Apr 24 2019
We are delighted to finally share our shiny new website & store with you https://www.cubicle7games.com.
This will be our last post on this website as we will post all updates on our new website. Our webstore has also moved to the new address and you will soon be unable to order on our .co.uk store. Be sure to check out our new site so you don't miss out on our upcoming offers as part of our 10 Day Celebration!
We have been working hard over the last few months to update our blog, website and store as part of our ongoing plan to improve our communications with you.
The most obvious benefits include:
- Almost instant PDFs: when you purchase a hard copy you will no longer wait 24hrs to receive your free PDF, even on pre-orders. (all C7 hard copy sales include a FREE PDF)
- Easier navigation, more efficient check out and up to date information on products
- More practical and helpful content: including a 'How to Play' section. Our writers and producers are working on building a collection of articles to aid players of all levels in getting more from their RPGs.
There will be some changes to our current shipping costs, these changes are outlined in more detail here: https://www.cubicle7games.com/shipping/
Apr 23 2019
Ten years ago this month Cubicle 7 went from an ‘evening and weekend’ business to a full-time company. Gaining the Doctor Who license meant that we could secure investment, and Rebellion stepped in to provide the funds to grow the company. Handing in my notice at my day job was a bit scary, but the chance to get Cubicle 7 off the ground properly was too exciting to resist.
Looking back, we’ve achieved a lot, made a lot of cool stuff and won many, many awards! The thing I am most proud of is that we have maintained our reputation for quality. I care deeply about the games we make – I’m a lifelong gamer so it really matters to me that my company makes great games. Like all companies, we’ve had our ups and downs over the years, but throughout it all we’ve maintained our focus on quality and making awesome games.
When I was thinking about what to do for this anniversary, the thing I kept coming back to was that I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years – to you! So, for the next 10 days we’ll be celebrating your support of a decade of Cubicle 7 with competitions, special offers and more.
It seemed appropriate to kick things off with one of our earliest games, Victoriana. Not only was Victoriana the first game we won an award for (Silver ENnie Award for best writing in 2010), but it was one that bridged the gap between starting working in earnest on Cubicle 7 and the company getting properly established. The first two Victoriana Line Developers, the esteemed Andrew Peregrine and highly-regarded Walt Ciechanowski have also been stalwart supporters and contributors to Cubicle 7 over the years, thanks for everything guys!
While Victoriana books have been out of print for a little while, you can check out the PDFs at 40% off over at DrivethruRPG.com.
We’ll be back tomorrow with day two of the celebration – be sure to check back each day to see what’s happening! Thanks again for your support, and here’s to the next ten years!
Apr 18 2019
Buildings of the Reikland
If you pre-ordered the WFRP Core Book prior to November 2018, you should have received an email today with a link to download the 'Buildings of the Reikland' file as promised. We hope you enjoy it and would like to thank you all for your patience and continued support!
Please just check your SPAM folder in case it's hiding in there! For all our other WFRP fans, we will make the buildings available to purchase on Drive Thru RPG in a month.
Apr 17 2019
We are delighted to officially announce that WFRP: Enemy in Shadows - Enemy Within Campaign Director's Cut Vol. 1 and the Enemy in Shadows Companion are due in stores in Quarter 3 2019! #WARHAMMERWEDNESDAY
Enemy in Shadows - Enemy Within Campaign Director's Cut Vol. 1
At the appointed time, we shall rise from our secret places and throw down the towns and cities of the Empire. Chaos will cover this land, and we, the Chosen Servants, shall be exalted in HIS eyes. Hail to Tzeentch, Changer of the Ways! Njawrr’thakh ‘Lzimbarr Tzeentch!’
The Enemy Within is the revised and updated Director’s Cut of one of the most highly regarded roleplaying campaigns ever written. Enemy in Shadows presents the first part of the epic Enemy Within campaign, the sequence of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay adventures that inspired a generation of gamers. So, gather your heroes as you take them from humble beginnings as penniless adventurers to the halls of the great and powerful, where every decision can change the fate of the Empire.
Enemy in Shadows Includes:
- The first two adventures of the Enemy Within campaign: Mistaken Identity, and Shadows over Bögenhafen, both of which are revised and updated by Graeme Davis, legendary WFRP author, and one of the original writers of the campaign.
- A selection of ‘Grognard Boxes’ that add entirely new ways to play through the adventures, ensuring even those who have played the Enemy Within campaign before will find Enemy in Shadows fresh and new.
- A complete guide to Bögenhafen, one of the most important towns in the Reikland, full of exciting locations to visit and explore.
