Powers and Perils

Raising and Caring for Soldiers and Guards

Dogs of War

First off, an analysis of Joe Average, as detailed in book 4:


From this we can see that Joe Average is based off average rolls with a x1 multiplier. This gives him a C of 11, a W of 11, and Em of 8 and and I of 13. In addition the average CEL for this guy is 0.666 (d3*-1), rounding to 1. Calculations on the formulas prove we also have incorrect data for the above, which we now update:


Granted, this nimrod is NOT who you want to make up the core of your armies with, even if he'd be pretty cheap to hire and pay. Likewise, while an army of character-class NPCs would be really effective, you are quite unlikely to find that many, much less afford them.

Taking a clue from book 3, "creature variation", we must assume that the average warrior is at least somewhat bigger and better than Joe Average, ranging up to x2 for the biggest and baddest. However, to give some value for differing levels, I have "tweaked" some of the numbers (if within a point or two).

NOTE - NWI, in these cases, is weapon EL. NF is the percentage of availability, found later.

Warrior I
Warrior II
Warrior III
Warrior IV
Scout I
Scout II
Scout III
Scout IV

"Warriors" are generally used for front-line combat while "Scouts", with improved intelligence and will, are lighter troops used for couriers, archers or forward reconnaissance.

Unit Upkeep

Rate of pay for the basic Warrior I is based on the book 1 rate of 2SC/month for a "soldier". However, I felt that adding "5CC per OCV-2" was a bit too simplistic -- too much pay for minimal gain. Instead, a formula based on CEL and AHP differences was used, producing a simple progression. Short term hires should be used when hiring guards while in a city or town for the duration of the stay. For simplicity, all costs include wages, appropriate food and drink, lodgings, equipment repair and replacement, animal care, etc.

Warrior I20CC 5CC
Warrior II24CC 6CC
Warrior III28CC 7CC
Warrior IV32CC 8CC
Scout I16CC 4CC
Scout II20CC 5CC
Scout III24CC 6CC
Scout IV28CC 7CC
Specialty Unit Multiplier
Sling/Spearmen x1.25
Archers/Crossbowmen x1.5
Longbowmen/Arbalisteer x2
Light Cavalry x3
Heavy Cavalry x5
Specialist Skillx1.1 or more*
*As a rough guideline, use 1+(Cost to learn/100), rounded up to the next tenth. Thus, a blacksmith or brewer is valued at x1.1, while a healer has a value of x2.2. This should only be paid if the skill has a value in combat or for the military unit as a whole. Skill level is assumed to be at EL4 (or EL40 for "or 80" skills). Master level skills, at EL8 (or EL80 for "or 80" skills) have a cost multiplier of 1+(Cost to learn/30), rounded up to the next tenth.
Archers and cavalry are generally not available on a weekly basis.
Rawx0.8-2 OCV and DCV, +2 NWI
Greenx0.9-1 OCV and DCV, +1 NWI
Seasonedx1.1+1 OCV and DCV, -1 NWI
Veteranx1.25+2 OCV and DCV, -2 NWI
Elitex1.5+3 OCV and DCV, -3 NWI

EXAMPLE - A marentian baron has hired himself 10 Warrior III's, each of which is both an arbalisteer and heavy cavalry. In addition, he has attempted to find slightly stronger troops (enough for a +2 SB), and pays a premium of 20% more for them. The cost of this 10-man lance is 34GC per month.


In general, the number of mercenaries readily available for hire per month will be 1d6 per 4000 inhabitants for any city (round up). For towns, 1d2 will be available every 500 inhabitants. It will take a number of days to put out the word and get applicants equal to 1d6 for each level of recruit you desire. For example, if you wish to hire up to level II troops, roll 2d6. If looking for short term, local hires, it takes ONE-THIRD the determined time in days.

A simple way to determine percentages of troop types reporting is to line up the day dice in low-to-high order. The highest ranking has a share equal to the lowest die; the next highest ranging has a share equal to the lowest two dice, etc. Continue until you get to the type I's which have a share equal to the total of all the dice. Add all the shares together and divide by the share per type to determine percentage of that type.

