Pens, paper, dice and adventure! Grab an ale, learn Read/Write and enjoy some articles, resources and some discussion about Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Character Portraits

I've started creating some illustrated character portraits for RPG players.  This is my wife's WFRP character Ella Blackhart, a human Outrider.  I am hoping to get some commissions for further illustration work for RPG players.  I will let people know more soon.

If you are interested in my other work, feel free to peruse my website and also my humble art blog



Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Gone Fishing ...For A Little Bit...

Been away form the blog for a while - moving around the world again, but also working on Skyrim ;) and trying to plot out a new scenario.  Hope to add some content soon!

play on!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Now My Collection is ...Almost Complete!

Well I've now got all the WFRP1 books except ONE - 'Marienburg - Sold Down The River'.  It is very hard to come by, and I missed a great copy on eBay just days ago : /

If anyone out there has a copy they are thinking of parting with - please get in touch with me and we can talk :D 

Just putting it out there...

play on!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Blood Relic - Play Report Part 4

WFRP - The Blood Relic - Part 4 - The Finale!
10-07-011

Lightfoot and Ella made their way with Henri and his merchant caravan, into the jaws of the foreboding Grey Mountains.  The weather proved to be their biggest adversary for a day and half, with blistering snowy winds and cold grey stormy skies making the going tough.  Eventually the party came to a great stone 'gateway', like fanged maw that opened up to another snow swollen ravine and long unused trail.  Henri explained this was the  pathway into Grey Tooth Gorge, and from there, they would find the Prisoner's March track that would lead to the abandoned Prison Fort.  The adventurers parted ways with Henri, being given a bottle of fine Bretonnian Brandy for their efforts so far.  The two made their way into the gorge, their woollen cloaks wrapped tightly around their noses shielding the cold...

It wasnt long before they found what would be Prinsoner's March, that soon ebcame a dangerous snow covered cliffside trail pushing further and higher into the mountains.  Along the trail, the two found old ruined prisoner carts, fitted with rusted manacles and chains.  Out of the fog and snow up ahead, the dark square cut shape of the prison fort loomed above them.  The path snaked it's way up to what looked like a gatehouse and bridge, which crossed a deep gorge and entered the Fort proper.  Approaching cautiously, moving in steps between rocky outcroppings, they noticed a thin tendril of smoke rising from near the gatehouse.  They sneaked nearer, seeing now a small dark hunched shape with a spear moving about on the gatehouse tower.  Gettign a better view brought them even closer to the crumbling gatehouse.  They could see a small camp near the tower, and a number of these small dark humanoids.  Another two shapes appeared atop the watchtower - Goblins!  The horrid rumours were true!

They saw the road that lead to the gatehouse arch, had another sloping branch that turned away from the entrance tower and bridge, and lead down into the gorge below.  They could see the remnants of old mining equipment scattering the road, old turned carts and quarry stones, rusted picks and old useless hammers.  The two crept dangerously across open ground, hoping to evade the goblins in this dense weather, and made it cover behind an overturned cart by the sloping gorge road.  Thankfully the goblins didn't spot them, and a small bickering fight broke out on the watchtower above, between three guards, which gave the pair a chance to move on undetected.  Sneaking away from the camp, the two made their way down the new path, the fog and snow swallowing them up as they descended...

They found themselves in what was left of a deserted labour camp quarry, at the base of the gorge cliffs - the prison fort itself perched high above them somewhere in the fog.  It was eerily quiet, save the high pitched squawk of a mountain bird of prey high above, and the fog rolled creepily around the rocky walls around them.  They found a number of mine shaft entrances, one of them quite large, and barricaded with man made rows of crates and tipped carts, and signs of lots of human movement in and out of the tunnel.  There were scattered goblin weapons around in the snow, and as they crept under the crossbeam of the shaft entrance, they noted the hanging head of a goblin, its little green jaw ajar and dry tongue protruding and frozen stiff.

They crept quietly along the grey dusty corridor, Lightfoot's elf vision guiding them, and a flickering eerie firelight casting dancing shadows along their path.  Ahead they could see a small square room and some dark shapes in the shadows.  As the two burst into the small chamber, they found themselves partly blocked by makeshift barricades of crates and barrels.  Behind them, two robed figures jumped to their feet surprised, drawing weapons!  "Raise the Alarm" one man yelled, and the other made a dash to the opposite corner to where a large bell was sitting on a pile of crates.  Lightfoot's notched arrow quickly stopped him, hitting his arm, he staggered, having to turn and face the vision of Ella charging in, axe curving towards him!  The other cultist joined the fray, brutally wounding Ella, but revenge was fast with the two cutting down the robed men before they could get to the bell.  They took the red robes, and pulled them quickly on before moving ahead with the cowls drawn closely around their faces.

They took the ringer out of the bell, and made their way quickly into the dark passageway ahead.  They made their way down the dusty path, coming to another antechamber.  To the south, they found an empty bunkhouse, lined with rough beds, footlockers and tables and chairs.  Off to the side they found a store room, stacked high with barrels and crates and racked weapons.  They found nice fitting mail armour and shields, and during their search, stumbled across a false bottomed chest, from which they looted many gold pieces and a collection of what could be a stash of stolen jewellery and stones.  Lightfoot found an old quiver of arrows, modified to be set alight with oil or pitch.  They noticed something much more intriguing.  At the back of the store room, near some old crumbling tunnels that smelt like a privvy, they found some barrels of black-powder, with Imperial Reikswald heraldry stencilled on the side.  They filled about 5 purse sized pouches full of the grey powder and made their way back out to the main passage.

They crept deeper down the shaft of the mine, to the growing sound of a strange chanting.  They came to a small tunnel entrance, branching off the main shaft, and were surprised to find it half closed with a thick heavy red fabric curtain.  Sneaking up to the edge of the passageway, they peeked around to see two robed cultists, kneeling before a strange shrine, eyes closed and praying in a harsh unfamiliar tongue.  The walls of the small chamber were lined with hanging red fabric, and various brass incense burners filled the room with a sickly smoke.  The altar was small and square, painted in blood, and covered in candles, melted onto skulls - human and goblin alike.  A bone bowl of dark red blood sat in the centre of the altar, beside a thin curved knife.  The cultists hadn't seen them yet, and Lightfoot sneaked in, pushing carefully through the curtains, her sword drawn and lightly treading on the dusty floor to get as close as she could to the unsuspecting mans neck.  Ella was beside her, and they pounced!  Taking them unaware, Lightfoot sliced into a neck, the man gasping and gurgling to the ground in a spray of blood.  The other realised only seconds too late before Ella sunk her axe into the fiend as he turned, wide eyed.

Behind another partially closed curtain, they found a side chamber, lined with makeshift cell cages, the dusty remains of some poor souls littered the floor.  In the end cage, they found a grisly discovery.  The cage had to be half full with a giant pile of skulls, both human and goblin alike.  Some old, some relatively fresh and white.  At the end of this shaft, their path was blocked by a rusted old iron ate.  A wooden board was wired to it, painted with a fading skull and crossbones. The door had not been used in ages - if at all.  Beyond the gate in the darkness, Lightfoot could just make out some natural cave tunnels.  It looked as if the old mine shaft had dug through into a cave system years ago, and this gate had been erected to prevent accidents and possibly escapes.  No fire torches lit up the shadows back there, and the  two made the decision to turn back and follow the main mine shaft, seeking their quarry...

As the two pushed on into the dimly lit passage, the growing sound of humming voices grew louder.  Another chant, though this time much louder - more voices.  The mine shaft angled up slightly, and ahead of them, brighter firelight shone through as the passage opened up into a much larger mining cavern.  They perched secretly by the heavy old beams at the entrance to the chamber to view a horrifying scene.  The large chamber had a square cut sunken floor in the centre, and the cultists were in the middle of some dark ritual.  They saw a dark robed man, hands raised near the edge of a large pentagram carved into the stone, filled with a thin pouring of blood, glistening in the light.  Beside him was Otto, shirtless and bearing all his strange tattoos.  He paced back and forth, snorting and growling as if in some sort of trance or rage, carrying a large bronze ceremonial looking axe.  There were other cultists, around the floor, robed in red, swinging bronze talismans as the chanter spoke his dread tongue.  In the centre of the floor on a blood painted stone, lay the elven sword stolen from the tomb - twisted and blackened by some strange force, its blade eaten away to a cruel stump.
Across the room, an old set of steps and scaffolding criss crossed up the back wall to a heavily barricaded landing and barred metal door - which could lead to the bowels of prison fort above them.

Something (apart from the frakken obvious) made the two adventurers very uneasy, a supernatural feeling had overcome them, and they felt the shadows in the chamber growing as if alive.  Something bad was about to happen.

