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Thread: The Five Peaks

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    The Five Peaks

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    I have a mechanics/role-playing question about the Five Peaks. I am the GM for an electronic play-by-post Birthright game. One of the PCs in my game controls the realm of Alamie and wants to go into the Five Peaks to exploit its resources and possibly create goblin troops (I know, he's a bit of an Alpha PC). My mechanics question is how would someone in the Five Peaks region bid against this person if they didn’t want him to raise the law? It’s been an easy issue to resolve in provinces/realms that are invested to another regent, but the provinces of the Five Peaks are simply ruled by multiple goblin tribes.

    It's a tactic this PC has done many times. He goes into an uncontrolled area, uses enough regency to get his final roll to a 1 and then steam rolls ahead to eventually take over the place. Although it would make sense from a game mechanics sense, I just can't see raising a law holding in an area full of not-so-nice goblins as being that easy. But I'm unsure what I would use against his efforts that would neatly fit into the game mechanics. This PC knows the game well and would easily balk if I simply said the final roll was some tremendously high number. He’d want to know where the effort was coming from and from what regent controlling the area.

    My role playing question is how people believe goblins in the Five Peaks would react to humans wanting to establish trade and law holding in their provinces. So far this PC has only touched a couple of the most southern provinces where I believe goblins would have a bit more tolerance of outsiders. But I plan to role play those from the northern areas as extremely hostile towards any sort of human or elven intervention.

  3. #3
    The random event calendar that was used in 2E was originally designed specifically for smaller groups and not large scale BPEM's.

    My take would be random events are things that one should not forget. For instance, if the player starts ruling up law in the Five Peaks, many will see that as invasion. There are many examples in history were diverse tribes united together when confronted by a common enemy. Raising of levies to destroy the law may work, or even raising of goblin armies. Perhaps they elect a warchief to lead the armies.

    The Eyeless One may take affront to someone attempting to bring law to his chaos and choose to deal with it.

    Perhaps the nobility within Alamie may take affront to a Anuirean noble dealing with goblins as active troops. A Great Captain event may occur, or perhaps even loyalty in one or more provinces drops.

    The other assumption that you can remove is that the Five Peaks is ruled by different goblins. Perhaps the Five Peaks is ruled by the Eyeless One and he chooses not to increase law. He could then spend regency against it or take a more active role in dealing with him (for instance, while the Duke of Alamie is spending all regency on dealing with the Five Peaks, the Eyeless One can be spending their regency on dealing with Alamie. Or using subterfuge to let Alamie's neighbors know he is focused elsewhere, etc.)

    Just some ideas.

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    In most of my games I tend to have the Eyeless one rule the Five Peaks. But without the law. That being said, I had a player from Taline try the same thing. I just added a diplomatic relations between the Five Peaks and Thurazor. For mining and timber rights the King of Thurazor waged a war on Taline. Very bare bones as to what happened, but dont feel bad about bringing in an outside force if you want to spice it up.

  5. #5
    Don't forget, the dragon Lifesbane makes his home in the Five Peaks, and seeks to defend the mountains themselves. Someone going in to exploit resources and such into the northern provinces will likely have to deal with him.

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    Thanks for all the input and great ideas. It looks like the best way to make this a more realistic challenge may fall outside of the game mechanics - at least in terms of someone with law holdings being able to spend regency against the PC's actions. I do have the Eyeless one doing some rather nasty things against the PC already, but I hadn't really thought about the fact that he could also have an effect through regency he gains from sources, even though he may not control law holdings. I'm starting to ramp up some pretty negative feelings amongst the goblins for his take over attempt. This should make life pretty interesting. I'll also have to see how I can throw some of those suggested random events into the mix.

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    One last though, I don't know if you are playing AD&D or the D20 style of domain play. But, in the second ed (have not used the D20) an army can Pillage or Occupy a province.

    Pillage: Pillaging a province allows the victorious commander to perform the equivalent of Severe Taxation on the province. He can pillage one level for each unit present, up to the level of the province. In other words, an army of 3 units in a province of level 3 or better can tax as if the province were level 3. Pillaging reduces the province one level. The army has to stop moving when it pillages.
    If the province level drops below the levels of the holdings there, the PILLAGING regent decides which holdings lose levels.

