Birthright

Regents of Cerilia

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Table Of Contents

Introduction

Cerilia is a setting of classic Dungeons and Dragons adventuring and roleplaying blended with strategy and domain management gameplay. Created in 1995 by some of TSR’s most talented designers, Rich Baker and Colin McComb, the setting introduced a marvelous breadth of romantic medieval lore with ambitious and deep mechanics beyond the basics of D&D.

The setting birthed a substantial array of sourcebooks and supplements, as well as a small series of novels and one computer game by Sierra On-Line. Regrettably, the setting never received as much acclaim or support as TSR’s other popular products, and did not see official development after TSR’s acquisition by Wizards of the Coast and the release of the game’s third edition.

A robust and talented community of fans at Birthright.net carried the torch through the third and fourth edition years, and a few enterprising individuals have even taken a crack at converting it for the current edition. This conversion is not meant to supplant or supersede those efforts, but to exist as another option alongside them.

It is the intent of this document not to sully or profit from the hard work of those that came before, but to exist as a love letter to Cerilia and the Birthright campaign setting. While this conversion adds a new layer of rules and deep complexity to the otherwise simplified D&D5E, it is the hope of this humble gamer that it will be used for its intended purpose.

“Dark storm clouds gather over war-torn lands. Armies march wearily into battle once again, answering the ancient call to arms. The banners of noble houses flutter raggedly before the onslaught; some will fall, never to rise again, while others will weather the storm. Across the ruined empires of Cerilia, the dogs of war are let loose one more time. Somewhere on a muddy battlefield, a common man becomes a hero -- and a hero becomes a king.”

-- The Birthright Campaign Setting Rulebook

Races

Humans

Humanity is by far the most widespread and influential race on the continent of Cerilia. From the chivalric lands of Anuire, to the sweeping majesty of the Khinasi deserts, to the heartless wastes of Vosgaard, humanity’s legacy has not always been one of righteousness or austerity. Some of the greatest heroes and most vile villains in history belong to the human race.

Cerilian Humans

The tribes of Aduria, as well as the Basarji from across the Sea of Dragons, remain distinct centuries after their flight to Cerilia. There are five cultures and ethnicities of Cerilian humans, each with their own benefits, skills, and ability score modifiers. The standard human from the Player’s Handbook remains an option for humans who are of mixed ancestry or hail from other, distant lands.

All humans in Cerilia have the following traits in common.

Ability Score Increase. You increase any two ability scores by 1 point, or any one ability score by 2 points.

Languages. You speak the regional human dialect where the campaign takes place, plus one additional language of your choice from among human or demihuman tongues.

Human Culture. You select one human culture from among Anuirean, Basarji, Brecht, Rjuven, or Vos.


Anuirean Human (Culture)

The Anuireans are the heirs of a great empire that once stretched across much of Cerilia, though their power is broken and the nation is in decline. Feudal lords battle for influence and the claim to the throne of their fallen empire, but its people are strong of will and presence in light of their diminished station.

Ability Score Increase. You increase your Wisdom or Charisma score by 1.

Chivalric Culture. You are proficient in the History skill and double your proficiency bonus on checks made to recount Anuirean historical events, identify the heraldry of Anuirean regents, or recall facts about lineages and station.

Brecht Human (Culture)

Having labored under Anuirean occupation for many generations, the Brechts emerged from the fracturing of the Empire as a nation of traders and explorers. Gentler of demeanor and possessed of a great respect for art and culture, they established a society where one of the highest stations one can achieve is that of guildmaster of a powerful trading corporation.

Ability Score Increase. You increase your Dexterity or Charisma score by 1.

Merchants’ Cunning. You are proficient in the Investigate skill and can always determine the approximate worth of an object after studying an object for 1 minute.

Reliable Contacts. After spending at least 1 week in a settled area, you can establish a small network of contacts (no more than two or three people) that you can call upon for information regarding local rumors and topics. You have advantage on History or Investigate checks to gather information while you have access to these contacts.

Khinasi Human (Culture)

These humans are descended from the Basarji tribe of humankind that ventured across the perilous seas to reach Cerilia. The Khinasi value scholastic ability and highly respect those who study the challenging art of magic. They are an adaptable people that live in a diaspora of desert city-states and hold respect, graciousness, and hospitality above all other virtues. A poor host or diplomat is seen as worse than a boor, but as an affront to all decency.

Ability Score Increase. You increase your Intelligence or Wisdom score by 1.

Traditions of Scholarship. You are proficient in any one Intelligence skill of your choice, and may read and write one additional language of your choice from any category.

Rjuven Human (Culture)

The Highlands of Cerilia’s northwest are home to the Rjuven, a people of the land who have a great respect for the natural world and the spirits that dwell within it. While their political leaders are jarls, the true authorities in their realms are the druids -- wise counselors to regents and the primary religious figures of the Rjurik Highlands.

Ability Score Increase. You increase your Constitution or Wisdom score by 1.

Erik’s Blessing. You have advantage on saving throws against magical fear and other effects that would cause the frightened condition. When you are forced to make a saving throw against an effect or situation that would cause exhaustion, you have advantage.

Vos Human (Culture)

The Vos dwell in a harsh land of monsters and deep, freezing winters. Worshiping cruel gods and believing little in the virtues of mercy and justice, they are collectively known for their raiding, their mistrust of magic, and their brute savagery. They are not completely untrustworthy, however, and a Vos taken as an individual can become a steadfast ally.

Ability Score Increase. You increase your Strength or Constitution score by 1.

Heartless Wastelander. You are proficient in the Survival skill and are proficient in light and medium armor and with simple weapons.

“Standard” Human

If your Game Master allows, you may play a human that eschews their heritage, comes from a distant land or world, or is descended from ancestry that blends the various cultures. This acts as a typical human, but this option reduces some of the flavor of the setting.

Dwarves

The dwarves have always existed in Cerilia, said to be born of the mountain stone in ages past. They are an industrious and stalwart people accustomed to war and hardship, having fought endless conflicts against the vile orogs in the deep places of the world since the earliest days of their recorded history.

Dwarven kingdoms are fractious in these times, and few remain compared to the days of old. Unlike the elves, the dwarves rarely had conflicts with humans, and find them easy to work with, if somewhat impatient and short-sighted. Dwarves have a cultural appreciation for hard work, justice, and fairness -- though not at the expense of the clan.

All Cerilian dwarves belong to a single subrace, which they themselves call Karamhul, outlined below. Unlike their kin from other worlds, Karamhul dwarves are incredibly dense and weigh anywhere from 250 to 300 pounds despite standing but 4 to 4 ½ feet tall.

Karamhul Dwarf (Subrace)

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.

Dwarven Combat Training. You are proficient with simple and martial weapons, as well as light and medium armor.

Tough as Stone. You have resistance against damage from non-magical bludgeoning attacks. You automatically fail Strength (Athletics) checks made to swim or float in water due to your density; a Karamhul dwarf will literally sink like a stone.

Languages. You speak Karamhul and the regional human dialect.

Elves

Cerilia’s elves -- or Sidhelien, as they are known in their tongue -- are a truly ancient people who walked the wilderness of the continent long before the arrival of humanity and their strange gods. Some met the appearance of the humans with grace and a helping hand, while others remained suspicious of the fleeting creatures.

When war for control of territory broke out and the elves found themselves chased into the relative safety of their enchanted woods, sentiment of the humans turned dark and remains suspicious even in modern times. Now, the once unified Elven Court is fractured into myriad smaller realms, each a reflection of the majesty they once held, and possessed of different views on how to deal with the human race. Some attempt to guide humanity to a better way of life, fewer seek to emulate them, and others still loathe all humans and kill them on sight.

All Cerilian elves are of a single subrace, as outlined below. They stand as tall as humans, though tend to be more slender and fair-featured.

Sidhelien Elf (Subrace)

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.

Speed. Your base speed is 35 feet.

Ancient Blood. Your kind’s strong connection to the ancient magic of Cerilia manifests as an innate resistance. You gain one third of the Source rating of the province (rounded down) in which you currently stand as a bonus to ability checks and saving throws.

Languages. You speak Sidhelien and the regional human dialect.

Half-Elves

Elves and humans only rarely dally, and even more rarely do children come of these unions. The life of a half-elf is difficult if they live among humans -- ever suspicious of those that are different -- but should they be sheltered among elvenkind, they are mostly accepted within those communities.

Half elves are unchanged from their standard description, save for their language picks; they speak Sidhelien and the regional human dialect.

Halflings

Humans are not the only immigrants to Cerilia. Long ago, the halfling race lived in world of twilight alongside this one, but were forced to flee the dark powers of that realm. Though they could once freely walk between the two worlds unbound, their powers have since withered -- but have not vanished entirely.

Halflings do not have a significant culture of their own, though they do stick together in a world of big people, big nations, and big wars. More often than not, halflings emulate the humans or elves near which they live, disappearing into crowds and going largely unnoticed throughout society.

All Cerilian halflings belong to the following subrace.

Umbric Halfling (Subrace)

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.

Easily Overlooked. You are proficient in Stealth.

From Shadow. As an action, you may open your awareness to know the location of any fey, fiend, undead, creature of the Shadow World, or awnsheghlien with 60 feet of you that is not behind total cover. You know the type of being whose presence you sense, but not its unique identity. Within the same radius, you can detect the presence of magic from the necromantic school. You must complete a short or long rest before you can use this ability again.

The halfling may also use the misty step spell while standing in any condition of dim or darker lighting (such as a crowded tavern, a wilderness cave, or conditions or moon or starlight). You must complete a short or long rest before you can use this ability again.

Upon reaching 7th level, the halfling may also use the dimension door spell under the same conditions. Once you use this ability, you must complete a long rest before you can use it again.

Languages. You speak Umbric and the regional human dialect.


Languages

The languages of Cerilia are both regional and racial. There is no single “Common” tongue that all races speak. Translators, or court mages with the comprehend languages spell at their disposal, are necessary for communication across national borders.

Human Tongues

Most of humanity emigrated from the shadowy continent of Aduria long ago, and thus shares some linguistic similarities -- even among Rjuven and Vos, who developed their own written forms. Only the Basarji, who came from the far eastern continent, have a language and script that has no root in a common Adurian ancestor tongue.

Human Languages
Language Script
Andu (Old Anuirean) Adurian
Anuirean Adurian
Basarji Basarji
Low Brecht (modern) Adurian
High Brecht (ancient) Adurian
Rjuven Runic
Vos Vosgaardic

Demihuman Tongues

Unlike humanity, the "demihuman" races (a moniker which they despise) share no common ancestry and are as different as can be compared to one another. Their languages are alien in sentence structure and grammatical conceits compared to Adurian-based tongues. The halfling language, Umbric, is particularly unique in that the inflection and body language that accompanies each spoken word can imply multiple meanings based on context.

Demihuman Languages
Languages Script
Karamhul Davek
Sidhelien Rellanic
Umbric Umbric

Nonhuman Tongues

From the consonant-heavy and forcefully-spoken Draconic to the gibbering tongues of the goblinkin, there are no common roots in these languages.

Draconic is typically spoken by arcane spellcasters as part of their verbal spell components. As such, it is a fairly common language in areas known for magicians and wizards, particularly Khinasi. It is also spoken by select monstrous humanoids, such as lizardfolk, and of course what few dragons remain in Cerilia.

The Gormish script is that adopted by the various monstrous races of Cerilia, and is a bastardization of multiple Cerilian languages. Its origins are unknown, as its speakers do not tend toward linguistic study.

Nonhuman Languages
Language Script
Draconic Iokharic
Giant Davek
Gnoll None
Goblin Gormish
Orog Gormish

Language and Literature

Though Cerilia fell into a dark age out of which is it just now emerging, the spoken and written word always carried great weight. From the extensive texts of Anuirean lineages and heraldry to the haunting folk tales of the Vos, the importance of language to a given culture cannot be overstated.

As mentioned previously, translators are in high demand in the courts of regents across Cerilia. Though the vast bulk of these are linguistic academics, the most prized are those capable of casting the comprehend languages spell due to its versatility when encountering regional dialects.

It is unfortunate, therefore, that so many of the common folk of a given region are prone to illiteracy. The demands of daily life and the expense of an education do not easily allow those of the labor class to indulge in learning to read, though some families hand down the knowledge across generations in order to conduct business. Though a village smith may not need to understand complicated diplomatic clauses, receiving a work order from the local lord for a dozen swords to arm soldiers of the realm requires a certain level of competency.

There is a lucrative trade in cross-cultural literature. Wealthy guildmasters, devoted scholars, and regents inclined toward rare books will pay handsomely for localized versions of popular novels or works of non-fiction. Elven poetry, dwarven treatises on architecture or metalwork, and Rjuven war epics alike command high prices -- except in Vosgaard, where the vast majority of the populace is illterate due to the more pressing concerns of staying alive in the heartless wastes.

The higher one's social station, the more likely it is that literacy is among learned skills. Merchant classes and nobles are virtually guaranteed to be literate, as are elves and dwarves -- even the most scholastically-challenged of the demihumans will pick it up at some point over their long lives. Halflings find it important to keep diligent records, and thus ensure their youths learn to read and write at least the Umbric language before they set off into the world. The Basarji, with their respect for academic achievement, also consider it essential to learn to read.

Among the savage species of Cerilia, however, nothing is guaranteed. Most gnolls, goblins, or orogs never bother to learn to read, and their languages are either so debased and pidgin that such efforts are frequently wasted (as with the messy Gormish script) or lack a written form at all (as with the gnolls, who just don't bother).

Curiously, giants share the Davek script with dwarves. Whether this is due to some shared linguistic ancestry or one race borrowing from the other in some distant epoch is unknown.

Classes

A Note on Arcane Magic

Magic-users come with an inherent restriction in the Birthright setting. Characters that are not elves or half-elves, or are not blooded scions, cannot belong to the sorcerer or wizard class, nor to magically-inclined fighter and rogue archetypes. The divine spark within elves and blooded scions enkindles the latent ability to draw magical power from the land, also known as mebhaighl, and use it to cast powerful magic.

Barbarian

The barbarian class is personified by Vos marauders, but is also represented in Rjurik and orog berserkers. However, examples of the barbarian class can be found in cultures across Cerilia, and even elves have been known to give in to their inner rage at the depredations of humans.

Bard

True bards are incredibly rare in the courts of wealthy regents. Prized for their love of gossip and dilettante magical talents, it is a rare leader who turns away the presence of a bard in their domain; unless, of course, they suspect them of being an agent of a distant rival. They are set apart from common minstrels by their unique blend of skills and quasi-mystical secret societies, which they call Colleges.

The secret lore of bards allows them to tap into their own sort of magic that is similar to that of sorcerers and wizards, but does not require them to be a blooded scion. This lore is highly guarded among the few bardic colleges and is purely oral or musical in nature, as opposed to something that can be studied in a book and broken down. This has confounded magical academies across Cerilia and led to no few hostile incidents.

Bards may cast realm spells that utilize Source holdings.

Cleric

As a unique campaign world, the Birthright setting has its own collection of deities. The vast majority of these gods and goddesses were created in the moments following the end of the Battle of Deismaar. They are distant deities at best, and rarely manifest their will beyond that which their priests embody. As such, even temples to the same god may be in conflict based on religious or political differences, and the alignment of a deity is no promise of the temperament of their clerics.

Though only the chief deity of the dwarf and goblin pantheon is listed below, each race has a diverse collection of gods and goddesses to which they give homage -- though the goblins shed and collect gods frequently due to their fickle and hateful nature. Elves of Cerilia have never paid respect to any gods, and elf clerics are either outcasts or anathema to their people. Even elven druids, in contrast to human druids who worship Erik, have no ties to divine powers.

Finally, there are unlisted patrons that answer dark prayers for various monstrous and giant peoples, though more often than not, these powers are actually fearsome demon princes.

  • Avani, Radiant Lady (LN): Life, Light
  • Belinik, Visage of Terror (CE): Nature, War
  • Cuiraecen, Steward of War (CG): Tempest, War
  • Eloele, Mistress of Night (CN): Trickery
  • Erik, Nature’s Guardian (N): No domains (all priests of Erik are druids)
  • Haelyn, Lord of Justice (LG): Life, Light, War
  • Kartathok the Goblin Sovereign (LE): Tempest, War
  • Kriesha, Winter Witch (LE): Life, Tempest
  • Laerme, Lady of Peerless Beauty (CG): Knowledge, Light
  • Moradin the Dwarffather (LG): Knowledge, War
  • Nesirie, Sister the Seas (NG): Life, Nature
  • Ruornil, Seer of the Moon (N): Knowledge, Life
  • Sera the Golden (CN): Knowledge, Trickery

Additionally, clerics may cast realm spells that require Temple holdings.

Druid

All druids in Cerilia belong either to the priesthood of Erik, the human god of the wilderness, or small clans of elven druids in deep forest enclaves. Ordered into circles in much the same way as the class recommends, they tend to prize a balance and harmony with the natural world and rarely take on the duties of a regent -- the wishes of the regional archdruid may take precedence over governing the realm.

Elf druids and human druids rarely interface in peaceful ways due to the former’s distaste for the latter. Furthermore, elves consider the involvement of a human deity in the affairs of druids foolish at best and an affront at worst. Elves typically belong to their own circles, while human druids avow different circles. Other, more secluded circles may exist.

Druids may cast realm spells that require Temple holdings.

Elven Druids and Sources

The idea of the druid being in tune with the pulse of the land creates some opportunities for furthering the divide between human and elven druids. To accomplish this, simply allow elven druids to utilize Source holdings and create Ley Lines instead, as well as cast realm spells that require Sources.

Fighter

Fighting women and men are represented across the length and breadth of Cerilia as knights, soldiers, mercenaries, and thugs. Magically-inclined fighter archetypes are uncommon and must be blooded scions, elves, or half-elves, while other archetypes are fairly evenly represented.

Fighters so inclined may learn and cast realm spells that use Source holdings.

Monk

There are no famous monastic institutions in Cerilia that would train individuals in the skills of the monk class. While it would be unusual given the general flavor of the setting, some options may exist as sources for monk-style training. Certain Khinasi desert hermits may know styles of combat and meditation that emulate monk abilities, learned from long periods living in the harsh wastelands where the only company is one’s own mind.

Paladin

Much rarer than fighters, paladins are still expected to fill many of the same roles. While most directly serve a religious organization, many are “free knights” traveling the land and serving righteous (or vile) causes. Those who serve evil gods or champion wicked causes are known more commonly as black knights.

Paladins may cast realm spells that utilize Temple holdings.

Ranger

Many, but not all rangers serve druidic circles as guides and functionaries where the druids cannot (or will not) go. It is the rare ranger that is called upon to be a ruler, as the trappings and requirements of courtly living do not easily coexist with the ranger’s wilderness talents. More often, they are employed by regents to act as woodwards, guides, or ambassadors in harsh territories.

Rangers may cast realm spells that utilize Temple holdings.

Rogue

All manner of scoundrels, knaves, and confidence artists ply the trade roads of Cerilia. Some become deadly assassins in the employ of wealthy lords, and others still act as spies for the same. A rare few become regents in their own right. Rogue archetypes that are magically-inclined must be blooded scions, elves, or half-elves; those without the blood cannot master the higher magic necessary to pursue this archetype.

