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[Let's Read] Birthright Campaign Setting

Evil Midnight Lurker

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Well, the Blooded don't actually have any kind of divine mandate to rule. They're just inherently better at making rulership-related decisions than non-Blooded of otherwise equivalent stats and skills. Under the circumstances, it's hard to imagine a non-Blooded leader getting much traction.

On the other hand, while the blood is inherited, it can also be transferred by various rituals... and over time, Bloodedness should really spread through the population both naturally and artificially. And if I recall correctly, the primary non-combat means of strengthening your own Blooditude is by ruling well over time, so there's incentive to make decisions that actually make your country or organization a better place.

I like the Birthight setting, but it has a lot of second edition baggage that annoys me -- class caps and restrictions by race, for example. And druids get shortchanged; they should be all over the whole nature-ley-line-magic schtick. (Although this does make for a setting in which druids have really good reason to be buddy-buddy with arcane casters, which is mildly hilarious.)

Updating this to 3.5/Pathfinder would be rather hard, wouldn't it? Bloodiness is presented as something to be strengthened outside of normal class progression, and not particularly balanced at all, what with bloodtheft and the like. Maybe the divine bloodlines could be adapted into specialized Pathfinder mythic paths, with great feats of rulership and slaying of Blooditudinous enemies counting as mythic trials?
 

zcthu3

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Yes, and I'm not wholly comfortable with my fantasies taking me to a place like that, since I'm a strong believer in liberty, fraternity, equality, all that cool stuff that people have bled and died to establish.
I am also a strong believer in those things in real life, but this is a game specifically about playing Rulers in a medieval fantasy world. How many fantasy worlds (being worlds where the tech level is swords and plate armour (etc.) with magic and inhuman races), or D&D worlds in general, have the ideas of "liberty, fraternity and equality" embedded in them?

It just seems rather odd to do a "let's read" for a setting which you are apparently "ambiguous" about because it doesn't sit with your real world beliefs. Having said that, if it does, it does.

EDIT: Sorry, that seems somewhat judgemental - and it's not meant to be. It just seems rather harsh to judge a setting about playing rulers in a medieval world by modern-day ideas which are antithetical to the premise of the game.
 
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macd21

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On the other hand, while the blood is inherited, it can also be transferred by various rituals... and over time, Bloodedness should really spread through the population both naturally and artificially.
I think they missed a potentially interesting possibility there, actually. In the early material Brecht is described as having some republics (presumably like the Venetian republic), but that (IIRC) seemed to be dropped by the time the Brecht supplement came out. I think a country where rulers were elected for life, with investiture being decided by election rather than inheritance, would have been an interesting setting point.
 

DarkMoc

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Interestingly, there was one Dragon article that tried to port those rules to Al Qadim, so you might be right.

(First update this afternoon, ladies and gents, sorry if I got your hopes up.)
Two, actually. There was the first one with the domain stats for the various cities and tribes of Al-Qadim, but there was also a second article providing the same information for the lands of the Yak-Men.
 

Crinos

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I think they missed a potentially interesting possibility there, actually. In the early material Brecht is described as having some republics (presumably like the Venetian republic), but that (IIRC) seemed to be dropped by the time the Brecht supplement came out. I think a country where rulers were elected for life, with investiture being decided by election rather than inheritance, would have been an interesting setting point.
Actually, that gives me an interesting idea, since the bloodlines can be transferred, maybe they have a democracy where the elected leader is given the Bloodline by his predecessor. That way it protects against revolution or assassination, since if the leader dies the bloodline dies with them.
 

zcthu3

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I think they missed a potentially interesting possibility there, actually. In the early material Brecht is described as having some republics (presumably like the Venetian republic), but that (IIRC) seemed to be dropped by the time the Brecht supplement came out. I think a country where rulers were elected for life, with investiture being decided by election rather than inheritance, would have been an interesting setting point.
It's been a long time since I read Havens of the Great Bay, but there were some Brecht states where the "Blooded Ruler" was very much a figure head, someone who held the Invested Domain, but where the true political power lay with other parties (one state was basically run by the merchant guilds I think) who basically told the Regent what to do. So there is some republican ideas present in Havens - from memory they ran along the lines of a constitutional monarchy.

Technically there is a blooded head of state, but the laws etc. are all produced by others (typically an elected Parilment in real life, but in some Brecht states could be the Merchant's Guild, Council of Lords etc.) and then "ratified" into law by the signature of the monarch. This is pretty much how New Zealand runs in the real world - we have an elected Parliment that forms a government; the government proposes laws which are voted on in Parliment; if voted in by Parliment, the Governor General ("the Queen's representative"), then formally signs them into law. Technically the Gov. Gen. has the ability to refuse to sign something into law (and to dissolve Parilment), but it is done very, very infrequently.
 

Evil Midnight Lurker

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Actually, that gives me an interesting idea, since the bloodlines can be transferred, maybe they have a democracy where the elected leader is given the Bloodline by his predecessor. That way it protects against revolution or assassination, since if the leader dies the bloodline dies with them.
Unless they have kids after receiving the investiture. In which case you could have multiple families holding what is technically a single bloodline even though they're not related to each other at all.
 

Gallowglacht

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It was easily my favourite TSR generic fantasy setting. It was more of a low-magic, you-can-smell-the-peasant-reek kind of setting, than Forgotten Realms. More like Game of Thrones, as it happens.
Yup. Medieval intriuge, battle and assassination, fighting over the Iron Throne to rule over the Andu/Andals and the both involve an (n)ed Stark :)
 

LordofKhyber

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You know I've never really busted out the box set Birthright that I bought a year or so back. This makes me want to.
 

Beckett

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On clerical magic being the big advantage for the humans- when Birthright came out, I was playing the original Warcraft. Humans had clerics, orcs didn't. Being able to heal your troops made a BIG difference. So I remember reading that and thinking, "Yup, that's how that works."
 
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