D&D 5E World Building: Army building

Stalker0

Legend
I'd hope that 4hp commoner fodder might at least bee given some training. 11 hp guards would certainly have a different standard but they are still a way short of rarer 52 hp knights or 58 hp veterans.
The reference I saw in Eberon talked up magic.
View attachment 288685
Certainly the problem for AoE casters in D&D warfare is that troops may not clump together.
The real problem for 5e casters is the longbow. Back in 3e, long range spells were true artillery, with ranges in the 600+ feet or more.

In 5e, you generally get 150 feet for spells like fireball, versus 600 feet for the longbow.

So “realistically” any mage squad would have to be well protected, likely moved in some kind of reinforced box or something with just an arrow slit opening so they could cast magic without being taken out from a much longer range.

So while yes casters would certainly influence the battlefield it’s not quite the same as older editions when magic ranges are much longer than they are now.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Stalker0

Legend
The real problem for 5e casters is the longbow. Back in 3e, long range spells were true artillery, with ranges in the 600+ feet or more.

In 5e, you generally get 150 feet for spells like fireball, versus 600 feet for the longbow.

So “realistically” any mage squad would have to be well protected, likely moved in some kind of reinforced box or something with just an arrow slit opening so they could cast magic without being taken out from a much longer range.

So while yes casters would certainly influence the battlefield it’s not quite the same as older editions when magic ranges are much longer than they are now.
Probably the really strong battlefield spell would actually be tiny hut of all things. Put 9 archers on elevated terrain, cast the spell as a ritual like an hour before the expected battle. You now have a squad that can fire at will in complete safety, with a mage inside ready to blast when things got closer.

The only counter would be a dispelling mage who would need to approach within 150 ft, so again you would probably need an armored carrier of some sort…which a good defender would nasty up the terrain (even a simple mold earth spell could do the job) to make moving into range as hard as possible.

What makes the tiny hut so good is as a ritual, your mages can fall back and reset new huts, while the enemy dispels are limited. So in protracted battle your huts become invincible
 

Oofta

Legend
Probably the really strong battlefield spell would actually be tiny hut of all things. Put 9 archers on elevated terrain, cast the spell as a ritual like an hour before the expected battle. You now have a squad that can fire at will in complete safety, with a mage inside ready to blast when things got closer.

The only counter would be a dispelling mage who would need to approach within 150 ft, so again you would probably need an armored carrier of some sort…which a good defender would nasty up the terrain (even a simple mold earth spell could do the job) to make moving into range as hard as possible.

What makes the tiny hut so good is as a ritual, your mages can fall back and reset new huts, while the enemy dispels are limited. So in protracted battle your huts become invincible
Yeah, that's why I house rule that no attacks can go either way. That way it's a nice utility hiding spot, but not an overpowered ultimate fortress.

On the other hand if you're defending a castle it's not that much better than just attacking from an arrow slit. At least not until the enemy archers have Sharpshooter in which case they can peg you from 600 feet with no penalty because they saw a shadow.
 

nevin

Hero
It kind of annoys me how few spells there are for specific medical problems. I understand that Dr House isn't necessarily a great DnD character, but you'd think there's be a "remove acne" spell somewhere. Not one people prepare often, but out there.
This has been a problem since the beginning. When you start playing around with how spells could and (probably would) will change things it's like any technology just spirals out of control. So Developers take the easy road and religions are control freaks who don't want to waste thier resources and mages all sit in towers only doing their thing because who wants to help people?

But sure with magic there would be hundreds if not thousands of spells people came up with to help thier relatives, rich nobles etc. Plus all the dark creepy stuff the baddies of the world would do get thier way and to get what they want. Problem I've had over the years is some people are so hung up on thier dream characters from thier favorite stories that they will completely shut down in a game where time has moved on and that codgy old wizard in a tower got left behind by the Dumbledore's of the world.
 

I guess WotC is very interested into a D&D wargame, a step beyond "warriors of krynn", and easy to be adapted into strategy videogame for mobiles and tablets, but to create a munchkingproof game is a harder challenge. Do you know the debate of "clay golem vs tarrasque"?

Maybe WotC can launche in the future a new "Chainmail", an evolution of Warriors of Krynn and with more cards, and an app for solo games.

And we don't know if they are going to update old classes for wargame: the warmage and the marshall/warlord.

