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Wardancers, Waywatchers, and Swordmasters as basic careers...


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#1 Magnus the Pious

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 10:08 AM

I posted something similiar over at Hammerzeit...check out the site if you haven't already.

 Aren't Wardancers, Waywatchers and Swordmasters supposed to be elite, best of the best, top tier careers? Everything I've ever read about them in other Warhammer material place them as THE "special forces" for the elves. Swordmasters alone spend several human generations trying to perfect their swordcraft. Now the new edition of wfrp comes out and they are now just a common career. Waywatchers are no better than a scout or hunter, Swordmasters are nothing special...any soldier or grunt is on equal level with these guys, and Wardancers strike as much fear in an opponent as a Ratcatcher does...since they are now equals.  What's wrong with this picture?

 So. I have a friend (player) thats been dying to build a badass Wardancer (like from 1st edition). Had a cool story about how he was going to progress as one and now...it's irrelevant. He can now start out as one since they are a basic career. After 10 sessions he'll need to leave this career and choose ratcatcher, coachman, gambler, etc. to "improve". Seems a bit silly to me, considering the stature of the career.

 I mean an Initiate (yes an Initiate!) can be just as skilled with a sword as a Sword MASTER at the begining of the game if character points are spent a certain way (well maybe not just as skilled but you get my point).

 It's kind of weird to think that a Waywatcher could be in some serious trouble in the forest if a couple of goblins came up on him.

 Does anyone else see this as a head scratcher like I do or should I just say 'hey it's the new warhammer and these careers are now just plain generic careers like everybody else' and move on with it since the new wfrg is so much f&%#*!g fun?



#2 UncleArkie

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 10:51 AM

sorry I took the troll bait, dont mind me.



#3 Magnus the Pious

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 11:16 AM

Woah woah woah! Slow down there Tex. Ease up. Why are you turning this into a version debate? I sure wasn't. Like I said at the end of my post I am having GREAT fun with the new wfrp. I was just wondering about why Wardancers, Waywatchers, and Swordmasters were considered basic careers now, considering they were supposed to be badasses in earlier and other Warhammer material. Like I said I didn't think Blademasters and Ratcatchers were of equal stature. You are saying they are so thats that.

As far as it being discussed to death I didn't see any post topics about it so I guess I just missed it.

Interesting about the Bladesingers...whats the story about them? And what's the advanced career for wardancers?



#4 UncleArkie

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 11:57 AM

I'm sorry, I was so out of line.



#5 Emirikol

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 12:00 PM

I consider them to be "soldiers" of the elves.  Elite ones will be "captains" of the way watchers (etc.), but I can see your points.

 

jh



#6 morskittar

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 12:44 PM

Sure, they're elite, by no more so than an apprentice College wizard.  I'd also guess they don't have great social abilities (being warriors) as well as being locked to exotic races - huge disadvantages in all but the most dungeon-crawly campaigns.



#7 Magnus the Pious

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 01:18 PM

UncleArkie said:

I'm sorry, I was so out of line.

NP man. I've had many days like that myself.

After rereading it I can see how it might come across  like I'm bashing the game but I'm not. This new edition has resparked my interest into WFRP is all, and I would have thought for sure that these elf careers I mentioned would have been something to attain not start with. Just a little disappointed in that regard, but still havin a blast with it.



#8 UncleArkie

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 11:36 PM

I know it kinda drew me back in as well , and I was one of those AMG v3 is gonna suck people... But converts are the most feverent I guess^^.

Once thing you can do is shuffle the deck with the careers that you want your players to have start access to, you don't need to have all of the careers that you have in the deck, that way you can work your way up the ladder, that said  high elf would have to go to ulthuan to become a swordmaster and a wood elf would have to go to athel'loren to become a wardancer so having them start out in that career makes a little more sense unless you game has months if not years of down time, also I see the WD and SM careers more as the lowest tier in those groups, the original v1 wardancer had plenty of tiers and the bladesinger and the "elite" pinnacle of perfection, also when your wardancer in 10 or 12 sessions becomes say a soldier, don't look at it lke him regressing into becoming a lower unit, simply taking a career that  furthers his skills, he is now a veteran wardancer, his improved fighting skill state that.

