Saturday, March 30, 2013

April A-Z Blogging

I know the April A-Z blogging is not a new concept, but I have never taken part in it. Every time I read about it I become extremely interested. My free time is not what it once was, and I often find myself lacking time to put up a good gaming post.

However, get ready! I have 26 labels from WarHammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition that I want to blog about next month. They are mostly careers, supplemented with some creatures from the bestiary where there are gaps. When there were multiple options available, I tried to choose the one that was the most iconic to WarHammer (in my opinion).

The posts aren't necessarily going to be very long, again due to that lack of free time I mentioned. They are not going to be as high quality as people who have been doing this for years. But they are going to get me the experience of the process.  I hope you might find some enjoyment therein.

Friday, March 29, 2013

WFRP: Helmgart Recovers? (8th Sitting)

Last night was the eighth sitting of our WarHammer 2e online campaign. Much has already happened, and much more is planned.

Mordrin Skorkinson, Troll Slayer. I've built up a little more backstory for him (which you don't get to know about until he's dead) as well as having his adventuring career to draw from for my roleplaying.

He now wields a two handed war-hammer taken from a slain priest of Sigmar. Don't fret; the priest deserved it. He is looking for sheaths for his previous weapons, an orc Choppa and a sword taken from the body of a slain hobgoblin.

My companions:
A Brettonian Knight Errant
A High Elf Scholar
A Human Scribe
A Wood Elf Wizard Apprentice

Encounters and notes
The party continues to enjoy the status of heroes for our key involvement in saving the town from purification by fire. We helped put out the fire and helped the town become purified by herbal remedy instead.

The night of our celebration, the high elf pulled us aside and told us of an adventuring opportunity, back to the ruins of Groz Zorn. It's an abandoned dwarf hold in the mountain above the town of Helgart. You didn't have to ask me twice.

We visited the town's stoneyard owner, who wants us to go up to Groz Zorn to prove to everyone it's safe and there is nothing wrong with the stone. I told him there's nothing wrong with it, but that doesn't seem to be good enough for him. He wants us to bring back the keystone from the arch over the hall. I pointed out that the keystone is necessary to keep the rest of the arch in place, but he didn't seem to care.

Our new employer sealed the deal with a barrel of Bugman's Best. It was a beautiful thing, even if the Knight had more than his fair share.

In the morning, I helped myself to loading up the high elf's cart, waited for everyone until bored, and then looked around for some of my companions to keep me entertained.

I went with the scribe and the high elf to the temple of Verena. The manling wanted his dreams interpreted. I could have done that for him, but for some reason he didn't ask. His dreams tell him to seek grim and perilous adventure. He needs to come with us to the ruins. Case closed.

At the temple, the priest of Verena asked about dwarf social habits, specifically with the priestesses of Valaya and their interaction with dwarf troops during war. I opened my mouth the educate the priest and the high elf cut in. He went off on a long diatribe concerning how dwarf culture worked. Krutting elgi thinks he's an expert.

The priest started spouting recruitment propaganda at our manling, so my attention drifted a bit. I need to make sure the library is good dwaff stonework, else all those books could go up in flames.

We had a small battle at the zorn (meadow) of Groz Zorn. My new warhammer is a thing of beauty, smashing the first goblin we met to pulp with one hit.  Next I'm going to try it out of the defaced shrine inside.

Out of character
You can watch the game, as it was recorded in an OnAir Hangout. Unfortunately, you can't also see the maps and all the typed conversation that's going on in You miss a lot not being able to see that.

It was very interesting to see the player of the human scribe working set himself up in a little bit of everything. He has a connection with the temple of Shallya, a connection with the temple of Verena, a connection with the Graf (mayor, essentially), and getting a connection with the dwarf. He might have connections with the other characters as well, but I have no way to know due to Roll20's whisper feature.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Contemplating April A-Z

I know April A-Z posts have been done and done and done, but I have never done it. I need a little kick in the pants in the idea department. My professional life overwhelms my free time, and all my gaming related activities are suffering. If I didn't expect too much from myself...maybe one paragraph at least...from each post, I just might be able to pull off an A-Z month.

