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 William Schäkestange: Old DP, New Scenario

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StyrofoamKing
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PostSubject: William Schäkestange: Old DP, New Scenario   Mon 28 Sep 2009 - 21:13

Some of your have already seen this DP (William Schakestange, the Master Bard). However, I have a new scenario based on him, and I'd love to get some feedback. (To make things easier, I reposted him.)

~~~~

WILLIAM SCHÄKESTANGE, master bard

Imperial Year 2304

For the past two week's, Gunther's job had been a simple one, albeit a bit mindless. By the decree of Magnus the Pious, every record of Mordheim was to be erased. The senior members of the Altdorf library set about abridging the treasured grimores, carefully rewriting and transplanting pages seemlessly. They even wrote on aged paper, to aid in the counterfeit. Gunther, as a 'junior' employee of the library, had sorted through boxes and boxes of loose scrolls and uncategorized manuscripts, piling into one of two piles: 'Safe' and 'Burn.'

Easy, that was, until he stumbled upon a thick, faded book, written in a childishly bad hand. Upon opening to a random page, his eyes were greeted with the fragment, 'exxeunt, purssued bye a bear.' Gunther was seconds away from tossing it into the 'burn' pile, when the cover came away in his fingers. The volume tumbled to the floor, title page facing up.

"The Tragical and Heroical Warriors of Mordheim, by William Schäkestange."

By the time the other library employees had blown out their candles and left for the night, Gunther had spent hours pouring through the withered pages, and he was only a fraction into it. This was no amateur writer, no hack with a quill. William Schäkestange had written some of the greatest plays the Empire had ever known. He was renowned during his own lifetime, and 300 years later, he was a legend throughout the Old World. His sonnets and plays were translated into Bretonnian, Tilean, even Dwarf. His sonnets Acting Troupes frequently journeyed into Norse… they even occasionally came back alive.!

And yet, of all his acclaimed works, “The Warriors of Mordheim” was a mystery to Gunther. None of the bard’s other works touched the magnitude of this tattered book. Even William's longest cycle, the Ottilia plays, were only five plays long... there were enough pages of script in this book to write ten.

Not that all of it was script... it skipped at random intervals from script to poetry to prose and back. Some were even interviews! Firsthand accounts of the lifestyles and deaths of Mordheim's greatest warriors. Daring rescues, battles with monstrous creatures, impossible escapes. A day in the life of a hearty veteran and his drinking contests. The last words of boy, who died with his grandfather’s sword clasped in his palm. The incredible detail was too great to fake or forge. While at University, Gunther had been told that William's fate was unknown... set off for a play festival in Ostermark, and never returned. The popular theory was that Beastmen had ambushed him on the road. But Gunther read and reread the introduction, feeling a lump in his throat.

"With the comett's fall, man has laps’d into shadowes and devilry. Plannes in Ostermark are faded, for my path now leads to the curs’d gates. Were I a greate and worthy man, I’d be as valourous as the men and ladies whose exploites follow, striving to mayke this falllen city prosper. My dooty, it seems, is to beare witness within these untutoured lines, least these mightie heroes be forgottten or silenced."

Gunther picked up the book, being careful to grab any loose pages as they slid out. Before him loomed the 'safe' and 'burn' piles. On the far wall, his shadow wavered and danced in the candle’s flicker. The book was far too specific to alter or twist around by senior members. So what choice did Gunther have, but to obey his Emperor, the holiest man alive, savior of the Empire?

Gunther closed the door behind him as he left, and wrapped his cloak about him to ward off the rain.

William Schäkestange's lost work was not in the 'safe' pile. On the desk, the candle still smoking, sat a thick volume, entitled 'Farmer Urchin's Moot Cooking," it's cover ripped clean off. "The Tragical and Heroical Warriors of Mordheim," meanwhile, was wedged tightly onto a musty shelf in the basement, it's pages hastily glued to a new binding.

Gunther did not make a choice. He would let history decide. That, or a homesick Halfling.


