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The Horde Feat
By meeting the prerequisites and taking the Horde feat, the barbarian character significantly adds to his potential as a force in the gaming world. The Leadership feat allows characters to lead men-at-arms and attract characters of some significance to fight for them. The Horde feat produces similar results, hence the requirement of the Leadership feat. However, this feat goes far beyond the might of the Leadership feat. It allows the character to muster his clan to wage war for a specific purpose. It transforms his existing allies into raging lunatics thirsting for the blood of the enemy. The Horde feat has two significant effects. The first effect is the transformation of the barbarian's followers. Secondly, it allows the barbarian the ability to generate a sizeable force for a limited amount of time, for a fairly defined purpose.
Leadership score: The leadership score normally determines the number of followers and the power level of the cohort. For many of the rules in this section, the leadership score has an additional function. In this case, leadership becomes an attribute used to determine how well the horde may be controlled, the rate at which members of the horde desert and also maintaining a high level of morale. Determine the attribute modifier for the leadership score as any other ability. Therefore, if Tharg has a Leadership score of 24, he has a +7 modifier.
The followers generated by the Leadership feat are always of the following classes: warriors, experts and commoners. Barbarians with the Horde feat may confer upon their followers the ability to rage as a barbarian once per day. The barbarian's power and personality is so strong he can send his followers into a bloodthirsty rage. Controlling these characters becomes harder, requiring the barbarian to make a leadership check against DC 10 + the number of followers raging. If he succeeds, he is able to control them normally. Failure means they are confused for one round, and the barbarian rolls on the following table for the results of the effect on the group. Each round the leader can attempt to regain control of his followers.
Random Action results
|1||Wander away for 1 minute (unless somehow prevented)|
|2-6||Do nothing for 1 round|
|7-9||Attack nearest creature for 1 round|
|10||Submit to your control for one round|
For the sake of ease, the enraged statistics are included below for 1st level varieties of human followers. When using other races as followers, simply replace the bonus feat and the bonus skill points with the appropriate racial bonuses.
Enraged Commoner 1st; CR ½; Medium humanoid; HD 1d4+2; hp 4; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC 8 (-2 rage); Atk +2 melee (1d6+2, Club), -4 ranged (1d8, lt. crossbow); SA Rage 1/day; AL CN; SV Fort +2, Ref +0, Will +2; Str 14, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Climb +4, Handle Animal +2, Jump +4, Listen +6, Spot +4, Swim +4; Alertness, Skill Focus (Listen)
Possessions: Club, peasant's outfit, light crossbow, 10 bolts
Enraged Expert 1st; CR ½; Medium humanoid; HD 1d6+2; hp 5; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC 10 (leather +2, rage -2); Atk +2 melee (1d8+3, heavy mace), +0 ranged (1d8, light crossbow); SA Rage 1/day; AL CN; SV Fort +2, Ref +0, Will +4; Str 14, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Climb +6, Hide +4, Intuit Direction +4, Jump +6, Knowledge (geography) +4, Listen +2, Move Silently +4, Spot +2, Wilderness Lore +4; Alertness, Track
Possessions: Heavy mace, light crossbow, 10 bolts, leather armour and a travelling outfit
Enraged Warrior 1st; CR ½; Medium humanoid; HD 1d8+2; hp 6; Init +4; Spd 30 ft.; AC 14 (Chain shirt and large steel shield, rage -2); Atk +4 melee (1d8+2, longsword), +1 ranged (1d8, longbow); SA Rage 1/ day; AL CN; SV Fort +4, Ref +0, Will +2; Str 14, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Handle Animal +4, Intimidate +4, Ride +4; Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Possessions: Longsword, longbow, 20 arrows, chain shirt, large steel shield
In addition to the standard followers gained through the Leadership feat, barbarian characters accumulate followers of a more formidable ilk. These new followers are of the barbarian class instead of one of the standard non-player character classes. Despite the possible increase in followers, there are several restrictions as to how many, from where they originate, their acquisition and for how long they stay in the horde leader's service. Through simple restrictions, introducing the horde to any campaign setting is possible without running the risk of upsetting game balance.
Origins: Characters gain horde followers from their native region only. Even if the character does not have a native region, he must choose a territory from which he originates. This restriction suggests the character returns to his homeland to excite his people into a state of military readiness and frenzy. The barbarian character must return to his homeland and spend a month discussing, making speeches and proving himself to his people.
