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17:30, 16th June 2024 (GMT+0)

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting.

Posted by Arkyn
Arkyn
member, 758 posts
ISO Birthright setting
Trade solos? DM me
Sun 14 Apr 2024
at 21:47
  • msg #1

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

Hi all.

I'm currently advertising in GM - Wanted for a game, but given the likelyhood, I'm thinking about starting one.  The crisis seems to be twofold:

Most Folks Don't Know the Setting
      So why would you/they join (or more importantly) stay committed to a setting they didn't know?

Interested People Are Split on System//Mechanics
     It seems to be Not D&D or Forget it vs. D&D or I Can't Even


It's my favorite setting.  Anyone else a Setting First, Story Second, Mechanics a distant Third kinda person?

If there's a quorum, I will set up a game, but by all the gods, I can't spend the time building a campaign that no one plays in.
Xeriph
member, 29 posts
Mon 15 Apr 2024
at 00:11
  • msg #2

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

I have responded to your other post but i'll add some thoughts on your prompts.

Most Folks Don't Know the Setting
Tell them it is like kingmaker from what i understand,  you are building a kingdom
This has been attempted at least 2 times that i remember, both times it didnt make it past the 2nd turn.  I think that the GM trying to run it for more than one kindgom at a time made the tracking to hard, so i would keep it small.

Mechanics
The system was written for DnD, but as i recall the only things that mattered really was if you were arcane/divine/not caster, and a few skill ranks like diplomacy and such.

I think this could be done with almost any system with minimal changes, so as long as it is consistent it can be worked with IMHO.


Downsides
This requires people to have access to a pdf or something of a game that has been OOP for a couple decades, and have the time/patience to learn some crunchyness.
tmagann
member, 951 posts
Mon 15 Apr 2024
at 00:54
  • msg #3

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

Xeriph:
Mechanics
The system was written for DnD, but as i recall the only things that mattered really was if you were arcane/divine/not caster, and a few skill ranks like diplomacy and such.

There was a bit more to it than that. Fighters and rogues had different domain types they excelled at, for instance, With Rangers splitting the difference between them, much as Paladins could go Fighter or Clerical domain. Mind you, they might not be as effective as a dedicated Fighter, Cleric, or Rogue.

I think Bards split Fighter, Rogue and Mage. It's been awhile. Still, class had a fairly large impact on options, at least if you wanted to benefit form a domain under your control.

Converting to a later edition of D&D is probably fairly simple, but to another game system, especially one without classes or with different classes could take some work. Depending on the game it could require enough of a rewrite it might not even be Birthright, anymore.

And let's not forget the option to Adventure as your realm action for a season, and, possibly, gain divine power (I forget what it was called) by killing endowed opponents (and possibly their foreign domains). Or just finding some treasure to pay the bills.

I'd be willing to give a modernized D&D game a try, but I have my doubts about it being converted to a different game system and still be recognizable as Birthright.
odysseasdallas
member, 74 posts
Mon 15 Apr 2024
at 07:26
  • msg #4

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

Honestly I'm not touching anything D&D related with a 10-ft pole, aside from major exceptions (my partner running CoS or a weird gestalt game here), because I'm just fed up with it (and imagine, it's my favourite D&D so far, and I started from 2e).

Birthright would have been one of those exceptions... except I actually tried it a few years ago in a mass campaign (3 parties, 2-3 GMs etc), and while it seemed to hold up in the beginning, quickly D&D just made everything, everything worse. The GMs were even using a whole 2-to-5 conversion that *seemed* professional with everything you needed to play... except it wasn't, and it shows that putting the D&D layout on books does not make you magically good at rules, conversions or mechanics.

And sadly, mechanics make or break *any* game sort of freeform or roll-a-die-to-see-what-happens. Let alone one so heavily invested in strategy as opposed to just going down the story chu chu train.
Arkyn
member, 759 posts
ISO Birthright setting
Trade solos? DM me
Mon 15 Apr 2024
at 13:08
  • msg #5

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

wow, sharp opinions.  glad to see them, though.

While I would prefer to play (ref: gm wanted) I am thinking about starting a game as well.

To me, Birthright isn't perforce about strategic play.  I too have had a few experiences here and elsewhere that are *purely* strategic play, and like any game on RPOL, longevity is a challenge.

I would use the setting - and would like to play in the setting - mostly as a backdrop to traditional fantasy play.

I feel like that means either an 'ownership' (in a border fort, new temple mandate, new trading post, or similar) at game start (thus providing an early and important hook) or 'ownership' later (in the future promise, tacit or implied, of such an venture).

I feel like if I keep it small - one PC has a 40' palisade fort, another a sawmill, or instance - we have some 'this is real' flavor beyond hacking our way though one poorly-connected dungeon after another.


