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  1. #1
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    I`ve been fiddling around lately with stuff having to do with Oriental
    Adventures--mostly with a skill based martial arts system--and it got me to
    thinking about how to include some of that sort of stuff in
    BR. Personally, I *HATE* the idea of monks in Cerilia. In fact, I`m not
    much of a fan of how 3e handles monks or the martial arts in general--hence
    my desire to make the martial arts skill based--but that doesn`t mean that
    there shouldn`t be some sort of unarmed fighting among the Cerilian
    cultures. In fact, unarmed combat could easily fit into several of the
    Cerilian cultures.

    Aside from that, though, Cerilia occupies a pretty small portion of the
    world. Cultures with more of a focus on the martial arts could very easily
    exist on other continents, just the way OA campaigns are set on Kara-Tur in
    FR, an OA campaign could be placed on a distant continent of Aebrynis. The
    cultures of Cerilia tend to have originated from the same "points of the
    compass" that their real world analogies occupy in Europe. That is,
    Anuireans (the French/English analogy) live in the SW portion of the map,
    the Vos (Russian/Mongols) in the NE, Rjurik (Norse) in the NW, the Brecht
    (Dutch) in the central, northern regions and Khinasi (Arabic) in the
    SE. That would indicate that the eastern cultures are the more "oriental"
    ones, and the further east one goes (and probably south a bit too) the more
    oriental the cultures could become.

    I bring this up because I`m thinking of running an OA-Aebrynis campaign in
    the next few weeks, and I`d like some opinions on a few issues:

    1. Where is it? We know about the Dragon Isles and a few other areas south
    and east of Cerilia, but we have very little information about those
    regions, or what might lie beyond them. I`m not sure how close I want an
    BR-OA setting to be to Cerilia. Anyone have a general idea how close or
    how far it should be in relation to the existing maps of Aebrynis?

    2. Regency. I`m going to go with a campaign at the "adventure level"
    rather than the realm level, particularly at first, but eventually I can
    see PCs rising up through the hierarchy of a realm until they become LTs
    and/or regents themselves. There are no bloodlines outside of the northern
    Aduria and Cerilian regions of Aebrynis... or are there?

    A. The migration of "second sons" would account for a certain amount of
    diffusion of bloodlines around Aebrynis, but not enough to really justify
    having the number of blooded characters running around in an OA campaign as
    there are on Cerilia. Some bloodlines, however, could easily have made
    their way to across the seas in the past 1,500 years.

    B. Who says there was only one Deismaar? Of course there was only one
    _Battle of Deismaar_ but given that we`re dealing with the gods here, and
    presumably they can do things like be in more than one place at a
    time. Maybe Azrai (or his asian aspect "Khankallil") fought the equivalent
    of the OA gods in a simultaneous battle at the foot of Mt. Haji while a
    similar battle at Deismaar was going on. The exact nature of the OA
    conflict could be tweaked and twisted to fit into a more oriental setting.

    3. What cultural analogies should exist? I`ve been leaning more towards a
    pan pacific kind of thing recently, but I`m curious what cultures folks
    think should be included in such a setting.

    Anyone have thoughts on this?

    Gary

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  2. #2
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I like the idea that another Diesmaar event took place at one or more other
    places with the local array of heros participating and becomming blooded.

    One of the reasons I like the idea of family in BR, is because it allows
    everyone to start off as regular adventurers and work your way into the
    Lieutenant and Ruler structure depending on what their goals are.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  3. #3
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    On Sat, 11 May 2002, Gary wrote:
    > I`ve been fiddling around lately with stuff having to do with Oriental
    > Adventures--mostly with a skill based martial arts system--and it got me to
    > thinking about how to include some of that sort of stuff in
    > BR. Personally, I *HATE* the idea of monks in Cerilia. In fact, I`m not
    > much of a fan of how 3e handles monks or the martial arts in general--hence
    > my desire to make the martial arts skill based

    3e handles fighting aptitude through feats. Why would you want to change
    that for martial arts?

    I`d actually think there could be monks existing along the Khinasi-Vos
    frontier. Avanite mental focus and Vos combativeness could produce some
    highly trained warriors, even in unarmed combat.

    > 1. Where is it? We know about the Dragon Isles and a few other areas south
    > and east of Cerilia, but we have very little information about those
    > regions, or what might lie beyond them. I`m not sure how close I want an
    > BR-OA setting to be to Cerilia. Anyone have a general idea how close or
    > how far it should be in relation to the existing maps of Aebrynis?

