Archive

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Monday Gun Day, Part 2: Combi-Weapons

May 11, 2020 3 comments

There’s an old saying about bringing a knife to a gunfight, but the painfully slow reload rates of black-powder firearms made it advisable to have a backup weapon. Some attempts were made to combine the two: bayonets became the most popular solution, but there were quite a few attempts to build pistols into melee weapons of various kinds.

These included swords:

Sword Gun

Daggers:

Dagger Gun

Axes:

Axe Gun

And warhammers.

Hammer Gun

In a roleplaying game, a combi-weapon is a one-shot firearm. Most would be pistols, though some, attached to two-handed weapons, might count as larger firearms. They reduce the time needed to switch weapons, perhaps to no time at all. However, they have some significant drawbacks:

In the first place, they are not generally available. Almost all will have to be made to order, which takes both time and money. The cost will be at least twice the sum of the cost of the two base weapons, and the same is true of the time needed.

An artisan charged with making a combi-weapon must be skilled as a gunsmith as well as a bladesmith. All skill rolls involved in making a combi-weapon carry a significant penalty.

The finished article represents the worst of both worlds. It is heavy and awkward to aim, and ill-balanced for close combat. In game terms, the very best combi-weapons, made by master artificers (even Dwarves!) can never be better than average quality. Most are inferior, and if your game system has a way to rate quality, a combi-weapon is at least two quality steps below the normal level of quality produced by the artisan who made it. There are attack penalties, an increased chance of misfires, and the weapon is weaker overall, meaning that it is more easily damaged in combat if your rules set covers damage to weapons.

That said, though, it can give a wielder the advantage of surprise. An unexpected gunshot at the start of a fight can unnerve the enemy, who will be left wondering what other tricks the character might have up his or her sleeve. Enemies will be warier, even if they don’t mean to be, adopting a more defensive, cautious stance. How this is handled in a game’s rules is a matter for the GM to decide. Especially skittish foes may have to make Fear checks to get over the surprise of a combi-weapon firing, running away if they fail.

So there you have it – and you can see why they didn’t really catch on. Still, I can imagine some players’ eyes lighting up at the thought of a sword that is also a gun, and you can have a lot of fun if the party decides to track down an artisan capable of making such a weapon and persuade them to try.

More Like This

Multi-Barrel Weapons: What’s better than a gun? Lots of guns.
Hidden Weapons: Pay attention, 007!

Making Monsters: Cinco de Mayo Edition

May 5, 2020 2 comments

I’m still pushing ahead with my monster-related #secretproject, despite several delays. In honor of the day, here’s a creature from Aztec folklore.

For first-time readers, this post is part of a series in which I am trying to develop a system-agnostic format for describing monsters, relying on your suggestions and feedback to get it just right before I launch this particular #secretproject formally. The Comments section is at the bottom of the page, so let me know what you think.

 

 

The Ahuizotl

 

The Ahuizotl is a medium-sized predator, about the size of a dog and combining the physical appearance of a dog and a monkey. It has black fur and four limbs ending in dextrous hands and a long, flexible tail ending in a fifth hand.

It lives in rivers and watery caves, hiding beneath the water and using its prehensile tail to grab victims and drag them to their deaths. Sometimes it will mimic the crying of a lost child to lure victims close enough to be grappled.

It eats the corpses of its victims, especially relishing the digits, the teeth, and the eyes. If prey is plentiful it will leave the rest of its victims uneaten. An Ahuiztol lair is usually an underwater cave, strewn with bones and uneaten corpses.

The name ahuizotl translates from the Aztec Nahuatl language as “spiny aquatic thing.” Although reports of the creature do not normally mention spines, optional rules for spines have been added under “Special Abilities” below.

 

 

RANGE

ArtStation - Ahuizotl, Jean Vervelle

Image by Jean Vervelle, borrowed from his ArtStation page (https://www.artstation.com/doctorchevlong).

Real World: Mexico

Fantasy World: Tropical rivers. Lone or pack (2d4).

