The rules summary should cover the core mechanic and any frequently used rules from the system you are using. this is both to familiarize yourself, as the gamemaster, and to help players get up to speed.
The following was addapted from the dark Hearsy quick start rule document.
The Warhammer world is a dangerous place. It is a land of madness and superstition, where dark sorcerous forces claw at the very fabric of reality.
The civilized nations cluster together, forever struggling to bring reason and order to the world and hold back the lapping tide of Chaos.
To play Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is to step into this land of peril and intrigue.
Quick Start Rules
The Dice and Making Tests
Like most other roleplaying games, Warhammer Fantasy uses dice to determine chance of your character succeeding at an action and to determine lots of other viable events and outcomes.
This game uses ten sided dice (d10) and it is recommended that each player have at least two ten sided dice of different colours to play. Most times when you roll dice in the game you will be making a Test, in order to do this you roll two dice to generate a number between 01 and 00 (100), reading the results of one of the dice as “tens” and the other as “units” (which is why its handy if you can tell the dice apart!) with the aim of rolling equal to or under a Characteristic score, usually with a modifier to that score (up to plus or minus 30%, depending on the Ease or Difficulty of what you are trying to accomplish.
Example: When making a Test you might roll a red dice and a white dice, you say first that the red one will be “tens” and roll a 5 on the red dice and a 3 on the white dice, so the score you have rolled is 53.
The game also uses dice for other variables such as weapon Damage, in this case you simply roll the number of dice indicated add the totals and that’s your result.
Example: A Bow might inflict 1d10+2 Damage, so when shooting something you would roll one die and add +2 to the number you rolled for the total damage caused.
Sometimes you will be asked to roll a d5, if you don’t have one handy (yes such things do exist!) roll a d10 instead and half the result (rounding up).
In Warhammer Fantasy you take on the roll of an Adventurer. This is the catch all title for the many different peoples who are called to raise up beyond the dull drudgery of a simple life and seek their own path in the world.
Your character is defined and described in a number of ways, including Characteristics which provide a rough measure of their mental and physical abilities and are expressed as a numbered score (the higher the better!) and their Skills and Talents which define their various special areas of expertise, training and gifts.
Each Adventurer (not to mention all the game’s opponents and supporting cast of characters controlled by the GM) has the same set of comparable characteristics, these are:
- Weapon Skill (WS): A measure of skill at hand-to-hand fighting.
- Ballistic Skill (BS): A measure of skill with ranged weaponry (guns etc.)
- Strength (S): A measure of how physically powerful a character is.
- Toughness (T): A measure of stamina and resistance to injury.
- Agility (Ag): A measure of physical speed and co-ordination.
- Intelligence (Int): A measure of general intelligence, reasoning and erudition.
- Willpower(WP): A measure of mental and spiritual fortitude.
- Fellowship (Fel): A measure of social ability.
- Attacks (A): The maximum number of attacks you can make in 10 seconds.
- Wounds (W): The maximum amount of Damage that your Character can take before being critically injured.
- Strength Bonus (SB): Derived from strength and is used when inflicting damage in melee combat.
- Toughness Bonus (TB): Derived from toughness and is used to resist damage.
- Movement (M): A measure of your characters land based walking speed.
- Magic (Mag): A measure of your characters magical power.
- Insanity Points (IP): A measure of your characters sanity.
- Fate Points (FP): A measure of your characters luck and to a certain point, their destiny. A Fate Point can be used to avoid certain death. The FP score also indicated the number of Fortune points you may spend per day.
Fortune points can be used in one of four ways. * Re roll one failed Characteristic or skill check. * Gain an extra perry or dodge in a round. * Gain an extra 1D10 on an Initiative roll. * Gain 1 extra 1/2 action in combat.
Your Character has a set of Skills, each representing a particular field of training, education or expertise. Each Skill operates off a particular Characteristic which is noted next to it (for example, Dodge is an Agility based Skill). In order to Test the Skill your Character is trained in you simply Test the Characteristic associated with that Skill.
Example: Jarres wants to swim across the canal. The Swim skill is based upon the Strength Characteristic, Jarres has 32 Strength, so he must roll equal to or less than 32 to pass the Test.
Some Skills everybody can do (or greater or lesser degrees), even if they aren’t trained in them. These are called Basic Skills and have the word “Basic” written next to them. When testing a Basic Skill, you simply halve the Characteristic score you are Testing.