Rogues who are magically-inclined may learn and cast realm spells that require Source holdings.

Sorcerer

Sorcerers are not well known in Cerilia, and not well-regarded by those that do recognize them as distinct disciplines apart from wizards. At best, they foster a lineage of ancient, elemental monstrosities and at worst they are unpredictable forces of mayhem. Their more studious counterparts at Cerilia’s few arcane universities may even look down on sorcerers for their unorthodox talents.

As sorcery depends not only on one’s heritage, but also a connection to the magic of the land, no character that is not an elf, half-elf, or blooded scion may belong to or gain levels in the sorcerer class.

A sorcerer can learn and cast realm spells that require Source holdings.


Warlock

Warlocks are not terribly common in Cerilia, but the path is attractive as it allows those who seek the secrets of the arcane to receive their power from unnatural sources without the benefit of a divine bloodline. Most warlocks make pacts with those beings as one might expect, but some warlocks instead draw their power from the malevolent entities of the Shadow World.

While warlocks cast magic, they cannot learn or cast realm spells unless they belong to the garradalaigh pact, as described below.

Garradalaigh Pact

The garradalaigh (ga-ROD-a-lay) are legendary creatures with a mystical bent. In myths, they are said to bestow their gifts upon talented spellcasters, and may do so for any magician or true-blooded arcanist. However, their chosen agents are typically warlocks.

While not all garradalaigh are of great power, those few that are lurk at the fringes of Cerilia’s known territories, slumbering away the centuries until fey urges or a disturbing presence awaken them. Each garradalaigh is unique, possessing a bizarre (though not necessarily unpleasant) appearance and capable of powerful arcane magic.

A garradalaigh pact warlock is encouraged to work with the Game Master to select an existing garradalaigh, or invent a completely new one with its own goals and outlook. These are not always objectives that mortal creatures understand, though most garradalaighs are not considered malign and do not associate with corrupt or contemptible creatures.

Some examples of known garradalaighs are the Audreeana, a beast with the body of a bat-winged horse and a second, simian head that is known for its kindly nature; the Siddwynd, an enormous gossamer-winged lizard with an affinity for serpents and other reptiles; and the Tualleiaght, a many-limbed, burrowing monstrosity with a brilliant intellect and aptitude for linguistics.

A garradalaigh pact warlock stands out due to their unusual manipulation of arcane magic. Secrets taught to them by their curious benefactors give the warlock the ability to shape magic in curious ways to flummox or deny enemy spellcasters of any sort, as well as tap into the realm magic that other warlocks cannot learn.

Expanded Spell List

Spell Level Spells
1st faerie fire, sleep
2nd gust of wind, warding bond
3rd blink, call lightning
4th confusion, stone shape
5th mislead, reincarnate

Additionally, garradalaigh pact warlocks that are also blooded scions may learn and cast realm magic provided they possess the means -- they are the only warlocks capable of doing so. These realm spells do not count against the warlock’s spells known. Warlocks utilize Source holdings to cast their realm spells and generate Regency Points accordingly.

Aura Sight

When the warlock selects this pact at 1st level, they gain a mystical second sense into which they can tap to detect supernatural or unwholesome effects. By using their action, the warlock can duplicate one of the following spells: detect evil and good, detect magic, or detect poison and disease. The warlock can use this ability a number of times equal to their Charisma modifier, and regain all uses of this ability after completing a long rest.

Draw Upon Source

A garradalaigh can innately draw upon the mebhaighl of the land to fuel its abilities, and it imparts this knowledge unto its warlock. Starting at 6th level, the warlock may steal a portion of a province’s Source to boost their spellcasting abilities. When you cast a spell that requires an attack roll or forces the target (or targets) to make a saving throw, you can draw upon the power of the land to make the attack roll with advantage or force the victims to save with disadvantage.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest. Drawing upon the power of the land in this manner alerts anyone who possesses a Source holding in the province, though they do not necessarily know the origin of the theft. The Source itself is unharmed by this relatively meager draw.

Mystic Skin of Ancients

Starting at 10th level, the warlock may choose a single school of magic after completing a short or long rest. Until another school is selected through this feature, the warlock has advantage on all saving throws against spells and effects from that school.

If the warlock is ever struck with a weapon forged of cold iron, the power of this ability is broken until the warlock can complete another short or long rest. Most standard metal weapons in Cerilia are assumed to be crafted of a common form of steel, and lack the “purity” of cold iron.

Duplicate Dweomer

Starting at 14th level, the warlock may respond in kind to any effect to which they are subjected. On the warlock’s turn, they may use one of their spell slots of the appropriate level to duplicate any one spell to which they were subjected in the time since their last turn (or since the beginning of the encounter, if they have not yet acted).

The warlock may do this as many times as they have spell slots available, and they must be among the targets affected by the spell they wish to duplicate (even if it is a spell that requires a saving throw at which they succeed). If the warlock lacks a suitable spell slot for the effect they were subjected to (i.e. of a higher level than the spells they can cast), they cannot use this ability.

For example, a 14th level garradalaigh pact warlock and her friends are subjected to the effects of a burning hands spell cast with a 4th level spell slot. The warlock, on her turn, may consume one of her spell slots to cast burning hands at the same level.

If the warlock were instead struck by a chain lightning spell and managed to survive, she could not cast chain lightning on her next turn because she lacks the ability to cast a spell slot of 6th level or higher.


Wizard

Wizards are feared and respected across the continent. In Khinasi lands, they command the greatest respect, as practicing magic is seen as the highest calling. In Anuirean, Brecht, or Rjurik lands, the wizard is a valued member of any lord or lady’s court, commanding a position not unlike a grand vizier. The Vos have a somewhat dim view of wizards in general, associating them with folklore about evil witches and devious necromancers.

A character that is neither elf or half-elf may not belong to the wizard class if they do not also possess a bloodline. The pursuit of wizardry depends on one’s connection to the magic of the land, which a common scholar simply does not possess regardless of their dedication.

Wizards may learn and cast realm spells that require Source holdings.

Bloodline

This is a choice players will make at first level. It is a simply yes or no answer, with no obligation to actually be the ruler of a domain if one does say yes. Birthright generally assumes players will want to do this, but most individuals in the setting completely lack any of the ancient bloodlines. Nor does a lack of bloodline preclude one from actually holding a title or position within a court; most NPC nobles and courtiers won't have a bloodline.

A player should not feel obligated to play a character that has a bloodline. In and of itself, the lack of bloodline takes some pressure and sometimes-unwelcome attention off of the character, for those who possess a bloodline tend to have greatness thrust upon them or enemies that spring up to steal their birthright. At worst, this comes at the tip of a tighmaevril sword.

Unblooded Characters

Characters who opt out of playing a blooded scion may add +1 to any single ability score at character creation. If that character later becomes blooded through investiture or some other means, they do not lose this increase.

Players who elect to have a bloodline possess a seventh ability score, aptly named Bloodline. This ability score, like the others, ranges from 1 to 20 for player characters, with higher numbers representing a stronger and more pure lineage. It is listed along with the other ability scores and possesses a modifier and saving throw, as though it were any other score. It may also be raised with ability score increases gained by earning levels.

Blooded characters using the standard array gain an 11 to place where they wish (making your standard array consist of 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 8). Point-buy gains an extra 3 points to distribute. Those who opt to roll simply roll for an additional ability score assignment.

Bloodline has a second axis of measurement in its bloodline strength, as seen on the table below

Bloodline Strength
Bloodline Score Bloodline Strength
1-8 Tainted
9-14 Minor
15-19 Major
20-24 Great
25+ True

Like other ability scores, players cannot acquire higher than a 20 through natural means. As a rule, player characters are never intended to attain True bloodline strength, as these are relegated to awnsheghlien and other creatures of extreme power or ones who were at the Battle of Deismaar (that is, the event that created the divine lineages in the first place). Should they ever rise to this degree of power, they would be the first to do so in many centuries.

The Bloodline score does not naturally drive any skills or proficiencies, nor is any class or race naturally proficient in Bloodline saving throws or skill checks. It will sometimes be used as an additional modifier on certain checks or when determining events and acquisitions during the season, which I'll get into much later on. Bloodline saving throws are used to resist severe damage from certain powerful magic spells, terrible events happening in a domain that you own, or attacks from tighmaevril weapons, which can steal bloodline power directly from victims (though are thankfully extremely rare).

Characters without bloodline scores -- that is to say, those who elect to not play a blooded scion -- are outright immune to any effects that call for Bloodline saving throws. They cannot make Bloodline checks for domain actions and cannot rule domains.

A higher Bloodline may also change the form and power of any blood abilities that a player might possess. Generally, if you want to play a blooded character that is exceedingly good at managing and ruling their domain, or who wants very strong bloodline abilities, you want your Bloodline score to be high.

Bloodline Derivations

The next step is to determine your bloodline derivation. This determines which ancient, now-dead deity from whence your power springs, along with the blood abilities you might receive. There are seven derivations to select from.

There is no rule regarding which dead deity your power springs from; even heroic characters can be cursed with the blood of Azrai, for example. It is worth noting that Azrai's blood is seen as a terrible omen, and those with it often become awnsheghlien if allowed to reach the heights of their power. Still, it can be an excellent roleplaying hook to fight the cursed blood that runs in your veins and perform righteous deeds -- or conversely, use the prestige of Anduiras to your own cruel and tyrannical ends.

Anduiras

Anduiras was the ancient Andu god of kings. The tenets of nobility and lordship were his domains, and he was often represented by a golden-maned lion. Anduiras was also a god of righteous warfare, if any organized slaughter can be construed as righteous, and those who bear his bloodline have similar expectations placed upon them.

Azrai

Once a power of evil and darkness, Azrai’s brood were feared by all, even the other gods. It was Azrai that initiated the great conflict in ages past that led to the Battle of Deismaar and the destruction of the gods, and those that bear his lineage in days hence are considered cursed. While not all who carry Azrai’s blood are evil, most are, and that legacy follows his scions wherever they go.

Basaia

Basaia was a sun goddess, originally worshiped by the Basarji who would later settle Khinasi lands. Resplendent in her beauty and majesty, those who bear her bloodline are similarly regal. Basaia’s scions often find hospitality in Khinasi lands.

Brenna

Good fortune and wealth are associated with Brenna, once well-regarded among the Brechts. In ancient days, Brenna was invoked by merchants and gamblers alike, as well as travelers seeking luck in their journeys.

Masela

Worshipped by the now-vanished Masetian culture, Masela was a goddess whose spheres of influence included weather and the sea. The Masetians were expert sailors and cartographers, and Masela’s scions are similarly drawn to coastal regions.

Reynir

The Rjuven tribe of humans, which would become the people of the Rjurik Highlands, worshipped Reynir. Those who sought to navigate the trackless forests and drink safely from the cool streams of the land would invoke his name.

Vorynn

The mysterious Vorynn was associated with the moon and the mysteries of magic. In defiance of their current cultural norm, the Vos once held Vorynn as their chief god, and today his scions are associated with prophecies and scholarship.

Acquiring Blood Abilities

At the time of character creation, provided you have elected to be a blooded scion, you may choose one blood ability from the list of those available to your derivation. You must be of the bloodline strength associated with the ability in question. Note that some abilities have multiple strength categories listed, and grow more powerful as the character's Bloodline score increases.

For example, the human scion of Basaia, Erin Velescarpe, has a starting Bloodline score of 15 at first level. This puts her in the Major category, so she can choose any Basaia ability that is classified as Major. If she chooses the Healing ability, she gains the benefits from both its Minor and Major variations. If Erin later increases her Bloodline score to 20 (becoming a Great bloodline), she automatically gains the Great variation of this ability.

It should be stated that a character who begins play with a Tainted bloodline strength, or who later becomes blooded and does not have at least a Minor strength score, does not get to select a blood ability. The blood is too tainted (naturally) to actually gain any significant power with it. You can still rule a domain and conduct actions as a regent, but no ability manifests itself. If you ever increase your Bloodline score to at least Minor strength, you may then choose a blood ability fitting your derivation and strength category.

If, through bloodtheft or a powerful curse, your bloodline drops to a lower category from a higher category, any abilities you possess that require the higher category become dormant and cannot be used until your bloodline strength is restored.

Blood Abilities by Derivation and Strength

Anduiras

  • Animal Affinity (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Battlewise (Major)
  • Courage (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Deny Illusion (Minor)
  • Divine Aura (Major, Great)
  • Divine Wrath (Major)
  • Elemental Control (Great)
  • Enhanced Sense (Minor, Major)
  • Healing (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Iron Will (Minor)
  • Long Life (Minor)
  • Protective Veil (Major)
  • Regeneration (Great)
  • Unreadable Thoughts (Minor)

Azrai

  • Alertness (Minor)
  • Alter Appearance (Major)
  • Animal Affinity (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Battlewise (Major)
  • Death Touch (Minor, Major)
  • Deny Illusion (Minor)
  • Divine Aura (Major, Great)
  • Enhanced Sense (Minor, Major)
  • Fearsome Mien (Major)
  • Iron Will (Minor)
  • Long Life (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Poison Sense (Minor)
  • Regeneration (Great)
  • Shadow Form (Great)
  • Touch of Decay (Great)
  • Travel (Great)
  • Unreadable Thoughts (Minor)

Basaia

  • Alertness (Minor)
  • Animal Affinity (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Blood History (Minor)
  • Character Reading (Major)
  • Deny Illusion (Minor)
  • Divine Aura (Major, Great)
  • Divine Wrath (Major)
  • Elemental Control (Great)
  • Enhanced Sense (Minor, Major)
  • Healing (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Long Life (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Protective Veil (Major)
  • Travel (Great)
  • Unreadable Thoughts (Minor)

Brenna

  • Alertness (Minor)
  • Alter Appearance (Major)
  • Animal Affinity (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Character Reading (Major)
  • Deny Illusion (Minor)
  • Enhanced Sense (Minor only)
  • Iron Will (Minor)
  • Long Life (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Protective Veil (Major)
  • Travel (Great)
  • Unreadable Thoughts (Minor)

Masela

  • Animal Affinity (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Blood History (Minor)
  • Deny Illusion (Minor)
  • Direction Sense (Minor)
  • Divine Aura (Major, Great)
  • Divine Wrath (Major)
  • Elemental Control (Great)
  • Enhanced Sense (Minor, Major)
  • Long Life (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Protective Veil (Major)
  • Travel (Great)
  • Unreadable Thoughts (Minor)

Reynir

  • Alertness (Minor)
  • Animal Affinity (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Deny Illusion (Minor)
  • Direction Sense (Minor)
  • Divine Aura (Major, Great)
  • Elemental Control (Great)
  • Enhanced Sense (Minor only)
  • Healing (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Iron Will (Minor)
  • Long Life (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Poison Sense (Minor)
  • Protective Veil (Major)
  • Regeneration (Great)
  • Unreadable Thoughts (Minor)

Vorynn

  • Alter Appearance (Major)
  • Animal Affinity (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Blood History (Minor)
  • Character Reading (Major)
  • Deny Illusion (Minor)
  • Divine Aura (Major, Great)
  • Enhanced Sense (Minor, Major)
  • Long Life (Minor, Major, Great)
  • Protective Veil (Major)
  • Travel (Great)
  • Unreadable Thoughts (Minor)
    
    

Blood Abilities in Detail

Alertness (Minor)

You have a bonus on Initiative rolls and Perception rolls (as well as passive Perception) equal to your Bloodline modifier, with a minimum value of +1.

Alter Appearance (Major)

You may use the disguise self spell once, and it recharges after a long rest. You do not require material components for this spell.

Animal Affinity (Minor, Major, Great)

Scions of Anduiras are oft depicted with lions in legend. Azrai's brood are affiliated with serpents, primarily poisonous ones. Basaia favors eagles and hawks, and Brenna cats both large and small. Masela's scions have kinship with dolphins and similar creatures. Reynir's chosen animal is the wolf, while Vorynn is most often represented by owls.

Minor: You possess a slightly altered version of detect thoughts that allows you to read the surface thoughts and emotions of animals of your bloodline’s affiliation. You may use this power at will.

Major: You may speak with animals of your bloodline's affiliation at will. They will never attack you unless first provoked.

Great: You may also use the animal friendship and animal messenger spells once each, but only towards animals of your bloodline's affiliation. These uses recharge after a long rest. In addition, you may use a special form of wild shape, as though you were a druid, provided you meet minimum level requirements. Each bloodline’s wild shape abilities are described below.

At 2nd level, an Azrai scion can transform into a venomous snake as a druid of equivalent level. At 4th level, the scion can instead transform into a giant venomous snake.

At 2nd level, a scion of Brenna can transform into a cat as a druid of equivalent level. At 4th level, the scion can instead transform into a panther. At 8th level, the scion can instead transform into a tiger.

At 2nd level, a scion of Reynir can transform into a wolf as a druid of equivalent level. At 8th level, the scion can instead transform into a dire wolf.

At 4th level, a scion of Masela can transform into a dolphin as a druid of equivalent level (use the statistics for a reef shark but without its special abilities; instead substitute the special abilities of the killer whale). At 8th level, the scion can instead transform into a killer whale.

At 4th level, a scion of Vorynn can transform into an owl as a druid of equivalent level. At 8th level, they can instead transform into a giant owl.

At 4th level, a scion of Basaia can transform into an eagle as a druid of equivalent level. At 8th level, they can instead transform into a giant eagle.

At 4th level, a scion of Anduiras can transform into a young lion (use statistics for a panther) as a druid of equivalent level. At 8th level, a scion of Andurias can instead transform into a full grown lion.

Battlewise (Major)

Units that the scion commands in battle are stronger and more likely to achieve victory. When determining automatic battle resolution, you may reroll a number of d6 results equal to your Bloodline modifier, but only when the die result is a 1 (before modifiers). The scion must be present during the battle, though they do not need to be attached to any units.

Blood History (Minor)

You have inherited the memories of your predecessors. You have advantage on all History checks made to recall events of the past, and once per day you may call upon those memories to gain advantage on any one skill check that is not a Bloodline domain action check. This use recharges after a long rest.

Character Reading (Major)

After one minute spent concentrating on a target, you gain advantage on Deception, Insight, or Persuasion checks made to assess or influence an individual. Note that this long pause requires you to stare intently at the target.

You can instead make a special Insight check (without advantage) to determine if the target is under any sort of compulsion, magical or otherwise. The DC for this check is typically the saving throw DC of the effect in question. Once you make this special check, it cannot be made for the same individual again until the scion completes a long rest (though you may decide to check their allies at your discretion, provided you can continue to make excuses for staring at them).

Courage (Minor, Major, Great)

Minor: You have advantage on saving throws against any effect that can make you frightened.

Major: You and any allies within 30 feet of you have advantage on saving throws against any effect that can make you frightened.

Great: As above, and any units you command on the battlefield will never flee from an engagement unless destroyed or commanded to do so. You must be present at the engagement for this ability to function in this way, and remain within sight of your troops at all times.

Death Touch (Minor, Major)

Minor: You may use the poison spray cantrip as a wizard of your level. You do not require a spellbook or material components to cast this spell.

