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War gaming with Dragons
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This is a complilation and clarifying of the rules from Dave Arneson’s First Fantasy Campagin (FFC), original dungeons and dragons (LLB) and CHAINMAIL mass combat system.

The purpose of this tract is to help players spend the gold they acquire.


cost for a Heavy Foot man at arms in 0d&d is 3 gp per month = 36 gp year

cost for 1 infantryman 10 gp, 1 suit of chain armor 24 gp, 1 helmet 2 gp, 1 sword 10 gp

in Arneson’s FFC = 36 gp+10 gp per year.  I point this out to show you that the following can be as detailed as you wish.  One should consider the 0d&d rules on strongholds and name level characters as the “basic” version of Arneson’s FFC, itself the “diplomacy” supplement to CHAINMAIL.


  1. clear a hex (roll wilderness wandering monster d6.  If a 6 is rolled it is inhabitated and you must fight to eject whomever or whatever is already there.)
  2. build a keep. type I 18,500gp, type II 49,500gp, type III 89,500gp
  3. roll 2d4 for number of hamlets
  4. roll 1d4x100 for number of peasants in each hamlet
  5. peasants provide 10gp per year per peasant in labor/goods to baron.
  6. take the total number of peasants and multiply by 0.3  This is the Fyrd (militia) Each village will can send up to 50% of their fyrd to the baron to outfit.
  7. If your barony is in an established kingdom send 1% of your xp in gold  to the national government in tribute.
  8. outfit your men at arms, dragons, and heroes in accordance with your fyrd.
  9. ???
  10. PROFIT!

If you don’t have Dave Arneson’s FFC, Hill Canton's blog is the next best thing.

If you don’t have Gygax and Arneson’s LLB’s then The reformatted LLB's are the ...actually this is the best thing ever.

Example: the Drow city state of Erelhei-Cinlu is home about 10,800 drow ruled by 8 noble houses (barons) averaging a population of 1,350 each within twenty 250 yard hexes.

Example:  the egg of coot in Blackmoor is a kingdom with a capital city of 30,000 and surrounding population of about 36,000.

Example: House Eliservs is the 1st of 8 houses of Erelhei-Cinlu is controled by the noble  Elcavdra and her 10 family members.  They control 3 hexes and a population of about 3,375 drow with a tribute fyrd of 506 and an income of 33,750 gp/year.

example: an army of 300 men requires some combination of veterans, warriors, and heroes to command them in battle, perhaps an 8th level fighter two 4th level fighters, two 3rd level fighters, and a 1st level fighter.

exampe: orcs are listed as 30-300.  This is the Fyrd.  Total population is 100-1000.

example: in a barony of 1,125 with a fyrd of 337, there will have about six 3-6th level heroes (1:50 hero:fyrd) There will also be three super heroes of 7th+ level.  The baron--perhaps, and two others.  The makup will be 4 fighter types, perhaps 2 mu, 2 cl and 1 thief.  This doesn’t mean they will automatically fight in the army, like all troops they must be paid for.  A village will not send mothan ½ of all fyrd of these will be unavailable as they are requied for local defense, labor, farming etc.  

Example: The city of Greyhawk has a population of 70,000.  21,000 fyrd. 420 from levels 3rd-6th and 210 from levels 7+.  95 of which are fighter types.  56 of those are from levels 7-9th. 23 from levels 10-12th.  11 from levels 13-15th. 3 from levels 16-18th and 1 who’s 19th level or higher.


example: In 0d&d gygax and arneson describe 30 or more bandits always being led by a 4th level fighter. Where do they come from?  Well, one small hamlet of 150 peasants supports a fyrd  45 and a single hero.  A single 4th level fighting man can only command up to 40 of them at one time.  The hamlet has a treasure value of 975gp if conquered (+10 xp per man killed) and produces 1,500 gp in labor/material/goods per year for purposes of outfitting  the 45 light foot bandits which cost 450gp to outfit and must contend with monthly wandering monster checks as there is no castle and baron within 4 hexes.

example #2: If there are 300+ bandits this implies a landless Baron in control (or preying on...) a population of at least 1,000 peasants.  with 6 heroes under him and and 3 super heroes just as the book describes.


example: a clan of 500 isengard orcs will have a fyd of 150 (with no more than 75 out at one time raiding, or in service to an evil wizard, and 75 guarding the clan).  With this there will be perhaps 3 ogres (4+1 hero types) and a 7th level wizard or 7HD dragon.




Why does a magic-user need 5000gp to reach 3rd level?  Because it costs a minimum 4000gp to research a 2nd level spell.  Once he has amassed this gold, he creates his first 2nd level spell (finding a lost scroll will move him toward this goal, but nothing beats doing it yourself for..what’s the word?... experience.  The resources provide the means for experience.

example: Mazirian the Thurmaturgist (5th level) has up to this point accumulated 20,000 gold which he as spent on creating magic items, tithing to his guild, making a downpayment on a small tower. Months later, has plundered, cajoled, and conquered his way to another 16,000 gp.   He wishes to research a spell he’s heard of called, “fly”.  It costs him 2,000 gold and 1 week per spell level.  This gives a 20% chance of success.  He decides to double his base chance and for the next 3 weeks he spends 16,000 gold and the referee rolls a d100 and any score from 1-40 means he has successfully researched that spell and is now Mazirian the Magician (6th level).  Broke, he sets off in search of forgotten tomes and treasure in order to feed his insatiable desire for more knowledge.



1st level fighter buys chain armor, sword, shield and rolls 3d6x10 for wealth.  Let’s say 120gp.  A 1+1 veteran can only lead 20 men anyway, so he hires  with his remaining 70gp twenty heavy foot men at arms for 1 month.  He has 10 gold peices left to spare.



# & type


veteran 1+1

20 HF (1:1)

Through clever tactics he loots a small dungeon of 2 levels and defeats an orc tribe 100 members (waiting for 50% of the orc fyd to leave on a pillaging expidition of their own).  Average gold of a 1st level dungeon is 48 gold and the 2nd level is 195 gold.  The orc tribe was worth 500 gold and 150 xp alone from the 15 fyrd orcs that were at the cave that were slain in combat.  After one month our new veteran has amased 743 gold and about 1000 xp.  He gives a years salary to the families of the 10 slain men which knocks him down 300 gp, but keeps morale high, forks over another 60 gp for 20 men in the 2nd month which leaves him with a net profit of 383 gp and halfway to 2nd level...


You are the most promising citizen of your hamlet of 100-400 souls (fyrd: 30-120) you are:

your hamlet is curse/needs something/will soon be attacked/etc and they entrust you and 50% of the towns fyd to right the worng/break the curse/slay the monster/etc.  Perhaps someday you will return victorious and build a castle to protect your family...


for 4-6 players.  The king is dead! Civil war has broken out!  All the petty warlords and barons scramble for control of the failed state.

  1. Each player is given a name level character with gp equal to the xp requirement.
  2. They are granted 1 hex and roll for their village population. 2d4 hamlets 1d400 people per hamlet.
  3. they decide on a castle type I, II, or III.
  4. They build their army and purchase specials (heroes, dragons etc)

monthly time keeping starts now

  1. with the remaining monies they may purchase improvements as described in the FFC (roads, ships, trade with other baronies, dungeon expiditions, farming etc.)
  2. a kingdom is when 30 hexes have been brought under control.
  3. he who controls at least 15 hexes can crown himself 1st among equals.  Control of 15 hexes can merely be an alliance between more than 1 player combining their shares.
  4. The ruler levies a 10% per year xp tax on other barons and is sent 50% of each barons fyrd for the raising of a national army.  Those barons who break from the new king...