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Warhammer frpg - 2e vs 4e

macd21

Adventurer
Right. There is a slight difference in probability at the ends, but otherwise it works out the same.

Under the normal rules, if my skill is 43, the chances of different SLs is as follows:
0: 4% (40-43)
1 through 3: 10% each (30-39, 20-29, 10-19)
4: 9% (01-09)

With fast SL, the ends reverse:
0: 9% (01-09)
1 through 3 (10-19, 20-29, 30-39)
4: 4% (40-43)

As for how it plays, I have only played it once. We thought the Advantage mechanic was a bit cumbersome but figured it would work itself out once we had more experience with the system.

The one thing I thought was weird was the economy, or rather how two parts of it both individually make sense but when combined it becomes nonsensical. The first is that after each adventure, you can spend any money you made on whatever you want. But in between adventures, you normally spend all your money on repairs, living expenses, bribes, donations, whatever. There are two ways around this: Banking or earning Income. Both take one downtime unit, of which you can't have more than three in between adventures. Banking lets you save money either by investing it (not available for the lowest social classes) or just stashing it. Investing is somewhat safer, and can earn you interest, but requires you to spend another downtime unit to get your money back. On one level, I like this idea, as it keeps PCs hungry for lucrative adventuring.

Each character has a social standing, primarily defined by what sort of currency they use: Gold (merchant lords, nobles, otherwise wealthy), Silver (respectable tradesmen, professionals, common merchants), or Brass (peasants, criminals, lower-class professions). Within each, there are 5 sub-tiers (so you have Brass 1-5, Silver 1-5, and Gold 1-5). This is primarily dependent on your career, and one of the perks of advancing in your career is that you improve your status (e.g. an Engineer goes from Brass 4 to Silver 2, Silver 4, and Gold 2). Earning income gets you money based on this social standing. This is also cool, because it brings home how socially stratified people of the Empire are. It also carries a fair bit of the "roughness" I like about Warhammer – you start out playing ratcatchers, pit fighters, coachmen, and the like. By my count, 42 of the 64 starting careers in the rule book are brass tier. So an Income endeavour will earn them 2-10 d10 brass pennies, of which there are 12 to a silver shilling and 240 to a gold crown.

The problem is that pretty much everything that's of interest to an adventurer has prices listed in Gold Coins. Even a basic Hand Weapon costs 1 GC. A Shield costs 2 GC. A bow is 4 GC. Being fully armored in mail will set you back 6 GCs. A pistol costs 8 GC, so good luck if you're a starting Engineer (Brass 4) who wants to get some use out of your Ranged (Blackpowder) skill....
Well yeah, that’s why they go adventuring!
 

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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Do you mean if characters bought a Skill multiple times in 2E?
Yes.

Take a skill that anyone can do (not "trained only") like say Perception. In warhammer, perception is a skill liked to intelligence.

If you are untrained in perception, you do a check at half your int value (so if your int is 38, your skill is 19)
If you have taken the skill once, you do a check at your full int value. If you have taken it twice, you do it at +10, and if you have taken it 3 times (the max), you can do it at +20. You cannot take it a 4rth time to get +30.

Beyond that, the only way to improve your perception check is to improve your intelligence, or a few talents that could help a bit.

But the wiffiness of warhammer can be significantly reduced if most of the checks are opposed checks. If your perception is 19 (not good), but the bandit trying to sneak past you has a stealth of 22... it's almost a 50/50 chance.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
The problem is that pretty much everything that's of interest to an adventurer has prices listed in Gold Coins. Even a basic Hand Weapon costs 1 GC. A Shield costs 2 GC. A bow is 4 GC. Being fully armored in mail will set you back 6 GCs. A pistol costs 8 GC, so good luck if you're a starting Engineer (Brass 4) who wants to get some use out of your Ranged (Blackpowder) skill....

blink

In 2nd ed, a pistol cost 200 gold, and a full suit of chain mail costs 170! (and would probably take you several adventures to be able to afford).
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
In 4e:

1. Attacker rolls, trying to get under Melee skill (+/- relevant modifiers) and determines SL by comparing the tens dice to Melee skill (so roll 15 against Melee skill 42 = SL 3). If the attacker rolls a double he will inflict a crit (if under Melee skill) or suffer a fumble (if over), in addition to any other outcome of the attack.
2. Defender does the same, but can choose to roll against Dodge instead of Melee. If he rolls against Melee, then doubles can also cause crits or fumbles.
3. Compare SLs. If the attacker has higher, he hits and gains 1 advantage. If the defender has higher the attack misses and the defender gains 1 advantage. The loser loses all advantage.

