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Manikins — Witch and Warlock Familiars for WFRP v2


One Horse Town:
Manikins — Witch and Warlock Familiars for WFRP v2
Article written by Dan White

This article first appeared on the Black Industries website. Black Industries were a subsidiary of Games Workshop, holders of the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay IP.


This document is designed to add a bit of flavor to the familiars of Witches and Warlocks and introduces a new class of created familiar for these careers. The Manikin.

In Realms Of Sorcery, the Witch or Warlock career can only have bound familiars. This document expands on the options of the renegade wizard. It reflects a common driving force behind such mages - independence. The form and utility of the Manikins also exposes the slow but sure descent into the usage of Dhar in the Witches or Warlocks magic. Manikins are more insidious and menacing than more traditional familiars and have usages and drawbacks that their more mainstream cousins often don’t have.


The familiars covered in this document, hereafter named Manikins, are similar to created familiars found in Realms Of Sorcery. However, created familiars are not available to Witches or Warlocks as the highest magic characteristic they can get is 2, not the 3 required in order to gain a created familiar.

So this document is designed to allow Witches and Warlocks to create their own familiars. In order to insure game balance, Manikins use an adjusted form of the rules given for created familiars in Realms Of Sorcery and are of less utility than those familiars covered in the official rules.


Due to the gradual descent of the Witch and Warlock into the more self-serving and harmful use of Dhar, the Manikins forms are all (as suggested) humanoid in form. The Warlock or Witch pours his scorn, self-serving interests and ego into the Manikin. It is made in his own image, the ultimate show of arrogance. Whilst the Manikin (with one exception) is not a miniature version of the caster himself, its humanoid form and the emotions impressed upon it reflect the casters soul at the world. Sometimes it’s not a pretty sight.


Creating the Manikin follows the rules as set out in Realms Of Sorcery page 184 except as follows.

The components are of one type only, dictated by the type of Manikin being crafted, as well as material from the Warlock or Witch’s own body and in some cases organic material from other sources (see below).

The Witch or Warlock’s own hand must craft the Manikin using the applicable Trade skill. This is an Average (+/-0%) Trade test. The Intelligence test is then rolled.

The Familiar creation table is not rolled on. The result is always Small Humanoid.

Oddities of form are not rolled for. Any oddities of form are noted in the Manikin descriptions below.

Manikin personality is not rolled randomly. The personality of the Manikin is noted in its description.

Manikins only gain experience points when they are in a ‘Motive’ state (this is explained below). Whilst in a passive state they do not gain half of the caster’s experience point award.

Caster and Manikin only receive the benefits of the Manikins Familiar Abilities (page 191 RoS) when the Manikin is in its motive form. Furthermore, Aethyric Reservoir and Voice Of Reason are not available as Familiar Abilities for Manikins.

Manikins can be created containing the organic material of another humanoid. If this is the case, then the Manikin acts as an Aethyric Link (page 192 RoS) to that humanoid as well as acting as the casters familiar. Spells targeting that humanoid benefit from a +1 to the casters casting roll. Due to the nature of most Manikins (IE Unpleasant), they are more inured to being used this way than standard familiars. They need only make an Average Willpower test to avoid damage to themselves when used as a focus in this way and tend not to get overly upset when used for this purpose.

More sinister, the Manikin created in this way can be used as a direct conduit for pain to the target. Damage inflicted on the Manikin can be directed towards the target (see the Fetish Manikin ritual below).


Unlike the created familiars found in Realms Of Sorcery, Manikins are not constantly awake and aware of their surroundings. Upon the magic user completing his crafting of the Manikin it is aware and open to the caster for a number of hours equal to his magic characteristic. However, the Witch’s magic is not strong enough to keep the Manikin’s spirit locked into this form and aware for the whole time, so once this period is over the Manikin takes its Passive form. This form is mentioned in the individual entries below and corresponds to its type.

To awaken the spirit of his Manikin in future, the caster must cast the new spell Motivate Manikin (see below) each time that he wishes to do so. This returns the Manikins spirit to wakefulness and he is now Motive. Motivate Manikin can be researched at any time via the Witchcraft talent.

The form of the spirit inhabiting the Manikin can be far more sinister than the awareness inhabiting normally created Familiars and is tied directly to the casters own personality and corruption.


Motivate Manikin
Casting Number: 11
Casting Time: 1 Minute
Ingredient: The caster’s blood (+2)
Description: You perform a short ritual that wakes your Manikin’s spirit for a time. This is a Touch spell. The Manikin can now be Motive for a number of hours equal to your magic characteristic. Once the time has expired, the Manikin resumes its passive form (see Manikin description). The ingredient, if used, causes the caster to lose one wound.


