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#1 gmanjkd

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 05:27 PM

 Hi all.  While i have played WFRP minimally over the last 25 years, it has always been my favorite fantasy world.  I have recently purchased 3rd ed and LOVE it!   I however am very new to running the game.   It seams that it would take a realtivley short period of time to reach Rank 5 with a PC, provided that the PC isnt killed.  40-50 game sessions doesnt seam that long compared to a level 20 D&D charecter that could take years.  My groups have charecters i.e. Shadowrun, D&D, Rolemaster, Vampire, ect that we have used for decades….provided they haven't died.  How far can a PC progress before it becomes to powerfull to play?  Rank 5,7,……10?    

 

Thanks for all your advice.  

 

Gary



#2 ragnar63

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 09:29 PM

The experience point system is badly out of whack, I'm afraid. I think it was designed to entice computer gamers into RPG's with fast advancement. Definately forget about the 1XP per session. If you take the Eye for an Eye adventure, then each character should get 1 XP at the end and an extra 1 XP only if they defeat the demon, get Lord Ascaffenburg out alive and defeat the beastmen as well. Tough but fair.



#3 gruntl

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 09:57 PM

gmanjkd said:

 Hi all.  While i have played WFRP minimally over the last 25 years, it has always been my favorite fantasy world.  I have recently purchased 3rd ed and LOVE it!   I however am very new to running the game.   It seams that it would take a realtivley short period of time to reach Rank 5 with a PC, provided that the PC isnt killed.  40-50 game sessions doesnt seam that long compared to a level 20 D&D charecter that could take years.  My groups have charecters i.e. Shadowrun, D&D, Rolemaster, Vampire, ect that we have used for decades….provided they haven't died.  How far can a PC progress before it becomes to powerfull to play?  Rank 5,7,……10?    

 

Thanks for all your advice.  

 

Gary

gmanjkd said:

It seams that it would take a realtivley short period of time to reach Rank 5 with a PC, provided that the PC isnt killed.  40-50 game sessions doesnt seam that long compared to a level 20 D&D charecter that could take years.  

Well there is that. PCs in WFRP will pick up critical injuries, insanities, corruption points and diseases as well. Which will not easily go away. Reaching rank 5 is not a given. I also think that TPK is a very real threat in WFRP, if the players start a fight with some bad luck, things can go very very bad quickly. Normally I wouldn't kill all players off unless they really deserved it, instead just allowing them to wake up in captivity (which the system allows for very easily, given that you only really die when you have suffered several critical hits). But all the crits, insanities, diseases and corruption points will add up over many sessions pushing the character over the edge. PC death in WFRP3e is a gradual thing, rather than a roll of the dice giving rise to a one hit kill.

Also, beyond rank 5 the PCs will not really grow stronger, but rather "broader" or more diversified. There is an absolute cap on both ability scores and skill training. This means that a rank 10 PC will likely not be better in one area of expertise than a rank 5 PC, but that he/she may have two areas of heroic expertise. Not that I find it very likely that a player will reach rank 10, but anyway.

Character advancement is quite quick in this game, one XP per session can be a lot if you play rather short sessions often. I've cut it down to something like 2/3 per session (giving out XP more for story arc completion and so on). If you want to slow down advancement just give out less XP. You could also change the rank breaks I guess (using 15/30/45/.. perhaps), but that may break some stuff so be careful if you do something like that.

edit: To ragnar63, what works for you may not work for others. One xp per session works just fine, if that's what the group wants.



#4 k7e9

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 10:51 PM

Well, depending on the players it can become quite boring after rank 5 since you can only train a specific skill 3 times and then get a skill mastry in that skill. If, for example, you're paying a combat focused character and you're not interested in other skills you might well have almost all the skills, talents and actions you'll ever want after completing rank 4 or 5. You could increase attributes and such after that but it might feel lame for some players.

But if your players like diversified characters, moving into careers with different skill sets and so on it might tak a lot longer to hit the "skill roof", and when they do they might be happy to move on into different skills.

My players are at rank 5 at present, but they are not over powered, they can be beaten in a fight with non epic monsters, everyone in the group got severely beat up (and one died) by a band of beastmen gors led by a wargor. I think we can go on for at least 3 or 4 more ranks before they are "too powerful". A dragon would surely crush my players at present.

Comparing WFRP with my (quite limited) knowledge of D&D I'd say that a rank 5 WFRP-character are a lot less powerful than level 20 D&D-character. But a player might still feel that his/her character is at maximum power level (within his/her area of expertise) when they've completed rank 5.

So a tip is to talk to the players and see what they think. If the player are aware that after rank 5 they'll have to branch out (if playing a character focused at a specific skill set) you might go on till rank 7-8-9 maybe even 10 before the characters are way to powered up. It all depends on player style and expectations I believe. If you hit the skill roof at rank 4 (including skill mastery), and you weren't aware that you can't become better at that skill ever again, you might feel "cheated" as a player.

