Armies of Golarion suggestion


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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I would like to second Brandon Hodge's suggestion for a book called Armies of Golarion, containing the stats of the armies of some nations of Golarion.

Using the Ultimate Campaign mass combat rules and the new troop sybtype intreduced in the Raspitin must Die AP, this would be very a interesting product.

Edit: Dang, didn't get Brandon'st post in the link. It is on page 16.


Ooh! I like this idea. Count me as a supporter!

Contributor

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Discussion started here for those interested--gotcha covered, Goldomark!

The basic concept of the troop rules if a sort of amalgamated statblock similar to how swarms are handled, with all of the individuals components (human warriors, groaning zombie hordes, cavalry, etc) treated as a single creature.

The concept was birthed pretty simply, actually. I started grouping units of battlefield/mass combat minis for my home game in 3x3 formations...which is the same dimension as a Huge creature. *lightbulb*

That, and by treating groups in this manner, it not only gives new life and use to large groups of low-CR minions and mooks that are much less effective individually at higher level, but also enables you to have massive battlefield conflicts using the same ruleset we're all familiar with, without having to learn a new subsystem. And the biggest bonus is the ability to zoom down on an individual level and pit your mummy-skewering paladin PC against Tar-Baphon's legions or have your rogue infiltrate enemy lines while River Kingdom bandits pillage a town, all without having to shift to another rules system for mass combat.

My home pdf expands on these rules to make them modular in a similar fashion to animated objects--troops of different CRs (basic human warrior squad, basic zombie horde, etc) have "Army Points" to spend to improve on the base statblock. You might outfit them with improved armor for 1 AP, give them reach weapons with another AP, and spend two to give them the Aggressive quality to grant them an extra attack--if you've got 4 to spend. It is actually really fun to play around with, but those rules didn't make it into the RMD version for obvious reasons (they weren't needed there for the one statblock we needed, though you can see some of the variations built on the concept).

There are also negative qualities that let you trade points back, like Ill-Equipped or Undisciplined, which negatively impact the base statblock but gets you some points back to spend on other qualities. And I wrote rules for "Attachments"--minis you can add to a unit to give them extra abilities based on basic class abilities, like "Medic" to get a little healing burst or "Musician" to get a bard-like bonus on the battlefield.

I think the idea would be to provide write-ups and statblocks for different troops and regiments of Golarion using these rules (Paizo didn't see all of this when I turned-in Rasputin Must Die, so some of this is new to them and beyond what we used in the adventure), and I think they could be GREAT future Bestiary additions for creepy goblin death squads and zombie hordes to act as a challenging new type of foe for higher-level PCs.

Get behind it, folks, and I'll lead the charge!


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As I mentioned in the Reign of Winter #5: Rasputin Must Die! thread, I would love to an Armies of Golarion book. One that contains options for both types of combat - the type of combat that has the characters in the thick of it, dishing out worlds of hurt to hordes/legions/squads of adversaries (thinking Heroes of Battle'ish adventures here) and one that lets the characters be the generals, kings, and queens fielding armies but not necessarily being involved in the nitty gritty.

The troop subtype presented in Reign of Winter #5: Rasputin Must Die! would work well for the former, I think, while the mass combat rules presented in Ultimate Campaign would work well for the latter.

So, I could see this book divided into 3 chapters.

Chapter 1 would contain general advice on running mass combat encounters of both types, provide an overview of the various armies and military mindsets of the Inner Sea region, and give us some game mechanics to work with, such as the expansions Brandon mentioned.

Chapter 2 would contain stat blocks for various Golarion-specific armies and units built using the troop subtype.

Chapter 3 would contain a host of stat Golarion-specific stat blocks for use with the mass combat system presented in Ultimate Campaign.

So yeah, Armies of Golarion would be #2 on my Pathfinder Campaign Setting Wish List with a Mendev sourcebook being #1 (I haven't given up hope just yet). Hell, I could see a player-focused companion to this in the Player Companion line. Soldiers of Golarion?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I too would love to see an Armies of Golarion book, with stats for the various armed forces of the campaign's towns and countries.

Maybe we could get a kingdoms of Golarion book with kingdom stats for the various nations, while we're at it?


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I would also like to see something along these lines...though not just stats, but ranks, recruitment, background, training, etc.

