D&D 5E [+] Converting WFRP to 5e


I’ve just added a [+] just so the thread doesn’t go off topic into whether a conversion is possible/practical and sticks to what can be done.

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I think E6 would be very helpful to use - leveling up to 6th level max in a class, no hit point gain past 6th level. Maybe allow slow advancement beyond 6th level (around double "cost", but still no HP gain).

Will you be considering the elvin colleges of magic? In the past, they tended to map very well to the D&D schools of magic.

Chaos worshippers (and their ilk) would likely map very well to Warlocks, and you may want to map out some basic paths for the four Chaos gods (Khorne = Fiend, Slaneesh = Fey, Nurgle = Great Old One, Tzeench = ? )
I remember running E6 for pathfinder in a WFRP. It worked really well. We did find that once a got to level 6, some of the fun did go out of it. So the suggestion has merit. I think it would be a hard sell for a group wanting that full progression but slow advancement is not a bad idea at all. For The Enemy Within something longer term helps.

I totally agree with everything else. To be honest, I’d just let elven mages take any spell they like (barring necromancy, daemology etc) I definitely agree that Warlock maps really well to any kind of Chaos Worshipper.


IMHO you certainly can convert 5e to be kinda like WFRP, but it requires so many changes that making somebody learn a system built to do that thing from the ground up is probably easier?

Take careers for example, the whole brass 3, silver 1 etc progression of careers in WFRP 4e can kinda sorta be kludged somewhat into 5e, the previous paradigm of massive and voluminous career trees certainly can't.

I think the main problem here is that you would be starting, as a base, from a game pretty much designed to do the exact opposite of what WFRP does. I can't think of many games outside of maybe, 13th Age and Exalted that are starting off from a worse place to do this from. 5e is designed to make very capable, hard to kill heroes that feel heroic and capable from jump and everything is designed around that, and WFRP certainly isn't.

I realize this is a thought exercise so it doesn't really matter, but if this were a discussion about somebody wanting to actually do this I would try to dissuade said person from doing it.
I do agree. That’s why I would put choices back into the players hands.

I don’t think any but a small handful of careers map at all into 5e. They do fit really well into Backgrounds though, with almost no effort as Backgrounds are largely fluff. It does allow you to migrate the status easily too. Albeit not sure why a character wouldn’t just pick a high Status background! Need to think about that.

I think the changes above will do fine at making 5e more deadly. Level Up already kinda fixes that by removing whack-a-mole. Slower healing, injuries and critical hits mean often I wouldn’t expect PCs to be walking round hale and hearty.


I wouldn't try to exactly convert the game system (So, no career swapping as you put it, unless they match the trappings of multiclassing minimums) as it were, but recreate 5e to resemble the dark world of Warhammer.

To do that, I'd bring over the Warhammer ideas and the world.

To make 5e grimmer, I MIGHT do the following.

Allow them to have a maximum of 4 HD rolls. They roll for Hitpoints at 1st level. They then do not get HP at 2-4th level, but roll every 5th level (So at 5th, 10th, 15th) up to 4 maximum rolls. They roll for HP at 1st level (So no maximum HP).

This could also correlate to the different tiers.

Death is ALWAYS at 0 HP. They can use a Point (Hero/Fate, whatever you want to call it in your system, it's in D&D though) to stop from dying (maybe it reduces them to 1 HP) but, otherwise, they die.

You can allow changes in "career" but only AFTER they qualify for a multiclass change (so, minimum ability score requirements). They'd still get their ability score increases, so if they really want it, they can get their minimum's that way.

No FEATS. (unless you severely weaken some of them).

I think your ideas for criticals are fine.

I'd make the rests different, more like the DMG's suggestion of longer rests. A short rest may be an hour (or if you really want deadlier, make it a day). A long rest a day (or, if you want it deadlier, make it a week or so).

In my mind:

The thing about Warhammer isn't so much they system, but the atmosphere. Players don't get the idea that they are invincible, but that they could die to any little thing, even that little goblin over there. They are fragile and so is life, just like the balance between Law and Chaos.

I feel you can recreate this in 5e without changing the entire system of classes. Keep the class system as it is, just make it more dangerous in the world itself. Use the Lore, but not necessarily the game system of WFRP.
Some really good points. To be honest, I’ve found 4e WFRP players to be pretty robust with amour deflection, and resilience. Whack-a-mole is reborn in WFRP 4e.

Yeah, I wouldn’t change classes, just move them to backgrounds. So it would be more like Background Swapping than Class Swapping. Which i don’t really see as an issue. You’re just changing status and maybe a skill/proficiency or two.


I use plenty of Warhammer themes in my D&D games. 5e has plenty of bestiaries with ratfolk so you have stats for Skaven. Orks are a fantastic way to conceptualize and play your D&D orcs.

Chaos and Daemons, Chaos Knights, and Beastmen can be done easily in D&D.

Give your dwarven barbarian a mohawk, tattoos, some lard for his hair, and some glorious death wish and you have a troll slayer.

For the WFRP character feel you could go with appropriate custom backgrounds. You could pick or roll in the Warhammer books for starting careers and make custom backgrounds for them as suggested in the PH, (two skills, proficiency or language and a minor ability). The starting careers would even give you the appropriate (sub par) background equipment "small but vicious dog".

As a DM have bad things happen a lot. In the opening everybody meets in a tavern game, everyone's drinks get spiked. When monsters or PCs die use the language of the WFRP crit tables. Thieves and pickpockets are as rampant as poor hygiene and diseases. A wagon could be good loot.


I, for one, would absolutely love the chance to play Enemy Within under 5e rules. The Old World is a great, dark setting and everything I’ve heard about the EW campaign has been positive.
Go for it, @TheSword

If you want to merge D&D 5E and WHFRP...how about Shadow of the Demon Lord? I'm running a campaign right now and it gives a nice gritty feel while being super easy to learn.


If you want to merge D&D 5E and WHFRP...how about Shadow of the Demon Lord? I'm running a campaign right now and it gives a nice gritty feel while being super easy to learn.
Probably not right for me. Part of the attraction is the 5e ruleset itself and not having to learn a whole new rule set. Otherwise as others have said, I’d just play WFRP 4e, which may end up happening anyway.

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
There's a few rules that would be great for a Warhammer feel in 5e:

1) Slow Healing (or Gritty Realism, but I prefer the former)
2) Survivors from VRGtR + Background for 3 levels BEFORE reaching the 1st level of a class.
3) Honor and Sanity score rules from the DMG.
4) Use the Scroll Mishap from the DMG for any spell cast. The DC to cast a spell without Mishap if 10 + spell level.

5) (optional) Use only the Sidekicks classes as playable class, have the various archetypes bolt unto the closest sidekick class (ie: Expert Thief, Warrior Berserker). If an archetypes requires a specific class features that's no longer present in the Sidekick class, replace one feature of the sidekick class with the one required from the original class) ala 2e kits.
6) (optional) Have the Mage class learn Disciplines from the old UA Mystic instead of the usual spell list. If said rules is applied, the Mishap table is instead a DC of 10+ nb of points used to cast the spells.

7) Use the Fear rules from VGtR. Sanity score may be used in these case instead of Wis.
8) System Shock, Lingering wounds and Morale could be added for hardcore mode.
9) Downtime rules and Lifestyle expenses should be applied.

10) Do not use feat, but give the ''racial feat'' from XGtE of each race at either character creation or at 6th-ish level.
11) Use the improved critical add-on from the feats of Tasha's has a base.

NB: the Feat for Races and Feat for Skills from UA could be given at each X levels instead archetypes features.

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