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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Combat Preview

Cubicle 7 has released a preview of the combat system for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay on their Facebook page. "The combat system for WFRP Fourth Edition has its roots in earlier editions of the game, but we’ve made significant changes. The design goals were to speed up fights and eliminate boring stalemates arising from repeated attack roll failure."


The preview discusses a new mechanic called Advantage, which they describe as "One of the new mechanics we introduced to help with this in combat is called Advantage. You can gain Advantage from sources including Surprise, Charging and winning an Attack Test. Each point of Advantage gives you +10 to your Attack Tests, and represents you pressing your foe back, gaining control of the space, gaining confidence, leaping onto the table, kicking sand in their face, or whatever you feel is appropriate to the battle at hand." The stated goal behind the mechanic of Advantage was to cut down on the "whiff factor" of d100 systems.

"You can win multiple points of Advantage, and you keep them until you lose an Attack Test, take a wound or the combat ends. So, if you keep rolling well, you’ll get in your stride and do better and better. But if you lose a Test you’ll lose all your Advantage. It’s a huge amount of fun, especially if you have the Talents or Spells that let you steal Advantage! You get a real sense of turning the tide of battle, or of getting unstoppable momentum and cleaving through your foes." This looks to mean that Advantages is a resource that ebbs and flows during play. Tying Advantage to things like taking a wound is interesting, because that would seem to hint that it has something to do with a character's concentration. However, there's really not enough mechanical meat in this Facebook post to really talk definitively about what the mechanic is or is not.

"When you attack your foe, you both make a Weapon Skill Test and compare your success levels. If the attacker wins they will have the chance to do damage and gain a point of Advantage. If the defender wins, they don’t inflict damage but do gain the Advantage as they dodge or parry and take the upper hand. There is always an outcome from a combat round – the least that can happen is someone gains Advantage."

It also looks like there will be a way to "combat" building up Advantage as well. "And if your foes are building their Advantage up to truly scary levels, Characters can use a point of Resilience (more on this in a later preview) to remove it." Which seems to mean that Advantage isn't just a mechanic for player characters. "But it’s certainly not all one-way traffic! Adversaries have special abilities that are powered by Advantage, so can become progressively more powerful. And there’s loads of fun times for the GM in deciding when to use monster abilities, or simply keep a bonus to hit."

This is a good kind of preview because it gives those of us online something to talk about, and give a bit of a spike in interest to the game. Warhammer​ is one of the big franchises of tabletop gaming and it is always good to see it getting chatter. I'm looking forward to seeing the next preview, and the game itself when it is released. We'll see what happens when the next preview comes out.
 

Comments

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dco

Guest
I think I'm not going to like the new mechanics.
I didn't have any problem with failing attacks, personally I prefer this with more deadly wounds that the inverse, easy to hit and HP buffers. The whiff factor is going to stay there unless the rolls are resolutive, if the defenders win the roll then there is a stalemate, the rest is a new mechanic that looks it will need more bookkeping, which usually slows things.
What I didn't like is precisely when you hit and the damage is zero, or too low, or that wounds don't mean anything until 0HPs and then all wounds are criticals.
 

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Rolenet

Explorer
This smells like unplaytested rules.
First, comparing d100 margins of success on every attack? Gaaah. I know players who just could not play this game. In any event, that would be a major drag. At the very least, why not simply compare rolls? It is functionnally equivalent in most cases.

Advantage sounds like it... advantageous to the best fighter to start with, because you lost it on a miss or a wound. So it *further* rewards the optimized combat beast PC. NOT a great idea.

Whenever I see "kick sand in their face" I want to cry. This is really a lame, overused, trope. Worse is, games who put forward these kind of intentions always fail to deliver. So let's say you're in a dungeon room: what trick are you using? And if you find a trick, why would you not use it every round, or at least every battle. There goes your exciting creative idea.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
This smells like unplaytested rules.
First, comparing d100 margins of success on every attack? Gaaah. I know players who just could not play this game. In any event, that would be a major drag. At the very least, why not simply compare rolls? It is functionnally equivalent in most cases.
I must admit that I too am somewhat concerned by comparing margins of success. It is a subtraction of two 2 digits numbers and not everyone can do those easily.

