Mar 20 2019
As its Warhammer Wednesday we want to share the third in our series of WFRP Blog Posts from C7 writer Ben Scerri. If you need to catch up on his previous in-depth posts you can find the first one here and the second here. You can also join the C7 chat on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to give us your feedback. You can find the WFRP4 Core rulebook in stores now or order directly here.
Hello again, folks! Today we’re talking setting expectations in WFRP — that’s right, we’re doing a little Gamemaster advice! The rulebook is full of mechanics, stories, hooks, monsters, spells, careers, trappings… EVERYTHING you might need to run a game. But today I want to talk a little about starting a game, so that’s where we’re going to jump in right now.
‘Nobody expects the Estalian Inquisition… but they sure as Sigmar should expect your game sessions!’
A good campaign will begin by setting expectations (especially in reference to what you should expect from the setting *wink*) — what are the likely themes, what are the boundaries, what are Characters going to spend most of their time doing — which allows the Players to become invested, and play their Characters to the strengths of the shared story.
I have a little tool I like to use when starting a WFRP campaign, and — like all good things — it owes its roots to the Ruinous Powers!
Let Chaos into your Campaigns
The four Chaos Gods have always stood as the four main pillars of what makes a good, fully-fleshed-out Warhammer experience to me. In them, we see the greatest extremes of Human emotion, and given Warhammer is a deeply emotional setting, it makes sense that Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch, and Slaanesh are the furthest extremes therein!
I like to think of each Chaos God as a slider — a scale from ‘0’ to ‘Tzeentch’ — that tells us how much we want to focus on that God’s style of extremism in play. A good campaign — in my opinion — will focus about half of the time on one God’s sphere, then have two other God’s peppered through, making up most of the other half, with the final God used only in extreme circumstances… What do I mean? Well, that’s a good question: let’s break it down further, shall we?
Khorne: Violence, Combat, and Military-Fiction!
Khorne — the Blood God — is all about killing things, fighting enemies in glorious battle, and likely dying at the end of a sword.
Campaigns that feature Khorne’s sphere of influence heavily likely have a lot of combat in them: the Characters hunt monsters, or serve in the State Army of Altdorf, or plumb the depths of a Dwarf ruin, or serve as sewer jacks beneath Ubersreik! These sorts of campaigns can expect combat at least every session, with the risk of death always being right around the corner.
Players are encouraged to choose Careers that focus on martial Skills and Characteristics, or those that supplement martial Characters (barber-surgeons, wizards, priests, and so on). Additionally, Players are encouraged to have back-up Characters ready in case their main Character passes through the Portal during a session, and greets Morr, the God of Death — perhaps taking control of a non-player character, like a hireling brought along for extra muscle.
GMs of these sorts of campaigns will want to be very familiar with the rules of Combat and Injuries, and might want to ignore the Sudden Death rule entirely! Further, the GM should focus on the action at the table — don’t worry about backstories and intrigues too deeply. Draw the Characters into conflicts using visceral threats — enemies knocking down the door, the threat of being hanged as a criminal, the murder of a loved one or notable-about-town.
Nurgle: Decay, Disease, and the Downtrodden!
Nurgle — the Fly Lord — is the perfect vector for stories of societal decay (both literally via plague, and figuratively via corrupt politicians) and hopelessness, with Characters struggling to hold back an inevitability.
Campaigns that feature Nurgle’s sphere of influence heavily likely have a lot of roleplaying with the downtrodden, lots of insidious cults, and lots of gritty ‘realism’ for the Characters to struggle through. Finding a meal and a place to sleep is a concern. Staying out of the rain so as not to catch cold is paramount. And avoiding the boil-covered beggars on the steps of Shallya’s temple is more than mere colourful description: it is the difference between life and death!
Players are encouraged to buy into the horrific themes of these sorts of campaigns: generally speaking, it’s impossible to scare someone whilst playing a game unless they want to be scared. Players should also look at Characters that mire them in the conflicts — so they can’t just walk away from all the horror — through academics who are rooted to a place of study, community leaders or family-oriented Characters, or other such small-folk who don’t have the luxury of leaving.
GMs should read up on the rules for Disease and Infection, Psychology, and the Between Adventures chapter. Further, the GM should look for what the Characters want, and use unconventional methods to threaten them. The GM should strive to stretch the Characters beyond their means, and to push them into hopelessness, and terrible consequences. This is not the sort of campaign folks should be foisted into without first agreeing to it!
Tzeentch: Mysteries, Machinations, and Mutations!
Tzeentch — the Lord of Change — is a cunning tutor for the twisting of fates, and circuitous logic, with the Characters chasing leads, learning of foul cults, and uncovering secrets laid down in the dusts of time.
Campaigns that feature Tzeentch’s sphere of influence heavily likely have a lot of background woven in by the GM, involve investigations, conspiracies, and lies being told. The Characters themselves may even have secrets from each other — though it’s often more fun if the Players are all in on the secrets, so everyone can appreciate the dramatic irony when they come into play. Learning things that should be left alone, and the ever-present threat of Corruption are constant themes in these campaigns.
