D&D 5E () What would you want for 5e Birthright?

Laurefindel

Legend
This is whhy I disagree with @Laurefindel 's proposal to keep it as European as possible. I think a lot of newer players (who are now the majority) would find that rather limiting. If it's a Dungeons and Dragons (tm) setting, there should be ways to play all official races. Including rabbit-people.
I often say that a setting is define just as much by what it doesn't have as what it does have. I know that for many, the subdued fantasy themes of Birthright was what make this setting attractive; the last thing I'd want out of it is another "everything goes!" setting. I know that for some it's "another humans, elves, dwarves and halfling setting? yawn". For me it's "another cantina bar setting? yawn". I like a tighter focus. This focus doesn't have to be on human/elf/dwarf/halfling, but this is what was established in this setting and diverting from it would lose much of it's attraction in my case.

That being said, a subdued medieval europe theme and high fantasy races aren't completely incompatible in Birthright. "Monsters" in Cerilia are very anthropomorphic in behaviour and often in appearance. Awnsheghlien are a thing, and a rabbitfolk makes a good one. Perhaps your character is not a rabbit-person, he/she is THE rabbit-person! Or perhaps somewhere there is an obscure domain ruled by a king/queen rabbit and its rabbit people. In one way or another, a player could easily make a rabbitfolk character fit in Birthright, only, there won't be many more abroad and the rabbit character will be seen as a curiosity, possibly one that would be persecuted if it weren't under that protection of the local monarch.

I once thought that Birthright's map could even be modular, not unlike some board game where the world/galaxy is generated before each game, allowing the DM to include/exclude/juxtapose/add new domains to fit their Birthright game. I'm no longer sure that's a good idea, but it would allow playgroups to have more control over what they expect out of Birthright.
 
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I often say that a setting is define just as much by what it doesn't have as what it does have. I know that for many, the subdued fantasy themes of Birthright was what make this setting attractive; the last thing I'd want out of it is another "everything goes!" setting. I know that for some it's "another humans, elves, dwarves and halfling setting? yawn". For me it's "another cantina bar setting? yawn". I like a tighter focus. This focus doesn't have to be on human/elf/dwarf/halfling, but this is what was established in this setting and diverting from it would lose much of it's attraction in my case.

That being said, a subdued medieval europe theme and high fantasy races aren't completely incompatible in Birthright. "Monsters" in Cerilia are very anthropomorphic in behaviour and often in appearance. Awnsheghlien are a thing, and a rabbitfolk makes a good one. Perhaps your character is not a rabbit-person, he/she is THE rabbit-person! Or perhaps somewhere there is an obscure domain ruled by a king/queen rabbit and its rabbit people. In one way or another, a player could easily make a rabbitolk character fit in Birthright, only, there won't be many more abroad and the rabbit character will be seen as a curiosity, possibly one that would be persecuted if it weren't under that protection of the local monarch.

I once thought that Birthright's map could even be modular, not unlike some board game where the world/galaxy is generated before each game, allowing the DM to include/exclude/juxtapose/add new domains to fit their Birthright game. I'm not longer sure that's a good idea, but I would allow playgroups to have more control over what they expect out of Birthright.
Yeah classic vs. cliché is a recurring argument, even if it's rarely in the open. Of course, I think a lot of people would agree that a new but thematically consistent set of races is best.

I think settings should only be clearly defined in terms of core aspects and loose beyond that. Birthright isn't about being classic in it's race selection, it's about having Domains and the side-effects of that. As you noted, that leaves a lot of wiggle room for what sorts of things might exist.

On the other hand, if people just steal the Domain rules and add them to homebrew campaigns, that's still a good thing.
 

a new class that fits it.
less of the old standard races maybe pick three and human then use some of the less integrated races
a domain system
proper integration of all the player classes.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
I'd extend levels.

Provinces and Regencies have levels.

The Level of your Provinces (and its kind) give it abilities; muster troops, whatever. But only if you can control it.

The Level of your Regency is how much control you have over it. The Regency level gives benefits both the ruler (ie, Bloodline powers) and to your ability to interact with the Provinces.

