Warhammer FRP/Rolemaster





From a functional standpoint, we settled on some standard mechanics for conversion. In Warhammer, attack and damage is two rolls, in Rolemaster it is all combined. Defense is similar. As such, the most appropriate was some juggling of stats. The primary change is in Health, converted to Hit Points, which really just boiled down to Multiply by 5. Simple, straightforward, and easy to manage.

Hit Points = 5 x Warhammer Health

Defensive Bonuses

Using the baseline of a human with a 30 stat (and no training), Defensive Bonus is defined as Agility (natural quickness) + Toughness (resistance to damage) + Dodge advances – 60 (removing the baseline for both stats). An average human thus has no Defensive Bonus, which is the default in Rolemaster. A character with a higher Agility, higher Toughness, or training in Dodge thus improves their Defense, in a scale similar to that of Rolemaster.

Defensive Bonus (DB) = Dodge (Agility + Dodge training) + Toughness - 60


  • Average Human (30 Agility, 30 Toughness, +0 Dodge training) = +0 DB
  • Average Halfling (30 Agility, 30 Toughness, +0 Dodge training) = +0 DB
  • Average Dwarf (20 Agility, 40 Toughness, +0 Dodge training) = +0 DB
  • Average Elf (40 Agility, 30 Toughness, +0 Dodge training) = +10 DB
  • Trained Warrior (40 Agility, 40 Toughness, +10 Dodge training) = +30 DB

Offensive Bonuses

Using similar logic for attacks, Offensive Bonus is defined as Weapon Skill (natural ability) + Strength (physical impact) + Specialized training (if any applies for a particular weapon) – 30. In this case, Weapon skill covers both training and natural talent, so we did not do a baseline reduction. This is somewhat adjusted for Ranged attacks; in which case we use Ballistic Skill (natural ability) + Weapon Strength (based on weapon capability) – 60. In this case, the Ballistic skill is identical to melee. “Weapon Strength” is a modifier based of the Warhammer table – a bow does Str+3 damage, a crossbow does +9 damage. Compared to melee, this comes down to baseline strength (30) + an amount based on the weapon mechanics. Using a standard bow as the baseline (+3), and considering we are using tables tuned for the specific weapon, we reduced the inherent bow bonus, thus the overall -60. For comparison, that results in Crossbows (+9) receiving a scale bonus of +30 above the character’s ballistic skill. The tradeoff here is the length of reload – a heavy crossbow is 3 rounds to reload, followed by a very strong attack, vs a Bow fires every round using only Ballistic Skill.

Melee Offensive Bonus (OB) = Weapon (Weapon skill + appropriate skill training) + Strength - 30
Ranged Offensive Bonus (OB) = Weapon (Ballistic Skill + appropriate skill training) + Agility - 30


  • Average untrained Human (30 Agility, 30 Strength, 30 Weapon Skill, 30 Ballistic Skill, +0 weapon training) = +30 melee OB, +30 ranged OB
  • Average untrained Elf (40 Agility, 30 Strength, 40 Weapon Skill, 40 Ballistic Skill, +0 weapon training) = +40 melee OB, +40 ranged OB
  • Average untrained Dwarf (20 Agility, 30 Strength, 40 Weapon Skill, 30 Ballistic Skill, +0 weapon training) = +40 melee OB, +20 ranged OB
  • Average untrained Halfling (30 Agility, 20 Strength, 20 Weapon Skill, 40 Ballistic Skill, +0 weapon training) = +10 melee OB, +40 ranged OB

Talents and Feats

The biggest challenge in the process is the conversion of Warhammer Talents – a number of them exist to influence combat, and in some cases no longer apply. Mainly these were around Advantage changes, since we are no longer using Advantage. For those, we either adapt to appropriate mechanics, or simply drop the talent entirely as no longer valid.

At a high level, this is the basics. We of course covered many other layers of combat, including Stun, health damage, flanking, etc., generally speaking modelled off a rather basic Pathfinder style combat. I will be working on creating a summary sheet for the various weapon options, as a conversion from Warhammer to Rolemaster style details, and we will likely adapt some more of the mechanics as we go forward.


