Peasants might not be the most exciting Class of Careers in WFRP, but to me it’s really what Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is all about. Playing ‘grubs in the mud,’ as Tim described it, that stand against the machinations of Chaos and other horrors of the Old World is the epitome of Warhammer. Today’s entry is all about the Peasant Class of Careers for WFRP 4th Edition. These Careers have a nice amount of diversity as grubs, and a couple even know how to swing a sword!
Bailiff– (Dwarf, Halfling, Human) Ever want to play a character like the Sheriff of Nottingham? Then play a bailiff! Start as a tax collected and be loved by all. This career is interesting as it can make a great villain to very low status PCs living on a lord’s land. They owe taxes, and the local bailiff has to make them pay, any way necessary. As a PC, they have an interesting mix of physical and mental skills and talents. Starting with WS as a Characteristic, bailiff’s don’t take no crap from nobody! At the same time, they have I and WP as well, making them quick-witted, but also cool as a cucumber. Starting with a Silver 1 Status also allows bailiff’s a modicum of social graces, as they do important work for their even more important employers. As a PC advances through this career, they gain access to some great abilities like Break and Enter, Nose for Trouble, Iron Will and skills like Perception, Intimidate (as their income skill), Lore (Heraldry), and Lore (Law). Playing a PC bailiff might put a small target on one’s back, as well as the fact that they probably won’t be liked as much by the other party members, but hey, maybe you’re playing a bailiff down on their luck, fired for doing the right thing instead of making sure the Baron got every single crown they felt they were due.
(Human only) Not every witch is a master of the dark arts, some are just trying to help their community with these powers they happen to have. Witch Hunters are the bane of hedge witches and will avoid them whenever possible. Known simply as apothecaries or herbalists in most towns, hiding one’s magical gifts, or ‘blessings’ is necessary for survival. Hedge Witches are a fun Career to play and find new ways to keep your powers hidden to most others. As NPCs, they can be fonts of knowledge and guidance, as their powers and abilities can help in many different ways. Hedge Witches rely on rituals and techniques passed down through the generations for their magic, and so are not as learned as other magic-oriented careers. They don’t even have Int until Tier 2 (Hedge Witch) and WP until Tier 4 (Hedgewise)! Casting even their Petty Magic is difficult, but luckily the Lore of Hedgecraft is a simple lore that has been expanded with the Blood and Bramble PDF, giving Hedge Witches more options than ever. They do start with I and Intuition as their income skill, making them very good at reading people. Their lowest of the low Brass 1 Status is not great for getting close to the people they might need to read though, which betrays the respect they usually have in their small rural communities.
(Halfling, High Elf, Human, Wood Elf) More confident in their profession than Hedge Witches, Herbalists have no access to the arcane, merely their knowledge of the greenery around them and how to apply it to those in need. Herbalists are essentially one step down from an apothecary when it comes to their ability to help those that are sick or injured, but one would be a fool not to accept their help when given. Herbalists are slightly more respected socially than Hedge Witches, starting at Brass 2 Status. Their trade is based more on their ability with a mortar and pestle than book learning, so they begin their career with access to T, I, and Agi, quickly gaining Dex at Tier 2 (Herbalist). Their skills are far-ranging, including Trade (Herbalist) as their income skill, Outdoor Survival, Charm Animal, and Endurance to begin with. They can gain many useful talents with their experience like Orientation, Nimble Fingered, Field Dressing, and Master Tradesman (Herbalist). The flip side of the coin of an herbalist, would be their tendency to make easy money selling drugs and poisons to the knowledgeable customer. A dangerous game, selling illicit substances can bring the watch, or even Witch Hunters coming, as citizens fear nothing more than what they don’t understand.
(Dwarf, Halfling, High Elf, Human, Wood Elf) Masters of their craft of tracking, trapping, and killing game, hunters are necessary in all aspects of life in the Empire. Knowing how to catch small animals is just as important as taking down the largest. Knowing your way around a hand weapon and usually a bow keeps a hunter alive, as they start with S, T, and Dex as their Characteristics. They’re one of the very few Careers that has access to the Set Trap skill as well! Starting at Brass 2 status, Hunters can move up in the world to Silver 3 as a Huntsmaster, but they’d likely rather spend time in the wilderness of the Empire and beyond anyway. Most hunters become highly skilled with the bow (or elf bow) with Ranged (Bow) and BS early in their Career. Notable Talents include: Accurate Shot, Fast Shot, Marksman, Sharpshooter, Trapper, and Sniper. Hunters make for deadly NPCs, as a bow is a terribly underappreciated weapon and is absolutely deadly in the right (wrong?) hands. A PC hunter is a boon for the party in any rural environment, but in the big cities, they might be a little lost.
