View Full Version : [4e] siege

2010-07-26, 06:32 PM
Hi there playground,

was just thinking about where my campaign is going in the future and was thinking of putting my party into a siege at some point and was firstly wondering it it is at all possible within the 4e rules? and secondly should i do it mid paragon, late paragon or wait until epic?

2010-07-26, 06:34 PM
Which side of the siege are they on?

2010-07-26, 06:41 PM
i was looking at putting them on the defence

2010-07-26, 06:46 PM
A lot depends on who is besieging them, and what you want to accomplish. A siege can work at any level, but a lot depends on set-up.

For a paragon-tier siege, you're probably looking at fairly hefty enemies, or a huge number of them. Orcish hordes will work, if you stretch to make them level-appropriate Minions, with various specials (orc generals, giant allies, etc). I'd make a large number of the opponents (and friendly garrison) into Minions, so you can have wholesale slaughter when necessary.

The real limitation with a siege is generally going to be range. Rangers will love a siege. Fighters? Not so much.

I'd look into the various rituals and exploits to see what kind of things players will be able to pull out of their hats.

A good system for wargaming an RPG is the "cinematic approach", which I stole from WEGs Star Wars 2e, R&E. Basically, the battle is a series of Scenes. If they do well in scene 1, they go on to Scene 2. If they do badly in scene 1, they go to scene 1a, which is similar, but in a worse situation. It cuts out a lot of the strategic minutiae that some players hate (though, if you have players that love them, you can give bonuses for having good strategy, on top of good tactics within the scenes), and lets you play by the RAW, rather than coming up with special systems.

2010-07-26, 07:19 PM
what i was looking at doing is putting them in the middle of an undead siege... it was either going to be at Thay or Bauldor's Gate.

2010-07-26, 09:56 PM
Someone else on these boards was asking for advice about defending a town besieged by undead in 4e. I think it went fairly well in his game.

2010-07-26, 10:06 PM
The 4e rules would encourage you to employ skill challenges as part of this process, but not everyone likes those. You're best bet is to base any such challenge on what your party wants to do.

For example, if one player wants to set up additional obstacles before their position is attacked, you've got that suggests Athletics, Dungeoneering, Thievery, and (assuming undead), Religion, the last to determine ways to channel the invaders through their aversions and compulsions. Insight can also guide this objective. If they want to set up shortcuts that can't be easily used against them, Dungeoneering and most of the physical skills can be considered, but Perception also has a place here. Supply lines and communication call for different challenges that can help bring out the social skills, but any of these aims might benefit from a diversion. Survival skill challenges play out over longer periods, but all should affect one of three things: encounter level, situational advantages, or PC condition.

2010-07-26, 10:19 PM
The way 4e handles this best is a mixture of combat and skill challenges. Let the PCs make decisions about how to defend, ie: more men on the walls or the gates, where do the reserves go, what traps or defenseworks can be set up? Let them use relevant skills to gain advantages.

Once the siege starts, intersperse combats with skill checks and PC decisions. The enemy is building catapults in plain view, an obvious invitation to attack them - and an obvious trap. Do you strike out or hunker down?

Add some unusual monstrous foes, especially with flight, auras, or teleportation, who need to be dealt with.

As to rangers liking the siege more than fighters - the real stars here will be wizards and sorcerers. I've had a wizard knock out a significant strike force almost single-handedly - got about 40 (minion) foes with a few good Stealth checks and a fireball.

I strongly recommend against having the PCs actually fight everything out; it'll get boring very fast.

2010-07-26, 10:20 PM
what i was looking at doing is putting them in the middle of an undead siege... it was either going to be at Thay or Bauldor's Gate.

That could work; I'd go back to my previous suggestions, though. Zombie and skeleton minions, ghouls, maybe an undead dragon or something.

2010-07-26, 11:32 PM
well i know that my party enjoys combat, skill challanges and roleplay so putting skill challenges in would work nicely.

