A few things I really like about WFRP

Xenolith234

Explorer
How does WFRP 4e truly compare to 2e? I have books for both but haven’t ever run it, and I’ve been hemming and hawing about which edition to run (and what things need houseruling). Is 4e’a combat amazing and better than 2e, or is it clunky?
 

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TheSword

Legend
Okay, so in my opinion combat is amazing and much better than 2e for a couple of reasons. In the interest of fairness I’ll give some counter arguments.

In 2e I have to pass an attack roll, then the opponent may well parry or dodge, then I have to roll damage and penetrate armour and toughness. That’s three chances to whiff the roll and do nothing. But characters can over time get multiple attacks roll eventually to overcome this. So in 2e combat could sometimes take a long time. With occasional lucky breaks. IMHO it was the biggest flaw with 1st and 2e and the main reason I switched to D&D. Too many dice rolls to do too little.

4e resolves this by having one attack attack roll represent all your attacking for the round. Your opponent makes a defense roll (usually a melee weapon roll to represent parrying but could be dodge, or charm, or animal training or some other appropriate skill). The degree of success between those two rolls then is added to strength and a static weapon damage roll to calculate damage which is then soaked by toughness and armour. Hit location is identified by simply reversing the attack roll dice. You can still deal damage on a fail roll if your opponent fails worse. This takes all the whiff factor out of the game and massively reduces the number of rolls each round.

The maths of it becomes second nature very quickly and what I love most is that combat becomes less something that is done to you, but becomes a personal interaction that both player and DM are involved with. If you roll a crit on your defence roll you could also potentially hurt the foe. So it’s also an opportunity. My players love it.

They also love group advantage. Where a pool of points build that they can use between them to do extra stuff, tactics, boost rolls or get extra attacks. Because of the above an extra attack is a pretty rare and special. Not such a fan of core book advantage - but I’m currently playing and it requires individual tracking - I also think it has the ability to be gamed to do some pretty wierd stuff.

They aren’t so keen on the magic system where it is harder to cast spells than in 2e and it can sometimes take a couple of rounds to get a good spell off. Coming from D&D fire and forget wizards it’s a culture shock. I personally like that magic is harder. To be honest my player caster of which Ive got three have only just got to Tier 2 where the good spells come online. I’m also playing a wizard myself in an online campaign because I want to see how it feels to play them. 2e system was very simple and elegant. It worked, though I do think magic was a bit too reliable.

Some people don’t like the new session based meta-currency. I personally love it and I think the players do to. I think it’s mostly killer DMs who don’t because it gives players chances to avoid the way the dice fall.

Monster design requires a bit of thought. You need to take base creatures and then add templates and traits to them. The monsters in the bestiary as written will get… well… beasted. There are a couple of PDFs for improving them.

I think to get the most out of the game you need core book, Up In Arms, Winds of Magic and the Imperial Zoo. With these I think the game really comes into its own and is substantially better than 2e as several of the flaws in the CRB are resolved with those books.
 
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Moonsoon

Explorer
Thanks for the excellent overview!

I've started DM'ing the Enemy Within campaign (Session 9 tonight, we're at the end of tome 1) after 2 decades exclusively dedicated to D&D.

I do not have any spellcasters in my group (They all choose random generation character - which is SO fun when you are used to players planing their character development from lv1) and it helps keep a low magic feel which was welcome after so much high fantasy.

I need to try group advantage from up in arms. So far we were very busy in combat trying to remember the rules and keeping the action moving.

The quibble so far is the oponent stat blocks, with zero help on what do what.
Spending lots of time to prep these encounters.
 

TheSword

Legend
Thanks for the excellent overview!

I've started DM'ing the Enemy Within campaign (Session 9 tonight, we're at the end of tome 1) after 2 decades exclusively dedicated to D&D.

I do not have any spellcasters in my group (They all choose random generation character - which is SO fun when you are used to players planing their character development from lv1) and it helps keep a low magic feel which was welcome after so much high fantasy.

I need to try group advantage from up in arms. So far we were very busy in combat trying to remember the rules and keeping the action moving.

The quibble so far is the oponent stat blocks, with zero help on what do what.
Spending lots of time to prep these encounters.
Group advantage is a game changer! If you’ve played Silver Tower, Ulfenkarn or Blackstone Fortress board games then the shared pool will be a recognizable thing.

I find it makes combat very tactical - for me as DM as well as the players.

How have you found Enemy in Shadows? I’ve ran it four times in three different editions (plus Pathfinder) and I love it.

We’ve just finished book 3 and start book 4 tonight!
 

Moonsoon

Explorer
Group advantage is a game changer! If you’ve played Silver Tower, Ulfenkarn or Blackstone Fortress board games then the shared pool will be a recognizable thing.

I find it makes combat very tactical - for me as DM as well as the players.

How have you found Enemy in Shadows? I’ve ran it four times in three different editions (plus Pathfinder) and I love it.

We’ve just finished book 3 and start book 4 tonight!
Regarding the GW boardgames, I stopped at Warhammer quest :D

About Enemy in shadows:
  • Very railroady, (until chap8) a kind of giant Reikland tutorial
  • Used the excellent awesome Lies extra bits and pieces. (Loves the extra handouts)
  • Requires players to "Buy in" more than i liked - and extra work to make sure each character has more reasons to be there. And jump through all the hoops. (Hopefully didn't have a noble in the group. Can't imagine how you bring him to the sewers :D
  • However, very enjoyable overall, love the colorful cast of NPCS!
  • really missing a whole overview of the campaign as well. would been SO helpful.

Cheers and good game tonight.
 

