Tag Archives: WFRP

WFRP: Temperamental XP

four-humors-granger

Back when, I started running a game set during the Thirty Years War using WFRP 2E. I love WFRP 2E: it’s such a straightforward system, and I figured it’d be negligible to pull stuff in from any of the 40K RPG books to help make things Weird without any real effort.

The one place where it’s emphatically not held up is the career system. I mean, clearly it works great for what it’s supposed to do, but for a band of misfits on the run, it doesn’t offer much past “Okay, you can transition into the Vagabond career; don’t expect many opportunities to get out of it.”

I took a run at removing it without breaking the system too much a while back, messing around with Aptitudes, a la Only War (and now Dark Heresy), but it felt like a whole lot of mess for not enough payoff.  A couple of weeks ago, I took another stab at it: working off of Black Crusade this time.

Black Crusade (if’n you don’t know), is a precursor to the OW/DH Aptitude-based system: each advance is associated with one of the Chaos Gods: load up on too many in one category and similar advances get cheaper and dissimilar advances get more expensive.  So: a Veteran of the Long War who’s loaded up on talents related to stabbing will end up dedicated to Khorne… and will have a hard time buying talents favored by Slaanesh.

I’m doing a similar thing here, with the four temperaments.

Continue reading

Converting D&D Stat Blocks to WFRP 2E

D&D stat blocks run along these lines:

OrcHD 1; AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 by weapon, usually spear (1d6) or scimitar (1d8); Move 9; Save 17; AL C;CL/XP 1/15; Special: None.

and I need them to look more like:

Ork Stat Block - WFRP 2E

Well; sorta.  A lot of the stuff in that target (WFRP) statblock just doesn’t matter; if it did, it’s significant enough that we wouldn’t be using a quick conversion to get it, or it’d be inferrable from the context the source (OSR) statline is presented in.

Do we really care that Orcs have Ride or Swim, Scale Sheer Surface, etc.?  Maybe… but if we did, we’d probably already know that.


WS, BS, S, T, Ag, Int, WP, Fel – Is this NPC poor/average/above average?  If their HD is < 5, use 20/25/30, set one stat to 40.  If their HD is >= 5, use 20/30/40, set one stat to 50.

A – Calculate W, divide by 10, rounding down.

W – If their is HD < 5, use ((HD-1) *4) + 12 If their HD is >=5, use ((HD-5)*6) + 30.

SB, TB – Derived from S, T.

M – Divide the listed Move by 3, rounding up.

Mag – 0 if not a spellcaster.  Fruity spell-like abilities or whatever don’t count for this; just let that stuff go off.  If they’re an honest-to-Chaos spellcaster: divide their HD by 3, rounding up, capped at 4.

IP, FP – Not relevant.

Skills – Most will be irrelevant or inferrable.  If they’re sneaky, they should have Concealment & Silent Move, for example.  If they’re fighty, they should probably have Dodge Blow (every WFRP NPC certainly seems to).  I wouldn’t even bother writing it down.

Talents – These are all irrelevant or inferable.

Armor Points – (AC-12)/2 for LotFP, rounding up.  (10-AC)/2 for S&W descending, rounding down.  Use your instincts about locations; some locations might have fewer Armor Points than this.

Weapons – Melee , Thrown Weapons: damage is SB + (# dice rolled -1).  Other Ranged Weapons: damage is # dice rolled + (die type/3), rounding down.  Infer whether or not the attack should be Impact (and maybe Tiring or Slow), Fast (and maybe Precise), Shrapnel, or Snare.

This is fuzziest, sloppiest part, honestly.  Use your gut.


Obviously, this isn’t perfect.

