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 New Warband: Blood Theatre Troupe

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wyldhunt
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PostSubject: New Warband: Blood Theatre Troupe   Tue 22 Dec 2009 - 21:14

This is a warband which I propose replace Carnival of Chaos in Mordheim settings, leaving CoC itself for a more-appropriate Empire In Flames setting. I love the fluff in the City of the Damned articles from the Town Cryers, and this is the first in what will be many rules additions to bring that fluff more fimrly in our games.

This is a very rough first draft of the warband ideas I have - questions I have in sharing this:
1. Do you like the base idea?
2. Would you consider using these ideas as a replacement for Carnival of Chaos?
3. What about the warband would you change?

Blood Theatre Troupe

by Wyldhunt, with inspiration and influence from:
-City of the Damned article (fifth installment of the series in Town Cryer 26)
-Carnival of Chaos warband (from Empire in Flames supplement)
-Rules Crusade, Mordheim supplement, Dark Carnival warband (by Sean Patten, at http://www.ironhands.com/mordrulz.htm)

Excerpt from the City of the Damned (Town Cryer 26): “Those who were not incinerated by the deadly flames suffered a fate far worse. The stilt walkers and street artists found their costumes mutating around them and they became one. Claws, horns, tentacles and a whole host of other foul things sprouted form the costumes, which melted into the flesh of these possessed individuals. Driven insane, they went on a murderous rampage, ripping apart those few survivors who had moments earlier been thrilled by their acrobatic performances.”

The Blood Theatre Troupes are ragtag gatherings of those street artist creatures who have survived so far, attracting other cultists who revere their status as “favored” by Chaos.

The Blood Theatre Troupe are a Chaos-aligned warband.

A Blood Theatre Troupe warband may have up to 15 members.

The characteristic maxima of all warband members is per the Humans entry.

Warband abilities:

-Ongoing Mutations. If any Blood Theatre Troupe hero rolls a 2, 3, 11 or 12 for his advance, he may buy a Purchased Mutation instead of gaining a Skill.
-Rewards of the Shadowlord. Blood Theatre Troupe heroes may roll for a Reward of the Shadowlord when they receive a Skill advance instead of gaining a Skill or Purchased Mutation.
-A Blood Theatre Troupe warband is treated the same as Cult of the Possessed on any Exploration Chart results, and for any Hired Swords/Dramatis Personae.

Heroes

Puppet Master. The few Puppet Masters who have survived thus far have become crafty manipulators of creatures as well as objects, and so are the natural leaders of these troupes. While some marionettes have become fused with a Puppet Master, and constantly whisper maledictions and warnings to him, other puppets cavort around their Master and fulfill his every dark wish.
-This warband must begin with exactly 1 Puppet Master. He is the warband's leader.
-Skill lists: Academic, Combat, Shooting, Speed
-Equipment list: Blood Theatre Troupe
-Cost: 70, XP: 20
-Starting profile: M4, WS4, BS3, S3, T3, W1, I5, A1, Ld8
-Starting abilities: Gains Insanity Points at Half Rate, Leadership (6”), Mutations, Puppets of Chaos

Fire Breather. The mutated Fire Breathers are a silent lot, since every time they open their mouths, whether to speak, sneeze, or eat, flames come shooting out. Their bodies have become hairless and blackened from multiple burns, and they don't care about keeping clothing about any longer, yet they are immune to damage from the flames in which they now carry on their twisted lives.
-This warband may have up to 1 Fire Breather.
-Skill lists: Combat, Shooting, Speed, Strength
-Equipment list: Blood Theatre Troupe
-Cost: 50, XP: 8
-Starting profile: M4, WS3, BS4, S3, T3, W1, I3, A1, Ld7
-Starting abilities: Breathe Fire, Cause Fear, Immune to Fire, Mutations, Never Gains Insanity Points

Illusionist. While the Illusionists were even sub-standard by Hedge Wizard criteria before, their infusion with Chaos has greatly magnified their power.
-This warband may have up to 1 Illusionist.
-Skill lists: Academic, Combat, Shooting, Speed
-Equipment list: Blood Theatre Troupe
-Cost: 40, XP: 8
-Starting profile: M4, WS3, BS3, S3, T3, W1, I3, A1, Ld7
-Starting abilities: Gains Insanity Points at Half Rate, Mutations – the model must have at least one Purchased Mutation when recruited to join the warband, Wizard (Illusions)

Jester. Jesters caught by the arrival of the comet are a leering, disgusting bunch, mutated in as many varied ways as their individual costumes previously indicated. They are cavorting, lewd characters, twisted into evil parodies of decent folk. However insane they are, they still know the best of the jester's trade in crude jokes, con-man routines, acrobatics, juggling, and the full purview of jesters everywhere.
-This warband may have up to 2 Jesters.
-Skill lists: Academic, Combat, Shooting, Speed, Strength
-Equipment list: Blood Theatre Troupe
-Cost: 25, XP: 4
-Starting profile: M4, WS3, BS4, S3, T3, W1, I4, A1, Ld6
-Starting abilities: Acrobat, Gains Insanity Points at Half Rate, Mutations – the model must have at least one Purchased Mutation when recruited to join the warband

