I’m keen on the new Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay developed by Cubicle 7, having played 1st extensively and 2nd edition a few sessions. In my middle years, I see many, many flaws in both 1st and 2nd’s system, but the game had some high quality short adventures and, of course, the Enemy Within Campaign which I never got to run players through because they— became like chaos itself, spiked off into random directions mostly due to crimes, and I had to start giving them chaos attributes until we quit playing halfway through college. Others had similar experiences. It could be that the nihilism inherent in the late 80’s that seeped entire into the Warhammer world view made players inherently nihilistic as well, or maybe Slaanesh is just that attractive…
That brings me to 3rd edition WFRP and… my worry that any of the things in 3rd edition make it into 4th. 3rd was the prototype for the much refined Star Wars RPG from Fantasy Flight, yet it was a total mess and completely unmanageable at the table. I played it once as a player and was astounded at the number of chits and cards and stuff, as well as how long it took to finish a small combat with beastmen. In Mythras or D&D the fight would have taken 30 minutes of combat time, where 3rd WFRP took well over an hour. Yet, 3rd edition had quite a few excellent adventures (Witches Song and the new Enemy Within for starters).
Here is a published list of features so far:
The d100 system used will be broadly familiar, but a new implementation designed to offer three ways of resolving actions:
1 – a decision based on the characters’ abilities
2 – a simple pass/fail test
3 – a more nuanced dramatic test giving a range of outcomes and success levels
- GMs are encouraged to tailor their use of these to suit their group’s preferences.
- The combat system has been designed to be quick, dynamic and exciting, with something happening as the result of every roll.
- Careers remain an important feature. Dom waxed eloquent about how careers help immerse characters in the world, and give them something to fight for. He also talked about how that was reinforced in the new edition by Ambitions – personal goals that characters work towards.
- You can initially play a Human, Dwarf, Halfling or Elf, and that range will grow through future expansions.
- Dom did also talk about our ambitious plans for expansions. An expeditionary approach to Lustria was mentioned, as was his excitement about Dark Elf politics and how he always wanted to go to Ulthuan.
Influence from 3rd aside, what I worry most about here is that WFRP 4e will be a ‘story game,’ leaning far towards something like FATE than anything my players and myself would ever want, but let’s see how this shakes out. There is always the option of running WFRP with Mythras, which can’t be beat system wise.