Major: You may poison any individual, water source or food that you touch, at will. Anything that imbibes your poisoned substances must make a Constitution saving throw or become poisoned (Bloodline is your casting ability for this power).

Deny Illusion (Minor)

The scion has advantage on saving throws against any spell of the Illusion school that allows a save.


Direction Sense (Minor)

You always know which direction is north, regardless of your place above or below ground.

Scions of Reynir can never lose their way in wilderness or rural settings. You do not need to make checks to determine if you or your party become lost, unless the setting is unnatural (such as the twisted landscape of the Shadow World).

Scions of Masela can never become lost at sea. You can innately navigate by the stars and by your own supernatural senses. However, you must be familiar with any land mass you wish to travel to; you do not have preternatural knowledge of continents you have not visited.

Divine Aura (Major, Great)

Your mantle of power and nobility naturally influences individuals around you. Any NPC who would begin their interaction with you as indifferent is instead friendly. Hostile NPCs are unaffected.

Major: You may use the enthrall spell once per day. This use recharges after a long rest.

Great: As above, and beginning at 5th level you may use either the hypnotic pattern or fear spell (but not both in one day) once per day. This use recharges after a long rest.

Divine Wrath (Major)

You can surround yourself with an intangible mantle of divine malevolence that others cannot see, but can clearly sense. As a bonus action, you may add your Bloodline modifier to attack and damage rolls with melee or ranged weapons for 1 minute. You may not use this ability again until you have completed a short or long rest.

Elemental Control (Great)

The element of Anduiras is air, for he was lord of the skies and all that crowns the world. Basaia, as a sun goddess, was affiliated with fire. Masela's domain was the sea, and elemental water is hers to command. Reynir was the everlasting earth, and his elemental power is similarly aligned.

You speak the language of the elementals you are affiliated with. You will always be neutral with elementals of that type unless they are summoned and bound to attack you by a controlling entity.

At 7th level, you may cast the conjure lesser elementals spell once per day, but only to summon elementals of your affiliated type. This use recharges after a long rest.

At 9th level, you may also cast the conjure elemental spell once per day, but only to summon elementals of your affiliated type. This use recharges after a long rest.

Enhanced Sense (Minor, Major)

Anduiras, Minor: You may use divine sense as a paladin once per day. If you are also a paladin, you gain additional use of this ability. This ability recharges after a long rest.

Anduiras, Major: You may clearly see someone's bloodline strength and derivation by looking at them. While this does not give you the numeric ability score, you can determine whether they are tainted, minor, major, great, or true at a glance and which derivation of divine blood they possess.

Azrai, Minor: You may see through any magical darkness effects as though they did not exist, and you have darkvision out to 60 feet. If you already possess darkvision, your range is increased by 60 feet.

Azrai, Major: You automatically detect creatures with a Bloodline score equal to or greater than 20 within 100 feet and can pinpoint their location. You know the nature and relative strength of such creatures (a low-level scion with a Great bloodline might register to you as weak, while a terrible awnsheghlien would be sensed as an extreme danger). You can also automatically detect places where there is a strong connection to the Shadow World while standing in them.

Basaia, Minor: Your distance vision is sublime. You do not suffer disadvantage for firing ranged weapons at long range.

Basaia, Major: You are immune to conditions which would blind you, short of having your eyes directly removed or destroyed. You cannot be surprised and can see through magical darkness effects as if they did not exist.

Brenna: Your hearing is especially acute, and you have advantage on any Perception or Investigation checks associated with hearing. You cannot be deafened.

Masela, Minor: You are unaffected by conditions of extreme wind or rain, and do not suffer any disadvantage to skill checks or attack rolls as a result of these conditions.

Masela, Major: You can hear your name spoken, as well as what is said about you, anywhere within 10 miles of your position. Both you and the speaker must be outdoors at the time.

Reynir: You have advantage on any Survival checks made to track opponents. In addition, you have advantage on checks made to forage for food in the wilderness.

Vorynn, Minor: You may use the augury spell once per day as a ritual. This use recharges after a long rest.

Vorynn, Major: You may use the divination spell beginning at 7th level, once per day as a ritual. This use recharges after a long rest.

Fearsome Mien (Major)

Once per day as a bonus action, by either touch or a weapon attack, you may force your target to make a Wisdom saving throw or be affected by the fear spell. Bloodline is your spellcasting ability for this power. This ability recharges after a long rest.

Healing (Minor, Major, Great)

Minor: You may use the Lay on Hands ability of a paladin, but only to heal wounds (not to cure conditions). If you are also a paladin, your total pool of hit points per long rest is increased by 10, and you do not suffer the restriction.

Major: You may also use this pool to cure diseases or neutralize poison, just as a paladin might. If you are also a paladin, you need only expend 3 hit points from your pool to cure one of these conditions, rather than 5.

Great: You increase your healing pool by your Bloodline modifier times your level.


Iron Will (Minor)

You may spend your action to end a single enchantment or charm effect of your choice that is currently affecting you. You may use this a number of times equal to your Bloodline modifier (minimum 1), and your uses recharge after a long rest.

Long Life (Minor, Major, Great)

Minor: Your maximum lifespan is increased by 50%, and your Constitution score increases by 1.

Major: Your maximum lifespan is increased by 100%, and your Constitution score increases by an additional 1.

Great: Your maximum lifespan is increased by 200%, and your Constitution score increases by a further 1 (for a total of +3 Constitution).

Constitution increases provided by this blood ability allow you to exceed the ability score limitation for player characters. In the event you gain a level that provides an ability score increase, and your Constitution is already 20 or higher through possession of this blood ability, you cannot use the ability score increase to raise your Constitution further (it does not “apply first” in the stack).

Poison Sense (Minor)

As an action, you may smell or taste any substance or object that you suspect to be poisoned or diseased to confirm whether it is safe. You have advantage on saving throws against effects that poison you or inflict you with disease.

Protective Veil (Major)

As a bonus action, you may use the protection from evil and good spell on yourself or another individual you touch. You may use this ability a number of times equal to your Bloodline modifier. All uses of this ability recharge after completing a long rest.

Regeneration (Great)

Whenever you take a short rest, you regain an additional number of hit points equal to your Bloodline modifier for each hit die you expend. At the end of a long rest, you recover all expended hit dice, rather than the usual half your total. If you neither rest or spend hit dice while resting, you regain hit points equal to your Bloodline modifier every hour, even if you are being active or traveling.

You automatically succeed on death saving throws. If someone wishes to dispatch you, they must see it done personally and not wait for you to bleed out.

Shadow Form (Great)

Azrai's corruption slowly transforms your body into a shadowy creature.

Beginning when you take this power, creatures from the Shadow World will be neutral to you, as though you were native to that world. They will not generally attack you unless provoked, but are not beholden to follow your commands.

At 3rd level, you may use an action to assume shadow form for up to 10 minutes per day. You do not need to use these 10 minutes concurrently. Each transformation must last at least one minute. While so transformed, you adopt the guise of a shadowy creature and regain hit points equal to your Bloodline modifier at the start of your turn in conditions of complete darkness. You regain half of this value, rounded down, in conditions of dim light.

At 5th level, you gain advantage on Stealth checks made while attempting to hide in any location with dim or darker lighting and gain resistance to necrotic damage while under the effects of assume shadow form.

At 9th level your transformation becomes even more powerful, turning you invisible in conditions of darkness (so that even creatures with darkvision cannot make you out), and you become resistant to non-magical bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage whenever you use assume shadow form.

Touch of Decay (Great)

You may take an action to make a single melee attack using your Bloodline score as the attack ability to deal 1d8 points of damage. This damage replaces that of any unarmed strike you would normally perform. The damage increases by 1d8 damage when you reach 5th level (2d8), 11th level (3d8), and 17th level (4d8).

Successful attacks against inanimate objects (including constructs and unattended objects such as walls) double the damage dice inflicted.

Unfortunately, this power sometimes manifests spontaneously. Each day you must make a Bloodline saving throw against DC 5. If this saving throw fails, you destroy a random non-magical object in your possession.

Travel (Great)

Your bloodline enables you to transport to familiar locations, with some restrictions. You may take yourself plus one other individual per level along on your journeys. You must be familiar with the destination you wish to teleport to, and it must be a place in keeping with your derivation restrictions.

Traveling takes an action of preparation time, assuming the conditions are correct for you to do so on both ends of your journey.

Azrai: You enter the Shadow World to travel to your destination. This form of travel must be done between the sunset and sunrise, and both the entry and exit points must be in place where the Shadow World is near to the living world (such as in a graveyard, a deep cavern, or a bloody battlefield).

Basaia: Your entry and exit points must be in a fire large enough to immerse your entire body. You and those you bring with you are protected from the flames during the transition.

Brenna: Your entry and exit points must be standing on a road, path, or trail.

Masela: Your entry and exit points must be partially immersed (up to at least your waist) in a natural body of water that connects to the sea. A river that empties into a bay or a lake connected to the same river would count, but an isolated mountain spring would not.

Vorynn: You can only transport at night, during moonrise or moonset (regardless of the moon’s phase).


Unreadable Thoughts (Minor)

You are immune to the effects of the detect thoughts spell and you have advantage on saving throws against all other spells and effects that attempt to read your mind. Attempts to use Insight to determine your motives are at disadvantage.

Backgrounds

Heir

Raised from birth to be the rightful inheritor of a noble legacy, you were brought up in the lap of luxury and given the finest schooling. Whether this lead to your becoming spoiled or earning an appreciation for your advantages is for you to decide.

Your house devotes three individuals to watch over you and run errands on your behalf if you deem it necessary. Depending on the level of freedom you are given by your family, these devoted protectors may be more hindrance than help, though they are always loyal to you.

Skill Proficiencies. History, Performance

Languages. You can speak and read one additional language of your choice.

Equipment. One set of fine clothes, one signet ring or other badge of lineage, papers of pedigree, and a fine leather pouch with 30 gp.

Feature: Devoted Protectors

You begin play with three devoted bodyguards who will zealously protect you. These individuals are Guards, per the monster entry, and each as a distinctive personality that you and the Game Master can work together to determine. All are loyal servants of your house and home, and will accompany you -- within reason -- into danger. If slain, a new bodyguard can be recruited when you return to your home territory, but if you go through bodyguards too quickly you may find yourself bereft of volunteers. You may elect to purchase them custom equipment from your own purse, but are otherwise assumed to come with the standard kit given to Guards.

Upon reaching 5th level, these bodyguards become Veterans as per the monster entry. At 11th level, they are upgraded to Knights. The rules for equipment are the same, though the Game Master may modify their stock equipment based on your culture and the region of play. Bodyguards are also suitable candidates to become lieutenants.

Suggested Characteristics

Most people brought up in such conditions are spoiled rotten and are insufferable when they don’t get their way. Others take a noblesse oblige viewpoint and see themselves as the put-upon benefactors of the common folk. A rare few are quite uncomfortable with their circumstances and would rather avoid the attention their bodyguards give to them.


Personality

1d8 Personality
1 I deserve all of the prestige and power that comes to me.
2 Leadership is a heavy burden, and I will bear the weight as determined by destiny.
3 I don’t know what to make of my heritage, and it makes me uncomfortable.
4 This gift of the blood is a curse. I would get rid of it if I could.
5 My bodyguards are more than just soldiers, they are my friends.
6 I move easily among my peers and understand well the power relationships in Cerilia.
7 I cannot shoulder this legacy alone. My allies are pillars of support and friendship.
8 Stay back! You could be an assassin.

Ideal

1d6 Ideal
1 Ambition. Power is mine, if I survive long enough to seize it. (Evil)
2 Responsibility. Those with the blood must look after those without. (Good)
3 Dynasty. My bloodline will bring about a lineage of peerless rulers. (Lawful)
4 Freedom. This blood will not dictate my life. I will live free, or not at all. (Chaotic)
5 Conquest. I am destined to rule, and I will take by force what I think I deserve! (Evil)
6 Hope. The world needs those of divine lineage to guide it back to prosperity. (Good)

Bond

1d6 Bond
1 I am devoted to my family and my heritage.
2 My people need me and I will not abandon them.
3 My teachers and my friends helped raise me and I keep them close.
4 I must redeem my family’s honor, lost in some conflict generations ago.
5 My lineage is more important than any one regent. It must endure, no matter the cost.
6 The realm deserves a true monarch, and so I devote myself to the pursuit of the crown.

Flaw

1d6 Flaw
1 I am spoiled by my upbringing and find it difficult to live without luxuries.
2 I do not fully appreciate the difficulties of the common folk.
3 My parents spurn me as a disappointment and it affects my confidence.
4 I am young, and my peers treat me with disregard or contempt.
5 My family is loathed and I will have an uphill battle to become respected.
6 I treat those without bloodlines as disadvantaged children.

Feats

Magician Training

Prerequisites: Intelligence 13+

Effect: You are a student of arcane theory and magical traditions, and though you may lack a divine bloodline, you know enough of the basics that you can cast a small number of spells. You possess a spellbook and may learn and cast any three first level spells from the wizard spell list with the (ritual) tag. As with all rituals, these spells take 10 minutes longer to cast and you must have your spellbook with you throughout the casting.

Power of the Blood

Prerequisites: You possess a Bloodline score.

Effect: Your Bloodline score increases by 1. You may select one blood ability for which you qualify at the time you take this feat. If the Bloodline increase granted by this feat improves the strength of your bloodline to a new category, you may select the new ability as though you were that bloodline strength.

Equipment

Tighmaevril

While Cerilia has examples of fantastical materials such as mithril, adamantine, and dragon bone, there is one whose value is absolutely immeasurable -- tighmaevril. A unique alloy made by the legendary elven smith Ghoigwnnwd, the glimmering metal (also known as bloodsilver) possesses supernatural qualities that can steal the power of bloodlines and utterly sever the tie between a regent and their land.

A blooded scion who is slain in battle by a killing blow struck with a tighmaevril weapon has their bloodline sundered from them, permanently. Even if the scion is later raised from the dead, the killing stroke has severed the connection forever. The scion may be the recipient of investiture or other means to gain a new bloodline, but their old connection is gone. If the scion is also a regent, the killing blow also strips them of any banked Regency Points, their ability to govern their realm on any but the most basic level is paralyzed, as they lack the ability to generate further RP.

The individual who strikes the killing blow with the tighmaevril weapon empowers their own bloodline. For a period of one year, they make all Bloodline ability checks (including domain action rolls) with advantage, and if the Bloodline score of the slain regent is at least half of the wielder’s Bloodline score (rounded down), the wielder permanently increases their Bloodline ability score by 1.

In the event an unblooded individual wields a tighmaevril weapon for this purpose, the first killing blow struck against a blooded scion immediately imbues them with a tainted bloodline. The individual gains a Bloodline score with a value of 1 (-5 modifier) and a derivation that is the same as the victim’s.

Only twelve tighmaevril weapons are said to exist, though their exact nature, qualities, and current owners are largely unknown. None have been able to ascertain the exact processes used to create the metal, or even begin to guess at its composition. Speculation runs wild in certain interested circles, of course -- a sect of heretical clerics in Anuire even go so far as to suspect Ghoigwnnwd was actually a previously unknown elven deity, hidden in the guise of a humble smith. This theory does not improve elven sentiment toward humanity.

The sole tighmaevril weapon known to be in the keeping of an individual is the mighty greatsword held by the Gorgon, who uses it to harvest the bloodlines of regents he slays in battle to make himself stronger.

Ruling Domains

Glossary of Terms

Assets

A resource that a regent controls that is not otherwise classified as a province or holding. These include Armies, Courts, Fortifications, Ley Lines, Lieutenants, Roads, Trade Routes, and Treasury.

Domain

The term for the collective territories that a regent holds. It can be as small as a single province, or as large as whole kingdoms.

Domain Power

A numeric rating that represents a regent’s total control over their territory. It is equal to the total number of levels of all provinces and holdings that the regent currently owns, no matter where they are located or what type by which they are classified.

Holding

An establishment of law, trade, faith, or magic within a province. A province can only contain as many total holdings of each type as it has levels; therefore a level 3 province can have up to 3 levels of each kind of holding, and not all of them must be controlled by the same regent. Holding types are Law, Guild, Temple, and Source.

Loyalty

A scale of how loyal a given province is to its regent, affected by Law holdings. Loyalty is graded as high, average, poor, or rebellious.

Province

A section of land within a domain. The typical province is anywhere from 1000 to 1500 square miles in size, but the exact dimensions are largely inconsequential.

Province Level

A numeric descriptor of how populated and developed a province is, on a scale of 0 to 10. The more developed a province, the less the potential of its Source (if any exists). A rating of 0 is equivalent to a very sparsely populated frontier, while a 10 is a massive metropolis and its surrounding territories, such as the Imperial City of Anuire.

Realm Magic

Powerful spells that can be cast using Sources to power them. These spells can affect an entire province or an army occupying a province, and are extremely taxing to the spellcaster.


Regency

The power that a blooded regent holds over the land. It is a very real sense of divine right to rule. It is also a currency of sorts, referred to as regency points (RP, not to be confused with the roleplaying part of “RPG”).

Regent

The term used to describe a blooded scion that also rules a domain. This term is used in the setting itself by its populace, but a regent is typically referred to by their noble title (count, baron, duke, etc.).

Scion

Used to describe any blooded individual, but in a shorthand sense. One may be a scion without being a regent.

Season

A period of time in which a regent can perform activities in their domain, be it to go on adventures, build holdings, engage in diplomacy, or muster armies to war. There are four full seasons in a Cerilian calendar year (winter, spring, summer, autumn).

Regency

As Regency is the first of two currencies used in managing domains, it becomes important to track every time a series of seasons comes into play. At the beginning of a given season, a regent collects Regency equivalent to their Domain Power (sum of all levels of all holdings and provinces) plus their Bloodline score modifier.

Example: Erin Velescarpe is a young regent with a lot of work to do to carve out her domain. She owns four provinces (levels 3, 2, 1, and 4 respectively) and five total holdings (of levels 2, 2, 1, and 1). Her Bloodline score is 15, giving her a modifier of +2. At the beginning of the season, she collects 18 Regency Points.

Regency can be gained or lost in a number of ways. If the regent’s bloodline is ever damaged, by magic or some fell curse, it will affect future Regency gains. It is also a currency used to initiate actions during the season, with costs that vary depending on the action being taken and how much effort the regent puts into said action.

Should a character’s Regency Points ever drop below zero for any reason (be it the attack of an awnsheghlien, a magic spell, or bad management of points during the season), they become temporarily cursed by their blood and are at disadvantage on all checks made using Bloodline (domain action checks, Bloodline saving throws, etc.) until their Regency Points once again rise to zero or above.

As such, finding ways to target (directly or indirectly) an enemy regent’s Regency Points is a valid means of weakening them severely so that you can mount actions against their territory. These methods will be covered more in depth below.

Gold Bars

The other domain-level currency is the Gold Bar (GB). In liquid terms, it’s roughly equivalent to two thousand gold pieces of standard player currency, but is an abstracted value of actual precious metal, trade gems, scrip, and miscellaneous goods; very few regents keep massive treasury rooms full of solid gold ingots. Gold bars can be liquidated into coinage through a specific domain action, but are generally out of the reach of players in the short term (no one is going to ride off with the entire domain’s currency by raiding one storehouse of gold ingots).

