View Full Version : NPC Officer & NCO Builds

Raenir Salazar
2009-02-23, 04:34 PM
I am trying to put together a bank of npc "templates" so to speak so I can always within 2-8 minutes create a suitable generic npc authority figure but with a few modifications as I see fit.

So, lacking Tome of Battle on me (as im at my college) until I get home I would appreciate any help pointing me in the right direction.

For example for a Low Magic/Low level setting (where most pcs/npcs max out at lvl 16 in the books) what could be a good level range for my templates? Example with my thoughts so far:

General: Low High level to high level, traditionally in D&D Generals arent just skinny smart people, most are expected to either be powerful spellcasters themselves, or a skilled fighter as most seem to have the baffling (in stories) penchant to charge in the thin edge of the wedge. My geuss 14-16

Colonel Commands a subjection of the army a General commands, obeys the General can order people of less senority around: 8-14

Commander 8 to 12

Subcommander 8 to 10

Squad leader/Captain 6 to 8

Leutenant 4 to 6

Sergeant 4 to 6

Corporol 3 to 5

Trooper 1 to 3

Also, does Complete Warrior/Tome od Battle give good Combat/Command feats and skills?

Now in the meantime I am trying to build at least 5 NPC Generals, for the sake of the argument lets say they command armies totally from 6,000 to 35,000 combat troops, plus probably another X many thousand logistics, auxillery, and irregulars. A Brief rundown of how many command/moral boosting feats at each rough rank would be helpful.

Darth Stabber
2009-02-23, 04:47 PM
Tome of Battle is one of my favorite supplements. Yes it does have command and combat feats, though most of the combat related feats are mass combat oriented, they are still good. The rules for team task (or whatever they are called) provide some excellent benefits, without breaking anything. Your current army setup is approximately correct (i don't have the book on me). As far as command abilities, um, would need to have the book in hand, but they are rank related, and don't cost anything(they are benefits of rank which is nice). There are 4 prestige classes(all of them are 5 lvl prcs) in the book, all of which are cool, none of them are broken (except maybe War weaver, then again it is a wizard prc), and they all have fairly easy prerequisites My personal favorite is Dread Commando, it gives you 3d6 of sudden strike (like sneak attack, but doesn't work from flanking), full BAB, reduced armor check penalties, and gives an initiative bonus to his whole team. Worth buying, I rate it 4.5 out of 5.

2009-02-23, 05:15 PM
You're confusing TOME of Battle (subtitled "The Book of Nine Swords," which gives martial adept characters several schools of martial maneuvers that they can use sort of like spells) with HEROES of Battle (which is a supplement all about armies, mass combat, and warfare in D&D).

As for statting various officers and NCOs, that's best done with NPC Warrior levels (for standard troops and Corporals, on up to Sergeants), with more important and higher-ranking Sergeants having actual Fighter levels and maybe Marshal (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20030906b)MH levels. Officers definitely have levels in Aristocrat and/or Fighter and probably Marshal, and many (especially above Captain) probably have levels in command-oriented PrCs (either from WotC sources or homebrewed to meet specifications). That should work fine for most (infantry) units.

For Cavalry units, most are probably Aristocrat/Fighters with Mounted Combat feats, while archery units might be Warriors or Fighters specced out with Archery feats. Artillery units (for ballistae and catapults and other seige weapons) are probably composed of Experts and Warriors, plus a someone with PC classes as leader. Saboteur and special forces NPC teams are composed of mostly Rogues, though most PCs will probably be a special forces team composed of standard D&D party make-up.

If you want to add magic, most groups have a small contingent of Clerics or Cleric/Combat Medics or something like that, plus a handful of Wizards, Sorcerers, or Warmages, while Paladins might lead the cavalry forces of Good-aligned armies.

2009-02-23, 05:17 PM
Heroes of Battle is full of army templates like this. It even has squad templates with a CO, XO, support guy/s, and grunts.

However, if you don't have that, I suggest taking a look at the following thread: The Book of Armies. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37056&highlight=Book+Armies)

In general, most grunts will only have Warrior levels and the most basic core combat feats like Weapon Focus and the like. Elite troops will have the elite array and feats that show a "specialty" fighting style: TWF, for example.

NCOs and COs will most likely have PC classes, with Fighter for Sergeants and probably Paladin (for the morale boosting auras) or Crusader for Lieutenant upward. Let's face it--a Paladin is probably the only anti-fear boost your soldiers can get. Flying an adult dragon over an army is enough to scatter 95% of the grunts in panic (assuming the 5% made natural 20s on their Will saves vs. Frightful Presence).

Special forces might have levels in Rogue, Ninja or the Dread Commando PrC (Heroes of Battle) to emphasize their ability to take stuff down quickly.

Generals are unique, accomplished and heroic characters who will likely have levels in prestige classes. They might even have Legendary Leader (Heroes of Battle).

Tome of Battle gives some really good stuff, but in general I only reserve it for the elite or unique characters. For example, since I'm using Tome of Battle for my run of Red Hand of Doom this summer, I gave the Doom Hand monks levels in Swordsage, while the Bladebearers (TWF elite troopers) got Warblade levels instead of Fighter levels. A general might be a high-level crusader and be surrounded by elite troops.

Complete Warrior gives some really good feats (Tactical Feats especially), as well as some PrCs that work really well with soldiers that have a special role (Cavalier or Bear Warrior, for example).

And yes, Heroes of Battle and Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords are two very different things.

Heroes of Battle, despite being about large-scale warfare, actually encourages DMs to avoid playing out the large scale battles (because that's Warhammer, not D&D). Instead the PCs get some important missions where they can affect the course of the larger battle ("Take out that trebuchet!" "Assassinate their general!" "Defend the caravan!") and the like.

Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords gives new ways to play out melee combat, which will make them a lot stronger. Just that it's not recommended to make every single Private out there a warblade or crusader. I always allowed the core melee classes and the ToB classes to coexist because they synergize well in PC builds and also differentiate between the "guy who can swing a sword" (the typical soldier) and "guy who can ruin stuff with his sword" (the elite trooper with an esoteric fighting style).