Playing Warhammer with the Landshut Rules, v2

Warhammer!

It doesn’t get any more British or European than that. Chaos beast men, tragic and dangerous magic, Warhammer has it all. Plus, Landshut is not only the title of my ancient school, free kriegsspiel rules, but also the name of my hometown, which happens to be… a medieval German town. Remember Altdorf, the city in the Old World of Warhammer? That’s a town about two miles from where I live. Just saying. Us Germans have bragging rights when it comes to Warhammer, right?
 
Okay, so now Warhammer. How can we play it with the Landshut Rules
 
Like so:
You need the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game 1st edition. Because that’s the one and only. And please lose your copy of Zweihänder. Because it’s an abomination.
 
But first: You need a name! Names inspire and imprint your character’s personality.
 
1) STATS
Use 2d6 to determine Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill, Strength, Toughness, Dexterity, Leadership, Intelligence, Cool, Will Power and Fellowship.
 
ONLY record a stat if you roll 2 or 3, or 11 or 12 for it. If it’s 2 or 3, write „low“ or „bad“, followed by the stat, and if it’s 11 or 12, write „high“ or good“, followed by the stat.
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2) Create your character with the help of the Warhammer 1e wiki
 
3) Humans get 5 hits, dwarves get 6 hits, elves and halflings get 4 hits.
 
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Optional Rule: Gore Die
 
Remember how you roll attacks with 2d6. These two dice should have different colors. ONE die is the Gore Die. The higher that die, the messier, bloodier, gorier your hit is. Note that a gory, bloody, bloodspraying, disgusting hit will not kill the opponent if he still has Hit Points left – but it will definitely put negative modifiers on his next attack roll, movement, abilities, skills and so on. Only when Hit Points are reduced to zero, a character dies. To give you a few rough ideas for Gore Die results:
  • Gore 1: drop weapons, superficial wounds, hits that knock the wind out of you, stumble, bruises, stuns, knockdowns 
  • Gore 2: dislocations, shattered weapons, numb limbs 
  • Gore 3: incapacitated limbs, deep wounds, smashed teeth, broken bones 
  • Gore 4: severed arteries, internal bleeding, spine injuries, gouged out eyes 
  • Gore 5: half a limb lost, organs ruptured 
  • Gore 6: entire limb lost, body parts hacked in half 
  • Gore 7: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, flying body parts, fuck what a mess
Gore 7? How? This is another optional rule: When a character is down to 1 Hit, the next attack that takes him to his gods has Gore Die +3.
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12) MAGIC
Magic is the offspring of Chaos. It’s powerful, but dangerous. Choose one of six Schools of Magic you belong to. Each school practices one general type of magic.
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Amethyst = death, undeath, entropy
Ruby = fire, hell, blood
Amber = animals, monsters,emotion
Gold = metal, industry, physics
Moss = plants, plagues, life
Sapphire = time, abyss/stars, thought
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Casting Spells
Warhammer magicians start with (level+1) spell points. Spells are freeform – describe what you want to achieve, and the referee will roll 2d6 against your Magic Dice. Roll your 2d6 at the same time. Magic is a fickle mistress, you never know if you can surf the waves of magic – or drown in them. That’s why the referee always rolls against you, instead of determining a target number you have to beat.

 

The only wizards facing great dangers are Demonologists, Necromancers, and Evil and Chaotic magicians. They gain Insanity Points and Disabilities, or increase the chances of contracting Tomb Rot (necromancers, I’m looking at you).

If you roll successfully, you cast the spell, and it costs you zero spell points. If you fail the roll, you still cast the spell, but it costs you (spell level) spell points.

This is Warhammer, so I’ll allow wizards to sacrifice 1 hit to gain 2 spell points.

A character example:
 
My name is Konrad Fuchs, from Eschendorf, a village in Stirland.
I roll completely average for all stats.
Over at the WH1 wiki, I’m rolling my character:
 
I’m a human, 1.7m tall, 50 years old (nice, exactly my real age)
4 Fate Points
 
I choose to be an Academic. 
I get 3 skills: Super Numerate (a gift for calculation), ambidextrous, lightning reflexes.
 
