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Old 05-15-2009, 01:02 AM   #1
Tyneras
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Kentucky, USA
Default Forgotten Realms War Campaign

My tiny circle of gaming friends has gotten smaller due to people following jobs to other states, and our old game has been shelved for now because it saps the fun to have 25% of the party not there for more than one night.

So I we have decided it sounds like an interesting idea to break out GURPS Mass Combat and watch Faerun become engulfed in apocalyptic war. We intend this game to be more like Risk than a normal game, with some more regular one-shot adventures for interesting scenarios as they crop up.

What I would like some help with is getting good troop strength values and the related war making capability of the city-states of Faerun. I can do a decent job converting individuals into GURPS, but Mass Combat is something I am only just now dipping my toe into. I can make a Beholder, or a Drow warrior, or whatever in GURPS stats, but how do I make that a TS score?

I will be getting my FR 3.5 books out of the storage unit this weekend, so any help will be much appreciated. =)
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:07 PM   #2
baakyocalder
 
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Default Re: Forgotten Realms War Campaign

Well, the first thing you do in GURPS Mass Combat for determining TS score is determine what type of troops you have. Let's take your beholder and drow warriors as examples.

Beholder: Well, the beholder can fly through its levitation organ and has a variety of lethal attacks. Beholders have some armor, but their eyestalks are vulnerable and so are parts of their eyes. Looking at the special element types on page 6-7, it's pretty obvious that beholders are not armor, cavalry, C3I, artillery, naval, engineering, recon or transport in the setting. Beholders could be Air Combat, but Levitation isn't like a flight of pegasi or a dragon or djini or flying carpet, so I'll rule that out. Death rays, flesh to stone rays, disintegration rays and other attack rays of the beholder are nasty, but they may not be Fire given the ranges of Fireball and other direct damage spells. So, I'd go with Beholders as not being of any special unit class. For mobility, the beholder is basically on foot, though levitation makes him more mobile then a regular soldier, so Bob the Beholder and his fellow beholder warriors are probably Airborne like the airborne ninja on page 6 to reflect the ability of beholders to deploy in three dimensions. Or, you could call them Slow Air Mobility since they can travel for a long period of time with levitation, but not very fast. Hero or Supersoldier is a given. So, your beholders will then look at their armor for troop type. Per page 19 of Mass Combat, Flying Mages look pretty close, to beholders so start with a TS 5 per beholder and modify based on the beholder's AC and training.

Drow warrior: Well,the drow warrior is clearly some kind of infantry and maybe engineering or recon, depending on training. Light Infantry, which is TS 2, is a good base.

The key here is to look at your unit's general quality of gear, quality of training and abilities and pick what's closest to it. TS is a ballpark abstraction .. .
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:01 AM   #3
gjc8
 
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Default Re: Forgotten Realms War Campaign

Most humanoids will be simply fall into the appropriate classes of TL 3 (or 2 for eg, Mulhorand, and 4 for Lantan) troops.

As an example, drow will mostly be light infantry, with the hand-crossbows being equivalent of shortbows or similar, generally of high quality. Depending on how you play the sunlight vulnerability, Drow forced to fight in daylight may be reduced in quality, or simply unavailable (as if they were casualties). I'd probably treat the drow "magical" weapons as simply fine or very fine (same thing for, eg, mithril hall dwarves).

I believe 3e Mass Combat had a system for giving bonus TS to troops with higher ST, which you might be able to adapt for Ogres, etc.

Beholders, and other highly unusual beasts, are harder to figure out, and will depend on how you convert them to GURPS in the first place. Keeping in mind the significant philosophical differences between D&D and GURPS regarding magic and scaling, and the incredible diversity of powers a beholder has, I don't even know what a converted beholder would look like.
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Old 05-16-2009, 02:31 PM   #4
baakyocalder
 
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Default Re: Forgotten Realms War Campaign

Mass Combat 4e is what I am referring to.

It has monster units such as Flying Beasts for creatures like wyverns and eagles, giant flying monster for dragons, flying mage for mages with air mobility, and ogres which includes ogres and trolls and similar sized creatures.

While GURPS Mass Combat 4e uses many of the concepts developed in prior mass combat systems for GURPS, it goes beyond those with more detailed descriptors of units. This makes it fairly simple to make a new unit like the Flying Ninja, which are on page 4 of the e-book.

Hero and Supersoldier units reflect exceptionally powerful units. A hero unit is one character, instead of say, a modern light infantry squad of about 10 troops. Making a unit a Hero unit means one character is equivalent to a normal squad of that unit. A supersoldier unit is something like a combat android or vampire and is twice as powerful as a regular trooper.

So, beholders and other fantasy creatures are harder to assign units, but the Fantastical Elements on pages 18-19 should suffice. Other units will fit the various land or naval elements.
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:09 PM   #5
Pragmatic
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Default Re: Forgotten Realms War Campaign

I seem to remember that D&D (2e?) had a mass combat system.

Yes. Battlesystem (2nd Edition).

I don't have a copy of it any more, not even the PDF.
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:34 PM   #6
Tyneras
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Default Re: Forgotten Realms War Campaign

Thank you so much to those who replied before. This is a bit late, but real life happens, often in the worst way.

We ran some test battles and Mass Combat is just awesome (<3 Pulver). The actual game should start next weekend and I have only a few questions that I hope I can be helped with.

The various humanoids are easy enough to work with, but I have a question about the iconic dragon. Dragons (in D&D, at least) have a wide range of power across their life span, unlike most creatures which reach a single mature stage. Should the various points in the life of a dragon be modeled as a Giant Flying Monster with improving troop and gear quality? Or maybe each stage of life should be a steadily more powerful Giant Flying Monster, using troop and gear quality to represent experience and combat worthy treasures at the dragons disposal? I am leaning toward the second, but perhaps those with more experience have encountered problems that are less than obvious?

The other question is how many fighters would be available for a town or city of arbitrary size. If a town or city suffered a surprise attack, what percentage could be counted on to stand and fight with any effectiveness? The few numbers I have seen seem to indicate that a city can raise approximately 10% of it's population as an army with time to prepare and plan, but if that impression is mistaken, I would love to have more accurate numbers.
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:59 PM   #7
RyanW
 
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Default Re: Forgotten Realms War Campaign

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyneras View Post
The various humanoids are easy enough to work with, but I have a question about the iconic dragon. Dragons (in D&D, at least) have a wide range of power across their life span, unlike most creatures which reach a single mature stage. Should the various points in the life of a dragon be modeled as a Giant Flying Monster with improving troop and gear quality? Or maybe each stage of life should be a steadily more powerful Giant Flying Monster, using troop and gear quality to represent experience and combat worthy treasures at the dragons disposal? I am leaning toward the second, but perhaps those with more experience have encountered problems that are less than obvious?
I'd go with the latter, as well. Adding a few more steps between Flying Beast and Giant Flying Beast shouldn't be too hard and won't break anything if done with a little care.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyneras View Post
The other question is how many fighters would be available for a town or city of arbitrary size. If a town or city suffered a surprise attack, what percentage could be counted on to stand and fight with any effectiveness? The few numbers I have seen seem to indicate that a city can raise approximately 10% of it's population as an army with time to prepare and plan, but if that impression is mistaken, I would love to have more accurate numbers.
I've heard similar numbers, but couldn't tell you whether that meant a city expected 10% of the population to be at least marginally equipped and trained for militia duty (if nothing else, own a spear and a helmet, and know which was which), or 10% of the population were men that met minimal physical and temperamental requirements (able-bodies and not an abject coward).
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