A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Across the ruined empires of Cerilia, the dogs of war are let loose. Somewhere on a muddy battlefield, a common man becomes a hero - and a hero becomes a king.

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A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Marsupialmancer » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:40 am

Get me here.

This is a compilation of my work over the last year or so bringing Birthright to 5E. It is merely my take on it; I know there are probably other attempts out there and I would not be so bold as to call this definitive. Similarities to other attempts are unintentional; if they exist, I'd like to think it's because it is the right train of thought on a given subject. I mean no offense to the creators of any other conversions, though I am aware of only one abandoned project from early 2015.

The conversion I've done attempts to be faithful and complete. It is also peppered with some homebrewed elements; languages, class guidelines/arcane magic limitations, a warlock pact, a background, and modifications to certain obtuse domain management rules that were not very clear in the past. I "allow" elvish druids even though they traditionally could not cast divine magic in 2E (I mention it a fair bit). Bloodline is an ability score rather than a 0-100 rating and has a bunch of rules in accordance with that. Certain blood abilities were stripped out due to lack of usefulness. Realm spells don't have level bands anymore and get researched/cast as unique rituals.

I do some tweaks and updates to it every day or so, therefore the link will probably give you a slightly updated version every time. None of it has been thoroughly playtested yet, so if you find any wackiness please let me know (I have no idea how the garradalaigh pact warlock will shake out, for example). I welcome any constructive criticism, and I hope it's something people can use. Enjoy!
Last edited by Marsupialmancer on Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Big Mac » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:01 pm

I don't play 5th Edition, but thanks for making this. I hope it helps a lot of 5e fans that want to explore the Birthright Campaign Setting.
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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Vokarius » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:19 pm

You sir, are now my favorite person! I love Birthright! My brother and I used to play it all the time. My quick review through the document makes me very happy. Good job! You doing any of the supplements?
Last edited by Vokarius on Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Marsupialmancer » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:29 pm

Thank you very much! I might, but I feel like I'm already skirting the fine line between conversion/homebrew and reprint (I needed to reiterate certain concepts so the rule conversion made sense). I did go through things like the Book of Magecraft and the Book of Priestcraft to see if there were any rules I wanted to translate to 5th, but in the end I didn't think it was necessary for this base iteration (that and the realm spells in them really didn't do it for me). Blood Enemies (the awnsheghlien book) didn't have anything player-relevant to convert, so I also left it out.

I do want to go through the books about the various regions (Havens of the Great Bay, Cities of the Sun, Rjurik Highlands, and Tribes of the Heartless Waste) and see if there's anything I need to convert in there, but most of it is just domain data and some lore bits. That mostly leaves all of the domain-specific books, most of which I do not own.

Hmm, I have to be forgetting something. I should review the BR catalog and see what else is out there I should consult.

Edit: I've also uploaded a new version just now that fixes a couple of typos and clarifies some realm spells that allow Bloodline saving throws, as that mechanic was underrepresented.

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Tim Baker » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:34 am

Very nice. Thank you for sharing!
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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Big Mac » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:33 pm

Marsupialmancer wrote:Blood Enemies (the awnsheghlien book) didn't have anything player-relevant to convert, so I also left it out.
Didn't have anything "player-relevant"? Does that mean you saw content a GM might want to convert? :?
Marsupialmancer wrote:I do want to go through the books about the various regions (Havens of the Great Bay, Cities of the Sun, Rjurik Highlands, and Tribes of the Heartless Waste) and see if there's anything I need to convert in there, but most of it is just domain data and some lore bits. That mostly leaves all of the domain-specific books, most of which I do not own.

Hmm, I have to be forgetting something. I should review the BR catalog and see what else is out there I should consult.
I really need to get a Birthright section up on the Book-House on The Piazza. :oops:

In the meantime, Echohawk's Birthright Collector's Guide might help you. :)
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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Marsupialmancer » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:53 pm

Big Mac wrote:Didn't have anything "player-relevant"? Does that mean you saw content a GM might want to convert? :?
Actually, I misspoke. The blood ability Long Life was taken from Blood Enemies. Most of the rest of it was purely monster lore and some strange, player-inappropriate blood abilities (but yes, plenty in here for a GM to snag!).
Big Mac wrote:I really need to get a Birthright section up on the Book-House on The Piazza. :oops:

In the meantime, Echohawk's Birthright Collector's Guide might help you. :)
Thanks! This helps a lot.

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Delazar78 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:35 am

Wonderful work! I've DMed a Birthright campaign using 5e ruleset a couple of years ago, and I'm probably going to do the same next year, so this is a real boon to compare to my own conversion.

Question: noticed that Sorcerers cannot cast Realm Spells. Was this intentional?

