Monday, September 10, 2018

The War of Naps

A war campaign idea, or perhaps a 0 Level Funnel.


The Lightning War was appropriately named - the whole affair lasted only a month, resulted in the highest number of casualties-by-electrical-burn for any war to date, and utterly crushed the larger nation of Mieir for a generation.

It was a preemptive surprise attack the likes of which the world had never seen. The wizard armies of Yumen had every advantage bestowed to Magic Users: scrying, teleportation, lethal evocation magic, secure communications, conjured supplies, flight.

The armies of Mieir had nothing: their wizards were too few and too obvious. They all fell within the first hours of the War. Their logistics and communications were inferior, their clerical portents were too vague. They were doomed from the start.


Despite the terrible loss the people of Meier are resilient. They have been planning and plotting. Guerrilla warfare has been the game for thirty years. The initial assault from Yumen was ineffective, and now the time has come for a hasty organized counterattack. The New Army of Mieir is on the move.

As the armies of Mieir and Yumen then danced around the countryside, each vying for a better strategic position, the generals of the New Army came up with a bold strategy. A critical observation was made: the armies of Meier could get inadequate sleep during combat operations and still be (nominally) functional. The armies of Yumen could not.

Their wizards needed 8 hours of uninterrupted, continuous rest in order to recuperate their spells. Without this, they would need to subsist on the spells they'd prepared during their last full rest. If their sleep remained partial no new spells could be mustered.

So the strategy of sleep attrition began. It would be a war of tempo, of quick naps and great sacrifice. Enter the players.


This campaign is about denying a continuous 8 hours of rest to the wizard army. 

The parameters are thus:
  1. The Wizard Army is outnumbered about 3 to 1.
  2. Their troops are vastly superior. Fireball-level magic is plentiful enough.
  3. The Wizard Army is trying to get rest.
  4. The Players need to prevent this at all costs.
  5. What disturbs rest is considered generously.
  6. OSR Problem Design applies: no easy outs for either side (anti-magic items, use of beholders, mass teleportation to safety, impenetrable magic barriers, etc.)
Each party of sleep-saboteurs can have multiple attempts at disrupting the enemy camp. If done as a 0-Level Funnel, then each party probably only has one. XP could be awarded based on how many Magic-Users disrupted of sleep, and how many spells were used against you.

Example Ways to Disrupt the Wizard Camp
  1. Loud explosion by camp
  2. Setting the camp on fire
  3. Setting the brush on fire and wafting smoke at them
  4. Feign a mass attack
  5. Feign a mass attack, then a mass retreat, then another mass attack
  6. Infiltrate the camp, shake people awake
  7. Firing concealed artillery their way
  8. Spreading plague (Cure Disease costs spells)
  9. Tainting the water/food supply (Create Food/Water costs spells, as does Neutralize Poison)
  10. Herd a stampede into camp
  11. Cause an earthquake
  12. Steal all the pillows
  13. Wave after wave of my own men
  14. Give them way too much caffeine
  15. Give them stimulant drugs (wizards love drugs)
  16. Mass trumpet sounds from afar
  17. Stink bomb
  18. Seduce the wizards
  19. Create a haunting
  20. Shoot arrows while hidden from cover into random tents

For Yumen, it's probably best to try and be reactive with their defenses, so the same thing doesn't work twice. If they set the camp on fire then the wizards fireproof their stuff. If you give them drugs then they get wise to the act.


  1. A combined collection of everything you've ever said about wizards would make a good book one day.