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View Full Version : Logistics of reclaiming Moria (or similar)



Hel65
2013-01-18, 09:47 AM
A brave band of adventurers (including a dwarf longing for the mountains of his ancestors) ventures into the wild frontier, finds an abandoned dwarven stronghold/mine/underground city all-in-one, slays the evil dragon/demon/lich/drow matriarch/illithid main-brain that has infested it, gets rid of its minions and... now what? How do you go about resettling Moria/Mithral Hall/Illefarn/Gauntlgrym/etc. ? I mean, these abandoned dwarven strongholds are abandoned for a reason and in the time our brave heroes clear them out they typically sit somewhere in the wilderness, where any civilsed settlements probably can't spare manpower to get it going again.

So where do you get the manpower to make Moria (or equivalent) glorious again? Try to get dwarves from all over the world enticed by reclaiming some of the glory of their species enough to immigrate there? Get local settlers to move from the edge of orc-infested forest to the gates of the old new dwarven stronghold for mutual benefit (protection and economy)? Recruit desperate people from the slums of big cities in the neareast hubs of civilisation?

Since I like my verisimilitude and research, I'd love links or recommendations for any reading on the subject that you're aware of (e.g. wikipedia articles about historical examples or RPG sourcebooks that touch the subject).

Traab
2013-01-18, 09:55 AM
In Dennis Mckiernans book, The Silver Call, exactly this happens. Basically, the dwarves are so lessened in numbers by taking down the army that has infested their moria, that they had to send out a call to all the other clans because they had been too decimated to survive on their own anymore. So basically yeah, send out word to dwarven clans to send out any young bucks looking for adventure, families that want some extra elbow room, and people up for a challenge like rebuilding a dwarven city and reestablishing themselves there. Depending on how self sufficient you judge them to be capable of, then yes, send out word to the other races your dwarves are allied with offering protection in exchange for setting up a town nearby for trade and such. There are always people willing to go somewhere new, journeymen looking to start their own business but cant do it in their home town, merchants eager to get their hands on whatever you can pull out of your mine, farmers happy to start over farming somewhere with lower taxes (hint hint) and better protection.

ArcturusV
2013-01-18, 10:23 AM
The best option might be the find the local empire/kingdom and approach them, offer to become some vassal state. I mean you already got the land cleared, proved your heroism enough that depending on the government they should be fine with knighting you or the like and giving you a title. And free city is free city, extending their borders and their power. And as a vassal to their state they would probably be more than willing to round up some serfs and tell them to go there, do what the Dwarf tells you. And due to allying with a neighbor you get the additional military support from any opportunistic forces that might be out there. Like said Forest Orcs who would love to overrun a now undefended fortress and claim it as their own.

Typical lord of the next land over would probably accept the deal. It's cheaper and easier than starting from scratch. He didn't have to invest in a military campaign to stamp out the local population. In tithe and taxes it fills his coffers much more in the long run than the small start up costs. Only real reason I can see that they'd refuse would be that they are wholly occupied elsewhere, like in a full scale, no holds barred, war with some other border.

Asheram
2013-01-18, 11:52 AM
In Dennis Mckiernans book, The Silver Call, exactly this happens. Basically, the dwarves are so lessened in numbers by taking down the army that has infested their moria, that they had to send out a call to all the other clans because they had been too decimated to survive on their own anymore. So basically yeah, send out word to dwarven clans to send out any young bucks looking for adventure, families that want some extra elbow room, and people up for a challenge like rebuilding a dwarven city and reestablishing themselves there. Depending on how self sufficient you judge them to be capable of, then yes, send out word to the other races your dwarves are allied with offering protection in exchange for setting up a town nearby for trade and such. There are always people willing to go somewhere new, journeymen looking to start their own business but cant do it in their home town, merchants eager to get their hands on whatever you can pull out of your mine, farmers happy to start over farming somewhere with lower taxes (hint hint) and better protection.

Sounds a bit like the same you'd run a frontier town. Come all heroes, stake your claim, find great treasures!

Sebastrd
2013-01-18, 12:28 PM
Forgotten Realms did it with the Thunder Blessing - an explosion in dwarven population.

For a real world example, look at the expansion of the US. Free/cheap land and the gold rush plus friendly immigration policies were basically all it took.

nedz
2013-01-18, 12:43 PM
This is the entire basis of a 3.5 campaign I've run from 1st through to 18th.

Basically there were some Dwarven mines which were becoming exhausted and so the entire Dwarven kingdom raised an army and tried to recover their ancient mining complex which had been lost centuries past. The party were a recon unit in that war. The war is still ongoing, and will likely last a couple of generations yet. For the feel of the game I tried to cross Sgt. Bilko with Cross of Iron. It worked pretty well.

I normally run sand box games, but the players wanted something with more structure so we have a mission based campaign, though there are ongoing plot arcs in the background.

As to the logistics, well it's probably a function of the system but victorious armies acquire units of higher level troops. Losing forces see the quality of their troops reduce, or stay about the same.

CarpeGuitarrem
2013-01-18, 01:19 PM
Offer official titles. Adventurous folk will jump on the chance to make their fortune in a new way. A lot of people are just looking for the right niche that nobody else fills, because they don't fit into the standard ways of making money and prestige.

