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.
.
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.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Warhammer with… MoldHammer

(art: John Blanche)

I’ve sung the praises of Rattlemayne’s MoldHammer rpg before (here, for instance), and I’ll do it today, again, as well.

To regular readers of this blog, it`ll come as no surprise that I’m a Warhammer fan. And OF COURSE, after writing a Warhammer hack for Risus and a Warhammer hack for the Landshut Rules,  I’m also thinking about how to run the best British game ever with MoldHammer rules. This should be as straightforward as anything – Warhammer was one of Rattlemayne’s inspirations when he wrote MoldHammer. (The other one being Moldvay D&D, which explains the name)

Alright.

  1. Either use Warhammer 1e (the one, the only, and the best) to roll up a character. Disregard the WH attributes and simply pick one exceptionally high and one exceptionally bad stat and write it down. If you want more than one good stat, you have to pick one bad stat for each good one.
  2. OR you can use the Warhammer rulebook for inspiration – IF you do that, create your character with “Adventure Points“.
  3. Download Rattlemayne’s MoldHammer, if you haven’t already. Your character starts with either <3<3 (all ranger, rogues and academic careers), or with <3<3<3 (warrior careers).
  4. If you’re down to zero <3, use Mike Evans’s “Deadlier Dying” tables. I know, they’re forgiving, but seriously, I never liked the ultra-lethal approach of low-level old school games, I never played that way, and back in the days when we started roleplaying, we never knew anyone who played that way.
  5. Leveling Up: Use Arnold’s brilliant popcorn leveling. Increase your ❤ – if your ref is okay with that.
  6. Monsters: Forget about a literal translation from WH to Moldhammer. It can’t happen. So, translate the feeling. Give it a to-hit, armor, and damage (regular weapons do ❤ damage, bigger or better ones do <3<3). If you want variable damage, consider rolling  a d2 (coin) or d3.
  7. Magic! I have to admit, I got carried away a bit by the brilliant magic system of the GLOG.  Suddenly, all types of magic were inherently dangerous. That’s not only NOT true in real life, but also in Warhammer.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).

    I also don’t want starting wizard characters with one measly Petty Spell – because we’re playing way too infrequently to make this fun.

    That’s why our MoldHammer Warhammer magicians start with (level+1) spell points.
    When you cast a spell, make a save (see MoldHammer), it get’s tougher the higher the spell level is. 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 ❤ to gain 2 spell points.

So there you have it. Warhammer, played with MoldHammer.
An example character, rolled up with Warhammer 1e:

________________________________________________________________
Name: Franz-Joseph Krauthuber
53-year old Human Wizard, Level 1

Skills: Sixth Sense, Identify Plans, Magic Sense, Rune Lore, Scroll Lore

<3<3
To-hit: 10

Spell Points: 2

Learned Spells:

  • Cause Animosity (Battle Magic I): cast against creatures that are normally subject to animosity. Targets must save or attack each other
  • Fire Ball (Battle Magic I): one fire ball per level per combat round. If fired into a group, it hits (level)d3 creatures and causes <3<3<3 damage. Flammable targets suffer an additional <3. Can be dodged for ❤ damage.

Trappings: decent suit, soft shoes, knife tucked in belt, 27 gold crowns, ceremonial dagger, Wizard’s staff, Boots Leaping (+1d6 yards on any leap)
________________________________________________________________

RANT with pics: And a no-glitz elf for me, please

I DO have an intense dislike of ‘high fantasy’ in general. It all reminds me (maybe with the exception of Tolkien, but only because his work was the first work of fantasy I encountered) of bad fanfic and bad kitchen sink rpgs.
I DO have an intense love for pulpy, action-packed, tersely written, sword &… literature and games.
Instead of high concept fantasy with dark elves that are nothing more than good-looking bad boys with goth makeup, instead of dwarves that are nothing more than short, grumpy master blacksmiths, instead of magic that’s as predictable as a happy ending in the latest boring Hollywood flick:
Give me Conan! Give me Tarzan! (and maybe a bit of Elric)
Give me evil witches and wizards!
Give me immense treasure!
Give me glorious violence!
Give me elves that are as alien as the elves of folklore!
Give me insatiable hunger for adventure!

The fuck? Issat supposed to be a barbarian or something? With a 20-kilogram maxi broadsword (“paddlesword”, I’m told, is the right nomenclature here; thanks, guys!). Sure. Why not. After all, everything’s possible in La-La-Land, right? Right?

