Armies of Golarion suggestion


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Liberty's Edge

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What I'd like to see is a cleanup and consistency check across the army, troop, swarm, and 'individual' rules. These methods of simplifying 'groups of individuals' into a single entity for rules purposes have all been great, but each has been invented in isolation from the others, leaving a lot of ground in between the different types not covered.

What happens when a troop fights an army? What is the difference between a troop (or army) of tiny creatures and a swarm? An individual can't grapple a troop, but can an army... and how would that work? Et cetera.

With a bit of work I think these features could be built into the best synthesis of wargaming and roleplaying I have seen. Roleplaying grew out of wargaming, but it has always been difficult to fit the two together. You usually have one set of rules for 'individuals' and another set for 'armies' with poor interconnectivity between the two. The army rules first introduced in the Kingmaker AP are a typical example of that... great for mass combat but not a perfect fit when factoring in individual heroes. However, the troop rules bridge the gap. If each troop could be treated as an army when fighting other armies, but an individual when fighting other individuals then you've got an entity type which functions at both scales.

Dark Archive

don't forget rules for navel and flying units

Sovereign Court Contributor

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chopswil wrote:
don't forget rules for navel and flying units

Navel units come with gaze attacks. Or ange(l) units.

Contributor

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goldomark wrote:
Brandon, how do you handle troops composed of creatures that can cast spells?

Ya' know, I don't handle spellcasters that way. Nations and kingdoms--even in fantasy worlds--raise armies up from common mercenaries, local militias, and feudal commitments, and while some of those troops might very well be highly trained or specialized in their respective groupings, I have just never been of a mind that there were enough wizards, sorcerers, or clerics to go around in any particular locality to justify a whole unit of them you'd want to jeopardize by fielding them and watching them get mowed down with a heavy cavalry charge. Troops are for melee fightin' folks, as far as I'm concerned, and the concept of entire units of 6th-level wizards or dozens of 9th-level paladins gathering into a troop breaks verisimilitude for me.

Which, consequently, is also why I think this system works great for PC-level interaction: individual spellcasters on the battlefield should be forces unto themselves, capable of dropping death and destruction on entire units without the benefit of being in one themselves, which is why in games like Confrontation and Warhammer spellcasters are often treated in the same individual status as heroes of commanders. I never saw fit to treat them differently in my ruleset, and the rules system to mitigate that scenario otherwise is headache-inducing.

That being said, the concept of, say, low-level clerical acolytes making up a unit that protects a monastery or something *is* something I've messed with. And I also have rules for units who have a special spellcaster within their ranks.

And I would *love* nothing better than to lay out all my concepts for you guys and provide examples so you can get right to work on your home games, but at least one freelancer has already declared upthread they're working up a rival third-party book to Armies of Golarion. And that's totally fair since the troop subtype rules are now OGL, but until I get a chance publish the expanded army system myself with Paizo, I can't very well keep spilling all of my design secrets I've spent years putting together so someone with a quicker publication turnaround can yoink them. Because those aren't OGL. And I hope there's some professional courtesy there for the unpublished rules system ideas I've already shared in my efforts to help you guys out and get you excited about this book.


I have first started using something similar before Pathfinder came out. On the WoTC forums in 3.5 there was a guy who wrote a very good swarm adapted as formations ruleset, except creature feats were used rather than a construct point system. That was even before teamwork feats, which I imagine would have a special significance in troops.

I also notice that the CR you picked for the sample troop was considerably higher for a platoon or so of men than that guy did.

I am curious to know if you have multiple 'sizes' of troops. See, 30 or so man units can make a good battle against individual PCs ranging into the low hundreds range, but I was wondering if it could be possible to have like a company of men that were about 100 strong as a colossal sized creature?

As much as I like the mass combat mechanics, I personally feel that party of heroes can handle mass combat well before the levels pathfinder assumes, and this troop or formation subtype is a wonderful way to represent that.

