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 Cormyrean War Wizard as a temporary mercenary?
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Azar
Senior Scribe

421 Posts

Posted - 22 Aug 2020 :  10:38:38  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Greetings!

I have in mind an NPC War Wizard of Cormyr whose unit is being investigated for potential wrongdoing. This fellow in particular is mostly in the clear, but his superiors - those above his team's commanding officer - have placed him on a light suspension. In summary: he is not presently attending to his usual duties and he is not under house arrest or limited to the boundaries of his city. My question is this: how much am I violating setting canon by having this fellow operating as a mercenary available to PCs of sufficient coin? The mage in question still abides by his code of conduct and the contract he requires the PCs to sign makes it clear that he isn't a loose wand to be thoughtlessly wielded.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.

Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1861 Posts

Posted - 22 Aug 2020 :  10:54:39  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If this is set while Vangerdahast is in power, I wouldn't blink an eye at it. Mind you, I'd also expect that the fellow was pretending not to be on duty and it was actually a scheme by the old plotter to get him into position to secretly report on someone or something.

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Mrestos Khorvaen
Acolyte

Spain
48 Posts

Posted - 22 Aug 2020 :  15:11:32  Show Profile Send Mrestos Khorvaen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If he is suspicious of treason, it might be weird leting him go without supervision. Maybe he believes he is free, but he is under magical scrutiny or followed by an invisible homunculus, to watch also what the PCs are doing.
If the War Wizard is still loyal to the Forest Kingdom, he won't help the PCs fight his country interests. In the XIVth century, some English mercenaries in Italy promised loyalty to their employers, but with aclausule: never fight against the king of England.
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SaMoCon
Senior Scribe

USA
401 Posts

Posted - 22 Aug 2020 :  17:45:49  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Unless I am missing something, War Wizards are treasured assets of Cormyr who are lionized by the grateful citizens & sovereigns for legendary defense of the realm from dangers foreign & domestic. Being such a highly regarded symbol would make any whiff of impropriety by a member dangerous to the organization as a whole. Unless the person in question is completely cleared, I don't see how a suspended War Wizard can be left to their own recognizance without being expelled from the order. If the individual is cleared then he can take up the tasks that a single War Wizard is needed to handle or lead up a group of other soldiers until as such time that his original unit is cleared or assignment in another unit is possible. Setting the War Wizard status aside, a spell caster is a desirable individual to have in civil service which will allow an person in just these circumstances to still perform important tasks in support of the local government while remaining under constant supervision. The only thing that would countermand this argument is if War Wizards are plentiful and already overstaffing the civil & military positions available, but War Wizards are not like freelance soldiers whom are only useful for fighting purposes.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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TheIriaeban
Senior Scribe

USA
892 Posts

Posted - 22 Aug 2020 :  20:23:21  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If that is a "light suspension", wouldn't that just mean he was on "desk duty", being watched by everyone else there? There would be a big difference between "we don't want you in the field until we find out just what happened" and "sure, Phil, we don't mind if you moonlight while we are looking into why all those children's dolls were beheaded".

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Azar
Senior Scribe

421 Posts

Posted - 23 Aug 2020 :  06:34:20  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mrestos Khorvaen

If he is suspicious of treason, it might be weird leting him go without supervision. Maybe he believes he is free, but he is under magical scrutiny or followed by an invisible homunculus, to watch also what the PCs are doing.
If the War Wizard is still loyal to the Forest Kingdom, he won't help the PCs fight his country interests. In the XIVth century, some English mercenaries in Italy promised loyalty to their employers, but with aclausule: never fight against the king of England.



There is no treason and the PCs aren't going against Cormyr. By the way, I do have a voluntary geas or quest in mind, but I haven't committed to it just yet.

