Catacombs Below Mordheim, The.pdf

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"I would not look at the marching things. That I desperately resolved as I heard their cracking
joints and nitrous wheezing above the dead music and the dread tramping. It was merciful that
they did not speak..…….but by Sigmar! Their crazy torches began to cast shadows on the
surface of those stupendous columns. Foulness should not have human hands and carry
torches…… living creatures should not have the heads of sheer insanity….." - Last page of
the diary of Magnus Faustlich, also known as Magnus the Fearless
What most people in Mordheim don't know, is that far below the sewers there are tunnels
that were old even before Mordheim existed. They were there before Sigmar was born, and
they were there even before the Slann arrived. The Skaven have known of these ancient
subteranean tunnels for years as they have found openings to these deeper regions during
their excavations of the sewers below the city. And what they found there scared them more
then the cursed city above them. They know that there is something truly evil waiting in
these primordial catacombs. Something older then the earth, maybe even older then the
universe. And the meteor woke it up...
Far below the earth the silence is ceaseless and oppresive. A terrible impression of the huge
weight of suspended stone and earth is forced upon anyone who enters. Occasional gusts of
wind pass down the main tunnel, causing candles and torches to gutter momentarily. There
is no light, except for an occasional glow from livid purple or putrid green fungi - slimy stuff
disgusting to touch. Side tunnels and tiny votary alcoves frequently open to either side.
Along the main tunnel, loathsome images panel the walls, depicting men with the heads of
animals, animals with human limbs, and alien entities performing cruel, disgusting, and
obscene rituals. Some parts of these black passages are obviously cut from the stone; other
parts look like old watercourses or rock fractures; other parts look as if acids had eaten
through the stone; still other parts have obviously been hacked clear by alien tooth and claw.
It looks like the tunnels go in a straight line, and it is true that their direction is consistent,
but the angles of the walls, floor, and ceiling constantly change, and the passages themselves
may narrow as little as two feet across, or be as much as 15 feet wide by 15 feet high. More
strikingly, the ways constantly rise and fall; it is impossible to see very far ahead or very far
behind. Even the glow of torches will not carry far. These tunnels have an organic feel, and
leave the perception that some great alien beast had been imprisoned within the stone, had
then gotten free, and the fighters now creep along the spaces left by its bones and sinews.
This is not a separate scenario but more of a set of rules to be used by the moderator when
he wants to situate a scenario in the catacombs deep below Mordheim. The moderator could
read aloud the above section describing the tunnels the warbands walk in to give the players
a general impression of their surroundings. Its up to the individuel moderator how he likes
to represent these ancient catacombs on his table. It is advised to use separate tiles or
boardsections to represent the more narrow parts of the tunnels. Most fighting between the
warbands will probably be fought out in the larger and wider parts of the catacombs. Both
players should place their warbands in a marching order, no more then two models wide.
This marching order represents the warbands exploring the narrow tunnels.
Fighters exploring the catacombs must make a Fear Test every other turn. If failed then that
fighter won't walk any further until he succeeds again on his Fear test. He may test every
turn to see if he will walk further down these ancient tunnels.
Because the lines of sight will vary, if the warband include toters of ranged magickal or
physical attacks, moderators should continue to monitor the march order of the warband to
ascertain if those weapons or spells can be brought to bear.
Not all of these encounters have an immediate effect on a scenario. Some of the encounters
are just to try to scare the players and to give them a feeling for the atmosphere below the
city. The moderator should roll once in each of the players Movement fases, before that
player has moved.
Roll 3D6 EVENT
No encounter; warband proceed without incident.
A random fighter stumbles and falls; slimy luminous moss coats his hands, elbows, and
knees, which he is unable to rub off. Because the fighter is now illuminated all hits against
him are at +1.
One of the fighters hear snatches of conversation; two men are saying that intruders may
be in the tunnels. The voices cannot be located.
Random fighter slips and falls. That fighter suffers a S3 hit.
Warm liquid drips steadily from the tunnel ceiling; the stone beneath is slick and red; the
blood has no source.
A foul stench engulfs the warband; each fighter must take a Toughness test on 1D6 or the
fighter is at -1S for D3 turns.
Some shapeless thing is glimsed; but it leaves neither trace nor track of its passage.
Macabre chuckles, growls, or groans are heard in the blackness; maybe a single sound,
maybe a hideous cacaphony of noise erupts without reason.
A violent blast of wind extinguishes all unshielded candles and torches. The warband is
now in complete and utter darkness. A fighter may try to re-lite a torche once a turn by
rolling below his Initiative on 1D6.
A small rock falls from the ceiling and strikes a random fighter; the fighter suffers a S4 hit
on the head and if wounded is automatically Stunned unless he wears a helmet, in that
case the fighter counts as being Knocked Down.
The floor of the tunnel is seen to be bordered by jet-black roses.
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Cave-in rains rocks on the warband. Each fighter must make a Initiative test or suffer D3
S4 hits.
Narrow, deep pit; leading fighter must make an Initiative test to avoid the slippery edge. If
the roll fails roll a 2D6 to determine depth of pit. The fighter suffers D3 hits of Strenght
equal to the depth of the pit.
1D6+4 Tunnel dwellers appear. Roll one die; odd result indicates Tunnel dwellers come
from the rear, even result indicates the Tunnel dwellers come from the front. See below
for Tunnel dwellers rules.
Random fighter must make a Fear test. If he fails he perceives that, in every direction, the
brick walls of the tunnel are rhythmically moving in and out, like breathing lungs. The
fighter must flee 2D6" back in the direction he came from.
The warband stumbles upon the lair of the Ancient One. Luckily it is not paying attention
to these puny creatures. Because of the sanity-blasting image of this Elder Being all of the
members of the warband must make a Fear test with a –2 modifier. If more then three
members succeed, the warband can get away with 3D6 Gold Crowns and one random
Magic Item.
Tunnel dwellers – 60 GC each
I cannot begin to describe to appearance of these horrible creatures. Only that they come in
a multitude of forms, each more insane then the last. To look upon them is to see madness
and insanity given living form. To look upon them means death..
The moderator should roll for each dweller seperatly to see what its characteristics are.
2D6 2D4 0 2D3 2D3 D3 D6 D3 D6
Special Rules : Dwellers cause Fear in all creatures except the Undead and Possessed.
Players Comments
One of the first things that sprang to mind, whilst reading this was using the board pieces from Advanced
Space Crusade (and later Tyranid Attack) to represent the tunnels. Since the board pieces are designed to be
moved one in front of another as miniatures move along, it would be perfect. And the totally alien/organic
look to the tunnels would fit as well. If I remember correctly, you got 6 10"x10" pieces and several terrain
pieces that can only be described as Freudian.
A thought I had while reading this was not to have a standard warband fighting warband game. Instead, one
player takes his warband into the catacombs and the other player plays the part of the things that inhabit the
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catacombs. After that scenario is over, the two players switch places. [ This is an excellent idea. I have
included a point cost for these critters in their description in case players want to choose this
option – Editor]
Instead of the normal 18 result the warband should encounter the Guardians to the Lair of the Ancient
One, instead. Perhaps two Guardians, both with insane stats, a thirst for blood and feeling alittle peckish.
Give the Guardians a maximum number of inches they will move away from their posts and have at it. If the
warband defeats them, they will be able to enter the Lair of the Ancient One - Ld checks should abound
with negative modifiers and insanity the result of failure. For thir troubles, perhaps they should get something
interesting as treasure. And, of course, all but two may leave. After all, the Guardians must be replaced.
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