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 New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler

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Horatio
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PostSubject: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Mon 21 Nov 2011 - 19:25


Norscan Whaler
35 gold coins + 15 gold coins upkeep
Whaling is an important trade for Norsca and whalers are respected even among the warriors. Swimming through the dark currents of the Sea of Chaos are massive whales, many of which bear strange markings and odd colourations, twisted and warped as they are by the power of Chaos. These monsters can capsize ships and swallow hundred of men in a single gulp. Thus, whalers must be made of sterner stuff than the ordinary fishermen.

Some whalers, hoping to retire to a less dangerous means of making a living, sell out their services as mercenaries in dangerous locales like Mordheim, Moussilon, Lustria, Sartosa, and Araby.

May be hired: Any warband that cannot recruit a large creature (discounting hired swords).

Rating: A Norscan Whaler increases a warband's rating by +22 points, plus 1 point for each Experience Point he has.

Profile
M WS BS S T W I A Ld
4 4 4 4 4 1 3 1 7
Equipment: Harpoon (only for Norscan Whaler!), Buckler

Special Rules:
Behemoth Hunter: The Norscan Whaler is accustomed to hunting the largest and most terrifying of beasts. Double any wounds delivered to a large creature.
Immune to Fear
---
Harpoon
A harpoon is a long spear-like instrument used in fishing to catch fish or large marine mammals such as whales. It accomplishes this task by impaling the target animal, either by being thrown or stabbed, allowing the fishermen to use a rope or chain attached to the butt of the projectile to catch the animal. It has proven equally effective against land targets.

Range: 8"; Strength: as User; Special Rules: Balanced, Multi-use, Reel-in

Special Rules:
Balanced: Models using harpoons do not suffer penalties for range or moving as these weapons are perfectly balanced for throwing.
Multi-use: This weapon may be used either in the shooting phase or in the combat phase. As usual, he may not use it as a missile weapon if he's in hand to hand combat with an opponent. In close combat, treat the harpoon as a spear.
Reel-in: When used in the shooting phase, if the Norscan Whaler scores a wounding hit against the target, he may then attempt to reel them in. If the Norscan Whaler passes a Strength test, the target is placed in base contact with the Norscan Whaler, and thus close combat. No charge bonus is awarded to either side.
---
Notes:
I have no idea how to price/apply ratings for hired swords, so some help with that would be nice. I am thinking he might need to be more expensive to balance out how ridiculously useful the harpoon could be.
Balanced basically has the same text as Thrown weapon, but I wanted the harpoon to be usable in close combat.

[Edit 1: adjusted range to be in line with other throwing weapons; clarified multi-use and reel-in; added fear immunity


Last edited by Horatio on Wed 23 Nov 2011 - 18:59; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Mon 21 Nov 2011 - 20:31

You come up with a problem in that you say, "may never be used in both", which classes with the Reel-in, as it forces the norscan to use it twice in the same turn. Rather, I'd say, "As usual, he may not use it as a missile weapon if he's in hand to hand combat with an opponent."

This reminds me of the Sartosan "Leviathan Hunter" master and I used. With him, when he reeled someone in, you treated the hunter as the charger, even though the opponent is the person who moved.

Rating- yeah, it's funky. My best suggestion is to look at existing HSs and base it off that. For every 10gc worth of extra stats you add/subtract, add/take away 5gc from the hiring fee. He's not far off from the Pit Fighter.

If he's also a hunter of big monsters, maybe he ignores fear too?
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Mon 21 Nov 2011 - 21:27

Ah StyrofoamKing, it is kind of you to review all the random content I write up!

I am not sure I wanted the whaler to be in combat in the same turn as he shot. That gives him an unsettling amount of chances to injure an opponent...

Is there some sort of master list of hired swords to sift through? It would be nice to not reinvent the wheel...

Yeah. Should I add a clause that it only applies to large creatures causing fear, or just have it be in general?
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Tue 22 Nov 2011 - 1:59

Unfortunately there is no master list that includes every suppliments like Sartosa.

Here are two of the bigger lists...
TBMF - Watchtower
Liber Malefic - Swords of the Empire
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Tue 22 Nov 2011 - 3:43

What if it counted as a charge during the NEXT combat? If you didn't want to pull him into combat, then why did you want to pull him into base contact?


