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This is the least epic thing you will see from this franchise.

"Prepare thyself to enter a world of daemons and vile sorcery, of battle and death, of violence and of madness."

"The fate of the world, be it damnation or salvation will soon be decided. This is a world of eternal war and fleeting glory. This is the world of Warhammer."

"The gods of strife shall feast upon this day, and every day hence, until the end of time."

Excerpts from the introduction to the 8th edition rulebook

Warhammer is the generic name of a number of tabletop Wargames and Tabletop RPGs marketed by UK firm Games Workshop. "Warhammer" was a tabletop battle game that began in 1983 and was previously known as Warhammer Fantasy Battle (WHFB).

    About the Setting 

Warhammer takes place on an unnamed planet that bears a striking resemblance to our own Earth, with continents laid out in a similar pattern, though not quite the same shape.

Most of the action takes place within "The Old World", roughly analogous to 16th century Europe. The continent is dominated by the Empire of Man, a human-dominated polity based on the real life Holy Roman Empire and presided over by an elected Emperor and a dogmatic Church Militant centered on worship of the Empire's founder, the barbarian warrior-king Sigmar. The Empire's western neighbour and rival/occasional ally is the kingdom of Bretonnia, a comparatively poor and socially backwards analogue of France with a dash of King Arthur's England (but very wrong) thrown in for flavour along with every foul stereotype of The Dung Ages. There are other human realms in the Old World including the mysterious and rain-swept island of Albion, the grimly proud and frigidly cold northeastern realm of Kislev, the free Merchant City state of Marienburg, and the civilized and cosmopolitan southern kingdoms of Estalia and Tilea, but these are usually kept Out of Focus in the wider narrative and not represented by official armies in the game.

There is also "The New World", which has two continents: Naggaroth in the north, an inhospitable frozen wasteland home to all manner of terrible monsters, not least of which the cruel and xenophobic Dark Elves, and southern Lustria, a sweltering southern jungle home to the Lizardmen as well as other dangers. There is also a third continent: Ulthuan, the Atlantis-esque home of the High Elves. At the very north pole of the world is the Chaos Wastes, a nightmare realm from which the greatest evils of the world originate.

In addition, the map of the Warhammer world includes several Out of Focus locations not covered by the game, with such original names as Araby, Ind, Nippon and Cathay (Cathay is even protected by a "Great Bastion").

Standard fantasy elements are also present — the Elves used to dominate the world but are now a shadow of their former selves, splitting into three factions after a civil war and now battling against impending extinction in a world that is no longer theirs to call; Dwarfs occupy the few mountain strongholds that have not yet fallen to Skaven, Orcs and Goblins, fighting a desperate defensive war with grim determination. Chaos represents a constant existential threat for the good... erm, civilized races, both in the form of great warbands of mutated and corrupted warriors and as insidious cult activity in the heart of society.

The uninitiated might think that Warhammer isn't all that bad and is a heroic fantasy land on its way to getting better — that's right. There are just a few small problems like delusional (or worse) madmen empowered by the Dark Gods to increasingly frequently lead crusades reducing the world further into hellish misery and incorporate it into the REAL hell. Then there are the rampaging hordes of Greenskins, both Orcs and goblins, scarily psychopathic aliens infesting everywhere existing only to joyously, brutally and (with known exceptions) mercilessly fight, destroy, enslave, kill and in the case of goblins malevolently torture every innocent creature they could find — and the Greenskins are the comic relief in this setting. If you thought things would get better after that, that's just two of the usually gray forces inhabiting the world, which only survived as long as it did because of the eternal sacrifice of some Elven mages imprisoned in their own spell, maintaining it forever to keep the forces of Chaos from overwhelming the world like they almost did in ancient times and nigh-inevitably did anyway. But it really could have been saved if only those tasty... uh... good-willed denizens of it would have heeded wisdom!

The writing of the setting is quintessentially British, with a bleak and cynical feel and a constant undercurrent of very dry and often gallows humour. If you were to combine equal parts J. R. R. Tolkien, Michael Moorcock's The Elric Saga, Conan the Barbarian, Dungeons & Dragons, A Song of Ice and Fire, Monty Python, Berserk, and Terry Pratchett's Discworld, with a little H. P. Lovecraft for good measure, then you would have found something similar to Warhammer.

    How to Play the Game 

Warhammer is a tabletop wargame where two or more players compete against each other with "armies" of 20mm to 50mm heroic scale miniatures. Armies of each race/faction are composed of melee and missile infantry, cavalry, chariots, artillery pieces, monstrous infantry, large monsters both groundborne and flying, and spellcasters, all led by mighty heroes. Many doctrines of warfare from Earth's history are represented: the Empire bringing stalwart 16th Century pike-and-shot tercio tactics; Bretonnia relying on the knightly cavalry charges of the High Middle Ages; the High Elves combining the phalanxes of ancient Greece with magic, war beasts and customary elvish grace and badassery; the Greenskins rampaging forward as an Onrushing Army of Iron Age barbarians eager for the slaughter; the Skaven haphazardly fielding World War I-esque ratling guns, poison gas grenadiers and sniper teams alongside hordes of Clanrats armed with nothing but primitive clubs and torches, and so on.

The rules of the game are published in a series of rulebooks, which describe how to move miniatures around the game surface and simulate combat in a balanced and fair manner. Games may be played on any appropriate surface, although the standard is a 6 ft. by 4 ft. tabletop decorated with model scenery in scale with the miniatures. Any individual or group of miniatures in the game is called a "unit", whether represented by a single model or group of similar troops.

The core game rules are supplied in a single book, with supplemental Warhammer Army Books giving guidelines and background for army-specific rules. Movement about the playing surface is generally measured in inches and combat between troops or units given a random element with the use of 6-sided dice. Points values are assigned to each unit and option in the game, giving players the ability to play on even terms. An average game has armies of 750 to 3,000 points, although smaller and larger values are quite possible.

Gameplay follows a turn structure in which one player completes all movement for troops, then simulates casting spells (when spell-using units are available) and uses all ranged or missile weapons in the army such as bows and handguns, followed by any units in contact fighting in melee or close-combat. After finishing, the second player does the same. This is repeated for a number of equal turns, generally six, although occasionally to a time limit or until no units are left on the playing surface. The winner is often determined by victory points; earning a number equal to the value of enemy units killed. Special factors, or "objectives" could add or subtract from this total based on predefined goals, usually holding parts of the battlefield or killing powerful units (such as the enemy general).

Dice rolls generally uses traditional six-sided dice (d6), with a high result being desirable (in most cases). For example, an archer unit is given a statistic that allows it to hit on the roll of a four or more. Various factors can change this number, reducing or raising the number needed. Mitigation of random results is a large part of the game, as well as traditional battlefield tactics. In some cases, other types of dice are needed; this could be a d3 (simulated with a normal die, 1 and 2 counting as a result of 1 and so on), or it can be a 6-sided "scatter" die used to generate random directions, often used alongside an "artillery" die (also 6-sided), used mainly for cannons, stone-throwers, and unusual variant artillery.


The wargame also spawned a role-playing game tie-in, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, which is not unlike a Darker and Edgier Low Fantasy version of Dungeons & Dragons. Like its Sci-Fi sister game line, it also has some Gaiden Games: Blood Bowl, a "fantasy football" wargame set in a parallel dimension of the Warhammer where a kind of ultra-violent rugby has become Serious Business among the various races and replaced war as the chief way they settle their differences; Mordheim, a semi-postapocalyptic wargame set in the eponymous ruined city after it got levelled by a meteorite of solid Wyrdstone, leaving mercenary warbands and cutthroat war parties scrambling for the meteorite shards for different nefarious purposes; HeroQuest, a Dungeon Crawler-style board game, also set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe; and last but not least Man-O-War, a naval combat game set in the Warhammer world where players pit fleets of cool warships against each other.

There's also Warmaster, another miniature wargame within the same setting that uses smaller figures and a zoomed-out scale, thus allowing much larger battles. Warmaster became popular with historical wargamers and a specially-modified version called Warmaster Ancients is one of the major rule sets used for ancient and medieval historical wargames. There's also Battle Masters, a Milton Bradley board game that uses models the same scale as Warhammer.

The setting has a few computer games, among them Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat, Warhammer: Dark Omen, Warhammer Online and Warhammer: Mark of Chaos, which met with varying reception. There is also a Left 4 Dead-ish game set in the End Times setting, appropriately titled The End Times: Vermintide and its sequel Vermintide II. There is also the Total War: Warhammer series of strategy games by Creative Assembly. Warhammer has also given inspiration to non-RPG tabletop games, such as Chaos Invasion and Chaos Marauders. It spawned a relatively long-running (and decently successful) Collectible Card Game simply known as Warcry, although the mechanics of the game were very close to the actual miniatures game. Finally for Warhammer-curious bibliophiles, there are a large number of novels set in the Warhammer world such as Warhammer: Time of Legends, Drachenfels and the Gotrek & Felix series.

In the second half of 2014, a campaign/expansion was added: Warhammer: The End Times. This campaign was a huge leap fluff-wise and game-wise. Long story short, Archeaon the Everchosen finally launched his invasion, but before that Mannfred von Carstein and Arkhan the Black set things in motion to stop him by resurrecting Nagash. Everything consequently (and quite literally) went to Hell in the handbasket: Daemonic invasions all over the world, Skaven overran entire human kingdoms, Bretonnia suffered a civil war... Tropes relating to this period of the game's history should be placed on this page. The eventual result was the ultimate triumph of the Forces of Chaos and the total destruction of the world at their hands, followed by a Soft Reboot of Warhammer in the form of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar.

After the events of Warhammer: The End Times, Warhammer was officially discontinued and replaced with the Warhammer: Age of Sigmar game universe by Games Workshop in July 2015. All official support for Warhammer Fantasy Battle was discontinued until 2024, which saw the release of Warhammer: The Old World, a revisiting of the setting at an earlier point in its history, 243 years before the End Times, as a rough equivalent of the Horus Heresy: Age of Darkness game for Warhammer 40,000.

For tropes relating to this game's sister product, the sci-fi-themed Warhammer 40,000, please add them to that page and not here. Although sharing some common themes, they are two distinct game lines in different settings.


Tropes for the Tropes God!:

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  • 13 Is Unlucky: Skaven worship the number thirteen. They're also ruled by a body called the Council of Thirteen, although there are twelve Skaven on it. The empty chair is for their Horned God. They also have exactly 169 Grey Seers (that's 13 x 13) and exactly 13 spells (guess which one is the strongest and most terrifying?). Even their bells chime 13 times. In the last edition of the Skaven army book, they only got Irresistible Force on a casting roll of a 13, rather than the usual 2 or more 6's. That's right, one of the basic rules of the game bent for how much they worshiped 13.
  • Abnormal Ammo: The Doom Diver catapult fires a goblin in a hang glider, Warplock guns fire Green Rocks, Screaming Skull Catapults fire flaming, screaming skulls, Thundertusks fire giant iceballs.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Many races have their own brand of blade weapon(s) that, in the game's terms, ignore the target's armor saves. The most famous being the twelve Runefangs from The Empire.
  • A Commander Is You:
    • Empire: Balanced/Generalist. The Empire can field any combination of units to suit any playstyle. Whether you want magic, infantry, cavalry, artillery, powerful heroes, it doesn't matter as the Empire will have something for you. This versatility however does mean that the Empire isn't particularly strong in any one aspect. For example, Dwarfs will always outgun you, Skaven will always outnumber you, and High Elves will always out-magic you.
    • Bretonnia: Brute/Spammer/Unit Specialist (Cavalry). Bretonnian armies are usually built around a small core of Magic Knight elite cavalry with high mobility, tough armour and a ward save to boot, with support from hordes of very weak peasant infantry meant to soften up enemy forces with their bows before the knights go in for the killing blow. Trebuchets represent their only artillery piece, but they hit hard — use them wisely.
    • Dwarfs: Elitist/Loyal/Unit Specialist (Artillery). The Stone Wall faction. Dwarfs have solid line infantry with high toughness, armour and good leadership, making them tough to shift. Their artillery is just as superb, able to really reach out and touch the enemy from behind a sturdy dwarf battle line. However they're very slow and they have no cavalry or traditional magic to speak of (they do have magic items though).
    • Chaos Dwarfs: Elitist/Loyal/Brute: Acting almost like an ace-custom version of the Dwarfs, Chaos Dwarfs have most of the Dwarfs strengths (same toughness and morale, with even better armour and some crazy artillery) and also add in a few nasty tricks of their own (a decent, cheap tarpit in the form of Hobgoblins, some actual cavalry in the form of Bull Centaurs, and even the ability to use magic). However, Hobgoblins aside, Chaos Dwarf units are very expensive on a per-model basis and, as a result, building a balanced list can be difficult. A common way to describe a Chaos Dwarf army is, "You can make it good at anything, but you can't make it good at everything."
    • High Elves: Elitist/Technical/Unit Specialist (Magic). High Elf armies are small and their units are expensive and don't have much armour or staying power, but they're the best army when it comes to the magic phase, and their elite infantry do well in their chosen role.
    • Dark Elves: Guerilla/Brute. Dark Elf units are cheaper than High Elf equivalents and just as fragile, but they move and strike like lightning with their high initiative and movement. They have a few hefty linebreaker-type units like the Hydra, but you won't be fielding many of those. Basically a Glass Hammer army; you'll wallop other armies but be careful not to break yourself against them, and don't get shot.
    • Wood Elves: Guerilla/Ranger/Gimmick. Guerilla warfare is the name of the game for the Wood Elves. Highly mobile, superb long-range shooting and especially adept at fighting in woodland. Be aware that the Wood Elves need a lot of tactical thought and skill to be effective; they can't rely on heavy armour or big scary killing machines like the other armies can and getting bogged down will put them on the losing side quickly.
    • Lizardmen: Brute/Spammer/Unit Specialist (Monstrous Creature). You pick Lizardmen because you like dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes, from tiny skinks to hulking T. rex and Stegosaurus beasts. Temple Guard are hideous beatsticks and can bull aside any other infantry apart from the elite Warriors of Chaos. They also have pretty decent magic, all the better for making sure those heavy-hitters hit even heavier. Their main weaknesses are their issues with coordinating fast and slow units, somewhat expensive units, and vulnerability to artillery.
    • Vampire Counts: Spammer/Technical/Gimmick. These undead have no options for shooting except for magical attacks, lucky then that their magic is exceptional. Their heroes are very good in combat, and few other armies can field fodder in such numbers; they may die in droves but you're the undead, there's always more where that came from. Between that and also being immune to morale loss, the Vampires will win the battle of attrition every time.
    • Tomb Kings: Spammer/Technical, even moreso than the Vampires. Reliant on light infantry blocks with skirmishing units backed up by magic, but armour is a very rare thing in the Tomb Kings army. Their infantry are fragile but they don't rout, so make sure the enemy does first. Something of a Pariah faction as their limited power means they need a lot of good planning to be effective.
    • Warriors of Chaos: Elitist/Brute/Unit Specialist (Melee Infantry). Welcome to the most melee-centric army in the whole game. All their units are very durable, hit like trucks and have high weapon skill. Your basic troops can often beat up the elite infantry of other armies. On the other hand they have zero ranged options and zero tactical subtlety — it's just a roving wall of spiky black metal death that advances on the enemy. Don't count on fielding many units either; those badass troops are pricey.
    • Chaos Daemons: Elitist/Brute/Gimmick. Chaos Daemons are poorly armoured and have no shooting, but with their vast tactical options, superb stats, and plethora of special rules granting fear coming out their ears and deep striking, you won't mind. The Reign of Chaos table means they can be buffed into nightmarish levels of power or crippled with a roll of the dice. They were a notorious Game-Breaker in 7th Edition.
    • Beastmen: Spammer/Guerilla. Beastman infantry can move like cavalry and are quite difficult to kill, but their very low leadership means all of their units are likely to bolt if your general isn't nearby. Thankfully many of their leader choices are good. Pariah in 8th Edition.
    • Greenskins: Balanced/Brute/Gimmick. Greenskins field a selection of very powerful- um, "right killy" infantry specialised in their close combat role, and quite cheap too. Orcs are stronger, but goblins bring sheer numbers. They do suffer from terrible leadership and initiative though, and from the Animosity special rule that causes them to fight amongst themselves. Like Beastmen, you'll want to keep a big leader near infantry to stop them panicking or fighting each other.
    • Skaven: Spammer/Gimmick. Like dirt-cheap infantry, fairly powerful shooting and silliness? Skaven are for you. Your troops will drop like flies and run the moment things start going badly, but that doesn't matter because you'll be swamping enemies with numbers which the Vampires would find excessive. Their artillery and warmachines are very dangerous, but be careful they don't blow themselves up (or accept they will and be prepared to laugh at them — Skaven life is cheap).
    • Ogre Kingdoms: Elitist/Brute, in a way you wouldn't believe. It's like having a small army of humanoid tanks. All of them have multiple wounds, high toughness, obscene strength, Impact Hits and Stomp. Ogres can laugh off small-arms fire and smash through enemy units like wrecking balls. Just know that magic and artillery will give them a rough time, they can easily be swarmed, and each ogre that does go down is a serious points-cost loss.
  • Action Initiative: Models with the always strikes first rule always well, strike first, regardless of whether their initiative is higher than their opponent. If their initiative is higher, then they can re-roll failed to hit rolls.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: One of the big reasons the Warhammer world is so insane is that every faction needs to be able, in canon, to fight every faction, including itself.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Vlad von Carstein. He was less cruel towards his peasants than the former Count of Sylvania, von Drakhoff, who would have peasants's heads put on stakes for lulz. Vlad even went one-on-one with a bandit king terrorizing the province. Plus, honestly, trying to take over the empire is actually a pretty common pastime for Elector Counts so that's hardly a point against him.
      • Also, considering that he kicked out the Priests of Morr, who are required to pass on in that part of the world, he's allowing of his subjects to stick around after being killed, instead of risking being consumed by the gods of Chaos.
      • In the short story The Ninth Book, it is inferred that Vlad actually wants to enslave the Empire, to prevent them turning to Chaos. If they served him, they would be unable to serve Chaos in life or death.
    • The setting paints many vampires as being like this. Apparently turning into a vampire heightens and inflames natural passions, adding a dark, predatory edge to a person, but leaves their personality mostly unchanged. The problem is the natural passions of humanity in this world kind of tend towards the crazy anyway, so a warrior with a violent edge becomes bloodthirsty or a flirtatious person becomes a seductive assassin and so on, leading to conflict with each other and everyone else.
  • Afterlife of Service:
    • Nehekharan skeletons were soldiers in life who were willingly buried alive under burning sand to serve their master in undeath.
    • The souls of Khornate warriors are taken to their god's fortress, where they fight and die and are resurrected to fight again every day. But deserters, cowards and sorcerers are instead chained for eternity to massive forges where they create weapons for his blessed champions to use.
  • Age of Reptiles: The ancient past, both before and during the time of the Old Ones, saw reptilian species rule the ancient world. The Old Ones themselves are often described as reptilian or amphibious in appearance, as are the lizardmen they created as soldiers and servants. Besides them, the dragons and dragon ogres were both widespread and powerful species before the Old Ones came, while the one-eyed, reptilian fimir were the Chaos Gods' favored servants and ruled much of the world in their name; the zoats, a mysterious species of reptilian centaurs, also date back to this period. Over time, however, the Old Ones left, the lizardmen lost most of their ancient holdings, the dragons and dragon ogres gradually began to die out, the zoats shrunk in number and retreated to isolated hermitages and the fimir lost their gods' favor to the rapidly spreading human race, leading to the modern age where warm-blooded races rule over most of the world.
  • Ailment-Induced Cruelty: Inverted in both this game and its futuristic spinoff Warhammer 40,000 by worshipers of the Chaos god Nurgle. They are ravaged with diseases and pestilence, but they view their afflictions as gifts from Nurgle that show his favor to them, and those that aren't insensate zombies are usually jovial and friendly and want nothing more than to share Nurgle's love to everyone around them...which just ends up spreading the diseases they're infected with.
  • All Trolls Are Different: The Warhammer version are pretty classic fantasy trolls — big, hulking, stupid humanoids — only adding on a ridiculously caustic stomach acid, capable of digesting rock, that they like to vomit on their foes/victims. Even then, there are several distinct kinds of trolls in the Warhammer universe, besides the "common" trolls commonly found tagging along with Greenskin armies:
    • Rock trolls inhabit desolate, rocky wastelands, and have taken to eating rocks for lack of anything else. They are noted to be more resistant to magic than the regular kind of troll.
    • River trolls have scales and live by and in bodies of water. They are revoltingly smelly and filthy even by troll standards.
    • Sea trolls, or shugon, are pale creatures with white, blind eyes, scaly skin and mouths filled with shark teeth, and live in sea caves and the depths of the ocean.
    • Chaos trolls are even weirder due to living so close to the Realm of Chaos. Their regenerating powers cause them to mutate even more than other races. What makes this even worse is the existence of Throgg, the Troll King. After having his head cut off, it grew back, only this time with a mutation giving him genius intellect. Suffice to say, he was a nasty surprise to the Empire, who were used to Trolls being complete morons.
    • Bile trolls are a further mutation descended from trolls who had the supremely bad idea of devouring the followers of Nurgle. The plagued flesh infected them with all manner of necrotic diseases, turning them into eternally rotting horrors whose perpetual decay is just barely offset by their regeneration.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: The Monstrous Arcanum describes an incident where a merwyrm — a giant, seagoing dragon — that had been ravaging the coast of Nordland attacked a village close to a necromancer's tower, putting an end to its rampage once it was enthralled by the wizard.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Skaven, the Daemons of Chaos, Beastmen, Orcs, and Goblins. All of them seek to dominate or destroy the other races (and each other) and reject such notions as mercy or compassion. Notably subverted by the Dark Elves, Norscans, Ogres and Undead.
    • The Tomb Kings mostly just idle away their time in their tombs, and when they emerge, they continue to act like the absolute monarchs they were in life. Yes, they are ruthless, authoritarian and brutal, but not moreso than any other rulers. Yes, they will raze heaven and earth to track down anyone whos steals from them, but so will the Dwarfs, and no-one considers them irredeemably evil. Ultimately, the Tomb Kings are complex individuals with virtues as well as vices. Their undead status means their priorities are strange to the living, and their morality is that of a culture long gone, but if you take the time to understand them, they are generally perfectly reasonable.
    • The Ogres will happily rob and eat anyone and anything, but they can be negotiated with and usually be counted on to stick to the word of an agreement, if not the spirit.
    • The Norscans are barbarians, yes, and the northern tribes are inveterate Chaos worshippers whose only interactions with the outside world are raiding and warfare. The southern tribes, on the other hand, are mellow enough to trade with and work for southerners, and even share some gods and other cultural aspects with the northernmost past of the Empire. In Marienburg and Nordland, Norscan bodyguards are a status symbol.
    • The Dark Elves more of a double-subversion, since they are torture-happy hedonists who consider backstabbing and treachery a way of life. However, they are much, much more. They are family-minded and loving parents, and have a rich and vibrant, though very alien and morbid, culture. Malekith is quite possibly the most evil being alive, but he also has a searing hatred for everything related to Chaos (in fact, part of his motivation for attempting to usurp the Phoenix Throne is that he genuinely believes he is the only one who could win a decisive victory over Chaos).
    • Vampires are predators and prey on the living, yes, but they are not too different from the people they were in life. Vlad von Carstein is one of the staunchest enemies of Chaos in the setting, and while he spends a lot of his time scheming for the throne of The Empire, so do his living counterparts. The Vampire Counts are also noted to be Benevolent Bosses to their living servants, if perhaps only for reasons of Pragmatic Villainy. Vlad and Isabella von Carstein are also noted for having a very loving relationship. And no, it's not just convenience or shared goals, but a deep, mutual, genuine love so strong it is even reflected in the mechanics.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Several examples, too many to list here. The biggest one, Ghal Maraz, is actually a Double Subversion — the people wielding it now are not related to the person who wielded it originally, as Sigmar intentionally left behind no children in order to ensure that the Empire would not be in the grip of a single dynasty,note  but would rather belong equally to all those who lived within it. In essence, Ghal Maraz belongs to the Empire itself, and all the men of the Empire are Sigmar's heirs.
  • Ancestor Veneration:
    • Dwarfs traditionally practice a form of ancestor worship as a result of their reverence for wisdom, old age and the past. Consequently, their departed ancestors are considered to be the ultimate founts of experience and are prayed to for wisdom and insight, in addition to being accorded the deference and respect that all dwarfs are expected to show their elders. This reaches a particularly strong form in the Ancestor Gods, the semi-mythical progenitors of all dwarfs, who are worshipped throughout dwarfish civilization.
    • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay mentions that ancestor worship is common among many human communities as well, and provides rules for playing as one such worshipper that include bonuses when the character performs a feat their ancestors approve of and penalties such as a round of paralysis as an offended great-great-great-grandfather delivers a furious tirade against an especially disappointing performance. It's noted that dwarfs greatly approve of this practice, but sometimes wonder how the much more short-lived humans can even keep all their bygone ancestors straight.
  • And I Must Scream: There are several rather unpleasant ways that one can end up like this in the Warhammer universe. A notable example is a Dark Elf Sorceress who was thrown into a Lizardman God's offering pool, to spend the rest of eternity being fed upon by the God.
  • An Ice Monster: Thundertusks and Yhetees in the Ogre Kingdoms can generate magically-charged ice and shape it into weapons or magic missiles, in addition to continually radiating a crippling aura of cold.
  • Animate Dead: The trademark of the Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings armies.
  • Animorphism: Numerous examples; for example, some Norse turn into bears, some vampires turn into bats or wolves. Wizards with access to the Lore of Beasts can turn into various monsters, up to and including dragons!
  • Annoying Arrows: A standard bow or longbow has a strength of 3, which is as effective as sword blow from a standard human soldier. Tougher creatures such as orcs, as well as high-ranking leaders of any army, can shrug this off fairly easily.
    • The Wood elves avert this with a selection of magical arrows that can cause anything from stupidity to instant and extremely painful death. Also the Waywatcher's Lethal Shot Rule, which is, well, lethal.
    • The Tomb Kings also have this in a way, the Blessing of the Asp stops modifiers from affecting the rolls. A better example would be to deploy High Queen Khalida and have the arrows of your archers become poisoned arrows.
  • Antlion Monster: The Great Maw is a vast mouth in the ground, apparently sentient and capable of giving the ogres that worship it (by throwing food down its gullet) the ability to use Gut Magic.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: The Araby faction (not playable, but present in the lore background) is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of the Islamic Golden Age, featuring flying carpets, djinni, and light cavalry with curved swords ruled by sheiks and their magical viziers.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Most academics in the Empire believe the Skaven to be a myth, even though the Dwarfs have been at war with them for thousands of years and they actually conquered most of the Empire at one point. Justified in that admitting to the existence of Skaven would be panicking the population. Chaos invasions every decade? Sure we can handle that. Beastmen in the woods? Not a problem. Cultists in our midst? All the more reason to stay vigilant and obey the witch hunters! Empire dwarfing our own just below the surface? Uh-oh. It's also thought that the Empire acting like the Skaven don't exist avoids causing them to try to attack the Empire in force out of fear of the Empire actively threatening the entirety of them, as expected of the self-serving cowards.
  • Arrows on Fire: The Bretonnian peasant archers may be equipped with brazieres to provide Flaming Arrows.
  • Artifact of Death: Many items are cursed in ways that make them temporarily beneficial and then impressively fatal. The Sword of Khaine inflicts misery and madness on its wielders, the Sword of Last Resort is a roving character killer that fuels itself on the wielder's life energy, the Black Book of Ibn Naggazar will kill you if you don't feed it regularly (and at up to 3d6 models a turn, it is a hungry one), and the list goes on.
  • Artificial Insolence: The Stupidity rule (usually seen on big ugly monsters) prevents them from moving or taking any action if they fail a Leadership roll. A notable case of the rule used by a non-animalistic unit is the Slaaneshi champion Sigvald the Magnificent, who can occasionally ignore the battle in favor of admiring himself in his retinue's mirror-polished shields.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: The Empire seems to be built to this. Usually the Elector Counts choose the new Emperor, but in a great time of need a mighty warlord has come to the Empire's aid and dealt away with whatever great foe threatened them at the time — and were always crowned Emperor afterwards. These include Emperor Mandred who pushed back a great force of Skaven, Magnus the Pious who was victorious in the Great War Against Chaos, and of course, Sigmar himself after he broke the orc hordes.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: The winds of magic tend to have this effect on their practioners.
  • Atlantis: In this verse, it's called Ulthuan. The continent in the middle of the Atlantic is the home of the High Elves, who as a race are the most powerful wizards in the world, and it's built on a complex weave of magic that keeps the local Winds of Chaos under control. And yes, in the End Times, it sinks.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The leaders of an army will invariably be stronger and better equipped than other units. If they're a named character, such as the actual leaders of a race or faction, they will be very strong indeed.
    • The Emperor of the Empire needs to mentioned here. He goes into battle on an enormous griffon, wielding a Runefang... except when he rides a dragon... and wields the Warhammer for which the game is named.
    • In previous editions this game was nicknamed HeroHammer as the trope was encouraged and/or enforced by poorly balanced rules regarding special characters and magic items.
    • Nagash was the creator of the undead and their current leader/god. He literally ate a god to gain divinity and is one of the most powerful models in the game (being the only level 5 wizard and having a special rule that gives him a boost to the spells he cast).
    • The Forces of Chaos are basically sorted by this. Any mortal leader among them are the most powerful Champions within the warband, while Chaos Daemons are literally sorted by this; the lowliest nurgling is the same kind of creature as the Great Unclean Ones and even Papa Nurgle himself. The only difference is that each one is more powerful than the last.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Khorne worshippers (BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!) and greenskins who live to fight. Skaven are interesting example. Usually they are cowardly, but when they come in large numbers (which is every single battle) they are whipped up in to a frenzy, convinced that the other poor sod will get a hell blaster rocket to their skull. That doesn't stop their Grey Seer's and Warlock Engineers magically getting them into said frenzy, said Skaven dying painful deaths hardly being a drawback.
    • Then of course we have the Dark Elves, nearly all of whom are sadistic blood knights to a certain degree. The Cult of Khaine, the elven god of war and patron deity of the Druchii, actually manage to take this even further and are perhaps the most psychotic group in the setting.
  • Axis Mundi: The planet's poles have the Chaos Gates, a pair of enormous shattered portals built by the Old Ones, where the Winds of Magic flow into the world from the Realm of Chaos. Unfortunately, they also let Chaos and its denizens into the world, hence why the Arctic and Antarctic are hellish Eldritch Locations.
  • Badass Army: Too many examples. Probably the worthiest candidates for the title would be the Warriors of Chaos and the Imperial Army: hulking, daemon-worshipping superhuman vikings whose leaders have axes and swords and inches-thick plate armour forged in the fires of Hell; or brave and disciplined ordinary men fighting against all kinds of monsters and horrors with nothing but sharpened steel, gunpowder and patriotic fervour and righteous fury (and sometimes magic). The High Elves and the Dwarfs are no slouches in this department either.
  • Badass Normal:
    • The Imperial State Army. Against terrifying giant Vikings clad in inches-thick armour forged in the fires of Hell, insane goat-headed savages, The Undead, psychopathic xenophobic Dark Elves, vile ratmen with World War I-level technology powered by Green Rocks, and Ax-Crazy Goblins and Orc brutes that can rip a man's arm clean from the socket with their bare hands... are the brave men of the Empire holding the line with nothing but steel, shot and sheer discipline. And very rarely the backup of a sanctioned College wizard and some Leonardo da Vinci-esque Clock Punk. And they win much more often than their futuristic counterparts with laser rifles and building-sized tanks do.
    • Bretonnia doesn't even have the shot. It's just medieval France transplanted into a horrifying fantasy setting, with a smattering of magic for their knights gifted by their Lovecraftian goddess.
    • Templar Witch Hunters are this trope. They travel the Empire hunting down unsanctioned mages, necromancers, mutants, Chaos spawn, Chaos cultists, undead monsters and daemons. Usually relying only on blackpowder firearms, crossbows, daggers, swords, rapiers, axes, flails, wooden stakes, holy water and consecrated ashes.
  • Baby Factory: Skaven females are bloated, barely sapient creatures constantly popping out newborn rats, which is the main reason the Skaven can absorb the tremendous casualties their society and style of warfare cause them.
  • Badass Longcoat: Despite being set in the equivalent of the 16th century, The Witch Hunter Templars of Sigmar commonly wear trench coats alongside their hats. While not all of them are certified badasses in the lore, the model Empire armies can hire are generally competent heroes.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: Chaos, and Necromancers to a certain extent. It used to be that using necromancy automatically turned you evil, and that someone who got into it to resurrect a loved one would inevitably end up leading skeletal armies to destroy the town or something. This drawback seems to have relaxed somewhat.
  • Barbarian Longhair: Warriors of Chaos are from the local equivalent of Scandinavia, and have long, unkempt hair.
  • Basilisk and Cockatrice:
    • Basilisks are six-legged, brightly colored lizards so poisonous that vegetation withers and dies at their mere presence, and which can swiftly turn a fertile land into a barren waste. They can concentrate their poisonous aura in their gaze, causing creatures they fix their sight upon to swiftly sicken and die. Basilisk bones can be used to create blades that retain their former owners' toxic natures, making exceptionally deadly weapons that can prove equally dangerous to their wielders.
    • Cockatrices are cowardly but deadly Chaos-tainted creatures resembling monstrous avians with tooth-lined jaws, snakelike tails and batlike wings. They are among the favorite quarries of Bretonnian knights, although cockatrice hunts are complicated by the creatures' ability to petrify with a glance and the fact that some of them possess poisonous claws or acidic vomit as additional weapons.
  • Bat Out of Hell: The Vampire Counts make extensive use of undead batlike monsters, from bird of prey-size Fell Bats and dragon-sized Terrorgheists to the Vargheists and Varghulfs, vampires who have degenerated into bestial, batlike predators — flightless ones, in the Varghulfs' case.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: A big part of why the Storm of Chaos event was so hated; even though they got their butts conclusively handed to them in the actual battle results, the writers went ahead with their plan of the Chaos armies being unstoppable until a last-minute reversal. It also led to ridiculous compromise plots like the Tomb Kings, whose players had unexpectedly been winning, just wandering off for no reason at the cusp of victory.
  • Beast Man: The appropriately named Beastmen, hybrids of man and beast with the heads and hooves of ungulates and predatory fangs.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Par for the course of such a grim setting. In particular, Settra (the first king of Nehekhara) spent all his like searching for a way to live forever. In the end, that's exactly what he got...
  • Beneath the Earth:
    • The Skaven have a vast Under-Empire centered under the ruins of Skavenblight, with tunnels stretching all over the world. The Dwarfs likewise created immense tunnel systems under much of the Old World's mountains, which in the modern day largely lie in broken ruin and are home to teeming tribes of trolls and night goblins, voracious fungus creatures and numerous dragons. Combined with preexisting natural caverns, these create immense, interconnected cavern systems stretching beneath much of the world.
    • The Underworld Sea is a vast labyrinth of flooded caves and tunnels stretching beneath the Dark Elven realm of Naggaroth. It's poorly explored, difficult to navigate, prone to floods and cave-ins and populated by ferocious monsters, and there are rumors that the ruins of a lost civilization exist within its depths. Similar abysses are suggested to exist beneath the rest of the world, deep beneath the diggings of Dwarfs, Skaven and Goblins, hiding enormous blind horrors, vast Blob Monsters and cities of ghoulish things where no light has ever shined.
  • Beneficial Disease: Since Nurgle is a Plague Master god, his servants become ravaged with all sorts of plagues but the effects don't kill them. They look utterly disgusting but not a bit weaker for it; they are actually harder to kill because they don't need to worry about things like infected wounds. Also they Feel No Pain, and the diseases they spread can still be lethal to non-believers.
  • Berserk Button: An actual rule for Vlad if Isabella is fielded in the same army as him and killed, he will gain frenzy and hatred against whatever he's fighting against. And never ever pay a Dwarf short even a if its just a few pennies, and also never try to mess with their beards. Less you want an army of them to burn down your kingdom.
  • Better Off with the Bad Guys: Subverted with beastmen. People whose mutation give them animal traits are soon driven out from their native homes, and often find refuge in beastmen hordes. However, they form the absolute dregs of beastman society (as they have a Might Makes Right mentality and use horns as an indicator of power). They can at best make themselves useful to beastmen by selling out their former neighbors.
  • BFG: Ogre Leadbelchers wield sawed-off cannon that would be used as field artillery by smaller species, which they use like oversized blunderbusses firing nails and other shrapnel (cannonballs would get too inaccurate, and don't have the same *oomph* of an expanding cloud of debris to the trigger-happy Ogres). Skaven weapon teams field the Warplock Jezzail, a Sniper Rifle of such prodigous size and bulk that they need a second Skaven to hold up the barrel while its user lines up a shot, and the Ratling Gun, which again is so massive that it needs a second Skaven to brace the gunner (and to carry all the ammunition).
  • BFS: Great Weapons are a standard weapon type, and commonly take the form of swords to the more 'civilized' factions. Empire Greatswords take their name from the giant zweihänders they wield, and High Elf Swordmasters of Hoeth and Dark Elf Executioners wield two-handed longswords that are almost as big with lethal efficiency. Bretonnian Questing Knights even use these weapons from horseback, due to a Heroic Vow that forbids them the use of the Knightly Lance.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The forces of evil are pretty decentralized but there exist a number of characters whose plans are on a large enough scale to threaten the entire world. Most dangerous of them all is Archaon, purported as the Champion of Chaos on the world and destined to topple it for the Dark Gods. A close second would be Nagash who was the most powerful necromancer in history and has on several occasions threatened to turn the world into an undead waste. The Elves have Malerion the Witch King, ruler of the Dark Elves and primary menace for Ulthuan's safety. Some of the more powerful vampires and several others creatures have also risen to infamy and have whole wars dedicated to them.
  • Big Eater: In the examination of an Ogre's corpse, the complete skeleton of a horse was found in its belly. Then there's the fact that they worship a deity called The Great Maw.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: Show up as yhetees, allies of the Ogres.
  • Bishōnen Line: Played straight with Chaos mutations. If you end up looking completely monstrous from them, you've become a mindless Chaos Spawn that really doesn't represent the peak of power Chaos can grant.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: Not quite as bad as Warhammer 40,000 on this, but it does run a close second. It's really more of a case of "They would if they could". More than once everyone has gotten their shit together to save the world from the Hordes of Chaos, but it takes a LOT before they get to that point.
  • Black Magic: Dark Magic, Chaos magic and Skaven magic.
  • Blood Bath: The Hag Queens of the Dark Elves bathe in magical cauldrons filled with blood to maintain their youth.
  • Blood Knight:
  • Blow Gun: There's a Wargear option for Skinks, and a huge version for mounting on their stegadons.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Several races follow their own moral codes that are deeply alien to our own experience:
    • Ogres have no concept of morality beyond Might Makes Right. In Ogre culture, iron is more valuable than gold: if you have a bag of gold, you can buy an iron weapon with it; if you have an iron weapon, you can kill another Ogre and take his gold. This in combination with their massive size and strength makes them excellent mercenaries, as they're willing to do basically anything to get what they want.
    • Dwarfs are obsessed with Revenge Before Reason, to the point of entering Too Dumb to Live territory. Dwarfs never, ever, ever forgive or forget any slight (there isn't even a word in Khazalid to describe forgiveness), no matter how trivial or long ago it was. In notable incident, the Dwarfs went to war against a Empire nobleman over a matter of twelve pennies. Never short-change a Dwarf, and definitely never shave their beloved beards - ask the High Elves why.
    • The Beastmen who lurk in the forests of the Old World despise anything that resembles technology or civilization. They are highly primal and the mere thought of settling or taming or building anything drives them to maddening disgust. All of their weapons and armour are looted or stolen from other races (and often doesn't fit their inhuman frames, so heavy armour is a rarity), and it would take a highly charismatic warherd leader to even get these savages to fashion crude siege ladders.
    • The Lizardmen are effectively biologically immortal "robots" still following the instructions of the Old Ones to the letter. This Plan, or at least their best interpretation of it, basically involves returning all the humans back to the Old World, all the elves (including dark elves and wood elves) back to Ulthuan, all the Dwarfs back to the mountains, and exterminating pretty much everyone else. A quintessential example of Order Is Not Good.
    • Many of the Chaos Gods delve into this often, given that they are the insane embodiments of different emotions and concepts. Khorne offers his followers incredible strength and resilience, and only asks that you spill blood in his name - your enemies, your friends, your own, he's not picky. Tzeentch, the Chaos God of ambition, change and hope, is also a Mad God and Chessmaster extraordinaire who plots endless schemes against everyone including himself, that are designed to fail because with nobody to scheme against, Tzeentch would destroy himself. Nurgle is a twisted example of Friend to All Living Things as he also considers bacteria and viruses life, and grants his followers sickness and takes their pain and affliction as a form of gratitude. And then there is Slaanesh, who is devoted to sensation and argualy, devoted to devotion itself.
  • Body Horror:
    • Just try to make it all the way through the list of lovingly-detailed Chaos mutations in the Tome of Corruption without wincing at least once.
    • Morghur is able to induce this in anything that comes near him.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: If there's one thing that warriors of Khorne like almost as much as spilling blood, it's boasting about how much blood they've spilled. Here's a particular fine story from Hrolf Wyrdulf of the Vargs:
    "I am Hrolf Wyrdulf, Prince of the Vargs. I am the promised son of the Witch Moon and I slew the sea-worm Ship-Crusher after a battle of thirty days and thirty nights. I can lie on ice and not freeze and drink an ocean of blood and not burst. I stalked Hrunting Iron-Axe from pole to pole and placed his smoking heart on Khorne's board. I took the star-skulls of the Woman-With-Skull-Faces and flung them into the Sea of Chaos!"
  • Boring, but Practical: The basic troops of each army (though some may stretch the definition of boring). There are flashier options, but you often take these choices cheaper, giving you more units on the field. Also applies to characters, while taking big expensive named characters is fun, often one or two kitted out characters can do their job just fine for less points.
  • Born Under the Sail: The Norscans are naturally good at sailing (being the Heavy Metal version of Horny Vikings), repeatedly raiding the equivalents of Europe and Canada. Wulfrik the Wanderer even has a flying longship that can go through the Warp and emerge anywhere he wants it to, leading to his moniker "The Inescapable One".
  • Bows Versus Crossbows: Follows the "bows good, crossbows evil" version of the trope with the merely-insular and obnoxious High Elves and Wood Elves exclusively using bows, and the unabashedly evil Dark Elves using Automatic Crossbows.
  • Breast Plate: Most classes are spared from this as the male and female models of their armors are otherwise identical. However, Dark Elf Witch Elves and Sorceresses only wear these (if anything). That being said, they also have very poor Armor Saves without magical assistance.
  • Burn the Witch!: Played with; witchcraft is a viable and dangerous practice in the Warhammer universe, thus, the church is usually right to weed them out and destroy them.

