Throne of Thorns
You can’t fight a war without armies. What follow are notes on how to read army stat blocks.
Name and CR: The army’s name is presented first, along with its Challenge Rating (CR). To determine an army’s CR, simply adjust the CR of an individual member of that group by the appropriate modifier depending on the army’s size, as shown on the Army Sizes table. If, after modifiers apply, the group’s CR is lower than 1, it does not count as an army—add more troops until you reach a CR of 1. If an army is cavalry, the army’s CR is set by the higher of the rider’s or mount’s CR score.
XP: This lists the XP awarded for defeating the army.
Alignment, Size, and Type: An army’s alignment has no effect on its statistics and is essentially just a convenient way to summarize its attitude with two letters. The army’s size determines not only how many individual units exist in the army, but also the army’s Challenge Rating. The army’s type is defined by the nature of its individual soldiers. An army must be made up of identical creatures.
hp: An army’s hit points equal its CR – the average hp from the HD type of the army’s units (3.5 for d6 HD, 4.5 for d8, 5.5 for d10, and 6.5 for d12). If an army is composed of units with multiple HD (ie cavalry), use the lowest HD type. Drop any fractions from the final total. Note that only damage from other armies can reduce an army’s hp—treat individual creatures who attack an army as a fine-sized army.
Defense and Offense: These entries list an army’s Defense Value (this is always a static number used to resist an attack) and its Offense Modifier (this is always a modifier that’s applied to a d20 roll during an attack). If the group has ranged capability, it is indicated here. The army’s Defense Value (DV) is equal to its CR + 10. The army’s Offense Modifier (OM) is equal to its CR.
Tactics and Resources: Armies learn tactics and gain resources as they grow more seasoned from battles.
Special Abilities: Any special abilities the army has.
Speed: This number indicates how many 12-mile hexes the army traverses in a day’s march. Marching through difficult terrain halves the army’s speed. Use Table 7–6 on page 172 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook to determine the army’s speed, based on the speed of its individual members.
Morale: An army’s morale is a modifier ranging from –4 (the minimum) to +4 (the maximum). Morale can be further modified by the army’s leader or other factors. A new army’s starting morale is +0.
Consumption: Consumption lists how many Build Points an army consumes each week, representing the cost to feed hydrate, arm, train, care for, and pay the soldiers. An army’s consumption is equal to its CR divided by 2 (minimum of 1; consumption can be further modified by tactics). You must pay the army’s consumption value at the start of each week it is active. Each week you fail to pay an army’s consumption, reduce its morale by 2 points. If this penalty results in a morale of –5 or lower, the army disbands.
Leader: This line lists the army’s leader and her Charisma modifier.
RAISING AN ARMY: You can raise an army in any city that has a Barracks or Garrison. A Barracks can raise an army up to size Medium; raising a larger army requires a Garrison. Each Barracks or Garrison can raise only one army per turn. As a “kingdom action,” raising an army replaces constructing a building, so you can only raise as many armies in a turn as you are allowed for your kingdom size.
Raising an army requires a Loyalty check with a penalty equal to twice the CR of the army you want to raise. If the check succeeds, you spend BP equal to twice the army’s CR and the army is created. If the check fails, you spend BP equal to intended army’s CR but the army is not raised. However, if you attempt to raise an army from the same Barracks or Garrison on your next kingdom turn, you gain a +4 bonus to your Loyalty check.
MAINTAINING AN ARMY: Armies cost consumption each WEEK that they are kept in the field, or each MONTH that they are kept in reserve. An army can always be created in one place and moved to another location to be placed in reserve there. It is considered to be in the field while moving its base of operations and must pay that consumption for that week, but if it reaches its destination in less than a week, it can be treated as being in reserve and must pay consumption only once more for the remainder of the month. To be kept in reserve, an army must be housed in one of the following buildings, each of which can host an army of the following size.
Watchtower: One Small or smaller army.
Barracks: One Medium or smaller army.
Castle: One Large or smaller army.
Garrison: One Huge or smaller army.
A Gargantuan or Colossal army cannot be kept in reserve, it must remain in the field.
An army’s base consumption is equal to half its CR (rounded down, minimum 1), paid at the beginning of each week (or month). If you don’t pay, its morale goes down by 2; if it hits -5, the army disbands. If an army disbands from lack of pay, your kingdom suffers a cumulative -2 penalty to your kingdom’s Stability, Economy, and Loyalty. This penalty is reduced by one for each year there are no armies disbanding with a negative morale.
LEADING AN ARMY: Each army must have a designated leader. A leader with a good Profession (soldier) skill can assist the army’s performance on the battlefield. An army’s leader can be a PC or an NPC, but must spend at least 3 days per WEEK (if the army is in the field) or per MONTH (if the army is in reserve, see below), or the army suffers a -1 penalty to Morale. This penalty accumulates each week or month the leader fails to show up. If the army’s morale drops to -5, it disbands as noted above. The leader can alleviate this penalty by simply showing up the required amount of time; each week or month he does so, the penalty is reduced by 1. The penalty can also be reduced by 1 each week or month by doubling the army’s consumption.
