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Tabletop Game / Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

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In the grim darkness of medieval Europe you will roll peasants and die of cholera. Have fun!

It is a dark time: far to the north, the gate of chaos has opened once more. Archaon, Lord of End Times, had waged his insane war on the civilized world, although he was beaten back at the last moment, Chaos is still prevalent throughout the land: Beasts ravage the countryside, Mutation and Insanity are rife. Heroes are needed, heroes who will beat back the darkness, heroes the like of which who have better things to do than to save inbred, misbegotten peasants like these.

So, you lot will have to do. May the lords of ruination spare your souls...

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is a bleakly humorous Tabletop RPG set in the Dark Fantasy Crapsack World of Warhammer Fantasy Battle.

WFRP was originally published in 1986 as a single-volume rule-book, and numerous source and campaign volumes followed. Games Workshop's core business, however, is in the sale of miniatures and other battle-game periphera, and roleplaying publishing has never been as profitable. WFRP was passed around various publishing subsidiaries before being mothballed in 1992.

Independent publisher Hogshead obtained the rights to publish WFRP in 1995, though GW retained editorial control to ensure any original material remained true to their canon. Hogshead reverted the license to GW in 2002 when they came under new ownership, and in 2005 Games Workshop published a 2nd edition of the rules developed by outside developer Green Ronin. In 2009, after getting the license, Fantasy Flight Games — the publishers of Dark Heresy and the Rogue Trader RPG, which use variations in the 2nd edition rules — put out a somewhat controversial 3rd edition; support for that ended in 2014. In May 2017 it was announced that a 4th edition of the game would be released by Cubicle 7 Entertainment; the core rulebooks will be released in June (PDF) or July (hardcover) of 2018.


The original rulebook was often praised for its remarkably bug/exploit-free game engine. The game has been praised for its immersive realism, but equally criticized for forcing players to roleplay the boring periods between quests as well as the exciting adventures themselves.

Part Dungeons & Dragons, part Paranoia, part Call of Cthulhu, WFRP shares in its parent setting's bleakness. A solidly Grey vs Black setting, WFRP is uncompromising in its grimness; instead of simply choosing a race and a class, you are advised to roll a dice for a race and a "career," which include heroic backgrounds like rat catchers, rag pickers, thugs for hire and tax collectors. After all, life isn't fair, and in Warhammer, it's downright sadistic.

The setting itself is very cynical for a high fantasy, incorporating many low fantasy elements. The Old World is Europe in the throes of the Renaissance; new civilized cities have begun to rise, throwing up whole new criminal underworlds. Racketeers and drug lords abound, indeed the concept that things like alcohol and drugs can be addictive is yet to be thought of, new 'civilized' physicians cut into patient's skulls looking for 'unclean humours' that plague them. The insane are hounded, out of the fear that daemons have touched them.


This being Warhammer, they probably have. The forces of Chaos are readying their legions to finally take over the world, doom stalks the countryside. But doom has always stalked the countryside, the people of the Old World are fighting a losing battle to stop it from stalking their very homes; indeed many have given up and thrown in their lot with cults dedicated to chaos.

The world stands at the brink of annihilation. True, virtuous heroes are needed to turn back the tide of darkness.

Until such people can be found, your PCs will have to do...

This tabletop RPG provides examples of:

NOTE: all the tropes of WFRP's parent setting, Warhammer, apply here as well.