    C-D 
  • Call That a Formation?: Averted. While skirmishing units have a serious mobility advantage, the ranked soldiers gain a "rank bonus" when calculating the winner of a fight, making large, ranked units very difficult to shift. Skirmishers or lonely heroes engaging a ranked unit in a frontal assault are likely to be pushed back even if they deal more damage.
  • Campbell Country:
    • Ostland in the Empire is a big example. But there's plenty of little villages all over the place with mysterious practices that don't abide strangers.
    • Mousillon's is a giant poison swamp whose main industry is frog and snail catching, the dead refuse to stay in their graves, the Lord of Mousillon was nuts and possibly not human, giant frog monsters (as well as regular monsters) roam the streets after dark, and the populace look just that little bit extra odd. No one knows why, how, or what's going on.
  • Cannibal Larder: Taken to its logical extreme with the ogre "butchers" who are both the tribal cooks and shamans, and often carry a stock of body parts (of various edibility) with them as snacks and spell components. One butcher special character drags along an enormous cauldron, which radiates an increasingly powerful buff as it is filled with enemy bodies.
  • Cannon Fodder:
    • Orcs and Goblins. Dem 'umies, stunties, and skinnies jes cawn't rilly kill us all, can dey?
    • Also Skaven, who really don't seem to care how many of them die in battle. In fact they are the only army who can fire on enemy units while one of their units (Skavenslaves to be precise) is in combat with an enemy unit.
    • To a lesser extent, lizardmen.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • Many of the events from the Storm of Chaos Worldwide Campaign were downplayed or forgotten after its conclusion and many of the units introduced during it (like Valten) were no longer playable. Eventually, the events of Warhammer: The End Times officially made much of Storm of Chaos non-canon.
    • The events and lore detailed in the Nemesis Crown campaign were declared non-canon almost immediately after it ended.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: While mostly operating on Screw You, Elves!, it is played straight with Magnus the Pious, who allowed the Elf wizard Teclis to teach humans to use magic relatively safely. Really, Teclis is the only Elf who doesn't treat humans like a pack of apes, and one of if not the most powerful magic-user in the entire setting. Only a colossal moron wouldn't take his advice, even if he's being condescending.
    • While normally a trope associated with elves, the Dwarfs of Warhammer aren't that far behind the Elves in the racist arrogance stakes. To Dwarfs, humans are physically puny, weak-willed, prone to falling to Chaosnote , and incapable of producing anything better than a Dwarf could - our guns are shoddy, our castles are shoddy, and even the best human-made beer is glorified swill next to the creations of even the laziest Dwarfen brewer. The Khazalid word "Umgak", translated literally as "human made" is synonymous with "piece of garbage".
  • Cast from Calories: The ogre's spellcasters use Gut Magic, which, well, works on what the ogre has eaten.
  • Catapult to Glory: Goblin Doom Divers, particularly demented goblins who tie crude wings to their backs and get shot out of gian slingshots. Gameplay-wise they function as slightly weaker stone throwers, although a lot more accurate due to the, ahem, 'guided' nature of the projectile.
  • Cat Folk: While they're never given central focus, mention is made at several points of a race of tiger-men native to the Kingdoms of Ind. They live in the depths of its thick rainforests and are viewed as noble if fickle beings by the people of Ind, who give them offerings of meat and rice and refuse to attack them even when attacked first. The tiger-men themselves are described as being equally likely to defend a village or caravan from attackers as they are to utterly destroy it themselves.
  • Cerebro Electro: The Blue Wind of Magic represents inspiration, knowledge of the unknowable, and the heavens. The Celestial Magisters who specialize in it tend to be dreamy, scholarly Astrologers and theorists... who can call down lightning storms when provoked.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats:
    • High elves have chariots pulled by white lions.
    • The Dark Elves use chariots pulled by Cold Ones — essentially, vicious, scaly Jurassic Park-style raptors.
    • The Beastmen use chariots drawn by enormous mutated boars covered in bony spikes.
    • Among the Greenskins, Orcs use chariots drawn by normal (but still huge and foul-tempered) boars, while the Goblins use wolf-drawn chariots instead.
  • Chef of Iron:
    • The Fighting Cocks, mercenary halflings that kick butt and boost other troops with good meals. They also fire a catapult full of soup.
    • Ogre Butchers are another significant example, the Lore of the Great Maw they use being channelled through some distinctly unwholesome ingredients. The spell Trollguts uses... well...
  • The Chessmaster: Tzeentch. Emperor Karl Franz on a good day. Mannfred von Carstein probably belongs here too.
    • The Skaven Lords of Decay are a group of this. The best example is the Arabyan Crusades. The Lords of Decay sent Skaven to support Sultan Jaffar, spying on his enemies and assassinating them in exchange for the warpstone deposits across his land that's toxic to humans, but the backbone of Skaven society along with backstabbing and self-interest. They eventually convince him, by lying, that Estalia is planning to invade Araby and that he should strike first, which he does. Two-hundred years of warfare follow in which Bretonnia and the Empire get involved sending thousands of Knights to fight the Arabyans. The Skaven disappear once the tide turns against Jaffar, tens of thousands of humans are dead without one Skaven casualty, and they got all the warpstone and nobody ever found out they were involved. Stupid man-things.
  • The Chosen One: The Everchosen are this as far as the Dark Gods of Chaos are concerned; and are almost always the greatest heroes of the Northern tribes; the sole exception being Archaon, who is neither Norse or Kurgan, but a former citizen of the Empire. The Everchosen also have an equal and opposite, who leads the realms of men against Chaos incursions. Magnus and Valten are the most recent.
  • Chores Without Powers: The War God Khorne's domain has vast forges where enslaved sorcerers and cowards are forced to create magic weapons for his worthier champions to use.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Tzeentch, the Skaven, Tzeentch's worshipers, the Skaven, Dark Elves, Khorne's worshippers... and did we mention the Skaven?
    • It's not that the Khornate wanted to turn on you, it's more to do with how he already curb-stomped everyone else and needs to kill some more. Or that you were between him and someone he wanted to kill.
    • Outdoing even the Skaven are the Hobgoblins, larger and meaner versions of the Goblins who live on the Eastern Steppes. They are so prone to this that they have evolved a hard bony plate on their backs where a stab is most likely. In fact, they are considered so untrustworthy that even the cowardly, mean, spiteful goblins think that they backstab too much.
  • Clever Crows: Tzeentch, the Chaos God of knowledge, magic, and intricate scheming, is sometimes referred to as the Raven God.
  • Clingy Costume:
    • It's heavily implied this is what happens to Chaos Warriors once they take up Chaos Armor. However, Chaos Champions are shown as taking off their armour with little incident in the background, and one of Archaon's trials hinged upon him being able to change his gear.
    • Malekith's armor too, which he cannot survive without and ordered to be welded to his body.
  • Cold Iron: Cold iron, defined as iron worked without the use of fire, can create weapons capable of harming spirits and other ethereal creatures.
  • Colour-Coded Emotions: The four Chaos gods are the embodiments of a specific emotion felt by sentient creatures. Khorne (rage) is red, Tzeentch (hope) is blue, Slaanesh (desire) is either pink/purple, and Nurgle (despair) is green.
  • Color-Coded Wizardry: The Imperial Colleges of Magic.
  • Command & Conquer Economy: Chaos incursions never seem to have problems feeding their vast armies. This is partially explained by having part of their army not having a need for food, but the majority still needs to eat. There are always prisoners...
    • Bretonnia, despite being in a state of crushing poverty is still able to maintain a considerable military force. To give you an idea on the level of poverty; on a good day a whole Bretonnian village could trade their entire collected wealth for half of the smallest unit of currency in the Empire. Fluff would later justify this by noting that, while Bretonnian peasants are in perpetual poverty, they're that way because the landed nobility that owns them is filthy rich. Bretonnian nobles pay for the upkeep of temporary conscript levies from the peasantry and (by way of the feudal system) fund the nation's famed knights. Bretonnia also benefits from an alliance with the elves of Athel Loren and the patronage of the Goddess of Chivalry.
  • Conlang: Lots of languages in the Warhammer universe have their own distinct alphabets and scripts especially Reikspiel, Kislevarin, and Khalizd. Bretonian, however, is just French.
  • Conscription:
    • All Bretonnian infantry, with the notable exception of Grail Pilgrims, is conscripted en masse from the peasant population.
    • Skaven Clanrats are conscripts. Skavenslaves are Battle Thralls.
    • Northern peasants of the Empire are constantly conscripted to counteract the consistent threat of Norse warbands attacking those regions.
  • Continuity Nod: The Warhammer world does not canonically take place in the same universe as Warhammer 40,000 (anymore), but it does make a few nods to the sci-fi mythos, such as the Old Ones' starships and warp gates and Greenskin spores coming down from space, and the Ogres' Great Maw is reminiscent of Tyranid biotech. It's easy to believe that Sigmar, founder of the Empire, is one of the two missing Primarchs. In fact, in the earliest editions, it was all but stated that the Warhammer world is part of the Warhammer 40,000 universe — or at least that the Chaos Wastes connected to the Warp. Characters of all species could run around with, among other things, bolters (machine gun rocket launchers) and lascannons, while Chaos Space Marines were an actual troop/leadership choice for mortal Chaos armies.
    • The Albion Dark Shadows campaign included a number of magical weapons. They are identical or almost identical in function or description, and most have the exact same stats or effects as their 40k counterparts:
      • Blade of Shining Death = Power Weapon.
      • Claw of Devastation = Lightning Claw.
      • Gauntlet of Power = Power Fist.
      • Armor of the Gods = Power Armour.
      • Divine Eye = Auspex.
      • Fusil of Conflagration = Flamer.
      • Mystic Shield of Light = Rosarius.
      • Hexstaff = Psy-staff.
    • The Liber Chaotica (published in 2003) has, as example of Daemon weapons, a chainsword.
    • The 7th Edition High Elves army book makes reference to the fact that occasionally their armies are put under the control of a less capable general, due to politics, but then comments that the Phoenix King keeps this from happening. This is a reference to the rule Intrigue at Court from the previous High Elf army book.
    • When Araloth travels through the Realm of Chaos, he is beckoned to leave the doomed Old World. In it he meets a figure that is heavily hinted to be Kaidor Draigo. However, given that he's explicitly traveling through a dimension where the laws of the universe are guidelines at best, this isn't hard proof that the two still share the same universe (especially since the Chaos Gods and their realm can plausibly transcend notions such as "consistency").
  • Cool Versus Awesome: At its heart, the game is effectively a gigantic constant war between the Holy Roman Empire, demon-worshipping Vikings, a really messed-up take on Arthurian England (with a huge sider order of France), giant lion-riding Athenian "good" elves, Velociraptor-riding super-sadist Spartan-esque evil elves, insane nature-loving neutral elves and their living trees, drunken revenge-obsessed dwarfs, giant spider-loving Lower-Class Lout goblins and orcs, cannibalistic anarchist beastmen, Mayincatec dinosaur men riding bigger dinosaurs, the roving hordes of the undead (two varieties in fact — zombies and monsters led by classic Gothic horror vampires or skeleton legions led by Egyptian mummies) and psychotic Nazi ratmen with crazy wunderwaffe powered by Green Rocks!
  • Corpse Land:
    • The island holding the Sword of Khaine is covered in the bodies and battle gear of the elves who've fought over it, and bodies thousands of years old can be seen fresh.
    • The semi-mythical mountain atop which Abhorash and those vampires who have drunk the blood of dragons (the only substance capable of sustaining a Vampire forever) wait to return to the land of the living is said to be surrounded by the bodies of those who have tried and failed to climb it.
    • More generally, Sylvania is full of the dead.
  • Counterspell: Dispel dice are an example of this, being used solely to counter enemy spells. There are also various abilities and pieces of wargear that allow instant dispels (the ubiquitous Dispel Scroll), or increase the power of your dispel attempts, either through modifying the result or granting extra dispel dice.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Take equal amounts of Arthurian legends, J.R.R. Tolkien and Ivanhoe, and add in twice the amount of Michael Moorcock, Monty Python and Age Of Enlightenment ideas of Medieval society, and you get Bretonnia, with brave knights, damsels and fabulous castles — with peasants bound to turf with ridiculous 90% taxes living in squalor, ignorance and oppression, and where boy children having magical tendencies are quickly eliminated. That, and the fact that their Lady of the Lake in this case is very like some kind of fucked up Lovecraftian horror that's so ancient that not even the elves know what she really is and worse is manipulating their entire society for reasons unknown. And those are actually one of the good guys (comparatively).
  • Crapsack World: Take the worst aspects of Medieval European society: the paranoia, the hatred, and the fanatical religious devotion, and roll them into one. You'll get The Empire. Then add legions of Daemons, Beastmen, and other assorted nasties, and you'll be rooting for the imperialist, heretic-burning Empire in no time.
    • Even by Warhammer standards, Sylvania is described as an absolutely horrid place to find yourself. The woods and fens are haunted by bloodthirsty monsters and spectres, while vampires lord over (and prey on) a helpless populace who constantly live in fear for their lives. Going outside at night in winter is a death sentence, while doing so in summer is only slightly safer.
    • Sylvania has a Bretonnian brother named Mousillon, combining all the nastiness of Sylvania with near-endless swamps, giant man-eating frogs and the Bretonnian class system. In Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, the "Mousillon Peasant" career is the only one that needs no explanation on how the hero became an adventurer; if you were born in that awful place and had a chance to escape, you grasped it with both hands and ran for the endzone. Anybody would choose any chance to leave.
    • There's also Blood Bowl, which is set in an Alternate Universe of Warhammer where a rugby/gridiron style game became Serious Business enough that every civilization in the world gave up on warfare to play it. Players dying on the pitch is not only common but expected, hooliganism causes hundreds of deaths among the spectators every game, referees have a Weird Trade Union that enforces standards and practices on how they are allowed to accept bribes, and chainsaws are a fan-favourite pitch obstacle. The rulebook points out that any world where this game has fans must be awful.
    • There's also Mordheim, which is the single shittiest place to be in the entire Old World. Basically, it used to be the Empire's chief Wretched Hive until in what the Sigmarite church calls an act of god, a meteorite made of pure wyrdstone smashed into the city and obliterated it. The surviving citizens promptly went mad from exposure and killed each other in a colossal orgy of horrific violence. The entire ruin is seeped in black magic and might now well be a human-hating Genius Loci. The streets are filled with blood, dismembered limbs, faeces, Meat Moss, signs of societal breakdown and complete insanity (like carriages where the horses lie skinned atop the carriage while the human riders' bodies sit in the girdles), and fragments of the comet - which is what everyone comes to the city for. Ghastly apparitions haunt the ruined houses, and daemons and Chaos ogres roam around butchering everyone they find. The few people who still live in Mordheim are all scarred in both body and mind and everyone kills them on sight, so they usually throw their lot in with daemons and vampires just to be able to survive. If the undead or the Chaos cults don't get you, then you'll probably be burned to death at the hands of the Sigmarite fanatics flocking to the city to purge it, eaten by the Skaven, or shanked by some lowlife mercenary looking to make a quick bit of coin.
  • Creator Provincialism: Averted. While Albion, the Warhammer world stand-in for the British Isles was one of the first human nations depicted way back in 1st Edition (alongside Nippon), the army for it was named "Prince Wilhelm's Expedition" and featured knights and longbowmen - an early prototype for what would eventually become Bretonnia. Apart from the 2001 Dark Shadows campaign covered by White Dwarf that briefly brought Albion in the limelight, the islands are largely forgotten (in and out of lore) and play little part in the world's story. It's described as a mist-enshrouded land of eternal rain and monster-ridden forests and fens, where ornery druids and stone giants preside over ogham standing stones that turn the entire island into a sinkhole for magical energy. The people who live there have lived in iron age barbarism for thousands of years and have no idea of the world outside.
  • Creepy Good: Blue-and-Orange Morality notwithstanding, the Lizardmen are determined to prevent Chaos from overwhelming the world (which is the closest thing this setting has to "good"), and they are also incredibly creepy. The Tomb Kings may also qualify, although they're less overtly opposed to Chaos.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Many warriors keep parts of their enemies as trophies, including Gorthor, who wears a cloak made of the skins of shamans.
  • Crown of Horns: Orcs often wear the very large horns of various creatures, usually to show that they've killed something bigger and meaner than themselves.
  • Crown of Power:
    • The Crown of Domination is a sorcerous artifact that once belonged to Nagash, the greatest necromancer of all time. The last owner was an orc warboss named Azhag da Slaughterer, and while the crown tried to whisper strategies and tactics in his mind that gave him victory, orcs are very strong-willed, and sometimes he'd be seen arguing with the crown.
    • The Crown of Thorns is an item that lets the wearer regenerate wounds.
    • The Circlet of Iron is an ancient arcane relic discovered by Malekith in a ruined primeval city in the far north. It enhances the spellcasting abilities of the wearer but also appears to exert a corrupting influence over them, drawing them to the study of dark magic. It's implied that the circlet was one of the major factors contributing to Malekith's fall from grace.
  • Curse of the Pharaoh: Subverted. Many sources describe the Tomb Kings tombs as cursed, but the "curse" that afflicts wannabe grave robbers is usually less "metaphysical malaise" and more "you just pissed off an undead immortal necromancer who will stop at nothing to get their stuff back."
  • Cursed with Awesome: Aenarion's Curse makes Tyrion a strong fighter and Teclis a powerful wizard. And Tyrion utterly fixated with battle (literal and metaphorical) 24/7 and Teclis so sickly he needed magic potions from birth just to stay alive.
    • Some vampires view their condition as this. If you get turned into a Blood Dragon Vampire and are lucky/crazy/awesome enough to kill a dragon and drink its blood, you become permanently sated and super-powered.
  • Cycle of Revenge: The Dwarfs will go to war over any perceived slights. And then they will go to war to avenge the deaths of everyone who died in the previous war. And then they will go to war to avenge the deaths of those who died in that war, and so on. They can keep an endless cycle of revenge going all by themselves without any intentional participation from the other party.
  • Dangerously Garish Environment: Because Slaanesh is the god of hedonism, pain/pleasure and other excesses, his followers dress in bright, clashing colors both for their own enjoyment and their enemy's discomfort.
  • Dark Fantasy: One of the Trope Codifiers. Warhammer may look like your typical bright and shiny fantasy world on the surface, but it's set in a universe where magic and religion are intrinsically tied to Chaos, not to mention that fighting it will simply empower its gods and all forms of life have also been corrupted by it. Even the entire universe was destroyed in the final confrontation between Order and Chaos, only being resurrected thanks to the efforts of Sigmar.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: This is how the less insane undead commanders try to spin it. They're probably lying.
    • Grey and Amethyst Wizards, who use the magics of Shadows and Death (respectively), with Amethyst Wizards having some difficulty convincing fellow Imperial citizens that they aren't necromancers.
    • The Lizardmen, despite being lizard people and feeding people to giant snakes for their Aztec-inspired religion, aren't all that bad. They're essentially the guardians of the world and will often oppose the machinations of Chaos. Provided that they don't intrude on territory that is considered sacred to the Lizardmen, other races will be generally be left alone. The problem is that while they're not overtly hostile to other lifeforms, they don't seem to particularly care about them either. Their dedication to carrying out the enigmatic plans of the Old Ones often results in them doing things like re-arranging entire mountains because they're not in the right place. Said rearrangement resulted in a catastrophe that nearly destroyed the Dwarf race and shattered their empire into a handful of isolated kingdoms and strongholds.
    • Many, or at least some Vampires in the Warhammer world aren't evil at all. However, they tend not to be at the head of an army, and so don't play a prominent role outside of the novels. There is even a set of stories featuring a female vampire named Geneviève Dieudonné who is practically a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire... admittedly, the stories featuring her were created during the earlier editions of the setting and she is a "transcontinental cousin" of the same character from the other Kim Newman series, Anno Dracula and The Diogenes Club. In the later Von Carstein trilogy, the concept is revived with the Grand Master of the Order of the White Wolf, who is bitten by Vlad von Carstein yet manages to resist the temptations of vampirism. He ends up as the eternal guardian of Vlad's immortality-granting ring. It seems to be that, whilst being turned into a vampire does not alter one's perspective, the horrific hunger and starvation an unsated vampire experience eventually corrupts most vampires.
    • The Tomb Kings of Khemri are the mummified rulers of an empire that was slain and reanimated in an act of magical genocide. They just want to be left alone, and are canonically considered a "Neutral" army that can ally with anyone. However, they do launch massive invasions in order to get back their stuff that had been stolen over the years.
    • Morr may or may not be this, given that he takes care of souls in the afterlife, as opposed to eating them regardless of the host being dead or alive, like most active gods in the setting do on a routine basis.
  • Death Seeker: Dwarf Slayers, who have suffered some extreme dishonour and now only wish to die gloriously. Problem is, being the stubborn little bastards that they are, they have a hard time actually getting killed.
  • Death World: So, so many examples:
    • The Lustrian jungles are full of dinosaurs, Man Eating Plants, tiny frogs with ludicrously potent venom and a civilization of Mayincatec Lizard Folk who don`t appreciate visitors. According to the fluff, the Lizardmen planted the jungles as a defence to keep out invaders
    • Athel Loren, home forest of the Wood Elves, is full of human-hating Dryads, xenophobic, cannibalistic Wood Elves and all kinds of monsters, most of which are allied with the Wood Elves. And the kicker?. The entire forest is a human-hating Genius Loci.
    • Mousillon, a province of Bretonnia that embodies Swamps Are Evil. The human inhabitants are all inbred criminals or grave robbers, the main industries are frog and snail catching, half the houses are abandoned and all are rotted, a type of weed grows that mimics a path and falls through into the water, the previous lord was violently insane and probably not human, giant frogs roam the streets at night, zombies are rampant... It makes sense that Bretonnia has mostly given up on the place, establishing a series of forts to make sure nothing comes out.
    • Sylvania, the homeland of the Vampire Counts, is ruled by vampires and thus choked with wandering undead. The few humans huddle up in villages, doors bolted and hung with charms and prayers to numerous gods. The only reason they stay is that the forests surrounding it are somehow even worse.
    • The Empire gets in on the act. The Great Woods are full of Forest Goblins, Giant Spiders and Beastmen, the northern provinces are full of ghouls, Chaos daemons and direwolves, the sewers are infested by Skaven, mutants and Chaos cultists...
    • Anywhere corrupted by Chaos is guaranteed to become this, full of mutations, demons, Warriors of Chaos and so on.
    • Nehekara, even more so than anywhere else in the setting. Nothing lives there except undead, because the war with Nagash poisoned the waters and reduced it to nothing but sand and dust.
    • The continent of Naggaroth, homeland of the Dark Elves, is primarily a frigid wasteland with sparse natural resources, a host of monstrous wildlife and is the home of one of the most hostile civilizations on the planet. That's not even mentioning the Underworld Sea, a vast maze of waterlogged tunnels beneath Naggaroth. It's lightless, easy to get lost in, hard to travel through and infested with monsters.
  • Decade Dissonance: The Kingdom of Bretonnia, a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to Arthurian England and Medieval France, rife with knights and peasant longbow men and run by a feudal system. It sits right next door to the Empire of Man, which has Renaissance era level technology going into the early Industrial Period level with elements of Steampunk thrown in for good measure as well, including steam powered tanks! Bretonnia manages to resist being forcibly assimilated into the Empire, most likely due to the mountain range that makes travel between the two difficult, and the magic granted by a local god, the "Lady of the Lake" making their elite upper class Immune to Bullets. However, it's a little more complicated than that, with the local baby-eating wood elves being the most favorable candidate to be both granting them this power, and keeping the nation in its Medieval Stasis, simply to shield themselves from the outside world...
    • Another possible reason that Bretonnia has maintained its independence is its great success in domesticating the flocks of pegasi that live in their mountains resulting in the rise of the Pegasus Knight. Pegasi exist in the Empire too, but mostly as very rare possessions of aristocrats, giving Bretonnia effective dominance of the air. The Royal Air Force — Bretonnian Pegasus Knights — are easily the most effective aerial troops in the game.
  • Deconstructive Parody: The entire Warhammer setting is one for the High Fantasy genre codified by The Lord of the Rings, via Dark Fantasy and copious amounts of gallow's humour.
    • Bretonnia is one for Arthurian legend and Chivalric Romance. Bretonnian nobility enjoy almost complete infallibility within their own lands: they can take up to 90% of a peasant's crops and order their entire families killed for just about any reason. Social mobility is practically impossible because any peasant who becomes a noble will have their bloodline die out immediately as their children will be peasants by default, and it's implied that the three times this happened in the kingdom's history, the nobles got these peasants killed in Uriah Gambits to not give the commoners ideas above their station. Guns are banned in Bretonnia even though they are commonplace across the border in the Empire because the Bretonnian nobility are quite uneasy about the peasants they mistreat getting access to point-and-blam weapons that can kill armoured knights easily. Bretonnian society within the Empire is the butt of every joke, even though the Empire is hardly a paragon of social progress and humanistic equality itself. Bretonnian peasants are extremely stupid and obviously inbred, often having walleyes and hunchbacks and just being really hoarking ugly. Meanwhile Bretonnian nobles often make the elves look like homely hobgoblins... but that's because many of them have some elven blood floating around in them anyway. And course, it's all but outright stated that they are just the patsies for the elves of Athel Loren, who want a primitive buffer state to protect the forests from outside invasions.
    • Dwarfs are so stubborn and honour-obsessed that they subscribe to Honor Before Reason and Revenge Before Reason. Any time somebody wrongs, harms, kills or even just insults a Dwarf, the Dwarfs write it down in blood in a big book of grudges which must be paid back, in more blood. Any Dwarfs die trying to right these grudges are put down as separate grudges to be paid back later. Dwarfs never forgive or forget a grudge, no matter how trivial or long ago, and should you die before the Dwarfs can come and collect, well they'll just take it out on your descendants instead. The result is Dwarfs are basically locked in Forever War with nearly everybody when they have enough trouble dealing with the Skaven and Greenskins battering down the doors of their isolated strongholds. As a result, the Dwarfs are going to die out eventually, it's only a matter of time.
    • The High Elves parody and deconstruct a good number of the elvish tropes and stereotypes established by Tolkien in his writings. The Asur are a Long-Lived and Inhumanly Beautiful people who are incredibly competent at practically everything they try from warfare land and naval to magic and the arts, with a competent government headed by a wise and politically savvy king backed by three of the most powerful individuals in the world. Because of this, they're a race of petty egomaniacs who treat all the other races as stupid barbarians with few intellectual and even fewer moral merits. When the Dark Elves pulled off a False Flag Operation against the Dwarfs, the then-Phoenix King Caledor II not only was too proud to explain himself to the Dwarf ambassador but shaved the poor bugger's beard when he got on his nerves. The Dwarfs reacted poorly. The ensuing War of the Beard, uh, War of Vengeance was the most brutal the Warhammer world had ever seen and cost the High Elves most of their leadership (Caledor II himself was slain), most of their military strength, most of their greatest heroes, most of their transcontinental empire, and an irreplaceable magical artefact or three. In the modern day they aren't much better; none of the elven princes really get along, Ulthuani politics is a Decadent Court that hamstrings the efforts of the competent people who are supposed to be in charge, their constant condescension to other races pisses off all their potential allies, High Elven agents and merchants travelling in the Old World alone or at least without sufficient guard are prone to receiving the English Bob treatment - being battered and lynched by superstitious racists who get tired of their snobbery, and the Phoenix King's three talented leaders are always too busy putting out fires at home or starting various drama between themselves to do much to help him lead. This all means that despite their Elite Army and strong navy and massive economy and access to talented wizards, majestic war beasts and mighty dragons, the High Elves are more often than not a non-factor to the wider world. In fact they're even more of a race in terminal decline than the Dwarfs are, because they will not stop squabbling amongst themselves for long enough to fix any of their myriad problems, defeat their enemies (which by this point is most of the world) or even just repopulate their race. They're sliding inevitably towards extinction and nobody really cares to help them reverse that trend. And to add insult to injury, the Wood Elves and Dark Elves despite having their own problems are nevertheless thriving while Ulthuan slowly becomes more and more like a glorified tomb.
    • Greenskins put a spin on Our Orcs Are Different. Rather than being a Proud Warrior Race based on the Mongols or the Vikings, they're basically just big, green British football hooligans. Greenskins don't actually have any good reason to war with other races. They don't want your land, don't want your riches, don't want the glory of conquering you, and don't think you are a threat they need to pre-emptively defend themselves against. Hell, they don't even fight you necessarily because they dislike you in particular. It's that they literally need to fight somebody on a regular basis. It's in their biology. Deprived of a good scrap, they will actually start withering away down to nothing - they will shrink in size, their muscles will waste away, and they'll even get beer bellies. They will even fight each other lacking any other opponent.
  • Deity of Human Origin: At the end of his reign, Sigmar wandered away into the mountains to the east and was never seen again. He became King in the Mountain for the people of the Empire, and it is possible he actually did ascend to divinity, and it turns out he really did. It is also heavily implied that Myrmidia and Ranald were also once mortals.
  • Destroyer Deity: The elvish War God Kaela Mensha Khaine is venerated by the High Elves and the Dark Elves, but for differing reasons. The High Elves worship him as a God of War, but are also aware about how destruction can be indiscriminate, tempering their reverence. The Dark Elves, on the other hand, openly worship him as a God of Murder, a living representation of their Social Darwinism.
  • Deliberately Painful Clothing: Followers of Slaanesh wears these, though it's less repentance and more getting a kick from the sensations, as well as powering their god.
  • Demonic Invaders: Chaos entered the Old World through portals at the north and south poles, pouring into the Old World.
  • Depending on the Artist: The Crown of Sorcery is an Iconic Item for Nagash (and Azhag the Slaughterer while Nagash was dead) which looks completely different in every depiction.
  • Detrimental Determination:
    • Malekith became angrily jealous over being passed over as the Phoenix King of Ulthuan in favor of Bel Shanaar as he believed it was his due to his birthright and his father, Aenarion being the first Phoenix King, and plotted to take over the throne with the aid of his wicked and devious mother, Morathi. Despite his determination, Malekith was very easily susceptible to temptation, which Morathi was all too willing to exploit, resulting in Malekith becoming increasingly evil and warmongering, and while he did get to kill Bel Shanaar, his attempt to prove himself as the Phoenix King backfired horribly, getting scorched and mutilated as a result. His drive to become the ruler of the High Elves resulted in Ulthuan becoming fractured by a civil war, ending with Malekith taking his followers and Morathi to the west, colonizing Naggaroth, and establishing the Dark Elves. Despite his bloodthirsty and tyrannical nature, Malekith does internally admit that his desire for upholding Aenarion's legacy did too much damage, but feels that he's come too far.
    • Zig-Zagged with Settra the Imperishable of Nehekhara. Being an ardent believer of his culture's gods, Settra went as far as to sacrifice his two sons in exchange for rain and bountiful crops for his people. This was reciprocated positively and Settra would unify Nehekhara's people to create a large nation with him as its king. His determination for providing for his people made him very arrogant and ruthless, but this, alongside his charisma and really proving his worth made him loved by his people. He died lamenting the fact that he couldn't be immortal, which was why he created the Mortuary Cult to find a way for immortality, and said cult would continue as long as it could due to Settra's insistency to finding a way to live forever. Unfortunately for Settra, immortality would be discovered by Nagash, who would go on to destroy Nehekhara and establish the Tomb Kings. Incidentally, Settra would come back, albeit skeletal and livid over the fact that he was an animated skeleton and that his kingdom was in ruins, immediately setting forth plans to rebuild his lands.
    • Dwarfs are basically unable to act in any other way. Any promise a dwarf makes must be fulfilled regardless of the personal cost and if that´s not possible for any reason that everyone of any other race would consider a completely valid justification, the involved dwarfs will feel a shame so unbearable that it will drive them to abandon everything and find a death in battle as soon as possible. And to make things worse, they also consider that any insult -real or imagined- against their kin must be avenged even if that requires offending, threatening or attacking an ally, or that thousands of dwarf lives will be lost trying to retake an impregnable fortress.. which means thousands of new grudges will be created and will need to be avenged too no matter the cost.
  • Disciplines of Magic: Magic, which originated from the realm of Chaos, enters the physical world as eight distinct, colored Winds — Light, focused on manipulating literal light and purging evil beings; the Heavens, focused on astrology and fortune-telling, as well as weather, electricity and the occasional meteorite; Metal, generally focusing on alchemy; Life, a mostly passive, healing-focused lore with a number of more offensive spells that directly manipulate plants; Beasts, which controls animals and makes allies stronger and more aggressive; Fire, very direct pyromancy; Shadow, focused on illusions and obfuscation; and Death, which manipulates entropy and withers living things.
    • Attunement to a Wind strictly limits a wizard's ability to access other Winds and prevents used of the lore of high magic, which weaves the Winds in a more harmonious whole, and the lore of dark magic, which wields them as a raw, unshaped mass still tainted with Chaos. This can be highly dangerous for creatures not attuned to magic, however, hence why the Elves who funded the Imperial Colleges of Magic made sure that they would each focus on only one discipline, as human minds and souls couldn't handle the full force of high magic. Dark magic is a somewhat different story, as some humans can wield it — most forms of necromancy are described as dark magic with a particular focus on the Wind of Death.
    • Besides the main winds, which are accessible to more or less all factions, there are a number of lores and traditions unique to specific groups. These include the runic magic of the Dwarfs, which is less powerful but safer than other forms and binds magical effects into specific carved patterns; the Lores of the Big and Little Waaaagh!, used by Orc and Goblin shamans respectively by channeling the psychic power of greenskin hordes; the ice magic of Kislev, which can only be used by women; the Gut Magic of the Ogres, which works by its user eating something and casting a spell related to the thing they consumed; and the Lore of the Wild, used by the Beastmen, which is essentially a corrupted form of the Lore of Beasts.
    • Religion is Magic and each deity offers a unique set of powers to its priests. These magics are mutually exclusive because mortals, though they might pray to various gods according to the situation, can only draw magic from one patron god.
  • Dismembering the Body: When the great necromancer Nagash was slain, the skaven not only dismembered him but burned his remains with warpfire and then sent bits of ash in separate packages for their agents in different parts of the world to scatter. And the bastard still came back.
  • Diving Save: The "Look Out, Sir!" rule simulates this: If a character is embedded in a unit of the same type (infantry, cavalry, or the monstrous versions of either) with at least 5 models left (not including himself), a rank-and-file model may take any hit that would have struck that character on a roll of 2 or higher on a six-sided die. Independent characters can also receive a weaker version (requiring a roll of 4 or higher) if they're within 3 inches of a unit they could legally join but haven't. Since monsters and war-machines cannot form legal units, characters riding or using either cannot benefit from this rule. Thorgrim also cannot benefit from this rule since he's sitting on a giant throne carried by his bodyguards even if he has joined a unit; his very short bodyguards are presumably too short to jump up and block for him.
  • Doesn't Like Guns:
    • Bretonnian Knights live by an all-encompassing code of chivalry that disdains all missile weapons as cowardly and ignoble. None of them would ever dream of using a crossbow, handgun or even a hand-drawn bow. What prevents this from being Honor Before Reason is a) they have no problem allowing their peasant retainers to bring longbows and trebuchets to provide fire support, and b) the magic of the Lady of the Lake makes them Immune to Bullets. And of course, the fact that the Bretonnian nobility want to keep point-and-kill boomsticks out of the hands of their oppressed peasant underlings has absolutely, positively nothing to do with it. The basic code of conduct for Bretonnian Knights in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay includes a ban on gunpowder weapons; in fact, none of the knightly careers give you proficiency in them. Not the case, however, with the Bretonnian Navy, as the Exact Words of the Bretonnian code of chivalry prevents the use of guns on Bretonnian soil; on the open seas, they toss cannonballs around like the Empire can (and are in fact the most powerful navy around thanks to the rows on rows of cannon).
    • Elves as a rule hold blackfire weapons in disdain, seeing them as fit only for clueless younger races who lack the proper skill to use bows and magic (like humans). Even the Dark Elves swear by their Automatic Crossbows, even though Empire handguns are definitely superior. It isn't all just racist arrogance though, as the High Elves and Wood Elves use bows that are often enchanted to provide similar or better performance to firearms, and that's not even going into enchanted arrows like hagbane, moonshot and trueflight. Also, there exist exceptions: Kerillian will make use of blackfire bombs (but she'll still bitch about having to need to), and you can use a firearm as an elf character living in the Empire in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, just don't expect to encounter any likeminded kin (and do expect more than a few raised eyebrows).
  • Don't Go in the Woods: The forests of the Old World cover vast amounts of land, including most of the Empire. Virtually everything that lives in them is very, very bad. The outermost kilometre or two of any given forest is relatively safe, and people often hunt in them. However, venturing further in is stupid in the extreme. Athel Loren, the home of the Wood Elves, is a Genius Loci that may simply steer you out of it, or let the Wood Elves or tree spirits kill you. The Great Forests of the empire are home to Forest Goblins and Beastmen. Anyone brave — or stupid — enough to reach the deepest reaches of it will find themselves facing creatures like the Preyton, the Jabberslythe, and the Arachnarok Spider.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu:
    • A rare example of a heroic Cthulhu being taunted appeared in the Storm of Chaos campaign, where Teclis turned up and One-Hit Kill-ed the entire daemonic army. The Imperial Grand Theogonist then called him a Dirty Coward for using magic, so Teclis demostrated why one Can't Argue with Elves by pissing off and letting the Empire fight on alone.note 
    • A more literal example happened during The End Times between Settra and the newly-revived demigod Nagash. Having just crumped Settra's army and royal guard, Nagash offered the King of Khemri the position of Mortarch, one of his ten generals, among the undead legions. Settra spat in Nagash's face, resulting in the former's disintergration. Knowing that Settra could not be killed, Nagash left him as a head in the sand, positioned just so that he can see his kingdom. Nagash then promptly went godzilla on the whole of Khemri, reducing it to ruin in a matter of hours. Settra was left in the sand, none of his former allies even daring to go near his head for fear of Nagash's wrath.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Ohsomuch. The Doomwheel, the Anvil of Doom, Doomseekers, the Doom Diver, the Ziggurat of Doom...
  • Draconic Humanoid: The Dragon Ogres are an inversion of the usual fusion, since they're an ogre torso on a dragon's lower body (although apparently not related to either), and are among the most powerful and ancient of all creatures.
  • Dramatic Irony: The Old World has its various materials describe Duke Maldred of Mousillon as a charismatic Lord leading his dukedom to greatness. As materials of the previous editions show, Maldred was eventually revealed as a bloodthirsty madman who plunged his Dukedom into such a dark place it never recovered in an affair that would be known as "the false Grail".
  • The Dreaded:
    • Gorthor, the infamous Beastman shaman whose very name means "Cruel" in Bray-Tongue. While most Beastmen wear Genuine Human Hide as a matter of course, Gorthor would openly wear the skins of his fellow shamans, where most Beastmen would not even dare to touch a shaman.
    • Nagash the Undying, the guy who invented necromancy. He once tried to conquer the entire world and turn every living thing into his undead servants, and he was so terrifying that for the only instance in their entire history, the entire Skaven race united in trying to stop him.
    • Alith Anar, the Shadow-King of Nagarythe. It really means something to terrify an entire race of xenophobic sociopaths, but Anar manages by skinning his Dark Elf victims alive, stringing them up on trees and kidnapping Dark Elf children to raise them as Shadow Warriors. He once crucified hundreds of Dark Elves and nailed them to a cliff as a warning. But then again it's kinda hard to fault him.
  • Droit du Seigneur: Implied to exist in various forms, but there is one heartwarming subversion. Duke Laurent of Artois requires all brides in his domain to spend their wedding night in his bedchamber along with their husbands while the Duke sleeps outside the door, so they can have the duchy's biggest and most comfortable bed in complete privacy for their wedding night.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side:
    • The Skaven, especially with warpstone involved. Grey Seers are quite wary of the megalomania (which is extreme even by skaven standards) that comes with the power it gives.
    • The more a character gets involved with the dark forces of Chaos, the more they tend to get addicted to those same forces. At the most extreme, The Dark Side Will Make You Forget as the person becomes little more than a conduit for the gods' power.
  • The Dung Ages: If you're poor, this is your lifestyle.
    • Averted in earlier editions of Bretonnia: peasants who proved themselves had the chance of being upgraded to nobility. Now they just get a fat hog and some jewels (which likely won't last long anyhow). It's still possible for a Bretonnian peasant to be knighted for acts of great nobility, such as saving a Damsel in Distress. Not that it happens often — just three times so far since the founding of Bretonnia over 1500 years ago. Bretonnian laws of nobility define a noble as anyone whose ancestors on both sides are nobles for the last two generations. Anyone else is a peasant. A peasant may be knighted, but his line will die out immediately since his children will, by definition, be peasants. The only exception is if a peasant somehow becomes a Grail Knight, since Grail Knights are instantly considered royalty and can make up laws as they please and thus declare their children nobility.
    • Best demonstrated in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, where player characters will be utterly brassic most of their adventuring careers and even relatively wealthy noble types will be scrambling for coin. Case in point, in the 2nd Edition of the game, the most expensive item in the entire game is a Best craftsmanship galleon worth 120,000 gold pieces; in normal games, having 50 gold at any point is a remarkable achievement. It's practically a Take That, Audience!

