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lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 08:08 PM
I'm making an empire for a campaign I'm building and the main focus is on a dominant empire that's basically unstoppable for the last several hundred years.

Note that this takes place after a large cataclysmic event that has rendered traditional magic dead and unable to be used. All the old deities have been killed and been replaced. (sketchy right now, only certain thing is that Pun-Pun is the overdeity) The "Old Magic" has been replaced by "Channel Magic" which is similar to the Charging Magic from FFT.

All walls in the empire are pointed inward, similar to Renaissance era forts, to reduce damage from Seige Weapons

It has a magic aura that suppresses magic and other stuff.

The Suppressing Aura

It radiates from the capital of the country to edge of its borders. It suppresses all magic in the area, but does not prevent channelling; only actually casting magic is not allowed. However, holding a channel is disastrous after a while.

Merchants may purchase a permit which will create a small area where Magic Items are allowed to function. Such an area is only to be used for demonstrating to foreigners and adventurers that the item they are buying works and can only be sold to them. Once the items leave the permitted area, they are again suppressed.

The Repulsion Aura

It radiates from the capital of the country to the edge of its borders. It prevents any creatures/species not the "Allowed List" from entering the area. It works on an inverse of power, meaning the barrier works backwards in strength. For example, at the edge of the empire, only creatures with CR20+ are repelled, but at the center, all creatures are repelled.

All within the aura and those entering the aura for the first time are moved one step towards Lawful and one step towards morally Neutral.

Sea Wall

There is a massive sea wall covering the east side of the empire, with only 3 gates. It is made of Sea Stone which repels aquatic creatures.

Both auras are powered by a 5 Stones/Monuments in the capital, which are each, in turn, powered by a single Councilmen.

Miscallaneous

All humans in the empire are proficient with atleast one martial weapon due to the military training everyone has.

Primarily stone architecture.

They weren't always powerful, they were at first not much of a threat. With not much to gain, and a powerful warding aura, most countries ignored them until it was too late and they became too powerful. Now the empire consists of a large outer wall surrounding the scattered farmlands, with everything growing more compact and urban towards the capital. To maintain their army, they have to wage many military campaigns.

There are some other factors, but they are not solid yet.

Is there any flaw with these defences that would make easily conquered?

Foryn Gilnith
2009-10-30, 08:16 PM
Well, it seems like it's not terribly big on diplomacy...
How does the "allowed list" function? If anything even possibly insecure can get near the capital terrorism is a possibility. How does it retain internal political stability?

Radiun
2009-10-30, 08:21 PM
Does the Repulsion field allow a save or spell resistance?

Yukitsu
2009-10-30, 08:25 PM
A good ol' fashion siege mixed with profiteering on food from the few people with food licenses overcharging you out the nose would likely result in eventual collapse if any necromantic or construct animator types decided they didn't like your face. Once you ran out of money and they teleported off you'd be SOL. Or if you tried to force them into producing food for you, you'd have to deal with them leaving or having a magic battle within the city, or other forms of subterfuge against an opressive government. Ultimately, fixed defenses are the epitomy of the stupidity of man, or whatever it is Patton actually said.

You'll also find they can simply go in, burn and salt the fields and wait around. Either you leave to react, or your people starve. Fortifications are rather meaningless unless you have a sufficient army to go out into the fields and drive them off in battle. Forts, like aircraft carriers project power, but themselves are not the most powerful of things.

And lastly and more conventionally, Rocs dropping rocks on you can decimate your inner fortifications. In particular, they can drop rocks in vast numbers onto the monoliths preventing any rebuke effects from occuring.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 08:26 PM
The allowed list is a list of certain creatures (such as humans, elf, ect.) that are allowed to enter the area. The list can only be edited by if atleast a majority of the council (5 epic level characters) agree to add or remove a race. It can only be done 1/year and can only add or remove 1 creature/race.

Diplomacy for them is basically: We have a bigger and better army who work for a successful empire which won't waste the resources we wish to obtain. You can either give us the resources at a meager price or we can take your whole country.

The Calming Aura ensures that the Empire is mostly Lawful Neutral, ensuring that mostly everyone is happy. Also the guards are pretty high level (6-11).

The Repelling Works is based on the assumption that no matter what, even if they start losing, the empire has a gradually more powerful defenses as they get pushed back more while the invading army is weakened due to have some left behind due to the aura, ensuring a safe capital.

Edits:
Radiuan: None of the auras offer a save unless you are of epic level

Yukitsu: Sorry for not being clear, I was rushing to write this before I forgot, but the Seawall implies that there is a decent fishing harbor, which will supply for a time, but you are right a seige can decimate them.

I have nothing to say about the salting fields which would be a problem.

As said, magic is impossible within the empire as long as the monoliths are up.

The rocs, I'm not so sure about.

Yukitsu
2009-10-30, 08:27 PM
If you just have a huge army compared to everyone else, then why bother with all those defenses that constrain your own growth? :smallconfused:

Foryn Gilnith
2009-10-30, 08:31 PM
That's awfully insecure in terms of subterfuge. Just any human can waltz in and try assassination. They turn LN the first time they enter the aura, which is probably at childhood. Trauma afterwards during child or teen years could very well result in a shift to evil, and consequent unrest. Political instability would seem to be a possible weakness.

How do they keep the conquered land? The only truly secure place is in the aura, and it can only go so far. If an army big enough to threaten came along, they won't leave behind members and chase after you; they'll just dance along the periphery and burn/rape/destroy the land and its occupants.

How far up does the aura extend? Probably far enough, but it's worth considering.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 08:33 PM
It's a huge army, but meaningless, when everyone in the world hates them; if they move out to attack anyone, someone would probably attack them while they were gone.

Also, non-humanoids are a big problem in DnD

Edit:

The aura covers the entire country. You are right about the assassin part, however, it doesn't just change you to LN and you continue what you're doing; it changes your whole outlook. A paladin might walk in deciding to punish the council, but suddenly shift to Lawful Neutral and decide against it. Or perhaps a CE assassin walks and shifts to True Neutral, not quite as much reason to hate anymore does he?

Also, it's rare for someone to shift away from Lawful Neutral, but possible.

Milskidasith
2009-10-30, 08:36 PM
Having the entire area be a dead magic zone is just asking for a siege... I mean, when Pun-Pun is the overdeity, anybody who isn't running their country like the Tippyverse (whether the nice, friendly Culture Tippyverse or the cruel, heartless 1984 Tippyverse) is going to die.

Just as an example, all you'd have to do is start a magical fire on the borders, and send it into the country. At best, it's nonmagical but still burning in the area, and everybody dies because magic doesn't work and, well, stopping fires didn't work so well in high fantasy times. At worst, it's still inherently magical fire, and the entire place burns while the citizens watch.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 08:42 PM
I'm not sure, but if the flames were magical, they would just extinguish.

Non-magical flames could be more easily contained.

Regular magic is dead though, newer channel magic is all there is, which is not as good; it leaves you open and visible. The deities in this campaign are like the Forgotten Realms (maybe Ebberon?) deities in that they try not to interfere.

Milskidasith
2009-10-30, 08:44 PM
Non magical flames cannot be contained easily without magic. This is the dark ages, where fires were a very real danger and could destroy everything short of a castle, and could even stop that by destroying the outlying supply fields. You walk in and start burning stuff, and there's no way it'll be easily stopped. Considering this country seems to be the country everybody would hate, it would be a remarkably easy way to stop them.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 08:49 PM
Hmm, would having primarily stone architecture help with the flames?

Yukitsu
2009-10-30, 08:58 PM
Historically, it helped but did not prevent the damage.

Edit: You really need to adress resource maintenance. An army of essentially any sort will prevent you from maintaining a huge army just by burning your fields.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 09:12 PM
They weren't always powerful, they were at first not much of a threat. With not much to gain, and a powerful warding aura, most countries ignored them until it was too late and they became too powerful. Now the empire consists of a large outer wall surrounding the scattered farmlands, with everything growing more compact and urban towards the capital. To maintain their army, they have to wage many military campaigns.

Milskidasith
2009-10-30, 09:14 PM
Yep, they're gonna burn. Military campaigns to maintain the army need food, and lots of it. There would be nothing, at all, to prevent enemies from salting and burning their fields and laughing while they used magic to keep themselves fed.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 09:22 PM
Remember, magic is far and few between, few are talented with magic, and since the death of traditional magic, Channel Magic is all that's left which is harder and longer. They cannot survive on magic food alone.

On the otherhand, this might give the PC a plot hook to play with; Defeat or side with the empire? Find a way to restore magic (not likely), solve the food crisis?

taltamir
2009-10-30, 09:24 PM
ok... merchants can get a permit to have a small zone be exempt (temporarily) from the null magic aura.
Problems with that are:
1. Why would merchants even TRY to sell magic items in this country? nobody is gonna buy them in that country since they don't WORK in that country. If a merchant comes across some, they will ship it outside the borders to sell it.
2. Who produces those magic items? I can't see them having a thriving community of mages
3. What is preventing someone from stealing / duplicating a permit? (it is an item, right?)
4. Empire's military will not stand a chance of doing anything outside the null zone, since armies that do have mages will kick their butts.
5. Aura must be operated by a councilman... is that council person a powerful mage or can anyone operate such a monolith? Can assasins (with swords or poison) result in the aura falling (because the councilmen are dead).
6. Cost of aquiring a magic permit are probably not worth it compared to just shipping the items out of the country.
7. Since everyone is either lawful neutral or true neutral in this country, motivating your PCs might be a problem... also, you are upfront about this, right? Not being able to advance their barbarian or whatever because it is no longer chaotic, or having their paladin fall because it is no longer good will be really upsetting.

Radiun
2009-10-30, 09:26 PM
If the Gods are dead-ish, does divine magic still work?
How does the country respond to disease.

Also, if one were to create a devastating weather phenomenon outside the country and allow it to move into it under natural forces (the magic outside ignites the phenomena, and directs it, but it is other wise self sustaining. Like a Tsunami or some-such), how would the country fair?

Does the Aura affect all of the countries air space?
Flying ships could be a major concern, or simply archers on griffins.

Volkov
2009-10-30, 09:28 PM
Unleash the demons of the abyss. Your empire would fall to their innumerable hordes no matter what you did. Or heck, just open a portal to the elemental plane of water and flood the place in an enormous amount of water. After all, a one hundred mile high surge/wave of water is going to ruin anyone's day.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 09:40 PM
1. It makes no sense to tell the truth, but the option is there if PCs want to adventure in the empire.

2. Probably adventurer loot

3. The permits run off of a sliver of the monuments' magic and are tied to an individual so it only works in the presence of said individual and nothing can fool the magic.

4. They may merely win by attrition, they are for the most part better trained and better equipped. Mages are rare enough that few could defeat an army single-handedly. Also magic is quite as reliable anymore.

5. It doesn't necessary have to be a mage, but it has to a powerful creature (read: epic) that has the approval of 3 coucilmembers to take the place of a council member when he/she dies.

6. True, although this is DnD, monsters are a real threat for a lone caravan

7. Not sure about that one, originally the city was Lawful Good, but that lost appeal. Perhaps, I'll remove that restriction from them, changing it to Barbarians must not be Lawful, while Paladins must not be Chaotic or Evil.

The Old Gods are dead, being replaced by New Gods so divine magic still works, but magic is harder to use due to the tragedy

I'd say they're out of luck when it comes to weather... no one's perfect.

The Aura affects airspace and underground. Imagine a sphere centered on the capital.

I'm sure any other country would fall to those tactics too. Or maybe hire adventurers to close the portals?

Volkov
2009-10-30, 09:42 PM
Another way is to get the Far realm. Sure they'll destroy it all, but they get the job done.

Milskidasith
2009-10-30, 09:44 PM
No, you can't win a battle of attrition with fighters versus wizards. Even if they are high level, the massive amounts of battlefield control magic offers is simply absurd. Sure, they can, but when their economy is entirely dependent on fighting, and they win by attrition, then they are going to run short on people and on funds, plus those same mages will have no trouble burning crops and fleeing, starving your armies.

The entire "Null Magic Country" idea won't work as an invincible army.

As for another country falling to flooding or burning: They wouldn't. They have magic. Like, say, Quench, or Mass Swim, or Create Food and Water.

Yukitsu
2009-10-30, 09:44 PM
I'd still just drop things on their fields to light them on fire from a Roc at 20 miles up.

That and static defenses don't really work in D&D. Too many things that will break through, and not necessarily with much effort either.

Volkov
2009-10-30, 09:46 PM
No, you can't win a battle of attrition with fighters versus wizards. Even if they are high level, the massive amounts of battlefield control magic offers is simply absurd. Sure, they can, but when their economy is entirely dependent on fighting, and they win by attrition, then they are going to run short on people and on funds, plus those same mages will have no trouble burning crops and fleeing, starving your armies.

The entire "Null Magic Country" idea won't work as an invincible army.

As for another country falling to flooding or burning: They wouldn't. They have magic. Like, say, Quench, or Mass Swim, or Create Food and Water.

Not an Infinite amount of water. Because infinity defies all logic.

Volkov
2009-10-30, 09:48 PM
If worst comes to worst, knock a large asteroid into the nation. You will have a smoldering, magma filled crater, and the opposite side of the planet will experience a flood basalt eruption of equal force to the impact. Well more or less.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-30, 09:49 PM
Instead of making the area non-magical by DM fiat, try to tie it into normal rules. For example, separate out the different functions. The non-magical bit can be handled by AMFs, for example. If laid out carefully, they could overlap in such a way that even an occasionally destroyed one would only create the tiniest hole in the defences.

Of course, this means the defenders do have to put some effort into guarding the sources of the antimagic fields.

The only reason to have this is if you want a non-magical area for some reason. It really doesn't mesh well with magic items, other forms of arcane casting, and highly magical defences from the council members who for some reason haven't been assassinated despite the complete lack of any reason they should be still alive.

I assure you, any tenth level+ arcane caster can literally alter the outcome of battles. An army with no magic whatsoever is going to be next to helpless once they leave their protective bubble. Now, you can make an interesting game out of them protecting bubble sources, and making short jumps outside to set up new ones, but they are not going to be able to simply march out and conquer at will. An expansionist country intent on spreading an area in which magic does not work will be a target for arcane casters of all types, levels, and alignments once they leave their protection.

In short, if you're going to make an unstoppable country in a D&D world, make the methods it uses make sense within D&D rules.

Yukitsu
2009-10-30, 09:49 PM
That's what I did! :smallbiggrin:

PhoenixRivers
2009-10-30, 09:50 PM
So, the key in taking this down would be to work into a position of trust, get on the allowed list, acquire said merchant item, bring it to a councilman, and enact with the magical stabbity.

Quite the Trojan Horse.

All the best empires are toppled from within.

Volkov
2009-10-30, 09:52 PM
Remember, no mortal nation can hold a candle to the forces of the Elementals, Abberations, Dragons, and Outsiders.

An army of millions of angry great wyrm prismatic dragons is a sight no one wants to be on the receiving end of.

So you may want to stock up on banishment scrolls. Or better yet, make a banishment field. It'd stop one half out of the four "unstoppables."

As for the Dragons and Abberations, ally as many of them as you can. Even one of the greater Abberation races could easily topple your empire if they wanted too.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-30, 09:53 PM
Screw the list. I can walk right in there as one of the allowed creatures. Oh yay, I moved one step closer to neutral and lawful. That makes me what...true neutral? I have very little trouble imagining circumstances that would make a true neutral willing to assassinate someone...Hell, depending on country of origin, a lawful good person could walk right in and snipe them with a hail of arrows.

Cragtop archer in an area in which no magical defences work = if he can see it, it dies.

Milskidasith
2009-10-30, 09:54 PM
Volkov, I don't think he is planning on having his city invaded by a massive army of generally solitary creatures for no reason; I think he wants it to be strong against more typical D&D methods.*

*It still doesn't work against them, but let's fix it for that before we try to fix the problem of losing to CR 40+ creatures amassing in an army.

