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Old 06-17-2021, 12:37 PM   #1
Nils_Lindeberg
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Professional Soldiers

We can all agree that clubs are a little OP, but the major disadvantage is that you can't make fine versions of them, and there is no Club Expertise. So I think they are ok and clubs won't outshine normal weapons. But this thought got me thinking about how common master-crafted weapons and armor, as well as enchanted ones, should be?

Every professional soldier should have a balanced or very fine melee weapon. They cost, maybe ten weeks' wages, but make you 10-40% better at fighting. Who in their right mind wouldn't get that after years in the profession? And most likely they would have a +1 enchanted armor and shield too. Every other profession would invest heavily in their own equipment so why not soldiers.

If you are working as a Cab driver today, you would have a car, a piece of equipment that costs so you many months of earnings. A medieval fisherman probably bought a boat to use for fishing and expects to work it off after a few years. A farmer has bought land, a craftsman has his shop, and so on.

If your life was on the line how much would you pay to increase your survival chances and your efficiency by 20%?

And a truly professional rich noble, like a knight? I would be surprised if not most of them had a warhorse for like 5k, a Fine plate +2 for another 7k and a shield +3 for 4k, and a very fine sword +3DX for another 5k.

A hedge knight, down on his luck could spend less than a 1000 and ride a nag, but still. What level of equipment should people have if we go by the prices in The Lab. and the job tables there? Assuming that Weapon and armor enchantments are fairly common at IQ 14.

Take the knight above, he would have 13 points of armor in the front, and all of a sudden you would actually need a big 2H weapon to pierce that, or a very fine, and enchanted, weapon of your own. Or you would have to charge with a lance, wrestle them to the ground, stab them in the back or aim a dirk through the faceguard to take them down. All fairly historic. Is this intentional? That most weapons and armor should be made at fine quality level and often be a little bit enchanted?

Thoughts?

I am running a knight's focused campaign, and I am still a little worried about where to set the equipment level among ordinary soldiers and non heroic knights.
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Old 06-17-2021, 01:21 PM   #2
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

Have you considered a mixed force of knights, men at arms, militia, and mercenaries?

Send out a knight alone and some hobgoblin will bola his steed.
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Old 06-17-2021, 02:27 PM   #3
Nils_Lindeberg
 
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

Absolutely, there will be the whole entourage, including some general conscripts without weapon talents. By knight-focused, I mean military focus in a feudal fantasy setting. Battlefields rather than dungeons, and enemy chevauchées, assassination attempts, and court intrigue instead of random encounters in the wilderness.

I have implemented house rules for studies/basic versions of talents, so we can have half-trained people. So a farmer with basic Pole Weapon training roll 3vsDX but with a -2DX for his spear attacks. And then you can have professionals with full talents, veterans with study on an expertise level and the few that attain full expertise are note worthy NPC's and player Heroes and when you go high level we will probably see some mastery talent level skills.

So now comes the question, what do a normal soldier wear? A simple leather and small shield, a chainmail and large shield with a fine sword? Finely fitted half plate with a +1 enchantment on it, a +1 enchanted shield and a +1 balanced sword?

What constitutes a non-master-crafted sword. Is that a crappy sword and the standard is a finely made one, and at what level of soldiery will we start to see enchantments? Only the king's guard, or also the 10-year veteran and maybe even the merchant's third son that just got hired as an aid-du camp?

What can be considered normal equipment level for the job descriptions; Recruit, Regular, Sergeant, Officer, Captain?

In the beginning of medieval times a knight was a warrior on a horse with a chain hauberk and a spear, during late medieval times the knight was a completely different beast with full barding for his warhorse and armor so good that normal swords had no chance of penetrating, and even common footsoldiers could afford a Brigandine armor which probably could be translated to fine half plate or some such.
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Old 06-17-2021, 04:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

Master Armourer takes 10 weeks to make one Very Fine Bastard Sword.

Putting a +1 damage enchantment on this takes two weeks for a mid-level wizard and two apprentices.

Assuming Sword Expertise your knight is then doing 2d+5 one-handed.
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Old 06-17-2021, 05:15 PM   #5
TippetsTX
 
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

Side question... at what point does one become a 'professional soldier'? How many years of service are involved?

Secondary question... do others apply minimum terms of service to Army 'jobs'? And if so, do those change as one moves up the chain-of-command?
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Old 06-17-2021, 06:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

If NPCs earn 2 XP/week they can move up a job tier every five years, slightly more is required for some dangerous jobs.
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

I guess it all depends on how readily available fine weapons are in your game. The craftsmen that can make them might have wait lists sufficiently long that they don't even take new orders (as happens in some sections of the musical instrument makers community). Because these items would be status symbols, royalty and members at the top of the wealthy class would almost certainly make up the majority of the clientele. A professional soldier who doesn't have the requisite social status AND buying power (and this could include a large proportion of knights) may never be able to acquire such arms or armor.

Like non-consumable magic items, I prefer to keep fine weapons and armor to a minimum and very, very expensive.
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

What is very expensive and rare is fine plate because you can't stockpile that for wartime use by the masses.
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Old 06-18-2021, 11:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

So there are a number of factors involved with answering this that RAW provides little to no guidance on. I think GMs need to make decisions about how they want this to work in their campaigns which makes me think this might be a better discussion under the 'house-rules' forum.

I tend to agree with Shostak that there are many valid reasons to limit access to arms & armor with significant bonuses for background NPCs. That shouldn't prevent GMs from equipping specific 'elite' characters with such items, however.
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Old 06-19-2021, 12:10 AM   #10
Steve Plambeck
 
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

Unless you are specifically setting your campaigns in Cidri, the availability of anything in the secondary world the GM has built is entirely up to the GM. I wouldn't call deviations from Cidri economic norms house rules, I'd call that the setting.
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