To the point about mechanics making or breaking any game; I honestly feel that it's the players, and the mindset they bring that determines if the mechanics work or not.  My experience only here - won't speak for you, or others - but I've played literally dozens of different systems in all (most of) the genres, and I can use any genre-based setting in that genre for a story.  I think I have an idea for some great stories, but before I get too deep with building, I want to see if players are there (and maybe a co-gm or two, also).

Re the adapations, I thought the 3.x D&D adapation of Brithright was pretty good, but the 4th and 5th less so.  I also like the gurps adapation, but gurps by nature is super flexible.  I would think about TOR/AIME & MERP, as well as any of the 'Conan/Hyborian' systems, as they all fit the low-magic nature of Birthright well* (fairly well, anyway).

But again, ty for the opinions all.
odysseasdallas
member, 75 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2024
at 09:49
  • msg #6

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

Of course, the group's mentality is the most important thing, followed by the GM's skills. Mechanics are a third, but they are often mistakenly overlooked; I've seen plenty of games between good friends with a good GM just... die or become unplayable because the mechanics ruined everyone's fun. I mean, if you have to handwave and houserule everything, that's not exactly helpful for anyone.

The thing is, group mentality and dynamics are ever-changing and hard to pin-point (especially in this setting). Also, GM skills are also hard to quantify and a bit in a quantum state (some GMs excel at some kinds of games while they suck at others, nobody is perfect).

But mechanics? Mechanics we can sit down and analyze and talk about and make educated guesses and proper assessments. It's a bit like a race, you know? The audience decides if it's fun or not, we can argue about the drivers all day long, but when it comes to engine performance or aerodynamics or even the layout of the course, then we can actually debate facts more than opinions.

Then again I'm a game designer so take all the above with a grain of salt.

But to offer a more constructive suggestion, have you considered Forbidden Lands? It's simple from what I read, easy to play, can hack into it for the extra powers and has similar mechanics (though smaller-scale) built in. Or we could try kingdom-building games, wasn't there one called Reign...?
Arkyn
member, 760 posts
ISO Birthright setting
Trade solos? DM me
Tue 16 Apr 2024
at 13:30
  • msg #7

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

Forbidden Lands is a good suggestion.  It's a lil thin on the magic side.  But it could work well.

I agree too with your thought-path on Players v. Skill v. Mechanics; you're right, players and gm skill are highly variable across a few vectors, but the mechanics are something we can all refer to...unless, of course, the GM skill sometimes (who me?) adds a thing, or emphasizes a that, or gives a clue regardless of the roll, or or or.  Gygax himself said that the dice should only be used when they further the story, and ignored when they don't; and most of the rulesets out there suggest adding or dropping to suit one's particular game.

I'm hoping to find people that want to be part of a mostly traditional fantasy story that is set in Cerelia, with some bloodline and regency as a backdrop.

FL can def. be co-opted.  It's one choice of many.  I'd like to get a look at Reign, but I do want a more traditional fantasy story, not kingdom-building focused.  Other easy co-opt contenders are MERP, TOR, & GURPS. I'm looking at others as well, but happy to take suggestions, especially if you're a 'D&D is a no-go' person.
This message was last edited by the user at 13:31, Tue 16 Apr.
serrasin
member, 49 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2024
at 22:40
  • msg #8

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

I would love to play in a Birthright game that went the distance. I've been in a few that have started up, but they all fizzled out. I thought the 3.5 port of Birthright was pretty solid and translates reasonably well to Pathfinder 1E as well.  I would be pretty open to any system or edition other than D&D 5E - maybe I have just played too much of it recently, but I just find the system to be bland. Beyond that, I generally prefer adult games to minimize limitations on theme and content even if there isnt an explicit intention for it.

With Birthright games before it started with creating the lords first, then land - but with pbp I think it would be best to have players first develop their nations/lands to be more compatible towards alliances and common goals. Then develop their kings/lords/champions of those lands.
serrasin
member, 50 posts
Wed 17 Apr 2024
at 00:11
  • msg #9

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

I would love to see a birthright style game in Exalted. That would be a treat.
Arkyn
member, 762 posts
ISO Birthright setting
Trade solos? DM me
Wed 17 Apr 2024
at 01:52
  • msg #10

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

hmmm...dk that system...
Xeriph
member, 30 posts
Wed 17 Apr 2024
at 03:02
  • msg #11

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

In reply to Arkyn (msg # 10):

It is a variation of the story teller white wolf system
serrasin
member, 51 posts
Wed 17 Apr 2024
at 04:42
  • msg #12

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

It's a kitchen sink high fantasy setting as the pre-history of World of Darkness and the characters are mythic heroes like Hercules or Jason. It has some mechanics which could be used to set up empire building and maintenance, but Exalted is less about can you do something and more what the consequences will be. Here is a good 411 if you're interested, but otherwise sorry for the tangent. https://www.thefandomentals.com/introduction_exalted/


