Sunday, February 27, 2011

siege mechanics?

Castle sieges are a pretty big deal for the period I'm trying to evoke in my current campaign.  I've done mass battles in some games, but never sieges.  Anybody have any experience in this field?  Off the top of my head there are two systems you can go to for support in this matter:  Either Chainmail plus the OD&D/AD&D castle & catapult sections or the Siege Machine rules from BECMI D&D (I think those were in the Master rulebook).  Has anyone used any other rules for siege warfare in a FRPG?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. (Sorry, wrong link in previous post.)

    There was Battlesystem: The Castle Guide for AD&D2E. That had siege rules and such.
    It was apparently a partner volume to the 25mm scale cardboard castle set TSR released around the same time.

    Sorry, I'm just distracted by the guy with the massive wicker basket on his head. Wuh?!

  3. Sorry, I'm just distracted by the guy with the massive wicker basket on his head. Wuh?!

    Ha! That dude is why I settled on this illo as the one to use.

  4. Soldiers of Fortune presented Seige Mechanics as a 4e Skill Challenge. It could easily be adapted to a 3.5/d20 Complex Skill Check Encounter.

  5. The folks at Troll Lord Games just released Fields of Battle. Any one try it yet?

  6. Not a rule, but definitely worth watching before the session to inspire the narration:

    * Siege One
    * Siege Two

    [Via The Trollbridge]

  7. Anonymous12:38 PM



  8. I once had an army of orcs lay siege to the Keep on the Borderlands, but the PCs weren't in a position of authority, so the only part I actually 'ran' was the fights where the PCs were helping.

    I would then make a couple rolls to determine a)how the rest of battle was going, and b)the distance from the characters where the 'hot' or 'cold' spot determined in roll a was happening. The PCs could then decide to re-focus their efforts if they had a means of knowing about what was going on at the other location.

    It went something like this, iirc:
    roll a - 1d20
    1 major breach, many defenders dying
    2 minor breach, def. dying
    3 melee, def. dying
    4 melee, some def. dying
    5 melee, some def. dying
    6 ranged, some def. dying
    7 ranged, even casualties
    8 artillery, major damage
    9 melee, even casualties
    10 melee, even casualties
    11 melee, even casualties
    12 melee, even casualties
    13 artillery, minor damage
    14 ranged, even casualties
    15 ranged, some attackers dying
    16 melee, some att. dying
    17 melee, some att. dying
    18 melee, att. dying
    19 minor breakout, att. dying
    20 major breakout, many att. dying

    roll b - 2d6
    2 underground, far
    3 1000yds or more
    4 500 to 750 yards
    5 250 to 500 yards
    6 100 to 250 yards
    7 50 to 100 yards
    8 1d4+1 times 10 yards
    9 1d3 times 10 yards
    10 at PC location
    11 underground at PC loc.
    12 enemy commander at PC loc.

    The details were entirely dependent on the battle situation. For example, artillery could be trebuchets, fireballs, meteor swarms, etc. A breach could be collapsing curtain wall, dragons landing in the courtyard, an attacking wizard opening a portal or gate for soldiers to pour through, or various other things that would all add up to 'they're getting inside.' Underground meant anything to do with tunneling under the walls.

    Depending on the intensity of the assault that was going on, I might roll anywhere from once a turn to once an hour. Also, if the defender or attacker was outclassed, I'd put a plus or minus on the d20 roll.

  9. What edition are you playing? My B/X Companion has spot rules for mass land combat and siege warfare.
    ; )

  10. I opened my previous campaign by having all the PCs pressganged into the Baron's Militia to defend his castle from an impending siege. It wasn't long before they realised they were on the wrong side.

    As for mechanics I wrote a series of skirmish encounters which occurred as they moved into different areas of the castle, going about their duties running errands. One of the PCs was a gnome wizard who ended up in an observation balloon floating over the battlements and landing in enemy territory.

    My objective was for the party to betray the Baron, who had been possessed by an evil shaman, by leading the forces of good into the castle through a long forgotten tunnel so they could end the siege and execute him.

  11. Anonymous8:12 PM

  12. I know it's a couple of days late, but Prince Valiant, the Storytelling Game had some Mass Combat rules that looked to be pretty straightforward. I've never played them, but if you're interested, I can send you a summary or somesuch.