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  1. #1
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    I may just have misunderstood something basic about the mechanics of Birthright, but it seems to me its possible to create a lot of people with a lot of domain actions very quickly and advantageously.

    1) Is it true that any blooded character controlling even one level of one holding or Province is a regent and thus gets three domain actions per turn?
    2) If, for example, the Baron(ness) of Roesone invested a province lord (say Fairfield) with all law in that province (but the Baron retained the province). Would Fairfield get zero, one or three domain actions per turn?
    3) In a similar vein, is one schismatic branch of Haelyn (for example, the Impregnable Heart of Haelyn) equivalent to one Barony (like Roesone or Ghoere)? [By this I mean, the rules of it gets three domain actions per turn.] What if he invested one priest with all holdings in one province - would that priest get zero, one or three domain actions/turn? Would that effectively be another branch of Haelyn?

    Thanks for any comments:)
    Power is not forcing someone to do your bidding.
    It is making them do so believing it is their own desire...

  2. #2
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    > Aleric wrote:

    > 1) Is it true that any blooded character controlling even one level of
    > one holding or Province is a regent and thus gets three domain actions
    > per turn?

    Yes.

    > 2) If, for example, the Baron(ness) of Roesone invested a province
    > lord (say Fairfield) with all law in that province (but the Baron
    > retained the province). Would Fairfield get zero, one or three domain
    > actions per turn?

    Three. What he would be able to do with them is a different question,
    given the very small amounts of RP and GB he would be gaining.

    > 3) In a similar vein, is one schismatic branch of Haelyn (for example,
    > the Impregnable Heart of Haelyn) equivalent to one Barony (like
    > Roesone or Ghoere)? [By this I mean, the rules of it gets three
    > domain actions per turn.]

    Yes.

    > What if he invested one priest with all
    > holdings in one province - would that priest get zero, one or three
    > domain actions/turn?

    Three.

    > Would that effectively be another branch of Haelyn?

    In terms of game mechanics, yes, although probably not in the eyes of the
    NPC parishoners.

    Having vassals is an immense power-up in the Birthright system (so long as
    they do what you want them to) -- the greatly increased number of actions
    possible by a team of cooperating regents is the primary means by which
    the designers have attempted to encourage pseudo-feudal power structures.


    Ryan Caveney

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  3. #3
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    The rules on vassals are open to considerable abuse, and DM`s need to watch
    out for potentially game busting use of vassals. There are several kinds of
    resources in the realm portion of the game, and they include GB`s, RP`s,
    ability to recruit military units, and magical potential (either temples or
    sources) and time. Time is very probabaly the most limited factor in the
    game. Certain conditions make a "shotgun" approach to realm conflict the
    most effective, but this is a slow process. Contest actions, Agitate,
    Create, and at low levels, even the rule action can be inexpensivly
    performed many times.

    Why invest resources to support a contest action, when a bunch of vassals,
    with money to burn (sent from the master) can take shots at 50% for 1 RP?

    Why not give a half dozen blooded cohorts a bunch of GB`s and tell them to
    creating 0-level holdings where ever its an inconvienience to your enemies?

    Ryan mentions the issue of loyalty, but that only goes so far. DM`s need to
    match vassals with vassals. If a player creates a vassal to pay close
    attention to the guilds of a rival guilder, that guilder may create a vassal
    to begin to create law holdings in that player`s provicnes, and use them to
    contest three times a turn. The guilder certain has the cash to put behind
    this. Once players realize they can`t use vassals to get around the time
    restrictions, and as Ryan mentions, there is always a risk of a vassal
    turning disloyal, vassals will be employed for good role play reasons, not
    as a way to conquer the world.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  4. #4
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    Kenneth Gauck wrote:

    >The rules on vassals are open to considerable abuse, and DM`s need to watch
    >out for potentially game busting use of vassals.
    >
    There is no requirement for a vassal to perform any action(s) on behalf
    of, or in aid of the liege. (excepting agreements for mutual support in
    time of war perhaps) There was debate some time ago about the difference
    between a small-v vassal and a large V Vassal and the distinction
    between the form a Vassalage. BR vassalage agreements aren`t really
    worth the parchment they`re scribed upon.

