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I’ve just created the third and final character for my initial adventuring party, Theda Hartmann:-

Theda Hartmann is a female initiate of Sigmar.

Twenty-one years old, the only life Theda has known has been as a servant of Sigmar.  Left on the temple doorstep in her village in south Reikland when she was a small baby, she has been cared for by the temple Priest and temple staff ever since.  Devout and strong-willed, Theda makes up in common sense and dedication what she lacks in raw intelligence.

Stocky, muscled  and thickset, Theda is worlds away from some of the pretty, delicate looking initiates of Shallya.  She truly looks like as if she was cast from the same iron as her trusty hammer and brooks no patronising from men.

Having taught Theda all he could, her Priest has recently tasked her to leave the confines of the temple for five years.  Her mission is simple – spread the word of Sigmar and fight the Empire’s enemies wherever she finds them.

Now my band is complete I’m almost ready to run my first adventure.  I’ll need to re-read the rules from the Warhammer Boxed Set first though, just to get them clearer before I begin.  I’m also contemplating running a quick combat with one of the characters to reinforce some of the mechanisms.  It’ll also act as a useful device to tie together the back-story for a couple of the party members.

Adventure awaits!

The second character of the three I need to roll up for my first Warhammer Roleplay party is now complete.  Here’s his background:-

Dieter Hepmarr is a Reikland Human, aged around 18 years old.  

Born in a tiny hamlet on the banks of the Reik, a days travel north of the Skagg Hills, Dieter had an unhappy childhood.  His mother was a weak-willed yet cantankerous woman, who spent most of her time trying to look after her extensive brood of offspring (Dieter had three brothers and two sisters).  His father was a travelling tinker, who combined laziness with bitterness and added a violent temper for good measure.

Dieter spent almost all his time away from the cramped, dirty family home, either acting as a porter during his father’s travels to nearby settlements or more commonly off on his own exploring the nearby woods and fields.  Only in the open air did he really feel alive, and he soon found he had a knack of finding his way, remembering landmarks and tracking local game.  His innate toughness, determination and strength of character helped him develop his skills until one day after a tongue-lashing from his drunken father he ran away from home.  

Knowing from his travels with his father of the needs of merchants for skilled scouts, he found his way to Frederheim and soon found employment with a caravan heading south.  In the two years since then Dieter has travelled widely in southern Reikland.  His weapon skills have developed, either through training with caravan companions or in solo hunting expeditions.  Combined with his tracking ability and keen eye, Dieter is a competent scout though temporarily out of work and without an employer these past three weeks…  

After making my way through the Warhammer Roleplay Rulebook I’ve just created my first character, Hans Drechler.  Here’s his background:-

Hans is a Reikland Human, born around twenty years previously in a small village about half a days travel south of Bogenhafen.  His mother died in childbirth, his father was a poor farmer.

The youngest of three children, Hans had a reasonably happy childhood and was much doted on by his two older sisters.  His father’s health was poor however, and the family often depended on relatives to fill the cooking pot.  As he grew older Hans helped his father tend their tiny plot of land, but his life changed when the village Sigmar Priest called for young men from the village to join the local militia to deal with a goblin infestation in the nearby forest.  Led by a local nobleman and with a core of Empire soldiers to rely on on, the force performed well and destroyed or routed the greenskins.  On returning to his home Hans discovered that he rather missed the excitement of combat, something he’d proved to be unusually adept at.

When his youngest sister married and his brother-in-law moved into the family home, Hans no longer had to concern himself about his father’s failing health or the family livelihood.  Having spoken with his Sigmar Priest he made the decision to join the rejoin the ranks of the militia.  There he stayed and fought a number of engagements over the next four years, earning his keep and learning his trade.

When his father died Hans decided to leave the area, and sell his skills as a mercenary, acting as bodyguard to nobles wishing to travel the roads and waterways around Altdorf.   His duties have been relatively mundane, a few goblin attacks and brigand ambushes Just recently contracts have dried up a little, but Hans is a wily character who always put a little aside to cover lean times so he has no immediate financial worries.  He now travels back towards Bogenhafen, seeking a contract.

I’m sure there’s more I’ll add as time goes by, for example around his demeanour, appearance and attitudes, but it’s a start.

I’ve just come across the Reckless Dice Podcasts – what a great site.  For a newbie to Warhammer 3rd Edition like me, hearing a group roleplaying the game is incredibly useful.

I’ve just been listening to the live session that replayed A Day Late, A Shilling Short.  It’s very enlightening not just to hear some of the game mechanisms being played through, but to listen to how the group played the game from a style perspective.

One thing that struck me, and I’d kind of forgotten after being away from group play for so long, was the way the characters went ‘off-piste’ so often.  Whether it was straying from the anticipated storyline (for example when one character leaves the group and starts walking back towards the town) or getting too hung up on how a relatively low-importance NPC was reacting to them, the path the game looked to be taking at times seemed like it would have presented a new DM with some challenges.

This ‘deviation’ is one aspect of role playing that I miss out on when solo’ing, and it’s very much a  two-edged sword.  Although I like creating a narration that’s essentially the scenario ‘vanilla’, or largely as it’s written, I do really miss that unpredictable angle that comes from live play.

I’m now nearing the end of the first book in the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay boxed set, the Roleplay Rulebook.  One rule I’m really liking the look of (although I’m not sure my characters will appreciate it!) is the Insanity rule.

I’m loving the way that characters in the Warhammer world don’t just have to worry about death or injury, they have to consider the effects of all the terrible creatures, horrors and grisly scenes they come across too.   Not surprising when they can come across creatures like this when they wander into the local forest:

I’m not sure how this will actually play out in the scenarios and campaigns to come, but it takes the game further away from the simplistic ‘hack and slay’ methodology that most games of Dungeons and Dragons I’ve participated in seem to dissolve into.

My much anticipated Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay boxed set arrived a couple of days back, and ever since I’ve been using every bit of spare time to read through the rules.  This was all slightly delayed however, by me making my way through the many and varied different elements within the box!  All are extremely well produced, and every bit as good as the many reviews I read stated.

I’ve almost finished the first tome, the ‘Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Rulebook.   Most of it has been relatively straightforward, although I’m still a little unsure how to use the many die, and I’m not quite understanding who can use the various action cards.  I’m sure most of this will become much clearer once I read the section on adventuring though.

I did start to create a character, but had the good sense to look at the Introductory Scenario ‘A Day Late, A Shilling Short’, that’s available to download from the Fantasy Flight Games website.  It stated there that the scenario was written with the four pre-generated characters in mind.  It probably makes sense therefore to play through it as suggested, and keep my own characters for the first scenario ‘proper’.  I should mention at this point that I’m intending to play Warhammer solo.  It’s an approach I’ve used for other RPGs, principally Runequest and Traveller, and one that I’m well used to.  The objective of running this blog by the way is to give me somewhere to post my adventure narratives once I’m underway.

Anyway, so far, so good.  I’m itching to get playing!