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D&D 3E
I need advice on another topic 
18th-Apr-2004 03:04 am
First i want to point out that i appreciate everyone that commented on my last post. i think all of your ideas where useful and i'm going to talk with the player as well as our dm to come up with a good solution for his character. Again i thank you.

Now for the reason of this post. My Dm has left it up to me to decide how we retake a castle. our forces are pretty small mainly just the 4 characters and some cohorts we picked up to fill in the gaps. My question is does anyone have any good seige tactics or advice for a seige type battle. The lord of the castle is a evil cleric of hextor and his main advisor is a necromancer. so i'm expecting to encounter hordes of undead, they have dealings with the dark elves as well as the dark dwarves. he said we'd be encountering githyanki as well as many golems so i'm a lil skeptical at taking the frontal approach. any advice as to what our small party could do to take this castle would be greatly appreciated.

if it helps here's our characters

14th level ranger male/human
13th level monk Female/Elf
13th level sorceror Female/Elf
10th level rogue 1st level fighter male/half-elf

10th level male half-orc barbarian
10th level male human cleric
10th level female elven fighter
18th-Apr-2004 12:31 am (UTC) - tactics
Spy a lot. Have the sorcerer acquire a scroll of greater scrying. Have the cleric use divination spells. Have the rogue poke around as much as he can safely (but give him a quick way to teleport home). You guys have powerful magic -- take advantage of it.

Learn as much as you can before entering. Do not attempt a frontal attack. Find their leaders and kill or capture them. Take captives and question them.

If you can, teleport into a well-scried place inside and attack from within.
19th-Apr-2004 08:18 pm (UTC) - Re: tactics
I think this idea would be great but i think my dm is planning on having 90% of the enemy army being undead so it'd be pretty hard to capture them and make them talk
18th-Apr-2004 01:36 am (UTC)
A frontal attack will get you killed, unless you keep making small annoying attacks, til they send out a legion to take care of you; lead those forces into a trap. That will cut down on the defenders in the castle. Remember, he's got a Necromancer, so they will be able to rebuild their army, and you cannot starve them out.

Do you have the option of getting assistance? Hiring Mercenaries, finding other heroes, etc?

19th-Apr-2004 08:31 pm (UTC)
well the whole situations is as follows
my character is the heir to this castle. my characters uncle had my father killed so he could take over my mother sent me to the elves to be raised. i have sympathizers that are loyal to my father but their forces are diminished. the people still loyal are a human paladin 2 fighters a drow fighter 2 sorcerors and 1 cleric. they all have small forces but the main opposition has a unlimited number of troops due to that 90% of them are undead. my party doesn't personally know the layout of the castle but their are those as i mentioned that are loyal to my characters father that do know the layout
18th-Apr-2004 03:27 am (UTC)
One of the ways a castles defenses were breahed was by heating the stone, then rapidly cooling it by throwing on water, this causes the stones to crack; when you have spells like fireball and cone of cold, this process could be an awful lot quicker.

Another thing is digging out an amount of earth from under a corner of the castle, again with spells this is a lot easier.
Windwall is a fantastic spell for a siege, it'll stop any arrows they shoot at you.

The other poster/s are right about recon. it's vital, both to know the best place to attack and to know where to avoid.

If it's a traditional castle, the defences from above are minimal, so betting above it(again easy with spells) and raining death from above is good.

Fighter types are good bowmen, so use them to prevent the enemy spell casters getting a decent line of sight on you.

Make use of "summon" spells, to give you some cannon fodder, you can possibly even summon the, whatever it is you summon, on the castle walls, so they can get inside.

Siege tactics are very bad when you're outnumbered, the defenders can be outnumbered 10/1 and still win usually, it is a tactic for when you outnumber them really. Magic can make a difference, but not as much as you'd think, it isn't all that much different to the standard artillery, if you're using mostly offensive spells.

If you can dig out pit traps of a decent depth that should slow/stop the golems, as they have to be given instructions, if the enemy don't know about the traps then they probably won't have been given instructions on avoiding them.

Caltrops, or buried stakes, near any points which the enemy may charge through.

You said re-take the castle, so if that means you already know the layout that will help. If you could do something like teleport the rogue in behind the necromancer then out again, that could be handy for some serious backstabbage.

I can't remeber if it's possible but could you teleport one of them out to you? Even if it's by teleportsing in grabbing them them teleporting out again. If you can then you can potentially reduce the number of "hard" NPCs, once they're out there with you all jumping on them should be good against pretty much anything.

Again, scouting, it can help plan the tactics once you know what you'll be facing; are the dark elves/dwarves at the castle, will they be coming up behind you later.

Make use of your racial advantages, low light and dark vision, if the enemy is mostly humans.

