The following is a home-made profession for Warhammer Quest, based upon the Wardancer Henchman from Advanced HeroQuest and the Wood Elf warrior type from Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Actually, this is the first home-made profession that I put together, and also one of the most "play-tested" through actual use, though I never got around to posting a complete article for this profession before now.
The Wardancer is, of course, very closely akin to the Elf character, sharing many of the same abilities, as both are Wood Elves. However, the Wardancer foregoes training in the use of the bow and in defensive capability, focusing more on the use of hand-to-hand weaponry.
As with other creations of mine, this is, of course, simply a home-made profession, and by no means official. In fact, I have heard that at some time in the future a Wardancer Warrior Pack is indeed planned, which will of course render this obsolete in such an event. In the meantime, though, this has provided an interesting acrobatic Warrior-type that works well in a number of different Warrior parties.

The Wardancer

By T. Jordan "Greywolf" Peacock
9 Aug 95

Among the Wood Elves of the forests of Loren are a select group of warrior- troubadours known as the Wardancers. They are exceptionally agile and graceful Elves whose endurance surpasses even that of others of their ancient race, capable of amazing, acrobatic feats.
They have a unique style of combat that combines the grace and beauty of dance with deadly precision, unnerving their opponents as they bound and leap into combat. They do not train in the use of the bow as most Wood Elves do, but make up for this with their mastery of hand-to-hand combat techniques. Wardancers are rare among the ranks of adventurers, for they are more at home in the forests of Loren, seeing action mostly on open battlefields, acting as part of a larger troupe. However, some among their number have reason to use their skill within the depths of the dungeons beneath the earth in order to battle the forces of Chaos, to recover lost treasures, and to discover what secrets might be found below.

-*- STARTING AS A WARDANCER-*-

WARDANCER STATISTICS

Wounds   1D6+7 
Move 4
Weapon Skill      4
Ballistic Skill 6+
Strength 3
Toughness 3
Initiative 6
Attacks 1

Equipment

Healing Potion.

Weapon

Sword, causing 1D6+3 Wounds

Armour

None.

Pinning

The Wardancer can never be pinned.

Special Rules

Once each turn, the Wardancer may leap two spaces in any direction, ignoring any obstacles in the intermittent space. This counts as one space of movement. At the start of a turn, the Wardancer may use the dance of Whirling Death. She gains an additional attack in hand-to-hand against a single opponent, but may not leave this opponent (nor change maneuvers) until it flees or is defeated.

ENEMY'S WS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

TO HIT FOE

2

3

3

4

4

4

4

4

5

5

-*- WARDANCER ADVANCED PROFILES -*-

Battle Level Wounds Wpn Bal Str Damage Dice Tgh Init Att Luck Will Skills Pinning
2 2D6+7 5 6+ 3 1 3 6 2 1 2 1 A
3 2D6+7 5 6+ 4 1 3 7 2 2 3 1 A
4 3D6+7 5 5+ 4 1 4 7 2 2 3 2 A
5 3D6+7 5 5+ 4 2 4 8 3 2 3 2 A
6 4D6+7 6 5+ 4 2 4 8 3 3 3 3 A
7 4D6+7 6 4+ 4 2 4 9 3 3 3 3 A
8 5D6+7 6 4+ 4 2 4 9 4 3 3 4 A
9 5D6+7 7 4+ 4 3 4 9 4 3 4 5 A
10 6D6+7 7 3+ 4 3 4 9 4 4 4 5 A

-*- WARDANCER'S SKILLS -*-

The Wardancer has the following skills available to her as she goes up her Battle-Levels. To determine which specific skill she learns when given the opportunity roll 2D6.

2

SPIRAL'S COIL 
Your enemy leers at you, certain of success against such a comparatively small and weak opponent, but you retain your cool. Immediately, you begin to sway and dance about, prompting your enemy to laugh . . . that is, until he attempts what he thought to be an easy shot with his axe, only to find it slicing through empty air.
 
