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Posts Tagged ‘the enemy within’

Johannes Bund, Imperial Spy

April 9, 2022 2 comments

Here’s an NPC who didn’t make it into The Horned Rat Companion. See what you think. But first:

It is no secret that the final chapter of The Horned Rat is an affectionate pastiche of all those spy movies that see the resourceful hero infiltrating the villain’s lair to stop an insane weapon from causing unthinkable damage. Therefore, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the PCs might encounter just such a resourceful hero in Karak Skygg.

Johannes Bund is a tall man, of medium build but evidently very fit. His dark hair is worn short in a military style, and his blue eyes hold a gleam of sardonic amusement. He is fairly handsome, his looks marred only by a hint of cruelty about the set of his mouth.

He is daring to the point of recklessness, and has a deep interest in (and an encyclopedic knowledge of) everything connected with good living: the best food and drink, the most fashionable clubs and gambling houses, and the most beautiful women. He has left a long trail of romantic conquests in his wake, and fancies himself a great lover — something which may become an inconvenience to any female Character he encounters.

Bund speaks with a soft Nordland accent, marked by a slight lisp that turns ‘s’ into ‘sh.’ He has a habit of introducing himself as ‘Bund — Johannesh Bund.’

This description, of course, is based on Sean Connery’s portrayal of the character. As GM, you should feel free to make any changes you like, to make the NPC fit another version.

And, of course, like everything else on this blog the following is to be regarded as a fan work and does not constitute any challenge to any trademark or copyright held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, Eon Productions, or anyone else. It’s all just for fun.

Johannes Bund — Agent (Gold1)

Former Seaman, former Assassin

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Skills: Animal Care 30, Animal Training (Pigeon) 30, Athletics 45, Bribery 45, Charm 65, Climb 55, Consume Alcohol 30, Cool 65, Dodge 45, Endurance 45, Entertain (Acting) 45, Gamble 45, Gossip 55, Haggle 30, Intimidate 30, Intuition 55, Language (Battle Tongue) 30, Leadership 30, Melee (Basic) 60, Melee (Brawling) 30, Melee (Fencing) 30, Navigation 30, Perception 55, Ranged (Crossbow) 30, Ranged (Thrown) 30, Ride (Horse) 35, Row 30, Sail 30, Secret Signs (Scouts) 30, Sleight of Hand 30, Stealth (Urban) 30, Swim 30

Talents: Accurate Shot, Ambidextrous, Attractive, Blather, Careful Strike, Carouser, Catfall, Cat-Tongued, Combat Reflexes, Dirty Fighting, Disarm, Etiquette (Nobles), Furious Assault, Gregarious, In-Fighter, Lip Reading, Marksman, Menacing, Read/Write, Relentless, Reversal, Seasoned Traveller, Shadow, Strike to Injure, Strike to Stun, Strong Swimmer, Warrior Born.

Trappings: Good quality clothing, hidden sleeve dagger1 (right sleeve), hidden sleeve pistol2 (left sleeve), 12 explosive coat buttons3, 8 gas sleeve buttons4, poison bracelet5, fine quality pistol (Lightweight, Practical), 10 shots of normal powder, 10 shots of silent powder6, 10 normal bullets, 10 alchemical bullets7, belt with hidden wire garrotte, 2 throwing knives (one in each boot), blowpipe hidden in right boot, 10 blowpipe darts disguised in the lapels of brocade jerkin, 10 doses of Black Lotus hidden in boot-heel, license to kill signed by the Emperor himself, sewn into jerkin.

Bund’s Gadgets

Johannes Bund would not be a proper pastiche (or homage, if you prefer) without an array of hidden weapons and other gadgets. Here are brief descriptions of some of them.

1. Hidden Sleeve Dagger: Secured in a spring-loaded arm-sheath, it shoots into his hand at will, without needing to be drawn. Counts as a normal dagger.

2. Hidden Sleeve Pistol: A one-shot weapon strapped to his lower arm, which can be fired even if he is holding something in his left hand. Rang 6, Damage +6, otherwise as normal pistol.

3. Explosive Coat Buttons: Appearing to be normal gold buttons, each one is a small bomb that explodes one round after being pulled from the coat. Blast 2, Damage +6, otherwise as normal bomb.

