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Northman Characters (Norse, Kurgan, Hung)


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#1 jackdays

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 06:24 PM

I'm building "racial" character abilities / consepts to all Northmen tribes. Idea is to make them little different from each other and original compared for example to the Empire folk. Some abilities and ideas are taken from the Hero's Call supplement.

Few rules that I use:

  • All humans (this including the Northmen) have same beginning Characteristics - Which are 2.
  • Corruption Threshold remains same to all humans.
  • All humans also have same Wound Threshold, but I'll give Northmen bonus ability that rises their stamina one point (making them toughner and bigger in general).
  • Stirland characters have Poor ability, which fits perfectly to the Northmen. But it is more of a penalty than actual bonus, so this should be counted also that way.
  • All the Norsemen share following abilities: Poor, The Grim North, Northeners, Inured to Chaos and Will of Chaos

I was thinking to give the Northmen 7 abilities (+ Poor penalty), but NO bonuses to the Characteristics. One ability makes the Poor penalty, so this leaves 6 abilities. Question is - If I use 20 Creation Points are the Northmen then balanced? Or should there be more Creation Points? Any other ideas?

Norse:
Characteristics 2 (as human)
Creation Points: 20

 Wound Threshold: 10+Toughness rating
Corruption Threshold: 5+Toughness rating

+ Poor: During character creation, it costs 3 creation points for a Northman to start as comfortable, and 4 to start as affluent.
+ The Grim North: Northman’s Wound Threshold is 1 point higher than normal human.
+ Northerners: Two fewer 2 misfortune dice are added to a Northman’s dice pool any effects from cold, wind or bad weather. You may add 1 fortune die for any Environmental Damage checks against cold, because familiarity to cold.
+ Inured to Chaos: Northman can add 1 fortune die to resist Corruption.
+ Will of Chaos: Northman treat the difficulty of all Fear ratings of foes aligned to Chaos as 1 less than normal (to a minimum of 1). In addition, the Terror ratings of foes aligned to Chaos are treated as Fear rating instead (but do not have their rating reduced).

+ The Children of Norsca: During character creation (before investing any creation points), a Norse character may train one of the following basic skills for free – Athletics, Intimidate, Nature Lore, Weapon Skill.
+ Nautical: The Norse add 1 fortune die to any check made to handle a boat, navigate a ship, swim, or work with ropes.
+ Mountain Walk: Norse may ignore terrain-based manoeuvre penalties and up to 2 misfortune penalties to movement and actions performed while in mountain terrain.
 

Kurgan:
Characteristics 2 (as human)
Creation Points: 20

Wound Threshold: 10+Toughness rating
Corruption Threshold: 5+Toughness rating

+ Poor: During character creation, it costs 3 creation points for a Northman to start as comfortable, and 4 to start as affluent.
+ The Grim North: Northman’s Wound Threshold is 1 point higher than normal human.
+ Northerners: Two fewer 2 misfortune dice are added to a Northman’s dice pool any effects from cold, wind or bad weather. You may add 1 fortune die for any Environmental Damage checks against cold, because familiarity to cold.
+ Inured to Chaos: Northman can add 1 fortune die to resist Corruption.
+ Will of Chaos: Northman treat the difficulty of all Fear ratings of foes aligned to Chaos as 1 less than normal (to a minimum of 1). In addition, the Terror ratings of foes aligned to Chaos are treated as Fear rating instead (but do not have their rating reduced).

+ The Children of Wastes: During character creation (before investing any creation points), a Kurgan character may train one of the following basic skills for free – Intimidate, Nature Lore, Ride, Weapon Skill.
+ Riders of the North: The Kurgan add 1 fortune die to any check made to handle a riding animal or drive wagon.
+ Lore of the Wild: When a Kurgan spends a fortune point on a Nature Lore checks, he adds expert die to the check instead of 1 fortune die.

