[Archive] Chaos Pantheonist Dwarfs


When I have finished a few units of Chaos Dwarfs I will convert a whole unit of outcast Chaos Dwarfs worshipping the wider Chaos pantheon, including the four great dark gods, Chaos Undivided and some minor demigods such as Malal. For the most part they will simply be a unit of close combat Infernal Guards, but it might be worth cooking up some house rules for campaigns or special scenarios.

Could you please help me out with this? Since I have no experience with rules-tinkering any assistance and proposals of your own would be appreciated. As you can see, the aim is to create a medium-strength unit which can be tailored with different weapons to reflect their ragtag background, whilst the unit champion is a mini-hero in himself. I do not have the FW armybook available at the time, so any help with the names of the CD special rules would be appreciated. I’ll post a prototype of their profile to get the ball rolling:

The Chaos Pantheonist Dwarfs are a barely-tolerated sect of outcasts whose souls were lost to Hashut as, for the most part, stronger deities of Chaos displaced the Father of Darkness’ grip on their souls. For some exiles this occured because of long-time and hazardous exposure to the major powers of Chaos and its myriad minor daemongods during daemonsmithing and handling of Warpstone for the ensorcelled coal fuelling many machines of the Dawi Zharr. For others the wider pantheon of Chaos invaded them as they acted as acolytes aiding Sorcerer Prophets in heinous magic rituals which suffered miscasts or simply required a body shield for the Sorcerer to survive the perilous bargain with, or capture of, Daemons. The lives of Chaos Dwarfs are fraught with the danger of Daemonic corruption, and a few eventually falls foul as the massive industry of the Dawi Zharr grinds on, forever demanding Daemons as raw material.

Whatever the cause, the Chaos Pantheonist Dwarfs invariably suffer atrocities such as public humiliation, brandings with hot iron, mulitation and beatings from other Chaos Dwarfs as they flee Zharr-Naggrund or other strongholds to reach the relative calm of the desolate Dark Lands. Their Hashut-worshipping society might strike bargains and alliances with worshippers of other Chaos Gods, but the blacksmiths of Chaos are loathe to allow any deviates and crippled souls to live amongst themselves. That Pantheonists are not even interred into the ranks of the Infernal Guard is testament to the utter disgust reserved for them amongst the unforgiving Chaos Dwarfs.

Thus the outcasts stumble out into the wastelands with ripped clothes and cut beards, and here amongst the Greenskin-infested landscape of ash they try to survive. Eventually they will either perish or be found by the small bands of roaming Chaos Pantheonist Dwarfs that wander the wilds. The marks and mutations of their gods will eventually change these wretches, and generally the Pantheonists will follow those worst mutated or those possessed by Daemons as if they were holy men. It is common for outcasts to drift from their original flock to warbands in the thrall of their specific Chas god.

Amongst such unstable groups of scavengers and looters the shunned slaves to darkness worship their new masters and eke out a miserable living of thirst and hunger which is freuqently punctuated by vicious battles with Orcs, Goblins and monsters, and sometimes even other groups of Pantheonists. The gangs of Khorne-worshipping Chaos Dwarfs are especially feared due to their lust for unprovoked violence and bloodhsed, even though their constant infighting invariably keeps their numbers low.

Although the Dawi Zharr look upon their outcast, former brethren with the same contempt with which they eye their many slaves, the ancient aversion to kinslaying amongst Dwarfs linger still in the hateful hearts of the Chaos Dwarfs. For this reason the nomads are rarely hunted down and slain, although the mechanized caravans which cross the vast Dark Lands occasionally give chase to discovered expatriates in order to maintain the rightful fear of Zharr-Naggrund which should exist in each and every exile. Sometimes pogroms are enacted to drive away bands of Chaos Pantheonist Dwarfs who strays too close to the main strongholds of the Chaos Dwarfs, usually with the objective of harrying the deportees all the way into the northern Chaos wastes, where they are left to fend for themselves amongst the human tribes which dominate the region. At other times expeditions are sent out to capture Pantheonists for the experiments of Sorcerer Prophets. These unfortunate captives are locked inside cells and suffer frequent harvests of the mutations and disfigurements with which their dark god has marked them. To some Sorcerers, boils of Nurgle and eyed tentacles of Tzeentch are prime ingredients in their rituals aimed at Daemons of a specific Chaos god.

