View Full Version : Battle spells

11-05-2001, 01:41 PM
Battle magic

It can turn the tide of battle just to have one wisard with you.

I had one 12 lvl wisard that was in a battle and had memorised few cloudkill spells, and the description said that cloudkill is total destruction of a Unit.

Match that with few fireballs and he can take out a whole army.

I think its quite fun but there is somthing that bothers me. Why cast rain of magic missile that cost 1 gb when you can cast fireball without cost?

Is that balanced? Is battle spells to powerful? Sometimes I think so....

Warlord Nabron
11-05-2001, 07:41 PM
I've never used them for exactly that reason. Conventional spells on the battlefield are potent enough, and there's no real way to determine how many "battle spell"-capable spell casters there are in any domain, so I just ignore them altogether.

Raesene Andu
11-10-2001, 12:17 AM
Rain of magic missiles doesn't cost 1 GB to cast. Only spells with material components have a cost, spells with just verbal and somantic components can be cast without a cost.

An example.
In a current pbem game, I'm playing a 5th level wizard who began with minimal offensive spells. However, after some reasearch, I now 4 useful battlespells. 3 do require 1 GB in components, but the most useful (rain of magic missiles) doesn't. So I can memories 4 Rain of Magic Missile spells and go on the rampage and if my sponsers are willing to pay for additional spells, then I am even more powerful.

Of course, if I was a 12th level wizard then I would just research cloudkill, but I'm not, so my battlespells help me fight against the enemy and make be considerably powerful, even though I'm only 5th level.

11-21-2001, 01:42 AM
I hate the idea of having both war magic and battle magic, especially since there were some very abhorent results generated by the standard war magic system(like uh, 2 magic missiles can crap the hell out of most units; I didn't want to see that kind of stupid results), so I ruled out the idea that standard spells could effect the battlefield without being modified as battle spells first, thus reducing a wizard's effectiveness on the battlefield to how much time he spent in his library modifying his spells. Its not exactly 100% to my liking either, but I prefer forcing adaption of fireball to battle magic than allowing crappy spells like magic missile to have any decent effect in battle.

12-05-2001, 03:23 AM
Magic is a lost art and quie rare in my campaign. I promote clerics over mages. Battle magic can too easily sway combat.

You might as well just have a wizard duel and get it overwith. No moral regent would send his troops like lambs to the slaughter against a mage without a mage of his own. And since you now have two mages leading the fight... why sacrafice the lives of the ground pounders?

12-06-2001, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by Lawgiver
You might as well just have a wizard duel and get it overwith. No moral regent would send his troops like lambs to the slaughter against a mage without a mage of his own. And since you now have two mages leading the fight... why sacrafice the lives of the ground pounders?

First of all, except some paladins, few (wise) regents would think twice about sending his troops to butchery if that was what was needed to win a war. You don't just let both mages kill each other and let the victor claim victory for you. It ain't done that way. Besides, this concept of moral isn't really omnipresent in the setting of Birthright(at least the one as devised in the campaign setting). First off, hald of the realm rulers wouldn't think twice about using force to subjugate an enemy(whether because they are ambitious, evil, that they want to spread their faith, protect their realm, etc... that still stands) and the rest would certainly not shy from using force to defend themselves(and if they did, they certainly won't stay in power long if anyone finds out). You should read Niccolo Macchiavelli, you would learn a lot about the things you sometime have to do to preserve a state. Even paladins sometime have to make compromises, or their state will not last long.

Secondly, many churches actively promote military conflict as a concept. Churches of Haelyn, lord of noble war, justice and nobility, generally tolerate conflicts between nobles provided they are "just"(usually, justice is left to the individual noble and that church to define of course) and many are likely to even encourage crusades against infidels, awnsheghlien, evil rulers or even against heretical faiths of Haelyn himself(WIT-NIT-OIT type of conflict). Churches of Cuiraécen actively fight whatever their individual faith points as their enemy, and generally fight as many offensive wars as defensive ones. Churches of Belinik and Kriesha actively encourage strife and conflict between anyone and everyone, and certainly aren't opposite to conflict. Even the "tolerant" faiths of Avani and Nesirie have their fanatics who shy not from war on unbelievers. The thought that churches and followers of Haelyn, Cuiraécen, Belinik and Kriesha might even *consider* letting the mages decide the outcome of a war by themselves is abhorent to those very religions. Only the faiths of Avani and Ruornil might actually consider resorting to wizard duels as mean to wage a war *and even then only as long as they can win it*. Remember that the strong realms generally have enough ressource to muster armies of such a size that even Aelies couldn't possibly destroy it by himself. So, a high-level mage can possibly destroy 5-10 units in a single battle, but how is he going to stop an advancing army of 40+ units? I've seen armies this large quite often, even mid-sized realms can muster and maintain an army this large for a few turns if they have stashed their ressources for such an event.

