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View Full Version : Sell me on Warhammer Fantasy RPG



Webhead
10-07-2008, 01:23 PM
Okay, I hear people with good things to say about WFRP. As an alternative fantasy RPG to D&D, make me believe! What makes WFRP so much fun and what distinguishes it from D&D? Why would it be a good (or bad) choice for someone who wants an RPG with a little less prep time, a little more free-form character customization and quicker-running combats than D&D? What does WFRP do well and what does it not do well?

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-07-2008, 01:32 PM
Got a couple of hours?

Seriously, i'll let someone else respond for my response may turn into a novella. My only suggestion is to pick up or borrow a core book and check it out.

I've been playing DnD for over 30 years and have great memories of said game. This being said, WFRP will always be my #1 choice for fantasy rpg.

Yes, i still play DnD regularly, but truth be told, DnD players i've talked into playing WFRP, have always wanted to stick with WFRP from then on.

Webhead
10-07-2008, 01:42 PM
How do the majority of the rules systems work? Is it more or less complicated than D&D 3.5? How is magic handled differently? I ask because, honestly, I won't really have an opportunity to browse a copy of the book itself.

Let's start there.

MuslixtheMighty
10-07-2008, 02:06 PM
WFRP is a percentile dice game. About 95% of all the dice rolling for both players and GM will be D100 with the every once in a while D10 roll. In the Warhammer universe, magic and spells are a double edged sword. To be able to wield such great power, you run the risk of having a spell blow up in your face or attract the attention of a darker being.

One of my favorite points of WFRP is the high level of mortality. Lets say a Human outlaw is fighting a orc. The fight might be going on the Outlaw's favor but then the orc rolls a crit and instantly, the Outlaw just lost his leg and the fight.

MortonStromgal
10-07-2008, 03:16 PM
I'll bite on the magic system explanation...

Think of it as ORE

your skill is the max # of d10s you roll getting pairs, triples, etc is bad. The more dice you put in the bigger, badder, spell you can sling but the outcome can come back to nuke you with enough matches on a roll. There are a bunch of spells similar to D&D spell lists otherwise.

Webhead
10-07-2008, 03:34 PM
What is the process of creating a character and how long does it generally take (if you know what you're doing)?

gdmcbride
10-07-2008, 04:15 PM
What is the process of creating a character and how long does it generally take (if you know what you're doing)?

I one made up five characters for five complete novices at a one-shot that turned into a campaign. We had one copy of the rulebook. I am extremely familiar with the rules.

It took about twenty minutes. Character creation is incredibly simple in WFRP.

Gary

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-07-2008, 04:24 PM
The game is very addicting. You play it, you *will* become addicted to it. There are two editions, with similarities, but with differences also. I love both editions and you can choose between one or the other or just mix the two. There is no difficulty in this at all. Like i said earlier, if ever you get a chance to peruse the core rules ina bookstore or of a friends, please do so. Game is great, dark, & gritty. Enjoy!

Did i mention that the amount of fan-based material on the internet is incredible?

Webhead
10-07-2008, 04:34 PM
Next time I spot a copy at Half Price Books, I will have to browse. I am intrigued but am also both cheap and leery of investing in more game systems. I would be much happier shelling out $20 at Half Price than stomaching the $40 at full retail for the core book.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-07-2008, 04:37 PM
Well, you can get the book for cheap and find plenty of modules online. If you were to ever invest in another system, this is the one i'd recommend. But hey, i like 'em dark and gritty, not bubblegummy and superhero-ie.

gdmcbride
10-07-2008, 04:46 PM
Warhammer is an extremely simple FRP that does one thing very well -- run a grim and gritty RPG set in Renaissance Germany (i.e. The Empire).

The dice mechanic is simple. Stats and skills are simple. Combat is both simple and very lethal. Warhammer very cleanly supports miniatures and battle maps without requiring them.

If what I am saying sounds appealing -- WFRP is your game.

Common complaints about the game:

1. Hey, my character just died! But it's just a bandit?!
Warhammer is unapologetically lethal. 2nd Edition adds fate points so you can avoid the worst mangling, but those are a very rare resource.

2. You have to randomly roll up stats? Where are the rules for point buy?!
Warhammer even in its most modern edition still uses random dice to determine characters. That is part of what makes character generation so quick.