Comparing the results of the WFRP 2E Orc statblock to what I get when I convert the S&W statblock gets me:

     WS  BS  S   T   Ag  Int WP  Fel
WFRP 35  35  35  45  25  25  30  20  
S&W  30  20  30  40  20  20  30  20 
     A   W   SB  TB  M   Mag IP  FP
WFRP 1   12  3   4   4   0   0   0
S&W  1   12  3   3   3   0   -   -

Armor
WFRP Head 1, Arms 1, Body 3, Legs 0
S&W  All 2

Weapons
WFRP Choppa (+4 Round 1, +3 after)
S&W  Scimitar (+3, Impact)

The Orc is dumber, slower, weaker, clumsier, less tough and a lot worse at shooting (because, come on, Warhammer Orcs & Orks are bad shots).  The converted Choppa probably does a smidge more damage in the first round.  But that’s okay; If I cared that much about it, I’d build the NPC from the ground up.  All I’m trying to do here is convert one set of stats to another with a minimum amount of effort.

Not perfect, but good enough.

Another example:

Hill GiantHD 8+2; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 weapon (2d8); Move 12; Save 8; AL C; CL/XP 9/1100; Special: Throw boulders.

     WS  BS  S   T   Ag  Int WP  Fel
WFRP 33  25  69  59  18  14  24  14  
S&W  40  30  50  40  20  20  30  20 
     A   W   SB  TB  M   Mag IP  FP
WFRP 5   48  6   5   6   0   0   0
S&W  4   48  5   4   4   0   -   -

Armor
WFRP Head 0, Arms 0, Body 1, Legs 1
S&W  All 3

Weapons
WFRP Hand Weapon (+6, Impact)
S&W  Hand Weapon (+6, Impact), Throw Boulders (SB+4, Impact, Shrapnel)

I’m comparing a Warhammmer Giant to a Hill Giant.  The differences here are somewhat greater: but not by too much.  The only real problematic (>10%) differences here are in Strength and Toughness… but even then, they’re mitigated by damage and armor; the numbers work out the same.


Also, although I’m primarily coming at this from an OSR-y point of view (I’ve got some Lamentations & Swords & Wizardry modules I’d like to run and maybe I’d like to run them with WFRP 2E), I think it’d hold well enough for other versions of D&D.  Things probably get a little wobbly with the 3.x stack, but I think it’d hold up okay enough (using Level instead of HD, etc).


I don’t have the time on hand to do this properly, but I feel like I have to at least post a half-assed JsFiddle link that does the calculations for you: here’s the page and here’s the fiddle.

Thoughts?  Comments?

Complicating the Simple: Replacing the WFRP 2E Career Progression

One of the things that came up last session was that the WFRP 2E career system doesn’t really jive with what I’m doing with the game.

Don’t get me wrong: I love the flavor the career system brings to the table and, were we doing a more urban or sandbox-style game, it would probably fit like a glove.  Instead, we’re doing a more traditional murderhobo (or, rather, “We’d be murderhobos except we’re so terrified of being killed by other murderhobos”) style game (which is by design).

Now, I know that the career system is part of the whole point of WFRP, but I don’t really care. We’re using the WFRP 2E system because I’m extremely comfortable with the system, having played in a Dark Heresy (its descendant) game for probably longer than any other game at this point. (Exalted might be a close second, but I doubt anyone would claim that it has a system one would describe as “salvageable”. Ideas, absolutely, but the not system as a whole.)  So, I’m comfortable with it. It’s flexible, does what I need it to do, and gets out of the way.  That’s what we want, right?

But when the PCs are sprinting away from danger and trying to find a safe place to not be murdered or eaten by bears… none of those careers really matter. They’re all Vagabonds.  Before that, they were Militiamen and Camp Followers. Before that they had lives doing stuff for which the Career System was useful.

There are a couple of fixes for this:

  • Just roll with it. Stick to the RAW, let everyone switch into the Vagabond (or similar career) if they’re so inclined. One PC (the Noble!) did that a few sessions ago.
  • Fiat them all to be Vagabond (or similar career). “Guys, all of you have just exited your careers to one of the following careers. For free. Am I not merciful?  Am I not merciful!?
  • Do something complex and strange but more open-ended that’s a riff on how Only War handles advances.  What?
(Because the first two options are negligibly easy and probably advisable: let’s put them aside. I’m going to talk about what I cooked up in terms of the more complex approach.  What follows is probably a terrible idea, but sometimes it’s fun to just overcomplicate things.)


Only War came out a few months ago, and I’m really digging its approach to the 40K RPG system.  Instead of the weird class-based but also pseudo-level, pseduo-skill buy system that works but is awkward and initially kind of confusing, it makes things very open-ended.

