Friday, March 1, 2013

Complicating the Simple: Replacing the WFRP 2E Career Progression


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

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

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

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


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




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

Players still pick a career. Instead of coming with a list of advances open to that career (or a list of lists of advances, as with the other 40K RPGs), they come with some special abilities (not germane) and a list of aptitudes. Aptitudes are meta-abilities; what a career is good at. A Medic's Aptitudes,  for example, are BS, Int, Per, WP, Fieldcraft, and Knowledge.  Every advance  is associated with two aptitudes: how many of those Aptitudes character has determines what the advance costs the character. Medicae is Int and Fieldcraft; a Medic who has both Int and Fieldcraft pays less for Medicae advances than, say, a Weapons Specialist who has the Fieldcraft Aptitude but not the Int Aptitude.

Characters can (generally) take whatever advances they want... but XP costs encourage them to take advances in things that the character at which they should be good and not things at which they shouldn't be good. So... sorta like the WFRP career system, but less of a straight-jacket ("You're a Fisherman, you are incapable of knowing Etiquette.")

Of course, the 40K Skills and Talents aren't quite the same as the WFRP Skills and Talents, and mapping those WFRP careers to the Aptitude list...  Fortunately, the day after the session I needed to be mentally pseudo-active while vegging. Doing that sort of thing was exactly what I needed that afternoon.  Here are the results.



At a high level: characters still roll their starting careers. They get their skills and free advance as per the core book.  Based on their career, they receive a total of six Aptitudes (some of which are automatic, some of which may be selected from a list) that determine how my XP different advances cost from that point going forward.
If you're interested, all of my work in assembling this can be found in this spreadsheet.  This is basically the scratch paper I used to make sure stuff looked reasonably like what the career system promoted.

For starters: the Aptitudes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CareerMandatoryOptional
AgitatorInt, Fel, Leadership, SocialBS, Ag, WP, Knowledge, Larceny, Perception
Apprentice WizardInt, WP, Magic, SocialT, Ag, Fel, Knowledge, Perception
BailiffInt, Fel, Knowledge, Leadership, SocialBS, S, WP, Perception
Barber-SurgeonAg, Int, WP, KnowledgeT, Fel, Finesse
BoatmanWS, Ag, WildernessBS, S, T, Int, Social
BodyguardWS, Offense, Defense, FinesseS, T, Ag, Perception
Bone PickerT, Larceny, Perception, SocialS, Ag, WP, Fel, Animals
Bounty HunterBS, Ag, Offense, Perception, WildernessS, WP, Finesse, Larceny
BurgherInt, Knowledge, Perception, SocialAg, WP, Fel
Camp FollowerAg, FelT, Int, WP, Finesse, Animals, Larceny, Social
Charcoal-BurnerPerception, WildernessS, T, Ag, Int, WP, Fel
CoachmanBS, Ag, Animals, WildernessWP, Fel, Perception, Social
EntertainerBS, Ag, Fel, SocialS, WP, Finesse, Animals, Larceny, Perception
Estalian DiestroWS, Ag, Offense, FinesseS, T, Int, Defense, Engineering
FerrymanBS, S, Perception, SocialT, Ag, Int, Fel, Defense
FishermanS, Ag, Perception, WildernessBS, T, Int, Finesse, Social
Grave RobberAg, WP, Larceny, PerceptionBS, S, Finesse
Hedge WizardWP, Fel, Magic, PerceptionT, Ag, Int, Animals, Social
HunterBS, Ag, Perception, WildernessT, Int, Engineering, Larceny
InitiateInt, WP, Fel, KnowledgeBS, S, T, Leadership, Social
JailerWS, S, T, DefenseWP, Larceny, Leadership, Perception
Kislevite KossarWS, BS, T, WPDefense, Leadership, Perception, Social, Wilderness
MarineWS, BS, S, OffenseAg, WP, Defense, Social
MercenaryWS, BS, Offense, SocialS, T, Ag, WP, Defense, Finesse, Animals, Perception
MessengerAg, Animals, Perception, WildernessBS, T, Int, WP
MilitiamanWS, Ag, Defense, PerceptionBS, S, T, Animals
MinerS, T, Perception, WildernessBS, Int, WP, Animals
NobleWS, Fel, Leadership, SocialBS, Ag, Int, WP, Defense, Animals, Knowledge
Norse BerserkerWS, S, T, WP, OffenseLeadership, Wilderness
OutlawWS, BS, Ag, Offense, LarcenyInt, Defense, Finesse, Animals, Perception, Social, Wilderness
OutriderBS, Ag, Int, Animals, WildernessS, WP, Perception
PeasantTBS, S, Ag, WP, Animals, Social, Wilderness
Pit FighterWS, T, Ag, WP, OffenseS, Defense
ProtagonistWS, S, Ag, WP, OffenseDefense, Social
Rat CatcherAg, WP, Animals, Larceny, PerceptionBS, T, Engineering
RoadwardenWS, BS, Ag, Animals, WildernessS, Int, WP, Perception, Social
RogueAg, Fel, Perception, SocialBS, Int, WP, Larceny, Leadership
ScribeAg, Int, WP, KnowledgeFel, Engineering
SeamanWS, S, Ag, Offense, WildernessBS, Defense, Perception
ServantAg, WP, Perception, SocialS, T, Int, Fel, Defense, Animals
SmugglerAg, Int, Fel, LarcenyBS, Animals, Perception, Social, Wilderness
SoldierWS, BS, Ag, OffenseWP, Defense, Animals, Perception, Social
SquireWS, Offense, Knowledge, LeadershipBS, S, T, Ag, Fel, Defense, Animals, Social
StudentAg, Int, Fel, KnowledgeEngineering, Perception, Social
ThiefAg, Fel, Larceny, PerceptionBS, Int, Finesse, Engineering, Social
ThugWS, Offense, Larceny, SocialS, T, Ag, WP, Fel, Defense
Toll KeeperWS, T, Perception, WildernessBS, S, Ag, WP, Social
Tomb RobberWS, Ag, Int, WP, Engineering, PerceptionFel, Knowledge, Larceny
TradesmanAg, WPS, T, Int, Fel, Animals, Engineering, Perception, Social
VagabondBS, Ag, Larceny, WildernessInt, Fel, Perception, Social
ValetAg, Int, Fel, Knowledge, SocialWP, Perception
WatchmanWS, Int, Defense, PerceptionBS, S, Ag, WP, Fel
WoodsmanWS, S, WP, WildernessT, Ag, Perception
ZealotWS, T, WP, Knowledge, LeadershipS, Fel, Social