I guess to summarize I would be most interested in a kingdom first, lord second Birthright campaign catering towards player alliances rather than competition. Preference given to D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder 1e for mechanical base of the lords. Maybe spice it up with gestalt or something.
Arkyn
member, 764 posts
ISO Birthright setting
Trade solos? DM me
Sun 21 Apr 2024
at 16:01
  • msg #13

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

Hmm.  Seems like most folks that are at least vaguely interested all want something different; no consensus.  idk what to do about that...
DeeYin
member, 56 posts
Sun 21 Apr 2024
at 16:10
  • msg #14

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

If there is no consensus, then the best solution would be to run it in the system you are most comfortable with, and enjoy running the most. As DM, the most responsibility and effort falls on you, and games live and die with the DM's interest more than any other reason. So you definitely should reap some of the joy of the game, and that would make for a better game for everyone.
This message was last edited by the user at 16:11, Sun 21 Apr.
odysseasdallas
member, 79 posts
Sun 21 Apr 2024
at 16:22
  • msg #15

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

I concur, but for me that's always the prerequisite- the GM runs whatever they are most comfortable with, and the players need to adapt.
Squirrelz
member, 4 posts
Wed 24 Apr 2024
at 07:23
  • msg #16

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

In my opinion, it's very difficult to do Birthright justice outside of its native system.

Yes, it's like Kingmaker, but Kingmaker starts at village level and builds up all the way to kingdom, while keeping all the village minutiae in focus.

Yes, any setting can be technically played with any system, but what other system can do bloodlines the way it did originally without caring for some kind of character balance when systems as a whole are rarely balanced themselves?

I have tried converting Birthright to D&D 3.x, 5e, Pathfinder 1e and 2e, and SWADE, and it never really worked like I wanted. The feel simply wasn't there.

That puts me in the "AD&D 2e or nothing" group, not because I'm a purist, but because I've tried other options and was never as happy as when I simply went back to the original.
Arkyn
member, 765 posts
ISO Birthright setting
Trade solos? DM me
Wed 24 Apr 2024
at 11:22
  • msg #17

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

I hear you.  I have had very different experiences with alt systems, to the point where I'm convinced that the possibilities are wide open.  I do feel that the 3.x version was one of the better ones, though, and that's at least thematically closer to 2.x than, say, Feng Shui.

I think it more comes down to what the adventure/campaign is 'about'.  Is it a genre-traditional, with the same kind of 'white plume mountain' adventures, but set in Cerelia? Is it bloodline adjacent, where our heroes might be blooded, with powers, but are unlanded or essentially so?  Are they trying to rule from the Iron Throne, with all adventures done by proxy; a game of diplomatic negotiation writ large?  Very very different types of games...

The game I want to play in, and the game I may yet run would be more the middle path, with 'traditional' heroes that had bloodlines and powers & maybe a holding at start.  The bloodline powers act as no more than a 'free feat' in D&D terms, or a 5-15 pt advantage in gurps.  A lil extra, for sure, but hardly a lightsabre.  And a zero-level holding is probably more trouble than it's worth, really, but forms an extra vector for character and plot development.

I don't believe that any one system has a lock on that.

But your point is well taken, which is why I'm going to shelve me starting a game - while there's interest in Birthright, battling the nabobs is beyond me at present.  I would play in a game though, and if someone wanted to trade solos, I would run a game of their preference, in their preferred system.
cnic
member, 26 posts
Mon 29 Apr 2024
at 21:55
  • msg #18

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

Do you or someone you know have access to Seeds of War. The setting is absolutely not Birthright but its domain/guild/etc system is game agnostic so it could be used with the Birthright. I mean it was originally supposed to be a new editon of BR but they couldn’t get the rights so they made their own setting. I do miss the idea of scions though with the powers. But it might give you something to work with.
Arkyn
member, 767 posts
ISO Birthright setting
Trade solos? DM me
Tue 30 Apr 2024
at 17:00
  • msg #19

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

I know I don't; I'll ask around.

My outlook is that I want a Birthright-setting game that's primarily a traditional adventure game, with some diplomacy/nobility/holding management&development.  I would apply to play in other types of games in a Birthright setting, but that's game I would like, and might convinced to GM.  But there's scant interest for that, it seems.
Xeriph
member, 36 posts
Wed 1 May 2024
at 02:48
  • msg #20

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

I have seeds of war hard back from the kick starter, but have not even opened it.
serrasin
member, 53 posts
Sat 4 May 2024
at 19:00
  • msg #21

IC: Birthright Fantasy Setting

  In reply to Arkyn (msg # 19):

I'd be down for that.
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