Due to the cynical plotting and cruel struggle for power which dominates the top of society amongst the Dawi Zharr, a few Sorcerer Prophets throughout history have been known to make use of Chaos Pantheonist Dwarfs as mercenaries or slave soldiers to bolster their ranks. Although mighty, the armies of Zharr-Naggrund and its scattered strongholds have limited numbers at their disposal, and often it is only through terror tactics, divide-and-conquer support of weaker Warbosses and Sneaky Git assassinations of leaders that the Chaos Dwarfs are able to prevent Waaaghs! from forming amongst the Greenskin tribes. As such ambitious or cornered Sorcerer Prophets might sometimes swallow their detestation for Chaos Pantheonist Dwarfs and recruit them into their army. Naturally, the act of sending the outcasts into battle is also a way to get rid of them without turning to outright kinslaying.

Chaos Pantheonist Dwarfs (Core unit) Points per model: 10 pts
Pantheonist:  M3 WS4 BS3 S3 T4 W1 I2 A1 LD9
Possessed: M3 WS5 BS3 S4 T4 W1 I3 A2 LD9

Unit size: 10+

Troop Type: Infantry

Equipment: Hand weapons, light armour

* Upgrade one Pantheonist to Possessed (+15 pts)
* Upgrade one Pantheonist to musician (+10 pts)
* Upgrade one Pantheonist to standard bearer (+10 pts)
* The entire unit may take additional hand weapons (+1 pt per model)
* The entire unit may take shields (+1 pt per model)
* The entire unit may take heavy armour (+1 pt per model)
* The entire unit may take great weapons (+3 pts per model)
* The entire unit may take flails (+2 pts per model)

Marks of Chaos are identical to those in the Warriors of Chaos army book and cost as much as the Marks for Chaos Marauders.
* The entire unit may be upgraded with Mark of Khorne
* The entire unit may be upgraded with Mark Nurlge
* The entire unit may be upgraded with Mark of Slaanesh
* The entire unit may be upgraded with Mark of Tzeentch

Special rules
Resolute: Chaos Pantheonist Dwarfs suffer -1" to their flee and pursuit rolls.

Relentless: Chaos Pantheonist Dwarfs do not have to test their Ld for marching if enemies are within 8".

Contempt: Chaos Pantheonist Dwarfs do not suffer panic caused by Hobgoblin units.

Outcasts: Chaos Dwarf units do not take panic tests caused by Chaos Pantheonist Dwarfs, although Hobgoblins and other Pantheonist units still suffers from panic.

Survivors of the Dark Lands: All Chaos Pantheonist Dwarfs Hate Greenskins (eg. Orcs, Goblins and Snotlings of any type from the Orcs & Goblins army book, Hobgoblins from the Legion of Azgorh army list and Gnoblars from the Ogre Kingdoms army book).

Wild mutations: Extended periods of hardship and exhaustion coupled with the capricious nature of the mutations of Chaos make Pantheonists unsteady fighters. At the start of each turn, roll a D6 for each Chaos Pantheonist Dwarf unit. On the roll of a 1, deduct -1S until the start of the player’s next turn. On the roll of a 2, nothing happens. On a roll of 3+, the unit receives +1S until the start of the player’s next turn.

Possessed: The leaders of the Pantheonists are lethal fighters enhanced by their mutations and Daemonic possession. Possessed have 5+ Ward save and may re-roll any failed to wound rolls.


I see that the Wild Mutations special rule can give them a boost to strength each turn unless they roll a 1, but putting them at a base of S2 seems like bad news. Is there some reason they’re S2 (i.e. weaker than an average human)? … Or, looking at this another way, is there some reason that their strength occassionally fails them, taking them from S3 down to S2?

What about making them S3, and have Wild Mutations give -1S on a roll of 1, and +1 on a roll of 3+? Too bad they’re maxed out at Light Armour though, being chaos Dwarfs and all.


S2 with great weapons just seems weird to me.


Pantheist Chaos Dwarfs also seems like a weaker name than could be chosen for them… sure it’s descriptive, but not very ‘evil’ or frightening… and too close to “pansy”. What about a name that plays up the bit of their background and the fact that they’ve turned away from Hashut and are now damned outcasts and exiles from society?


