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My WFRP 3,5


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#1 Croaker13

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 06:53 AM

I've been wanting to take a stab at a "WFRP 3,5" for a while now.

 

I like 3rd Ed and I'm not going to abandon it - at least not until I finish running my current campaign, which will take a year at the very least.

However, I'm becoming more and more aware that 3rd Ed is, for lack of a better term, very inelegant. There's a lot of good ideas there, but IMO FFG went so overboard with adding new systems that the playing experience as a whole suffers.

 

This is my attempt to trim the rules down a bit, to make them flow more easily.

I've taken some queues from 1st/2nd Ed and Edge of the Empire, but this is supposed to be a WFRP 3rd Ed conversion. I've also included some of the more common house-rules.

 

I've written up a list of changes I want to make. When I've refined them a bit, I'll try them out with my regular group, but if any of you would like to offer some advice or opinions in advance, I'd very much appreciate it.

 

The list is here: https://drive.google...dit?usp=sharing

It's very long and a bit rambling, so read at your own peril.

 

The major changes are:

- Dice pools are assembled like EotE, with either the higher of characteristic or skill+specialization determining the amount of blue dice, and the lower determining how many are upgraded to yellow  

- Stress and fatigue are combined into Strain

- Actions (with a few exceptions) no longer have recharge, but cause strain instead

- Stance meters are out, along with reckless and conservative dice. A character's stance simply determines which side of the action cards are used.  

- No talent-sockets. Once acquired, they are always active

- Far fewer actions and talents in general

- Opposed checks are changed. Difficulty is (opposed characteristic+skill)/2.

- I want to change the magic and blessing rules to something less fiddly, but I'm not sure exactly how yet

- Edit: Characters start with 5 less creation points

 

Cheers

Croaker


Edited by Croaker13, 09 February 2014 - 03:04 PM.

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#2 socratim

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:34 PM

- Actions (with a few exceptions) no longer have recharge, but cause strain instead

- No talent-sockets. Once acquired, they are always active

 

Those look the most interesting to me.

Talents we use as stated already.

Recharge I hate, so I will ponder about this.



#3 Emirikol

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:39 PM

I messed around with ditching recharge, but I  realized that it's not that big of a deal worth changing all kinds of crap over.

 

I just ditched defense recharge.  That was the only thing that was annoying.  Having to track 2-3 other actions is not hard (woe to any player who cannot pull that off).

 

 

My latest house rules pretty much have it the way that i want it.

jh


Edited by Emirikol, 09 February 2014 - 01:40 PM.


#4 Croaker13

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 02:50 PM

I must admit that I'm very much looking at this from a GM's point of view, where, at least from my experience, the recharging cards quickly build up.

However, my antipathy towards recharging isn't only based on the extra workload.

Some of my other reasons are:

 

- I don't like having too many cards scattered all over the table. It takes up too much space and breaks my immersion. Some may see this as going against the "spirit of 3ed Ed", but I've always mostly seen the cards as a good way of "handing the relevant rules to the players" - like reference cards if you will.

I don't mind my players slapping a card down and yelling "Reckless Cleave you [expletive deleted]", but then I want that card to go away again.

I actually think that WFRP 3ed Ed would make a decent competitive game, and if it was, I wouldn't have minded as much.

 

- I don't think recharge is a very good balancing mechanic. It only works if the player doesn't have an equally good alternative while waiting for a card to recharge.

Just look at the problems with Reckless Cleave, Mighty Swing, Thunderous Blow, etc. By themselves they are very powerful (too powerful IMO), but if a character has all of them, the game simply breaks, as the player can unleash 20+ damage every single turn - which IMO is why so many GM's nerf these cards in some way.

If these cards had caused large amounts of strain instead, a character could only have used them for a few rounds before falling over unconscious. Problem solved.

 

Besides, I wanted to go over the actions anyway, which means that implementing this rule wasn't too much of a problem.


Edited by Croaker13, 09 February 2014 - 11:41 PM.


#5 Croaker13

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 03:11 PM

Almost forgot something that people might consider a big change.

Characters have five less creation points, to bring their power-level a bit closer to basic NPC's.

 

IMO, 3rd Ed characters are too strong at creation. A starting WFRP fighter type shouldn't be much more powerful than a "normal" soldier NPC.



