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At the Mouth of Madness

Source: Town Cryer #8

Mordheim isn't only known as the City of the Damned, but also as the Mouth of Madness for all who pass through the city gates surrender their sanity. The city's twisting nature leaves nothing unchanged.

One of the things lacking in the Mordheim rulebook are rules to simulate the deteriorating effects the city has on the minds of those who brave its dangers. From the background stories in the rulebook one gets the feeling that madness and insanity are common occurrences in the City of the Damned but strangely there are no rules for this in the rulebook. There are some result on the Serious Injury table that reflect this but these results do no justice to the utter madness that is Mordheim. Just imagine yourself walking through a city where mutations, monsters and insane warriors run rife. A warrior can hardly sleep at night as he hears all kinds of inhuman screams and growls echoing in the distance. Everyday a warrior has to live with the idea that this day there is a good chance that he will get killed, tortured, or at best maimed. And not just by other humans but by Daemon-possessed madmen, zombies, Vampires, Skaven and all sorts of other terrible monsters. Almost any warrior will go mad if he stays long enough in Mordheim.

So, a couple of already insane Mordheim players started writing some optional rules to introduce the concepts of madness and insanity in their Mordheim games. After much discussion and playtesting on the Mordheim Egroups mailinglist they have come up with some nice rules that hopefully will add a lot of fun and atmosphere to your Mordheim battles.

Going insane

These Insanity rules have been created to see how a warrior is able to deal with the terror and strangeness of his stay in Mordheim, and failure can mean bouts of uncontrollable fear, the development of phobias, or even complete madness.

To simulate a warrior's gradual descent into madness we use a system of Insanity points which are gained in a similar way to experience points and are effective at the same levels.

For each hero the normal experience track is used. This signifies that a warrior starts as normal, and it takes a long time for the madness to set in - but once it does, it's a rollercoaster ride from there on in. When a warrior fills up the track, he must retire because he is too insane to continue. It is advised that people use two different coloured pencils co keep track of the different points on the same chart.

Each time an IP is earned you will need to mark it off in the same way as experience. When a new level is reached that warrior must immediately make a Ld test. If successful, this means that the warrior is able to think through the horror and keep control of himself. If the warrior fails the test he must roll on the Insanity Table (see below) to determine the type and duration of insanity the warrior gets.

Failing the Ld test can mean several things. The warrior could freeze up and stare, or fall to the floor and roll into a fetal position. Yet another is to be cursed with a permanent or temporary phobia. All these wonderful things and more await your warriors should they not make one little roll.

Gaining insanity points

  • +1 Insanity Point: Failing a Fear or Terror test.
  • +1 Insanity Point: Casting a Necromantic or Chaos spell
  • +1 Insanity Point: Getting a Critical wound
  • +1 Insanity Point: Getting poisoned/faking drugs (e.g. getting wounded by Weeping Blades).
  • +1D3 Insanity Points: Getting the 'Madness' result on the Serious Injury table. This IP substitutes the normal result of this injury.
  • +1 Insanity Point: Getting the 'Nervous Condition' result on the Serious Injury table. This IP substitutes the normal result of this injury.

Too insane to care

Many societies and races are incapable of being twisted any more than they already are because they are either completely insane or their racial mindset finds Mordheim and it's terrors somehow more acceptable. The following conditions render the insanity rules invalid.

  • Warriors immune to Psychology
  • Warriors from Orc (not Goblins), Beastmen, Undead, or Possessed warbands.

The following troop types from the above mentioned warbands will gain IPs but the amount of IPs gained is halved (e.g. for every two IP that warrior gets, a player only marks one box on the experience chart):

  • Dregs
  • Necromancer
  • Magister
  • Cultist

Insanity table

Each time a new level is reached you will need to roll first on the Temporary Insanity table (below) and then on the Insanity table (over) to determine the type and duration of insanity that warrior gets.

Temporary insanity table

D6Duration of Insanity
1D6 turns
2-3The next battle
4-5Next 2 battles
6Indefinite

Insanity table

All results are unique and if you roll a result twice then roll again on this table until you roll a new type of insanity. All effects lasts as longs as was rolled on the Temporary Insanity table.

(Note you roll 4 D6)

4D6Result
4Amnesia
5Temper, temper!
6I'm a chicken!
7Paranoia
8What a cute and fluffy little thing
9Ministry of funny walks
10Criminal psychosis
11Hallucinations
12Phobia
13Heroic Idiocy
14Panzaism/Quixotism
15Et tu Brutus?
16I hate you all!
17Catatonia
18I can fly!
19Tis but a mere flesh wound
20Alcohol addiction
21Multiple personalities
22Whose side am I on anyway?
23Megalomania
24Completely bonkers

4 Amnesia

The warrior forgets/loses D3 Random skills.

5 Temper, temper!

The warrior has a serious temper problem. Roll a D6 before each turn and on a score of 1 the warrior is sulking and may do nothing else this turn, except defend himself if he is in close combat. If the warrior is charged during this time, he gains Frenzy.

6 I'm a chicken!

The warrior goes around making loud chicken noises. He may not Hide and will alert anyone on sentry duty. Fighters in close combat with this insane warrior are at -1 to hit as they are so confused by his antics (Undead and animals ignore this modifier).

7 Paranoia

The warrior is always on edge and thinks someone is out to get him. The warrior may not run but may charge into combat as normal. He will always hit first in combat unless he is carrying a double handed weapon.