TheSword

Legend
Regarding the GW boardgames, I stopped at Warhammer quest :D

About Enemy in shadows:
  • Very railroady, (until chap8) a kind of giant Reikland tutorial
  • Used the excellent awesome Lies extra bits and pieces. (Loves the extra handouts)
  • Requires players to "Buy in" more than i liked - and extra work to make sure each character has more reasons to be there. And jump through all the hoops. (Hopefully didn't have a noble in the group. Can't imagine how you bring him to the sewers :D
  • However, very enjoyable overall, love the colorful cast of NPCS!
  • really missing a whole overview of the campaign as well. would been SO helpful.

Cheers and good game tonight.
Yeah the Enemy Within part was always about teaching the rules and getting the players to Bogenhafen by hook or by crook. You definitely need buy in from the players. Even more so in Death on the Reik that has even more travelling… but also some really cool elements. Wittgendorf onwards is probably my favorite part in the whole 5 part series and my group of longterm jaded players were blown away by it. It gets easier from Power Behind onwards.

I did actually have a Noble turned to Duellist but to be honest he got into character and had a wash afterwards. No harm done!
 

Xenolith234

Explorer
Okay, so in my opinion combat is amazing and much better than 2e for a couple of reasons. In the interest of fairness I’ll give some counter arguments.

In 2e I have to pass an attack roll, then the opponent may well parry or dodge, then I have to roll damage and penetrate armour and toughness. That’s three chances to whiff the roll and do nothing. But characters can over time get multiple attacks roll eventually to overcome this. So in 2e combat could sometimes take a long time. With occasional lucky breaks. IMHO it was the biggest flaw with 1st and 2e and the main reason I switched to D&D. Too many dice rolls to do too little.

4e resolves this by having one attack attack roll represent all your attacking for the round. Your opponent makes a defense roll (usually a melee weapon roll to represent parrying but could be dodge, or charm, or animal training or some other appropriate skill). The degree of success between those two rolls then is added to strength and a static weapon damage roll to calculate damage which is then soaked by toughness and armour. Hit location is identified by simply reversing the attack roll dice. You can still deal damage on a fail roll if your opponent fails worse. This takes all the whiff factor out of the game and massively reduces the number of rolls each round.

The maths of it becomes second nature very quickly and what I love most is that combat becomes less something that is done to you, but becomes a personal interaction that both player and DM are involved with. If you roll a crit on your defence roll you could also potentially hurt the foe. So it’s also an opportunity. My players love it.

They also love group advantage. Where a pool of points build that they can use between them to do extra stuff, tactics, boost rolls or get extra attacks. Because of the above an extra attack is a pretty rare and special. Not such a fan of core book advantage - but I’m currently playing and it requires individual tracking - I also think it has the ability to be gamed to do some pretty wierd stuff.

They aren’t so keen on the magic system where it is harder to cast spells than in 2e and it can sometimes take a couple of rounds to get a good spell off. Coming from D&D fire and forget wizards it’s a culture shock. I personally like that magic is harder. To be honest my player caster of which Ive got three have only just got to Tier 2 where the good spells come online. I’m also playing a wizard myself in an online campaign because I want to see how it feels to play them. 2e system was very simple and elegant. It worked, though I do think magic was a bit too reliable.

Some people don’t like the new session based meta-currency. I personally love it and I think the players do to. I think it’s mostly killer DMs who don’t because it gives players chances to avoid the way the dice fall.

Monster design requires a bit of thought. You need to take base creatures and then add templates and traits to them. The monsters in the bestiary as written will get… well… beasted. There are a couple of PDFs for improving them.

I think to get the most out of the game you need core book, Up In Arms, Winds of Magic and the Old World Bestiary. With these I think the game really comes into its own and is substantially better than 2e as several of the flaws in the CRB are resolved with those books.
I have Up in Arms and Winds of Magic, and I should be receiving OWB this week. My players and I play in-person and just moved on from Pathfinder 2e due to complexity and clunk and the feeling of always adding so many modifiers. I hope that WFRP 4e isn’t as bad in regards to that and playability at a physical table?

Oh, and how does the OWB compare to the monsters in the core rulebook and Imperial Zoo?
 

Moonsoon

Explorer
I have Up in Arms and Winds of Magic, and I should be receiving OWB this week. My players and I play in-person and just moved on from Pathfinder 2e due to complexity and clunk and the feeling of always adding so many modifiers. I hope that WFRP 4e isn’t as bad in regards to that and playability at a physical table?

Oh, and how does the OWB compare to the monsters in the core rulebook and Imperial Zoo?
After reading pathfinder 2nd i didn't even dare to DM it. Too clunky for me.

I've found the combat of WFRPG 4e the weak point so far. But most of sessions were without combat and the table had a blast. When combat hit it's always scarry and meaningful, as it should be.
 

TheSword

Legend
Bonuses to but generally come from outnumbering for melee; range distance for ranger; and talents for everything. The range and outnumbering ones are pretty darn chunky.

Quite a few talents will give bonuses to a specific type of test but it really is on the player to remember these. In addition they can also give bonus SLs but only on a successful test. Most talents will do this.

This is clever because it grants an bonus without making the test too easy to pass (a danger with d100 systems where failure can soon become impossible).
 

TheSword

Legend
I have Up in Arms and Winds of Magic, and I should be receiving OWB this week. My players and I play in-person and just moved on from Pathfinder 2e due to complexity and clunk and the feeling of always adding so many modifiers. I hope that WFRP 4e isn’t as bad in regards to that and playability at a physical table?

Oh, and how does the OWB compare to the monsters in the core rulebook and Imperial Zoo?
I’ve messed up there. I meant Imperial zoo. Old World Bestiary is the 2e equivalent of Imperial Zoo.
 
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