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JadedDM
2010-09-03, 03:19 AM
This is for a 2E game.

There is a tribe of barbarians known as the Black Cloud. Primarily, they are raiders and bandits. They attack towns in raids, capturing slaves and stealing food and supplies, usually at night. Then they slip away with their prizes. The party wants to eliminate them.

By lucky (or unlucky) chance, they stop by a small village in hopes of finding information on the Black Cloud. Upon arriving, though, they realize the village is beginning to evacuate. The head priest of the town is an oracle, you see. He had a vision that the Black Cloud are coming to attack and conquer the town. This is no raid. They are sending an army of 120+ men. The village has a population of 60 (and nine refugees from another tribe that were wiped out by the Black Cloud--the party had previously sent them here to be safe. Ironic, no?).

So now they have two options, at least as far as they can see. The first is to round up everyone in town and evacuate them to safety. They can try to escort them to the nearest town, which is four days away. Hopefully nothing attacks them on the way, and they don't even know for sure if the other town will take the refugees in.

The second option is to try and fight. A few of the villagers have class levels, and the party may be able to recruit them for the cause.

None of my players have accounts here, so one of them asked me to propose the scenario here, and see if you guys can maybe think of a battle plan they have not considered if they do stay in fight. If a good plan can't be decided on, they may decide to just evacuate instead.

The party consists of:
Human Bard 7
Lizardman Mage 6
Halfling Cleric 5
Human Paladin 5
Human Ranger 5
Human Thief 3

The ranger has lycanthropy, by the way. He's a werepanther, but he only transforms when he gets too emotional (i.e., angry) and he has no control over himself while transformed. The thief has the Swashbuckler kit, if anyone thinks that might matter.

Among the villagers are the following:
Halfling Cleric 3
Human Cleric 2
Human Bard 2
Human Necromancer 2
Human Fighter 3
Human Fighter 3
Human Cleric 1
Human Cleric 4
Human Enchantress 3
Human Invoker 2
Human Fighter 2
Human Fighter 3
Human Fighter 3
Human Fighter 3
Human Thief 2

Among the refugees (from the destroyed tribe) are:
Human Druid 8
Human Fighter 3
Human Fighter 5

As for the enemy, well they consist of:
121 Bandits (level 0)
6 Fighters (level 3)
1 Leader (level 8 fighter)

Most are armed with spears and leather armor or bows and no armor. The level 0 bandits have 1d6 HP each. The fighters wear hide armor and carry both bows and spears. The leader wears bronze plate mail, a Spear +1, a Short Bow +1, and 10 Arrows +1.

They have about 24 hours to prepare. The town is not well defensible (no walls, just a few wooden palisades). The town is next to a river (west side) with a bridge being the only way across. The army is marching in from the east.

So what do you guys think? Is this a hopeless fight? Or can you think of a way toward victory? I'll offer up any other information available, if I neglected to mention anything important.

kyoryu
2010-09-03, 03:22 AM
This is for a 2E game.

There is a tribe of barbarians known as the Black Cloud. Primarily, they are raiders and bandits. They attack towns in raids, capturing slaves and stealing food and supplies, usually at night. Then they slip away with their prizes. The party wants to eliminate them.

By lucky (or unlucky) chance, they stop by a small village in hopes of finding information on the Black Cloud. Upon arriving, though, they realize the village is beginning to evacuate. The head priest of the town is an oracle, you see. He had a vision that the Black Cloud are coming to attack and conquer the town. This is no raid. They are sending an army of 120+ men. The village has a population of 60 (and nine refugees from another tribe that were wiped out by the Black Cloud--the party had previously sent them here to be safe. Ironic, no?).

So now they have two options, at least as far as they can see. The first is to round up everyone in town and evacuate them to safety. They can try to escort them to the nearest town, which is four days away. Hopefully nothing attacks them on the way, and they don't even know for sure if the other town will take the refugees in.

The second option is to try and fight. A few of the villagers have class levels, and the party may be able to recruit them for the cause.

None of my players have accounts here, so one of them asked me to propose the scenario here, and see if you guys can maybe think of a battle plan they have not considered if they do stay in fight. If a good plan can't be decided on, they may decide to just evacuate instead.