Enemy in Shadows Companion
The indispensable companion to the Enemy in Shadows and the first part of the epic Enemy Within campaign. The Enemy in Shadows Companion is the first of our 5-part series of companion volumes to the Enemy Within campaign. It contains a wealth of supplementary material to not only expand Enemy in Shadows, but also support any WFRP games set in the Empire.
Enemy in Shadows Companion Includes:
- Guest Commentaries: Phil Gallagher and Graeme Davis, two of the original Enemy Within campaign writers, reflect on creating one of the greatest campaigns ever written.
- The Empire: A deep examination of the Empire, the primary setting for the Enemy Within campaign.
- Ready-made Characters: A selection of 6 pre-generated Characters, with a variety of optional secrets and relationships to personalise them to taste.
- Road Travel: Full rules for travelling the roads of the Empire, and the road wardens who patrol them.
- Supporting Cast: A huge cast of incidental NPCs that can be added to any WFRP adventure, with hints and tips for how to use them.
- Bonus Content: A collection of short adventures and encounters that can be added to any WFRP game, including revised and updated versions of classics such as On the Road, The Affair of the Hidden Jewel, and The Pandemonium Carnival.
We will update you more as we can!
Apr 16 2019
We will kick off our 10 day celebration next Tuesday 23rd April with daily announcements where we will share exclusive news, competitions and special offers!
Apr 15 2019
It's that time of the week again, #WARHAMMERWEDNESDAY! So, let's get stuck right into Ben's latest blog!
It's WFRP Time, again! Hey folks, I'm Ben, and I literally cannot stop talking about Warhammer. Honestly, it's a serious problem... but we'll manage, won't we? This week, my compulsion has me thinking about all the little optional rules scattered throughout Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and what they might mean for the fiction of your Warhammer game, in addition to the mechanics.
As I've said before, the fiction is as important as the mechanics of a game, and the two are closely related. We know WFRP is a game about gritty heroes because we have so many rules dedicated to permanent injury, disease, and the slow encroachment of Chaos. The mechanics reinforce the fiction, and vice versa. Therefore, it stands to reason that every change you make to the rules — whether it's house rules or the Options given to you in the rulebook — will, in turn, change the fiction of your campaign.
I'm all for customising play experiences (and the Golden Rule on page 149 enshrines this), but I'm even more for understanding those choices and making informed decisions. Design is, after all, 9-parts research, 1-part action! So let's dive in, and see what our meddlesome behaviour brings…
The way I see it, there are 4 broad categories of optional rules in WFRP:
- Character Options, which change how Characters are made.
- Action Options, which change how Characters interact with the game rules through play.
- System Options, which change the core mechanics of play.
- And lastly, there is an entirely optional chapter: Between Adventures!
I’m going to pick what I think are the four more interesting options from each category, and we’ll discuss how they change the play experience and talk about why you might want to include them or leave them in the toolbox, depending upon your gaming preferences. There is a lot of ground to cover even with that small selection, so I’m going to split this into two posts for easier chewing!
So, let's get started with the first two categories: Character Options and Action Options.
Options: Animosity (Elves)
On page 26 we get a glance at the history between the Elves and the Dwarfs. You know, the whole millenia-long war thing? Well, as all fans of Dwarfs know, they hold grudges — indeed, they keep whole books dedicated to listing every grudge, perceived or real, that they ever experience, and they make sure every grudge is avenged. So, as I'm sure you can imagine, centuries of war led to centuries of grudges, many of which were unavenged, so the Dwarfs have a special place in their bile-ducts for the Elves, and have many scores to settle with them.
Taking this into account, the Animosity (Elves) optional rule provides every Dwarf with the Animosity (Elves) Psychological Trait. If you use the rule, all Dwarfs have a difficult time working with, and not punching, any Elves they happen to meet. The old grudges bubble to the surface and fury at what their ancestors suffered at the hands of the faithless on-beards can overwhelm.
So, this optional Trait goes a long way to reinforce two of the main themes of Warhammer: that the Old World is full of history that reflects on the present, and that even among the ‘good guys’ there is tension and bad blood. No one is ever just allies, but instead webs of deception, history, and intrigue poison all good in the world…
However, whilst this Trait does wonders for reinforcing the narrative of Warhammer, it does potentially hamper play if the party contains both an Elf and a Dwarf. Perhaps your group is excited by the prospect of constant bickering between the two Characters (though obviously only with the Players involved being enthusiastic about this), but that's not the case for most groups. If you want to use the optional rule, but are concerned about it's long-term implications for party unity, another consideration is to allow this Trait to disappear over time, or to diminish for individual Characters, allowing Dwarfs to grow and learn that individuals are not representatives of their entire people or responsible for ancient acts! However, no matter how rational that may sound to Humans, it's not exactly the Dwarf way...