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

Unless I am missing something, War Wizards are treasured assets of Cormyr who are lionized by the grateful citizens & sovereigns for legendary defense of the realm from dangers foreign & domestic. Being such a highly regarded symbol would make any whiff of impropriety by a member dangerous to the organization as a whole. Unless the person in question is completely cleared, I don't see how a suspended War Wizard can be left to their own recognizance without being expelled from the order. If the individual is cleared then he can take up the tasks that a single War Wizard is needed to handle or lead up a group of other soldiers until as such time that his original unit is cleared or assignment in another unit is possible. Setting the War Wizard status aside, a spell caster is a desirable individual to have in civil service which will allow an person in just these circumstances to still perform important tasks in support of the local government while remaining under constant supervision. The only thing that would countermand this argument is if War Wizards are plentiful and already overstaffing the civil & military positions available, but War Wizards are not like freelance soldiers whom are only useful for fighting purposes.



I did use the term mercenary and perhaps a touch imprecisely, but this fellow isn't explicitly magical artillery. This may not be mentioned in any supplement, but...I imagine the War Wizards also have Specialist Wizards within their ranks (that includes the more thoughtful Enchanters and Diviners). There are still some offensive spells available, yet they aren't the focus of such a wizard.

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

If that is a "light suspension", wouldn't that just mean he was on "desk duty", being watched by everyone else there? There would be a big difference between "we don't want you in the field until we find out just what happened" and "sure, Phil, we don't mind if you moonlight while we are looking into why all those children's dolls were beheaded".



Nothing so nefarious as murder, thankfully.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Azar
Senior Scribe

421 Posts

Posted - 04 Sep 2020 :  02:42:11  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Any other perspectives?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Azar
Senior Scribe

421 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2020 :  01:00:38  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A shame, that. I was looking forward to similar veteran points-of-view.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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PattPlays
Learned Scribe

334 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2020 :  03:43:06  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

If this is set while Vangerdahast is in power, I wouldn't blink an eye at it. Mind you, I'd also expect that the fellow was pretending not to be on duty and it was actually a scheme by the old plotter to get him into position to secretly report on someone or something.


I just read up this man's article.. What a touching story of a Song Dragon! And another event occurring in 1487.. I really have to read The Herald!!

OP, I have a faerun game (occurring in 1487) which involves, while not quite a war wizard, an Eldritch Knight from a Cormyr merchant family. I am interested to hear what the scholars have to say on your specific scenario, though. Perhaps you may find leniency in allying your character with one of the Factions of Faerun, such as the Harpers? Of course, one would not be aware of such a connection. You may feel you were simply taking a job for some folks with resources to spend, however it may be that the one who hired you is in-fact going above your superior's head for the good of magic and freedom, or exacting some egalitarian policy on the part of the crown?

Do you know what year you are playing in? Not to meta-game above the head of your DM, of course.

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Edited by - PattPlays on 15 Sep 2020 03:46:56
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SaMoCon
Senior Scribe

USA
401 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2020 :  12:31:11  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

A shame, that. I was looking forward to similar veteran points-of-view.

Oh, you wanted a real world military veteran's experience? Why didn't you say so?

I have been charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice and given non-judicial punishment (NJP) by the base's commanding officer (CO). NJP is less than a court martial proceeding that handles what civilian courts would consider misdemeanor offenses where the CO reviews the charges brought by subordinate officers & briefly interviews the charged service member before deciding upon a proper punishment to deter repeat offenses. My NJP resulted in loss of rank, loss of pay, and 30 days restriction (cannot leave the base during day time, must report to brig duty officer for morning & evening roll call, and must stay in the brig overnight). Since I was in the process of administrative separation from my training command for assignment I was given duties assigned to transient personnel that were being held over at a command until transportation was available, which could take as little as a few days up to a few weeks for regular personnel transitioning to their permanent posts; although, restricted personnel like me could be in this duty limbo for a few months depending upon the punishment meted out at the CO's NJP. While regular transient personnel are typically assigned lighter assignments that have business work hours helping with administration files, base clean-up, sentry posts, simple construction projects, and one-off work details; the restricted personnel get more arduous assignments with longer work hours under assigned managers such as structure refurbishment, freight loading/unloading, and especially galley/mess hall service. Any officer or supervisor on base could make a call for volunteers to help with what work the permanent personnel could handle to which transient personnel would be assigned with the available restricted personnel being the first to be volunteered. Restricted personnel were not criminals nor were they treated like criminals since we were still valuable members of the military with field commands waiting for us to fill the duties we were slated to fulfill once we met the requirements assigned by our individual NJPs. That said, restricted personnel could not wander the base but had to report directly from the brig to work duties and back unless one had requested & received timed leave to visit base facilities as required to maintain one's military bearing (tailor, barber, commissary, admin/records office).