Magic is very powerful, but expensive. And we haven't got enough experience with the potential power of the "incantations", "rituals" by people with low or zero magic level.

With magic you could send a message asking help because your stronghold is being attacked, or war beasts could be ordered to attack this or that enemy.

The action-live movie "D&D: Honor among Thieves" gives a clear example of how "wild shape" can be used to spy, infiltration and escape.

Magic item created for a battlefield could be with a totally different time of reload, or single-use/consumable.

Chemical and biological magic weapons could be used in the war, but these should be forbidden, and here it could be hardly punished by the war deities in the afterlife. Even fallen soldiers could be reanimated as "revenants" to take revengue against the war criminals.

Magic defense against ballistic damage could be relatively "cheap" because war deities don't like firearms. A different thing is if the firearm is totally crafted by the gunslinger himself.
 

Stalker0

Legend
This has been a problem since the beginning. When you start playing around with how spells could and (probably would) will change things it's like any technology just spirals out of control. So Developers take the easy road and religions are control freaks who don't want to waste thier resources and mages all sit in towers only doing their thing because who wants to help people?

But sure with magic there would be hundreds if not thousands of spells people came up with to help thier relatives, rich nobles etc. Plus all the dark creepy stuff the baddies of the world would do get thier way and to get what they want. Problem I've had over the years is some people are so hung up on thier dream characters from thier favorite stories that they will completely shut down in a game where time has moved on and that codgy old wizard in a tower got left behind by the Dumbledore's of the world.
This was also partially handled by design rules.

For example, in early editions wizards had to roll to determine if they can learn a certain spell. So there was no guarrantee you could learn fireball, you literally just might not ever be able to know that spell.

Also, spells used to have the requirement of 10+spell level in your casting stat to cast a spell of that level. So in order to cast a fireball a Wizard had to have a 13 int. A 9th level spell took a 19 int, etc.

Taken from a world building standpoint, this was easy ways to explain why certain magics were just incredibly rare. Its already rare enough for a wizard to make it to 5th level, but then they also have to be a good amount more intelligent than the norm. and then if you go more old school there was only a chance they could cast the spell in question.
 

I'd hope that 4hp commoner fodder might at least bee given some training. 11 hp guards would certainly have a different standard but they are still a way short of rarer 52 hp knights or 58 hp veterans.
So this is a good list of NPC thoughts. A town guard and a castle guard are not really the same thing but lets say they use the same stats. the Veterans are you experienced soldiers... so are guards and commoner your foot soldier?
 

There's a lot here to touch on and there's just no one right way for everyone. I haven't had an occasion to worry about armies fighting since I started running 5e, but if I were to do so in the future, I'd use BECMI's The War Machine rules updated for 5e. It assigns a force rating to an army (or divisions of an army) and abstracts things so you can roll an outcome rather than using miniatures or rolling out combat conventionally with large numbers of individuals.

Unfortunately, I can't find the converted rules on the web, but I do have the rules and an accompanying Excel sheet that I can up load.
That would be awesome!
 

Oofta

Legend
So this is a good list of NPC thoughts. A town guard and a castle guard are not really the same thing but lets say they use the same stats. the Veterans are you experienced soldiers... so are guards and commoner your foot soldier?
Wouldn't that depend on the unit? Any army is made up of a mix of soldiers, from green recruits to battle-hardened warriors. So your front line infantry may be your CR 1/2 soldier and the cavalry is made of veterans. Your conscript commoners are the CR 1/8 guards.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Wouldn't that depend on the unit? Any army is made up of a mix of soldiers, from green recruits to battle-hardened warriors. So your front line infantry may be your CR 1/2 soldier and the cavalry is made of veterans. Your conscript commoners are the CR 1/8 guards.
It also plays into how common your common soldiers are compared to the PCs.

For example, that CR 1/2 solider is NO JOKE. Its has a very nice AC with expensive chain mail and a shield. It has 16 hp. And it makes two attacks! That is a pretty elite solider, close to a 3rd level pc fighter in certain ways.

Even the CR 1/8 guard isn't too shabby. They still have an expensive chain shirt and are trained well in the use of the spear. I would say this is closer to your front line soldier.

Realistically your common conscript would have a +0 to attack with a spear (barely any training), deal 1d6 damage, an AC of 12 (only a shield), and 4 hp.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top