Henchmen

Brethren. These are new cultists which have joined the troupe since the fall of the comet, and hope to advance in their own power through association with the evil of the Blood Theatre.
-This warband may have any number of Brethren.
-Equipment list: Blood Theatre Troupe
-Cost: 20, XP: 0
-Starting profile: M4, WS3, BS3, S3, T3, W1, I3, A1, Ld7
-Starting ability: Gains Insanity Points at Half Rate

Brute. Some strongmen were among the street performers caught in Mordheim's demise, and while their strength and toughness have become exaggerated, their wits have suffered.
-This warband may have up to 2 Brutes.
-If a Brute ever becomes a hero, the only Skill lists he can learn from are Combat and Strength.
-Equipment list: Brute
-Cost: 25, XP: 0
-Starting profile: M4, WS4, BS0, S4, T4, W2, I3, A1, Ld7
-Starting abilities: Gains Insanity Points at Half Rate, Slow-witted, Strongman

Knife Thrower. Among the followers of Chaos are a few who take on carnival-like roles, practicing with fervent devotion. The ones who follow a Blood Theatre Troupe warband are likely Knife Throwers.
-This warband may have up to 2 Knife Throwers.
-Equipment list: Blood Theatre Troupe
-Cost: 30, XP: 0
-Starting profile: M4, WS3, BS4, S3, T3, W1, I3, A1, Ld7
-Starting abilities: Gains Insanity Points at Half Rate, Knife-Fighter

Stilt Walker. Some of the most pitiable mutations among the previous street performers are the Stilt Walkers, whose stilts have invariably become fused with their bodies. Most have also grown long beaks and tremendously-long arms or tentacles, often ending in claws or hooks. Yet Sigmar-fearing men should spare no pity for these monsters, as they have a crafty intelligence and lust for killing to match any of the Chaos-possessed.
-This warband may have up to 2 Stilt Walkers.
-If a Stilt Walker becomes a hero, he may not choose Shooting as one of his Skill lists.
-Equipment list: none. A Stilt Walker may never have weapons or armor (but may use miscellaneous equipment if he becomes a hero).
-Cost: 35, XP: 0
-Starting profile: M6, WS4, BS0, S3, T3, W2, I3, A2, Ld7
-Starting abilities: Cause Fear, First Strike, Large, Natural Attacks, Never Gains Insanity Points

Equipment Lists

Blood Theatre Troupe
-Armor: none
-HtH weapons: Axe, Dagger, Double-handed weapon, Mace, Spear, Sword, Whip
-Missile Weapons: Throwing Knives (8gc at all times)

Brute
-Armor: none
-HtH weapons: Double-handed weapon, Flail, Morning Star
-Missile Weapons: none

Notes on Special Abilities

-Acrobat. As the Speed skill of the same name.
-Breathe Fire. Instead of its regular Shooting attacks, this model may make a single Shooting attack to breathe fire. The fire has a range of 3”, may be shot even while in HtH combat, does not suffer hit penalties for moving nor range, but otherwise follows all the normal rules of shooting attacks. If the attack hits, it causes an S3 wound (fire damage), and sets the target on fire on a D6 roll of 4+. (Fire rules are covered in “Let The Damned Burn!” from Town Cryer 8.)
-First Strike. Due to the nature of a Stilt Walker, that he can move his “feet” long distances, and that his body is well above the reach of normal weapons, a Stilt Walker's attacks always Strike First.
-Gains Insanity Points at Half Rate and Never Gains Insanity Points. These abilities come into play if using the rules from “At the Mouth of Madness” from Town Cryer 8. If you elect not to use those rules, then strike these two abilities from the warband models.
-Immune to Fire. This model will never catch on fire, and cannot be wounded by fire-based attacks.
-Knife-Fighter. As the Shooting skill of the same name.
-Mutations. When initially recruiting this model, you may purchase one or more mutations from the Purchased Mutations list, using the same restrictions as the Cult of the Possessed warband. Note that Illusionists and Jesters must have at least one Mutation purchased when initially recruited.
-Natural Attacks. This model's attacks do not suffer penalties due to being unarmed.
-Ongoing Mutations and Purchased Mutations. Use the expanded list of mutations from the Corrupted Characters article available at http://cianty.ashtonsanders.com/btb/pdf/Corrupted.pdf. If you elect not to use this article, then strike the Ongoing Mutations warband abiltiy, and use the same list of Purchased Mutations as allowed to the Cult of the Possessed.
-Puppets of Chaos. A Puppet Master always has some small imp-like puppets cavorting around him. In combat, these puppets will interfere with enemies – all enemies in base contact with a Puppet Master suffer -1 to their hit rolls and -1 Strength from all of their attacks.
-Rewards of the Shadowlord. This refers to the Optional Rules “Rewards of the Shadowlord” from the Mordheim rulebook.
-Slow-witted. This model gains Experience at one-half the normal rate (the same as Ogres).
-Strongman. As the Strength skill of the same name.