Contributor

toascend wrote:
I am curious to know if you have multiple 'sizes' of troops. See, 30 or so man units can make a good battle against individual PCs ranging into the low hundreds range, but I was wondering if it could be possible to have like a company of men that were about 100 strong as a colossal sized creature?

That would be easy to build using the same CR/size monster rules used to build the RMD troop, but you run into a problem of simulation, which is why in similar instances I use multiple units. Not only does it give you more mutability, but you don't suffer the problem of (already noted by other posters) non-decreasing damage output. As it stands, a troop of 30 men continue doing their base damage even when reduced to, say, 10 hit points, when you'd imagine in reality that they're drastically reduced in numbers. And while that's a consequence of rules of simulation rather than reality that I'm happy to live with, if you start making bigger and bigger units, it compounds that problem.

So, personally, I think the answer is to use multiple units. The CR increases with each addition that way, AND it gives you something to remove from the table when PCs have destroyed a unit, showing that they're having some effect if they're say, facing off against 4 troop units, and 2 have been killed--an unavailable option under this system if they're all the same statblock.

The Exchange

I would be all over an "armies of Golarion" book and would even buy it, and I don't as a rule buy campaign setting books unless they directly have to do with an adventure I run.

Also, I'm not bothered at all by troops not loosing effectiveness as members drop - to me it's not all that different from a fighter who can run as fast and being as strong when he has 1 hp as when he has 180 hp. It's a piece of verisimilitude that Pathfinder is not very well equipped to handle, and I'm fine with that.

Liberty's Edge

Lord Snow wrote:
Also, I'm not bothered at all by troops not loosing effectiveness as members drop - to me it's not all that different from a fighter who can run as fast and being as strong when he has 1 hp as when he has 180 hp. It's a piece of verisimilitude that Pathfinder is not very well equipped to handle, and I'm fine with that.

This is actually a bit more realistic for Troops than it looks at first glance, since killing a Troop just means it's broken up, not fully killed to the last man. Considering that 50% casualties will break almost any unit ever, and most break significantly before that, having their offense remain steady seems reasonable to me.


Am I the only GM that thinks this book isn't needed? With the Ultimate Campaign, the Inner Sea World Guide, and something similar to this you can easily figure this out yourself.

Contributor

Vin'Kethriel, you are, of course, entitled to that opinion, but with the Ultimate Campaign and other references, I believe you might be misinterpreting what this product is proposed to offer. Armies of Golarion would provide Bestiary-style statblocks of creatures using the recently-revealed troop subtype. Unlike Ultimate Campaign's mass combat rules, the troop subtype is mechanically identical to regular creature statblocks, which means PCs can fight and interact with them on a one-on-one level, rather than the much more abstract mass combat rules you reference in that book and other sources.

In other words, the statblocks presented in Armies of Golarion would be anything from gibbering hordes of pyromaniac goblins, to River Kingdoms bandit skirmishers, to Hellknight Inquisition units, and statted in such a way (like the Russian troops in the link above) that PCs could scrap toe-to-toe with them (which the mass combat rules don't quite account for) while presenting them with the fantastic flavor of soldiers, warriors, and hordes of vicious creatures found across the breadth of Golarion.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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This sounds like a god send for Serpents Skull Chapter #3, which features literal tribes of creatures which can potentially be arrayed against the PCs.

Speaking as a customer and NOT a friend and fellow writer, I am very intrigued by this idea and would be more than willing to give it a shot.

I'm not every thinking in terms of huge armies, but in cases of entire villages, clans, and tribes. That level of warfare comes up fairly often as opposed to great big military campaigns.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Can I give my vote a second time for wanting this book?


Brandon, if nothing else, maybe you can include more of this stuff in further adventures, thus demonstrating the breadth of its applicability as well as further stoking the fires for demand. :)


Brandon Hodge wrote:

Vin'Kethriel, you are, of course, entitled to that opinion, but with the Ultimate Campaign and other references, I believe you might be misinterpreting what this product is proposed to offer. Armies of Golarion would provide Bestiary-style statblocks of creatures using the recently-revealed troop subtype. Unlike Ultimate Campaign's mass combat rules, the troop subtype is mechanically identical to regular creature statblocks, which means PCs can fight and interact with them on a one-on-one level, rather than the much more abstract mass combat rules you reference in that book and other sources.