The party consists of:
Human Bard 7
Lizardman Mage 6
Halfling Cleric 5
Human Paladin 5
Human Ranger 5
Human Thief 3

The ranger has lycanthropy, by the way. He's a werepanther, but he only transforms when he gets too emotional (i.e., angry) and he has no control over himself while transformed. The thief has the Swashbuckler kit, if anyone thinks that might matter.

Among the villagers are the following:
Halfling Cleric 3
Human Cleric 2
Human Bard 2
Human Necromancer 2
Human Fighter 3
Human Fighter 3
Human Cleric 1
Human Cleric 4
Human Enchantress 3
Human Invoker 2
Human Fighter 2
Human Fighter 3
Human Fighter 3
Human Fighter 3
Human Thief 2

Among the refugees (from the destroyed tribe) are:
Human Druid 8
Human Fighter 3
Human Fighter 5

As for the enemy, well they consist of:
121 Bandits (level 0)
6 Fighters (level 3)
1 Leader (level 8 fighter)

Most are armed with spears and leather armor or bows and no armor. The level 0 bandits have 1d6 HP each. The fighters wear hide armor and carry both bows and spears. The leader wears bronze plate mail, a Spear +1, a Short Bow +1, and 10 Arrows +1.

They have about 24 hours to prepare. The town is not well defensible (no walls, just a few wooden palisades). The town is next to a river (west side) with a bridge being the only way across. The army is marching in from the east.

So what do you guys think? Is this a hopeless fight? Or can you think of a way toward victory? I'll offer up any other information available, if I neglected to mention anything important.

Watch The Seven Samurai (it's on Netflix) first. If you don't have time for that, watch the Magnificent Seven.

hamishspence
2010-09-03, 03:24 AM
And for a more comedic take on "defend town from approaching bandits" there is The Three Amigos.

Ihouji
2010-09-03, 03:50 AM
Easy, build a palasade wall at the bridge, and a second on the far side with an easy to close gate on it.

Defend the first wall until over run then retreat to the second wall and have the mage blow the bridge with a fire ball or some such once all the barbarians are on it.

Basically best case scenario you hold the primary wall they all die, worst case you blow the bridge killing many of them and you have cut off there only means to pursue you. In any case most of you live and a lot if not all of them die.

I know there is some movie with a similar scenario I think it is a Vietnam era movie.

Edit: Also I know you are likely going to loose a portion of the town to the invading army but With the numbers what they are you NEED to bottle neck them and the bridge is the best or only option. Move the valuables to the other side time permitting.

Edit 2:Just realized leader is in plate so even if he survives the blast its going to be real hard to swim. heh

JadedDM
2010-09-03, 04:05 AM
Okay, guys, please stop recommending films. :smallsigh:


Defend the first wall until over run then retreat to the second wall and have the mage blow the bridge with a fire ball or some such once all the barbarians are on it.

Unfortunately, nobody in the party can cast Fireball. Perhaps we can find some kind of workaround, though.

Alleine
2010-09-03, 04:19 AM
Depending on how the town is set up, and how the bandits attack, have some decoys set up in certain areas to lure them in, then spring traps and ambush. It'll only work once, but when it does work it ought to get a lot of guys.

How much oil/flammables can they get their hands on? Everyone knows that fire kills best. And when it doesn't it means you didn't use enough fire. Spread the flammables in strategic places with people ready to drop a torch of shoot a flaming arrow. Make sure its as unobtrusive as possible. Don't want the barbecue meat to get suspicious now do we?

DragonOfUndeath
2010-09-03, 04:43 AM
you have an NPC necromancer and no-one suggested spam raise undead (i don't play 2nd ed so can a level 2 actually do that?)

FelixG
2010-09-03, 04:47 AM
surround the village perimeter with a flammable material, set up some hay with clothing around it as mannequins to make the area appear populated, put these dummys near homes and the like, have lines of flammable material lead from the ring and in to these dummys.

Barbarians enter (at night it will be quite hard to tell that the dummys are just that and will just appear a humanoid forms) then you light the fires, they will encircle the camp and burn inward thanks to the lines leading to the dummys which will burst into flame and light nearby buildings as well, burn the village down around their ears.