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Thursday, February 21, 2013

WFRP 2E Winds of Magic Table(s)

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

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

Roll d10 to determine what Wind is in ascendancy.

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

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

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

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

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

Free RPG Day Hexcrawl Entries

About a month ago, James Raggi posted about the now-underway LotFP Free RPG Day Kickstarter.  The module ("Better than Any Man") is a hexcrawl around Karlstadt during the Thirty Years War, and he put out a call for "'random' and placed wilderness encounters that aren't connected to the main ideas of the adventure but that support the atmosphere."

Since I'm theoretically running a game that takes place in Germany during the Thirty Years War, I've got a notebook full of Stuff To Do... so I pinged him and offered to throw together a few.

The Kickstarter's closed out (successfully! yay!), and it looks like they're not getting used (and, to be honest, I didn't really expect them to), so I figured I'd post 'em here.  Silly to let content go to waste when I've got a blog that's starved for attention.



Foul Fruit

A village sits near the edge of a field. It's unnervingly quiet: no voices are heard, no sound of livestock, no smoke rising form chimneys.  In the field, certainly a place for local celebrations and fairs years ago, stands large tree.  Dozens of nude corpses are hanged from it, like foul fruit.

The village is thoroughly looted. All of the bodies are adult and male, but there are no other people to be found.  Similarly, all of the livestock is missing.

(Mostly this is just an excuse to reference Callot's Les Grandes Misères de la guerre: #11 - The Hanging which is, to me, one of the most evocative pieces about the period.)


The Patrol

A few miles away, there's a group riders in the colors of [Karlstadt], armed dangerously.  They've noticed you and are galloping your way, readying their weapons!

These riders are looking for trouble: they're searching for scouts from the Swedish army to capture or kill. They'll likely assume that's what the party is.  If they're not traitorous, heretical troops, what are they doing wandering the German countryside when they should be in Karlstadt, preparing to fight off the same.

(I'm saying [Karlstadt] because I've forgotten who's supposed to be in control of it.  Someone Hapsburg, I expect, but Tilly? Wallenstein?)