In other words, the statblocks presented in Armies of Golarion would be anything from gibbering hordes of pyromaniac goblins, to River Kingdoms bandit skirmishers, to Hellknight Inquisition units, and statted in such a way (like the Russian troops in the link above) that PCs could scrap toe-to-toe with them (which the mass combat rules don't quite account for) while presenting them with the fantastic flavor of soldiers, warriors, and hordes of vicious creatures found across the breadth of Golarion.

I've guess I've done stuff like this myself for so long, I just don't get it. I'd rather see you guys do something more innovative or some more of re-imaginings (I can't get enough of those) than a splatbook for lazy GMs. *shrug* To each their own.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vin'Kethriel wrote:
Brandon Hodge wrote:

Vin'Kethriel, you are, of course, entitled to that opinion, but with the Ultimate Campaign and other references, I believe you might be misinterpreting what this product is proposed to offer. Armies of Golarion would provide Bestiary-style statblocks of creatures using the recently-revealed troop subtype. Unlike Ultimate Campaign's mass combat rules, the troop subtype is mechanically identical to regular creature statblocks, which means PCs can fight and interact with them on a one-on-one level, rather than the much more abstract mass combat rules you reference in that book and other sources.

In other words, the statblocks presented in Armies of Golarion would be anything from gibbering hordes of pyromaniac goblins, to River Kingdoms bandit skirmishers, to Hellknight Inquisition units, and statted in such a way (like the Russian troops in the link above) that PCs could scrap toe-to-toe with them (which the mass combat rules don't quite account for) while presenting them with the fantastic flavor of soldiers, warriors, and hordes of vicious creatures found across the breadth of Golarion.

I've guess I've done stuff like this myself for so long, I just don't get it. I'd rather see you guys do something more innovative or some more of re-imaginings (I can't get enough of those) than a splatbook for lazy GMs. *shrug* To each their own.

Not every GM has the time to come up with things on their own. A major point of books like GMG, UCamp and the hypothetical AoG is to help time-starved GMs get things done without having to tell their players "look guys, we can't do this because between the job, the family and other commitments I just ain't got the spare time to prepare". It's not about laziness, at any rate. Perhaps you have abundance of time for homebrewing - great for you, but many others don't.


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Vin'Kethriel wrote:
I've guess I've done stuff like this myself for so long, I just don't get it. I'd rather see you guys do something more innovative or some more of re-imaginings (I can't get enough of those) than a splatbook for lazy GMs. *shrug* To each their own.

This is actively insulting to every GM who has a job ( And a family. And other hobbies. And so on ), and so doesn't have the time to write his homebrewn stuff. You just basically dismissed Bestiaries, AP's, pre-written modules.

----

I'd rather have this book with a lot of pre-made statblocks and rules for different kinds of mass combat than most of the books which actually come out in 2014.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would be very interested to see something like this, and it would actually be on my buy list, unlike most of what has been coming in the rpg line lately. I cant say I havent wanted to run and play in a campaign where the party is the leaders of an army. Kingmaker is sort of scratching that itch, but the abstract mass combat system doesnt do it for me personally.


magnuskn wrote:
Vin'Kethriel wrote:
I've guess I've done stuff like this myself for so long, I just don't get it. I'd rather see you guys do something more innovative or some more of re-imaginings (I can't get enough of those) than a splatbook for lazy GMs. *shrug* To each their own.

This is actively insulting to every GM who has a job ( And a family. And other hobbies. And so on ), and so doesn't have the time to write his homebrewn stuff. You just basically dismissed Bestiaries, AP's, pre-written modules.

----

I'd rather have this book with a lot of pre-made statblocks and rules for different kinds of mass combat than most of the books which actually come out in 2014.