3. I want to create my own career not just use these in the book!
You can, but the game gives you no advice or support. It does give you LOTS of careers to choose from (more than fifty basic careers in the main rulebook alone).

4. Magic is dangerous! Can't I just play a reliable mage?!
Magic is downright Faustian. It will make you crazy if you use it too much and you can also find yourself starting down the dark path to Chaos if you aren't careful.

So, that's Warhammer. Love it or hate it, I really recommend picking up at least the main rulebook if you consider yourself a serious student of fantasy RPGs. If nothing else it will show you a very different and very mature take on fantasy roleplaying.

Gary

Webhead
10-07-2008, 04:53 PM
Well, you can get the book for cheap and find plenty of modules online. If you were to ever invest in another system, this is the one i'd recommend. But hey, i like 'em dark and gritty, not bubblegummy and superhero-ie.

I like both approaches for different games and different reasons...except for the bubblegum...no, you can keep that. It's about making the style fit the theme. I like everything from Lovecraftian Call of Cthulhu to Justice League-esque superheroics. Cthulhu should be dark and gritty, but not superheroes IMHO.

I could play fantasy campaigns both ways as well, depending on exactly the kind of stories I'm wanting to tell. If I'm in the mood to play a "darker" kind of fantasy, Warhammer sounds good for the "grim and perilous" end of the scale. Then there's the other, more epic, over-the-top end that also has its own appeal to me but for which I could pursue other systems (I have been trying to run Battle Chasers since 1998, haven't found the right system for it yet).

So yeah, WFRP sounds like it could be of value to me as a substitute for D&D. I will check it out at the next opportunity.

Webhead
10-07-2008, 05:01 PM
Thank you for your input, gdmcbride. It is helpful.


...Warhammer very cleanly supports miniatures and battle maps without requiring them...

So, if one were to run a combat in WFRP and not use precise, tactical combat movement, would that hamper a significant part of the game or greatly hamstring certain character abilities the way it does in D&D 3e?

In 3e, removing the 5' grid affects a slew of feats, AoOs and other abilities, effectively rendering them moot and thus being unfair to characters who take them. Is such the case in WFRP as well?

MortonStromgal
10-07-2008, 05:18 PM
I love WFRP (one of my top 5 rpgs of all time)

The one downside I find is "multi-classing" (i don't know what to call it) is very strange. When you max out your class its time to take a new one but you have to acquire the equipment of the new class before you can take it.

Also the XP rules are silly because you give outs 100s of XP but to raise skills and such cost 100s so you could have just made it 1 xp in a session with regular type costs. The extra 0s are silly.


The bonuses are...
The world rocks! The magic system is awesome (in that great power comes at great cost). The game is just the right amount of deadly IMHO, you get 10 or so hit points and as long as you can avoid taking damage your fine, when it hits 0 your still fine but now you must roll on the dreaded crit chart everytime someone hits you (which could be anything from a scratch to instant death). So you can still rush out and be heroic if you dive for cover once your out of HP. The game plays fast, % mean no bell curve though :( and character creation is reasonably fast (not nWOD mortals, but few games are that fast).

[edit] IMHO WFRP is the best system for new players and GMs. Everything you need is in the core book and its pretty well written and laid out with a 1/2 decent adventure in the back.

MuslixtheMighty
10-07-2008, 07:35 PM
What is the process of creating a character and how long does it generally take (if you know what you're doing)?

There is three ways to make characters. You can roll everything at random (the quickest, 5 to 10 mins) to picking out everything yourself (the longest, 20 to 25 mins) or any variation inbetween.

My brother and I were messing around and we made characters completely random, leaving everything to the dice. He basiclly got a rain man elf outlaw who could swing a sword beat then anyone and I had a human squire who could talk his way out of anything.

Grimwell
10-07-2008, 10:57 PM
How well does the system work independent of the Warhammer setting? Does it lend itself well to custom campaigns centered around personal settings or does it sputter at that point because the rules are so meshed to the setting of Warhammer?

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-07-2008, 11:15 PM
How well does the system work independent of the Warhammer setting? Does it lend itself well to custom campaigns centered around personal settings or does it sputter at that point because the rules are so meshed to the setting of Warhammer?
It lends itself very well from my experience.