Now that’s a warrior. Notice the difference? This one here has seen battle. The one above has only seen the mirror. A million times.

Geez. A tiefling. What the fucking fuck? Who wants to play that? Besides, everyfuckingbody knows that they’re a spawn of Hell. Chaos Incarnate. What the fucking fuck. But that’s high-concept 5e and glossy magazine, politically correct gaming to you.

See, that’s what a Chaos creature really looks like. And yeah, bullet to the forehead, serves him just right. John Blanche.

Aaaaaaand another polished looking, swanky character.  That’s the typically bland 4e and 5e look, and it’s disgusting. Sheesh, look at the swag mini fireball hovering above his palm. Neat braided beard, you loser.

If you want to know what a real magician in a real fantasy world looks like, look no further than John Blanche, the master. This is a slinger of spells. This is someone who was borderline fucking crazy when he started the Dark Arts. Now, he’s just a motherfucking abomination in human skin. Do you want to have someone like that in your party? Ha?

Ooooh. How cute. Mogogols. Frog men. A 5e player race. Much inclusive. Oh yeah, and roleplaying tip: “Always remember, when playing a Mogogol, they’re incredibly optimistic”
In contrast: real frog-men. The Slann. Aztec-cultured monsters. You know, Aztecs. What do you mean, blood sacrifice? But ain’t they, like, happy toads, or something? (Probably because they’re licking themselves, but that’s stuff for a future blog post)

Project Dwarven Runway. Neat little people, right? Just like humans, only stockier. That’s what happens when you make everything, everything equal. Dwarves? They’re vertically-challenged humans. Expert opinion: Fuck that outrageous lame-assery.

You know the drill. THAT’S what real dwarves look like. And see how… weird they look? That’s because they ARE weird, compared to what’s normal for us humans. Again, John Blanche shows the way.

Aaaw. 5e battle scene. So… dynamic. Look, Ma, no blood! Just the way the Committee for Decency and Clean Entertainmaint ordered it. My take on it: B.T.T. Bored to tears.

A battle scene in real, raw, down-to-blood-drenched-earth fantasy. That’s what battle looks like. Nothing like the Saturday morning cartoon idyll 5e and companions offer us. You gotta be kidding me.

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Playing Warhammer with the Landshut Rules

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. 
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. 
2) CHOOSE a race: Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling
3) Record your racial abilities
4) Determine your age
5) Determine your Fate Points
6) Pick your Career Class
7) Determine how many skills you have, your mandatory skills, and roll the rest on the appropriate table
8) Record your trappings
9) Roll for your Career
10) Record the career trappings and skills, just write them down
11) Humans start with 3 hits, elves and halflings with 2, and dwarves with 4. 
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.
12) MAGIC
Magic is the offspring of Chaos. It’s powerful, but dangerous. Spellcasters start with 1d6-1 Magic Dice (at least 1). Then, choose one of six Schools of Magic you belong to. Each school practices one general type of magic. 
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
Casting Spells
Spells are freeform – describe what you want to achieve, and the referee will roll 2d6 or more against your Magic Dice. Roll your dice 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. For any spell, roll as many of your Magic  Dice as you like.
When casting combat spells, roll your Magic Dice against the 2d6 of your opponent, just as in regular combat (but you might roll more than 2d6). If your number is higher, the spell hits and does damage. A rough guide for damage might be the number of Magic Dice you rolled: the opponent loses that many hits. If you want harsher spells, ask your referee. 
Casting other spells follows the same logic. The ref rolls 2d6 (maybe more if it’s really difficult), you decide how many magic dice you roll, then roll them and try to roll higher than the ref. If you roll higher, your spell is successful. If not, it simply fizzles.
Sixes explode: If you roll a Six when casting a spell, that Six explodes: roll that die again and add the new number to your total. If the new number you’re rolling happens to be another 6, keep rolling.
BUT.
Every 6 you roll opens a rift in the fabric of the world, and Chaos creeps in. This directly affects you, the spellcaster. One 6 might be a minor mishap, 2 mean minor mutations and inabilities, 3 are major consequences, and so on – but the more 6s you roll, the more gory and terrifying it gets. If you ever happen to roll six Sixes for a spell, you’re doomed.