As noted above, the spirit that inhabits a created Manikin is a reflection of the caster. As such, many different types of awareness can result, dependant on the caster's state of mind. The more corrupt the caster is, the more unpleasant a spirit answers the call. In rare cases, the Manikin is nothing short of a Daemonic Possession.

The caster's corruption determines the type of Manikin that best suites him.

Every insanity the caster has: 6 Corruption points.

Insanity points: Every current Insanity point the caster has gives one corruption point.

Each Hedge Arcane Mark: 5 Corruption points.

Tzeentch’s Curse: 1-10 Dependant on past severity and regularity.

Dark Magic: If the caster has the Dark Magic talent, 20 corruption points.

Dark Lore: If the caster knows a Dark Lore, 20 corruption points.

Miscellaneous: If the GM thinks it apt, then more corruption points can be given for things like mixing with chaos creatures, cult membership or even particularly nasty past acts.

Once the caster's corruption score has been calculated, it is added to the roll to determine which Manikin form best suites him as his created Familiar.


Fetish Manikin
Type: Arcane
Arcane Language: None
Magic: 2
XP: 200
Ingredients: The caster's Manikin familiar that must contain some organic material from the target creature such as hair or nails (see Creating The Manikin above).
Conditions: The target of the ritual must be within one mile and the chaos moon Morrslieb must be in the sky. The caster must have a Corruption score of 40 or more. The Manikin must be in a Motive state.

Consequences: If you fail your casting roll, then your consciousness and your  Manikin's are swapped. You now inhabit the body of your Manikin and your familiar’s spirit inhabits your body. Once the Manikin becomes passive, the casters
spirit dies and his body is forever inhabited by his Manikin’s spirit.

Casting Number: 14
Casting Time: 2 Hours
Description: You are able to transmit the damage you inflict on your Manikin familiar to the linked target. This translates as a Damage 2 hit that bypasses armour and the victims Toughness bonus. This damage takes the form of that inflicted on the Manikin; therefore if it is set alight, the victim is set alight also. If it is stabbed with a
pin, then the victim is invisibly impaled as well. The victim also gains 1d10/2 Insanity Points from the shock of receiving wounds from thin air. The casters Manikin will take a like amount of damage, but if it makes a Toughness test, then it
may subtract its TB from the damage that it takes itself.

Due to the Corruption of the caster and the likely disposition of his Manikin, this Ritual does not harm the bond between the caster and his familiar, even though the Manikin suffers great pain through the process. The spirit of the Manikin delights in the pain it brings its victim.

Roll 1d100 to determine which form your studies show are best suited to your magic. Add your Corruption score to the result and consult the chart below.

01-10 Coal Porter
11-20 Marble Ballerina
21-30 Self Portrait
31-40 Living Sapling
41-50 Kiln Kindred
51-60 Crystal Servitor
61-70 Toy Soldier
71-80 Mud Man
81-85 Tin Man
86-90 Bronze Figurine
85-100 Straw Dummy
101-105 Rag Doll
106-110 China Doll
111-115 Wicker Man
116-120 Tar Fetch
121-125 Marionette
126-130 Gilded Child
131-135 Talking Head
136+ Razor Fiend

Coal Porter
Craft: Stonemason or Sculptor
Personality: Hard Working, quiet or long suffering
Passive Form: A stack of worked coals linked by string
Special Qualities: Avoids fire. Leaves sooty footprints
Size: 12”
Description: When motive, this Manikin resembles a stout humanoid with bulging muscles. Two tiny gleams show where it’s eyes are. This type of Manikin is best used as a house help or assistant as it normally works tirelessly. When rare anger stirs it, its coals glow red as though it were in a fire.

Marble Ballerina
Craft: Stonemason or Sculptor
Personality: Flighty, sweet or artistic temperament
Passive Form: A delicate marble sculpture
Special Qualities: Dance takes place of Dodge Blow
Size: 6”
Description: When motive, this Manikin resembles a delicate and beautiful ballerina. Always happy when dancing, this Manikin is especially useful to those witches/Warlocks that become lonely in their isolation as it lifts spirits with its dancing. Sometimes given as a gift. It stamps its feet and pouts when angry.

Self Portrait
Craft: Painting
Personality: One of caster’s traits
Passive Form: A framed picture of the caster
Special Qualities: Highly flammable. Menacing
Size: 12”
Description: When motive, this representation of the caster crawls from the frame that houses it and resembles the caster in features and habits, however, the features are crude painted representations. This manikin is nothing more than canvas and paint and therefore is highly flammable. It smells faintly of paint. It can look very disconcerting when viewed for the first time.
Living Sapling
Craft: Herbalism
Personality: Patient, sun loving or lazy
Passive Form: A sapling in a plant pot
Special Qualities: Hide takes place of Dodge
Blow as skill available
Size: 6”
Description: This Manikin is created slightly differently from others. Planting the seed of a plant and pouring magic into it as it is growing creates it. Once created, its motive form resembles a spindly green humanoid with leaves for hair and twiggy arms and legs. Useful for surveillance purposes as it is easily overlooked. Has a mortal fear of beetles and caterpillars.

