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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Tome of Corruption

Making an rear end for the heroes to kick

It's time for us to put these rules to work and make a final boss for a campaign against Chaos, to demonstrate the kinds of characters you get out of this. I'm going to do the whole thing totally randomly.

First, species: Almost everything about Champions is written assuming they're humans, though they could be of any species. But you know what? To demonstrate that, we're gonna go with a fallen Elf, especially as I think that might cause some odd interactions with mutation/stat caps.

Our new evil elf comes out of the box with WS 34, BS 44, S 33, T 29, Agi 37, Int 37, WP 25, and Fel 34. She'll Shallya's Mercy that T to get her Toughness up to 31. As an Elf, she knows how to use a longbow right off the bat and gets to pick +Int or +WP, so she's going to take +Int since the low WP looks like a solid explanation for an elf falling to Chaos and it doubles down on her being clever. She rolls Envoy, Vagabond, or Seaman (Sailor) for her starting options, and I think we'll go with Envoy. Envoys are elves who live in the Empire and other human lands to negotiate trade deals or serve as ambassadors. Young Ulthuan noble who went out to the human lands and then fell for some Chaos far from home seems reasonable.

Now, one oddity in Chaos Warrior is it never actually says if it's a Basic career or not. We'll say it is for purposes of not having to ram Tauriel up there through Chaos Marauder or the entire Cult Magus line before we can put her into the call of darkness. She finishes Envoy, has some adventures where she develops an unhealthy interest in some strange cultic powers and a little amulet that sometimes turns into a screaming human face when she's upset, and decides to sacrifice someone she cares about in order to make her way north and get on with her business up there.

In the process of becoming a Chaos Warrior she's going to pick up her first Mutation. Rolling on the d1000 table, she gets Atrophy, which would screw her stats over badly. Her player glares at the GM a little and declares she's spenting a Fortune point to reroll, her one allowed reroll. She hits 973, and gets Wings, which is potentially way more metal/great. She rolls on the Wings table to see if they're any good and gets an 86; they're Large Wings that will let her fly freely at Mv+2 (or Mv 6, whichever is higher, but Mv+2 is better since Elfs have base Mv 5). She's got big, cool demon wings and she still knows how to use that bow; a good combination for annoying future enemies.

Now she's got a problem as she makes it through Warrior and gets her first Reward: You can't do Rewards until you pick a God, but all the Gods are kind of lame. Khorne wouldn't fit a flying archer elf because that's poncy fighting. Tzeentch is lame. No elf would do Nurgle. She settles on Slaanesh with a sigh even though everything about Slaanesh sucks. This will probably screw her over. Then she rolls Mutation for her first reward anyway, not actually getting a reward, due to rolling a 37. This at least lets her roll on the d100 Slaanesh Mutation table. But she gets a 99 and that sends her back to Big Table. She rolls 778, Soul Destruction, which would explode her soul and let a new character's soul come into her body. Having a Fortune point, she throws it on the table with a huff. She is no longer feeling this 'Chaos' thing. She goes back to the Slaanesh table and gets a 21, Crystalline Body. Her body turns into sparkling magical crystal. With wings. How appropriate for a fallen Elf. This halves her current Wounds, but gives her +3d10 Toughness. She proceeds to roll awesome on that and get +28 Toughness, permanently. Diamond hard flying sparkle elf? She's back on the Chaos Train.

On her way into Aspiring Champion, she picks up Chosen of Chaos in Knight, which gives her a free reroll on all mutations. This'll be helpful. She also gets her second Reward! A 65 gets her the Might of Chaos, and she rolls a d10 to see how many free stats she gets...and rolls a 4. She sighs and puts 2 in Toughness to top out her total Toughness bonuses to 30 and 2 in BS so she can shoot a little better. Chaos doesn't really teach you much BS, after all. She'll also pick up another mutation on her way through Knight, and for hilarity, since Knight gets a free choice of Special Weapon, she'll learn Gun. Her Chosen rolls give her a choice between Mindless (PC dead, others control them as a robit) or Metallic Skin, so why the hell not get more robit up in here? She takes Metallic Skin. So now she's got beautiful, swirling patterns of gold and steel all over her crystalline, sparkling body and shining wings of light. She gets AV2 on all locations, but I believe the maximum AV of 5 still applies here (the only exceptions to it explicitly say they're exceptions). She's like some kind of insane chaos angel robot and that's actually kinda cool.

Third reward on actually entering Champion from Aspiring, and a final Mutation: Gets a Gift of the God, rolls on the Slaanesh table, and gets a 64, Intoxicating Personality. Rolls for that and gets +10 Fel, +6 Willpower. For her last mutation, she gets Roll Twice or Midnight Skin, and she's not dumb and takes the stealth field from Midnight Skin. So overall, her mutations ended up nearly killing her character multiple times, but thanks to Fortune Points and Chosen of Chaos, she instead ended up a flying elven deathbot of beautiful alien crystal with a toggle able stealth field.