    The Dragon Isles are pretty close, almost just off the map of the
    continent. Djapar is past those, so I`d say any more foreign cultures
    should be farther afield. Maybe on the same land mass as the Khinasi
    homeland, but the far side of it.

    > B. Who says there was only one Deismaar? Of course there was only one
    > _Battle of Deismaar_ but given that we`re dealing with the gods here, and
    > presumably they can do things like be in more than one place at a
    > time. Maybe Azrai (or his asian aspect "Khankallil") fought the equivalent
    > of the OA gods in a simultaneous battle at the foot of Mt. Haji while a
    > similar battle at Deismaar was going on. The exact nature of the OA
    > conflict could be tweaked and twisted to fit into a more oriental setting.

    Asian rulers- in China, Korea, and Japan- were all supposed to be
    descended from gods. It would work to use that cultural info. Say it`s
    true- each kingdom in the area has its own chief god, and the Imperial
    line in that kingdom is descended from him. Presto, bloodlines. There
    are other gods in Aebrynnis than Azrai, Anduiras et al, so scions on the
    orient of Aebrynnis don`t need to have one of the bloodlines from the
    original book.
    --
    Communication is possible only between equals.
    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  4. #4
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 10:44 PM 5/11/2002 -0400, Daniel McSorley wrote:

    > > I`ve been fiddling around lately with stuff having to do with Oriental
    > > Adventures--mostly with a skill based martial arts system--and it got me to
    > > thinking about how to include some of that sort of stuff in
    > > BR. Personally, I *HATE* the idea of monks in Cerilia. In fact, I`m not
    > > much of a fan of how 3e handles monks or the martial arts in general--hence
    > > my desire to make the martial arts skill based
    >
    >3e handles fighting aptitude through feats. Why would you want to change
    >that for martial arts?

    For several reasons, mostly having to do with the way I think the skill
    system should work, because I think the feat system is inadequate to handle
    martial arts, because I want a system of martial arts that is useful for
    non-monks, and because I want to reflect certain special benefits of
    martial arts in a way that is more subtle than feats. Feats will still
    exist, of course, but I see martial arts as being a progressive, learned
    process which is generally a separate process from feats.

    I`m also not at all happy with the way the 3e Oriental Adventures text
    handles the martial arts. For those of you who haven`t read it, OA 3e`s
    martial art system (3 or 4 pages) gives special benefits to characters for
    having combinations of feats. If you have Improved Unarmed Strike, Power
    Attack, Fist of Fire, Eagle Claw Attack, Sunder, Ki Shout and 4 or more
    ranks of Bluff, you gain the Empty Hand Mastery benefit which increases
    your damage die one step. Different feat/skill/ability combinations give
    different benefits. That`s all well and good, I suppose, but it creates
    kind of a weird "progessive feat" system, and I can`t really see any reason
    why the same logic applied to OE 3e`s martial arts system couldn`t be used
    for armed combat feats, for skill-based feats, for magic item creation
    feats, etc. Instead of taking feats and skills to learn Empty Hand
    Mastery, one could take non-combat feats to learn Magic Item Creation
    Mastery, or Dueling Mastery. Aside from there being really no limit to the
    number of feat/skill/ability combinations that could be justified into
    giving different benefits, it also interferes with the way the prestige
    class system works by setting up a second set of prereqs to gain what is
    essentially a special ability... which is one of the things prestige
    classes do, but without actually having to level up in order to get that
    ability.

    Also, I really liked the way the old, 1e OA handled martial arts. Oh, it
    definitely had its drawbacks, but it allowed for the creation of many
    different styles of martial arts that made them unique and (I thought) fun
    and interesting, so I`m using something similar to that. However, this
    skill based martial arts system I`m talking about is really too much to go
    into over a message list because it relates to the skill system I`m going
    to start using soon and, though that skill system is based on the one in
    the 3e core rules, it has a few major departures from the standard, 3e system.

    >I`d actually think there could be monks existing along the Khinasi-Vos
    >frontier. Avanite mental focus and Vos combativeness could produce some
    >highly trained warriors, even in unarmed combat.

    I don`t really get a 3e monk vibe off any of the Cerilian cultures
    myself. Martial artists? That`s absolutely possible. The 3e monk,
    however, is based on the 1e monk which was a sort of Kwai Chang Caine/Remo
    Williams thing that I personally just don`t feel is appropriate for Cerilia.