Hung:
Characteristics 2 (as human)
Creation Points: 20

Wound Threshold: 10+Toughness rating
Corruption Threshold: 5+Toughness rating

+ Poor: During character creation, it costs 3 creation points for a Northman to start as comfortable, and 4 to start as affluent.
+ The Grim North: Northman’s Wound Threshold is 1 point higher than normal human.
+ Northerners: Two fewer 2 misfortune dice are added to a Northman’s dice pool any effects from cold, wind or bad weather. You may add 1 fortune die for any Environmental Damage checks against cold, because familiarity to cold.
+ Inured to Chaos: Northman can add 1 fortune die to resist Corruption.
+ Will of Chaos: Northman treat the difficulty of all Fear ratings of foes aligned to Chaos as 1 less than normal (to a minimum of 1). In addition, the Terror ratings of foes aligned to Chaos are treated as Fear rating instead (but do not have their rating reduced).

+ The Children of Wastes: During character creation (before investing any creation points), a Hung character may train one of the following basic skills for free – Ballistic Skill, Discipline, Nature Lore, Resilience.
+ Riders of the North: The Kurgan add 1 fortune die to any check made to handle a riding animal or drive wagon.
+ Stubborn: Hung’s mental characteristics are considered to be one higher for the purposes of determining whether that characteristic is distressed.
 


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#2 Ralzar

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 11:03 PM

I'm wondering why you've combined Characteristics 2 with 20 Creation Points. I mean, this combines the downside of humans with the downside of Elfs and Dwarfs. I'm not sure I see any rules that make up for the fact that they start off with lower attributes than the other races?



#3 jackdays

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:29 AM

Ralzar said:

 

I'm wondering why you've combined Characteristics 2 with 20 Creation Points. I mean, this combines the downside of humans with the downside of Elfs and Dwarfs. I'm not sure I see any rules that make up for the fact that they start off with lower attributes than the other races?

 

 

Well, my idea is not (well, not easily) to give extra bonuses to Characteristics for humans. Humans should be about the same in their physiology. I quess the idea of giving Characteristic bonuses to the other races is to give them little different physical or mental - Well aspects - compared to humans. Other races just are different… But, yes. If you dont count Halflings, non-humans seem to be little more powerful.

But this is my question here - Are the Northmen balanced? Should there be more Creation Points?

Average human gains 2 abilities with 25 Creation Points. Non-humans seem to gain 4 abilities and bonuses to Characteristics, but only 20 Creation Points. Now, the Northmen each now have 6 abilities (if the sevent is counted to balance the POOR ability).


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#4 Emirikol

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:52 AM

I believe you should do the standard 25 point design.  Otherwise these are great.  A good, quick test would be to post a sample character for these.

 [edit:  You should also submit these once you have them perfected to the Liber Fanatica 10 :)  ]

jh



#5 jackdays

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:19 PM

Emirikol said:

I believe you should do the standard 25 point design.  Otherwise these are great.  A good, quick test would be to post a sample character for these.

 [edit:  You should also submit these once you have them perfected to the Liber Fanatica 10 :)  ]

jh

Well, I started with standard 25p design. It didn't really do it - There are so many abilities Northmen need (or they end up been same as Northlanders)!

I'm thinking of adding one more "penalty" ability (this would be social penalty with any other race or human group, maybe 1 misfortune die). But even with that I can only manage to even up the abilities ALL the Northmen share (the grim north, inured to chaos, northlanders, will of chaos). If I want to separate them little from each other, then more abilities are needed.

Maybe I just should rise CP from 20 --> ?


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#6 Yepesnopes

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:59 PM

If I were you, I will convine the information of the 2nd edition and the "race template" of the 3rd ed a bit differently, of course, this is a matter of taste.

For Norse I will stick to the more "human type template" that is 25 creation points and two abilities. It is easy to be tempted to give many abilities to further personalize the archetype, but I will try to just keep the two most characteristics. Probably Inured to Chaos + another one (i do not know which could be the second).

For Kurgan (as I said I am following the second edition) I would use the Dwarf Template, that is St3 and To3, the dwarf wound threshold and 20 creation points. Then three abilities, again Inured to Chaos one more (may be even something like the Grudge ability of the dwarfs to reflect their superiority in combat). The third ability would be the typical list of three or four abilities from where you can chose one to train for free.