After all her advances and things, she's at:

WS 64, BS 51, S 63 (25+Very Strong), T 96 (! 30+Mutations+Might+Very Resilient), Agi 62, Int 57, WP 61, Fel 64

Wounds: 9 base+9 Champion/2 for mutation=9 Wounds

Fate: 1

Attacks: 3

Tauriel the Bright is a winged, clever elven death robot that flies about putting arrows into people or picking people off by hand with her sword, tanking through everything like some kind of Chaos T-1000 until someone gets a good Fury into her, breaks that insane damage reduction, and she shatters like glass. At the end of the day, through multiple attempts to kill her via the dice, with enough rerolls and luck she ended up with a surprisingly coherent concept and a neat schtick. Her old career will also leave her some languages and diplomatic skills, and she's probably a pretty dangerous general. Also, a perfect immortal deathbot is a cooler end point than most Slaaneshi get.

And that's why I can't quite hate the Chaos Champion rules. They have a tendency to produce good villains/bosses/enemies, they just suck for actually making and playing a PC as written, despite that being one of their intentions.

Next Time: More Items That Kill Your PCs, and then the rad Chaos Weapons and my favorite little detail in the entire book.

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Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

IF YOU SEE ME SHITTING UP A THREAD ABOUT CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED MMORPG FINAL FANTASY XIV PLEASE REMIND ME THAT I QUIT THE GAME BECAUSE IT COULD NOT HANDLE MY LOFTY CRITICISMS OF VIOLENCE IN MEDIA

AND ALSO TO SHUT THE HELL UP
And yet, something like that is vastly more alien and interesting to consider than just about any canon Chaos Lord.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
I mean it's just a beautiful, flying alien work of art that devours the light from the surrounding area in her greed to power her immense wings and show off her perfect glory to the world as she shines from above. That's hardly as fitting to a lord of perfection and excess compared to a sadomasochistic cocaine party, right?

Think I'll keep Tauriel for a future villain, myself.

E: I'm not kidding about the dice genuinely trying to kill that character like, twice. Don't do Chaos Mutations without some source of rerolls.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 14:36 on Aug 17, 2017

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

That was a pretty interesting and unexpected result to come from the tables. She's beauty, she's grace, she'll shoot you in the face and devour all light around her.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Though the big thing to remember is that for every Actually Really Cool Lord you roll you're going to end up with a lot of inside-out crazy people with crippling deformities. The Chosen Talent and having Fate Points gives you some rerolls and leeway, but it usually doesn't come out nearly so coherent, since you could see a theme building and then just randomly roll 'and then all their bones exploded.'

If I wasn't randomly rolling to demonstrate for the thread I'd have probably started fudging or putting a finger on the scale to keep towards a theme after the first few rolls started to suggest it, instead. The random element usually works best for getting a starting point/generating a concept and then you build a little by hand from there.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
In all candor, I think one of the problems with 40k games and WFRP Chaos games in PBP is that a lot of energy gets chewed up by the character creation process, leaving people feeling like they're "done" before they even start playing.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

IF YOU SEE ME SHITTING UP A THREAD ABOUT CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED MMORPG FINAL FANTASY XIV PLEASE REMIND ME THAT I QUIT THE GAME BECAUSE IT COULD NOT HANDLE MY LOFTY CRITICISMS OF VIOLENCE IN MEDIA

AND ALSO TO SHUT THE HELL UP
I intensely dislike random rolling for stats and classes and whatnot in general when making a character. I'd say for classes especially, just let people pick what they want.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
I also just don't think either Hams system works well in PBP. They're both built around the assumption that, say, in combat you're going to be trading licks over multiple rounds and with how PBP tends to be, that can be really draining.

The other problem is those longer character creation times (though WHFRP's PC creation doesn't take long, depending on what tier you start at. Especially not compared to 40k) also leads to a bunch of really detailed PCs who have very little to do with one another and are hard to keep in a cohesive group.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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To be fair, that part is solvable by going 'okay guys pick your basic careers and work out why you all are together' rather than TOTAL RANDOMNESS ALL TIMES

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009


Night10194 posted:

I mean it's just a beautiful, flying alien work of art that devours the light from the surrounding area in her greed to power her immense wings and show off her perfect glory to the world as she shines from above. That's hardly as fitting to a lord of perfection and excess compared to a sadomasochistic cocaine party, right?

"Not enough tits, don't allow it :reject:"- Games Workshop, probably.

Keeping Chaos human-centric is one of GW's weirder tunnel visions. Like, that bare-bones handwave that all elf and dwarf mutants are slain on birth and the bone-headed removal of the Chaos Dwarves are things that only make sense to them.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

IF YOU SEE ME SHITTING UP A THREAD ABOUT CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED MMORPG FINAL FANTASY XIV PLEASE REMIND ME THAT I QUIT THE GAME BECAUSE IT COULD NOT HANDLE MY LOFTY CRITICISMS OF VIOLENCE IN MEDIA

AND ALSO TO SHUT THE HELL UP

Mors Rattus posted:

To be fair, that part is solvable by going 'okay guys pick your basic careers and work out why you all are together' rather than TOTAL RANDOMNESS ALL TIMES

My usual thing as a DM is "Here is where you all start, pick classes that you can justify being in this situation at this time."