Ella was still heavily wounded, and they needed a different approach than a frontal assault if they were to interrupt the ritual and survive.  Lightfoot produced the bags of gunpowder, smiling.  Without hesitating, Ella threw a bag into the fray.  It missed the mark slightly, but didn't travel far, skidding to a halt near the feet of a cultist, close by Otto and the robed summoner.  Lightfoot had already drawn her bow and lit her fire arrow by the torch in the passage.  I was confident this was going to be a stretch - but beck - who had been rolling awfully all night - pulled it out of nowhere!  Rolling a 03, Lightfoot's blazing arrow sunk into the bag a half second before the terrible explosion!  BOOM!  Searing flames engulfed one cultists in a ball of light killing him instantly, while another was sent flying to the edge of the ritual floor, his robes alight.  Otto was bowled over, taking heavy damage, trying to regain his footing.  The dark robed summoner was flung to the ground also, taking heavy damage just as he was completing his dark spell.

His magic was released, but the interruption to the ritual had cost him power and stability, and he lost control of the spell...  The room grew dark, and the firebrands seem to flicker to nothing, as a ball of darkness emerged in the centre of the pentagram.  Out of nothing came a scurrying dark shape of a beast, two razor sharp long horns and clawed feet.  Screeching with an unnatural pitch, the demon flung itself onto the summoner, tearing into the man, killing it's would be master.  The demon was drawn to the elven sword, taking it up.

In the confusion following the surprise attack, Lightfoot and Ella prepared another bag of powder to strike again.  Ella threw it true, but Lightfoot's arrow flew far wide this time, and by now the remaining cultists, Otto and the terrifying demon were ready to fight.  Otto growled and made his way towards them, another cultist right behind him.  The demon screeched some more and attacked the nearest thing, being another cultist.  Lightfoot slung arrow after arrow towards Otto, one of them hitting home and slaying him.  The demon slew another cultist, turning its narrow glowing eyes back towards Lightfoot and Ella, letting forth a terrible howl.  Ella had drawn her sword and rushed into the room to meet the challenge straight on!  Ignoring the pain of her harsh wounds, she clashed with the foul demon, overcoming the feeling of fear rising in her.

The stability of the demon in this realm had wavered through the broken spell and explosion.  The creature suddenly writhed in pain, as its form wavered and seemed to distort slightly as it felt a pull back to its own plane.  The demon suffered a huge penalty, making it weaker, while damage against it became doubled (just my luck : / )

Suddenly a large explosion rocked the chamber.  Above the room the barred door to the fort above blew apart, and the rest of the barricade collapsed under the weight of a greenskin wave, as a stream of goblins poured into the room, screaming their high pitched war-cries and descending the steps into the chamber.  The remaining cultists scrambled to flee in surprise as the goblins rushed the chamber, waving sticks and spears and swords.  In the fray, Ella spotted some of the fanatical gobbos carried small barrels of more of the blackpowder!

Ella was locked in combat with the demon as the goblins warparty scrambled closer.  Lightfoot covered her with arrows, as she deftly fought back the foul beast, as the tide of goblins swarmed over them, engulfing the demon and another cultist in their path.  She struck a final blow, banishing the foul beast, then scooping up the elven relic, she fled to the passage as goblins snapped at her heels - Lightfoot's arrows whizzing past her head to cover her escape!

As they turned to run, Ella dropped another bag of powder in the doorway to the main passage.  As they fled, Lightfoot's arrow struck true again - just when she needed it - rolling 05 - and a loud explosion tore through the passage, collapsing the main support beams, caving in the stones and old wood behind them.  They could still hear the sounds of screeching and rattling of weapons as the fanatical goblins searched for smaller holes to get through the rubble.  The two adventurers fled quickly down the dust filled passage, coughing and making their way for the main exit...

Their path was cut off by the sounds of more goblins approaching from outside.  They could hear the sounds of battle - one of the fleeing cultists had met the smaller party of goblins entering the mine from the quarry.  Before they knew it, half a dozen goblins appeared around the corner and rushed towards them.  Behind them they heard the sounds of more explosions and goblin war cries, and before them the exit seemed blocked!  They then remembered the mysterious gated exit into the caves which they had discovered earlier, and made a run for it.

They kicked through the old rusted gate, not knowing where this cave system might lead them - but what had they to lose?  Into the dark they ran, through rough natural cave tunnels, leaping dark drops and sliding under sharp stalactites.  All the while behind them they could hear the buzzing noise of the goblin host, hot on their heels.  Suddenly another loud explosion rocked the cave and in the rumbling the tunnel filled with dust, and rocks began to collapse form the ceiling above them.  They ran on in the dark, with the elf's vision and a dying fire-torch - until up ahead through the dust, they saw a dot of light!  As the tunnels began to collapse, and dust filled their lungs, the burst out of the cave entrance, flinging themselves onto the snowy ground, as the tunnel behind them completely gave way and collapsed in a crash of dust and rock!

They lay there in the snow, bruised and battered, scarcely believing they had made it out alive...  Through the dust around them, dark shapes emerged, coming closer.  All of a sudden a stout dwarf burst out of the dust, hammer raised above his head ready to strike, his eyes wide in surprise but caution.  The women raised their arms in protest, mustering the last of their energy to call for calm!  The dwarf lowered his hammer, offering a hand to help the two adventurers out of the snow, 
"Well i'll say this lads!  I've never seen no elf come out o' a hole in the ground b'fore! bwAHHAHAaa"
The mountaineering party had been travelling to investigate the rumours of goblin infestation at the old fort.  Tired and aching, the adventurers were helped onto some sturdy wagons, and wrapped in fresh blankets.  Some nice warm ale was drawn from a barrel, as the party moved off, heading back through the mountains, where the dwarfs had promised to take the two back to Ubersreik, and gather a larger party to return to the old prison.  As they made their way down the mountain paths, the sound of muffled explosions could be heard as the old fort disappeared form view in the snow and fog...

Keeping it hidden form the mountaineers, Blackhart gripped the strange elven blade under her cloak.  It was blackened and unnatural, something had twisted the metal and eaten away at the blade.  They looked at each other, glad to be out of this mess alive, but knowing that this relic held mystery and strange power.  They didn't know where it would lead them next or what they would do with it, but they were glad to be heading back to safety and a warm tavern...


Fin

Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Blood Relic - Play Report Part 3

WFRP - The Blood Relic - Part 3
02-07-011

Lightfoot and Blackhart made their way down through the hills and farming lands, making for the road that would take them to Ubersreik.  It grew dark, the only light from the stars and the dancing fire lights from farmsteads off the road around them.  They joined the main road, and soon enough found themselves at the Ubersreik gates.  Travellers were few, in this cold weather and at this time of night, and the pair made their way through the small ramshackle collection of shanty houses and empty daytime market stalls that crowded the gatehouse.  They followed a late coach and a few travellers through the guards post, and handed over their toll.  Lightfoot managed to scrounge for some information on Otto Manfred and his party by sparing a few coppers for the beggers at the gates.  The noble had arrived in town with the rest of his dusty party, along with a mysterious and dark hooded man that never spoke, and had made Otto pay his toll for him.  Intrigued, the pair moved on into town, hoping to find a room and food and rest after an adventurous and dangerous number of days...

They were swamped by young lads touting inn rooms and more beggars as they made their way into the gate square.  Lightfoot hadn't really seen a town this large before, and bustling with a number of people on the street, even after dark in the street lamp lights.  It was a bustling mix, and the pair noted the number of dwarves, and even Bretonnian accents in the air as they made their way through the square.  They ended up at the Blue Pegasus, a nice enough establishment, with a bustling tavern and a room to spare for some shillings.

No sooner had they sat down to rest their bones, waiting for some hot broth and bread, did Blackhart see a familiar face!  A dark and brooding man with a rough face and unshaven chin came down the stairs and ordered an ale at the bar.  Taking a first sip, he looked around the room, making eye contact with Blackhart! His eyes widened in surprise, and dashed away, back upstairs, pushing past a poor halfling cook, carrying the broth!  Certain that he would bring some fellows and come for them, the pair made a quick escape down the narrow hall and into the small steamy busy kitchen.  The cook protested, but was soon appeased with a silver or two, and went about her business with a giant pot of soup, mentioning "we've got some new kitchen hands lads! bwahha"

They waited and watched the hallway, to see if the thugs would come for them, however, Blackhart notices out the door behind them, in the courtyard, Otto's man has appeared, angrily issuing orders to a stable boy to bring his horse and saddle.  He was still alone.  They made their move, dashing form the kitchens across the courtyard to seize the man!  He saw them, urgently shoving the stable hand aside, he tried leaping into his saddle, only in the wet and under pressure, he (I) rolled an epic failure on a test of 00 :D and the man got his foot caught in the stirrup, and the horse got so upset that it reared a little, and made a run for the gates out into the street!  Our adventurers took chase, and saw the man fall onto the cobbles at the gates, scrambling up and dashing away down the street.  A stable boy calmed the horse, as the pair ran out onto the street, Lightfoot preaparing a stone in her sling, and taking a shot at the fleeing man - a miss!  As the stone flew over his head, he turned back for a just a second, but thenw as gone, lost in the shadows of unknown streets.

