Interactive fiction in the Old World
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I only allow human and dwarf PC's for first timers. Elves are off limits for new players. If you roll an apprentice wizard you can choose if that means Colour Magick or Wizardry/Sorcery. The latter is probably easier to roleplay and arguably more fun within the context of a player character and constructing a background story but comes with a lot more peril attached. I do not associate alchemy with any particular Colour and consider it a relativistic discipline anyone can study and gain proficiency at within a set context.
All initial basic careers are random rolled. I prefer to use this tool: http://silverghost.dyndns.org/wfrp/ for quickly generating a basic character. You can then invent a back story to fit - its surprisingly fun and saves a ton of time.
You must always try to play a character other than yourself. Try to remember that the game world runs on a different clock and schyzophrenic player characters who had a bad day at work ruins it completely for others.
Always try to remember that your character does not usually know what you yourself know about the game, the rules etc. Do what they would do and don't try and play the system. Let it evolve, avoid conceit. Its actually more fun!
Death is final. Everyone dies. Every PC will die (even undead ones) eventually.
The dice are never fudged. I'm not taking that to any extremes but generally I won't flip a die to save your ass. What I will say is that as the GM I will always strive to ensure the challenge is proportionate to the rewards and I'm not the kind of guy who's always trying to kill players off. I won't 'do an Oblivion' on you and level scale everything you encounter to make the game 'fairer' for you as players. What's the point? However it is absolutely my responsibility to ensure that you are totally aware of the situation at all times as players. I am not infallible and I am fair minded - if I make a mistake, I'll put my hands up and fix it. So don't sweat on it.
1. GM posts.
2. Players have 4-7 days to post actions or queries in response.
3. GM updates Journal etc.
We should all try to log in to the forum and contribute something at least twice a week.
This being said, if people have time to post more frequently, they should. I always strive to check in every day.
1. Post in the corresponding Deliberation thread for each new GM post in the Journal thread.
2. Start your post with your character's name ie <Werner>
3. Write in the third person.
4. Write everything in the default font/color (no fancy formatting).
5. Indicate speech by using quotation marks.
6. Preface out-of-character statements or queries with OOC: in bold face.
7. Feel free to use if/then statements (they can save a lot time).
For a complete example of a live game thread/ooc please filter the forum threads using category 'Sample Game'.
Flow Rules – Keeping Things Moving
Because of the slow nature of PbB play, we'll want to avoid decision impasses and other unnecessary delays. We really don't want the party to spend two weeks deciding which corridor to take, especially if it really doesn't matter. So the following 'flow' rules are in play.
1. For 'inconsequential' party actions: Inconsequential actions are those where, given the party's knowledge, there is no reason to choose one option over another (for example, confronted with two identical passageways, do you go east or west?) As soon as any two players have agreed on a course of action, that's the one the party adopts.
2. For 'important' party actions: These are informed choices that can have actual consequences, and party discussion should decide the action taken. However, excessively lengthy debates in danger zones will result in the arrival of wandering monsters (I'll give a warning if the debate is getting too long). In 'safe' areas, if the discussion gets too long or deadlocked, I'll eventually just call for a vote. If, after a vote, there is still a deadlock, and the game bogs down, I'll roll a fellowship check for each PC. The character who passes by the greatest margin (or fails by the lowest margin if no one passes), succeeds in convincing the group to adopt his/her course of action, and that's the course taken. This is only for really extreme cases of 'game clog'.
3. Posting Delays: I'd like for us all to maintain the rhythm of posting once every two days, but real life happens, and sometimes one of us just won't be able to make a post in a given 48-hour window. That's understandable. When this occurs, if there's no crucial reason for the delayed individual to specify an action or opinion, I'll simply move the narrative along without waiting. If there is something important going on that really needs the delayed individual's input, I'll give a grace period of one day, before moving on. If there is still no post, I will NPC the character. If I'm the one delayed, I'll post that I'm delayed, and will tell you when I expect to start posting again, so that you don't waste time checking each day to see whether or not I've posted.
4. Combat: Combat posts will normally be round-by-round, as they often involve casting spells, or attempting creative or clever 'non-standard' maneuvers or actions. If, however, all members of the party declare only 'standard' combat actions (e.g. I shoot my bow, I swing my sword), I'll simply assume repetition of said actions in successive rounds indefinitely until there is some change in situational status (e.g. a party member takes damage, the enemy flees, new enemies arrive, etc.). This is just to move things along if nothing "special" is happening. As soon as the situation status changes in any way, we'll immediately go back to round-by-round.
