Slavemother Undamesta

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I changed from 3.5 to Pathfinder because Pathfinder all but promised to not act like WoTC. However, Pathfinder is now just like WoTC with a ton of new books I just have to have (granted the books are addicting). At first everything was great, but now the books are full of fluff and feats and crap that I'll never use.

My fear is this...everyone will ditch Pathfinder like they did 3.5, and switch to a new system. When that happens, in order to play and interact I'll have to follow. Then I'll end up spending another $1000 dollars and have another 200 pounds of books. I mean really, my stack of Pathfinder books is like coming up on 3 feet tall already...a couple more feet, and it'll literally be 3.5 version 2.


Any high-flying spell caster ought to have free-fall insurance. The old 3.5 Magic Item Compendium had the "Safewing Emblem" (or something like that) that activated automatically during a fall.


In my experience, spells are really only overpowered in forums where folks are *trying* to come up with game-breaking / abusive combinations. In actual game play experience as a GM and PC, folks don't play spell casters as such because good GM's provide variation in time, setting, location, and in this case travel requirements, to prevent such abuse. There are times when being airborne is the best way to handle things, and times when being airborne is not. To me, that is what I think best keeps spells from being abused, and forums like this are a good way to get ideas for keeping games and encounters, variable, fun, and meaningful for player characters of all classes.

Cheers


Rhedyn wrote:
The Sword wrote:

Take cover... Anywhere.

Or pick a direction and start running for it. The wizard will need to make a double move to keep up with a quadruple running fighter. No chance for spells or shooting.

5 minutes really isn't very long to wait.

Your level 20 fighter is now fleeing or cowering from a level 5 wizard using fly and windwall.

So I guess you are making an assumption that the encounter is taking place in a wide-open feature-less space devoid of cover, concealment and weather that guarantees the fighter can never get into melee range, and that the level 20 fighter has no equipment with which to counter a CR5 flying opponent...because after all, in 20 levels of adventuring the only reason the fighter is alive is because he obviously has never encountered a flying foe before?


GM 1990 wrote:
Just for sake of discussion - In the level 5 Wizard vs Level 20 Fighter scenario, if you were playing the fighter, what would you do?

A level 20 fighter can fire a lot of arrows or bolts in one round with a full attack. +20/+15/+10/+5...for a level 20 character, being invisible as a foe accounts for almost nothing.

As a GM or a player, if you try to account for any action that negates the effect of a fly spell, some wizards will cry foul..."How dare you put your GM hat on and have the giants actually retreat to their cave where my flight means nothing and let the encounter go to melee. How dare the dungeon we're in have a ceiling. How dare you make me have to be part of the crew on a cargo ship we hired to transport all of our heavy and bulky treasures. How dare you make me attend the queen's masquerade ball and give the bards and rogues their moments of glory. How dare you make opponents intelligent and counter my glory-hogging rules abuse of magic."

The biggest problem I see with so many of these spell power / abuse questions is the way some folks who play wizards react to proper game mastering.

Even dumb monsters retreat to their hiding holes when injured...not all combats take place in wide-open empty fields devoid of weather, cover, or concealment, and not all combats take place without unintended consequences. Ok, so said wizard flies over the forest to get a better look...ok, he just made himself look like a snack to some other flying baddy. Some would say the GM is just picking on the wizard or trying to nerf his/her spell power. I would say just as a party *walking* through the forest incurs a chance of a random encounter, so does a party or a wizard *flying* over such forest. It is not picking on the flying wizard, it is reacting to their actions...what a good GM does. If the wizard split the party and is all alone, that's his/her fault (and problem).

Difficult terrain to move through? Why should walking characters be the only ones who have to deal with terrain features that hamper movement? Weather conditions, visibility conditions, and random encounters still happen in the air, just like they do in water, underground, and in urban settings.

The fly spell is only as broken as the wizard players insist it be.

Cheers

(now I duck)


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Unless of course, you're aiming for a port city and the misjump lands you miles in the ocean. Not neccessarily lethal but could be extremely problematic if your spellbook gets soaked.

I am so going to use this!


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Wild shaping? Read entry 198


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Aelryinth wrote:

It does mean the average defense/security level of a realm will rise re: the monsters, meaning they'd get pushed back and nations of humanoids would be somewhat more secure.

==Aelryinth

"...somewhat more secure" settlements also means somewhat more wealthy...a wealthier city just makes a more juicy target for someone, or something.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:


So, why are you arguing, again? You've already gone past the limits of the spell and added a further definition to why it doesn't work. Now, you have 'magic iron' that doesn't even MELT?

You have "magic iron" that is "not usable" for any other purpose.

Is melting another purpose? If so, it is, by RAW, not meltable.

That's not a house rule.

