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WAR AND CONQUEST

FOR BIRTHRIGHT 2E V1.0

War and Conquest


Battle Rules for Birthright
A DMs reference work for the BIRTHRIGHT campaign setting Version 1.0 Written, formatted and edited by Gary Foss

License: This copy of War and Conquest is a free document meant for personal and private use only. It is not for commercial sale, resale or distribution in whole or in part. Furthermore, all contents may be quoted, duplicated, revised or become the basis of derivative works under the understanding that such works must properly reference this text, and are themselves produced on a purely non-profit basis.

Table of Contents
Introduction.......................................................................................................................................... 4 Whats in this Text? ......................................................................................................................................................5 The Role of War ................................................................................................................................... 6 The Role of Battle.........................................................................................................................................................6 The Role of Command ................................................................................................................................................6 The Role of the Military...............................................................................................................................................7 War Actions .......................................................................................................................................... 7 Maintenance...................................................................................................................................................................9 What Are Military Units? .......................................................................................................................................... 10 What are Military Units, Part 2 ................................................................................................................................ 10 Special Qualities ......................................................................................................................................................... 11 Stacking Special Qualities.......................................................................................................................................... 16 New Special Qualities................................................................................................................................................ 16 Realm Spells ........................................................................................................................................17 War Moves ...........................................................................................................................................19 Going to War.............................................................................................................................................................. 19 Combined and Split Military Units.......................................................................................................................... 19 Military Statistics and Values .................................................................................................................................... 20 Fortifications............................................................................................................................................................... 20 Confront and Evade .................................................................................................................................................. 21 The Battle Round ................................................................................................................................21 Advantage.................................................................................................................................................................... 21 Advantage in 3.5......................................................................................................................................................... 22 Combat ........................................................................................................................................................................ 22 Morale.......................................................................................................................................................................... 23 Lull ............................................................................................................................................................................... 23 Conquest..............................................................................................................................................24 The Aftermath of Battle............................................................................................................................................ 24 Rest and Recuperation .............................................................................................................................................. 24 Ransom........................................................................................................................................................................ 25 Occupation.................................................................................................................................................................. 25 Ending a War.............................................................................................................................................................. 25 Converting Warcards...........................................................................................................................25

Introduction
I suppose we shouldnt be surprised that, in a period when card games absolutely dominated the gaming market, the authors of the BIRTHRIGHT setting came up with a system that suddenly turned into a card game for no apparent reason. After all, their company had just been bought out by a subsidiary of a massive corporation, and that subsidiary was raking in massive profits based on a game from a badly dubbed Japanese cartoon, so its understandable that everyone would start seeing everything as little collectable cards in that context. To paraphrase Mark Twain: If the only tool you have is a hammersaur, all your problems begin to

look like nailzons. If I saw parents forking over $100 for a colorful piece of cardstock with an obnoxiously cute little monster/cuddle toy on it, Id want in on some of that action too.1 But the warcard system wasnt really a good card game. Even as a set of cards, the warcards were weak. Perforated cardstock was low end even for folks willing to put up with a lot of badly produced gaming material,
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I cant really blame warcards on Pokmon. Birthright actually appeared a year or so earlier. But Im going to lay it at their door anyway. Not fair? Well, too bad. Sometimes I deal off the bottom of my Pokdex.

and despite the efforts of some talented artists, the size of the cards and their limited production techniques made for something without a lot of quality. As a game mechanic, the warcard system was just strange. BIRTHRIGHT had a system of portraying things in levels that parallels the basic progression system of the RPG upon which the setting is based. Busting out a thin paper map and playing out a card game in the middle of a domain action had all the sense and simplicity of those weird musical numbers that suddenly appear out of nowhere in the second act of a Bollywood melodrama. Aside from any game mechanic issues, the original materials described warcards in ways that were sometimes very difficult to make sense of. Units of 200 men or 100 men and 100 mounts is very exact for such an abstract portrayal as the stats of a warcard. How and why should that number of men translate into a value like Missile:4 or Charge:6? The setting materials often gives numbers to support its values, but doesnt lock those numbers into any particular hard and fast value. What is exactly represented by the various holding levels, for instance, is described in general terms, so gamers can take from that what they need. An exact number of men makes for strange problems when trying to do things like create a unit made up entirely of ogres, trolls or some other fantasy creature. Wouldnt 200 of those creatures result in a unit that had stats far outside those of a standard, 1st level (0-level when the setting was published) soldiers? One of the errors made by the warcard system is one that is most easily ignored. The effort to describe a warcard unit as a company of 200 soldiers simply isnt necessary. In a campaign based upon a system as wildly abstract as D&D, and that boils control of the religious life and faith of a province into something as generalized as a Temple(4) holding, theres no need to articulate the particulars of a military unit. That articulation is easily ignored, but its simple statement makes it a constant thorn in the side of those who might want to still use that system. The warcard system has never truly meshed well with the rest of the setting, and has led to endless debate about the nature of war, the size of military forces and the ways such things should be portrayed in a setting based upon the conflict of rulers who are often militaristic if not downright militaristic. Warcards were in many ways ill-conceived, and the system was a strange mix of detail and abstraction. For instance, units were described as being composed of particular numbers of troops and/or mounts, but the battlefield upon which battle was to be conducted was of unspecified size and scale. Terrain features were described, but the 5x5

square battlemap made them fairly useless. One of the most important aspects of the BIRTHRIGHT setting is large scale combat. At that time, the popularity of card games was indisputable, and many games were created that used specialized cards in combination with other standard gaming conventions, so it is perhaps understandable that something similar would take place in a setting released at that time. The system presented below is an attempt to create a way of resolving large scale combat that meshes more smoothly with the existing BIRTHRIGHT game mechanics. People in the BIRTHRIGHT community, who have managed to keep the setting alive for over a decade after it went out of print, have struggled with methods of playing out battles ever since the boxed set appeared. This text is my attempt to provide a solution to the problem, and I hope one that will be practical enough for DMs and players to continue to play the setting that we all find so entertaining. Thanks go to the folks who inspired this particular round of game material mania: Mirviriam, Rowan, Sorontar and Vicente. Thanks also go Arjan for his dutiful efforts in maintaining and supporting BIRTHRIGHT.net. Good Gaming, Gary Foss

WHATS IN THIS TEXT?


This document contains a system of rules for conducting large scale combat at the BIRTHRIGHT domain level. These rules are meant to correspond with game mechanics that already exist in the setting, and the basic conventions should be familiar to anyone who has read the original materials. As a general assumption, this document is written as a supplement to the original materials. GB values, RP costs and similar game mechanics are meant to correspond to those values presented in the boxed set. That was done so that they can be used as basis for anyones homebrewed rules or updates created by people in the Birthright community using whatever methods theyve already employed. War and Conquest can be used as is, using the Birthright Rulebook as a basis. No other texts are required. Several of texts in the campaign material include values for troops or other military units, but translating those units into War and Conquest values is remarkably easy. A short section of this text, Converting Warcards, is included toward the end of this document (p25) to aid in any issues having to do with converting standard BIRTHRIGHT materials.

The Role of War


The battle was all but won. Our enemies were huddled in a loose formation before us. They had fallen back towards the forest, driven by our charging cavalry and the relentless push of pikemen. Yet they did not flee or surrender. They had retreated in good order, and as many of our dead littered the ground as theirs. Nonetheless, their position was dire, and it was only a matter of time before their ranks broke and they would be crushed. For the first time in hours, men began to smile as the relief of victory began to wash over them. The prince ordered a final charge as the enemys formation began to press into the trees at their backs. Do not let them escape! he ordered. Show them no more mercy than they have shown our own people! He led the van himself. It was just as the first knight lowered his lance that we heard the hissing sounds and fleshy thumps that fill the soldiers heart with dread. There were archers in the trees! The whole of our cavalry was exposed to their fire! More arrows leapt from the right and left, and I realized that this enfilade that looked like such a perfect place to force our enemies also gave anyone waiting for us a perfect view of our flanks. We had been lured into a cunning trap. Many have told the tale of that brave charge, and that the prince fell swinging his blade, surrounded by foes. I tell you truthfully, that I saw him fall in that first volley, and it was the feathered shaft of an arrow that stuck from his gorget that silenced him. Without our leader, many found they had little stomach for the coming slaughter. I count myself among them, and that is why I am here to tell you the tale rather than feeding the crows upon some distant field.

the conflicts that are likely in a typical BIRTHRIGHT campaign are relatively small compared to most of the classic battles, a fight between the forces of domains represents hundreds or even thousands of warriors, too large to be resolved easily using the standard adventure level combat system. The resolution of large scale combat in BIRTHRIGHT is one of the most exciting aspects of the setting. The scions of Cerilia gained their powers through the cataclysmic events of a battle 1,500 years in the past, and in many ways that battle has continued in the centuries since as those with the blood of the gods continue in their struggles against one another. For those who succeed there are ever greater rewards in terms of glory, influence and power. For those who fail there is only ignominy and death. The War and Conquest system is meant to portray battles using a set of leveled values to continue the theme set by the BIRTHRIGHT domain rules. There are no warcards or battlemap. Battle can be resolved using just the record sheet that the DM and players use to record stats about domains. Using this system then there need be no break in the action between the domain level of play and large scale combat, so DMs and players can continue role-playing in whatever way they are accustomed to doing during a regular BIRTHRIGHT session.