Players are encouraged to create Characters with deep motivations that run beyond merely generating wealth, fighting the good fight, or becoming famous. Characters with aspirations — the sky’s the limit — are easier to goad into terrible acts, and give everyone a good playing field to ask questions like ‘Do the ends justify the means?’ Characters in these sorts of games also benefit from having some means already — nefarious connections, obscene wealth, a seedy past, or access to forbidden knowledge.
GMs should read up on the rules for Mutation, Corruption (specifically Dark Deals), and the investigation Skills like Bribery, Gossip, Intimidate, Intuition, and so on… Further, the GM should become deeply familiar with genre fiction — such as farce and noir — and learn to ask Player Characters leading questions such as: “Who was it who murdered your mother?” rather than “What happened to your mother?” This sort of game requires more preparation time for the GM, so it’s not encouraged if you’re time-limited, but I find it the most rewarding style of play.
Slaanesh: Depravity, Intrigue, and Inequality
Slaanesh — the Prince of Excess — is a seductive god who’s stories involve the worst of Humanity’s crimes. The inequalities of the Nobility, the hypocrisies of the Cult of Sigmar, and the undercurrent of Human greed and perversion are the constant threats to the Characters…
Campaigns that feature Slaanesh’s sphere of influence heavily likely deal with some real-world problems dialled up to the extreme, and can act as catharsis or amusing satire. Real world history can often provide inspiration for these sorts of campaigns, by tying in political figures past and present! Mostly, though, these campaigns will be about Characters talking, scheming, and stabbing each other in the back.
Players are encouraged to create Characters and stories that revolve around the movers and shakers — the nobility, the priesthoods, the wizards in Altdorf — whether directly (by being those figures) or tangentially (by serving, investigating, or surrounding them). Players should pay special attention to their Ambitions, and should work together to create potentially conflicting stories! If everyone is engaged and onboard, a campaign where the Characters are in opposition to each other can be very entertaining — so long as everyone is still having fun, and respects each others boundaries. Remember, a good story is more important than ‘winning’.
GMs should read up on the rules for Ambitions, and the politics of the Reikland / world history. Further, they should spend the majority of their preparation time planning interesting non-player characters with as deep Motivations and Ambitions as the Characters — perhaps even going so far as to give them their own full Character Sheets and engage in Between Adventures Endeavours just like everyone else! GMs are well served by having a relationship map of their non-player Characters, and often find most of their planning being reactive to the Players’ actions.
Now that we’ve discussed our individual ingredients, let’s mix them together and see what pops out! I’ll pitch four example campaigns, with a combination of the four sliders — one set high, another two at the low end, and the last for a single epic moment in the game…
Slaanesh, with a dash of Khorne and Tzeentch, and a pinch of Nurgle. The Characters are servants and courtiers in a noble court, where duelling, backstabbing, and political intrigue are their bread and butter. Play revolves around pursuing their own goals whilst guarding their backs from the machinations of jealous and scheming rivals and villains. The threat of disease and starvation should be far from their minds… until a terrible winter spreads famine and plague across the land.
Tzeentch, with a dash of Slaanesh and Nurgle, and a pinch of Khorne. The Characters are burghers, investigators, local priests, and rat catchers — local folks in a big city — where something just isn’t right. People are going missing — dying of strange wasting illnesses — whilst new and strange folk are rising with great fortune. Only the Characters can put the pieces together, and confront the darkness growing in their midst...
Khorne, with a dash of Nurgle and Tzeentch, and a pinch of Slaanesh. The Characters are members of a mercenary company, stationed on the edge of the Empire, or deep in the Border Princes, who must contend with the constant threat of war, starvation, and the wasting diseases that war brings. But not everything is as it seems, and a mastermind behind the company has other, darker, plans — perhaps uncovering something from the hands of their enemies. Will the Characters be mere pawns of their general, keeping their eyes down and their bellies passably full? Or will they root out the cancer in their midst?
Nurgle, with a dash of Khorne and Slaanesh, and a pinch of Tzeentch. The Characters are members of a small community in the deepest parts of the Reikwald, in a forgotten corner of the Empire. Their lives are hard, and it’s a constant struggle to keep everyone’s mouths fed, and their spirits up… But such hardship breeds cruelty and corruption — will the Characters fall to this temptation, or will someone, or something else have to take matters into their own hands?
Talk About Daemons…
What I want you to take away from this is to talk about your daemons as a group. What do you care about? What do you find fun? What haven’t you played before? Discuss this as a group, before you begin to make Characters, and you’ll find a far stronger narrative, with more entrenched themes and fun, bleeds through.
I hope you let us know on our social media channels which of the above styles of play is your favourite, and your best advice for running those kinds of games!
Until next time, folks!
Mar 13 2019
Last week we brought you part one in our new series of WFRP Blog posts. If you missed it you can catch up here. Today, Cubicle 7 writer Ben Scerri is looking at Success Levels. Join the chat over on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what you think!
Hi, folks! It’s Ben again. The Old World is a brutal place, where it’s a struggle just to get by, and all-too-often you’re only winning because someone else is losing more than you… So today, I’m going to tackle something very core to the game: Success Levels!
Hang in there, buddy.
Success Levels (SL) come up in three main areas of play: Dramatic Tests, Opposed Tests, and specifically Opposed Tests in Combat. Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we?