  • Action Survivor: Careers range from gun-slinging highwaymen, assassins, wizards tapping into the forces of creation and plate-armoured knights, to farmers, taxmen, university students and common thieves. Your enemies include (among other things) sanity-blasting daemons, perverse cults worshipping those daemons, flesh-eating beastmen, Magitek-armed Rat Men, and The Undead. If you don't start out as a combat- or magic-focused career, you are essentially this trope by default in the average campaign.
  • All Swords Are the Same: Taken Up to Eleven. The majority of typical one-handed weapons - be they swords, axes, maces or whatever - are lumped together as "hand weapons" with no statistical differences whatsoever. Typical two-handed weapons like greatswords and mauls are similarly blanketed as "great weapons".
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Interestingly subverted with the Norscans. While the tribes of Norsca's northern reaches (closer to the corrupting influence of the Chaos Wastes) are certainly villainous, the tribes closer to the Empire are mellow enough that honest trade with Kislev and Marienburg is frequent. In Marienburg particularly, having rugged northmen as bodyguards is said to be rather fashionable among the upper classes, particularly with the noblewomen.
  • Annoying Arrows: Averted. An arrow is a damage 3 hit, same as an average joe making a swing at you with a sword, only much harder to avoid.
    • Actually this was a rather serious flaw at least in the first edition of the game. The problem was that, as the player characters advance, their melee attacks got more powerful and more accurate and their opponents got tougher. Their arrows, on the other hand, got more accurate but remained damage 3 no matter how good an archer the character was. So arrows were powerful against your average thug, goblin or newbie adventurer, but almost useless against a knight, chaos warrior or orc warlord.
    • Which is precisely how missiles behave in real world. If you are able to achieve maximal pull of a bow, it won't get better if you get stronger. On the other hand, the higher your skill in either melee or shooting, the higher the chance of gaining an additional damage that with a bit of luck may still One-Hit Kill anything that is not immune to normal weapons. Furthermore, in missile combat uses a Sudden Death Rule that is, as a rule of thumb, more deadly that normal Critical Hit rules.
    • In 4th edition bows now scale in damage as your character's strength increases, while guns and crossbows do not. That said, the amount of strength needed for an average adventurer with a bow to match the most basic gun is extreme (strength bonus 6 or higher).
  • Anti-Villain: Karitamen the Death Scarab, the Big Bad of the 2nd edition adventure Lure of the Lich Lord. A sidebar called "Evil vs Undead" lampshades this, pointing out that he is ultimately a complex person with multiple motivations and virtues as well as vices, most of whom he would hold even if he wasn't a millennia-old Tomb King. The final encounter between Karitamen and the player characters is left up to the GM and can be solved nonviolently, with the book only pointing out that certain actions (like defacing his tomb or killing his best friend) will make him respond appropriately.
  • Apothecary Alligator: In the 1st edition adventure, The Dying of the Light, the characters meet Dr Balthazar, a dwarf alchemist from the University of Nuln. The cart he is travelling in is loaded with the paraphernalia of his alchemical studies including a stuffed alligator.
  • Armour Is Useless: It most definitively is not, but fat chance you'll ever see any besides (if you're lucky) your starting leather skullcap and that rusty piece of moth-ridden chainmail you nabbed off that bandit.
    • In the first edition it was. According to the rules, chainmail or plate armour give 1 Armour Point, which stacks with Toughness (natural resilience) that ranges between 2 and 4 for an average human. This means that an average guy in plate armor is just as resilient as a tough warrior naked. Leather armour was useless against anything but lightest attacks (think fisticuffs).
      • Shields in 1st edition were pretty useful, though. They protected a character's entire body, and were lighter than a chainmail shirt, which offered the same protection to only the torso, but was heavier than the shield.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Most of the third-tier careers in 2nd edition — especially those that require full plate mail or, hell, anything costing over 100 Gold Coins as a trapping to enter. The highest level wizard career requires 6000 GC worth of grimoires to enter.
    • In Third Edition, Ulthuan Scale Armour qualifies: it looks really cool, but costs 1 more gold and provides 1 less armour then a breastplate, all for a negligible encumbrance reduction.
  • Artifact of Doom: Everything in the Tome of Corruption supplement for 2nd edition. Everything!
  • Badass Bookworm: Magister Oric of Wurtbad, author of Perilous Beasts: A Study of Creatures Fair and Foul, the in-universe equivalent of the Old World Bestiary splatbook for 2nd edition. In his efforts to get as much information for his bestiary as possible, he actually confronted pretty much every sentient creature in his list and spoke to them face to face. And what's more, in every case, he lived to tell the tale — by the time he published his book, he had been working on it for 50 years and only lost his hand in the process. Which, considering he went face to face with every notable creature haunting the Old World, is highly impressive. He even managed to diplomatically talk to beings like Daemons, Dragon Ogres, Chaos worshippers (including full-fledged champions), Skaven (a Clan Eshin "scholar" actually provides information on poisoning many of the creatures mentioned in the book) and Dark Elves.
    • In fact, a note at the end indicates the book got banned because the editor thought he had just stolen some old elven bestiary text and made every encounter in it up, because even conceiving of the alternative — that he really did it all — would be heretical at best.
  • Barbarian Hero: If you have the Tome of Corruption and are playing the second edition rules, you can be this trope as a Norscan or, to a far lesser extent, as a Kurgan or Hung.
  • Being Evil Sucks: In 2nd Edition, its entirely possible to play the ultimate Villain Protagonist and become a Warrior of Chaos or Chaos Sorcerer, climbing your way up the ranks with the goal of eventually becoming a Daemon Prince. Unfortunately the gods are extremely fickle, and when you get their attention they're just as likely to slap you with more debilitating mutations as they are to reward you with a cool daemonic weapon. If the Eye of the Gods finally deigns to judge your worth and you have more mutations than Gifts of Chaos at the time, you'll be deemed a failure and transformed into a Chaos Spawn.
  • Beneath Notice: An actual Talent in 4th ed. Much like the trope, it makes people of a higher social status than you ignore your presence as long as you're not acting in a way that draws attention to yourself. Furthermore such characters will find you an unworthy opponent and refuse to use bonuses when attacking or wounding you.
  • Black Comedy: A lot of it all around. For example, the Bestiary in Second Edition has a Skaven assassin as one of its regular "contributors", whose only comments on the monsters are the prescribed poisons used by his Clan Eshin for assassinating them. Including "arsenic" for his own species.
  • Black Knight:
    • The Chaos Warrior career chain in the Second Edition WHFRP game was this at its purest. The second rank of it is even called a Chaos Knight.
    • Also from Second Edition, the Black Guard and Knight of the Raven careers serve as heroic examples. Both are black-armored knightly orders devoted to Morr, the god of death. The Black Guards are sentries who protect large cemeteries and temples of Morr from intruders who would defile the crypts and gravesites, such as tomb-robbers and necromancers. The Knights of the Raven belong to a militant sub-sect of the cult, and instead take the more proactive role of hunting down vampires and other undead monsters. Both groups specialize in ranged weaponry to counter the superior close-combat power of the undead, which most conventional knights would dismiss as a craven tactic.
