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Other Sources for Mass Combat


Kingmaker


I'm just wondering, aside from the rules we got in Kingmaker #5 and that were expanded on in JBE's book on exploration and kingdom building, has any other publisher done anything in the way of mass combat rules for the Pathfinder RPG? I'd like something with just a touch more complexity; enough to model different types of units in one larger force would work just fine.


Cry Havoc from Malhavoc Press was 3.5 but it's mechanic would work without changes in Pathfinder.


There is a book on mass combat called WARPATH by Cubicle 7 Entertainment. I can't say much on the mechanics but it is designed for Pathfinder.


Thanks for the recommendations; I really appreciate them.

And has anyone reading this ever used/read any books from a publisher called Alderac Entertainment Group? I've seen three books of theirs titled 'Mercenaries', 'War', and 'Empire', all of which sound like they'd be great for a Kingmaker campaign.


We have tested various mass combat systems over the years but my group still likes the Ad&D mass combat system, 1985 1st ed. (not the 1989 2nd ed.) We've revised it for d20 gaming.

Silver Crusade

I owned Empire a while ago, and it is an alternate version of the Kingdom building rules. It focuses more on kingdom resources, like how many units of wood, stone, population, ect you can get out of a hex, rather than on building structures, though there are a few structures to be built like a castle, cathedral, mage's tower...the big items. I don't remember there being anything like economy or loyalty checks or the like though. There are kingdom turns, but done seasonally instead of monthly and there were different phases that you did during each turn, depending on the season. I really don't remember much about the mass combat rules though. I bought Warpath to use for my Kingmaker game, and I remember thinking that it was similar to Empire's rules. Unfortunatly, I loaned the Empire book to a friend and haven't seen it since.


AFAIC, 3e's Fields of Blood is far and away the best mass combat system for d20. (Incidentally, it's also the best realm management system available. It uses 12-mile hexes (just like Kingmaker, incidentally), and is very flexible in how you gain resource points (RPs, same general thing as Kingmaker's BPs).) The mass combat system assumes 100 soldiers per unit, has unit movement rules, terrain rules, morale rules, monster rules, and hero rules.

I've read Empire, and while it has some decent ideas, it pales a lot in comparison to Fields of Blood.

We use Fields of Blood to this day, and will do so for Kingmaker.


Empire is one of the books I compared against Birthright's systems in this ENWorld Thread.

The thread contains Empire, Fields of Blood, the Dominions from BECMI D&D, Birthright, and others.

I suppose I should go back and add Warpath and Kingmaker/Book of the River Nations to the mix.


Sirmattdusty, Arnwyn, many thanks to both of you for your words of wisdom. I will make the effort to get a copy of Fields of Blood; though I may snag a copy of Empire if I can get it cheaply.


Urath DM wrote:
Empire is one of the books I compared against Birthright's systems in this ENWorld Thread.

One of the best threads on ENWorld ever, BTW.


Arnwyn wrote:
Urath DM wrote:
Empire is one of the books I compared against Birthright's systems in this ENWorld Thread.
One of the best threads on ENWorld ever, BTW.

Thank you. I was quite surprised yesterday to see it was still active. I think it helped a lot that the authors of some of the books participated in the discussion.


Oh yes, some of the 3rd party stuff mentioned here might be found at this link:

http://grandwiki.wikidot.com/publication-list


sirmattdusty wrote:
I owned Empire a while ago, and it is an alternate version of the Kingdom building rules. It focuses more on kingdom resources, like how many units of wood, stone, population, ect you can get out of a hex, rather than on building structures, though there are a few structures to be built like a castle, cathedral, mage's tower...the big items. I don't remember there being anything like economy or loyalty checks or the like though. There are kingdom turns, but done seasonally instead of monthly and there were different phases that you did during each turn, depending on the season. I really don't remember much about the mass combat rules though. I bought Warpath to use for my Kingmaker game, and I remember thinking that it was similar to Empire's rules. Unfortunatly, I loaned the Empire book to a friend and haven't seen it since.

Sirmattdusty, you might want to know that Empire can be found on RPGNow as a PSDF, selling for about $4-$5 or so.

Silver Crusade

Earlier this year, my group used the default mass combat system for a single battle and absolutely hated it. So before my group went on summer hiatus, i tried to mesh the Kingdombuilding mechanics with the Warpath mechanics. We haven't got to use them yet, and I never did have time playtest it or even tweak or review the document for errors, ect. So I handed it off to Bobson who did a great job cleaning it up, making corrections, reorganizing, getting rid of unnecessary things, and explaining my half-thought ideas into coherent explanations. It's been posted in the kingmaker threads today for everyone to review. I think it's a better system, though possibly more complicated than the very, very abstract combat system in the AP.


sirmattdusty wrote:
Earlier this year, my group used the default mass combat system for a single battle and absolutely hated it. So before my group went on summer hiatus, i tried to mesh the Kingdombuilding mechanics with the Warpath mechanics. We haven't got to use them yet, and I never did have time playtest it or even tweak or review the document for errors, ect. So I handed it off to Bobson who did a great job cleaning it up, making corrections, reorganizing, getting rid of unnecessary things, and explaining my half-thought ideas into coherent explanations. It's been posted in the kingmaker threads today for everyone to review. I think it's a better system, though possibly more complicated than the very, very abstract combat system in the AP.