Tired, and fed up, the pair went back inside to finally get their dinner and some rest.  They ended up ordering a small bath and some hot water be brought up to the room, and the land lord was able to organise the services of a physician, who for a tidy sum was able to clean and dress some wounds.  The two eventually got some rest, despite having to take turns keeping watch by the windows and doors throughout the night.  It was the grey, cold early hours of the mornign when they heard it.  A shuffling of feet outside their door, and a scratching noise at their lock.  Quickly the two leaped into place beside the door, weapons ready for anything.  The noises stopped, it went silent, they could hear some fustrated voices outside, before suddenly the door blasted off the hinges, a big boot and cloaked man flying in after it!  They could see another couple of men, cloaked in black with red scarfs over their faces, bustling in the hallway, weapons drawn!

The fight was fast and furious - and very bloody - Blackhart's axe cleaved to and fro, spraying blood high and wide - a different kind of bath for our adventurers.  Lightfoot tussled with the leader, besting the man and in a few damaging blows, he was beaten back, bloddied and staggering about.  He spat out a tooth and blood, and cursed them "You're too late!  We already have the relic, and plans are in motion that you cannot stop!  You're all doomed, and the Blood Drinkers shall feast upon the bloody remains of your Empire!..." It was a dramatic speech - and the last thing he ever said.  On the bodies of all the assailants, they found dark red tattoos, of a horrid horned beast with fangs.  Tucked inside the heavy belt of the leader, they found a small note, that read - Bring the bodies to Goblin Rock.  We can use them.  Make it bloody.  O.

The short and violent assasination attempt was over, and the pair managed to convince the landlord to quietly help them clean up and dispose of these thugs for a price.  The bar room below was already filling up with noise and cheer, and the smell of breakfast was wafting from the kitchens.  They cleaned up - again - and went downstairs, determined to find some answers to all these questions!

They started looking for the whereabouts of 'Goblin Rock' however it appeared that it wasnt a familiar name with the locals, despite their knowledge of the surrounding mountains.  An old dwarven miner, enjoying his ale and sausage breakfast mentioned that gobbos were a constant problem in the mountains, but had not heard of any place known as 'Goblin Rock'.  A foppish Bretonnian merchant proved more useful.   The handsome, fluffy crevat wearing, merchant revealed that there was an old abandoned Imperial prison fort and mining labour camp up in the mountains, that was rumoured to be infested with greenskins - much like any other dark hole in the ground in the mountains.  The merchant, Henri, knew the Grey Lady Pass well, and revealed that he had passed by Grey Tooth Gorge many times, which marked a treacherous journey along what was known as the Prisoners March - which led to the old fort.  None had travelled that way in a long time however, and the snow was thick, and the way was no doubt plagued with trolls or ogres of some such man eating monstrocity.  After some talk and drink, the two discovered the Henri was without hired protection for his return journey to Parravon - his hired swords had left him in town for drink and women, and had not returned to finish their deal.  Henri would take them as far as the Grey Tooth Gorge, and our adventurers would help protect him and his wares for the first part of the journey.

They would meet the next day at the cities southern gates, for more adventure into the Grey Mountains.  There are worse than goblins and bad weather in those haunted crags, but hopefully they would find Otto and some answers in those dark and forboding snow capped mountains...

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Blood Relic - Play Report Part 2

WFRP - The Blood Relic - Part 2
23-06-011

We were both a bit rusty with our RP skills, but we played on, picking up the action form last session.  A cup of tea helped the session, and Beck had much better luck with dice this time!

----

Blackhart and Lightfoot finally had a chance to talk after fighting off the brigands.  After some thanks and other exchanges, Blackhart revealed that she was travelling the forest as the scout for an expedition party led by Otto Manfred, a noble merchant, who was searching for an old battleground, in the hopes of looting some treasures from an age gone by.  Blackhart had decided to take the map and escape the party during the night, and make a faster approach on the battlefield herself.  She had long heard of rumours in smokey taverns about the place, holding a much more valuable secret than just old antiques of war - and she had hoped to find an old warriors tomb.  A day later she was ambushed in the forest by the brigands.  After much talk, the two decided to join forces, and make haste to find the tomb themselves.

Now aquainted, the two made their way directly south through the forest, and they came a small road, that lead from the mountains and went east, possibly towards Bogenhafen and the main north south Bogenhafen/Grunberg road.  They made their way along the road for a number of hours, finally spotting a wayside temple of Sigmar, nestled amongst the trees on the roadside.  Finally a place to rest their bones and maybe get a warm meal after all these days out in the horrible weather.  They were greeted and ushered out of the cold by some Sisters of Sigmar, and offered some hot broth and fresh crusty bread.  In the small bunkhouse in the temple, there were two gruff, unshaven and tired road wardens, resting after a long ride on the road.  They also met an old scholar,travelling all the way from Nuln to Bogenhafen with his grandson, whose parents had recently died.

After talking with the sisters, who inquired about the pair's travels, they were directed to the existence of an old hunter's path that travelled directly south through the forest, along the edge of the Grey Mountains.  Many hunters have passed by the temple, after hunting treks into the Reikwald.  The road must be dangerous though, since the hunters don't really pass this way anymore.  Blackhart and Lightfoot also learn that the roadwardens passed Otto Manfred's party on the road south towards Ubersreik or Grunburg, moving quickly.  The pair decided that despite the added danger, the old hunter's path could be quicker, and they may yet get to the battlefield before Manfred and his now angry companions.

The two head off early the next morning, pushing directly south into the woods behind the temple.  After a while, they emerge into a clearing, where they find a small cairn of stones, that marks the old hunters path.  Following the old disused and snow covered trail through the woods is hard, but they manage to piece together animal tracks and use their intuition to make their way south.  As night approaches, the two come across an old hunter cottage, worn and in disrepair.  A whistle of wind can be heard as they approach, as a cold draught swirls through the broken windows.  The thatch and wood roof is heavy with snow and rotting, but the place could prove good enough shelter from the elements.  The two cautiously approach the hut, only to discover that a large bear was now the sole occupant!  After much thought, they decided to let the sleeping giant be, and continue into the dark, deviating form the woods slightly into the rocky hills to find any shelter they can.

The next day they press on to the south, following the edge of the Grey Mountains, until they find themselves in the area of the forest marked on their map as the ancient battlefield.  Deep in this part of the woods, the first thing they stumble across is an old ruined fort watch tower, brokenly climbing out of the overgrown forest like a crooked claw.  The remains of old stone steps offers Lightfoot the chance to clamber up to what remains of the old battlements to afford her a better view of the surrounding area.  From the top, she could see the vast snowy forest below.  Way off in the mountains to the west, a thin trail of smoke swims up, maybe from some camp or settlement, while in the distance over the forest, she can see what must be dotted farmsteads and the river Teufel.  Nearby, Lightfoot notices a small clearing, and the snow covered ruins of a small stone structure.  She quickly clambers down and they both investigate the new find.

The small grove hid a shrine under the snow.  They found an elven stature, with broken arms that may have once held a fine carved sword.  They discover an old carving, which Lightfoot reads as she brushes away mud and snow.  In the hands of Kharnos is helf Ellardin, vanquisher of the abomination Arkhul, bearer of the Axe of The Blood God. They notice that the statue is slightly sunken, and further cleaning and searching around the base of the stature,reveals some buckling flagstones.  Blackhart busts through one of them, and the stones fall away to reveal a dark hole, and cut steps leading into the darkness.  Fashioning a firebrand with a branch and some rags and oil, the two descended into the small tunnel.

The small corridor slants down for a few metres, then travels flat for a few more.  In the carved panels flanking the tunnel are carved some ancient elven symbols and images of Kharnos.  The two emerge into a small square chamber, a small statue of Kharnos sits on a block of stone in the centre, surrounded in piles of dusty herbs, which could have been offerings at one time in the past.  Cautiously moving closer to investigate, the stones beneath Blackhart's feet sink a inch or so, and there is the sound of cracking! A trap!  They both leap out the way to the edge of the chamber just in time, to the flagstones and the statue in the centre of the room, fall away into a dark and deep hole in a cloud of dust an clattering rocks!

