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Author Topic: what do you do for large battles of 10+ combatants  (Read 263 times)

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Offline Druss_the_Legend

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what do you do for large battles of 10+ combatants
« on: July 13, 2017, 04:45:27 PM »
what do you do for large battles of 10+ combatants

any house rules or systems to help things run smoother?

Offline Hurin

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Re: what do you do for large battles of 10+ combatants
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 05:23:21 PM »
War Law gave very detailed rules for this. They will be far too detailed for some groups, but military history geeks like me loved it.

'Last of all, Húrin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed'. --J.R.R. Tolkien

Offline jdale

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Re: what do you do for large battles of 10+ combatants
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2017, 05:52:54 PM »
For unimportant NPC vs unimportant NPC interactions in large battles, I just guess who has the advantage and make a roll to see if anyone has fallen yet. No real system. If it was a really huge battle (two opposing armies), I would try to separate the PCs out on a special task whose success or failure will decide something important, and then deal with the huge battle narratively.

Important NPCs, all PCs, and the foes the PCs are directly engaged against get normal attack rolls. It's only the extras who get the off the cuff treatment.

Offline Voriig Kye

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Re: what do you do for large battles of 10+ combatants
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 05:54:44 PM »
In the last adventures of our previous campaign, we had the party (4 characters) accompanied by 10 cannon fodder NPC's and 1 important NPC. We had 2 battles against a group of 12 NPC enemies (4 priests, 2 archers, 2 demons, 4 warriors).

What I did was roll initiative for each type of character only once on each round, and I tried to keep most of the warrior type NPCs actions as straightforward as possible.

Also, one of the players got special colored shapes to use as tokens on the hex-grid, and we added tape with the numbers on top.

I even had to add a special mode in ERA, where the icons for the characters appear closer together and overall compact the user interface.

Even with all that help, each battle took several hours in real time. But maybe that's because a lot of them were hasted, and my players tend to change actions mid-round a lot.

Offline Peter R

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Re: what do you do for large battles of 10+ combatants
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 03:43:53 AM »
The actions in the immediate vicinity of the characters I roll for each attack as normal. For action out of immediate view I just decide what happens depending on what would be the most interesting outcome and the relevant stats of the combatants. I certainly would not want to spend hours over an incidental combat that did not advance the story.
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Offline Majyk

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Re: what do you do for large battles of 10+ combatants
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2017, 12:08:30 AM »
Nobodies get a d10 roll and hit another NPC on a 7+(Or whatever threshhold you wanna implement for better training/equipment).
Roll properly if they attack a PC.
Easy and no table lookups slowing things down.

Offline Druss_the_Legend

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Re: what do you do for large battles of 10+ combatants
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2017, 01:11:49 AM »
Nobodies get a d10 roll and hit another NPC on a 7+(Or whatever threshhold you wanna implement for better training/equipment).
Roll properly if they attack a PC.
Easy and no table lookups slowing things down.

nice. i like it. ill use this in my next game session. thanx!

Offline gandalf970

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Re: what do you do for large battles of 10+ combatants
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2017, 03:02:52 PM »
There is a good Mass Battle System for Legend of the 5 Rings that I use.  Look it up on the net.  It is simple, but very effective and puts the onus on the players and how they are acting.  It also gives opportunities for heroism.  You can mod it to fit Rolemaster.

PM me if you want more.

Offline Majyk

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Re: what do you do for large battles of 10+ combatants
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2017, 11:29:31 AM »
Give either side a differently coloued die scheme(red vs blue ;) and you can roll them all at the same time with a fistful of dice.
However the dice fall and lay on the table from furthest to closest or left to right is how you can read the results against one another - so 2 blues, a red, another blue and two reds can match each first time a die shows up with the results of its opposing colour, the first time it shows up in the chain.


Give each side more or less Wounds from 2-3 as a base and keep tipping over Minis until you have a side that wins - then they can help the PCs, if not commanded to do otherwise...


Enjoy!

Offline providence13

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Re: what do you do for large battles of 10+ combatants
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2017, 12:38:30 PM »
The PC's are pretty high level for us, 14th (and we cast at Rank in the List, not level. HR, of course. Also we don't use PP multipliers, so casters must learn PP resource management to keep it in check. YGMV)

Anyhoo, once they had access to "Mass.." spells, the opposition had to crank up their numbers considerably.
I don't keep track of hits for 20 orcs, I just note the crits they take and penalties. Crits kill quicker than hits most of the time. We use dice for stun counters and red glass beads for bleeders. Players help keep track and help with the books.
I roll Init in groups of 3, 5, etc.

It still takes way too long for combat. If I were to offer anything, I say that the GM must be organized; GM screen just to paper clip all the info I need helps a lot.

Just as important.. the players have to pay attention and be ready when it comes around to whatever they say and do! When it comes around to the middle init player and they scratch their beard and say "let's see...", asking questions that were just answered... that slows it down for everyone. Not unusual to spend the session on one mass combat, even with Mass spells..
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