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Thread: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

  1. #1
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    Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    Hey all besides the little parts said about them in mordheim rescources does anyone know anything about pit fights in warhammer background? Also are they legal now in the empire? And if so what races would be forced to participate in them? Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    According to the war hammer quest fluff for the pit fighter they're a fairly common form of entertainment in the empire. Including human pit fighters fighting a variety of captured creatures, whatever they can catch that promises a good fight I guess.

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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    I always thought they were widespread but officially illegal. I can't imagine dwarfs, elves or halflings being involved, but ogres for sure (I think there's an ogre pitfighter in Mordheim anyway...). For the most part I'm pretty sure they just fight other pitfighters, although some probably end up against monsters in some cases, like griffons with clipped (i.e. amputated) wings, boars, maybe the odd orc or beastman even, in the shadier arenas?

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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    Quote Originally Posted by asphodel View Post
    I can't imagine dwarfs, elves or halflings being involved
    Why ?

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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Life Form View Post
    Why ?
    Because "Iiiiiiiiin the left corner, weighing in at 60 pounds, the beast of breakfast, the devourer of danishes, the earl of elevensies... BEEEERIAC BUMBLEFOOT!" does not exactly cause the crowd to go running for the bookies.

  6. #6

    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    I think the audience would go nuts if they get the chance to see an actual Elf fighting, and the arena offers the perfect chance for any Slayer to die a glorious death in battle. As for Halflings, well, they're excellent marksmen and could use this to their advantage to fell enemies far bigger and stronger than they are.

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    Chapter Master nagash66's Avatar
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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    Quote Originally Posted by snottlebocket View Post
    Because "Iiiiiiiiin the left corner, weighing in at 60 pounds, the beast of breakfast, the devourer of danishes, the earl of elevensies... BEEEERIAC BUMBLEFOOT!" does not exactly cause the crowd to go running for the bookies.
    No but a hafling thief with some custom daggers could make the fights 'short' but sweet .

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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    The Ogres have a strong tradition of pit fighting. The description of the Pit Fighter class in the second edition WHFB says that the tradition of pit fighting in the Old World may even have been introduced by the Ogres. I don't know if it's legal in the Empire or not, but I would guess a place like Marienburg would have it. And it probably exists in the Empire to, legal or not.

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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Life Form View Post
    I think the audience would go nuts if they get the chance to see an actual Elf fighting, and the arena offers the perfect chance for any Slayer to die a glorious death in battle. As for Halflings, well, they're excellent marksmen and could use this to their advantage to fell enemies far bigger and stronger than they are.
    Elves - Would only happen if captured and forced to fight. Even then, the chances of the elves escaping are a lot higher than of them staying and fighting in an arena, although it might be possible but not very plausible.

    Dwarves - Slayers, no. There's no glory in fighting a bunch of humans or captured monsters, the idea of Slayers is that they go out and atone for their wrongdoing by killing a big monster or something, as a sort of benefit to the rest of Dwarfdom. Killing a handful of pit-slaves doesn't quite fit. But again, they're crazy so it's possible but not plausible. As for other dwarves, it's too shameful really. Fighting is something dwarves do to stay alive, not to entertain a bunch of humans.

    Halflings - No. Ranged weapon in a fighting pit? How many shots is a halfling likely to get off before being impaled on a fist spike? I'd say, exactly zero.

    I grant that audiences would love it, but it's incredibly improbable that it would happen.

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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    I got into my head that they were illegal due to it being a form of Khorne-worshipping.
    Dogfights however, is legal.
    Ogres are of course selfwritten participants, but captured Norse should probably do it gladly to(Like the gauls captured by the romans was sent to the arena to amuse the roman people).
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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    Quote Originally Posted by asphodel View Post
    Halflings - No. Ranged weapon in a fighting pit? How many shots is a halfling likely to get off before being impaled on a fist spike? I'd say, exactly zero.

    I grant that audiences would love it, but it's incredibly improbable that it would happen.
    Your problem is that you are ascribing the stereotype to the entire race, combined with a lack of imagination. There's plenty of violent Halflings out there that will get involved in a good scrap if they can, just like pretty much any other race in the world. Much like ridiculous real-world pro-wrestling where lots of midgets, dwarfs etc. take part. Okay they're not going to win the world title, but an enterprising pitfightboss would probably want to get in all kinds of races, from the mundane to the exotic to take part. Maybe a Halfling on Dwarf as a warm-up match?

    ...oh but you've already told us that no Dwarf would ever do pit-fighting. And I'll bet that they would never fight as mercenaries either?