THE ROLE OF COMMAND


Leadership can play a vital role in military endeavors. In the War and Conquest system, leadership takes place during strategic decisions made by characters who decide upon the size, types and deployment of their troops. But more dramatically, leadership takes place on the battlefield during the Advantage phase of the combat round. At that time, leaders are able to able to get points that can be used later in the combat round to alter the effects of the various actions. In a Birthright campaign, leadership is the purview of the PCs, usually in their role as regents. In a typical D&D campaign, PCs can be devastatingly powerful in combat in a way that is difficult to portray in large scale combat. One of

THE ROLE OF BATTLE


Sooner or later, any BIRTHRIGHT campaign will involve combat that goes beyond what most DMs and players are comfortable conducting using the standard D&D combat rules. Though the size of

the conventions of this system is that the characters who lead a military force do just that: lead. By directing combat, rather than engaging directly in it they are able to wield forces beyond even their own powers. The coordination and teamwork involved in an organized military unit makes that force more powerful than even highlevel characters, and one of the points in delving into a large scale combat system is the assumption that even the most powerful character would not be able to confront an organized military force in any realistic way. Thats not to say that PCs dont influence events at the large scale combat level. Their presence can still be vital to the outcome of a battle. However, their role is relegated to that of the commander. In this system, that means their influence is determined early in the combat round as an abstract pool of points that is doled out by the player as he sees fit during the remainder of the round.

and increase units of army or navy using the Muster action, locate them using the Move Troops action and dismiss them using the Disband action. Updated versions of the domain actions are included below: Disband Success: Auto (ML+) Type: Free Base Cost: None Military units can be dismissed at any time. The troops that make up armies, levies and navies are simply dispersed, and they return to their homes and families. A regent can disband military units by simply deciding how many levels of those units he wishes to let go. The target number of the success roll is based on the levels of military he plans to disband. Mercenary units double their levels for the purpose of this success roll. Whether the roll is a success or a failure, the military units are no longer under the regents command and he is no longer responsible for their maintenance. However, the various types of military units have special conditions that may result from their dismissal. Disbanding levies returns the population level of the province from which they were mustered to its previous level, but only if the levies are dismissed while in their home province. Levies that are dismissed outside their home province are effectively forsaken, and most become bandits. The population level of their home province remains reduced permanently, and their abandonment may create a Brigandage random event in the province in which they have been dismissed if a success roll is failed. When mercenaries are disbanded there is a

THE ROLE OF THE MILITARY


Below are versions of the original BIRTHRIGHT domain actions that change the system to portray military units as leveled values similar to province population, holdings and fortifications. The military is broken up in the several types, comparable to those of the original setting materials. Below is a rewrite of those domain actions that reflects this system.

War Actions
Mustering and disbanding military units is done on a province by province basis. Regents create

possibility that they will remain in the province as bandits and raiders. If a success roll is failed then the mercenaries begin to prey on the local population, creating a Brigandage random event. Naval units can be disbanded with no repercussions if they are located in a coastal area adjacent to a province controlled by their commander. If they are disbanded away from home they may turn to piracy, resulting in a brigandage random event in the nearest coastal province. A success roll can avoid this result. Success: 2+ Fortification2 Type: Domain, Realm Base Cost: 1RP A province or the holdings in that province can be fortified against an invasion. Fortifications make defenders much more difficult to attack and can tie up enemy forces for months, preventing an attacker from taking over or looting a province. Fortifications can take one of two main forms: bastions and strongholds. The construction of bastions can be opposed by any regent who controls holdings of the same type in the same province. The construction of strongholds can be done by anyone regent with any holding in the province or the province ruler. Bastion: A regent can fortify his holdings against attack by fortifying the buildings that it occupies, dispersing its assets, constructing vaults and catacombs and otherwise protecting the physical manifestation of his holdings from the destruction caused by invading troops. Fortified holdings are not reduced by an invader who loots the province in which the holding is located. Bastions can be raised to a maximum level equal to the highest level holding controlled by a regent in that province.
The two types of domain features described in this action were, in the original 2e system, referred to as Holdings and Castles. The terms bastions and strongholds are used in this document to attempt to differentiate the two types of fortifications more clearly, and to avoid the association of fortifications that affect a province during war with castles. Any type of defensive fortification ranging from the underground realms of dwarves to the treefortresses of the elves might fall under this game mechanic. Castle evokes a particular type of structure and medieval period and is, therefore, too limited for our purposes.
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Before holdings protected by bastions can be attacked directly the bastion itself must be dealt with. There are three methods of dealing with bastions. First, a bastions can be bypassed using the Contest action. Contesting a bastion is opposed by both the bastion level and the level(s) of all holdings controlled by the target regent. Successfully contesting a bastion once renders it temporarily ineffective, allowing the attacking regent to plunder the holding normally. Contesting the bastion a second time destroys it. The second way bastions can dealt with is by assault. Bastions add their level to the defense value of any troops who occupy them and battle is resolved per the War Moves rules below. Lastly, a bastion can be besieged per the rules on siege warfare. A bastions is reduced just like a stronghold. The cost of constructing a bastion is 5GB per level. Stronghold: A general fortification that defends the province against attacks can take the form of a castle, underground defenses, a series of fortresses or strategically located bases and defensive positions. Constructing a stronghold in a province creates a leveled holding that is recorded like any other domain feature. For example, a Stronghold(4) represents four levels of defensive construction in a province. Stronghold levels are added directly to the defensive value of a military unit occupying that holding during combat. Once constructed, a stronghold defends the province and the holdings controlled by the regent who owns it.

Strongholds have a base cost of 8GB per level. For both bastions and strongholds, construction takes place at a rate of 1d6GB per domain turn. A regent may spend an additional 5GB per domain turn (that is, 5GB more than the basic cost of 5GB per level of the fortification) to increase the pace to 2d6GB. Construction costs are paid according to the pace of construction. Move Troops Success: Auto Type: Free Base Cost: 1GB Regents can order their military units to travel to any province in his domain, into domains upon which he has declared war, or into those with whom he has established an appropriate diplomatic relationship. The cost of moving land units is 1GB per 10 levels of units moved, per province they are moved through. A regent can move all levels of an army, or he can split that army into as many individual groups as it has levels, should he be unable to afford movement for the entire army, or deem that the military situation makes such a split necessary. Troops can also be transported by sea using naval units. Each level of a naval unit can transport a level of a land unit. The cost of transporting units by sea is half that of transporting them by land. Most landed units are unable to move, or attack on the first war move after they disembark from naval unit. They must spend that period regrouping and recovering from the voyage. If attacked during this period they can only defend themselves. Muster Success: Auto Type: Free Base Cost: Special Regents can create and increase the size of their military forces using the Muster action. Military units are created in a province that the regent controls or in which the regent controls holdings. They appear in that province and remain there until the regent uses the Move Troops and/or the War domain action(s). There are four types of units that a regent can raise: Army, Levy, Mercenary and Navy. The cost to raise units depends upon the type of unit. Levies are raised for 1GB per level. Armies and Mercenaries each cost 2GB per level. Navies cost

3GB per level. The creation and expansion of a military unit requires troops to be outfitted, organized, trained and activated, so units cannot be deployed in a War Move in the same turn they are created. Mercenary troops are the exception to this rule because they are employed rather than enlisted. A regent who hires military units can deploy those troops as soon as they are paid for. Levies are made up of soldiers from the common citizenry of the province rounded up and pressed into service. Raising levies temporarily lowers the population level of the province. Each level of levy reduces the population level of the province by 1. The total levels of each type of military unit created in a province cannot exceed its population level. Like holding levels, the levels of different military units each represent a progressive set of troop types. War Success: Special Type: Domain Base Cost: None The war domain action allows a commander to begin moving his troops over a border that he would otherwise be unable to cross. A regent can declare war on more than one nation, but doing so requires a success roll. This is accomplished in a series of war moves (page 19.) A regent first declares a War domain action in his proper order of domain initiative. After his declaration, all other regents conduct their domain actions as normal, and the regent makes his first war move at the end of the turn, followed by any regents who declared war after him.

