And the last set for now… more Heroforge concepts for Warhammer…
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.
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.
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.
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|
Update: I made a pretty gross error on the calculations, so have updated the table to reflect that.
From a sneaky two part session about a wedding which happened Once Upon A Time.
This postis a character background I wrote for a table-top warhammer fantasy 4e game. My first character background for a long while for any game, particularly WFRP.
Name: Wulf Bootmann, Nickname: “Grimmer”
Personality traits: optimistic, never say die, trusting
Sayings – “I like the river, it always has something new to show me”,
Birthday: born under the sign of The Gloaming (a signifier of illusion and mystery) on the 4th day of Sigmarzeit, beneath a waning, gibbous Mannslieb moon.
Although he had little choice Wulf enjoys being a boatman. The family trade is one that he enjoys, and despite his three brothers and sisters grumbles he often found a reason to smile at the end of each day. Wulf learned the family trade, kept his mouth shut around his bosses and clients, and enjoys the peace that riverside work can bring. Sure, it’s sometime hard work; but it’s a lot better than starving or doing a job with dull surrounding and the same people each day. The profession grew his skills and helped shape his nature. He likes meeting people, likes hearing a good story, and takes pride in his trade.
As such, Wulf didn’t actually plan to leave his home as a formality, it just happened that he spend more time on the rivers and lakes; so eventually he’d left. Camping aside lakes and streams is almost always peaceful and the rare times he’s been waylaid by bandits they’ve either not lost much or managed to beat the thieves senseless as punishment. He doesn’t mind thieves and other such dodgy folks as long as they leave him alone, but a traitor or a true bastard needs to be dealt with.
A tall sturdy and solid built reiklander, with a full black beard and flowing hair. Wulf dresses in the layered practical clothing of the riverfolk, feeling no shame in the practicality of workman’s kit. He especially likes the warmer months when he can walk barefoot on the decks, and sleep outdoors.
- Repay a yet unclaimed favour Wulf and his brothers owe to a wealthy landowner in their township. The brothers got caught up in a mess and found themselves on the wrong side of a bad deal by accident. Their family name and trade meant they were offered an out instead of being beaten (or worse), however none of the lads yet know what it will be.
- Get enough cash to buy a permanent home somewhere safe and quiet, maybe even in his hometown or somewhere close.
- See more of the empire.
- One day own a few boats of his own. Maybe a shipping company like his great uncle did.
Wulf was born and raised on an expansive set of inlets and rivers where his extended family frequently work either as boatmen, dock workers, or any number of legal and shady jobs. He turns a blind eye to the sneaky edges of normal stock and trade of business, and has learned his father’s lesson of losing everything then his great uncle’s business went belly up. Nobody in his direct family has ever made big, but his great uncle had a shipping business that was famous and (apparently) wealthy before he died. Wulf has no idea what the truth was about what happened and has heard so many stories now that it’s a running gag in his family to tell sillier and crazier stories when they catch up.
Wulf has started from the bottom, returned there a few times, and fought with his own two hands to keep his place. He’s known as hard working, trusting, and dangerous in a fight – but unlike his older sister and two youngest brothers he doesn’t like the limelight and doesn’t like trouble.
Township of Auerswald
The lively town of Auerswald rises by the confluences of the Teufel, Tranig, and Ober rivers, so is on one of the busiest — and thus best patrolled — trade routes of the Reikland. The folk of Auerswald tend to be strong willed and determined, but their easy charm and famous wit ensures no matter how steely their negotiations, they rarely cause offence.
Much of Auerswald is built on thick stilts over the floodplain of the River Teufel, which is often in spate. Connected by a bewildering labyrinth of ramps, bridges and rope ladders, outsiders can easily become lost. More than one careless carouser has fallen to a muddy death after over-indulging themselves in the local taverns.
Wulf’s nickname is a byproduct of the riverfolk’s obvious black humour – won when his ever present grin caused a fight to start, and Wulf to get badly beaten up. Even in bloody defeat he was smiling, which family and friends like to remind him; the name stuck.
Wulf mostly venerates Manann (sea and tides, rivers and storms), and sometimes Taal (nature, beasts, mountains, forests), but will speak any gods name as suits the present circumstances.
- M: Narelle, F: Kimmel “box-nose”
- Kids: Shaye (f), Wulf, Gerwald (m), Silvester (m), Wendell (m),
- Great Uncle Rupprecht.
Threads for story Arcs
- Like to get those damn dwarves off his back.
- Visit his family sometime and see if they’re ok. There was an old debt.
- Get a home and skill for old age.
Notes after a handful of sessions
I see Wulf as somebody who recently realised he knew very little about the wider world. He thought he knew a little about the world because of the river travel he’s done, but that now that knowledge is a slim part of his experiences travelling the Empire.
The charlatan and thug in the team have seen more than he has, and Wulf wants to travel widely to see far more of what the realms have to offer; so while they are not doing *too much* evil, he’s darn happy to travel with them. How much is too much? Well no idea, but the quest style mission into Bretonnia was downright awesome for him. It helped somebody, was tough and interesting, and made a difference. Likewise the idea of helping Otto’s family – no way in hell he’d miss out on that.
Wulf would be thinking about professions and goals which allow him to “quest” regularly. Is there any organisations who need tasks and quests done in places that normal folk don’t like to go (bounties, guides, tactical investigations, seeker of lost lore and artifacts?…)
Highlights from his recent journey were saving the gypsy elder-vision-gal, seeing the Dwarf-Ogre moot, and visiting Bretonnia to defeat a big-bad and fix the eye of his friend. That “quest” is something that Wulf would be proud of doing. Likewise saving or helping Otto’s wife is very important, as it is a quest worthy! Destroy evil, save people, do good.
