Archive

Posts Tagged ‘WFRP’

Let Us Bling: A Ring for Clerics

June 29, 2020 6 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.

The Mud Elemental: Two Old Monsters Combined for WFRP4

June 20, 2020 14 comments

The Viydagg and Mardagg were not the only unusual “elementals” in Citadel’s miniatures range in the ’80s. The C22 “Creatures” range included a Mud Elemental, for which game rules and stats were never published.

Ad from the Citadel Journal, Spring 1985

Five years later, in the Doomstones adventure Blood in Darkness, a creature named Xhardja appeared. Also made of living mud, Xhardja took the form of lashing tentacles that rose up to attack trespassers in its mud-choked lair.

Xhardja, from Blood in Darkness. Art by Tony Ackland.

I wondered whether these two creatures might be one and the same. While Xhardja didn’t rear up in humanoid form to talk to the PCs, it is entirely possible that it could have done so. So I decided to combine the two. Here are stats for WFRP4. As always, everything that follows is to be considered a fan work and no challenge is intended to copyrights held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.


Mud Elemental

There is some debate among Wizards and other academics over whether or not these entities are true Elementals, or constructs magically animated from mud, or something else entirely. Those who reject the term “Elemental,” and those who do not concern themselves with such distinctions, simply call them Mudmen.

Mudmen are found in swamps and other muddy areas, both above and below ground. They can draw themselves up into a humanoid shape or sink down and become indistinguishable from the mud around them, attacking with a number of tentacles of animated mud.

Two profiles are provided below, one for the creature’s humanoid form and one for a single tentacle. The creature has a number of tentacles equal to its Wounds score, and each tentacle that is destroyed reduces the creature’s overall Wounds total by 1.

Humanoid Form

MWSBSSTIAgDexIntWPFelW
345455045203540552519

Traits: Amphibious, Bash (2) +8, Construct or Daemonic, Dependent (Mud), Dark Vision, Painless, Shapeshift (Mud), Swamp-Strider, Unstable

Optional: Die Hard, Size (Large), Territorial

New Traits

Dependent (Various)
The creature requires something to sustain it. At the end of every round in which it has not been in contact with the required substance, the creature loses 1 Wound regardless of Toughness and armour.

Shapeshift (Mud)
The creature can shift between humanoid form and an amorphous form in which it becomes one with the surrounding mud. The transition takes a full Action. While shapeshifted into amorphous form, the creature is vulnerable only to attacks that have an area of effect or to attacks directed against its tentacles.

Tentacle

MWSBSSTIAgDexIntWPFelW
23345506510151

Traits: Amphibious, Painless, 1 Tentacle +6, Swamp-Strider, Unstable

Optional: Die Hard, Size (Large), Territorial


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
The 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
Ngaaranh Spawn of Chaos: A Very Old Citadel Miniature for WFRP4

The Spectral Claw: An Old Citadel Miniature Described for WFRP4

June 13, 2020 11 comments

Following on from last week’s post about the Toad Dragon, I’m taking a look at another old and obscure Citadel Miniature. This time, it’s from the C18 Night Horrors range. The Night Horrors were an interesting collection of demons (but not Daemons), devils, undead, and miscellaneous monsters, advertised between 1986 and 1989. You can find a complete set of ads and flyers on the Stuff of Legends web site.

198611fc18NightHorrorsx
The first Night Horrors flyer from November 1986.

In the years that followed, the demons were replaced by Daemons as Realm of Chaosi codified the Ruinous Powers and their minions for the first time. Most of the Undead received their own army lists, starting in Ravening Hordes for 2nd edition Warhammer and developing through Warhammer Armies and the Undead, Vampire Counts, and Tomb Kings books for subsequent editions. And the monsters. . . well, the monsters languished.

The Spectral Claw (bottom right) in the January 1998 flyer.

The Bloodwrack Medusae are part of the Dark Elves army, but the rest of the monsters are all but forgotten.

Here’s my take on one of them, with stats for WFRP4. As always, everything that follows is to be considered a fan work and no challenge is intended to copyrights held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.


