The following rules present a fast-play method to resolve large-scale combats involving the clashing of armies. They include many of the houserules suggested over time both by the AP writers and others. They aren't intended to accurately represent complex wars or provide a highly-tactical simulation of the same—but they are intended to be fun! During "War of the River Kings," the PCs will be faced with multiple situations where they'll need an army at their command, but in the end, these rules should not dominate your game—the bulk of the adventure remains focused on traditional, smaller-scale adventuring and interaction with the PCs themselves.
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 on page 56. 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.
|Army size||Number of soldiers||Army's CR|
|Fine||1||CR of individual creature -8|
|Diminutive||10||CR of individual creature -6|
|Tiny||25||CR of individual creature -4|
|Small||50||CR of individual creature -2|
|Medium||100||CR of individual creature|
|Large||200||CR of individual creature +2|
|Huge||500||CR of individual creature +4|
|Gargantuan||1000||CR of individual creature +6|
|Colossal||2000||CR of individual creature +8|
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.
This lists the XP accumulated by the army and the XP required for its next level.
Each time an army defeats another completely, it gains a number of XP equal to the CR of the army it defeated. When the army levels up, its XP count is returned to 0 and all soldiers gain a level in a class they already have at least one level in, increasing the army's CR by 1, but only increasing its consumption by 1. An army may choose to remain at a lower level even if it has received enough XP to level up - it may then level up later on at any time.
The XP required to gain a level depends on the army's current CR.
|Army CR||Experience points to next level|
This lists the amount of BP an enemy kingdom will receive by defeating this army. To calculate it, add up the army's CR to the total BP invested in its Resources, then divide the result by 4. While this mostly represents looting, it could also represent slavery or any number of other means of enrichment.
An army's hit points equal its CR x 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 (such as the case of multiclassed characters, monsters with class levels, or 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 a static number used to resist an attack), its Offense Modifier (this is a modifier that's applied to a d20 roll during an attack) and its Damage Modifier (this is a modifier that's added to the damage dealt by the army but not to the offense checks themselves). 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. The army's Damage modifier is equal to half its CR.
Tactics and Resources
Armies learn tactics and gain resources as they grow more seasoned from battles.
Any special abilities the army has.
This number indicates how many 12-mile hexes the army traverses in a day's march. Marching through diff icult 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.
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. If an army's morale ever reaches -5 or lower it is considered defeated and cannot be recovered, except its kingdom only increases its Unrest by 1 instead of 2d4.
Consumption lists how much Consumption an army adds to the Kingdom, representing the cost to feed, hydrate, arm, train, care for, and pay the soldiers. An army's base consumption is equal to twice its base CR. If the army later levels up, for every point of CR it receives from leveling up, its consumption only increases by 1.
Each army must have a designated leader. This line lists the army's leader, her Charisma modifier, her base attack bonus, and her Profession (soldier) modifier.
The leader of an army has a number of effects. Once per battle for every 4 points of base attack bonus he has, a leader can either make his army reroll a check, force the opposing army to reroll a check, or switch his army's current Tactic for a different Tactic it knows. This ability may be used multiple times on a single check to reroll it more than once. Tactics may only be switched at the beginning of a round.
During the tactics phase, leaders roll Profession (soldier) to decide the order in which tactics and strategies are revealed.
A leader may also add his Charisma modifier to the morale checks of an army he leads.
Each time an army wins a battle, you can attempt a Loyalty check against your nation's Control DC. If you succeed, your army can either increase its morale by 1 or learn a new tactic. An army can know a number of tactics equal to half its CR. It may choose to "forget" a tactic it knows to learn a new tactic after a successful battle and Loyalty check. When a battle begins, the army must select one tactic to use for that battle.
The army fights defensively, taking actions to protect their fellow soldiers as needed. -2 OM, +1 DV, -2 to damage mod of armies who successfully attack you.
Hold the Line
Your army focuses on total defense of the battlefield. +2 DV, -4 OM, -4 to damage mod of armies who successfully attack you.
Once per battle, during the melee phase, you may give a -7 penalty to an enemy army's damage mod for a single Offense check. You must declare your use of Guardian before the enemy rolls his Offense check.
The army is skilled at surrounding the foe and distracting them, at the cost of spreading out too much and increasing its vulnerability. +1 OM, +2 damage mod, -2 DV.
You throw caution to the wind and attack with savage and gory vigor. +2 OM, +4 damage mod, -4 DV.
An army that fights dirty uses trickery and unfair tactics to gain an advantage. Once per battle, during the melee phase, you may gain a +7 bonus to your damage mod for a single Offense check. You must declare your use of Dirty Tricks before rolling your Offense check.