Options: But I want to play a Wood Elf Flagellant!
On page 32 we get a discussion of playing out-of-the-box combinations of Species and Career, such as Wood Elf Flagellants (just think that one over for a while; how would you try to make that work in the game world?). Any combination of Career and Species could potentially work, and exploring these edge cases is admirable in itself. But the table of Careers exists for a reason: culture creates cultural roles! Check out It's Not Easy Being Elven, or Little But Not Overlooked, for discussions on Elf and Halfling culture, respectively.
Sticking to the Careers listed for each Species creates a campaign that reinforces the normal setting of Warhammer: High Elves are predominantly wealthier expatriates and Wood Elves are usually wanderers from their arboreal realms; Dwarfs mingle with Humanity somewhat, but also keep to their own ways; Halflings are social chameleons able to fit into almost any role, but have no magic; and so on. For Characters who choose to transgress the Career lists, life likely becomes difficult as they become marginalised by the social structures that would normally protect them, but it does help create a game more focused on the unusual! And, as we all know, WFRP Characters may look normal, but they never are (Fate points alone ensure this). Further, Characters may find members of their own Species treating them strangely, but they might find they get on better with folks from other walks of life. Example: a Halfling Priestess of Sigmar is never going to be understood by her Halfling peers ('what are you doing, Rosie? I just don't understand why you are even bothering with this Sigmar nonsense? What you need is a good hug, that'll sort you out.'), but she's likely to get on rather well with your average Reiklander.
So, do have fun with this optional rule, but also be aware it has significant social implications, and possibly spiritual, too (A Dwarf Wizard? That sounds suspiciously like a Mutant Dwarf to me...).
Options: Nefarious Plans
Page 41 offers some metarules for your game of WFRP: secrets, and how they function at the table! This is a topic I’m pretty passionate about, so excuse me whilst I climb on top of the soapbox stacked on top of the soapbox I was already standing on. Ahem…
Secrets are intrinsic to Warhammer roleplaying games: uncovering them, keeping them, exposing them, defending them. Evil Cults thrive in secrecy, and the Empire itself functions because of some of the greatest and most heinous secrets. Sure, we all joke about how Skaven aren’t real, but in many ways, that’s one of the secrets keeping ‘normal life’ going in the Old World (though to say nothing of the morality of that secret-keeping); after all, how likely would you be to live in Altdorf if you realised that uncounted thousands, perhaps millions, of malevolent, mutant ratmen lived beneath your feet?
To my mind, there are two useful ways of using Player Secrets (that is, secrets the Players control, which does not include those the GM is using to push forward the story): a) all the Players know the secrets, but the Characters are ignorant, or b) the other Players and the Characters are ignorant, so the secret only exists for it to be exposed during play. A secret kept for too long, or between whispering Players, isn’t a fun or engaging experience for everyone not in on the secret... so you should usually be angling to get everyone in on it as quickly and dramatically as possible! The same is definitely true of secret Ambitions (which, if either of the above two methods are used, I strongly recommend you try).
If your Campaign focuses on lots of intrigue (for example it may be high on Tzeentch or Slaanesh, as described in Blog Post 3: Setting Expectations, then implementing this Optional Rule is a good idea. But, if you do this, always take time to explain to your group that secrets are a part of the interparty play in the game. Some Players do not react at all well when the rug is unexpectedly pulled from under their Character's feet by another Player, so time should be spent discussing this possibility before it happens in-game.
Lastly for Character Options, let's discuss what's on page 43: Psychology. On balance, these rules are some of my favourites in 4th Edition. I love rules that inspire — or rather demand — a response from the Character based on their in-game environments. These sorts of rules ground parts of a Character’s backstory Players would otherwise only talk about into the game: you don’t just love your family, you Love them, meaning you must help them when they’re in peril... but that might mean missing an opportunity to do what needs be done!
And it's here we see another core theme of Warhammer reflected in the game mechanics: no one person can do it all. Not even Sigmar Heldenhammer forged the Empire into a cohesive whole alone… These sorts of Traits require clever roleplaying and ooze drama every time they come into play. I’d strongly recommend every Campaign pick them up... unless you’re looking for some more traditional hack’n’slash action, in which case they’d probably get in the way.
If you want to include them, perhaps use the Bestiary (page 311) as a loose guide. Maybe start with 1 Prejudice for all Humans, 1 Animosity and 1 Prejudice for all Dwarfs, 1 Animosity and 2 Prejudices for all Elves, and none for Halflings (they get on with everyone)? Then add extras as you prefer.