    Occupation: When a province is occupied, the occupying forces serve as a temporary law holding equal to the number of units present. Forces that are used to neutralize a castle count toward this total.
    "When a regent occupies a province, he can reduce any or all law, guild, or temple holdings to 0, even if they belong to neutral regents, OR he can choose to reduce the value of each of the province's sources by one".
    Fortified holdings can't be reduced this way; they are destroyed only by siege or assault. as long as the conqueror occupies the province with at least one unit, he can perform taxation and replace the ruler in ALL respects, be he cannot collect regency until he invests the province. Note that each province under occupations adds 1 GB to the occupier's domain maintenance costs.
    An occupied province can be pillaged at will, bu it is reduced in value EACH time it is pillaged. if the occupier doesn't keep troops in the province, or the province rebels, it becomes CONTROLLED instead of occupied, and the conqueror cannot perform taxation. if the conqueror leaves entirely, the now UNoccupied province can be reclaimed by any unit belonging to the original ruler.

    A regent can use a declare war action (a Declare War action costs no GB or Regency) to occupy a province he already rules. the result is his option to destroy other regents' holdings in his territory.
    Like any kind of occupations, the province suffers a -1 grade loyalty adjustment for every domain turn that it remains occupied.

    A regent to be used to have this army can be the Eyeless One, or one of the Vos of the Five Peaks priests, or even the Hidden Temple of Cuiraecen.

  8. #8
    Recently i ran a campaign that had seen both Talinie, Alamie and Cariele been used, i'm a strong advocate of the random event table in birthright, it has started of some awesome adventure ideas and the Five Peaks seems to write it self...

    Thurazor had been going through multiple brigandage and uprisings that saw impact on guilds and the Goblin rulers of that realm, province by province colapsed into anarchy with only the temple keeping a modicum of control. However the weaker clans or those simply forced out had been pushed into Five Peaks or Talinie and caused no ends of trouble, Five Peaks became a hornets nest of trouble stiring up further brigandage and monster events. Stordvik and the guilds running out of Cariele suffered awefully, around five years of work had been destroyed over the period of a year of continued bloodshed.

    My players, three of them were flabbergasted at what had happened, which started by a guilder out of Cariele and the regents of Talinie and Alamie pushing their own respective guilds into taking control of assets in Thurazor and trying to resource collect in Five Peaks.

    And what led to all this was a storm season in the northern realms shutting down trade routes causing untold damage amongst the regents folk, that combined with the attempted grip for power by three of my players, caused near collapse. Five Peaks are an excellant source for a GM to call upon, with it's collection of brigands, and other denizens and thats before i get to the part before i even bother to use the Eyeless One. The Five Peaks is utterly lawless, players very rarely last longer than a few seasons in that place and usually need a damn good reason to go to such a place.

    I love random events, nearly always fit in to any kind of story i use, hence Birthright been so awesome a roleplay game.

  9. #9
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    One mechanic solutions is to assign holdings to the largest tribes, another is to simply increase the DC to reflect the location - or say that the rebellious tribes automatically contest any law holding every few turns, or even auto-raise militia's that pillage the holding.

    Fundamentally the reason that no single regent is there must boil down to:
    1. Historical blip, there is normally a ruler but they died/etc.
    2. Ungovernable, no ruler can maintain a holding for any length of time.
    3. Pointless, corruption, etc reduce the income to the point that money may even be lost in the rulership.
    4. Secret ruler. The Eyeless One may be the de-facto ruler, and it simply not be known outside the goblin realm - or another might be. Tread on this secret ruler's turf and start a war with an enemy you can't even see...


    As a note I'd have any province that is pillaged automatically raise a militia to defend itself equal to 1 unit per level of holding and 2 per level of the province (the rest are too disorganised to come together). The more populous the province (in both stated levels and monster levels) the more skilled some/all of the units will be. I'd also seriously consider making the pillage only temporary - in practice genocide is not easy for a medieval realm, side effects like bandit/monster random events for every neighbouring regent may also discourage players from a slash and burn approach to inter-racial diplomacy.

    I'd also note that goblins appear to see assassination as standard procedure for advancement - if your player is using his home nobles to run his holdings, I'd expect a deeply unfortunate attrition rate with consequential impact on goodwill back home as children go off to do the regent's bidding and die horribly in the doing.

    Random events are a favourite of mine - http://www.birthright.net/brwiki/ind.../Random_events lists my take and some thoughts on alternative probabilities and interpretations.
    Last edited by AndrewTall; 08-13-2010 at 01:24 AM.

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