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GoC
2008-01-20, 04:39 PM
What's the best spell or combination of spells to use against a standard medieval army (consisting of just warriors/fighters/barbarians)?

Situation is one 20th level caster vs. an army of 10,000 men that's trying to get to and invade another country. Caster would prefer to remain anonymous.

Yami
2008-01-20, 04:44 PM
Entangle.

Level 1, area effect. You've now got a series of archery targets, huzzah!

FlyMolo
2008-01-20, 04:48 PM
Disease and contagion and those ones. Assuming you have a week or so.

Otherwise, Spells that deal negative levels. You only need to turn a few of the enemy into wights before there's a runaway effect, leading to total annihilation.

PirateMonk
2008-01-20, 04:48 PM
Depending on tactics, Cloudkill can be utterly devastating or only occasionally useful.

Lokey
2008-01-20, 04:51 PM
What level?

Probably something in the weather control line or cloudkill if you can hit a big chunk of them at once (and it'll insta-kill a big chunk of them). Need more specifics.

GoC
2008-01-20, 04:51 PM
Entangle.

Level 1, area effect. You've now got a series of archery targets, huzzah!

It only affects a small area (and thus a small number of soldiers).
I'm going more for a single high level caster vs. an army.

Bryn
2008-01-20, 04:52 PM
For low-level armies, Cloudkill is pretty effective, causing instant death on a failed save to anyone with 3 or less hit dice. However, you are limited by the fairly small area of effect (since the enemy could easily scatter away from it as it only moves at 10ft per round), and you need to be fairly high level to cast it.

It seems I've been subject at least two ninjas.

bugsysservant
2008-01-20, 04:52 PM
Isn't there a spell called "Blackfire" which spreads from person to person if they don't make their saves, dealing either negative levels, or negative energy damage (I forget)? Because that would pretty much wipe out a low level, low save army in one go.

JeminiZero
2008-01-20, 04:52 PM
If they are low level enough, any sort of long lasting damage wall should kill most of them (Like the Psion Energy wall, lasts as long as the Psion concentrates).

If you have a mid-level warlock, you can get him to fly around invisible while spamming deadwalk on their corpses.

PirateMonk
2008-01-20, 04:55 PM
For low-level armies, Cloudkill is pretty effective, causing instant death on a failed save to anyone with 3 or less hit dice. However, you are limited by the fairly small area of effect (since the enemy could easily scatter away from it as it only moves at 10ft per round), and you need to be fairly high level to cast it.

It seems I've been subject at least two ninjas.

About a year ago, Emperor Tippy suggested spamming Cloudkills at the camp when everyone was asleep, making them harder to avoid.

Laurellien
2008-01-20, 04:59 PM
Locate City, or find a corpse and use create greater undead to make a wraith.

FlyMolo
2008-01-20, 05:03 PM
If you have a mid-level warlock, you can get him to fly around invisible while spamming deadwalk on their corpses.

If you have a high level warlock, you can fly around invisible spamming Utterdark/Eldritch cone blasts. Everyone who's level one and all level two people who fail their saves in a 30-foot cone become wights through negative levels. The wights then make more wights, and so on and so forth.

RTGoodman
2008-01-20, 05:04 PM
Well, if you're high enough level and really care about killing them, spend 5,000 XP for a miracle (since you said any caster, not just arcane).

It gives an example of a powerful request as "Protecting a city from an earthquake, volcanic eruption, flood, or other major natural disaster." I assume that you could do the opposite for the same price (assuming you have a god that would support it), sending one of those disasters or a plague or something against the opposing army.

Also, I don't have it, but I'm betting that there's a spell for this situation in BoVD.

GoC
2008-01-20, 05:05 PM
No wraith/shadow cheese please.


Isn't there a spell called "Blackfire" which spreads from person to person if they don't make their saves, dealing either negative levels, or negative energy damage (I forget)? Because that would pretty much wipe out a low level, low save army in one go.
That's a very good one but are there any non-evil anti-army spells?

Quietus
2008-01-20, 05:10 PM
No wraith/shadow cheese please.


That's a very good one but are there any non-evil anti-army spells?

So you're basically looking for a good(ish) way to kill an entire army?

Control weather is a good one, not many people enjoy having to camp out in freezing sleet or whatever. Contagion, while slow, is effective - though it's also debatable on the evilness. Cloudkill while everyone's sleeping has been mentioned. If you have access to it, Call Lightning would work, only one per round, but still enough to kill some people good.

Then there's the old favorites like fireball and lightning bolt, if the army is tightly packed together. Also, cone of cold.

Mephisto
2008-01-20, 05:11 PM
If you were a cleric or druid I'd suggest Storm of Vengeance. Big area (360-foot radius circle) and deals 6d6 damage with no save by the 4th round. Otherwise, what people have been saying about disease and undead.

kamikasei
2008-01-20, 05:12 PM
If you have a high level warlock, you can fly around invisible spamming Utterdark/Eldritch cone blasts. Everyone who's level one and all level two people who fail their saves in a 30-foot cone become wights through negative levels. The wights then make more wights, and so on and so forth.

That's very effective at destroying an army, but not at protecting the thing the army was threatening, which presumably was your aim. Replacing one threat with an equally-sized threat made of more dangerous individuals who still don't like you (though granted, are no longer motivated specifically to seek out and kill you over anyone else) isn't a win long-term.

Saph
2008-01-20, 05:13 PM
Anything you like. Honestly, you're a 20th-level character. It really doesn't matter what spells you use, or even what class you are. Any halfway competent 20th-level character can defeat an infinite number of level 1 warriors. Actually, even an incompetent 20th-level character can defeat a near-infinite number of level 1 warriors.

I mean, what's to stop you just sitting there and killing them all with melee attacks? 10 rounds a minute is 600 rounds an hour. 600 rounds an hour is 14,400 rounds in a day. D&D characters don't suffer from battle fatigue, and a 20th-level character's defences are far too good for a 1st-level warrior to hurt them. You should be able to get rid of all 10,000 in a day or so of steady fighting, assuming they even try to fight rather than scattering or running away once they realise they'd have a better chance against the Tarrasque. The only reason to use spells or special tactics is if you're on a schedule and want to finish things up quick.

- Saph

VanBuren
2008-01-20, 05:15 PM
You could dominate a few of them and have them attack each other, thus sowing confusion into their ranks and lowering moral while you pull a couple of other tricks.

mostlyharmful
2008-01-20, 05:17 PM
That's very effective at destroying an army, but not at protecting the thing the army was threatening, which presumably was your aim. Replacing one threat with an equally-sized threat made of more dangerous individuals who still don't like you (though granted, are no longer motivated specifically to seek out and kill you over anyone else) isn't a win long-term.

No high level caster would just let an army of mooks wander up to whatever they're protecting. And Firestorm is a nice spell for large area highly disheartening spell smashing. Remember your magic doesn't have to kill them all at once, just kill enough of them loudly enough and the rest will wet themselves and leg it.:smallbiggrin:

GoC
2008-01-20, 05:17 PM
So you're basically looking for a good(ish) way to kill an entire army?

Control weather is a good one, not many people enjoy having to camp out in freezing sleet or whatever. Contagion, while slow, is effective - though it's also debatable on the evilness. Cloudkill while everyone's sleeping has been mentioned. If you have access to it, Call Lightning would work, only one per round, but still enough to kill some people good.

Then there's the old favorites like fireball and lightning bolt, if the army is tightly packed together. Also, cone of cold.
Yes.
The army is highly disciplined and evil and will kill anyone infected by desease.
Cloudkill would take ages to kill 10,000 people.
Call Lightning, fireball and lightning bolt only affect ~20 people per casting. It would take quite a whle to kill them all.
Cone of Cold is a good one but suffers from similar problems.

Saph: The officers might give him trouble though.

Fire storm at 100+ kills per casting is one of the best so far but it'll still take several days to kill them all.
Storm of vengeance is very effective but the soldiers might try to avoid it once they see it forming. Probably in the 500-1000 kills per casting range.

bugsysservant
2008-01-20, 05:19 PM
That's a very good one but are there any non-evil anti-army spells?

Well, Storm of Vengeance springs to mind, though thats probably overkill. What level is the average soldier?

Hell, any area effect cast by a level 20 caster will kill an army if they are low enough level. Or, as someone else pointed out, a few walls of flame will keep an army in one place and the caster could then just spam fireballs to wipe it out.

Summon Swarm is good, since melee types are really weak against swarms. Warlocks are a bit better though, since there's no limit on the number of times it can summon a swarm.

A somewhat less effective, but more fun thing would be to summon a djinni, and make it transform into a whirlwind, then run rampant through the army. Laugh as thousands of barbarians and fighters get sucked into the air.

Parvum
2008-01-20, 05:20 PM
War Spells, specifically designed for grand-scale murder.

I can't recall all spells, but two are 'teleport legion' and 'create undead army'. Expensive, but a simple answer to 'how to fight an army'.

kamikasei
2008-01-20, 05:23 PM
No high level caster would just let an army of mooks wander up to whatever they're protecting. And Firestorm is a nice spell for large area highly disheartening spell smashing. Remember your magic doesn't have to kill them all at once, just kill enough of them loudly enough and the rest will wet themselves and leg it.:smallbiggrin:

...Yes? So you agree that chain-reactioning the army into wights isn't a good idea, then?

Jack_Simth
2008-01-20, 05:24 PM
Shapechange.
Turn into something Large, tough, flying, and with Regeneration, and you're pretty much set.

Gate or Greater Planar Binding:
Call a Pit Fiend. It flies, has Fireball as an at-will spell-like ability, and it regenerates. Have it zap away from a thousand feet up. Should do the job, sooner or later.

Elemental Swarm:
Eh, not really the best, but it can get the job done.

FinalJustice
2008-01-20, 05:27 PM
Blackfire (SC). It's not THAT effective, but it is awesome in many levels. Its duration is round/level, you make medium ranged touch attack against some one, setting it on a black fire that will cause 1d4 con damage and nauseate him, a Fort negates the damage and makes the subject sickened instead of nauseated, three consecutive successes end the fire for that person. Every round, everyone adjacent to the subject that fails on a Reflex save catches on fire too. For an 8th level spell, it sucks hard, for an army of mooks, badass. Overfly them, invisible, and drop three extended Blackfires on the points the troops are most close to each other. Chances are, if the army marches really packed, half of the army engulfed in badass black flames of doom, the ones whose con drop to zero turning into piles of ashes. Screams badass to me.

Saph
2008-01-20, 05:28 PM
Oh, all right, if you want to do it with spells:

20th-level druid. Cast Shambler (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/shambler.htm). That summons 1d4+2 shambling mounds, which last seven days each. You should be able to cast it five times or so per day, so spend a couple of days before the army arrives getting yourself ten castings worth of the spell, which should give you 40-50 shambling mounds.

Then unleash then on your opponents and watch the slaughter. You can buff the mounds to make them unkillable if you want, but it's probably not necessary. To speed things up, cast Shapechange as well, turn into a giant dragon of your choice, and wipe them out.

Should only take an hour or so to get them to break and run. There are faster ways to do it, but this one's core-only, and like I said, it really is like shooting fish in a barrel - you have to try hard to lose.

- Saph

AslanCross
2008-01-20, 05:38 PM
Fire storm has a pretty massive area of effect, though it's a divine spell.
Cloudkill might also be very good, as it "drifts." Once it hits the frontline, the people there will either drop dead or start running away (and tripping over the dead bodies). The army would definitely start panicking especially if they've never faced magic before.

If you really want to be evil (vile), use BoVD's apocalypse from the sky. It only deals 10d6 damage, but the area of effect is several miles and it harms vegetation (which fire storm may or may not do)

GoC
2008-01-20, 05:39 PM
War Spells, specifically designed for grand-scale murder.

I can't recall all spells, but two are 'teleport legion' and 'create undead army'. Expensive, but a simple answer to 'how to fight an army'.

Very interesting. Where are these from?

Jack_Simth: I banned Gate and houseruled Shapechange to be like polymorph so I don't want to break my own rules.

Saph: Against 10,000 troups (and all the officers) I'm not sure 20 shamblers can do the trick... I'll mark this as a possible.

Pronounceable
2008-01-20, 05:43 PM
What's the best spell or combination of spells to use against a standard medieval army (consisting of just warriors/fighters/barbarians)?

Geas their liege. There, it's your army now...

AslanCross
2008-01-20, 05:44 PM
Fire storm has a pretty massive area of effect, though it's a divine spell.
Cloudkill might also be very good, as it "drifts." Once it hits the frontline, the people there will either drop dead or start running away (and tripping over the dead bodies). The army would definitely start panicking especially if they've never faced magic before.

If you really want to be evil (vile), use BoVD's apocalypse from the sky. It only deals 10d6 damage, but the area of effect is several miles and it harms vegetation (which fire storm may or may not do)

PirateMonk
2008-01-20, 05:44 PM
Cloudkill would take ages to kill 10,000 people.

What makes you say that?

tyckspoon
2008-01-20, 05:44 PM
Summon Monster (5 or higher) for piles of Air Elementals. Get them to use their Whirlwind ability and just run back and forth over the enemy. Or get a bunch of something with Trample (Rhinos?) and let them run around. Wall of Fire has already been mentioned. Circle of Death has a pretty good area of effect, but costly material component means it's probably not the best choice.

AslanCross
2008-01-20, 05:45 PM
Fire storm has a pretty massive area of effect, though it's a divine spell.
Cloudkill might also be very good, as it "drifts." Once it hits the frontline, the people there will either drop dead or start running away (and tripping over the dead bodies). The army would definitely start panicking especially if they've never faced magic before.

If you really want to be evil (vile), use BoVD's apocalypse from the sky. It only deals 10d6 damage, but the area of effect is several miles and it harms vegetation (which fire storm may or may not do)

Laurellien
2008-01-20, 05:45 PM
I'm deadly serious when I say locate city.

bugsysservant
2008-01-20, 05:47 PM
If you really want to be evil (vile), use BoVD's apocalypse from the sky. It only deals 10d6 damage, but the area of effect is several miles and it harms vegetation (which fire storm may or may not do)

I thought it was 10 miles/level but you needed to sacrifice an artifact to cast it. It would easily do the trick, but if we're allowing artifacts, there isn't much you can't do, especially at 20th level.

holywhippet
2008-01-20, 05:54 PM
Use an illusion spell (silent image even?) to create the illusion of a clear and open path ahead of the army. In truth, they will be marching off a cliff. If no cliff is there naturally, make one (lots of disintegrate spells maybe?). To stop the screams of the falling soldiers from alerting the rest, use a series of silence spells.

You could also prepare a lot of earthquake spells I suppose.

AslanCross
2008-01-20, 05:59 PM
I thought it was 10 miles/level but you needed to sacrifice an artifact to cast it. It would easily do the trick, but if we're allowing artifacts, there isn't much you can't do, especially at 20th level.

That's true, I was just speaking from memory. I just looked at the book again. A lv 20 caster can fry every low-level creature in a 400-mile diameter circle, but he needs to sacrifice an artifact and get nasty stat drains just for preparing the spell, and he has to remember to cast spells that'll allow him to survive the nuke. (an energy immunity might be in order).

....I'd go with fire storm. Two 10-foot cubes/caster level at 1d6 damage/caster level would be utterly devastating to an army of Lv 1 Warriors.