On the other side of the chamber, they find an ornate wrought gate, which breaking through, leads them to another chamber, this time with a stone sarcophagus in the middle - the lid slid off, and cracked slightly beside it.  In the far corner, leading into the dark earth is a roughly hewn tunnel!  In the muddy earth and rubble around the chamber, the two find heavy large cloven hoof prints.  Searching the tomb, they find the skeleton remains of an old warrior, which has been disrupted smashed, and obviously had a sword taken from its resting place.  They knew danger was close before them, but this was the quarry they had been seeking!  They extinguished the firebrand, and guided by the elf's night vision, they made their way into the hewn tunnel, prepared for what lay ahead.

They emerged into a cave, and immediately found the remnants of a camp.  Old coals, stinking rags and the smell of animal and filth was in the air.  Beastman - it had to be.  Creeping past piles of gnawed bones, they made their way through some short tunnels, cautiously into the light of day just ahead.  They emerged into a steep sided ravine in the Grey Mountains, rocky and snowy, the ground covered in countless hoof tracks leading down the length of the gorge.  Their eyes tracked up and around them, noticing many small warren like holes of caves dotting the walls of the ravine.  Blackhart was uneasy, and out of the corner of her eye, she thought she saw a dark shape move in one of the caves above her.  They decided to move, quickly, but the air was suddenly cut by the guttural howl of a Beastman as it burst from the darkness of its cave, charging down the ravine wall towards them.  With loud grunts, another two beastmen appeared form the opposite side fo the ravine, form another tunnel, and followed their bellowing leader into battle!

Lightfoot managed to loose a couple of arrows as the beasts approached, hitting well both times, but doing nothing to stop the barreling monster!  The leader engaged first, clashing with Lightfoot, but I rolled awfully for a few rounds, doing little but scratching her, until the other beastmen arrived into battle.  Blackhart hit well and hard as usual, dealing soem serious damage to the largest beast.  Lightfoot dropped her bow, drawing her sword and began to cut into the second beastman that had charged her flank.  Like true adventurers, the pair fought well, taking small damage in the furious fray, but cutting down the leader in the snow!  One beastman fled, only to be brutally hacked down by Lightfoot - who scored her first CRIT - and sent the poor creature's head flying a few feet into the air!  The remaining beast was soon bested by Blackhart, and as it was forced to flee, it too was cut down.

Before they had much time to gather their thoughts, they could sense more creatures would be gathering in those dark caves, and decided to move off in a hurry, following the ravine.  After a while, the track rose up the side fo the ravine, becoming a treacherously thin clifftop track, which the pair followed until they could hear a deep growling up ahead.  As they edged around a large rocky fall on the path, they came to a thundering waterfall, pouring over a rocky lip above them, and tumbling into the river below, that ate its way back through the mountains towards the forest to the east.  The track continued and became dangerously wet and slippery steps that climbed towards the lip of the waterfall above.  In the waterspray and snow, Lightfoot lost her footing! She slipped off soemr ocks, falling towards the edge fo the fals, onyl to grab onto some rocks for her very life!  Blackhart struggled to haul her back up, and they lost grip, Lightfoot falling a couple of rocky yards to a small ledge that was between her and the furious cold water below.  After some wrangling of a staff and blanket 'rope' Blackhart managed to help the elf clamber back up ontot he slippery ledge, and they continued upwards.

They emerged over the crest of the falls, to find a grisly scene.  Dozens of beastmen lay dead in the rocky waters, chopped up and cut down, lying brokenly over rocks, their blood darkening the icy waters.  Waving the crows away, Blackhart finds someone she knows, the decapitated body of one of Otto Manfred's mercenaries!  Another human body is found, another of Otto's men, and many horse tracks were found on the other side of the river, leading down a thin mountain trail.  How had Otto found the beastmen host?  Where was the sword form the tomb?  The pair began to think there was something more to this ordeal than first imagined.  The two followed the trail through a rough mountain pass, through rocky cuttings, until dusk, when they emerged from the mountains onto the side of a rocky hill, the expansive view of the Reikwald laid out before them.  In the dusk, the glinting lights of what should be Ubersreik could be seen, standing guard over the infamous Grey Lady Pass just to the south.  Maybe in town, they could find more answers.  They gripped their weapons tightly and wrapped themselves in their woollen cloaks, and made their way down through hills, towards the farms, and the road that would take them to Ubersreik...

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Blood Relic - Play Report 1

WFRP - The Blood Relic - Part 1
20-06-011

So we finally got around to playing a new adventure for my wife's character/s.  It is a setup adventure, involving how her two PCs meet and how they become entwined in a story of danger and adventure.   So we cranked the Oblivion soundtrack, poured some Stoneleigh Pinot Gris,  gathered some new dice (which proved unlucky for Beck that evening) and got started.


----

The young elf shepherd Gauren, or 'Lightfoot' as most in Graustadt called her, awoke to a frosty and still morning.  She had been tracking her wayward sheep for a day or so into the chill forest, and managed to find a rocky outcropping in which to sleep overnight, protected from some fo the wind and snow.  Really she was looking for a new life, and knew she would never return to Graustadt to that penniless existence at the drunken, heavy hand of the angry landowners.

She felt hunger in her gut, but decided to press on and find those damned sheep.  She picked up a trail in the snow and mud beneath that drew her further into the forest.  She crouched, feeling some tufts of wool on a spikey bush, and looked ahead, noticing the trees part a little revealing a misty clearing

She drew her bow and notched an arrow, approaching carefully.  The mist rolled away to reveal a bloody red find on the snow - obviously at least one of her sheep had met its fate here.  Searching about, she found a broken arrow, and plenty of footprints - human.  Feeling a growing anger, she took to the human trail, which lead her further up into the rocky snowy foothills of the Grey Mountains.

A sudden and cruel storm suddenly rose up and engulfed the hillside.  Gauren wrapped herself tighter in her woollen cloak, but had soon lost the trail.  She had tog et out of the storm, and looking up the mountains side ahead, she thought she saw what could be a cave - maybe some respite from this awful weather?  She clambered skilfully over the tricky rocks and found a small dark cave, warm and out of the wind.  Her keen eyes saw no danger lurking in the shadows, and as she investigated the back of the cave, she heard the whistling of wind through a couple of natural tunnels that lead back into the darkness.

Intrigued, she decided to carefully make her way into the small tunnels.  Surprisingly enough, she also found some Hallorns Rest mushrooms in the dark of the tunnel, knowing how to put that to good use at some point.  It wasn't long before she saw the glaring light of day at the end of the tunnel - it was clear that the honeycomb of tunnels joined the two sides of the rocky hill.  She stopped as she caught the whiff of wood smoke in the air.  She carefully emerged from the tunnels, keeping to the shadows and found herself at the back of another cave, behind a stack of old crates and an ageing barrel and piles of lanterns and other stores.  At the mouth of the cave, she could see the silhouette of two figures, hunched in the cold near a fire, noisily slurping on freshly roasted lamb.

Angered, Gauren prepared to attack these brigands, but something in the dark to her right caught her eyes.  She raised her bow, aiming into the dark, but as her eyes adjusted, she found the form of human, bound and gagged in her sights, eyes wide open.  She approached, keeping to the edges of this cave in the shadows, and took the rags from the prisoner's mouth, cutting through her bonds with a well used knife.  "I thank you Elf, just call me Blackhart" whispered the young woman, "We can get acquainted later, Elf, but I think for now we have other pressing matters..." and she gestured to the brigands nearby - still completely unaware, devouring the best meat they'd had in weeks.

Gauren drew her bow, covering Blackhart as she carefully and quietly dug into a crate at the back fo the cave, retrieving her sturdy hand axe.  Making her way to the other side of the cave, she nodded grimly at Gauren, and the elf let fly with her attack!

The brigand was bowled over in surprise, the leg of lamb flying into the air as the first arrow struck home, deep into an arm.  Amid the panic and screams, the other bandit stood, dumbfounded as Blackhart came swiftly from the dark, charging into him, striking hard with her axe.  Gauren let loose again, missing the wretch as he scrambled to draw his sword with a limp arm.  Blackhart didnt stop, pushing forwards into the bandit and striking hard again, the blow smashing through his arm, almost severing it and knocking him to the ground in a bright red splatter on the crisp snow.  The bandit scrambled back, yelping in pain and tried to flee.  As his back turned, the vengeful Blackhart struck him down, finishing him and turned to see the other bandit hefting an axe and charging her flank, but the misjudged blow swept wide.

A loud yell form the forest rim revealed another bandit, wide eyed and unhooking a bow from his pack.  He quickly notches an arrow, preparing to defend his comrades.  Gauren loosed another arrow at the newcomer, but the arrow hit the branches and leaves and bounced harmlessly away.  Blackhart sidestepped the axeman, returning an attack that connected wit the brigands shoulder with a crunch.  The man dropped to the ground dazed, clutching his arm and dropping his axe.  He desperately tried to scramble away, yelling for this archer friend to run, when an arrow from Gauren's bow silenced him forever.  Blackhart didn't stop moving, gripping her axe, she ran through the powdery snow towards the forest rim, hoping to cut down the last brigand before he could escape.

