Warhammer Fantasy Role Play 4th Edition

deganawida

Adventurer
I’ve recently gotten into the Total War: Warhammer series, and rather enjoy the world that was created, which I find surprising as I had always heard that Warhammer was grimdark to the extreme. I have also been looking at other systems to get ideas, especially as I’ve come to conclude that D&D isn’t really the best system for something that plays more akin to a fantasy novel. To that end, I am considering purchasing a copy of Warhammer Fantasy Role Play 4th Edition, but the sticker shock has me hesitant. Seeing as I’ve only ever played AD&D 2nd Edition through 5e, including the DragonLance Fifth Age, as well as some Palladium games (TMNT, HU, Rifts) and Shadowrun, what would those of you’ve who’ve played it think of it?
 

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Retreater

Legend
I'd recommend getting the Starter Set. It will show you how to play and let you decide if you want to invest in the system. It has pregens, an adventure, and a setting book you can use after the game.
For me, I've been running it for about 4 months. It's nearly at my maximum level of complexity to GM. I've had 4 different players walk away from the game due to the complexity of character creation.
The books have beautiful production values and are wonderful to read. But to play? The jury is still out for my group - but I think we're falling on the side of not liking it.
 

aramis erak

Legend
I’ve recently gotten into the Total War: Warhammer series, and rather enjoy the world that was created, which I find surprising as I had always heard that Warhammer was grimdark to the extreme. I have also been looking at other systems to get ideas, especially as I’ve come to conclude that D&D isn’t really the best system for something that plays more akin to a fantasy novel. To that end, I am considering purchasing a copy of Warhammer Fantasy Role Play 4th Edition, but the sticker shock has me hesitant. Seeing as I’ve only ever played AD&D 2nd Edition through 5e, including the DragonLance Fifth Age, as well as some Palladium games (TMNT, HU, Rifts) and Shadowrun, what would those of you’ve who’ve played it think of it?
Warhammer FRP is darker than D&D, certainly. It's also prone to, in older editions, lower total improvement (WFRP2/3); WFRP4 is more frequent but much smaller increments, albeit with the same peaks as 2E.

Also, WFRP 4E is a bit convoluted in combat mechanics.

So, if you're used to D&D, the differences may be a shocker - PCs are relatively fragile, tend to go off the deep end, and while 4E is rapid on the improvements, they're pretty low granularity. It will be a very different experience. (I'll be honest: 4E's changes don't appeal to me. But I'm not trying to discourage you from any edition - just warning about the issues with editions 1,2,& 4. I like 1st ed.)

Also, mechanically slightly different, Zweihänder is the best parts of 1E and 2E mechanics, from its author's point of view, blended and refined a bit, with a few other changes. Same tone.

Also, WFRP & Zweihänder, due to open ending damage, means a lucky hit can kill just about anything.
 

So, if you're used to D&D, the differences may be a shocker - PCs are relatively fragile, tend to go off the deep end, and while 4E is rapid on the improvements, they're pretty low granularity. It will be a very different experience.
As I've heard it said, "you'll think you're supposed to play it like D&D, but you'll end up playing it like Call of Cthulhu."

Anyway, my experiences with WFRP 2nd and 3rd Edition were short but enjoyable. Not sure how it'll go as a longer campaign.
 

aramis erak

Legend
As I've heard it said, "you'll think you're supposed to play it like D&D, but you'll end up playing it like Call of Cthulhu."

Anyway, my experiences with WFRP 2nd and 3rd Edition were short but enjoyable. Not sure how it'll go as a longer campaign.
Playing it like D&D results in badly crippled and insane PCs rather quickly under 1E/2E.
 

deganawida

Adventurer
Thanks, all! The complexity would make it a no-go for me. I have a hard enough time getting my daughters to fill out the character sheets; I’d go crazy if more complexity was added.
 

Retreater

Legend
Thanks, all! The complexity would make it a no-go for me. I have a hard enough time getting my daughters to fill out the character sheets; I’d go crazy if more complexity was added.
There are simpler games that are inspired by the lore and feel of Warhammer you may want to consider. A few that come to mind are Warlock!, Ten Dead Rats, & Small but Vicious Dog. (In case you can't tell, I also researched this thinking WFRP would be too complex for my group - which it ultimately was. I kinda wish I had gone with one of these variants from the get-go.)
 

TheSword

Legend
Interestingly, the new Fighter supplement they have released today has a mechanic for group advantage. It’s actually very clever. The party can contribute to building advantage as a group but instead of getting that number as a bonus to all rolls, individual team members can spend it to gain mechanical bonuses.

I like it. Only two numbers to track and it gives something useful for non-combat characters to do, and encourages the party to work together to build strategy.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I personally prefer the 2nd edition of Warhammer frpg over the 4rth.

For a simple system that would work great with Warhammer, I recommend Troika! The "feel" of the system is much, much too "zanny" for Warhammer, but that "feel" can be stripped away and you are left with a system which has a lot of commonality with Warhammer but is much simpler to run.
 

aramis erak

Legend
I picked up Warlock - this thread got me curious - it's a simple system, with careers in a warhammerish mode, using 1d20+skill >= 20. The tone looks lighter on first skim. But that's as far as I've gotten into it.
 