Also regarding Sorcerers, I always thought that their fluff (magic power obtained through the nature of your heritage or blood) was a perfect fit for Birthright. I'm still toying with the idea of renaming the sorcerer into Scion, and use it as its very own Bloodline system. Basically, create seven Sorcerer Origins (Scion Bloodlines) giving them access to spells related to their bloodline.

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Marsupialmancer » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:09 pm

Oh, they should definitely be able to cast realm spells! I will make that correction and upload a new version later today. Thanks!

Edit: In fact, all it takes is a one sentence addition with no reformatting required in the Sorcerer description box. Thanks again! New version uploaded.

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Vokarius » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:27 pm

I know you added a feat, but did you think of adding the magician class?

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Marsupialmancer » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:34 pm

I did prototype about a half dozen variants of it and couldn't get it to feel right. At best it would have been an NPC class (which 5E has no real concept of yet); it was ludicrously underpowered being able to draw only from divination and illusion spells. I doubt there'd be very many people who would want to play it. This isn't to say it's not possible, I just couldn't get in the right brain-space to make it enjoyable.

I split the difference and added the Magician Training feat, since being able to cast comprehend languages, identify, and certain other 1st level rituals as a non-spellcaster is still pretty nice. I might make a second version of it, something like "Advanced Magician Training" that gives a +1 to Intelligence and lets you learn/cast three second level rituals as well.

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Delazar78 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:20 pm

I was reading your Mass Battles rules, and I would like a clarification.

"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."

"Per 2 total BCR the enemy force exceeds your own -1"

Let's say on one side we have 60 units of Mercenary Infantry (total BCR 120), and one the other side 66 units of Mercenary Infantry (total BCR 132). The smaller army will just be totally annihilated, no chances of survival?

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Marsupialmancer » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:16 pm

It does have inherent problems with battles of a scale that massive. Realistically, that's probably more units than most of Anuire can support financially and field, but the point stands. Should a battle reach that massive of a scale, I think it might behoove me to add a cap to that penalty; 66 to 60 isn't that huge of an advantage, after all. Say, max penalty of -3? I want to keep it simple and not do any kind of diminishing returns calculation for the penalty.

Edit: The stronger side should also cap at +3, in that case. There's a notable advantage to being the bigger/stronger army, but it shouldn't be too ludicrous)

Edit 2: The system still checks out if you completely overwhelm the opposing side with a 2 to 1 BCR advantage, so that degree of brute force is still represented.

I now am entertaining curiosity and considering what realm/combination of realms can muster and support 66 units of mercenary infantry. I realize it was just an example for the sake of argument, but now I want to know if it can be done! It's 396 GB to muster, and 132 GB to maintain each season. Avanil is probably the wealthiest domain in Anuire, so it would need to be a standing component of this alliance. The rest of the Heartlands is only about one fifth as wealthy, at best (Ghoere). It would also probably take a couple provinces of the Western Coast region (Boeruine is almost as wealthy as Avanil), but their treasuries and taxation could fund and field such an army almost indefinitely -- about 13200 mercenaries.

Hilarity ensues, of course, when you fail to pay them and you get 13200 brigands rampaging through Anuire. :D

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Delazar78 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:39 pm

In my last campaign, the Rjurik Highlands united under one High King (PC) to fight against the White Witch, who had conquered the northern realms, and had an army of evil winter feys, undead, and orogs. In the last battle, their coalition fielded 30,000 men. I used a modified Warmachine (from D&D companion), and it went quite well.

Of course, even a battle of such scale was just the backdrop for the Heroes to go to the Temple of Kriesha, and fight the White Witch while she was trying to unleash Eternal Winter on the continent. Good times.

As I plan my next campaign, I'm planning on using the Mass Combat rules from Dragon Age RPG, modified for d20 system. I think they hit that sweet spot between having a soft-crunch battle where strategy and numbers matter, but it's the Heroes that win the day in the end.

This s what I got so far:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5BDvAW ... ype=msword
Last edited by Delazar78 on Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Marsupialmancer » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:59 pm

That sounds like an amazing campaign! :D

I like what I see on these rules so far, I'll dig more into them later. Thank you for your feedback, I really do appreciate it. :)

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Delazar78 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:18 pm

Thanks!

Reading your conversion in more depth, I'm really digging it. I like the warlock patron, I like when a subclass ties with the campaign setting.

So I was wondering if maybe you would like to give the same treatment to the Sorcerer. I see you mentioning the Draconic and Wild magic origin, but I don't see them as very "fitting".

In fact, Birthright seems to offer two perfect "origins" for a spellcaster whose magic comes from his "bloodline". If I had any talent designing such stuff, I'd go with a Fey/Elven origin, and a Divine Blood origin. Heck, you could do a Origin for each bloodline derivation!

