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Skaven Magic


I never saw why different types of civilisations - which don't have anything
in common - should have the same knowledge when it comes to Magic.
Why should Skaven Grey Seers know/use the same spells available to human
magicians. Human or Elvish wizards have lots of libraries and magic schools
in which they study. Grey Seers are a lot like shamans who have been blessed
by their foul Skaven god (The Horned Rat) and therefore are able to convert
raw warpstone to pure magic energy (called Magic Points in game terms).

Grey Seers are united in a clan which is similar to a caste. So their

about magic is transported from Seer to Seer. Scientific research is almost
unknown to Skaven although there are examples of Skaven engineers developing
weaponry and the like. Magic spells came (and occasionally also still come)
to the Grey Seers' mind as a gift of their deity. Some times Skaven also
steal scrolls or books written by Human or Elven wizards, so some spells
they use have been taken from other civilisations.

Skaven magic has been developed over the millenia to satisfy the Skaven
needs to attack enemies, to live underground and to hide their appearance
in order to bluff and trick other civilisations. Skaven have some degree
of respect for fire. So spells that use fire are very rare, and a Skaven
sorceror who wants to cast such a spell has to make a successful test
against his WP to do so. As a result of this Skaven sorcery does not know
the Fireball spell.

The following is a list of Skaven spells which are in some way different
from the spells known by other civilisations :


Spell Name : Warp Ball

Spell Level : Battle Magic 1
Magic Points : 2 per Warp Ball
Range : 48 yards
Duration : instantaneous
Ingredients : one dose of warpstone

Skaven sorcerors casting this spell throw a ball of glowing warpstone at

their enemies, causing a great deal of damage and insanity. Only one warp
ball per level of the caster may be thrown per combat round. Each spell must
be targeted at the same character or group of characters or creatures.
Target restrictions apply in the same way as for normal missile fire (see
WFRP rulebook, Targeting Spells).

Warp Balls automatically hit their target. If a warp ball is fired into a
group, it will hit 1D4 creatures per level of the caster. Each hit has a
strength of 2, and causes 2D4 wounds on one target (irrespective of any
toughness). Additionally targets who did not successfully dodge a warp
ball gain one insanity point per warp ball. If the warp ball is made of pure
warpstone, non-dodging creatures gain 1D3 insanity points instead.

Spell Name : Call Rats
Spell Level : Battle Magic 1
Magic Points : 3
Range : 1 mile per level of the caster
Duration : D6 turns
Ingredients : a small silver statue of the Horned Rat

Before casting this spell the Skaven sorceror chooses the kind of rats to be
called. Casting this spell attracts a number of rats within range (if any)
to come to the place where the caster stood when casting this spell. The
maximum number of rats can be determined on the table below but the GM may
decide that there are fewer rats within range. The rats count as swarm and
follow simple instructions of the caster. The first rats do appear at the
earliest at the end of this spell's duration.

rat type maximum number of called rats

-------- -----------------------------
Giant Rats 2D6
Rock Rats 4D6
Normal Rats 6D10


Spell Name : Doom of Infection

Spell Level : Battle Magic 2
Magic Points : special
Range : special
Duration : instantaneous
Ingredients : a scorpion tail

This spell may be cast either against any one single creature or against all
non-friendly creatures within 24 yards of the caster. If cast against a
creature, the creature has to be touched and the spell costs 3 Magic Points,
if cast on all non-friendly creatures within 24 yards the spell costs
6 (+ number of affected creatures) Magic Points, but no creature needs to
be touched.
Any affected creature is allowed to instantaneously make a WP test to avoid
the spell's effects (+10 bonus for creatures with Immunity to Disease skill).
Any creature who fails this test AND loses at least one wound within the next
24 hours suffers from an infected wound. No tests may be made when the
infection occurs.