 

TYPE: Animal

 

SIZE: Medium (4ft/1.25m long)

 

MOVEMENT

Run: 50 feet (15m) per round

Swim: 30 feet (10m) per round

 

ATTRIBUTES

Strength: Animal, medium (e.g. wolf)

Dexterity/Agility: Animal, medium, dextrous (e.g. monkey)

Constitution: Animal, medium (e.g. wolf)

Intelligence: Animal, intelligent (e.g. wolf)

Willpower: Animal, intelligent (e.g. wolf)

Hit Points/Health: Animal, medium (e.g. wolf)

Armor/Defense: Fur + Agility (e.g. wolf)

 

ATTACKS

Bite: Animal, small to medium (e.g. medium dog, wolf)

Grapple: High skill (65%)

Stealth: Moderate skill (35%), underwater only

 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Aquatic: The Ahuizotl is fully aquatic and capable of breathing underwater.

Spines (Optional): Sharp spines, up to 1 foot/30 cm long, erupt from the creature’s vertebrae. They confer a slight armor advantage against attacks from that direction. Any character trying to grapple the creature must make an appropriate skill or attribute test (wrestling, dexterity/agility, or similar) each round: failure means the character suffers damage as from a successful dagger or short sword attack.

 


 

Links
If you would like to know more, here are a few links. Any search engine will find many more.

A 5th edition SRD version

Wikipedia

YouTube

 


 

More Like This

Chupacabra

Water Leaper

The Jersey Devil

 

 

 

 

Mabrothrax: A Forgotten WFRP Monster

May 2, 2020 18 comments

This post completes my re-imagining of the three odd Elementals that appeared in the Third Citadel Compendium in 1985: the Life Elemental, the Death Elemental, and the Plague Elemental. In the WFRP 1st edition rulebook, I gave them different names and backstories, making them Demons (the “Daemon” spelling did not appear until Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness in 1988) affiliated with the yet-to-be-organized gods of Law and Chaos.

Plague Elemental - Compendium 3

Plague Elemental Write-up

Oddly, the Plague Elemental was put in the C29 Large Monsters range, while the other two were in C34 Elementals and Demons. However, it was written up alongside the Life and Death Elementals in that issue’s “Bellicose Bestiary” column.

For WFRP 1st edition, I invented the name Mabrothrax and gave the beast to Nurgle, the Chaos God of plagues and pestilence. It made sense at the time, but when Realms of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned defined the Daemons and followers of Nurgle in 1990, the Mabrothrax was not among them.

The Mabrothrax reappeared in 2005’s Tome of Corruption for WFRP 2nd edition as an Apparition linked to Nurgle. Visions rather than monsters, Apparitions could not be fought or stopped, existing only to warn spellcasters that they are being too reckless in their use of magic.

So that is the history of the Mabrothrax in a nutshell (apart from this metal track that turned up in the Google search). Here is my suggestion for using the creature in 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 MabrothraxWFRP Mabrothrax

Also known as the Steward of Filth and Nurgle’s Handmaiden, the Mabrothrax is a favoured servant of the Plaguefather, and stands outside the normal hierarchy of his Daemons.

Its origins are obscure. According to some scholars it was once a Plaguebearer, raised up by Nurgle’s favour in the same way as the Masque of Slaanesh was elevated from the ranks of the Daemonettes. Others have suggested that it was a mortal Cult Magus who was elevated for his or her devotion.

The Mabrothrax is a large, hulking humanoid with thin, spindly arms and legs equipped with razor-sharp claws. Its body is a thin bag of skin filled with a soupy mess of entrails, excrement, and decay. Its head is dominated by a massive maw filled with sharp, jutting teeth.

M WS BS S T I Ag Dex Int WP Fel W
6 90 93 100 120 100 105 90 90 120 100 92

Traits: Bite +11, Claws (2) +9, Corruption (Major), Daemonic 7+, Dark Vision, Distracting (Stench), Disease (All), Fetid Blast (see below), Infected, Size (Large), Spellcaster (Nurgle), Terror 2, Unstable

Traits

Disease (All)

As a favored one of Nurgle, the Mabrothrax carries all diseases. Whenever a victim must Test for Contraction (WFRP, page 186), roll a D100 to choose a disease randomly:

01-10 – Black Plague
11-30 – Blood Rot
31-50 – Bloody Flux
51-70 – Packer’s Pox
71-80 – Ratte Fever
81-00 – Other or roll again (GM’s choice)

Fetid Blast

Once per round, the creature can unleash a blast of pestilential air (Range 10 yards, Damage +10, Blast 5, Distract, Ignores Armour). This attack is Infected. All living creatures affected by the blast must make a Hard (-20) Willpower Test or gain one Broken Condition – two if the victim has the Acute Sense (Smell) Trait.


