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Warhammer frpg - 2e vs 4e

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
The risk is rare. You’d only take damage on one of your attacks if the enemy rolled a critical. With Melee Skill 50 that would be 4% of rolls with a standard weapon. That’s a very low risk of taking damage on one of your attacks.

There are some creatures that are so skilled (champions) that you can take damage more, along with some weapons that double the crit chance. But they aren’t ubiquitous.
Even if normally there is no damage when the goblin fails to hit the swordsman, the swordsman has just gained some advantage, increasing his dominance in the battle. The goblin would have been better off never attacking... That is the problem I am trying to explain.
 

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Can we at least agree that 3e was a bad system?
Not me. It has a few problems, but I actually liked it, as did a number of people I knew... It does, however, require a table for playspace. It didn't get much play from me because most of my games were around a living room, not a table.
 

TheSword

Legend
Nope, sorry.

Just because two of them serve as limiters, that does not make them the same. All four are spent differently, and are gained back differently. Complete with four different places to note them on the character sheet.

Four is not the new two.




A whole lot of almost going on here.

Note that I said more familiar, my context matters.

On first Blush 4e looks the business. But it is when you dive down things really start to stack up.

We really need Dexterity and initiative added in as stats? Was Agility somehow not cutting it? That had to be an odd complaint... Four meta currencies? They way combat was changed up. Each skill now having its own %, which advance in 1% increments... Really an improvement?

No thank you.

Do you know what would be more familiar? If I picked up 4e and didn't see all the additional complication added to the system for an indiscernible return at the table.

By your own admission you use 'tools' (VTT or other computer based systems) to track all the additional complications.

If you really want to know the point of view of 4e's critics - put down all the tech, and run a campaign with everyone at the table just using pen and paper.

Maybe then you'll understand why some of us are less than enthused with 4e's design choices.
I understand why you’re less than enthused, I just think it’s a matter of taste.

We’ll have to agree to disagree on the meta-currencies. I didn’t think the rarely used original Fate cut the mustard. Fate wasn’t really a meta currency because you almost never spent it. At least fortune and resolve mean something and get some use at the table every session.

As for Dex and Init. I played more 1e than 2e so don’t have a problem with the granularity of splitting reaction speed and manual dexterity off from how fast you can sprint.

Yes, I do like being able to inch those abilities up instead of using 5% increments. 5% increments are just a d20 by another name. This is a true d100 system. 🤷🏻‍♂️. I honestly don’t see the problem with it. It’s the Dark Souls version of leveling up and I love it. In a diminishing returns system if you didn’t have 1% increases players would have to save up a huge amount of XP to develop a stat otherwise. Which wouldn’t be very satisfying to play.

I use a VTT and like it, because I prefer VTT. I know play online games roughly 3 x more than my face to face games. F2F is still great but VTT is easier. As a new player it speeds the transition. I know this having moved two new players who were at all familiar with WFRP to 4e without any trouble using VTT. That said my first experience of 4e with @GuyBoy was face to face using warhammer minis and PET bottle rings for advantage. I have no doubt if the time was put in to learn the system then it could be done face to face. It’s just much much easier with a VTT… then again so is D&D 🤷🏻‍♂️

It is ok, not to like it though. I’m not saying 4e is perfect or easy. I guess I like how the devs and community are working together to make it a living interacting game. I have no doubt the coming book on combat and the one on magic with add lots of choices to simplify and streamline things. Just maybe not to the way 2e did.

I do object to the suggestion the changes were made without logic or clear reasoning. I see that as patently untrue and a disservice to the experienced and award winning designers.
 
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TheSword

Legend
Even if normally there is no damage when the goblin fails to hit the swordsman, the swordsman has just gained some advantage, increasing his dominance in the battle. The goblin would have been better off never attacking... That is the problem I am trying to explain.
Ahh I see. Is that a problem that a weaker opponent 1-1 is in trouble if they stay in combat and clumsily swing at a master swordsmen? If the goblin is fighting a peasant or outnumbers the master swordsman it may be a very different thing.
 