  • Black Magic: The Dark Lores, chiefly Chaos and Necromancy. Where the conventional arcane lores involve specializing in the powers of a particular Wind of Magic, such as aqshy or ulgu, Dark Lores utilize a discordant, haphazard mix of the Winds known formally as dhar. Dhar is inherently corrupt, and comes with a risk of developing a variety of Red Right Hands when misused, which inevitably drives most users insane. Practitioners of the Dark Lores are hunted down and killed wherever they are found, either by the witchhunters or the Colleges of Magic (who see the "black magisters" as a dire threat to both the world and the reputations of better wizards).
  • Body Horror: Chaos corrupts; what drives the point home better than waking up one day with a face growing out of your armpit? When fighting in a Warpstone-tainted environment, don't breathe in.
    • Some of the mutation results are downright disturbing, and nigh impossible to roleplay seriously:
    While you sleep, your genitals decide to leave you and run off north to the realm of Chaos, in their place you are granted a toothed orifice which stage whispers lewd suggestions at inappropriate moments.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The main campaign of adventures published for the first edition, The Enemy Within, pretty clearly cannot have taken place as written in the world described by the second and third editions. In Empire in Flames, Emperor Karl Franz and Boris Todbringer are both murdered on separate occasions; Heinrich Todbringer becomes the new emperor, is revealed as the heir of Sigmar, and marries Emmanuelle von Liebewitz. None of this happened according to the second edition...
  • Character Alignment: In-Universe. Only present in the First Edition of the game. While broadly similar to their D&D equivalents, there were some differences. The options were:
    • Chaotic: Basically inhuman evil. Someone who has literally shed their humanity in pursuit of other goals, be they magical power, physical power, eternal life, daemonhood, or just causing mayhem. Similar to Chaotic Evil in D&D.
    • Evil: Nasty sorts fully prepared to throw others under the bus, use extreme torture etc., but still have human motivations, and don't cross into Omnicidal Maniac territory. Equivalent to Neutral Evil or Lawful Evil in D&D.
    • Neutral: Most "normal" people — albeit with some Deliberate Values Dissonance due to the setting. Mostly care about themselves, but usually willing to oppose extremes of cruelty etc. Equivalent to True Neutral or Chaotic Neutral in D&D.
    • Good: Altruistic and prefer justice over law, and generally don't believe in Pay Evil unto Evil. D&D equivalent would be Chaotic Good, Neutral Good, or Lawful Good (as long as the "Lawful" does not take precedence over the "Good").
    • Lawful: If you go too far down the Good Is Not Nice road, you end up here. These people believe in structure, permanence and order above all else. They are sworn enemies of Chaos, and are willing to go to great lengths to oppose it, and but will also scoff at Neutral or even Good characters for being "too soft" or "lacking self-control". D&D equivalent would be Lawful Neutral.
  • Charm Person: In The Thousand Thrones, the plot revolves around a young boy named Karl, who was born as a mutant with an particularly potent example of this power. Anyone who hears his voice — even if its only a single unassuming word — needs to pass a difficult Will Power test or become instantly and fanatically loyal to him. Within a short span of time he gathers a veritable army of thralls, who hold him up as the true reincarnation of Sigmar. Karl himself isn't remotely evil, however; he's just a normal boy with a superpower he can't actually control, and his followers are clearly shown to be projecting their own hopes and dreams onto his presence.
  • Chef of Iron: Second edition's "Realms of Sorcery" book gives us two spells in the Lore of Fire that lend themselves to magical cooking. Flashcook causes food to be instantly cooked to the caster's content or causes water to instantly boil; while Taste of Fire turns food incredibly spicy, grants alcoholic effects to non-alcoholic drinks, and makes already-alcoholic drinks more so. Given that the Lore of Fire is easily the most combat-focused lore in the game, any Bright Wizard who knows these two spells qualifies as this trope.
  • Character Level: Instead of gaining levels of 'wizard' or 'warrior', characters instead start with a career and a set of skills from that career. They can then advance their skills and stats in a way restricted by their current career (for example, servants can increase their agility, but not their leadership). In 1st, 2nd and 3rd edition finishing a career (having completed all available advances for that career) let you switch to a new career, while in 4th edition careers have tiers (for example: The 'soldier' career goes recruit -> soldier -> sergeant -> officer) where unlocking tiers gives you access to new advances (much like in Dark Heresy's first edition).
  • Competitive Balance: Some careers are blatantly better than others, though at different roles, and there are usually mitigating factors somewhere down the line even for peasants and servants. For your average combat-centric campaign, however, getting about 3/4ths of the starting careers will shaft you.
    • Even in Third Edition (which is a lot more player friendly) skills are extremely important, and getting a career that doesn't start with combat skills in a combat-heavy campaign means you probably won't live long enough to learn those skills... which you would have to spend more experience to get.
  • Critical Hit: In three general varieties:
    • "Ulric's Fury!" from 1st-3rd edition, in which you roll a natural 10 on a weapon's damage roll. If you succeed a Weapon Skill test, you get to roll another 1d10 and add the result to the first roll. If you roll another 10 after that, you get to roll another dice without a test, and another, and another... With some luck, Ulric's Fury can be a dramatic One-Hit Kill, wiping out a target's wounds and crossing directly into a huge Critical Hit Value.
    • There's also a page of critical hit effects once you deal damage beyond 0 wounds — and some fan-made expanded ones, including an epic 16+ page version written by a medical professional — with quite a few eye-watering effects that make Dark Heresy's tables look like a walk in the park by comparison. The First Edition's second-worst Critical Hit on the leg, for example, reads as follows:
    Your blow destroys your opponent's hip joint almost totally — the leg hangs limply, a mass of tattered and pulpy flesh with protruding fragments of bone. By chance, one of the bone splinters has severed a major artery, and after a fraction of a second your opponent collapses, with blood pouring out from the ruined hip. Death from shock and blood loss is almost instantaneous.
    • In 4th ed, critical hits happen when you succeed at a test in combat by rolling doubles (so 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, etc). When this happens you immediately inflict a critical wound on your opponent, no matter how injured or uninjured they may currently be. Critical hits can even occur while you're parrying an opponent's blow, making melee combat much more chaotic and deadly for both sides.
  • Critical Failure:
    • 1st-3rd editions had critical failures occur during spell casting by rolling doubles on your spell die, or with certain unstable weapons when rolling a 96-100 on your attack rolls. Results may summon Daemons of Chaos, render you impotent, render you and your party and your distant relatives impotent, or merely give you an insanity point. Guns tend to simply blow up.
    • In 4th edition, fumbles are the counterpart of critical hits and occur when you roll doubles but don't succeed on your test. Because combat rolls are opposed rolls, this means you can both fumble and win a round a combat at the same time as long as your opponent rolls even worse, leading to situations like your slayer beheading that enemy goblin but accidentally getting his axe stuck in his own leg (or in the back of the party elf) in the process.
  • Cult: The old world is polytheistic, all its major gods command a cult to do their bidding. And their bidding is often very bloody; gods in Warhammer are not moral pillars or Anthropomorphic Personifications but tyrannical masters who will strike you down if you don't give them their due. As such, most of the important people of the empire belong to (often rival) cults, who for all their mutual dislike, hate chaos, foreigners and elves more.
  • Dashing Hispanic: The Estalian Diestro career from the second edition of the game. Estalia is the setting's Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Spain and the Diestro is described as a master swordsman (or woman). Their beginning possessions include not simply a rapier, but a set of fine clothes and a bottle of cologne or perfume!
