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A Challenge for WFRP 4 Fans

January 15, 2022 38 comments

Total War: WARHAMMER - The Monsters - YouTube

In 2020, shortly after WFRP 4th edition was released, I wrote up a number of creatures from the darker corners of Warhammer’s history with 4th edition rules and stats. The series proved quite popular, with some entries attracting as many as 7,000 views.

Then, as deadlines loomed on the final instalments of The Enemy Within Director’s Cut, the series petered out. The posts are still popular, and I’d like to do more. So I’ll make you a deal:

Simply put, I would like this blog to have more followers. Currently it has 262 286, which is no real reflection of the traffic it gets. So, here’s what I propose:

In the comments section below this post, tell me about any creatures from any edition of Warhammer or WFRP, or any never-statted Citadel/GW miniatures, that you would like to see for WFRP 4. Whenever WordPress tells me that the blog has 300 followers, I’ll do one. I may run a poll to decide which, or I may just choose. I’ll do another at 350 followers, another at 400, and so on. As well as stats and rules, I’ll throw in any memories or anecdotes that come to me as I’m writing.

Of course, nothing I post on this blog is official – here, I’m just another fan and I’m not challenging any rights held by Games Workshop, or Cubicle 7, or anyone else – so take them for what they’re worth, and feel free to use, modify, adapt, change, and generally play around with anything from the links below, here, and anything I’ll write up in the future.

So go on – tell me about that Warhammer monster you’ve always wanted to see for WFRP 4. Or – heck, why not – tell me about the WFRP 4 monster that you’d like to see adapted for one of the previous editions. And then, follow this blog and tell all your friends to do the same.

I’ve no idea where this will end up going, but let’s find out together!

The Monsters so Far:

Zoats
Ambull
Viydagg
Mardagg
Mabrothrax
Jabberwock
Gargoyle
Toad Dragon
The Spectral Claw
The Mud Elemental
Ngaaranh Spawn of Chaos
Leaping Slomm Two-Face
Zygor Snake-Arms
Independent Daemons
Chaos Snakemen
Menfish
Golems

So vote with your follows, and let me know what you’d like to see!

And while you’re here…

Since 2020, I’ve been a director of Rookery Publications, a new indie TTRPG studio that I co-founded with some names that WFRP fans are sure to recognize: Andrew Law, Lindsay Law, Andy Leask, and Mark Gibbons. Our first product is available from DriveThru, and has garnered some good reviews so far. There is much, much more to follow.

If you like the idea of new, system-agnostic roleplaying products (which means that they have been designed to be used with any edition of WFRP, and indeed with any other ruleset) from our merry band, check the Rookery out on any of these platforms.

Discord is the the hub of a vibrant and growing Rookery community.

YouTube and Twitch each have a Rookery channel where you can find our weekly Inside the Rookery streams, where we chat with big-name guests from across the industry about all manner of things.

Inside the Rookery, along with the occasional Beside the Rookery streams, are supported by our Patreon campaign. If you like what the Rookery has to offer and would like to be part of our story, you can support us for a very low monthly commitment (and if you can afford more, we have higher tiers, too!), and get access to exclusive content like the Rookery masterclasses on game design and development and special publications like the just-released Mother Hoarfrost PDF.

And you can also find us on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RookeryPublications
Twitter: @RookeryP
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rookerypublications/

We think it’s pretty cool.

All I Want for Christmas

December 24, 2021 1 comment

Compliments of the season, whatever you celebrate at this time of year.

It’s been a good year for me: the final volumes in The Enemy Within Director’s Cut have been published, at least in electronic form, and just a few days ago the Kickstarter campaign for the Vaesen Britain and Ireland Sourcebook topped $700,000, making almost 65 times its funding goal.

