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%

Crusadius

Adventurer
The best thing about WFRP is (in my very humble opinion) is the career system, so I was looking forward to a WH40K treatment when Dark Heresy came out… and I was disappointed that DH didn’t present a WH40K version of what was in WFRP 2E. The system maintained the whiff of its fantasy counterpart but then snuck in bonuses to pretend that no, your characters can shoot a gun and hit the side of a barn.

But you also got the WH40K setting which was cool and was what a lot of rpg players were waiting for but thought would never happen.

Imperium Maledictum also a disappointment. Missed an opportunity by not giving us the WFRP 4E career system (it’s such a great method of presenting the setting to players). Sorry IM but WFRP gave us something great that the WH40K games seem to assiduously avoid using.

I forgive Wrath & Glory since it doesn’t use the old d100 system so it never crossed my mind that it would re-produce the WFRP career system and so I can enjoy it without my prejudices.

So overall I give it an “It’s alright I guess”.
 

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aramis erak

Legend
I've run demos of all but Black Crusade at the FLGS.

I've run campaigns of DH and RT. Both are excellent. My wife was hostile to the use of DW or Only War, and I'm not willing to run BC.
 


I ran a brief Rogue Trader campaign many, many years ago. My players and I loved the setting but we absolutely hated the rules. After a few sessions I asked, "Do any of you like this game?" And they all said no. They felt like the rules were preventing them from having fun. So we quit and never looked back.

I love 40K setting (or at least love what it used to be, the current version not so much,) and I have run some games in it. Always using some homebrew system though. I bought the Rogue Trader RPG, but my eyes glazed over trying to read the dense and convoluted percentile based rules. Never ran it, the mechanics seemed rather unfun to me.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Sorry the "grades" are posted so late; I'm working remotely on a project assignment in yonder piney woods and I have limited (and unreliable) access to the internet.

Looks like less than half of responders have played Warhammer (48.3%). But those who have played it have been fairly positive...no haters, anyway. A solid C+.

As for myself? I've never played Warhammer, in any of its iterations. I see it all the time in game stores and on internet game sites, but I've never actually taken it for a spin...so I'm one of the large majority that voted "I've never played it." And while it's nowhere near as popular here on ENWorld as The Wold's Most Popular Tabletop RPGTM happens to be, I quickly learned that it's every bit as contentious. (For a hot second there, I was worried that we were going to have a Warhammer-flavored "edition war" over 40K vs. W&G. :oops: ) Thankfully, WH fans seem to be a little more understanding than Those Other Fans about this sort of thing, and hopefully my ignorance of this topic has been excused.
 

I mean most of the 40K play is not RPGs at all, but the tabletop strategy game. That’s the main 40K thing. That I’ve played quite a bit, but it has really nothing to do with RPGs.
 

Squared

Explorer
It’s dramatically lighter, for one. Much less fiddly. The rules are more coherent and better written. 4E has maybe two innovations. Updated career paths and degrees of success as default for everything. They could have updated 2E with those and made minor adjustments here-and-there. That said, the art and layout of 4E is amazing. I absolutely love the updated Enemy With campaign. But I vastly prefer 2E over 4E mechanics.
Agreed, the die rolling in particular is annoying in 4e with the SL to calculate and other annoyances. If they were so afraid of the d100 doing d100 things then they should have used a different die or just kept the Wrath and Glory system.

I disagree about the careers, I thought these were a substantial downgrade to the 2e version. The 2e careers is lighter and more open for people to bounce around between. There is also a massive number of very flavorful careers. I have the Careers Compendium, which is an entire book devoted to just listing out the careers all in one place. Rat Catchers, Frog Wives, Ataman, Admiral, Bear Tamer, Demagogue, Tomb Robber, Skald, Pit Fighter, Ice Witch, Hedge Wizard, Friar…. The list goes on and on.

^2
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Agreed, the die rolling in particular is annoying in 4e with the SL to calculate and other annoyances. If they were so afraid of the d100 doing d100 things then they should have used a different die or just kept the Wrath and Glory system.

I disagree about the careers, I thought these were a substantial downgrade to the 2e version. The 2e careers is lighter and more open for people to bounce around between. There is also a massive number of very flavorful careers. I have the Careers Compendium, which is an entire book devoted to just listing out the careers all in one place. Rat Catchers, Frog Wives, Ataman, Admiral, Bear Tamer, Demagogue, Tomb Robber, Skald, Pit Fighter, Ice Witch, Hedge Wizard, Friar…. The list goes on and on.

^2
I like the quick SL calculation variant and I enjoy clocks and timers, so having tasks be more involved than a single roll always makes me smile. As for the careers, I was more referring to how they are "stacked" in 4E, so you can actually advance in the career rather than being forced out to another career. I like them both. But I prefer the 4E setup only because the player can choose to advance through one career or choose to bounce around like with 2E.

2E has some fantastic books. Career Compendium is one of the best. My favorites are still the Tome of Corruption and the Children of the Rat. Especially the errata they put out for Children. Loading warpstone into firearms and shooting a mutation into someone is the kind of thing I absolutely love about WFRP.
 

Crusadius

Adventurer
I disagree about the careers, I thought these were a substantial downgrade to the 2e version. The 2e careers is lighter and more open for people to bounce around between
I like both.

I like the career exit system of 2E where you have to weave yourself around various careers to get the stuff you want.

But I also like how 4E has done the careers, where you can stay in one career as long as you like, climb up the ladder, or just change to whatever career you like.

But since this thread (is/was) ostensibly about 40K, I hate that they never implemented the career system in the games.
 

Tutara

Adventurer
I am a tiny bit piqued - not in a massive way, not in a 'this is a crime against humanity' way - but in a 'I really like a number of the Warhammer systems, and to see them distilled down to "Warhammer" is a bit of an injustice when they are so different' way. I'll live, but I feel it does a disservice to the variety of systems available. I cannot talk about "Warhammer 40k" because I've never played it (apart from one awful campaign of Only War that I feel does not represent the system properly - I died trying to climb a ladder).

I can talk about 3/4 versions of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.

My first love was WFRPG 1E. It was glorious - mostly because we'd heard of this American D&D thing vaguely, and assumed it would be the same. As we all died, our infected wounds ending our short existances or our deaths being instantaneous as the critical hit table did its work, we realised that life was nasty, brutish and short. An aphorism is that WFRPG players always think they're playing D&D, until they realise they're playing Call of Cthulhu with swords, and this was very much the case.

I returned to it in 2e, and I never liked 2e so much. It was fine, but a lot of the issues of 1e that were charming then (swinginess, lethality) were just irritating. 2e is very popular, and I get why people like it. I suspect the reason I don't is a DM who had a worrying fascination with high elves and who would have us fail horribly and then have his elf NPCs show up and tell us why we were awful, call us some elven slur and then save the day. 2e is fine, I didn't like it. It's like 1e with the quirkiness filed off.

I didn't play 3e.

4e is, in my opinion, magnificent. Opposed rolls (particularly in combat) remove a lot of the swinginess (although getting my players to understand that 1 degree of failure is not a 'nope' like it is in D&D is a challenge). I love the metacurrencies and narrative heft the players get, I love the fact that it can be stupidly crunchy and also pretty straightforward, I love the lethal rocket-tag of combat. I love the group advantage system. For me, it brings back those memories of 1e. Currently in the endgame of Shadows over Bogenhafen with my group, and it is going very well indeed.l
 

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