Crusadius

Explorer
Let us return to the 4 goblins vs the master swordsman. Now I think in general we can agree that it's a bad idea for 4 goblins to tangle with a master swordsman - they are going to die, it doesn't matter if it's 2e, 4e or in other systems like Troika! or D&D. The goblins are going to lose in this fight, period. That's not the problem.
4 goblins versus 1 master swordsman does not necessarily mean the goblins are going to die... quickly. Outnumbering (page 161 and 162, 4E) gives a bonus of +40 to hit (when 3 to 1) to those goblins and an outnumbered opponent loses 1 Advantage at the end of each round they're outnumbered.

That +40 (+20 when outnumbered 2 to 1) bonus is going to hurt the master swordsman for a few rounds.

Note: 2E also has rules for outnumbering - its +20 for 3 to 1, +10 for 2 to 1 (page 131 Combat Difficulty table)
 
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macd21

Adventurer
I've been thinking about this "vs rolls" and the consequence on combat and design... I think the key is "does the attacker failling help the defender (beyond not being hit)".

Let us return to the 4 goblins vs the master swordsman. Now I think in general we can agree that it's a bad idea for 4 goblins to tangle with a master swordsman - they are going to die, it doesn't matter if it's 2e, 4e or in other systems like Troika! or D&D. The goblins are going to lose in this fight, period. That's not the problem.

In a system like D&D or warhammer 2e, the check is either unopposed (the swordsman has static defenses) or sort of (the swordsman can parry/dodge). But in either way there is no real "consequence" for failing to hit the swordsman. The goblins are no worse off for trying to attack the swordsman (in fact in 2e there are significant bonuses for ganging up on someone, so this might actually work!), besides now being in the reach of the swordsman' blade.

However, in 4e (or Troika!) attacking the swordsman helps the swordsman. By attacking the swordsman and failing, the goblins are either granting the swordsman advantage (4e) or allow him to hit the goblins (Troika!). In fact, if the goblins must engage the swordsman in melee, the best thing they can do is just show up and hang out, wave their daggers around but not actually attack! (even more so if they have a dodge action of some kind, but let's ignore that for now). It will take far longer for the swordsman to dispatch the goblins if they aren't assisting him by trying to stab him.

I think there are a lot of benefits to an opposed roll for combat - it certainly helps with WH's whiffiness for example. But as soon as there is a benefit to the defender if the attacker misses (advantage or a counter-attack), we risk creating a system where weaker foes attacking the PCs helps the PCs, which is really bizarre if you ask me.
In 4ed, the 4 goblins are probably going to slaughter the master swordsman, unless he’s very careful. The bonuses for outnumbering your opponent are significant.
 

TheSword

Legend
There’s also the fact that the range of 2 x 1d100 rolls allows for a lot swing. If a single goblin gets lucky and breaks through the sword masters defense, or scores a crit, or the swordsman rolls a fumble dealing wounds then all advantage is lost.

That swordsman can always roll a 99/00 and a goblin can alway roll 01.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Ahh I see. Is that a problem that a weaker opponent 1-1 is in trouble if they stay in combat and clumsily swing at a master swordsmen? If the goblin is fighting a peasant or outnumbers the master swordsman it may be a very different thing.
The outnumber rules in warhammer are pretty good and may solve this problem, and it fact it muddled my example, I shouldn't have used it (it's more troika-releveant really)

but let us look at your more pertinent example - a skilled opponent vs a poor one.

In almost every system, it's almost always bad news for a goblin to bet in a one on one fight vs a master swordsman - it's true in every edition of warhammer, D&D, whatever. Unless the goblin has a way to equalize the fight (the swordsman is ill, in a trap, goblin friends), the goblin is toast. Clearly the best thing the goblin should do is avoid the fight and find a way to even the odds... but that's not always possible in battle. Maybe he's the last one left, cornered, and the swordsman is coming to finish him off?