    The only requirement is for the vassal to provide RP to the liege. This
    is an interesting agreement at first sight because you might think it
    would work better the other way around - allowing blooded lieges to
    support unblooded vassals by granting RP and GB in return for their
    actions in support - but this is exactly what is prohibited in order to
    avoid abuse.

    > There are several kinds of
    >resources in the realm portion of the game, and they include GB`s, RP`s,
    >ability to recruit military units, and magical potential (either temples or
    >sources) and time. Time is very probabaly the most limited factor in the
    >game. Certain conditions make a "shotgun" approach to realm conflict the
    >most effective, but this is a slow process. Contest actions, Agitate,
    >Create, and at low levels, even the rule action can be inexpensivly
    >performed many times.
    >
    >Why invest resources to support a contest action, when a bunch of vassals,
    >with money to burn (sent from the master) can take shots at 50% for 1 RP?
    >
    Yes, it`s possible but not terribly likely. A vassal is an independent
    regent - they are not likely to follow any but their own interests.
    Acting essentially for their liege is against their own interest! (at
    least without a significant quid pro quo)

    >
    >
    >Why not give a half dozen blooded cohorts a bunch of GB`s and tell them to
    >creating 0-level holdings where ever its an inconvienience to your enemies?
    >
    Perhaps this is the reason that Create Holding is a domain action rather
    than a character action ? (regents cannot create themselves .... it`s a
    silly argument of course - any character should be able to become a
    regent - blooded characters should just have an advantage in that
    department) Of course, nowhere does it say in the rules that you have to
    be a regent to participate in the domain turns - nor does it say you
    have to be blooded.

    In the case of cohorts, lieutenants, henchmen etc - it is easily argued
    that they are acting under direction/supervision and are therefore not
    independent and cannot act as regents -- if made lieutenants this then
    limits them to 1 such action else none at all.

    >
    >
    >Ryan mentions the issue of loyalty, but that only goes so far. DM`s need to
    >match vassals with vassals. If a player creates a vassal to pay close
    >attention to the guilds of a rival guilder, that guilder may create a vassal
    >to begin to create law holdings in that player`s provicnes, and use them to
    >contest three times a turn. The guilder certain has the cash to put behind
    >this. Once players realize they can`t use vassals to get around the time
    >restrictions, and as Ryan mentions, there is always a risk of a vassal
    >turning disloyal, vassals will be employed for good role play reasons, not
    >as a way to conquer the world.
    >
    >Kenneth Gauck
    >kgauck@mchsi.com
    >
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    >1) Is it true that any blooded character controlling even one level of
    one >holding or Province is a regent and thus gets three domain actions
    per >turn?

    Actually, every person has three actions per turn. It is just that you
    can`t do Domain and Realm actions without a domain.

    >2) If, for example, the Baron(ness) of Roesone invested a province lord
    >(say Fairfield) with all law in that province (but the Baron retained
    the >province). Would Fairfield get zero, one or three domain actions
    per turn?

    Three.

    >3) In a similar vein, is one schismatic branch of Haelyn (for example,
    the >Impregnable Heart of Haelyn) equivalent to one Barony (like Roesone
    or >Ghoere)? [By this I mean, the rules of it gets three domain actions
    per >turn.] What if he invested one priest with all holdings in one
    province - >would that priest get zero, one or three domain
    actions/turn? Would that >effectively be another branch of Haelyn?

    The same. Every person has the same amount of time.

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  6. #6
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    brnetboard@TUARHIEVEL.ORG wrote:

    >Aleric wrote:
    > I may just have misunderstood something basic about the mechanics of Birthright, but it seems to me its possible to create a lot of people with a lot of domain actions very quickly and advantageously.
    >
    >1) Is it true that any blooded character controlling even one level of one holding or Province is a regent and thus gets three domain actions per turn?
    >
    yes.

