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Sorcerers in Urban Warfare and Insurgency

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  • Sorcerers in Urban Warfare and Insurgency

    Hi guys, just a thought experiment for myself.

    You're in a european city, and its just got occupied. Your opponent is someone on the level of the American Army, with all that entails. The Enemy isn't allowed to use nukes or wholesale genocide. And they're just mortals. Albeit with high level equipment.

    You are a sorcerer. One with the full access to the suite of abilities. And just that. Whether one that did some weird sorcerous workings, or maybe you're a particular exigent, doesn't matter. Throwing in Excellencies... maybe. But anyway, for calculation of spells and such, you're Essence 3, Willpower 5, Occult 5, Intelligence 5, and you know every single emerald circle spell and via weird shenanigans you also know man-machine protocols.

    For this purpose, you're running on 3e rules of casting, which means that you don't run out of motes (yeah!).

    For this brainstorming exercise, you can't summon demons nor elementals. Because that way, it'll be way too overpowered (and I know way too many homebrew demons that it'll be more like a slaughter.)

    The task is to inflict as much damage as possible, until they are forced to leave. The current populace does not like them, despite several collaborators and quislings.

    Sources are:

    Geocities, and the alchemical solutions wik, because no one has compiled man machine protocols, and I can't be bothered to search for them all.

    Survival and logistics
    You can conjure food and water. You can also use Incantation of Restoration means that any damaged equipment or such is repaired instantly, ranging from guns to bulletproof vests. I'm not sure whether or not this is extremely useful for insurgencies, but I'm fairly sure that not needing to worry about food or leaving a paper trail for armed men to follow is pretty useful.

    Enhancing your stuff
    There's elemental benediction, and looking upon the alchemical solutions wiki, it seems that using elemental benediction for smoke adds +3 lethal damage, while leaving acrid trails of smoke and fire. Water allows your items to change shape, which is useful for hiding weapons and other useful equipment right until you need them. Wood makes them regenerate, and Earth makes them extra durable. Air makes them lighter, which is a godsend whenever transporting or wearing them (body armour).

    Enhancing troops
    Checking alchemical solutions again, optimized component integration protocol allows one to ignore the cap on teamwork bonuses, meaning that the maximum teamwork bonus is now the highest amongst the users, with bonus dice for each character with at least one dot in the relevant ability.

    And another one that is useful for large groups of people is Armigers of the Maker's Mighty. Adding 2 to drill and 1 to Might on top of thaumaturgical bonuses. Which means that they can become.... what, one of the most disciplined forces on the planet, with adding as much as 5 dice to each roll made? I'm planning for squads of 5 to 6 here, with you as the commander.

    Defense and offense
    Death by obsidian butterflies, invulnerable skin of bronze, Impenetratable frost barrier, Impervious sphere of water, Flying Guillotine, and Flight of the brilliant raptor all mean that you're loaded for bear, and if you stack enough of them up you can probably walk through machine gun fire and an artillery barrage without any fear of being struck. Obsidian butterflies clears out entire crowds, and Thunder wolf's howl can probably take down anyone trying to survive against you.

    There's another one, written either by Earthscorpion or aleph, that carves out an entire tunnel in front of you thats 5 yards wide and 1000 yards long, turning anything not made of the magical materials into dust and inflicting 10B of damage that ignores armoured soak (of the non-magical variety).


    There's an argument that you can adapt them to a modern setting. Spoke the wooden face, Words Written on the water, Infallible messenger, Silent words of Dreams and nightmares can overcome the issues of people listening or jamming communications, and work to achieve untraceable forms of communication, letting you coordinate numerous cells of people and intelligence. Or inflict social attacks on commanders without them realizing.