MAINTENANCE
Keeping soldiers in place is costly not only in terms of payroll and maintenance, but also because of the lost revenue that soldiers represent in the economy. Those dedicated to military duty are unavailable to otherwise contribute to the economy. During the maintenance portion of the domain turn, soldiers and the costs of their upkeep must be paid. Maintenance for military units is equal to

the total level of levies, twice the level of army units, three times the levels of mercenaries and four times the levels of naval units. This total is divided by 2 and rounded up to get the cost of maintenance in GB. A regent who is short of cash can spend RP to cover the cost of maintaining troops at a rate of 5RP per GB owed. Levels of unpaid military units disband with possible brigandage results per the rules for the Disband domain action above.

WHAT ARE MILITARY UNITS?


Exactly what is represented by the various levels of military units? What is an Army(3) or a Mercenary(2)? How many ships are involved in four levels of a Navy? The short answer is that these numbers portray a short-hand method of determining relative military strength; they do not account for every soldier, his equipment and stats. Military levels are an abstraction that fits with the other ways domain level effects are portrayed in the BIRTHRIGHT system of political play, and we can use these game mechanics to resolve combat without being overly concerned about exactly what it is that is being portrayed. However, when transitioning between the domain level play and the adventure level play we sometimes need to have some idea what is represented by numbers that represent domain values. Various BIRTHRIGHT products have been published that show us what is behind the curtain of the province and holding levels. The military units of the War and Conquest system can be viewed in a similar way. According to The Book of Priestcraft (BoP), temple holdings represent a single minor shrine per level, a major site per two levels, and one great site per four levels. Military levels can be portrayed the same way, but using the quality and experience of the troops as the basis of the values rather than sites. Instead of minor, major and great temple structures, military units represent companies of recruits, veterans, elites and champions. Optional Rule: One possible use of these ratings is to limit the amount of special qualities (below) available to particular military units.

Special qualities often have a required military level. They might also be associated with a particular rating of troops. For example, instead of an army(4) requirement to create a unit of heavy cavalry, that special quality might take up an Elites slot. Using such a system, special qualities that have no military level requirements take up a Recruit slot. Those with a military requirement up to 3 use the Veterans slots. Those requiring military levels 4-6 are Elites, and military levels 7+ are Champions.

WHAT ARE MILITARY UNITS, PART 2


But what are military units, really? How many soldiers does a level represent? What levels are they? What equipment do they have? What happens if a character encounters a military unit at the adventure level and the DM needs to portray that unit as characters with levels? Rather than provide an accounting of the number of soldiers and their stats at the adventure level, military units can be portrayed as a set of challenges and encounters. In the Book of Priestcraft, temple holdings are associated with a range of NPCs who staff the various temple structures (page 65.) These characters are distributed among the various manifestations of the temple holding according to their levels. Military units are represented by the barracks, training facilities, stables and armories that they occupy, but for the most part they represent troops. The NPCs who staff a holding per the Book of Priestcraft can be seen as the equivalent of the commissioned and non-commissioned officers who run the unit. Where a temple has Acolytes, Clergy and Men-at-arms in its staff, a military unit has Sergeants, Officers and Support Staff. The character levels of NPCs can be distributed in a way that mimics the table in the BoP. Using D&D 3.5 rules, military unit levels can form the basis of a set of encounters by comparing those levels to challenge ratings. Organizations at the domain level are beyond a single encounter, but dealing with a level of a military unit can be represented at the adventure level by a series of 4-6 encounters (a short adventure) with an average CR equal to the double level of the unit.

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DMs should note that an adventure level encounter with a military unit shouldnt allow PCs to completely destroy that unit. As a general rule, an adventure that featured a series of encounters per the description above could create the equivalent of a random event that the regent in charge of the military unit must address.

Table 1: Military Unit Components


Level
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Recruit Veteran
X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

Elite Champion

SPECIAL QUALITIES
The levels of military units and the types of units that can be mustered reflect an average type of soldier: assigned to typical units, given the proper amount of training and outfitted with standard equipment. In addition to simple numbers of troops expressed by levels, military units can take on special qualities that influence their performance in combat and the ways that they can be deployed by the regents who command them. Special qualities allow regents to customize their troops in ways that can make them much more effective on the battlefield, sometimes give them special abilities that can be useful at the domain level of play, and give them additional flavour. Individual military units can have one special quality per level. The army itself must meet the requirement or requirements listed. If the army is reduced in level due to combat or lack of maintenance, it may lose special qualities. If it is the loss of level reduces the army below the level that a special quality requires, or if the army has more special qualities than levels, it temporarily

X X

loses those special qualities. If levels are not restored to the unit by the end of the next domain turn, the loss of special qualities becomes permanent. See Rest and Recuperation on page 24 for more information. The modifiers and values given to a military unit by it special qualities are cumulative. Should a military unit have as many special qualities as it has levels, a regent can replace an existing special quality by simply purchasing it. He can decide which of the special qualities of his unit is to be lost. He cannot exchange the special quality for its GP value, nor does he get any GP for the lost special quality. Below is a list of special troop types, the effects that such troops have when deployed, the costs for adding types of troops to an individual military unit, and the requirements that a province must have for such special troops to be mustered.

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Table 2: Special Qualities


Special Quality GB Cost Archers 6 Aerial 15 Assaulters 5 Beastriders 12 Berserks 2 Boarders 2 Bowmen 5 Caravel 6 Cavalry, heavy 11 Cavalry, light 3 Cog 2 Companions 5 Crossbowmen 4 Dart 3 Dhoura 6 Drakkar 6 Elites 5 Enchanted, flyers 12 Enchanted, stealth 5 Engineers 3 Explorers 3 Fanatics 10 Forager 3 Forester 2 Infiltrators 2 Irregulars 1 Knarr 6 Longships 4 Marines 4 Mountaineer 2 Partisan 1 Phalanx 1 Pikes 2 Raiders 6 Rangers 1 Roundship 14 Royal Guards 15 Scouts 1 Shapeshifters 6 Skirmishers 2 Spears 1 Spellcasters, arcane 2 Spellcasters, divine 2 Sylvan 14 Train 1 Towerships 20 Undead 12 Varsks 5 Wastelanders 2 Waterbreathers 4 Wolfriders 5 Zebec 10 Requirement Army(3) Army(3) Army(5) Rjurik/Vos Navy(3) Army(3) Navy(3) Army(4) Army(2) Navy(2) Army(7) Army(2) Army(2) Navy(3) Navy(3) Army(4) Source(5) Source(3) Army(3) Army(2) Army(3) Levy(2) Navy(3) Rjurik, Navy(3) Army(4), Navy(3) Army(2) Levy(3) Army(3) Army(2) Army(2) Navy(5) Army(6) Army(2) Rjurik, Army(3) Army(3)* Navy(5) Special Vos, Army(4) Army(2) Race*, Army(3) Navy(4) Effect Range A +3 Maneuver, +1 attack, +1 defense +3 attack on fortified defenders +3 attack, -2 enemy morale +2 attack* Attack Navy units Range B +1 attack, +1 defense +3 first attack, +1 defense, Range F +1 maneuver, +1 defense +1 defense 3 floating points* Range C Range D +1 maneuver, +1 defense +2 attack +2 defense, +1 morale +3 maneuver Sneak attack Assault and degrade fortifications Half movement cost +3 morale. Half maintenance +1 attack, +1 to defense in forests. Free surprise attack* +1 attack +1 maneuver, +1 defense +1 maneuver Disembark and attack* +1 attack, +1 to defense in mountains +1 attack, +1 defense in home province +1 defense Range E +2 to retreat or withdraw checks* +2 attack a troop type* +2 maneuver, +1 defense +1 attack, +2 defense, +3 morale Information on nearby troops -1 to enemy morale checks, +1 morale +1 morale Range F +2 attack first round of combat +2 defense first round of combat +2 attack, +2 defense and +2 maneuver in sylvan* Cheaper overland travel* +2 attack, +2 defense +1 attack, +2 defense, +2 morale +1 maneuver, +2 attack +1 attack, +1 to defense in deserts +2 defense against Navy, disengage* +1 maneuver, +1 attack, +1 defense +1 maneuver, +2 attack

* See the special ability description for additional rules.