    >
    >2) If, for example, the Baron(ness) of Roesone invested a province lord (say Fairfield) with all law in that province (but the Baron retained the province). Would Fairfield get zero, one or three domain actions per turn?
    >
    The Count (?) of Fairfield would have three actions - and about 1 RP and
    1 GB - effectively limiting him to one domain action (although many free
    actions - well as many as he can afford). Of course he`ll still have to
    deal with events too. One assumes that he`d spend his actions trying to
    rule his law holding to 3 a.s.a.p. This is going to cost a minimum of 6
    GB - which he`s going to have to beg or borrow from his liege or someone
    else. Creating such an ineffective vassal is asking for trouble - a
    liege is almost certain to lose the vassal through some means or
    another. The Vassal`s best course of action after ruling law to 3 is to
    fortify the holding (at least 4 GB), the use espionage and/or agitate to
    reduce the holding loyalty, followed by a contest province - so Roesone
    may as well give the province away in the first place creating a more
    effective vassal (marginally). Ghoere would probably start wringing his
    hands with glee too - what easy access to law within Roesone -
    contesting that law holding would be child`s play.

    >
    >3) In a similar vein, is one schismatic branch of Haelyn (for example, the Impregnable Heart of Haelyn) equivalent to one Barony (like Roesone or Ghoere)? [By this I mean, the rules of it gets three domain actions per turn.] What if he invested one priest with all holdings in one province - would that priest get zero, one or three domain actions/turn? Would that effectively be another branch of Haelyn?
    >
    yes and yes

    One of the reasons that BR does not scale up or down very well (that is
    you can`t deal with empires or single shops) is that the rules are
    optimized for a certain level of play. The assumption seems to be that
    most regents will have between 20 and 40 RP to play with. Regents with
    fewer RP cannot compete effectively and are easily driven out of the
    game. (this is not true if all regents have fewer RP - having 30% less
    RP than the average is a better statement) A regent with 60+ RP is well
    advised to create a Vassal with about 20 RP, or a regent with a high
    domain power (DP) and less RP -- i.e. they control assets for which they
    cannot collect RP due to their character class. With fewer RP creating a
    vassal will simply weaken the liege and create a weak vassal - not good
    survival tactics.

    An alternative system of calculating RP will avoid some but not all of
    the limitations. If RP is calculated as the better of bloodline points
    (BP) and domain power (DP), then a vassal can be created with an
    effective RP total - yet a small DP. (and this allows regents to build
    domains from the ground up, and as well as allowing non-blooded regents)
    Even so, they would still need a bloodline score of 20 or so to be
    effective. [note: RP does not accumulate under such a system - what you
    get a turn is what you can spend - unused RP is lost -- this effectively
    limits regents with high RP collection, a major flaw with the standard
    system]

    Still creating a vassal in that manner has its risks too. They`ll need
    space to expand -- make sure it`s not into your territory. I tie vassal
    loyalty (NPC vassalas that is) to the original value of the grant - the
    more DP(domain) granted the more loyal and grateful the vassal will be -
    "One point a law holding ? _ thanks, I guess."

    >
    >
    >Thanks for any comments:)
    >
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  7. #7
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Peter Lubke" <peterlubke@OPTUSNET.COM.AU>
    Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 6:41 PM


    > There is no requirement for a vassal to perform any action(s) on behalf
    > of, or in aid of the liege.

    No requirement in the rules. The word deviant exists to describe people who
    act outside of prescribed cultural norms. I presume such cultural norms
    actually govern far more behavior than rules do. If these rules exist as
    you describe them, I have a hard time creating the worlds of king Arthur, of
    king Richard the lionhearted (just watched Ivanhoe with James Mason), or of
    the Illiad. Odysseus wasn`t even a vassal of Menelaus and had to go to
    Troy, despite pretending to be crazy. Rules, what rules? I`m not playing
    Monopoly, I`m building a world full of living, breating people.