Not only do I have a job and a family, I still manage to find time. It's not dismissive, it's my opinion.


I love this idea. I was just today thinking about one of the things I loved about Greyhawk as a kid was the listing for each nation of the population numbers, troop types, etc. My friends and I would then work up armies for each country and have mass battles. I have always found the lack of population/troop numbers in most new products disappointingly vague.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vin'Kethriel wrote:
Not only do I have a job and a family, I still manage to find time.

Well, I don't.

Vin'Kethriel wrote:
It's not dismissive, it's my opinion.

The two are not mutually exclusive. Your opinion is dismissive and insulting.


Vin'Kethriel wrote:
Not only do I have a job and a family, I still manage to find time.

That's great for you. Unfortunately, not every GM out there is as fortunate and for those GMs, books like the NPC Codex (and the upcoming Inner Sea NPC Codex), Armies of Golarion (if it happens), and other books containing ready-to-use material are invaluable resources. There's a multitude of reasons why GMs don't necessarily have the time or desire to stat up every single stat block themselves. I know I don't have the time and I don't consider myself lazy in any way.

Dark Archive

I'm already gonna make a troop or two for Ben Bruck's RoW campaign. Might make some fantasy ones as well. I almost wish the troop ules didn't make them semi-amorphous (you can arrange the squares in any form as long as they're all contiguous) because making a flat 3 x 3 or 4 x 4 troop unit would look pretty cool. Otherwise it's just 9-16 dudes on individual bases. Maybe I'll do a couple "solid" units, and have individual ones for the times when they're squeezing through alleys or otherwise not being a solid block.

EDIT: I should mention I'm talking about illustrating a troop as a mini, not making troop stats. I mean, I'll do the latter, but for right now, the former's what I'm going for.

Contributor

Actually, N'wah--that's exactly the intention and function of the troop's malleability. They're meant to be 4x4-inch units by default*, but able to shape around corners, squeeze trough alleys, or, in this case, fill up trenches in a line when needed.

*I actually use 3x3-inch default size and count troops as Huge creatures in my home system. That way it only take 9 minis, not 16. =-)

Dark Archive

Well, the nice thing about a troop is I can make 1-4 different minis and replicate them for a troop, so whether 's 9 or 16 is only a matter of the page space for the printed minis (a group of 12-14 Medium creatures per page is standard for me). I'm perpetually broke, but even I can scrounge up the bucks to get them printed at Kinko's, and to everyone else, the $2-5 printing cost just means one less fancy Starbuck's drink that day.

I'll do them as single minis, I think, and as three or four different figures set to be repeated in "rows". I'm leaning towards three, then providing some extras that can be added to the troop as you mentioned (if the extras aren't in that troop, we can just re-use a row). So for example, the sample troop from the Paizo Blog might have four riflemen kneeling, rifles pointed; behind them, a row of four standing, also pointing rifles; behind them, four soldiers reloading, and then behind them, four soldiers with rifles in hand but at low ready or just held.

It's four different art pieces, to be sure, but the net effect would prolly look pretty cool, and even in a trench lineup, most of 'em would fit nicely.

As for 3 x 3 vs. 4 x 4, with individual minis, you can make the troop size you want, no muss, no fuss.

Now, for added complexity, I could make a few different "extras" to add to a troop (machine gunner, commander, grenade-lobbing guy) at the numbers you want/need. If it's the referenced flamethrower troop, for instance, you'll replace the front row of dudes with flamer troops and keep the other units as the rifle support that prevents flamethrower guys from exploding more often than usual.

Just how I'm envisioning it.

Also, I'll have to go WAY back to square bases, most likely. The hex ones come up short when smashed together side-to-side. Guess circles would work okay, but the space between them would aesthetically drive me nuts.

Dark Archive

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I'm having Ben Bruck copy the "Rasputin Must Die!" cover art outta the PDF to add to my growing collection of WW I-era Russian army reference art. I hope to have a little troop of Russkies up for review soon. :D


Vin'Kethriel wrote:


Not only do I have a job and a family, I still manage to find time. It's not dismissive, it's my opinion.