Another thing I’m proud of this year is my involvement with Rookery Publications. For those who haven’t heard, this is a new indie tabletop RPG studio that I have co-founded along with Andy Law, Mark Gibbons, Lindsay Law, and Andy Leask. We are completely self-funded so this is a spare-time venture for most of us, but we confidently expect to release the first few system-agnostic* fantasy roleplaying supplements in our Coiled Crown product line early in 2022.

*That’s right. We are designing everything so that it can be used with any rules system. It sounds like a tall order, but playtest results have been very positive. In fact, some testers successfully adapted our first adventure for various SF and horror games, as well as a wide range of fantasy roleplaying games.

While we were working on those plans, we also started doing a regular weekly stream called Inside the Rookery, where we chat with guests from all across the industry about all manner of things. We’ve had a fantastic array of guests so far, and we plan to keep on going in 2022. We also have an occasional series called Beside the Rookery, which takes a deeper look at a specific topic. You can find past streams on our YouTube channel.

May be a black-and-white image of 12 people, beard and text that says 'Special thanks to. PATREON ...all of our marvellous guests in 2021'

The streams are supported by a Patreon campaign, which you can find here. Starting at just GBP 1.50 (USD 2.00 or EUR 1.77 at the time of posting), you can become a Rook and enjoy Patreon-exclusive blog posts as well as monthly masterclasses on various aspects of RPG design. So far I’ve shown how to create multi-plot adventures like those in the Rough Nights and Hard Days collection for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and Andy Law has shared some of the secrets of his multiple award-winning cartography.

So if you want to give us a gift this holiday season, please check out the Rookery’s Patreon page. It’s a gift to yourself, as well.

Come to our Birthday Party!

November 5, 2021 Leave a comment

May be an image of text that says 'PATREON This week on... inside the Rookery BIRTHDAY, Rooks! HAPPY with ANDY LAW, GRAEME DAVIS, ANDY LEASK, MARK GIBBONS, AND LINDSAY LAW On Hallow Eve, 2020, Rookery Publications born. One year later, time for party! Announcements, party hats, art, cake, and more! JOIN THE CLAMOUR! InsideTheRookery rookerypublications f RookeryPublications TheRookery @RookeryP FRESH RPG CHAT EVERY SATURDAY 7PM UK live'

Rookery Publications was founded one year ago as an indie rpg studio composed of legendary writer and cartographer Andy Law, GW and Blizzard artist Mark Gibbons, indefatigable writer Andy Leask, and laser-sharp editor/proofreader and awesome business brain Lindsay Law. And me, Graeme Davis.

We’ll be celebrating LIVE tomorrow (Saturday Nov. 6th) at 7 pm UK time (3 pm Eastern, noon Pacific). Come and join us! Meet the team, ask questions, and hear the latest news on our upcoming products!

Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/rookerypublications

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheRookery

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RookeryPublications

See you then!

And join our Discord community at https://discord.gg/7uxKJxfW!

Developing WFRP

October 11, 2021 Leave a comment

Ever wondered what the collective noun for a grim and perilous gathering of WFRP developers is?

The answer to that question and more can be yours when, for the first time ever, WFRP developers from all four editions of the game – Graeme Davis, James Wallis, Chris Pramas, Jay Little, and Andy Law – gather to answer your questions.

So, mark this date in your calendars: Wednesday 27th October at 21:30 UK time.

If you want to pre-submit questions, head over to the Rookery Discord: https://discord.gg/KGzxJw7Taw

Or, turn up on the day and comment on Facebook, Twitch, or YouTube. Our host, WFRP writer and editor Lindsay Law, will take your questions live and put them to the panel.