    Assasin's fatal touch, means that you can bump into someone and have them die afterwards. The sudden deaths out of nowhere or at public functions should do a hit to morale and make them go crazy with paranoia. Things like Theft of memory can get vital intel out of non-cooperative captives or make sure you can keep secrets without murder, avoiding attention. Sorcerer's irresistible puppetry lets you capture important personnel, beat them up, and release them, with them recuperating and going back into their daily lives without any idea of what you've done. You can either use them as spies, saboteurs, or just have them go about ruining things for everyone (you won't believe how many security breaches are done by idiots plugging in thumbdrives). Like, misplacing orders or requests, leading to lockup or confusion. Peacock shadow eyes means that you can sow distrust and discord, or smash morale even harder by driven beloved leaders mad.

    Armies of the wild.
    Cast spell in urban area. Get an army of pigeons, cockroaches, ants, and rats. The rats and cockroaches are good for things like contaminating food, destroying things like cables and other vital little things, or just plain being a nuisance by biting people in their sleep. Since the spell gives them intelligence to understand complex orders, orders along the lines of 'eat only this thing, and not other things', can let them avoid poisons, making them an irritant unless full on pumping of toxic gas is carried out. Pigeons serve as good spies, being able to fly and all. A case can be made for mosquitoes and flies with legs coated with a mixure of botulin/ cyanide and that unknown poison I remembered that makes your skin porous to substances. Probably enough to kill several leaders. What's also useful, is them bringing in things like bugs, listening devices, or Coins of Distant vision into places where its impossible for ordinary humans to infiltrate.

    Several spells in the alchemical solutions wiki dealing with machines and automatons. Since there is no contest, as long as there's no AI inside, I'm sure that you can deal with them. Messing with records, interfering with communications or taking important intelligence would all be useful, since you can probably do things like 'bypass password and encryption'. Even more deal with taking over automatons. With a bit of luck, you can probably cause their planes or tanks to smash themselves into vital buildings.

    Disguise of the new face
    Probably makes up 50% of your needs. Lets you walk around with impunity. As long as they don't know you have it, you can't be caught. Unless they do things like spray radioactive trackers onto surfaces.

    Raising the earth's bones/ Theoplastic reengineering protocol.
    Enables you to reshape and reform the earth. Good for carving out bunkers and basements to hide your asset and equipment. With a bit of jiggering, can probably be used to create sink holes and other such things for their tanks and armoured vehicles to fall through. Reshaping of solid stone means that you can do things like create potholes and rubble, forcing their engineer corps to blast through them and repave them if they want to be able to move around as they wish to. Other things include smashing through their water pipes and power cables, and blocking them within their own base so they are stuck.

    This is a big one. Summoning of the shadow minion probably lets you start killing them, until they post guards. Summon the stalwart servitor lets you do things like set up a generator and have it crank it, letting you operate off the grid entirely. Or let it move heavy supplies and other things that you'll ordinarily need entire teams of men/ cranes to move. Minions of the eyeless face.... lets you summon minions, up to your Willpower + Extra with more motes using Resources 3 oil, which is probably not tracked by anyone (they'll be tracking gun purchases and things used for homemade explosives. The oil guy is probably a pervert).

    Choosing up to 3 abilities to empower, with 1 to 5 and the others to 4. And (willpower) dots of specialties Lets you overcome issues of manpower and secrecy. If you got a guy on board with Larceny 5 (urban setting +3), Stealth 4, Athletics 4, you'll be getting into places. Same with other abilities. If you give it Archery/ Firearms 5 (+3 sniping), Athletics 4, and Drive 4, you can probably make a deadly hitman. Or make War 5 (+3 to Guerilla warfare). Able to wreck face with any mortal they meet with, and further enhanced by your other spells.

    Summoning the harvest
    Get several seeds (I suggest bamboo, bushes, or Kudzu), scatter them around, and begin casting. Since its one year's worth of growth.... and kudzu grows 1 foot per day, that 365 feet, or 300 meters. Probably enough to act as harassment and slow things down for them.

    Of course, this is contingent on you not getting shot in the face, making the fatal mistake of getting into a mano on mano fight, or getting caught by a stupid mistake like a car crash and getting killed. Other problems include equipment, making sure not to kill the populace, and other things.

