Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is a great game with some pretty glaring burrs on the system in actual play (yep, in all three editions). For First and Second edition, the combat system is very whiffy, far too whiffy for low fantasy in my opinion and despite the funny critical hit tables in first edition (the 2nd edition ones were not as fun), pretty damn boring.
However, I have a soft spot for it and it’s milieu, despite what it’s become since with GW and Fantasy Flight’s strange 3rd Edition. Third is… very odd and to me unplayable with my group, impossible to play online as well. It’s great it has died and hopefully Cubicle 7 will do something great with the license (there are some EXCELLENT adventures written for third edition though that beg conversion to a better system). With the Humble Bundle giving access to all the 2nd edition material recently, I wanted to post this thing I worked on for a bit about a year ago: creating characters in Mythras using a WFRP style career system. This assumes that you know a bit about WFRP (or just got the books) and you know Mythras or Runequest 6.
Mythras core is all system and can work for all sorts of genres, especially low fantasy. It’s got an explicit Sword and Sandal feel to the main book but it’s not really pushing any type of world on the players. It’s a massive toolkit game with an amazing combat system, and easy levelling /XP system and while difficult to grok in some cases (Animism), a very rich magic system.
What it doesn’t have is easy character creation. It takes a bit of time to build characters, and I’ve built about 10-15 of them so far myself and for my players and con games. Players have a lot of choices in skills and the points buy system gets a bit tedious when you spend a set of 100 points 3 times during character creation to build up your skills, and man that is tiresome when you want to grease up and get playing! I first got this idea while running Thulian Echoes (from Lamentations of the Flame Princess) with Mythras. I had to make pre-gens for the … diary characters in Thulian Echoes, and while that was OK for me in prep, actual Character generation took a bit of time and my players are impatient, especially when they know most (non 13th Age) adventures I run have a 20-90% death toll (per session). They didn’t know for the first 2 sessions, Thulian has no possible death toll to the original characters…
What I wanted to build on top of Mythras is a career system like Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay for starting characters only. The XP system in Mythras is perfect so once the initial career is set, the rest of the WFRP career stuff is not useful, however quaint, and you don’t have to look back or be bound by your career (which you don’t do anyway since you are a murderhobo now).
The reason to run WFRP with Mythras is obvious: it’s a better system, but why do this to Mythras? It will be easier to make characters. It will be faster. It will still define the character (more in some ways) than the base careers/culture in Mythras without having to roll on all the family and background charts.
What you lose: the age of the character won’t give bonus points like in normal Mythras, you just roll your career and all selection is taken care of except for a couple skills. You also lose the WFRP signature ‘skills’ in the game, like Strike Mighty blow, Dodge, Flee!, etc. If you play Mythras you will realize that these are no big loss at all since they are handled by the skill and combat systems more elegantly than WFRP 1,2 or 3. Also lost are the advanced careers. If you use the Mythras XP and guild system, this won’t be missed. Yes, I know some people loved jumping around from Pirate to Pirate Captain, from Rat Catcher to Bodyguard to Student (?!), trying to become a wizard after hundreds and hundreds of spent XP, but that all can be handled via the normal Mythras XP system and Guilds/Affiliations.
Here is how it works:
1) Create a character up to the step where you start picking skills (roll or points buy as normal), you will need to pick a RACE at this point (dwarf, wood elf, human, halfling) and create that according to the rules in Mythras
2) Pick a Class – warrior, rogue, academic, ranger which defines the set of careers you were BEFORE starting on the murderhobo career of an adventurer
3) Roll on that Classes Starting Career table see below for the list (or pick if you must, you wuss)
4) Add the bonuses listed in the Career description for all skills listed to your base skill.
5) Add the bonus and any listed professional skills
6) Add the bonus points listed to the combat skill (or skills)
7) Take the spells listed for that career if applicable
8) Take the trappings for that career listed
9) Name the character
10) Passions (if you use them) -work these with your GM.
11) Go play!
Rat Catcher (of course!)
Native Tongue + 40
Lore (RATS) +30
Craft (Dog Training) +15
Rat Catcher combat (dagger, short sword, sling) +15
Add an additional professional skill from the following:
Folk Magic, Lore (home city), Lore (gang politics), Brawn, Evade, Unarmed
Add 15 points to the skill selected above.
Weapons: Dagger, Short Sword, Sling
Sling, Dagger, Short Sword
4 Animal Traps
Small but Vicious dog!