Players still pick a career. Instead of coming with a list of advances open to that career (or a list of lists of advances, as with the other 40K RPGs), they come with some special abilities (not germane) and a list of aptitudes. Aptitudes are meta-abilities; what a career is good at. A Medic’s Aptitudes,  for example, are BS, Int, Per, WP, Fieldcraft, and Knowledge.  Every advance  is associated with two aptitudes: how many of those Aptitudes character has determines what the advance costs the character. Medicae is Int and Fieldcraft; a Medic who has both Int and Fieldcraft pays less for Medicae advances than, say, a Weapons Specialist who has the Fieldcraft Aptitude but not the Int Aptitude.
Characters can (generally) take whatever advances they want… but XP costs encourage them to take advances in things that the character at which they should be good and not things at which they shouldn’t be good. So… sorta like the WFRP career system, but less of a straight-jacket (“You’re a Fisherman, you are incapable of knowing Etiquette.”)
Of course, the 40K Skills and Talents aren’t quite the same as the WFRP Skills and Talents, and mapping those WFRP careers to the Aptitude list…  Fortunately, the day after the session I needed to be mentally pseudo-active while vegging. Doing that sort of thing was exactly what I needed that afternoon.  Here are the results.


At a high level: characters still roll their starting careers. They get their skills and free advance as per the core book.  Based on their career, they receive a total of six Aptitudes (some of which are automatic, some of which may be selected from a list) that determine how my XP different advances cost from that point going forward.

If you’re interested, all of my work in assembling this can be found in this spreadsheet.  This is basically the scratch paper I used to make sure stuff looked reasonably like what the career system promoted.

For starters: the Aptitudes

Aptitudes
WS T WP
BS Ag Fel
S Int
Offense Defense Finesse
Engineering Larceny Perception
Animals Leadership Social
Knowledge Magic Wilderness
General

Each of the Characteristics gets an Aptitude. Then, there are broad Offense, Defense, and Finesse Aptitudes; these should, I think, be self-explanatory.  I tweak the other OW Aptitudes to make them more WFRP-appropriate. Psyker becomes Magic, Fieldcraft gets split up quite a bit, Tech becomes Engineering, for example. General is a catch-all; everyone automatically has General.

Then, I match each Skill and Talent with a pair of Aptitude.  This was easier than I’d have expected: Characteristics were a straight-pull over while every Skill is already associated with a Characteristic (and, therefore its Aptitude), and the second Aptitude was, for the most part, obvious.  Talents were a little trickier, but worked themselves out.

Characteristics
WS WS Offense
BS BS Finesse
S S Offense
T T Defense
Ag Ag Finesse
Int Int Knowledge
WP WP Magic
Fel Fel Social
Attacks WS Offense
Wounds T General

Skills
Animal Care Int Animals Animal Training Fel Animals
Charm Fel Social Blather Fel Social
Command Fel Leadership Chanelling WP Magic
Concealment Ag Wilderness Charm Animal Fel Animals
Consume Alcohol T General Dodge Blow Ag Defense
Disguise Fel Larceny Follow Trail Int Perception
Drive S Animals Heal Int Knowledge
Evaluate Int Perception Hypnotism WP Finesse
Gamble Int Social Knowledge (*) Int Knowledge
Gossip Fel Social Lip Reading Int Perception
Haggle Fel Social Magical Sense WP Magic
Intimidate S Leadership Navigation Int Wilderness
Outdoor Survival Int Wilderness Performer (*) Fel Finesse
Perception Int Perception Pick Lock Ag Engineering
Ride Ag Animals Prepare Poison Int Knowledge
Row S General Read/Write Int Knowledge
Scale Sheer Surface S Finesse Sail Ag Wilderness
Search Int Perception Set Trap Ag Engineering
Silent Move Ag Larceny Secret Signs (*) Int Knowledge
Swim S General Shadowing Ag Larceny
Sleight of Hand Ag Larceny
Speak Language (*) Int Knowledge
Trade (*) * General
Torture Fel Finesse
Ventriloquism Fel Larceny

