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.

 

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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.

 


 

 

Monday Mutants

April 6, 2020 6 comments

Well, the Monday Maps haven’t been as big a hit as I had hoped, so here’s something different.

 

For a long time, mutants were only found in science fiction settings, their forms warped by radiation or other more-or-less scientific causes. Medieval art is full of weird and grotesque figures, though, and in a game such as Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, the Ruinous Powers of Chaos twist bodies and minds into unimaginable shapes. The Enemy in Shadows Companion has a chapter on Mutants in the Empire, and in the thirty-odd years since the first edition of WFRP was published, other games have taken similar approaches to Chaos and mutation.

 

Mix-and-match animal heads, arms, and legs are commonplace in fantasy these days, but here are some old pictures that take mutation to another level. Why not try to stat them and post your ideas in the comments below? It could be fun.

 

Mutants 1

 

Mutants 2

 

If these are too tame for you, mix in some inorganic parts for the full, Heironymus Bosch level of crazy.

 

Mutants 3

For more wacky mutant goodness like this, use “The Drolatic Dreams of Pantagruel” as a search term.

 

The mutation tables in the Enemy in Shadows Companion don’t cover anything like this, so here’s a stab. Perhaps some of you will have better ideas, in which case please drop them in the comments below.

 

New Mutation: Fused Body

A part of your body becomes fused with an inanimate object.

 

Random Generation

I recommend that you use this mutation deliberately rather than using random generation, but if you strongly prefer to do so, make two rolls on the Physical Corruption table. If they are identical, use this mutation; otherwise, apply the first roll as usual.

 

Use the Hit Locations table on page 159 of the WFRP rulebook to determine which body part is affected, and then choose from what is close by or roll on the following table:

 

Roll Material Examples
01-25 Wood Barrel, chair, chest
26-50 Stone Statue, rock, planter
51-75 Ceramic Pot, bowl, lamp
76-00 Metal Jug, tub, poker

 

Armor may not be worn on a location affected by this mutation.

 

Wood gives a Mutant +1 AP and the Painless Trait, both on the affected location only. The location gains one Ablaze condition on any critical hit with a fire weapon. Other effects are:

Wood

 

Stone gives a Mutant +3 AP and the Painless Trait, both on the affected location only. Critical hits to the location are ignored when the attack roll is a double. Other effects are:

Stone

 

Ceramic (including glass) gives a Mutant +1 AP and the Painless Trait, both on the affected location only. Because ceramic is brittle, use the higher number as tens when rolling on the Critical Tables. Other effects are:

Ceramic

 

Metal gives a Mutant +2 AP and the Painless Trait, both on the affected location only.  Other effects are:

Stone

 

Use Your Imagination!

More than any other mutation, this one requires some imagination on the part of the GM. It is not possible to cover in detail the effects of fusing with every possible inanimate object, so feel free to treat the effects above as guidelines rather than hard rules. Use them as a starting point, play around with the modifiers, and produce something that you personally find satisfying.

 

Bling IV: This Time It’s War

April 2, 2020 1 comment

It’s a funny thing about Pinterest – well, it’s probably a carefully planned, algorithm-driven, site stickiness enhancing sort of thing – but once I started looking at trick rings and other jewelry there, my feed filled up with more and more of the same. So here’s another type of cunning ring. I can see them appealing to Dwarves in particular.

Rings inspired by the American Civil War, by Patrick C. Walter. Sadly his website has gone offline. Image borrowed from The Carrotbox jewelry blog.

Gun Rings

Images from around the Internet. Copyright original owners.

Cased French pinfire pistol ring, 19th century. From imgur. Click image for link.

In a blackpowder fantasy setting like Warhammer, rings like these could be practical weapons. They can give an enemy a nasty surprise, though between their tiny caliber and short barrel length it’s not certain that they could do very much damage. Still, they are exactly the sort of unusual item that a group of PCs might find a Dwarf gunsmith tinkering with, and if you like a James Bond pastiche they might be issued to Imperial secret agents by their equivalent of Q Branch.

Just for fun, here is a quick set of weapon stats for WFRP4. Feel free to add a comment with any feedback, suggestions, or playtest experiences.

Gun Ring Stats

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.

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

Miscellany: No theme, but lots of possibilities.

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

Monday Maps #11: A Forge

March 30, 2020 Leave a comment

 

Today’s #MondayMap comes from the ArtStation page of the very talented Guillaume Tavernier. Unlike some of the building plans I’ve shared in recent weeks, his work is all fantasy, and ideal for gaming. Use the following links to check his work out and support him:

ArtStation

Patreon

Kickstarter

Guillaume’s Fantasy Maps blog

 

Copyright Guillaume Tavernier. Use the links above to support his work.

 

Guillaume’s map keys are in French, but we Anglophones can figure them out with a little help from Google Translate or a French-English dictionary. For example, the key above reads as follows:

  1. (Main) room
  2. Foyer (possibly a typo for fourneau, “furnace”)
  3. Storeroom
  4. Stables
  5. Smith’s bedroom
  6. Storeroom (although réserve can also mean “sanctuary,” so perhaps this private balcony is the smith’s relaxation area)
  7. Apprentices’ rooms

 

A forge or smithy is a common location in fantasy adventures, where Our Heroes might go to have equipment repaired or to have some custom piece made. The village smith was a respected member of the community, and can be a useful friend to make. He (or she – there were plenty of female smiths in history, and there should be even more in fantasy settings) will know plenty about what goes on locally, and can provide introductions to everyone important in the local area.

 

And of course, it’s not just player characters who engage a smith’s services. Here are a few ideas for adventure hooks, and I’m sure you can come up with more. If you do, why not share them with the other readers by dropping them in the Comments section at the bottom of the page?

 

  • The villain’s evil plan requires an unusual piece of equipment, and the local smith has been engaged to make it. Designs, prototypes, and work in progress are clues that may help Our Heroes anticipate the plan and take steps to thwart it.

 

  • The greatest smiths in most fantasy worlds are the dwarves, and they are very protective of their secrets. Stolen designs or techniques could make a human or halfling smith rich, and the local dwarven community very angry. Adventurers might be hired to find stolen manuals, materials, and designs or other evidence in advance of a court case or some more direct punitive action.

 

  • Medieval guilds defended their members’ rights fiercely – or, to look at it another way, they established a closed monopoly of their particular craft or trade in a city, town, or county. The same could very well be true in a fantasy world, especially a low fantasy setting such as the Old World of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. A smith’s forge could become a battle zone if he had the support of the local community and either refused to join the guild or refused their orders to shut down. The guild might mount a campaign of harassment or hire rogues to sabotage the illicit forge. If matters come to a head, the PCs might find themselves involved in a Seven Samurai style defense against a mob of hired thugs.

 

Whatever the story may be, a forge is an interesting place to stage a combat, full of unusual hazards and weapons of opportunity such as shovels of hot coals. For inspiration, watch the forge fight scene in the 2003 movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

 

I’ll be back next Monday with another map, or possibly something else. Until then, have a good week, and may you and yours stay healthy.