I just find it strange that, in warhammer 4e, the goblin attacking the swordsman is making it worse for the goblin. It's not just "oh the goblin is probably going to miss" or "oh, the goblin will do a bit of damage but the swordsman is too tough to be seriously hurt by one goblin attack". No, the goblin attack's will most probably actively help the swordsman, and actively hurt the goblin's chance of winning. From a game design principle, I find this .... wrong.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
There’s also the fact that the range of 2 x 1d100 rolls allows for a lot swing. If a single goblin gets lucky and breaks through the sword masters defense, or scores a crit, or the swordsman rolls a fumble dealing wounds then all advantage is lost.

That swordsman can always roll a 99/00 and a goblin can alway roll 01.
a 1d100, same as a 1d20, has a "flat" distribution and, as you say, a lot of swing. BUT when you have two dices, you get a pyramidal distribution, making it a lot LESS swingy.

Say our goblin has a WS of 25%, and the master swordsman 65% (I'm not sure about 4e, but these numbers are very plausible in 2e). The chances of the master swordsman winning this exchange are not 65%. it's 80.5% (give or take a few %, getting this exact is hard).
 

TheSword

Legend
a 1d100, same as a 1d20, has a "flat" distribution and, as you say, a lot of swing. BUT when you have two dices, you get a pyramidal distribution, making it a lot LESS swingy.

Say our goblin has a WS of 25%, and the master swordsman 65% (I'm not sure about 4e, but these numbers are very plausible in 2e). The chances of the master swordsman winning this exchange are not 65%. it's 80.5% (give or take a few %, getting this exact is hard).
Well that’s true, However the possible swing is greater. Sure the result is more likely to favour the most skilled. However what you don’t get is a point where it’s impossible to win.

It took me a while to get my head round the difference in combat. In d&d enemies attack you and whittle your hp down. You expect your foes to hit you and as long as you don’t drop to 0 you’re fine. You generally know that no single enemy is going to do more than x damage on one go and you can heal as you go.

In WFRP 4e, any attack could lop an arm off or take your eye. The very act of getting hit is the risk - rather than how much damage you can take. Sure you may not die but you can suffer.

As with all things, randomness affects PCs more than NPCs so even though 80% of goblin hits will do nothing to that weapon master. Those precious few will be important. I think that sums up why I like WFRP 4e combat.

As to your previous post of why would the goblin attack when it is likely to make the swordsman better able to hurt him? If the goblin doesn’t attack, it has zero chance of defeating the fighter. If it does it has a small chance of winning. From the goblins point of view it may be that a slim chance is better than zero. Goblins should be cowardly on their own. Only attacking when outnumbering, drugged on fungus or attacking with surprise or from hiding.
 
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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Well that’s true, However the possible swing is greater. Sure the result is more likely to favour the most skilled. However what you don’t get is a point where it’s impossible to win.

It took me a while to get my head round the difference in combat. In d&d enemies attack you and whittle your hp down. You expect your foes to hit you and as long as you don’t drop to 0 you’re fine. You generally know that no single enemy is going to do more than x damage on one go and you can heal as you go.

In WFRP 4e, any attack could lop an arm off or take your eye. The very act of getting hit is the risk - rather than how much damage you can take. Sure you may not die but you can suffer.

As with all things, randomness affects PCs more than NPCs so even though 80% of goblin hits will do nothing to that weapon master. Those precious few will be important. I think that sums up why I like WFRP 4e combat.

