One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Here's my idea for the rank and title structure of the GM army.
Ranks and Titles
Note: The supreme ranking individual in the Gran March army is the Marshal General. There will only be one at any given time. The Marshal General is unlikely to be seen on the battlefield since he will have been selected for his strategic expertise rather than his skill with the lance. His station in the army is akin to the Secretary of Defense (US).
The Marshal General can be selected from either corp capable of attaining the rank of Field Marshal. He is nominated by the Commandant, and approved by a vote of the senior Field Marshals.
*NOTE* A Field Marshal is the supreme ranking individual in any given group. Generally speaking, there will not be more than one. On the rare occasions where more than one is present, the senior Field Marshal will assume total command.
- Master Sergeant of Archery
*NOTE* There are no officers in the archery or siege corp. This is due to the fact that they are specialty assignments, and rarely present opportunities where the members can singularly distinguish themselves. In cases where an officer is required, one is usually pulled from the Specialty Corp, or the Foot Corp.
*NOTE* Magic Users have equivalent rank structure due to the martial nature of GM, however the ranks are largely 'honorary'. As such, a soldier will only find himself taking orders from a Magic User in the most dire of circumstances. Additionally, they have limited rank structure due to the same circumstances as the Specialty Corp.
Updated as of 27 Apr 05.
Last edited by Hammarr_Jaerome on Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:46 am; edited 2 times in total
One I would put the Horse/Cavalry first, and have them take priority.
Also, I like the sound of Marshall, versus General. I suggest expanding on Marshall, and leaving the lowly generals with the Infantry.
Grand Marshall for the Utlimate commander
Marshall General for the next layer
Field Marshall for the next, then maybe Marshall instead of Major. How bout Horse Captain, and leave the lowly Captains to the infantry. Just some thoughts, I dont think you want to prejudice the system too hard against the infantry.
However, after much consideration of the population figures and the size of this country, and the terrain, I am guessing that the horses, with a little protection from the Marchers, could easily outnumber the people 6 to 1, so I would guess that every soldier is a mounted soldier, even if they get off and fight on the ground.
A few points of contention I have about your ideas, Anced:
1. Its obvious why the archers, specialty corp, mages, etc dont have precedence, since no city has ever been taken by the siege engineers or archery corp. However Foot and Cavalry have long been the swordarm of any given army. Therefore, I want them to have nearly identical power structure since either could be called to occupy an enemy city. I like your idea about the Cav having precedence, but by their sheer force of numbers that is more likely to happen anyway.
2. Even though we're operating in a fantastic world rife with fanciful titles, I believe the cornerstone of any effective army is simplicity. An army that mixes titles is a confused army. Additionally, granting the Cav more authority based solely on one's ability (or station) to ride a horse seems foolhardy.
My proposed list of titles grants anyone (mages excluded) the ability to recognize the authority of another simply by hearing their title, or perhaps seeing their standard. Lastly, I don't want to have too many ranks to aspire to, and I don't want to have too many layers of leadership(trust me, it sucks). That's why in Cav and Foot I have only 9 attainable ranks. Simply put here, the Cav and Foot do ALL the hard work in an army. I don't want there to be ANY prejudice between the forces.
3. Final thought. Fielding an entire mounted army would create a tremendous burden on the auxillary corp, not to mention farriers, leatherworkers, blacksmiths, etc. Imagine if you will, the stabling requirements, the picketing requirements, the feed and care requirements...if your reasoning is anything like mine, then you'll admit the logistics are staggering. I do not think that outfitting every man in an 18000 strong force with a horse, even if they do not fight on horse, is feasible. Do you see what I am saying?
Hammarr_Jaerome wrote: ... fantastic world rife with fanciful titles, I believe the cornerstone of any effective army is simplicity ... I don't want there to be ANY prejudice between the forces.
The army is being created for roleplaying, not effectiveness. Has it recently, historically been effective? Does the culture dictate a bunch of fancy titles for the horse lords? Should there be an NPC young captain trying to improve effectiveness by simplifying rank structure and improving relations between the branchs?