Citizen Jenkins
2008-01-20, 06:02 PM
Might I suggest the following three-point plan,

1. Train/summon/dominate a couple of Huge animal with trample (preferably elephants)

2. Cast Animal Growth

3. Re-enact your favorite scenes from Return of the King

But unless you want to have some fun with these guys, I would just use Greater Planar Binding to bring in some nasty extraplanar thing (Marilith 16-HD, Pit Fiend 18-HD) to deal with all of them. That way you can go do something else.

PirateMonk
2008-01-20, 06:03 PM
I'm deadly serious when I say locate city.

It depends on where you are, if you accidentally catch allies in the blast it could be bad.

GoC
2008-01-20, 06:11 PM
Citizen Jenkins: I love it! That's just cool enought that my players can suspend disbelief.

holywhippet:Another very good idea!

Keep it up!

Nermy
2008-01-20, 06:20 PM
Tsunami (Spell Compendium pg 224)

20-ft./level-wide, 10-ft.-long, 40-ft.-high wave of water that travels at a speed of 60 ft per round dealing 1d6 bludgeoning damage per caster level to anything in its way.

So at level 20 it would be 400 ft wide and deal 20d6 to anything in its way and would travel up to 1200 ft (at the end of 20 rounds). Also, any huge or smaller creature has a chance of getting picked up by the wave and taking damage each round.

Druid spell list only though.

GoC
2008-01-20, 06:23 PM
Tsunami (Spell Compendium pg 224)

20-ft./level-wide, 10-ft.-long, 40-ft.-high wave of water that travels at a speed of 60 ft per round dealing 1d6 bludgeoning damage per caster level to anything in its way.

So at level 20 it would be 400 ft wide and deal 20d6 to anything in its way and would travel up to 1200 ft (at the end of 20 rounds). Also, any huge or smaller creature has a chance of getting picked up by the wave and taking damage each round.

Druid spell list only though.

Holy *beep*!:smalleek:
Why is it non-wizards (and druids in particular) have the best anti-army spells?

EDIT: Found a good spell!
Use widened Control Winds (huge 1600ft radius) at tornado strength to make every soldier get swept towards the center of the effect (taking bludgioning damage the whole way) then being thrown up into the air to land in a heap on the 50ft radius eye... Then watch as trees and other unpleasant objects get thrown on top of the survivors!
After three hours of fun, Fire Storm/Storm of Vengeance the massive pile of debris.:smallcool:

Wow, I could combine this with Tsunami's and garguantan elephants for overkill effect!

BloodyAngel
2008-01-20, 06:25 PM
10,000 eh? Well... the trick to beating a force that big isn't to just spray area damage over everyone until they're dead. Break their morale so they scatter and flee. Use your power on the commanders, and use demoralizing tactics over presenting a nice fat target. (Hey! That wizard is raining fire on us... fire the catapults!) Here's my ideas.

Incite Riot - 5th level (PHB2) Every warrior in a 30' radius starts beating the crap out of each other. After a few incite riots, start using suggestion on people. "The commanders can't keep order, how the heck are we going to take this place!?" Hell, a well-timed "suggestion" that the general scream like a girl and wet his pants when he "finds out" that you are fighting against him can do wonder to screw up morale.

Plague - 8th level (PHB2) Just what it sounds like... Highly nasty and terminal... just wait it out.

Dragonshape - 9th level (PHB2) Again... just what it sounds like.

Wish/Miracle - "I wish there was a large gorge between us and that incoming army" followed eventually by "Man, i wish that gorge that those guys are climbing through was full of lava". Honestly... wish is almost too easy.

Antipathy - It's the oddest thing sir... our troops refuse to go near the city gates.

Dominate - Make their commander do whatever seems most hilarious at the time... preferably executing his innocent soldiers for fake reasons. Dominate a lower-ranking leader to mutiny. Dominate the leaders into cutting rations to almost nothing. Anything to sew uncertainty and anger amongst the troops.

Symbol of Insanity - Just look at Xykon. Now keep in mind that you can do that many, many times.

Demand - A fun way to send a suggestion spell to the enemy leaders. "Suggest" the same sorts of things as Dominate, above.

Greater Planar Ally - Have a few outsiders fight for you. Works best of said invading army is the sort that would hesitate to attack celestials. If not... hell.

Elemental Swarm - The average soldier can't do much to an elemental. Just scry out where the leaders with the nifty magic and the like are... and place the elementals far, far from them.

Don't forget the possiblity of using illusions to appear in the shy above the party, using whatever threats you can to convince them to flee. Won't work at first... until the plagues hit, and the elementals attack... and the commanders start killing their men. If the army believes itself to be righteous, have the illusion claim to speak for one of the benevolent gods. If not, claim that the 14,872 horrors of the demon-prince Asmodeus will be called upon them if they choose to attack. Then Planar Ally some demons.

Or just alter the terrain to bottle-neck them, stack it with symbols and explosive runes... hurtle spells of DOOM at them... and summon critters to mop up the ones who somehow make it. Really... it's staggeringly easy to obliterate an army when you're a 20th level caster.

Jack_Simth
2008-01-20, 06:25 PM
Jack_Simth: I banned Gate and houseruled Shapechange to be like polymorph so I don't want to break my own rules.
Greater Planar Binding, then - same effect, just takes longer to cast and is riskier; you'll want to grab Moment of Prescience to make the opposed Charisma check easier. Rules out the Solar, though - you're stuck with a Pit Fiend or a Planetar as about the top of the line critters. Pit Fiend (evil, unfortunately) being the one that can do it most effectively - Fly a thousand feet up to be out of range of most effects they can manage, zap away with caster level 18 Fireballs.

There will be repercussions later, of course, but it's doable.

Chancellor
2008-01-20, 06:33 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the humble Wall spells, i.e. Wall of Fire, Wall of Ice, Wall of Stone, etc. In actual play against hordes of creatures I have found that Wall of Fire works the best, and you can easily increase the range by Enlarging it. Also it can be made permanent, so unless they have a way to fly above it that army is gonna have a hard time reaching you.

GoC
2008-01-20, 06:42 PM
*snip*

These are all excellent/amazing/incredible/awesome/fantastic ideas!!!:smallcool: :smallcool:
You're pretty good at this. Run a scenario like this before?

bugsysservant
2008-01-20, 06:46 PM
Ooh, for fun: widened symbol of persuasion. Core only, you scribe it on something mobile, then just walk toward the army. Anybody within 120 feet is charmed for 10 minutes/CL. Order your army to attack their former comrades and continue advancing. Make it a sorceror for any charisma check mutinies.

seedjar
2008-01-20, 06:46 PM
I don't have any ideas that I believe would be especially effective, but if you had the time, Mind Seed would be an interesting approach. :)
~Joe

Jack_Simth
2008-01-20, 06:48 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the humble Wall spells, i.e. Wall of Fire, Wall of Ice, Wall of Stone, etc. In actual play against hordes of creatures I have found that Wall of Fire works the best, and you can easily increase the range by Enlarging it. Also it can be made permanent, so unless they have a way to fly above it that army is gonna have a hard time reaching you.
Well... Enlarge does increase the range, but not the length. The big issue, though, is that against an army of 10,000, you're going to have some issues bottling them all up, even with Wall of Fire.

Hmm... assuming they're ideally packed into a formation based on one person to a five-foot square, you're catch 160 in the 2d4 area and 160 in the 1d4 area with each casting - you'll need 36 castings to get them all singed, and few of them will die of it on the first round... but the walls will last long enough that you'll be able to wipe out most everyone in the center of the formation before they can escape.

Wall of Fire goes best at bottlenecks - it's a deterrent, not an offensive spell.

bugsysservant
2008-01-20, 06:55 PM
Just out of curiosity, why do you want ways to wipe out an army with a level 20 caster? I assume you're DMing, so by offering you suggestions, are we screwing your group?

Zeful
2008-01-20, 06:57 PM
My answer would be to divine the army position, time stop, teleport in then hop in an extended rope trick or MMM and start hurling transdimensional Evocations and debuffs at the army. Greater invisibility and wail of the banshee might help as would things like dominate any opposing casters.

Illiterate Scribe
2008-01-20, 06:58 PM
10,000 eh? Well... the trick to beating a force that big isn't to just spray area damage over everyone until they're dead.

It's certainly a feasible plan, though.

A Lyre of building/move earth can stop them fairly easily, too.

GoC
2008-01-20, 06:59 PM
Hmm... assuming they're ideally packed into a formation based on one person to a five-foot square,

Very unlikely. Far more likely is one person per 10ft square on average. But yes, wall of fire is for bottlenecks not offence.

bugsysservant: Simply awesome...
And: MUAHAHAHAHA!

Lochar
2008-01-20, 07:09 PM
10,000 level 1-3 mooks?

I don't even need a caster.

Level 20 Fighter with Great Cleave and a weapon.


If you want to do it with spells, a continuous item Symbol of Insanity, make a few of them, set them to overlap in a mile long range, trigger them all.

slexlollar89
2008-01-20, 07:09 PM
armies need suplies right? A traveling force of 10K is going to have a miniature city of vendors, craftors, and general poachers to support/steal/mooch off them, so just have a bunch commoners go through the army camp disguised as vendors, when in actuallity their carts all have various symbol spells on them. While all this goes on, toss in a few more mass suggestions and a hail of random evocation/conjuration and you win.

mostlyharmful
2008-01-20, 07:11 PM
There's also the very funky halasters fetch series of spells from the waterdeep book. the series of summon monster line bumped up three levels in terms of what you can summon but the critters stay around after the duration of a normal summon and you lose control. perfect for a good aligned wizard, just spend a few months memorizing nothing but Halasters Fetch 6 and have an army of hundreds of lantern archons to protect your city. They might be piddly individually but 400 touch attacks per round will plaster pretty much anything.

bugsysservant
2008-01-20, 07:19 PM
How about just Sympathying a few key locations, then when everyone's bunched together, Meteor swarming them? Its a bit pricey, but well within the reach of a 20th level caster.

GoC
2008-01-20, 07:23 PM
10,000 level 1-3 mooks?

No, there'll be offcers. They won't have magic items except weapons and armor though.
The general and his advisors (read PCs) are level 12-14.

bugsysservant
2008-01-20, 07:43 PM
No, there'll be offcers. They won't have magic items except weapons and armor though.
The general and his advisors (read PCs) are level 12-14.

Wait, you have a group of PCs, the highest of which is level 14, leading an army of mooks, without any specific war related equipment or items, and you're throwing a level 20 caster at them, specifically built using the best ideas of dozens of posters, to defeat them? Might I hazard a guess that one of your players is going out with an old ex of yours?

GoC
2008-01-20, 07:46 PM
Wait, you have a group of PCs, the highest of which is level 14, leading an army of mooks, without any specific war related equipment or items, and you're throwing a level 20 caster at them, specifically built using the best ideas of dozens of posters, to defeat them? Might I hazard a guess that one of your players is going out with an old ex of yours?

No comment. All I can say is the PCs have completely ruined any semblance of a plot. Whoever said railroads are a bad idea never had PCs like these...

konfeta
2008-01-20, 07:56 PM
The real question then, is, does Mr.TPKDM want the army dispersed, the army killed, PCs scared ****less, or PCs dead?

GoC
2008-01-20, 08:03 PM
The real question then, is, does Mr.TPKDM want the army dispersed, the army killed, PCs scared ****less, or PCs dead?

Preferably the third but the fourth is fine too.
That's why I liked the idea of a series of spells that cause a wierd tornado that grabs all the army piles it and all the debris in a 50ft circle, sets fire to it, washes it away to spread it out a bit and then tramples the remains under a stampede of massive elephants.:smallbiggrin:

Nermy
2008-01-20, 08:05 PM
To be extra cruel, set up a level 13 UMD optimized Rogue to cast the army-shattering spells and then tell them their army got destroyed by a level appropriate encounter.

FinalJustice
2008-01-20, 08:14 PM
Question 1) The PCs screwed the plans/plot, which option from the below do is the best fitting for handling the situation:

1) Railroad the hell out of them. Their characters are just some sort of intra-audience for The Plot, so there's no objective reason for they to have free will, they must enjoy the game obediently.

2)They re leading an 10,000 army? Show them how puny they and they ridiculous army are, they will see TRUE POWER as my TPKNPC decimates until the very last of the 10,005 men with his totally balanced arcane might. It will lots of fun, for everyone!

3)Sit and talk to the players, explain them what makes you unhappy about your game and why in a reasonable manner. Discuss with them ways to settle the things and make your game fun for everyone on the table. If it's impossible, just drop the game and go hang out or play some video games, it's just a game, if it can't be fun, it can't be.

GoC
2008-01-20, 08:21 PM
FinalJustice: I did warn them that the country had a powerful ally. It's not my fault they decided to continue anyway...

Meh, I'd better give them some way of stopping this massacre... ideas?
Maybe an initial display of power and then the druid comes out to negotiate?

Citizen Jenkins
2008-01-20, 08:25 PM
Then I would say that you've got is just fine, presuming you run it right. After all, that tornado should do at least 10d6 damage, then the Tsunami does 20d6 (I think), then at least another 10d6 from burning everything, then 20-30 trampling damage. If you run that straight, you'll have a TPK without the PCs being able to do a thing.

If you space those events out a bit, and make the focus not beating whatever is throwing these things around but just surviving them, then that could actually be fun. After all, I doubt that the PC wizard/cleric has prepared enough defensive spells to keep the whole party safe, so having the PCs find a way to safely strap themselves down through the hurricane, then duck for cover from the flames, then somehow ride out the tsunami, then run from/kill the elephants could be fun. Just make sure there's a way for them to survive all of these, otherwise your players won't have any fun. For added fun, give them bonus points if they manage to save some important NPC along with themselves.

Just looking through that, I'd throw a widened earthquake in there, just to round out the Captain Planet theme. Maybe when it's over you could yell "Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! Heart!"

GoC
2008-01-20, 08:33 PM
Then I would say that you've got is just fine, presuming you run it right. After all, that tornado should do at least 10d6 damage, then the Tsunami does 20d6 (I think), then at least another 10d6 from burning everything, then 20-30 trampling damage. If you run that straight, you'll have a TPK without the PCs being able to do a thing.

If you space those events out a bit, and make the focus not beating whatever is throwing these things around but just surviving them, then that could actually be fun. After all, I doubt that the PC wizard/cleric has prepared enough defensive spells to keep the whole party safe, so having the PCs find a way to safely strap themselves down through the hurricane, then duck for cover from the flames, then somehow ride out the tsunami, then run from/kill the elephants could be fun. Just make sure there's a way for them to survive all of these, otherwise your players won't have any fun. For added fun, give them bonus points if they manage to save some important NPC along with themselves.

Just looking through that, I'd throw a widened earthquake in there, just to round out the Captain Planet theme. Maybe when it's over you could yell "Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! Heart!"
XD
Ok, that's the plan then.
What should I use for Heart?:smallwink:

bugsysservant
2008-01-20, 08:37 PM
XD
Ok, that's the plan then.
What should I use for Heart?:smallwink:

Blackfire. For the irony.

Quellian-dyrae
2008-01-20, 08:38 PM
If you're still taking suggestions...Sunburst. 80' radius, 6d6 even against living foes. If we're talking a "standard medieval army" (i.e. everyone packed in orderly rows and columns) that's ~1,000 targets assuming one soldier to a five foot square. Whether or not armies actually march in five-foot-per-soldier units is debatable; you could probably get double that with a more tightly-packed formation. Make the char a warmage, toss in Sudden Maximize, Sudden Widen, and Extra Edge, Greater Spell Focus (Evocation), you can probably pull a good 45 or so damage to anywhere from a quarter to half the army, depending on formation, with a single casting. That should auto-kill even the 5% who make their saves. Oh, and it's from a quarter mile away and there isn't even a little projectile thing to tell them what direction it's coming from. If the leaders are in the burst, they shouldn't die, but may very well be permanently blinded. It basically goes like this: "Everyone roll Reflex saves. Okay, a bright white light fills the air around you. Half your army dies instantly, the other half flees in abject terror, and those of you who failed your saves are now blind. Roll initiative."

