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Warhammer History: The Gods and Daemons of Law

August 15, 2020 14 comments

In Warhammer’s earliest days, it was intended that the forces of Law and Chaos should co-exist, opposing each other in a never-ending war.

As Michael Moorcock had already discovered, though, the gods of Chaos are a lot more interesting than their lawful counterparts. The only trace of the gods of Law are a couple of miniatures and a few mentions in early Citadel publications and the first edition WFRP rulebook. For the last 30 years or more, the gods of the Old World have been the main opposition to the Ruinous Powers of Chaos.

To my knowledge, only three gods of Law were ever created for Warhammer, and all are described in the first edition WFRP rulebook.

Allimunas was the first, created by Rick Priestley in his draft of the WFRP rules that was waiting for me at the Games Workshop Design Studio in 1986. It (for gender pronouns seem unfitting) took the form of a cold and unchanging light, exemplifying a very static kind of order that is demonstrated by the fact that anyone struck by the light is paralyzed.

Arianka first appeared in the Third Citadel Compendium in 1985. Popular writers John Wagner and Alan Grant were hired to create a Warhammer-themed comic, and the result was the short-lived The Quest of Kaleb Daark. It was not clear what Arianka stood for, but she took the form of a beautiful young woman lying in a glass coffin in the city of Praag, awaiting the lost crystal keys that can free her. Like Kaleb Daark and his Chaotic patron Malal, Wagner and Grant retained rights to the character of Aranka, and all three were quietly dropped from Warhammer canon as Games Workshop set about establishing total ownership of their intellectual properties. Her brief mention in the first edition WFRP rulebook was her only appearance in the lore.

File:Chaos God Arianka.png

Solkan was my creation. As I worked on the “Religion and Belief” chapter of WFRP 1, I decided that the existing gods of law were too abstract – too “waffy,” to use the Studio slang term – to be of very much use in the game. Shamelessly stealing the name and image of Robert E. Howard’s Puritan adventurer Solomon Kane, I created a patron for witch hunters and all others who sought to take the fight to Chaos. As Warhammer lore developed over the next few years, though, Sigmar took over the role of witch-hunter god, and Solkan was effectively made redundant. I had some plans to introduce a secretive cult of Solkan in the White Dwarf Marienburg series, whose members were even more fanatical and frightening than the witch hunters of Sigmar, but that never came to pass.

By the time I left Games Workshop in October 1990, all three of these deities were effectively stricken from canon. I have never heard of any other gods of Law being mentioned in Games Workshop publications since then, but there are several fan-written interpretations online.

So why am I posting about the gods of Law after all this time? Am I going to create a whole lot of new, unofficial deities for a game that already has plenty? No. I was prompted to write this post by a couple of requests to cover these two miniatures – “Demons of Law” (the “Daemon” spelling had not yet been adopted) released in the C34 Demons and Elementals range in 1985.

To be honest, I’ve never been fond of these miniatures. They are nothing more or less than Christian angels from Medieval European religious art, and come from a time before even the three failed gods of Law had been thought of. They certainly have nothing to do with the Warhammer mythos as it developed.

With that said, here are some stats for WFRP 4. It’s hard to come up with a patron deity for these two from the Old World pantheon, though they might be least out of place in the service of the Lady of the Lake, the goddess of Bretonnia. But that’s just a thought.

As always, what follows is completely unofficial and should be regarded as a fan work. No challenge is intended to copyrights or trademarks held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.


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Traits: Blessed (God of Law), Distracting (Beauty), Divine 7+ (see below), Flight 100, Hatred (Chaos), Immunity to Psychology, Invoke (Gods of Law), Magic Resistance 4, Miracles (Gods of Law), Night Vision, Terror 2, Weapon +12, Zone of Law (see below)

New Traits

Divine (Target)

The creature’s essence is divine power, which sustains it completely. It does not require food, water, air, rest, or anything else that a living creature might need.

All its attacks are Magical. Roll 1d10 after any blow is received: if the creature rolls the Target number or higher, the blow is ignored even if it is a critical. Should the creature be reduced to 0 Wounds, its essence returns to the realm of Law immediately, removing it from play.

Aura of Law

The creature is wreathed in an aura of life and fertility which extends in a radius of 12 yards. No creature with the Corrupted Trait may enter this zone, and any creature with the Mutation Trait must make a Hard (-20) Willpower Test each round while within the zone, gaining one Fatigued Condition for each failure.

In addition, all spells and magical effects powered by Dhar or Shyish suffer a -30 penalty within the zone.