So I can't raise rust monsters for fun and profit off of magical iron walls then?


thejeff wrote:
You're putting a modern workforce view where it doesn't exist. In the modern world, you're absolutely correct. In a pre-modern society where most labor isn't wage labor, it's either small independent farmers or more likely tenant farmers or peasants working someone else's land in return for protection and a portion of their crop, that distinction doesn't really exist.

Ah yes, working the lords land and paying your rent in goods for protection. I imagine in a fantasy world like Pathfinder with powerful undead, demons, dinosaurs, and dragons that this would be more necessary than it was in feudal Europe.


I saw the title of the thread "Does CWI consume a spell slot?"...I had just to check this out...I thought CWI was Casting While Intoxicated


Shiroi wrote:

Other than the tops of mountains, there's only snow in the big bowl with the dragon icon. That screams ecological disaster from a rather annoyed White Dragon. He's the reason that area is full of snow, which means he can also be the reason water is not flowing as freely from that region as it used to. This gives a solid reason for prior comments about salt water moving upstream and bringing oceanic trouble with it. I'd go with a salt water bred aquatic Troll problem, they can handle being on land within tolerance, so it explains giving the ocean a good wide berth. If the dragon gets bigger each year, the problem will only get worse.

The desert spot to the left could be a rain shadow, or there could be really porous ground there that drains off rainwater into underground channels. A spot to get into the underdark? Possibly a structural problem that could collapse the mountains and cause major disasters for the mining community? Possibly even caused *by* prior generations of mining community?

Wow Shiroi (Japanese for white btw), good write up!


The two cities so close to forests make me think the cities / settlements are on the smallish side. It also makes me think there is a strong elf, fey, and/or druid presence to keep the human (assuming the cities are human) encroachment at bay.


The icon to the east of the dragon...orc horde? Hobgoblin horde? Slavers that prey upon miners in the mountains?

The icon directly south of the Kraken...ruins? The now ruined former stronghold of an order of once noble paladins that sank in the ruins as they fell to darkness.


Joey Cote wrote:
Plains sometimes stay plains because large herd animals graze down young trees before they have the opportunity to become old trees. Think of the Great Plains of North America or the Savannah of Africa.

...and where large herd animals or large herds of animals graze, something even bigger comes to eat them.


JamZilla wrote:

You mention your PCs would be arriving by sea.

It strikes me that the very narrow channel between two mountain ranges is a prime location for bandits or monstrous creatures to attack what must be a busy water-way. That being the case, I could easily imagine a series of cliffside 'forts' or an active navy being employed by the cities that use that channel - both of which could be interesting adventure hooks or sources of conflict.

Yeah, gargoyles, harpies, or payment-for-safe-passage stone throwing giants come to mind.


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Hitdice wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

To be exact, Golarian is an agrarian world that hasn't realized that if everyone knew some magic, they wouldn't be subsistence level farmers and could greatly ease their workload hugely with just cantrip-level magic.

It takes years to learn how to be a level 1 farmer, too. The same amount of time it takes to activate your bloodline. So Golarion is basically based on a reality which exists in defiance of what real circumstances would drive people to do.

*snip*

==Aelryinth

This lands in the fuzzy area between mechanics and world building, but given the young character rules in Ultimate Campaign, A human can start as a level 1 Commoner (read as, farmer) between the ages of 9 and 14, whereas a Sorcerer starts between 16 and 19 and a Wizard starts between 17 and 27; I'm not saying PF does better than the historical record, but I think Golarion is based on a reality where real circumstance drive people to employ child labor in a preindustrial setting, rather than lose between 7 and 18 years of productivity.

Yes, I just said Paizo endorses child labor, someone flag my post. :P

In much of the real world, 9-14 year old children work the farm, and fight and die in wars.


Shoga wrote:

I would do the following:

Robe of the Archmagi 75,000
add effects of Otherworldly Kimono: 67,000 + 33,500 (50% for stacking)

Shoga...so the stats for the robe would be:

+5 Bonus to AC
+8 Resistance Bonus on all savings throws
Spell Resistance 18
+6 Bonus (+8 with animal thingy) on Caster Level checks

...I just want to make sure I am reading this right.


Vagabond? wrote:
Some questions: In slightly more lighthearted question, what are some nice quality of life stuff for a young woman to have while adventuring?

Some spells...prestidigitation, unseen servant, and endure elements...so she can still wear chainmail bikini armor even when its cold.


Vital Strike Tyrannosaurus wrote:
Look, a woman has needs, okay? She may or may not also weigh 9 tons. What is one species of plant in the face of my social agenda?

In the Isle of Dread it was called Loco Weed...


Hey RD, don't forget that in order for you to make the Control Check as your kingdom's leader that you need to spend one week of downtime actually being the kingdoms leader...which means you would not spend that week crafting.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
No more of a problem than a use-activated sword of true strike. :P

I'll take two of those please...


