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Thread: PBEM Idea

  1. #1
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    PBEM Idea

    I've been toying with a concept for a birthright 3/3.5ed campaign and I figured I'd toss the idea to the wolves. Cutting out the flowery descriptions to keep things clearer/short.

    Setting;
    During the Years of Chaos an exodus away from Cerilia occurs as minor families flee the wars, seek survival, avoid extermination, etc. These human colonists sail towards the sun seeking a new home. They get seperated and/or split up upon making landfall on some unknown continent (Anduria or unique) following whoever they swear loyalty to. Game starts after first towns, minor churches, guilds, etc erected.

    Characters;
    3 "dominant" families. Histories or minor feats known to all educated persons. Some family present (ie.minor officers) at Mount Deismarr, giving them (slightly) stronger Minor bloodlines.
    ~7 other notables. 2 other regents, 3 church/cult leaders, 2 guilders. Not planning on any source holding wizards.

    --Thinking of making the guilders npcs of general adventurer/mercenary groups. Regents controlling guilds through family connections.

    Quirks/Considering;
    Requiring exploration/mapping before claiming or expanding into neighbouring regions.
    Exploration/mapping "levels" where possible hidden ruins/resources are uncovered.
    Other notables may include one or two non-human. Due to timeline elf-human amnosity high.
    Non-human regent possibly settled before arrival of humans, but still fresh from the battle.
    At least one npc realm will rise with awnsheghlien ruler(s).

  2. #2
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    They not be aware of awnsheghlien at first - the transformations would have taken time to occur.

    When a noble does go awnie I'd expect all sorts of social issues - will other scions be distrusted, how will the signs be detected, will the change be embraced as a source of power, etc.

    Some of those fleeing might have been 'noble' but not scions - some families would have lost out big time as the shift towards scion-domination occured. So some of your domains might have non-scion regents leading to some interesting powerplays as scions naturally move in to the leadership roles.

    A big issue is going to be realm magic which will be 'out of the blue' for the colonists but could lead to some interesting power imbalances if learned and a PC or two started researching new spells.

    If your PCs are in 'the middle of nowhere' you could throw in some unique races that died out / were never present elsewhere to add some flavour, or perhaps skew the races slightly - I have a particular liking for the elves in the Taladas boxed set and they would fit Cerilia well imho, while Athasian halflings are a fun spin on things.

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    Yes I probably should have strayed from using the word awnsheghlien. In truth I was thinking a <insert race> that has developed animalistic/feral qualities uncommon to the race. A creature on the path towards becoming an awnsheghlien given enough time.

    I was considering having players submit their preffered bloodline and then secretly roll to see if there character, or family member if appropriate, were blooded. Having the knowledge revealed by some later event. Would be interesting power struggling between regents, but also in the religious sect as well. However, that depends on players willing to play unblooded characters.

    I didn't even consider using non-standard races *blush* thank you for the food for thought.

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Depending on exactly when the game is set, you might actually have a mix of the old gods and new gods - and heresies growing up, such as demon-worship, worship of awnsheghlien or monsters, scion-slaying to free trapped god's essence, etc. This could also lead to limited / no clerical magic if you wanted to remove that from the campaign which would have all sorts of socio-economic implications.

    I toyed with creating a continent as an alternative to Cerilia a while back and considered the situation where <all> scions aimed at an ehrsheghlien/awnsheghlien transformation - taking a leaf from the egyptian god approach of bestial heads, etc. That sort of change really does set scions as a breed apart and could easily be embraced by scions wanting to proclaim their godhood loudly.

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    Didn't think too deeply about religions before now. Mixture of new and old gods was as far as I had gotten. Now I can see encouraging someone to lead a religion based on the elements. Stumbled across an elemental binder class for 3.5 earlier that'd fit perfectly. I should set a year start date soon, but the power of clerical magic would be greatly limited for the first few seasons/turns. So I could probably get away with any start date within 5 years of the new gods and goddesses ascending. A little later if I want to play up the idea of fickle gods or too few worshippers.

    I'm thinking an apocalyptic cult will be a large presence up until something happens. Maybe hunting down scions and murdering/sacrificing to prevent the doom of the world. Along this line I would hope to encourage a player to rule an anti-scion, or scion-free state to add another dimension to politics. Of course this would have to occur later on as scions discover their innate power.

    The goal of ascending into an ehrsheghlien/awnsheghlien is a really good idea. Might have just solved what my rising npc kingdom will be modelled after. I was thinking along the lines of Aztec culture with sacrificing, slavery, etc and now I may have a reason as to why/how these people are ruled.

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    Thinking more on the races to incorporate, I'm thinking at most one new/unique race per human kingdom. Probably less than that. These will be discovered hamlets or nomads that players will then have to deal with or ignore. The human refuges will definetly be the new dominate race in this relatively untouched land.

    To explain for this there will be some geographic impedement. Mountains with dragons or a great desert perhaps. The desert would be a great way to explain the lack of source magic... a great empire ages past screwed up and destroyed their civilization and turned the land to dust. Leaving ruins all over the continent hinting at their great legacy and terrible downfall. A good way to explain a variety of "new" animals that would resemble old world creatures but with odd features, colourations, behaviour, etc due to magic breeding.

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    Special Guest (Donor) DarkApple's Avatar
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    This seems something interesting and worth keeping an eye on

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    Thanks DA And even more so Andrew.

    I'm almost at the point of hashing out how to best run the game. A little more lurking and I should be confident enough to start putting fleshed out ideas to paper.

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    If you want a 'virgin land' scenario, how about:

    1. The formerly dominant race collapsed after its patron was slain by Azrai as a precursor to the Cerilian/Adurian godswar - or died en masse when Azrai drained their lives to fuel his battle against his siblings.

    2. The newcomers brought a plague with them that exterminated many of the locals - quite likely if the former inhabitants weren't city dwellers. Of course this would mean that the void was purely temporary and some of the local populations might be rapidly re-growing and reclaiming their lands.

    3. The land could have been formerly occupied only by fairies and spirits who have left/faded - or the opposite could have been abandoned by its former occupants after fey started fleeing to the land from the Spirit World as that world darkens towards becoming the Shadow world.

    4. Given that we have at least one mountain removed by the godswar, you could have catastrophic / blessed climate change - the sahara is a good example of terrain which flickers between desert and lush as the axial tilt moves the monsoons north and south but a mountain range rising/sinking could have a similar local effect on rain patterns.

    5. A far-out idea would be an entire land shifting from the spirit World into Cerilia at the time of Deismaar when Azrai sought to merge the two planes - many of the inhabitants would have died, faded or left leaving it ripe for colonisation - if a trifle odd in some respects by Cerilian standards.

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    I'm not looking for a 'virgin land', but more of a reason as to why there is no direct threat to this human exodus. The magical and physical backlash should have been an obvious choice for me that I somehow overlooked. Otherwise the dominant cultures of the land would undoubtedly enslave or expell the human "invaders".

    One of the races I'm thinking about are fiendish elves. Either being a) natural fey creatures migrating from the shadow world b) an elven colony that Azrai manipulated but didn't join the fight because x and Azrai hadn't punished them before his defeat or c) After Azrai was defeated these still loyal elves managed to transport themselves into the shadow world at the cost of their souls. Just recently freeing themselves and their new shadow allies/minions/slaves back into the world. The very act of this easily being another reason for recent destruction of local powers.

    Otherwise the others will be probably more mudane or primitive cultures. If I have Azrai grace this land before his chasing of the tribes and the final confrontation that does give me an excuse to include tainted creatures and beastmen. Everyone loves rampaging gnolls and goblins.

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