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RPG Superstar 2015

Mass Combat


Kingmaker

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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Use this thread to ask questions about the mass combat rules presented in Pathfinder Adventure Path #35. I'll do my best to answer them in a timely manner.

To kick things off, let me clear up a little bit of confusion regarding "Combat Value" (mentioned in the hp rules on page 55) and "CR."

All mentions of "Combat Value" should actually refer to "CR." Combat Value was an early number we used to represent an army's power, and we decided to standardize that terminology to match "Challenge Rating (aka CR)" but missed making the change in the hp rules on page 55, alas.

Sovereign Court

Are they related to the Warpath book by hank woon ?

Contributor

Stereofm wrote:
Are they related to the Warpath book by hank woon ?

Nope!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Stereofm wrote:
Are they related to the Warpath book by hank woon ?

Nope. HA! Ninjaed by Hank!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Stereofm wrote:
Are they related to the Warpath book by hank woon ?
Nope. HA! Ninjaed by Hank!

I actually like the warpath supplement,but I guess for the Kingmaker the abbreviated mass combat rules will work. I was hoping for more of a robust game mechanics --'that'll do pig,that'll do.'

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

At the very end of the combat appendix, there are sample armies. All of the human armies have prerequisities described in terms of kingdom size. Does this imply you can only have one human army, and that's how big it can get? Or can you create as many human armies of that size that you wish (just no bigger) provided you keep paying the weekly upkeep cost?


When rolling a natural 20 on the Offensive check, the rules say
"you automatically deal damage to the army, even if the result of the roll is lower than the enemy army’s DV"
But how much damage is dealt in this case?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Erik Freund wrote:
At the very end of the combat appendix, there are sample armies. All of the human armies have prerequisities described in terms of kingdom size. Does this imply you can only have one human army, and that's how big it can get? Or can you create as many human armies of that size that you wish (just no bigger) provided you keep paying the weekly upkeep cost?

You can have as many armies as you can afford. If your kingdom's not big enough for the largest size, you can get two armies of the next size down that you DO qualify for.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Zen79 wrote:

When rolling a natural 20 on the Offensive check, the rules say

"you automatically deal damage to the army, even if the result of the roll is lower than the enemy army’s DV"
But how much damage is dealt in this case?

At one point, we had all armies doing a base damage of 1d6 plus the difference between offense check and DV. That got cut because it felt a little weird to have an army of pixies doing the same base damage as an army of storm giants.

But then we forgot to adjust the natural 20 bit.

The fix: If you roll a natural 20, you deal 1 point of damage even if you normally wouldn't have hit the target. Not a lot, but if you want to increase that in your game to 1d4 or 1d6 or whatever, that's cool too!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

James Jacobs wrote:
Erik Freund wrote:
At the very end of the combat appendix, there are sample armies. All of the human armies have prerequisities described in terms of kingdom size. Does this imply you can only have one human army, and that's how big it can get? Or can you create as many human armies of that size that you wish (just no bigger) provided you keep paying the weekly upkeep cost?
You can have as many armies as you can afford. If your kingdom's not big enough for the largest size, you can get two armies of the next size down that you DO qualify for.

J/C - when playtesting this or simulating this, how many armies did you expect the PCs to be fielding at once? Pitax can marshal a maximum of 7 armies (and it's unlikely they'll use all 7).

Also, in your playtests/simulations how long did the war drag on for? Did it last longer than a month? (not counting the final seige)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Erik Freund wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Erik Freund wrote:
At the very end of the combat appendix, there are sample armies. All of the human armies have prerequisities described in terms of kingdom size. Does this imply you can only have one human army, and that's how big it can get? Or can you create as many human armies of that size that you wish (just no bigger) provided you keep paying the weekly upkeep cost?
You can have as many armies as you can afford. If your kingdom's not big enough for the largest size, you can get two armies of the next size down that you DO qualify for.