The currency is used to finance domain actions of all kinds, from construction of holdings to paying spies and mercenaries. It is also used to pay for court expenses when hosting dignitaries and holding tournaments. Gold bars are acquired via taxation of provinces and holdings, as well as spoils of war when conquering enemy domains.

Holdings

Holdings can be thought of as ways a province is structured both on a policy and political scale as well as the nature of its populace and income. The four types of holdings available are guild, law, source, and temple.

Guild Holdings

These holdings represent the presence of businesses, craftsmen, and financial investments that are maintained by various guild journeymen. While the exact type of guild is not relevant to its mechanics, it is helpful and flavorful to determine the nature of a given guild holding within a province.

A seaside province may have a guild associated with the fishing industry or shipping, while an inland plains province may support a guild that maintains the wellness and trade of livestock and crops.

Law Holdings

Regents desire law holdings in order to exert their influence and control over a given province. A law holding may take the form of an organized local force of guards, or a group of roughnecks who exist in your employ and mete out your questionable justice throughout the territory.

Law holdings controlled by you help bring rebellious provinces under control, while law holdings belonging to other regents within your territory might represent their thugs or bandits working against you -- or just a few men they keep around to make sure they can get a piece of the local pie, as it were.

Source Holdings

Only those who are both blooded and can cast arcane spells (bards, magically-inclined fighters or rogues, sorcerers, garradalaigh pact warlocks, and wizards) may make use of source holdings. Sources are a representation of the primal magic of Cerilia, and in more developed lands, this magic is weaker. The further from civilization that a given piece of land is, the more likely it is to have a high source rating and thus more bountiful source holdings. Additionally, source holdings are required for arcane spellcasters cast realm magic.

Source holdings may take the form of ancient henges, primeval forests, faerie trods, the remains of a gigantic ancient dragon, or other sites of implied magical power. As a rule, the more wild and unexplored a place is, the greater its potential Source.

Temple Holdings

As their name implies, temple holdings are bastions of the faith (any faith, really, that can gain popular support among the locals). While temple holdings can be controlled by anyone, divine spellcasters (clerics, druids, paladins, rangers) require temple holdings to cast their versions of realm magic.

Temples do not need to be temples as such; any site of worship from a modest rural chapel to a massive cathedral can be counted as a temple holding. Correspondingly, higher level temple holdings tend to be more elaborate. While the term “temple” holds connotations of the gods of Cerilia, elf druids (who worship no gods) still establish druid circles and encourage the veneration of the natural world in the same manner as human or dwarven worship of deities.

Investiture

Truly conquering territory in Cerilia is not merely marching your troops into a location and subjugating its population. Until investiture is performed, a province or holding does not contribute to Domain Power and no regency points are gained from it at the beginning of seasons.

Investiture also encompasses the creation of vassals and transferring the rule of provinces and holdings to other regents. This function is more properly explained in its listing under Domain Actions.

Vassalage

The largest domains are almost impossible to manage on one’s own. Even with a massive staff of courtiers and financiers, a regent will find themselves pulled in too many directions once their domain reaches critical mass -- in game terms, being unable to rule the whole domain through the course of a season with just three domain actions. This is where vassals become important.

One of the myriad functions of the ceremony of investiture is to install a vassal under another regent. This relationship is both political and mechanical; the vassal is promised some functional support (whether it be in the form of a mutual defensive pact, a one-time or repeated donation of wealth, or a threat to submit or be eradicated) and in exchange the vassal agrees to add the regency points they would normally gain from the Bloodline ability score to the regent instead.

This means that the vassal does not receive this extra value at the beginning of their seasons; it is a tithe given to the lord. Powerful lords who control vast portions of territory will install multiple vassals and vastly increase their per-turn regency point gain, but in return must devote aid to their vassals or risk losing their support.

The vassal still rules all of the constituent realms they manage (mechanically, they are the regent of their domains), but is answerable to their liege lord and may find themselves called to wars or court on the lord’s behalf. Failing to heed these summons rarely goes well for the vassal.

Vassals can be other player characters or simply represented by promoted NPCs, but they must possess a bloodline in order to contribute regency points. Promoting unblooded characters does not require this function of investiture, as unblooded characters cannot rule domains.

Domain Qualities

Capital Province

When a scion comes into ownership of a domain for the first time, they must designate a province as the location of their capital, which is typically the largest city in the province. Certain domain actions benefit if a particular holding type exists in your capital province, and if the capital province is ever seized or falls to rebellious loyalty, all other provinces you own suffer an immediate degradation of loyalty.

Province Terrain Type

Each province has a predominant type of terrain, but this terrain is not necessarily uniform throughout. A plains province may have some hilly features or even a lone mountain, and a forested province may possess stretches of swampland that are even more difficult to navigate than the woods themselves. The predominant terrain drives a number of factors, from how difficult the province is to navigate as well as how potent its mebhaighl (source rating) is compared to other provinces.

Province and Source Ratings

Each province has a level and a source rating that represent a rough approximation of population density and development, as well as how strong its native magical potential is based on its terrain type. This is typically represented by two numbers separated by a slash. For example, a level three province with a level two source would be listed as 3/2.

The strength of a province’s source rating is inverse to the province’s level; the only exception to this rule is a domain ruled by an elven regent with a predominantly elven population. As elves live in harmony with nature, they do not deplete source ratings as the province level grows.

Holdings Present

It is important to track the number and level of individual holdings within each province, as well as who owns those holdings. These can be listed in shorthand beside each province. Note that the source rating of the province is not indicative of any source holdings that may or may not be present; those must be constructed specifically to make use of the source.

Loyalty

The loyalty of a province is listed as rebellious, poor, average, or high. This is a simple scale of how your people feel about you as a regent and the tenets of your rule. Rebellious provinces are likely to revolt in the next season.

The Season

Each season follows the below sequence of events.

  • 1. Random Events
  • 2. Domain Initiative
  • 3. Collect Regency Points
  • 4. Taxation, Collection, Trade
    • 4.1. Determine Taxation Level (Light, Moderate, Severe)
    • 4.2. Collect Province Taxes (consult table and roll or use flat value)
    • 4.3. Collect Guild and Temple Holdings Income (roll or 1 per level)
    • 4.4. Collect Foreign Law Holdings Income (one half of holding level)
    • 4.5. Collect Trade Routes Income (average of two connected provinces)
    • 4.6. Collect Tributes Income (if any)
    • 4.7. Collect Pillaging Income
  • 5. Pay Maintenance Costs and Advance Construction
    • 5.1. Domain Expenses
    • 5.2. Pay Armies
    • 5.3. Lieutenants
    • 5.4. Court Expenses
  • 6. First Action Round
    • 6.1. Perform Domain Action and Bonus Action
    • 6.2. War Moves
    • 6.3. Wage Battles
    • 6.4. Occupy or Retreat
  • 7. Second Action Round
  • 8. Third Action Round
  • 9. Adjust Loyalty
  • 10. Calculate Rewards

1. Random Events

At the beginning of the season, the Game Master checks for events that take place in each player’s domain. A Game Master may either randomly determine the event (or lack thereof), or they may have a specific set of events that unravels depending on the outcomes of previous seasons or the plot they wish to present.

The events are laid out immediately at the beginning of the season, so that players can begin planning their responses, if any. Sometimes a random event has a required action to mitigate its effects, and a consequence for not attending to the matter. Minor events might be worth ignoring, especially if the consequence is something easily mended like a hit to a province’s loyalty. Major events, such as a dragon that rumbles awake after being disturbed by miners, is absolutely not something to be ignored.

2. Domain Initiative

This step is only necessary when there are domains in conflict, or when the order of events is extremely critical. When only players are involved (and they are not in conflict for whatever reason), they may take their domain actions in any order they choose before moving to the next domain action round (but all players must take their domain action before moving to the next round).

Domain initiative is rolled making a Bloodline ability check (that is, rolling a d20 and adding one's Bloodline modifier). Once the action rounds begin, regents take turns based on this initiative order, as though they were engaging in combat (for in many cases, they are indeed doing just that).

3. Collect Regency Points

As outlined previously, a regent collects Regency Points equivalent to their Domain Power (sum of all levels of all holdings and provinces) plus their Bloodline score modifier.

4. Taxation, Collection, and Trade

At this phase of the season, each regent declares taxation and collects income in the form of Gold Bars. This process can be heavy on the rolls, so for groups who wish to expedite this process, there are flat values that may be used instead.

4.1 and 4.2. Taxation from Provinces

First, the regent must determine whether they declare light, moderate, or severe taxation for each province (it is typically much faster to do this across all provinces, but particularly desperate regents may wish to tax more populated provinces more severely than others).

Consult the table below for how many Gold Bars are collected from each province, and total up the results. For expediency, or for NPC domains, the Game Master may elect to use the flat value rather than rolling for each. Any negative result when rolling is counted as zero.

Speeding Up the Seasons

There's plenty going on in the course of a season, so if you find play bogging down while you perform calculations and make rolls, stick to the flat values. Birthright can get very overburdened as player realms grow in size and influence, so encourage NPC vassalage and don't hesitate to use digital tools to help you keep track of the extensive domain information.

Province Taxation
Province Rating Light Taxation Moderate Taxation Severe Taxation
0 0 0 0 (or 1d3-2)
1 0 (or 1d3-2) 1 (or 1d3-1) 1 (or 1d3)
2 1 (or 1d3-1) 1 (or 1d3) 2 (or 1d4)
3 1 (or 1d3) 2 (or 1d4) 3 (or 1d4+1)
4 2 (or 1d4) 3 (or 1d4+1) 5 (or 1d6+1)
5 3 (or 1d4+1) 5 (or 1d6+1) 7 (or 1d8+1)
6 5 (or 1d6+1) 7 (or 1d8+1) 8 (or 1d10+1)
7 7 (or 1d8+1) 8 (or 1d10+1) 9 (or 1d12+1)
8 8 (or 1d10+1) 9 (or 1d12+1) 11 (or 2d8)
9 9 (or 1d12+1) 11 (or 2d8) 13 (or 2d8+2)
10 11 (or 2d8) 13 (or 2d8+2) 15 (or 2d10+2)

4.3. Taxation from Guild and Temple Holdings

Players who own guild and temple holdings also gain income from them in the form of taxes and tithes, regardless of where they are located. Low-level holdings generate very little or nothing for the regent, while owning multiple powerful holdings provides a great deal of supplementary cash. As with provinces, Game Masters who wish to save some rolling or who are generating income for NPC regents can use the flat values provided instead of rolling for each.

Holding Taxation

Holding Level Gold Bars Generated
0 0 (1d2-1)
1 1 (1d2)
2 2 (1d3)
3 3 (1d3+1)
4 4 (1d4+1)
5 5 (1d6+1)
6+ 6 (2d4+2)

4.4. Claims from Law Holdings

Law holdings that you possess in the domains of other regents may be used to collect taxes and fees in exchange for keeping law and order (or being outright thuggish, for some regents). The value of ancillary taxes collected is equal to one half the level of the Law holding in the province (rounded down). You cannot draw any taxes in this manner from Law holdings within your own domain. This amount is taken from the host domain’s earned province taxes, and if the domain does not generate any taxes from provinces on this turn, you cannot collect anything from your Law holdings in that domain.

For example, Erin Velescarpe has a level 2 Law holding inside a neighboring domain. Each season, she collects 1 additional Gold Bar from its taxes and tariffs in the host province, removing it from the treasury of the regent in question.

4.5. Trade Routes

Trade routes are a solid, reliable form of income. In order to calculate the income from each trade route, take the average level of the two provinces linked by the trade route; this value is the amount of Gold Bars added to the treasury. If the route is linked by sea, add 1 to this amount.

As an example, our ever-present regent, Erin Velescarpe, establishes a sea trade route with the City of Anuire, the old imperial capital (rating 10). Connecting it to her capital province of Bindier (rating 4), she thus earns eight Gold Bars per turn from this trade route alone (average of 10 and 4 is 7, plus 1 for being a sea trade route).

Since the cost to establish trade routes is relatively low and their income is steady, trade routes are a very valuable commodity for regents.

4.6 Tributes

Here the regent collects any tribute agreed upon via use of the Diplomacy domain action, if such an agreement exists.

4.7 Occupation and Pillaging

In the event a force occupies an enemy province (as outlined under the Occupation and Conquest section under Armies and Warfare), the regent which commands that force may collect taxes as though Severe Taxation were levied. If multiple allied armies occupy the province, the gold generated may be split equally or taken by the force with the largest number of units.

5. Maintenance Costs

A domain does not support itself. Gold is required to keep the wheels of politics greased and ensure the people have enough infrastructure to support their nation. The cost of owning and operating holdings, feeding armies, and paying for court expenses adds up quickly.

5.1. Domain Expenses

To determine expenses, the player first adds together the total number of provinces and holdings they possess (not their levels, just the actual number of holdings). Also count together how many castles the regent owns (built by the Fortify domain action) and add these to the total. You must pay 1 Gold Bar for every five provinces, holdings, and fortifications you own, rounded up to the next Gold Bar.

For example, Erin Velescarpe has five provinces, seven holdings, and one castle. When calculating maintenance costs for her territory, she has thirteen total provinces, holdings, and assets. Erin must therefore pay three Gold Bars for domain expenses each season.

5.2. Pay Armies

The regent must then pay any armies they are currently fielding, based on the units’ cost. If the regent cannot pay a given unit, it immediately disbands unless the regent spends 5 Regency Points to keep it active. A unit of mercenaries that goes unpaid and does not receive the requisite RP will become brigands in that province.

5.3. Lieutenants

Lieutenants are a type of asset that may act in your stead. They are described in greater detail under the Lieutenant domain action. Each lieutenant you have costs 1 Gold Bar to maintain. If you cannot pay your lieutenant, they immediately disband (but can be recruited again on a later season).

5.4. Court Expenses

Managing your domain sometimes requires that you receive guests or otherwise present yourself as a well-to-do lord or lady. Court expenses are a combination of retainers, decorations, lodging costs, and food available for visiting dignitaries and ambassadors. At this phase of the season, you determine how much you will spend on your court this season.

For zero Gold Bars, your court is dormant and only the mice rule the castle guest halls. This option saves money, but you are incapable of performing the Decree or Diplomacy actions on any of your action rounds this season.

For two Gold Bars, your court is at the bare minimum to function. Your Decree and Diplomacy actions are at disadvantage for the domain action check; no one likes a stingy regent, especially expectant ambassadors.

For five Gold Bars, your court is of average standing and comfort. Your Decree and Diplomacy actions are at neither advantage nor disadvantage.

For eight Gold Bars, your court is the talk of the realm. Fine wines, imported cuisine, mummers and bards -- you have it all, and the pomp is sure to impress the dignitaries. Your Decree and Diplomacy actions are made with advantage on the domain action check.

6, 7, and 8. Taking Domain Actions

During each season, the regent takes a total of three domain actions. Each of these represents roughly a month of time in-world, thus there are twelve domain actions that can be taken in the course of a game year.

While most domain actions are fairly straightforward, there does exist the concept of the bonus action during a season. Bonus actions can be taken in addition to regular domain actions, but the player is limited to a single bonus action per action round, as with bonus actions during combat rounds.

Typically, there are a small array of domain actions that can be taken as bonus actions, and the possession of certain types of holdings within provinces allows an action that is typically not a bonus action to become one. A good example of this is the Agitate action, which can be taken as a bonus action when the target province contains a temple holding owned by the regent.

Furthermore, a regent can ready a particular action to trigger only after a condition is met. This is, in most respects, identical to the way a player can ready an action on a combat round. With respect to seasons, however, the readied action is maintained until the end of the season, and if the condition is not met, the action is lost.

For example, Erin Velescarpe and an allied domain ruled by Ashira al-Sumari maintain correspondence and have agreed to a mutual assistance pact if one of Ashira’s neighbors declares war. As tensions heat up in the spring (when domains typically muster for war), Erin keeps a readied action to Declare War against whichever of Ashira’s hostile neighbors decides to pick a fight. She has all of the couriers ready to go, conscriptions signed but not posted, and shipments of gold and food catalogued for distribution, but never pulls the trigger unless the condition is met.

Resolving Domain Actions

Domain actions have conditions that must be satisfied in order to enact them. Typically, this is expenditure of gold bars and/or regency points, but a Game Master may require additional conditions in order to undertake an action (such as needing to liberate an occupied quarry in order to use the Fortify action).

Every action has a target number that must be met or exceeded on a domain action check. This roll is made on a d20 using the regent’s proficiency bonus and their Bloodline modifier. This is represented as the competence of the regent, along with their bloodline power, in order to make something happen within their domain. In keeping with the theme of Birthright’s divine right to rule, a regent with a particularly potent bloodline finds it easier to make things happen in their domain, as though the land itself were aligning to their desires (and in many ways, this is exactly what is happening).

It is worth noting that if you fail to hit the target DC, the gold bars and/or regency points you spent to perform the action are lost. Not every project pans out, not every investment bears fruit.

Modifying Difficulty and Outcome

When making domain action checks, you may increase your chance of success by spending Gold Bars. For each Gold Bar you sacrifice, you add a +1 bonus to your d20 roll. This represents a certain degree of “throwing money at the problem” to make it easier to resolve, but also presents a great risk, as failure despite investment still loses that investment. Multiple regents can opt to contribute GB to the proceedings, which represents their support of your endeavor, but they must have a stake in the proceedings (owning a holding in the target province, etc.). They may do this out of turn before you make your domain action check. No more than 10 total GB can be contributed to modify a roll in this fashion from all parties.

Some actions are taken against regents who don’t have your success in their best interests, but they must have a reasonable means of opposing you (usually by being the target of your actions or having a holding in a province you control). In a case where a regent opposes you, they can expend Regency Points to increase your target DC for the domain action check on a 1 to 1 basis. This represents the regent exerting their will over their territory, whether it be via inspiring their populace to react in a favorable way, or having the strength of their blood-given rights make your chances of success more difficult. Multiple regents can opt to contribute RP to increase the difficulty (when applicable), representing their desire to see your efforts fail. No more than 10 RP can be contributed to modify a roll in this fashion from all parties.

This bidding war between GB and RP takes place openly, and always before the roll is made. Once the die is cast, no one can modify the result.

For example, our young regent, Erin Velescarpe, is attempting to enact a Decree to assuage an influential priest who raised concerns about the impiety of the locals. Her base success difficulty is DC 10, which should be easy for her to hit.

Unfortunately, Prince Darien Avan owns a temple holding in her territory, and he is sore about being snubbed at a recent diplomatic gathering. He expends 5 Regency Points to increase her DC to 15; the Prince is interested in seizing more temple holdings eventually, and if the situation destabilizes further, he can capitalize on the opportunity. After all, he has plenty of Regency Points to spend, and he can afford this indulgence.

Erin grinds her teeth in frustration. She cannot challenge the much-stronger regent openly or risk losing his support in other areas, so she opts to make the Decree more of a public affair. She expends 3 more Gold bars to add +3 to her roll when it is made, and succeeds handily. At their next meeting, the Prince bemusedly congratulates her on resolving the affair, and Erin silently marks down another beating she would like to administer to Anuire’s pre-eminent pompous ass.