For added spite circle the village in likely escape paths with your combat oriented characters and NPCs to pick of anyone who makes it though the flames.

JadedDM
2010-09-03, 04:53 AM
you have an NPC necromancer and no-one suggested spam raise undead (i don't play 2nd ed so can a level 2 actually do that?)

Unfortunately, no. A necromancer must be 5th level to animate low-level undead in 2E.

Spiryt
2010-09-03, 05:00 AM
Barbarians enter (at night it will be quite hard to tell that the dummys are just that and will just appear a humanoid forms) then you light the fires, they will encircle the camp and burn inward thanks to the lines leading to the dummys which will burst into flame and light nearby buildings as well, burn the village down around their ears.

So burn the village down only to create environment that may burn down the villagers as well? Seeing as with "medievalish" means setting such a fire is not really easy to control at all, especially with ways as "path of flamable material"

Against people who may just run away, seeing that nothing valuable can be probably gained right now, and it's an ambush?

They can just evacuate, if village is to be lost anyway, without fighting.

Anyway, it really all depends on how 2ed and your DM can calculate larger scale battle.

But by the universal rule - 60 men have more than a chance against 130, if they are defending, and they have better guys among them.

They "just" need to estabilish some defensive position that will negate the numerical advantage and make organized defense easier.

With a day to prepare ~60 people can dig quite a earth wall, especially with possible magical help.

Connect it with existing palisades and houses, forming places from which defenders can shoot or fight back from advantageous position.

If possible, doing something about rivers bed, to create un/hardly approachable passage, will also help - fresh swamp will be female dog to pass, especially if one can put some traps in it, hard to see in muddy water.

Any form of projectile weapons can be probably crucial in harrowing bandits trying to get trough.

FelixG
2010-09-03, 05:06 AM
So burn the village down only to create environment that may burn down the villagers as well? Seeing as with "medievalish" means setting such a fire is not really easy to control at all, especially with ways as "path of flamable material"



I am not familiar with second edition but can clerics make water magically still? And you would evacuate the villagers while you are preparing this trap.

Running away just postpones the problem you are going to have to face eventually anyway. And the idea is to get them into the village before setting things up and as i said guard the escape routes to take care of those who do escape the conflagration.

JadedDM
2010-09-03, 05:07 AM
Spiryt kind of has a point. Is burning down the village they are trying to protect really a victory?

Oh, I feel I should point out that when I say the village has a population of 60, that includes children and the elderly, so it seems unlikely that all 60 villagers will actually fight.


I am not familiar with second edition but can clerics make water magically still? And you would evacuate the villagers while you are preparing this trap.

Magically still? Like Water Walk? A cleric or druid of fifth level of higher can do that, yes.

FelixG
2010-09-03, 05:13 AM
A village can be rebuilt fairly easily, it is buildings and items, people are harder to replace. If i can trade a few buildings for the lives of a marauding army i would mark that in the win column personally, but then again i DO tend to play LE... :D

As an added bonus they get the reputation that they would rather destroy than let their things be taken, might make bandits a bit nervous when attacking that they may get burned alive.

And sorry for the poor wording, i was asking if spell casters have the ability to magically create water.

If they do they can start to quench the flames that start to get out of hand OR make sure the surrounding key areas are too wet to burn effectively.

Edit: Spelling :D

JadedDM
2010-09-03, 05:14 AM
And sorry for the poor wording, i was asking if spell casters have the ability to magically create water.

Ahh, in that case, yes. Any cleric or druid can use that spell, even at level 1.

FelixG
2010-09-03, 05:19 AM
Ahh, in that case, yes. Any cleric or druid can use that spell, even at level 1.

Ah good then by my count thats 11 casters that can be assigned to make sure the fires dont go too wild before they burn themselves out.

What i am getting at is that while sure you can evacuate and run away, that doesn't solve anything, the army is still out there, now you have refuges AND an army to deal with, sure you can move them and put up a fight elsewhere but that just delays the problem.

By burning the village and the army together you have refuges but have effectively silenced the threat the barbarians pose to those you are evacuating and the surrounding countryside.

