I am running a D&D campaign, in which my players are helping a village on the edge of a large empire. The empire has just won a war against a Daemon race and they are busy restoring order to the Central parts of the Empire. My players had a task to destroy a Hobgoblin Fortress but they demanded they go to the Capital and request help from the Marshal. I agreed in the end, but now I need a justification why the Marshal would spare any troops helping a village that has no strategic value against an enemy that is not the priority.

Clarification Edit: The Lord is going to give them One Holy Crusader, an elite warrior, "2nd Class" (Assuming Normal Peasant conscripts are 5th class and archangels are 1st Class). But I need a reason for him to do this. (Examples Ive thought of are: Goblins can escalate to Daemon-Spawn if they worship Daemons, Being Bribed etc). So answers can include extra quests to do for the Lord (If you get my best Guard to stop drinking then I will let you have him) or rationalisation of protecting a useless border town.

  • $\begingroup$ Hi Seraphim. Welcome to WB:SE. This question can be seen as an idea generation, and it is not accepted on this site. I encourage you to have a look at the tour, and the relevant help sections (e.g. here). But if I may ask, shouldn't your players come out with a justification for that? I mean they wanted to do it, they should try to convince the Marshal of the importance. Not you. But that's more for RPG:SE. $\endgroup$ – clem steredenn Jul 23 '15 at 10:21
  • $\begingroup$ I see, I was trying to base it off questions Ive seen here (Ive been reading around for a while, but never made an account) Sorry for getting it wrong $\endgroup$ – Seraphim Jul 23 '15 at 10:26
  • $\begingroup$ Not to worry, you might still get answers (as others may disagree with me). But it would certainly help if you provided a way to narrow down the possibilities. Like on which criteria do you want to judge what is the best answer? You can edit your question. But another way to write good questions is to use the SandBox. $\endgroup$ – clem steredenn Jul 23 '15 at 10:31
  • $\begingroup$ "You must have at least 5 reputation on Worldbuilding Stack Exchange to answer a question on meta." Oops :D But Ill edit my question $\endgroup$ – Seraphim Jul 23 '15 at 10:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ More on topic for rpg.stackexchange.com? $\endgroup$ – kylie.a Jul 23 '15 at 14:37

Common goals

The task of your adventurers is in interest of the Lord. The Lord will benefit from clearing that fortress; but originally the Lord was thinking of clearing town X instead of yours (Y).

Now that there is a team of adventurers is ready to go to Y it means that, as much as the Lord men help your adventurers, your adventurers will help his men. They will have a better chance of succeeding/will succeed faster; once that task is finished the Lord will recover his men and can send them to X.


  • The Lord already was more interested in taking Y than X, but felt that he had not enough manpower.
  • The Lord negotiates that the combined forces clear X in their way to Y.
  • The Lord is not very interested in Y proper, but the goblins are raiding/blocking an important trade route.
  • $\begingroup$ I like this very much! I think I might go down the trade route option $\endgroup$ – Seraphim Jul 23 '15 at 11:52

Historic or Symbolic Significance

If the town is the birthplace of a very famous person that can't be allowed to fall into enemy hands then that would justify extra protection. Same deal if the town is has some symbolic meaning to Marshall. (Stalingrad in WW2 is a perfect example of this.)

  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately we have already established in game that the only place of significance in this village is an old Kreegan church (Kreegans are the Daemon invaders that the empire defeated), so there would be no reason for protecting a church of a Heathen religion $\endgroup$ – Seraphim Jul 23 '15 at 12:23


One of the Marshal's (or one of the Marshal's superiors' if you don't want to make the Marshal the nepotistic sort) parents/children/siblings/cousins/etc. lives in or in the vicinity of said village, and they therefore have an interest in the village being safe.


Tactical Significance

Whilst the village itself may not have any strategic significance, is the location tactically significant for another reason?

For example, is the Village significant in that its a good place for a army to base themselves to target somewhere else which is significant? For example, whilst town X itself might not be strategically significant, does it allow the enemy a foothold to attack a more vulnerable area?


Whilst the village may not be tactically significant, is there a possibility that any victory, no matter how small, will play well with the public? Equally, is any loss likely to go down exceedingly poorly?

Personal Motive

Is there a high value target of opportunity in the village? Is one of the goblins a target whose assassination would mean that an already insignificant enemy becomes further weakened, freeing up the troops fighting this enemy to go to the REAL war?

Equally, is there a general or other significant military or governmental figure in the area visiting someone - a wife, family member, mistress, lovechild, whatever. Protecting him may be vital?

Some ideas :)

  • $\begingroup$ I like these very much! I think I am going to go with the trade route Idea because its the least "world changing" (Suddenly finding out that some important persons family is in a run down border town is a bit unlikely) But I really appreciate the help $\endgroup$ – Seraphim Jul 23 '15 at 12:52

1) He has someone he wants to get ride of.

2) He has someone he wants to protect but someone else wants to get rid of, so he sends him far away for safety.

3) He is annoyed by the adventurers and it's easier to give them what they want to get ride of them.

4)He wants the adventurers dead. The individual is sent along to kill and or sabotage their efforts.

5)Intrigue. The Marshal sending this large group with a personal retainer as the leader makes his rivals suspicious of his intentions in the area, and the spend more resources of their own to investigate. (He is actually only sending one guy, the party costs him no resources, maybe he even makes the party provision his retainer)

6) Safety net. You can never have to many bolt holes in a dangerous empire.

7) Personal gain. He wants to use the adventurers for something else. Or perhaps he has heard rumors of valuable resources in the area that could be exploited.


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