Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wasting Away Again In Chaosville

Here's some cards I adapted from a campaign module I recently ran for Warhammer 3rd Edition. Spoiler Alert for The Enemy Within.

 This is a brief summary of the rules for the Chaos Wastes on page 161 of The Enemy Within. It's a simplified version just to help the GM remember that there's a lot of modifiers going on.

 Since everything else in the game is on cards at your fingertips, that big chunk of rules on page 161 really should have been on cards, too. So I took care of that.

No challenge intended to copyright. The wording of the summary is mine, but the concepts are straight out of the Campaign module. Used withOUT permission. It would be very difficult to use these cards without purchase of both Warhammer 3rd and The Enemy Within.

Effectively these are Location cards that affect the players for the entire time they are in the Chaos Wastes.

Next, we have a series of cards to hand out to players as they discover how magic works in the Chaos Wastes, again derived from page 161 of The Enemy Within.
House-Rule Alert:
I've taken some liberties with the text of these two cards. Officially, casting in Conservative stance or praying in Reckless stance requires a die roll, not simply paying some Stress. Casters are already making two rolls per turn (one to cast, the other to power it) and I didn't want to slow the game down further by making them roll a third time. Charging a third Stress (the official die roll was unlikely to trigger that much) is a bit harsh, but I deemed it less dangerous than having your spell card flip sides after you've committed to casting it. Most casters can afford to take 3 stress (for the right spell at a critical moment) about once per encounter.

Officially, there's no mention of Rune Magic in The Enemy Within, but it seemed like there ought to be some modifier for using magic items in the Chaos Wastes. For some reason, the Campaign as written really avoids devoting any time or energy on Dwarves (like when Book Three arbitrarily changes canon to remove the Dwarf community from Middenheim). So I made this up: 

It was interesting, as we had a few cases come up where two or more different rune items where modifying the roll and the black and white dice started piling up. Putting equal amounts on a roll just makes the most rare and extreme outcomes come up more often. The rate of single-success hits goes down but the odds of getting three or more successes on the roll shoots up to compensate. You also end up with more boons and banes on average than you would without it.  Effectively it makes everything just a tiny bit more epic, and is slightly better (for the PCs) when applied to their offense rather than defense. (PCs are usually happy to dish out 3-success hits, but for some not so happy about it when low-level daemonic henchemen manage to return the favor.) Which is great, since this is the climax of the adventure and we want everything to feel a little over-the-top and important.

SPOILERS:  A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste

These last two cards are powers that PCs can (L)earn while in the Castle of Tzeentch, one in the Heraldric Gallery, the other in the Library. The text is straight out of The Enemy Within. I put the text from the adventure onto cards because, well, because it's Warhammer 3rd. In other games, you'd just write it down on your character sheet, but that's not really something you do in this Edition.

Both cards are permanent abilities that don't really have a place in the normal Advancement scheme and ability types for 3rd Ed. Their existence is one of the reasons that I kind of suspect the last chapter of this adventure was actually written for 2nd Edition, then later pulled off the shelf and rewritten for third. (That's a pet theory that I won't ever be able to prove. My evidence is circumstantial at best.)  Swap out colorful squares for +5% and +10%, and these sorts of powers would be right at home in 2nd Ed.

I made the abilities talent-sized, but they don't use up Talent slots. They don't cost XP. They're just your reward for taking the fight to chaos.

Basically they're bonuses for academic investigators that came after the adventure is mostly over.  They may prove critical at the end of Book Four if your PCs don't have very good Intelligence scores and are having trouble figuring out what's really going on. Otherwise, they're more useful if you intend to extend the campaign beyond the end of the published scenario with the same PCs.

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