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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Drakevarg's Avatar

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    Default [3.5] Opposing Army

    Hello Playground. For my next session, I need to unleash a zombie horde on some unfortunate townsfolk. Said townsfolk have amonst their ranks:

    1 Level 7 Paladin
    5 Level 5 Paladins
    2 Level 3 Clerics
    3 Level 1 Clerics
    1 Level 5 Samurai
    28 Level 3 Samurai
    1 Level 3 Wizard
    4 Level 1 Wizards

    Now, I want this zombie horde to not just beat this force, but utterly curbstomp it. My available forces are:

    1 Level 12 Lich Cleric^
    1 Level 5 Ghoul Fallen Paladin
    * Level 1 Clerics
    * Zombies
    * Zombie Cows (Bison)
    * Level 1 Ghoul Fighters
    * Level 1 Ghoul Rogues
    * Level 1 Ghoul Peasants

    * = An indeterminate number.

    My question to the Playground is, what should those *'s become to utterly crush the town, but at the same time give 7 Level 1 PCs an at least 80% chance of survival?

    (Note: The Ghouls in this campaign always use the Gravetouched Ghoul template from Libris Mortis.)

    ^ It's worth noting that this character is a rampant abuser of Offscreen Villain Dark Matter, and has access to pretty much any Wonderous Item a caster of his level would be capable of making, regardless of WBL.
    Last edited by Drakevarg; 2010-09-12 at 01:25 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Ernir's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Opposing Army

    Eh, the numbers of zombies are not very likely to be relevant, it's what spells the Lich has prepared that is going to be the deciding factor here.

    I'd just calculate how many HD of undead he can control (math-smart players might cry foul if the Lich is controlling hundreds of unintelligent undead), and make a healthy zombie/zombie cow/ghoul mix out of that. Then, just pick spells awesome enough to level the town in a few hits. What domains does he have?
    Last edited by Ernir; 2010-09-12 at 01:33 PM.
    Halfling healer avatar by Akrim.elf.

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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Drakevarg's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Opposing Army

    Deathbound and Undeath. He's also a fan of using Inflict spells to instagib people.

    It should also be noted that all of the zombies are Corpsecrafted and posess Destruction Retribution.
    Last edited by Drakevarg; 2010-09-12 at 01:37 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] Opposing Army

    I don't think it's mathematically possible for 7 pcs, all level 1 to survive when 40 level 1-7 will be utterly distroyed. You're best to have you party fight a level appropriate sized group, and say the lich killed most everyone else off screen.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Drakevarg's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Opposing Army

    Quote Originally Posted by Crossblade View Post
    I don't think it's mathematically possible for 7 pcs, all level 1 to survive when 40 level 1-7 will be utterly distroyed. You're best to have you party fight a level appropriate sized group, and say the lich killed most everyone else off screen.
    That was the plan. I just wanted to present it in a convincing manner that wouldn't cause Fridge Logic for some of my savvier players.
    Last edited by Drakevarg; 2010-09-12 at 01:51 PM.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Opposing Army

    Step 1: Give the lich the Undead Leadership and Corpsecrafter feats. Undead leadership will allow you to use an arbitrarily large number of intelligent undead (i.e. the clerics and "Karrnathi" versions of Skeletons and Zombies - 3hd varieties with intelligence, the ability to follow verbal commands from people who did not animate them, and an extra, intelligently chosen feat).

    Step 2: Change those undead cows to zombie warbeast-leopards. If your PCs have already discovered that he is using cows, then at least make them Warbeast bulls - the warbeast template (MM2) gives them an extra HD, +3 str, +10 speed. It is a template that would have been applied in life, based on training the cows to fight before raising them as undead, but them template stays after the raise. Between that and Corpsecrafting them, they'll be more than just canon fodder. The Corpsecrafted warbeast zombie leopards are just mean and evil, especially if you add the corpsecrafting feat that causes them to deal an extra 1d6 cold damage.

    Step 3: Skeletal archers. I generally use halflings, elves, or other races that get a dex bonus for this. 1HD skeletons are fine, you don't particularly need the to-hit bonus if you're having them perform mass firing.

    Step 4: Give all of the level 1 clerics the Fate domain, and have them all prepare True strike as their domain spell. Adding in the Metal domain and giving them Exotic Weapon Proficency/Focus in the Greathammer (2d6/19-20x2 bludgeoning) is especially nasty. Also nasty is giving them Destruction domain for the 1/day smite.

    As for allowing the players to survive, I've never been one to give the PCs an easy out - let them see a giant, well organized army of undead coming (they tend to be hard to hide anyway). If they don't run, it's their funeral.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Zhalath's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Opposing Army

    Question: are those samurai CW Samurai or Oriental Samurai?

