PDA

View Full Version : Army Logistics



Schylerwalker
2009-11-28, 02:42 AM
Feeding an army in D&D is expensive! :smalleek

If your troops can't forage/raid, you're going to be giving EACH of your soldiers the equivalent of a days' rations. Every day. Let's say you have a hundred first level warriors, and you're embarking on a month long campaign.

Day's rations = 5 silver pieces

5 silver pieces x 100 soldiers x 30 days = 15,000 silver pieces, or 1,500 gp

This is JUST to feed them. This is not including, say, a longsword, dagger, studded leather armor, light wooden shield, and 3 javelins for each bugger. And a waterskin. EACH.

Spare supplies, such as rope, ladder, tools for repairing armor and weapons. Oh, wagons to carry all of that. Horses (Or at the very least, mules) to drag those wagons around. Feed and water, as well as tack and harness for your beasts.

Also, each soldier will want at least 3 silver pieces a day. So that's another, what, twelve hundred gold pieces?

It'd be cheaper to hire a bunch of high level adventurers to storm a stronghold rather than outfit an army for it!

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-11-28, 02:44 AM
It'd be cheaper to hire a bunch of high level adventurers to storm a stronghold rather than outfit an army for it!And more effective. Large numbers of mooks are basically useless against one well-placed Cloudkill.

herrhauptmann
2009-11-28, 03:00 AM
There's a reason why armies mostly just lived off of forage until close to the Napoleonic wars.
Don't forget, if you're taking a castle, you're likely laying siege to it. So now you gotta include the cost of siege engines, and siege engineers used to cost way more in pay than a simple soldier.

Dervag
2009-11-28, 03:03 AM
Aside from any issue about the usefulness of mooks in combat, the catch is that all these prices are based off the ones in the DM guide, which:

-Ignore the possibility of bulk discounts
-Ignore the fact that a "day's rations" includes quite a bit of pre-cooked food*, whereas food for a large number of people need not.**
-Are calibrated to the standard of what merchants will charge dangerous wandering violent guys in an inflationary economy where said violent guys are constantly bringing treasure into the economy.
-Ignore the possibility of barter: if I have an army, and there are farmers around, I can use the army to collect food from the peasants directly without actually bothering to pay them.*** Conversely, peasant lads may join my army to eat reliably, even if I don't pay them very well, because my army will always have food to eat... because it takes food away from the remaining peasant lads. This isn't a happy social dynamic, but it definitely works.

*In a world without refrigerators, imperishable, ready-to-eat food is always worth more than perishable food. Especially to adventurers who have more money than they know what to do with, but usually don't know how to cook.
**if you're feeding a large group people, you can afford to have a baker and butcher on staff who take (for instance) flour and live pigs and converts them into bread and pork chops every night. This is a subset of "bulk discount," because it lets you get away with spending less to buy unprocessed food, in exchange for having someone on retainer who will process it for you.
***If I'm naughty, I call this a "not being stabbed in the face tax." If I'm nice, this is called "not being stabbed in the face tax," but with the implication that I am preventing others from stabbing you in the face and need food to do it, rather than simply taking food in exchange for the service of not stabbing you in the face myself.
__________

As for the effectiveness of mooks in combat, the key is that just as PCs only seem to run into level-appropriate encounters, mooks are used for things that are level-appropriate for them. Small squads of mooks are good for deterring casual raiders of ECL ~1 or 2, for scouting the countryside, for oppressing peasant villages, for collecting food to feed the Mook Army, and things like that. Large armies of mooks are not effective against a leveled spellcaster who is their nominal equal in ECL, but this does not always matter; you'd have to be a complete idiot to send them to fight such a spellcaster.

This is the origin of the classic fairy tale scenario in which the hero has to go off and fight the evil monster/wizard/witch by overcoming the Terrible Curse and all that. Sure, the local ruler has guards, and the guards are great for keeping random hoboes from becoming random bandits and pillaging the outlying villages. But they're no use against strong magic or enormous monsters.

Akisa
2009-11-28, 03:11 AM
Pfft I'm not paying adventurer price (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0122.html) for common soldiers. A day's wage for unskilled labor is 1 silver, are you saying vast amount of people are only eating 1 out of 5 days? Lets say the preparation for a day's ration raises the cost, it likely only double in price.

So it's closer to 2 silver pieces x 100 soldiers x 30 days = 6,000 silver or 600gp

Innis Cabal
2009-11-28, 03:18 AM
Lets also remember, if your doing it like a sensible army man, you have a well trained army, and the rest is made of farmers and other lay men who have jobs outside of killing. Should cut the cost down quite a bit. Espcially with a siege.