I hope I can do it. Thinking about it gets me excited.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Reading Gaming Blogs

There are a number of different blogs I try to keep up with, but one I keep up with every day. This is Tenkar's Tavern. I thought about it last night to try to figure out why I always keep up with that one blog out of the many. What it came down to was that the posts are always (relatively) short and they always keep me up to date in my area of interest: role playing games.

Blogs like Gnome Stew have a variety of information that is handy for GMs sitting down to plot out their games. However, the posts are not short. I know I want to take the time necessary to read them, so I put off reading them until I feel like I have an extra few minutes. Apparently I very rarely feel that way, because my Gnome Stew queue is growing.

Other blogs are specific to some sort of home-brew world they are working on. While those do interest me, they are often not short either because they want to describe how they came up with their rules.

Yet other blogs are written well in advance and with no interest in keeping the reader up to date with what's going on in the industry.

Thank you Tenkar for what you do. This is definitely a labor of love.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Map: The Solo Hold

Behind a tree is a small cave. An inquisitive dwarf noticed the hole in the ceiling of the cave and came back with rope and a grappling hook. There was a small series of caves up above. He has been working to neaten them up (square them off) and dig a tunnel for a secret exit.

In his mind, he's the king.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pie Week, Day 3

I was thinking about breaking down Pie Week for the blog here. I got just enough interest in it from here and from Google+ that I decided to go for it.

Day 3:
Morning: Runs much like the previous day. Most people will probably sleep in a bit, followed by the awakening of those who need to get ready for a busy day. Vendors will set up around the archery site and the arena, mostly selling food, but also other local trinkets.

Archery events commence again around 1 PM in the afternoon in a field. Everyone has the morning to themselves.

Event 1: Archery - The Moving Shoot: The archer shoots at 3 targets while riding by on a horse. Archers use 6 sharp arrows, 2 arrows per target. All hits score points. All shots are in short range, the only modifier being shooting from a moving horse. If the character doesn't have Ride skill, the must make a Risk test for each arrow to be able to shoot without falling off the horse. Then they use a BS penalty of -20. Points: Body - 2, elsewhere - 1. Plus 3 points for any archer who gets all 6 hits.

Event 2: Archery - The Pottage Shoot: Targets range from a shallot hanging on a string to a large swede on a post. The smaller the vegetable, the higher the points. Distance short range with a long bow and long range with a short bow (-10 BS). Six sharp arrows are allowed. Provide a -10 BS penalty for each time the item has previously been hit. Points: Shallot - 5, onion - 4, cabbage - 3, carrots - 2, swede - 1

Event 3: Arena - Subdual Fights: The winners of day 1 fights were lined up against each other. There were 4 fights.

Event 4: Raspberry Pie Cook-off!: Townsfolk were allowed to prepare any type of pie they wanted, as long as they used blueberry. The types of pie I included were pie with whipped topping, tasteful raspberry vinaigrette topping, slightly over-zealous with sugar, raspberry cream filling, crust made with raspberry ale, and spiced open-faced.

Evening: Musicians (lute, drum, flute) at the White Wyvern Inn

Night 3: Strange shadowy shapes seen slinking around town at night. Any PCs out and about have a chance at spotting them. The shapes are orcs, and they have stolen food left to cool on windowsills. These creatures were let into the town by the current Alchemist's son, Damien. They have dug a tunnel into his basement. He is secretly a cultist. Damien lets the creatures back in when they have gathered food.

Monday, March 18, 2013

WFRP: Slayers' Dishonor

My GM recently asked me what the specifics were on my Slayer's dishonorable act that precipitated him taking the oath. It's something I had only barely thought about. I figured if it never gets talked about, I don't really have to come up with a story, right? Wrong.