Currency in the Old World
1 gold coin (Commonly: Mark, Escudo, D'or) is worth approximately 1000 silver coins (Pfennig, Reale, Livre). 1 silver coin is worth 750-1000 brass coins (Schillings, Maravedís, Deniers ) depending on region, clippage and debasement. In times of war or famine this can jump to 2500 > 5000; making the combined coinage found in an entire village worth less than a few bowls of slop in an Altdorf soup kitchen. The common folk always suffer inflation the hardest.
For simplicity's sake merchants and traders' gold is pressed in to heavy coins approximately 90% pure, lustrous and well-formed, at home in the vaults of kings and the purses of wealthy burghers. Most commoners live their entire lives without seeing a gold coin and even hinting that a gold coin hides in your purse at one of the rougher dockside taverns may be enough to have your throat slit.
Silver is more common, and to many people, it is considered the life-blood of commerce. Stamped silver Pfennig approximately 50% pure bearing regional marks on one side and the Imperial laurel wreath on the other, flow freely through the streets of Altdorf, Nuln, and the other cities of the Empire amongst the artisans and city tradesmen.
Brass Schillings made of copper or bronze tend to be crude affairs, little more than small pieces of beaten or folded metal, often bearing no mark at all. Rattling in beggar’s bowls and traded for watered-down beer along docks, brass is the coin of the common clay.
Due to the volumes of currency that can be required for anything more than simple transactions, money changers abound in every town and city. Both official and unofficial. Many private organizations (Guilds, Labour Exchanges, Military Orders etc) have their own systems of promissory notes and internal paper currency. Mostly for practical reasons, but also to avoid taxation on their own 'internal' revenues.
The very wealthy utilize banks and bondsmen and store their money in ingots rather than coinage. The noble classes largely prefer to spread their wealth over the generations by hoarding assets such as land, buildings, jewelry and fine art rather than currency, and so doing insulate themselves from economic fluctuations. The notion that bricks and mortar are always better than coin in hand or any sort of pension in kind, is very true across much of the Empire and beyond. Give a man a fish etc.
The Imperial Calendar
My GM posts will have date stamps - if an IC day goes past and I forget, remind me!
The campaign will start in 2510 IC. The Warhammer Online Wiki has an excellent [link=http://warhammeronline.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline]Timeline[/link] of the Warhammer world.
We'll be using the Imperial Calendar, since the game begins in the Empire. I'll add other regional calendars if we ever go beyond the borders of the Empire.
The Imperial Calendar or IC is the name of the standardized calendar used in the Empire. Years are numbered from the year that Sigmar was first crowned as Emperor. When describing historical events in the World of Warhammer, almost all dates are given according to the Imperial Calendar, with the date usually followed with the abbreviation IC.
The Imperial Year
A standard Imperial year lasts 400 days, divided into twelve months of 32 or 33 days each, with six intercalary holidays. These holidays exist outside of the normal sequence of months and weekdays:
Hexenstag Witching Night
Nachhexen After-Witching (32)
Jahrdrung Year-Turn (33)
Pflugzeit Plough Month (33)
Sigmarzeit Sigmar Month (33)
Sommerzeit Summer Month (33)
Sonstill Sun Still
Vorgeheim Fore-Mystery (33)
Geheimnistag Mystery Day
Nachgeheim After-Mystery (32)
Erntzeit Harvest Month (33)
Brauzeit Brew Month (33)
Kaldezeit Chill Month (33)
Ulriczeit Ulric Month (33)
Mondstill World Still
Vorhexen Fore-Witching (33)
The Imperial week lasts eight days.
1. Wellentag (Work day)
2. Aubentag (Levy day)
3. Marktag (Market day)
4. Backertag (Bake day)
5. Bezahltag (Tax day)
6. Konistag (King day)
7. Angestag (Start week)
8. Festag (Holiday)
Holy Days and Festivals
Special days are set aside during the year for religious festivals dedicated to members of the pantheon of Old World Gods. In addition each month often has special significance for the followers of different deities. You can expect to see pilgrim supplicants, wonder plays, allegories and other local and regional peculiarities.