If you want to see our previous streams, head over to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheRookery

If you want to know more about Inside the Rookery, head over to our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/InsideTheRookery

May be an image of 5 people and text that says 'PATREON Oct 27th, 9.30pm UK time on... inside the Rookery DEVELOPING WFRP designers and developers Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay discussing the grim and the perilous! A GRAEME DAVIS JAMES VALLIS -founder Wallis orna CHRIS PRAMAS Pramas epublishe JAY LITTLE designed editions Pulhng aaa game. Green Board Games. ANDY LAW Law developed WFRP4. He 2005's InsideTheRookery WFRP2. JOIN THE CLAMOUR! rookerypublications f RookeryPublications RookeryP game design. bl busier. FRESH RPG CHAT EVERY SATURDAY 7PM UK c/TheRookery @RookeryP live'

Wights in D&D 3.5

October 3, 2021 1 comment

In Dragon #348 (October 2006), I wrote “Ecology of the Wight”. A lot of my original material as cut from the published version, so here it is. I hope you find it useful, or at least interesting.
I was hoping to include a link so you could buy the magazine online, but it doesn’t seem to be available on DriveThru or the DMs’ Guild. If anyone knows of a place where non-pirated copies can be obtained, please drop a link in the comments below. Thanks!


Advanced Wights: Non-Core Sources

This article assumes that the DM is only using the three core rulebooks, but DMs who have access to additional rulebooks and supplements will find more options for producing advanced wight characters.

Libris Mortis

In addition to general notes on undead characters and NPCs, this sourcebook contains much that will be useful to a DM planning a wight-centered adventure or campaign. The evolved undead template allows the creation of ancient and powerful individuals with spell-like abilities. Feats like Improved Energy Drain, Spell Drain, and Life Drain increase the power of the energy drain ability that wights share with many other undead creatures. Monstrous prestige classes include the lurking terror with its enhanced stealth abilities, and the tomb warden (only available to a wight who has already advanced by other means) which confers many useful abilities within the confines of a particular tomb complex. New undead creatures include the slaughter wight, which could make a good leader or champion, and several other monsters that might be found alongside wights in a barrow-field or necropolis.

Monster Manual II

Of most interest is the spellstitched template (page 215), which confers spellcasting ability on an undead creature. With their high Wisdom, wights gain access to first through third level spells by spellstitching – and gain some useful save bonuses – while only increasing their CR by one.

Savage Species

The emancipated spawn prestige class (page 75) is available to creatures and characters who became the spawn of an undead creature such as a wight, and who regain their independence after their creator has been destroyed. As they advance in this prestige class, emancipated spawn gradually remember the skills and class features that they had while living. The wight template (page 136) can be used to create variant wights based upon any humanoid creature.


Wight Lairs

Unless they are under the command of a necromancer or some other master, wights normally lair in tombs. As their full name of barrow-wights suggests, they are often found in earthen burial mounds, but they can make their lairs in any kind of tomb complex or necropolis. A wight lair will usually be the original burial-place of the oldest wight in the pack (sometimes called the master wight); younger wights are usually the spawn of that first individual.

Wight lairs are usually cramped, dark places. Narrow passages and low ceilings hamper weapon-using intruders and favor unarmed wights. They use their knowledge of their lair’s layout, along with secret doors and passages, to spring close-quarters attacks without having to advance under fire from spellcasters and ranged weapons. Labyrinths of short passages allow a pack of wights to surround intruders and attack from all sides; their Hide and Move Silently skills give them a good chance of gaining surprise. Shifting walls and other devices are sometimes used to confuse and disorient outsiders.

Wights’ acute senses and stealth skills make them skilled and dangerous ambushers. When faced with a strong party, their usual tactic is to try to pick off enemies one by one, draining their life energy at leisure and turning them against their former comrades as wight spawn.

A Sample Wight Lair

The map shows a typical barrow where wights might be found. Built millennia ago to house the honored dead of a long-forgotten people, it is built of stone, filled in with dirt and rubble between the walls. Its front is dominated by a curved façade of monumental stones.

