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Thread: Starting Domain

  1. #1

    Starting Domain

    I've always been intrigued by Birthright but at the times, in the 1990s, I had no access to a copy here in my town, and my english was very, very bad then (I'm Italian).

    Now I'm intrigued by playing Birthright 3.5....but I have just a question. Possibly it's a very stupid question for all of you Birthright experts, but I need some help.

    Maybe I'm just a dumb, or it is the barrier language, but even if I've read and understood how regency work, I really do not understand how you can chooose a domain at the start.

    Can anybody explain me how starting PCs choose domains in simple words?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jaleela's Avatar
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    Hi Luca,

    It may depend on your game-master (story teller). They may want to play an Anuire focused campaign. Players would choose domains from Anuire.

    Usually players picks a kingdom that has not been taken by another player.

    Some players want to be rulers of trade brotherhoods (guilds). Others want to play wizard regents or priestly regents.

    So usually when someone picks a domain, it's a matter of personal choice.

    Does that answer your question?

    J
    d'estre bons et leaulx amis et vrais ensemble et de servir l'un 'autre envers et contre tous

  3. #3
    I'm planning to be the game master, but I've still to properly grasp all of the setting.

    Regarding sources:
    So, is it necessary for me to have, at least, all of the original Birthright AD&D2 core rules?
    Or maybe is it enough to have the booklet "Ruins of Empire" to choose available domains?
    Or does that book describe just Anuire?
    What about Voosgard, Khinasi, Brecht and Rjurik?

    Regarding choosing domains:
    So, as far as I see, doman choosing is all almost arbitrary, it's all about Master/Players decision to see which domain can or cannot be chosen.
    So, does it mean we can give a very big domain even to somebody with a very low Bloodline score?
    If I well understood, it will only mean that he'll get less regency points than the land could give.
    Am I wrong?
    Last edited by LucaCherstich; 08-22-2011 at 11:16 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jaleela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucaCherstich View Post
    I'm planning to be the game master, but I've still to properly grasp all of the setting.

    Regarding sources:
    So, is it necessary for me to have, at least, all of the original Birthright AD&D2 core rules?
    Or maybe is it enough to have the booklet "Ruins of Empire" to choose available domains?
    Or does that book describe just Anuire?
    What about Voosgard, Khinasi, Brecht and Rjurik?
    I use 2E Original Core rules and have no real experience with 3.x. If you are using 3.0/3.5 AD&D then I suggest using the download of the 3.0 rule book.

    The original boxed set TSR 3100 should contain everything to get started. You can usually find the boxed set on EBay. It has: Rule book, Ruins of Empire, Atlas of Cerilia, a monster cards, war cards, battle map, etc...

    Ruins of Empire is Anuire. (Part of the Core rules)

    Separate Boxed sets and accessories:

    Cities of the Sun is Khinasi.

    Havens of the Great Bay is Brecht.

    Rjurik Highlands is Rjurik.

    Tribes of the Heartless Wastes deals with Vosguard.

    King of the Giant Downs covers the domain north of the Empire.

    There are some domain specific accessories: Ariya, Tuarhievel, Binsada, Khourane, Baruk-Azik, Medore, Talinie, Roesone, Ilien, Endier, and Tournen.

    Some people have written others for Diemed and Ghoere and I think there are some downloads from wizards of the coast.

    You can use the Birthright wiki to fill in some of the blanks, but this source is not complete; I prefer to have the original core rules and the supplemental material.

    Regarding choosing domains:
    So, as far as I see, doman choosing is all almost arbitrary, it's all about Master/Players decision to see which domain can or cannot be chosen.
    So, does it mean we can give a very big domain even to somebody with a very low Bloodline score?
    If I well understood, it will only mean that he'll get less regency points than the land could give.
    Am I wrong?
    Yes, it is purely arbitrary unless you want to assign domains. We have a lot of regents, but some people play lieutenants of regents if they don't want to run a country or holding.

    I think that's the goal of the game is to build up a domain and watch it develop over game time.

    I think that if a PC takes over a domain, say Diemed, then they should do so as the current regent or an heir. Their base bloodline, at least in 2E AD&D would have them assume the regent's bloodline strength.

    You can start with a lower bloodline score and use Regency and other means to grow it over time.

    The amount of regency is dependent on your holdings and bloodline. You collect the lesser of the two. For example, if your holdings generate a total of 24 RP, and your bloodline is 54, you collect 24.
    Last edited by Jaleela; 08-22-2011 at 01:16 PM.
    d'estre bons et leaulx amis et vrais ensemble et de servir l'un 'autre envers et contre tous

  5. #5
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucaCherstich View Post
    I'm planning to be the game master, but I've still to properly grasp all of the setting.