J/C - when playtesting this or simulating this, how many armies did you expect the PCs to be fielding at once? Pitax can marshal a maximum of 7 armies (and it's unlikely they'll use all 7).

Also, in your playtests/simulations how long did the war drag on for? Did it last longer than a month? (not counting the final seige)

The assumption is that the PCs will have only a few armies... maybe even only one. Probably no more than one per player character, though. The idea with Pitax is that the PCs shouldn't just go straight to Pitax and attack, but spend time taking out support armies so that when they DO finally get to that last battle, Pitax has fewer resources.

As for how long the war drags on... that's something that can vary quite a lot from game to game. Just as we make no assumptions for how long the players want to take in growing their kingdom, we make no assumptions about how long the war goes on. What will REALLY limit the length of the war is how long the PCs can continue to pay the consumptions for their armies.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

James Jacobs wrote:
As for how long the war drags on... that's something that can vary quite a lot from game to game. Just as we make no assumptions for how long the players want to take in growing their kingdom, we make no assumptions about how long the war goes on. What will REALLY limit the length of the war is how long the PCs can continue to pay the consumptions for their armies.

What I'm trying to dig into is how much the war impacts the kingdom building. For example, when it comes the 1st of the month and it's time to roll up kingdom stuff, what is the impact of the war going on? (If the war is supposed to last less than a month, we don't have to go through this exercize.)

For example, if a hex is occupied by an enemy army, is it considered not part of the kingdom temporarily? Should the PCs have to revisit a hex to "reactivate" it? (ie claim it back?) This would lower the Command DC, but if it's a farm, it would also drive up Consumption.

Also, as I brought up earlier, I'm trying to envision a scenario where the enemy conquers one of the PC's towns, then the 1st of the month comes up where they have to do the kingdom stuff, and they *don't* just immeadiately lose everything. I guess it's a strong arguement for not just building up own large town.


1) If an enemy army is routed, and can't attack until the next upkeep phase, can an allied army attack it on the next day?

2) Do PCs know what hexes have armies in them before looking at the map?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Erik Freund wrote:

What I'm trying to dig into is how much the war impacts the kingdom building. For example, when it comes the 1st of the month and it's time to roll up kingdom stuff, what is the impact of the war going on? (If the war is supposed to last less than a month, we don't have to go through this exercize.)

For example, if a hex is occupied by an enemy army, is it considered not part of the kingdom temporarily? Should the PCs have to revisit a hex to "reactivate" it? (ie claim it back?) This would lower the Command DC, but if it's a farm, it would also drive up Consumption.

Also, as I brought up earlier, I'm trying to envision a scenario where the enemy conquers one of the PC's towns, then the 1st of the month comes up where they have to do the kingdom stuff, and they *don't* just immeadiately lose everything. I guess it's a strong arguement for not just building up own large town.

Since the actual war element of "Kingmaker" is limited to only one adventure, we didn't really spend much time on what happens if a kingdom is at war for years or decades. So I guess the assumption is that the war itself will last for only a few months.

Even so, though, there ARE impacts. Maintaining armies costs BP. If your kingdom doesn't have enough BP to pay for its armies and its normal stuff, it'll run out of BP and start gaining Unrest. That's one significant way a war can impact a kingdom. If your kingdom has BP to spare and the war takes place in other regions far from home, then your kingdom won't really feel much impact at all—the citizens are sheltered from the war and there's still enough money to go around, after all. So, unless the treasury is running low and/or there's actual fighting going on inside the kingdom and hexes & cities are being lost to the enemy, war won't have much of an effect at all on the kingdom.

If your armies get defeated, that can also significantly reduce your nation's stats—page 58 has the rules for what happens if your armies are defeated.

An enemy army that just marches through or sits in a hex does not render that hex unavailable to the kingdom at large; the PCs don't need to reactivate the hex unless the enemy kingdom goes through the process of claiming such a hex. Since claiming a hex only requires an expenditure of "BP," it's pretty easy for an enemy to start chipping away at hexes, but you can do the same in return. The result would more or less be a no-man's land that would constantly see shifting kingdom sizes and could get pretty complex pretty fast. As for destroying cities... yeah, if your players have a kingdom with only one city and that city gets destroyed by invaders, they're in bad shape. Multiple cities are a good plan.

