Two powerful empires square off; each has prepared long and well for war, and the day has finally come: each side has decided to invade the other.
This campaign will be the epic clash between two (or possibly more) hordes composed of multiple armies: one army per player. Leadership feat is not required. I plan on having four players or so per side, although more is certainly possible.
Be aware that the subtle arts of intelligence, assassination, and betrayal are as important to a successful general as leading his troops on the battlefield!
The snows have just begun to melt; winter is quietly leaving and with it, the armies begin to stir. They will meet somewhere-it is inevitable- but where and how will be decided by the skill of their generals.
Most likely, the hordes will clash on a vast open field, or perhaps by a river, with little advantage to either side. One side, inevitably, will break, fleeing the field and leaving the other in hot pursuit.
In stage one, there is only one victory; the loser flees towards their stronghold and the victor pursues them.
The horde has been dealt a serious blow, but it is not yet defeated--oh no. They retreat to their stronghold, leaving little presents along the way. They fight rearguard actions and ambushes; these fights merely cull the slow from the fast, the weak from the strong.
Most likely, these battles will be chosen by the fleeing horde to give advantage to its badly outnumbered rear guard. It becomes a game of attrition-- nothing decisive, but merely whittling each others' numbers.
In stage two, there is no victory or defeat, only casualties. It is, however, possible for a clever general to obliterate the other side, ending the game with their win.
A siege can last for months, or even years, but this one is likely to be over quickly-one way or the other. Both sides must stave off disease and hunger, waiting out the other, looking for just one fatal weakness to exploit. Eventually, the outer walls may be breached, and should things go badly for the defender, there may even be fighting within the halls of the stronghold itself.
In stage three, a victory for the defender pushes the attacker to stage 2, retreating to the other stronghold. The attacker wins when the defenders are annihilated or the stronghold taken, opening the defender's empire to invasion, plunder, and absorption.
Each player will create a level 12 gestalt (see character creation rules) with 88,000 gp to equip themselves, and a single heirloom item which can be bought at half price (but not worth more than 100k). In addition, each player will have an additional 120,000 gp to purchase and equip their army (see army creation rules). Finally, each
will have 100,000 gp with which to purchase a stronghold (largely using stronghold creation guide, but also see below.). Players may contribute their personal wealth towards their army, but not the other way around, and may contribute either personal or army wealth towards the team's stronghold, but not the other way around.
Will allow SRD (including psionics), Heroes of Battle, Complete Adventurer, Arcane, Mage, Warrior, Scoundrel, and Divine, Draconomicon, and some stuff out of Miniatures Handbook (but check first). Won't allow Tome of Battle, since I don't have it. Sorry!
It doesn't cost any gold to hire followers. However, they must be equipped from your personal wealth (not your army wealth). Followers and cohorts are not gestalt.
Generals who keep undead within their army gain a -2 penalty towards attracting followers. This can only be overcome by removing the undead from the army.
Followers may be experts, commoners, warriors, or nobility with no penalty.
Followers may be a generic class (or NPC adept) at +1 ECL (a 5th level adept or generic spellcaster counts as a 6th level follower).
Followers may be a PC class at +2 ECL. So, for instance, you can have level 4 clerics and wizards, who would count as level 6 followers.
Your cohort may have any NPC or monster levels with no penalty and PC levels with a -1 level penalty. So, for instance, you could have a ECL 10 mount as your cohort, or a level 9 druid.
Cohorts and followers may not be used for the XP component of magic items (You can use their feats, but you still pay your own XP or full market cost).
Each player will create a level 12 gestalt (see character creation rules) with 88,000 gp to equip themselves, and a single heirloom item which can be bought at half price (but not worth more than 100k).
Each character starts with 70000 XP (a point between 12 and 13). You may spend 3000 XP to remove a +1 level adjustment (but not to reduce a higher level adjustment). Should you have access to a party member or cohort (but not a party member's cohort or hireling) who can craft items, you may spend your own XP to have them craft you goods at half price. Cohorts will provide this service at cost; party members may negotiate additional fees.
All character alignments must be within two steps of Neutral Good. Characters are allowed a single step of alignment change at any time during character creation.
All soldiers must first be hired, then equipped. Each player begins with 120,000 gp to hire and equip their army (which in actuality may be anything from a half-dozen wizards to ten thousand orcs). The cost of hire includes pay, food, and basic necessities for each soldier but does not include weapons, armor, or special equipment such as caltrops.
Siege weaponry is also purchased from the army fund but may be built by siege engineers at half cost.
Soldiers may be experts, commoners, warriors, or nobility with no penalty.
Soldiers may be a generic class (or NPC adept) at +1 ECL (a 5th level adept or generic spellcaster counts as a 6th level soldier).
Soldiers may be a PC class at +2 ECL. So, for instance, you could have a level 4 wizard, who would count as a level 6 soldier and cost 8000 gp to hire.
Soldiers must be within two alignment steps of their general, and soldiers of opposing alignments will suffer discipline issues.
Monstrous entities will be calculated at ECL (if available), or the greater of CR or HD--bear in mind that some monsters -eat- regular soldiers!
ECL 1 soldiers cost 10 gp plus equipment.
ECL 2 costs 100
ECL 3 costs 1000
ECL 4 costs 2000
ECL 5 costs 4000
ECL 6 costs 8000
ECL 7 costs 14,000
ECL 8 costs 20,000
ECL 9 costs 28,000
Each team has a single stronghold. Each stronghold must have sufficient lodging for the combined armies of that team, sufficient storage to feed that army for half a year, and defenses against invasion and assault. Defensive siege weaponry may be constructed with the castle fund, which cannot be removed from the premises, at half cost; however, no crew is provided.
Each stronghold has a three-month construction period, which is more than ample with the aid of Imperial wizards aiding them. The site must attach to the mainland on at least one point (a bridge or drawbridge is acceptable). Strongholds may not teleport. Each stronghold's bottom-most floor (in, for instance, the sub-basement) is free and each other floor must be paid for normally.
A stronghold to house forty thousand orc barbarians is going to be a significantly different beast than a stronghold to house a few dozen high-level spellcasters. Each team is free to be as creative as they please. Team members may participate in stronghold construction.
A unit wall of stone, two inches thick and composed of ten five-foot squares, costs 500 gp.
Two unit walls of stone can be placed parallel each other and the resultant gap filled with rubble and packed earth (a staple of castle construction) for a total of 1000 gp + 250 per 2 feet of thickness.
A unit wall of iron, two inches thick and composed of 11 five-foot squares. costs 750 gp and is subject to rust. A wall of stone or rubble may be faced by a wall of iron to increase its durability significantly.
A unit wall of wood, five inches thick and composed of 20 five-foot squares, costs 100 gp. This is also the cost of a wooden watchtower with a 10x10 base, four stories tall.
Rice paper internal dividers are free.
Iron portcullises are 750 gp per 5-foot square, reinforced wooden doors are 50 gp per 5-foot square. Trap prices are in the DMG. Other prices by request.
Costs are the same for interior and exterior architecture, but you may, for instance, build a stone and rubble shell with wooden interior walls and flooring.
Each stronghold is warded against teleportation and scrying, free of charge.