So You Want To Raise An Army?

How do you suggest going about it in BE, mechanically?

I’ve been allowing folks to round up 5-10 toughs, if their current station would make it reasonable, via a Circles test with a couple +ob tacked on, and that’s seemed to work alright. Sort of like buying in bulk, under resources. But what if someone wants to get 20 men? Or 50 men? Or 500 men?

What sorts of mechanical hoops should I make them jump through to be certain that I’m not making the guy who just uses his Circles to find individual contacts and specialists doesn’t get shafted?


You’re thinking abou this too hard Daniel. Let them make a Circles test for a guy in charge of the toughs.

If you want an army, use your Circles to find a Lieutenant or Anvil Captain or Anvil Lord or Sodalis-Captain or Professional Officer.

If you want Gunsels, look for a Criminal, etc.

Then deal with him. And yes, this does mean that you stand to make enemies of an organization.

On another note, if they’re actually looking to increase the forces under their command based on their Anvil Affiliation or Hammer Affiliaiton, or similar, use the rules for buying into new affiliations and advancing in rank on page 355.

This is also does depend on your world. What’s the primary form of government? What’s the predominant military?

AND, depending on how your game is playing out, it’s probably best to use the Infection mechanics to raise an army. State your maneuver’s intent and then use a Conserve (to organize the forces) or a Take Action (for a coup).

Voila. Army.

Also, I bet (I bet, I bet!) that the army is completely color. I bet it doesn’t get used for any rolls or anything else. I bet all of the test still fall on the players’ shoulders. So it’s possible to use a color scene to bring the army in: “I spend a year raising an army.” Nobody challenges it, then you’re good to go!

Thor is also correct. He describes how to raise and army use building scenes and the odd Duel of Wits and Resources test.


Great, guys! Thanks!

I hadn’t thought of using a Maneuver to do it, I was focused more on building scenes.

And yes, Luke, I’ve never had a situation where a literal army was needed and I suspect that, in most cases, it’d be just for color. The effects of the battle could be determined by the Infection mechanics. But I did have a situation where the PCs were trying to round up some muscle from their various affiliations (say, 10-15 folks total), and I just sort of fumbled through it.


Dude, rounding up muscle is a Circles test! And a classice building scene in BE!


Yeah, but I think I was going about it all ass-backwardly. I was like, “So you’re looking for a group of thugs and I’ll tack on some more for volume.” Instead, I should have been like, “Oh, so you’re looking for this crime lord guy who’d be willing to negotiate a working relationship with you, and if you botch your Circles roll you’re FUCKED.”

'Cause that’s way more fun.