If you want to model some sort of "war fatigue" for a nation who is at war for years and years (again, not something we anticipate in Kingmaker), the best bet is to probably start handing out a point of Unrest here and there or increasing consumption as the need to ply the citizens with distractions and expensive propaganda campaigns increases.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ice Titan wrote:
1) If an enemy army is routed, and can't attack until the next upkeep phase, can an allied army attack it on the next day?

Yes. The routed army can't make any attacks on its own, but it can still be attacked (and defend itself). It just can't make it's own decision to start a fight.

Ice Titan wrote:
2) Do PCs know what hexes have armies in them before looking at the map?

The PCs must explore the region, either in person, via spies or scouts, or via divination magic before they can learn the location of where enemy armies are at. They don't automatically know where enemy armies are beyond the borders of their own kingdom. If you wish, you could give the PCs something like a Loyalty check to learn of rumors that an enemy army is attacking some remote corner of their kingdom where they don't have eyes and ears observing things, though.


James Jacobs wrote:
Ice Titan wrote:
1) If an enemy army is routed, and can't attack until the next upkeep phase, can an allied army attack it on the next day?

Yes. The routed army can't make any attacks on its own, but it can still be attacked (and defend itself). It just can't make it's own decision to start a fight.

Ice Titan wrote:
2) Do PCs know what hexes have armies in them before looking at the map?
The PCs must explore the region, either in person, via spies or scouts, or via divination magic before they can learn the location of where enemy armies are at. They don't automatically know where enemy armies are beyond the borders of their own kingdom. If you wish, you could give the PCs something like a Loyalty check to learn of rumors that an enemy army is attacking some remote corner of their kingdom where they don't have eyes and ears observing things, though.

I'm just curious if it's possible for the PCs to move into a hex with their army and have their army blunder into the enemy army and immediately start a fight. I just thought it was pretty funny.

Could an enemy army attack the PCs if the PCs explore a hex with the army in it? I'm curious about that as well. I wonder if a group of PCs could fight down and rout the Pitax Regiment by themselves... who needs an army!


Ice Titan wrote:

Could an enemy army attack the PCs if the PCs explore a hex with the army in it? I'm curious about that as well. I wonder if a group of PCs could fight down and rout the Pitax Regiment by themselves... who needs an army!

Theoretically, yes. A single druid with control winds and wall of fire (both of which should be available before they get to this point of the AP) memorized can annihilate, or at least rout, pretty much any army in two standard actions and some waiting.

That said, I doubt there are any real rules for the interaction between a PC party and an enemy army.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ice Titan wrote:

I'm just curious if it's possible for the PCs to move into a hex with their army and have their army blunder into the enemy army and immediately start a fight. I just thought it was pretty funny.

Could an enemy army attack the PCs if the PCs explore a hex with the army in it? I'm curious about that as well. I wonder if a group of PCs could fight down and rout the Pitax Regiment by themselves... who needs an army!

Armies are huge. PC parties are not. If a group of PCs enters a hex with an army, they should notice it more or less immediately, and should be able to avoid it with ease. If the PCs want to take on an army, you have a few choices.

1) Run things as an impromptu set of encounters where the PCs combat smaller groups of the army's components, culminating in a battle against the leader.

2) Convert the PCs into army units themselves; the rules for building armies allow this, but it's not recommended!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Zurai wrote:

Theoretically, yes. A single druid with control winds and wall of fire (both of which should be available before they get to this point of the AP) memorized can annihilate, or at least rout, pretty much any army in two standard actions and some waiting.

That said, I doubt there are any real rules for the interaction between a PC party and an enemy army.

