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  1. #1
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    One of my players threw me for a loop and caught me completely unprepared last session by sending a huge army into the Spiderfells with the express purpose of destroying the spider. I need some help adjudicating the situation. Can anyone tell me where I could find rules concerning the maintenance of an awnsheghlein domain. They obviously don't follow the rules of a typical regent. It would be nice if this player was a little challenged by the fight. I would also be interested in rules or ideas on how to handle a fight of a single awnsheghlein versus numerous soldiers. Thanks in advance for any help.

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    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Having faced this situation before, this is what I've done in the past.

    Simply assume that every being within the awnsheghlien realm is a member of the awnshegh's army (especially with the spiderfell). The way I do this is assume that roughly a 1/3 of the population are compatants. Now the Spiderfell is listed as a 0/7 province, but I'm assuming that they are not counting goblins etc as part of the population, so I made the province a 2/7 province with a population of roughly 6000 goblins, huge spiders, and other monsters.

    Now assuming a third of them work for the spider, he gets 2000 troops or roughly ten units, plus the spider himself. Of course, the very woods of the spiderfell would be filled with traps to snare the unwary, hidden bogs, quicksand, etc, etc.

    If the spider was easy to kill he would have been removed centuries ago, perhaps even back when the empire was around and the Roele's had a vast and powerful army.
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    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    > Bronto wrote:
    > One of my players threw me for a loop and caught me
    > completely unprepared last session by sending a huge army
    > into the Spiderfells with the express purpose of destroying
    > the spider. I need some help adjudicating the situation.
    > Can anyone tell me where I could find rules concerning the
    > maintenance of an awnsheghlein domain. They obviously don`t
    > follow the rules of a typical regent. It would be nice if
    > this player was a little challenged by the fight. I would
    > also be interested in rules or ideas on how to handle a fight
    > of a single awnsheghlein versus numerous soldiers. Thanks in
    > advance for any help.

    Well, depending on what combat resolution system you use this could be
    very very easy. Military organization in BR tends to be quite similar to
    that of late medieval Europe - troops fight in ranks and the keeping of
    said ranks is usually very important in obtaining victory.

    In one of my campaigns an foolish yet brave player attempted to attack a
    sidhe realm. He had a large army but, due to the thickly forested
    terrain, could not deploy or maneuver properly. His troops could not
    form proper ranks and so were largely slaughtered by the sidhe warriors
    who did not fight in close formation and who were not hindered by the
    terrain.

    In order to obtain this fairly reasonable conclusions you actually need
    to be using a decent system of rules. I personally use modified D.B.M.
    (De Bellis Multitudinis) for my battles in Birthright. The war-card
    system (and frequent readers of the BR-L will already know my opinion)
    is woefully inadequate to the task.

    Anyway, all this aside, the Spiderfell is also infested with millions of
    highly dangerous spiders - from giant hunting types to very poisonous
    tiny types. I assume that any invader would lose many of their troops
    even before they could engage the enemy. I also think that, given their
    mobility in the terrain compared with the lack of mobility of the
    player`s troops, the Spider and his followers could avoid an actual
    battle and just let the player`s armies be slowly demoralized, poisoned
    and eaten by the spiders.

    --
    John Machin
    (trithemius@paradise.net.nz)
    -----------------------------------
    "Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."
    Athanasius Kircher, Ars Magna Sciendi.

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  4. #4
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    If you are using the 3rd Edition, make use of all the nifty things you can
    do with goblins. They can have levels, and the leaders really should. They
    have base skills in Hide, Move Silently, Listen, and Spot, plus their racial
    bonus to move silently and the effects of Alertness, so they should be able
    to launch devestrating ambushes in the Spiderfell. Prior to a main battle,
    they should encounter goblin scouts, using even a level in rogue and plenty
    of tumble to get in as many flank attacks- sneak attacks as possible. They
    should be supported by goblin cavalry (including the Mounted Combat feat and
    a 6 ranks of Ride) with archers in the saddle, perhaps on spiders. During
    the main battle, perhaps the spiders are in a more shock capacity - and
    remember, nearly all the spiders in the fell are poisonous. For the PC`s
    sake, maybe this poison is only enough to paralyze you, so the spiders can
    eat you alive after the battle, giving allies the ability to drag them off
    to safety (learning a valuable lesson) where they can allow the effects to
    wear off.

