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One re-read of the Warhammer FRP rules later, here’s the conclusion to my first combat narrative:

Motivated  by her hatred of the greenskins, Theda quickened her pace as she ran on towards the combat, uttering a prayer to Sigmar beseeching his aid in what would certainly be a tough test of her skills.

Meanwhile, as Theda approached, the goblin that had come crashing through the undergrowth to join the fight launched himself at the embattled human.   It seemed destined to impale him but just as the goblin thrust forward, the warrior stepped to one side in what was obviously a well-practised move and deflected most of the force of the attack so that he took only a glancing blow to his wrist.  

The warrior looked down at the shallow and seemed to shrug it off.  At that moment the goblins outflanking him both stabbed forward with their spears and, with nowhere to go now, the man grunted as took three quick blows to his abdomen. Fortunately none pierced his chainmail jerkin, but he’d carry the bruises for a few days if he did live past the next few minutes.  

Rushing forward, Theda screamed an invocation to Sigmar and lifted her hammer.  Her eyes suddenly lit up with a golden light, and the air behind her seemed to shimmer.  She launched herself at the orc closing in on the warrior, putting herself between them.  As she did so, the man eyed the nearest goblin and swung his great sword in a wide arc, opening a deep wound in the creature’s thigh.

Seeing the Sigmar initiate in it’s path the orc charged at Theda, slashing repeatedly with it’s huge, axe-like weapon.  The ferocity of the repeated blows was unlike anything she’d encountered in training in the temple, and Theda suffered a number of brutal gashes to her body as the attack overwhelmed her defences.  Striking back she swung her hammer down and and caught the orc with a hefty blow to the shoulder.  His scraps of armour helped him little and he stumbled backwards.  Looking Theda in the eye he regained his footing and renewed his onslaught.  This time his axe batted away her shield and, quickly striking again, struck her a massive blow to the head.  With her world falling about her, the initiate fell to the ground.  Looking up, dazed and defenceless, she saw the orc standing over her about to deliver the killing blow.  Then just as it was delivered she felt a terrifying, cold blackness closing in…

Theda awoke with start.  She was still in her room in the tavern, and the first grey light of dawn was showing through the room’s one small skylight.  The nightmare she’d just gone through was like nothing else she’d ever experienced.  It could only be a vision, a warning from Sigmar.  She had no need to consult with any servant of Morr to confirm that.  The lesson was clearly never to underestimate an enemy, and to use cunning as well as brute strength before rushing to dispatch His enemies.   Still shaking, Theda rose from the straw mattress and started to strap her equipment on.

Okay, I know what you’re probably thinking.  A bit of a cop-out, and I’d have to agree.  However, I didn’t want to kill Theda off in her first encounter and it was really a quickly put-together test of my understanding of the rules, more than a carefully constructed adventure.

The combat work-through played well, and was relatively straightforward from a rules perspective.  I’m now confident I have a basic understanding of Warhammer RFP combat.  Clearly I’d badly underestimated the strength of the opposition I’d created though, particularly the orc.  For two newly-created adventurers this was a big ask.  Also, Theda played the encounter poorly.  She really wasn’t protected enough to go head to head with an uninjured orc, and she paid the price.   Better to support the other character against the goblins first.  Hans Drechsler by the way, my other character in this scenario, managed rather better although the drip, drip effect of the goblin attacks was eating into his resistance too.

An interesting start to Warhammer RFP 3rd Edition though.  And it wasn’t only Theda who learnt a few lessons!

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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…  

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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.

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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.

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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!

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