    E-F 
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: You could practically make a page to this trope, but in general, the Warhammer world as it is known today didn't take shape until around 4th and 5th edition; the first bones started forming in 2nd edition, solidified in 3rd, but 4th created much that is now the canon. And even then, there were a few things that changed notably between 5th and 6th edition.
    • The very first edition of the game divided humans into four broad factions; the "Men of the West", a generically European force; the "Men of the North", the Horny Vikings Norse; the "Men of the South", the denizens of Araby; and the "Men of the Orient", the knock-off Japan of Nippon (with Cathay, Warhammer's China, as an afterthought). The Men of the West wouldn't be fleshed out into the separate peoples of the Old World until 3rd edition.
    • Bretonnia debuted in 3rd edition with lore suggesting it was based on France just before the French Revolution, with impoverished, much-abused peasantry and decadent, obscenely hedonistic nobles heavily implied to be devoted to Slaanesh. In 5th edition, it became much Lighter and Softer and was more or less a generic "Arthurian Knights" flavored region. 6th edition took the 5e version and made it Darker and Edgier, giving the nobles back some of their corruption, making the peasants more oppresed, and stratifying the social hierarchy much further.
    • Chaos dwarfs didn't appear until 3rd edition, when they were a minor ally troop that Chaos armies could take. Their forces included bazooka & mortar teams, and war-machines pushed by boar-centaurs. They got their first (and only) dedicated army book in 4th edition, which created everything now iconic about the race — their embrace of sorcery, their pseudo-Babylonian aesthetic, their extensive arsenal of advanced war-machines, their extensive use of orc & goblin slaves and hobgoblin vassals, their sacred bull-centaurs, etc. After 4th edition, they faded into the background and were reduced to mere background lore, save for some "pseudo-canon" updates.
    • The Warhammer world originally included half-orcs, who could act as mercenaries for human, orc and Chaos armies, and gnomes, who were an ally to the human and dwarf armies.
    • In 3rd edition, the Empire army was heavily defined by its ability to field mercenaries, which included dwarves, gnomes, halflings, half-orcs, ogres, and human mercenary regiments from Kislev, Tilea and Estalia. In 4th edition, this was downgraded to just including dwarfs, halflings, ogres and Kislevite units — the Kislev special character, Tzarina Katarin, even debuted in the 4e Empire army book. From 5e onwards, the Empire lost all of its non-human and allied nation units.
    • 3rd edition introduced two Human Subspecies native to Lustria; the Amazons and the Pygmies. The former have faded into the background while still showing up in more small scale versions of the lore like Mordheim or Blood Bowl — the latter have been deliberately and justifiably expunged from canon.
    • The Slann debuted in 2nd edition as a race of Frog Men that originated on another world and descended to the Warhammer world in its ancient past. Conquering much of the world, they crushed the native empire of the lizardmen and reduced it to scattered tribes, only to then fall into barbarism and forget much of their scientific and arcane powers. 3rd edition expanded on this lore, allowing players to field Slann armies that contained a mixture of Slann, lizardmen vassals, pygmy allies, and units of lobotomized, drug-addled, castrated human slave-soldiers. 5th edition completely erased the original lore for both the Slann and the Lizardmen, instead making them different castes in a species of biological robots created by a forgotten race of Precursors known as the Old Ones.
    • The Slann character Lord Mazdamundi debuted in 3rd edition as the supreme Emperor of the Slann. In 5th edition, he was reworked into "just" a Slann special character.
    • The Undead originally debuted as a super-broad "kitchen sink" faction, similar to Chaos. From 4th edition, they were broken up into the Vampire Counts and subsequently the Tomb Kings in 6th edition.
    • The Norscans were originally their own mini-army, allied to but distinct from the forces of Chaos.
  • Easy Logistics: All factions, more or less, but the Warriors of Chaos take the cake. Somehow a frigid, mountainous wasteland crawling with literal demons and a rape-and-pillage-based economy manages to not only raise and feed huge Norscan armies, but equip them with absurd amounts of armor plate and battleaxes the size of a filing cabinet.
  • Eating the Enemy: One of the options for a giant's grab attack is to simply eat the target.
  • Elective Monarchy: With only a few exceptions, most of the monarchies are elective in some way.
    • After their first Emperor ascended to godhood, leaving no heir, it was decided that the Empire of Man would elect their Emperors from then on. While this was nominally to choose the most capable among them to lead, this is not always the case. Since the Church of Sigmar (which holds a total of three votes) always votes for the Reikland elector, Reikland automatically has four votes (sometimes five, since the Moot always votes for the son of the previous Emperor). Meanwhile, the Ar-Ulric (head of the cult of Ulric) always votes for the Middenland one, so the Middenland elector automatically has two; unsurprisingly, the two cults don't usually get along. Bribery and politicking are far from uncommon during an election, and the occasional military enticement isn't unheard of either.
    • The High Elves elect their Phoenix Kings in a similar fashion, although unlike the Empire they have a series of rules, both spoken and unspoken, regarding the process, and enough hindsight to understand certain lines they never cross (killing ones' rivals being the biggest one). There is also a hereditary Everqueen, who is required by law to marry the Phoenix King (though once that's done and the next Everqueen has been begotten, they can and will take other consorts).
    • Bretonnia has a system comparable to the Empire, where the Dukes elect the King (also called the Royarch) from among themselves, but there is a prerequisite that the King must be a Grail Knight. In the event that the previous King's son is already a Grail Knight, though, he will almost certainly be chosen. Granted, the final word is with the Fay Enchantress (the head of the Bretonnian religion), and she is fully within her right to refuse the nominee, in which case another election has to be held.
    • The Dwarfs are this combined with a bit of Asskicking Leads to Leadership. The Karaz Ankor of the Dwarfs is divided into numerous holds ruled by hereditary kings, who in turn owe allegiance to the High King. Upon the High King's death, all the noble clans gather in Karaz-a-Karak, where any of the hopefuls compete for the title (mostly by performing various great deeds), after which a Council of Elders select the High King.
  • Elemental Embodiment: Incarnate elementals are living embodiments of one of the winds of magic, and are typically created or summoned by a wizard attuned to that wind.
    • Incarnate elementals of Aqshy, the Wind of Fire, also known as Charred Ones, Black Harvestmen and Jack O’Cinders, are towering figures of flame and smoldering ash. They embody the destructive and ferocious nature of their wind, and are often summoned as engines of war.
    • Incarnate elementals of Ghur, the Wind of Beasts, also known as Bloody Hidesmen, Horned Men and Faceless Hunters, are towering figures of muscle and sinew with horned or antlered skulls for heads. They are living embodiments of predatory might and the fury of the wild, and are called upon to defend the wildlands or to hunt down powerful foes.
    • Incarnate elementals of Shyish, the Wind of Death, take the form of enormous serpents with two long necks topped by draconic heads, bound together by a chain and an hourglass said to contain a king's powdered bones. As living embodiments of entropy and death, any beings in their proximity begin to wither and die.
  • Elemental Personalities:
    • Wielders of the Lore of Fire, such as Imperial Bright Wizards, elven Dragon Mages and ogre Firebellies, are typically characterized as impulsive, hot-headed, passionate, and prone to sudden mood swings.
    • The Ice Witches of Kislev are typically characterized as being cold, unapproachable and controlling.
    • As described in the Storm of Magic supplement, fire dragons are impatient, hot-tempered and prone to violent rages, frost dragons are patient and slow to anger, and storm dragons are excitable, flighty and whimsical.
  • Elemental Powers: The eight winds of magic. Kislev also has ice magic.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: In a past age, the High Elves and the Dwarfs waged a brutal war known to the former as the War of the Beard and to the latter as the War of Vengeance. While the Dwarfs technically won the war by slaying Caledor II (and are very insistent on reminding every elf they encounter of that fact), it was in reality a Pyrrhic Victory that shattered both their empires and left an entire generation of both races' greatest heroes slain. While no longer in direct conflict, the two races still harbour much animosity over the war and avoid each others' affairs as best possible, restricting their distaste for each other largely to diplomatic barbs. To the Dwarfs, the Elves are softer than even humans as well as arrogant bastards, showing no respect for superior Dawi craftsmanship and engineering, and opting to use... [shudder] magic; even the Khazalid word for "untrustworthy" means "like an elf". To the Elves, Dwarfs are reactionary, crude, petty and need to mind their betters.
  • The Empire: Yeah, the good guys. Usually. Based on the Holy Roman Empire; as a result, it's surprisingly democratic, with nobles known as Elector Counts voting for their emperor, again, a practice swiped from the Holy Roman Empire. The upper classes are largely corrupt, the church is an extremist military force, though the latter is justified, given the sheer evil of everywhere else. Suprisingly, the actual monarch (see below) is both decent and competent. They could arguably qualify as more of The Federation.
  • The Emperor: The Emperor is an elected official (though elected by the nobility, and not the populace), the current one a guy named Karl Franz (who is also the reigning prince of one of the constituents of the Empire). He's what you could call an Emperor Action.Although it's possible he had the incarnation of his own god killed to preserve his position and maintain order. But then, nobody's perfect.
  • Eminently Enigmatic Race: The Old Ones are largely a mystery, even in comparison to their counterparts in 40K; a race of legendary Precursors responsible for creating the Lizardmen and a vast swathe of the other main races in the setting, almost nothing is known of their culture, why they terraformed the world, or even their basic biology: apart from a few unconfirmed cases, they're extinct, and the few immortal witnesses to their arrival are either dead or not talking. All that's known is that they might be as reptilian as the Lizardmen themselves, and that's it.
  • Emotion Eater: Chaos mainly; the lore of Slaanesh focuses on this and messing with leadership.
  • Enchanted Forest:
    • The Wood Elves reside in Athel Loren, a magical forest filled with forest spirits, from cruel dryads and vicious fairies to mighty treemen and forest dragons. Magic is thick in Athel Loren, and time flows oddly — if the Wood Elves don't kill trespassers, then they'll likely end up getting lost in the forest for days and come out like it's been years. The forest is divided in several realms, many with their own temporal peculiarities and takes on the trope: Modryn’s forests are shrouded in eternal night, the woods of Atylwyth are always locked in winter, and it is always summer daytime in the glades of Arranoc. The forest itself is implied to be a Genius Loci, granted sapience by the extreme levels of magic that permeate it and aware of what goes on beneath its eaves.
    • Laurelorn Forest, within the Empire, is home to a secondary population of wood elves known as the Eonir. It's not an otherworldly Genius Loci like Athel Loren is, but it's nonetheless a vast primordial forest cut through by few roads or towns — the Eonir make sure of that — and travelers permitted to go through it will find a twilit wilderness where the canopy blocks out most of the sun's light, animals seem far more intelligent and aware than they should, strange noises issue from the forest's depths and arm-like branches beckon to follow them away from the path.
    • One of the realms of the High Elven homeland, Avelorn, is thickly covered in ancient forests and home to a variety of magical creatures such as unicorns, spirits and treemen much like those found in Athel Loren. It's also noted to be the most innately magical of the High Elves' kingdoms. While the presence of High Elven civilization and it being the homeland of the Evergueen make it a much more benevolent take on this trope than the setting's other examples, Avelorn's forests are not without their dangers — the magic saturating them is more than capable of making incautious travelers lose their way, and likewise serves as a magnet for the monsters of the mountains looming over it; Avelorn is more prone to monster attacks than any other elven realms.
    • The 8th Edition rulebook includes rules for randomly determing what sort of unnatural woodland any given thicket of trees is, including copses where trees slumber fitfully and just at the edge of wakefulness or which are covered in colorful fungi with mind-clouding spores.
  • Enemy Civil War: Many of the evil factions tend to fight among themselves. The Skaven in particular are known for this.
  • Ethnic God: With the exception of the Chaos gods, which are worshipped by human and elf Chaos cultists, as well as the Norscans, Kurgans, Hung and Beastmen, most deities are specific to certain races and nations:
    • Among the human nations, the Kislevites worship the bear god Ursun, as well as the fire god Dazh and the thunder god Tur. Sigmar is the god of the Empire's state religion, as well as its deified founder, although the Imperials also worship other gods such as Ulric, Morr, and Myrmidia that they share with other human cultures; these each began as the patron deity of one of the Empire's founding tribes and, while most are now worshipped throughout it, Ulric is now worshipped almost entirely by the Middenlanders. The Bretonnians worship the Lady of the Lake.
    • The High Elves, Dark Elves and Wood Elves worship the same gods, but in different aspects: Khaine is a War God for the High Elves and a god of murder for the Dark Elves.
    • The Orcs and Goblins worship Gork, the god of brutality, and Mork, the god of cunning. The Forest Goblins additionally worship their own native deity, the Spider God.
    • The Lizardmen revere their Old One progenitors, but the cult of the snake god Sotek has in recent centuries become their leading faith.
    • The Skaven worship the Great Horned Rat, which they view as their creator and special patron.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: After the Nehekharan Empire was completely destroyed and transformed into the Land of the Dead by Nagash, the very first Necromancer, the Skaven Council of Thirteen got very uncomfortable at the prospect of being among the first victims of Nagash's upcoming plans for world domination. They made a unanimous vote in favor of assassinating Nagash which was done by freeing Alcadizaar, the last King of Nehehara, and giving him a blade made out of pure warpstone. During the battle, the Council joined their power into protecting Alcadizaar until he finally defeated Nagash, after which they disposed of the latter's remains in warp fires and set about extracting the warpstone in Cripple Peak for the next 1111 years. This is the only known instance in history where the entire Skaven race have ever completely united against an outside threat, and where the Council of Thirteen have ever aided a non-Skaven. Just to give you an idea of how terrified the Skaven were of Nagash.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You:
    • Lustria. Poisonous plants (soul-eating properties optional) carnivorous animals lurking around every corner, tiny tree frogs that can kill a Daemon with their poison, and to top it all off, a race of killer dinosaur-men with a ruthless streak a mile wide. In fact, a Chameleon Skink may very well be lurking right above your head right now...
    • Honestly, this is true for everywhere, not just Lustria. Take the lands of the Empire, for example. You might get killed by a Beast Man raiding party, torn apart by Orcs, have your village and family destroyed by a Chaos incursion, or you may be killed by wildlife on any given day. That, and your owned damned country might be trying to kill you because they have the slightest feeling that you are a follower of Chaos. And it is like this anywhere on the globe, even for the "evil" factions. The only reason they haven't all been killed is because they're just so damned good at killing as well, meaning you get stuck in an endless cycle. See Adventure-Friendly World above.
    • The great forest of Athel Loren is a human-hating Genius Loci that is gradually growing outwards despite the best efforts of the Wood Elves to curtail the spread with magical standing stones. There are even outcrops of Athel Loren on isolated islands on the other side of the world. Until the world was destroyed by Chaos, there was the terrifying possibility that Athel Loren eventually would have grown to encompass the entire planet.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Daemon Prince apotheosis. Vampirism too, especially the Strigoi bloodline.
  • Evil Versus Evil: "Bad guy" factions are just as prone to fighting each other as they are to fighting less malevolent people. And don't think they don't fight among themselves, either.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Green Knight.
  • Exact Words: In the novel Nagash the Sorcerer, the eponymous sorcerer promises his bride, Neferem, that no harm will come to her son, Sukhet, from this moment forward if she drinks an elixir recently made from the now-deceased Sukhet's blood.
  • Exploited Immunity: An early edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle had the spell "Wind of Death", which hit every living thing on the table and (statistically speaking) could kill an average human unit 50% of the time. A player who had tougher troops (or better yet; undead troops, who would be immune) could easily find themselves better off than their opponent after using it.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Virtually the only things Ogres don't think make for good eating are Gnoblars — and they'll eat them too, they just don't like it as much as better fare. Although the ears and nose are quite tasty. Coincidentally, ear and nose size are badges of status among Gnoblars. One Ogre mentioned in the Ogre Kingdoms army book was killed because it ate a loaded rifle, which went off in its stomach firing directly into its brain. There was also a whole horse skeleton found in his stomach.
  • Extreme Speculative Stratification: Bretonnia (Arthurian Legend meets The Dung Ages) is essentially divided into two types of people: nobility and peasants (the other social classes of the actual Middle Ages presumably exist offscreen). The first are feudal overlords with their hands full dealing with orcs, Chaos and their neighbors encroaching, the second are illiterate, inbred Cannon Fodder whose only hope for social advancement is to join their lord's army as a bowman.
  • Expy:
    • Sigmar is effectively "What if Charlemagne was Jesus and also Conan the Barbarian?"
    • Balthasar Gelt is also "What if Doctor Doom was a wizard?"
    • The High Elves have quite a few similarities with the Melniboneans from The Elric Saga. Being a race of elves/high men from a distant island with strange conical helmets and mighty dragons to back up their already-powerful armies. Even Teclis is much like Elric himself, being a genius but flawed sorcerer-prince who needs to imbibe magical potions to maintain his vigour and has little patience for his race's uppity and xenophobic attitudes. It's the Dark Elves who have the Melniboneans' sheer cruelty covered.
    • Malekith, as a powerful Magic Knight clad in scary black armour to conceal terrible burn injuries, is a dead ringer for Darth Vader.
    • Khorne was inspired heavily by the Conan the Barbarian version of the Celtic deity Crom, according to Bryan Ansel (co-founder of Games Workshop).
    • The Great Horned Rat worshipped by the Skaven is an expy of Satan.
    • The Chaos Dwarfs are ones for Isengard, and the Pan Tang. And the Black Orcs (created by the Chaos Dwarfs) are basically Uruk-Hai.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The further north you go, the colder and more Chaos-y it gets. The Chaos Warriors hail from the grim northern wastes and beyond that is the Realm of Chaos, near the Warhammer world's north pole (with a matching, if seldom-depicted, counterpart at the south pole).
  • The Fair Folk:
    • The Fay Enchantress (a servant of the Lady of the Lake) takes all Bretonnian children with magical talent away to be trained. This is considered a great honor. The girls? They tend to turn up about ten years later, acting very different but well trained in using this power. The boys? Oh, they tend to not ever be seen again.
    • The Wood Elves of Athel Loren (who may be the power behind the Lady) are known to flat-out abduct children. According to a Wood Elves army book, "Boy children taken from the lands around the forest, destined never to grow old, joyfully serve their Elven masters." What actually goes on is left to the imagination.
  • Fantastic Fallout: A Chaos Gate situated at the north pole has twisted the region around it into a bitterly-cold Chaos-tainted wasteland where the only mortal inhabitants are frenzied Chaos followers. Elsewhere around the world, the reality-warping effects of magic use often leave long-lasting effects upon the land.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • The Empire is an expy of the Holy Roman Empire. It's a multi-state polity of bickering fiefdoms ruled by an elected Emperor, the official language is called Reikspeil, and everyone has names like Volkmar, Dietrich, Siegbert and Landolf.
    • Bretonnia is high medieval France with a lot of references and expies to Arthurian England (and also more than a few to Monty Python and the Holy Grail).
    • The High Elves are a nice mix of the ancient Greeks (especially the cultured and educated but still very badass Athens) and the Byzantines with Tolkien's Quendi and the Noldor elves. You can also make the case that as a thalassocratic island nation with a diminished intercontinental empire who nevertheless remain a major player in world affairs because of their advanced military and great cultural influence, the Asur are this world's stand-in for the post-colonial United Kingdom.
    • Conversely the Dark Elves are a blend of medieval Scandinavia, the Spartans, the Melniboneans and generally the more cruel and depraved side of ancient antiquity.
    • The Wood Elves combine the rustic and primitive Silvan elves of Tolkien's work with iron age Celts.
    • The Lizardmen are one for the Pre-Columbian civilizations of the Americas — the Aztecs, the Mayans, the Inca and the Olmecs.
    • Sylvania is a fantasy version of ancient Romania under Vlad the Impaler.
    • Nehekhara was a fantasy version of Ancient Egypt, even remaining so in undeath as the Tomb Kings. They built pyramids, mummified their dead, worshipped humanoid gods with bestial heads, etc. Pretty easy one to get.
    • The Norscans are a hodgepodge of Germanic, Norse and Anglo-Saxon influences but with the badassery and barbarity dialed up to eleven. They rarely appear but the Kurgans are also daemonic Mongols and Turks with elements of Slavic pagans, and the Hung are daemonic Huns.
    • The Chaos Dwarfs have massive hats, twirled sausage-curl beards, giant ziggurats and worship a brutal bull god named Hashut, making them Babylonians. You can also make the case that the black and red colour scheme, heavily mechanized military and love for grossly oversized artillery, industrialized slave economy and supremacist ideology driving them to maliciously conquer and subjugate other peoples makes them the fantasy equivalent of Imperial Germany meets Nazi Germany.
    • Amusingly, Orcs are intended to be one for British Football Hooligans.
    • Ogres look like big, fat Mongols. But they also have a lot of neanderthal prehistora to them too.
    • Kislev is one for the Tsardom of Russia, the Kievan Rus, and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Marienburg is the Netherlands during the Age of Exploration. Albion is pre-Roman Britain. Araby is the Islamic Middle East. Cathay is Imperial China, Nippon is feudal Japan, and Ind is fantastical India.
    • Unfortunately this doesn't always work to the game's benefit. Take the Pygmies, a race of short, dark-skinned hobbits from tropical Lustria who were based on the real-life pygmy peoples like the Twa and Mbuti. The model line was introduced in 3E and then quickly dropped by Games Workshop when they realized what an absolutely horrendous idea this was.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Map: The setting's unnamed planet is essentially a distorted version of medieval and early modern world maps. The Old World is a scrunched version of Europe, with the Empire where Germany would be, Bretonnia in place of France, Kislev approximating Russia, Norsca as a horizontal version of Scandinavia, Estalia, Tilea and the Vaults in place of Spain, Italy and the Alps, and the mist-shrouded island of Albion a ways off the coast. Heading east, the Dark Lands take the place of the Central Asian deserts, the Mountains of Mourn are the Himalaya stand-ins, and Cathay, Ind and Nippon are China, India, and Japan (even using already-existing alternate names for their real-world counterparts). North of it all are steppes leading into the polar Chaos Wastes. Among the other continents, the Southlands, Naggaroth and Lustria have the approximate shapes and locations of Africa (complete with a northern desert home to a pseudo-Egyptian culture) and North and South America. The only area with no real equivalent is the floating island of Ulthuan, which instead serves as an Atlantis analogue.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Religion: Lots of it.