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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    There is this link to a Pit Fighter game which was written by Jervis Johnson back in the Morheim days (where have ye gone!) and has some fluff to the various fighting styles they used. Hope it works and helps.:skull:

    http://tabletopgeeks.com/wp-content/...ighterGame.pdf

    Btw: Thought there was more fluff in there but realized its mostly rules, so sorry for that!!!!
    Last edited by Hragnar Goreskull; 06-03-2011 at 18:30.
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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    Quote Originally Posted by asphodel View Post
    Dwarves - Slayers, no. There's no glory in fighting a bunch of humans or captured monsters, the idea of Slayers is that they go out and atone for their wrongdoing by killing a big monster or something, as a sort of benefit to the rest of Dwarfdom. Killing a handful of pit-slaves doesn't quite fit. But again, they're crazy so it's possible but not plausible. As for other dwarves, it's too shameful really. Fighting is something dwarves do to stay alive, not to entertain a bunch of humans.
    Earlier you mentioned amputated gryphon's, ogres and other captured beasts, surely those qualify as large monsters? Besides, the slayers aim is to die a glorious death, not 'kill a big monster', that's just a means to an end. Considering the amount of dwarves living in the empire it's not unreasonable to assume that one would see a pitfighting tournament as a quick and easy way to find something big to fight, he'd have a crowd of spectators and even if he won, it would add to his balad.

    Besides, slayers had no qualms about killing things in the depths of dungeons in warhammer quest and none of the slayers in black library books are anything short of eager to kill all range of small gribblies they encounter.

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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    Quote Originally Posted by nagash66 View Post
    No but a hafling thief with some custom daggers could make the fights 'short' but sweet .
    No, no, you're all taking this the wrong way. Half a dozen greased halflings with daggers versus an ogre.

    The OK book confirms that pit fighting was indeed an ogre invention which was introduced to the old world in a rather milder form. That said, it's hardly the most complicated concept in the world...

    Also, Blood on The Reik makes mention of the Oubliettes of Miragliano hold many captured monsters for study, offering fine reward to those skilled enough to bring in a live Minotaur. It's not unreasonable to suppose that there's similar shady setups throughout the old world who capture monsters for pit fights. Certainly the Pit Fighter Mordheim article says that ogres are the only pit fighters who can really go head-to-head in the pit with a troll, suggesting something like this is going on.

    EDIT: And though I can't find it now, there was a specific Pit Fighter Slayer model made for Mordheim. Had a hammer and an axe, looked grumpy. The pit seems as fine and honourable place for a glorious death as any. After all, it's not like Slayers check to see how big a threat a dragon is to the local area before attacking it; the dragon and its likelihood of killing them is enough.
    Last edited by Sandlemad; 06-03-2011 at 19:32.
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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    Actually in the pit fighter warband you could have a slayer pit fighter. The dwarf book mentioned that dwarves don't mind a scrap and do find fighting enjoyable. Just they don't have a taste for bloodshed. So they don't mind brawling at times or the like, the sure don't look down on it.

    Slayers on the other hand can be far traveled individuals, even into the empire. And even slayers need money for beer and food. So what is a good side job for a slayer, Why not a few rounds in the pits to get the blood pumping, show the manlings some true grit, and have money in your pocket afterwards for a night of drinking what ever beer you can find? It does not always have to be to the death with slayers, a good fight and pocket money goes a long way to easing your travel as you look for the death you want.

    As the legity of pit fighting I imagine it has chanced often enough. I would say rather than the emperor it falls to the individual elector counts. I imagine in most places it is illegal... but not necessarily enforced to well. I imagine the range and manners of the pit fights vary greatly. Perhaps Middenheim there is not alot of non-human fight, or they perfer no weapons and only strait brawl matches. I imagine the tastes of the population change how they are ran and the level of pressure from authorities dictates just how underground the matches have to be.

    Though I doubt you will have many elves as there is not alot of them roaming the empire and many that do have their own objectives to why. Not saying it is impossible but they would be quite a rarity.
    Last edited by EnternalVoid; 06-03-2011 at 22:28.

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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    Quote Originally Posted by snottlebocket View Post
    Because "Iiiiiiiiin the left corner, weighing in at 60 pounds, the beast of breakfast, the devourer of danishes, the earl of elevensies... BEEEERIAC BUMBLEFOOT!" does not exactly cause the crowd to go running for the bookies.
    Well maybe not Beriac Bumblefoot, but Belkar Bitterleaf would definitely bring in the crowds:

    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0439.html

    and I quote "I am a SEXY, SHOELESS, GOD OF WAR"

    I imagine the owners of the pits probably search high and low to find exotic fighters and monsters to bring in more spectators and increase their potential profits.

    Pitfighting may even be popular outside the empire (possibly even legal in some places); maybe not in Bretonnia, as the kingdom lacks a large number of larger settlements, but it could be quite popular in the Border Princes and possibly Tilea based on the somewhat chaotic nature of the regions. I would not be surprised if Sartosa had a few pits as well.