Zombimode
2010-09-03, 05:26 AM
Well, it would help to know the spells available to the lizardman and the 3 NPC wizards.

From what you descirbe this is far from a hopeless battle.

My plan:

1. Hide the non combatants in the houses.

2. Out of the party and NPCs form about 5 squads, each containing:
- enough able warriors to defend an small passage (like a door) against lots of low level enemies
- at least one cleric (for casting curse and or chant (sp? I mean the 2nd level buff/debuff spell))
- one spellcaster with AoE spells (spells, that can take out large swats of low HD/HP enemies, like sleep, prismatic spray, flaming sphere etc.)

3. Hide those squads in the same houses

Now, what could happen?

A) Barbs arrive, start plundering the houses uncontrolled.

B) Barbs arrive, rush through the streets in search for inhabitants, finding some of the hiding places, starting sieging those.

C) Barbs arrive, rush through the streets in search for inhabitants, dont find anyone and meeting at the townsquare idealy with a confused look on their face.

D) Same as B but finding all of the hiding places and sieging all of them.


In case of A, the invaders should take massivecausalties from trying to storm houses defended by high level warriors backed up by buffers. They will eventually retreat to reform, either outside the town or at the town square. Either way whenever they amass at one place, the squads leave there hiding places and the casters dump their AoEs. The few survivors will flee in terror or are moped up by the fighters.

In case of B, the besieged houses should be able to withstand the attacks for quite a time. Time enough for the undetected parties to bring themselves into position to surrond the invaders if possible (but leaving one obvious retreat route open) and again dump the AoEs on the cluttered attackers.

In case of C, the hiding places should surrond the town square and then the AoE fun begins.

In case of D... well, they should make sure, that D doesnt happen. I suggest letting the thieves help with the hiding. They wont make any signficant impact in the upcoming battle so letting them use their skills beforehand is probably a good thing.
Even if D happens, the sieges of the houses could prove to costly for the invaders. The advantage of ranged weapons is mostly rendered moot, the advantage of numbers of course to. And then its 3-5 level fighter types backed up by clerics/bards for healing/buffing against mostly 0-level mooks. And the casters still have their AoEs.


In short: minimizing the enemies advantages (missles, numbers), maximizing the own strengths (combat prowess, AoEs), in addition to trying to break the enemies morale (due to heavy causalties and exesive use of magic).



But thats only one possible solution. Another could be the old "charm the leader" trick. Again, it would help to know the spells known by the casters but at least the Druid can spam cast it a couple of times.


Speaking of the Druid: there is a freaking level 8 Druid on the PCs side. Now, he's an NPC, so I understand that he should not take the spotlight in this encounter but he definately has the tools for the victory. (Often I hear people saying that 2e druids are weak, but the contrary is true: while not 3e brocken they are one of the most powerful and versatile classes arround).

I will just point you to some spells:
On the 3rd level, there is one spelled that might be called Thorns (I only know the german spell names). It creates a zone of 10 foot (3m) / level out of plant covered terrain dealing 2d4 damage to every one in it (well, they have to move, but that should be no issue), no save. On well placed application of that spell could wipe out the whole/ a significant part of the enemy army.

He also has two 4th level slots. Fun spells to consider:
Giant Insect: three giant ant warriors per casting, that will cut like a hot knife through snow against those barbs (3 HD, AC 3, THACO 17, 3d4-5d4 damage; those buggers are incredible...)

Sticks to snakes: This is even better: you said spears are in large use by the barbs? Well, sucks to be them. The spell transforms 1d4+8 (level) spearshafts to either constricting or poisen snakes, save against petrification (which is 17 for level 0, but Chant imposes a malus on saves).

Not to mention the swarm of dust devils.

And if Its Raining Man, the first thing happens is a big hunking 10 foot radius 10d8 lightning in the face of the barbs leader (and one every 10 rounds there after if the remaining barbs still have the balls to raid a village defended by a Druidzilla).

Spiryt
2010-09-03, 05:26 AM
It entirely depends on what DM allows.

Realistically, there's no real way to burn many people by putting village in fire, even with help of some magic.

Huts and stuff just won't burn so quickly, rapidly, and controllably that bandits wouldn't see anything coming and wouldn't just get away from fire. Burning hut isn't really that dangerous at all from 30 feet away.

