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  1. #1
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    Hi guys,

    I`m developing my own campaign world based on the birthright domain
    system, but I don`t want to use the bloodlines just yet. My question is
    would the game be unbalanced if I completely did away with regency, and
    maybe what are some of the effects I haven`t thought of like using regency
    to affect a successful domain action?

    Lord Tog

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  2. #2
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    If no one has access to bloodlines then probably not. I once wrote up some rules for unblooded regents. They are still available online at the following page...

    http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Labyr...099/intro9.html

    I haven't looked at them in several years, but you might find some use for the info.

    Neat little image you have as you avatar by the way! All you need to do is get rid of the black border part, convert it into a transperent gif and it would look really, really nice.
    Let me claim your Birthright!!

  3. #3
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 10:23 AM 10/5/2002 +0930, Lord Tog wrote:

    >I`m developing my own campaign world based on the birthright domain
    >system, but I don`t want to use the bloodlines just yet. My question is
    >would the game be unbalanced if I completely did away with regency, and
    >maybe what are some of the effects I haven`t thought of like using regency
    >to affect a successful domain action?

    In a non-BR campaign there`s no reason why you couldn`t do away with
    regency. (You could do without RP in BR too, for that matter, though
    personally I think BR without RP is so different that it isn`t really BR
    anymore.) A domain system using GB instead of RP is workable. If you
    haven`t already taken a look at the Dungeoncraft article in Dragon #293
    that includes a rather rough system of BR-like domain rules here`s a link:
    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=drago...on/dungeoncraft

    If you`re going to use GB in place of RP, however, you should consider
    rewriting the income tables since the BR income is very low. The income
    generated from realms in that Dungeoncraft article was rather high when I
    played around with it, so you might want to find something in between.

    Another issue with doing away with RP is to figure out how are you going to
    justify and empower realm spells. It`s not very difficult to justify
    domain actions using only GB as a cost, but realm spells are magical energy
    and RP are used to empower them. You could still, of course, apply GB to
    them rather than RP but that might seem a bit odd to some folks. (At
    least, it does to me.) Probably the simplest solution for this particular
    issue is to do away with realm spells in a non-BR domain
    system. Technically, they aren`t very useful in a system that doesn`t have
    RP since they don`t generate a lot of income and are so easily destroyed.

    Other things to consider are how you might want to handle the system of
    Vassalage. There`s not a lot of reason to have client states in the way
    that BR handles them if there is no transfer of RP.

    You might also want to reconsider the whole time scale of domain
    actions. That is, the BR domain actions only take a month and can have
    some very dramatic effects upon a domain. Provinces can be ruled from 0 to
    10 in under 3 years and holdings ruled from 1 to 10 in under a year. One
    justification for the speed at which domain actions occurs in the BR domain
    rules is that RP represent a form of magical energy that empowers those
    actions. In a system without RP it might make sense to redefine the time
    of a domain action to 3 months (a BR domain turn or a season) and the
    domain turn to a year, to reflect a more moderate pace.

    Gary

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Lord Tog:
    > I`m developing my own campaign world based on the
    > birthright domain system, but I don`t want to use the
    > bloodlines just yet. My question is would the game be
    > unbalanced if I completely did away with regency, and maybe
    > what are some of the effects I haven`t thought of like using
    > regency to affect a successful domain action?

    I merely "rename" RP as Influence. I also tend to break it down further
    into two types: Political Influence and Magical Influence.

    Law holdings generate lots of Political Influence; Temple holdings
    generate some Political Influence and some Magical Influence; Guild
    Holdings generate some Political Influence (and lots of gold for a
    holding); Source Holdings generate lots of Magical Influence.

    I also state that Magical Influence can be "transmuted" into Political
    Influence at a 4:1 rate by wizards and priests who use public magical
    displays to get their points across.

    --
    John Machin
    (trithemius@paradise.net.nz)
    -----------------------------------
    "Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."
    Athanasius Kircher, Ars Magna Sciendi.