Volkov
2009-10-30, 09:55 PM
Volkov, I don't think he is planning on having his city invaded by a massive army of generally solitary creatures for no reason; I think he wants it to be strong against more typical D&D methods.*

*It still doesn't work against them, but let's fix it for that before we try to fix the problem of losing to CR 40+ creatures amassing in an army.

Hey, I made an army of Worms that walked.

It left a really grubby mess.

taltamir
2009-10-30, 09:56 PM
there are a few things here...
1. how exactly has magic changed? what do you mean by it being "harder" and "not as reliable".
2. I can see this country being uninvadeable, but unless magic is horribly nerfed, then it cannot really invade other countries. Because it has no magic of its own, it has regular armies vs magic armies.
If magic is nerfed to the point where enemy countries which employ magic are not a threat, then why do they even bother banning magic in this country? they are sacrificing a lot for, well, nothing much really. (the nobles who run this county don't want magic healing when they are sick or injured?)
3. If it takes 3 councilmen to appoint a new one, and there are 5 monoliths, then you just have to assasinate 3 to prevent them from ever working again. So they should have formidable protections against assassins (since those should be attacking every now and then; since the country is uninvadeable until the councilmen die).

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 09:59 PM
I'm sure they can win by attrition, with the state of the world right now its now 10 wizards vs 10 fighters or even 10 wizards vs 100 fighters

It's 1 wizardWeaker casting class, powerful,but not one-manning, and 100 other NPC classes per 500 fighters.

It fits, sorta, just think epic antimagic field.

It isn't anti-magic from DM fiat, it's powered by various monuments which someone could just walk up and destroy.

The council members survive because a) not all of them are mages, some are outsiders, dragons, or even regular old fighters b) no one of significant threat can approach them due to the Repulsion aura as they hang out in the capital at all times

Perhaps, a 10th wizard can completely decimate the army, but there aren't anymore wizards, as magic has been only relatively recent in discoveries and such making a 10th lvl wizard unlikely to be found.

Milskidasith
2009-10-30, 10:01 PM
So they have an epic magic ward, but magic has just been rediscovered so nobody else has level 10 wizards?

Awfully strange coincidence in favor of your country.

Also, how has magic changed, exactly?

Volkov
2009-10-30, 10:02 PM
I'm sure they can win by attrition, with the state of the world right now its now 10 wizards vs 10 fighters or even 10 wizards vs 100 fighters

It's 1 wizardWeaker casting class, powerful,but not one-manning, and 100 other NPC classes per 500 fighters.

It fits, sorta, just think epic antimagic field.

It isn't anti-magic from DM fiat, it's powered by various monuments which someone could just walk up and destroy.

The council members survive because a) not all of them are mages, some are outsiders, dragons, or even regular old fighters b) no one of significant threat can approach them due to the Repulsion aura as they hang out in the capital at all times

Perhaps, a 10th wizard can completely decimate the army, but there aren't anymore wizards, as magic has been only relatively recent in discoveries and such making a 10th lvl wizard unlikely to be found.

I also recommend a banishment field extending a bit outside the anti-magic field. This will keep pesky extraplanars away.

taltamir
2009-10-30, 10:02 PM
If worst comes to worst, knock a large asteroid into the nation. You will have a smoldering, magma filled crater, and the opposite side of the planet will experience a flood basalt eruption of equal force to the impact. Well more or less.

Yes, that is quite doable... although, who has the resources and desire to do so?


Instead of making the area non-magical by DM fiat, try to tie it into normal rules. For example, separate out the different functions. The non-magical bit can be handled by AMFs, for example. If laid out carefully, they could overlap in such a way that even an occasionally destroyed one would only create the tiniest hole in the defences.

Of course, this means the defenders do have to put some effort into guarding the sources of the antimagic fields.

The only reason to have this is if you want a non-magical area for some reason. It really doesn't mesh well with magic items, other forms of arcane casting, and highly magical defences from the council members who for some reason haven't been assassinated despite the complete lack of any reason they should be still alive.

I assure you, any tenth level+ arcane caster can literally alter the outcome of battles. An army with no magic whatsoever is going to be next to helpless once they leave their protective bubble. Now, you can make an interesting game out of them protecting bubble sources, and making short jumps outside to set up new ones, but they are not going to be able to simply march out and conquer at will. An expansionist country intent on spreading an area in which magic does not work will be a target for arcane casters of all types, levels, and alignments once they leave their protection.

In short, if you're going to make an unstoppable country in a D&D world, make the methods it uses make sense within D&D rules.

excellent post.
A bunch of wide AMF fields makes a lot of sense here. No single person to assasinate, and the country can actually attack others as the DM wants by bringing their mobile AMF with them...

The monoliths requiring councilmen to operate is just asking for trouble, people will just try to assassinate the leaders. of course you might intend for that.

allowing exceptions also asks for trouble (dominate the merchant who bought an exception, since magic works around him, have him follow you around to make your magic work).


The council members survive because a) not all of them are mages, some are outsiders, dragons, or even regular old fighters b) no one of significant threat can approach them due to the Repulsion aura as they hang out in the capital at all times
Interesting... so I assume that dragons and some outsiders are not on the "forbidden races" list. I am surprised to find out ANY councilmen is a mage... why would mages trap themselves in an epic anti magic field?

Yukitsu
2009-10-30, 10:03 PM
When we say DM fiat, we mean we can't find what you're talking about in any of the books.

As it stands, even with nerfed level 1 war wizards with magic missiles, they will defeat about 5 fighters each before retreating, though the latter isn't even necesitated if they each have a level 1 warrior who can assist them. Fighters are chumps. Getting masses of them doesn't help an army when the other side is using machine guns and artillery.

Volkov
2009-10-30, 10:05 PM
Yes, that is quite doable... although, who has the resources and desire to do so?



excellent post.
A bunch of wide AMF fields makes a lot of sense here. No single person to assasinate, and the country can actually attack others as the DM wants by bringing their mobile AMF with them...

The monoliths requiring councilmen to operate is just asking for trouble, people will just try to assassinate the leaders. of course you might intend for that.

allowing exceptions also asks for trouble (dominate the merchant who bought an exception, since magic works around him, have him follow you around to make your magic work).

Theoretically, Mordenkainen could. He has teleported to Oerth's moons before. I think.

Volkov
2009-10-30, 10:08 PM
One way to deal with wizards, is simple. Put a blindfold on your troops and tell them to run around screaming that they don't believe in magic, the wizards will be too weirded out to do anything and then they will walk away.

taltamir
2009-10-30, 10:10 PM
ok so in a world where magic is now severely nerfed, a few mages, outsiders, dragons and fighters got together (there are only 5 council members, so most of these there is only 1 of since we have 4 categories here). and created artifacts which can be operated by epic characters to project an epic AMF, an epic alignment changing aura, and an epic magic circle against non approved creatures.

They have an army that is big enough to win by attrion, and is well trained enough to stomp over others, they are highly aggressive and venture often out of the protective field to attack other nations... and they are good at it. Mages on other armies are not an issue because:
1. other armies are much weaker than this nation's army
2. mages are extremely nerfed due to gods dying and magic being really hard right now...

it is certainly an interesting setting, but it seems like a whole lot of things are stacked in favor of this nation. There needs to be a whole lot of backstory to explain exactly how did this nation get into such a sweet spot...

Tyndmyr
2009-10-30, 10:10 PM
I'm sure they can win by attrition, with the state of the world right now its now 10 wizards vs 10 fighters or even 10 wizards vs 100 fighters

Against non magical fighters? The fighters are certainly doomed.


It's 1 wizardWeaker casting class, powerful,but not one-manning, and 100 other NPC classes per 500 fighters.

Uh, a few misc nonmagical support personnel are not going to matter in such a fight.


It fits, sorta, just think epic antimagic field.

Except it ignores all the rules of antimagic fields, and instead, you're making up your own. I strongly suggest not doing this, because it'll annoy your players to no end.


It isn't anti-magic from DM fiat, it's powered by various monuments which someone could just walk up and destroy.

The fact that you tied it to a McGuffin doesn't make it not DM fiat. It's not at all part of the normal rules, so yes...it's antimagic by DM fiat.


The council members survive because a) not all of them are mages, some are outsiders, dragons, or even regular old fighters b) no one of significant threat can approach them due to the Repulsion aura as they hang out in the capital at all times

How so? Your repulsion aura does nothing vs regular guys below CR20, of the allowed races. How do you guarantee that NONE of those are hostile to you, despite aggressive tendancies?

In a world without magical defences, a CR 19 Archer or three can be quite effective at downing targets. The reason I suggested Cragtop Archer was to dispense with any range problems. Basically, if they were ever in a space visible by anyone from anywhere, they'd take an arrow to the face. Lots of arrows, most likely.

And that doesn't even get into other mundane assassination means, like poison. You don't even need to be subtle, you can just use it en masse. It's not as if anyone can scry on you. If you manage to ever have 3/5 dead at one time, game over, you win.


Perhaps, a 10th wizard can completely decimate the army, but there aren't anymore wizards, as magic has been only relatively recent in discoveries and such making a 10th lvl wizard unlikely to be found.

A nice handful of fifth level wizards would still tear a swath of destruction through a non-magical army of ground pounders. I mean...they have fly and protection from arrows. That's pretty close to invulnerability against stock troops right there. Heck, when they run dry on spells, they can start dropping rocks.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 10:11 PM
1. Mostly, there is a small time limit (generally 1 round/spell level) before casting a spell, and some of the more outrageous spells haven't been rediscovered yet, such as timestop and polymorph

2. Magic's not really widespread as it used to, as in the army still makes the army, rather than just preventing the wizard from getting hurt

3. It's a flawed paranoid council

The ward has been there before magic died, as a note, which will probably get me killed, but permanent epic magic effects are still going alive, as in that Golem over there created by epic magic? Untouched,.

I didn't say there weren't 10th level casters, just that they were rare and that they don't compare to 10th level wizards, but still powerful

Banishment should be unnecessary, at some point in the country, they will be unable to even enter

As it stands, many of these arguments are sound, if the PCs decide to start within the city, then they will start during wartime when someone discovered these weaknesses, and a councilman has been killed...

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 10:12 PM
I'm sure they can win by attrition, with the state of the world right now its not 10 wizards vs 10 fighters or even 10 wizards vs 100 fighters

Whoops, didn't notice typo, meant to say its NOT

What's the difference with my AMF? It's just way bigger with an exception list?

Tyndmyr
2009-10-30, 10:14 PM
ok so in a world where magic is now severely nerfed, a few mages, outsiders, dragons and fighters got together (there are only 5 council members, so most of these there is only 1 of since we have 4 categories here). and created artifacts which can be operated by epic characters to project an epic AMF, an epic alignment changing aura, and an epic magic circle against non approved creatures.

They have an army that is big enough to win by attrion, and is well trained enough to stomp over others, they are highly aggressive and venture often out of the protective field to attack other nations... and they are good at it. Mages on other armies are not an issue because:
1. other armies are much weaker than this nation's army
2. mages are extremely nerfed due to gods dying and magic being really hard right now...

it is certainly an interesting setting, but it seems like a whole lot of things are stacked in favor of this nation.

Exactly. Yeah...nobody else has jack...but we have a wide assortment of ultra-epic magic that breaks all the rules. Oh, and we also dominate everyone via our massive armies of awesomeness. PS: The gods died.

IMO, it seems like the country, and specifically the council members are running the risk of becoming DMPCs.

It's not that a strong central country is a bad theme, or that antimagic is a bad theme....it's all in *how* you do it. You've got to at least use the regular rules as a starting point, or you're making the game unplayable.

Milskidasith
2009-10-30, 10:16 PM
One round per spell level? While it would make actually playing mage boring, a level five mage or three could still decimate an army of fighters with that restriction; protection from arrows + Fly = invincibility against the army. A 9th level caster would be invincible for almost the entire day; overland flight plus protection from arrows. You can't actually stop mages, even if they take forever. It's like saying that you can now survive a cannon to the chest because it takes twice as long to fire.

Yukitsu
2009-10-30, 10:17 PM
Yeah. May as well call the country Mary Sue.

Don't forget to ban alchemists fire. Flying over the fields at 50 clicks dropping bundle bombs while singing "Napalm sticks to kids" would probably be a daily occurance, as your nation can do literally nothing to fight back.

Volkov
2009-10-30, 10:17 PM
1. Mostly, there is a small time limit (generally 1 round/spell level) before casting a spell, and some of the more outrageous spells haven't been rediscovered yet, such as timestop and polymorph

2. Magic's not really widespread as it used to, as in the army still makes the army, rather than just preventing the wizard from getting hurt

3. It's a flawed paranoid council

The ward has been there before magic died, as a note, which will probably get me killed, but permanent epic magic effects are still going alive, as in that Golem over there created by epic magic? Untouched,.

I didn't say there weren't 10th level casters, just that they were rare and that they don't compare to 10th level wizards, but still powerful

Banishment should be unnecessary, at some point in the country, they will be unable to even enter

As it stands, many of these arguments are sound, if the PCs decide to start within the city, then they will start during wartime when someone discovered these weaknesses, and a councilman has been killed...
That sounds a bit too far in for my liking. Also, you should get your nation proofed against the undead. Undead armies will always have the upper hand in attrition as they effectively receive no casualties.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 10:19 PM
Not really sure, it's a work in progress,

As such, an alliance between the weaker countries could definitely stand against the Empire

No one said you couldn't destroy the monument itself

taltamir
2009-10-30, 10:20 PM
well, you don't have to use the regular rules, you can heavily modify things or just create new ones from scratch...

the 1 round / spell level delay limitation will frustrate a small party... but not an army. their armies should not be out there conquering left and right...

I think this city is workable as part of a world where magic is now backwards and yet epic magic items remain. I just don't see them out there conquering other nations left and right... their anti magic should mean that they are unconquerable (while it last) but highly ineffective at conquering or doing much of anything outside their own borders.

As far as alignment, I recommend a will check to break the law rather then alignment shifts. Fail the check, and you cannot break the law for a week, afterwards you can try again (you don't make checks every week, only when you try to break the law).

Volkov
2009-10-30, 10:20 PM
Not to mention, against a TECHNOLOGICALLY superior foe, your nation is downright screwed. Someone who has managed to get the musket and cannon would decimate your nation and chew through your armies like a Tasmanian devil on crack. I'd recommend allying magically inclined countries to deal with them, or better yet, ally those countries.

Milskidasith
2009-10-30, 10:21 PM
Not really sure, it's a work in progress,

As such, an alliance between the weaker countries a single caster above fifth level could definitely stand against the Empire blast the empire with impunity and a single caster above ninth level could literally prevent any kind of mobilization of the army.

I fixed that for you; and that's not even getting into the fact that a huge nation that everybody hates is going to be attacked by fire all the time.

As for being unconquerable: Sure. But they aren't going to live well, because they will be destroyed. Having a large standing army is a huge resource tax, and there is no way they could afford that by getting all the other countries to hate them and having no magic to help prevent mundane warfare tactics (FIRE!)

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 10:21 PM
Maybe you're right, maybe conquering is a little out of their league. Maybe changing them to the stronghold of good? And build a second conquering Evil Empire?

Volkov
2009-10-30, 10:22 PM
I fixed that for you; and that's not even getting into the fact that a huge nation that everybody hates is going to be attacked by fire all the time.

Unless they're friends with the evil outsiders, elementals, dragons, or abberations, then they are untouchable.

Volkov
2009-10-30, 10:23 PM
Maybe you're right, maybe conquering is a little out of their league. Maybe changing them to the stronghold of good? And build a second conquering Evil Empire?

You can keep it evil, it just needs allies to compensate for it's weaknesses. Not every nation can be a Soviet Union and single-handedly take on the entire western world.

Milskidasith
2009-10-30, 10:23 PM
Unless they're friends with the evil outsiders, elementals, dragons, or abberations, then they are untouchable.