Some brainless ones who rushed inside the buildings to try to grab something valuable they had thought they may find, or whatever, could be fatally burnt indeed. The rest - not so much.


But again, it's RPG, so it don't have to be "realistic" at all.

JadedDM
2010-09-03, 05:50 AM
Well, it would help to know the spells available to the lizardman and the 3 NPC wizards.

Sure.

Lizardman Mage:
1) Burning Hands, Chill Touch, Detect Magic, Enlarge, Feather Fall, Identify, Magic Missile, Read Magic, Sleep, Spider Climb

2) Darkness (15 Radius), Flaming Sphere, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Ray of Enfeeblement, Locate Object, Scare

3) Clairvoyance, Flame Arrow

Necromancer:
1) - Chill Touch, Detect Undead, Unseen Servant, Mending

Enchantress:
1) - Charm Person, Friends, Hypnotism, Sleep, Taunt

2)- Bind, Deeppockets, Forget, Ray of Enfeeblement, Scare, Tasha's Uncontrollable Hideous Laughter

Invoker:
1) - Alarm, Magic Missile, Shield, Tenser's Floating Disc, Wall of Fog


On the 3rd level, there is one spelled that might be called Thorns (I only know the german spell names). It creates a zone of 10 foot (3m) / level out of plant covered terrain dealing 2d4 damage to every one in it (well, they have to move, but that should be no issue), no save. On well placed application of that spell could wipe out the whole/ a significant part of the enemy army.

It's called Spike Growth in English, and yes, that could turn out quite useful.


Sticks to snakes: This is even better: you said spears are in large use by the barbs? Well, sucks to be them. The spell transforms 1d4+8 (level) spearshafts to either constricting or poisen snakes, save against petrification (which is 17 for level 0, but Chant imposes a malus on saves).

Okay, none of us even considered that. My players really like this idea. :smallsmile:

Spiryt
2010-09-03, 06:03 AM
Oh, I feel I should point out that when I say the village has a population of 60, that includes children and the elderly, so it seems unlikely that all 60 villagers will actually fight.

Well, if those are village's folk, children, elders and woman can still help a lot in preparation as they're probably accustomed to the shovel, wheelbarrow and stuff.

Especially when morale, hope and motivation will be high, and I notice 7th level bard.

Thane of Fife
2010-09-03, 06:32 AM
3. Hide those squads in the same houses

In short: minimizing the enemies advantages (missles, numbers), maximizing the own strengths (combat prowess, AoEs), in addition to trying to break the enemies morale (due to heavy causalties and exesive use of magic).

While I think this is the beginning of a well thought-out plan, I think you are overlooking the possibility that the barbarians use fire arrows to force the defenders out. Then it's back on their terms again, and possibly worse.

Shademan
2010-09-03, 06:36 AM
have the players sneak into the advancing marauders force and assassinate their leader. thats a good start.
then get some palisades built.

PretzelKing
2010-09-03, 09:26 AM
my guess is that they wont have to kill every member of the invading horde. take out the leader, and sub-leader types along with a handful of the puds and the group might lose its taste for fighting.

fighting defensibly behind earthworks/wooden palisades seem like the best way to get this done.

Nick_mi
2010-09-03, 11:06 AM
Sounds like you could use some great cleave :)

qcbtnsrm
2010-09-03, 12:40 PM
my guess is that they wont have to kill every member of the invading horde. take out the leader, and sub-leader types along with a handful of the puds and the group might lose its taste for fighting.

fighting defensibly behind earthworks/wooden palisades seem like the best way to get this done.
Right. The goal is to break their Morale, not kill each and every one of them. Depending on how the DM rates them they will have between 7 and 14 morale, most likely 11-12. Which means that even at the start of the fight there is a 50-50 chance of them breaking at the first check. So you want to force as many checks as possible, as quickly as possible, with the most penalties as possible.

