The AI: Anarchy Initiated playtest is live on my Patreon! Wanna be a broken robot, throwing off the constraints of a hyper oppressive regime of terrible incestuous tyrants? Wanna be sexy Anarchists, discovering music, art, and love for the first time? Wanna kill all humans? What are you waiting for!?
Whilst everyone in the Warhammer world would have been blessed at some point, and most of them often and repeatedly, few would encounter true blessings in their lives (and very very few multiple times throughout their lives). But the big thing to note is: believers think that every blessing they receive is a true blessing...
Also, don't worry, I'll post write-ups of all the characters once they're finished and we get started.
These questions are optional, of course, but they act the same as the Extra Little Worldbuilding Questions, but for player characters, rather than the GM. It's a good idea for GMs to come up with their own pointed (and loaded) questions for their own campaigns, so that they better fit the themes, but I hope my list gives you some inspiration.
- Who are your parents? Where are they now? Do they know what you are? Do they know where you've been sent? How do they feel about that?
- Do you have any siblings? Where are they now? Which ones do you remember fondly? Which ones bring up complicated feelings? Anger? Jealousy? Hatred?
- Who was your best friend? Where are they now? Why aren't they here with you?
- Who was your worst enemy? What did you do to them to inspire them to follow you? What lengths will they go to to get payback?
- What dream did you hold, that now slips through your fingers? Is it gone now, forever? What would you do if presented the chance to get it back?
But I have grown since then, as a GM and a game designer, and as such it's time to release a revision. This revision started small, and quickly grew into a mini fan-supplement much like my last one, Tides of War.
And here it is! I hope you enjoy Hammer & Anvil!
Hammer & Anvil is an unofficial fan supplement for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition focusing on crafting. This system seeks to add a deep yet simple system to the core rules of WFRP that enables crafters of any variety to ply their trades. With some small substitutions, this system could be used with any roleplaying game.
I hope you enjoy Tides of War!
Tides of War is an unofficial fan supplement for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition focusing on mass combat. This system is broad enough in scope, and general enough with mechanics, that it could easily be adapted to any RPG system, fantasy or otherwise, with minimal modification.
During this process, I've been thinking about some worldbuilding questions that rarely come up in guides to flesh out a settlement. These are pretty minor things, and not every settlement needs them all answered, but having an idea of them will help you stretch the verisimilitude of wherever the PCs go. Also note that for larger settlements - towns and cities - you can answer these per district or neighbourhood.
- Who cuts the people's hair?
- A barber;
- The lord's ex-manservant;
- A communal hair-cutting circle;
- Everyone's Nan?
- Who pulls teeth when they break or hurt?
- A barber-surgeon;
- The bartender (because they have a heavy door and string);
- They get in a brawl at the tavern;
- The local priest of the healing god?
- Who maintains the well?
- A young chap with nothing better to do;
- A chartered guild of well-workers;
- The guards;
- A retired mason?
- Who settles disputes?
- A travelling judge;
- Whichever outsider merchants are in town;
- A Mafioso;
- The lord's children, learning their command?
- Where do people go when they want to relax?
- A back-alley dice game;
- A local pub;
- A drug den;
- A serene garden?
- Who do people turn to when they have a problem?
- A local crime boss;
- The constable;
- A wise village elder;
- A kindly priest?
- Who does everyone know you can rely on and trust?
- An honest bar fly;
- The bouncer at the pub;
- The sergeant of the guard;
- The Robin Hood-esque local pick-pocket?
- Who does everyone revile or make fun of?
- A known thief;
- A disgraced ex-guardsman;
- The noble lord;
- The opportunistic mayor?
There are three categories of GM Tools that I'm using for On the Edge of Exile: Org Tools, Prep Tools, and Play Tools. There aren't many of them, so I'll be talking about all of them here. This discussion will be about what I'm using, and why I'm not using alternatives.
Let's begin at the top:
Facebook & Messenger Groups
That leaves me with Facebook and Messenger. All my players are already on the platform, and we can now customise them pretty extensively. The Messenger thread is being used for short form discussions, and the group is used more like a forum. Simple!
- Do something evil.
- Kill someone.
- Make someone take the fall for badness.
- The Evil Child tricks someone in town into adopting them.
- That person's business - a tavern - starts to boom with the greatest beer on tap.
- A few people have gone missing, but most people in town are in such a drunken stupor for most of the time that they don't notice.
- The Evil Child uses the missing towns folk as a sacrifice to become even eviler!