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102. Use tiny undead in your refrigerator to turn the light on every time the door is opened and turn it off again every time the door is closed.

* I can't believe this one was missed! lol


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How to use a high-level mage in combat? Here's one idea


Gav, give me some parameters of your kingdom, I'll build you your army (first edit of course, these things don't form entirely on their first writing). Then we can wrangle over details.


Gavmania wrote:
Nobody Important wrote:


I would say a wand of scorching ray is more powerful than an M-16.

Well, lets see shall we.

You invest in a wand of Scorching ray (4,500gp). I will buy 10 poor knights for that (Light warhorse, Lance, Military saddle,shield, scale mail and scale mail barding, approx. 400gp each) and have 500gp left over.

I charge you with my knights. You wait ready to use your wand.

Your point is? I was comparing a wand of Scorching Ray to an M-16, an M-16 Gav...not 10 mounted knights, nor was I making a statement on wand versus M-16 for cost-value or effectiveness per gp spent analysis. See, a Wand of Scorching Ray is magic...that means it sets aside the *laws of physics* an M-16 does not, it is bound by them. *That* makes the wand more powerful you see.

You chose to snip my statement which was aimed as a response to a hypothetical and use it totally out of context to prove nothing. If you read back far enough, I was arguing tactics on a macro-level, that high-fantasy warfare would resemble modern warfare; though magic and technology are not universally interchangeable, the basic manifestations would remain such that *most* of the army would not fight en masse and march to toward massed enemies.

I never posited that every soldier should be armed with a Wand of SR, I was replying to someone else. I would never make that assumption.

I'll say it again now as I've said before, an army designed for a high-fantasy campaign needs to have flexibility built into it. There is nothing flexible about arming a single low-level mage with such an expensive single short range wand and expecting him to stand up alone to a charge of light cavalry.

Flexibility.

Every tactic and every piece of equipment has its uses, when used properly. Every individual has its uses too when used properly.

Are we making an army or are we making individuals?


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Coriat-I'll +1 what you said about combined arms.

My statement about the accuracy rates of M-16's was to counter the "thousands of times more accurate" statement I read earlier. As a rifleman is more accurate in practice, so too is an archer more accurate on the range versus being in a line firing en masse towards en-massed troops. That sort of massed fire is why armies stopped charging en masse. But 200K - 300K rounds per enemy KIA sounds a bit illogical to me. It was 10K-ish in Vietnam and we've gotten more efficient since them, not less. Remember too that the 5.56 mm NATO Ball Round fired by the M-16 and M249 were designed to wound not kill. Keep in mind also that not all fire is aimed to kill...suppressing fire and covering fire come to mind. Perhaps you can find a demonstration video on youtube of Marines firing FPF, or Final Protective Fire. It's the *ability* of that that keeps opposing armies asymmetrical.

I feel so sorry for the Iranian children during the Iran/Iraq war that purportedly wore "keys to paradise" around their necks as they charged en masse to their deaths. They were known as Human Wave Attacks, and although they cost the Iranians dearly, they were nonetheless often successful.

Modern military history is still rife with examples of why armies shouldn't meet en masse, face-to-face, on the field of battle, and why the "shoot-and-scoot" tactics of maneuver warfare make more sense.

However, large forces would still be needed; think about castle sieges, forces needed to ambush patrols, conduct prison breaks, guard cross-roads, secure bridges...AND, not all armies would be so-called modern. There is more to high-fantasy than magic. Think about hobgoblin hordes reinforced by hill giants and worg riders. I could go on, thus I say, a high-fantasy army needs to have flexibility designed into it.


Nobody Important wrote:


Thus I reiterate the starting point for building a high-fantasy army:
-Strong Leadership
-Flexibility
-Backed up by a strong economy

I quote myself.


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Lightminder wrote:

okay strategy idea- spend you money on maps and teleporters and taunters.

stand taunter at entrance to dungeon full of trolls.
a teleport gate is opened up in front of the taunter and the other end of it is in the chelaxian capital. disrupt the homeland!

it cant have a much worse ratio than modern warfare- 1 actual soldier : 8 non combatants killed.

or just get some really advanced diplomatic types and have no enemies?

Thanks for the insight Lightminder. That is a really good example of how assymetrical warfare works.

It is also a bloody-dang-good- A+++ kind of example of how good commanders can fight a good fight while minimizing the cost in troops and treasure to their kingdoms by thinking outside the box and thinking creatively.

Specific details aside, I think what Light is talking about could either be A) an alliance, B) conceptually using gate or teleport to penetrate enemy physical defenses, and C) sparing his low level mooks who I think are best used keeping the home-front economy functioning versus lining up in rank and file.

Question to everyone else: Which is the better use of that spellcaster, what Light said, or throwing fireballs from the front line? I say the latter.