There aren't, really. The idea of the mass battle elements in Kingmaker are to give the players a chance to throw their kingdom's armies against an enemy's armies. It's not intended to be an opportunity for high-level PCs to take on huge numbers of low-level foes.

Sovereign Court

James Jacobs wrote:

2) Convert the PCs into army units themselves; the rules for building armies allow this, but it's not recommended!

My suspicion is that the novelty of being a one-man army will wear thin when your carefully honed class abilities have to be filtered through the mass combat rules. Having a one-man army that consists of your hill giant friend or something seems more along the lines of running a single-creature army. The abstract nature of the combat rules work well for players who want to lead armies but not run six hour combats with thousands of d20 rolls, but players who want to mix it up would do better running surgical strikes, boss battles or even "cut scene" type of combats where they have to fight the horde but only get 1d6 rounds of actual combat before switching back to mass combat. They'll feel powerful cutting down a dozen guys singlehandedly but won't be doing it long enough to wonder why they needed an army if it's that easy.


Green Ronin also put Mass Combat rules into their 3.5 Advanced DMG. I'm looking at those if my players(wargamers to a man) want to go that route.

Star Voter 2013

How would you explain to players the upkeep their PC costs as a fine-sized army? A 13th level PC is a CR5 Army, with a consumption score of 2, making it the equivalent of 1000 GP/week. The system looks doable, but I'm just curious how you'd explain this feature to a player.


Well, for higher levels you could argue “wear and tear” on magical items, spell components, luxury foods (spoiled clerics), offerings to appease their gods, etc.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Berhagen wrote:
Well, for higher levels you could argue “wear and tear” on magical items, spell components, luxury foods (spoiled clerics), offerings to appease their gods, etc.

Mmmm see, I think my players would call shenanigans on this tactic. What would you say when they decided to forgo their support to avoid the BP cost? They could easily say they don't draw that much upkeep normally, so why in an emergency?

I'd much rather roleplay surgical strikes or waive maintenance on a one pc army (maybe it only exists for that battle and therefore never needs upkeep).

Overall, I think I'll stick with PCs influencing stats of another army or running surgical strikes to degrade enemy forces.


James Jacobs wrote:
Ice Titan wrote:

I'm just curious if it's possible for the PCs to move into a hex with their army and have their army blunder into the enemy army and immediately start a fight. I just thought it was pretty funny.

Could an enemy army attack the PCs if the PCs explore a hex with the army in it? I'm curious about that as well. I wonder if a group of PCs could fight down and rout the Pitax Regiment by themselves... who needs an army!

Armies are huge. PC parties are not. If a group of PCs enters a hex with an army, they should notice it more or less immediately, and should be able to avoid it with ease. If the PCs want to take on an army, you have a few choices.

1) Run things as an impromptu set of encounters where the PCs combat smaller groups of the army's components, culminating in a battle against the leader.

2) Convert the PCs into army units themselves; the rules for building armies allow this, but it's not recommended!

Sir, in one post, you have made Kingmaker into a game I'd like to run one day into the next AP I will run.

I'm a big fan of JSRPGs and what you describe here sounds a lot like Soul Eater, a little known but hilarious JSRPG where, if you wish, you can have all of the main characters form a unit in your army and head out to the field to break some legs, but it is likewise not recommended!!!

I'm more than intersted in this now. I NEED Pathfinder #35. And the Plot Device cards, but that's another story.

I thank you for merging my love of psuedo wargame turn based strategy, dice, and role playing into a big ball of fun.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
roguerouge wrote:
How would you explain to players the upkeep their PC costs as a fine-sized army? A 13th level PC is a CR5 Army, with a consumption score of 2, making it the equivalent of 1000 GP/week. The system looks doable, but I'm just curious how you'd explain this feature to a player.

I'm fairly certain you can wave the consumption for the PCs. That's what I would do.

Of course, I'd mostly not run PCs at that level, and arrange for more surgical strike type skirmishes for my players.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Warforged Gardener wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

2) Convert the PCs into army units themselves; the rules for building armies allow this, but it's not recommended!