Well my opinion is that the purposed book actually expanding the troop rules out to a full rule set rather than something you have to track down in one AP is innovative. This is especially true because in my opinion the army rules in Ultimate Campaign are kind of a steaming pile of crap, but I actually really really like the troop rules.

Also under "lazy GM tool" from your definition is the APG race builder guide, all bestiaries, APG, Ucombat, and Umagic. As all of them are doing the same "build off a framework" setup.

Dark Archive

Well my opinion is we should not sweat Vin Diesel's showing off about his multitasking, and continue to shop this good idea. If VIN Number doesn't need the book, he can just not buy it like a normal person.

PS- Russians expected to be worked on this week. If you want to help out financially, you can crawl around my DeviantART journal post and selectively jam money into the surprisingly undefended borders.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Sounds like a great idea...I love Epic feel of one to many.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I meant to post here earlier, but...

I would love to see a book like this put out. I loved seeing the Troop, and am admittedly trying to adapt some versions of it to my own game.

Edit: Just to add...using something like troops in, say, Red Hand of Doom would be freaking awesome.


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I'd buy this book. Hell, probably two and drive down to Austin to get you to sign them Brandon. I would like to see stats for troops of abberations, celestials, demons and elementals. For Bloodwar style campaigns or an invasion from beyond. A place for dretches and squads of archons. If you feel the same about outsiders as you do an all magic-user troop then give them alignment traits (+ to attacks vs. opposite, + to AC or hp for neutral) for heavenly or hellish themed troops and attack or a movement trait for elemental or abberant troops instead of making unique kinds.

Hmmm... rules for alternate troop movement? Flying, swimming, burrowing? How do rules for squeezing apply?

Equipment for troops? Like the gas mask? Maybe variant gear quality? What happens when a troop garrisons a wall? Or a siege engine (which I imagine is a separate unit)?

I don't actually need these answered, just bringing them up.

I agree with Jim also, this would simplify fighting angry mobs immensely.

Don't forget to add some Mythic abilities for 300 inspired games!


Interesting idea. I'd pop for this book even if I didn't use it in game. Reading material / inspiration is never wasted. I'd suggest making it RPG line with generic troop types and rules for using them. A setting booklet could be used to customize it for Golarion.


Great possibilities, not just for typical line troops, skirmishers and cavalry, but also for crack elites, which could be based on OP builds.


I would not like it if it was just filled with troop statistics. What I would like it is if it mentioned common military tactics, life in their armies, and so on.

Dark Archive

Finally made some Russian troops. So far it's just one mini repeated a bunch of times. I'll be printing 'em out tomorrow, and maybe I'll get some photos goin'.


Brandon Hodge wrote:

Great contributions to the discussion, Julius! And you pose some fantastic questions for fleshing out some of the realisms of war for a project like this. Welcome to the boards! I'll give some thoughts on some of these ponderings and how a book of this nature might handle them shortly...

Also, as an aside, I think many nation write-ups in a book of this nature could rely on sets of more generic troop statblocks in the bestiary portion. In other words, in a nation or kingdom's entry, it could state "this nation's standing army consists of 10 units of spearmen, 10 regiments of heavy cavalry, 20 longbowman units, and 30 units of irregular militia, etc." Because we don't need separate statblocks for Molthune Spearmen, Nidal Spearmen, Mendev Spearmen, etc.

Not only would this leave space for both the basic building-block statblocks that make up the system *and* more specialized, interesting regiments (like duegar raiders, for instance), it would defeat the modular, build-it-like-you-want-it nature of the point-sytem rules. If we go with a system like mine, inspired by the animated object's Construction Points (Army Points) ruleset, then a listing for, say, Mendev, could say "The infamous Bright Legion of Mendev consists of 30 troop units of base Heavy Cavalry statblock with the Organized, Extra Armor, Fast, and Upgraded Weapons special abilities." I'm sure there'd be some shorthand for that, and that would kill a lot of the redundancy you might otherwise expect.