So the next steps would be to do this for all the Careers that you would want. Here is the first edition list.
Warrior Class (d16)
Bodyguard, Laborer, Marine, Mercenary, Militiaman, Noble, Outlaw, Pit Fighter, Protagonist, Seaman, Servant, Soldier, Squire, Troll Slayer, Tunnel Fighter, Watchman.
Ranger Class (d17)
Boatman, Bounty Hunter, Coachman, Fisherman, Gamekeeper, Herdsman, Hunter, Muleskinner, Outrider, Pilot, Prospector, Rat Catcher, Roadwarden, Runner, Toll-keeper, Trapper, Woodsman,
Rogue Class (d15)
Agitator, bawd, beggar, entertainer, footpad, gambler, grave robber, jailer, minstrel, pedlar, raconteur, rustler, smuggler, thief, tomb robber
Academic Class (d15)
Alchemist’s Apprentice, Artisan’s apprentice, druid, engineer, exiseman, herbalist, hypnotist (!?), initiate, pharmacist, physician’s student, scribe, seer, student, trader and the oft-sought after but never-rolled Wizard’s Apprentice.
I also have the excellent WFRP 2nd edition career compendium from Fantasy Flight with hordes of careers that are crying out for some sort of use, that would be a LOT of work to convert all those careers.
There’s the base system for character creation, now someone has to bust out the remaining 62 career templates in their spare time. I’ll throw up a magic user type next week as an example with some ways I was thinking of doing battle magic spells. Really it’s just the same as creating a ‘cult’ in Mythras that gives magical knowledge/power to it’s members. Some of the WFRP hedge and battle magic spells are iconic however.
I like Blood Rage– a lot. Sometimes I wish it was chits and small wood pieces though because for a time, I was carrying the fucker around in a PELICAN case with all the miniatures having to be removed from their original boxes every time we played. This meant that set up and especially take down time was prohibitive for most gaming nights. Since the game needs to be played more often that was no good– just really damn unacceptable don’t you think?
Matt got me the laser cut box insert for Blood Rage (the go7gaming one) for my birthday last month and I slapped it together in an hour or so last week. The only thing weird I did was get some different while glue per the recommendation in the instructions, rather than just using elmers. I used a damp paper towel to clean off the excess glue. While the construction was tricky in some places, the instructions were easy to follow all the way through, with just a couple DUHHHH’s along the way.
Here are some pics of the work in progress and final.
Here we have the start of the process with the Clan boxes complete at the top of the picture. Each clan has a box and it’s LABELLED (see below) for ease of putting away. The clan boxes go on the bottom of the BR box.
Close up of the clan boxes with the Snake clan up inside already.
In the back is the big monster box that will also support the board. In the foreground is the excellent card holder that stacks and then is placed sidways in the box. It holds sleeved cards no problem (you did sleeve your cards right?)
On the upper right are the smaller monster boxes before I placed the dividers in.
Close up of the serpent clan box. This fits everything related to each clan from all expansions.
This is the final result. Cards are in the upper right, a token box with a lid in the middle and you can see that this layer of the box is dominated by the monsters and gods. The clan boxes are below and support the level you see.
Overall, I am quite pleased with this insert. My BR box has taken a beating so far, but seems to be holding together for now. Best thing is that the pelican case has gone back to the basement!
I saw the box for the upcoming CMON game HATE last year (or maybe the year before) at GENCON and I thought it looked like some sort of Scandinavian Motor Cycle gang war game– but it’s most certainly not that. The core issue is that from the box alone you can’t tell what it’s based on. This year, they had the miniatures and oh man they are awesome. It looked like some sort of vikings vs giants type of game to me, but then I went ahead an looked up Adrian Smith/ HATE and it turns out it’s based on an absolutely gorgeous graphic novel by Adrian Smith— some sort of viking madness that looks very much like his work on Chaos Marauders from back in the day. There are now two volumes and I have the first one coming Thursday to peruse that sweet viking art.
Who knows if the game is going to be good or not, but check out those minis!
I missed this when it first came out earlier in the year. It’s under RWD and short but has some great tracks. Like Aphex Twin, we have to watch Wisp closely for what name he’s going to release under!
I decided to have a party at my house instead of going out to a bar (a gaming bar that is) all day this year. It worked out well. My old place was too small to ever have anyone over, but the new place has a bit more space and we had multiple games going at once! We played a lot of stuff and people got drunk and the kids all sang me the cat licking the birthday cake song instead of the regular birthday song. I did get the regular birthday song sung to me but in GERMAN earlier in the week so it’s OK.