As to your previous post of why would the goblin attack when it is likely to make the swordsman better able to hurt him? If the goblin doesn’t attack, it has zero chance of defeating the fighter. If it does it has a small chance of winning. From the goblins point of view it may be that a slim chance is better than zero. Goblins should be cowardly on their own. Only attacking when outnumbering, drugged on fungus or attacking with surprise or from hiding.
So
This "any attack may be lethal" is not new to 4e, it's pretty standard warhammer fare. In 2e, you rolled a d10 for damage and if you rolled max, it triggered "Ulrich's Fury". You rolled again to hit to "confirm" the effect, and if it hit, you rolled another d10 for damage - and if that one rolls max, you just keep rolling (no need for confirmation). So a single goblin arrow can kill a powerful PC. This lethality isn't new to 4e, and I don't think it fixes the problem I have with this "attacking a superior foe helps your foe" notion.

It's bad enough for a goblin to attack a master swordsman in any system. We don't need the "goblin attack helping the swordsman killing the goblin" layer on top of it! So not only is it bad design, it's superfluous.
 

TheSword

Legend
So
This "any attack may be lethal" is not new to 4e, it's pretty standard warhammer fare. In 2e, you rolled a d10 for damage and if you rolled max, it triggered "Ulrich's Fury". You rolled again to hit to "confirm" the effect, and if it hit, you rolled another d10 for damage - and if that one rolls max, you just keep rolling (no need for confirmation). So a single goblin arrow can kill a powerful PC. This lethality isn't new to 4e, and I don't think it fixes the problem I have with this "attacking a superior foe helps your foe" notion.

It's bad enough for a goblin to attack a master swordsman in any system. We don't need the "goblin attack helping the swordsman killing the goblin" layer on top of it! So not only is it bad design, it's superfluous.
Why is strange that a clumsy opponent can leave themselves more open to attack by swinging awkwardly at a superior opponent?

Is your question ‘why would the goblin bother?’ Which I think I have answered in my previous post. Or is it ‘Why can your attack leave you easier to hit?’ In which case I’ve answered it in this post.
 

macd21

Adventurer
I just find it strange that, in warhammer 4e, the goblin attacking the swordsman is making it worse for the goblin. It's not just "oh the goblin is probably going to miss" or "oh, the goblin will do a bit of damage but the swordsman is too tough to be seriously hurt by one goblin attack". No, the goblin attack's will most probably actively help the swordsman, and actively hurt the goblin's chance of winning. From a game design principle, I find this .... wrong.
From a setting point of view, it's an abstract representation of the goblin, being the lesser swordsman, exposing himself to attack when he strikes, the effects of morale, physical exhaustion etc. It's the sort of thing you see in fictional swordfights between a master and a novice - the novice strikes, but the master easily evades his blows, parries his thrusts with ease, and eventually the novice is left flailing wildly and usually dispatched with a kick to the arse.

From a game design point of view, it results in either very fast combats, as the master quickly defeats the novice, or it results in complex combats, as the lesser combatant tries to even the odds. Simply attacking is a losing proposition, so you have to use alternatives. Either way, you don't get a boring combat consisting of a long string of one simple attack after another - either the fight ends quickly, or the fight gets interesting.

It's certainly not for everybody, but a lot of people like it. It makes every round interesting, speeds up combat, results in a 'back and forth' feeling as advantage swings one way and the other, and encourages variety in combat.
 

Crusadius

Explorer
Obviously a single goblin should not be attacking a swordsman, master or not (unless cornered and have no choice). They should be running away and finding other goblins to join together and return to attack in numbers. Even 2E mentions that they have a "penchant for running when battles turn against them". Also their BS is higher which indicates that they'd want to stand back and shoot arrows or throw rocks at the master swordsman until the swordsman falls over.

Unless you decide for your game goblins are not cowardly, and instead are foolhardy and aggressive to the point of being suicidal.
 
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Jaeger

That someone better.
We’ll have to agree to disagree on the meta-currencies. I didn’t think the rarely used original Fate cut the mustard. Fate wasn’t really a meta currency because you almost never spent it. At least fortune and resolve mean something and get some use at the table every session.

We will - Because I think that what fate does could have been re-thought without having to break it out into four different types.


I do object to the suggestion the changes were made without logic or clear reasoning. I see that as patently untrue and a disservice to the experienced and award winning designers.