My trappings: suit of decent, light-weight clothes, including sandals. A knife is carried, tucked in the belt, alongside a purse of 10 Gold Crowns.
 
My career: 99! Wizard’s Apprentice!
My career skills: Arcane Language: Magick; Cast Spells: Petty Magic only; Read/Write; Secret Language: Classical, Scroll Lore
 
I start with: (Level 1+1) spell points: 2
 
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So, in short:
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Konrad Fuchs, Wizard’s Apprentice
(from Eschendorf in Stirland) 
1,70m tall, 50 yrs
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Trappings: suit of decent, light-weight clothes, sandals. Knife tucked in the belt, 10 Gold Crowns.
Skills: Super Numerate (a gift for calculation), ambidextrous, lightning reflexes, Arcane Language: Magick; Cast Spells: Petty Magic only; Read/Write; Secret Language: Classical, Scroll Lore
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4 Fate Points
2 Spell points

I’m a wizard’s apprentice, so I might know, let’s say, 1d6 petty spells: I roll 2d6 and take the higher result: 4. Then, I pick the spells from the list: Butterfingers, Cunning Hand, Flight of Amar and Magic Alarm. Each petty spell costs 1 spell point if I fail the roll.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Playing Into the Odd with The Landshut rules: REDUX

1) Ability Scores
Roll 3d6 for each, Strength, Dexterity Willpower.
If an Ability is 5 or lower, write on your index card (“character sheet”): “low strength”, or “low dexterity” or “low willpower”, or “weak”, “clumsy” or “weak-willed”, or something similar.
If an Ability is 16 or higher, write the opposite, for instance “Strong” or “Dextrous/Agile” or “Mind Master”, or something similar.
Be sure to jot down the numbers you rolled. You won’t need them in the game, but you need them to determine your gear.

2) Use common in-world sense when you determine damage.
If it seems appropriate that a character should face grave consequences in combat or as a result of injury, the player makes an opposed 2d6 roll against the ref. If the player rolls higher, his character has avoided critical injury and can continue. If the player rolls lower, his character is now critically injured (when fighting monsters, this might even mean instant death).

The ref determines how long it will take to heal up.
3) Roll 1d6 and cross-index the result with your highest Ability score to determine your gear.

4) Combat:
Opposed 2d6 rolls. Ref might grant bonus if appropriate. 

Let’s create an Into the Odd character!

1) I roll 3d6 for STR, DEX and WILL:
STR 5, DEX 6, WILL 7.
On my index card, I write: “weak”

2) My gear: Pistol, Knife, Telepathy if target fails WIL save
Nice!

______________________________________________________________________
Genghis Klunk, the Telepath of Tripolis, Level 1

middle-aged man, balding, fat, weak
Pistol, Knife, Telepathy if target fails WIL save
______________________________________________________________________

Let’s say Genghis is duking it out with a nameless thug in an Octoberfest beer tent.
The ref says Genghis can surprise the thug with a sucker punch.

Genghis (rolls 2d6 and subtracts 1 because he’s weak): I’ma punch that guy in the face, like so (stands up and mimicks the punch), rolls 6

Thug: rolls 7

Referee: Genghis, you throw a mighty right hook from out of nowhere, but the thug somehow feels it and ducks, and right on time, he launches a counter-left straight that sends you a step back! You are not an experienced brawler, Genghis…

Genghis: laughs

Referee: …and that’s why the thug decided to close in on you, pretty low, very quickly.

Genghis: Shiiiiit… what’s he doing? Can I recognize what he’s doing?

Referee: No. You can’t. His so quick, and you are just not experienced enough. Roll 2d6-1, buddy.

Genghis: rolls 8

Thug: rolls 2!
Referee (facepalm)

Genghis: Ha-ha-haaaaaaaaaaa!

Referee: Wow! So he shoots for your legs, but slips somehow, and misses you by a mile. What do you do; Genghis?

Genghis: I whack him in the head with the… my stein! You want me to roll?

Referee: No, that guy slipped hard, really! You whack him in the head, and he crumples, as if someone had switched him off.

