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[WFRP 2nd Ed] Using the system without careers?

Dorchadas

一期一会
Validated User
Long story short, I have a homebrew setting I've been working on and off for a while (you can see some of the genesis here, though it's developed a lot since then), and I like the hacked WFRP system I have, but I don't know that the career system would work as well with the new setting I have, since it lacks the same foundation, is more of an early medieval social structure instead of a renaissance one, doesn't have the same organizations, etc. I've already hacked tons of other stuff[1] due to various problems with the system I have, so why not the entire foundation of the system? :p

So, what sort of problems does this pose? The obvious one I see is that I have to come up with Talent prerequisites, since currently some of them are locked away in Advanced careers, and some Talents end up being banned, gated behind special circumstances, or just redefined as Traits (Very Strong, Warrior Born, that kind of thing). Stats like Magic and Attacks probably need similar gating based on Will Power and WS/BS, respectively, to prevent people from just blasting their Weapon Skill and Attacks up immediately after character generation. Is there anything else I'm missing other than that?

[1]: For example, my WFRP is a dice pool system...
 
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Dorchadas

一期一会
Validated User
One other thing that might help is setting up escalating XP costs, to encourage the kind of diversification most of the careers have. 100 xp for the first characteristic advance, 150 xp for the second, up to 450 for the 8th. 150 xp for +10 to a skill and +200 xp for +20% (well, +1 die and +2 dice the way I do it). Attacks +1 is 200 and +2 is 400, magic is 200, 300, 400, 500.

Or something similar, anyway.
 

zasvid

slow but irresistible
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Though if I were I'd seriously consider just changing the system at this point, as your Warhammer has eaten a lot of warpstone and seems to be approaching Chaos Spawn phase. And that's coming from someone who always hammers his system du jour into an unrecognisable state (but then it turns out it wasn't working out after all).

Anyway, the problem I see (and you do too, as you noted) is that careers force diversification, so it happens - if you relax that requirement to encouragement via xp costs, you'll most likely end up with at least someone going all the way into one-trick-pony-land anyway and that never* works out.

Moreover, careers let (or made) you pick up less hot skills because they were cheap and you had to take something, without it many talents/skills will be left in the dust, because they're just not that good and things will escalate fast if players are just allowed to get a reasonable level in all the good stuff.

This also guts the ease of character creation and advancement.

*for certain values of 'never'.
 

Dorchadas

一期一会
Validated User
Though if I were I'd seriously consider just changing the system at this point, as your Warhammer has eaten a lot of warpstone and seems to be approaching Chaos Spawn phase.
That is not an unreasonable characterization of it, yes. :p

I'm running a game of it right now (using careers, as it's set in the normal Warhammer world), and it works okay for us. At least, so far.

Anyway, the problem I see (and you do too, as you noted) is that careers force diversification, so it happens - if you relax that requirement to encouragement via xp costs, you'll most likely end up with at least someone going all the way into one-trick-pony-land anyway and that never* works out.

Moreover, careers let (or made) you pick up less hot skills because they were cheap and you had to take something, without it many talents/skills will be left in the dust, because they're just not that good and things will escalate fast if players are just allowed to get a reasonable level in all the good stuff.

This also guts the ease of character creation and advancement.

*for certain values of 'never'.
Yeah, with open choice, everyone's going to grab Dodge Blow, Strike Mighty Blow, Armored Casting, and Arcane Lore (Shadow), etc., but I'm thinking that proper use of prerequisites and XP costs could encourage diversification. If Orienteering costs 50 xp, but Fearless costs 300 xp and requires a Will Power of 60+, or if Armored Casting is 100 xp, but you need to be a Vedmak with Magic 2 to take it and Ice Witches can't get it at all, it still should encourage my players to branch out a bit.

Also, I'm not too worried about min-maxing or powergaming, because my players are all narrativist storygaming swine. I'm mostly worried about providing proper balance for people who want to build their characters organically and not end up with the 7th Sea problem where it's possible to fall into being an unstoppable juggernaut who can beat the entire rest of the party combined.

Edit: That said, I would be interested in your opinions of the relative power of skills and talents, if you don't mind!
 
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BMonroe

Registered User
Validated User
The careers system of WHFRP always bugged me. Back in the day, I seem to remember thinking it was just a needless complication. It irked me when right in the middle of a campaign, the PCs would all be scrambling to change careers to get new skills, rather than dealing with the ongoing stories.

At one point, I just converted over whole hog, and ran a bunch of WHFRP 1e stuff with RuneQuest 3rd edition. I still think a BRP-based game is perfect for the Warhammer world, but then I'm a bit biased (see my sig...).
 

Nifft

Five Cent Convolution
IMHO the career system was the best part of WFRP 2e.

It's something I liked so much, I was in the middle of porting it to WFRP 3e (but then our 3e game imploded and I dropped it).

I'd suggest carefully picking careers which fit your setting, modifying career backgrounds, organizations and trappings to fit your setting, etc. so you take advantage of this really quite nice mechanic.
 

Ka_ge2020

Registered User
Validated User
Back in WFRP 1e days, and now to be fair, I was never a fan of the career system. It's been over 20 years since that game, but if memory serves I selected a standard cost to acquire a new skill (100 XP or something), and then multiplied this by the number of careers that you needed to take to get hold of it (the shortest number). First career was akin to a basic template (determining starting skills/etc.). Most of the players were fine with the switch and took the skills/whatever that they wanted. Only one person tended to abuse it, but then again they were the player that almost universally ended up as an Assassin anyway to chase the bonuses/combat skills.
 

PeterM

Registered User
Validated User
I'd suggest carefully picking careers which fit your setting, modifying career backgrounds, organizations and trappings to fit your setting, etc. so you take advantage of this really quite nice mechanic.
Even if you don't want to use the careers as is, you can still use the idea. A character who manages to find a tutor/mentor/master for a skill could be able to learn/improve it at a discount, and someone who voluntarily takes on a career will find it easier to advance the appropriate stats than someone training on their own, but will of course have to fulfill the requirements of the career to keep doing so.

So a character who goes to the Wizard Academy or whatever will find it cheaper and easier to progress in magic skills, while a character who joins the city guard, then becomes a duelist and finally a judicial champion will end up spending considerably fewer XP for his weapon proficiencies, skills and talents. Provided of course he survives the rigors of the job.
 

Dorchadas

一期一会
Validated User
That's a good idea. Applying a flat discount if the character goes through an obviously related career path encourages the same kind of focus without the rigidity of the full career system.
 
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