Success Levels in Dramatic Tests
Sometimes it’s not good enough to know if you merely succeed or fail, and we need to know how much of a fool (or, Sigmar help us, a hero) you made of yourself. In these instances, we use Dramatic Tests. The Test follows the same usual pattern as a Simple Test, but the number you rolled, in addition to being higher or lower than your Skill or Characteristic being Tested, is important.
Salundra and Gunnar stroll into the Red Moon Inn in Ubersreik, excited by the prospect of a stiff drink to wash away the troubles of the day. Unfortunately, tonight the pub is patronised by a rowdy gang of locals who mistake Salundra’s noble swagger for the walk of the hated Altdorfers! A thug gets to his feet, swaying slightly, and starts ranting to the crowd about how unwelcome Altdorfers are, attempting to get the two thrown out. Salundra decides to make a joke of the man, and perhaps earn herself some free drinks from the locals, so she rolls a Charm Test. Because this Test has a range of potential results, it’s a Dramatic Test. Salundra rolls a 91 against her Charm of 28!
Once you’ve rolled, first figure out if you succeeded or failed, like a Simple Test. Remember, if the roll is equal to or lower than the target, you succeed; otherwise, you fail.
91 is a lot higher than Salundra’s target of 28, so this is a failure…
Next, we minus the target’s ‘tens’ column from the roll’s ‘tens’ column, to discover the SL. If the roll was a failure, we do the reverse.
The tens of the target was ‘2’, and the tens of the roll was ‘−9’. Therefore, 2 − 9 = −7 SL!
−7 SL on a Dramatic Test is an Astounding Failure, which means, not only does Salundra fail to swing the crowd to her side, she gets a few ‘free’ drinks thrown her way… And not in the way she was hoping!
Success Levels in Opposed Tests
When two or more Characters go head-to-head, we call for an Opposed Test. All parties involved make a Test with a relevant Skill or Characteristic (it might be the same one, such as in a horse race both parties would Test Ride, or it might be different Skills, such as a thief hiding with Stealth and a guard searching with Perception) and then compare to see who won. Opposed Tests add a whole new element to SL, because an Opposed Tests doesn’t focus on Success and Failure as much as who scored more SL.
Gunnar can see the situation is turning quick, and if anyone knows when a fight’s about to break out, it’s a Slayer. He can see most of the patrons are armed at least with cudgels and daggers, so he decides to intimidate the instigator with his axe, hoping the crowd is encouraged to not draw their weapons, and leave this one to fists only.
Gunnar rolls 45 against his Intimidate of 43 — a failure with −0 SL. The thug rolls a 64 against his Cool of 29 — a failure with −4 SL. Even though both characters ‘failed’, Gunnar failed by fewer −SL, so won the Opposed Test: the patrons in the bar are still going to brawl, but they’re keeping their weapons in their belts as Gunnar slides his thumb along the edge of his axe, just like the great Troll Slayers do…
The Character who rolled better on an Opposed Test is considered the ‘winner’, with the other character being the ‘loser’. Please note that winning is not the same as succeeding! For most Opposed Tests, this distinction isn’t important...but it becomes very important when we get to combat. Speaking of which...
Success Levels in Combat
Most Actions in Combat will be Opposed Tests — either attacking an opponent with a Melee Skill, or using another Skill to gain Advantage over an opponent. But Combat is more dynamic than your average Skill Tests, and the range of potential outcomes and complications grows alongside that.
When a character attacks another character in melee, they roll an Opposed Test with the appropriate Skill — Melee (Basic), Melee (Two-handed), etc. The Defender rolls with an appropriate Skill, depending on how they’re protecting themselves — Melee (Basic) if they’re parrying with their main weapon, Melee (Parry) if they’re using a main gauche or similar, or Dodge if they’re trying to get out of the way entirely!
The result of this roll is different depending on who wins the Opposed Test: if the Attacker wins, they deal Damage, and if the Defender wins, the blow is deflected.
Salundra seizes the initiative and dives at the thug, swinging her fists wildly — she rolls 14 against her Melee (Brawling) of 49: success with +3 SL! The thug, blindsided by Salundra’s ferocity, attempts to duck out of the way — he rolls 33 against his Melee (Brawling) of 36: success with +0 SL.
The difference in the SL of an attack Action — in both melee and at range — is added to the Damage dealt. If this would be a negative difference, it is made positive (e.g. −1 SL vs −6 SL = +5 SL).
The total SL is +3 for the above attack, and Salundra is Unarmed with a Damage of +SB+0. Salundra’s Strength is 36, so her Strength Bonus is 3, making a total Damage of 6! The thug is wearing no armour on his Right Leg (where the blow hit), so only reduces this by his Toughness Bonus of 3, to 3 Wounds. Salundra went low, it seems, and only narrowly missed a punch to the groin!
Criticals & Fumbles
But remember what I said about winning not being the same as succeeding? Take another look at the thug’s roll above — a 33… That’s a Critical! Remember that rolling doubles on a successful Melee Test results in a Critical, whilst rolling doubles on a failed Test results in a Fumble.
Even though the thug failed to win the Opposed Test — and therefore was hit by Salundra — he managed to deal a Critical Wound to her!
