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 Hollow Elves - Undead Elven Warband (Athel Loren)

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PostSubject: Hollow Elves - Undead Elven Warband (Athel Loren)   Mon 30 Mar 2009 - 14:59

As per Master's request: here's a warband we were working on for the Athel Loren campaign. I'd written this one evening and there had been some discussion on it. To be honest, I don't know what changes came of it, and if they were even incorporated into this file (so it may be a bit out of date).

Have a gander:


Hollow Elves Warband
By Daniel Logee

The woods of Athel Loren are dark and mysterious, dangerous and foreboding. Here live the Wood Elves of the Olde Worlde, a noble race and hunters and of spellweavers. Yet, such is the depth of Athel’s darkness, that even they have cause to fear their homeland.

Within the dark reaches of the Athel Loren, the dead stir. Chaos infuses long-dead elves, drags their bodies from the deep packed earth and reanimates them. Small hosts of these skeletal beings wander the woods, bringing naught but death and despair to others. Hollow elves, are what the Wood Elves call them, for indeed there is nothing inside these shattered corpses.

Starting Funds: 500gc
Maximum Warband Size: 20

Starting Experience
Elven Lich 20xp
Death Guard 12xp
Rotting Elves 0xp
Henchmen 0xp

Skill Table
Elven Lich – Combat, Shooting, Academic, Strength, Speed
Death Guard – Combat, Strength
Rotting Elves – Combat, Shooting

Equipment List

Hero Hand-to-Hand
Dagger, Mace, Hammer, Axe, Sword, Double-handed Weapon, Spear, Halberd
Hero Missile
Bow, Long Bow, Elf Bow
Hero Armour
Light, Heavy, Shield, Helmet

Henchman Hand-to-Hand
Dagger, Mace, hammer, Axe, Sword, Spear, Halberd
Henchman Missile
Short Bow, Bow
Henchman Armour
Light, Shield, Helmet


HEROES
1 Elven Lich
100gc to hire

Devoured by the inky black tendrils of chaos, these one honourable spellweavers are now a corrupt and ruined version of their former selves. Where once they were tall and mighty, they are now crocked and depraved. Filled with undeath, they wander the woods of Athel Loren, bringing despair and torture to all those that still draw breath.

M5, WS3, BS3, S4, T4, W2, I6, A1, Ld9

Weapons and Armour: May choose from the Hero Equipment List

Special Rules: Leader, Cause Fear, Wizard, Immune to Psychology, Immune to Poison, No Pain

May choose from the Necromancy Spell list. Replace the word Zombie with Skeleton.


0-3 Death Guard
45gc to hire

The bodyguards of an Elven Lich, these fiends are created through the use of terrible dark sorcery and the long-dead bodies of elves. Like their master, these beings are born of hatred and despair, filled with loathing for all life.

M5, WS4, BS3, S3, T4, W1, I5, A1, Ld8

Weapons and Armour: May choose from the Hero Equipment List

Special Rules: Cause Fear, Immune to Psychology, Immune to Poison, No Pain, Dark Magic

Dark Magic: To create a Death Guard takes an immense amount of dark magic. As such, these powerful creatures have a special 5+ save against magic spells. This save is never modified by the strength of the spell.


0 – 2 Rotting Elves
40gc to hire

The magic of Athel Loren and the taint of Chaos can do strange and frightening things to the corpses of the wood elves. Not quite zombies, though far from any semblance of the living, these rotting, disfigured corpses wander the woods, feasting on the living. Ever craving the blood of elves, they are quick to join with a Lich, for the potential for slaughter and feasting is great.

M5, WS4, BS3, S3, T3, W1, I5, A1, Ld8

Weapons and Armour: May choose from the Hero Equipment List

Special Rules: Cloud of Flies, Stream of Corruption, Immune to Poison, Immune to Psychology, Cause Fear


HENCHMEN

Skeletons
15gc to hire

By bending his will to the dark magics coursing through the Athel Loren, an Elven Lich can raise the very dead – hosts of long-forgotten warriors, now stripped of their flesh, drained of their memories, yet ever-ready for battle.

M4, WS2, BS2, S3, T3, W1, I1, A1, Ld10

Weapons and Armour: May choose from the Henchmen Equipment List

Special Rules: Cause Fear, Immune to Psychology, Immune to Poison, No Pain, Unliving


0 – 3 Dire Wolves
50gc to hire

Even the very beasts of the woods are not safe from the corrupting touch of chaos. So it is for the Dire Wolves, once proud and powerful wolves, now reduced to savage, scavenging beasts that crave only flesh.