Walking-around Warhammer

I think it was Jeff Rients who called the set of D&D rules a DM could remember and was actively using at the table, “walking-around D&D”. Walking-around D&D is what’s left after you finish reading the rule book; it’s the core of your personalized D&D.
I am inclined to call my version of Warhammer frp “walking-around Warhammer”, even though that’s not quite correct. I need almost nothing that’s presented in my Warhammer FRP 1e book: careers, age, race, maybe, maybe skills, and info on the world. Everything else, all the rules and tables and stuff, everything else had to go.
In the first edition rulebook, preciously little information is given on the cities of the world, for instance. And Gods of Chaos? Oh my! A half page, and a reference to the “forthcoming Realms of Chaos supplement”.
But in all honesty: When I’m GMing, I might look up the rough description of a city, or general info on a country. Tops. What I need at the table is the executive summary of the Warhammer world, not the Encyclopedia Britannica of Warhammer.
And rules? Ha, RULES?
Well, we’re using Risus to play Warhammer right now. Go figure. And I’m fairly certain that within a few sessions of play, I’ll be switching back to Sword&Backpack because all we need to know is one thing: Is what the character does successful? Everything else is creativity-in-action.
Maybe it’s okay to call it “walking-around Warhammer”, after all.

Using Risus characters in Bloodstone

This post really is just an exercise in flexing my writing muscle, so feel free to ignore it 🙂

Recently, I posted about playing Warhammer with Risus rules. It works beautifully, it’s quick smooth. It will also change during play because that’s just what happens when I’m refereeing games. With this in mind, let’s try a Risus Warhammer character with Bloodstone.

Durand Sixtus
Human Male, age 30, 6′, 250 lbs, lots of hair, grey eyes, huge
Soldier (4 – skills: Disarm, Dodge Blow, Battle Tongue, Street Fight)
Tough as nails (3)
Equipment: Battlehammer, knife, chainmail, helmet, 6 Gold Crowns

Please note that the skills mentioned for the Soldier cliché are just there to give the player an idea of what Durand is capable of doing with this cliché.

Now, let’s take a look at the Bloodstone character creation:

Title: Durand Sixtus, human male soldier
Huge, lots of hair, grey eyes
Bio: not yet
Good Stuff: soldier, tough as nails
Equipment: battlehammer, knife, chainmail, helmet, 6 Gold Crowns
Hit Points: N.A. (or, for groups who need them, 5)

As you can see, it’s almost a one-to-one translation. That was to be expected.

Warhammer – with Risus

Yesterday, we started a Warhammer campaign. This is the first Warhammer game in 30 years for me, and I’m proud to say: It was great!
The game went smoothly. Especially because the dreaded Risus death spiral is somewhat softened by the High Die rule. One of the characters is a former Gambler, and by pure luck defeated a footpad in a dark alley of Nuln. Pretty cool.
Why did I switch to Risus?
For several reasons, really.

First, I know that Risus works really well once you soften or neutralize the death spiral and remove math from the rules. The High Die rule does that very efficiently. I don’t have to add dice together, I just look for the highest die (and, in case of a tie, the next highest, and so on). This is really fast.

Second, whenever I try new rpg stuff, the first thing I do in my head is convert things to Risus clichés. It’s that language-first approach that I like so much. Rather than having to think about how many hp and what stats a creature has, I just have to describe it in normal language and slap one number on that description (“Blood-dripping Thorn Monster (4)”, “Shifty-eyed Merchant of Illegal Goods (3)”). No stat block, just one cliché.
Describing things and creatures as clichés forces me to think about what I really want them to look like. See, you can have a full D&D stat block and still not know anything relevant about a monster. In my opinion and experience, that’s not the case with a good Risus cliché.
Pros and cons of Risus Warhammer
Pro: Simplest and easiest character and npc generation because you’re using natural language
Pro: I LOVE mass or group combat with Risus. Just roll all cliché dice of one party against all cliché dice of the other party. Heaps and heaps of dice. I like that.
Pro: No bookkeeping during combat. You get hit, you lose a die (or more, in case of a crit). Simple as that.
Pro: The power of a character in any certain area is immediately visible (tangible, even) because of the “better cliché = more dice” thing Risus has. This helps me as DM to gauge situations better.
Pro: Even if I don’t have a clue about a location because the player characters decide to explore places I haven’t prepared, Risus is there for me: I simply slap a cliché on a room, for instance: “Dark, warm and moist cell with pulsating walls (4)” not only tells me the look and feel, but also how many cliché dice monsters living there will have.
Con: If you’re a sucker for damage dice or armor classes, Risus is not for you. Sure, exceptional weapons and armor may grant you more cliché dice, but for some folks, this doesn’t cut it.
But that’s the only con I can come up with, really.

