Campaign Ideas: Mercenaries

Campaign Pitch: Players are the leadership in a mercenary company, hired to hold a city. The monarch who hired you died and you doubt that you will ever be paid. The highborn are dividing up the map and it is only a matter of time before they turn their greedy eyes to you. Also, your soldiers need pay.

Add sorcery and such to taste.

We could spend time discussing the fantasy system (Into the Odd has been a choice I’m fond of lately but I’ve heard good things about MCDM’s Kingdoms and Warfare & Strongholds and Followers) but I’m assuming that you are going to use your favorite system that allows for some kind of strategic mass battle mechanics of some kind. Let’s get to the real star of this thing – the map of the city.

There’s the Medieval Fantasy City Generator, in which the first 2 cities I asked it to make were total winners. There’s a part of one city called Pig Chapel.

We could always grab a beautiful City or Town map from Dyson Logos:

I liked this map making technique that I used to make a Gnome university city:

Or we could get gritty and grab a real medieval city map. The Smithsonian just made a few million assets open source, surely one of them is a medieval map. Revolutionary War Yorktown would totally work.

Direct capture

Looking at the work of Ernest C. Peixotto makes me want to change the whole thing to a fantasy muskets.

Prep I’d want to do:

Factions within the city (guilds, landowners, religious organizations, captured highborn to ransom)

Factions outside of the city (other mercenary companies holding bridges, castles, etc., cities, towns, castles, towers along rivers and roads, knights turned bandit in the midst of war, carrion picking at the bones, merchants profiting from war)

A little bit about the history of the city’s sieges

Anyway, you get the idea – war is hell, so-called nobles are anything but noble, you are in charge of a city without any training or background to running said city – LET’S PLAY. Bonus points if your mercs have hearts because hey, this is fantasy.

The comments and replies on Mastadon have been really cool.

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2 thoughts on “Campaign Ideas: Mercenaries

  1. Very similar to the scenario that I ran for you Judd, in our Jaws of the Six Serpent game, where your Legion of Mercs was sent in to “tame the town” ala many, many western stories. sidenote: Further cementing that you can take Western Tropes and port them over to fantasy tropes so easily.

    That was a fun mini campaign.

    The one aspect I would spend some time in your scenario above is the economics of the situation. Is the city starving? Is it under some kind of 49 gold rush (electrum rush anyone?)? Are there banks and broadsheets for your brothers of battle? Banks and guilds usher in a whole economic veneer that I find interesting. Fledgling newsprint and printing presses also allow for a more literate populace who can provide all kinds of friction and problems.

    Anyhoo…just some thoughts.

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