Talents are special areas of expertise or innate ability, this wide catagory catagory compliments skills and further defines what your character can do.
Quick Rules for Combat
Warhammer Fantasy offers detailed and fast-paced rules for savage combat, including a great many options covering different types of damage, parrying, critical effects, body loca- tions and lots of weapon types, as well as, numerous manoeuvres and actions. The rules presented here are a simplified version to those found in the rulebook.
The Combat Turn
At the beginning of a combat, all participants roll 1d10 and add their Agility (Ag) to the result; this is there Initiative score for that combat.
Combat then occurs in the order of Initiative, the character with the highest score goes first, then the next highest score and so on. Each takes it in turns to act (see Actions) until all those involved have done so; this completes a combat turn. The combat continues turn after turn (using the same Initiative order) until one side is victorious or the fight otherwise ends.
Making An Attack
When you make an attack, you must pass a Weapon Skill (WS) or Ballistic Skill (BS) Test (depending on the type of weapon that you’re using) in order to hit your target.
The combat rules assume that your enemy in any given fight is aware of what’s going on and is attempting to not get shot/hit etc. If you catch a target completely unawares or by surprise, you gain a full round of combat before they can act. (your surprised opponent can do nothing during this first round).
When you successfully hit your target, roll the weapon’s Damage. Reduce this Damage by your target’s Toughness Bonus (TB) and any Armour Points (AP) they might have, the result is how many points of Damage you have caused them (they remove this number from their total Wounds).
If you are using a close combat weapon you may add the value of your Strength Bonus (SB) to the amount of damage you inflict.
If you roll a “o” (a “10” in other words) on your Damage dice, you may have inflicted Ulric’s Fury! Immediately roll another attack Test, if this is also a success, you inflict and additional 1d10 damage. Damage points scored against a character are cumulative.
Getting Hurt (and Killed)
There are 3 tiers of wounded, Lightly, Heavy, and Critical.
Lightly wounded characters are battered, bruised, sprained, and or are not bleeding very much. They will naturally heal back to full health in fairly quickly. A matter of days at most.
Heavy wounds like large flesh wounds, bone deep bruises, minor fractures, and major burns are more serious. Risk of infection is high if medical attention is not found. These types of injuries usually take weeks to heal from.
Critical wounds are potentially very, very deadly. Healing usually does not happen once dead.
Note that Non Player Characters (NPCs) and antagonists reduced to 0 wounds are assumed to be killed or otherwise out of action.
In addition to their action in a given turn, a character can react once per turn to a successful attack made on them by attempting a Dodge Skill Test (if trained)to get out of the way, or Parrying the attack (if equipped with a perry weapon or shield) negating the hit so that no damage is rolled. You cannot dodge or perry a missile attack or an attack if you were completely unaware of the danger.
Actions in combat take time. The basic unit of time in combat is called a combat round. Most actions take either one half of or a full round to complete. A few actions make span several rounds.
The following are all Basic Actions you can take in combat turn:
- Aim (Half): By spending an Action aiming a gun, or sizing up your opponent in fight, you gain a +10 bonus on your next attack Action against them.
- Cast (Varies): Cast a spell.
- Charge Attack (Full): You can run directly at an opponent moving at your charge move rate and attack them in close combat, gaining a +10 bonus as long as you have moved at least 4 yards to do so.
- Disengage (Full): Break off from melee combat and move away from your attacker without provoking a free attack against you.
- Move (Half): You can walk or run a short distance.
- Ready (Half): Unsheathe or put away a weapon or other object from a sheath or pouch.
- Reload (Varies): You can reload a weapon (some weapons are cumbersome and you might take several rounds to reload them—this is noted in their description).
- Stand/Mount (Half): You can stand up if on the ground or mount a riding animal.
- Standard Attack (Half): You can make a single attack with a weapon
- Swift Attack (Full): you can make a number of attacks equal to your attack score.
- Other Actions (Varies): You may attempt to make any other Actions your GM allows you in a combat turn, bearing in mind this represents only a few seconds of “real” time, complex actions may take several turns to perform.
There are other more advance combat actions as well.
You can usually do 2 half actions or one full action. There are some exceptions to this rule however. You may not do 2 Standard Attack half actions to gain a second attack. You also may not cast a spell and attack in the same round.