A major piece of Rolemaster and Warhammer combat is being stunned. In Rolemaster, this comes from criticals that cause various Stunned categories. A character can stack these conditions up, and they degrade naturally during combat, subject to the following mechanics

  • There are several forms of Stun, all collectively referred to as “Stun” or “Stunning”. All policies apply equally, unless specified.
    • Must Parry – the weakest format, this level restricts the character to only Parrying with a melee weapon (or brawling). They may not take any other actions.
    • Stunned – With this effect, the only action allowed is to Parry, at a 50% penalty (all parry benefits are halved). In addition, all foes gain a +20 OB to strike the character. Any existing DB Pool is reduced by 50%.
    • Stunned without Parry – at this level, no actions at all are permitted, including parry. In addition, all foes gain a +20 OB to strike the character. Any existing DB Pool is lost.
    • Downed – the character is knocked to the ground and left prone. No actions are permitted, and any existing DB Pool is lost. All foes gain a +50 OB to strike the character in melee, or a +20 OB to strike the character with a ranged attack.
    • Unconcious – The character is entirely out of action and prone. All foes gain a +100 OB to strike the character in melee, or a +50 OB to strike the character with a ranged attack. Alternatively, a melee attacker can take a full-round action and simply declare the target “dead” with a strike.
  • When a character is stunned, they are subject to the highest degree of stun currently affecting them. If it impacts game mechanics, the character may make an immediate “resistance” check to fight the effects – this is a basic Endurance skill roll vs 100 (minus all modifiers). If successful, the stun is ignored temporarily until their next activation (it doesn’t go away, the effects are just ignored). If unsuccessful, the character immediately suffers all game effects until their next activation.
  • When a Stunned character activates, if it has an existing round of stun (ignored or active), one round of the worst stun is removed. If there is no other stun conditions, the character is free to act normally. If other stun conditions exist, they may make an immediate resistance check (Endurance roll vs 100) again. Success allows the stun to be ignored for 1 more round, and they can act normally. Failure results in the restrictions of the stun being in effect.
  • If a character who has resisted the stun effects receives additional Stun conditions of an equal or greater severity, they must immediately recheck the resistance, or immediately suffer the effects.

Health and Penalties

As combat progresses, penalties and injuries will stack up. These follow a couple of core rules

  • As hit points are reduced, the character suffers a graduated penalty. For each 25% of health reduced, they suffer a -10 penalty on all actions (-10 at 75%, -20 at 50%, -30 at 25%). If they reach 0 health, they immediately fall unconscious, drop prone, and become unaware of their surroundings, being considered “unconcious” from a Stunned condition. On their action, they may resist the “stun” and if successful wake up, but may take no other actions until their injuries are healed.
    • Hit point penalties DO affect the basic calculated DB of the character.
  • With Rolemaster criticals, injuries take many different forms, expressed as a penalty, typically with a descriptor (torn muscle, broken bone, nerve damage, etc) and location (arm, leg, chest, head). Any action which would be affected by the descriptor or location becomes affected by the penalty (generally all actions).
    • Critical Penalties DO NOT affect the basic calculated DB of the character as an exception.
  • If the total penalties from all sources (criticals, injuries, stun, magic effects, etc) reaches -100, the character immediately falls unconscious per the Stunned condition. They may make resistance checks (with all the penalties) to wake up later but may take no other actions until healed.

Healing and Recovery

With the Rolemaster system, injuries are more extensive and detailed, meaning we needed a means to cover them. Healing is handled via the following details.