Now I did say as one of the three key necessary components, Flexibility. This sounds like the job of an adventuring party...perhaps an adventuring party that owns a small keep in the kings land because the king has an alliance / debt of gratitude with them.

Awesome post Lightminder.


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zagnabbit wrote:


More likely they would be in charge.

Historically, spellcasters are aware of what happens when spell battles reach the scale of military engagements. It's bad for all involved. In 4 of the most popular game worlds, arcane magic breaks down. Divine magic, has a far more dangerous consequence. Direct intervention of the divine. Proxy wars are fine but once the Flamestrikes start it's a worse scenario when Iomedae and Gorum get personally invested.

These are literary cop-outs maybe; but nations that can field large contingents of spellcasters are going to have large groups of spellcasters that know their history.
Magical Detent. it's an obvious outcome.

Zag, yes spell casters would likely be in charge, but in terms of game mechanics, Charisma based spell casters like sorcerers have better capacity to influence people. I could likely see some sort of "mageocracy" with a council or cabal of spellcasters *behind the scenes* but with some aristocrats and their deep business and multi-family connections bringing ever-so-powerful alliances into play.

Historically too, leaders have been charismatic, not smart...look at Hitler, Bashar Assad, Vladamir Putin (although he is starting to become quite politically adept methinks) and even...well, heck, look at Ammerica's last several presidents.

...and no Zag, I don't think the concept of divine intervention is a cop-out. I had a CO who got relieved of duty for reporting what he believed to be Divine Intervention.

"Magic-gone-awry" sounds house-rulish to me, and I think we're staying off house rules in this thread. But, the devastation of a landscape is all to acceptable. Ruined farmland, rivers changed course, left-over undead, left-over trigger activated magic traps, left-over mundane traps, left-over illusions, left-over battlefield modifications like pits, berms, and walls, roving bandits and third parties trying to scrounge leftover weapons and gear, and roving baddies who see dead humans and hobgoblins and horses as food or "material components".

But Zag, don't forget the "devastated landscape" scenario may also mean devastated economy too...left-over inflation (think about post WWI Germany if you will), burnt crops and starvation (post WWII Okinawa), muddy river-run off ruining farmlands by washing away topsoil and muddying coral reefs (Okinawa post WWII) shortages, war-profiteers, and counter-attacks from those vampires that just made a horde of undead from the battlefield to *now* attack you with. Of course those vampires refer in concept to any third party who may *now* be interested in joining the fight. It's not enough to win the fight, the economy has to survive too.

Good post Zag.


Gavmania wrote:


The answer seems to be reconnaisance in force. Those largely useless peasant levies that formerly were used to hold down some out of the way place can now be used to determine whther those massed armies are real or not (provided they don't run away first). perhaps even better, a class of light cavalry would exist to determine where the true bulk of the enemy lies, their job being to skirmish and retreat and determine what's real and what's an illusion. Once the main body has been located, and any weak areas, a plan of attack can be formulated. some forces used to screen the main part of the enemy while your main attack hits a weak spot.

Alternatively, commanders could just "Guess" what's real and what's not and charge headlong. Get it right, and you will win the battle, Get it wrong and you will lose many people. Sadly I suspect this is more likely what we would see given the nature of many mediaeval commanders.

Recon in Force...good Gav, just as I was saying, asymmetrical warfare, but on a larger scale. Light Cavalry as scouts...again good Gav, just as I was saying asymmetrical warfare.

For your commanders...look Gav, it was you who convinced me of a good strategy whereby your kingdom recruits promising youngsters and makes companies of wizards. If your kingdom can teach youngsters to bend the rules of physics with little more than sheer intellect, surely you can train competent commanders too.


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Coriat wrote:
BiggDawg wrote:
Melee weapons are the most prevalent weapon and everyone can wield them and afford them thus being the default combat style. Soldiers in modern warfare have standard weapons that are ranged and incredibly powerful by fantasy standards.

Again-

In the context of mass combat, Pathfinder's standard ranged weapons (bows and crossbows) are thousands of times deadlier at the extremes of their range than are modern military firearms, because they have a minimum 5% accuracy.

There's very little reason to use melee weapons as a primary tool of mass combat when a natural 20 with a bow always hits what it's aimed at. You'd have formations suffering higher rates of casualties before they even closed with one another than the side that got crushed would have suffered in an entire ancient or medieval battle.

A Marine with an M-16 and iron sights can hit a man-sized target at 500 yards 7 out of 10 times. Take a squad. 4 M-249's, 9 M-16's 4 of which have M-203 grenade launchers. Nobody in their right mind would mass a charge against that...and currently, they don't.


BiggDawg wrote:
Melee weapons are the most prevalent weapon and everyone can wield them and afford them thus being the default combat style. Soldiers in modern warfare have standard weapons that are ranged and incredibly powerful by fantasy standards. If every soldier had a wand of scorching ray it would be more similar. The point of the post was to illustrate that while high magic warfare has many things in common with modern warfare there are still distinct differences from the base pathfinder rules assumptions.