Talents
Acute Hearing General Perception Quick Draw Ag Finesse
Aethyric Attunement WP Magic Rapid Reload Ag BS
Alley Cat General Larceny Resist Chaos Wp Defense
Ambidextrous WS BS Resist Disease T Defense
Lore (*) Int Knowledge Resist Magic WP Defense
Armoured Casting WP Magic Resist Poison T Defense
Artistic Int Finesse Rover General Wilderness
Contortionist Ag Finesse Schemer Fel Social
Dealmaker Fel Leadership Seasoned Traveller Int Social
Disarm WS Offense Sharpshooter BS Finesse
Etiquette Fel Social Sixth Sense WP Perception
Excellent Vision General Perception Specialist Weapon Group Int Finesse
Fast Hands WS Magic Stout-Hearted WP Defense
Fearless WP Defense Street Fighting WS Finesse
Flee! Ag Defense Streetwise Fel Larceny
Frenzy S Offense Strike Mighty Blow WS Offense
Keen Senses General Perception Strike to Injure WS Offense
Lightning Parry WS Defense Strike to Stun WS Offense
Linguistics Int General Strong-Minded T WP
Magic WP Magic Sturdy S Defense
Master Gunner BS Engineering Sure Shot BS Offense
Master Orator Fel Leadership Surgery Int Knowledge
Meditation T Magic Super Numerate Int Engineering
Menacing S Leadership Swashbuckler Ag Finesse
Mighty Shot BS Offense Trapfinder Ag Perception
Mimic Fel Social Trick Riding Finesse Animal
Orientation Int Wilderness Tunnel Rat Ag Finesse
Public Speaking Fel Leadership Wrestling S Offense

A couple of notes here:

  • Characteristic advances are limited to 8, except Additional Attacks, which are limited to 2. This is, more or less, how WFRP 2E caps advances: across all of the careers, you’ll never get more than 8 advances to WS, for example. Where it’s a bit lower (Int, Fel), it seems arbitrary to cap one at 7 and another at 8.
  • I tried really hard to keep the distribution of Skills and Talents fairly even. I didn’t shoot for totally even, but I did try to get everything close.
  • Sailing and such are associated with Wilderness. That’s imperfect, but it was necessary to keep things even close. Otherwise, Wilderness and a hypothetical Sailing Aptitude would be woefully underutilized.
  • Talents like Lightning Reflexes and Hardy that are really-out-of progression Characteristic advances only make sense within the context of the Career System, and don’t make any sense here.  They’ve been moved into the Aptitude table
  • I’m not interested in running a game with fantastic races right now. Just Humans. So, I’ve ignored anything Dwarf/Elf/Halfling specific.  If any of this makes sense outside of my head, it should be negligible to apply to demihuman stuff.

Speaking of Careers & Aptitudes: this was the tricky part. I ran down the list of careers and built up the list of which Aptitudes were clearly appropriate, which were maybe appropriate, and which had no place. I literally cut-and-pasted stuff into the above spreadsheet and just ticked down Yes/No/Maybe if the Advance Scheme indicated that the Characteristics, Skills, and Talents associated with an aptitude was something that was strongly present, not present at all, or present but not strongly so, respectively.