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Marsupialmancer » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:35 pm

Sorcerer is definitely a conundrum; the core ones certainly don't feel very Cerilian, but I wanted to err on the side of making excuses for existing archetypes rather than trimming player options. I considered a "bloodline bloodline" sorcerer for a bit, but I couldn't seem to resolve how it felt a little redundant with how bloodlines were already represented in the setting (especially since, as written, you can't be a sorcerer without also being a blooded scion; those pesky arcane magic restrictions!). That said, it's a great idea, I just need to get in the right creative mind to make it jive.

A fey/elven sorcerer bloodline is a fantastic idea! I dimly recollect a few attempts at it, though they may be from the 4E era... I'll take a crack at it and see what I come up with. Even if there are other attempts at a fey sorcerer, having one that is Cerilia-specific is a good idea.

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Delazar78 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:44 pm

I get what you're saying with the Sorcerer. "So my magic comes from the power of my blood... then I have these other abilites that come from... well... the power of my blood!"

Sometimes I think of just renaming the Sorcerer "Scion", and give the PC the option to multiclass into it with no prerequisites, to simulate their blood abilities. The spell list would have to be modified depending on the blooline derivation chosen.

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by NPCDave » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:15 am

Marsupialmancer wrote:Sorcerer is definitely a conundrum; the core ones certainly don't feel very Cerilian, but I wanted to err on the side of making excuses for existing archetypes rather than trimming player options.
After using other peoples' conversions and making my own conversion and updates to campaign settings from older editions, I think you have the right idea. Try to incorporate as much of 5th edition into your Birthright conversion as possible, and let DMs prune out those player options which they feel don't fit the setting.

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Marco Fossati » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:25 am

As for the Sorcerer, I tried to tie the Sorcerous Origin with the Divine Blood.

You can find the Origin there

http://artedungeonmaster.blogspot.com/2 ... blood.html

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by jonklement » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:15 am

My 14-year-old son appreciates your efforts. He really likes the Birthright setting. What if casters of the magician class were simply restricted to taking the Diviner or Illusionist arcane paths and just couldn't freely choose the others, only "real" Birthright wizards had the freedom to choose from any school as their arcane path?

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Marco Fossati » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:09 am

jonklement wrote:My 14-year-old son appreciates your efforts. He really likes the Birthright setting. What if casters of the magician class were simply restricted to taking the Diviner or Illusionist arcane paths and just couldn't freely choose the others, only "real" Birthright wizards had the freedom to choose from any school as their arcane path?
Seems fair to me

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Marsupialmancer » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:21 pm

I think that's also a good method. 2E magicians had severe restrictions in what spells they could pick (nothing from non-divination or illusion schools past 2nd level) so they were notably weaker, but if you don't mind a less-strict adherence to the 2E setting stuff, then I don't see why you couldn't do just that. :)

Diviners are pretty strong, too, so it wouldn't feel like so much of a penalty as it would just a mild restriction. I think I'll add it in as a possible alternate rule in the next version, though it does raise the question as to whether I should keep the restriction on eldritch knights, arcane tricksters, and sorcerers.

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Marco Fossati » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:10 pm

Marsupialmancer wrote:I think that's also a good method. 2E magicians had severe restrictions in what spells they could pick (nothing from non-divination or illusion schools past 2nd level) so they were notably weaker, but if you don't mind a less-strict adherence to the 2E setting stuff, then I don't see why you couldn't do just that. :)

Diviners are pretty strong, too, so it wouldn't feel like so much of a penalty as it would just a mild restriction. I think I'll add it in as a possible alternate rule in the next version, though it does raise the question as to whether I should keep the restriction on eldritch knights, arcane tricksters, and sorcerers.
maybe you can allow arcane trickster and eldritch knights to unblooded characters

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Re: A Birthright 5E conversion attempt!

Post by Marsupialmancer » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:55 pm

I've uploaded a new version to the same link that includes a new chapter just before the conclusion which delves into some campaign options. In it, I talk about less-restricted arcane magic rules, ways to integrate other PC races, and a suggestion for using the domain management rules in games set in worlds other than the Birthright setting. Specifically, ones that don't use the bloodline rules at all!

I will continue to work on and update this doc as I get around to it. I've got a couple drafts of a "pure breeding" sorcerer that aren't ready for presentation yet, but I'll integrate it when it is. In the meantime, my focus is going to be on updating some mechanics for the Ghostwalk campaign option, which will be tossed up in its respective subforum when it is ready.

Thank you all so much for your feedback, interest, and commentary. You don't know how much it has helped me and made me feel good about the work put into this project. :)

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