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Scalenex
2007-02-15, 09:34 PM
Seems a timely time to put a discussion I had with a friend into a thread.

Regardless of what you think of which class would be most useful, one PC class of even 5th level can take out a lot of ordinary soldiers, to say nothing of what a 10th or higher level can do.

A fighter (or paladin or cleric) with magic armor can pretty much wade into a mass of normal troops and waste two or three a round (barring fancy feat combinations and buff spells which could raise this higher) and only get hit on a natural 20. It would not take too much imagination to have a druid (shapechanged of course), barbarian, ranger, or monk being similarily nigh untouchable killing machines.

A rogue should have very high stealth skills and could sneak through the front lines and assassinate officers with relative ease, especially with an arcane buff spell like invisibility.

Of course spell casters, their ability to lay waste to legions of enemies has been expounded on a lot lately.

The sticky wicket is Bards, though due to their ability to straddle the fence between warriors, spell casters, and skill monkeys, they'd still be worth many fighting men. And one can not overestimate Bard song with large numbers of people. Though a Bard's true power is diplomacy and armies are for when diplomacy fails :smallbiggrin: .

So how does one reconcile PC classes and armies for without armies, the medieval society (or any historical period used) that D&D depends on will likely collapse. You don't even really need soldiers to occupy territory, since a small number of PC class people would do a good job keeping order (particularly Rogues and Monks) though admittedly, they are less apt to tie themselves down to occupational forces than to fight large CR forces.

Here's what I figure, the PC classes look for their opposites in the opposite army and try to take them out. This works assuming the two sides are relatively balanced. I still fear it doesn't do justice to massed combat.

Fax Celestis
2007-02-15, 09:42 PM
You must read Heroes of Battle. Armies are nowhere near irrelevant.

Indon
2007-02-15, 09:43 PM
That's all well and good if you assume that your enemies' army consists entirely of a handful of PC-class NPC's and legions of level 1 soldiers. And a smaller levy army might honestly look like that.

But a professional army is going to have higher-level soldiers and warriors; By this point you get a more reasonable army in which the average grunt is a level 1 warrior, sergeants are level 2, officers level 3-5, and there are probably 1 level 1-4 wizard and 1 level 1-4 cleric per 10 or 15 soldiers.

So there's a level 5 PC cleaving through the ranks? The soldiers give away to some captain, who alone is probably a match for a single PC.

Now, by the time you get to level 10-15 PC characters, you're talking about the kinds of characters who _lead_ armies, not are in them.

Saithis Bladewing
2007-02-15, 09:44 PM
High level characters are not necessarily all that commonplace and both sides are likely to have them. Also, PCs and important NPCs aren't the only people who are going to be gaining class levels. That said, also read Heroes of Battle as Fax suggested.

Maxymiuk
2007-02-15, 09:48 PM
Complete Warrior touches upon that exact problem, and proposes a solution where PC characters are specialists within the army, used as covert ops and behind-enemy-lines strike teams, rather than being "spent" on an actual battlefield.

Of course this is a "quick fix" patch on a bigger problem, which is that D&D wasn't really meant as a system for large-scale warfare in the first place. Adventurers are expected to face no more than a dozen or so opponents at once. since past that point the CR system pretty much goes out the window.

In my opinion, a high level PC should end up on the battlefield only for the climatic showdown against his foe. The GM could make the whole experience cinematic, describing how the character wades through the battle, cutting down lesser soldiers standing in his way until he spots his counterpart, roars a challenge, and clashes. Final battles in movies such as Braveheart or King Arthur are good examples of what I have in mind.

Inigo_Carmine
2007-02-15, 09:51 PM
Well, you've either got 2 ends of the spectrum:

1) Forgotten Realms style, where your average person is lv 10+. You can't go out for a mug of ale without tripping over some epic level homeless guy and his shopping cart full of epic artifact trash, not to mention his own personal deity. You roll your eyes every year when your parents get you another Holy Avenger in some lame attempt to convince you to be a Paladin.

This 10th level PC you speak of is a wimp who'd get his ass handed to him by your average back-country elf-subrace yokel and his summoned horde of Balors.

The world is regularly saved from absolute destruction 5 or 6 times a day before noon, and armies are generally made up of lv 30+ people.

2) People higher than lv 1 or 2 are actually rare and special. Armies are still relevant because 99.999% of the people in the world are NOT 10th level army destroyers.

=====

However you have it, the power of an army will increase as high level characters become more common (because it will contain people of higher level), making the army more powerful.

Dhavaer
2007-02-15, 09:55 PM
I assumed that D&D armies are mostly high level special forces, with the mooks backing them up for occupying cities and so on, where numbers are less important than bad-assness.

ken-do-nim
2007-02-15, 09:58 PM
Every now and then I daydream about how my 17th level sorcerer would do in the Lord of the Rings world against the forces of Mordor. I think his most potent strategy is to summon air elementals who then form whirlwinds and mop up the orcs. Also summoned bralanis can also help out with their lightning bolts and whirlwind blasts, while summoned avorals can magic missile every round.

He's got empowered wall of fires for the nazgul (double damage vs. undead) and he himself will remain invisible, blinking, projecting his image, etc. while blasting fireballs and spreading around glitterdust.

Against the big trolls and oliphants he can pull out rays of enfeeblement and enervations to weaken them and he can help damage them with scorching rays if his summons can't.

Dhavaer
2007-02-15, 10:04 PM
I think Whirlwind of Teeth, from the BoVD, is the best anti-army spell. Very large area, mobile, lasts 1 round/level, does 1/2CLd8 damage.

TheOOB
2007-02-15, 10:05 PM
It's fair to assume that if your side has some high level characters, the enemy side does as well. Chances are, rather then whole sale slaughtering enemy troops, you'll be taking on the enemy PCs so they don't do the same thing to your forces.

Also, never underestimate the the value of natural 20's and aid anothers in large groups. A group of 100 archers is guarenteed at least five hits a round agienst a PC, reguardless of AC. 5d8 damage a round may not seem like much, but it adds up over time.

ShneekeyTheLost
2007-02-15, 10:10 PM
And then the opponent general says 'Remove That Man!", points at you, and 500 archers all target you simultaniously... The one-in-fifty 1st level wizards/sorcerers are busy casting Magic Weapon on as many arrows as possible for the volleys.

Saithis Bladewing
2007-02-15, 10:11 PM
Also, never underestimate the the value of natural 20's and aid anothers in large groups. A group of 100 archers is guarenteed at least five hits a round agienst a PC, reguardless of AC. 5d8 damage a round may not seem like much, but it adds up over time.

Guaranteed is a bad word to use. 'Highly likely' is a much more appropriate term, methinks. Nothing is guaranteed. It is technically possible to get 100 hits with 100 shots, just as it is technically possible to get no shots. The former is highly unlikely, the latter is unlikely but probably more likely than the former is.

dorshe1
2007-02-15, 10:26 PM
I actually enjoy mass combat campaigns, and I can assure you that 1,000 well led kobolds can kill a level 15 party (fighter, rogue, cleric, wizard) because I've done it myself.

A small party of higher level people will inevitably be swarmed by thousands of lower level fighters. Using AID and flanking/grappling will inevitably lead to their downfall.

Also, a small party would be poor for doing things like DEFENDING and area. Can you imagine 5 people holding off thousands from getting into a city? The city would be sacked even if they have many losses.

Don't forget that adventurers will eventually run out of spells, more than likely before the enemy runs out of troops, barbarians can only rage once per encounter and then be exhausted for the rest of the day, fighters will eventually need to make con checks to stay awake, etc....etc....

NinjaClarinet
2007-02-15, 10:28 PM
It's fair to assume that if your side has some high level characters, the enemy side does as well. Chances are, rather then whole sale slaughtering enemy troops, you'll be taking on the enemy PCs so they don't do the same thing to your forces.

Also, never underestimate the the value of natural 20's and aid anothers in large groups. A group of 100 archers is guarenteed at least five hits a round agienst a PC, reguardless of AC. 5d8 damage a round may not seem like much, but it adds up over time.

This generally sums it up IMO. Also, when I'm DMing, I usually apply AC penalties when a character has more than 2 people targeting him/her

Behold_the_Void
2007-02-15, 10:32 PM
Heroes of Battle.

That's about all I can add to this.

Stormcrow
2007-02-15, 10:57 PM
Its an amusing concept, gone are the days of huge armies on either sides of a field at great expense.

Now;

Six guys on each side of a field looking at each other their "supply train" is one wagon per group and they have very little problems with attrition. This is the "army of the future." :P

Adviser: Where are your armies?
King: We don't need an army, i hired adventurers?
Adviser: How many m'lord?
King: 6!
Adviser: Oh happy day, victory is assured sire.

Lord Iames Osari
2007-02-15, 11:01 PM
@^: lol. That is all.

Merlin the Tuna
2007-02-15, 11:01 PM
Its an amusing concept, gone are the days of huge armies on either sides of a field at great expense.

Now;

Six guys on each side of a field looking at each other their "supply train" is one wagon per group and they have very little problems with attrition. This is the "army of the future." :P

Adviser: Where are your armies?
King: We don't need an army, i hired adventurers?
Adviser: How many m'lord?
King: 6!
Adviser: Oh happy day, victory is assured sire.Congratulations, you've actually described dark age warfare pretty accurately.

Stormcrow
2007-02-15, 11:05 PM
Yep.
You've got a team of guys who are good. Probably Swiss Mecenaries. And about three hundred guys who do their darndest to jump infront of arrows for them. Thats the local peasants who got conscripted on pain of death.

Nightmarenny
2007-02-15, 11:20 PM
I've never put it in to practice but I have two idea's of how to cop eith large lower level armies.

Count them as squads. Even low level are probably trained specificly that they fight well as a team. give them one attack number and damage..

Fattigue. Make a house rule that as the battle goes on because of the constant fughting that could go on for hours this cause's strain on the characters lowering their dex and wis. Effectivly lowering ac and creating the possiblity of rogues sneaking up to them.

Stormcrow
2007-02-15, 11:27 PM
The issue even then comes, using my best friend as an example.

Lukan the fire mage casts maximised fireball seven times blanketing an area 40 feet deep and 280 feet long in 60+ damage.

Low level squads... boned.

Fax Celestis
2007-02-15, 11:35 PM
Low level squads should have a dedicated counterspeller with them. Sorceror who sits there and spams dispel magic whenever he sees someone casting a spell.

Mike_G
2007-02-15, 11:42 PM
I guess the answere depends on how common high level PCs are.

Tactics will change in response to new threats. The same way that repeating rifles, accurate artillery and machine guns changed infantry tactics from massed, close order manuever to dispersed small unit tactics, so will Fireballs.

If PC's, especially spellcasters, are common in armies, the other side will either develop countermeasures, like cheap, mass produced amulets of resistance, or will change tactics, spreading out the squads like in modern warfare so that a Fireball will only take out a few soldiers. It's not worth wasting a thrid level spell to drop three or four 1st level warriors out of an army of thousands.

The only problem with that is that warfare no longer looks medieval, but more like Saving Private Aragorn.

ShneekeyTheLost
2007-02-15, 11:43 PM
Low level squads should have a dedicated counterspeller with them. Sorceror who sits there and spams dispel magic whenever he sees someone casting a spell.

Umm... depends on what you call a 'squad'...

That's a 6th level caster there to babysit how many conscripts? Are there better things for him to do? Like maybe Slow down the front line of the opponent's forces, toss a Stinking Cloud in front of them, or be back with the archers to cast Flame Arrows on 50 arrows per volley so the arrows do an extra 1d6 fire? (that's an extra 50d6 there... talk about a damage boost...)

Jothki
2007-02-15, 11:58 PM
I don't get why it is assumed that armies would consist largely of level 1 warriors. Basic training should be enough to gain one or more levels, certainly more so than roaming around beating up on a bunch of creatures that are either unintelligent or one fourth your size.

Stormcrow
2007-02-16, 12:04 AM
Experience is based on danger as i recall. So training would give your far less but sustained over time. Your in no real danger of dying during training if the trainer is sane. So the experience would be really slow.

Dausuul
2007-02-16, 12:08 AM
Yep.
You've got a team of guys who are good. Probably Swiss Mecenaries. And about three hundred guys who do their darndest to jump infront of arrows for them. Thats the local peasants who got conscripted on pain of death.

Yeah, pretty much. I mean, a knight in full plate, with lance and sword, on a horse, both knight and horse well-fed and trained from childhood for battle, can take on rather a number of half-starved peasants with sticks. Not to the extremes you see in D&D, of course, but still, it's significant.

Logos7
2007-02-16, 12:09 AM
regardless of how kewl the PC's are they still only get so many actions a turn, They are limited by the fact that they are single men as apposed to groups of men.

clarkvalentine
2007-02-16, 12:15 AM
The version of d20 I play (Game of Thrones d20) reduces your defense rating (AC, essentially) by one for each attack made against you per round. So even people with ungodly high defenses can get swarmed, and start taking hits.

Raum
2007-02-16, 12:15 AM
Experience is based on danger as i recall.Err, no...experience is based on overcoming challenges (DMG pg 36-37). It's why you can get experience for using diplomacy to convince an opponent to let you accomplish your goal. Or even for using stealth to sneak past guards.

nivek1234
2007-02-16, 12:15 AM
Don't forget that adventurers will eventually run out of spells, more than likely before the enemy runs out of troops, barbarians can only rage once per encounter and then be exhausted for the rest of the day, fighters will eventually need to make con checks to stay awake, etc....etc....

Although most battles in the middle ages (and before) ceased after nightfall. Also, religious holidays were observed and no battles were fought during them. It wasn't until WWI that it was common wage war near constantly. Such actions earlier were considered barbarous.

Dausuul
2007-02-16, 12:18 AM
Umm... depends on what you call a 'squad'...

That's a 6th level caster there to babysit how many conscripts? Are there better things for him to do? Like maybe Slow down the front line of the opponent's forces, toss a Stinking Cloud in front of them, or be back with the archers to cast Flame Arrows on 50 arrows per volley so the arrows do an extra 1d6 fire? (that's an extra 50d6 there... talk about a damage boost...)

Actually, the smart sorceror spams Flame Arrows an hour before the battle, then curls up and goes to sleep somewhere far away from all the carnage, while his archers tear open the enemy ranks with a rain of burning death.

ClericofPhwarrr
2007-02-16, 12:19 AM
Experience is based on danger as i recall. So training would give your far less but sustained over time. Your in no real danger of dying during training if the trainer is sane. So the experience would be really slow.

What Raum said, but even if you're basing experience off of danger, trainers would have dangerous training sessions. You might lose some men, but the rest will be much tougher.

dorshe1
2007-02-16, 12:26 AM
The issue even then comes, using my best friend as an example.

Lukan the fire mage casts maximised fireball seven times blanketing an area 40 feet deep and 280 feet long in 60+ damage.

Low level squads... boned.

40 feet and 280 feet long is NOTHING when you are fighting a mass army that has arrangements and manuevers covering 3-5 miles (at a minimum). Assuming you make your attack when they are doing a full frontal assault then you could probably take out a couple of hundred, and maybe make the rest run away with a bad morale check. But the next group will come on through unhampered because you blew your spells on the last attack.

If you only have 5 or 6 people, I doubt an experienced leader would do something like that, more like sending them out in company strength about 1 minute apart. At most you'll take down 12-30 at a time, and they will hit you in unending waves for probably an hour or so, assuming you're still alive.

And that is assuming they don't have their own higher level people, siege weapons, traps, counter spells.... etc... etc....

brian c
2007-02-16, 12:43 AM
Although most battles in the middle ages (and before) ceased after nightfall. Also, religious holidays were observed and no battles were fought during them. It wasn't until WWI that it was common wage war near constantly. Such actions earlier were considered barbarous.

Not to disagree, but this reminds me of a well-known story of German and British troops having a temporary cease-fire on Christmas Day (probably 1914) and playing soccer in no-man's-land between the trenches. Of course, they promptly started killing each other again the next day.


Also: the Miniatures Handbook (which I realize probably no one has) has a lot about fighting with armies, including prestige classes. The War Hulk PrC has a bunch of melee abilities that can let one (large-sized) fighter take out a small army on his own.

Dausuul
2007-02-16, 12:54 AM
40 feet and 280 feet long is NOTHING when you are fighting a mass army that has arrangements and manuevers covering 3-5 miles (at a minimum). Assuming you make your attack when they are doing a full frontal assault then you could probably take out a couple of hundred, and maybe make the rest run away with a bad morale check. But the next group will come on through unhampered because you blew your spells on the last attack.

If you only have 5 or 6 people, I doubt an experienced leader would do something like that, more like sending them out in company strength about 1 minute apart. At most you'll take down 12-30 at a time, and they will hit you in unending waves for probably an hour or so, assuming you're still alive.

And that is assuming they don't have their own higher level people, siege weapons, traps, counter spells.... etc... etc....

Yeah, direct damage blasting is really not the way to go. What you do is cast summon monster VI (if you can cast Maximized fireball, you can do this) using a metamagic rod of Extend, and get yourself a chaos beast for 22 rounds. Buff it with haste and send it into the enemy ranks. Chances are it'll turn several enemy grunts into chaos beasts before it vanishes... which will then make more chaos beasts... and more...

Oh, what's that? Your king thinks that turning the invading army of low-level warriors into a swarm of rampaging chaos beasts is not an improvement? Well, excuuuuuuuse you.

Beleriphon
2007-02-16, 01:13 AM
There is where Eberron wins. The setting has laid out a fairly reasonable structure for armies in most of the nations. The vast majority of the nations use normal troops, first and second level NPC classes. A peasant levy is going to be composed mostly of commoners, a professional standing company or army will be composed mostly of first or second level warriors. Up from there you might have PC classed NPCs taking leadership positions, so a level one or level two fighter might lead a squad of warriors. Anything over level five and you're starting to get into special units, of particularly gifted combatants. To put this into perspective King Boranael, ruler of Breland the largest and most industrialized nation, is only level ten and four of those levels are in aristocrat. He'd lead from the front, and he was dang hard to take down but a lucky shot, or a mob infantry are still a threat. Don't even get me started on the profession hobgoblin mercenary units, or House Deneith Blademark companies, they're something a little out of the ordinary, which works well for PCs.

This of course isn't even taking into account the fact that each army, nation, or what have you will be perfectly aware that the other side has a level five wizard with wand of fireball. Which brings me to my next point. Magic makes things sticky, if you assume the other side doesn't have any magic of its own. Such and assumption might make sense if you're fighting a peasant militia brought together over the last few hours. If you're coming across a professional fighting force they should have a few spell casters of their own. It behooves them to have magical power as part of a fighting force, the same way it behooves the US Army to work with bombers, tanks, and ships.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-02-16, 01:15 AM
Right. Experience is based on challenge. So, the more challenging the training, the faster one levels. Or, you can remember the fact that NPC's level through contact with the DM-controlled substance known as 'Handwavium' either before the party meets them, or whenever they're off-camera for any decent length of time.

Right. Onto the subject, I don't own Heroes of Battle. However, when considering this subject, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1) Not every adventurer fights for the same side. People with high levels in PC classes can presumably be found on either side of a conflict in approximately equal numbers. Even the Horde of Goblin Mooks will have their Hobgoblin Blackguards and Bugbear Barbarians to cleave their way through enemy troops, and a tactical staff of Artillery Wizards. When it's two "civilized" armies fighting, it's even easier, since both sides can hire adventurers.

2) People with levels in PC classes well above the average level are (surprise!) rare. Even in the notoriously high-powered Forgotten Realms, anyone high enough level to completely slaughter regular troops (who might be closer to CR 5 or 6 than the CR 1-2 of, say, Eberronian conscripts), is going to be rare enough that they are better put to use as specialists, either on commando operations, or countering the other side's specialists (see above).

3) Boots on the ground. Six adventurers cannot occupy a defeated country, nor can they effectively defend their own from attack by a large, spread-out force. For defensive operations and especially partisan suppression, it is simply more effective to utilize masses of troops than small groups of special forces.

That's all I've got for now, but a war is brewing; I shall return.

Beleriphon
2007-02-16, 01:18 AM
3) Boots on the ground. Six adventurers cannot occupy a defeated country, nor can they effectively defend their own from attack by a large, spread-out force. For defensive operations and especially partisan suppression, it is simply more effective to utilize masses of troops than small groups of special forces.

That's all I've got for now, but a war is brewing; I shall return.

Exactly there is a good reason that the US doesn't use Navy SEALs to occupy territories. They aren't really that good at it from a train perspective, and there aren't enough of them to do the job anyways.

Adventures are dangerous individually, but on the scale of a nation they don't amount to much until they are able to drop city destroying magics.

TheElfLord
2007-02-16, 01:27 AM
I don't get why it is assumed that armies would consist largely of level 1 warriors. Basic training should be enough to gain one or more levels, certainly more so than roaming around beating up on a bunch of creatures that are either unintelligent or one fourth your size.

Well it could be that people read the DMG where it says that most armies are made up of conscripts who are level 1 commoners.

Most of the arguments here are actually supporting the idea that armies become irrelevant. How so? Because most of the arguments are based around well if one side has high level PC classes, then the other side will too. Yep you are right. The counter to high class level people are more high class level people. The hundreds of minor people milling around are unimportant because during a battle the high level folks will fight and kill each other. Once one side loses their high level combatants, the rank and file will get moped up.

Fax Celestis
2007-02-16, 01:39 AM
Of course, one could also simply target enemy officers with a Expanded Fireball. Minimum range: 1320 feet.

Dausuul
2007-02-16, 01:41 AM
Well it could be that people read the DMG where it says that most armies are made up of conscripts who are level 1 commoners.

Most of the arguments here are actually supporting the idea that armies become irrelevant. How so? Because most of the arguments are based around well if one side has high level PC classes, then the other side will too. Yep you are right. The counter to high class level people are more high class level people. The hundreds of minor people milling around are unimportant because during a battle the high level folks will fight and kill each other. Once one side loses their high level combatants, the rank and file will get moped up.

Actually, most of the arguments are NOT based around that. Some of the other arguments are:

#1. Four hundred archers shooting at you and only hitting on a natural 20 are still scoring 20 hits a round on average, and one of those hits is a crit. 22d8 a round (19 normal hits and one x3 crit) adds up fast. You're not all that.
#2. Casters run out of spells fast when trying to blow up entire armies, particularly if the armies are smart and spread their formations out a little. You're still not all that.
#3. High-level people are rare and cannot be everywhere at once.

Sure, high-level PC-class folks are major assets for any army, and can be worth hundreds of ordinary soldiers all by themselves. But a smart commander who sees high-level folks on the other side can counter them, even without high-level forces of his own.

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 01:46 AM
Give me 20 level 20 wizards and I will defend a country the size of the US from an invasion force the size of china.

Think about it, greater teleport means that you can fight in 1 battle on one side of the nation and an hour later defend the opposite border. And only an idiot uses Fireball in a war setting.

Go with Cloud Kill. Minute per level, kills anything wit 3 HD or less without a save, good radius.

Think about it. 10 level 20 Wizards all linked to each other through permanent telepathic bonds. They can go invisible, teleport around your force, and cast cloud kill and then teleport away. You would never stop them.

Permanent Image can fake an army or lay an ambush.

They can polymorph or shape change into something as small as a bird and fly into or teleport into the generals tent and kill him.

They can take a city easily.

The only thing that a force like this couldn't do is hold ground.


#1. Four hundred archers shooting at you and only hitting on a natural 20 are still scoring 20 hits a round on average, and one of those hits is a crit. 22d8 a round (19 normal hits and one x3 crit) adds up fast. You're not all that.
Stone Skin. DR 10/Adamantium
or Wind wall. You can laugh at archers all day.


#2. Casters run out of spells fast when trying to blow up entire armies, particularly if the armies are smart and spread their formations out a little. You're still not all that.Feel free to charge an army into a Cloud Kill. 10 people casting 1 each is a 200 foot long line. And if done by a level 20 caster with timestop that is now a 1000 foot line. And only a fool would attack an army if the field like that. Wait for them to stop for the night.


#3. High-level people are rare and cannot be everywhere at once.They don't have to be. You have to move a full army. I have to move 10 mages who can teleport around my whole country and have no supply lines at all.


Sure, high-level PC-class folks are major assets for any army, and can be worth hundreds of ordinary soldiers all by themselves. But a smart commander who sees high-level folks on the other side can counter them, even without high-level forces of his own.The point is that you will never see them. Teleport + Quickened Cloud Kill after they systematically eliminate all of your mages.

Beleriphon
2007-02-16, 01:58 AM
Well it could be that people read the DMG where it says that most armies are made up of conscripts who are level 1 commoners.


Which makes sense. Most armies in a medival millieu would be made of first level conscripts. Most training would probably amount to telling them which way to run, and what to stab. A professional fighting force, such the historical Swiss mercenaries, would certainly have real training and be a higher level in D&D. I'm going to use Eberron as an example again.

King Boranael's army is in a pitched battle with his second cousin Queen Aurala's forces. Boranael knowing it will be a viscious fight has sent a company of his finest warriors, the Red Cloaks (5+ level with a PrC), to the battle. The majority of Boranael's troops are conscripts, or men and women who have some training with a town militia so level 1 commoners and warriors totaling around 7000 in all. Aurala with a much smaller force of only 4500, and knowing that the Red Cloak's are there, has hired a Valenar elf warband, composed of some 500 professionally trained and battle hardened mercenaries that are all above level 3 and most possess at least one level in a PC class. While not a huge unit, they are still professional warriors and work a team, capable of laying waste to a much larger number of lesser combatant.

If you then enter PCs into the above battle they are probably best equipped to 1) destroy the enemy commanders or 2) lead charges to rescue troops in danger of being wiped out. At a practical level they can't affect a massive battle that much, at least not directly.


Give me 20 level 20 wizards and I will defend a country the size of the US from an invasion force the size of china.


Sure they can, but find me twenty level 20 wizards, willing to work together in any given D&D campaign setting. There in lies the problem with the argument, you shouldn't ever find that many high level people willing to work together. Even in Forgotten Realms where there are easily 20 or more epic level spellcasters they won't work together a whole. Manshoon, Elminster, Khelben, Szass Tam and the Simbul are not going to work together under any circumstance. Even in the face of an extraplanar invasion Manshoon and Szass Tam are going to bargain with the invaders for power not fight them. Even Khelben is more likely to try his own scheme to stop the invaders then work with Elminster or the Simbul.

BDO
2007-02-16, 02:22 AM
Aren't there rules for overwhelming numbers? I remember reading something like that, including trampling damage... Our GM ruled that groups of 20+ low-level humans get the "Mob" template, thus doing real damage even to high-level characters. This represents the fact that even a LVL 20 Fighter with his soupcan-style battlearmor+5 of damage neglection has one or more weak spots if they are flanked from every side.

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 02:24 AM
Sure they can, but find me twenty level 20 wizards, willing to work together in any given D&D campaign setting. There in lies the problem with the argument, you shouldn't ever find that many high level people willing to work together. Even in Forgotten Realms where there are easily 20 or more epic level spellcasters they won't work together a whole. Manshoon, Elminster, Khelben, Szass Tam and the Simbul are not going to work together under any circumstance. Even in the face of an extraplanar invasion Manshoon and Szass Tam are going to bargain with the invaders for power not fight them. Even Khelben is more likely to try his own scheme to stop the invaders then work with Elminster or the Simbul.

One Plane Shift to Union or Sigil and you can hire them. Or you train them.

You are a nation will a full nations resources at your disposal. Lets say that we test every child born for innate intelligence. If you determine intelligence by rolling 3d6 then you get (on average) 4.7 people per 1,000 with an intelligence of 18. Lets start with 100,000 kids. That is 463 kids with a natural intelligence of 18.

Figure that 13 (2.8%) are immediately disqualified for some reason. That leaves 450 kids.

Split them into groups of 10 for 45 total groups. You train them from the age of 5 until they are 25. That is 20 years of training as a wizard. Figure that 50% are booted for various reasons and the rest are level 3 after those 20 years.

Send them out to patrol the kingdom as guards and to adventure for 5 years. Lets assume that 5 groups are killed and that we have 20 total groups at this point. Each one being made up of say level 10 wizards.

At this point we send all of those groups off to the Plain of Ida on the Heroic Domains of Isgard. Leave them here for 5 years of continuous war.

I think that they are level 20 now, wouldn't you agree?

Figure that you have 10 groups left at this point. That is 10 groups of 10 level 20 wizards who have spent their entire lives together and have trained for war their entire life.

And if you want loyalty, that is easily assured. When you first get them as kids you just cast Programmed Amnesia on them with a trigger. Program their whole lives (excepting battles) so that they are completely obedient.

Beleriphon
2007-02-16, 02:24 AM
Aren't there rules for overwhelming numbers? I remember reading something like that, including trampling damage... Our GM ruled that groups of 20+ low-level humans get the "Mob" template, thus doing real damage even to high-level characters. This represents the fact that even a LVL 20 Fighter with his soupcan-style battlearmor+5 of damage neglection has one or more weak spots if they are flanked from every side.

Heros of Battle of Miniatures Handbook has mob rules, or rather rules for mass combat. I don't recall which though.


One Plane Shift to Union or Sigil and you can hire them. Or you train them.


Now you're just being silly.

Of course my response is make a deal with Grazz't and his endless legions of demons.

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 02:27 AM
Oh and the reason that you never find lots of high level wizards is because a)it gives the party nothing to do or b)no state has tried to train them selves an army of them

EDIT: and c) D&D is no where near realistic in the forms of government it uses

Zeb The Troll
2007-02-16, 02:38 AM
What Raum said, but even if you're basing experience off of danger, trainers would have dangerous training sessions. You might lose some men, but the rest will be much tougher.Heh, I always loved the "buffalo theory" for things like this. :smallcool:



Soldier: But Drill Sergeant, some of us might DIE!
Drill Sergeant: Yeah, but only the weak ones.



Give me 20 level 20 wizards and I will defend a country the size of the US from an invasion force the size of china.I don't care how badass your wizards are, you cannot possibly defend the entire border of the US with 20 people. From the World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html)...

The United States has 7477 miles of land boundaries and 12380 miles of coastline. Every spell you've got deals in feet and (rarely) tens of feet. The borders of the US equal nearly 20 THOUSAND MILES. Not buying it. Sorry.

Also, from the World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ch.html)again, China's conscription forces can expect to recruit, in round figures, 25 million men and women per year for two years of compulsory service. If they decided to draft for a war with your 20 wizards, they could potentially conscript over 500 million men and women who are "fit for military service". Now, unless you expect all 50 million conscripts to walk through your, we'll be generous and say 500, cloudkills per day, I don't see you stopping anything. Even if they walked shoulder to shoulder through your placed traps, the traps would wear off before they all marched through and your traps wouldn't even begin to cover the amount of area a force that size would occupy. Maybe you should choose some different locations for your example, Tippy.

Dausuul
2007-02-16, 02:39 AM
Give me 20 level 20 wizards and I will defend a country the size of the US from an invasion force the size of china.

Think about it, greater teleport means that you can fight in 1 battle on one side of the nation and an hour later defend the opposite border. And only an idiot uses Fireball in a war setting.

Go with Cloud Kill. Minute per level, kills anything wit 3 HD or less without a save, good radius.

Twenty feet is pathetic radius, a minute per level is really not much in a major military engagement, and it only moves ten feet a round. Troops can march around it with no problem.


Think about it. 10 level 20 Wizards all linked to each other through permanent telepathic bonds. They can go invisible, teleport around your force, and cast cloud kill and then teleport away. You would never stop them.No, I wouldn't stop them. I'd march right on past them instead. If you get ten level 20 wizards, which is utterly preposterous, then I claim the right to be equally preposterous; I get ten million first-level warriors, which I divide into a hundred independent armies of 100,000 each.

I have the platoon sergeants drilled hard in anti-wizard tactics (stay spread out at all times, pepper suspicious things with arrows in case they're illusions, don't walk into funky-looking clouds). I make sure each army's chain of command is well-established enough to survive the loss of multiple commanding officers a day, and I also make sure everyone knows the objective, which is to sack and burn your cities and lay waste to your countryside.

Your harassing tactics, if you coordinate them really well (better than anything you've yet described) kill maybe a few thousand of my men every day. I do not care. I have millions more.


Stone Skin. DR 10/Adamantium...which costs you how much money? And still doesn't stop the crits from getting through.


or Wind wall. You can laugh at archers all day....or for one round per level, which is not quite all day last time I checked. My archers wait two minutes and then start shooting again.


Feel free to charge an army into a Cloud Kill. 10 people casting 1 each is a 200 foot long line. And if done by a level 20 caster with timestop that is now a 1000 foot line. And only a fool would attack an army if the field like that. Wait for them to stop for the night.Why on earth would I charge my army into your Cloudkills? I'd pull my army back from the Cloudkills and wait twenty minutes. Or march around them. A thousand feet isn't really all that long, you know.


They don't have to be. You have to move a full army.No, I have to SPLIT UP my army. Armies can subdivide themselves. 20th-level wizards can't.


I have to move 10 mages who can teleport around my whole country and have no supply lines at all.