For the Hung, sorry, the second edition only gives descriptions of them, and I am not the best person to give counsel over the topic, I been never too into it.

Finally, to cover the "other" abilities that I would have skipped (in order to stay within the 3rd edition template), I would create basic and advanced careers to reflect them. In the Tome of Corruption you have plenty of ideas. You can adjust the careers to reflect their nature lore, warrior like behaviour, extra wounds advancements to reflect their toughness etc.

Well, that is my vision, I hope it helps,but I am not en expert of the North.


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#7 Ralzar

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 12:11 AM

Yeah, I have to agree with Yepesnopes. I'd suggest not giving them so many abilities it seems like you're going a bit overboard. Drop the Poor quality and drop some of the positive ones also. Boil it down to what EVERY norse should have as an ability. Seafaring, for example, might fit many norse but not all. Some of them live inland, working in mining villages and similar.

Another reason to avoid so many race rules is because they're a damn hassle to use. Honestly, stuff with very specific applications, like night vision for elves and dwarfs, is just a hassle to remember and keep track of during play. They break the beauty of the WFRP design because you don't get a card with the abilities, but have to refer to something you scribbled on your sheet, which is what WFRP3e has moved away from in all other aspects of the game. The fewer and cleaner the race rules are, the better. Making the character truly special is done through Roleplaying and allovcation of character creation points, not through how many special rules the race gets.

Btw: Kurgan and Hung are so similar I'd say they could use the same set of rules.

 

Edit: Why do they have the rule "The Grim North"? It just gives +1 Wound. Why didn't you just say "Wound Threshold: 11+Toughness rating"?

Personally, I think you should choose either 25 creation Points and a 222222 attribute line, or 20 creation points and a 332222 attribute line for each race. Yepesnopes suggestion was an interesting way to differentiate Kurgan from Norse.
Then, give them all "Inured To Chaos" and one or two more rules that shows what's special about the race. For example Riding for Kurgan and Mounteneering/Seatravel for Norse.
An ability that gives them access to Weapon Skill, Resilience or Nature Lore is also a good idea. Otherwise they are limited to a very narrow set of careers in order to get access to skills they should naturally have and a rule like that is only used during character creation, so you don't have to remember it during play.



#8 jackdays

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:42 AM

Ralzar said:

 

Yeah, I have to agree with Yepesnopes. I'd suggest not giving them so many abilities it seems like you're going a bit overboard. Drop the Poor quality and drop some of the positive ones also. Boil it down to what EVERY norse should have as an ability. Seafaring, for example, might fit many norse but not all. Some of them live inland, working in mining villages and similar.

Another reason to avoid so many race rules is because they're a damn hassle to use. Honestly, stuff with very specific applications, like night vision for elves and dwarfs, is just a hassle to remember and keep track of during play. They break the beauty of the WFRP design because you don't get a card with the abilities, but have to refer to something you scribbled on your sheet, which is what WFRP3e has moved away from in all other aspects of the game. The fewer and cleaner the race rules are, the better. Making the character truly special is done through Roleplaying and allovcation of character creation points, not through how many special rules the race gets.

Btw: Kurgan and Hung are so similar I'd say they could use the same set of rules.

 Edit: Why do they have the rule "The Grim North"? It just gives +1 Wound. Why didn't you just say "Wound Threshold: 11+Toughness rating"?

Personally, I think you should choose either 25 creation Points and a 222222 attribute line, or 20 creation points and a 332222 attribute line for each race. Yepesnopes suggestion was an interesting way to differentiate Kurgan from Norse.
Then, give them all "Inured To Chaos" and one or two more rules that shows what's special about the race. For example Riding for Kurgan and Mounteneering/Seatravel for Norse.
An ability that gives them access to Weapon Skill, Resilience or Nature Lore is also a good idea. Otherwise they are limited to a very narrow set of careers in order to get access to skills they should naturally have and a rule like that is only used during character creation, so you don't have to remember it during play.