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.

Mors Rattus posted:

To be fair, that part is solvable by going 'okay guys pick your basic careers and work out why you all are together' rather than TOTAL RANDOMNESS ALL TIMES

I was more speaking to 40kRP, which I have experience trying to run PBP. The very long PC creation times for the 'higher power' games in that line really do take up a lot of energy.

It's funny, because running a Fantasy game? PC creation takes like 30 minutes, whether you pick starting careers, roll to get an idea and then pick/reroll, or even do it totally randomly. 40k? Usually takes the entire first session.

Kavak posted:

"Not enough tits, don't allow it :reject:"- Games Workshop, probably.

Keeping Chaos human-centric is one of GW's weirder tunnel visions. Like, that bare-bones handwave that all elf and dwarf mutants are slain on birth and the bone-headed removal of the Chaos Dwarves are things that only make sense to them.

The weirdest part is there's nothing that actually prevents Dwarf or Elf Chaos Champions in the rules. And dwarfs and elfs can mutate in play like anyone else. It's only halflings who are immune.

The frustrating part is the sidebars in books like Sigmar's Heirs or here that go 'Interested in Chaos Dwarfs? They'll be in way more detail in the future Dwarf book we have planned' or 'The Wood Elves of Laurelorn are neat, right? Just you wait for the Elf Handbook!' and then neither ever came out.

E: Playable Elfs and Dwarfs actually have less material, officially, than playable vampires or chaos lords. Sure, you can fill in or infer from other Hams material, and making your own classes or material isn't the nightmare it is in 40kRP, but it's a really weird gap in the game. Dwarfs have it a little better since they get a little coverage in the Empire books and Empire stuff, since they're buddies, but elfs? There's very little on being an Elf.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 15:16 on Aug 17, 2017

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Oh yeah the 40k stuff is just not good.

I think WFRP could do just fine in PBP tho. Dwarves and elves at least have pretty complete side materials if not stuff in the game itself, and dwarves have the Slayers and Runesmiths to flesh out their abilities beyond the standard human lines. We could do with some other career tracks, though.

Warrior -> Longbeard -> Ironbreaker/Hammerer -> Thane, maybe. Engineer -> Master Engineer would be a good tier 2/3. Thunderer and Irondrake should probably be in there too - that'd be the dwarf gunners and flamethrower specialists respectively.

Elves, well, there's a lot of material on Elves but it's loving awful to read because elves are the worst.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

IF YOU SEE ME SHITTING UP A THREAD ABOUT CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED MMORPG FINAL FANTASY XIV PLEASE REMIND ME THAT I QUIT THE GAME BECAUSE IT COULD NOT HANDLE MY LOFTY CRITICISMS OF VIOLENCE IN MEDIA

AND ALSO TO SHUT THE HELL UP

Mors Rattus posted:

Engineer -> Master Engineer would be a good tier 2/3.

Could easily do some kind of trap master or security specialist as a tier 1 counterpart, maybe giving them a lot of traditional thief skills to reflect that they're specialists at stopping thieves and that means learning the thieves' own tricks of the trade.

Ranger would also be a good option, maybe tier 2.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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I had figured the human Scout/Ranger stuff was still applicable there.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.

Mors Rattus posted:

I had figured the human Scout/Ranger stuff was still applicable there.

You'd just want to replace their Bow talent with 'No these guys get a gun'.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Rangers actually use crossbows rather than guns. Sneakier.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
In that case, just make Repeater Crossbows less awful since you can get Crossbow instead of Longbow in Scout.

I base my entire image of a Dwarf Ranger on Bardin Gorrekson from Vermintide because he totally ruled.

Everyone in Vermintide ruled. Vermintide is basically an action game about playing a 3rd Tier WHFRP party: Ghost Stalker Elf, Imperial Champion, Dwarf Scout To Captain, Master Battle Wizard, and Witch Hunter.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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The High Elf career trees would be weirder:

Archer/Sea Guard -> Spearman -> Swordmaster/Sea Helm -> White Lion/Prince
Archer/Sea Guard -> Spearman -> Silver Helm Knight -> Reaver Knight/Dragon Prince

Sister of Avelorn -> Handmaiden of the Everqueen and Shadow Warrior in there somewhere? Also Phoenix Guard -> Anointed of Asuryan, but like they are near unplayable. Their wizard chain probably ends in either Archmage or Loremaster but passes through Dragon Mage at some point.

Wood Elf, uh...

