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Posts Tagged ‘wfrp 4th edition’

Golems in Warhammer

August 22, 2020 19 comments

Golems have a rather patchy history in Warhammer and WFRP. The conventional four types – clay, flesh, iron, and stone – were established in fantasy games by the AD&D Monster Manual back in 1977, and Citadel made a few Golem figures in the late 70s and early 80s.

From the first Citadel Compendium, 1983
Citadel Flyer, November 1986

No rules were published for Golems in Warhammer, although it might be argued that the Ushabti from the Tomb Kings army lists are a form of Golem.

A couple of Flesh Golems appeared in WFRP 1st edition adventures. Death on the Reik featured the Wittgenstein Monster, and a similar creature appeared in the adventure “The Curse of the Reichenbachs” in Death’s Dark Shadow. Golems were mentioned in the WFRP 2nd edition supplements Liber Necris and Renegade Crowns, but without game stats. A kind of Flesh Golem appeared in Forges of Nuln, but it was far from standard – if a Flesh Golem can ever be described as standard.

My earlier post on Gargoyles covered the living-statue type of that creature, and can be used for Stone Golems. Another take on Stone Golems is given below, along with the other three “classic” Golem types. As always, everything that follows is completely unofficial and should be regarded as a fan work. No challenge is intended to trademarks or copyrights held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.


Golems

Imbued with a semblance of life through magical and alchemical processes, Golems are Constructs of flesh or other materials. Most take humanoid form, but theoretically that can be any shape.

A distinction must be made between true Golems and the humanoid mechanical constructs made by some Dwarven and other engineers. Golems are animated by magic rather than engineering, while the others rely on steam and other power sources and move by the action of gears, wires, and levers.

Stone Golems include the massive Ushabti of ancient Khemri, animated Gargoyles, and other living statues. They are often created as guards, and given orders to attack anyone except their controllers.

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Traits: Armour 3, Construct, Dark Vision, Fear 1, Hardy, Immunity (poison, fire, electricity), Immunity to Psychology, Magical, Painless, Stupid, Territorial (one building or small area), Weapon +10

Optional: 2 Fists +10, Die Hard, Size (Small to Enormous), Magic Resistance 1-2, Ranged (Throw) +10

Iron Golems (and more rarely, Golems of brass or other metals) are also used as guards and troops, although they can only guard a location for a few centuries before becoming corroded and useless. Their great strength makes them useful as menials and labourers.

MWSBSSTIAgDexIntWPFelW
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Traits: Armour 2, Construct, Dark Vision, Fear 1, Hardy, Immunity (poison, fire), Immunity to Psychology, Magical, Painless, Stupid, Territorial (one building or small area), Weapon +9

Optional: 2 Fists +9, Die Hard, Size (Small to Enormous), Magic Resistance 1-2, Ranged (Throw) +9

Clay Golems are less durable than most other types but easier to make, and the secrets of their construction are more widely available. There are many tales of a Clay Golem being constructed by a learned priest or other scholarly individual as a bodyguard or servant.

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Traits: Armour 1, Construct, Dark Vision, Fear 1, Immunity (poison), Immunity to Psychology, Magical, Painless, Stupid, Territorial (one building or small area), Weapon +8

Optional: 2 Fists +8, Die Hard, Size (Small to Large), Magic Resistance 1

Flesh Golems are often made by necromancers, although they are not undead. Instead, they use alchemical processes to imbue a dead body – or a construct assembled from parts of several bodies – with a semblance of life and intelligence.

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Traits: Afraid (Fire), Construct, Fear 2, 2 Fists +7, Stupid, Territorial (one building or small area), Weapon +7

Optional: Die Hard, Size (Large)


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Warhammer History: The Gods and Daemons of Law

August 15, 2020 14 comments

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

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

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

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

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

File:Chaos God Arianka.png

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

New Traits

Divine (Target)

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

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

Aura of Law

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

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


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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
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Leaping Slomm Two-Face, Another Old Citadel Miniature
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Chaos Snakemen – A Forgotten Warhammer Race
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The Gong Farmer: A Career for All Editions of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

January 22, 2020 14 comments

Updated Feb. 22nd, 2020.

With thanks to the following commenters: Onno Maat and Peter Tracey (WFRP 4th edition group, Facebook); Simon Landry and Ricky (via WordPress); and @RoderiHamilt (Twitter).