So an example: Bob (melee 44) charges Tim (melee 35). Because he charged, Bob gains one advantage, so he’s rolling against 54. He rolls a 41, so he gets 1 SL. Tim rolls a 11, so he’ll inflict a crit and gets 2 SL. Bob loses the exchange, and now has no advantage, while Tim has 1.

Tim then strikes back. Because he has advantage he’s rolling against 45, but gets 55. That’s -1 SL, and a fumble. But Bob rolls a 80, which is -4 SL. Because Bob’s SL is worse than Tim’s, Tim still hits.

The exchange might be described like this: Bob charges forward, stabbing carefully at Tim, but Tim parries his thrust and deftly slices at his leg, cutting him deeply (the crit). As Bob stumbles, his momentum lost, Tim strikes back. It’s a clumsy blow, but it gets past Bob’s flailing parry - but not without cost, as Tim’s sword slips from his grip (the fumble). Bob is now badly hurt and off balance, but Tim is unarmed…
Two questions

1: If attacker has a weapon sill of 45, and rolls 47... that's a miss... but does it become a hit if the defender rolls worse? Say the defender has a WS of 37 and they roll 72...

2: You haven't talked about the damage at all...
 

Crusadius

Explorer
Two questions

1: If attacker has a weapon sill of 45, and rolls 47... that's a miss... but does it become a hit if the defender rolls worse? Say the defender has a WS of 37 and they roll 72...

2: You haven't talked about the damage at all...
The answer to #1 is... yes. You compare Success Levels to determine who wins. So if the Attacker fails their Melee Skill roll and gets -1SL, but the defender fails their defense roll and gets -2SL, the Attacker hits.
 

Crusadius

Explorer
Yes.

Take a skill that anyone can do (not "trained only") like say Perception. In warhammer, perception is a skill liked to intelligence.

If you are untrained in perception, you do a check at half your int value (so if your int is 38, your skill is 19)
If you have taken the skill once, you do a check at your full int value. If you have taken it twice, you do it at +10, and if you have taken it 3 times (the max), you can do it at +20. You cannot take it a 4rth time to get +30.

Beyond that, the only way to improve your perception check is to improve your intelligence, or a few talents that could help a bit.

But the wiffiness of warhammer can be significantly reduced if most of the checks are opposed checks. If your perception is 19 (not good), but the bandit trying to sneak past you has a stealth of 22... it's almost a 50/50 chance.

There is a limit of how many additional Advances you can take in a single skill in 2E (i.e. Skill Mastery) - I think its 2 (you can buy the same skill a total of 3 times) meaning a maximum of +20%. 4E does not cap the number of advances for Characteristics and Skills other than the XP cost becoming prohibitively expensive.

But 4E also has the concept of Basic and Advanced Skills - Advanced Skills cannot be used without at least one Advance which has the weird result of only needing to spend 10XP to get 1% in an Advanced Skill to allow you to roll (roll poorly for the most part unless the linked Characteristic is very high).

4E removes whiffiness for opposed tests by having the comparison between Success Levels and the winner is the one with the highest SL.
 
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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
4E removes whiffiness for opposed tests by having the comparison between Success Levels and the winner is the one with the highest SL.
so then why is there a need for the advantage mechanic (the "momentum")?

Incidentally, Troika! has an "opposed check" system for combat, and whoever wins the check injures the other. So if you attack an orc, and they win the check, you get hurt. I can report that it substantively speeds up combat.
 

Crusadius

Explorer
so then why is there a need for the advantage mechanic (the "momentum")?

Incidentally, Troika! has an "opposed check" system for combat, and whoever wins the check injures the other. So if you attack an orc, and they win the check, you get hurt. I can report that it substantively speeds up combat.
I think its to simulate the idea that someone who is winning each Combat Test has an advantage if they keep winning.

