection they have a suicide wish. Its a rough world and jarls don't have the resources to defend themselves. It would be an usual situation that would lead a jarl to refuse this kind of cooperation. And it amounts to a breech of feudal duty, so they are liable to be ousted for doing so. Rebellion or near rebellion would be the only case this would be done.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by rjurikwinds View Post
    Yeah, I don't know if there was a poll done at one point, but I'm positive that after Anuire, the Rjurik Highlands would be the second most popular area...

    I do like your idea of moving play into the Firth; I'm re-looking into the geographics of things; Would you go down south as far as Cariele? and west as far as Boeruine?
    I figured I'd stop it at Talinie. Boeruine, the Five Peaks, Mhoried, Markazor, the Gorgon's Crown, the Giantdowns, the Realm of the White Witch, the Blood Skull Barony, and the Hjarring River make for very natural boundaries to the area, after which different interests take over.

    The playing area becomes the Siren's Realm, Halskapa, Svinik, Rjuvik, Stjordvik, Dhoesone, Cariele, Thurazor, Talinie, and possibly Tuarhievel. The big power in the area becomes the Oaken Grove of Erik. Storm Holtson and Banner Andien get access to their entire guilds. Sea travel dominates, in one of the few major bodies of water without an awnshegh.

    Now, just to get the players...

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