Hexenstag - Morr (Witching Night ie New Year)
Nachhexen 1 - Verena (Year Blessing)
Mitherfruhl - Manann, Taal, Ulric
Sigmarzeit 18 - Sigmar (Sigmarsfest)
Sonnstill - Taal, Rhya
Geheimnistag - Morr
Erntezeit 1-8 - Halfling Pie Week
Mittherbst - Rhya, Taal, Ulric
Mondstill - Ulric, Taal, Rhya
House Rules & Supplements
For those who have not read the rules the following should give you enough to understand what is going on under the hood and help with character advancement choices. Some of the rules I’ll be using are expanded rules to be found in White Dwarf and or collections such as the restless dead and apothecara now.
I'll be using Mad Alfred's rules for Druids, Dwarf Religion & Sorcery
In terms of canon, I'll be using the first edition setting wherever possible. Including all of Mad Alfred's tweaks and changes. You probably don't need to know about that (or care at this point) but just bear in mind there is no Arthurian Bretonnia, no all powerful Emperor etc. No Storm of Chaos.
I'll be using Zapp's 2e House Rules. Available [link=https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/34934670/ZappsHouseRules2009.zip]here[/link].
Stats and Skills
I hope that we would all recognise the stat line from other GW games. Some are percentile rather than 1-10. These stats may go up as you advance but more on that later.
Any time you wish to do something that holds some challenge to its competition you need to role equal or under the relevant stat. There are bonuses and minuses to the base value depending on circumstance. One of the ever present minuses is if you do not have a skill relevant to the action.
When 1-10 stats are used in this way multiply the stat by 10 to give the base number.
Combat is a specialised use of stats and skills and will be covered in detail later.
Careers and Character Advancement
Every Character has a career they are actively following or leaving behind as they start as adventurers. Each career has a set of skills and stat advances associated with them and it is through these that your character develops.
The skills are self explanatory to a level, (please do not hesitate to ask what a given skill can do for you if you need to) stat advances can be bought with experience points (EP) to give a permanent +10 or +1 boost to your stat.
From your first career you start with all the skills listed (unless a % chance is given for that skill) and one free stat advance no more. Experience can be used to take the stat advances and to take any % chance skills you missed out on at creation. Some % chance skills cannot be taken later such as very strong or very resilient.
Once you have taken all the stat advances and at least two skills if it is not your first career you may pay EP to change to a new career that is one of your current career exits or a new basic career of your type, that is academic, warrior, rogue or ranger meta classes. You must collect the trappings first and have a logical way to be doing the job otherwise you’ll have to look for something else.
WARNING: It is very easy to get killed in this game!
Also welcome to the House Rules :-D
Combat rounds are initiated the moment one or all of any opposing factions decides to attack. If any side is surprised (GMs decision) their opponents gain a free round of combat. Once all sides are fighting actions occur in Initiative order. The expanded rules of effective initiative will be used. This randomly assigns an edge to one or other side, translating in a d10 bonus to all that sides initiatives.
Fighting then occurs.
Hand to hand:
First one or other opponent must charge gaining a plus to WS in the process. Rolling under or equal to your WS means a hit is scored damage is rolled with the weapons modifier if any added on. The value rolled to hit is reversed to find out the location of the hit and the targets toughness and armour value for the region is taken from the total damage. The target may now attempt to parry but uses up their next attack to do so (if they have used their attack for this round, even in another parry they cannot attempt the parry). This can reduce the damage inflicted, even to zero.
The individual now loses the total wounds. Once the target goes below zero you start rolling on the critical charts that can result in anything from a dropped weapon to an evisceration. The further below zero your wounds the more sever the outcome of the chart.
If neither side is dead the opponent that scored the most wounds has a bonus to initiative.
Just roll equal or under your BS to hit. Modifiers (almost all negative) are applied to the base BS according to range, cover and target size. I’m using expanded rules to allow the targeting of specific hit locations but these incur big negative modifiers to BS. Damage is applied as hand to hand.
All weapons except hand weapons, daggers, bows and crossbows require a specialist skill to use so eg. without the specific skill throwing weapons are a bit useless!
All other rules I think can be explained as they arise.
Some/all of these rules are lifted verbatim from http://theernywithin.blogspot.co.uk/
I call Fortune Points 'Fate Points'. That's because I don't use Fortune Points. Fate Points do not regenerate and are a precious resource indeed as they can be used for just about anything. To recoup spent points you may buy one Fate Point in one of the following three ways: Once per day for 300 XP or at any time for a permanent -5 on any primary attribute or once per day for a 500 gold coin (or GM agreed equivalent offering) donation to a deity of your choosing and only after a reasonable period of prayer/supplication at a relevant location ie a temple, roadside shrine etc. You may only ever buy up to your character's original (fixed) maximum starting number of Fate Points.
