Mass Combat
Up What to spend Victory points on! Example Units

Mass combat is any combat scenario that involves over 15 NPCs on either side. Mass combat cannot be run using standard rules without bogging down and slowing to a crawl where more speed would benefit the game.

To help facilitate this, groups of people of similar skill set and equipment are gathered together into units.

bulletA unit may consist of anywhere between five and five hundred individuals.
bulletA unit has only a few basic statistics: Attack Range, Attack Damage, Defense, Magic Defense, Speed, Willpower, and Morale.
bulletThe number of combat-capable individuals forms the last statistic, health, or hit points.
bulletSpeed comes in only a few gradients: Slow, Normal, Fast, Rapid.
bulletSlow: The unit may move one space OR attack each mass combat round.
bulletNormal: The unit may move one space and make an action. The action may be done before or after moving.
bulletFast: Two squares may be moved instead.
bulletRapid: Four squares may be moved, or one square and two actions.
bulletAttack range is the number of squares away an attack may be launched and its area of effect, in squares, that the attack will strike. Unless specifically noted, every unit within the area of effect, friendly or not, suffers the full brunt of the attack. Most units can only strike one or two squares away and only one square at a time.
bulletAttack Damage and Defense directly oppose one another. Attack damage is often reflected as X per Y health. The more people present in a unit, the more damage it can potentially inflict. Basic footmen have an attack damage rating of 1 per 3 health. When an attack is made, roll 1d(damage rating) and subtract the defense rating. The result is the number of enemies slain and is reduced from the target unit. Roll for each unit inside the area of effect of the attack.
bulletDefense comes in several formats.
bulletX per Y health is common in units that provide supportive defense to one another. In large enough numbers they can become quite impregnable.
bulletX is most often found in 'epic' units, like a dragon or siege tower or other large but fairly singular unit.
bulletX% is the most common, shrugging off a certain percent of the incoming force.
bulletMagic defense is identical to Defense but works only against magical forms of assault.
bulletMorale is the general attitude of the unit. Most units, if paid well, fed, and treated properly, enter combat with a Good morale. Morale can cause a unit to perform extremely well, or poorly, or even route on the spot. Morale levels are:
bulletFanatical: The unit is driven by a religious-like fervor. They have a 50% chance of completely ignoring any factor that would normally cause them to have to make a willpower check. They take 20% less damage and inflict 20% more. They can be pushed to make an extra attack in the same round but will lose 5% of their men in the careless berserk frenzy.
bulletExcellent: The unit is confident of victory or is extremely well disciplined. They will take 10% less damage from attacks and have a 25% chance of ignoring situations that would force a willpower check.
bulletGood: The unit is taken care of and feels reasonably loyal to its cause. The unit operates under standard rules.
bulletFair: Though fighting, they are starting to lose focus on the goal and some are considering if things are worth it. They inflict 10% less damage in attacks.
bulletPoor: Large portions of the unit are regretting entering combat and are suffering from a lack of discipline and leadership. They take 10% more damage and inflict 20% less. Every attack against them has a 25% chance of inciting a rout.
bulletMiserable: Most of the unit is feeling dread, despair, and is in chaos. Only a desire to live another day keeps them together as a battle unit. They have a 25% chance of ignoring commands(Skipping their turn). They take 50% more damage but inflict full damage from their attacks in wild desperation. Any attack against them has a 50% chance of inciting a rout
bulletRouted: The worst that morale gets. The men are fleeing in a scattered formation, rushing for the nearest cover and abandoning the effort all together. The unit may only move and may not attack. If attacked, they take double damage as they're picked off.
bulletAutonomous, Magical, and Undead units are immune to most morale effects and operate as if under Good morale at all times.
bulletIf a unit is without leader or the leader is slain, they may not have over 50 individuals and remain a unit. Any number over that splinters off into new units that enter play at Miserable morale. If the unit was already at poor or worse, these splintered units start at Routed. The new units must also obey the 50 size limit, unless a new leader steps up to guide them.
bulletBeing sorrounded is bad. Being attacked in melee combat with an enemy unit behind you, in comparison to the attackers, causes the defending unit to lose 25% of its defense. Being sorrounded on all four sides causes a loss of 50% of all defenses against all forms of assault.

PC Leaders

it just wouldn't do if players couldn't influence the flow of combat.

bulletWhenever a PC takes command of a unit, usually done before the combat begins, they may decide what actions that unit takes on its turn instead of the 'commander' of the battle. The commander may give the PC orders, but he or she does not have to obey these orders.
bulletWhen the unit that the PC is leading attacks, the PC may participate in the assault. They should roll whatever attack roll is appropriate for their weapon or spell. Every 2 points of damage is +1 to the units attack damage rating.

There is risk in riding into the thick of combat. Every time the PC assists his unit in this fashion, they receive 1d(Offensive rating of the target unit) in damage, which can be soaked. A minimum of 1 damage is suffered.
bulletA PC may use their own leadership skills instead of the units willpower rating to recover for rally attempts.
bulletIf the PC is skilled at healing magics, they may heal their unit during their turn WITHOUT slowing their unit. Every 2 HP healed in one attempt is one health restored, up to the original starting point of the unit. A PC who heals in this fashion may not assist in combat in the same mass combat round. Magic cast in this fashion cannot be shock cast.
bulletThe PC may attempt to bolster morale without slowing down the unit. Make a Leadership+Leadership/Armies vs 15 roll. 5 successes will raise a unit in Fair, Poor, or Miserable morale by one step. 10 Successes will raise a unit from good to routed by one step. 15 Successes will raise a unit under fanatical by one step.