The lone bandit fired shakily, missing and desperately tried to reload as Blackhart came at him, axe raised ready to cleave.  Gauren fired another true arrow that found its mark, and the brigand dropped to the snow in pain as the arrow sunk into his gut.  He dropped his weapons and tried to haul himself away into the trees, but he would not escape Blackhart's furious axe.

The two women stood shaking, the adrenaline surging through their veins.  They looked at each other, nervously smiling and surprised to be alive.  The two unlikely companions had many unanswered questions, but both somehow knew that they were bound for adventure, and most likely - great peril...





Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Painting While Sick

No posts for a while, Ive been sick and busy at work, and all sorts.  I promise to post some mroe WFRP specific news soon, but for now, here are some paints Ive done.

I Havent painted in a LONG time, but it has been fun.  I have a lot fo LOTR minis - i find them good for WFRP as well as the LOTR Strategy Battle Game. 







Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Lost in The Chaos Wastes...

Long time no post.  Things have been busy at work, and Ive recently moved house which of course has taken up a lot of time!  Once the new games room is setup though, I plan to get into some more scenario writing and playing, with my new board setup and minatures and new paper craft scenery from Dave's Games - good stuff.  My wife has rolled a couple of characters, and I am planning an opening adventure to introduce the characters and get them off to an intriguing start...

I will post pics from a gaming session and maybe do some post adventure write ups.

play on!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Adventure Feedback

I was thinking - if anyone out there has tried or intends to try any of my scenarios, could they write up a comment in the scenario page about their experience with it?  It would be great to know how people are playing the adventures, what worked and what didn't - and any fun stories of adventure that can only occur with your own group ;)

I write stuff the way I like to GM it, and with a certain play group in mind, so sometimes it is hard to tell if a scenario works for others.


play on!

Dual Wielding

Here are some house rules on dual wielding weapons in WFRP1.  They are just house rules and may need tweaking ..or ignoring if you think they are crap :)  Just thought I would post to see if anyone likes the rule-set.  I am very open to advice or correction with dual wielding rules, if anyone cares to comment.

Dual Wielding

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Squeaky Wheel

Another content module for WFRP1.  This is a bustling Inn and Tavern outside of Talabheim called 'The Squeaky Wheel'.  The place appeared first in my Knights of Law campaign, when the players pass in and out of Talabheim, but I have since fleshed out some fo the characters and secrets that this busy hub contains.  Hopefully I will provide a cool map soon.

Hope you enjoy...

The Squeaky Wheel - Inn and Tavern

Miniatures

I've found that even for my RPG games, that some of the minis designed for WFB and LOTR SBG are really cool. For example, one box of Empire free company militia will have you sorted for any thugs, footpads, citizens, sailors, bandits, coachmen, inn patrons, and even PCs if you paint one well enough - its a bout the best value pack of models you'll buy! Some of the hero models are quite cool too!

Another quick way to fill up a cavern with greenskins is to buy the LOTR Moria goblin sets. Cool looking gobbos, I like them more than WFB, they are less cartoony. Other enemies which are fought quite a lot are beastmen, best to buy a box of plastic WFB beastmen or Gor units than individually picking through metal figurines one by one...

In a way, buy one box of the ‘fellowship’ and that is most RPG parties right there! Good ol' archetypes!

what I'm getting at is that there are some box sets of cheaper plastic minis out there now which could satisfy most of your needs with just a few purchases.

And remember..zombies and undead are just all your spare models, with some arms and stuff cut off and painted to look like ghosts :D lol


...what models do you use?


Easter Eggs and Homage

So in some of my own adventures, I have referenced some small things from a few old school Warhammer resources.  Some may notice an innkeeper by the name of Rudolf Grasser (I had to pay that bastard like 5GCs to fix his door! after I didn't realise my own strength ;) or some mercenary bodyguards named Grolsch and Van Eyke.  If anyone cares, these are nods to The Odenhaller Contract in the first edition sourcebook.  I hope not to offend anyone thinking I'm 'ripping off' names and so forth, its just a little nod the old days - and they are cool names :)

There are a few other little old school secrets littered throughout some of my adventures, so if you find any and know what they refer to, have a smug little grin to yourself :D

On this topic, my first World of Warcraft character I ever rolled was called Jodri, also referring to the same adventure ;)  O well, its all in the name of fun...

Coming soon... The Squeaky Wheel - Inn and Tavern so look out for it!


play on!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Walfen Dark

I wrote this adventure a while ago, inspired by some content and scenario ideas in Realms of Sorcery First Edition and Apocrypha 2 - Chart of Darkness.  I think at the time our group was like 'when are we gunna smash some undead? When are we gunna use the ROS book?' So I wrote this scenario.  The two books are referenced quite a lot in the story, so they would be valuable to have.

The Walfen Dark
TWD Maps and Handouts (zip file ~ 12MB)

Sorry for the large file size, however it is because its full of purrty hand drawn sweet as maps and stuff :D at 300dpi so they should print better than my other adventure packs...

PS - please excuse any slight weird 'typos' because I used an automated tool to scan this document from paper and convert to text - the future is NOW!!!

Thanks and enjoy...

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Night's Charge

From haven list' the distant toll,
Heralds night's champions ‘pon the knoll.
Thund’rous charge o’ frantic hoof clod sodden earth below,
Cav’lier wind atop o' steed, spurred by excited trumpet blown.
From haven ‘seiged, und'r window ledge, spy jagged silver edge drawn, 

Take ‘round your blanket child, pray now for morn'.

~ ‘Night’s Charge’, taken from ‘Poems To Cure the Unafraid Child’

An Old Character Sheet

This is an old character sheet I did years ago.  It is hand drawn, and has a few flaws, but there's no harm in letting loose another sheet to the world.  I will revise and update another version and make some fixes, but for now, its there if anyone cares.

Character Sheet

Horatio's Formula

The players head towards to the big smoke to visit an old friend, who has written to them with intriguing news.  Of course it all goes awry and they end up in the thick of the action  ...again! 

Horatio's Formula
Horatio's Formula - Maps and Handouts (zip file ~380KB)

Friday, 8 April 2011

The Knights of Law

Years ago, when I was an eager young fan I wrote a campaign in classic WFRP style - Innocent beginnings lead the players into a dark intrigue that ends with them determining the fate of the Empire hanging in balance.  The usual stuff.  So some of it might have dated, but its a good yarn.  It is fairly heroic, combining city intrigue with forest wandering and mountain passes and demons and cults and even an Imperial ball.

Well have a read and maybe make your own ammendments based on more modern content and play style.  The campaign can be found in the Loot section as well as here...

The Knights of Law - Introduction
The Knights of Law  - 01 - Grave Times
The Knights of Law  - 02 - The Eye of The Forest
The Knights of Law  - 03 - Seeds of Chaos
The Knights of Law  - 04 - The Inner Circle
The Knights of Law  - 05 - The Masquerade
The Knights of Law - Maps and Handouts (zip file ~4.5 MB)

If anyone does end up playing it (or reading it at all lol) feel free to let me know what you think.  I wrote it a long time ago, and have added some 'hindsight' notes...

thanks,
play on!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

One Book To Rule Them All...

So I've noticed, much like computer games, that RPG companies are simply switching to a 'micro-purchase, bleeding kids dry' business model.  I'm going to sound old I guess (really I'm not THAT old) but I love the fact that all you need to play WFRP1 is the sourcebook, the dice and some imagination.  One, big, fat softcover book to rule them all - and that is if you want to GM, most of the gameplay can be described to new players who don't own a copy.

Of course, I really like collecting information and new books from the WFRP world - because I'm a collector and I love the extra 'story' - but all you need to play is the sourcebook. Thanks to WFRP2, players must somehow justify buying multiple books to get the basic information.  WFRP3 is of course a pretty different system, making it less comparable with 1 or 2 - fun in its own right -  but it creates a system structure which makes it very hard to make your own content - which is the biggest drawback.

It seems that some young/new players are somehow scared of inventing their own content - some have forgotten how to simply be imaginative and use the books (and editions) for that matter as guides and suggestions.  If rules change or are introduced or removed, it doesn't mean you cant simply keep using your house rules, dismiss other rules, take up some, or whatever! As long as the group is agreement, then game on!

Sometimes I think players need to use compromise and common sense to resolve gameplay than trying to argue over rules minutia.  I want it to be more about the narrative feel and creativity that can arise from players and GMs telling an epic tale together!