More Like This

Zoats: From Warhammer to 40K (and back again)
The Ambull: From 40K to WFRP (again)
Viydagg: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
Mardagg: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
Jabberwock: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
Devil Eel: A New Monster for WFRP4
Gargoyle: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
The Toad Dragon: An Old Citadel Miniature Described for WFRP4
The Spectral Claw: An Old Citadel Miniature Described for WFRP4
The Mud Elemental: Two Old Monsters Combined for WFRP4
Ngaaranh Spawn of Chaos: A Very Old Citadel Miniature for WFRP4
Leaping Slomm Two-Face, Another Old Citadel Miniature
Zygor Snake-Arms, Another Old Citadel Miniature
Independent Daemons for WFRP 4th Edition
Chaos Snakemen – A Forgotten Warhammer Race
Menfish – Another Lost Warhammer Race
Golems in Warhammer

Monday Gun Day: Multi-Barrel Weapons

April 27, 2020 4 comments

The “Bling” post on ring guns was well received, so here are a few more interesting and surprising guns for your black-powder fantasy games.

 

Before metal cartridges were invented in the 19th century, reloading was a major limiting factor on a gun’s usefulness. One idea to mitigate the problem was the development of multi-barreled weapons. They fall into two broad classes: volley guns, where all the barrels fire at once; and single-fire guns.

 

Volley Guns

 

Volley guns can do a lot of damage, but reloading takes a very long time and the recoil of so many barrels firing at once can injure the user. To make things worse, some designs allow misfires to cascade from one barrel to the others, turning the weapon into a fragmentation grenade held right by the user’s cheek. A few years ago I wrote an article on the 19th-century Nock Volley Gun for Pyramid magazine, which includes rules for GURPS.

 

Here is a video of a Nock gun firing.

 

The Nock volley gun: The seven shot 'sea-sweeper'

 

 

Duck-Foot Pistols

True to their name, duck-foot pistols have 3-5 barrels that splay out like the toes of a duck’s foot. They may be useful in a one-against-many situation – for example, a ship’s captain faced with a mutinous crew – but historically they were more intimidating than deadly. The recoil from three to five barrels whose caliber could be as much as .50 was considerable.

 

Here is a typical duck-foot, listed as .52 caliber.

Rare Flintlock "Duckfoot" 4-Barrel Pistol, c.1780 with two inch barrels in .52 calibre

Here is a video that goes into more detail.

 

With eight barrels, a mini-bayonet, and a spiked club pommel, this duck-foot certainly gives its user a lot of options!

Pin on art

 

Single-Fire Guns

 

Some single-fire guns (I don’t know if there’s a better term for a multi-barrelled firearm where the barrels fire one at a time, but if there is, please let me know!) have multiple triggers like a double-barrelled shotgun, if there are not too many barrels. They can be fired one at a time or in a both-barrels volley.

 

This pistol is three guns in one.

 

 

 

Others anticipate the design of the revolver by having a single trigger and firing mechanism, and rotating the cluster of barrels to fire them in succession. Depending on the game system, the act of moving a new barrel into line may require a short action, or it may be free. “Pepperbox” pistols, as they were called, were first made in the 1500s and by the 19th century they could have as many as 24 barrels.

 

 

While their recoil is not as dangerous as that of a volley gun, these weapons were still heavier than their single-barrelled counterparts, making them harder to raise and aim. Depending on the rules set you use, some kind of strength check might be required to avoid a penalty to hit.

 


 

For WFRP fans, Cubicle 7 recently re-released the 1st edition Warhammer Companion, which includes an article on duck-foot and other interesting gunpowder weapons. You can get it from DriveThruRPG.com. Maybe one day when I have a little more time I’ll do a new version for WFRP 4th edition.

 

More Like This

Combi-Weapons: Now you can bring a knife to a gunfight.
Hidden Weapons: Pay attention, 007!