Thirdly, even if you play without the standard religions of BR(which I think you hinted to somewhere iirc), take a look at the Middle Ages, and let me know if you think what you said would really fit with the chivalrous spirit(not to mention the warmongering spirit) of the Middle Ages. Heck, there are so many examples of battles where the knights charged alone into battle without waiting for the infantry and missile support to be ready(that's especially true if you look at French history, in their many wars, especially against England). Why? They wanted to have all the glory for themselves, after all, what a knight would they be if they let the infantry win a war in their stead? And if they didn't want to share the glory with the "peasants", what makes you think they'd want to share it with their mage, let alone give him all the glory? Na, sorry I don't think so, this is the Middle Ages after all :P

12-07-2001, 05:16 AM
1. Most of my PCs are from the smaller realms where they only have 8-10 units. Most of the gaint realms are controlled by NPCs. A good wizard would wipe out a huge chunk of the army and the rest would have their morale in the toilet. Even if they did stick around and fight they would probably now be outnumbered 2 to 1.
2. My church structure (if you combined all of the various factions) has more troops than any single ruler.
3. Who cares if you muster a 40 unit army its the principle of the idea of a regent sending 10+ units to their deaths. (4 units for one mass destruction Realm Spell; tack on the deathes from 4 fireballs, 4 ice storms, 4 cloudkills, and Deathfog/Death spell. Throw your honor balony out the window "We will run and we will live", William Wallace with us or not.
4. I never said anything about not using force to subjecate your enemies. There are times when such action is needed.
5. I have read Machiavelli's (check your spelling) "The Prince" along with Hobbes' Leviathan, and others. You would be wise not to assume one's lack of reading or knowledge. By the way could you tell me how successful Mr. Machiavelli was in implementing his own espoused theories. Last time I read a history book I don't remember reading much on Emporer or Ceaser Machiavelli. Theory is great on paper, but application and reality that matters.
6. The only reason you feel compromise is necessary is your own lack of high standards. Even in the situation of no "good" choices there is always a lesser of two evils. In the grand scheme things there is moral law and those who violate it will be punished.
7. Failing to show up on the battle field with a wizard and destorying the wizard by other means before mass combat would be far more effective.
8. Maybe you should read my State of the Churches on my webpage http:/fan_of_enoch.tripod.com (http://http:/fan_of_enoch.tripod.com) they have some of the greediest and most ruthless of the bunch.
9. Maybe you should look at the successfulness of these crazed glory seeking knights of yours. $20 bucks says they fought nobly but died foolishly. If you look at any of the great Empires, particularly the Roman Empire it is an organized military that wins a war. Troops that fight together live and kill together. There is no I in army. have you ever served in the military? Regardless of the time or setting most commanders would have busted the chops of these foolish glory seeking knights you speak of.
10. If you are so adamant on playing with the Middle Ages style campaign why bother discussing the wizards... they wouldn't exist.

12-07-2001, 12:13 PM
I agree with Temujin that most regents wouldn't flinch from sacrificinbg some of their troops if they thought they had something to gain from it. It is all very well to organise a wizard's battle before the conflict (duel of champions type thing) but once all is said and done, if the loser still has an army he thinks he can win a war with at the end of the preliminary skirmishes, he should use it.
However I've got the impression that you all forget something. Even though the rules state that a powerful wizard can wreak seriuos havoc into enemy ranks, I consider it unlikely that a reasonably sane commander would just line up his troops for the turkey shoot. If he knows that the opponent wizard can decimate his armies, then he would very likely avoid straight battle and disperse his forces. Slipping a force behind the lines could win you a war as easily as a battle, realistically, since the concept of total war was alien to medieval minds. Conflict was for local gain or even matters of pride and honour, not butchering the enemy (at least among humans of the same faith). A wizard slaughtering large amounts of men might see his popularity falling no matter how just the cause. Additionally, once a battle is joined, I expect that even the most proficient wizard would have difficulty ensuring that the cloudkill spell will affect only an enemy unit and not the entire general melee that would be typical for medieval battles (like the archers firing into the welsh and scot troops in Braveheart). Granted, a wizard could do a lot of damage, but to who?
Therefore I think that battle magic has a place in BR battles, so long as it remains rare and unusual (remember I favour a rare-magic approach). Additionally, considering the time it takes to cast a battle spell, the situation on the field might have changed considerably!
If you accept high profile battle magic, however, expect to fight either guerrila wars or maybe trench wars like WWI where firepower had for a while far exceeeded armour.

Lord Eldred
12-08-2001, 08:35 PM
Before I start, let me just say, can we go without the insults and just express our opinions while respecting others?

1. I think that both sides are right here. No moral regent will just send his troops into slaughter but there are still unmoral regents and then something else. There are troops who will fight for the cause even though they know they are going to die because of honor.

2. I think that there is a chance that a large army and even a small army can avoid a wizard while attacking the enemy. Also the wizard only gets one spell off a turn and thus may not have time to kill off all the oncoming troops before they run a sword through him/her. However even large numbers of unites can get scared when they see their comrads go up in flames or disintegrate.

3. A moral wizard wouldn't use some of the spells mentioned. They would show restraint in the hopes of scaring them off with the least amount damage possible.

4. I am sure there are writers out there that would prove both sides of every argument. In fact I know there are I coached debate for 10 years and have found that to be true "For every argument there is a counter argument and someone who will write for each side"

5. What does moral law say when faced with a choice of two evils? Do you kill one innocent to save 20?

6. Can someone tell me where they found rain of magic missile as a Battle spell?

Please forgive me for any spelling errors. If something doesn't make sense because of it, please let me know otherwise I really don't want to hear it ;)

12-08-2001, 11:09 PM
Forgive me for my rashness. Temujin I apologize if I have insulted you.

Let me simply conclude my arguement by saying wizards who exercise their power in mass combat are far underrated and can severely tip the outcome of a mass battle. I could draw it out further, but such arguement would be in vain. You play your way and I'll play mine and we won't bash the other. ;)