Alphabetically, the next Class of Careers are the Burghers. These are people that have to work for a living, usually just scraping by. This work helps them have a decent tier of Status, and some coin in their pocket, but their standard of living can change on a whim if their customers’ tastes shift. These eight careers might not sound the most exciting to roll, but to me, this is what WFRP is all about- playing a normal person caught up in impossible scenarios.
Agitator- Brass 1
Agitator is a Career that screams Warhammer to me. You get to play a character who’s job is literally yelling at people! Agitators are accepted for being a part of city life, but can be found in just about any village or town of the Empire as well. Fighting for a particular political goal, Agitators have an opinion and they’re going to let you know it! Advancing through the tiers of Agitator never gains a PC much Status, as it tops out at Brass 5, but becoming a Demagogue (besides sounding awesome), comes with other benefits. First off, your Fellowship will be through the roof. A starting Characteristic, you’ll need to spend a lot of Experience getting better at talking to people. Not only that, you’ll be able to use that Fel to influence a lot of people at once, keeping angry mobs at bay, or directing them to a chosen target! Their suggested trappings are great as well, ending with your own troupe of Pamphleteers, a printing press, and an impressive hat. Not many Careers have access to those.
Playing an Agitator as GM is always a blast, any chance you can yell at your Players is always fun. Using Agitators to be a thorn in the Party’s side can be a blast as well, pitting others against them. A canny Party could also use Agitators for themselves, fomenting distrust of an official known to be corrupt, or spread rumors to help their cause- maybe those rumors are even true!
Artisan- Brass 2
With a lot of room for growth, an artisan in the party can be very fun, and useful. At least depending on their chosen medium. Artisans start at the Brass 1 tier, as they’re just apprentices. Once they earn some experience and move higher in their career, their status rises quickly, going to Silver 1, Silver 3, to Gold 1 at the highest tier, Guildmaster. Having someone that knows their ways around tools in the party can be a great boon. Marching across the Empire to solve problems in a far province? A cobbler can keep your boots together! Your armor breaks due to Hack while in the wilderness? Good thing there’s a smith in the group that can patch it up over the next few days. Artisan’s can be very good for intrigue-based adventures as well. Having access to guilds in cities can be a major plot device, and having someone of a respectable career opens many doors. Not to mention the benefit of offering services for information or other items.
Beggar- Brass 0
One of my favorite careers, mostly because it’s so obscene to think someone is playing a fantastical RPG and they roll up a beggar! Bruno, from A Grim Podcast of Perilous Adventure, was very nearly a Beggar instead of a Coachman. If you remember all the way back to Episode 0, this was actually JBs initial roll. He did end up going with Coachman, of course, but imagine how different our campaign would have been if Bruno was a beggar. One of my favorite parts of this career is that they actually gain status as they ‘advance,’ eventually becoming a Beggar King! While their suggested trappings are nothing to call home about, their Skills and Talent list are actually quite notable for playing a social character. Having to put points into Fellowship right from the beginning helps there as well. Skills like Charm, Gossip, Haggle, and Perception are always handy, and your beggar is going to be shockingly good at them. While in most campaigns a beggar will likely not remain a beggar for long, they can help in ways you might not expect!
Investigator- Silver 1
While the most famous Investigator isn’t in one of our Warhammer shows *cough* The Lost Omens Podcast *cough*, this Career has a lot of potential. An insanely helpful career, investigators have so many useful skills that every party should have one. Having Perception as their income-driven skill means they will notice everything. Early access to Track and Stealth (Urban) makes them great for city investigations, along with a bevy of social skills like Charm, Gossip, and Leadership. No slouches in combats either, their high Initiative, Dodge, and Melee (Brawling) can keep them alive in the back alleys while they’re tracking down murderers and thieves. Not above the law themselves, they’re one of the few careers to have Pick Lock, though it is in Tier 2. Investigators are also great for NPCs. You could build a whole campaign like a classic Dark Heresy game, where the party works for a private Detective, going on missions that are beneath them. Alternatively, an antagonistic investigator could make life very difficult for a party, putting all of these skills against them.