Critical Successes

Many domain actions have a critical success effect that is achieved on a natural 20 on the domain action check. These represent particularly skillful or fortunate outcomes, and will have an improved effect as listed under the respective action.


War Moves

Part of each domain action phase is the War Move, which occurs after all active regent actions are taken for the phase. This activity has special considerations, and is broken out into its own category under the chapter on Waging War.

9. Adjust Loyalty

At the end of the season, after all three action rounds have been taken and all war moves and battles are resolved, all active regents perform this step. First, regents adjust loyalty in each province based on the following conditions:

Reduce loyalty by one category if:

  • Severe taxes were collected, or moderate taxes were collected in a province with no Law holdings
  • Levies were mustered and sent to a foreign land
  • Domain events that modify loyalty were not addressed
  • A rival regent completes Agitate actions in that province with the express purpose of causing unrest
  • Province is under occupation by an enemy force

Improve loyalty by one category if:

  • No taxes were collected
  • A regent completes an Agitate action in that province with the purpose of improving loyalty
  • A major battle was won against a hated enemy (improves loyalty in all provinces)

Law holdings are useful for preventing the loss of loyalty. If the regent controls all law holdings in a particular province, the regent can prevent up to two categories of loss in a province. If the regent controls at least half, but not all of the law holdings in the province can ignore one category of loss in that province. In the case that the regent controls less than half or no law holdings in the province, they cannot ignore any loyalty category changes.

Units of soldiers stationed in a province count as one Law holding per unit for purposes of loyalty and taxation. The peasants are less likely to grumble if there are soldiers garrisoned nearby.

If any province becomes rebellious, the regent can no longer collect taxes there and all holdings in that province become contested. The peasants there will immediately raise the largest possible levy and become hostile to the regent’s forces. If the force is subjugated, or the regent is able to perform the Agitate or Diplomacy action to resolve the situation, the province returns to poor loyalty.

10. Calculate Rewards

Ruling a realm is a time-intensive process that takes away from the usual adventuring most characters undertake, but the demands on a regent are no less strenuous. A regent (and their party) gains experience points based on the activities performed during the course of the season, based on deeds performed and challenges overcome.

The Game Master is the final word on how much experience is earned, but simple guidelines help them determine suitable rewards based on the table below.

Reward Calculation

Reward Source Modifier Notes
Each province successfully affected +2 Includes all provinces, friendly or otherwise, affected by Agitate, Contest, or Rule actions performed by you, a lieutenant, or a vassal that owes you fealty.
Each holding successfully affected +1 Includes all holdings, friendly or otherwise, affected by Contest, Create Holding, or Rule actions performed by you, a lieutenant, or a vassal.
Castles built or expanded +1 Castles that are neutralized during the season do not count toward calculating rewards.
Each battle fought and won +2 Battles must be fought and won by units under the regent’s command, though the regent need not be physically present for the battle.
Decree, Diplomacy, Espionage, Forge Ley Line, Grant, Research, or Trade Route actions successfully performed +1 These actions must be successful to contribute toward reward calculation
Event resolved +1 to +5 Each seasonal event can grant a modifier of +1 to +5 depending on its impact. The event must be successfully interacted with or resolved to contribute to rewards.

Take the sum total of all modifiers and distribute experience as though the regent completed an encounter of equivalent Challenge Rating. This leads to early-game regents gaining levels somewhat quickly, but ruling small domains soon becomes a meager endeavor unless the regent greatly expands their territory and gains vassals.


Types of Domain Actions

Adventure

Type: Action

Base Cost: None

Base Success: Automatic

The call to adventure affects even an established regent from time to time. It’s a major responsibility that one sets aside to wander the countryside in an effort to gain fame and fortune, or to handle certain situations personally. Choosing to adventure uses up a domain action for the round. Any adventure that takes longer than approximately four weeks risks consuming an additional domain action on the next round.

Agitate

Type: Action (or Bonus)

Base Cost: 1 RP, 1 GB

Base Success: DC 10

You may attempt to build sentiment or foster conflict within a targeted province (or multiple provinces). To do this, you must control a holding within the target province. You must pay the listed cost for each province you are affecting, and all of those provinces must be part of the same domain. You may Agitate in your own provinces in order to improve your standing within your own territory.

If the regent who owns the targeted provinces is in support of your actions, you make your domain action check at advantage. If they are opposed, your base success DC increases by the level of the highest Law holding they possess in that province. You must make the domain action check for each targeted province, making this a potentially expensive course of action if you are in conflict with the regent of the lands you are affecting.

Any targeted province affected by your Agitate attempt increases or decreases its loyalty by one grade, at your discretion.

Bonus Action: Agitate may be performed as a bonus action if you control a temple holding in the targeted province. If you are targeting multiple provinces, this cannot be done as a bonus action.

Critical Success: The loyalty of the affected province is increased or decreased by two grades instead of one.

Build

Type: Bonus

Base Cost: Varies

Base Success: DC 5

For any the construction of any structure that is not a fortification or holding, the Build action is the go-to for any regent. Many domain events will request that the regent provide the resources for the creation of a guildhall, civic center, statue, or anything else the people might need or desire.

The Game Master sets the Gold Bar cost of a particular construction project, which typically ranges from 1 GB for a small chapel to 30 for a massive palace.

Build is also useful for the construction of bridges and roads. Roads enable troops and the populace to get about the province more easily, while bridges are used to cross rivers and chasms. A bridge can cost anywhere from 2 to 5 GB (1d4+1). A road costs a single gold bar for a plains province; a forest, tundra, or desert costs two; a hilly province or swamp costs four; and mountains cost eight. Typically, the construction of a “road” really means any number of paths throughout the province.

The more remote and rural a province, the more expensive a construction project; this represents the cost to secure and move the building materials to the site. If the target province for the building project is rated as 0 or 1, the cost is doubled. If the target province is 3 or 4, the cost is increased by 50%.

A building project is never instantaneous. Each season, the progress on a structure advances by 3 GB (or 1d6) of its cost. The project is considered complete when the full cost of the Build is accounted for in this way.

Critical Success: The building project gets an excellent head start and immediately completes 2d6 of its total building cost.

Contest

Type: Action

Base Cost: 1 RP

Base Success: DC 10

By contesting a holding or province, a regent attempts to tie it up in claims over its ownership, argue over its legitimacy, or otherwise undermine its functions. You must control a holding in the same province as the targeted holding in order to Contest.

To contest a holding, the regent states their intent to do so over a single holding or any number of holdings within a given domain. They must pay the cost for each holding contested. A contested holding increases the base success DC by its level (thus a level 4 Law holding has a DC of 14 to contest), and a domain action check must be made for each targeted holding.

A successful Contest means the holding is in conflict, and generates no RP or GB for its owner on their next season. This manner of contesting lasts until one of the following conditions is met:

  • The owning regent succeeds at a Rule action targeting the holding(s) in particular.
  • The attacking regent relents of their own free will on their next domain action (this does not cost an action).
  • The attacker loses control of all of their holdings in the targeted province, or loses control of the province (if contesting in their own lands).

A second successful Contest by any regent causes its owner to lose all control of it, and the holding becomes free of the control of any regent until brought to heel.

To Contest a province, the province may not possess any Law holdings higher than level 0 that are not under your control, and must be at rebellious or poor loyalty. The province’s level increases the DC to Contest (thus a level 4 province has a DC of 14 to contest). Success indicates the province will no longer generated RP or GB for its owner, and is ripe to be divested (see Investiture below).

Armies that occupy a province unchallenged automatically Contest the province in favor of their regent, and no roll must be made.

Critical Success: You recuperate the RP spent on this action.

Create Holding

Type: Action

Base Cost: 1 GB

Base Success: DC 10

When a regent wishes to establish a foothold in a given province, they may create a holding of the desired type. If this holding is created in another regent’s province and the regent wishes to contest your efforts, the level of the province increases the DC of your domain action check (thus, attempting to create a holding in a level 6 province makes the DC 16). They may spend RP to further increase the difficulty.

Success on the domain action check creates a holding of the desired type at level 0. You may Rule this holding on further domain actions to increase its level as normal.

Create Province: If a regent wishes and the Game Master approves, they may use this action to instead create a new province in any unclaimed territory. The Game Master determines the dimensions of this new province and assigns it a Source rating based on the terrain type that is present. If the new province is not adjacent to any existing provinces, the cost to attempt the action is increased to 3 GB. This represents financing any exploratory expeditions or prospectors. If successful, a new province is created at level 0 and may be Ruled as normal.

Critical Success: The new holding or province is instead created at level 1.

Declare War

Type: Action

Base Cost: None

Base Success: Automatic

A regent must use the Declare War action before moving troops through provinces that do not belong to them, unless permission is obtained by use of the Diplomacy action. The regent can begin making war moves and conducting battles against enemy troops in provinces where they clash.

If enemy troops are in your province, you do not need to Declare War; you may move your troops on the respective phase of the season within your own territory. The target of a declaration of war must use this action on their turn in order to counterattack into enemy territory; this is not merely the public declaration, but also preparing the logistics of entering enemy territory.

War!

War is an expensive affair. Be sure you can afford the mustering and seasonal maintenance of your armies before you engage in conquest!

Decree

Type: Bonus

Base Cost: 1 GB

Base Success: DC 10

A Decree encompasses a number of policies and processes that are not otherwise encompassed by other domain actions. While the list provided below is not the limit of what a Decree can do, any action that can be referred to as a Decree must fulfill the following criteria:

  • The decree cannot affect another regent’s holdings or provinces.
  • The decree cannot change the loyalty or level of any province or holding.
  • Decrees cannot affect armies or assets in any way.

Some examples of common Decrees are as follows. Game Masters and players are encouraged to use Decree whenever no other action is suitable, but care must be taken not to go overboard with what a Decree can accomplish.

  • A tax or asset seizure is enacted, generating 1d6 Gold Bars for your - treasury.
  • A roustabout or rumormonger is arrested.
  • A festival is declared throughout your domain.
  • A bounty is offered for local monsters, which may draw adventurers to your territory.
  • A minor act of legislation is passed regarding changes to the law, acceptable behaviors, or cultural integration.
  • A minor event is dealt with by placating the petitioning party through offerings and compensation.

Furthermore, the condition of the regent’s court may cause this check to be made at advantage or disadvantage, or not at all. See the section on Court Expenses for more details.

Diplomacy

Type: Domain

Base Cost: 1 RP, 1 GB

Base Success: DC 10+ (or Automatic)

Neighboring regents can generally be assumed to remain in correspondence with one another throughout the course of a season. The Diplomacy action has a much wider impact, and is typically a court affair with dignitaries, soirees, and document signings. Typically, this action is taken in relation to NPC regents or random events; if a player character regent is the target of the Diplomacy action, they can determine whether it is automatically successful (but the expense of GB and action must be made in order to gain the effects).

The DC of the domain action check depends on the specific action being taken. Diplomacy checks are typically simple affairs, but care must be taken with the proposals and the mood and standing of a regent. If a deal is outright insulting, the Game Master can rule the action has no chance of success.

Furthermore, the condition of the regent’s court may cause this check to be made at advantage or disadvantage, or not at all. See the section on Court Expenses for more details.

Regents on the sidelines who wish to influence the proceedings one way or another may spend GB and RP as usual, affecting the DC and roll bonus accordingly. This represents their dignitaries at the diplomatic function, currying favor and giving advice.

A Diplomacy action can encompass one of the following effects, each of which has its own DC.

  • DC 10: Form an alliance with another domain with whom you are already friendly.
  • DC 10: Create a trade agreement between two domains. This allows the Trade Route action to be taken.
  • DC 15: Allow troops to move through the targeted domain without the need to Declare War.
  • DC 15: Force a targeted regent to provide tribute or concessions.
  • DC 15: Respond to a domain event such as brigandage, unrest, or feuds, causing its effects to subside.

As it pertains to forcing tribute, a regent typically offers no more than a quarter of what they collect each turn in Gold bars; unless threatened with overwhelming force, a regent will never capitulate to more than that.

Critical Success: The RP and GB costs for this action are immediately recouped.

Disband

Type: Bonus

Base Cost: None

Base Success: DC 10 (or Automatic)

This action is used to break up units under the regent’s command. Any number of units can be affected by this action, and if the units are of regular troops, the success is automatic. The spending of a bonus action represents the discharge papers, paying final expenses, and ensuring no soldier makes off with military equipment that is not otherwise given to them.

If the targeted unit is a mercenary unit, a domain action check must be rolled for each unit. On a success, nothing untoward happens. If the check fails, the mercenary units become units of brigands within the provinces where they were disbanded.

The regent can also use this action to dismantle any holdings or assets that they no longer wish to maintain. The effect is immediate, and the holding/asset will no longer generate RP or GB for the regent starting on the next season.

Espionage

Type: Action (or Bonus)

Base Cost: 1 GB

Base Success: DC 15

At the heart of being a regent is having a good spy network. The Espionage action covers all manner of skulduggery and legerdemain on behalf of your domain. The regent must declare the intent of the Espionage action before making their domain action check. Espionage can:

  • Uncover the details of diplomatic agreements between one domain and its allies, even ones otherwise kept secret (using the province rating of the capital).
  • Determine troop movements and strength in foreign provinces.
  • Create an assassination, intrigue, corruption, or heresy event in a target domain (using the province rating of the capital).
  • Trace another Espionage action performed against you.
  • Move individuals or transportable assets in secret from one location to another.
  • Rescue hostages in a foreign province.

For hostile Espionage actions, the target DC is modified by the level of the province in which Espionage is being performed, as well as the levels of any Law holdings within those provinces. For example, Erin Velescarpe wishes to send agents to investigate rumors of Baron Gavin Tael forming a secret alliance with the Gorgon to expand his own holdings. Her base DC of 15 is increased by the level of the Baron’s capital province (6) and the Law holding in his capital province (4). This increases her DC to 25 -- Erin will be spending a great deal of gold financing this endeavor.

If the roll fails by 10 or more, then the regent’s spy is caught and imprisoned. They may attempt to rescue the agent with additional Espionage attempts, and the Game Master should secretly determine if the agent is successfully interrogated.

Espionage is dangerous, difficult, and requires a massive investment of Gold Bars to have a solid chance at success. However, the rewards for successful Espionage are rich and the destabilization it can create rivals that of invading troops.

Bonus Action: If you control a Guild holding in the target province, you may enact Espionage as a bonus action when targeting that province.

Critical Success: The regent may select one other effect of Espionage to take place concurrently and at no extra cost.

Finances

Type: Bonus

Base Cost: None

Base Success: Automatic

Through this action, it is possible for regents to turn Gold Bars from their treasury into liquid assets to purchase personal equipment or pay ransoms without using official channels. This action may be performed only once per season, and the number of Gold Bars that can be converted is equal to the sum total of all Guild holding levels the regent controls, plus their Bloodline modifier. Each Gold Bar converted becomes 2000 gold pieces of currency in the regent’s possession.

Thus, if Erin Velescarpe (Bloodline score 15) controls four guild holdings of levels 1, 2, 2, and 4, she can convert up to 11 Gold Bars into coins. Regents must be careful not to bankrupt their kingdoms using this action.

Forge Ley Line

Type: Action

Base Cost: 1 RP, 1 GB (see below)

Base Success: DC 5

When casting realm magic, arcane spellcasters require the use of a Source. However, they may find themselves in provinces where the Source is weak, and thus at a disadvantage when choosing from among their arsenal. By creating ley lines, the spellcaster can substitute the Source rating of one province with that of another.

Ley lines are a potentially hefty expenditure, requiring 1 Regency Point and 1 Gold Bar for each province between the “home” Source and the destination of the ley line. Always use the shortest distance to determine the number of provinces crossed, geographical features notwithstanding.

Spellcasters can also expand on ley lines by creating “networks” stemming from the home Source province. Consider existing ley lines when calculating the cost of new ones; the spellcaster need only pay for extension of a ley line rather than recalculating from the home Source, if it is cost-effective.

Any contiguous ley line the spellcasting regent owns costs 1 Regency Point during the final step of the season. Multiple ley lines that are not connected each cost RP.

Should the source from which a ley line originates fall to level 0 for any reason, such ley lines immediately disappear and must be reforged.

For example, a spellcasting regent, Calimor the Magnificent, wishes to create a ley line connecting his Source holdings in the province of Sorelies (Source rating 4) to a weaker location in Alaroine (Source rating 0) so that he can cast useful realm magic while stationed in there. The distance between provinces is only two along the shortest route (south through Hildon, and then to Alaroine), so the cost to build the ley line is 2 RP and 2 GB.

Calimor later decides to extend the ley line into enemy territory in the province of Ghiere, in Baron Gavin Tael’s domain of Ghoere. He pays only an additional 2 RP and 2 GB to push the ley line two more provinces south, but must still succeed at his domain action check to complete the forging. Now with a strong home Source at his command, Calimor can lead soldiers there and cast devastating realm magic against the warmongering Baron on his own turf.

Fortify

Type: Action

Base Cost: 1 RP, Variable GB

Base Success: DC 5

Through use of the Fortify action, regents construct Castle assets to protect their provinces (or expand upon existing Castles). A province can only hold a single Castle asset for purposes of this action, though you may well have numerous smaller keeps and palaces in the area that do not necessarily contribute to defense in any meaningful way. You can only construct Castles in provinces you own, and Castles require a massive investment of gold to bring to completion.

To create a new Castle, a regent chooses the target province to begin construction. Castles, like provinces and holdings, have levels which dictate how impregnable they are and how well they defend holdings in their sphere of influence. Castles are unique in that they may be of higher level than the province in which they lie, but if the Castle’s target level exceeds the province level, costs quickly begin to multiply.

The base cost of a Castle is 6 GB per level. If the Castle is greater level than the province, each level beyond the province level costs 9 GB. For example, if Erin Velescarpe wants to build a level 6 Castle in a level 4 province on the border with Ghoere to deter any of the neighboring Baron’s aggression, she must pay 42 Gold Bars.

Castles are expensive, and can take years to build to completion. Once the desired level of the Castle is chosen and the initial cost is paid, progress continues automatically at a rate of 3 (or 1d6) GB each season and the regent does not need to continue to use this action unless they are adding features or upgrading the Castle level.

A standard Castle has the benefit of completely halting the advance of enemy troops through your provinces. Any enemy units that move into a province occupied by a Castle cannot move out of the province any direction save the way they came, until the Castle is neutralized or destroyed (see Conquest and Occupation section). Furthermore, holdings you own in provinces with a Castle are protected from total destruction using Pillage, as outlined in that action.

You may also garrison a number of units in the Castle equal to its level. Garrisoned units cost half of their maintenance each season, but are slow to bring back to muster in an emergency.

You may also add features to a Castle during the construction process, or on later turns using the Fortify action. These increase the cost accordingly.