The castle will have a water supply, see if you can poison it somehow. This may not actually have to be poison, if you can bless a large ammount of the water, it won't be good for the undead.

You might be able to use the water supply to sneak into the castle, the defences tend to be directed outside(golems will probably patrol the courtyard etc), so assasination could be a valid technique.

Use the monk, and the barbarians higher speed to advantage(possibly others with spells/items).

Consider using familiars/animals to scout. Rats particularly are not going to be very nociable in a castle, and the golems and probably the undead too will most likely ignore them; even if more intelligent enemy spot them..it's a rat.

Can you make catapults etc, they were used for a good reason.

If you can make something to hide behind, from arrow fire etc, even if it's just a wooden fence.

Watch out for glyphs etc once you do get into the castle.

18th-Apr-2004 07:11 am (UTC)
I'd go with the above-mentioned attack from above. Nothing like a fly spell or a draconic mount to help raze a fortress. And if they do send flying undead after you... well that would be a site to see, so go for it :p
19th-Apr-2004 08:36 pm (UTC)
wow you gave a lot of great imput and i like the ideas of seiging and you mentioned things i hadn't even considered yet. i like the idea's to damage the walls and all but since we are retaking the castle the party agreed on causing as little damage to the castle itself as possible. and i like the idea of blessing the water to weaken the undead. a question i have for you tho is would holy water work on skeletons cuz if so would there be a way to make a hollow catapult stone or balista bolt and fill it with holy water?
20th-Apr-2004 12:22 am (UTC)
I'm not certain if the holy water would work, but I think so-you'd have to check with your GM/rules lawyer/book(delete as appropriate:>). I don't think you could realistically do it with a bolt, but I can't think of any good reason why you couldn't fling a barrel full with a catapult(you could also use burning pitch in barrels(nasty) or alchemists fire.
18th-Apr-2004 12:28 pm (UTC) - Shields, weapons
If you can afford it, try to get an animated tower shield for everyone. Those things are a godsend, since they can provide either a shield bonus to AC or a miss chance to enemies' attacks (the miss chance being very useful if you're using another shield at the same time). Plus, animated shields don't have a time limit before they stop (like dancing weapons do).

Try blood seeking, disarming, exit wound, and explosive weapons or ammunition, and deflecting weapons (from Complete Warrior). Since explosive weapons deal damage in a five-foot burst, it's very useful against closely packed enemies (eg. skeleton hordes). Exit wound ammo is very useful, too, since you can hit multiple enemies in a straight row. Blood seeking ammo negates AC from cover--if your enemies have tower shields or are firing from arrow slits in castle walls, this can come in handy. Disarming weapons are very useful in situations where there are lots of arrows flying and the character has a high Ref save, since it can potentially keep you from getting hit by one ranged attack each round.
19th-Apr-2004 07:37 am (UTC)
The frontal approach is pointless unless you can somehow raise your own army to storm the place with. Since you are retaking the place, I expect you know the layout or can get it. That helps. Your best bet is to recon the defenses and then get the whole group in close to the top baddies and take them out directly. Take the head off the command structure and the rest should crumble.
19th-Apr-2004 12:06 pm (UTC)
my cohort should be on there instead of the barbarian!..i get mine before he gets his dear.
19th-Apr-2004 04:04 pm (UTC)
yea yea yea it's a typo.

Additional Cohort
Level 10 Elf Male monk
19th-Apr-2004 08:47 pm (UTC)
;D im a happy christina now
19th-Apr-2004 10:04 pm (UTC)
Is there any particular reason to take the castle right away, or any time constraints?
20th-Apr-2004 06:04 am (UTC)
none what so ever. he wants us to retake the castle so that once we hit epic level we have a base of operations and stuff like that
20th-Apr-2004 10:25 am (UTC)
It might be worth considering the option of leaving the castle for now, and coming back when you have a better chance of taking it. He'll likely scale up the defenses though.
25th-Apr-2004 09:37 pm (UTC)
hmm we have no choice. its what we have to do, if we wanna continue this campaigne
26th-Apr-2004 01:30 am (UTC)
You seem to have a different opinion than he does. I'd suggest one of you quietly ask the DM how much trouble it would be for him if you decided to postpone the attack.

It might be worth doing.
27th-Apr-2004 05:35 am (UTC)
a good idea to try (if the battle isnt over since this is posted a while after the original post), is have the ranger use track around the castle. since its an older castle, it probably has a back way in. therefore if you do find tracks of people moving about, have the rouge sneak over and try to find the official secret entrance. then have him scout out the tunnels, and you would probably want to have him carry a scroll or other item to help get hinm out fast (like someone else said). just an idea :-)
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