Welcome to the latest installment of Heroes on Demand. For this installment, we’ll be heading back into the Old World of the Warhammer Fantasy Role Play game, but this time we’ll be traveling west of the Empire and into the realm of Bretonnia. A blend of Arthurian lore and medieval France, Bretonnia is a study in contrasts. The land is chock full of knights young and old, untried and seasoned, riding forth to combat evil and do heroic deeds, yet the most of the populace exist in soul-crushing poverty in order to support a feudal system that benefits the nobles and few others. But they are no less determined in the face of greenskin hordes or Chaos warbands to protect their homes, for this is a land where chivalry can truly mean something. So don your armor, ready your lance, and get set to charge bravely forth as we introduce…
Sir Jules du Cherier
Game: Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play, 2nd Edition
Career: Knight Errant (see Knights of the Grail, pg98)
Race: Human (Province of Bastonne)
WS 38; BS 26; Str 41; Tgh 35; Ag 41; Int 32; Will 34; Fel 34
Att 1; Wnds 12; SB 4; TB 3; M 4; IP 0; Fate 3
Free Advance: +5% Strength
Skills: Academic Knowledge (Genealogy/Heraldry), Animal Care, Animal Training, Common Knowledge (Bretonnia), Common Knowledge (the Empire), Dodge Blow, Gossip, Outdoor Survival, Ride, Speak Language (Breton), Speak Language (Reikspiel)
Talents: Etiquette, Lightning Reflexes, Seasoned Traveller, Specialist Weapon Group (Cavalry), Stout-Hearted, Strike Mighty Blow, Virtue of Chivalry
Trappings: Long sword (hand weapon), lance, dagger, shield, medium armour (mail shirt, mail coif, leather jack, helmet), light warhorse (Gaston) with saddle and harness, common clothing, sling bag (contains a blanket, wooden cutlery set, wooden tankard), 11 Gold Crowns
Background: The third son of a land-holding lord in Bastonne, young Jules knows that if he is going to amount to anything in this world, he’s going to have to do it with just his courage and strength of arms, all in the hopes of attracting a noble patron. Difficult as it was to leave behind the family and friends that he so loved and cherished, the young knight has embraced his errantry quest with the passion borne of youth, and he is eager to experience much of the world, perhaps even venturing into the neighboring lands of the Empire to seek glory and renown. Proud of his native lands, Jules will praise the many virtues of Bretonnia in general and Bastonne specifically, though he is slowly coming to learn that reality is far different than the songs and tales he grew up with. Still, he is a proud son of a noble lord, and it will be a black day indeed when Jules du Cherier betrays his oaths and shrikes his knightly obligations.
Design Notes: To be fully honest, I’ve always been a fan of Bretonnia since they got revamped from being a French-based “Empire Light” to their current Arthurian-based theme. Oldscool and Schbudha of the Small but Vicious podcast give a pretty good discussion of the Bretonnian setting in WFRP alongside a certain guest host, and you can listen to the three of them carry on here: http://www.d20radio.com/sbv/sbvp18.mp3. We didn’t get into much discussion of the new careers to be found in Knights of the Grail, but the Knight Errant career is certainly one of the more powerful entries to be found in WFRP’s second edition, given the high value of the career’ starting equipment, array of skills and talents, and broad choice of advancements, making this career surprisingly versatile.
Jules is a fairly typical knight in (not quite) shining armor, wielding lance and sword atop a noble steed in search of foul fiends to slay and fair damsels to impress; he’s the fantasy equivalent of a light tank and should be fighting as such when and wherever possible. As the whole point of the errantry quest (aside from giving energetic young noblemen something constructive to do) is to teach a prospective knight what they need to know through first-hand experience, there’s a lot that Jules probably doesn’t know, but at least he can make up for it with skill at arms and raw enthusiasm. And, in a world that can be as grim and foreboding as this one, playing Jules as a truly heroic-minded figure can make for a refreshing change from the usual motley cast of characters that compose most adventuring groups in the Old World. The fact that he’s noble-born can allow Jules to speak with other members of the noblity on a more equal footing than a commoner, and he’s traveled enough to know a fair piece about both his native Bretonnia and the Empire. A brief foray into the Squire basic career might not hurt in order to pick up the Charm skill as well as bolster up a couple of his other skills, namely Dodge Blow and Ride.
Given his adherence to chivalric virtues, there might be some difficulties for Jules in dealing with women who’ve chosen to leave hearth and home and forge their own destinies, especially female player-characters who might come to resent his well-meaning attempts to shield them from harm. This should generally be played for laughs with Jules being a “fish out of water,” particularly if his errantry quest has taken him into the Empire or some other less “traditional” nation. Ideally, he should grow out of the need to be overprotective of any female traveling companions, but it can certainly provide some fun roleplaying fodder in the early stages of a campaign. On the flip side though, it probably wouldn’t be difficult for a female character, be they ally or adversary, to take advantage of Jules’ chivalrous nature either.
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