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Menfish – Another Lost Warhammer Race

August 8, 2020 27 comments

Menfish? Yes, that’s right. These creatures were briefly a part of Warhammer lore. As well as the ad above from the first Citadel Compendium (1984), they were written up in the first edition Warhammer rules:

Index
FF65-2 “Ferocious Man-Fish” miniatures were apparently re-coded from the older “Fiend Factory” range, which supported the White Dwarf column of the same name.

A few other humanoid fish types were released, such as the Fishman in the C38 Chaos Beastmen release and the early WH40K minitaure “Zhar d’uin, Piscean Prince,” but there was no further attempt to develop the Menfish concept or to create another aquatic or amphibious race.

Blazindragon left a comment in my post on Chaos Snakemen asking if I could cover the Fishmen for WFRP 4th edition, so here goes. As always, what follows is in no way official and should be considered a fan work. No challenge is intended to copyrights or trademarks held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.


Menfish

Menfish live in the underwater caves beneath the sea, and a few communities have been found in larger lakes. They live by fishing, mounting night-time raids on coastal villages, and sinking ships. Loyal only to their own kind, they attack the communities of Humans, Elves, Greenskins, and others without making any distinction between them.

The Sea Elves and other peoples have sent embassies to the Manfish communities of the northern seas proposing alliances against the forces of Chaos, but without success. It seems that the Menfish treat all outsiders as enemies, and only a handful of ambassadors escaped with their lives.

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Traits: Afraid (Fire, Sunlight), Amphibious, Animosity (other species), Bite +4, Cold-blooded, Night Vision, Swamp-strider, Territorial, Weapon +6

Optional: Armour 1, Hatred (other species), Ranged +6 (6 yards), Stealthy


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Zygor Snake-Arms: Another Old Citadel Miniature

July 18, 2020 19 comments

Zygor is the last of the worked examples from the “The Mark of Chaos” article in The First Citadel Compendium, published in 1983.  The article didn’t give Zygor much of a backstory, except that he started out as a Night Goblin.

The original description for 1st edition Warhammer.

Night Goblins

This Goblin subspecies lives underground. While slightly smaller than the average Goblin, their stealth skills combine with Goblinoid viciousness to make them a menace. Night Goblin fanatics are especially dangerous because of their psychotic ferocity and utter lack of fear.

Night Goblins have the same profiles as normal Goblins (WFRP, page 326), with the following additional Traits:

Traits: Enclosed Fighter (Talent), Stealthy, Tunnel Rat (Talent)

Optional: Berserk Charge (Talent), Dark Vision, Frenzy

Below is my re-imagining for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th edition. Needless to say, what follows is in no way official and should be considered a fan work. No challenge is intended to copyrights or trademarks held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.


Zygor Snake-Arms, Night Goblin Mutant

Zygor’s Night Goblin tribe was wiped out by a Chaos band some time ago, but his ferocity led them to recruit him rather than killing him. Since then, he has pleased their dark patron well, and been rewarded with several mutations.

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Traits: Animosity, Armour 1, Enclosed Fighter (Talent), Fear 2, Hatred (Dwarves), Infected, Mutation (see below), Night Vision, Stealthy, 3 x Tentacles +7, Tunnel Rat (Talent), 3 x Weapon +7

Mutations: An asterisk (*) indicates that Zygor’s stats and Traits have been amended to reflect the mutation’s effects.

  • Fleshy Tentacles*
  • Headless* – Head hits count as misses
  • Tail*

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Leaping Slomm Two-Face: Another Old Citadel Miniature

July 11, 2020 19 comments

Here is another creature from the  “The Mark of Chaos” article in The First Citadel Compendium

Slomm was one of three creatures presented as worked examples of the article’s Chaos attributes system.

Miniatures were made for all three, but Slomm was the only one to appear in two versions. According to the excellent Stuff of Legends web site, the original design, based on Tony Ackland’s illustration, did not cast well. By the time the second Citadel Compendium was published the following year, it had been replaced by a more upright version, and the original is now a collector’s item.

Slomm has sunk into undeserved obscurity, although there was a flurry of excitement in 2014 when some images of Tim Prow’s “Son of Slomm” project appeared on the Realm of Chaos 80s blog.

Tim’s Diehard Miniatures still produces the “Son of Slomm,” though I didn’t know until Garrett Sheehan pointed me to it. Thanks, Garret!

The two versions of the C27 Chaos Troll miniature for Leaping Slomm Two-Face. Both images were swiped from the internet, copyright original owners. Painted figure by Jani Kortesluoma.

