How do ley lines work in gameplay?

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Big Mac
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How do ley lines work in gameplay?

Post by Big Mac »

I just saw on Birthright Wiki that a Regent Mage can use ley lines. These seem to work differently to real-world ley lines according to Birthright.net. It seems that a Birthright ley line is made by a Regent Mage going somewhere and thinking for a bit to create a link.

Rules aside, how do these ley lines work out in gameplay?

It seems that nobody except the Regent Mage is able to use the ley lines they create and that they all vanish when they die. Does that mean that nobody else can "hack into" a ley line to steal power?

Does each Regent Mage have an isolated network of ley lines? Or do they connect up or cross each other?

Is there any way for a group of players to disrupt or destroy a ley line?

Can people actually see or detect ley lines or is it purely a meta-concept to explain cities being linked up over time?
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Re: How do ley lines work in gameplay?

Post by agathokles »

Ley lines can be detected and disrupted. This takes the place of warfare for/against magicians.

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Re: How do ley lines work in gameplay?

Post by Big Mac »

agathokles wrote:Ley lines can be detected and disrupted. This takes the place of warfare for/against magicians.
Are there magic items and spells (specific to Birthright) for doing that sort of stuff?
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Re: How do ley lines work in gameplay?

Post by agathokles »

Yes. These are mostly realm magic and domain actions, so they only apply within the Birthright extensions to AD&D 2e. I'd need to reread the books to get more specific.

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Re: How do ley lines work in gameplay?

Post by Big Mac »

agathokles wrote:Yes. These are mostly realm magic and domain actions, so they only apply within the Birthright extensions to AD&D 2e. I'd need to reread the books to get more specific.
Thanks GP.

I've always thought that ley lines were an interesting concept. It's a shame they are not used in more campaign settings.

From what you say, it would seem that that most people would have little to no interaction with the ley lines in Birthright.
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Re: How do ley lines work in gameplay?

Post by Princess Strega »

Big Mac wrote:I've always thought that ley lines were an interesting concept. It's a shame they are not used in more campaign settings.
Ley lines are used in Midgard but function differently than in Birthright.

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Re: How do ley lines work in gameplay?

Post by Big Mac »

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I've always thought that ley lines were an interesting concept. It's a shame they are not used in more campaign settings.
Ley lines are used in Midgard but function differently than in Birthright.
Thanks. I'll have to look that up.
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Re: How do ley lines work in gameplay?

Post by agathokles »

Big Mac wrote:
agathokles wrote:Yes. These are mostly realm magic and domain actions, so they only apply within the Birthright extensions to AD&D 2e. I'd need to reread the books to get more specific.
Thanks GP.

I've always thought that ley lines were an interesting concept. It's a shame they are not used in more campaign settings.

From what you say, it would seem that that most people would have little to no interaction with the ley lines in Birthright.
Exactly. Ley lines are only used by wizards to cast realm magic -- essentially, they serve to allow a wizard to cast spell from one province while leveraging a source from a different province. Since sources are more powerful in wilderness regions, ley lines serve to allow the casting of realm spells in settled areas, which is obviously a major concern for domain rulers and wizards that cooperate with them.

Overall, there are only a few mages able to use ley lines: those who control source holdings. Usually, these are human, elf or half-elf individuals (about 60 of them exist in Cerilia), although a dozen or so are awnshegh (people who physically manifest their bloodline by changing into monstrous forms), ehrshegh (the same, but for non-evil bloodlines) or even dragons (one or maybe two), and there are a few groups that control a source collectively (including a college of magic, a group of three brothers, a group of five court mages, and a temple of mage/priests). Thus, there is a total of less than 100 wizards who can tap ley lines in the entire continent.

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Re: How do ley lines work in gameplay?

Post by Marco Fossati »

ley lines are very importat for a wizard, since they allow them to cast powerful realm spells even in civilzed area, where source are less powerful than those in unsettled provinces.

They have a manteinance cost a turn to be active.

Book of Magecraft provides rules to help DMs keeping track of them.

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Re: How do ley lines work in gameplay?

Post by Big Mac »

Marco Fossati wrote:ley lines are very importat for a wizard, since they allow them to cast powerful realm spells even in civilzed area, where source are less powerful than those in unsettled provinces.

They have a manteinance cost a turn to be active.

Book of Magecraft provides rules to help DMs keeping track of them.
Are there rules for player characters creating new ley lines in Book of Magecraft? Is it anything like the rule in CGR1 The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook for clerics to create links between deities and crystal spheres where they have not formerly been worshipped? Do you need an established base to create one?
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Re: How do ley lines work in gameplay?

Post by Gecko »

Just saw that this old question never got answered so I'll do so with some thread necromancy:
Big Mac wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:46 am
Marco Fossati wrote:ley lines are very importat for a wizard, since they allow them to cast powerful realm spells even in civilzed area, where source are less powerful than those in unsettled provinces.

They have a manteinance cost a turn to be active.

Book of Magecraft provides rules to help DMs keeping track of them.
Are there rules for player characters creating new ley lines in Book of Magecraft?
Creating Ley Lines is actually in the base rules: "Forge Ley Line Action" on page 55, though the Book of magecraft expands on and gives more options and details concerning ley lines, having a whole chapter devoted to them on pages 25-32, including various optional rules and lots of fluff not found in the base rules.
Is it anything like the rule in CGR1 The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook for clerics to create links between deities and crystal spheres where they have not formerly been worshipped?
I'm not familiar with Spelljammer, but I don't think it's the same. First off it's arcane magic, not divine (though Birthright links high arcane with nature and wilderness - picture more Merlin than Gandalf), and it's more like you being in your mage's tower in the city of London casting a spell by tapping the magic in the New Forest through a ley line you have connecting there and your tower in the city.
Do you need an established base to create one?
You do have to connect them to a source holding, ideally your making a permanent link between your source holdings in 2 different provinces (though depending on the rules in use there can be a use for temporarily ley line -ie only connected on one end). To expand the analogy above- Let's say Southern England is a province and London is a seperate province. When you built your tower in London you might have a summoning room or an arcane focus or whatever mcGuffin installed in your tower which you "mystically" link to - giving you a level 0 source in the City. Meanwhile out in Wiltshire you might have a level 6 Source at a menhir or dolmen or whatnot hidden in The New Forest. If you try to cast in say Greenwich, London, there's not much "natural" power across the urban city province so you can't draw in much power through that low level source and so you're limited in what spells can be cast there. If you go to Southampton or something you can cast some powerful spells using the power of the land across southern England and your source there, but only in that province. But, If you forge a mystical ley Line between them, you can use the power flowing through your source in the New Forest and draw it through the ley line to cast more powerful spells in London. Of course you likely wouldn't have the whole level 6 in the New Forest because there would be another mage at Stonehenge and you two would be competing for the limited magic of Southern England. Things will escalate between you two and to compete you'll link your source in the Brecon Beacons but he will link to his source in Snowdonia, so now your also competing in Wales, and on and on it goes (the competition, and thus plot driving conflict, is built in)

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Re: How do ley lines work in gameplay?

Post by agathokles »

Excellent explanation!
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