So, now, finally, the rules:

1. Roll for your Race
1-5 Human
6 Roll again (1-3 Dwarf, 4-5 Hobbit “Halfling”, 6 Elf)

2. You get 3 Fate Points.
Spend 1 Fate Point to avoid certain death. When they‘re gone, they‘re gone.

3. Use Warhammer FRPG 1e to determine age, skills, career and equipment.
The career you just rolled is a cliché (4). To give you an idea of what the character is capable of, consult those skills. Let that knowedge color your decisions. You don’t get any other clichés.

4. You start with 3d6 Gold Crowns.

5. We’ll be using the Highest Die option:
count only the highest die and multiples. For instance, if your roll 2,3,4,4 – your result is 8. If you roll 2,3,4,5 – your result is 5. In combat, if you roll more than twice as much as your opponent, it’s a Critical Hit: roll 1d6 again: the result is the number of cliché dice your opponent loses.

6. Tasks and required successes:
The GM rolls cliché dice for every opposition or task, against the player. For instance: an Arrogant Thief (4) is trying to pick a lock. The GM rules that the lock was made by a master locksmith, and is a Good Lock (3). He rolls 3 dice, with 2,4,5 – a 5. The thief rolls his 4 dice, with 1,2,4,6 – a 6, and so he manages to open it.

7. Magic is the offspring of Chaos.
It’s powerful, but dangerous. Spellcasters decide how many of their magic Cliché Dice they want to roll for any spell.

Choose one of six Schools of Magic you belong to. Each school practices one general type of magic.

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

7.a. Casting Spells
Spells are freeform – describe what you want to achieve, and the gamemaster rolls the appropriate number (determined by them) of cliché dice against you. Roll as many of your Cliché Dice as you like.

7.b. When casting combat spells, roll your magic dice against a the target‘s cliché dice. For instance, you‘re casting a war spell against a Victim (3). You would roll your cliché dice against the Victim (3)‘s three cliché dice. Casting directly damaging spells against mundane targets grants you 2 additional Cliché Dice. Treat combat magic like regular combat. For instance, using a combat spell against a Feral Town Dog (3), an Inexperienced Wizard (3) rolls 5 dice.

7.c. Casting other spells follows the same logic. The GM rolls their cliché dice against you, you decide how many magic dice you roll, then roll them. If your roll is higher, your spell is successful. If not, it simply fizzles. If your spell manipulates another being in a non-combative way, the GM only rolls that being’s cliché dice, divided by 3. So, soothing a Feral Town Dog (3) with magic means the wizard rolls against Feral Town Dog (1).

7.d. Sixes explode: If you roll a Six when casting a spell, that Six explodes: roll that die again and see if you roll more sixes. If the new number you’re rolling happens to be another 6, keep rolling.

BUT.

Every 6 you roll opens a rift in the fabric of the world, and Chaos creeps in. This directly affects you, the spellcaster. One 6 might be a minor mishap, 2 mean minor mutations and inabilities, 3 are major coinequences, and so on – but the more 6s you roll, the more gory and terrifying it gets. If you get between 1 and 5 sixes, consult the Mishap Table for your school of magic. If you ever happen to roll 6 Sixes for a spell, you’re doomed: Roll on the Doom Table for your school of magic.

8. Optional Rule: Gore Die
Fights have to be… a terrifying mess, frankly.After all, this is Warhammer, right? When you roll dice for combat, ONE of your dice should have a different color (preferably red). This is the Gore Die. The higher the result on that die, the messier, bloodier, gorier your hit is (if you hit).

Note that a gory, bloody, bloodspraying, disgusting hit will not kill the opponent if he still has cliché dice left – but it will definitely put some kind of negative modifier on his next roll, movement, abilities, skills and so on. Only when someone’s cliché dice are reduced to zero, that 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 cliché die, the next hit that takes him to his gods counts as Gore Die +3.

Free kriegsspiel: Bloodstone



Over on the Discord Into the Odd server, Wizard Lizard and I are exchanging ideas of how to make free kriegsspiel and/or proto-rpg even cooler. Since we both are fans of Warhammer (the setting, not the system), we thought of ways to make violent fights really, really memorable and, well, messy. Warhammer is not exactly like OD&D in this respect. The interesting thing is, of course, you can use this system without the optional ‘Gore Die’ rule and play regular elfgames and science fiction stuff with, as well.