8 What a cute and fluffy little thing

The warrior refuses to attack any animals until they attack him at which point he gains Hatred for that type of animal permanently.

9 Ministry of funny walks

The warrior is convinced that if he walks in a bizarre manner people won't be able to hit him with missile fire. He may not run but he is at -1 to hit with missile fire as he is weaving all over the place.

10 Criminal psychosis

The warrior gains Animosity to:

D6Result
1Skaven
2Undead
3Possessed
4Elves
5Dwarfs
6Humans

11 Hallucinations

The warrior suffers from horrible hallucinations.

D6Result
1The warrior sees nightmare images of his own demise, filling him with fear for his own safety. No matter how far away he is from friendly models he will always count as being all alone in combat.
2The warrior hallucinates and sees an image of what is yet co come. The warrior may re-roll (once!) any shooting or close combat rolls to hit.
3A faint image of his personal god appears, be it Sigmar or even the dread Shadowlord. Filled with courage, the warrior may ignore any and all Ld based tescs he is required to make.
4The warrior peers into the depths of his own mind, unlocking uncapped abilities. He can detect any enemy models hidden for as long as this insanity lasts, even those not in his normal line of sight, and passes on the information to his compatriots. All enemy models lose their hidden status.
5The warrior hallucinates that a slender arm reaches out from the darkness around him. and pale fingers touch the warrior's chest. The soft caress sends shivers of terrible pain throughout his body. Though it quickly dims away, the terrible pain is left behind. The next wounding hit the warrior receives is automatically a critical hit.
6The warrior hallucinates that the city chooses to reveal its true visage to them, unveiling the monstrous intelligence that lurks behind the facade of simple ruins and rubble. The warrior's mind is overwhelmed by the enormity of the impression and he stumbles away in stark terror. For as long as this Insanity lasts, all enemy models count as causing Fear and the warrior will refuse to enter any building or get within 2" of any walls or ruins. After the warrior has recovered from this insanity the effects will wear off, though he will get the Claustrophobia indefinitely.

12 Phobia

The warrior is cursed with a permanent or temporary phobia.

D6Result
1Claustrophobia: The warrior must take a Fear test to enter a building.
2Fear of Heights: The warrior must take a Fear test each turn the warrior is on a higher floor or area.
3Fear of Rats: Skaven and Giant Rats inspire Fear in that warrior.
4Fear of Open Places: The warrior must take a Fear test to cross a street or square. The warrior must stay within 2" of a building or wall.
5Fear of People: Humans scare the warrior. If there are any humans within 4" of the warrior he muse take an immediate All Alone test.
6Fear of Sharp Things - Warriors armed with a sword, spear, or knife inspire Fear in the warrior.

13 Heroic Idiocy

The warrior may never end his movement phase behind cover. The warrior is immune to psychology and receives +1xp if he is still standing at the end of a battle.

14 Panzaism/Quixotism

D6Result
1-3Panzaism: The warrior is immune to Fear and Terror as he sees all things (even supernatural) things as ordinary.
4-6Quixotism: The warrior sees everything and everyone as supernatural threats. Treat as Frenzy where the warrior has automatica1ly failed his Ld test.

15 Et tu Brutus?

If the warrior is ever the only model within 6" of the leader he will charge him and try to kill him so he can take over the warband. If the warrior is the warband leader, then ignore this result and roll again on this table.

16 I hate you all!

The warrior is subject to Hatred of the enemy and Animosity to friendly warriors.

17 Catatonia

The warrior falls to the floor and rolls into the fetal position. Treat as Stupidity where the warrior has automatically failed his Ld test.

18 I can fly!

The warrior must make a diving charge whenever he can, no matter what level of building he is on. The hero automatically gains an extra +1S and +1 to hit on top of the normal diving charge because he really does think he can fly and it won't hurt him.

19 Tis but a mere flesh wound

The warrior gains an extra Wound. When this insanity is over and the warrior has taken at least one Wound he must roll on the Serious Injury table. If this insanity is indefinite the warrior has become a very tough nut (pun intended - Editor).

20 Alcohol addiction

The warrior drowns his fears and sorrows by consuming large amounts of alcohol. For as long as this insanity lasts the warrior suffers from effects of a binge and is at -1WS, -1BS and -1I.

21 Multiple personalities

The warrior thinks he is a:

D6Result
1Skaven
2Vampire
3Wizard
4Elf
5Dwarf
6Orc

Use the average stats for a member of that race instead of the warrior's normal stats. The player should play the insane warrior in character.

If a player rolls the Wizard result that player must roll on the Lesser Magic chart as normal to see which spell that 'wizard' gets. In each shooting phase that warrior tries to cast that spell and if he casts it successfully he thinks it works although nothing happens (a bit of roleplaying is necessary for this). The warrior can not shoot/cast 'spells' in the same turn.

22 Whose side am I on anyway?

Each turn each side must roll a dice. The player of the insane warrior may add 2 to the roll. The player with the highest roll controls the confused warrior for the turn. The warrior may not run or jump off buildings as he is too confused.

23 Megalomania

The warrior must move to the nearest enemy model and he may not end his movement phase behind an obstacle or in hiding. The warrior is immune to All Alone tests. In addition, if the warrior is the leader of the warband he cannot take a voluntary rout test for as long as this result lasts. If the warrior survives at the end of a battle, he gains +2 experience poincs.

24 Completely bonkers

The warrior has gone totally insane. Remove that warrior from che warband roscer.