How are classed soldiers recruited en masse? IE: If a king wants to create a unit of gryphon-riding wizards, where can I find the rules for recruiting large numbers of wizards? Do they just show up with the levy? Can they be trained from peasants by a wizard with the Manual of Arms skill, with the Judge reasoning that some percentage of each crop show magical potential? (and, naturally, if they’re to ride gryphons, only the fraction of wizards who’re good riders will qualify for further training)
There are no rules for recruiting large numbers of wizards. By default, such units are assumed not to commonly exist.
The rules for 0-level characters becoming 1st level mages can be found here:
Magical Research: 0th level characters who study under an arcane spellcaster of 9th level or higher may become 1st level mages. To qualify they must first possess the Alchemy, Collegiate Wizardry, Magical Engineering, or related proficiency (Judge’s discretion). They must then study for 1d6 months and make a proficiency throw of 14+, modified by their INT bonus or penalty. Success means the character advances to 1st level. Failure means the character has no gift for magic.
You could use those to build a bottom-up assessment. Let’s assume that the qualifying men are roughly equal in demographic to the literate population in the Middle Ages, e.g. 10%. Let’s assume an average +1 INT bonus. From this we can conclude 10% of conscripts might be mage-capable, and of those after 3 months, 40% (net 4%) will graduate.
Alternatively, you could create the unit in D@W and calculate its battle rating and monthly wages. Then you can estimate its likely availability to hire using the rules for Exotic Troops.
Don’t they need to have a mage to teach the would-be mages and aren’t they somewhat limited in the number they can train at one time? Then again, the tower/apprentice rules for mages assumes the mage is doing his own research for the most part. I’m guessing raising a mage army involves more focus on training for both the mage and his existing apprentices.
Maybe it would be good to add a proficiency (or use manual of arms) to signify a mage who is specifically trained for teaching larger groups of students (multiplying the number of simultaneous students by a number, perhaps doubling per manual of arms proficiency?).
Is there a level limit for the teachers? Do they have to be of strong-hold building level? If so, that really limits one’s ability to raise a unit of casters (though that’s probably intentional considering you specifically said that you wanted to avoid to much magic in your warfare).
Maybe this new magic pedagogy proficiency levels could reduce the level a character needs to be to train other mages, though probably also limiting the number of students one could train if under-leveled based on the level, the speed of instruction, or the chance of success. A magical academy might scrape together a unit in a few years or so, maybe?
I haven’t made clear in the rules the minimum level required to teach ordinary men magic, though the implication is that it’s 9th level. Individual Judges can adjust this to suit their particular campaign world.
Your ideas on the proficiency are good and worth testing out in play, for sure.
“Well, let’s see…in order to train a paladin, you need someone with two levels of Master of Arms and one level of Divine Philosopher…”
I could see having a trainer type for each of the four base classes, with mixed classes that are based on training needing to be trained by people with both types of teaching. It wouldn’t be for everyone, but it might add some flavor (for the paladin above, did one paladin teach both, or was it a fighter and a cleric, or possibly even a bladedancer and how does that change their outlook and relationship with their teacher or teachers?). It could also give some flavor when promoting 0-level henchmen (“Sorry, Boris, you’re just not cut out to be an assassin, but you’d make a pretty good thief.” “It looks like Natasha just doesn’t have the knack to be a mage…oh look, she made a pact with a planar being and became a witch.”).
Maybe I’m crazy early in the morning, but that’s what came to mind as I read through the existing thread.
It might be that you need to be a particular class to train someone for that class. For example, a wizard may have little idea about the dark pacts and black lore needed to become a warlock. This could either be set up with one proficiency that allows you to train your own class (whatever it may be) or a different proficiency per class, only available to each class (functionally identical, really, unless the former were a general proficiency). There may be other proficiency requirements too for certain complex classes (either for the trainer or the student). I don’t know.