    > [...] allowing blooded lieges to support unblooded vassals by
    > granting RP and GB in return for their actions in support - but
    > this is exactly what is prohibited in order to avoid abuse.

    Cite this prohibition. I`ll counter-cite the Grant action as a free
    unlimited action.

    > Yes, it`s possible but not terribly likely. A vassal is an independent
    > regent - they are not likely to follow any but their own interests.
    > Acting essentially for their liege is against their own interest! (at
    > least without a significant quid pro quo)

    Not likely? This is totally a product of the society constructed. In
    societies where honor and glory are valued, or loyalty and family, or duty
    and service - I could keep going - they will be highly likely.

    Its also possible that in some worlds, cooperation is a better strategy for
    pursuing one`s interest than turning a blind eye to one`s benefactors.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  8. #8
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    Several folks have already answered these questions, but I`m going to go
    ahead and chime in too. I`ll try to point to the nuances and hazy areas
    not covered by other posters.

    >Aleric wrote:
    >
    >I may just have misunderstood something basic about the mechanics of
    >Birthright, but it seems to me its possible to create a lot of people with
    >a lot of domain actions very quickly and advantageously.
    >
    >1) Is it true that any blooded character controlling even one level of one
    >holding or Province is a regent and thus gets three domain actions per turn?

    Yes. In fact, he needn`t even control one level. A 0-level holding will
    suffice for entry into the "regency club" if you will--despite the fact
    that the "regent" in question has collected no regency points or gold bars,
    and his domain has not yet grown to the size that it will generate
    any. Depending on what type of actions he wants to engage in, it`s
    unlikely that he`ll have the RP (though he might have the GB) to actually
    perform that many actions, but he still has access to three actions.

    Also, as was noted by others in this thread, whether a character controls a
    holding or province he still gets 3 "actions" per domain turn. They are
    just character actions rather than domain actions.

    >2) If, for example, the Baron(ness) of Roesone invested a province lord
    >(say Fairfield) with all law in that province (but the Baron retained the
    >province). Would Fairfield get zero, one or three domain actions per turn?

    He could even get four if he had a lieutenant. What a lieutenant is wasn`t
    very well articulated in the original rules, and what a LT might be in 3e
    is anybody`s guess. Can another PC act as a LT? Is a cohort a PC? Is a
    LT a "super cohort" or are they actually less than a cohort? What
    differentiates a LT from any of those things?

    Your regent might even get what would be equivalent to 5 or 6 actions for
    other regents if he had both a LT and the regent in question is a priest
    and/or rogue. Those classes get a free Agitate or Espionage action (or
    maybe both in the case of a multi-class cleric/rogue) which would take an
    action round to perform for other regents. (It doesn`t specify that
    regents of either of those classes must actually control temples or guilds
    in order to have access to these free actions.)

    Then, of course, the vassal could have vassals of his own opening up a
    whole new can of worms regarding how many actions he can perform himself
    and dictate to others. There is no stated limit to this kind of thing in
    the published materials, though there is probably an effective limit.

    >3) In a similar vein, is one schismatic branch of Haelyn (for example, the
    >Impregnable Heart of Haelyn) equivalent to one Barony (like Roesone or
    >Ghoere)? [By this I mean, the rules of it gets three domain actions per
    >turn.] What if he invested one priest with all holdings in one province -
    >would that priest get zero, one or three domain actions/turn? Would that
    >effectively be another branch of Haelyn?

    A regent is a regent, and a regent is anyone who controls holdings and/or
    provinces, so they get 3 domain actions. Sometimes regents are also
    described as "lieutenants" of other regents, but it`s debatable exactly
    what that means. Are they LTs in the sense of the Lieutenant action,
    capable of being directed by another regent just as if they were non-regent
    LT characters, presumably taking up one of their standard domain actions,
    but financed by their liege, or does it mean a more generalized
    "lieutenant" in the sense that they generally listen to and are interested
    in furthering the goals of their leader the way Dick Chaney supports
    President Bush, but essentially operating according to his own agenda when
    he`s not having some sort of cardiac episode? (Is it troublesome to anyone
    else that the Pres of the U.S. is just a pretzel away from choking to death
    while the veep has had more heart attacks then EVERYONE I`VE EVER MET? OK,
    that was sort of off topic, but since we`re talking rulers here I think
    it`s appropriate to point out that the U.S. is just a few cholesterol
    points away from being ruled by the Assistant Undersecretary of Indian
    Affairs....)