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Brandon Hodge wrote:


The basic concept of the troop rules if a sort of amalgamated statblock similar to how swarms are handled, with all of the individuals components (human warriors, groaning zombie hordes, cavalry, etc) treated as a single creature.

The concept was birthed pretty simply, actually. I started grouping units of battlefield/mass combat minis for my home game in 3x3 formations...which is the same dimension as a Huge creature. *lightbulb*

The concept isn't all that new (I used a similar concept two years ago, and have read a couple other similar takes on the mob or unit concept,) but I really like your spin in the idea and how it was handled in official print. Good job.

I too would enjoy a book like this. Military minded PCs would love to lead and fight wars.


I would also be interested in such a book...I hate that low level mooks, as individual threats, become pointless after the PC's reach a certain level, and troops would allow such threats to still be relevant at high level.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

goldomark wrote:
Edit: Dang, didn't get Brandon'st post in the link. It is on page 16.

Fixed link in your post. But please continue that discussion *here* and not there.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

I would also love to see an Armies of Golarion book!! Bring on the armies of one of my favorite campaign settings.


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John Kretzer wrote:
I would also like to see something along these lines...though not just stats, but ranks, recruitment, background, training, etc.

Agree! Plus some commanders for these armies.

Sovereign Court Contributor

Throw in a strategy game and a hex-map of Avistan, and it's Cheliax versus everyone!

Wasn't there, oh yeah, "Greyhawk Wars." That actually changed the political map of the Flanaess.

Such a book should cover foraging by different units as well.
And mercenary companies.

This would make an excellent tie-in to an AP involving a regional war. Actually, the current general peacefulness of the CS (except for border wars, i.e., Lastwall, Molthune, the Worldwound) is kinda weird from a RW historical perspective. The culture of the Inner Sea reads as 15th-16th century, a period of many international wars.


goldomark wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
I would also like to see something along these lines...though not just stats, but ranks, recruitment, background, training, etc.
Agree! Plus some commanders for these armies.

Yes I forgot that. I am starting to think they would have to divide these books up by regions...like Armies of Varisia and Armies of the North, etc.


I could definitely get behind a project like this. As I mentioned in the Rasputin thread, the Troop Subtype was the first thing I noticed in that adventure that just popped out at me, and immediately grabbed my attention.

I hope more is done with this concept in some manner, even if not in an Armies of Golarion book, but again- I'd be for the Armies book, too! :)

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Want. The troops in Rasputin Must Die! look really cool and interesting to run. The rules on how to make my own for homebrew games would be amazing to have available.

Contributor

I'm for it!

Liberty's Edge

I wholeheartedly support this idea. Preferably including stats for both a 'typical soldier' for low-level games and a 'typical unit' for higher level games...which would also give us some neat examples of how to convert from one to the other if we desired to (and the stats a captured enemy soldier from a defeated unit is likely to have).


I'd like to see this, but with some support for both the Troop subtype and the Mass Combat Rules from Ultimate Campaign.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

YES.

Silver Crusade

MMCJawa wrote:
I would also be interested in such a book...I hate that low level mooks, as individual threats, become pointless after the PC's reach a certain level, and troops would allow such threats to still be relevant at high level.

Yes.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yes, please sir!


Count me in! I was really hoping for a mass combat system that allowed PCs to fight masses of troops before like level 10.

The way I handle it now is an adapted homebrew 3.5 swarm humanoid creature, making every 30 ish guys be a single platoon creature. That works for now where I can have up to 10 creatures being a decent skirmisher force, but it lacks flexibility of builds short of a couple formation and teamwork feats.

They end up being about CR 7-9, cr 5 for peasant mobs. I would love to have something better though.

I don't particularly like that if you're fighting 50 guys in lockstep march and you hurl a fireball, it's an equivalent of +3 to the d20 roll as opposed to being a devastating tactic. The mass combat system works well for when it's really mass or really powerful, but the mid levels suffer a good bit.


I, for one, want to see what a troop of Quain heroes would do :)


Brandon Hodge wrote:

Discussion started here for those interested--gotcha covered, Goldomark!

The basic concept of the troop rules if a sort of amalgamated statblock similar to how swarms are handled, with all of the individuals components (human warriors, groaning zombie hordes, cavalry, etc) treated as a single creature.