Spell Name : Awareness of Danger

Spell Level : Petty
Magic Points : 1 per hour
Range : personal
Duration : 1 + hours
Ingredients : the nose of a snotling

This spell gives the caster a good chance of being aware of danger before
it occurs. The caster has to choose the time the spell should affect him.
During that period of time (max. 24 hours) the caster is given a +20 modifier
on all Initiative tests when reacting to non-obvious danger. Dodging a
blow in already going on hand-to-hand combat is NOT a reaction to a
non-obvious danger. This spell may only be cast once per 24 hour period.


Spell Name : Warp Power

Spell Level : Battle Magic 4
Magic Points : 10
Range : 24 yards
Duration : instantaneous
Ingredients : 10 doses of raw warpstone

Only the most powerful of the Skaven sorcerors may be able to cast this
spell. It may be cast only once per combat round nad it may be targeted at
any individual or single group. Target restrictions apply in the same way
as for normal missile fire.

This spell hits its target automatically and causes 1D10 Wounds at Strength
9. Additionally there is a 75% chance for wounded creatures (no matter if
they were wounded before or during that spell) that the warpstone penetrates
the creature's body and causes 2D6 insanity points.


Spell Name : Cloak of Shadows

Spell Level : Elemental Magic 1
Magic Points : 2
Range : 12 yards in all directions
Duration : one minute per level of caster
Ingredients : a black cotton swab

This spell fills a room of 12 yards in all three directions with a thick
gas which makes is impossible to see or smell anything within that cloud.
Creatures that rely on these senses suffer a +/- 20 penalty to all
combat or reaction tests as long as they are within that cloud. The gas
of which the cloud consists of makes all other senses dull, so a creature
that wants to do any coordinated action (like leaving the cloud) must make
a successful WP test do so. All WP tests of the caster succeed automatically,
so he is the only person who may act normally. Casting spells is still
possible, but spells that rquire smelling or seeing are not possible within
or into that cloud.


Spell Name : Thick Fur

Spell Level : Battle Magick 1
Magic Points : 1 per AP and location
Range : personal
Duration : one battle
Ingredients : a jawbone of a troll

This spell provides protection against Wounds by increasing the number of

armour points on any one location. The Skaven sorceror may choose the
location and the number of AP on it. For example, Hackgood the Skaven
Grey Seer wears a Sleeved mail coat with 1 AP on all locations (except
his head) and chooses to increase the number of AP by two on all locations.
Overall, this results in 2 AP on his head and 3 AP on all other locations.
The spell costs 22 Magic Points - 12 MP for the AP increase plus 10 MP for
already wearing 5 AP (see WFRP rulebook, Spellcasters and Armour, p135).
This spell is does not count as Aura.


Spell Name : Warpstorm

Spell Level : Elemental Magic 3
Magic Points : 8 per turn
Range : 64 yards
Duration : 1 + turns
Ingredients : a staff with an air elemental bound to it, 3 doses of
refined warpstone

This spell may cause harmful side effects !

A Skaven spellcaster must make a successful WP test to cast this spell.
Otherwise the staff explodes and the spellcaster takes 1D10 Wounds at
the strength of 4. Once he passed the WP test, the three doses of warpstone
are sucked into the staff. While one dose remains inside, the other two
doses of warpstone are consumed by the elemental in order to provoke a
magic storm. All other spellcasters within range must make a
successful T test or gain one insanity point, and each time they want to
cast a spell they must make a successful Cl test to do so.
Each dose of warpstone that remains inside the staff gives the caster a
+5 penalty for his WP test the next time this spell is cast with the same
For example, when trying to cast this spell using a staff which has already
been used three time before the spellcaster's WP test is with a +15 penalty.


