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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Aug 2011

    Default Ideas for Fire-based Anarchist Enemies

    So I'm preparing a campaign and the PCs are going to be fighting some anarchists. I would like the anarchists to make heavy use of fire-based attacks, as this fits well with the general theme of them trying to cause as much destruction as possible.

    What I've come up with so far:

    *Using lots of alchemist's fire/molotov cocktails. Maybe rolling flaming barrels full of alchemist's fire at the PCs.

    *Greek fire. Pouring oil in the harbor and setting boats on fire (which the PCs happen to be on).

    *Fire arrows/bolts

    *Using torches as melee weapons (I would consider them as clubs but doing fire based damage). Maybe houseruling in some kind of Exotic Weapon Profiency: Torch.

    *Setting melee weapons on fire. Maybe putting oil on a sword and setting it alight for extra fire damage (although the sword might be damaged)?

    *The 2nd in command of the anarchists will be a high level level adept and she'll make heavy use of Burning hands, Scorching ray and Wall of Fire. Maybe Resist energy:fire as well. The adept casts this on an ally, the ally douses themselves in oil, sets themselves alight, then the human torch charges into melee combat with the PCs doing fire damage to them every round they are adjacent to the burning baddie.

    *Fireworks/rockets. The fighting will take place in a culture loosely based on ancient china. The government has a stockpile of fireworks that they use for celebrations. They are considered of little military value because they are highly inaccurate. But they could be used reliably against stationary targets like buildings. The anarchists have stolen a large stockpile of these fireworks and will be using them against buildings, as well as against the PCs at point blank range (where accuracy won't matter).

    *Kongming lanterns. The rich in this city live high in towers, while the poor live in slums at ground level. Rich people will be a primary target of the anarchists. The anarchists will use thousands of sky lanterns to hit the tops of these towers and set them alight. How big can a sky lantern be realistically? It would be awesome if I could have a giant flaming kongming lantern hit a towertop the PCs happened to be guarding.

    So I'm looking for more ideas of how to create fun fights with these fire-using anarchists. Any help would be appreciated!

    More background info:
    *Humans, elves, and goblins are the only sentient races and there are no monsters. So fire elementals and similar monsters are a no-no. All the city dwellers and anarchists are human.

    *This is a low magic game in which adepts, paladins and rangers are the only casters, and casters are very rare. So aside from one high level adept the anarchists will not have any magic at their disposal.

    *The setting is a port city in a culture based loosely on ancient china. Gunpowder tech is low quality and limited to the aforementioned fireworks.

    Is there any non-magical fire-based equipment I should be looking at? Or feats or tactics that would sync well with fire attacks? Or maybe ways the anarchists could protect themselves from their own fire weapons? Any good historical use of fire attacks I could draw inspiration from?
    Last edited by Murg; 2012-11-18 at 09:53 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Biffoniacus_Furiou's Avatar

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    Dec 2004

    Default Re: Ideas for Fire-based Anarchist Enemies

    Pyrokineticist

    Tucker's Kobolds-style tactics

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Nov 2010

    Default Re: Ideas for Fire-based Anarchist Enemies

    Contagion. Contagion everywhere. That guy you just hit? He can unwittingly spread your disease for you. Your loyal followers can do this too, for all 7 of the Contagion diseases, then our Adept casts Cure Disease on his/her followers so they can be useful later.

    Cast Contagion -> Hold the Charge -> bump people in the street, touching them so they get infected. Bonus points if you can hit royalty too.


    The strength of any kind of terrorist organization is blending with civilians, and being very slippery. They shouldn't wear any kind of identifying uniform, or engage directly until the very latest stages of the revolution. When they attack, they should complete their objective quickly and be out of there long before anyone shows up to fight (ideally blocks away when the bomb goes off, although it's not always that clean). Always have an exit strategy.

    Remote detonation should be ideal. Something like a decently-sized wick attached to the gunpowder stash, then the terrorists GTFO before it blows. Keeping your followers alive is crucial to success. They should not stand and fight unless absolutely necessary, and flee whenever possible. Remind your players of the movment penalties/ACP for wearing a medium/heavy load, and the lightly-equipped terrorists can flee much more successfully.



    Maybe the PCs bust a "gunpowder lab", where the terrorists are developing gunpowder capabilities of their own, and one wrong step can blow the entire block to high heaven. If things get really desperate, the rebels will "self-destruct" the entire facility (if they're going to lose it, they might as well take out the PCs too). A tense, timed battle as the PCs race to find the detonator and literally defuse it (hitting it with a sword will just make it blow up faster. they'll wish they put points in Disable Device now ).