    • The Cult of Sigmar is a Christianity analogue if Jesus was like Conan the Barbarian.
    • The Chaos Gods are like a more malevolent version of the Norse pantheon, including an Odin analogue being filled by Khorne promising a Warrior Heaven for his followers that fall in battle.
    • The Nehekharan Gods are obviously based on the Egyptian pantheon with its similarly named gods Ptra (Ra) and Basth (Bastet).
    • The Kislevite religion and the Great Orthodoxy are based on Slavic paganism and Orthodox Christianity.
    • The Lizardmen worship Sotek, a snake-like deity akin to the Aztecs' Quetzacoatl.
    • It's also implied that Warhammer's version of Islam is practiced by the nation of Araby, though other than being described as a monotheistic faith manifested by its chosen prophets, not much else is known about it. The equivalent of the Crusades happened when a daemon of Tzeentch (or the Skaven, depending on who you ask. Potentially even both.) tricked an Arabyan sultan into attacking the Empire, but little else is known about it.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Zig Zagged due to Schizo Tech.
    • The Empire, Dwarfs, and Ogres make extensive use of handguns, pistols, cannons, mortars, volley guns, and rockets. Oh, and steam-powered tanks and helicopters. They're pretty much objective improvements over their muscle-powered equivalents, mainly balanced out by cost. The other Old World human nations (besides Bretonnia, see below) are in the same boat as the Empire, though seemingly a bit behind — it's noted that the crossbow is still more common than the handgun in the Southern Realms, and their army list in both 5e and 6e restricts personal firearms to heroes and unit leaders. The Cathayans (this world's equivalent of the Imperial Chinese) also use a lot of gunpowder, and their weapons are generally more reliable and accurate than the Empire's.
    • Even more notable are the Skaven, who wield sniper rifles, flamethrowers, Ratling guns, laser cannons and even Wyrdstone-powered nukes. A lot of which hilariously backfires, and only makes up a tiny portion of a tiny portion of their massive forces anyway.
    • Ever since the Founder of the Kingdom Giles le Breton was killed by an ignoble arrow, by Bretonnian law, no Bretonnian knight may pick up and use a crossbow or a gun, seeing as guns fulfil a similar battlefield role and so are included in the law. Even hand-drawn bows are off-limits, restricted to hunting weapons, or a supporting weapon solely for the peasant rabble who accompany knights into battles. In fact, Bretonnian knights have magical protection from guns just because they hate them so much. And the fact that Bretonnian nobles don't want their peasants (who outnumber them significantly) to have access to easy-to-use, point-and-blam weapons that can easily kill an armoured knight has absolutely, positively nothing to do with it. The blessings from The Lady of the Lake who may be an elven goddess manipulating the Bretonnians also helps. That said, the Bretonnian navy use ships bristling with cannons - after all, the law prevents the use of firearms "on Bretonnian soil", and the port cities are petitioning an amendment to the law to allow their fortifications to use cannons.
    • The elves view firearms as crude, inelegant human and dwarfen tools, and refuse to use them themselves. While there's nothing in WFRP preventing an elven Player Character from using them, don't expect to find any like-minded kin out there (and expect more than a few raised eyebrows). As a rule, they make up for this through their exceptional speed, strength and reflexes — the magical bows of elven archers give them performance rivalling guns — and by also relying on their powerful magic and alliances with giant magical creatures. The Wood Elves live as essentially Iron Age tribes alongside their tree spirit allies, while the High and Dark Elves remain at a more generally fantasy-medieval technology level and use the same standard bows, crossbows, and ballistae that they've had for thousands of years.
    • The Beastmen make no use of any ranged weapon more complex than a throwing axe or javelin. They consider technology to be a repulsive blasphemy, lack the manual dexterity to operate any device more fiddly than an axe, and strongly prefer to tear enemies to pieces up close and personal. Despite being essentially just hordes of screaming savages in skins, they manage to remain a persistent and existential threat to the Empire's firearms-equipped troops due to their extensive use of guerrilla warfare and ambush tactics.
    • The Warriors of Chaos similarly view ranged warfare as cowardly, and relegate their armies' ranged element to axe- and javelin-throwing marauders; full Warriors either fight in melee or become sorcerers. In their case, they compensate for this by means of being blessed with unnaturally strong and resilient bodies by Chaos and being clad head to toe in armor so thick that it can shrug off small arms fire, allowing them to march right up to more range-heavy armies and start laying about with their heavy axes, swords and maces.
    • The Orcs, similarly to the Beastmen, are too primitive to operate complex technology and too savage to really want to fight from range anyway. They have some ranged elements, insofar as they use arrer boyz, err, archers and primitive bolt throwers, but the bulk of their armies consist of heavy infantry and cavalry.
    • The Lizardmen are primitive descendants of the servants of a bygone race of glorious starfarers. As such, their technological base is split between ancient technological wonders like crystal laser cannons which they can operate but not repair or reproduce, and stuff that they can make themselves, which is functionally at a Bronze Age level; their devotion to the bygone Old Ones means that they don't care to use any technology not developed and approved by their ancient masters. As such, a Lizardman army consists chiefly of ranks of reptilian warriors armed with stone and bronze clubs and spears, squads of skirmishers armed with javelins and blowpipes, and rare and powerful magitek weapons carried by dinosaurs (because the Lizardmen never discovered the wheel either).
    • The Tomb Kings are an undead faction whose members were last alive during the setting's Bronze Age. Prideful in the extreme, they refuse to use any tools or methods not invented by their old empires, and still march to war as armies of skeletal swordsmen and archers supported by animated statues. Through magical power and sheer numbers, they remain a threat (they can raise a lot of dead by virtue of being so old).
    • The Vampire Counts are an especially notable example because they lack any ranged weaponry whatsoever, even simple arrows or throwing spears. The reason for this is that the bulk of their armies consist of hordes of mindless animated corpses that can just about shamble towards warm meat and bite it, incorporeal spirits, and feral monsters. The vampire elites themselves prefer to rely on their inhuman durability and to use magic for killing things from range.
    • Back in the day there was a lot of bleed between Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, meaning that futuristic warriors could have beastman troops toting automatic rifles and riding motorbikes. And high fantasy armies could contain Powered Armored mooks with boltguns. This doesn't happen anymore, and fantasy is now kept well away from sci-fi antics.
  • Fantasy Pantheon:
    • The Elven and the Empire both have pantheons composed of various gods. These gods tend to be anthropomorphic personifications of various concepts (Isha is the Elven goddess of life, Ulric is the Empire's god of winter, battle and wolves, Khaine is the Elven war god, etc.), although the Empire also has Sigmar who isn't really a personification of anything but a human who ascended to godhood (or a Physical God, or possibly a Folk Hero whose legend has gotten out of hand, depending on who you ask).
    • Then there's the four great Gods of Chaos created from the psyche of mortals: Khorne, god of rage and war; Slaanesh, god of lust and excess; Nurgle, god of disease and despair; and Tzeentch, god of schemes, magic, and ambition. It's worth mentioning that Khorne is sort of like an evil version of Odin, minus the magic. There were a number of lesser Chaos Gods, but they were minor gods and their canonicity is questionable (see below).
      • Since Chaos uses the symbol of eight arrows arranged into a star, the devs made a group of lesser Chaos gods to round out the number to eight. They have existed on and off under dubious canonicity due to unimportance or real world legal complications. There was Hashut, god of Chaos Dwarfs; Malal, renegade Chaos god that represents Chaos's inherent instability; Necoho, god of atheism (no, really!); and Zuvassin the Undoer, who simply meddles with the plans of other gods. There was also Be'lakor, whose something of a puzzle at this point, but exists and a Daemon Prince who's subordinate to each of the big four; and also the Great Horned Rat, the god of the Skaven.
      • There's also the concept of Chaos Undivided, whose tenants worship the main four Chaos gods as a pantheon or as aspects of a higher deity. Chaos is usually at its most unstoppable when the gods set aside old rivalries and focus their power and followers on a single goal.
    • The ancestor gods of the Dwarfs are another pantheon and so is the old pantheon of ancient Nehekhara. Ind is mentioned and referred to as the land of a thousand gods so one would expect them to have quite the pantheon. Bretonnia is said to have the commoners and the occasional noble worship some Empire gods along with the Lady of the Lake, but that might not count.
    • The Orcs have two gods (Gork, the god of cunning brutality and Mork, the god of brutal cunning. Or possibly the other way around. Wars have been started by Orcs arguing which is which), but that hardly counts as a pantheon (a couple of other gods, such as Bork and Khalekk have been mentioned in the older background, but they probably aren't canon anymore).
    • Interestingly, the Ogres, who worship the Great Maw, seem to be the only truly monotheistic race.
    • The Skaven have only one official god as well: the Horned Rat. It was a deity strongly associated with Chaos, though it wasn't part of the "true" pantheon, possibly existing only as a minor Chaos god. This lasted until the events of Age of Sigmar when Slaanesh disappeared, and the Horned Rat took over the vacancy. Some Skaven secretly worship the other Chaos gods, chiefly Nurgle, but this is considered blasphemous and anyone caught doing so is destined for an excruciatingly painful death.
  • Fantastic Race Weapon Affinity:
    • The humans of the Empire are associated most often with halberds and flintlock muskets. Halberds are a multi-purpose formation weapon representing humanity's Jack of All Stats nature and emphasis on teamwork and combined arms warfare, and firearms represent mankind's ingenuity and use of radical technology to overcome the sheer advantages the other races have. Hammers, while rarely used in battle, are a symbol of religious and national identity, as God-Emperor Sigmar wielded the legendary Ghal-Maraz (the Warhammer the game is named for).
    • In Bretonnia, the lance is considered the true weapon of a Knight in Shining Armor, though other weapons are used too. Bows are the weapon of the ignominious peasant.
    • Dwarfs favour axes, the more ornate the better. Their infantry are often seen wielding one or two-handed varieties, and sometimes they wield hammers as well. Though dwarfs are certainly capable of making fine swords, no dwarf worth his salt would be caught using one in a fight (they consider them "umgak"). For fighting at a distance, dwarfs reach for their thunderer firearms, but more poorer or conservative dwarfs just stick to crossbows.
    • As a whole, Elves favour bows and spears. Ranks of spearmen protected by great tower shields are a vital component of all three Elven armies. Though High Elves also employ archers commonly, it is the Wood Elves of Athel Loren who boast the greatest mastery of the bow; on top of being crack accurate with them, their bows are more powerful than firearms and often fire magically-enhanced arrows too. Dark Elves hold the bow in disdain, and prefer repeating crossbows.
    • Among the Lizardmen, the larger and more dangerous Saurus warriors wield bone or stone-based fang-lined weapons similar to the Aztec macuahuitl. The smaller, scrappier Skinks operate as skirmishers, using javelins and blowpipes to pepper enemy troops while avoiding direct combat.
    • The savage Greenskins, having little patience for any kind of battle more complicated than vulgar brawls, use simple but strong axes and large knives called choppas. More advanced tribes might use ones made from iron, but Savage Orcs use stone ones (that are no less deadly than metal ones - and Orcs are perfectly capable of killing you with their bare hands anyhow). Goblins tend to use short spears (stickas) or bows (arrers).
  • Fantastic Racism: Warhammer has its share of speciesism and prejudice.
    • People from the Empire are horrifically prejudiced about Dwarfs, Halflings and Elves as well as humans not from the Empire, humans from different provinces in the Empire... and of course these are the ones they'll actually talk to (maybe). Anything else will pretty much get attacked on sight. On the other hand Dwarfs consider humans to be soft and incompetent and elves to be treacherous and arrogant magic-using bastards. Elves have racism within the three different factions, each hating each other to various degrees (though the worst is between the Dark and High elves) in addition to considering any other race to be little more than animals or at best primitive barbarians that can be manipulated and tricked with little remorse.
    • On the human-to-human side, Imperials and other southern humans fear and despise the Norscans due to them being frothing Chaos-worshipping barbarians intent on slaughter and conquest. The Norscans, conversely, see all non-Norscans as weaklings and sissies who worship impotent gods barely worth thinking about. Indeed, Sigmar and Myrmidia are not even things to be hated in the unholy north, rather they are just as openly heckled and ridiculed as their worshippers. It's in fact so bad in Norsca that "southling" is actually a fairly serious insult there. Then there's the Hung, whom even the Norscans consider to be bastards.
    • One of the most consistent aspects of the Gnomes (once retconned, now returned as of WFRP 4th Ed.) is their scorn against other races; it is said that they harbour grudges worse than Dwarfs do. Gnomes despise goblins as the goblin warlord Grom the Paunch destroyed the Gnome city-state of Glimdwarrow and slaughtered much of the Gnome race. Gnomes hate Dwarfs, seeing them as oafish and stupid (and conversely Dwarfs hate Gnomes for being troublesome and mischievous). Gnomes are one of the few races who hate Halflings, with a gnome pedlar complaining that they are a race of sticky-fingered thieves. Gnomes don't particularly like humans much either, especially the Witch Hunters, whose continued persecution of the Gnome race for their use of Ulgu magic and refusal to submit to the Colleges of Magic. And they hate the High Elves too, because Teclis was the one who taught humans magic and founded the Colleges and by extension the Witch Hunters.
    • Even within the Empire there's a lot of prejudice. Reiklanders are all puffed-up, effete snobs. Nordlanders are all more-or-less half-Norscan, wolf-worshipping savages. Marienburgers are treacherous and greedy, penny-pinching bastards. Averlanders are... very fond of their sheep, and Hochlanders are the same way about their prized heirloom rifles. Stirlanders are inbred country bumpkins who drown cats for entertainment and drink their ale hot. The Halflings of Mootland, when people actually acknowledge they exist, treat them as natural thieves or argue the Mad God Ranald made them as a bizarre joke.
  • Fate Worse than Death: If they are lucky, Elven souls are typically enslaved by the goddess Ereth Khial, the Pale Queen, and sentenced to eternal torment in Mirai, the black pit, upon death. Many Elven souls, however, are devoured by by the Chaos god of depravity after suffering soul-shredding torments. The High Elves attempt to avoid this fate by binding their souls to the Waystones that protect their homelands, while the Wood Elves allow their spirits to be claimed by the forest. The Dark Elves by contrast consider "preparing to die" as "planning to fail", their only hope is to never die.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: Beastmen, though the emphasis is much more on the beast than the man, are this in appearance.
  • Fearless Undead: On the tabletop, otherwise the whole army would flee at the sight of itself.
  • Fertile Feet: A rare evil example; the one character with this trait is a Champion of Tzeentch named Aekold Hellbrass. It's a side effect of a mutation called "Breath of Life", which renders the Champion a walking repository of life energy.
  • Fictional Disability: Teclis is the greatest mage the Elves have ever produced (and one of the greatest mages in world history). He is also a ridiculously Squishy Wizard, requiring healing potions just to stay alive, and having a limp uncurable by magic. By contrast, his brother Tyrion is an unpeered swordmaster.
  • Fictional Earth: The world map is clearly based on Earth's, though it has a few extra islands and geographical features Earth does not, such as North America being either frozen tundra or burning desert, Africa being split in two by a mountain range, and Antarctica being a warm wasteland populated by Beastmen. In early editions, Warhammer 40,000 was set in the far future of Warhammer Fantasy, but they now exist in separate realities linked by the Warp, and 40K's Earth is now our far future.
  • Fictional Flag: Iconography and vexillology are a major part of the settings' backgrounds, as creating tabletop armies and making factions and subfactions visually distinct involves giving them distinctive, recognizable symbols.
    • The Empire uses a mix of skull, warhammer and griffin iconography. The Church of Sigmar uses a double-headed comet, their god's sacred symbol.
    • The Bretonnian dukedoms each have traditional heraldry, used by their lords and, in modified form, by the lord's sworn knights and vassals. Examples include Parravon's gold pegasus on black, derived from its famous pegasus riders; l'Anguille's blue sea monster on white, representing the beasts that live along its coasts; and Bastonne's red dragon on gold, in honor of its founder, Gilles le Bretton, who among other things was a famous dragonslayer.
    • Each High Elven kingdom uses iconography derived from some notable trait or tradition, such as Chrace's white lion head to represent its wild lions, Caledor's coiling dragon in honor of its Dragon Riders, or Ellyrion's white horse head to represent its equestrian traditions.
    • Ogres as a whole use a stylized ring of teeth to represent the Great Maw, their god. Each tribe uses a modification of this as its specific symbol — the wealthy Goldtooth tribe has a Maw with a golden fang, the Feastmasters have a cauldron ringed by teeth, and so on.
  • Firearms Are Cowardly: Played with by certain factions.
    • Bretonnia is famous for its disdain of any ranged weapons (especially firearms) ever since the death of Gilles Le Breton to a crossbow, forbidding gunpowder weapons on its soil and only permitting longbows to its peasant levies while the ruling class focuses on horseback combat. Thanks to the Lady giving them resistance to firearms, they can hold their own against gun-happy armies like Dwarfs, Skaven, or the Empire.
    • The Lady they worship is actually a Wood Elf priestess who's part of a centuries-long Let's You and Him Fight gambit and enforces the trope, keeping Bretonnia in a firmly pre-industrial setting to keep them away from the forests.
    • Subverted with the Bretonnian navy: Despite being helmed by the nobility, their ships are the most heavily-armed of any faction, as the law forbids guns on Bretonnian ''soil''.
    • Chaos forces typically have little in the way of ranged weaponry as the War God Khorne does not like his followers to shed blood without risking their own. Exhibiting bravery in battle is the best way to get noticed by the gods and so gain their favor. Doing otherwise is the quickest way to lose Khorne's favor.
  • Firearms Are Revolutionary: Played with in regards to the Empire and Bretonnia.
    • The Empire of Man is at a Renaissance/early Industrial Revolution level of technology, and so uses guns and gunpowder artillery in its armies. The neighboring Kingdom of Bretonnia is resolutely stuck in the kind of pre-modern chivalric warfare seen in Arthurian Legend (to the point where ranged weapons like bows and trebuchets are considered fit only for peasant levies), but the Lady's magic allows their knights to be highly resistant to firearms. It's been implied the Lady is actually a Wood Elf deliberately hindering Bretonnian technological progress to ensure they remain as unwitting meat shields around their forests.
    • The Bretonnian navy, on the other hand, is the most powerful in the world due to their enthusiastic adoption of cannon (the issue of them being unchivalrous weapons is irrelevant to the navy as guns only aren't allowed on Bretonnian soil), and the harbor cities and some border towns are trying to take the more pragmatic option of using guns to defend themselves.
  • Fireballs: The signiture spell of the lore of fire, which means any user of the law can take it without rolling or swap it for one of their rolled spells. Storm of magic takes this up to eleven with the spell fireball barrage.
  • Fish People: Fish men have received scattered mentions in the background material since the game's earliest editions, having several run-ins with both the Dark Elves and the Lizardmen, but were never a playable faction and have at times been treated as something of a running gag. Later editions of the game indicate that there is some manner of underwater civilization that controls sea monsters but whether these are related to the fish men of early editions (who were often said to live in the submerged caverns beneath Naggaroth) is unknown.
  • The Flame of Life: The Sacred Flame of Ulric is an eternally burning flame in the city of Middenheim, legends saying that, so long as it burned, the city and its people would endure. During Warhammer: The End Times, the flame is sapped off its power and goes out; things turn really south in Middenheim afterwards.
  • Flamethrower Backfire: A skaven warpfire thrower has a good chance to explode violently on any malfunction.
  • Fleur-de-lis: The emblem of Bretonnia, naturally.
  • Foil: In a way, the two human kingdoms are a continuing proxy for the Asur and the Dawi. The Empire met the Dwarfs early on in their history and eagerly took up their technological innovations, chiefly gunpowder. Its neighbour Bretonnia frequently trades with Ulthuan and styles its culture on the old Asur colonies, and is still being manipulated by the elves of Athel Loren to be used as a buffer state, and consequently they hold technology and firearms in disdain. An Empire nobleman might scoff at a Bretonnian and ask "Why don't you use guns?" and the Bretonnian will counter by pointing across the sea and saying "They do not use them and neither do we, the Lady shields us from them." And she does.
  • Food-Based Superpowers: The Lore of the Great Maw allows the Butchers, the magic users of the Ogre Kingdoms, to cast different spells depending on what they eat. Eating the heart of a powerful beast, for example, allows them to strengthen their allies, while eating the entrails of a Troll allows them to give a nearby unit a Healing Factor and consuming a victim's brain can project the unfortunate's nightmares into the minds of the Butcher's foes.
  • Food Chain of Evil:
    • Dread maws, a species of burrowing worm-like monsters, are entirely capable of devouring large and powerful creatures such as dragons or chimeras, which they take down by burrowing directly into their bodies and devouring them from the inside out.
    • Magma dragons favor large, powerful monsters such as chimeras and manticores as prey. They will go after humanoids as well, but these are rarely large or numerous enough to be worth the effort.
  • Forced Transformation: There are a number of effects that turn people into frogs, especially in Storm of Magic games.
  • Forged by the Gods: The Chaos Gods sometimes grant their mortal or daemonic servants powerful weapons (although usually their forging is done by daemons, not the gods themselves). Vaul, the forge god of Warhammer's High Elves, forged at least one magic sword.
  • Frontline General: An actual game mechanic, as the minimum to play is a general / character and 25% Core units. Well, except for Skaven. Their generals will only be on the frontline if the frontline's entirely eroded away and they couldn't escape.
  • Frog Men: The Slaan have consistedly been portrayed as a race of humanoid frogs or toads since their debut. They were originally depicted as an alien race that came to the Warhammer world in the ancient past and conquered it, destroying or defeating the indigenous sapient peoples such as the Lizard Folk and even reshaping the planet to their whims, before their culture stagnated and rotted to the point they largely forgot most of their advanced technology and sorcery, reducing all but the innermost core of their empire to scattered tribes who were being pushed back by invaders from the human nations. Come 5th edition and they changed into their now-definitive loreset, which portrays them as the leadership caste of a collective of bio-engineered flesh-robots, struggling to figure out how to maintain the orders of their creators, the Old Ones, since the Old Ones were annihilated by the coming of Chaos.
  • Full-Boar Action: Deployed by the Orcs as heavy cavalry, compared to the light wolf cavalry used by the goblins.
  • Functional Magic: Runs the whole gamut.