He’s far less convinced that Sean should try to be a noble (but that’s not Wulf’s choice really), but can’t see the harm in all of them trying to be better than they are. He’s just a boatman after all.
In terms of an arcs – I’d like Wulf to be able to maintain a sense of right and wrong, and not have to take an action that permanently places him in with real criminals or unholy folk. His purpose is to “do some good”. That would rule out being an outlaw/criminal style person, but would be a bounty hunter or thug if he was working for an upstanding group (like a noble, city, or a guild).
I’m tempted by taking the pit fighter path because I think it could match to his personality, but also could see him becoming a little more reverent. The Warrior Priest career is tempting because he wants to be part of a great good. That doesn’t mean not breaking a few laws or hurting people, instead it’s about the outcome. It grants a wider purpose, where he could still travel the realm. Perhaps service to a powerful cult of Sigmar might let him take journeys?
In terms of rewards Wulf isn’t really interested in lots of wealth or recognition, but he is seeking a little long term stability for later in life (old age is 30+ right!!).
- Visit his family sometime and see if they’re ok. There was an old family favor owed by his brother that might need to be sorted out. NFI what that is, but doing favors for people whilst gradually improving is very much ok.
- Get a home, or base to work from. A city house is probably out of the question, but a remote house in a small town, where he can rest and recuperate would be good.
- Learn a skill for old age: Carpenter is available in his next career. That’s also the spot where he might need a workshop? I had thought to first approach the Boatman’s Guild about that carpentry training, especially as Wulf has already seen a very strangely built barge.
- Learn to read and write – we started a little of this, but I’ll have to suss how to take a Talent outside of the Career (2x xp cost, plus story effort I assume). Likewise learning some breadth in other skills which I (as a player) think are lacking at present. Perhaps Wulf finds himself drawn into a story, and then an arc helping the Cult of Verena? … On the return trip from where Otto’s family reside… “we seek help finding a missing scholar, who departed Altdorf three weeks ago and never arrived in the town of NNN. We fear he is murdered.” …but the scholar was digging too deeply into the background of powerful people, and is actually now hiding in a remote village as he suspects a price on his head. Do we turn in the scholar to collect the reward, or protect him as he ventures to the grisly truth.
In the very long term, I like the idea of Wulf being well connected due to all the quests he’s done; but he is somebody who will underplay his achievements.
More concepts for Warhammer Fantasy themed Heroforge minis I’d like to print – … happy gaming everyone.
A long while ago a discussion on the WFRP Ratcatcher Discord mentioned a great invention or customisation that characters might like – a blocked-muzzle pistol (from the Witch Hunter’s Handbook), which started my mind thinking about other tweaks a character might want for their black-powder weapons. Here are a few ideas to add some grit and sizzle to the back-powder weapons.
Bayonet: A simple and well used addition to any long rifle, which allows the wielder to use their rifle in melee combat as a polearm, or a pistol as a dagger. A very simple addition to a weapon, which could be added after initial construction.
- Pistol Bayonet – Melee Basic, Cost: 1GC, Enc: 0, Availability: Scarce, Reach: Very Short, Dam: +SB+2, Qualities & Flaws: None
- Rifle Bayonet – Melee Polearm, Cost: 2GC, Enc: 0, Availability: Scarce, Reach: Long, Dam: +SB+3, Qualities & Flaws: Impale
Blocked-muzzle pistol & rifle: A small lever on the seals the weapon’s barrel. This causes the weapon to explode, inflicting damage to the holder. If used, treat this as a successful hit to the holder’s arm. This would be a complex change, more likely required to be built into the weapon when it is constructed and would add complexity.
Gun-Sword: A wholesale new weapon rather than addition, and somewhat strange hybrid short blade with a small pistol mounted along the blade. This item must be custom built, and include the Durable quality.
- Gun-Sword – Melee Basic, Cost: 10GC, Enc: 1, Availability: Special, Reach: Short, Dam: +SB+3, Qualities & Flaws: None.
- Pistol stats used as normal, with damage reduced from +8 to +7.
Hidden Compartment: a small well hidden chamber, likely in the stock. A few coins, a small vial, etc.
- Simple complexity, and may be retrofit to many weapons.
Long Barrel pistol: Dramatically increases the range of the pistol, however is now more difficult to use in melee, which removes the Pistol quality.
- Increase pistol range from 20 to 30 yards, and remove Pistol quality.
Snub Nose Barrel: Greatly reduces the maximum range of the pistol, however any Critical also now inflict spray damage to wider targets.
- Reduce pistol range from 20 to 10 yards, and add the Blast (1) quality.
Tooth and Claw Pistol: A one inch long blade mounted forward and below the barrel of the pistol, a sharp edge atop, and a spiked knuckle guard in front of the stock – combine to provide a simple weapon to strike opponents. The weapon must be built with the Durable quality.
- Tooth and Claw Pistol – Melee Basic, Cost: 2GC, Enc: 0, Availability: Rare, Reach: Very Short, Dam: +SB+3, Qualities & Flaws: None
Trigger Safety: A small level located near the thumb position which prohibits the trigger from being pulled. This would be a moderately complex change, optionally added to an existing weapon.
From a nice quick session about a rat catcher, a few mercenary types, and a Necromancer who wanted to make a little wine.