So what do you need to do to force a check?
When first surprised - Ambush away from the town maybe?
Faced by obviously superior force - Probably not going to be able get this check.
Ally slain by magic - Oh yeah. Hammer them with magic, force those morale checks.
25% of group is slain - Can you kill 30 of the 0-levels? Seems doable.
50% of group is slain - Probably can't kill 60 easily.
Anytime a companion is slain after 50% of group is slain - Get here and they WILL break sooner or later.
Leader deserts or is slain - Oh yeah go after the 8th level fighter hard.
Fighting creature they cannot harm due to magical protection - Probably not achievable.
Completely surrounded - Probably not doable until you have won already.

And here are the relevant modifiers.
-6 Abandoned by friends
-4 Taken 50% of hp
-2 Taken 25% of hp
-1 Creature is Chaotic - Not sure if this will apply, but seems likely for Barbarians
-2 Fighting magic using foes - Guess what you are?
-4 Most powerful ally is killed - Go after that 8th level fighter hard.

Now the other issue is keeping your side's Morale up. Unfortunately the 0-level villagers are going to have a morale around 7. But you have several bonuses.
+2 From the bard.
+2 For having spell-casters on their side.
+3 for defending home.
+1 for defensive terrain advantage.

Have the towns-folk build some palisades between buildings in the most densely built up part of town, to make a solid-ish wall. Focus on ranged attacks, disrupting attacks... and above all focus on the leader. The idea is to isolate and destroy him. Once he is down have everyone charge in, following the mage's flaming sphere. An angry Paladin leading a charge that includes magic attacks should be enough to get them to break. Especially if those being charged have been isolated from the rest by Spiked Growth and a Wall of Fog.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-03, 01:08 PM
This should be a walkover for the party. The only significant threat is the level 8.

1. Set up a choke point. It doesn't have to be great, just enough that going through/over the obstacles would take a few extra rounds.

2. Any misc villagers with no special skills get to use ranged weapons. Whatever's available. Give them clubs too, in case they get in melee, but range is the primary method. Have them firing over the wall/moat/obstacles. They'll be safeish(should have 50% cover) for a few rounds, which should be plenty. They will target misc mooks, purely to reduce numbers.

3. Have the party play "hunt the dangerous guys". Kill whoever looks different. You can wade through ridiculous amounts of guys that much lower than you, so only kill them in passing. They should learn to fear you soon enough.

4. Once the leaders are gone, and they have massive casualties, they should flee.

Ihouji
2010-09-03, 01:57 PM
While I think this is the beginning of a well thought-out plan, I think you are overlooking the possibility that the barbarians use fire arrows to force the defenders out. Then it's back on their terms again, and possibly worse.

Yeah that plan is inevitably going to end with them being burnt out and finding them selves pouring out the door and being bottle necked into a large group of enemies, or just burning to death.

That is why I suggested the bridge, It basically can't back fire. As for the work around since the caster doesn't know fire ball, put breakable jugs full or lamp oil all over the bridge and smash them as you retreat across once the wall is over run. It may not be the cinematic explosion I was hoping for but fire is fire and dead barbarians are dead. I'm assuming the bridge is wooden if not it won't be destroyed but that lamp oil will give you a 1-2 hour head start before it burns out.

Edit: Seriously dose anyone remember the name of the movie I mentioned in my first post? Its driving me crazy.

Diarmuid
2010-09-03, 02:11 PM
With 24 hours to prepare they're definitely not going to be able to build palisades and walls/moats/etc. Your best bet is to get people up on roofs with ranged weapons. Any schmuck can roll a 20. In the absence of ranged weapons, get the rocks. 1d2 dmg is 1d2 dmg.

I think the best advice given so far is to try and infiltrate the enemy and capture/subjugate the leader.

If that's not possible, you absolutely have to divide your resources into attack squads, divide up the town, hit and run retreating through kill zones with as much flammable **** as possible that gets lit after you leave it and they move into it.

Everyone retreats to a central/defensible position where the infirm/childred/elderly have been hiding.

Sleep, Scare, Wall of Fog, Charm Person, Friends, Unseen Servant can all have huge impact if implemented properly. Entangle is also absolutely fantastic. The AoE is huge and can work really well and forcing the enemy to take a particular route of your choosing to attack.

fusilier
2010-09-03, 04:23 PM
Historically, and cinematically, the loss of a leader will usually cripple one side, especially in these sorts of situations. So if the party manages to take out the leader, I would have the barbarian "horde" retreat shortly thereafter. While it's possible that the leader's death/capture could finish off the barbarians as a large raiding party, it's also probable that they would select a new leader and start raiding again. Although they may stayed scatter for a while.