    The PCs engage the terrorists plotting to blow up a ministry... but they have human shields! The terrorists are carrying out their attack, and the PCs need to quickly make a moral choice; try to save these civilians, or stop the bombing? Or perhaps they think of a third way (don't hand it to them, it spoils the drama. If they want to try a third option, it should be risky and heroic, not a DM-handout). It might help to have a timer visible to the players, they need to make their choice under very real time pressure, before the attack succeeds.
    Last edited by Slipperychicken; 2012-11-18 at 02:35 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    By level 20 though, you aren't capturing a wizard. A character lives to level 20 by being the most ruthless, lucky, capable, and paranoid bastard around. A wizard is throwing around a 30+ Int score and has, entirely in character, planned contingencies for his contingencies. He may well be running around with flat out total immunity to harm, he does not walk outside without an entire bevy of defensive magics around him and enough magic items to buy himself a nation.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Ideas for Fire-based Anarchist Enemies

    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    Contagion. Contagion everywhere. That guy you just hit? He can unwittingly spread your disease for you. Your loyal followers can do this too, for all 7 of the Contagion diseases, then our Adept casts Cure Disease on his/her followers so they can be useful later.

    Cast Contagion -> Hold the Charge -> bump people in the street, touching them so they get infected. Bonus points if you can hit royalty too.
    Oh wow, now that I think about it Contagion could be really devastating in a low magic world where magical healing is extremely rare. Seems like this single spell could knock over the whole city, and in fact would preclude people from even gathering in cities to begin with. For balance, I'll probably houserule it so that Contagion's diseases only affect the target and are not contagious.

    However, Contagion is a really good and ironic idea! This is because the anarchists are lepers.

    In this city the rich live high in towers, the small middle class live in the towers, the huge masses of poor live in slums at ground level. But beneath even the poor are the lepers, outcasts who live in the sewers/aqueducts beneath in city.

    Persecuted for centuries, condemned to live in trash and filth, the massive leper colony has turned to militant anarchism. They deny the emperor's mandate of heaven, see society as irredeemably corrupt, and the only way to save the empire is to burn it to the ground and start over from scratch.

    In any "normal" fantasy campaign there would be no leper colonies because magic healing is so commonly available. But in this low magic setting casters are extremely rare. The handful of magical healers in the empire have jealously guarded their craft, and formed a guild in which membership is mandatory and prices are fixed at a rate too high for the poor to afford. In this major capitol city of 200,000 only about a dozen casters even know the "cure disease" spell, and all but one of them belong to the guild. They have become some of the most powerful members of society and enshrined their artificial healing scarcity into law. Any healer not a member, or found healing the poor gratis is arrested.

    The lepers' one high level adept can cast "cure disease", curing her own illness as well as that of her fellows. But she was an orphan that has lived her whole life as a leper; she now regards her disease as a badge of honor and humility. She also needs to be careful about using her magic openly. If word gets out that there is a free caster among the lepers the guild would respond with massive force. Of course, by the time the PCs arrive on the scene the situation has deteriorated and the lepers are ready to start openly waging war against the government.

    So I'm thinking the lepers will use the Contagion spell to deliberately infect some high profile enemies with leprosy. This would not be fatal, but would definitely be ironic, a sort of "now you know what it's like" message from the anarchists.


    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    The strength of any kind of terrorist organization is blending with civilians, and being very slippery. They shouldn't wear any kind of identifying uniform, or engage directly until the very latest stages of the revolution. When they attack, they should complete their objective quickly and be out of there long before anyone shows up to fight (ideally blocks away when the bomb goes off, although it's not always that clean). Always have an exit strategy.

    Remote detonation should be ideal. Something like a decently-sized wick attached to the gunpowder stash, then the terrorists GTFO before it blows. Keeping your followers alive is crucial to success. They should not stand and fight unless absolutely necessary, and flee whenever possible. Remind your players of the movment penalties/ACP for wearing a medium/heavy load, and the lightly-equipped terrorists can flee much more successfully.
    When the PCs first arrive the anarchists will try and cloak their actions as criminal activity. However the government is already weak and on the verge of collapse so open warfare is not far off. I do like the idea you mentioned of hit and run attacks and remote detonation, definitely going to have to use that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    Maybe the PCs bust a "gunpowder lab", where the terrorists are developing gunpowder capabilities of their own, and one wrong step can blow the entire block to high heaven. If things get really desperate, the rebels will "self-destruct" the entire facility (if they're going to lose it, they might as well take out the PCs too). A tense, timed battle as the PCs race to find the detonator and literally defuse it (hitting it with a sword will just make it blow up faster. they'll wish they put points in Disable Device now ).
    That's a good idea! For added drama, it could take place in a derelict structurally unstable tower that had been abandoned years ago by the nobility but has now been claimed by the anarchists. The PCs would need to find a way to get in, get out, and do it all without getting blown up.


    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    The PCs engage the terrorists plotting to blow up a ministry... but they have human shields! The terrorists are carrying out their attack, and the PCs need to quickly make a moral choice; try to save these civilians, or stop the bombing? Or perhaps they think of a third way (don't hand it to them, it spoils the drama. If they want to try a third option, it should be risky and heroic, not a DM-handout). It might help to have a timer visible to the players, they need to make their choice under very real time pressure, before the attack succeeds.
    I love moral quandaries, and this fits really well. Thank you for the ideas!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Nov 2012

    Default Re: Ideas for Fire-based Anarchist Enemies

    I remember pigs that had been rubbed down with flammable fluids and then lit on fire being a unit in Rome: Total War to panic elephants.

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