COMPOSITION OF ARMIES: Armies are groups of mechanically identical creatures (or paired riders and mounts, for cavalry). If you have groups of different creatures, they should be formulated as separate armies.
Each time an army wins a battle, you can attempt a Loyalty check against your nation’s Control DC. If you succeed, your army learns a new tactic. An army can know a number of tactics equal to half its CR. When a battle begins, the army must select one tactic to use for that battle.
Cautious Combat: Your army fights cautiously in order to maintain morale. –2 OM, +2 on all Morale checks.
Cavalry Experts: The army must have the mount resource to use this tactic. +2 OM against armies that aren’t mounted.
Defensive Wall: The army fights defensively, taking actions to protect their fellow soldiers as needed. –2 OM ,+2 DV.
Dirty Fighters: An army that fights dirty uses trickery and unfair tactics to gain an advantage at the start of a battle. +6 OM on first round of the melee phase .
Expert Flankers: The army is skilled at surrounding the foe and distracting them, at the cost of spreading out too much and increasing its vulnerability. +2 OM,–2 DV.
False Retreat: Once per battle, your army can make a false retreat, luring the enemy deeper into your territory. On the round you make a false retreat, you cannot make an Offense check. On the round after a False Retreat, you gain +6 OM and +6 DV.
Hold the Line: Your army focuses on total defense of the battlefield. +4 DV, –4 OM.
Relentless Brutality: You throw caution to the wind and attack with savage and gory vigor. +4 OM, –4 DV.
Siegebreaker: You target the enemy’s siege engines in an attempt to destroy them. Each time you damage an enemy army in melee, you may make a second Offense check. If this second check is successful, you destroy one of the enemy army’s siege engines. This tactic has no effect on armies without siege engines.
Sniper Support: An army must have ranged capability to use this tactic. Each round you successfully damage an army with an Offense check, you inf lict an additional 2 points of damage from archers held in reserve.
Spellbreaker: You adopt tactics to disrupt spellcasting. Against armies with spellcasting ability, you gain +4 DV.
Taunt: You are skilled at taunting the enemy, provoking stupid mistakes and overconfidence in battle. The enemy must make a Morale check (DC = 10 + your army’s CR) at the start of each round to avoid taking a –2 penalty to DV and OM for the round. Once the enemy makes two consecutive Morale checks against your taunt, it is immune to this tactic for the remainder of the battle.
Your army starts out with typical melee-focused gear. You can, however, beef them up by buying additional stuff for them when they are created. The noted extra buildings are required in the city where the army is created.
Healing Potions (10 BP, +5 consumption after every battle, requires Alchemist or Magic Shop): Up to twice during a battle, you can forgo attacking to heal your army hit points equal to twice their CR.
Improved Armor (3 BP, +1 consumption, requires Smith): +1 DV.
Improved Weapons (5 BP, +1 consumption, requires Smith): +1 OM.
Magic Armor (15 BP, +2 consumption, requires Smith and Caster’s Tower or Magic Shop): +2 DV.
Magic Weapons (50 BP, +2 consumption, requires Smith and Caster’s Tower or Magic Shop): +2 OM.
Mounts (BP = mount’s CR, consumption = mount CR + rider CR (not halved), requires Stable): +2 OM and DV, and use the mounts’ speed for the army. The army’s CR is determined by the mount’s CR if it is higher than the rider’s.
Ranged Weapons (2 BP, +1 consumption): The army can act in the ranged combat phase.
Siege Engines (15 BP, +3 consumption, requires Exotic Craftsman): +2 OM. For every siege engine in the army (you can buy more than one, which does not increase the OM bonus above), you reduce the enemy’s bonus to DV from fortifications by 1d4 each round of the melee phase. Army’s speed is halved (minimum 1).
Some armies also possess special abilities that they can use during a battle, or that provide constant bonuses. You can use the following special abilities as inspirations to generate additional army abilities of your own.
Breath Weapon: The army gains ranged capability, and inflicts +1d4 points of damage on every successful hit against an enemy army.
Construct/Plant/Undead: These armies always make Morale checks, but can never change their strategy from normal.
Energy Drain: An army that can energy drain reduces its enemy’s OV and DV by 1 each time it damages them. This reduction vanishes after 24 hours.
Fast Healing/Regeneration: Fast healing and regeneration allow an army’s hit points to recover in the same way that they restore hit points for individual creatures. A regenerating army that is reduced to 0 hit points is still considered defeated, assuming the victors can move among the defeated creatures and finish them off.