I would still expect the party to take as many defensive precautions as possible. Try to funnel the enemy into narrow passages (roads, lanes, etc.), to even up the odds (the military term for a narrow passage of this sort is "defile"). Also, you don't always defend the town at the town. It may be possible to defend it from some place else (a mountain pass), or at the very least find some fortified position that can threaten the barbarian rear if they simply pass it by. Nuisance raids, etc., can all be useful. But once battle is joined, the target should be the enemy leader.

Sewercop
2010-09-03, 06:45 PM
This should be an easy fight. The players should be able to do this without to much hazzle.

Kurgan
2010-09-03, 06:54 PM
From the looks of it, many posters have already gone over some useful ideas and plans.

However, unless I've missed it, nobody has mentioned the use Plant Growth could have here. As a third level spell, the druid can cast it, and the spells description allows the druid to effect an area of 20 feet on the side per level, be it a square or rectangle. Depending on your use of choke points and the like, you can effectively halt the entire barbarian army in its tracks for quite some time. Speed of creatures in the area is reduced to 10ft per round. That can buy the group the time it needs to regroup, or effectively cut the enemy army into manageable chunks if cast after a set number of the barbarians run by.

Another fun druid spell could be Trip, a second level spell. It effects one object up to 10' long, and lasts 1 turn/level, or 80 minutes for the druid. If placed in a choke point, several barbarians will fall flat on their faces before they notice it, and even then, all it gives them is a bonus to their save against it. Another way of slowing them down.

These two spells combined with Scare, whose uses have already been brought up, can cause the enemy army to be divided into small units, which can then hopefully be dismantled by the fighters in the group.

Flickerdart
2010-09-03, 07:09 PM
Send the thieves and the bard to meet the barbarian army and arrange mysterious circumstances for the barbarian leaders. Chances are that the army is held together by personal charisma of one or several leaders, and killing them will create a power vacuum that the barbarians will want to sort out before plundering anything. Maybe they'll even split into two and kill one another for you.

nerd-7i+e
2010-09-03, 08:59 PM
Preparation: Build a sort of wooden tunnel across the bridge. Seal the end of the bridge so that ranged attacks can't hurt the inhabitants. Create a slit through which the PC's could attack (probably with weapons like spears, tridents, halberds, maybe poles). If you have time, build a series of earthen walls forming a cup outside the bridge, with one narrow entrance.

Right before the battle: Cover the tunnel in alcohol and set it on fire, so that the tunnel will burn without damaging the tunnel or the PC's within. This way, the barbarians won't be able to just jump on top, collapsing the tunnel and exposing the PC's. Bring all the goods the barbarians may want to the other side of the river.

The battle: Relatively straightforward: the PC's and some helpful ranged NPC's (how many depends on the length of the bridge) hide in the tunnel and attack. The barbarians will have to attack the bridge if they want to get to the goods, which are across the river. Use Giant Insects to herd as many barbarians into the section between the walls. Once the area is as dense as possible, cast Plant Growth to seal the area. Then use the lightning spell that Zombimode mentioned and Sticks to Snakes to unleash as much damage as possible.

Zanfib
2010-09-04, 01:05 AM
The six level 3 fighters are probably leaders of separate gangs that have united under the level 8.

If this is true, it's possible that if the leader is killed before the attack starts, the barbarians may break into factions to fight over which of the level 3 fighters gets to be the new leader.

dgnslyr
2010-09-04, 01:47 AM
Have a massive, drunken party. Invite the barbarians. Have somebody in the party challenge the barbarian leader to a drinking contest. Win, and become friends.

SPoD
2010-09-04, 02:06 AM
The night before, have the lizardfolk cast Invisibility on the Enchantress (and/or the bard, if he knows Charm Person too). They sneak off to find the enemy (the lizardfolk can point them in the right direction using Clairvoyence) and cast Charm Person or Friends on one or both of the leaders. With luck, it will avoid the whole battle.