What is the appeal of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay?


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I never played, only read a little bit of a previous edition and the newest one. I read a splat or too, as well. And I love Warhammer Quest.

I liked the setting. But I especially liked the idea of playing something as humble as a rat catcher and, if I recall correctly, randomly rolling careers.

Why do you think Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay gets so much traction? What is the appeal? What do you like about it?
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The appeal for me, and for my players, was partly that we were Warhammer minis players, so we got to role-play in that world. The grim dark fantasy was a nice change from the light of D&D. We loved things like rat catchers. The dark sense of humor, at least in early WHFRPG was also an appeal.


Covert in plain sight
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It's one of the few "zero to hero" games where the zero phase is as interesting and engaging as the hero. Part of that is due to the great progression system that mixes structured "classes" that define your identity while still allowing for unexpected, non-linear paths. Long-lived characters are as likely to have a story of "apprentice wizard to wizard lord" as they are "outlaw to duelist to noble adviser to merchant." Player's progression goals are often completely de-railed by what happens in game and the results are wonderful.

One of the draws for me personally, especially with 4ed, is that it gives the players/GM a really clear picture of society and the PCs' place in it. My players tend much more to have personal goals along the lines of "open my own law firm" and much as "become famous adventurers and get a lot of money."


Back Off the Buddha!
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Its mix of humour and darkness. The careers and mechanics overall are fun to play through and evoke the setting. It has a great series of adventures.


Viral Marketing Shill?
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It's one of the few "zero to hero" games where the zero phase is as interesting and engaging as the hero.
You got to a 'hero' part :eek: Somebody needs to revoke your GMs grimdark card. ;)

I think it is the anti-DandD vibe. You know that joke where someone ask a line of guys for a volunteer and all but one of them take a step BACKWARDS. In WHFRP, your character is that last poor bastard standing there. He doesn't go adventuring because it is fun, profitable, or heroic; he goes because no one else will and it is probably the only way HE can survive. If he happens to save some others along the way, that works too.


Registered Yojimbo
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Making the most of the hand you were dealt is my primary source of fun in Warhammer Fantasy, LotFP, and other grimdark/crapsack worlds.

The odds are stacked against you. Outlook bleak. Still, you might as well pick up your stick and get to work. Let's see how things play out.


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I agree with the reluctant hero/best of a bad job ideas above, but also, for me, one of the underrated aspects of the Warhammer World is that it actually kinda makes sense. It's a pile of bad jokes and anachronisms on top of a vaguely historical setting, but I find it predictable in a way that helps the game. If you do something you kinda know what the reaction and perception of it will be. A lot of fantasy settings seem pretty unpredictable or strange in this regard.

Shining Dragon

Tough Tiger Fist
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For me it was Warhammer's careers and how a goblin with a dagger could kill, for example, a Judicial Champion.


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I played the first edition back in the day, but the whiff factor (ie rounds and rounds of nobody hitting anyone else LoL) and high mortality (non-optional, it felt like) were a turn off.

I just picked up 4th edition (finally!) and am loving it. Lower magic. Gothic horror. Loosely more recognizable cultures (Germanic/Dutch/English/French/Russian). 90% human. And 64 professions! I mean there is still a lot of leeway in how you game plays out, but it feels like a fantasy version of a classic horror movie or a Hammer Horror Film.

If D&D is Errol Flynn as Robin Hood, WFRP is Vincent Price in the Hilarious House of Frightenstein
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