To extrapolate this experience for what could apply to this War Wizard, you said that he was cleared of serious charges but not entirely off the hook. I take this as he was found liable of the lesser charge of conduct unbecoming of an officer since this War Wizard either did not report the crime with which the unit was charged or was woefully oblivious of the wrong-doings within the unit. This War Wizard is restricted from leaving the city, but how exactly would such a thing be monitored & enforced if the War Wizard does not have someone & somewhere to report at specified intervals of time; moreover, wouldn't an idle War Wizard be a tragic waste of resources? In my opinion, the War Wizard would be worked like a draft horse for every day that this War Wizard is in duty limbo until the powers that be have decided that enough is enough and orders are approved for a new permanent post with another unit or termination of the War Wizard's commission. "Magical artillery" is the least useful thing a War Wizard could aspire to be in service to one's country since any Wizard is a walking super tool set that is modular to just about any task at hand with the right available spells. There could be a host of divinations, conjurations, enchantments, abjurations, trasmutations, and more spells that can help the civil governance of a Cormyran city, and a nation as magically adept as Cormyr may have a host of lesser spells to make available to unassigned War Wizards that would be useless to adventurers & D20 battlemats but perfectly suited to help judicial courts be more fair, engineers better assess civil architecture, traffic officers maintain order in busy streets, special investigators solve local crimes, yeomen run the bureaucracy more efficiently, city officials improve their public relations, and doctors/medical advisors detect health problems before they become emergencies. This War Wizard may be assigned a duty spellbook from which he must prepare assigned spells to be used during one's daily assignments with the book being changed as the assigned duties are changed.

Before anyone asks why a War Wizard, a very accomplished magic user in his own right, would acquiesce to becoming the spell-casting errand-boy of civil servants & their staff, keep in mind that these individuals are not working because they are being punished but because there is a need for these jobs to be done. Food needs to be served, buildings need to be maintained, areas of human industry must be cleaned, people need to be attended to, and important work should be supported. Swallowing one's pride and doing the scutwork is also what a loyal soldier does for one's country. Just like for those real world personnel serving the most laborious & unsavory jobs while on restriction, the work is duty that shows the diligence and commitment of these men & women in carrying out their tasks to the satisfaction of their current supervisors, and serves as proof that a lapse in expected conduct is not proof of unsuitability for military assignments.

So if you were looking to casually intermingle a "light suspension" War Wizard with PCs, my answer is you don't. The best scenario has the objectives of the PCs align with the national/military interests but is a low enough priority that the powers that be cannot commandeer the appropriate military resources to achieve the desired goal, but using a third party to complete the task achieves the objectives without losing the fruits of such an endeavor. This would allow the War Wizard to be assigned to liaise with the PCs and manage the results desired by the War Wizard's civilian or military superiors.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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cpthero2
Great Reader

USA
2259 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2020 :  23:03:49  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Seeker Azar,

I agree with Learned Scribe SaMoCon's post. I thought I would add a little from my own perspective, being a retired NCO from the U.S. Army (Mechanized Infantryman, specifically).

DECLARATION: this is not me sidetracking this conversation to real world stuff for any other reason than to give an example of a system that may help better understand what could/would happen as a consequence for military discipline issues.

To begin with though, which directly dovetails from Learned Scribe SaMoCon's points, I include some references from legal systems in the Forgotten Realms below:

Cormyr [Four From Cormyr, pp. 6]

quote:
Laws of Cormyr
1. All persons entering Cormyr must register with the officials of a border garrison.
2. Foreign currency can only be used in certain locations. Please exchange your coins
for Cormyrean golden lions at your first opportunity.
3. Adventurers must acquire a charter before undertaking any operation as a group.
4. All weapons must be peace-bonded. The only persons exempt from this law are
members of chartered adventuring groups and members of mercenary groups that
can offer proof of employment.
5. Harming cats is forbidden.
6. Bow your head to royalty and the local nobility.
7. Purple Dragons have the right to search you upon request.
8. Hunting on private land is forbidden.


