The Golden Army

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The Golden Army

Post by jayphailey » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:46 pm

The Golden Army

This one re-occurs several times. If I were to GM a straight D&D Game, I might recycle it.

The Golden Army Serves the Golden King, a Lawful Evil Entity bent of increasing his power until he rules the universe.

But he has misrepresented himself to his followers as a Lawful Good Deity of Order and Military Discipline.

The write up below is for the one encountered by Gavin and Lydia

The Golden Army

Group Name: The Golden Army

Created By: Jay P. Hailey

Number of Members: Unknown, more than 10,000, less than 1 million

Nature of Members: Sentients who seek order and belonging in a well-defined hierarchy

Organization: Military. Members of the Golden Army have ranks and positions. They have org charts for everything. Children are referred to as "Child, grade X" based on their level of training in the lore and methods of the Golden Army.

Game Role: An earnest cult of true believers, unaware that their god is Lawful, but not Good.

World Role: One of several religions in the FRPG setting, but also an opposition force.

Relative Influence: Moderate - when they concentrate their force, they can get scary, currently most of the large nations or temples armies could whomp them in a straight up fight. They're aiming to set up a new HQ and begin building numbers and influence

Public or Secret?: Public. The status of their God as an Evil Diety is not widely known and his followers, largely wouldn't believe it.

Publicly Stated Goal: To spread order and the word of the Golden King.

Relative Wealth: Compared to other religions, weak to moderate. Compared to individuals or small groups, large. Compared to competing armies, low to moderate.

This religion is still trying to set up its own theocratic state. Until then, teams are sent forth to loot old ruins and recover wealth to fund the army, as well as more mundane mercenary and security work.

Group advantages: Excellent unit cohesion and loyalty. Very well organized and once set to a task they excel.

Special Abilities: Their leader, The Golden King is a God and can lend clerics spells.

Group disadvantages: Their obvious structure and ritual marks them for friend and foe alike.

Some "Units" are covert and so only use Military style greeting and status in private. But many are overt so they wear rank and position markers and act military.

Special Disadvantages: Their God is not actually a nice guy, even though most Cult members think he is.

Those who favor them: People who think they can use the Golden Army for their own ends. People in dangerous and chaotic areas who crave order.

Those opposed to them: Chaotic Good, Chaotic Neutral and Chaotic Evil (Especially Chaotic Evil) people

Area of Operation: Toril, Cormanthyr, Forgotten Realms

Headquarters Location: Golden Army Command Temple, Cormyr.

Public Face: Stern but fair bringers of order.

The punchline - The Golden King is a God of military order, but Military order cut loose from the proper context.

The Golden King wants more followers and more worshippers. He wants more power. He's out to bring all of Toril under his sway, and domination.

The Golden King is the God of "The Ends Justify the Means"; and stacking up power for its own sake.

The Golden King portrays himself as a stern but fair C/O who will look out for his followers. He portrays himself this way because this creates the best morale among his followers and keeps them fighting for the day when his benevolent reign brings order.

Followers of The Golden King fall into three categories.

Cult Members: People isolated, miserable, down on their luck. The Golden Army gives them a place to belong and something to do and to be.

Cultural: People raised in the Cult who are just used to thinking this way.

Military: A good number of the best Soldiers and NCOs are former military people who find they miss the military life and structure.

Bases: The Golden Army has a number of Bases on various sizes, in various places, the larger ones act as towns and support the training of youth and activities to support soldiers in the field.

Most Soldiers in the Golden Army take up the Fighter or Warrior class.

If a soldier in the Golden Army is found to have an aptitude, they will be trained in other classes,

Wizards and Bards are not all that plentiful in the Golden Army, as the sorts of people who become Wizards and Bards don't wind up in the cult.

Oddly they have some rogues, mainly trained by old burnouts and mercenaries hired for that role.

They have no Rangers as true rangers don't cope well with the structure.

They have a class called "Scouts" who are people trained in woodscraft, fighting, hunting and getting along in the wilderness. Golden Army Scouts have been trained by mercenary and allied Rangers, but the Scouts lack the magical abilities that rangers pick up.

The Upper eschelons of the Golden Army (O-6, Colonel and above) are so bought into "The Mission" that they either never had or have lost track of their moral compass. These guys will destroy a village to save it, and calculate how many dead civilians can be tolerated for the greater long term good.

This is by definition. Someone who isn't willing to go to these lengths is never promoted past O-5.

The cult demands conformity and obedience to the orders of superiors, although usually this is couched in terms of Military discipline and being necessary "On the battlefield"

Conscription: Sometimes the Golden King or High Command will deem a non-cult member to be vital for "The Mission" is possible such a person is hired or bribed.

If these means prove inadequate, others will be found. Taking family members hostage against the cooperation of the "Vital Asset" is not unheard of.

Things like this are where the Golden Army begins to show it's true colors.


The "Team Colors" of the Golden Army are gold and black.

They have a system of ranks and rank markings which are detailed and specific.

For convenience, I substitute US Army ranks and markings.

Some folks might see the above as a swipe at the US Army and US Army activites in various places.

It's not. It's a Living question about "When is it time to disobey an unjust order?"

This is the function of this in a story telling sense. It's "What if a bad guy became president and gave evil orders" re-cast into a D&D context.

If a player were to flip out at me for denigrating the US Military to the point of causing static about it, screw it, I didn't want to play with him, anyway.

I have about 14 of these with The Federation recast as "What if it turned evil?".

Why people chose to follow a team when it goes sour is a question of particular interest to me and so I find questions that lead in that direction interesting and it shows up in what I make up.

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Re: The Golden Army

Post by Innkeeper » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:58 pm

I might find a use for this. If not the exact details the general idea of the evil recasting itself as good. I heed a threat from the swamps of the Fells. I know who, this would be how.
-- The Innkeeper

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Re: The Golden Army

Post by jayphailey » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:31 pm

Innkeeper wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:58 pm
I might find a use for this. If not the exact details the general idea of the evil recasting itself as good. I heed a threat from the swamps of the Fells. I know who, this would be how.
Sweet! Knock yourself out. Their narrative is that they are good guys and "The Mission" requires them to do some extreme and regrettable things in order to achieve the more long-term good.

That is what The Golden King and he High Command tells them

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