A random thanks to all the great blogs and websites out there who keep WFRP1 and 2 content alive and imaginative

/rant lol

Stay tuned for some revised and uploaded scenarios and content.  Feel free to drop comments or tell me I'm WRONG! lol

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The Silver Crow Company

I'm pleased to introduce an unofficial content pack for WFRP1 - The Silver Crow Company.  I wrote this a while ago, and have revised it slightly for release.  It details a group of outlaws near Altdorf, working the Nuln road and the River Teuful.

I hope you find it an entertaining read, and maybe even useful for a setting for some great adventures.  Feel free to pass on feedback or corrections.

The Silver Crow Company

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Wavehammer Roleplay

Yes I know its not being developed anymore - much to my disappointment - but Google Wave could prove a useful way to run a Play By Mail (PBM) game with the all the functionality of emails, with graphics and attachments, but with the added advantage of realtime information, with an easier way for all parties involved to interact at the same time.  Also without the hassle of using IM.  One could also have split off waves between players, and between GM and players, while maintaining a main game feed.

There are some cool possibilities there, and until they re-develop the tool into something else, it will still be available to use.

More to come...

Google Wave

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Awakening

I am here now....
I am waking...
From my tomb of darkness, one thousand years of memories return to me as if a dream. Once more I know the world in my mind as if above it, mighty and aflame! I know the jagged mountains clawing at the endless sky. I know the wilds and the plains and the petty cities of men. I know the vast forces sent against me, one thousand years of war and destruction. I feel again the fiery blood in my throat and vast power in my wings...
I am rising now, like a silvery flame, up through the darkness, higher and higher until all around me is open and bright with stars! I let loose my endless wings, painted silver by the white hot moon! I am awake! I am the night sky itself! I am the storm! I am Yxthyriax, and I am reborn!
 

~ from the epic saga “The Great Dragon Yxthyriax, Doom of Karak Hirn”

Legless Willy

Wilhelm’s blade sunk into the brigand’s gut. He slammed his pistol into the thief’s chest, firing point blank, blasting the poor bastard from the end of his sword in a cloud of heavy stinking smoke. From his flank, another foe appeared, bursting through the choking sooty mess, sword raised to strike. Wilhelm spun around, barely deflecting the blow with his smoking pistol. He tossed the hand gun aside, reaching for his belt, and drawing his long sharp Tilean stiletto. He came down fast on the unbalanced ruffian, slicing with the dagger, cutting nothing but smoke, then bouncing of leather, hidden beneath the man’s cloak.
The brigand was quick to counter, making another sweeping strike across Wilhelm’s knees, connecting with a loud crack! The ruffian watched stunned and wide eyed as Wilhelm fell, and what appeared to be a wooden leg came free, collapsing to the dusty road with the rest of him in a broken heap.
The bandit wasted no more time, lunging at his downed prey. Wilhelm rolled for his dropped sword, wildly swinging away the first attack, but the brigand was raising his weapon for the final blow. In a groggy panic, Wilhelm found his other hand on his battered wooden leg, and clasping it, he threw his body forward, striking with the unlikely weapon. The wooden leg connected with a knee, and the brigand dropped, wincing and losing grip on his blade. Wilhelm struck again and again, bludgeoning his foe, then gathering the last of his strength, he drove his sword into the man’s chest, killing him.
Wilhelm collapsed onto his back, exhausted. Through the slowly dispersing cloud of black-powder smoke, he could not see much, but could hear horses and voices approaching. He was too tired to look. He grimaced, and clenched the blood splattered wooden leg in his hand. Summoning the last of his energy, he roared, hauling himself around ready to strike. His fiery glare was met by the face of an armoured Warden, dropping down from his tall horse and striding his way. Wilhelm let out an exhausted laugh, dropping his wooden leg, and reaching out his hand to meet an armoured glove...

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

WFAP - Warhammer Fantasy Arcade Play

Heroic ‘One-off' Adventures

Your players been indulging in too many video games? Have your attention spans shortened? Are you too over stimulated to bother with carefully investigating the intriguing events of a cult growing in power enough to influence the Graf of Middenheim, under the shadow of Chaos encroaching on the Empire?

Ive been thinking of different play styles that could be used to create ‘one-off’ adventures. Where a team of players create ‘one use’ characters and play a more hack’n’slash style adventure, with no respect for tone but for instant satisfaction and glorious treasure! Changing the game mechanics to a certain degree sets up an opportunity to have some fun in the Warhammer world, in more of a Diablo 2 tradition than lets say The Odenhaller Contract, or Enemy Within.

Mechanics
- Create ‘one-off’ characters, not intended for long term gradual development.
- Perhaps double the XP earned throughout the scenario, if not more
- Award XP during the session on accomplishment of tasks, rather than between sessions or after the scenario.
- Bend the rules for learning skills, or taking careers, to allow for fast development and ‘levelling’ to occur during sessions.
- Random loot rolls in hero chests, including magical items.
- Have an idea of what enemies the players will face, however keep the freedom to be able to randomise the numbers based on the progress of players, or their new powers granted to them from magical artifacts.
-Random roll for the arrival of mini-bosses?
-Encumbrance doesn't matter
-Maybe change rules for healing or effect of healing spells?
-Maybe add mechanism for regenerating some MP for spellcasters.
-Balance all player advantages with and increasing level of challenge. They may have a kick-ass magic sword, but maybe a Basilisk or far worse lurks lower in the cavern?

Story
Keep it simple. Its all about action and seeing if the players can survive the adventure to the final boss. Structure the scenarios in a way that gets the players into the action quickly. Quest based scenarios are often good, as the focus remains strong and there is a steady rising challenge as the players get closer to their goal. Some ideas...

-Searching for artifacts is always good. Good old Holy Grail quests give focus.
-Kidnaps and rescues are great. Rescue a foolish noble from Kislev Troll Country?
-The players start being captured by the enemy, in a fortress, far from home. Escape and bash their way out to freedom!
-You should have a ‘boss challenge’ that guards the final completion of the quest. It could be a creature, a puzzle or magic.
-Enemies taking over precious Imperial infrastructure - greenskins have made their way through a mountain pass, taking over the fort guarding the border into the Empire. Respond to the signals for help and take back the Castle!
-Geography will play a big role - getting out of the Empire, into the Badlands, even Darklands will provide endless swarms of greenskins - and worse - for the players to deal with.
-Keeping the action in tunnels and caves means you can easily add traps, fungus/spores, and the further you go underground the worse the fiends become.

I'm not implying these types of games should become the norm, just that sometimes breaking out in a hack n slash fest might be entertaining enough to re-energise your play. You never know, maybe one of these types of adventures take you out of the Empire to strange new lands and dangers, that you wouldn't have experimented with in a normal scenario.

Let me know your thoughts or reactions?

House Rules - Breaking Chests

Breaking Chests
When breaking open containers instead of picking locks, we make all the standard (S) test or damage tests against the container, but include some extra tests to add flavour to the situations when your players are just easily breaking everything instead of using finesse. I think this adds some penalty balance to how easy it is to make a combined (S) test to break open boxes and doors.

Traps
Sometimes we have afforded any traps the chance to ‘go off’ during the bashing process. Keep it simple, and in context. If the players are specifically breaking the lock mechanism, if the trap is connected to it, have a chance it goes off normally. If the players are targeting the whole chest, bashing it with weapons, have a chance based on the CR % (lock quality) that it will still activate, at whatever modified effectiveness you wish. This could work on doors to.

Damaged Goods
If the players are hacking into the wood or metal with weapons, then simply roll some chances that goods will be broken inside. Use commons sense. Coins wouldn't break, but you could smash some pottery or dent some brass urns etc, even cut some fine materials and clothes.

These notes have been added to the
House Rules Compendium

House Rules - Effective Iniative

Effective Initiative
We use a modified system of EI rules for combat and surprise. I have always treated initiative as slightly more a ‘solid’ stat than the standard EI rules given in Apocrypha Now and WFRP2.

Attack Order
We use the natural (I) without rolling at the beginning of every combat, or rolling for any bonuses. Then we follow the basic idea of dividing (I) by number of attacks to determine the order. Modifier for winning and charging are treated as normal for the following round

Surprise
If characters are surprised, I don’t see them standing around completely useless for 10 seconds. The surprised characters make an (I) test, with any modifiers that could help in context (sixth sense, acute hearing, knowledge of the enemy etc). If they fail, they are surprised and start the fighting at (I) -D6x10 to a minimum of 0 (at which point they must miss this round, only parrying and dodging). Even if successful, they lose (I) -10. All surprised characters must of course take actions to draw their weapons, ready shields as normal. The following round then continues as normal.