The "Swords of the Empire" is one of the best, although Brahms wrote his own years ago. PM me your email, and I can send it to you.
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Wed 23 Nov 2011 - 11:43

Brahm compiled a Hired Swords compendium?

As if there aren't enough to choose from, dare I point out that I am on the look-out for new Hired Swords. There are a couple of suggestions been made here which instantly drew my attention... Sartosan Leviathan-Hunter could prove a tough one to quantify but there is a huge whaling community centred around the docks of an Old World city-port.

The Norse are involved in this maritime industry big time. I do already have a Norse Hired Sword at the top of my shortlist. On top of that, there are existing rules for spears, plus harpoons which can be referenced in Border Town Burning (originating from Warhammer).
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Wed 23 Nov 2011 - 18:32

Brahm - yeah, nothing fancy. Just a break down of HSs from TCs, Lustria, and Khemri.

Sartosa - Eh, I understand if they don't fit your particular flair, but the Swivel Gunner & the Jezzail Gunner had some decent results in testing (the first one for adding a piratey flair that wasn't too powerful or too hard to keep maintenance of, and the latter for offering a very rare HS for the Skaven.)

If you haven't included it already, there's also Myntokk's Slayer Pirate HS too... lots of fun with him!
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Wed 23 Nov 2011 - 19:04

Could you direct me to what part of Border Town Burning contains a set of harpoon rules? I looked in the new equipment table and in the Norscan warband, but couldn't really find one.

I realized that the entire role of a big monster killer is already filled by the Kislev Ranger, who does the job and does it better, so the focus of this Hired Sword should be on the reeling in ability.

And Werekin, I would be more than happy to work on whatever kind of content you might find useful. Shoot me a PM if you would like to direct my creativity!
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Thu 24 Nov 2011 - 0:57

I think this is an interesting HS, with nice and flavourful rules. Far too cheap though, I would suggest a hiring fee of 50 gc, and upkeep of 20 gc, considering all the skills and stats.
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Thu 24 Nov 2011 - 7:08

I disagree. Compared to the mighty pit fighter, he delivers two fewer attacks each turn (and has a spear, rather than a painful morning star.) At 35gc for hiring, he costs MORE than a pit fighter. With the harpoon and double-wouds-to-large rule, it's hard to tell if he's a little bit stronger or or a little bit weaker than a fighter, but he's not worth 50gc.
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Thu 24 Nov 2011 - 9:02

StyrofoamKing basically stated my reasoning for pricing him the way I did. He isn't quite as beefy as the Pit Fighter, but I boosted him up a little higher than the fighter because I could see how ridiculous a model moving 4 inches, grabbing an enemy 8 inches away and then tugging him into combat for a waiting warband could be. Even if the harpoon only knocks them down, you could have a couple of other models near by to finish the job.
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Thu 24 Nov 2011 - 11:19

I had included the Slayer Pirate Hired Sword from a previous release, which must have been a Fanatic publication.

If you want a monster hunter then there is one obvious choice. Hire a Big Game Hunter! This guy comes equipped with a Hunting Rifle! Boom! Boom! Dead prehistoric beast...

There is a Norse character in a story by Rev Larney in BTB, called Heden, and he was based on this type of Hired Sword, who had climbed into a wagon during a campaign I was running. The wagon was driven around by an Elf Ranger Hired Sword while Heden unleashed rounds from his long-rifle! We didn't get round to making him into a DP. Sad

Harpoon launcher comes from the ogre background for it's a weapon popularly used by their feral hunters. The Mountain Guide from the Maneaters can thus make use of one of these. You should easily be able to reference the item from there. I remembered it because I was recently assembling a master price-chart, the Marienburg Manifest, for use in my campaign.

I have a few quirky characters with useful trades from the background of the Warhammer World who might conceivably turn up in a city-port. There's even something included for the Skaven. Just don't call me a sympathizer! It's more like I've had my arm twisted. Rolling Eyes

Whaler is a neat career idea for a HS. If the rules can be playtested and refined then it could be a winner. There's a ton of lore on the subject. I've even got an article here from the Warpstone RPG 'zine on this very topic.

Game on!
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Fri 25 Nov 2011 - 0:00

Yeah, the monster hunting benefits are more an added bonus to an already interesting concept.

I never was able to get my hands on any copies of the Warpstone 'zine. I got into WFRP a little late, and it seems like I mostly missed the bus as far as content goes. The Norscan whaler was actually inspired by the 2nd edition career of the same name. From the Tome of Corruption or whatever that book was called.