Quantity: At the end of the month, the barbarian gains a number of 1st level barbarians equal to his experience points divided by 500. Therefore, a 15th level barbarian who has 110,000 xp, would generate 220 1st level barbarians. For every 20 barbarians recruited, he gains an additional sub-commander, who functions as a 3rd level barbarian. For every 100 barbarians, he gains an assistant of 5th level. The statistics for the horde barbarians are as follows for humans. In the case of another race, remove the features attributed for human and overlay the features for the new race.
Enraged Horde Barbarian (1st Human Barbarian); CR 1; Medium humanoid; HD 1d12+4; hp 10; Init +1; Spd 40 ft.; AC 13 (Dex +1, Hide +3, Buckler +1, -2 rage); Atk +5 melee (1d8+4 battle-axe), +2 ranged (1d6, short bow); SA Rage 1/day; AL CN; SV Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +3; Str 19, Dex 13, Con 18, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 8.
Skills and Feats: Climb +6, Intimidate +1, Intuit Direction +5, Jump +6, Listen +3, Spot +3, Wilderness Lore +3; Power Attack, Cleave
Possessions: Battle-axe, short bow, 20 arrows, MW hide armour, buckler
Enraged Horde sub-commander (3rd Human Barbarian); CR 3; Medium humanoid; HD 3d12+12; hp 31; Init +1; Spd 40 ft.; AC 13 (Dex +1, +1 hide armour, -2 rage); Atk +9 melee (1d12+6, great axe), +4 ranged (1d6, short bow); SA Rage 1/day, Uncanny Dodge (retains Dex bonus to AC); AL CN; SV Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +4; Str 19, Dex 13, Con 18, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 8.
Skills and Feats: Climb +6, Intimidate +4, Intuit Direction +5, Jump +6, Listen +5, Spot +5, Wilderness Lore +6; Power Attack, Cleave, Weapon Focus (great axe)
Possessions: MW great axe, short bow, 20 arrows, +1 hide armour, 2 potions of cure light wounds
Enraged Horde assistants (5th Human Barbarian); CR 5; Medium humanoid; HD 5d12+20; hp 52; Init +1; Spd 40 ft.; AC 14 (-2 rage, +5 chain shirt +1, Dex +1); Atk +11 melee (1d12+8, great axe), +7 ranged (1d6+5, hand axe); SA Rage 2/day, Uncanny Dodge (retains Dex bonus to AC, can't be flanked); AL CN; SV Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +4; Str 20, Dex 13, Con 18, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 8.
Skills and Feats: Climb +7, Intimidate +7, Intuit Direction +6, Jump +7, Listen +7, Spot +7, Wilderness Lore +8; Power Attack, Cleave, Weapon Focus (great axe)
Possessions: +1 Great Axe, 3 MW Hand axes, +1 chain shirt, 2 potions of cure moderate wounds
Duration: Once the leader finishes assembling his horde, he will begin the long struggle to maintain the increased number followers. It is not enough to feed or pay them bonuses. Looting and plundering are in themselves not enough to keep such a disparate horde of berserkers together. Instead, the horde remains for as long as they maintain their fervour for the mission at hand.
A horde remains cohesive for a number of weeks equal to the barbarian's level. At the end of the period, deserters depart from the hordes ranks, usually very rapidly. The departure reflects the inherently chaotic and necessarily capricious nature of the great and raging warriors. The result of the horde's collapse is inevitable, but a powerful leader may be able to forestall dismemberment of his horde.
For every week beyond the standard allowed duration (number of weeks equal to barbarian levels), the barbarian may make a leadership check against a DC 20 + 2 for every additional week beyond the normal limits. A failed roll signifies the horde disbands entirely. A successful check has variable results depending on the success of the roll. Consult the following table for modifiers for leadership checks to maintain the horde, and the following table to refer to the ration of success to desertion.
Horde integrity modifiers to Leadership rolls
|Situation||Modifier to check|
|Horde moves around a lot||-1|
|The horde has been routed in the past week||-2|
|The horde has been routed more time than it has not||-5|
|The horde leader confers gold equal to at least 5x character level, once per month||+2|
|As above, but every two weeks||+5|
|Horde members never paid||-10|
|Horde leader has great prestige||+2|
|Horde leader violent and domineering||+1|
|Horde leader has visual special abilities||+2|
|Horde leader is a tyrant||+1|
|Horde leader appears indecisive||-4|
|The listed bonus for every town raided in the past week||+1|
|Horde leader killed||Automatic dispersal|
|For every assistant killed||-2|
|For every sub-commander killed||-1|
All listed bonuses are cumulative
Rate of Desertion
|Degree of success||Percentage loss|
|A failed roll||100%|
|Success by 0-5||75%|
|Success by 6-10||50%|
|Success by 11-15||25%|
|Success by 16+||10%|
The rate of desertion only comes into effect when the normal amount of time for the horde's existence expires. Sub-commanders and assistants disappear in the same increments as they joined. Therefore, for every 20 deserting barbarians, a sub-commander will depart. For every 100 barbarians, an assistant leaves.