  • Deadpan Snarker: Never mind characters and NPCs, the manuals can get in on the snark. For instance, the sum total of the "roleplay hints" for Human characters:
    You should know how to play one of these.
  • Death Seeker: Yes, flagellants and Dwarf slayers are playable in all four editions, and yes, you are expected to act like it if you do. In 2nd edition, the 'career choice' for a slayer went troll slayer -> giant slayer -> daemon slayer -> glorious death.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Quite a lot of it, especially in the Knights of the Grail supplement concerning the Kingdom of Bretonnia.
    • Sadly true to the medieval period, women in Bretonnia are forbidden from owning property or managing their own affairs. If you want to play as a female adventurer in Bretonnia, you might have to pretend to be a man.
    • Xenophobia is seen as a virtue, and openly espousing tolerance is viewed with deep suspicion. Justified because the ever-present danger of Chaos keeps everyone on their toes.
    • People with mental disorders are treated with revulsion and suspicion, tolerated only if their condition invokes either humour or pity. Many people believe that insanity is contagious and Witch Hunters have no tolerance for those with mental disorders and put most they encounter to the flame or sword - which is ironic as many of them suffer paranoid delusions so severe that they'd be institutionalized themselves if they lived in our world.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Averted. If your characters encounter things like Greater Daemons or Ancient Dragons, then your characters will almost certainly die.
    • The Monster manual even states that these monsters are to be used for cutscenes.
    The Greater Daemons of Chaos are living symbols of the futility of fighting Chaos. Their might is unmatched. Their threat is limitless. Each and every one of these foul beings have the power to bring low the greatest of mortal heroes.
    • In the first two editions at least it was just about possible for a party of powerful adventurers (i.e. those who had an entire campaign behind them) to take out a lone Greater Daemon. The last adventure in the 1st edition Enemy Within campaign pits the adventurers against a weakened Greater Daemon at the very end of the adventure. Can you smell those Fate Points burning up?
    • Note that this is a prerequisite for entering the "Daemon Slayer" career.
    • If you are curious — in the first edition, Greater Demons [sic] were statted... with 90 to 100% in every applicable stat.
  • Dodge the Bullet: In 1st-3rd edition you were allowed to dodge, but not parry, any incoming ranged attacks. As of 4th edition this is no longer possible unless your opponent is at point blank range (usually within 5 squares or less).
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The original First Edition rulebook made no mention of Daemons, instead featuring Demons; and all the gods have demon followers, not just the Chaos Gods (which yes means it is very possible to have Good and Lawful demons.) Additionally Sigmar is mentioned briefly as a regional "lesser deity" and protector of the Imperial Family, implying he is a rather minor god. First Edition as a whole is this for anyone who started playing Warhammer Fantasy at any period after the release of Warhammer's 5th Edition.
    • In addition, some of the backgrounds for certain countries and regions have undergone major changes — e.g. Sylvania wasn't run by vampires, Bretonnia was known for its decadent nobility and had a technology level equivalent to the Empire, Albion was a civilized land, the Hobgoblins weren't allied with Chaos Dwarfs, etc.
    • The Fimir, a minor, rarely-mentioned race in the later editions of Warhammer, are featured prominently — they get a whole page of background plus a full-page illustration.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: The Dark Lores (Chaos and Necromancy) have a 10% risk of adding a Red Right Hand to your character's appearance or psyche whenever they trigger Tzeentch's Curse. Chaos in particular also deals in far more disfiguring mutations, though you don't necessarily have to be evil to be affected.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Characters, NPCs and monsters aligned with Chaos tend to be riddled with hideous supernatural mutations, and in 2nd Edition many of the Gifts of Chaos bestowed upon PCs involve developing the physical aspects of daemons, such as having your face replaced with that of a bloodletter. Furthermore, 'mutant' is counted as its own race, and the Turnskin mutation outright transforms you into a beastman instead. Finally, if you develop more of these mutations than your body can withstand, you'll degrade into a mindless Chaos Spawn, a freakish nightmare that can only barely be recognized as having once been human. Being Evil Sucks.
  • Evil Overlord: In Second Edition, the Exalted Champion of Chaos, Cataclyst and Vampire Lord careers are essentially this, and the Vampire Lord has the required 'trappings' to back it up:
    Army of the Undead, Ambition beyond Possibility, Control over the Fate of Kings and Empires, 2d10 Fanatical Devotees, Enormous Lair (Palace, Castle, Labyrinth, Stronghold, Tower, etc.), 3 Magical Items, Pride beyond Hubris, Wealth beyond Avarice.
  • Evil Tainted the Place: The Winds of Magic can be attracted by extensive use of certain kinds of magic in the mortal world, which means areas that were once the site of Chaotic rituals or the lairs of necromancers tend to have a persistent aura of dhar (Black Magic), which only makes these places more attractive to evil sorcerers.
    • Blight, a spell from the Lore of Nagash in second edition, allows a necromancer to suck the life and vitality out of a full square mile of landscape. Water becomes poisonous, plants wither, animals will instinctively avoid the place, and the region will quickly develop a reputation for being haunted. This lasts until a jade wizard comes along with the Cure Blight spell to purify the area.
    • Rebirth In Blood, a second edition Ritual Magic that can resurrect vampires, must be performed on "accursed land" where a great tragedy took place - This could be a battlefield that was witness to a brutal slaughter, a village where everyone died of plague or turned to cannibalism, or the ruined city of Mordheim.
  • Exact Words: In the first edition Realms of Sorcery had Erik's Sword of Confusion:
    This was made for Erik the Drunkard, a notorious Norscan mercenary. While in his cups he foolishly commissioned a wizard to make him a sword that could "cut through things like butter." The wizard was as good as his word. Against normal targets, the sword has Damage -3, but it cuts through dairy products with the efficiency of a fine cheesewire. The wizard who made the sword was later found drowned in a vat of yoghurt.
  • Fantastic Racism: All over the place. Dwarfs despise all elves (to the degree they gain the talent Animosity (elves) in 4th edition) and distrust halflings, high elves look down on dwarfs and wood elves and consider humans useful but dangerous, wood elves look down on dwarfs and high elves (and Athel Loren and Laurelorn wood elves consider each other's approaches foolish) and consider humans dangerous, humans consider elves odd outlanders, and that's not going into their plain old regular racism against humans of other nations and cultures... The only playable race to avoid this (on both ends) are the halflings, and that's mostly because everyone else considers them Beneath Notice.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Guns are available, but since they're expensive, dangerous to the user and not that much more efficient than bows and arrows, they get overlooked.
    • Fluff-wise, Bretonnia has it in an interesting way. There Ain't No Rule forbidding guns, but there is a blanket ban on crossbows, which hasn't been updated after black-powder weapons were introduced. Most people there consider the current interpretation (that guns are vaguely similar to and fill the same battlefield niche as crossbows, and therefore count as such) to be in the spirit of the law, but the fathers of the port of L'Anguille are actively lobbying for a stricter interpretation or outright amendment to the law, so they can upgrade the port's defenses with cannon. Note that Bretonnia's actual navy already employs cannons, because they technically don't operate on Bretonnian soil.
  • Fate Worse than Death: There are quite a few, most involving Chaos.