Whether you actually finish the slaughter or not is then solely at your discretion.

EDIT: And...since you don't seem to still be taking suggestions...just consider this a public service announcement from the Association Of Things That Work Even Better Against Armies Of Zombies.

GoC
2008-01-20, 08:52 PM
If you're still taking suggestions...Sunburst. 80' radius, 6d6 even against living foes. If we're talking a "standard medieval army" (i.e. everyone packed in orderly rows and columns) that's ~1,000 targets assuming one soldier to a five foot square. Whether or not armies actually march in five-foot-per-soldier units is debatable; you could probably get double that with a more tightly-packed formation. Make the char a warmage, toss in Sudden Maximize, Sudden Widen, and Extra Edge, Greater Spell Focus (Evocation), you can probably pull a good 45 or so damage to anywhere from a quarter to half the army, depending on formation, with a single casting. That should auto-kill even the 5% who make their saves. Oh, and it's from a quarter mile away and there isn't even a little projectile thing to tell them what direction it's coming from. If the leaders are in the burst, they shouldn't die, but may very well be permanently blinded. It basically goes like this: "Everyone roll Reflex saves. Okay, a bright white light fills the air around you. Half your army dies instantly, the other half flees in abject terror, and those of you who failed your saves are now blind. Roll initiative."

Whether you actually finish the slaughter or not is then solely at your discretion.

EDIT: And...since you don't seem to still be taking suggestions...just consider this a public service announcement from the Association Of Things That Work Even Better Against Armies Of Zombies.
I combined various suggestions to create a really nasty spell combo that does 40d6 damage over 400x the area of a Sunburst spell.
Meet the TPKer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3812635&postcount=43).:smallamused:

Rutee
2008-01-20, 09:03 PM
No comment. All I can say is the PCs have completely ruined any semblance of a plot. Whoever said railroads are a bad idea never had PCs like these...

Just restart if it's that bad. Jeez, this is just vindictive.

Besides, you shouldn't need help, you're the GM. If you absolutely must kill these people in a railroad, just drop rocks on them. You'll have shown to them that you have the decency to just end it, rather then giving them the illusion of a chance.


FinalJustice: I did warn them that the country had a powerful ally. It's not my fault they decided to continue anyway...
"Powerful Ally" somehow doesn't quite equate to "I'm going to kill you if you do this, so stop now".

FinalJustice
2008-01-20, 09:10 PM
FinalJustice: I did warn them that the country had a powerful ally. It's not my fault they decided to continue anyway...

Meh, I'd better give them some way of stopping this massacre... ideas?
Maybe an initial display of power and then the druid comes out to negotiate?

Doesn't matter if you warned them or not, if you are not having fun DMing, talk to them, is better than aiming for WTFPWN the party for deciding to go to war with a 10,000 army. In the way you're putting it, if all they know is that they have 'a powerful ally'. Well, each one of them has got, say, three/four powerful allies, 12th level ones minimum, and a huge army for crying it out loud.

If you've let things real clear for them, if they even imagine the enemy has one high level spellcaster as a major ally, expect some anti-caster tactics, like AMF, for instance. Things will get real ugly for you if these guys manage to bring down your NPC, and since he will be expending most of his magical prowess in the task of single-handely taking out an army, he may be short of resources to deal with a bunch of 12~14 level pissed PCs.

Balkash
2008-01-20, 09:13 PM
I read at some point you had a series of spells that sucked everything into the centre of a tornado or something? Could you place a reality maelstrom in the centre of the tornado? Or could reality maelstrom be of use? Its good if you can use wind or something to push the army into it.

RTGoodman
2008-01-20, 09:17 PM
XD
Ok, that's the plan then.
What should I use for Heart?:smallwink:

Um... avasculate? :smallbiggrin:

BloodyAngel
2008-01-20, 09:23 PM
These are all excellent/amazing/incredible/awesome/fantastic ideas!!!:smallcool: :smallcool:
You're pretty good at this. Run a scenario like this before?

Thanks... I play a lot of casters. You should have seen the havoc I brought on an amry sieging our keep in the last game I played. Large-scale battle is what casters are meant for. And it boggles the mind that casters in D&D are so potent that they can destroy armies that large... alone.

Not that you need to kill them all... a force that large will break once it starts losing troops in droves and is unable to successfully retaliate. Don't go for slaughter... go for demoralizing. I'm infamous for getting spells that kill people in utterly horrific ways. But then... I was a blood magus. :smallamused:

Edit: I'm totally with the people who are against this, actually. If you just want to wipe out the party... you're the DM. If you want to do it by the rules, to prove some kind of point... well... that's just going to cause bad-blood. Just restart the game, and don't make the same mistakes next time... and if the players are problematic... talk to them, and if they're not willing to change... tell them to pack their bags. That, or play a game so unfamiliar to them that they can't twink the heck out of it.

"That's it. Until you all stop being such lame twink morons... We play Bunnies and Burrows!"

Patashu
2008-01-20, 09:27 PM
If you have a high level warlock, you can fly around invisible spamming Utterdark/Eldritch cone blasts. Everyone who's level one and all level two people who fail their saves in a 30-foot cone become wights through negative levels. The wights then make more wights, and so on and so forth.

Doesn't that leave the problem of how you're going to stop an army of 10,000 wights?

Green Bean
2008-01-20, 09:29 PM
Doesn't that leave the problem of how you're going to stop an army of 10,000 wights?

You can't make an omelet without creating a few unstoppable armies of death.

Animefunkmaster
2008-01-20, 09:30 PM
Isn't there a spell called "Blackfire" which spreads from person to person if they don't make their saves, dealing either negative levels, or negative energy damage (I forget)? Because that would pretty much wipe out a low level, low save army in one go.

I like this idea becuase it will keep the army busy with the whights of there fallen comrades (even 100 level 1 archers can be a problem sometime, if they get a round to act).


My contribution:
A Simple Control wind (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/controlWinds.htm).
With a caster level of 15 you create a tornado (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/weather.htm#tableWindEffects).

With a tornado, all ranged attacks/listen checks are impossible. Creatures that are large size or smaller must make a dc 30 (not a typo) or be sucked into the tornadoe (1d10 rounds, dealing 6d6 damage per round, falling damage applies after there trip), the tornadoe was a movement speed of 250 ft per round. You control said tornadoe for 10min/caster level (requires concentration to have it change directions) and within an area of 40ft per caster level.

Edit: Hmmm someone beat me to it, good. I want to see this spell used more often.

GoC
2008-01-20, 09:36 PM
Edit: I'm totally with the people who are against this, actually. If you just want to wipe out the party... you're the DM. If you want to do it by the rules, to prove some kind of point... well... that's just going to cause bad-blood. Just restart the game, and don't make the same mistakes next time... and if the players are problematic... talk to them, and if they're not willing to change... tell them to pack their bags. That, or play a game so unfamiliar to them that they can't twink the heck out of it.

Read post 68. This goes for FinalJustice and Rutee too.


"That's it. Until you all stop being such lame twink morons... We play Bunnies and Burrows!"
LOL!

Animefunkmaster:Control Winds is the destroyer of armies...

Balkash:Reality Maelstrom is a sorc/wiz spell. The other spells need a druid.

Jack_Simth
2008-01-20, 09:40 PM
After all, I doubt that the PC wizard/cleric has prepared enough defensive spells to keep the whole party safe
Wall of Force / Resilient Sphere / Forcecage.

Resilient Sphere is particularly useful for this because while it targets a single character, the radius is such that multiple PC's can shelter in it. Assuming a 12th level Wizard, that 12 foot diameter sphere can contain four medium characters fairly easily.

FinalJustice
2008-01-20, 09:48 PM
I've read it, but it doesn't really seems you want to introduce dramatically an über BBEG by making him nuke the PCs army, giving them a run for their life etc... Seems like you want to TPK them real hard, but if they escape, fine, just pretend it is storytelling. Playing the TPK cat and rat with your group, IMHO, doesn't sound like it will bring fun for anyone, so I strongly advise some conversation and agreement. ^^'

GoC
2008-01-20, 09:54 PM
I've read it, but it doesn't really seems you want to introduce dramatically an über BBEG by making him nuke the PCs army, giving them a run for their life etc... Seems like you want to TPK them real hard, but if they escape, fine, just pretend it is storytelling. Playing the TPK cat and rat with your group, IMHO, doesn't sound like it will bring fun for anyone, so I strongly advise some conversation and agreement. ^^'

Umm...
Here's the plan:


If you space those events out a bit, and make the focus not beating whatever is throwing these things around but just surviving them, then that could actually be fun. After all, I doubt that the PC wizard/cleric has prepared enough defensive spells to keep the whole party safe, so having the PCs find a way to safely strap themselves down through the hurricane, then duck for cover from the flames, then somehow ride out the tsunami, then run from/kill the elephants could be fun. Just make sure there's a way for them to survive all of these, otherwise your players won't have any fun. For added fun, give them bonus points if they manage to save some important NPC along with themselves.
Note that I no longer want a TPK.

purplearcanist
2008-01-20, 09:56 PM
FinalJustice: I did warn them that the country had a powerful ally. It's not my fault they decided to continue anyway...

Meh, I'd better give them some way of stopping this massacre... ideas?
Maybe an initial display of power and then the druid comes out to negotiate?

How about continually attacking them with different challenges? First, the 20th level wizard will make it known to the players that if the army surrenders, the general and the PC's will be set free. If the party insists on continuing to attack, place challenges on the army. Some of these should be random encounters that attack this army. Others should be indirect attacks by the wizard on the general and the PC's, as the wizard wants to give them a chance to resign. Some examples of this are summoned monsters, a charm effect on the general, etc. If the army gets extremely close to a city in this country, the wizard will personally show no mercy and destroy the army, using any means necessary. And give the PC's 0 XP for surviving these challenges.

FinalJustice
2008-01-20, 10:05 PM
Sooo, if you no longer aims for TPK and thinks it will be fun, I wish you good luck and a good game, seriously, with this plan, good chances it will be fun. =D

Ganurath
2008-01-20, 10:14 PM
Druid has Shadow Landscape from Complete Divine. Wizard can open a Gate over the army to the Elemental Plane of Fire... inside one of the lakes. Cleric can make a Miracle happen. Bard can Control Weather to unleash a tornado.

bugsysservant
2008-01-20, 10:14 PM
And give the PC's 0 XP for surviving these challenges.

Now that is needlessly vindictive to the point of illogical.

"Yes, that battle against the Pit Fiend was difficult, and should have been way too much, but we've triumphed!"
"Yeah, um, no xp."
"WHAT!?!"
"Well, that last blow? It knocked you on the head. Unfortunately, you seem to have forgotten everything you learned during the battle."
"DAMN IT! Not again!"

purplearcanist
2008-01-20, 10:25 PM
Now that is needlessly vindictive to the point of illogical.

"Yes, that battle against the Pit Fiend was difficult, and should have been way too much, but we've triumphed!"
"Yeah, um, no xp."
"WHAT!?!"
"Well, that last blow? It knocked you on the head. Unfortunately, you seem to have forgotten everything you learned during the battle."
"DAMN IT! Not again!"

Ok, ignore that.:smallbiggrin:

Goats_o_Mjolnir
2008-01-20, 10:37 PM
I would hold the army in one place, then drop legions of portable holes and bags of holding. Hello vortex minefield

Chronos
2008-01-20, 11:00 PM
I find it amusing that folks are dismissing Wall of Fire as being "not for offense", but simultaneously praising Firestorm. Look over those areas of effect again, everyone: Even without considering the persistence, Wall of Fire hits twice the area that Firestorm does, right from the start. The trade-off, of course, is that it's not shapeable, but in an army that size, you're sure to find some place to drop it where none of the area will go to waste. And the damage is a lot lower than Firestorm, but it's still enough to kill 1st-level mooks. This might actually be doubly good, if you want to kill off the army but leave the PCs alive.

sikyon
2008-01-20, 11:12 PM
Simple, use symbol of insanity Landmines. Lay a few in the army's path, with trigger conditions as "Trigger after 100 people pass over it in a 20' radius". Simple and legal. Make the first one 500 people, second one 300, third one 100 people.

Bam they go off and you have a permanently insane section of the army fighting the others. No HP limit even. Ad infinitum.

AslanCross
2008-01-20, 11:37 PM
There's also the incite riot spell from PHBII. Apocalypse from the sky would've been awesome (A 20th level caster would deal 10d6 damage to everything within a 200 mile radius.) However, it does cost an artifact, in addition to various ability damage effects just from preparing the spell. Keeping it in your mind also hits you more every day, and the final casting takes off even more. Not to mention it will hit you as well. Consorting with dark powers is rarely safe for one's well-being.


I'm deadly serious when I say locate city.

Ach, not that combo! :smalleek:

Ganurath
2008-01-20, 11:39 PM
Ach, not that combo! :smalleek:Care to fill in the peanut gallery?

tahu88810
2008-01-20, 11:55 PM
You can't make an omelet without creating a few unstoppable armies of death.

lol
is it ok if I put that in my sig? (quoted of course)

that was awsome...

Chibiqueso
2008-01-21, 12:01 AM
Care to fill in the peanut gallery?

It's the locate city bomb.
Step 1: Locate City
Step 2: Whatever that metamagic feat that makes a spell do some slight frost damage. From frostburn, if I remember correctly.
Step 3:Energy Substitution: Electric
Step 4: Born of Three thunders
Step 5: Explosive spells.
Gives it damage, lightning descriptor for born of three thunders, which gives the reflex save for explosive, which if they fail the reflex save, forces them to the edge of the spell are while doing 1d6 damage for each 10 feet travelled. Which in the case of locate city, is massive.

Ganurath
2008-01-21, 12:17 AM
It's the locate city bomb.
Step 1: Locate City
Step 2: Whatever that metamagic feat that makes a spell do some slight frost damage. From frostburn, if I remember correctly.
Step 3:Energy Substitution: Electric
Step 4: Born of Three thunders
Step 5: Explosive spells.
Gives it damage, lightning descriptor for born of three thunders, which gives the reflex save for explosive, which if they fail the reflex save, forces them to the edge of the spell are while doing 1d6 damage for each 10 feet travelled. Which in the case of locate city, is massive.Wouldn't Control Weather be better for that?

Aquillion
2008-01-21, 12:25 AM
...Yes? So you agree that chain-reactioning the army into wights isn't a good idea, then?Not so. Just play an evil cleric and Command the initial wights as you create them. All wights they create are their slaves, so in this fashion you'll have a chain of command that puts the entire wight army under your control.

It might be a bit rougher at first, since you won't be able to command a huge number of wights at once, but if you combine controlled and uncontrolled wights, the uncontrolled ones should create enough random havock to let your controlled ones systematically get the advantage. Then you can have them slaughter the uncontrolled ones; they'll probably have more, since they were converting new wights in an organized fashion with your backup, and they'll have your backup in the confrontation, too.


Simple, use symbol of insanity Landmines. Lay a few in the army's path, with trigger conditions as "Trigger after 100 people pass over it in a 20' radius". Simple and legal. Make the first one 500 people, second one 300, third one 100 people.The symbols all have hefty material components (5000 gp for Symbol of Insanity, say.) You can't spam them... if you have that kind of money, you could just hire your own army.