Options: Alternative Characteristics for Intimidate
Now let's turn to the Action Options. On page 124 we have some general advice for flaunting the rules as written and substituting Willpower or some other Characteristic for an Intimidate Test. Now, you might be wondering why I considered this simple Option worthy of attention in this blog? Well, because it sets an interesting precedent. Whilst this Option deals specifically with Intimidate, it is an invitation for GMs and Players alike to consider clever ways of using other Skills with other Characteristics!
Maybe you want to use your Intelligence with your Charm Skill instead of Fellowship because you tend to make well-reasoned arguments rather than deliver flowery compliments. Maybe you want to use your Willpower with your Trade (Jewelsmith) Skill instead of Dexterity because you’re going extremely slowly, taking your time to be careful, rather than looking for a quick job.
A WFRP game that plays a bit looser with Skills and Characteristics will likely see the Characters succeed more often, given the Players are able to play to their strengths, and may take longer at the table as there will be occasional stops to recalculate Skills. But these sorts of campaigns will often also go in more interesting directions, with the Players showing their creativity, and thinking around obstacles, rather than brute forcing them. Still, always be aware reason should be used here, and sometimes you just have to roll one Characteristic instead of another...
Options: Tests Above 100%
Next up is a rule on page 151. There we are offered something that really plays with the wide power scale of Warhammer, allowing for epic and heroic moments between catching the Black Death and scrounging in the mud for food… Because, at its heart, for all Warhammer is always grubby fantasy (more about 'grubby fantasy' to come in Enemy in Shadows), it isn’t always low fantasy; indeed, much of it is high fantasy, with wizards throwing spells, great Elven cities of glittering alabaster, and nobles riding griffons into the sky. Further, some Characters, like our old friends Gotrek and Felix from Black Library's novels, are heroic, but that doesn’t mean they always have an easy time of it.
This Option allows you to have Characters who not only succeed often in their most powerful Skills (which, let's face it, they will anyway if they go above 100%), but also allows them to perform acts that beggar belief. Gotrek should be able to decapitate a Dragon. Felix should dodge out of the way just in the nick of time. Teclis should dispel terrible magics with a flick of his hand.
Also, it’s worth remembering that everyone benefits from this… So, look closer at your NPCs, and see who might cause your Characters grief in the future, if you choose to use this Optional rule. Oh, and check out Rough Nights & Hard Days when it is released, because there are a few surprises there on this front.
(Editor's note: Hi, Andy Law here, one of WFRP's designers. Let me add a little extra to Ben's ongoing blog of awesomeness. The Tests Above 100% optional rule was specifically added to support the Fast SL Optional Rule on page 152, or to support non-combat Skill Tests for those with very high Skills. Using the Tests Above 100% optional rule alongside the core rules for determining SL and the core Advantage rules can create some enormous SLs in combat, which will certainly suit some groups looking for epic campaigning, but can be overwhelming if not controlled. So, keep that in mind when considering this optional rule. Actually, on that, if you want to rein-in spiralling Advantage that causes enormous Damage in combat, which is not to everyone's taste, try out optional Fast SL rule — sorts it rather nicely if the core rule is not to your preference. Anyway, back to Ben...)
Options: Combining Skills
On page 155, there is advice for Testing situations where one Skill just doesn’t cut it. The Combining Skills Option allows Players to play more to their Character’s strengths, whilst also allowing them to specialise much further, and to get more varied outcomes. Consider the following:
Brigit the Boatbuilder has the Trade (Carpenter) Skill, and the Lore (Rivers) Skill. She’s planning on upgrading her river barge so that it can better travel down the Reik to Marienburg. Normally, she’d merely roll a Trade (Carpenter) Test, but her Player asks to combine Lore (Rivers) into the Test, with the reasoning that Brigit’s knowledge of the Reik itself should help inform her building choices. The GM agrees, and Brigit Tests. If both Skill Tests are passed, we have a quite different result from either of the single Tests. If one fails we know the upgrade is installed (but gains no bonus for river travel), or that it the upgrade works well on rivers (but maybe not for long...).
Why not a side of Ranged (Entangling) to go with your Drive Skill?
This rule is especially useful where a Player doesn't have a lot of time (so is forced to act quickly, combining their capabilities into one, complicated attempt), or when opposing another Character, and you want a single roll to determine all the opposed outcomes. It can speed play, and provides interesting, varied results that can strongly influence the ongoing narrative. As such, there are few Campaigns where I’d suggest not employing this optional rule.
Options: Little Prayers
Lastly for this blog, page 204 offers my favourite optional rule in the core book: Little Prayers. (For folks playing at home, my favourite-favourite rule is Dark Deals, but we’ll get to that in a later article.) Little Prayers presents something I’ve always incorporated into my home campaigns. The Gods, whilst aloof, and inexplicable (and likely entirely different to what any Species in the Old World believes), are definitely there. Something is listening. And we already know that the Characters are different — they have Fate points after all! The Gods are listening. And sometimes they nudge the world closer to their own goals.