Solaris
2009-11-28, 03:19 AM
***If I'm naughty, I call this a "not being stabbed in the face tax." If I'm nice, this is called "not being stabbed in the face tax," but with the implication that I am preventing others from stabbing you in the face and need food to do it, rather than simply taking food in exchange for the service of not stabbing you in the face myself.

Best tax ever.

Sliver
2009-11-28, 03:23 AM
Stuff

I really like this approach. Is there some collection of articles to handling such army stuff for those of us that are uninformed?

arguskos
2009-11-28, 03:25 AM
I really like this approach. Is there some collection of articles to handling such army stuff for those of us that are uninformed?
Logic helps a great deal. There's also some stuff in the Arms and Equipment Guide about buying mercs, who are fairly easy to procure, all things given. They also have listed prices, which I find handy.

Eldariel
2009-11-28, 03:43 AM
Obviously all armies have Cleric support making food for them as they go. One level 5+ Cleric per a dozen men. Or just a wagon with a resetting Created Food trap. That'd make for quite the interesting target for sabotage missions

Storm Bringer
2009-11-28, 04:38 AM
The historical answer to this problem of feeding the troops, before the indroduction of a regular logictics arm in the 30 years war (where i'm told the swedes had a proper chain of supply bases set up), was to not centalise foraging, but let the sub units deal with it, so each company had a few blokes who in dnd terms had very high survival skills and spent a lot of their time hunting/stealing food form elsewhere

they might subedise this with mass produce bread (whats the price for a pound of flour vs a pound of hard bread in the PHB? get a few cooks along and you can give them somthing to eat, even if it's a little lacking).

of coruse, this doesn't account for the efforts of the huge number of hangers on an army on the move attracts, in the form of opportunistic merchants selling everything from beer, to swords, to their own daughters virginity. i've seen accounts where the combat arm of an army was outnumbered two- to one by it's own baggage train (most of it hangers on)

Ormur
2009-11-28, 10:55 AM
I think one of the few things in D&D warfare that wouldn't be totally different from medieval warfare is the logistics. Barring expensive magic items like flying castles and teleportation rings you're still using horse drawn carriages and river barges and that's expensive, especially land transport. Before railroads and paved roads land transport was ridiculously expensive, transporting bulk goods like food over short distances inland multiplied their price.

It's not the food and equipment in itself that's expensive, as other said they'd be less expensive in bulk than in the DMG, it's transporting it. You need a whole fleet of carriages, not only for the food the soldiers will eat and equipment but maybe also for the horses that they ride and use to pull the carriages.

Radiun
2009-11-28, 11:20 AM
Armies of humans?
Please, to raise a competent DnD army you need about 100 slaves and 1 wight under your command.
The one wight raises a small unit of 101 wights within the hour. Raid some small settlements to reinforce that number, with the "head wight" remaining behind as he is your most valuable asset, and well, you now have a town's worth of equipment for your wight army to wear.

After that you establish a Wraith battalion (the wights keep you effective during daylight hours)

Oslecamo
2009-11-28, 12:08 PM
-Are calibrated to the standard of what merchants will charge dangerous wandering violent guys in an inflationary economy where said violent guys are constantly bringing treasure into the economy.


You're forgeting that merchants in the D&D world are all retired dangerous wandering violent guys wich don't really have contact with each other due to wandering monsters in the trade routes, so it's quite hard to stablsih something as a country wide economy.

Ormur:A lot of armies got around that by making the soldiers themselves carry the food as part of their package. There would be supply carriages yes, but those would be to feed the officers and nobles who wouldn't carry their own food. Meanwhile you would raid enemy villages for recharging your reserves.

In the siege of Lisbon, for example, the first thing the king Afonso Henriques did was a quick raid to capture the storages of food outside the city walls, where the local farmers would normaly put their production. Then he didn't need to worry about food for a lot of months.

On the other hand, too many carriages will slow you down, and that may prove fatal, as a burdened moving army can be easily outmaneuvered. A lot of comanders discarded rations during their campaigns so they could gain a "burst" of speed and reach an objective before the enemy. Altough when that failed, they would be pretty much screwed. On the other hand, this could be used as moral boost for your troops. We have no more food. Capture that enemy fortress at all costs, or we all starve to death.

