Is there some common way that a landlord in Amn gets soldiers in his army, such as mobilized peasants? How many of them could be in typical army?

I am pretty new in D&D, and I am trying to create my own module. There should be deserters who just don't want to fight in a war for some lord and just want to survive, and that's why they hide in a cave like goblins do.

I am trying to figure out who they were: peasants, mercenaries, or maybe some other occupations?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hey there. I put one of the votes to close, specifically - too broad. This isn't a horrible question, just way too expansive for the Stack Exchange format. There are dozens of different societies in Faerun, each with a different way of doing things. Trying to cover the Forgotten Realms as a whole makes it even broader. Maztica, Kara-Tur, and other lands exist beyond Faerun. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Apr 1 '19 at 18:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Seconding @T.J.L. The Realms is a very large place with lots of different kinds of societies in it. If you can give a more specific location in the Realms where you want to set your adventure (e.g. "The Sword Coast") then we might be able to provide answers about the culture/society there. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Apr 1 '19 at 18:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you referring to Baldur's Gate? Will you accept answers that come from lore in previous editions? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 1 '19 at 20:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Per the [new-gm] tag info: "For questions specifically about problems inherent to becoming or tutoring a game master (GM). This tag is not for just saying "I am a new GM": see the full tag wiki for important usage notes." I've removed the tag, since this question is not inherently about being a new DM. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Apr 3 '19 at 0:17

They can be whomever you need them to be

The Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide is your best bet for information on that area (p. 9 for Amn), and it doesn't go into much detail, but there are a few parts which could be of use:

[...] Amn is a place where the wealthy rule, openly and without pretense. Shrewd traders and ruthless in business, Amnians believe that the end of a successful transaction is justified by any means, ethical or otherwise. [...] The oligarchs utterly control their nation,

Which certainly can support conscription or possibly coerced service. Otherwise you could base yourself on

So pervasive is the sway of Amn's oligarchy that few crimes merit physical punishment but those that involve the use of arcane magic or an offense against one of the council's merchant houses. Other infractions are forgiven after the miscreant makes payment of an appropriate fine.

And add that failure or inability to pay would mean a punishment of service and thus fill your cave with anyone with a debt (merchants, guildmembers etc.) and/or by people who have come to commit a crime.

Specifically in Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (p.44) is included:


The information in this chapter is intentionally nonspecific with respect to threats, monsters, and statistics. While you can use these details to flavor your descriptions of the towns and cities your players might visit, you should in no way consider these pieces of narration definitive. They're meant to provide touchstones, not to constrain your players to a narrow conception of the world. You might decide to change some of the details, either to surprise your players or to account for events that have transpired since they obtained the information herein. You're encouraged to take what's presented here and make it, and the Forgotten Realms, your own.

While it doesn't specifically mention your problem, it does give the reason for why (5ed) D&D lore doesn't specify such things. Which is that you are empowered to choose whatever fits best for your worlds and the story you would like to tell.

(Much of these sentiments are repeated in the first chapter of the DMG: A World of Your Own)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I want to upvote this, but I also have an itchy feeling that there is an actual answer to this question. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Apr 3 '19 at 20:13

There isn't really any good information from 5e sources that I'm aware of. However, according to the Amn lore on page 92 of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (from 4th edition):

Nobody really likes Amn. Amnian merchants organized into various “companies” have strong-armed and intimidated people for thousands of miles around. The nation revels in plundering the wealth of a dozen other countries. Still, it is a human land, and individual Amnians aren’t really all that bad. It’s only the rich ones you have to watch out for.

and this about the capital city Athkatla:

What is considered illegal, immoral, or despicable in other places passes without comment in this so-called city of sin if the price is right. Lewdness, slavery, and even less savory acts such as murder occur here, as in any large city. But in Athkatla, the law permits almost anything. The only illegality is speaking or acting against a merchant house. In all other cases, the response to an offense is a fee, whose size depends on the degree of inconvenience to the other party. Once the fee is paid (often in advance), the act is not considered criminal—only not paying is seen as unlawful behavior.

So, in essence, because wealth is such a powerful motivator in this nation, a rich noble belonging to one of the great houses (Selemchant, Dannihyr, Alibakkar, Ophal, and Nashivaar) would likely fill his army with mercenaries interested in looting, plundering, or killing provided that these activities provided opportunities to enrich themselves as well as their masters.

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