The point is that you will never see them. Teleport + Quickened Cloud Kill after they systematically eliminate all of your mages.Teleport! Quickened Cloudkill! Teleport away! Oh horrors! You killed ten of my men! Maybe twenty if I was really dumb and had them bunched up!

...I've got nine million, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and eighty more. And they're all marching on your capital city. Play your little teleporting games all you like, which you can only do a few times daily; I'm still going to raze your nation to the ground.

Duraska
2007-02-16, 02:44 AM
The situation largely depends on just how much magic pervades your campaign setting.

In low magic campaign worlds, a level 20 character is nearly unheard of. A true mythical character and largely considered a demi-god. Heck, even a level 10 character would be a world-renowned hero. Therefore, it's likely that he/she would be able to stand up against a very small army. For instance, it is said that Achilles could slay his way through countless men. Achilles would have the mythical renown of a level 10+ character in a low magic world. A person who is literally 1 in 10 million.

In high magic settings, level 20 characters are still considered quite rare and powerful, but level 10 characters are maybe 1 in 1,000. Magically enhanced armor can be found for sale in nearly every major city, and it wouldn't be at all uncommon to find a decorated war general wielding a +1 weapon. In these settings I think it's fair to assume that an army is made up of a combination of raw recruits and seasoned veterans. The recruits are green, and haven't seen combat. They would probably qualify as a level 1 warrior (if they were formally trained), or a level 1 or 2 commoner if they were conscripted. However, once they've survived a battle, they become experienced soldiers, which would possibly allow them to be level 1 fighters. Heck, in a high magic setting, you'd probably find small personal armies equipped in magic gear who follow high level Wizards around as bodygaurds. They may have gear that negates certain spells, or adds resists.

So basically, if your DM is doing his job correctly, you shouldn't ever have a problem. If your campaign setting is low magic, then your character is either a really low level (1 - 4), or a world-renowned character who could easily perform feats that we (in the real world) would consider godly (slicing through an army single-handedly, for example). If your campaign is high magic (like Faerun and Eberron), then your DM isn't thinking things through if he/she insists on pitting your guys against an army of 10,000 level 1 commoners. Low magic worlds operate similar to our world when it comes to warefare. High magic worlds should operate in a completely different fashion, where wars aren't decided by 10,000 men armies, but instead by smaller bands of highly trained and well-equipped combatants.

:smile:

LotharBot
2007-02-16, 02:47 AM
PC's don't make armies irrelevant. They just make armies function differently than they would in the absence of PC's.

Tanks, bombers, even nukes don't make armies irrelevant. They just mean you have to use your armies differently in order to be effective.

ClericofPhwarrr
2007-02-16, 03:07 AM
If magic is prevalent, you can be sure that a general would equip his non-magic using units with items that produce antimagic fields when activated.

Dausuul
2007-02-16, 03:14 AM
One Plane Shift to Union or Sigil and you can hire them. Or you train them.

You are a nation will a full nations resources at your disposal. Lets say that we test every child born for innate intelligence.

Hold it right there.

How in the Nine Hells do you "test every child born for innate intelligence?" Do you have any idea of the logistics involved? For a nation with medieval technology, it's utterly impossible. Not to mention the question of where you get your infallible Intelligence test. What are you gonna do, hand every kid a scroll with an 8th-level spell and see if they can get any results out of it? If so, better have a cleric standing by with Resurrect prepped and a big honkin' diamond in hand, because most of your Intelligence 18 kids are gonna blow themselves up.


If you determine intelligence by rolling 3d6 then you get (on average) 4.7 people per 1,000 with an intelligence of 18. Lets start with 100,000 kids. That is 463 kids with a natural intelligence of 18.Okay, I'll concede that if you ruled a nation the size of the Chinese Empire with a large educated class of civil servants and merchants, and implemented a system of exams like their civil service examinations, and used some kind of super-duper divination magic on the top tier, you might be able to get together roughly 450 kids with a known Int 18. Over the course of 10 years or so, anyhow.


Split them into groups of 10 for 45 total groups. You train them from the age of 5 until they are 25.Or more likely from 25 to 45, since there's no way you could identify them by the age of 5. But whatever.


That is 20 years of training as a wizard. Figure that 50% are booted for various reasons and the rest are level 3 after those 20 years.Okay...


Send them out to patrol the kingdom as guards and to adventure for 5 years. Lets assume that 5 groups are killed and that we have 20 total groups at this point. Each one being made up of say level 10 wizards.You're sending them out to adventure to 10th level? And you expect a 20% mortality rate? Try 95%. Adventuring is horribly dangerous, and these are NPCs; they don't have a kind and loving DM to watch over them and make sure they only ever face CR-appropriate challenges. The vast majority of them will eventually run into something big and nasty and get TPK'ed. Of the 250 wizards who start this little exercise, I will concede perhaps 12 who survive to 10th level.


At this point we send all of those groups off to the Plain of Ida on the Heroic Domains of Isgard. Leave them here for 5 years of continuous war.

I think that they are level 20 now, wouldn't you agree?No, I think most of them, being very intelligent and inquisitive people, got really really bored with endless battles and wandered off to find something better to do with their lives... unless you tried some stunt like what you describe next:


And if you want loyalty, that is easily assured. When you first get them as kids you just cast Programmed Amnesia on them with a trigger. Program their whole lives (excepting battles) so that they are completely obedient.I thought you just sent them to fight in Ysgard. Ysgard is an Upper Plane, you know--on the border between Chaotic Good and Chaotic Neutral. At some point during their sojourn there, your wizards are going to run into a powerful Chaotic Good celestial who is rightfully horrified at what you're doing to these poor souls, and is going to undo your magic mind games and "rehabilitate" the victims. Then you've got a dozen 20th-level wizards out to get YOU.

Wippit Guud
2007-02-16, 03:27 AM
No, I wouldn't stop them. I'd march right on past them instead. If you get ten level 20 wizards, which is utterly preposterous, then I claim the right to be equally preposterous; I get ten million first-level warriors, which I divide into a hundred independent armies of 100,000 each.

China's standing army, before any thought of conscription, is 2.25 million. 10 million is hardly 'utterly preposterous' in that scenario

Renegade Paladin
2007-02-16, 03:36 AM
Armies will never be irrelevant. Think of the relationship between armored and air units (tanks, helicopters, and so forth) and infantry in a modern army. Can a tank mow down light infantry all day? Yes. Does that make infantry obsolete? No. You still need to be able to hold ground, which a few really powerful guys simply cannot do. No matter how powerful, they can't be everywhere at once.

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 04:22 AM
I don't care how badass your wizards are, you cannot possibly defend the entire border of the US with 20 people. From the World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html)...

The United States has 7477 miles of land boundaries and 12380 miles of coastline. Every spell you've got deals in feet and (rarely) tens of feet. The borders of the US equal nearly 20 THOUSAND MILES. Not buying it. Sorry.
The US is big. I can trade space for time for quite a while. And you can'ty attack all 20,000 miles of border at once.


Also, from the World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ch.html)again, China's conscription forces can expect to recruit, in round figures, 25 million men and women per year for two years of compulsory service. If they decided to draft for a war with your 20 wizards, they could potentially conscript over 500 million men and women who are "fit for military service". Now, unless you expect all 50 million conscripts to walk through your, we'll be generous and say 500, cloudkills per day, I don't see you stopping anything. Even if they walked shoulder to shoulder through your placed traps, the traps would wear off before they all marched through and your traps wouldn't even begin to cover the amount of area a force that size would occupy. Maybe you should choose some different locations for your example, Tippy.

Forced march in D&D covers 48 miles per day. Lets make that 24 miles per day after we account for terrain. Note that this is the number for a small group of adventurers not a large army. With those kind of numbers (man wise) you couldn't forage so you would have to cart in supplies. A cart travels 16 miles per 8 hours. Call it 10 after we account for the terrain. Your army is moving 10 miles per day.

Now you have a conscript army of millions. They are almost entirely level 1 commoners. How well do they place sentries? How well do they set up camp? Badly is the answer. Lets look at Cloud Kill. It moves 10 feet per round and if cast from a level 20 caster it lasts 20 minutes, 40 if you extend it with a rod. 20 minutes is 200 rounds. The cloud kill moves 2000 feet and is 20 feet wide. Your camp is huge and you people are most likely camped 1 per 5 foot square. That is 1600 people per casting killed. With 10 wizards that is 16,000 people. Lets have Cloud kill cast 5 times by each wizard, that is 80,000 people. If extended it is 160,000 killed.

Now the rest of the army wakes up the next morning and has 160,000 dead guys lieing around. Lets assume we are fighting an army of 500 million. At 150,000 per day it would take me 3,333 days to kill them all.

Now lets consider desertion. You have a entirely conscript force that is watching 150,000 of their fellow soldiers dieing per day. Morale will be non existent and desertion will be incredible high.

And I was only doing 50 cloud kills per day. Lets use your number of 500. I am killing 1.5 million of your soldiers per day. It would take less than a year for me to kill every one of your soldiers.

We haven't even got to the fun stuff yet.

Bridges can be disintegrated, supply lines can be attacked starving your army to death, commanders are killed every day, water sources are drained or poisoned, etc.

And you are assuming a 500 million man army. In D&D it would most likely be a 100,000 man army. My wizards can kill 10 of those a day and have spells left over.


Twenty feet is pathetic radius, a minute per level is really not much in a major military engagement, and it only moves ten feet a round. Troops can march around it with no problem.
It moves toward your men. And you think I would be stupid enough to use it while you marched. Your men must sleep. You can travel all day and I kill you every night without you even realizing it.


No, I wouldn't stop them. I'd march right on past them instead. If you get ten level 20 wizards, which is utterly preposterous, then I claim the right to be equally preposterous; I get ten million first-level warriors, which I divide into a hundred independent armies of 100,000 each.
I win in 10 days. And I want to see how you plan to keep your armies fed.


I have the platoon sergeants drilled hard in anti-wizard tactics (stay spread out at all times, pepper suspicious things with arrows in case they're illusions, don't walk into funky-looking clouds). I make sure each army's chain of command is well-established enough to survive the loss of multiple commanding officers a day, and I also make sure everyone knows the objective, which is to sack and burn your cities and lay waste to your countryside.
Your supply line moves 10 miles per day, your army can move 24-25. Call it 15 miles for the army each day. You burn 150 miles and I destroy all of your men, and you have left your home country unprotected. What do you think cloud kill does to a city?


Your harassing tactics, if you coordinate them really well (better than anything you've yet described) kill maybe a few thousand of my men every day. I do not care. I have millions more.
Each cloud kill can kill 1,600 men at most (assuming that none of them move, a valid assumption if they are asleep). Lets assume 500 per casting. Each wizard does 5 per day. That is 50 cloud kills per day. You lose a quarter of an army per night. And to be realistic I could be casting 10-15 cloud kills per day per wizard. An army or more per night.


...which costs you how much money? And still doesn't stop the crits from getting through.
You only hit on a natural 20. To Crit you need 2 natural 20's in a row. That is a .25% chance. And all of this assumes that you ever even get a chance to shoot at the wizards.


...or for one round per level, which is not quite all day last time I checked. My archers wait two minutes and then start shooting again.
In 2 minutes I could drop over a dozen fire balls on those archers. They won't last 2 minutes.


Why on earth would I charge my army into your Cloudkills? I'd pull my army back from the Cloudkills and wait twenty minutes. Or march around them. A thousand feet isn't really all that long, you know.
You are charging and all of the sudden a cloud kill appears in front of you. You have to retreat 1/3 of a mile to avoid it, or move around it which would really mess up any planned attack.


No, I have to SPLIT UP my army. Armies can subdivide themselves. 20th-level wizards can't.
How do you feed them? And remember, you have a mostly conscript force. Advanced tactics aren't really possible for you.


Teleport! Quickened Cloudkill! Teleport away! Oh horrors! You killed ten of my men! Maybe twenty if I was really dumb and had them bunched up!
Why exactly am I attacking you while you are awake? And My cloud kill continues on for 4,000 feet. They get a lot more than 10 or 20 men.


...I've got nine million, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and eighty more. And they're all marching on your capital city. Play your little teleporting games all you like, which you can only do a few times daily; I'm still going to raze your nation to the ground.

Try a siege. You can't advance because of the walls. I can cloud kill you from the rear. Walls in front, cloud kill coming in the back. And you have to have reached my capital.


If magic is prevalent, you can be sure that a general would equip his non-magic using units with items that produce antimagic fields when activated.

I've made a point of avoiding custom magic items for a reason. And remember. Even a 1/day command word item of AMF costs 23,760 GP a piece. And only covers a 10 foot radius sphere.



Hold it right there.

How in the Nine Hells do you "test every child born for innate intelligence?" Do you have any idea of the logistics involved? For a nation with medieval technology, it's utterly impossible. Not to mention the question of where you get your infallible Intelligence test. What are you gonna do, hand every kid a scroll with an 8th-level spell and see if they can get any results out of it? If so, better have a cleric standing by with Resurrect prepped and a big honkin' diamond in hand, because most of your Intelligence 18 kids are gonna blow themselves up.
Magic, remember. It beats technology almost every time. As for testing teh children, a custom spell to tell you the intelligence of the touched person isn't that hard. Or you make an item that lights up when someone with 18 Int holds it. They are about 2000 gold a piece.


Okay, I'll concede that if you ruled a nation the size of the Chinese Empire with a large educated class of civil servants and merchants, and implemented a system of exams like their civil service examinations, and used some kind of super-duper divination magic on the top tier, you might be able to get together roughly 450 kids with a known Int 18. Over the course of 10 years or so, anyhow.

A nation of 10 million. Lets be very low and say we have 1 million breeding pairs per year. Call it 500,000 kids born per year. I get 450 per 100,000 kids.


Or more likely from 25 to 45, since there's no way you could identify them by the age of 5. But whatever.
See above. An item that only works for those with 18+ Int reduces the cost of the item by between 10 and 30%.


You're sending them out to adventure to 10th level? And you expect a 20% mortality rate? Try 95%. Adventuring is horribly dangerous, and these are NPCs; they don't have a kind and loving DM to watch over them and make sure they only ever face CR-appropriate challenges. The vast majority of them will eventually run into something big and nasty and get TPK'ed. Of the 250 wizards who start this little exercise, I will concede perhaps 12 who survive to 10th level.
Incorrect. They have been trained in adventuring and war for 20 years. And they all have PC class levels. And have passed the hardest level(s) for casters already, the first 1-2. Once a caster hits level 5 they (if played correctly) become very hard to kill and after level 7 or so they win or at least survive most of the time.


No, I think most of them, being very intelligent and inquisitive people, got really really bored with endless battles and wandered off to find something better to do with their lives... unless you tried some stunt like what you describe next:
They have been indoctrinated from the age of 5 to be loyal and I have gone so far as to build obedience into them. And I accounted for this with 20% going missing or being killed.


I thought you just sent them to fight in Ysgard. Ysgard is an Upper Plane, you know--on the border between Chaotic Good and Chaotic Neutral. At some point during their sojourn there, your wizards are going to run into a powerful Chaotic Good celestial who is rightfully horrified at what you're doing to these poor souls, and is going to undo your magic mind games and "rehabilitate" the victims. Then you've got a dozen 20th-level wizards out to get YOU.
Highly unlikely. These are "good people". They go adventuring and kill evil. And why do you assume that they are "poor souls". They are just trained from birth to be the defenders of their nation. They are beign trained in a location where any mistakes aren't fatal. And they live the good life at home and their families are taken care of.



Armies will never be irrelevant. Think of the relationship between armored and air units (tanks, helicopters, and so forth) and infantry in a modern army. Can a tank mow down light infantry all day? Yes. Does that make infantry obsolete? No. You still need to be able to hold ground, which a few really powerful guys simply cannot do. No matter how powerful, they can't be everywhere at once.

This is not really valid to D&D. Look at the wizard. It can travel faster than an airplane (teleport), has the ultimate in stealth technology (invisibility or greater invisibility), the potential destructive power of a 2,000 pound bomb, and the selectiveness of a guy with a knife.

Yes this force couldn't hold land but I am talking defense or attack. My 10 men can defend my land from your 10 million men. They could also go and clear out a city in less than a day and be back home 6 seconds later.

Renegade Paladin
2007-02-16, 04:55 AM
Oh look, Tippy's furiously wanking about wizards again. Surprise surprise.

High-level adventurers, like armored units and the Air Force, can kill the enemy very well and in the case of armored units can take ground. But how will they hold it? Your wizards can blast through almost any defense that D&D-level high fantasy societies can muster, but they can't control territory. Controlling territory is what large infantry forces are for.

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 05:19 AM
Oh look, Tippy's furiously wanking about wizards again. Surprise surprise.
I'm not "wanking about wizards", and I never have. It's called being reasonably objective. Look at the numbers. Wizards can decimate armies day after day without any problems and the only counters are incredibly expensive or hard to get (other high level wizards). I maintain that any one foolish enough to run a standard middle age army against a couple of high level wizards is just asking to be slaughtered.


High-level adventurers, like armored units and the Air Force, can kill the enemy very well and in the case of armored units can take ground. But how will they hold it? Your wizards can blast through almost any defense that D&D-level high fantasy societies can muster, but they can't control territory. Controlling territory is what large infantry forces are for.Not for defense. I have a civilian population that is controlling the land merely by being there. You field an army to attack and your first night inside my borders I kill all of your people. I don't need to send in any troops to hold the land.

And you still aren't getting it. Lets take our 10 wizards and compare them to real world weapons systems.

{table]Category | Magic | Current Military tech | Advantage
Communications | Telepathic Bond is unlimited range, undetectable, instantaneous, and totally secure | Satellite Communications are detectable, have a delay, aren't totally secure, and don't work in all conditions | Magic
Portability | Greater Teleport allows you to travel to any location in the world in 6 seconds and is highly undetectable and very hard to jam | Airplanes can be detected and stopped fairly easily, tehy also have a limited range and require many hours to reach some destinations, not to mention that airplanes are incredibly bulky and can't be carried with you in your pack | Magic
Killing Potential | Highly selective and the destructive force can be specified to a very large extent | Is either incredibly destructive and indiscriminate (nuclear weapons) or highly accurate but not as destructive (sniper rifle) | Tie
Detectability | Very hard to detect, especially from any great distance | depending on the system tech is generally reasonably detectable | Magic
Size | All of the above is doable by a single wizard (human size or smaller) | Requires multiple large systems and the backing of an advanced nations economy | Magic
[/table]

Magic beats tech in almost every field. A wizard is more portable than an airplane, harder to detect than a solider on the ground, and more destructive than a tank or bomb. All of this is almost undetectable and requires very little in the way of national support.


Magic positively destroys everything except other magic.

JungeonJeff
2007-02-16, 05:21 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClericofPhwarrr http://www.giantitp.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2031780#post2031780)
If magic is prevalent, you can be sure that a general would equip his non-magic using units with items that produce antimagic fields when activated.

I've made a point of avoiding custom magic items for a reason. And remember. Even a 1/day command word item of AMF costs 23,760 GP a piece. And only covers a 10 foot radius sphere.


vs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dausuul http://www.giantitp.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2031802#post2031802)
Hold it right there.

How in the Nine Hells do you "test every child born for innate intelligence?" Do you have any idea of the logistics involved? For a nation with medieval technology, it's utterly impossible. Not to mention the question of where you get your infallible Intelligence test. What are you gonna do, hand every kid a scroll with an 8th-level spell and see if they can get any results out of it? If so, better have a cleric standing by with Resurrect prepped and a big honkin' diamond in hand, because most of your Intelligence 18 kids are gonna blow themselves up.

Magic, remember. It beats technology almost every time. As for testing teh children, a custom spell to tell you the intelligence of the touched person isn't that hard. Or you make an item that lights up when someone with 18 Int holds it. They are about 2000 gold a piece.


=

Controversy, yes?

JungeonJeff
2007-02-16, 05:27 AM
And you still aren't getting it. Lets take our 10 wizards and compare them to real world weapons systems.

{table]Category | Magic | Current Military tech | Advantage
Communications | Telepathic Bond is unlimited range, undetectable, instantaneous, and totally secure | Satellite Communications are detectable, have a delay, aren't totally secure, and don't work in all conditions | Magic
Portability | Greater Teleport allows you to travel to any location in the world in 6 seconds and is highly undetectable and very hard to jam | Airplanes can be detected and stopped fairly easily, tehy also have a limited range and require many hours to reach some destinations, not to mention that airplanes are incredibly bulky and can't be carried with you in your pack | Magic
Killing Potential | Highly selective and the destructive force can be specified to a very large extent | Is either incredibly destructive and indiscriminate (nuclear weapons) or highly accurate but not as destructive (sniper rifle) | Tie
Detectability | Very hard to detect, especially from any great distance | depending on the system tech is generally reasonably detectable | Magic
Size | All of the above is doable by a single wizard (human size or smaller) | Requires multiple large systems and the backing of an advanced nations economy | Magic
[/table]

Magic beats tech in almost every field. A wizard is more portable than an airplane, harder to detect than a solider on the ground, and more destructive than a tank or bomb. All of this is almost undetectable and requires very little in the way of national support.


Magic positively destroys everything except other magic.

Should that table not include Production Time?

-As you said before, your using about 60 years to train 1 wizard. What is the production time of a tank or airplain or bomb?


Im not saying that wizards arnt powerfull, there are plenty of proff of that, only that one should not rely ONLY on old men in robes :)

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 05:32 AM
vs.



=

Controversy, yes?
Only a bit. I said up to that point. And their is a difference between a dozen or so items at 2K GP a piece to test your people vs. thousands of items at 20K a piece.

And I just realized that its entirely irrelevant. Read what Detect Thoughts does. The second round it tells you everyone in ranges Int score.


Should that table not include Production Time?
Prolly. I should have included numerous things but i figuired taht teh above was enough to make my point.


-As you said before, your using about 60 years to train 1 wizard. What is the production time of a tank or airplain or bomb?Actually its only 30 years. And from concept to production for an airplane runs between 15 and 30 years usually. The raptor was planned and R&D was started in the late 80's to early 90's and is just now going into production.



Im not saying that wizards arnt powerfull, there are plenty of proff of that, only that one should not rely ONLY on old men in robes :)35 isn't old. And be glad I haven't even gone with extreme examples. Lets loot at the Elan, no maximum age. Take your 5 year olds, Elanafie them train them. Even at 20 new ones per year you would build up quite a force quite quickly and they would never die of old age, only in battle.

Dhavaer
2007-02-16, 05:42 AM
I'd prefer Warlocks for army killing, myself. Get a Ring of Sustenance on them, and they sit up 250ft. in the air, invisible, for slightly less than 20 hours a day killing 19 people every 2 minutes. Then, they use Path of Shadow to go away, rest up, and come back later. It's not like they can lose their target, an army isn't difficult to track.

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 05:50 AM
That's 11400 people per day Dhavaer, a wizard kills that many guys (potentially) in 20 minutes and with 1 spell. But I agree that Warlocks are good for situations like that.

And it just goes to prove my point. If a Warlock can kill 11,400 people per day in your army what do you think a 10 level 20 wizards can do to the thing?

Zeb The Troll
2007-02-16, 05:57 AM
The US is big. I can trade space for time for quite a while. And you can'ty attack all 20,000 miles of border at once.Likewise, you can't defend, or even observe, the entire border at once.


Now you have a conscript army of millions. They are almost entirely level 1 commoners. How well do they place sentries? How well do they set up camp? Badly is the answer. Lets look at Cloud Kill. It moves 10 feet per round and if cast from a level 20 caster it lasts 20 minutes, 40 if you extend it with a rod. 20 minutes is 200 rounds. The cloud kill moves 2000 feet and is 20 feet wide. Your camp is huge and you people are most likely camped 1 per 5 foot square. That is 1600 people per casting killed. With 10 wizards that is 16,000 people. Lets have Cloud kill cast 5 times by each wizard, that is 80,000 people. If extended it is 160,000 killed.There's no way you're fitting a soldier and all of his gear in one 5' square. I'm nearly 6' tall without anything. Additionally, even amongst 50 million conscripts, there are going to be leaders and veterans who tell the conscripts how to set up camp and they will know, even without knowledge of your awesome wizardry, that setting up people that close together is unhygienic and unfeasible. Two soldiers per 10' square is still too close together, but it at least accommodates gear. This already halves your number dead.


Now the rest of the army wakes up the next morning and has 160,000 dead guys lieing around. Lets assume we are fighting an army of 500 million. At 150,000 per day it would take me 3,333 days to kill them all.And exactly one night of this for them to prepare countermeasures.


Now lets consider desertion. You have a entirely conscript force that is watching 150,000 of their fellow soldiers dieing per day. Morale will be non existent and desertion will be incredible high.For the first day, maybe. Watch it be boosted again as soon as even one of your wizards is foiled even once.


And I was only doing 50 cloud kills per day. Lets use your number of 500. I am killing 1.5 million of your soldiers per day. It would take less than a year for me to kill every one of your soldiers.If you think it would take them a year to march anywhere and sack it you've got another place to rethink your math. I'll give you this. Each day you let them march, your borders will get smaller.


And you are assuming a 500 million man army. In D&D it would most likely be a 100,000 man army. My wizards can kill 10 of those a day and have spells left over.I was assuming 50 million. I only stated the potential for 500 million going by the book. If you wanted to use a 100,000 person army, you shouldn't have said "from an invasion force the size of China".


It moves toward your men. And you think I would be stupid enough to use it while you marched. Your men must sleep. You can travel all day and I kill you every night without you even realizing it.

I win in 10 days. And I want to see how you plan to keep your armies fed.You said using D&D, so why would you assume that in 50 million people they can't find someone capable of casting "Create Food and Water" amongst the troops? No high level magicks needed there. Create water is a cantrip even for an adept and makes 2 gallons of water per level, enough to sustain 4 people until they can find the next river. If that's not enough, they can use another cantrip to Purify 8 gallons of urine per level, making it pure water instead.

And to think that no one would realize what was going on is ridiculous. Small groups post guards at night during peace time. Why wouldn't they post them during an invasion? Your guards may not know what caused it on the first night, but they'll see it coming and raise an alarm. Possilby waking low level arcanists that have access to Wind Wall. Certainly by the second night they would.



Your supply line moves 10 miles per day, your army can move 24-25. Call it 15 miles for the army each day. You burn 150 miles and I destroy all of your men, and you have left your home country unprotected. What do you think cloud kill does to a city?Again, I'll remind you that I'm assuming only 10% of the "fit for military duty" are actually on the march. That's hardly "undefended".



Each cloud kill can kill 1,600 men at most (assuming that none of them move, a valid assumption if they are asleep). Lets assume 500 per casting. Each wizard does 5 per day. That is 50 cloud kills per day. You lose a quarter of an army per night. And to be realistic I could be casting 10-15 cloud kills per day per wizard. An army or more per night.You might get away with this once.


Try a siege. You can't advance because of the walls. I can cloud kill you from the rear. Walls in front, cloud kill coming in the back. And you have to have reached my capital.Assuming a 20% survival rate, 10 million troops banging on your (likely wooden) walls will wobble them more than enough to spook your guards (which you don't have because you're doing all of this with only 20 wizards).

None of this even addresses the fact that if you can make 20 level 20 wizards, China can make 80 using the same methods.

hewhosaysfish
2007-02-16, 05:57 AM
I'd prefer Warlocks for army killing, myself. Get a Ring of Sustenance on them, and they sit up 250ft. in the air, invisible, for slightly less than 20 hours a day killing 19 people every 2 minutes. Then, they use Path of Shadow to go away, rest up, and come back later. It's not like they can lose their target, an army isn't difficult to track.

They will become visible when they attack (assuming they're using Walk Unseen).
Even if they use Rings of Invisibility the enemy can tell where the blasts are coming from and spam the area with arrows with a 50% miss chance.

You'd be better of with Summon Swarm. Not a direct attack, harder to trace and more fun (bleed 1hp every round? STR poison? hehe).

Even so, see invisibility is a 2nd lvl spell and dispel magic only 3rd so if your gang of mooks includes a wiz/sorc a few levels below those warlocks then this plan can still fail.

JungeonJeff
2007-02-16, 07:27 AM
Only a bit. I said up to that point. And their is a difference between a dozen or so items at 2K GP a piece to test your people vs. thousands of items at 20K a piece.

And I just realized that its entirely irrelevant. Read what Detect Thoughts does. The second round it tells you everyone in ranges Int score.

So Items of Windwall / Dispel Magic / Create Food+Water / etc would now be too far away? -cause that would take away alot of the problems you listed for the uncomming army :)



Prolly. I should have included numerous things but i figuired taht teh above was enough to make my point.

Actually its only 30 years. And from concept to production for an airplane runs between 15 and 30 years usually. The raptor was planned and R&D was started in the late 80's to early 90's and is just now going into production.


35 isn't old. And be glad I haven't even gone with extreme examples. Lets loot at the Elan, no maximum age. Take your 5 year olds, Elanafie them train them. Even at 20 new ones per year you would build up quite a force quite quickly and they would never die of old age, only in battle.


No no, not Development time, Production time. If you say i have to invent the equipment, that would be the same as inventing / discovering non-inborn magic (read. wizards). -that should even the odds a bit ;)

Renegade Paladin
2007-02-16, 07:39 AM
I'm not "wanking about wizards", and I never have. It's called being reasonably objective. Look at the numbers. Wizards can decimate armies day after day without any problems and the only counters are incredibly expensive or hard to get (other high level wizards). I maintain that any one foolish enough to run a standard middle age army against a couple of high level wizards is just asking to be slaughtered.
Of course he is. But you can't conduct a war of conquests with just wizards; unless you plan on killing everyone in the territory you're taking, you'll need an occupation force. I don't believe I said anything about anything other than holding territory thus far.

Not for defense. I have a civilian population that is controlling the land merely by being there. You field an army to attack and your first night inside my borders I kill all of your people. I don't need to send in any troops to hold the land.
I do believe the topic is about whether or not armies are totally irrelevant. They are not. You cannot conduct an occupation with ten or twelve guys, no matter how powerful they are.

And you still aren't getting it. Lets take our 10 wizards and compare them to real world weapons systems.

{table]Category | Magic | Current Military tech | Advantage
Communications | Telepathic Bond is unlimited range, undetectable, instantaneous, and totally secure | Satellite Communications are detectable, have a delay, aren't totally secure, and don't work in all conditions | Magic
Portability | Greater Teleport allows you to travel to any location in the world in 6 seconds and is highly undetectable and very hard to jam | Airplanes can be detected and stopped fairly easily, tehy also have a limited range and require many hours to reach some destinations, not to mention that airplanes are incredibly bulky and can't be carried with you in your pack | Magic
Killing Potential | Highly selective and the destructive force can be specified to a very large extent | Is either incredibly destructive and indiscriminate (nuclear weapons) or highly accurate but not as destructive (sniper rifle) | Tie
Detectability | Very hard to detect, especially from any great distance | depending on the system tech is generally reasonably detectable | Magic
Size | All of the above is doable by a single wizard (human size or smaller) | Requires multiple large systems and the backing of an advanced nations economy | Magic
[/table]
Magic beats tech in almost every field. A wizard is more portable than an airplane, harder to detect than a solider on the ground, and more destructive than a tank or bomb. All of this is almost undetectable and requires very little in the way of national support.


Magic positively destroys everything except other magic.
Last I checked, this wasn't about magic vs. tech. But if you insist on expanding it, I shall now demonstrate how wrong you are.

Teleportation requires that you be familiar with your target location. So no, it's not "anywhere in the world," it's "anywhere in the world that you've been."

I contend that a wizard would have a very tough time destroying a modern fighter. No matter how smart he is, he's not going to be able to instantly assess a fighter's speed and do the trigonometry required to place a spell on an intercept course to hit with anything resembling reliability. This in large part has to do with the fact that no one has that kind of mental capacity, but it has more to do with humans being incapable of processing spatial relationships at anything close to the speed of sound. We're not wired for it; our eyes and brains work on the assumption that we can't move much faster than our running speed.

It won't take very long after you start using cloudkill on a modern army for them to break out the NBC gear. Then you're done, at least with that tactic.

Modern weapons outperform magic as stated in destructive power in every conceivable category. There is no spell that can outperform a nuke. Hell, there isn't one that can replicate a 2,000 pound bomb. And that's before we get into JDAM, laser guided munitions, TV guided missiles, and any number of other tricks a modern military has up it's sleeve.

Speaking of categories, you left one out: Range. A modern, non-infantry weapons system will typically have a range measured in miles, not feet or even hundreds of feet. There are rifles in existence that can outrange a long-range (400ft. + 40ft/level) spell and do so accurately. A Tomahawk cruise missile can strike targets hundreds of miles away, and when it arrives can wreak havoc according to it's warhead up to and including a tactical nuclear detonation. D&D magic cannot hold a candle to modern military technology in the field of destructive warfare.

I can go on. I suspect that later I'll be doing so. But that should be sufficient for now.

Jayabalard
2007-02-16, 08:15 AM
Also, a small party would be poor for doing things like DEFENDING and area. Can you imagine 5 people holding off thousands from getting into a city? The city would be sacked even if they have many losses.Depends on the terrain... a Thermopylae style defense might be kind of interesting.

Orzel
2007-02-16, 09:05 AM
I'd think out it as a Tech vs Tutle in an RTS played by 2 idiots.