But what do you mean by simply compare rolls? What alternative is there?
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Folks, the REALLY big news here is *not* advantage! It's THIS:



It's an OPPOSED CHECK. So if two equally competent opponents are fighting (say they both have 39% weapon skills), the attacker has a 50% chance of hitting, *not* 39%. In fact, if both skills are equal, it doesn't matter if the two are master swordsmen (75%) or idiots (25%), the chance to hit is still 50%!
Opposed checks in many games are not worked that way. In Pendragon, for example, the higher successful roll wins, but if A succeeds while B fails, A hits. If both fail, no hit. HeroQuest/HeroWars works the same way, except the lower roll wins. In RQ, the higher success level wins (Regular, Special, Critical), but unless one or the other succeeds, nothing happens mechanically.

In WFRP 1E, the rolls were opposed, as well - the success of the attack was entirely (dodge blow) or partially (Parry) negated by the success of the defense roll.

And, if it does work the way you suggest, it's going to have serious blowback.

Reading it, and assuming SL is determined similarly to WFRP 2E, success levels will be how far below skill, 1 per 10 points. Fail the 39%, and you miss, and they may get a free hack (at 39%) They're talking about increasing the odds with Advantage, not making it "every attack damages someone".
 

Rolenet

Explorer
But what do you mean by simply compare rolls? What alternative is there?
You must roll under and then compare the absolute results, as long as both succeed.
E.g. I have WS 63% and roll 41, while the foe has WS 51% and rolls 48. The foe wins, because we're comparing the actual number rolled, not the MoS.
We're used to using MoS or MoF, but you can often use absolute result as some indication of success. There are some rulesets that do this (as pointed by [MENTION=6779310]aramis erak[/MENTION] above).
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
You must roll under and then compare the absolute results, as long as both succeed.
E.g. I have WS 63% and roll 41, while the foe has WS 51% and rolls 48. The foe wins, because we're comparing the actual number rolled, not the MoS.
We're used to using MoS or MoF, but you can often use absolute result as some indication of success. There are some rulesets that do this (as pointed by [MENTION=6779310]aramis erak[/MENTION] above).
... but this is a roll low is better system. 41 is better than 48.

Anyway, if I assume that you made a typo, such as system would have strange odds. I would have to think about it.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Opposed checks in many games are not worked that way. In Pendragon, for example, the higher successful roll wins, but if A succeeds while B fails, A hits. If both fail, no hit. HeroQuest/HeroWars works the same way, except the lower roll wins. In RQ, the higher success level wins (Regular, Special, Critical), but unless one or the other succeeds, nothing happens mechanically.

In WFRP 1E, the rolls were opposed, as well - the success of the attack was entirely (dodge blow) or partially (Parry) negated by the success of the defense roll.

And, if it does work the way you suggest, it's going to have serious blowback.

Reading it, and assuming SL is determined similarly to WFRP 2E, success levels will be how far below skill, 1 per 10 points. Fail the 39%, and you miss, and they may get a free hack (at 39%) They're talking about increasing the odds with Advantage, not making it "every attack damages someone".
I think that the safest assumption is that it's based on 2e... but I have to concede what while this is a reasonable assumption, we don't actually *know*... we'll have to wait and see
 

CapnZapp

Legend
The point here is: the degrees of successes thing is and has always been a clumsy hacky solution, and it has always been frustrating WFRP could not lift one of the existing proven tested alternatives that just work simpler...
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
The point here is: the degrees of successes thing is and has always been a clumsy hacky solution, and it has always been frustrating WFRP could not lift one of the existing proven tested alternatives that just work simpler...
There's an easier way to get degrees of success than 2E's (and the 40K line's)... if the roll succeeds, the MoS is the 10's place on the dice. Much faster, and preserves the odds.
 