    >Asian rulers- in China, Korea, and Japan- were all supposed to be
    >descended from gods. It would work to use that cultural info. Say it`s
    >true- each kingdom in the area has its own chief god, and the Imperial
    >line in that kingdom is descended from him. Presto, bloodlines. There
    >are other gods in Aebrynnis than Azrai, Anduiras et al, so scions on the
    >orient of Aebrynnis don`t need to have one of the bloodlines from the
    >original book.

    A different explanation for the presence of bloodlines (other than a
    divine, climactic battle) is a good idea, and I was rather thinking that
    the bloodlines would be entirely different than those on Cerilia. Being
    actually related to the gods (a pretty common cultural justification for
    rulership) might not be enough for the number of bloodlines and scions that
    I`m looking for, unless the BR-OE gods play(ed) around with mortals as much
    as certain Greek gods did.... I`ll keep that in mind.

    Gary

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  5. #5
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 09:43 PM 5/11/2002 -0500, Kenneth Gauck wrote:

    >I like the idea that another Diesmaar event took place at one or more other
    >places with the local array of heros participating and becomming blooded.

    How do you picture this being justified? I`m thinking there could be
    several ways of fitting this idea into the Cerilian background (or fitting
    the Cerilian background into this idea.)

    1. Deismaar may have been just one of a protracted, global (or prime
    material plane) conflict between the Cerilian gods in their different
    aspects in several cultures. Maybe it wasn`t even one of the more
    significant ones. It was a skirmish in the war of the gods. Azrai might
    not have been destroyed by the Battle of Deismaar at all, but that battle
    in conjunction with one, two, five other similar battles in sequence around
    Aebrynis could have won the war and defeated Azrai (or made him dormant.)

    2. A massive, destined, global conjunction. There was more than one
    "Diesmaar" on Aebrynis, but they all occurred at the same time with
    pantheons of different continents taking on Azrai as groups. This would
    mean more it took more than 7 gods to destroy themselves in order to rid
    Aebrynis of Azrai.

    3. Azrai`s "brothers." There`s more than one evil god who were acting in
    conjunction with another attempted to take over Aebrynis. These pantheon
    level conflicts all culminated in two or more battles like that at Deismaar
    with similar results.

    Other possibilities?

    >One of the reasons I like the idea of family in BR, is because it allows
    >everyone to start off as regular adventurers and work your way into the
    >Lieutenant and Ruler structure depending on what their goals are.

    Exactly. BR represents a level of D&D that I`ve always enjoyed, and wished
    would be included in the core rules. Going from the adventure level, to
    the "LT level" or realm level is something that`s been in D&D for a long
    time, but only BR has a system for describing what that really means.

    Gary

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  6. #6
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Gary" <geeman@SOFTHOME.NET>
    Sent: Saturday, May 11, 2002 10:56 PM


    > I`m thinking there could be several ways of fitting this idea into the
    Cerilian
    > background (or fitting the Cerilian background into this idea.)

    Which of the models you use depends mostly on the impications you desire.

    > 1. Deismaar may have been just one of a protracted, global (or prime
    > material plane) conflict between the Cerilian gods in their different
    > aspects in several cultures.

    Do you want to dress Haelyn, Sera, and Kriesha in bamboo, jade, and silk?
    If so, this is the way to go, otherwise no.

    > 2. A massive, destined, global conjunction. There was more than one
    > "Diesmaar" on Aebrynis, but they all occurred at the same time with
    > pantheons of different continents taking on Azrai as groups.

    Don`t want to bother with the familiar pantheon? Go this way.

    > 3. Azrai`s "brothers." There`s more than one evil god who were acting in
    > conjunction with another attempted to take over Aebrynis. These pantheon
    > level conflicts all culminated in two or more battles like that at
    Deismaar
    > with similar results.

    This way you can extend the difference to the evil god as well, and also
    raise the possibility of more evil gods.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  7. #7
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    >2. Regency. I`m going to go with a campaign at the "adventure level"
    >rather than the realm level, particularly at first, but eventually I can
    >see PCs rising up through the hierarchy of a realm until they become LTs
    >and/or regents themselves. There are no bloodlines outside of the northern
    >Aduria and Cerilian regions of Aebrynis... or are there?


    I prefer another interpretation: The Awakened Aebrynis model.