That's kind of like saying "Oh, a fighter level 1 can beat a level 10 wizard, if the fighter has an item of at will free action Wish. It's totally irrelevant to the actual issue.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-30, 10:23 PM
1. Mostly, there is a small time limit (generally 1 round/spell level) before casting a spell, and some of the more outrageous spells haven't been rediscovered yet, such as timestop and polymorph

The idea of rediscovering magic is interesting, but it needs to be played up as more of an adventure. The rnd/spell level delay seems...arbitrary. Whats the explanation for this?


2. Magic's not really widespread as it used to, as in the army still makes the army, rather than just preventing the wizard from getting hurt

Armies in D&D typically include spellcasters. Sometimes entire units of spellcasters. However, spellcasters are not the only ones with magic. Footies will have magical buffs if available, and leader types will likely have magical gear as well. Some melee classes have magical abilities.

Don't think of magic as just a wizard thing, because in D&D, it's not.


3. It's a flawed paranoid council

This strikes me as still coming across as highly arbitrary. Flawed how? Paranoid in what ways? And how is that different from the leaders of every other country? Paranoid doesn't automagically solve the problem of you making tons and tons of enemies who now face no magical barriers to killing you.


The ward has been there before magic died, as a note, which will probably get me killed, but permanent epic magic effects are still going alive, as in that Golem over there created by epic magic? Untouched,.

And somehow, one country ended up with all the magical wards, that just happen to be epic level?

How are they tied to the current council?


I didn't say there weren't 10th level casters, just that they were rare and that they don't compare to 10th level wizards, but still powerful

Banishment should be unnecessary, at some point in the country, they will be unable to even enter

Why? You have an alignment modifying bubble, granted. Alignment alone isn't going to stop people from wanting the council dead. A lawful good paladin could assassinate you without falling due to killing you being entirely within the code of his own country. Using alignment as a shield works poorly when you're the evil invaders.

And you apparently have a rather decently sized list of races that can enter. I see no particular reason why they should arbitrarily be unable to advance at some point.


As it stands, many of these arguments are sound, if the PCs decide to start within the city, then they will start during wartime when someone discovered these weaknesses, and a councilman has been killed...

The point is, these weakness are so glaring that they wouldn't have lasted to become a big empire.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 10:24 PM
Actually only the Capitol is unenterable, but for reasons unknown, the monuments powering the aura is outside the Capitol

taltamir
2009-10-30, 10:26 PM
Maybe you're right, maybe conquering is a little out of their league. Maybe changing them to the stronghold of good? And build a second conquering Evil Empire?

I think that works out nicely... Maybe the alignment and creature wards were up back in the day when it was big on magic... then the world started going to hell and someone got an AMF ward going to help protect the area.

Outside, there are still many wanders to see (like the epic golem).

Suggestions:
1. Alignment shift ward actually a compulsion to not break the law of this specific country. If you want to break it,you need a DC check.
2. Ward to keep creatures out works as described
3. AMF ward has no exceptions for merchants or any some such.

Yukitsu
2009-10-30, 10:26 PM
You can manage one powerful city state off that, that is otherwise so inoffensive that other nations like trading at its port without having to conquer it, which you'll want to open or risk them waltzing in with a proper army and taking it over to turn into their little port city.

Cities like this are virtually invulnerable because nearly every nation would prefer you as a neutral third party as opposed to in the hands of an enemy nation that is willing to use the location as well as magic based armies. As an inverse, this one has to be open allies with everyone to function.

Volkov
2009-10-30, 10:27 PM
Seriously, consider making your made up country have alliances with other evil jerkass nations with different specialties.

Yukitsu
2009-10-30, 10:29 PM
This nation would be the "tank" of the party. ie the one that other peoples walk around to get to the squishy caster nation, which in all odds is the real mover and shaker of this getup.

Volkov
2009-10-30, 10:31 PM
And then you have the nation of theives, rogues, pirates, cuthroats, and assassins, and the scary, dogmatic, and evil theocracy, the savage and brutal barbarians and druidic tribes. Then you have the full circle of stereotypical evil.

Radiun
2009-10-30, 10:33 PM
And then you have the nation of theives, rogues and assassins, and the evil theocracy, and the barbarian and druid tribes. Then you have the full circle of stereotypical evil.

The Druid's win

Not in a direct conflict, just sending some jerks around to cast Diminish Plants every day and starve everybody

Tyndmyr
2009-10-30, 10:34 PM
Stay away from the Paladin nation, those guys are a buncha killjoys.

Monk nation is a good time though.

In seriousness, I think it all started to go wrong when the thought "Way of Main of making my country undefeatable" first crossed the OPs mind. In addition to not making any sense, the goal should not be to make countries undefeatable. The goal should be to make the countries make sense with regards to each other, and to create lots of juicy plot hooks for the adventurers.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 10:34 PM
Interesting, I prefer building empires one at a time, but I haven't decided what the rest of the world looks like yet... they're bound to have stumbled across epic magic, but what would it do?

The evil caster alliance could be nice, forcing the Council to make a decision when the other nations attacks, whether they are evil or not

Volkov
2009-10-30, 10:35 PM
Stay away from the Paladin nation, those guys are a buncha killjoys.

Monk nation is a good time though.

In seriousness, I think it all started to go wrong when the thought "Way of Main of making my country undefeatable" first crossed the OPs mind. In addition to not making any sense, the goal should not be to make countries undefeatable. The goal should be to make the countries make sense with regards to each other, and to create lots of juicy plot hooks for the adventurers.

Beware of the all artificer nation. No one wins against them....NO ONE!!!

jiriku
2009-10-30, 10:37 PM
Sharnian, all of this hoopla to make your empire unconquerable is highly elaborate, and, well...odd.

May I suggest an entirely different approach?

Pick the most godforsaken land you can find; a vast desert, a trackless swamp, a handful of resource-poor islands in a vast sea, or perhaps a burnt-out plain where an ill-fated earlier empire tried to depend on a massive anti-magic field to protect themselves from attack, and got burned alive for their troubles. Better yet, go big and claim all of these areas.

Now, you officially have the worst real estate values in the world. No one would want your land. Invasion problem solved. Your only remaining threat to eternal dynasty is insurrection or civil unrest. This problem you will solve by despotically controlling all access to water. A single epic spell should make it impossible to conjure water magically, and mundane water sources can be controlled through military power. Hydraulic empires (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_empire) are essentially immune to any form of internal collapse, because anyone who attempts to resist the state dies of thirst in three days. Such an empire can stand for thousands of years, even if it is weak, corrupt, and despotic. Only external factors can overthrow it. External forces which will be uninterested in you because of your crappy real estate.

Plus, hydraulic empires are damn cool.

Now, your empire cannot grow wealthy or influential, or it risks attack from greedy neighbors. But it can encompass millions of people on tens of thousands of square miles of land. And its legacy shall be measured in centuries or millenia.

Milskidasith
2009-10-30, 10:45 PM
However... that's a terrible nation for the PCs to play in, so I don't know if he'd want that. Plus, their "legacy" would be "Huh, that craphole? Didn't even think about them."

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 10:48 PM
How to set about making the other nations? I'm wary of adding the Hippie Potsmoker Paradise Chaotic Good nation, no way to survive.

Perhaps shades of grey nations?

Milskidasith
2009-10-30, 10:50 PM
If the hippie nation is a bunch of CN druids, however, it's safe. Very safe.

Yukitsu
2009-10-30, 10:50 PM
Typically, nations start to resemble eachother in aspects other than culture. For example, everyone and his dog made star forts during the line infantry era. Basically, nations should look and act as the others do in regards to external policy and military, and should vary by internal policy.

Milskidasith
2009-10-30, 10:51 PM
Then again, if each nation has it's own epic magic schtick, then they could have widely different armies. I mean, just the AMF nation alone is going to have a widely different army from nations with magic.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 10:53 PM
However powerful would at-will teleportation be just within a nation? Maybe restrict it to highranking officers?

Milskidasith
2009-10-30, 10:56 PM
At will teleportation within a nation would be... absurdly powerful. Even if it took 10 minutes to do, it's still powerful.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-30, 10:56 PM
Very powerful.

And, if unrestricted, incredibly crazy. Look up the tables of something going wrong with teleporation. You'll need them.

taltamir
2009-10-30, 10:56 PM
at will teleport would be very powerful (although, very powerful is not necessarily bad)... instant transportation of food and products, instant transportation of military units (that is the key)... Instant retreat of wounded to be treated.

Only possible reason it is limited to high ranking officials is because its not at will... (aka, there is a limit of sort on how many you can move).

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 10:58 PM
Ok, adding only available 1/day, 10 minute casting time, accidents, and restricted to badge carriers (High-ranking officers) would be better?

Tyndmyr
2009-10-30, 10:59 PM
Would be fun, but fully expect your players to stab officers to death for their badges and abuse the ever loving crap out of them. =)

Yukitsu
2009-10-30, 11:00 PM
More reasonable is ley lines useable as rails from specific key rally points.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 11:01 PM
Make the badges good only and make it clear to the PCs that if they kill the officers for the badge, they that will be an evil act?

Is that railroading?

taltamir
2009-10-30, 11:03 PM
boots of teleport is 49k gp. so 1/3 this (cause it is 1/day) is 16.3k gp...
Limitation of 10 minute casting time can mitigate its cost further... so does the "in country only" limitation... lets say it is a 5k gp. maybe invest a little more to "bind" it to an individual and you have yourself a nice reward for high ranking members of the army (or heroes of the nation).
EDIT: Good only works better than binding it to specific persons (ugh, soulbinding, what was I thinking).

Yukitsu
2009-10-30, 11:03 PM
It means they'll all invest in UMD and roll until they get a natural 20.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-30, 11:05 PM
So then, they find a way to get the badges from them without killing them.

The thing is, you can't build a system then expect the PCs not to try to use it. Also, UMD can emulate alignments for the purposes of using magic items.

Additionally, you shouldn't normally change alignments because of a single act unless it's very dramatic. The whole party definitely wouldn't change alignment for the acts of one.

Basically, there are a million holes in any means of using alignment to not use the badges as a player, and trying to plug them all will end up as railroading.

taltamir
2009-10-30, 11:06 PM
It means they'll all invest in UMD and roll until they get a natural 20.

well... an evil party would. actually you don't even need to make it alignment based or in any way tied to them... it is a 10k worth item of teleport.

If your players are not playing an evil party I highly doubt they will go around murdering people... and murdering high ranking military personnel will get you in trouble. (hint, they actually have an army at their command).
So yes, your players can buy it on the black market. Or they can steal one themselves which gets the army after them...

PS. this isn't the null magic country we are talking about, right?

Tyndmyr
2009-10-30, 11:06 PM
It means they'll all invest in UMD and roll until they get a natural 20.

Yknow, Im continually amazed that people still build characters without that skill.

Even when it's cross class, it still usually ends up being more useful on a point for point basis than most of my class skills.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-30, 11:09 PM
I'm not saying I don't want them to use it, I'm just saying that it would be pretty bad to kill them for one, I meant that by good only, it would grant a temporary negative level while worn by non-good users. They could be given one by the rulers of the nation for defending the country or such.

taltamir
2009-10-30, 11:14 PM
I'm not saying I don't want them to use it, I'm just saying that it would be pretty bad to kill them for one, I meant that by good only, it would grant a temporary negative level while worn by non-good users. They could be given one by the rulers of the nation for defending the country or such.

eh, is it really needed?
1. is your party really evil?
2. is your party able to handle the army of the nation that DOES have high level wizards (because someone has to make those badges of teleportation).

I don't think it is too broken or abuseable as a 1/day item. At will for everyone? hell yes. At will for specific high ranking officers? yes. 1/day? no it isn't broken, it is a standard med power magic item.
I don't think it even needs a 10 min casting time, alignment limitation, or in country only limitation. It will still not that powerful, it is only a 16k gp item.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-30, 11:14 PM
UMD still circumvents that.

If you want to put in place rules regarding how stuff works...do so. But do so with the intent of making the world internally consistent. Your problem is not so much the players finding holes...they will. The point is to make the holes difficult enough to find that they don't immediately wonder why nobody else on earth has thought to abuse this loophole already.

taltamir
2009-10-30, 11:21 PM
UMD still circumvents that.

If you want to put in place rules regarding how stuff works...do so. But do so with the intent of making the world internally consistent. Your problem is not so much the players finding holes...they will. The point is to make the holes difficult enough to find that they don't immediately wonder why nobody else on earth has thought to abuse this loophole already.

I wouldn't say problem... but I think you are grossly under estimating magic... Suggesting that an AMF will make a country unbeatable or that teleporting is only good if it is at will...
A single telport a day is STILL a very awesome power... 3/day is priced at 49k gp after all. While a +6 to attribute is 36k gp.

I suggest going through this guide for using magic effectively, it helped me a lot (I actually used to think a fireball was a good spell!): http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=104002

OP, it sounds to me like you want an epic high magic world, and want it to be challenging and cool to the PCs...
I think the solution is deceptively simple... ban tier 1 and 2 classes. Wizards exist, you just can't play one... maybe make custom classes that are evil more powerful (aka, BBEG classes). Rather then have a contradiction of a high magic world that is somehow also a low magic world.

just make sure things are internally consistant... and for new rules that are NOT based on anything currently existing, consult people on it (aka, how can I break this, and how can I make it less breakable).

I think the big thing people have criticized so far, is that this is supposedly a low-ish magic world. and yet a lot of the magic abilities are designed to be available to everyone BUT the PCs...
Every high ranking soldier having a teleport item? could make sense in high magic, no so much in low magic. If it was this widely available then you should be able to acquire one too.

Actually why would the military even issue such items? their cost is high, and they are terrible for morale (if you don't have one, you know the commander can escape after delivering you to your death... expect commanders to be fragged often.
Communication is reasonable, or outfitting a strike team with teleport items.

PS. if you want to move a lot of people at once, you could have buffed up teleport circles that go to specific locations (they aren't gonna haul these off). or other some such items.
Powerful =! bad. Powerful can be awesome, especially if it is a powerful and challenging adversary.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-31, 09:22 AM
Well, the idea of the Campaign is that all the nations have some remnant of the Old Magic that escaped destruction from the Magic Apocalypse so it ends up as mid-magic campaign, but everyone important has something that's allowed them to become a big nation.

I'll remove the cast time and alignment for the badges, but the reason they hand them out is that, it's not manufactured anymore, it's a remnant of Old Magic, so there's only a limited amount of them. The PCs could easily acquire one, depending on where they go, they can kill them, steal them, earn them as a reward, maybe even buy them at a military surplus shop.

Also, they only work within the nation so their out of luck if they're invading anywhere, but there could be a lot of utility use from them

Teleportation Circles sound good, but sounds like they get awfully close to building flying/no doors cities.

Kurald Galain
2009-10-31, 10:30 AM
It radiates from the capital of the country to edge of its borders. It suppresses all magic in the area, but does not prevent channelling; only actually casting magic is not allowed. However, holding a channel is disastrous after a while.
Valdemar tried that - it didn't work out so hot for them. The net effect is that after a decade or two, you won't have any competent spellcasters left within your borders, and have no real means of defending against them other than this.

Volkov
2009-10-31, 12:36 PM
Valdemar tried that - it didn't work out so hot for them. The net effect is that after a decade or two, you won't have any competent spellcasters left within your borders, and have no real means of defending against them other than this.

That's why I recommended magic using allies.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-31, 01:20 PM
Well, the idea of the Campaign is that all the nations have some remnant of the Old Magic that escaped destruction from the Magic Apocalypse so it ends up as mid-magic campaign, but everyone important has something that's allowed them to become a big nation.

An "old magic" world in which magic is just being rediscovered shouldn't feel like this. Epic magic in widespread use instead of some obscure, poorly understood artifact in the bottom of a dungeon just doesn't flow well.