    G-H 
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The Empire, Dwarfs and Skaven all utilised these, with the first two called engineers, with the skaven ones being called warplock engineers. They allow these armies to have the impressive, powerful (and hopefully reliable) firepower they can muster
  • Gaiden Game: Specialist Games set in the Warhammer universe include Mordheim (a street fighting skirmish game set in the eponymous City of Adventure), Warmaster (an epic battle game using mini-miniatures to represent giant armies), Blood Bowl (an extraordinarily violent variant of American Football), Man O War (a naval combat miniature wargame) and Dreadfleet (a naval combat board game).
  • Gallows Humor: Ubiquitous throughout the setting, but especially with regards to the greenskins, and the Skaven at second place.
  • Gambit Roulette: Tzeentch is the schemer of the gods. He exists to do nothing but scheme and change; in fact, victory for him would be the end as there would be nothing left to scheme about. Furthermore, all of his schemes are mutually exclusive, and every minor victory for him is also a one minor defeat. The Daemons' army book suggests Tzeentch is just messing with everyone, and most of his huge elaborate plots aren't meant to achieve anything but to just be there, the same as Khorne's murders and Nurgle's plagues. It may well be that 99.99% of Tzeentch's plans are smokescreens for the 0.01% he cares about.
  • Germanic Depressives: The Empire is based heavily on the real life Holy Roman Empire, and most people you'll meet within its borders within are dour, humourless, miserable and xenophobic. They have no good reason not to be.
  • Getting Sick Deliberately: Cultists of Nurgle welcome diseases, parasites, and other infections into their bodies, seeing them as gifts from their loving god.
  • Giant Animal Worship: The Great Maw is a gigantic, tooth-lined hole in the ground worshiped by the ogres, who regularly bring it sacrifices of food and in return are granted Gut magic, which has different effects based on what the caster ate.
  • Giant Flyer: Dragons, wyverns, hippogriffs, griffons, manticores, Terrorgheists (dragon-sized zombie bats), phoenixes and about a third of your Scroll of Binding options in Storm of Magic.
  • Giant Spider: Monstrous spiders are common wildlife in the dark forests of the Old World. Orcs and goblins use these as steeds. The trope reaches its awesome apex with the Arachnarok Spider, which is the biggest model in the game.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • High Elf heavy cavalry (Silver Helms and Dragon Princes). Lightning quick and can deliver tremendous blows — almost as efficient as the Bretonnian knights. Not as durable, though, but they have better initiative in combat. Most war machines can also cause outright havoc, especially among enemy monsters, but will crumble if anyone even looks at them in close combat.
    • Even moreso than the High Elves, the Wood Elven Wild Riders of Kurnous are extreme glass cannons. Frenzied elves empowered by the god of the hunt riding huge stags and bearing armor-piercing spears, the Wild Riders hit like a ton of bricks on a charge, with masses of high-strength, high-initiative attacks that virtually always hit first...but they ride into battle shirtless and armored only in ceremonial helmets.
  • God of Darkness: The minor chaos god Obscuras has powers mainly based on shadows. He can even grant his followers the ability to see in the dark.
  • God of Evil:
    • The Chaos Gods. Khorne is a murderous, bloodthirsty brute who sees the weak and feeble as suckers with no rights, Tzeentch is a double-crossing, two-faced schemer who likes to toy with his followers for fun, Nurgle is pleasant and Obliviously Evil but still reduces anyone his diseases touch to corpulent sacks of rotting flesh at best and Slaanesh is a hedonistic, torture-loving sex fiend. They openly encourage their followers to be just like them, and their end goals include destroying the entire world.
    • While not generally malevolent, the gods of the Old World are generally too apathetic to be considered benevolent by any definition of the word. Solkan is the Knight Templar exception. They are also implied to be somewhat weaker then the Chaos Gods, as they rely on more complicated concepts for their worship and power, whereas the Chaos Gods have VERY broad, very universal, and very negative concepts empowering them.
    • Ever since his ascension Nagash fits the bill to a tee. He devoured Usirian, the original God of the Afterlife, to become a god and has razed his birth country of Khemri to the ground in retaliation for Settra's refusal. Unlike the Chaos Gods, who could be considered misunderstood on a good day, Nagash has proven that he has nary a shred of morality or goodness in his undead bones since his mortal days (even before he became undead).
    • Then there's the Horned Rat, the Chaos God of the Skaven. Who is a malevolent being that wants his underlings to overrun the world and devour the souls of all mortals. And doesn't care weather if they are from the Skaven or the other races.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy:
    • Averted in that several times gods have intervened to save their people, generally by creating an avatar, usually to fight the forces of Chaos. The only reason the world still exists is the first chaos invasion was stopped when Aenarion was granted divine power. The Lizardman god Sotek appeared out of nowhere to protect them from the Skaven. What was probably the god Sigmar reborn fought the Chaos champion Archaon, the result of which was... disputable. The Greenskins' god Gork can STOMP HIS FOOT DOWN ON THE TABLE.
    • Averted to hell by Nagash, which is very bad news for everyone involved as he wants to not only usurp the Chaos Gods, but also to turn the entire world into an undead paradise, with him effectively being the divine dictator. If it wasn't for Teclis's gambit, it likely would have happened. The books are not called "The End Times" for nothing.
  • Gold Tooth of Wealth: Greasus Goldtooth, Overtyrant of the Ogre Kingdoms and the wealthiest Ogre alive, is know for his bullion teeth. His tribe, the Goldtooth Tribe, also tend to replace their teeth with precious metals as a means of showing off their wealth, even going so far as to incorporate the practice into their religious observances. Ogre tribes each possess a special religious monolith, called a Mawtooth, which is carried to great ogre tribal meetings. The teeth are set up in a great ring, representing the mouth of the Ogre deity, the Great Maw. The Goldtooth tribe has a solid gold Mawtooth as a display of their opulence, and use as their tribal emblem a ring of sharp teeth with a single golden fang, making the god displays this trope as well.
  • Good Is Not Nice:
    • The nicest description you could give to High Elves. They're still assholes. This probably comes from being heavily inspired by The Bright Empire of Melniboné, who while mighty and powerful were very alien and amoral compared to everyone else. Thankfully the High Elves have less of the causal nuttiness the Melnibonean's had, mostly because the Dark Elves have it covered.
    • The Lizardmen were the first to fight Chaos; they are the true reason that Chaos can hardly leave the wastes. Pretty good, right? Well. Their leaders the Slann are actively trying to shift the world back to its pure untainted state, and no cost is too high for them to pay if it thwarts the ruinous powers. The Lizardmen will eat sentient bipeds, lobotomize them and use them as slaves, and their opinion on almost every sentient race is that of a pest exterminator finding cockroaches in their own house. When they made the first and so far only step to fixing the world, it reduced the Dwarf people to a shadow of a fraction of themselves; the Slann don't know this happened, but if they did they would be apathetically apologetic at how dumb the dwarfs were being for living where an inland sea should be.
  • Good Feels Good: By a wandering Chaos Champion who challenged an Elector Count to a duel. When he killed the Count, every woman watching started cheering. The Champion felt strangely pleased, and left the town standing.
  • Good Wears White: Downplayed with the High Elves. Although their choice of clothing is white and they are on the side of good, they are quite condescending towards other races.
  • Green Means Natural: Of the eight Winds of Magic, the Green Wind governs plants, nourishment, and fertility in the natural world, and is studied by Druids as the Lore of Life. In contrast, the Black Magic of Chaos is associated with a Sickly Green Glow.
  • Green Rocks: Warpstone (sometimes known as wyrdstone) is solidified raw magic and exposure to it can produce unpredictable effects. Random mutations are the most common result of warpstone exposure but beneficial effects, such as the boosting of magical power, are also possible. Whatever the results, however, insanity is almost guaranteed.
  • Grim Up North: The Chaos Wastes. Pretty dark, too, since there's a hole to the equivalent of Hell at the north pole. Norsca and the Kurgan realms are similarly just as bad, because they're the closest to this place. Together, the Chaos Wastes, Norsca, and the Kurgan form the Northern Wastes. The most over-the-top example of this trope ever. Filled with Chaos Vikings, Chaos Mongols and Chaos Vikings and Mongols in cool armour.
  • Guns Akimbo: Models armed with a brace of pistols, such as Empire Pistoliers, have the Multiple Shots (2) special rule meaning that they are able to fire both their weapons at the same target, albeit with a -1 To Hit penalty.
  • Half-Witted Hillbilly: Comes in two main varieties in Warhammer Fantasy:
    • Imperial peasants do tend to be isolated and illiterate (as expected of medieval society), and the more isolated villages are often targets of Chaos cults thank to their ignorance.
    • Brettonian peasants are extremely stupid and childlike, at least according to their overlords. however, this is partially an act: The last thing peasants want is an Upper-Class Twit getting further involved in their lives, so they use Obfuscating Stupidity to keep them at bay, leading to some aristocrats really thinking the average peasant is stupid enough to stab himself in the back a dozen times with his own farming implements. Of course, illiteracy and ignorance are also endemic among the lower classes as well.
  • Hamster-Wheel Power: Skaven doomwheels are war machines that are propelled by Rat Ogres running in wheels.
  • Harping on About Harpies: Harpies appear as a flying unit for Dark Elves and Hordes of Chaos. They are a One-Gender Race of winged female humanoids living as scavengers and snatchers. The issue of beautiful vs ugly Harpies comes to a head since they are depicted as attractive but only from the belly up to the neck as a "parody of a woman's body". Past versions of the models have presented them as only vaguely humanoid and not in the least attractive.
  • Hate Sink:
    • Konrad von Carstein, the son of Vlad von Carstein, is the highly incompetent and most infamously mad member of the bloodline. Nothing more than a bully, countless people die thanks to Konrad's Stupid Evil, including his own men, and when he is slain during a post-battle tantrum, nobody mourns for him.
    • Mannfred von Carstein is the cowardly and treacherous son of Vlad von Carstein. Similar to his brother Konrad, Mannfred is a brutal and ruthless Vampire Count, ruler of Sylvania. Betraying everyone he allies with and works under, Mannfred thinks nothing of murdering his own family and eventually sells the entire world out to Chaos to save his own skin, only to finally meet his end at the hands of Tyrion after murdering his crippled brother Teclis, but not before his cowardice directly ends the world.
    • Sigvald the Magnificent is the narcissistic Geld-Prince of Slaanesh. Murdering his own father after being exiled for cannibalism, Sigvald eventually made a deal with the God Slaanesh to gain great power and sword skill. Sigvald goes on a brutal rampage against anyone he does not consider attractive enough for his tastes, nailing porcelain masks to the faces of two of his wives, and abandoning the third to die. Sigvald also goes after the High Elves out of jealousy and refuses to allow his soldiers to retreat, growing a massive body count of his own men. In the end, after being forced to retreat, he bullies the troll Throgg and dies in humiliating fashion.
  • Hat of Power: The crown of Nagash, which gained magic powers and its own personality from sitting on the necromancer Nagash's head for centuries. Anyone who wears the crown is granted magic power and increased intelligence, at the cost of hearing the voice of the crown.
  • Healing Factor: Hydrae, Giants, War Mammoths, and everything with the Regeneration special rule.
  • Healer God: Shallya, the pacifistic White Dove of Mercy, is the Human goddess of healing who is loved by all good people. While she and her followers are mostly relegated to the lore, when they do have rules (such as in the Gaiden Game Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay), Shallya grants a broad range of healing spells to her cultists, along with one potent offensive spell that only effects on followers of Nurgle, the Chaos God of Disease.
  • Henotheistic Society: The human nations recognize a fairly wide pantheon of deities and, while laymen will general pay lip service to most of them, most religious people tend to follow a specific god in exclusion of all others. Hunters and woodsmen follow Taal, the god of wild beasts and hunting; sailors and fishermen Manaan, the Lord of the Ocean; soldiers and everyday citizens Sigmar; Middelanders revere Ulric; thieves and merchants worship the trickster god Ranald; and so on. The more devout a given worshipper, the more likely they are to disdain all but their chosen god and to actively look down on or distrust the others. This is in marked contrast with the Elves, who while often holding one of their deities above the others routinely honor them all situationally as they go through life.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: During the Great Catastrophe, Lord Kroak's Temple Guard stood on the bridge outside his temple for two and a half days while the hordes of Chaos slowly beat them into the ground and took them down, but they survived long enough for Kroak to unleash a spell reserved for the gods.
    • The propaganda covering up Valten's death paints it as one of these.
  • Heroic Willpower:
    • Don't mess with a Warrior Priest.
    • Also the Elven wizards who created the barrier to keep most of the Chaos magic out of the world — they're dead and still attack anyone who tries to undo their spells.
    • Similarly, the most powerful Lizardman hero is a tens of thousands year old mummy, with friggin' laser eyes and who also happens to release the magic equivalent to a nuke around himself that fries anything not a lizardmen.
    • Chaos Champions have their own, evil version of this determining whether they become deadlier with more and more Chaos Gifts and may eventually ascend to daemonhood, or whether their minds snap and they become Chaos Spawn.
    • Also Lord Settra of the Tomb Kings, who maintained an undead horde through his own willpower rather than the use of liches.
  • Hero's Muse: The Bretonnian knights, being Arthurian knights in France, follow the cult of the Lady, a mystical figure who gives visions and quests, leading to drinking from the Grail. Warhammer being the cheerful and happy place it is, the Lady may or may not be an elaborate hoax pulled off by the Wood Elves to protect their lands.
  • Hero Unit: Characters are powerful individuals—commanders, wizards, standard bearers and army experts, who can either operate on their own or join another unit. They boast characteristic values superior to those of a rank-and-file soldier and have many more customisation options, including the ability to use magic items and ride exclusive mounts.
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
    • Aenarion, the first Phoenix King of the High Elves. He grew ever more violent and hateful as he warred against the Daemons of Chaos, and though he died a hero, his actions set the stage for the Sundering in which the Dark Elves split from their kin.
    • The Shadow Warriors of Nagarythe, the first High Elves to become victimized by the Dark Elves, are obsessed with eradicating the Dark Elves to the point of murderous fury. They're shunned even by other High Elves.
    • Archaon had something like this as a backstory, and now he's pretty much the Big Bad.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Wood Elves. The other Elves have kingdoms and empires. (Although Ulthuan is hidden just as well as Athel Loren is.)
  • Hobbits: The Empire has a few Halflings living within their borders. They take all of the negative traits from Tolkien's Hobbits (being gluttonous, larcenous and lazy) and do away with all of the positive ones. As a result of some deft political maneuvering and excellent culinary skills during the reign of Emperor Ludwig the Fat, the Elder of the Moot holds a vote in the election of the Emperor, and the halfling lands are de facto self-governing. Hilariously enough, their devil-may-care lifestyle, cooking prowess, and expanded metabolism make them not only valuable and unlikely allies, but near immune to thralldom or corruption from vampires or Chaos. The Moot serves as a natural buffer against Sylvania because of this, giving The Empire more cause to come to its defense should it need it. Halflings themselves are more than happy to take advantage of this fact.
  • The Horde: Plenty. There's the Orcs and Goblins, the Beastmen, the Warriors of Chaos, and occasionally the Ogres. The Orcs and Goblins slaughter and pillage because it's fun, the Beastmen because they hate civilization in general and human civilization in particular with a burning passion, the Warriors of Chaos because they see tearing down civilization as a religious duty of sorts, and the Ogres because sometimes the other avenues of getting food aren't quick enough.
  • Horny Vikings: The Norscans. Good Sigmar, the Norscans. They are a race of bloodthirsty warriors enthralled to evil daemonic gods (Khorne, the God of War, especially, whose name they also chant in battle and from whom they receive a battle rage, similar to Berserkers from actual Norse history) who compel them to constantly wage war and raid EVERYTHING. EVER. And are described as being uniformly gargantuan in height and proportion and are described as being 'ogre-like' in their height by characters. They also cultivate massive beards and ply the seas in ships with sails that drip blood and have wolf-headed prows. In other words, they are every cliche about the Vikings exaggerated to such an extent that the only possible result is unmatched awesomeness.
    • To a much lesser extent, Middenheimers have something like this going for them.
  • Horse Archer: Light cavalry units (such as the Mongol inspired Kislev Horse Archers and Hobgoblin Wolf Riders) often have the option of being armed with bows, or some other form of ranged weaponry. These units couple their speed and manoeuvrability their ranged weapons to harass the enemy’s flank and to take out small, unprotected units such as artillery.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Between dinosaurs, pegasi, wolves, huge spiders, and dragons, there is no shortage of fantastic mounts in the Warhammer universe.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The Warriors of Chaos and nearly all of the undead. Three of the greatest threats to the world outside of the Chaos Gods (and two of them are connected to the Chaos Gods) started out as humans; Archaon, Bea'lakor and Nagash.
  • Hunting the Rogue: The Imperial Colleges of Magic deal with rogue members themselves wherever possible, not least to avoid airing their dirty laundry to the untrusting public. This generally means assembling an Internal Death Squad, but every magister is required to help the effort if called to.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Just go on and read the Skaven army book. They've got ratling guns, corateral damage and lots of other rodent-related puns...
    • Orcs & Goblins books are usually just as bad.
    • Though not technically puns, there is a number of occasions where the design team is horribly uncreative. Take the Bretonnian province of Bordeleaux (which doubles as a pun on 'bordello'), for example, which is known for its good wine. Also, there's a Chaos character called Valkia (no surprises as to which creature from viking mythology she's based on) who wields a magical spear named "Slaupnir". Considering that the Warriors are a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to the Vikings, though, Valkia's example at least has a serious reason behind it.
    • Most named Lizardmen, especially skinks, have something akin to this as names. Perhaps most infamously is Tiktak'to. Their settlements are often not safe from this either.
  • Hybrid Monster: Many such as the Dragon Ogres and the Rat Ogres.

