#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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We aren't mean, we just get paid to do mean things!

Within #30 Mercenary Companies are more honorable, professional, and/or ruthless free companies than an a would-be conquer can shake a king's ransom at!

Need an to stop those pesky white dragon mounted frost giants? You can hire the Wings Over Water free company, if your goals are to their tastes.

Need to stop a particularly powerful ship, convince the Skullreapers that it's a pirate ship and you might not even have to pay them yourself. Of course, if you lied about them being pirates they might decide you are one instead.

If you have a tactical mind, a grasping nature, or you are not someone to get your own hands dirty, then I am sure that we have a company to interest you!

Enjoy #30 Mercenary Companies today!

For use with the Mass Combat sytem from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Campaign.

Author: Liz Smith
Cover Artist: Public Domain
Pages: 18

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****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This supplement clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 2 pages of advertisements, leaving us with 18 pages of content, so let's take a look!

I *love* Ultimate Campaign. It's one of my most favorite PFRPG-books and I just don't get why, in spite of Legendary Games' expansions being rather popular, there hasn't been that much support for e.g. kingdom-building, mass combat and downtime rules. And here we go to partially remedy that conundrum - Liz Smith delivers a total of 30 different mercenary companies as armies to drop and insert into your campaign - which btw. includes mixed population-rules for companies.

The respective company statblocks feature information on the respective resources, banners and even come with lore-DC and proper descriptions of the armies in addition to the basic army statblocks for the companies. Now what makes these entries actually nice to read beyond the crunch would be the fact that the descriptions are provided in well-written in-character prose a DM can easily paraphrase to introduce the companies into his/her game.

From cadres of vile killers to buccaneers, chivalrous knights, dwarven cavalry and even a cadre of guardian lycanthropes that demand their tithe in the old and sick, the pdf's respective companies run the gamut from uncommon and at times, even suffused with a very subtle rumor here and there - sorcerors, eagle + griffon riders...we receive a cool, diverse array of creatures herein.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, but not perfect - I noticed some minor glitches, but none that made the content harder to understand. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and the pdf comes with thematically-fitting stock art that fits perfectly with the theme of the pdf.

Liz Smith delivers herein -with glorious sample units that not only provide statblocks, but also fluff and story-hooks galore - the armies herein are fun and unique and deliver hooks and ideas beyond the obvious utility of the statblocks. In the absence of complaints or the like and thanks to the great writing and more than fair price-point, I'll gladly settle on a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval for this pdf. Any campaign using mass combat should get these.

Endzeitgeist out.


Fins, Wolves, Claws and Spears

*****

From the front page and the first entertaining quote on a mercenary mocking adventurers, I knew this would be a good book.

I confess bias! I really like mercenaries. I put them in my games, I’ve got an interest in the Condottieri and the history of mercenaries and warrior tribes that fought for profit since ancient times. So I was really looking forward to going through the pages, but I also had high expectations. I want mercs done right, I want interesting leaders, and I don’t want clones of Daario Naharis everywhere—they have to have character the companies must have invigorating stories with a discussion of their speciality, background and appearance. This book didn’t disappoint, it covered exactly what I wanted.

As we proceed through we move through many different types of mercenary bands, and they have different motivations and leaders. It also gives their HQ and strength, characteristics and abilities, making them easily able to come in as allies or enemies to a campaign. One even has a song in the description, which makes a lot of sense for a mercenary company. It is great to see so much detail describing their uniforms and banners.

Of note, the pictures are actually very colourful. This gives a sense of life and certainly not dreariness or “Grim-dark” in this product. There are a few spelling and formatting errors in the piece, so I feel it should have been edited just a little more closely.

My favourite company is the Fins of Blood, and I would definitely put them in a maritime game. Second would definitely be the Wolflings, and a company of Lycanthropes is an excellent idea. The Dwarf cavalry are also very interesting. The Motlies would fit into dangerous border regions and a lot of quests concerning hunting fugitives could be tied to them.

5/5
It gave me more than I wanted and my high expectations were reached. Get into it if you like mercenaries and want some ideas for roving groups of highly varied combatants for your games. The price is also crazy good.