~~~

Inside and outside of Mordheim, William’s fame as a bard is well known. Having lost his horse shortly upon his arrival to the shadowy city, William replaced his mount with the next cheapest beast of burden: actors. Traveling far on his pantomime horse, William seeks out the underdogs, the dark horses, and further discouraged men of virtue. To him, they are fodder for his greatest play yet, a constant web of excitement and woe. The relationship is not completely one-sided, though, as William is a stirring ally.

Unlike other bards, William does not sing, but his recitations and speeches can turn spines from jelly to steel. And he can do more than support morale. Despite his flowery words and graying temples, the writer is a surprisingly spry fighter. He can duck and weave as fast as any Skaven, and his rapier has seen more than staged fights. But his best asset to any warband is his Pages of Couragio, a tally of daring acts and good luck. Warriors have turned from kittens to lion in hopes of making William’s famous account.

Hire Fee: 70 gold crowns to hire; +30 gold crowns upkeep cost.
May be Hired: Any Mercenaries, Sisters of Sigmar and Witch Hunters may hire William.
Rating: William increases a warband’s rating by +60 points. You may also field him with his Pantomime Horse for an extra +6 rating. (There is no additional gold cost.)

M WS BS S T W I A Ld
William 4 5 3 4 3 2 5 2 8
Pant. Hrse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5
Weapons/Armor: Rapier, dagger and light armor. He also carries a Lucky Charm and a Rabbit’s Foot (superstitious actors…)
SKILLS
William has the following skills: Jump Up, Dodge, and Lightning Reflexes. He also has the mounted skill Ride Pantomime Horse and the skill Swashbuckler from the Pirate Warband list (and yes, he may use the skill even on horseback!)

SPECIAL RULES
Songster: A Bard's rousing war songs steel the hearts of all those around him. Any friendly model within 6" of William may re-roll any failed Leadership test with a +1 to Leadership. This includes rout tests.

Pantomime Horse: A pair of brave, loyal actors in a very tattered costume. The Pantomime Horse is treated as a Warhorse with all the normal rules that apply. The exception is that the Pantomime Horse will never bolt. If you desire, William can play any game unmounted.

Pages of Couragio: During any match in which you are NOT the highest ranking warband, you may use William’s ‘Pages of Couragio’ ability:

Keep track of any Hero or Henchmen group member in your warband who performs one of the following acts. That warrior are rewarded a Couragio Point (with Henchmen, the group gets the point):

* Intercepts a charge.
* Takes an enemy warrior Out of Action who was NOT Knocked Down or Stunned.
* Successfully passes a Fear test to charge an opponent.
* Successfully makes a Diving Charge.
* Survives a Combat Phase, during which he is outnumbered at least two to one.

At the end of the game, randomly choose a Hero or Henchmen group that earned at least one Couragio point. If the chosen person was a Hero, that Hero gains an extra 1D3 experience this game. If you instead chose a Henchmen group, the entire group earns 1 extra experience for the game.

Couragio Points do not carry over from one game to the next. Non-experience-gaining warriors cannot gain Couragio points.

NEW SCENARIO –Screw your Courage to the Sticking Place!
Two-Player or Multiplayer
William Schäkestange, the bard / actor / manager /playwright (and a few more things), used to be the annual star of Rupert von Endon’s Ampitheatre, located in the very heart of the city. Now, the ampitheatre has devolved into nothing more than a bloody bowl for gladiator matches, public torture, and bear baiting (actually, the latter happened during the old days too… but that’s besides the point.)

William has begged you- PLEADED you to reclaim the theatre back. Of course, some of the current occupants might not be so pleased with the idea. Agree, and he’ll sing your praise so loudly, that everyone in Mordheim will fear and respect you.