    I-P 
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Way too common justification for several people's, and nations', actions in this world. Its gotten to the point where it may have once been possible to fight Chaos in the past more effectively as an alliance if certain groups (Lizardmen and High Elves, in particular) didn't treat this trope as a standard operating procedure or even a stated goal of success.
  • Illegal Religion:
    • Worship of the Ruinous Powers is punishable by death within the bounds of the civilized world. And it is absolutely, positively, one hundred precent justified. It's also said that some Skaven worship the Chaos gods in secret, chiefly Nurgle, but as most Skaven worship the Horned Rat this is considered blasphemy and any individual caught in the act can expect an excruciating death.
    • The Cytharai are the gods of the Mirai, the Elven underworld. They are much darker than the nurturing Cadai, and in Ulthuan worship of most of the Cytharai is banned. That being said, the High Elves do pay lip service to some of the Cytharai — their soldiers might pray to Khaine for strength before a battle while remaining wary of letting his bloodthirsty influence sway them too much, and their sailors might pay respect to Mathlann for smooth sailing before a voyage. And only really fucked in the head elves might worship Ereth Khial... So of course, the Dark Elves revel in their veneration of the Cytharai, particularly holding Khaine in great reverence. This is partly the reason why outright Cytharai worship is so frowned upon in Ulthuan.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Greenskins, Skaven, and Ogres are cannibals. Skaven because they have a massive overpopulation problem and this is a viable solution, while Ogres are only this because they eat anything anyway, so why not?
  • Incredibly Lame Pun:
    • Several Lizardman names, including Kroak (croak), Xilicuncani (chili con carne), Xhilipepa (chili pepper), Manquoxutni (mango chutney), and Tiktaq'to. There's also the Gwakamol Crater in Lustria.
    • They have been getting slightly better though: the aforementioned Xhilipepa was introduced in an article about some staffer's personal army, along with Itzibitzi, Tini-huini and Pol'kadotte. Tini-huini has since become an official special character, although his name has been changed to Tehenhauin. Admittedly, this is still a bad pun (Two-in-One), but it's better than "teeny-weeny."
    • There are some more subtle ones, such as the intricately carved Sentinels of Xeti, erected under the orders of Lord Arexibo to listen for signals from the space-borne Old Ones, of which none have yet been heard. This may remind one of the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico, which has (on occasion) been used by SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) to listen for possible signals from aliens, of which none have yet been heard.
    • The Reman general who first discovered the island of Albion was called Curius Gesar — Curious Geezer.
  • Indo-European Alien Language:
    • Reikspiel is based on the German language which makes sense since the Empire of Man is the Warhammer universe equivalent of the Holy Roman Empire.
    • Kislevarin otherwise known as Gospodarinyi derives much of its alphabet and script from several real-life languages especially Russian considering that the Tzardom of Kislev is a mashup of Tsarist Russia, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Kievan Rus'.
    • Bretonnian is a mixture of Old English and Norman French. The Common dialect is spoken by the peasant classes while the High dialect is the language of the nobility similar to how the aristocracy of Norman and Plantagenet England spoke French while the common folk spoke English until 1399.
  • Intelligent Gerbil: The Skaven, anthropomorphic rats who are cannibalistic, disease-ridden, and generally unpleasant, as well as attacking in swarms. One of their war machines is essentially a giant exercise wheel with lightning guns on it driven by a magically-high crew.
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople): The world of Warhammer is rich with Fantasy Counterpart Cultures, a few of which are named along these lines.
    • Bretonnia, a kind of Arthurian-influenced take on medieval England and France, likely draws its name from the French region of Brittany. There's also the sacred isles of Albion, clearly derived from the British Isles.
    • Estalia is Spain with its name being a slight modification of Espana, the native name for Spain. Likewise, Tilea is Italy.
    • Norsca, Cathay, Ind, and Araby are pretty self-explanatory.
    • Kislev, a region roughly corresponding to Russia, seems to derive its name from a month in the Hebrew calendar.
  • Just as Planned: The Lizardmen's motivation, as they obsessively follow any kind of signal that may hold a clue to their mysterious Gods' "Great Plan". Unfortunately, they know the Old Ones had a plan, just not what it was, as they never bothered to tell anyone.
    • They do have some vague hints as to what this Great Plan was. As far as they can gather it involves returning all of the elves to Ulthuan (even though the elves' culture has been irrevocably shattered), returning all the dwarfs to the mountains (even though the mountains themselves have been irrevocably shattered), returning all the humans to the Old World, and exterminating basically every other race. Every facet of this plan is practically impossible, but try telling them that.
  • Keeping the Handicap: Wulfrik the Wanderer was cursed for his arrogance by the gods (he drunkenly boasted of being the best fighter in the world, of having killed every kind of monster in the Chaos Wastes twice and having personally boxed the ears of at least three emperors) into abandoning his former life as a clansman and forcing him to wander around the world at their bidding, challenging the deadliest champions and monsters he could find. While at first he deeply resented this curse and tried to rid himself of it, in time he recognized it for the blessing it was, for the series of betrayals and wild goose chases he went through in his efforts to remove the curse got him more power and fame than he could ever have dreamed of as a mere clan warrior (chief among them a flying teleporting longship that lets him track prey wherever it hides). He is now one of the Dark Gods' most devout followers, making each victory into a sacrifice to them.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • The Empire's Bright Wizards. Hint: The "Bright" doesn't refer to their intelligence... Also, Dwarf Flame Cannons, the Tomb Kings Screaming Skull Catapult which fires burning, wailing skulls, the entire college of Fire Magic, and so on and so forth. Tomb Kings and Treemen are also "Flammable", due to being wrapped in tar-soaked bandages and made out of wood, respectively.
    • "Kill it with Fire" is a good tactic against anything with the regeneration rule.
    • High Elf dragon armour provides immunity to being killed with fire, necessary when trying to wake up a dragon that has been asleep for a thousand years and may not be happy.
  • King in the Mountain: Sigmar for the Empire, Gilles le Breton for Bretonnia, Abhorash for the Blood Dragons... Nagash for the Undead, if you want a darker take. Also darkly Subverted in Gilles' case, as he does come back in Bretonnia's darkest hour, but it is beyond saving and he ends up making a doomed Last Stand with his people offscreen while the real battle for the world rages on elsewhere.
  • Knight Templar:
    • Lizardmen tend towards this trope, it's just not very obvious from an outside point of view; just remember those elderly comatose toad guys will shift continents regardless of the bodycount if they think it's right, especially if the victims weren't part of The Great Plan of the Ancients.
    • Empire Witch Hunters. They'll kill people and burn villages if they even suspect them of being tainted by Chaos or unchecked magic users, have a zero-tolerance policy on dissension within their ranks and periodically go through bouts of their grand masters turning completely paranoid due to senility. They are alternately hated and feared by the rest of the Empire as a result. They are aware of their status as this and don't like it much, but argue that their actions are a grim necessity to ensure the survival of the Empire. Conversely, when dealing with undead or Chaos invasions, a Witch Hunter is a welcome sight due to their experience in dealing with both. (And since they're likely to be pre-occupied with evident threats, probably won't harass you too much without a given reason.)
  • Knight In Shining Armour: Bretonnia was this for a while, until the next edition made them Knight Templars again. They certainly still look the part, though. The High Elves also have their own knights that fit the bill.
  • Lady Luck: Ranald, the God of Luck, Good Fortune, and Mischief. Many of his temples double as gambling dens; his religious observances include games of chance; and his Divine Lore has several spells to manipulate luck.
  • Large and in Charge: Common to Orcs, Ogres, Beastmen, and the Saurus species of Lizardmen.
  • Lawful Stupid, Chaotic Stupid: Any of the various races and characters in this game can be seen as one of these alignments. You've got Empire Witch Hunters and Lord Mazdamundi (Lawful Stupid), the Skaven (Stupid Evil) and the Orcs & Goblins (Chaotic Stupid or Stupid Evil, depending on your point of view and the time of day).
  • Lazy Dragon: In the modern day, dragons need to spend extremely long periods of time asleep; this was not always so, but for poorly understood reasons, possibly linked to the cooling of the volcanic mountains where they lived, they were afflicted by a species-wide state of chronic torpor. The majority of the dragon species is in perpetual hibernation deep beneath the mountains of Caledor, in the high elven homeland, waking only briefly when certain magical songs are sung, and even the dragons who live among other factions or on their own in the rest of the world spend most of their time asleep in their lairs.
  • Legally Ousted Leader: The Electors are a small council of high nobilitynote  who stand one step below The Emperor, elect the emperor to office, and serve as the primary check on imperial power. Emperors almost always serve for life, but Dieter IV was voted out for his unprecedented incompetence in letting the city-state of Marienburg bribe its way into independence.
  • Licking the Blade: A number of the more unhinged characters, particularly vampires and followers of the Blood God Khorne, are described as liking blood from their blades in the background material and novels. There are also a number of pieces of artwork depicting such characters doing this, and the model for the mad vampire Konrad Von Carstein has him doing a variation where he is licking the blood dripping off his blade.
  • Light Is Not Good:
    • The Lore of Light, in the main rulebook, is actually more destructive then its twin Lore of Shadow, which consists primarily of defensive and movement magic.
    • Alluminas, one of the gods of order. Granted, he's technically neutral, and enemy of the chaos gods, but he literally hates all kinds of change, and wishes to keep the status quo. One way he does so is grant one of his angel like daemons the ability of casting a light that makes anything it touches unchanging. This alone should make someone more careful around him.
    • Another god of order, Solkan, is both a solar deity and a deity of vengeance. He and his followers are feared for their Knight Templar ways.
    • The Bretonnian cult of the Lady uses a lot of Knight in Shining Armor imagery and is based on the Arthurian mythos and drinking from a light-filled grail, but the Cult is in service to maintaining Bretonnia's brutal feudal society: peasants cannot join it or be blessed by the Lady by default.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Bretonnian Knights, and, indeed, all heavy cavalry. Ogres are almost as fast as cavalry units, and have at least three wounds each. Lizardmen Kroxigors may also qualify, since they too are a little slower than cavalry (even across water thanks to being aquatic) — but then again they always attack last due to wielding what are trees with blades on the end. This also applies to the majority of flying monsters.
  • Living Statue: The Ushabti, golem-like statues used by the Tomb Kings as shock troops and siege engines.
  • Lizard Folk: In this setting, they're called the Lizardmen. They were originally depicted as the fallen remnants of a race that had once ruled over much of Lustria, and possibly the wider expanse of the prehistoric world, before the coming of the Slann, who conquered them in a series of wars and annihilated much of their culture, reducing them to slaves and vassal states. 5th edition reinvented them as, essentially, a collective of different models of biotech robots, divided into three major types; the Saurus (large, brutish-looking but smart-in-their-niche warriors), the Kroxigors (huge Dumb Muscle laborers) and the Skinks (small, slender, agile, intelligent workers and functionaries). Of the three, the skinks are the closest to personhood, having the highest combination of intelligence, initiative and adaptability; Sauruses are smart, but monolithically focused on killing things, whilst Kroxigors exist to obey orders. They're called "lizardmen" because they lack Non-Mammal Mammaries, as they're actually an entirely sexless race who don't reproduce; instead, each temple-city is built around "spawning pools", which randomly produce one or more lizardmen at seemingly random intervals, although the Slann assert that this is due to the far-reaching plans of the Old Ones. Their cultural trappings are one part Mayincatec, one part Ancient Astronauts, and one part horde of fantasy dinosaurs.
  • Losing the Team Spirit: Don't lose your standard, unless you enjoy routing.
  • Low Fantasy: While the New World tends towards High Fantasy (imitating the same sense of optimism and adventure as people discovering the Americas in our history), the Old World where most of the game takes places feels much more grounded and gritty. Most of the nations of the Old World are dominated by humans, non-humans are a novel sightnote , magic is dangerous and limited to members of an elusive Wizarding School/Weird Trade Union and a smattering of persecuted hedge mages, and life generally sucks hard for everyone outside the major cities (and even the cities aren't exactly great places to be). If you live near the northern coasts then you face constant threat from demon-worshipping Vikings coming from the frozen north to pillage in the name of their Dark Gods; if you live further south in the forested wildlands then you face constant threat from insane goat-headed savages, and also the roving undead if you are close to Sylvania.
  • Luring in Prey: Orb Leviathans, introduced in Dreadfleet and expanded upon in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th ed., are whale-sized anglerfish with green lures. Slow and ungainly swimmers by nature, they hunt by waving their lures back and forth in front of their gaping mouths to lure prey into easy swallowing range. Their Lure of the Leviathan rule in Fantasy Roleplay allows them to stun anybody who looks at the glow of their lure passing by underwater.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Ogres. The Ogre Kingdoms army book contains a mock scholarly report of an ogre corpse that sustained years worth of wounds, from a massive lance to the shoulder to dozens of crossbow bolts and gunshots to its head, surviving it all until he swallowed a loaded gun (arm and all) that went off in its throat and fired a bullet into its brain (!).
    • Archaon, while he has same wounds and toughness as regular Chaos lord, he has a 1+ armor save, a 3+ word save, and rolls to hit against him suffer from minus 1 penalty.
    • Great Unclean Ones are very hard to take down. How hard? Stand in front of a gunpowder cannon and take ten cannonballs in a row in the chest. If you're still standing, you're still not as tough as one.
  • Made of Phlebotinum: Has a moon made entirely of Green Rocks. It's as bad as it sounds. Skaven worship it. It also tends to send Beastmen into a frenzy when it's full and generally cause all sorts of ill omens. It should also be noted that it looks like there's a giant skull carved into it.
  • The Mafia: The Eyebiter tribe of Ogres seems to be a pastiche or parody of The Mafia. They're an extremely close-knit family who often do profitable business with human merchants as guards or guides, and those who renege on favors are murdered, their severed heads found in their horses' feed bags.
  • Mage Born of Muggles: Mutated children are often abandoned by their parents. If they survive, they usually travel the wild until joining up with Beastmen or other Chaos mutants.
  • Mage Tower:
    • Later editions of the game include rules for wizards' towers as battlefield features in their main rulebooks and the Storm of Magic rules supplement. A wizard installed in a tower is assume to know all of his Lore's spells thanks to ransacking its library; tower variants can additionall provide armories of magic weapons ready for looting, swarms of familiars, invisible servants or poltergeists that will attack all trespassers, magic mirrors that will randomly transform your soldiers, or a churning portal that instantly kills anyone who enters the building. There are also several official model kits for these terrain pieces, such as Witchfate Tor, Skullvane Manse and the ruined tower of Dreadstone Blight.
    • In general, wizards who make use of the Wind of Heavens — one of the seven colored Winds of Magic — tend to build such towers both to have a better view of the stars, as their discipline typically makes heavy use of astrology, and to be closer to the Wind itself, as the Winds tend to gather in areas that resonate with their nature and the Wind of Heavens thus blows strongest high in the sky. The imperial Blue College's keep, for example, is adorned with a large number of branching towers topped with glass domes, which its residents wizards fiercely compete for, as a result of a mania of tower-building in the recent past. Necrarch vampires, the bloodline most deeply steeped in arcane lore, likewise tend to reside in lonely towers both for the unobstructed view of the stars and as a consequence of their literal god complexes.
    • The White Tower of Hoeth in the kingdom of Saphery, where the greatest mages of the High Elves study and perfect their craft, is several miles high and home to the greatest collection of magical artefacts and lore in the known world, as well as a vast community of mages, loremasters, scholars and academics. It is guarded by powerful spell walls, illusions and sorcery, and if those fail it is also home to an order of supremely capable warrior-ascetics who are themselves seekers of arcane knowledge.
    • Elspeth von Draken, the leader of the Amethyst Order and the most powerful user of the Wind of Death in the Empire, resides in a tall, black tower on the edges of Nuln that she rarely leaves, and according to rumor keeps a second such tower in the Grey Mountains.
  • Magic Knight Plenty, mostly Chaos-aligned, though this is also the main shtick of Bretonnia.
  • Magic Is Feminine:
    • Kislevites believe that only women can wield magic without being corrupted and that magic-using men will inevitably fall to Chaos. Thus, only women are permitted to learn and practice magic within the country, and men with magical aptitude are forced to leave Kislev or be pacified, a ritual that essentially involves cutting off a portion of their soul. This causes Kislev to have occasionally strained relations with the Empire since its larger neighbor does not share this belief and makes use of both male and female wizards.
    • Bretonnian wizards are also overwhelmingly women, though in this case it's because -save for a few scions of wealthy families sent to the Empire's colleges of magic — magically adept children are usually taken from their homes by servants of the Lady of the Lake; the girls sometimes return years later as powerful spellcasters... but no boy has ever returned.
  • Magic Misfire: Troubling, though fairly uncommon, for most magic users. Amusingly prevalent and spectacular for Greenskins — it can become completely impossible to stop but the caster suffers a Super-Power Meltdown. In a past edition, it was possible for a botched spell to cause the caster's head to asplode. Probably one of the funniest things that can go wrong in a non-Skaven army.
  • Magitek: This is the speciality of Skaven Clan Skryre, who incorporate Warpstone into their technology.
  • The Masquerade: The Conspiracy of Silence. The official stance of the Empire on the Skaven is "There are no such thing as the Skaven". Not because of the massive public alarm and breakdown of society that would result if word got out that an entire civilization of untold billions of evil ratmen lies under just beneath the surface of the world, that's the lesser outcome. The real nightmare is the Skaven realizing that the Empire of Man, the most powerful human nation in the world (even one that is dwarfed in size by the sheer size of the Skaven Underempire), knows that the Skaven exist. Given how paranoid and psychotic the average Skaven is even on a good day, it would not take much more than the slightest inkling that humans are a threat to the wider Skaven race for all Skavendom to unite and sweep aside the surface world in an unstoppable tide of destruction. The Empire, and indeed all of the surface-dwelling races, survive only by the fractious bickering of the Skaven race. And so the Silence is maintained to keep it that way.
    • The Empire maintains the Rat Catchers, whose job it is to go down into the stinking medieval sewers of the major towns and cities of the Empire to kill Skaven, often armed with nothing but a billy club and a small (but vicious) dog. All for minimum wage. And for no recognition either, because any Rat Catcher foolish enough to start talking too loudly about the "ratmen" disappear suddenly, either at the hands of the ratmen themselves or Killed to Uphold the Masquerade by the Imperial authorities. And you think your day job sucks.
  • Master Poisoner: The entire Skaven race. The Skinks of Lustria are a distant second, it's implied in fluff that they can do many things, but they'd rather just kill with their "jungle poisons."
  • Master Swordsman: Several, obviously, but High Elven Swordmasters are probably the best example.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Partially played straight and partially averted. Warhammer's focus faction, The Empire, was modeled off the Holy Roman Empire during the 16th/17th century prior to the Thirty Years' War, as opposed to The Middle Ages. It's neighbor, Bretonnia, started out looking like pre-revolutionary France during the 16th-18th century, before regressing into this trope by becoming a High Middle Ages-style feudal nation based on Medieval England and France with a dash of the Arthurian myth, while its northern neighbor Kislev was modeled off Tsarist Russia, the Kievan Rus' and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the 16th century (but with more emphasis on empty steppes and Cossacks). Other factions ran the gamut of 'feudal monarchies with steam power and guns' (the Dwarfs) to 'Ancient Athens-style Enlightenment monarchy but with 11th century technology and magic' (High Elves), 'Renaissance era Italy' (Tilea), 'Early modern age Spain meets the pre-Reconquista period' (Estalia) or 'Mayincatec absolute theocracy/magocracy' (The Lizardmen). The forces of disorder similarly ran the gamut from 'Spartan-esque military dictatorship' (Dark Elves) to 'The Horde' (Chaos, Greenskins), 'daemonic Viking Age Scandinavians' (Norscans, Warriors of Chaos) or 'Social Darwinist nightmare' (Skaven). Its RPG spin-off, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, bases much of its setting on the Empire, making most adventures in that game an example of this trope but with guns present.
  • Medieval Stasis: Averted in the Empire's case, which is constantly continuing to advance with steam rather than real-world stuff. The list of things that were invented differently with the alternate power source include tanks, helicopters, sniper rifles, and mechanical horses to replace the modern day car. It's not hard to imagine the Empire eventually undergoing the Industrial Revolution and developing trains, airships, ironclads and rifle-toting Civil War-style infantry if the world being destroyed didn't prevent them reaching that point. However, the trope is played perfectly straight with Bretonnia, although perhaps justified, because it's suggested that the Wood Elves are deliberately keeping them at a strictly High Middle Ages tech level to act as an easily manipulated human shield who don't have any industry which can threaten their forests.
    • Played straighter by the other human nations. The people of the misty, rain-swept island of Albion have remained as woad-painted warriors, ornery druids and naked ladies dancing around the maypole since the beginning of recorded history. Cathay developed iron weapons and gunpowder thousands of years before Nagash was ever born, and are still at the same societal and technology level.
    • The Elves split into three factions during the Sundering - 4,500 years before current events. Nearly five millennia later, all three factions are still using more or less the same technology that they used way back when. They don't even use any firearms or cannons, and only the Dark Elves really use crossbows. Justified because the Wood Elves have a sentient magical forest to provide for their every need and it produces organically-grown carbon fiber longbows that can shoot further and more powerfully than rifles can; and the High Elves have been casually experimenting with Utility Magic since before humans crawled out of their caves, letting them craft slender white towers and elegant longships, and massive vegetable crop wields from magically-enchanted farm fields granting them a utopian lifestyle even though their soldiers still go to war largely just with iron spears and bows.
    • Dwarfs are kind of a mixed bag with this because their technology is developing, just really slowly. The Dwarfen empire was shattered by the moving of the mountains during the aforementioned Sundering, splitting the race into isolated strongholds which are under near-constant attack by hordes of Skaven and Greenskins. They simply do not have the resources and spare time to toy around and experiment much, leaving them little choice but to refine and upgrade what they already know works. Not to mention Dwarfs are technological conservatives in a way that is less than strictly sane by human standards — unless it's been tried and tested after centuries of reliable use, they'll grumble about it. While Dwarfs have been using muskets and cannons for a long time, as well as flamethrowers and repeaters in more limited numbers, the majority of Dwarf warriors use medieval arms and armour - chainmail, axes, hammers, crossbows, etc. There's even a lost stronghold in Norsca named Kraka Drak, cut off from the wider Dwarfen empire on the continent, and these guys are primitive Norse Mythology-style dwarves who don't even use firearms and cannons. Even their language is a very old runic version of Khazalid.
    • The Tomb Kings, as the undead remnants of ancient Nehekharan civilization, still use the same bronze weapons they used in life ages ago.
    • The Lizardmen are an interesting case because while they mostly use Stone age level tech, they also use some incredibly powerful and advanced magical weapons left over from the glorious starfarers who originally created them. They are pretty much the only race older than the Elves, and yet they haven't even developed the wheel yet. This is because their Slann masters are wary of creating anything that goes against the strange divine plan of the Old Ones. Most interestingly of all though, when some Lizardmen tried to colonize a new island region and promptly got cut off from their giant froggy masters, they regressed into bestial savagery. It can be inferred that not only are the Slann keeping them in Medieval Stasis, but stopping them from devolving backwards.
  • Mega-Microbes: This world has gigantic amoebas, which can grow to be over ten feet in length.
  • Mercenary Units: 8th Edition Storm of Magic games have two examples:
    • Scrolls of Binding provide every army access to a series of bound monsters, from common creatures, to those that are only part of one single army, to completely new ones available nowhere else. All monsters are available to all armies, with a limit of two (for standard armies) or four (for grand armies) monsters of each type (except for Giants, who are so ubiquitous that the cap does not apply). If you want to theme your monsters to fit your existing model collection, an optional rule in the Monstrous Arcanum expansion denotes the relationship between a monster and army as either Kinship (where there's no limit), Scroll of Binding (where the standard limit applies) or Abhorrent (where the cap is reduced to one).
    • Sorcerous Pacts allow any army to ally with the Daemons of Chaos, Tomb Kings or Vampire Counts. Unlike normal alliances, the parent army and pact army are controlled by the same person and always begin the game as Trusted Allies, but if it deteriorates beneath Desperate Allies the entire pact army disappears.
  • Messy Maggots: Maggots are strongly associated with Nurgle, the Chaos god of disease and decay, who delights in filth and corruption. One of the reasons is that Nurgle is actually a Friend to All Living Things- it's just that vermin, maggots, and bacteria are living things too.
  • Meteor-Summoning Attack: The most powerful spell in the Lore of Heavens, the Comet of Cassandora, pulls a meteor from the heavens and drops it onto the battlefield, devastating any unit caught underneath it.
  • Might Makes Right: If the orcs and the followers of Khorne have any sort of morality, this is it.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • Lizardmen and Warriors of Chaos are known for two things: incredibly powerful basic rulebook casters, and slow units. Except for Slaanesh-aligned Warriors of Chaos, who are Lightning Bruiser instead.
    • Dwarfs of all kinds are this, as they have one of the slowest movements in game combined with the only type of armour that matches Chaos Armour in durability. They also have army-wide magic resistance, meaning it's very hard to dislodge them with conventional means. They also have cannons. Lots and lots of cannons, so good luck actually trying to run up to them.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Monsters created by Chaos, such as Griffons, Manticores, and the various Beastmen, combine the traits of multiple animals. The Skaven Clan Moulder also specializes in mixing rats with other creatures to create vile mutants. Additionally, several lizardmen monsters fit as well — the stegadon and salamander both have stegosaur-esque thagomizer tails, despite primarily resembling Triceratops and Dimetrodon and/or iguanas, respectively.
  • Monowheel Mayhem: You do not want to get in the way of the Skaven Doomwheel, which is best described as a hamster wheel designed by Nikola Tesla after a particularly bad day.
  • Monster in the Ice: The Storm of Magic supplement mentions that Carnosaurs, immense dinosaurian monsters that once roamed the world but which are now largely restricted to the jungles of Lustria and the Southlands, are occasionally found frozen in glaciers as far north as Naggaroth and Norsca, entombed there since the earliest ages of the world.
  • Monster Whale: The Behemoth is a gigantic sperm whale with a narwhal-like horn, six-foot-long and razor-sharp teeth, a penchant for a ramming ships and a scarred hide studded with dozens of broken harpoons.
  • Mutants: With the destruction of the Warp Gate in the North, giving birth to or turning into a mutant is a fact of life for species that hadn't been specifically hardened against it by the Old Ones. For simplicity sake, mutations here aren't given that much prominence or detail, unlike the role-playing game, and they mostly show up as a small bonus to a stat.
