You’ve seen the posts where we discuss the current merchant war brewing on Fletnern. I’ve done “real” wars before – You know, thousands of soldiers charging across a plain against thousands of soldiers. Truth is - I don’t think that role-playing characters belong in the middle of several thousand soldiers. Few if any games handle that well. The glass cannons become the only effective pieces and the warriors are reduced to shields for the mages.
So why a “merchant war”? Well, when the really big firms/cartels/merchant houses go at it, they are:
1 – very likely to hire adventuring type people – including assassins and small unit fighters
2 – very likely to be sneaky and mean if not outright evil
3 – very likely to have a lot of money
4 – very likely to be fighting against similarly odd groups of enemies as opposed to a huge number of reasonably identical soldiers
OK – 2 and 3 are likely in either type of warfare
We’ve talked about militaries retreating before - it’s not easy. Merchant wars lend themselves to smaller battles, often fought in city alleys or warehouses. If anything, they favor the subtle mages; fireballs will bring in guards from every neighborhood, but a disintegrate spell will do the job quickly and quietly. Adventurers fighting a merchant war can make a major difference, something they really shouldn’t be able to do in the major military actions.
Watch how our current mini-campaign work itself out. You’ll see what I’m talking about!