    Deismaar released divine energy into the survivors of The Battle, as well
    as their mounts, clothing, equipment, but also into the Land. Aebrynis has
    been completely changed by Deismaar on a fundemental level; in fact, certain
    philosophers have theorized that it may be on the verge of becoming a
    sentient deity altogether and have adopted such cute phrases as "The World`s
    Will" and "Land`s Choice" to explain previously unexplainable circumstances.
    There have been serious studies to try to explain "The World`s Will", but
    these theories rarely lead to anything as it is impossible to perform
    experiments on something so vast or cast divinations on something so divine.
    Nevertheless, in certain realms "The World`s Will" has been adopted by the
    nobility to represent a pseudo-mystic resistance in their connection with
    the land and peculiarities involving Regency. "Land`s Choice" has
    similiarly been used to explains strange phenominon related to bloodlines.
    In essence, Aebrynis is Blooded now and fast becoming a Regent. Or so the
    latest popular theorist, Autocrier Judin Ghali`id had publicised before his
    blood abilities mysteriously backfired. He is still alive, more or less
    unharmed, in a cage at the Imperial College of Sorcery where he is bathed
    twice a week and fed fresh carrots by particularly brash students who have
    annoyed their professors.

    Based on this Awakened Aebrynis model, Deismaar is relatively insignificant,
    becoming the catalyst for many changes throughout the planet -- especially
    in regards to bloodlines, regency, and source holdings. It allows a great
    deal of freedom, since I don`t particularly have to explain Aebrynis`
    actions.

    New bloodlines emerge on other cultures. Why? Who knows? "Land`s Choice",
    maybe. For whatever reason, despite all the dire prophecies and statistical
    analysis`, bloodlines have not yet died out. Far from it actually -- some
    theorize that bloodlines are becoming even more common in recent years.
    Bastard children no longer have quite so low bloodline strength as they used
    to. Occasionally, and more frequently of late, commoners are born with
    bloodlines -- rarely, even entirely new types of bloodlines with previously
    undocumented blood abilities. Priests across the continent now meet to
    discuss the odd peculiarities that have made their Investiture cermonies
    easier.

    These bloodline changes are not limited to humans though; animals are now
    being born with bloodlines. Occasionally bloodlines that were initially
    passed between father to son and being passed through bizzare relationships
    like father to sister`s father-in-law and even from father to father`s steak
    knife. Monster attacks are on the rise everywhere, and entirely new breeds
    of monsters are being discovered -- no one knows if its natural or some
    strange new abomination upsurge.

    The famed bard and prestiged philosopher, Sir Perry Newsworthy, has
    presented a theory to the court of the Baron Ghoere that the strange
    disturbances with the land`s regency collection and the "blood web" of
    Anuire was directly tied to the amount of source holdings being awakened
    throughout the world. Sir Perry Newsworthy was promptly executed.

    Under an Awakened Aebrynis model, several new bloodlines could emerge
    throughout the world. In fact, I`d even probably tie a different "subset"
    of blood abilities for each of the major gods (though the connection doesn`t
    have to be directly made), and then tie each of those subsets to a terrain
    type. Apply a few alternate names for a couple of them (as seems to be
    common in Birthright), and you have plenty of room for diversity as well as
    a bloodline system based partly on the remnants of divine entities and
    partly on the theory of evolution in accordance with the survival needs of
    different terrains. This also allows you to incorporate those bloodlines
    into a divine pantheon, or to seperate them completely.

    I kind of like eventually treating Aebrynis as another god altogether, or
    even just a demigod. Alternatively, I may work it into the vessalage system
    and have each domain contribute one regency point to Aebrynis so that the
    Planet could take its own three domain actions each turn.

    P.S.: A simpler solution could involve tying bloodlines to demigods. We
    know plenty of them existed, and not many of them could have been known.

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  8. #8
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 08:03 AM 5/12/2002 +0000, Lord Rahvin wrote:

    >I prefer another interpretation: The Awakened Aebrynis model.

    I like this interpretation, but I have find myself with one stumbling
    block. The Land`s Choice is rare in Cerilia, but it would have to happen a
    LOT on the rest of Aebrynis for there to be enough scions to compare with
    the number Cerilian ones. Of course, there needn`t be as many. Cerilia
    can remain the primary source and location of scions, but if there are
    1/10th as many blooded characters on other continents we`re still talking
    about several thousand characters. I like keeping the Land`s Choice as a
    sort of DM fiat option, but if it has been used on the rest of the planet
    enough times that there are enough blooded characters for whole continents
    (which are probably larger than tiny Cerilia) then it might make the Land`s
    Choice too commonplace for my taste.

    >I kind of like eventually treating Aebrynis as another god altogether, or
    >even just a demigod. Alternatively, I may work it into the vessalage
    >system and have each domain contribute one regency point to Aebrynis so
    >that the Planet could take its own three domain actions each turn.