Little Prayers evokes a Campaign where the Players and Characters alike deeply care about religion in the Old World. It presents a Campaign where learning as much about the Gods, their tenets, and their various Cults and heresies are not only entertaining but potentially game-changing. This is GOLD for a GM, and gives my Player-brain endless ideas for Character concepts.
What’s more, the manifestations of the Little Prayers are unlikely to be obvious, or necessarily mechanical. As the GM, you have the power to obfuscate the results. The Character prays, you roll the dice, and you make some notes. Maybe it worked, and maybe it didn’t. It’s wonderful, dramatic, and beautiful roleplay. And it makes me desperately want to run a provincial monastic Campaign, where every aspect of the Characters’ lives involves the various and innumerable Cults of the Empire...
Until Next Time…
I hope I’ve given you all a lot to think about. Until next time, when I go over System Rules and the awesome Between Adventures Chapter, have a think about some of the other Options in the rulebook, and reflect on what implementing them would mean, not just for the rules of your Campaign, but the fiction! And don’t forget to catch us on our social media channels, and tell us your favourite Optional Rules, and how they affect your game!
Until then, folks!
Apr 10 2019
We hope that by now you are getting into our weekly WFRP blog posts by C7 writer Ben Scerri. If you've missed any, you can catch up on our blog anytime. As always we would love to hear your feedback on our Facebook and Twitter pages. For now, let's get stuck into blog number 6!
Hello, everyone! My name is Ben, and I’m here to discuss the most diminutive yet least disparageable (despite popular belief) Species currently available during Character Creation: the Halflings! There are a few misconceptions concerning Halflings online, and I’m here to clear these up. The focus today is the Size rules on page 341 of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Core rulebook. For many, what I discuss here will be obvious; but for some, it will come as a surprise. So, grab your best Rumster's pie and settle into your comfy chair, and let's talk Halflings!
All Halflings, at Character Creation, get the Small Talent (page 145). This means the Size rules in the Bestiary (page 341) apply to them. Given no other Species (currently...) start with Small, this means Halflings appear to be at a significant disadvantage to almost every Character and Creature they might meet, right?
Yes, being Small has its drawbacks (and we Maltese know all about height issues, trust you me) but it's also a blessing in disguise... you just need to know how to think about it. To that end, I'm going to discuss each of the parts of the Small Trait, and what they mean for the mechanics and fiction of a Halfling Character.
Size Combat Modifiers
There are many modifiers a Character gets depending on size. If a Character is bigger than their opponent, they gain the Damaging Quality, multiply their damage by the number of steps, and all successful strikes activate the Deathblow special rule (page 160)! However, if a Character is smaller, they gain a +10 bonus to hit their opponent. One thing to note, here, is +10 to hit... Not 'to hit in melee', but ANYWHERE!
By itself, this might not seem like such a big deal... until you remember that one of the best ways to get rid of Advantage is to shoot at someone, because they can take damage from an unopposed Test. Whilst a Halfling would certainly suffer greatly in melee, their size difference makes them an ideal sniper on the battlefield! Indeed, the State Army of Mootland is dominated by Halflings armed with slings and shortbows, largely because this is an area where they excel. So, if you are playing a Halfling, or you are a GM using Halfling NPCs, play to the strengths and arm the doughty fellows with appropriate ranged weapons.
Defending Against Big Creatures
When parrying big folk, you receive a penalty of –2 SL for each step your attacker is larger. This is another great reason why Halflings shouldn’t be looking to charge into combat against most enemies, but there’s more to it than that. Note the penalty isn’t applied to use of the Dodge Skill.
Again, this might not seem like much, but actually, it’s rather freeing. When an option is, essentially, closed to a Character — i.e. it’s a pointless choice to make, because it’s never going to work — then all the resources (the XP) that other Characters are spending on those choices are suddenly freed up for other things. So, whilst your Halfling may never be much of a fencer, or be known as Bullingham the Boxer, your Character is likely to have a higher Dodge than anyone else in the party, and that really pays off when you go up against really big guys like Ogres, Trolls, or worse. Your Character is prepared. The others are less likely to be.
Fear and Terror
Here’s where things really start to turn south for our intrepid Halfling Heroes: whenever they’re confronted with a Creature they perceive to be aggressive, they suffer from Fear or Terror (page 191), depending on its size. For Humans, Dwarfs, and Elves, this means the Halflings have to deal with Fear 1, contested by the Cool Skill.