    • Gain more mutations than your body can stand (or roll up a specific mutation) and you permanently devolve into a hideous, mindless nightmare of flesh called a Chaos Spawn. Have fun rolling up a new character while your party struggles to fight off what remains of your previous one.
    • There are several instances (such as a spectacularly bad bout of Tzeentch's Curse, reckless use of teleportation powers, or displeasing the Chaos Gods should you serve them) where a character is simply plucked from reality and tossed into the Realm of Chaos to be the plaything of daemons for eternity.
    • In The Dying of the Light, the Fimir have a magical testing ground where their warriors can prove they're worthy of being possessed by Daemons (they consider this an honour). The combats take place on a plane of magical glass. Those who fall slip right through the glass and become trapped below ground like flies in amber. Not all of them are dead and it's implied they will remain alive, but trapped -- forever.
    • The titular villain from Castle Drachenfels has devised many different ways of keeping people alive, but tormented forever in his dungeons. One particularly cruel example is a courtesan whom Drachenfels transformed into an undead skeleton, but still believes she's a beautiful Femme Fatale.
  • Gang Bangers:
    • A player can be one, if they so chose. Careers such as Racketeer and Thug explicitly serve as muscle for criminal gangs.
    • The 2nd Ed. sourcebook Shades of Empire has a chapter that goes into detail about various street gangs in Altdorf's port district, with particular focus on a trio of influential gangs referred to collectively as the "Dockers". As the name suggests, they originated from work gangs who formed fraternities and informal unions, and frequently get involved in bloody turf wars with each-other.
  • Global Currency: Averted, in a deviation from typical Tabletop Games of this kind. Each nation (and the elves and dwarves) have their own monetary unit, which have exchange rates. Most adventures take place inside the Empire, however, where their currency is generally the only found legal tender.
  • Gold–Silver–Copper Standard: The Empire has this system of currency, albeit based on Old British Money: 12 copper pennies to the silver shilling, 20 silver shillings to the gold crown. Confusing as hell for anyone who grew up with decimalized money (basically everyone who isn't British or Irish and born before the mid-'60s).
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The 'dramatic injury' head injury result in 4th ed will leave your character with one of these: So impressive, in fact, that it makes social rolls more successful if the scar would be relevant to your attempt (like telling the story of how you got it, as an example).
  • A Good Way to Die: Human characters in 4th ed all begin with the "Doomed!" talent, which must be filled in by the player during character creation with the way in which that character has been foreseen to die. If the character (somehow) manages to die in exactly that fashion, that player's next character gains half the dead character's totally accrued XP as a bonus upon creation.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The three-part Paths of the Damned campaign in 2nd edition revolves around the players' efforts to find and destroy three Soul Jars containing the essence of a powerful Greater Daemon of Khorne.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Archaon the Everchosen is portrayed as this in second edition, which is nominally set in the immediate aftermath of the Storm of Chaos. Although his armies were routed at Middenheim, much of the Empire's northeast — particularly Ostland and Hochland — have been totally sacked by the armies of Chaos. Stragglers from Archaon's hordes infest the wilderness, while beastmen herds and Chaos cults galvanized by the recent warfare do everything they can to sabotage the reeling Empire and tip the scales back in Archaon's favor, contributing to the Adventure-Friendly World.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told:
    • The Rat Catchers are the first line of defense against evil ratmen, the Skaven, who are plotting to conquer the world. They brave the medieval sewers, full of diseases and instant death, armed with little more than clubs and a small (but vicious) dog, all for below minimum wage. They've learnt long ago to not mention it to the people on the surface, on fear of ridicule. Most thankless job ever.
    • Used rather egregiously at the end of the second-edition campaign Terror in Talabheim: After leading a heroic resistance effort to liberate the city from the occupying Skaven, the player characters are quickly shooed out of town, and the leaders of the city work to cover up the entire conflict so life can go back to normal. A subversion is also present; unknown to everyone, a small commemorative statue depicting the party is erected deep within the local Temple to Myrmidia, with a plaque that simply reads "We remember".
  • Groin Attack: You can aim for the crotch, which does extra damage. In the 2nd edition, the Bretonnia sourcebook mentions the existence of Bretonnian Truffle Hounds, monstrous dogs that are experts on sniffing out truffles. If they eat any of the truffles they find, though, they become psychotically horny and territorial, immediately attacking anything nearby with a Y-chromosome (regardless of species) and... removing their ability to compete, shall we say? Bretonnian truffle hunters either wear metal plates over their nether regions and become very good at restraining their dogs quickly, or learn to get a day job as a falsetto singer.
  • The Grotesque: Long term contact with Chaos or Warpstone often induces mutations in player characters. Regardless of whether you choose to fight against or embrace the corruption eventually you will lose your mind. If you're playing Second Edition and you're a Norscan with a mutation, congratulations! You can start as a badass Chaos Marauder, and can later become a Warrior of Chaos! And it's all downhill from there.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Zigzagged. Guns are extremely deadly if they hit — which reflects in their extremely high purchase price. Barring rolling up a soldier, your average PC will be lucky if he ever sees one. However, the operative words are if they hit. The Old World being the equivalent of 16th-century Europe, guns are not well noted for their accuracy or reliability (with the exception of Hochland Long Rifles, which are bloody expensive even for firearms).
    • Guns were pretty weak in the first edition of the game (except the ones who could hit multiple targets with one shot, such as the Blunderbuss).
  • He Knows Too Much: Ratcatchers are noted to live dangerous lives in the Old World because the Skaven make it a priority to get rid of anyone who starts talking too loudly about the 'bigger rats'. Many ratcatchers actively suppress information on Skaven to avoid this.
  • Horny Vikings: The Norscans, who are a race of superhuman Chaos Vikings, make an appearance as a playable race in the Tome of Corruption supplement in the 2nd edition, and as main antagonists in the Crimson Rain adventure for the third edition Liber Carnagia rulebook. In the latter, a Norse warband dedicated to Khorne and led by a Chaos Champion known as Olaf Warhound raid the Nordland city of Neues Emskrank in search of a daemon weapon of Khorne.
    • Vignar, an Aesling Chaos Lord of Khorne present in the Thousand Thrones campaign supplement for the second edition of WHFRP was an extreme example of this trope as well as the second most lethal enemy in the campaign, second only to the overall villain of that story.
  • Immortals Fear Death: In second edition, Vampires need to test for Insanity Point gain if they suffer damage from any of their many possible weaknesses, the most universal being fire, sunlight, silver and blessed weaponry.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Mannfred Von Carstein takes a special delight in flaying the tongues of anyone who pronounces "Von Carstein" to rhyme with "seen".
  • Joke Skills: Some NPCs have unique skills such as Sweep Corridors, Wave To Crowds, Walkabout or Spaghetti Eating.
  • Knight In Shining Armour: The Grail Knight career. Knight of a knightly order would also count, but the "shining armour" part may be seen as somewhat arguable.
  • La Résistance: The Second Ed. campaign Terror in Talabheim features a large-scale invasion and occupation of the city by a skaven army partway through the story. The player characters end up spending the rest of the campaign as part of an underground resistance movement against the ratmen.