  • Center of Power (3 GB): The Castle also controls Loyalty as might a Law holding. You automatically negate up to two categories of Loyalty loss in that province at the end of each season, provided the Castle maintains at least 1 level of strength.
  • Conscription Center (4 GB): The Castle possesses facilities and armories to quickly and cheaply outfit troops. The cost to muster armies in this province is reduced by 1 GB per unit, to a minimum of 1 GB.
  • Dungeons (2 GB): High profile prisoners can be stored in these fortified dungeons. They cannot be extracted from your domain using the Espionage action.
  • Expanded Barracks (2 GB): You may station one additional unit at the Castle without needing to expand its level. You may purchase this feature multiple times.
  • Moat (1 GB): Your Castle is surrounded by a moat. You increase the number of units an occupying force must contribute to a region to neutralize the castle by one.
  • Subterranean Fortifications (5 GB, Dwarf regents only): The bulk of your Castle’s functions are stored below ground and are impervious to standard siege attacks. Your Castle can never be reduced below an effective level of 1 until it is utterly destroyed.
  • Wilderness Fortification (3 GB, Elf regents only): The placement of your Castle and the deliberate cultivation of thickets and underbrush in the province increases the movement cost of enemy troops through that province by 1. Your own troops are immune to this effect.

Critical Success: Construction gets a head start, and 2d6 GB worth of building is completed on the same season.

Grant

Type: Bonus

Base Cost: Special

Base Success: DC 10 (Automatic, see below)

This domain action is used by regents who wish to reward helpful servants with titles or gifts of wealth. Typically, this is used when resolving a domain event that requires the appointing or appeasement of a government official. It can also be used to give another regent money from your treasury in the form of Gold Bars.

Unlike other domain actions, the domain action check is made not to see if the action succeeds, but whether anyone is potentially angered by the Grant (especially in the case of giving out wealth). Every Gold Bar that exchanges hands in this way increases the DC by 1. Should anyone be offended by the use of a Grant, it will force a corruption, intrigue, or unrest event on the next season.

Investiture

Type: Action

Base Cost: Varies

Base Success: Varies

To enact Investiture, a priest capable of casting the realm spell of the same name must be present for the ceremony. This ceremony is critical for passing rightful ownership of holdings and provinces to new rulers, and without it, a regent cannot draw Regency Points or Gold Bars from either asset type.

To invest provinces and holdings, the asset in question must either be willingly given to the investing regent; otherwise, it must be conquered or contested by that regent, and there must not be an enemy Castle present that is not neutralized. The regent must pay Regency Points equal to the combined levels of all holdings, provinces, and castles being invested through the course of this domain action. If the former owner is an unwilling participant, the investing regent must succeed at a domain action check with a DC of 10 + the defending regent’s Bloodline modifier. The defending regent may also spend RP normally to make this more of a challenge for the would-be usurper. This process is known as divesting a regent.

Investiture is also used to formalize vassalage. Upon using Investiture for this purpose, both regents contribute RP equal to the vassal’s Bloodline modifier. From this point on, the vassal contributes that value to their new lord every season, and no longer gains RP from their Bloodline modifier.

Finally, a blooded individual may be the target of Investiture, either willingly or unwillingly (though they must be present). This strips the blooded individual of all derivation, Bloodline ability score, and blood abilities. If the recipient is not a blooded individual, they gain a Bloodline score of 11 and the derivation of the divested scion, unless that scion’s Bloodline score was less than 11 (in which case, the new value is equal to the scion’s previous value; for this reason, Tainted bloodlines are almost never invested in this way). If the recipient of the investiture is already blooded, their Bloodline score permanently increases by 1, to a maximum value of 20.

Lieutenant

Type: Bonus

Base Cost: 1 GB

Base Success: Automatic

The regent raises a retainer or henchman NPC to the status of a lieutenant. A lieutenant can be another player character if that player character is not themselves a regent. Anyone can be a lieutenant, whether they possess a bloodline or not. The lieutenant typically possesses character levels and may undertake missions in the regent’s stead. NPC lieutenants require upkeep, and are paid on the Maintenance Costs phase of the season.

Lieutenants are extremely useful in that they provide the regent with a single additional bonus action that may be used at any point in the action phases of the season, provided the lieutenant is within the boundaries of the regent’s domain at the time. Once this bonus action is used, it cannot be used again on any subsequent turn in the round. The regent cannot benefit from having multiple lieutenants in this regard, but many regents keep additional lieutenants around in case one becomes occupied.

Some random events may require the use of a lieutenant to adjudicate outcomes, thus consuming the lieutenant’s attention for the season. This forfeits any bonus action they would have otherwise granted, unless the regent has another lieutenant handy.

For example, Erin Velescarpe raises up her brother, Eist, as a lieutenant. While he is not a regent, he acts in her stead where she cannot. She uses him several times to perform Decrees while she tends to more pressing matters.

Eventually, an event arises within Erin’s domain requiring the personal attention of the regent. Instead, Erin dispatches Eist to settle the matter, and does not gain his bonus action this season.

Move Troops

Type: Bonus

Base Cost: 1 GB

Base Success: Automatic

Using this domain action, the regent orders any number of loyal troops to another location within their own domain. Financing the movement of the troops costs 1 GB for every 10 units or provinces; for example, 1 GB can move a unit across 10 provinces, or 10 units across 1 province, or any combination that can be mathematically derived. The troops are not available for use while moving, and the movement completes at the end of the action round, whereupon they become available for battles waging in that province.

If the regent’s domain is invaded during use of the Move Troops action, they can abort any movement that is in progress to come to the defense of an invaded province, but forfeit any GB spent.

Muster Armies

Type: Bonus

Base Cost: Special

Base Success: Automatic

The regent calls up his provinces to war, or raises troops in any province where they maintain a holding. This can take the form of raising peasant levies, drawing up trained soldiers, or hiring mercenaries. They must pay the GB cost of any unit, as listed in its entry. A province can raise a number of military units equal to its level in a single season. If the troops are being raised in a province you do not control, the owning regent can automatically deny you this action.

Units cannot be used in the same action round in which they are mustered, unless those units are mercenaries (which can be used immediately, but mercenaries come with their own risks).

If the type of unit a regent musters is a Levy, it comes with an additional cost. The province level is temporarily reduced by 1 each time Levies are mustered from that province (see the section on Armies for more details). The rating is restored when the unit is disbanded, but if those units are ever destroyed in combat, the province level is permanently reduced. Levies cost nothing to muster, but are dangerous to use for this reason.

Realm Magic

Type: Action

Base Cost: Special

Base Success: Special

Through this action, a powerful spellcaster can invoke realm magic that affects entire provinces. Only blooded spellcasting regents can cast realm magic, and each realm spell has its own entry for success and failure considerations. Realm magic can only be used in provinces where the regent possess a temple holding (for divine casters such as clerics, druids, paladins and rangers), or a source holding (for arcane spellcasters of all stripes).

Relocate

Type: Bonus

Base Cost: 1 GB

Base Success: Automatic

With this action, the regent may relocate to another point within their domain. The cost involved allows the regent to bring their courtiers, lieutenants, and other present player characters with them to the new location. A regent and their court can only be moved in this way once per season.

Research

Type: Action

Base Cost: Special

Base Success: Special

This action may be used by any regent to perform extensive research on a topic of choice, or to perform other long-term activities of a scholastic nature. Spellcasting regents may use this action to perform the magical research in order to create magical items or discover realm spells. As most regents are already extremely wealthy compared to most characters from normal campaigns, it is assumed that the regent has access to appropriate laboratories and libraries.

The Game Master sets any target numbers and determines any special requirements for the discovery of realm spells.

Rule

Type: Action

Base Cost: Varies

Base Success: DC 10

Regents who devote time to ruling their domain may increase the levels of provinces and holdings. They are actively managing the minutiae of their realm with the express purpose of expanding it and drawing a larger population under their banner.

Firstly, a regent may use this action to increase the level of any single holding or collection of holdings. They must pay RP equal to the new level of all holdings affected, as well as 1 GB for each affected holding. Only one domain action check needs to be made to increase the level of all holdings. Remember that the total level of all holdings of a given type cannot exceed the level of the province in which they are located.

For example, Ashira al-Sumari wishes to grow her holdings. She has a Law (3) holding, a Guild (4) holding, and a Source (2) holding that she wishes to improve. Ashira must spend 3 GB and 11 RP (4 + 5 + 3) and then make her domain action check.

Secondly, a regent may elect to rule a province; only one province can be ruled at a time by this action. The cost to rule a province is equal to RP and GB equal to the new level of the affected province, and the regent must succeed at a DC 10 domain action check.

For example, Calimor the Magnificent wishes to increase the level of a province, currently rated at level 3. He must pay 4 RP and 4 GB and succeed at his domain action check.

One important exception exists: elven regents ruling elven domains pay double the normal amount to rule provinces and increase their levels. It is more difficult to steer the free-spirited elves into one place to settle, and the extreme care they take in developing their societies also means that they do not reduce a province’s source rating when its province level increases.

Critical Success: The efforts of the regent are incredibly effective, and the domain or holding increases its level by two. If this is not possible, say because a holding would level past its province, the cost is instead refunded.

Trade Route

Type: Action

Base Cost: 1 RP, 1 GB

Base Success: DC 10

Creating trade routes is a surefire way to greatly increase seasonal income for a regent. In order to create a trade route, the regent must own a guild holding in the home province and have permission from the owner of the target province, (either through Diplomacy or if the target province is owned by a friendly player regent), who must also possess a guild holding there. Further, the two provinces must be connected either by sea or by provinces with an appropriate network of roads, which are constructed via the Build action.

Each season, both regents draw Gold Bars equal to the average of the levels of the two connected provinces. Trade routes cease to generate income if the provinces or guild holdings at either end of the trade route become contested or occupied.

Creation of a trade route can be challenged by regents who own law holdings in either end of the route. They may contribute RP to increase the DC of the domain action check accordingly. Both the regent making the check and the regent at the other end of the connection can contribute GB to add a bonus to the roll as usual.

This action can create multiple trade routes at once, so long as they all originate from the same province. The regent must pay each cost separately, but only one domain action check need be made. Provinces up to level 3 can only be the source of one trade route, provinces between 4 and 6 can be the source of two, and provinces of level 7 or higher can support three.

Waging War

For all of the complexity of politics and management of realms, sooner or later a regent will find themselves embroiled in bitter conflict with rivals, brigands, or swarms of marauding monsters. Such battles are rarely limited to the adventure scale, and regents will need to muster armies to come to the defense of their domains, or those of allies.

Armies

Soldiers are acquired either through musters, levies, mercenaries, or holdings. The first three are covered under the Muster Armies domain action, and must be paid for each season lest they disband (and in the case of mercenaries, become brigands). The cost to muster a unit of soldiers, which typically numbers around 200 individuals, is contingent on the type of unit they are and covers the expenses of drafting, training, and outfitting those troops. Units of monsters or specialty troops may contain fewer individuals.

Without use of Scout-type units or the Espionage action, a regent has no idea of the number or composition of enemy troops without seeing them firsthand. This usually means engagement with the enemy, but creative regents and Game Masters might find other ways to accomplish this goal.

Musters

These “standard” troops can be called up from any province you control. Certain types of soldiers require a minimum level of Law holding or Castle in order to be mustered; for example, you cannot raise a unit of knights from a backwoods province with no law and little civilization. The requirements for each unit type are listed on the respective table.

Levies

As outlined in the Muster Armies action, it is important to remember that levies are pulled directly from the peasant populace. You may muster a number of units equal to the level of the province, and this reduces the province’s level by one each time it is done. The level remains lowered until the entire levy disbands, and if the levy is ever destroyed in battle, the province level remains permanently decreased. Levies are quick and inexpensive to muster, but are dangerous for this reason (nor are they particularly strong, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures).

Mercenaries

Sometimes a regent will find themselves in need of trained soldiers, but lack the holdings necessary to muster them. In this case, the regent may opt to hire mercenaries, who come with their own risks. Firstly, mercenaries who are routed in combat or are reduced to below 50% unit strength will immediately disband. If mercenaries go unpaid, they have a strong chance of becoming a unit of brigands in whatever province they currently occupy.

Castle Garrison

Castles may have troops stationed there, but even a Castle with no inactive units garrisoned will have a skeleton crew of guards and soldiers who maintain and defend the structure. These troops do not tend to number more than ten per level of the Castle, and if they are ever ordered away or killed, the Castle is considered neutralized until they return or are replenished.

Types of Units

Basic Units

Units of this type can be mustered in any standard province. They are always considered to be standard representations of the dominant race of the province in which they are mustered, unless otherwise noted.

Mercenary Irregulars can also be mustered as Archers or Pikemen at the time the unit is formed, though they retain the Mercenary designation.

The tables below list the available units in a Birthright campaign, as well as how expensive they are to muster and maintain. Furthermore, some units have requirements of the regent being a specific race or having certain levels of holdings in the province where the units are mustered. For example, Cavalry units require a Law holding of at least level 3 present in the province before they can be mustered there.

Units also have a Battlefield Challenge Rating, or BCR, which is used to help determine the results of certain clashes (as well as automatic battle resolution).


Basic Units

Unit Type Muster Cost (GB) Maintenance Cost (GB) Requirements BCR
Archers 2 1 L2 or T4/G4 1
Artillerists 4 2 L5 1
Cavalry 4 2 L3 3
Infantry 2 1 L1 or T4/G4 1
Infantry, Elite 4 2 L3 2
Irregulars 1 1 L1 or T3/G3 1/2
Knights 6 2 L4 4
Levies 0 1 L1 1/4
Mercenary Cavalry 6 2 Mercenaries 3
Mercenary Infantry 4 2 Mercenaries 2
Mercenary Irregulars (or Archers, or Pikemen) 3 1 Mercenaries 1
Pikemen 2 1 L2 or T3/G3 1
Scouts 2 1 L0 or G2 1/2

Archers

As to be expected, archers are a ranged combat unit. They are useful for attacking flying opponents and other enemy units from a safe distance, but are easily overrun by superior melee units. A unit of archers contains 200 troops. Longbows, padded or leather armor, and a single hand weapon are what archers bring to battle.

Artillerists

When attacking fortifications of any sort, artillerists are necessary. A unit of artillerists typically numbers about one hundred troops with component siege weaponry. If forced to defend themselves, artillerists bring but a hand weapon and padded armor to battle.

Cavalry

One hundred troops comprise a unit of cavalry, with accompanying mounts. They are not as sturdy as heavier cavalry-class units, such as knights, but are capable of mounted charges and giving chase to fleeing forces. A typical cavalry soldier has a light warhorse, a lance, a longsword and shield, and chainmail.

Infantry

The mainstay of any army, infantry units march in formation, have decent morale, and are an affordable and sturdy buffer for other specialized units. Infantry units are composed of 200 troops and typically come equipped with a two-handed weapon and ring mail.

Infantry, Elite

Better equipped and trained, elite infantry units can be expensive to maintain. A unit of elite infantry is 200 soldiers strong, armed with heavy melee weapons, chainmail or banded mail, and a backup weapon of some kind.

Irregulars

While they are actual trained combatants as opposed to the peasant mob that makes up a levy, irregulars have poor discipline and mediocre equipment. A unit of irregulars, 200 troops strong, might be comprised of berserkers, hill folk, or goblin warriors not trained to fight in formation.

Knights

Typically the heaviest units available to most regents, “knights” can really be any mounted warrior that is superbly armored and equipped. Examples of other troops that are considered knights are Khinasi mamluks, dwarven ram-riders, or elven heavy cavalry. A unit of knights is 100 soldiers with accompanying mounts, clad in plate armor with shield and carrying a veritable arsenal of melee weapons.

Levies

The humble peasant levy is not the sign of a wealthy or influential regent. Peasants have poor morale, little training, and laughable equipment, but they are cheap to muster and sometimes a mob is better than taking the field alone. Levies wear padded armor and carry whatever weapons are at hand; typically spears, small axes, or tools that easily double as armaments.

Mercenary Cavalry

Identical in makeup to standard cavalry units, mercenary cavalry are quick to muster and swift to ask for payment when the time comes.

Mercenary Infantry

As with cavalry, mercenary infantry are identical to their standard counterparts. Their advantage comes in their quickness to muster when the promise of gold is there to motivate them.

Mercenary Irregulars

The cheapest of the mercenary units, irregulars are very little in the way of organization and can be tough to command. They are otherwise identical to standard irregular units.

Pikemen

A specialized melee unit, pikemen are advantageous against cavalry units and other troops that have long reach. A unit of 200 pikemen is a bristling hedge of steel that only fools charge headlong into. They do have regular hand weapons and ring mail to sustain them when the foes get too close, and do have a disadvantage against standard infantry units.


Scouts

A unit of scouts is essential for any army to determine the makeup of enemy forces before engaging them in battle. Scout units number 200 troops and carry shortbows or light crossbows paired with hand weapons and light armor.

Special Units

Expensive and dangerous, these units are typically the most powerful forces available to regents. Goblins and gnolls, while respectively cheap and savage, are dangerous to keep in one’s employ and almost always elicit a negative reaction from other regents even when kept in check.

If the regent is not a member of the race listed in the requirements column, the unit acts as mercenaries (that is, they become brigands if left unpaid). Elves are never able to be hired as mercenaries, but have the most powerful standard units on a given battlefield.

Special Units

Unit Type Muster Cost (GB) Maintenance Cost (GB) Requirements BCR
Dwarf Guards 4 2 L4 and Dwarf, or Mercenaries 2
Dwarf Crossbows 4 2 L4 and Dwarf, or Mercenaries 2
Dwarf Engineers 5 2 L3 and Dwarf, or Mercenaries 1
Elf Archers 4 1 L3 and Elf 2
Elf Cavalry 8 2 L4 and Elf 4
Goblin Archers 1 1 L2 and Goblin, or Mercenaries 1
Goblin Infantry 1 1 L2 and Goblin, or Mercenaries 1
Goblin Cavalry 4 2 L3 and Goblin, or Mercenaries 2
Gnoll Marauders 2 1 Mercenaries 3
Gnoll Infantry 3 1 Mercenaries 2
Halfling Scouts 2 1 L1 and Halfling, or Mercenaries 1

Dwarf Guards

Steadfast dwarf guards are a cut above their standard infantry, clad in chainmail and shield, carrying heavy battleaxes into combat. They have superior morale and unit cohesion, with a single force consisting of 200 individuals.

Dwarf Crossbows

Though neither as tough as their infantry or nimble as regular archers, a unit of 200 dwarf crossbows can pull double duty as infantry units in a pinch due to their selection of armaments. Their primary weapons, of course, are their heavy crossbows; a volley of bolts can cut down a charging rank of infantry, after which they switch to swords and finish the job.

Dwarf Engineers

Not only are dwarves good at building things, they’re also experts at taking them apart. Dwarf engineers are a superior class of artillerists that bring heavy trebuchets, catapults, and rams with them onto the field. Like their standard counterparts, a unit of engineers is about 100 dwarves strong and is not sturdy enough to withstand a prolonged attack.

Elf Archers

Elvish archery prowess is the stuff of legends for a reason. A unit of 200 elf archers has high mobility and superb accuracy, making them the strongest ranged unit available. Custom-made elven longbows, light and flexible chain shirts, and elegant swords are what they carry into battle.

Elf Cavalry

While normal cavalry units can be made up of elven troops, a unit of specialized elven cavalry ride on the backs of enchanted steeds or other exotic mounts. Clad in elvish chainmail and carrying lance, longsword, and shield, the mobility these mounted troops is peerless. A unit of elf cavalry consists of 100 elves and accompanying mounts.