The party consists of a psion, warlock, rouge, Rouge|Ranger, shaman and a druid so fliers and stuff like that won't be too much of an issue for them.

Swordgleam: could you point me to the thread? may be able to steal some ideas from it.

2010-07-27, 08:12 AM
Another thing to have in mind is what is the outcome you expect. Are the PCs supposed to break the siege and escape? Defeat the horde? Find the undead master and kill him to end the fight quickly? Wait for Gandalf?

When you know your "end result" it gets easier to create minor quests within the siege.

2010-07-27, 09:21 AM
As others have said the best thing to do it Flow chart it out. Where say Encounter 1 is Scouting. If they do well go to 2A - Extra time to gather allies or build more defenses. The do bad a 1 they go to 2B- No time to get allies or build extra defenses so a harder challenge either skill or combat. So on and so on. Depending on how much work you want to put into you could have each branch lead it's own way or just have a good/bad line straight down the line. All depending on how well they did in the challenge before no matter if it was the good out come or the bad out come.

2010-07-27, 09:31 AM
I second those that say split it up into sperate combat and Skill challenges.

However one little thing I did when my players were defending a town wall against an Orc invasion.

I had Capatult, and Large X-Bows on the walls for the melee characters to use.

I don't think my warlord has ever been so happy as when he was chucking out them fireball (from the catapult) or trying to line up the X-Bows (Which went through more than one enemy!)

In then end of course they still jumped down - but you can but try!

Good Luck and Happy Rollin'

2010-07-27, 12:51 PM
I ran an orc siege using an extended skill challenge with combat method being suggested here.

I started out with a series of skill checks (Streetwise for rumors, Perception for noicing tell-tale signs, Nature to notice disturbances in the local wildlife, Religion/Arcana for properly interpreting dreams & portents) for the characters to discover the oncoming siege in advance, and prepare for it. The party didn't do so well here, so the first combat encounter had the players struggling to hold off the advance members of the siege as the gates were being closed. Had the party done better at the skill checks, the first encounter would have been trying to take out some of the enemy siege equipment before it got fully in place.

The second series of skill checks had the players making the proper reactions (History checks to make sure wells were covered, Nature checks to find ways to deny resources to the invaders, Thievery checks to make sure the gates didn't have a sewer gate that could be destroyed with a single explosion, Heal check to make sure areas were prepared for the wounded, Religion checks to make sure any religious icons were properly protected, Arcana checks to protect against teleporting in). The party was more successful here, so they had some fairly easy enounters against smaller incursion groups. Had they done poorly, the initial incursions would have been larger and better prepared.

It continued along those lines, with the nature & difficulty of the combats depending on the skill check results.

2010-07-27, 04:32 PM
Thanks for the ideas guys and hopefully keep them coming!

I'm getting more and more excited about this and can't wait to run it.

I was looking at the end result being cutting the head off the serpent (Priest of Orcus) and stopping them from getting an artifact from inside the city.

Grogmir & TheEmerged: mind if i borrow your ideas (especially loving the idea of catapults and Ballistas

2010-07-27, 08:39 PM
Another thought is to keep your melee players from having to jump off the wall. Have undead or incorporeal undead get inside the walls. Also another good thing I have read about is link the players success/failure to the flow of the battle. Say your running a skill challenge or a combat as they do well have them see or do cut scenes of how the battle goes. As they do better the walls are better defended and the enemies are being held off. When they start failing the battle on the walls start going badly. They see the enemy taking to the walls and such.

Also They can do missions out side of the city into the enemy controlled areas. Sneak out to sabotage weapons and siege engines and such or to take out key figures of the enemy.

2010-07-28, 03:15 AM

Grogmir....: mind if i borrow your ideas?

Of course you can - thats why I posted em up! :smallsmile:

2010-07-28, 05:44 PM
Of course you can - thats why I posted em up! :smallsmile:

thanks :smallbiggrin: