A Vanilla Covenant for Ars Magica 5th Ed

After many seasons the folk who collaborated on the Vanilla Covenants project for Ars Magica now have a finished product! (available from the blog: http://david.berco.free.fr/wordpress/?p=690)

I’m exceedingly pleased it is released, and grateful to David Duke, aka The Man From Outerspace for continuing with dauntless faith through to the completion.

p.s. and the IronbondTome in the credits for a few bits is your truly. 

Enveloping Desiccation – a Lore of Fire WFRP spell

Amid the Warhammer 4th edition banter on the Ratcatcher discord – my last spell called “Spark” was found and apparently broken, which a good result to evoke chatter and thought around the WFRP magic system; perhaps not great for people who like their rpgs by the book. So here is another…

Enveloping Desiccation

CN: 6, R: WP, T: 1, D: WPB Rounds, Fire

The wind of Ashqy surrounds the target removing water from within the targeted creature or object, this inflicts +2 damage per round to living creatures, or causes breakage tests for affected equipment when it is used. Damage is calculated as a magic missile which ignores armor and toughness.

I wanted a spell which was firmly within the domain of the Wind of Ashqy and also not another fire spell. Find the other spells in a collection of New Warhammer Fantasy spells

HeroForge minis I’d love to print for Warhammer, part 4

And the last set for now… more Heroforge concepts for Warhammer…

Energy Sacrifice, Alternate Magic Rule for WFRP

Watching the Witcher and similar fantasy shows, many casters can power their spells well beyond reason with their own life force. That might be a great thematic power to add to a cultist or dodgy Wizard.

Talent: Energy Sacrifice

Caster may opt to sacrifice their own health to power their spells. Before rolling a casting check, the caster decides how many wounds they will sacrifice to attempt to boost the outcome. If the caster succeeds their roll, the lost wounds add +1 SL each. The caster also gains one Fatigued Condition.

More Journal notes from Warhammer RPG

This session we recovered notes from a bandit camp, and rescued two halflings. Good times. No idea why all the bad guys used hammers. Wouldn’t be a good outcome if they were some strange Sigmarite outlaws.

Advantage Overcasting, Alternative Magic rules for WFRP

In 4th edition the design of spell mechanics and the spells themselves are heavily inspired by older editions and older style table-top RPGs. They read as dnd style systems where stretching the character or exit effort are not really offered as options to the player. In defence of WFRP the Overcasting rules add flexibility, however I think they could go a little further.

This option grants all spell casters (both pious and any of the winds) the choice to spend a point of advantage after casting to add an additional Overcasting option.

The additional flexibility comes with a cost, as all Magick should – when this option is used the caster must also resolve a Minor Miscast, just as if they had made an error. This is due to the fact that the Winds of Chaos and whims of the gods are unforgiving and unpredictable.


  • Each Advantage Pt = one Overcasting option
  • Suffer a minor miscast for each overcasting option added.

Worked Example: Over a long melee the brave and bruised muscle for hire has almost defeated a nest of hideous chaos cultists. The Wizard player has gained 2 points of Advantage, and as the battle turns the lead cultist decides to flee by escaping out a window.

The wizard runs to the window and spots the cultist moving further and further away. Rather than channel, the wizard decides to cast straight away, and unfortunately only just passes his Language Magick check. While successful, the cultist is too far out of range – however the player decides to “burn” his two points of advantage to change the range to three times normal (each advantage adding the range again).

The Wizard’s spell strikes, and gravely hurts the cultist, dropping him to the ground. While briefly standing victorious the Wizard then doubles over in pain, blood pouring from his nose and shaking with wracking pain. The Wizard gains three bleeding conditions and a stunned condition.

Aside – Advantage Overcasting adds significant extra options to spell casters. You may wish to change the cost, perhaps a boost costs +2 advantage instead. The goal was to give casters something extra to spend their advantage on.

It’s worth noting that a costs of 1:1 was chosen because a cost of 2:1 is what advantage already offers a caster, because it already modified the casting rolls. The 1:1 cost grants the benefit, has a minor unusual effect, and also takes those points of Advantage away.

How much to hire a Soldier? WFRP Careers as Hirelings

One of our group was considering hiring some extra muscle to survive longer, and while the rulebook gives a good rule of thumb for costs (WFRP p.309), it starts to get expensive, and the confusion starts when trying to work backwards from character income through to the cost of hirelings.

As Brass and Silver tiers roll random amounts for their disposable income, so have to remember these are averages (Brass as level x 2d10, and Silver as level x 1d10 silver, both with a minimum value of 1 coin of their type).

By core the costs is income for a short task, and three times income for a day’s work. So we can see plainly that typical daily income before paying for expenses is roughly three times the character’s tier and rank.

  • a Sentry (first tier of Guard, as a Silver 1) has spare money equal to 1d10 shillings (WFRP p.110), on average 5.5 shillings.
  • to hire that sentry would cost roughly 3 shillings for the day; allowing the sentry to earn roughly 16.5 shillings in an average week, keeping in mind that their earnings might be anywhere from 3-30 shillings due to the random factors in a weeks wages. That’s quite a range, and starts to add up.

Which means that junior guard costs on average 54 gold crowns per year. Wow!

That matches to p.309 proposing a seasoned Mercenary roughly 9 shillings a day, or 3g 12s a week, as the Career equivalent might be a Tier 3 Protagonist, Tier 3 Guard, or Tier 2 Soldier.

The tables below show the Class, career, and cost to hire for each tier per day. You can then multiply out by the number of days needed. There is some truth to the idea that an employee will be motivated by longer engagements, or not take stressful jobs, so below is also some suggestions for how to handle those risks and opportunities.


Average Hire Cost per Day, by Tier and Level:

Tier Level in pennies in shillings in crowns
Brass 1 3 0.3 0
Brass 2 6 0.5 0
Brass 3 9 0.8 0
Brass 4 12 1 0.1
Brass 5 15 1.3 0.1
Brass 6 18 1.5 0.1
Brass 7 21 1.8 0.1
Silver 1 36 3 0.2
Silver 2 72 6 0.3
Silver 3 108 9 0.5
Silver 4 144 12 0.6
Silver 5 180 15 0.8
Silver 6 216 18 0.9
Silver 7 252 21 1.1
Gold 1 720 60 3
Gold 2 1440 120 6
Gold 3 2160 180 9
Gold 4 2880 240 12
Gold 5 3600 300 15
Gold 6 4320 360 18
Gold 7 5040 420 21

Update: I made a pretty gross error on the calculations, so have updated the table to reflect that.