A high level set of Provinces without a high level Regency is uncontrolled by the ruler. A Regency that outsizes its Provinces has little to work with.

We then steal Regency point kinds to make Regency classes, like:
Law
Temple
Source
Guild

On the Provinces side, we can come up with a pile of Province classes.

Your Dominion is the parts of the Provinces you can exploit using your Regency level. It is build-a-bear.

Multiple PCs ruling the same country (set of provinces) can plunder a different set of Domain levels to build each of their Dominions within that country.

When you run short of Domain levels in your country, you'll want to take control over another province.

Imagine the PCs start out ruling Homeland.

It has Domain levels: (total 14).
Towns L 2
Wilds L 3
Leylines L 3
Farms L 5
Naval L 1

The PCs each start out with Regency L 1, except for the ruler who is Regency L 2.

Adventures and actions that increase their control over their country boost their Regency level.

After a while, the PCs are level 5, and everyone is Regency L 3. There are 5 of them; there aren't enough Domain levels for them to all rule.

They can expend efforts "leveling up" their provinces, seek to expand them, etc.
 

TheSword

Legend
I’ll be totally honest, I think the domain rules and regency rules are pretty much pret-a-manger. Do they really need to be changed or is this change for change’s sake.

Pretty much the entire rule set was independent of ad&d and therefore it can be transposed to 5e without any hassle.

At most id make bloodline a free feat at first level. To allow non-blooded characters to be a thing. Another option would be to have being blooded a race variant of human/half elf like in Eberron, with a feat for major bloodlines.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
This is why I disagree with @Laurefindel 's proposal to keep it as European as possible. I think a lot of newer players (who are now the majority) would find that rather limiting. If it's a Dungeons and Dragons (tm) setting, there should be ways to play all official races. Including rabbit-people.

DnD lacks a pure Medieval setting (like Pendragon or Harn) and I think Cerilla should actually push that angle and be distinctly Human-centric with other races being rare and 'magical'. I think that the distinctiveness can be highlighted by leaning more into the Medieval Germanic feel of the Brecht Hansa League, French Annuire, the Slavic Vos, Viking Rujurik and Moorish Khinasi. I also think it could be made more appealing by emphasizing the Fairytale and Folkloric aspects - after all Rumpelstiltskin, the Big Bad Wolf and The Beast (of Beauty and the Beast) all make for great Awnshegh.

Birthrights approach of shadow-walking Halflings, stone Dwarfs and Fae elfs as autochthonous survivors resentful/mistrusting of humans reminds me of The Witcher, which is another tie-in that could help promote sales.

I also think that an approach that makes Domains and Realms more modular would also be much more helpful as it would allow players to shape the world as they play rather than just buying in to the existing map
 

deganawida

Adventurer
DnD lacks a pure Medieval setting (like Pendragon or Harn) and I think Cerilla should actually push that angle and be distinctly Human-centric with other races being rare and 'magical'. I think that the distinctiveness can be highlighted by leaning more into the Medieval Germanic feel of the Brecht Hansa League, French Annuire, the Slavic Vos, Viking Rujurik and Moorish Khinasi. I also think it could be made more appealing by emphasizing the Fairytale and Folkloric aspects - after all Rumpelstiltskin, the Big Bad Wolf and The Beast (of Beauty and the Beast) all make for great Awnshegh.

Birthrights approach of shadow-walking Halflings, stone Dwarfs and Fae elfs as autochthonous survivors resentful/mistrusting of humans reminds me of The Witcher, which is another tie-in that could help promote sales.

I also think that an approach that makes Domains and Realms more modular would also be much more helpful as it would allow players to shape the world as they play rather than just buying in to the existing map

As someone who has been drooling over what I've seen from Dolmenwood, playing up the fairy tale and folklore aspect would be awesome.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
As someone who has been drooling over what I've seen from Dolmenwood, playing up the fairy tale and folklore aspect would be awesome.
Oh, I’d not heard of that setting before but it sure is a good find - I do love the Factions and Powers they’ve included, and the Grimalkin too
 

deganawida

Adventurer
Oh, I’d not heard of that setting before but it sure is a good find - I do love the Factions and Powers they’ve included, and the Grimalkin too
I can't take credit for that discovery; I found it in the OSE thread in the Older Editions subforum. I really like things that are based on fairy tales and folklore, as they have deeper cultural resonance with me.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I’ll be totally honest, I think the domain rules and regency rules are pretty much pret-a-manger. Do they really need to be changed or is this change for change’s sake.