EXAMPLE - The word goes out in a city of 20,000 for type III or better, taking 11 days (a 2, a 3 and a 6). The III's have 2 shares, the II's have 5 shares (2+3) and the I's have 11 shares (2+3+6). Total shares are 18 -- the reply is therefore 11% III's, 28% II's and 61% I's. The roll for soldiers is 3, 2, 5, 2 and 4 -- a total of 16. Multiplying reply percentages by the count, working from the highest to the lowest (rounding down fractions) this gives a reply of 1 type III, 4 type II and 11 type I.

These avail abilities assume average quality troops. Double the number if you are willing to accept green troops (making up 50% of the count). Seasoned troops may make up about 1d6x5% of the total. You cannot mass-recruit veteran or elite troops -- the PC must do that himself on an individual basis, or lead the troops through enough battles to increase in experience.

If an area is flush with released soldiers, DOUBLE or TRIPLE the number of soldiers responding to the call. Also DOUBLE it if the culture is question is highly military or frequented by mercenaries.

For long term recruits (one month or more) the cost to recruit equals one month's pay, two months if they will be traveling into battle in hostile lands. The available number previously found may be increased by 50% if you pay DOUBLE the recruitment cost. All soldiers are considered equipped with their primary cultural weapon and reasonable armor for their status.

Archers are only commonly available in cultures where their weapon is one of the preferred weapons and cost DOUBLE to recruit if the preferred weapons of the area of hire are not what you are looking for.

Keep in mind that if you are attempting to hire a large quantity of troops it may take several months to fill up a company. Troops that are hired but waiting may be held at 80% cost per month "in garrison".

Large Quantities

When hiring an army, as opposed to just a small band of guards, one generally works in terms of 100-man "companies" or 10-man "lines" (or "lances", if dealing with cavalry). A Company is lead by a single Captain who gets QUADRUPLE pay. Under him will be 9 lieutenants who each get DOUBLE pay. The Captain and the lieutenants personally command their own line of 9 soldiers. The cost of a Company is x112 the cost of a single soldier of the stated quality, while the cost of a line is x11 the cost of a single soldier.

NOTE - this does not mean you cannot have mixed levels of quality within a company, but the logistical nightmare is not worth the effort when you need to deal with large numbers of men.

EXAMPLE - A local lord is trying to raise a company for a strike at enemy lands. It takes several months, but he manages to gather a company of footmen 100 strong that suits his needs. The Company is rated as Average Warrior I, so the upkeep cost is 224SC per month and the recruitment cost is 448SC (doubled since they are going into hostile lands). With luck, what plunder the lord gets will be enough to pay back the initial recruitment as well as the monthly costs for the campaign.

The lord can recruit 1 man per 1000 city inhabitants per month. All other modifiers for recruitment apply.

EXAMPLE - If he has access to only a 20,000 inhabitant city that is heavy with mercenaries he can recruit 40 troops per month. If he can recruit from multiple cities he may be able to fill his requirements in a single month.

Mass Combat Conversions

For those who plan to use the mass combat rules that were based on the GURPS rules, the following can be used to determine the TS of your troops.

TypeBase TSNotes
Warrior I +3
Warrior II+3.5Assumes light armor and weapons
Warrior III +4
Warrior IV +4.5
Scout (any)-0.5from above levels
Medium Armor +0.5
Medium Weapons +0.5
Heavy Armor +1
Heavy Weapons +1
Light Horse+1Riding horses, light to no armor
Medium Horse+2War horses, light to medium armor
Heavy Horse+3War horses, heavy armor
Slings/Spears +1
Bows +2
Longbows +3
Crossbows +3
Quality Modifiers
Raw x0.5
Green x0.8
Seasoned x1.2
Veteran x1.5
Elite x2

EXAMPLE - The 100 man company above will be equipped with heavy weapons and medium armor. It will have a troop strength of TS450.

EXAMPLE - Suppose a baron has hired 10 Warrior III's, all archers (arbalisteers), all heavy cavalry. The troop strength of this bunch is TS115.

Burton Choinski