Frankly, it makes no sense that every country has epic magic things that they use proficiently, yet casting normal spells is somehow difficult and rare.

taltamir
2009-10-31, 01:40 PM
An "old magic" world in which magic is just being rediscovered shouldn't feel like this. Epic magic in widespread use instead of some obscure, poorly understood artifact in the bottom of a dungeon just doesn't flow well.

Frankly, it makes no sense that every country has epic magic things that they use proficiently, yet casting normal spells is somehow difficult and rare.

would it bother you less if the effect did not require a councilmen, just radiated from the stone? (he already mentioned that if someone smashes the stones with a hammer the effect falls).

Tyndmyr
2009-10-31, 02:56 PM
Yeah, that'd make more sense. If you treat it as a massive, permanencied AMF cast on objects, that'd be great. Each artifact that falls reduces the radius by 1/5th of the original radius.

I'd say dump the other affects, though. Forced alignment shifts are a wee bit lame.

taltamir
2009-10-31, 04:35 PM
alignment I can agree with...
but without the magical circle effect they are screwed... because AMF does not affect magical creatures abilities... aka, dragons and demons are still big bad and powerful...

Although you could just say that those creatures depend on magic to survive and that normal AMF excludes them (and several other spells, like instant conjurations and wall of force, etc). AMF does not actually negate magic, just MOST magic. So you could say that THIS AMF does negate magic totally... magic creatures who enter the field begin a process of magical starvation, they take 1 point of con damage per hour until dead or out of the field (restored at same rate out of field)

root9125
2009-10-31, 05:04 PM
Is that railroading?

I'm sure someone has answered this already, but YES. You created a universe where, every time someone suggests something (from "I cast magic missile" to "I steal a guard's badge"), there's an epic MacGuffin to prevent them from doing it.

You. Are. Railroading.

This is not a bad thing if the players don't hate it. I would, personally, but I'm not your players.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-31, 05:04 PM
But then, undead and constructs would just waltz right in unharmed, perhaps change it to a negative level thing?

Right, taking out the alignment shift and just making the city Lawful Neutral through propaganda.
(Has propaganda been really effective?)

Should the repulsion aura go? Or keep it, but allow a high save to go through? The way it works now, there are 5 layers that are each more and more exclusive in level, which works progressively until only 1 HD or less creatures are allowed through the Capitol and each monument destroyed dissapates one layer. The proposed change would allow creatures to make a save when entering a new layer and if they succeed, are free to move within that layer for 24 hours. Maybe starting DC = 10+ 5x. Where x equals the number of monuments standing. Too high? Low? Remember that the aura repels higher level creatures first to weaker creatures last. Ex. The border only prevents epic creatures not on the allowed list from going through. However, weaker creatures are free to go until they hit a layer that doesn't allow their level through, until the Capitol which only lets 1HD in.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-31, 11:11 PM
If you're going to use epic magic, at least start with the seeds. Yes, it's a horribly broken system cost wise, but at least it's going to give you an idea of whats possible...even epic has limits. Cost isn't really a concern for the DM, but it's important for what you create to mesh with everything else.

And negative levels are dangerous. Avoid using them.

Myrmex
2009-10-31, 11:30 PM
Here's how I would do it:
So magic broke, but there are still pieces of it left out there. This particular place happened to have epic magic wards that a ruling council gained control of and used it to keep out the roaming monsters and 5th level wizards that hate standing armies.

They took a somewhat isolationist approach, slowly developing their resources and building, high, secure walls. The lack of any magic led to a different sort people, with a different approach & culture. Technological & alchemical advances flourished. To get the most out of their limited space, cities were built underground and in skyscrapers, hillsides were terraced, lakes were filled with floating islands to grow crops on.

Eventually, though, they simply ran out of space, and the leaders began to become more aggressive. First, they marched against the barbarian tribes and ogre clans adjacent to them, to grab more agricultural land. Their incredible crafting techniques won them the alliance of pastoralists in the hills to the west of them, and they trade weapons, armor, trinkets and gadgets for the pastoralists cheese, milk, hides and meat.

The dead-magic zones the epic wards were making was studied, and the scholars and inventors found ways to project null-fields onto troops in the field for a few weeks to a few months. This allowed the troops to march out and begin knocking in their neighbors' castles. Their expansion is slow, but determined. They are nearly unstoppable as they creep outward, but they can only establish colonies as fast as they can find ways to break the ward and redistribute the null-field out.

Yukitsu
2009-11-01, 12:40 AM
That runs into most of the problems that have been laid out prior. That doesn't prevent people from destroying their economic base, it doesn't explain how these people actually are getting ahead of everyone else, especially since isolationist countries tend towards technologically and militaristically weakened, and it doesn't ultimately let you attack any nation with any number of casters.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-11-01, 12:42 AM
Sounds good, but seems suspiciously like the Aztecs

Myrmex
2009-11-01, 02:03 AM
That runs into most of the problems that have been laid out prior. That doesn't prevent people from destroying their economic base,

That's what a standing army is for.


it doesn't explain how these people actually are getting ahead of everyone else,

Everyone else relies on magic to solve their problems, these guys don't have that luxury.


especially since isolationist countries tend towards technologically and militaristically weakened,

Depends on duration of isolationism. And that's really only a trend. There are notable exceptions.


and it doesn't ultimately let you attack any nation with any number of casters.

Unless you take your null field with you. Then you're going to pwn the **** out of anyone who is caster dependent.

taltamir
2009-11-01, 02:38 AM
That's what a standing army is for.
standing army will stop the fire or flood or meteors or flying boulders that were sent there by magic? (once the magic is gone, the effect remains)


Everyone else relies on magic to solve their problems, these guys don't have that luxury.
Except, their "scholars" are "researching" an epic spell ward and duplicating it for a few weeks with the army. Those scholars are somehow well versed in magic enough to do that with an epic spell and yet somehow stay in a country where all their magical knowledge doesn't afford them even the ability to cast a cantrip, and they are dealing with epic magic directly (which they shouldn't be able to).


Unless you take your null field with you. Then you're going to pwn the **** out of anyone who is caster dependent.
Not really, null magic doesn't stop magic from piling obstacles in your path. shape stone and other spells can create permant entrechments in moments, create food and water means that other armies have a fraction of the supply (and cost) issues, healing magic definitely helps morale (if you survive, any injury you have is fixable), and magic can be used on the terrain to great effect outside the null field.

Milskidasith
2009-11-01, 02:43 AM
So Myremex's solution is "They can ignore supply issues because they are awesome, can recreate an epic spell despite being unable to cast cantrips because they are awesome, and can ignore the problems that, being totally isolated and unable to use magic to aid in construction and research, they shouldn't be as advanced as flourishing trade nations because they are awesome!"

Yay, it's Fiatville, DM!

And, of course, just burning and salting the fields means your giant standing army starves, and even if they don't, you have way to pay them.

Myrmex
2009-11-01, 02:56 AM
So Myremex's solution is "They can ignore supply issues because they are awesome, can recreate an epic spell despite being unable to cast cantrips because they are awesome, and can ignore the problems that, being totally isolated and unable to use magic to aid in construction and research, they shouldn't be as advanced as flourishing trade nations because they are awesome!"

Yay, it's Fiatville, DM!

And, of course, just burning and salting the fields means your giant standing army starves, and even if they don't, you have way to pay them.

What are you so butthurt about?

Milskidasith
2009-11-01, 03:00 AM
The fact you presented a bad solution? :smallconfused:

I mean, we showed reasons why his nation wouldn't work and your best solution was to allow them to use epic antimagic wards despite being unable to cast, at all, so that they could go around being the winners.

It's still not feasible, but it lacks even a semblance of verisimilitude. I mean, there are barely any level 10 casters in the world anymore, yet this country, which can't cast at all, is manipulating epic magic just to further the DM's goal of having an invincible, nonmagical nation. If that isn't DM Fiat, I don't know what is.

Myrmex
2009-11-01, 03:09 AM
I mean, we showed reasons why his nation wouldn't work and your best solution was to allow them to use epic antimagic wards despite being unable to cast, at all, so that they could go around being the winners.

I guess I wasn't clear enough, but these magic wards would be artifacts left from when there was all sorts of wizardry going on. I imagine they'd be big, black obsidian obelisks that dampened magic everywhere around them. Through study and research, the scholars have found ways of imbuing other objects with similar properties.


It's still not feasible,

This is an imaginary game. Anything and everything is feasible. Sorry it's not Tippyverse enough for you. There are plenty of other tippyverse threads you can go have a wank in, though.


but it lacks even a semblance of verisimilitude. I mean, there are barely any level 10 casters in the world anymore, yet this country, which can't cast at all, is manipulating epic magic just to further the DM's goal of having an invincible, nonmagical nation. If that isn't DM Fiat, I don't know what is.

Who's to say there isn't other epic magic out there, that's being manipulated? And why would you need magic to manipulate something that is anti-magical? Do you need magic to make lasagna? Or grow some wheat? Do you have an imagination?

And of course it's "DM fiat." The entire setting is DM fiat. Everything but the player characters is by DM fiat. That's what world building is. I'm not sure if you knew that or not. Did you know that?

Milskidasith
2009-11-01, 03:21 AM
I guess I wasn't clear enough, but these magic wards would be artifacts left from when there was all sorts of wizardry going on. I imagine they'd be big, black obsidian obelisks that dampened magic everywhere around them. Through study and research, the scholars have found ways of imbuing other objects with similar properties.

Imbuing other objects with similar properties is using epic magic. This is in a world where the only epic magic left is artifacts, and even regular magic is weakened greatly.


This is an imaginary game. Anything and everything is feasible. Sorry it's not Tippyverse enough for you. There are plenty of other tippyverse threads you can go have a wank in, though.


The Tippyverse has nothing to do with it. It just makes no sense that your solution for "how do I make an antimagic country undefeatable" is "use epic magic."



Who's to say there isn't other epic magic out there, that's being manipulated?

The DM. He said all the epic magic in the setting was a bunch of old artifacts.


And why would you need magic to manipulate something that is anti-magical?

Because the "anti magic" is from a permanent casting of epic magic. Casting antimagic when you can't use magic yourself is like trying to bake without any heat.


And of course it's "DM fiat." The entire setting is DM fiat. Everything but the player characters is by DM fiat. That's what world building is. I'm not sure if you knew that or not. Did you know that?

The setting is a setting. Saying "This nation can use epic magic even though no other nation can, and they also have a massive standing army and can just ignore the logistical problems of having no magic (besides epic magic) in a magical world" is DM Fiat at best, or railroading at worst. Sure, the entire setting is somewhat DM Fiat, but he can actually base it on the mechanics of the game.

Myrmex
2009-11-01, 03:41 AM
Imbuing other objects with similar properties is using epic magic. This is in a world where the only epic magic left is artifacts, and even regular magic is weakened greatly.

What if it's more like leaving a piece of iron next to a magnet?


The Tippyverse has nothing to do with it. It just makes no sense that your solution for "how do I make an antimagic country undefeatable" is "use epic magic."

I'm actually using an artifact whose effects would be most closely mimicked by using epic magic, an optional rule set.


The DM. He said all the epic magic in the setting was a bunch of old artifacts.

Right. And this particular nation has artifacts with an effect that deadens magic around it.


Because the "anti magic" is from a permanent casting of epic magic. Casting antimagic when you can't use magic yourself is like trying to bake without any heat.

Or an entity with divine ranks took craft artifact and made these things. Or they're the cast off debris of a dead and splintered god.


The setting is a setting. Saying "This nation can use epic magic even though no other nation can,

No, they have access to an artifact. They aren't "using epic magic" any more than a fighter with a flaming sword is casting spells.


and they also have a massive standing army

Who said anything about a massive standing army? Their biggest advantage would be that they are accustomed to a battlefield without magic, while their adversaries would not.


and can just ignore the logistical problems of having no magic

Kind of like how humans have ignored the logistical problems of having no magic for millions of years?


is DM Fiat at best, or railroading at worst. Sure, the entire setting is somewhat DM Fiat, but he can actually base it on the mechanics of the game.

What mechanic of the game is that? Casters always win? If it doesn't exist in a WotC book, it can't exist in your game world?

I am still unsure what's wrong with having a growing empire that eschews magic, and, in a magical world, can afford to eschew magic because they carry artifacts that nullify magic. It seems like a really great benefit, actually, when everyone's tactics rely on a single 5th level mage, and you can roll up, turn the magic off, and unload your cannons at them.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-01, 09:08 AM
Everyone else relies on magic to solve their problems, these guys don't have that luxury.


They don't have that resource. Taking away resources does not make a country more proficient at solving problems.

Developing new epic magic in an area where magic doesn't work(which itself is a subset of a low magic world) is ludicrous. Yeah, this is way into DM fiatland, and players are likely to end up pretty confused.

This has nothing to do with "casters always win", but casters DO provide things that cannot be provided by mundane means...or at least, can't be provided nearly as quickly/effectively. Mundane medicine in D&D land, like in rw history, is primitive at best. This isn't even just about casters, plenty of melee types in the D&D world have access to some magic, or use magic items. Your army is going to have very little variation in class, it's going to require a *huge* logistical tail, it's going to automatically lose any battles of attrition due to the lack of magic healing, and it will never be as mobile on the field as an army with casters will.

In short, it sucks at all the things an army actually needs to do to invade.

Volkov
2009-11-01, 11:12 AM
The best defense is deterence. Make some sort of doomsday device that works with a deadman's switch, if the capital goes for example, you could open a massive portal into the elemental plane of water that would cause a world drowning flood of such great proportions that it would make the great flood in many mythologies look like a bathtub overflow.

Yukitsu
2009-11-01, 11:47 AM
That's what a standing army is for.

No standing army up to the point of airplanes is a relevant solution to alchemical bombardment of fields.


Everyone else relies on magic to solve their problems, these guys don't have that luxury.

That doesn't actually matter in terms of innovation when your nation is isolationist.


Depends on duration of isolationism. And that's really only a trend. There are notable exceptions.

If you expect any indication of superior technology to the point of arbitrary conquest abilities, and a greater population than other nations, you'll need to invent penicillin, explosives, rocketry, some form of agriculture that theoretically produces arbitrary amount of food during emergency times, free, non-sentient (robotic) labour and find some source of infinite pure water. Since it's an industrialized nation, clean water would be more rare, not less so, unless you also learned perfect water purification techniques. That brings you up to par with a level 5 cleric and a level 5 wizard in a large city.

By the time you have all that, everyone else would have changed to some degrees, and due to being non-isolationist, would have superior economies.

Lastly, all the smartest inventors of the age, wizards, would simply up and leave. You'd need at least a generation to replace them all, and since it's genetically linked, you're going to have some trouble.


Unless you take your null field with you. Then you're going to pwn the **** out of anyone who is caster dependent.

As most fighter vs. caster fights go, that's not actually true. There are so many workarounds to that little problem that it's hardly worth mentioning, such as arrow immune crossbowmen flying high above them firing off their quarrel volleys or dropping backpacks full of alchemists fire.

Arakune
2009-11-01, 11:49 AM
Again? Can we skip the Shadesteel golens and mindraped wizard aprendices?

Yukitsu
2009-11-01, 12:07 PM
I think we're generally avoiding assuming those exist in a low magic world. Protection from arrows and fly seem to exist though, which all you need to defeat their entire nation.

Johel
2009-11-01, 12:34 PM
The best defense is deterence. Make some sort of doomsday device that works with a deadman's switch, if the capital goes for example, you could open a massive portal into the elemental plane of water that would cause a world drowning flood of such great proportions that it would make the great flood in many mythologies look like a bathtub overflow.

The best defense is deterence : True
Make some sort of doomsday device : A good plan
massive portal into the elemental plane of water : ...what ?

Let me correct where you're wrong : to use the deterence argument, you have to get a CREDIBLE threat. If your only two solutions are "getting my ass kicked" or "flood the world", you're not credible.

Nuclear superpowers don't simply say "-we will nuke the world if you attack us".
They say "-We can nuke every single one of your cities, individually or all at once, depending of the threat you represent. We can take care of you without the nukes but if you push too far, then no-more-mister-nice-guy. So, submit while you can and don't you dare hit us hard."

