The Mentalist

By T. Jordan "Greywolf" Peacock
13 July 95

The following is the last installment in an eight-part series of home-made professions for Warhammer Quest corresponding to the eight Colleges of Magic in the Warhammer universe, presented in Advanced HeroQuest and hinted at in Talisman. Unlike the rest, however, this particular profession has nothing approaching a counterpart in Talisman, so it is based mostly on WFB and AHQ. This profession is largely like the regular Wizard, though he has an altered spell selection, and some special skills (and restrictions).

As with many in this series, this profession (and its particular spell selection) has not at this writing actually been playtested, though it is based upon an "Amethyst Wizard" that I used for games of AHQ. As such, some caution should be employed before introducing this profession into an established campaign, as experience might reveal that some spells or abilities are too powerful, not powerful enough, or that the rules present contradictions or ambiguities. Hopefully, once I get a chance to try out each of these professions, I'll be able to get a better feel for play balance, and update this article with changes that I deem necessary, if any. In the meantime, I have tried to use common sense and an eye for "game balance" here, so I sincerely hope that while there may be particular professions that are more effective (or less so) than others in various situations, that this will be within a reasonable margin of error for a Warrior on equal footing with the official ones that come with the game.

-*- THE MENTALIST -*-

The College of Amethyst is situated next to the Haunted Graveyard of Altdorf, where countless bodies were hastily interred during the Red Plague. It is a cold, stone, tomb-like structure in itself, and deathly quiet, as the Amethyst Wizards do not speak. They are Mentalists, and communicate with each other through thought. They are masters of the mind, and the Battle Wizards of their number frequently focus on the more nightmarish aspects thereof.

A Mentalist is often disturbing company for a band of Warriors, but he still possesses unique skills among spell-casters that can be extremely useful in a variety of situations.

-*- MENTALIST STATISTICS -*-

The Mentalist has statistics identical to the Wizard initially and at higher Battle-Levels. However, he has as a different spell and equipment selection. Instead of the Hand of Death Scroll, he starts with an Amethyst Tome, the contents of which are a mystery to all others. Instead of a sword, he uses a scythe, which inflicts the same damage but allows him to Attack in Ranks, able to strike a target up to two spaces away (as opposed to the normal range of one space).

-*- THE AMETHYST TOME -*-

Nobody knows what is in this leather-bound book that Mentalists carry around with them, not even the writer of this article.

(Sorry, I was feeling just a bit weird today. =) The Battle Magic book suggests Amethyst Wizards carry around this mysterious book, but gives no indication what purpose it might serve. Perhaps a GM might ascribe some importance to this in a role-playing campaign. I would be inclined to consider it as being some sort of "Book of Secrets" that would give the bearer a +1 to Intelligence (or intellectual initiative tests) related to identifying magic items, reading runes, or trying to figure out clues about the forces of Chaos.)

-*- ADDITIONAL RULES -*-

TELEPATHY

The Mentalist does not speak nor vocalize. He may, however, communicate with the other Warriors by means of transmitting his own thoughts and by receiving their surface thoughts. This ability does not allow him to probe into minds to uncover special secrets, though at the GM's discretion it might be used on occasion to allow him to spy upon Monsters who are unaware of his presence and therefore who might not be defensive about his mind-reading abilities. (However, Monster thoughts are often no more profound than "Me hungry. Me wish for tasty Elf to eat. Yum yum.")

SETTLEMENTS

The Mentalist may visit Settlements, but his ability of reading minds, combined with the fact that just about everybody KNOWS about this ability of Amethyst Wizards, and with his generally sinister appearance causes everyone to give him a wide berth. He may not visit the Gambling House (or if he does, nobody will play a game against him) as it is feared he could spy on everyone else's hand or somehow mystically alter the roll of dice. If he were to visit the Alehouse, no roll would be made on the chart at all. Not even charlatans or troublemakers will dare disturb him, so nothing of note will happen at all. Indeed, there are simply no Settlement Events for the Mentalist, for good or ill, though Catastrophic Events still apply. If he should have a horse, it will not be stolen, as the would-be thief will be convinced that he will simply be given away by his own thoughts.