Career Mandatory Optional
Agitator Int, Fel, Leadership, Social BS, Ag, WP, Knowledge, Larceny, Perception
Apprentice Wizard Int, WP, Magic, Social T, Ag, Fel, Knowledge, Perception
Bailiff Int, Fel, Knowledge, Leadership, Social BS, S, WP, Perception
Barber-Surgeon Ag, Int, WP, Knowledge T, Fel, Finesse
Boatman WS, Ag, Wilderness BS, S, T, Int, Social
Bodyguard WS, Offense, Defense, Finesse S, T, Ag, Perception
Bone Picker T, Larceny, Perception, Social S, Ag, WP, Fel, Animals
Bounty Hunter BS, Ag, Offense, Perception, Wilderness S, WP, Finesse, Larceny
Burgher Int, Knowledge, Perception, Social Ag, WP, Fel
Camp Follower Ag, Fel T, Int, WP, Finesse, Animals, Larceny, Social
Charcoal-Burner Perception, Wilderness S, T, Ag, Int, WP, Fel
Coachman BS, Ag, Animals, Wilderness WP, Fel, Perception, Social
Entertainer BS, Ag, Fel, Social S, WP, Finesse, Animals, Larceny, Perception
Estalian Diestro WS, Ag, Offense, Finesse S, T, Int, Defense, Engineering
Ferryman BS, S, Perception, Social T, Ag, Int, Fel, Defense
Fisherman S, Ag, Perception, Wilderness BS, T, Int, Finesse, Social
Grave Robber Ag, WP, Larceny, Perception BS, S, Finesse
Hedge Wizard WP, Fel, Magic, Perception T, Ag, Int, Animals, Social
Hunter BS, Ag, Perception, Wilderness T, Int, Engineering, Larceny
Initiate Int, WP, Fel, Knowledge BS, S, T, Leadership, Social
Jailer WS, S, T, Defense WP, Larceny, Leadership, Perception
Kislevite Kossar WS, BS, T, WP Defense, Leadership, Perception, Social, Wilderness
Marine WS, BS, S, Offense Ag, WP, Defense, Social
Mercenary WS, BS, Offense, Social S, T, Ag, WP, Defense, Finesse, Animals, Perception
Messenger Ag, Animals, Perception, Wilderness BS, T, Int, WP
Militiaman WS, Ag, Defense, Perception BS, S, T, Animals
Miner S, T, Perception, Wilderness BS, Int, WP, Animals
Noble WS, Fel, Leadership, Social BS, Ag, Int, WP, Defense, Animals, Knowledge
Norse Berserker WS, S, T, WP, Offense Leadership, Wilderness
Outlaw WS, BS, Ag, Offense, Larceny Int, Defense, Finesse, Animals, Perception, Social, Wilderness
Outrider BS, Ag, Int, Animals, Wilderness S, WP, Perception
Peasant T BS, S, Ag, WP, Animals, Social, Wilderness
Pit Fighter WS, T, Ag, WP, Offense S, Defense
Protagonist WS, S, Ag, WP, Offense Defense, Social
Rat Catcher Ag, WP, Animals, Larceny, Perception BS, T, Engineering
Roadwarden WS, BS, Ag, Animals, Wilderness S, Int, WP, Perception, Social
Rogue Ag, Fel, Perception, Social BS, Int, WP, Larceny, Leadership
Scribe Ag, Int, WP, Knowledge Fel, Engineering
Seaman WS, S, Ag, Offense, Wilderness BS, Defense, Perception
Servant Ag, WP, Perception, Social S, T, Int, Fel, Defense, Animals
Smuggler Ag, Int, Fel, Larceny BS, Animals, Perception, Social, Wilderness
Soldier WS, BS, Ag, Offense WP, Defense, Animals, Perception, Social
Squire WS, Offense, Knowledge, Leadership BS, S, T, Ag, Fel, Defense, Animals, Social
Student Ag, Int, Fel, Knowledge Engineering, Perception, Social
Thief Ag, Fel, Larceny, Perception BS, Int, Finesse, Engineering, Social
Thug WS, Offense, Larceny, Social S, T, Ag, WP, Fel, Defense
Toll Keeper WS, T, Perception, Wilderness BS, S, Ag, WP, Social
Tomb Robber WS, Ag, Int, WP, Engineering, Perception Fel, Knowledge, Larceny
Tradesman Ag, WP S, T, Int, Fel, Animals, Engineering, Perception, Social
Vagabond BS, Ag, Larceny, Wilderness Int, Fel, Perception, Social
Valet Ag, Int, Fel, Knowledge, Social WP, Perception
Watchman WS, Int, Defense, Perception BS, S, Ag, WP, Fel
Woodsman WS, S, WP, Wilderness T, Ag, Perception
Zealot WS, T, WP, Knowledge, Leadership S, Fel, Social

Remember, you get a total of six aptitudes. You get what’s in the Mandatory list automatically, and can then choose from the Optional list until you’ve got your six.

