Monday 20 November 2017

Peasant Revolt War Zone

So this concept based on the dragon invasion seemed to work well. Brother Juniper on G+ recommended this post and the visual impression in my mind said yes. Lots of good comments of late which always gets me working on this blog more. The next book I do will be the murder hobo manual but a while off. Shadelport book I will be printing a3 to edit and hope to have revised bigger version possibly on lulu/rpg net by xmas as a test project. Id like a hardcover anyway. Psychon revision might follow up.

Wondering about adding rumours table to these war zone features. Any other suggestions welcome.

This post will focus on revolts, revolutions and civil wars. Inspired by some of english peasant revolts, english civil war, french and russian revolutions and colonial uprisings. It could also be used to run the human revolt against the vassals of the monster kings if players ever time travel back as Iv had built in the setting since the 80s.

It also focuses more on urban than some of the others. I might consider a siege based bunch of tables for when parties trapped in a city or castle during a war. Mixing this with siege war zone would work well. Big fun.

This is not one of those fantasy revolts where the good guys establish utopia after a montage of heroic struggle with muppets fighting profesional troops with sticks and nets and nobody gets hurt. This is horrible, dangerous and cruel. If players get in the mix and support a faction they might get caught up in purges and counter revolts. Revolts are often sponsored by foreign powers or dynasties and not really about helping the poor.

Factions often struggle with each other, some uniting some crumbling, some destroy each other or factions might form a united government that use elections or treachery to seize absolute power. A 2d4 starting factions might begin and weekly rolls on faction table will remove or add factions to the struggle. Factions might represent different ethnic groups, religions, economic zones or settlements. Some factions might want just a kinder ruler, others might want no more nobility or rich or a democratic parliament. Allying with or leading a faction is dangerous but could result in absolute power.

Forces description are good for other warzones as defending armies vs enemy types.

Possibly elements of this could be used in a dungeon. A dungeon might have brutal inter-faction conflict and could produce similar results. Often during wars regions might break out in rebellion or behind lines might increasingly resemble revolt areas.

d10 Starting the Revolt
01 A new tax oppresses the people
02 A costly war hurts the common folk most
03 A popular hero is executed for crimes against the crown
04 A rival dynasty exorts the mob with promises of improvements
05 Famine has driven the commoners mad with hunger
06 A traditional right has been taken by the ruling class
07 Rebels are funded by foriegn power using agents to stir the mob
08 Middleclass idealists fermenting revolt
09 Older mode of religion is being oppressed by the nobility endorsing new faith
10 A massacre of innocent peasants incited unrest

d10 Rebellion Military Objectives
01 Burn down government and church records of tax, births, deaths, marraiges
02 Behead the unjust tyrant and supporters
03 Kill bureaucrats such as tax collectors, court officials and goveners
04 Make the tyrant and nobles promise to improve conditions and rights
05 Seize food and money from the rich and merchant classes
06 Burn down buildings that are instruments of the oppressive regime
07 Set free all the state prisoners and slaves
08 Kill militia and military leaders who don't side with revolution
09 Exterminate the monied classes who oppress the poor
10 Establish new government for benefit of the commoners

d10 Ending the Revolt
01 Invaders enter country uniting everyone as foreigners worse than local tyrants
02 Most of the buildings and infrastructure are destroyed leaving nation in ruins
03 Most of the ruling class and state clergy dead or flee
04 Surviving nobility sign treaty ending conflict with promises (will 50% break promptly)
05 A faction of ruling class or foriegners support commoner take over
06 Ruler is beheaded publicly and new government formed
07 A distant heir arrives or common hero emerges and promises to return to good old days
08 Plague devastated all factions leaving country anarchic ruined wasteland
09 After destroying old order various factions struggle to control whats left
10 A faction of religious inspired zealots inspire the mob and seize control

d10 Faction Goals
1 Support a different bloodline of traditional monarchs who promise to be kinder
2 Support a religious faction who promise to rule on theocratic principles
3 Formed from criminal classes who claim they were always for the people and against rich
4 Wish to enshrine legal rights and guarantees for the common man
5 Seek to end slavery and serfs forever at any price establishing a new order of free men
6 Aim to kill all enemies at any cost then worry about governing
7 Create a new order with no masters and a bureaucratic order enforcing equality
8 Military order where whole economy serve armed forces and spread revolution abroad
9 Claim to support common freedom but really run by hostile agents or a cult or mobsters
10 Preach freedom but seek a middle class mercantile society based on money