Advantage is also used to power Creature Traits such as the Breath of a Dragon.
 

Staffan

Legend
I think its to simulate the idea that someone who is winning each Combat Test has an advantage if they keep winning.

Advantage is also used to power Creature Traits such as the Breath of a Dragon.
We also found that advantage was how you got damage in. 4e doesn't have a damage roll, instead you use the net SL from the opposed attack test (so if I rolled SL 3 and you got SL 1 on your defense, that's a total SL of 2 in my favor). The image I get in my head is that two evenly matched foes will spend quite some time making semi-effectual pokes at one another, but if someone starts getting ahead they will be able to go for more and more decisive blows because of built-up Advantage.
 

@Jaeger in another thread you said:



Can you elaborate on this? What is fast SL?
SL= Success Level
ah, so SL is "success levels". So under normal SL rules, you want to roll as low as possible. If your Skill is 43, rolling 01 is the best. Under fast SL, the best roll would be 42 (43?), so you want to roll as high as possible without going over your skill. Did I get that right?
Yep.

Note that Fast SL alters the odds of SL=0 up, and max SL down.
 

macd21

Adventurer
Two questions

1: If attacker has a weapon sill of 45, and rolls 47... that's a miss... but does it become a hit if the defender rolls worse? Say the defender has a WS of 37 and they roll 72...

2: You haven't talked about the damage at all...
1. Yes, if you get -1 and your opponent gets -2, you win by 1 SL. However, it should be noted that crits and fumbles are determined by whether you succeed or fail the test, not whether you win or lose the opposed roll. So you could hit but still fumble, or miss but still cause a crit.

2. Damage is similar to 2e, with damage being compared to toughness and armour to cause wounds, but instead of rolling a dice for damage you use SLs. So if your attack wins by 1 SL (as above), you would do 1 + Strength Bonus (SB) + Weapon damage (for example 4 for a Hand Weapon). You then deduct Toughness Bonus (TB) and Armour Points (AP).

There’s also crits. You can cause a crit by getting a double on your attack roll, or by knocking someone below 0 Wounds. They’re essentially the same as the injury tables in 2e (though less likely to kill you - but it’s still possible). So a crit might cause a bleeding wound that slowly kills you, or disable an arm, or sever a head…
 

macd21

Adventurer
so then why is there a need for the advantage mechanic (the "momentum")?

Incidentally, Troika! has an "opposed check" system for combat, and whoever wins the check injures the other. So if you attack an orc, and they win the check, you get hurt. I can report that it substantively speeds up combat.
SLs alone aren’t enough to remove the whiff factor. Advantage works to speed up combat, and to insure that every combat roll has an impact on the combat. If you miss, you don’t just fail to hit the opponent, you also make it more likely that he will hit you. This means you don’t get long combats where everyone misses - eventually someone will pick up a few points of advantage and start overpowering their opponent.

It also forces people to consider their options carefully. Attacking a superior enemy head on in a fair fight is likely suicide, as you’ll just be handing them advantage and then they’ll crush you. There are various ways to gain advantage, or strip it from an opponent, that you’ll need to consider if you want to survive.
 

TheSword

Legend
To be clear you can play the game without advantage and it will run fine. There are a few tweaks you’d need to make as one way of disengaging is to spend all your advantage. Also a few talents affect advantage so would be useless. Aside from that if you don’t like it, drop it.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
Normal SL: Tens of your skill minus the tens of your roll. So if you have a skill of 54 and roll 12, your SL is 5-1= 4.

Fast SL: On a success, SL is the tens of your roll. So if you have a skill of 54 and roll 12, your SL is 1. On a failure, as normal.

One requires subtraction which takes time, the other just checking the die result. From an aesthetic perspective, one might prefer that SL be connected to the margin of success, but the probabilities are similar if not identical (fast gives you more SL 0, normal gives you more maxed SL).
Note that Fast SL alters the odds of SL=0 up, and max SL down.

That difference in the underling math is why it gets so broken if you try to play without the Fast SL rules. The system was designed to use Fast SL for everything- the standard SL was added in after the playtesting was done.

Not that going Fast SL will fix everything, or all the other issues I have with the game.


