Monday, 25 February 2013

Gromeo: Sponsored by the gods of Chaos


"Hang on," Nurgle said. "There's someone at the door."

Nurgle lumbered through to the wide doors serving as the entrance to this instance of his reality, little pulses of rust flashing out wherever his vast bulk happened to touch. The door handles rusted away as he pulled the doors apart.

"Khorne! Glad you could make it! Come on in, come on in." Nurgle stepped aside, waving Khorne through to the lounge.

"Hey, dawgs," Khorne barked. "Khorne's here!"

"Heyyyy," grunted Tzeentch, an arm growing through his back to meet Khorne's fist bump.

"Woohoo," mumbled Slaanesh, his voice flat. He didn't look around.

Khorne waved a brown bag. "Got snacks too!"

"Let me guess - a bag of Skulls and some BLOOD longtoms, right?"

"A bag of Skulls and some BLOOD longtoms," Khorne mimicked in a high pitched voice, glaring at Slaanesh. "Yeah - Skulls and BLOOD - what did you bring?"

"C'mon guys - it doesn't have to be like this," Nurgle chimed, holding his hands up in placation.

"Actually, Khorne, the last time I brought something, I brought a bottle of wine distilled from the pure desperation of innocent death row inmates, infused with sixty times six blind girls' first crushes, filtered for a thousand and one years through the agony of losing a loved one through a heart attack whilst copulating. To accompany that, I made crisps taken from potatoes harvested from fields drenched in the tears of insurance salesmen who came second in their sales targets, so they didn't get the pearl handled golf clubs. The fire upon which those crisps were deep fried was fuelled with the passion of eighty thousand football fans seeing their team score the winning goal in the world cup. And I made a tzatziki dip. Well okay, I bought the dip - two for the price of one, I think it was. Anyway, you can see why I'm disappointed."

Khorne pulled a face and continued with the falsetto voice: "You can see why I'm disappointed." His voice returned to its characteristic growl. "Fag! Fine - don't have any BLOOD, more for the rest of us. You stick to your passion flavoured dish liquid or whatever the hell it is you just said. I should kick your arse right now!"

"Yeah, figures you'd want to touch my arse - you've ben eying me up ever since I was blasted into existence!"

"Guys, guys, guys!" Nurgle rumbled as he rolled his eyes. "This is getting childish now. Its always nice to catch up, but we got stuff to do. These CV's aren't going to read themselves. Khorne, why don't you get a bowl," Nurgle pointed to the kitchen," and put the Skulls on the table. There's a good god." Nurgle pulled a chair out and beckoned to Slaanesh, who grimaced and sat down. They always sat this way - Nurgle opposite Tzeentch, Khorne opposite Slaanesh. Otherwise they never got anything done.

Khorne returned, dropping a crumbling bowl covered in limescale and full of Skulls onto the table. Slaanesh frowned as he gingerly poked the bowl with a finger. "Don't you ever clean up, Nurgle?"

"S'no point," Nurgle replied through a mouthful of Skulls. "It just gets dirty again."

Slaanesh stared at the corpulent figure, who shrugged.

"Ssso," Tzeentch hissed, "these are the CV's." He distributed the bits of paper evenly and the four stopped talking as they scanned the words. The gods have many ways of receiving prayer - given that these were petitions for championship, they had agreed that a curriculum vitae format was appropriate. Three pages max - the gods are busy too, after all.

"Loser," Khorne mumbled as he crumpled the pages of the first one and tossed it over his shoulder.

"Same," Tzeentch copied Khorne and crumpled the paper.

"Hmmm...maybe some potential?" He leaned over and showed the CV to Slaanesh. Slaanesh quickly scanned the first few pages, but shook his head. Nurgle crumpled it up and tossed the ball of paper into his mouth, the little face in his tongue snapping it out of the air.

"This dude came up last time as well, didn't he?" Tzeentch said, pushing the CV to the middle of the table, "Bit desperate, don't you think?"

"Yeah. I hate desperation - it smells...weak," Khorne said.

"I love the smell of desperation," Slaanesh said, scooping up the paper and breathing deeply. "Aaah. Although - he's not very desperate. Rejected. Maybe next time."

The others shrugged and nodded. Eyes returned to CV's.

"This is interesting," Nurgle grunted, some time later. "Looks like a half-orc. Very sexual, by the looks of things - just up your alley, really," Nurgle said, offering the CV to Slaanesh.

"So?" Slaanesh asked, taking the CV.

Nurgle stuffed another fistfull of Skulls into his mouth. "Tell you what I like about that one - he's been spreading disease. Looks like he's been nailing a whole goblin tribe, right. One of the little buggers had Rongcrotch - nasty piece of work I put together a couple of hundred years ago when I was on holiday. Seems as though he's been spreading rongcrotch all over the place. And, you know orcs and goblins - they're big on pillaging and raping. He's taken out over five thousand of the creatures with just his little-"

"Gimme that," Khorne snapped, grabbing the paper from Slaanesh. "Look, he's only killed twenty two goblins with an axe. Guy's a grade A loser."