As far as the Ogre harpoon cannon goes, are you referring to the Harpoon crossbow? I am afraid most of its statistics aren't very helpful in this case, even if they are taken from warhammer, they represent a large, beefy crossbow, instead of a thrown weapon which pulls targets closer.

Edit: Also, I had a chance to look over the leviathan hunter. It's a nice hired sword but "Get over 'ere!" is kind of a mess. It may be a little bit fairer to the target model, not dragging them into close combat, but it counters that by being needlessly complex. In fact, amusingly enough, that mechanic is very similar to the Necromunda combat system!

Sorry if any of the above sounded offensive. It's late and it's difficult for me to guess how my tone will sound, but I mean it as honest critique.
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Fri 25 Nov 2011 - 5:48

Horatio: Yeah, it's not quite perfect, but you see why the two are kinda similar.

I think the rules just grew, I'm afraid. I wrote the first draft, and people in my group kept asking, "well, what happens when X happens?" This they became a large affair. Ironically, one of the few guys in my campaign who used him was the Norse player.
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Fri 25 Nov 2011 - 11:21

A decent torrent surfaced earlier this year containing most of the old Warpstone material in it.

In terms of the choice of weapons used by Whalers, I think you're looking at harpoons in dual terms. Of being something to throw by hand, or something to launch from a device. The missile weapon variety, either a harpoon-gun or crossbow (same difference) is the more desirable piece of equipment used by a sponsored professional. The other item would be a spear, which is great for stabbing at prey, but you can't throw it, where as you could throw a javelin. But a javelin is naff compared to the harpoon-launching gadget, which is what I would expect a Hired Sword to be carrying and trained to use in order to differentiate him from the wannabes.

My expectation as a prospective employer would be for a Whaler Hired Sword to be equipped with a Harpoon Gun (counts as a Harpoon Crossbow) and a Spear.

He might also be expected to be carrying scrimshaw. Wink

Regards,

Werekin

p.s. If the Harpoon weapon doesn't carry the full desired effect then I would propose a special skill that's unique to the Whaler so that he can reel in his prey. That's more desirable that inventing a weapon which anybody can potentially use to go out whaling with.
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Fri 25 Nov 2011 - 18:39

Well, the harpoon crossbow is just a crossbow with +1 S and prepare shot. It sounds too large for a man-sized model to carry around, and doesn't really scream "manly whaler" to me.

(That being said, I like the image of a MOUNTED harpoon gun... maybe a scenario with it? pirat )

To me, you say whaler, I see manly guy throwing a javelin.

Scrimshaw: my nod to that was the equipment, the "Whalebone Charm":

Whalebone Charm
Carved from the remains of a mighty whale, the charm is whittled with care and said to bring luck to anyone who wears it. Who knows, there might be something to it.
During any turn, a Hero may use his Whalebone Charm. If he does, he chooses to give a +1 or -1 bonus to one of his dice rolls in each Phase (one in Recovery, one in Movement, one in Shooting, one in Combat). The effects last until the end of that turn. If the Hero using it is the Leader, it may be
used on Rout Tests. The Whalebone Charm may only be used once per game.
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Fri 25 Nov 2011 - 19:07

Alright, here's a new draft. I would normally have just made edits, but I made some pretty comprehensive changes to how this guy works.

I suppose one could make a Scrimshander skill that lets one make lucky charms out of captured enemies. Kind of grizzly, but doable...

Norscan Whaler
35 gold coins + 15 gold coins upkeep
Whaling is an important trade for Norsca and whalers are respected even among the warriors. Swimming through the dark currents of the Sea of Chaos are massive whales, many of which bear strange markings and odd colourations, twisted and warped as they are by the power of Chaos. These monsters can capsize ships and swallow hundred of men in a single gulp. Thus, whalers must be made of sterner stuff than the ordinary fishermen.

Some whalers, hoping to retire to a less dangerous means of making a living, sell out their services as mercenaries in dangerous locales like Mordheim, Moussilon, Lustria, Sartosa, and Araby.

May be hired: Any warband that cannot recruit a large creature (discounting hired swords).

Rating: A Norscan Whaler increases a warband's rating by +22 points, plus 1 point for each Experience Point he has.