The sounds of combat drums and frenzied battlecries keep morale up. +5 to Morale checks.
Your tactics make your forces appear larger and more terrifying. -5 to one enemy army's Morale checks.
When the army is routed or flees battle, their opponents don't get a free Offense check, and a Loyalty check to make the army fight again may be tried only 3 days after the battle. If the enemy is using the "Extermination" tactic, those two tactics negate each other and have no effect.
You block all avenues of escape, chasing down survivors to the last. When an enemy army is routed or flees battle, you may make two final Offense checks instead of one, you gain a +1 bonus to damage modifier during those Offense checks, and you increase the difficulty of the Loyalty check to make the routed army fight again by 5. If the enemy is using the "Flawless Retreat" tactic, those two tactics negate each other and have no effect.
The army must have the mount resource to use this tactic. +1 OM against armies that aren't mounted.
The army must have the mount resource to use this tactic. +1 DV against armies that aren't mounted.
An army must have ranged capability to use this tactic. Each round you successfully damage an army that doesn't have ranged capability with an Offense check, you inflict an additional 2 points of damage from archers held in reserve.
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.
You adopt tactics to minimize the impact of defensive fortifications. Against enemies benefiting from defensive fortifications, gain a bonus to OM equal to the enemy's fortification bonus to DV or +3, whichever is lower.
You adopt tactics to disrupt spellcasting. Against armies with spellcasting ability, you gain +4 OM.
You know the way spellcasters fight and know how to defend against them. Against armies with spellcasting ability, you gain +4 DV.
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 +4 OM and +4 DV.
Once per battle, at the beginning of a melee phase round, you can order your army to hinder the enemy. Your army makes its Offense check normally, but deals no damage on a hit. Instead, on a hit, the opposing army has both its DV and OM reduced by 2 beginning on the next round, and for a number of rounds equal to the damage it would normally have been dealt.
You are skilled at taunting the enemy, provoking stupid mistakes and overconfidence in battle. The enemy must make a Morale check (DC 13) 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.
An army must have healers to use this tactic. Heal 3*CR instead of 2*CR.
Resources must be purchased with BP before an army can be outfitted with them. The army must be stationned in a city during the purchase, and the resources become a permanent part of the army. They can't be later transferred to another army and they are lost for good if the army is defeated.
Mounts (BP = Mount's CR)
The army is mounted on horses or other war-trained animals. Use the mount's speed for the army. If your army uses mounts that are more powerful than the soldiers themselves, your army's CR (and all derived scores) might increase.
Fortification builders (3 BP)
This resource represents each member possessing shovels, hand axes and similar basic tools to dig trenches and plant wooden spikes, and the expertise to better use those fortifications. An unit with this resource can spend a day to build quick fortifications or strengthen existing defenses. This increases the unit's DV by +3 until it moves away.
Improved Weapons (4 BP/15 BP)
The army is armed with masterwork weapons (increase OM by +1). For 15BP, you can instead outfit the army with magic weapons (increase OM by +2).
Improved Armor (4 BP/15 BP)
The army is equipped with heavy or masterwork armor (increase DV by +1). For 15BP, you can instead outfit the army with magic armor (increase DV by +2).
Healers (8 BP)
Each soldier is equipped with several healing potions, a wand of healing, or another healing ability. At any point during a battle (but no more than twice per battle), you can order your soldiers to heal—they cannot make an Offense check this round, but they can either heal themselves or another allied army involved in the battle for a number of hit points equal to twice the healer army's CR.
Poison (8 BP)
When a poison-using army damages an enemy army, the enemy army takes an automatic 1d6 points of damage on the round immediately following any round it took damage from the army with poison.
Ranged Weapons (3 BP)
Your soldiers are equipped with ranged weapons (such as crossbows or bows). Your army gains ranged capability.
Siege Engines (15 BP per engine)
Your army includes catapults, trebuchets, ballistae, rams, and other siege engines designed to break down fortifications. Increase OM by +2 (regardless of the total number of siege engines you control); each round of the melee phase, reduce the enemy's bonus to DV from fortifications by 1d4 points per siege engine your army controls.
Smokesticks (4 BP)
The army is equipped with smokesticks or uses some other way to temporarily block vision. During a battle, at the beginning of the ranged phase or at the beginning of a round of the melee phase (but no more than once per battle), you may order an army with this resource to use the Smokesticks, receiving a +4 DV and -4 OM for the round. If the army is routed without having used its smokesticks, it uses them automatically during the enemy's final melee Offense check.