    I think the lich himself should focus on killing the higher level paladins or clerics, so they don't turn all your zombies.
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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: [3.5] Opposing Army

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhalath View Post
    I think the lich himself should focus on killing the higher level paladins or clerics, so they don't turn all your zombies.
    this is a good idea for zhalath's stated reason, and also as a response to the problem presented by crossblade, the fridge logic problem. the 7 level 1 pc's were able to survive because the things that would kill them easily (lich, badder undead) are distracted fighting the npc's which are actually a threat. it doesn't even need to be offscreen, the whole time your pc's are in combat, you can be throwing dice and describing what's happening in the fight between the more powerful. get a big enough battle grid and you plan out a whole section of the villiage, and have the pc's literally have to flee from the lich as it kills the npc's, fighting their way past a number of unholy cows. you could play out the combat between the lich and the good guys separately beforehand and record how things happen round by round, or just make it up as you go along.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Greenish's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Opposing Army

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhalath View Post
    Question: are those samurai CW Samurai or Oriental Samurai?
    There isn't huge difference at those levels. At level 3, OA samurai will have a single bonus feat and free masterwork weapons (bastard sword & short sword), while CW samurai would have EWP: Bastard Sword and TWF.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Drakevarg's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Opposing Army

    Quote Originally Posted by kestrel404 View Post
    Step 1: Give the lich the Undead Leadership and Corpsecrafter feats. Undead leadership will allow you to use an arbitrarily large number of intelligent undead (i.e. the clerics and "Karrnathi" versions of Skeletons and Zombies - 3hd varieties with intelligence, the ability to follow verbal commands from people who did not animate them, and an extra, intelligently chosen feat).
    There are no Leadership feats in my campaign. Everything is ad hoc. So, provided they're willing to work for him, the Lich can order around as many intelligent undead as he damn well pleases.

    Step 2: Change those undead cows to zombie warbeast-leopards. If your PCs have already discovered that he is using cows, then at least make them Warbeast bulls - the warbeast template (MM2) gives them an extra HD, +3 str, +10 speed. It is a template that would have been applied in life, based on training the cows to fight before raising them as undead, but them template stays after the raise. Between that and Corpsecrafting them, they'll be more than just canon fodder. The Corpsecrafted warbeast zombie leopards are just mean and evil, especially if you add the corpsecrafting feat that causes them to deal an extra 1d6 cold damage.
    He's using cows because he's near farmland. Leopards are simply not available. As for the Warbeast suggestion, I have a rule of "no meatspace = no use" and I don't own a copy of MM2, so that's out.

    Step 3: Skeletal archers. I generally use halflings, elves, or other races that get a dex bonus for this. 1HD skeletons are fine, you don't particularly need the to-hit bonus if you're having them perform mass firing.
    This is taking place in an elven country, so that's definitely a go. (Provided he can obtain longbows, which I suppose a handful of clerics with ranks in Craft (Bowmaking) could handle that given that they're in the middle of a forest.

    Step 4: Give all of the level 1 clerics the Fate domain, and have them all prepare True strike as their domain spell. Adding in the Metal domain and giving them Exotic Weapon Proficency/Focus in the Greathammer (2d6/19-20x2 bludgeoning) is especially nasty. Also nasty is giving them Destruction domain for the 1/day smite.
    The Clerics have Death and Undeath as their domains. Fate is theoretically possible, but Metal is not in their god's portfolio, nor is Destruction.

    As for allowing the players to survive, I've never been one to give the PCs an easy out - let them see a giant, well organized army of undead coming (they tend to be hard to hide anyway). If they don't run, it's their funeral.
    Fair enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhalath View Post
    Question: are those samurai CW Samurai or Oriental Samurai?
    Complete Warrior.

    I think the lich himself should focus on killing the higher level paladins or clerics, so they don't turn all your zombies.
    Due to setting-specific shennanigans, these Paladins and Clerics Censure Fiends instead of Turn Undead. So, not an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by heymejack View Post
    this is a good idea for zhalath's stated reason, and also as a response to the problem presented by crossblade, the fridge logic problem. the 7 level 1 pc's were able to survive because the things that would kill them easily (lich, badder undead) are distracted fighting the npc's which are actually a threat. it doesn't even need to be offscreen, the whole time your pc's are in combat, you can be throwing dice and describing what's happening in the fight between the more powerful. get a big enough battle grid and you plan out a whole section of the villiage, and have the pc's literally have to flee from the lich as it kills the npc's, fighting their way past a number of unholy cows. you could play out the combat between the lich and the good guys separately beforehand and record how things happen round by round, or just make it up as you go along.
    I like this idea. I think I'll run with it.
    Last edited by Drakevarg; 2010-09-12 at 10:16 PM.
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