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Settings with a similar "vibe" to WFRP, but not as grimdark?

DreadDomain

Registered User
Validated User
Isn't there a pure setting book, the Aventuria Almanac, that covers the whole continent? I don't know exactly what "the trademark TDE level of detail", but I'm not certain I need it to run a game.
That is the way I would go. The Dark Eye and WFRP have similare themes including intrigue, religious tensions, political infighting and the struggle against nameless, covert enemies. Like WFRP, sometimes there is a big event (and sometimes the covert enemies are not so covert for a while) but they never are as gonzo as in TDE. Equally, the setting is never as miserable as WFRP. Personally, I like both settings but they scratch slightly itches.
If you want a complete overview of the continent, the Aventuria Almanach is available and I believe it's pretty good. If you want a detailed region to start with, The Warring Kingdoms details two kingdoms squeezed between the Orc plateau, the barbarian-viking Thorwalians and the Empire. They have been at each others throats for centuries (the book explains why) and offers intrigue, religious tensions and political infighting at a regional level.

EDIT: sorry, forgot to mention two things.
First, if the level of details found in the Almanach is enough, you might want to choose the Empire as your base. Again, similar themes with the Sigmarite Empire. You can draw some similarities between the two worlds but nothing is the same. Bornland is not Kislev.

Second, the other obvious path is to use the Old World and tone down what you dislike. I personally ignore all the gonzo stuff coming from WFB.
 
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AndrewGPaul

Registered User
Validated User
The thing to remember is that the "grimdark" elements aren't everything. There's always been a streak of humour running through the setting, even when 1st edition WFRP was published. This is the setting where William Shakespeare gets possessed by God and beats up a necromancer, for example. There's a Chandler-esque hard-bitten halfling in pseudo-Amsterdam, and Dirty Harry in Altdorf. Even the legendary Enemy Within campaign has a sequence where you chase a three-legged goblin through a circus, and when you catch him, you find out he's miserable because his girlfriend ran off with a black orc (said chase scene is now the cover of Cubicle 7's 4th edition update of TEW campaign, by the way). Yes it's a dark setting, but it's dark like Life of Brian or Blackadder Goes Forth. If there's no laughs at the tble, then I would suggest you're Warhammering wrong. :)

2nd edition took some of the tone from the then-current 6th edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, but again, the difference is that in WFRP you'd be, at best, a unit champion, not the mighty lords and wizards in the battle game.
 

CLAVDIVS

Postmodern Futurist
Validated User
Well, I'm going to put out the obvious ones: Maelstrom which is a renaissance game from Puffin books. There was a new edition but it's set in the middle ages for some odd reason. Also, Titan, the Fighting Fantasy world has many similarities to Warhammer but lacks the over flowing power of Chaos unopposed by gods of Law.
Great, even more cool-sounding games for me to research... :p

(I kid, of course. Keep the suggestions coming if you've got 'em.)
Do you need things to be specifically faux-European? Travellers on a Red Road has a setting with a renaissance type technology level, but one which has grown out of societies inspired more by Siberian, North American, and Arctic cultures. Warhammer is a major inspiration in terms of the social grounding of it all, but it doesn't have anything like the threat of Chaos eradicating everything.
I don't really, it's just what I'm used to. I've actually been wondering if I wanted to change gears to bronze age Mediterranean. I'll take a peek at Travellers, though.
It definitely has less of a straight European analog vibe than WFRP, but it’s not all that weird IMO. The way the world is presented in the adventures was reminiscent of WFRP to an extent.

There is a dose of D&D style adventuring in there too, but that is part of the reason that the setting seems less grimdark than WFRP IMO
From the bits of the core and art books that I skimmed last night, I definitely got a "weird fantasy" vibe. Still grounded in pseudo-European inspirations, but with a strange twist. Like goblins that pupate into trolls, elves riding around on giant tree-beasts, and the forest primeval apparently having been purpose-grown to contain an eldritch god. It's very cool, I just didn't get a particularly Warhammer-like impression, which I think of as more about politics, conspiracies, and the constant threat of war alongside the eldritch stuff.
That is the way I would go. The Dark Eye and WFRP have similare themes including intrigue, religious tensions, political infighting and the struggle against nameless, covert enemies.
The more I read about TDE, the more I dig it. (The setting at least; the system, well, sounds like it stays crunchy even in milk.)

I also like that it includes some neighboring landmasses that people don't know much about, and can be used as excuses to introduce whatever additional weird shit I feel like. :D

This whole subthead is reminding me that I have a Blackguards 2 game to get back to. ;)
The thing to remember is that the "grimdark" elements aren't everything.
The mushrooms aren't everything in beef stroganoff, but for someone who doesn't like them they're annoying to have to pick around. I'd rather they just weren't there to begin with.
 

SunlessNick

Mildly Darkened One
Validated User
My only issue with the setting in terms of being one I'd want to play in is the treatment of mages; it seems like it would be hard for a PC mage to be a freelance adventurer without also being a fugitive. Unless there's a period in Thedan history where the Chantry's yoke was lighter and looser?
After Origins, if you play a mage PC, the Circle in that country is removed from Chantry control.
 

CLAVDIVS

Postmodern Futurist
Validated User
Something that's been in the back of my mind while this thread's been going on is a homebrew setting I was working on ten, maybe fifteen years ago. (I don't have the notes anymore, sadly.) I wasn't doing anything too outlandish, just putting my own spin on existing fantasy tropes. I had no idea how to come up with nations and gods on my own so I just went with a roughly tenth century alt-Earth where pagan religions weren't suppressed by Christianity. I've been thinking about some of the parts I remember and I still kinda like them. (Like the elite, bear-riding, dwarf cavalry division created expressly for fighting trolls. They have black powder harpoon guns.)

But yeah, sometimes I feel like what I really want in a prefab setting is a map I can just drop my preferred fantasy tropes into however I like.

Anyhoo, there's still a couple settings I want to take a closer look at, but these are the current front runners in no particular order:

1: The Dark Eye's Aventuria, using the other continents as an excuse to introduce any new elements I want to add.
2: 7th Sea's Theah, just taking the map and nations as a backdrop for whatever weird kitchen-sink fantasy shit I want to add (like the setting notes I mentioned above).
3: Changing gears completely to mythic bronze age (I've been watching a lot of Overly Sarcastic Productions lately and it's reminded me how awesome ancient Greece, Egypt, etc can be gaming-wise.)
 

Skywalker

Back Off the Buddha!
Validated User
FWIW we have used Zweihander for good effect for a WFRP-like RPG in our setting. We are inspired by Joe Abercrombie's novels but its pretty versatile for some thing like WFRP but of your own making.
 

DreadDomain

Registered User
Validated User
FWIW we have used Zweihander for good effect for a WFRP-like RPG in our setting. We are inspired by Joe Abercrombie's novels but its pretty versatile for some thing like WFRP but of your own making.
Does Zweihander have a setting? I think CLAVDIVS is looking for a setting and I thought ZH was a ruleset only.
 

Skywalker

Back Off the Buddha!
Validated User
It doesn’t. I was just raising in respect to his last post about homebrew settings, not his original post.
 
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