PnP:Shadows over the southern seas

Campaigns » PnP:Shadows over the southern seas

Witness3' Shadows over the southern seas, 2019-2022

This article is an Observation
The contents herein are entirely player made and in no way represent official Birthright history or occurences which are accurate. The characters and events listed are of an independent nature and applied for roleplaying, fictional, speculative, or opinions from a limited playerbase only.
This article is Fan Fiction
The contents herein are entirely player made and in no way represent official Birthright lore or history.
The characters and events listed are of an independent nature and are applied for roleplaying purposes only.


Shadows in the southern seas is our 3rd birthright campaign, lasting 4 years. We've changed the game system many times, we started with AD&D 1st edition and moved on to Castles & Crusades; for the domain game system, we started from the 2nd, then the BRCS, finally a simplified hybrid system. We used up to 3 different mass battle systems before creating Basic Warfare, which will some day see the light of a CC free release :).

We have built and explored every possible corner of the game: management a-la-civilization, tactical warfare, adventures, roleplay, diplomacy. I believe that the continuous change of rules has helped us a lot to keep interest alive.

Those are not the only evolution of the game: in 2020, we had to move our game from live to online play, due to the pandemic. We switched from a long session once a month to small weekly sessions. This was a huge change as a lot more emphasis was given to "normal" adventure, since no tool was available to us to play domain games. We ultimately resorted to maptool for mass combat and google sheets for domain play, after a mid period in which we used roll20 (without domain).

I don't like transcripts, but I found it useful to share this experience to help those who want to build their own Domain campaign. I have divided the campaign into chapters, I use the chapters to collect types of game experience, solutions found, so that you can get inspired. And if you are passionate about the adventures of the kings of the Southernlands, happy reading.

The campaign is divided into:
  • Chapters, by plot and type of game;
  • Rounds, with the game of domination;
  • Months or adventures, with single adventures.

[top]Setting variations

  • We use real names of the months, although we keep the weeks of 8 days instead of 7;
  • The Vigilant Sisters of Nesirie have holdings from the eastern temple from Ilien to Mieres, including Brosengae, where they have taken holdings of the Pacific Seas of Nesirie;
  • Rogr Aglondier has many children, and his daughter, Alliene, is not a cleric of Nesirie;
  • Speaking of Rogr, we named the official title for the count of Ilien as Doge . I know, like the meme. This is the historical name of the ruler/mayor of the city of Venice, Italy, means "captain" or "military commander", seemed appropriate as Ilien has the major fleet in our campaign;
  • Dalien Claw, from the adventure Family Affairs, is Steward (lieutenant) of Ortien Thane;
  • The Port of Call Exchange became the Freedom Shipping Corporation, led by El Cidro Radim, which defeated El-Hadid in a duel; when he changes the player to lead the guild there will be his son, Vaesil Radim;

[top]House rules

  • General rules: we ended up with a simplified domain game, where each action is done either as a domain check (with no subsidiary exceptions) or a planification (like the Build action).
  • Diplomacy: Diplomacy is managed as a negotiation in which everyone can spend 2 RP to change 1 term of the agreement; Kingdom diplomacy has ranks - as in the video game Gorgon's Alliance.
  • Creation of events: It is possible to generate minor and major events by spending many GB;
  • Personal time: The regents can do up to 2 weeks of personal business (including training) before losing the standard action; the Home Hearkening power gives the player the "eye of sauron" mode that allows you not to miss the action.
  • Courtiers: not using the skills system we use courtiers and regent skills to give modifiers to the roll;
  • Adventure: the adventures, at the end of the campaign, were managed as single shots to be done in a week;
  • Narrative actions: certain actions such as requesting passage for the troops, where not considered real actions and did not count upon the standard/court action count.
  • Mass battle: We ended up using Basic Warfare , a mass battle system using a mix of birthright and risk rules, based upon the Wushu open rules.

[top]Synopsis (spoilers! spoilers?)

The plot was built slowly, starting from a random event, which channeled a sandbox in one direction until it became a real adventure. Most of the adventures played by the players have been freely taken from the series A of the modules of AD&D 1st edition: the so-called Slavers quadrilogy.

A series of pirate invasions into the Strait of Aerele brings the southern realms into alarm. The Seadrake appears to be destroying all the ships belonging to the realms, and Ilien is under siege. The characters, having taken control of the realms, will have to come to terms with the Seadrake to be able to bring the ships and armies back to sea, with which they will free Ilien.

A great alliance, based on the Brecht model, will unite the southern kingdoms to protect the coasts and defeat the pirates. Four great pirate captains have created collection and trade points for slaves, people kidnapped from villages and sold around Cerilia. The kings will defeat these pirates, sometimes on the battlefield, other times by seeking direct confrontation.

They will discover that there is a mastermind behind the pirate clans: Governor Vaumel. The governor has acquired mysterious powers thanks to a beastman of Aduria, a Rakshasa, who has found a grimoire dating back to the time of Azrai. This grimoire, studied by Mhistecai and her disciples, has led to the discovery of very dangerous domain spells, including the ability to absorb divine blood from a province, or transform soldiers into monsters.

The kings will gather evidence against the governor to unite the whole south against the governor and wage War. They will be hampered by internal political struggles, great lords like Darien Avan and Gavin Tael, and sometimes even the conflicting interests of their own realms. More than once in the years kings who have fought side by side have found themselves on opposite sides at the diplomatic tables.

When there are no more doubts, and the alliance has proved its strength against Avanil, the kings will go to war, hoping to stop the governor and remove the shadows from the South Seas once and for all.


  1. The seas are burning: A random event becomes the seed of a campaign. Characters take control of a realm. Adventures take the dimension of blocks to get something bigger. The first great battle.
  2. Casus Belli: Sandbox domain game. The characters clash in political round tables, alternating roleplay with strategy. domain play alternating with classic adventures. Characters become familiar with sea battles. Battles alternate with fights. Characters from remote areas of the play area are involved.
  3. The Prince: The characters face a cold war made up of secret events, financial and political strategies.
  4. Witch Hunt: Classic adventure in the setting to take a break from domain game. The players go on a quest to confront Mhistecai.
  5. The quiet before: Domain game mixed with adventures with secondary characters and small battles. This was mostly in preparation of a new adventure rule, less focused adventures where 1 week is summarized in 3 rolls or less, mixed with the new Basic Warfare mass battle rules.
  6. Into the storm: Adventures alternate with mass combat. The kings will have to get their hands dirty if they want to win this war.

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