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  • Viking Werewolves and Mass Combat

    Hi!
    I'm about to run a Werewolf campaign with The Wolf and the Raven from the Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras.
    Now, I'm sure this came up on another thread, but what about systems for raiding? I'm not talking about large armies, these are 20 x 20 people battles, max. A bunch of family members versus a bunch of housecarls.
    I thought on using the Down and Dirty combat rules, but I think it might be a bit anticlimactic. I also thought on using something like that training tactic in Hunter, where one character is the secondary actor for a bunch of primary actors; in this case, the commander and the raiding party, but I figured it wouldn't quite work.
    Any thoughts or ideas?

    EDIT: Also, should I use the farming rules from Mirrors? Or is it better to leave that to storytelling?

  • #2
    Have you considered using the Brief Nightmares rules from the Horrors section of the core book? Just treat each group as a single Nightmare with a collective "Best At," "Worst At," and "All Other" dice pool, a shared Aspiration. Dread Powers can represent distinguishing features like being better armed or armored, or having siege equipment, and Banes can represent weak points in the unit. Larger armies can use the "Lone Terror" stats, mid-sized battalions can use "Horde" stats, and small stands can use "Minion" stats.
    Last edited by Charlaquin; 11-26-2016, 05:23 PM.


    Onyx Path Forum Moderator

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
      Have you considered using the Brief Nightmares rules from the Horrors section of the core book? Just treat each group as a single Nightmare with a collective "Best At," "Worst At," and "All Other" dice pool, a shared Aspiration. Dread Powers can represent distinguishing features like being better armed or armored, or having siege equipment, and Banes can represent weak points in the unit. Larger armies can use the "Lone Terror" stats, mid-sized battalions can use "Horde" stats, and small stands can use "Minion" stats.
      I didn't know that existed. Definitively will be looking into it, thanks a bunch!

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      • #4
        Here are my own Mass Combat rules for CoD, inspired by Chase rules and Savage Worlds combat mechanics. They were devised by me because of my own planned Viking Werewolf game.

        In my modern revision I would only use Charlaquin idea, and write each Unit as Brief Nightmare each Important Character can attack on their actions.


        My Hubs - MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks
        MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events
        WtF 2E - Alternative werewolves myths from around the world

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        • #5
          Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
          Here are my own Mass Combat rules for CoD, inspired by Chase rules and Savage Worlds combat mechanics. They were devised by me because of my own planned Viking Werewolf game.

          In my modern revision I would only use Charlaquin idea, and write each Unit as Brief Nightmare each Important Character can attack on their actions.
          That's pretty well written! Thanks a bunch, I think this one might fit more the idea I had in mind!

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          • #6
            one of the wild west books for werewolf the apocalypse had mass combat rules (in the vein of the civil war mind you).


            WoD-Dark Eras!! (Backed for Viking Age Werewolf)

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            • #7
              One thing to take in consideration with my Mass Combat rules on Uratha - they can enter Death Rage. As Battle Action is 15 minutes, it means that character can declare one attack target and it ends - if character insists on running in Gauru or getting 'immortality' ( instant Regeneration ), he goes in Hard Rage, risking massacre on whole his units - depending on Primal Urge, it can even take few Battle Turns. Not to mention he can roll other werewolves in Rage themselves.


              My Hubs - MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks
              MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events
              WtF 2E - Alternative werewolves myths from around the world

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lyrics Of War View Post
                one of the wild west books for werewolf the apocalypse had mass combat rules (in the vein of the civil war mind you).
                I don't really know anything about Werewolf the Apocalypse, if I had to adapt I would have to convert it from oWoD to nWoD 1e and then 2e, but it just might give me some ideas!
                In any case, thanks for the suggestion!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                  One thing to take in consideration with my Mass Combat rules on Uratha - they can enter Death Rage. As Battle Action is 15 minutes, it means that character can declare one attack target and it ends - if character insists on running in Gauru or getting 'immortality' ( instant Regeneration ), he goes in Hard Rage, risking massacre on whole his units - depending on Primal Urge, it can even take few Battle Turns. Not to mention he can roll other werewolves in Rage themselves.
                  Indeed! I can clearly imagine an Uratha leading a unit getting more and more pissed off, until he sees someone of the pack getting hurt. Just his luck. That was his trigger. A giant demonic wolf-thing then erupts from behind the shieldwall and tears apart a whole unit.
                  Just a curiosity, how would you deal with Lunacy in large battles like these?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Havoc View Post
                    Just a curiosity, how would you deal with Lunacy in large battles like these?
                    First off, use Brief Nightmares rules for each Units - yes, this mean that each ship crew will be one Unit and probably be a Horde as Nightmare Type.