1. Anced, you bring a valid point about knighthood and such, but their are other outlets for a trumped up noble who wants to be in the army. He can buy his commision, in which case he'll have to deal with the rank structure and lack of fanciful titles. He can join as a lord, in which case he would retain his funky title, but then lords are only added to the army in somewhat special circumstances. He could join the KoW. Nobility does not have to deal with the exact same hardships that the peasantry does.
2. Wolfsire, The army is and has been for a while, the most effective in the region. Using that as a basis, I am trying to model the army using a logical and efficient approach.
As far as horse lords go, I don't think ownership of a horse goes very far in Gran March, since there are a profusion, and anyone with enough land can raise them. At least thats sort of how we are leaning.
Lastly, for the same reasons cited earlier, anyone who joins the army is equally qualified to become foot OR cavalry. Given that fact, the only prejudice between individual units should be based on their respective accomplishments rather than if one rides a horse or not.
My vision, in summation, is that this army has been effective and efficient for so long, that they would have hashed out any such disagreements between branchs, simplified titles, and resolved any other major problems years, perhaps decades before current times.
I certainly don't know enough about GM or military matters and I don't doubt that you have the facts an inferences right. What I was suggesting was that some problems should be built in to create role playing opportunities and flavor, even if that might bend canon. Others problems might be available, external ones certainly, but internal problems will add depth to the story. Conflict makes things interesting. I note that you wrote "most effective". So it is relative. Perhaps fewer problems? Friendly rivalries? Were the archers decisive in the battel for the pansy field? ;-)
Hey Hammar, I like what you are doing, and what Wolfie is suggesting!
I am going to suggest the following... the Army as you desribe it has almost reached the pinnacle that you are seeking... this post could be his correspondence with the Commandant ( A knight wedded to that old backward thinking that a horse makes rank) and he keeps saddling the Grand Marshall (do you have a name for him yet?) with young new majors (all nobles of course) who like it archaic and faulty. Because they think it makes them look good.
Come on Hammar, I know you active duty military, and such silliness would never occur in the modern military...... but play along with us fantasy buffs.
The GM army could also have Dragoon type units that would travel by horse but fight on foot or both. As well it is important to note that in the pass army were able to fieled very large cavalries. Sometime the Persian army was all horse. I think that societies that had many horse made changes within the armies that made supporting cavalry easier. Napoleanís Cavalry was always large and effective.
Another thought is what about elephants? Especially in the southern areas we have the right climate for it.
Also what about Fantastic troops i.e. Hippogriffs or Griffons for high-level leaders or small quality elite troops or elite Dwarven engineers etc. I do think we should avoid the Dragon mounted leaders though. Too much like dragon lance.
This is all shaping up well. _________________ "Its a dangerous business going out your front door." JRR Tolkien
Unless you are a Greyhawk Heretic.
I don't want to add a bunch of fancy titles to the army just for fantasy's sake. The titles that I used in my original draft are established titles, having been used in real life and fantasy writings for a long time. Now there are a couple reasons for this, which I'll explain:
1. For a new player/DM, the title of Captain, Sergeant, Private, etc are easily recognized. Given this, it will make for a less intimidating entity for a new player to deal with.
2. I did add a little variety to the cavalry and a LOT to the mage corp. I envision the cavalry being akin to America's Navy , i.e. they have the same rank structure, but more tradition and somewhat different titles.
3. The last point I want to make is that with the simple titles and clearly organized structure, from an RPing standpoint it would make the army more efficient. Efficiency and effectiveness are the keystones I am using to build this army. Having served active duty for some 10 years (and still going) I can vouch for the morale boost provided by always being able to recognize one's command structure.
Oh crap, I'm at work and they are trying to hit me with an exercise virus, so I better go. No worries, the AF loves to test us like this. Please let me know what you think.
I think it is important to give anything you create a good flavour and I agree it needs to be recognizable. Like our present leaders with in Greyhawk with names like Margraves, Beygraf, Prelate, Voormann as examples gives each country it own cultural flavour just from that name and provides for the sense that this is multicultural world.
These names are names that have been used with our world with various cultures ie margraves is German voormann Dutch. So technically they are not fantasy names yet they do provide the idea that one is in a different world.