I would say a wand of scorching ray is more powerful than an M-16. But, you don't see rows and columns of grim-faced soldiers marching to their doom in rank and file wielding M-16's in modern warfare.

Yes there are differences, but they would *manifest* in *mostly* the same way...with the end result of high-fantasy warfare becoming asymmetrical versus massed...same as today when a high magic (read: technology) army faces a low magic (read: technology) army. Russia vs Mujahadeen, U.S. vs Iraqi insurgents, Israel vs Palestinians.

The mechanics would mostly change, the results would be the same.

But BD, you illustrate a good point with your particular choice of combat tactics...noted, that they are not the same as my particular choices of combat tactics. Given the same information, you, I, and 20 other folks would all come up with different ways to fight. They *could* all be right, or they *could* all be wrong, depending upon a myriad of different factors.

Thus I reiterate the starting point for building a high-fantasy army:
-Strong Leadership
-Flexibility
-Backed up by a strong economy


BiggDawg wrote:

One thing to keep in mind when comparing warfare in a high magic setting to modern warfare is that while offensively magic can mimic certain modern warfare weapons magic also far outstrips defensive modern warfare measures. Counter spelling is something that has no modern warfare equivalent. Soldiers cannot dispel a mortar round in their midst nor can they shoot down enemy bullets. So while certain aspects of warfare in a high magic setting will resemble modern warfare there are still distinct differences.

With sufficient magical protection you very well could have massed groups fighting each other as hand to hand fighting is still the base mode of combat for the vast majority of people in the world. Sure magic can tear up a massed group, but it could also protect it. Whether protecting a massed group is economically viable depends on the various costs involved and whether or not the commander is considering the economic viewpoint of the situation.

I did state "the *basics* remain the same"...any debate can find a single anecdote (or 12) that breaks basic assumptions. We're trying to build an army, not bicker over specifics, just yet. If Gav gives me a kingdom, I'll give this thread an army that'll work with almost any attack.

For the mass effect, I was speaking strictly of a kingdom, not a horde, as that to me is what the OP was trying to build an army for. Even though the "majority of people in the world" fight hand to hand in your opinion (although that is debatable), that doesn't mean that that they *must* fight that way, or that their army *must* be designed that way...in fact the OP was trying to avoid just that scenario, wisely methinks too.

BTW, Phalanx CIWS can shoot down a mortar round...although not a spell, its effects are the same, troops are protected. However, I never made the assumption nor stated the assumption that modern warfare and/or its magical equivalent (or near-equivalent) would not totally nerf middle-age defensive strategies.

Commanders have budgets too BD, or in more realistic terms, limited resources that need to be consumed wisely. But thanks for the tip on counterspelling, I'll factor it in.


Gav, give me the information on the kingdom and I'll build you an army. We can regroup the debate from there.


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Gav, it appears you don't really know much about modern warfare...magic replaces technology in a high fantasy setting, but the basics remain the same.

You are still talking about low-level mages with scrolls of fireball and concerned with ranges as though two massed armies will meet in the field. *That* is precisely what will *not* happen with two modern (by PF standards) armies meet. Thus the parallel with high-fantasy and modern. Mass armies don't really meet in the open now-a-days much anymore either.

You need to think about the game within the game within the game. While you bring up a small percentage of issues all of which are excellent points (leadership, recruitment, training etc) you forget about the diplomatic posturing, alliances, spying, false flags, false intel (ex Task Force Troy in Gulf War I), strategic marriages, sabotage, double agents, graft-corruption-war-profiteering (military-industrial complex,) third party opportunists (look up just how many factions were at war in Lebanon circa 1982), and that's all before the actual war starts. I haven't even mentioned economics yet.

Once war does start think about such variables as intervention from the Gods, demon servants gated in from the very pits of hell itself, burrowing monsters, amphibious troops like sahuagin, invisibility, mother nature herself (what was it called in Avatar, Eiya?) undead hordes, floating earth motes (for you Faerun fans out there), trained dinosaurs, dragons (enemy, allied, third party, and those with their own agenda), teleportation magic (oooh, there's a nice fantasy version of paratroopers methinks), and a host of other variables I cannot personally know, but the collective learned memory and written history of a kingdom of a thousand years would know.

Now on to economics. I said magic would be utilized, you said wielded...please don't think of magic as a destructive weapon *only*. Please don't think of armies as two fronts facing each other *only*, and please don't think that low-level mooks serving in the army make for good rank-and-file *only*.

Did you know, in the USMC there are 8 Marines on active duty for support in some capacity, for each 1 ground-pounder? And that is before we even talk about the count of farmers needed to feed such an army.