We played a great game of Quartermaster 1914– very tense and fun. I missed out on a game of Secrets, but played Ethnos and A Study in Emerald instead. The capstone to the night was a seven player Cosmic Encounter game with what I think is all new Aliens (Nanny? Cloak?) on account of me getting the Cosmic Eons expansion for my birthday that day. As always, Cosmic proves to be the best board game ever made. Can’t ONLY play just that one game, but it’s just the best.
Meanwhile, the kids all got to playing DCC with my now 7 year old running it. He has not begun to understand that it is not a competitive game so put the hapless first level guys against an AC 18 Owlbear that ripped off limbs on a whim…
It’s Sunday night and I’m beat. We were up until 3am playing a cracking game of A Study In Emerald wherein MOUTH failed to disclose via his actions in game which faction he was on due to rather erratic play. I was in the lead after destroying a couple royals but the Loyalists could have pulled out a win if they crushed my partner in restoration who was down to a single agent on the board. Mouth, shockingly, played a card to push the Loyalist War Track up to 10, ending the game, at which time he revealed himself to be a Loyalist. This after murdering another Loyalist player’s agents with the Vampire (Matt’s). Madness.
ASIE is a fantastic game, every time I play I get better at it and it gets more fun!
I spent some cash at the con, needless to say. Notable stuff I picked up: Decision at Elst, a Squad Leader starter kit campaign, SECRETS by Eric Lang, Ethnos, 1914 Quartermaster General and I went ahead and spent the 30$ to get the board game geek exclusive Blood Rage miniature (Hili).
I got to see CMON’s Rising Sun played, and saw someone walking around with a copy (they won it in a charity auction) so I think Rising Sun may be closer to shipping than we have info on from Kickstarter. I also got to see Massive Darkness played, which, while I kickstarted it, I’m not totally sold on the co-operative gameplay yet. Nice minis though right?
One odd game we got to play was Mr. MeeSeeks (from Rick and Morty) which is pretty great if you can play with girls and are drunk. It is not an all-guys game WHATSOEVER. I saw, but did not get to play Anatomy Park, also from Rick and Morty.
RPG’s were fun but a bit scarce this year. I played in an excellent game of Mythras based on the 80’s sci fi world Luther Arkwright. I’m going to pick up that book and see if it will work well for a BPRD style game. We played as Luther, Rose, another sex-addict character from the graphic novel, the Avengers (emma peel, johnathan steed) and Dr. Who (8th) in a sort of murder mystery, find the bomb game with dueling psychics and science! It was great fun.
My Mythras game was set in 1648 during the battle of Roicroi and the characters were Walloon deserters from a defeated tercio who fled into the town only to find it very strange indeed. Everything ended with a double hendersen and I feel I did a good job for only two hours of play.
The following day I ran Sailors on the Starless Sea, a DCC funnel adventure) for a big and rotating group of people who got exceedingly drunk during the affair. It was a lot of fun for me to try to manage the chaos, but it became too loud with the yelling for anyone to hear, so we didn’t get the adventure done on account of gin and the like. Someday I will finish running that all the way through: it is a pivotal module for DCC fans.
My favorite new game of the Con is probably Ethnos, but I really like Quartermaster General 1914 as well. We played about half a game of that and it clicked for all the players (too late at night though!). We’ll see which of those get more play. Ethnos with 6 players is really difficult to manage as a euro.
My favorite non-gaming thing was the Museum. I hope they do that every year. We get a mini one every Gary Con, but this was gencon big and had a ton of really cool stuff.
One thing my brother said on the way home was that Gencon is an anomaly from normal life because everyone is NICE. Packed in to a dealer hall, destroyed bathrooms and feeding areas you’d thing there would be dickheads and fights and yelling (remember, a LOT of people are drunk and high at gencon, like any other convention) but I never saw a single thing that wasn’t nice. That is really saying something, especially sitting in the Trump era where people seem to be going out of their way sometimes to be total cunts.
Pics are forthcoming. Now back to the grind.
i guess it’s Saturday already. My Mythras game went well despite fucking up and signing up for only two hours rather than four. We tried to get through The DCC funnel sailors on the starless sea but near total drunkenness ensued and the characters were left on the ship ready for a TPK, which was awesome. I’m going to make a big picture post when I get back home.