d10 Faction Events
1 Two factions settle their differences and unite
2 Faction invites other to talks and betray them with bloody slaughter
3 Faction has a bloody coup and a new leader takes control
4 Faction leadership are slaughtered by the remaining old order forces
5 Faction splits into two over some petty difference and become bitter enemies
6 New faction emerges surprising everybody becoming a new force to deal with
7 Faction crumbles from incompetence, scandal and internal struggle 
8 Faction are slaughtered by the old order forces
9 Faction betray everyone and take direction and money from a foreign power
10 Faction makes deal with the old order and join them

d10 Faction Support Base
1 A rural district with hastily improvised fortified village or town
2 A religious stronghold with a fortified church, monastery or holy place
3 A city state or town with tradition of independance
4 Suburb or district of a city barricaded
5 Castle taken early or donated by rebel noble
6 Encampment in forest or mountains difficult to find
7 A easily defended dungeon complex 
8 A ruin refurbished as defencive base
9 A manor house taken early in struggle or donated
10 A cavern complex with many secret and secured entries

Rebel Forces
Rebels are mostly untrained mobs. They may in course of war improve and adapt. They often incorporate existing rebels or bandits who in fact were outcasts and mostly robbed the rich. Sometimes soldiers will join the mob and will help train them. Most rebels are irregular and undisciplined but rely on numbers. Equipment of rebels often inferior, old and inconsistent. As war goes on and competent leaders receive foreign aid and spend booty they may form new more modern armies able to try new weapons giving them a edge. Common forces often shun flashy displays of wealth while the old order might make more flamboyant displays of wealth and waste. Mobs might fail morale checks and make foolish decisions rather than flee. They might charge, fall into a trap, kill prisoners, stop to loot or worse. Such armies struggle with supply lines and often stop to loot and gorge on food.

Most of these are grouped in
lots of 20 in a gang with a sub boss
lots of 40 band with boss
lots of 100 mob with a hero and two bosses and five sub bosses
host of 1000 horde with a great leader is rare but possible

Peasant Mob armed with common farm tools, irregular and passionate but poorly disciplined
City Mob armed with common weapons and tools, chaotic and bloodthirsty
Peasant Militia with some regular training with spears and polearms in formation
Peasant Slingers with slings, irregular with low morale
Peasant Archers with shortbows, march as regulars but low morale
Yeomen Soldiers elite freemen regulars with longbows and two handed swords, high morale
Bandit Gang veteran skirmishers suited to raiding and subterfuge
Foreign Mercenaries with quality equipment operate as state forces
New Model Army, regulars with heavy armour, pikes, halberds, crossbows and gunpowder
Magicians more likely to include druids and priests who attach themselves to groups

State Forces
These are traditional armed forces of the state. Will used peasant troops by force similar to rebels and treated as expendable. Such troops may change sides if mistreated. Professional troops are disciplined and willing to kill everyone in war. Experienced officers and supply trains give them a advantage but often self assured incompetent or mad nobles might interfere damaging morale and making foolish decisions based on pride. Various specialty support staff include baggage handlers for mule trains, translators, wizards.

Typically these are organised in:
squads of ten including a corporal - 10 men
two squads with a sergeant - 21 men
Platoon with four squats and a lieutenant - 85 men
Company with four platoons and a captain - 341 men
Army four companies and a general - 1200+
Multimple armies are led by a field marshal