Mardagg: A Forgotten WFRP Monster

April 25, 2020 21 comments

Last week I posted about an obscure Warhammer monster called the Viydagg, also known as the Life Elemental. When the miniature was first released in 1985, it was packaged with its counterpart, the Death Elemental. Rules and stats for Warhammer 2nd edition were published in the Third Citadel Compendium, and I adapted them for WFRP in the 1st edition rulebook.

Mardagg - Compendium 3

I was writing at a time before the Warhammer mythos had become really coherent, with specific Daemons serving the four Ruinous Powers of Chaos. Like its companions, the Life Elemental and the Plague Elemental, the Death Elemental clearly couldn’t be an Elemental in the classical sense, so I renamed it the Mardagg and gave it as backstory as a servant of Khorne the Blood God. At the time, he seemed like the most logical patron.

Just two years later, though, Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness began the process of developing and organizing the lore of Chaos in Warhammer, and the Mardagg did not find a place alongside the Bloodthirsters, Bloodletters, and other servants of brass-throned Khorne. Like the Viydagg, the Mardagg spent the next thirty years in obscurity. True, there was an Incarnate Elemental of Death in the 2012 Monstrous Arcanum from Warhammer Forge, but it was a quite different beast from the Mardagg.

People seemed to like my re-imagining of the Viydagg for WRFP 4th edition, and quite a few asked if I would do the same for Mardagg as well. So here it is. 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 Mardagg

Mardagg - Warhammer - The Old World - Lexicanum

The theologians of the Old World argue over the status of the being known as Nagash. It is no secret that he has spent millennia gathering power and trying to ascend to godhood, but the question of whether he has succeeded is a contentious issue.

Those who argue for his divinity often cite the existence of the Mardagg as proof, claiming that it is a an avatar  of Nagash just as the Viydagg is an avatar of the nature goddess Rhya. Others argue that it serves another, such as murderous Khaine or dread Morai-Heg, or some unnamed and ancient god of the Khemrian Liche-Priests.

The Mardagg appears as a hooded, skeletal figure, standing some ten feet tall and armed with a great scythe. Few have seen it at close quarters, though it has been sighted from a distance stalking across battlefields or striding through the night on some enigmatic business. Wherever it goes, death follows.

M WS BS S T I Ag Dex Int WP Fel W
6 90 93 100 120 100 105 90 90 120 100 92

Traits: Armour 2, Chill Grasp, Daemonic 7+, Immunity (Magic: Lore of Death, Lore of Necromancy), Night Vision, Size (Large), Spellcaster (Lore of Death, Lore of Necromancy), Squeeze of Death (see below), Terror 2, Tracker, Zone of Death (see below), Weapon +14

Optional: Blessed (Nagash or Khaine or Morai-Heg), Invoke (Nagash or Khaine or Morai-Heg). (There are no officially published Blessings or Miracles for these deities at the time of posting, so the GM should feel free to improvise.)

New Traits

Squeeze of Death

This is a ranged version of the Chill Grasp Trait. The creature points at a single living target within line of sight, then turns the hand over and closes the fist. Perform an Opposed Willpower Test. If the creature wins, the icy force of death crushes the target’s heart, causing 1d10+SL Wounds with no modification for Toughness Bonus or Armour Points. This attack is Magical.

Zone of Death

The creature is wreathed in an aura of death and decay that extends in a radius of 12 yards. Any living creature must make a Hard (-20) Willpower Test each round while within the zone, gaining one Fatigued Condition for each failure.

In addition, the wind of Shyish blows so strongly within the zone that all spells and magical effects powered by Shyish gain a +30 bonus to all relevant Tests, while all  spells and effects powered by Ghyran or Hyish suffer a -30 penalty.