The REAL problem is 4e is too dang complex in comparison.

And this is the real kicker for me IMHO. Others have given the laundry list of problems.

Fundamentally there is just no need for this much added complexity.

There was nothing about 2e that a solid round or two of playtesting couldn't fix.

Yes spellcasting could have been brought more in line with how 1e worked. That would be fine. And again plenty of longtime players already had homebrew fixes. That experience base could easily have been tapped during playtesting.

It just irks me that all the time was wasted taking something that just needed to be refined, and instead doing a blank slate design which "solves issues", yet introduces as many new problems as it solves due to the increased complexity.

C7: "Hey we got the license for WFRP - 4e is coming!"

WFRP Fans: "Fantastic, a refinement of what 2e did would really be great!"

C7: "2e WFRP!? Pfffttt.... No no no. We are bringing WFRP forward to a new era of rules complexity. Gotta bring in all those new fans!"

WFRP Fans: "Dude what!?"


I think the problem, is when you write the system off as entire bad and a complete failure, at the same time as there are lots of people enjoying the game and it seems to be really popular then I have to question whether your measure of bad is the same as other people.

As a counterpoint.

In my opinion:

If people love the game world setting IP, they will put up with some downright broken mechanics to play.

Vampire 1e, Shadowrun etc, the list goes on.

My opinion continues to be that WFRP is a great RPG setting perpetually held back by mediocre systems.

4e just reinforced this view. It is yet another example of the game designers making the type of game that they want for their own table, without considering what would be best for WFRP as a game.

4e is not quite as bad of as own goal as Seventh Sea 2e, but it certainly didn't do itself any favors...
 

TheSword

Legend
That difference in the underling math is why it gets so broken if you try to play without the Fast SL rules. The system was designed to use Fast SL for everything- the standard SL was added in after the playtesting was done.

Not that going Fast SL will fix everything, or all the other issues I have with the game.




And this is the real kicker for me IMHO. Others have given the laundry list of problems.

Fundamentally there is just no need for this much added complexity.

There was nothing about 2e that a solid round or two of playtesting couldn't fix.

Yes spellcasting could have been brought more in line with how 1e worked. That would be fine. And again plenty of longtime players already had homebrew fixes. That experience base could easily have been tapped during playtesting.

It just irks me that all the time was wasted taking something that just needed to be refined, and instead doing a blank slate design which "solves issues", yet introduces as many new problems as it solves due to the increased complexity.

C7: "Hey we got the license for WFRP - 4e is coming!"

WFRP Fans: "Fantastic, a refinement of what 2e did would really be great!"

C7: "2e WFRP!? Pfffttt.... No no no. We are bringing WFRP forward to a new era of rules complexity. Gotta bring in all those new fans!"

WFRP Fans: "Dude what!?"




As a counterpoint.

In my opinion:

If people love the game world setting IP, they will put up with some downright broken mechanics to play.

Vampire 1e, Shadowrun etc, the list goes on.

My opinion continues to be that WFRP is a great RPG setting perpetually held back by mediocre systems.

4e just reinforced this view. It is yet another example of the game designers making the type of game that they want for their own table, without considering what would be best for WFRP as a game.

4e is not quite as bad of as own goal as Seventh Sea 2e, but it certainly didn't do itself any favors...
The problem is, it’s divisive. Some people hate the new edition, I personally think it’s great. Complexity in itself isn’t a problem for me, because I have the tools to track it and I’m lucky enough to play with people smarter than me who can pick up game rules easily. We’re not interested in d6 mechanics and generic outcomes. We want gritty and weird stuff.

The game is experiencing a Renaissance, maybe that’s because everyone is playing 2e. Somehow I don’t think so though. Though if the rules are so bad as you say and it’s just the world people like then there’s nothing stopping them playing 2e.

I think experienced, award winning designers making the kind of games they like is pretty awesome. I don’t necessarily need a game made by committee. I have D&D for the one-size-fits-all-keep-it-simple approach.

Id go so far to say, they’re not a single major rule that I don’t like. Nothing of significance that I’d remove from the game. There’s lots of game systems I can’t say that about. Sure there are areas that can be developed (channeling, bestiary) but that what supplements are for 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
The problem is, it’s divisive. Some people hate the new edition, I personally think it’s great.