Spell Name : Hide Path

Spell Level : Illusionist 1
Magic Points : 2 per hour
Range : no limitations
Duration : 1 + hours
Ingredients : a twig from an elm grown on warp infected ground

This spell hides all trail and tracks of the spellcaster for a number
of hours. Only tracks which arise after the spell is cast can be hidden.
The Skaven spellcaster must choose the period of time during which his
tracks are hidden before casting the spell. Only characters with all of
the following skills Excellent Vision, Orientation and Follow Trail have
a chance equal to one half of their Initiative score to discover this


Spell Name : Poison Wind

Spell Level : Elementalist 2
Magic Points : 6
Range : 32 yards
Duration : instantaneous
Ingredients : a rotten cheese
An instantaneous foul odour can be smelled within 32 yards away from the
caster. All characters (even friendly ones and the spellcaster himself) must
immediately make a successful WP test or become unconscious for 1D6+6
game turns (minutes). Any creature staying for more than 3 minutes
within the poisoned area become poisoned with two doses of Black Lotus.


Spell Name : WeakMind

Spell Level : Battle Magic 1
Magic Points : 3
Range : Touch
Duration : D6 rounds
Ingredients : a bony spoon

This spell may be cast against an other single creature. The victim receives
a test against Will Power to avoid the spell's effect. Failure results in
the victim's Will Power being reduced by 10 points. This spell can only
be cast once per level per combat round, because the bony spoon is destroyed
during the spell's casting. Reductions of several castings of this spell are
cumulative. If a victim's WP is reduced to zero or below, the victim becomes
unconscious and gains 1D6+2 insanity points. Any resulting disorder will be
"Fear of Skaven". All characteristic losses are temporal.


Spell Name : Infiltrate Mind

Spell Level : Battle Magic 3
Magic Points : 6 + enemy's WP/10
Range : Touch
Duration : one week
Ingredients : a small golden crown with the sign of the Horned Rat on it

This spell may be cast against any one other character with Int of at least
13. The victim must make a successful WP test to avoid the spell's effects.
This spell is cast to infiltrate to victim's mind and to let him have some
kind of fixed idea. The spellcaster may choose any not too complicated
pattern of ideas (GM decides what may be too difficult). The victim will
think that it this is his idea and will do anything which lies within his
nature to achieve this goal. For example, Pjotr the Merchant will use his
trading connections to try to ruin a certain person and Peter the Agitator
will probably talk to some peasants to convince them of the fact that
bringing a certain person enchained and gagged to him would be an action
which is good for them. Reduce the victim's Int to 10 when it comes to think
about the reasons to act like this. Otherwise, in situations, actions and
which would bring the victim itself (!) in direct physical danger, allow the
victim a WP test to avoid acting that way.
Treat the character as possessed during one week. He may be cured in the
normal way possessed people are cured.


Spell Name : Resist Disease

Spell Level : Petty Magic
Magic Points : 2
Range : personal
Duration : one day
Ingredients : one dose of refined warpstone

This spell provides certain protection to resist the outbreak of diseases.

This spell is the equivalent to the Immunity to Disease skill. Characters
who already have this skill, receive another +10 bonus on all Disease
test. Any casting of this spell dissolves the effects of other Resist
Disease spells.


Spell Name : Panic Foe

Spell Level : Elementalist 2
Magic Points : 4
Range : 12 yards
Duration : one game turn
Ingredients : a face mask showing the face of a vermin lord

This spell may be cast against any other character or single group within
range of the spellcaster. Any affected character receives a test against
WP to avoid the spell's effects. A failed test results in gaining a
temporary irrational fear of the spellcaster and its kind. The victim must
make a successful Cl test or flee from this place (if possible).
Creatures who already fear the spellcaster will become subject to terror
of this kind (again, temporarily).


Spell Name : Summon Vermin Lord

Spell Level : Daemonologist 4
Magic Points : 20
Range : Not applicable
Duration : until task completed
Ingredients : the pure heart of a Human cleric, slain in ritual sacrifice

The caster can use this spell to summon a Vermin Lord, Greater Daemon of the
Horned Rat. See "Summon Graeter Daemon" (Daemonology Level 4 spell) for
further details.


This test should assist you in writing your own spells which you can
hand over to your Grey Seer NPCs to frighten your PCs. The PCs should
always be aware that normally they simply cannot say what a Grey Seer
is doing and which spell he is casting when taking some magical ingrediences.
Please send your own inventions to the wfrp mailing list.

Oliver Rosenkranz