Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekly 4e Homebrew: War!

Every Sunday, I'll have a completely homebrewed Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition element that you can use in your games. I do take requests so you can either post a comment here, email me at with the subject "Homebrew Request", or send me a tweet on Twitter (@brannonhutchins) with the hashtag #weekly4e.

If there is one thing that is seriously lacking in the 4th Edition, it's large scale combat. I have some ideas on the subject, so here is a little peek into those thoughts.

I present to you: WAR!

What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
When representing a war in your 4th Edition campaign, you will need to remember that you are looking at this from a third person perspective, not the usual first person that each player experiences while at the table. I recommend that you assure taking the game out of its usual method of play will not destroy the immersion for your players.

In 4th Edition large scale combat, there are five different types of units to choose from, each of them similar to monster types. Each unit represents a large number of troops, roughly 75 to 150, and is considered to be Medium sized, mechanically speaking. For those of you who do not know, the different types of units will be:
  • Artillery, ranged
  • Brute, strong melee and low defenses
  • Controller, burst and blast attacks
  • Lurker, surprise attacks
  • Soldier, above average melee with good defenses
Each unit comes with one of the following Squad Leaders:
  • Commander
    • Strong morale bonuses to attack and damage
    • Weak self-healing
  • Hunter
    • Increases unit speed, attack ranges, and Stealth
  • Mage
    • Can apply one of the following:
      • Haste: temporary bonus to Reflex and Speed
      • Magic Weapons: temporary damage type and ongoing damage
      • Shield: temporary bonus to AC
      • ...I may think of others.
  • Priest
    • Strong self-healing
    • Weak morale bonuses to attack and damage

You can also apply racial traits to the different units. For example, if a majority of the troops in the unit are humans, then give the whole unit the Human Defense trait and the Heroic Effort encounter power.

While I don't have a complete array of units available, I have managed to create an example for you.

Designer Notes: I intentionally wanted this to seem like no more than a reflavored standard combat. The fun comes in finding the combination of units and races as well as the tactics on the battlefield.

Keep in mind, you can only get the most out of this with a well structured story to go with it. So, go out there and get your Battle of the Pelennor Fields on!

The Heroic Artillery Unit was created using Power2ool for Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition by Wizards of the Coast.

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