Profile
M WS BS S T W I A Ld
4 4 4 4 4 1 3 1 7
Equipment: Harpoons (counts as a javeliin and a spear), Buckler

Special Rules:
Behemoth Hunter: The Norscan Whaler is accustomed to hunting the largest and most terrifying of beasts. Double any wounds delivered to a large creature.
Immune to Fear
Reel-in: When the Norscan Whaler uses his harpoon in the shooting phase, if he scores a wounding hit against the target, he may then attempt to reel them in. If the Norscan Whaler passes a Strength test, the target is placed in base contact with the Norscan Whaler, and thus close combat. No charge bonus is awarded to either side.
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Sat 26 Nov 2011 - 5:39

Horatio, feel free to PM me with an email and I shall push a copy of the Whaling article I found your way. Smile

Behemoth Hunter in this form is potentially quite abusive. I don't see that a Whaler would be capable of bringing down all large models as described here. Like I said before, you've already got a Big Game Hunter for hire so this character would benefit from offering some different options. For a start, he would only be experienced in bringing down seaborne beasts. Aquatic creatures are the prey of whalers.

If a whaler specialise in missile attacks to spear their prey then he would not need to begin with WS4. That said if he is planning on spearing a big fish-faced enemy then he would benefit from a combat bonus. I think his ability would be more appropriately conveyed with his Behemoth Hunter skill. There's not much justification for Toughness 4 and I can't find a precedent for a fisherman to be carrying a buckler either!

I rather like the Strength test on 'Reel-in' and that work nicely with a harpoon crossbow on top of javelins. I would not think this grisly hireling any less of a man if he were to carry a proper harpoon weapon to shoot down his barnacled catch. Two missile weapons are allowed to be carried, so how about equipping the Whaler with both a harpoon-gun (counts as harpoon-crossbow) and harpoons (count as javelins).

If he's immune to fear then there is an existing rule title for this by the way;
Hardened: The Council's bodyguard are chosen for their strength and relative fearlessness. They are immune to fear.

For a simple trinket carved from whalebone, that piece of Sartosan ivory looks like a dastardly hybrid of Rabbit's Foot and Map effects. Charms carved from scrimshaw tend to be worn to ward off beasts of the deep. That being the case, I imagined a bauble would have an effect such as this;

Scrimshaw Bauble
40 gold crowns
Availability: Rare 11

An engraved article, of whale ivory, whalebone, or walrus tusks, caught by whalers, usually carved into the shape of an albatross or sea creature then enchanted by a priest of Manann, or the shamans of Norsca. The bauble is supposed to protect the wearer from monsters of the deep.

A Hero wearing a Scrimshaw Bauble receives a special 3+ save against attacks made by models if they are aquatic.


Regards,

Werekin
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Sat 26 Nov 2011 - 7:25

I don't know... if he's used to stabbing massive chaos-warped whales at close range, and dealing with the harsh winds and dangers of the North, I can see WS3 and T4 as fair.

He has a point about the buckler, though. What if he's given a special rule to allow him to wield a normal weapon in his second hand? (dagger, cutlass, axe.)

Reeling In: Still didn't include rules for what happens if you throw it into combat- can you pull him out of combat? Maybe, to make it simple, just add "cannot reel in enemies that are in combat."
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Sat 26 Nov 2011 - 13:47

The buckler was mainly there to give him parry. Also, the throwing weapon and buckler was pretty common in the dark ages, from where I picture the Norscans being drawn.

It makes sense to have both stand alone harpoons and a harpoon crossbow. This guy is supposed to be the beat-all anti-aquatic combatant. To compensate for the boost in firepower, I have subtracted his buckler and changed reelin to move the target 2d6 inches instead of all the way into base combat.

T4 makes sense, W3 works with his now slightly shootier role.

Adding a scrimshaw related skill seems like too much, I might just leave him at that. The scrimshaw bauble looks like a good idea for a naval campaign though. Especially if you anticipate aquatic attacks. Might be ludicrously overpowered against an actual aquatic warband.

Norscan Whaler
35 gold coins + 15 gold coins upkeep
Whaling is an important trade for Norsca and whalers are respected even among the warriors. Swimming through the dark currents of the Sea of Chaos are massive whales, many of which bear strange markings and odd colourations, twisted and warped as they are by the power of Chaos. These monsters can capsize ships and swallow hundred of men in a single gulp. Thus, whalers must be made of sterner stuff than the ordinary fishermen.