4. Gas Sleeve Buttons: Appearing to be normal gold buttons, each one is filled with an alchemical gas that is released on a 2–yard radius on the round after being pulled from the coat. Every creature in the cloud must make a Hard (-20) Endurance Test or gain the Unconscious Condition.

5. Poison Bracelet: This bracelet of gold set with gems is fake. Each of the 8 gems is a Heartkill capsule which dissolves in food or drink within one round.

6. Silent Powder: A alchemically modified form of gunpowder that detonates silently and without smoke. Range is reduced by 10% and Damage by 1 point, but otherwise any weapon loaded with silent powder fires normally.

7. Alchemical Bullets: Hollow bullets containing a concentrated explosive. Shots that hit a living target cause double normal damage; those that hit inanimate objects are treated as bombs with Blast 1 and Damage +4.

Wonderful Toys

The array of special weaponry on Bund’s person will probably cause any player’s eyes to light up with envy, but it will be very difficult to get hold of them without Bund noticing. Quite apart from the fact that he is a highly-trained agent with an unforgiving nature and an Imperial license to kill, most of these items are physically attached to him and tricky to remove.

Unscrupulous PCs might be tempted to try and murder Bund for his equipment, but this will not be easy — even in the midst of a horde of Skaven. In the unlikely event that they succeed, the PCs will find themselves hunted throughout the Empire by other agents of Bund’s secretive agency, all similarly skilled and equipped. When the events of Empire in Ruins take them to Altdorf and their success depends on the goodwill of the Imperial authorities, this could be inconvenient to say the least.

Encountering Bund

As one of the Emperor’s most skilled and trusted agents, Johannes Bund is in Middenland on a secret mission to find out what plans are afoot to declare northern independence and plunge the Empire into civil war. He chanced to be in Middenheim when the Skaven attacks took place, and has been conducting his own investigation independent of Graf Boris, Baron Heinrich, and the other northern authorities. Somehow he came to learn of the Skaven presence at Karak Skygg, and he infiltrated the place at more or less the same time as the PCs.

The GM has a couple of different options for having Bund cross the party’s path, depending on events.

A Fellow Prisoner

When the PCs are captured by the Grey Seer and treated to the gloating speech in which he lays out his evil plan, they may find that they are not the only prisoners. Bund may be there, tied up and stripped of all his obvious weapons. When everyone is left to die in the beam of concentrated Morrslieb-light, one of the PCs may be close enough to Bund to reach one of his boot knives, or pull a button from his coat — and perhaps free one or both of them without being badly cut or blown up.

A Rescuing Hero

Just when the PCs are at the point of freeing themselves from their bonds, or getting themselves out of some other tricky situation, Bund may appear and rescue them in a gratuitously spectacular style, whether they want him to or not. Thereafter, he will treat them as his lackeys, issuing orders and setting out plans as though he were the hero of the adventure — which, of course, he is in his own opinion.

He will not listen to the PCs about anything, and will take the most reckless and dangerous approach to any situation. His recklessness might even be instrumental in getting the PCs captured by the Grey Seer, with or without the help of some other NPC betraying them. In that case, he might free himself with irritating ease, heading back into the hold with the intention of destroying the device and assassinating the Grey Seer — and promising to come back for the PCs but conveniently forgetting to do so.


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/

Giant Bats and Fell Bats for WFRP 4

January 31, 2022 6 comments

I just noticed an omission in the adventure “The Return of the Gravelord” in The Horned Rat Companion. Stats were not provided for the Fell Bats in Gräber’s retinue. Fell Bats first appeared in the Vampire Counts army books for Warhammer, and to the best of my knowledge they have never received official stats for any edition of WFRP. Similar, though not as frightening, are the Giant Bats which were first described in the WFRP 1st edition rulebook. So here are stats for both.

As always, everything here is to be regarded as a fan work, and no challenge is intended to any copyrights held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.

Oh, and I’ll be adding another monster when the blog hits 350 followers. So if you haven’t followed yet, do it! And if you have, thanks – now, tell your friends!


