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The Tome of Decay (2014), p42-44 — Decaying Armoury

"Moments from now you will be little more than a puddle of slime. But worry not, for your death shall bring about the creation of many new and horrifying diseases."
— S'Thall, Blight Prince of Nurgle

Nurgle weapons are terrifying to behold. Unlike the shimmering weapons of Tzeentch, the excessive beauty of Slaaneshi weapons or the simple brutality of Khornate arms, Nurgle's blessed weapons are blighted and malformed implements of sheer horror. There is no mistaking their purpose: the spread of death and contagions in the name of the Plague Father. Their wielders are the reapers of a grim harvest, and put their patron god's favoured instruments to use with an inexorable vigour.

This section covers a number of technologies and objects corrupted and infused with the putrid power craved by Nurgle's worshippers within the Vortex. Most of the weapons and wargear found within these pages relate in some way to the Chaos God Nurgle - the Lord of Decay - as well as the worlds within the Vortex where Nurgle holds the most sway.

New Weapon Special Qualities


When a target is struck by an attack from a weapon with the Corrosive Quality, the Armour Points of any armour worn by the target in that Hit Location are reduced by 1d10 points. If the Armour Points of the armour fall below 0 or the target has no armour in that Hit Location, the target suffers additional Damage equal to the amount by which the Corrosive Quality's effect exceeded his armour, ignoring Toughness bonus. The effects of a Corrosive weapon can reduce a target's armour multiple times, and the effect is cumulative. Damaged armour can be repaired with a successful Challenging (+0) Tech-Use Test.

Decay (X)

Any living creature that suffers Critical Damage (including Damage from Zealous Hatred) from this weapon must make a Challenging (+0) Toughness Test with penalty equal to 10 times X or perish as it collapses into an amorphous puddle of sludge.

Irradiated (X)

When a character is struck by an attack from this weapon (whether or not he suffers Damage) he must immediately make a Challenging (+0) Toughness Test with penalty equal to 10 times X or suffer 2d10 Toughness Damage.

Melee Weapons

Weapons blessed by Nurgle often appear as though ready to crumble or break. Their decrepit forms belie their true lethality, however. Even the slightest cut can bring death to thousands. Infused with plagues created within the depths of Nurgle's Garden, the Fly Lord's weapons dispense infections and maladies to all those who refuse the Plague Father's gifts. Some of these weapons are Daemon Weapons, which are described on page 194 of the Black Crusade Core Rulebook.

Father of Blades (Daemon Weapon)

Rumoured to be the original Plague Swords created not long after Nurgle came into being, the ancient Fathers of Blades have spent millennia spreading corruption. Their cracked and rusted lengths deaden the senses of those nearby, and any who mistime their swings find their attacks deflected off its corroded edge.

The Father of Blades is a one-handed Daemon Weapon with Willpower 77 and a Binding Strength of 4. It has the Bile-Quenched, Pestilent Stench, and Plague Carrier attributes. Whenever the wielder successfully Parries a Melee Attack made against him and scores 5 or more Degrees of Success, the attacker immediately suffers a single hit as if he had struck himself with his own weapon. Only those dedicated to Nurgle can wield a Father of Blades.

Manreaper (Daemon Weapon)

Iconic weapons of Nurgle's greatest champions, Manreapers are the Daemon-infused relics of the Death Guard Legion. Many Plague Cults go to great lengths to acquire or even forge their own, and the Daemons that inhabit these cruel weapons draw power from the filth surrounding the Plague God's throne.

A Manreaper is a two-handed Daemon Weapon with Willpower 57 and a Binding Strength of 3. It has the Accursed and Herald of Decay attributes. Whenever the wielder makes a Charge or All-Out Attack Action with a Manreaper, he may inflict a single hit identical to the first on one additional target in range for every two Degrees of Success he scores on the Test after the first. A Best Craftsmanship Manreaper also has the Force Quality. Only those dedicated to Nurgle can wield a Manreaper.

Pandemic Staff (Daemon Weapon)

A mucus-covered length of rotting wood and rusting metal, the Pandemic Staff constantly seeps bile and other horrific substances. Acting as a vessel for some of Nurgle's most virulent plagues, the Pandemic Staff unleashes a torrent of filth toward any who would deny the Fly Lord's perfection.

A Pandemic Staff is a two-handed Daemon Weapon with Willpower 34 and a Binding Strength of 2. It has the Stream of Corruption attribute. Only those dedicated to Nurgle can wield a Pandemic Staff.

Plague Knife

Seen in the hands of dreaded Plague Marines, the Plague Knife is a long, thin blade caked with grime and dripping with disease. Small cuts can transform into raging infections within seconds, and the blade can fell even the largest of creatures with a single swipe.

A Plague Knife is a one-handed Legion Weapon.