Atra Mors

A lone farmhouse quietly sits on the edge of a ragged, poorly tended field. No smoke rises from the chimney, but there are faint sounds of movement coming from within.  

The house is wreathed in a strong, foul odor which. The sounds are from rats, feasting on a family's worth of corpses arrayed throughout the house.  The corpses are but a few days old: an ill-advised examination of the bodies will reveal large, tumescent buboes in the armpits and groins of the bodies.   The Plague!

(I have no idea if you think it's a good idea for the PCs to catch the plague. I'm assuming not. Besides, it's been my experience that PCs run, fast and hard and immediately, from anything that looks like it might be the plague… so it doesn't really matter if I want them to be able to catch it or not.)

Looking for Pic-a-nic Baskets

While camping for the night, a large snuffling shape wobbles and shuffles in from the darkness: a mangy, gaunt bear begins pawing at one of your packs!

People aren't the only things starving in the Palatinate. This animal is hungry enough to brave a group of people to rummage for anything to eat.  It will certainly attack anyone who attempts to stop it from tearing through packs and eating anything it smells and, depending on how much food it's able to rummage out of those packs, it might attack the party anyway.

(Sorry; I've got to throw this one out here. This encounter killed nearly half of the party in my game; nothing fancy, just bears and death. :) )

"The war will feed itself."

Screams and cries can be heard coming from a village: soldiers in Swedish colors are butchering its residents.  They're too preoccupied in visiting misery upon their victims to notice you… yet.

These are scouts for the Swedish army, riding ahead of the main force.  They're taking food because they're hungry, shelter because they plan to camp here for the evening, and lives because of the horror of Magdeburg.  They'll be wary of any interlopers, but will quickly become friendly to the party if they can prove themselves to be Protestant.  They will attack if they believe the party to be Catholic, however, fighting with an unusual ferocity and offering no quarter… just "Magdeburg Justice."



It was a fun exercise to try to take what's in the notebook (which tends to not be much more than Plague Village or Bear-baiting gone horribly wrong) and expand it out into more detail.

Also, regardless of not contributing in terms of words, I'm still very much excited about the campaign.  I'm in for more print copies than is probably advisable, but even at the lowest it was a great freaking deal and should turn up a lot of great stuff.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Salzenmund Apophaſiſ - Prologue Part I


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

Dramatis Personae

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

Henchpeople

Bözsi - Messenger
Dalibor - Outrider
Heiko - Tomb Robber
Helfried - Scribe
Herman - Miner
Humbert - Camp Follower
Irmuska - Bodyguard
Körbl - Bone Picker
Magdolna - Militiaman
Melker - Rogue
Sven - Mercenary
Viktor - Protagonist
I gave each of the PC's d4 Henchbros to support them and, in cases of dire lethality, eat a would-be killing blow in place of the associated PC.  My DM dice have proven themselves to be downright spiteful, so a safety valve seemed prudent.  How little did I know...

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Surviving Henchpersons

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

Monday, August 6, 2012

d10Commandments


While ordering some square-edged dice I stumbled across a d10Commandments; it had to be purchased.

I'm definitely going to use this thing in the game. I think I'll use it for NPC's motivations and secret guilts. Or maybe for things that religious zealots can assume about PCs.  "YOU!  YOU OVER THERE! YOU DON'T HONOR THE SABBATH!  I CAN TELL!  GET 'EM!"

I dunno: I like weird dice.  Give me a break!

Hunger During the Thirty Years War


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

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

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

- The Thirty Years War, CV Wedgwood

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Salzenmund Character Creation Notes


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


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

    WFRPLanguaage
    ReikspeilGerman
    BretonFrench
    HalflingDutch
    EstalianSpanish
    EltharinEnglish
    KislevianPolish
    KhazalidHungarian
    NorseSwedish
    TileanItalian

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

    Nationality/Faction Chart
    RollNationalityRollNationality
    Bourbon / ProtestantHabsbug / Catholic
    01-06Danish101Croatian
    07-19Dutch102-141German
    20-39French142-144Hungarian
    40-67German144-154Italian
    68-70Hungarian155-156Netherlander
    71-74Norwegian157-200Spanish
    75-76Scottish
    77-99Swedish
    100Transylvanian

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

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


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