6 fully upgraded minotaurs vs 50 pikemen and 30 archers straght out of the barracks.

10 tanks vs 30 riflemen and 30 bazookas

5 Dragons vs 50 trolls



The problem with all PC armies is that all PCs have a weakness. Against an entire army, this weakness will come up ofthen and the PCs most likey won't have enough resources to counter thier weaken that many times.

Melee type- A lot of Natural 20 hits will wear them down.
Archer type- Not enough attacks a round to keep everyone back.
Magic type- Low HP means a few few lucky hits causes death.
Rogue Type- See Magic type.
Cleric type- Any 2 of the above.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 09:10 AM
Give me 20 level 20 wizards and I will defend a country the size of the US from an invasion force the size of china.

LOL!!


Think about it, greater teleport means that you can fight in 1 battle on one side of the nation and an hour later defend the opposite border. And only an idiot uses Fireball in a war setting.

Yeah, with SEVEN PEOPLE per casting.


Go with Cloud Kill. Minute per level, kills anything wit 3 HD or less without a save, good radius.

Right. And modern armies have no access to chemical weapons.


Think about it. 10 level 20 Wizards all linked to each other through permanent telepathic bonds. They can go invisible, teleport around your force, and cast cloud kill and then teleport away. You would never stop them.

You are talking about DEFENDING A COUNTRY not catching what would amount to a small circle of glorified terrorists.


Permanent Image can fake an army or lay an ambush.

Because permanent images are sophisticated enough and numerous enough to deal with tens of thousands of troops.


They can polymorph or shape change into something as small as a bird and fly into or teleport into the generals tent and kill him.

Decentralized command. And they can be killed when they arrive.


They can take a city easily.

Don't be absurd.


The only thing that a force like this couldn't do is hold ground.

And except for stopping a sufficiently large and well deployed force from razing your country. What, you thought that holding ground was only something an invader did? This line of yours is essentially a concession.


Stone Skin. DR 10/Adamantium
or Wind wall. You can laugh at archers all day.

Feel free to charge an army into a Cloud Kill. 10 people casting 1 each is a 200 foot long line. And if done by a level 20 caster with timestop that is now a 1000 foot line. And only a fool would attack an army if the field like that. Wait for them to stop for the night.

Who the sam hill would charge an army into a cloud kill spell?


They don't have to be. You have to move a full army. I have to move 10 mages who can teleport around my whole country and have no supply lines at all.

And who can accomplish very little in the way of controlling anything beyond their hidey holes or stopping a large, proper army.


The point is that you will never see them. Teleport + Quickened Cloud Kill after they systematically eliminate all of your mages.

Oh, so I get mages too? Anti magic shell around my core units. Thank you, come again.



CONCATINATION:


And you still aren't getting it. Lets take our 10 wizards and compare them to real world weapons systems.

{table]Category | Magic | Current Military tech | Advantage
Communications | Telepathic Bond is unlimited range, undetectable, instantaneous, and totally secure | Satellite Communications are detectable, have a delay, aren't totally secure, and don't work in all conditions | Magic
Portability | Greater Teleport allows you to travel to any location in the world in 6 seconds and is highly undetectable and very hard to jam | Airplanes can be detected and stopped fairly easily, tehy also have a limited range and require many hours to reach some destinations, not to mention that airplanes are incredibly bulky and can't be carried with you in your pack | Magic
Killing Potential | Highly selective and the destructive force can be specified to a very large extent | Is either incredibly destructive and indiscriminate (nuclear weapons) or highly accurate but not as destructive (sniper rifle) | Tie
Detectability | Very hard to detect, especially from any great distance | depending on the system tech is generally reasonably detectable | Magic
Size | All of the above is doable by a single wizard (human size or smaller) | Requires multiple large systems and the backing of an advanced nations economy | Magic
[/table]Magic beats tech in almost every field. A wizard is more portable than an airplane, harder to detect than a solider on the ground, and more destructive than a tank or bomb. All of this is almost undetectable and requires very little in the way of national support.


Magic positively destroys everything except other magic.


I have been around the internet a bit, but never have I seen such a mile high pile of fappery. high level wizards versus a modern national army?

Wow, just wow.

<sigh>, let's see.... I think some modifications of this table are in order:


{table]Category | Magic | Current Military tech | Advantage
Communications | Telepathic Bond requires a high level caster to use, and works only for him and a very limited number of selected individuals. Moreover, they do not work in dead magic areas. | Satellite Communications are ubiquitous, freely available to anyone with a communicator. They are not as easy to jam as you insinuate. | Tech
Portability | Greater Teleport works only with a very small group of people and will not move into dead magic areas. | Airplanes are mass produced and a fleet of them can carry vast numbers of people. They can not be detected and stopped fairly easily if they have stealth tech and/or weapons. And who the sam hill would need to carry them in their backpack, what a ridiculous criterion. | Tech
Killing Potential | Though selective, has very limited casting range and area of effect compared with heavy duty tech and can only be used a limited number of times per day for even a high level caster. Claiming that the destructive force can be specified to a very large extent is asinine, since Tech has that advantage to easily a far greater degree | Is far, far more than merely either incredibly destructive and indiscriminate (nuclear weapons) or highly accurate but not as destructive (sniper rifle), there are also these things called "machine guns", "grenades", "mortars", "IED"s, you might perhaps have heard of them at one point or other. These can be used continually, and by any jackandapes, moreover, they are MASS PRODUCED | Tech, by a VAST margin.
Detectability | Certainly possible to detect with an amazing first level spell. I'm sure you know which one I refer to. As for tech only, you need the wizard to cast, and people, including specific people, can be detected with tech in a vast range of ways. | Well, hello mister stealth bomber. And hello mister cruise missile that carries a tonne of high explosives with pinpoint accuracy from across the horizon, and you never knew what hit you | Tech
Size | All of the above is doable ONLY by a wizard that has TRAINED FOR DECADES nor is it easy to mass produce| Requires multiple large systems and the backing of an advanced nations economy, and can rely on the productive power thereof to curbstomp the wizard with sheer frigging mass | Tech
[/table]
Tech beats magic in almost every field. Who gives a good goddamn whether or nor a wizard is more portable than an airplane, harder to detect than a solider on the ground, and more destructive than a tank or bomb (he is not neccesarily that either). All of this is certainly detectable and very very hard to acquire in the numbers neccsary for accomplishing more than glorified terrorism.

So stop fapping, please. You're giving D&D fans a bad name with this nonsense.

Telonius
2007-02-16, 09:47 AM
An army can do some serious damage to a PC.

20 level 1 warriors = 1 hit on a natural 20 (possibly more, depending on the PC's AC).
20 level 1 adepts = 1 failed reflex save (natural 1) on Burning Hands, or failed Will save on Command.

Rogues and Barbarians make out slightly better (with DR and evasion), and Monks might be able to Deflect Arrows once; but they'll still succumb to a sufficiently heavy volley.

Primary caster PCs are the most dangerous against the NPC army. Their area effect spells can wreck an entire battle plan. Couldn't find any statistics immediately on medieval armies, but the standard Roman legion had between 1,000 and 6,000 soldiers, depending on what period of the Empire you were looking at. A Wizard wouldn't be able to take out all of those in one turn. Even a Cloudkill would only disrupt a formation; it spreads out at 10 feet per level, so the people affected would have time to get out of the way. (And speaking of legions, a shield-wall might foil it; if it's an even surface, and starts at ground level, the cloud would just roll along the top of the shields, leaving the soldiers unharmed).

On any spell that allows a save, 1 in 20 of the soldiers will make the save (possibly more, depending on how low the save DC is).

Indon
2007-02-16, 09:50 AM
I'd like to throw in a couple comments on high-level characters in warfare.

I wouldn't waste a caster on land defense or offense. I'd put them to maintaining air and sea superiority. One wizard, level 20, could kill a thousand or two people a day... or sink a number of ships carrying a thousand or two people each, in addition to providing valuable logistics support.

Now, for land defense, I'd be inclined to use Rangers. One level 20 Ranger can kill a couple hundred people a day... almost all of which could be officers. Throw in all the logistics problems a ranger can cause, and you can render an army leaderless and starving rather quickly, which is just about as good as killing them all and _way_ more cost-effective.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 09:58 AM
I wouldn't waste a caster on land defense or offense. I'd put them to maintaining air and sea superiority. One wizard, level 20, could kill a thousand or two people a day... or sink a number of ships carrying a thousand or two people each, in addition to providing valuable logistics support.

And one volley from an AA gun kills your wizard.


I Now, for land defense, I'd be inclined to use Rangers. One level 20 Ranger can kill a couple hundred people a day... almost all of which could be officers. Throw in all the logistics problems a ranger can cause, and you can render an army leaderless and starving rather quickly, which is just about as good as killing them all and _way_ more cost-effective.

What, because officers are all lining up in order to be killed in this way?

Ramza00
2007-02-16, 10:04 AM
For low level npcs targeting you. That is what True Strike followed by a Ranged Touch Attack Spell is for.

Ramza00
2007-02-16, 10:12 AM
Want a low level amry killing spell, look no further than entangle.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/entangle.htm

Foxer
2007-02-16, 10:15 AM
If people want to look at mass warfare in a magical setting, can I recommend the comic Arrowsmith (WWI with mages) and the 2nd Anno Dracula Novel (WWI with vampires)?

To my mind, a professional army should trump individual heroes on the battlefield, though. First off, a professional army will have a small but significant proportion of PC-leveled NPCs in key roles. Second, a small band of heroes needs to be lucky all the time when facing such overwhelming numbers, and is far more vulnerable to attrition than an army. Sure a 10th level or better fighter can carve his way through dozens of weaker opponents, but - sooner rather than later - he'll go down to a lucky shot from an archer or get stabbed in the back by a conscript with a level of rogue. Admittedly, the D&D hit-points system allows higher level characters to soak up a ridiculous amount of damage compared to 'tough' characters in some other games, but I think the point holds ; even if it does mean that it takes several lucky shots to take him down, he's potentially facing dozens of attacks every round, and those natural 20s will soon mount up.

And that, I think, is how it should be. Three hundred Spartans held off an army of over ten thousand at Thermopylae, but they went down in the end. One Norse axeman held Stamford Bridge against the English army, but went down in the end. Richard III and Simon de Montfort both fell in last stands or "do-or-die" actions, cutting down several enemy soldiers before they fell themselves. Taking these cues, I'd keep PC-versus-army engagements to these sort of actions, and, yes, I would have at least some of the PCs die doing it. A heroic last stand is great drama. The third heroic last stand isn't.

On the other hand, you could take the opposite view. Reading the Iliad, battles are almost entirely a series of single combats between heroic (PC-leveled) individuals, and the massed ranks of Homeric spear-carriers seem to be along purely for the look of the thing. If you're running that sort of setting for your game, then, yes, PCs would make armies obsolete.

As a side-note, there's no way in hell I'd risk my high-level wizards on the battlefield. They'd be much more use scrying enemy positions and churning out +x magic weapons from behind the lines. I would have a flying squad of mid-level magic users ready to respond to enemy magic-users in the field, but my 20th-level epic casters would be too valuable to lose.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 10:23 AM
Want a low level amry killing spell, look no further than entangle.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/entangle.htm

For a tech based solution that does the same, try a simple mortar or cannon.

They do not make armies redundant, and can be mass produced, fired all day if need be, with no "memorization" or many years of training required.

Therefore, Entangle would not make armies redundant either.

Saithis Bladewing
2007-02-16, 10:25 AM
Want a low level amry killing spell, look no further than entangle.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/entangle.htm

Huh? Entangle doesn't kill armies, it just inconveniences a part of a unit. :P

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-16, 10:31 AM
I scale my army encounters within my group. Firstly, I've only had the players fight NPC classed NPC's at the beginning of the game. Afterwards, every single soldier they've fought has had PC classes (though I have given them armies of NPC-classed soldiers to heighten tension once or twice) and even prestige classes. The ordinary grunts are always half the average level of the party, rounded up. The officers up to captain are always 3/4's the average level of the party rounded up. Finally, everything above that is at least the players' level, with special exceptions for especially powerful army members that are akin to boss battles by themselves, and a real pain if the players don't single them out immediately to protect their own troops.

I built a long list by level for each type of troop, see, and I pick them according to the level I need them to be at. Easy for me, though massively difficult for my poor PC's.

Foxer
2007-02-16, 10:33 AM
Used right, entangle could seriously harm an army. Cast it on the front rank of a cavalry charge, and watch as the next ten ranks pile into it. Pepper the resulting mass with arrows and you might have won the battle for the cost of a level one spell. Nice.

Or, you could find a dozen 1st-level commoners with good pitching arms and give them tanglefoot bags or thunderstones to stop cavalry charges.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 10:35 AM
On the other hand, you could take the opposite view. Reading the Iliad, battles are almost entirely a series of single combats between heroic (PC-leveled) individuals, and the massed ranks of Homeric spear-carriers seem to be along purely for the look of the thing. If you're running that sort of setting for your game, then, yes, PCs would make armies obsolete.

Not so: even in the Iliad, spear carrying masses were not redundant. The fact that the action focused on powerful heroes does not mean that a small band of high level guys could have taken Troy singlehanded. If they could, why bother with a thousand ships?

There too, armies were very much relevant and not obsolete at all.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-16, 10:36 AM
That's exactly why I level my armies like I do. I don't want the players causing massive damage easily with simple spells. So, I have several well-leveled warmages in most armies that look out for that sort of thing, and also use the exact same things back against the opposing army.

Telonius
2007-02-16, 10:46 AM
Want a low level amry killing spell, look no further than entangle.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/entangle.htm

If the army is standing one soldier per square (which isn't that great of an assumption if they know they're going up against a caster), that would only affect about 1005 of them, max. Save DC is 10+level (1) + ability modifier (let's say 6), so DC is 17. Even if they have a reflex save of +0, 15% of the soldiers (about 150 of them) will make their saves. Let's say the army has an average STR score of 14; 10% of the entangled people (85 of them) will make their strength checks to break free of the entanglement.

The Entanglement spell will only limit tactical movement. This is nice for keeping lots of enemies in one place, but won't actively damage them, or prevent them from attacking you with a ranged weapon. Since the army is likely only hitting you on a natural 20 anyway, this doesn't affect its capacity to hurt you.

The real army-killer (for a Druid or Cleric) is a Storm of Vengeance. Your only issue is maintaining concentration and staying alive until the 4th round, when the hailstones will deal enough damage (with no save) to take out any first-level character. Earthquake is another good one - it kills probably around 12% of the army, immediately.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 10:47 AM
That's exactly why I level my armies like I do. I don't want the players causing massive damage easily with simple spells. So, I have several well-leveled warmages in most armies that look out for that sort of thing, and also use the exact same things back against the opposing army.

That would fit in with what Renegade Paladin was saying: high level casters and other class level types would function like armoured units do.

Thus, they change the face of warfare, but still need footsloggers for support; hence armies remain relevant.

One could conceivably use 10 man squads or such, each moving independantly to avoid being fragged, but supporting each other on the move via bounding overwatch; each to include a low level healbot, possibly a bard (+1 bard song) or a rogue, as well as a low level caster functioning in the role of a SAW. Three or so such squads for the platoon, three platoons for a company, with the company having several mid level mages for "artillery" and a bunch of fighters as "tanks" and rangers as special ops.

But the army remains.

Foxer
2007-02-16, 10:48 AM
Not so: even in the Iliad, spear carrying masses were not redundant. The fact that the action focused on powerful heroes does not mean that a small band of high level guys could have taken Troy singlehanded. If they could, why bother with a thousand ships?

There too, armies were very much relevant and not obsolete at all.

Sure. If I was running a realistic dark ages Greek game, those massed ranks of plodding spear-carriers would be deadly to cocky PCs. But if I was running a heroic dark ages Greek game, they'd be scenery.

Oh, and, not in the Iliad admittedly, a small band of high-level guys *did* take Troy. It seems they all hid in this wooden horse and.... ;P

Flippancy aside, though, Homer's spear-carriers are good for all the donkey work of war. Cutting off supply lines, night patrols, sentry duties, foraging, digging wells, putting up tents, erecting redoubts and so on and so on. They aren't even level-one commoners: they're the PC's hirelings, and in the field they are but chaff before the chariot wheels of the two sides' big guns.

Foxer
2007-02-16, 10:54 AM
I'm reminded of the first Blackadder episode: "peasants only count in the event of a tie."

silvermesh
2007-02-16, 10:56 AM
Give me 20 level 20 wizards and I will defend a country the size of the US from an invasion force the size of china.
...snip...
The only thing that a force like this couldn't do is hold ground.


which is of course... the entire definition of defense.

all of your arguments are true. eventually you could easily destroy a low level army of any size with 10 20th level wizards. unfortunately your entire country will be razed before that happens. You are making no attempt at defending your people, you are just flipping around throwing car-bombs at the chinese troops. These are chinese soldiers. This country has a very rich cultural background in war, and a communist society that rewards the soldier. The morale of these troops is not going to be easily damaged, even with a great number of losses... especially considering the fact that you've made no attempt to halt their advance. they are gaining ground constantly, and all you are doing is picking groups of them off now and then. Your tactic works so long as you don't give a damn about your cities, your people, and your great works.

Your people will surrender the country to the invading force long before the country is destroyed, because they're tired of you doing NOTHING to stop the invaders.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 11:03 AM
Sure. If I was running a realistic dark ages Greek game, those massed ranks of plodding spear-carriers would be deadly to cocky PCs. But if I was running a heroic dark ages Greek game, they'd be scenery.

Oh, and, not in the Iliad admittedly, a small band of high-level guys *did* take Troy. It seems they all hid in this wooden horse and.... ;P

Scenery or not, isolated heroes would not have fared well against Troy unsupported. It is irrelevant that basic infantry are slaughtered by heroes, their support is still needed. If it were not, the heroes would not have brought them in the first place. The fact that they were there at all shows that they were not redundant or obsolete. Secondary, yes, obsolete, no.

And of course, the low level band did not take Troy, they opened the gates for the army that did. ;)


Flippancy aside, though, Homer's spear-carriers are good for all the donkey work of war. Cutting off supply lines, night patrols, sentry duties, foraging, digging wells, putting up tents, erecting redoubts and so on and so on. They aren't even level-one commoners: they're the PC's hirelings, and in the field they are but chaff before the chariot wheels of the two sides' big guns.

And to support the hero, to prevent him from being outflanked and overwhelmed by numbers. I say it again: if they were obsolete, they would not have been there at all. Being a secondary/support unit does not make one obsolete.

Orzel
2007-02-16, 11:08 AM
Wizards is a lost cause. You'll lose 5-10% of them a battle if your wizards spend a lot of spell protecting themselves and 25% if they don't. Master arcanist have poor base HP and AC. Heck a soldier half the wizards might not even need a natural 20 to hit. A lvl 20 wizard would take maybe 8 hits before running like a baby. You'd be down to 0 wizards in a month due to death and AWOL.

Foxer
2007-02-16, 11:48 AM
Being a secondary/support unit does not make one obsolete.

Okay, you got me there. For protracted in-field operations, even a bunch of bona fide heroes will need plenty of support troops, pioneers, engineers and such like. I suppose that a "realistic" fantasy army might would look a little like a modern air-force, which famously requires "twenty people on the ground to put two in the air" (an old RAF recruitment slogan, BTW).

But that ain't the point here. In the "real" Trojan War, Achilles needed his Myrmidons to keep Hector's spear-carrying clods off his back while the two men have their big duel. In practice, without his back-up, any one of them could roll that natural 20 and put a serious crimp in his day. Given enough enemy spearmen that's exactly what would and should happen. But in the "heroic" Trojan War it wouldn't. Only a hero can fight a hero. Only a hero can win - or lose - a war, because, to Homer (the DM, if you like) the heroes matter. The rank and file don't.

The original poster asks "do PC classes make armies irrelevant?"

Your answer is clearly "no", and broadly I agree with you, provided that's the kind of game you're running. Using the Trojan War stuff as an example, I can see a justification for scenarios where a handful of mighty PCs can utterly rout a regular army, without any more support than is necessary to keep the "90% boredom" part of the war out of their hands (and off-camera) while they scatter the enemy to the four winds and clear the field for showdown with the Big Bad Evil Guy leading the enemy army.

Fax Celestis
2007-02-16, 11:49 AM
I'm going to assume that anyone still arguing here hasn't read Heroes of Battle, where it's quite clearly spelled out how all of this works.

Renegade Paladin
2007-02-16, 12:01 PM
Oh, I own it and have read it. I'm only still here because of the laughable notion that D&D magic could somehow beat a modern military.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 12:01 PM
Okay, you got me there. For protracted in-field operations, even a bunch of bona fide heroes will need plenty of support troops, pioneers, engineers and such like. I suppose that a "realistic" fantasy army might would look a little like a modern air-force, which famously requires "twenty people on the ground to put two in the air" (an old RAF recruitment slogan, BTW).

But that ain't the point here. In the "real" Trojan War, Achilles needed his Myrmidons to keep Hector's spear-carrying clods off his back while the two men have their big duel. In practice, without his back-up, any one of them could roll that natural 20 and put a serious crimp in his day. Given enough enemy spearmen that's exactly what would and should happen. But in the "heroic" Trojan War it wouldn't. Only a hero can fight a hero. Only a hero can win - or lose - a war, because, to Homer (the DM, if you like) the heroes matter. The rank and file don't.

The original poster asks "do PC classes make armies irrelevant?"

Your answer is clearly "no", and broadly I agree with you, provided that's the kind of game you're running. Using the Trojan War stuff as an example, I can see a justification for scenarios where a handful of mighty PCs can utterly rout a regular army, without any more support than is necessary to keep the "90% boredom" part of the war out of their hands (and off-camera) while they scatter the enemy to the four winds and clear the field for showdown with the Big Bad Evil Guy leading the enemy army.
You're not getting it. The answer to "do PC classes make armies irrelevant?" is a resounding "no", even in the Iliad. The army became a secondary/support unit there. But that is not what "irrelevant" means.

For example, in a modern army, field operations between ground forces are primarily engagements between tanks. Infantry are very much a secondary/support unit. But they anything but irrelevant, since tanks are vunreable without them.

GolemsVoice
2007-02-16, 12:09 PM
Ever read the Return of the Archmages trilogy (only know th german title, hope this is right)? There are some parts in which large armies of average rank and file soldiers battle with potent sorcerers and wizards, such as beholders, illithids and phaerim. The result is pretty much the one you described, with soldiers burning in their hundreds, bodies flying all around and the like. The normal army, it seems, is only there to fight the other normal army, while the high-level PCs and NPCs (there are even the Chosen of Mystra involved) make up their own fights.

Fax Celestis
2007-02-16, 12:09 PM
Oh, I own it and have read it. I'm only still here because of the laughable notion that D&D magic could somehow beat a modern military.

Right. A D&D army and a modern army are about evenly matched. There are mitigating factors on both sides of the equation, too: magical air support is weaker and slower than modern; undead infantry are more resilient than modern; &c.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 12:17 PM
Right. A D&D army and a modern army are about evenly matched. There are mitigating factors on both sides of the equation, too: magical air support is weaker and slower than modern; undead infantry are more resilient than modern; &c.

Nonsense. A modern army makes mincemeat out of a D&D army.

Fax Celestis
2007-02-16, 12:19 PM
Nonsense. A modern army makes mincemeat out of a D&D army.

Um. Like I said: have you READ Heroes of Battle? No, it doesn't. They're about even.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 12:27 PM
Um. Like I said: have you READ Heroes of Battle? No, it doesn't. They're about even.

Oh, wow. Because some wanker or other of a writer can produce a book that shows it, it must be a reasonable outcome? If so, try reading The High Crusade where a group of knights from a medieval English barony w/o magic manage to defeat an interstellar empire. Presumably that means that medieval knights and high tech future armies must be realistically about evenly matched, right?

Writers can produce all kinds of nonsense, for entertainment or for fappery. When I claim that a modern army would make mincemeat out of a D&D one, I'm going by what would be realistic given their known capabilities

Foxer
2007-02-16, 12:32 PM
You're not getting it. The answer to "do PC classes make armies irrelevant?" is a resounding "no", even in the Iliad. The army became a secondary/support unit there. But that is not what "irrelevant" means.

When Achilles chases Hector three times around the walls of Troy we do not see one single other person on the field. Because they aren't there. The Greek Heroes are still recovering from their wounds after the Trojan rally the previous day, and the Trojan forces have fled before Achilles' onslaught to cower behind the walls. The whole war turns on an episode involving just two men and one goddess. Nobody else matters - and that is exactly what irrelevant means.

It doesn't matter a damn however many troops the bad guys are fielding if the PCs are allowed to sweep them away without any significant risk to themselves. The horde of mooks they slaughter on the way to their showdown with the evil villain are just window dressing.

We aren't talking about a realistic military situation. We're talking about a game. PC classes can make armies irrelevant if that's the game you're playing. Seven PCs can defeat an army of hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands if that is what the game demands. Extrapolating from that, it is perfectly fine for a fantasy nation to decide that a handful of PC-leveled heroes are a better bet than armies, rendering said armies redundant and irrelevant.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-16, 12:32 PM
Magic -> Gating in inifnite Titans -> win.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 12:36 PM
Magic -> Gating in inifnite Titans -> win.

You might want to check up on "no limits fallacy" sometime.

Infinite? No.

And I see your titans and raise you cruise missiles.

kamikasei
2007-02-16, 12:37 PM
Oh, wow. Because some wanker or other of a writer can produce a book that shows it, it must be a reasonable outcome? If so, try reading The High Crusade where a group of knights from a medieval English barony w/o magic manage to defeat an interstellar empire. Presumably that means that medieval knights and high tech future armies must be realistically about evenly matched, right?

Writers can produce all kinds of nonsense, for entertainment or for fappery. When I claim that a modern army would make mincemeat out of a D&D one, I'm going by what would be realistic given their known capabilities

...Heroes of Battle is a supplement. It's not a novel or anything. Its whole purpose is to describe the capabilities that you're using to make your judgment. If The High Crusade provides rules for having medieval knights defeat an interstellar empire in a d20 game, then you have a valid comparison.

Fax Celestis
2007-02-16, 12:42 PM
Oh, wow. Because some wanker or other of a writer can produce a book that shows it, it must be a reasonable outcome?
When arguing according to rules, rulebooks are what matter.


Writers can produce all kinds of nonsense, for entertainment or for fappery. When I claim that a modern army would make mincemeat out of a D&D one, I'm going by what would be realistic given their known capabilities

Let's take a look at this, shall we? Can modern armies resurrect their fallen soldiers? No, but magical ones can. Can modern armies heal their soldiers in combat instantly? No, but magical ones can. Can modern armies teleport? No, but magical ones can.

How about troops that don't need food, water, or supplies? Magic has that covered with zombie troops. Infiltrators that don't need ordinance to cause heavy damage? Magic got that covered too: teleport, fireball, teleport.

The list goes on.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-16, 12:43 PM
Scrying + Teleport = dead or kidnapped enemy leaders, unless you have magical counters *to* scrying and teleporting.

Orzel
2007-02-16, 12:45 PM
An D&D army versus Modern army is basically a fight to get their prefered type of combat to happen the most.

jets > dragons > tanks > giants and trolls > more gunz > wands > grenades > undead > riflemen > knights

Food: Zombie don't need it.
Missiles: Magic can't stop it
Healing: D&D instaheal
Spying: Magic requires someone knowing the place.

Fax Celestis
2007-02-16, 12:46 PM
You might want to check up on "no limits fallacy" sometime.

Infinite? No.

And I see your titans and raise you cruise missiles.

Cruise Missile + Shatter = Effective anti-missile system.

And shatter is sufficiently low-level enough that even rogues with UMD should be able to spam it defensively.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-16, 12:46 PM
You might want to check up on "no limits fallacy" sometime.

Infinite? No.

And I see your titans and raise you cruise missiles.

No, no, infinite. Well, not infinite, but an arbitrarily large number. Why? Because Titans have Gate as an SLA, and can therefore (if you give it the proper commands when you Gate one in) each Gate in another Titan.

I'd say a Chain-Lightning-spamming Titan is about equal to a cruise missile in the amount of damage it can do. And a single mage can make an arbitrarily large number of them appear and do his bidding in combat.

Magic can do quite a number of ridiculously cheesy things that more or less instantaneously let them win. Scry + Greater Teleport + Dominate Person = enemy surrenders.

Ramza00
2007-02-16, 01:02 PM
For a tech based solution that does the same, try a simple mortar or cannon.

They do not make armies redundant, and can be mass produced, fired all day if need be, with no "memorization" or many years of training required.

Therefore, Entangle would not make armies redundant either.
I am not talking modern armies I am talking med-evil armies


Huh? Entangle doesn't kill armies, it just inconveniences a part of a unit. :P
Entangle by itself doesn't kill armies, that inconvience to the unit though will allow a weaker force to slaughter a better equiped army. That incovience will allow archery and light infantry to be very successful.


Used right, entangle could seriously harm an army. Cast it on the front rank of a cavalry charge, and watch as the next ten ranks pile into it. Pepper the resulting mass with arrows and you might have won the battle for the cost of a level one spell. Nice.

Or, you could find a dozen 1st-level commoners with good pitching arms and give them tanglefoot bags or thunderstones to stop cavalry charges.

Exactly several battles throughout history have been won by similar terrain tactics. Entangle though allows you to bring the bad terrain to the army.

Yes there are far better higher level spells for the destruction of armies, the thing is it is a lvl 1 spell with a huge range and area. Several druids will be able to cast multiple copies of it, (overlaping to cause multiple saves) reducing the utility of the opposing army for they must deal with the plants, while the rest of your army harrasses the enemies at range. A good portion of the opposing army will not be entangled or they will make the strength checks, but these people will be the first ones picked off by the archers.

Thus that spell is a low level army killer if the opposing army is full of low level people.

Ramza00
2007-02-16, 01:04 PM
For mid levels you start using control winds (with beads of kama, magic tattoo, and other caster level bonusing items/spells/feats). It is quite easy to do a wind storm that increases the wind levels 4 or 5 levels. Additionally you can face the wind in a single direction thus allowing you to destroy the other army while keeping yours intact.

If there was just a Moderate Wind (second lowest catergory) before the spell you can create a Tornado level wind with these effects. Ranged and Sieged Weapons can not fire. All nonfortified buildings are destroyed and large trees are often uprooted. All creatures in the area must make a fort save every round or face effects based on size. DC is 30
Large or Smaller Blown Away
Huge Knocked down
Gargantuan or Colossal Checked (Creatures are unable to move forward against the force of the wind. Flying creatures are blown back 1d65 feet.)
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/controlWinds.htm
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/weather.htm

And people laughed when I asked "If Druids ruled the world" before :smallwink:

Josh Inno
2007-02-16, 01:08 PM
In my understanding, conscripts are normally made up of peasants with padded armor and spears, maybe a wooden shield if they're lucky.

This assumes you're working with a relatively standard fantasy world where the majority of the population (not the strongest minority, but an actual, large, majority) of the population are commoners, and most of those are quite low level to boot.

The next level up of troop is the warrior. Probably with a shield, a short sword, and some leather or studded leather armor. Maaaybe some chain. Alternately, some of these may be archers with long bows.

Basically, if I were to build an army, one of the key things I'd look at is what kind of people are available in the society fielding the army, and how much of their resources the rulers of the land are willing to field. There will be higher level warriors, and some fighters in the army, but for every 3rd level warrior, there's gonna be 2 1sties, and probably a bunch of commoner conscripts, since when you put out a draft for people to fight in the army, the majority of the people you're going to be able to get are going to be commoners, since that's the majority of the type of people there are.

And that's partially because of how mideval war fare worked.

Olethros
2007-02-16, 01:22 PM
[QUOTE=Emperor Tippy;2031546]Give me 20 level 20 wizards and I will defend a country the size of the US from an invasion force the size of china.

Give me 20 lvl 20 anythings and we can seriously start talking god slaying, atleast the small ones :smallwink:

Once we start into the realm of the lvl 20 adventurer any semblence of logic and reason in a "real world" sence must be thrown out the window. Yes a low lvl army of any size would be hard pressed to stop 20 lvl 20's, but its about the same comparison as postulating the defeat of 1000 Zulu spearmen by one guy with alot of high explosives and a flamethrower...

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 01:53 PM
I am not talking modern armies I am talking med-evil armies

OK, there seem to be a large number of only semi-related debates going on in paralell here.



No, no, infinite. Well, not infinite, but an arbitrarily large number. Why? Because Titans have Gate as an SLA, and can therefore (if you give it the proper commands when you Gate one in) each Gate in another Titan.

One by one summoning is not arbitrarily large by a longshot, given that the opposition is not going to be inactive.


I'd say a Chain-Lightning-spamming Titan is about equal to a cruise missile in the amount of damage it can do. And a single mage can make an arbitrarily large number of them appear and do his bidding in combat.

Chain lightning cannot match a tonne of high explosives concentrated on a point. And there are nukes. Exit Titans.

Hell, spam them with Browning M2.50 machine guns and they would have problems.


Magic can do quite a number of ridiculously cheesy things that more or less instantaneously let them win. Scry + Greater Teleport + Dominate Person = enemy surrenders.