The thug rolls 1d100 to determine where the Critical Wound falls, and scores a 19 — Left Arm. He rolls 1d100 on the Critical Wound Table, and scores a 22 — a Sprain! Whilst Salundra goes low to punch the thug in the groin, he jumps back and swings his fist down. The blow cracks against Salundra’s left shoulder, janking it out of place, and giving her a Torn Muscle (Minor) injury, as well as dealing 1 Wound unmodified by her Toughness Bonus or Armour!
In this way, combat is always dangerous. There is never a situation where you’re entirely safe to get mucked in!
Gunnar follows Salundra into the fray, swinging his ham-sized fists left and right. He goes to beat up one of the thug’s cronies, and rolls a 55 against his Melee (Brawling) of 45 — a failure with −1 SL. The crony is so utterly thrown off by this assault, he rolls a 92 against his Melee (Brawling) of 31 — a failure with −6 SL! Gunnar won the Opposed Test, so deals Damage equal to the difference in the SL (+5) added to his SB (3) for a total of 8 Wounds!
However, Gunnar also rolled a double on a failed Test, so Fumbled. He rolls 1d100 on the Oops! Table, scoring a 44 — his manoeuvre left him out of place, with a −10 penalty on his next Action. Not surprising, given how reckless he was being!
When SLs are Tied
In the event that both Characters score the same SL on an Opposed Test, we compare the relevant Skill or Characteristic being rolled, with victory going to the higher trait. If there’s still a tie, the GM can either count it as a stalemate and nothing progressed that Round — two equally matched fighters circling each other, failing to get the upper hand — or the GM may ask for the Test to be retaken.
The crony recovers from Gunnar’s blow to the gut, and swings a fist in return, rolling a 25 against his Melee (Brawling) of 31 — success with +1 SL. Gunnar, surrounded on all sides, decides to duck to the side, rolling a 21 against his Dodge of 33 — success with +1 SL. The SLs are tied, but Gunnar’s Dodge (33) is greater than the crony’s Melee (Brawling) (31), so Gunnar wins the bout, and the swing goes over his head through empty space.
‘It’s Not About Winning or Losing…
...it’s how you die along the way.’
Right? That’s how the saying goes, yeah?
Success Levels add a level of granularity that lets Players and GMs alike express the true range of possibilities in WFRP — from horrible farce to dashing heroics. If you’ve any questions about the above, ask away on our social media channels, and we’ll answer you as soon as we’re finished beating up these rascals in the Red Moon Inn (because, let’s face it, Salundra and Gunnar are going to need all the help they can get).
Until next time, folks!
Mar 6 2019
This is the first in a series of in-depth Cubicle 7 WFRP blog posts from one of our writers, Ben Scerri. The aim of these posts is to give expert advice and insight into many different aspects of Warhammer. Take a read and join the chat over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Click here to find out a little more about Ben! #WarhammerWednesday
Hi folks, I’m Ben, a writer on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition — and I’m here to do my very favourite thing: talk about WFRP! It’s been a joy to see everyone dive deep into the new edition with such gusto. So let’s wade in, sword swinging and… hmm...
If we are fighting, I should really use something to defend myself with, right? Should I parry with my hand weapon, get myself a shield (and then, what size?) or should I pick up a specialist parrying weapon? And it looks like I’m not the only looking to find the best way to muck in, 4th Edition has given us more options than ever before to defend ourselves — so let’s go through the pros and cons of each method.
To my mind, the flavour, the fiction, is as much a mechanic as the numbers. We’re not just going to look into the maths behind each option, but also what each option means. What does it say about you to carry a great axe around? And is it a faux pas to carry a buckler with your rapier rather than main gauche?!
Let’s get into it, shall we? We have three primary options when parrying (obviously, this doesn’t include Dodging):
- Parrying with a normal weapon,
- Parrying with a shield,
- And parrying with a specialist weapon.
Sticking to Basics: Parrying with a Normal Weapon
Parrying with a normal weapon means, well, what it says on the tin: using a weapon — either in your primary or secondary hand — that is ordinarily used for offence. There are three situations where this would likely occur: you only have a weapon in your primary hand, and nothing else; you are wielding two weapons, one in each hand; or you’re carrying a two-handed weapon.
Whatever the reason for parrying with a normal weapon, a Character will use their appropriate Melee Skill to Oppose their attacker’s Melee Skill. This is often a good bet: Characters in a battle without a back-up plan are likely skilled with their main weapon… Or they were surprised… Or they’re too poor to afford anything else! Therefore, fighting like this is functional, economical, and likely wise for many combatants.
But there is a problem with this style of fighting: you’re entirely relying on winning an Opposed Test. You’re also utterly at the whims of an opponent at range. However, if you’ve chosen to wield a massive two-handed weapon, or are combining a secondary weapon with the Dual Wielder Talent, then these may be wise-enough trade-offs.
There are also social ramifications to this sort of fighting. Consider how foolish you’d look fighting a well-prepared knight — armed with a sword and shield — with only an axe in hand. Consider how uncouth you’d be to draw a massive bastard sword in a duel with a foppish noble, wielding a rapier and main gauche. Hand and great weapons are tools of personal defence — they lack the subtlety and style of purpose-built weapons like a foil or rapier. You couldn’t really get away with strolling into a noble court with a pike tucked into your belt, could you?