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  5. #5
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    > I`m developing my own campaign world based on the birthright domain
    > system, but I don`t want to use the bloodlines just yet. My question is
    > would the game be unbalanced if I completely did away with regency, and
    > maybe what are some of the effects I haven`t thought of like using regency
    > to affect a successful domain action?


    I understand that this isn`t quite what you`re looking for, but I thought
    I`d throw this suggestion at you. (duck!)

    I`ve been thinking that (non/)Birthright domain adaptions might work well
    with a "fixed regency" system rather than "no regency". Basically, every
    realm/domain will have a fixed amount of regency points that can be used on
    any given turn. (For example, let`s say that every realm has a base Regency
    score of 10, meaning that on any given turn they have up to 10 points that
    can be spent, and these points can not be saved from one turn to the other.)
    This way, you don`t have to worry about bloodlines, you still have the
    strategic allotment of regency (i.e., helping other regents, reserving
    regency to defend against hostile actions, or enhancing your own actions)
    but everyone is pretty much on the same level and you don`t really need to
    worry about where it comes from or what it really represents.

    The best part is that you could change your mind later, and have truly
    powerful (villainous) realms that have lots of regency, or you could have
    particular large scale domain-adventures (like defeating the villainous
    realms with lots of regency) that could result in an increase in a domain`s
    base Regency score (either permanently or over a certain amount of time).
    This allows you to work in both a reward system and a scale of balance that
    might not be used at first but could eventually become useful tools for the
    campaign.

    For example, if might be kind of an amusing "random event" if everyone
    discovers that a certain noble, after an immensely popular heroic event,
    will grant an additional "+1 Regency" benefit to whatever realms has him in
    his court. That way, in addition to whatever plots and intrigues players
    are brewing up on their own, you`ll have this subplot for awhile that could
    result in war, intrigue, diplomacy, trade negotiations, bribery, and of
    course empty threats. After all, an additional +1 bonus to a die roll
    every turn must be immensely useful to domain rulers, right? The trick
    would be not to do this too often. If there`s a long standing war, you
    could even implement little flavor rules that say that the winner gets +1
    Regency for three turns and the loser gets -1 Regency for three turns (I`m
    assuming 10 points a turn here, and that you can`t save).

    The point is that Regency may be worth keeping, even if you don`t really
    have a use for it yet. Having it available as a fixed value isn`t all that
    annoying, is easily predictable, and it`s a useful expendable resource that
    can`t be hoarded -- which is always good, from a DM-standpoint. It grants
    some options to players, allows you to balance NPC realms a little, and
    allows the possibility of "realm advancement" over a campaign in a tangible
    way.

    But throw out the bloodlines.

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  6. #6
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    Sean Money wrote:

    >Hi guys,
    >
    > I`m developing my own campaign world based on the birthright domain
    >system, but I don`t want to use the bloodlines just yet. My question is
    >would the game be unbalanced if I completely did away with regency, and
    >maybe what are some of the effects I haven`t thought of like using regency
    >to affect a successful domain action?
    >
    >Lord Tog
    >
    (I haven`t done away with bloodlines but...)
    I guess there are two ways you can go.
    (1) Ignore the political power completely and go with GB only
    (2) Use Domain Power as political power, and thus as RP

    I prefer option 2, I use it in BR, firstly because I think that the
    minimum of bloodline and domain power rule is a simple typo - nothing
    more nothing less -- which is backed up by every other piece of original
    material. Secondly, it makes much more sense logically and works many
    many times better in practice.

    There`s a later post by Lord Rahvin in which he advocates a `fixed` or
    non-accumulating value. This also, I completely agree with - and again
    it makes 100% sense. How can one `accumulate` regency? You can make a
    distinction between the regency as regent `has` (amount at start of
    domain turn), and the amount of regency he `has left` (value after
    expending some regency). A regent should always be considered to `have`
    a full amount of regency -- but for game mechanics we should limit his
    use of it - it`s not an infinite amount. Am I conveying this idea
    sufficiently?