Pestilent Flail

Part censer, part weapon, the Pestilent Flail spreads contagion as it sails through the air, a thick green cloud following each strike. Anyone trained in the weapon's use are true monsters in close quarters, able to quickly kill whilst masking their movements with the haze that emanates from the weapon.

Whenever a Heretic makes a Melee Attack with a Pestilent Flail, he gains a +10 bonus to Dodge Tests until the end of his next Turn. Any Heretic not dedicated to Nurgle suffers 1 Damage (ignoring armour and Toughness Bonus) whenever he makes an attack with a Pestilent Flail.

Table 2-2: Exotic Melee Weapons
Father of Blades†Melee-2d10+3 R4Toxic (7), Unbalanced7kgNear Unique
Manreaper†Melee-2d10+7 R7Felling (5), Power Field, Toxic (2), Unbalanced8kgNear Unique
Pandemic Staff (Melee)Melee-1d10+3 I0Balanced, Decay (4), Toxic (3)4kgNear Unique
Pandemic Staff (Ranged)Basic30m2d10+3 I0Corrosive, Recharge, Spray, Toxic (3)4kgNear Unique
Plague Knife†Melee-1d10 R2Felling (4), Toxic (3)2kgExtremely Rare
Pestilent Flail†Melee5m2d10+6 E4Concussive (1), Flexible, Unwieldy6kgExtremely Rare

†This weapon has additional rules. See full rules for more details.


Those that have chosen the path of decay know that there are many different ways to spread the Plague Father's gifts. The Blight Grenade is perhaps the most well known, but there are many devices capable of saturating an area with toxins as well as ancient technologies that spread death slowly and painfully.

Foulswarm Grenade

As lethal to create as they are to use, Foulswarm Grenades contain a foul concoction whose true nature is known only to the most pox-blessed Plaguemeisters of the Screaming Vortex. Sealed with wicked alchemy and fell curses of rot, these weapons produce an acrid, seething haze upon detonation that drifts outward like a ravenous cloud of flies, inexorably enveloping and putrefying everything it touches.

Whenever a creature begins its Turn in the cloud of smoke created by the Smoke Quality of a Foulswarm Grenade, it suffers a single automatic hit that inflicts 2d10 Impact Damage with the Corrosive and Toxic (3) Qualities.

Rad Grenade

Difficult to find and manufacture, Rad Grenades contain tiny radioactive particles that blink out of existence within a second of exposure to air. Despite the short duration effects, the cellular ruination they cause is often enough to leave the toughest of foes gasping as radiation saps their vitality.

Rad Missile

Similar to Rad Grenades, Rad Missiles spread their lethal cargo over a wider area.

Table 2-3: Grenades
Foulswarm Grenade†ThrownSBx3S/-/-2d10 X6Blast (3), Corrosive, Smoke (6), Toxic (3)1.5kgExtremely Rare
Rad GrenadeThrownSBx3S/-/-1d10 E0Blast (2), Irradiated (2)1kgVery Rare
Rad Missile---1d10+4 E2Blast (4), Irradiated (4)2kgExtremely Rare

† This weapon has additional rules. See full rules for more details.

Special Ammunition

These ammunition types are obtained in full clips and not individually unless otherwise noted.

Bloodrot Rounds

Made in small quantities on a handful of Screaming Vortex worlds, the Bloodrot Round contains a few drops of the same noxious brew that fills Foulswarm Grenades. Hand-loaded into Heavy Bolters, these rounds decimate clumps of enemy infantry and render areas too dangerous to pass. Bloodrot Rounds change the Heavy Bolter's profile to the following: (Heavy; 80m; S/-/-; 3d10 X ; Pen 6; Blast [5], Corrosive, Smoke [1], Toxic [3]).

Whenever a creature begins its Turn in the cloud of smoke created by the Smoke Quality of a Bloodrot Round, it suffers a single automatic hit that inflicts 2d10 Impact Damage with the Corrosive and Toxic (3) Qualities.

Scourge Shells

Scourge Shells have many names across the Screaming Vortex - Tox Slugs, V-Rounds, and so on - but all variants retain similar methods of construction and use. Scourge Shells are hollow, allowing their users to fill them with various toxic concoctions.

Shotguns using Scourge Shells lose the Scatter Quality, but increase their Penetration by 2 and gain the Razor Sharp Quality. Additionally, a Heretic may load a clip of Scourge Shells with any Disease or toxin he has on hand as a Full Action by making a Routine (+20) Medicae Test (using the Chem-Use Special Use of the Skill). If he succeeds, any character who suffers Damage from the Scourge Shell also suffers any effects of the Disease or poison planted in it.

Table 2-4: Special Ammunition
NameCan UpgradeAvailability
Bloodrot RoundsHeavy Bolter, Legion Heavy BolterExtremely Rare
Scourge ShellsAssault Shotguns, Legion Shotguns, ShotgunsRare