Militia Squads with beadle instead of a corporal, bailiff instead of sergeant and sheriff in charge
Light Infantry mostly skirmishers in leather with spear and shield with some javelins
Barbarian War Band often irregular, shield, axe, javelin often paid to fight
Heavy Infantry with chain, shield and halberds
Foot Knights in plate with shields, spears and swords - uncommon elite trrops
Crossbowmen with chainmail and crossbows
Musketeers usually only a few squads with a arquebus per two men or a musket each
Grenadiers usually only a squad at most or more in siege use cast iron greanaides and bombs
Artillery with ballista, catapults and occasionally cannons mostly for siege work squad per machine
Light Cavalry with leather, javelins, lance
Heavy Cavalry with chain, sword and lance
Household knight elite cavalry with full plate, shields and lance
Priest units in chain, shield and mace act as medics and elite troops often in holy military orders
Wizard or Sorcerers often with several squads or guards or accompanying other mostly missile troops
Noble Dandies on horseback with swords and dueling pistols, often overconfidant

Other Forces
Non human troops might get involved also which could effect popular opinion. The king recruiting orcs might end up increasing the mob size. Some trained monsters are possible. As war goes on peasant troops might loot better equipment and increase morale and become regular. Townsmen with military experience might become officers for the mob and get them into shape. Revolutionaries are more willing to adopt new methods like guerrilla warfare or refuse pitched battles in open preferring forest skirmishes where armies are less effective. Monster armies might pour from dungeons as opportunists while bandits and robber knights might pretend to serve a faction just to get loot helping or hindering factions.

Encounter Types
d10 for first 24 hours opening of war
d20 for the d4 weeks after
d100 for ongoing war

d100 Revolt War Encounters
01 Bard spreading word of revolt in romantic terms encouraging all to resist tyranny
02 Rider scouting area
03 Bandits hiding in ambush for any oportunity
04 Angry peasant mob on way to join forces with others
05 Militiamen squad on patrol
06 Spy in common clothes serving a faction
07 Noble officer galloping through with message for superiors
08 Rebels watching road
09 Angry city mob with burning torches
10 Large militia force on the road unsure of which side to join

11 Swarm of angry farmers led by a charismatic hero or bard
12 Light cavalry galloping to support a battle urgently

13 Skirmishers on move looking to control a point
14 Light infantry on the march led by knight
15 Archers on the move uncertain of whose side they are on
16 Poorly equipped knights on horseback on way to lords estate
17 Merchant waggon with guards fleeing area
18 Goblins sensing chaos looking for opportunities
19 Yeomen band on the march
20 Light infantry guarding tax collector waggon
21 Crossbowmen squad set up position watching a road
22 Angry mob on way to local manour
23 Light cavalry on the march
24 Heavy Cavalry on the march
25 Light Infantry on the march
26 Heavy infantry on the march
27 Clerics holding the road
28 Foriegn mercenaies of uncertain alliegience
29 Orc mercenaries kee to comit atrocities for money
30 Bandit rebels on march leading peasant mob
31 Priest leading peasant band
32 Druid leading a barbarian warband from the wilds
33 Yeomen leading common horde  
34 Student idealists leading a city mob
35 Military supply waggon desperate to get back to own lines
36 Military waggons with light infantry guards
37 Force of slingers with women, old and youths in vengeful mood
38 Marching archers on the run to join resistance
