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What is the appeal of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay?

mitchw

Viral Marketing Shill?
Validated User
First edition is fun and probably has a better setting write-up. 2nd edition is easier to play and my goto version. 3rd edition is... Just not my kind of game.
If I were just starting out I would go with the current (4th) edition. It has most of what I like in 2nd edition but not enough for me to buy a new set of books.
This is all IMO of course.😄
 

NickM

Battlemat JUSTICE!
Validated User
I've been playing WFRP on and off for years and which I could get my group comfortable enough with failure to play it more regularly. I'm keen on 4e - there are some messy bits but I suspect actual play will be easier than the rule imply. If you want to know more about the game, the setting, the history etc. I've found the WFRP posts on the Against the Wicked City blog absolutely wonderful - it's nominally an OSR blog so if that's your jam you may enjoy the perspective.
 

Alban

Registered User
Validated User
People were asking what WFRP offers that OSR doesn’t, and the answer is a fun character progression system that drives a certain type of narrative, while being intimately tied to a specific setting. If you love OSR mechanics, I’m not sure what you are looking for from this non-OSR game.
It also has a consistent system in which, whatever the task you're performing, you know you just have to roll a d100 under appropriate skill.
Some OSR systems have such consistent systems (I've heard the Black Hack only has d20 under ability), but most use different mechanisms for combat, skills, class abilities, dodging a dragon's breath, finding secret doors and so on...
 

Godaikin Engineer

Pom Luv
Validated User
Warhammer FRP, especially the first edition IMO, can absorb play styles from murdered-in-the-mud all the way to epic-high-adventure. Players can start off hopeless but after a campaign when they have some coin, decent armor, better characteristics and skills, and even some magic items, they can be movers-and-shakers in the Old World. So it doesn't have to be start in the mud, end in the mud. Unless that's what you or your players want, in which case it can do that too. :)

1st edition is my overall favorite from a system perspective and world presentation. 2nd has some cleaned up mechanics. 3rd has a lot of fiddly bits to keep near your character sheet and needs a good GM to run it. I have 4th but have no experience with it yet.
 

Thorfred

Registered User
Validated User
For me Warhammer 2nd edition is maybe the most beloved game ever, for me. I started with 1st edition as a kid, and I personally feel that 2nd edition was such an improvement in an already good system.

Having said that, 2nd edition was not perfect by any means, and the combats tended to last too long, because no one hit anything, especially in the beginning. The 4th edition has already remedied many of the weaknesses of the 2nd edition and after a supplement or two it has a real chance of becoming my favourite edition. It is on the way there already, but it is too early to tell yet.
 

Hammel

Registered User
Validated User
I've got 4th edition, too. I don't know how 3rd edition was received. A quick look refreshed my memory as to why I wouldn't like it. For the most part, I like being able to play with just dice, some paper, and maybe miniatures. But I'm sure it had its points. The last one I got before 4th edition was probably 2nd edition.

Is the appeal of Warhammer Fantasy one as a party-based game, or is it serviceable with as few players as one to two? Is combat something you generally want to avoid depending on your character, which might also be part of an appeal?
 

General_Tangent

Roof Dweller
Validated User
Like many here is was the very dark British humour that made me as the GM giggle.

I ran The Enemy Within* mashed up with the Doomstones Campaign and Dying of the Light for good measure; this took some three and a half years of real time play and we had a blast doing so.

* I may have missed out Something Rotten in Kislev as I thought it wasn't really in fitting with the style of the campaign, so sending the group off to Marienburg did the trick instead.
 

Shining Dragon

Tough Tiger Fist
Validated User
Is the appeal of Warhammer Fantasy one as a party-based game, or is it serviceable with as few players as one to two?
I think, like most role playing games, an appeal is having a group of people playing the game and enjoying both successes and failures during play. Especially failures. The more humorous the better.

Is combat something you generally want to avoid depending on your character, which might also be part of an appeal?
You avoid combat because it can be deadly no matter the character. Obviously a Pit Fighter would do better than a Lawyer, but that didn’t prevent the sudden death of my Dwarf Pit Fighter who should have been immune to injury on account of suffering from Naked Dwarf Syndrome.
 

Simon Marks

hot DAMN!
Validated User
You avoid combat because it can be deadly no matter the character. Obviously a Pit Fighter would do better than a Lawyer, but that didn’t prevent the sudden death of my Dwarf Pit Fighter who should have been immune to injury on account of suffering from Naked Dwarf Syndrome.
Not my Dwarf Troll Slayer! Every combat was gleefully entered. However, as a Troll Slayer he wasn't very good - never killed by a Troll. As such he started attacking Giants, and then Demons. Eventually, he was killed by a Demi-God

I played him through the Empire in Flames campaign, and my most notable events was killing a chaos spawn in the imperial court with my bare hands, killing a water elemental in a well (a size 7 elemental at that!) and eventually discovering that Elven Demi-Gods aren't affect by Minor Death Runes.

It was a great campaign, but it definitely started breaking down (in 1ed) once we had reached what was basically epic levels. We won, just about, but really for the last 1/3 (until towards the very end) we didn't seem to be in much danger.

As for why WHFRP was good, for me - someone who started playing it while it was in it's "laughably OTT grimdark" phase, it was good to have a game that was both somewhat tounge in cheek, having a distinct feel for a certain time period and location without glossing over unpleasant realities.

I find that the later editions don't have quite the same humour, but thats me.
 

jorganos

Registered User
Validated User
I wanted to like WHFRP - I had bought into the minis skirmish game - but German being my native language I was put off by the wrongness of the bad German language they used for their take on the continental empire. You could see where someone just used a travel dictionary to get some German sounding name. The reverse translation of their version of game keeper came out as "play keeper". I can see how the German term for game in the hunting sense (as well as for venison) would have been a bummer for the English speaking audience wishing for whacky Krautisms (it is "Wild"), but as it was published, it showed that the person trying out the humor didn't understand the joke.

System-wise, it was close enough to the RQ3 I was playing then that it didn't make much of an impression. There were a few details that were elegant (like using the decimal-die swapped attack role for the hit location), and there were other things in the skill system which felt clunky. A combination of noisome railroading in the scenarios and the GM's refereeing style prevented my buy-in. That, and the lack for the kind of loose cash you need to pursue any lead minis based game by Games Workshop, as NPC pictures basically were photos of painted miniatures - the game rules almost doubled as a sales prospect.
 
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