  • All Warhammer FRP items, skills and abilities with a basic Health recovery rating apply normally per Warhammer mechanics. Each Health point recovered recovers 5 hit points of the character. None of these provide any recovery to major injuries and criticals, or affect Stun.
  • Critical injuries can be addressed either with time (natural healing) or with first aid (immediate healing).
    • First Aid can be performed after an injury, to try to reduce the impact and effects. For each critical injury, the medic performs a Medicine skill roll vs 100. One test only can be made per medice per injury. Success reduces the penalty of the wound by 50% of the margin (a 150 net would reduce the penalty by 25), to a minimum of 10% of the original injury (minimum -1). Each such test takes 10 minutes of focused attention, and appropriate medical supplies, and may result in infection or disease.
      • This care is only temporary, and the wound can be re-aggravated. If the same location is struck by a second injury, the first injury is re-applied as well as the new one. In addition, the GM may rule that specific actions re-aggravate existing wounds (such as climbing a ladder or rope with a broken arm).
      • No injury may be healed with First Aid once Magic has been applied. Magic sealed over the wound, and the injury cannot be reached/addressed, though it also tends to remove all infection.
    • Natural healing is much slower, but more permanent. Assuming a safe, clean place to rest, all character’s heal injuries and criticals at a rate equal to their Toughness Bonus per day. This reduces the total penalty for each injury independently, so multiple injuries heal simultaneously. This healing is permanent and cannot be re-aggravated (but a new wound could happen).
      • Every wound that heals naturally has a chance of permanent damage. As it heals, make an Endurance roll for each injury, minus the original penalty. This is against a target number of 50 for a hospital, 75 for natural wilds, and 100 for particularly dirty conditions. If the roll is a failure, the wound may not heal back the last 10%, that is now a permanent penalty that applies to specific conditions (ie, an injury that affects bow shots, a penalty that slows the movement, a weak wrist that makes lock picking hard). The GM will define the specific conditions.
      • If a limb is removed via combat (or potentially following combat due to other conditions), it will not heal naturally – there will always be a penalty. In this case, look to prosthetics and artificial corrections, or potentially potent magic.

Other considerations

  • Shields – the use of shields in combat provide a strong defensive advantage, but can be limited against multiple foes. All shields provide a DB bonus equal to their rating, which can be used for one of the following options in a given round (and only if the shield arm is not occupied by other activity).
    • Provide the shield bonus against a single melee attack that round, but no bonus against ranged attacks.
    • Provide the shield bonus vs all ranged attacks from a single 60 degree arc for that round, but no bonus in melee attacks.
    • Provide 50% of the shield bonus against a single ranged attack striking an adjacent ally, but no bonus versus melee attacks.
    • If the charges during their activation, no Shield bonus may be used.
  • Parry – during a character’s activation, they may opt to Parry, sacrificing some or all of their current net attack bonus (after any penalties) to gain defensive bonuses. This is done on the character’s turn, and lasts until the following activation. You may not parry greater than your current OB. Parry is subject to the following guidelines.
    • If the character charges during their activation, no Parry is permitted.
    • DB Pool calculation
      • If the character is armed with a 1-handed melee weapon, the exchange of OB to DB is 1:1 – each point sacrificed from OB provides a +1 DB pool.
      • if the character is armed with a 2-handed melee weapon, the exchange of OB to DB is 1:2 – each 2 points sacrificed from OB provides a +1 DB pool.
      • If the character is armed with a ranged weapon, or unarmed, they may only parry with their Brawling skill, at a 1:1 exchange rate.
      • You may parry to defend an adjacent ally from a melee strike, but only if the attacker is adjacent as well, with a further 1:2 reduction of benefit. Parrying to protect your friend with +20 DB provides only a +10 DB benefit.
    • A character’s DB pool is a resource, spent as desired until their next activation. Each point can be allocated as a DB bonus against any melee attacks. Ranged attacks can be parried, but only if a Shield bonus is in effect, and then only to the limit of the Shield Bonus (ie, Parry can only double the shield’s benefit).
    • If the character is Stunned with a DB pool, (and does not resist the stun), the remaining pool is immediately reduced per the stun mechanics
      • Must Parry – no change
      • Stunned – 50% of remaining pool is lost
      • Stunned without Parry – 100% of remaining pool is lost
    • Any DB pool which remains when the character’s next activation arrives is automatically lost and does not carry over.