More Like This

Zoats: From Warhammer to 40K (and back again)
The Ambull: From 40K to WFRP (again)
Viydagg: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
Mabrothrax: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
Jabberwock: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
Devil Eel: A New Monster for WFRP4
Gargoyle: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
The Toad Dragon: An Old Citadel Miniature Described for WFRP4
The Spectral Claw: An Old Citadel Miniature Described for WFRP4
The Mud Elemental: Two Old Monsters Combined for WFRP4
Ngaaranh Spawn of Chaos: A Very Old Citadel Miniature for WFRP4
Leaping Slomm Two-Face, Another Old Citadel Miniature
Zygor Snake-Arms, Another Old Citadel Miniature
Independent Daemons for WFRP 4th Edition
Chaos Snakemen – A Forgotten Warhammer Race
Menfish – Another Lost Warhammer Race
Golems in Warhammer

A Load of the Blings

April 23, 2020 6 comments

This time, there’s no theme – it’s just a few bits and pieces that have caught my eye.

This delicate memento mori ring would look good on the hand of a gothic lady, or even a female necromancer. In the latter case, it might be enchanted – giving a bonus to dice rolls when casting necromantic spells, perhaps, or protecting the wearer from necromancy or the undead.

This ring and bracelet combination is a lot less subtle, and could have some serious necromantic properties. It might give the wearer’s touch the same effects as a touch-range necromantic spell, for example. Or the wearer might gain the touch ability of some undead monster, like the Chill Grasp of a WFRP4 Cairn Wraith or the paralysis of a D&D ghoul.

Not magical, but still quite useful, is this ring with a concealed pin. No well-dressed assassin should be without one: just a dab of blade venom, and you’re good to go. A targeted strike to the bare neck of an unsuspecting mark might even merit a small bonus to hit if your GM is in a good mood. Damage will be poison only.

This one made me think of Ranald, the god of thieves and gamblers in the Warhammer Old World setting. Appropriately, its effects depend on the dice that are handily built in: a 12 might win you a full-blown miracle, while a 2. . . well, it was nice knowing you.

Clocks are large, cumbersome devices in most medieval fantasy settings, but a sundial like this one tells the time more or less accurately – provided you understand the seasonal shifts in the sun’s path.

Here’s one that every Dwarf engineer will want. The telescope function is useful by itself, of course, but add a compass and you’ve got a primitive theodolite for making maps.

That’s all for this time. Stay in, stay well, and stay safe!

It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Bling

If you like this kind of post, you’ll also want to see these:

Armillary Rings: Handy for astronomers, astrologers, and navigators.

Compartment Rings: Hide your true allegiance, or carry a secret message.

Poison Rings: An old classic.

Gun Rings: Add more punch to your punch.

Eye Rings: Protection, divination, gaze weapons, and more.

Let us Bling: A Ring for Clerics that unfolds into a portable shrine.

Monday Maps #12: Castles

April 20, 2020 4 comments

 

Castles are a huge and complex subject. The European castles that inspire those of the Old World developed over a thousand years or more. They vary widely in size and shape, according to the time and place when they were built. They have a dizzying array of parts and features with strange-sounding names (this article is an excellent introduction) – but don’t panic.

 

Don't Panic, May 25th is Towel Day | WIRED

 

All castles, whenever and wherever they were built, share a number of key characteristics, and when you understand those, you can design a castle of any size, in any place.

Concentric defense is the watchword. All castles are built around a fortified tower called a keep, which houses the family. The keep is an island, able to hold out against attackers even if the rest of the castle falls. In early medieval castles of the motte and bailey type, the keep stood on an artificial mount called the motte (not to be confused with “moat”).

 

Photographic Print: Keep of Rochester Castle Built in 1127 by William De Corbeil : 24x16in

The keep of Rochester Castle in England.

 

The keep is surrounded by a curtain wall, which is fortified with several towers. The area within is called the bailey, or ward. In the center is an open courtyard that can act as a killing zone, with attackers exposed to fire from multiple towers as well as from the keep. Around the edge of the bailey are non-essential buildings like the chapel (there is normally a private family chapel in the keep), the kitchens (even in stone castles, these were separate to minimize the risk of accidental fires spreading), as well as stables, a smithy, kennels, and the like. There may also be a postern gate, a small and sometimes hidden rear exit.

The bailey was entered through the gatehouse, which was the most heavily fortified part of the castle. Town and city gates, which were covered in an earlier post, had a similar design and function. A heavily-fortified gatehouse, or barbican, could become a small castle in its own right.