    Anyway, I assume he`d invest the guy with some sort of vassalage
    agreement.... As others have pointed out, there`s nothing requiring a
    vassal to obey the terms of a vassalage agreement. Aside from the
    possibility of being squashed like an impudent bug, that is. Any regent
    who creates vassals powerful enough to threaten his authority in short term
    (in the long run anyone can threaten a regent`s authority) probably
    deserves to fight a civil war, but the point is that, yes, he gets the
    standard number of domain actions (three) in addition to his free Agitate
    action (assuming the temple ruler in your example is a priest, that is) and
    an unlimited number of "free" actions.

    Some free actions, BTW, are really realm level effects. Grant and Decree,
    for instance, are realm level effects. For example: "I hereby decree that
    from this point forward all cats will be considered wards of the state and
    protected from all violence, abuse, derision and disrespect." That means
    zilch coming from me, but a regent (especially one with the Animal Affinity
    ability of Brenna`s bloodline) might not only want to make such a decree
    but enforce it. In addition, he might very well be in a position to
    enforce it AND in a position to know if it were being enforced due to his
    blood ability.

    Temple holdings would _probably_ be considered another branch of the
    worship of Haelyn. _Probably_ because there is no requirement, nor even
    any guideline that a vassal once invested need maintain the emphasis or
    purpose of his holdings. It`s even easier to change the description of a
    holding than it is to break a vassalage agreement. Law holdings, for
    example, can represent a professional police presence, or they might
    represent control over "mobsters" who demand "protection" money, and the
    holding could start out as the former and switch to the latter under
    another regent. There`s no reason to assume that a holding, once
    transferred, need keep its previous role-playing description under the
    regent who gave up direct control over it. Guilds that represented
    Varsk-breeding ranches in Vosgaard could trade in pink daffodils once
    transferred to another regent. In fact, that switch could take place
    before the transfer of the holdings actually occurred. The DM or player
    controlling a regent character could simply decide to switch loyalties,
    products, "policing" methods, etc. as easily as saying so.

    Gary

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    Kenneth Gauck wrote:

    >----- Original Message -----
    >From: "Peter Lubke" <peterlubke@OPTUSNET.COM.AU>
    >Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 6:41 PM
    >
    >
    >>There is no requirement for a vassal to perform any action(s) on behalf
    >>of, or in aid of the liege.
    >>
    >
    >No requirement in the rules. The word deviant exists to describe people who
    >act outside of prescribed cultural norms. I presume such cultural norms
    >actually govern far more behavior than rules do. If these rules exist as
    >you describe them, I have a hard time creating the worlds of king Arthur, of
    >king Richard the lionhearted (just watched Ivanhoe with James Mason), or of
    >the Illiad. Odysseus wasn`t even a vassal of Menelaus and had to go to
    >Troy, despite pretending to be crazy. Rules, what rules? I`m not playing
    >Monopoly, I`m building a world full of living, breating people.
    >
    What I meant was that, a liege in order to "persuade" a Vassal to
    perform an action which would favour the liege would still need to use
    an action to ask (diplomacy) - and this without an iron-clad gaurantee
    of the willingness of the Vassal.

    BTW Richard was perhaps the worst king in Englands history on record.
    That Scott and others produced such romantic tales was a master stroke
    of propaganda. A historical appraisal of Arthur shows it to be largely
    French propaganda to support the Norman "conquest" of England, and
    Odysseus` reasons for visiting Troy were as self-serving as any other.