I have a much simpler solution: Sympathy (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/sympathy.htm) + cloudkill. Or Sympathy plus any other similar area-of-effect doom spell. Cast sympathy on a large, easily-visible spire of some sort in the middle of an open plain, then put something deadly in the area around it. Presto, army defeated, and this has the advantage of being extremely selective in who it kills. If you had a big tower or something in the center to put the sympathy on top of, you could kill an army that has already occupied your city without harming the citizens at all. Heck, if you wanted to you could only have it kill the evil members of the army.

Adumbration
2008-01-21, 12:26 AM
Another option would be to make it a level 21 caster. With the epic spell of Rain of Fire. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/spells/rainOfFire.htm) A 2 mile radius, deals 1 damage per round for 20 hours. Reflex saves, but you have to do it many, many times. Anything with low hp and saves will die very fast, and even the high-level ones have to run through it for 2 miles before stopping hurting.

Just research it over the nine days, cast greater invisibility, teleport into the middle of the enemy camp at night, and start casting. Teleport away afterwards to a nearby cliff, watch the scenery, drink some champagne.

FinalJustice
2008-01-21, 12:45 AM
The Locate City Bomb, someone posted about it on another thread, I googled it and it seems you have your ideal spell:

1. Use the Snowcasting Metamagic(Frostburn) feat to give Locate City(RoD) the [Cold] descriptor.

2. the Flash Frost Spell (PHBII) metamagic feat to cause the spell to deal 2 points of cold damage per spell level (In this case, 1, so 2 points of damage).

3. Use the Energy Substitution (Electricity) (CArc) to cause the [Cold] descriptor to change to the [Electricity] descriptor. This may or may not change the 2 points of cold damage to Electricity damage, but it doesn't matter.

4. Apply the Born of Three Thunders (CArc, I think) metamagic feat to this monster of a spell. All it requires is that the spell has the electricity descriptor or the sonic descriptor and deals hit point damage. This causes half of the spell's damage to be electricity damage and half sonic damage, for 1 point of damage each. More importantly, it then gives the targets a Fortitude save in order to avoid being stunned for one round. If they fail this save, they then get a Reflex save to avoid being knocked prone. Both of these saves are at the same save DC as the original spell was.

5. Note that this horrible mishmash of metamagic feats now has a Reflex save.

6. Apply the Explosive Spell(CArc I think) metamagic feat to this thing. On a failed Reflex save, they're ejected to the edge of the spell, taking 1d6 damage for every 10' they traveled.

7. There are 528 10' increments in a mile, and Locate City has a radius of ten miles per level.

9. Get yourself immune to both electrical and sound damage, so YOU don't risk get blown up.

8. Put a sign: "No Trespassing. Trespassors will be nuked 200 miles away. Survivors will be nuked again."

(Note that I'm just posting this for pure fun, and, although I may like some cheese, I really don't support the use of this massive ammount of it. DO NOT USE IT!!!1!!!11one )

GoC
2008-01-21, 12:50 AM
I find it amusing that folks are dismissing Wall of Fire as being "not for offense", but simultaneously praising Firestorm. Look over those areas of effect again, everyone: Even without considering the persistence, Wall of Fire hits twice the area that Firestorm does, right from the start. The trade-off, of course, is that it's not shapeable, but in an army that size, you're sure to find some place to drop it where none of the area will go to waste. And the damage is a lot lower than Firestorm, but it's still enough to kill 1st-level mooks. This might actually be doubly good, if you want to kill off the army but leave the PCs alive.

But it's still not as good as the tornado nuke!:smallbiggrin:
Ganurath: Shadow Landscape, good one! Druids get all the army killers...

Jack Zander
2008-01-21, 01:36 AM
Level 20 NPC is no match for the dreaded commoner railgun!

Mark Hall
2008-01-21, 01:50 AM
The Locate City Bomb, someone posted about it on another thread, I googled it and it seems you have your ideal spell:

IIRC, there is actually a problem with this, and it comes ...


1. Use the Snowcasting Metamagic(Frostburn) feat to give Locate City(RoD) the [Cold] descriptor.

2. the Flash Frost Spell (PHBII) metamagic feat to cause the spell to deal 2 points of cold damage per spell level (In this case, 1, so 2 points of damage).

3. Use the Energy Substitution (Electricity) (CArc) to cause the [Cold] descriptor to change to the [Electricity] descriptor. This may or may not change the 2 points of cold damage to Electricity damage, but it doesn't matter.

Here. Once it stops having the Cold Descriptor, the Flash Frost stops working, which means you're not doing any damage. You actually need Energy Admixture, which makes it both Cold and Electricty/Sonic... and much higher level.

Khanderas
2008-01-21, 02:41 AM
But unless you want to have some fun with these guys, I would just use Greater Planar Binding to bring in some nasty extraplanar thing (Marilith 16-HD, Pit Fiend 18-HD) to deal with all of them. That way you can go do something else.
Man that would be quite the insult.
Its like you were summoned by the neighbours snotnosed pimply 9 year old, and actually forced you to step on ants for him.

Anyway I would just dominate a commander or two and start a fight between the tribes / factions (there are always factions)

Ninja Chocobo
2008-01-21, 02:55 AM
But it's still not as good as the tornado nuke!:smallbiggrin:

Combine with Control Weather to make a hailstorm or blizzard. Not only are they being flung around by tornadoes, they're also being pelted with bits of ice at terminal velocity.

Dhavaer
2008-01-21, 03:01 AM
Whirlwind of teeth is nice.

Renx
2008-01-21, 03:59 AM
I'd vote make use of chain spells. Chained Fireball should be enough ;)

I mean, the point will be that the players see the damage coming but are too far away (or spread out) to dispel. If you can just say "you see a huge wave coming towards you" and it'll wipe the army out, you'll just make them vindictive and annoyed that "the DM just decided that we don't have the army". This will ruin friendships not to mention campaigns. You'll want them to see their army being whittled away with a multitude of midlevel effects and have them wringing in anguish and feeling hopelessness creep in as their army is reduced daily by deserters.

What you haven't talked about yet is motivation. Specifically, why and how badly the army wants to take out the city. Are they mercenaries? If yes, you'll see few people desert after the first 100 or so have died, then dozens and when you've reduced the amount to about 5,000, you'll see hundreds every day. This will give the players a lot of roleplaying opportunities -- and if they screw it up, just have the army quit on them. "YOU kill the wizard, we're going home."

I'd actually recommend traps, ie stationary spells. A 100' wide 5d6 fire burst effect that activates when 100 people are in the area is relatively cheap for a level 20 wizard, say in the dozens. Have your party wizard/druid notice "the ground smells funny". Then you can also pick and choose how/where the army walks (as they start mapping out these areas) and have even more devastating effects occur there, again "when 100 or more people are in the area" as the contingency. Similarly a Rock to Mud spell on a rocky terrain will leave mooks pretty open for a dispel. Even level 12 players have their hands full getting their friends out if no one in the group has the spell.

Contingency some Cloudkills and summons here and there. No one really expects a soldier to hold his ground when a huge elemental pops out of the ground. For fun and annoyance pick mobs that the soldiers will nevereven hit, so the players will hear screaming and roaring, start running only to find a wake of chaos (say, 15 rounds for them to get there) and just when they're about to kick the summon's ass it vanishes.

I'd vote that the wizard isn't even trying to kill the entire army. He'd much rather have them live to tell why it never pays to **** with <insert country name here>

TK-Squared
2008-01-21, 07:39 AM
While you've probably already come up with your powerful control winds before, as I read, I'm going to stick my neck out here and blather my own idea.

Use a level 20 Cleric with DMM(Persistent Spell) to case a DMM(PS) Wiedened Consumptive Field on himself and just walk into the army. At +2 Strength, +1d8 Temporary Hit Points and +1 CL (upto half more) per kill and anyone under 10 HP dies with a failed will save, the Cleric's strength will skyrocket.

He should be easily able to kill everything.

Telok
2008-01-21, 08:10 AM
Spike Stones (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/spikeStones.htm)

Level 4 spell. Extend Spell, feat or rod, will kick the duration to 40 hours and it affects twenty 20x20 squares. 1d8 damage per 5 feet moved through, rogue only search check of 29 to find them, have to roll to find each casting and be searching for it. Each casting has to be individually dispelled or traveled around.

Sure it only maims or kills the first rank or soldiers to find it (depending on how fast they're going), but eight to twelve castings a day will cut down the speed of the army to about one mile per hour at best. Plus they either get lots of wounded soldiers to care for or they start losing wounded to desertion and death. Best thing about this is that it stops armies of corporeal undead (skellies and zombies at least) even better than it stops living soldiers, so necromancy is not a solution.

For more fun Maximize and Empower it, or sneak in at night and cover the camp with it. In the correct terrain Spike Growth should stack with it.

Darkantra
2008-01-21, 08:42 AM
Oh man, if you really want to screw around with the PCs, then the instant that they're in the eye of the storm you're cooking up, have your druid cast Reverse Gravity in that area.

Eight level spell, can make ten 10 ft. cubes of reversed gravity, max range of 300 ft., lasts 20 rounds, no saves or spell resistance (unless they can find some immovable object near the ground that they can hold onto).

You can leave them floating helplessly and in terror for 20 rounds while their army is mushed around them. THEN you drop the storms and bring in the elephants :smallamused:, giving the PCs enough time to fall down and stumble in the mud for a round or two before the unstoppable pachyderms rush towards them


Oh, and please post the results of this battle when it comes about :smallbiggrin:.

kentma57
2008-01-21, 08:58 AM
Cast dominate person on one of their spell casters, give him/her a wand of locate city and tell him/her to go to the center of the army and activate it as many time as posible...

PS: you should chose the caster level so that it decimates the army but none of the nearby cities.

spotmarkedx
2008-01-21, 09:21 AM
Just working from the PHB:

Don't know if its been said, but I'd go with a high level druid for this.
Start with an elemental swarm (air) or three. While waiting for the elementals to show up, spam summon nature's allys for more air elementals. Have them all go into whirlwind form. Let them descend upon the army enmasse. Meanwhile, the druid looks like a sparrow.

20th level caster? It looks something like this (I'll assume no bonus spells for now):
T-50min: Fly high in the sky above the army as a sparrow. Start casting elemental swarm #1.
T-40min: Finish elemental swarm#1, get 2d4 Large air elementals. Start casting elemental swarm #2.
T-30min: Get d4 huge elementals from the first spell, 2d4 large from the second. Start casting elemental swarm #3.
T-20min: Get 1 greater elemental from the first spell, d4 huge elementals from the second, 2d4 large from the third. Start casting Control Weather (Dr7) for morale effect and to make your call lightning storm better.
T-10min: Get 1 greater elemental from the second spell, d4 huge from the third. Start turning the skies stormy. Cast call lightning storm(Dr5) and call lightning(Dr3), wait 9 minutes.
T- 1min: Cast Summon Nature's Ally V four times for 4 large air elementals. Cast Summon Nature's Ally VI four times for 4 huge air elementals. Cast Summon Nature's Ally IX once for one elder air elemental.
Round 0: Skies turn stormy. 1 greater elemental appears. All of the elementals turn into vortexes.

You now have:
6d4+4 large elementals. These go after archers first.
3d4+4 huge elementals. These also go after archers first.
3 greater elementals. These go after cavalry.
1 elder elemental. This will go after the headquarters.
While the battle rages, you cast SNA VIII 4 times for 4d3 more greater elementals, SNA VII 3 times for 3 more greater elementals, and call 15 lightning bolts (5d10 damage each) and 10 lightning bolts (3d10 damage each) onto problem targets. If you get bored, use your third level slots for more call lightning (3d10 damage each).

Keep in mind the greater and elder elementals have DR 10/- and are not subject to criticals. The large and huge elementals have DR 5/- and are likewise immune to crits. Army units are going to have significant difficulty with these guys. In whirlwind form, the huge and better elementals are flying 100 feet a round (so picking up anywhere up to 20 guys if they are tightly formed), picking up any men, horses, etc. in their path. The are causing a reflex save of DC 22+ (read as: needing 20's for regular units), doing 2d8 damage or higher each round to the men they pick up. The large elementals save DC's are a bit easier for the army to deal with (DC16 whirlwind, can only pick up men), but still quite problematic.

You've used all of your higher level slots for this (5th and higher), but I think the devastation wrought to both the army as well as it's morale would be high. The elementals from the SNAs don't last that long, but can cause pretty high levels of devastation for the 10-20 rounds that they are active. The elemental swarms? They've got a couple hours, unless they get killed.

Disclaimer: this strategem could obviously be countered by a high-level group of PCs. Mid-level or lower would have to face the elder elemental and (likely) lose. But its a bit much to ask a single high-level caster to be able to fight an army and a group of similarly leveled PCs at the same time.

If there is a group of high-level PCs that doesn't have much mobility (for some reason), the elementals use their greater maneuverability to avoid them.

GoC
2008-01-21, 09:54 AM
I'd vote make use of chain spells. Chained Fireball should be enough ;)

I mean, the point will be that the players see the damage coming but are too far away (or spread out) to dispel. If you can just say "you see a huge wave coming towards you" and it'll wipe the army out, you'll just make them vindictive and annoyed that "the DM just decided that we don't have the army". This will ruin friendships not to mention campaigns. You'll want them to see their army being whittled away with a multitude of midlevel effects and have them wringing in anguish and feeling hopelessness creep in as their army is reduced daily by deserters.

What you haven't talked about yet is motivation. Specifically, why and how badly the army wants to take out the city. Are they mercenaries? If yes, you'll see few people desert after the first 100 or so have died, then dozens and when you've reduced the amount to about 5,000, you'll see hundreds every day. This will give the players a lot of roleplaying opportunities -- and if they screw it up, just have the army quit on them. "YOU kill the wizard, we're going home."

I'd actually recommend traps, ie stationary spells. A 100' wide 5d6 fire burst effect that activates when 100 people are in the area is relatively cheap for a level 20 wizard, say in the dozens. Have your party wizard/druid notice "the ground smells funny". Then you can also pick and choose how/where the army walks (as they start mapping out these areas) and have even more devastating effects occur there, again "when 100 or more people are in the area" as the contingency. Similarly a Rock to Mud spell on a rocky terrain will leave mooks pretty open for a dispel. Even level 12 players have their hands full getting their friends out if no one in the group has the spell.

Contingency some Cloudkills and summons here and there. No one really expects a soldier to hold his ground when a huge elemental pops out of the ground. For fun and annoyance pick mobs that the soldiers will nevereven hit, so the players will hear screaming and roaring, start running only to find a wake of chaos (say, 15 rounds for them to get there) and just when they're about to kick the summon's ass it vanishes.

I'd vote that the wizard isn't even trying to kill the entire army. He'd much rather have them live to tell why it never pays to **** with <insert country name here>
I'm not going to suddenly annihilate their army. The druid will try to warn them off with several attacks and summons first. If they listen then they can keep their army and their dignity mostly intact.

TK-Squared:Cheese!

spotmarkedx: You forgot to include an elemental monolith!
There's going to be quite a few tornados racing around the battlefield...

lord_khaine
2008-01-21, 10:03 AM
Cast dominate person on one of their spell casters, give him/her a wand of locate city and tell him/her to go to the center of the army and activate it as many time as posible...

PS: you should chose the caster level so that it decimates the army but none of the nearby cities.


that in itself wont do anything but show the spellcaster where a lot of cities are.