A weapon that allows you to destroy a target, regardless of its size and protection, while still letting the rest of the world intact, is a weapon people will fear.
A weapon that just destroy the world as we know it is the best way to see thousands of organizations and powerful individuals fight you.
Since everybody know you won't use the doomsday at the first provocation, they'll just use conventional warfare, sabotage and the like, making your country impossible to rule while still letting you hope, so that you won't press the switch.

So, several minor doomsday devices are preferable to a big one.

Volkov
2009-11-01, 01:15 PM
The best defense is deterence : True
Make some sort of doomsday device : A good plan
massive portal into the elemental plane of water : ...what ?

Let me correct where you're wrong : to use the deterence argument, you have to get a CREDIBLE threat. If your only two solutions are "getting my ass kicked" or "flood the world", you're not credible.

Nuclear superpowers don't simply say "-we will nuke the world if you attack us".
They say "-We can nuke every single one of your cities, individually or all at once, depending of the threat you represent. We can take care of you without the nukes but if you push too far, then no-more-mister-nice-guy. So, submit while you can and don't you dare hit us hard."

A weapon that allows you to destroy a target, regardless of its size and protection, while still letting the rest of the world intact, is a weapon people will fear.
A weapon that just destroy the world as we know it is the best way to see thousands of organizations and powerful individuals fight you.
Since everybody know you won't use the doomsday at the first provocation, they'll just use conventional warfare, sabotage and the like, making your country impossible to rule while still letting you hope, so that you won't press the switch.

So, several minor doomsday devices are preferable to a big one.
Well, it's kind of hard to think of doomsday devices in a low-magic, medieval level tech world.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-11-01, 01:46 PM
So we've established that one single antimagic country cannot pose a significant threat, and to remedy that, we decided that they should have an evil caster nation.

Only problem is that what reason is there that the caster nation doesn't just conquer the AMF nation and take it over? Write in a blood pact between the two original founders?

Also, how do I make the Lawful Neutral AMF nation seem evil, but not actually be evil?

The Glyphstone
2009-11-01, 01:49 PM
Well, it's kind of hard to think of doomsday devices in a low-magic, medieval level tech world.

That's cause you're doing it wrong. You don't make your portal lead to the elemental plane of water, you make it lead to tbe paraelemental plane of magma.
And call it Boatmurdered.
And have everyone in your country be dwarves.

stenver
2009-11-01, 02:58 PM
No! Dont make a boring stereotypical evil nation. Just make every nation just like they are in the real world- Out for their own interests only! You dont NEED an evil nation. You just need to make them realistic IE greedy. Every superpower that has existed, hasnt become one because they were evil or because they wanted to help others. No, they became superpowers, because everything they did, they did for themselves.

So your isolated nation idea is good. It doesnt have to be evil or good, it is what it is - a nation, that wants to flourish. And the other countries around it should be exactly the same - countries, that want to become rich. So instead of making an evil nation, make an enemy nation. Leave it up to the PC-s to decide which one is better. Rather then making evil or good, make traditions and culture, so PC can decide for themselves which one suits them best.

Johel
2009-11-01, 03:02 PM
So we've established that one single antimagic country cannot pose a significant threat, and to remedy that, we decided that they should have an evil caster nation.

Only problem is that what reason is there that the caster nation doesn't just conquer the AMF nation and take it over? Write in a blood pact between the two original founders?

Also, how do I make the Lawful Neutral AMF nation seem evil, but not actually be evil?

The correct question is : why would a nation of powerful casters WANT to conquer a place where they are powerless ?

They wouldn't be able to police it as easily as their own nation. Sure, the old relics are interesting for wizards, if only to understand how the continent-sized AMF works. But is it necessary to conquer the whole country ? And to manage the locals, the politics, ect... all without magic ? Too much trouble !! They can just send teams of scholars to their "ally" to study the ruins.

Of course, if the caster nation ever find a way to deactivate/reactivate the AMF field at will, they'll just stomp the AMF nation. But since they can't right now, why waste time and resources on a war for lands that they wouldn't be able to control anyway ?

Tyndmyr
2009-11-01, 03:08 PM
Uh, it's an aggressive, expanding nation in which Magic doesn't work. Why wouldn't mages see that as an enemy?

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-01, 03:12 PM
Because they're already allies, they're monitoring the spread of the antimagic field, and they can think of a whole thread's worth of counter-tactics?

Tyndmyr
2009-11-01, 03:16 PM
Surely not every mage out there is allied with them. It doesn't take that many.

Johel
2009-11-01, 03:25 PM
Because they're already allies, they're monitoring the spread of the antimagic field, and they can think of a whole thread's worth of counter-tactics?

Exactly.

You have transportable AMF, that's nice. But that doesn't mean your troops are invincible.


Unless they can shield every single boat, they're never going to cross the ocean alive with flying wizards around.
If teleportation is available, even with your AMF, you just lost the war because Caster Nation can deploy its troops faster than you can.
Caster Nation has better intel, since AMF don't stop divination spells like Arcane Eyes if they remain out of the AMF. Same goes for Clairvoyance sensors. And what about magically assisted interrogation of prisoners ?
Caster Nation can cast illusions to conceal its own movements or mislead you. Since the illusions themselves aren't in a AMF, you have no way to know if they are real or not.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-01, 03:29 PM
The scenario (if I understood it right)

There exists a nation protected by an antimagic field, one that can somehow grow (hopefully slowly). They regularly produce skilled warriors (around 6th level if I recall OP's descriptions). These warriors go out and capture land for the nation as the antimagic field grows. However, this nation suffers from their lack of magic. To this end, a society of mages outside of the nation assists the nation, most likely in exchange for human resources (aforementioned skilled warriors). Such assistance would include counter-magic.

It's not foolproof, since the allied mages can't stop everyone. But it's worked so far. And hey, the PCs can be the mages to break it. Now, this is sort of the embryonic stage of the country, before it's t3h 3v1l 3mp1r3, but if it somehow managed to keep this setup throughout the cataclysmic event, it could go from relatively weak to relatively strong. The antimagic field probably protected it from the cataclysm. Again, doesn't work too well with the "dominant for hundreds of years" part, but in a world with magic, dominant empires don't tend to last for hundreds of years unless they're the tippyverse.

Volkov
2009-11-01, 04:25 PM
That's cause you're doing it wrong. You don't make your portal lead to the elemental plane of water, you make it lead to tbe paraelemental plane of magma.
And call it Boatmurdered.
And have everyone in your country be dwarves.

Or the Quasi-elemental plane of salt.

Lich: DROWN IN MY SALTY WRATH!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Heroes: AAARRRRGGGHHH!!!! THE DEHYDRATION AND HEART ATTACKS!!!

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-11-01, 04:59 PM
I'm thinking of making the nations based on historically "bad" parties so...

Communism, Nazism (may be removed as I'm not sure what it is sides the Jew part), Monarchy, Theocracy (Them templars...), and Republic

Any thoughts? I was thinking communism for the AMF nation, maybe?

Volkov
2009-11-01, 05:01 PM
I'm thinking of making the nations based on historically "bad" parties so...

Communism, Nazism (may be removed as I'm not sure what it is sides the Jew part), Monarchy, Theocracy (Them templars...), and Republic

Any thoughts? I was thinking communism for the AMF nation, maybe?

You could have Reptillian creatures as the persecuted group. It's just that you better be prepared for an angry horde of dinosaur cavalry laying waste to your nation.

Myrmex
2009-11-01, 05:07 PM
No standing army up to the point of airplanes is a relevant solution to alchemical bombardment of fields.

You need a ninth level caster to do that, though. They are pretty rare, according to the OP.


That doesn't actually matter in terms of innovation when your nation is isolationist.

[citation needed]


If you expect any indication of superior technology to the point of arbitrary conquest abilities, and a greater population than other nations, you'll need to invent penicillin, explosives, rocketry, some form of agriculture that theoretically produces arbitrary amount of food during emergency times, free, non-sentient (robotic) labour and find some source of infinite pure water. Since it's an industrialized nation, clean water would be more rare, not less so, unless you also learned perfect water purification techniques. That brings you up to par with a level 5 cleric and a level 5 wizard in a large city.

Sooo, magic trap abuse? Again, let me repeat myself- this isn't the Tippyverse.

Also, what good does any of that do you when it all fails to function because the enemy army just set up camp next to you with a two mile wide field of anti-magic? Your society would collapse into chaos.


Lastly, all the smartest inventors of the age, wizards, would simply up and leave. You'd need at least a generation to replace them all, and since it's genetically linked, you're going to have some trouble.

Anyone with craft on their skill list would do just fine inventing stuff. Experts, for instance. Their entire livelyhood is dependent on craft & profession checks.


As most fighter vs. caster fights go, that's not actually true. There are so many workarounds to that little problem that it's hardly worth mentioning, such as arrow immune crossbowmen flying high above them firing off their quarrel volleys or dropping backpacks full of alchemists fire.

2 miles up means you are dropping things at squares you can't see, and fly is only going to last you 10 minutes, at most.

Also, protection from arrows will buy you exactly one round of living from 1,000 peasants targeting your square with heavy crossbows.


They don't have that resource. Taking away resources does not make a country more proficient at solving problems.

Labor saving devices in the ancient world weren't worth anything, thanks to all the slaves. Society moved towards mechanization as labor got more expensive. Without the resource "slaves", you get the industrial revolution. All the heavy mining equipment in the US that's used for trivial jobs is highly inefficient and wasteful, because we could just use prisoners or immigrants or slaves.


Developing new epic magic in an area where magic doesn't work(which itself is a subset of a low magic world) is ludicrous. Yeah, this is way into DM fiatland, and players are likely to end up pretty confused.

I don't understand why everything has to follow the rules, especially when you're doing world building. If everything follows the rules, you get the Tippyverse, and it's pretty obvious that the OP isn't really interested in running a tippyverse style game.


This has nothing to do with "casters always win", but casters DO provide things that cannot be provided by mundane means...or at least, can't be provided nearly as quickly/effectively. Mundane medicine in D&D land, like in rw history, is primitive at best. This isn't even just about casters, plenty of melee types in the D&D world have access to some magic, or use magic items. Your army is going to have very little variation in class, it's going to require a *huge* logistical tail, it's going to automatically lose any battles of attrition due to the lack of magic healing, and it will never be as mobile on the field as an army with casters will.

So you are saying caster nations should have magic traps of do everything? Doesn't sound that low magic. It's also going to be a problem when all your stuff fails to work in an AMF.


In short, it sucks at all the things an army actually needs to do to invade.

Of course it's going to be moving very slow, since you've got to mundanely transport everything, and you can't just charge in with an invisible caster and a wand of enervate to kill the leaders. But when it gets there, it's going to be a bummer, because you're going to be crippled. Roman legions could move about 25 miles a day, so it would only take a couple weeks to go out, raze a city, and retreat. If everyone is as caster dependent as you say they are, then when the AMF shows up, cities will starve very quickly, infrastructure will collapse. Of course, with superior siege weapons, the walls won't stand up long enough to have to starve them out.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-01, 05:14 PM
Nazism (may be removed as I'm not sure what it is sides the Jew part),

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/mussolini-fascism.html

Tyndmyr
2009-11-01, 05:42 PM
You need a ninth level caster to do that, though. They are pretty rare, according to the OP.

Uh, fly is a third level spell. Thus, at level five you cast that and protection from arrows, and you can do some nice damage before your spells run dry.


Sooo, magic trap abuse? Again, let me repeat myself- this isn't the Tippyverse.

Nobody has suggested magic traps. There are other ways to help grow food and get water with magic short of creating it all by traps. Yknow, stuff even low level hedge wizards, druids, etc can do. Create water is a cantrip, yknow?


Also, what good does any of that do you when it all fails to function because the enemy army just set up camp next to you with a two mile wide field of anti-magic? Your society would collapse into chaos.

The whole point is that their army can't suddenly "set up camp next to you". Leaving their civilizations bubble would be a terrible idea.


Anyone with craft on their skill list would do just fine inventing stuff. Experts, for instance. Their entire livelyhood is dependent on craft & profession checks.

You can create mundane items just fine, yes. That's not what he said. The best inventors are wizards, and this is true(well artificers may top them, but same principle applies). Your best, brightest, and most powerful are gone or disabled.


2 miles up means you are dropping things at squares you can't see, and fly is only going to last you 10 minutes, at most.

If it's an army, and you're dropping a bundle every six seconds, you can do a rather good bit of damage without even bothering to aim.


Also, protection from arrows will buy you exactly one round of living from 1,000 peasants targeting your square with heavy crossbows.

DR 10 vs 1d10 dmg? Yeah, Im surprisingly ok with that. PS, since you were mentioning the casters being 2 miles up...ooh, a sentence ago, you might want to look up the range of a Heavy Crossbow.


Labor saving devices in the ancient world weren't worth anything, thanks to all the slaves. Society moved towards mechanization as labor got more expensive. Without the resource "slaves", you get the industrial revolution. All the heavy mining equipment in the US that's used for trivial jobs is highly inefficient and wasteful, because we could just use prisoners or immigrants or slaves.

Uh, what? Yeah...you *can* use slaves and such en masse to do your dirty work, but that has plenty of problems of it's own. Stacking internal strife on top of an aggressive, expansionist regime is asking for collapse.


I don't understand why everything has to follow the rules, especially when you're doing world building. If everything follows the rules, you get the Tippyverse, and it's pretty obvious that the OP isn't really interested in running a tippyverse style game.

Not every universe has to be a tippyverse, and nobody here has been suggesting the tippyverse as an answer. However, you should try to make your world coherent and reasonable within the rules...or at least basic, core rules.


So you are saying caster nations should have magic traps of do everything? Doesn't sound that low magic. It's also going to be a problem when all your stuff fails to work in an AMF.

No. I never used the phrase "magic traps". Magic helps armies in other ways besides traps. Why are you stuck on this tippyverse strawman?


Of course it's going to be moving very slow, since you've got to mundanely transport everything, and you can't just charge in with an invisible caster and a wand of enervate to kill the leaders. But when it gets there, it's going to be a bummer, because you're going to be crippled. Roman legions could move about 25 miles a day, so it would only take a couple weeks to go out, raze a city, and retreat. If everyone is as caster dependent as you say they are, then when the AMF shows up, cities will starve very quickly, infrastructure will collapse. Of course, with superior siege weapons, the walls won't stand up long enough to have to starve them out.

You also need to have AMFs AND troops protecting your entire supply chain. You also need to deal with the fact that the casters will have divined your approach long before you arrive, and thus, the defenders will have had plenty of time to prepare.

The army is useless if it can't get there, and stay there.

Johel
2009-11-01, 06:08 PM
You need a ninth level caster to do that, though. They are pretty rare, according to the OP.

What about 1 single 14th level caster ?
He can create a wand of Phantom Steed (CL 14) and then use it to create flying mounts for his apprentices, who are 1st level wizards.
You got a whole squadron of wizards flying at 240 feet / move action, with a 14 hours autonomy. Let's say they take 1 move action per round, that's 240 feet per 6 seconds. 40 feet per second. 12m per second. 43,2km/h.
Not airplanes yet but that means they can make it up to 280km inside the enemy territory, drop whatever payload they have and get back.

For the alchemical bombardment part, in most cases, it can be done through wands.

Wall of Fire can ravage crops.
Fireball is a classic for "precision strikes".
As good as Wall of Fire but cheaper, Flaming Sphere.
Blindness can make wonder against skilled laborers.
Summon Monster IV is a win inside a farming village or a market square.


If you're worried about the long-term cost of such raids, see the thread about infinite SLA "Wish" through Simulacrum of Effrits. It can be done as soon as Wizard 13 through Planar Binding. Not Tippyverse yet (no trap) but close enough.