Spell List: Illusions

1. Vision of Torment. Difficulty: 10, Target: closest enemy model within 6”. The target is stunned, While there is no save against this stun from helmets and the like, if the target has an ability which prevents stun, e.g., No Pain, the model becomes knocked down due to that ability as normal.

2. Invisibility. Difficulty: 7, Target: self. The caster gains a special 2+ save versus all attacks until his next Recovery phase.

3. Flash. Difficulty: 8, Target: one enemy model within 8”. The target must pass an Initiative test (suffering a +1 to the roll itself) or not be able to do anything other than Recover and Move until the end of the his next turn.

4. Lure of Chaos. Difficulty: 9, Target: closest enemy model within 12”. The caster and target both roll D6 and add their Leadership scores. If the caster's result is higher:
-The target is controlled by the caster's player, and acts in the caster's subsequent turns.
-The target may not commit suicide, but may attack his former friends, and will not attack the caster's friends.
-During each of the target's original player's Recovery phases, test Ld for the target (without benefit of any Leadership ability) – if successful, the spell is immediately broken.

5. Blink. Difficulty: 7, Target: self. The caster may immediately move anywhere within 12”.
-If this takes him into base contact with any enemy, it counts as charging.
-If this takes him into base contact with a fleeing enemy, the caster gets one free attack on the target (which automatically hits), then the target moves as per fleeing again (if he is still standing).

6. Dread. Difficulty: 7, Target: an enemy model within 12”. The target must successfully test Ld for Fear or start fleeing.

Notes on Modeling a Blood Theater Troupe
-Bases. All models should be on normal human-sized bases, except for Stilt Walkers, who should be on ogre-sized bases, and Brutes, who should be on orc-sized bases.
-Puppet Master. While individual appearances will vary greatly, there should always be a couple of marionettes somewhere on his body, perhaps riding on his shoulder or handing from his belt.
-Illusionist. As a normal, though disturbing, human wizard. Don't forget to model the mutation(s)!
-Fire Breather. As noted in the description, the skin should be blackened and burned, with no hair (or a few frazzled patches), and minimal closthing.
-Jester. As a normal, though disturbing, human jester. Don't forget to model the mutation(s)!
-Brethren. As followers of Chaos everywhere...
-Brute. Carnival of Chaos Brutes are good models for this.
-Knife Thrower. A cross between carnival knife-fighters and Brethren – blind-folds or bags over heads for extra fluff.
-Stilt Walker. Start with a normal human, but add 1” stilts to the legs, and extend the arms by 1”, ending them with claws, hooks, or tentacles. Beaks can be added to the faces, and random horns can be added over the body.
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PostSubject: Re: New Warband: Blood Theatre Troupe   Tue 22 Dec 2009 - 23:11

I have a particularly baroque image in my head of a stilt walker resembling something out of a Hieronymous Bosch painting.

Nice concept, though i'll have to read through it more closely when i have the time.
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PostSubject: Re: New Warband: Blood Theatre Troupe   Wed 23 Dec 2009 - 2:40

EXCELLENT CONCEPT/FLUFF...OH the modelling possibilities. When first I saw the title I thought you were going for a Vampire troupe ala Interview with a Vampire. This looks to be a FINE use of the Mordheim background material...VERY CLEVER!
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PostSubject: Re: New Warband: Blood Theatre Troupe   Wed 23 Dec 2009 - 3:47

Sounds very nice idea - I have an image of a lovecraft-esque pack of wiedros in my head.
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PostSubject: Re: New Warband: Blood Theatre Troupe   Wed 23 Dec 2009 - 4:32

Very Happy There can never be enough crazed evil jesters, bards or artsy theatrical folk in the empire, it kinda explains why kids fear clowns. Smile
(I'm not one of them I swear I just have a...err...a..eh...healthy respect for them...like you've got for white sharks or 80foot black widows.)
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PostSubject: Re: New Warband: Blood Theatre Troupe   Wed 23 Dec 2009 - 9:03

I like the idea! Have you play tested them yet? By reading it, I don’t see them over powered. They use the same mutations list from the Possessed? I’m getting modeling ideas from your descriptions. I’m seeing Jugglers with knives, and Unicycles. The possibilities for great ideas for Banners.
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PostSubject: Re: New Warband: Blood Theatre Troupe   Wed 23 Dec 2009 - 14:55

why so many skill lists for each?
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PostSubject: Re: New Warband: Blood Theatre Troupe   Wed 23 Dec 2009 - 15:31

@Asp: that's one of the things I'm going back-and-forth about.

