You may create a character according to the normal 4th Edition rules, using a standard spread (16, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10), or a 22 point buy. Then level your character up to level 5 (5,500 XP).The following races are available as player races:
- Sidhelien (i.e., Elves, Eladrin, or Drow)
- Halflings (i.e., Halflings or Gnomes)
All classes are playable with the exception of Psions and Monks. If you want to play a Warlock, you need to think about where you derive your powers, given that only one other plane (the Shadow Realm) borders on Cerilia. In general, be aware that most of Cerilia is a low-magic world. The common folk are afraid of magic (and rightly so), and this makes rulership somewhat more difficult for arcane regents. Also, I would appreciate it if you gave some thought to why and how your character is able to perform his or her at-will, encounter and daily powers. What do the powers look like when executed? Where did your character learn them? For example, perhaps your fighter studied the Brecht fighting style of Black Strike, which focuses on defensive maneuvering, and this is how she learned Footwork Lure.
Come up with as much of a character backstory as you please, but leave a little wiggle room. I’ll be doing a Tarot reading for each player character in which we will flesh out the details of your bloodline and your connection to the world of Cerilia. During this reading I will also determine who will be Baron of Roesone and who will be provincial counts under the leadership of the Baron.
The 3.5 update to the Birthright rules should answer any questions you have about domain-level gameplay:
In addition, the following variant rules apply to the 4E system:
Skills: Some skills will be re-skinned for the purpose of Birthright.
- Dungeoneering is now Warcraft. It allows for effective training of troops and strategic movement during combat. It is not a class skill for Rangers (they automatically get training in Nature) but is a class skill for Fighters, Paladins, and Warlords.
- Heal is now Leadership. It comprises the same abilities, but from the stance of motivating allies to fight on beyond their normal capabilities. It also has domain level function. It is a class skill for all classes that normally have access to Heal.
- History is now Academics and covers a broader range of miscellaneous knowledge. It is a class skill for all classes that normally have access to History.
Backgrounds: To reflect regional differences, specifically among the human races, each PC may choose a background to reflect his character’s region of origin. Backgrounds for non-human races may be varied as necessary (a few examples are given below).
- Anuirean: Humans, Half-elves and Halflings from Anuire gain a +2 to Insight checks and treat either Diplomacy or Warcraft as a class skill. Automatic language: Anuirean. (The most common background for this campaign.)
- Brecht: Humans, Half-elves and Halflings from the Brecht lands gain a +1 to initiative while wearing light or no armor and treat Bluff as a class skill. Automatic language: Low Brecht.
- Khinasi: Humans, Half-elves and Halflings from the Khinasi city-states gain a +2 to Arcana checks and treat Academics as a class skill. Automatic language: Basarji.
- Rjurik: Humans, Half-elves and Halflings from the Rjurik highlands gain a +2 to Nature checks and treat either Nature or Endurance as a class skill. Automatic language: Rjuven.
- Vos: Humans, Half-elves and Halflings from the wastes of Vosgaard gain a +2 to Athletics checks and treat Endurance and either Intimidate or Nature as class skills. Automatic language: Vos.
- Stone Dwarf: Dwarves are children of the stone, unnaturally dense and hardy. They may choose to gain the Stone’s Endurance power (as per the Goliath, PHB 2 page 12) in place of their Dwarven Resilience racial feature. They also gain a +2 to Nature checks while in the mountains and treat either Endurance or Warcraft as class skills. Automatic language: Kharamul.
- Ghaille Sidhe: Some elves have not yet forgotten the elven hunt and their longstanding hatred of humanity. Such elves gain a +1 racial bonus to damage rolls against bloodied humans. They treat Stealth as a class skill.
- Sielwode Emissary: A few elves have begun to make overtures of peace to neighboring human lands. Such elves gain a +2 to Diplomacy checks, may train in one human language for free, and treat either Diplomacy or Insight as class skills.
- Shadow Guide: Halflings are natives of the Shadow Realm and fled to Cerilia only to escape the growing taint of Azrai in that other plane. Those halflings still close to their shadow heritage may trade their Second Chance power (if a halfling) or their Fade Away power (if a gnome) to gain the Shadow Jaunt power (as per the Shadar Kai, MM page 279). They also gain a +2 to Arcana checks to detect emanations of awnmebhaighl (the energy of the Shadow Realm).
Blooded Scion (multiclass feat): If you want your player character to be a scion of a divine bloodline, he or she must take a Blooded Scion multiclass feat. Being a Blooded Scion allows one to gain regency points (RP) from the ruling of a holding or realm, and also allows access to bloodline powers. (N.B.: It is possible to play an unblooded regent, but unblooded regents may not collect regency points.) Upon taking this feat, the player should determine the origin of their bloodline:
- Anduiras, the god of noble war
- Azrai, the shadow, the face of evil
- Basaïa, the queen of the sun
- Brenna, the goddess of commerce and fortune
- Masela, the lady of the seas
- Reynir, the god of nature
- Vorynn, the lord of the moon and all things arcane
Players may also design a bloodmark (a birthmark or physical abnormality unique to their character’s lineage, such as the white streak of hair marking the Mhoried line). Bloodline strength, score, and powers will be determined by a Tarot drawing at character creation. As Blooded Scion counts as a multiclass feat, the character may not multiclass as a different class (unless of course he or she is an awesome bard).
Heirlooms: Each character begins play with a number of heirlooms, spoils of warfare or adventuring passed down through their family line. In game terms, you may select one level 4, one level 5, and one level 6 magic item. You also start with 1000 gold pieces to outfit your character further. In keeping with the “low magic” caveat above, magic items are rare in Cerilia, and you should give some thought to how your family acquired these heirloom items.
Bodyguards/Lieutenant: Realms don’t run themselves, and powerful regents often find themselves targets of attack in the course of rulership. At character creation, you may choose one of two levels of support in the ruling of your realm.
- Bodyguards: You have a number of bodyguards (or thugs, or research assistants, or apprentices) who can take hits for you and run menial tasks on your behalf. You may create 4 level 1 minions of any playable race using the stat spread 14, 12, 12, 10, 10, 8. You may also create a champion, a level 1 soldier with the stat spread 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8. We can work to develop their powers using the Human Guard (MM page 263) as a template.
- Lieutenant: You have invested a lieutenant to assist in the ruling of your realm and to take domain actions on your behalf. You may create a level 2 character following the rules above for character creation, using the stat spread 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8, or a 17 point buy. (N.B.: You may also invest a lieutenant during play as a domain action.)
Holding-related skills: This won’t make much sense now, but for the purpose of ruling different sorts of holding in your realms, particular skills will apply. Certain characters are clearly better at controlling certain types of holdings. These are the 4E updates to the skills listed in the 3.5 .pdf:
- Guild: Streetwise and Perception
- Law: Leadership and Intimidate
- Province: Diplomacy and Warcraft
- Source: Arcana and Nature (must use Arcane powers/spells)
- Temple: Religion and Insight (must use Divine powers/prayers)