    Of course this is all complete speculation though there might be some details in Sigmar's Heirs or some of the adventures in second edition WFRP. I think there is a brief description in the section on Altdorf in one of the book but I do not have the sources on hand.

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    edit: link should work now... maybe...
    Last edited by Idle Thought; 07-03-2011 at 21:59.

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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Idle Thought View Post
    maybe not in Bretonnia, as the kingdom lacks a large number of larger settlements
    What's the point in running a fighting pit in a place where nobody has money to bet anyway.

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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hrokka `Eadsplitter View Post
    I got into my head that they were illegal due to it being a form of Khorne-worshipping.
    Dogfights however, is legal.
    Pit fights have been illegal in the Empire since slavery was abolished according to WFRP. Fighting rings still exist all over the Empire, but they are officially only used for animal fights (dogs, roosters, ...).
    In the more seedy parts of the cities illegal pit fights still exist, pitting willing human fighters (and slaves) against each other and occasionally a beastman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gekiganger View Post
    Besides, the slayers aim is to die a glorious death, not 'kill a big monster', that's just a means to an end. Considering the amount of dwarves living in the empire it's not unreasonable to assume that one would see a pitfighting tournament as a quick and easy way to find something big to fight, he'd have a crowd of spectators and even if he won, it would add to his balad.

    Besides, slayers had no qualms about killing things in the depths of dungeons in warhammer quest and none of the slayers in black library books are anything short of eager to kill all range of small gribblies they encounter.
    The point of being a Slayer is not to throw your life away in a fight. You are supposed to die fighting an enemy that poses a threat to Dwarfkind.
    There's no honour in betting your own life away in a fight against a random human in a pit.

    Fights against real monsters (trolls and the like) would be VERY hard to organise as it's not easy to capture, transport and conceal a troll, let alone a griffon, wyvern or other huge flying beast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Idle Thought View Post
    Well maybe not Beriac Bumblefoot, but Belkar Bitterleaf would definitely bring in the crowds:

    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/image...2LaFsib974.gif

    and I quote "I am a SEXY, SHOELESS, GOD OF WAR"
    Link says FORBIDDEN
    Last edited by Arnizipal; 07-03-2011 at 21:27. Reason: typo
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    Chapter Master spetswalshe's Avatar
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    Re: Pit Fights And Pit Fighters in the old world?

    I imagine it's mostly down to the Slayer. Most of them don't seem to be all that concerned with actual Dwarf society anymore, otherwise they'd stick close to the settlements and trade routes (and not spend their time trashing Empire taverns). For most, I think, it's more about piling on the least amount of further humiliation possible; finding something worthy of dying under. Suicide, especially in such a small population where every beard counts, is an inherently selfish drive - I imagine most of the community-minded Slayers would be the ones who end up serving with the armies, rather than with a pack of mongrel adventurers looking to look a Lustrian temple.

    So I'd definitely expect Dwarfs to fight in the pit - some for the excitement, some as a way of making a living, some because their gambling debts got too deep and some to settle a grudge in a 'legitimate' environment. Racial pride might be a factor; if some bare-chinned spectator mentions that Angar of Norsca could break a Dwarf's neck with two fingers, what Dwarf in a five-mile vicinity isn't going to push up his sleeves and prove him wrong? Slayers would be particularly present, what with them looking for a good death - a pit-fighter champion is likely to put up a much better and more interesting fight than a troll who's spent his whole life eating moss and waiting for fish to swim into his mouth.

    Elves, too. Plenty of younger ones enjoy adventuring, and the rush of fighting to an audience is going to get their blood going just as often as it will humans. They're likely to be on the higher end of the bill, too, what with incredible speed and agility. And as for halflings - fully fifty percent of hard-bitten crime lords in the Empire seem to be short 'n roundies, and there's a lot to be said for having a clutch of halflings with knives fighting a chained-up ogre; it's just up-sized bear-baiting.

    Fights against monsters would definitely happen - WFRP mentions the trade in exotic fighting beasts, and things like pegasi and hippogryphs are captured on a regular basis, usually while still young. Breeding pegasi in captivity, for example, is noted as being pointless, as the beast will never learn to fly. On the other hand, a griffon who can't fly (but who can probably chicken-flap across an arena) is a perfect sale to a pit.
    Last edited by spetswalshe; 07-03-2011 at 21:03.
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  20. #20

    Thread Necro because of new info

    Quote Originally Posted by Middenmordheimer View Post
    Hey all besides the little parts said about them in mordheim rescources does anyone know anything about pit fights in warhammer background?
    Accidentally stumbled across this article:
    Pit Fighting, White Wolf Inphobia #57, August 1995 expanded rules and skills. By Graeme Davis, aka the WFRP designer.

    I just bought a copy of the magazine via eBay & it'll be here this weekend. I'll report back about it.

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