Giant Bat

A Giant Bat measures almost four feet from nose to tail, and is covered with jet-black fur. The head resembles that of a dog, and the mouth is equipped with long, sharp teeth. These nocturnal creatures are capable of attacking and killing an animal the size of a Human. They are also cunning scavengers, feeding off the carcasses of larger creatures. According to legend, some Sylvanian Vampires have the ability to transform into Giant Bats.

The Move score given on the profile is for ground movement. When flying, a Giant Bat gains a + 10% bonus to Initiative in the first round of combat, unless attacking in illumination equivalent to daylight.
The natural ‘sonar’ of a Giant Bat allows it to ‘see’ up to 20 yards in total darkness. There is a 35% chance that the bite of a Giant Bat may cause Infected wounds.

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Traits: Bestial, Bite+4, Dark Vision (echolocation), Flight 60, Size (Small), Skittish, Wallcrawler
Optional: Fast, Infected, Infestation


Fell Bat

The Giant Bats of Sylvania grow to monstrous proportions, with bodies as long as a human is tall and wingspans of fifteen feet or more.

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Traits: Bestial, Bite+6, Dark Vision (echolocation), Fear 1, Flight 60, Size (Large), Undead, Wallcrawler
Optional: Fast, Infected, Infestation


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/

Alphonse Hercules de Gascoigne, Gnome Detective – by Andy Law

August 13, 2021 8 comments

The WFRP4 fan community has been in an uproar lately over a recent reprinting of a beloved NPC.

Clearly based on Agatha Christie’s fictional detective Hercule Poirot, the Bretonnian Gnome Alphonse Hercules de Gascoigne appeared in Carl Sargent’s adventure “With a Little Help from my Friends,” which was published in White Dwarf 105 (September 1988).

While he is not the only Gnome NPC to appear in a WFRP adventure, he is by far the best-loved. So when he appeared as a Halfling in that adventure’s 4th edition update in The Horned Rat Companion, there was a storm of protest from Gnome fans. The hashtag #SaveAlphonse was used in passionate appeals on Twitter and elsewhere.

While the effect of these appeals remains to be seen, I asked Andy Law, the creator of the Gnome rules from Rough Nights and Hard Days, to give us his version of the great Gnome detective. Here it is, along with some notes from Andy explaining his reasoning behind some key decisions.

Like everything WFRP on this blog, what follows is in no way official and should be considered a fan work. No challenge is intended to copyrights or trademarks held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.

Kev Walker’s portrait of Alphonse, from the original adventure.

Alphonse Hercules de Gascoigne

Background

A background for Alphonse is given in The Horned Rat Companion (p. 93), but here are a few extra details:

Originally born in the burrows of Cardinselles in the Massif Orcal to the Skues Clan, Alphonse has not used his given-name of ‘Albros’ since he left home at the tender age of 26. Cardinselles was sacked by Beastmen in 2463IC, so Alphonse has never had the heart to return to the shadowy halls of his birth. He has one surviving sister who lives in Montluc, Quenelles. He occasionally sends goods and coin her way.

Albros Skues – Detective – Silver 5

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Skills: Athletics 73, Bribery 87, Charm 102, Climb 72, Cool 106, Consume Alcohol 42, Dodge 98, Drive 73, Endurance 52, Entertain (Act 72, Jest 70), Evaluate 92, Gamble 87, Gossip 102, Haggle 77, Intuition 111, Language (Bretonnian – 102, Classical 87, Ghassily – Native, Guilder 82, Mootish 92, Reikspiel 92, Thieves’ Tongue 87, Wastelander 80), Leadership 77, Lore (Bretonnia 92, Empire 87, Engineer 87, Heraldry 82, History 87, Metallurgy 82, Law 82, Wasteland 82), Melee (Basic 59, Brawling 64), Navigation 82, Perception 116, Pick Lock 82, Ranged (Blackpowder 52, Engineering 47), Secret Signs (Thief) 97, Sleight of Hand 106, Stealth (Rural 78, Urban 103), Track 96, Trade (Engineer) 87