 

Ever since Our Heroes ventured into the sewers of Nuln in “The Oldenhaller Contract” way back in 1986, WFRP has had a certain association with the grimier, less pleasant (and less pleasant-smelling) aspects of life in a medieval fantasy world. Rat Catchers have come to define the anti-heroic ethos of the Old World, but there are greater heroes, as yet unsung: the silent night-time armies of gong farmers and nightsoil men (and women) who nightly move uncounted tons of human waste from those homes which have no sewer access.

A while ago, I posted a version of this career for WFRP 1, 2, and 3. Here is an improved and corrected version, with details for 4th edition added. Enjoy – and leave comments below. I’d love to have your ideas on how this career might be improved.

Gong Farmer1

The gong farmer has the least enviable job in the Old World. In towns and other settlements without a sewer system, the gong farmer gathers up all human waste and deposits it in a communal dump or cesspool outside the walls. Often permitted to work only at night, gong farmers are also known as nightsoil men.

Owing to the nature of their profession, gong farmers are able to remain calm in the face of things that would disgust and even nauseate ordinary folk. They are also well able to resist disease and poison through long exposure to the most noxious of substances.

The job is not without its compensations, but they are few and unreliable. Gong farmers have access – albeit at night and well supervised – to the houses of the great and good and can find themselves privy (pun intended) to household secrets as well as having a unique insight into their state of health. In addition, the by-laws of many communities allow gong farmers to keep any coins, small pieces of jewellery, or other items of value that they may find in the course of their work.

 

FIRST EDITION PROFILE

 

Advance Scheme

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel
+2 +2 +10 +10

Gong Farmer 3

Skills
Immunity to Disease
Immunity to Poison
Very Resilient

Trappings
Ragged clothing
Shovel
Wheelbarrow
Lantern

Career Exits
Agitator
Beggar
Grave Robber
Labourer
Rat Catcher
Rogue

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECOND EDITION PROFILE

 

Main Profile
WS BS S T Ag Int WP Fel
+10% +10%
Secondary Profile
A W SB TB M Mag IP FP
+2

 

Skills: Common Knowledge (local community), Perception

Talents: Night Vision, No Sense of Smell (see above), Resistance to Disease, Resistance to Poison, Strong-Minded

Trappings: Ragged clothing, Shovel, Wheelbarrow, Lantern

Career Entries: Bone Picker, Peasant

Career Exits: Agitator, Bone Picker, Grave Robber, Rat Catcher, Rogue, Sewer Jack (Ashes of Middenheim), Vagabond

 

 

THIRD EDITION PROFILE

 

Basic Career: Human, Halfling

Basic, Menial, Social, Urban

Primary Characteristics: Toughness, Willpower

Career Skills: Athletics, Discipline, Folklore (local area), No Sense of Smell (see box), Observation, Resilience

Talent Slots: Focus, Resilience

Stance Meter: 3 Conservative, 1 Reckless

Advances

Action Talent
2 1
Skill Fortune
2 1
Conservative Reckless
2 1
Wound
1

 

Typical Trappings: Ragged clothing, Shovel, Wheelbarrow, Lantern

Career Ability: Your Resilience checks gain 1 fortune die when resisting disease.

 

 

 

FOURTH EDITION PROFILE

 

This four-level career is based on an account of the “nightmen” of medieval Leiden in the Netherlands (see “Further Reading” below). The “hole-man” climbed into the cess pit and scooped out the waste, passing it up to two “tub-men” who transferred it to their barge under the supervision of their foreman. The city of Ghent employed an official known as “the King of Dirt” to ensure that all sanitation regulations were followed.

The gong farmer is a Burgher class career. If random generation is being used, a player who rolls a beggar may choose a gong farmer instead if the GM agrees.

Gong Farmer Advance Scheme

WS BS S T I Agi Dex Int WP Fel
💀

Career Path

Hole-Dropper — Brass 1

Skills: Athletics, Climb, Consume Alcohol, Cool, Dodge, Endurance, Melee (Basic), Perception

Talents: Beneath Notice, Night Vision, Resistance (Disease), Very Resilient

Trappings: Bucket, 20ft Rope, Shovel

Tubber — Brass 3

Skills: Drive or Sail, Gamble, Gossip, Haggle, Stealth, Swim

Talents: Coolheaded, Hardy, Resistance (Poison), Sturdy

Trappings: Leather apron, Barrow, Lantern and Oil

💀 Foreman — Brass 5

Skills: Bribery, Charm, Evaluate, Intuition

Talents: Acute Sense (Sight), Blather, Coolheaded, Dealmaker

Trappings: Gong Farmer Crew, Boat or Cart, Hand weapon (Boat Hook), Leather Jack

King of Dirt — Silver 2

Skills: Intimidate, Leadership

Talents: Commanding Presence, Etiquette (Guilder), Read/Write, Wealthy

Trappings: Badge and Diploma of Office, Crew of Assistants (Tax Collectors)

 


No Sense of Smell (Optional Rule)

The character literally has no sense of smell. Their olfactory sense has been completely destroyed by long exposure to foul-smelling substances or through some other circumstance. They automatically fail any dice roll that depends upon smell — but they are also unaffected even by the most nauseating smells they encounter, or by alluring scents that might be used to entrap others. Poisonous gases and drugs in vaporous form affect the character normally.