I have a story now. And I'm not sharing least not until the slayer is dead. It's shameful enough that he knows, his family knows, and a few other dwarves know. You don't get to know as well.

However, I would like to hear any stories you can share about any slayers you know. What, exactly, happened that caused them to take the Slayer Oath?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hobbly Citizen: Lothar Taylor (L.T.)

Lothar, a semi-retired adventurer, lives on a small lake house in the middle of  Hobbly. When the BloodBowl recruiting began, he jumped on the chance to bring some glory to his hometown in a different way than before. He joined the team as a Blitzer. Armored up, he cruises the field looking to knock out people on the opposing team.

LT has been a Blitzer for the team Hobbly's Heroes from its inception.

MA 7 ST 3 AG 3 AV 8 Skills Block, Mighty Blow
Stats: 1 casualty, 1 game MVP

Friday, March 15, 2013

WFRP: Morrslieb's Shadow (7th Sitting)

There was an interlude between the 6th and the 7th sitting, wherein we were encouraged to narrate how we thought the 6th sitting ended and what our characters did the 48 hours following. My Slayer only had plans for the first day, but his needs are basic and easily met.

Mordrin Skorkinson, Troll Slayer. All I really know about him is his name, his weapon, and his job. Except...he's currently jobless and not exactly impressed by the members of his (former?) party. He realizes that he probably needs to stay on their good sides, considering they will probably leave the town as a group again.

He now wields a two handed war-hammer taken from a slain priest of Sigmar. Don't fret; the priest deserved it. He is looking for sheaths for his previous weapons, an orc Choppa and a sword taken from the body of a slain hobgoblin.

My companions:
A Brettonian Knight Errant
A High Elf Student
A Human Scribe
A Wood Elf Wizard Apprentice

Encounters and notes
The town of Helmgart is trying to hail us as some kind of heroes. I guess they feel pretty guilty that they couldn't kill their own evil.

From what I overhear, the Scribe is getting credit for my zombie kills and the Knight is lauded for killing the Shallyan fanatic...the same one who I gravely wounded and let run away so I could open the doors of Helgart and save fleeing townsfolk.

There are two runes on my new war-hammer. One I identified as a Smashing rune (+1 damage). The other is dimmed because the war-hammer was used in shameful ways by the priest. I want to identify the rune and get it glowing again, but I don't know what the rune is. I tried to ask other learned dwarves in town, but they didn't know either. They suggested I find a Runesmith/Runelord. That's next on my list of tasks.

I tried to get sheaths for my sword and my choppa, but they are not even close to any standard equipment the town has in stock. I might have to leave the two weapons behind instead of taking them as spares.

I finally got outfitted in adventuring gear. I've come a long way since the party found me with no possessions, about to be sacrificed by orcs.

The town had their precious Knight "hero" jousting for the "honor" of which door was opened first to admit trade. Humans throw these words around without even knowing what they mean. There was enough trumpeting and fanfare to deafen a musk ox. In the end, the two door were opened almost simultaneously, so it seems like it was all a bunch of human hullabaloo about nothing.

The Knight Errant won his jousting match, so the local taverns are feeding me free ale. Amazing how that works. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hobbly Town Council

For Hobbly Pie Week, it was appropriate to come up with the members of the Hobbly town council. The council is a mixture of business owners, well known personalities, and scholars. One new member was added during Pie Week, an NPC that had traveled with a group of PCs in the capacity of healer.

Johann - Mayor
Merrick - Owner/Operator of the White Wyvern Inn/Tavern
James - Noble, and Retired Mercenary
Sherman - Head Priest of Sigmar
Richard - Elder College Scholar
Lothar - Retired Mercenary (PC)
Nassic - Lawyer
Danica - Alchemist, Retired adventurer NPC

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mordrin-Interlude 1 (WFRP Campagin)

Narrative interlude to what happened previously.