"Wow. Five thousand guys with his dick versus twenty two guys with his axe. Seems the penis is mightier than the sword, eh Khorne?"

"Shutup, fag! What do you know about swords anyway? Keep your fag champion!" Khorne hurled the  CV back at Slaanesh, the papers swooping up into the air before drifting gently down to the table.

Slaanesh chuckled as he picked up the papers. "Given that he is half an orc, I must commend him on his list of conquests. I like his style. I think we should take him on."

"Hang on - what's he asking for?" Tzeentch asked. "He must want something? Money? Eternal life? What's his deal?"

"Lets see here." Slaanesh looked over the pieces of paper, turning them over as he squinted at the text. It doesn't look like he's asking for anything. He doesn't actively worship any of us. It seems like he just... talks to himself a lot. But what he says, I like."

Nurgle nodded. "Yeah. I like it too. I bet if we offered, he'd come on board for sure."

Tzeentch shook his head. "It doesn't work that way. They've got to ask - you know that."

"I can't believe we're still talking about this loser!" Khorne cracked open another can of BLOOD.

Nurgle rubbed his chin whilst his eyes explored the ceiling. "Well - he does have rongcrotch - that'll kill him if he doesn't do something about it. I could up the symptoms for a while, if you like?"

Tzeentch frowned. "I don't like. It feels wrong. He's yours anyway - aren't they all if they get one of your illnesses?"

Nurgle nodded. " much as I hate to admit it, I think you're right. Just this once - don't go getting ahead of yourself or anything."

Tzeentch rolled his eyes and shook his head.

Slaanesh neatly organised the CV's into a manageable pile, putting the one under discussion on top. "I dunno. I like this guy. And despite being forced to eat Skulls, I'm in a good mood today. I reckon he deserves a blessing, even if he doesn't ask for it.

"Go on then - what's his name?" Nurgle asked.

Slaanesh peered down at the paper. "Gromeo."

"Gromeo. Grrrrromeo." Nurgle scratched his chin again. "I like the sound of that. Great Green Gromeo. Okay - if you bless him I'll bless him."

"Whoa, hang on. Bird boy here says its a bad idea, so what gives?" Khorne spat, poking his finger at Tzeentch. "If you bless him, I'll curse him. Simple as that!"

Tzeentch aimed a sideways glance at Khorne. "Mutt face has a point. Personally, I don't care one way or the other, but tell you what - if you lot are going to do this, then I'll pop something of my own onto him too. Hows that sound?"

"It sounds ridiculous," Khorne said, rubbing his eyes. "And mutt face? C'mon Tee, you got something better than that, surely?"

Slaanesh looked at Nurgle. "You bless him, I bless him, he curses him and Tzeentch just does whatever he does. I can live with that."

Nurlge grinned at the others. "Yeah, I'll bet Gromeo can live with that too. I'll go first. He's already green, so that's a given, but I want him to be like me. I'll grant him Immensity."

Slaanesh nodded. "I'll make him a proper lady killer. I'll grant him Musk."

Khorne sighed. "He's a cock. I'll grant him Fear of Blood."

Tzeentch clicked his teeth in frustration. "It's always the same with you guys. You can do anything you want to and this is what you lot come up with? Fear of Blood? Really? I'll make up my own. Nurgle - I see your Immensity, and I raise you Enormously Fat. Slaanesh? Lady killer? Because he's so fat, he's going to find it hard to chase the ladies - it'll take him four times longer to walk somewhere than anyone else. Khorne? I like the fear of blood, but I'll twist that too. His own blood will be rich and powerful. He might not be able to stand the sight of the stuff, but I'll grant him Regenerate. Deal?"



"Fine. Deal!"

Grom: famous special character for the orcs & goblins and leader of a regiment of renown.
Romeo: Romantic lead in Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet.

Gromeo: Epic punnery bringing some culture to the oldhammer movement and allowing the world of warhammer to experience the true madness of chaos.

So, as a realms of chaos character, lets discuss young Gromeo. The whole idea of Gromeo started when  I went to play Andre the first time. Basically (much like back in the day) I was trying to get every painted figure I had into the game. I had Grom sitting there and I realised that I could easily make a RoC character out of him. Thinking of a big fat green character immediately took me in the direction of Nurgle, which worked out really well, as it allowed me to take my undead in that army. So the first game of Warhammer 3rd ed. I played in many years happened to be a realms of chaos army too. In that instance, I rolled up a character in the truest sense of the word, with the only choice I made being to use an entry level goblin as the starting stat line. No surprises then when the muppet leading the army (this brave champion of chaos) ran off the table in the first turn!