I’m rocking between down-time training of a few normal men (1/class level max, maybe fewer) and allowing normal man henchmen (possibly not ally henchmen) to class up into non-fighter classes, maybe both. Hm…
By making it a different proficiency per class (only available to its own class), you could tack on a secondary benefit appropriate to each class as well.
I think a secondary benefit is likely appropriate for this proficiency, given that it seems much less useful overall than Manual of Arms, and I like how it would reinforce the idea that to truly master something you need to teach it.
(Also side note, this thread’s mention of how you might go witch or warlock because you don’t have the talent for mage is something I like, but it reminded me of how it bothered me that that the warlocks’s spellcasting at low levels is weaker than mage. I want my ‘easy path to power’ to be strong at low levels and fall off later. I might start working on some numbers to create an alternate spellcasting progression that does that; with Arcane 3, you might, for example, have full spellcasting until level 5, then half spellcasting until level 11, then no spellcasting at all afterwards, for a total of 8 levels of spellasting. That might be too low for arcane 3, this was just off the top of my head to show the general method of progression I’m thinking of.)
So, units can theoretically advance beyond 1st level, right? Admittedly, it might take awhile to collect thousands of XP, but it could be done, right? After all, if you want an elite core of Fireball-throwing wizards, you have to acquire them somehow?
I mean, let’s say the Perils at the Fang represents a relatively typical beastman force, of the sort that might appear on any given year. Assuming you manage to destroy or route them all, you could collect 10800 worth of orc heavies, 9600 worth of ogres, 7240 worth of crossbowmen. That’s 27640 total, half of which would go to the men, so 13820 up for grabs.
A unit of 30 small rocs costs 39750 from the rocs alone (And I’ll just assume here that the cost of a level 1 mage is negligible.)
Meanwhile, the combined total of the human army’s wages in PatF is 23400. So if your roc-riders swooped in and joined that battle, they’d collect 62% of that 13820, or 8568. Divided 30 ways, that’s 285 GP each. Ten battles like that, and they’ll hit level 2!
Hmm. That strikes me as POSSIBLE, but terribly inefficient. Looks like if you want an improbably-mounted mage army, you’re best off recruiting pre-levelled guys from the henchmen pools.
Lamentably, there’s not an edit button, so I’ll clarify that my example imagining was that you put mages on top of rocs, so that they could benefit from the unit’s higher BR to draw more of the spoils and transmute that into more XP. (Much as alex mentioned that cavalry got all the glory and took few of the risks historically)
I believe Alex wrote something a few years ago to the effect of comparing mages to cannons in napoleonic warfare. They’re good for strategic use when you need to do a lot of damage very suddenly, but they aren’t exactly cost effective.
When you consider the possibilities of casualties, the probability of a group making it to level 2 is not great. You would have to get several units up to a decent level of experience and then combine them with each other as more died off. By the time you would be reasonably close to them being ready to be your elite fighting core, you probably have so many fresh recruits that you actually need them to serve as officers and drill sergeants (which is assumed to be happening behind the scenes)
Well, a unit of paladins or clerics would actually be fairly easy to ensure zero casualties, since, if I understand the rules correctly, even if they got knocked to 1 UHP (and somehow didn’t rout, although I guess religious fanatics probably have great morale) they could mass heal themselves up to full before the battle ended. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if most nations had a unit of higher-than-level 1 divine casters.
This actually makes a lot of sense, since in most fantasy lore it seems like paladins get a great reputation for being some of the best fighters in the kingdom, even though their class skills suggest they’d have few advantages over fighters.
That’s if the gods allow that many divine casters at any given time. In Elizabeth Moon’s Paksworld series, it seems like there are maybe a couple dozen paladins of Gird, most of whom spend most of their time either on adventure or recuperating. Some campaigns might have a couple divine casters in every village, while others could play divine magic as a much less common thing.
Also, mass undead turning is too useful against undead units to ignore for realms with the resources to raise them. You really don’t want to be without a unit of clerics when the dead rise against you. Not to mention the other uses of having a hundred plus clerics hanging around your realm.