Also for the being equally good in fighting, remember that combat class' will most likely 1) have a higher strenght characteristic and 2) that you can if you have the skill acquired train a specialization in it, so our warrior archetype can add a specialization: handweapon to his weaponskill from the beginning, that will add a fortune dice to his combat pool making him better than a social character.



#9 RenoDM

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 04:52 AM

I told my players not to take the title of their career quite so literally. 

None of my players have any knowledge of, or experience with, "cannon" in the Warhammer world. Consequently I have no problem with those careers being Basic careers. In fact when my players first created their characters one of them said they didn't want to be a Mercenary, Commoner, or Thug. I told them not to think of these carees as their "Class", think of them more like "Backgrounds"; regardless of the career on the sheet the PC's now all have the "Adventurer" career. Not only did this help it became the inspiration for creating their background stories.

 

So when I look at something like the Swordmaster, I think about why this guy is here in the Empire, alone and not defending the shores of Ulthuan. This guy may have trained as a Swordmaster, might have been one at some time, but why is he here now? Being away from his home, his mentors, his culture, and no longer living the day-to-day life of a Swordmaster (i.e. fighting/training in the ranks of the army side by side with his comrades), he is no longer the "archtypical Swordmaster" that everyone thinks of when they here that title. Back home, on the shores of Ulthuan, shoulder-to-shoulder with other Swordmasters he may be one of the greatest swordsmen around. But here in the Empire, in a dusty old ruin, with a human an dwarf ally at his side, he isn't the same, he might lose a fight to goblin. None of his training nor his experience were geared toward this kind of confrontation.

On the same note I told my players that when they change careers again don't think about becoming a "Scout", or "Roadwarden" per se. Instead look at it as a shift in expertise and focus; a re-emphasis of discipline to further your career as an "Adventurer".  Don't get quite so hung up on the title of the career on the card.  Maybe your Swordmaster only served a 10-year apprenticship as a Swordmaster, maybe your Waywatcher left his homeland because of his attitude and couldn't get along with his comrades.  Maybe since a starting character is only Rank 1 and has no experience he is simply on the path to "becoming" a Swordmaster, something that he hopes to be when he "completes" the career.  I'm sure that whatever his choice for his next career it will simply be something to allow him to continue his martial training, like a Soldier or a Mercenary.  But I'm also sure the character doesn't think of himself as a mere Soldier or Mercenary.  I'm willing to bet that regardless of secondary career he still calls himself a Swordmaster, and who's going to argue with him?

 



#10 Gilead te tuin lothain

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 06:27 AM

The careers are also seen as a way of life, much as an Elven Mages are  able to devote their lives and reach levels of mastery beyond that of shorter-lived races.  Not to mention that all of the above have in WFB a second level career, Bladesinger, Sentinel, and Blademaster.



#11 KjetilKverndokken

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 06:40 AM

Cant se the careers as extensions from the Wargame, with core and elite choices.
A Wardancer and Swordmaster is that from an early age, and is not uncommon.
If the rare mages can be playable, even an apprentice one. Then those careers are not any more special.... Wood elf waywatchers, spellsingers, wildriders, those are more rare.



#12 Magnus the Pious

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 07:54 AM

So this brings up an interesting situation with how to look at careers now. Everyone is saying don't look at these guys as careers now, think of them as progressing as an adventurer. I can see that. That works for me and this system in particular. In a way it's always been like that.

At some point though there HAS to be a difference in evaluating someone. Not to drudge up old warhammer but bear with me on this...

Back in the day (I know I see people rolling their eyes right now) if I ever broke out a Judicial Champion, Assassin, or Wardancer etc. against my players they knew to be a little more careful. To become one of these guys took some dedication and you knew they were not just some joe schmo. I remember when one of my players became a Witch Hunter for the 1st time...a great sense of accomplishment for him (considering the Hell I put him through). It was cool to progress/advance in that way and a sense of prestigousness went along with that.

Now today. This is now a "stacking" system for careers. One big mish mash of everything. No reputation or sense of becoming something now. Everything so far is basic with a few exceptions. With this way of doing things, a player comes across a Ratcatcher and a Swordmaster. Who knows who's actually better with a sword. One can assume it would be swordmaster but since careers aren't really careers in that sense they are more of stacking layers, who knows? The Ratcatcher could be twice as good with a sword than the Swordmaster. I can see the Ratcatcher standing above the defeated swordmaster with sword in hand saying "the reputation of your Ulthuan sword schools are vastly overrated".

A player can say "Alright I am a Waywatcher now!" The table would look around and say "so?"  Where as it used to be..."I am now a Targeteer!" and the table would be smiles and back slaps "good job man! Never thought you'd make it!" And from then on you KNEW that Targeteer was better than a Ratcatcher with a bow. Players like a sense of accomplishment like that (well mine do anyway).

I think this whole balancing system of careers takes a little bit of the "reputation" factor out of it. Everything is so equally balanced. Now Ratcatchers and Swordmasters are seen as equals. Because technically they are.

 

 



#13 UncleArkie

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 08:41 AM

Well the ratcatcher beating the sword master is just to old man of the mountain, there are a great series of japanese movies about an old, blind swords man that kicks rear end, the lesson here is this; Don't juge a book by it's covers, just cus hes wearing rags does not mean that he won't go all Chuck on your ass and kung-fu you across the board. Also with the achievements of reaching a career can still be felt as your players gain ranks  you may want to demand that they do some thing or another, spend time training, seeks out the sanction of the Church of Sigmar in case of the witch hunter, or if someone wants to become a slayer they will have to find a way to fail in an epic way, something that could end up costing other members of the group their lives. Also we are still in an early iteration of the game, I am pretty sure that we will see a lot more interesting things happening to careers over the next year, maybe even see a return of the champion career option for players in some way letting you upgrade a career.



#14 Chipacabra

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 03:22 PM

To a large extent, a new PC is just starting out on their path. When you say this PC is a wardancer, he's just beginning to learn the wardancing techniques. Not until he actually completes the career could you really say that he _is_ a wardancer, in the sense of now he's just like the guys in the WHFB army book. An NPC wardancer, one that's been a wardancer and nothing else for years and years and has never done any adventuring, will have very different stats than that PC at either the beginning or end of his career.

On the other hand, a PC that's chosen the ratcatcher career may have been a ratcatcher for years before the game started, but he's only just now beginning to develop adventuring skills. While his growing abilities are flavored by his ratcatching ways, by the time he completes that career path he'll really be nothing like any of his ratcatcher colleagues.

 

 



#15 HorusZA

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 10:39 PM

If it bugs you that they're Basic Careers, why don't you just make them Advanced Careers?

 



#16 Vaeron

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 10:57 PM

HorusZA said:

If it bugs you that they're Basic Careers, why don't you just make them Advanced Careers?

I just decided tonight that Swordmaster, Ironbreaker, Waywatcher, and Wardancer were going to be Advanced careers, with the player needing to aquire their Armour or their Sword, etc. rather than just getting it for free at the start.  It seems like too much, especially SM and IB, getting those items PLUS all their unique action cards, for a basic career.

Besides, elvies and dwarves need Advanced Careers, since they're currently lacking any (well, dwarves have Slayer, but other than that).

Totally House Ruled, of course, but I think it makes sense.



#17 HorusZA

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 11:22 PM

Vaeron said:

HorusZA said:

 

If it bugs you that they're Basic Careers, why don't you just make them Advanced Careers?