My suspicion is that the novelty of being a one-man army will wear thin when your carefully honed class abilities have to be filtered through the mass combat rules. Having a one-man army that consists of your hill giant friend or something seems more along the lines of running a single-creature army. The abstract nature of the combat rules work well for players who want to lead armies but not run six hour combats with thousands of d20 rolls, but players who want to mix it up would do better running surgical strikes, boss battles or even "cut scene" type of combats where they have to fight the horde but only get 1d6 rounds of actual combat before switching back to mass combat. They'll feel powerful cutting down a dozen guys singlehandedly but won't be doing it long enough to wonder why they needed an army if it's that easy.

And that is by design. The PFRPG is built to support and run small conflicts on a much more personal level. We wanted to support and encourage a continuation of that style of play, so the method of filtering your character into an army statblock is intended to be kind of disappointing. This is to encourage games to NOT do one man versus armies... mostly because from a story viewpoint that's kind of unbelievable.

If/when we do Epic rules, though, I suspect that is EXACTLY the type of thing we'll cover in more detail, since one man against an army feels perfectly at home in such a game.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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roguerouge wrote:
How would you explain to players the upkeep their PC costs as a fine-sized army? A 13th level PC is a CR5 Army, with a consumption score of 2, making it the equivalent of 1000 GP/week. The system looks doable, but I'm just curious how you'd explain this feature to a player.

I would absolutely waive the consumption costs in this case. And this is also a good example of why converting PCs to one-person armies isn't recommended, even if the system can do it.

You can also hammer nails with a grenade, but that's not what a grenade was designed to do, and it can have weird and unfortunate side effects. Same goes for using mass combat rules to run battles involving single creatures.


James Jacobs wrote:
You can also hammer nails with a grenade, but that's not what a grenade was designed to do, and it can have weird and unfortunate side effects. Same goes for using mass combat rules to run battles involving single creatures.

*gigglesnort*


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Well one man can fight an Army but it usually ends up like this.


Facepalms..sorry guys my earlier post was in error..it was GRs Advanced Player's guide that had the Mass combat rules in them


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
You can also hammer nails with a grenade, but that's not what a grenade was designed to do, and it can have weird and unfortunate side effects. Same goes for using mass combat rules to run battles involving single creatures.

I think I understand what Mr. Schneider means in this post now: http://paizo.com/paizo/blog/v5748dyo5lb8b&page=1#14


James Jacobs wrote:
If/when we do Epic rules, though, I suspect that is EXACTLY the type of thing we'll cover in more detail, since one man against an army feels perfectly at home in such a game.

You're not allowed to increase my desire for a Pathfinder Epic Rulebook unless you're willing to commit to actually making such a thing :(


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hi there. Is there any way of calculating the number of casualties after a battle. How many units (soldiers) are lost? I have readed about moral and other consecuences of defeats, but, in sheer numbers, how many units are injured, dead after a battle. How can i calculate this in regard the hps of the army?

Thanks in advance and sorry for my english.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Master wrote:

Hi there. Is there any way of calculating the number of casualties after a battle. How many units (soldiers) are lost? I have readed about moral and other consecuences of defeats, but, in sheer numbers, how many units are injured, dead after a battle. How can i calculate this in regard the hps of the army?

Thanks in advance and sorry for my english.


I can't seem to find anything about the cost of recruiting an army in the rules. Is the cost equal to the army's consumption, or perhaps there is no cost, just upkeep?


PJ wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Stereofm wrote:
Are they related to the Warpath book by hank woon ?
Nope. HA! Ninjaed by Hank!
I actually like the warpath supplement,but I guess for the Kingmaker the abbreviated mass combat rules will work. I was hoping for more of a robust game mechanics --'that'll do pig,that'll do.'

I'm betting these will be ultimate combat in 2012


Is the cost of purchasing resources for an army a flat rate or based on CR?


evilash wrote:
Is the cost of purchasing resources for an army a flat rate or based on CR?

