Dreaming out loud and water-testing rears its ugly head again. Between the finished fantasy miniatures rules for By This Axe, I Rule and outtake material for the domain-play sourcebook Hill Cantons: Borderlands I feel like I have enough material for something I have been dreaming about as twin-souled roleplayer/wargamer for years.
Namely a comprehensive, modular supplement for incorporating war and military campaigning into an old school fantasy roleplaying game—a certain something that would scratch a lot of itches for me at the same time.
My idea for this synthetic beast would be something that would allow you to be able to conduct a war as a series of stand-alone or interlinked mini-games under the umbrella of a unified one-stop shopping product. With it you could, for instance, use the abstract mass combat rules to play out a large-scale battle with little PC investment in one session, seamlessly dial down to a small-scale miniatures battle the next with the players pushing around their lead equivalents; run a raid in the next as part of a traditional rpg session—all the while running the campaign overall as a free-form matrix game.
The Guide would be fully compatible with pre-third edition D&D iteration and their related clones and copy cats. (Conversion would also be provided for Runequest, Stormbringer, Legend and their BRP-ilk if there is sufficient interest). In other word you keep playing with the rules you already use. A quick and easy conversion guide based on the ones currently inside By this Axe would translate your existing PCs, NPCs, and forces into system compatibility—and re-translate in-game effects back into immediately useful terms for your tabletop rpg campaign.
Abstract Mass Combat Rules. Think the paper and pencil rules of Mentzer's Companion set, minus a layer of bean-counting and with more options for pre-battle strategic and tactical choice and stratagems. Play will be enhanced by optional use of simple card or hex and cardboard mini-games (templates and materials to be included with the book).
Skirmish and Small Battle Miniatures Rules. This is the current core of By this Axe. Fast and furious rules for running fantasy and medieval-era battles with one figure being the equivalent of either 5 or 20 in-game creatures. They were des
Big Battle Miniatures Rules. A larger scale system for running the truly epic battles at 1:50 and 1:200 scale.
Siege Rules. Comprehensive rules for storming castles and other strongholds for both miniatures and the abstract combat rules. Guidelines for both the long, slow wearing down of fortifications and the sudden sharp shock of an assault.
Free Form War. Guidelines for using a simple, free-form “matrix-game” resolution for military affairs.
Battles as Adventure Locales. A chapter on how a GM can use battles, sieges, raids, etc. directly in a more traditional rpg session.
Guide to Affordable Alternatives to Miniatures. There is more than one way to get the experience of a miniatures tabletop without breaking your pocketbook. A rundown on proven shortcuts will be explored here.
Simple Campaign. A simple, abstract way to run battles, skirmishes, and raids with little book-keeping. A simple system will handle recruitment, objectives, operational maneuvers, and logistics.
Grand Campaign. The down-and-dirty granular way to do the same above. Heavy emphasis on the detailed bits that grease the sinews of war.
What do you think? Something worth pursuing? Something you'd use? Should I cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war?