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%


log in or register to remove this ad

Squared

Explorer
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
My copy of 1e is still probably by favorite book on my shelf, even though it is water damaged.

I think that 2e is only slightly better. It gained some and lost some.

^2
 

GreyLord

Legend
Wrath and Glory and the 40K system shouldn't be in the same poll. It's a travesty to do that. It's like rating 5e and Shadowrun as the same system since they both have magic. It's a ridiculous thing to include both.

The WHFRP is different enough from 40K that it should also be it's independent poll (but it's far closer to the 40K system than W&G is).

In rating the 40K system I put pretty good simply because I like it a LOT, BUT it is a little too crunchy to be easily taught. The core idea is simple, but with all the bells and whistles it starts to get complex. This is especially true if you try to combine the different games of it (Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Deathwatch, Only War, Black Crusade).
 


TheSword

Legend
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”.
I guess I just don’t see characters in the 40k universe being career fluid in the way that fantasy is. I don’t expect the 40k system being one where a street sweeper could become a master assassin.

Similarly Its never struck me as a setting for commoners. Commoners form the sweating masses, Can you honestly see administratum clerk, sewerjack, tatooist or shopkeeper being viable careers in 40k like they are in fantasy? I’ve always seen 40k story’s being more dramatic than that.
 
Last edited:

MGibster

Legend
Similarly Its never struck me as a setting for commoners. Commoners form the sweating masses, Can you honestly see administratum clerk, sewerjack, tatooist or shopkeeper being viable careers in 40k like they are in fantasy? I’ve always seen 40k story’s being more dramatic than that.
One of the reasons I never played fantasy is because nobody wanted to be a toll collector, rat catcher (with a small, but vicious dog), or a boatman.
 


TheSword

Legend
One of the reasons I never played fantasy is because nobody wanted to be a toll collector, rat catcher (with a small, but vicious dog), or a boatman.
Ok. Not enough alternatives for ya? Wizard, Witch Hunter, Warrior Priest, Roadwarden, Knight of the White Wolf?
 

TheSword

Legend
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 think you’ve missed the mark to be honest, possibly by not understanding the term Warhammer. Your poll seems to be about two completely different settings (Warhammer and 40k) and four completely different systems, made by four different companies. Wrath and Glory is to Dark Heresy as L5R Alderac (Roll and Keep) is to WotC L5R D20. Whereas including Dark Heresy with WFRP is like including Starfinder 2e with D&D 2e as if they’re similar and asking people to rate them as a whole. It’s led to a poll and subsequent thread with 20 different people talking about 20 different things. You’ve made it even more confusing with poll questions about 40k games but adding (Warhammer) in the title as if it covers the four very different editions of WFRP and it’s spin offs as well.

How would a poll go down if you asked people to rate the D&D system including all the editions, and pathfinder 1&2, Dying Earth d6, Starfinder and D20 modern. Then you gave the summary that they were a collective C+. Would people be criticising the D&D system for not having non-weapon proficiencies in basic when they’re in all the later variants. Very bizarre.

In my humble opinion it needs correcting one way or another. Make it clear it’s about the settings which do share some themes even though extremely different. Or make it a poll about systems - in which case pick one. Because WFRP has four different editions alone (one company even used cards and bespoke dice) Dark Heresy is a different system with two editions, while Wrath and Glory uses D6 and Imperial Maledictum is a different system again. Why not toss in Talisman as well for being made by Games Workshop and the Fighting Fantasy page turner books because Steve Jackson founded them?

I get that you might not be into it, but it’s probably best not to try and put a grade on things then - particularly a poor grade if you’re not familiar with something, based on a poll that doesn’t make sense.
 
Last edited:

aramis erak

Legend
I think you’ve missed the mark to be honest, possibly by not understanding the term Warhammer. Your poll seems to be about two completely different settings (Warhammer and 40k) and four completely different systems, made by four different companies.
Your numbers are low.
Warhammer Fantasy - Old World Setting
WFRP 1e: Citadel, Flame, and Hogshead all produced material.
WFRP 2e: Green Ronin for Black Industries. Mechanics similar, but attribute list different, and skill system significantly different.
WFRP 3e: Fantasy Flight, using their Narrative Dice engine.
WFRP 4e: Cubicle 7. Looks like a revision of 2nd, but changing a lot of mechanics in some inobvious ways.
Note that 1, 2, and 4 have attributes in similar scale ranges, but have lots of other differences.

40K setting
Dark Heresy: Black Industries. Then migrated to Fantasy Flight Games (FFG).
Dark Heresy 2e, Rogue Trader, Deathwatch, Only War, Black Crusade: all use the same core mechanics as Dark Heresy, but make some changes. All by FFG.
Wrath & Glory: Ulissies Spiele, then Cubical 7.
Imperium Maledictum: Cubicle 7

Age of Sigmar setting
Soulbound: Cubicle 7

Only the FFG games were written for intercompatibility.
8 Companies: Black Industries, Citadel, Cubicle 7, Fantasy Flight, Flame Publications, Green Ronin, Hogshead, Ulissies Spiele
3 Settings
8 different sets of mechanics, 11 discrete RPGs (6 intercompatible), 14 total editions.

The OP seemingly lacks sufficient knowledge to make the needed distinctions for meaningful results.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top