Nothin’ Like a Good Shield
There’s a reason Humans — in the real world, that is — have used shields since before written records, all the way until… well… now. Shields just make sense: someone is swinging or shooting something pointy at you, so put a big piece of wood or metal in the way! The same is true of shields in WFRP — especially in the latest edition, where they’ve been given all sorts of bells and whistles that shake up the regular push and thrust of combat!
Shields bring with them a lot of mechanical benefits, so let’s take a look at each one, and then address the individual kinds of shields.
All three shields are in the Basic weapon group — so use Melee (Basic) as their attacking or defending Skill — and have the following three Weapon Qualities: Shield, Defensive, and Undamaging.
Defensive is nice and straight forward: when you are wielding the weapon, you gain +1 SL to the Melee Test when defending. This even works if you are defending with a weapon in your other hand as you manoeuvre your shield into the path of any incoming weapons! When combined with the fact you’re likely to have a relatively high Melee (Basic) Skill, you should have a good chance of entirely parrying many incoming attacks (or at least reducing the difference in the SL). The Defensive Quality also allows shields to be used with Melee (Parry), which forgoes the –20 penalty you’d receive for using Melee (Basic) in an off-hand (if you don’t have Ambidextrous).
Undamaging isn’t the best, but given it’s a shield and you’re unlikely to be attacking with it unless you happen to have the Dual Wielder Talent, this shouldn’t sour you too much. This quality means all AP are doubled against attacks from shields, and said attacks don’t deal a minimum of 1 Damage.
Shield (Rating) is where things really shine — when using the shield to defend, you count as having Rating APs on all locations. This can be used to deflect Critical Wounds, and at Rating 2+ (so, a normal and large shield) you can even defend against ranged attacks! This is a game changer!
So, let’s look at the individual shields. Our Shield (Buckler) is the cheapest option — at 18/2, so just shy of a crown — and gives Shield 1. Alongside Defensive, this is already a sound tactical choice: you get to use the better of either Melee (Basic) at –20, or Melee (Parry), whilst getting a +1 SL on all defense Tests, and +1 AP to all Hit Locations when defending with the shield. Even if your opponent gets through, their attack will be severely hampered by this impressive defence!
Next, we have the Shield and Shield (Large), which are 2GC with Shield 2 and 3GC with Shield 3 respectively. Both carry the same tactical advantages as the Buckler, but with the added benefit of protecting against ranged attacks in line-of-sight — the only protection available against such attacks. Whilst they’re certainly expensive — and therefore outside of the reach of many adventurers — they would be my absolute first purchase.
In fact, it’s worth stating that I would purchase a Shield well before any armour pieces. Why? Well, because even though a Shield costs 2GC, a full suit of even Leather — which would only grant 1 AP on all locations, rather than 2 AP with +1 SL to defend — costs 1GC 14/–. For only 6/– more, you’re getting double, and then some, the value!
But it’s not all mechanics and mathematics. This is a roleplaying game, after all — you’re going to need to chat to some non-player characters before long, and I doubt the dandy will take too kindly to some raggedy hedge knight hefting around a massive shield. No, unfortunately, shields are not in fashion with the rakes and rapscallions of the Empire — though bucklers still get plenty of use by the middle class — which will mean you may have lost the war (for your honour) even before you’ve deflected a blow. Furthermore, shields are a practical symbol of war — you can’t hide them, you can’t side-step them. If you walk into a village carrying a shield, folks are going to know what you’re looking for and are used to dealing with trouble. Is that the kind of attention you want to bring?
Getting Fancy with Parrying Weapons
Lastly, we have Parrying weapons — either a main gauche or a swordbreaker — which are primarily the purvue of the elite, given their relative rarity compared with shields. These weapons are fashionable, but also highly functional, combining the Defensive Quality of a shield (and everything that brings), with the fact they’re powerful weapons in their own right. However, both of the weapons require the Melee (Parrying) Skill, so unless their wielder is trained in that Skill, they shouldn’t be seriously considered as options.
Let’s consider the main gauche: +SB+2 Damage with the Defensive Quality for only 1GC (though its Rarity will make it a tough cookie to find). If combined with the Dual Wielder Talent, and perhaps the Ambidextrous Talent, this would result in a powerful defensive and offensive option in combat.
But the weapon I really want to talk about is the swordbreaker. Only 2/6 more expensive than the main gauche, and being merely Scarce, this tricky little weapon delivers much: +SB+3 Damage, Defensive, a longer range (Short, as opposed to Very Short), and the curious Trap-blade Quality. What does Trap-blade do? When rolling a Critical whilst defending, you can force an Opposed Strength Test adding the SL from the Melee (Parry) Test. A success results in your opponent being disarmed, but success with +6 SL destroys the weapon entirely!
Parrying weapons are by far the easiest to place in social contexts — they’re very popular amongst the upper classes, and help you fit in with them. They also make you seem more fashionable among the middle-classes, and help you stand out amongst the lower-class locales. Furthermore, they’re much easier to conceal, so you can gain the benefits of ‘just having a hand weapon’ right up until your opponent has underestimated you and you draw your cunning swordbreaker.
Just Don’t Die, Alright?
Really, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you fight so long as you live to talk about it (and maybe look good doing it), right? That’s the real WFRP way. I hope this little deep-dive helped frame your character's weapon tastes a little better, and I look forward to hearing about your favourite combinations on our social media channels.
Until next time, folks!