Goblin Archers

Goblins are a cowardly lot when forced into battle in small numbers, but 200 of the creatures packed into a unit carrying bows emboldens the savage humanoids enough to take the field. Their morale is not as good as a comparable human or dwarven unit, but goblin archers are cheap and readily fight for gold.

Goblin Infantry

Cruel and unpredictable, a massed unit of 200 goblin infantry is still a potent force. Though they are likely to break under a cavalry charge, goblins are eager mercenaries and are plentiful in the uncivilized areas of the world.

Goblin Cavalry

The cavalry of goblinkind is where they shine, mounted on the backs of worgs or dire wolves and carrying all manner of serrated weaponry. A unit of goblin cavalry consists of 100 goblins and accompanying mounts, which have superior morale even if their riders do not.

Gnoll Marauders

Gnolls respond best to strength and are easily cowed by a mighty lord, but any regent making use of gnoll marauders is best served cutting them loose or ordering them slain before they work up the courage to challenge him. A unit of 200 gnoll marauders are extremely brutal irregulars with superior strength and cunning, and can be bought for gold. Their standard equipment is a patchwork of pilfered axes, spears, and maces, and they rarely wear heavy armor of any kind.

Gnoll Infantry

More organized than marauders, gnoll infantry prefer halberds and poleaxes with chainmail. As with all savage humanoids, gnolls are natural mercenaries and have better morale than marauders. One unit of gnoll infantry consists of 200 soldiers.

Halfling Scouts

The easily-overlooked nature of halflings makes their scouts some of the best available, even above elves. They are rare on a battlefield, as halflings prefer guile and avoidance to mass combat, but barrage enemy units with slings and arrows before escaping to safety behind other, more robust units. A unit of halfling scouts is 200 strong.

Monstrous Units

These types of units are almost never able to be mustered in a given province, but may join with a regent’s armies for the promise of gold or conquest. They are expensive, unpredictable, and should they go without being paid, turn into the worst sorts of brigands.

Monstrous Units

Unit Type Muster Cost (GB) Maintenance Cost (GB) Requirements BCR
Dragon 30 10 Mercenary 15
Giants 10 5 Mercenaries 10
Ogres 6 3 Mercenaries 5
Orog Infantry 4 2 Cannot be in the same force as dwarves 3
Undead Troops n/a n/a Summoned through legion of the dead realm spell 2
Varsk Cavalry 6 3 L2 and Vos, or Mercenaries 5 in cold or mountainous terrain, 3 in all others

Dragon

No one musters a dragon. The initial cost is just to secure its services -- assuming one can even be found that is not immediately hostile and would lower itself to serving a mere regent. Kingdoms can be bankrupted financing a dragon’s ongoing services, but there is at least one lord out there that is feared to possess one at his command -- Raesene the Black Prince, also known as the Gorgon. A “unit” of dragons is simply one wyrm. Dragon units will not accept attached commanders -- it is debasing enough to serve one lord, and their pride demands they do not submit to the commands of one of that lord’s functionaries.

In the unlikely event a dragon deigns to serve a regent, there must be a clear understanding of the power relationships between the two or else the dragon will go rogue on the following season. A regent that gains control of a dragon immediately increases the loyalty of all of their provinces by one. A dragon unit consists of a solitary wyrm, and no dragon will work with any other dragon as part of a regent’s forces -- the beasts are far too territorial.

Giants

Most giants are reclusive and rarely emerge from their enclaves to join with armies. However, they can sometimes be found as the heavy artillery of monstrous armies. Giants count as a unit capable of assailing fortifications, and a unit of giants consists of no more than 3 of the creatures. The unit can be comprised of any of the Cerilian giant types -- hill, stone, forest, or mountain. Only rarely do ice giants gather in numbers sufficient to serve in armies.

Ogres

More common than giants and easily convinced to fight for gold, ogres are undisciplined brutes who are good at smashing lines of pikemen and cavalry, but fall quickly under the steady formations of infantry units. Ogre units consist of about 30 individuals.

Orog Infantry

The gruesome orogs sometimes marshal units in heavy armor with huge chopping weapons to butcher enemies. Like other units of their makeup, they number around 200 troops, but are poor combatants in daylight and prefer to fight at night or underground. When forced to battle in daylight, roll twice for resolution effects and take the worse of the two rolls.

Undead Troops

This is a catch-all unit of 200 skeletons, zombies, and other massed undead raised through the realm spell legion of the dead. It is mindless, never routs, and cannot be affected by climate or fatigue. As such, they make cheap and durable troops, if somewhat limited in combat capability.

Varsk Cavalry

While not monstrous in the strictest sense of the word given their riders are Vos warriors, varsks are the fearsome furred lizards of the bitter northeast. They excel at tests of stamina and morale, though they are not quite as swift as regular cavalry.

Commanders

Each unit in an engagement is considered to have its sergeants, standard bearers, and other necessary roles already included. A unit may be bolstered through the presence of attached commanders, which may be NPC lieutenants recruited by the regent, other player characters, or the regent themselves.

The presence of a commander increases the relative strength of a unit (as outlined under the Resolving Battles section), as well as increasing its Battlefield CR by 1.


The War Move

Part of each domain action phase is the War Move. All regents with troops actively engaged in wartime have the opportunity to position units of soldiers based on their movement and the conditions of the provinces through which they move.

First, any armies that possess units with the Scout designation identify the number of units and composition of those units for all troops in surrounding provinces at the beginning of the War Moves phase. This allows a more educated course of action on behalf of the regent.

To move troops through a domain that is not your own, you must either Declare War or engage in Diplomacy to secure the right of safe passage for your armies. The act of moving your armies requires the Move Troops domain action, and moves happen in order of domain initiative. Armies move as far as they desire unless they encounter an enemy force, terrain obstruction, or Castle asset controlled by an enemy regent.

In the case that an army on the move encounters a hostile unit, and that unit has not yet moved on this turn, that unit may immediately elect to retreat to a friendly adjacent province (never to a hostile one, even if unoccupied). If the unit has already completed its move this turn, it cannot flee, even if it has movement remaining. If the enemy unit retreats in this manner, the aggressor army may continue its move as though it were not halted.

Terrain

The type of terrain and presence of roads has a heavy impact on how far a unit can move. Each unit type has its own movement rate, and combined armies of different unit types use the movement rate of its slowest unit. Roads and bridges are useful for making provinces significantly easier to navigate. A unit can never be denied a single province’s worth of movement, regardless of how difficult the terrain is to cross or how low their movement rate.

Terrain

Terrain Movement Cost per Province
Desert or Tundra 2
Forest 2 (1 for elf units)
Mountains or Glacier 4 (2 for dwarf units)
Hills 2
Plains, Farmland, and Steppes 1
Swamps and Marshes 3
Roads Present Reduce movement cost by 1, minimum 1
Cross River Uses entire Move Troops action
Bridge Present Allows river to be crossed as normal for province
Wilderness Fortification Present Increase movement cost of terrain by 1, even if Castle is neutralized

Castles

The presence of a Castle is a significant obstacle for invading regents. Any province that possesses a Castle asset that is manned by at least its skeleton crew prevents any further advancement through the domain until the Castle is neutralized or destroyed. The invading force can always retreat the direction from whence it came, and is never “trapped” within the province by the Castle.

Neutralizing Castles

In order to overcome a Castle’s inherent defenses, it must be surrounded and besieged. To do this, an invading regent must have a total number of units hostile to the Castle’s owner equal to the level of the Castle, plus any units stationed there. Once a Castle is neutralized, any additional units may pass through the province without being blocked.

For example, Baron Gavin Tael has enough of Erin Velescarpe’s constant stymieing of his efforts, and sends troops to attack her realm. Erin Velescarpe’s frontier Castle is only level 2, but she has two units of troops stationed there. The Baron must commit four of his own units to that province in order to neutralize the Castle.

A neutralized Castle is considered besieged. For each season that a Castle is besieged and the besieging force includes at least one unit of engineers, its effective level is reduced by one at the end of the season. If the Castle is ever reduced to zero, it is considered destroyed and any units garrisoned there must come out to fight; they cannot flee to a friendly province on the following season.

Siege warfare is slow, exhausting, and expensive, and it is often more cost-effective to simply bypass the Castle while it is neutralized. Troops committed to a siege must be paid for and replenished as necessary; without a unit that is capable of attacking the occupants directly, those troops are effectively sitting there waiting out the Castle occupants.

Dwarven fortifications are notoriously difficult to besiege, as they tend to be built partially or entirely underground. As such, they cannot be fully neutralized unless completely destroyed. See the Subterranean Fortifications upgrade under the Fortify action.

Scouts

Units that have the Scout quality can identify the number and makeup of units in a one-province radius from wherever they are stationed. This identification takes place at the beginning of the War Moves phase. If no scouts are present in your armies, then you are unaware of the number and makeup of enemy units unless you perform the Espionage action with that express purpose in mind.

Resolving Battles

Herein is presented a method for quickly resolving engagements with hostile units. The system is intended to be economical for time, based on automatic resolution contingent on the number of units present on each side as well as their composition.

To determine the result, calculate the total Battlefield Challenge Rating (BCR) of all units present in the engagement on each side, then compare the forces. For each unit on the field, roll 1d6 to determine its state at the end of the engagement and add modifiers based on following table.

Resolving Battles

Circumstance Modifier
Enemy force has Archer-class units and your force has no Cavalry-class units -1
Enemy force has Cavalry-class units and your force has no Pikemen or Cavalry-class units -1
Per 2 total BCR the enemy force exceeds your own (maximum penalty -3) -1
The unit has suffered at least 25% casualties before the battle is joined -1
The unit has suffered at least 50% or greater casualties before the battle is joined -2
The unit has terrain advantage (elves in forest, dwarves in mountains) +1
Your force has established fortifications and defenses and enemy force has no Artillery or Engineer-class units. +1
Per 2 total BCR your force exceeds the enemy force (maximum bonus +3) +1
The unit possesses an attached commander. +1

On a result of zero or lower, the unit is destroyed. On a result of 1, the unit has suffered 50% casualties; if the unit has already suffered 50% or greater casualties, it is destroyed. On a result of 2 to 5, the unit suffers 25% casualties, but survives the engagement. On a result of 6 or greater, the unit suffers no significant casualties.

The side that suffers the most results of 1 or lower is considered defeated, and must retreat to a province with no hostile force present on the same turn of its defeat. If the force cannot be relocated in this way, it remains where it is. If the defeated force is entrenched in fortifications of any kind (such as a castle), it can choose not to retreat.

If neither side is defeated, the battle is a stalemate (though all casualty results stand) and the forces clash again on the following domain action. This continues until one force or another is either defeated or destroyed.

In the event one force’s total BCR is at least twice that of the opposing force, the other force is automatically destroyed and no dice need be rolled.

Should a commander be attached to a unit that is destroyed, the victorious force has the option to execute the commander or take them prisoner. Ransoming commanders is a lucrative option for some lords, typically forcing regents to pay 1 GB per level of the individual to secure their release.

Merging or Replenishing Units

Units of the same type that suffer casualties can be merged freely before battles commence. A unit can never be brought above maximum strength without creating a new unit. For example, a unit of pikemen that suffers 25% casualties merges with a unit of pikemen that suffered 50% casualties. One unit of pikemen is brought to full strength, but a unit of pikemen remains that is at 75% casualties.

Units can also be replenished by mustering new forces at half cost on the regent’s domain turn, provided the unit in question is in a friendly province.

Occupation and Conquest

In the event that hostile forces remain in a province unopposed and with no castles that remain unneutralized, the province is considered occupied. The province generates no gold bars or regency for any regent that possesses holdings within it until the invading army is dislodged -- that is, no hostile force remains within the province, and a friendly force remains to re-establish order.

As pointed out under the section for Seasons, an occupying force can collect Severe Taxation on occupied provinces during the taxation phase. This act permanently reduces the level of the province by one. Occupying forces act as a temporary, overriding Law holding of a level equal to the number of occupying units; this special form of Law can exceed the level of the province.

During occupation on the phase of the turn when War Moves occur, in lieu of moving the occupying force, the army can perform one of the following activities:

  • Quash Law: You permanently reduce the level of all Law holdings they choose in the province to zero.
  • Disband Guilds: You permanently reduce the level of all Guild holdings they choose in the province to zero.
  • Raze Temples: You permanently reduce the level of all Temple holdings they choose in the province to zero.
  • Vandalize Sources: You permanently reduce the level of all Source holdings they choose in the province by one.

Any holding damaged in this way can be leveled once more through domain actions should the province be liberated, or if the occupying army’s regent invests the province and becomes its rightful lord.

Realm Magic

Among the most powerful magic available to mortals is realm magic. These spells, exceedingly rare and difficult to cast, are rituals of the highest complexity and expense that can affect entire domains at a time. All blooded scions that are sufficiently trained can learn and cast one of these spells, but must have access to a suitably powerful Temple or Source holding and have levels of a class capable of utilizing them.

No scion begins play knowing realm spells. They must be discovered using the Research domain action, and the Game Master determines what challenge await a regent attempting to discover one of these extremely powerful spells.

All realm spells have a number of requirements for the casting, which typically include a minimum Temple or Source holding level in the province in which the spell is being cast, Regency Point expenditure, and/or Gold Bar expenditure. Casting a realm spell does not require that the spell be prepared, and known realm spells do not count against any class’s spells known. They always take a great deal of time to cast, through use of the Realm Magic domain action.

Realm Spell Descriptions

Alchemy

RP Cost: 4+

GB Cost: 0

Required Source: 3

Duration: Permanent

This realm spell allows the invoker to create wealth from inert materials. By expending 4 RP, the caster creates 1 GB of wealth added immediately to the treasury of either the caster themselves or the regent they serve. This spell can only be invoked once per season, as the strain on the caster is great, but there is no upper limit to the value of gold that can be transmuted in a single casting of this spell so long as sufficient RP is available.


Bless Land

RP Cost: 3 per province

GB Cost: 1

Required Temple: 1

Duration: One season

With a holy ceremony, the adherent invokes the blessing of their deity upon a province. Each non-Source holding within the province, and the province itself, immediately generate an additional gold bar of revenue for their controlling regents. The province also improves its loyalty by one grade.

The regent may affect only one province with this spell at first. At 5th level, they may affect two provinces. At 11, they may affect up to three provinces. At 17th, they may affect up to four provinces.

Bless Army

RP Cost: 1 per unit

GB Cost: 1

Required Temple: 3

Duration: One season

With this spell, the adherent can bless one unit and increase its BCR by 1 for the season. At 5th level, the adherent can bless two units. At 11th, they may bless three units. At 17th, they may bless four units.

Blight

RP Cost: 3 per province

GB Cost: 2

Required Temple: 3

Duration: One season

Whereas the bless land realm spell brings fortune, the blight realm spell brings devastation. The targeted province suffers an intense and immediate misfortune, causing all regents who control a holding within the province to immediately lose 1 GB. The owner of the province itself loses an additional gold bar, and the regent must succeed on a Bloodline saving throw or the province’s loyalty is reduced by one grade.

The regent may affect only one province with this spell at first. At 5th level, they may affect two provinces. At 11, they may affect up to three provinces. At 17th, they may affect up to four provinces.

Death Plague

RP Cost: 1 per target province level

GB Cost: 2

Required Source: 5

Duration: Permanent

By invoking this terrible realm spell, the caster creates a plague to befall a target province. The sickness spreads quickly and terribly throughout the month of its invocation, reducing the target province’s level by 1.

As the caster grows in power, so does the potential destruction of this spell. Upon reaching 5th level, the caster can spend additional RP to affect a second province that is adjacent to the initially targeted province. At 11th level, they may affect a third in the same manner, so long as it is in some way connected to one of the first two. At 17th, the caster may affect four connected provinces. Only the initially-targeted province need be one in which the caster possesses a Source holding or suitable ley line connection.

For example, the vile lich Manentorok, an awnsheghlien that is effectively a 13th level wizard, maintains a frightened and meager populace of peasants to tend his land and fuel his experiments. A Vos lordling expands territory near his borders, an affront that the lich cannot abide. He casts the death plague realm spell using ley lines he controls in the lordling’s territory, just over the border, reducing the province’s level from 2 to 1 and reminding them of who holds sway in the valley. Since Manentorok has plenty of RP to spare and is capable of casting powerful magic, he elects to spread the plague to three additional provinces (a level 3, a level 2, and a level 1), stretching deep into the rival lordling’s territory and decimating his people. The lich expends a total of 8 RP for the casting.

The effects of the death plague can be countered in a single province by the effects of a dispel realm magic or bless land realm spell, but only if it is cast on the same domain action.

Demagogue

RP Cost: 5 per loyalty grade

GB Cost: 1

Required Source: 3

Duration: See description

A devious enchantment woven over a realm, the demagogue spell enables a regent to affect the loyalty of provinces for better or worse. By expending 5 RP per grade, the caster can increase or decrease the loyalty of the target province. Thus, a wizard regent can charm a rebellious province to increase the loyalty of its people to high by expending 15 RP. If this spell is cast on an opposing regent's domain, that regent is entitled to a Bloodline saving throw to avoid the effect.

Beginning at 5th level, the regent can target up to two provinces with this spell, but must pay the cost for each province and loyalty grade they wish to affect. At 11th level, they can affect up to three provinces. At 17th, they can affect four provinces.


Dispel Realm Magic

RP Cost: See description

GB Cost: 1

Required Source: 1

Duration: See description

By weaving a powerful abjuration, a caster can use this realm spell to remove the effects of harmful realm spells or protect it from possible attack by realm magic. If used to remove an existing effect, the regent pays 2 RP per level of the realm spell being dispelled.

If used in a protective manner, the regent may expend RP of a value equal to twice their level. For the remainder of the season, the dispelling effect will automatically trigger against any realm spell cast against the target province. If the cost of the triggering realm spell is equal to or less than the value bid, the spell fails and the costs are still incurred.

At 5th level, the protective use of this spell lasts two seasons. At 11th level, the protection lasts for three seasons. At 17th level, the effect lasts for an entire year. The protection is not broken upon blocking a given realm spell, but may itself be dispelled. There is no way to determine without Espionage or magical divination whether a given province is protected by use of this spell.

Honest Dealings

RP Cost: 3 per province

GB Cost:3

Required Temple: 3

Duration: One season

By invoking a sense of honesty and fair play upon the denizens of a targeted province, an adherent can cause all Agitate and Espionage actions upon the province to fail for a period of one season. Any individual within the province that attempts to use the Deception skill or steal from others using Sleight of Hand suffers disadvantage on the skill check.

The regent may affect only one province with this spell at first. At 5th level, they may affect two provinces. At 11, they may affect up to three provinces. At 17th, they may affect up to four provinces.

Investiture

RP Cost: Special

GB Cost: 1

Required Temple: 1

Duration: Permanent

Through this holy ritual, an adherent can transfer regency between any two characters. This may be used to sever the link between the land and one regent to give to another, or transfer holdings accordingly, as outlined under the domain action of the same name. The adherent casting this spell, as well as both individuals who are part of the ritual, must expend their domain actions to be present for the spell to do its work.

