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Unleash Your Battle Cry

posted Friday, January 30th 2009 by Jonathan Drain
Player Advice

Kobold Quarterly issue 8 is here, and I’ve been reading with interest. One article in particular grabbed my attention, and that’s Inspiring Words: A Warlord’s Field Guide to Battle Cries by Mario Podeschi. It’s a list of ideas for war cries to add a little roleplaying flare to your martial characters, whether a 4E warlord or a 3E fighter.

History’s not without its great words and deeds, and great military leaders have said and done inspired their men. Take these tales from the Roman text, The Strategemata.

Alexander the Great

Marching along the desert roads of Africa, and suffering in common with his men from most distressing thirst, when some water was brought him in a helmet by a soldier, he poured it out upon the ground in the sight of all, in this way serving his soldiers better by his example of restraint than if he had been able to share the water with the rest.

Lucius Cornelius Sulla

When Sulla’s legions broke before the hosts of Mithridates led by Archelaus, Sulla advanced with drawn sword into the first line and, addressing his troops, told them, in case anybody asked where they had left their general, to answer: “Fighting in Boeotia.” Shamed by these words, they followed him to a man.

Julius Caesar

The deified Julius, when his troops gave way at Munda, ordered his horse to be removed from sight, and strode forward as a foot-soldier to the front line. His men, ashamed to desert their commander, thereupon renewed the fight.

Servius Tullius

In the battle in which King Tarquinius encountered the Sabines, Servius Tullius, then a young man, noticing that the standard-bearers fought halfheartedly, seized a standard and hurled it into the ranks of the enemy. To recover it, the Romans fought so furiously that they not only regained the standard, but also won the day.


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