39 Grenadiers and light infantrymen escorting waggon of gunpowder
40 Mob escorting waggon of looted artworks to stronghold
41 Light infantry captured escorting peasants to execution place
42 Several siege weapon waggons with light infantry escort
43 Bandits attacking merchant waggons
44 Rebels attacking infantry escorting noble carriage 
45 Lone battered knight fleeing a massacre
46 Knights in finery marching to the front
47 Knights in finery escorting noble to safetey
48 Foot Knights have barricaded road
49 Peasant mob have blocked road with rubble
50 Bandits have tree ready to drop on road to stop traffic
51 Peasant archers chasing some light infantry
52 Militia who have changed sides to rebellion fighting light infantry
53 Faerie folk of the woods chasing fleeing light infantry
54 Noble wizards on hill overlooking road with light infantry escorts
55 Beastmen looking for human corpses to take home to eat
56 Druid commanding forest animals to attack crossbowmen
57 Peasant priest with rebel militia marching to front
58 Crossbowmen suspending chain over waterway to stop boats
59 Peasant mob burning supply waggons and looting dead soldiers
60 Peasant mob with captured weapons and drunk
61 Cleric order squad declare any who resist heretics
62 Cleric order guarding holy relic waggons to safe church
63 Cleric order burning peasants at stake for godless rebelion
64 Noble dandies on horseback certain they can route any foe
65 Peasant mob have dug in position with trenches and sharpened stakes
66 Foreign noble leading disciplined peasants with long spears marching in formation
67 Necromancer wizard with zombie knights 
68 Heavy infantry driving conscripted peasants militia before them
69 All women peasant mob angrily marching to front
70 Peasants have overturned waggons to block road with archers
71 Alchemist noble has mined road and has crossbowmen guards hidden with fuse
72 Dandies with fancy groomed warhounds chasing peasants and laughing
73 Horde of marching peasants with noble heads on pikes
74 Resting horde with bonfire of noble and knight corpses singing and drinking
75 Fortified buildings with peasants inside surrounded by nobles with siege weapons
76 Peasants in fortified church, nobility moving cannon into position
77 Nobles with bombards shelling a town
78 Peasant mob with captured crossbowmen equiptment
79 Peasant horde fighting army and losing ground
80 Mercenary captain with squad of new model army and peasant mob
81 New Model Army in force marching
82 Musket men with light infantry holding road
83 Artillery covering road from hidden position with crossbowmen
84 Marching army with important general
85 Noble army in stockade surrounded by hordes of peasants with burning torches
86 Cavalry charging peasant fortified trenches
87 Slingers hurling fire heated clay bullets at burning fortified noble house
88 Peasant archers and crossbowmen maneuvering and trying to get advantage
89 Noble forces watching while grenadiers sneaking up on peasant barricades
90 Nobles with cannon with grapeshot in house taunting peasant mob to attack 
91 Musket Men in tower shooting peasant gang trying to batter through tower doors 
92 Archers and crossbowmen shooting each other over a body of water in stalemate
93 Musketeers pinned down peasant militia in ditch by road
94 Foreign mercenaries attacking local noble forces
95 Foreign mercenaries attacking local peasant forces
96 Several armies under command of field marshal marching
97 Thousands of men on both sides in terrible battle blasted wasteland
98 Beastmen feasting on field of corpses keen to fight any humans
99 Huge force of bandits attacking noble supply convoy
100 Hundreds of cultists with torches in hoods looking for victims for great sacrifice