Inside, a narrow passage leads past a number of empty tombs (which might hold minor encounters such as rat or spider swarms) to an apparent dead end. The rubble is a decoy, though, intended to distract intruders while 4-5 wights use the secret passages to get behind them. They will not attack right away, but will follow stealthily until the adventurers are busy fighting the rest of the wights in the narrow confines of the two pillar rooms. Then they will mount a surprise attack, surrounding the trespassers and using their energy drain and create spawn abilities.

The four rooms at the far end of the barrow belong to the king and queen, who may be more powerful than the others (see Advanced Wights above). The treasury contains a little treasure (note that wights normally have none). The king’s tomb is hidden by a secret door in the back of his stone throne, and may contain some magical treasures or other special items.


Finding Wights

Wights are not only found in dark barrows on lonely, mist-wrapped moors. Here are a few ideas for placing them in other locations.

The Dead Below

From their headquarters in an abandoned catacomb beneath a city’s oldest cemetery, a powerful band of wights can use sewers, thieves’ tunnels, and other underground passages to reach almost anywhere. Moving mainly by night, they remain unseen and unheard as much as possible, ambushing unwary victims returning home from the city’s hostelries and other unfortunates who are outside after dark. Their ultimate goal may simply be to survive undetected, or they may have come to the city in search of an ancient treasure that was stolen from their leader by grave-robbers, and which now rests in the vaults of the thieves’ guild, or the academy of magic.

Fortress of Nightmares

The wights’ stronghold is heavily defended, both above and below ground, with multiple entry and exit points through small tombs and mausolea nearby. In addition, the wights may have control of swarms of vermin, rats, and the like, as well as alliances with other undead creatures – especially lawful evil undead – that make their home in the cemetery. These undead allies may not fight alongside the wights, but they might inform them of adventurers headed their way, or mount surprise hit-and-run attacks on living trespassers who are already engaged in fighting the wights.

The Forbidden Island

A remote island also makes a suitable home for a pack of wights, especially if it is dotted with the remnants of a lost civilization. If no living souls have set foot on the island for a long time, the wights’ hunger for life energy will make them particularly aggressive. Their first act will probably be to disable any watercraft or other means of escape from the island, and then pick off stragglers or scouts to reduce the visitors’ numbers before mounting an all-out attack by night. They may set traps in the thick jungle of the islands, or among the rubble-choked ruins.

Not Just Mummies

Desert tomb complexes – with or without pyramids – also make good homes for wights. Adventurers will probably expect to find mummies in such locations, and wights will take them by surprise, at least initially. If the wights are dressed in scraps of bandage, the confusion over their true nature may last beyond the first encounter – and nothing worries adventurers more than not knowing what they are up against. True mummies can act as leaders or elite fighters, and spellcasting mummy lords can make up for their comrades’ lack of magic.


My Complete and Utter D&D Bibliography

Everything I have published for various editions, starting in 1982. Includes links to some free downloads.
Click Here.

Rookery Publications

Inside the Rookery

September 8, 2021 2 comments

I’m proud to be a part of Rookery Publications along with fellow veterans Andy Law, Lindsay Law, Mark Gibbons, and Andrew Leask. Between us we have over a century of experience developing award-winning tabletop roleplaying products for some of the biggest and best publishers in the business, and now we’ve decided to go out on our own. One commentator called us “a roleplaying supergroup”.

We have some great things planned for our ground-breaking, system-agnostic*, modular** Coiled Crown line of tabletop roleplaying products. But that’s not all we do.

Every week, we do a streaming show called “Inside the Rookery”, which goes out live on Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube. We discuss topics related to gaming in general, we have guests on now and then (and there are some great ones lined up for the rest of September), and we let you know how things are progressing with The Coiled Crown.

The streams are open to all. They are live every Saturday at 7 pm UK (2 pm Eastern, 11 am Pacific), and past shows can be found on our YouTube channel.

Patreon Logo transparent PNG - StickPNG

To help support our weekly streams, Rookery Publications just launched a Patreon campaign. Please take a look and support us if you can. Rewards include our undying gratitude, special status and exclusive channels on the Rookery’s clamorous Discord server, patron blogs and more!

