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Thread: Thrallherds?

  1. #1

    Thrallherds?

    Heya. I have a few questions. Me and a few players of mine have been meaning to play a birthright campaign for years - we liked the idea of having them be (either kings, guildleaders, or other important figures with access to power and armies) - but before we found the updated 3.5 Birthright rules, the actual mechanics of having armies was too complicated in vanilla 3e.

    Problem solved!


    That being said, I have a few questions.

    1. One of my players wants to know if he can play a thrallherd. http://www.birthright.net/brwiki/ind...restige_Class))

    I have no inherent problem with the class in vanilla 3e (I like them) - but I have //no idea// how they would be balanced for the sake of Birthright. Any suggestions?


    2. Do you have any advice for how to start this? There isn't any real guide to character creation in the terms of realms. I'll probably start them at (level 5 or 7); and while I'd like to see them be able to raise and rule armies (even being Kings could be cool) - I can't imagine how in the world (or why) various province rulers would ever get together to adventure. Moreover, while I have found many beautiful maps on the downloads section, when actually looking at the wiki to see (what the 'official' stuff accompanying those maps are) - it seems a rather lot to take in.
    Last edited by lastofthelight; 06-22-2009 at 05:04 PM. Reason: fixed url

  2. #2
    Senior Member The Swordgaunt's Avatar
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    I'll adress your second issue.

    You should consider starting your characters at a lower level, say 1st or 2nd, for several reasons. Two good reasons for this are: BRCS is tooled as a low- to mid-level setting, so much of the material you'll find is balanced to fit that level of play. Also, starting at low levels, players will have more of an incentive to ally, or band up.

    A good way to start play, especially if both players and GM are unfamiliar with the world is to start with a level or two of adventuring before regency is aquired. This approach lets you walk around in the world and get a little bit familiar with it before you dive into it. You can also introduce plot-hooks and NPC's that will feature in the rest of the campaign. This should also tie your group together.

    Another way to both give your group a common goal and to lessen the workload of getting familiar with all the machinations and intrigues of Cerillia is to pick one realm. Have the players run the various holdings in that realm, Law, Source, Guild and Temple. I believe this model is described as Council-style play in the rules, but I might be mistaken.

    One more thing. The setting is not one of allmight kings in their Ivory Towers, but one of Heroes, leading their realm in the face of adventure and adversity. A classic example of a Birthright scenario is "The Marauding Monster". The Regent recieves word of a monster terrorizing the villagers in one of his provinces, and from there it is up to you and your players how it plays out. And there is always the evil neighbouring ruler who covets their land/guild/temple/source/all of the above.

    Welcome to a brilliant setting, and I hope you will have heaps of fun!
    -Harald

    Today, we were kidnapped by hill folk never to be seen again. It was the best day ever.

    Blog

  3. #3
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    At adventure level you should be balanced already, so your issue is what you do at domain level, how you fit psionics into the setting (i.e. is it seen as priestly (good) magic or wizardly (elven, evil) magic?

    The domain most appropriate to a domineering mind-game specialist is probably temple, but some people like those to be 'holy' to some degree, so you might consider guilds instead as the natural domain for the player - or if you want to use the brcs 3.5 skill approach just make sure that the thrall herd has a chance of getting a handle on one of the necessary skills to have some chance of ruling a domain.

    In terms of play I'd recommend starting at lower level, apart from anything else it keeps the game simpler. Then build up to add in the domain system slowly once the players are happy with the setting - just let them know what's coming so they have a chance to mull it over - foreshadow their rising rank within the various organisations, their position as heir, the fame they gain through heroics that make them a court favourite, etc.

    I'd use the domain system as a back drop for adventures - the local guild wants to build a road, the PC's clear out the bridge trolls and convince the townsfolk to turn out to help; the prince wants a new fort, the PC's scout out locations, clear the ghosts out of the ruins, defend the workers, etc, etc. I did some random event bits for the wiki (look in the house rules section or under my username page) with suggestions of domain level events which could be used as adventure hooks.

    Hmm, your pc, the great captain...

  4. #4
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    Just to emphasis one of Andrew's points.... the original Birthright and the D20 BRCS are not designed with psionics in mind. Therefore, there are no "official" rules on how a psionic regent should rule, what domain-based powers they would have and what holdings they can control. Likewise, there aren't any Gods of Psionics (that I know of).