And that's the core issue with 4e.

Any new edition of a game will have its proponents and critics.

Yet 4e did not have to be this divisive.

There was no need for it. The reasons many object to the design direction of 4e have been outlined in this thread.


Complexity in itself isn’t a problem for me, because I have the tools to track it and I’m lucky enough to play with people smarter than me who can pick up game rules easily.

All things that a game designer should not assume of the fanbase that they are making the game for.

Nor of potential new players that they want to sell the game to.


I think experienced, award winning designers making the kind of games they like is pretty awesome.

It can be.

But for every Blades in the Dark, there is a Seventh Sea 2e...
 

macd21

Adventurer
And that's the core issue with 4e.

Any new edition of a game will have its proponents and critics.

Yet 4e did not have to be this divisive.

There was no need for it. The reasons many object to the design direction of 4e have been outlined in this thread.
It was going to be divisive no matter what. Aspects you dislike about the game, others enjoy. Had they gone with a less complex system people would have been complaining about that. Personally I think it’s much better than 1st or 2nd ed.
 

Retreater

Legend
The real shame of it all is that the art is amazing, the setting is wonderful, and The Enemy Within campaign is probably as good of a published adventure that has ever existed in this hobby. It's just that the system is a bit on the wonky side. Had this been made for D&D, I think it would've blown any of the official products out of the water in the opinion of many groups.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
It was going to be divisive no matter what. Aspects you dislike about the game, others enjoy. Had they gone with a less complex system people would have been complaining about that.

Like I said, any new edition will have its proponents and critics.

But surely the idea that a less complex WFRP would be more accessible to new players, and less likely to have fundamental system issues is not a controversial one.

Both things which would be net positives for the longevity of the game line.

Whereas now 4e has a reputation for complexity and wonky mechanics. Both traits which are not helpful in attracting and retaining new players for the game line.


The Enemy Within campaign is probably as good of a published adventure that has ever existed in this hobby. It's just that the system is a bit on the wonky side.

4e WFRP will sell well for awhile because of current fanbase snapping up the adventures and the revised TEW campaign. (A very savvy move by C7 - credit where it is due.)

All of which can be easily made to work with whatever version of 1e or 2e system that they made to work for them. (It's just replacing stat block really)

Some will flip to 4e because they like what is in that porridge.

But the real question will be for 5 or so years from now: How many new and first time players are still playing 4e?


In my opinion: WFRP 4e is the new Shadowrun 6e.

Yeah you got the old fans to check it out, and a bunch of new people took a look at the new shiny; but the underlying game mechanics aren't doing the game any favors with new player retention.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I need to oppose the notion that WFRP4 is just like any other game - "every game has its fans and its haters".

That's relativistic, and would mean there can't be good games and bad games.

WFRP4 is a bad game with terrible design. It enthusiastically just adds new subsystems, modifiers and rules with no awareness of how complex and cluttery the finished product ends up as. Everything has been made more complex than WFRP2, just making the game worse.

Most if not all of the additions (compared to WFRP2) just doesn't work. Some change the way the world work in ways that aren't appreciated. People must wear armor. Parties must have healers or they die from random injuries. They don't properly die from critical hits (instead they succumb from bleeding out). None of the new additions to magic work (at least you can ignore the new abilities).

Other rules just break the game. It's trivial to increase a Characteristic/Skill to a level no NPC can withstand. All the little modifiers make WFRP a game a magnitude more complex than it used to be. Everything works slightly differently. Talents need to be remembered, all the time... and they too exacerbate the effect of the skilled steamrolling regular opposition. Advantage transforms combats into things where only two things matter: accumulating your own Advantage while shooting down foes that are starting to accumulate Advantage of their own. This rewards playing the meta game where you take actions that make no sense in-game but optimize abstract combat rules. Shooting arrows and magic missiles become king simply because they can't be dodged/parried.

If you want to actually argue a given rule has its merit, is decently implemented, and adds value to your game, please do. But please don't simply dismiss the specific and detailed criticism against the edition given here. This isn't a case of somebody just not liking the system, while others do like it, so it's a wash, just like most games.
 

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