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Mercenary Company

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  • Mercenary Company

    The next game I'm running will feature the PCs as members of a mercenary company of their own creation during Robert's Rebellion, with the ability to fight for any and/or all sides at their heart's desire. But... aside from the big battles, which would get old doing back to back, what can I do to mix it up?
    I still want politics to feature, as well as some lower octane sessions so I can control the pacing between each massive battle.

    Does anyone have any encounter ideas to put a group of mercenary PCs through?

  • #2
    Re: Mercenary Company

    Give them a rival mercenary band or 2. Maybe give the rival leader and the leader of the "Home company" some history going in - (foster) siblings, from neighboring houses, served together before. Friends, enemies, lovers or frenemies.
    Put them against each other early in a struggle for success on a mission (maybe control of a mountain pass or a silver mine or mill or something) early on so they are established rivals.
    Over the rest of the campaign, the rivals can sometimes be on the opposite side and sometimes the same side.

    All sorts of activity possible with them - try to avoid having them protect your flank, try to get the enemy to attack them not you. Do you disobey orders to attack them instead of your assigned target? Do they?
    How hard do you play when you're on the same side as them but are still trying to forage in the same area? How about if some of your troops fight a skirmish?


    • #3
      Re: Mercenary Company

      You can also do most of the normal stuff.
      Court intrigue? Assign the company to the command of one of the great houses, maybe assign them to Mace Tyrel's siege at Storms End for a while. Let them intrigue for better pay, rations assignments, positions after the war, spouses etc etc.

      Tourney? Sure. Not a big one maybe, but when you're running a siege a small one will stop the troops getting too bored.

      Shopping expedition? Why not? Sent to get more food, or a shipment of better weapons (someone invested power in an upgrade!)

      Recruitment? Sure! Either recruiting a small group (a unit or 2 maybe) for the home company or a larger unit for the army you're in, especially if you've been with the one employer for a while and built a relationship.

      Bandits? Of course! Lots of broken men about in a war.


      • #4
        Re: Mercenary Company

        As I think about it, basing the campaign around the siege at Storm's End could be good. Lots of time to do other stuff not relating to the war. Lots of chances to do smaller independent operations while foraging, patrolling and controlling the countryside.

        Have some fighting around the battle of Ashford to establish the "You're in a big war" credentials. Maybe put them on the loosing side and then offer them the chance to switch sides after.
        Then they settle into the siege - normal adventures and independent operations.

        Then make them an offer too good to refuse to switch sides (if they didn't choose to already), now they are a small unit operating to harass the siege.
        Redeply them in time to take part in The Trident (can't miss that!)
        Last but not least, send them off to Dragnonstone.

        In the campaign I ran I found need for a "Grand tactical" scale of map. There were armies from different houses moving around in a war between neighbours so some houses were invaded from north and south at the same time etc. I'll see if I noted down rules for using scouts etc.


        • #5
          Re: Mercenary Company

          If you want some smaller tasks to fill the gaps, than there is of course

          a) internal struggle - maybe some people in the company think they should be in a higher position (if the company contains different types of troops than rivalry betwen them is just normal)

          b) mundane problems - a plague could easily bring you unit out of balance. It has not to be (but could be) something serious like a spring sickness, but even if your unit comes in land most people where not before, minor infections will spread because of the water they drink (since they are not longer used to it). That could result that you need to find and convince a healer and medicine, that chars must (at least for a time) fit in different roles than normal since the other officers are sick etc.

          c) if your unit capture a noble, there is many room for intrigues - will you try to sell him for ransom by yourself? or sell him to another noble of your side so that he has the problem with the ransom (that will bring a lower reward but is safer) - will there be attempts to rescue him, will he try to flee, or will someone try to murder him since he has a long standing grudge against him - or is his heir/rival on the other side of the front willing to pay that he never returns (and how decide you?)

          d) your unit need supply, but the next settlement is a small fortified town (like Market Town in the chronicle starter). You COULD take the town by force, but that would cost you blood, and could went out of hand with all the looting and killing, the dangers of fire etc. - so you maybe want to negotiate with the town

          e) vital supplies have gone lost/important messages are missing - could you help to find them back? is there a resistance of loyalists in the land, is someone in your own ranks a traitor or are that just bandits?

          and, and, and


          • #6
            Re: Mercenary Company

            Those are some great ideas, thanks!