    However, that isn't to say that it can't be done. I suggest you use the search box to hunt through the forum archives and see what has previously been discussed as well as asking here.

    Good luck.

    Sorontar

  5. #5
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    I wouldn't do it.

    2nd ed recommended not incorporating psionics into the setting and so does the BRCS.

    Psionics is just too powerful in a setting where magic is very, very specific and limited.

    The deities are very specific in their influence of clerics (and all clerics have deities), all paladins must follow a deity and all druids are clerics of eric.

    Arcane magic is extremely limited. In order to cast any major arcane spells you must be blooded or of elven blood. Bards and magicians are the only arcane casters open to non-blooded, non-elven characters.

    Psionics by its very nature has none of this limiters. So I would never introduce psionics into a BR setting game.
    Duane Eggert

  6. #6
    Senior Member The Swordgaunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    I wouldn't do it.
    Seconded. With few exeptions, every time I've seen it done, it has unbalanced the setting.

    I just read the Thrallherd description, and I would not use it in BR, perhaps with the exeption of as main antagonist.
    -Harald

    Today, we were kidnapped by hill folk never to be seen again. It was the best day ever.

    Blog

  7. #7
    Ehrshegh of Spelling Thelandrin's Avatar
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    Well, obviously, psionics would need to have some sort of limiting power placed upon it to fit into Cerilia. An awnshegh of mine, the Mind Flayer, was a Khinasi noble captured and tortured by the Magian and experimented upon, which gave him an Azrai bloodline and power to charm the weak-willed and dominate the unwary, as the Great Corrupter would want.

    If you limit it to those with divine bloodlines only (never Anduiras) and say that it follows all the same social stigma as enchantment, you will probably get on fine. As elemental/earthen creatures, I would doubt that Sidhelien or Karamhul would ever be psionic, though blooded Shadow Halflings may well have picked up a portion of Azrai's seductive power.

    Ius Hibernicum, in nomine juris. Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

  8. #8
    Thanks guys. I'll take your advice into consideration. The thrallherd thing is basically solved now, and I'll probably start them at a lower level. However, I'm just as worried if not more about the other problem - which I've since noticed has gotten more complex.

    For instance, while the BRCS 3.5 is very well done and extensive, and I have found (one or two) adventures on the wiki, I'm wondering - when we do get to the Regant scale - well, I'll need to know what some of these provinces are like. I tried searching for this "atlas" I heard about in a few older posts, but apparently its a dead project.

    Is there any sort of...list of provinces with the important information for each of the domains/provinces? Or do I need to actually go back and (I can) download the 2.0 information for this? If I do so, how much of it overlaps?
    I found some sample domain sheets on the downloads page, but there is nothing in the (3.5) campaign book, so I'm not really sure...exactly whats necessary for me to develop.

    You guys suggest using the Domain system as a backdrop for other adventures, and don't reccomend letting it become a focus. But I'm pretty darn sure my players are going to try and use the first domain they get ahold on to...err, expand. Once more, I'm not opposed to this; but I'm not even sure where to start even in terms of pre-preperation for getting them into this world and figuring out what is what.
    I mean, I can obviously go to the wiki and run one of the (two) adventures on it that have been converted to 3e, but I have no idea what the actual stats of any of these provences or regencies are.
    Last edited by lastofthelight; 06-23-2009 at 02:28 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    At 07:26 PM 6/22/2009, lastofthelight wrote:

    >You guys suggest using the Domain system as a backdrop for other
    >adventures, and don`t reccomend letting it become a focus. But I`m
    >pretty darn sure my players are going to try and use the first
    >domain they get ahold on to...err, expand. Once more, I`m not
    >opposed to this; but I`m not even sure where to start even in terms
    >of pre-preperation for getting them into this world and figuring out
    >what is what.

    I`d suggest making them adventure out the domain actions with the
    results of their adventure (whatever goals you set) replacing any
    rolls for success. Bear in mind that a domain action takes a month
    and thus probably represents travel time, the regular duties of a
    regent, a certain amount of diversions and distractions as well as a
    set of encounters meant to portray the events of the domain action
    itself. That can represent a lot of gaming.

    Gary

  10. #10
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    If someone is in love with psionics, and you feel you need to use it in the setting to run the party, I'd use them in place of that character's blood powers, or re-tool them as blood powers.

    Using them as written is a can of worms the setting isn't prepared to deal with.

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