Birthright Campaign Setting
|Media type||Boxed set|
Birthright Campaign Setting is an accessory for the 2nd edition of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, published in 1995. This product introduced the Birthright campaign setting.
The Birthright Campaign Setting contains three books, a ref screen, two maps, over 100 cards to use for playing out large battles, and a dozen reference cards, all in full color. The set includes a new system for resolving large battles between fantasy armies, using cards to represent various regiments and a position sheet to indicate things such as which side is holding the line and which is on the flank.
The set includes the concept of bloodlines, hereditary magical powers which tie a family line to various domains in the form of land, temples, or political organizations. People with strong bloodlines make natural leaders, and while great, valorous deeds can enhance a character's bloodline and increase the character's power, failure can cause a character's bloodline to wane. These powerful characters have powerful foes, known as the awnsheghlien, the champions of the world's evil bloodlines. Also described are "domain turns", three months periods of time for a domain during which background events occur. The campaign was later recognised as the first setting to support player characters as rulers, providing players with a game based on "diplomacy, politics, trade, construction and (of course) war".
The set also includes Ruins of Empire, a sourcebook outlining domains and key characters in the region of Anuire. Anuire draws heavy influence from medieval England and France.
Scott Haring reviewed the Birthright Campaign Setting for Pyramid #16 (November/December 1995). Haring thought that Birthright presented a new take on power gaming: "The trick in power gaming is to make the players feel the responsibilities that accompany great power, but to keep it fun. And that's where Birthright comes in. Other games have tried to do fantasy roleplaying on a kingdom-wide scale; Birthright is the first to succeed." He felt that the setting was a "fairly typical high fantasy world (though not without its twists)", but that the concept of bloodlines made for an important difference. He felt that the domain turns keep things moving in the game, making the Birthright world more realistic. Haring concluded that the set was "an outstanding addition to the AD&D line" and its take on power gaming "will have you taking a second look at the concept. Highly recommended."
- Preview: Shadis #21
- Dragon #224
- Shadis #24
- Haring, Scott. (December 1, 1995). "Birthright", Pyramid, Series 1. Steve Jackson Games. 1:16. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
- Pook, Matthew. (2009). "Sufficiently Advanced Magic is Indistinguishable from Artillery", Pyramid, Series 3. Steve Jackson Games. 3:4. p38.
- "Game Info: Birthright Campaign Setting", RPG.Net. Retrieved September 8, 2013.