Legion of the Dead

RP Cost: 4 per unit

GB Cost: 1 per unit

Required Source: 3

Duration: One season

Through the use of this terrible necromantic realm spell, a regent may raise armies of undead for use in war. Undead units have no maintenance cost, can march day and night without rest, and strike fear into the hearts of their enemies. The caster must remain within the same province as the undead legion or the summoned units immediately disband and are destroyed.

The caster may summon one unit of undead with this spell. Upon reaching 5th level, they may summon two units, but must pay the cost for each. At 11th level, they may summon three units, and at 17th level they may summon four.

Mass Destruction

RP Cost: 10 per unit

GB Cost: 5

Required Source: 5

Duration: Instant

Calling down rains of fire, explosive storms, or poisonous winds, the caster can obliterate enemy armies within the target province. By paying the listed cost, the regent may attempt to destroy any single unit in the target province. Upon reaching 5th level, they may affect two units. At 11th, the regent can instead affect three units. At 17th, they may affect four units. The regent must pay the RP cost for each unit affected, and must be able to see the units being affected.

Targeted units are destroyed unless the controlling regent succeeds on a Bloodline saving throw, which allows the unit to only suffer 25% casualties instead.

A dragon unit cannot be affected by this spell. Attached commanders on a unit that is destroyed suffer 5d10 points of damage, typed according to the caster’s wishes. The caster can select the type of damage at the time the spell is invoked from among acid, fire, cold, force, lightning, poison, or thunder.

The aftermath of the destruction lays waste to the surrounding countryside. The populace suffers an immediate degradation of loyalty whether or not any units were destroyed.

Raze

RP Cost: 10 per structure level

GB Cost: 2 per damage level inflicted

Required Source: 5

Duration: Instant

Powerful spellcasters can use this realm spell to devastate castles and similar fortifications. The more expansive the castle, the more expensive this spell is to cast, even if the damage you intend to cause is not equal to the level of the castle. For example, a level 4 castle costs 40 RP to target with this realm spell, though you may only have enough gold bars to damage it up to three levels. Sometimes it is simply enough to send a message rather than obliterate a castle outright.

The damage caused happens instantaneously, but the caster must be within sight range of the castle being affected throughout the period of time the spell is being cast. As such, this realm spell is typically invoked while a regent’s armies are laying siege to a province. The regent that owns the castle may attempt a Bloodline saving throw to halve the damage to the castle in question.

Scry

RP Cost: 5 plus 3 per province of separation

GB Cost: 1

Required Source: 1

Duration: Instant

By invoking this realm spell, a regent may perform the equivalent of an Espionage realm action on the targeted province, but only for the purposes of gathering information. The caster need not make a domain action roll; the spell is automatically successful and carries no risk of failure.

A spellcaster whose realm is protected by a dispel realm magic spell automatically knows the source of the scrying attempt.

Stronghold

RP Cost: 6 RP per castle level

GB Cost: 10

Required Source: 7

Duration: One season per caster level

The invoker of this realm spell bends the land to their will to conjure a fortress in the target province. The RP cost is equivalent to constructing a fortress with gold (6 RP per castle level), but the result is happens over the course of minutes rather than months. The fortress remains for one season per level of the caster, and crumbles to useless debris at the end of that period or if the caster dies.

If the spellcaster is willing to pay double the RP cost, the castle can be made permanent, though this act is extremely taxing on the spellcaster and ages them 10 years. It will not destroy itself if the caster is later killed or dies of natural causes.

Subversion

RP Cost: See below

GB Cost: 2

Required Source: 1

Duration: One domain action

Using powerful enchantments, a spellcaster can take temporary and subtle control of a holding, province, army, or lieutenant under the command of another regent. The caster may then cause that unit to take an immediate domain action, even if the target is not normally capable of taking domain actions.

Taking command of a holding or province allows you to Agitate or Contest in your favor with an automatic success. An army may be used to attack their once-allies. A lieutenant can force an immediate Assassination event upon their controlling regent (provided they are in the same province as the regent at the time the spell is cast).

In any case, the cost is 3 RP per level of the target holding, province, or level of the lieutenant. If the target is an army, the cost is 5 RP per unit affected, and all affected units must be in the same province. Only one type of target can be affected per casting of this realm spell.

Summoning

RP Cost: 5 per unit

GB Cost: 2 per unit

Required Source: 3

Duration: See below

The spellcaster invokes this realm magic to conjure forth hordes of monsters to do their bidding. These monsters arrive from all around to join under the regent’s banner and fight for one season. At 5th level, the duration of the spell is two seasons. At 11th, the duration is three seasons, and at 17th the duration is one full year (four seasons). At the end of this duration, the spell expires and all monstrous units become brigands in the province where they are currently present.

The regent does not need to pay the mustering costs for these troops, but must pay their upkeep. Failure to pay upkeep for a unit breaks the spell’s effect upon it, and the unit immediately turns to brigandage in their current province.

The caster may summon one unit of monsters with this spell. Upon reaching 5th level, they may summon two units, but must pay the cost for each. At 11th level, they may summon three units, and at 17th level they may summon four.

The type of monsters summoned is also contingent on the level of the invoker. Initially, the caster may summon only Goblin Infantry with this spell. At 5th level, they may instead summon Gnoll Infantry or Goblin Cavalry. At 11th level, they may instead summon Orog Infantry or Gnoll Marauders. At 17th level, the caster may summon Ogres.

Transport

RP Cost: 4 per unit

GB Cost: 1

Required Source: 5

Duration: Instantaneous

This powerful spell allows a regent to move troops from one province to another without needing to pay exorbitant relocation costs. The regent must be able to trace a path of ley lines between the starting and ending provinces in order to transport them, but the process is instantaneous and the units may also move during the War Moves phase.

The invoker may also use this spell on enemy units they can see, but the RP cost is doubled. The enemy unit and all lieutenants and commanders are harmlessly transported to the target province. The end point location cannot be in a lethal location (such as in the middle of a sea or in a volcanic caldera).

Warding

RP Cost: 5 per province

GB Cost: 2 per province

Required Source: 5

Duration: See below

It may occasionally behoove a spellcasting regent to prevent entry into or exit from a target domain. By invoking this realm spell, a regent may conjure a misty barrier to envelop the borders of a targeted province (or multiple provinces). No units may cross the border, and find themselves turned around and arriving back in the province should they attempt to pass the mists.

This also prevents any trade or diplomacy with the targeted provinces. Trade routes with a terminus in the affected province do not generate gold bars for their regent, and the provinces (and the holdings within it) are immune to the Agitate or Contest actions if their owners are not within the boundaries of the mists.

The caster of this spell is immune to the effects of the mists, as are any individuals or units they accompany. In this way, the spell can be used on an isolationist domain for protection.

The caster can affect one province with a casting of this spell. At 5th level, they may affect up to two provinces, which need not be adjacent. At 11th level, they may affect three provinces. At 17th, they may affect four provinces.

Random Domain Events

Random events are things that can occur during each season that may affect a regent’s provinces or holdings in one fashion or another. Not every season will have an associated event, and while the Game Master checks only once for random events, actions performed during the course of previous turns can cause multiple events to occur simultaneously (such as severe taxation on an already rebellious populace forcing an uprising).

Each listed event has a modifier next to it in parentheses. This number is used to calculate rewards at the end of the season.

Assassination (+2)

An enemy of the regent, whether it be one they have feuded with before or one that has an otherwise hidden grievance with the scion, sends agents to extinguish their life. Typically, this is played out as an encounter with an assassin, or group of assassins, as determined by the Game Master. These events typically lead to further intrigue -- assuming the regent survives -- as the organizer(s) of the attempt are sought.

The regent and their party may also earn experience from defeating the encounter if they are present during the assassins’ defeat.

Blood Challenge (+4)

A blooded champion or an awnsheghlien comes looking for the regent and issues them a challenge, in the form of a duel, insult, or announcement of impending invasion. The ultimate goal of this agent is to conquer the regent and usurp their bloodline by force.

Brigandage or Monsters (+3)

A group of bandits, a single monster such as a griffon or wyvern, or a similar threat manifests itself somewhere in the regent’s domain. If left to fester without being tended to, the targeted provinces decline in loyalty by one grade for each season the threat is allowed to remain unchallenged.

To deal with this event, the regent may dispatch a lieutenant for the season to raise local adventurers to deal with the threat (losing their provided bonus action) or issue a Decree to that effect. If the danger is particularly severe, the regent may find themselves forced to raise a levy or dispatch units of troops to deal with the threat.

Corruption (+1)

An agent of the regent’s court, a high-ranking priest, or a devious guildmaster are publicly accused of corruption. A particularly influential regent may be able to safely ignore this accusation, but for a fresh, inexperienced ruler this may be a stain they must scrub out immediately.

The Game Master determines whether or not the accusations are true, and the regent’s response determines the outcome. This may take the form of ordering and funding an investigation, which costs 1d4 GB each season it continues, or calling all parties to court to deal with the matter personally (which requires that the regent expended funds on court costs this season).

Diplomatic Mission (+1)

The agents of a foreign ruler arrive in the regent’s domain and expect hospitality and the attentions of the regent for at least past of the season. If the regent does not have court costs for this season, the mission leaves and the realm’s reputation with that foreign regime declines.

If the diplomats remain, they may ask a favor of the regent or offer some manner of mutual agreement, as determined by the Game Master. Typically, this involves a trade route request (which may require the regent build roads) or similar mutually-beneficial arrangement.

Festival (+1)

A local festival springs up in one of the regent’s provinces, its exact nature determined by the Game Master. Possibilities include a religious holiday or a festival celebrating a local hero. These kinds of events can net the regent great goodwill from the people if time and resources are expended to support it, or better yet, attend in person.

The regent can ignore this event safely, or expend 1d4 GB to send gifts and support to the festival. Loyalty in the province increases by one grade if this is done.

Feud (+2)

Two influential forces collide in the regent’s domain. Possibilities include religious leaders, local heroes, brawling adventurers, or even foreign agents on holiday. Ignoring this event has consequences in the form of damages to the realm that cost 1d6 GB to fix, and may also cause loyalty to degrade.

Addressing the problem can be trickier. Even if one side is grievously out of line, siding with one party or the other causes strain between the regent that the party that is ruled against. This party may become a future thorn in their side.

Great Captain/Heresy (+2)

A mighty individual rises to prominence in the regent’s domain. The Game Master determines the traits and goals of the individual in question; they may be a potential ally or lieutenant, or a demagogue attempting to rally the people against the regent. In the case of the former, this may lead to an Unrest event on the following season.

Intrigue (+1)

What’s a good story of lords and ladies without some court intrigue? Gossip, rumor-mongering, or even a death by poison may be the impetus for this event, where the regent and their court become embroiled in the affair. Poorly handled, this event can cause degradations in loyalty and reputation.

The regent must determine a course of action when this event arises, even if it is a simple Decree. If left unaddressed, this event has a high chance of turning into a Feud or Matter of Justice on the next season.

Magical Event (+2 to +5)

A supernatural event takes place somewhere in the regent’s domain. The exact nature of this event varies depending on the events of the campaign and the Game Master’s whim, but some possible random outcomes are as follows. Roll 1d6 and consult the list below.

1 - Bizarre Weather (+2)

A supernatural storm, bizarre heat wave, or summer snow washes over a province in the regent’s domain. The source of the event might be the result of a wizard conducting experiments in secret with grave consequences, or the stirring of an elemental spirit long imprisoned. Loyalty and holding income is at risk until the situation is resolved.

2 - Mebhaighl Surge (+3)

Sources and ley lines run amok. Through the assault of a distant mage-regent or the presence of a magic-devouring entity, Source holdings become tainted and ley lines sputter and atrophy in a random province until the source of the event can be dislodged.

3 - Shadow Incursion (+3)

The Shadow World’s touch grows strong in a place within one of the regent’s provinces. A graveyard, battlefield, or blighted temple all make good centers for the event. The incursion is strong enough to allow creatures from the Shadow World to invade by night, ravaging surrounding villages and causing loyalty in the province to steadily decay until the problem is dealt with.

4 - Starfall (+2)

A celestial object impacts somewhere within a random province the regent controls. Loyalty in that province immediately decays by one grade as fear and superstition run wild in the land. The object may be a simple meteorite of precious metals and iron (+1d6 GB) or a gruesome monster long banished in the heavens. Either way, the situation must be handled quickly before the populace’s fear gets the better of them.


5 - Supernatural Army (+4)

A previously unknown force emerges somewhere within the regent’s domain. A 1d3 units of monsters (typically of the fiend or undead type) are summoned or tear their way through a rift into Cerilia and begin to occupy the province, slaughtering its people on each domain turn until nothing remains but death and ruin. The force always moves together, and each season it remains without being completely destroyed allows another unit of the same type to manifest at the beginning of the following season.

6 - Dragon Awakens (+5)

One of Cerilia’s few remaining dragons awakens in a province, tearing the earth apart in the throes of its fitful slumber. The dragon begins devastating the local terrain until it can be slain or convinced to go elsewhere. Be warned: Cerilia’s dragons are creatures of raw, elemental power and all are of ancient strength. They care nothing for the politics of humans, elves, or dwarves and will devour all indiscriminately in their elemental urges.

Matter of Justice (+2)

The regent is personally called upon to adjudicate a legal matter, typically between greater powers in their domain or even other regents who require an impartial voice of equal standing. The encounter should be played out, and the regent must expend 1d4 GB to fund the proceedings in their realm. Successfully mediating the dispute causes the regent’s reputation with one or both parties to increase, depending on the ruling.

The regent may decline to preside over the affair if they wish with no ill effects, but a regent that repeatedly does this whenever this event arises may suffer the consequences of their insular nature.

Natural Event (+1)

An earthquake, flood, landslide, or other natural disaster strikes somewhere in the regent’s domain. The regent may ignore the event and lose one level of loyalty in the affected province. If the regent expends 1d4 GB or dispatches a lieutenant to deal with the aftermath, this loss can be prevented.

Trade Dispute (+1)

A trade route or guild holding that the regent owns or connects to falls under dispute, and does not generate GB this season. If the regent has no trade routes or guild holdings, this instead counts as no event. As long as the regent ignores this event, the effect persists.

The regent will need to engage in a Diplomacy or Grant action in order to mediate the dispute and return the holding or route to functioning order.

Unrest (+2)

Grave unrest takes hold in a random province within the regent’s domain. The cause may be a rebel leader, the antagonism of a distant ruler inciting rebellion, or other event as the Game Master determines. The province immediately drops in loyalty by two grades. If this results in the province becoming rebellious, the province immediately raises as many levies as possible, which are hostile to the regent.

These units will rampage across the regent’s domain until quelled by force or negotiation. The loyalty effects endure until the regent finds another way to return the province to its previous state of affairs.

Campaign Options

Birthright, as presented in this conversion, is not necessarily bound by its conventions. There are many ways to play in the setting without the need for certain restrictions or strict lines of demarcation. For a given campaign or gaming group, some of the following options may useful.

Additional Races

While "pure" Cerilia has only those races listed earlier as suitable for the setting, there's nothing to say an inventive group cannot make room for other races.

Dragonborn

Dragonborn may be the hardest sell of the core races to include, and could exist as refugees from another, unnamed continent on the world of Aebrynis. Another possibility is they are the reincarnation of some slain dragon from Cerilia's distant past, or a mutant creature twisted by the power of the Shadow World. Dragonborn would be feared, at best, for their comparatively monstrous appearance, and some would assume them to be a form of awnsheghlien.

Gnome

An excuse could be made for the inclusion of gnomes by stating that they are fey creatures in secluded communities deep within Cerilia's magical wilderness. Most uneducated humans would likely guess them to be a slender dwarf or a particularly stout halfling, so they could pass largely unnoticed in Cerilian society. Elves, of course, would know them instantly, and be protective of them due to their nature.

Half-Orc

The fearsome half-orc is a possibility, but as most savage humanoids are kept under the simple classification of "goblin" (whether they be hobgoblin, bugbear, or actual goblin) then this race could easily be reflavored as a half-goblin. It is likely that the half-breed would find a home only within their community of their monstrous parent. A half-orog is also a possibility, as orogs (typically a stout breed of orc in other settings) completely replace the niche of the orc in Cerilia.

Tiefling

While not the newest of races to be introduced to the game, tieflings as-written might be difficult to justify in some campaigns. Demons and devils are relegated to the periphery of Cerilia's supernatural threats, and usually come in some flavor of Shadow World monster. Tieflings could be the spawn of such unholy unions of worlds, or the children of terrible awnsheghlien. Azrai's bloodline takes to these tainted spawn all too easily.


Monstrous Races

These options are even more contentious in most campaigns, but there are examples of every monstrous player race save orcs in Cerilia. Playing a goblin scion or a lizardfolk mercenary with a party of standard player character races could be an interesting experiment, but tread with care here; such creatures are not welcome in "polite" Cerilian society.

Arcane Magic Options

If you find that the presented restrictions are too severe on who can be members of the sorcerer or wizard classes, or magically-inclined fighter and rogue archetypes, you may consider allowing this option.

Unrestricted Archetypes, Magician Wizards, and Unbound Sorcerers

For this option, magically-inclined fighter and rogue archetypes can be populated by unblooded characters, as their magic does not reach such heights of power that the setting lore is particularly damaged. Furthermore, unblooded wizards can belong to the Diviner and Illusionist wizard traditions without similarly diverging from the intended experience.

Sorcerers would be a special exception, as by their very nature they are "blooded" in some supernatural way. While their very existence means they possess the magical power to invoke true magic, they do not necessarily need to possess one of the divine bloodlines. Draconic bloodline sorcerers gain their power from their draconic lineage, and other sorcerers are pure mebhaighl given physical limitations.

None of these changes particularly damages the intent of the setting and may be desired by groups who don't wish to populate a party full of blooded scions, or those gaming groups who want to play in Cerilia, but not interface with domain rulership at all.

Ignoring Bloodlines

If you prefer to use the systems presented for worlds other than Cerilia, there's nothing saying you cannot completely ignore the inclusion of bloodlines and blood abilities. In such games, Regency Points become available to anyone with the power and wealth to command large business, temple, or political enterprises. The currency is instead flavored as influence, and a given character's knack for making outcomes work to their favor. Use Charisma as the ability score to resolve domain action checks and earn regency points for such campaigns.

Arcane magic and realm spells likewise can work just as well without requiring bloodlines, and it makes such spellcasters build secret cabals and wage magical wars to claim powerful Sources.

Of course, in such worlds, you group will need to create the campaign map and provincial borders of each realm, but in such situations the possibilities are enticing.

Conclusion

This document has only begun to scratch the surface of what the Birthright setting holds. Most of the text herein focused around the copious rules and references one would need to run a campaign in Cerilia, but it is concise and complete.

To learn more about the cultures and kingdoms of the world, one can find online retailers distributing PDFs of the old books for reasonable prices. Whether it is the chivalric romanticism of Anuire, the sweeping mystical deserts of Khinasi, or the frightful wastelands of Vosgaard, these books will satisfy your curiosity.

Go forth to unite or conquer a divided Cerilia!

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