These notes have been added to the
House Rules Compendium

House Rules - Combat Archery

Combat Archery
We usually only bother with complications if the group is considered really close together, where a sort of cover is provided by each other. Any modifiers below are in addition to the contextual modifiers for range, specialist skills, cover, moving targets and so forth.

Firing Into A Group, Without Target
We use some methods as described in Apocrypha Now, WFRP1 Supplement.

When firing into group of creatures (foe or mixed friend and foe), without declaring a target, the shooter gets (BS)+5 for each enemy considered to be in that group (including friends). If they hit, assign each group member and roll to randomly select the target that is hit.

Firing Into A Group, With Target
In some cases to keep things unrealistic but fluid, we have simply invoked a (BS) -20 modifier for the extra difficulty, and if the player misses, then don't bother with seeing if it hits another target. Sometimes simple is better. If players do want the chance of friendly fire, then we have used some rules found in a mixture of official literature, and some Warpstone magazine articles.

When firing into a group (foe, or mixed) and declaring a target, the normal (BS) -20 modifier applies. If you miss, and the score is between the modded BS value and your natural BS value, then you have hit another combatant. GM applies a numerical value to other combatants and rolls dice to determine the unfortunate victim!

These notes have been added to the
House Rules Compendium

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Big Juicy Wyrms

As you can tell from some of my recent tiny fiction, I have been thinking about Dragons. Dragons are such an integral part of any fantasy lore, they are like high fantasy nuclear weaponry. However, in a low fantasy setting like WFRP, dragons are described as almost/probably extinct, unseen, ancient, and to the average Farmer Bloggs and his friends, they could be seen as purely the stuff of wild tales.

The Bestiary describes them and provides rules so exciting and dangerous its hard not to want to see them in action, tearing into your players, melting their expensive armour and ruining their hopes of surviving the adventure with loot to brag about at the next roadside Inn.

I don't think in all my years of playing with any group, did we ever fight any Dragons ...and hang on, is that not what adventurers have dreamed of, since first looking out of their isolated farming cottage window in Nowhereburg, Reikland?

So I have been trying to think of interesting and lore respecting ways to integrate a Dragon into one of my scenarios. My first thoughts are of a an ancient Dragon, awoken from slumber, exacting revenge and destruction upon a Dwarven Hold. It seems like integrating an older race like Dwarves would be a more proper setting, and perhaps they have more history with this particular Dragon than the petty, new race of Men?

Anyway, more to come.

Let me know your thoughts...

Trapped

“I remember lad, not two days before now, sitting with that warm mead in that great little tavern on the road from Weissbruck, you said you could pick any goblin lock with one... No, no, I remember now, two hands tied about your back!”
Van Eyke’s thin hands worked quickly at the lock on the simple, but stout wooden box, his razor sharp lips pursed in frustration. He stopped briefly with a sigh, and looked sideways up at the grinning Odo with one crooked raised brow. The towering Reiklander leaned casually against the stone wall, grinning like a teasing child from under a raised armoured cap.
“It would help, old man, if you kept a keen eye on our backs, instead of worrying about me...” The young Van Eyke retorted.
Still smiling, Odo stroked his black moustache with finger and thumb,
“Two hands, ‘Eykey’ … Imagine that”

The quick crack of a shortstaff banging on the rocky floor, silenced them both.
“Hold your wagging tongues! Both of you!”
The two glanced back at Helene, who crouched by the smashed barricade at the other side of the chamber, where they had entered, surprising a clutch of Goblins. She stared into the dark passage from where they had come, watching for movement and without turning to them, she hissed impatiently,
“We don't have time for this! The sooner we find Lady Dietrich's ring, and, well ...perhaps even her finger, the sooner we can leave this forsaken warren...”
“Two hands Helene, he said two hands... I could have carried the damn chest out by now. Anyway, what was the name of that tavern? The one with the comely maids. The Green Duck? No, Goose! That’s right, The Green Goo-”
Abruptly, the heavy latch popped with a loud click, and a crackling of breaking glass sounded from the chest.
Van Eyke froze, Odo’s leathery hand instinctively gripped his longsword. Helene was already fixed on the box, her eyes wide and white.
Van Eyke threw back his head, clasping his throat, and coughed out a puff of orange spittle. Helene was already over him, dragging him from the chest, towards the dark tunnel. She sniffed and winced,
“...a stench of old leather boots... Bloodwort oil!”
She tossed a rag from her pack to Odo, who still wide eyed and stunned, slapped it over his mouth and held his breath. He grabbed one the lads shoulders, and helped drag him out of the chamber and into the passageway.
Van Eyke began to screech through clenched teeth, and bubbling foam began to splutter from his blood purple lips. Throwing her heavy wool cloak around her neck and mouth like a scarf, Helene came down over him, tearing bunched herbs from her belt. She smashed them in her fists, then forced a ball of them, stalks, leaves, dried flowers and all into the boys mouth, pushing them down his throat with her fingers. Flicking back her robe, she pulled a bottle of oil from a pouch, popped the tiny cork, and shook the contents frantically into the lads mouth. The rest of it she poured into another kerchief. Tossing the phial aside, she grabbed his head, clamping his jaw shut around the mash of salve. She wiped his face down with the oiled cloth, before slapping it over his lips.

A deep howl echoed down the dark passage. Odo stood, clutching the rag over his mouth, coughing. Through his watering eyes, he caught the faint glow of flickering torchlight in the tunnel.
“O Sigmar! And they’ve returned with their rabid hounds too!”
He drew his silvery longsword, and glanced back at Helene, astride the poor lad, trying to hold his flailing arms and tossing head. They looked at each other for answers that neither could give.
In the dank blackness of the tunnel, the torchlight grew brighter and hotter,and the scratching and squabbling of the horrid Goblins drew closer...

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Doom of Karak Hirn

“...O and then the dread Wyrm did appear! She came like a storm, a smoking shadow swimming through the thick oily air! The terrible beast was a black wave, crashing onto the charred ruins of the tower, consuming the poor wretches in bright fire. And there she perched like a great smouldering claw, amongst the boiling stones and licking flames. She was an ancient memory of pain and vengeance, unleashed upon this Old World! One the Dwarves would come to call ‘The Doom of Karak Hirn’!”

~ from the epic saga “The Great Dragon Yxthyriax, Doom of Karak Hirn”

Monday, 14 March 2011

GM - Quick Reference Sheet

Here is a quick reference sheet for the GM, to make life somewhat easier with combat organisation and keeping track of characters.  You could print it out and fill it out, and I have made an example document to show how it could be used.  It might make life easier for you especially if you use the effective iniative method for multiple attacks.

The experience tags are a small technique i use to simply mark down when players roleplay really well, or perform well in game terms, just to make sure i can reward XP at the end of a scenario, especially if it is a long session, or campaign.

GM Quick Reference Sheet (Google Doc)
GM Quick Reference Sheet Example (Google Doc)

Cathayan Monk / Martial Arts

So YEARS ago, a few of us, obsessed with kung fu movies at the time, decided to create our own Cathayan fighting monk ruleset for WFRP.  I would have to say that although we thought about it quite a bit, I always feel that it didnt really fit the tone of the WFRP world and lore.  We used some of the rules in a couple of one-off alternative scenarios, but it never really proved long lasting.

It's fairly over the top, however I may as well publish some work here, just in case anyone was interested, or even to get some feedback and make some revisions.  Maybe one day I will add in more detail, darken the tone and flesh out more details on silk roads and spice routes - could be interesting.

Cathayan Monk Source (Google Doc)

Encounters

These are a set of encounters to insert into various ‘empty’ places in your campaigns/scenarios. Long travel across Reikland is dangerous, especially on the lonesome and perilous roads that wind their way through the forests. Many things can happen, but if you need some events to liven up your adventure, just add water!

These are standalone encounters, but many could be used to spawn ideas and connection to further scenarios, or sub plots that you can pick up on and re-integrate with the players later. The options are obviously endless, but here a few encounters that you might find useful.

Encounter Ideas (Google Doc)

Brainstorming

One liners, words or phrases to ignite a starting point idea to expand on for scenarios or characters. A brain dump!

  • Royal fletcher, retired, living as hermit, needed to help craft some magical arrows for a hunt
  • Leper colony
  • Corruption, danger and intrigue during an election campaign for the graf of (cityname)
  • Abandoned/boarded up building in a main street in town
  • Dead messenger on road
  • Noble ‘fop’ who is out ‘adventuring’ - comedic character, drags the players into danger without really understanding the reality or consequences

Dark Shadow

A heavy storm boils up while the players are on the road. They head for cover in a remote wayside shrine, from which signs of life can be seen. As they approach, a bolt of sudden lightning blasts down form the sky, striking the roof of the shrine with a crack and setting the place ablaze. A cry for help can be heard inside. The players rescue a young terrified cleric form the burning wreckage. He is injured, and the players take up the quest to get him to a doctor or some medical help.