Gladeguard -> Eternal Guard-> Wardancer -> Gladelord
Gladeguard -> Gladerider -> Wildrider/Sister of the Thorn -> Warhawk Rider
Deepwood Scout -> Wildwood Ranger -> Waywatcher -> Waystalker

Something to do with the Shadowdancers (priest tree) and Spellweavers (mage tree)?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
I think that's another reason they didn't really do the High Elves, though: High Magic is really hard to represent in the RPG when the usual rule for everyone is 'You get one Lore' and when it's supposed to be so much more powerful than what everyone else is throwing around.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me

I like Warhammer's Ritual system, so it seems to me like you could adapt High Magic from it. Or having an elf learning High Magic repeat his Wizard track through all the lores to master each wind would be appropriate to how loving long it's supposed to take.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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The big issue is that elves don't have, like, basic-tier jobs like Charcoal Burner or poo poo. There are no elf peasants. Even dwarves have, like, miners and craftsmen and poo poo but an elf? Nah.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me

Mors Rattus posted:

The big issue is that elves don't have, like, basic-tier jobs like Charcoal Burner or poo poo. There are no elf peasants. Even dwarves have, like, miners and craftsmen and poo poo but an elf? Nah.

Is this some Galt's Gulch poo poo where they forget that someone has to pave the streets and bake the bread? Is it more that the book defaults to the assumption that any elf with business in the Empire is someone who's too important for that basic stuff, and the salt of the earth elves are all back home? Is their magic supposed to be so great that their society has progressed beyond such pettiness because they can just magic all the floor clean and all the fires lit and and and?

marshmallow creep fucked around with this message at 16:43 on Aug 17, 2017

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

marshmallow creep posted:

Is this some Galt's Gulch poo poo where they forget that someone has to pave the streets and bake the bread?

As I understand it, no. It's just that every elf is ALSO a part of the militia and has a couple centuries of training and drills making the street pavers and bread bakers better soldiers than an Empire State Trooper. So if you had "Elf Baker" as a career, they would also need to be able to grab combat stats to accurately reflect the lore

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
Gladeguard. Strong enough for a Man, pH balanced for the Firstborn of Illuvatar.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Tome of Corruption

If the user is not a follower of chaos/specific god/whatever, they get murdered

I normally go into detail on magic items. I'm not really going to bother for the Armory of the Gods. The collection of items is a long collection of 'It's real powerful but if your PCs touch it they get hosed' and I feel like that would be more usefully accompanied by 'And here's how to destroy the thing or ideas for going on quests to neutralize it' since most of these items will even gently caress over a Chaos PC. Take for instance the Great Fang, a sword made from a Dragon Ogre Shaggoth's enormous tooth. It's a magic Hand Weapon that ignores all enemy armor, which is awesome. Every single game week it checks to mutate you. Which is not, considering you have a limit on mutations before you collapse into 'dead PC'. So even if you're a Chaos Guy who is okay with getting warped to hell and back, there's a hard limit on mutation that makes that item a death sentence. Every single item is similar with a couple exceptions and I just don't really see their value in a campaign as a result.

Which gets back to one of the fundamental problems with how Chaos is done. Aside from all the save or dies (which no player has ever liked having pointed at them) there's our good old friend 'no reason to engage with it'. The smartest move when confronted with Chaos is to burn it. If you are not playing a Chaos Campaign and you *don't* do this, all that is going to happen is that your PC is going to suffer for it. This book needed more uses for dark lore and items in actually fighting against Chaos, to give you a reason why PCs who are otherwise sane and normal might poke the bear, so to speak. The setting's history is full of 'We save these books in case we dearly need to know our enemy well enough to beat him' but there's no mechanical backing to that in this book. No real ways to try to play the fractious powers of evil against one another. No weapon you could draw once at a terrible price to strike down a greater demon and save Altdorf at the risk of your soul. The kind of stuff you'd need to have in there to make PCs actually engage with Chaos. The simple fact is, all you need to know about Chaos is that against some of it you should bring a cannon. Once you've got that, you're pretty much set and that's one of the big failings it commits. There's no mystery, and if there was, trying to solve it does nothing but trigger a bunch of booby traps, by the mechanics presented herein.

Now, enough of that complaining: Let's get to the actually pretty rad part. Chaos Armor is simple but useful, though they forgot something with it. The section on Chaos Armor in the Rewards section says it does something special if you roll it again (and says to refer to this chapter to find out what), but the section on Chaos Armor here in the armory makes no mention of this. Chaos Armor is Full Plate with no drawbacks, far less weight (if you're using Encumbrance at all, which is an optional rule to begin with), no penalty on using magic, a permanent +5 Toughness, AND it instantly adapts itself to fit you no matter how you mutate. Even if you get something like stretchy arms, the armor will stretch and grow, then retract, when you use your arms that way. It's awesome. You just can't take it off. Ever. Don't ask how champions eat or anything like that. One granted Chaos Armor is no longer permitted to consider anything but war.

Chaos Weapons are lovely. You get a single special property in your weapon when you first roll it, and if you roll it again, your weapon picks up more properties. They have to be melee weapons and are usually swords, not that that matters mechanically; they're generally Great or Hand Weapons, and much more commonly Hand Weapons. You can roll for which if you want, but really I'd just give my PC whatever weapon they asked for for their rad signature melee weapon. They're magical, can be seen by Magical Sense, and can harm ethereal foes and bypass Demonic Aura. In addition, they get one property from a truly massive list, and almost all of it is positive! I'll be sharing a couple of my favorites, but the list is too big to reproduce here.