    If you just collect RP for domain power (DP) then you have to balance
    the types of domains well. I know that 3e is very much a free-for-all
    and any character can be as many character classes as they like.
    Personally I think this greatly disadvantages the specialists, it does
    not promote group play, it does not promote role-playing, in fact I
    can`t think of a single good reason for allowing it at all - it has
    nothing but down-side. That opinion stated (so you know that`s where I
    stand), I don`t allow character class or level to have any input on
    domain rules whatsoever.

    I determine a regents `regent class` by their majority domain value.
    That is, each major holding type generates Domain Power (DP), and a
    regents total DP is the largest of all these individual totals. In other
    words, if a regent has 21 source levels and 7 province levels his DP is
    21 - his rulership of provinces does not make him a `better` or `more
    powerful` wizard -- although it can obviously help in many ways in game
    terms - it doesn`t help him magically -and so on. Specialists will have
    a higher DP for the same investment in domain building but will be less
    versatile - which seems very fair to me. There are 5 regent classes -
    realm (provinces), warrior (law and military units), priest/faith
    (temples), rogue/guild (guilds), and wizards (sources).

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  7. #7
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    In a message dated 10/5/02 3:06:19 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
    lordrahvin@SOFTHOME.NET writes:

    << The point is that Regency may be worth keeping, even if you don`t really
    have a use for it yet. Having it available as a fixed value isn`t all that
    annoying, is easily predictable, and it`s a useful expendable resource that
    can`t be hoarded -- which is always good, from a DM-standpoint. It grants
    some options to players, allows you to balance NPC realms a little, and
    allows the possibility of "realm advancement" over a campaign in a tangible
    way.

    But throw out the bloodlines.
    >>

    I would suggest going this route, but allowing no basic income of Regency,
    except that which is earned by heroic actions in the eyes of the people (i.e.
    winning a war, opening a new province, etc.).

    Lee.

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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by Peter Lubke:
    I know that 3e is very much a free-for-all
    and any character can be as many character classes as they like.
    Personally I think this greatly disadvantages the specialists, it does
    not promote group play, it does not promote role-playing, in fact I
    can`t think of a single good reason for allowing it at all - it has
    nothing but down-side.
    Congratulations on expressing so much nonsense in so few words. Of course, I'm not going to deny you your opinion in this matter, but this claim isn't strictly in the realm of opinion - you might want to examine your claim a bit better, from the viewpoint of a mechanical game balance.

    Your claims are the following:
    1) The multiclassing system in 3e greatly disadvantages the specialists
    2) The multiclassing system in 3e does not promote group play
    3) The multiclassing system in 3e does not promote role-playing

    The first claim is the one which can be most substantially examined; an examination in the context of #2 would also be helpful, as the second claim ties into the first.

    First, to look at what exactly you mean by "greatly disadvantages" - my initial interpretation of this would be that you're inferring that multiclass characters are somehow more powerful than singleclass ones. So, let's take a case of three different characters - a 10th-level fighter, a 10th-level wizard, and a 5th-level fighter/5th-level wizard. I'm going to stat them up quickly, ignoring skills for the time being, using the standard spread for ability scores;

    Ftr 10 - Str 17, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8; BAB +10, Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +6; Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Exotic Weapon (Bastard Sword), Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Blind-Fight, Improved Critical - all weapon-specific feats applied to his trusty bastard sword; melee stats +14/9, 1d10+5 (17-20); 80 hp; AC 22 (full plate, +1 large shield)

    Wiz 10 - Str 10, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 17, Wis 12, Cha 8; BAB +5, Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +8; Scribe Scroll, Spell Penetration, Combat Casting, Lightning Reflexes, Spell Focus, Craft Wondrous Item, Craft Wand; Spells per day 4/5/5/4/3/2