The Mentalist may not visit the Wizards' Guild. Members of the Amethyst College are just not all that sociable at all, even among spell-casters of other Colleges, or among Warrior-Wizards for that matter. The only exception to this rule is that, should he lose his Amethyst Tome or his scythe for whatever reason, he MUST get a replacement at the soonest opportunity. If there is a Wizards' Guild in a Settlement, he must try to visit it as soon as he enters, where, by dealing with the Wizards there, he will be able to acquire an Amethyst Tome and/or a scythe for 200 gold each. He may not have more than one Tome, and has no use for more than one scythe.

EQUIPMENT

The Mentalist may use any equipment or magical items usable by the Wizard, with a few exceptions. If any Treasure Cards are found which contain new spells (such as a Finger of Doom scroll) listed as usable by the Wizard, the Mentalist cannot utilize them, as they are outside of his area of expertise. The Mentalist will only use his scythe in combat. Other weapons are only useful to him if they are ranged weapons, or if he should happen to find a magical scythe.

INITIAL SPELL SELECTION

Select spells from the spell decks in the same way as a Wizard for initial spell selection. Although the majority of these spells will not be found on the Mentalist's expanded spell list below, this is fine. These spells represent his attempt to diversify by picking magicks from outside his primary college, for the sake of adventuring.

-*- MENTALIST SPELL LIST -*-

As the Mentalist advances in skill, he selects additional spells in the same way as the Wizard, as described in the Wizards' Training section beginning on p. 50 of the Roleplay Book, except that he selects from the following list of spells.

Some of the spells on this list are identical to those available to the Wizard, though they might have different Casting Levels due to the Mentalist's differing specialties. New spells added to this list are described immediately following it.

* indicates a new spell
+ indicates a spell with altered Casting Level or special rules

CASTING 1
DEFENSE Coughing
Courage*
Drop
Feign Death+
SPECIAL Fleet of Foot
CASTING 2
ATTACK Iyrtu's Embrace*
DEFENSE Anticipate*
Nausea
Slip
Soul Steel*
SPECIAL Tongues
Zone of Silence
CASTING 3
DEFENSE Confuse
SPECIAL The Manacle of Caloe*
Soul Share*
Speed
CASTING 4
ATTACK The Purple Scythe*
DEFENSE Amaranth*
HEALING Fortitude (Heal Wounds)
SPECIAL Dispel Magic
Second Sight
CASTING 5
ATTACK Fire of Judgement (Fireball)
DEFENSE Blur
Dazzle
SPECIAL Cause Animosity+
Invisibility
Sleep
Speed of Lykos*
CASTING 6
ATTACK The Caress of Laniph*
The Choking Foe*
SPECIAL Rout*
CASTING 7
ATTACK Spasm*
DEFENSE       Fools' Gold
SPECIAL Glory!
CASTING 8    
ATTACK Purple Sun of Xereus*
SPECIAL Chorus of Valour
Wild Kin of Zandox*
CASTING 9
ATTACK The Fate of Bjuna*
SPECIAL Spirit Control*
CASTING 10 ATTACK Carnival of Death+
CASTING 11
SPECIAL Alter Allegiance*
CASTING 12     
SPECIAL Transport of the Damned

-*- SPELL NOTES -*-

CASTING LEVEL 1

Courage

The Mentalist clears his mind of any fearful thoughts, pressing himself toward the task at hand.

The Mentalist is no longer afraid (i.e. subject to Fear or Terror) of any Monsters present. He is also immune to any fear-causing spells for the remainder of this Turn.

Target: The Mentalist
Duration: Current Monster Event / One Turn

Feign Death

Changed from Casting Level 2

CASTING LEVEL 2

Anticipate

The Mentalist for a moment sees through the eyes of his enemy, and anticipates his immediate course of action.

A single attack against the Mentalist this turn will automatically miss. Declare which attack will automatically miss before rolling.