Krrth
2009-11-28, 12:25 PM
Don't forget that those prices are the cost to buy off the shelf. Governments (in DnD) aren't going to do that. They'll have alternate means of acquiring, including simply making it themselves.

Gamerlord
2009-11-28, 12:29 PM
1. Who says the army needs to march, some casters prep up teleport and BAM!
2. A army can just requisition food and supplies from villages and towns, and pillage enemy towns to weaken them and strengthen you.
3. And who says that in the world, low level warriors are always fighting someone high level? Do standard soldiers fight the general of the hostile organization all the time?

Oslecamo
2009-11-28, 12:36 PM
3. And who says that in the world, low level warriors are always fighting someone high level? Do standard soldiers fight the general of the hostile organization all the time?

No, but this is D&D land. All kind of hungry and/or psychotic monsters roam the wilderness, including:


http://download.lavadomefive.com/members/BigClawz/Miscellaneous-DinosaursAttack-PanicintheStadium.jpg
Dinossaurs!:smallbiggrin:

jmbrown
2009-11-28, 12:38 PM
AD&D has an entire section about players raising an army because it was assumed that PCs would eventually build a stronghold and, well, raise an army. I'm bored, so I'm going to build and supply an army using the recommendation from the AD&D 2E DMG.



250 light infantry 250gp
50 heavy infantry 100gp
100 longbowmen 800gp
75 light cavalry 300gp
25 heavy cavalry 250gp
1 master artillerist 50gp
10 artillerist 40gp
1 master engineer 150gp
1 master armorer 100gp
5 armorers 50gp
1 master bladesmith 100gp
5 bladesmiths 50gp
1 master bowyer 50gp
1 bowyer 10gp
1 master fletcher 30gp
1 master of the hunt 10gp
8 huntsmen 40gp
10 grooms 10gp
20 skilled servants (baker, cook, etc.) 40gp
40 household servants 40gp
1 herald 300gp
1 castellan 300gp

2,970gp per month.

Now, lets outfit our soldiers. Soldiers were typically expected to outfit themselves. Those without equipment were given basic goods. For this example I'm going to pretend that all of my guys basically come to me naked.

Light infantry will have javelins (4) and a shortspear. Heavy infantry (Roman type) were armed with a short sword, 2 javelins, and chainmail (I'll give them longspears as well for setting against charges). Light cavalry carry shortspears and shortbows. Heavy cavalry will be equipped with breastplate (plus scalemail barding for their horses), lances, and heavy maces. The huntsmen need crossbows and I'll order up 6 ballista and 2 catapults.

(D&D 3E prices used)


1100 javelins 1100gp
325 shortspears 325gp
50 short swords 500gp
50 longspears 250gp
50 chainmail 7500gp
75 shortbows 2250gp
100 longbows 7500gp
25 breastplate 500gp
25 scalemail barding 5000gp
25 heavy warhorses 10000gp
25 lances 250gp
25 heavy maces 300gp
8 light crossbows 280gp
6 ballista 3000gp
2 light catapults 1100gp
320 crossbow bolts 320gp
7,000 arrows 7000gp

Total 47,175gp!
or 12,267gp in raw materials + 10,000gp for warhorses


Now I'm going to put my craftsmen to work. To do this I'm going to look at their weekly wages per month (half check * 4). I'm going to assume the basic craftsmen are level 1 experts with max ranks, 11 intelligence (using common array), and skill focus feat. I'm going to assume the master craftsmen are level 5 experts with max ranks, 12 intelligence (common array +1 int for level 4), and skill focus. Everyone rolls an average 10 on their d20.



master artillerist 44gp
artillerist 160gp
master engineer 44gp
master armorer 44gp
armorers 80gp
master bladesmith 44gp
bladesmiths 80gp
master bowyer 44gp
bowyer 16gp
master fletcher 44gp

Total 600gp month average in crafting


Finally I've got to feed these guys. I'm going to assume my hunters are level 1 (level 5 master hunter), have max ranks, skill focus in survival, and 11 wisdom (12 wisdom for the master hunter). One pound of flour makes about a loaf of bread (and bread takes about 4 hours) and I think a loaf can feed 4 people adequately a day. Let's say 1 chicken adequately feeds 8 people a day (2 drumsticks, 2 breast halves, 2 wings, 2 thighs), 1 pig adequately feeds 16 people a day and 1 cow adequately feeds 32 people a day. I have to feed my 25 horses + 608 mouths.



hunters - feed 32 people a day
master hunter - feed 7 people a day
1lbs flour - feeds 4 people
1 chicken - feeds 8 people
1 pig - feeds 16 people
1 cow - feeds 32 people

Flour's cheap so I'm mostly going to be feeding my guys through flour. You can feed all 600 people using these calculations on about 2gp worth of flour per day. Meat will be a luxury thing to improve morale and I can't forget to include the average drink.