    Ftr 5/Wiz 5 - Str 14, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 8; BAB +7, Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +7; Scribe Scroll, Combat Casting, Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Craft Wand, Iron Will, Craft Magic Arms & Armor, Spell Focus - all weapon-specific feats apply to the bastard sword; Spells per day 4/4/3/2; melee stats +10/5, 1d10+4 (19-20); 55 hp; AC 18 (mage armor, +1 small shield); 5% ASF (could have higher AC, but it'd be at a significantly higher ASF)

    Now, in terms of raw power, the first two characters will whack the third one silly; in a straight melee, the fighter will take about 20-21 points of damage while killing the ftr/wiz, being left with about 60. Now, of course, the ftr/wiz could buff himself considerably given time to prepare, and bridge a lot of the gaps - endurance, bull's strength, cat's grace, displacement, haste - the fighter would presumably carry buffs (potions and items) of his own to match that, however, leaving him with the advantage, though by a smaller margin.

    The wizard, of course, can execute a number of different maneuvers; his magical resources should, on the balance, far exceed the capabilities of his multiclassed rival. Summoning an achaierai or a fiendish giant crocodile, dominating him, fireballing him (at twice the damage output the multiclass character can do), etc. Given time to prepare, he might use planar binding and get a vrock or avoral to do his work for him.

    Similar considerations apply in a lot of circumstances; the main advantage of being multiclassed is versatility - however, you will have less power and thus usefulness overall compared to singleclassed compatriots. A party consisting of a fighter 20, wizard 20, cleric 20 and a rogue 20 will dominate a party consisting of four ftr5/wiz5/clr5/rog5, to use an extreme example. Spellcasters especially suffer a lot from multiclassing, as they lose out on the higher-level spells, which are very important. Non-spellcasting types are better off, but they, too, have high-level abilities that they lose out on in multiclassing. The only class where this is not the case would be the fighter, but the benefit of so many feats weighing in on a combat is very large.

    This is just one sample comparison; there are countless others to be made. The bottom line is, your former two claims are wrong in terms of game mechanics; the system does favor singleclassed characters, quite heavily, even; especially in a group context. The main difference in this regard to earlier incarnations is simply that 3e allows for greater depths of characterization of individual characters in mechanical terms.

    Finally, as for systems and role-playing, if you consider role-playing as an isolated act, the system has nothing to do with it; you could role-play fine without any rules whatsoever - that's what police and robber games are all about, for one. If, on the other hand, you view roleplaying as an extension of game mechanics, then mechanically being able to significantly differentiate characters becomes quite important, and in this regard, 3e is highly superior to previous editions, without unnecessarily weighing down the game, like certain other systems can do, or being vague.

    There is one final qualifying point to be made, and that is about house rules or world rules. If you set the magic item levels to a lower level than the 3e default, you'll find that spellcasting classes will gain much in power, compared to non-spellcasters. In this case, a multiclass fighter/wizard might be better than a simple fighter. A fighter/wizard with endurance, bull's strength, cat's grace, shield, displacement, haste, magic weapon, expeditious retreat, enlargement, and true strike up would be a deadlier melee fighter than the straight fighter - for about four rounds, assuming he could get all those buffs up. While such a character could do well in a peak fight, he'd suck on the balance in most encounters; an assessment of the classes that the fighter is the barbarian's bodyguard that I saw a while back is very true - the fighter is superior in all the little fights, but the barbarian, with his rage, shines in the big fights. That is sort of tangential, but the bottom line remains - in terms of power, multiclassing is not generally advantageous. It can be advantageous if you have a very specific purpose in mind, or if you want a character that is more versatile. In terms of party dynamics, though, a party of singleclassed characters is generally superior to a multiclassed one.

    Thus, I postulate
    1) Singleclassed characters are, on the balance, more powerful than multiclassed ones;
    2) Since singleclassed characters are more powerful, playing singleclassed characters makes much more sense within a party than playing multiclassed characters, promoting group play;
    3) The role-playing element is only tangentially tied into the rules mechanics.
    Jan E. Juvstad.

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