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  1. #1
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    Effects of Shadow World on magic

    Limited Teleportation rules are ok and they reflect the nature of Birthright setting very well, but what about other effects on magic? I have some ideas which I've used in the past:

    Summoning
    Since 3rd edition D&D, Summon Monster spells summon Celestial or Fiendish monsters from the Outer Planes. There are also other spells that summon true Celestials or Fiends and also spells that summon Elementals or other elemental creatures from the Inner Planes. Shouldn't these be limited as well? I've used the following rules in my 3rd edition games:
    1) The more frequent type of Summon Monster spells is available to users of Aqwnmebhaighl (Shadow Magic). It summons Shadow creatures instead of Celestial or Fiendish. Such spells are inherently evil. Other summoning spells like Gate and Planar Ally have no Shadow version.
    2) Normal summoning spells existed before the Spirit World became Shadow World but they are very difficult to discover because they have become obsolete. If a character should find and learn such a spell, he/she would be able to cast it, but with random effects determined by a d100 roll. The effects would be roughly 70% to completely fail, 20% to summon a Shadow version of the creature hostile to all, 10% to summon a more powerful Shadow creature of any kind hostile to all, 10% chance to succeed normally. Developing a normal summoning spell from scratch should be even more risky because it involves a lot of experimenting.
    3) Stray Outsiders and intentional planar travellers should be very rare since they would have to find their way through the Shadow World first. Outsiders should be an extremely rare sighting on Aebrynis. Any innate summoning abilities they might have should be subject to the same randomness as summoning spells.
    4) Druids should be an exception to this. Since they specialize in summoning spells, they should be allowed to summon normal animals although 3rd edition D&D doesn't like this kind of summoning a lot.
    5) Shapechanging into Outsider creatures should work as normal. This is important for powerful Druids. Arcane shapechanging into Outsiders should be rare as few people on Aebrynis know what Outsiders are.


    Divination
    Spells that allow contact with deities or other extraplanar entities should be as risky as summoning an Outsider. A Cleric's call for advice by his god could be intercepted by a Shadow World entity and false information sent back. This very well explains why Anuirean clerics haven't cast powerful Divination spells and asked Haelyn who should be the next Emperor.


    Cleric alignment limits
    With Aebrynis wrapped in the Shadow World, how difficult is it for deities to sense the alignment of their followers? I would allow Clerics to stray from their deity's alignment to any degree. Of course, churches would cast Detect Alignment and Know Alignment when recruiting new clerics and promoting the existing ones, but this makes it possible to have corrupt religious leaders or attempts of infiltration with spells or items that hide or fake the alignment. I think it would allow for more intrigue and corruption in chruches, something I think Birthright sorely misses because of D&D rules.


    Divine Low Magic
    Clerics were always more numerous than Arcane spellcasters. This is supposed to be one of the reasons why humans were able to take almost the whole Cerilia from Elves. But isn't this a good chance to abuse the rules? I can easily imagine a group of clerics casting mid-level spells on the battlefield as a formidable force. To counter this, I'd limit the unblooded Clerics and Druids to level 3 spells, as if their deity were dead, because their prayers are unable to fully reach their deities through the Shadow World. The Blooded Divine spellcasters do not have this problem because they have divine blood in their veins.

  2. #2
    Member ebatalis's Avatar
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    Shadow World and Cerilia

    I welcome all homebrew ideas with great enthusiasm since they are the next best way from literate reading to expand a campaign universe. Good post mate



    PS. In our campaign , the church has evolved into something malevolent and I find your explanation rather satisfying and very close to ours, evil people twist even the best more pure credos in a faith
    Last edited by ebatalis; 05-12-2011 at 11:10 AM.
    " The Empire will fall...."

  3. #3
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    I worked on the basis that the 'standard' outer planes existed and were home to the gods, but that rather than being separate planes they were simply demi-planes within the Shadow World.

    I use the Shadow World as a very amorphous place:

    I have various demiplanes created by powerful beings who enforce their will on the plane to maintain a stable existence (so Haelyn creates the seven heavens by his will, angels, etc are the forms taken by the spirits within it - if he was destroyed it would slowly lose its stability and be consumed by the chaos);

    I then have bright and dark areas - alternatively great forests, swamps, etc where life is particularly vibrant, home to all manner of fey, and dark gloomy places populated by undead if anything at all - both bright and dark places often mirroring a Cerilian location and the bright parts either growing fewer or harder to reach for Ceriians while the dark places spread or became closer.