Around here I lost my train of thought...

Yeah, raising (and keeping) a standing army is expensive and it's little wonder why long term military campaigns have historically crumbled. The sheer amount of organization is ridiculous and like most things in history they fall apart from weakness and betrayal within, not from forces outside.

As far as an armies effectiveness, D&D 3E screwed over traditional armies due to the incremental power of magic. AD&D's wizards were weaker and the game itself expected players to gather together groups of hirelings for grandiose tasks like taking over kingdoms and ousting barons. Cloudkill, for example, could be affected by the wind (gust of wind = automatic cloudkill killer) and it broke up in heavy vegetation. When assaulting wizards in AD&D, armies usually dug treches to contain the eventual cloudkill or they hid in forests while pelting the wizard's stronghold from afar. This generally isn't the case in 3E because wizards have extra-dimensional bull**** and what have you.

As others have pointed out, armies foraged for goods, conscripted locals, practically forced businesses like blacksmiths and stables to hand over whatever goods they had, and they raided everything. Supplies were always a problem, people went on half rations to make it by, and life in general just sucked.

Armies in 3E just aren't profitable or worth it, though, because goods cost too much and by 10th level adventurers can wreck entire kingdoms by themselves.

Gamerlord
2009-11-28, 12:41 PM
No, but this is D&D land. All kind of hungry and/or psychotic monsters roam the wilderness, including:


http://download.lavadomefive.com/members/BigClawz/Miscellaneous-DinosaursAttack-PanicintheStadium.jpg
Dinossaurs!:smallbiggrin:


Good point, but what I meant to say is that warriors aren't always fighting PCs.

This is one of many things that doesn't make any sense in the D&D world(Going off-topic here) :

We have hundreds of creatures with absurd CRs, from 1/10 to 30+.....
HOW THE HELL HAVE THE HUMANOIDS LIVED THIS FAR?

jmbrown
2009-11-28, 12:44 PM
Good point, but what I meant to say is that warriors aren't always fighting PCs.

This is one of many things that doesn't make any sense in the D&D world(Going off-topic here) :

We have hundreds of creatures with absurd CRs, from 1/10 to 30+.....
HOW THE HELL HAVE THE HUMANOIDS LIVED THIS FAR?

Because pretty much everything above CR 10 is either an outsider who have restrictions against freely entering the prime or they're so rare that they could very well be considered extinct.

Gamerlord
2009-11-28, 12:47 PM
But even something with a CR like 3 could massacre a battalion of troops.

Yahzi
2009-11-28, 12:50 PM
There's a reason why armies mostly just lived off of forage until close to the Napoleonic wars.
Ahem. Ceaser would like to have a word with you.

The D&D medieval technology is not the limit of development you can get before modern science. It's called the Dark Ages for a reason; people achieved less with the same resources than their ancestors (like the Romans) had.

This is something often overlooked in D&D games. Part of the reason life was so hard was because people were actually stupid. Social technology - courts, hospitals, standardized weights and measures, stable currencies, etc. - were worse in 1200 AD than they were in 300 AD.

Not that you can get players to understand this. The next time your players want to revamp an inefficient social structure, try telling them the populace is too superstitious, traditional, and uneducated to make it work. Good luck with that.:smalltongue:



Armies in 3E just aren't profitable or worth it, though, because goods cost too much and by 10th level adventurers can wreck entire kingdoms by themselves.
So true.

The real model of D&D is not medieval, but Iron Age: a few heroes, with a small retinue of loyal henchmen, travel around killing and looting, meeting whole new societies (with strange magic and customs) no one in their home city has ever heard of, and encountering monsters so terrifying they would destroy their entire home city in an afternoon. The role-model for D&D is not Lancelot; it is Hercules.

Raising an army in this scenario is counterproductive. D&D actually punishes you for trying to do that. Running an empire is impossible by the D&D rules. And it's supposed to be.

dspeyer
2009-11-28, 12:58 PM
This whole hunter thing doesn't work that well. If you're truly marching through wilderness, you'd better march fast or you'll run out of game. There's a reason even nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes don't get as large as armies. If you're marching through settled land, the concept is less "hunt" and more "steal". This means being surrounded on all sides by enemies, who may be commoners but can still provide information and hiding places to enemy armies (and all have scythes ready to coup-de-gras you in your sleep). Also, robbing the peasants into starvation will likely cause any positive-channeling clerics to leave your army or lose their powers.

