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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.

 

Zoats: From Warhammer to 40K (and back again)

March 28, 2020 24 comments

A little while ago, I wrote a post about the Ambull, a Warhammer 40,000 creature that had a (very) short career in WFRP. I was inspired in part by the Ambull’s reappearance in Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress, and back in January Games Workshop revealed a new Zoat miniature for the same game.

The Zoat’s history in Warhammer and 40K is a troubled one. Its origins are tied up with those of the Fimir, which the excellent Luke Maciak discussed in a post on his Terminally Incoherent blog a few years ago.

In short, Bryan Ansell came in one day with a sketch of a Zoat, and wanted the creatures added to WFRP as a new race which would be distinctive and unique to Warhammer. We already had Warriors of Chaos and the recently-released Skaven, so we writers thought Warhammer and WFRP were pretty safe on that score, and to be honest we didn’t find the sketch too inspiring. By the way, I vaguely remember that Bryan put a note on the sketch giving the pronunciation as “Zow-at.” I don’t know if anyone else spotted that at the time, but we all pronounced the name to rhyme with “goat” and as far as I know everyone else has done the same ever since.

Bryan was not discouraged by our lukewarm response to his idea. He told us that Zoats would have to go in, or we would have to come up with something else that satisfied the same requirements. That was when Jes Goodwin, Tony Ackland, and I began to develop the Fimir.

WFRP1

Zoats from the WFRP 1st edition rulebook. Left: Bob Naismith. Right: Tony Ackland.

To be on the safe side, I also wrote Zoats up for the WFRP 1st edition rulebook. Perhaps some memory of The Dark Crystal was rattling about in my brain at the time, because I ended up making them reclusive forest mystics and possible Wood Elf allies. Rules for Zoat allied contingents appeared in Ravening Hordes for Warhammer 2nd edition and Warhammer Armies for 3rd edition, but they never really caught on and by 4th edition Warhammer they were gone. They reappeared in the Storm of Magic supplement for Warhammer 8th edition in 2011, but never re-established themselves firmly in the lore of the Old World.

Warhammer Armies

Zoats from Warhammer Armies.

Zoats did rather better in Warhammer 40,000. The masters for the slow-selling fantasy miniatures were given face masks and futuristic weapons, and they got a new backstory making them a servitor race of the Tyranids. More on their 40K career can be found on the Warhammer 40,000 wiki, and of course that is how they came to Blackstone Fortress, in the form of a single miniature.

zoat-2020-1

The new Blackstone Fortress Zoat.

I don’t expect Zoats will reappear in Game Workshop’s reboot of the Old World setting, or in anything Cubicle 7 publishes for WFRP. Still, for those who may be interested I have done a quick WFRP 4th edition profile for them, based on the entry in the WFRP 1st edition rulebook. Let me have your thoughts. Also let me know if you feel inspired to use Zoats in a WFRP adventure, or if you know of any appearance in an official Warhammer or WFRP publication that I have missed.

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.


ZOATS

WFRP1_RulebookIn many parts of the Old World, Zoats are regarded as creatures of legend. They are solitary by nature, living in the depths of the most ancient forests. Despite their bulk, they are quiet and reclusive, and can move through the densest undergrowth with hardly a sound. Occasionally, they have dealings with the Wood Elves, and on rare occasions they have been known to make contact with Humans. It is said that they strive to keep the forests free of monsters such as Beastmen and Goblinoids. Ancient Elvish songs tell of single Zoats coming to the aid of beleaguered Wood Elf settlements.

Zoats are centauroid in appearance, standing some six feet high and eight feet long. Heavy plates of fused scales cover their shoulders, back, and hindquarters. Their heads are reptilian in appearance, with a broad, slightly domed skull, large eyes, and a wide mouth that gives them a wry expression. Colour ranges from dark brown through maroon to purple. They do not wear clothing or armour.

Their characteristic weapon is a long, two-handed mace whose tip is a cylinder of black stone bound in a silvery metal. The head is carved with strange runes that are indecipherable by other races. All Zoats seem to speak a common grinding, rumbling tongue; they may also speak Eltharin and occasionally the local Human language.