    So, do as Raesene Andu suggests and give the Spiderfell 10 units of
    combatants, and make them cunning and capable as I have described.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  5. #5
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    On Sat, 2002-05-18 at 10:00, brnetboard@TUARHIEVEL.ORG wrote:
    > Bronto wrote:
    > One of my players threw me for a loop and caught me completely unprepared last session by sending a huge army into the Spiderfells with the express purpose of destroying the spider. I need some help adjudicating the situation. Can anyone tell me where I could find rules concerning the maintenance of an awnsheghlein domain. They obviously don`t follow the rules of a typical regent. It would be nice if this player was a little challenged by the fight. I would also be interested in rules or ideas on how to handle a fight of a single awnsheghlein versus numerous soldiers. Thanks in advance for any help.

    The continued existence of the Spider and his goblin minions in the
    Spiderfells is hard to explain at first glance. A 2/7 province shouldn`t
    really be that much of a problem to an Anuirean force of moderate
    strength, but it has been so quite obviously - so there must be
    something more - what`s the surprise ?

    Firstly, look at the province itself. It`s far larger than a standard
    heavy or ancient forest province. It could in fact be reasonable
    separated into more than one province. The explanation for the lack of
    such division on a standard player`s map is easy - don`t let your
    players complain about this - did they map the province ? who explored
    and surveyed the political and geographical interior of the Spiderfell ?
    It`s an unknown to the outside world and as such suitably unknown to the
    players too. The Spider knows though. It`s also described as being full
    of pitfalls and deadly traps - I`d consider each province of the
    Spiderfell to be fortified from that perspective - sure, it`s not the
    standard late medieval concept of high stone walls with a moat etc, but
    it`s still a prepared defense (but ONLY usable by the goblin forces -
    the Anuireans don`t gain any benefit from occupying a Spiderfell
    province!). Lastly, the terrain itself is formidable - preventing the
    use of charge by mounted horsemen and providing defensive cover against
    missiles, yet the Spiders` goblin spider riders should be allowed to
    charge.

    Lastly the forces themselves. The Spider is considered virtually
    indestructible and his presence should allow the goblin troops
    significant advantages in combat. The goblins are a race that is
    entirely martial - all males fight. Their ability to raise standard
    troops as levies in greater numbers than an Anuirean province and at no
    cost should see a difficult situation develop for your players.

    So ... the players invade, and then they find that they are running into
    traps, ambushes etc and cannot get the goblins to commit to "open"
    battle. Secondly, they find that they don`t control the whole of the
    Spiderfell with just the one battle group. So they have to split their
    forces, build armed camps themselves and suffer guerrilla style attacks
    while using up their domain actions (Declare War).

    To successfully carve out a province from the Spider`s control (and I
    strongly suggest you make the Spiderfell at least three provinces in
    size), the players would have to besiege the province, invest it, and
    (probably) fortify it as well - this will be quite costly and time
    consuming for even a single province. [I wouldn`t set the goblin
    fortification level higher than three except for one province (the one
    with hills) could be four.]

    Don`t forget that raids into other territory could have a political
    effect as well, the Spiderfell goblins can raid provinces in Ghoere,
    Medoere, Roesone and Diemed - are all these realms involved or in favor
    of the Spiderfell invasion ? How happy will they be if the consequences
    of such an invasion is depredations into their provinces ?

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  6. #6
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    On Sat, 2002-05-18 at 10:29, brnetboard@TUARHIEVEL.ORG wrote:
    > Raesene Andu wrote:
    > Having faced this situation before, this is what I`ve done in the past.
    >
    > Simply assume that every being within the awnsheghlien realm is a member of the awnshegh`s army (especially with the spiderfell). The way I do this is assume that roughly a 1/3 of the population are compatants. Now the Spiderfell is listed as a 0/7 province, but I`m assuming that they are not counting goblins etc as part of the population, so I made the province a 2/7 province with a population of roughly 6000 goblins, huge spiders, and other monsters.
    >
    > Now assuming a third of them work for the spider, he gets 2000 troops or roughly ten units, plus the spider himself. Of course, the very woods of the spiderfell would be filled with traps to snare the unwary, hidden bogs, quicksand, etc, etc.
    >
    > If the spider was easy to kill he would have been removed centuries ago, perhaps even back when the empire was around and the Roele`s had a vast and powerful army.

    I agree. I grant him between 8-10 troops, of which 3 are elite forces,
    plus the leadership of the Spider.