Below is my re-imagining for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th edition, using the expanded Physical Mutations table in the Enemy in Shadows Companion and the free 4th Edition Conversion Rules from Cubicle 7. Needless to say, what follows is in no way official and should be considered a fan work. No challenge is intended to copyrights or trademarks held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.


Leaping Slomm Two-Face, Chaos Troll

Trolls are often found among the forces of Chaos, and many show signs of corruption and mutation. Some acquire too many mutations and become Chaos Spawn. This fate almost certainly awaits Slomm, at some point in the future.

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Traits: Ambidextrous, Armour 2, Bounce, Die Hard, Fear 2, Frenzy, Infected, Mutation (see below), Regenerate, Size (Large), Stupid, Tough, 2 Tusks +9, 2 x Vomit, 2 Weapons +9

Mutations: An asterisk (*) indicates that Slomm’s stats and Traits have been amended to reflect the mutation’s effects.

  • Multiple Heads (new)*
  • Beast Head (Walrus – new)*
  • Long Legs*

Walrus?
There are no rules for a Walrus head in the Enemy in Shadows Companion, so I decided that Slomm’s tusks replace his normal bite attack, adding +1 to Damage because of their size.
The second miniature has much smaller tusks, and it would be appropriate to give it the Bite +8 attack common to all Trolls. The same is true of Tim Prow’s “Son of Slomm,” which has one dog head and one Rat-Ogre head.


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Ngaaranh Spawn of Chaos: A Very Old Citadel Miniature for WFRP4

July 6, 2020 22 comments

Five years before Realm of Chaos, an article titled “The Mark of Chaos” appeared in The First Citadel Compendium. Written by Bryan Ansell and illustrated by Tony Ackland, it was the first in-depth examination of Chaotic attributes in the Warhammer world, with tables for random generation and three worked examples of Chaos-warped creatures. In this post I’ll be looking at one of them: the C27 Chaos Harpy, also known as Ngaaranh Spawn of Chaos.

This is how she looked in the First Citadel Compendium, with a short background and stats for Warhammer 1st edition. No game statistics were included with the description, although Harpies were covered in the Tabletop Battles book in the Warhammer 1st edition boxed set.

The miniature is very rare today, but here’s a photo of a painted example that I swiped from the Rogue Heresy Oldhammer blog:

Below is my re-imagining for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th edition, using the expanded Physical Mutations table in the Enemy in Shadows Companion and the free 4th Edition Conversion Rules from Cubicle 7. Needless to say, what follows is in no way official and should be considered a fan work. No challenge is intended to copyrights or trademarks held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.


Ngaaranh, Spawn of Chaos

Ngaaranh was once a Harpy, but was lured away from the warhost of Naggaroth to serve an entity she knew as Kka – which was one of the thousand names of Tzeentch, the Great Mutator. She pleased her master well, and has been rewarded with many of his gifts. Feared and respected by the others of her kind, she haunts the wild and barren mountains of the Old World, sometimes alone and sometimes in the company of other twisted creatures of Chaos.

Aside: The last two adventures in The Enemy Within Director’s Cut are in the process of writing and development at the time of this posting. Both involve some mountain travel, which would offer a great opportunity to use her.

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Traits: Acute Sense (Sight) Perception 30, Armour 2, Breath 5 (Fire), 2 Claws +8, Distracting (Foul Odour), Fear 1, Flight 90, Mutation (see below) Night Vision, 3 Weapons +9

Mutations: An asterisk (*) indicates that Ngaaranh’s stats and Traits have been amended to reflect the mutation’s effects.

  • Breathe Fire*
  • Crest: Ngaaranh has birdlike combs instead of hair (cosmetic only).
  • Eyestalks: Ngaaranh can see over and around objects.
  • Evil Eye (new): As an Action, Ngaaranh can cast lock eyes with a single victim within 30 yards. Her gaze has the same effect as the Witchcraft spell The Evil Eye, but there is not need for a casting roll.
  • Foul Odour*
  • Iron Skin*
  • Multiple Arms*
  • Multiple Heads (new)*

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Categories: Uncategorized

The Toad Dragon: An Old Citadel Miniature Described for WFRP4

June 6, 2020 22 comments

According to the Stuff of Legends miniatures site, Citadel’s CM3 Toad Dragon (Dragon Toad in some versions) first appeared in the Third Citadel Compendium, which appeared in November 1985. It was sculpted by Nick Bibby, who created many of the larger Citadel monsters, and it was one of several variant dragon types that Citadel released before Warhammer lore was organized for WFRP 1st edition and Warhammer 3rd edition.

