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Player's Secrets of Stjordvik (2e)
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Player's Secrets of Stjordvik (2e)

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It's time for our September Setting sale, so from now through October 1st, this title has been marked down by 33%! For more values, visit our September Setting sales page.

Stjordvik is a domain teetering on the brink of economic collapse, but rich in resources that could inject fresh life into the royal treasury. The land is politically fragmented by provincial jarls who go their own way rather than heed their king, but at the same time populated by freemen who disdain those petty power-seekers. For centuries the Great Oak Wall along the northern and western borders of Stjordvik has kept the orogs of the Blood Skull Barony and the barbarians of Rjuvik at bay, but now the barrier is near collapse in many places - and if it goes down, so does Stjordvik.

As the new ruler of this old and proud kingdom of warriors, it is your job to suppress the other jarls and unite the provinces; to build up the army and the treasury by drawing upon the support of the freemen; and to shore up the weak spots in the Great Oak Wall before a horde of invaders can destroy everything you have worked for. Your fate and the fate of Stjordvik are intertwined - what will that fate be?

This BIRTHRIGHT sourcebook, the second product covering one of the domains in the Rjurik Highlands, is desgined for players who want to take the role of the King of Stjordvik. It may also be used by players portraying nobles, vassals of the regent, freemen, or adventurers from this domain.

Product History

"Player's Secrets of Stjordvik" (1996), by Doug Stewart, is the thirteenth Domain Sourcebook for Birthright. It was published in November 1996.

Origins (I): Toward the End. Birthright had a very aggressive publishing schedule, with over twenty books appearing between mid-1995 and the end of 1996. As a result, "Player's Secrets of Stjordvik" wasn't anything special — just the thirteenth Domain Sourcebook published for the line! However, it was notable in another way: it was the last Domain Sourcebook that was released to the mass market!

TSR was planning to continue their impressive Birthright run into 1997, with eight books on the schedule. "Tribes of the Heartless Wastes" was to be a big campaign expansion, "The Book of Priestcraft" was an accessory, "King of the Giantdowns" was a rare adventure, and "Player's Secrets of Hogunmark" was yet another Domain Sourcebook. There were also a total of four novels on the schedule: "The Shadow Stone", "Siege", a paperback release of "War", and "Aquitania", a new prestige hardcover. Of these books, less than half would appear as mass-market releases. The novel line was hit the hardest, with none of those books ever seeing print. But "Hogunmark" would also be moved to an alternate distribution model.

There was a good reason for this sudden cutback: TSR was tottering on the edge of bankruptcy; after Wizards of the Coast bought them out, they'd quickly cancel Birthright as one of their least successful lines. The sudden cessation of Birthright production under Wizards suggests that maybe those twenty books in just a year and a half wasn't such a good idea after all.

Origins (II): More Highlands. One of the best detailed parts of Cerilia was The Rjurik Highlands (1996), which was also the home of "Player's Secrets of Halskapa" (1996). "Player's Secrets of Stjordvik" (1996) would be the second domain for the area.

Exploring Cerilia. This supplement focuses on Stjordvik, which is the southernmost of the Rjurik lands.

So, what makes Stjordvik unique? In one word: vikings. The people of Stjordvik seem to be closely based on Nordic people of Earth. However, they also maintain a Great Oak Wall to keep even more barbaric people out! The domain also has an interesting problem: it's verging on economic collapse, but at the same time it's rich in resources … if a good ruler can just turn things around!

About the Creators. Stewart was an author and editor at TSR in the mid '90s. A few more of his books would appear after TSR's demise: "Castle Spulzeer" (1997) and "Children of the Night: Ghosts" (1997). Afterward he'd briefly join the TSR expatriates at Imperium Games, writing for the T4 game (1996).

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Robert G March 28, 2017 8:49 pm UTC
Birthright remains one of the most interesting and enjoyable campaign settings ever published.
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Product Information
Author(s)
Pages
32
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 3127
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File Last Updated:
March 19, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on March 21, 2017.