I do not want this book. I NEED this book. This is what I was looking for for kingmaker for sometime, as this is how my group plays(I.e wants to take on armies on their own).

Grand Lodge

We need this!

Contributor

OK, then--folks...GREAT response to this over the last few months, so tell me:

What content would you like to see inside?

What Golarion army units are raising their banners and demanding to be featured?

What regions are heaviest in conflict that warrant overviews of their forces?

What renowned units from Golarion do you want to see?

What format do you expect? Statblock after statblock like Inner Sea Bestiary? Or do you want more information on regions in conflict, with lots of annotated, short-statted troop info, and one full unit statblock per featured region, with a format closer to Mystery Monsters Revisited?

Let me (and Paizo) hear what you'd expect this book to contain, and how it could best serve your game!


Brandon Hodge wrote:

OK, then--folks...GREAT response to this over the last few months, so tell me:

What content would you like to see inside?

What Golarion army units are raising their banners and demanding to be featured?

What regions are heaviest in conflict that warrant overviews of their forces?

What renowned units from Golarion do you want to see?

What format do you expect? Statblock after statblock like Inner Sea Bestiary? Or do you want more information on regions in conflict, with lots of annotated, short-statted troop info, and one full unit statblock per featured region, with a format closer to Mystery Monsters Revisited?

Let me (and Paizo) hear what you'd expect this book to contain, and how it could best serve your game!

In terms if what I want to see, you nailed it in the post I quoted earlier. Every country should have at least one elite or special troop company and beyond that a general listing of forces in a statblock format.


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Brandon Hodge wrote:
What content would you like to see inside?

A perfect Armies of Golarion/Inner Sea Armies book would, as I see it, contain 3 chapters.

The first chapter would contain fluff about hot spots in the Inner Sea region as well as text that details the armies of the nations that have the most potential for war. Structure and organization, tactics, (in)famous leaders and other warmongers of note.

The second chapter would focus on the troop subtype, providing GMs with tools for Heroes of Battle-style encounters where the characters play an active role in the battle. This chapter would expand on the subtype, much like you've done for your home game, Brandon. This chapter would also contain stat blocks relevant to the major conflicts in the Inner Sea region.

The third chapter would focus on Golarion-specific support for the mass combat rules featured in Ultimate Campaign, providing tools for games in which the players field armies but don't necessarily find themselves in the mud, frantically trying to survive. This chapter would feature stat blocks for use with the mass combat rules.

Quote:

What Golarion army units are raising their banners and demanding to be featured?

What regions are heaviest in conflict that warrant overviews of their forces?

As I see it, the regions that are ripe for warfare are:

The Linnorm Kingdoms/Irrisen
Mendev/The Realms of the Mammoth Lords/The Worldwound
Taldor/Qadira
Molthune/Nirmathas
Cheliax (because Cheliax)
Geb/Nex


I think Heine Stick hit it pretty well. I wouldn't want to just see stat blocks, but some kind of mix of descriptive text, stats for both Mass combat armies as well as smaller Troop units, perhaps some exclusive (or at least new) abilities for some of both.

I'd also like it to cover some more about putting PCs into the mass combat mix both on the leadership and Mass Combat levels, as well as the churning right into the mix headfirst Troop side, and what a mass combat/warfare campaign might consist of.


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I'd be all for this with the caveat that I'd really like to see the armies go weird in a big way. Ultimate combat contains stats for everything from air-ships to multiple launch rocket systems to a freaking battle-mech!.

I'd like to see a section of "Standard" units - given the rough culture of the setting I'd assume the average Avistani army of the day follows European lines in the 15th, 16th, and 17th century so big units of Pikes, two handed swordsmen, heavily armored foot and horse knights, crossbowmen to stand in for musketeers, and so forth. Get all the mundane troops out of the way in one section and include a section of feats that can be applied to a standard stat block to give them a national flavour. So a forty strong platoon of Cheliax pikemen could take an "Infernal Warcry" perk that gives them a chance to inflict the "Shaken" effect when they charge while a Kyonin long-bow platoon has an "Elven Precision" feat that let's them mass all of their fire against a single target with substantial bonuses. Andoran longbowmen, on the other hand, might have "Fiendslayer Arrows" as a feat that let's them fire a volley of cold-irow arrows when they come up against devils in Cheliax armies.