M WS BS S T I Ag Dex Int WP Fel W
7 59 25 50 50 50 25 43 45 43 40 19

Traits: Arboreal, Armour 3 (body/hindquarters, Armour 1 (elsewhere), Night Vision, Size (Large), Stride, Tracker, Weapon +8

Optional: Spellcaster (Amber)

Zoat Mace

Price Enc Availability Reach Damage Qualities and Flaws
N/A 3 Exotic 3 +SB+6 Damaging, Impact1, Pummel, Unbreakable, Tiring2

1. A Zoat Mace wielded by a spellcaster is normally inscribed with a mystical rune that gives it the Impact Quality.

2. Only if the wielder’s SB is 3 or less.


More Like This
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

Great Cats and Elven Beastfriends for WFRP4

March 19, 2020 5 comments

Those of you who have seen the Enemy in Shadows Companion for WFRP 4th edition will have seen a mention of “great cats” in the chapter “On the Road.” This little encounter features a werecat as well – a creature never seen before or since in Warhammer. It all dates back to the very first days of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay in late 1986.

I’ve blogged about “On the Road” before, and if you are interested in why and how I wrote this piece you can read all about it here. As the Warhammer setting developed, werewolves and other were-creatures disappeared: to the best of my knowledge, the last mention of a lycanthrope in an official Warhammer publication was in a WFRP 1st edition adventure called “The Howling Season,” published in the Warhammer Companion (which Cubicle 7 has just made available in electronic form). That was published by Flame in 1990.

Lycanthropes in the Old World are a subject for another day, when I have more time than I do today. But since Andy Law just posted an intriguing short article on cats in the Old World – complete with a Henchman career – I thought I’d take a moment to tell you what I know about the great cats of the Old World’s forests.

It started, like most things Warhammer, with a miniatures ad in White Dwarf.

Image result for citadel elf animal keepers

Game stats for Warhammer 3rd edition appeared in Warhammer Armies, with a name doubtless inspired by a fantasy movie from 1982.

Beastmasters

I made sure that the 1st edition WFRP rulebook covered all of these beasts, including the cats. I imagined markings like those of a European wildcat (Felis silvestris), but a size and shape somewhere between cheetah and mountain lion, like the miniatures.

WFRP1 cat

…and I wrote up a Beastfriend career for Wood Elves which appeared in the Warhammer Companion (did I mention that you can get this rarest of WFRP supplements in PDF form? I’m sure I did.) which was reprinted in Apocrypha Now.

Beastfriend illo

And there it ended. The great cats disappeared from Warhammer lore and were forgotten. When the Enemy in Shadows Companion went to Games Workshop for approval, the mention of great cats raised some eyebrows because no one remembered them. A small text box was added to the 4th edition version of “On the Road” for the benefit of surprised readers, along with a stat box for the cats themselves. (Sorry, I’m not going to violate copyright and show it here, but then you’ll already have it in your copy of the Enemy in Shadows Companion – or the one you’ve been meaning to buy, right? Right?)

Well, then, all this is very interesting, but who cares, really? I suppose it depends on whether you like cats, or Wood Elf careers, or both. One day I hope I’ll get round to writing up a Beastfriend career for WFRP 4th edition, but until then you can improvise one.

Start by creating a Wood Elf Scout or Hunter character (or some other career, at the GM’s option) with suitably high scores in Animal Training and possible Charm Animal and Animal Care. If these skills are not available within the career path, follow the Training rules on page 199 of the WFRP rulebook.

Next, create the beast using the stat block from the Enemy in Shadows Companion (What? You still haven’t got a copy? Do I have to stop being subtle?) and run it through the Henchman career in Andy’s blog post.

If you prefer a Beastfriend with a hound, Andy’s got dogs pretty well covered here. For bears and boars, you can find base stats in the Bestiary of the WFRP rulebook. After that, you can either design your own Henchman career, or use the Trained Trait to cover the beast’s abilities.

What do you think? If you design and/or play a Beastfriend using these improvised rules, comment below and let me know how well it worked – or didn’t work. Meanwhile, I will add a 4th edition version of the Beastfriend to my long, long list of things to get round to when I have the time.