  • Leave Behind a Pistol: Well, a dagger, but the sentiment and end result are the same. In one of the fluff pieces, a Witch Hunter finds out his old friend, a Sigmar-Priest, is in fact a secret Chaos cultist. Instead of going through the usual process of Burn the Witch!, he offers him a chance to kill himself.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Halflings have miserable movement speed, penalties to Strength, Toughness and Weapon Skill, and the lowest amount of wounds amongst all the races. However, they are completely immune to mutations and can essentially juggle pieces of unrefined Warpstone without problems. They also have a surprising amount of warrior-able classes as possible starting careers. While one won't look as imposing as that Shieldbreaker or elven warrior, a halfling with an arquebus or a crossbow will pull their weight.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Generally averted. Magic powers don't grow in potency and the spells you get are about in line with the average damage output of most other classes at the same experience amount. And while warriors may be limited to 'hit stuff with sword' as opposed to 'call down lightning from the heavens', 'hit stuff with sword' won't end up with the warrior causing accidental self-sterilization, permanent insanity, strange weather phenomena, witch-signs, curdling the party ale, summoning demons, or being treated to a rousing game of Burn the Witch! by the party priest of Sigmar and/or anyone else within earshot.
    • Partially due to "Blind Idiot" Translation equivalent of unit conversion. Many high-level spells were taken directly from Warhammer Fantasy Battle with inches changed to meters and miniatures changed to targets. In WFB, top-level combat spell was an equivalent of cannon hit or arrow barrage at half a mile (one miniature represented 10 soldiers or so). In WFRP the same spell is roughly equivalent of blunderbuss shot at 50 meters. Still useful, but hardly impressive. In Second Edition spells are much more deadly. For both target and caster though...
      • In Second Edition, magicians got such lovely, deadly spells as instant death, removing fate points, healing all damage of all sorts done to a character (including insanity and disease) or creating a huge fire that will not stop burning until everything within range is dead. A single wizard can only learn one of these, but it certainly is a much greater damage potential than anything any close combat character can dish out.
  • Live-Action Escort Mission: The episodic scenario book The Dying of the Light turns into an escort mission — with a supernaturally annoying escortee — for most of its second half.
  • Loan Shark: "I needed money for some new chainmail so that I could survive the run through Blackfire Pass, so I took a loan from Bruno Ballcrusher back in Marienburg. Orcs massacred the caravan and now I'm impotent and live in a cell with a pedophile, a serial rapist and an elf."
  • Luck Manipulation Mechanic: Fate Points grant you a daily allotment of 'fortune points', which can be used to re-roll your dice.
  • With A Little Luck My Shield Will Allow Me To Parry This And Survive Another Round
  • Made of Plasticine: Not as bad as Dark Heresy due to the lower power levels, but there is some nasty stuff on the critical hit tables with the highest level cleaving the offending body part right off/right in two.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Constant Drachenfels, an incredibly ancient and evil sorcerer, is the most prominent example. He uses it to hide his Nightmare Face.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Partially. The Empire is in the 16th century technology-wise, and the printing press and gunpowder (as well as the magic used for Mundane Utility) has significantly changed a lot of things in its cities, but past the city walls the peasants and serfs still haven't benefited from much social change over the last few centuries. Played entirely straight by adventures set in Bretonnia, where an entrenched noble class actively works to keep the entire country in Medieval Stasis and Fantasy Gun Control is actively enforced on Bretonnian soil.
  • Medieval Stasis: Bretonnia's sourcebook goes into a lot of things that have conspired to keep the country in effective technological and societal stasis since its founding several centuries ago — most of which boil down to 'The nobles have all the power and they want to keep it that way'. Add in the way the Cult of the Lady and reverence for Gilles le Breton and his Grail Companions actively encourage said noble class to recapture his glorious past and, well...
    • It's also all but outright stated that their religion is all a big sham cooked up the neighbouring Wood Elves of Athel Loren so they can use the kingdom as a buffer state, and they suppress any industry the Bretonnians try to get going too.
  • Minion Master: The Dark Lores of Chaos and Necromancy both feature spells that create minions for combat — Necromancy can reanimate corpses as zombies, while Chaos summons daemons. Generally, zombies are weak and mindless but can be mass-produced (a necromancer can reanimate and control one corpse for every point of Will Power he has, to the game's cap of 100), while daemons are much stronger but very risky (a wizard must not only succeed in casting the spell itself, but must also succeed a Will Power test or the daemon(s) will ignore the summoner and do whatever they want. This is never a good thing).
  • Multi-Melee Master: Taken Up to Eleven by the Judicial Champion advanced career from 2nd edition. Judicial Champion has possession of and proficiency with at least six high-quality melee weapons as a prerequisite. This is because Judicial Champions are the representatives of the court in an Trial by Combat, and are expected to duel the defendant with the weapon of his or her choice.
  • Mutants:
    • The presence of Moorcock-inspired Chaos mutants is a feature that set Warhammer apart from many other fantasy wargame/role-playing systems — and here, they're given all the gory detail they deserve. Being a mutant means everything from being a complete cripple, to merely being an ugly human, to becoming a freak powerful enough to put most X-Men to shame, and everything in between.
    • Players can develop mutations in a number of ways, such as if they tamper with magic, mishandle the local Green Rocks, or get slapped in the face with chaotic energies. Mutating too often and too quickly (or having one of your characteristics depleted to zero by penalty-inducing mutations) will cause you to spontaneously transform into a mindless Chaos Spawn. Furthermore, while some mutations have clear advantages, they're also very un-subtle, and the people of the Empire have learned to kill mutants on sight.
  • Nice Hat: The Witch Hunters wear very distinctive hats when they want to be seen. In fact, even seeing someone wearing that hat unexpectedly is enough to force a roll for Save versus Fear.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The Lure of the Lich Lord module for 2nd edition concerns a small patch of the Border Princes fought over by three would-be kings, who fit these archetypes. Haflok is a templar of Sigmar and just wants to keep people safe from greenskins and chaos, becoming a ruler mostly by accident. Levellian is a self-interested control freak who wants to be king to satisfy his own ego and lust for power, and unwittingly has a chaos cultist as his main advisor. Finally, Fatandira is trying to establish enlightened rule in the Border Princes to prevent the prejudice that killed her parents from happening to anyone else, and is willing to be as pragmatic as necessary to serve those ends.
  • Non-Action Guy: The vast majority of all available careers are this, having little to no way to advance in weapon or ballistic skills or weapons training. Depending on how your advanced careers options you could eventually avoid this in 2nd and 3rd edition, provided you lived that long.
  • Off with His Head!: The possible result of a Critical Hit.
    Your opponent's head flies off in a random direction, landing 2D6 feet away.
  • 1-Up: The Fate Points. Burn one and you get to survive — by some extraordinary quirk of fate — an event that otherwise would kill you. They're very hard to come by, though, and spending them also reduces your base pool of Fortune Points (which are a renewable resource and serve as a more typical Luck Manipulation Mechanic).