Here are my thoughts:

Overall - circus and street performers tend to be skilled people, and learn a variety of skills across many disciplines. At the very least, Combat and Speed are still appropriate for almost all - they're useful for minions of Chaos and useful to thrive in such a desparate situation as Mordheim.

Puppet Master: leaders tend to have the most skill lists, often five. While the Magister only has three, he's a Wizard. Actually, Shooting should be removed from the Puppet Master - that was on from when I hadn't determined what Puppets of Chaos would do.

Fire Breather: Shooting is due to pinning Breathe Fire as a Shooting attack - but that was stupid of me. None of the Shooting skills should help Breathe Fire (especially not Eagle Eyes!), so I need to remove that list from the Fire Breather. I had left Strength in due to what the Fire Breather's body has gone through, but it's not germane either.

Illusionist: Shooting should be removed - I had it in from before when I had determined what the Illusion spells would do. In fact, this is the one model which could have Combat removed, however Speed should stay - it's a mainstay of prestidigitation.

Jester: they're really the wide-ranging Skill whores here, and all the lists should stay. All of these skills are bread and butter for Jesters - Haggle, Streetwise, Resilient, Knife-fighter, Eagle Eyes, Step Aside, and all of the Speed skills. The weakest argument is for Strength, however, if this is removed from Fire Breathers, per the standard rules, it has to stay with some hero so that ladding Brutes and Stilt Walkers can access it.

@Shadowphx: no, I haven't playtested this yet - I wanted to throw out the ideas to y'all, get the initial feedback (especially on oversights!), then see about some single-game playtesting, and then include them in our campaign after the one we're about to start. Yes, they'll use the same Mutations list as the Possessed, however, I do suggest you get the Corrupted Characters article and use the list from that for both warbands.

@all others: thanks for the initial feedback! The City of the Damned articles definitely express the "feel" of Mordheim to me, and this is one way I want to get that feel more into our games.
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PostSubject: Re: New Warband: Blood Theatre Troupe   Sat 16 Jan 2010 - 11:54

Alright - here's the latest version of the Blood Theatre Troupe - no further changes will be made until we have some solid playtesting under our belt:

Blood Theatre Troupe
by Wyldhunt, with inspiration and influence from:
City of the Damned article (fifth installment of the series in Town Cryer 26)
Carnival of Chaos warband (from Empire in Flames supplement)
Rules Crusade, Mordheim supplement, Dark Carnival warband (by Sean Patten)

Excerpt from the City of the Damned (Town Cryer 26): “Those who were not incinerated by the deadly flames suffered a fate far worse. The stilt walkers and street artists found their costumes mutating around them and they became one. Claws, horns, tentacles and a whole host of other foul things sprouted from the costumes, which melted into the flesh of these possessed individuals. Driven insane, they went on a murderous rampage, ripping apart those few survivors who had moments earlier been thrilled by their acrobatic performances.”

The Blood Theatre Troupes are ragtag gatherings of the street artist creatures who have survived so far, attracting other cultists who revere their status as “favored” by Chaos.

The Blood Theatre Troupe are a Chaos-aligned warband.
A Blood Theatre Troupe warband may have up to 15 members.

Warband abilities:

- If using Corrupted Characters (from [url=http://cianty.ashtonsanders.com/btb/pdf/Corrupted.pdf]http://cianty.ashtonsanders.com/btb/pdf/Corrupted.pdf[/url] - thanks, Werekin!), then Blood Theatre Troupe heroes can gain ongoing mutations as per Gifted Servants.

- Rewards of the Shadowlord. Blood Theatre Troupe heroes may roll for a Reward of the Shadowlord when they receive a Skill advance instead of gaining a Skill or Purchased Mutation.

- A Blood Theatre Troupe warband is treated the same as Cult of the Possessed on any Exploration Chart results, and for any Hired Swords/Dramatis Personae.

- If using At the Mouth of Madness (from Town Cryer 8, available at [url=http://tabletopgeeks.com/wp-content/downloads/supplements/TownCryer08.pdf]http://tabletopgeeks.com/wp-content/downloads/supplements/TownCryer08.pdf[/url] - thanks, Tewfik and Svenn!), then all Blood Theatre Troupe members gain Insanity Points at half rate (except the Fire Breather and Stilt Walkers, who never gain Insanity Points).

Heroes

Puppet Master. The few Puppet Masters who have survived thus far have become crafty manipulators of creatures as well as objects, and so are the natural leaders of these troupes. While some marionettes have become fused with a Puppet Master, and constantly whisper maledictions and warnings to him, other puppets cavort around their Master and fulfill his every dark wish.

This warband must begin with exactly 1 Puppet Master. He is the warband's leader.