TheSword

Legend
I’ve found Warhammer 4e quite liberating as a DM. Things that wouldn’t even get attention in 5e become quite interesting in WFRP. I’m not sure why. It’s as if the setting has weight and gravity beyond what you expect. I think probably the preciousness of wounds and healing is part of it. Or that any combat could result in you getting your teeth knocked out. Either way, even simple activities seem to be funny and enjoyable. It’s a lot of fun.
 

Retreater

Legend
I’ve found Warhammer 4e quite liberating as a DM. Things that wouldn’t even get attention in 5e become quite interesting in WFRP. I’m not sure why. It’s as if the setting has weight and gravity beyond what you expect. I think probably the preciousness of wounds and healing is part of it. Or that any combat could result in you getting your teeth knocked out. Either way, even simple activities seem to be funny and enjoyable. It’s a lot of fun.
Or as my group discovered last night, someone jumping out of a first floor window can take 18 wounds and die from something I could likely survive uninjured in reality.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Or as my group discovered last night, someone jumping out of a first floor window can take 18 wounds and die from something I could likely survive uninjured in reality.
Yup (edit for clarity: I am agreeing with you that a first floor window jump is quite survivable)

... unless you landed on a sharp fence pole. naughty word happens ;)
 
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aramis erak

Legend
I’ve found Warhammer 4e quite liberating as a DM. Things that wouldn’t even get attention in 5e become quite interesting in WFRP. I’m not sure why. It’s as if the setting has weight and gravity beyond what you expect. I think probably the preciousness of wounds and healing is part of it. Or that any combat could result in you getting your teeth knocked out. Either way, even simple activities seem to be funny and enjoyable. It’s a lot of fun.
IME, that's part of its appeal...
But another part is that it's a satirical parallel of early Renaissance Europe... So it's at once familiar and yet unknown. Exploring the differences was part of the appeal for several players I've run WFRP 1e/2e for.
 

TheSword

Legend
Or as my group discovered last night, someone jumping out of a first floor window can take 18 wounds and die from something I could likely survive uninjured in reality.
They died? That’s unlucky! Falling is 1d10+(Yards x 3) - Toughness Bonus. To get 18 after toughness they must have been high and rolled really bad on the d10 roll and then rolled really bad on the crit roll. And failed the athletics check to reduce the damage. Also did they not have any fate points left.

I’m sure the Pc could have survived the fall had they been less unlucky. Then again my step sisters dad, died falling off a ladder 4 yards high.
 

Retreater

Legend
They died? That’s unlucky! Falling is 1d10+(Yards x 3) - Toughness Bonus. To get 18 after toughness they must have been high and rolled really bad on the d10 roll and then rolled really bad on the crit roll. And failed the athletics check to reduce the damage. Also did they not have any fate points left.

I’m sure the Pc could have survived the fall had they been less unlucky. Then again my step sisters dad, died falling off a ladder 4 yards high.
They were 4 yards up, so it was a roll of 6 + 12 = 18 damage (a very average roll). We didn't get to the stage of deducting Toughness because they decided to burn Fate instead of risking death during the climactic encounter of the adventure for a very minor occurrence.
I mean, I'm very sorry to hear about the death of your step-sister's dad. I'm sure this thing happens in real life, but for an adventurer/hero/etc., someone trained to fight in battle, to roll something like that and die in their first battle, it's just sort of uncool - like having a character bleed to unconsciousness from a paper cut.
 

aramis erak

Legend
having dug into the text of Warlock last night... if one is put off by the complexity of WFRP 1/2/3/4 eds, Warlock is much simplified, and has, in its career fluff, a huge whack of resonance with WFRP in tone and setting.

But it's also strongly the opposite of WFRP 1e mechanically. WFRP 1E is STRONGLY attribute driven; Warlock is lacking attributes, being almost purely skills.
 

TheSword

Legend
They were 4 yards up, so it was a roll of 6 + 12 = 18 damage (a very average roll). We didn't get to the stage of deducting Toughness because they decided to burn Fate instead of risking death during the climactic encounter of the adventure for a very minor occurrence.
I mean, I'm very sorry to hear about the death of your step-sister's dad. I'm sure this thing happens in real life, but for an adventurer/hero/etc., someone trained to fight in battle, to roll something like that and die in their first battle, it's just sort of uncool - like having a character bleed to unconsciousness from a paper cut.
If they were jumping down they could have made an +20 Athletics test to reduce that damage by 3 plus 3 for every success level and if they got 3 SLs they would have taken no damage at all.

Even if they had taken the 18 wounds and it had taken them down to 0 wounds the chance of the fall killing them was, slim. Maybe break a leg or cut themself but also a good chance of being battered but able to continue - particularly with a fortune point.

I’m not trying to invalidate the experience or danger of falling, just to say that death would have been very unlikely and even if it did come up then the fate point could have been spent.

We had a player shoot their crossbow into combat in our last session the -20 banding rule came in and the bounty hunter did -14 damage to the Riverwarden’s back. Ironic as the riverwarden had just fired her blunderbuss, not realizing what blast meant and near pin-cushioned the noble. They won’t be making that mistake again.
 



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