Ravens Bluff Army

Ravens Bluff Army Manual [Living City Campaign, RBAD001 Rev 4.1a, pp.8-9, (December, 2003)]

Rules and Discipline

Code of Conduct
Members of the Ravens Bluff Army are expected to be a positive representation of the Army at all times.

While off duty, Army personnel are expected to act responsibly, obey the laws of the city and military laws, follow the orders of official representatives of the city, and provide support to the city as needed. In addition, there is an expectation to support the Mayor, Marshall, and other Lords, Ladies, and Nobles of the city. Army members should not verbally degrade, harm, or kill any of these individuals without justification and/or proof of actions that require such response.

While on duty, Army members are expected to exemplify the Army. Members should adhere to the rules of off duty behavior as well as follow orders given to them by their superiors and follow the Army Rules of Engagement when on military operations.

Rules of Engagement
Every war and military battle has Rules of Engagement. Many of these rules are generic, spanning all military operations; others are adapted for specific operations. The following is a set of the generic rules; operations with other rules will have them announced prior to the operation as part of the mission briefing.

• Members of the Army will attempt to capture alive an opposing force’s leaders.
• Members of the Army will provide quarter to enemies incapacitated, wounded, or dying. This means caring for them and taking them captive as Military Prisoners.
• Members of the Army are responsible for the well being of Military Prisoners. Mistreatment and torture of prisoners is strictly forbidden.
• Military Prisoners should be turned over to Army Command or a command representative as soon as possible.
• Looting of Military Prisoners is not allowed, however they should be disarmed and their equipment collected and turned over to Army Command with the prisoners.

Disciplinary Actions
Discipline is a necessity in the military. Members who willfully do not follow orders, commands, or laws (civil or military) will be reprimanded under the laws of the Ravens Bluff Army. Reprimands will be based off a number of factors, including, but not limited to: the violation itself, circumstances surrounding the incident, and members involved. The disciplinary action committee will consist of two members of the LCArmy Recruiters, the LCArmy Coordinators, and the individual’s commanding officer.

The committee will decide upon the appropriate punishment. Conduct while under this investigation will also be taken into consideration. These are military actions; should the member be under review for breaking civil laws, the member will also see a civil court. Sample punishments are listed below:

Punishment Reason
Loss of Rank Dereliction of Duty
Denial of next promotion for # of Months Mid Violations
Discharge from the Army Torturing a Military Prisoner
Military Prison Term Major Crimes/Violations
Military Execution Treason / High Murder
________________________________

Cormyr gives a small taste of their legal system, which I am certain (hoping?) is more robust than that. The RBAM gives an idea of military consequences, which as you can see, is correlative somewhat to what Learned Scribe SaMoCon was saying and getting at.

What Learned Scribe SaMoCon was specifically referring to, at least in the Army, is an Article 15, which is the NJP he spoke of. There are three forms of it: Summarized, Company Grade, and Field Grade. I have put a table below for you to see what the different outcomes are:

Punishment Summarized Company Field
Reprimand Yes Yes Yes

Extra Duties 7 days 14 days 45 days

Restriction 7 days 14 days 45 days/60 w/o ED

Correctional
Custody
(E-3 and below) No 7 days 30 days

Reduction
in Rank No E-5/E-6 No E-5/E-6 ONE GRADE
E-4 and Below E-4 and Below One or More Grade
One Grade

Forfeitures No 7 Days Pay 1/2 of One Month's Pay For Two Month's
_________________________________

I also wanted to point out something really important that Learned Scribe SaMoCon pointed out:
quote:
Before anyone asks why a War Wizard, a very accomplished magic user in his own right, would acquiesce to becoming the spell-casting errand-boy of civil servants & their staff, keep in mind that these individuals are not working because they are being punished but because there is a need for these jobs to be done. Food needs to be served, buildings need to be maintained, areas of human industry must be cleaned, people need to be attended to, and important work should be supported. Swallowing one's pride and doing the scutwork is also what a loyal soldier does for one's country.