M9, WS3, BS0, S4, T3, W1, I2, A1, Ld4

Weapons and Armour: None

Special Rules: Charge, May not Run, Cause Fear, Immune to Psychology, Immune to Poison, Unliving, No Pain


0 – 1 Banshee
70gc to hire

As fine and beautiful are the maiden’s of Athel Loren, even they are not safe from the taint of chaos. When the black touch of chaos wraps itself around the corpse of a lovely princess, she is twisted and re-animated, turned into a horrid thing filled with the screams of the dead. Thankfully, these wretched women are quite rare.

M5, WS3, BS3, S3, T3, W2, I3, A1, Ld7

Weapons and Armour: None

Special Rules: Cause Fear, Immune to Psychology, Immune to Poison, No Pain, Spectral, Scream, Claws of the Grave

Spectral: A Banshee is an incorporeal creature. As such, she does not suffer from difficult terrain, may climb at her full speed, always passes jump tests, never suffers from falling damage, can never wear/use any kind of weapons, armour, or equipment. Furthermore, a Banshee has a special 5+ armour save that can worsened only by the Strength of a magic spell, a magical weapon, or another incorporeal creature.

Scream: A Banshee can, during the shooting phase, let loose a terrible scream. Use the breath weapon template (from Warhammer). Any warrior completely covered by this template suffers a single S3 damage. Any warrior partially touching the template will, on a 4+, suffer a single S2 damage. The damage of these attacks cannot be modified in any way. This ability affects all warriors within the template (allies, even unliving) as the force of the scream can harm as much as the sound itself.

Claws of the Grave: A Banshee’s nails rake through the very soul of those it strikes. As such, a Banshee counts as being armed for all purposes when in Close Combat.

If a Banshee ever gains TLGT, it may choose from the Academic and Speed skills.
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PostSubject: Re: Hollow Elves - Undead Elven Warband (Athel Loren)   Mon 30 Mar 2009 - 15:08

Oh now I remember, with the new corrupt dryads, should we try to combine these two bands?

I think this band is a little over the top, as the rotting elves have both cloud of flies and stream of corruption, they are quite powerful.

Advancing skeletons might not be all that realistic, but it kindda fits the band.

The issue is, should we combine the bands?
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PostSubject: Re: Hollow Elves - Undead Elven Warband (Athel Loren)   Mon 30 Mar 2009 - 15:17

Either way. No need to bog the campaign down with too many warbands. At the same time, if the idea fits why not keep it in?

Let's see how people react to them.

If enough people heckle the thread - shut her down and pretend we never mentioned them! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Hollow Elves - Undead Elven Warband (Athel Loren)   Mon 30 Mar 2009 - 16:44

It really depends if you want to stick to the warhammer fluff or make your own. I can't say I've ever read anything to suggest such a group's existence in the warhammer universe. If all the other warbands in this setting are sticking to fluff, I don't see why this one should be created. However, if you want to take liberties with several of the multiple warbands, then go ahead with this one.

As mentioned in the other thread, there are currently a good amount of undead warbands. This one does not strike me as novel enough to make an entirely new list. If you are making a new undead warband, I'd make it different. Ideally, make the core henchman something different from the same statline zombies and skeletons of the other bands. Also, using the necromancy spell list on an elvish liche seems like a waste. As it is currently written, this band seems to me like the rulebook undead warband with a few heroes switched around. To be valid in my eyes, at the very least the should have a dark magic forest feeling to it.

Also, 6 starting heroes and a max warband size of 20 both seem unnecessary to me.


Edit: I realize I offered a lot of criticism without offering much in the way of suggestions, which I try not to do if I can help it. So some quick suggestions to make the warband "feel" better (at least to me):
Why not "elf" skeletons? Give them M5 (still can't run) and no movement penalty for forests?
As master suggested, perhaps these skeletons earn xp and advance
Add some special skill options for the hero elves
Give the elf liche its own spell list. Something like a cross between taal and necromancy

Just noticed that death guards and rotting elves (starting xp0?) are ridiculously good deals for their costs.
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PostSubject: Re: Hollow Elves - Undead Elven Warband (Athel Loren)   Mon 30 Mar 2009 - 18:56

Thanks for all the comments, Identity!

Like I said, I don't know what other changes may have been made to this warband way back, but in its shape it is quite rough. Are they unique and a must have? Definately not. I forget, but I think we were simply discussing an Undead warband for the Athel Loren campaign and I was thinking elfish.

6 Heroes is definately too much, and bare minimum they need to lose a Death Guard. As for starting xp, the Death Guard actually have 12xp, perhaps you were looking at the line for henchmen.

I really like your M5 no running rule and feel that it would suit the warband (save for perhaps the wolves and banshee of course). Death Guard, Rotting Elves, and Skeletons - slow and withered, too slow to run but still lithe enough in death as they were in life. And as for Liches: Liches don't run - they strut!

Along these lines of starting heroes, perhaps I'm mistaken, or it was from an even earlier version, but wasn't there a rule where the warband creator chose whether their liche raised Death Guards or Rotting Elves? Maybe I'm wrong... I also thought we later made the Banshee a hero too and dropped one of the others to henchmen. Oh, so much was lost...