Fear: An army that uses a fear attack forces the enemy army to make a Morale check (DC = 10 + attacking army’s CR) or be unable to make an Offense check in the next round. If an army fails a Morale check from fear in a round when it can’t make an Offense check due to fear, the army f lees.
Mobility Advantage: If the creatures in an army have unusual mobility (such as f light, swimming, climbing, burrowing, teleportation, and so on) that actually gives an advantage in the battle, increase that army’s DV by +1. If all armies possess the same mobility options, this advantage does not apply.
Paralysis: If an army can paralyze foes, each time it damages an enemy the army’s DV is reduced by 1. This reduction vanishes at the end of a battle.
Poison: When a poison-using army damages an enemy army, the army takes an automatic 1d6 points of damage on the round immediately following any round it took damage from the poison army. This ability can also apply to armies that use bleed or burn attacks.
Rock Throwing: An army that can throw rocks gains ranged capability and inf licts +4 damage during the Ranged phase.
Significant Defense: If an army’s component creatures possess a signif icant defense (such as powerful damage reduction, incorporeality, or numerous immunities and/ or resistances), increase its DV by +10, but only when it f ights against an army that would have a significantly difficult time overcoming the army’s significant defense. In some cases, you might even wish to rule that an army is simply undefeatable by an enemy army because of its defenses.
Spell Resistance: If an army’s units have spell resistance, they gain a +6 bonus to their DV against armies that have the Spellcasting ability.
Spellcasting: If an army’s units can use magic (either from spell-like abilities or actual spellcasting), it gains a bonus to its DV and OM equal to the level of the highest level spell its individual units can cast. In addition, if any of its offensive spells have a range of greater than touch, the army gains ranged capability and can attack during the Ranged phase.
Really, it’s very simple. There can be a few modifiers for favorable or especially familiar terrain, an ambush situation, or fighting inside fortifications, but pretty much it goes like this. There are very few rolls:
Add: 1d20 + your OM + 1 per 5 ranks of Profession (soldier) of the attacking army’s commander
Subtract: The target’s DV + 1 per 5 ranks of Profession soldier of the defending army commander
Equals: Damage to the defending army.
If you roll a natural 20, you inflict 1 extra point of damage (or 1 point, even if your total roll is less than the target’s DV).
If you roll a natural 1, your army can’t make an Offense check next round.
Morale: 1d20 + the army’s morale score + 1 per 5 ranks of Profession (soldier) of the army’s commander.
TACTICS PHASE: Each side decides what Tactic and what Strategy it’s going to use. Tactics are specialized skills and army develops as it wins battles. Armies that have never seen combat have no Tactics; they can only be gained through experience and victory. Strategy is its general approach to the battle, from a careful Defensive strategy to a Reckless all-out attack.
Combat is simultaneous, but the leader on each side makes a Profession (soldier) skill check. Whoever rolls lowest declares their Tactics (if any) and its Strategy first and declaration continues in order. You can change your one ‘step’ in either direction each round, but changing them more than one step requires a DC 20 Morale check; if failed, the army’s Strategy stays what it was the previous round.
1. Defensive ( +4 DV, -4 OM)
2. Cautious ( +2 DV, -2 OM)
3. Standard ( no mods)
4. Aggressive ( -2 DV, +2 OM)
5. Reckless ( -4 DV, +4 OM)
RANGED PHASE: Usually this only lasts 1 round as armies approach. If you have ranged attacks, you get to attack. If you don’t, you don’t.
MELEE PHASE: This phase continues one round at a time until one side’s armies retreat or are destroyed. Combat is simultaneous, so it’s possible for two armies to destroy each other.
DEFEAT: If the army’s hit points drop to equal to or less than its CR, make a Morale check or the army breaks and runs. The opposing army gets a free Offense check against it before they escape. If an army is dropped to 0 hit points, it is destroyed, and your kingdom suffers a penalty to Stability, Economy, and Loyalty checks equal to half the army’s CR (minimum -1). If the army escapes, its hit points reset to equal its CR but it cannot fight again unless you make a Loyalty check on your kingdom’s next Upkeep phase (so you can only try to revive routed units once per month, though you can do it for as many routed armies as you have anywhere in the kingdom).
VICTORY: If you win, your army’s hit points remain where they are and you can make a Loyalty check to allow your army to learn a new Tactic (see below) and improve its morale by +1.
RECOVERY: An inactive army heals hit points equal to its CR each day of total rest (no movement and no combat).
MULTIPLE ARMIES: Multiple armies can fight on each side, and the rules do not consider tactical movement or their precise location on the battlefield. Any army on the field can attack any other army on the field. Each attack affects only a single enemy army. Multiple armies can attack the same target army on the enemy side.
It should also go without saying that a LEADER must be present at a battle in order to lead his/her army and give them bonuses. If the Leader’s army is routed or destroyed. The leader has a chance of escaping, being captured or killed. PC leaders will dealt with in game.