    I`ve always imagined that there was a whole new level of "regency" that the
    gods operated at, that was a step or three above the RP/realm level of
    BR. In fact, I kind of like the idea that there is an Empire Level above
    the Realm Level, and above the Empire Level, a Divine Level, with each of
    those steps having Empire Points and God Points, respectively. This stuff
    has just been in the back of my mind, though, so I haven`t really put much
    effort into describing how it might work.

    >P.S.: A simpler solution could involve tying bloodlines to demigods. We
    >know plenty of them existed, and not many of them could have been known.

    How do you mean, that demigods create their own bloodlines, or that
    bloodlines of demigods were also created at Deismaar and are now spread
    throughout Aebrynis?

    Gary

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  9. #9
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    My personal belief on bloodlines is that they were/are the actual God`s
    Blood, the very being of the divine being.

    Every god has their own "blood derivation". Anduiras and Brenna had
    theirs which were distributed among the people of Deismaar, but "foreign
    gods" also have their own. Perhaps, though, demigods are not able to
    distribute their godstuff like full gods can. That would prevent
    derivations of Torazan and the other non-human gods from popping up. Or
    perhaps demigod derivations are very rare, since they have to be created
    from offspring with mortals, and not simply "granted" to mortals.

    Now, on bloodlines in other continents, I like having an OA-style
    setting in the BR world, and think they should have bloodlines of their
    own Derivation. I don`t think we should simply "repaste" Deismaar to OA,
    though. IMC, Azrai was everywhere. He was the "uber evil god", dozens of
    times more powerful then the other gods. I think that there were great
    struggles going on between him and the "local gods" of the various
    continents, but the struggles ended in different ways.

    IMC, Deismaar was the second struggle against Azrai to end. That is
    where the local gods of Cerilia beat him by exploding themselves. The
    first one probably took place in a Native American setting in BR, where
    a band of great heros snuck into Azarai`s lair with the blessing of the
    good gods/great spirits (granted the heros some bloodlines), and
    siphoned off some of Azrai`s power (corrupting some of the heros to
    Azrai`s bloodline). This may have happened just a few days or weeks
    before Deismaar.

    Then in a OA setting, they were getting ready for a great battle against
    Azrai, lord of the shadow (and creator/master of the Oni). But Deismaar
    happened in Cerilia before this one could, and Azrai was hurt enough by
    Deismaar that he was "destroyed" in OA as well. He suddenly exploded,
    creating the shadowlands, and washing the Oni and other followers in his
    bloodline. The other gods saw the power that Azrai`s bloodline had, so
    granted many great leaders and heros at that time bloodlines as well, to
    counter Azrai`s. The original gods are still around, unlike Cerilia`s.

    --
    / Adam Theo, Age 22, Tallahassee FL USA
    // Email & Jabber: theo@theoretic.com
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  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 11:40 AM 5/14/2002 -0400, Adam Theo wrote:

    >Then in a OA setting, they were getting ready for a great battle against
    >Azrai, lord of the shadow (and creator/master of the Oni). But Deismaar
    >happened in Cerilia before this one could, and Azrai was hurt enough by
    >Deismaar that he was "destroyed" in OA as well. He suddenly exploded,
    >creating the shadowlands, and washing the Oni and other followers in his
    >bloodline. The other gods saw the power that Azrai`s bloodline had, so
    >granted many great leaders and heros at that time bloodlines as well, to
    >counter Azrai`s. The original gods are still around, unlike Cerilia`s.

    OK, here`s another big issue regarding an OA campaign on Aebrynis. What
    gods should be in such a campaign? I don`t mean names, or ones that exist
    in other pantheons (though naming some of those might be useful) but what
    spheres and interests would the Abrynian (?) oriental gods have?

    Anyway, right now I`m thinking of making a climactic battle 1,500 years ago
    the background of the BR-OA setting, but instead of Azrai it will be a
    similar god who was acting in concert with Azrai in taking over the other
    half (or another major section... maybe later I`ll do the American Indian
    continent of Aebrynis) of the world. Right now, I`m calling this god
    Khankallil, Lord of Pride. Exact background and the events that parallel
    Deismaar are yet undecided, but I think the death of the gods is such a big
    deal that I`m loathe to have a setting on Aebrynis that doesn`t include
    such a thing.

    So I guess the question becomes what gods should be included in a BR-OA
    campaign both before and after the climactic battle that bestowed a
    bloodline on mortals?

    Gary

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