Edge of Dreams
2013-01-18, 01:34 PM
Look up the Homestead Act and stuff about the settlement of the Western United States. Basically, the government said that anyone who went out into undeveloped territory, staked a claim, and made use of the land for a certain amount of time (using it as a farm or ranch or mine or whatever for a year or so) became the legal owner of that land. That kind of incentive - free land - can be a pretty big deal.

J-H
2013-01-18, 01:49 PM
All of the above, plus: make sure your information goes out, and find ethnic or cultural groups that need a friendlier home. Look for equivalents of the Jews in much of Europe during the middle ages, the Chin or Somalis in modern times, etc. - coherent people groups with families and skills who need a safe place to live and work and belong.

Grim Portent
2013-01-18, 04:35 PM
Manpower isn't the only concern that needs to be considered: food, other essential supplies, trade routes, political relations with neighbouring settlements, defence against counter-attack by the ousted enemy or invasion by a new one, repairing damaged infrastructure, etcetera.

You could try and find the history of some European colonies settling in Africa, Asia and South America, they generally had to deal with hostile locals, supply shortages and hostile colonial powers that wanted to steal the territory. All while maintaining a limited pool of citizens drawn from their native territory, generally lured by the idea of wealth and freedom from restrictions of some sort, or a chance to escape legal punishment.

SamBurke
2013-01-18, 04:57 PM
This honestly could make for a very interesting game... I'll have to point this out to a DM of a Western PF game I'm playing.

CarpeGuitarrem
2013-01-18, 05:23 PM
This honestly could make for a very interesting game... I'll have to point this out to a DM of a Western PF game I'm playing.
Also, see Dwarf Fotress (http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/), and enjoy the fun. :smallbiggrin:

Beleriphon
2013-01-18, 10:54 PM
Also, see Dwarf Fotress (http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/), and enjoy the fun. :smallbiggrin:

I was going to say that, but don't use Dwarf Fortress its designed to end in disaster. That is FUN!

Another_Poet
2013-01-19, 12:31 AM
Here is my take. Moria is a home to a substantial horde of orcs and some more horrific beings - some under their control, some beyond their control. In other words, there is an entire civilization and ecosystem in place you'd have to defeat.

This is not a job for a lone adventuring party, this is a job for an entire army.

Hobbit spoilers:

This is perfectly illustrated the new Hobbit movie, which sets the stage for just 14 dudes taking on a solo dragon and re-occupying Erebor, but shows that even the entire remains of the Lonely Mountain dwarven nation could not re-conquest Moria.



So let's say you take 40,000 dwarves with engineers, armourers, siege machines, supply trains, wizards, priests, servants, fantasy beasts, camp followers (of mixed races) and a hired detachment of 5,000 or so mercenaries. Even if the conquest goes horribly -- let's say they suffer 50% casualties, which is almost unthinkably bad and would normally result in retreating -- even then, you've got over 20,000 dwarves left to settle the place at the end of the campaign.

So I guess I don't really see the colonizing being an issue, assuming they can even take the mountain in the first place.

If you're handwaving that then, sure, invite others to settle the caves on favorable terms, or invent the myth of a major gold find down there a la the American west. Bingo, instant settlers who have to swear an oath of citizenship to move in.

Slipperychicken
2013-01-21, 01:32 PM
A settlement can attract loads of people looking for a new life. Criminals, mining companies, persecuted minorities, disenfranchised farmers, entrepreneurs, artisans (driven out of business in their home cities) will all flock to such a place if there's a buck to be made. They'll definitely need advertisements to get the word out faster. Of course, it will also attract plenty of trouble, and plenty of quest hooks for our adventurers to bite.


Also, see Dwarf Fotress (http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/), and enjoy the fun. :smallbiggrin:

Have the adventurers act as "clean up crew", desperately trying to stem the FUN's inevitable advance. Every few weeks they get called home to deal with raiders, crazed elephants, lazy workers who refuse to do anything but party, demons, necromancers, insane nobles, tantrum-spirals, dead butterflies rendering the front gates inoperable, and so on. I bet you can get tons of zany quests from Dwarf Fortress stories (Boatmurdered is an excellent place to start).

They can also do the usual "clear out the [enemy type] so settlers can build a [useful structure] there" quest lines. Defending it from raiders and eventually envious governments could also provide much fodder for a campaign.

Asheram
2013-01-21, 01:41 PM
(Boatmurdered is an excellent place to start)..

Legendary elephants with Titles! <3
Be sure to add something about an obsession with cheese.

Slipperychicken
2013-01-21, 02:42 PM
Legendary elephants with Titles! <3
Be sure to add something about an obsession with cheese.

And an insane engraver, constantly making engravings of Dwarves being eaten by elephants, with demons laughing. Tributes to a picture of cheese too.

Mewtarthio
2013-01-21, 03:25 PM
Forgotten Realms did it with the Thunder Blessing - an explosion in dwarven population.

*google*

Oh, so it's a figurative population explosion. I was expecting something where you cast a spell and then *BOOM!* an entire civilization of dwarves springs up ex nihilo with pickaxes in hand, ready to get to work.

Bacon Elemental
2013-01-21, 05:24 PM
Oh, so it's a figurative population explosion. I was expecting something where you cast a spell and then *BOOM!* an entire civilization of dwarves springs up ex nihilo with pickaxes in hand, ready to get to work.

Must... Not... Sig....