Nonsense. A modern army is not run by a single individual. Cheese or not, you're making biased assumptions about the actions of each party and not considering the capabilities of each. Anyone can "win" against an opponent that simply lines up as though in front of a firing squad.


Cruise Missile + Shatter = Effective anti-missile system.

And shatter is sufficiently low-level enough that even rogues with UMD should be able to spam it defensively.

That's ridiculous. How would Shatter create an anti-missile system?

Fax Celestis
2007-02-16, 02:04 PM
Nonsense. A modern army is not run by a single individual. Cheese or not, you're making biased assumptions about the actions of each party and not considering the capabilities of each. Anyone can "win" against an opponent that simply lines up as though in front of a firing squad.

Alright. Bard, with Glibness. Arbitrarily large bluff modifier. He's the diplomat. "We have modified all your weaponry to be under our control now. Surrender, or we'll kill you with your own gear."


That's ridiculous. How would Shatter create an anti-missile system?

Spell Turrets (see the DMG-II) with Enlarged Shatter can simply target a missile and break it, rendering it useless. Further, wizards with Teleport Object can teleport missiles to targets that would destroy the opposing army. Sorcerors with Magic Missile/Missle Storm can destroy multiple missiles at once without chance of missing.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-16, 02:05 PM
One by one summoning is not arbitrarily large by a longshot, given that the opposition is not going to be inactive.

No, you don't get it. When you Gate in the Titan, he gets a standard action right away. He uses that Standard Action to Gate in another Titan, which does the same, ad infinitum. The Titans are "deployed" in a single casting.



Chain lightning cannot match a tonne of high explosives concentrated on a point. And there are nukes. Exit Titans.

Hell, spam them with Browning M2.50 machine guns and they would have problems.
No, but a Titan's Chain Lightning is at-will and usable at range.
Titans have a lot of hit points; one Chain Lightning will take out everyone using those guns.
And that's just one monster.

Nukes aren't a viable combat tactic. There is a reason that they aren't used.


Nonsense. A modern army is not run by a single individual. Cheese or not, you're making biased assumptions about the actions of each party and not considering the capabilities of each. Anyone can "win" against an opponent that simply lines up as though in front of a firing squad.

Um... how about the commander-in-chief? In any case, Teleport, dominate, teleport, dominate, teleport, dominate--even if you need to get ten people, twenty, more, several spellcasters can do this within a very short space of time.

Magical armies--presuming high-level casters, of course--have unmatchable transportation (Teleport, Teleport Circles), communication (Telepathic Bond), camoflauge (Veil, Mirage Arcana, et cetera), and reconaissance (Scrying, other divinations). Modern armies have more firepower--carpet-bombing, whee--but that wouldn't come into play, really.

TheElfLord
2007-02-16, 02:08 PM
When I claim that a modern army would make mincemeat out of a D&D one, I'm going by what would be realistic given their known capabilities

You know the OP didn't say anything about a modern army. In fact, IIRC, which i might not be cause there were a lot of posts, you were the first one to mention modern armies. You have kept mentioning modern armies in may threads, even when quoteing people that are talking about Medieval/DnD armies. You are cretating side debates which only serve to hijack the OP's thread, which he specifically asks you not to do in his signature.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 02:12 PM
You know the OP didn't say anything about a modern army. In fact, IIRC, which i might not be cause there were a lot of posts, you were the first one to mention modern armies. You have kept mentioning modern armies in may threads, even when quoteing people that are talking about Medieval/DnD armies. You are cretating side debates which only serve to hijack the OP's thread, which he specifically asks you not to do in his signature.

No. I am not creating any such debates, I am responding to points raised. Please take another look at the thread: you'll see that it was not I who raised this issue of modern armies first.

And I have participated in the issue of medieval armies' relevance given the presence of high level magic as well, so kindly don't presume to insinuate otherwise.

Falkus
2007-02-16, 02:14 PM
Um... how about the commander-in-chief? In any case, Teleport, dominate, teleport, dominate, teleport, dominate--even if you need to get ten people, twenty, more, several spellcasters can do this within a very short space of time.

You forgot to mention the bit where the Secret Service guns down said wizard about a second after he appears.


Nukes aren't a viable combat tactic.

Actually, tactical nuclear weapons are a very viable combat technique as part of a limited scale nuclear war, and a large number of them have been developed with that specific intention in mind.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-16, 02:19 PM
You forgot to mention the bit where the Secret Service guns down said wizard about a second after he appears.
Good thing he has Stoneskin up. Or, you know, Invisibility plus a shaped Silence that excludes the wizard (or Silent spells, or Sculpt Sound, or any other way of Silencing the area around the wizard but letting him talk/cast). Or Protection from Arrows (or, better yet, the version that rebounds them on the shooter). Or any of the other things he can do to prevent this. Or all of them at once.
Teleport in, ignore the bullets that can't damage you, cast Dominate, teleport out. Telepathically tell the commander-in-chief to negotiate for peace.




Actually, tactical nuclear weapons are a very viable combat technique as part of a limited scale nuclear war, and a large number of them have been developed with that specific intention in mind....yeah, I'm gonna go with you don't nuke things, for a number of reasons starting with "if one person launches a nuke, other people launch nukes" and "very long-term effects, just look at Hiroshima". We have lots of nukes. We're not going to use them, and this is right and proper.

Nevertheless, though--between Hallucinatory Terrain, Mirage Arcana, et cetera, how do you know what to nuke? Hell--the fantasy army could just be stored within a Magnificent Mansion or ten, with the wizards popping around and doing their thing without any need for troops.

Fax Celestis
2007-02-16, 02:19 PM
You forgot to mention the bit where the Secret Service guns down said wizard about a second after he appears.

Celerity + Wail of the Banshee.

No more SS.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-16, 02:22 PM
Hell. Teleport, Twinned Celerity, Dominate plus Teleport out. No one even gets a chance to react... not that it'd help.

LotharBot
2007-02-16, 02:23 PM
There are 3 questions here:

Q1) do D&D PC's make D&D armies obsolete?
A1) depends on the DM and how they lay out the army. Are they a bunch of level 1 commoners? Well then, they're toast. Are they a bunch of level 10 characters fighting your four level 20s? Then you might be in trouble.

Q2) do D&D PC's make medieval armies obsolete?
A2) For most purposes, yes. D&D PC's can't hold ground, but aside from that, they (using game rules) can pretty well wipe real people (using real physics and spears, so there's no natural 20=hit rule).

Q3) do D&D PC's make modern armies obsolete?
A3) no way. Do you have the slightest clue how capable modern UCAV's are? The F-22 raptor? AWACS/AEW&C aircraft? Your "invisible" "flying" mage isn't going to last very long once they show up on radar and get nailed by a missile from a plane they didn't even know was there.

Orzel
2007-02-16, 02:23 PM
Why is this topic still going? A D&D army vs and Modern army would be deadlocked for 50 years until the D&D side produces a 18th level wizard or the Modern side produces tech to nuke the part of the planet they aren't on and live.

Ramza00
2007-02-16, 02:23 PM
You forgot to mention the bit where the Secret Service guns down said wizard about a second after he appears.

You have seen X-Men 2 correct?

Well imagine it but far worse. Greater Invisibility (or Superior Invisibility) combine with Greater/Improved Blink (same spell though depending on source it has a different name.)

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-16, 02:24 PM
Ramza--Greater and Improved Blink actually do two different things. Greater Blink is much, much better than Improved Blink.

Falkus
2007-02-16, 02:25 PM
Teleport in, ignore the bullets that can't damage you, cast Dominate, teleport out. Telepathically tell the commander-in-chief to negotiate for peace.

Actually, having thought about it, I can give you a really good reason why it won't work. The optmized CinC is going to be a third level charismatic hero, with maxed out levels in Opinion Maker and Commander, as well as high mental stats. His will save is going to be through the roof. You've got no guarantees that your wizard can dominate him.


..yeah, I'm gonna go with you don't nuke things, for a number of reasons starting with "if one person launches a nuke, other people launch nukes" and "very long-term effects, just look at Hiroshima". We have lots of nukes. We're not going to use them, and this is right and proper.

That's a strategic nuke, as in a direct, end of the world, nuclear war. Tactical nukes are an entirely different thing.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-16, 02:25 PM
Why is this topic still going? A D&D army vs and Modern army would be deadlocked for 50 years until the D&D side produces a 18th level wizard or the Modern side produces tech to nuke the part of the planet they aren't on and live.

Except all you need for the Dominate/Teleport is a 9th level wizard. Not so rare.

Low-level D&D spells do things that technology has no way of countering and no way of emulating.

Ramza00
2007-02-16, 02:26 PM
Q3) do D&D PC's make modern armies obsolete?
A3) no way. Do you have the slightest clue how capable modern UCAV's are? The F-22 raptor? AWACS/AEW&C aircraft? Your "invisible" "flying" mage isn't going to last very long once they show up on radar and get nailed by a missile from a plane they didn't even know was there.

The whole point of the people that are arguing Magic is superior is that they don't have to fight. Wizard are the ultimate commandos, navy seals, etc. They just teleport in, create chaos, and then get the hell out. If done correctly they don't have to fight the big airplanes.

And given enough time you can actually create enough magic items/towers etc to have them fight modern weapons, as Fax mentioned before with the towers who can cast shatter.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 02:29 PM
The whole point of the people that are arguing Magic is superior is that they don't have to fight. Wizard are the ultimate commandos, navy seals, etc. They just teleport in, create chaos, and then get the hell out. If done correctly they don't have to fight the big airplanes.

I have already adressed this nonsense. You don't win wars with special forces alone.


And given enough time you can actually create enough magic items/towers etc to have them fight modern weapons, as Fax mentioned before with the towers who can cast shatter.

Given enough time? Who was planning on giving them any? This is like saying that "I can beat Kasparov at chess, provided that he makes no moves".


Hell. Teleport, Twinned Celerity, Dominate plus Teleport out. No one even gets a chance to react... not that it'd help.

And this would acheive what, precisely?

Which debate are you posting this in relation to? Modern? You would have to keep doing that for the entire command structure.

Standard D&D? There is this spell called "anti magic field"

Incidentally, Anti Magic Field eliminates the ridiculous idea that high level wizards would make a D&D army obsolete.


You have seen X-Men 2 correct?

Well imagine it but far worse. Greater Invisibility (or Superior Invisibility) combine with Greater/Improved Blink (same spell though depending on source it has a different name.)

You are basing your position in a debate on what would realistically happen in a magic versus tech scenario on X-Men movies?

Ramza00
2007-02-16, 02:29 PM
Ramza--Greater and Improved Blink actually do two different things. Greater Blink is much, much better than Improved Blink.
They are? I was using the crystal keep pdf and they are listed under the same spell. Damn very useful tools that are sometimes not accurate *shakes fist*

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-16, 02:31 PM
Actually, having thought about it, I can give you a really good reason why it won't work. The optmized CinC is going to be a third level charismatic hero, with maxed out levels in Opinion Maker and Commander, as well as high mental stats. His will save is going to be through the roof. You've got no guarantees that your wizard can dominate him.
Optimized? I'm not talking about an optimized wizard here. Look at any given modern world leader, especially that of a major country: does he seem optimized to you? D'you think he'd have a high Will save?
The wizard can try. A lot. He's immune to bullets, can be immune to grappling, and pretty much everything else they can try to do to subdue him. He can cast a lot of high-DC Dominates (the optimized charismatic hero's will save is what? Not enough to beat the DC every time), Charms, et cetera. He can throw down a Mind Fog.
And if the caster is invisible and silenced, no one would even know anything was happening.


That's a strategic nuke, as in a direct, end of the world, nuclear war. Tactical nukes are an entirely different thing.
And they're small-scale enough not to matter compared to, say, the MOAB, or carpet-bombing. Tech is better at mass destruction (not counting cheese that can call in 124673159264 Titans in a single round, a Hulking Hurler that can throw the moon, and other such things), yes--but that won't help, because they don't know where to fire the nuke, and if they do, chances are it's an illusionary target and the wizards are safe in their Magnificent Mansion or other magical safe haven.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-16, 02:31 PM
I dunno, a D20 modern army might be able to put the hurt on a D&D army (and it's quantifiable). Guns beat every single basic weapon in D&D, they have some spellcasters that might be able to handle (or at least ward against) the D&D casters, and a lot of their heavy artillery stuff just flat out hurts. Infinite titans meet contingent of spell-warded Bradleys...

Falkus
2007-02-16, 02:35 PM
Optimized? I'm not talking about an optimized wizard here. Look at any given modern world leader, especially that of a major country: does he seem optimized to you? D'you think he'd have a high Will save?

From the view of d20 Modern, yes, the leader of a nation would be a high level character, focusing primarily on advanced classes from the d20 Modern Companions that best represent commanders and political leaders

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-16, 02:35 PM
I have already adressed this nonsense. You don't win wars with special forces alone.



Given enough time? Who was planning on giving them any? This is like saying that "I can beat Kasparov at chess, provided that he makes no moves".
What's the hypothetical scenario, here? Wars don't just suddenly happen. They take a long time in terms of build-up, escalation, etc. It's not 1-2-3-LAUNCH NUKES.




And this would acheive what, precisely?

Which debate are you posting this in relation to? Modern? You would have to keep doing that for the entire command structure.Yes, modern. You could easily do it for the entire high-level command structure--you don't need to dominate all the troops. The Commander-in-Chief has the authority to end a war, doesn't he? And if you Dominate the generals, too? That should bloody well do it.


Incidentally, Anti Magic Field eliminates the ridiculous idea that high level wizards would make a D&D army obsolete.How so? AMFs are emanations from a caster. That caster can be killed by another caster (instantaneous conjurations--orb of acid, etc). It's also a 10' emanation. How's that going to stop wizards from doing important things?


Edit: no, the leader of a country wouldn't often be high-level or optimized. That's just not how politics work. Take a look at the leaders of the USA.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 02:36 PM
Good thing he has Stoneskin up. Or, you know, Invisibility plus a shaped Silence that excludes the wizard (or Silent spells, or Sculpt Sound, or any other way of Silencing the area around the wizard but letting him talk/cast). Or Protection from Arrows (or, better yet, the version that rebounds them on the shooter). Or any of the other things he can do to prevent this. Or all of them at once.
Teleport in, ignore the bullets that can't damage you, cast Dominate, teleport out. Telepathically tell the commander-in-chief to negotiate for peace.

Or, how about that the CIA or Mossad simply shoots him in the back of the head with a sniper rifle. Hey, if you can arbitrarily assume that things are going to be simple set piece scenarios, so can I.

Mewtarthio
2007-02-16, 02:38 PM
Optimized? I'm not talking about an optimized wizard here. Look at any given modern world leader, especially that of a major country: does he seem optimized to you? D'you think he'd have a high Will save?
The wizard can try. A lot. He's immune to bullets, can be immune to grappling, and pretty much everything else they can try to do to subdue him. He can cast a lot of high-DC Dominates (the optimized charismatic hero's will save is what? Not enough to beat the DC every time), Charms, et cetera. He can throw down a Mind Fog.
And if the caster is invisible and silenced, no one would even know anything was happening.

If you're up against an enemy with the ability to Dominate you, odds are you won't just say "Oh, look, the President surrendered: I guess it's time to go home."

Orzel
2007-02-16, 02:38 PM
Except all you need for the Dominate/Teleport is a 9th level wizard. Not so rare.

Low-level D&D spells do things that technology has no way of countering and no way of emulating.

A 9th level wizard would not survive long enough nor have enough spells.
The D&D side would have to train wizards outside of combat (low level wizards would die or retire), it would take decades. It would be an superweapon race.

PC is D&D setting: Depends on the setting's armies.
PC is medieval setting: Yes
PC is Modern setting: Armies would still be useful.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-16, 02:39 PM
Or, how about that the CIA or Mossad simply shoots him in the back of the head with a sniper rifle. Hey, if you can arbitrarily assume that things are going to be simple set piece scenarios, so can I.

-How do they find him?
-How do they get past his anti-projectile spells, which he can have up 24/7?

The thing about my scenario is that it doesn't assume much. The President is somewhere, surrounded by secret service agents, sure. He has no way of preventing any 9th+ level wizard from scrying on him or teleporting in.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 02:40 PM
What's the hypothetical scenario, here? Wars don't just suddenly happen. They take a long time in terms of build-up, escalation, etc. It's not 1-2-3-LAUNCH NUKES.

The claim that a D&D army with wizards would be able to defeat a modern army. That is the scenario.


Yes, modern. You could easily do it for the entire high-level command structure--you don't need to dominate all the troops. The Commander-in-Chief has the authority to end a war, doesn't he? And if you Dominate the generals, too? That should bloody well do it.

Rubbish. If the CinC is incapacitated or otherwise rendered incompetent in times of war, there is something that comes into play known as the "chain of command".


How so? AMFs are emanations from a caster. That caster can be killed by another caster (instantaneous conjurations--orb of acid, etc). It's also a 10' emanation. How's that going to stop wizards from doing important things?

Quit strawmanning. No one claimed that they wouldn't do "important things". My point adressed the idiotic notion that armies would become obsolete.


-How do they find him?
-How do they get past his anti-projectile spells, which he can have up 24/7?

The thing about my scenario is that it doesn't assume much. The President is somewhere, surrounded by secret service agents, sure. He has no way of preventing any 9th+ level wizard from scrying on him or teleporting in.

Yes, your scenarios assume much: the abolotion of chain of command and people merely kowtowing to a dominated CinC.

Tormsskull
2007-02-16, 02:40 PM
Ok, I'm sorry but I have to declare everyone who is participating in this "debate" between modern technology and D&D fantasy silly. You can't logically compare a fantasy world with magic to the real world. Its just nonsense. You guys remind me of my little cousins who argue who would win in a fight between Batman & Spiderman. The answer is: whoever is writing the book.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-16, 02:43 PM
Ok, I'm sorry but I have to declare everyone who is participating in this "debate" between modern technology and D&D fantasy silly. You can't logically compare a fantasy world with magic to the real world. Its just nonsense. You guys remind me of my little cousins who argue who would win in a fight between Batman & Spiderman. The answer is: whoever is writing the book.

Nonsense. It is perfectly reasonable to debate on the relative capabilities of factions with clearly defined capabilities. If you don't find it "logical", you clearly have no idea of what logic is.

Falkus
2007-02-16, 02:45 PM
You can't logically compare a fantasy world with magic to the real world.

Of course you can. I have the DnD core rulebooks and the d20 Modern core rulebook, and they're more or less compatible with each other (aside from a few minor rule differences). Of course I can compare them.

Hurlbut
2007-02-16, 02:46 PM
Oh, and, not in the Iliad admittedly, a small band of high-level guys *did* take Troy. It seems they all hid in this wooden horse and.... ;P

Not really, but they *did* help with taking of Troy by OPENING the gate to let the greek army in.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-16, 02:51 PM
You know, in D20 Modern, Greater Dispel is an incantation that anyone can use...

Fax Celestis
2007-02-16, 02:56 PM
Ok, I'm sorry but I have to declare everyone who is participating in this "debate" between modern technology and D&D fantasy silly. You can't logically compare a fantasy world with magic to the real world. Its just nonsense. You guys remind me of my little cousins who argue who would win in a fight between Batman & Spiderman. The answer is: whoever is writing the book.

TormsSkull wins. I'm going home.

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 05:12 PM
Likewise, you can't defend, or even observe, the entire border at once.
You have heard of divinations correct?


There's no way you're fitting a soldier and all of his gear in one 5' square. I'm nearly 6' tall without anything. Additionally, even amongst 50 million conscripts, there are going to be leaders and veterans who tell the conscripts how to set up camp and they will know, even without knowledge of your awesome wizardry, that setting up people that close together is unhygienic and unfeasible. Two soldiers per 10' square is still too close together, but it at least accommodates gear. This already halves your number dead.
It's a 5 ft. by 5 ft. by 5 ft cube. And I've gone so far as to cut my numbers in half and I still kill 750,000 per day.


And exactly one night of this for them to prepare countermeasures.
Start naming countermeasures. I can't think of any but post whatever you have.


For the first day, maybe. Watch it be boosted again as soon as even one of your wizards is foiled even once.
How exactly do you find me? Greater Invisibility + Greater Teleport.


If you think it would take them a year to march anywhere and sack it you've got another place to rethink your math. I'll give you this. Each day you let them march, your borders will get smaller.
You move 10 miles per day. And if there was a big river or 2 that you had to cross I could down the bridges and keep you there for a good long time.


I was assuming 50 million. I only stated the potential for 500 million going by the book. If you wanted to use a 100,000 person army, you shouldn't have said "from an invasion force the size of China".
And I have shown that I can still kill your 50 million or even 500 million men.


You said using D&D, so why would you assume that in 50 million people they can't find someone capable of casting "Create Food and Water" amongst the troops? No high level magicks needed there. Create water is a cantrip even for an adept and makes 2 gallons of water per level, enough to sustain 4 people until they can find the next river. If that's not enough, they can use another cantrip to Purify 8 gallons of urine per level, making it pure water instead.
...
Create Food and Water is a 3rd level cleric spell that isn't on the Adept list. If you meant create water that is 2 gallons of water per level. An active human needs about 2 gallons of water per day to not get dehydrated. Lets assume level 2 adepts. They get 3 level 0 spells per day. So they can provide water for 6 people per day.

50,000,000 / 6 = 8,333,334

A horse needs close to 36 gallons of water per day. Lets go with 8.5 million adepts to keep your army hydrated.

My wizards can find those adepts and for ever 1 I kill you lose water for 6 men. And adepts aren't easily replaced. This also fails to account for food.


And to think that no one would realize what was going on is ridiculous. Small groups post guards at night during peace time. Why wouldn't they post them during an invasion? Your guards may not know what caused it on the first night, but they'll see it coming and raise an alarm. Possilby waking low level arcanists that have access to Wind Wall. Certainly by the second night they would.
Read the spells I have mentioned. Greater Invisibility means that you wont see me casting. Greater Teleport means that I can get to you and leave quickly. Read Cloud Kill. The First round I create a 20 foot radius sphere that kills everyone with less than 3 HD instantly without allowing a save and kills up to 5 HD with a fortitude save that maybe 1 in 20 will make. If it kills your guards the first round then no alarm will be raised and their is nothing left over 20 minutes later when it dissipates. You just have a camp of dead guys.

But how about the next day I teleport into the middle of your camp and cast it outwards.



Again, I'll remind you that I'm assuming only 10% of the "fit for military duty" are actually on the march. That's hardly "undefended".
Yes it is. Teleport and Greater Invisibility makes your walls worthless. Now that I'm in your city I let loose a couple of cloud kills.



You might get away with this once.
Why exactly? Whats your counter?


Assuming a 20% survival rate, 10 million troops banging on your (likely wooden) walls will wobble them more than enough to spook your guards (which you don't have because you're doing all of this with only 20 wizards).
Why are you assuming a 20% survival rate. And I can cast Wall of Iron with my level 20 casters. My walls are solid Iron. Why would you assume wood?


None of this even addresses the fact that if you can make 20 level 20 wizards, China can make 80 using the same methods.

So true. I maintain that no one would be stupid enough to send a massed army against something if the people in D&D were actually smart. Governments would be unrecognizable and the world would be entirely different if any of the D&D writers ever bothered to actually follow the use of magic to its logical conclusion.




So Items of Windwall / Dispel Magic / Create Food+Water / etc would now be too far away? -cause that would take away alot of the problems you listed for the uncomming army :)
Of course they would. But you have apparently never seen some of the weapons that I have developed from custom magic items. Death Ships are very nice and only 200K a piece and are pretty much unkillable.

Then there is the use activated item of DD that activates every time a Wail of the Banshee affect goes off within range of it. Combined with an item of wail of the banshee every time the wearer is affected by a DD effect and travels more than 1 foot.

How Use activated items work I could travel around the world in 6 seconds using wail of the banshee everywhere.



No no, not Development time, Production time. If you say i have to invent the equipment, that would be the same as inventing / discovering non-inborn magic (read. wizards). -that should even the odds a bit ;)

Not really. A new spell is the equivalent to a new weapons system. A wizard is the equivalent to a new type of weaposn system such as the plane or the boat.




Of course he is. But you can't conduct a war of conquests with just wizards; unless you plan on killing everyone in the territory you're taking, you'll need an occupation force. I don't believe I said anything about anything other than holding territory thus far.
I never said that I planned on holding ground or takeing new ground. I have also said numerous times that a force like I am talkign about couldn't hold ground. But they could deny it to the enemy.



Last I checked, this wasn't about magic vs. tech. But if you insist on expanding it, I shall now demonstrate how wrong you are.

Teleportation requires that you be familiar with your target location. So no, it's not "anywhere in the world," it's "anywhere in the world that you've been."
Divination makes that moot.


I contend that a wizard would have a very tough time destroying a modern fighter. No matter how smart he is, he's not going to be able to instantly assess a fighter's speed and do the trigonometry required to place a spell on an intercept course to hit with anything resembling reliability. This in large part has to do with the fact that no one has that kind of mental capacity, but it has more to do with humans being incapable of processing spatial relationships at anything close to the speed of sound. We're not wired for it; our eyes and brains work on the assumption that we can't move much faster than our running speed.
The point is not that a wizard would have a tough time destroying a fighter but that he has the ability of that fighter and of a tank and of infantry.


It won't take very long after you start using cloudkill on a modern army for them to break out the NBC gear. Then you're done, at least with that tactic.
I never once said to attack a modern army. I was just comparing magic to modern tech. I was tryign to prove that if we brought 21st century weapons back to the middle ages you would decimate any force of any size. If magic can out perform tech ten it would have an even easier time defeating that force.



Modern weapons outperform magic as stated in destructive power in every conceivable category. There is no spell that can outperform a nuke. Hell, there isn't one that can replicate a 2,000 pound bomb. And that's before we get into JDAM, laser guided munitions, TV guided missiles, and any number of other tricks a modern military has up it's sleeve.
All of those bombs are used to take out hard targets such as bunkers and bridges. Look at disintegrate.


Speaking of categories, you left one out: Range. A modern, non-infantry weapons system will typically have a range measured in miles, not feet or even hundreds of feet. There are rifles in existence that can outrange a long-range (400ft. + 40ft/level) spell and do so accurately. A Tomahawk cruise missile can strike targets hundreds of miles away, and when it arrives can wreak havoc according to it's warhead up to and including a tactical nuclear detonation. D&D magic cannot hold a candle to modern military technology in the field of destructive warfare.
Actually Magic wins in the range fight. Greater teleport+Quickened XXX


I can go on. I suspect that later I'll be doing so. But that should be sufficient for now.
Not really sufficient.


LOL!!
....


Yeah, with SEVEN PEOPLE per casting.
No idea what you are talking about. Cloud Kill kills thousands per casting. And I said only a fool would use fireball in a situation like this (unless you were destroying supplies or the like)


Right. And modern armies have no access to chemical weapons.
I never said that this was to fight a modern army. And you also have to find my forces to use those weapons.


You are talking about DEFENDING A COUNTRY not catching what would amount to a small circle of glorified terrorists.
Against a middle age army 10 or 20 level 20 wizards could defend a country from any outside army.

And if we are talking in the modern world, you have to catch my 20 "terrorists" who have very destructive weapons, can blend in to the populace perfectly, and can travel anywhere instantly.



Because permanent images are sophisticated enough and numerous enough to deal with tens of thousands of troops.
I was using it as an example for Mirage Arcana and Hallucinatory Terrain and the like.


Decentralized command. And they can be killed when they arrive.
Divinations beat your command structure. And you have to find my wizards to kill them. Greater Teleport + Quickened XXX + Greater Cerecity + Greater Teleport. You never get to react.


Don't be absurd.
I'm not. I was talking a middle age city. It coudl be taken easily.



And except for stopping a sufficiently large and well deployed force from razing your country. What, you thought that holding ground was only something an invader did? This line of yours is essentially a concession.
Assuming that you aren't just slaughtering all of the civilians that are on the land then I don't have to hold the ground. Just destroy whatever enemy is on it.

And if we are talking mass slaughter then my wizards can attack as well. Each one can depopulate a dozen or more villages per night.


Who the sam hill would charge an army into a cloud kill spell?
I have said numerous times that you don't attack when the army is moving. Hit and Run tactics. And if you are already charging I can make it appear right there in front of you.

I ready an action to cast cloud kill once the enemy charges.

Congratulations, you just charged through a cloud kill.


And who can accomplish very little in the way of controlling anything beyond their hidey holes or stopping a large, proper army.
Really? Why could they only do these things? 20 Level 20 wizards here. They can do pretty much anything.



Oh, so I get mages too? Anti magic shell around my core units. Thank you, come again.
TK Sphere around the caster disable the field and then I kill all of your protected people. And how exactly would you know when to attack to raise the AMF?




CONCATINATION:




I have been around the internet a bit, but never have I seen such a mile high pile of fappery. high level wizards versus a modern national army?

Wow, just wow.
I was showing that magic is the equal to 21st century tech and that if you were fighting a middle age army you would decimate them. A modern army is roughly equal to a magic force.


<sigh>, let's see.... I think some modifications of this table are in order:


{table]Category | Magic | Current Military tech | Advantage
Communications | Telepathic Bond requires a high level caster to use, and works only for him and a very limited number of selected individuals. Moreover, they do not work in dead magic areas. | Satellite Communications are ubiquitous, freely available to anyone with a communicator. They are not as easy to jam as you insinuate. | Tech
Portability | Greater Teleport works only with a very small group of people and will not move into dead magic areas. | Airplanes are mass produced and a fleet of them can carry vast numbers of people. They can not be detected and stopped fairly easily if they have stealth tech and/or weapons. And who the sam hill would need to carry them in their backpack, what a ridiculous criterion. | Tech
Killing Potential | Though selective, has very limited casting range and area of effect compared with heavy duty tech and can only be used a limited number of times per day for even a high level caster. Claiming that the destructive force can be specified to a very large extent is asinine, since Tech has that advantage to easily a far greater degree | Is far, far more than merely either incredibly destructive and indiscriminate (nuclear weapons) or highly accurate but not as destructive (sniper rifle), there are also these things called "machine guns", "grenades", "mortars", "IED"s, you might perhaps have heard of them at one point or other. These can be used continually, and by any jackandapes, moreover, they are MASS PRODUCED | Tech, by a VAST margin.
Detectability | Certainly possible to detect with an amazing first level spell. I'm sure you know which one I refer to. As for tech only, you need the wizard to cast, and people, including specific people, can be detected with tech in a vast range of ways. | Well, hello mister stealth bomber. And hello mister cruise missile that carries a tonne of high explosives with pinpoint accuracy from across the horizon, and you never knew what hit you | Tech
Size | All of the above is doable ONLY by a wizard that has TRAINED FOR DECADES nor is it easy to mass produce| Requires multiple large systems and the backing of an advanced nations economy, and can rely on the productive power thereof to curbstomp the wizard with sheer frigging mass | Tech
[/table]
I don't feel like makign a new table but I disagree with you. And your modern force gets no magic so you would never detect my magic.


Tech beats magic in almost every field. Who gives a good goddamn whether or nor a wizard is more portable than an airplane, harder to detect than a solider on the ground, and more destructive than a tank or bomb (he is not neccesarily that either). All of this is certainly detectable and very very hard to acquire in the numbers neccsary for accomplishing more than glorified terrorism.
Glorified Terrorism is exactly the point. I am talking the ultimate guerrilla force. Why would I ever fight a stand up battle? And it is highly undetectable without magic (which you don't get, modern weapons or magic NOT both)


So stop fapping, please. You're giving D&D fans a bad name with this nonsense.
No, you clearly aren't thinking this through. Provide a counter for my wizards that is doable with modern tech.


Wizards is a lost cause. You'll lose 5-10% of them a battle if your wizards spend a lot of spell protecting themselves and 25% if they don't. Master arcanist have poor base HP and AC. Heck a soldier half the wizards might not even need a natural 20 to hit. A lvl 20 wizard would take maybe 8 hits before running like a baby. You'd be down to 0 wizards in a month due to death and AWOL.

I will say this 1 last time: ONLY AN IDIOT WOULD USE HIS WIZARDS TO FIGHT AN OPEN BATTLE.

The objective is not to meet the enemy on the field of battle or to be honorable. It is to kill him. You can walk in and take all of the land that you want and you will never see a single troop but every day you will loose an army of 100 thousand or more.

TheElfLord
2007-02-16, 05:23 PM
There are 3 questions here:

Q1) do D&D PC's make D&D armies obsolete?
Q2) do D&D PC's make medieval armies obsolete?
Q3) do D&D PC's make modern armies obsolete?


You have almost hit this thread right on the nose. Except the OP asked if people with high levels of PC classes made armies obsolete, not just PC's. The origianl discussion was not about PC's taking out armies it was about nations employing groups of powerful individual instead of armies. But I digress.

There are 3 questions being discussed in various levels in this thread. The OP, Scalenex only asked question one. Questions 2 and 3 are about different topics and should be addressed in their own threads, not this one. I"m going to post the first two sentences of Scalenex's sig because lots of you seem to have ignored it:


Please don't hijack my threads, or anyone elses for that matter. Start a new thread if you have a radically different direction to go that you believe is valid.