Thanks for the feedback, Nicodemus and cornixt!

A friend of mine proposed the wild mutations rule (originally -1S, +1S and +2S on a D3) and I added it somewhat in a haste. Because I thought +2 in strength was too much I quickly lowered the base strength to S2, which actually represents the outcast mutants’ weakest moments. I’m not used to writing rules and were too quick in my turns there. I like your rules proposition, Nicodemus! It seem more realistic, too. A sixth of a chance for a weakened unit paints them as cursed Dwarfs, but still capable to fight. A third of a chance for weakness paint them rather as wretches not fit to survive in the harsh Dark Lands.

The reason for their occasionally failing strength is the long-time exhaustion, hunger and thirst which the Pantheonists often must endure, coupled with the capricious nature of Chaos mutations. The latter could be a tendril swinging in the way of their blows, or muscle spasms or lactic acid which suddenly seize the Chaos Dwarfs, or even momentary delirium, confusion or insanity. The weakness could represent anything. What I wanted to capture was the fickle nature of Chaos, which can also be seen in Chaos Spawn and Forsaken. Overall, I want to bring Chaos into the Chaos Dwarfs by tying them into the larger swathe of Chaos factions and background without breaking their unique theme as Hashut-worshipping, industrial enslavers. Another unit of outcasts beside the Infernal Guard also seem to better capture the unforgiving society and mindset of the Dawi Zharr. And yet another aspect of this fiction is to give a reason for the existence of the decidedly different, pre-big hat Chaos Dwarfs if one does not want them to give praise to Hashutdom.

Should they be given the option of taking heavy armour? I started out quite carefully, especially since their scavenging nature ought to work against them. Then again, succesful warbands might very well be able to loot, scavenge and forge heavier armour suits for themselves. After all a fully fledged suit of Black Orc armour might contain enough material for two Dwarf-sized armours.

I think you are right, regarding their name (although I as a non-English speaker find “pantheist” to be quite well sounding). How about Ash Nomads, Waste Reavers, or simply “Chaos Dwarf Outcasts”? Any propositions of your own?

Do the rules, profile and points cost work, otherwise? Are there any flaws in the fluff, or do you have background pieces of your own to add? Be free to offer up everything on your mind here. :slight_smile:


Since an issue with the fanfiction background was pointed out at Warseer, I think it’s proper conduct to post it here to answer possible doubts.

I’m not too sure why the regular chaos dwarfs would look upon regular gods worshipping dwarves with such contempt? They work with the regular chaos forces, and now, with the LoA fluff and minis, they even openly wear the chaos mark (which they didn’t back in the WD armybook’s days). They hate the Ancestor Gods, that’s clearly spelled out, but they accept Hashut as part of the Chaos Pantheon, it makes no sense they’d loathe the other gods so much. If even a follower of Khorne and one of Slaanesh (with an history of hatred) can work together, there’s no reason why chaos dwarfs couldn’t. They can certainly accept hobgoblins, and I somewhat doubt these worship Hashut (or only him at least), for instance, they’re greenskins, they can’t have given up on Gork and Mork, the greenskin bonds with their gods is somewhat different and stronger than your regular faith.

Yeah I agree with Urgat. I don’t understand the basis of the contempt.

But if you accept the contempt as fact for a second the rest sounds great.

Thanks, this is the kind of critiscism I was looking for. Care to throw me some name suggestions to replace “Chaos Pantheonist Dwarfs” as well? :wink:

Examples of unit names for what I’m looking after include Outcasts, Ash Wanderers and Dust Dwellers. I’m not sure what would suit them best.

The reason for the unit as a whole is to give a logical reason to field the old, pre-big hat Chaos Dwarfs and their modern Bederken Dwerg counterparts in a Chaos Dwarf (or even Warriors of Chaos) army. The simple solution would have been to make them a separate clan, pirates or a sect who worships some aspect of Hashut in a not too mainstream way. They could also have been unfortunates who suffered from experiments undertaken by Sorcerer Prophets (which could explain the frequent mutations). However, I wanted to play true to their drastically different style in comparison to the later big hats, Hellcannon crew and current FW Chaos Dwarfs and also bring Chaos into the Chaos Dwarfs without damaging their clear style and theme as Hashut-worshipping industrial enslavers who adores tyranny. As such the Chaos Pantheonist Dwarfs sprang into the imagination.

