"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

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.

Published: 1995
Pages: 64

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

Level: Seventh
Range: Special
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: Special
Components: 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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