Why did the allies beat Germany in WWII? Mostly because the war was fought on German territory and it was Germany's economy that was decimated, and thus it was Germany's economy that could no longer sustain the machine that was necessary to sustain the war.

Now to define your fantasy army. (not in order of importance)
-Strong leadership
-Flexible enough to respond to anything
-Backed up by a strong economy that *does not* slow down production in time of war

Whether it has a navy, air force, cavalry, etc depends in large part on terrain *and* on likely enemies. If your kingdom borders another kingdom, prepare for the diplomatic war, if your kingdom borders the badlands, prepare for an orc horde, if your kingdom *used* to be the territory of some bada$$ royal Drow Family, well, prepare for the underground war.

However, just as technology today is utilized *to the extent possible* in modern warfare, as an efficiency gain, so to will magic be *utilized* in high fantasy war *to the extent possible*


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How much magic would be used in a fantasy army? The answer is simple really? I'll ask a question we've all heard: "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Answer: He would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could if a woodchuck could chuck wood."

Meaning? An army would utilize as much magic as it could. The OP presented a pretty cool scenario where a kingdom would / could generate a large number of casters in a human society as a good back-story with simple economic and political motivations.

From the discussion it also appears that a fantasy army in a high-magic (PF is *very high magic) that warfare would look like modern warfare.

Where the OP erred was in giving an example of two massed-armies facing each other with one side charging. That is *not* what modern warfare looks like.

The problems I see in this post, with one exception, is that most people posting here do not have much experience and knowledge of exactly how modern armies operate.

RAW vs RAI discussion, PF is very high magic, a kingdom of a million sentient humans and demi-humans, could easily field an army with many thousands of spell-casters...and even more if said kingdom did what the OP suggested he would do to create more casters. No problem there.

For spontaneous casters that need a bloodline...do some simple math...you have two parents, 4 grand parents, 8 great grandparents, by the tine you get to you great x10 grandparents you have over 4K of them about 500 years or so ago. Reverse that, one dragon blooded person with two off-spring would have 4K descendants with that bloodline alive today in just one generation, with perhaps 3 generations currently walking the planet. Now, imagine the potential bloodline for a 3 thousand year old dragon.

Armies with 10's of thousands of spellcasters are likely, now the question remains, how would they be used?

I'll come back to that on a ore lengthy post.

v/r
Nobody Important
SSgt USMC (ret)


Gavmania wrote:

OK, here's how I see a perfect battle on a perfect battlefield shaping up (of course there's no such thing so at some point we will have to discuss terrain and how it affects troop make-up)

two armies line up on ridges 1500' feet apart (I picked that distance as an arbitrary amount a bit larger than the furthest range of the best missile weapons). between them lies a perfectly flat plain. The light troops begin to advance towards each ither across the plain.

When they get to 1200' feet away, crossbowmen begin to fire at them, largely inneffectually.

at 1100' spellcaster bowmen begin a steady drain on their numbers which continues into melee. In an attempt to prevent casualties, enemy spellcasters amongst the advancing troops respond with illusory troops and obscuring mist spells.

When the troops are 600' apart, spellcasters on both sides open up with scrolls of fireball and stone call, tearing gaping holes in enemy ranks, but also hitting the occasional silent image or being obscured by obcuring mist.

and then the melee begins. What arms/armour should our would be skirmishers wear? Two handed weapons? reach weapons? sword and board? Two weapon fighting?

remember, at this point, a well drilled group could theoretically form into close ranks, it is debateable as to whether or not they would be the target of a fireball (ultimately it depends on how many of your own side would be caught in the blast and whether or not that constitutes acceptable losses).

Have I missed anything?

Yeah you missed something, you missed most of this entire conversation.


Alcomus wrote:
Nobody Important wrote:


That seems a bit harsh. When I went to SERE school, one of our instructors was a survivor from the Hanoi Hilton...you cannot possibly understand what "torture" actually means, how hard it is to resist, but how unimaginably ineffective it is as getting worthwhile / useful intelligence.

If torture were only physical, resitance would be possible.

This.

Side note: SERE school, eh? May be getting a seat for that in the near-ish future, any tips (without breaking OPSEC)?

Here's a good tip...when they water-board you for real, even though you feel like you're ging to die, you actually won't. Don't let them break you.


VM mercenario wrote:

Any good paladin should refuse to even answer. If a demon or lich or whatever was torturing you, do you really think he would stop just because you answered? No, hey will keep doing it, and since you alredy started to break, they will just make you do more and more stuff, incrementally worse, until you fall. Ok, maybe a devil or someone very lawful, would hold his promise, but they're evil, so they'll just go to the loophole that stopping torture means killing you.

Any paladin stupid enough to think saying anything to the torturer is a good idea deserves to fall, not for betrayal if he says the thruth or for dishonesty if he lies, but for being pants on head, ice cream on forehead, full retard.
Iomedae would be looking down, shaking her head, wondering why did she hire that imbecile. He's not Lawful Good, not Stupid Good, not even Lawful Stupid. He's pure undiluted True Stupid.

