Saturday, August 6, 2011

Birthright - Domains

Now that we’ve unboxed Birthright it’s time to move into the meat of the setting. I do find myself a bit conflicted about which direction to go in, as I find the setting is really cool, and so are the domain rules. The question is, which are you more interested in? I’m guessing the rules, with more interest on the domain level play over the setting specific rules for characters.

Let me know if I’ve got that wrong.

With that in mind, we’ll look at the domain level rules. In Birthright, the land is divided into provinces, and each province has a pair of scores. The first is the civilization/population score. How many people are there, and how well developed is it? A scattering of villages? 1 or 2. A fair sized town? 3 or 4. City? 5+.

Correspondingly there is also a score for the magic potential of the province. Depending on the terrain of the province, the base value can range from 5-9, and it goes down one for every level of civilization the province has, unless the population is primarily elves.

Within each realm there are 4 types of holdings - Law, Guild, Temple, and Magical. The maximum level of each holding is based on the level of the provice, except for magical holdings, which are based on the provinces’ magical score. These holdings can be divided between multiples regents if the level is above 3.. For example, in a providence 5/1 there can a pair of regents who control Law (one with Law 3, one with Law 2). Controlling the Law of a province does not necessarily mean being the ruler of a province, though it helps.

So what does ruling a province and/or controlling holdings do for you? First off, controlling non-magical holdings allows you to generate income in the form of Gold Bars (GB). Now, these are not in fact giant bars of gold, but an abstraction representing approximately 2,000gp. The level of the province and the level of the holding will determine the potential amount you may generate every season.

In addition to the revenue, you also earn Regency Points (RP) for controlling appropriate holdings. Everyone earns RP for ruling a province, while only Clerics and Paladins earn RP for controlling Temple Holdings. You earn 1 RP for every level of province you rule and every level of appropriate holding you control. Now this is capped by the ruler’s bloodline score.

In Birthright, regents are people who’s ancestors were at a battle between the gods a millennium ago. The gods all died, and their power was shared among the survivors, elevating new gods from the champions, and imbuing everyone else with varying levels of divine power. This power allows individuals to collect RP, as well as other possible powers based on the strength and derivation of their bloodline.

If I were to port this over to a different system, Rules Cyclopedia for instance, I’m not sure how I’d address the bloodline rule. For one thing, it’s fairly campaign specific. For another, it’s not really all that important to domain level play, except as a cap on the accumulation of regency points every season.

Time to run some concrete examples, and see what’s what with bloodline scores and regency points. Stay tuned!

This month's RPG Blog Carnival topic is Animals and it's being hosted here at the Tower of the Archmage! How can you get involved? Easy! Write a post about animals, anything about animals, and share the link!

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