Nail hit on the head!

It isn't just about a person having a "punishment", it is every bit about maintaining mission while at the same time making sure the person, who through non-judicial means can appreciate why this rather unenjoyable set of circumstances they find themselves in is happening (if the process is being conducted ethically, and without bias...).

As to the idea behind the punishment, it depends on leadership too. Sometimes if the issue(s) are pushing the bounds but haven't gone too far, then you can try to work things out another way. Sometimes you can't. I personally always felt that it was best to leave stuff off of a soldiers record if at all possible. Others may not agree with that.

I hope that is helpful.

Best regards,





Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Azar
Senior Scribe

421 Posts

Posted - 18 Sep 2020 :  10:41:47  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

Do you know what year you are playing in? Not to meta-game above the head of your DM, of course.



The year is 1372 D.R.; I chose to stick with what I know (having cut my teeth with D&D 3e). While many will argue that the Time of Troubles was too much upheaval, it is a minimal alteration compared to what Wizards of the Coast did with The Realms from 4e onwards.

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

quote:
Originally posted by Azar

A shame, that. I was looking forward to similar veteran points-of-view.

Oh, you wanted a real world military veteran's experience? Why didn't you say so?


Veteran Dungeon Masters/players . Ultimately, we're all playing a game and while Dungeons & Dragons is itself an exercise in exceptions (the average Player Character is an exception simply by existing), the Forgotten Realms - to me, anyhow - comes across as more permissive than most other campaign settings. However, I do appreciate you taking the time to bring in a practical real-world perspective. My goal is to ensure that this scenario is believable; if a multitude of restrictions are required to make it tenable, so be it.

Should push come to shove, I could make this mage a prospective member of the War Wizards or a former member trying to get back in the good graces of the head honcho.

quote:
Originally posted by cpthero2
Seeker Azar,

I agree with Learned Scribe SaMoCon's post. I thought I would add a little from my own perspective, being a retired NCO from the U.S. Army (Mechanized Infantryman, specifically).


Your experiences are likewise helpful. I will not be adopting all of what you described, but your account will help to shape my approach going forward. Curious: do you usually include and maintain that level of legal detail in your games? When dealing with subjects that lie outside my expertise, my inclination is to include just enough lubrication to keep the machine going. Most of my energy goes into character interaction as opposed to broader world building.

--- --- ---
--- --- ---
--- --- ---

One more question (for now): do the War Wizards look down on or even outright reject wealthy applicants for the rank-and-file roles? I was considering making this NPC a working class individual from minor nobility.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7498 Posts

Posted - 18 Sep 2020 :  11:01:10  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cormyr's War Wizards are basically secret police. Espionage, sabotage, counterintelligence, propaganda. Maybe they have high ideals and maybe they don't have (many) spies and assassins in the usual sense.

Compare vs "secret" police and intelligence organizations from our world. The FBI, CIA, NSA, GRU, KGB, Gestapo, etc.

Why would adventurers want to hire such a person to accompany them?
And why would such a person want to work for bunch of adventurers?

[/Ayrik]
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cpthero2
Great Reader

USA
2259 Posts

Posted - 20 Sep 2020 :  22:49:36  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Seeker Azar,

First of all: thank you for your kind words.

I do utilize such a degree of depth and breadth in my campaigns. I run sandbox campaigns that take about one year to develop for a four to six year game play of time.

In my development process, I use a matrix to run multiple processes, i.e. caravans, merchants, patrols, military, such that when the adventurers may or may not be encountering 'x' when they are at 'y' location, because the occurrences that I mentioned based on things such as speed, intent, etc. are always in flux.

Additionally, when they meet whatever process, I want the immersion of the Realms to be present, so I utilize the full legal systems of places that are developed, and implement them. In places that are not developed, I utilize my legal background after the Army to research what kind of legal system medievally speaking would exist and approximate it so that when the adventurers do certain things within the Realm, they experience what they do in the unique way that it would. I want people to experience Thay as it is, then Impiltur and Cormyr, etc.

I admittedly take it to a degree that some may or may not want to.

Best regards,




Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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