Grading the Warhammer (40K, etc) System

How do you feel about the Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay System?

  • I love it.

    Votes: 5 10.6%
  • It's pretty good.

    Votes: 8 17.0%
  • It's alright I guess.

    Votes: 7 14.9%
  • It's pretty bad.

    Votes: 5 10.6%
  • I hate it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I've never played it.

    Votes: 20 42.6%
  • I've never even heard of it.

    Votes: 2 4.3%


I also believe it is good to separate the systems. For me, the WFRP (4e) is between ok and pretty good. But 40k is awful.

Edit: Specifying which edition of WFRP I refer, since the system changed lots at each edition.

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I've run Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader on and off, and enjoy the system. However, it is crunchy, and can be lethal. That being said, there were substantial changes in Dark Heresy 2.0 with regard to weapons, and I think skills (still d100 though). And Wrath and Glory is a different system, as noted.

I end up using them (1e versions) as a rough framework, for lore and situations, and then "work with" the rules when skills and combat break out. Keeping track of all the modifiers - aiming, Ballistic skill, target cover, range, injuries, etc. over and over can get a little much, so we often fudge it a little to keep it simple.

The other element that takes getting used to is that really, in both DH and RT, money doesn't matter. In one, you're the retinue of an Inquisitor with almost total power, and can basically requisition whatever you want to get the job done. Now, plot, and adventure might require more stealth, or less obvious blunt force approaches, but I never saw any reason to not give the platers what they requested for a mission.

Likewise, in Rogue Trader (I think roughly on par with a Dark Heresy character with 3 "Levels"), one player is the owner of the starship. The rest are the captain's retinue (think Trek bridge crew), where they all go on away missions or get into fights on excursions into the far reaches of the universe where no one travels, or fights off pirate or xenos attacks while transporting goods or services from system to system, or is asked to transport these Inquisitorial agents to another planet, etc. Again, the Rogue Trader character, being part of potentially a wealthy family, will have unlimited resources to throw at a problem - need 200 guys to storm the enemy ship? Grab some of your 20,000 crew, arm 'em up, and send 'em in. They won't be terribly effective, but hey... its Warhammer 40k.

I also have Deathwatch, which is a whole 'nother level of power. The party are all Space Marines, and while the concepts are cool, its a completely combat focused type of game (or feels that way). They do a decent job of extrapolating out how squads work as a squad, scythe through low level enemies and monsters who really aren't much of a threat, and then can break out of "squad mode" when the big stuff hits. Read through it, have not played it. But I enjoy the sourcebooks and expansions for reading purposes.

I think I enjoy them for the lore moreso than the gameplay, and reading about all the various types of weapons, equipment and armor and such. I'd love to play in a game, rather than run one, but players are few and far between in my experience.

Come to think of it, it seems like a lot of my RPG buys are for reading, not actually playing... hmm.


Limit Break Dancing
It will likely cause more confusion to tuck the WFRP system into a thread titled Warhammer 40k. That and it being a different game system...
I think you need to break this down into separate systems, because that is what they are rather than a single ‘Warhammer system’.

It’s a bit like saying ‘How do you feel about the Cthulhu system?’ and then lumping Call of Cthulhu, Trail of Cthulhu, Achtung Cthulhu and so on all together.

Including Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, which is very much its own thing, creates further confusion.
I have to agree with @overgeeked - best to include them separately. I actually peeked into this thread to see the links and see when I missed WFRP (which I would comment on).

TBH, I didn't even know that 40k had an RPG, although it doesn't surprise me. I just always think of it as the miniatures. But WFRP (especially with some of the ... disparate editions) will definitely get some opinions.

Y'all are absolutely right. Warhammer isn't a single game (or game system). I'm not really sure how to categorize it for the purpose of this discussion. Lumping them all together isn't great, but I'm not going to do 3+ individual surveys for all of the different flavors of Warhammer, either (it would be more accurate, but I think it would also be really dull.) So here's my advice: vote for whatever flavor of Warhammer you have played--and if you've played more than one, vote for the most memorable one-- and then tell us about it in a comment.

I also believe it is good to separate the systems. For me, the WFRP (4e) is between ok and pretty good. But 40k is awful.

Edit: Specifying which edition of WFRP I refer, since the system changed lots at each edition.
Cannot vote. You need the separate FFG 40k from Wrath & Glory, as others have said.
I'm not going to separate them out. If you can't vote, that's fine--but a more constructive path forward would be to vote for whichever one you feel strongest about, and then leave a comment explaining which one(s) you are voting for. Or just skip the vote altogether, and write a bit about your experience with the Warhammers of your choice.

When I started this thread about Warhammer 40k, I had intended for it to be focused more on the roleplaying game system that it uses, and less on the individual Warhammer games. It's...not going well for me. :(
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The Soloist

FFG 40K used a d100 system and it was fun. We played with the Rogue Trader core book. The setting info was well-researched.

Wrath & Glory 40K uses a d6 dice pool. It's not a bad system per se, just not to my preference. Played only one game and decided we wouldn't continue.

I tend to agree with the previous comments that we are dealing with a few rather different beasts here. For the purposes of simplicity we could assume that this thread should deal with the FFG Warhammer 40K games (among others, that's also the current state of the respective Wikipedia article: Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay) and Wrath&Glory will be treated as its own thing (if it all) and that Warhammer Fantasy will also get its own thread. Technically, even for FFG 40K people might feel different about e.g. Dark Heresy and Death Watch, but that problem existed for other systems as well, so I think that'd be fine.

On that basis, I will give the system an "It's alright I guess". As with many d100-based systems, I'm not super passionate about it, and starter characters did feel mostly like bumbling idiots if I remember correctly (talking mainly about Dark Heresy here, with which I have most experience). But all in all, it was workable. And for me personally, it's certainly better than Wrath&Glory. I would have loved a better d6-based take, though (I still have a bit of hope that Cubicle 7 will do something based on the system they use for Age of Sigmar, about which I have heard good things so far).
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Old Fezziwig

What this book presupposes is -- maybe he didn't?
The 2010 Deathwatch RPG is one that I've never played and don't know if I ever will. But I keep it because the author's enthusiasm for the subject is palpable. It's absolutely excessive but also kind of endearing. Makes me smile just to think about it.

WFRP 2e is one of my favorite systems. It's been a while since I've run it or played it, but it's one of the few games where I sold the books only to buy them again when I had more money and space.


Come to think of it, it seems like a lot of my RPG buys are for reading, not actually playing... hmm.
My biggest memory of doing such a thing like that was when I saw the Warhammer Fantasy Bretonnia book. Like, the VERY first Bretonnia army supplement when they first came out.

I'm like reading bout the Gilles le Breton and the Grail Knights and going "Yo this is pretty baller" and here I was, not a Warhammer player, owning a Warhammer book.

I stll have the book to this day and pulled it out recently since the new Flesh-Eater Courts models/battletome is coming out soon. Because I heard the most delicious rumor that the Bretonnia's of the old world are supposedly/reincarnated into the Flesh-Eater Courts.

And considering the Flesh-Eater Courts have their grand delusions of seeing themselves as "heroic Knights" and what not, I'm gonna need some inspiration when I go to roll up a Flesh-Eaters Court character for Soulbound.

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