    >
    >
    >>[...] allowing blooded lieges to support unblooded vassals by
    >>granting RP and GB in return for their actions in support - but
    >>this is exactly what is prohibited in order to avoid abuse.
    >>
    >
    >Cite this prohibition. I`ll counter-cite the Grant action as a free
    >unlimited action.
    >
    You are correct, there is none - I was stating intention not fact. The
    vassalage section is clear that RP are meant to pass from the vassal to
    the liege - but you can "get around" this by the backdoor of Grant
    against the spirit of the rules writers. [I`m not arguing that this is
    bad/evil/unwanted - just incongruous.]

    >
    >
    >>Yes, it`s possible but not terribly likely. A vassal is an independent
    >>regent - they are not likely to follow any but their own interests.
    >>Acting essentially for their liege is against their own interest! (at
    >>least without a significant quid pro quo)
    >>
    >
    >Not likely? This is totally a product of the society constructed. In
    >societies where honor and glory are valued, or loyalty and family, or duty
    >and service - I could keep going - they will be highly likely.
    >
    maybe in Aebrynnis, but not planet Earth. Actually not even in Aebrynnis
    according to its history - as much so now as ever.

    >
    >
    >Its also possible that in some worlds, cooperation is a better strategy for
    >pursuing one`s interest than turning a blind eye to one`s benefactors.
    >
    in a utopian society yes, and this is a desirable goal for all beings to
    pursue - in reality as well as fantasy - but we are still a long way
    from achieving this in even the most socialized country in this reality
    - although I find it as difficult to believe a liege is a "benefactor"
    with pure motives.

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    Gary wrote:

    > Yes. In fact, he needn`t even control one level. A 0-level holding will
    > suffice for entry into the "regency club" if you will--despite the fact
    > that the "regent" in question has collected no regency points or gold
    > bars,
    > and his domain has not yet grown to the size that it will generate
    > any. Depending on what type of actions he wants to engage in, it`s
    > unlikely that he`ll have the RP (though he might have the GB) to actually
    > perform that many actions, but he still has access to three actions.
    >
    > Also, as was noted by others in this thread, whether a character
    > controls a
    > holding or province he still gets 3 "actions" per domain turn. They are
    > just character actions rather than domain actions.

    Begs the question for ruling "Create Holding" a character action of
    course. Having a 0-level holding would allow "Rule Holding" if nothing
    else. The costs in RP for most actions seem quite arbitrary really.

    > A regent is a regent, and a regent is anyone who controls holdings and/or
    > provinces, so they get 3 domain actions. Sometimes regents are also
    > described as "lieutenants" of other regents, but it`s debatable exactly
    > what that means. Are they LTs in the sense of the Lieutenant action,
    > capable of being directed by another regent just as if they were
    > non-regent
    > LT characters, presumably taking up one of their standard domain actions,
    > but financed by their liege, or does it mean a more generalized
    > "lieutenant"

    I`d go so far as to say that a liege with LTs that are regents in their
    own right could direct one of his LTs to act on his behalf without that
    LT/regent having to use one of his own actions. I would not expect the
    LT to use his own resources or operate them on behalf of phasing regent
    though. i.e. A LT wizard would not cast a realm spell (unless he was
    using the phasing regents sources).

    > in the sense that they generally listen to and are interested
    > in furthering the goals of their leader the way Dick Chaney supports
    > President Bush, but essentially operating according to his own agenda
    > when
    > he`s not having some sort of cardiac episode? (Is it troublesome to
    > anyone
    > else that the Pres of the U.S. is just a pretzel away from choking to
    > death
    > while the veep has had more heart attacks then EVERYONE I`VE EVER
    > MET? OK,
    > that was sort of off topic, but since we`re talking rulers here I think
    > it`s appropriate to point out that the U.S. is just a few cholesterol
    > points away from being ruled by the Assistant Undersecretary of Indian
    > Affairs....)

    Which could be a big step forward for mankind (if only we didn`t get
    Costello if Howard coughs up a peach pit - sigh!).

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