Skill lists: Academic, Combat, Speed
Equipment list: Blood Theatre Troupe
Cost: 65, XP: 20
Starting profile: M4, WS4, BS3, S3, T3, W1, I5, A1, Ld8

Starting abilities:
- Leadership (6”)
- Mutations. This model may buy Mutations from the Possessed warband's list when first recruited to join the warband.
- Puppets of Chaos. A Puppet Master always has some small imp-like puppets cavorting around him. In combat, these puppets will interfere with enemies – all enemies in base contact with a Puppet Master suffer -1 to their hit rolls and -1 Strength from all of their attacks.

Fire Breather. The mutated Fire Breathers are a silent lot, since every time they open their mouths, whether to speak, sneeze, or eat, flames come shooting out. Their bodies have become hairless and blackened from multiple burns, and they don't care to keep clothing about any longer, yet they are immune to damage from the flames in which they now carry on their twisted lives.

This warband may have up to 1 Fire Breather.

Skill lists: Combat, Speed
Equipment list: Blood Theatre Troupe
Cost: 40, XP: 8
Starting profile: M4, WS3, BS4, S3, T3, W1, I3, A1, Ld7
Starting abilities:
- Breathe Fire. Instead of its regular Shooting attacks, this model may make a single Shooting attack to breathe fire. The fire has a range of 3”, may be shot even while in HtH combat, does not suffer hit penalties for moving nor range, but otherwise follows all the normal rules of shooting attacks. If the attack hits, it causes a S4 wound (fire damage, no Armor Saves allowed). If using Let the Damned Burn (from Town Cryer 8, available at [url=http://tabletopgeeks.com/wp-content/downloads/supplements/TownCryer08.pdf]http://tabletopgeeks.com/wp-content/downloads/supplements/TownCryer08.pdf[/url] - thanks, Tewfik and Svenn!), this attack sets the target on fire on a D6 roll of 4+ - it may set a building on fire on a D6 roll of 6.
- Cause Fear
- Immune to Fire
. This model is immune to all effects of fire, including damage from fire-based attacks (even those magical in nature).
- Mutations. This model may buy Mutations from the Possessed warband's list when first recruited to join the warband.

Illusionist. While the Illusionists were even sub-standard by Hedge Wizard criteria before, their infusion with Chaos has greatly magnified their power.
This warband may have up to 1 Illusionist.

Skill lists: Academic, Speed

Equipment list: Blood Theatre Troupe
Cost: 35, XP: 8
Starting profile: M4, WS3, BS3, S3, T3, W1, I3, A1, Ld7

Starting abilities:
- Mutations. This model may buy Mutations from the Possessed warband's list when first recruited to join the warband. The model must have at least one Purchased Mutation when recruited to join the warband.
- Wizard (Illusions)

Jester. Jesters caught by the arrival of the comet are a leering, disgusting bunch, now bearing in full form the many varied mutations at which their previous costumes merely hinted. They are cavorting, lewd characters, twisted into evil parodies of decent folk. However insane they are, they still know the best of the jester's trade in crude jokes, con-man routines, acrobatics, juggling, and the full purview of jesters everywhere.

This warband may have up to 2 Jesters.

Skill lists: Academic, Combat, Shooting, Speed, Strength
Equipment list: Blood Theatre Troupe
Cost: 25, XP: 0
Starting profile: M4, WS3, BS4, S3, T3, W1, I4, A1, Ld6

Starting abilities:
- Acrobat. As Acrobat on the Speed skill list.
- Mutations. This model may buy Mutations from the Possessed warband's list when first recruited to join the warband. The model must have at least one Purchased Mutation when recruited to join the warband.

Henchmen

Brethren. These are new cultists which have joined the troupe since the fall of the comet, and hope to advance in their own power through association with the evil of the Blood Theatre.

This warband may have any number of Brethren.

Equipment list: Blood Theatre Troupe
Cost: 20, XP: 0
Starting profile: M4, WS3, BS3, S3, T3, W1, I3, A1, Ld7

Brute. Some strongmen were among the street performers caught in Mordheim's demise, and while their strength and toughness have become exaggerated, their wits have suffered.

This warband may have up to 2 Brutes.

If a Brute ever becomes a hero, the only Skill lists he can learn from are Combat and Strength.

Equipment list: Brute
Cost: 25, XP: 0
Starting profile: M4, WS4, BS0, S4, T4, W2, I3, A1, Ld7

Starting abilities:
- Slow-witted. This model gains Experience Points at half rate.
- Strongman. As Strongman on the Strength skill list.

Knife Thrower. Among the followers of Chaos are a few who take on carnival-like roles, practicing with fervent devotion. Those who follow a Blood Theatre Troupe are likely Knife Throwers.

This warband may have up to 2 Knife Throwers.

Equipment list: Blood Theatre Troupe
Cost: 30, XP: 0
Starting profile: M4, WS3, BS4, S3, T3, W1, I3, A1, Ld7

Starting abilities:
- Knife-fighter. As Knife-fighter on the Shooting skill list.