Goodrich Castle, England. Borrowed from British History Online; click for link.                            The keep is against one side to take advantage of the cliff. The barbican was built to create a killing zone by the adjacent cliffs

 

Larger castles may have two or more sets of curtain walls, creating an outer bailey which acted as a first killing zone where enemies assaulting the inner curtain wall would come under fire.

 

fantasy castle 3d model https://static.turbosquid.com/Preview/000266/491/G1/fantasy-castle-3d-model_D.jpg

This castle is large, but has a simple design. It would probably have at least one more ring of fortifications. Notice the steps leading to the keep entrance: as well as looking impressive, they make it harder to use a battering ram and they limit the number of attackers who can approach the door. Image borrowed from TurboSquid. Click for link.

 

Neuschwanstein Castle in the fall | Autumn in Germany

High ground is a good place for a castle, as Schloss Neuschwanstein in Germany demonstrates.

 

Olavinlinna Castle, Savonlinna

Water also provides a useful defense, whether it is natural, as at Olavinlinna Castle in Finland. . .

 

. . .or artificial, as at Bodiam Castle in England. Note the lack of a keep: the wide moat takes the place of a bailey and curtain walls, so the whole castle is effectively a keep.

 

Moats around castles were less common than movies would have us believe, and comparatively few were routinely filled with water. Instead, they were broad, steep-sided ditches intended to hamper attackers’s attempts to bring up heavy equipment to attack the walls and trap them in yet another crossfire zone as they tried to approach.

 

Château de Vincennes is a 14th century French royal castle located in the town of Vincennes, now a suburb of Paris.  This castle constructed during 1340 - 1410 A.D.  The castle is surrounded by a 7-meter dry moat and accessed over stone bridges.  During the 18th century, after the castle was abandoned by the royal family, it was used for a time as a porcelain factory, then as a prison, and later as a military fortress and arsenal.

The dry moat at the Château de Vincennes in France has been lined with a vertical stone wall, making it even more challenging.

 

Castles are large building complexes, and a GM may feel intimidated when setting out to design one for the first time – but there’s no need. Once you understand the basic principles of how they work, a castle of any size is easy to lay out.


 

If you’ve enjoyed this, click here to check out the other #MondayMaps.

 

Have a good week, and next Monday I’ll be back with another map, or possibly something else.

 

Oh, and if you’d like a re-usable castle plan for WFRP, the 4th edition adventure collection Rough Nights and Hard Days includes a chapter set in Castle Grauenberg, overlooking the mighty River Reik.

Viydagg: A Forgotten WFRP Monster

April 18, 2020 24 comments

The Viydagg is an artefact of a time before the Warhammer mythos had truly come together. It (or rather, she) has appeared in an official WFRP publication only once, in the Bestiary chapter of the WFRP 1st edition rulebook. I think it’s safe to say that neither Games Workshop nor Cubicle 7 has any plans to use her in the future.

The Life Elemental, Death Elemental, and Plague Elemental were Citadel miniatures dating back to before the publication of WFRP, and I gave them WFRP stats and backstories, along with new names since they clearly were not Elementals. The Death Elemental became a the Mardagg, a Greater Demon of Khorne (the ‘Daemon’ spelling came later), the Plague Elemental became the Mabrothrax, a Greater Daemon of Nurgle – and the Life Elemental became the Viydagg, a Greater Demon of Law who upheld the laws of life and nature.

The original miniatures ad, from the Third Citadel Compendium (1985). The same issue presented game stats for the Life, Death, and Plague Elementals in Warhammer 2nd edition.

The Life and Death Elementals. Image borrowed from the Stuff of Legends web site.

These three were left behind as the Warhammer mythos coalesced and developed. The Greater Daemons of the Ruinous Powers became standardized with the publication of Realm of Chaos, and the Gods of Law dropped out, replaced for the most part by Sigmar and his witch hunters. And that’s no bad thing.

Still, I decided that it would be a nice intellectual exercise to reimagine the Viydagg for WFRP 4th edition, adapting her backstory to fit the present state of the Warhammer mythos. See what you think – and let me have your comments, corrections, and suggestions in the comments below.

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 Viydagg

The Viydagg is an avatar of the goddess Rhya, and appears in the Old World only in exceptional circumstances. Her name means “life-giver” in the ancient tongue of the Taleutens, among whom her worship was most widespread. Several Talabecland folk-tales tell of her appearing in the aftermath of the Great War against Chaos, restoring the land’s fertility and healing the blights left behind by the forces of Chaos. On a handful of occasions, she even entered combat against a Greater Daemon.

