View Full Version : \/\/@r! Wars A Coming!

2009-01-12, 12:51 AM
The Title is alot more grad than the thread. Basically I want to know how do you do huge army fights in DND. My party has asked me to make an adventure after the Witchfire trilogy. This means a few things for my DND group. This will be the first afventure any of us has played over 7th level. So I have some planning and learning to do.

The looks right now Is my party will eventually have its own army. Through leadership and cohorts taking leadership and so on and so forth. Also arcane mechanic building Steam jacks for their tanks and a really powerful power armoured morrow Paladin. and a pirate.( she just shows up some times its cool). Oh and a cleric of morrow.

Anyway since it looks like they will have either thier own personal army or at least be a JTF for Cynagar, I want to know how Huge battle take place in DND.

2009-01-12, 12:56 AM
Short Answer: It doesn't.

I would recommend modifying the mob rules. A mob of humans is CR 8, and represents, IIRC, 30-40 people. If you use those rules as a baseline, you could reasonably put together rules for mass combat that will allow you to have something close to traditional fantasy warfare.

As long as the wizards are busy countering and dispelling each other's attempts to utterly win instantly, you are good to go.

Some ideas for working with that:

Make new abilities for units:

Volley: A mob with volley can deal its damage in an area of its size within range for its ranged weapon type. For each range increment the target area is in, it deals 1d6 less damage. Volley cannot be used if enemy units are within its space (including individually statted enemies, such as PCs).

Lert, A.
2009-01-12, 01:05 AM
OGL content from Mongoose. (http://www.scribd.com/doc/7851118/d20-Open-Mass-Combat-System-)

MonteCook press has a good book too. (http://www.montecook.com/cgi-bin/page.cgi?mpress_Havoc)

Nothing WotC as far as I know.

Pirates suck.

2009-01-12, 01:11 AM
I'd recommend Heroes of Battle, but truthfully, I haven't actually read it yet. It's supposed to be about battlefields and war and all that junk; I don't know if it's really any good, but someone else might be able to give you a more informed answer about it.

Lert, A.
2009-01-12, 01:15 AM
From what I have read of - not owning it myself - Heroes of Battle is more of a book on how your PCs actions influence large battles. It does not have mass combat rules.

EDIT: Here's a HoB review. Judge for yourself. (http://www.3rdedition.org/reviews/viewer.asp?id=104)

2009-01-12, 05:55 AM
When DM fiat won't cut it I usually use the old 2E Birthright Mass Combat rules. The abstract skirmish system is ok, but can be a bit "count up your troops, apply damage/rnd, check morale each rnd, repeat" for some tastes. The map-based battle system is simple and semi-abstract (the battlefield has 15 areas of indeterminate size), but with enough mechanical crunchiness to keep the Warhammerists happy.

The Tome Series entry Races of War has an clever little mass combat mini-game (http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=9776658&postcount=10) for D&D 3E. It seems to owe more than a little to the BECMI War Machine system, and to the 2E HR series battle system.

2009-01-12, 09:05 AM
I don't mean to sound like a complete git when I say this, but

"I'm playing a game of Monopoly, I would like to know how I can use these rules to play Chess"

When there was ever a big battle to play in D&D, the answer is simple... play a different game.

If D&D doesn't suit it, break out a game of "Hordes of the Things (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hordes_of_the_Things_(game))" (VERY highly recommended) with each character leading an appropriate unit.

(or even warhammer, or any other appropriate large skirmish game)

2009-01-12, 10:17 PM
The main way to do it is to focus on the subjective war experience of the players rather than simulating the entire battlefield. So if your PCs really are a number in a crowd, give them an endless supply of soldiers all around them and periodic and erratic arrows/boulders/spells raining down in their area. More likely, the kingdom recognizes the potential of the PC and assigns them to hold breaches, take out champions/monsters/casters, guard important artifacts/persons, and other such specialized tasks. Whatever the case, the PCs definitely have an influence on the battle based on their success on these various tasks (one of the books suggests assigning points to each task and determining the outcome of the battle based on how those points). The important thing is that the rest of the battle is completely independent of the players, and therefore need not be played out.

If you must have a game that involves the training, equipment, organization, and commanding of the armies on part of the PCs, make it a mini-game with a different system. The initial conditions of the mini-game and the results of it can be based on the larger game, but it has to be separate mechanics.

2009-01-13, 01:21 PM
A decent way is to break the player actions down into key points, and generate mechanical consequences (on the army) based off of the player actions.

Ie, a breach opens up in your line. Your players have to hold it against the enemy forces. The enemies are attempting to flow around the party, and flank your army.

Or, you need to determine where your enemy is moving. Scout out and determine where the enemy forces are, then report back to move your army into position.

Or, there is a portal that could allow the enemy to bypass your front line, and cut your supply lines. Either deploy forces to defend that portal (reducing your front line forces), or figure out a way to disable the portal and free up more forces for the front line.

A large problem with all of this is that "throw more power at it" is an easy solution to many problems. Ie, a dungeon delve becomes trivial if you bring an army along quite often (if not always). The "friendly" forces need to be stretched out, and the allocation of spare friendly resources to help the PCs should be an extremely dangerous choice.