                    Second, Lunacy works as Breaking Points for humans. But Integrity Breaking Points are all about Willpower ( Resolve + Composure ) dicepools. So use Nightmares 2 * Willpower per Scene - it will work, more or less as Willpower trait in normal characters spread. As Important Characters combat actions are Down & Dirty Combat, treat their direct ( not Battle ) Successes as penalty to Unit's Willpower roll. Add form modifier. You can take easily +4 bonus for the numbers, as Unit is large crowd to begin from. If Lunacy dicepool is >2, it mostly will get success, so resolve whole Unit as under Conditions - they will probably can live if someone survive. If Lunacy <3, they will get extreme Conditions and surly die all.


                    My Hubs - MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks
                    MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events
                    WtF 2E - Alternative werewolves myths from around the world

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

                      First off, use Brief Nightmares rules for each Units - yes, this mean that each ship crew will be one Unit and probably be a Horde as Nightmare Type.

                      Second, Lunacy works as Breaking Points for humans. But Integrity Breaking Points are all about Willpower ( Resolve + Composure ) dicepools. So use Nightmares 2 * Willpower per Scene - it will work, more or less as Willpower trait in normal characters spread. As Important Characters combat actions are Down & Dirty Combat, treat their direct ( not Battle ) Successes as penalty to Unit's Willpower roll. Add form modifier. You can take easily +4 bonus for the numbers, as Unit is large crowd to begin from. If Lunacy dicepool is >2, it mostly will get success, so resolve whole Unit as under Conditions - they will probably can live if someone survive. If Lunacy <3, they will get extreme Conditions and surly die all.
                      That sounds a bit catastrophic. Which means I am sure one of my players will try it at some point.
                      Thanks a lot!

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                      • #12
                        As I want to make revision of those rules and I will not run them in near future - I will gladly read how your battle running on them went.


                        My Hubs - MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks
                        MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events
                        WtF 2E - Alternative werewolves myths from around the world

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                        • #13
                          Err... I wouldn't recommend rolling a Unit's Willpower for a Breaking Point. I would recommend using their Best At dice pool if they are best at resisting Breaking Points, their Worst At dice pool if they're worst at resisting Breaking Points, and their All Other dice pool otherwise. Just like they do for everything else that requires a dice roll.


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                          • #14
                            First off - we do not talk here about literal Breaking Points of Lunacy victims. Units/Brief Nightmares do not have 'mass Integrity', common to each character in group. It's just Lunacy rules are based on Breaking Points, so we analyzing if we can sidestep Integrity trait all together, as we do not have those on Units. Luckily, mortal Breaking Points are, in reality, dicepool of Willpower+Integrity Modifier. We throw away Modifier and have clear Willpower dicepool - enough eyeballing for battle conditions.

                            Second - I would not use 'Best Dice Pool / Worst Dice Pool / All Other Pools' for two other reasons - those dicepools are too lower/higher than typical Willpower of proper characters - they are 7/1/3 for Horde ( typical Unit ), which are 'very good/ terrible / lower than average' on comparing to Willpower. It would mean that any Lunacy roll will be failed or will be almost sure to succeed, nothing in between. And it would mean that one boat of Viking warriors will be much more likely to run from any Uratha threat than one typical Viking ( Willpower 4 ) on his own, which is illogical.