d100 Wonders of War
01 Smoke from distant burning buildings
02 Corpses of peasants on roadside
03 Dead tax collector and guards
04 Dead priest, disembowelled on road
05 Refugees fleeing conflict with worldly goods
06 Refugees some wounded with nothing
07 Lost children who's parents fled
08 Fleeing wealthy with waggons overflowing with wealth planning to leave country
09 Rider warning a army or mob on the march
10 Burning house

11 Hung corpses dangling from trees
 Pit full of corpses by roadside
13 Peasants hanging a merchant
14 Slavers trying to get captives out of the area
15 Noble carriage fleeing
16 Shepherd fleeing with animals from military
17 Serfs wrecking a bridge
18 Serfs collapsing cliff to block a road
19 Noble and militia abusing serfs 
20 Knight leading light cavalry against fleeing women and children
21 Priest trying to convince peasants to cease the godless rebelion
22 Priest trying to exhort peasants to revolt against tyranny
23 Knight convincing militia to turn on villagers in revolt
24 Militia watching executioner behead captured bandits
25 Dandy nobles watching light infantry execute of peasants
26 Servant is disguise with waggon trying to get noble children out of kingdom
27 Traveling carny folk trying to flee area
28 Vutures feasting on stripped mutilated corpses
29 Ravens picking at corpses hanging in trees
30 Impaled corpses on poles
31 Remains of burnt corpses on charred steaks
32 Noble born priest and infantry preparing to burn accused witches
33 Severed heads on pikes
34 Soldiers killed shepherds and rounding up animals for army
35 Peasants mutilating and torturing nobles
36 Noble and his men chasing village wenches for sport
37 Peasant women castrating nobles who tried to rape them
38 Envoy of ruler declaring rebels to be executed unless they surrender to any who listen
39 Hear drums and horns of marching distant army
40 Young wizard apprentice Wd4 has fled master to join rebellion
41 Squad of infantry guarding a noble wizard looking for missing aprentice
42 Crossbowmen chasing peasant children escaping from waggon
43 Merchant with only a few guards tries to bribe any potential foe
44 Noble lord with savage war poodle and crossbowmen 
45 Noble lord actually demon cultist wizard with crossbowmen
46 Witches collecting blood and organs from battlefield
47 Cult summoning a demon on the road to add to mayhem
48 Nobles burning a commoners church with women and children inside
49 Cultist convincing mob to murder and torture captured royalists
50 Witches brewing poison in cauldron to befoul local water in field of corpses
51 Peasants with beautiful noble witch in cage awaiting a priest to help burn her
52 Peasants eating a horse by mutilated noble corpse
53 Peasants trying on fancy clothes from looted noble carraige
54 Wild dogs gnawing on corpses
55 Witches cooking and eating a baby by side of the road
56 Peasants burning waggon load of books 
57 Nobles putting peasant children in catapault and firing into bonfire58 Peasants have left waggon of poison brandy on roadside with dead donkey 
59 Peasants have taken a abattoir and have cages full of merchants and nobles families
60 Peasants have captured knights and have them bound and ready to behead
61 Nobleman and troops have captured turncoat militia and are holding a trial
62 Nobleman and troops have captured a bard fermenting unrest and holding a trial
63 Nobleman and militia have captured a foreign spy aiding the revolt 
64 Peasant soldiers have captured a noble spy and debating how to kill him
65 New model army training peasants into regular army in field
66 Multiple burning buildings with cheering men watching 
67 Soldiers locking peasants in barn and getting ready to set on fire
68 Peasants burning down a monastery full of records
69 Fortified town buildings heavily barricaded with paranoid villagers inside
70 Fortified manor house with starving nobles and men inside
71 Pack of starving dogs looking for food
72 Hungry kobolds trading weapons for food with peasants
73 Soldiers robbing peasants for food and presenting them with IOU from ruler 
74 Starving peasants begging for food
75 Soldiers burning haystacks
76 Peasants hanging soldiers entrails in the trees
77 Soldiers nailing flailed peasant skins to wall
78 Peasants testing exciting new decapitation machine built by engineer student
79 Doctor treating wounded by side of the road
80 Priests preying at roadside shrine for peace
81 Priests begging for money to help the poor or the ruler
82 Peasants begging weapons so they can join the rebelion
83 A war poodle with fancy haircut and collar belonging to a rich man lost from a battle
84 Camp of soldiers resting after a battle, treating wounds and getting drunk
85 Peasants roasting a nobleman's pet poodle on a spit
86 Peasants playing ball with merchants severed head
87 Peasants robbing a money lender and demanding his ledgers so they can burn them
88 Knights playing polo with peasant children, several killed already
89 Noble riders with torches setting alight peasant houses
90 Mob of horrible freed criminals robbing and killing a merchant caravan
91 Turncoat light infantry helping peasants fight knights
92 Huge prison camp stockade with hundreds of prisoners under guard
93 Knights throwing women tied to children into a well
94 Witches tormenting tied up knights
95 Drunken cavalrymen robbing a alehouse
96 See army assembled with ruler inspecting them
97 Cultists in field of corpses dedicated blood to chaos gods
98 Noble trying to stop men and orc mercenaries from fighting
99 Orcs demanding more pay from mercenaries

100 Peasants meeting foriegn agents delivering coffer of gold coins to aid the revolution


  1. On the first d10 chart, I presume that that was meant to be crimes against the crown. Although, honestly—crimes against the crows might be a lot more interesting...

    1. thanks - one of the kinder typo corrections i have had - found mislabled table from a cut n paste too

  2. '44 Noble lord with savage war poodle and crossbowmen

    83 A war poodle with fancy haircut and collar belonging to a rich man lost from a battle

    85 Peasants roasting a nobleman's pet poodle on a spit'

    ...that's Prince Rupert's dog, Boy, isn't it? Died in action 1644, and all that?

    I guess in a D&D game he really *could* have magical powers...

  3. yes demonic battle poodles are a thing in my game

    also faust's has mephistopheles appear as a poodle which faust takes home thinking he might get a reward from a noble - i had one they are hilarious


I love and welcome feedback but not spambots
Good feedback and suggestions inspire me to write more