Banishment: If you're fighting a demon and wound it, it has to make a WP test or get instantly 'killed' and sent back to the Realm of Chaos. This is one of the few ways a Champion might (very big might) beat a Greater Demon. We'll get into Greater Demons later, they have their own chapter.

Deflection: You can use the sword to parry ranged attacks short of gunshots, which is inherently cool.

Hurling: You can throw the weapon and if it hits someone, it rips itself free and comes back to you, giving them a second light hit.

Magic Absorbing: You can parry spells out of the air and then reflect them back at people like the final boss in a Zelda game. Hell yeah.

Mighty Strike: Once per combat, after you hit someone and know they didn't dodge, you can declare this is your amazing deathblow and resolve it as though your Str was 100%.

Tooth of Tzeentch: Your weapon gains fixed damage and armor piercing because it's actually a wizard lightsaber. Mutates you, unfortunately, but the base idea is awesome.

And the best, the absolute best: Relic. If you get Relic, they tried to make your sword out of powdered unicorn and quench it in the tears of Shallyans. And, uh, it went horribly wrong for them. Your sword now gets a +20% to hit against other Chaos followers and creatures. Every week, you have to make a WP save or you lose a mutation or Reward of Chaos. If you lose all your Rewards and Mutations, you're freed from the Dark Gods (except for your rad holy sword) and your soul is saved and redeemed, letting you return home as a champion of light. I love this ability. Chaos having the potential to accidentally gently caress up and make a relic of purest good that slowly saves the soul of the dark champion wielding it is an absolute perfect reversal and it's great to see it happen in the other direction.

Daemon Weapons kind of suck. Yes, they give you a huge WS bonus (You get 10x the Attacks stat of the creature bound in the blade). Yes, they count as Magic and you can use the imprisoned creature's WP for saves instead of your own. They also steal Strength from the people you kill, giving you 1/3 of their Str as a temporary, stacking bonus. The problem? If your Str triples this way, you fall into a coma. So all you have to do to stop a Champion with a Daemon Sword is send enough mooks to let him reach his pre-set kill limit and then stab him on the ground. Also, if the Demon absorbs too much strength (it gets another 1/3) it shuts the sword down because it's full, making you lose all benefits. It also goes crazy and hurts you a bunch or tries to escape and kill you if you don't kill often enough to feed it, and it needs feeding more than a Vampire Thrall. It's just inconvenient and not as wild and rad as the Chaos Weapons. I'd rather have one of those.

Next Time: An actual chapter on the Gods? Why is this Chapter 15?

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.
I remember there being a community of Elves that live in the Empire. City Elves if you will.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.

MonsieurChoc posted:

I remember there being a community of Elves that live in the Empire. City Elves if you will.

There's three sorts of Imperial Elf.

One are elfs who've left their homes to live in the cities, like you say. Usually outcasts or 'oddities' who didn't fit in back home in the forest or in Ulthuan (or even Naggaroth. Nothing stopping you being a Druchii who got the hell out of murdertown to live someplace less crazy where people don't know what your accent and black hair mean). These are actually the suggested Elf PC source in Sigmar's Heirs.

One is an elf who is working for the merchant houses or embassies from Ulthuan. These elfs tend to consider themselves a little like, say, a US corporate guy who's required to be on site in a third world country by his job. They're often arrogant assholes and complain endlessly about how lovely living in the Empire is and how annoying it is to have to keep learning (and bribing) all the local politicians again since they keep dying or getting deposed in what seems a really short time for an elf. They kinda struggle to keep up with the pace in human country but don't notice it.

Finally, there's the elves who live in their not-technically independent forest kingdom in the Laurelorn up in Nordland and Hochland. These guys aren't nearly as insane as the Loren Wood Elfs, and they also know they shouldn't piss off the Imperials too much. They're descendants of old, lost elf colonies from before the elves managed to piss off the dwarfs and lose the Grudge War. They stayed behind because they're essentially elven hick survivalists/free men on the land. They generally help the Empire out when things get dicey and try not to make too much noise, and in return the Empire doesn't burn down their forest.

E: It's one of the nice things about Fantasy for the RPG as opposed to 40k: It feels like there's a lot more emphasis on playable edge cases. Like the default Elf PC being 'weirdo who actually likes humans and maybe even dwarfs and is happy to go explore their cities and learn about their countries.'

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 17:25 on Aug 17, 2017

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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(There are actually Druchii among the High Elves as well - that'd be the Shadow Warriors, who remained loyal when Naggaroth split from Ulthuan.)

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me

I suppose that means that there are high and even wood elves that decided to go to the murder-sex party Malekith and his mom put together?

