Sorry for the no postings for a while now. School has started (I’m both teaching and taking classes), so I really don’t have time for nightly posts that I don’t need to be spending my time on. Instead I’m going to make time to time updates on a DnD campaign I’m working on.
This campaign is going to start in a similar fashion to Song of Roland. The players are each leaders and will be given control over a group of soldiers (all minions) and will engage in combat against similarly large armies. I will use a variation of Savage Worlds rules for Using NPCs in order to speed things along.
The campaign starts with a strategic retreat by their lord. Characters form the rear-guard and are to hold off the invading forces as long as possible. It is impossible to “win” but players will be rewarded for each wave they successfully fend off before they are overrun and flee. The layout will allow for the players to choose several different defensive tactics. Additionally, if the characters stay too long, they can be killed. It is a very real possibility and will be used to set the tone of the story. In addition to character experience and levels, I will also be implementing what I am going to call “general levels.” The goal of this is to encourage many parts of combat to involve a great deal of troops. There will be a time for small-man guerilla tactics and there will be a time for large scale war. At every level even level, Characters will be able to select a general feat that will be seen as an improvement to their NPC minions.
Options for this will include things like: “hardened soldiers” –minions take two hits to kill from non-elites, “sharpened blades” –NPCs deal +x damage, “Improved armor”--+x to AC, etc. This will cause characters not only to change the NPCs they choose to take into battle, but also tactics they will employ on the battlefield. One character may choose to focus his troops on being master marksman while another may utilize combat mobility to take advantageous positions. This will keep mass encounters from being stale and repetitive. Some abilities will manifest as an encounter power swap (that only swaps on large-scale battles) such as “fire on my mark” that allows all ranged units to fire at once or have a modifier to hit for that round.
After the first combat, the players will return to their Lord’s keep to find that the forces they were holding off were just a distraction and their lord’s keep is under siege. As a result, returning to the castle is impossible. The keep is well provisioned and defended, so the players know they have some time (though not infinite) to go to the outlying provinces and raise an army to regain access to the keep. This will now put the players in a solo mission (no army) to get to a village. The players will be given several village options and depending on which they choose, it will limit the available soldiers they can recruit (both in type and number). Players will also be allowed to make diplomacy/streetwise/intimidate checks in order gather information and raise forces.
I’ll write more on how I am going to progress this storyline later.