Stilt Walker. Some of the most pitiable mutations among the previous street performers are the Stilt Walkers, whose stilts have invariably become fused with their bodies. Most have also grown long beaks and tremendously-long arms or tentacles, often ending in claws or hooks. Yet Sigmar-fearing men should spare no pity for these monsters, as they have a crafty intelligence and lust for killing to match any of the Chaos-possessed.

This warband may have up to 2 Stilt Walkers.

If a Stilt Walker becomes a hero, he may not choose Shooting as one of his Skill lists.

Equipment list: none. A Stilt Walker may never have weapons or armor (but may use miscellaneous equipment if he becomes a hero).
Cost: 35, XP: 0
Starting profile: M6, WS4, BS0, S3, T3, W2, I3, A2, Ld7

Starting abilities:
- Cause Fear
- Large
- Natural Attacks. This model's attacks do not suffer any penalties due to being unarmed.
- On Stilts. Due to the nature of a Stilt Walker, that he can move his “feet” long distances, and that his body is well above the reach of normal weapons, a Stilt Walker's attacks always Strike First.

Equipment Lists

Blood Theatre Troupe
Armor: none
HtH weapons: Axe, Dagger, Double-handed weapon, Mace, Spear, Sword, Whip
Missile Weapons: Throwing Knives (8gc during both initial Recruitment and Trading)

Brute
Armor: none
HtH weapons: Double-handed weapon, Flail, Morning Star
Missile Weapons: none

Spell List - Illusions

1. Vision of Torment. Difficulty: 10, Target: closest enemy model within 6”. The target is stunned, While there is no save against this stun from helmets and the like, if the target has an ability which prevents stun, e.g., No Pain, the model becomes knocked down due to that ability as normal.

2. Invisibility. Difficulty: 7, Target: self. The caster gains a special 2+ save versus all attacks until his next Recovery phase.

3. Flash. Difficulty: 8, Target: one enemy model within 8”. The target must pass an Initiative test (suffering a +1 to the roll itself) or not be able to do anything other than Recover and Move until the end of the his next turn.

4. Lure of Chaos. Difficulty: 9, Target: closest enemy model within 12”. The caster and target both roll D6 and add their Leadership scores. If the caster's result is higher:
- The target is controlled by the caster's player, and acts in the caster's subsequent turns.
- The target may not commit suicide, but may attack his former friends, and will not attack the caster's friends.
- During each of the target's original player's Recovery phases, test Ld for the target (without benefit of any Leadership ability) – if successful, the spell is immediately broken.

5. Blink. Difficulty: 7, Target: self. The caster may immediately move anywhere within 12”.
- If this takes him into base contact with any enemy, it counts as charging.
- If this takes him into base contact with a fleeing enemy, the caster gets one free attack on the target (which automatically hits), then the target moves as per fleeing again (if he is still standing).

6. Dread. Difficulty: 7, Target: an enemy model within 12”. The target must successfully test Ld for Fear or start fleeing.

Notes on Modeling a Blood Theater Troupe

Bases. All models should be on normal human-sized bases, except for Stilt Walkers, who should be on ogre-sized bases, and Brutes, who should be on orc-sized bases.

Puppet Master. While individual appearances will vary greatly, there should always be a couple of marionettes somewhere on his body, perhaps riding on his shoulder or handing from his belt.

Illusionist. As a normal, though disturbing, human wizard. Don't forget to model the mutation(s)!

Fire Breather. As noted in the description, the skin should be blackened and burned, with no hair (or a few frazzled patches), and minimal clothing.

Jester. As a normal, though disturbing, human jester. Don't forget to model the mutation(s)!

Brethren. As followers of Chaos everywhere...

Brutes. Carnival of Chaos Brutes are good models for this.

Knife Throwers. A cross between carnival knife-fighters and Brethren – blind-folds or bags over heads for extra fluff.

Stilt Walker. Start with a normal human, but add 1” stilts to the legs, and extend the arms by 1”, ending them with claws, hooks, or tentacles. Beaks can be added to the faces, and random horns can be added over the body.
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PostSubject: Re: New Warband: Blood Theatre Troupe   Sat 16 Jan 2010 - 15:31

ObsidianLord feels that these models are highly underpriced. Here's my justification for their cost, comparing them to Cult of the Possessed (and others where appropriate):

Warband abilities: exactly the same as the Cult of the Possessed

Puppet Master to Magister:
- Same skill lists
- Same starting XP
- Puppet Master -1BS compared to Magister, but +1I.
- Puppet Master has no spells, but has Puppets of Chaos ability. Advantage initially to Puppet Master here, but eventually to Magister.
- Puppet Master can be bought a Mutation when recruited, but in practice this isn't likely to happen, as there are three other heroes which require a purchased Mutation.
- Puppet Master is more limited in equipment. Magister can't cast spells while in armor at first, but a skill pick will mend that. Although Puppet Master gets a fair discount on Throwing Knives (and will likely use them as he doesn't get spells), Throwing Knives are often more limited in tactical options (very, very short range).
- Puppet Master therefore costs 5gc less than Magister, but 5gc more than mercenary Captain (without any overall power increase other than Puppets of Chaos).

