Old World: Princes of the Old World Campaign System (2024)

So, before Old World came out there were rumors that it was going to have a campaign system in the back of the book. I was massively excited for this, as I love wargaming campaigns and jump at any chance to run one. When the book arrived, though, the narrative play section was pretty light, more of a set of guidelines on how to play linked scenarios than a true, honest to god campaign system. With this in mind, I set out to write my own fleshed-out and fully realized campaign system, and with the help of my local gaming group, a lot of tears, and a unit of ridiculously overpowered Outriders, Princes of the Old World has been created!

The Princes of the Old World campaign is a narrative campaign system designed for use with Warhammer Old World. Set in the Border Princes, the campaign features character and unit progression, a bazaar for magic items, and persistent boons from your character’s patron. It is run over the course of a series of rounds, with players proactively seeking battles with other players, gaining power, and growing their starting hero into a legendary hero of their faction. Alliances will be made and broken, mercenaries hired, and blood spilled before the altars of thirsting gods!

The rules are not 100% balanced and some common sense and bro-coding things out with other players is needed, but it is a pretty functional and fun campaign. I recommend running six rounds, but in theory the campaign would never need to end. I also recommend running a massive battle with as many players as you can to end the campaign in suitably heroic fashion.

Force Construction

Forces in Princes of the Old World start out at 500 points and follow all standard force construction rules for your army. The following additional restrictions apply to your force:

  • Each army must be allied to either Hurolf or Eodric.
  • Each army may only contain one character at campaign start
  • Each character must be “Hero Level.” In other words, they must be the cheapest version of that character type that you are allowed to take. No Chaos Lords, only Aspiring Champions, as an example.
  • If your starting character is a wizard, they must be level 1.
  • Characters may not take any magic items at campaign start, save those that their allegiance provides.
  • At least one unit of Core Infantry consisting of at least 10 models must be taken in your initial 500 points.
  • No units with the Large Target special rule may be taken in your starting 500.
  • No units with the Behemoth type may be taken until 1000 points have been reached.
  • Characters may not be mounted on a monster or chariot of any variety at game start, but may be mounted on a horse or equivalent.
  • Characters may not be mounted on a Behemoth.
  • Monstrous Cavalry characters are not allowed in your starting 500.
  • Monstrous Cavalry may not be included in your starting 500.
  • All units must take the champion upgrade or equivalent, if the unit has one. The unit and champion must be named.
  • All Runic Items from the Dwarf list or from campaign boons must be named.
  • Skirmishing Cavalry are limited to 5 models per 500 full points in your force. So at 800 points you could still only have 5, and 10 starting at 1000 points.
  • War Machines are limited to 1 per 500 full points in your force. In addition, no War Machines more expensive than 75 points may be taken before 1000 points have been reached by at least one player in the campaign.

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Setting

The Princes of the Old World campaign takes place in the minor Border Princes realm of Karsteg, a small realm with a weak army. King Hurolf the Reckless is a former Bretonnian adventurer, and is locked in a struggle for succession with his brother, Eodric Halfhand. These two are currently engaged in a brutal war that has drained the land of manpower, leading to both sides making heavy use of mercenaries. Your force is one of these bands of mercenaries who, enlisted by Hurolf or Eodric, have come to seek their fortunes in the Border Princes. Allegiances can shift, and your force is ultimately in it for fortune and glory. It is recommended that you keep this mercenary theme in mind while creating your force. Players will have the opportunity to declare for either side of the war at the start of the campaign, and each side will provide different boons to their mercenaries.

Battles

Each campaign turn lasts two weeks. During a campaign turn, players can seek out and organize battles with mercenaries on the other side of the civil war, or their own side, if need be! Pay disputes and conflicts over magic items make good justifications for beating up your alleged allies. There is no limit to the amount of battles you can play in a given campaign turn, but you only get rewarded for the first two battles in a given campaign turn. In addition, until forces reach roughly 1000 points, it is recommended that games be played as 2v2 games. Old World will work for small 500 point skirmishes, but it works much better starting at roughly 1000.

Due to the nature of this campaign, there are times where forces will need to fight that are of varying points costs. Find the difference between the two forces by subtracting the total points of the lower point value army from the total points of the higher point value army. If the difference is 25-100 the lower point value army may add potions, scrolls, and magic items to their army to make up the difference. These will be removed after the battle is over. If the difference is more than 100 points, the lower point value army may add extra models to their units, or add entirely new units taken from any of the factions on their side of the war or from the Bretonnian Exiles army list, taken as mercenary forces. These extra models or extra units are also lost after the battle, and gain no XP or rewards. Should you gain enough points as a result of the battle, you can “Hire On” these mercenary forces as permanent parts of your army, at which point they can gain XP and rewards as normal.

Battles should be fought either using the scenarios within the core rulebook, or using a custom scenario if both players agree to do so.

At the end of each battle, you gain 75 points to spend on your army. If you win, you gain an additional 15 points.