Now, actually pricing advances is tough. In WFRP, everything is basically 100 XP / advance. In the 40K RPGs, they’re all over the place: Characteristics (which are generally more broadly useful) cost more than Skills and Talents. The more advances you take in a Characteristic or Skill, the more expensive it is.

This makes quite a bit of sense, but dang: I like the simplicity of a common cost.  It does allow a character to rocket up to +40% WS with their first 800 XP, though. Furthermore, there’s probably an argument to be made that Additional Attacks should cost more or be spaced out more as well.  So, flat costs are problematic… but after a point, I think you just have to let go.

My inclination runs strongly towards doing 100/200/300 XP for advances that share 2/1/0 Aptitudes with the character.  This is substantially less than what things cost in Only War, but is about what things cost in WFRP 2E, as I’ve got Careers & Aptitudes mapped.

Near-term, I’ll probably collapse all of this into a Google doc (minus thought-process stuff), which will vastly help its readability.


So: that was a big f’ing chunk of something.  I’m curious as to what other people think.  I both have and haven’t put a lot of thought into this. In terms of complexity, it looks like it might be needlessly complex, but I expect that after character creation, it fades into the background.  I’m not entirely sure if I’m going to adopt it in my game; the other two options are certainly simpler, if less interesting.

Very interested in any and all thoughts and opinions.  Let me know what you think.

WFRP 2E Winds of Magic Table(s)

Winds of Magic

Someone on the WFRP 2E Refugees group asked about a Winds of Magic table. Since nobody offered up one, and someone had mentioned Storm of Magic, I crapped one together.

It’s rough (since I literally threw it together in a few minutes); the Lores are from WHFB, not WFRP, and it’s never seen use at the table… but it’s a start. Furthermore, several of these lores are not, I think, actually represented in WFRP.  That’s cool, though: a appropriate situations’ll present themselves for their use or they won’t.

Roll d10 to determine what Wind is in ascendancy.

Roll Lores
1 Doldrums
2 Ghyran Life Nurgle, Skaven Dark
3 Azyr Heavens Chaos, Orc & Goblin, High
4 Ulgu Shadow Beastman, Slaanesh Dark
5 Purple Death Necromancy High
6 Aqshy Fire Orc & Goblin, Skaven Dark
7 Ghur Beasts Beastman, Ogre High
8 Hysh Light Necromancy, Ogre Dark
9 Chamon Metal Necromancy, Tzeentch High
0 Storm (All Lores)

Rune magic, rituals and such should probably not be affected. Petty Magic either isn’t significant enough to be affected, or should be affected regardless of the roll.

Roll d10 to determine the strength of the ascendant Wind.  All other Winds and lores work normally.  There’s probably a lot of room for refinement here, mind you.

Roll Strength
1 Becalmed – Cast as if Mag = Mag-1 (min 1)
2-5 Normal
6-8 Strong – Roll 1 extra casting die, drop 1 casting die
9 Dangerous – Must cast at full Mag
0 Tempestuous – Must cast at full Mag+1

Thoughts?  I’m not likely to use it any time soon: stuff’s getting Weird in my game, but it’s not going to run weird in this particularly direction.

Salzenmund Apophaſiſ – Prologue Part I

The first session of the Salzenmund Apophaſiſ went down about a month ago.  This writeup’s a couple of weeks late, but c’est la vie.

Dramatis Personae

Amina Wegner – Boat(wo)man
Rosaria Gorman – Smuggler
Mannfried Orben – Noble
Nicholas Schlender – Burgher
Konrad Osterwald – Protagonist
Alberto Adriano Timoteo Raffaele – Camp Follower

Henchpeople

Bözsi – Messenger
Dalibor – Outrider
Heiko – Tomb Robber
Helfried – Scribe
Herman – Miner
Humbert – Camp Follower
Irmuska – Bodyguard
Körbl – Bone Picker
Magdolna – Militiaman
Melker – Rogue
Sven – Mercenary
Viktor – Protagonist

I gave each of the PC’s d4 Henchbros to support them and, in cases of dire lethality, eat a would-be killing blow in place of the associated PC.  My DM dice have proven themselves to be downright spiteful, so a safety valve seemed prudent.  How little did I know…

I actually had a lot of fun rolling these up.  I gave each of them a skill, and rolled once on the Henchman Traits table.  They were 45% male, 45% female and two of them… hard to tell.  This gave us things like Viktor, the Protagonist with beautiful, lustrous hair, and Körbl the Bone and nose picker.