#6 Emirikol

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 03:19 PM

That reminds me of this discussion re: D&D. http://www.wizards.c.../4wand/20140205

 

One of the q's regarding Dungeons & Dragons is:

 

  • 5) What are appropriate stakes for an apprentice-level (1–4) adventure? (Choose the last one that you think applies.)
     
     
    Keep the rats away from the tavern’s food supplies!
     
    Keep the goblins from raiding the village!
     
    Keep the brigands from interfering with inter-city trade!
     
    Keep the orcs from razing the town!
     
    Keep the plotters from overthrowing the sovereign!
     
    Keep the demons from overrunning the world!

Edited by Emirikol, 09 February 2014 - 03:23 PM.


#7 Yepesnopes

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 03:56 PM

- I don't think recharge is a very good balancing mechanic. It only works if the player doesn't have an equally good alternative while waiting for a card to recharge.

 

It is nice that you are trying this "wfrpg 3.5". I hope to see a final version of it. I myself tried to do something similar, specially removing recharge tokens from action cards! Jesus it looked like we were playing a MMO and not a RPG!

 

Good luck with it!

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#8 Croaker13

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 01:46 AM

@Yepesnopes: Thanks, and I quite agree.

 

@Emirikol: That’s actually a very interesting discussion over at WotC. Something I wish FFG had done when they made 3rd. On the bright side, their new practice of running beta programs for RPG’s gives me hope that they will if they ever make a 4th Ed.

 

I appreciate that people might disagree with me about power-levels, but I’ve always seen WFRP as being about the long climb out the gutter (or at least obscurity). And there’s no reason to remove the box about “higher power games”, to help guide groups back to the power-level that 3rd Ed is at today, if that is what they want.

 

Removing five creation points may seem harsh (and it will need to be play tested), but it’ll force the players to make their characters bad at something, as opposed to now, where most new characters are merely average at most things and great at a few.

With five less creation points, a starting human could upgrade every characteristic once (in addition to the free advances), for a stat block of 443333, but wouldn’t have any points left afterwards. This will probably make most players downgrade at least one characteristic, which is exactly what I’m going for.

 

I might allow characters to buy a single fortune-die advancement to characteristics at creation, to make the system a bit more flexible.


Edited by Croaker13, 10 February 2014 - 12:08 PM.


#9 Emirikol

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 11:15 AM

@Emirikol: That’s actually a very interesting discussion over at WotC. Something I wish FFG had done when they made 3rd. On the bright side, their new practice of running beta programs for RPG’s gives me hope that they will, if they ever make a 4th Ed.

 

..but that would imply that FFG would have to communicate directly with their fans and actively request ACTUAL feedback ;)  My guess is that had 3e gotten ACTUAL feedback from a larger number of people some of the dumb mechanics would have been dumped, the "instruction manual" would have been better written..essentially we would have a better dice system with a game that looked like 2e, but with Special Actions without recharge.

 

I wonder if early playtests would have kept the stance system (I like that part..but it is redundant on the special actions).

 

I also wonder if...

..they would have kept the cards or if we would have had manuals right off the bat with cards being "extra"

..talent socketing would have made the cut

..party punishment meters would have made the cut

..stress and fatigue would have been retained

..active defenses (a leftover from 2e btw) would have been kept

 

 

My guesses is that they were in a big hurry and "father knows best" took over in a company that wasn't familiar with the concept of getting a "larger playtest feedback."

 

All in all though, I don't really fault anything here.  This game system is just too danged easy to house rule to dismiss (compared to ..and the reason I left 4e D&D's fekkn fiasco).

 

 

jh



#10 Twodogz

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 12:05 AM

Just read through the list mate and this looks really great!

 

It's kind of how I imagined WFRP should be post playing EotE, however with my imagining of a new rule set I was a little concerned about all the action cards and spells etc.  I'd often toyed with creating a version of WFRP that plays more like a base Attrib & Skill dice pool system without all the action cards and talent slots etc - more like World of Darkness Storyteller system.

 

Let me know if you need an extra body to play test it.

 

Cheers,

TD.


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#11 r_b_bergstrom

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:28 PM

Removing five creation points may seem harsh (and it will need to be play tested), but it’ll force the players to make their characters bad at something, as opposed to now, where most new characters are merely average at most things and great at a few.

With five less creation points, a starting human could upgrade every characteristic once (in addition to the free advances), for a stat block of 443333, but wouldn’t have any points left afterwards. This will probably make most players downgrade at least one characteristic, which is exactly what I’m going for.