 

FURTHER READING

 

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gong_farmer

2nd edition version by Colin Chapman: http://www.scribd.com/doc/156852704/Warhammer-Fantasy-2nd-Edition-Gong-Farmer

Archaeology Magazine “Of Cesspits and Sewers: Exploring the unlikely history of sanitation management in medieval Holland”: https://www.archaeology.org/issues/327-1901/letter-from/7205-letter-from-leiden

 


 

Images taken from 18th century nightmen’s cards (Wikimedia Commons).

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and WFRP are trademarks owned by Games Workshop Ltd. This article is a fan work and is not intended to be official or to challenge any trademark or copyright of Games Workshop or any of its licensees.

 

Troll à la Morceaux: A Warhammer Recipe

January 13, 2020 5 comments

This short piece of fiction was written in 1989 or 1990 for a never-published sourcebook on Ogres and Trolls in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Marcel de Morceaux is mentioned in the adventure collection Rough Nights and Hard Days, and I might use him in some future adventure if the opportunity presents itself.

Marcel’s cookbook Adventures in Gastronomy includes some of the most ambitious – and dangerous – recipes ever published in the Old World. It is banned in many places, and of all its contents, Troll à la Morceaux is considered the riskiest. Even if every precaution is taken to ensure that the Troll does not regenerate back to life during the cooking process, one can never be sure….

Very few are brave or foolish enough to try this dish, but there are some in the Old World who will venture beyond the limits of convention and common sense in search of new and unique experiences.


Feast

Picture from Lure of Power: Nobility in the Empire (Fantasy Flight Games, 2009). Used without permission. No challenge intended to copyright holders.

The preparation of the flesh of the Troll requires the greatest care and the most trustworthy of assistants, but if the many pitfalls can be overcome, a chef who can present his lord with a dish such as Troll à la Morceaux will never want for employment. But you must remember, mes amis, that one mistake can lead to disaster, and such a disaster can lead to the gallows or worse.

Firstly, your Troll must be absolutely fresh. Do not trust those robbers who will sell you venison at ten times the price and tell you it is Unicorn or Troll. Great cookery demands that no short-cuts may be taken.

The butchering of a Troll presents several unique problems, but a chef who is truly dedicated to his art may be daunted by nothing. The Troll must be securely bound, with its head held in such a way that it cannot eat the ropes that bind it. As each cut of meat is removed from the carcass, it must be placed immediately in a strong marinade of vinegar – the strongest vinegar you can find, for the presence of acid will slow down the process of regeneration.

Any waste and off-cuts must be burned immediately, or if you have arranged to sell pieces to a wizard or alchemist, he must be on hand to take them away tout à l’instant. Remember, and drum constantly into your servants, that not even the smallest scrap of the carcass must be left lying about.

You must be extremely careful when cleaning the carcass, Remember the great size of the stomach, and the immense power of the acid it contains. If at all possible, seek the guidance of a wizard or alchemist in carrying out this process; it is not too much to offer him the stomach in payment for his supervision, for a mishap with a Troll’s stomach can be a catastrophe véritable.

After the meat has stood in the vinegar marinade for two hours, inspect it closely; if it shows the slightest signs of regeneration, add more vinegar. Keep the meat in the marinade for as long as you can – the longer it stays there, the more tender it will be when cooked – but take no chances.

Enfin, we come to the cooking of the meat. This requires the greatest of care, and must be carried out in two stages.

First, the meat must be seared to prevent it regenerating once it is removed from the vinegar marinade. Use a large skillet of cast iron, and heat it until it literally begins to glow. Drop the meat in, turning it repeatedly until all sides are seared black.

This done, the meat is roasted, fried, or stewed in the same way as beef or venison, allowing double the normal cooking time.

A final word of warning. Do not – jamais, never – undercook Troll. When le patron demands his Troll medium rare, it is perhaps time to consider a change of employment.

Trolls in the Pantry

If something goes wrong, the result could be like this – but not as funny.