Ninja Chocobo
2008-01-21, 10:25 AM
@Spotmarkedx:
I, personally, would substitute Control Winds for Call Lightning Storm there.
It never hurts to have an extra, what, 6 tornadoes whirling around the battlefield...

GoC
2008-01-21, 10:48 AM
@Spotmarkedx:
I, personally, would substitute Control Winds for Call Lightning Storm there.
It never hurts to have an extra, what, 6 tornadoes whirling around the battlefield...
Do you mean substitute Call Lightning Storm for Control Winds?

Ninja Chocobo
2008-01-21, 10:57 AM
Do you mean substitute Call Lightning Storm for Control Winds?

Do I? I don't know. I mean to use CW instead of CLS. I probably need sleep.

Triaxx
2008-01-21, 10:59 AM
I've always found a minefield of Cloudkills to be terribly entertaining. And if they move too slow for you, a Gust of Wind is core and speeds the advance along. Of course, if you can lead them into a valley, you can lay down enlarged Webs and enlarged Cloudkills. Now if they just wait in the middle, they'll survive, but the advancing troops turn to run away from one cloud kill into one advancing from the other direction. Far more entertaining than just wiping out the army around them.

WrstDmEvr
2008-01-21, 11:28 AM
I'm not going to suddenly annihilate their army. The druid will try to warn them off with several attacks and summons first. If they listen then they can keep their army and their dignity mostly intact.


Or, use nonlethal substitution and increase the army of the city by 10,000.

Shovah
2008-01-21, 11:29 AM
Sorry if its been mentioned already - I don't have time to read the whole thread - but I suggest control winds.
175+ mph winds in an 800ft radius, possibly with an 80 foot diameter calm area in the center.
Consider putting something nasty - perhaps some nasty summoned creatures or even a prismatic sphere - at the center of the thing for everyone to get sucked into.

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-21, 11:58 AM
You only need one spell.

Summon Elemental Monolith. Summon an Earth Monolith. DR 15/- makes it immune to anything 10,000 suckers could do. Great Cleave and Gargantuan size lets it smash every mook in it's threatened area with ease. If the PCs come along, it just smashes them. Honestly, with 455 HP, DR 15/-, an Elemental Immunities.. It's way too powerful for a bunch of ECL 13 PCs to stop. Hit the caster with Superior Invisibility and Overland Flight to make sure he doesn't get harmed by the PCs while concentrating on his spell.

Other methods include:

Heavenly Host maximized via rod. 8 Lantern Archons and 4 Hound Archons per casting. Between their DR, at will use of aid, and aura of menace, they won't have a problem with mooks.

Hellish Horde maximized via rod. 4 Bearded Devils, 4 Chain Devils, and a Bone Devil. Have all the devils proceed to summon 10d10 Dretches. The chain devils are literally immune to anything the enemy could do. The bearded devils are abit less deadly. Bone devils are just death for mooks.

Heck. Cast Body of War. Share it with your familiar. Dismiss it on yourself. Then proceed to buff the crap out of your familiar and let it loose. Then summon an Elemental Monolith. Or use Heavenly Host, Abyssal Army, or Hellish Horde maximized via rod.

Even Summon Monster IX auto-kills mooks. Summon a Leonal. Again, DR makes it immune to mooks. Roar kills every non-good creature in 40ft. Make a Sorcerer 5/PRC X/Archmage 1 with Summon Monster IX as a spell-like ability. Pick up Quicken Spell Like Ability. Then use Versatile Spellcaster and Arcane Preparation to cast Summon Monster IX's with all your spell slots. Maximize and Quicken it with rods and summon 5 Bone Devils a round.

Alternatively.. You're the freakin' DM. He casts Total Party Kill and summons seven Pit Fiends.

spotmarkedx
2008-01-21, 12:00 PM
spotmarkedx: You forgot to include an elemental monolith!
There's going to be quite a few tornados racing around the battlefield...True enough, but I usually try to restrict myslf to mostly core. Mostly because I'm at work and thus only have access to the SRD to doublecheck spell descriptions.

And, upon reflection, yes control winds is a significantly more destructive option. It may not necessarily be the best option to use against a PC-controlled army though. Personally, as the DM in this situation, if I were running my Dr20 against this group, I'd sent the Elder Elemental (going against the HQ per my plan above, remember) against the PCs. Maybe make it earth instead of air, if I don't want to whirlwind them. That is normally a CR11 encounter (ignoring the fact that as summoned it doesn't "count"). Have the druid send occasional bolts of electricity into the party to keep them on their toes, and maybe another smaller elemental or three. The PCs have to expend resources to defend themselves, but they will likely be triumphant over the thing. Meanwhile all the other elementals trash a good part of the army.

Its also easy to escalate this scenario. First day? Only a single swarm, the weather change and some SNAs for some shorter term elementals. Then another elemental delivers a message to the PCs to turn the army back. Second day? My above plan including the lightning, then another message. Third day if they push on and morale isn't already completely broken? Replace the lightning with Control Winds for tornadoes. Or add the Elemental Monolith. Or both.

GoC
2008-01-21, 12:42 PM
Summon Elemental Monolith. Summon an Earth Monolith. DR 15/- makes it immune to anything 10,000 suckers could do.
You're forgetting the officers. Sure they won't do much against an elemental monolith but it's something to think about.

Control Winds is probably the most blatently overpowered spell in core.
For a 13th level caster it's 400 times the size of anything else, protects the caster from arrows and is a save or suck/die with a save DC of 30.

EDIT: And it's got good range, excellent versatility (better than anything except polymorph) and battlefield control.
Druids were overpowered enough.:smalleek:

Chronos
2008-01-21, 01:23 PM
Hellish Horde maximized via rod. 4 Bearded Devils, 4 Chain Devils, and a Bone Devil. Have all the devils proceed to summon 10d10 Dretches.Assuming that Hellish Horde is a summoning spell, not a calling spell, this doesn't work. Summoned creatures can't use any summoning abilities they themselves have. Many DMs will extend this restriction to called creatures, too, though it's not explicitly stated in the rules.

Severus
2008-01-21, 01:35 PM
What's the best spell or combination of spells to use against a standard medieval army (consisting of just warriors/fighters/barbarians)?

Situation is one 20th level caster vs. an army of 10,000 men that's trying to get to and invade another country. Caster would prefer to remain anonymous.

I think the points made above are the relevant ones. You want spells with cascade effects. Disease, undead, contagious curses and the like.

Eorran
2008-01-21, 01:54 PM
Keep in mind that defeating an army of 10,000 doesn't mean killing 10,000 people. Realistically, an army that takes about 30% casualties is probably going to surrender. Historic battles that were remarkable in terms of lost lives usually lost about 50% of their forces.
I understand the PCs are leading this army, but unless they're leading undead or constructs, you can figure on huge desertions if some ubercaster starts decimating them.
It's a handy way of thwarting excessive ambition without throwing them all into a meat grinder.

Shovah
2008-01-21, 02:01 PM
Anybody know roughly how many soldiers will fit into the 800ft radius wind vortex of death? For simplicities sake, assume that the wizard has flew in while invisible and then cast the spell in the center of the group for maximum coverage.

VanBuren
2008-01-21, 02:05 PM
Keep in mind that defeating an army of 10,000 doesn't mean killing 10,000 people. Realistically, an army that takes about 30% casualties is probably going to surrender. Historic battles that were remarkable in terms of lost lives usually lost about 50% of their forces.
I understand the PCs are leading this army, but unless they're leading undead or constructs, you can figure on huge desertions if some ubercaster starts decimating them.
It's a handy way of thwarting excessive ambition without throwing them all into a meat grinder.

While I'm aware that 300 quite liberally mixes fact with fiction, didn't the historic battle actually result in a TPK?

Shovah
2008-01-21, 02:23 PM
I think Thermopylae is the exception, rather than the rule.

Ganurath
2008-01-21, 02:44 PM
You're forgetting the officers. Sure they won't do much against an elemental monolith but it's something to think about.

Control Winds is probably the most blatently overpowered spell in core.
For a 13th level caster it's 400 times the size of anything else, protects the caster from arrows and is a save or suck/die with a save DC of 30.

EDIT: And it's got good range, excellent versatility (better than anything except polymorph) and battlefield control.
Druids were overpowered enough.:smalleek:Enlarge, Widen, Extend.

Also: The 300 fought off waves of attackers by breaking ranks so the enemy would mop up in pursuit, baiting them to run into a spear wall when the Spartans reformed. The held off multiple waves of immortals (swordsmen) in this manner before a goatherd showed the Persians a secret way around to ambush the Spartans from behind.

GoC
2008-01-21, 02:59 PM
You're forgetting the officers. Sure they won't do much against an elemental monolith but it's something to think about.

Control Winds is probably the most blatently overpowered spell in core.
For a 13th level caster it's 400 times the size of anything else, protects the caster from arrows and is a save or suck/die with a save DC of 30.

EDIT: And it's got good range, excellent versatility (better than anything except polymorph) and battlefield control.
Druids were overpowered enough.:smalleek:

Forgot to mention that the effect is continuous and lasts for HOURS.

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-21, 03:20 PM
You're forgetting the officers. Sure they won't do much against an elemental monolith but it's something to think about.

Seriously, look at Elemental Monoliths. Fodder is 1st level. Officers are 3rd level. They're both equally dead. A 3rd level barbarian with Weapon Focus(Greataxe) needs a 20 to hit an Earth Elemental Monolith. And then he needs to power attack for 3 and roll max damage just to do 1 point of damage. Officers are meaningless.

PCs? 6d8+16 slam. Base. 6d8+32 when it two-hands. Plus power attack.

Basic tactics:

Round 1: Summon it. Monolith immediately earth glides 30ft forward and stays underground.
Round 2: Monolith moves 30ft forward and bursts out from under the ground while above a group of soldiers. It immediately chooses to smush the nearest high-level character.
Round 3-X: Continue smushing high level characters, working your way down from PCs to mooks.

Seriously. An Earth Monolith is seriously destructive. And the caster is a wizard/sorcerer/bard-with-sublime chord, then he can use Sonorous Hum to summon a SECOND Monolith.

Monoliths are CR 17. None of your PCs would be able to beat one without cheese.


Assuming that Hellish Horde is a summoning spell, not a calling spell, this doesn't work. Summoned creatures can't use any summoning abilities they themselves have. Many DMs will extend this restriction to called creatures, too, though it's not explicitly stated in the rules.

It is (Summoning). I was wrong though, it's 8 Bearded Devils, not 4.

Chronos
2008-01-21, 03:25 PM
Anybody know roughly how many soldiers will fit into the 800ft radius wind vortex of death? For simplicities sake, assume that the wizard has flew in while invisible and then cast the spell in the center of the group for maximum coverage.800 feet is 160 5-foot-squares. The area of a circle is pi*r2, or 80,425 squares (possibly a bit more or less, depending on precisely how one fits circles onto the grid, but close enough). One soldier per square would then mean 80,425 soldiers, well larger than the army we have to deal with here. Even if the soldiers are spaced ten feet apart on average, instead of 5 feet, that's still over twice the size of the army.

Shovah
2008-01-21, 03:38 PM
5 foot squares seems alot more likely for an army in formation. Even if somehow you only caught half of the army in it. Seeing 5000(half) of your fellow soldiers being sucked to their death by tornado force winds is sure to lower your morale a little.

mostlyharmful
2008-01-21, 03:48 PM
5 foot squares seems alot more likely for an army in formation. Even if somehow you only caught half of the army in it. Seeing 5000(half) of your fellow soldiers being sucked to their death by tornado force winds is sure to lower your morale a little.

plus a level 20 Druid can cast a bunch of these and not even be out of high level slots let alone tired.:smalleek:

GoC
2008-01-21, 04:08 PM
Seriously, look at Elemental Monoliths. Fodder is 1st level. Officers are 3rd level.
That's the seargants.
There are 7 ranks in this army.
soldier (1st level), seargant (3nd level), captain (5nd level), mayor (7nd level), colonel (9nd level), lieutenant colonel (11th level), general (13nd level)


Seriously. An Earth Monolith is seriously destructive. And the caster is a wizard/sorcerer/bard-with-sublime chord, then he can use Sonorous Hum to summon a SECOND Monolith.
The caster is a druid though.

Enzario
2008-01-21, 04:15 PM
Wouldn't it be all too easy to cast silence around the officers? Say bye-bye to the chain of command.

ForzaFiori
2008-01-21, 04:26 PM
has no one mentioned the ista-win that is wish? i mean come on, its the ultimate fix for a problem if you have the XP and stuff to burn.

Aquillion
2008-01-21, 04:30 PM
has no one mentioned the ista-win that is wish? i mean come on, its the ultimate fix for a problem if you have the XP and stuff to burn.Ok, let's hear the exact wording of your wish.

holywhippet
2008-01-21, 04:32 PM
I have an idea that's not exactly anti-army but might help with your current plan. It would require the spellcaster to be a sorcerer or wizard though. Use teleportation circle to specifically target the PCs - possibly use an invisible familiar to fly right up to them and drop it on their heads. Send the PCs to far, far away then approach the army and try to buy them off. If/when the PCs manage to return they'll have to face off against their former minions.

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-21, 04:42 PM
That's the seargants.
There are 7 ranks in this army.
soldier (1st level), seargant (3nd level), captain (5nd level), mayor (7nd level), colonel (9nd level), lieutenant colonel (11th level), general (13nd level)

Crack open Complete Arcane and look at a monolith. Everyone below PC level is ultimately meaningless. Thats the problem with NPCs and their gloriously useless NPC levels.


The caster is a druid though.

You're the DM. The caster can be whatever the heck the caster feels like.

Talya
2008-01-21, 04:43 PM
Shapechange alone would likely be enough.

Severus
2008-01-21, 04:52 PM
Yes.
The army is highly disciplined and evil and will kill anyone infected by desease.

This would work for the first day. then everybody who had any symptoms would hide the symptoms until it was too late.

How do you feed 10,000 people? Destroy their food and water supply. Then apply weather control for extremely unpleasant conditions that foster illness and sickness. Apply some contagion.

You have a starving army, with increasing numbers of sick people, and paranoid soldiers who are afraid if they show any sickness they'll get killed.

That is not an army that is going to take anybody in the field.

Grey Paladin
2008-01-21, 04:58 PM
Ok, let's hear the exact wording of your wish.
"I wish that all the living creatures that I have seen in this minute will disintegrate when this minute ends"

Shovah
2008-01-21, 05:09 PM
Heres hoping you don't accidently see your hands or something.

Talya
2008-01-21, 05:26 PM
Heres hoping you don't accidently see your hands or something.

Unless he's a lich.

Chronos
2008-01-21, 05:45 PM
Heres hoping you don't accidently see your hands or something.Worse than that... That's too powerful for a wish, so you'll probably get a partial fulfilment. And guess who the easiest target for the Wish to affect is?

Telok
2008-01-21, 06:21 PM
Monoliths are CR 17. None of your PCs would be able to beat one without cheese.

Five level 16 PCs can stomp a non-air monolith. Group I'm with did so about a year and a half ago (real time). We took a fire monolith down near some demon infested lava fields a couple miles underground. I say five PCs because the sixth was a monk who pulled a pouncing charge, uber-flurry, hasted, snap kick and almost died from it. He failed to penetrate DR, the rest of the party took it down in three rounds.

It's a good choice against mooks, but PCs have a single target to concentrate fire on with known weaknesses. How fast it goes down will depend on how many of the players are casters and how well prepared and versatile they are. In our fight we had various types of energy damage across a sorcerer, wizard, and cleric. Plus the psion had Energy Ray.