  • Myopic Conqueror:
    • Beastmen famously hate human and elf civilization, and so make no effort to hold on to places they conquer, preferring to loot and burn them.
    • Most Chaos forces do the same since their goal is to cause the maximum amount of casualties to gain favor with their gods, though on occasion a warlord is smart enough to take over a fortified location and use it as a base for further raids or shelter for the winter.
  • Mystical Jade: Magic is divided into seven colored winds, each with a specific theme and area of concern. The green wind of Ghyran, associated with plant life, growth and healing, is typically referred to as the Jade Wind and its wielders as Jade Wizards.
  • Mystical Plague: Nurgle mages get these kinds of spells, as do the Skaven. Also, this is how Nagash wiped out Nehekara and paved the way for the rise of the Tomb Kings.
  • Named After the Injury:
    • It's long-forgotten by now by any but his fellow Nehekharan undead, but Arkhan the Black actually had that nickname in life due to his teeth being rotted from his overindulgence in sweets. Now that he's one of the most powerful necromancers around, it has a different connotation.
    • In the story included at the beginning of the Monstrous Arcanum supplement, the wizard protagonist magically binds a merwyrm named Silak to his service before attacking a Skaven stronghold. The beast loses an eye during the battle, and in the closing paragraphs the wizard notes that it has begun to be referred to as Silak One-Eye among the local sailors.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Skaven are seen as very analogous to the Third Reich, what with their super technology, horrifying experiments, rune iconography (one of the more commonly used ones IS a Svastika, except with 3 arms), disregard for human life, plan to conquer the world by killing everyone worthless (i.e. everyone, period) and the fact they have a unit called "Storm Vermin".
    • The Chaos Dwarfs are a cruel and merciless race with a penchant for technologically-advanced wonder-weapons and particularly powerful artillery pieces, a heavily-industrialized slave economy, a sense of racist supremacism that drives them to conquer and subjugate other peoples, and they throw their undesirables into furnaces. Nazis to a tee, except if that wasn't bad enough they also worship a terrifying God of Evil named Hashut.
  • Nepharious Pharaoh: The Tomb Kings are this, as the priests who were supposed to grant them entry to the afterlife instead brought them back as undead corpses. In an interesting variation, they all still think themselves the rightful rulers of Khemri (or whichever city they're from), which doesn't go well with the previous and following rightful rulers of Khemri.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • According to Van Horstmann, the infamously powerful Tzeentchian Champion, Egrimm van Horstmann, began as an ordinary (if naturally smart) child in the Empire, with few concerns besides caring for his beloved little sister, Lizbet. Then the ambitious and quite mad wife of a Light College wizard took the two children and hurled them into a pit filled with snakes, to prove her hypothesis that the snakes would only harm the impure. When he lived but his sister died, he vowed revenge, scheming and manipulating his way into the College of Light Magic to destroy numerous arcane texts and items, unleash a horrific plague upon Altdorf, and release the most terrible Chaos Dragon ever known, all for the sake of having revenge upon the man and woman who slew his sister and didn't even care enough to remember the two of them.
    • A lot of the followers of Chaos started out like this. The most notable one is an Imperial Scholar who read about the coming of Archaon, a Chaos Champion that would rumor to fell the world, and decided to embark on a quest to stop his coming. One-insanity-inducing revelation later, he renounced his name and rechristened himself Archaon the Everchosen, Grand Marshal of Chaos.
  • Ninja: Clan Eshin, who are Ninja Rats. Also, Shadow Warriors of Nagarythe are based on Ninjas and Nippon (a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Japan) naturally have units based on the ninja. And one model is an Ogre ninja.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Pretty inevitable, with this many unit types.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed:
    • Sigmar Heldenhammer has some similarities to Charlemagne, albeit Charlemagne spiced up with a bit of Conan the Barbarian and Thor. Like Charlemagne, Sigmar forms an Empire by conquering a number of Germanic-esque tribes. His later deification by the Empire might be a reference to Charlemagne's (illegitimate and later revoked) recognition as a Saint.
    • Repanse de Lyonesse is the setting's version of Joan of Arc, though she repelled Chaos invaders rather than the English (or the elves that correspond with England's location).
    • Leonardo of Miragliano, inventor of the steam tank, is an obvious one of Leonardo da Vinci.
    • Lucrezzia Belladonna, a noblewoman known for her skill in using poison to dispose of inconvenient people, is based on Lucrezia Borgia, a Renaissance noblewoman reputed to have made liberal use of poison to remove her political enemies.
    • Marco Colombo, an explorer who discovered the New World continent of Lustria, is based on Christopher Columbus.
    • Likewise, Losteriksson is a dead ringer for Leif Erikson, the first European to discover North America. He also has a dash of Snorri Thorfinsson with his daughter Skeggi Losteriksson basically a gender-flipped Snorri Thorfinnsson.
    • Nehekharan queens Khalida and Neferata were respectively based on real-life Egyptian queens Hatshepsut and Cleopatra VII, the former being an independent female ruler while the latter is frequently stereotyped as an infamous seductress.
  • Non-Indicative Name: One of the largest groups of vampires in the Old World is the von Carstein family, but there is no known place in either the Empire or Kislev named Carstein for them to be "von". Whether this place has been deliberately destroyed or lost to the mists of time, or the name is merely a self-aggrandizing affectation of the von Carstein patriarch's, is up in the air. Either way, none of the von Carsteins are talking.
  • Noodle Incident: In Storm of Magic, the description of the Rockharmer's Flute, an item capable of moving terrainf features around, mentions that it's famous for a tale concerning it, a drunken Halfling, a jug of lamp oil, a plate of saugages, and the accidental creation of the Grey Mountains.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: The man who invented the Steam Tank made about twelve of them, and then threw the plans away — as an expy of Leonardo da Vinci, he got bored with them and moved on to another project. However, lore says that one of the 12 tanks produced, the most successful prototype, dubbed "Conqueror" — fitted with a cannon and steam gun — was reverse engineered and went into mass production, while the other 11 unique originals are still lying around somewhere, except the ones that have been destroyed.
  • Obliviously Superpowered: Some Randomly Gifted people spontaneously channel the Winds of Magic, causing paranormal activity that they can't explain. The lucky ones are found and trained before they cause a dangerous Magic Misfire.
  • Occult Blue Eyes: The Norscans consider blue eyes to be a sign of favour of the Chaos God Tzeentch. Since Tzeentch is not only the patron god of sorcery, but a Manipulative Bastard extraordinaire who's even fonder of inflicting mutations on his favourites than his brothers are, this may or may not be a good thing.
  • The Ogre: Used to be a Dogs of War unit, now they have their own Army Book.
  • Old Magic: Rune magic is an extremely ancient art practiced solely by the dwarfs, and even they have only a few who've mastered it. Part of it is because many were lost in the destruction of the dwarf empire, another because they only pass down knowledge orally, but also because dwarfs are very long-lived and dubious of the skill of anyone who hasn't been a runesmith for at least hundreds of years.
  • Omniscient Morality Licence: The Slann, who are willing to sink entire continents to further the plans of the Old Ones.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: The way Ogre mercenary Golgfag Maneater got his surname is an example. People started calling him Maneater after he settled a dispute with a human paymaster by eating him and walking away with his paychests. No big deal, except many people end up assuming he eats human meat and nothing else — which he doesn't — much to Golgfag's annoyance. Warhammer Ogres are Extreme Omnivores who'll eat literally anything when they're hungry (except gold, which is regarded as worthless due to lacking any nutritious value) and Golgfag is no exception, yet to this day he still has to grumpily explain to people who get the wrong idea that a) yes, he may eat a human if the mood strikes him, but b) no, he does not eat manflesh exclusively or have a particular taste for it.
  • One-Hit Kill: Part of the Early-Installment Weirdness, but Skaven Warpfire Throwers used to be insta-kill weapons. Creatures that were tough enough to withstand the flames, would then be affected by the warpstone fuel which mutated them into having their skin melslide off their bodies. Also an artifact from the Realms of Chaos supplement, was the Staff of Nurgle which would cause maggots to spontaneously come out of the victim's orifice and eat them alive. All that remained was a mound of maggots that was a hazard to nearby units. From the same book was the Death Head of Nurgle which was the skull of a fallen Chaos Champion that was filled with bile from a Great Unclean One and then sealed. Throwing it at an enemy would result in a fatal infection of Nurgle's Rot.
  • Opposing Combat Philosophies: There are many drastic divides between how armies fight, and one of the most drastic is the Warriors of Chaos, solid blocks of burly pseudo-Vikings clad in inch-thick armour forged in the fires of Hell, with no ranged options besides one type of daemonic siege engine and a limited offensive spell list; vs. the Wood Elves, who fight almost exclusively as lightly-armoured skirmisher archers with a ton of magical backup, and no siege engines or big monsters (being forest dwellers isn't conducive to industry).
  • Order Versus Chaos: Various, but in particular the Empire vs. the Forces of Chaos, the Dwarfs vs. the Greenskins and the High Elves vs. the Dark Elves. And there are the actual Gods of Law, who counterbalance Chaos (considering the Fantasy Kitchen Sink setting, possibly a nod to Moorcock). Unfortunately they didn't really take off as a concept so they get much less in the way of fluff than their counterparts.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Nagash has been back from the dead and gathering his forces for centuries, but hasn't really done anything beyond manipulating a few relatively minor forces behind the scenes. This is then resoundingly subverted in The End Times, when Nagash gets busy, starting with subjugating both undead factions under his rule.
  • Original Position Fallacy: Many people who join Chaos cults do so in the hopes of attracting their chosen god's favor. Unfortunately for them, said gods are just as likely to ignore them, give them what they want or subject them to horrible (or benign) mutations.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Daemons, as they're known, are the creatures native to the Realm of Chaos. They are essentially fragments of the Chaos Gods who sport some degree of independent thought and generally exist to cause death and suffering to mortals. The most powerful among their kind, known as Greater Daemons, are powerful enough to be equivalent to demigods.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: But with the surliness and grim stoicism cranked up the eleven, and a Steampunk gyrocopter or two thrown in for flavor. And Death Seeker Cults. They're also called Dwarfs, not Dwarves in this setting.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Three main groups—the High Elves, the Wood Elves, and the Dark Elves. They're arrogant bastards, isolationist bastards, and sadistic bastards in that order. Not really 'better', though.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Giants are the barbaric remnants of a once-great civilization devoured by the Ogres, and who turn to drink and war to forget their ruin. Drunken, inbred and incredibly stupid, they roam the Old World fighting for whoever can provide them with enough to sate their enormous appetite for booze and bloodshed, most often the Greenskins and the Warriors of Chaos.
    • The Storm of Magic supplement introduces the Bonebreaker Giant, which is almost thrice as tall as a normal giant, which itself is already 5-6 times taller than an average human and can use its thunderstomp against anything without the "largest monster" rule — the only other thing with that rule is a giant killer mammoth.
    • The Monstrous Arcanum includes Chaos Siege Giants, which have had armor and massive weapons grafted directly onto their bodies by the Chaos Dwarfs to turn them into living engines of war.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: They're identical to Dungeons & Dragons gnomes — small burrowing humanoids with a knack for technology and illusion magic — but extremely rude and short-tempered. They disappeared some time after the '90s, only to return decades later in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition. Rather than being played as a comedic species as per usual, the Gnomes of Warhammer are presented as a vengeful and fragmented Dying Race lamenting the destruction of their homeland and slaughter of their people at the hands of goblins, forced to use their keen intellects and mastery of Ulgu magic to survive in a human-dominated world while avoiding persecution at the hands of the zealous Witch Hunters.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Small, green, devious, and shamanistic; most get pushed around by Orcs. Forest Goblins ride spiders, Night Goblins live underground and enter a berserker rage by drinking mushroom brew. Related to Mongol-esque Hobgoblins, Ogre-abetting Gnoblars, and tiny expendable Snotlings who are so pathetic most players appear to have sympathy to these guys.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: Griffons and Hippogryffs can be found in the Old World and are notoriously aggressive creatures, particularly the latter. There are also Demigryphs, which are essentially wingless Griffons. All of them are used as mounts by Imperials and Bretonnians to some capacity, with one of the most famed Griffons being Deathclaw, the mount of Emperor Karl Franz.
  • Our Hydras Are Different: Hydras are immense, powerful and multi-headed monsters in the Dark Elf army roster. They're typically shown with five heads specifically, often topped by pointed, bony crests, and as having powerfully built, quadrupedal bodies, although models from the first few editions of the game show them as gigantic multi-headed snakes instead.
    • In the background lore, they're seemingly entirely ageless, as no hydra has ever been recorded as dying of old age — all known hydras lived for centuries or millennia, never decreasing in strength or vigor, until being killed by something else. While only a few are left in the deepest swamplands of the Old World, many still lurk in the Chaos Wastes and in Naggaroth.
    • Dark Elven war hydras are a distinct and especially fearsome breed, as their masters have spent millennia perfecting the already formidable beasts through magic and selective breeding. As a unit, their special rule Another Takes its Place allows them to randomly regenerate from damage at the start of each turn, representing a new head suddenly growing from a bloody stump.
    • The seas are inhabited by monsters called Kharibdyss which, while not related to hydras, have the exact same body build, except they have jawless lamprey-like heads as opposed to snake-like ones. Dark Elven beastmasters adore these beasts and often goad them into battle against their foes, and they are notoriously good at killing other monsters.
    • Also worth mentioning are the monstrosities called Chimaerats, which are Dark Elven war hydras with Rat Ogre heads created by Clan Moulder. They are allegedly their rarest creations.
  • Our Mages Are Different: Magic in Warhammer comes from the Winds of Magic, drifts of Pure Energy that blow throughout the world. The Slann Mage-Priests of the Lizardmen and the three subraces of Elves are the most adept at using it, being able to use Magic in its purest form — the Slann and High Elves use the Lore of High Magic, while the Dark Elves use the Lore of Dark Magic, and the Wood Elves use both. However, these lores are generally too much for most races to handle. The Empire therefore fields Battle Wizards who break the Winds of Magic down into their composite lores — the Lores of Beasts, Death, Fire, Heavens, Life, Light, Metal and Shadows — and specialise in the use of one. They were taught how to do this by some charitable-feeling High Elves. Bretonnian mages — Damsels and Prophetesses of the Cult of the Lady — follow suit with a much more limited pool. The lores used by Necromancer types — the Lores of Vampires and Undeath — are culled from the Lore of Dark Magic, Nagash having tortured the knowledge out of some Dark Elves he came across and wrote several books on the subject which are still in high demand today despite being illegal. The Tomb Kings use their own necromantic arts — the Lore of Nehekhara — to maintain their armies on the battlefield. The Orcs & Goblins and Ogre Kingdoms also use their own lores based on their religious beliefs — the Lore of da Big/Little WAAAGH! and the Lore of the Great Maw, respectively. Each Chaos God has a Lore of Magic associated with him too apart from Khorne, who Does Not Like Magic; they are, unsurprisingly, the Lores of Tzeentch, Nurgle and Slaanesh, and only Daemons or mortal Chaos worshippers can channel them.
  • Our Manticores Are Spinier: Manticores are creatures of Chaos with spiked tails, bat wings, leonine bodies and vaguely humanoid heads. They're most common in the Chaos Wastes, but often fly south to lair in the mountains and forests of southern lands. They're often trapped by Dark Elf beastmasters to use as war animals, and some Dark Elf lords also use them as mounts.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different:
    • While they rarely appear outside of Gaiden Games, mermaids are mentioned in the lore, with the port city of Marienburg having a sword-wielding mermaid on its coat of arms for instance.
    • A giant, crowned and trident-wielding merman called Triton is said to be the last of a race of demigods or sea-giants who ruled the seas in ancient times and taught the elves the art of seafaring. He now deeply hates the Druchii for twisting his teachings to dark ends.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: Much hungrier. Ogres have a society influenced by the Mongols, and wield a strange form of Gut Magic, which depends on what the caster ate. They literally worship the concept of hunger and practice rampant cannibalism, eating both other sentient races and their own kind; a Klingon Promotion generally entails the usurper devouring its predecessor. They are also well-known as world-wandering mercenaries who will work/fight for any faction willing to pay and/or feed them enough. Some are captured by the Skaven to be turned into Rat Ogres.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Big, green, tusked, dumb, mono-gendered Proud Warrior Race Guys who leave the thinking to the goblins. Have two variations: the Savage Orcs, who forgo the use of technology more advanced than bone clubs and bows and arrows, use warpaint which grants them protection because they think it does and are considered crazy even by other Orcs, and the Black Orcs, the product of Uruk-hai-like experiments conducted by Chaos Dwarfs who are stronger, tougher and most importantly, smarter than their green-skinned brethren, with the ability to produce their own weapons and armor and use force to make quarrelling or fleeing units get back in line.
    • Though not called Orcs, the Beastmen closely fit the classical Tolkienian orc archetype, while the actual Orcs are more a hybrid between Tolkien orcs and Blizzard orcs. They are an Always Chaotic Evil race of mutants born from human mothers, corrupted by dark magic. Their skin is usually brown or a rusty reddish, and they can be identified by animalistic traits like horns, cloven feet and fangs. They are omnivorous but prefer human flesh, and organize themselves into primitive, hyper-violent tribal societies with prominent intraspecies Fantastic Racism. What passes for Beastmen culture is based around raiding settlements for slaves and spoils of war, and reverence of their shamans' teachings and the Chaos Gods (though as far as the Ruinous Powers are concerned the Beastmen are very low-ranking in the Sorting Algorithm of Evil and barely worth consideration apart from as Cannon Fodder). While they can reproduce amongst themselves, they prefer infecting (or violating) captive human women. The very notion of settling down and working natural land itself drives them to maddening disgust. They are entirely nomadic besides sometimes erecting temporary war camps, and the simple weapons and armour they equip their brutish warbands with are never made by the Beastmen themselves — they are always improvised, stolen as war prizes or simply looted from the dead. It even takes a truly charismatic Beastman leader to convince his warherd to chop down a tree to use as a battering ram, or to lash sticks and rope together into simple siege ladders.
  • Our Perytons Are Different: Known as Preytons, they are incredibly savage and dangerous creatures of Chaos who haunt the woods of Bretonnia. Beastmen can use them as beasts of war.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: From each other, even. There are five known vampire Bloodlines; Von Carstein (classic Dracula-style aristocrats), Lahmian (literal Femme Fatales), Blood Dragons (Blood Knights), Strigoi (cursed into looking like giant bat-monsters) and Necrarch (Mad Scientist necromancers who look a lot like Count Orlok). The different Ghouls and Zombies serve vampires, as (respectively) devolved and cannibalistic but still living humans and shambling, brainless corpses which need magical control to stay upright.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Werewolves known as Skin Wolves can be found among the Norscans, Hung, Kurgans and other such cultures. They're so called because, upon transforming, the wolfman will literally rip itself out of the man's body, leaving their own flayed skin all over their bodies.
  • Our Wyverns Are Different: Wyverns are often raised by Orcs as war mounts. They are about as smart as horses and are smaller and much less powerful than true dragons, from which they're also distinguished by their smaller size, poisonous sting and vicious temperament.
  • Overly Long Name: The Ogre ruler Overtyrant Tradelord Greasus Tribestealer Drakecrush Hoardmaster Goldtooth the Shockingly Obese, more commonly known as Greasus Goldtooth.
  • Passion Is Evil: The Chaos Gods are the sum of every sentient being's rage, hope, lust and love. Worshipped via mass slaughter and warfare, mutation and Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, rape and torture, and spreading disease and pestilence like a demented Santa Claus. The only workable alternative is to cut off the emotions, either by turning the entire world undead (which was one vampire's plan in Warhammer) or by killing everything down to the last bacterium (the Necrons in 40K).
  • Pegasus: Pegasi appear in several armies. Empire and Bretonnian heroes and generals can ride them, and the Bretonnians can also field an entire unit of Pegasus Knights. In general, pegasi are stated to differ from true horses in several respects — they have hollow bones like birds, although their ability to fly is still assumed to be chiefly magical in nature, and are omnivorous as well. They prefer to live in mountains and along high plateaus and are very widespread, and a number of specific variants exist in various corners of the world.
    • Royal pegasi are found exclusively to Bretonnia and are famed for their extreme intelligence and loyalty.
    • Dark pegasi are highly aggressive creatures tainted by Chaos, and are marked by their batlike wings, jagged horns, sharp fangs and purely carnivorous diets. Most live in the mountains of Naggaroth, and are often taken by the Dark Elves to serve as flying mounts.
    • Radiant pegasi, described in the Storm of Magic supplement, live in the highlands of Araby and spend long periods of time basking in the sun and absorbing its light and heat. When attacked or threatened, they can release their stored energy in a blinding flash of light.
  • Pelts of the Barbarian: The Norsca (evil satanic vikings) wear animal furs along with ornate armor (the proportions vary depending on how badass/rich they are).
  • Perpetually Protean: Chaos Spawn are wandering masses of ever-shifting organs, limbs and perpetually-warping flesh, most commonly created when a Chaos champion or mutant receives too many "rewards" from their patron god, causing their bodies to collapse into an unending series of random mutations. Reduced to feral madness by the experience, Chaos Spawn will eventually die from their condition as the Chaotic energy mutating will quite literally rip them apart - though most tend to die in battle first.
  • Personal Hate Before Common Goals: This trope basically defines the now out of canon Chaos God Malal/Malice and its followers. Even if they share the same goals of conquest and destruction as the rest of their fellow Chaos forces against Order and anything in between... they also aim this goal towards Chaos itself. Because Malal represents hate, and the self-defeating and autodestructive aspects of Chaos, its primary goal above anything else is destroying any plan and any force put in motion by the rest of Chaos Gods. So while Malal's followers do share the same hate against the concept of Order as the rest of the forces of Chaos, their hate of Chaos itself is also so great that they would never purposefully join another Chaos faction in order to fulfill it.
  • The Pig-Pen: Followers of Nurgle take great pride in being filthy and disease ridden.
  • Pilgrimage: This is a polytheistic world where many people hope to gain favour or forgiveness from the gods.
    • Many Sigmarites follow the route Sigmar traveled from the capital city to the edge of the empire at the end of his mortal life. Several shrines have gone up along the way, as well as a thriving community of vendors offering everything from travel supplies to purported relics.
    • Cultists of the nature gods Taal and Rhya visit a sequence of twelve shrines deep in the wilderness, relying only on their survival skills to find the holy sites and acquire an animal sacrifice.
    • Many Shallyans travel to the High Temple at Couronne in Bretonnia, often subsisting on charity along the way. Imperial citizens usually start from the Cult's national seat of power in the capital city, where they're sent off with prayers for mercy and protection.
    • The God of the Dead Morr doesn't acknowledge living pilgrims — there's only one journey that interests him. Nonetheless, some of his cultists make a pilgrimage to his ancient temple in the former capital city of the Reman Empire.
  • Pink Is Erotic: Pink is one of the sacred colors of Slaanesh. A Dark God of Chaos, famous for being the embodiment of pleasure, lust, desire, passion, and basically any kind of earthly gratification that is pursued pure hedonism. Including pain as pleasure, and any kind of sexual kink.
  • Plaguemaster: Nurgle in a nutshell. And the Skaven clan Pestilens give his followers a run for their money.
  • Points of Light Setting: The majority of the world consists of vast stretches of wilderness, dark wastelands, barren steppes, vast deserts and harsh mountains home to monsters, dangerous beasts, orcs, beastmen and the forces of Chaos, often littered with the ancient ruins of dead civilizations in which ancient undead lords still lurk and with civilized nations far apart from one another. Even within actual nations, civilization often exists as a loose web of cities and roads woven through vast expanses of wildness crawling with horrors, which periodically rise to snuff out the lights that would shine against the dark.
  • Polar Madness: The far north of the fantasy world is a bitterly-cold Chaos-tainted wasteland dominated by the Realm of Chaos situated at the north pole. Exposure to this otherworldly dimension can drive people into the murkiest depths of insanity. As such, most of the mortal inhabitants of this realm are frenzied Chaos warbands hoping to earn the favor of the gods, growing steadily more demented as they get closer to the polar vortex: those who succeed will become daemon princes - none of whom can be described as sane; those who fail are reduced to Chaos Spawn, all of whom are deranged to the point of insentience.
  • Power Degeneration: Chaos Dwarf sorcerers can use magic thanks to their allegiance to Hashut. However, because dwarfs were never meant to use magic, Chaos Dwarf sorcerers slowly turn to stone the more they use their powers.
  • Power-Upgrading Deformation: Chaos mutations are this.
  • Precursors: The Old Ones who created the Lizardmen, made the world prosper, left open a backdoor for a Chaos to sneak through, died out and left a bunch of plaques and prophecy that the Lizardmen spend most of their time interpreting or committing genocide over.
  • Precursor Worship: The Lizardmen worship the Old Ones.
  • Prehistoric Animal Analogue: The Lizardman army includes a number of pseudo-dinosaurian monsters to occupy the niche of other factions' fantasy beasts. These include the T. Rexpy Carnosaurs, Cold Ones (scaly, spiky dromeosaur lookalikes), Bastiladons (based on ankylosaurs with greatly exaggerated armor), Stegadons (pseudo-ceratopsians with armored skin, spiked mace tails, and omnivorous diets), Tetradons and Ripperdactyls (two variants of Pterosaur), and Troglodons (albino, cave-dwelling, eyeless poison-spitting predators visually based on spinosaurs).
  • Private Military Contractors: Dogs of War, i.e., mercenary armies.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Everyone. Well, except for the people of Tilea and Estalia, who avoid danger by hiding in the Empire's shadow. The Warriors of Chaos are the most intense about it, though. Because they are Vik-, because it's in the name.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: While the Dwarfs technically "won" the War of the Beard by killing the Phoenix King Caledor II, a fact they are very insistent on reminding everybody about, the reality is that the war led to the deaths of millions of Dwarfs and Elves together including many of the greatest heroes of both races, and fractured both their empires and left their numbers and resources so depleted that renewed warfare against real enemies like the Greenskins and Skaven have left both races on the verge of extinction. Whoops.
    Gotrek Gurnisson: We scourged them from the forests and drove them from the lands. After that who were we to trade with? Commerce between our races had been the source of much wealth, tainted though it was. Worse, the cost in lives was much worse than the cost to our merchants. The finest warriors of three generations fell in that bitter struggle.... While we had warred with our faithless allies, the dark gathered its strength. We were weary of war when the black mountains belched forth their clouds of ash. The sky was overcast and the sun hid its face. Our crops died and our cattle sickened. Our people had returned to the safety of their cities; and from the very heart of our realm, from the place we imagined ourselves strongest, our foes burst forth.