Some whalers, hoping to retire to a less dangerous means of making a living, sell out their services as mercenaries in dangerous locales like Mordheim, Moussilon, Lustria, Sartosa, and Araby.

May be hired: Any warband that cannot recruit a large creature (discounting hired swords).

Rating: A Norscan Whaler increases a warband's rating by +22 points, plus 1 point for each Experience Point he has.

Profile
M WS BS S T W I A Ld
4 3 4 4 4 1 3 1 7

Equipment: Harpoon Crossbow (see BTB Ogre warband), Harpoons (counts as a javeliin and a spear)

Skills: The Norscan Whaler may choose from the Shooting and Strength skills lists.
Special Rules:
Pelagic Hunter: The Norscan Whaler is accustomed to hunting and slaying the monstrosities of the open ocean. Aquatic creatures suffer double wounds from hits delivered by the Norscan Whaler.
Hardened: Having come face to face with some of the largest most terrifying beasts the seas have to offer and survived, the Norscan Whaler is immune to fear.
Reel-in: When the Norscan Whaler uses his harpoons or harpoon crossbow in the shooting phase, if he scores a wounding hit against the target, he may then attempt to reel them in. If the Norscan Whaler passes a Strength test, the target is dragged 2d6" towards him. If this movement places the enemy in base contact with the Norscan Whaler, then they have entered close combat. Neither side gains a charging bonus. Targets in close combat already may not be reeled-in,
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Sat 26 Nov 2011 - 17:36

Hello winkle-pickers!

You have overcomplicated 'Reel-In' by incorporating a 2D6 roll. There is already a Strength test being taken to check for the reel. If the test is passed (there is some chance of failing) then it makes sense that the catch is reeled (all the way) in. It would be tempted to suggest the target take a Toughness test instead, to represent tugging away from the Whaler, except that the prey has just been run-through with a bloody harpoon!

Styro's point regarding shooting into combat (and reeling in a model) is mostly moot. You cannot shoot into close combat! Well not unless the game is a multi-player and you have two enemies fighting hand-to-hand! My main criticism here is you have bogged your character down - the length of your entry has doubled in length with no value added. Why not harpoon your enemy and drag them out of a combat with another enemy!? That sounds like a great story to be in.

Pelagic! Ha ha love the fact you've picked out the word pelagic... derived from Greek/Latin to define a character you're portraying as a Norscan. Marine Hunter may help players to get the meaning.

Aside from the were-creature there are no Norse characters with Toughness 4. No, I'm afraid Toughness 3 is the standard characteristic to apply, unless your Hired Sword is a dwarf.

p.s. Let's pretend my cut & paste for Hardened didn't mention anything about a 'Council' eh. Wink
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StyrofoamKing
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Sat 26 Nov 2011 - 20:03

Reeling In: How's this- what if he can only reel in models hit with a THROWN harpoon? That way any model snagged won't be dragged more than 8", so it stays fair.

Well, if it pulls from combat, do the models in combat get a free hit? That's something to be specified. Lots of rules are a pain, but if you're not clear in succint, someone will ask.

Quote :
Aside from the were-creature there are no Norse characters with Toughness 4. No, I'm afraid Toughness 3 is the standard characteristic to apply, unless your Hired Sword is a dwarf.

Grr... I'm sure there are legions of T4 Norscans ready to burn down your desktop. Viking
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werekin
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Sun 27 Nov 2011 - 3:24

Quote :
Reeling In: How's this- what if he can only reel in models hit with a THROWN harpoon? That way any model snagged won't be dragged more than 8", so it stays fair.
LoL. Slight oversight when it comes to reeling in concerning the maximum range of harpoon guns! Okay so the harpooned model would need to be allocated a range to be hauled in. 8" seems like ample haulage per turn but I still think you ought to be able to reel in a gunned model! Whalers then have this decision of whether to prepare another shot to be fired or to reel in the catch.

How encumbering is 30" (or feet?) of fishing line?

Oh and where is this fisherman's net?

Quote :
Grr... I'm sure there are legions of T4 Norscans ready to burn down your desktop.
When the maximum characteristics for humans are S4 and T4 you won't find many! Levelling up is all part of the fun my liege. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: New Hired Sword: Norscan Whaler   Today at 1:33

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