    Sorcerous workings:
    Give insects a deadly stinging bite (botulin), invisibility, silent movement, intelligence, and accept several drawbacks like Restricted diet, and you'll have a pretty nice assassin.

    A/N: Yes yes yes, I know. I probably got something wrong. Maybe I used the system wrongly, and you're typing in how much my usage of it sucks. That's ok. Please tell me where I did wrong, so I can do things better.

  • #2
    So a couple of years ago, I was running a Solar game. PC Solars (and Lunars) working for/as part of the Djala government; vs NPC Solars (and Lunars and a Liminal), the Crimson Masters.

    To cut a long story short, the PCs killed the Crimson Masters' ambassador, and then they learned that the Crimson Masters had broken off their seige of Ember, and were marching their 5000 horsemen across the desert towards one of the Djala's buffer states to take revenge.

    So they decided to take over a city halfway along the desert route, so they could fight the Crimson Horde before they reached their own puppet states.

    The PCs' sorceress, Queen Enhenduanna, had used a working to create a bunch of dragon-monsters and gryffons. Flying on a dragon-monster, she flew out far above the marching horde of 2000-3000 soldiers. She saw they had their own sorcerously-created seige monsters, giant turtle-demons.
    But then she unleashed Death Ray on their army, smashing it to bits, before retreating.

    However, while she'd been out, the entire city was engulfed in darkness. Unknown to the PCs, the Leper Prince (a Liminal necromancer of the Crimson Masters) had travelled through the Underworld into the city, and Summoned the Heart of Darkness. The PCs' forces were completely unprepared, and so had no way to co-ordinate when the Leper Prince opened a portal to the Underworld and brought in another 2000 soldiers to raid the city, steal food, kill civilians, burn down granaries, etc.

    Enhenduanna returned, and started attacking the enemy with Death Ray, but being on a dragon-monster actually made her quite exposed to their arrows so she had to keep retreating back into the darkness. Then the Crimson Horde fled back into the Underworld, to carry on to the north.

    So anyway. Death Ray is always good. Blow up tanks, helicopters, enemy bases, etc. Summoning the Heart of Darkness is a good surprise tactic if your forces are prepared and ready for it and the other side is not. And using sorcerous workings to make monsters and mutants to fight for you is good, but obviously needs to be done before the battle, because it takes so long.

    My characters:
    Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
    Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
    Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.


    • #3
      Dude. Emerald circle only.

      But thanks anyway, for telling us all that. But let's be frank here. By the time you're a celestial circle sorcerer, you're summoning guys like Octavian or Lucien to start killing. And then they're doomed .


      • #4
        Ah, I missed Emerald only.

        My characters:
        Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
        Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
        Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.


        • #5
          Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
          Ah, I missed Emerald only.

          Besides, its no fun brainstorming how you'll fight with celestial sorcery against an army. Its a no show. For them.


          • #6
            One advantage of combat sorcery is that it isn't visible while unused. You can walk through checkpoints visibly unarmed, and then start blasting with Flight of the Brilliant Raptor where they don't expect it.

            Stormwind Rider is pretty good mobility, though in a modern setting it has more competition. Once again, while not using it it's less visible than a plane.


            • #7
              Originally posted by autXautY View Post
              One advantage of combat sorcery is that it isn't visible while unused. You can walk through checkpoints visibly unarmed, and then start blasting with Flight of the Brilliant Raptor where they don't expect it.

              Stormwind Rider is pretty good mobility, though in a modern setting it has more competition. Once again, while not using it it's less visible than a plane.
              I know. Imagine walking into a lobby... then killing everyone there.

              Though just how many people are in a lobby anyway?

              Stormwind rider? No. You need to be fast, and unnoticed. Drawing attention to yourself, is a recipe for disaster. Remember. Modern setting. That means JDams, UAVs, missiles, and snipers.


              • #8
                Corrupted Words - military orders.

                Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                  Corrupted Words - military orders.

                  Good one.


                  • #10
                    Use violent opening of closed portals to force doors open. Or blast a hole through the door and walk inside a previously secured building.

                    I'll do demons tomorrow.