Want to know more? Watch as Andy Law and Lindsay Law give you a tour of the Rookery’s Patreon offering, along with a peek at our vibrant Discord community!



*That’s right, system-agnostic. Whatever your game of choice – even if it’s not even fantasy – we show you ways to incorporate our products into your games.

**We like to think of our approach as like LEGO sets. You can use everything as given, to create an absolutely awesome campaign with a stunning setting, a staggering plot, memorable NPCs, some terrifying original monsters, and an array of optional adventures. Or, you can pick and choose what works in your games, change the order, mix it up with other things to make something completely new that no one even thought of before. It’s yours to do with as you please – well, that’s true of every roleplaying product you’ve ever bought – but the difference is that we know it, and we’ve planned to support you in however you choose to use it!

Even Rougher Nights


My WFRP 4 adventure collection Rough Nights and Hard Days uses a multi-plot format that I first developed at Games Workshop more than 30 years ago. It’s been widely discussed online, though to my surprise I never heard of anyone using the same style in their own adventures – until quite recently.

A little while ago, I got a very complimentary email from Arjen Poutsma in the Netherlands, thanking me for all the enjoyment that WFRP had given him and sharing a copy of a multi-plot Call of Cthulhu adventure he had written called Night of the Rising Sun. It is now available on DriveThruRPG.

As the title suggests, the adventure is set in Japan – 1830s Japan, to be exact, which makes it something of a niche product. Still, I think it is worth your time. It was designed to be run as a one-off, and would make a different and interesting con adventure. With a little work, it can be adapted to be run with 80s-era games like Bushido, GURPS Japan, AD&D Oriental Adventures, or Land of the Rising Sun, which will shortly be available in a new 5th edition. With a little more work and a little imagination, it can be set in any version of Japan from the 1920s of Call of Cthulhu to that of cyberpunk settings.


Thinking of Night of the Rising Sun reminded me that I had written one other multi-plot adventure beside those in Rough Nights and Hard Days. Called ‘The Last Resort’, it was written for the d20/3.5 rules and appeared in Green Ronin’s 2003 adventure collection Tales of Freeport.

The adventure has eight plots, which I won’t spoil by describing them here. It is set in a grand hotel and features a wide and diverse cast of characters, and while it fits right into the Freeport setting, it could easily be moved to Altdorf or another large city in WFRP’s Old World, or to 1920s New York, London, Paris, Berlin, San Francisco or somewhere similar for Call of Cthulhu.


‘The Last Resort’ completes the catalogue of multi-plot adventures that I have currently in print, but I’ll add a little teaser: there’s another one coming from Rookery Publications. If you don’t already know about this new indie publisher (which consists of WFRP veterans Andy Law, Lindsay Law, Andy Leask, and Mark Gibbons as well as me, and was described by one poster as ‘a roleplaying supergroup’), you can find out more here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1044080065964332/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RookeryP

Discord: https://discord.gg/mMeRpPgY

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxVxRCPYv–_w9xFjW5fdOA


So are there any other multi-plot adventures on the market? Has anyone tried to create one for their own campaign? How did it go? Let me know in the comments section!

Return of the Bling

April 3, 2021 8 comments

Here are a few more images that Pinterest threw my way. Apart from Jewish bridal rings, I did not know that rings in the shape of buildings were a thing, but here is an interesting selection.

I’ve thrown in a few thoughts about what these shapes might mean for magical rings in a fantasy game.

Note: All images are copyright their original owners, at the urls indicated.

The Castle

Castelli 15
Image from https://www.alessandrodari.com/en/opera/castelli-15/

The castle is a symbol of safety and protection, so this ring might give its wearer a significant boost to armor protection, or protect in some more subtle way.