That seems a bit harsh. When I went to SERE school, one of our instructors was a survivor from the Hanoi Hilton...you cannot possibly understand what "torture" actually means, how hard it is to resist, but how unimaginably ineffective it is as getting worthwhile / useful intelligence.

If torture were only physical, resitance would be possible.


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For the Paladin to knowingly risk losing all of his Paladin powers by deliberatley foresaking his code and lying to save his comrades is the most incredibly selfless thing a Paladin can do...his God(s) will be pleased.


TOZ wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
Someone who thinks of soldiering as a job is probably not Lawful, he's just disciplined. outside the demands of his job, he could very well 'unwind' and not be the same type of person.

Have you been around a lot of military (esp. enlistees) on "shore leave"? "Lawful" doesn't immediately come to mind.

EDIT: TOZ is a notable exception.

Hey, I'm no paladin. True Neutral all the way!

And seeing that they haven't chaptered me in 12 years active service...

You said "chaptered", my guess is you are in the Army.

If you are obeying your lawful orders as required (as evidenced by 12 years of honorable service), I'd posit that you are Lawful Neutral.


Aelryinth wrote:

Note that 'fight for the guy next to you' is not an example of Lawful discipline, it's an example of Pack Mentality.

You know, like wolves have. It's instinct and ingrained and thoroughly natural and Neutral. Dogs and monkeys have it in spades. So do we.

Lawful is a world view. It's that you think the world should be organized, and you adhere to those beliefs. laws are great and good things, not a convenience to adhere to because you might get fined, and okay to ignore if you can get away with it.

A soldier who loves the life of being a soldier is probably Lawful...the regimen, the highly organized life, the comfort of knowing your exact place and job, the challenge of navigating the system to your advantage, loving the way thousands of souls can pull together and get something accomplished under proper direction, surrounding yourself with other people who share your worldview, being part of long line and legacy and striving to uphold it...these are Lawful traits.

Someone who thinks of soldiering as a job is probably not Lawful, he's just disciplined. outside the demands of his job, he could very well 'unwind' and not be the same type of person.

==Aelryinth

If you go back further in the discussion I was talking about professional soldiers, not the rank and file. But, your thoughts on survival instinct as a neutral trait make perfect sense.

"Neutral: A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea"
ie breaking and running for survival.

"Lawful Neutral: A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code of honor directs her"
ie standing your ground side-by-side your brother's in arms, because your lawful orders, military tradition, and personal code of honor dictate so.

Thus, professional armies don't break ranks and run. (forward or back) I don't think a horde of barbarians would hold their positions for very long, either way.

Most professional soldier would be Lawful Neutral IMHO. The peasant masses conscripted for war are not professional soldiers. (there are such things as unlawful orders, the Nuremberg Trials explored that at great length.)


kyrt-ryder wrote:

Feng Gao is a Monk. He grew up in a monastery, studying the martial arts and training to become a master of himself. Along the way, he was taught skill in a great many weapons, how to take care of himself in the wilderness, how to move faster than normal men, and how to focus his mind, body, and soul on combat.

When the need arises, Feng Gao can focus himself, dedicating himself to the task of defeating whatever foe has presented itself to him. In so doing, his Strength and Toughness soar (+4), as does his mental resilience (+2 will), but it leaves him open for counter-attack (-2 AC)

His character class is Barbarian, but Feng Gao is a Monk by profession/upbringing.

Well written back-story Kyrt.


About soldiers and discipline; there are two types of orders if you will, those in garrison and those in combat.

Soldiers in the end do not fight for their paycheck, out of fear, or necessarily for stubborn pride, (except in the USMC where the legacy is quite heavy) in the end they fight for the soldier in the hole with them. When the fear takes over, the training kicks in, instinctively. Following orders saves lives, and they know it, especially in battle. That's why the U.S. military tends to not break and run, even under the worst of conditions. There are very few modern examples, and they were all fighting withdrawals...think opening salvo of the Battle-of-the-Bulge, or the encirclement at the Chosen Reservoir in Korea.

Soldiers just following orders will be Lawful-Good (usually in our case when soldiers believe in a good cause), Lawful Neutral (UN Peacekeeping missions or soldiers just following orders for a good casue) Lawful-Evil (Nazi Germany).

Now some will make a moral equivalency argument, they tend to sound like "one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter", but those arguments are quite easily dismissed.

I still have trouble putting a barbarian only class melee type in a martial army wily-nily without a convincing back-story.


Im off, thanks for the debat folks. You win. I'm gonna now give Paladins a chance over fighters.


Rynjin wrote:
Nobody Important wrote:
OK, Ryn, you win, I concede. You made your case. Paladins are better than fighters.