Merchant- Silver 2
Everyone’s favorite merchant at the PCN is of course Gertrude, or Gerti to his friends, from our Homebrew show, Settling the Southlands. Wanna make money and look good doing it? Be a merchant! Their Status starts pretty high at Silver 2, and can increase up to Gold 3 if you survive to Merchant Prince. With that Status comes money, property, and goods. Another great social career, merchants are going to have high Fellowship, but also Weapon Skill and Agility- caravan guards aren’t 100% successful! Of course, merchants make money with Haggle, so as their income-driven skill, they are going to get a good price, whether they are buying or selling. Similar to investigators, merchants make fantastic NPCs, whether the party works as caravan guards or has to outmaneuver a merchant rival in a city, the options for this career know no bounds.
Rat Catcher- Brass 3
Another fan-favorite from Settling the Southlands, is Lilianna, the halfling Rat Catcher! One of my personal favorite careers, rat catcher embodies WFRP perfectly. They’re competent fighters, but of a ridiculous nature. Shockingly effective in combat, starting with Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill, and Will Power, rat catchers are going to deal damage. They might not fare as well in social encounters, but they have some help there with Skills like Consume Alcohol and Gossip. They know how to take care of their small but vicious dog as well with Animal Training and Animal Care early in the career. Their talents are nothing to wave a pole with D10 dead rats on it at either; Strike Might Blow, Resistance (Disease), Night Vision, Strike to Stun, all at the first tier! Later they can gain bangers like Enclosed Fighter, Very Resilient, and Hardy! They can dish out the pain and take it too! While their suggested trappings, other than the doggo, are nothing to write home about, rat catchers might look like a joke, but are a strong combat class. Oh, and don’t go killing rats without being a member of the guild, they’re still running a business!
Townsman- Silver 1
Sigmar’s beard we’ve had a lot of characters on the Network from this Class! I had the pleasure of playing Mrs. Erika Chandler on our 50 5-Star Review bonus show, Feast of Blood. This career is really at the heart and soul of the Old World. From tiny hamlets to metropolises like Altdorf, townspeople are there to make sure everything runs smoothly. While they might not seem like the most exciting career to play as a PC, they are certainly necessary to populate the world as NPCs with jobs that are necessary for civilization to flourish. Townsmen of course are a great social career, a little curiously with Haggle as their income Skill, same as a merchant. Townsmen aren’t merchants though, nor are they crafters of goods, but they work to make sure those people get their wares where they need to be! Bankers, clerks, innkeepers, shopkeepers, and other vocations fit the role of townsmen. Naturally they have access to many useful social Skills like Charm, Gossip, Bribery, Play (Any), and eventually Lore (Politics). As with any character, a career is only what you make of it. I had a blast playing Erika Chandler, whose family was wealthy from the production of candles. She didn’t know how to do it herself, but she knew how to run a business!
Watchman- Brass 3
With a lantern and a cudgel, Watchmen keep citizens safe. Who watches the- eh, you know how it goes. Watchmen, often corrupt officials that usually just want to bash someone about the head (hey, look there’s Strike to Stun at Tier 1!). Of course the watchman is a more combat-focused career for the Burgher Class, with Weapon Skill, Strength, and Fellowship as their starting Characteristics. They combine survival and combat skills and talents together into a unique package. Perception as their income-driven skill is nice, except they don’t gain Initiative as a career Characteristic until Tier 3- Watch Sergeant. Having access to Melee (Any) at Tier 1 is really nice and allows a player to really customize their character from the get-go. I also love that this physical class has Entertain (Storyteller) later on, representing those Sergeants that just love to tell tall tales to young recruits. Overall, a useful and well-rounded career that can fit easily into any party. For GMs, look no further than the Starter Set (review will be linked here when complete) for an infamous watchman for inspiration in Rudi Klumpenklug.
Next Time, Gadget…
Up next are the Courtiers- those that bump elbows with nobility (or are the nobility!). Until then, make sure to check out our Patreon at patreon.com/professionalcasual for all kinds of awesome content. Also, if you’re looking for any of the books I’ve mentioned throughout the article, head over to beardeddragongames.online/shop or if you’re in our Discord, tag Anthony with anything you need!
Dan is a founding member of the PCN, GM/host of “A Grim Podcast of Perilous Adventure,” and “Settling the Southlands” as well as a player in The Lost Omens Podcast, and The Slithering. Dan is also a novelist and writer of adventures.