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  7. #7
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    On Sat, 2002-05-18 at 11:10, John Machin wrote:
    > > Bronto wrote:
    > > One of my players threw me for a loop and caught me
    > > completely unprepared last session by sending a huge army
    > > into the Spiderfells with the express purpose of destroying
    > > the spider. I need some help adjudicating the situation.
    > > Can anyone tell me where I could find rules concerning the
    > > maintenance of an awnsheghlein domain. They obviously don`t
    > > follow the rules of a typical regent. It would be nice if
    > > this player was a little challenged by the fight. I would
    > > also be interested in rules or ideas on how to handle a fight
    > > of a single awnsheghlein versus numerous soldiers. Thanks in
    > > advance for any help.
    >
    > Well, depending on what combat resolution system you use this could be
    > very very easy. Military organization in BR tends to be quite similar to
    > that of late medieval Europe - troops fight in ranks and the keeping of
    > said ranks is usually very important in obtaining victory.
    >
    > In one of my campaigns an foolish yet brave player attempted to attack a
    > sidhe realm. He had a large army but, due to the thickly forested
    > terrain, could not deploy or maneuver properly. His troops could not
    > form proper ranks and so were largely slaughtered by the sidhe warriors
    > who did not fight in close formation and who were not hindered by the
    > terrain.
    >
    > In order to obtain this fairly reasonable conclusions you actually need
    > to be using a decent system of rules. I personally use modified D.B.M.
    > (De Bellis Multitudinis) for my battles in Birthright. The war-card
    > system (and frequent readers of the BR-L will already know my opinion)
    > is woefully inadequate to the task.
    >
    > Anyway, all this aside, the Spiderfell is also infested with millions of
    > highly dangerous spiders - from giant hunting types to very poisonous
    > tiny types. I assume that any invader would lose many of their troops
    > even before they could engage the enemy. I also think that, given their
    > mobility in the terrain compared with the lack of mobility of the
    > player`s troops, the Spider and his followers could avoid an actual
    > battle and just let the player`s armies be slowly demoralized, poisoned
    > and eaten by the spiders.

    Again yes I agree. Although with a little imaginative use the war card
    rules are adequate to the task. (Not that DBM isn`t a good system - I`m
    an old wargamer from way back, but the cards are not as woeful as
    suggested - preferences and prejudices aside.) Allowing a province to be
    fortified (defended) by traps etc, will allow the Spider`s forces to
    avoid actual battle on any but their own terms - while the fortification
    plus the actual terrain hinder the formations of the Anuireans.

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  8. #8
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    Hello!

    Kenneth Gauck wrote:

    >If you are using the 3rd Edition, make use of all the nifty things you can
    >do with goblins. They can have levels, and the leaders really should. They
    >have base skills in Hide, Move Silently, Listen, and Spot, plus their racial
    >bonus to move silently and the effects of Alertness, so they should be able
    >to launch devestrating ambushes in the Spiderfell. Prior to a main battle,
    >they should encounter goblin scouts, using even a level in rogue and plenty
    >of tumble to get in as many flank attacks- sneak attacks as possible. They
    >should be supported by goblin cavalry (including the Mounted Combat feat and
    >a 6 ranks of Ride) with archers in the saddle, perhaps on spiders. During
    >the main battle, perhaps the spiders are in a more shock capacity - and
    >remember, nearly all the spiders in the fell are poisonous. For the PC`s
    >sake, maybe this poison is only enough to paralyze you, so the spiders can
    >eat you alive after the battle, giving allies the ability to drag them off
    >to safety (learning a valuable lesson) where they can allow the effects to
    >wear off.
    >
    >So, do as Raesene Andu suggests and give the Spiderfell 10 units of
    >combatants, and make them cunning and capable as I have described.
    >
    And let them use the infravision the goblins of Cerilia have - attacking
    every night when only your guards are awake and
    every other member of your army sleeps or at least wears only part of
    his weapons/armour.
    bye
    Michael

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    > Again yes I agree. Although with a little imaginative use the
    > war card rules are adequate to the task. (Not that DBM isn`t
    > a good system - I`m an old wargamer from way back, but the
    > cards are not as woeful as suggested - preferences and
    > prejudices aside.) Allowing a province to be fortified
    > (defended) by traps etc, will allow the Spider`s forces to
    > avoid actual battle on any but their own terms - while the
    > fortification plus the actual terrain hinder the formations
    > of the Anuireans.

    Sorry.
    Under no circumstances can I permit the fiendish war-cards any
    advantage.
    As such I disagree.

    --
    John Machin
    (trithemius@paradise.net.nz)
    -----------------------------------
    "Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."
    Athanasius Kircher, Ars Magna Sciendi.