At first I didn’t imagine the Pantheonist sects to suffer greatly although they, as unbelievers in Hashut, probably would be pushed out to live outside Zharr-Naggrund or at best occupy poorer living quarters in the city ziggurat. Then it dawned on me that there was good reasons for a more shunned existence reserved for these poor folks. Let me explain, but it will be a long explanation in order to make things clear why the outcast nature of Pantheonists stay true to the spirit and bakground of Warhammer. After all, it is possible I’ll mail this to GW or FW and ask if they’re interested. Add a few pictures of painted conversions, send ‘em in and GW have some free content for WD. :stuck_out_tongue:

The reason for the Chaos Dwarfs’ contempt lies in the utterly unforgiving and intolerant nature of the Dawi Zharr, which is evident in their Infernal Guard and the possibly canon unit of old women who were shamed because they could no longer produce children, of which the latter was included in a Black Library book if I remember correctly. Whilst Chaos Dwarfs certainly trade and cooperates with the wider range of Chaos forces out there, and whilst they have used Chaos iconography since at least 5th edition (it’s visible everywhere amongst the big hats) and do not deny Hashut to be a part of the Chaos pantheon, Chaos Dwarfs have been moulded by GW into unforgiving worshippers of their bull god, and deviations within their own ranks would logically to be looked down upon.

Since the Pantheonists would represent but a tiny fraction of the whole Chaos Dwarf population, and since they would control nigh to none of the military-industrial powerhouse of the Chaos Dwarfs, Pantheonists could very well be pushed out with ease and left to die or survive as best they can in the Dark Lands. It’s not a heavy blow on the Chaos Dwarfs as a whole to lose the sect, and as a unified population they might very well mistrust Chaos Dwarf worshippers of other dark gods, and would certainly dislike to take orders from a Khorne or Tzeentch-worshipping superior. Add to this the mutations and Daemonic possession and common insanity amongst those Chaos Dwarfs who found their soul conquered by another deity than Hashut, and you have a rational cause for ordinary Chaos Dwarfs to cast Pantheonists out. Nobody wants a Chaos Spawn to enter the house when you sleep. Staying true to the harshness, Pantheonists who do stay in Zharr-Naggrund are imprisoned and used for whatever experimental purposes the mad scientists might have. Chaos Dwarfs are not nice, and putting a barrier between the ordinary ones and the unfortunate deviates have the bonus of reinforcing the image of a strictly hierarchic society within Zharr-Naggrund whilst “preserving” their dominant Hashut religion.

This still leaves room for some trade and cooperation with Pantheonist warbands who manages to survive and possibly even thrive out in the Dark Lands, if the Chaos Dwarf leaders can swallow their contempt and make use of such small factions. Even better, the exiled nature of them also gives a plausible explanation for small warbands of Chaos (Pantheonist) Dwarfs to roam the vast Chaos Wastes in the north. Also, it makes a decent small-points-game or skirmish scenario to play Pantheonists in a Dark Lands campaign with loads of Greenskins about.

As for Hobgoblins, they are a privileged slave elite who are generally tasked with overseeing the masses of slaves at the Chaos Dwarfs’ disposal. Although some beliefs from Chaos and Hashut-worship might have trickled down to the sneaky ones, Hobgoblins are still Greenskins and slaves, and would probably be left to their own beliefs. Why care to spread the true faith’s word to lowly Hobgoblins? Hashut might even be offended by having Hobgobbos praising his name! Deviate Chaos Dwarfs, however, is another matter altogether. :hashut

EDIT: After two more posts, I thought it best to just link to the discussion: http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?356045-Outcast-Chaos-Dwarfs-who-worship-the-wider-Chaos-Pantheon


I like the concept i just think you might be thinking too small. I imagine a unit of this type ranging from pole to pole not just in the Dark Lands.

In terms of names how about The Fallen, Oath Breakers, The Lost, The Accursed, or Ash Eaters for your consideration.

Other than that i like the concept. Kudos and well done :hat off


I happen to love this idea heh since i’ve got a Malalite Chaos Dwarf force. Sorry i’ve only just spotted this post though.


Thanks! Chico, be free to use the idea in any way you see fit. I partially had your black ‘n’ white Malalite Dwarfs in mind when I wrote this.