TERRAIN
Each player takes turn placing a piece of terrain. In the center of the board is the theatre itself. If you don’t have a broad, open-roofed building that’s easy to access, section off an area about 1’x1’, which is cut off except for an entrance on most sides. We suggest the terrain is set up within an area of 4’ x 4’ for two player matches, and 4’x6’ for multiplayer games. Reminder: you get Couragio points for Diving Charges, so make sure you add plenty of scenery to jump off of!

WARBANDS
Both players roll a D6 to see whom sets up first. Whoever rolls highest chooses whether to deploy first or second. The warbands are deployed within 6” of the opposite ends of the street.

SPECIAL RULES
Squatters: The current residents are not happy with the idea of moving out, and will fight to stay. The first time a player moves a model within 2” of the theatre terrain piece/section, at the end of that player’s movement phase, roll 1D6 for each player in the game, and see which opponent is placed on the board, in the middle of the theatre. Consult the chart below. After the current player finishes his turn, the Squatters gain a NPC turn of their own. The Squatters are quite nasty, and will move towards an enemy model every chance they can, charging if able (except for the Warlocks, which will only charge if the Warlock in question possesses the Sword of Rezhebel spell.)

1D6 – Squatter
1 – 1 Ogre Bodyguard Hired Sword (armed with Sword & Axe)
2 – 1D2+1 Pit Fighter Hired Swords
3- 1 Trained Bear (From the Kislev list: Rules reprinted below, for convenience)
4 – 1D3+3 Warhounds (Witch Hunter List)
5 – 2 Warlock Hired Swords
6 – 1 Troll (see Da Mob Warband)

Note: if the players are more experience, feel free to increase the number of models that appear (ex. 2 trolls, 2 Ogres), increase the strength (1D3+3 Dire Wolves instead of Warhounds), or increase the number of Squatter rolls (1.5 or 2 rolls per player) as you see fit.

0-1 Trained Bear
M WS BS S T W I A Ld
6 3 0 5 5 2 2 2 6
Weapons and Armour: None, other than their claws and teeth!
SPECIAL RULES
Trainerless: Trained Bears are subject to the rules for Stupidity.
Fearsome: A charging bear is a very scary sight indeed! A Trained Bear causes Fear.
Bear Hug: If the Bear hits the same enemy warrior with both of his attacks in the same round of combat, the player may choose to make a single ‘Bear Hug’ attack instead of resolving the attacks normally. If this option is chosen, each player must roll a D6 and add his model’s Strength to the roll. If the Bear’s total is higher or the totals are equal, the opposing warrior takes a single automatic wound with no armour save allowed. If the enemy warrior’s total is higher, the warrior has broken the Bear’s hold and suffers no damage from the attack.
Animal: Trained Bears are animals and do not gain experience.

The Bard Himself – the Bard DP starts the game on any unoccupied deployment zone, and will amble 2D6” towards the center of the theatre each turn. He has a turn of his own, before all other players. He will not charge any model controlled by a player, nor will he count as a ‘threat’ for the purposes of running (unless, of course, you charge him… after that, he’ll count your warband as a threat for sure!) William will charge any Squatters that are within charge range.

While William is on the board, all players gain ‘Couragio’ points, as stated above (in the DP rules). For this scenario, keep track of how many points each warband has. If William is removed from the board for any reasons, no more Couragio points are recorded. Taking William out of action does NOT give a player experience, and that warband has an effective count of 0 Couragio points for this scenario.

STARTING THE GAME
William takes the first turn. After that, all players roll 1D6. The highest scoring player takes the first turn.

ENDING THE GAME
The game ends after 8 Turns, or when only 1 warband remains on the board. At that point, the player that has the highest number of Couragio points that did NOT voluntarily rout wins the game. Being the last warband on the board does NOT mean your warband wins.

EXPERIENCE
+1 Survives
+1 Winning Warband Leader
+1 Per Enemy out of Action, including the Squatters (but NOT William!)

POST GAME
Courage rewarded: Each warband randomly picks one model that gained a Couragio point this game. If that model is a Henchmen, that henchmen (and the entire group he’s in) gains +1 Experience. If the model is a hero, he gains +1D3 Experience. Note: a player that takes Schakestange out of action has his Couragio points erased, meaning he doesn’t get this bonus!

