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Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 23 Sidebar

May 26, 2015

Mass Combat Addendum

While the PCs were attempting to take out 2/3rds of the hag coven over there, a little over 100 Stagfell militia members were fighting for their lives against a score of trolls right here. This is the all-too-brief story of that battle.

Command of the human militia was left to Marshal Pelagia Medyved, a young scion of that great house who had disdained a comfortable life at court for the outdoors. As Marshal, she gets a boon when leading an army, and I selected Hit and Run for her. That would allow her unit to try and escape after each combat round, which fit her style, and would be a big help to the overmatched humans. After all, they were only to serve as a distraction while the PCs eliminated the leadership.

Stagfell Militia

Size: Medium (112); ACR: ½

OM: +0; DV: 10; HP: 1; Morale: +0

Speed: 2 hexes

Commander: Marshal Pelagia Medyved; Boons: Hit and Run

The trolls were led by Toboura the Fervent, an annis hag cleric of Gyronna. While I haven’t drawn up Hargulka’s holdings as a “real” kingdom, I had assigned informal kingdom roles to the three hags, and Toboura is the High Priestess. For her boon, I selected Hold the Line. I doubted it would come up in this battle, but of the Priest choices it seemed to fit her nature best.

Toboura’s Troll Band

Size: Tiny (20); ACR: 1

OM: 1; DV: 11; HP: 4; Morale: +1

Speed: 2 hexes; Special: Darkvision, Regeneration (2), Scent

Commander: Toboura the Fervent; Boons: Hold the Line

Pelagia had scouted a small valley where the militia would enjoy a tactical advantage, and furthermore they had set up a trap for the trolls in the form of lines of pitch along the valley floor. The idea was to light the pitch and channel the trolls into a killing zone. Given the defensive position and the planning that went into the trap, I gave the militia a +2 to both OM and DV for the battle. I also figured the fire trap would negate the trolls’ regeneration, at least for a round.

The militia concealed itself along the high ground as best it could. The Marshal used riders, herself among them, to bait the trolls and lure them into the trap (the PCs had proceeded on foot, giving her some horses to work with). She was going for an Ambush, and the militia succeeded on the roll to pull it off! The trolls swallowed the bait and chased the mounted humans directly into the trap. The riders galloped over and through the valley, hidden militia members lit the lines of pitch, and the rest of the militia sprung up from hiding with their crossbows and pikes. Walls of flame leapt up around the small band of trolls, trapping them as a hail of bolts was released into their midst.

The ambush allowed the militia to attack without the trolls getting to fight back. The players rolled an 11 for the attack; with the +2 OM from the trap, that translated into 2 damage to the trolls (out of 4). This triggered a rout check for the trolls, which they passed without even needing the reroll from Toboura’s Hold the Line boon. Normally, the trolls would have healed that damage at the end of the round, but the fire negated their regeneration.

Then Pelagia attempted to get the militia to disengage and conduct an orderly retreat, as allowed by her Hit and Run boon. But the Morale check failed, and the trolls got a chance to attack before the humans could flee. The trolls, egged on by their fear of Toboura, charged through the flames. Half the pikemen dropped their weapons and ran at the sight, and the savage giants quickly overtook the line. The orderly retreat turned into a slaughter as the 1 HP unit took 6 damage – I rolled really well for the attack.

The battle was over, and all that was left to resolve was the fate of the militia’s commander. The losing commander has a 20% chance of death, 50% of capture, and 30% chance of escape, and the players got a “captured” result. Pelagia was knocked unconscious as she attempted to rally the pikemen and preserve the retreat. Toboura recognized her as the humans’ leader and ordered her taken alive instead of eaten.

Another side effect of the loss? -2 to the kingdom’s Economy, Loyalty, and Stability! Ouch!

Next: Mestinous to the rescue?

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11 Comments
  1. Pinkius permalink

    Foolish wizard! a lone level 7 wizard is like, ACR .1
    You’re horribly outmatched by that army of trolls!

    Except they can’t reach you.
    And you have fireballs.
    And they’re already injured.

    Those two hags can probably handle Mestinous though, barring poor spell selection.

    • His intention (at the time, we’ll see if he remembers when we get to play again) was to try and take out Toboura with a create pit spell. Which is laughable, but I suppose he will learn that if he goes through with it. I don’t think he has a lot of fireballs left – maybe none, since he’s coming straight from the small-scale battle.

      Mamuna, the witch hag, has a dispel magic prepared, and about a 40% chance of getting rid of the wizard’s fly spell… They don’t have a lot of long-range options, otherwise. Unfortunately. Oh wait, she also has a quasit familiar, who is probably capable of doing a number on the elf.

  2. Mei Yu Lian permalink

    That was quick and brutal.

    • Pinkius permalink

      Yea, this all occured over the same time as the pc battle? It was my understanding army combat took place over hours

      • Mass combat rounds don’t last a pre-determined amount of time, actually. I was planning on keeping the two battles completely separate, but the players insisted on rushing over to the big one after the hags disappeared. So I’m deciding the mass combat is finished – it only lasted 1 round anyway – so that I don’t have to deal with the headache of mixing the two scales.

  3. Mei Yu Lian permalink

    Can I just ask, real quick-like, how these units have such low hps? Especially the militia? Are they all Wizards? Or am I missing something?

    • Unit hit points are average hit die value (3.5 for a commoner) x the unit’s ACR value (which is 0.5 for the militia unit). 7/2 * 1/2 = 7/4 which, since D&D rounds down, ends up as 1 hit point.

      The trolls are 4.5 (d8 hit die) * 1 = 4 hit points. The trolls’ ACR is due to their numbers; a Tiny unit’s ACR is the base creature’s CR (5 for trolls) – 4.

      • Mei Yu Lian permalink

        Ah, I was thinking the militia might have a better die. My bad. (And yes, I just looked it up;) )

      • Pinkius permalink

        I guess militia just really have it rough against trolls, our army got routed too

  4. So we did get to play this past Tuesday. It did not go at all as I expected, but given my players’ past behavior, I should have expected it. Anyway, writeups will be recommencing soon!

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