Perfect companion volume

JBowtie

Mongoose
Dynasties and Demagogues

Really. It's a book on political role-playing for fantasy d20, but it really, really enhances a B5 game to no end. I probably never would have used it for DnD3E, but it's priceless in this game.

Most of the book applies without change to B5; if you skip the chapters on magic and fantasy races you'd be forgiven for thinking you were reading a B5 sourcebook.

The complex debating rules work well for the Earthforce Senate or the Centaurum. The feats work well for everyone, across the board, and add a lot of the rules support I feel is missing from the B5 game (though, to be fair, the 2259 book only appeared in this country about a week ago, and none of the more recent books are available yet). But hey, I have to wait for the season 3 DVDs until December, anyway...

The action point mechanic is a great enhancement for our group, since it essentially keeps people focused on playing in character and does double duty by converting to XP for good roleplaying.
The general feats pretty much cover all the bases needed by our group (Information Network, Reputation Broker, etc.) as long as I convert cities to B5 sectors, without forcing people to wait for prestige classes like fence.
I think I'm going to allow Diplomats to swap a contact slot for any of the feats in this book.

The prestige classes do need a little adjustment to work for B5 - mostly because similar classes already exist in the B5 rules, there are overlaps in class abilities, and so forth. For example, there is a prestige class called diplomat - I think that just might clash. And I heard a rumor that a politician class might show up in the Earthforce book.

Oh, yes, and the "maze of bureaucracy" is invaluable as a delaying tactic - works both when stalling for time and for ratcheting up the tension when the players face some sort of deadline ("I need to talk to the senator now!" "Sorry, sir, but I need to get approval for this visitor's permit application...")

Now all I need is more guidance on handling non-human telepaths, and I'm set for the duration of the next two campaigns.
 

redlaco

Mongoose
JBowtie said:
The complex debating rules work well for the Earthforce Senate or the Centaurum.
[...]
The action point mechanic is a great enhancement for our group, since it essentially keeps people focused on playing in character and does double duty by converting to XP for good roleplaying.

This post has piqued my interest a few days ago, enough to make me check the book and I must say that it does a marvelous job for political contests which are so frequent in the B5 setting. It has received some glowing reviews and has definitely slipped on my "to buy" list now.

Especially since I was planning to run a "backstabbing-Centauri-noble-houses-slugfest" kind of campaign. I've begun to read the "Legion of Fire" trilogy by Peter David; hopefully these novels will give me more insight in the Centauri ways, until the Centauri sourcebook is out, that is.
 
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