I'll expand on that.

50 BP to equip an army with magic weapons seems about right for an army for 100 or so, but kind of high for smaller armies. And outright wrong for fine armies.

Also, are the resource BP costs per week, or once only?
From the Boggard Swarm sample army it looks like the cost of resources is per week [10 BP for healing potions, and the Consumption for the Boggard Swarm is 14 10+(1/2*CR8)]. 50 BP per week seems very excessive for permanent weapons. The same could be said about siege weapons (15 BP, per siege engine, per week).
It looks like it should be on a case by case basis, Cavalry and Healing Potions makes sense being weekly. Even the standard weapon and armor upgrades. But others should probably be once only, like magical weapons and armor and siege engines.

EDIT:: Separate question: Under the Mass Combat section it states the the assumption is a CR 11 army over all. I realize this is meant as a gauge for GMs to adjust as they see fit... But that seams a bit high. That would mean about 1 CR 7 army per character (assuming four characters). Or some other variation. It seems unlikely to be able to field that many high CR creatures.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

evilash wrote:
I can't seem to find anything about the cost of recruiting an army in the rules. Is the cost equal to the army's consumption, or perhaps there is no cost, just upkeep?

No cost; just upkeep. The GM is free to say that the PCs might need to do some sort of in-game accomplishment to earn the respect and leadership needed to raise an army; the AP assumes that the simple fact that the PCs are leaders of the nation is enough for them to recruit normal armies. Gaining other armies is possible as a reward for taking certain actions earlier in the AP, as indicated for the sample armies at the end of the adventure.

But normally, yeah. No up front cost; only the weekly consumption cost.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Master wrote:

Hi there. Is there any way of calculating the number of casualties after a battle. How many units (soldiers) are lost? I have readed about moral and other consecuences of defeats, but, in sheer numbers, how many units are injured, dead after a battle. How can i calculate this in regard the hps of the army?

Thanks in advance and sorry for my english.

Calculating numbers of casualties isn't something these rules bother with, really. To a certain extent, the army's hit points measure the number of casualties or wounded, but recalculating an army's total number opens a can of worms, since if an army's total number fluctuates too much, it can slip into another size category. Rebuilding an army stat block after every battle, or even in the height of battle, goes WAY beyond the scope of these rules.

The assumption is that when an army finishes a fight, it gets healed and that healing is, effectively, a combination of actual wound healing and recruitment of new soldiers. It's all handled very generally, in other words.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

evilash wrote:
Is the cost of purchasing resources for an army a flat rate or based on CR?

It's a flat rate. Adjusting the costs for the size of the army is an interesting idea, but not one we had the room to explore in the article.

It's also a constant cost—armies with magic weapons are also, in theory, higher trained and thus get bigger paychecks. And you need to keep those magic weapons in good working order; they'll get broken or lost with some frequency and need replacement all the time.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Disenchanter wrote:
EDIT:: Separate question: Under the Mass Combat section it states the the assumption is a CR 11 army over all. I realize this is meant as a gauge for GMs to adjust as they see fit... But that seams a bit high. That would mean about 1 CR 7 army per character (assuming four characters). Or some other variation. It seems unlikely to be able to field that many high CR creatures.

The assumption is that there's four players in a game, and that each of them will have an army to roll for in battles. Four CR 7 armies (coincidentally the standard "regular army" is CR 7) equals a CR 11 army overall.

If those numbers feel off... feel free to adjust them. Just make sure to adjust the armies encountered in the adventure so things stay relatively fair.


Instead of recalculating the statblock to account for casualties, what if you treat it as if the army gained a negative level?


There's no benefit in mass combat for having leaders with Leadership. Was this considered?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

evilash wrote:
There's no benefit in mass combat for having leaders with Leadership. Was this considered?