A unit can only take a few general actions, barring special abilities. The field commander may decide on the actions, unless there is a specific 'hero'(PC or NPC) leader, in which case they make the decision.

Unless completely surprised, the defending army can make its move(s) first.

  1. Move and attack. If the unit has a speed over slow, they can attack then move, or move then attack. Slow units must move OR attack, not both.
  2. Rally. Roll the units willpower(Or leader's Leadership/Armies) and score 5 successes to raise one level of morale, 10 successes needed to raise to fanatical/excellent or from miserable/routed.
  3. Move. Just move. A unit that could normally make an action after moving that forgoes the option may move one additional space.
  4. Use a special ability. Some units have unique abilities that they can use for their action.

Morale Changing Events

These events will cause a unit to have to roll willpower to resist losing a step of morale. 2 successes are required to resist such a shift, +1 for every other such situation that came up in the same mass combat round. Make a morale change check at the end of every mass combat round in which such situations have occurred.

bulletThe leader takes a serious injury.
bulletThe leader dies.
bullet25% of the unit has fallen.
bullet50% of the unit has fallen.
bullet75% of the unit has fallen.
bulletOver 25% of the unit is fell with one attack
bulletOver 50% of the unit is fell with one attack
bulletThe unit realizes it's outnumbered by 2:1 or worse.
bulletThe unit realizes it's outnumbered by 5:1 or worse.
bulletThe unit is within 2 spaces of another friendly unit that has lost a step of morale.
bulletThe unit attacks and fails to inflict any damage.

Unit Special Abilities

Magicians, summoned beings, epic beings, automatons, and other various unusual units have special abilities that allow them to do things outside the scope of standard combat. If no specific trigger is mentioned (Whenever attacked, for example), it requires the unit's action to perform.

Healing -  The unit can heal. Sometimes this is instead of attacking, other times it is completely separate. If separate, the healing ability is given an attack power rating as per usual just for healing, otherwise use the unit's attack power rating. Assume an area of effect of one square and range of one square unless specified otherwise. The amount of damage done to the target unit is instead restored to their health, up to their original starting point. Healing damage is resisted with standard defense, which makes heavily armored units more difficult to heal.

Counter - This unit is very attentive. Whenever attacked from within its own range of attack, it will strike back, assuming it survives the assault. It will only inflict half normal damage, but will not use its action in doing so. This is very commonly possessed by pikemen.

Fear Producing - Most often possessed by monsters, undead, and other horrors, this special ability allows the unit to terrify another unit within one space of it. This forces the targeted unit to make an immediate willpower check to avoid losing a step of morale. The unit may take its normal movement, as if attacking.

Breath Weapon - Reserved only for dragons of legend and other huge beings that can annihilate many with one magical blow. Breath weapon will wipe out 1d5 X 5% of the target units. It will affect two spaces in the direction of the unit's choice in a straight line.

Immortal - The unit has an uncanny talent for reviving itself whenever it falls to routed or is completely wiped out. Whenever either event occurs, roll 1d100. If 40 or under is scored, the unit is revived at 75% of its starting health (round up) and is at Good morale.

Mercenary - The unit fights only for money. They are at +2 difficulty to willpower rolls to avoid losing morale, but morale is easily raised if their wage is increased by 50%. Every 50% increase raises their morale one step and can be done at any time. The 50% is cumulative and can get quite expensive.

Desperate - The unit knew it was a losing prospect from the outset but has no intentions of folding. They may not fall to routed morale, but may not raise above Fair either.

Flying - The unit moves 50% farther than normal for its speed rating and can move over terrain that would normally stop a unit in its tracks.

Magical - Quite simply, the unit uses magic attacks that must be resisted with magical defense.

Frenzied - The unit is in a berserk state of mind. Whenever they can, they will attack the closest enemy unit. They have a 50% chance of ignoring any morale changing situation, for good or ill.

Swarming - +20% damage for every other friendly Swarming unit in range while attacking, as long as all units use the swarming action. The strongest unit attacks and gains the benefit. If a unit cannot at least inflict half as much damage as the most powerful, it cannot assist in the swarm.

Epic - The unit is a super strong individual. Maybe a summon, or a behemoth or great dragon. They resist morale shifts 50% of the time and enter the field at Excellent Morale most of the time. Their health is not a number of individuals but the intense beating that they can withstand. Epic units are usually limited to five individuals at most. A PC that wishes to be an Epic unit has as much health as their HP divided by 2 and inflicts damage as per assisting a unit in combat.

X Home - Available in all terrain types. If a unit has X home for that terrain (Forest home), they can ignore all negative penalties associated with that terrain and lose 20% less health to any attack while within the terrain. Attacks against another unit within this terrain will cause 20% more damage.

Common Sense Rule

The judge of a mass combat scene can and should side on the dramatic over harsh hugging to the rules. Let PC leaders cause damage if their attending unit is too weak, if they perform an especially good attack, for example. Do what makes the battle move more smoothly.

Area of effects





Epic PCs

    Any PC can become an Epic unit, if they wish to operate without a unit. As an epic unit, divide their hit points in half for their mass combat health, and give them a speed of normal. Ignore morale. If a PC has an ability that would denote extra speed, push them up to fast speed. They can move and cast and attack as normal. They should +cast or +weapon/attack as if attacking a person and use half the damage reported as attack power. The War Devil perk greatly enhances the efficiency of an Epic PC, see below.

Number of War Devil Perks Effect
1 Hit Points are no longer halved, enemy units attacking suffer a demoralizing event when they cannot defeat the war devil.
2 Hit Points are increased by 50%, enemy units suffer demoralization, and damage is no longer cut in half.
3 Hit Points are doubled, damage is doubled, enemy units suffer demoralizing events.