Feb 27 2019
Download the new WFRP Errata 28 Feb now!
We have made some additional small amendments to the WFRP4 Errata today, it now includes extra clarifications about gaining Talents, ranged combat, spells, and how Stomping works. Not only this, but we've installed them all into the WFRP4 core rule book pdf!
If you downloaded from DrivethruRPG originally you should have received another email alert with a link to download the new full PDF. Bits and Mortar will be updated soon.
Feb 25 2019
This weeks Meet the Team offers a new perspective from Cubicle 7's Editor Síne. Read on for more on working in the world of Role-playing Games and a peek into life at Cubicle 7!
Feeling restless and needing a new challenge, I knew it was time for another adventure. Wrestling with imposter syndrome (despite 20+ years in the industry) but trusting my gut, I decided to go for the role of Editor at Cubicle 7.
Plunged head first into a swirling trap door straight into the cobbled streets of Ubersreik, I’ve been chased by Greenskins, Beastmen, Goblins and Demons. I’ve joined many a cult and observed all kinds of crazy rituals; sipped a range of chilled brews and declined roasted rat.
With distant memories of home-made knitted multicoloured scarves, I’ve travelled in the Twelfth Doctor’s Tardis at break-neck speed; battled Daleks head on and hid from Weeping Angels. (Tom Baker, if you haven’t already guessed. I’m a child of the seventies after all.)
I’ve heard the tap, tap, tapping of tiny chisels at the foot of the Lonely Mountain; snuck into Smaug’s lair and got so close I could smell his noisome breath and observe his scales ripple with each rise and fall of his deep dragon breath.
Though a novice to RPGs, I can spot a good story with lots of adventures a mile away. So I’m happy to report that there are lots of exciting new titles on the horizon to cater for many RPG fans and newbies, including Age of Sigmar, The Enemy Within and The Twelfth Doctor Sourcebook, to name just a few.
When I’m not working for Cubicle 7, I’m either editing a range of books (mainly picture books as I have an MPhil in children’s literature), ghostwriting books, reviewing books, researching text, recommending books or guiding students on how to write books. I drink a lot of tea and coffee! I also require plenty of fresh air to walk off the caffeine, so I bring my ferocious hound for long walks, and watch in wonder as toddlers and old ladies attempt to scoop her up as she passes by causing a sensation on busy Dublin streets – without even a backward glance. We live in a house with very high ceilings to accommodate our towering teens (they get their height and hair from their father’s side, and their curiosity and chatter from mine).
Inspired by the awesome books I’ve edited so far, I’m now working on my Suitable Skills hoping to perfect my Charm, Entertain (Speeches), and Leadership, while honing my Talents like Commanding Presence, Inspiring, Master Orator, and Public Speaker!
Síne Quinn, Editor, Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
Feb 21 2019
We are delighted to show you the Age of Sigmar cover art following its reveal on Warhammer TV just now! We are also excited to share a substantial update from our Age of Sigmar Producer Emmet below and look forward to your feedback on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages! You can also get involved in the discussion over on discord: https://discordapp.com/invite/WeXmJqP
Hello! My name is I’m Emmet Byrne, producer on the Warhammer Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game. Today we’re excited to share a major update about the Age of Sigmar RPG!
On the Cover
Firstly, we are incredibly excited to share with you the cover for the Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game. This amazing piece of art was created by the incredibly talented Johan Grenier and was first revealed on the Warhammer TV Twitch channel. You may recognise Johan’s work from other Age of Sigmar products, including the triumphant return of Gotrek in Realmslayer. Johan has a wealth of knowledge and experience with Age of Sigmar so having him create the cover for the Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game was hugely exciting for us.
On the cover itself, you can see a band of heroes from across the Mortal Realms facing down the forces of Chaos and the undead legions of Nagash, the Lord of Death. Our group of heroes is made up of a valiant Knight-Questor of the Stormcast Eternals, a devoted Excelsior Warpriest, an Isharann Tidecaster of the mysterious Idoneth Deepkin, a resourceful Endrinrigger of the Kharadron Overlords, and a towering Kurnoth Hunter of the Sylvaneth. These represent some of the types of characters you’ll be able to play in the Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game, but there are many more to choose from and build yourself. With that in mind, let’s talk about the game itself.
The Age of Sigmar
The Age of Chaos saw the Mortal Realms overrun with violence and death, but Sigmar’s return and the beginning of the Age of Sigmar saw hope rekindled. But now Nagash, the Undying King and Lord of Death, has set a thousand-year plan in motion. The dead stalk the lands and the mighty Stormcast Eternals are stretched to the brink. The Realms need heroes or risk falling into a new age: The Age of Death.
When you play the Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game you will be taking on the roles of heroes of the Mortal Realms. Your disparate group are a beacon of hope in the Realms and it is up to you to ensure that light isn’t extinguished. You will drive back the forces of Chaos, Death, and Destruction and help to return life and civilisation to the Realms.
As we mentioned in an earlier update, the Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game uses a D6 dice pool system. You’ll create your dice pool by adding your Attributes together with any Skills you are proficient with. Attributes describe your innate capabilities such as physical prowess, intelligence, and strength of will, while Skills represent your competency and experience in a particular area. Each character has 3 Attributes — Body, Mind, and Soul — and can choose from up to 24 unique Skills.