ForzaFiori
2008-01-21, 06:30 PM
"I wish that all the living creatures that I have seen in this minute will disintegrate when this minute ends"

not even that, just "I wish that all creatures of rank mayor and higher in [insert name of army] disintegrate. If thats too many for full fulfillment, move up a rank. take out all the officers and the army will have no communication and will fall apart.

Renx
2008-01-21, 07:04 PM
not even that, just "I wish that all creatures of rank mayor and higher in [insert name of army] disintegrate. If thats too many for full fulfillment, move up a rank. take out all the officers and the army will have no communication and will fall apart.

...major, perhaps? I'd go with lieutenant, as it's used more commonly. Also, 10,000 men moving as one might have one colonel, a few short colonels and sixish majors.

Granted, a disintegrate is kinda strong desire but meh.

spotmarkedx
2008-01-21, 07:39 PM
Five level 16 PCs can stomp a non-air monolith. [snip]
I direct you to this quote:

The general and his advisors (read PCs) are level 12-14.
Much less likely to be able to stop that monolith now.

Prometheus
2008-01-21, 07:41 PM
Granted this is how to kill PCs and their armies, not how to save them. But I think if you are going to run this encounter, you've got to give the PCs advantages where they are due:
-The army doesn't have to march in a single column, all at once, or what have you. They could for example, attempt to mix with civilians, form a strike team, use hit-and-run tactics, spread out, or whatever is necessary to do the job.
-If the army is not all peasants and mercenaries, there should be some low levels NPCs. For an army of 10,000, they probably came from a small city (or several large towns) in which case there should be a couple of ~7th levels NPCs from every class that help make up the army. The PCs should be able to make full use of their spells and contributions, even if alone (and probably together) they can't hold a candle to a 20th level caster. (For example, remove disease, buffs, strike forces)
-The PCs should make full use of divination to counter the threat.
-Should anyone make it to the caster (perhaps in surprise) the caster is still vulnerable to a destroyed spellbook or concentration checks
-Whatever way the caster defeats the army must conform with the conditions that the defending states agrees with (not wights, destruction of landscape, perhaps no slaughter)
-The caster being as powerful and valuable as he is (especially at this moment) there must still be a reason for the caster to ally itself with the defending states.

That being said, I still don't think they have much a chance - but a PC with any brain (and on that doesn't like being railroaded) should first seek to attack the alliance and the target directly rather than march an army right in.

Jack_Simth
2008-01-21, 08:17 PM
-Whatever way the caster defeats the army must conform with the conditions that the defending states agrees with (not wights, destruction of landscape, perhaps no slaughter)
Ohh... right, the caster is playing defense, not offense (and even if playing offense, it's to conquer or raid, not to burn) - anything he unleashes, he has to deal with afterwards - so no army of Wights (need peasants left over to rule), no Plague (likewise), no spells that will render three square miles of prime timber/farmland/grazing land/refineries/mines useless....

You know, that really really limits what you can use....

GoC
2008-01-21, 08:55 PM
-Should anyone make it to the caster (perhaps in surprise) the caster is still vulnerable to a destroyed spellbook or concentration checks

Druid.:smallamused:

Jack_Smith:The mega tornado still works though.

Dorizzit
2008-01-21, 08:59 PM
Ever see that effects of a powerful tornado? That's at least as bad as a huge fire.

Green Bean
2008-01-21, 09:02 PM
Ohh... right, the caster is playing defense, not offense (and even if playing offense, it's to conquer or raid, not to burn) - anything he unleashes, he has to deal with afterwards - so no army of Wights (need peasants left over to rule), no Plague (likewise), no spells that will render three square miles of prime timber/farmland/grazing land/refineries/mines useless....

On the other hand, you're a powerful Druid, so fixing environmental damage wouldn't be that hard.

TheSteelRat
2008-01-21, 09:16 PM
While you might be set on making the character a Druid, there's other options that allow all that Druid-magic happiness.

1. Wizard 3 / Druid 3 / Mystic Theurge 2 / Arcane Hierophant 10 / MT 2
This nasty little build gives you the equivalent of a lvl 17 Druid, lvl 17 Wizard, and one hell of a nasty intelligent animal companion sidekick, 13 lvls of Wildshape, and the ability to wear armor as a side-bonus. Greater Invisibility on a Dire Tiger definitely has a way of making an army a little nervous, especially if he can dimension door away at a moment's notice if the PC's get too close.

2. Wizard 3 / Druid 3 / Mystic Theurge 10+ (/ Druid X if necessary)
Depends if you allow Prestige Classes to go past 10, but at the loss of 3 Druid Levels, you've gained 13 Wizard Levels as well. So, you're as good an arcane spellcaster as your player's, and still can unleash Druidic havoc.

Also, what about the feat that gives you Cleric Domains? Arcane Theurge or something. That could be useful for an Ultimate Magus build (far too many spells allowed in that.)

Can Archivists gain access to Druid spells? If so, a Wizard / Archivist / MT would again be vicious.

Triaxx
2008-01-21, 09:23 PM
The wording for the wish spell should be as follows:

'I wish all soldiers of level 5 or lower, currently advancing on my city as part of the opposing army would be turned permanently into inoffensive oak trees, and then become living focii for 30' radius Anti-Magic fields for a period of not less than 24 hours, but not greater than 48.'

TheSteelRat
2008-01-21, 09:39 PM
Back to the "why not these spells?" list of things - What about the Leadership Feat and its Cohort? A 20 Druid + 17 Wizard could work together to do quite a bit of damage on an army, and that's Wiz17 for the cost of a measly feat.

Ninja Chocobo
2008-01-21, 10:05 PM
Back to the "why not these spells?" list of things - What about the Leadership Feat and its Cohort? A 20 Druid + 17 Wizard could work together to do quite a bit of damage on an army, and that's Wiz17 for the cost of a measly feat.

Level 18. Cohorts are two levels (min) behind PCs.

Xuincherguixe
2008-01-21, 11:37 PM
How about mud to rock/rock to mud?

It might be a bit difficult to set up, but if suddenly the ground underneath the army turned into mud, then they sunk, and the mud turns back to rock? Easy targets. Especially if there's some kind of horrible death falling,rolling, or sliding towards them.


But, if this is heavy handed DMing, you don't want to slaughter the army in just some regular fashion. Slaughter them in a HORRIBLE fashion.

Mud to rock works great here too. The army is advancing on that wizard who just summoned that demon, when all the sudden everything is mud, and then it suddenly becomes rock again. Some people have been completely encased and begin to die a slow death by suffocation. Now that demon slowly walks over to the army, smiling. Be sure to play this up, the rock melts at each footstep, and begin spurting up blood. Or miniature tentacles form and start writhing.

When it comes up to the first soldier, it kisses them on the mouth, and vanishes. Perhaps as a future encounter later.

The solider complains his skin itches. Some time later, it BURSTS off. His blood forms into some mass that doesn't really resemble anything, and it heads towards another soldier. He screams in pain, and writhes to the best of his encased ability, and bones start coming out of any area that isn't trapped in rock. A skeleton emerges, and the streams of blood collect in the bloody blob thing. Some seems to have been forcibly removed from the now soldier corpse. It repeats the process, and the skeletons "wake up" people's bones. It might also help if the skeletons had some kind of power to super heat parts of their body, so they could melt through the rock to get at any that are trapped.


Similarly, soldiers might start having monstrous mouthes rip out of their flesh. Dying, then getting back up to start attacking those around them.


Anyone can throw doom spells around. But turning a massacre into atrocity? That's something to take pride in.

Aquillion
2008-01-22, 02:20 AM
The wording for the wish spell should be as follows:

'I wish all soldiers of level 5 or lower, currently advancing on my city as part of the opposing army would be turned permanently into inoffensive oak trees, and then become living focii for 30' radius Anti-Magic fields for a period of not less than 24 hours, but not greater than 48.'That's a far greater effect than Wish has listed, so 'The wish may pervert your intent into a literal but undesirable fulfillment or only a partial fulfillment.' For instance, getting the anti-magic fields but not the transformations into trees would be a perfectly legitimate outcome from that wish... or having transformations into trees that lasts 6 hours instead of permanently, or some other short length of time (and you wouldn't know it was temporary until too late.)

Or they could become inoffensive oaks in that they are polite and well mannered, but are still animate, awakened, (politely) angry and have all the abilities they had in life plus huge awakened tree HD.

Renx
2008-01-22, 03:06 AM
not even that, just "I wish that all creatures of rank mayor and higher in [insert name of army] disintegrate. If thats too many for full fulfillment, move up a rank. take out all the officers and the army will have no communication and will fall apart.

...major, perhaps? I'd go with lieutenant, as it's used more commonly. Also, 10,000 men moving as one might have one colonel, a few short colonels and sixish majors.

Granted, a disintegrate is kinda strong desire but meh.

Talic
2008-01-22, 03:15 AM
<Insert Area evocation> five times on various points of their supply line.

<Insert Area evocation> on the army's food supplies when they're still four days out. <insert food spoiling spell> works too.

Watch as army tries to feed thousands on 2 packs of airline peanuts and a day old granola bar.

Renx
2008-01-22, 03:16 AM
not even that, just "I wish that all creatures of rank mayor and higher in [insert name of army] disintegrate. If thats too many for full fulfillment, move up a rank. take out all the officers and the army will have no communication and will fall apart.

...major, perhaps? I'd go with lieutenant, as it's used more commonly. Also, 10,000 men moving as one might have one colonel, a few short colonels and sixish majors.

Granted, a disintegrate is kinda strong desire but meh.

Eldariel
2008-01-22, 06:16 AM
Seriously. An Earth Monolith is seriously destructive. And the caster is a wizard/sorcerer/bard-with-sublime chord, then he can use Sonorous Hum to summon a SECOND Monolith.

Monoliths are CR 17. None of your PCs would be able to beat one without cheese.

CR 17 is precisely the level, 13th level PCs are expected to be able to beat using all their daily abilities and rolling averages. A 13th level party of 4 IS CR 17, so it'd be an equal fight, except they probably have better equipment than the Monolith. And then there's the whole thing that the Monolith isn't a caster. PCs probably have some. Unless the summoner intervenes, the Monolith is toast, since casters>non-casters. Send 2 Monoliths with buffs and they'll be in for trouble though. But yea, PC Wizard and Cleric (or Sorcerer and Druid or whatever) could easily deal with Monoliths using Reflex Save or Sucks or focusing on the Will-saves (every spell is 50/50 encounter ender while he Monolith needs a crapton of hits to get through the PC HP). Even the fighters wouldn't be useless, actually, since Monolith's AC is worthless and a simple Power Attack/Shock Trooper could easily cut Monolith's HP to half in one round on level 13, or even just straight kill it, DR or not.

Talic
2008-01-22, 06:41 AM
Monoliths would be terrifying, yes, but limited. How many things can they kill in a round?

No, earthquakes in mountain passes, Animate trees in forests, tornados in the open plains... That's the way to take a druid.

Shapechanging into a Dragon and flying over's another way to make most armies urinate their breeches.

The easiest wish would be: "I wish the head of the approaching army, located at <xxxxx> fervently believes he just received urgent orders to redirect his forces to a all-out strike on the adjacent empire of <xxx>, due to a heinous sneak attack while the army was deployed."

Kami2awa
2008-01-22, 06:57 AM
An illusion of their deity manifesting and telling them to go home.

Darkone8752
2008-01-22, 07:28 AM
4 pages to go and I'm getting off soon so this may of been mentioned.
Just for fun, Major creation/Major creation + fabricate, and make some several hundred/thousand feet long chains. Use a spell to hide/invis them.
Make sure they all end fairly close to one point where you want to launch the attack.

Summon monster VII, for 1d4+1 chain devils and animate the chains. Enjoy your 1000 foot long scythes of doom whipping about cutting people in half. Best of all, no wasting a level 9 spell slot for that day!

Grey Paladin
2008-01-22, 08:04 AM
Worse than that... That's too powerful for a wish, so you'll probably get a partial fulfilment. And guess who the easiest target for the Wish to affect is?

NOTHING is too powerful for a wish, you basicaly edit the code of the universe, if you play with the lame 3.X limits, that's your fault =P

A level 20 Wizard is an f'in god, when was the last time you have seen a god having problems destroying an army?

But if we are going for less insane character levels . . . a few castings of Dig/Greater Cloudkill/Tears of Blood will do the trick.

Keld Denar
2008-01-22, 10:34 AM
Wish to replicate Widened Greater Consumptive Field. Take a stroll under the effects of invisbility. All the 1 hd solders die, and add their CL to the cleric. Cleric now has a CL of 7000+. Cast CL 7000+ Sudden Widened Maw of Chaos for 30' doom by 7000+d6 no save untyped damage. Finish your stroll until there is nothing left. Then make a running vertical jump check with your 14000+ strength score and die from the falling damage.

Also, Shadowcraft Mage + Earth Elemental Monolith + couple castings of Heroics. Now you have a Supreme Cleaving Elemental Monolith with a near limitless supply of targets. Sonorous Hum and you can have 2 out at once (your cohort can handle the heroics) The Monolith is 120% real, lasts for over 60 rounds, is undismissable, almost immune to damage, has a metric ton of hp even if they can crack DR, and will swath through 500+ solders a round. If his cohort has a +1 illusion bane dagger, he could capture a previous casting of Summon Elemental Monolith so there would be 3 of them, each killing 500+ solders a round.

Or Summon an Air Monolith. The DC reflex to avoid the WW is what...52? Just have him WW through the camp cutting a 20' wide patch of destruction. Lots of win there!

the_tick_rules
2008-01-22, 10:53 AM
control weather. it can affect a massive area, be cast from a long way away. Just make the route they're passing through is as difficult as possible and they'll walk around or wait.

Craig1f
2008-01-22, 04:56 PM
Spike Stones is a good druid spell.

We took out an army of about 200 in a recent campaign. Well, the Druid pretty much solo'd the army. He had the exhalted feat that made his summons celestial though. Summoned some celestial lions that had high enough DR to be basically invulnerable. They'd pounce for about 4 kills a round each.

Spike stones did a very good job of breaking up the enemy lines. He also used Call Lightning while hidden in a nearby forest under the form of a Cheetah. The army will rue the day they messed with Lightning Cat.

But seriously, don't go for massive troop kill. I second all the suggestions to destroy the food supply, and take out key officers. Incite Riot is also great, although I don't think Druids get that spell.

hamishspence
2008-01-22, 05:03 PM
Erupt in Serpent Kingdoms had both massive damage and huge area (long casting time though, and immunity or heavy resistance needed, since centred on caster.)

Fimbulwinter in Frostburn wasn't damaging, but could have an entire country gripped by cold weather

Rain of fire from Epic handbook was easy to cast (for an epic spell) 2 mile diameter, and catastropic damage, no save. 1 pt fire per round, every round, for 20 hours. Ouch.

mostlyharmful
2008-01-22, 05:18 PM
Level 18. Cohorts are two levels (min) behind PCs.

Level 17. Cohorts have a maximum level of two less than the PC and might not get that dependant on Cha + Previous dead Cohorts, and the highest level they can get to (pre-epic leadership) is 17

Ninja Chocobo
2008-01-22, 05:34 PM
Level 17. Cohorts have a maximum level of two less than the PC and might not get that dependant on Cha + Previous dead Cohorts, and the highest level they can get to (pre-epic leadership) is 17

Twenty minus two equals seventeen?

mostlyharmful
2008-01-22, 05:44 PM
Twenty minus two equals seventeen?