                            Also, judging if 'Resisting Lunacy' should be Best/Worst/Other dicepool with each Unit is tedious. Assuming standard Willpower, like we assume standardization of other Traits of Unit ( by using Brief Nightmares ), is much more 'storytelling efficient', especially, as we still takes characters actions in considerations by using Forms modifiers or Actions Success as penalties to Lunacy roll, in the end.

                            On general, I think that make Unit 'typical' Willpower dicepool and using it most of the time will be much more elegant and less rules cluttered on running.
                            Last edited by wyrdhamster; 11-28-2016, 03:01 PM.


                            My Hubs - MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks
                            MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events
                            WtF 2E - Alternative werewolves myths from around the world

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                              First off - we do not talk here about literal Breaking Points of Lunacy victims. Units/Brief Nightmares do not have 'mass Integrity', common to each character in group. It's just Lunacy rules are based on Breaking Points, so we analyzing if we can sidestep Integrity trait all together, as we do not have those on Units. Luckily, mortal Breaking Points are, in reality, dicepool of Willpower+Integrity Modifier. We throw away Modifier and have clear Willpower dicepool - enough eyeballing for battle conditions.
                              Yes, I understand that we're not talking about literal Integrity Breaking Points here. But as you observed, Integrity Breaking Points use a dice pool, which means Nightmares would use either their Best At, Worst At, or All Other dice pool, like they do for everything else that requires a dice roll.

                              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                              Second - I would not use for two other reasons - 'Best Dice Pool / Worst Dice Pool / All Other Pools' are too lower/higher than typical Willpower of proper characters - they are 7/1/3 for Horde ( typical Unit ), which are 'very good/ terrible / lower than average' on comparing to Willpower. It would mean that any Lunacy roll will be failed or will be almost sure to succeed, nothing in between.
                              First of all, a dice pool of 3 is by no means "almost sure to succeed". It's about a 66% chance of success, which is pretty good, but with a realistic chance of failure. It's also fewer dice than an average character has on a neutral Breaking Point (which would be 4 to 5). Most Units would probably have resisting Lunacy as "all other", unless they're specialized werewolf hunters or something.

                              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                              And it would mean that one boat of Viking warriors will be much more likely to run from any threat than one typical Viking ( Willpower 4 ) on his own, which is illogical.
                              It's not illogical when you remember that Units are abstract representations of groups of people. If the Unit fails its Lunacy roll, it's not literally the whole crew of Vikings collectively succumbing to Lunacy simultaneously. It's the aggregate effect of Lunacy affecting some members of the crew culminating in an overall negative impact on the crew's ability to function as a unit. It makes perfect sense that a single individual Viking has a slightly better chance of resisting Lunacy than an entire crew has of not being affected by Lunacy, simply because the crew has more people. If a few members of the crew start freaking out when they see a werewolf and can't do their job, the whole crew suffers for it, even if the rest of them are fine.

                              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                              Also, judging if 'Resisting Lunacy' should be Best/Worst/Other dicepool with each Unit is tedious. Assuming standard Willpower, like we assume standardization of other Traits of Unit ( by using Brief Nightmares ), is much more 'storytelling efficient', especially, as we still takes characters actions in considerations by using Forms modifiers or Actions Success as penalties to Lunacy roll, in the end.
                              You don't need to decide if each Unit should have resisting Lunacy as Best/Worst/Other. It should almost always just be other, unless you specifically want the Unit to be especially good or bad at it. That's the whole point of having those be the categories. By default, everything a Nightmare does will be rolled with their "All Other" dice pool. Then you pick a few things you want them to be specialized in and a few things you want them to struggle with, and those things use their "Best At" and "Worst At" respectively.

                              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                              In the end, I think that make Unit 'typical' Willpower dicepool and using it most of the time will be much more elegant and less rules cluttered on running.
                              No, it's less elegant and more cluttered. Only having to remember three dice pools, and using either the best, the worst, or the one for everything else is elegant. It's simple. You never have to worry about "what do I roll when such-and-such happens?" You just always use the All Other dice pool unless something fits under their best or worst tasks. The more exceptions you add to that formula, the more specific cases you have to remember and the more complicated you make the system.


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