Bearfoot_Adam
10-08-2008, 01:29 AM
Does it have a nice system for mass combat. I think it is cool that you can play an individual in this incredible world. But the world was built on armies and it could be entertaining to be a par of that aspect as well.

gdmcbride
10-08-2008, 01:30 AM
So, if one were to run a combat in WFRP and not use precise, tactical combat movement, would that hamper a significant part of the game or greatly hamstring certain character abilities the way it does in D&D 3e?

In 3e, removing the 5' grid affects a slew of feats, AoOs and other abilities, effectively rendering them moot and thus being unfair to characters who take them. Is such the case in WFRP as well?

The short answer -- no. Movement is in squares which transfers very cleanly to battle maps. But there are no AoO or anything like them.

Ranged weapons and spells have ranges in squares, so you may have to do a little guestimation of that, but really it's all pretty easy.

There are definitely no characters who are penalized unduly for being 'off-grid'.

Gary

Webhead
10-08-2008, 09:14 AM
The short answer -- no. Movement is in squares which transfers very cleanly to battle maps. But there are no AoO or anything like them.

Ranged weapons and spells have ranges in squares, so you may have to do a little guestimation of that, but really it's all pretty easy.

There are definitely no characters who are penalized unduly for being 'off-grid'.

Gary

Okay. Thanks for the info.

MortonStromgal
10-08-2008, 09:22 AM
It will do fine for hombrews as long as your looking for something where the PC will never be super heros and magic is chaotic.

Bearfoot_Adam
10-09-2008, 12:28 AM
The other question I had about WFRP are all the races from the mini games available as PC's? I've always been a fan of the lizards.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-09-2008, 12:34 AM
The other question I had about WFRP are all the races from the mini games available as PC's? I've always been a fan of the lizards.
There are more wfrp fan-based support sites on the net than i can count. Many have stats to play anything from Ogres to Skaven. Since i am a die-hard WFRP fan, if you are looking for something more specific, feel free to ask. At worst, i can send you to fellow enthusiasts that would gladly help you out.

nijineko
10-09-2008, 04:20 PM
But hey, i like 'em dark and gritty, not bubblegummy and superhero-ie.

my pardon but the bubblegum rpg is very dark and gritty, thank you. =P

^^

Webhead
10-09-2008, 05:13 PM
my pardon but the bubblegum rpg is very dark and gritty, thank you. =P

^^

You must be referring to Bubblegum Crisis. Yeah, I've heard it's pretty darn dystopian.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-09-2008, 05:59 PM
I must have been thinking bubblegum ice cream. Cant go wrong there.

...2 minutes later taking a shot in the dark via google...

Addendum: Holy Crap! Looks like there really is a game called Bubblegum Crisis. I stand corrected, nijineko.

http://jchao.tripod.com/review2.html

nijineko
10-09-2008, 08:44 PM
=D yeah, when i was younger and less morally inclined, i was less finicky about what anime i watched. this was one of the ones i watched all the way through. interesting storyline indeed. despite the "cjac". the rpg is likewise interesting.

don't forget to watch bubblegum crash either. interesting follow up series. the voice actor change on priss is very disappointing, just to warn you.



oh, and btw, for those not in the know, "cjac" stands for "cheap japanese anime cheesecake". ^^

MortonStromgal
10-09-2008, 09:45 PM
If I hear that Hurricane song one more time I'll... :lalala:

nijineko
10-09-2008, 10:07 PM
hahahahahah. "konya wa hurricane"? try listening to "mad machine" for a bit then. ^^

upidstay
10-25-2008, 02:14 PM
Do you like the online version of Warhammer? Then you'll like the table top version. Same game, in a table top format.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-25-2008, 04:01 PM
Someone say Hurricane Smith? I loved his greatest hits album.

fmitchell
11-06-2008, 03:10 PM
(Necro-ing this thread too. Call me a Necrarch.)

Does anyone have the first edition of WFRP? An rpg.net review suggested that the older edition (from 1986 or 1995) had more atmosphere and background.

I own the second edition, and kind of like the setting; should I pick up the First Edition for cheap if I can find it?

MortonStromgal
11-06-2008, 04:34 PM
(Necro-ing this thread too. Call me a Necrarch.)