Image borrowed from Stuff of Legends. Sculptor: Nick Bibby. Painter: Faron Betchley.

As far as I know, no game statistics have ever been published for this beast, which is a pity because it’s a lovely miniature and an intriguing concept.

Here is a Toad Dragon for WFRP 4th edition. As always, everything that follows is to be considered a fan work and no challenge is intended to copyrights held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.


Toad Dragon

The depths of the Empire’s great forests are home to many strange creatures such as Basilisks, Hydras, and Jabberslythes. Toad Dragons are found in remote wetlands such as the Mirror Moors, the Midden Marshes, the remote lakes of the Howling Hills, and the marshes of the Wasteland. These huge predators are greatly feared, for their long, sticky tongues can ensnare a creature as big as a horse, dragging it inexorably to the creature’s gaping maw.

The Toad Dragon’s wings are too small to keep its bulk in the air, but permit it to hop surprisingly long distances.

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Traits: Amphibious, Bestial, Bite +10, Bounce, 2 Claws +6, Cold-Blooded, Hungry, Night Vision, Size (Enormous), Swallow Whole (see below), Swamp-Strider, Tail +6, Tongue Attack +10 (18)

Optional: Immunity to Psychology, Infected, Monstrous, Mutation, Territorial, Venom (Challenging)

New Trait: Swallow Whole

The creature can swallow anything that is two or more steps smaller than itself. The victim can avoid being swallowed by dodging the creature’s Bite attack. A victim who is swallowed gains 2 Entangled conditions owing to the confined space, and suffers 6-TB Wounds per Round from stomach acid, ignoring armour. Only one creature may be swallowed at a time. After the creature is killed, it takes one Round to cut its stomach open and free its victim.


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Gargoyle: A Forgotten WFRP Monster

May 30, 2020 20 comments

Like many fantasy miniatures producers of the early 1980s, Citadel Miniatures sold a number of bat-winged, demonic-looking figures in their early ranges. Some were called Demons, and others Gargoyles.

The first official mention of Gargoyles as part of Warhammer lore came in 1985, when Citadel Miniatures released The Flying Gargoyles of Barda as part of their Regiments of Renown series for Warhammer 2nd edition. The Gargoyles’ backstory cast them as a kind of independent Demon (they weren’t called Daemons at that point in Warhammer’s history, and not all Demons served the Ruinous Powers of Chaos), and said that this particular group was summoned accidentally by a Marienburg wizard named Barda von Micklestein. You can read the whole story at the excellent Stuff of Legends site.

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From The Citadel Journal, Spring 1985.

Even though WFRP 1st edition was only released the following year, Gargoyles had already gone from Warhammer lore. To the best of my knowledge, the only Gargoyles in the whole of WFRP’s history were to be found in a corridor in Castle Drachenfels. Rather than Demons (or Daemons) these were the traditional animated stone statues found in most fantasy games.

The matter of independent Daemons is a complex one, and I posted some thoughts and game stats here. Here, though, is a WFRP4 re-imagining of the animated statue type.


Gargoyle

Gargoyles are magically animated stone figures. Most, but not all, have Daemonic features such as bat-like wings and bestial features. They may be found guarding ancient ruins, seeming to be part of their decoration. They may also be created by means of certain forbidden rituals. Some may be commanded by their creators, while other follow simple instructions that were given to them long ago – usually to destroy all who trespass on their territory.

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Traits: Armour 3, Dark Vision, Hardy, Immunity to Psychology, Magical, Territorial (one building or small area), Weapon +8

Optional: 2 Claws +8, Die Hard, Flight 60, Horns +6, Size (Small to Enormous), Magic Resistance 1-2, Ranged +8, Tail +6, Unstable, Weapon +8


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Monday Gun Day Part 3: Hidden Weapons

May 25, 2020 2 comments

Any roleplayer who has seen any of Robert Rodriguez’s “Mexico trilogy” (El Mariachi, Desperado, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico) has probably longed for a character who carries an arsenal of hidden weapons. They are not the first. Just as much ingenuity has been devoted to finding ways of concealing and disguising firearms as went into the development of the combination weapons covered in the last instalment of this series. Here are a few examples:

It seems that key guns were quite popular with jailers for a while. In addition to unlocking a cell door – for the key was quite functional – they gave one-shot protection against any prisoner who tried to overpower the guard and break out.

Here is a 19th-century gun disguised as a pocket watch.