Fire Breather:
- No direct correlation to other models; closest is actually mecenary Champion.
- Like Possessed, has Cause Fear and Mutations (not required), and starts with 8 XP.
- Like mercenary Champion, starts with one charecteristic increase (however, BS instead of WS).
- Fire Breather has one less skill list than either Possessed or mercenary Captain.
- Is the BTT's only initial heavy hitter, which means they're weaker than Possessed and humans at start for this.
- Breathe Fire and Cause Fear are only abiltiies which give Fire Breather "heavy hitter" status.
- Breathe Fire is very useful, but is still essentially an extra attack in HtH, and does not compare favorably to Possessed's stat line, nor the flexibility of mercenary missile equipment.
- Still has normal human maximums.
- Has a much more restricted equipment list than human mercenaries (especially armor and missile weapons).
- Costs less than half Possessed, less than twice Mutant, and five more than a mercenary Champion.

Illusionist to Necromancer:
- Same skill lists
- Same starting XP
- Same stat line
- Same cost as Necromancer.
- Spell list cobbled together from Chaos Rituals (Vision of Torment, Lure of Chaos, Blink [renamed Wings of Darkness]), Lesser Magic (Dread [renamed Dread of Aramar]), with two new spells (Flash [modelled on Border Town Burning's Flash Powder] and Invisbility [a lesser version of Armour of Righteousness from Prayers of Sigmar]).
- Illusionst is more limited in equipment. Necromancer can't cast spells while in armor at first, but a skill pick will mend that. Necromancer has access to bows while Illusionst is restricted to Throwing Knives.
- Only real difference is that Illusionist can (and must) have a purchased Mutation. While a benefit to the Illusionist, it comes with its own high cost.
- Illusionist and Necromancer cost the same.

Jester to Mutant:
- Jester has +1BS and +1I over Mutant, but -1Ld.
- Jester has 3 more skill lists than Mutant.
- Jester can (and must) have a purchased Mutation, just like Mutant.
- Jester has Acrobat, which Mutant does not.
- Jester has a much more restricted Equipment List than Mutants.
- The advantage is still somewhat to the Jesters here, however, the BTT doesn't have access to the power of the Possessed, instead putting their power into the Jesters, which will still cost a lost due to required Mutations, and take some battles before coming into their own. Therefore, I do feel that keeping their cost at 25gc is justified.

Brethren (BTT) to Brethren (Possessed):
- Exactly the same in all ways, except the following two:
- BTT Brethren have a more restricted equipment list than Brethren. Considering that Brethren are normally bought for Possessed specifically to wield bows, this is a limit in BTT Brethren's effectiveness.
- BTT Brethren cost 5gc less.

Brute (BTT) to Brute (Carnival of Chaos):
- BTT Brute begins as a henchman, not a hero.
- BTT Brute has one less skill list if it every becomes a hero.
- BTT Brute has +1W, +1I, and -1A compared to CoC Brute.
- Both Brutes start with Strongman.
- BTT Brutes can get a Morning Star; CoC Brute cannot unless he gets Weapons Training.
- BTT Brute as Slow-witted, and therefore has a longer path (and likely reduced chance) to become a hero.
- Another possible comparison for BTT Brute is to Flagellant, where BTT Brute has +1W and Strongman, but also has Slow-witted and lacks Fanatical. However, BTT can only get 2 Brutes, where Witch Hunters can get 5 Flagellants.
- I have felt that Coc Brutes and Flagellants are overpriced (Flagellants are 30gc in our rules, with an expanded HtH weapon Equipment List). However, you may wish to increase the cost of a Brute to 35 or 40gc if you keep Flagellants at that price. 60gc is definitely overpriced for their value.

Knife Thrower to Reiklander Marksman:
- Both have same starting stat line.
- Knife Thrower has a much more restricted Equipment List, and a much more restricted effective range.
- Knife Thrower begins with Knife-Fighter skill.
- BTT can only get 2 Knife Throwers; Reiklanders can get 7 Marksmen.
- Knife Thrower costs 5gc more than Reiklander Marksmen. If you increase cost of BTT Brutes, you should consider reducing the cost of Knife Throwers to 25gc.

Stilt Walker:
- This is the one model where I'll agree with ObsidianLord when compared to other "official" Large creatures. However, I have seen that the official Large creatures cost way more than their actual value, so I priced Stilt Walkers by their actual value. If you do feel like stilt Walkers should be priced like other Large creatures, price them at 70gc. No, they don't have the increased Strength/Toughness of the other Large creatures, but they do always Strike First (which is definitely worth something) and aren't restricted in gaining XP.