Shock & Unconsciousness
When you go from Lightly Wounded (more than 3 wounds remaining) to Heavily Wounded (fewer than 3 wounds remaining) you suffer 'Shock'. You must spend a half action to grit your teeth and clear your mind before doing anything else - incuding defending yourself! You automatically succeed as long as you are not interrupted. You only suffer Shock once per battle.
When you reach 0 wounds you become unconscious. This is in contradiction to the vanilla rule that you can keep fighting on 0 wounds! Whilst unconscious you are totally prone and obviously cannot defend yourself against ongoing attacks with assailants gaining +30 and +1d10 to attack rolls and damage against prone targets (no automatic hits).
The character remains unconscious until such a time as they can receive additional healing to restore wounds above zero whereupon they can spend a half action to get to their feet and continue to fight or they suffer additional critical hits whilst prone and are killed; whichever comes first. Only fully conscious characters may eat rations although they can imbibe draughts if someone shoves it down their throat. Fate points can be spent as per usual to buy re-rolls.
Rest & Recovery
No matter the circumstances characters may only rest once per day. If their rest is interrupted, they may choose to partially recover - 1d3 wounds each - or they can begin resting anew to gain the full benefits of resting which is 1d6 wounds each. A full period of rest is at least 8 hours of sleep. The minimum uninterrupted period for a partial rest is 4 hours sleep. So for example, if you are using a system of watches during the night, you can only ever receive a partial rest. These rules override the 'natural healing' of 1 wound per day regardless in vanilla: no rest, no recovery. This puts the onus on the players to manage risk and recovery amongst themselves.
Food & Water
You need to eat every day or lose 1d3 wounds and suffer a cumulative -10 modifier on every skill, talent or attribute test for every additional day that goes by. Eating 1 unit of rations (which is 1 days food and 1 days water combined) in conjunction with resting for at least the minimum period restores 1d3 additional wounds. Eating and/or drinking when not in conjunction with resting only wards off the negative modifiers for not doing so. In addition poor quality rations or food per day purchased (for example in an inn or tavern) does not confer the wound recovery bonus in conjunction with rest. Only average or better food quality actually contains the nourishment you need to recuperate as opposed to the bare minimum you'd need to stay healthy. There is little value in buying 'slop' rations!
You need to drink every day at least ie a skin, bottle etc. For every day you do not drink, you gain a cumulative -10 modifier on every skill, talent or attribute test until you do. You can go 3 days without drinking then you will become unconscious at which point the rules for unconsciousness take effect.
This is intended to make food and drink matter without making it a chore.
Weapon & Armour Damage
Every time you take or inflict damage or parry with a hand weapon or shield, I will roll an extra d10 for each blow. If any character or NPC rolls a 1 then that weapon or armour item quality is reduced by one rank. Ranks are: Best, Good, Common, Poor. If the item is already at the lowest rank, it is immediately rendered useless until it is repaired or replaced.
Additionally, the person who suffers the penalty then rolls another d10. If they roll another 1, the item is outright destroyed regardless of quality. For items only the location hit ie. shield, head, body, arms, legs is damaged/destroyed.
If more than one combatant in the round of melee rolls 1's, then only the combatants with the lower quality of equipment/item suffers the penalty. If the same quality, then both suffer the penalties. This means its always better to have good quality equipment where the majority is little better than common or poor and you will be glad of the investment.
If you opt to repair an item it can only be restored to one rank below its original craftmanship rating with one exception: Best quality items can always be repaired back to Best quality by a suitably skilled craftsman. Poor quality items can still be repaired, but you will probably want to replace the item with a better equivalent depending on availability. I'll be keeping track of all this, so don't worry. Fate points can also be spent to mitigate all of the above.
This is inspired by the StS thread I linked and quoted. I think this gives you an incentive to actually upgrade weapons and armour and it will sink more gold and make combat and extended scraps more entertaining and challenging.
One major implication of this is that in combat when taking, receiving or parrying damage, equipment now has a 1 in 10 chance of being affected and a 1 in 20 (1 in 10 for poor quality!) chance of being completely destroyed every single round. This will be more and more acute with the volume of enemies you face off against and the number and type of attacks you make in conjunction with your fighting style: the more blows soaked up in quick succession against a shield or parried then the more rapidly your blade will be notched, armour dinged, maille shredded and shields cleaved etc. I'm hoping this will also address some of the whiff that wfrp seems prone too in a suitably dramatic and entertaining way.
So pack a backup piece folks. ;-)
I am to nerds what nerds are to normal people.