Talents: Acute Sense (Hearing, Sight, Smell 2, Taste 3), Alley Cat 2, Artistic, Beneath Notice 2, Blather 3, Break and Enter 2, Carouser, Craftsman (Engineer), Etiquette (Criminals 2, Guilder, Nobles 2, Scholars, Servants 3), Fast Hands 3, Flee!, Gregarious, Lip Reading, Mimic, Night Vision, Read/Write, Savvy, Sixth Sense 2, Shadow 3, Sharp, Speedreader, Suave, Tenacious, Tinker, Tower of Memories

Traits: Armour (Leathers) 1, Size (Small), Weapon (Dagger) +5
Trappings: 3 doses of Black Lotus, Engineering Gizmos (GM’s choice), Journal, Lockpicks, Magnifying Glass, Playing Cards (Marked), Quill and Ink, Ring of Belstaff, Ring of Subduction (tHRC, p93), Spyglass

Career Path: Prowler, Thief, Student Engineer, Engineer, Informer, Sleuth, Investigator, Master Investigator, Spy, Detective

The Ring of Belstaff

Created by the Bretonnian Wizard Marie-Celestine de Belstaff in thanks for some service (which Alphonse absolutely refuses to discuss), this ring gathers the wind of Chamon around its wearer, creating a field of dense energy that gives protection equal to 2 APs on all locations.

This protection is only effective if the ring’s wearer avoids metal armour, because a significant amount of metal in contact with the field interferes with the flow of Chamon.

Notes

Rather than go with Watchman to match Hercule Poirot (whose backstory made him a former Belgian policeman), I went with Thief to match the character presented in With A Little Help From My Friends. I also put him through some Engineer to match his 1E description, and some Spy to match the 1E career. It suggests he’s had quite the life! I mentioned the little sister in Montluc as a light reference to Poirot, whose younger sister is mentioned in passing.


Thanks, Andy!

If you don’t already know about it, you should check out Andy’s Lawhammer blog for more WFRP goodness.

Also, I gave a brief history of Gnomes in WFRP (before 4th edition was published) in this post from a while ago

…and another blogger makes some interesting observations here.

Rookery Publications

Andy and I are two-fifths of Rookery Publications, a new indie TTRPG studio producing system-agnostic adventures and supplements designed to be usable with any game and setting. You can find out more about the Rookery here:

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

Twitter: @RookeryP

Discord: https://discord.gg/awjDfSpH

Leaping Slomm Two-Face: Another Old Citadel Miniature

July 11, 2020 23 comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Leaping Slomm Two-Face, Chaos Troll

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

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

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

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

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


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
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 7 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.

Architectural Rings: A building on your finger.

Bling V: I’ve Got My Eye On You

April 16, 2020 8 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.

Architectural Rings: A building on your finger.

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.

Architectural Rings: A building on your finger.

Bling the Third: Poison Rings

March 12, 2020 7 comments

The poison ring. It’s one of the oldest trick rings in fiction, but who knew there were so many different designs?

Poison rings

Poison rings from various online sources. All images copyright of their respective owners.

And of course, you can put other things than poison in the secret compartment. Healing balm, perhaps (though it had better be magical for such a small amount to be effective), or even a secret message, in very fine writing on very thin paper: no bigger than the slip of paper that might be tied to the leg of a carrier pigeon. Larger cargo might be carried if it is magically shrunk down – though things could get interesting if the spell is dispelled or wears off to early!

No doubt ingenious players will be able to think of many other uses for such a tiny hidden space. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures for inspiration, and search terms like “poison ring” and “secret compartment ring” will find many more images, and quite a few vendors.

So the next time you are at a gathering, keep an eye on your drink and watch the hands of your fellow guests!

Poison rings 2

Poison rings from various online sources. All images copyright of their respective owners.

A More Serious Point

Sad to say, that last advice is as necessary in real life as it is in a roleplaying game. While you’re Googling poison rings, search for “date rape awareness,” too: I’ve added a few links below.

Date Rape Drugs: The Office on Women’s Health (U.S.)

RAINN: The largest U.S. organization campaigning against sexual violence

Sexual Assault hotlines in the U.S.

Rape Crisis England and Wales (UK)

Look after yourselves and each other, and let’s work to create a time when warnings like this – and organizations like these – will no longer be needed.

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.

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.

Architectural Rings: A building on your finger.