Overall

- I have come up with a formula to price all models in our campaign, taking into account their stats, stat maximums, skill lists, hero status, special rules, equipment lists, etc. This formula agrees with most official model costs, but not all (such as Flagellants and Large creatures). Our group uses this formula for all model costs, and the costs for BTT models comply.

- BTT is a close-combat warband, with a little extra kick coming in from the Throwing Knives. The Jesters and a rising hero Brethren/Knife Fighter are their only chances for expand missile weapon options (via Weapons Expert), and that's still pretty limited.

- However, BTT does not have the close combat punch of most CC warbands. They don't have better Toughness (except two henchmen Brutes), and even their Large creatures are weak in Strength/Toughness compared to other Large creatures (only making up for it with First Strike and regular XP advancement).

- The hope of a BTT warband is well-developed Jesters, and must make a choice in which way to go with their rising hero (at least they do have more options for that than other warbands). Yet, this will take longer to develop than warbands which start with more heavy hitters.

- BTT must spend more on mutations than other warbands, although they have more heroes which can get them.

- BTT has more flexibility than many warbands in their models, but only a maximum of 2 each (rather than 5-7 as nromal), so will have a hard time bringing numbers to bear.

- This warband has not been playtested yet! Playtesting may well bring up some adjustments which will be required for balance.

- My concerns for overpower are:
----- Puppets of Chaos. -1 to hit and -1S may be too much. If so, I will tone down to just -1 to hit (just like CoC's Cloud of Flies).
----- On Stilts. Always Strike First for highly-mobile models may be too much. However, I have a feeling that enemy snipers will just love these T3 Large targets, and it may be quite hard to use that always Strike First consistently. The Cause Feaer will help it.

- My concerns for underpower are:
----- Limited equipment - no armor for the entire warband, even though they are oriented for close combat.
----- Limited numbers of models in specialties. Numbers do tell in Mordheim - this has been proven countless times over the many years I've played.

So there you are: I am serious. This warband is not too strong. With two possible exceptions, heroes and henchmen are not underpriced (and definitely not "HIGHLY underpriced"), and one henchmen possibly is overpriced. This is just fair.
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PostSubject: Re: New Warband: Blood Theatre Troupe   Sun 17 Jan 2010 - 7:47

Mhh, your analysis is pretty accurate.
I always liked the idea and i agree with deafnala, the modeling possibilities are huge.
I thought it was unbalanced at first, and something still doesn't sound totally fair pricewise to me.

PUPPET MASTER

-1 BS and +1I in the base profile: two equally valuable skills +/- 1 modification, that's fair, except for the fact the only avaiable missile weapons for the warband are the throwing knives.
mutations: ok
chaos puppets: -1 to opponent S and WS is huge. I think it should be valued AT LEAST 10-15gc, not 5 considering the cloud of flies ability is worth 10gc.

FIREBREATHER
-1 WS and +1 BS the base profile: two equally valuable skills +/- 1 modification, that's fair.
mutations: ok
cause fear + firebreath + immune to fire: all of that nice abilities cost him only 10gc (considering the mercenary champion example)!
cause fear is usually considered a 10gc worth ability, as for the firebreath (the very same as stream of corruption, but fire breath hits are S4 and not S3).
I sense one less skill chart than the merc wouldn't balance things.

ILLUSIONIST

He's good but not overpowered at all Wink

JESTERS

+1BS, +1I but -2Ld: i don't know.. that's odd but i think not overpowered for their cost, but Ld is slightly less useful than BS and I.
mutations: ok
Acrobat: wow an advancement for free!
3 more skill charts than a mutant: wow, that's a bunch of cool things for a 25gc model!

BRETHREN

ok that's the classic mildly cheap troopling. Wink

BRUTE

another cheap guy. 25gc for a WS4, S4, W2 and T4 model with STRONGMAN ability!
Fortunately "the firebreather is the only warband initial heavy hitter"

You can have those two models equipped with a double handed weapon for 40gc while the CoC have the almost same two guys for 35gc more (of course yours will have +1I and +1W but -1A).

KNIVE THROWER

knive throwers have the very same marksmen profile, but they gain a 10gc worth advancement for 5gc.
I don't know, they are only two. Two but extremely good and slightly underpriced.
It can be fair or not.
I personally would have prefered seeing their cost and maximum number rise to 35 and 5 respectively.

STILT WALKERS

Very interesting yet creative model option! Just give him -1W and i think it would be nice ^^

ITEM OPTIONS

Warband's HtH weapons are ok. They have sword, mace, double-handed weapons and spears. That's enough
Warband members can't wear crappy armors, that's not a huge disadvantage.
The only ranged weapons are the throwing knives. I would add short bows and bows for 10gc and 15gc respectively at least. It's a poor selection otherwise (although knives still are awesome ^^).

This was my analysis.
Have you tested this warband yet? I still sense it's a bit overpowered, but i may be wrong since i have not seen its behaviour in game.
The best way to see if a warband is balanced or not is obviously playing it. ^^

Cheers!
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