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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mirviriam's Avatar
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    Level of Rules for BirthRight?

    Alright - I've mentioned it 4 times now...time to put something worthwhile up here.

    I've seen there's a few entrenched opinions about how Birthright should be developed. With many great minds still poking around other places and off doing their own thing.

    I'm writing this post to get some congruence going amongst the community.

    There's some friction with people & legimately we need to have at least two system of rules if birthright will survive our generation (collectively as gamers).

    There is a trend to make the game very complicated and reasonable as it relates to people's understanding of history. This trend makes sense from the position of established fans of birthright. This trend also fails completely in regards to gaining new players & crossover players.

    The solution would be something similar to what they use in battletech (forgive me my lack of originality but I just spent over a year writing code to basically do a simplified version of birthright across an entire universe). Basically we acknowledge that Birthright needs to be simple to start, but eventually meet certain logical points for other players. Hopefully, this combined with other movements will prompt a boom in players.

    To the outline...a vague system of rules open to change:

    Level 1: Defined by being simple compared to birthright as we know it.
    - No spells that do not use a set cost per target(province/unit/character/item/entity) or set a generic cost.
    - Lay lines will be point A to point B (no varient rules on stringing or whatever)
    - No multi constraints...the rule of max province level is used. Balance is almost not a concern as players are just exploring the game
    - Contesting will be one time bid with defense of existing holdings getting second chance (new creations do not)

    Level 2: Balance, basically tourney usage - for players that want to have fun, but are not satisfied by beginners level play
    - I have a list of spells that do not make sense & will have to be adjusted for their duration, cost, # targets relative to other similar domain spells
    - Armies varient rule will have to be standardized against the building speed rule & used as default
    - repairs during sieges will not be allowed
    - use of secret holdings possible
    - source holdings will be limited in casts per turns, the same way province level limits musters per turn

    Level 3: Enthusiast, ratified variant rules- Anything else that people like, a best of in house
    - Population demographs
    - Social constraint systems like reputation
    - Normalized results to eliminate high/low oddities
    - Defensive mindset, like sieges allowing checks to block level loss of fortifications
    - Spells will be limited in # of targets by the holding levels, not by characters class levels



    I left some of my notes at the ex's house tonight - but wanted to throw this up before I start my next coding session...this would be a reclassification of existing rules and some tweaks. I could see myself finishing it off inside 2 months if it was the only thing I'm doing (not the case, besides it has to be something the community wants). I see this generically independant of edition. We can write it in scope of power scales or colors & then when next edition comes out just say, level 5 sorc spell is same as 2 psychic points or whatever they use as the next method of D&D.

  2. #2
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    I do think it's a nice idea having several rules "levels" for different styles of play, but it's quite a lot of work to get an agreement about those.

    Also, about getting new players: BR needs visibility for that, I don't think it's related to rules. And also, we have to accept that even with more visibility the setting is not very popular in general (at least among the DnD players, it has been always a minor setting).

  3. #3
    Member Agelmore's Avatar
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    IMO, the 1st level of rules will help new DM but I'm not sure it will gather more players.

    The visibility can be improved thanks to our wiki and our rules in pdf. Perhaps a sanctionned and finalized version of the rules could help.

    I'm also wonder about the consequences of supporting multiple (or at least a second one) system of rules (not level of rules) like Warhammer rules or campaign setting.
    Agelmore Tallow, Lord Prefect of Alamier (MA;Br,Major,21;LG)

  4. #4
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    A couple of major concepts I think you missed that need to be started at:

    3 types of play:

    (a) - Primary Domain level

    (b) - Primary character level (basically adventurers)

    (c) - mix of the 2 above.


    There are a significant amount of people that play either primarily domain or primarily adventure level games.

    Because of this it creates an inherent complication in any set of "simplified" rules being developed.

    Start from one of the assumption above and then proceed down the path of simplification.