Gratitude: The Bard is so pleased with regaining his theatre back, that the will offer his services. The winner may hire William for next match for only 50gc, instead of the normal hiring fee. He can even be hired by warbands other than Mercenaries, Sisters of Sigmar and Witch Hunters, although he will leave immediately after fighting with them for one game.
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PostSubject: Re: William Schäkestange: Old DP, New Scenario   Tue 29 Sep 2009 - 10:51

Hahaha oh my gosh, I'd forgotten about this guy! I absolutely love the notion of a scenario that not only encourages but outright rewards reckless bravado! I might even consider saying, for this scenario only, that everyone automatically gets a bonus xp for earning a certain number of couragio points maybe +1 xp per 5 couragio points? The "squatters" are unassumingly tough, too, this looks like a great scenario for some more experienced warbands.

One note on the Points of Couragio - does the reward xp have to be determined randomly, is the recipient the player's choice, or is it the character/henchmen that earned the most couragio points?
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PostSubject: Re: William Schäkestange: Old DP, New Scenario   Tue 29 Sep 2009 - 14:14

I don't know about +1 PER 5 Couragio points, but I can agree with +1 Exp for every hero/hench that earned at least ONE Couragio point. That's a great idea (and more incentive not to kill William... though I know some bastich player out there would try, just to spite everyone).

At the moment, the bonus winner is randomly chosen... and to be honest, I think I'm cool with that. Although, I might make it +1D3 for henchmen too. The reason for the randomness is two-fold:

1. The very idea was inspired by the Blood Bowl MVP bonus, with a whooping +5 points given to a random player. Sometimes it was eerily accurate (awarding your best rookie for a fantastic play), but often it'd reward the one guy who did absolutely NOTHING. Half the humor was the random exclaimations of "Him? But he was WORTHLESS? THE HELL?!?" Likewise, William is as blind as many umpires (though he does reward only warriors who have done at least ONE Couragious deed.) Ironically, if the boost pushes a player/warrior over the hump and to advancement, he might actually BECOME a worthwhile member of the team/warband.

2. The danger of rewarding only good warriors is that it widens the gap: the good players only get better, while the weaker only get weaker. If it's random, it prevents the Possessed Hero, who slaughters 4 warriors a game and gains 4 exp a game, from reaping even MORE experience, making him an even GREATER unstoppable threat.
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PostSubject: Re: William Schäkestange: Old DP, New Scenario   Tue 29 Sep 2009 - 19:56

StyrofoamKing wrote:
The danger of rewarding only good warriors is that it widens the gap: the good players only get better, while the weaker only get weaker. If it's random, it prevents the Possessed Hero, who slaughters 4 warriors a game and gains 4 exp a game, from reaping even MORE experience, making him an even GREATER unstoppable threat.
Hmm, that my friend is a point well made. Hadn't thought of it. I kind of like the randomness when you consider it to be a result of old William's ridiculousness too.
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PostSubject: Re: William Schäkestange: Old DP, New Scenario   Tue 29 Sep 2009 - 21:18

Of course, it's also possible for the group to make their own rules (if so, then the new rules should be decided before the previous post-game ends, so people can buy things).
Ex. "Flash & Bang"- Any model who uses a bag of Flash Powder, Firecrackers, or any kind of Bomb/Grenade gains a Couragio point: William eats that pyrotechnic-stuff up!
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PostSubject: Re: William Schäkestange: Old DP, New Scenario   Tue 29 Sep 2009 - 21:26

Special effects baby!

Fun stuff SK! Fun stuff. Now a scale model of the Globe, slightly singed...
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PostSubject: Re: William Schäkestange: Old DP, New Scenario   Wed 30 Sep 2009 - 4:40

Globe: Trust me, I've definitely considered making it (and plotted out mentally how I'd do it). I just don't have the time. Also, the thing would be huge.
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