Your Warrior may elect to spend the turn doing the dance of the Spiral Coil, during which she may take no other action, including movement or attacks. Your Warrior is impossible to hit with most missiles or hand weapons, though still vulnerable to spells and other special attacks that affect an entire area. This effect lasts for the entire turn, and the player may elect to either continue this dance for the next turn, or take some other action instead.

3

BALANCE 
Approaching the chasm, you easily stroll across on a solitary rope, while your comrades watch in disbelief.
 
For any hazard that involves a chance of falling (such as the rope bridge across the Fire Chasm), the Wardancer may re-roll an unfavorable result, though she must keep the second result whether better or worse. In addition to this (and in cases where there is no normal chance to avoid, such as with certain pit traps) regardless of the former results, the Wardancer may retain her balance and avoiding falling on a natural roll of 6 on 1D6.

4

WHISPERING WIND 
Moving like the wind, you effortlessly slip past your comrades to reach the enemy, even performing such feats as dancing across their spear-tips in order to do so.
 
When moving your Warrior, you may pass through spaces occupied by friendly models as if they weren't there, so long as your final position leaves your Warrior's model in an open space.

5

DODGE 
Relying on your natural agility, you deftly sidestep the attack. 
Whenever an opponent hits your Warrior, your Warrior may attempt to dodge the blow, causing it to miss completely. On a score of 6 on 1D6 the blow has no effect.

6

CONCENTRATED ATTACK 
Making the most of your finely-honed precision, you focus on bypassing your target's defenses.
 
At the start of her turn, your Warrior may elect to use a concentrated attack instead of any other special maneuvers. On all attacks made this turn, the Warrior may add +2 to her die rolls to hit, though a natural roll of 1 is still a miss.

7

TAUNT 
Your skill as a performer is not restricted to acts of beauty and grace. You're also a master at the "art" of the insult, to take advantage of the carelessness brought upon by anger.
 
Once per turn, the Wardancer may try to taunt a single Monster. This does not constitute an action, but may not be used if the Wardancer is employing any other special maneuvers or dances for this turn. If the Monster fails an Initiative check, it is so enraged by the Wardancer's verbal jabs that on its next turn it must attempt to engage the Wardancer in hand-to-hand combat in preference to all other targets, and may ignore Pinning rules in an attempt to do so. After this next turn, there is no special effect, though unless the Adventure Book suggests otherwise (or if the Monster is a Guard), the Monster will still attack the Wardancer. This may be useful to draw attention away from badly wounded comrades. (This ability is useless against the Undead, but it useful against most any living creature. Creatures that can't understand the Wardancer's language can still get the point from gestures and tone of voice. Mere animals (such as Giant Bats, Giant Rats and Giant Spiders) may still be affected, as the Wood Elves are closely attuned to nature and to beasts.)

8

WOVEN MIST 
You bob and sway in an unpredictable yet mesmerizing fashion, dodging blows while looking for openings in your enemies' defenses.
 
At the start of her turn, the Wardancer may elect to use the dance of the Woven Mist instead of any other special maneuvers. For this turn, the Wardancer may attack normally, but all hand-to-hand or missile attacks against her only hit on a natural roll of 5 or 6.

9

EVADE 
Nimbly stepping to one side, you dodge the incoming axe, flinching slightly as the razor-sharp blade whistles past your ear and buries itself in the table next to you.
 
This skill gives your Warrior the ability to dodge incoming blows by stepping to one side. If a Monster successfully hits your Warrior, roll 1d6. On a score of 1, 2, 3 or 4 he hits your Warrior as normal. On a score of a 5 or 6 your Warrior can evade the blow by stepping into any empty adjacent square. If there are no squares free she must take the blow as normal.

10

TRANSFIX 
As your sword flits and darts about, there are momentary flashes at regular intervals as it reflects the faint light of the lantern. Using this to great effect, you see the dungeon dweller before you start to slow as he is entranced by the display.
 
After the first turn of combat with a given Monster, your Warrior may attempt to Transfix your opponent in combination with normal attacks (though this ability cannot be used in combination with other "dances"). If the Monster fails an Initiative test, it is entranced for one full turn its roll to hit are at -1, while your Warriors attacks against it are at +1 to hit and do an additional Wound of damage per successful strike. If the roll fails, there is no special effect, but your Warrior may attack as normal.