Playing Troika! with the Landshut rules: REDUX

SKILL
Skill in Troika! is used for all saves, so it’s a very important number. It’s rolled with 1d3+3, so it has a range between 4 and 6. 4=low skill, 6=high skill. Medium skill is not worth writing down.

STAMINA
Roll 2d6+12. If the sum is 16 or lower, write down “fragile”. If the sum is 22 or more, write down “resilient” or “tough”.

LUCK!
Roll 1d6+6. If the sum is 7, write down “luckless”. If the sum is 13, write down “lucky”. Grant the player rerolls if the character is lucky, or force him to reroll if the character has no luck.

POSSESSIONS
Conveniently enough, Troika! provides a rule for starting gear. Of course, I’m using this, as well: start with 2d6 silver pence, a knife, a lantern&flask of oil, a rucksack and 6 provisions.

BACKGROUNDS
Determine your background, using either the book or one of the gazillions of available Troika! classes online.

ADVANCED SKILLS
Just write down the Advanced Skills without the numbers. If you feel better with quantifiers, add descriptions like “very good sleight-of-hands”, or “expert in grappling”.

MAKING ROLLS
When casting spells, making saves, testing your mettle, make opposed 2d6 rolls. Ref grants bonus if the situation warrants it.

Making a Landshut Troika! character:
Skill: I roll a 3 – so my character is “skilled”.

For Stamina, I roll 7, so it’s 19 points in total: average. I don’t write this down.
My Luck is 7: out of luck! 
I start with 8 silver pence, a knife, a lantern&flask of oil, a rucksack and 6 provisions.
I could roll d66 to determine my background, but I’m picking one I discovered last Saturday on Troika! discord: the Man of Arms, written by Lejeune:

So, my character looks like this:

______________________________________________________
Herbert von Mirskofen, a luckless Man-of-Arms
skilled
out of luck

Advanced Skills:
Sleight-of-hands 
Knife-fighting
Grappling 
Holding things
Possessions: 8 silver pence, a knife, a lantern&flask of oil, rucksack, provisions, fine deck of cards, debt to a warlock, six painted knives, bow tie
______________________________________________________

Playing the GLOG with The Landshut rules: REDUX

1. Stats
The only exceptional attribute I roll is Intelligence (15). 

2. Template (Classes)
I pick the Wizard template A. Wizards are weakly creatures, so they are not able to take lots of damage.
My abilities are:
Spellcasting: 1 Magic Die, 1 Spell Slot, and I get two spells
I decide to be an Orthodox Wizard. I roll for my spells and start with Levitate and Lock.

3. Race
I’m a Sparrowling.

4. Attack rolls
Opposed 2d6; better fighter might add a bonus. Ref determines.

5. Gear
I pick 2d6 items: 8.
Leather armor
Sword 
Dog
Blank magic book
ink + quill
waterskin
Donkey
Dagger

…and now I lose 1d6 of them: 4
The d8 determines which items must go: donkey, waterskin, blank magic book, ink+quill.

What remains is:

  • Leather armor
  • Sword
  • Dog
  • Dagger

6. Powers
Since the GLOG has a detailed magic system, I decide to not grant any more powers to starting characters.

The final version of my character:

______________________________________________________________
Gerhard, Sparrowling Orthodox Wizard, Level 1
Templates: Wizard A

very intelligent

Magic Dice: 1
Spells: Levitate, Lock

Gear: Leather armor, sword, dog (“Sprite”), dagger
______________________________________________________________

Playing OD&D with The Landshut Rules: REDUX

1) Roll abilities
For every 15+, I write down “very” + the adjective that belongs to the characteristic, and for every 5 or lower, I write down the opposite of the adjective. All other numbers signify an unremarkable, average stat.