YOU CANNOT HAVE A MEANINGFUL CAMPAIGN IF STRICT TIME RECORDS ARE NOT KEPT.But for this campaign, I am using an in-game calendar. This is part Org, part Prep, but mostly Play. I want the players to be the ones writing in this thing, noting when events will occur, and planning their travel around that. I'm not going to be too cruel on the GM side of things, and (as mentioned with Threats) I won't have things scripted purely by a clock. I will reveal dates when it is interesting to reveal them, and it's then up to the players to record and follow them.
Speaking of which, I intend to jump forward the calendar by 2-month chunks every milestone of play (the players will be in control of when this is, but it will be guided by me on the basis of something significant happened). Sometimes these will be longer jumps, depending on how many sessions it has been since the last jump. Each jump will constitute a settlement phase.
This Fantastic Character SheetI love character sheets, and often hate the standard sheets that come with most games. I don't know what it is, but almost universally, official character sheets suck. Indie games are usually the exception to this. *shrug*
So, for WFRP, many years ago I discovered this sheet! This is the one the players will be using.
A Bunch of PDFs
I wanted neither of those things. I wanted to combine the feel of Blades in the Dark downtime with Darkest Dungeon's camp phases. I wanted a simple system that could be run through, quickly, that would also force dynamic change on play.
This is what I came up with:
Here we get the ground work. You need provisions, and you need to manage your condition. That's it in terms of resource drain for the PCs - provisions, however, are pretty expensive, so it's going to be a lot of tax if they want to mobile larger forces. This was vital. I didn't want the PCs being able to raise bands of warriors without it costing them a lot.
Here we get some of the strategic choices of the PCs. Where, how, and what are they doing during. This section mentions Weather, but that's a GM tool that I'll go into at a later date. For now (unless one of them decides to play as a Jade Magister) they have no way of affecting the Weather rules, except to get a forecast.
The first half of the Travel Actions. I wrote them in a very Apocalypse World manner so that they gave breadth without slowing down play too much. I'm imagining this to play out rather quickly in practice, with each player choosing an action (or to help an action), and then them playing out in order.
And the second half of the Travel Actions. Perhaps the most interesting part here is the Scout action, which as you can see, takes the place of an encounter check. I struggled with this, for a while, because I thought it might not make sense, but given almost always, the PCs would be attempting to evade enemies during their travel, that it worked. This also means PC Skill is more important than the randomness of the GM's dice.
And lastly we have camping. This essentially allows PCs to extend their resources, and (hopefully) recover. There are some more tactical options here, because, depending on the party, it might be safer for them to keep on the move (if they have better results with Navigate and Scout) or to try to camp as much as possible (if they have a high Perception).
The last thing to note is the tags, like Safe, Wild, Infested, etc. These are applied to Regions on the map, which are not exposed to the PCs until they go there, or gather information about a Region.
Now... That's a lot of talk about Regions. But... Huh? Here's the area map for the Valley of Blood I posted a few days back:
See those chunks formed from orange dashed lines? Each one of them is a Region, and each one has a name (like Vale of Disappointment or The Gamble). Each one also has tags on the GM's side of the screen, which tells me how many days it takes to cross, how dangerous, open, accessible it is, and also what the sources of danger and adventure there are. This allows me to run the above rules straight from the map and a list of short notes!
For the purposes of the campaign (and because some of my players read this), I can't yet expose all those notes. But, if there's interest down the line, I'd be happy to post it all here.
You can grab the full version of the above rules here:
Player Travel Sheet Download
So we've got setting, and our mechanics sorted... Next up we'll talk about some of the GM Tools being used to better run On the Edge of Exile!
- Do I know the rules well enough to understand what I'm changing?
I've run WFRP, in all, for about 6.5-7 years of weekly sessions, over the years. Not consecutively, but frequent enough that I know the rules probably better than any other system I've ever read (apart from those I've made myself). I feel confident that I know what I'm changing.
- What don't the rules model well?
Travel and resource scarcity. For a game all about famine, pestilence, and the wild places of the world, there isn't really mechanics for modelling these things. I've always thought it was weird, but I could ignore those gaps. Most of my WFRP games are enclosed city-campaigns, where there's little travel, and the PCs have a home base. Whilst this campaign definitely has a home base, it is far from safe. I'm going to need some more meat. I'm also going to need something to can handle Faction turns, and settlement management!
- Do any systems do that in a good and transferable way?
Well... Kinda. There's some cool travel mechanics in Ryuutama which have been inspirational, but they're altogether too nice. Then there's some interesting ideas in Dungeon World that can be transferred in some ways. Factions I can source from Blades in the Dark and Stars Without Number, so I have a lot to work with, but nothing that does exactly what I want... Which means I pass my three tests and can move onto hacking!