I tentatively call these simple rules “Bloodstone” because Warhammer + Braunstein, you know. 


Character Creation, how we actually, really play it
  1. Title (name, career/class/race)
  2. Three-detail Description
  3. Five-detail Bio (personal details, alignment, god(s), etc.)
  4. Good Stuff: all the things that are advantageous to you (skills, stats, talents, special equipment)
  5. Bad Stuff: all the things that are disadvantageous to you
  6. Hit Points (also called “hits”; three strikes and you’re out, give or take a few if you’re exceptionally fragile or tough)(Monsters may be able to take anywhere between 1 and A LOT of hits; I’d recommend notable monsters to be about as durable as player characters)
Procedures of Play
  1. Trying Something Risky (Skilled) : referee tells you what number (or more) to roll on 2d6, usually 7+
  2. Trying Something Risky (Unskilled) : referee tells you what number (or more) to roll on 2d6, usually 9+
  3. Saving Throwreferee tells you what number (or more) to roll on 2d6
  4. Luck Roll: d6, high = good, low = bad

Fights
Opponents roll 2d6 against each other. Add +1 to +3 for Good Things, and subtract 1 to 3 for Bad Things. For instance, an “agile” tax collector with “saber-fencing” skill would add +2 to the roll, while a “ridiculously weak” rat-catcher would subtract 2 points.

Simple mnemonic: you add or subtract as many points as the skill or attribute has words to describe it – so, “longsword” adds 1 point, “very quick” adds 2 points, “terrible constitution” subtracts 2 points, “fucking weak clown” subtracts 3, and so on.

The side with the higher sum hits. Ties mean both sides hit each other simultaneously. A combatant with zero Hit Points left dies.

Weapon damage is 1 for small, 2 or more for big weapons. If you roll doubles, damage doubles, as well.

Optional Rule: Gore Die
As mentioned in the intro, we’re big Warhammer fans, so it comes quite naturally that fights have to be… a fucking mess, frankly. In a fit of inspiration, I came up with a rule called the Gore DieRemember 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.



Combat Example
(written by Wizard Lizard)

Haans Fiddlewurm vs Angry Goatman, Round 1. 
Goatman charges Fiddlewurm, trying to pin him to a tree. Fiddlewurm, being a bastardly fella, rolls to the side after swinging madly with his axe in the goat’s direction. (Goatman rolls a total of 5: 3 on his Gore die, plus 2, and Haans a 9 (6 on the Gore Die). The Beast screeches madly, the axe stuck in its skull. It stumbles around the tree, spraying blood everywhere.

Round 2. Noticing the foul creature is blinded by blood and pain, Haans runs towards it and messily pulls out the axe, tearing off bits of skull and brains, covering himself in humors as he does so. The goat-thing’s noises stop abruptly as it falls limply on the leaves-covered floor. (Haans 7 (1 on gore die, 4 on normal die, plus 2 because Goatman is seriously handicapped and relatively easy prey), Goat 2). The referee decides to give goatman the coup de grace here because he rolled the worst possible result on 2d6. Had goatman rolled more, the fight might have gone into the third round.
Two sample characters, written by Wizard Lizard:

Snori Durak, Man-at-Arms

Bio
A hairy, middle-aged dwarf with a healthy distrust for humans

Skills
Tough (player rolled 10 for “Toughness” attribute, all other stats are average), has darkvision and excellent hearing. Knows mining, metallurgy, horse riding and war

Trappings
Warhammer & shield, crossbow (19 bolts), knife, full suit of mail with helm. 
Sturdy military attire, slingbag with cutlery, tankard, blanket and tinderbox. 
8 gold crowns


Carina, Poacher

Bio
A young and petite woman with silver hair and large hands, from a family of six in Altdorf

Skills
(here we have a character whose player has rolled average for all attributes; thus, none is listed on the character sheet)
Excellent sight. Knows how to scale sheer surfaces, 
hide and move silently in the woods, find and follow trails, herb lore, 
finding, disarming, setting up traps and how to use a woodsman’s axe.

Trappings
Two-handed axe, arming sword, knife and a leather jack.
Broad hat and travelling cloak, heavy boots, backpack with blankets, 
tinderbox, cooking pot, a flask of fresh water, six silken tissues, 
a card engraved with the Valantina Gang symbol, a lantern and a flask of oil. 
94 gold crowns.