2) Character Classes
Fighting-men: can take more damage than other humans, use all weapons and armor
Magic-users: weakly, use dagger/staff, no armor
Clerics: can cast spells, no sharp weapons
Hobbit: resilient, no huge weapons
Dwarf: can take a lot of damage, no long weapons
Elf: choose to be either a sorcerer or a warrior, no blunt weapons

3) Spells

Clerics, Magic-users and elves get Spell Points. Magic-users get 4+Experience Level points, all other casters get 2+Level points. 
All casters can cast spells of any level. A save is required to cast a spell successfully and avoid paying Spell Points. A failed roll means you lose Spell Points equal to the spell level. 
The referee might consider giving out treasure that increases Spell Points. This might be done to counterbalance the more costly higher level spells (compared to the old system). 
To record spells, casters can write, draw, etch, tattoo or paint the formulas on every suitable surface. 
4) Attacks
Opposed 2d6 rolls + bonus for the better fighter
5) Damage
Ref determines damage with common sense, narratively. Knowledge of the genre is a big plus.

6) Give them a fighting chance
Lenient referees, you might grant the player a last opposed roll to save their character from dying.

7) Experience
Gain an experience level if it is dramatically appropriate.

So let’s create a character already!

Abilities:
STR: 11, average, what I write on the character sheet: nothing
INT: 9, average, , what I write on the character sheet: nothing
WIS: 6, average, , what I write on the character sheet: nothing
CON: 7, average, , what I write on the character sheet: nothing
DEX: 6, average, what I write on the character sheet: nothing
CHA: 13, average, , what I write on the character sheet: nothing

I play a fighting-man. 

The original Gygax game uses no skills, so let’s skip this step in the Landshut rules and go straight to equipment:

I pick 2d6 items: 7
1. Sword
2. Dagger
3. Plate Mail
4. Iron Rations for 1 week
5. Backpack, leather
6. Water skin
7. Mallet and three stakes

…and I lose 1d6 of them: 2

Rolling 1d6, I get a 2 and lose the dagger, so my new equipment list looks like this:

1. Sword
2. Dagger
3. Plate Mail
4. Iron Rations for 1 week
5. Backpack, leather
6. Water skin
7. Mallet and three stakes

I roll 1d6 again and start at the dagger: a 5. I count down 5 steps and land at the mallet. My final equipment list:

1. Sword
2. Plate Mail (counts as +10 HP)
3. Iron Rations for 1 week
4. Backpack, leather
5. Water skin

And last but not least, I get to pick two “powers”: special equipment, special abilities, connections, and similar stuff:

I can see in the dark just like a cat. And someone high up in the hierarchy owes me a favor.

This is what my original edition Landshut rules character looks like:

___________________________________________________
Splint Brackwater
Level 1 Fighting-man
Can see in the dark like a cat. Someone high up in the hierarchy owes him a favor. 

Sword, Plate Mail, Iron Rations for 1 week, Backpack (leather), Water skin
___________________________________________________

Playing the Rules Cyclopedia with the Landshut rules, REDUX

To recap the rules for adapting games to Landshut:

  1. If you’re playing a published rpg setting: roll attributes. Write down only extremely low and extremely high stats. 
  2. Pick 5 or 10 skills from the rulebook (if the game uses skills) 
  3. Pick 2d6 pieces of regular equipment/gear from the book, then lose 1d6 of them 
  4. Pick 2 “Powers”: special equipment, spells, special abilities, connections, special backgrounds etc.
So, I roll 3d6 in order for STR, INT, WIS, DEX, CON, CHA. Every stat that’s 5 or lower is the weak version, every stat that’s 15 or higher is the strong version.
STR: 6. What I write on my character sheet: nothing
INT: 12. What I write on my character sheet: nothing.
WIS: 13. What I write on my character sheet: nothing.
DEX: 7. What I write on my character sheet: nothing.
CON: 12. What I write on my character sheet: nothing.
CHA: 10. What I write on my character sheet: nothing.
So, that character’s stats are average, nothing worth mentioning.
Next step: I’m picking a character class. Since we’ll be playing without XP, but with milestones instead, the “prime requisite” stat recommendation is not of interest here.
A Magic-User it is.
Next step: The Cyclopedia offers a skill list. I pick 5: Alchemy, Alternate Magics, Planar Geography, Ceremony and Mysticism. In play, these are interpreted freely as the opportunity arises.
Then: I pick 2d6 regular items: 10!
  1. Staff
  2. Dagger
  3. Backpack
  4. Iron rations for a week
  5. Rope
  6. Hat
  7. Fine clothes
  8. Lantern
  9. Oil
  10. Books
Now, I lose d6 of them: 3. I roll 1 d10 three times to find out which: the hat, the rope, and the dagger. So, my magic-user ends up with: Staff d6, backpack, iron rations, fine clothes, lantern, oil and books.
The last step: I pick two powers: My magic-user has a very fine sense of smell, and he can walk on fire and lava, with only minor burns.
As usual, attacks are opposed 2d6 rolls. To this roll, you might add a very small bonus if a character is experienced in fighting, or has a good advantage over the opponent.
Spells: Clerics, Magic-users and elves get Spell Points. Magic-users get 4+Experience Level points, all other casters get 2+Level points.  All casters can cast spells of any level. But a save is required to cast successfully and avoid paying Spell Points. A failed roll means you lose Spell Points equal to the spell level. If you don’t have enough Spell Points, the referee might allow you to pay the rest with hit points – at three times the cost. The referee might consider giving out treasure that increases Spell Points. This might be done to counterbalance the more costly higher level spells (compared to the old system). To record spells, casters can write, draw, etch, tattoo or paint the formulas on every suitable surface. 