Seventeen is as high as a cohort can go without Epric Leadership. The most they can have is two less than the PC or Seventeen, whichever is lower. Followers keep accumulating though and they don't seem to care how many have died unlike the picky sidekicks:smallsmile:

Ninja Chocobo
2008-01-22, 06:07 PM
Seventeen is as high as a cohort can go without Epric Leadership. The most they can have is two less than the PC or Seventeen, whichever is lower. Followers keep accumulating though and they don't seem to care how many have died unlike the picky sidekicks:smallsmile:

Oh, right. I must have missed that bit.

Tyrmatt
2008-01-22, 06:16 PM
Illusion up the image of a army of 100,000 strong and powerful men...
The greatest victory is the battle not fought :p

mostlyharmful
2008-01-22, 07:08 PM
Illusion up the image of a army of 100,000 strong and powerful men...
The greatest victory is the battle not fought :p

No, the greastest victory is when God starts jumping up and down on your army and then starts channelling your mother to make you go home and find a nice girl to settle down with.:smallredface:

Collin152
2008-01-22, 07:10 PM
One of those spells that lets you talk to someone from really far away.
"Boo!"
What general could let his army stay in a haunted battlefield?

AslanCross
2008-01-22, 07:27 PM
Incendiary cloud might also be a good idea. (though it may have already been mentioned). 4d6 damage will most likely kill the first-level grunts and at the very least severely injure the officers. A 20th-level caster can make it last for 20 rounds and make it move up to 60 feet per round. The problem is its range. A 20th level caster can only cast it at most 300 feet away, and any part of it that sticks beyond that range goes poof. A good idea might be to cast it really close to the army and then teleport further away and follow up with meteor swarm. It might as well be D&D's equivalent of napalm (though I'd think fire storm would be a lot more effective since it only takes one round to blow up so many.

It seems clerics and druids have the edge in terms of wide area spells, honestly. Storm of vengeance would not only kill people, it would disrupt a command by deafening the troops---and its radius is massive. (360 ft). Woe betide the army that gets trapped in one.

JeminiZero
2008-01-22, 08:31 PM
I just had a crazy idea for wiping out an army.

1) Get a Dragon (or Dragon Shaman) with Cone-shaped breath (or with Line Breath and Shape Breath Feat) and Enlarge breath feat (both feats from Draconomicon)
2) Fly him up e.g. 1500 thousand feet directly on top of the army
3) Have fire his Cone Breath Down at the army, enlarged so that it can reach all the way to the ground, and cover it
E.g. with a 30ft cone breath, at 1500 ft above ground, to cover the whole ground would take the breath about 2121.3 ft. So the Dragon Shaman would have to extend it 2 * (2121.3 - 30) / 30 =~ 140 times. And the resulting breath (for a 90 degree cone) would cover a 1500ft radius area, which should be enough to annihilate all the low level troops. But he would have to wait 140+ rounds before using his breath weapon again. :smallbiggrin:

Collin152
2008-01-22, 08:36 PM
I just had a crazy idea for wiping out an army.

1) Get a Dragon (or Dragon Shaman) with Cone-shaped breath (or with Line Breath and Shape Breath Feat) and Enlarge breath feat (both feats from Draconomicon)
2) Fly him up e.g. 1500 thousand feet directly on top of the army
3) Have fire his Cone Breath Down at the army, enlarged so that it can reach all the way to the ground, and cover it
E.g. with a 30ft cone breath, at 1500 ft above ground, to cover the whole ground would take the breath about 2121.3 ft. So the Dragon Shaman would have to extend it 2 * (2121.3 - 30) / 30 =~ 140 times. And the resulting breath (for a 90 degree cone) would cover a 1500ft radius area, which should be enough to annihilate all the low level troops. But he would have to wait 140+ rounds before using his breath weapon again. :smallbiggrin:

Yeah, thats why I really hate metabreath feats.

turkishproverb
2008-01-22, 08:43 PM
I don't know if anyone suggested this, but if you could find a way to start by using crushing dispair on the general it would help.

Douglas
2008-01-22, 08:46 PM
That one doesn't actually work, though. Yes, they use a doubly enlarged breath weapon in the example, but they also specifically say that metabreath feats that can be applied multiple times to the same breath say so in the Special section of the feat description. The Enlarge Breath feat doesn't have a Special section, so it cannot be applied multiple times to the same breath. The example is not primary source and is overruled by the feat description.

GoC
2008-01-22, 09:15 PM
No, the greastest victory is when God starts jumping up and down on your army and then starts channelling your mother to make you go home and find a nice girl to settle down with.:smallredface:

No, the greatest victory is when you annihilate your PCs and their army using a single core spell by a level apropriate encounter.:smallamused:

Collin152
2008-01-22, 09:33 PM
The greatest victory is killing a God accidently when you fumble...

mostlyharmful
2008-01-23, 02:13 PM
No, the greatest victory is when you annihilate your PCs and their army using a single core spell by a level apropriate encounter.:smallamused:

However the most satisfing victory is getting them to do it to themselves. Either with Enchantments or just basic psychological warfare. Nothing funnier in the world (alright there might be some but most of them are illegal) than watching one of your players try to explain to each other why they just assasinated half the party only to be immolated by the terrified survivor. And that has happened to me on several occassions.:smallbiggrin:

GoC
2008-01-23, 03:27 PM
However the most satisfing victory is getting them to do it to themselves. Either with Enchantments or just basic psychological warfare. Nothing funnier in the world (alright there might be some but most of them are illegal) than watching one of your players try to explain to each other why they just assasinated half the party only to be immolated by the terrified survivor. And that has happened to me on several occassions.:smallbiggrin:

You're evil.

mostlyharmful
2008-01-23, 03:29 PM
You're evil.

MWAH-HA-HA-HA:smallwink:

To be fair on two of those occasions I was the Wizard gibbering in fear of the Barb and running like hell afterwards.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-23, 03:34 PM
You could perhaps use widened holy words. Everyone evil within 80' of you with HD less than your CL-10 dies, no save.

Voyager_I
2008-01-23, 04:42 PM
I'm sure this must have been said already, but you can always Dominate the General (and everyone else of a reasonable rank). Now it's your army...

(It also gives the PC's something worthwhile to do, since they have to solve an intrigue plot rather than get violated by hordes of summoned elementals that don't even offer XP)

BadJuJu
2008-01-23, 06:05 PM
Wait till they are half way to where they go, and blanket the area with Fimblewinter. Nothing worse than marching to war in June and having a freeze set in for like 4d12 weeks. Not good indeed. Add in a mountain pass and you have a Dahlmer party in the making.

GoC
2008-01-23, 06:21 PM
Wait till they are half way to where they go, and blanket the area with Fimblewinter. Nothing worse than marching to war in June and having a freeze set in for like 4d12 weeks. Not good indeed. Add in a mountain pass and you have a Dahlmer party in the making.

Where's Fimblewinter and what does it do?

Voyager_I: How could the caster get close enough?
A DC 15 sense motive check means the PCs automaticaly know that the general is dominated, most of the commanders and at least one quater of the soldiers will also realise it.
With the commanders backing the PCs the general won't be able to control his army.

Aquillion
2008-01-23, 07:07 PM
Illusion up the image of a army of 100,000 strong and powerful men...
The greatest victory is the battle not fought :pNo good. Don't forget that anyone who studies the illusionary army carefully or interacts with it will get a saving throw for disbelief. It's kind of stretching it to say that, in the entire enemy army, there won't be enough people looking at it or trying to spy on it to set that off. At the very least, the enemy general is probably going to be suspicious over this army that appeared out of nowhere, and send out scouts to find out what's up... as soon as one of those makes their will save, you're boned.

Here's a more interesting question: What's the lowest-level caster you think you could take on an army with? Assume you don't have to totally defeat them all by yourself; delaying or significantly disrupting them would be useful, too. But the more you can do, the better. You can have an entire similarly-low-level party for support, if you want.

GoC
2008-01-23, 08:14 PM
Here's a more interesting question: What's the lowest-level caster you think you could take on an army with? Assume you don't have to totally defeat them all by yourself; delaying or significantly disrupting them would be useful, too. But the more you can do, the better. You can have an entire similarly-low-level party for support, if you want.

Well level 13 is the minimum to cast widened control winds, so...

Chronos
2008-01-23, 08:24 PM
And level 9 is the minimum to cast the regular, non-widened Control Winds. At that level, you'd need to start with naturally-occuring moderate strength winds to do any damage, but that's not too hard to come by, especially if you can wait a few days and the army is marching across various terrain types. Wildshaped into a raven or some such, you'd be essentially undetectable, and have no problem keeping up with the army. At low levels and without the widening, you wouldn't take out the entire army with one casting, but you can probably afford a few days (especially if you use spells like Commune with Nature, Speak with Animals, or Scrying to get advance intelligence on the army). Plus there's the morale effects when the very forces of Nature are resisting the army's progress.

Telonius
2008-01-24, 09:36 AM
Two spells will take care of the army. Any Save or Die spell, and Alter Self. Kill the army's leader, and take his place. You now have an army; enjoy!

Awetugiw
2008-01-24, 11:36 AM
In late winter a single Control Weather is probably enough to destroy the entire army. Well, to knock anyone but the high level characters unconscious for multiple days anyway. Hurricanes take down low level characters quite easily.

For extra fun, cast Stormrage. You are now immune to your own storm for 1 minute per caster level. (And you can shoot lightning bolts from your eyes as added bonus.)

BadJuJu
2008-01-24, 12:38 PM
Where's Fimblewinter and what does it do?

Voyager_I: How could the caster get close enough?
A DC 15 sense motive check means the PCs automaticaly know that the general is dominated, most of the commanders and at least one quater of the soldiers will also realise it.
With the commanders backing the PCs the general won't be able to control his army.

Its in Frostburn, and it lowers the temp in a pretty big area alot for a long time. I dont have the book, so I dont know the exact amount of time or range, but its 4d12 weeks duration.

Grug
2008-01-24, 01:05 PM
Are you aware of the legend of the Ashbringer?

In World of Warcraft lore, Commander Morgraine the first of the Scarlet Crusade was so powerful, one swing of his mighty blade would turn the undead hordes to ash. In order to defeat him, 100,000 undead troops stormed the cathedral to defeat Morgraine, and he battled for hours against them. At the end of it, he had managed to defeat every single one, and stood on a pile of corpses twenty feet high. He was only defeated when his own son stabbed him in his tired state.

In the game you learn about this from one of Morgraine's resurrected priests, who actually suffocated while buried underneath the pile of corpses.

Sounds like what you're saying, one man vs. an army.

Curmudgeon
2008-01-24, 06:09 PM
Well level 13 is the minimum to cast widened control winds, so... That's not the minimum level; that's just the conventional level. A Cleric with either the Air or Sky domain, the Sudden Widen feat, and a Candle of Invocation could cast a widened Control Winds at level 7.

Frosty
2008-01-24, 07:40 PM
I didn't read thru all 7 pages, but wouldn't a Tsunami spell just end the battle right there and then?

Talic
2008-01-25, 02:09 AM
Sudden Maximize the Fimblewinter. 48 Weeks of winter. Set it up at the end of the winter season, and you've got a year long cold spell, for the effort of one slot for one day.

Add in a couple earthquakes at the front of back of that pass, and yep, it's gonna be people eating people in Donner Pass.

Ninja Chocobo
2008-01-25, 11:05 PM
Sudden Maximize the Fimblewinter. 48 Weeks of winter.

http://www.superdickery.com/images/misc/morbo.jpg
MAXIMISE SPELL DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!

mroozee
2008-01-25, 11:53 PM
Spells? My 2nd level Rogue once defeated an army of 5000 soldiers using only a pair of boots and a pigeon. Admittedly there were a handful of survivors.

Triaxx
2008-01-26, 09:46 AM
Unfortunately not including the pigeon. The boots did suffer minor stains however.

Chronos
2008-01-26, 11:28 AM
OK, you can't just leave us hanging, here. I assume that the pigeon carried some sort of message which threw the army into chaos, and the boots... Creating false tracks?

Tell more, please!

Worira
2008-01-26, 11:44 AM
http://www.superdickery.com/images/misc/morbo.jpg
MAXIMISE SPELL DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!

Yes it does.

kemmotar
2008-01-26, 12:37 PM
Also, on a more creative note you can take the landlord feat from stonghold builder's guidebook, make a flying tower with the eye of the hurricane item...Now you have a flying tower flying about half a mile above the surface, the hurricane touches the ground...go find the army and destroy them with the hurricane...

alternatively, go near a cliff they need to pass and cast mirage arcana, make the cliff look like normal ground...control weather or winds to create winds behind them to push them towoards the cliff...half the army will be gone before anyone notices...maybe summon a few things behind them, or a few illusionary armies will keep them with their back towards the cliff while the winds push them in...you can just fly above with invisibility to apply spells as needed...this is a wholly core way of doing it and it's fun to look at them while they slowly fail their saves and fall in the cliff...ofc if there is no cliff you can just create one or make their path pass through a cliff with a few storms and earthquaques...

Oh and on the matter of earthquaqes that's a nice idea too...then somehow project your voice and make it sound like some god is mad at them, now watch them flee in fear...

Mark Hall
2008-01-26, 01:42 PM
Yes it does.

You seem to be talking about Duration, which would imply that Extend Spell would be better than Maximize spell.

EDIT: Worira is correct. Fimbulwinter has a 4d12 week duration, and Maximize spell does maximize "All variable, numeric effects of a spell modified by this feat." In this case, that would include duration.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-26, 01:46 PM
You seem to be talking about Duration, which would imply that Extend Spell would be better than Maximize spell. Where is Fimbulwinter described?

Frostburn.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-26, 01:59 PM
You seem to be talking about Duration, which would imply that Extend Spell would be better than Maximize spell. Where is Fimbulwinter described?

Frostburn.

Collin152
2008-01-26, 02:57 PM
What about maximized and extended?

Vexxation
2008-01-26, 03:17 PM
Out of curiosity, since I'm a little sketchy on in, could you use a spell to Diplomacy every soldier at once? Some long speech, amplified so everyone can hear it, and make the DC to take them from hostile to friendly?

That seems a fun thing to do, especially while the PCs are in the middle of the army.

Baddie Caster: "... and as such, I hope you can understand my side."
Soldiers, collectively: "Hey, that's a pretty good point, man. You're not so bad after all."
Caster: "By the way, those ruffians who brought you to what could have been the deaths of you and your friends are stationed nearby. Mind ridding me of them? I'll give you gold. Lots of gold."
General: "Sounds good. Get 'em, boys!"

Now you've turned a no-win scenario for the PCs into a scenario where they have to escape an army, and now have (accidentally) fostered peace between two nations that both now want them dead.

So, a DC 35 diplomacy check. Level 20 cleric could have 23 ranks, figure at least 18 charisma bumps it up to 27. Add Skill Focus: Diplomacy (He took it for some reason. Whatever.) for a modifier of 30. Add two if he's a half-elf, for 32. Then the negotiator feat for another +2, giving 34. He can't fail.

Just a thought, add the type of hilarious thing I would do.
Especially mean if you give the Players battle specs, outcome odds, and information on the caster, and let them plan their attack, then *bam* pointless.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-26, 03:19 PM
What about maximized and extended?

You could do both. Hell, you could empower it too, since its a variable, numeric effect.

Maximized, empowered, extended fimbulvetr would be Max(2(4d12))+(2d12), or between 98 and 120 weeks.

Mark Hall
2008-01-26, 03:52 PM
You could do both. Hell, you could empower it too, since its a variable, numeric effect.