    Q-Z 
  • Quieting the Unquiet Dead: The restless dead are a particular concern of both the Priests of Morr, God of the Dead, and wizards of the Lore of Death. They often fight malevolent undead, but also deal peacefully with those who want to resolve their Unfinished Business and move on.
  • Raised by Wolves: The legendary Ogre Hunter Jhared the Red was cast out by his clan for being a hairy runt, only to be found and raised to maturity by a female sabertusk cat. He eventually killed the pack leader, then led the sabretusks to hunt down and eat his former tribe.
  • Random Effect Spell:
    • The Celestial Hurricanum, a magical Weather Manipulation machine used by the Empire, can cast the Storm of Shemtek, a direct damage spell that targets an enemy unit with a random weather phenomenon taken from a set pool of effects and decided by a dice roll. This can result in light rain that achieves nothing, a blizzard that does a little damage, a tornado that rotates the unit, a lightning strike that deals decent damage, or a devastating meteor strike.
    • Giants determine their attacks from one of two pools of preset actions, one for when the giant is fighting human-sized enemies and the other for when fighting other giant monsters. The attack is determined by a dice roll, based on which the giant may deal a decent attack, use a more powerful and damaging one, or just throw a tantrum and waste a turn.
  • Redshirt Army: Bretonnian infantry chiefly exists to die in droves while holding the enemy in one place long enough for the knights to charge it, and to draw arrow fire away from the nobles.
  • Religion of Evil: Chaos, need we say more? Also the Dark Elves and their veneration of Khaine (Elven God of War and Murder), the Skaven worship of the Horned Rat, and the Chaos Dwarfs' Hashut.
  • Religion is Magic: Cultists of Sigmar, and most of the other gods, have magic religion powers of ass-kickery.
    • The Greenskins and Ogres consider their magic religious, as well.
    • Lizardmen magic is their religion, although it's more shamanistic with the skinks, and sort of Zen Buddhist (minus the "prevent suffering" clause) with the Slann.
    • Inverted by Khorne, who despises magic and considers it cowardly.
  • The Remnant: As revealed in the Storm of Magic book, the Fimir were once the primary servants of Chaos, only for the Dark Gods to switch their attention to the humans and leave the Fimir hanging. As a result, the most Fimir you are ever likely to see in an army is two, and that's only in Storm of Magic games.
  • Resistant to Magic:
    • Dwarfs were designed by the Old Ones to be extremely resilient and are much less affected by magic than other races. Their own magic is much less potent, but also far safer to use than the volatile Winds of Magic, and they're much more resistant to mutation and the influence of Chaos than humans are.
    • Stone trolls are a breed of trolls that lives in high mountains and feeds on rocks. Over time, they absorb the natural resilience of stone into themselves; besides an armored, rocky skin, this also gives them an innate resistance to magic.
  • Resourceful Rodent: The Skaven are humanoid rats living in Underground Cities and able to make devices such as the Ratling and technological devices using warpstone such as tools and power generation. The only reason why they haven't taken over the world yet is because they are infamously treacherous.
  • Retcon:
    • All mention of Malal was written out of the backstory due to no one being quite sure who owned his copyright. He remains semi-popular amongst old school Chaos players and gets a Shout-Out every so often by GW proper.
    • The world where Warhammer Fantasy occurs used to be in the same universe as Warhammer 40K. This is been changed but alluded to in later editions.
    • The Storm of Chaos event was retconned out by the 8th edition rulebooks, which reset the timeline to before those events. As such, Valten no longer existed, Archaon is still the Everchosen and was not defeated and broken from his dark faith, and Manfred is still thought "dead". The Nemesis Crown event was also retconned almost immediately after completion, and then everyone tried really hard to forget it. The End Times later solidified this, with outright alternate histories happening to various characters (such as Valten coming back but skipping straight to his Champion of Sigmar status and Nagash coming back to devour the Chaos Gods instead of Archaon ending the world).
    • The End Times also retconned out numerous references in the fiction that either implied or outright stated that Old World would survive for decades or centuries to come after the period of Karl Franz. Some of these were already covered by the Storm of Chaos retcon mention above, but others were retconned later. The Zavant stories, for instance, are set in the same era as most Warhammer fiction but have a Framing Device set over a century in the future with a clearly intact Old World.
  • Retroactive Idiot Ball: Through all but the very last edition, the story of the Dark Elves and their leader Malekith was more or less the same: Malekith wanted to become Phoenix King like his father but was deemed too ambitious to deserve it, and when he tried to force the issue (by assassinating the previous king and jumping into the Flames of Asuryan) he got horrifically burned and was rejected by the gods, which lead to him and his followers starting a bloody civil war, splitting from their kin to become the Dark Elves and starting the millennia-long conflict between them and the High Elves. At the end of the game's lifespan, the End Times revealed that Malekith had actually been worthy all along but had jumped from the Flames a few seconds too soon and all the following Phoenix Kings had been usurpers and cursed by the gods. Why the actual gods themselves (at least two of which have living incarnations in the world, but all of whom can communicate with the world to various extents) never bothered telling anyone (which would have avoided the elven civil war, kept the elves unified, and all in all prevented an enormous chunk of the world's problems from existing) either when this first happened or at any point during the thousands of years between then and the End Times was never explained, nor was how the long line of supposed "cursed" High Elven kings managed to reign more or less adequately throughout.
  • Revenge Before Reason: The Dwarfs are infamous for their honour. They will declare war over a joke made in bad taste or being accidentally short-changed by a trivial amount. Then they will go to war to avenge those killed in the first war. And then start a third war to avenge those who were killed in the second war...
  • Royal Favorite: Nagash, King (also eventual destroyer) of Nehekhara and creator of Necromancy had a trusted Lieutenant named Arkhan the Black who faithfully served his master and Nagash comes to see as his most reliable ally. As an apprentice to Nagash, Arkhan was a gifted sorcerer himself and would carry out any posthumous tasks, most notably attempts to bring back Nagash.
  • Royal Inbreeding: It's said that during the most decadent days of the Empire the nobles were so inbred that mutations became commonplace. The Witch Hunters seem to have solved that problem. In Bretonnia, the nobles are all also inbred (and a bit of elf might have found its way in there too).
  • Rule of Cool: Abides to this with the same zeal as Warhammer 40,000.
  • Rule of Funny:
    • The Ork Doom Diver catapult, which fires a goblin in a hang-glider, and the Skaven Doomwheel, which is a giant hampster wheel with ray guns. Also, look at the names of the Lizardmen gods and special characters. Also, the Snotling Pump-Wagon. And, indeed, the word 'snotling'.
    • The Robot Horse the Master Engineer rides was due to the College of Engineers rejecting a woman from joining their ranks. The mechanical horse was her response. It shoots lightning from its eyes.
  • Salt the Earth: Man those Elves can be nasty. Anything non-elven that trepasses against an elven protection, like say a poorly positioned village, will be eradicated to the point of never knowing it existed and during The Sundering the point of no return when the two different elven races would form came when a king Tethlis whose family had been killed by the enemy moved to scorched earth tactics and would salt the fields of their lands on the continent, driving them onto a completely different continent.
  • Sand Worm: Dread maws are immense, blind, scaly serpents native to the Chaos Wastes, which burrow their way beneath the ground before erupting on the surface to attack prey. Smaller creatures are devoured as is, but in the case of larger beasts a dread maw will simply burrow directly into its target and eat it alive.
  • Savage Wolves:
    • The Chaos Hounds, massive, rapacious, bloodthirsty, mutated wolves who fight alongside the armies of Norsca and the Beastmen.
    • The wolf is the sacred animal of Khorne, the Chaos God of war, violence, blood and rage. Khorne is often referred to as "the Blood Wolf" and "the Wolf-Father", in addition to being sometimes depicted with a wolf's head, and in some depictions, his demonic Flesh Hounds have a distinctly lupine appearance.
    • Regular wolves are ridden by goblins, sometimes pulling their chariots. The wolves themselves are very aggressive and barely tame, and will happily devour their riders should they fall from the saddle.
    • Undead wolves are favorite vampire pets, who often field packs of them in times of war.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • The Empire's mostly in the 16th century with pike and shot formations (backed by muzzle-loading cannons) making up the bulk of their forces, complemented by the occasional bit of more advanced but unreliable steampunk, and backed up formations that were obsolete even in the 16th century like their crossbow and spear regiments. By contrast, the Savage Orcs are still deep in the Stone Age - weapons made from roughly carved stone, bone and wood with armour made from leather scraps and sometimes just warpaint. The largest ever Savage Orc invasion was defeated soundly by Sigmar's fledgling early medieval Empire 2,500 years previous to the game's "current era" (their secret weapon implied to be the couched lance), and by all indications they haven't advanced a jot since then. Then you have the Bretonnians, who are basically high medieval France with the slightest dash of magic. Gunpowder weapons are specifically outlawed in Bretonnia, apart from their ships which are allowed cannons because the ancient rule explicitly bans guns on Bretonnian soil.
    • The Wood Elves of Athel Loren are barely more technologically advanced than the Beastmen. They have practically no industry to speak of and typically wield iron spears and swords. Their social advancement is similarly primitive as they are loosely organized into hundreds of tiny chiefdoms ("kinbands") with varying degrees of unity. Most of these live nomadic lifestyles, and what few permanent settlements they have are mainly small camps and hunting halls built into the trees. They're also part of a deeply magical forest realm that provides and fights for them, giving them things like organically-grown carbon fibre longbows that are better than firearms, custom-fit barkskin armour, teleporters, magical poisons, great eagles and legions of Treants to supplement their guerrilla forces. Then you have the Dwarfs, who are positively Napoleonic if not Victorian in their technology. Warriors armed with flintlock muskets, organ guns, flamethrowers, steam trains, ironclads, steam-powered attack helicopters and war balloons. Yet, the bulk of their troops wouldn't look out of place in the High Middle Ages, still wearing chainmail and armed with axes and war picks. Even their artillery train still uses ballistae and trebuchets alongside their cannons. This is explained by Dwarfs being technological conservatives in a way that would be insane by human standards - whatever invention you come up with better have undergone centuries of careful testing and tinkering in the workshop before it ever sees its first field test. Dwarfs have had guns for millennia and there are still some grumpy old gits who moan about using them and would prefer their trusty crossbows. No wonder the beardling inventors are all flocking to the Empire, at least the humans are willing to give their unorthodox creations a shot.
    • Exaggerated with the Skaven, who are arguably even more advanced than the Dwarfs and have "fantasy" versions of Gatling guns (called ratling guns), sniper rifles, laser cannons, chemical warfare and at least three working nuclear weapons... The reason the Skaven haven't conquered the world yet (besides their constant factitious bickering of course) is that the vast majority of Skaven soldiers go into battle with little more than torches and rusty blades, with rags for protection. The high-tech Steampunk gear comprises less than a fraction of a percent of their forces, and the rarity of their deployment is explained by these advanced weapons being just as likely to kill their own operators as the enemy due to the Skaven's notorious lack of quality control. Meanwhile the Lizardmen, the last remaining bio-robotic servants of incredibly advanced Ancient Astronauts who vanished millennia ago, maintain a typical army of naked Saurus warriors wielding stone or bone-based, fang-lined macuahuitl swords and Skink skirmishers using javelins and blowpipes, supported by a core of powerful Slann sorcerers and incredibly powerful space age energy weapons and devices carried on the backs of dinosaurs (since Lizardmen have no idea what the wheel is - yes, really).
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • Most models have a chance of fleeing (or choosing to flee) should the going get too rough. The lower a model's leadership, the more likely this will happen. Skaven in particular deploy this trope to an almost religious degree, to the point where they actually have a special rule to make fleeing easier.
    • Due to a quirk in the rules, Standard Bearers will disappear off the field the moment their unit breaks and falls back. The idea is that a huge banner is too unwieldy to keep while high-tailing it out of there, so the standard bearer just drops it and runs. Unfortunately, since you can't physically separate a model from the banner (most of the time) the rules instead represents it as the bearer being removed as casualty, the idea being that after dropping the banner he just kept on running even after his unit regrouped.
  • Screw You, Elves!: Humans often grab elves by their pointy ears and swing them around. However, this can be a bad thing in the case of the High Elves. They're the main defenders from Chaos and the reason why the Empire has wizards, and screwing with them is what's making the world worse, oops.
  • Sea Monster:
    • Man O War: The Seas of Blood supplement includes the classic giant squid Kraken and the horrific Black Leviathan (a humongous deep-sea angler fish that can swallow small ships whole), as well as the Narwhal-like Behemoth, the giant crab Promethean the Sea Dragon, the giant merman Triton, the Sea Elemental and the giant shark Megalodon.
    • Dreadfleet has several zombie sea monsters — the Sea Giant, Bone Hydra and Leechwyrm — and even a ship made from the rotting undead carcass of an Orb Leviathan (possibly the same species as Man'O'War's Black Leviathan, maybe not).
    • Smaller, but still huge, sea monsters are available from Forge World to use in land-based Warhammer armies in the shape of seagoing, wingless dragons such as the Merwyrm and its variants, and the Dark Elf army has access to aquatic Hydras, Sea Dragons and the Kharybdis, a species of many-headed sea monsters native to the churning oceans around the Dark Elf homeland.
  • Sea Serpents:
    • Gargantuans are sea serpents hundreds of feet long and up to thirty feet wide, and with large nasal horns.
    • Merwyrms are distantly related to dragons, and while serpentine they have four stubby limbs that let them move on land.
    • Sea Dragons are the degenerate descendants of dragons, no longer able to fly or move outside of water, but still among the biggest of the Dark Elves' war beasts, some even used to pull ships.
  • Self-Imposed Exile: Dwarf Slayers are dwarfs who have committed some sin that can only be forgiven by death. So they dye their hair orange, shave it into a mohawk, and go out to fight the biggest, ugliest thing they can find to get a Mutual Kill. But dwarfs are nothing if not stubborn, murderous little bastards, and many find themselves surviving battle after battle against ever-more dangerous foes, and gaining epithets like Trollslayer, Giantslayer, Dragonslayer, even Daemonslayer, that only bring them shame because it's a reminder that they still failed to reclaim their honor.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: The lizardmen use blades with obsidian teeth, based on the Aztec weapons. Also, many champions of chaos use similar weapons, including possessed ones that grow actual teeth.
  • Sex Magic: The Chaos god(dess) Slaanesh is the living embodiment of desire, so it has control over (and is fueled by) pain, pleasure and all manners of excess.
  • Shapeshifter: Kislev has them in a sizable minority. There's also Beorg Bearstruck, leader of a mercenary army, who is a werebear.
  • Shout-Out: Kroq-Gar's dinosaur steed, Grymloq.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Volkmar the Grim (the Warhammer version of the Pope) pulled one of these on Mannfred von Carstein that was so good it convinced Mannfred to turn around and retreat back to Sylvania with his tail between his legs.
  • Sibling Fusion: Vilitch the Curseling is an unholy fusion between Vilitch (a scrawny Squishy Wizard) and his twin Thomin (a mighty warrior), created when Vilitch prayed that he would no longer be his brother's victim. Tzeentch answered his prayer, and Vilitch was bonded and given control over his brother's body. Later the situation was reversed, and Thomin was in charge, casting the spells his brother knew.
  • Single-Precept Religion: The religion of the thunder god Tor has but one commandment: don't stand under a tree in a thunderstorm.
  • Single-Use Shield: Several kinds of magical armor provide an excellent armor save, but are destroyed the first time they save a wound.
  • Sizeshifter: The Giantkin Helm, a Mythic Enchanted Item from the Storm of Magic Supplement, allows the wearer to grow to the size of a giant once per battle. Once transformed, the wearer follows all the rules for a giant instead of using their own rules, until the transformation ends.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The setting never quite reaches the same levels of all-consuming blackness and sheer existential horror of Warhammer 40,000, but make no mistake Warhammer is still one of the bleaker fantasy settings out there. The forces of civilization are constantly beset on all sides by all manner of horrible evils (even from below), and often too wrapped up in their own infighting to do anything more than survive. And there's often very little separating the forces of Order from the myriad evils they fight anyway. Even the greatest heroes are too insignificant in the grand scheme of things to change the world or make it better. The two main heroic human realms are a version of the Holy Roman Empire dominated by a dogmatic Church Militant, and an Arthurian France defined by a brutally entrenched class system where the knights and nobles are utterly infallible and peasants have no rights whatsoever. The Dwarfs are a Dying Race because their pathological obsession with vengeance and retribution means they're locked in Forever War with basically everyone else. The Lizardmen, also dying out, are the descendants of biological robots following the sketchy cosmic plans of the Precursors who made them, which largely involve genocide for most races and forced relocation for the ones to be spared. And the High Elves, also dying out (see a pattern?), are the self-appointed defenders of the world and arrogant, supremacist arseholes besides. These are supposed to be the "good" factions, by the way.
  • Special Occasions Are Magic: Justified with Geheimnisnacht and Hexensnacht, the nights when the Chaos Moon Morrslieb is closest to the world. Its influence causes Lunacy, Wild Magic, and otherworldly incursions, so holiday observances mostly focus on staying safe indoors.
  • Spiked Wheels: In Warhammer Fantasy Battle, chariots of some races get upgraded with these, increasing the number of enemies they can run down when they charge.
  • Squishy Wizard: Depends on the army. On one side we have armies like the Empire and Elves, whose wizards have no armour, a common Toughness of 3 and will die the moment someone looks at them funny. On the other hand, Slann Mage-Priests, Chaos Exalted Sorcerers and Ogre Gutmasters have supernatural toughness (5-6), multiple wounds and easy access to regeneration, health recovery or just ward/armour saves up the wazoo.
  • Standard Fantasy Races: Humans are the most common species in the setting, and have the greatest cultural and nation diversity. Dwarfs are reclusive mountain-dwellers who despise the elves and orcs, but have a close alliance with humanity. Elves are divided between the usual High, Wood and Dark kindreds; the High Elves are nominally allied with humanity but view them as little better than apes, and are bitter enemies of the dwarfs due to lingering bitterness over an ancient war; the Wood Elves are intensely isolationist and only get along with forest spirits and animals, alongside whom their aggressively defend their forest home; and the Dark Elves are slavers and raiders despised by everyone else. There are also the bloodthirsty orcs and their goblin lackeys, who are in constant war with each other and everyone else, and the barbaric but more reasonable ogres of the high mountains, as well as lumbering dim-witted giants, brutish trolls who often ally with monstrous factions, immensely ancient dragons who often raid civilization for treasure, and eldritch daemons worshipped by the Chaos Hordes.
  • Star Power: The Lore of Heavens tends to focus on using the stars to predict the future and to create impromptu bombardments.
  • The Starscream: Mannfred von Carstein. Fluff suggests that he knew about/helped/planned the stealing of Vlad von Carstein's Ring, leading to his downfall. He then disappeared to continue his studies of Necromancy and let the other potential heirs of Vlad kill each other, be killed in battle against the Empire, or hunted down by vampire hunters (and there are rumours that the one who killed Peter von Carstein was helped along by none other than Mannfred) before claiming Sylvania for himself.
  • Status Quo Is God: Last write up of Storm of Chaos. The Hero of the Empire is on his knees, about to be killed by the Champion of Chaos... only for the Champion of Chaos to get knocked out from behind by someone unrelated. And then both of the villains take their armies and go home. And then the Vampire who was invading in their wake changes his mind too. Why? Cause otherwise the game writers have to alter how the world is set up. Ultimately the timeline was rewound to before the event so that in current lore it never happened at all.
    • Averted in the actual rules. 8th edition shook up the rules of the game, altering the way magic, combat resolution and combat itself works. fan reaction is...divided.
    • Finally averted in Warhammer: The End Times. All of those wars and evil plots hovering just at the edge of disaster finally happen, stories are resolved, heroes die. The setting comes to an end. Warhammer: Age of Sigmar picks things up again in an utterly changed world centuries later.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Present and averted in varying degrees by various factions. The Empire itself is an interesting case where men make up the military of all the empires regions, women aren't barred from holding more specialized military roles. Most commonly as Battle Wizards or Witch Hunters. Female troops usually only are present within Free Company Militias or hired mercenary units, otherwise they're in more supportive roles within the military.
    • Bretonnia actively enforces this, as women aren't allowed personal rights of any kind by law. Exceptions are the Damsels of the Cult of the Lady which are allowed more autonomy and are exempt from Brettonia's laws, they are expected to serve within the State Religion for life. Since women aren't allowed to ride horses, they cannot take questing vows and thus usually can't become Grail Knights. However there have been instances where the Lady of the Lake has blessed women herself and thus made them Grail Knights. One notable example is Repanse de Lyonesse, who was but a peasant but became nobility the second she received the Lady's Blessing.
    • Dwarfs provide a slight subversion. Dwarfen women tend to be outnumbered 100-to-1 to men, causing them to be very valued within the society. Thus it is very rare for their women to be seen outside their Karak's, as they are often expected to stay within their hearths. However there's often nothing stopping them from taking other artisan careers, and any Dwarf is at least expected to know how to wield an axe to defend themselves. It's not uncommon for Dwarfs to say that their last line of defense are the housewives of the Karaks.
    • Elves ore one of the few human-like races to avert this trope in different ways depending on their culture. Men and women are all universally see as equals in Elven society, just are represented in different ways. For High Elves, it's played straight and most positions can be fielded by either men or women. For Wood Elves, there are different gender-exclusive roles within the society, but neither outclass each other and there still remains several gender neutral positions for both. Dark Elves take a more Darwinian approach in that it doesn't matter what you gender is, just your capacity for cruelty. That being said there are still some gender-exclusive cults within the society, most notably the Sisters of Slaughter. Domestic positions in each society also reflect this. High Elves tend to let any gender fill the role, Wood Elves simply work in harmony with nature to provide for them, and Dark Elves simply rely on slaves for any domestic needs.
  • Steampunk: The Empire, Dwarf, and Skaven are rife with it.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: The Tomb Banshee unit is described like this in the Vampire Lord sourcebook, despite their models all having gorgeous, flowing tresses.
  • Super-Power Meltdown: A risk inherent with all daemon weapons, but particularly with the Slayer of Kings, a massive broadsword in which contains the enraged essence of U'Zuhl, one of the most powerful daemons ever to have existed. It belongs to Archaon, who stole it from the Father of Dragon Ogres. It is already a horriby powerful magic blade, but unleashing the power of U'Zuhl will make it even more so. Unfortunately, U'Zuhl cannot be restrained without a detailed ritual, meaning Archaon has to deal with him unbound until the end of the battle. This is not an easy experience, and has the potential to be fatal.
  • Swarm of Rats: Skaven armies typically consist of seemingly endless swarms of humanoid rats trying to overwhelm their foes through sheer numbers.
  • Sword and Gun: The preferred fighting style of Witch Hunters, as well as some bandits and pirates, though in the game the gun is also used as a melee weapon.
  • Take That!: Nigel Stillman is a football (soccer for American tropers) enthusiast, and according to him, the Orcs are parody of English football hooligans. "The Orcs are the same in dumbness for bricks as bricks are to the football hooligans".
  • Taking You with Me:
    • Caradryan, Captain of the Phoenix Guard. Whoever kills him will be consumed by an angry ball of fire lobbed by the Elven Creator God.
    • A Tomb King's killer will typically be eaten by zombie bugs or aged to dust.
    • The Heart of Woe is a magic item designed to do this — if the wearer dies it explodes.
    • There's an Orc and Goblin item with this function — although the Goblin in question just thinks it's cool and shiny, and can't understand why da Boss keeps sending him off to take on large groups of Chaos knights by himself.
    • Vlad von Carstein was famously killed in this manner as the Grand Theogonist (the Pope) tackled him off of a tower and onto a row of spikes surrounding the fort. This was probably the third or fourth time Vlad was killed. Only this time he stayed dead, probably because his magic ring had been stolen.
  • Technicolor Wind: Invoked with the Winds of Magic, all of which are associated with a different color (Fire Is Red, Beasts are brown, Death is purple, etc.) and blow haphazardly throughout the world. Where High Magic involves using all eight in a harmonious whole, Dark Magic involves grabbing all the magical power in the area and bashing them together, making its spells more powerful but also more unpredictable and dangerous.
  • Teleportation with Drawbacks: The Seafang (Wulfrik's longship) can teleport anywhere and can lead other ships if they're chained to it, but doing so is extremely dangerous as this requires sailing through the Warp for some time and falling prey to the daemons that infest it. And unlike the starships of 40K, longships aren't enclosed, so every crewman is at risk.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Unfortunately often the case with mutants or even just poor saps who happen to be hoarking ugly, and this is a major part of what makes the Old World so crapsack. Being born with cloven hooves or a gangly hand probably doesn't make you a bad person by default, but when your neighbours in the "civilized" world keep driving you away with Torches and Pitchforks, what other option do you have besides seeking out the local Chaos cult or Beastmen tribe? You're still a monster, but at least you're a monster with friends.
  • There Is No Cure: Mutation from Chaos exposure is both irreversible, even to healing magic, and a death sentence in polite society. Some Back-Alley Doctors discreetly remove the cosmetic effects, where possible, but other effects of the mutation persist. One heretical Shallyan sect believes that the goddess can cure mutation, but haven't had any luck actually doing so.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: The Empire gets huge Chaos warhosts knocking on the doorstep every couple years. It's surprising they still make a big deal out of it. Besides that, they also have to deal with undead hordes from Sylvania, Beastmen brayherds in their forests and Orc warbands in the South, in addition to the looming threat of the Skaven underfoot.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: Almost everyone has these, and then there's the alternatives, like "A Series of Stone Slabs Tied Together With Human Tendons in the Form of a Bound Book of Eldritch Lore".
    • The Nine Books of Nagash the Necromancer, in which the first necromancer wrote out the secrets and nature of his dark art. The originals were destroyed, but there are some copies still lying around.
    • The Liber Chaotica (the Book of Chaos), a guide to all things Chaotic, with occasional referances to Warhammer 40k. As a different take on this trope, the writer was not trying to support Chaos, but was ordered by the Cult of Sigmar to compile it to help fight Chaos. Naturally the study of such subjects has a less than stellar effect on his mental health.
    • Storm of Magic describes the Black Book of Ibn Naggazar, which is such a powerful repository of dark magic that its bearer will become the most talented Death and Shadow mage on the field, capable of turning two power dice into an apocalyptic display... but, at the same time, it eats a lot of the people around him, since it automatically claims a blood sacrifice for every spell cast, and will eat its wielder too if he doesn't keep it fed. It's very popular with Necromancers, Skaven mages and goblins.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Hmmm, it's practically chronic here. Let's see now, we have Konrad von Carstein (though he probably qualified more as Too Insane To Live), pretty much all Dwarfs (who insist on fighting practically everyone just for simple honour's sake while being a Dying Race), anyone who conceives a Beastman and then drops the child off into the woods (yes we know the only other alternative is killing an innocent child, but do you really want him to go join the other murderously insane goat-headed savages in the forest and then come back with his new friends!?), anyone who sells his soul to a daemon for power... Oh wait, no, the chart-topper has to be that one Imperial lord who thought hiring the goddamned Skaven as deniable asset mercenaries and then trying to back out of the deal was a good idea.
  • Too Important to Walk: Dwarf Kings can be borne aloft by shield bearers; Slann used to have palanquins before they upgraded to hover-thrones; and Ogre tyrant Greasus Goldtooth rides in a gnoblar-borne litter. Grom the Paunch doesn't usually walk for practical reasons but rides in a chariot. On one occasion he was borne on a palanquin by goblins. According to the story, more than one of them died from the experience. And mimicking (or possibly as a mockery of) the Dwarf habit, some Skaven warlords have shield bearers carrying them into battle. The fluff suggests that they think of themselves as too important to walk.
  • Touch the Intangible: Ethereal creatures are normally impossible to harm with physical matter, but the magical energies of spells and enchanted weapons are able to wound and disperse their intangible forms and are generally the only weapons that can harm them in-game. The Monstrous Arcanum mentions that, according to folklore, weapons forged by Cold Iron can strike incorporeal enemies. The rules for the Cold Iron Blade magic weapon represent this with rules that make it more powerful against Ethereal creatures.
  • Treants:
    • The Treemen are the mightiest inhabitants of Athel Loren, formed when powerful spirits merge with living trees. Incredibly powerful and ancient, they command great respect from lesser forest spirits and the Wood Elves alike, and are rightfully feared by those outsiders who don't think they're myths or long extinct. They also inhabited Athel Loren long before the Wood Elves and are quite xenophobic, to the point that many see the Wood Elves, who have inhabited and defended the forest alongside the Treemen for millennia, as unwanted interlopers, and want them out of their woods. They've undergone a fair amount of design evolution over time; early treemen largely resemble ogre- or troll-like humanoids made out of wood, with broad heads, no necks, and long and sometimes multiple arms; 8th edition redesigns them to be more humanoid, with distinct necks and smaller heads, large clawed hands, and clusters of leafy branches growing from their necks and shoulders.
      • Older lore mentions Treemen as also inhabiting Avelorn, one of the kingdoms of the High Elven realm, itself a forested land thick with magic and ruled over by the avatar and high priestess of the elven goddess of life. Some sources further claim Avelorn to be home to the largest population of Treemen in the world, by implication eclipsing even Athel Loren's. This was however phased out as the franchise developed, and more recent sources make little to no mention of Avelorn's Treemen.
      • An early campaign riffing on Macbeth features a group of treemen led by a certain Klinty attacking McDeath's castle, which was prophesied not to fall until Klinty's Wood came to it. Being treemen, they're also exempt from the No Man of Woman Born clause.
    • Storm of Magic includes rules for using magic items to awaken forest terrain and turn it into units of living trees. The Woodwaker's Wand creates a fairly straightfoward version that acts as a mobile garrisoned building, cannot rout, and throws barrages of branches as a ranged attack. They also get additional traits depending on the specific form of forest that they were awakened from, such as regeneration for a fungus-infested forest or poisoned attacks for one crawling with venomous animals. The Living Deadwood Staff instead creates animated undead trees.
  • Trickster God:
    • Ranald, also known as "Smiling Ranald" is a god of luck, fortune, mischief and freedom. He's held in high regard among thieves, rogues, gamblers, merchants, and the poor and downtrodden looking to get rich quick and leave their sorry lot behind. There are no temples to Ranald, and many of his shrines are hidden in plain sight, sometimes even behind or amidst the shrines of other gods. It is hinted that Ranald was a mortal man at one point.
    • The Chaos God Tzeentch is a particularly twisted version of this. It says something about your setting that a God of Hope is evil.
  • Trivial Title: The game is named after Sigmar's hammer Ghal Maraz (Skull-splitter), but it sees relatively little use in the fluff, being one weapon among hundreds used by one faction among a dozen.
  • Trope Codifier: One of the most significant ones for Dark Fantasy.
  • Troperiffic: Not unlike 40k, Warhammer Fantasy exults in its clichés and makes of them something awesome.
  • Tunnel King: The Skaven have a tunneling unit. Whether it appears where it should (directly underneath the enemy's artillery units, usually) or the tunnelers screw up horribly and either collapse their tunnel, arrive somewhere on another continent or at least at a different spot on the battlefield than they should (whereupon they spend the rest of the turn bickering who held the map the wrong side up) is dependent on the roll of a die. One Gaiden Game made it a special rule that, in the "campaign" phase, they can do this on the "Risk"-Style Map as well.
  • Twins Are Special: Tyrion and Teclis, champions of the Asur, are both twins born into the line of Anerion Aenarion the First Phoenix King. The Blood of Anerion Aenarion is rare, and twins born among elves are even rarer than that, so their birth was considered especially auspicious. They fit the complementary mold. Tyrion became an expert warrior and military leader, fit and strong, charming and diplomatic, but with a cold brutality just beneath his surface. Teclis was sickly and weak, but became a singularly skilled archmage, with an intuitive grasp of magic, a genius mind, and an aloof and acid attitude, but with a sympathetic and understanding heart.
  • Un-Cancelled: GW has announced the return of the Old World setting.
  • Undignified Death: Unfortunately if you live in this world, there is an exceedingly high chance your death will be in battle, and quite likely a painful and cruel one too. But the crowner for sucky deaths has to be Gilles le Breton, who fell to an ordinary iron arrow in a fight with some Greenskins. What's worse, it was impossible for his comrades in arms to figure out who let fly the killing arrow in the fog of war, which is a big deal in Bretonnia's honorbound chivalric culture. Meaning the historical chronicles simply record the killer of a legendary knight, commander of Bretonnian armies in dozens of heroic and decisive victories, a known dragon-slayer and Founder of the Kingdom of Bretonnia... as "unknown archer". Apparently even thousands of years on the Bretonnians are still sore over it, such that there is a stigma against ranged weapons that persists even in the modern day.
  • Unequal Rites: While magic is a general source of distrust for most, some forms of magic like Shyish and Ulgu are particularly despised. You'll find few lovers of Aqshy too.
  • Unfulfilled Purpose Misery: Dwarf Slayers have resolved to die fighting against a horrible monster to atone for a crime. But since they're so good at fighting, their increasingly-impressive titles (Trollslayer, Giantslayer, Dragonslayer...) are badges of shame to them, as it means they still haven't found a foe strong enough to assure a Mutual Kill. Gotrek the Slayer is the most successful (or unsuccessful, depending on your metric) Slayer in the world, having fought dragons the length of football fields, vampires and the giant daemon servants of the most psychotic warrior god in fiction and killed them all. What a letdown.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: The climax of the Storm of Chaos campaign involved the Empire and their Bretonnian, Kislevite and High Elf allies standing against Chaos, Orcs, Skaven and Undead, all of which were also fighting each other. Incidentally, the Orc leader beat the Chaos leader in single combat and the Undead waited until everyone else was worn down, raised the dead of both armies to destroy the chaos horde, then went home. The Empire and allies comprehensively got their asses kicked and couldn't claim any success greater than "survived".
    • An old White Dwarf magazine contained an Ultimate Showdown tournament between the best special characters from every army at the time. Because there were, at the time, 15 playable armies, a Bloodthirster was added to make up the numbers, so no-one got a bye in the first round. The Bloodthirster won handily. Dice for the Dice Throne!
  • The Undead: Every type there is makes an appearance in the setting. There's two undead factions, Tomb Kings, who are action figures from The Mummy (1999), and Vampire Counts, who are very in love with Dem Bones and Night of the Living Mooks.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Nearly all of the history fluff has a lot of bias towards the main faction, since it's being told by one of them, but the Dark Elves take the cake in that their entire history according to Malerion is a load of Blatant Lies to try and make Malerion look heroic.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: The less insane Undead leaders who want to save the world from chaos by turning everyone Undead. The Chosen of Chaos Archaon apparently also believes he is saving the world from corruption.
    • The Slann believe this as part of their goal to enact the Old Ones' plan.
  • Vanilla Unit: All armies include a basic type of simple infantry units — Imperial State Troops, High Elven Spearmen, Dwarf Warriors, Orc Boyz, Ogre Bulls, Chaos Marauders, etcetera — provided with middling health, decent morale, basic swords, spears and shields, and not generally much else, in contrast to more advanced — and expensive — units provided with generally better stat lines, more advanced weaponry, and more complex abilities and attacks.
  • A Villain Named Khan:
    • Hobgoblin leaders are known as Khans.
    • A particularly old and repulsive Chaos champion was the Kurgan Maggotlord named Tamurkhan, who could possess the people who killed him and retain their abilities for a while until their bodies rotted away.
  • Vile Vulture: The Tomb Kings use mummified giant vultures known as Carrion as flying troops in their armies, noted for being cowardly in life and only going after weakened or isolated prey. While terrifying to their enemies, Nehekharan culture actually held vultures in high esteem, seeing them as psychopomps carrying off the souls of warriors to fight demons in the sky.
  • Villainous Badland, Heroic Arcadia:
    • While the Old World is hardly Arcadia, being a rough copy of the European continent and thus mostly filled with crowded cities and darksome woods, it's still a far more pleasant and peaceful place than the Chaos Wastes the Norscans come from, which in addition to being as cold and unlivable as the real-world arctic circle are filled with vicious beasts and are frequently invaded by daemons.
    • The High Elves live in Ulthuan, a large island covered by wide fields, green woods, shining fortresses and majestic mountains. The Dark Elves instead hail from Naggaroth, a dark and cold land of harsh peaks, icy wastes and monster-haunted forests dominated by the black spires of the dark elven cabals.
  • Voluntary Vassal: The halflings were never conquered militarily by the Empire, instead joining it voluntarily, and even have a vote when the time comes to elect The Emperor.
  • War God:
    • Khaine for the Elves and Khorne for Chaos. There's a sneaking suspicion that they're one and the same.
    • In the non Ax-Crazy end of the spectrum, the dwarfs have Grimnir and the humans have Sigmar, Ulric and Myrmidia. Yep, the world is so horrible that humans need three gods associated with warfare to deal with it. Gork and Mork, being orc deities, are gods of little besides fighting.
  • Warrior Monk: The Warrior Priests of Sigmar, with their big warhammers and bald heads. Ulric has his own warrior priests who swap their hammers for big axes. Outside the Empire, Bretonnian Questing Knights and Grail Knights might fit the trope, and most Chaos warriors be a villainous example.
  • Weather Manipulation: The Lore of Heavens is a Classical version of this, collecting wind, lightning, rain, and astrological phenomena like shooting stars and comets under a single umbrella of magical control.
  • We Have Reserves:
    • The Skaven. They're actually faced with mass starvation if they're not engaging in their part-time civil war, or invading the surface with countless numbers. It was stated in one of the army books that this is just as much a driving force for the Council's plans as conquering the Old World. The Skaven are the only faction that can shoot into close combat involving their own troops. With flamethrowers. They have so many that when Grey Seer Thanquol takes a Kislevite manse, he considers the odds to be against his favor. His troops outnumber the occupants at a rate of 10 to 1.
    • Orcs and Goblins see battle mostly as a numbers game, and are are the only ones that shoot their troops as ammunition. Good old Doom Diver...
    • Vampires, ironically, do not feel this way about their mortal subjects. Why send a loyal peasant to his death when you can send a dead enemy back to kill his living friends? But the Vampires do tend to treat themselves as expendable. Mostly because even if you do manage to kill them in a way that would kill a vampire and they've already lost their additional magic ring that would resurrect them even then, they still have the capacity to come back from the dust that they were reduced to via absorbing the life-force that departs when a mortal is killed in battle.
    • The forces of Chaos, the Empire, and the Bretonnians also practice this as well, to varying extents.
  • When Trees Attack: The Living Deadwood Staff, a creation of an eccentric necromancer known as the Daemon Harborist of Tilea, allows its holder to crate undead, mobile trees.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist Frederick Van Hal was priest of Morr who turned to necromancy and resurrected a large horde of zombies to defend his country Sylvania from the Skaven invasion. It worked, but went downhill from there. He was murdered by his apprentice and never sent the zombies away, his country was despised for his actions and eventually vampires took over and made Sylvania their own.
  • Wendigo: Mournghouls are fundamentally very similar to the mythical wendigo, being created when people driven mad by cold and hunger in the far north of the world turn to cannibalism to survive, only to later succumb to the elements and rise as monstrous undead creatures driven by an endless, insatiable hunger that they can never relieve.
  • Wizard Duel: The Imperial Colleges of Magic use ceremonial versions of this to determine the position of Supreme Patriarch.
  • Wizarding School: The Imperial Colleges of Magic in the Empire, the Tower of Hoeth in Ulthuan, and the Seven Convents in Naggaroth are the most obvious examples.
  • Wolf Man: Werewolves pop up from time to time. In particular, most of the barbaric Norse tribes have Chaos-warped guardians called Weres.
  • Verbal Tic: The Skaven, yes-yes. They'll kill all the men-things, green-things and else-else. Grey Seer Thanquol develops a nervous tic whenever someone mentions Gotrek and Felix around him. It is usually followed by violent bursts of green energy directed at the nearest living thing.
  • Vikings In America: The first human explorers to reach Lustria, the setting's counterpart to South and Central America, were a Norscan crew of the Bjornling tribe under the command of the adventurer Losteriksson. Skeggi, the town founded where they landed, remains the largest human settlement in Lustria in the present day.
  • Wham Episode: The End Times which has almost a hundred characters dead, and most of the Old World decimated by the war started by Nagash. With only a hand full of survivors on each faction.
  • White Is Pure: White robes are the standard uniform of the Cult of Shallya, an almost universally beloved order of pacifistic healer priests. There's a practical reason beyond connoting purity — working in hospitals, Shallyans need vestments that can be regularly bleached and boiled.
  • World Half Empty: How the world looks in fiction that takes itself seriously.
  • Wrench Wench: Frau Meikle, the first woman to be admitted to the College of Engineers created the Mechanical Horse, which shoots lightning.
  • Your Soul Is Mine!: The Necromancy spell Wind of Undeath kills any enemy unit and lets you replace them with a unit of Spirit Hosts- ghosts. The Tomb Blade steals an enemies' soul and adds their skeleton to your army (represented by adding a single skeleton to the unit the blade's weilder is attached to). The Casket of Souls for the Tomb Kings, which is esentially the Ark of the Covenant weaponized.

"Glimpse the World that Was..."

 
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Alternative Title(s): Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer Fantasy Battle

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Chaos Dwarfs

Through the flame of industry, fueled by a dark sorcery and enslaved labourers, the Dawi-Zharr build great engines of war to tear down the old world in the name of their god, Hashut.

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