Perhaps the fix could be as simple as leaving the Death Guard 0-3, dropping the Rotting Elves to Henchmen and removing the Skeletons altogether. Drop max to 12 or 15.

Looking over it now, I know we changed the way a Banshee screams, making it more like a Blunderbuss, so perhaps I'll fix that too.

As for a unique spell list for the Liche, I think that's an awesome idea. But, as far as magic goes, I haven't the foggiest clue how to make a proper list so I'll leave that to someone who wants to tackle that. I'm not a big fan of magic at all (hench why I usually cheap out and give warbands existing spell lists).

Anyway - take what you want from it, there are plenty of warbands to choose from so unless this is going to just wow people right off that bat, it might be easier to drop them and concentrate on those warbands that are viable and need the help.

Now, it's 7:00pm my time. Kids need to be put to bed and then I must soar the skies of Azeroth!

Goodnight friends.

Daniel
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PostSubject: Re: Hollow Elves - Undead Elven Warband (Athel Loren)   Mon 30 Mar 2009 - 20:14

Hmm. We did mention the idea of having a Rotting Elf or a Death Guard warband. If we wanted to, we could try to merge that with the Dryads and a have THREE warband types... Skeletons, Zombies, or Dryads/Beastmen.

If I were to make three types, the difference would be the Elite Unit choice:
Skeletons: Ghost Elves or Banshees
Zombies: Dire Wolves
Dryads: Dead Wood-Dryads.

Maybe also change out the solo unit too:
Skeletons: Banshee
Zombies: Grave-soil elemental/Construct
Dryads: Treekin

As for the heroes, you'd have a single stat line for the Champions, and different abilities based on the type:
Skeletons: No pain, can't march, dark magic
Zombies: no pain, can't march, cloud of flies
Dryads: Dryad max stats, CAN march, move through wooded terrain

Either way, for the list as you have it, you have no current models that gain exp except the one Banshee... not good in the long run. By the way, I learned from testing the Ghost Pirate Warband that an Ethereal save of 4+ is not too broken. Yay!

Another idea: let the rotting elves start with cloud of flies, and learn Stream as a skill.
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PostSubject: Re: Hollow Elves - Undead Elven Warband (Athel Loren)   Tue 31 Mar 2009 - 7:16

I like your idea Styro, but this way, we will solve every warband with the mercenary approach, both bretonnians, elves and these undead would have different approaches.

However, I do like the ideas for special abilities for the champions, and the different henchmen approach.
The dryad would be the better choice however.

I think we could easily justify the warband always being led by a branchwraith.

This way we could have the following set-up:

1 Wicked Branchwraith - Pretty good stats and a spell caster to boot!
0-2 Champions - Their abilities depend on their type:
ghosts: ethereal, can march, dark magic.
zombies: no pain, can't march, cloud of flies. - needs one more ability to be balanced.
dryads: dryad max stats, can march, move through wooded terrain
0-2 Elven cultists - They agree that only the elves, the trees and the dead should be allowed to walk Athel Loren.

---
Cannon fodder:
Well we should stick with the same type of cannon fodder, either evil spites or skeletons, I don't care which as I'd like both.

Elites:
0-3 Dead-wood Dryads - stats to match a flaggelant, but cost the same too.
or
0-5 Dire Wolves - like the existing dire wolves.
or
0-4 Lost Kindred - The hollow elves, they have no soul, so they feel no pain, but they are just as fast and intelligent as the other elves. They are fragile too though, I'd give them the following stats: M5 WS4 BS4 S3 T3 W1 I5 A1 LD9. They would be like 40-45 gold and have access to bows, they would be pretty good elite immune to psychology no pain henchmen, but they wouldn't be over the top at that cost.

Big creature:
Reanimated tree kin
or
Banshee

To me, both the zombies and the dryads could use a re-animated tree as their big creature, leaving only the soulless to have another type, the banshee.

Also we changed the banshees howl to be 8 by 1".
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PostSubject: Re: Hollow Elves - Undead Elven Warband (Athel Loren)   Tue 31 Mar 2009 - 11:16

Cannon-fodder: I'm biased, of course, but I like the 'Creepers' idea... zombies and skeletons being operated like marionettes by enchanted vines.

We still need one set of 'experience' gaining henchmen. Should we just go with some form of elf? ungors? half-dead?

Choosing heroes: very nice. If we wanted to, we could do a variation on the 'honor' system, and let them choose to be Ghost, Skeleton, Zombie, or Deadwood.
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PostSubject: Re: Hollow Elves - Undead Elven Warband (Athel Loren)   Fri 3 Apr 2009 - 9:47

I thought that the Dark wood dryads and the lost kindred could get experience.

The cannon fodder could too perhaps?
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