Then get into the fun stuff. Gebite undead mecha made by applying braided undead musculature to frameworks constructed from the bones of elephants and dragons. Davinci-style tanks rolling out of the factories in Alkenstar. Dwarven siege miner units that invade fortresses using dire-badgers as earthmoving machines. Giant mercenary units that hire themselves out as living siege engines.

I'd love to see some well thought out exploration of what warfare would actually look like in a fantasy kitchen sink world. How does the "Message" spell effect combat command and control? What are the preferred tactics for deploying griffon cavalry? How do orcs maintain their logistics train on the march? How do mortal armies deal with strange enemies like zombies, devils, trolls, and other supernatural beasties?

This has been going through my head since I found the Steam Giant entry in Ultimate Combat. 25 foot tall battle-mechs armed with a pair of siege engines is a real thing that actually happens in Golarion. So I have this image of a gigantic eagle-motif steam giant in formation with a small unit of armored hill-giants and a platoon of pikemen while a small squad of griffons wheel overhead. On the opposite side of the valley are two dozen Hellknights lining up for a charge while a pair of Barbazu herd platoons of lemures across the field and a Cheliax air-ship ascends to make a bombing-run with dozens of pots of alchemists fire.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Brandon Hodge wrote:

OK, then--folks...GREAT response to this over the last few months, so tell me:

What content would you like to see inside?

What Golarion army units are raising their banners and demanding to be featured?

What regions are heaviest in conflict that warrant overviews of their forces?

What renowned units from Golarion do you want to see?

What format do you expect? Statblock after statblock like Inner Sea Bestiary? Or do you want more information on regions in conflict, with lots of annotated, short-statted troop info, and one full unit statblock per featured region, with a format closer to Mystery Monsters Revisited?

Let me (and Paizo) hear what you'd expect this book to contain, and how it could best serve your game!

Okay. If you were to do something like this (and it seems increasingly likely Paizo may support it), then I'd be interested in seeing Troops generated from the various APs. For instance, a Troop of Goblins and a Troop of Stone Giants from Runelords, or a Troop of Serpentfolk from Serpent's Skull, or a Troop of Winter-Touched Pixies from Reign of Winter... and even a Troop of Dretch or Paladins from Wrath of the Righteous.

It'd also be interesting to have the rules designed so you can have troop vs. troop combat. Advanced rules could include weakening Troop damage as they are damaged.

(For that matter, while we've had Ultimate Combat, it could be interested to have an Advanced Combat that includes such concepts as "reduced effectiveness for characters who lose X percentage of hit points" but to be honest that might end up punishing higher-level characters and monsters more than low-level ones. Then again, this might not be a bad thing considering how much more effective they are anyway.)

One thing I was interested in from your previous threads and discussions included the "build points" for Troops. Thematically it makes sense for units to be armed with the same weapons... and for a mixed-weapons unit (say crossbowmen with a wall of pikemen protecting them) to be less effective.

You could also include information for different SIZES of Troops. For instance, a Troop of 9 soldiers, 12 warriors, or 16 warriors. The Troops schematic can actually reduce the amount of die-rolling for a GM - rather than having a dozen guards fighting the PCs, having them fight as one unit means the GM doesn't need to keep track of 12 different hit point sets and roll to hit with 12 different men. Thus it helps simplify things ultimately and would speed up the game.


I would like a book in which you devote the first chapter to rules for troops as a whole as well as a large point based option system for them. The system would be similar to animated objects but much larger. Following chapters would detail more specific groups whose armies could be stated as troops as well as options specific to those armies. In a Golarion focused book this would include discussion of the troop compositions for nations the PCs are most likely to fight: Cheliax, Worldwound Demons, the Technic League, Land of the Linnorm King, reanimated Osirion undead, etc. If it was a setting neutral book I'd likely describe different races and species including orcs, aberrations, goblins, demons, and undead.