I think Question 2 and Question three are interesting and should be discussed, but should not be disscussed here. Arguing whether a wizard could assasinate the president has no baring on the original qustion, etc.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-02-16, 05:36 PM
Tippy, I seem to have lost the origins of this in this thread, but...where the wombat are you getting 20 level 20 wizards from? That all work together, and don't just easily take control of whatever country's hired them?

Anyway, it doesn't matter, because the enemy can be reasonably expected to have a comparable number of uberwizards. You've admitted this, and follow it to be proving your point, that standing armies are useless against the might of your hit squad. I have a question to ask you, though. What happens when one of the enemy wizards does your Scry/Greater Teleport/Quickened Celerity/Spell of Death/Spell of Death combo on one of your wizards, while he's sleeping? Or better yet, he uses his uberwizards for force protection. You scry-and-die one of his battalions, the defending wizard's there with a Greater Anticipate Teleport, and your uberwizard walks into a couple dozen Delayed Blast Fireballs. Admittedly, this is less effective, since 20 wizards probably can't defend a standing army given the limited range of Anticipate Teleport.

My point is, possible flaws in my specific counterarguments aside, that given an equal number of high-level characters on either side of a conflict, those high level characters will neutralize each other's contributions. 20 uberwizards on Your side are countered by 20 uberwizards on Their side, and Their uberwizards are countered by Yours. They still have a standing army with which to occupy your nation. You don't. They win.


The idea behind all of this is that of Mutually Assured Adventurers. Whatever advantage in high-level characters one side has in a conflict, the other will as well, and they generally cancel each other out. Thus, standing armies of low level characters are not rendered obsolete, since after each side's tactical weapons (wizards) are tied up fighting each other, someone has to go do the actual invading/defending.

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 05:46 PM
Tippy, I seem to have lost the origins of this in this thread, but...where the wombat are you getting 20 level 20 wizards from? That all work together, and don't just easily take control of whatever country's hired them?
It's on page 1 or 2. My first or second post.


Anyway, it doesn't matter, because the enemy can be reasonably expected to have a comparable number of uberwizards. You've admitted this, and follow it to be proving your point, that standing armies are useless against the might of your hit squad. I have a question to ask you, though. What happens when one of the enemy wizards does your Scry/Greater Teleport/Quickened Celerity/Spell of Death/Spell of Death combo on one of your wizards, while he's sleeping? Or better yet, he uses his uberwizards for force protection. You scry-and-die one of his battalions, the defending wizard's there with a Greater Anticipate Teleport, and your uberwizard walks into a couple dozen Delayed Blast Fireballs. Admittedly, this is less effective, since 20 wizards probably can't defend a standing army given the limited range of Anticipate Teleport.
You can hide from any divinations with Mind Blank. And I agree that if the 2 forces met each other it would not be pretty. But your wizards have to defend a large army and are tied to that army while mine can choose to strike anywhere at that army. An equal number wouldn't be able to defend a whole army of the size that we are talking about.


My point is, possible flaws in my specific counterarguments aside, that given an equal number of high-level characters on either side of a conflict, those high level characters will neutralize each other's contributions. 20 uberwizards on Your side are countered by 20 uberwizards on Their side, and Their uberwizards are countered by Yours. They still have a standing army with which to occupy your nation. You don't. They win.
True but first their wizards have to find mine to counter them. It coems down to my wizards having the initiative and yours having to react.



The idea behind all of this is that of Mutually Assured Adventurers. Whatever advantage in high-level characters one side has in a conflict, the other will as well, and they generally cancel each other out. Thus, standing armies of low level characters are not rendered obsolete, since after each side's tactical weapons (wizards) are tied up fighting each other, someone has to go do the actual invading/defending.
See above but I agree that if both sides were evenly matched in wizards and the side with the army was able to catch the other wizards and neutralize them then the side with the army would win.

So the army is still irrelevant to the success or failure of the invasion. If your wizards lose then I can decimate your forces easily and if mien are killed then you don't need an army at all.

Zeb The Troll
2007-02-16, 05:46 PM
You have heard of divinations correct?You still can't divine 20,000 miles. Sorry.


It's a 5 ft. by 5 ft. by 5 ft cube. And I've gone so far as to cut my numbers in half and I still kill 750,000 per day.Cube, square, whatever, one soldier takes up more than that and I promise you, soldiers don't stack up like that in the field.


Start naming countermeasures. I can't think of any but post whatever you have.Alarm. Wind Wall. And even if only one in ten troops is on guard, you've got 5 million guards on duty.


How exactly do you find me? Greater Invisibility + Greater Teleport.Alarm. Invisibility purge. See Invisibility. I'm still not getting in to high level magicks.


You move 10 miles per day. And if there was a big river or 2 that you had to cross I could down the bridges and keep you there for a good long time.So. It's still going to take you a year, minimum, to kill all of my troops. It will not take that long to ford a river.


And I have shown that I can still kill your 50 million or even 500 million men.And I still submit that you won't.


Create Food and Water is a 3rd level cleric spell that isn't on the Adept list. If you meant create water that is 2 gallons of water per level. An active human needs about 2 gallons of water per day to not get dehydrated. Lets assume level 2 adepts. They get 3 level 0 spells per day. So they can provide water for 6 people per day.I never said it was. I said Create Water was on the adept list. If you can come up with 20th level wizards I can surely find 5th level clerics. And whoever told you a soldier needs 2 gallons per day is uninformed or flat out lied to you. I've been on extended maneuvers in Death Valley, California on 2 quarts per day. Have you ever tried to drink two gallons in one day? You'll never stop pissing. Now try to do it for days on end.


A horse needs close to 36 gallons of water per day. Lets go with 8.5 million adepts to keep your army hydrated.36 gallons?? Even if you go with a horse weighing 15 times what a man does (2250 lbs vs. 150 lbs), and using your insane 2 gallons per day, that's only 30 gallons (assuming there's a direct correlation between weight and water requirements, which I doubt.) I submit 1/4th of that at a maximum (based on my 2qts, which is based on actual experience, not a number in a book).


My wizards can find those adepts and for ever 1 I kill you lose water for 6 men. And adepts aren't easily replaced. This also fails to account for food.Why would it be tough to replace a 1st level NPC class? For food, each 5th level cleric can feed 15 people per 3rd level spell. And then there are natural resources to supplement.


Read the spells I have mentioned. Greater Invisibility means that you wont see me casting. Greater Teleport means that I can get to you and leave quickly. Read Cloud Kill. The First round I create a 20 foot radius sphere that kills everyone with less than 3 HD instantly without allowing a save and kills up to 5 HD with a fortitude save that maybe 1 in 20 will make. If it kills your guards the first round then no alarm will be raised and their is nothing left over 20 minutes later when it dissipates. You just have a camp of dead guys.A 5hd warrior has a +4. Cloudkill is a 5th level spell. That means your wizard would have to have a 28 Int to make the save DC a 24, thus making it so that only one in twenty make the save. Your Cloudkill is still negated by the Wind Wall (3rd level spell). Guards don't all stand in a 20 foot circle. Certainly not all 5 million of them. Alarm doesn't even require guards to be present, is a 1st level spell, and is not immune to Invisibility.


But how about the next day I teleport into the middle of your camp and cast it outwards.See above. It will kill people, but not in the numbers you think it will.


Yes it is. Teleport and Greater Invisibility makes your walls worthless. Now that I'm in your city I let loose a couple of cloud kills.Did I say anything about walls? Nope, I said that 90% of the fighting ready are still at home leaving home not "undefended" as you claimed.


Why exactly? Whats your counter?See above.


Why are you assuming a 20% survival rate. And I can cast Wall of Iron with my level 20 casters. My walls are solid Iron. Why would you assume wood?I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you might actually kill off 80% of my troops. A number I'm still feeling very generous about.


So true. I maintain that no one would be stupid enough to send a massed army against something if the people in D&D were actually smart. Governments would be unrecognizable and the world would be entirely different if any of the D&D writers ever bothered to actually follow the use of magic to its logical conclusion.So you concede that 20 wizards alone cannot defend against 50 million troops? If nothing else, you concede that I can meet your wizards with like numbers or more AND have 50 million troops.

Jayabalard
2007-02-16, 06:10 PM
the tech vs magic is pretty silly... and also seems pretty irrelevant to the OP's question.

Going with 3 sub-questions:

Q1) do D&D PC's make D&D armies obsolete?
Possibly; this illustrates where D&D fails the most IMO; the power increase for PC is so high that you have to either take one of 2 tracks (or perhaps somewhere in between).

1a. people with 5+ PC class are incredibly rare, magic is very rare, magic items are very rare. PCs therefore are going to be weaker than what alot of people seem play (not many magic items for example) but are still quite a bit more powerful than the average Willie or Joe in the army. If they're sufficiently high in level, they'll decimate the opposing army

1b. People with 5 or more PC class levels are common, magic is common, magic items are easy to get at MagicItems'R'Us, etc. PCs are not all that special compared to the rest of the army.

Q2) do D&D PC's make medieval armies obsolete?
Absolutely; medieval armies had nothing like the level of power that PC do; they have no real defense against magic, nor do they have the level of power of a standard high (10+) level fighter.

Q3) do D&D PC's make modern armies obsolete?
Nope, there's no magic in the modern world, so the PCs will get killed quickly and easily by high technology..

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 06:13 PM
You still can't divine 20,000 miles. Sorry.
Yes you can. Contact Other Plane lets me play 20 questions basically to find out where your forces are.


Cube, square, whatever, one soldier takes up more than that and I promise you, soldiers don't stack up like that in the field.
Not really. I lay down to sleep and you lay down to sleep 3 feet away. Our feet extend into the square below us but their can still be people in that square.

And I have cut the numbers in half to assume 10 feet per person and it still decimates your armies.


Alarm. Wind Wall. And even if only one in ten troops is on guard, you've got 5 million guards on duty.
So you aren't splitting your forces? You have 1 50 million man army?

At 10 square feet a person your camp would take up 833,334 square miles. Spread out evenly that is 1 guard every 1,000 square feet. Your guards aren't going to stop anything.


Alarm. Invisibility purge. See Invisibility. I'm still not getting in to high level magic's.
All of that over 833 thousand square miles of land? That is a lot of Alarms and Invisibility Purges.


So. It's still going to take you a year, minimum, to kill all of my troops. It will not take that long to ford a river.
But how many men do you lose in the fording? Remember most of those 50 million are level 1 commoners who were farmers. They don't swim so well. How many drown?


I never said it was. I said Create Water was on the adept list. If you can come up with 20th level wizards I can surely find 5th level clerics.
Actually you said Create Food and Water. You may have meant create Water but you said create food and water. And I need 10-20 men, you need hundreds of thousands of clerics.


And whoever told you a soldier needs 2 gallons per day is uninformed or flat out lied to you. I've been on extended maneuvers in Death Valley, California on 2 quarts per day. Have you ever tried to drink two gallons in one day? You'll never stop pissing. Now try to do it for days on end.
You weren't drinking enough then. A 160 pound person needs .625 gallons of water per day plus 8 ounces per 20 minuets of activity. Marching with a full pack for a day is equal to 192 ounces of water. That is 1.5 Gallons. Add that to the base amount and you need 2.125 gallons of water per day. 20% of that should come from food so you need 1.7 Gallons of water per day.


36 gallons?? Even if you go with a horse weighing 15 times what a man does (2250 lbs vs. 150 lbs), and using your insane 2 gallons per day, that's only 30 gallons (assuming there's a direct correlation between weight and water requirements, which I doubt.) I submit 1/4th of that at a maximum (based on my 2qts, which is based on actual experience, not a number in a book).
Go read up on roman logistics. Or Napoleon. Its between 30 and 36 gallons of water per day for a war horse.


Why would it be tough to replace a 1st level NPC class? For food, each 5th level cleric can feed 15 people per 3rd level spell. And then there are natural resources to supplement.
How many churches will continue to supply clerics when they all end up dead? And how long does it take to get them to the army? 7 Days withotu water will kill a lot of men.


A 5hd warrior has a +4. Cloudkill is a 5th level spell. That means your wizard would have to have a 28 Int to make the save DC a 24, thus making it so that only one in twenty make the save.
Where are you getting a 5HD warrior? 95% + of your force is conscripted 1 HD commoners. They don't even get a save.


Your Cloudkill is still negated by the Wind Wall (3rd level spell).
Wind Wall doesn't last that long. I can just wait for it to turn off and then cast.


Guards don't all stand in a 20 foot circle. Certainly not all 5 million of them. Alarm doesn't even require guards to be present, is a 1st level spell, and is not immune to Invisibility.
See above.


See above. It will kill people, but not in the numbers you think it will.
Actually it will.


I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you might actually kill off 80% of my troops. A number I'm still feeling very generous about.
Now account for desertions with an 80% mortality rate and never once seeing the enemy. Or the fact that you are starving and dehydrated because your supplies never make it through and your force is to large to forage.


So you concede that 20 wizards alone cannot defend against 50 million troops? If nothing else, you concede that I can meet your wizards with like numbers or more AND have 50 million troops.
See my previous post for the like numbers bit.

And I don't concede it. I was merely commenting that if you took magic in society to its logical conclusion then society would be unrecognizable and no one would even contemplate massed armies.

Rama_Lei
2007-02-16, 06:16 PM
Aid Another. DC 10. Surround the PC and BAM!

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 06:16 PM
Aid Another. DC 10. Surround the PC and BAM!
...
Never said that you meet them in open battle.


the tech vs magic is pretty silly... and also seems pretty irrelevant to the OP's question.
Yep. RenegadePaladin mis understood one of my posts and started that whole debate.


Going with 3 sub-questions:

Q1) do D&D PC's make D&D armies obsolete?
Possibly; this illustrates where D&D fails the most IMO; the power increase for PC is so high that you have to either take one of 2 tracks (or perhaps somewhere in between).

1a. people with 5+ PC class are incredibly rare, magic is very rare, magic items are very rare. PCs therefore are going to be weaker than what alot of people seem play (not many magic items for example) but are still quite a bit more powerful than the average Willie or Joe in the army. If they're sufficiently high in level, they'll decimate the opposing army
Yep Yep. Agreed whole heartedly.


1b. People with 5 or more PC class levels are common, magic is common, magic items are easy to get at MagicItems'R'Us, etc. PCs are not all that special compared to the rest of the army.
No world really does this but if PCs were the norm then I woudl agree that they don't make armies irrelevant.


Q2) do D&D PC's make medieval armies obsolete?
Absolutely; medieval armies had nothing like the level of power that PC do; they have no real defense against magic, nor do they have the level of power of a standard high (10+) level fighter.
Agreed completely.


Q3) do D&D PC's make modern armies obsolete?
Nope, there's no magic in the modern world, so the PCs will get killed quickly and easily by high technology..
Nice.

Adam
2007-02-16, 06:17 PM
This topic is making me laugh, so I had to register to throw my 2cp in. Why is this even an argument? Which side wins? The one that can break the laws of physics in arbitrary ways or the one that can't?


Given enough time? Who was planning on giving them any? This is like saying that "I can beat Kasparov at chess, provided that he makes no moves".

That cuts both ways, though. Tanks? Planes? Cruise missiles? Who was planning on giving the modern nation time to build any?



Optimized? I'm not talking about an optimized wizard here. Look at any given modern world leader, especially that of a major country: does he seem optimized to you? D'you think he'd have a high Will save?

Given that election campaigning is, in d20 jargon, essentially an endless series of Bluff, Intimidate, and Diplomacy checks, I'd expect any modern politician modeled under d20 rules to be optimized was laserlike focus to succeed at Bluff, Intimidate, and Diplomacy checks, at the expense of all else. I don't have access to the d20 Modern rules, so I don't know if that focus would give them a good Will save or not, but it does seem to be an accurate portrayal of real world politicians: great at getting elected and poor at everything else, with very few ranks of Knowledge(My Ass From a Hole in the Ground).

Dausuul
2007-02-16, 06:23 PM
Tippy, you said a lot of things, but there is just one that I am going to address in this post, because you are using it as the basis for all sorts of wild claims and I wish to drive a stake through its heart for good.

This is, of course, your claim that cloudkill will wipe out thousands of troops with every casting.

IT JUST AIN'T SO.

I post sentries. Lots of them. One sentry per twenty soldiers is a good guideline. And the sentries are not bunched up in a nice little twenty-foot-radius guard outpost with a sign on top saying "CLOUDKILL HERE!" Nor are they all at the perimeter staring outward. They are distributed throughout my army, looking in all directions, including up.

When they see a weird cloud of fog pop into existence, they wake up anyone in the path of the cloud and get them out of the way. Pretty soon there's a nice clear path and the cloud rolls right on out of the army, helped along by gust of wind and wind wall spells from my low-level casters (note that the wind wall is cast AFTER the cloudkill, not before it, and the cloudkill rolls right into it and is dispersed). The rest of the army sleeps on peacefully.

Do I lose a few men? Sure. It'll take a few rounds for the sentries to spot the threat and move to counter it. Do I lose thousands? HELL NO. Especially not if you're pulling this stunt night after night; my sentries and casters will get pretty practiced at dealing with it after a little while.

Lord Iames Osari
2007-02-16, 06:40 PM
But you're forgetting that we're talking about level 1 commoners here. Obviously, average members of standard races would be far too stupid to do anything like that. I mean, come on, obviously anyone with a mere 10-11 Int/Wis/Cha is going to just stand and watch dumbfounded as a cloud of death kills his allies. It's just the way people act.

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 07:01 PM
Tippy, you said a lot of things, but there is just one that I am going to address in this post, because you are using it as the basis for all sorts of wild claims and I wish to drive a stake through its heart for good.
Good luck. ;)


This is, of course, your claim that cloudkill will wipe out thousands of troops with every casting.

IT JUST AIN'T SO.
I disagree.


I post sentries. Lots of them. One sentry per twenty soldiers is a good guideline.
How big is your army? IF you are talking about the 50 million man army then that is 1 sentry per 2000 square feet. I can fit a lot of cloudkills into that kind of space.


And the sentries are not bunched up in a nice little twenty-foot-radius guard outpost with a sign on top saying "CLOUDKILL HERE!" Nor are they all at the perimeter staring outward. They are distributed throughout my army, looking in all directions, including up.
None of this matters. I can find your sentries easily (various divinations) and disable them easily (sleep or deep slumber are very nice).


When they see a weird cloud of fog pop into existence, they wake up anyone in the path of the cloud and get them out of the way.
Really. These are not trained soldiers. You are trying to wake up level 1 commoners who aren't trained for this type of thing and telling them where to go. And see above, I've disabled your sentries.


Pretty soon there's a nice clear path and the cloud rolls right on out of the army, helped along by gust of wind and wind wall spells from my low-level casters (note that the wind wall is cast AFTER the cloudkill, not before it, and the cloudkill rolls right into it and is dispersed). The rest of the army sleeps on peacefully.
Not really. How many casters do you have and how are they distributed? How many windwalls or gusts of wind do you have? And remember that your casters are my primary targets.


Do I lose a few men? Sure. It'll take a few rounds for the sentries to spot the threat and move to counter it. Do I lose thousands? HELL NO.
Yes you do. See above.


Especially not if you're pulling this stunt night after night; my sentries and casters will get pretty practiced at dealing with it after a little while.
Your sentries are killed first every night by something that they never saw coming and your casters are also killed with alarming regularity.

Weezer
2007-02-16, 07:06 PM
You move 10 miles per day. And if there was a big river or 2 that you had to cross I could down the bridges and keep you there for a good long time.
Any modern army will move a whole lot faster than 10 miles per day, ever heard of APC's. Also ALL modern armies have something called a corp of engineers that with modern military bridging equipment will allow an army to cross a medium sized river in less than 3 hours with all brideges destroyed prior to their arrival. The 3 hours takes into account the fact that they have to get tanks across, infantry can be across abour 30 minutes after the bridging units arrive. Trust me, 10 miles per day is the speed for a medevial army not a modern army.

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 07:17 PM
Weezer. I was talking about a medevial army. I know that a modern army moves a lot faster than that.

When I posted that we weren't even talking about modern armies at all.

Weezer
2007-02-16, 07:18 PM
sorry, misunderstood

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 07:19 PM
No problem.

Lord Iames Osari
2007-02-16, 07:27 PM
None of this matters. I can find your sentries easily (various divinations) and disable them easily (sleep or deep slumber are very nice).

Eventually, one of them will succeed on a save and raise the alarm.


Really. These are not trained soldiers. You are trying to wake up level 1 commoners who aren't trained for this type of thing and telling them where to go. And see above, I've disabled your sentries.

Because obviously, after spending a few nights losing large numbers of people, the leaders aren't going to change the layout, tactics, and everything else. See my above (sarcastic) comment about how we can obviously expect all non-wizards to have the self-awareness and survival instinct of lemmings.


Not really. How many casters do you have and how are they distributed? How many windwalls or gusts of wind do you have? And remember that your casters are my primary targets.

Well, someone earlier mentioned that considering you said "invasion force the size of China", using your own methods of obtaining 20 Wiz20s would give the opposition 80 of equal power.

And really, given that ratio, you will lose. So those 80 wizards can't find your wizards. So what? They can do all the things your wizards can do, so while your 20 wizards are busily wiping out the large conscript army, my 80 wizards are busy laying waste to your nation, using more or less the exact same tactics you are using against my army, only since I have 4 times as many wizards, I can destroy 4 times as much of your infrastructure. Even assuming (as I do not) that your wizards are totally invulnerable to the efforts of the army, the fact remains that your wizards cannot find my wizards any more than mine can find yours. I have more troops to run through than you have population (again going with your China-US comparison), my troops can shift location far more easily than one of your cities/bases can... so, yeah. You might be able to destroy the army, but you'll be running out of country to defend, because every night while you're off killing off however many thousands of soldiers, I'm massacring your cities and towns, killing 4 times as many people as you are every time.

So eventually there'll come a point when your wizards will say "Hahah! At last we have destroyed the invading army! Now our country will heap medals and honors upon... us... Wait..." And that's when they discover that they don't have a country anymore. Oops. Guess they should've been paying more attention. Not like there's anything they could've done about it.

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 07:34 PM
Eventually, one of them will succeed on a save and raise the alarm.
Eventually is quite a long time. And I just pop on over to teh other sdie of the army and try again.


Because obviously, after spending a few nights losing large numbers of people, the leaders aren't going to change the layout, tactics, and everything else. See my above (sarcastic) comment about how we can obviously expect all non-wizards to have the self-awareness and survival instinct of lemmings.
Even crammed 1 person per 10 square feet your army takes up 833 THOUSAND square miles of land. How much more can you really spread out?


Well, someone earlier mentioned that considering you said "invasion force the size of China", using your own methods of obtaining 20 Wiz20s would give the opposition 80 of equal power.
And the army is entirely irrelevant. Those 80 wizards are relevant and would actually be more effective without having to deal with the army.


And really, given that ratio, you will lose. So those 80 wizards can't find your wizards. So what? They can do all the things your wizards can do, so while your 20 wizards are busily wiping out the large conscript army, my 80 wizards are busy laying waste to your nation, using more or less the exact same tactics you are using against my army, only since I have 4 times as many wizards, I can destroy 4 times as much of your infrastructure. Even assuming (as I do not) that your wizards are totally invulnerable to the efforts of the army, the fact remains that your wizards cannot find my wizards any more than mine can find yours. I have more troops to run through than you have population (again going with your China-US comparison), my troops can shift location far more easily than one of your cities/bases can... so, yeah. You might be able to destroy the army, but you'll be running out of country to defend, because every night while you're off killing off however many thousands of soldiers, I'm massacring your cities and towns, killing 4 times as many people as you are every time.
Yes. But this just proves my point. Your army is irrelevant. Your wizards are relevant.


So eventually there'll come a point when your wizards will say "Hahah! At last we have destroyed the invading army! Now our country will heap medals and honors upon... us... Wait..." And that's when they discover that they don't have a country anymore. Oops. Guess they should've been paying more attention. Not like there's anything they could've done about it.
Doesn't matter at all. Your army was still irrelevant. That was my point.

Lord Iames Osari
2007-02-16, 07:38 PM
Not at all. The army was a diversion, distracting your wizards.

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-16, 07:43 PM
If my wizards were distracted or not doesn't matter. You have 4 times as many wizards. Your wizards would beat my wizards easily. The army is irrelevant and actually a negative because you are losing a lot of the people who would be moved onto your new land to settle it.

Dausuul
2007-02-16, 07:49 PM
I disagree.

Disagree all you want. You're still wrong.


How big is your army? IF you are talking about the 50 million man army then that is 1 sentry per 2000 square feet. I can fit a lot of cloudkills into that kind of space.Ah, so you can cast a lot of cloudkills to kill that one miserable sentry and the nineteen sleeping soldiers he's guarding. What on earth does the square footage per sentry have to do with anything?


None of this matters. I can find your sentries easily (various divinations) and disable them easily (sleep or deep slumber are very nice).If I have ten million men (my original estimate, although I'll accept the upgrade to fifty million if you like), there are FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND sentries. I don't care if you know where they are. You cannot kill or disable them all, or even a significant fraction of them, without the ability to wipe out tens of thousands of troops at once. Which ability you won't have until you can kill or disable all my sentries...


Really. These are not trained soldiers. You are trying to wake up level 1 commoners who aren't trained for this type of thing and telling them where to go. And see above, I've disabled your sentries.No, you haven't. And even level 1 commoners can comprehend the idea of "the fog will kill you, get out of its way."


Not really. How many casters do you have and how are they distributed?Oh, call it about fifty thousand casters of level 5 or below, distributed evenly throughout the army. Regulation caster training includes gust of wind at third level and wind wall at fifth, and each caster who's capable of it is expected to keep one such spell prepped at all times as long as we're facing an enemy who's obsessed with cloudkill tactics.

And one other thing...


Even crammed 1 person per 10 square feet your army takes up 833 THOUSAND square miles of land. How much more can you really spread out?On my planet, 50 million people at 10 square feet per person is 500 million square feet. Divide that by 27,878,400 (the number of square feet in a square mile), and you get just under 18 square miles.

Of course, I believe we were talking one person per 10-by-10 square, which is actually 100 square feet per person, not 10. So that's 179 square miles, which is to say a square 13.4 miles on a side.

It's a hell of a big army, but it's not exactly blanketing the country. And it's certainly got plenty of room to spread out.

Lord Iames Osari
2007-02-16, 07:56 PM
No, you haven't. And even level 1 commoners can comprehend the idea of "the fog will kill you, get out of its way."

No, they don't. They're commoners. How many times do we have to go over this? They will obviously just stand there until it kills them, just like the people in Godzilla movies, or zombie movies, or, you know, ANY OTHER DISASTROUS CIRCUMSTANCE YOU CAN THINK OF, the average person will just stand there passively, because that's what people do.

Yes, this is sarcasm directed at ET.

Tor the Fallen
2007-02-16, 08:00 PM
Guys. You're metagaming this the wrong way.
Of course PC classes make armies irrelevant.
PC classes means there are PCs.
PCs means that someone is playing the game.
Take away Player Classes, then there are no longer any players. Which means that no one is playing the game. Which means the imaginary battles never happen.

So, in conclusion, not-PCs make armies irrelevant.

okpokalypse
2007-02-16, 08:00 PM
It's fair to assume that if your side has some high level characters, the enemy side does as well. Chances are, rather then whole sale slaughtering enemy troops, you'll be taking on the enemy PCs so they don't do the same thing to your forces.

Also, never underestimate the the value of natural 20's and aid anothers in large groups. A group of 100 archers is guarenteed at least five hits a round agienst a PC, reguardless of AC. 5d8 damage a round may not seem like much, but it adds up over time.

Very well said. One has to always assume anything, no matter how irrelevant, has a 5% chance of hitting. Now, if said High-End PC has DR 10/- and a Persisted Vigorous Circle on him - it's a different story. Those PCs can wade into combat with very little fear so long as there's no casters, cause once there is...

All it takes is 10 Charm Person spells a round and before long, you're going to roll a 1. Doesn't matter if you've got a 40+ Will Save. Same thing if there's a good 5 or more L9 Priests. You'll eventually fail a Slay Living and drop. Unless you have rolling 1's on unfailable saves house-ruled (as some do), you're more vulnerable than you think.

Dark
2007-02-16, 08:02 PM
How big is your army? IF you are talking about the 50 million man army then that is 1 sentry per 2000 square feet. I can fit a lot of cloudkills into that kind of space.
Um, 2000 square feet is about a 45 by 45 foot square. If the sentries are evenly distributed, there will be about 50 feet between one sentry and the next. You could fit two cloudkills between them, if you aim well.


Really. These are not trained soldiers. You are trying to wake up level 1 commoners who aren't trained for this type of thing and telling them where to go.
That's about as difficult as shouting "Fire! Fire!". Commoners have lots of experience at getting out of the way of dangerous things.

Lord Iames Osari
2007-02-16, 08:05 PM
ET, out of those 500,000 sentries, I calculate that at least (approximately) 25,000 will make their saves against whatever you are doing to incapacitate them.

Now, ET, please answer this: If someone wakes you up and yells at you:

"ZOMG wake up you've gotta run or you'll die! Run away from the cloud!!"

What is your reaction?

a) blink in confusion and incomprehension
b) jump up, disentangle yourself from your bedclothes, and start running

Keep in mind that these are farmers, who are probably used to waking up early. They might not be used to getting up in the middle of the night, but then again, they're conscripts, pulled from their homes and given a minimum of training. I imagine a fair potion of them aren't sleeping very well to begin with.

Tor the Fallen
2007-02-16, 08:08 PM
What, preciesely, does the material plane have to interest 20 level 20 casters, anyway?

"OOOH JA, I BE GETTING TEH PHAT LOOTZ FROM DEEZ HERE PESSENT VEELLAGES!! HOO RAY."

Renegade Paladin
2007-02-16, 08:40 PM
Alright. Bard, with Glibness. Arbitrarily large bluff modifier. He's the diplomat. "We have modified all your weaponry to be under our control now. Surrender, or we'll kill you with your own gear."
Trouble is, modern-day people don't operate according to d20 rules. :smallamused: Hell, even if the person believed every word, there's nothing to say he won't want to keep fighting.

Spell Turrets (see the DMG-II) with Enlarged Shatter can simply target a missile and break it, rendering it useless. Further, wizards with Teleport Object can teleport missiles to targets that would destroy the opposing army. Sorcerors with Magic Missile/Missle Storm can destroy multiple missiles at once without chance of missing.
Sorry, wrong. First, they'd have to have a reaction time fast enough to perceive and target a supersonic object; no mean feat considering you won't hear it coming until after you're dead. Secondly, magic missile doesn't affect nonliving targets.

okpokalypse
2007-02-16, 08:43 PM
20 Level 20 Casters would disperse the Army in a day - unless there's at least a few equally high level casters there to counter-act them.

If the bulk of that Army is < L5, all those L20 Casters Shapechange into Great Wyrm Red Dragons. Between the (Su) and (Ex) abilities they all get, and the movement rates, they absolutely decimate you.

It lasts for 200 Minutes.

They each cover 2000' per minute just using standard actions. Assuming they breathe once every 24 Seconds (longest wait) they each do a 24d10 (DC 40) Fire Blast with a 70' Diameter (flying 60' Up assumedly - so it's a down blast). That's a nearly 4000 sq ft area. They can do this 250 times out (travelling for 100 minutes; 200,000 ft; Approx 38 Miles) and again 250 times back, covering an area of 2,000,000 Sq Ft per Dragon from Breath Weapons.

They in the other 1500 Combat Rounds of the Flight not used by Breath Weapons, they can flyby attack / Tail Sweep - which covers another 40' arc (about another 2500 sq ft). The damage should always be substantial enough to kill a low-level NPC (2d8 + 25). This covers another total area throughout the run of 3,750,000 Sq Ft.

This should bring the total death-area, per shapechang'd Mage, to 5,750,000 sq ft. Multiply that by 20 of em. 115,000,000 Sq Ft. Just over 4 Square Miles. Going by the 18 Sq Mile Army Allocation above, that's about 1/4 of the Army Gone. In just over 3 Hours. And the horrifying part is that the Frightful Presence cripples most would-be attackers hoping to get a lucky shot. Then you have a DR 20/ Magic to get past to Damage it, not to mention the massive Natural AC, the 32 SR and Immunities - all inherited from the Shapechange. Of course, casting Energy Immunity (Cold) is a must before this is done.

If these guys have 4 of em to cast each, the entire army can be gone in about 12 Hours - barring a few high level leaders who can act against them - but they'd be ignored anyhow as it's too difficult to move an army that quickly, and with the movement rate of the dragon, they're only vulnerable for a round or two in most cases...

Heh, if they wanted to be real mean, they could summon Umber Hulks as they go along. They'd last 2 minutes in packs, and their confusion would set the army to fighting itself after the frightening presence wears off.

Renegade Paladin
2007-02-16, 08:50 PM
No, you don't get it. When you Gate in the Titan, he gets a standard action right away. He uses that Standard Action to Gate in another Titan, which does the same, ad infinitum. The Titans are "deployed" in a single casting.
And you don't get it. Out here in real world land, stuff doesn't have hit points. What you've got is a bunch of really big guys with hammers charging lines World War I style - only the guys in the trenches have better weaponry. They die. Horribly.