 

Have you played the game much with anyone at the table having a 2 in a stat? It's pretty darned punishing.  That may be what you're aiming for, but if you haven't seen it in play yet you may be shocked just how hard a 2 screws the character. 2 Agility is doable, and 2 Fellowship isn't so bad as long as there's more social characters in the group. Anything else at 2 is harsh.

  • Toughness 2 = diseases are really deadly, and crits take forever to heal. 
  • Willpower 2 = you go insane at your 3rd Stress, and you get absolutely wrecked by Fear 2. 
  • Opposed checks are really hard on anyone with a 2 in anything per the RAW.

Just sayin'. If you already looked at that and are cool with the implications, then have fun.



#12 Croaker13

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 02:20 PM

In general news: I went to a local boardgaming convention this weekend, and had a chance to test my rules, along with a scenario I'm working on (which was probably a bit overly ambitious - I've been working overtime all week to get ready).

I'm happy to report that it went splendidly.

There were two players from my regular group and two who haven't played WFRP before. I was able to explain the rules in about 10 minutes, and everything went smoothly from there.

 

A few observations:

- Actions causing strain instead of getting recharge tokens works very well. I need to work a bit on the balance between actions, but the principle is very sound.

- Players quickly max out on strain during combat. This is not a problem per se, but I'll have to change the rules for getting insanitities, otherwise PC's will go insane in about five minutes. Good news is that "Assess the Situation" sees a lot more use now.

- Nobody missed reckless and conservative dice

- Characters are reasonably proficient, even with 5 less creation points and the change to dice-pools (I used characters with 3 xp)

 

 

@twodogz: I just might take you up on that. I'll need to make a few more adjustments to the rules first though.

 

@r_b_bergstorm: I know. One time, I accidentally killed a toughness 2 character who ventured into a sewer. He just couldn't make those resilience checks to resist disease :) Threw the whole campaign off track...

 

I would normally advice my players to think really hard before taking toughness or willpower 2, but I really hate the fact that most new characters aren't bad at anything as it is now. Besides, an equally valid approach would be to only upgrade a single characteristic to 4 at creation.

 

There are a few changes that I think will alleviate things:

- I'll allow players to buy a single fortune die upgrade to characteristics at creation

- I'll change the rules for gaining insanities. This is primarily to make it work with the changed rules for gaining strain (fatigue/stress) - otherwise everyone would go insane very quickly. I'm not sure about the details yet though.

- I'm changing opposed checks, so that the difficulty is exclusively dependant on the opposition's characteristic+skill, which will lessen the impact of a lower skill

 

Still, this change will require the GM to adjust. You should no longer throw beastigors (or even regular gors) at new characters. On the other hand, 1st and 2nd edition adventures should fit better out of the box.


Edited by Croaker13, 17 February 2014 - 04:15 AM.


#13 archon007

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 03:58 PM

- Nobody missed reckless and conservative dice

Why would you remove them? If you are going for an EotE feel you would take the higher of attribute or skill as the base and then the lesser of the two would be upgraded to reckless or conservative style that you allow the player to pick at the time of their action.

That keeps more with both WH & EotE and gives the player a very unique option for each action they will take. They would still get the + white for specialization.

#14 Croaker13

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 01:43 AM

Hi Archon.

 

The way I play it, characteristic dice are exchanged for expertise dice. I could probably use reckless/conservative dice instead, but I’ll have to check the probabilities, as I’m a bit worried that PC’s might be overwhelmed by chaos stars (I have ruled that comets and stars chancel each other out).

 

It’s not a bad idea though… I’ll probably look into it, as long as it doesn’t add unnecessary “fiddlyness”.

 

As it is now, a character’s stance still determines which side of the action-card is used, but hasn’t got any effect on the dice. To compensate, even the basic actions have different effects in conservative and reckless stance, which means that there’s a distinct flavor to being in either, even without the dice.

Players have to pick a stance at the beginning of encounters, and have to pass a discipline test to switch mid-encounter.


Edited by Croaker13, 25 February 2014 - 01:54 AM.


#15 Gazery

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 02:43 AM

How do you deal with Wardancers? They are constantly changing stance and how deep into the stance they are. The depth and which stance they are in affects the effectiveness of so many of their abilities.

 

Not knocking what you are doing, just genuinely interested because I play in a game with a Wardancer and one of the most exciting things about combat is listening to the Wardancer jump and pirouette around the battle field changing stance at whim - one second gaining 18+ black dice for defence, the next gaining 18+ damage.