Pretty much the entire rule set was independent of ad&d and therefore it can be transposed to 5e without any hassle.
The problem is if those old rules just doesn't work.

Without heavy DM intervention, I mean.

What I want is for a domain layer as balanced as if it was a stand-alone board game. No handwavium should be needed. Because it basically IS a stand-alone board game.

If the heroes are given a big strong nation to begin with, getting the economy up and running should be relatively easy. If they get a small poor nation, it should be very hard.

It should not be that regardless of the actual state of your nation, the same set of heroics and adventures lead to the same success end state. In that case, the various domain statistics is just a smoke screen, and the game should simply say that outright, and drop the pretense, and not give numeric data.

Either the numbers mean something or they don't.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
This is whhy I disagree with @Laurefindel 's proposal to keep it as European as possible.
I think a game set in a vaguely Witcherversy setting would be fine, and it should be "as European as possible".

Not every game should contain every option.

The question should instead be: should THIS game be that game?

And here I agree with you. Since Birthright is a D&D game, a WotC game, a Hasbro game, it makes sense for it to be an everything including the kitchen sink setting.

So I would expect it to be reimagined to include MORE real-life cultural "inspirations", not less.

The old Cerilia was pretty much following the Mediterranean-centric (is that even a word?) approach, with Vikings and Old Araby as thhe furthest extents of what's considered "exotic".

This would very likely be extended to cover the entire Earth in a new edition.

As I said, the actual specifics of the Cerilia map was always the weak generic part of the Birthright concept. Nothing is gained by clinging to the old map.

It is the IDEAS of bloodlines, awnshegn, and domain overlay that makes Birthright valuable.

Now that I think of it, maybe Birthright would work best as an optional plug-in for each of Hasbro's existing D&D campaign world...

And not be its own thing at all, I mean.
 

TheSword

Legend
The problem is if those old rules just doesn't work.

Without heavy DM intervention, I mean.

What I want is for a domain layer as balanced as if it was a stand-alone board game. No handwavium should be needed. Because it basically IS a stand-alone board game.

If the heroes are given a big strong nation to begin with, getting the economy up and running should be relatively easy. If they get a small poor nation, it should be very hard.

It should not be that regardless of the actual state of your nation, the same set of heroics and adventures lead to the same success end state. In that case, the various domain statistics is just a smoke screen, and the game should simply say that outright, and drop the pretense, and not give numeric data.

Either the numbers mean something or they don't.
I get where you’re coming from. The only problem is that a board game balanced with equal chances of winning and losing isn’t typically the odds we offer to PCs. They don’t typically have an 50-50 chance of success. Particularly when the PCs actions outside the domain rules should impact the success of their kingdom and therefore skew the domain level rules. Secondly it is really unwieldy to try and model the actions and resources of three or four dozen regents so a DM adjudicated approach seems more sensible.

Is there anything in particular from the 2nd Ed domain rules that you think is particularly boinked?
 

deganawida

Adventurer
Now that I think of it, maybe Birthright would work best as an optional plug-in for each of Hasbro's existing D&D campaign world...

And not be its own thing at all, I mean.
I was contemplating last night, as I struggled to sleep (yay for getting older and for old injuries), a merger of Nentir Vale and Cerilia, so you're not alone in wondering that.

Taking this a little further, and given the thoughts I had last night, should Birthright be split into two parts?