I am not suggesting fantasy for fantasy sake. I expect a military structure that those within Gran March would understand and be knowledgeable about. Presently in our world much of the Western world uses the French model with some variations as the military structure. When you have studied other military structure either though history or by comparison you have "translated" that structure to see own fits against yours.
So in mind you would provide both and allow the DM to choose which name he is going to use.
Another example is money structure in Greyhawk In Gran March a Platinum piece is a griffon Gold is a lion Electrum is an eagle Silver is white owl and Copper piece is a heron( pictures on the pieces) So a DM could say that the merchant asks for a gold and a silver for an item or he could say "that will be a loin and an owl" In Canada our dollar is called a loonie and the two dollar coin is called a twoonie. So If I asked you for a two twoonies and a loonie for a Five you would think I am nuts but in Canada it makes prefect sense.
Remember too that thesize of the GM army is smaller than many of the modern armies of to day so maybe some titles are blended together.
I agree that recognizable structure is important to the army members and it will be to those in the GM army no matter what they are called an for the RPing person part of role-playing is learning the world you are in. I do even known why Brigadier General exist but if I as in the army I would have to learn that.
I do not expect wildly different names. Many could be the same. Just some variation to provide cultural difference. So perhaps the Foot major is called something major and the Horse major is call something else major and perhaps the structure could reflect a greater respect for horse over foot.
It was not uncommon for medieval ancient or even napoleonic armies to have for examples standard bearers which where used for different reasons. The Romans would throw it into the ranks of and the centurions to go get it. Those bearers had specific names we do not the position today or it has been changed.
The reason I gave the different sites was not just for names but for structure and behaviours of the armies. Mongols lower ranks voting for lower rank leaders as an example.
Do get me wrong I like the work I am just suggesting adding cultural flavour to it.
Thought? _________________ "Its a dangerous business going out your front door." JRR Tolkien
Unless you are a Greyhawk Heretic.
I do see your point now, Ivor. I will go ahead and mix things up a bit, although I would like to keep some of the basics (private, sergeant, captain).
As for the structure, I want to keep that one rather vanilla. Throughout history, most armies have granted rank based on battle prowess, leadership ability, and seniority. I understand that you mentioned the Mongols just as an example, but the idea of electing ones leaders, even in the lower ranks, causes me a bit of discomfort. Basically, I think the a very plain and simple structure should be given through our gazeteer, and if a DM wishes to shake things up a bit, our lack of in-depth instruction would give that DM that power, know what I mean?
Alright, I will begin researching different titles and such, and attempt to provide a changed rank structure soon.
Good job on the rank structure. Simplicity is key, IMO. However, a proposed change of mine would be:
-dump "Lance Corporal" from the infantry (no lances, just pikes/spears)
-dump "Corporal" from the cavalry (that's a grunt's rank, trooper! )
They're the same rank, just different titles. Like Army PFC vs. Marine Lance Corporal. That'll cut the ranks down to eight each.
BTW, I'm really liking your Wizard/Priest ranks. I'll probably be stealing that for use in my own campaign... _________________ There is no problem that cannot be resolved with the application of more firepower.
Little bit of trivia though, the term lance corporal originated when a member of the cavalry was unhorsed for whatever reason. Because they were not as effective on foot as they were from horseback, they were granted minor NCO authority, without assuming that they would be as effective on the battlefield. Once the member was reuinted with a horse, he would assume his old cavalry rank again.
Outstanding work! This is really coming togeather. I like the selection process for the supreme commander. It places the army subservient to the Commandant, but not totally. That is how I would see the system being revised after the death of Berlykin and the independance of the March.
Also, I will forward the D20 Role Play system we used to puch PCs through the ranks and out into the wide world. For those who have not seen it, this allows Gran March PCs (and Campaigns) to "serve," their term of service with a few die rolls, rather than torturing a DM with sessions of endless guard duty or contrived "military," adventures. It is similar to the Traveller systems, and will allow a PC to gain 1 to 3 levels(in extreme circumstances) while in military service. This should take some of the concern of the "Martial Nature," of GM out of play.
Also, Hammar, I would suggest looking at the Greytalk article linked by Wolfsire in the Sources forum. That article has some interesting material on GM, and also on the Mage Guild. If Creighton will grant permission, I would like to use some of his stuff.
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