I know Naggaroth does a lot of slave taking through their corsairs, but is there much about what they do with their slaves? Are they like thralls in the north, sometimes a sacrifice and sometimes a labor force, or more one than the other? Because I kind of like the idea of going to explore Naggaroth and head on south into lizard-town by way of dark elf slavers basically losing a shipment.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

IF YOU SEE ME SHITTING UP A THREAD ABOUT CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED MMORPG FINAL FANTASY XIV PLEASE REMIND ME THAT I QUIT THE GAME BECAUSE IT COULD NOT HANDLE MY LOFTY CRITICISMS OF VIOLENCE IN MEDIA

AND ALSO TO SHUT THE HELL UP

marshmallow creep posted:

I know Naggaroth does a lot of slave taking through their corsairs, but is there much about what they do with their slaves? Are they like thralls in the north, sometimes a sacrifice and sometimes a labor force, or more one than the other? Because I kind of like the idea of going to explore Naggaroth and head on south into lizard-town by way of dark elf slavers basically losing a shipment.

And sometimes they're just food. Like the beastmen and sometimes skaven, the dark elves also have really rapey undertones that GW's tried to back off from.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Tome of Corruption

Why is this chapter 15

It's sort of funny, the degree to which the book just assumes you're familiar with the basics of the Dark Four. I don't understand why you'd put the fundamental, most important characters of Chaos at the back like this; we're 80% done with the book already.

Khorne is Khorne. You know him; all he's really got is that one catch phrase, Blood For the Blood God, Skulls For The Skull Throne. What's important about the writeups in this book is that GW has always waffled on whether or not there are also positive aspects and sides to the Chaos Gods. That isn't going to be the case here. Khorne is the God of mindless, endless slaughter, who is especially pleased with you if you destroy those who were once your friends or family in order to show that you care only for the flowing of blood and the killing of others. Khorne himself is described as a massive humanoid figure, his face eternally in shadow besides his blood red eyes, lounging on his throne of skulls in a river of blood in the Realm of Chaos. He hates all the Gods, good and bad, because he hates everything. He especially hates Slaanesh, though; the idea of enjoying life is obviously weak and decadent and should be replaced by enjoying more death and destruction. All Khorne wants is to burn the world to the ground. He also despises all magic (I have no idea how his followers summon his idiot demons without it, but I guess blood rites work fine and they'll make exception for those) unless it's a sweet +1 sword that you took from some nerd wizard you murdered. Khorne places 5 strictures on his followers:

Kill more dudes. Don't stop killing.

Kill other Khornates, too. Don't stop killing.

Take trophies from your kills. Don't stop killing.

Destroy all followers of Slaanesh. Don't stop killing.

gently caress mercy. Never show mercy or spare any enemy. Don't stop killing.

Khorne is a simple God. Khorne also sucks. A lot. To actually accomplish anything larger than the 1600s equivalent of a murder spree, his followers essentially have to rules-lawyer their own idiot boss. Khornates also like to claim that defending yourself from them will still empower their God just as much, and always feel vaguely offended when someone actually fights back.

Nurgle is the God of Plague. We've gone over Nurgle a fair bit, too, but the key to Nurgle is that Nurgle sees beauty in all life and Nurgle knows Germ Theory. No-one else knows this. Nurgle genuinely thinks he loves his victims/followers, and that's a genuinely interesting dynamic. He's in what's essentially an abusive relationship with his people, forcing painful diseases on them but then coming in to comfort them and remove their pain and laugh with them so they can both think this is okay. Nurgle's followers tend to be some of the most devoted of any of the Chaos Gods; they usually actually like him. In time, they start to think that spreading these 'gifts' really IS a joy and a favor to the people they infect; they should know how wonderful it is to be in Nurgle's great and rotting family. They believe they are not destroying or killing, but improving, instructing, and enlightening. They love to come together to study and create new things, and show them to their proud God, then share them with everyone they can. They're also genuinely comfortable with what others would think would be horrifying sights and looks; Nurgle teaches his followers to find the true beauty of all things, and most are happy with what they become once they accept it. Nurgle is legitimately scary, one of the only Chaos Gods that pulls that off. He places a few strictures on his children.

Seek out and create new blessings, and always be happy to learn of new diseases and afflictions.

Show the world the bounty of Nurgle. Be generous and kind; do not hold back from spreading his love and his word to all you can.

Find the beauty in all things, and celebrate it.

When you find beauty, help it along with the blessings of Father Nurgle.

Pity the followers of Tzeentch. They don't understand. Always be patient and kind to them, and share with them the blessings they have overlooked.

I especially like Nurgle's attitude towards his traditional enemy, Tzeentch. He just wants to show the stupid bird-lovers how much happier they could be! Nurgle can be hard to use just because plague is hard for a PC party to fight, but if you want to get across creepy cults and insidious religious mania, he's got it in spades.