Does anyone have the first edition of WFRP? An rpg.net review suggested that the older edition (from 1986 or 1995) had more atmosphere and background.

I own the second edition, and kind of like the setting; should I pick up the First Edition for cheap if I can find it?

I don't recall anything special in the main book but the supplements have a lot of good setting info

gdmcbride
11-06-2008, 06:11 PM
(Necro-ing this thread too. Call me a Necrarch.)

Does anyone have the first edition of WFRP? An rpg.net review suggested that the older edition (from 1986 or 1995) had more atmosphere and background.

I own the second edition, and kind of like the setting; should I pick up the First Edition for cheap if I can find it?

The first edition of WFRP is a big wonderful mess of a book. Yes, it has more world information than the second edition but it also has what can only be described as dubious organization. The editting is slap shod in places. Large sections of the book are block copied straight from the original version of the wargame with little in the way of changes. It is crammed with old school Warhammer art and painted samples of long out of print Warhammer minis. I think many people remember the book with a great deal of nostalgia. Its the sort of book you can read over and over and find something new every time.

Would I buy it?

Well...if you find it cheap, it does contain a cool little adventure and lots of out of date background (i.e. stuff that has changed via various versions of WFB). But I think by now everything in it has made its way into one 2nd edition supplement or another (or has completely fallen out of the game). Still, it is an interesting window into the early days of RPGs, if that interests you.

Buying WFRP 1st edition is kind of like buying AD&D DMG 1st edition. Yes, there are things in that book that have never appeared again (random prostitute table anyone?). But are those things of any real value? Heh, probably not. Will it give you a feel about where the game came from and its original intended tone? Yes.

So...buy it for historical value. Don't buy it thinking it will make your game any better.

Gary

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-06-2008, 09:42 PM
(Necro-ing this thread too. Call me a Necrarch.)

Does anyone have the first edition of WFRP? An rpg.net review suggested that the older edition (from 1986 or 1995) had more atmosphere and background.

I own the second edition, and kind of like the setting; should I pick up the First Edition for cheap if I can find it?
Yes! Definitely buy it. Dont care what others say about it, it has a huge following. In fact, many out there prefer it to the 2nd edtion. Me? I own everything both editions and i couldnt be happier.

2nd edition fans argue the magic system is wacked in first edition, i dont agree. 1st edition fans argue that it's darker and grittier than 2nd edtion.

Both editions are great, but buy it and judge for yourself. "it's the only way to be sure." -line from movie, Aliens II.

Feel free to write me if you have any more questions on the subject, happy to assist in any way a fellow WFRP fan, in either edition.

Game on!

gdmcbride
11-06-2008, 11:07 PM
Actually RPG.net has a pretty good cross-system review here. (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/11/11242.phtml)

Gary

fmitchell
11-07-2008, 03:46 AM
Actually RPG.net has a pretty good cross-system review here. (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/11/11242.phtml)

That's the review I saw earlier. My only reservation is that 2nd Ed stuff is rapidly going out of print, and Fantasy Flight Games has yet to take up the slack. (In particular, I'd love to find Night's Dark Masters at a reasonable price, i.e. not $70.)

MortonStromgal
11-07-2008, 09:53 AM
I think FF is getting better I finally got my hands on Bestiality again after selling mine to a gamer because I didn't realize it was out of print.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-07-2008, 10:04 AM
I think FF is getting better I finally got my hands on Bestiality again after selling mine to a gamer because I didn't realize it was out of print.
Well that'll teach ya! Never, never, n e v e r, let go of your priceless tomes. :biggrin:

MortonStromgal
11-07-2008, 10:19 AM
LOL the spell checker fixed my Bestiary to Bestiality.

Webhead
11-07-2008, 10:34 AM
LOL the spell checker fixed my Bestiary to Bestiality.

Yeah...I was afraid there for a minute... :eek: ;)

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-07-2008, 11:03 AM
:laugh: I miss that completely. :brick:

Pk1305
12-07-2008, 09:46 PM
Ok, the question is not if it is better than D&D but if any people who want to play the game are in the Milwaukee or SE Wisconsin area? If so let me know because I have myself and another player who are deeply interested in the game.

Also, First Edition is far superior. The setting is better. The changes Game Workshop made to the setting to make it line up better with the less gritty and dark world they have presented in their miniature games diminish what makes the game great.