As promised, the PCs were all soldiers in service to Johann Tserclaes during the Sack of Magdeburg, serving under Graf Luboš Winther.  Winther, hits the limit for the depravity he’s willing to participate in and suggested to the troops he’s with that they desert, tag out of the war, and flee too someplace safe, like the Swiss cantons.  They agreed; finished loading up their loot wagon, and rolled out of town.

Along the way, they encountered some other looters who decided that a wagon full of loot’s far more convenient than a city full of unbewagoned loot and decided to take it from the party.  This went down almost entirely as an exercise to run the players through a WFRP combat.  As a result, the three unnamed looters (this is a lie: they were each named “Dieter”) were butchered and Nicholoas knocked into critical range.

Besides a bloody fight on the way out of town, their escape was uneventful.  That is, until a week or so after they’d left town.  Several of the party went foraging and hunting to supplement their rations… including Alberto, who shot, killed, and brought back a baby bear to cook.

The party was awoken in the middle of the night: Graf Winther was gone.  So was his horse and a sizable portion of the party’s rations.  Before they could investigate further…

Bears!  The completely botched Outdoor Survial hunting roll was incredibly convenient, as part of the initial arc I’ve had planned very much called for bears.  True story, no joke.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, bears in WFRP are very much not something to fuck around with.  At all.  Battling bears (2 Bears, 1 Bear w/ the Brute advance scheme) took quite a bit longer to resolve than I’d expected or would like.  It was also deeply, profoundly lethal.

The sacrifice-a-henchment-to-avoid-a-critical-roll rule effectively made the fight an exercise in feeding henchpeople into a woodchipper.

I’ll let the list of remaining henchpeople speak for itself.  Look at the list above, and now look at the list below:

Surviving Henchpersons

Bözsi – Messenger
Helfried – Scribe
Herman – Miner
Magdolna – Militiaman

So, yeah.  The math speaks for itself.  I hope next session’s not nearly as bloody.  This thing I’m doing right now?  Just a prologue.  Setting the stage for worse things to come.  Hard to do that if everyone involved is being transformed to bear feces.

Hunger During the Thirty Years War

Dame Wedgwood thinks I let my PCs spend too much money on rations…

“The fugitives who fled from the south after Nördlingen died of plague, hunger and exhaustion in the refugee camp at Frankfort or the overcrowded hospitals of Saxony; seven thousand were expelled fom the canon of Zürich because there was neither food nor room for them; at Hanau the gates were closed against them; at Strasbourg they lay thick in the streets through the frosts of winter, so that by day the citizens stepped over their bodies, and by night lay awake listening to the groans of the sick and starving until the magistrates forcibly drove them out, thirty thousand of them. The Jesuits here and there fought manfully against the overwhelming distress; after the burning and desertion of Eichstätt they sought out the children who were hiding the cellars, killing and eating the rats, and carried them off to care for and educate them; at Hagenau they managed to feed the poor out of their stores until the French troops raided their granary and took charge of the grain for the army.”

“At Calw the pastor saw a woman gnawing the raw flesh of a dead horse on which a hungry dog and some ravens were also feeding. In Alasace the bodies of criminals were torn from the gallows and devoured; in the whole Rhineland they watched the gravyards against marauders who sold the flesh of the newly buried for food; at Zweibrücken a woman confessed to having eaten her child. Acorns, goats’ skins, grass were all cooked in Alsace; cats, dogs, and rats were sold in the market at Worms. In Fulda and Coburg and near Frankfort and the great refugee camp, men wnt in terror of being killed and eaten by those maddened by hunger. Near Worms hands and feed were found half cooked in a gipsies’ cauldron. Not far from Wertheim human bones were discovered in a pit, fresh, fleshless, sucked to the marrow.”