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Campaign

At the beginning of the campaign, each player is required to declare their forces as having been hired by Hurolf or Eodric. Forces receive the following boons at campaign start depending on which claimant they join:

  • Those joining Hurolf receive a single magic item costing 50 or less points from the common magic items list in the core rulebook, taken from his vault of relics from his adventuring days. Their main character also receives a +1 to their Leadership attribute. No Warriors of Chaos may side with Hurolf, as he doesn’t trust Norscans.
  • Those joining Eodric receive a single runic item with 50 points of runes, taken from the Dwarf list, and +1 to weapon skill on their main character. No master runes may be taken. Eodric has the backing of a group of minor Dwarfen nobles from Barak Varr, and promises great riches to those who back him. No Chaos Dwarfs can choose to join Eodric, as his backers would cut their ties with him on the spot.

Once per campaign turn you may roll on the following charts to potentially receive a boon from your employer.

Hurolf (1D6)

  1. Hurolf sends his best wishes. Gain 2 XP on your starting character.
  2. Hurolf sends supplies. Gain 50 points.
  3. Hurolf sends a crate of healing potions. Gain 3 healing potions. These may be each used once in battle, and are then lost.
  4. Hurolf sends men. Add up to 75 points worth of models to one of your existing units.
  5. Hurolf sends a magic weapon. Gain a magic weapon worth 40 or fewer points.
  6. Hurolf sends one of his sons or daughters to serve as your squire. Add a Bretonnian Paladin with the Questing Vow, a maximum magic item allotment of 60, and no magical items to your army list. They may serve as a Battle Standard bearer, if you do not have one. If this is rolled more than once, he instead sends a boon for his child. Add a single common magic item costing 30 or fewer points to the Bretonnian Paladin. Once they have reached 60 points of magic items, treat this result as a 2.

Eodric (1D6)

  1. Eodric sends a Dwarfen advisor to grant some training. Gain 1 XP on any unit.
  2. Eodric sends supplies. Gain 50 points.
  3. Eodric sends a smith. Add one rune costing 30 or fewer points to your army. This may either be stacked on a pre-existing runic item, or used to create a new runic item.
  4. Eodric sends men. Add 50 points worth of models to any of your existing units.
  5. Eodric sends artillery support. Gain a single use “Artillery Strike” item. It may be used during your shooting phase, and is then destroyed. You may then resolve an attack on an enemy unit anywhere on the battlefield with the Stone Thrower profile from the core rulebook.
  6. Eodric sends an advisor. Add a Dwarf Thane, Engineer, or Dragon Slayer to your army with no magic items. If this is rolled again, a different character must be selected each time. If you are playing Skaven, Greenskins, or Chaos, add either a Hobgoblin Khan or Infernal Seneschal to your army list, representing a mercenary goblin and a morally bankrupt, honorless dwarf, respectively. Once you have added three characters with this boon, treat this result as a 2.

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Armies

Every army in Princes of the Old World must track the following:

  • Units and characters, as well as their upgrades and XP.
  • The army’s magic item treasury.
  • The army’s supply of spare points.
  • The army’s total point value when deployed.
  • The army’s allegiance.

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Points gained from boons or victories are banked and maybe spent to add new units, add new models to existing units, or purchase magic items from the Bazaar.

In addition, at the end of each battle, your opponent must select one of your units to be your most valuable unit. The most valuable unit gains 2 XP. Detachments count as part of their parent unit for honors and XP gain.

6 XP may be spent for a roll on the following charts, depending on unit type. Each number may only be rolled once per unit, duplicates must be rerolled. If you already have all USRs you can pick between on a given roll, reroll the result. For example, a unit of Infantry with Immune to Psychology and Fear would reroll all results of 3 on the Honor chart:

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Your main character that you start the campaign with has a magic item allotment of 100 points, which can be expanded. Your main character also must be your general in every battle they participate in, ignoring other restrictions and rules about who can be general.

A character who dies during a battle and is removed as a casualty must roll on the following chart:

3 XP can be spent for a roll on the following chart. Each stat may only be improved by +2; results that would improve a stat beyond that cap must be rerolled. Each stat improvement from the table adds 10 points to the character’s value. You do not need to spend these points to gain the upgrade, but they are counted when it comes to balancing forces.

3 XP may be spent to purchase a single faction specific upgrade. These include Knightly Virtues, Chaos Gifts, Chaos Mutations, or any other point upgrade that an army may have. This XP cost is in addition to the points cost.

Characters that cannot normally take Magic Items, such as Wood Elf Branchwraiths, may take magic items in this campaign. Your army is far from home and compromises must be made.

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The Bazaar is the primary source of magic items in POTW. Each turn the GM will roll a D20 and multiply it by 5. That is the maximum point value that each player may spend on magic items from either their faction specific list or the common magic items list during this campaign turn.

Old World: Princes of the Old World Campaign System (2024)
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