The Viydagg has the appearance of a beautiful woman more than ten feet tall. Flowers grow on her garments and twine through her hair. She normally goes about her work silently, ignoring the mortals around her, though devout followers of Rhya or Taal have sometimes been favoured with a word or two.

M WS BS S T I Ag Dex Int WP Fel W
6 90 93 100 120 100 105 90 90 120 100 92

Traits: Blessed (Rhya), Distracting (Beauty), Divine 7+ (see below), Invoke (Rhya), Night Vision, Size (Large), Terror 2, Tracker, Zone of Life (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 Rhya immediately, removing it from play.

Aura of Life

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

In addition, the wind of Ghyran blows so strongly within the zone that all spells and magical effects powered by Ghyran gain a +30 bonus to all relevant Tests, while all  spells and effects powered by Dhar or Shyish suffer a -30 penalty.


More Like This

Zoats: From Warhammer to 40K (and back again)
The Ambull: From 40K to WFRP (again)
Mardagg: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
Mabrothrax: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
Jabberwock: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
Devil Eel: A New Monster for WFRP4
Gargoyle: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
The Toad Dragon: An Old Citadel Miniature Described for WFRP4
The Spectral Claw: An Old Citadel Miniature Described for WFRP4
The Mud Elemental: Two Old Monsters Combined for WFRP4
Ngaaranh Spawn of Chaos: A Very Old Citadel Miniature for WFRP4
Leaping Slomm Two-Face, Another Old Citadel Miniature
Zygor Snake-Arms, Another Old Citadel Miniature
Independent Daemons for WFRP 4th Edition
Chaos Snakemen – A Forgotten Warhammer Race
Menfish – Another Lost Warhammer Race
Golems in Warhammer

Bling V: I’ve Got My Eye On You

April 16, 2020 7 comments

The eye has been a symbol of protection since ancient Egyptian times, and quite possibly longer. To this day, fishermen in many parts of the Mediterranean paint eyes on the bows of their boats, and all over the world, stylized eyes made of glass are worn as pendants or hung from rear-view mirrors.

Trad

A few antique and traditional designs.

And then, of course, there’s the Eye of Sauron. The Egyptian goddess Sekhmet was called the Eye of Ra when she nearly destroyed the world at his behest. And when you think about it, doesn’t the Death Star look a lot like an eye, shooting a deadly glance at the unfortunate planet Alderaan like an angry god?

Evil

You’ve heard the expression “looking daggers”? That’s nothing.

In the course of looking at other interesting bits of bling, I came across a lot of rings set with eyes. The eye is a potent motif with a number of possible interpretations and functions, and I started thinking about what such these rings might do, if they were found by characters in a fantasy roleplaying campaign. Feel free to take, use, and adapt any ideas that appeal to you – and if you have any ideas of your own, please share them in the comments section.

Protection

Most game rules include rings or amulets of protection, and some of them might incorporate an eye motif.

Vision

The wearer gains some form of enhanced vision. This might be night vision or dark vision, or immunity to visual illusions, or a bonus to spotting secret doors, traps, and other hidden things, or a bonus to general perception skills, or even an all-of-the-above option like D&D’s true seeing. 

Alternatively, the ring might simply function as a third eye, allowing the wearer to peek around a corner or over a wall without risking their whole head.

Gaze Weapon

From the petrifying gaze of Medusa and the basilisk to the death glance of the catoblepas to the D&D beholder’s terrifying array of attacks, gaze weapons are well known in fantasy games, and a ring with an eye might be capable of using one of them – especially if the eye is from the creature in question, and not simply made of glass.

Beast

If those were real monster eyes, what might they do?

Divination

The eye might be capable of seeing through time, showing the scene as it was in the past – or possibly the future. The wearer would be well advised to close their own eyes while using this ability: otherwise they may see past and present overlaid upon one another in a very disorienting way.

Alternatively, the ring might see through space rather than time, allowing the wearer to see a distant place to which the ring is bonded. This might be a specific place, or it might be the location of another ring with which this one is paired. Or the ring might function like a crystal ball, showing visions in the wearer’s mind rather than in its own depths.