Reconstruction: Once a horde disperses, characters may rebuild a new horde in 4 to 6 months, using the time to re-convince the barbarian people of the character's homeland to raise arms for the call to battle. Horde leaders may go back to the same communities, if, and only if, the horde disbanded on its own and not if a hostile force destroyed it. In situations where some agency or bad planning destroyed the entire horde, the region from which the horde originates cannot sustain another gathering of barbarians as their numbers are too depleted to muster another army.
Horde Functions and Maintenance
The horde is potentially a highly destructive force, capable of inflicting massive amounts of damage on lives and property of city dwellers, encampments and other locations ripe for the plucking. The horde, while operating as a cohesive unit is almost a living organism, each mind subsumed into a larger idea, a goal established during its formation. However, despite its appearance as a plague against civilisation in the form of a swarm of warriors, this body needs food, and this body demands spoils.
Just as characters with the Leadership feat must find a means to feed and house their followers, so too does a horde leader need to provide these goods and services to his men. The horde leader has two very basic options to provide for his men. The first is to meet the expense with cold, hard coin. The performance of the leader quantitatively affects the number of standard followers generated by the Leadership feat. The horde members however require housing and food equal to 2 sp per day. Sub-commanders require 6 sp, and assistants require 1 gp. These expenses add up very quickly. Regardless of whether the war leader meets these costs, the horde will remain unified throughout the normal duration.
If the horde leader is lax in his treatment of the horde, they will most likely desert him at the end of the duration. In the meantime, the horde must find food and construct shelter from the environment through which they travel. Sizeable armies are like locusts devouring and despoiling the land they leave behind. For every 100 men in the horde, they deplete a base 2-mile radius in area of all drinkable water, food resources and supplies. If the land is fertile farmland, the affected radius drops to 1 mile. If the region is a wilderness and uncultivated, the base is 4 miles. The exact effects on the region are entirely at the Games Master's discretion, although below are a few possibilities.
A rampaging army moving through a civilised land will likely generate some unrest and hatred in the native folk. If left to their own devices and the army is relatively cruel, sabotage and terrorism inflicted by the locals is a normal reaction to the intrusion of this unruly force. Another result is, for every week an army spends in one place, they double the amount of environmental damage in radius. An army could despoil a fairly large area if not very mobile. This will ultimately bring the attention of druids and other concerned figures of power potentially to attempt to disperse or destroy the horde.
The horde's primary function, as established above, is to wage war. They wreak havoc, spread discord and disrupt civilisation. For these reasons, use of the horde can be invaluable to users of the Open Mass Combat System (OMCS), first appearing in The Quintessential Fighter. In a smaller scale, barbarian's can use these forces to seize additional land, raze a city or even assault and sack another tribe. This section presents two functional uses for hordes. The first is for use with the OMCS, by demonstrating the effectiveness of a horde versus a standard unit of warriors. The second approach provides a mechanic in which the results of a raid can be determined rapidly to expedite and enhance play.
For players making use of the OMCS, the inclusion of a horde can prove to be a significant improvement over the standard conscripts normally allotted to users of the leadership feat. While further detail into the OMCS is beyond the scope of this product, it is necessary to present the horde barbarian unit types for ease of inclusion into campaigns adopting the aforementioned rules. Below are two example units for the OMCS for Enraged Followers (as described in the Horde feat) and horde barbarians. The following examples assume units of 80 men and women, all of which are human.
|Unit Hit Points:||96 (+20% Constitution 14)|
|Initiative:||+4 (Improved Initiative)|
|AC:||14 (chain shirt, large steel shields, rage*)|
|Abilities:||Str 14*, Dex 11, Con 14*, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10|
|Saves:||Fort +3, Ref +0, Will +2|
|Feats:||Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (longsword)|
|Unit Hit Points:||120 (+40% Constitution 18, +10% Toughness)|
|AC:||13 (Hide, buckler, Dex, rage*)|
|Abilities:||Str 19*, Dex 13, Con 18*, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 8|
|Saves:||Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +2|
|Feats:||Power Attack, Toughness|