Never said that they didn't have their reasons for doing what they did with 4e. I just think that they straight-up chose badly.

What was done with WFRP 4e is not quite at the level of say WFRP 3e, Shadowrun6, or 7th Sea 2e. But 'Award winning' Game designers can absolutely get it wrong.


At 1:02 in they talk about the 3e dice mechanic and at 1:02:54 Andy Law talks about how the 3e dice mechanic strongly influenced how he did d100 for 4e. Which IMHO led to a lot of increased complexity.

I couldn't disagree with this design direction more. The increased complexity of 4e will keep the game from retaining the new players and GM's it needs to keep the line going after the current WFRP fanbase has gotten all the remastered books that they want out of it.


I use a VTT and like it, because I prefer VTT. .... It’s just much much easier with a VTT

Like I said, put down the tech, then come back after trying to run a full campaign (not just a session or two), with paper pen and bottle caps, and lets see if you hold the same opinion about 4e's complexity.

Obviously with a lot of the critiques made on this thread you just don't see the long term issues because all your long term play has used automation to deal with the fiddliness in the system.

We're critiquing what a pain it is to pick all the apples in the tree by hand, and you're sitting there in your robotic harvester saying that you don't see the issue...

I understand now why we do not see eye to eye on 4e.
 
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TheSword

Legend
We will - Because I think that what fate does could have been re-thought without having to break it out into four different types.




Never said that they didn't have their reasons for doing what they did with 4e. I just think that they straight-up chose badly.

What was done with WFRP 4e is not quite at the level of say WFRP 3e, Shadowrun6, or 7th Sea 2e. But 'Award winning' Game designers can absolutely get it wrong.


At 1:02 in they talk about the 3e dice mechanic and at 1:02:54 Andy Law talks about how the 3e dice mechanic strongly influenced how he did d100 for 4e. Which IMHO led to a lot of increased complexity.

I couldn't disagree with this design direction more. The increased complexity of 4e will keep the game from retaining the new players and GM's it needs to keep the line going after the current WFRP fanbase has gotten all the remastered books that they want out of it.




Like I said, put down the tech, then come back after trying to run a full campaign (not just a session or two), with paper pen and bottle caps, and lets see if you hold the same opinion about 4e's complexity.

Obviously with a lot of the critiques made on this thread you just don't see the long term issues because all your long term play has used automation to deal with the fiddliness in the system.

We're critiquing what a pain it is to pick all the apples in the tree by hand, and you're sitting there in your robotic harvester saying that you don't see the issue...

I understand now why we do not see eye to eye on 4e.
Okay, if me playing a few sessions f2f is insufficient to convince you that it’s possible, that’s fair enough. I wasn’t trying to convince you though, as you’ve made your mind up. It’s more for the OP and other people watching.

If anyone is at all interested in getting examples from someone with far more 4e face to face experience than I do, then they should check out the Ratter Guild Discord. There are people playing F2F since the game came out. Who are still playing. 🤷🏻‍♂️
 
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Retreater

Legend
I've recently started running 4e for a group on VTT. They have told me that if we go back to f2f, they don't want to play this system. I know it's just one person's anecdote, but to this one person, it does sour me on the system a bit.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Why is strange that a clumsy opponent can leave themselves more open to attack by swinging awkwardly at a superior opponent?
That dynamic is more than amply covered by the large skill gap between the goblin and the swordsman.

Perhaps I will be able to convey my dislike by using different terms:

I don't think it's a good idea to add a mechanic to a fight that favors the most skilled combatant when they already likely to win.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I've recently started running 4e for a group on VTT. They have told me that if we go back to f2f, they don't want to play this system. I know it's just one person's anecdote, but to this one person, it does sour me on the system a bit.
Hello

Thank you for your input, but I'm having a bit of a hard time understanding your post. A few questions

1: Is "they" one player, or the entire group?
2: They don't want to play this system - 4e or 2nd ed?

thanks!
 

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