Dark Archive

Mad Brandon strikes again!

This sounds *exactly* like what I need for the next session on saturday! I'm running a huge battle (a bit over 1000+ combatants), and I had to seriously tweak the Ultimate Campaign mass combat rules to make it work even marginally.

The problem lies in swinginess. Militia/standard goblin units less than 100 individuals are so weak (1 or 2 hp, I think), that they're practically wiped out with a single decent roll. I'd love to use several smaller units, as I can imagine a couple of high rolls deciding the battle, which makes the whole system... well, unusable. It doesn't really help with smaller units, though, because they're even more vulnerable to swinginess. I'd hate to tell my players "you know, your two backup units were just completely wiped out, and your archers on the wall? All 40 were taken down by orc javelins in a single round! Yeah, talk about mad luck, right?"

I hadn't even read this thread -- or Brandon's adventure -- but I also thought that armies could be statted out like swarms. After all, they have statblocks in Ultimate Campaign based on HD/LVL and group size, they have special abilities, so why not make them work like regular monsters or characters? I just didn't have time to do it myself, so I ended up with a really simple system of attack rolls and victory/defeat tokens.

Anyway. Brandon, I think your idea is brilliant, and I like the system of using Army Points to customize your troops. It is certainly more flexible and functional than what we have in Ultimate Campaign; probably also makes units less than 500 low level/HD warriors less "squishy" than they are now.

I strongly support this idea. Hopefully you could write this book before my group has to fight 3000+ orcs in a few months (the next session is just fore**** before the bigger battle). ;)


Our group finished Rasputin Must Die! a few weeks back and found the "troop" concept very handy as it does fill that gap between the mass combat and individual player levels rather well. So an Armies of Golarion would be awesome.

In addition to the points of conflict in Heine Stick's post:

Belkzen/Lastwall

Also there's some points of conflict in the subterranean regions and even on the continent of Tian Xia, although the latter could get some cover in "support articles" in later materials (like during an AP that touches that part of the world).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, what Heine Stick said. Detailed rules on how to build troops of all sizes are what I am most looking forward to. I would especially like to know how good large groups of low-level mooks can be made against high-level PC's. And how non-standard type of creatures work in the troop format.


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I think R. Chase is right, do a generic RPG book to handle most of the standard stuff and then do an Armies of Golarion book to cover the more campaign specific items. I would actually buy both as I could use one in my house campaign and the other for when we are running in Golarion

Scarab Sages

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N'wah wrote:

I'll do them as single minis, I think, and as three or four different figures set to be repeated in "rows". I'm leaning towards three, then providing some extras that can be added to the troop as you mentioned (if the extras aren't in that troop, we can just re-use a row). So for example, the sample troop from the Paizo Blog might have four riflemen kneeling, rifles pointed; behind them, a row of four standing, also pointing rifles; behind them, four soldiers reloading, and then behind them, four soldiers with rifles in hand but at low ready or just held...

Now, for added complexity, I could make a few different "extras" to add to a troop (machine gunner, commander, grenade-lobbing guy) at the numbers you want/need.

Don't forget that guy you get in every bag of toy soldiers, who's running at the enemy, screaming, with his gun pointing at thin air.

Even as a kid, I wondered WTH they thought they were doing.

"You, there, Private. What's that infernal din?"
"Sir, the regimental goat just bought the farm. Tomkins took it bad. Flipped his lid, it did."
"YOUUUKILLLEDMISSTERWOOOLLLY,YOUFILTHYHUNS!AH'MGONNNAGETYOUUUU!"
"I see. Well, we needed someone to test that minefield. At ease."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, is this book getting nearer to being a reality instead of a pipedream? I really want to see what Paizo's expanded rules on the troop concept are.

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