Mordrin fights determined against the undead mob. His girth and recent activity level, however, have left him unable to fight from dusk to dawn, as a proper slayer might. He starts to flag, getting clawed by hungry zombies and stabbed with the arm bones of those he severed. As his strength fails, Morrslieb disappears behind the mountain. The remaining zombies fall, leaving a battered and bleeding dwarf who can scarce lift his weapons. The scene is gruesome. The dwarf is barely distinguishable from the corpses. Luckily the townsfolk are too distracted to see how the dwarf has maimed their dead kin. He shuffles off in search of his companions, more due to exhaustion than a desire to rejoin the party.

Mordrin stumbles into the common, seeing the elf, knight, the manling "that knows his letters" standing over the torn bodies of a priest of Sigmar and the insane priestess Mordrin himself nearly dispatched. Seeing the dwarf's state and association with the heroes and town guard, he is given care, if reluctantly approached at first by Imperial barber-surgeons. Mordrin's wounds ache and are red from infection.

Mordrin is finally pushed into a bath by the doctors of the Markgraf, ordered to scrub clean by Shallyan attendants and properly bandaged. The lye soap prescribed by the priestesses seems to have cleared up the rash as well. However, the dwarf won't know that for a few hours, as the bath and holy ministrations have allowed him to slip into a deep slumber, unable to be interrupted by anything less than the roar of a dragon.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hobbly Citizen: Joe Ratcatcher

In a house on the corner, close to the tavern and the weapon shop of the Hobbly lives the family of Joe the Ratcatcher.  Joe's is named after his career. As such, he used to spend his free time keeping Hobbly free of the rat menace. That was until the BloodBowl recruiting began.

It seems that Joe is not only good at catching rats, but is also good a catching a ball. He's the second most accomplished player on the team, Hobbly's Heroes.

Joe has been a Catcher for the team Hobbly's Heroes from its inception.  His son, Eddy, has been doing a fine job keeping the town rat-free in his absence.

MA 8 ST 3 AG 3 AV 7 Skills Catch, Dodge, Block, Leader
Stats: 1 completion, 9 TDs, 1 game MVP

Friday, March 8, 2013

WFRP Slayers and Players

I read in a comment thread about Slayers seeking death that someone stated, "There was a discussion about this some time ago...He made a sacred vow to [atone] by being on the front line so that people more worthy than him can stay out of harm. He is an individual living a dangerous life to protect his race."

Whatever conversation was had prior, I wasn't part of and I haven't read, so I apologize if I'm re-treading well-worn ground, but I believe the Troll Slayer is seeking death, not just to be in the front lines so someone else isn't. (I don't believe that sentiment matches what we've learned in the novels at all, but again, I wasn't part of the original conversation that led to it.)

What we learn from the novels is that the Slayer is seeking a glorious death, one that will wipe his shame clean and return the family's honor. The Slayer doesn't want to die to a plague or a building randomly falling on his head. He wants to go out against a deadly foe, put up a respectable fight, and go down honorably.

As far as the gaming aspect of this, I don't think it's too cruel to keep the Slayer alive, if that is also the hope/expectation of the player. It seems like there needs to be a bit more collusion between the GM and player on this one. From what I read, that's the mark of a good GM anyway, talking with the players about their wants/desires/expectations and running the game accordingly.

On the other hand, the player should in no way get upset if the GM gives the Slayer a glorious death. That is the goal of the career. The player should know this before agreeing to take on the character.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

WFRP Novels and Hope

Readers and players need hope. The novels have none. 

What is Gotrek and Felix's* hope? For the dwarf to die. It is never going to happen! 

What is the hope of the dwarfs? To hold against the onslaught of Chaos. What happens? Their keeps are overrun, one after the other. Dwarfs die. 

The hope of the Empire is to beat back Chaos, but the chaos is in them. Cultists are constanding attacking from within and weakening the Empire. There is no hope. 

I reject that. 

