Wednesday, June 12, 2013

4 Missing Conditions

Warhammer 3rd puts just about everything on a card. This is mostly great, because it means less time spent looking things up in a rulebook. Condition cards, in particular, are really useful because they serve as reminders to the players about various weird effects the PCs are suffering from. Not only do you not have to look things up, but you're also less likely to forget to apply that penalty to your die rolls. It's right there! How can you forget it?

Well, that only works if they actually make a Condition card for things that logically should be a condition. Here's 4 and a half Condition cards I made for my table because I felt their absence was troubling.

Warhammer has specific rules for actions taken in darkness. Such actions get a whole bunch of black penalty dice added to them. This should totally have been put on a card in the core set, so I made one:

To the left is my first draft, which faithfully summarizes the official rules.

To the right you'll find my revised version. I swapped out two of the misfortune dice for one purple die in cases where there's literally no light. It better matches the penalty from the Blinded condition, and also provides for an increased chance of rolling Chaos Stars, which is the symbol that generates all the hilarious fall-off-the-side-of-the-location-card effects scattered throughout various Warhammer encounters.

For the record, I totally would have started the purple dice much earlier on that list if not for the existence of the Dwarven and Elven racial ability. The night vision possessed by those two character races cancels two black dice from darkness penalties, but has no impact on purple dice. If not for that, every instance of two black on that card would be replaced with a purple.


There's a few points where the rules discuss what it means to be knocked prone. Standing up from being knocked prone officially costs a manoeuvre. Elsewhere in the rules they suggest you might apply fortune or misfortune dice to rolls involving prone individuals, but leave the specifics up to the GM.

As flexible and vague as that is, is it would be rather helpful to have at least the minimum effects put on a Condition card for easy reference. So I made exactly that.

I included a specific statement that you can't change locations while prone. That seemed the most elegant way to restrict crawling, which officially has no rules. Per the books only common sense stops you from running while prone.

EDIT: As has been pointed out by comments here and at the Warhammer forums, I really should revise this to add a misfortune die to ranged attacks from long and extreme range. It only makes sense.


After much searching the books, I could only conclude that Warhammer 3rd doesn't actually have any official fire rules.  There are, however, a number of location cards for things like burning buildings, barges and cities.  Each time an adventure needed to take place inside or adjacent to a fire, they made a card to capture the feel of it. They aren't quite uniform, but they have a few commonalities. They usually slowly load you up on Fatigue points, sometimes give you minor penalties on your actions,  and if you roll Chaos Stars near a fire it may well result in actual wounds.

The upshot of this is that I could reverse-engineer some baseline effects for standing in or near a major fire. Since I have a Bright Wizard pyromancer in my gaming group, this seemed worth putting on a generic reference card.

EDIT: I neglected to mention the real point of this card. It's not really intended to be applied as a condition directly to a target. Mainly it's a cheat-sheet that summarizes the most common effects of all the various fire-related location cards. That's why instead of "Dependent Effect" it says "Likely Affects Of A Burning Environment". I don't generally let my players thumb through my binder of unused location cards during the game, but I wanted our Bright Wizard to be able to eyeball the strategic benefits of setting a building on fire.

Non-Lethal Damage

Warhammer 3rd has no official rules for pulling your punches or dealing non-lethal damage. A number of GMs have attempted to address this specifically with custom actions or house-rules that inflict fatigue points instead of wounds. This runs into problems, though, as Fatigue and Wounds are mechanically very different.  PCs are generally KO'd much faster by fatigue than wounds, and per the default rules NPCs don't take fatigue.

My version of the card is a voluntary effect. The main effect is that it cancels your critical hits on any attack that gets no Chaos Stars.

As it turns out, the normal healing rules are very generous, so once the fight is over normal wounds feel like non-lethal damage.  Critical wounds take longer to heal, and are also what determines whether or not a KO'd character actually dies.  As long as you take zero crits, you can technically survive an infinite number of normal wounds.

I kept the side-effects of the card pretty minimal, so it'd be worth using when the situation warrants. It adds a misfortune die and reduces damage by 1, just to pay lip service to the notion that you're intentionally not giving it your all.