Rolenet

Explorer
... but this is a roll low is better system. 41 is better than 48.
I know this is somewhat upsetting because of our old habits, but no. If you decide that the absolute roll indicates success, then 48 is better than 41.
aramis erak said:
... if the roll succeeds, the MoS is the 10's place on the dice. Much faster, and preserves the odds.
Indeed. It boggles the mind that they choose to ask us to do this much maths instead. Did they spend more than five minutes designing this?
CapnZapp said:
Yes, there are several ways, all easier with less math
Yes, that's the whole issue I think. The method matters little. What matters is that the designers here ignored a good 30 years of RPG development. They're going back to the 80-era modifiers, with a vengeance. Since then, many games have thought of better ways to implement difficulty and success metrics. Their Advantage is another crying shame. The word and concept is basically owned by WotC. Why not use "Edge" or "momentum" or whatever? On top of that their implementation is very poor. D&D4 understood that it shouldn't stack with itself, to speed up play. Got one advantage? Stop counting. D&D5 went further and cut the maths altogether. Of course, after FFG version they felt the need to preserve them Old-style d100 Rules. But there lies the rub. It's a tough job preserving an old-style ruleset... and modernize it!
 

ajevans

Explorer
I'm confused. Are people getting upset over confirmed rules or rumours?

I've re-read what's officially out there and it appears to be the latter. Hear/read a rumour, extrapolate it to mean something they don't like and then get upset over it.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I'm confused. Are people getting upset over confirmed rules or rumours?

I've re-read what's officially out there and it appears to be the latter. Hear/read a rumour, extrapolate it to mean something they don't like and then get upset over it.
You have a good point. As I mentioned earlier, while the first read gave me a clear idea what the system was, from reading all the comments here it made me realize that I couldn't be certain that my read is the "correct" one. There is more uncertainty about how the system works exactly than it seemed at first light. So we'll have to wait and see.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I'm confused. Are people getting upset over confirmed rules or rumours?

I've re-read what's officially out there and it appears to be the latter. Hear/read a rumour, extrapolate it to mean something they don't like and then get upset over it.
The thread has discussed several things, some more likely to happen than others.

Unfortunately it seems C7 is keeping clunky degrees of success, pesky -10 and +10 bonuses and generally the same level of fidliness as v2.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I know this is somewhat upsetting because of our old habits, but no. If you decide that the absolute roll indicates success, then 48 is better than 41.
Rolenet is correct.

The beauty of the system is "roll high, though under your score".

You win when you roll higher than your opponent as long as you succeed.

This determination is instant, requires no math, and is directly intuitive.

Compare to WFRP's system, where you have to figure out that 41 is 22 steps lower than our WS, which becomes two full "degrees" of success; while 48 is only 3 steps lower than his WS, and so no degrees of success. And two beats zero, so we win. Yech.

The fact that changing the system also reverses the winner with these particular rolls is beside the issue. Both systems favor the highly skilled (as you would expect).
 

D

dco

Guest
I'm confused. Are people getting upset over confirmed rules or rumours?

I've re-read what's officially out there and it appears to be the latter. Hear/read a rumour, extrapolate it to mean something they don't like and then get upset over it.
There is no rumour, it is a preview, the only extrapolation has been how the success levels are calculated because the preview didn't show it.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Why not use "Edge" or "momentum" or whatever? On top of that their implementation is very poor.
Momentum is used in the 2d20 system, which is seriously marching up the public visibility, due to two licenses: Conan & Star Trek.

Edge is used in a number of games for character advantages of various types
 

mach1.9pants

Adventurer
I'm confused. Are people getting upset over confirmed rules or rumours?

I've re-read what's officially out there and it appears to be the latter. Hear/read a rumour, extrapolate it to mean something they don't like and then get upset over it.
Make sure you stay out of Paizo's Pathfinder 2 preview threads, the amount of guesswork induced rage is amazing! ;)
 


CapnZapp

Legend
Oh shut up about your game already. They probably did not take that from your game, it's not that you came up with the idea.
 

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