 

 

Good points - have to consider less abilities. Even Kurgan and Hung are similar I wanted to give them different set of abilities. Actually same set is the easiest way - But dont wanna go there. As for various Norse tribes (and why not other Northmen) I was thinking giving options to choose (kind of seafarer or mountaineer). So, these three are just average racial templates, tribal ones (or tribal options) next…

One problem that I have is, that Nordlanders (Hero's Call) are basicly Norse (without any chaos related)! Curse… They have resistance to cold and sailing! So, Norse for example should have those too… I'll mix these ideas.

 

By the way - I know you dont like too much these special abilities, but I was considering also penalty to social actions with other than own race. The Northmen are very careful even among each other, not to mention when they have interaction with other races…

 


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#9 Ralzar

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 08:32 AM

jackdays said:

 

By the way - I know you dont like too much these special abilities, but I was considering also penalty to social actions with other than own race. The Northmen are very careful even among each other, not to mention when they have interaction with other races…

 

 

 

While I agree in principle, that kind of argument could be made about all the races, and even within the different parts of the Empire. Fear of dwarfs and elves is rampant, as well as fear of wizards and even fear of foreigners. Not to mention less than flattering stereotypes about people from different parts of the Empire.

That stuff seems to so far be left up to the GM to consider. Does this person have an negative impression of norse? Misfortune Dice on social checks. Does this person have a fear of norse marauders? Fortune Dice on Intimidate checks etc.



#10 jackdays

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:05 AM

 

Northmen Rules v2. New rule-set based on the comments:

  • Amount of abilities lowered.
  • I use CP20 and two 3 point characteristics template to all.
  • 3 point Characterstics are TOUGHNESS and WILLPOWER. That will give Northmen more physical and mental stamina (extra Wound and bonus to discipline). "Defensive, resilient, enduring, and resolute." Also it will make northmen physically powerful, but not as powerful as Dwarfs.
  • I use 4 abilities (as with non-humans, but also Poor ability). BUT my idea is to give extra choises (to give variations inside the northman race, maybe based on the actual tribe).
  • Some ideas, like social penalties, will be optional rules, not actual abilities - Thank you Ralzar, for input on that one.

 

 

 

Norse:
Strength 2
Toughness 3
Agility 2
Intelligence 2
Willpower 3
Fellowship 2
Creation Points: 20

Wound Threshold: 9+Toughness rating
Corruption Threshold: 5+Toughness rating

  • Poor: During character creation, it costs 3 creation points for a Northman to start as comfortable, and 4 to start as affluent.
  • Northerners: Two fewer 2 misfortune dice are added to a Northman’s dice pool any effects from cold, wind or bad weather. You may add 1 fortune die for any Environmental Damage checks against cold, because familiarity to cold.
  • Inured to Chaos: Northman can add 1 fortune die to resist Corruption.
  • The Children of Norsca: During character creation (before investing any creation points), a Norse character may train one of the following basic skills for free – Athletics, Intimidate, Nature Lore, Weapon Skill.
  • Nautical: The Norse add 1 fortune die to any check made to handle a boat, navigate a ship, swim, or work with ropes.

or

  • Mountain Walk: Norse may ignore terrain-based manoeuvre penalties and up to 2 misfortune penalties to movement and actions performed while in mountain terrain.

or

  • possible something else…based on the tribe…
     

Kurgan:
Strength 2
Toughness 3
Agility 2
Intelligence 2
Willpower 3
Fellowship 2
Creation Points: 20

Wound Threshold: 9+Toughness rating
Corruption Threshold: 5+Toughness rating

  • Poor: During character creation, it costs 3 creation points for a Northman to start as comfortable, and 4 to start as affluent.
  • Northerners: Two fewer 2 misfortune dice are added to a Northman’s dice pool any effects from cold, wind or bad weather. You may add 1 fortune die for any Environmental Damage checks against cold, because familiarity to cold.
  • Inured to Chaos: Northman can add 1 fortune die to resist Corruption.
  • Will of Chaos: Northman treat the difficulty of all Fear ratings of foes aligned to Chaos as 1 less than normal (to a minimum of 1). In addition, the Terror ratings of foes aligned to Chaos are treated as Fear rating instead (but do not have their rating reduced).
  • Riders of the North: The Kurgan add 1 fortune die to any check made to handle a riding animal or drive wagon.
     