Maximized, empowered, extended fimbulvetr would be Max(2(4d12))+(2d12), or between 98 and 120 weeks.

Yeah, but it's still not Fimbulwinter, since that would need to last around 156 weeks.

Someone tell me how to pull it off.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-26, 03:59 PM
Yeah, but it's still not Fimbulwinter, since that would need to last around 156 weeks.

Someone tell me how to pull it off.

An intensified, empowered, extended fimbulvetr will last 2(Max(2(4d12)))+2d12 weeks, or between 194 and 216 weeks. Of course, it takes an 18th (sor/wiz/dru) or 19th (clr, Winter domain) spell slot to do.

Collin152
2008-01-26, 03:59 PM
Cast it again...?

Vexxation
2008-01-26, 04:02 PM
An intensified, empowered, extended fimbulvetr will last 2(Max(2(4d12)))+2d12 weeks, or between 194 and 216 weeks. Of course, it takes an 18th (sor/wiz/dru) or 19th (clr, Winter domain) spell slot to do.

Wow. One cast and you blanket an area in extreme freeziness for 4 years?
That seems a bit evil. I like it.

Mark Hall
2008-01-26, 04:04 PM
An intensified, empowered, extended fimbulvetr will last 2(Max(2(4d12)))+2d12 weeks, or between 194 and 216 weeks. Of course, it takes an 18th (sor/wiz/dru) or 19th (clr, Winter domain) spell slot to do.

What if you have a rods, or Sudden versions of empower and extend?

Mark Hall
2008-01-26, 04:07 PM
Wow. One cast and you blanket an area in extreme freeziness for 4 years?
That seems a bit evil. I like it.


Hail to Lord Heimdall; the warden of the Bifrost road
Hear the grass grow tall, across the Vigriđ plains
See the darkness fall, the blizzard of three long years
Fimbulwinter is upon us now, the Nornir web is weaving!
. .

Oeep Snaec
2008-01-26, 04:07 PM
Otherwise, Spells that deal negative levels. You only need to turn a few of the enemy into wights before there's a runaway effect, leading to total annihilation.

You have to be careful with that one though, cause if some of the wights get away, they may wreak havoc in both enemy and the mage's state.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-26, 04:08 PM
What if you have a rods, or Sudden versions of empower and extend?

Having either or both will reduce it to a 15th level slot. Intensify Spell (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/feats.htm#intensifySpell) is a +7 adjustment. If you tried real hard with the metamagic level reduction cheese, you might be able to get it down a bit, maybe down to a 13 or 12. Alternatively, you could get a level 27 cleric and have them Divine Metamagic it all the way back down to starting level.

Mark Hall
2008-01-26, 04:10 PM
You have to be careful with that one though, cause if some of the wights get away, they may wreak havoc in both enemy and the mage's state.

That depends heavily on what the mage's state is. If it's Count Repugsive, wights running wild isn't much of an issue...

Collin152
2008-01-26, 04:14 PM
An intensified, empowered, extended fimbulvetr will last 2(Max(2(4d12)))+2d12 weeks, or between 194 and 216 weeks. Of course, it takes an 18th (sor/wiz/dru) or 19th (clr, Winter domain) spell slot to do.

"You can’t combine the effects of this feat with any other feat that affects the variable, numeric effects of a spell. "

Fax Celestis
2008-01-26, 04:16 PM
"You can’t combine the effects of this feat with any other feat that affects the variable, numeric effects of a spell. "

Aw, damn. So drop the Empowered, which'll make it 2(Max(2(4d12))) weeks, or 192 weeks. Extended doesn't technically affect a variable, numeric effect: it just doubles the duration. :smalltongue:

Chronos
2008-01-26, 04:24 PM
Unfortunately, Intensify can't be used with Maximize or Empower:
You can’t combine the effects of this feat with any other feat that affects the variable, numeric effects of a spell. One might even argue that Extend, as applied to Fimbulwinter, also affects the variable, numeric effects of the spell, so you couldn't even cast an Intensified, Extended Fimbulwinter. And even just sticking to non-epic feats, it's not entirely clear how Extend would interact with Maximize and/or Empower: One might make a case for everything from (48 + (4d12)/2 + 4d12) (56 to 120 weeks) to 2*(48 + (4d12)/2) (100 to 144 weeks). Practically speaking, of course, any Fimbulwinter spell lasts for exactly "until it's dispelled and the caster slain", since the caster is just going to keep recasting it as necessary.

Footnote: (4d12)/2 isn't the same thing as 2d12. Both have an average of 13 (assuming no rounding), but they have different variances/standard deviations. (4d12)/2 is 13.000 ± 3.452, while 2d12 is 13.000 ± 4.882

Collin152
2008-01-26, 04:30 PM
Well, I suppose technically, extend does not affect variable, numeric effects, but in this case, what it does affect is a variable numeric effect. The wording of intensify seems to me that extend spell would not work.



Unfortunately, Intensify can't be used with Maximize or Empower: One might even argue that Extend, as applied to Fimbulwinter, also affects the variable, numeric effects of the spell, so you couldn't even cast an Intensified, Extended Fimbulwinter. And even just sticking to non-epic feats, it's not entirely clear how Extend would interact with Maximize and/or Empower: One might make a case for everything from (48 + (4d12)/2 + 4d12) (56 to 120 weeks) to 2*(48 + (4d12)/2) (100 to 144 weeks). Practically speaking, of course, any Fimbulwinter spell lasts for exactly "until it's dispelled and the caster slain", since the caster is just going to keep recasting it as necessary.

Footnote: (4d12)/2 isn't the same thing as 2d12. Both have an average of 13 (assuming no rounding), but they have different variances/standard deviations. (4d12)/2 is 13.000 ± 3.452, while 2d12 is 13.000 ± 4.882

Fool! You cannot ninja that which is not subject to critical hits!

Chronos
2008-01-26, 04:48 PM
Fool! You cannot ninja that which is not subject to critical hits!I knew I should have left off the statistical analysis...

Ninja Chocobo
2008-01-26, 07:07 PM
Yes it does.

I thought it didn't work on Duration.
Bah.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-26, 07:16 PM
I thought it didn't work on Duration.
Bah.

It does when there's a variable duration.

ronnyfire
2008-01-27, 08:47 PM
symbol of death permanent en masse?

Collin152
2008-01-27, 11:41 PM
The single greatest anti-army spell?
Transport via Plants. They'll never see you coming!

TheSteelRat
2008-01-28, 12:13 AM
This is actually from the "Most Arrows Shot in one Round" thread, but I think it's of note in regards to this discussion.


Spiryt
Well, there is spell in Spell Compendium wich allows you to attack all enemies within 1 range increment.

It's 3rd level ranger only spell.

This combined with a distance + energy damage bow would allow massive slaughter while using an invisible mage. While you'd be doing attack tests, I'm sure that a +10 BAB would still do reasonably well against a crowd of enemies, with buffs and what-not. You'd have to be an Archivist to pull it off I believe, or UMD a scroll of it. Off the top of my head, a +1 Flaming(or other Energy +1d6) Distance Longbow would be able to hit everything within 220 ft of the caster for 1d8+1d6=8 HP, killing off most 1st level characters.

What would this build take? Not good at this, but my take below


Wizard 3 / Archivist 3 / Mystic Theurge 10 / Arcane Prestigue 4

Feats Required: (These could all be gained through the Heroics Spell)
Martial Weapon: Composite Longbow (if not gained through race)
Point Blank Shot (Pre-req)
Far Shot (+50% Range Increment)
Weapon Focus (+1 Strike) - Not Necessary, but why not?

Weapon
MW Composite Longbow of + (Strength Bonus of decent duration Spell)
+1 Weapon (Minimum for enchanted, use Greater Magic Weapon to improve)
Distance (+100% Range Increment)
1d6 Energy Damage (repeat as necessary)


What about using an Artificer Cohort to give the weapon Bane: Species?

Fuzzy_Juan
2008-01-28, 12:37 AM
note that some spells depend on terrain...

in mountianous country, rock to mud and dig can be phenomenal anti army spells as they can collapse passes and drop avalanches.

Shout is good where snow can possibly be made to fall, though if a shout spell could do it, the sound and vibrations of an army would anyways...

For general meyhem...

walls of fire, creeping doom, any summon spell with 5-10 DR, symbols...

A fun trick that I have used before in a mountian pass that was nice and narrow was to be extra sneaky...We had to hold up an army for a few days while our forces got into position...they sent me (the wizard) to use some walls to stall the enemy and create some confusion while they tried to assasinate the leaders...Well...a flight spell scouted the side passages...well placed shaping, dig, rock to mud spells collapsed some trails. A summoned earth elemental provided several holes dug to look like burrows of some large animal...In the narrowest part of the pass (a hundered feet or so for about 200 feet...can't remember exactly...) It was short enough to span with a single wall of fire...so i did...two in fact spaced apart by 10 feet...or was it 20...The cold side of the first wall faced the army approach while the hot side of the 2nd wall faced the approach. A heat sandwich.

To be more fun, two illusionary walls of fire were placed in front of the other ones spaced apart and felt hot with roaring fires (to muffle hearing ...I think I used phantasmal terrain, or programmed illusion)...a magic mouth was used to 'scream in agony' as people walked through the illusionary walls. (had to use somethign to keep the spells active for long periods of time...can't remember what). Made sure that the first two walls weren't that good of illusions so that they would figure them out and start tryign to convince the 'normal' troops to go through. Once the first few had gone through...and people found out the first wall was fine, the real fun started.

Well...illusionary monsters poured out of the holes when the troops entered the pass followed by fogs and illusionary screams of agony and 'run for your lives' when people could no longer see. Some real summoned monsters added to the meyhem and started a general stampede through the illusionary walls...after the first two...the panicked army realized most everythign was just an illusion (though a good number had dropped from fright believing in the attacks and flame)...so when they came to the other two walls of fire...noone thought anythign of passing through...or of the screams of those in front...no time to lose..the army was stampeding...

The rest of the party was quite miffed that instead of trapping the army I had singlehandedly killed most of it. Terrain and a good plan can make all the difference.

TheSteelRat
2008-01-28, 02:55 AM
Assumes Druid 3 / Wizard 3 / Arcane Hierophant 10 / Mystic Theurge 4 (17 Druid / 17 Wizard)

While the goal of this thread is to look at a "single" army defeating spell, I think one amusing one would be Animal Growth. Using Summon Nature's Ally and Animal Growth on the resulting critters would be a powerful combination. Using Imbued Summoning (Greater Magic Fang) metamagic and Extend Spell would also help. Using a relatively cheap (for a 20th lvl character) Incense of Meditation would give you the maximum number of low level summons, since a Wolf with DR 10 is more than a match for a lvl 1 creature. Since you're an Arcane Caster, you can teleport in whenever you like, so making this a night attack would be especially good, since you've got at least some people sleeping.

A bit off-topic, but would it be possible to destroy this army using Cats? Or at least, scare them enough that they won’t continue? Personally, I would think having housecats attack your army would be bad for morale, since it’s a frickin’ housecat. Also, disbelief may be an option (Seriously, who attacks you with cats?) Combined with liberal use of Extended Summon Nature’s Ally + Animal Growth + Incense of Meditation the night before would generally create problems.

Controlling the Cat Army
Apparently, Dominate Animal sucks by comparison to Person or Monster. It’s a duration of Rounds/lvl, while Person/Monster is Day/lvl. So, you’re stuck with a Handle Animal DC 20 check, which wouldn’t be a problem since it’s a class Skill for you, so you shouldn’t be able to fail this. Just train'em to attack everyone till you give a command to stop.
Another option is you can either change it’s type through Awaken so that Dominate Monster is effective on it, which seems a tad evil, or you diplomacy it onto your side once it’s awakened. I’m not sure however if Animal Growth could still effect it in this instance though.

Cat Buffs
2 Minutes / 4 Extended
Greater Invisibility – This is where it’s at. This is the major buff that will make them truly terrifying, because you don’t know what’s trying to eat your face. The short duration though makes this a problem. Is there any way to increase this duration beyond recasting it manually? Still, 4 minutes of roaming instant death seems like a good way to go.

20 Minutes / 40 Extended
Animal Growth – This is the most powerful, since you increase its size to Small, but make it quite the vicious killing machine with a +8 Str, +4 Con as a “Size” bonus, along with a DR 10/magic, making it practically invulnerable to all but the PC’s. And, it effects multiple animals for a single casting.
Cat’s Grace / Bear’s Endurance / Bull’s Strength (Mass) – Again, on multiple animals, this would increase damage / accuracy and hit points by +2 for all the cats you’re capable of casting Animal Growth on, and they stack (Animal Growth is “Size”).

200 Minutes / 400 Minutes
Barkskin – Simple +5 AC, which brings the cat up to AC 18, just to make their life easier on getting hit.
Protection from Energy – Know that your PC’s wizard prefers a certain energy attack style? Now you’ve got seemingly invulnerable cats if they try energy spells on them. This also might cause your characters to believe it’s an illusion – Seriously, who thinks a bunch of housecats can survive a Fireball? Metagaming and all that though.

20 Hours / 40 Extended
Greater Magic Fang – This gives a single cat a +5 to its claw attacks, making its damage viable for killing something in one hit, as well as improving it’s strike bonus. Damage would be 1d3 + 5 (Size increase + no strength penalty / bonus + GMF)
Protection from Arrows – If your PC’s try and strike them through the crowd, which would probably give them cover, this is a nice idea that provides long-term protection. Also good if the cats charge across the battlefield out of range of the party mage.

Use-Activated (For Amusement only)
Symbols – Use any Symbol, but attuning all the cats to each, and then making them wear it on their sides, so once the invisibility wears off, you’ve got a whole new kind of fun. This also applies to PC’s with See Invisible and Invisibility Purge.

For those of you with a bit more knowledge of the game, would any Persistent spells be available for abuse in this manner?

Deployment
Invisibility + Featherfall over the battlefield is a good combo for this I believe.
Ring Gates + Telekinesis + Sonorous Hum – While you might need more than one, deploying them invisibly and dropping cats out of them would be rather amusing. Can control its position through Telekinesis (at 1200ft, 2400 Enlarged)

Retrieval
This is slightly harder. Is there any spell that would allow you to teleport them from inside the battle back to you?
Ring Gates – This one above handles the problem, except you’d have to move it and “grab” the cat, reducing the amount of mass you’d be able to transfer, so you might want to buy more than one. You’d have to move the ring gate next to the cat and then “yoink” it through, so this could be difficulty in the middle of combat.
Run for it - Could train them to come to a certain signal, use Ghost Sound to create it from a distance (or through a Ring Gate) and just activate the "come home" signal after a certain duration, and they call run through the ring gate to wherever it goes.

Alternate Cat Theories
What about using Followers from Leadership Feat? Polymorph / Animal Shape them into Housecats, so they’ll be intelligent. Lasts Hours/level.
If raised specifically for this purpose, could the cats be considered War Trained, as per the MM Template? That would allow them to have miniature barding made to improve their armor rating with kitty-sized chain shirts for a +4 AC (higher if magic enhancements performed).

Darkantra
2008-01-28, 04:03 AM
What about pixies, hmm? There's nothing for destroying an army's morale quite like seeing the general break out into a spontaneous jig right before the battle.

Either summon one to sneak into the camp or cast Greater Invisibility on yourself and ghost up to the general right as he's making his grand, troop inspiring speech. One Otto's Irresistable Dance later and the army's confidence is completely shattered.

For extra points make him do a booty-shake :smallamused:.