As well as Attributes and Skills, you will also have Talents. Talents are unique abilities and features that further define what you are capable of, such as spellcasting, aethercraft, or channeling the power of Sigmar into your strikes. When you choose your Archetype (read on for more on Archetypes!) you will have a predetermined list of Skills and Talents to choose from, but as your character grows you will be able to select from a wide array of unique options. This will give you a huge amount of freedom with how you grow and shape your character.
We also have a number of systems within the corebook centred on having your party work together, interacting with the factions of the realms, crafting, pets and mounts, and creating your own spells. We will discuss these and more in future updates.
Your Archetype is who you are when you begin playing the Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game. It may be your job, a calling, a military rank, or something a little more esoteric, but whatever it is it represents who you are when you first pick up the dice. Your Archetype is who you are now, but who, or what, you might become has yet to be decided.
Each Archetype presents your Species, your starting Attributes, your Core Skill and a number of other Skills to choose from, your Core Talent and a number of other Talents to choose from, your faction Influence, your starting equipment, and anything else that is important for your character.
The Archetypes presented in the corebook are drawn from some of the most well-known heroes of the Forces of Order. We will share more details and artwork for each Archetype in a future update, but for now we are happy to confirm the Knight-Questor and Knight-Incantor of the Stormcast Eternals, Auric Runesmiter of the Fyreslayers, Aether-Khemist of the Kharadron Overlords, Isharann Tidecaster of the Idoneth Deepkin, Witch Aelf of the Daughters of Khaine, Excelsior Warpriest of the Devoted of Sigmar, Former Freeguild Soldier of the Free Peoples, Kurnoth Hunter of the Sylvaneth, Skink Starpriest of the Seraphon, and the mysterious Realmswalker.
For players who prefer a more free-form approach to character creation, we also present rules for creating characters without Archetypes. Future products will introduce expanded player options, including Archetypes from outside the Forces of Order.
The Mortal Realms are almost endless, so packing them into a single book would be impossible. The Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game presents an overview of each of the Mortal Realms and what life is like for the people who live there. These give players and GMs an idea of what it would be like to adventure in these lands, who they might meet, and the threats they might face. It provides a grounding for you to set your adventure in any Realm you choose.
As well as giving an overview of each of the Realms, the corebook has a chapter dedicated to the lands of the Great Parch in Aqshy, the Realm of Fire. This chapter gives an insight into the daily life of the inhabitants of Aqshy, how they survive, how they trade and who they trade with, and how they have recovered from the events of the Age of Chaos. The great cities of Aqshy are explored, as are the havens of Chaos, Death, and Destruction. This chapter presents all the information a GM will need to run a campaign in The Great Parch.
To help us create the Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game we sought out some of the authors who have helped to shape the Mortal Realms into what we know today. David Guymer (Realmslayer, Hamilcar: Champion of the Gods), Josh Reynolds (Soul Wars, Plague Garden), and Clint Werner (The Tainted Heart, Overlords of the Iron Dragon) have all contributed to the Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game. Their input, insight, and knowledge of the Realms has been immense. These talented folk are some of the people who know the Realms best so to be able to pick their brains has been great. Expect to see more from them as the Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game grows and we explore more of the Mortal Realms.
In the coming months we will continue to share more information on the Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game. Future updates will focus in detail on how Archetypes work, showcase some of our talented artists, explore the complicated relationships of the factions of the Realms, and look into the future of what you can expect from the Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game. Be sure to keep an eye on our website and social media channels as we announce where you can come meet us, including which events to attend for a chance to be one of the first people in the world to play the Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game.
Until then, blessings of Sigmar be upon you!
Feb 20 2019
This week we hear from author Graeme Davis and producer Andy Law about the forthcoming book.
Today, WFRP fans count A Rough Night at the Three Feathers among the game’s best adventures. It was reprinted in two WFRP 1st edition compilations: The Restless Dead, published by Games Workshop in 1989; and Apocrypha Now, published by Hogshead Publishing in 1995. In 2005, eighteen years after it first appeared, it was adapted for WFRP 2nd edition in the Black Industries collection, Plundered Vaults.
GD: A Rough Night at the Three Feathers was an adventure for WFRP 1st edition, published in Games Workshop’s White Dwarf magazine in November 1987. I wrote it largely as an experiment, to see whether multi–plot adventures could even work as it had never been done in roleplaying games before. In the years that followed, I wrote two more adventures in the same style. The first, Nastassia’s Wedding, appeared in Steve Jackson Games’ Pyramid #19 (May/June 1996). I couldn’t resist continuing the plot of Gravin Maria-Ulrike von Liebwitz of Ambosstein and her feud with the von Dammenblatz family of Wissenburg from the first adventure. When I wrote The Edge of Night for WFRP 3rd edition, I included a chapter set in a swanky Ubersreik mansion, where more nobles got into all kinds of trouble.
For Rough Nights & Hard Days, I have updated and expanded these three adventures for the new edition of WFRP and added two new chapters: one set in the law-courts of a large town, and the other in a glittering opera house in one of the Empire’s great cities. The story of Gravin Maria-Ulrike and House Dammenblatz forms the main thread of the mini-campaign, but as in the original scenario, the adventurers’ lives are complicated by the fact that there is much more going on in each of these bustling locations than they initially realise.