 

Gazery



#16 Croaker13

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 04:01 AM

The short answer is that I don’t (yet).

Right now, wardancers are on the to-do list (along with swordmasters) somewhere below magic and insanity.

 

As you correctly surmise, there are a few problems with wardancers. Besides removing stance depth, I’ve removed recharge (for most actions), which basically means that every single wardancer action will have to be reworked to make any sense.

 

Additionally, one of my specific design goals is to reduce the number- and importance of actions. All though I could probably make wardancers work in much the same way as before, by adding recharge to their actions, it would make them stand out even more as a “minigame” than they do now.

Don’t get me wrong – I like the general idea behind wardancers, but it’s just entirely contrary to what I want from my Warhammer roleplaying.

If it was some sort of competitive card/miniature game, I’d be all for it (think Netrunner, but with WFRP characters), but in WFRP I want the mechanics of the system to be relatively unobtrusive, without degenerating into a “storytelling game” - and wardancers, in their current form, are IMO all about watching the mechanics at work.

It might be a thing of beauty, but it’s not what I want.

 

What I’ll probably end up doing is creating a couple of specific actions and talents that all emphasize, and enable, switching stance mid-encounter.


Edited by Croaker13, 25 February 2014 - 05:02 AM.


#17 archon007

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 09:59 AM

Hi Archon.

The way I play it, characteristic dice are exchanged for expertise dice. I could probably use reckless/conservative dice instead, but I’ll have to check the probabilities, as I’m a bit worried that PC’s might be overwhelmed by chaos stars (I have ruled that comets and stars chancel each other out).

It’s not a bad idea though… I’ll probably look into it, as long as it doesn’t add unnecessary “fiddlyness”.

As it is now, a character’s stance still determines which side of the action-card is used, but hasn’t got any effect on the dice. To compensate, even the basic actions have different effects in conservative and reckless stance, which means that there’s a distinct flavor to being in either, even without the dice.
Players have to pick a stance at the beginning of encounters, and have to pass a discipline test to switch mid-encounter.

So you are "upgrading" characteristic dice to expertise dice, that does make sense. I do like the idea of having stance dice though. Maybe instead of using a fortune die for specialization they use a stance die instead? That way their specialization allows them to use stances for that skill otherwise without specialization they are considered neutral.

A simple idea for Wardancer (not that familiar with them) but maybe they can use stance dice as an upgrade instead of expertise dice.

Edited by archon007, 25 February 2014 - 10:29 AM.


#18 arscott

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 12:06 PM

For the record:  Red/Green dice are better than yellow dice if you want successes.

Yellow dice are better than Red/Green dice if you want boons or comets.



#19 archon007

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 12:29 PM

For the record:  Red/Green dice are better than yellow dice if you want successes.
Yellow dice are better than Red/Green dice if you want boons or comets.

Yes that's why I think they should be the upgrade dice, if you are going for the EotE style. I don't think if you are making a change like this you should completely exclude a die type, there should be a way to include them all.

I like the concept because I think it's better in EtoE (which if there is a WHRP 4e it probably would be similar) and keeps dice pools in check. The main parts I think you need are;

Base dice which are obviously charactisic die. Then you have what to use for upgrade dice and what to use for specialization.

Upgrade could be stance dice or expertise dice. Both make sense, the core rules I think lean towards Expertise dice, so how do you also include stance dice? One way would be to use stance die to represent specialization I think this fits since it gives a higher success rate and also allows the GM to only use Fortune dice for bonus cirumstances in skill checks like EotE uses Boost dice.

#20 Croaker13

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 01:33 PM

 

For the record:  Red/Green dice are better than yellow dice if you want successes.
Yellow dice are better than Red/Green dice if you want boons or comets.


Upgrade could be stance dice or expertise dice. Both make sense, the core rules I think lean towards Expertise dice, so how do you also include stance dice? One way would be to use stance die to represent specialization I think this fits since it gives a higher success rate and also allows the GM to only use Fortune dice for bonus cirumstances in skill checks like EotE uses Boost dice.

 

It's a good idea IMO.

 

I wanted to make specializations more important anyway, so this makes a lot of sense.

As I said before, I'm not against stance dice, so I think I'll use the system if it isn't too fiddly. I'll need to do a bit of playtesting first.

 

Cheers


Edited by Croaker13, 25 February 2014 - 01:43 PM.





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