“By November rich burghers’ wives were seen in the market bartering their jewellery for a little flour. Horses, cats, dogs, mice were all sold for human food, and the skins of cattle and sheep were soaked and cooked. On November 24th one of Bernard’s soldiers, a prisoner, died in the castle; before the body could be taken away for burial his comrades had torn it in pieces and devoured the flesh. In the ensuing weeks six other prisoners died and were eaten. On a single morning ten bodies were found in the center square of the town, citizens who had dropped dead of hunger, and by December it was being whispered that poor and orphan children had disappeared.”

The Thirty Years War, CV Wedgwood

Salzenmund Character Creation Notes

Characters will be built per the character creation rules in WFRP, with the following differences/notes:

  • Humans only.
    • Shallaya’s Mercy may be chosen once.
    • Depending on your nationality (see below), you may choose a different nation for your Common Knowledge and a different language for your Speak Language. I just hope you plan to be able to communicate with the rest of the party,
  • Careers. Roll once on the table (none of this mollycoddling “two rolls and choose” nonsense*). I’m too lazy to rewrite the career table, so if you roll one of the following “special” careers:
    • Apprentice Wizard – Make a note of it, then reroll on the Career Table.
    • Etstalian Disestro – You may reroll. If you don’t, you’re stuck being Spanish, Italian or French.
    • Hedge Wizard – Make a note of it, then reroll on the Career Table.
    • Kislevite Kossar – You may reroll. If you don’t, you’re stuck being Polish.
    • Norse Berserker – You may reroll. If you don’t, you’re stuck being a Lapp or Swedish or something.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics – Roll twice on a Distinguishing Characteristic table. There are two
    • WFRP 2E – Distinguishing Marks table. These have no mechanical effects.
    • WFRP 1E – Distinguishing Characteristicstable. These have mechanical effects (some positive, some negative, most no effect).
  • At any point if you see something referring to d10g/s/p, replace it with d4g/s/p.

  • Languages & regions are different, but for the most part, the mapping is fairly transparent (and, where it isn’t, c’est la vie):

    WFRP Languaage
    Reikspeil German
    Breton French
    Halfling Dutch
    Estalian Spanish
    Eltharin English
    Kislevian Polish
    Khazalid Hungarian
    Norse Swedish
    Tilean Italian

  • 2d4 starting gold instead of 2d10, which I currently do not think you will be able to spend before the game begins.
  • Remember: all characters start with a Hand Weapon (that’s a specific weapon, btw: “Hand Weapon,” not a class of weapons).
  • You may, at this point, sell any of the trappings your starting career has provided you.
  • Roll 1d6. 1-4: start with a Pike (as Spear), 5-6: start with a Musket. These may not be sold.
  • I’ve taken a stab at creating some nationality & religion charts. You may choose your nationality (unless you’ve rolled a funky career and have chosen to not reroll it) and religion, or roll on the tables below**; whatever you prefer. (Just remember the prohibition against choices/behavior catastrophically prohibitive to party unity.)

    Nationality/Faction Chart
    Roll Nationality Roll Nationality
    Bourbon / Protestant Habsbug / Catholic
    01-06 Danish 101 Croatian
    07-19 Dutch 102-141 German
    20-39 French 142-144 Hungarian
    40-67 German 144-154 Italian
    68-70 Hungarian 155-156 Netherlander
    71-74 Norwegian 157-200 Spanish
    75-76 Scottish
    77-99 Swedish
    100 Transylvanian


    Religion Chart
    Roll Religion
    01-06 Lutheran
    07-09 Calvinist
    10 Zwinglian
    11-18 Roman Catholic
    19 Greek Catholic
    20 Mohammedan***

  • Note that you will be accompanied by d4 fellow deserters each. These will be fellow squadmates / acquiantences / replacements. These will function as hirelings. (TBD: How they’re to be generated.)

* Really, I forgot that WFRP 2E lets you roll twice and pick when folks did character creation last week. So, we’re stuck with it; only fair, right?
** Not making any claims as to the accuracy or comprehensiveness of these charts. Remember that bit about expect ahistoricity? These are broad strokes done quickly.
*** Is “Mohemmedan” offensive? I sure hope not; if it is, let me know and I’ll correct it to the more modern “Islamic” or “Muslim” or something.