Here's the thread where I posted the cleaned up rules. Feedback welcomed!


Bobson wrote:
sirmattdusty wrote:
Earlier this year, my group used the default mass combat system for a single battle and absolutely hated it. So before my group went on summer hiatus, i tried to mesh the Kingdombuilding mechanics with the Warpath mechanics. We haven't got to use them yet, and I never did have time playtest it or even tweak or review the document for errors, ect. So I handed it off to Bobson who did a great job cleaning it up, making corrections, reorganizing, getting rid of unnecessary things, and explaining my half-thought ideas into coherent explanations. It's been posted in the kingmaker threads today for everyone to review. I think it's a better system, though possibly more complicated than the very, very abstract combat system in the AP.
Here's the thread where I posted the cleaned up rules. Feedback welcomed!

Thanks for the link and for doing it in GoogleDoc format.


Eric Hinkle wrote:
Bobson wrote:
sirmattdusty wrote:
Earlier this year, my group used the default mass combat system for a single battle and absolutely hated it. So before my group went on summer hiatus, i tried to mesh the Kingdombuilding mechanics with the Warpath mechanics. We haven't got to use them yet, and I never did have time playtest it or even tweak or review the document for errors, ect. So I handed it off to Bobson who did a great job cleaning it up, making corrections, reorganizing, getting rid of unnecessary things, and explaining my half-thought ideas into coherent explanations. It's been posted in the kingmaker threads today for everyone to review. I think it's a better system, though possibly more complicated than the very, very abstract combat system in the AP.
Here's the thread where I posted the cleaned up rules. Feedback welcomed!
Thanks for the link and for doing it in GoogleDoc format.

You're welcome!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Biobeast wrote:
my group still likes the Ad&D mass combat system, 1985 1st ed. (not the 1989 2nd ed.) We've revised it for d20 gaming.

I think you're referring to the rules for mass combat in the D&D Companion set. I'm no expert, but I don't recall 1st ed. AD&D ever having mass combat rules of any kind. I do know that 2nd ed had a boxed set, Battlesystem, but it was mini's & counters based, and not an abstract mass combat system like the Companion set featured.


First edition had a boxed set - Battlesystem - with counters and maps and such, came in a big thick red box, and had three or four tie-in modules (one in the Bloodstone series (H3 I think) for Forgotten Realms, and one in the Dragonlance series that I can recall).

Second edition had second edition Battlesystem, which was a blue perfect-bound book of 128 or 160 pages and was followed a year later by a green perfect-bound book called Battlesystem:Skirmishers. Pretty much the only tie-in product for it was the Castles box set.

Both systems were heavily miniatures based, using tactical maps and round-by-round combat, but the Bloodstone/Dragonlance each modules contained a (very) brief set of rules for simply moving your armies on the big map and settling battles with two or three dice rolls.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Urath DM wrote:

Empire is one of the books I compared against Birthright's systems in this ENWorld Thread.

The thread contains Empire, Fields of Blood, the Dominions from BECMI D&D, Birthright, and others.

I suppose I should go back and add Warpath and Kingmaker/Book of the River Nations to the mix.

I second the vote for Fields of Blood. Easy to use, and a great system.


I just posted my own set of mass combat rules, that I have been working on for quite some time:
http://olddungeonmaster.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/dd-wars-mass-combat-rules/


I'm very interested in alternate combat systems. I suspect I want to try something similar to a Pathfinder-style RTS campaign, with important strategic choices on both the world scale and the large battlefield scale.

I imagine players building the required number or level of Stables, Martial Academies, and/or finally making their kingdom into a Kingdom and gaining access to training Cavaliers.

I imagine a system where stretching out the kingdom to claim land is not only encouraged, but necessary.

I imagine creating trade routes between cities and kingdoms that must be protected; I imagine supply lines feeding resources to military units on the battlefront.

I imagine the anxiety of deciding to build a capitol on a mountaintop for the incredible defensive advantage, or instead placing the capitol in a central trade route for the economic benefits.

I imagine sieges that take weeks, months or years attempting to starve out a city.

I imagine successful, powerful and wealthy kingdoms creating and sustaining powerful and unique magical effects for their cities and kingdoms -- wizards creating Walls of Iron and Walls of Stone for raw materials, Bards using Pipes of Building to construct sewers, barracks, walls and universities in a fraction of the time; clerics creating stationary Wells of Endless water to feed aqueducts for public use, and orders of Paladins augmenting the city guard, Detecting Evil on anybody passing through the city gates and randomly sweeping the streets.

I also imagine threats to kingdoms that scale in strength; bandits, roving monsters, released evils, unique magical accidents and environmental cataclysms that can take even the kingdom listed above and show it what peril means.

I don't know what system I need to present that. I have a love for the narrative AND a love for the mechanical, but when I read the basic Kingdom Building / War rules, I wasn't really inspired on any level, and my players quickly took the kingdom building rules by the neck even when they were holding back and not truly optimizing.

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