Army management, business management, mass combat, rules for any of those?

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For my current campaign, I have planned where the PC’s will eventually have the opportunity to manage a large business, and eventually command/manage an army (of course, all of this is optional).  So I was wondering if anyone had any insights, or knew of any pre-existing rulesets for any of those.  Such as mass combat, commanding an army, managing supplies for an army, and managing a business, or multiple businesses.


The story behind it is that the leader of a merchant house has fallen into depression and can’t properly lead his enterprise, but he trusts the PC’s greatly, so for a short period of time he offers it to them (if they don’t accept the task, his wife takes over).


Any ideas?

No doubt there are rules for those somewhere. My advice, of course, is to collaborately narrate what happens to the large-scale enterprises, and use the mechanics of D&D to resolve what happens on the level of the characters. Or, have large-scale results hinge on the small-scale efforts. Rescue a potential business partner, business succeeds; potential business partner lost, business falters. Appease the local druids, the army gets stronger; anger the local druids, the army gets weaker.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I like Centauri's approach. I'd also suggest that you could take a page from the Exalted playbook and just treat large-scale units as creatures (so the orc militia becomes one big minion and the orc chieftain's bodyguards becomes an elite, or whatever) and increase the scale of your encounter map accordingly. Give each player a friendly unit to control on the map and you're off to the races. Modify as you see fit.
any pre-existing rulesets for any of those.  Such as mass combat, commanding an army, managing supplies for an army, and managing a business, or multiple businesses.

4e is sparse on these, but 3.5 had a lot. Some examples:
3.5 DMG2 has rules for managing businesses
Heroes of Battle has army related information
Cry Havoc has mass combat rules
etc.

Searching RPGnow.com should turn up many 3rd party options.

For my current campaign, I have planned where the PC’s will eventually have the opportunity to manage a large business, and eventually command/manage an army (of course, all of this is optional).  So I was wondering if anyone had any insights, or knew of any pre-existing rulesets for any of those.  Such as mass combat, commanding an army, managing supplies for an army, and managing a business, or multiple businesses.


The story behind it is that the leader of a merchant house has fallen into depression and can’t properly lead his enterprise, but he trusts the PC’s greatly, so for a short period of time he offers it to them (if they don’t accept the task, his wife takes over).


Any ideas?


10000 arrows covering the field are likely to hit something.

Here is one rule I use for archers in mass-combat...

If the player is on the field and a unit of archers aims on the square where the player happens to be, but no archer is specifically targeting the player..

100 archers rolls d20 + 1 to see if some stray arrow strikes.
200 archers roll d20 + 2
300 d20 + 3, etc.

For every 1000 archers covering an area roll d20 + 10

For damage, d6, but if you roll a 6 on the dice, roll again and again (like ballistics damage in some games). Multiple units can attack the same area, of course. Adjust the attack roll to account for this and other factors (elven archers or a unit well-equipped with masterwork weapons).

For melee, you can do pretty much the same thing for the unit's attacks, and allow advancement by giving the unit an AC and a number of hp damage that must be done to allow advancement or force a retreat or strategic withdrawal.

Focus on individual combats with leaders and key points of terrain and you will find it more manageable. Assume the many NPC warriors on the player's army side are dealing with the many NPC minions on the enemy side. Roll d20 each round for allys and enemies. Adjust for factors such as larger force, better equipped force, fatigue, exhaustion, better terrain, etc.

Use this modified number to check morale and make a call on how the battle is going overall.

These are just suggestions. Focusing on individual combats with leaders and in key strategic points tends to personalize the combats for the players, though.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
There was a series of books called "Central Casting" about 20 years ago. They had a great system for determining combat outcomes while rolling your history which I adapted to mass scale in-game combat.
Roll a D20 for each side. Add bonuses and penalties based on the tactical situations, numerical superiority, quality leadership, etc. Compare the dice. The greater the difference, the more massively one-sided the battle. The lower the difference,(the more evenly matched the fight), the more brutal the battle. a 1-2 score was a pyric victory. A difference of 18 or more was the kind of slaughter that could scar the psychie of the victor almost as much as the loser.
If I wanted to drag the fight out, I'd let the first roll result in casualties that would be a factor in the next roll, and so on.
And if I wanted something dramatic, the result of the war was always the reverse of what happened with the PCs. If the PCs win, their army is nearly wiped out, and civilization itself may be about to break down.
If the PCs lose, the same forces that destroyed the rest of the enemies break through to rescue them (almost?) in the nick of time.
For my current campaign, I have planned where the PC’s will eventually have the opportunity to manage a large business, and eventually command/manage an army (of course, all of this is optional).  So I was wondering if anyone had any insights, or knew of any pre-existing rulesets for any of those.  Such as mass combat, commanding an army, managing supplies for an army, and managing a business, or multiple businesses.

The story behind it is that the leader of a merchant house has fallen into depression and can’t properly lead his enterprise, but he trusts the PC’s greatly, so for a short period of time he offers it to them (if they don’t accept the task, his wife takes over).


Any ideas?



Probably nothing you really wanted to hear.  My thinking along these lines has always led me to the conclusion that D&D is not meant for running mass combats - it's designed VERY EXCLUSIVELY for pitting just the player characters against foes and immediately ceases to function properly when you simply scale it up.  D&D is similarly not an economic simulator and the more detailed the rules players want/need for running a business, even for a short time, the more I believe you're playing the wrong game.

These things (and army management too) belong in D&D only about as far as they serve a purpose in the normal course of D&D play.  Add as much of it to your game as you like for running a particular campaign, but I want my D&D games to be about player character actions and adventures, not about the adventures of the armies that they control or the accounting for the businesses they run.  PC's can command armies but that doesn't mean I want to run games that deal with the details of clashes of armies - I still want game sessions that are about the PC's fighting, not their armies.  PC's can run businesses and profit (or lose money) from them but I don't want or need to control the practical, detailed economics of the game world, a single city, or even just their one business - I only need to control the amount of money that the PC's have access to.  So they get some profit (as I deem reasonable) and I may use the business as a springboard for adventures but otherwise I have no reason not to just let it exist in a vacuum so that the focus of the game can remain on the PC's.

Old School: It ain't what you play - it's how you play it.

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