These small-caliber weapons are designed for use at very close range and their damage ratings are lower than those of the smallest pistols in the average rules set.

Larger guns can be built into walking sticks, like these:

These weapons can be larger caliber – say, up to .50″ without looking unusually thick for a walking stick. They are reasonably effective at short range, but lacking sights and shoulder stocks their performance drops off sharply as distance increases. And before the late 19th century, they are all single-shot weapons, awkward to reload. For these reasons, most gentlemen preferred a sword-cane or a simple “loaded stick” with a lead-weighted pommel that turned it into a light mace. I may post about weapons like these some time in the future.

The spies of the Cold War, both real and fictional, were equipped with guns disguised as a wide range of everyday items. Pens were popular, and so were cigarette packets, lighters, and purses – like the Frankenau purse revolver from the 1880s, for example:

These later weapons were usually .22 caliber, sometimes .22 magnum, and again they were for use at very short range.

There’s one more hidden gun that I saw in a book, years ago, but try as I might I have been unable to find a picture of it online. That’s a shame, because it would be perfect for a game like WFRP, or any other game set in a world with a 17th-century level of technology. On the outside, it looks exactly like a Bible or any other heavy tome. But each cover has a pistol fixed to the inside, so you can just open the book and fire. I can only imagine the pithy lines a badass preacher or scholar character might deliver as they fire such a weapon.


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Monday Maps #13: A Quick Tutorial on Caves

May 18, 2020 1 comment

Happy Monday! I hope you and yours are all staying safe.

 

I haven’t posted a Monday Map in a little while, but I came across this YouTube tutorial that is worth seeing. If you’re like me and the only things you can draw are a breath, a bath, and a conclusion, invest 1 minute and 14 seconds of your time and take a look.

 

 

Hammers and Dragons has a Facebook page here with links to a free downloadable maps, including this one. Of interest to Warhammer and WFRP fans will be the Skaven temple posted on May 7th. Here’s a small-scale preview:

 

Skaven Temple Small

 

One of the things I especially like about Hammers and Dragons is that artist Tomasz Ratajczak is teaching himself to draw, so he’s not presenting some lofty masterclass that makes the rest of us feel like idiots. And yet, his simple techniques produce results that would not look out of place in a professional publication. He’s only just getting started, but I’m looking forward to seeing more from him.

 

Links

Hammers and Dragons YouTube Channel
Hammers and Dragons Facebook page

 

Jabberwock: A Forgotten WFRP Monster

May 16, 2020 43 comments

Well, it’s not original to WFRP, of course. The beast was born in Lewis Carroll’s poem Jabberwockyand its image was established for all time by Sir John Tenniel’s illustration from 1897.

Nick Bibby’s Jabberwock miniature was advertised in the first Citadel Journal, which was published in Spring 1985. Following my policy of covering every Citadel miniature I could find, I wrote it up for the Bestiary chapter of the WFRP first edition rulebook.

Journal 1

Nick Bibby’s Jabberwock (right), with a Ral Partha Jabberwock mini of similar vintage.

I don’t think the Jabberwock appeared in any official Warhammer publication outside of the WFRP 1st edition rulebook, the Warhammer 3rd edition rulebook, and a handful of miniatures ads – but if you know better, drop me a comment!

Here is my re-imagining of the beast for WFRP 4th edition. Needless to say, what follows is extremely unofficial, completely optional, and does not constitute any challenge to copyrights held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.


The Jabberwock

WFRP Jabberwock

The Incursions of Chaos have produced thousands of strange creatures. Living in the deepest forests, the Jabberwock is little seen – at least, by those who live to tell of it – and it is known mainly through local rumours and the distant sound of its burbling cry.
The Jabberwock stands over 12 feet high, and can move by running on all fours or walking on its hind legs. All four limbs are equipped with sharp claws, and its mouth is armed with long, chisel-like teeth. They are very aggressive, but rather stupid.
The Jabberwock’s wings are too small to allow it to fly. It can only bounce along or jump a few feet into the air. Their flapping makes a thrumming, whiffling sound which can be disconcerting.

M WS BS S T I Ag Dex Int WP Fel W
6 79 0 55 65 20 40 15 15 85 100

Traits: Arboreal, Belligerent, Bite +9, Bounce, Claws (2) +10, Distracting (Noise), Hungry, Night Vision, Size (Enormous), Stride, Stupid, Tail +8

Optional: Corruption (Minor), Fear 1, Horns +6, Mutation, Regenerate, Stomp, Territorial, Venom (Challenging)


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