Now let's talk about Rangers!

Maybe I'll add another project to the pile of random ones tomorrow. I think I've done all I can on Freeform Class Selection for the nonce and I'm just not feeling the Liberator any more, so on my off day lessee if I can whip up a decent "Fighter: Remastered" concept.

Which I'll probably forget about in a week but hey.

Ranger is my favorite class to play btw


kyrt-ryder wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
I have family that are military and they would highly disagree with you about your barbarian assessment. Trained soldiers are not, by default, blood thirsty killers who use their rage to kill. Might want to check your info before you go posting.

Barbarians are not- by Rules- bloodthirsty killers who use their rage to kill.

In-fact, last I checked bloodthirsty tended to shift one's alignment towards the Evil axis, and Barbarians have no naturally Evil inclinations.

Rather, Barbarians are warriors who use a combat ability labelled Rage, which grants +4 to Strength, +4 Constitution, +2 Will Saves, and -2 AC, in order to be better Warriors.

This could be serving in a disciplined rank and file unit, just like the Fighter.

Allow me to repeat this once more.

There is nothing explicitly undisciplined about the Barbarian class. Sure they can't be Lawful, but they don't have to be Chaotic either, and while some exceptionally disciplined soldiers may be Lawful, the average will be Neutral.

Neutral soldiers tend to get article 15'd out in the real world. Lawful soldeiers are required to...what does the promotion warrant state..."...obey ALL lawful orders..." (emphasis added) hardly sounds neutral.


Rynjin wrote:
Nobody Important wrote:
...so they're even on hit points...so the Paladin is generously granted an extra consumable resource, at the expense of feats albeit.

I think you highly overestimate the value of bonus Feats. While Feats are nice, unless you're going for a ridiculously Feat intensive build they don't really help the Fighter even advance in a certain Feat tree all that much due to BaB restrictions.

The Paladin can fight as well as a Fighter, being behind around 2 to-hit and damage.

His AC is likely to be just as high as the Fighter's.

His HP is as high as Fighter's, but he can heal himself and remove conditions from himself as well. He flat out wins the Tank/Meatshield game, period.

A few times per day he can activate his "You're in for a world of pain now boi" attack and blow the Fighter (though to be fair, any martial class) out of the water in terms of damage and have a significant boost to-hit.

He can enchant his weapon for free if he ever finds himself without his primary. Or he has a neat horse, one or the other.

His saves are all around better and he has immunity to quite a few debilitating effects (Disease, Fear, Charms/Compulsions later on). This plus Mercy essentially makes him the walking bane of status effects/conditions.

And all he gives up are Greater Weapon Focus/Weapon Specialization, a bit of speed, and some bonus Feats.

But don't get me wrong and turn this around on "Oh well the Paladin just gets too much" because plenty of other classes have a bunch of things like that going for them. It's just that the Fighter does not have anything but that faster move speed in armor and that "+1 every 5 levels with x weapon group" deal.

Edit: This reminds me I need to make those builds for Nicos.

...Tomorrow.

OK, Ryn, you win, I concede. You made your case. Paladins are better than fighters.


Ashiel wrote:
Nobody Important wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

What they were meant for doesn't change what they're used for.

Also, what about a Professional Soldier who's training includes... oh I don't know... wilderness survival and scouting? That's kind of a big deal in armies I'm familiar with.

Good point...very good point. I'd call them fighter - rangers. I work at a Special Forces base now, Torii Station, the soldiers in the green-beret company I currently work for could hardly be called barbarians though.

Perhaps real-life has colored my definition barbarian.

It's possible. You're getting preconception mixed up with what is. What is fact is that barbarians are exceptionally strong, highly athletic, skilled individuals who are capable of pushing everything except combat out of their mind as needed. It doesn't matter if they are clad in furs or wearing a medal of honor over their kevlar vest. They are the guys who pull a hatchet or combat knife and in a violent burst of adrenaline tear some poor guy apart before lifting up their wounded companion and running like a marathon man through incoming fire like it was his job.

Fighters have no more HP than Paladins, nor Rangers, and less than Barbarians. Paladins are the best tanks in the game. Rangers are martial specialists. Barbarians are the hardcore warrior. It is not the fault of those classes who are all well balanced between each other and whom fit very well in an adventuring party or various conceptual roles. If the fighter is behind them it's not because the Paladin is overpowered, nor the Barbarian, nor the Ranger. The Fighter is under powered. He is the odd man out in this case. He is the one who is found lacking. He is the one who lacks options in a game that is about interacting with a living world. One cannot blame Lay on Hands for the fighter being poor, nor any other feature.

You are indeed a good writer. But, Paladins came into the game long after the fighter. They were made *deliberatly* over-powered, just like a lot of things, to sell more books. I'm sorry you fell for it.

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