Norscan Berserker: New Hero Type
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The Norscan Berserker


This is a new Hero type, inspired by the "barbarian" character featured in the original HeroQuest game.

North of the Empire, lies the frigid lands of Norsca, a foreboding realm where live is harsh and often short, and Chaos is an ever-present threat. The brave men and women who make their homes here are fierce warriors, hardened by the climate and their frequent clashes with the horrors of the north. Although they are quite resourceful and able hunters, many of them live by raiding coastal settlements on the northern parts of the Old World, and thus their relationship with the more civilized nations is often strained. Nonetheless, given the harsh life to be found there, it is not unheard of for some among their number to migrate southward to seek their fortunes in the warmer country.

Among the Norscan warriors are the Berserkers: warriors known for their sheer savagery in battle, chopping through limbs as if ripe corn, with ferocity matched by none, and a complete disregard for personal safety. These warriors are known as highly brutish and unstable savages, working themselves up into an insane frenzy on the eve of a battle, then let loose to sow mayhem amongst the enemy.

At any time during a combat, a Berserker may elect to go Berserk. This does not take an action. From this point onward, the Berserker is compelled to move into hand-to-hand combat with the nearest foe, and continue fighting until the foe is killed, knocked unconscious, or flees from combat, whereupon the Berserker must then move to engage the next foe, and so forth, until the Berserker is slain or knocked unconscious, or there are no more foes to attack, or no way to possibly reach them. At that point, the Berserker recovers, and is able to take other actions normally.

While Berserk, a Berserker is able to make two hand-to-hand attacks for every one attack action, making him a veritable killing machine. The downside is that he leaves himself open to counter-attack with total disregard for his own personal safety: when others try to attack him, he is treated as if he has -2 to his WS score for the sake of defense. This penalty applies for so long as he is still Berserk.

The close proximity of Norsca to the Chaos Wastes means that the Norscans are very aware of the warping nature of magic. This has instilled in them a great distrust of wizardry.

Berserkers will not carry or utilize items of a known magical (or apparently magical) nature, with the exception of healing potions and other curatives (which they consider to be "medicine"). They have a general distrust of Wizards, but that is purely a roleplaying concern.

Although this is not true of all Norscans, Berserkers are invariably illiterate, as they come from a class not concerned with such matters as learning to read and write the common tongues. In the Warhammer World, this is not a considerable handicap for a muscle-bound fighter, but it could potentially hinder the Berserker now and then, when he is the only one to see an inscription, and can't for the life of him read it.

If desired, a Berserker can attempt to learn to read and write between adventures. (This is not between expeditions, but between entire adventures and dungeons.) This may be accomplished either by permanently expending a Fate Point, or else by spending 200 GCs to find a tutor.

Berserkers travel light, for going Berserk is a terribly exhausting exercise. Trying to do so in full plate armor would result in a Berserker passing out before he can inflict any damage on the foe.

Therefore, a Berserker may not go Berserk while he is wearing any armor heavier than leather armor, or carrying a shield. He may, however, use any type of weapon normally available to a Warrior.

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