Along the way to the nearest city/town, strange things start to happen to the party. The truth is that the young curious cleric had tried a certain spell, and failed, causing a dangerous series of events to unfold, allowing a shadowy demon to make its way into the plane. The cleric will keep this info hidden from the players as long as possible.

The shadowy demon will hunt down his summoner (and by association the players) until the problems is revealed and dealt with.

Maybe the young cleric was too curious and wanting to prove his magical might? Maybe he had been taken under his wing by another, more powerful sorcerer which the players must find to bring about an end to the shadow? Maybe the players leave the cleric in care, and later find out the cleric is found dead? does the shadow keep following the players? possibility of using the demon spectre across a few scenarios, always on their trail...

Will the players have to battle the spectre in an all out fight? Will they have to quest to find a spell/magic/item to help them banish the creature? Will the demon overcome the young cleric?

Rescue Effort

A town by the base of the nearby mountains has suffered an earthquake, and has almost been destroyed. Many people from a neighbouring village have gone to the rescue, providing supplies, and clerics and Druids for healing and spiritual attendance. The players hear of the disaster and also go to investigate.  While helping the dying and rebuilding the village, the players discover secrets behind the village.

Maybe the earthquake seems less natural than everyone first thought? Maybe evil magic is afoot? Maybe a cult messing with powers that they didn’t understand, has released 'something' evil from beneath the earth's crust?

Artifacts

Locals around the village are finding more and more strange and half buried artifacts in the surrounding rocky hills. Old armour, tablets, idols and so forth. The news is spreading and has reached our players ears. Maybe there is an old tomb/s which has been just revealed by the erosion of time, sand and wind?

Maybe the news of this has spread to tomb robbers and thieves, and they move secretly into the area, searching the mountains to find the tomb first. Maybe the tomb robbers set up traps to scare off other thieves?

Maybe the players want the possible treasure inside the tomb also?

Maybe there is an old spirit which is left haunting the tomb, defending its last resting place? Will the players be thieves, or will they be the spirits saviours?

Baby Bunting

The players discover a mutant baby, floating in the reeds of a river they are following. Where did the baby come from? Who does the new born belong to? Why is it mutated? The players will find a village upriver, and possibly some more leads. Maybe the mutant baby is a bastard son of a village elder, or witch-hunter, who wants to hide the truth?

The Lost Idol

In the dense forest around a town, there is rumoured to be some overgrown ruins of an ancient temple to Taal. It is rumoured that the temple was attacked years ago by chaos mutants and beastmen, who destroyed the temple, all except a small wooden idol. The surviving clerics of the old temple will tell tales of how the chaos creatures are warded off by its mysterious power.

Maybe the old priests are to old to recover the idol, and want someone to get it for them?
Maybe the players will be drawn by the rumoured powers of the idol?
Maybe there is an impending beastmen attack on the town, and the idol could be a chance of survival?

Whats the Cause?

Rumours have spread to the ears of our adventurers, that mutants are appearing in growing numbers in a small village nearby. Reports of seeing mutilated bodies, strange monsters and dismembered corpses are drawing the players further into the intrigue. What's causing these events?

Maybe a crazy surgeon/sorcerer, who lost a son to mutation, is experimenting with taking apart and putting back together body parts, in order to find a cure to mutation? What is the moral outcome - should the surgeon be stopped, or will the players be interested in a cure too?

Maybe a necromancer is at work with warped and evil powers?

Maybe a piece of warpstone lays undiscovered nearby, and is turning the locals either mad or into mutants?

Maybe a deadly disease has broken out?  Maybe the players catch it while investigating, and are forced to help find a cure or it would be the end of their days too...

Gold Fever!

An old Alchemist (maybe a friend of a PC) is found dead in his laboratory. There is obviously foul play afoot, and the alchemist's working partner/apprentice is nowhere to be found. Further investigation reveals the alchemist might have discovered a way of turning solid elements into gold!

Maybe the apprentice has stolen the formula, murdered his teacher and is hiding somewhere on his own, working on making gold, or claiming the discovery as his own!

Maybe the players will be drawn to find the magic formula themselves?
Maybe they want to avenge their friends death?
Maybe the old alchemist was a bit of a crack-pot, and no-one believes he REALLY found the formula, and just killed himself?
Maybe have the players find the formula, but somehow lose it forever, never to be discovered again…

Doing Our Job?

The players are hired to retrieve a special artifact or treasure from a distant locale. They are meant to meet a contact or spy there, who will direct them further in their quest. Evil parties have intercepted the spy, and replaced him/her with their own, intending to deceive the players.

The players could end up unwillingly working for the enemy - but for how long? Will they realise before stealing from, attacking, or even murdering the innocent? Maybe the players realise, then counter-double-cross the evil parties!

What will they discover if the artifact is recovered?  Will they finish the job and hand it into their employer, or does the item hold secrets that lead further into adventure?

Prospector's Legacy

An old prospector has been jailed for a number of years over a large theft of treasure. The authorities never actually found the loot, but rumours have spread and other parties are becoming interested. As the date of the old man's release grows closer, a local gang is hanging out for him, and are planning to force the old man to lead them to his loot. However, corrupt authorities are also interested, and have planted fake prisoners in the old man's cell in order to get hints on where the treasure might be hidden.

Maybe the corrupt officials will try to strike a bargain with the old man, asking to be taken to the treasure peacefully, or they might let him loose into the more 'rough' tactics of the local gang waiting outside the jail.

Maybe frantic locals are already mining in droves in the nearby mountains, or maybe the rumours have spread enough to create a 'gold rush' for the hidden treasure.

The players could stumble across the small mining town, and get involved somehow - maybe they are interested in the treasure themselves, or maybe they would like to save the old man, hoping to become allies with a supposedly rich ally!

You never know - maybe the treasure doesn't ACTUALLY exist…

Buried Treasure

A dwarf mining camp in the foothills of the mountains has uncovered an ancient temple/burial site while digging - with loot! However the expedition to recover the treasure is found slaughtered and the treasure is missing. Players investigate and discover a troll has entered the remote tunnels of the mine through its own cave system, and stumbled upon the miners, killing them and even eating the treasure. 

Maybe the players hunt down the troll, delving into the caverns from the bottom of the mine, and face off against the mighty troll in its lair?

Perhaps the troll can be killed and a certain amount of treasure recovered from its belly? Maybe depending on how long it takes the party to kill the troll, the treasure dissolves more in the stomach!

The evidence of a dead troll slayer might be found? more clues to another adventure? Maybe the tunnels lead further into adventure?

Smugglers

Fort Northwatch, hanging precariously over the cliffs of the nearby rocky bay has been abandoned for as long as most in the area remember.  Strange goings on have been noticed. The players investigate to discover a Bretonnian smuggler crew operating out of the Forts secure and hidden lower levels, with access through old ammunition/storage tunnels in the cliffs, down to the sea. The players may deal with the smugglers, but what are they smuggling and More importantly for whom?

does the trail lead the players to an important figure, and how do they deal with accusations or resolving the issue? Is it local officials simply quaffing Bretonnian brandy? or does the trail lead much higher?

Are the goods more ‘interesting’ and sinister; bodies/parts, alchemical equipment, wizards ingredients and dark potion elements?

Maybe they are smuggling artifacts and treasures stolen from ageing temples and shrines in the Empire, for sale in Brett to high paying corrupt Brett nobles and scholars.

Favourite Dice

Bertolo’s grin widened as did his large halfling eyes. With a cackle, he scraped all the coin from the table, pouring it into his loose shirt front like a make shift money purse.
“Looks to be loik oim flush with coin lads, and you haven’t any, hows ‘bout we call it a nigh--”
A large meaty hand slammed down on the table, shaking the dice, spilling an ale and wiping Bertolo’s grin from his round little face. The brute of a man stood slowly across from him, his bushy red moustache vibrating as he snorted like an angered bull. Bertolo was already planning his escape. He glanced at his favourite loaded dice on the table, he knew it was unlikely he would get them back. His new doublet was hanging on the back of his chair, that would probably be lost too, for he would have to move as quick as his furry feet would take him. One of his deft little hands was already gripping a dirk hidden in his boots, the other, tightening its grip on his shirt-full of swag. He had always made a point of sitting closest to the doors, and he had already weighed up three options before the fiery brute spoke in a drunken stupor.
“Look ‘ere half-pint! You aint goin’ anywheresh.. "

Bertolo swallowed hard.  The brute continued through a spray of ale and spittle.
"...not ‘til Ive won me munney backsh!”
...Bertolo’s grin returned. His hands relaxed, and he glanced back at this dice. He quickly pulled his doublet back on, took up his dice and rolled...
“your bet friend...”