(Dwarf, Halfling, Human) Cue Tim’s minor joke here… Ok, now that that’s over, dwarfs are most commonly known as miners, though they don’t have to be, nor are they the only species that delves deep to find precious ore. I find it odd that elves cannot enter the miner Career, because at least High Elves certainly mine, but I assume that they wouldn’t in the Old World, only on Ulthuan. Miners make for surprisingly effective combat characters. S, T, and WP as starting Characteristics certainly help, with WS at Tier 2 (Miner). They also have starting access to Melee (Two-handed) for those big picks that are great for cracking stone or skulls. Later they learn to use explosives, can see in the dark with Night Vision, and develop their muscles from swinging said pick day in and day out with Strike Mighty Blow, Very Strong, and Strong-minded. Miners can move up in the bureaucratic world as well, gaining Skills and Talents like Leadership, Evaluate, Lore (Geology), Embezzle, and Craftsman (Explosives). This helps them increase their Status as well, moving from Brass 2 up to Silver 4 as they advance. All-in-all, miners are a well-rounded career that would be welcome in any adventuring party.
(Human, Wood Efl) Mystic is an interesting Career that at first glance might seem like a spellcaster, which it is, but not for a while. They have access to a smattering of disparate Skills and Talents that makes for a very unique character. As a Tier 1 Fortune Teller they can have Second Sight, getting glimpses of future events or omens. Entertain (Fortune Telling) is an interesting Skill at this level as well, where it’s not magically derived, but more using their Fel to tell people what they want to hear. Mystics are highly aware of their surroundings, probably cause they’re confused with Witches often. Their income Skill in Intuition and I is a starting Characteristic along with Dex and Fel. Mystics are quick-thinking and quick-talking! They slowly gain more magical acumen, as they gain experience. At Tier 2 (Mystic) they can Detect Artifacts and have Holy Visions. Later they can cast Petty Magic and finally if they reach Tier 4 (Seer) they can specifically gain Channelling (Azyr) and Arcane Magic (Celestial) making their fortune telling real! They never make it out of Brass Status though, as they typically ply their trade rurally to the poor.
(Dwarf, Halfling, High Elf, Human, Wood Elf) Scouts are a pretty straight-forward Career. They’re good out in the wild, great with a bow, and know the wildlife well. They make for one of the best fighting Careers for rural campaigns, but be handy in a city as well. With Perception as their income skill and I, as well as T and Agi, for starting Characteristics are very aware of the world around them, as well as able to endure or avoid the dangers they find! Their Skills and Talents are what you’d expect like Melee (Basic), Ranged (Bow), Outdoor Survival, Navigation, Swim, Rover, Strider (any), Combat Aware, and Very Resilient. Their skills can be highly sought after and as they become more experienced Pathfinders their Status increases well, going from Brass 3 up to Silver 5. If you enjoy playing a Ranger in other RPGs, a scout is for you!
(Dwarf, Halfling, Human) There isn’t anything more mundane in an RPG than a villager. The difference in WFRP is that you can actually play one! A day laborer, examples listed of the job of a villager include: “Farmers, Charcoal Burners, Woodsmen, Millers, Herders, and many more.” These people are the lifeblood of the Empire and everything would come to a screeching halt without them. Their manual labor is represented in their starting Characteristics of St, T, and Agi. Villagers aren’t known for their high station and wealth, so begin at Brass 2 and can end at Silver 2 as a Village Elder. Their Skills and Talents are wide-ranging though, allowing you to customize your not-NPC. Some notable ones are Endurance (their income skill, back breaking work, ya know?), Consume Alcohol, Outdoor Survival, Trade (Any), Lore (Any), Strong Back, Animal Affinity, Very Strong, Master Tradesman (Any). Villagers are also ripe for the picking as a BBEG, as who couldn’t identify with a disgruntled peasant?
Back Breaking Work
If you choose Careers, Peasants are a great Class to check out if you really want to play up the idea that anyone can become an adventurer. Just know you’ll be good at something, but it’s probably not combat! Up next are the Rangers- masters of the wild, or at least they know how to get through it! 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.