Saturday, December 31, 2011
Birthright - Sword and Crown, Wild Magic 6
The Birthright campaign setting is one that I want to play in sometime but have not had a chance to yet. The idea of the setting is one that is very appealing and without ever playing it I could see it coming in a quick third (behind Greyhawk and Mystara) just from the materials i have had a chance to read and what I have heard about it.
Sword and Crown is a module written for the setting. It was written by one of the co-designers of the Birthright rules so you know there has to be a fair understanding of the mechanics at least. The premise seems to be one that is tried and true and it has been touched on in some earlier modules or printed adventures. Since I have not had a chance to play it yet I looked for some insight online. There was a good summary written on Wikipedia which I have copied below. The review there ia summary of a review by Rick Swan in Dragon magazine.
Rick Swan reviewed Sword and Crown along with several other Birthright products for Dragon magazine #233 (September 1996), giving it a rating of 4 out of 6. Swan called this a first-rate example of an official adventure, "where the design team takes you by the hand and shows you what they consider the essentials of a BIRTHRIGHT campaign". He also called Sword and Crown "well- organized, clutter-free, and easy on the brain", and referred to the Spiritrender an "exceptionally nasty adversary". Swan felt that Colin McComb, co-designer of the original Birthright rules, "supplies plenty of staging tips and helpful NPCs — too helpful, some might say", noting that a bandit conveniently volunteers too much information about his family at one point. He admitted that the adventure doesn't break any new ground, and relies on AD&D conventions rather than concepts unique to the Birthright setting, so that the adventure acts as a bridge "intended to ease the transition from standard AD&D to the more sophisticated BIRTHRIGHT setting". Swan recommended that, for a beginner on a budget looking to buy a Birthright adventure, to "go with Sword and Crown if you can't make up your mind", but that seasoned Birthright players who already have a campaign underway can skip the adventure.
Even given the somewhat average review I think the module si one that it would not hurt to own. The advantage of Birthright material is that except for the core rules that it seems to still be readily available and fairly inexpensive.
From the Back of the Book:
The Sword and Crown is an event unrivaled in Anuirean politics. Every five years, rulers come from across the land to renew friendships, cement alliances, and provoke their enemies with poisoned words and sharpened swords. Wheels turn within wheels, and plots abound. It's politics as usual in Anuire.
Except this conclave is different. Not only is it taking place in the PCs' kingdom, but before the festivities can even commence, someone wages an attack on Prince Avan and kidnaps his daughter. And to whom to the regents turn to rescue the princess? The hosts, of course! The PCs must win their way past dangerous bandits and treacherous elves and discover a path through darkest caverns where the slightest misstep means death. Only then does the real threat become apparent!
This adventure contains a 64-page book crammed with details about the setting, the situation, and the major characters, plus a full-color mapsheet. It is designed for use with the BIRTHRIGHT boxed set.
Wild Magic 6
Area of Effect: Special
Casting Time: Special
Saving Throw: Special
With the casting of this spell the magic user is able to simulate the casting of any sixth or lower level spell. The spell will work best if it is a spell that the caster knows though this is not a requirement.
When this spell is used the caster will be able to use any sixth or lower level magic spell even it is is not one that they memorized or even know. If they have it in their spellbook the spell will go off without problem.
Spells that are not in their spellbook will be trickier. If they have seen the spell cast there is a 50/50 chance that it will work. If the spell fails then there is another 50/50 chance of things happening. It is possible that the spell will just out and out fail. The other is that it works but in reverse and in a negative way for the caster, possibly even affecting them.
The caster can even use this to try and create some new magical effect. The DM may choose not to allow this. If they do then they will need to impose strict limits on its use.
Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.
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