I play in 1e, in a place where there is still hope. Come. Join us. Tell us of your hope-filled Warhammer settings. You can have both Warhammer and hope-filled, but if your balance is off, it will be more like playing a different RPG...a game I might start to read about next...a game with hope: D&D.

*I actually think Felix's hope is to survive many more exciting adventures by Gotreks side, not to see Gotrek die.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

WFRP Book vs Novel Magic Items

I have been reading the Warhammer fantasy novels for quite a few years now and playing the WFRP game even longer.  It came to me just recently that I don't ever remember seeing a magic item from the rulebook make it into a novel.

The Gotrek and Felix novels probably come the closest. Gotrek has a rune axe and Felix has a magical sword. These weapons, however, don't match the ability options in the first edition book.

So, were the magic items in the rule book too lame, or were the authors of the novels too interested in coming up with their own items?

Besides wondering about that disconnect, it can be an encouragement for us to get out there and make our own magic items for our own games.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I Think Games Workshop is Trying to Destroy the WarHammer World

I mean literally.

The more of these Black Library books I read, the more cities, towns, and dwarf holds get destroyed. There aren't many dwarf holds left. There is a non-stop flood of chaos pouring south from the Wastes. Remember when the Black Library books used to have insidious cultists and was subtle about the destruction of humanity? I think those days are over.

What I can't figure out is if they are trying to destroy the whole Empire/Empire area and they focus on a different area or if they are slowly preparing us for the fantasy setting to turn into the 40K setting.

Either way, I'm glad I still have my setting back in the 1E era. There is hope for the Empire...or at least a much longer rate of decay.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Kickstarter: Torn Armor

For a few weeks I have been tempted by previews of this new Kickstarter for a game called Torn Armor. The game itself didn't necessarily appeal to me, and I still haven't taken the time to watch the video and see how the game works. However, the miniatures are completely original and are what has caught my eye. From mice to yuan-ti to stone golems and armored warriors, these miniatures look amazing.

I don't know if I'll have the spending money to join at the level I want to, but I want to help get the word out. These miniatures look GREAT! Oh, and I guess there's a game they come with, too. :)

Check it out. Drool. Back it if you can.

Their Kickstarter video:

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Magic Item: Invisibility Bow

The user holding the bow in their hand is made invisible by the magic of the item. When the string is pulled, the user appears.  When the string is released, the user disappears again.

There are also some runes on the bow that add extra powers to the arrows (explosive, lightning, etc.). The user will have to find out how to use them, and the GM will have to decide what the exact powers are. The rune fades after use, and doesn't light again for a period of time determined by the GM and usually based on the power of the rune.

The player who received this in my game never figured out the runes, however the bow itself was a major game changer. You really need to be prepared for a character who can be invisible at will.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Wolverine (WFRP 1e)

First up on my X-Men conversions to WarHammer FRP mutants: Wolverine!

I crossed part Chaos Beastman, part Warrior of Chaos, and made some Hero level advancements.

M 4 WS 71 BS 33 S 4 T 5 W 15 I 45 A 2 Dex 40 Ld 29 Int 30 Cl 89 WP 89 Fel 24

Size M (5' tall)

Physique:  Wolverine is much as you imagine him from the comics and cartoons: He is short, with disheveled black hair, very muscular, and has bone claws that erupt and retract from the tops of his hands on demand.  These claws are treated as a natural weapon, so he gets no penalties for fighting "hand to hand."

Alignment:  Chaotic. He does what he wants when he wants why he wants.

Psychological Traits:  Wolverine is immune to Fear tests.

Special Rules:  Wolverine can regenerate damage. One wound point can be regenerated per round.

Skills:  Acrobatics, Concealment, Rural, Consume Alcohol, Dodge Blow, Excellent Smell, Follow Trail, Frenzied Attack, Game Hunting, Immunity to Disease, Immunity to Poison, Lightening Reflexes, Orientation, Shadowing, Silent Move Rural, Sixth Sense, Street   Fighter, Very Resilient