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Thread: Monster Nation

  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground

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    May 2019

    Default Monster Nation

    If all the humanoid monsters(bugbear, goblin, orc, etc) decided they were sick of being assigned as random encounters against low-level enemies, and united to topple the good-aligned NPCs, then how would that work?
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
    Lord Raziere's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: Monster Nation

    I've got a similar idea, that I've been working on, not toppling but definitely banding together form a society away from them, that I've been meaning to make a thread here about when I felt it would be sufficiently well-put together enough to present.

    but toppling is a different thing altogether from that, and still seems to be evil, so, really it there is not much to say other than that it would probably be a lawful evil empire ruled by the stronger bigger monsters while the smaller monsters obey, with magic users being a similar elite within the empire and the empire being focused on conquering others. all that would really change is how structured the threat of them really is, how organized they are, and thus you get things like orcs learning legion structure from hobgoblins, goblins and kobolds would be the irregular troops used to do more imbalanced warfare with traps and ambushes, dragons and giants would both be nobles and siege engines which is a strange dynamic to be sure, and a lot of their jobs would be size based if they don't have magic to give them special abilities to do other things, and it would probably end up with some magic user or big intelligent monster in charge as an emperor, there is no way you'd get an orc warlord leading it, and it wouldn't really be anything different from any other evil empire other than that its all monsters and that the big rule over the small and its organized, because other monsters aren't as common as the ones I talked about and this all depends on what races are common and rare, and whether that monster has certain advantages that makes it rise to the top over other monsters, because the more powerful you are, the more useful and valuable you'd be to a monster war effort against good.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Monster Nation

    This sort of thing turns on questions of demographics. Specifically, what the humanoid monster populations are compared to that of the non-monster humanoids, their mobilization capacity compared to other humanoids, their industrial output, and - in high magic settings such as D&D - their magical capability.

    For example, when I built Resvier (see my sig), I crunched the numbers and set CR 0-1 monsters at roughly 1/10th of the total population, based on the idea that 1 such monster represented a viable threat to an extended family of 10 1st level NPCs. Resvier was modeled on post Hundred Year's War medieval France and had a total population of about 15 million. However, because the CR 0-1 monster set includes a number of supernatural animals and vermin, the 'humanoid monster' quotient ended up slightly below 1.5 million.

    Now, humanoid monsters mostly live at a lower developmental level than their nearby settled counterparts, often as semi-nomadic bandits, and therefore probably have a very high mobilization level, wherein all adult males could be considered combatants - which nets you 25-30% or so. That's much higher than a settled nation could manage, at a roughly 10% historical average (note that human nomadic societies, such as the Mongols, managed the all-adult male mobilization level with some regularity). However, that still leaves the monstrous humanoids massively outnumbered. For the simple back of the envelop calculation 30% of 1.5 million nets you 450,000, but 10% of 13.5 million nets 1.35 million. Simplifying, you could call it a 3 to 1 advantage to the traditional humanoids over the 'monstrous' humanoids.

    It gets worse when you consider the industrial output. Traditionally the 'monstrous' types, with the notable exception of hobgoblins, have a very low industrial capacity and mostly make do with equipment they've scavenged. D&D style orcs and goblins have no heavy cavalry in full plate, nor do they usually have access to the composite bow, historically the key weapon that allowed nomadic pastoralists the ability to triumph in battle over the armies of settled lands. As a result, armies of these groups probably need a significant numeric advantage to match up with settled opponents.

    Magic, of course, trumps everything else in a high magic setting, but it's also the hardest to predict. It also, at anything even close to 3.X full levels of power, blows the world up, rendering all comparisons pointless. In an E6 context things are more measured, but it probably ends up being a wash. Settled peoples would have more wizards, alchemists, and other spellcasters dependent upon advanced civilization products, but societies of monstrous races would probably have a larger number of sorcerers, druids, oracles, witches, and other classes that represent ties to innate aspects of the world. Settled peoples would have more magical items, but probably fewer monstrous allies (though they would have greater access to any ritual or industrialized magical processes, if those exist).

    Ultimately, I think the numbers are telling, settled agricultural societies will simply push aside other societies and force them into marginal territories due to their numbers advantage. This forces those other societies onto marginal land which further reduces their numbers and sends this into a downward spiral. This is largely the historical experience between settled and non-settled societies at anything close to the same level of technological development. Now, temporary reversals are possible. Chaos and infighting in settled areas can allow people in border regions to strike back and take advantage. Likewise charismatic leaders who can unify large coalitions can nullify the numbers advantage on a temporary basis. And the existence of a tactically significant technological equalizer can go a long way - steppe people resisted expansion efforts by nearby settled populations far longer than almost any other group.

    So a humanoid coalition dwelling in an area not amenable to capture by settled peoples with access to some kind of game changing technology could secure an appropriate homeland against aggression and potentially even strike out and at least briefly conquer their neighbors. Worg-riding comes to mind as a suitable technology that could empower a goblin steppe or desert homeland.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2014

    Default Re: Monster Nation

    RPG worlds, unless you want them to be, aren't split between NPC races and PC races. That's going to get you a really weird looking world. You should look at any social race you want to include in the world and start to think how they come together as a culture. Then you should look at the evolution of societies over the span of history and start attributing what you think makes sense for said races. Otherwise your world is just going to be a murderhobbo

    You don't need a lot of land to make a nation (a nation actually doesn't need land at all), or state. It just needs a population. Let's take, for example, your bugbears. We know from the Monster Manuel that they're a martial society, favoring strong warriors over anything else. That obviously is going to lead to a very combative society. A society that kills large portions of its people doesn't thrive so lets say they've moved past their more brutal period.

    After the dust clears and some various reformers move through a once fractious series of petty kingdoms held by the strongest warrior, a single Warrior King unifies the Bugbear nations into a singular body. This Warrior King, knowing that each society values their warriors, begins to institute sweeping reforms. The non-warrior peoples are less citizens and more serfs. They work the land and build things but they don't get any kind of say in society. They can't own land, they can't vote even if there is voting (there isn't). Warrior bugbears get land based on how strong they are, martial displays are big in this limited meritocracy. Stronger warriors are given a number of weaker warriors under them, thus getting more land. The Warrior King uses these to his advantage, playing each in a competitive game to win his favor.

    And that's how you do it. You've got a very basic Feudal Bugbear Kingdom.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    the Netherlands

    Default Re: Monster Nation

    You'd get Red Hand of Doom?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Monster Nation

    My D&D 3.0 ed. Humanoid Campaign ran on and off for most of three years, but my focus was much smaller.

    A paladin was establishing a stronghold on the border of human lands and instead of killing the roving bands of humanoids, he was capturing the ones he could to 'reform' them and convert them to Good.

    Part of the reform program was to teach them to work by having chain-gang work parties dig irrigation ditches for future fields and level the stony ground for the foundation of his castle.

    The players were allowed to create characters of any ECL 3 humanoid, and those who chose lower ECL monsters were given character levels in their preferred classes so that their ECL plus their levels equalled 3.

    Then the characters began in the prison and were allowed to devise the means of their escape. The campaign's goals were thereafter set by the players, and they did try to build a coallition of humanoid tribes to fight the human menace. It worked... kinda.

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