No, but a Titan's Chain Lightning is at-will and usable at range.
Titans have a lot of hit points; one Chain Lightning will take out everyone using those guns.
And that's just one monster.
A tank's gun is usable effectively at will and has a longer range. And why are you presuming your targets are all going to nicely bunch up for you? We're not talking a Napoleonic-era army, here.

Nukes aren't a viable combat tactic. There is a reason that they aren't used.
True. Fortunately, they're blatantly unnecessary, since modern technology can beat the described destructive force of D&D magic without using nuclear weapons.

Um... how about the commander-in-chief? In any case, Teleport, dominate, teleport, dominate, teleport, dominate--even if you need to get ten people, twenty, more, several spellcasters can do this within a very short space of time.
You have to know where they are. And SOP in a major war that threatens CONUS is to have the President on Air Force One. Sure, find out where he is somehow. By the time you're done casting, the airplane will be somewhere else and you'll be plummeting. Oh sure, you have flight magic, but none of it is as fast as a 747.

Magical armies--presuming high-level casters, of course--have unmatchable transportation (Teleport, Teleport Circles), communication (Telepathic Bond), camoflauge (Veil, Mirage Arcana, et cetera), and reconaissance (Scrying, other divinations). Modern armies have more firepower--carpet-bombing, whee--but that wouldn't come into play, really.
You are profoundly ignorant of the topic if you presume carpet-bombing to be the mainstay of modern destructive power. It isn't, and hasn't been since Vietnam. Don't enter a debate if you don't know anything about one of the sides.

And teleportation is easily outmatched by modern technology. Sure, you get there effectively instantaneously, but you do so with six or seven guys. Wheeeeee.

Fax Celestis
2007-02-16, 09:09 PM
Sorry, wrong. First, they'd have to have a reaction time fast enough to perceive and target a supersonic object; no mean feat considering you won't hear it coming until after you're dead. Secondly, magic missile doesn't affect nonliving targets.

Uh, since when? No, honestly. Otherwise, how would I magic missile the darkness?:smallwink:

Orzel
2007-02-16, 09:10 PM
Uh, since when? No, honestly. Otherwise, how would I magic missile the darkness?:smallwink:

The Darkness is a living creature so you can magic missile the darkness.

TheElfLord
2007-02-16, 09:14 PM
ET, out of those 500,000 sentries, I calculate that at least (approximately) 25,000 will make their saves against whatever you are doing to incapacitate them.

Now, ET, please answer this: If someone wakes you up and yells at you:

"ZOMG wake up you've gotta run or you'll die! Run away from the cloud!!"

What is your reaction?

a) blink in confusion and incomprehension
b) jump up, disentangle yourself from your bedclothes, and start running

Keep in mind that these are farmers, who are probably used to waking up early. They might not be used to getting up in the middle of the night, but then again, they're conscripts, pulled from their homes and given a minimum of training. I imagine a fair potion of them aren't sleeping very well to begin with.


Well, I would think i lot of people would blink in confusion and incomprehension for a lest a little bit of crucial time. I've seen multiple late night fire alarms going off in my college dorm and it takes people time to react. First they have to be awoken by the noise. Then they have to figure out what it is, in this case someone shoating fire or such. Then they have to extract themselves from their sleeping quarters. In the dark, because they won't have a light source. If they manage to get out of the tent before the cloud gets them, they wil have to spenD time figuring out which direction to go.

Lots of people have trouble waking up quickly. I'm not saying it would be a total death trap, but it is foolish to think that a sentery could shout, wake everyone up and move hundreds, if not thousands of people out of harms way quickkly.

Raum
2007-02-16, 09:44 PM
Regardless of what you think of which class would be most useful, one PC class of even 5th level can take out a lot of ordinary soldiers, to say nothing of what a 10th or higher level can do.Fifth level may be a bit low for taking on armies, but I do agree with your basic premise. Game mechanics make it difficult, if not impossible, for low level individuals to go head to head against higher level. It is possible...but it requires preparation and, usually, less than stellar decisions from the higher level opponent. The story of Tucker's Kobolds points out one situation where the army wins. :)


So how does one reconcile PC classes and armies for without armies, the medieval society (or any historical period used) that D&D depends on will likely collapse. You don't even really need soldiers to occupy territory, since a small number of PC class people would do a good job keeping order (particularly Rogues and Monks) though admittedly, they are less apt to tie themselves down to occupational forces than to fight large CR forces.Well first any professional army will train their personnel so they won't all be level one commoners. I'd rough it out as one level per rank. Even so, that leaves the senior enlisted and officers somewhere between level 8 and 10...so high level PC classes will still be a potential issue.

I do think you need an army to occupy territory though...a few PCs just can't be in enough places at once to provide a police force. The most they could do is force the conquered people to toe the line while the PCs were there.


Here's what I figure, the PC classes look for their opposites in the opposite army and try to take them out. This works assuming the two sides are relatively balanced. I still fear it doesn't do justice to massed combat.Using PCs for this type of mission and other missions requiring a "special forces" type of personnel is probably best for game play. But then I've been in the military and don't particularly want to roleplay all the crap military personnel put up with. :-/

Renegade Paladin
2007-02-16, 09:51 PM
Yep. RenegadePaladin mis understood one of my posts and started that whole debate.
I did not misunderstand it. You posted a chart that you made up claiming that magic beats military technology. As that is patently false, I naturally challenged the assertion. You put it out there.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-02-16, 09:55 PM
So the army is still irrelevant to the success or failure of the invasion. If your wizards lose then I can decimate your forces easily and if mien are killed then you don't need an army at all.
Wait. I thought we agreed uberwizard cadres can't hold territory. So, how can I invade you without an army? How can I hold my own territory against fifth column activities fomented by the enemy's (for the sake or argument) 20 level 20 bards?

Also, all that stuff Dausuul said about math and areas for a 50 million man army's camps.

Fireball.Man.Guy.
2007-02-16, 09:55 PM
Also, a small party would be poor for doing things like DEFENDING and area. Can you imagine 5 people holding off thousands from getting into a city? The city would be sacked even if they have many losses.

No, but I can imagine seven Samurai warriors doing it. I even have a movie of them doing it.

dorshe1
2007-02-16, 10:01 PM
Why does everyone assume that a military commander will use the same tactics fighting against a small group of wizards as they would against a conventional army? Why would they group their armies close together at all? The only reason commanders group together large forces is so that they are strong enough to repel an equally large counterforce. If my intelligence tells me that you have NO armies, then why would I need to allow brigade size units or larger?

If you have NO troops to support you here are some items that must be conceded:

1) All 20 wizards cannot be in combat at once. You have nowhere safe to sleep (no barricaded tower defended by guards, etc...) You have to leave at least one awake to stand guard otherwise you risk getting killed in your sleep from assassin squads (My hired PCs, you gotta give them something to do while the army is doing all the work) And you do have to sleep to get your precious spells back.

2) You have no walled cities. Who is going to man the walls?

3) Conquering cities will be easy and have no resistance (if the commoners fight back then you will be relying on someone other than your 20th level wizards)

4) There will be NO resistance. If you are counting on a resistance then once again, you are relying on something other than the effort of your 20th level wizards

5) Some of your wizards must be going to protect the leader of your country, who must NOT be a wizard (they were bred and indoctrinated and they aren't going to do that themselves. If the army catches the person who brainwashed them, they can just make him give them orders to stand down.

So here is my example of getting past your wizards. My army is stationed in Mexico. I've decided that I've got some high level wizards, but they are too valuable for defense and if I put them in combat they will probably either 1) Die or 2) Take heavy casualties. I know that I have an army of about 1.5 million troops or so for an offensive. I don't think it is enough, so I contact my ally to the north, the Canadabarbarians, mostly Orcs and goblins. They are pissed because the wizards won't play them in a game of chutes and ladders so they agree lending another 1.5 million army. We coordinate while using anti-scry devices for the attack.

I use some firey rhetoric and raise an army of 150,000 conscripts, prisoners, and have them be led by some annoying nobles that i've been trying to get rid of. I send them northward from Mexico towards Sacramento (reclaim Mexico for Mexicans!!!) At the same time I take the rest of my army and equip them with 30 days of rations and break them down into 1000-1500 increments and have them begin sneaking across the border in Texas with instructions to fan out as quickly as possible and not to be in groups larger than 1500 and to keep 1-2 miles apart.

Since you don't have any boots on the ground, your divinations are going to lead you right into the large diversion army I set out for you, and you are going to get rid of my prisoners and annoying nobles, my real army will be infiltrating your countryside and moving in groups that will be too spread out for any of your spells to be effective.

The small armies will set up important distribution centers where you will begin to establish a line of communication. Each major city can be held with about 1000 people (but don't forget that they are not required to be held since there is no resistance) Those 1000 people will be mixed with the natural population so using mass spells will kill them as well.

Don't forget that the same thing is happening in the north thanks to the Canucks every night. Inevitably if you are sleeping there are armies moving.

How would 20 people be able to stop that? You would be able to take out 1500 at the most at a time, assuming you could find them, they didn't have cover, and they aren't among your own people.

Groups of 1500 can scrounge for food and survive off of looted goods. It might get a bit thin for the last group through, but that's what they get for being lazy.

Once a line of communications is set up you will have a natural target, however, they probably aren't going to be dumb enough to send large convoys, so at most you'll be an annoying irritant, and every sortie you go against caravans is one that you can't take against my front line troops.

I will agree that there will be heavy casualties, but after 6 months over 3/4 of the US will be in the hands of the invaders and there will be way too many individual groups for the wizards to mount effective strikes.

Cybren
2007-02-16, 10:05 PM
If D&D were meant for medieval warfiction you would have to actually keep track of your 'cheap' spell comps. While free the logistical affair of supplying an army of casters with guano will require quite a few bats.
Of course, then you can use them for other things (http://www.defensetech.org/archives/001580.html) to help the war effort

Nerd-o-rama
2007-02-16, 10:15 PM
No, but I can imagine seven Samurai warriors doing it. I even have a movie of them doing it.
How about the slightly more realistic 300 or so Hoplites, too?

Bouldering Jove
2007-02-16, 10:16 PM
Arcane spellcasting makes for effective military tactics in an imaginary fantasy environment.

If anything, this discussion just illustrates exactly how ridiculous D&D is on any representative level.

Weezer
2007-02-16, 10:20 PM
No, but I can imagine seven Samurai warriors doing it. I even have a movie of them doing it.
But they didnt have to face any magic at all, and they were powered by the power of plot which makes all characters unkillable (untill the writer decides to kill them off and then they are finished:smalltongue:)

Lo-Alrikowki
2007-02-16, 10:32 PM
All this talk about PC's making armies obsolete is (imo) ridiculous. Despite what 300 would have you believe "we will fight in the shade" only works until the force of gravity brings thousands of arrows crashing down upon you. As far as I know, not even the ridiculous material in the Epic Level Handbook includes a reflex save or tumble check so good that you can avoid a square quarter-mile of broadheads. Granted, Protection from Arrows does the trick nicely, but it doesn't account for seige weapons that can be found with most hulking armies. The fatigue rules are sketchy, but anyone can see that decent house rules would make penalties accrue exponentially as the fight progressed until your level 20 Barbarian is little more than a mewling kitten suffering from Exhaustion despite his Tireless Frenzy class ability. Spellcasters run out of spell slots and components, and fighting characters have a 5% chance per round of fumbling, and when you fumble, you have a 25% chance of throwing your weapon (last I checked). Your PCs are not the first elite enemy an experienced general has faced. If you're high enough level to blanket the country in fireballs, he'll spring for artifacts that produce antimagic fields (or worse yet - cast Mordenkainen's Disjunction a number of times per day).

Cybren
2007-02-16, 10:44 PM
How about the slightly more realistic 300 or so Hoplites, too?
The number was closer to 1500 though. Although it is still a good study in the tactics of exploiting your terrain and negating an enemies advantage.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-16, 10:56 PM
The 300 were just the Spartan elites. They still had several other troops with them, even from other Greek tribes. The Thespians in particular were important to the story.

All the same, they were insanely outnumbered and never expected to beat the Persians. They expected to hold them off- which they did unbelievably well, thanks to clever war tactics and incredible devotion.

Another good commander story of ancient times is that of Spartacus. Despite his lesser training and the fact that all his soldiers were former slaves with no real military learning, he faced off against the entire Roman Empire and did quite well for a time. A smart commander can come from anywhere, and the effects of that one good man can shift a whole war.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-02-16, 11:06 PM
It's still kinda irrelevant to the thread, though. Sorry for helping the derail there.

Cybren
2007-02-16, 11:09 PM
Regardless the thread is kind of moot since the sort of genre that D&D attempts to emulate features the heroes murdering enemies during battles by the thousands anyway. if only they had a book that gives rules for the players actually commanding the armies rather than adventuring beside them

Nerd-o-rama
2007-02-16, 11:11 PM
Isn't that sort of campaign covered in Heroes of Battle? Damn, I need that book. I've been distracted by too many Eberron supplements.

Cybren
2007-02-16, 11:16 PM
Isn't that sort of campaign covered in Heroes of Battle? Damn, I need that book. I've been distracted by too many Eberron supplements.
The general gist of HoB is that D&D isn't itslelf a wargame, and therefore they don't actually have any rules for maneuvering armies or what not. It's got a lot of things for the players participating in battles.
Victory points, for example; you attatch a value to particular objectives and the players attempt to secure them, but not really for the players to run the army themselves.
I believe there are a few other books thatdeal with combat on that scale, like Cry Havok, which I admit I aquired though I haven't read.

Scalenex
2007-02-16, 11:50 PM
It is I, Scalenex, the original poster of this mighty thread. I did not expect over a 100 responders. I admit that you lose ownership of a thread once it's posted. Never the less I am very saddened by the tangental arguments on how well D&D style magic would standup to modern technology. If you are really into that, try Shadowrun.

Now for the next thing, I appreciate being directed to a useful supplement book, but it needn't be reiterated. I don't like to shell out money for supplements when I can avoid it.

An army of 50 million people is not very good for an argument. There were not 50 million armed people during WWII. Though you could easily hit 50 million if you included everyone who contributed to the war through raw material drives, suffered under rationing, worked in munitions plants. Since China is a popular example, I will reference Sun Tzu, I read his famous book a while ago and he said you need about 20 people minimum to back up a fighting soldier. And these are basic infantry. Since his era was in line with D&D historical equivalents give or take a few centuries, you'll never really see armies that big. For a typical D&D game, lets assume that powerful nations may be able to raise over 100,000 soldiers but the largest battles would involve arimes in the tens of thousaands. This 20 to 1 thing could be used to cut out PC class characters because of the expected wealth to level guidelines, even a 5th level character would need hundreds of citizens supporting the excess wealth needed, but from a strictly military standpoint, PC class characters eat roughly the same amount of food as NPCs do.

Some confusion came from the word irrelevant, which is a very strong absolute word. Perhaps I couldn't easily find an adjective to coney "of very limited importance." Obviously a tiny handful of PC classes will struggle with absolutely no backup against a massive horde. Where I do mean they are irrelevant is with relative numbers. If one sides PC classes between the other sides PC classes, I don't think it would matter if the side bereft of heroic individuals outnumbered their enemies 4 to 1, they would lose. Even if a powerful wizard can only take out a handful of people with his/her spells, it will be very demoralizing to them if they have no defenses whatsoever against it. From this thread I have come away with the conclusion that armies are not truly irrelevant but the tactics of realworld MEDIEVAL warfare would not work very well in a D&D game in any but a low magic setting. I see D&D nations wielding somewhat smaller armies than their real world counterparts of similar historical eras, particularly given the cost of supplying armies (Sun Tzu also said you need to send about 20 pounds of food to get one pound to the front) and supply lines would be even harder if random encounter monsters ply the highways.

Before the thread derailed there was a lot of talk about moderately high level mercenary units. That fits nicely with a D&D I suppose but I have trouble buying that because I read not just Sun Tzu but Machiavelli and he says very bad things about mercenaries but there is no rule that D&D nobles need to always act in the best interest of their nation is there?

Sardia
2007-02-17, 12:12 AM
If the armies in question need naval transport- invading Wizard Island, say, they may well be irrelevant. What happens when you hit a ship coated with pitch with a fireball? <br>Small, agile ships with a guy holding a wand of fireballs versus large, slow troop transports...the first invasion attempt's not going to go well. To say nothing of an irate druid with Warp Wood swimming along under the ships.

Zeb The Troll
2007-02-17, 12:33 AM
Yes you can. Contact Other Plane lets me play 20 questions basically to find out where your forces are.I can't continue this. You're making assertions I don't accept and you refuse to supply anything other than "Yes, they do. I said they do. See?" The largest omission being that if you can make 20 level 20 wizards with your population, they can make 4 times as many. Anything you can do they can do more. And they have soldiers as well.

Even your assessment of mortality, using a wholly unfeasible and illogical tupperware stacking solution, does not provide enough mortality to prevent the march from continuing on. If everything were to work exactly as you describe, you still have a year to complete your task. It won't take that long for even half of the troops to get where they're going, sack whatever they want, and be done with you. And with these numbers they can do it from all 4 fronts and meet in the middle for the victory parade.

Furthermore, your description of tactics, even simple things like setting up a camp, demonstrate clearly that you've never done even basic military service, but only read about it in some lofty tome (especially that whole water consumption thing, I tell you I lived it and you still dispute me). I'd suspect you were never even a scout.

Mewtarthio
2007-02-17, 01:14 AM
I can't continue this. You're making assertions I don't accept and you refuse to supply anything other than "Yes, they do. I said they do. See?" The largest omission being that if you can make 20 level 20 wizards with your population, they can make 4 times as many. Anything you can do they can do more. And they have soldiers as well.

Er... I'm on your side and all... but isn't the point of this argument essentially to determine whether or not twenty wizards make an army obsolete? I kinda seems like a concession to say "Well, I can get wizards, too, and even more of them!" It would be like if I were arguing that I could hold off a mob of people from 100 yards with a machine gun and you said "Well, if you get a machine gun, that means each one of them can get one, too!"

Pastafarian
2007-02-17, 01:21 AM
First off, ET, your water requirements seem highly suspect to me. Where are you getting them?
Second of all, I would be interested to here your counter to the strategy suggested by Dorshe1.
Finally, the existence of this debate displays how ridiculously unrealistic and unbalanced the D&D system is. My advice is to switch to GURPS.

EvilElitest
2007-02-17, 01:22 AM
OK listen, Tippy's argument makes sense on one basis. Here break it down, these are the senerois that makes sense. All of them is 20,level 20 wizard defend the US against china, mid evil tech
1) Tippy is defending the US. If their are NO OTHER PEOPLE IN THE US, then it is just the wizards vis about 50 million people. Now they will kill a LOT, bear in mind their is no way you can defend youself against powerful wizard if you don't have powerful wizards, which lets say china does not have. Then Tippy is almost right, however, he forgot a very important element. The enemy will learn and use MANY MANY MANY different tatics to killl these 20 wizards. And when the wizards die, for some will did, through luck, foolishness, mistakes, surprise, or just out gunned. These soilders can't be replaced. They will lose, just make the enemy suffer imense losses, losses that normally a nations could not afford to lose. Bear in mind, constucts and raising the dead, enchanting some random soilder to kill their freinds in the night, hell you can sleep or echant the senceries. I serial murder can kill quite a few people before getting caught, but will get caught. If i enchant 20 level 1 warriors, and have them all slit as many throats in the night as they can, they is will cause a good deal of damage an a small scale. If I make a some goloms (I can only make a few) then i can cause a lot of damage if i use them right. Better, afterr the first three cloud kill attacks, i know that they are ready for me this time. So i raise the bodies, have them attack, then do the cloud kill. Zombies are not affected. And bear in mind, with a magic missel, i can take out a good deal of people from really far away. Hell, delayed blash fireball. Or enchantments.
These 20 wizard's only goal only goal is to kill the army, they don't give a damn about anything else. They will all get killed, cause if only one dies, their strengh goes down at least 10 percent. But over a tone of time, they will kill a hell of a lot of troops, just all die.
2) If the US is already ocuppied by 500 million (I upped numbers here, becasue of possible wizard allies), and these 20 wizards were terroists devoted to destroying the occupying forces, and don't REALLY care that much about their own people, then you have a problem. I would say more but i am tired
As for modern vs. fanstasy, what the hell are you thinking?
If i take a level 1 commoner and give him a light machine gun, and order him to shoot at a level 20 wizard, who has not perpared him self, even thoug hthe commoner will break his arm, their is a chance that a stray bullet kills the wizard. Magic is better in the small scale, but i have give ALL MY FREAKING TROOPS guns and order them to shoot at you. ANYONE! That is a hell of a lot of bullets. I know this seems rambally, but i am exausted. More tomorrow.
From,
EE

Scalenex
2007-02-17, 01:26 AM
No More Talking About Wizards Defending The United States Of America Versus 50 Million Chinese!

Mewtarthio
2007-02-17, 01:29 AM
As for modern vs. fanstasy, what the hell are you thinking?
If i take a level 1 commoner and give him a light machine gun, and order him to shoot at a level 20 wizard, who has not perpared him self, even thoug hthe commoner will break his arm, their is a chance that a stray bullet kills the wizard. Magic is better in the small scale, but i have give ALL MY FREAKING TROOPS guns and order them to shoot at you. ANYONE! That is a hell of a lot of bullets. I know this seems rambally, but i am exausted. More tomorrow.
From,
EE

The big difference between magic and technology is that everyone benefits from technology. Magic is usually either inborn or studied through decades of laborious research, and either way only those with magical talent can ever hope to use magic; futhermore, they will all have to start over from the very beginning (reinventing the wheel, so to speak). When an engineer makes a new technological breakthrough, give it a few years and level one whatevers in the field will be using it.

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-17, 01:35 AM
I can't continue this. You're making assertions I don't accept and you refuse to supply anything other than "Yes, they do. I said they do. See?" The largest omission being that if you can make 20 level 20 wizards with your population, they can make 4 times as many. Anything you can do they can do more. And they have soldiers as well.
I no that the enemy can get more wizards. I never said that they couldn't. The point is that those wizards make your big army irrelevant. The enemies wizards are relevant and will decide the battle NOT the large army.


Even your assessment of mortality, using a wholly unfeasible and illogical tupperware stacking solution, does not provide enough mortality to prevent the march from continuing on.
Yes it does. You fail to account for disease, moral, desertion, supply problems, weather and loss of skills. Historically disease was the most deadly thing that soldiers faced. Napoleon lost whole armies to it (in some cases up to 85% of the troops). Look at Hitler in Russia. He lost almost a quarter of his troops do to the Russian winter. Napoleon lost similar numbers. Moral would be completely destroyed which ups the rate of desertion (already hi in conscript forces). The loss of your supply trains would most likely hamper your army as your forces are to large to be able to forage. So if we take all of the above you can expect most likely around 40% casualties from what is basically random chance.


If everything were to work exactly as you describe, you still have a year to complete your task. It won't take that long for even half of the troops to get where they're going, sack whatever they want, and be done with you. And with these numbers they can do it from all 4 fronts and meet in the middle for the victory parade.
If we assume 1 force of 50 million men you are moving roughly 10 miles per day. Now what happens when your supply chain is cut? You can't advance because you just lengthen your supply line and you can't stay put because you can't forage. Since I would target your supply lines first lets assume that half of your supply caravans make it through. How many people starve?

1 trail ration per solider per day means that you need 50 MILLION pounds of food delivered each day. A Sailing Ship can carry 150 tons of cargo. That is 167 ships per day to feed your army and the food bill is 25 MILLION GP per day. How big a fleet do you have? I can sink them faster than you can build them. And how long does it take a ship to make a round trip? Each ship I sink is 300,000 people who won't eat that day.

And that isn't even taking into account all of the other needed supplies or the feed for the horses.


Furthermore, your description of tactics, even simple things like setting up a camp, demonstrate clearly that you've never done even basic military service, but only read about it in some lofty tome
You seem to think that we are talking 50 million highly trained soldiers here. We are talking 50 million peasants with no training or experience. Yeah, this would be a lot different if you were talking 50 million professionally soldiers but we aren't.


(especially that whole water consumption thing, I tell you I lived it and you still dispute me).
Really. Lets look at some sources.

Is the US Army an acceptable source?
http://chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/doem/pgm34/HIPP/WorkRestTable.pdf
Even at the most basic work and in the best temperatures you are talking 4 quarts per day (or 1 gallon per day). If you go for hard work in 82 degree weather it is up to 2 gallons per day.

http://nutrition.about.com/od/hydrationwater/a/waterarticle.htm
Heres another source that seems reliable. It's figures equal 2.125 gallons of water per day with 20% coming from food.

I have a couple of army manuals concerning logistics that vary from 1.8 to 3 gallons per day as well.


I'd suspect you were never even a scout.
Then you suspect wrong. I made eagle about a year ago. I also spent a month this summer rock climbing at Smith Rock (desert with temperatures regularly over 100 degrees), and hiking in the 3 Sisters Wilderness Area. We were consuming over 2 gallons of water per person per day and everyone involved is used to those temperatures and conditions.




First off, ET, your water requirements seem highly suspect to me. Where are you getting them?
The U.S. Army for starters. ;)


Second of all, I would be interested to here your counter to the strategy suggested by Dorshe1.
Which one was that? Just tell me the post number.


Finally, the existence of this debate displays how ridiculously unrealistic and unbalanced the D&D system is. My advice is to switch to GURPS.
Yep. I agree that the system is entirely unrealistic and ridiculous.




OK listen, Tippy's argument makes sense on one basis. Here break it down, these are the senerois that makes sense. All of them is 20,level 20 wizard defend the US against china, mid evil tech
1) Tippy is defending the US. If their are NO OTHER PEOPLE IN THE US, then it is just the wizards vis about 50 million people. Now they will kill a LOT, bear in mind their is no way you can defend youself against powerful wizard if you don't have powerful wizards, which lets say china does not have. Then Tippy is almost right, however, he forgot a very important element. The enemy will learn and use MANY MANY MANY different tatics to killl these 20 wizards. And when the wizards die, for some will did, through luck, foolishness, mistakes, surprise, or just out gunned. These soilders can't be replaced. They will lose, just make the enemy suffer imense losses, losses that normally a nations could not afford to lose. Bear in mind, constucts and raising the dead, enchanting some random soilder to kill their freinds in the night, hell you can sleep or echant the senceries. I serial murder can kill quite a few people before getting caught, but will get caught. If i enchant 20 level 1 warriors, and have them all slit as many throats in the night as they can, they is will cause a good deal of damage an a small scale. If I make a some goloms (I can only make a few) then i can cause a lot of damage if i use them right. Better, afterr the first three cloud kill attacks, i know that they are ready for me this time. So i raise the bodies, have them attack, then do the cloud kill. Zombies are not affected. And bear in mind, with a magic missel, i can take out a good deal of people from really far away. Hell, delayed blash fireball. Or enchantments.
These 20 wizard's only goal only goal is to kill the army, they don't give a damn about anything else. They will all get killed, cause if only one dies, their strengh goes down at least 10 percent. But over a tone of time, they will kill a hell of a lot of troops, just all die.
Remember, I have contingency as well. And every time I attack I have greater invisibility on. And I can sleep in Magnificent Mansions.



2) If the US is already ocuppied by 500 million (I upped numbers here, becasue of possible wizard allies), and these 20 wizards were terroists devoted to destroying the occupying forces, and don't REALLY care that much about their own people, then you have a problem. I would say more but i am tired
Yeah. The wizards win. Especially if they are careful with collateral damage.



As for modern vs. fanstasy, what the hell are you thinking?
If i take a level 1 commoner and give him a light machine gun, and order him to shoot at a level 20 wizard, who has not perpared him self, even thoug hthe commoner will break his arm, their is a chance that a stray bullet kills the wizard. Magic is better in the small scale, but i have give ALL MY FREAKING TROOPS guns and order them to shoot at you. ANYONE! That is a hell of a lot of bullets. I know this seems rambally, but i am exausted. More tomorrow.
From,
EE
You have to at least know the wizards general area to shoot at him. And I have said all along that a high magic D&D army vs. a modern army withotu magic is about equal.

Pastafarian
2007-02-17, 01:47 AM
Which one was that? Just tell me the post number.
Number 184. Basically, many, many small forces of no more than 1500 men each. They would be small enough to live off the land and numerous and spread out enough that it would take many years to track down and destroy every one of them.

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-17, 02:00 AM
Oh yeah.

If I was running the army that is what I would do.

To counter it you need 1 guy linked to your home base in each village. Just a random villager who uses Telepathic Bond to say to home base "We have an enemy army here". Or 1 time use items of sending. Or even carrier pigeon's.

Once you know what village they are in or around you can kill the force in that village and move on to the next. You could clear 20 to 30 per night in all likelihood. So it would just take longer to win.

Now if those groups are all told to basically burn and slaughter every village or person that they come across then it would be very bad and your best bet would be to evacuate your villagers to a safe, central location and wait for all of the groups to unite to fight you at that central location.

The con's of dividing conscripts like this are as follows:
1) Desertion will be incredibly high
2) You can't coordinate the individual groups easily
3) Each group is easier to kill if found
4) Each group has to forage. 1/3 of the group has to be able to make a DC 10 survival check to forage for food. And you move at half speed.
5) A couple of other things but the above 4 are the main ones

Beleriphon
2007-02-17, 02:19 AM
Huzzah! Time to chime in. Something that people tend to forget about D&D armies is that you can use constructs. Yep, a good old iron golem might cost you twelve units of normal men, but you never need to feed the thing, it doesn't sleep, and its immune to virtually all types of magic.

In the long run D&D style warfare is going fall into one of a few types of campagin.One will be like The Illiad where heros duke it out and make all the big changes and the normal troops provide background for the story. Achilles fighting Hector is the important part of the story, the Trojans and Greeks killing each other in background, or even standing around watching the two champions fight isn't important.

The second type is like Eberron where the setting actually takes into account the exisistance and availability of D&D style magic to all the players involved. The Last War had golems, magically artillery, ever lasting wands, low level wizards, warforged, cavalry that used summoned mounts, undead troops, vampire kings and ogre mecernaries involved. All of these are found in a typical D&D setting, Eberron just takes them to the logical conclusion that they can, and would be, used in warfare. I personally think this is the one that makes the most sense from the D&D perspective. As a king why the heck wouldn't I commission a few iron golems and send them into battle, or use magical flaming ballista?

The third style that you can go with is a fairly realistic view of medival warfare with the addition of magic only the hands of the players. This would mean that the army the players side with has a significant advantage. Is it overwhelming? Maybe, maybe not, but it is certainly better then not have the players.

Finally, you can go with the idea that PC class are the equivilant of having a well equipped modern army to fight a medival army. The wizard really is the medival equivilant of stealth bomber.

Do I think that PC classes characters make an army irrelevant, or significantly less important to a war? Not at all. The only thing that the presence of PC classed character does is change the paradigm that you need to operate under. It changes the face of war the same way that mechanized warfare changed the face of war in the early 20th century. It doesn't make the common foot slogger irrelevant, it does change his job somewhat though.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-17, 03:07 AM
I don't feel like makign a new table but I disagree with you. And your modern force gets no magic so you would never detect my magic.

This is your idea of a rebuttal? How utterly sad.


Glorified Terrorism is exactly the point. I am talking the ultimate guerrilla force. Why would I ever fight a stand up battle? And it is highly undetectable without magic (which you don't get, modern weapons or magic NOT both)

No limits fallacy. Besides, invisibilty does not make one undetectable by non-magical means. This is fact.

Guerilla forces cannot do everything a modern army can. They cannot prevent the tech army from acheiving occupation of their homeland. Moreover, the tech army can hold the magic based land hostage by nuclear reprisal against terrorism. You cast fireballs at my base? Fine, I glass your city #XYZ. They can also obtain information on the wizard's techniques during said occupation. And even should the occupation be lifted, they are in no position at all to take and hold the tech country. Further guerilla activity at such a point will bring in the saturation bombing.


No, you clearly aren't thinking this through. Provide a counter for my wizards that is doable with modern tech.

You refused to respond to my table. And now you are asking for more material from me? Presumably so you can ignore that as well, and go "no, I'm right, really". And nonetheless, I have provided an answer.


<CONCATINATE>



<SNIPPA>

Do I think that PC classes characters make an army irrelevant, or significantly less important to a war? Not at all. The only thing that the presence of PC classed character does is change the paradigm that you need to operate under. It changes the face of war the same way that mechanized warfare changed the face of war in the early 20th century. It doesn't make the common foot slogger irrelevant, it does change his job somewhat though.

Thank you Beleriphon, that about sums up my position also.

Incidentally, I tend to favour the Eberron model: it makes most sense from the perspective of the rulers to do their utmost to make their armies competitive without PC mercenaries, and so, they would comission magi-tech forces.

Incidentally, there are still these bothersome things called "Anti Magic Fields" which people would employ also. Think about it: you are a high level officer and can commission a number of spells cast on your HQ. Given a preponderance of magical attacks, which one would be the FIRST one on your list?

Beleriphon
2007-02-17, 03:27 AM
Thank you Beleriphon, that about sums up my position also.


Huzzah! Agreealmentailty! (I made up new a word, in your face Shakespeare!)