Now, with the country-sized AMF, we will have to find more classical ways to destroy stuffs from the sky.
I read somewhere than they used to drop nails on the trenches during WWI. Gravity is a marvelous thing. The sheer amount of projectiles means we don't really have to worry about accuracy, here. Just locate a city, drop the nails and let the lack magical healing kill most of the injured through wound infection. Not as efficient as magic blasting but that's a start...


Also, protection from arrows will buy you exactly one round of living from 1,000 peasants targeting your square with heavy crossbows.

That's what "Greater Invisibility" is for.
But you're right, the 5% chance of auto hit is a problem in DnD when we start working with big numbers. But since the caster won't come close enough for the peasants to shout...


I don't understand why everything has to follow the rules, especially when you're doing world building. If everything follows the rules, you get the Tippyverse, and it's pretty obvious that the OP isn't really interested in running a tippyverse style game.

Well, without going Tippyverse, one can admit that it's probably difficult to test your spells when inside a AMF...

Tyndmyr
2009-11-01, 06:14 PM
*shrug* You can just drop flasks of alchemical fire on cities randomly. You can be pretty high indeed and still hit a city. Do it en masse, and you get fires started in random places everywhere. Or do it on the forests, and start a forest fire, no doubt angering the druids.

Whoever has the high ground wins.

Johel
2009-11-01, 06:23 PM
Whoever has the high ground wins.

The one who originally wrote that sentence wouldn't have thought we would put it to such height. :smallamused:

Now, I was going to say something about cost issue for alchemical fires but since I'm going for mass-produced CL 14 wands created by Simulacrum of Effrits using their Wish SLA, I'm in no position to speak about cost issue. :smalltongue:

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-01, 06:28 PM
This is epic magic we're dealing with, though. What if the antimagic field is a sphere centered on the monoliths? That would mean that since it extends to the nation's borders, it also goes miles into the sky, which would be problematic...

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-11-01, 06:35 PM
Well, the AMF was intended to be as big or small as the nation was spherically, therefore if the country was reduced to a 10ft radius, then it would go 10ft up. Similarly, a 300mile country would have a 300mile radius up, but now it sounds rediculous.

I'm put a 1-mile limit on altitude of AMF

Volkov
2009-11-01, 07:11 PM
Also, how does your nation defend itself from true dragons. Though it is rare for dragons to attack kingdoms. When they do they hit like a severe natural disaster. The worst case scenario is an entire family of dragons attacking.

Myrmex
2009-11-01, 07:13 PM
Uh, fly is a third level spell. Thus, at level five you cast that and protection from arrows, and you can do some nice damage before your spells run dry.

Fly only lasts 5 minutes at that level, and you have to travel MILES to your target.


Nobody has suggested magic traps. There are other ways to help grow food and get water with magic short of creating it all by traps. Yknow, stuff even low level hedge wizards, druids, etc can do. Create water is a cantrip, yknow?

You get 4 of those a day. What are you proposing? Do you know how much water a city goes through in a single day?


The whole point is that their army can't suddenly "set up camp next to you". Leaving their civilizations bubble would be a terrible idea.

That's why they take it with them.


You can create mundane items just fine, yes. That's not what he said. The best inventors are wizards, and this is true(well artificers may top them, but same principle applies). Your best, brightest, and most powerful are gone or disabled.

Why? All you need is a high int score. A level 4 commoner will have the same int as a level 4 wizard.


If it's an army, and you're dropping a bundle every six seconds, you can do a rather good bit of damage without even bothering to aim.

You could just drop shrunken boulders. Regardless, you're only dealing damage to a single square that you get a reflex save to negate.


DR 10 vs 1d10 dmg? Yeah, Im surprisingly ok with that. PS, since you were mentioning the casters being 2 miles up...ooh, a sentence ago, you might want to look up the range of a Heavy Crossbow.

No, my point was that protection from arrows absorbs 100 damage. A single volley will remove that. So if you are ever at all within range of a lot of crossbows, protection from arrows will not do a whole lot.

And we're just talking about level 1 conscripts.


Uh, what? Yeah...you *can* use slaves and such en masse to do your dirty work, but that has plenty of problems of it's own. Stacking internal strife on top of an aggressive, expansionist regime is asking for collapse.

Everything collapses. But slave owning societies have persisted for 100s of years. It's not like owning people makes you fall apart all of a sudden. Besides, you missed the point ENTIRELY- magic makes people dull, stupid, and dependent. Why bother innovating when Mr. Wizard does everything for you? Why bother with a steam engine when you have 3 slaves for every free man?


Not every universe has to be a tippyverse, and nobody here has been suggesting the tippyverse as an answer. However, you should try to make your world coherent and reasonable within the rules...or at least basic, core rules.

Why should I? If the core rules don't do what I want them to do, why shouldn't I change them?\


No. I never used the phrase "magic traps". Magic helps armies in other ways besides traps. Why are you stuck on this tippyverse strawman?

Strawman? You an Yukitsku are claiming that a level 5 cleric & level 5 wizard can solve all the problems of a city. I'm saying no, they can't, not without magic trap abuse.


You also need to have AMFs AND troops protecting your entire supply chain. You also need to deal with the fact that the casters will have divined your approach long before you arrive, and thus, the defenders will have had plenty of time to prepare.

Pillage the countryside, and bring a lot of food with you. As I've mentioned in virtually every post, expansion without magic in an AMF bubble is going to be slow.

Prepare what, though? Their spells?

The army is useless if it can't get there, and stay there.[/QUOTE]

You don't have to stay very long after everyone's dead.


What about 1 single 14th level caster ?
He can create a wand of Phantom Steed (CL 14) and then use it to create flying mounts for his apprentices, who are 1st level wizards.
You got a whole squadron of wizards flying at 240 feet / move action, with a 14 hours autonomy. Let's say they take 1 move action per round, that's 240 feet per 6 seconds. 40 feet per second. 12m per second. 43,2km/h.
Not airplanes yet but that means they can make it up to 280km inside the enemy territory, drop whatever payload they have and get back.

A 14th level caster in a world where there are no casters higher than 10?


For the alchemical bombardment part, in most cases, it can be done through wands.

Wall of Fire can ravage crops.
Fireball is a classic for "precision strikes".
As good as Wall of Fire but cheaper, Flaming Sphere.
Blindness can make wonder against skilled laborers.
Summon Monster IV is a win inside a farming village or a market square.


None of it works in an AMF, though.


If you're worried about the long-term cost of such raids, see the thread about infinite SLA "Wish" through Simulacrum of Effrits. It can be done as soon as Wizard 13 through Planar Binding. Not Tippyverse yet (no trap) but close enough.

Did you... did you miss the part that this was a low magic world? I think were 5 pages in, and it's been mentioned in virtually every post.


Now, with the country-sized AMF, we will have to find more classical ways to destroy stuffs from the sky.
I read somewhere than they used to drop nails on the trenches during WWI. Gravity is a marvelous thing. The sheer amount of projectiles means we don't really have to worry about accuracy, here. Just locate a city, drop the nails and let the lack magical healing kill most of the injured through wound infection. Not as efficient as magic blasting but that's a start...

Dropping nails on houses isn't going to do jack squat.


That's what "Greater Invisibility" is for.
But you're right, the 5% chance of auto hit is a problem in DnD when we start working with big numbers. But since the caster won't come close enough for the peasants to shout...

As long as the square can be identified, you're going down.


Well, without going Tippyverse, one can admit that it's probably difficult to test your spells when inside a AMF...

Not using magic, though, so it's cool.


*shrug* You can just drop flasks of alchemical fire on cities randomly. You can be pretty high indeed and still hit a city. Do it en masse, and you get fires started in random places everywhere. Or do it on the forests, and start a forest fire, no doubt angering the druids.

Whoever has the high ground wins.

Guerilla tactics like this is fine. It's not going to win wars; your cities will be razed, your women carried off, and the men slaughtered.


Well, the AMF was intended to be as big or small as the nation was spherically, therefore if the country was reduced to a 10ft radius, then it would go 10ft up. Similarly, a 300mile country would have a 300mile radius up, but now it sounds rediculous.

I'm put a 1-mile limit on altitude of AMF

I was thinking it would be a radius, so extend in every direction equally. Then you'd just move the obelisks around so the spheres overlap, and end up with something far more wide than high.

Volkov
2009-11-01, 07:23 PM
Perhaps this nation has domesticated wyverns. Or other types of giant flying animals. That could help logistics tremendously. Especially because a gargantuan wyvern could carry quite a lot.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-11-01, 07:29 PM
Well, in this campaign, while not non-existent, 10th and higher level casters are equivalent to epic casters, extremely rare and often indifferent to the world.

Dragons are gonna be tough to deal with, and like fantasy stories before, stay difficult, dragons in this campaign should be able to level nearly any nation if it wanted.

Volkov
2009-11-01, 07:35 PM
Well, in this campaign, while not non-existent, 10th and higher level casters are equivalent to epic casters, extremely rare and often indifferent to the world.

Dragons are gonna be tough to deal with, and like fantasy stories before, stay difficult, dragons in this campaign should be able to level nearly any nation if it wanted.

Against Dragons, I'd recommend wyvern, giant eagle, or quetzalcoatlus cavalry. Giant wasps also work in large numbers.

Boci
2009-11-01, 07:38 PM
Why? All you need is a high int score. A level 4 commoner will have the same int as a level 4 wizard.

No access to fox's cunning or the alcemy skill.

Myrmex
2009-11-01, 07:42 PM
No access to fox's cunning or the alcemy skill.


True about fox's cunning, but I don't see people with access to fox's cunning actually doing anything useful.

As for alchemy, all you have to be is a spellcaster. You don't actually have to cast spells.

Boci
2009-11-01, 07:50 PM
True about fox's cunning, but I don't see people with access to fox's cunning actually doing anything useful.

Some DM's will allow the spell to boost your crafting skill.


As for alchemy, all you have to be is a spellcaster. You don't actually have to cast spells.

So a commoner isn't as good at crafting as a wizard.

taltamir
2009-11-01, 07:58 PM
I'm thinking of making the nations based on historically "bad" parties so...

Communism, Nazism (may be removed as I'm not sure what it is sides the Jew part), Monarchy, Theocracy (Them templars...), and Republic

Any thoughts? I was thinking communism for the AMF nation, maybe?

Nazi like philosophies are extremely common, it is called "ethnic cleansing" and would definitely get your players thinking "wow these guys are evil". As for "who would they be after", the answer is "everyone that is different". The nazies for example were not ONLY after jews.

1. the nazies killed 6 million jews in the camp... and 5 million NON jews.
2. the nazies had a whole list of races they considered inferior and in need of cleansing (jews were just at the top of the list)
3. There is at least 1 ethnic cleansing going on IRL in some part of the world per decade. Has been before nazims, and has been for every decade since WW2

So a country where any "different" race or group is hunted and killed is doable for your world and not far fetched at all. Although, this might have some serious repercussions on the game world and really grate some players.

Boci
2009-11-01, 08:02 PM
1. the nazies killed 6 million jews in the camp... and 5 million NON jews.
2. the nazies had a whole list of races they considered inferior and in need of cleansing (jews were just at the top of the list)
3. There is at least 1 ethnic cleansing going on IRL in some part of the world per decade. Has been before nazims, and has been for every decade since WW2

Real world politics are not permitted on the site.

Yukitsu
2009-11-01, 08:05 PM
You need a ninth level caster to do that, though. They are pretty rare, according to the OP.

My method is extended alter self spells. Gain wings and a fly speed for 20 minutes per level. Fields are not "miles" into the nation, they are all over it.


[citation needed]

Japan is a pretty classical example, though not perfect (as they weren't perfectly isolated). China, Korea and the Arab nations were involved in trade and dissemination of information, inventing rocketry, cannons and armoured war ships. The Phillipines are another example of an isolated group near a technologically advanced nation that fell behind. In fact, all the most advanced nations at their time were relatively central to the continent of Eurasia, except for the Romans who took their technology from the North Africans who in all odds had been inventing for far longer than they had. Nearly every invention is a derivative or improvement over technologies that had been invented by another nation then adapted and changed by another.


Sooo, magic trap abuse? Again, let me repeat myself- this isn't the Tippyverse.

That's only necessary if the village has absolutely no resources whatsoever. As it stands, it can readily suppliment a nation that is on lean times (feeding and watering 45 people every day, producing an additional 20 gallons of water.) etc. The wizard that can move 200 feet per round while carrying a shrunken 10 ton brick of food from the capital to a beleagured city is also a fairly tremendous boon to any city.


Also, what good does any of that do you when it all fails to function because the enemy army just set up camp next to you with a two mile wide field of anti-magic? Your society would collapse into chaos.

When you move within 2 miles of a city, you're fighting a siege, so one would assume they have some prepared provisions. If they don't, they deserve everything they get. As well, I don't know why they would know how to make epic artifacts with the indicated abilities. Anti magic auras would be 10 feet from the item holder.


Anyone with craft on their skill list would do just fine inventing stuff. Experts, for instance. Their entire livelyhood is dependent on craft & profession checks.

The people who are best at craft are wizards and clerics. So basically, the entire nation is a massive send off to anyone that does well at that check.


2 miles up means you are dropping things at squares you can't see, and fly is only going to last you 10 minutes, at most.

It's bottle of fire, and is being aimed at nothing in particular. Most of any nation of the time will be flammable crops at the right time of year, meaning it doesn't matter where it lands. Also, I count 100 minutes on one third level spell. That fifth level wizard can manage for 350, which is nearly 6 hours.


Also, protection from arrows will buy you exactly one round of living from 1,000 peasants targeting your square with heavy crossbows.

How many feet are in 2 miles, and how far can they fire a crossbow?


Labor saving devices in the ancient world weren't worth anything, thanks to all the slaves. Society moved towards mechanization as labor got more expensive. Without the resource "slaves", you get the industrial revolution. All the heavy mining equipment in the US that's used for trivial jobs is highly inefficient and wasteful, because we could just use prisoners or immigrants or slaves.

Technically, there were slaves in many parts of the world during the revolution. They were still needed to do menial harvesting tasks that couldn't be done with early machinery, such as cotton picking and sugar harvesting. There were many more people who were under the opression of colonialism, which amounted to the same thing well after the revolution and up to world war II. As such, I can't help but view this point as false, as there were slaves when the revolution came about, which according to your theory here should not have happened. Also, the minimum calories to keep a slave alive, and the cost of keeping a few keepers will outweigh the cost of the spinning Jenny, which will outproduce IIRC a few dozen workers going by hand.

taltamir
2009-11-01, 08:06 PM
it isn't POLITICS. Nazi = Ethnic Cleansing Philisophy = Evil (very easy method of designating a party in a game as evil) is not politics.
He said he is considering a nazi like nation.

Boci
2009-11-01, 08:10 PM
it isn't POLITICS. Nazi = Evil is not politics.
He said he is considering a nazi like nation.

Fair enough. By the way, how did you get the figure 6 million? At school we learnt 10 million but me and my classmates decided that 6 million was more likly (on no particular evidence).

Edit: Might want to remove the third point though, not sure.

taltamir
2009-11-01, 08:15 PM
A dicussion of the specifics of nazi history is too tangential to this thread. I will PM you.

Yukitsu
2009-11-01, 08:24 PM
Fly only lasts 5 minutes at that level, and you have to travel MILES to your target.

Alter self is 50 minutes or more, and you only need to hit fields, not cities or population centers.


You get 4 of those a day. What are you proposing? Do you know how much water a city goes through in a single day?

20 gallons of water is more than enough to keep about 40 people from dying of dehydration. An additional 45 can be kept fed and watered by a level 5 cleric.


That's why they take it with them.

They have a limited number, and each one destroyed shrinks there borders. That will work until that one calamity where it doesn't stop them from dropping meteorites onto the army, then destroying the stone when the army flees.


Why? All you need is a high int score. A level 4 commoner will have the same int as a level 4 wizard.

Actually, commoners have an array of 11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10. Wizards go off of the 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 array, with the 15 in intelligence. Some experts might have the elite array, but not all of them will have the high stat in intelligence. And of the ones that do, not all have craft.