Now, this is a big deal. Halflings can keep their distance — but they will likely be outrun by a Human, if they’re pursued, and will have to Test against gaining Broken Conditions in that event — but running isn't really a solution. Fortunately, Halflings have a high Willpower (and thus, better Cool), so they have a good chance of resisting this Fear, but that's never certain. Indeed, many Halflings will find themselves fleeing difficult combats at the most unfortunate times unless they are careful.
The real clincher to being succesful in combat requires not being confronted by a Creature you perceive as aggressive. In other words, keep away from the big folk, and the Psychology Tests to avoid Fear are never a problem. Facilitating this, Halflings start with access to Stealth, Perception, and Intuition, and you should seriously consider bumping these Skills. Reading the big folk, understanding their emotions, and keeping out of their way, is very literally a survival mechanism for the Halfling Species. They’ve evolved to keep out of the way of others and appear unassuming and unthreatening, because a showy Halfling is a stomped-on Halfling!
So, yes, Halflings suffer from Fear and Terror far more frequently than their bigger brethren... but they are very small (the shortest of the Species by a considerable margin — for all they are also the most rotund!). So, remember Halflings need to keep an eye out for danger to a much greater degree than their long-legged friends, and that they need to work together to bring down bigger enemies.
Moving in Combat
And, since we're discussing combat, it’s worth noting that larger Creatures are able to move out of melee combat without having to Disengage from smaller opponent. This means that, even if your Halfling manages to become proficient in hand-to-hand combat, the Character will still never be the equal of their larger opponents. After all, the bigger folk can just move away without worry, pushing the smaller folk aside with relative ease! What’s more, other than Dwarfs, all the other Species have a higher Movement than Halflings, so should opponents flee, they often manage to escape.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, bigger is best when it comes to Opposed Strength Tests. Smaller creatures receive significant disadvantages when trying to use brute force against larger targets. However, like everything else, this rule shouldn’t be saying to you: 'Try to perform an Opposed Strength Test and fail', but rather 'When a Human would normally perform an Opposed Strength Test, you have to think more creatively.'
Halflings, being disadvantaged and marginalised in the world, need to come up with more creative solutions to their problems. It’s obvious that a Halfling can’t grapple an opponent in combat and will be overpowered... but that just means they need a net, right? Or a trap...
Whilst this mechanic sounds like it's for use by Creatures larger than Humans (like Dragons, for example) as they squash adventurers with impunity, because Halflings are Small, they’re at risk of being Stomped by just about everything they might encounter. Which means Stomp is another one of those Big-Folks-Have-It-All mechanics, which reinforces the need for a Halfling to get out from underfoot, as Humans with easily kick them aside (or perhaps punch), in addition to their normal attacks.
And finally, we come to the Wounds.
Halflings don’t add their Strength Bonus when calculating their Wounds, unlike Humans, Dwarfs, and Elves, which means they end up with (on average) 2 fewer Wounds than their companions. This isn’t so much of a problem — maybe one small hit more can be absorbed by bigger Characters. But a lot of people think that Average sized Creatures would deal twice their Damage to a Small Creature: this is not the case when using the full Size rules in WFRP. The Damage multiplication is based on the number of Size steps between the fighters. An Average Creature is only one step larger than a Small Creature, so their Damage is only multiplied by 1 (which means it is unchanged).
Considering all of the above comments, a Halfling caught in melee is in trouble and is very likely to be hurt badly… But a Halfling on the sidelines is unlikely to be the target of many enemies; perhaps only with Ranged weapons. Therefore, fewer Wounds (at the normal rate of Damage) is nothing to worry about…
Unless they have an Ogre, that is.
What Does All This Mean
All of this, together, should be painting a pretty clear picture: Halflings should probably avoid close combat. The trope of the sneaky, charming Halfling isn’t one of laziness, but rather, one of biological imperative. Halflings just can’t survive in the world of the big folk unless they are careful. So what would a life be like when everything you do you have to be wary of your size, and be careful of the world around you?
It doesn’t take much to consider what this would be like, and there are folks in the real world who can relate to these experiences…
As a Halfling, you need to stick close to other Halflings. They’re the only ones who really understand you, after all. As such, Halfling clannishness makes a lot of sense in practice. Massive families who live very close together, and who spend all their time in proximity, not only support each other socially, but also provide help when the big folk come calling.
Friend of the Big Folk
But a Halfling adventurer can’t stay at home all the time, so they need big folk — friends and allies — to have their backs. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Halflings are very good at making friends —they have the highest Fellowship of all the Species, and begin with Charm — and are swift to adopt the culture of others when living amongst them. In fact, the larger their companions, the friendlier Halflings seem to get. Halflings and Dwarfs may not get along very well, but Halflings and Humans are often firm friends, and Halflings and Ogres... Well, they are as thick as thieves!
