What's a good set of rules for artillery?

Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

Warfare in my campaign setting tends to focus on small, spread out units of highly trained professional soldiers. One of (but certainly not the only) reasons for this style of combat revolves around the sheer power of alchemical artillery ammunition, which is prevalent enough on the battlefield that any unit that marches in close ranks is going to get completely shredded, leading to a general military culture that sees spreading the troops out as essential, which in turn favors smaller forces of highly trained and disciplined professionals. Of course, if it is established that artillery is such a vital and dangerous thing on the battlefield, there need to be rules to back it up. I have Ultimate Campaign but haven't had time to flip through it. Do the mass combat rules there cover artillery well? Any good homebrew systems to look at? I'm looking for something that makes artillery powerful. Like, "put ten men in a line and an acid-spitting cannonball will come in and wreck them" powerful.

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

You should also look at the rules for Siege Engines in Ultimate Combat. The mass combat rules in Ultimate Campaign downplay artillery (it's more expensive and less effective than fielding cavalry, unless dealing with fortifications).

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber


The firedrake or firewyrm siege engines are probably suitable for your needs. Both can produces cones of fire 6d6 cones of fire (30'/60') that would crush massed troops. Just adjust the costs down.

Though in truth you are probably better of creating your own custom item that does what you want. Probably costed around a (crafted) scroll of fireball of the given magnitude per shot. (187.5gp for a 5d6, reflex 14dc, 20' radius, 480' range). That can be use once per X rounds.

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