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Archers: Archers are troops with the best ranged weapons and training possible. The archers special ability includes a wide range of missile weapons, but the standard is the longbow as employed by the most skillful soldier. The ability to use missile weapons allows a military unit to perform a ranged attack in place of its melee attack. Ranged attacks occur before melee attacks during the combat phase of battle, and are given a letter rating (A, B, C, etc.) to determine when they occur. As the premier marksmen on the battlefield, archers attack first at Range A. Aerial: Troops that ride flying mounts are extraordinarily expensive to muster and maintain, but they have a significant advantage on the battlefield. Aerial troops gain +3 to their maneuver checks. Assaulters: Troops trained to scale castle walls and attack fortified positions are assaulters. In addition to special training, they are equipped with climbing gear, light battering rams and other paraphernalia that aid them in their mission. Boarders: Ships troops trained to attack other naval vessels are boarders. Land units that receive this special quality are able to engage naval units. In order to attack, boarders must be adjacent to or in the same province as the naval unit. That is, the target is traveling along a river that is in or adjacent to the province the marine occupies. Boarders can attack either a naval unit or land units being transported by naval units. Beastriders: Troops that ride large animals such as elephants or giant lizards qualify as beastriders. Very large mounts can be devastating on the battlefield, but they are not particularly fast in combat. Their presence adds +3 to the melee attack value of a military unit, and opponents suffer -2 to their morale checks. The beastrider special ability requires a regent to have created a system of ranches using a guild holding per the rules on varsks in the Tribes of the Heartless Wastes sourcebook. Berserks: Berserkers are wild, maniacal fighters known for their fearlessness and bloodlust. A unit with the Berserk special ability gets +2 to attack rolls. After combat is concluded, however, berserk units must make a morale check to avoid turning on each other. Should this check

fail the unit will actually attack itself for one round. Berserk units can only be mustered in provinces with Rjurik or Vos populations. Bowmen: Troops equipped and trained to use powerful ranged weapons qualify as bowmen. Their attacks are rated B when resolved during a combat round. Caravel: A smaller, earlier version of what would develop into the galleon, caravels and similar ships continue to be constructed because of their utility and lower cost. Cavalry, heavy: Units of heavy cavalry are composed of soldiers riding the largest mounts available, wearing heavy armor and wielding lances. A military unit made up of heavy cavalry gains +3 to its attack on the first round of combat and +1 on other combat rounds. Heavy cavalry attacks occur at range F. Cavalry, light: Light cavalry units ride ponies or other fast mounts and focus upon speed on the battlefield. Their movement rate is increased by +1, and their speed in combat allows them to make hit and run attacks, effectively increasing their defense value by +1. Cog: A cog is similar to a caravel but is more sturdily built and has a broader beam. Companions: A military unit with the companions special ability includes a band of legendary warriors, each a force to be reckoned with in his own right. As individuals they can sway the course of battle, but when gathered together their presence can change the course of history. A military unit with the companions special ability never fails morale checks. In any given combat round, the units commander can add a total of 3 points to any of the units stats. Unlike advantage points, the points gained by the companions special quality can be assigned after the die roll is made. Crossbowmen: Troops equipped with powerful, long range, but relatively slow missile weapons qualify as crossbowmen. They are rated C in the order of combat action resolution. Dart: Military units that throw axes, spears, javelins, or ranged weapons that are comparable in terms of range, rate of fire, ammunition or effectiveness gain a missile attack that is rated D according to the resolution of combat actions.

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Dhoura: The heavy trading vessel of the Khinasi uses triangular sails, and may have extensive deck features. Drakkar: The premier warship of the Vos, the drakkar or dragon ship is superficially similar to the Rjurik longship, but in terms of size, building techniques and design, they are very different ships. Drakkar use steering oars rather than a rudder, which makes them a little less maneuverable, but able to travel into shallow waters that most vessels of their size would be unable to enter. Elites: Elite troops are units of experienced soldiers who receive the best equipment, training and pay. The presence of elite troops in a military unit gives it a +1 to defense and +1 to morale checks. Enchanted, flyers: Troops that are magically able to fly can have a powerful effect on the battlefield. Their ability to command a battlefield, provide intelligence and harass the enemy gives them a +3 to the maneuver check of any military unit they are associated with. Enchanted, stealth: Troops given magical items, potions or under the effects of powerful magic that hides their location on the battlefield have the stealth enchantment. They have the ability to avoid combat entirely by automatically succeeding an attempt to retreat or withdraw (see Lull on page 23.) They can also deliver a single attack at the beginning of a battle without a response from their opponents. This attack can be against any unit the attacking commander desires, and the defense value of that unit is halved for that attack. After this attack is resolved, the unit with the stealth enchantment is revealed and combat is resolved normally. Engineers: Engineers are trained and equipped to besiege fortifications. Engineers gain +2 to attacks made against troops occupying fortified positions. When present during a siege, engineers reduce the level of a besieged fortification by 2 points per domain turn. Explorers: Units with the explorers special ability are able to find their way through difficult terrain more easily than other troops. The cost for moving explorers is halved.

Fanatics: Troops who are devoted to their cause are given the fanatical special quality. They rarely fail morale checks. Forager: Foragers are able to live off the land, making their upkeep more affordable. The maintenance costs of forager units are halved. Forester: Troops capable of operating as foresters gain advantages while operating in forested provinces. They gain +1 to attack rolls and their defense value when fighting in forested provinces. Provinces with elven populations can create mountaineer units for 1GB. Galleon: Anuires galleons are amongst the most powerful ships of the continent. Their size and armament means they are able to dominate most combat with other ships. Infiltrators: A military unit with the infiltrator special ability is able to disguise themselves and attack by surprise. If their commander succeeds in a Tactics check, they gain a single free attack at the beginning of battle. Infiltrators in an opposing army can counter this attack with a success roll by the rival commander. Irregulars: Units of levies that are made up of the fiercer, more combat experienced members of a community are irregulars. Though tougher, they have little in the way of discipline, and are no more obedient than other levies, and experienced troops are rarely intimidated by them. They gain +1 to their attacks against other levy units, and +1 to morale. Knarr: The knarr is a more advanced version of the longship. It can move under sail or it can be oared. Longships: Both the Rjurik and the Vos build longships that are fast, reliable and quick to construct. The techniques used to create longships influence larger, more powerful vessels of both those peoples. Marines: Marines are units who specialize in fighting as ships troops, or landing in hostile territory from naval vessels. Under certain circumstances, marines are able to perform attacks against naval units or units being transported aboard a naval unit. In order to attack, the marine unit must be adjacent to or in the same province as the naval unit. That is, the target is traveling along a river that is in or