  • Our Demons Are Different: Boy, are they. Aside from the variety of common daemon types aligned to the different Chaos gods, second edition's Tome of Corruption contains a system for randomly-generating unique daemons of the "least", "lesser" and "beast" varieties. You're encouraged to create daemons that are as strange and memorable as possible, with the aid of the book's d1000 mutation chart.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Quite literally; elves have the highest ability score total (two positive modifiers, no negative), a base movement of 5 (about as fast as a horse), don't need to pay tuition fees as wizards, and their career list lacks many of the suckier choices like peasant. They get shafted slightly on Fate Points and Wounds, but not as badly as the Halflings on the latter. Of course, getting those fat bonuses still only partially offsets the fact you have to play an elf in a setting where, in case it hasn't been made clear already, the majority of people are superstitious racists who take "Screw You, Elves!" as something that should be done with any available chopping or bludgeoning implement and plenty of fire.
    • In second edition, the Wizard Lord career is described as the epitome of what a human spellcaster is capable of, and any wizard who reaches this level is among the most powerful and influential practitioners of magic in the Old World. For an elf who reaches this career, they are considered to have finished basic training by the standards of the elven loremasters.
    • In 4th edition elven wizards can specialize in multiple lores of magic as long as they have the willpower and have obtained mastery in all lores they currently have, while humans can only ever pick one. The elfbow is also the most powerful non-blackpowder weapon in the game, though unlike in 2nd edition there are no classes that start with one.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: Gnomes appeared in the first edition of the game were they were described as a rare subspecies of Dwarf. They strongly resembled the D&D version, being nimble pranksters with a talent for illusions and some skill with engineering and smithing. They were never a prominent part of the setting, only being included as an optional PC race in a White Dwarf article (and the memorable Hercule Poirot parody NPC, Alphonse Hercules de Gascoigne, in the With a Little Help From My Friends adventure.) Gnomes were phased out entirely in later editions of the setting, though there have been fanmade rules to retro-fit gnomes for Second and Third Edition.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: As typical, the vampires of the Warhammer world are split into five distinct bloodlines (Von Carstein, Lahmian, Blood Dragon, Necrarch and Strigoi), though independent vampires are possible. The second edition book Night's Dark Masters features a system for customizing vampires for your campaign, which also reveals that no two vampires ever have the same powers or weaknesses — instead, vampires possess five random weaknesses (the defaults being sunlight, fire, silver, blessed weapons, running water and a pair of specific herbs), and gain two random vampiric powers each time they climb up a special career chain (one common to their bloodline, one normally associated with a different bloodline). So you can have a vampire carrying a virulent plague in his bites, who can transform into a cloud of mist to flee danger, but who also spontaneously combusts when struck by ithilmar and is averse to the sight of an innocent person's tears.
  • Prestige Class: Advanced careers in 1st-3rd editions, which required you to finish a basic career before you could enter one.
  • Perpetual Poverty: What the player characters will be living in.
    • Going by the rules as written, it is unlikely that a new character can afford to wear a full leather suit and have a decent sword and buckler, if these are not provided by his career.
      • Full leather suit? LUXURY! Your average WHFRP starting character will be lucky if he owns any armour at all. The starting gold (rolled for, of course) is barely enough to buy a character a decent pair of boots.
    • Made clear in the supplement Renegade Crowns (see Rags to Royalty) that even should the player characters become rulers they are still going to be scrabbling for every penny.
    • An especially egregious example of this trope seeing as the 2nd edition of the game, as it added more and more supplements, placed exact prices on every damn expensive thing the creators could think of. The most expensive object in the game would be a best craftsmanship galleon, which following game rules costs a stunning 120 THOUSAND gold crowns in a game where players have much better odds scavenging their equipment than working to make enough money to actually afford pistols or plate armour — both of which at common craftsmanship cost almost 1/500 of the galleon. Yeah... it's basically just a Take That! to players.
  • Pet the Dog: the Old World Bestiary features a story about a human child meeting face to face with a Minotaur beastman, but instead of killing the kid, the Minotaur tells him to go back home and return when he's big enough to be a Worthy Opponent and a better meal. Given the standards of the Beastmen, who usually kill and eat humans on sight, this Is almost charitable.
  • Pyro Maniac: Any party member or NPC with "Firebug", which includes a halfling in the scenario included in the Second Edition Realms of Sorcery splatbook. Generally speaking one of the more debilitating mental disorders.
  • Rags to Royalty:
    • First the good news: one of the supplements has a campaign allowing player characters to create (or more likely steal) a principality of their own! The bad news: said principality is in the monster/bandit/Chaos haunted Border Princes territory, will probably make Lancre look vast and wealthy in comparison and comes with a court full of people just itching to do to the player characters what they did to the last guy.
    • Some of the better advanced careers are pretty awesome as well; they won't give you royalty, but considering where you start, it's hardly a downturn. With luck, or lawyering the rules of first edition, you can work your way up to generals of mercenary armies, ship captains, and so on. You just will need a lot of it.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: In The Enemy Within campaign, the adventurers at one point save the life of an Imperial Elector Count... and learn a lot of embarrassing secrets about his court. So as a "reward" they get sent to Kislev, to an area which is the fantasy equivalent of Siberia.
  • Running Gag: Any references to Rat Catchers or the Rat Catcher career will always mention their most important trapping: a small (but vicious) dog.
    • In second edition's Old World Armoury, a stat entry on common dogs specifically notes that rat catcher dogs have the "Warrior Born" talent (granting +5% to their Weapon Skill characteristic).
  • The Rustler: Available as a career choice for characters in 1st edition, indicated to be the "two-bit" variety of thief who steals individual livestock for simple coin. In 2nd Edition, cattle rustlers from the Border Princes are said to the most common worshippers of a minor god named Gunndred, who is the patron of violent criminals and those who spread fear. Such rustlers are noted for being exceptionally cruel and spiteful individuals.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Troll Slayers in 1st and 2nd edition. Most combat-related careers usually have some non-combat related skills thrown in to showcase a diversified lifestyle when not fighting anything. Troll Slayers have three skills and three skills only: Dodge Blow (useful only in a fight), Intimidate (also useful in a fight) and Consume Alcohol (useful for giving you an excuse to start a fight). Justified, as the whole point of becoming a Slayer is to be a singleminded Death Seeker, and you can't leave the Slayer path once you start it.
  • Sanity Meter: Just saw a particularly grisly murder scene? Turned out that filthy hobo that stole the countess' silverware was a Chaos mutant and just revealed it in front of you? Happen to be, or stand close to, a wizard (or an elf) for an extended period of time? It's Insanity Points time! Hope you like crippling alcoholism, mandrake addiction, kleptomania, delusions of grandeur or any other number of not-so-funny-anymore medieval mental illnesses, because you'll be stuck with it for the rest of your career.
  • Screw You, Elves!: Particularly in the rural areas of the Empire, elves have basically the same social problems as wizards. Old World Armoury even mentions an "ear tax" levied on elves, although it's not always enforced. Altdorfers, though, generally avert this trope, since so much weird magical shit goes down in the capital anyway.