Target: Any Monster fighting the Mentalist
Duration: One Turn

Iyrtu's Embrace

Power surges through the Mentalist's arms, sheathing his limbs with pulsating purple energy.

The Mentalist attempts to crush a single adjacent Monster, inflicting 1D6 Wounds plus his Strength, with no modifiers for anything (armor, Ignore Pain, etc.) except for natural Toughness.

Target: Any Monster adjacent to the Mentalist
Duration: Immediate

Soul Steel

A translucent purple ectoplasm emerges from the ground, covering the Mentalist in a thin translucent film.

The Mentalist or any one Warrior adjacent to him has +1 added to his Toughness for the remainder of the Turn.

Target: Mentalist or any adjacent Warrior
Duration: One Turn

CASTING LEVEL 3

The Manacle of Caloe

A heavy manacle of energy forms around the Mentalist's enemy, binding him in place.

A single Monster on the same board section may be bound so long as its Strength does not exceed 2D6. It is unable to move until the Manacle is dispelled. It is not affected in any other way; it can fight, shoot or even cast spells if it is so capable. A token should be placed under the Monster's base to indicate that it has been entrapped thus.

Target: Any Monster on the same board section as the Mentalist
Duration: Until dispelled

Soul Share

The Mentalist forges a magical bond between himself and one of his companions.

Any friendly model on the same board section may be chosen by the Mentalist in order to "share souls" with it. For the remainder of this Turn, he has exactly the same natural characteristics (Toughness, Move, Initiative, WS, BS, etc.) with the exception of Wounds, remaining power points, or bonuses/penalties to Toughness or Move due to armor.

Target: Mentalist
Duration: One Turn

CASTING LEVEL 4

Amaranth

The Warrior is revitalised with the resilience of the Amaranth.

The Mentalist or any Warrior in the same board section has his starting Toughness (not counting armor) doubled to a maximum of 10 for the remainder of this Turn. The Mentalist may only cast this spell on one recipient per Turn.

Target: Mentalist or any Warrior in the same board section
Duration: One Turn

The Purple Scythe

The Mentalist conjures a huge glowing scythe of purple energy which he sweeps down through his opponents, lopping off heads and limbs like ripe corn.

The Purple Scythe replaces the Mentalist's normal attacks in close combat for this Turn. It automatically strikes all Monsters adjacent to the Mentalist, causing 2D6 Wounds to each target. The Scythe remains in play in subsequent turns (at no additional power cost) until dispelled, until all Monsters on the same board section are defeated, or until the Mentalist is reduced to 0 Wounds.

Target: All adjacent Monsters
Duration: Current Monster Event

CASTING LEVEL 5

Cause Animosity

Changed from Casting Level 6

Speed of Lykos

As the Warrior moves, his actions are invigorated by leaping corkscrew bands of energy, endowing him with extraordinary speed.

The Mentalist or any Warrior up to 6 spaces away may be targeted by this spell. The recipient is able to move at a blinding rate, and can be placed any unoccupied space in the same board section or in any previously-explored dungeon section that could be reached by foot (i.e. not barred by closed doors, pits, the Firechasm, etc.) though pinning and interposing models may be ignored.

Target: The Mentalist or any Warrior within 6 spaces
Duration: Immediate

CASTING LEVEL 6

The Caress of Laniph

Purple lights trap the Mentalist's enemy, solidify, constrict and crush the life out of him.

A single Monster within a maximum range of 24 spaces is crushed for 4D6 Wounds.

Target: Any Monster within 24 spaces
Duration: Immediate

The Choking Foe

Purple energy oozes from the Mentalist's eyes, ears, nose and mouth, and forms a misshapen mass around his enemy, engulfing and suffocating it.

A single Monster within a maximum range of 18 spaces is surrounded by purple energy. It must make a Willpower test (roll 1D6 and add Willpower, passing on a roll of 7 or more). If it has no Willpower rating, use Initiative instead. If it fails, it is unable to hold its breath and is killed regardless of how many Wounds it has.
Daemons and the Undead (as well as any other creatures that do not need to breathe or are otherwise not truly alive) are immune to this spell.