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adjacent to the province the marine occupies. After loading or unloading such units, the regent in command of a naval unit can move it offshore to prevent a marine unit on land from attacking it. However, when aboard a naval unit itself, a marine unit can attack any naval units or land units aboard those naval units as part of a standard war move. Further, marine units fight at full strength as soon as they come ashore when transported by naval units. In order to create a military unit that has the marine special ability, a regent must control both an Army(4) and a Navy(3) unit. These units must be in the same province during the action the regent adds this special ability. Mountaineer: Mountaineering troops gain advantages while operating in provinces that have mountainous terrain. They gain +1 to attack rolls and their defense value when fighting in mountainous provinces. Provinces with dwarven populations can create mountaineer units for 1GB. Partisan: Partisans are troops trained to defend their homes against invasion. They gain +1 to their attacks and defenses while fighting in the provinces in which they were mustered. Phalanx: Troops with the phalanx special ability are trained to fight as a defensive unit, locking their shields together and moving as a

body. Pikemen: Pikemen are especially useful against mounted troops. They gain a +1 to attack rolls against troops that fight on mounts such as cavalry or those varsk riders. The attacks of pikemen occur at range E. Raiders: Troops that specialize in hit and run tactics are called raiders. Their ability to evade after an attack makes it easier to retreat or withdraw from combat. See Lull on page 23 for more information on these actions. Rangers: Rangers are specialist troops, experts in the tactics, vulnerabilities and qualities of a particular type of opponent. Rangers are usually expert at fighting a particular race, but could be experts at fighting any groupa race, a national identity, a religion or anything the DM is willing to allow. They gain +2 in the attack rolls against that type of troop. Roundship: Amongst the most advanced and seaworthy of Cerilias sailing vessels, roundships are in many ways the realization of everything the Brecht want in a sailing vessel. Royal Guards: These soldiers charged with the personal protection and defense of their liege. They receive the best training, equipment and their duty gives them a special esprit de corps. Scouts: The presence of scouts in a military unit allows the regent who controls them to see into an adjacent province, revealing the levels and types of military units (but not special abilities) of military units in nearby provinces. Shapeshifters: Among the Rjurik are special populations of warriors able to take the form of animals in battle. Though not particularly more effective in battle, this power does make them disheartening to fight, and simultaneously improves the morale of their own troops. Spellcasters, arcane: Even the presence of a few low-level arcane spellcasters in a unit make it much more powerful offensively. The arcane spellcaster special ability gives the unit +2 to its attack value on the first round of combat. Spellcasters, divine: Divine spellcasters make a unit more defensive and improve its morale. Military units with divine spellcasters gain +1 to their defense rolls and +1 to morale. Sylvan: Sylvan troops are composed of

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Table 3: Special Quality Costs Statistic GB Cost Attack & Defense 1 cumulative per modifier Maneuver 2 cumulative per modifier Range 1 per modifier Morale 2 per modifier Naval x2 fantastic creatures who live in the mystic forested provinces of Cerilia. Centaurs, dryads, elves, fauns and treants are all types of creatures that might make up a sylvan unit. Sylvan units are able to use their natural abilities while in their home provinces to devastating effect. In their forested, home provinces, they gain +2 attack, +2 defense and +2 maneuver. Train: A military unit with a train has land transportation (horses, donkeys, wagons, etc.) that gives them the ability to travel more cheaply and quickly than other troops. These mounts are not of the type, quality or training to be ridden into combat. The cost for traveling overland for mounted units is reduced by half. That is, a mercenary(6)-mounted unit travels as if it were a 3 level unit. Towerships: The Brecht construct massive ships dominated by a tall castle tower-like structure that gives its crew a powerful advantage in ship-to-ship combat due to the added range and protection. Undead: Typically, army units are raised by the Undead Army realm spell, but any number of mystical means could lead to the creation of military units with this special quality. Varsks: Mounted on the famed lizards of Vosgaard, varsk riders are famed throughout Cerilia for their ferocity and the fierceness of their mounts. Wastelanders: Troops accustomed to living in the harsh wastelands of Cerilia gain benefits to their stats when fighting in desert provinces. They gain +1 to attack rolls and their defense value when fighting in provinces with that terrain type. Waterbreathers: Races that live underwater may have military units capable of attacking from the coast or inland through rivers. They are able to use the water as an effective defensive position

to attack from or to retreat to. When doing battle with Navy units, waterbreathers are able to attack the hulls of vessels and use the waves as concealment, gaining a defensive advantage. In addition, waterbreathers can swim off when they wish to conclude a battle, giving them a +5 bonus to their chance to disengage during the Lull portion of battle. Of course, when fighting on land a unit with the waterbreathers special quality loses these advantages. Wolfriders: Mounted on wolves or large dogs, wolfriders are the favored cavalry units of smaller races such as goblins and halflings. Amongst those races they are elite soldiers. Zebec: Designed for combat rather than trade and commerce, zebecs are machines of war constructed with sleek lines and deck fortifications.

STACKING SPECIAL QUALITIES


Special abilities can be very influential on the battlefield. In the War and Conquest system as presented, special qualities are meant to stack, and commanders can purchase as many special abilities for their units as they have levels. However, DMs should decide whether they want to allow commanders to purchase multiple special qualities for a particular military unit, multiple special qualities of the same type, or create special abilities using the section below to create modifiers for military units that are particular to that unit. If the DM does allow it, the modifiers from multiple special abilities for one military unit should stack. Special qualities can all be noted for the military unit after the type of military and its level: Army(5): archers, pikemen. The five combat stats (maneuver, range, attack, defense and morale) can be noted after the basic description.

NEW SPECIAL QUALITIES


The special qualities described above should cover the majority of troop types in a typical BIRTHRIGHT campaign, and several more besides. However, there are always exceptions, unusual circumstances and new ideas. You might also want to simply change a stat here or there for a

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particular type of troop in order to make it reflect the way you think those troops function on the battlefield. All the special qualities described above follow the rules described below. You can use these guidelines to create your own special qualities that represent new types of soldiers and naval units. The cost and requirements for new special qualities is based upon the stats they add to a military unit. Costs for improving the basic statistics of a military unit (attack and defense) are cumulative and progressive based on the total modifiers. So, a total of +1 attack and defense modifiers costs 1GB, +2 costs 3GB (1+2) and three costs 6GB (1+2+3.) Etc. Limiting conditions on the use of these modifiers reduce their overall cost by 1GB. For example, the cost of special quality that gives a unit +3 to attack but only while in provinces with a particular terrain type costs 5GB (1+2+3-1.) Special qualities that improve the maneuver statistic of a unit costs twice as much as improving attack or defense. That is, 2GB for the first increase, 6GB (2+4) for a second increase and 10GB (2+4+6) for a third increase. Like attack and defense, a condition that limits the use of an improved maneuver stat reduces the cost of the modifier by -1GB. As a general rule, the most powerful special qualities will give a +3 modifier on any particular stat. Modifiers above +3 should be reserved for very special units: monstrous hordes, extraordinary creatures, powerfully enchanted

troops or those who wield similar powers. Qualities other than the core military statistics of a unit such as their range, which determines the order of their attacks, are given a simple cumulative 1GB value per level rather than a progressive (1+2+3) cost. That is, starting from Range G, improving the range of a unit costs 1GB per step. The cost for giving a unit an ability that puts it at Range D is 3GB. Improving the morale of a unit costs twice as much as improving its range: 2GB per increase. Very unusual special qualities are given a value according to an assessment of how valuable that ability is compared to a simple modifier. For example, the ability to deliver a magical sneak attack (enchanted, stealth) is roughly equivalent to a +3 modifier, but as a single-shot ability in any given battle, it is given a -1 overall cost for a total of 1+2+3-1=5GB cost. Any other special qualities can be compared to those already described and assigned a cost. Due to the amount of building, planning and technical expertise required, naval special qualities cost double those of land troops.