Ormur
2009-11-28, 12:59 PM
Ormur:[/B]A lot of armies got around that by making the soldiers themselves carry the food as part of their package. There would be supply carriages yes, but those would be to feed the officers and nobles who wouldn't carry their own food. Meanwhile you would raid enemy villages for recharging your reserves.

In the siege of Lisbon, for example, the first thing the king Afonso Henriques did was a quick raid to capture the storages of food outside the city walls, where the local farmers would normaly put their production. Then he didn't need to worry about food for a lot of months.

On the other hand, too many carriages will slow you down, and that may prove fatal, as a burdened moving army can be easily outmaneuvered. A lot of comanders discarded rations during their campaigns so they could gain a "burst" of speed and reach an objective before the enemy. Altough when that failed, they would be pretty much screwed. On the other hand, this could be used as moral boost for your troops. We have no more food. Capture that enemy fortress at all costs, or we all starve to death.

If the army manages to live of the land providing supplies becomes less expensive. I'm probably thinking of warfare later than medieval times, post 30 year wars. But still if you're marching long distances, with tens of thousands of men and planning on sieges logistics might become a major headache but that's probably not the norm in most D&D campaigns except for perhaps the evil empire (and that's ruled by the DM :smallbiggrin:).

jmbrown
2009-11-28, 01:01 PM
But even something with a CR like 3 could massacre a battalion of troops.

Like what? The general assumption is that the higher the CR, the rarer the monster. A "band" of ogres is 5-8. A band of elves is 30-100 1st level warriors + 3-10 3rd level warriors + 5 5th level warriors + 3 7th level warriors.

Which band is likely to win in an assault or defense?

Oslecamo
2009-11-28, 01:11 PM
But even something with a CR like 3 could massacre a battalion of troops.

It's assumed that humanoid breed REALLY quickly, so you've got battallions to spare, while the nonhumanoid monsters have an harder time recovering from their losses.


Kobolds for example. No matter how many you kill there's always another thousand waiting at the corner:smalltongue:

Of course, nobody is really interested in dying, so people prefer to hire adventurers to slay said monsters.

jmbrown
2009-11-28, 01:23 PM
It's assumed that humanoid breed REALLY quickly, so you've got battallions to spare, while the nonhumanoid monsters have an harder time recovering from their losses.


Kobolds for example. No matter how many you kill there's always another thousand waiting at the corner:smalltongue:

Of course, nobody is really interested in dying, so people prefer to hire adventurers to slay said monsters.

Another basic D&D assumption. The longer lived the race, the slower their maturation/gestation. An elven family might have 1 child in their entire life while medieval humans had an average of 4 children. kobolds pop them babies out like rabbits but live half as long as most races.

Gamerlord
2009-11-28, 02:10 PM
Then why haven't orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, and kobolds just taken over the world?

Besides, a hundred beholders can wipe out any humanoid army.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-11-28, 02:21 PM
Don't know about the others, but kobolds are miners first and foremost, they'd rather stay content with mining and building traps for the rest of their lives than trying to conquer the world. Coupled with their weak and frail structure and light sensitivity, their main enemies are gnomes. That's right, gnomes.

As an aside, there's always gonna be a minimum of 4 people, human or otherwise, that grow at a rapid exponential rate, commonly named "PCs."

There's also no guarantee there's any number of high level wizards in the world since 1) NPCs do not know the XP exists so they wouldn't actively hunt down monsters to level up and 2) Think of the typical wizard, sitting up in his little tower, studying musty tomes and dusty books, he's not gaining much XP at all 3) High Level Wizards make great villains, good or evil, atleast one quest is going to involve killing some random innocent wizard

Oslecamo
2009-11-28, 02:44 PM
Then why haven't orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, and kobolds just taken over the world?
For the same reason insects haven't conquered ours: lack of coordination. Kobolds/orcs/goblins fight other races, but with some trickery you can turn them against each other and keep your small but organized kingdom running for a lot of time.




Besides, a hundred beholders can wipe out any humanoid army.

Funny stories:
1: beholders are highly xenophebic even of their own so good luck geting 100 of them togheter whitout they killing each other.
2-Beholders can't affect anything more than 150 feets away.
3-Beholders can only move 20 feets per turn and cannot run, altough they can double move.