Kiln Kindred
Craft: Pottery
Personality: Fiery, protective or fragile
Passive Form: A blocky clay figure
Special Qualities: Toughness +10% against fire attacks
Size: 12”
Description: When motive, these chunky clay Manikins move with purpose and deliberation. Wet eyes look out from the earthenware face and coloured designs may stripe its body. These Manikins make good guards for the caster when he is away for short periods, but often become quite belligerent is left for long periods.

Crystal Servitor
Craft: Gem cutting or Glassblowing
Personality: Emotionless, abrupt or cutting
Passive Form: A figurine of glass or jewelled figure
Special Qualities: 1 AP on all locations
Size: 6 – 12”
Description: When motive, these often beautiful Manikins move jerkily as their crystalline nature allows. Often mounted on mantelpieces or given as presents, these aloof Manikins are capable of remarkable acts of unpleasantness and give it no
thought. On sunny days, these Manikins are quite easily seen as the sun reflects from their bodies.

Toy Soldier
Craft: Carpentry or Metal smith
Personality: Disciplined, bloodthirsty or rowdy
Passive Form: A toy soldier
Special Qualities: None
Size: 6”
Description: When motive, these wooden or metal Manikins move quickly and with purpose. They carry out the casters orders to the letter and have no qualms about what those orders may be. Easily overlooked in their passive state, they are sometimes inveigled into households before the Witch/Warlock motivates them.

Mud Man
Craft: Sculptor or None
Personality: Unkempt, vindictive or rude
Passive Form: A crude form of dried mud
Special Qualities: Leaves muddy footprints, Smells. Menacing.
Size: 6-12”
Description: These Manikins are normally crudely formed and it shows in their manner. The motive Mud Man looks like a hastily created humanoid shape of wet mud, which oozes water. They seem to take delight in living up to their image and will go out of their way to cause harm to others. They take great pains to stay out of the sun, which dries them out.

Tin Man
Craft: Tin Smith
Personality: Heartless, rigid or cold
Passive Form: A hinged and oiled tin figurine
Special Qualities: 1 AP on all locations, Leaks oil, Menacing
Size: 6-12”
Description: These Manikins can squeak when motive, as their oiled joints rub together. They are a heartless bunch that are as happy wielding the little axes they are supplied with as they are staring coldly at and scaring children. Normally used as guards or enforcers, they carry out their commands with little thought or remorse. They stay out of the rain at any opportunity.

Bronze Figurine
Craft: Copper Smith
Personality: Chilly, dispassionate or arrogant
Passive Form: A smooth bronze figurine
Special Qualities: Hardy, Menacing. Intimidate takes place of Dodge Blow
Size: 12”
Description: When motive, these Manikins move ponderously, with apparent disdain for their surroundings. The hammer strokes of its forging can be seen on its smooth body. Their often-beautiful shapes give it an arrogant manner. Often they are set the task of scaring or intimidating others; a task they are well suited to.

Straw Dummy
Craft: Tailor or None
Personality: Malicious, scheming or hurtful
Passive Form: A cloth dummy stuffed with straw
Special Qualities: Highly Flammable, Unsettling, Concealment instead of Dodge Blow
Size: 12”
Description: When motive, these Manikin’s straw features are normally marred by a twisted smile. If it is capable of speech, it often utters high pitched giggles at others misfortune. At home in rural environments where it creeps in the undergrowth,
the sight of such a Manikin makes the skin crawl. They are sometimes set up in fields as small scarecrows. They avoid fire at all costs.

Rag Doll
Craft: Toy making or Embroidery
Personality: Mischievous, devious and sometimes Murderous
Passive Form: A floppy rag doll
Special Qualities: Flammable, Unsettling, Move Silently instead of Dodge Blow
Size: 12”
Description: When motive, the black button eyes of this Manikin shine with inner malice. The Rag Dolls body is capable of swift and silent movement and it delights in scaring small children. The sight of a motive Rag Doll is enough to send sane men running. It is usually used as a scout or infiltrator due to its silence.

China Doll
Craft: Pottery
Personality: Vindictive, paranoid and sometimes crazed
Passive Form: A painted china doll
Special Qualities: Unsettling, Menacing, -10% Toughness, +5% Willpower
Size: 6-12”
Description: When this Manikin is motive, the pretty painted features of its face screw up into a terrifying visage. The click, click of its slow footsteps send a tingle down the spine and when it appears, often with a knotted piece of string in its hands (a favourite throttling weapon), it would be best to be somewhere else. Sometimes given as a gift prior to being motivated.