Realm Spells
Several realm spells need to be changed slightly for use with the War and Conquest system. In addition, there are a few new realm spells described below that are designed to work with this system. Flying Horde (Transmutation) New Realm Spell Regency: 2RP/military level Required Holding: 3 Gold: 1GB Character Level: 5 Duration: 1 week + 1 week/level This realm spell allows a military unit to fly. The unit gains the benefit of the Enchanted, flyers special quality for the duration of the realm spell. The unit and the spellcaster must be in the same province when this spell is cast, but can part company once the spell takes effect. Invisible Army (Illusion) New Realm Spell Regency: 1RP/military level Required Holding: 3 Gold: 1GB Character Level: 5 Duration: 1 week + 1 week/level This spell renders an entire military unit

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invisible. The unit gains the benefit of the Enchanted, stealthy special quality for the duration of the realm spell or until they execute their first attack. The unit and the spellcaster must be in the same province when this spell is cast, but can part company once the spell takes effect. Legion of Dead (Necromancy) Regency: 4RP/military level Required Holding: 3 Gold: 2GB/level Character Level: 7 Duration: 1 month + 1 week/level The wizard who casts this spell raises a host of undead creatures to fight for him. When cast, this spell creates a level of military unit per spellcaster level he has over 6th, or adds a like number of levels to an existing unit that is already in the province in which the spell is cast. In addition to levels, this unit gains the Undead special quality. If adding military levels to an existing unit, the wizard need not be the commander of that unit himself. That is, a wizard might use this spell to bolster an existing army under the control of an ally. However, he must remain with (in the same province as) the military unit or the spell dissipates and both the levels and the Undead special quality are lost. Magical Stronghold (Conjuration/summoning) Regency: see below Required Holding: 7 Gold: 10GB Character Level: 5 Duration: 1 domain turn/level This spell conjures forth a magical fortification. The RP cost of this fortification is equal to the GB

cost of an equivalent bastion or stronghold. A magical stronghold can exceed the size of the holding or province population level upon which it is based with no increase in cost, nor is the cost affected by the location or terrain of the province. Strongholds can be made permanent with the Permanency spell.3 The spellcaster can dismiss his stronghold at any time. If the spellcaster dies without making his stronghold permanent it fades away immediately. Mass Destruction (Invocation/Evocation) Regency: 10/military level Required Holding: 5 Gold: 5GB Character Level: 3 Duration: Instantaneous This spell harnesses vast energies, and focuses those energies upon a military unit. The wizard can destroy one level of military per three caster levels, beginning at 4th level; two at 7th level, three at 10th level, etc. The military force must be in the same province as the spellcaster, but after the spell is completed the caster has one week (a war move) to unleash it, giving him that time to travel to the province where the target units reside, or allowing them time to enter into his. Targeted units may make a morale check to avoid destruction. If successful, the units can be reconstituted per the rules on Rest and Recuperation (page 24). If they fail the morale check the levels are permanently lost. Summoning (conjuration/summoning) Regency: 5/level Required Holding: 3 Gold: 2GB/level Character Level: 3 Duration: 1 month + 1 week/level The wizard calls forth monsters and beasts to serve as military forces. The wizard can summon one level for each three spellcaster levels he has (3rd, 6th, 9th, etc.) Special qualities for his troops also depend on his spellcaster level. If the spellcaster summons enough levels to support special qualities then he can give his unit special qualities. Special qualities cost RP instead of GB per Table 2: Special Qualities. 3rd level spellcasters summons spearmen or skirmishers,
Using Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 rules, making a stronghold permanent requires the Craft Wondrous Item feat and 80XP per GB spent on the fortification.
3

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6th level spellcasters summon can summon wolfriders, 9th level spellcasters can summon bowmen or light cavalry, and 12th level spellcasters can summon elites. When this spell ends the province in which the summon military units reside is affected by a Brigandage (for spellcasters 6th level or lower) or Monsters (for 9th or higher spellcasters) random events. Transport (Alteration) Regency: 4/level Required Holding: 5 Gold: 1GB Character Level: 3 Duration: Instantaneous A wizard is able to instantly move troops from a province in which he controls a source holding or has a ley line to any other province in which he has a source or ley line. There is no cost for moving these troops other than those for the spell itself. That is, distance and terrain have no effect. Once transported, military units can begin any normal military actions: they can engage in battle, besiege a fortification, pillage or otherwise engage the enemy. Using this spell, a regent can cross borders that would normally require the use of the War domain action. However, once transported into an unfriendly province the military units can only stay in that province conducting whatever military actions their commander wants, or they can cross over a friendly border. They cannot cross borders into hostile provinces unless their commander has dedicated his action to war. Bless Army Spheres: War, Combat Regency: 1 Required Holding: 3 Gold: 1GB Character Level: 1 Duration: 2 war movies + 1 war move/level Priests capable of sanctifying an entire army can have an enormous effect on their capabilities in battle. Blessing increases the attack, defense and morale values of a unit by +1 for the duration of the spell. A spellcaster can increase the effects of the spell by +1 per five spellcaster levels. That is, scores increase by +2 at 6th level, +3 at 11th level, etc. The military unit must be in the same province with the spellcaster when the spell is cast, but either can then leave that province without breaking the spell.

War Moves
A war action gives a player four war moves, each lasting one week of game time. Every regent involved in a war, either on the offensive or defensive side, gets to make war moves during this part of the domain turn. The commander who declared war first goes first, followed by anyone who declared war after him. Last come those regents whose realms have been invaded. Each defender moves in order that his domain was attacked. Once war is initiated, the attacking commanders troops can be moved into provinces controlled by other regents per the costs for troop movement in the domain action above.

GOING TO WAR
Going to war means preparing troops to travel outside their home provinces, outfitting supplies and mobilizing for an attack. These activities require the commander to spend a round on the War domain action on page 9. Once that action has been completed, the rest of the action round is dedicated to resolving the war.

COMBINED AND SPLIT MILITARY UNITS


For tactical, financial or political reasons, commanders may wish to temporarily combine or split their troops. In order to combine military units they must be led by the same commander or there must be a treaty between their respective regents allowing them to work together. Combining military units into a single conglomerate unit requires that all the units occupy the same province before they come into contact with enemy units. If troops come into contact with an enemy before they are combined they can still engage in battle at the same time, but cannot combine their levels and special quality modifiers to create a single powerful unit. Troop types (army, levy, mercenary or navy) of the same type combine their total modifiers with only a -1 loss of their total attack and defense modifiers. Combining disparate types of military units results in a greater loss of total modifiers. An army unit combined with a mercenary unit results in a -2 loss to their combined modifiers.

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Combining army, levy and mercenary units together results in a -3 loss. These reductions are of effective levels, not the levels themselves. Combining troops of different racial groups results in an additional -1 penalty. Example: Combining a unit of elven levies with a unit of human mercenaries would result in a -3 loss to the attack and defense values of that combined unit. Land and naval units cannot normally be combined unless the land unit has the marine special quality, or one with a similar effect created by the DM. Military units can be split at any time before they engage the enemy in combat, and can be split into units of any size. Special qualities of a military unit are distributed between the two (or more) new, lower level military units. Splitting units results in no loss of effective levels, but if the level of a split unit is less than that required by the special qualities then the special qualities are lost until the units are returned to the requirement for that special quality.

MILITARY STATISTICS AND VALUES


All military units have a set of values based upon their core troop type and modified by any special abilities they might have. The basic values of all military units are maneuver, range, attack, defense, and morale. Range is the distance at which a unit is capable of beginning its attack. Units that have a longer range than others begin their attacks sooner and the results of their efforts take effect before their enemies. To reflect the effect of this function, all units get a range score A through G, with A representing the longest range possible on a standard battlefield. All units begin with range G. The range value can only be changed by the unit receiving special qualities. Attack, defense and morale values are based upon the level of the military unit. Army, Mercenary and Navy units gain one point in each of these stats per level. Levies gain half their level (round up) in each of those values.

FORTIFICATIONS
Fortifications represent a special problem for commanders. Many castles are effectively

unassailable by typical means, and the cost of a full frontal assault can be devastating. Confronted with a well defended province or fortified holding, a commander can choose a frontal assault or he can lay siege. Assault: Attacking a fortified position head on can be a risky proposition. Defenders add the levels of their fortification to their standard defensive value. Meanwhile, attackers gain no benefits from the cavalry or any other special quality based on riding mounts. Aside from these changes, assaulting a fortification is conducted like any other combat. See The Battle Round below. Siege: An aggressor can set up a perimeter around a fortified position in an attempt to bottle in a defender. By preventing troops in a fortified position from receiving food and supplies he can starve out an opponent without resorting to combat at all. In order to besiege a fortification a military unit must have as many levels or more than the fortification. Furthermore, if an attackers army has the engineer special quality, he can reduce the defenses with attacks from using siege weapons or acting as sappers. Fortified positions contain enough supplies to last for one domain turn per level of the fortification. At the end of this period, defenders begin to lose a level per month. Engineers reduce fortifications by one additional level per domain turn. If reduced to 0 by engineers, a fortification is destroyed and battle can commence per the rules for initiating combat. Sally: Sallying forth from a castle is a tactic by the defender to keep an opponent on his toes. When properly executed, sallying from a fortified position allows a strike force to leave its defensive position, attack the besiegers and return to the protection of their fortification without becoming trapped amongst the besiegers lines. To sally from a fortified position requires a commander to initiate a battle round like any other combat. If his troops successfully withdraw during the Lull portion of the battle they return to their defenses. If they fail to withdraw their commander can choose to continue the fight and attempt to withdraw again on the next round or force their withdrawal. A forced withdrawal

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allows the besiegers a free attack upon the troops as they return to their defensive position.