So if a beholder goes out there on a world conquering spree, he just gets peppered by arrows from afar untill it dies. Sure he has DR10, but an army will surely have some composite longbows to penetrate that.

He's basicaly invincible on his underground lair, but out in the open he's a very nice target for an army.

Hazkali
2009-11-28, 02:46 PM
There's a reason why armies mostly just lived off of forage until close to the Napoleonic wars.



Actually, immediately before the Napoleonic wars, in the time of the Ancien Régime, armies didn't live off forage at all. Armies were supplied from magazines, which limited their effective range to only fifty miles. Reverting to foraging was what made the armies of the Napoleonic wars so fast-moving compared to their predecessors, but increased the strain on the civilian populations.

Gamerlord
2009-11-28, 02:48 PM
Why haven't the dragons simply taken over? They can outlive even elves, even the weakest wyrmling is roughly CR 3 IIRC. They can fly, breath death, and etc.

Oslecamo
2009-11-28, 02:55 PM
Why haven't the dragons simply taken over? They can outlive even elves, even the weakest wyrmling is roughly CR 3 IIRC. They can fly, breath death, and etc.

Like said in dracomicon, some dragons do go out there and conquer their own realms. And then they have to deal with goody two shoes metalic dragons trying to take them down.

The others prefer other hobbies than ruling over pathetic insectshumanoids, like researching magic and improving their own power. Dragons are stated as very lazy, and is not uncommon for them to just snoozing around for decades. You really can't run a kingdom like that.

This is, you could easily conquer an ant colony, but would it be worth the effort? What can the ants do for you that you couldn't do yourself?

Mark Hall
2009-11-28, 02:55 PM
Why haven't the dragons simply taken over? They can outlive even elves, even the weakest wyrmling is roughly CR 3 IIRC. They can fly, breath death, and etc.

The essential problem with the "Why haven't X taken over yet" arguments is that they assume every race wants the same thing (world domination), and will act in a way that lets them get it.

Orcs may want world domination, but they generally lack the intelligence and discipline to leverage their greater strength into actual plans. Most are content with raiding because it's fun and relatively easy.
Hobgoblins may want world domination, but they tend to have problems forming larger communities. LE, yes, but tribal alliances don't last much beyond the charismatic individual who forged them.
Goblins may want world domination, but they don't tend to be good planners, and have many of the same difficulties that hobgoblins have with large organizations.
Dragons generally DON'T want world domination. They want to sleep, gather gold from idiots who try to kill them, and eat when they can. The few that do want world domination either get smacked down by others or, in the case of greens, their plans fall apart under their own convolution.

Tiki Snakes
2009-11-28, 03:26 PM
The essential problem with the "Why haven't X taken over yet" arguments is that they assume every race wants the same thing (world domination), and will act in a way that lets them get it.

Orcs may want world domination, but they generally lack the intelligence and discipline to leverage their greater strength into actual plans. Most are content with raiding because it's fun and relatively easy.
Hobgoblins may want world domination, but they tend to have problems forming larger communities. LE, yes, but tribal alliances don't last much beyond the charismatic individual who forged them.
Goblins may want world domination, but they don't tend to be good planners, and have many of the same difficulties that hobgoblins have with large organizations.
Dragons generally DON'T want world domination. They want to sleep, gather gold from idiots who try to kill them, and eat when they can. The few that do want world domination either get smacked down by others or, in the case of greens, their plans fall apart under their own convolution.

Alright, here's one;

Mindflayers. Former multi-planar empire that subjugated everyone, work well together and tend to stay relatively on message. Not prone to in-fighting, backstabbing. Has the capability and motivations to take over the world.

Why aren't all phb races partially lobotomised slaves in their grand reborn and time-displaced empire?

Vizzerdrix
2009-11-28, 03:27 PM
Becouse free range food tastes best. ^_^

jmbrown
2009-11-28, 03:50 PM
Alright, here's one;

Mindflayers. Former multi-planar empire that subjugated everyone, work well together and tend to stay relatively on message. Not prone to in-fighting, backstabbing. Has the capability and motivations to take over the world.

Why aren't all phb races partially lobotomised slaves in their grand reborn and time-displaced empire?

Because there's like... 1000 of them in existence and the mortality rate of tadpoles or whatever they're called is ridiculously high.

Radiun
2009-11-28, 03:59 PM
Alright, here's one;

Mindflayers. Former multi-planar empire that subjugated everyone, work well together and tend to stay relatively on message. Not prone to in-fighting, backstabbing. Has the capability and motivations to take over the world.