    Also it is probably important to to note that there are also a significant amount of people that just take the domain/war level rules and import them to their own home-brewed game and remove any BR-setting specific ties.
    Duane Eggert

  5. #5
    Member Agelmore's Avatar
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    I want to add another idea to improve visibility: Offer starting adventure packages that sit in a particular realm, contain adventure with each level of play (Comain/character) and a list of playable PC or PC ideas.
    Agelmore Tallow, Lord Prefect of Alamier (MA;Br,Major,21;LG)

  6. #6
    Am I correct in understanding that the current, unfinalized rules are for 3.0/3.5?

    It will be very, very difficult to attract newer players using an older edition rule set. This is not about 3e or 4e being a BETTER rules set, it's about meeting people where they are. I am currently running my Birthright game in 4e because that is the system my players know, and that is the system being supported by WotC.

  7. #7
    Ehrshegh of Spelling Thelandrin's Avatar
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    I don't see why it should be any more or less difficult to attract players to an unfamiliar and complicated setting, regardless of the rules used.

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

  8. #8
    Member Agelmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander Cecil View Post
    Am I correct in understanding that the current, unfinalized rules are for 3.0/3.5?

    It will be very, very difficult to attract newer players using an older edition rule set. This is not about 3e or 4e being a BETTER rules set, it's about meeting people where they are. I am currently running my Birthright game in 4e because that is the system my players know, and that is the system being supported by WotC.
    This is not the case for all. On 10 players, I know only one that like to play in 4e, whereas all are ok to play in 3.5 , pathfinder or 2e.
    IMO, only mine, working on 4e is a waste of time. Actually, once you know well a system you can manage any problem or mistake done in the rule. Pathfinder is a good exemple. Paizo made few rules adjustement and correction and work more on scenario than on rules. Peharps it is the best ways : offer scenario
    Last edited by Agelmore; 08-07-2009 at 05:59 PM.
    Agelmore Tallow, Lord Prefect of Alamier (MA;Br,Major,21;LG)

  9. #9
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    At 03:26 AM 8/7/2009, Vicente wrote:

    >Also, about getting new players: BR needs visibility for that, I
    >don`t think it`s related to rules. And also, we have to accept that
    >even with more visibility the setting is not very popular in general
    >(at least among the DnD players, it has been always a minor setting).

    To attract new folks to the setting, we definitely need
    visibility. We also need a constant stream of new materials. To a
    certain extent, these things feed off one another, but my point is
    that the work folks have done is great. On the whole, if there were
    efforts to put things into some sort of finished product format (they
    don`t actually have to be finished products, but in some form that
    looks like one) that`d make a difference too. People want something
    that feels completed, even if it is version 9.2....

    When I say new materials, though, I don`t just mean extrapolations on
    existing stuff, or even conversions to new editions. I mean actual
    adventure hooks, new character classes, and things that people
    actually go out of their way to purchase out in the gaming
    world. Details on existing materials are good, but people want to
    see the plot move ahead. Maybe the Gorgon needs to die. Maybe the
    continent is invaded by a race from another continent. Maybe there`s
    another conflict with Azrai or his successor. Maybe bloodlines
    suddenly vanish and players need to figure out what happened. Etc.

    Those are the biggies, but there are a lot of little things too. For
    instance, we can`t charge for things, but people do seem to value
    materials that they have to pay for more. Maybe only downloads for
    those who sign up to an account on BR.net? Lately, I`ve been more
    and more conscious of when we old-timers don`t play nice with the
    newbies, so that always gets my attention. (I`ll readily plead
    guilty to have made a few mistakes in that regard myself.)

    Gary

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mirviriam's Avatar
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    Visibility is just a start ... no one will stay around if the enemy can just keep abusing broken rules or priest's buffs in army don't last half as long or give as much power.

    Even if we get 16 million players - no one will stay if the rules are broken.

    The segmentation is almost just to help us develope rules ... kguard's "how war works" thread would have been completely different if everyone acknowledged that they are level 3 rules and don't have to be simple or make sense from the standpoint of game design ... as they are more geared towards appealing to aesthetic standpoint & we accept that it would be granular making one siege take several months to resolve.

    The second purpose is uniform ... which will help birthright make sense in terms of a game that people want to play (a theme if you will of the mechanics).

    As to the crowd that takes what they like and uses it - that's exactly what we want...more people playing. Maybe if the rest of the game makes sense after it's balanced out - then they will play the vanilla version?

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