Hung:
Strength 2
Toughness 3
Agility 2
Intelligence 2
Willpower 3
Fellowship 2
Creation Points: 20
 

Wound Threshold: 9+Toughness rating
Corruption Threshold: 5+Toughness rating

  • Poor: During character creation, it costs 3 creation points for a Northman to start as comfortable, and 4 to start as affluent.
  • Northerners: Two fewer 2 misfortune dice are added to a Northman’s dice pool any effects from cold, wind or bad weather. You may add 1 fortune die for any Environmental Damage checks against cold, because familiarity to cold.
  • Inured to Chaos: Northman can add 1 fortune die to resist Corruption.
  • Will of Chaos: Northman treat the difficulty of all Fear ratings of foes aligned to Chaos as 1 less than normal (to a minimum of 1). In addition, the Terror ratings of foes aligned to Chaos are treated as Fear rating instead (but do not have their rating reduced).
  • The Children of Wastes: During character creation (before investing any creation points), a Hung character may train one of the following basic skills for free – Discipline, Nature Lore, Ride, Resilience.

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#11 Ralzar

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 11:28 AM

 Ooh, starting with Th/WP 3 instead of St/Th 3 is something I did not think about but actually fits pretty well and makes them more distinct from both normal humans and dwarfs. I like it.

I know I was the one who mentioned it, but looking at the norscan rules I think it might be better to just have a rule for sea travel. Mountain travel is mostly covered by giving access to Athletics and Nature Lore. The nautical rule seems a bit of a hassle to keep track of though. It might be easier to remember a rule like this: "Norse ignore one Misfortune Dice on any check caused by being at sea." This gives the norse a particular advantage when sailing in rough seas.

The Kurgan "Riders of the North" rule seems very underpowered compared to Norse and Hung. I think you might as well just give them Ride as a skill. Alternatively a set of available skills, like the Norse and Hung.



#12 jackdays

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:43 PM

Ralzar said:

 

…I know I was the one who mentioned it, but looking at the norscan rules I think it might be better to just have a rule for sea travel. Mountain travel is mostly covered by giving access to Athletics and Nature Lore. The nautical rule seems a bit of a hassle to keep track of though. It might be easier to remember a rule like this: "Norse ignore one Misfortune Dice on any check caused by being at sea." This gives the norse a particular advantage when sailing in rough seas…

 

 

But, with Nautical, the Norse are as good as Nordlanders and now even more tough (with 2x3 characteristics)  

But, I'm still thinking OPTIONAL HOUSE RULE. So, that each Northman race (norse, kurgan, hung) would have three or four optional abilities. And you can choose ONE as the last (fourth) ability. The idea is that this last one would be most suited for the actual tribe character comes, because there are differences. And this way you could build little different templates for each tribe!

Example: The Norse might choose 1 from: Nautical, Mountain Walk, Grim, Lore of the Wild.

  • And for example most Baersonlings are mountain tribes (or nomads moving in the Troll Country), so most common choises would be Mountain Walk or Grim. Nautical would be minority among their kind (or not option).
  • Sarls are half and half (half living in the highlands half in the coastline). Common choise would be either Mountain Walk or Nautical.
  • Skaelings are seafarers. Most common choise would be Nautical and maybe Lore of the Wild.
  • …etc.

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#13 Angrontyr

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 09:57 PM

 Firstly, I want to thank you guys for bringing the light and life to norsca, really awesome work!
 Been using kalevalahammer-stuff for my norscan plotlines and it is invaluable!

 

I am in the middle of planning a campaign and was thinking of trying the 3 ed (been using 2 ed so far) for a "prequel", as to see if the rules can fit the story (alot of suspiciousness towards 3 ed rules from my players).