  • Shout-Out: Quite a few...
  • Simple Staff: The only weapon that priests of Shallya are allowed to use. Wizards typically start with these as well, though they're likely to swap them out for more versatile weapons.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: As noted, cynical. Although not as cynical as say, 40K. The random rolls system will provide players with less of a party of adventurers than a band of ugly thugs. Combat is brutal and a high-risk affair, a misroll during spell casting may consign your soul to hell. Firearms (of the general arquebus variety) are similarly risky; a misfire can easily kill a low to medium level character. More likely, however, is a misfire that destroys the weapon and all its ammunition... and that is pretty likely, but you can still earn your happy ending. The world may be doomed, but the village behind yon hill can still be saved.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: Necoho, the Chaos God of Atheism from First Edition.
    Necoho requires nothing from his followers; indeed, it sometimes seems that he would rather not have any at all.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial/Could Say It, But...: The bread and butter of Bretonnian society according to the 2nd edition supplement. Many of the chapters on the dukedoms mention a number of regional quirks, most of whom most definitively do not involve cleverly avoiding the iron-bound honour culture of Bretonnia through insinuation and double-speak.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Sadly true to the medieval period in real life, in Bretonnia women do not manage their own affairs or own property. So if you want to play a female character, you'll have to pretend to be a man.
  • Take That!: In first Edition, Bretonnia basically was "ze" Frenchjerklandia.
    • Pre-Revolutionary Frenchjerklandia, to be precise. Also rotten to the bone.
  • Take That Us: The Enemy Within campaign includes a story about a not-so-bright knight who charged a handgunners regiment shouting "Challenge! Challenge!" (and thus invoking the controversial rule from Warhammer Fantasy Battle). This being WFRP, he simply got mowed down by one salvo of gunfire.
  • A Tankard of Moose Urine: Bretonnian beer and ale, in stark contrast to their wine. It's mentioned that the quickest way to get ejected from any tavern, inn or ale-house in the Empire is to ask the landlord if his brewer's Bretonnian.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: In one of the oldest official adventures, a ritual to open a demonic portal in the heart of the Empire is set in Warehouse number 13.
    • Also, thirteen is the sacred number of the Horned Rat, the Chaos god worshipped by the Skaven.
    • One of the most dangerous manifestations of Tzeentch's Curse in the 2nd edition is to have a glyph etched into the caster's skin, and if he gets thirteen of these, one of the Ruinous Powers (probably Tzeentch) devours him.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: A very real threat to most adventurers. When your insanities grow too grotesque, when your mutations grow too hideous, or when the peasants find out that you have a wizard (or worse, an elf) in your party, the mob awaits!
  • Total Party Kill: Very easy to achieve for a GM, without even trying, due to how incredibly lethal combat can be with just a few unlucky dice rolls. A few monsters — like Dragons and Greater Daemons — are basically only statted so a GM can use them to cause this.
    • More of a Background thing, really — Greater Daemons and Old Dragons are easily the deadliest thing in the tabletop wargame, capable of taking down the best hero characters and wiping out entire regiments of soldiers. The power levels of WFRP characters are far lower than, say DnD ones; a plate-armored knight will be a difficult proposition for the highest level characters, let alone a demigod of war.
  • Unexpectedly Real Magic: In a story hook from Sigmar's Heirs, some children steal a bunch of notes from a scholar on a dare, and upon seeing it contains some weird funny notes and symbols, decide to "play magic" in the woods. Unfortunately, it's a summoning ritual for an ancient Chaos warrior that was buried alive beneath a circle of standing stones near the town.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Frequent in the Imperial capital of Altdorf, where strange and exciting stuff happens on a day-to-day basis. Rogue wizards, foreigners, elves, dwarfs, daemons, plots to overthrow the Empire, the mere presence of the Colleges of Magic, and the fact that there's so much subtle magic in the environment that the city's already confusing layout doesn't entirely make sense at times. The locals have developed a famous habit of shrugging off even the most bizarre events as just another day in the capital. However, careful observers will note that Altdorfers are still freaked out by scary or dangerous things — its just considered rude to openly make a fuss.
  • Vagina Dentata: The mutation where:
    While you sleep, your genitals decide to leave you and run off north to the realm of Chaos. In their place you are granted a toothed orifice which stage whispers lewd suggestions at inappropriate moments.
  • Vancian Magic: Obeys the first law, but not the second and third laws. Also comes with the caveat that every spell has at least a 10% chance of driving the caster insane or causing dangerous supernatural phenomena, successful or not (the more dice you roll to cast a spell, the greater the chance).
  • Villain Protagonist: In Second Edition, with the right books, its possible to play parties composed of Beastmen, Skaven, and Norscans. Players can even side with the Ruinous Powers and become Warriors of Chaos.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: In several published adventures, the players are faced with a dilemma about what to do with non-hostile mutants. For example, Ludwig von Wittgenstein, nominal head of a noble family, lives in a castle run by his evil, insane necromancer daughter and supported by cruel, mutated guards, and he himself has mutated into a giant cockroach. However, he personally has no say in how things are done and is content to stay in his tower, playing an organ and with only cockroaches for company. Despite his mutation, he is a thoroughly polite and decent man — when the player characters arrive, he will welcome them and invite them for a chat about art and/or philosophy, offering them brandy and cigars.
    • Tome of Corruption points out that while many denizens of the Empire have little problem condemning mutants if they're someone they don't know (or like), attitudes change fairly quickly once they or their loved ones experience mutation themselves. Families that experience the birth of mutant children decide to either hide the baby or abandon them in the woods rather than kill them or consign them to Witch Hunters. Those who wholeheartedly supported euthanization of mutants suddenly become determined to avoid the pyre themselves. If a player gains a mutation, the GM is encouraged to play up the ensuing dilemmas and use them to emphasize just how insidious Chaos truly is.
  • White Magic:
    • For mages, the white wind of Hysh is a colour of magic associated with light, protection and healing (and laser beams). There is also Qhaysh, or High Magic, a delicate weave of all eight winds of magic into a single lore. Qhaysh is not available for Player Characters, even elven ones, as the time needed to learn how to wield it is measured in centuries.
    • For priests, the Lore of Shallya is a purely defensive lore filled with protection and healing spells, including one in 2nd edition that allowed you to cure insanities. Its single offensive spell only harms diseases and followers of Nurgle.
  • Will-o'-the-Wisp: The Marshlight creatures are ethereal undead that cannot physically harm their victims, instead they mesmerise them and lead them into danger. They are impossible to harm unless hit with a magical weapon which banishes them in a single hit. There is also the Marsh Lights petty spell that allows a caster to create a number of lights within 100 yards of themselves and then send them off in any desired direction.
  • Worf Had the Flu The Enemy Within (1st edition) and Paths of the Damned (2nd edition) campaigns end with the players tangling with (and possibly defeating) weakened Greater Daemons. Normally, these nightmares would be a Total Party Kill just waiting to happen, but in their reduced states they manage to be weak enough to serve as challenging boss battles.


Example of: