I want to write down some quick points while my memory is fresh. I will try to add more later, also I will possibly run another demo Sunday.
First I should say that I feel I did not have enough time to prepare for the demo 100%. This was not for lack of trying, just time constraints. I read through the entire rulebook up to the Equipment chapter, and then went back over key points to set it in memory. Then I read the demo adventure cover to cover. About this time I briefly read through the equipment section. After that I began reading parts of the Tome of Adventure, but in all honesty I left it mostly unread. At this point I reread the adventure and took down copious notes for myself. All throughout this time I rolled sample dice pools, made sample characters, ran through brief encounters (either by myself or with a friend), and played with the play peices, cards, and dice to familiarize myself with them.
I should also say that from the outset I looked through every bit of the game paraphinelia to make sure I had everything before getting into it all. At this point I actually spoke with Scott Clifton and helped him find two typos on the back of the box cover (the set includes 152 action cards not 154, and there are 5 party sheets not 4). After all this it would seem as though I should have had enough time, but I would have preferred to reread the entire Rulebook and at least sped through the Tome of Adventure. I did manage to squeeze in some time to learn how wizards cast their spells, but the rest of that book plus the entire book for priests went completely unread. I also wished I had more time to read through each of the different type of Talent and Action cards as well, mostly I left this to my players (did drop the ball here, I should have found more time that).
- Again most of my above complaint is about time not quality (I wish I had gotten the game earlier).
- everybody seemed to enjoy the new dice and dice pool system to some degree or another, basically I had a one person who was really excited about it, another that enjoyed it, and the others had no complaints. Everybody seemed to understand the dice pool system quickly (within two to three rolls). Personally I love it. After gaming for nearly 25 years it is a breath of fresh air. Especially since I rail against the ubiquitous and seemingly all powerful d20.
- we all enjoyed the flexibility and uniqueness the Action, Talent, and Career cards brought to the game. Again this is another innovation that helps put the game a step ahead of most others.
- besides playing in the demo a few of my players have made new characters using 3rd edition (although we stuck with the premade PCs for the demo) and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Choosing which Action and Talent cards to take was an agonizingly pleasurable time for them...Arrowstorm or Accurate Shot?!?!? It was fun. Making characters has always been half the enjoyment for me and 3rd edition delivers!
I'll now throw in a few Cons, but I will try to be fair and realistic
- the books and the cards are mostly well written and easy to understand but I did find a few gaps in the rules, however I was able to determine the answers to most of my issues in fairly short order, either through talking with my gaming friends and players or using the WFRP forums. There are some lingering issues but nothing that held up the demo and I'm sure I'll be able to resolve them with a more studious reading of the rulebook and Action cards or with help from other forumites. These rules questions crop up in every new game so this type of thing is of no consequence really and although they can be annoying basically it just makes the GM have to make some judgment calls, which is his job anyway.
- all the "stuff" that goes along with the game can become...cumbersome during play, but at the same time these very same tools make the game quick to play while offering each player unique and interesting things their characters can do. This might makes the game unattractive to certain gamers who like their RPG's rules-lite, but really (and I know I've stated this before) from what I've seen and experienced from other games WFRP 3rd Edition offers unparalelled diversity in both character creation and game play. This comes at a price maybe, but I'll pay it.
- that goes for the cost too, I'd pay for it at full price, $100. Although I'd probably go the Amazon route to be honest. I hear all these people complaining about the price and I say to myself, "wait, I know you play D&D for which you paid $35 for each rulebook." $100 dollars is expensive no doubt, but so is $105 for D&D 4th edition. The difference is that with FFG you get what you pay for if not more. I have one complaint here and it is very small in my opinion: I wish the game came with enough basic Action cards and character boxes for 4 players. Everything else you get more than makes up for this but I felt I should still point it out.
To sum up: I like the game, it is unique and exciting.
I hope to post more later if I can.