11

FOREST-WALKER  
Brushing aside the undergrowth, you find an almost invisible deer track leading straight to the next village and cutting a good seven days off the journey.
 
This skill allows your Warrior to find almost hidden short cuts in the trek between dungeons. When travelling to a Settlement, this skill allows your Warrior to reduce the journey time by one week. In addition, on the journey she finds enough herbs to make 1D6 healing potions. Each potion restores a number of Wounds equal to the Wardancer's Battle-Level.

12

PARRY
With a practised maneuver and a deft flick of the wrist you hook your sword around your enemy's weapon and twist it down and to one side.  
This skill allows your Warrior to parry an incoming blow. When your Warrior is attacked roll 1D6. On a score of 1-5 she must take the blow as normal. On a score of 6 she turns the blow and it causes no damage.

-*- ADDITIONAL RULES -*-

SETTLEMENTS 

A Wardancer may visit the Elf Quarter (since she is an Elf, of course) and any other areas that the Elf character might visit. If she visits the Alehouse, she rolls 2D6-2 to determine the results of her visit.

EQUIPMENT AND TREASURE 

A Wardancer may use any equipment or treasure items available to the Elf.

PAIRED WEAPONS 

The Wardancer is able to use a weapon in each hand, to gain an additional Attack per Turn. In this case, each weapon must be usable in only one hand, and a shield cannot be used at the same time. Any reach weapon (which would allow the Wardancer to Attack in Ranks) would be considered a "two-hand" weapon for purposes of this ability. If a Wardancer has a weapon in each hand, she does not have a free hand to switch to a ranged weapon, to use potions, or other such special actions. To do so, she would have to drop her weapon (recovering it after all Monsters have been defeated in the same board section as where it was dropped), or else spend a Turn sheathing one of her weapons instead of attacking.

MOVEMENT IN WOODS 

The Wardancer is a Wood Elf, and therefore is not subject to movement penalties (typically half movement rate) for moving through wooded areas.

HEALING POTION 

The Wardancer starts with a Healing Potion with exactly the same properties as the one carried by the Elf Warrior.

-*- REPRESENTING YOUR WARRIOR -*-

Citadel miniatures has a number of Wardancer miniatures (as part of the Wood Elf army) for Warhammer Fantasy Battle, representing both genders and with a variety of armaments. Otherwise, there are countless Elf miniatures produced by other miniatures companies that would work just fine. Basically, a Wardancer would be an Elf who travels very lightly, not wearing bulky armor or elaborate helms. While Wood Elves might typically dress in "woodsy" colors (browns and greens, primarily), Wardancers have a great deal of variety in their garb, often in bright colors with imaginative fabric pattern or even body paint designs. (In short, Wardancers are fun to paint. ;) )

-*- ROLE-PLAYING TIPS -*-

I haven't really found anything that helps me to classify just what a Wardancer should be like. Many of the illustrations make them look serious and mysterious, yet their nature as "troubadours" of a sort would seem to suggest that they might have a lighter side as well. Until someone points out otherwise, I'll figure that there's a great deal of leeway in how one plays a Wardancer, and there aren't any handy stereotypes to use as guidelines. Roughly, Wardancers are Elven acrobat-warriors. They should be adept at performing feats of acrobatic prowess, and the GM should keep this in mind for situations that require Initiative tests.

-*- DISCLAIMERS AND SUCH -*-

Games Workshop, Knights Panther, the Old World, Skaven, Warhammer Quest, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Battle Magic, Talisman and Advanced HeroQuest are trademarks of Games Workshop, Ltd. Their use here does not constitute a legal challenge to trademark status. This article is copyright 1995 by T. Jordan "Greywolf" Peacock, though it may be freely distributed in unaltered form, so long as proper credit is given and no fees are charged for its use. If you'd like to contact me for whatever reason, you can write to me at: 

Jordan Peacock
1610 Parker
Cedar Falls, IA 50613

-*- HAPPY QUESTING! -*-