Incidentally, I tend to favour the Eberron model: it makes most sense from the perspective of the rulers to do their utmost to make their armies competitive without PC mercenaries, and so, they would comission magi-tech forces.


Even if you didn't use magitech (which Eberron doesn't have, its normal medival tech with magical stuff layered on top), it still makes sense to use magically enhanced troops. A few hired medusas and you have problems for any PC.



Incidentally, there are still these bothersome things called "Anti Magic Fields" which people would employ also. Think about it: you are a high level officer and can commission a number of spells cast on your HQ. Given a preponderance of magical attacks, which one would be the FIRST one on your list?

Fireball of course. Nothing says you mean business like fireballing your own HQ.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-17, 03:39 AM
Scalenex: Apologies for having continued the tangent in my post above. I noticed now that you asked for it to be stopped.



Even if you didn't use magitech (which Eberron doesn't have, its normal medival tech with magical stuff layered on top), it still makes sense to use magically enhanced troops. A few hired medusas and you have problems for any PC.

Well, by "magitech", I meant that they do have magic-powered trains as well as magic based millitary kit and such. Though, yeah. Either way...

Medusas for hire, heh. Still, with such a preponderance of sentient species, it really does make sense that there would be a lot of races occupying specialized niches.


Fireball of course. Nothing says you mean business like fireballing your own HQ.

Ah, of course! :smallcool:

Nerd-o-rama
2007-02-17, 05:23 AM
Originally posted by Scalenex
From this thread I have come away with the conclusion that armies are not truly irrelevant but the tactics of realworld MEDIEVAL warfare would not work very well in a D&D game in any but a low magic setting. I see D&D nations wielding somewhat smaller armies than their real world counterparts of similar historical eras
Honestly, I think this is the most useful and reasonable conclusion you'll likely get from this thread, given a typical D&D campaign world. Oh, and in addition to Heroes of Battle, you might also consider the forthcoming Forge of War, an Eberron supplement detailing the setting's stage-setting civil war, which will presumably have rules focused around Eberron's "widely-applied magic" theme.

If I were you, I would strike this thread from your mind if you don't want to see it heading off into tangents. At this point, the various arguments have enough momentum that nothing short of a lock could even slow them down. And they're still ontopic and civil enough that's unlikely to happen.

And speaking of tangents, Emperor Tippy, I'd like to know your response to the following pedantry:

Wait. I thought we agreed uberwizard cadres can't hold territory. So, how can I invade you without an army? How can I hold my own territory against fifth column activities fomented by the enemy's (for the sake or argument) 20 level 20 bards?
My point being, of course, that both uberwizards and a standing army are necessary for any large-scale campaign. I don't want to get involved in the Wizards vs. the US Army argument, (which I think is patently silly since the US Army can't be modeled in D&D rules, and Wizards can't be modeled in reality) but I believe there is a comparison between Spellcaster Power and modern Air Power: your uberwizards or modern Earth's aircraft spend most of a conflict countering the other side in the same theater. Once one side obtains Air Superiority (or Mage Superiority) - the outcome is basically a forgone conclusion, barring mass guerrilla resistance or similar tactics. That does not render infantry or cavalry irrelevant, since they are still needed to take and hold territory, and to defend it from enemy ground troops before air superiority is achieved.

Sorry for the wall of text, everyone. Especially Scalenex, but like I said, momentum.

hewhosaysfish
2007-02-17, 09:33 AM
My point being, of course, that both uberwizards and a standing army are necessary for any large-scale campaign. I don't want to get involved in the Wizards vs. the US Army argument, (which I think is patently silly since the US Army can't be modeled in D&D rules, and Wizards can't be modeled in reality) but I believe there is a comparison between Spellcaster Power and modern Air Power: your uberwizards or modern Earth's aircraft spend most of a conflict countering the other side in the same theater. Once one side obtains Air Superiority (or Mage Superiority) - the outcome is basically a forgone conclusion, barring mass guerrilla resistance or similar tactics. That does not render infantry or cavalry irrelevant, since they are still needed to take and hold territory, and to defend it from enemy ground troops before air superiority is achieved.


I'm reminded of something from Raymond E Feist's Serpentwar Saga (or possibly Riftwar), where the role of wizards in warfare was discussed. Loosely paraphrased:

A wizard on one side starts to cast terrible, powerful magics. A mage on the other side uses his arts to counter the enchantment. Another mage on the same side as the first tries to counter the counter. Then a bunch of guys with swords come along and chop all their arms and legs off while they're alll standing around achieving nothing.

PirateMonk
2007-02-17, 11:44 AM
"<Holds up Jaffa staff weapon> This is a weapon of intimidation. It is designed to scare your enemies. This <Holds up P90> is a weapon of war. It is designed to kill your enemies."

-Colonel Jack O'Neill

Warning: The following is fairly off topic. Feel free to skip it.

Maybe Tippy's 20 level 20 wizards couldn't defend the US against a Chinese invasion, but both 800-1000 man groups of Black Berets in GURPS Technomancer could hand victory to the Armed Forces on a silver platter, assuming the world had normal mana but no magic users (highly unlikely, I concede), and might single-handedly topple the Chinese government in the process. They would also need dozens of Powerstones (each)- but mostly the low-powered ones you can buy at Wal-marts.
Missile Shield is clearly stated to work against all missiles, making them bullet proof. If we give them M16s and assume that in normal combat they have Hail of Lead cast on them, they fire 24 shots a second, which will easily wipe out most enemies in small groups quickly. It happens faster if they invested in Reverse Missiles, and have half the Chinese shoot themselves before anyone figures out what's happening. If they get to bring dragons, things get even better. There are also some other useful spells worth considering.
There is no GURPS spell that can replicate a nuke; however, with the maximum-energy levels of Resist Fire and Resist Radiation, you can withstand a small one, if it isn't dropped right on you, for 9 energy; less, if the caster has a high skill. Of course, if the nukes are flying at all, no amount of Black Berets will save the civilians, and things are going very badly.
So, high-powered characters don't replace armies entirely, though they can do some of the same functions.
Oh, and give me a demonic army of the apocalypse the size of the Burning Legion (or just all the Eredar warlocks) and I can conquer a human dominated world of your choice. I maintain that if the assault had been competently lead, the druids wouldn't have been awakened, let alone allowed to do their wacky mojo with the World Tree. Oh, and during the first assault on Azeroth, having a fallen Titan as your leader is all well and good, but wouldn't it be wise to have someone around who is, perhaps, SANE?
[/irrelevant ramblings]*

Apparently, someone's twenties-level fighter, at the end of a campaign, was leading a hundred knights against two groups of 300 hobgoblins. When the hobgoblins were sighted, he said, "Okay, you take the ones on the right, and I'll take the ones on the left," and actually did better than the knights.

okpokalypse
2007-02-17, 11:53 AM
Incidentally, there are still these bothersome things called "Anti Magic Fields" which people would employ also. Think about it: you are a high level officer and can commission a number of spells cast on your HQ. Given a preponderance of magical attacks, which one would be the FIRST one on your list?

AMF's wouldn't be of very good use really. They're great at preventing scrying and such, but not useful against anything naturally produced at range. From an earlier example:

If that L20 Wizard uses ShapeChange to become a Great Wyrn Red Dragon, what do you do? Dragon Breath isn't Magical. It's a 70' Cone. AMF, even widened, is a 20' radius. So while you've effectively taken out all the magic items on your person through the AMF (you know - the evasion ring, the +save items, the +con items to boost HP, maybe a ring of spell battle to protect you from casters), the Shapechanged Wizard roasts you from 60' up and you're toast.

And because the Frightful Presence (another of the (Su) and (Ex) abilities inherited) has such a wide berth (360' if I recall properly) at a rediculous DC, you're going to have the vast majority of your army unable to act upon it. Factor in the also inhereted SR 32, Immunities and such, and it's a lost cause unless you've got L12+ Casters at the ready to try and overcome it - since they're the only ones that can even sniff the SR. And archers? Are you telling me you've got enough archers that...

1. Can get past it's AC.
2. Have Magical Weapons to get past the DR 20 / Magic.
3. Won't break and run from the Frightful Presence.

Again, I think the spell is overpowered. A lot. But against a mass of enemies, it's exceedingly powerful.

And Deity forbid the shapechanged Wizard is a Necromancer, and he starts making undead from your dead. Now you'd have a whole new set of problems in addition to what's already happened. Especially if he's got a few of the feats from Libris Mortis - like Deadly Chill or Destructive Retribution, along with Fell Animate. With that, you drop a Fell-Animated Fireball on top of a group of grunts, doing 10d6 (killing em all most likely) and they rise up next round as Zombies (up to 2x the casters HD - per spell). They'd all be doing an additional 1d6 damage (cold) per attack, and when destroyed, burst for 1d6 negative energy in a 10' radius which harms living creatures and heals the other undead in range.

I wouldn't give a 1500 man group against that one caster more than 2 Minutes before they broke and ran. The leader's likely dead within 18 seconds, tops.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-17, 12:04 PM
So, can the consensus be that high-level wizards are so broken that they clearly warp reality itself?

Now, if I were planning on fighting a wizard, I'd create a bunch of golems and pray. Really, it's all I can think of apart from matching that wizard with your own wizard.

okpokalypse
2007-02-17, 12:14 PM
I'm reminded of something from Raymond E Feist's Serpentwar Saga (or possibly Riftwar), where the role of wizards in warfare was discussed. Loosely paraphrased:

A wizard on one side starts to cast terrible, powerful magics. A mage on the other side uses his arts to counter the enchantment. Another mage on the same side as the first tries to counter the counter. Then a bunch of guys with swords come along and chop all their arms and legs off while they're alll standing around achieving nothing.

Heh, I remember that. Of course, in fantasy literature you'd kind of have to do that because otherwise everyone on Sorcerer's Isle just rules the world at a whim :).

I like thinking of how the Asha'Man were in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. They stood shoulder to shoulder against the Shaido army and just decimated them without even working up a sweat. Unfortunately, D&D doesn't deal with spells in the same way. There is no "Rolling Ring of Earth and Fire" in D&D. Nothing close really - not with the massive damage potential, nor the duration it can be maintained.

Rand, the main character, is just learning has abilities throughout much of the series, and he's capable of widescale destruction like none have seen. That's what, in my mind, a high level caster should be like - and consequently - they view those non-casters as so much insignificant matter, because to them, they are.

Though, I find something funny... In D&D people keep saying L20 Mages as Army Wreckers. I'd be more fearful of a L20 Cleric truth be told. Especially one with Persistant Divine Meta-Magic. Greater Aspect of the Deity and Storm Rage (Maximized) are amazing Persists, making him pretty much invulnerable to a lower-level force, no matter how numerous. Then you've got the Miracles to contend with. And if he decides to lead a combat squad... How many troops can one fit into a 30' Radius? Persist Righteous Wrath, Blessing of the Righteous and Vigorous Circle. Your L1 Soldiers are now Fast Healing 3, +3 Attack & Damage, +1 Attack per Round and +1d6 Holy Damage per attack. IE. He just made about 100 L1 Soliders the equivalent to L4 Soldiers w/ Haste.

Then, he wades out with them, occasionally casting Lion's Roar (L8; 120' Radius; 10d6 Sonic Damage to Enemies, 1d8+20 Temp HP to Allies; 20 minute Duration on Temp HP). Now those Soldiers just got 3 Levels worth of HP. So they're pretty much the equivalent (for 20 Min) of L6 Soldiers, not to mention laying waste to a 120' radius of enemies. If he's got a Meta-Magic Widen Rod, you're in trouble as that'd be just over 180,000 Sq ft, or in D&D Grid Terms, just over 7,000 5x5 Squares.

Yes, if he'd in the middle of a large, tight melee battle and did that, he could take out as much as 7,000 enemies with one spell, and greatly fortifying his own allies.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-17, 12:22 PM
Then, he wades out with them, occasionally casting Lion's Roar (L8; 120' Radius; 10d6 Sonic Damage to Enemies, 1d8+20 Temp HP to Allies; 20 minute Duration on Temp HP). Now those Soldiers just got 3 Levels worth of HP. So they're pretty much the equivalent (for 20 Min) of L6 Soldiers, not to mention laying waste to a 120' radius of enemies. If he's got a Meta-Magic Widen Rod, you're in trouble as that'd be just over 180,000 Sq ft, or in D&D Grid Terms, just over 7,000 5x5 Squares.

Yes, if he'd in the middle of a large, tight melee battle and did that, he could take out as much as 7,000 enemies with one spell, and greatly fortifying his own allies.

In a world with these kinds of casters, only a complete tool would pack his troops like that. You wouldn't do that in such a campaign any more than you would use a greek phalanx against a modern force, and for the same reasons. Unless they had a mid-level caster with an Anti Magic Field on.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-17, 12:25 PM
If the enemy has a wizard, does it even matter? I thought the argument was that the opposing side didn't have those sort of PC's, so it's perfectly logical to say that his setup would be effective and viable.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-17, 12:39 PM
AMF's wouldn't be of very good use really. They're great at preventing scrying and such, but not useful against anything naturally produced at range. From an earlier example:

If that L20 Wizard uses ShapeChange to become a Great Wyrn Red Dragon, what do you do? Dragon Breath isn't Magical. It's a 70' Cone. AMF, even widened, is a 20' radius. So while you've effectively taken out all the magic items on your person through the AMF (you know - the evasion ring, the +save items, the +con items to boost HP, maybe a ring of spell battle to protect you from casters), the Shapechanged Wizard roasts you from 60' up and you're toast.

<SNIPPA>

I wouldn't give a 1500 man group against that one caster more than 2 Minutes before they broke and ran. The leader's likely dead within 18 seconds, tops.

Exaggerations ahoy. Even with the 1500 being low level types you get 75 natural 20s per turn with sheaf arrows and a big fat target. And you would not pack them in a phalanx anyway.

See, that's the problem I have with all of this fappery over epic level characters: it consistently assumes that the NPC army is going to stupidly line up in an optimal manner for whatever magic spam is going to be employed without using their heads and optimising their own strategy.


If the enemy has a wizard, does it even matter? I thought the argument was that the opposing side didn't have those sort of PC's, so it's perfectly logical to say that his setup would be effective and viable.

Err... What is this in response to?

okpokalypse
2007-02-17, 12:51 PM
In a world with these kinds of casters, only a complete tool would pack his troops like that. You wouldn't do that in such a campaign any more than you would use a greek phalanx against a modern force, and for the same reasons. Unless they had a mid-level caster with an Anti Magic Field on.

I don't know why you're lauding AMF. It's got a tiny radius, and it does more harm to casters than good when all is said and done. A Wizard in an AMF is a target for the Scout/Assassin with the Fort DC 30 Save-Or-Die poison and a +5 Longbow of Distance. Ie. He's done. He's got no spells to help him, and all his magic items which boost his saves (+Con, +Resist, etc..) are dormant. He may as well just put up a big neon sign that says, "Low HP Caster w/ No Magic or Spells!"

As for your argument about packing troops - maybe in today's modern army one wouldn't - but you're talking medieval combat & tactics. Where armies lined up in bulk and fought through sheer force of will. A cavalry charge needs to be tightly packed to be effective. Most infantry assaults consisted of lines upon lines of soldiers charging at shoulders-width.

What are they doing to do? Send in 100 men at a time against a Cleric and his 100 Buffed Companions? It'd be like running into a meat-grinder. They'd be lucky to get a casualty per run.

The other side would absoutely need other casters to have any chance in hell against them. Cause from Range, they're just as deadly. They've got their bows, they've got a Cleric who can pump out Radiant Assaults (It's a meaner, nastier light-based fireball), drop Blade Barriers and just take to the air and start lightning-bolting like mad (Storm Rage).

Lord Zentei
2007-02-17, 12:56 PM
As for your argument about packing troops - maybe in today's modern army one wouldn't - but you're talking medieval combat & tactics. Where armies lined up in bulk and fought through sheer force of will. A cavalry charge needs to be tightly packed to be effective. Most infantry assaults consisted of lines upon lines of soldiers charging at shoulders-width.

This assumption is silly, and I feel that it is at the heart of all this nonsense about Epic level casters making armies obsolete.

Millitary planners are not completely retarded. If there are powerful spells that can destroy a tightly packed army, then they won't pack their army tightly. Speaking of the "historic" manner in which armes were deployed is a red herring - i.e. irrelevant, because conditions were not the same by any measure.

The one thing that can be guaranteed is that given significant changes in the technology or other capabilities available, you WILL see changes in how armies are built and deployed - assuming otherwise is just plain silly. You know, there is a reason why people invoked modern warfare in this thread.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-17, 01:08 PM
Aren't epic level casters supposed to be crazy rare in just about every setting ever devised? Hell, aren't casters above level 10 supposed to be the equivalent of godly?

How many generals would actually get a chance to fight against one?

Pastafarian
2007-02-17, 01:10 PM
Dragon Breath isn't Magical.
Right, of course it isn't. They can breathe fire completely naturally. More seriously, dragons are entirely magical creatures. They need magic to fly, breathe fire (or whatever), and probably even to breath and pump blood. Moreover, since they are shapeshifted mages, they would be even more magic dependent.

Mewtarthio
2007-02-17, 01:10 PM
This assumption is silly, and I feel that it is at the heart of all this nonsense about Epic level casters making armies obsolete.

Millitary planners are not completely retarded. If there are powerful spells that can destroy a tightly packed army, then they won't pack their army tightly. Speaking of the "historic" manner in which armes were deployed is a red herring - i.e. irrelevant, because conditions were not the same by any measure.

The one thing that can be guaranteed is that given significant changes in the technology or other capabilities available, you WILL see changes in how armies are built and deployed - assuming otherwise is just plain silly. You know, there is a reason why people invoked modern warfare in this thread.


Three words: World War One

"Hey, Francis, all the soldiers we send charging into machine gun fire tend to get slaughtered horribly."
"I see... We must not be sending enough soldiers! CHARGE!"

---

Of course, if we assume that these level twenty mages didn't suddenly Plane Shift over to a world that has never before seen magic and say "Y'know what'd be fun? Let's defend a territory the size of the US from an army the size of China!", it's probable to assume that anti-caster tactics have already been developed. If not, I'd really like to think we're smarter and more adaptable now.

Mewtarthio
2007-02-17, 01:14 PM
Right, of course it is. They can breathe fire completely naturally. More seriously, dragons are entirely magical creatures. They need magic to fly, breathe fire (or whatever), and probably even to breath and pump blood. Moreover, since they are shapeshifted mages, they would be even more magic dependent.

Sorry for the double post, but dragon senses and dragon flight are (Ex) abilities. That means that, no matter how physically impossible it seems, they're not considered magical. They work perfectly fine in AMFs and null-magic planes. Dragon breath is (Su), which means that it is magical in nature and gets nullified by AMFs and the like.

okpokalypse
2007-02-17, 01:14 PM
Exaggerations ahoy. Even with the 1500 being low level types you get 75 natural 20s per turn with sheaf arrows and a big fat target. And you would not pack them in a phalanx anyway.

Umm, how conveinent you left out the DR 20 / Magic. You've got Magic Weapons for all your L1 Soldiers! How generous your army must be!

It takes no damage. Accept it. Move on.


See, that's the problem I have with all of this fappery over epic level characters: it consistently assumes that the NPC army is going to stupidly line up in an optimal manner for whatever magic spam is going to be employed without using their heads and optimising their own strategy.


Who says they even have to be lined up in such a manner. Since it's the caster that dictats the attack, hit em while they're bunched together and encamped. A 3-hour night-time flyover. The only ones who even get warning will be where a Sentry saves against the Dragon-Fear and rouses the camp - a whopping 18 seconds before the dragon is attacking.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-17, 01:18 PM
Three words: World War One

"Hey, Francis, all the soldiers we send charging into machine gun fire tend to get slaughtered horribly."
"I see... We must not be sending enough soldiers! CHARGE!"

Precisely. World War One, where generals did (eventually) change tactics during the course of the conflict, and after which wars would never be fought the same way again.

And after which the Spanish Civil War and World War Two were fought, using experience gleaned from WW1, with radically different tactics than before.


Of course, if we assume that these level twenty mages didn't suddenly Plane Shift over to a world that has never before seen magic and say "Y'know what'd be fun? Let's defend a territory the size of the US from an army the size of China!", it's probable to assume that anti-caster tactics have already been developed. If not, I'd really like to think we're smarter and more adaptable now.

People can be stubborn, but in the long run they are not stupid.

Adam
2007-02-17, 01:20 PM
This assumption is silly, and I feel that it is at the heart of all this nonsense about Epic level casters making armies obsolete.

Millitary planners are not completely retarded. If there are powerful spells that can destroy a tightly packed army, then they won't pack their army tightly. Speaking of the "historic" manner in which armes were deployed is a red herring - i.e. irrelevant, because conditions were not the same by any measure.

I think the point is that the soldiers in a pseudo-medieval army, using the weapons and arms typical to a D&D setting, aren't very effective unless they're packed in closely. Longbowmen aren't valuable because they're all deadeye snipers, they're valuable because you can get a whole bunch of them together and fire simultaneously to rain death on an area. Individual pikemen are all but useless, but they become deadly when they're packed into a phalanx. A lone horseman charging is easily avoided, so you pack them into a coordinated cavalry charge. If you take away the tactics that make them easy targets for area effect spells, you make them ineffective against just about anything else.


The one thing that can be guaranteed is that given significant changes in the technology or other capabilities available, you WILL see changes in how armies are built and deployed - assuming otherwise is just plain silly. You know, there is a reason why people invoked modern warfare in this thread.

I do agree with you here. The problem is, most fantasy games and literature want to have both massed pseudo-medieval armies and powerful magic in the same world, and it leads to all the silly questions beign asked in thsi thread.

okpokalypse
2007-02-17, 01:21 PM
Sorry for the double post, but dragon senses and dragon flight are (Ex) abilities. That means that, no matter how physically impossible it seems, they're not considered magical. They work perfectly fine in AMFs and null-magic planes. Dragon breath is (Su), which means that it is magical in nature and gets nullified by AMFs and the like.

You are correct about the breath weapon. That's my bad. But again, since the field is at most 20' in radius, it's quite limited. One could just cast Wall of Iron above said person and squish em. AMF doesn't affect non-magical object after summoning, per the spells description.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-17, 01:21 PM
Umm, how conveinent you left out the DR 20 / Magic. You've got Magic Weapons for all your L1 Soldiers! How generous your army must be!

It takes no damage. Accept it. Move on.

Don't be silly. We are speaking of an ARMY not a bunch of wankers from some village. I.e. they have the resources of an entire state to back them up.


Who says they even have to be lined up in such a manner. Since it's the caster that dictats the attack, hit em while they're bunched together and encamped. A 3-hour night-time flyover. The only ones who even get warning will be where a Sentry saves against the Dragon-Fear and rouses the camp - a whopping 18 seconds before the dragon is attacking.

And you think that people camp all packed up, ready to be fragged?



I think the point is that the soldiers in a pseudo-medieval army, using the weapons and arms typical to a D&D setting, aren't very effective unless they're packed in closely. Longbowmen aren't valuable because they're all deadeye snipers, they're valuable because you can get a whole bunch of them together and fire simultaneously to rain death on an area. Individual pikemen are all but useless, but they become deadly when they're packed into a phalanx. A lone horseman charging is easily avoided, so you pack them into a coordinated cavalry charge. If you take away the tactics that make them easy targets for area effect spells, you make them ineffective against just about anything else.

Depends on how they are equipped. Squad deployment is still going to be a hell of a lot better at taking and holding ground than nothing. Moreover, if the advesary can field a handful of 20th level mages, you can field a boatload of low to mid level casters to act as SAWs and arty, etc.


I do agree with you here. The problem is, most fantasy games and literature want to have both massed pseudo-medieval armies and powerful magic in the same world, and it leads to all the silly questions beign asked in thsi thread.

And that's why I prefer Eberron to most other settings. At least there some thought was put into the implications of magic for society.

okpokalypse
2007-02-17, 01:37 PM
Don't be silly. We are speaking of an ARMY not a bunch of wankers from some village. I.e. they have the resources of an entire state to back them up.

Now you're the one being silly. Do you realize that outfitting 1500 men (this is just one squad) with +1 Ranged Weapons alone costs 2,330 (Assuming Shortbows) each. That's 3,500,000 gp just to outfit one squad - not including Armor, Melee Weapons, etc. Masterwork, I'll give you - Magical - you're crazy. If you're talking about fully outfitting an army of just 150,000 men (with 1 magical item and the rest mundane) you're looking at a cost of nearly 400 MILLION gps, before the need to supply food and get any seige equipment. Be a little realistic.


And you think that people camp all packed up, ready to be fragged?

Actually, yes. Not with the intention of being fragged, but most sergeants try to keep their camps relatively tight. If they're constructing makeshift barracks, you've got clusters right there. If they're all sleeping in bedrolls, chances are they're formed together in multiple 5-10 man groups, each group not being more than 50' apart. It's just the way it works man, sorry.


Depends on how they are equipped. Squad deployment is still going to be a hell of a lot better at taking and holding ground than nothing. Moreover, if the advesary can field a handful of 20th level mages, you can field a boatload of low to mid level casters to act as SAWs and arty, etc.

You keep presupposing other casters on your side. The thing is, AMF (which you've lauded) is a 6th level spell. I don't know about you, but an 11th level casters aren't a dime a dozen. If you've got 10 of em throughout your army, I'd be stunned. The whole premise for this exercise was can an army stand up to multiple L20 casters. It wasn't an Army laden with a caster chain where 11th level is considered commonplace.

If you're conscripting all these casters to bulk out your army, why not just have these L20 Casters buy em out instead? Off magic as a reward. A glimpse at a spellbook. It's more than the city-state could ever offer. After all, they're spending half a billion gold already to get all the level-1 soldiers magic bows. There's not gonna be a whole lot left to hire mages.

Lord Iames Osari
2007-02-17, 01:41 PM
I'm not going to argue with your math right now, but there is no way that a squad is made up of 1500 people.

okpokalypse
2007-02-17, 01:51 PM
I'm not going to argue with your math right now, but there is no way that a squad is made up of 1500 people.

I just used squad as a descriptor. I was referencing Dorshi's group sizes of 1000 - 1500 soldiers from an earlier post. The point being, a L20 Caster, be it Cleric, Mage or Psion, annihilates it.

Actually, a Psion might very well be the nastiest when all is said and done.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-17, 01:52 PM
Really, the only setting where this is even relevant is Faerun, where both armies can pack in about 30-40 level 20 wizards per battalion. In which case, I guess it sort of makes sense to seperate your army as much as possible.

But in Faerun, all-out war is always thwarted by like 1-6 guys anyway. So I guess the idea of a war in Faerun is redundant.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-17, 01:53 PM
I'm not going to argue with your math right now, but there is no way that a squad is made up of 1500 people.

Where did I claim such? EDIT: Ah, sorry that was not meant for me. My bad.


Now you're the one being silly. Do you realize that outfitting 1500 men (this is just one squad) with +1 Ranged Weapons alone costs 2,330 (Assuming Shortbows) each. That's 3,500,000 gp just to outfit one squad - not including Armor, Melee Weapons, etc. Masterwork, I'll give you - Magical - you're crazy. If you're talking about fully outfitting an army of just 150,000 men (with 1 magical item and the rest mundane) you're looking at a cost of nearly 400 MILLION gps, before the need to supply food and get any seige equipment. Be a little realistic.

What is this "1500 men per squad" business?

But fair enough, you don't really need 1500 +1 bows in any case (and I never mentioned 150k bows: don't put words in my mouth, buddy): far fewer will get the job done. And what happened to low to the mid level casters?


Actually, yes. Not with the intention of being fragged, but most sergeants try to keep their camps relatively tight. If they're constructing makeshift barracks, you've got clusters right there. If they're all sleeping in bedrolls, chances are they're formed together in multiple 5-10 man groups, each group not being more than 50' apart. It's just the way it works man, sorry.

"Sorry", right. 5-10 man groups 50' apart are not going to be fragged in the way that is being claimed.


You keep presupposing other casters on your side. The thing is, AMF (which you've lauded) is a 6th level spell. I don't know about you, but an 11th level casters aren't a dime a dozen. If you've got 10 of em throughout your army, I'd be stunned. The whole premise for this exercise was can an army stand up to multiple L20 casters. It wasn't an Army laden with a caster chain where 11th level is considered commonplace.

Of course there will be casters on my side. Do you think that they will all be antisocial chaotics?


If you're conscripting all these casters to bulk out your army, why not just have these L20 Casters buy em out instead? Off magic as a reward. A glimpse at a spellbook. It's more than the city-state could ever offer. After all, they're spending half a billion gold already to get all the level-1 soldiers magic bows. There's not gonna be a whole lot left to hire mages.

Because level 20 casters are fewer and more expensive, and because they cannot take and hold ground. And what makes you think that city states don't have resources of these kinds themselves?

okpokalypse
2007-02-17, 02:37 PM
Because level 20 casters are fewer and more expensive, and because they cannot take and hold ground. And what makes you think that city states don't have resources of these kinds themselves?

Well, I don't think one could conscript a L20 caster, I mean all those mid-level caster's you're lauding within the army's ranks. What inclination would they really have to ally themselves with a city against a L20 caster(s).

And no, I frankly don't think these D&D city-states have the resources to entice a mid-level caster away from the proposition of working with a L20 caster, unless it's a loyalty issue. Look throughout fantasy literature. When do mid to high level mages NOT work espressly for themselves, and only work with a City-State when it benefits their own goals?

I think Raistlin / Dalamar (Dragonlance) is a great example. Dalamar could have been raised to the head of his conclave - but he wouldn't betray Raistlin because of all he could learn from him. It wasn't until Raistlin's actions directly threatened him that he acted against him.

Priests are different, as their powers aren't learned from others of their order - they're granted from the deity. So a Priest's loyalty lies within the doctrine of his faith. If you're looking at a war, and your opposition has a L20 Favored Soul of Pelor, a L20 Wizard (Transmuter) and a L20 Psion (Shaper) allied against your forces - your best bet is to go hit up Priests of Wee Jas/Erythnul/etc.. and Necromancers as quick as you can - cause chances are you won't get anyone else to sign on, and they'll always be able to flee, rejuvenate themselves, and attack anew in the span of minutes (Genesis - Temporally Altered Pocket Plane + Plane-Shift).

Now I'm not saying that an Army's leaders couldn't concoct some method of getting them in a vulnerable sitatuation - but executing that is a whole different story. Just as much as I suppose you are assuming that I'm meta-gaming your army as stupid, I think you're meta-gaming the high-level casters as such as well.

Keep in mind that there's almost no way for you to defense yourself against these 3 L20s except to keep as spread out as possible, minimizing the damage they do and praying for lucky shots.

LotharBot
2007-02-17, 02:38 PM
The whole premise for this exercise was can an army stand up to multiple L20 casters.

No, it's not.

The premise is whether high-level characters make armies irrelevant.

They don't. Armies (of L1 commoners or L10 fighters or whatever other composition) can still hold territory in a way a small number of high-level characters can't. They can't hold the territory against a squad of high-level wizards, but they can hold it against a lot of other things. Armies can go house-to-house and pick over an entire area in a way high level casters can't (I presently have a situation in one of my campaigns where I want to find all of the dwarves remaining in hiding in a city that's been overrun, and it's going to be a much trickier proposition with just a couple casters than it would be with a whole army.)

High level casters can obviously lay waste to a large, low-level army. Regardless of how you lay your army out, I can come up with a way for a level 20 caster to take out thousands of troops. But high-level parties don't completely replace the functionality of armies. There's still use for large forces of low-level guys with sticks, even in a fantasy world with the occasional spellcaster who can bend reality.

okpokalypse
2007-02-17, 02:49 PM
5-10 man groups 50' apart are not going to be fragged in the way that is being claimed.

If a 10-man encampment takes up a 20x20 area, and they're 50' apart, you're looking at approximately 35 troops on average in each 100x100 area (10,000 sq ft). Lion's Roar (appropriately meta-magic'd) has a 240' radius. That's an area of just over 180,000 sq ft. That means he'd take out > 600 Soldiers in 1 shot.

He can then leave and go to the next encampment at the speed of magic (tm) before anyone could get warning and do it again. At such a high level, he should be able to do that a good 6 or 7 times before needing to plane shift, replenish on a temporally faster plane, and return in about 15 minutes of Material Plane time and do it again.

If it's a situation where they're more tightly packed - such as in a natural environment that requires it (clearing in a dense forest, natural cavern in winter during snow) - he can get a lot more causalties.

okpokalypse
2007-02-17, 02:56 PM
No, it's not.

The premise is whether high-level characters make armies irrelevant.

They don't. Armies (of L1 commoners or L10 fighters or whatever other composition) can still hold territory in a way a small number of high-level characters can't. They can't hold the territory against a squad of high-level wizards, but they can hold it against a lot of other things. Armies can go house-to-house and pick over an entire area in a way high level casters can't (I presently have a situation in one of my campaigns where I want to find all of the dwarves remaining in hiding in a city that's been overrun, and it's going to be a much trickier proposition with just a couple casters than it would be with a whole army.)