You could just drop shrunken boulders. Regardless, you're only dealing damage to a single square that you get a reflex save to negate.

At 2 miles, small rocks over large random areas is sufficient to cause enough trauma to destroy most of the working populace. Most only have 2-3 hit points.


No, my point was that protection from arrows absorbs 100 damage. A single volley will remove that. So if you are ever at all within range of a lot of crossbows, protection from arrows will not do a whole lot.

It prevents 1000 arrows from knocking out the statistical average of 500 other people. Though I'd rather just keep to a floor of way, way above that anti magic zone, just in case. Free falling several miles would not be fun.


Everything collapses. But slave owning societies have persisted for 100s of years. It's not like owning people makes you fall apart all of a sudden. Besides, you missed the point ENTIRELY- magic makes people dull, stupid, and dependent. Why bother innovating when Mr. Wizard does everything for you? Why bother with a steam engine when you have 3 slaves for every free man?

When the steam engine was invented, there were still many slaves. They in face, used the rail to move slaves.


Why should I? If the core rules don't do what I want them to do, why shouldn't I change them?\

In general, no one else really wants to hear about that as a solution to someone elses game. It's fine to do, but I don't want to hear about it in a thread not devoted to your houserules.


Strawman? You an Yukitsku are claiming that a level 5 cleric & level 5 wizard can solve all the problems of a city. I'm saying no, they can't, not without magic trap abuse.

I didn't argue that, unless you believe that anti-biotics, water treatment plants, some cheap food supplies and some other very nice perks solve all of a city's problems.


Pillage the countryside, and bring a lot of food with you. As I've mentioned in virtually every post, expansion without magic in an AMF bubble is going to be slow.

Not many nations that have agricultural assets below the national average can manage that sort of feat with any relevance within the army. The Swiss for example required every soldier return in time for the harvest, even though they were mostly mercenaries making money in foreign campaigns.

On the rest: You cannot assume that firebombing their cities will do nothing, that other nations do not have standard standing armies (they do, albiet outnumbered) and you can't assume that what army this nation could muster would be larger than any other. In fact, it won't be, simply because any mercenary company will go for the rich nation, ie. not the country that is isolationist and lacking in the magic that increases net productivity.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-01, 08:30 PM
It strikes me that invoking a specific fascist party's name is rather political.

You have to be a spellcaster to use alchemy. If you want to be a spellcaster, you won't be in the AMF nation. You could make a good living as an alchemist... or you could go elsewhere and make a good living as an alchemist and a mage.

Why are mages being cast as so useless? They have plenty of time to spend on other pursuits, and the intellect to do so. Magic is a convenient tool, and using it to spend time on otherwise menial pursuits will sharpen your talent enough that you won't have to spend terrible amounts of time practicing it. Plenty of time to paint, sculpt, or maybe use some spells to help your nonmagical research.


Actually, commoners have an array of 11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10. Wizards go off of the 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 array, with the 15 in intelligence. Some experts might have the elite array, but not all of them will have the high stat in intelligence. And of the ones that do, not all have craft.
Myrmex may very well be assuming 3d6 for stats, which I consider more reasonable than either the elite or the mundane array. With 3d6 in order, you have 1 in every 1296 people with a 18 Int; and more with 17 or 16 Int. Give them the education feat, some relevant crafts and knowledges, and set them to work innovating.

Yukitsu
2009-11-01, 08:38 PM
If you had an 18 in intelligence, why would you be a commoner? Even as the laziest slug in the world, you'd be far better off as a factotum, which BTW would also leave the AMF shell, so he could live in a little villa elsewhere, using unseen servants and prestidigitation to live the fine life on a budget (so he doesn't have to work)

As is, most people who aren't doing anything at all exceptional, will not in and of themselves, be exceptional either.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-01, 08:49 PM
This presumes that you can just up and decide to be a factotum; not everybody has that ability. Most likely commoner-fellow would evolve into an expert and spend his life crafting rather than studying esoteric Inspiration lore.

Yukitsu
2009-11-01, 08:52 PM
Maybe here. Everywhere else, they can get the wizards to take a quick glimpse into his brain, realize he's a genius and totally call dibs on him and his delicious brain, whereas guy in AMF land is carving furniture. Guess that means the AMF nation is wasting a lot more potential though.

That and with all those smarts, you'd think there would be some other path he could take. There are an awful lot of PC style classes that use intelligence.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-01, 09:00 PM
True about fox's cunning, but I don't see people with access to fox's cunning actually doing anything useful.

In AMF land, smart guy is carving furniture. He's carving really good furniture. This furniture gets sold, he moves up in his guild. The nation gets a better rep and he's learning about commerce.
In normal land, smart guy becomes a mage. He uses his intelligence to learn spells for himself, and practices those spells. With this intelligence, he makes his life easy and helps his wizard friends research better magic (because this whole "channel magic" thing after the cataclysm is dreadfully annoying). Unlike furniture-carver, he doesn't help his nation at large; and pretty much removes himself from the economic playing field in order to fiddle around with his spells.

I'm playing devil's advocate, though - I'd think that he'd be more productive as a mage, as lords and merchants would coerce him into using his spells for industry. Myrmex might be more convincing.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-11-01, 09:03 PM
Perhaps few are willing; remember that adventuring is dangerous and not every person has what it takes to leave their somewhat safe, if not montonous, city to brave out on their own for questionable rewards at high risks. Magic is mysterious and risky, and blasphemous in some cultures.

Yukitsu
2009-11-01, 09:04 PM
It's a flow of money thing. Wizards do need to interact with the economy, and do so in a far more profound way than Joe furniture carver. Purchasing expensive goods, and in return, either providing impossible goods, or spell effects. It only really stops following this pattern when he's high enough a level to cast fabricate, or is using really abusive, economy shattering spells, which generally won't happen without level 6 spells.

Edit: He's not really implying they adventure. He's implying they stay home and do nothing but study. However, with the rules given, there is nothing in the game that is more economy stimulating than a wizard going about doing research.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-01, 09:19 PM
Magic is mysterious and risky, and blasphemous in some cultures.

What's that now? The only thing I heard earlier was that magic needed to be channeled, resulting in less power and longer cast times. Nothing about societal bias or some hidden risk factors. Also, we're not talking about adventuring mages here; just guild wizards trained in a tower in a city somewhere, selling and practicing utility spells.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-11-01, 10:39 PM
Oh, I'm not adding nothing, I was just referencing witches and historical persecution and well new things are always mysterious.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-01, 10:44 PM
1) D&D magic is real, and consequently offers benefits to those who don't shun it
2) D&D religion is not inherently at odds with magic (as D&D magic is an actual tool rather than mystical cultist BS)
3) It's not "new" by any means, since it's been around long enough to make epic antimagic emanations.

Wait, you're the OP; why am I arguing with you?

Milskidasith
2009-11-01, 11:09 PM
So let me get this straight; Lvl 1 is fine with all the discussion of magic societies and just now tells us that it's blasphemous and is persecuted? That's a rather major change from our assumptions, especially because apparently ever nation is using epic magic artifacts.

Also, it's 1 in 216 that get 18 int, not one in 1296. The chance is 6*6*6 (three sixes in a row); you don't need to multiply by six again for six stats; you have a 1 in 216 chance to get an 18 in any given stat with 3d6.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-01, 11:12 PM
Also, it's 1 in 216 that get 18 int, not one in 1296. The chance is 6*6*6 (three sixes in a row); you don't need to multiply by six again for six stats; you have a 1 in 216 chance to get an 18 in any given stat with 3d6.

Yeah, I need to sleep moar. >_<

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-11-01, 11:18 PM
I'm not saying any of that, I'm just offering potential reasons as for why a commoner might not become a wizard

taltamir
2009-11-01, 11:44 PM
If you had an 18 in intelligence, why would you be a commoner? Even as the laziest slug in the world, you'd be far better off as a factotum, which BTW would also leave the AMF shell, so he could live in a little villa elsewhere, using unseen servants and prestidigitation to live the fine life on a budget (so he doesn't have to work)

As is, most people who aren't doing anything at all exceptional, will not in and of themselves, be exceptional either.

and get magic healing when he is injured... frankly magic healing vastly outstrips any kind of medicine we have today and will have for a very very long time (if ever; some definitely ever, for example, resurrection).

taltamir
2009-11-01, 11:49 PM
It's a flow of money thing. Wizards do need to interact with the economy, and do so in a far more profound way than Joe furniture carver. Purchasing expensive goods, and in return, either providing impossible goods, or spell effects. It only really stops following this pattern when he's high enough a level to cast fabricate, or is using really abusive, economy shattering spells, which generally won't happen without level 6 spells.

Edit: He's not really implying they adventure. He's implying they stay home and do nothing but study. However, with the rules given, there is nothing in the game that is more economy stimulating than a wizard going about doing research.

agreed. A wizard sure as heck contributes more to the economy than a wood carver...

Especially because with a little bit of training and various spells he could make boats, armor, everlasting lights (self powered street lights), castles (shape stone), etc etc etc... and how does a wizard raise money? by casting SPELLS for people... need a divination? come right up... need a spell cast for a project? no problemo!


So let me get this straight; Lvl 1 is fine with all the discussion of magic societies and just now tells us that it's blasphemous and is persecuted? That's a rather major change from our assumptions, especially because apparently ever nation is using epic magic artifacts.

Also, it's 1 in 216 that get 18 int, not one in 1296. The chance is 6*6*6 (three sixes in a row); you don't need to multiply by six again for six stats; you have a 1 in 216 chance to get an 18 in any given stat with 3d6.

I thought only 1/X who is lucky enough to be born with "heroic stats" get to roll... the average person is 10 +/- racial bonus... aka, the average human is 10 across the board and doesn't get to roll.


I'm not saying any of that, I'm just offering potential reasons as for why a commoner might not become a wizard

so they persecute arcane technology... they are certainly gonna be more backwards then others, not more advanced. And that conquering wizard nation isn't likely to ally with them if they hate each other that way.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-01, 11:51 PM
3d6 in order (or not in order) is described on DMG page 170 as average characters, and is described as producing characters like average people. And a range from 3-18 seems much, much more appropriate to describe humanity than 10-11.

taltamir
2009-11-01, 11:58 PM
3d6 in order (or not in order) is described on DMG page 170 as average characters, and is described as producing characters like average people. And a range from 3-18 seems much, much more appropriate to describe humanity than 10-11.

i concede.
it should be noted that int is NOT IQ/10.
Int 3 is about IQ 70 or so. while Int 1 or 2 is a non sentient animal like.
the int chart is kinda all over the place.

Yukitsu
2009-11-02, 12:29 AM
3d6 in order (or not in order) is described on DMG page 170 as average characters, and is described as producing characters like average people. And a range from 3-18 seems much, much more appropriate to describe humanity than 10-11.

Average people who lead average lives and have average jobs actually tend to be, well, more average leaning. People who deviate too much in other directions tend to specialize. 3d6 on a population is probably exactly what they have, but in any particular class, it's probably not true.

For instance, you shouldn't see strength 6, constitution 5, dexterity 10 genius, charismatic, wise fighters. Those people should really be doing something else.

Johel
2009-11-02, 06:24 AM
@Myrmex :
Read before quoting. Half of your attempts at snarky comments were addressed in the second part of my post.

I didn't miss the "low-magic" part but since we are dealing with epic magic AMF, I guess it's more a guideline than a strict "nobody get past level 10". Also, the fact that there's no wizards above 10th level doesn't mean there aren't creatures who can cast 6th level spells and up.

Casting Nation being the "wizard country", they ought to have both quality and quantity of wizards. And since AMF Nation is training tons of 6th level fighters, I guess 6th level wizards are fairly common. 7th and higher might still be rare but they exist.

And so, here goes the invasion of the AMF nations :

Phase 1 : call outsiders for help
Lesser Planar Binding (4th level spell)
Imp, Quasit, Lantern Archon, Hound Archon, Succubus, Nightmare.

With that spells, you got access to the ambassadors of the planes as well as to a at-will plane shift capacity. All you have to do is pay their price.
Planar trade is therefor available. Sure, it's risky and costly. But no need to send your 9th level wizards. Just send a 6th level one, so that he can be taken seriously but won't be missed if things goes wrong.

With the wealth of a nation to back him, our little wizard ambassador can surely get a few magic items from Baator, having convinced a Pit Lord to use his wish SLA to create what you need, in exchange for, oh, let's say a whole city offered in sacrifice. Even a few scrolls of "Gate" and "Simulacrum" are worth the price for Casting Nation.

Use "Gate" to call whatever powerful creatures you want. Ask for toenails or any fleshy bits he won't miss.
Use "Simulacrum" to create a weaker copy of that creature.
Now, if we can, say, create a copy of an Effrit, we get 3 wishes /day as SLA ability. With that, we don't even need the Pit Lords anymore. We can just go with our own free wishes...and I mean FREE !! It's SLA !!
We can even wish for Scrolls of 9th level spells, which means Gate, which means Solar. Since the Effrit count as a 12th level spellcaster, he can create Simulacrum of Solars !! 11HD, crapload of SLA, among which 1wish/day. Yeah...

Phase 2 : Resistance
Since we got basically infinite wealth and industrial capacity with the wishes, we can ask afford to play the "we got reserves" card.
In any situation where magic can be used, an army of pseudo-Solars jump in and start blasting. 6th level fighters might be strong but a flying pseudo-Solar has Summon Monstre VII as at-will SLA, CL20. It means that each pseudo-Solar has 20d4+20 Hound Archons fighting for him...
In any situation where magic can't be used, an army of peasants, equipped with masterwork weapons, masterwork full-plates, all having received maximum inherent bonus in all their abilities, charge in.
Str 16, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 15, Wis 15, Cha 15
If they die, we can resurrect them once we get the body, so they'll be fearless.
Slowly but surely, the enemy is pushed back.

Phase 3 : Invasion
Have a few of your fanatical conscripts be killed by negative energy (Enervation wand). The resulting wights are dominated (Command Undead) and will kill all the other fanatics, making even more wights.
Use the pseudo-Solar to grant them all inherent bonus and good equipment.
Str 17, Dex 17, Con , Int 16, Wis 13*, Cha 20
*we don't want to improve their wisdom. A weak will save is important for a minion.
Now, send the wights across the sea, walking on the seabed, with a few wizards using Helm of Under Water actions to lead them.
Beach AMF nation, kill people, drag the bodies at sea, watch as they awaken as wights, are improved through wishes and are sent to battle.
Battle will become harder as you get inland but AMF nation's supply of seasonned warriors will run dry before you run out of 1st level commoner to transform into wights...

Prime32
2009-11-02, 07:32 AM
Here's an idea: what if the artefact doesn't generate an antimagic field? Instead it radiates energies which contaminates the water in the country. Anyone who drinks the water for more than a few months starts naturally generating an antimagic field from their own body, though it fades if they lose access to the water for a while, and the water itself starts losing its properties when it is no longer exposed to the radiation (fresh canteens of it can keep an AMF topped up, but not bestow the power). The range of the AMF might extend only to the skin normally, but highly populated areas end up surrounded by a bubble of antimagic.

Maybe it's more like crazy-strong spell resistance, and they can still benefit from magic if they wish.

Maybe it's a nation of Shadow Weave users who can only be harmed by the Shadow Weave.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-02, 09:09 AM
Fly only lasts 5 minutes at that level, and you have to travel MILES to your target.

If we assume that no wizard ever has bothered to pick up Extend, etc. Or can cast the spell more than once.


You get 4 of those a day. What are you proposing? Do you know how much water a city goes through in a single day?

The point is not that create water replaces a city's water supply...it's that it can replace, or more likely, supplement the supply of a single town or portion of the army if cut off.


That's why they take it with them.

They carry a monolith with them? Also, presumably their supply of epic-AMF generating monoliths is limited. If it dies, so does the entire army, quickly. By fire.


