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Is a fun “War Campaign” possible? Find out here!

Ramaster

Explorer
Is a fun “War Campaign” possible? Find out here!

Hello!

I may be running a War Campaign in the upcoming months and I am going to use a method for resolving the conflict similar to Mass Effect 3. For those who weren't lucky enough to play this great game, basically you accumulate "War Assets" (Fleets, Infantry divisions, Good leaders, Rare resources, etc...) that add a certain number to your Military Strength. The military strength then gets multiplied by a Readiness percentage to give you a final Effective Military Strength (EMS) number. To at least win the final battle, you need a certain EMS (Something like 3.100 in the game). A higher number will unlock progressively better endings.

So, the idea for the campaign is basically this.

They will be defending a castle against a vicious assault by an army of ruthless dwarves. They start with some Assets (The castle itself, an infantry division, an allied wizard and an irregular company) and they have to upgrade them and gather new assets to increase their military strength. On Mass Effect, the readiness multiplier was based on your on-line performance of multiplayer and, since there is no "online performance of multiplayer" per se, on Pnp RPGs, I will use some other parameters to set it (Their Higher Arcane and Divine caster level; the total Fighter, Bard and Cavalier class levels; Highest Charisma, Intelligence and Wisdom Scores; Etc...).

To add some spice to it, unlike Mass Effect some assets will have a random number (For example, 20+2d10) and some will give them "Special Bonuses" that will be helpful during combat (For example, fighting inside the castle gives +2 to initiative checks). Therefore, they won't know exactly how strong their army will be until the battle starts.

The Campaign will be run on Pathfinder, but it can be switched to other sistems with little adjustments. So, this is the basic idea, tell me what you think!

The Attachment is a sample of the Assets they can acquire and the format I will be using to make them.

View attachment Forum.xls
 

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nomotog

Explorer
Sounds like a nice idea. How are you going to handle casualties or the advantages/disadvantages between unit types?
 

Ramaster

Explorer
I was just thinking about that...

Let’s say that the minimum goal is 3k points to win the war. The next "milestone" is at 4k and the final one is at 5k.

Each asset gets assigned a percentile table that you roll to see what happens to it after the conflict (this tables will, of course, not be known by the players until we have to roll on them). There are three tables total, and the higher your total point count, the more favorable the table you use.

Let’s take the Pigmen Infantry Platoon, for example.

Let’s say that you win with 3.000 to 3.999 points. They you roll on the following table to see what happens:

-----------------------------------------------------------
Table C
00-15: The unit was whipped out during the battle.
16-40: The unit sustained heavy losses during the battle and disbanded.
41-70: The unit took heavy casualties, but survived.
71-95: The unit took little casualties.
96-99: The unit took little to no casualties.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Then, let’s say that the PCs got more points, from 4.000 to 4.999 (the next milestone). Then the table might look something like this:

-----------------------------------------------------------
Table B
00-10: The unit was whipped out during the battle.
11-30: The unit sustained heavy losses during the battle and disbanded.
31-50: The unit took heavy casualties, but survived.
51-85: The unit took little casualties.
86-99: The unit took little to no casualties.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Finally, suppose that the PCs were very thorough and completed a lot of objectives, got high multipliers, etc. and got 5k+ points. Then they roll on the best table:

-----------------------------------------------------------
Table A
00-05: The unit was whipped out during the battle.
06-20: The unit sustained heavy losses during the battle and disbanded.
21-35: The unit took heavy casualties, but survived.
36-80: The unit took little casualties.
81-99: The unit took little to no casualties.
-----------------------------------------------------------

There is always a chance that any given unit was destroyed, just like in real life (I assume!). Furthermore, we can use different milestone values for each asset. Some things are more difficult to protect than others, a lightly armored peasant front line force is much less safe than a wizard on his tower. Then again, I might just use harsher tables for the peasants (Best case scenario, you have only 30% chances of saving them) than for the wizard (Worst case scenario, he still only dies with a roll of 10 or less).

They can certainly improve the odds. If they are very unlucky or if they take too much time to complete the objectives, then the time limit will run out and the war will be upon them. They may still win, but it would be a Pyrrhic victory. Smart management of resources and time, coupled with a little luck will let them stand a better fighting chance, just like in real life (I assume again!).

As for the Advantages/Disadvantages, I was thinking about altering the multiplier a little bit to compensate for the "Rock, Paper Scissors" component of warfare, but I won't get into too much detail, since this will make everything that much more complicated
 

Derren

Hero
I really dislike the Mass Effect approach as it doesn't really matter what War Assets you have.

In Pathfinder terms assuming they all have similar point values it doesn't matter if you have a whole mercenary legion, a dragon or an artifact sword despite them having vastly different functions and abilities.
 

Ramaster

Explorer
I really dislike the Mass Effect approach as it doesn't really matter what War Assets you have.

In Pathfinder terms assuming they all have similar point values it doesn't matter if you have a whole mercenary legion, a dragon or an artifact sword despite them having vastly different functions and abilities.
But those things ARE contemplated under this system. The sword, infantry regiment and dragon are different, because they can give you different special abilities.

The dragon might give you a 1xday AOE attack, the infantry regiment might give you some flanking buddies for some fights and the artifact sword is a magic item.

Not counting, of course, the imagination of the players and the roleplaying opportunities. Infantry might require an inspiring speech to raise moral, the dragon asks for tribute to serve the army and the sword might get stolen.
 

nomotog

Explorer
Your still going to use milestones? I would think it might just be easier to give then enemy there own war assist then just compare the numbers at the battle. That also lets the players do things like go on missions to stabtoge and or steal different war assists.
 

Ramaster

Explorer
Your still going to use milestones? I would think it might just be easier to give then enemy there own war assist then just compare the numbers at the battle. That also lets the players do things like go on missions to stabtoge and or steal different war assists.
The thing is that... it is all more or less the same, you know?

A:
"Ok, so you stole a valuable position from the enemy, subtract it from their EMS at -20, add that asset to yours (Net gain, +40 EMS)."

B:
"Ok, so you stole a valuable position from the enemy, add it to your Assets at 40 base points (Net gain, +40 EMS). The milestones remain the same, as usual."

It is only a matter of style, really (I would argue that B is a little more simple than A, since the target number is always the same). Option A makes it feel like you are actually fighting an enemy that abides to a set of rules similar to yours. B makes it feel like you are fighting something more abstract (that's the mood I want to set for the confrontation).
 


the Jester

Legend
Arrrgh, you're totally re-igniting my itch for some army-on-army action in my D&D game.

I'm one of those who likes the idea of adding a little wargaming to my D&D once in a while.
 

Ramaster

Explorer
Arrrgh, you're totally re-igniting my itch for some army-on-army action in my D&D game.

I'm one of those who likes the idea of adding a little wargaming to my D&D once in a while.
To me this just goes hand in hand.

You kill, like, 50 goblins on a fort and then the rest of the tribes gets angry. Suddenly you have 1000 angry goblins chasing after you. So you raise an army and fight back.
 

COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

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