Spectral Claw

Warhammer Giant for sale | In Stock | eBay

The Spectral Claw is a rare and dreadful monster, created when the severed hand of a Giant is animated by foul Necromancy or Chaotic energies. They may follow the orders of a master such as a Necromancer or a Chaos Sorcerer, or rampage mindlessly through whatever deep forest or desolate landscape saw them come into being.

A Spectral Claw moves by dragging itself across the ground with its fingers. The forces that animate it give it a dim awareness of its surroundings, equivalent to Dark Vision with a range of 20 yards. Its fingers are the size of logs, and make effective if unsophisticated weapons.

MWSBSSTIAgDexIntWPFelW
3455055352015

Traits: Bash (2) +8, Construct, Dark Vision, Fear 3, Painless, Undead, Unstable

Optional: Corruption (Minor), Diseased, Infected, Infestation


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
The Devil Eel, a New Monster for WFRP4
Gargoyle: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
The Toad Dragon: 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

The Toad Dragon: An Old Citadel Miniature Described for WFRP4

June 6, 2020 15 comments

According to the Stuff of Legends miniatures site, Citadel’s CM3 Toad Dragon (Dragon Toad in some versions) first appeared in the Third Citadel Compendium, which appeared in November 1985. It was sculpted by Nick Bibby, who created many of the larger Citadel monsters, and it was one of several variant dragon types that Citadel released before Warhammer lore was organized for WFRP 1st edition and Warhammer 3rd edition.

Image borrowed from Stuff of Legends. Sculptor: Nick Bibby. Painter: Faron Betchley.

As far as I know, no game statistics have ever been published for this beast, which is a pity because it’s a lovely miniature and an intriguing concept.

Here is a Toad Dragon for WFRP 4th edition. As always, everything that follows is to be considered a fan work and no challenge is intended to copyrights held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.


Toad Dragon

The depths of the Empire’s great forests are home to many strange creatures such as Basilisks, Hydras, and Jabberslythes. Toad Dragons are found in remote wetlands such as the Mirror Moors, the Midden Marshes, the remote lakes of the Howling Hills, and the marshes of the Wasteland. These huge predators are greatly feared, for their long, sticky tongues can ensnare a creature as big as a horse, dragging it inexorably to the creature’s gaping maw.

The Toad Dragon’s wings are too small to keep its bulk in the air, but permit it to hop surprisingly long distances.

MWSBSSTIAgDexIntWPFelW
6556555555515103572

Traits: Amphibious, Bestial, Bite +10, Bounce, 2 Claws +6, Cold-Blooded, Hungry, Night Vision, Size (Enormous), Swallow Whole (see below), Swamp-Strider, Tail +6, Tongue Attack +10 (18)

Optional: Immunity to Psychology, Infected, Monstrous, Mutation, Territorial, Venom (Challenging)

New Trait: Swallow Whole

The creature can swallow anything that is two or more steps smaller than itself. The victim can avoid being swallowed by dodging the creature’s Bite attack. A victim who is swallowed gains 2 Entangled conditions owing to the confined space, and suffers 6-TB Wounds per Round from stomach acid, ignoring armour. Only one creature may be swallowed at a time. After the creature is killed, it takes one Round to cut its stomach open and free its victim.


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
The Devil Eel, a New Monster for WFRP4
Gargoyle: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
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

Gargoyle: A Forgotten WFRP Monster

May 30, 2020 13 comments

Like many fantasy miniatures producers of the early 1980s, Citadel Miniatures sold a number of bat-winged, demonic-looking figures in their early ranges. Some were called Demons, and others Gargoyles.

The first official mention of Gargoyles as part of Warhammer lore came in 1985, when Citadel Miniatures released The Flying Gargoyles of Barda as part of their Regiments of Renown series for Warhammer 2nd edition. The Gargoyles’ backstory cast them as a kind of independent Demon (they weren’t called Daemons at that point in Warhammer’s history, and not all Demons served the Ruinous Powers of Chaos), and said that this particular group was summoned accidentally by a Marienburg wizard named Barda von Micklestein. You can read the whole story at the excellent Stuff of Legends site.