'Of course, the Skaven don’t exist, so this never happens…’
But there are more than just five linked adventures in Rough Nights & Hard Days. When WFRP Producer, Andy Law, worked with Graeme to bring the book together, he found something he felt needed a little more attention.
AL: In 1987, A Rough Night at the Three Feathers originally contained a Gnome character. When I received the text for the updated version of the adventure, Graeme called this out, and suggested, given there hadn’t been Gnomes in WFRP for a very long time, that the Character in question could be replaced with a Halfling, much as had been done in Plundered Vaults for WFRP 2nd edition.
'The Three Feathers, Gnome free since 1995 IC’
I considered this. It was true, there hadn’t been Gnomes in WFRP since 1st edition. But there also hadn’t been any Fimir for a very long time, and that didn’t stop them from being included in the WFRP 4th edition rulebook. Similarly, Demigryphs had never been in WFRP before, but there are rules for them, too. If we had already presented old races and new for the first time in WFRP4, was they any reason not to take a look at those old Gnomes again and make them feel new?
Beyond the fact that Gnomes are potentially a bit silly, or could be seen as a lift from other fantasy roleplaying games (even though Gnomes were in the 1st edition of WFRP), there was no strong reason not to include them — assuming they could be written to fit the existing Warhammer world, and time was taken to explain why the species is so rarely mentioned, they seemed a good fit. After some consideration, I tapped some words onto the screen, and slowly, but surely, a new version of Gnomes took shape.
And, after a lovely chat with Games Workshop, it was confirmed: Rough Nights & Hard Days would present a new species: Gnomes. And not just as a new Bestiary entry, but as a playable Species with full Character creation rules. But once I had these rules in place, I had another issue: what should they look like?
To answer that, I turned to one of the greatest names in Warhammer art, Mark Gibbons, and asked if he’d be interested in recreating the classic race for the modern game. Thankfully, Mark jumped at the chance, and immediately set to sketching out how he imagined Warhammer Gnomes should be.
'Here to stay!’
I have to say, I adore the results.
So, thanks to Mark and Graeme, a classic species returns to WFRP. I hope you enjoy the Gnomes as much as we enjoyed rebuilding them for a new era.
'Gnomes are back from the dead!’
Feb 19 2019
The cover art for our upcoming Age of Sigmar RPG will be revealed this Thursday 21st February from 4pm GMT on Warhammer TV’s Twitch channel!
All the team at Cubicle 7 are incredibly excited for you to see it, a lot of work has gone into the cover and we are very proud of how it has turned out. We also can’t wait to share more news later this week from our Age of Sigmar Producer Emmet Byrne. Keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for more updates as we have them.
Tune in from 4pm GMT this Thursday to get an exclusive look here:
The reveal will tale place towards the end of the show so expect it nearer to 5pm.
Feb 18 2019
On this weeks Meet the Team we hear from one of Cubicle 7's writers for The One Ring and Adventures in Middle-earth™. In the coming weeks we will have insights from editors, producers, freelancers, marketing and more, so if you love RPG's or think you might like to work in the industry these articles should give you some insider knowledge and tips!
Hello everyone! I’m Jacob Rodgers and I work for Cubicle 7, doing mostly writing and development work for The One Ring and Adventures in Middle-earth™.
My history with both Middle-earth™ and roleplaying games extends for decades — the very first game I ever bought was the first edition boxed set for Middle-earth™ Role Playing soon after completing the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the first time. I promptly roped all my friends into playing and tried to recreate the Quest of the Ring in a roleplaying game. It failed miserably. But it was a stepping stone that taught me a lot about the interface between literature and gaming and how to bring the two of them together.
When Cubicle 7 released The One Ring it blew me away. I started to champion the game in any way I could come up with and was fortunate enough to worm my way to the inside track. When the chance arose to help even more people roleplay in Middle-earth™ by using the OGL rules, I jumped at that opportunity as well. I think Adventures in Middle-earth™ presents everything I love about The One Ring in an easily accessible format.
Feb 13 2019
Rough Nights & Hard Days offers five interlinked scenarios for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay written by series veteran, Graeme Davis. These can be played as stand-alone adventures, or combined into an epic five-part campaign, where the Characters become embroiled in a bitter dispute between two of the Empire’s quarrelling noble houses. Rough Nights & Hard Days also introduces an entirely new playable species, and presents a variety of pub games to amuse and confuse players.
Rough Nights & Hard Days Includes:
- A Rough Night at the Three Feathers: a quiet evening at the riverside inn becomes very eventful indeed.
- A Day at the Trails: a much-awaited trial-by-combat becomes memorable for all the wrong reasons.
- A Night at The Opera: an evening of cultured opera descends into farce and horror.
- Nastassia’s Wedding: a celebrated society wedding does not go according to plan.
- Lord of Ubersreik: competing factions gather for a ball that quickly becomes a battlefield.
- Pub Games: one learns of the many pleasant pastimes of which one can partake in the local tavern.
- Gnomes: a mysterious, new playable-species is added to Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.
Rough Nights & Hard Days is the perfect addition to any game of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay as it can be used to start a new campaign, to support the design of exciting locations, or to enhance an ongoing story with exciting new adventures and rules.
Rough Nights & Hard Days is expected in Quarter 2 2019.