The Palace

VICKY AMBERY-SMITHGOLDSMITHS’ FAIRThis week I’ll be sharing some of the designers I’d love to see at the Goldsmiths’s fair in London. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go, but if you have a chance, the fair will be going from Sept 27th to Oct 9th.For...
https://athousandfacets.tumblr.com/post/151161004052

The palace is a place of power and authority, so a ring in that form might give its wearer a boost to their social status and accompanying skills, making others treat them as powerful nobles even if they are not.

The Temple

http://www.alaintruong.com/archives/2010/02/27/17061074.html

Like the portable shrine ring from an earlier post, this ring might give the wearer the same protection as being on consecrated ground, or it might give their prayers greater efficacy, perhaps even granting limited clerical powers to a non-cleric.

The Tower

https://www.alessandrodari.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Untitled_Panorama8.jpg

Towers are usually associated with wizards, so this ring might enhance a wearer’s magical abilities, possibly allowing them to cast spells at a higher level than normal or making their spells harder for targets to resist.

So there are a few ideas to play around with. For more buildings, search for ‘architectural rings’.

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.

Miscellany: No theme, but lots of possibilities.

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

Day-After-Monday Gun Day

December 29, 2020 3 comments

Yes, I missed it by a day, but I have an excuse.

Jake Blues Quotes

Well, none of those, but still. It’s the holidays, it’s 2020, I’ve had a lot on – and most important of all, I only just saw this, like, five minutes ago. So there.

Anyway, I’m sure there are player characters everywhere who would love a little toy like this:

It’s a gun made for Francesco Morozini, Duke of Venice (1619-1694). You pull the silk bookmark to shoot while the book is closed.

It’s clearly a flintlock, and it looks to be a good enough size to count as a standard pistol in most rulesets. The barrel is on the short side so it won’t be terribly accurate over longer ranges, but within a few feet it should be just fine. And that, after all, is why it’s hidden in a book: so you can get close without arousing suspicion.

More Like This

Hidden Weapons: Pay attention, 007!
Multi-Barrel Weapons: What’s better than a gun? Lots of guns.
Combi-Weapons: Now you can bring a knife to a gunfight.

Let Us Bling: A Ring for Clerics

June 29, 2020 7 comments

I haven’t put up a bling post for a while, so here’s something that Pinterest randomly threw my way: a ring that unfolds into a tiny portable shrine.

Clearly, any cleric in a fantasy rpg would want one of these (with the iconography of their own religion, of course), but what might it do? Here are some thoughts:

When the ring is opened and the wearer is praying – including casting divine magic and using other clerical abilities – they gain any benefits from being at a shrine or temple. These vary from one game to another, but when a game allows them they often take the form of a bonus to prayer rolls and/or a boost to the effectiveness of spells and miracles.

Extending this thinking, the wearer might also gain the benefits of being on consecrated ground while the ring is open. This is equivalent to a protection spell against evil creatures, demons and devils, undead, and servants of the deity’s rival gods.

Opening the ring takes a full action, and is a delicate process. If the character is wearing gloves, or is being attacked or is otherwise under stress, a Dexterity check might be required to open the ring. The test can be repeated each round until successful, but a critical or other serious failure might damage the ring, rendering it useless until it is repaired and re-consecrated. The ring might offer some lesser protections when it is closed, and when it is worn by a character who is not a cleric.

In Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th edition, this kind of ring might have the following effects:

Open or Closed: Armour 1 (Divine) against attacks by any creature with the Daemonic or Undead Traits.

Open Only:

+1 bonus to Bless and Invoke (lore of the ring’s deity). If the wearer lacks either or both of these Talents, it is gained with a score of 1.

+10 bonus to Pray Tests addressed to the ring’s patron deity.

Fear 2 to followers of Chaos and other enemies of the ring’s patron deity.

It’s possible to design variants for a specific deity, which offer specific abilities and protections according to the deity’s particular interests.

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.

Miscellany: No theme, but lots of possibilities.

Architectural Rings: A building on your finger.