A Culture of Sharing
Because Halflings live in such close proximity to their fellows, and have to rely on less from the outside world, they share everything they have... so much so that they don’t really have the same concept of ownership as the other Species. That’s why they get in trouble so often for ‘stealing’ things, when really they’re just borrowing them, with the full intention of giving them — sharing them — back with those they took them from, or, at the least, with those who need them.
It’s a Big (Old) World Out There
No one said being a Halfling was easy… Least of all the Halflings! But that shouldn’t be a deterrent to enjoying the Halfling experience. Halflings, just like Elves or Dwarfs, offer a completely different playing experience to a Human Character. If that’s not what you’re after, then naturally, the drawbacks of being a Halfling count against you. But if you embrace those differences, you can have a truly rewarding play experience!
Let us know on our social media channels which Species is your favourite to play, and why!
Apr 9 2019
For this weeks #TeamTuesday we hear from another of C7's incredibly talented artists - JG O'Donoghue. We recently revealed some of JG's amazing art for our upcoming release WFRP Rough Nights & Hard Days and we look forward to sharing more very soon!
My interest in fantasy art started as a pre teen when I saw the cover of The Hobbit, I was just blown away by the majesty of the idyllic nature and I still remember it to this day. I didn’t actually read Tolkien until my parents locked me in my brothers attic room to study for my final school exams (The Leaving Cert) and I found his copy of The Lord of the Rings. As one can imagine I didn’t do very well in the Leaving Cert, but what a great book!
I currently work for Cubicle 7 as a staff artist. My arts entire purpose is to be the hand for the leg up and over the wall for your imagination, as you wonder through our amazing deep fantasy worlds. Before this, I spent many years working in archaeological illustration, reconstructing heritage sites (and still do!), mostly in Ireland and the UK. But, I never really gave up fantasy and was always reading about it, playing RPG's or sketching it during my time off.
Cubicle 7 has been the fulfilment of my dream to use my acquired archaeological knowledge in fantastical settings. And Cubicle 7 really does provide fantastical settings in spades! I mostly work in the ramshackle towns of WFRP or the epic hugeness of the upcoming Age of Sigmar RPG. However, there are always so many great books on the go here at Cubicle 7, I just wish I had the time to work on all of them!
As for my time-off (I don't believe in such a thing!), I like to remember the tactile sensation of traditional art by sketching for fun or studying anatomy/life drawing with charcoal and always levelling up (artists are boring people!).Besides this, you will always find me with a fantasy/sci fi/historical book in hand or just hanging out with my long term girlfriend, friends and family.
Apr 8 2019
Apr 3 2019
It's #WarhammerWednesday time here at Cubicle 7 and that means another super WFRP post from C7 writer Ben Scerri! This week its all about Creatures! Let us know on Facebook and Twitter how you create Creatures for your games — and definitely regale us with stories of your own twisted creations! If you missed Ben's previous posts, settle in and catch up on post one, two, three and four now.
It’s that time again! Hey folks, I’m Ben Scerri, and I am Excited™ to jump back on my soapbox and wax lyrical about all things WFRP! This time around, I’m going to poke my head into the Bestiary, and I’ll explain the various methods I used to create Creatures for every WFRP occasion. Let’s begin!
Four Ways to Skin a Monster(ous Cat)
Whilst the Bestiary in the core book comes with a bunch of options — enough, really, for MANY sessions of play — there’s one truth that rings out the Old World over...you can never have too many monsters! But endless reams of Creatures barely dissimilar from each other are also not ideal, so (like everything 4th Edition) we’ve gone for a toolbox approach, rather than an exhaustive list. We’ve given you everything you need to bolt together your every own Ungors, or cobble together some much bigger...
But there’s more than one way to skin a monster in Warhammer. In fact, to my mind, there are four...
The Paintbrush Method
Creatures are, by design, very simple things in 4th Edition — a handful of stats and a few Traits. What really makes the monster is the GM’s description… Which means that our first method for making new Creatures is to steal existing ones and changing the way you talk about them!
Let’s look at the humble Orc: beyond the descriptive text on page 325, we have a Creature with high Toughness, reasonable Weapon Skill, Strength, and Willpower, and pretty much rubbish in everything else. We also have a Creature with strong armour, who doesn’t take orders well, and who has a bad habit of not knowing exactly when to die… This works perfectly for an Orc, but it could also work well for an overly muscled Mutant, or some form of thick-skinned Lustrian ape!
A Creature’s Traits bow down to the GM’s description, so instead of seeing Creatures as set-in-stone rules from the book, feel free to give them a fresh coat of paint, and to call an Orc an Ape!