    Regarding sources:
    So, is it necessary for me to have, at least, all of the original Birthright AD&D2 core rules?
    Or maybe is it enough to have the booklet "Ruins of Empire" to choose available domains?
    Or does that book describe just Anuire?
    What about Voosgard, Khinasi, Brecht and Rjurik?
    You need a map, and to know who you want to the domains to be - depending on how much work you want to do you could simply lift everything from one of the nation books, or write a brief 'players secrets' book for every domain available for play - whatever suits you.

    I'd restrict play to one of the major nations at least at the outset, Anuire can easily encompass 30-40 players which is probably unmanageable for 1 DM to handle on their own. You could even start with just the south coast, or just the heartlands/east - starting small and building up is probably the best way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by LucaCherstich View Post
    Regarding choosing domains: So, as far as I see, doman choosing is all almost arbitrary, it's all about Master/Players decision to see which domain can or cannot be chosen.
    Kind-of correct. Most DM will have an idea of how big they want their game to be, and will aim for realms chosen based around a specified geographical area to keep the players close together so that they interact and so that the number of NPC's is manageable. They may also want to restrict mages, as mage domains tend to be very hard to play given lack of income and a 'no PC-mage' rule allows them to restrict magic easily.

    At the back of the Rulebook (pages 95 and 96) in 2e were a couple of pages on designing a realm via bloodline and roll. You got 'domain points' equal to the regent's bloodline score plus the die roll and then used these domain points to buy province levels, holding levels, etc, to make up the domain. Like a lot of 2e it was a bit variable and it didn't necessarily fit with the existing domains either.

    I'd note that easy ways to make a domain stronger/weaker are to carve out independent vassals to make it weaker (although a diplomatically able PC can convince vassals to lend support of course) or give an overly weak domain various vassalage agreements where they receive some extra income / soldiers under some ancient right.

    Quote Originally Posted by LucaCherstich View Post
    Regarding choosing domains: So, does it mean we can give a very big domain even to somebody with a very low Bloodline score?
    If I well understood, it will only mean that he'll get less regency points than the land could give.
    Am I wrong?
    Not at all. In general a high bloodline score allows the regent to 'make more'; of their domain, and in the long term I'd expect the larger more powerful realms to have regents from families with high bloodlines as a result, but there are many other factors which can take effect to leave someone with a weak bloodline in charge. One easy way for a regent with low bloodline to rule a large domain is to have multiple vassals each collecting regency for them - although that usually doesn't work well with a modern mindset it makes perfect medieval sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by LucaCherstich View Post
    Can anybody explain me how starting PCs choose domains in simple words?
    In games that I've played in:

    1. The DM outlines the available realms - large realms are often 'NPC' realms or would be subdivided for example.

    2. the PC then looks at what sort of domain they want to play, who is playing neighbouring domains, and asks to be assigned the relevant domain.

    3. The player then takes the starting character or asks the DM for a re-build of the regent.

    4. Some players, inevitably, drop out as the game progresses and their domains go npc or are taken over by a new player.

  6. #6
    Thank you, I got what you all say, and it all seems reasonable.
    As far as I can see, it looks like I need to find a old Birthright product, or at least a pdf to print.
    However, 169 euro on ebay is definitively too much for me ....
    Thanks
    Last edited by LucaCherstich; 08-23-2011 at 11:31 AM.

  7. #7
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Have a look at the domains on the wiki - from recollection most of the anuirean ones had something up.

    If any domains that you are interested in are overly skeletal let me know and I'll put something up.

    Another good source, albeit somewhat campaign specific, is the download section on the ruins of empire website http://twilightpeaks.net/forum/ - Bjorn has done player's secrets for most domains and made a very impressive campaign world. He uses vassals a lot more than most games and made his own 3e conversion which he prefers to BRCS but from a fluff perspective he's a great source.

  8. #8
    Sorry for the very stupid question, I'm just planning some games with my friends, and none of us is an expert in Birthright setting.
    I've seen domains in the Wiki show regents.
    How do these regents are supposed to be used?
    I suppose it is obvious that these are just NPCs which I can pretend they never existed, if I want a player to start as the ruler of that dominion.
    Or do you suggest to use these regents as Big Rulers and PCs as vassals (with small domains = provinces of the larger domain)?
    Maybe that's better, in order to to make them familair with the setting.

  9. #9
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    Sincere questions aren't stupid.

    The regents listed are the characters in the default birthright setting. Players tend to choose one to play an RP the character as appropriate... important characters usually have more detail about their personalities than lesser characters.

    Personally I would suggest finding a few small domains so you have less to keep track of and require more finese (imo). The Cities in the Sun book goes over the Khinasi lands that are perfect for this.

    Being vassals is also a good idea for testing the waters.

  10. #10
    what's a "RP"?
    Regent Player?

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