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  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    >Bronto wrote:
    > One of my players threw me for a loop and caught me completely
    > unprepared last session by sending a huge army into the Spiderfells with
    > the express purpose of destroying the spider. I need some help
    > adjudicating the situation. Can anyone tell me where I could find rules
    > concerning the maintenance of an awnsheghlein domain. They obviously
    > don`t follow the rules of a typical regent. It would be nice if this
    > player was a little challenged by the fight. I would also be interested
    > in rules or ideas on how to handle a fight of a single awnsheghlein
    > versus numerous soldiers. Thanks in advance for any help.

    In general, I think the awnsheghlien should abide by most of the same rules
    for controlling a domain that standard regents do. I haven`t seen much
    that would lead to a system of different rules, per se, but you could
    probably extrapolate and make a few exceptional rulings here and there in
    order to make this attack on the Spiderfell a nice "harvest" for the Spider.

    As odd as this one might sound, I`ve experimented with "infiltrators" and
    "home guard" units at what is the equivalent of the warcard level
    IMC. Basically, if a commander has one of these units then he can choose a
    smaller, separate battle from the main conflict with the entire body of an
    opponent`s military. The commander of an infiltrator (for invading troops)
    or home guard (for defending troops) unit can choose an enemy unit to
    attack and that combat is resolved one-on-one before the main battle is
    engaged. Regents and/or PCs are normally not taken into account in such
    units unless there is an accompanying adventure action (or the DM rules
    otherwise.) Infiltrators and home guard units always face each other
    first, then the commander with more of such units can pick from the units
    of his opponent to face remaining units. That is, if the invader attacks a
    province using 3 infiltrator units, but that province is defended by 2 home
    guard units, the invader can only choose one of the defender`s units to
    engage before the battle, and that only after having committed 2 of his 3
    units to engaging the 2 home guard units. If the situation were reversed,
    and the invader had 2 infiltrator units while invading a province defended
    by 3 home guards, the defender could choose 1 of the invaders units to
    engage before the full fledge battle began, in addition to the 2
    infiltrator units. Survivors of this conflict can continue on to
    participate in the full fledged battle normally (with the damage they`ve
    taken still in effect, that is.)

    I bring this up in this context, because if one is invading the Spiderfell
    then:

    1. The Spider should control units made up entirely of spiders, in addition
    to units of goblins.

    2. Either or both of those units could be considered home guard units.

    Other things to consider is that the available source level of the
    Spiderfell (7 levels) should really be considered the "population level" of
    that province for the purpose of mustering units of spiders. The province
    should be able to support the equivalent of a population 7 province`s worth
    of spider units, so he could control 6-10 of them (depending on what kind
    of maintenance they might require.)

    You might also want to think about splitting the Spiderfell up into 2
    provinces, Spiderfell West and Spiderfell East, since that "province"
    really is large enough to support 2 typical BR provinces. That would, at
    least, slow the invaders down a bit, possibly allowing the Spider to fight
    a delaying action, or at least increasing his ability to deal with invaders
    a bit.

    The Spiderfell itself could also spawn a few undead units due to its
    haunted and magical nature, at the command of the Spider. Undead units are
    pretty tough using... (cough, cough) warcards.

    You could also give the Spider the equivalent of a castle or magical
    stronghold in the Spiderfell. Really any level of castle in that province
    is justified, IMO. After all, the Spider has been there for 1,500
    years. He should have had _something_ built in that time. If he laid two
    bricks a day during that period he`d have built up over a million bricks by
    now.

    You might also consider LTs and/or associates of his in that realm. One of
    the biggest mistakes made IMO at the BR/domain level is assuming that these
    regents will, for some reason, be alone when encountered by PCs. Being a
    regent is about being a ruler, and rulers are almost NEVER alone. They are
    surrounded by a pack of people who serve the regent and/or are there to vie
    for their own personal power by currying favor. Even a crazy regent like
    the Spider is going to be surrounded by those willing to risk their safety
    in order to reap the benefits of associating themselves with a regent,
    particularly one as old and established as the Spider. Many moons ago, I
    had the Spider create a werespider (and later there were several) who
    obeyed his bidding with the passion of zealots, some of whom even carried a
    touch of his bloodline through the same process that transformed them into
    lycanthropes. Such creations should be willing and able to attempt
    assassinations of PCs, lead "companies" of spiders or goblins, etc.

    The background of the werespiders, BTW, was that they were often captured
    officers of invading troops who survived battles with rabid goblins and
    poisonous hordes of spiders long enough to experience the rigorous
    interrogation of the Spider`s henchmen, thus proving they had the toughness
    and vigor to live through the tortuous process of becoming a werespider in
    which they were repetitiously subjected to the Spider`s corrupted blood and
    continuously tortured until they were driven mad and believed themselves
    his children.

    Hope that`s of some help. Let us know how it turns out, OK?
    Gary

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