I start with 1d4 spells: 3. Yes, this is way more than regular Basic. But we’re not playing very often, so I want to speed things up. I pick 2 1st level and 1 2nd level spell: Hold Portal, Magic Missle and Knock.
Damage, injuries and wounds are determined by the ref, and should follow in-world logic. Also, the amount of pain or damage a character can take before falling unconscious or dying is pure in-world logic. 

Common sense, combined with genre awareness, is the key for every FKR game.

_______________________________________________________________
Win Sasreq the Fearless
1st level magic-user

Spell Points: 5
Spells: Hold Portal, Magic Missle, Knock

Staff, backpack, iron rations, fine clothes, lantern, oil, books
_______________________________________________________________

Landshut Rules: Alternative combat rules, explained as Troika! combat

The 4th edition of my Landshut Rules have been available for free download for a couple of days now. One of the biggest changes were the “alternative combat rules”:

 This is free kriegsspiel in its purest form. Let’s take a closer look:

“Use common sense and do not roll dice to attack.”

For many roleplayers, this is heresy. After all, part of the fun is rolling dice, right? Yes, indeed. But still, playing free kriegsspiel-style is interesting because it forces players to act tactically in combat. All-out attacks are rarely a sensible thing to do, except when you find yourself in a vastly superior position.

“Damage is dealt without rolling against each other”

Now we’re talking. So, we have decided to not roll to hit – but we can, of course (if we want to) roll for damage. This brings back a degree of uncertainty, and I like that.

“(damage) happens simultaneously – the referee judges the players’ narration and interprets it accordingly and fairly.”

Now this is interesting. Instead of rolling initiative or drawing cards, narration decides who hits when, but all damage happens in one “round”. Last man standing.

Of course, if you want to keep initiative rolls, you can always do that.
For Troika! combat, keeping the initiative cards is key!

How do I incorporate this rule in my Troika! games?

Let’s say there is a Troika! Chaos Champion (Skill 6, Stamina 20, 3 Maul Fighting) fighting against a Man-Beast (Skill 8, Stamina 11, Armor 1, Modest Beast damage)

Turn 1: I draw Chaos Champion’s card. He hits with damage 1 (rolled a 2 on the damage table, but Man-Beast’s armor reduces it to 1). Man-Beast’s STA is now 10.

Turn 2: It’s Man-Beast’s turn. It rolls a 2 on the damage table: 6. Chaos Champion now has STA 14.

Turn 3: End of Round.

Turn 4: Man-Beast hits with 4 points damage. Chaos Champion now has STA 10. Man-Beast has 10, as well.

Turn 5: End of Round

Turn 6: Chaos Champion hits with 3 damage. Man-Beast is down to STA 7.

Turn 7: Chaos Champion again, with 2 damage. Man-Beast is now at ST 5.

Turn 8: Man-Beast hits with 8 damage. Chaos Champion now has STA 2 left.

