"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

AEG - War, Eyes of a Mother

The topic of war in a fantasy campaign is not one that I have ever really used  in an serious manner. I have had battles between large forces but never an  ongoing war where things such as the topics discussed in AEG's WAR had to be  considered. This book as the others they have released does a good job of  discussing the topic it intends to cover.

The first chapter of the book is best thought of as a primer for the idea of  warfare in a fantasy environment. It actually goes a little beyond that in  discussing ideas behind war in general and then adds to that by adding the idea  of war in a fantasy campaign. The chapter discusses topics such as the supply  chain and various secondary effects such as the way the war will affect those on  the home front. This is a good chapter for a DM to read to decide if a war based  campaign is one that they would want to run. It will also provide ideas where  the war is secondary to the campaign.

Chapter two is titled War Makes Soldiers and it deals with the rules and changes  connected with characters. This is the section that I have come to appreciate in  the AEG books that deal with new uses for old skills, new skill and new feats.  The bulk of the chapter is dedicated to new prestige classes for player use. The  chapter lays out a total of fifteen new prestige classes. The range from Beast  Handler to Wild Rider. Some of these seem very specialized and I am not sure  players would want to use then as a prestige class. Since the book deals with  War the classes are specialized in that and without running a war based campaign  most of these might find limited use otherwise.

Chapter three deals with one of the more common and sometimes boring in game  term concepts of war, that of the siege. The chapter is a good basic description  of the various types of siege engines that one might find used. It also covers  the various defensive tactics used by those who are on the defensive side of a  siege. This section feature two sidebars that deal with historical uses of siege  equipment. It also feature two magic items connected with sieges of which one is  an artifact that though useful may not be one anyone would want to use.

War Magic is the topic of chapter number four. The chapter begins by discussing  the how the various schools of magic might be used in war. It then transitions  over to the discussion of deities that might be connected in some manner with  the concept of war. It lays out a number of domains that are war themed and as  in the past I have found these something that can be used outside the books  intended topic. The chapter finishes off with new spells and magic items. These  are limited in nature which was a little disappointing.

The final chapter is a little bit of a mixed bag and I found myself wondering if  the topics were cut short and then all lumped together. There were even topics  that I thought should have been included earlier in the book. This is not a deal  breaker for the book but I just found it off. There is a section with very brief  descriptions of types of was such as wars of conquest, civil wars and  rebellions. The chapter then touches on the idea of a war based campaign. This  section has a lot of information and makes one think about the idea at least. It  goes over how each race and then class might see use in that type of campaign.  It also discusses how each alignment would act in a war environment. These are  of course all braod strokes but still provided some good ideas as well as  insights.

Though I might not ever use the book as it was intended and of all the books I  have reviewed so far this is perhaps the one that has the least amount of  portable material it is still a book worth having. If the reader has not had any  previous studies on military topics it is enough of an overview to serve that  purpose. There are also topics such as the effects on the home front that can be  utilized if war is a backdrop and not the focus. It would not be the first of  the AEG books I would buy but I would say a DM would eventually want it.

Published: 2002
Pages: 144

From the Back of the Book:

This is the Tome of Champions

This sourcebook contains everything a GM or player needs for campaigns in war- torn worlds. Regular and irregular troops, closed and open formations, cavalry,  infantry, and artillery are all tools at a Field Commander's disposal. Lift your  banner and join you men in a glorious battle against the forces that oppose your  countrymen.

Up the rebels.

Victory is at Hand:

    * Rules for mass combat
    * 15 prestige classes
    * New gods of war
    * Rules for siege engines
    * New feats
    * New spells and magic items
    * Unit compositions and strategies
    * War campaigns and more


Eyes of a Mother

Level: Second
Range: Touch
Duration: 2 Turns + 1 Turn/Level
Area of Effect: One Creature
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 4 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user grants the target of the spell an extra  sensory perception ability. The ability will allow the target of the spell to  detect things that are going on behind them.

Though there are no actual sensory organs that will appear the spell will  otherwise allow the recipient to see as if they had eyes in the back of their  head. This will have the effect of making the target unable to be surprised  except by invisible or similarly shielded creatures. The target of the spell  will also be immune to backstab attacks while the spell is in effect. An odd  side effect of this spell is that if the target is in fact a mother then the   duration will be doubled.

Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last,  were all written up or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology may not  appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then  it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells  that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to  comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these  in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper  credit.

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