Oh goddamnit Slaanesh. The writeup for her here is actually a fair bit better than elsewhere. It remembers that she's also inspiration, excellence, imagination and the pursuit of perfection that can never be. She is the most popular Chaos God with the actual peoples of the Old World, because she's the only one who offers them things they think they want right from the word go. When you accept Slaanesh's inspiration, though, you destroy your own art, your own excellence, your own creation. It will never truly be yours once her hand guides your brush or your pen. And in time, you will hate it for this, hate yourself for being unable to fulfill what she's trying to show you, for how inadequate your own contributions are, and you will go mad. Of course, Slaanesh is also all about indulgence and experience in physical senses, too, but getting into cocaine sexmurder is a lot less applicable to the average RPG table than scholars, artists, warriors, and others going mad as their muse shows them visions they can never accomplish. Slaanesh accepts any who will follow her, but she is the most popular Chaos God with the ruling classes. They're used to excess and getting everything they want, and when their desires are stymied, they are so unused to rejection that they lash out and turn to madness at times. Slaanesh's actual writeup here focuses more on the perfection and insane muse aspects and I gotta say I appreciate it, even if it's at odds with the rest of the book. Slaanesh only has a few strictures.

The pursuit of experience is a good in and of itself. Do not content yourself with conventional extravagance. Do things you never imagined, whatever they are, solely to do them and to know them.

Glorify your God by encouraging these pursuits in all others. Race, creed, nothing matters: All should be equal before Slaanesh, and all should be hers.

All pleasure, no matter how small, is glorious to the God.

Slaanesh's writeup here is the best stuff on Slaanesh you're going to get in the book. I've said it over and over, but Slaanesh is very easy to do very badly, and very easy to make very uncomfortable. Be careful if you're using Slaanesh and stick to the idea of a God of Want and away from the creepy.

Tzeentch is the only god lamer than Khorne, but you know my opinion on that now. The problem with Tzeentch is very apparent in his writeup here. All the other gods have a clear 'this is what I want/do'. They have a personality, even if it's very simple. Tzeentch's own writeup only gives him one interesting hook: A persistent interest in giving mortals more power than they can handle and watching what happens as it goes out of control. He also likes wizards and birds. His writeup in-game is actually noticeably shorter than any of the others, because at heart there just isn't that much to Tzeentch beyond 'I think I'm really clever'. That's why my writeup of the writeup is so drat short. He only has a few strictures:

Change is the only constant.

Magic is the best at change, get some wizbiz.

Topple the foundations of law and order, whether good or evil, just to do so.

Reject all old ways and always embrace the new. Unless Tzeentch had orders in which case sit down and do exactly as he says like any other Chaos God.

Tzeentch is the worst.

Finally, there's a suggestion that the Gods may not even be a real thing, but rather something akin to the Winds of Magic. Manifestations of a greater cosmic force, known as the Great Beast to the madmen who posit this, that humans can only comprehend in the neat and ordered categories of the Chaos Gods. Khorne may be simply a mortal imagining, and the real force he represents may be something deeper, more primal, and more terrifying, etc. Then it ruins this by suggesting that the Everchosen are a manifestation of this cosmic force, hence their ability to unite the followers of the Gods. Any time you end a concept with "Archaon is the true cosmic truth of the universe! Kneel before him and be scared of him already damnit!" you've lost the audience.

Next Time: The palaces of the Gods.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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The funny thing about Nurgle is that Clan Pestilens, who so fervently follow Nurgle that they have literally rejected their creator-deity and all of their kind's religion to do so, are awful Nurglites. They're still Skaven, after all, and do not view the sharing of their diseases as a blessing, but as a weapon.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

IF YOU SEE ME SHITTING UP A THREAD ABOUT CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED MMORPG FINAL FANTASY XIV PLEASE REMIND ME THAT I QUIT THE GAME BECAUSE IT COULD NOT HANDLE MY LOFTY CRITICISMS OF VIOLENCE IN MEDIA

AND ALSO TO SHUT THE HELL UP
Slaanesh and Tzeentch have also long felt to me like they overlap too much. Tzeentch to me reads like he's also a god of desire, just very particular sorts like a hunger for knowledge or magical power or change, and he's even more dickish than Slaanesh.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Tome of Corruption

The Lands of the Gods

I do not think what's coming up could be of much use in most campaigns. This is a chapter on what happens when you move beyond the Wastes and into the actual Realm of Chaos. As you walk further north, the universe itself shudders and the terrible eye at the pole begins to stare into every aspect of being. Those few who have ever returned from the lands beyond that border describe it as a nightmare, running entirely on the logic of dreams without anything to wake up to. Nothing is distinct or rational any longer, and things that simply cannot exist in the physical reality of the Old World thrive and play in this hellish place.

Basically don't loving go there. Not even as a Chaos Champion. You'd better have a very, very solid reason to go where this part of the book goes.

As you get closer and closer, you begin to treat everywhere you are as a corrupted environment for purposes of mutation and madness. The land changes, and space is no longer certain. You have no way of knowing if you're only an eye's blink away from that terrible, yawning portal or if the entirety of the north pole has reset itself and your journey is longer than when it started. The only way to meaningfully travel in the Realm of Chaos is to enter it with an iron hard determination to find something. If you do, and your will is strong enough, you may shape the locales to your desire and find what you expect to find. You won't *enjoy* what you find, but you'll find it. Some example locations are listed in the book.