The concept was birthed pretty simply, actually. I started grouping units of battlefield/mass combat minis for my home game in 3x3 formations...which is the same dimension as a Huge creature. *lightbulb*

That, and by treating groups in this manner, it not only gives new life and use to large groups of low-CR minions and mooks that are much less effective individually at higher level, but also enables you to have massive battlefield conflicts using the same ruleset we're all familiar with, without having to learn a new subsystem. And the biggest bonus is the ability to zoom down on an individual level and pit your mummy-skewering paladin PC against Tar-Baphon's legions or have your rogue infiltrate enemy lines while River Kingdom bandits pillage a town, all without having to shift to another rules system for mass combat.

My home pdf expands on these rules to make them modular in a similar fashion to animated objects--troops of different CRs (basic human warrior squad, basic zombie horde, etc) have "Army Points" to spend to improve on the base statblock. You might outfit them with improved armor for 1 AP, give them reach weapons with another AP, and spend two to give them the Aggressive quality to grant them an extra attack--if you've got 4 to spend. It is actually really fun to play around with, but those rules didn't make it into the RMD version for obvious reasons (they weren't needed there for the one statblock we needed, though you can see some of the variations built on the concept).

There are also negative qualities that let you trade points back, like Ill-Equipped or...

Sounds really .. really good.

I'd definitely buy these rules.
I'd even pay you for the file you have right now ^^

Shadow Lodge

Jeff Erwin wrote:
Throw in a strategy game and a hex-map of Avistan, and it's Cheliax versus everyone!

A hex map of Avistan, you say?

Key:
Green = Grasslands
Tan = Arable Hills
Yellow = Desert
Orange = Infertile Hills
Brown = Mountains
Purple = Swamp
Blue = Water
Gray = Cities
Maroon Squares = Special Site

NB: Far from complete.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm also all for it. The troop statblocks were excellently made in the adventure.


Jeff Erwin wrote:
Actually, the current general peacefulness of the CS (except for border wars, i.e., Lastwall, Molthune, the Worldwound) is kinda weird from a RW historical perspective. The culture of the Inner Sea reads as 15th-16th century, a period of many international wars.

There is a critical difference, in that all we had to deal with on Earth in that time period was each other. Golarion is plagued with monsters and savage humanoids; keeping workers and farmers safe from extra-national threats must occupy a lot of any army's time. If you go to war with your neighbor, what happens when goblins swoop out of the forest and start burning your farms?


This book(or books) should also involve section on Special Forces( Re: adventures)...so it can be even useful for those who don't want to get bogged down in Mass Combat.

Sovereign Court Contributor

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Jeff Erwin wrote:
Actually, the current general peacefulness of the CS (except for border wars, i.e., Lastwall, Molthune, the Worldwound) is kinda weird from a RW historical perspective. The culture of the Inner Sea reads as 15th-16th century, a period of many international wars.
There is a critical difference, in that all we had to deal with on Earth in that time period was each other. Golarion is plagued with monsters and savage humanoids; keeping workers and farmers safe from extra-national threats must occupy a lot of any army's time. If you go to war with your neighbor, what happens when goblins swoop out of the forest and start burning your farms?

True... so perhaps these colossal continental wars would be most likely with monstrous kingdoms. But we know from Cheliax and Taldor that such international conflicts did occur. Was the wilderness safer then? I doubt it... So given enough rationale, countries do invade each other. They just haven't recently.

Shadow Lodge

Jeff Erwin wrote:
True... so perhaps these colossal continental wars would be most likely with monstrous kingdoms. But we know from Cheliax and Taldor that such international conflicts did occur. Was the wilderness safer then? I doubt it... So given enough rationale, countries do invade each other. They just haven't recently.

Sometimes they do.

AP Spoilers:
Skull and Shackles takes place before and during a Chelaxian invasion of the Shackles. Reign of Winter kicks off when Queen Elvanna starts invading other countries all over the world - albeit via magical portals and not by force marching her army across territory. Kingmaker incorporates a war between Pitax and Narland (the PCs' kingdom) as part of its action.

Speaking of the Troop subtype, perhaps Brandon can answer this:

Should troops still be subject to flanking from other troops, even if they aren't from individuals?


An example of troops here.

I certainly would like to see them in Bestiary 4. Any word on that?