Target: Any Monster within 18 spaces
Duration: Immediate

Rout

The Mentalist projects his thoughts toward his victim, in a deep voice that only his target can hear. A look of sheer terror crosses the victim's face as he is seized by a sudden panic and turns to run.

Any Monster within the same board section may be targeted by this spell, so long as it is not immune to psychology or does not cause Terror on its own. During the Monster's turn, instead of attacking, it may be forced to run in any direction of the Mentalist's choosing, ignoring pinning. Any Monsters adjacent to the fleeing creature or the area he is running through must make a Willpower test (or an Initiative test, if no Willpower statistic is available) with a target value of 7 or more, or else they will turn and flee as well, unless they are Fear- or Terror-causing creatures (or otherwise immune to psychology).

Target: Any Monster in the same board section as the Mentalist
Duration: One Turn

CASTING LEVEL 7

Spasm

The Mentalist is suddenly consumed with an inner pain. His nerves burn from within and agony wracks his body. Then, on the point of passing out, the Mentalist points at his chosen victim. The pain is immediately transferred to the target. An inner peace descends on the Mentalist, while the target goes into agonising spasms.

A single Monster within 9 spaces of the Mentalist suffers 4D6 Wounds with no modifiers for Toughness or armor. Undead and Daemons (or other creatures that are not truly alive) are unaffected by this spell.

Target: Any Monster within 9 spaces of the Mentalist
Duration: Immediate

CASTING LEVEL 8

Purple Sun of Xereus

The Mentalist conjures forth an orb of brightly burning darkness, moving steadily forward and destroying all in its path!

The Purple Sun template from WFB would be ideal for marking the area covered by the Purple Sun of Xereus. Otherwise, a circular template that fits within a 3 square by 3 square area will be needed. The Sun comes into being immediately in front of the Mentalist, and immediately travels 4D6 spaces forward, leaving a wake of destruction.
Anything touched by the template is automatically killed and turned into amethyst crystal on a roll of 3+ on 1D6. The Mentalist does not gain any gold for any monsters so destroyed, and any Treasure they carried is destroyed is well. Magical Resistance applies, though this spell cannot be "reflected". The Sun remains in play, progressing another 4D6 spaces in the same direction, until it is dispelled, it leaves the playing area, or it reaches an impassable obstacle (such as a wall).

Target: 3 square by 3 square area adjacent to the Mentalist
Duration: Until the Sun is dispelled or blocked

Wild Kin of Zandox

Purple shadows form about the Mentalist and lurk about his heels like two great guardian hounds. If looked upon directly the shadows disappear, but from the corner of the eye they seem to be a pair of slavering dogs with needle-sharp fangs and long slobbering tongues.

The shadow dogs make a total of 6 attacks with WS 5 against any one Monster (or 3 attacks each against any two Monsters) within 2 spaces of the Mentalist, inflicting 3D6 Wounds per hit.

Target: Any enemy within 2 spaces of the Mentalist
Duration: Immediate

CASTING LEVEL 9

The Fate of Bjuna

The target smiles, begins to giggle, and gradually succumbs to hysterical laughter. As the target's convulsions become increasingly violent, organs rupture apart and blood vessels burst.

A single Monster on the same board section as the Mentalist suffers 1D6 Wounds for each point of Strength it has, with no modifiers for armor (even if magical). This spell has no effect on the Undead, Daemons, or creatures immune to psychology.

Spirit Control

The Mentalist looks into the distance with his inner eye, and finds an impressionable, weak mind. He grasps it ruthlessly, and compels the creature to perform his bidding.

The Mentalist is able to gaze into the next room -- Go ahead and draw a Dungeon card to determine the room, and a Monster Event if applicable. If there are no Monsters in this room, go to the next adjoining room, generating it and checking for Monsters until some can be found. One of these Monsters is selected by the Mentalist, which he may now control, making it open doors, move into unexplored areas (generating them as it moves), attack other monsters (who will retaliate) or perform any other action which isn't alien to its nature, like injure itself.
The spell lasts for as long as the Mentalist remains in a trance-like state and does not perform any other action (including casting spells). He is treated as having a WS of 1 while in this state, and the trance will automatically be broken if he is struck or affected by a spell.
For GM moderated games, the GM may exercise some discretion when determining which Monsters are valid targets to be controlled by this spell, and what actions they may be forced to perform.