CONFRONT AND EVADE


Battles are possible whenever two opposing military forces occupy the same province, but they do not always occur. Seeking combat is not always as easy as it may at first seem. A province can be over a 1,000 square miles of territory, and most military units travel at nearly the same pace, making any sort of decisive chase unlikely. In order to force a confrontation, a commander must locate his opponent, catch him and force him into a position where he must fight rather than retreat. Commanders might seek to avoid combat, escape or lose opposing forces in the fog of war. When two armies occupy the same province there are three possible combinations of intent: 1. Both commanders avoid combat. 2. One commander seeks to avoid combat. 3. Both commanders seek combat. To locate an enemy, commanders must make a Contact check. Success indicates that the commander has learned the general location of his opponent and can use that information to force a confrontation or to avoid combat. A commander learns the location of his opponent if his check (a d20) is equal or below the level of his opponent. He gets the following modifiers to his check: Condition Modifier Commander: In home province -5 Scouts -5 Light cavalry -2 Magical detection -1/ spell level Opponent: After determining Contact, the Confront or Evade check is made. Confront or Evade is an opposed roll that determines who can decide whether or not there will be a battle. If a commander has located his enemy he gains +5 to his check. The commander who wins this check decides to confront or evade his opponent. If he chooses to evade then no battle occurs that round. If he chooses to confront then battle commences. If units from three or more nations occupy the same province they must each face off according

to the above rules. Each commander takes part in the checks to locate and then contact, confrontation or evade an opponent. Allies can seek to combine their forces, but both must successfully locate the opposition. If either side is able to engage the opposition then both allies engage at the same time, and battle begins in standard initiative order.

The Battle Round


War and Conquest combat occurs in battle rounds. Each battle round has four main stages, conducted in the following order: Advantage, Combat, Morale and Lull.

ADVANTAGE
The first aspect of the battle round is maneuver and advantage. At this stage, the commanders of the respective armies use their skills in the art of war, the capabilities of their troops, and the special qualities of their troops to gain an advantage over their opponents. Advantage is determined by an opposed roll. Each commander totals the maneuver modifiers from his troops, his own wisdom score, and any situational modifiers that the DM might think fit

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(see Special Advantage Modifiers below.) Advantage is gained by the commander who surpasses his opponents total. Advantage takes the form of a floating pool of points available during the rest of the combat round. A commander gains an advantage point based on how much his result surpassed that of his opponent per Table 3: Advantage Points. Advantage points can be spent during the combat or morale stages of the battle round. They must be spent before the roll is made. At the end of the battle round all advantage points are lost. If the battle continues, a new advantage roll is made at the beginning of the next round. Special Advantage Modifiers: A commanders ability to lead troops does not have to be limited to the stats and modifiers described above. The presence of any number of things on the battlefield might give one side or the other an advantage. The presence of powerful magic items could be seen as significant enough to warrant a modifier on the Advantage roll. Basic magic items shouldnt necessarily give an Advantage modifier, but anything that might be expected to influence the outcome of a battle can be used to gain a modifier on an Advantage roll. As a general rule, these modifiers should range from +1 to +3.

circumstance of the battle, you might choose to use a particular skill. For example, a commander who is a ranger fighting in forested terrain might get his Wilderness Lore skill as a modifier. A paladin commanding a unit of cavalry on open ground might even gain his Riding skill as a modifier. A rogue leading an assault on a fortified castle at night might be allowed to use his Climb skill as a modifier. Using whatever method the DM decides upon, Advantage is resolved with a simple opposed roll, giving the commander who wins Advantage Points per Table 3: Advantage Points.

COMBAT
Combat is resolved with a simple opposed roll using the total attack value of one military unit against the total defense value of the other unit as modifiers. The attack and defense values of military units are based on their current level, type and special qualities. Attacks and the damage they inflict occur in the order of their range value: A, through G. Attacks with the same range value occur simultaneously. (The range modifiers can be thought of according to a brief mnemonic: Archers, Bowmen, Crossbows, Darts, Extended, Far, General.) Attacks that succeed reduce the overall level of the defending military unit by 1 per 5 points above that of the targeted unit. For example, an attacker with Range C and an attack value of +9 is going up against a unit with +11 defense. The attacker rolls a 15 while the defender gets a 4. The attack is 15+9=24 against a defense of 4+9=13. The attack surpasses the defense by 11, meaning the attack reduces the defender by 2 levels. If the defender also has a Range C then his attack occurs at the same time, so his levels are not yet reduced. However, if his range is D or more then his total modifiers will go down with his current levels before his attack. If commanders are in charge of more than one military unit in a battle then combat is resolved in order of their range first, then commanders put forth units to attack and defend themselves according to their own preferences. Each commander presents the unit they wish to attack with and defend.

ADVANTAGE IN 3.5
Using the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 rules (or any system using a similar skill system) there are several options available to portray the influence of a commander on the battlefield. Below are a few options: 1. Use the characters leadership score. Characters who have the Leadership feat can use their leadership score as a modifier on the check. Determine the leadership score for characters who do not have the Leadership feat, but divide that number in half (round up) to determine their total modifier. Table 4: Advantage Points 2. Depending Success APs on the terrain, 1-5 1 troop types 6-10 2 being used, the 11-15 3 style of the 16-20 4 commander or 20+ 5+ any other

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If one commander has more units than another then he will have attacks to resolve after his opponent has completed all his attacks. In that case, the defender picks which of his units to defend against the attack, even if it is one that has already been used in that combat round. Despite being attacked by more than one opponent, no unit gets more than one attack per round.

LULL
Battles are long, tactical affairs in which soldiers jockey for position and engage in a wide range of activities. Inevitably there are breaks in the action. During these periods a commander has several options to choose from. A commander can engage in only one of the following actions per lull. If he has companions, lieutenants or henchmen, they can also engage in an action during a lull in combat. Aid Casualties: A military unit that has lost four levels can receive medical care that temporarily returns a level to active duty. Returning wounded soldiers to combat requires a wisdom check.4 Success means the military unit gains a level for the duration of the battle. Once the battle has concluded, the injuries and losses of those temporarily returned to battle reassert themselves. The walking wounded who are returned to combat are much less likely to recover afterwards. Not only is the level that was returned lost, but the units commander must make a second wisdom check to avoid losing a second level. Parley: A parley is a break in the battle in which commanders send message to each other to negotiate any number of activities. Prisoners can be exchanged, a negotiated end to the current combat can be arranged, or surrender can be demanded. Rally: A commander can attempt to rally his troops who have failed morale checks. To rally troops, a commander must make a successful charisma check.5 Retreat: A retreat is an attempt to break contact with the enemy and leave the current province. Retreat requires that a commander disengage from a battle, which can be a very tricky proposition. To successfully retreat from a province, a commander must make a check using the level of his military unit +10 as the target number that must be exceeded. To retreat from a battle, the commander of an Army(5) must roll a 15 or higher.
If using Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 rules use a Heal check. If using Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 rules, use a Will check using the morale score of the unit as a DC.
5 4

MORALE
After attacks are resolved, every military unit must make a morale check. Morale depends on troop type. The moral of an army or navy unit is equal to 5 plus twice its total levels. Levies morale is 5 plus their level. Mercenaries have a base morale of 8. Add to these base numbers any modifiers for special qualities and advantage. During the morale phase of combat each military unit rolls d20 and the result must be equal to or less than the morale of the unit for it to succeed the check. A simple failure indicates that the unit is no longer in the battle; it has given ground, taken refuge or otherwise eliminated itself from active participation in the combat. A morale check that exceeds the total morale of a unit by 3 or more means the unit has retreated; the unit has left the battlefield entirely, and cannot be rallied by its commander. A morale check that exceeds the total morale of a unit by 6 or more indicates a rout. The unit has fled the battlefield, cannot be rallied by its commander, and is reduced by -1 level. Routed troops are temporarily out of the control of their commander. They will attempt to leave the province for the closest friendly province, or one that has no enemy troops if there are in their home province. If unable to find such a province, routed troops surrender. A morale check that exceeds the total morale of a unit by 9 or more means the unit has surrendered. It is reduced in level by -1 (reflecting the demoralization of the soldiers and loss of their equipment) and passes from the control of its commander into the hands of his opponent.