High level casters can obviously lay waste to a large, low-level army. Regardless of how you lay your army out, I can come up with a way for a level 20 caster to take out thousands of troops. But high-level parties don't completely replace the functionality of armies. There's still use for large forces of low-level guys with sticks, even in a fantasy world with the occasional spellcaster who can bend reality.

Your point is well taken.

As an aid to your endeavor to root out the dwarves:

Locate Creature:
"This spell functions like locate object, except this spell locates a known or familiar creature.

You slowly turn and sense when you are facing in the direction of the creature to be located, provided it is within range. You also know in which direction the creature is moving, if any.

The spell can locate a creature of a specific kind (such as a human or a unicorn) or a specific creature known to you. It cannot find a creature of a certain type (such as humanoid or animal). To find a kind of creature, you must have seen such a creature up close (within 30 feet) at least once."

The range is 400' + 40'/Level - so if you're Level 20, you can detect Dwarves (as a Kind) within 1200'. The duration is 10 Minutes / Level.

So basically you can have a good chunk of your minions around you, and you walk around the town pointing to buildings they're hiding in and get em rooted out. It's very effective.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-17, 02:56 PM
Well, I don't think one could conscript a L20 caster, I mean all those mid-level caster's you're lauding within the army's ranks. What inclination would they really have to ally themselves with a city against a L20 caster(s).

Ho ho, who's to say that the 20th level caster isn't the city's ruler? As they can be seen as Uber-Terrorists, they could certainly gain such authority. Moreover, they need resources too, what would be more ideal?


And no, I frankly don't think these D&D city-states have the resources to entice a mid-level caster away from the proposition of working with a L20 caster, unless it's a loyalty issue. Look throughout fantasy literature. When do mid to high level mages NOT work espressly for themselves, and only work with a City-State when it benefits their own goals?

What a lone 20th level guy can acquire, a dozen 10th level guys plus several dozen 5th level guys can acquire. You seem to be labouring under the assumption that all the city dwellers are themselves low level peons, and the class level guys are all outsiders (not the Outsider creature type, but you know what I mean). I think this meme is derived from multiple set piece scenarios that DMs create on behalf of their players for them to overcome, and from holdovers from 1st-2nd edition when mighty rulers were "Zero Level" losers with d6 hit points.

Fantasy literature being off the mark is precisely my point: most of it is ill considered vis a vis reflecting on how resources would be allocated in a society of this kind. It's all "woo, let's use the middle ages and sprinkle it with ubermagic without considering the implications". Partially, I imagine that Tolkein is to blame, though in his defence, high level casters WERE the rulers and/or kingmakers there, and yet they used armies (yes, I know that they are hardly Epic level, not the point as I think you can see).


Priests are different, as their powers aren't learned from others of their order - they're granted from the deity. So a Priest's loyalty lies within the doctrine of his faith. If you're looking at a war, and your opposition has a L20 Favored Soul of Pelor, a L20 Wizard (Transmuter) and a L20 Psion (Shaper) allied against your forces - your best bet is to go hit up Priests of Wee Jas/Erythnul/etc.. and Necromancers as quick as you can - cause chances are you won't get anyone else to sign on, and they'll always be able to flee, rejuvenate themselves, and attack anew in the span of minutes (Genesis - Temporally Altered Pocket Plane + Plane-Shift).

Epic level casters are equivalent to WMDs. That nukes exist does not make other warfare nonexistant.

In fact, there is this thing called "the balance of terror" where WMDs are concerned, leaving conventional armies to wage wars.


Now I'm not saying that an Army's leaders couldn't concoct some method of getting them in a vulnerable sitatuation - but executing that is a whole different story. Just as much as I suppose you are assuming that I'm meta-gaming your army as stupid, I think you're meta-gaming the high-level casters as such as well.

No, not really. Think about mid-level parties taking out a high level Archvillain: you don't have to play him stupid for a competent party to prevail.

Now create an optimized, professional party using NPC classes, and instead of feats, give them more magic items paid for from the royal coffers, and add a PC-class guy to lead it. Instead of "party" call it a "squad" and optimize it for a particular role. Then raise multiple such squads with a range of specializations and have them function together, the whole greater than the sum of its parts, in the same way that a party is. Add some monstrous units. Use magic for command control and rapid strike. Most squads would be low level, for low level tasks - such as take and hold ground - but there would be "big guns" too. Presto: a squad based army based on modern principles for a magic setting.

See, with adequate metagaming you can acheive more with a fantasy army than the usual blocks of zeros making like crash test dummies.


Keep in mind that there's almost no way for you to defense yourself against these 3 L20s except to keep as spread out as possible, minimizing the damage they do and praying for lucky shots.

See above.

Jack_Simth
2007-02-17, 03:01 PM
I just used squad as a descriptor. I was referencing Dorshi's group sizes of 1000 - 1500 soldiers from an earlier post. The point being, a L20 Caster, be it Cleric, Mage or Psion, annihilates it.

Actually, a Psion might very well be the nastiest when all is said and done.
Let's see..... assuming plenty of prep time (e.g., caster is the one taking initiative and attacking).

Wiz-20:
Good Wizard:
Greater Planar Binding: Moment of Prescience deals with the Charisma check quite handily (other than the nat-1 clause). A 14 HD Planetar flies, regenerates (so long as not damaged by an Evil source... and casting as a good-aligned Cleric-17, the Planetar isn't going to run out of healing anytime soon for those aligned damage sources), has SR 30, some DR, and has a nice set of immunities and saves. One has a pretty good chance of taking down an army of 10 level or less opponents in a pitched battle, regardless of size army size.
Evil Wizard:
Greater Planar Binding: Moment of Prescience deals with the Charisma check quite handily (other than the nat-1 clause). An 18 HD Pit Fiend flies, has DR, regeneration, SR 32, Blasphemy, Fireball, Create Undead, and Greater Dispel Magic at will, in addition to good saves (+19/+19/+21). Not only can the Pit Fiend take out most armies of 10th level or less opponents, it can raise its own army from the scraps to hold territory. As he's made a deal with the Evil Wizard.....

Sorcerer-20: See Wizard; build dependant.

Druid-20:
Shambling Mounds. Call Lightning. 'Nuff said.
Elemental Swarm works, too.

Cleric-20:
Fire Storm. Word Spells. Mass Inflict. Symbol Spells (once activated, they affect everyone not attuned - and the caster gets to set the activation condition. Tower Shield with appropriet no-limit Symbol, air walk; use the Tower Shield for Total Cover as you walk past, with, say, an active Symbol of Persuasion; get most the army on your side; at ten minutes/level after activation....). Elemental Swarm and Shambing Mounds work well, depending on domains.

The above assumes the caster doesn't want to expend XP.
If the caster is fine with XP loss, most get Gate. In all cases, the caster has some method of a reasonably persistent army to both take and hold territory.

dorshe1
2007-02-17, 03:03 PM
The whole argument started with 'I can defend the U.S. from a Chinese style army with 20 lvl 20 casters'

I have not doubt that eventually you will kill every man in my army (if you can find them) however, can you do it before my units can capture and kill a sizeable portion of your population. The answer to that question is 'no'

You don't have enough wizards or enough spells. An army can cover quite a distance in 6 months, especially if you are being attacked from both sides.

You also assume that I've given orders for my soldiers to actually 'fight' the casters. I'd probably tell them to run as fast and far away as possible and regroup at another location to minimize area of affect spells.

You don't have to worry much about morale since you aren't asking lvl 1s to stand against an enemy you are telling them to run and save their lives, and once you run out of breath meet up and keep on marching until you find someone you can take your aggressions on.

Also, sergeants keep their units close together while sleeping in the real world, why is that? Oh wait, that is because they might get attacked by a large force and then they would be helpless. In an area where there isn't any danger of getting attacked by a large force, do you really think they'll be sleeping that close to another?

I am not casting (get it, casting?) any doubt on whether or not they will inflict heavy casualties, I'm saying that they couldn't defend every city in a country the size of the U.S without feet on the ground to hold them off long enough for the mages to show up. In my opinion, if I can capture any of your cities and raze it then they have not defended the country.

Although, with the number of teleports that you are doing, to areas you may not be familar with will eventually run you into a stone wall of some sort.

LCR
2007-02-17, 03:04 PM
No More Talking About Wizards Defending The United States Of America Versus 50 Million Chinese!

This is, like, the best thing I've read in quite some time. I'm still laughing.
God, it sounds like a bloody Roland Emmerich movie. I can already see Matthew Broderick casted as a wizard trying to determine which spell is best [Scrubbed]

Can't type, must laugh ...

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-17, 03:47 PM
This is your idea of a rebuttal? How utterly sad.
Not really. I have said that magic is about equal to 21st century tech. It is.


No limits fallacy. Besides, invisibilty does not make one undetectable by non-magical means. This is fact. It practically does. Especially to units on the ground. And their is Etheral Jaunt and Gaseous Form and other spells.


Guerilla forces cannot do everything a modern army can. They cannot prevent the tech army from acheiving occupation of their homeland. Moreover, the tech army can hold the magic based land hostage by nuclear reprisal against terrorism. I wonder what happens when I put a Permanent Wall of Force directly over the nuclear missiles silo? Or on the run way of a air force base? And you expect to use Nukes, how do you expect to remember the launch codes? Modify Memory, Programmed Amnesia, etc. If any leader is willing to launch them since they are dominated.


You cast fireballs at my base? Fine, I glass your city #XYZ. Not really. You glass your missile silo. If you even got permission to launch. And if you want to get really fun, I can move an entire cities population with me where ever I go. An Item of Command Word Smoky Confinement is 118,800 GP and allows me to put all of my population into little crystal vials for storage. I then put all of these in bags of holding and put all of the bag's inside a box made up of 4 permanent walls of force.

You will never touch any of my population.


They can also obtain information on the wizard's techniques during said occupation. And even should the occupation be lifted, they are in no position at all to take and hold the tech country. Further guerilla activity at such a point will bring in the saturation bombing. If they can get off the ground.
Contact Other Planes: Will the tech people use saturation bombing against us today?
Disintegrate does wonders to an airplane.

And I never needed to take and hold the tech country. I just need to slaughter your population. I wonder what a fireball on a gas main would do? Or a disintegrate on a major bridge? Or a fireball in a mall? Or a Cloud Kill in a movie theater? Or in your parliament while it is session? Or a meteor swarm over a major city? Or a Wail of The Banshee in place of those Cloud Kills? All of that is just from the PHB. I haven't even started on the SC.


You refused to respond to my table. And now you are asking for more material from me? Presumably so you can ignore that as well, and go "no, I'm right, really". And nonetheless, I have provided an answer. Magic is (in most cases) superior to tech BUT it is not as duplicable as tech. Magic doesn't work for a large force as well as tech unless you are using custom magic items.



Incidentally, I tend to favour the Eberron model: it makes most sense from the perspective of the rulers to do their utmost to make their armies competitive without PC mercenaries, and so, they would comission magi-tech forces. I agree that Eberron does a better job of modeling magic in society than pretty much every other setting but it still doesn't really take it far enough.


Incidentally, there are still these bothersome things called "Anti Magic Fields" which people would employ also. Think about it: you are a high level officer and can commission a number of spells cast on your HQ. Given a preponderance of magical attacks, which one would be the FIRST one on your list? Remember, you don't get magic at all. Your all tech. And AMF's are a joke anyways. TK sphere around an AMF and I can fly you all up a couple of thousand feet and turn it off. You plummet to your death.




And speaking of tangents, Emperor Tippy, I'd like to know your response to the following pedantry:

My point being, of course, that both uberwizards and a standing army are necessary for any large-scale campaign. I don't want to get involved in the Wizards vs. the US Army argument, (which I think is patently silly since the US Army can't be modeled in D&D rules, and Wizards can't be modeled in reality) but I believe there is a comparison between Spellcaster Power and modern Air Power: your uberwizards or modern Earth's aircraft spend most of a conflict countering the other side in the same theater. Once one side obtains Air Superiority (or Mage Superiority) - the outcome is basically a forgone conclusion, barring mass guerrilla resistance or similar tactics. That does not render infantry or cavalry irrelevant, since they are still needed to take and hold territory, and to defend it from enemy ground troops before air superiority is achieved.

Sorry for the wall of text, everyone. Especially Scalenex, but like I said, momentum.
You couldn't stop the bards short of finding and killing them (or putting your population in stasis). And I agree that if both sides had roughly equal magic then the army would be relevant BUT if one side lacked in magic then no matter the size of the army its death is a foregone conclusion.




In a world with these kinds of casters, only a complete tool would pack his troops like that. You wouldn't do that in such a campaign any more than you would use a greek phalanx against a modern force, and for the same reasons. Unless they had a mid-level caster with an Anti Magic Field on.
You have an army made up of 95-99% conscript forces with no training or experience. Your force can't employ advanced tactics because you can't depend on your men to be able to do it. How many of your men are illiterate and cant' read a map? The reason that forces were crammed together like that is that they are ineffective unless crammed together like that (its explained later in the thread) AND because it was an easy to teach formation. Stand in a line and shoot the other guy.


Exaggerations ahoy. Even with the 1500 being low level types you get 75 natural 20s per turn with sheaf arrows and a big fat target. And you would not pack them in a phalanx anyway.
Those arrows on even a natural 20 won't hurt a great wrym dragon unless you practically max your damage roll. DR 20/magic is a pain. Oh and you go back to full health every round. Shapechange allows you to change form once each round as a free action and changing gives you max HP for the new form. I think I'll just alternate between A Great Wrym Gold Dragon and a Great Wrym Red Dragon.


See, that's the problem I have with all of this fappery over epic level characters: it consistently assumes that the NPC army is going to stupidly line up in an optimal manner for whatever magic spam is going to be employed without using their heads and optimising their own strategy. Conscript army. They line up. Its the only way to employ conscripts effectively in a war like we are talking. You don't have mostly professional soldiers.


This assumption is silly, and I feel that it is at the heart of all this nonsense about Epic level casters making armies obsolete.

Millitary planners are not completely retarded. If there are powerful spells that can destroy a tightly packed army, then they won't pack their army tightly. Speaking of the "historic" manner in which armes were deployed is a red herring - i.e. irrelevant, because conditions were not the same by any measure.

The one thing that can be guaranteed is that given significant changes in the technology or other capabilities available, you WILL see changes in how armies are built and deployed - assuming otherwise is just plain silly. You know, there is a reason why people invoked modern warfare in this thread.
Yeah. But modern warfare uses highly trained professional soldiers NOT conscripts. You have conscripts. Peasants with guns. The average American soldier is most likely a 5HD warrior or a 3 HD figher in terms of D&D. We are talking mostly 1 HD commoners who are handed a weapon (if they aren't told to bring their own).

You can have the best planner that the world has ever seen but you don't have men who can execute the strategies and tactics necessary to win.

And no one on your side of this debate has ever dealt with the logistics question. How are you keeping your army fed, watered, and supplied with other equipment?

You need 50 MILLION pounds of food per day. That costs you 25 MILLION gold per day and requires 167 Ships of food per day.

And lets talk about the fleet necessary to deliver such a force to my land to fight. At 150 pounds per solider you would need 25,050 ships. And that is with the men packed in the ships like the were cargo. Those ships travel 48 miles per day. Lets call it 100 miles per 2 days. You need to deliver 50 MILLION pounds of food per day to these ships to feed the men. So every 100 miles of the crossing requires another 334 ships. And you can't drink sea water so you needs fresh water to the tune of at least 50 MILLION gallons per day. Water weighs 8.33 pounds per gallon. That is 1,392 ships per day just to deliver water. And that assumes that the containers that the water is in weigh nothing.

Now that we have dealt with what is needed for you to survive just getting to my shores lets deal with your weapons. Lets assume 1 long sword per 2 men. That is 4 pounds per sword. Or 334 Ships. And ever ship I sink disarms 75,000 Soldiers. Now lets assume that the other half of the force gets bows. They are 3 pounds each. That is 250 ships and each one sunk is the same as you losing 100,000 archers. Now lets look at arrows for those bows. Lets say 20 arrows per archer (a very low number). Arrows are 3 pounds per 20 and come out to another 250 ships.

Now lets deal with other supplies that the men will need. If you don't want them to freeze to death then they will need a blanket. Lets say for ever other man. That is another 250 ships. Backpacks for every other man is another 167 ships.

Do you get the picture? Every ship I sink is worth 75,000 to 300,000 soldiers. And I was generous with my numbers.

Now lets get into the GP cost. Food is 25 Million gold per day. Swords for every other man is another 375 Million gold. Bows cost 1.875 BILLION gold. Arrows cost 25 Million gold. Blankets cost 12.5 Million gold and backpacks cost 50 Million. Just the ships needed to move your men cost 250.5 Million.

So to get your men to my shores without any food and 1 weapon per man and a blanket and back pack for every other man costs you 2.588 BILLION Gold.

An Iron Colossus Costs 2 Million GP to buy. That is 2,000 Iron Colossi that I could purchase. Do you have any idea what they would do to your forces? You would be lucky to down 1 of them.

Or 2 Billion gold could buy me 13,333 Iron Golems.

Lord Zentei, I will say this 1 last time. The whole point is/was that you don't get PC classes. You Don't have magic. You don't have wizards or clerics or any other type of PC class.

Your PC classes make your army relevant. Without any PC classes your army is entirely Irrelevant.

If you have magic and an army and the other side only has magic then you will win, no matter the size of your army. If you have an arbitrarily large army but no magic then your side will lose. If both sides have an army and magic then it starts becoming a lot more dependent on the specific situation.

The point is that in every situation, if your side lacks magic then the size of your army is irrelevant. Your Army is irrelevant. They are just slaughtered.


Oh and to everybody, answer the logistics questions before continuing with this.

Lord Zentei
2007-02-17, 04:22 PM
Not really. I have said that magic is about equal to 21st century tech. It is.

Behold, ladies and gentlemen:

It seems that Emperor Tippy has decided to act like a troll with no conception of logical debate. This line should prove that beyond all reasonable doubt.

"I have said it" => "It is". Tippy, your approach to this debate tries my patience.

Gods, sometimes I miss the forum rules of slashdot or some such place, but I'll leave it at this.

EMPEROR TIPPY: I have half a mind ignoring your post regarding the magic versus tech tangent, seeing as you have abandoned all pretence of rational discourse. But whatever: here are some responses to your non-arguments, mainly for the sake of my own lol. I'll answer in the same spirit as you posted:



I wonder what happens when I put a Permanent Wall of Force directly over the nuclear missiles silo? Or on the run way of a air force base? And you expect to use Nukes, how do you expect to remember the launch codes? Modify Memory, Programmed Amnesia, etc. If any leader is willing to launch them since they are dominated.

What happens when someone whacks you over the noggin with a cluestick? Wait, you have DR:100 versus rationalism, my bad.

Anyway, I already launced the nukes, rofl lol.


Not really. You glass your missile silo. If you even got permission to launch. And if you want to get really fun, I can move an entire cities population with me where ever I go. An Item of Command Word Smoky Confinement is 118,800 GP and allows me to put all of my population into little crystal vials for storage. I then put all of these in bags of holding and put all of the bag's inside a box made up of 4 permanent walls of force.

Fap, fap, fap. So you run away. How cute. And they are stuck in there after the country is reduced to ashes, even assuming that you got them all there to begin with.


If they can get off the ground.
Contact Other Planes: Will the tech people use saturation bombing against us today?
Disintegrate does wonders to an airplane.

Yes, yes they will get off the ground. I said they can, so they can. And disintigrate has limited range compared with modern weapons. Zomg, and my missiles cause a hell of a lot more than a dozen d6s damage, woo hoo a tonne of high explosives FTW. Then spray the area with M250s. So much for your DR:20 or whatever.


And I never needed to take and hold the tech country. I just need to slaughter your population. I wonder what a fireball on a gas main would do? Or a disintegrate on a major bridge? Or a fireball in a mall? Or a Cloud Kill in a movie theater? Or in your parliament while it is session? Or a meteor swarm over a major city? Or a Wail of The Banshee in place of those Cloud Kills? All of that is just from the PHB. I haven't even started on the SC.

All of this fappery is of limited range, and is little more than glorified terrorism. Nukes level your country. The end.


Magic is (in most cases) superior to tech BUT it is not as duplicable as tech. Magic doesn't work for a large force as well as tech unless you are using custom magic items.

Concession accepted.






Remember, you don't get magic at all. Your all tech. And AMF's are a joke anyways. TK sphere around an AMF and I can fly you all up a couple of thousand feet and turn it off. You plummet to your death.

Now you are talking about an entirely different debate. Not all of this thread is about your magic versus tech nonsense. Please try and keep the topics straight.


You couldn't stop the bards short of finding and killing them (or putting your population in stasis). And I agree that if both sides had roughly equal magic then the army would be relevant BUT if one side lacked in magic then no matter the size of the army its death is a foregone conclusion.

Unless one side has equivalently powered tech, that is.

And if one modern army has nukes and the other does not, then in a no holds barred contest, the former prevails. WHAT A REVELATION!!

Who is talking about a non-magical medieval army versus a magical one? Please quit putting words in my mouth.


You have an army made up of 95-99% conscript forces with no training or experience. Your force can't employ advanced tactics because you can't depend on your men to be able to do it. How many of your men are illiterate and cant' read a map? The reason that forces were crammed together like that is that they are ineffective unless crammed together like that (its explained later in the thread) AND because it was an easy to teach formation. Stand in a line and shoot the other guy.

And now you are again making assumptions about my positions. My god, what strawman rubbish.

In the same spirit: "rofl lol, u have only got 2 spell slots per day because ur caster is a 1st level noob. After u cast magic messile twice, u get peppered with my ninja shuriken, rofl."


Those arrows on even a natural 20 won't hurt a great wrym dragon unless you practically max your damage roll. DR 20/magic is a pain. Oh and you go back to full health every round. Shapechange allows you to change form once each round as a free action and changing gives you max HP for the new form. I think I'll just alternate between A Great Wrym Gold Dragon and a Great Wrym Red Dragon.

This has already been responded to elsewhere.


Conscript army. They line up. Its the only way to employ conscripts effectively in a war like we are talking. You don't have mostly professional soldiers.

Yes, I do.


Yeah. But modern warfare uses highly trained professional soldiers NOT conscripts. You have conscripts. Peasants with guns. The average American soldier is most likely a 5HD warrior or a 3 HD figher in terms of D&D. We are talking mostly 1 HD commoners who are handed a weapon (if they aren't told to bring their own).

Wrong. I have professional soldiers. This is because magic affects warfare in a similar way that tech does. This means armies become professional.


You can have the best planner that the world has ever seen but you don't have men who can execute the strategies and tactics necessary to win.

Yes, yes, I do. Professional soldiers, specifically. You are arguing against a strawman.

Why oh why do I even bother, since you seem intent on ignoring my position and making up nonsense to argue against?


And no one on your side of this debate has ever dealt with the logistics question. How are you keeping your army fed, watered, and supplied with other equipment?

Are you seriously suggesting that logistics cannot be acheived? Wow, just wow. Please quit throwing out red herrings.


You need 50 MILLION pounds of food per day. That costs you 25 MILLION gold per day and requires 167 Ships of food per day.

What on Earth are you talking about?


<SNIP NONSENSE ON LOGISTICS>

Do you get the picture? Every ship I sink is worth 75,000 to 300,000 soldiers. And I was generous with my numbers.

Made up math is such fun.


Now lets get into the GP cost. Food is 25 Million gold per day. Swords for every other man is another 375 Million gold. Bows cost 1.875 BILLION gold. Arrows cost 25 Million gold. Blankets cost 12.5 Million gold and backpacks cost 50 Million. Just the ships needed to move your men cost 250.5 Million.

And more numbers from whence the sun shineth not.


So to get your men to my shores without any food and 1 weapon per man and a blanket and back pack for every other man costs you 2.588 BILLION Gold.

Indeed, your posts are golden, and not in a good way.


An Iron Colossus Costs 2 Million GP to buy. That is 2,000 Iron Colossi that I could purchase. Do you have any idea what they would do to your forces? You would be lucky to down 1 of them.

Or 2 Billion gold could buy me 13,333 Iron Golems.

Leaving aside the infrastructure needed for that: in other words, an army. Thank you, come again.

Mike_G
2007-02-17, 04:35 PM
OK, before this thread got silly, it asked if PCs made armies irrelevant. Not if it made an army with no PCs irrelevant.

Machine guns didn't make infantry irrelevant. They made close order units irrelevant. They made armies with spears and clubs irrelevant.

The way I see it, in a D&D world, both sides will have PCs, mostly low level, with a few, precious high level characters. Killing a high level PC is better than wiping out an infantry company, so plenty of resources will be allocated to locating and destroying the precious PCs.

If you start using you high level wizards against battalions of 1st level warriors or commoner conscripts, the other sides high level wizards will stomp all over him once he reveals himself. Probably teleport in a group of high level PC's to take him out.

High level PCs would be valuable but very guarded assets. You don't use them in the front lines to Fireball a company of enemy spearmen. You use them to scry, to buff, and to coneal your troops. To scout out and mark enemy weaknesses, and enemy PCs. To throw in as an emergency stopgap when a flank of your army is broken.

They guy who shows his PCs first will lose them, as the other side will strike those PCs with the advantage of foreknowledge. Once I knew the location of an enemy 20 level Wizard, I'd deploy my own epic spellcasters or assassins or use my Tomahawk missiles to turn the whole area he's in to molten slag, if we're still arguing magic versus tech. So the object is to use your mudane troops better than the enemy, so he has to reveal his PCs so you can kill them. Then, your PC's can mop up.

Low level PC's can work well with regular troops, multiplying their effectiveness while not offering such juicy targets. Bards, Fighters, Clerics and low level casters would make a regular usint of spearmen or archers much more uselful. Rogues, Rangers and Scouts could lead light uniits through enemy lines and disrupt supply lines. PC's as special forces is a totally valid idea.

Mewtarthio
2007-02-17, 04:37 PM
Hang on, what's everyone arguing about again? I'm so confused...

Dausuul
2007-02-17, 04:58 PM
Hang on, what's everyone arguing about again? I'm so confused...

Let's see. The debates going on at the moment:

#1. Are armies of low-level combatants relevant in a world with high-level people? (Consensus seems to be: Yes, in much the way that infantry remains relevant in a world with tanks and F-16s.)
#2. What happens when millions of low-level combatants face off against a small squad of 20th-level wizards? (Consensus seems to be: The wizards inflict carnage on a horrific scale, but the millions of low-level combatants still wreak havoc on the wizards' home territory.)
#3. How does D&D magic stack up against real-world technology in warfare? (Consensus seems to be: Both sides can screw each other over royally in different ways, and it's a silly question anyway since the real world doesn't run on D&D rules.)
#4. Does Tippy have anything relevant or meaningful to say? (Consensus seems to be: If so, he hasn't said it yet.)

Matthew
2007-02-17, 04:58 PM
Sounds exactly like Chess (what a surprise). Take out the Queen! The Pawns mean nothing (unless they manage to get across the board).

Emperor Tippy
2007-02-17, 05:09 PM
Behold, ladies and gentlemen:

It seems that Emperor Tippy has descided to act like a troll with no conception of logical debate. This line should prove that beyond all reasonable doubt.
Incorrect. Ad Hominem in't it?s


"I have said it" => "It is". Tippy, your approach to this debate tries my patience.Magic and Tech are roughly equal. HoB says it a couple of times. Does DMG says that do to the effects of magic war would be a lot more like modern war than middle age war. Magic and tech are roughly equal.


Gods, sometimes I miss the forum rules of slashdot or some such place, but I'll leave it at this.

EMPEROR TIPPY: I have half a mind ignoring your post regarding the magic versus tech tangent, seeing as you have abandoned all pretence of rational discourse. But whatever: here are some responses to your non-arguments, mainly for the sake of my own lol. I'll answer in the same spirit as you posted:
*Sigh*. I dropped the Magic vs. Tech Debate a while back. When most people agreed that magic and tech are roughly equal. An army with magic vs. the US Army in 2000 would be an equal match (roughly). Armies are relevant if they have advanced tech BUT that isn't D&D. In the time frame that D&D takes place and with D&D tech, and army is irrelevant.


What happens when someone whacks you over the noggin with a cluestick? Wait, you have DR:100 versus rationalism, my bad.Ad Hominem again. Remember. I can teleport. I can turn invisible. I can reach your missile launch silos. I can cast a permanent wall of force. No tech can get aroudn one. You launch teh missile and it doesn't go anywhere. Counter my argument don't make personal attacks.


Anyway, I already launced the nukes, rofl lol.Um when? And anyways I already crammed my people in stasis and went somewhere else. If you can claim that your nukes are launched I can make equally unsupported claims.


Fap, fap, fap. So you run away. How cute. And they are stuck in there after the country is reduced to ashes, even assuming that you got them all there to begin with.I notice that you have quite a nice country. I wonder what I could do to your forces if completely unrestrained?


Yes, yes they will get off the ground. I said they can, so they can. And disintigrate has limited range compared with modern weapons. Zomg, and my missiles cause a hell of a lot more than a dozen d6s damage, woo hoo a tonne of high explosives FTW. Then spray the area with M250s. So much for your DR:20 or whatever.First, disintegrate disintegrates any object without a save and doesn't care about damage. That damage part only matters if you use it on a creature.

Second, how do you know where to drop your bombs or target your missiles? Remember. 20 guys who can travel around the world instantly and with no home base needed.


All of this fappery is of limited range, and is little more than glorified terrorism. Nukes level your country. The end.You have to be able to use the things first. How do you avoid any of the number of ways that I can take over your leaders? And nuclear weapons have never been released to the control of the general or commander fighting the war. The decision to use nukes has always been made by the political leadership.


Concession accepted.
That wasn't a concession.


Now you are talking about an entirely different debate. Not all of this thread is about your magic versus tech nonsense. Please try and keep the topics straight.I have been. You should try to do the same. And I might add that you are the one perpetuating the "magic vs. tech nonsense".


Unless one side has equivalently powered tech, that is.Remember to keep your debates separate. This has nothing to do with magic vs. tech.


And if one modern army has nukes and the other does not, then in a no holds barred contest, the former prevails. WHAT A REVELATION!!Yep. If one side has nukes (or their equivalent) and the other doesn't then the army of the side lacking the nukes is entirely irrelevant.


Who is talking about a non-magical medieval army versus a magical one? Quit putting words in other people mouths, if you please.The original debate. Where I said that I could defend a country the size of the US from 50 million men.


Now you are just making assumptions about my positions. My god, what strawman rubbish.Nope. Read all of this thread. Someone else brought up the 50 million men. So for the last time THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TECH.

It is me with magic vs. someone with 50 million men and no PC classes (hence no magic that is worth anything).


In the same spirit: "rofl lol, u have only got 2 spell slots per day because ur caster is a 1st level noob. After u cast magic messile twice, u get peppered with my ninja shuriken, rofl."*Sigh*
Read millitary history. You and me seem to be talkign abotu to different things. I am talking about 50 Million men without PC classes (and hence no viable magic) vs. 20 men with PC classes (wizards with magic).


This has already been responded to elsewhere.No it hasn't. Give me a post number.


Yes, I do.No you don't. read the thread. It is 20 level 20 wizards vs. a 50 million man conscript army that doesn't have PC calsses.

There is another debate about magic vs. tech and a magic army vs. a tech army. Those have nothing to do with this and should prolly be dropped as they can't be decided and won't be decided.


Wrong. I have professional soldiers. This is because magic affects warfare in a similar way that tech does. This means armies become professional.No you don't. The debate that I was talking about was the 50 million conscripts vs 20 level 20 wizards. It is middle age war. This has nothing to do with tech at all.


Yes, yes, I do. Professional soldiers, specifically. You are arguing against a strawman. Why oh why do I even bother, since you seem intent on ignoring my position and making up nonsense to argue against?*sigh*
Different debates. I was talking about an army in D&D made up of 50 million conscripts. This has nothing to do with a 21st century army.


Are you seriously suggesting that logistics cannot be acheived? Wow, just wow. Quit throwing out red herrings.For a 50 million man army in D&D trying to cross an ocean? It is nigh impossible unless you have PC classes. That army doesn't.


What on Earth are you talking about?The question of 50 million conscripts without PC classes vs. 20 level 20 wizards who have a similar amount of gold to throw around.


Made up math is such fun.

And more numbers from whence the sun shineth not.Not really.

You have 50 million men to feed. Trail Rations weigh 1 pound per day. That is 50 Million pounds of food per day. A sailing ship (has the highest cargo capacity) carries 150 tons. That is 300,000 pounds of food.
50 Million / 300,000 = 166.66666 or 167 ships.
Every one of those ships I sink is 300,000 people who aren't eating. Your men starve to death.

Oh and trail rations cost .5 GP per day per man or 25 million Gp per day to feed your army.


Indeed, your posts are golden, and not in a good way.You just love the ad hominem, don't you?


Leaving aside the infrastructure needed for that: in other words, an army. Thank you, come again.
No. Not an army. A collection of items. And the Iron Golems can be constructed by my wizards. The ability of a PC class to create golems makes your army irrelevant.

The original question was "Do PC classes make armies irrelevant?". The answer is: Unless both sides have roughly equal numbers of people with PC classes then yes PC classes make an army irrelevant.