Why aren't all phb races partially lobotomised slaves in their grand reborn and time-displaced empire?

Allergies
They are deathly allergic to pollen, bumblebees, rats, and magical japanese schoolgirls

Tiki Snakes
2009-11-28, 04:04 PM
Because there's like... 1000 of them in existence and the mortality rate of tadpoles or whatever they're called is ridiculously high.

How many mindflayers do you *need*? Also, unless there's some in the lords of madness tome, I'm not really familiar with any info on Illithid reproduction-rates. :)

Though, frankly, given that they are no-where mentioned as a diminishing race, it's nice to think the squiddy little buggers are on a slow and inevitable march to utter domination once more, because the only thing holding them back from global dominion is that they need to do spawn more for a while...



Allergies
They are deathly allergic to pollen, bumblebees, rats, and magical japanese schoolgirls

Nothing with Tentacles is ever allergic to any kind of japanese schoolgirl.

Oslecamo
2009-11-28, 04:05 PM
Mindflayers. Former multi-planar empire that subjugated everyone, work well together and tend to stay relatively on message. Not prone to in-fighting, backstabbing. Has the capability and motivations to take over the world.

Why aren't all phb races partially lobotomised slaves in their grand reborn and time-displaced empire?

Something went very wrong. The mind flayers found some greater enemy that forced them to flee to the past while sacrifcing most of their numbers, and they've been hiding ever since.

So yes, japanese magical girl/wizard did it.

Akisa
2009-11-28, 04:07 PM
Something went very wrong. The mind flayers found some greater enemy that forced them to flee to the past while sacrifcing most of their numbers, and they've been hiding ever since.

So yes, japanese magical girl/wizard did it.

Why does it have to be a magical girl or wizard? Why can't the lawyers 'save' the day?

sofawall
2009-11-28, 04:08 PM
On the other hand, this could be used as moral boost for your troops.

The one missing letter completely changes the meaning of that sentence.

tahu88810
2009-11-28, 04:08 PM
Something went very wrong. The mind flayers found some greater enemy that forced them to flee to the past while sacrifcing most of their numbers, and they've been hiding ever since.

So yes, japanese magical girl/wizard did it.

Rather, they're so preoccupied attending to their japanese school girl overlord's every need they simply don't have time for world domination.

Schylerwalker
2009-11-28, 04:31 PM
Come on guys, let's get back on topic. :smallamused: We're talking about Army Logistics and D&D, not mind flayers and tentacle-nono.

Mark Hall
2009-11-28, 04:45 PM
Alright, here's one;

Mindflayers. Former multi-planar empire that subjugated everyone, work well together and tend to stay relatively on message. Not prone to in-fighting, backstabbing. Has the capability and motivations to take over the world.

Why aren't all phb races partially lobotomised slaves in their grand reborn and time-displaced empire?

In the case of Mind Flayers, it's a case of competition. Sure, they'd love to rule the world, and can make a fair go at it. However, they're competing with groups that already have an adventuring caste, and wizards and the like to deal with them. Thus, while they can make limited inroads in the places adventurers avoid (i.e. the Underdark), they're limited from places that have adventurers.

Essentially, they're a very a virus that seeks to infect existing systems... but the surface world has developed a very effective defense against these (i.e. adventurers). While they can have some small scale successes, especially out of sight of the surface world, they don't have much in the way of success once their activities are noticed.

jmbrown
2009-11-28, 04:56 PM
How many mindflayers do you *need*? Also, unless there's some in the lords of madness tome, I'm not really familiar with any info on Illithid reproduction-rates. :)

Though, frankly, given that they are no-where mentioned as a diminishing race, it's nice to think the squiddy little buggers are on a slow and inevitable march to utter domination once more, because the only thing holding them back from global dominion is that they need to do spawn more for a while...


Twice in an illithid's life they'll spawn a couple dozen larvae that rest in the mother brain's juices for 10 years. Since there's limited space, there are wasted larvae. The mortality rate is also high so only a few larvae actually mature in that 10 year period. After that, they find a humanoid host and insert the larvae into their brain who become immature mind flayers. The maturation process also has a high chance of failing resulting in a half-breed mind flayer that's expelled from the community and sent to the surface to act as spies. In the result of a famine, the tadpoles consume each other further decreasing their numbers.