 

 

I just decided tonight that Swordmaster, Ironbreaker, Waywatcher, and Wardancer were going to be Advanced careers, with the player needing to aquire their Armour or their Sword, etc. rather than just getting it for free at the start.  It seems like too much, especially SM and IB, getting those items PLUS all their unique action cards, for a basic career.

Besides, elvies and dwarves need Advanced Careers, since they're currently lacking any (well, dwarves have Slayer, but other than that).

Totally House Ruled, of course, but I think it makes sense.

Don't forget that starting character's DON'T start off with their career equipment. According to the FAQ/Errata what is listed on the back of the Career Sheet are just common examples. Doesn't make much sense, but there you go... another thing to get house-ruled in my game.

 



#18 HorusZA

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 11:35 PM

Vaeron said:

<SNIP>

Besides, elvies and dwarves need Advanced Careers, since they're currently lacking any (well, dwarves have Slayer, but other than that).

Bit off topic, but have you noticed the differences in Advances between Troll Slayer and Giant Slayer?

1.) Troll Slayer has 1 extra Reckless

2.) Career Ability is obviously different

... and, umm, that's pretty much it unless I missed something.

So, what this means is that going from Troll Slayer to Giant Slayer, you basically get to double-up on your Advances. Bit boring if you ask me. YMMV.



#19 marneus21

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 03:16 AM

Just out of curiousity, how exactly are your potential Swordmasters and Ironbreakers going to get these fantastic pieces of gear?  Is your campaign taking place in Ulthuan, or Karak Azgal?  'Cuz I am pretty sure they don't hand those things out at your typical Empire Wal-Mart.

 

I have no problem with these careers being chosen at character creation, with the caveat that the player understands that these are closer to vocations than careers, that once you decide to be and Ironbreaker or a Swordmaster or a Wardancer, you are ALWAYS going to be that, in addition to whatever other directions your careers take you.

 

If FFG releases advanced versions of these careers, that will be great, but if they do not, then I am surely going to whip up something, because, while I understand the reluctance of some GMs to allow Elvesor Dwarfs in their campaigns (given the relative rarity of these races), it is far easier to explain why there might be some few examples of these careers wandering the Empire, then to explain the presence of humans in Ulthuan, or, to a lesser extent, in one of the Karaks. 

 

One of my players has expressed interest in playing a Swordmaster, so I came up with the idea that he is currently living in a barn in the Empire, helping a family whose father was conscripted into the army, by doing chores around the farm, splittling wood, mending fences and the like.  His gear is hidden in a sealed box beneath an old tree stump, behind the barn.  His intent is to remain until the father returns from war, and has been there for four years already.  Fortunately he is an elf, thus four years is really as nothing to him, heck he has been away from Ulthuan for over 20 years already.  In the first session he will be called upon to defend the farm from some rampaging beastmen,  He will fail, the farm will be burned to the ground and the family killed and/or captured.  I expect he will then go to the nearby village to recruit allies for a rescue attempt, but players being players, who knows which way he will go. :)

 

-Marneus



#20 Heretek

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 05:37 AM

HorusZA said:

Vaeron said:

 

HorusZA said:

 

If it bugs you that they're Basic Careers, why don't you just make them Advanced Careers?

 

 

I just decided tonight that Swordmaster, Ironbreaker, Waywatcher, and Wardancer were going to be Advanced careers, with the player needing to aquire their Armour or their Sword, etc. rather than just getting it for free at the start.  It seems like too much, especially SM and IB, getting those items PLUS all their unique action cards, for a basic career.

Besides, elvies and dwarves need Advanced Careers, since they're currently lacking any (well, dwarves have Slayer, but other than that).

Totally House Ruled, of course, but I think it makes sense.

 

 

Don't forget that starting character's DON'T start off with their career equipment. According to the FAQ/Errata what is listed on the back of the Career Sheet are just common examples. Doesn't make much sense, but there you go... another thing to get house-ruled in my game.

 

 

Iron Breaker Armour and the Swordmaster Sword are the careers special ability they absolutly start off with this equipment.






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