I'd be surprised if anything from the RoW AP is appearing in Bestiary 4.

And yeah, Armies of Golarian would be a cool thing to have happen.

Contributor

Cthulhudrew wrote:

Speaking of the Troop subtype, perhaps Brandon can answer this:

Should troops still be subject to flanking from other troops, even if they aren't from individuals?

I can't answer *officially,* but in the home rules system I used to build the troops found in RMD, yes.


I think there's a lot that could be done with this kind of material in further books.


Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Jeff Erwin wrote:
Actually, the current general peacefulness of the CS (except for border wars, i.e., Lastwall, Molthune, the Worldwound) is kinda weird from a RW historical perspective. The culture of the Inner Sea reads as 15th-16th century, a period of many international wars.
There is a critical difference, in that all we had to deal with on Earth in that time period was each other. Golarion is plagued with monsters and savage humanoids; keeping workers and farmers safe from extra-national threats must occupy a lot of any army's time. If you go to war with your neighbor, what happens when goblins swoop out of the forest and start burning your farms?

You hire adventurers?

Also, I would so love to see an Armies of Golarion book. Heck, I'd get that Soldiers of Golarion book mentioned above.


Brandon Hodge wrote:
I can't answer *officially,* but in the home rules system I used to build the troops found in RMD, yes.

Intent is good enough for me! Thanks for this and all of your insights on the Troop type.


I would buy an Armies of Golarion book...

Brendon what sort of critical mass do you need for Paizo to publish the book?


I to would love to see what Paizo could do with the troop sub-type. It has a lot of possibilities for mid-scale battles. So a product like Armies of Golarion would be interesting.


The army and troops of nations I would like to see are:

-Geb
-Nex
-Numeria
-Kyonin
-Cheliax
-Osirion
-A drow army
-A duergar army

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

Hey! Don't forget my beloved Taldor!


Mendev
Ustalav
Qadira
The Worldwound (we might see something in that regard in Wrath of the Righteous)
The Linnorn Kingdoms
Irrisen
Realms of the Mammoth Lords
Nirmathas
Molthune
Nidal...

The list of military units that could potentially go into an Armies of Golarion book is very long. The cool thing is, though, that stat blocks for Golarion-specific military units won't be confined to a single 64-page Campaign Setting book. What we don't get in Armies of Golarion, we can get in adventure paths, modules, and other Campaign Setting books.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As a war gamer, I find this thread very interesting. But I do want seem like an idiot. I just have some ideas to throw out there. If I repeat anything mentioned before, I'm sorry. Anyhow, this is my first post...so here i go.

One aspect to start off is that sometimes the smalest actions tip the balance for the whole of the battle or campaign. So, think ablout small skirmishes in addition to large, mega, earth shattering battles. In war, soldiers take away from the production of a nation. How would this be factored in.

What are the organization of nations forces including histories of elite units. structure (remember this is fantasy, so not corps levels or such but may go from Roman or Byzantine formations), lyfestyle in and out of camp, recruitment, advancement in rank (if possible), religion in military, Navy, flying forces, magical and clerical forces.

Do the armies move like mobs or in formations. How do they campaign. what is their national, provincial, religious, racial motivation to serve.

Are there different levels of service? How about militia. Hatred towards other countries (I know this has been mentioned in other source books).

My final thoughts, this would be an untimate book. A way to destroy civilizations and raise up others.

Contributor

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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.


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Just showing up to.....support the troops.

Grand Lodge

Ditto. My players have released an Azlanti Army upon the world, and I've been looking for ways to figure how far their influence will go.
These rules are just in time!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

PLEASE make this book. :)


Why I understand the need for a bunch of premade units, I would really appreciate it if you primarily used them as examples and included the full point buy system for the troops simply because of how useful such out of the box customization is for GMs. It would be especially helpful if while detailing each nation's army you have the previously mentioned 12 horsemen units 4 spearmen, etc then a few sentences detailing what special abilities from the point buy system would be appropriate without having fully stat each nation's variants.

Sczarni

It would be cool if the rules for this were out by the time that my players accidentally release a Thassilonian fleet from its 10,000 year temporal displacement.

That's pretty much my campaign's endpoint, though, so any time in the next two years would be fine! :)


Yeah, this opens up a lot of possibilities.

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

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