The Marcher Fortress is a realm of Slaanesh. A great and beautiful manor house, pulsing with power and mortared with the crushed bones of Khornates who've failed to stop the revels within. A great windmill rises above the structure, turning at all hours to grind the bone and grist of Khornate scum and make the pastes that will build more and more of the decadent manor. Those within cavort in unspeakable acts, drawn in by endless luxury and extravagance to live forever with their god in this, their twisted paradise. PCs presented with this madness need to save or they will throw themselves into 'paradise', probably forever. The adventure hook is interesting, though; it describes a strange portal directly to this mad place, hidden in a secret copse in the Athel Loren, used to lure huntsmen and elves into this nightmare and then spit them out as evangelists of Slaanesh. PCs might have to find out where the hell all these cultists are coming from and find a way to close the portal. Fair enough, that could be an interesting single horror session as you accidentally find yourself in Slaaneshi Heaven and have to escape.

The Inevitable City snares those wandering the Wastes. It sets out roads like tendrils to capture flies, waiting for someone to be tricked into its snare, to catch a glimpse of a sane and beautiful city on the horizon, and to begin to walk its road. Once you do, you will eventually find yourself in this impossible, infinite place. Cursed souls, men and demons both, wander the streets of this bleak and impossible city, endlessly promising one another a way out or trying to tell themselves they are here on purpose. Much of their wandering only leads them deeper, towards a center that doesn't exist. Demons of all the Gods dwell in this nightmare, even their powers insufficient to escape. Naturally, if your PCs end up in this dark place they'll try to escape it. Maybe they can, and maybe it's impossible. Scholars theorize this place represents the spiral of damnation that most souls that accept Chaos experience, and perhaps there is no redemption from its clutches.

The Drifting Castle sails through the Chaos Wastes as it wishes. A massive fortress-city that could hold thousands, no soldiers guard its walls, no demons walk its halls, and no soul stirs within. PCs who manage to find a way up to the flying castle will find its gates unbarred and unguarded, and all doors within are open to them. It's also full of the best loot you can imagine: Shining gold, infinite wealth, weapons of power...and none of it will survive being taken outside, turning to dust in the looter's pack as you escape. At the same time, the dust from the castle is the most sought after spell component in the world, giving +3 to any casting check when used in place of a spell's normal ingredient, with no drawback. PCs might still get rich off this place, if they don't stay forever to try to keep their gold from rotting. It also imposes a strange, lonesome fear on those who spend too long there, driving them utterly mad with its silence. At least this one has something PCs can get out of it, yes?

The Vale of Creatures is a verdant land of constantly shifting creatures, monsters, and plants. A shrine to Slaanesh and Nurgle both, life grows in great fecundity in all forms in this place, and the many forms provide the experiences Slaanesh so desires. Monsters that should not be, bound in real flesh rather than the dream-stuff of demons, wander among twisted plants and the ruins of a thousand species created and exterminated every afternoon. From time to time, holes in this great vale allow all sorts of new and terrible beasts to escape into the waking world, where they become things like the Jabberwock.

The Bastion Stair is the gateway to Khorne's throne, and a traveler who reaches this place will see no other 'real' living creatures, just a cavalcade of demonic flesh shedding fake demonic blood endless, pointless battles to celebrate their lord. Those who reach the top of this madness find themselves in great fields of endless, false battle, blood being pumped for all eternity to nourish the fields and gardens of Khorne. Apparently he actually really likes flowers, he just does all his gardening with blood. Further beyond sits the great lake and the throne of the dark idiot himself, probably with his wife by his side, as she was the only hero to ever reach the foot of his throne on this insane journey. PCs really don't have any reason to be here unless you like endless sessions of combat.

I'll give the chapter on Beyond The Wastes this: It's weird and does the whole 'horror' thing better than most of Chaos. The problem is, you know, what are players supposed to do here? Accidentally finding themselves in the Inevitable City as they get lost on the road of life's path like Dante might be fun, but you have to actively seek out places like the Marcher's Fortress and there's really nothing you can achieve at the Bastion Stair, etc.

Next Time: WIZBIZ

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Yeah, going to these places just feels like a Slayer's very final destination.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:

Mors Rattus posted:

Yeah, going to these places just feels like a Slayer's very final destination.

"So you're saying there's something there that will, for real, actually kill me?" Sounds like the last words of the newest burgeoning chaos god.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable

Kaza42 posted:

As I understand it, no. It's just that every elf is ALSO a part of the militia and has a couple centuries of training and drills making the street pavers and bread bakers better soldiers than an Empire State Trooper. So if you had "Elf Baker" as a career, they would also need to be able to grab combat stats to accurately reflect the lore

Elf Baker grants a WS bonus with baguettes.

The Lord of Hats
Aug 22, 2010

Hello, yes! Is being very good day for posting, no?
So if a Slayer killed Khorne, would they just kind of be eternally stuck with their shame, or would the other dwarves go "No, we don't care what you think, your shame is gone now, congrats"? Or would they just become the new Blood God?

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018

Dwarves don't forgive.

It's kind of a thing.

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