While I confess that the domain rules were the hook that got me to buy the campaign setting when it was released all those years ago, they weren't what made me love the setting. Instead, it was the way the setting captured the older myths of humans driving out the fairy creatures as they made their kingdoms and cities, unique monsters and their weirdness, goblins that weren't a joke enemy, vast dark forests, and things inspired by other folklore (as mentioned earlier in the thread). These things gave me a world already created that met my desire for medieval fantasy. As also mentioned earlier in the thread, the Witcher universe captures a lot of that feel, as well, and is fairly popular (if nothing else, I don't remember Old Spice making a deodorant based off of Old Toby or something, like they've done with their Lilac & Gooseberries deodorant).

To continue my question from above, I am now thinking that I'd like to see the Birthright Campaign Setting 5e (if it ever comes about) just describe the world and the class restrictions (or even just recommendations, though I prefer the restrictions), and have the domain rules be an entirely separate resource book that can be applied to any setting.
 
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Laurefindel

Legend
To continue my question from above, I am now thinking that I'd like to see the Birthright Campaign Setting 5e (if it ever comes about) just describe the world and the class restrictions (or even just recommendations, though I prefer the restrictions), and have the domain rules be an entirely separate resource book that can be applied to any setting.
Bah, you know how it is...

Domain rules will start by being printed in a Birthright setting book with direct ties with Cerilia, then reprinted in Elminster's Boots of Everything (or something like that) stripped of their Birthright-ness for a more universal, portable, and general use ;)
 

CapnZapp

Legend
My point is that I see next to zero potential in Cerilia, whether commercial, inspiration-wise or other.

I do see potential in the triple ideas of bloodlines, awnsheg and domains.

That's why I envision a "Birthright" layer as (much) more realistic.

And yes, that would be on top of Forgotten Realms. (There's no point in mentioning other campaign worlds, since it has been clear for years that WotC is not interested in splitting the customer base by supporting multiple campaign worlds)
 

Strongholds and Followers, Kingdoms and Warfare.... except not quite as complicated, and more integrated with play. Meaning, the PCs can actually be in the fight, much like how Dimension 20 did it in their Crown of Candy stream.
Absolutely. PC front and centre in battles, in some of my publications I created mass battle system as all the big name ones do the opposite, which is very poor design.
Played the PC birthright game an awful lot
A table top reboot would be cool
 


deganawida

Adventurer
My point is that I see next to zero potential in Cerilia, whether commercial, inspiration-wise or other.

I do see potential in the triple ideas of bloodlines, awnsheg and domains.

That's why I envision a "Birthright" layer as (much) more realistic.

And yes, that would be on top of Forgotten Realms. (There's no point in mentioning other campaign worlds, since it has been clear for years that WotC is not interested in splitting the customer base by supporting multiple campaign worlds)

Perhaps, but, like Tonguez said upthread, I'd really like to see a campaign setting that is a more subdued European fantasy, which more traditional/mythical/folkloric representation of races/lineages/heritages/peoples. Whether or not Birthright is that setting, I'd still like to see it. Dolmenwood looks like it will scratch part of that itch, but not the full thing.
 

Laurefindel

Legend
Perhaps, but, like Tonguez said upthread, I'd really like to see a campaign setting that is a more subdued European fantasy, which more traditional/mythical/folkloric representation of races/lineages/heritages/peoples. Whether or not Birthright is that setting, I'd still like to see it. Dolmenwood looks like it will scratch part of that itch, but not the full thing.
Same here. I feel that, among other things, the concept and in-world implications of awnshegh would be far too diluted in a world where magic and the extra planar/meta-humans are as commonplace as in Forgotten Realms or Eberron.
 

HammerMan

Legend
What I want is for a domain layer as balanced as if it was a stand-alone board game. No handwavium should be needed. Because it basically IS a stand-alone board game.
intresting you bring up board games.. I had forgotten this until you said that.

back in 4e one of my players pitched useing a mix of risk and the conquest of Nuereth (that was kinda risk) to make a system where you could 'peel out of daily hero work' and 'bigger picture' stuff.

a way of mixing the two. His pitch was really cool I wonder if I still have the emails... it was something like "We all make 3 characters, a combat/RPG hero, a lord/noble, and a guild represented from a country... we RP the last two as movers and shakers with the main king/parliament being your NPCs, and and then we send ourselves on missions."
 

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