Wicker Man
Craft: Farmer or Furniture Maker
Personality: Cruel, destructive and murderous
Passive Form: A wicker figure containing small wooden figures within its hollow shell
Special Qualities: Frightening, Flammable, -1 Move, -5% Intelligence
Size: 12”
Description: This Manikin is truly terrifying in its motive state. The thick, bowed wicker body moves ponderously and the little wooden figures inside its hollow shell reach through the Manikins body beseechingly, crying piteously. The Wicker Man is best used as an instrument of terror as it's not too bright. As such, it is very effective.

Tar Fetch
Craft: Shipwright or Carpenter
Personality: Angry, discontent and murderous
Passive Form: A humanoid shaped lump of solid tar
Special Qualities: Leaves sticky tar footprints, 2 AP on each location (weapons pass through it), Frightening
Size: 6-12”
Description: When motive, this Manikin resembles a sticky, bubbling humanoid shape. It has no distinct facial features but is able to see nonetheless. It delights in catching small animals and drowning them in its body; small animals can be seen poking from its body. These Manikins are normally quite primal and as such have no patience for missions that don’t involve pain or suffering to some degree.

Craft: Carpentry
Personality: Jealous, envious and murderous
Passive Form: A jointed and painted wooden puppet
Special Qualities: Frightening, -1 Move
Size: 12”
Description: A true terror for every child the Old World over, a wooden puppet that comes alive. When this Manikin is in its motive state, it's painted features become scornful and full of spite, the wooden tapping of its feet send tingles down the spine and sometimes its strings trail behind it. It seeks to take what is not his, whether this is goods or…life. Its master sometimes has to keep a tight reign on this Manikin as it has a somewhat independent nature.

Gilded Child
Craft: Gold smith or Jeweller
Personality: Petty, spiteful and murderous
Passive Form: A gold figurine of a child or a jewelled figure of a child
Special Qualities: 2 AP on all locations, Unsettling, Charm instead of Dodge Blow
Size: 6”
Description: When motive, these often-beautiful Manikins features tighten and sour with spite as often as they clear with false friendliness. These Manikins are truly manipulative creatures that will work to undermine all of its relationships on the one hand whilst presenting a charming face to the world with the other. They are often used as gobetweens or infiltrators, but the caster must watch these Manikins carefully.

Talking Head
Craft: Jewellery, Sculptor or Metal smith
Personality: Conniving, deceitful and malicious
Passive Form: A bust of a head or a jewelled cameo
Special Qualities: No movement, Frightening, +5% Intelligence, Speech
Size: 12” (bust) or 4” (cameo)
Description: These Manikins are different in form to the others. These are merely heads; either bronze or alabaster busts or jewelled cameos. Once motive, the heads features come alive and it is capable of speech. Its words and features drip venom and anyone other than the caster who views a Talking Head must make a Willpower test or gain 1 Insanity Point. Casters can generally trust the Talking Head as it has little chance of leaving him.

Razor Fiend
Craft: Weapon smith
Personality: Cruel, murderous and controlling
Passive Form: A jagged humanoid shape crafted from steel
Special Qualities: Terrifying, Natural weapons, Control Master
Size: 12”
Description: These Manikins serve as the focus of a Daemonic spirit once it is made motive. Its eyes light with an infernal glow and power radiates from its small form. Made to spread mayhem and murder, the trapped daemonic spirit tries to make sure it can do just that. Once during each of its motive states, the Razor Fiend may attempt to manipulate its master into a coarse of action that the Manikin desires. This is an opposed Willpower test. The caster is nearly always unaware of these promptings, as he is well down the road to ultimate corruption anyhow.

These are really neat!
WFRP isn't on the menu these days but I'm sure I can make use of them in DCC or Magic World.
I particularly like that they seem to be incarnated thoughtforms of the Sorcerer (or its target)... rather than the usual conjured spirits.

One Horse Town:

--- Quote from: Simlasa;782159 ---These are really neat!
WFRP isn't on the menu these days but I'm sure I can make use of them in DCC or Magic World.
I particularly like that they seem to be incarnated thoughtforms of the Sorcerer (or its target)... rather than the usual conjured spirits.
--- End quote ---

Cheers! Yeah, the idea was to make the Manikin a reflection of the caster somewhat. My favourite is the Self Portrait, actually.

I actually used the Talking Head in my WFRP game, which the players took from a powerful warlock before eventually locking it up with all the other Chaos Artifacts in their big vault of Chaos Artifacts.


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