The Menu Method
Each Creature also comes with a list of Optional Traits they can be given. Again, these aren’t the only Traits they can be given in addition to their normal list, but they are given as suggestions for what makes sense, and might commonly come up. Adding one or more to a Creature among a group of similar Creatures is a great way to mark one out as special — perhaps the leader, or a spellcaster among mundane monsters, and so on.
Let’s look back at the Orc. Our options are Painless, Ranged+8 (50), and Size (Large). If there are four Orcs, you could pick one out to be a hulking warboss by making them the biggest (with Size (Large)); one could be a cunning archer, armed with a bow and arrows (with Ranged+8 (50)); one could be a normal, run of the mill Orc; and the last could be a Savage Orc, far from home, painted with the blue warpaint wot-makes-you-not-die (the Painless Trait)! On top of that, all creatures can be given the Generic Traits on page 310. So, maybe an Orc is also a Brute (maybe they are all Brutes!), maybe one is an Elite (a Black Orc, perhaps), or maybe one is a Leader, or carries a different Weapon (Choppa!).
And there's more: remember that the Optional Traits are far from an exhaustive list of what can be given to a Creature. Maybe there is an Orc Shaman (with the Magical and Spellcaster Traits). Maybe there’s a Savage Orc in the mix (with the Frenzy and Ward (9+) Traits). Maybe there’s even a mad Orc Alchemist, covered in vials of deadly poisons and horrible acids (with the Venom and Corrosive Blood Traits)!
Alternately, the Menu Method can be used in conjunction with the Paintbrush Method above. This can be done to make Combat easier on the GM — they only have to consult one stat block, but can describe many different kinds of monsters — or to create new Creatures with very little work.
With the Menu Method, you can pick and choose from the Traits list (or even invent your own) to quickly generate drastically different Creatures at the drop of a hat!
The Template Method
Next up we have the Template Method, where we take a Creature similar to what we want, and then modify it so it looks and sounds differently. Let’s once more look at our humble Orc:
Suggest we took away the Orc’s Belligerent Trait, and gave it the Cunning Trait instead. Now let’s take the Night Vision Trait, and replace it with Breath 2 (Electricity), and lastly we replace Infected with Daemonic 8+.
What started out as a mundane member of the Greenskin species, with three little changes, has become a terrible new foe in the daemonic armies of the Chaos Gods!
What’s more, we can just change numbers around if we feel like it. Swap the template’s Strength and Toughness around to make it a harder hitter, but letting it go down easier. Swap the Willpower with the Fellowship to create a beguiling soldier for the Prince of Excess, or perhaps with Intelligence and Initiative to make a scheming hawk-eyed Tzeentchian terror!
When you combine these sorts of changes with liberal use of colourful description (as in the Paintbrush Method above), your Players will never know the awful thing they face started out as an everyday Orc, a few moments before the session began.
The Career Method
Which brings us to the last method for making Creatures: the Career Method. This one is a little more involved, but worthwhile if the Creature is going to be a recurring villain, or if you want to build something that really challenges the Characters. To do it, you simply treat a Creature like a Character — pick one, pick a Career, and start giving them Advances! Make your Orc a Pit Fighter. Have your Orcs marshall together as elite Black Orcs by taking several Careers along the Soldier path!
These Careers don’t even need to make sense, at first. Consider sending your Orc Shaman to college as a Wizard! Maybe they stumbled on an ancient book of arcane lore, and learned far more than is right! Maybe they have been corrupted by a terrible artefact, and have a bunch of advances in the Witch Career, as well.
Creatures can take Skills and Talents just like any Character can, so feel free to go all out. Give them as much XP as you feel is necessary — maybe 500 or 1000 for a challenging Creature for new Characters — and then grant them more XP as the sessions go past. Hell, you could frame entire adventures around preventing new knowledge from falling into the hands of a monstrous force of Creatures: if the Characters succeed, their foes remain ignorant, but if they fail, the Orcs all learn the Drilled Talent!
If you really wanted to go deep down this rabbit hole, you might even consider giving Creatures a few Endeavours whenever the Characters get them...but that’s an article for another day.
Description, Description, Description
As you can see, you can get as involved in the process of making new Creatures as you want. You can make a whole new Trait, or just pick from the selection given to you, throw a few darts at a board and see what sticks, or finely craft a nemesis for the Characters who will last until the final adventure… But really, the biggest thing you can do is to switch up your descriptions. Imagine the most terrible, brutal, profane, awful, nightmarish, hellish, repugnant, obscene, macabre, malevolent things your mind can conjure, and enjoy the looks on your Players’ faces when you call for Initiative!
Don't forget to let us know on our social media channels how you like to create Creatures for your games, links are at the top of the post!