RR12 - Flying Gargoyles of Barda - Spring 1985 Journal
From The Citadel Journal, Spring 1985.

Even though WFRP 1st edition was only released the following year, Gargoyles had already gone from Warhammer lore. To the best of my knowledge, the only Gargoyles in the whole of WFRP’s history were to be found in a corridor in Castle Drachenfels. Rather than Demons (or Daemons) these were the traditional animated stone statues found in most fantasy games.

The matter of independent Daemons is a complex one, and deserving of a fuller treatment at some future time. Here, though, is a WFRP4 re-imagining of the animated statue type.


Gargoyle

Gargoyles are magically animated stone figures. Most, but not all, have Daemonic features such as bat-like wings and bestial features. They may be found guarding ancient ruins, seeming to be part of their decoration. They may also be created by means of certain forbidden rituals. Some may be commanded by their creators, while other follow simple instructions that were given to them long ago – usually to destroy all who trespass on their territory.

MWSBSSTIAgDexIntWPFelW
43504545301520202014

Traits: Armour 3, Dark Vision, Hardy, Immunity to Psychology, Magical, Territorial (one building or small area), Weapon +8

Optional: 2 Claws +8, Die Hard, Flight 60, Horns +6, Size (Small to Enormous), Magic Resistance 1-2, Ranged +8, Tail +6, Unstable, Weapon +8


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
The Devil Eel, a New Monster for WFRP4
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

Monday Gun Day Part 3: Hidden Weapons

May 25, 2020 2 comments

Any roleplayer who has seen any of Robert Rodriguez’s “Mexico trilogy” (El Mariachi, Desperado, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico) has probably longed for a character who carries an arsenal of hidden weapons. They are not the first. Just as much ingenuity has been devoted to finding ways of concealing and disguising firearms as went into the development of the combination weapons covered in the last instalment of this series. Here are a few examples:

It seems that key guns were quite popular with jailers for a while. In addition to unlocking a cell door – for the key was quite functional – they gave one-shot protection against any prisoner who tried to overpower the guard and break out.

Here is a 19th-century gun disguised as a pocket watch.

These small-caliber weapons are designed for use at very close range and their damage ratings are lower than those of the smallest pistols in the average rules set.

Larger guns can be built into walking sticks, like these:

These weapons can be larger caliber – say, up to .50″ without looking unusually thick for a walking stick. They are reasonably effective at short range, but lacking sights and shoulder stocks their performance drops off sharply as distance increases. And before the late 19th century, they are all single-shot weapons, awkward to reload. For these reasons, most gentlemen preferred a sword-cane or a simple “loaded stick” with a lead-weighted pommel that turned it into a light mace. I may post about weapons like these some time in the future.

The spies of the Cold War, both real and fictional, were equipped with guns disguised as a wide range of everyday items. Pens were popular, and so were cigarette packets, lighters, and purses – like the Frankenau purse revolver from the 1880s, for example:

These later weapons were usually .22 caliber, sometimes .22 magnum, and again they were for use at very short range.

There’s one more hidden gun that I saw in a book, years ago, but try as I might I have been unable to find a picture of it online. That’s a shame, because it would be perfect for a game like WFRP, or any other game set in a world with a 17th-century level of technology. On the outside, it looks exactly like a Bible or any other heavy tome. But each cover has a pistol fixed to the inside, so you can just open the book and fire. I can only imagine the pithy lines a badass preacher or scholar character might deliver as they fire such a weapon.


More Like This

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

The Devil Eel, a New Monster for WFRP4

May 23, 2020 12 comments

A little while ago, I came across an intriguing story online. Someone in Australia caught a very odd-looking fish with no eyes and an almost human-looking face. I immediately thought it would be just the sort of thing that might be encountered in Chaos-affected waters, such as the River Reik below Castle Wittgenstein.

Sadly, this inspiration came too late to include the creature in the Director’s Cut of Death on the Reik or the Death on the Reik Companion, but with the second instalment in the Enemy Within campaign about to be released as a PDF, now seems like a good time.


