Powers & Perils Mass Combat - Comments

Burton & Linda Choinski linna at NETCOM.COM
Mon Apr 27 16:04:17 CEST 1998

Henrik Lawaetz wrote:
> Hi Burt (cc: P&P Mailing List),
> For the next couple of weeks, I'm reviewing my old P&P stuff in preparation
> for a new campaign with new players. Looking for background info, I
> stumbled on the P&P web-site and mailing list. Lot's of good things there,

Yes, and it is the only one (Wout, I'd almost call it the official site :)

> I've modified my skill system to your 2D10 format.

Heh.  I hope it works well for you.  Since you are new to the list you
may not know that I am currently running a modified Runequest system
in the Perilous Lands.  I am still using the 2d10 system for all
tasks, however. Previously I did use it with P&P, except for combat
and magic.   I'll have to check the site again and see if my new
"improvements" (tweaks I've made since) are there.

> As for the Mass Combat stuff, Impressive job! Sure it's a whole lot like
> the GURPS system, but that was pretty good so why not take advantage? I had
> my own system (which I must admit was never used in any of my previous
> campaigns). I've just spent some time revamping it a bit to reflect the
> (better!) ideas in yours. Mine, too, was a clone of the old GURPS system.

A while back I ran Gurps in a world of my own and two of the player
characters were big into military actions, so we worked the system quite a
bit.  There were some problems with it, which I changed in
my text.

> 1. Catastrophe Example.
> One point: I believe "Catastrophes" should always be bad. Your wording of
> the example seems to indicate that the Fierazi get a 10 % BONUS (it should
> be the Djani's who got that bonus), however this does not seem to be
> reflected subsequently, so perhaps I just read is wrong (?)
> (I prefer to call the Catastrophe table for the SNAFU table, but that is
> minor).

Damn!  You are correct, I did that wrong!  The Djani should have had
the 10% add.  I don't think it would have been enough to change the
outcome given the rolls I made, but you are correct.

I think the population of this list could come up wit a few more good
entries for the table, which should probably be converted to a d100
table anyways.

> 2. Effects of Player Characters.
> Realism is fine, but players like to feel that their PCs personally affect
> actions directly (at least that's what I believe they do). The system as
> you have it only allows the leader to affect the overall battle result. For
> the other PCs, the battle affects them - they do not affect the battle.

The rules do not actually state it, but that should have been implied.
If the PCs are directly in command of units I would take their units
actions into account with regards to battle and casualties.

The way I did it when I ran GURPS was to convert the idea of "risk"
into "encounters".  For a given battle there would be a number of
individual fights for the PCs.  This number was based on the total
number of men involved.  Each encounter I rolled 1d6 and added their
risk and their "reputation" and found the number of enemy units
(including archers) they became involved with for that encounter.
This was okay, but involved a lot of combat rolling.

> The "Glory Roll" (I have a similar concept called "Effect Roll") is
> modified by subtracting Risk, and adding CEL/2 and EL/2 in either "Military
> Officer" (if leading enough men to make a difference, GM discretion as
> always), "Infantryman" if fighting on foot, or "Cavalryman" if fighting

Actually this might work out better -- CEL/2, plus EL/2 in some combat
skill -- sword, horseman, etc.

> mounted. Also, certain Magical Items might allow further bonuses. My table
> goes a bit further, yielding a bit more potential Strategy gain at the top.

Please post it -- more minds is better.  Since I will probably be using this
system a lot with group #2 (they plan to start campaigns against
L'p'nth), the better the system the better the fun.

> HALF of the Strategy gain can be achieved even if the PC is NOT  the
> overall commander. The reasoning  is as follows:
>  - Risk: well, the more you try, the greater the benefits.
>  + CEL/2: If you have CEL 16, you can beat a lot of CEL 4 guys.
>  + Infantryman EL/2 (or whatever): I require a battle plan where the PCs

This has to be taken with some caution -- A PC in charge of a 100 man
unit in a 5000 man battle has a lot less influence, unless he charges
the opposing leader and whacks him.

> 3. Monsters and Magic in Battles
> I'm experimenting with allowing Wizards to affect the battle directly,
> similarly to fighters using their CEL, but this must be modified based on
> what combat/healing spells the Wizard knows and is willing to use. Perhaps
> you have some ideas.

I was just transcribing the rules, but had not gotten to the part
about magic use (I'll try to type that up tonight).  Monsters would
get a base TS value like elephants did.  NOTE: A good rule of thumb might be
to use the CDF and CL as a part of a formula.


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