    Finally I have areas of chaos where the plane continually shifts terrain, etc. All is mutable and may be shaped by dreams, events in the past or future, events on Cerilia, etc. These chaos lands acting as borders to other areas and allowing rapid if risky transit.

    So I'd allow Gate for example, but rather than summoning 'a demon' what the caster is actually doing is summoning a spirit from the Shadow World (possibly intelligent, possibly mindless), pressing a rather unpleasant personality on it, shaping a physical body about it from the caster's nightmares, and then letting it loose with a bad attitude...

    I then took one aspect a step further by removing the gods, their 'planes' are then maintained by the prayer of the faithful and remain constant because so many people think of the same iconographic images when they pray. Divine casting is then no different from arcane casting except that the cleric is using an existing focus to draw energy from the churches shadow world realm rather than creating one on the fly to use mebhaighl as would a wizard. My thought here was that an active patron would prevent much of the rivalry, etc that I wanted in my campaign so should be removed as a self-aware force.

    Not surprisingly in my campaign a cleric asking questions of the gods tended to result in getting the answer that the collective unconscious of the faithful would give rather than truly adding to their wisdom - a particularly arrogant petitioner would probably just receive confirmation of what they already believed.

    One other thing I do is have not merely current events and places mutable, but also past ones - so for example when reality in the Shadow World shifted and Anduiras became leader of the pantheon of the gods, then he exerted his will and made it so that his dominance was not merely now, but it had always been so... Azrai was then a former 'supreme god' who was furious that the other gods had forged Cerilia and removed it from the Shadow World to ensuring that they would rule forever rather than rise and fall as time went by.

  4. #4
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    This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.
    You can view the entire thread at:
    http://www.birthright.net/forums/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=5562

    AndrewTall wrote:
    I worked on the basis that the `standard` outer planes existed and were home to the gods, but that rather than being separate planes they were simply demi-planes within the Shadow World.

    I use the Shadow World as a very amorphous place:

    I have various demiplanes created by powerful beings who enforce their will on the plane to maintain a stable existence (so Haelyn creates the seven heavens by his will, angels, etc are the forms taken by the spirits within it - if he was destroyed it would slowly lose its stability and be consumed by the chaos);

    I then have bright and dark areas - alternatively great forests, swamps, etc where life is particularly vibrant, home to all manner of fey, and dark gloomy places populated by undead if anything at all - both bright and dark places often mirroring a Cerilian location and the bright parts either growing fewer or harder to reach for Ceriians while the dark places spread or became closer.

    Finally I have areas of chaos where the plane continually shifts terrain, etc. All is mutable and may be shaped by dreams, events in the past or future, events on Cerilia, etc. These chaos lands acting as borders to other areas and allowing rapid if risky transit.

    So I`d allow Gate for example, but rather than summoning `a demon` what the caster is actually doing is summoning a spirit from the Shadow World (possibly intelligent, possibly mindless), pressing a rather unpleasant personality on it, shaping a physical body about it from the caster`s nightmares, and then letting it loose with a bad attitude...

    I then took one aspect a step further by removing the gods, their `planes` are then maintained by the prayer of the faithful and remain constant because so many people think of the same iconographic images when they pray. Divine casting is then no different from arcane casting except that the cleric is using an existing focus to draw energy from the churches shadow world realm rather than creating one on the fly to use mebhaighl as would a wizard. My thought here was that an active patron would prevent much of the rivalry, etc that I wanted in my campaign so should be removed as a self-aware force.

    Not surprisingly in my campaign a cleric asking questions of the gods tended to result in getting the answer that the collective unconscious of the faithful would give rather than truly adding to their wisdom - a particularly arrogant petitioner would probably just receive confirmation of what they already believed.

    One other thing I do is have not merely current events and places mutable, but also past ones - so for example when reality in the Shadow World shifted and Anduiras became leader of the pantheon of the gods, then he exerted his will and made it so that his dominance was not merely now, but it had always been so... Azrai was then a former `supreme god` who was furious that the other gods had forged Cerilia and removed it from the Shadow World to ensuring that they would rule forever rather than rise and fall as time went by.

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