Devil Eel Swarm

Image

Where the waters of a river or lake are polluted by the influence of Chaos, small freshwater eels may be mutated into Devil Eels. With no eyes and a bestial face, they are a disturbing sight, though few get to see them. Gathering in swarms, they attack any prey they can find with mindless savagery, and it is said they can strip a carcass to the bone in mere minutes.

MWSBSSTIAgDexIntWPFelW
44501135455

Traits: Aquatic (see below), Bestial, Bite +0, Corrupted (Minor), Fast, Frenzy, Hungry, Immunity to Psychology, Night Vision, Painless, Size (Tiny), Swarm

Optional: Infected, Mutation, Territorial, Venom (Challenging)

New Trait: Aquatic

The creature can breathe underwater, and moves at its full Movement rate in water. It cannot move on land.


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
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

Monday Maps #13: A Quick Tutorial on Caves

May 18, 2020 1 comment

Happy Monday! I hope you and yours are all staying safe.

 

I haven’t posted a Monday Map in a little while, but I came across this YouTube tutorial that is worth seeing. If you’re like me and the only things you can draw are a breath, a bath, and a conclusion, invest 1 minute and 14 seconds of your time and take a look.

 

 

Hammers and Dragons has a Facebook page here with links to a free downloadable maps, including this one. Of interest to Warhammer and WFRP fans will be the Skaven temple posted on May 7th. Here’s a small-scale preview:

 

Skaven Temple Small

 

One of the things I especially like about Hammers and Dragons is that artist Tomasz Ratajczak is teaching himself to draw, so he’s not presenting some lofty masterclass that makes the rest of us feel like idiots. And yet, his simple techniques produce results that would not look out of place in a professional publication. He’s only just getting started, but I’m looking forward to seeing more from him.

 

Links

Hammers and Dragons YouTube Channel
Hammers and Dragons Facebook page

 

Jabberwock: A Forgotten WFRP Monster

May 16, 2020 25 comments

Well, it’s not original to WFRP, of course. The beast was born in Lewis Carroll’s poem Jabberwockyand its image was established for all time by Sir John Tenniel’s illustration from 1897.

Nick Bibby’s Jabberwock miniature was advertised in the first Citadel Journal, which was published in Spring 1985. Following my policy of covering every Citadel miniature I could find, I wrote it up for the Bestiary chapter of the WFRP first edition rulebook.

Journal 1

Nick Bibby’s Jabberwock (right), with a Ral Partha Jabberwock mini of similar vintage.

I don’t think the Jabberwock appeared in any official Warhammer publication outside of the WFRP 1st edition rulebook, the Warhammer 3rd edition rulebook, and a handful of miniatures ads – but if you know better, drop me a comment!

Here is my re-imagining of the beast for WFRP 4th edition. Needless to say, what follows is extremely unofficial, completely optional, and does not constitute any challenge to copyrights held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.


The Jabberwock

WFRP Jabberwock

The Incursions of Chaos have produced thousands of strange creatures. Living in the deepest forests, the Jabberwock is little seen – at least, by those who live to tell of it – and it is known mainly through local rumours and the distant sound of its burbling cry.
The Jabberwock stands over 12 feet high, and can move by running on all fours or walking on its hind legs. All four limbs are equipped with sharp claws, and its mouth is armed with long, chisel-like teeth. They are very aggressive, but rather stupid.
The Jabberwock’s wings are too small to allow it to fly. It can only bounce along or jump a few feet into the air. Their flapping makes a thrumming, whiffling sound which can be disconcerting.

M WS BS S T I Ag Dex Int WP Fel W
6 79 0 55 65 20 40 15 15 85 100

Traits: Arboreal, Belligerent, Bite +9, Bounce, Claws (2) +10, Distracting (Noise), Hungry, Night Vision, Size (Enormous), Stride, Stupid, Tail +8

Optional: Corruption (Minor), Fear 1, Horns +6, Mutation, Regenerate, Stomp, Territorial, Venom (Challenging)


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
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

Monday Gun Day, Part 2: Combi-Weapons

May 11, 2020 2 comments

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

These included swords:

Sword Gun

Daggers:

Dagger Gun

Axes:

Axe Gun

And warhammers.

Hammer Gun

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Like This

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