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 How Has Minionmancy Warfare Fared In the Realms?
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unseenmage
Seeker

53 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2017 :  06:23:31  Show Profile Send unseenmage a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Anybody ever tried taking over the Realms with Minionmancy?

Be it undead hordes, resetting magic traps of animate objects, wishing up a golem army, or Aeakened tree blitzkrieg I'm curious both about tge attempts and the countermeasures?

Also, what flavor of magically created/controlled armies would YOU use to curbstomp Faerunian warfare?

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6665 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2017 :  09:14:28  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
An army which never tires, relents, eats, sleeps, or thinks does greatly simplify strategy. Especially since any who fall before it can be added to its numbers.

Szass Tam is known for this. Other liches as well.

But it's a very distasteful practice, a horror to the living, a profanity to the dead, an offense to nature, and a blasphemy against the gods. So it's obviously going to draw a lot of opposition from a lot of enemies.

One can fortify undead with all manner of spells. A skeleton can become a fearsome opponent with the addition of some metal plates, a shield marked with warding glyphs or a symbol, enlarge, continual darkness, turn resistance, etc ... a zombie might be infested with rot grubs or wear rags soaked in a poisonous substance ... a group of such foes would be fearsome, an army would be unstoppable. Get some bang for the buck out of your undead. Combining with spells like fog cloud or cloudkill only multiplies their killing power (and numbers).

[/Ayrik]
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1253 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2017 :  12:29:25  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The most spectacular example of this is the Great Conflagration, the climax of the Raumathari vs Narfellian clash of empires, which pitted elemental constructs vs abyssal fiends and ended with both empires destroyed in a climactic battle between a summoned avatar of Kossuth and several Demon Lords.

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Storyteller Hero
Learned Scribe

USA
125 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2017 :  13:46:57  Show Profile  Visit Storyteller Hero's Homepage Send Storyteller Hero a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the Moonshae Trilogy, there was a crisis having to do with defending against an undead horde.

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unseenmage
Seeker

53 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2017 :  00:07:59  Show Profile Send unseenmage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Did any of the ancient magical empires do their conquering with minionmancy?
I vaguely remember mention of ancient Construct armies.

What consequence could/would there be environmentally for near constant use of magic resetting traps making Constructs? Would the weave be strained?

Flying monkeys will eat your eyes.
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

817 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2017 :  04:30:04  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Theoretically, any wizard worth his salt could set up an undead apocalypse, even a self-contained one. All you need is one wraith or any other incorporeal creature with the ability to create spawn.

Unfortunately, the wizards of the Realms think that fireball is the height of arcane casting. There's a disconnect between building a PC wizard and how wizards operate in the Realms, since if NPC wizards acted like PC wizards, mage duels would come down to who gets the first celerity off before their opponent has the chance to cast time stop, shapechange into something immune to magic and gate in solars while chain-casting wails of the banshee.

Edited by - LordofBones on 11 Nov 2017 04:31:41
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6665 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2017 :  07:33:57  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well there is a balance of sorts ...

The undead apocalypse requires a bunch of undead. Which requires a bunch of dead. Desecrating existing dead bodies - or creating new ones - tends to meet opposition from the living. So that fireball carries a lot of weight vs whatever "army" can be raised/animated from the local graveyard.

[/Ayrik]
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BadCatMan
Learned Scribe

Australia
335 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2017 :  08:58:03  Show Profile Send BadCatMan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Free mass-produced golem armies are the very basis of the old RTS game Blood & Magic, with exponential growth of power and allowing anyone to wage war for any reason, no matter how trivial. This had the predictable consequences for the Utter East.
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

817 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2017 :  10:58:42  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Well there is a balance of sorts ...

The undead apocalypse requires a bunch of undead. Which requires a bunch of dead. Desecrating existing dead bodies - or creating new ones - tends to meet opposition from the living. So that fireball carries a lot of weight vs whatever "army" can be raised/animated from the local graveyard.



Unfortunately, this assumes that wizards don't use their Int score. Most apocalypse-level undead hordes are incorporeal undead, and any spellcaster worth his salt is probably going to be buffing his minions.

I mean, the fireball tactic works with your regular skeletons and zombies, but I'd wager arcane necromancers go for quality over quantity. This is especially bad if, say, the necromancer's undead all have decent Int scores and can operate independently without their boss holding their hands.

To make things worse, there's always Destruction Retribution. Kill one horde and get an explosion of negative energy for your troubles.
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1085 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2017 :  11:13:46  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The problem with minions that have their own INT score is that they began to form their own opinions, and that usually means question orders or prioritizing personal goals over the master's goals. The art of minionmancy is that the minions would be able to do whatever you tell them without fail. This has its own downside, however: minions that are no self-sufficient.

So, you must decide whether to have intelligent minions that can act independently but will have their own opinions and minions who cannot do anything on their own but will be unquestionably loyal.

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6665 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2017 :  16:11:19  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Intelligent undead also tend to have "physiological" or "psychological" needs and drives based on their species. Wraiths are fueled by hatred of the living. Vampires are sustained by the living. Liches are driven to magical mastery. More than just personal goals and desires, but the fundamental basis of how they continue to survive or even exist past death.

Which is to say that intelligent undead tend to be bound to certain behaviours not always in perfect accordance with their necromancer's (military) objectives. Mindless undead might shuffle about aimlessly until ordered to defend themselves, but there is truth to the old saying that enough quantity becomes a quality all its own.

[/Ayrik]
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Storyteller Hero
Learned Scribe

USA
125 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2017 :  20:34:47  Show Profile  Visit Storyteller Hero's Homepage Send Storyteller Hero a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The cult of Ghaunadaur has also been known to raise armies of ooze creatures. They attack a community in a FR book.

Dangerous in their own way, oozes can be difficult to deal with, especially if defenders do not have access to magic.


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Corruption
Seeker

28 Posts

Posted - 01 Dec 2017 :  11:52:52  Show Profile Send Corruption a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I preffer the long approach.
Mind control some people in power via small adjustments, so even if they break free from my control, they still follow the directions I implanted in them. Have them seek to destroy mutal enemies, and go well overboard in the name of having their armies fight Evil, and kill a lot of unaligned people, who will find refuge with mine.
When that force is weakened, send this force out, with those who just want to survive being the battle fodder, followed by my reinforced and undamaged forces to kill the weakened survivors my mind controlled pawns had been undermineing all along.
I become the hero of the masses who are good, the evil follow me out of fear, and I can work on all the dead to raise them as undead under my control.
Yeah, I like the armies where the leaders are smart SOBs like that.

When all, even Gods, must die, then live a life worth living
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