A dark and grim world filled with peril, and darkness, and grimness… and grimdark. With a side-order of grit.
I remember with fondness picking up the original Warhammer Fantasy RPG. After years of D&D it was awesome to have a full fantasy game in a single book (and it was something I was hoping we would see with AD&D2e instead of the propagation of the multi-book format). The game had a fair number of flaws that became apparent after months of play, but overall it grabbed our imaginations and had us plying in the grim darkness of the Old World for many months before returning to our more standard fare.
The release of Warhammer Fantasy 2e was a very welcome addition to my gaming library. Not only does it bring back the awesome that was the original version, but it really took the time to patch up the holes and put some gloss on the rules.
Recently, I was invited to join in an existing game, so I rolled up a character and then advanced him to be close to the rest of the party in XP. The Game Master also requested that the character be one that he could use occasionally when I’m not at the games, and that we would have a good excuse to have slipping in and out of the party. So my aim was to create a criminal or spy-styled character. But as a fan of random character creation, I let the dice do the talking at first.
For this character I used the core rule book, the Character Pack and the Career Compendium. And a lot of die rolling at first.
The first step in chargen is picking a race. Since I don’t want to stand out too much, I’m restricting my choices to human (because they don’t stand out at all) and halfling (because no one else in the group is playing a halfling!). In the end I go with halfling just because no one else is, and no one really takes halflings seriously (all the better for a part-time spy).
As a halfling, he starts with Night Vision, Resistance to Chaos, Sling proficiency and another random talent. A roll on the chart gives him Acute Hearing. I also decide that he’ll take Trade (Cook) instead of Trade (Farmer), since I would rather he knows how to feed himself than how to grow food to feed others. It also leaves him somewhat less attached to his home.
Then I start chucking dice to determine ability scores. A human starts out with 20+2d10 in each stat, but a halfling sacrifices Weapon Skill, Strength and Toughness in order to have higher Ballistics Skill, Agility and Fellowship. His stats start up pretty sub-par until we reach Will Power (37) and Fellowship (50!). This is one halfling who has the knack for making friends. He also gets to ditch one lousy stat and replace it with his racial average for that stat – in this case his painfully low Weapon Skill gets raised from 14 to 21.
Then we get to find out his starting career. A d1000 roll of 945 on the master table in the Career Compendium gives us Vagabond (one of the careers from the core rules). One of the new career exits from this career is the Rapscallion – a very social rogue which happens to be a career entry point to becoming a spy. So I think I have his career path set out.
And I’m tired of calling him “him”. So on to the random name tables. Halfling names are made of two parts, a general part and a male or female suffix. His first part is Crump followed by Mutch. Crumpmutch. Oh, wait, there’s the surname table too. And I get Rumplebreek. Crumpmutch Rumplebreek. That’s a grimdark name.
Next comes the foretelling of his doom, according to some soothsayer somewhere. Unlike in the 40k RPGs, this doesn’t have any mechanical effects on the character. However I do find out that some batty old halfling gipsy pronounced that “The darkest rot will eat thee”. Seeing rot all around him (particularly convinced that fortunetellers are some fo the darkest rot), he picked up and headed out for adventure.
Random generation doesn’t end there though. The core rules include tables for height, weight, hair and eye colour, distinguishing marks, siblings, star sign, age and birthplace. Rolls on these tables pin down Crumpmutch as being 3’11” tall, 100 pounds, with yellow hair and hazel eyes. He’s also missing a digit – so his nickname is nine-toes. He has a single sibling (interestingly enough, halflings always have at least one sibling – seems they aren’t into small families). A roll of 579 indicates that his little sister is a peasant – definitely not a life he wants to be tied to. Out of curiosity I roll again for his parents and get a 434 – so one of his parents is or was a mercenary (so dad’s time as a sell-sword is where he got his wanderlust from).
He was born under the star sign of Mammit the Wise (the sign of wisdom), in the human community of Wolfenburg, the capital city of Ostland. One last roll gives him an age of 22 (roughly equivalent to the human age of 17).
As a vagabond, he gets a bunch of skills useful to the wandering halfling of the old world, as well as the talents of Seasoned Traveller, Fleet Footed (increasing his movement attribute), and Marksman (+5% Ballistics Skill). I had the choice of taking Rover instead of Fleet Footed (which would increase his ability to hide outdoors) and Orientation instead of Marksman (giving him a bonus on Navigation rolls), but don’t want him to end up a country bumpkin – Crumpmutch might be a vagabond, but he’s one who can take care of himself in a fight and who sticks to urban areas mostly. I have to decide which foreign nation his common knowledge skill is in and go with Bretonnia because the party hasn’t been there before.
I write up his skills, talents and starting equipment as detailed by his career, and then the final step is picking a single advance from his advancement scheme. While I’m tempted to immediately bring his Fellowship up even higher, I go with Intelligence since a lot of his skills are Int based. And here we have Crumpmutch “NineToed” Rumplebreek when he started his adventuring days as a simple vagabond from Ostland. But by the time he meets the party, he’ll be a bit more than that – tomorrow I’ll post his advances from the Vagabond career to becoming the smooth and suave spy that the party never expects.
Crumpmutch “NineToed” Rumplebreek, Halfling Wanderer
Doom: The darkest rot will eat thee!
Star Sign: Mammit the Wise (sign of wisdom)
Weight: 100 lbs
Home: Wolfenburg, Ostland
Stats (Advancements Taken)
Weapon Skill 21
Ballistic Skill 48
Intelligence 34 (+5)
Will Power 37
Strength Bonus 1
Toughness Bonus 2
Insanity Points 0
Fate Points 2
- Acute Hearing (+20 Perception)
- Fleet Footed (+1 Movement)
- Marksman (+5 Ballistics Skill)
- Night Vision
- Resistant to Chaos (+10 Will Power to resist magic & chaos, immune to mutations, cannot cast spells)
- Seasoned Traveller (+10% on all Common Knowledge & Speak Language checks)
- Specialist Weapon Group: Slings
Skills (skill bonus/talent bonus)
- Academic Knowledge (Geneology / Heraldry)
- Common Knowledge (Bretonnia) (+0 / +10)
- Common Knowledge (Halflings) (+0 / +10)
- Gossip (+10 / +0 )
- Outdoor Survival
- Perception (+0 / +20 hearing)
- Secret Signs (Thief)
- Silent Move
- Speak Language (Halfling) (+0 / +10)
- Speak Language (Reikspiel) (+0 / +10)
- Trade (Cook)
- Back Pack
- Rations (1 week)