Anyhoo, this prequel is set in the mountains of norsca, and after been reading through this thread (and reading Ralzars career talents and careers) I've been thinking of this:

Norse WFRP3

25 CP

S 2
T 2
A 2
I 2
W 2
F 2

Nature of the North: Choose a skill to be trained from the beginning (Rank prerequisite still apply):
Athletics, Resilience, Weapon Skill, Nature Lore

10+Toughness wound Threshold
Life is but a dream: Add 1 Reckless counter.
Will of Chaos: Re-roll failed fear checks.
Gift from the Gods: Gain 1 mutation and/or XX corruption.

Career choices:
Hunter
Settler (Commoner)
Whaler (Boatman)
Thrall (Servant)
Berserker (Trollslayer)
Bondsman (Soldier)
Marauder (Mercenary)
Vitki (Apprentice wizard)
Reaver (Thug)
Skald (Minstrel)
Tradesman (Burgher)
Outlaw (Scout)

Warleader (Sergeant)
Chaos Warrior (Veteran)
Slaver (Merchant)
Maledictor (Acolyte)

 

There might be some fundamentaly wrong things in here since I only got the starter box, and would gladly take pointers :)


 



#14 Ralzar

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:45 PM

That looks pretty good. Only things I would consider changing is this:

"Gift from the Gods: Gain 1 mutation and/or XX corruption."
Gaining a mutation at character creation is a bit much. The mutations are generally pretty extreme, and this rule sort of implies that all norse are mutated. A mutation is seen as a blessing from the gods, not something everyone has. They could start with X Corruption, but what I might as well suggest then, is for them to have a lower Corruption Treshold to represent them starting out closer to being affected by chaos.

"Vitki (Apprentice wizard)"
The problem here, is that you wind up with one of the Magic Order cards, which doesn't really fit. You really need the expansion boxes to do the Vitki and similar shamanistic spellcasters justice.



#15 jackdays

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:51 AM

Angrontyr said:

 

 Vitki (Apprentice wizard)

There might be some fundamentaly wrong things in here since I only got the starter box, and would gladly take pointers :)

 

 

There isn't really wrong options here - We have thrown various ideas, and I think good ones, here. I think the main problem in your type of Norsca Template is that Nordlander Template (you can found these from the Hero's Call supplement) makes them - Well, more Norse, than the actual Norse. Nordlanders get bonuses to seafaring (nautical) and resistance to cold. That is why I decided to forget the Characteristics 2 and CP25 idea.

As for the Norse Seer and then more experienced Vitki, the best way to go is Witches Song. It provides rules for witchcraft / hedge-magic. And two careers that fit perfectly to their roles:

  • Norse Seer: The Witch
  • Vitki: Warlock
  • Then careers beyond Warlock can be found from these forums also. There was topic titled as "The Dark Side" by Yepesnopes.

 As for the mutations - I would give maybe % change for mutation, but if campaign takes place in the Old World it might be better if character would be "clean"… but this is matter of opinion…

 


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#16 Angrontyr

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:12 AM

 Thanks for the input guys!

They'll begin game with a few corruption points instead of a mutation, agreed, every norse hasn't got tentacles and eyestalks, but proximity to the chaos wastes doesnt leave them untouched.

I will probably keep the 2/char beginning stat-line and 25 CP, since most of the careers available to them will increase the physical characteristics, 10+To wound threshold and a skill-freebie helps to diffrentiate from reiklanders, but I would like to take a closer look on the nordlander-rules that you mention.

Seems like i need alot of boxes for this game :D



#17 jackdays

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 07:35 PM

Angrontyr said:

 I will probably keep the 2/char beginning stat-line and 25 CP, since most of the careers available to them will increase the physical characteristics, 10+To wound threshold and a skill-freebie helps to diffrentiate from reiklanders, but I would like to take a closer look on the nordlander-rules that you mention.

Nordlander Characters:

Characteristics 2

 

  • Northerners: Two fewer 2 misfortune dice are added to a Northman’s dice pool any effects from cold, wind or bad weather.
  • Nautical: The Norse add 1 fortune die to any check made to handle a boat, navigate a ship, swim, or work with ropes.
  • Diversity: Ath chracter creation, Nordlanders begin with 25 creation points.
  • Wound Threshold: 9+Toughness rating
  • Corruption Threshold: 5+Toughness rating

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