It was considered, but we decided not to give benefits to Leadership for mass combat. Partially because there wasn't room to fit in many more variants, partially because we didn't want to overcomplicate the rules, and partially because leadership doesn't actually grant your followers any bonuses anyway, so why should it grant bonuses in combat?

If we do a big book of mass combat some day, you can expect us to include a LOT of "help out your army" feats, and some or all of those might have Leadership as a prerequisite.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Yemeth wrote:
Instead of recalculating the statblock to account for casualties, what if you treat it as if the army gained a negative level?

We actually had a similar mechanic in the system for a bit, but it was too complex and ate up far too many words. And we couldn't just say "they gain negative levels" because that raises too many new questions, like "what happens when they get drained to zero?" or "does this mean you can't actually hurt undead or construct armies?" and so on.

The number one design goal for these rules was to keep them as simple as possible, and any sort of degrading population mechanic to an army broke that goal.


*ponders* I'd say if it drains to zero the army stops existing as an organized whole. I can't wait to get my hands on my copy so I can really poke at them. I think I'd like a copy of the aforementioned Warpath book as well.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Yemeth wrote:
*ponders* I'd say if it drains to zero the army stops existing as an organized whole. I can't wait to get my hands on my copy so I can really poke at them. I think I'd like a copy of the aforementioned Warpath book as well.

Since that's exactly what we have hit points modeling, it's unnecessary to have a parallel method of achieving the same effect. It only needlessly complicates things.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:
EDIT:: Separate question: Under the Mass Combat section it states the the assumption is a CR 11 army over all. I realize this is meant as a gauge for GMs to adjust as they see fit... But that seams a bit high. That would mean about 1 CR 7 army per character (assuming four characters). Or some other variation. It seems unlikely to be able to field that many high CR creatures.

The assumption is that there's four players in a game, and that each of them will have an army to roll for in battles. Four CR 7 armies (coincidentally the standard "regular army" is CR 7) equals a CR 11 army overall.

If those numbers feel off... feel free to adjust them. Just make sure to adjust the armies encountered in the adventure so things stay relatively fair.

I get all of that, really. My point is, since we can't assume players will get any of the special creature armies, that expectation assumes roughly 4000 2nd level fighters for the PCs army. That is going to be hard for some games to accept.

Which brings me to my point on the Mass Combat rules in general.

Note before hand that I am not saying the rules are wrong, or even bad. Just pointing out potentially hidden pitfalls for other GMs.

If you have any players that have a hard time accepting the "d20 economy" normally, they will likely flip their lids when they start to comprehend these rules. Yes, even more so than the kingdom building rules. When it was limited to buildings, and other intangibles, BP works fine. Great even. But once you get into the realm of equipment, and area where many players understand very well, BP breaks the existing economy even further.

First, the consumption of an army takes into account equipment maintenance. It makes sense, but if your players aren't "forced" to pay maintenance (which the base game doesn't assume) they might have difficulty accepting why their soldiers have to - via their kingdoms treasury.

Second, a player might be discouraged to find out that it costs roughly 400,000 gold per month to field an army with +1 weapons, no matter if the army is one unit, or 2000. (I used 2000 GP per BP taken from 1/2 the deposit rules in kingdom building. [Yes, I am well aware that it isn't meant to be a 1:1 relationship like that - but not everyone will be capable, or willing, to accept that.]

No recruitment cost can prove troublesome as well. A well prepared player might have the idea to field an iron golem as a unit at roughly 2 BP per week, and wonder why the kingdom doesn't have to pay recruitment costs for their armies of 2000 4th level fighters each (or whatever) when they actually have to build the golem themselves first.

Strange units might present quibbles. Take the golem example above, or undead armies. There is the potential to question why they need to pay consumption for them.

Some mass combat resources can appear troublesome as well. It takes roughly 120,000 gold per month to field and maintain a single battering ram, for example. (Still using roughly 2000 gold per BP.)

These rules may work fine for "fast and loose," but any game that is going to have any real staying power will need to figure out a more fitting system.

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