Target: One Monster in an unexplored part of the dungeon
Duration: Until the Mentalist's trance is broken

CASTING LEVEL 10

Carnival of Death

Changed from Casting Level 11

CASTING LEVEL 11

Alter Allegiance

All combat around the Mentalist pauses for a split second, and then continues as if nothing has happened. However, not everyone is completely unaffected. . . .

Any one Monster within 6 squares may be mentally attacked with this spell. The victim must make a Willpower test (or intellectual Initiative test, as applicable) with a target value of 7 or more. If it succeeds, it is unaffected. If it fails, the Monster is controlled by the Mentalist and may even attack its former comrades. This effect lasts until all enemies in the current board section have been defeated, at which point the bewildered creature immediately runs away, never to be seen again. If, for whatever reason, the creature should be attacked by the Mentalist or his allies while under the Mentalist's control, it will revert to enemy status, and no gold will be gained for defeating it.

-*- ROLE-PLAYING TIPS -*-

One problem with defining this particular character type is that the characterization given to the Amethyst Wizard for Advanced HeroQuest is quite unlike that given for the Amethyst Wizard in Warhammer Fantasy Battles. In the former, the Amethyst Wizard is rather materialistic, and certainly capable of speech, given the spell descriptions in his Spell Book. In the latter, however, suddenly Amethyst Wizards are dark, foreboding, bearing scythes, never speaking, living in a tomb-like building next to a haunted graveyard. In the former, many of the spells seem in keeping with the idea of a mentalist type. In the latter, the battle spells seem to have very little rhyme or reason to them, except for a common theme of "really gross stuff and purple special effects".

So, there may well be plenty justification for doing away with the "Amethyst Wizards never speak" rule -- After all, maybe that only applies to Battle Wizards, who would never dream of setting foot in a dungeon anyway. Still, I saw fit to include this tidbit, as I thought it was an interesting novelty, and gave me an excuse to make a character who can simply bypass normal Events. (In case it hasn't been evident from many of my previous professions, I despise random Hazards and Events, and find any way of avoiding them altogether to be rather appealing.)

In so far as role-playing goes, the narrative and short-short story in WFB Battle Magic seems to suggest that Amethyst Wizards are quiet, mysterious, dark sorts, as serious and brooding as any College could possibly get. In the aforementioned short story, the Amethyst Wizard who only made a cameo appearance had only one word of (unspoken) dialogue -- "Doom." How appropriate! In my humble opinion, the Amethyst College should be perfect for displaced Neo-Goth-Punks who end up having to play a fantasy character in the Warhammer universe due to some perverse twist of gaming fate. =)

-*- REPRESENTING YOUR WARRIOR -*-

The Amethyst Wizard model manufactured by Citadel Miniatures is the only model I know of that would fit this character perfectly. Otherwise, you would be basically looking for a cowled, robed figure holding a scythe and a big book. I was able to make a somewhat acceptable kitbash by taking a Ral Partha hooded wizard miniature and putting a plastic scythe (from the Skeleton Army boxed set) against his outstretched hand. Otherwise, finding some wizard model and painting it in a scheme dominated by deep purples and midnight blue should be sufficient. (At about the time of AHQ, however, the Amethyst College wasn't presented in quite such dismal terms, and colors such as lavender were perfectly appropriate.)

-*- DISCLAIMERS AND SUCH -*-

Warhammer Quest, Talisman, Warhammer Fantasy Battles and Advanced HeroQuest are trademarks of Games Workshop, and its use here does not constitute a legal challenge to that status. This article may be considered copyrighted by T. Jordan "Greywolf" Peacock (me =) ), though it may be freely distributed so long as no alterations are made 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! -*-