Turn 9: Man-Beast hits again, with 6 points damage. Chaos Champion is dead.

What would I do if the involved parties have a huge Skill disparity?

Simple enough. I’d roll the Luck Die, and adjust the rolls according to the skill gap between the combatants. For instance:

An unlucky Thaumaturge (Skill 4, Stamina 20, no fighting skill, with a sword) fighting against a Man-Beast (Skill 8, Stamina 11, Armor 1, Modest Beast damage). My ruling would be: there’s a 4 in 6 chance that the Thaumaturge really hits when his initiative card is drawn.

Let’s shuffle the cards and go!

Turn 1: Man-Beast hits with 8. Thaumaturge’s STA is now 12.

Turn 2: Thaumaturge’s card turns up, I roll a 3: yes, he hits! 4 damage. Man-Beast’s STA is down to 7.

Turn 3: Man-Beast hits with 8 again. Thaumaturge’s STA is 4.

Turn 4: End of Round.

Turn 5: Thaumaturge hits (rolled 3) with 6 damage. Man-Beast now has STA 1 left.

Turn 6: Man-Beast hits with 8. Thaumaturge now has STA 4.

Turn 7: Thaumaturge MISSES (rolled a 5).

Turn 8: Man-Beast hits again, with 6 damage. Thaumaturge is dead.

Minipirates

Oh yes.
After all that philosophizing and meta-plane-drifting, I think it’s time for me to return to something… shall we say, tangible. Or, weirdly tangible. Walter Moers is a fellow countryman of mine, and his Zamonia books have been translated in dozens of languages.

Zamonia is weird, and funny, and interesting, and sometimes, bloodthirsty. Perfect for roleplaying!
And a good fit for GLOG.

…but an even better fit for Troika!.

Thank the mighty gods that TheLawfulNeutral has already posted some really good material for Zamonian roleplaying.

Today, I’d like to introduce the Minipirate race-as-class for my Troika!/Landshut hack.

On genre assumptions and the vagaries of fate, or: Hit points, shit points

I have a strange relationship with hit points.
For “science fiction” games, I’m perfectly fine with “hits” and fixed damage: 1 hit does X amount of damage (usually 1, but this can go up to 4 for really terrifyingly potent weapons).
For fantasy games, though, I’d like to have hit points and variable damage (= dice).

After thinking long and hard about the reasons, and asking on the Bastionland discord, I thought I had come to a conclusion: probably I like hp/variable damage because for old school fantasy games, it’s not that uncommon to fight against many opponents on any given day, while in scifi games, this is happening significantly less often (or not at all).

Hm.

Not quite. What I’m thinking now is that I just like the uncertainty of variable damage; one blow might knock me down, or barely scratch me. THAT’S what I’m after. THAT’S what my more than 30 year-long experience as full-contact martial artist tells me.THAT’S also what I want, within limits, to have in my games.

Still, introducing damage rolls in my game is nothing I seriously consider. What I’m looking for is

  • The uncertainty of combat: My attack might miss or glance off the opponent. I don’t want autohits.
  • The uncertainty of resilience: One blow might be sufficient to knock me out good. I don’t want fixed damage, or better: I don’t want fixed damage all the way through.

Unknowingly, I already had the solution to this when I wrote the Into the Odd hack for my Landshut Rules.

Time to recap.

  1. Your character has X amount of hits. Usually, in the Landshut Rules, this is 4, but you can also roll a d6 if you’re feeling lucky (punk).
  2. Each successful attack reduces your hits by 1 or more points – this is something the referee and the players agree on before the game starts.
  3. If your character has run out of hits, any further damage might become critical: To avoid being critically injured (and unable to move, possibly dying), roll 2d6 vs the referee’s 2d6.The ref might grant you a bonus to the roll. If you roll higher, your character has avoided a critical injury: write down the damage, anyway. If you roll lower than the ref, your character is knocked down and is critically injured. The ref determines how long it will take to heal up. For heroic fantasy: If your character ever reaches Level+4 negative Hit Protection, s/he dies. For harsher games: reduce that number.
So there. I’ll be using this in my next game.
I’ll keep you posted.