Assemble the horde

****( )

#30 Mercenary Companies is a collection from Rite Publishing of, well, exactly what it says. One note that should be made for the sake of completeness is that you will need the mass combat rules from Ultimate Canpaign to get the best use of this PDF

It's 23 pages long, with one for the cover, one for credits, one advertising their '101 Forest Kingdom Encounters' PDF, one for the OGL and one advertising for Cafe Press, leaving eighteen for the companies proper.

The individual companies all have a 'hook', something done to differentiate them from each other, which work rather well. They also have short sections going into their background, listing their alignment, their headquarters and leader, their resources (I.e., ships, buildings, ruled towns...), structure and leadership (very useful for would-be infiltrators or as a quick idea on how to present them in roleplay), uniform and banner, and an overview with different amounts of information available depending on how good your skill roll is. One quibble is that the skill needed is not described: I would assume either Knowledge (local) or Profession (soldier) would do.

You then get an in-character description which gives more ideas on just how the group sees itself and others, as well as adventure hooks, and statblocks listing all the needed information for use in mass combat.

The mercenary units themselves are well done, with alliances, rivalries, and hatreds between each other. Suffice to say that not all the money in the world can get some of these groups to work together! They also cover a range of classes from the usual warriors, fighters, and rangers to monks, magi, and rogues. They even have units of summoners and alchemists here, who are listed s specialists for things like sabotage and the like, which I do like. Some of them seem a bit too powerful (mercenary units of several hundred 11th-13th level fighters and rogues?), but that's probably just a personal quirk.

I will admit that one other minor quibble is that almost all of the units are the races from the Player's Handbook. Which makes sense, but I wouldn't have minded seeing a few more units like Wings Over Water (giant eagles and griffins, based out of a network of farming and fishing villages) and the Wolflings, who are werewolves and who work with the Wings against cavalry -- the Wings eat the horses and the Wolflings eat the riders! They also probably inevitably have a company of paladins who are being secretly manipulated by evil but they're too honorable, pigheaded, and stupid to notice. Sigh. Maybe one of these days we'll get a group of evil mercenaries being tricked into fighting for good causes by a clever good guy?

This PDF promises you 30 mercenary companies with plot hooks and that's exactly what you get, with some very good ideas included. The problem is that it's of limited use to someone not intending to use the mass combat rules from either the Campaign Guide or Legendary Games' Ultimate Battle. However, if you DO use them this can be a great guide to setting your own units up as well as a source of plot ideas for any player. I'll go with 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for me because mass combat really appeals to me.


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I got a copy of this one, and while I like it, I have to admit to being kind of boggled at the idea of 100-man strong units of 11th-13th level fighters existing. That character level just seems kind of high to me for that many troops.

Of course there's nothing stopping anyone from changing anything or everything about these companies, but for some silly reason that one just nags at me.


Here is a free full-sized preview


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Just wrote up a review for the PDF, I hope it gets more folks to look at it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for the review, and I'm glad you liked it, at least in part.

I hear you on the high level companies, but I also wanted to make it usable at as wide a variety of levels and worldsas I could.


I'd say it works just fine for different levels of power; again, my problems with the high-level units are more of a personal thing. It just feels odd to me have units of 100-200 10+ level characters roaming around. At that point I'd rather go with giants or monstrous humanoids and give them some character levels.

But it is a great product. The little in-character bits of information were especially well done.


That detail on the uniforms and banners, and how they fight and move. Excellent.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks!

And thanks for the review too, I'm glad you liked it.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I keep wondering with all these Rite Publishing products, why is the a '#' sign in front of the number? Does that make sense?


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DM Under The Bridge wrote:
That detail on the uniforms and banners, and how they fight and move. Excellent.

That's one great review you did there. I like it!

I freely admit that the comments on having some knowledge of historical medieval mercenaries such as the condottieri didn't hurt.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Neither Backflash nor the Gold Lancers have hit points listed.


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Ack, my bad. (Lesson learned: trying to proofread while preoccupied is a bad idea)

Should be Backflash hp 18 and Gold Lancers hp 44


Zaister wrote:
I keep wondering with all these Rite Publishing products, why is the a '#' sign in front of the number? Does that make sense?

It was a marketing gimick Zaister.

# came up first on the alpha bit on drivethru to display products. Then Owen came alogn and did #1 with a bullet point....


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMs magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thank you! I am delighted you enjoyed it.

Ultimate Campaign is one of my favourite PF books too.

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