Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Unintentional Chaos?

One of my favorite settings is WFRP. It is such a grim place with great enemies, we have used the setting and rules several times for several campaigns. In fact right now I am playing in a good Dark Heresy game, which is pretty much WFRP with bolters. One of the reoccurring themes in the setting is the 'great enemy' which is Chaos. The four primal chaos powers are ruinous forces, destructive and unrelenting things that threaten all things civilized. The only thing that holds them in check is their internal fighting. On occasion they unite for a short while to cause a potential cataclysm.

When I wrote the article this morning about Loksos, I noticed some similarities between the four PC races in Valley of Blue Snails and Chaos. An excerpt:

Many nobles bring men at arms to the event, although it is generally frowned upon. Luckily no overt warfare has occurred in Nifflaer but it is not uncommon for the Prince of Loksos to dismiss troupes who are overly heated. Jests, wagers and contests can lead to heated arguments and these are usually solved in melee, or simply resolve the matter elsewhere. In one such occasion the Dwarf white-beard Fisiul boasted that the Dwarves in his workshop thwarted a Marggot attack and claimed over one thousand Marggot ears in one night, an act impossible to overcome. Not be outdone, the Halfling Sheriff Tibil rallied his men along with the great Bohtan lords and the Elfish Village of Three Winds¹, and sacked the Margott realm of Cvefler. They utterly decimated its population. Over ten thousand ears were collected in one night and it is said to this day that Margott’s are mostly an earless race now, and a damn skittish one at that.

It can indeed be frighteningly powerful what can occur when the four races act as one, and few things could ultimately challenge them united. Such unity soon breaks apart when cultural, moral and ethical divisions begin to make their appearance. Eventually they would war among each other if they stayed in such close proximity, but thankfully each race desires distance from the others.

If perchance the poor sods known as Margotts are actually good creatures, simply misunderstood most of the time, then the four PC races are acting pretty damn near in the same way Chaos would. Thinking about it more I took a look at the races as compaired to the four ruinous powers:

Slanessh - Inverted god seeking pleasure.
Fairly similar to reveling Elves.
Khorn - Extroverted god, seeking violence.
Humans Obviously.
Tzeech - God of change, plans and evolving.
Halflings are a close fit, definitely seeking change with their own agenda.
Nurgle - God of plague and diseases and decay.
Okay, Dwarves are not very similar here other than being a decedant decaying race.

Purely unintentional I assure you, and I thought it was just humorous that my subconscious perhaps put things into that light. Anyhow I may actively cultivate the setting so that the four primary races may be thought of as the 'great enemies' by some smaller, weaker and misunderstood races. I think it would be an interesting twist, and if nothing else a nod to WFRP.


  1. re: Nurgle and Dwarves.

    In recent WH fluff (notably the Warriors of Chaos army book) all the Chaos Gods also embody some positive aspects. Nurgle is often deemed to be a god of fortitude and endurance in the face of misfortune. Sounds plenty Dwarven to me.

  2. Interesting. I always assumed in Warhammer that each race had their antithesis. Elves - Dark Elves, Dwarves - Greenskins, Humans - Chaos. I suppose that Chaos itself is somewhat of a dichotomy of the 4 PC races. I wonder if that is intentional or if I am just seeing some similarities out of happenstance.

    Anyhow, thanks for the info. I think I will create three meek races who will view the PCs races as the 'great enemy'.

  3. I said chaos, not a rolling apocalypse. Poor little bastards.