The few illithids that do exist are, like dragons, proud and dominating. They want the multiverse, not the prime. Because of this, practically everyone (that knows about them, at least) are their enemies. In Planescape, it was stated that even the blood war was momentarily halted because the demons and devils realized the illithid were growing in power (this was before Zerthimon led the rebellion that destroyed the illithid empire).

From an army logistics standpoint, you have to still feed an army of thrall. They may be mentally controlled, but their bodies function the same and require food, rest, and cleansing. This is why illithid rule from the shadows. They enslave a king or powerful noble. You can't really make thralls out of everyone because eventually 5 adventurers will take notice when an entire city has turned into mindless puppets.

Gamerlord
2009-11-28, 05:23 PM
But in the beginning of the world, every humanoid practically starts out as a 1st level char. Any CR can bring them down with ease, within a hundred years of the worlds creation the monstrous beings should have taken over.

Oslecamo
2009-11-28, 05:38 PM
But in the beginning of the world, every humanoid practically starts out as a 1st level char. Any CR can bring them down with ease, within a hundred years of the worlds creation the monstrous beings should have taken over.

Guess what? The big monsters did rule over humanoids. But the humanoids bided their time, learned how to take class levels while serving their overlords and then a big war broke on between the big scary monsters, allowing the humanoids to rise to power.

At least that's what hapened in Eberron. First demons and celestials obliterated each other, then dragons came and grew bored so left. The giants took over untill they were invaded by a race of nightmare monsters. They drove them back, but they were so weakened by the war that their humanoid slaves revolted, revealing they had been learning how to use magic, and crushed the giant empire into just a few tribes.

It's also how we mammals triumphed over the dinossaurs, but replace nightmare monsters with meteor and Ice Age.:smallcool:

Tiktakkat
2009-11-28, 05:39 PM
Ahem. Ceaser would like to have a word with you.

The D&D medieval technology is not the limit of development you can get before modern science. It's called the Dark Ages for a reason; people achieved less with the same resources than their ancestors (like the Romans) had.

It is more accurately called the Dark Ages because we have so little information available about it.


This is something often overlooked in D&D games. Part of the reason life was so hard was because people were actually stupid. Social technology - courts, hospitals, standardized weights and measures, stable currencies, etc. - were worse in 1200 AD than they were in 300 AD.

Not that you can get players to understand this. The next time your players want to revamp an inefficient social structure, try telling them the populace is too superstitious, traditional, and uneducated to make it work. Good luck with that.:smalltongue:

Well, no.
Yes, the social order of the Roman Empire had collapsed, and yes the social order was under extreme stress due to the multiple competing sovereignties, but the people were not particularly more superstitious, traditional, or lacking in education than the Romans.
However, they most certainly were not stupid, otherwise they not only would have been unable to survive at all, let alone grow their population. Yes, they was a significant (40% or so) drop in population in the 1-2 centuries after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. That was reversed and grown up to around 1200, to the point that France was pushing a population of 100/sq. mile. Indeed, it was that massive growth in population that sparked the equally massive decline in population (again around 40%) that followed in the next 1-2 centuries before the population again began growing during the Renaissance and after. Likewise they would never have been able to modify their social organizations when the opportunity presented itself, not to mention the continued social evolution that occurred during the Dark Ages themselves anyway. And do not forget the changes in technology which you seem eager to dismiss, including, but not limited to, steel for weapons and armor, advances in windmills and watermills for power, architecture over and above the Roman arch, naval technology, especially the ocean going cog instead of the Mediterranean galley, and more.

As a general concept, most people prefer not to starve followed by not being enslaved/robbed/taxed excessively. If you want to change a social order, present new technologies and social structures that recognize those two concepts, and a significant portion of people will adopt them eagerly.

jmbrown
2009-11-28, 05:45 PM
But in the beginning of the world, every humanoid practically starts out as a 1st level char. Any CR can bring them down with ease, within a hundred years of the worlds creation the monstrous beings should have taken over.

And they did. In nearly every fantasy world you'll always read in the timeline how dragons/illithids/giants/whatever dominated the earth.

But like I said, the more powerful a race, the slower their maturation, the longer their gestation, and the fewer their population. The "weaker" races learned to fight, they learned their oppressors weakness, they outnumbered their masters by 1000:1, and they used their dominater's natural paranoia, pride, and questionable loyalty against each other.

The easiest way to oppress people is ignorance. Once people learn there's actually a better life outside their walls or they stand a chance at freedom, there's nothing stopping them short of breaking their will.

And once you do that, what's the point of even ruling them anymore?