Why? All you need is a high int score. A level 4 commoner will have the same int as a level 4 wizard.

Unlikely. Stupid people don't become wizards because they can't. Your average wizard is much smarter than the average commoner.


You could just drop shrunken boulders. Regardless, you're only dealing damage to a single square that you get a reflex save to negate.

You could, if you want to waste the spells. It's not like it matters much, a brick dropped from over 200 feet up is still going to do 20d6 damage, which is going to leave a mark. Reflex isn't a fighters strong suit, and hey...volume matters.


No, my point was that protection from arrows absorbs 100 damage. A single volley will remove that. So if you are ever at all within range of a lot of crossbows, protection from arrows will not do a whole lot.

There's a better version in SpC, if you want to blow a slightly higher level spell slot. It reflects the arrow back at the user. This effect is slightly amusing. In seriousness, though, they won't be flying where they have any significant chance of being hit because they simply don't need to.


And we're just talking about level 1 conscripts.

What? Those would die in waves from the alchemist's fire alone. Even the splash damage from that would be a serious threat.


Everything collapses. But slave owning societies have persisted for 100s of years. It's not like owning people makes you fall apart all of a sudden. Besides, you missed the point ENTIRELY- magic makes people dull, stupid, and dependent. Why bother innovating when Mr. Wizard does everything for you? Why bother with a steam engine when you have 3 slaves for every free man?

What you're saying does not match up with D&D fluff. Yes, wizards and artificers are by far the most prolific inventors, but there is certainly nifty mundane gadgetry as well.


Why should I? If the core rules don't do what I want them to do, why shouldn't I change them?

You can change any rules you want to, yes, but the more you change, the more your players have to keep up with. Balance becomes more and more of an issue, and railroading becomes a huge threat.


Strawman? You an Yukitsku are claiming that a level 5 cleric & level 5 wizard can solve all the problems of a city. I'm saying no, they can't, not without magic trap abuse.

Please, quote where we said that.


Pillage the countryside, and bring a lot of food with you. As I've mentioned in virtually every post, expansion without magic in an AMF bubble is going to be slow.

Won't be much there to pillage, given that the diviners knew you were coming long in advance. Bringing food with might be a problem coming from a resource starved nation subject to ongoing crop burnings.


Prepare what, though? Their spells?

Spells don't need to be direct to be useful. They can create fortifications. They can create non-magical traps. They can keep the generals posted on movements, numbers, and equipment. They can pre-position weapons and supplies.



The army is useless if it can't get there, and stay there.

You don't have to stay very long after everyone's dead.

Need I remind you, the strategy suggested was a seige?


A 14th level caster in a world where there are no casters higher than 10?

Technically, he said casters above level 10 were rare. Not non-existant.


Dropping nails on houses isn't going to do jack squat.

Dropping alchemist's fire will.


As long as the square can be identified, you're going down.

Not if you're out of range, no. As already said at least twice, two miles up = not getting hit.


Guerilla tactics like this is fine. It's not going to win wars; your cities will be razed, your women carried off, and the men slaughtered.

This is in regards to the alchemist's fire tactic. No, it won't win the war on it's own. But it will devestate the country rapidly, and requires very few people and resources to do so. This makes your country and your army much less of a threat.

Consider...#of wizards of level 5+ * # of times they can cast fly per day * # of flasks of alchemist's fire a fighter can hold. That's a ridiculous amount of damage. If stuff lights on fire through this tactic, wildfires can deal vastly more.

And we're not even getting into the possibilities with low level wands here. Technically, ONE level 5 wizard, with a bit of time to prepare, is all that is necessary to launch this attack.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-02, 09:32 AM
They carry a monolith with them? Also, presumably their supply of epic-AMF generating monoliths is limited. If it dies, so does the entire army, quickly. By fire.


Unlikely. Stupid people don't become wizards because they can't. Your average wizard is much smarter than the average commoner.

The epic AMF monoliths, in Myrmex's scenario, can be used to create smaller AMF generators. A magnet's effect on iron was his example. Alchemical phlebotinum can adopt the AMF traits and serve as small portable generators. Alchemy is iffy because of the caster requirement, though.

The average wizard is leaps and bounds above the average commoner, but there are a lot of commoners. When you look at an above average commoner, the sort running a successful artisan business, the numbers would be more equitable. And the intellect, similarly, is comparable.

@Johel: The wish loop is a TO sort of thing and is extremely likely to be rejected out of hand by OP. And it gives more justification for tippyverse strawmen.

Yukitsu
2009-11-02, 10:51 AM
Infinite wish loops are about on par with infinite free miniature monoliths with a 2 mile radius.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-02, 10:57 AM
That's actually a pretty good point.

Johel
2009-11-02, 10:58 AM
@Johel: The wish loop is a TO sort of thing and is extremely likely to be rejected out of hand by OP. And it gives more justification for tippyverse strawmen.

Was just pointing that, without using the trap abuse, there are ways for even middle-level wizards to get access to infinite power if they are ready to pay the price. Tippyverse is the logical conclusion of the effects of such infinite power, be it through magic traps, mindrape or simulacrum.

The pseudo-outsiders and illimited wishes are like the nukes for the US : they don't need them to be powerful but that's still a nice bonus. We can go directly for the wightpocalypse as soon as we have 1 wizard level 7. The number of wizards level 7 simply affect the speed at which we can build such army.

Caster Nation has a virtually limitless supply of CR3 soldiers that can be "trained" in about 1d4 rounds (time needed for a dead to awake as a wight) while it takes years to train the 6th level fighters of AMF Nation.
How many wights can a 6th level fighter take down at once ? 4 ? 5 ? let's even say 10 wights die for each 6th level fighter. That still has no lasting demographic impact on Caster Nation.
Caster Nation could even pass a law so that all people who reach venerable age are to be killed by a wight and all people who died before that are to be animated as skeletons and used as slave labor. The families get monthly rent for each body they provide.
This makes them evil but the practical type of evil : "citizens, dead or alive, the Empire will find a use for you".
I'm not even sure the citizens would complain : their soul remain free, only their body is used and it benefits to their relatives.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-02, 11:02 AM
Huh? If you want an army of wights, all you need is a level 1 human caster with arcane thesis(or any other metamagic reducer, take your pick) and Fell Drain.

Blast level 1 stuff with any damage dealing cantrip, and wait 24 hours.

The size of your army is limited only by your patience or your number of casters, whichever is less.

Yukitsu
2009-11-02, 11:05 AM
Make sure you have some feature that will make them move away from your own country, because those ones aren't controlled.

Volkov
2009-11-02, 11:09 AM
On a scale of one ten, how much would wyverns as war animals and beasts of burden improve his nation's prowess?

Yukitsu
2009-11-02, 11:15 AM
Well, the're tempermental, are a high level carnivore, meaning they eat more energy than an entire field of browsing animals per annum (and are thus eating an entire field of wheat per year) are violent and tempermental, poisonous, and not particularly great as steeds on account of lacking a good strafe ability, other than melee. If I wanted a beast of burden that could be used in a war, I'd prefer the proud and noble moose. I'm not even kidding about that.

I'd give the wyvern a 3. They fight well and you can harvest the poison, but they're really too expensive food wise to be keeping when your nation can't do that BS emergency supplimentation.

Johel
2009-11-02, 11:16 AM
@Tyndmyr :
I don't have access to the book with Fell Drain.
But this only reinforce my point, then : Undead army is easy to make. :smallsmile:


Make sure you have some feature that will make them move away from your own country, because those ones aren't controlled.

A good charisma + command Undead on the first Wight of the chain.
If you are a 7th level wizard, that's 7 days of control while the "alpha wight" control his spawns, with no limit on numbers. Cast the extended version and you got 14 days and, since, you can cast it several times a day (depending of your Intelligence), you can basically have more than 1 wight chain at your command.

Beast of burden :
Undead horses (skeleton) ?
They can do the same work but do it 24 hours a day, don't eat and when they rebel, they go down easily.
War mounts :
Wyverns are good.
Not the best but good.
6 ?

Volkov
2009-11-02, 11:23 AM
Well, the're tempermental, are a high level carnivore, meaning they eat more energy than an entire field of browsing animals per annum (and are thus eating an entire field of wheat per year) are violent and tempermental, poisonous, and not particularly great as steeds on account of lacking a good strafe ability, other than melee. If I wanted a beast of burden that could be used in a war, I'd prefer the proud and noble moose. I'm not even kidding about that.

I'd give the wyvern a 3. They fight well and you can harvest the poison, but they're really too expensive food wise to be keeping when your nation can't do that BS emergency supplimentation.

What about giant wasps, (bees are out of the question due to the sting once and die problem), giant eagles, rocs, desmodu war bats, and Quetzalcoatluses?

Johel
2009-11-02, 11:27 AM
What about giant wasps, (bees are out of the question due to the sting once and die problem), giant eagles, rocs, desmodu war bats, and Quetzalcoatluses?

Rocs !! Just that, yes !!
If you can find enough of these, they would make great bombers.

Giant Wasps sounds cool if you can control them.

Yukitsu
2009-11-02, 11:30 AM
The problem with most things at the top of the food chain is that they are more expensive to maintain. It's why work animals are either large, strong ungulates, or are small, intelligent carnivores, like dogs or cats. For transporting goods, flying things like rocs would be very good but expensive to the point that they shouldn't be used in a fight. Most of the others are poor carriers, so they wouldn't be great at moving things place to place, but would make viable war mounts. They'd still be expensive.

The war bat would probably be the best one. The only concern really is that they don't make good beasts of burden.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-02, 11:41 AM
Make sure you have some feature that will make them move away from your own country, because those ones aren't controlled.

Technically, you've got 24 hours before they rise. Remember the previous flying tricks?

Screw Alchemists fire, drop wights.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-02, 11:43 AM
How do you get a proper feather fall effect on the wight?

Tyndmyr
2009-11-02, 11:47 AM
Technically, you're dropping a dead body thats going to transform into a wight shortly thereafter.

Thus, no special precautions are needed, since the dead body merely needs to remain dead. If it hits someone by chance while falling, consider that a bonus.

Yukitsu
2009-11-02, 11:47 AM
Parachutes, like those zombies in the zombie survival guide?

Johel
2009-11-02, 11:47 AM
How do you get a proper feather fall effect on the wight?

You don't : you drop the not-yet reanimated body.

EDIT : Ninja

Volkov
2009-11-02, 12:40 PM
The problem with most things at the top of the food chain is that they are more expensive to maintain. It's why work animals are either large, strong ungulates, or are small, intelligent carnivores, like dogs or cats. For transporting goods, flying things like rocs would be very good but expensive to the point that they shouldn't be used in a fight. Most of the others are poor carriers, so they wouldn't be great at moving things place to place, but would make viable war mounts. They'd still be expensive.

The war bat would probably be the best one. The only concern really is that they don't make good beasts of burden.

How strong are giant wasps?

in reality a wasp as large as a D&D giant wasp would be able to take off with a cow pretty easily

jseah
2009-11-02, 12:48 PM
in reality a wasp as large as a D&D giant wasp would be able to take off with a cow pretty easily
In reality, a wasp as large as a D&D giant wasp (Large size, so 2x human on each dimension) won't be able to fly without a wingspan in the tens of feet.

There's a reason why large birds have larger wingspan to body size ratios than small birds / insects. (square-cube law)

Reality is not a good comparison.

taltamir
2009-11-02, 01:19 PM
@Myrmex :

Phase 3 : Invasion
Have a few of your fanatical conscripts be killed by negative energy (Enervation wand). The resulting wights are dominated (Command Undead) and will kill all the other fanatics, making even more wights.
Use the pseudo-Solar to grant them all inherent bonus and good equipment.
Str 17, Dex 17, Con , Int 16, Wis 13*, Cha 20
*we don't want to improve their wisdom. A weak will save is important for a minion.
Now, send the wights across the sea, walking on the seabed, with a few wizards using Helm of Under Water actions to lead them.
Beach AMF nation, kill people, drag the bodies at sea, watch as they awaken as wights, are improved through wishes and are sent to battle.
Battle will become harder as you get inland but AMF nation's supply of seasonned warriors will run dry before you run out of 1st level commoner to transform into wights...

I hate to nitpick... but if you want them to have low will saves and thus low wisdom, you can use wish to give them inherant PENALTIES, again, up to -5.
So they all have a wis of 8.

I think you can also curse wis specifically for another permanent -6. Making them a wis 2

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-11-02, 06:19 PM
I'm not sure invertebrates are a good idea for flying mounts, I can't recall, but aren't most invertebrates adverse to cold?

I'd suggest a giant turkey, but I don't think they can fly. Eagles seem good, but are carnivores. How about geese; looks silly, but they can be herbivores and are damn annoying. Goose warcry anybody?

taltamir
2009-11-02, 07:14 PM
phantom steed cast by a high enough caster... it lasts 2 hours per caster level, has a speed of 20 feet per caster level, and at high enough level can fly at its max speed.

Johel
2009-11-02, 07:18 PM
phantom steed cast by a high enough caster... it lasts 2 hours per caster level, has a speed of 20 feet per caster level, and at high enough level can fly at its max speed.

The 2 miles high Anti Magic Fields that lies everywhere in this setting will be a problem, though.

Otherwise, yep, best flying mount ever for sheer speed.

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-11-02, 07:18 PM
I'm confused, aren't we discussing flying mounts for the AMF nation?

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-02, 07:24 PM
The phantom steed was in order to get the wight-bombing done.

Yukitsu
2009-11-02, 07:25 PM
Pretty much any.

The best bar none for anyone is the nightmare. Fast, vegetarian, and can bypass mountains while dragging a massive sledge of goodies. Of course, it's nerfed in AMF land, but not so much as to be useless. They also lack the cheap ways to get them though.

taltamir
2009-11-02, 07:27 PM
I'm confused, aren't we discussing flying mounts for the AMF nation?

Any flying mount is an inherantly magical creatures... while STANDARD AMF has no effect on the ability undead, magical monsters, etc to function, fly and so forth, it also allows instant conjurations and for a spell to "pass" through it (it just doesn't do effect in AMF). Your epic AMF sounds more expensive, including that it keeps out non approved creatures.. if there is an exception for some sort of flying mount creature, then your enemies can use those to attack you as well.

As for the 2 mile high... fly higher than 2 miles before bombarding that country...

Volkov
2009-11-02, 09:23 PM
In reality, a wasp as large as a D&D giant wasp (Large size, so 2x human on each dimension) won't be able to fly without a wingspan in the tens of feet.

There's a reason why large birds have larger wingspan to body size ratios than small birds / insects. (square-cube law)

Reality is not a good comparison.

Bugs do not fly the same way birds do. If you used a bird's model of flight a normal sized wasp shouldn't fly. Rather, wasps do it in a much more terrifying way, they create mini-vortexes beneath them.

Volkov
2009-11-02, 09:24 PM
Any flying mount is an inherantly magical creatures... while STANDARD AMF has no effect on the ability undead, magical monsters, etc to function, fly and so forth, it also allows instant conjurations and for a spell to "pass" through it (it just doesn't do effect in AMF). Your epic AMF sounds more expensive, including that it keeps out non approved creatures.. if there is an exception for some sort of flying mount creature, then your enemies can use those to attack you as well.

As for the 2 mile high... fly higher than 2 miles before bombarding that country...

Giant wasps are not magical at all.

taltamir
2009-11-02, 10:07 PM
Giant wasps are not magical at all.

incorrect. Look up wing to wight ratios... of course, you could choose to completely ignore physics... But that is just fluff and something I added as an aside...
If your AMF (which keeps out "unwanted" creatures as well) allows such creatures, or if your physics is different and they workl without magic to lift them, you end up with the same thing. A non magic flying mount... which allows enemies to use those same creatures to get flight in your AMF... and drop alchemist fire on your crops, or drop shrunken boulders on your city, etc...

There is a solution though... you could rule that only VERY SPECIFIC magic is avilable... that is, blasting.