Some armies also possess special abilities that they can use during a battle, or that provide constant bonuses. Those armies should not be available for players to raise at will - each such army should typically be an unique reward obtained during the course of the campaign and/or require a significant expenditure of BP to recruit. The following is a sample of the abilities those special armies may have. You can use those special abilities as inspirations to generate additional army abilities of your own.
The army gains ranged capability, and inflicts +1d4 points of damage on every successful hit against an enemy army.
These armies always make Morale checks, but can never change their strategy from normal.
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 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.
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 flees.
If the creatures in an army have unusual mobility (such as flight, 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.
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.
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.
An army that can throw rocks gains ranged capability and inflicts +4 damage during the Ranged phase.
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 signif icantly diff icult time overcoming the army's signif icant defense. In some cases, you might even wish to rule that an army is simply undefeatable by an enemy army because of its defenses—but you should never pit the PCs against such an army.
If an army's units have spell resistance, they gain a +6 bonus to their DV against armies that have the Spellcasting ability.
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 highestlevel 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.
Raising and disbanding armies
You can raise an army in any city that has a Barracks, Garrison, or Castle. A Barracks can raise an army up to size Medium, a Garrison up to size Huge, and a Castle up to size Colossal. Each Barracks, Garrison or Castle 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 costs the army's CR in BP, plus the cost of any Resources you wish to outfit it with, and increases the Kingdom's Consumption.
In addition to having sufficient training facilities, a kingdom's overall size limits how large of an army it can raise. Medium and smaller armies are available regardless of kingdom size. A kingdom of at least 25 hexes may also raise a Large or Huge army. Gargantuan armies require a kingdom of at least 100 hexes and Colossal armies require 150 hexes. Note that it may be possible to hire or otherwise coerce armies to fight on your behalf even if your kingdom is otherwise too small.
You can disband any number of armies during the Improvement phase. For each army you disband, your kingdom increases its Unrest by 1 and recovers the disbanded army's loot value in BP.
The availability of armies for conscription by the PCs depends upon their acts and successes in the Kingmaker Adventure Path to this point. By default, only the following armies are available. The statistics of a particular army's soldiers (ability scores, feats, skills, gear…) may change depending on the army and may be chosen freely when the army is raised, but none of it will affect mass combat.
Paltry Militia CR 1
Medium army of humans (warrior 3)
xp 0/4 ; loot 0
hp 5; DV 11; OM +1; Damage +0
Speed 2; Consumption 2
Prerequisite Kingdom size 1 or higher
Small Militia CR 3
Large army of humans (warrior 3)
xp 0/16 ; loot 0
hp 16; DV 13; OM +3; Damage +1
Speed 2; Consumption 6
Prerequisite Kingdom size 25 or higher
Regular Militia CR 5
Huge army of humans (warrior 3)
xp 0/36 ; loot 1
hp 27; DV 15; OM +5; Damage +2
Speed 2; Consumption 10
Prerequisite Kingdom size 25 or higher
Enormous Militia CR 9
Colossal army of humans (warrior 3)
xp 0/100 ; loot 2
hp 49; DV 19; OM +9; Damage +4
Speed 2; Consumption 18
Prerequisite Kingdom size 150 or higher
Regular Army CR 7
Gargantuan army of humans (fighter 2)
xp 0/64 ; loot 1
hp 38; DV 17; OM +7; Damage +3
Speed 2; Consumption 14
Prerequisite Kingdom size of 100 or higher
Kobold Skirmishers CR 4
Gargantuan army of kobolds (warrior 1)
xp 0/25 ; loot 1
hp 22; DV 14; OM +4; Damage +2
Tactics Dirty Tricks
Speed 2; Consumption 8
Prerequisite Allied with Sootscale kobolds
Centaur Outriders CR 7
Huge army of centaurs
xp 0/64 ; loot 2
hp 38; DV 17; OM +7; Damage +3, ranged
Tactics Cavalry Experts; Resources Ranged weapons
Special Abilities always treated as if they're mounted
Speed 3; Consumption 14
Prerequisite Allied with Nomen centaurs
Boggard Swarm CR 8
Gargantuan army of boggards
xp 0/81 ; loot 4
hp 36; DV 18; OM +8; Damage +4
Tactics Expert Flankers; Resources Healers
Special Abilities mobility advantage (swamps only)
Speed 1 (unaffected by swamps); Consumption 16
Prerequisite Must have allied with M'botuu boggards and removed Sepoko from power in Blood for Blood