But the idea stuck. Suddenly, I had a real use for my custom Grom. I still wanted to have a Grom as I had known him from the 4th edition: a ginormous, chariot riding, elf-hating, regenerating goblin lord. But now I also wanted that story to encompass Realms of Chaos. Hmmmm...

Unfortunately, the problem specifically with Realms of Chaos is that once you start modelling or painting characters to be dedicated to a certain deity, it makes it much harder for you to repurpose the model. I realise that any sane opponent would let you, but it just wouldn't feel right to me. So this makes it hard for me to commit one way or the other. Nurgle was also a little hard for me to adjust to, because whilst I like the concept and the figures and whole idea of Nurgle, I just don't like The Lost and the Damned. The book is the bastard child between 3rd ed. and 4th ed. and pretty much breaks the charm that 3rd ed. has. I like the line drawings in the earlier works and I don't like the overpowered list in LatD.

But I digress - the point is, as a goblin, I wanted to be able to use Gromeo elsewhere. How could I integrate him into a Slaanesh army? What about Khorne? Khorne already has goblins, so that's a plus, right? But then the idea of this crazy goblin Casanova spreading disease through his lusty pursuits crossed my mind. I love the idea of turning the current GW universe on its head and looking for the role playing roots of these games. Why are goblins these idiotic one-dimensional illiterate hobos living out in the wild? Why can't we have clever goblins, and well dressed goblins? Dare I say it? Sexy goblins? I took the same approach with Rogaine in Bridge Over the River Chai - orcs don't have to be stupid.

Anyway, so once you throw off the constraints of the background, well, the (read: your) world's your oyster, really.

So Gromeo was born. A corpulent goblin lover boy, spreading a deadly STD leading to the deaths of thousands.

As part of the campaign Andre and I are looking at - we discussed the 'lead' characters and how powerful they should be. In the end, we agreed that Gromeo should start at level 15 - this gives him credibility to lead, without making him ridiculous. The Half orc element is a not to Grom's ancestry in the Regiments of Renown.

I then decided that Gromeo would be a neutral champion - not dedicated to any of the gods in particular. This led to the idea that each of the gods might offer a little something to get him started. To this end, I did not take any marks (or their modifiers) but instead, elected to choose two blessings and to roll for two curses. I chose Musk (from Slaanesh) as the only plausible explanation of Gromeo being able to bed a female from any species. I took Immensity from Nurgle, well - I don't need to explain that one.

Initially, I rolled Irrational Fear of <colour> for Khorne's reward. I was happy with that, but when I was looking something up I came across the Fear of Blood attribute and the lure was just too great - it was the absolutely perfect curse from Khorne! Andre and I agreed to change it, so Gromeo is now terrified of blood. With Tzeentch, I rolled 'Create your own', which I basically interpreted as the perfect opportunity for me to create the Grom within Gromeo. So I added Enormously Fat, which basically bulked Gromeo out to be the absolute beefcake he is and I added Regenerate. To compensate, I then reduced his movement to 1. One thing I didn't realise is that with Enormously Fat, one also gets +1T, -1I - with Enormously Fat and Immensity, he ends up with T6 - something I might reduce, as that's a little much. Also, he has no chaos steed or weapons, as proposed by Orlygg in his warband creation method, so I'm happy that he's 'okay'. That said, he does have a chariot (which explains how the bugger gets around). The key thing with the toughness and the regeneration was to make sure that there was a lead character who had some staying power for the campaign. The Fear of Blood is an excellent limiter to this character, meaning he will most likely have to act like a proper general and stay out of the fight. We'll see.

So these are his stats:

M WS BS S T W I A Ld Int Cl WP
Level 15 Half Orc Hero 4 5 4 4 4 3 5 3 9+2 6 8+1 8+1
Stat Adjustments x 0.25 +2 -2
Gromeo's Stat Line 1 5 4 4 6 3 3 3 9+2 6 8+1 8+1

Special Rules:

Reward (Nurgle)Immensity+1T, -1I (applied to stat line)
Reward (Slaanesh)MuskAny model within a 4" range must pass a WP test or move into base to base contact with Gromeo
Attribute (Khorne)Fear of BloodWP test if wound caused within 6", or unable to do anything for the rest of the turn
Attribute (Tzeentch)Invent Your OwnReward consists of the following:
Enormously Fatx0.5M, +1T, -1T (applied to stat line)
Half Movementx0.5M (applied to stat line)


  1. Fun..will you be rolling up a warband too, or have him as your own recurring lone character for battles.

  2. I've already rolled a warband for him (thats where Ownowitz Mann'fluh came from). It might be that I change the beastment to chaos dwarves, seeing as I already have enough of those. What I'm not sure about is where they will fit into the campaign. Andre and I will work this out as we get through it.

  3. This is the most beautiful story I have read all day. Just lovely :)Gromeo is going to be great fun to play with in your army, a real character.

  4. Laughing my ass off. Great writing, Gaj. Made my evening.