Detection

The eye sees into hearts and souls, showing it wearer the subject’s alignment or intentions in the form of a colored aura. Most fantasy games include spells and items that detect good and evil, and any necessary rules can be adapted from them.

Or perhaps the eye sees magical auras, allowing the wearer to detect magical items and residues of magical energy. Magical energies of different types might show up as different colored auras.

Unspeakable Evil

Instead of helping its wearer, the ring might be working for a distant evil, like an evil deity or a demon prince. This being might give rings to cult leaders and other favored servants, watching over them through the magical eye. If things look particularly grim for the cultists, and their role in the Big Evil Plan is critical, perhaps the deity or demon can possess the ring’s wearer – or manifest through their body in a suitably spectacular and disturbing way – and join the fight in person.

Eyelid

With some powers, it’s good to be able to shut them off.

Pictures borrowed from around the Internet. All images copyright their original owners.

It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Bling

If you like this kind of post, you’ll also want to see these:

Armillary Rings: Handy for astronomers, astrologers, and navigators.

Compartment Rings: Hide your true allegiance, or carry a secret message.

Poison Rings: An old classic.

Gun Rings: Add more punch to your punch.

Miscellany: No theme, but lots of possibilities.

Let us Bling: A Ring for Clerics that unfolds into a portable shrine.

The Cook: A #MondayMutant for WFRP 4th Edition

April 13, 2020 2 comments

 

 

Following on from last Monday’s post, and inspired by one of the images there, here is a Mutant concept that fuses the living and the inanimate. It might be encountered in a place like Castle Wittgenstein from Death on the Reik, or the dread Castle Drachenfels, or anywhere else that has been seriously warped by the influence of Chaos.

 

Let me know what you think, especially if you have any ideas or suggestions for refining the stats. And if you use this Mutant in a game, please share your account of the battle!

 


 

The Cook

 

Cook

 

Encountered in the castle’s kitchens, the cook has become fused with a pot of boiling, bubbling stew. In addition to two legs of flesh, the cook has three short stubby, metal legs attached to its pot-body.

M WS BS S T I Ag Dex Int WP Fel W
3 30 30 30 30 30 5 30 30 30 30 12

Mutations: Fused Body (Body and Legs, Metal), Multiple Legs

Traits: Armour 2 (Body and Metal Legs), Painless (Body and Metal Legs), Ranged +2 (Stew – see below) Ladle (Improvised Weapon) +1

 

When a leg hit is indicated, take into account the direction from which the attack has come. The cook’s human legs are placed normally, while one of the three metal pot-legs is in front of each human leg, and the final metal leg is centrally placed at the front of the Mutant’s body.

For random generation, roll 1d10 and consult the following table:

1d10 Leg
1-2 Human, left
3-4 Metal, left
5-6 Metal, front
7-8 Metal, right
9-10 Human, right

 

Stew (Ranged Weapon)

The cook can use its ladle to splash hot stew at an enemy. This is a Ranged attack (Range 3) with the Blast 1 Quality and the Imprecise and Undamaging Flaws. Damage is +2, and any successful head hit causes one Blinded condition.

For a tougher encounter, the stew may be tainted by Chaos, with each damaging hit counting as Minor exposure to Corruption. It may even lash out on its own, giving the cook the Trait Tentacles in addition to those listed above.

 

Variant: The Laundress

Encountered in the castle’s laundry – or perhaps by a nearby stream, beating wet clothes on a rock – the laundress is pretty much identical to the cook. The only differences, apart from the location, are that hot, soapy water takes the place of stew and animated clothes take the place of tentacles.

 


 

A Couple More Variants

 

François Rabelais. Les Songes Drolatiques de Pantagruel. Paris : Edwin Tross, 1869.

This simpler variant has the usual number of legs, a metal body and head, and a Vomit attack.

 

 

This one has the Headless mutation, Small size, and just two metal legs.

 


 

Be Our Guest. . . .

 

With a little work, it’s possible to come up with an entire staff of Mutants, like a dark and twisted version of the castle’s inhabitants from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Have fun – and feel free to share your creations in the comments section below.