White Bear & Red Moon – Prisoners (1976)

Originally published in Wyrm’s Footnotes #1 (1976) by Greg Stafford

Taking Prisoners

There is a certain ignominy, perhaps even a touch of evil, attached to sacrificing your own followers to gain the alliance or augment the strength of a creature of Darkness. Likewise, it is equally corrupt to slaughter every person conquered in battle, Yet, as the rules now stand, both these cases are invariably so.

No longer.

Prisoners may now be taken. Later, certain deities will be greatly pleased by great hecatombs of human sacrifice, and the advantage of sacrificing many prisoners will be more evident. For now, they are useful in furnishing victims for Delecti, the Ivory Plinth, the Hydra, and the Crimson Bat.

1. PRISONERS may be taken in any attack of 3:1 odds or greater. In these cases one half of the units (measured by CF) which would normally be eliminated by the CRT may be taken prisoner. Odd numbers are rounded off in favor of the attacker, who also chooses which units to take.

2. GUARDS must be provided for the prisoners, and this rule supercedes normal stacking rules. One or two units which normally count in stacking may guard up to three prisoner units by being placed upon the same stack. If prisoners are left unguarded at the beginning of their own Movement Phase, they are free, and may move and fight as normal.

3. SACRIFICE of prisoners may take place any Turn, and the units are removed during your own Combat Phase, Guard units may kill their prisoners and then fight as in normal combat. However, you may not kill your prisoners in your enemy’s Combat Phase.

4. MOVEMENT for a prisoner convoy is one half of the MF of the slowest guard unit, no matter what the prisoners’ MF may be.

5. PHYSICAL ATTACKS UPON GUARDS may be made to free the prisoners. in these fights the guards may use only 1/2 their normal CF to defend themselves. The prisoners may not engage in this battle, but are freed if their guards are Eliminated, driven off, or captured.

6. MAGICAL ATTACKS UPON GUARDS do not diminish their defensive MgF. However, if other magicians are the prisoners, these captives may add 1/2 of their MgF to the attack. If this is done, the prisoners will suffer the same CRT result as the other attackers. An exception to this rule is below.

7. MAGICIANS GUARDING MAGICIANS prevents the captives from using their MgF to help free themselves. In fact, the guard magicians may use 1/2 their prisoners’ MgF in their own attack or defense.

8. INDEPENDENTS WITHOUT A LEADER, if taken prisoner, may immediately change sides and fight for their captor. This includes dinosaurs, Tusk Riders, and Dwarf Gifts.

9. INDEPENDENTS WITH LEADERS may be taken prisoner, but will not join your side unless their leader is also taken. If their leader is killed, they will never side with their captor.

10. CAPTURED LEADERS automatically cause all of their followers to change alliance to the side which captured them. Leaders of this type include the Feathered Horse Queen (Grazelanders), the Earthshakers (Tarsh), the Inhuman King (dragonewts), Ironhoof (the half-beasts), Ethilrist (Black Horse County), Delecti (zombies), and Cragspider (troll gangs).

11. UNCAPTURABLE UNITS, unless they are used as independents, may never be taken prison. These include Superheroes, Exotic Magicians, Zombies, Dragons, and Illusionary Armies.

If Androgeous is an independent Superhero, he may change sides only if she receives a Wound, followed that Combat Phase by a successful Emissary roll.

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