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A commander can order some of his troops to stay behind and act as a rear guard, effectively sacrificing them to save the remainder of the troops (and their leader.) Of course, each level of a military unit sacrificed in this way reduces the target number for the attempt to retreat, and it also gives a +5 to the check. Commanders may have more than one unit on the field of battle. A check must be made for each military unit attempting to retreat. If one unit succeeds while another fails, the commander has the option of allowing his unit to remain the province to continue the fight. Withdraw: A withdrawal is a strategic maneuver in which the commander breaks combat with an opponent in order to return to defensive positions, evade contact or otherwise prolong the period of conflict. Unlike a retreat, units that withdraw remain in the province. Resolve an attempt to withdraw using the same method as a retreat. Successfully withdrawing from combat ends the current conflict. Hostilities are resumed in the next war move.

THE AFTERMATH OF BATTLE


When battle is concluded, troops who have not been driven from the battlefield may remain in the province, retreat to a friendly province or, if there are war moves remaining in the current war action, penetrate further into enemy territory. If they remain in a hostile province with enemy troops, no further combat occurs until the following war move. At that point begin a new war move with Contact and Evasion. If troops remain in a hostile province with no opposition from enemy troops then they may engage in one of several actions during the next war move. They may rest and recuperate (see below), begin to loot and pillage the enemy territory, or they can begin the process of conquering the province.

REST AND RECUPERATION


If a regent spends time and resources to restore his military units to a level at which they meet the requirements for their special qualities then those qualities remain in effect. However, if the units are not restored by the end of the following action round then those special qualities are lost permanently. The losses of military levels in combat are not all due to the death of the troops in the units. Military levels represent equipment, training, combat cohesiveness and a range of additional considerations. When combat is concluded a commander can recuperate some of the battle damage to his military units with a successful

Conquest
When combat is over, a regent may be left in nominal control of a province. However, the presence of his troops on the ground is not enough to make that province part of his domain. He must begin the process of incorporating that province into his own domain or looting it for everything he can get.

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wisdom check per the Aid Casualties rules above. If his military unit has lost more than 4 levels he can make a similar check to return one level to active duty. Unlike the check made during battle, this check represents the reorganization of troops and redistribution of their equipment rather than an attempt to recover troops on the fly, so a level gained in this way is permanent. Only one such check is possible per combat. The only way to return levels lost is to purchase them per the Muster Troops domain action.

conqueror must transition the land to his rule using the mystical relationship of his bloodline through the Investiture domain action.

ENDING A WAR
A War action is concluded at the end of an action round, but the war itself might go on. Besieging a castle can take many months, possibly even years. Troops that occupy enemy territory must remain long enough to stabilize the new government into power. As long as troops occupy provinces that are hostile to their commander, there exists a state of war, and up to four war moves occur each action round.

RANSOM
Captured military units can be ransomed to the regent who controls them. Refusal to pay ransom can result in negative loyalty shifts. A regent who has prisoners can demand any price for them, but ransom demands over twice the cost to muster equivalent troops, including their special qualities, have no negative effect on province loyalty. In fact, if a regent pays ransom above twice the cost of mustering his troops, he gains a free Agitate action in his own favor in the province(s) from which those troops were mustered. The GB paid to ransom his troops above double their muster cost becomes a positive modifier on his success for that action. If the ransom demanded is twice the muster cost of his troops, and the regent refuses to pay, the province in which they are based suffers a -1 loyalty shift at the beginning of the next domain turn. If the ransom required for his units is equal to their cost to muster, and the regent who controls them still refuses, then the province that the military unit was mustered in suffers a -2 loyalty shift and all other provinces the regent controls suffer a -1 loyalty shift. A regent can release prisoners for free, causing a -1 loyalty shift in all the provinces of the regent that controls that unit, except the one in which they are based.

Converting Warcards
Many of the domains described in the BIRTHRIGHT setting contain lists of troops and ships as warcards. With a little attention, War and Conquest can be used for such domains, while maintaining the flavour and character of the original setting. War and Conversion is NOT meant to be a concrete accounting of the military units of a domain, so the 200 soldiers per warcard company should not be associated with a level of a military unit described in this system. As has been mentioned, that association was, in the opinion of the author a mistake and has led to considerable confusion amongst BR gamers. With that in mind, a simple conversion can be done very quickly. The numbers of warcards that domains have can be used as a basis for the number of military levels they control. Simply portray each warcard as a military level, and assign that military level to a particular province. Where the warcards of a domain are associated with the special qualities described in this system, it may be necessary to associate several warcards with a particular province so that it can have a military level high enough to connect to a special quality. However, since the special qualities are for the most part associated with the troop types that the warcard system used, this association should not be a problem in the majority of conversions. Similarly, the ship warcards can be converted directly to War and Conquest military units as levels of navy.

OCCUPATION
Simply defeating the opponent does not grant the conqueror control over the land or its people, but when an enemys troops have been destroyed or have withdrawn from a province, a commander can begin the process of taking over that territory. In order to gain control over a province, a

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When doing such conversions, there are a few issues that you should bear in mind: 1. This system rewards higher military levels. In this system military levels become modifiers to attack rolls directly, so battles favor sizeable armies. Many players will recognize that there is a point at which a unit can become invulnerable to attacks from smaller units: when it gains 20 points more to defense than an opponent has points in its attack value. No army is invulnerable, but it is very possible to have military units that are incapable of being harmed by smaller, or less equipped units. Some players will want to stack all their military levels into a single unit, or one that is as large as their largest province. This is acceptable in this system, but there is no standard for how warcards might be assigned to provinces when doing a conversion. 2. Not every military unit need be special. In the warcard system every unit had some sort of descriptor to differentiate it from other troop types. Even levies were singled out for what they are. In this system, of course, levies represent

their own type of military unit, and can have special qualities in addition to the circumstances of how they were recruited. However, bear in mind that a simple Army(4) that was originally four pikemen warcards could be portrayed as a simple Army(4)-pikemen or as an Army(4)pikemen x4 or somewhere in-between. This decision is up to the DM, of course, but the special qualities section of this text is meant to be just that: special. Be careful giving out special qualities too cheaply or easily when doing a conversion. The simple existence of a military level is valuable without also adding the value of the special qualities for every warcard in the original materials. 3. In contrast, some domains in the original materials appear to be strangely under equipped when compared to others. The DM can compensate for this apparent lack by assigning special abilities to the military levels of a domain. By distributing the military levels and special abilities of a domains warcards, the DM can detail a range of similar issues.

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War and Conquest


by Gary Foss

he conflict of peoples is the crucible of history. War and conquest are core themes of the BIRTHRIGHT setting. Despite the fact that battles figure so prominently in the setting and genre, the setting has long lacked a sensible system to conduct warfare in a way that fits with the existing game mechanics. War and Conquest contains rules to portray BIRTHRIGHT military forces as leveled units using methods that mesh much more smoothly with the standard system of portraying domain level organizations. Troop types, racial characteristics and terrain effects are retained by the system, preserving all aspects of the original warcard system, but fitting them into a system that parallels standard BIRTHRIGHT game mechanics. Conquest of provinces is incorporated into the system, as are other important aspects of conflict in BIRTHRIGHT like sieges, mercenaries, levies and naval combat.

All text 2009 Gary Foss Cover: Saint Olav at the Battle of Stiklestad by Peter Nicolai Arbo, c1859 Stamford Bridge by Peter Nicolai Arbo, c1892 Watercolor of Chateau of Coucy at Bibliotheque Nationale by Unknown, c1820 Oleg Meeting the Magus by Victor Vasnetsov , 1899 Fight of Scythians and Slavs by Viktor Vasnetsov, c1918 Illustration of Saint Brendan of Clonfert in Manuscriptum Translationis Germanicae, c1460 sterreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna; cod.2823; fol.150r, 1463 After the Battle of Igor Sviatoslavich 28 with Polovtsy by Victor Vasnetsov, 1889