A few suggested house rules:

  • A quick and dirty "fix" is to give the players 0,5XP per session instead of 1, that will doubble the playing time needed to reach rank 5, and with one session per week that will take about 1,5-2 years to reach (80 sessions).
  • 1 completed career = +1 rank. So when you dedicated your career and payed for career transision you're rank is increased by one. Thus, gaining a rank will be at least 11 advances, if you're a reiklander moving into a career with some matching traits, without having spent any out of career advances, often the total cost to gain a new rank is higher, as players might purchase out of career advances, might not be reiklanders and may move into a career that costs several advances. The highest number of advances spent on one career in my group is currently 15. This works very well in our group.
  • In some groups the GM has decided that you have to purchase stuff with both out of career advances in every career, forcing the players to diversify and spend more time in their current careers and thus slowing advancement into new careers and higher skill levels. This could easily be combined with the 1 completed career = +1 rank suggestion above, making 15 advances the minimum to gain a rank (meaning rank 5 is at least 60 advances away).

I don't believe that the suggested house rules above would break the game, it could even be possible to use them all meaning the campaign could be very long before the players have too high a power level.



#5 Yepesnopes

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 11:36 PM

gmanjkd said:

 

 Hi all.  While i have played WFRP minimally over the last 25 years, it has always been my favorite fantasy world.  I have recently purchased 3rd ed and LOVE it!   I however am very new to running the game.   It seams that it would take a realtivley short period of time to reach Rank 5 with a PC, provided that the PC isnt killed.  40-50 game sessions doesnt seam that long compared to a level 20 D&D charecter that could take years.  My groups have charecters i.e. Shadowrun, D&D, Rolemaster, Vampire, ect that we have used for decades….provided they haven't died.  How far can a PC progress before it becomes to powerfull to play?  Rank 5,7,……10?    

 Thanks for all your advice.  

 Gary

 

 

Well, being too powerful in this game depends a lot on the party and the GM.

The way this game is designed, it allows players of rank 1 to be already very powerful (in their specialization field) if they pick up the right combo of action cards, or if they accumulate fortune points on a given characteristic, or if they buy certain talents…On the other hand you may have PCs of rank 3 that due to the set of actions, skills, talents or career paths they choose, they are fairly average (even worse at a certain aspect than a rank 1 player). This is a game that per RAW allows for a lot of min /max of PCs.

A second aspect to have in mind in this game is that due to the lethality of the fights it is difficult to speak of a character as being too powerful in combat. You will always be able to create a group of NPC (or monsters) with certain combinations of action cards and weapons that will pose a challenge to your players, no matter the rank they are. On the contrary, you will find that PC who are not focused on combat, after a few exp (if they survive), will easily succeed at most opposed checks, or non combat checks in general (perception, skulduggery, charm, guile…), and you will have to start to set difficulties pretty high to create a sense of challenge, or in opposed checks, start adding (and justifying) a silly amount of misfortune dice to the dice pool.

Said that, to clarify the above posts, a non spellcaster PC as per RAW is as good as he can be (at his field of expertise) once he hits rank 3 (i.e. 20 xp). Once you hit rank 3, you can buy your 3rd expertise die, that is, when you have 20xp you can have 1, 2, 3 or more (depending on the xp managing of the PC) skills with 3 ranks of expertise. From there on your progression in your field of specialization is minimum (some extra fortune die, one more point in a characteristic…); forget about rank 4 and buying the mastery advancement, so far is of no use (may be in a future if they release more rules /action cards). So, after rank 3 characters who are still alive will tend to branch to other fields of expertise. The exception to this are spellcasters who have their action cards divided by character rank, the higher the rank of the card, the more powerful it is, and therefore they are not fully developed until they hit rank 5.

Well, just to summarize. This game is so open in design of PCs, creatures and challenges in general, that not two groups have the same game experience. That is why you will read many contradictory opinions in the forums. In my opinion, each GM and party have to find their equilibrium and design their own house rules to cut down excessive power crawl. You will have to do your own experience for that. I can give you my vision of the game, and tell you what happens at my table, but it will be of little use. The above is the more honest thing I can tell you.

 

Cheers,

Yepes


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#6 valvorik

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:53 AM

Yepesnopes has some good points.

I don't find the XP system broken and find players like the "small changes" not "big steps" approach.  I think it takes some adjustment to idea "you're playing a character through an arc of their career that if they don't die etc. sees them end up someplace else in life etc.".  That's the story that career paths and in-game events tell.

We're at over 70 sessions and folks hitting rank 5 under house rule that to be "next rank" you must take 4 non-career advances.

- 10 advances to spend, 1 completion, 4 non-career = 15 + transition costs to get through rank in my campaign for short form.

I never give extra advances for story completion etc., other rewards instead are used.

I have found that a bit fast but more in "narrative time" (which I as GM could have fiddled) as it took just over a year of in-game time (all 2521).  The "story" of these characters is feeling nearly done and time to switch to new characters approaching.

In terms of character power, it's important to let NPC's be the "active party" in opposed checks on their turns and make those count as the rules very much favour "the acting party".

Rob

 



#7 gmanjkd

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:49 AM

 Thanks guys!!! This helps a TON!  Great ideas all around.  This has opened several options that I think that would work very well for me in the neer future.  

Thanks again.

 

Gary



#8 gruntl

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:10 AM

valvorik said:

In terms of character power, it's important to let NPC's be the "active party" in opposed checks on their turns and make those count as the rules very much favour "the acting party".

Yes, exactly. We play most of the skill tests (at least the interesting ones) as event tracks. This means (most of the time) that the NPCs get their chance at affecting the outcome as active participants as well.

Also, with experienced PCs you need to use more experienced NPCs (i.e. with several ranks of training, and/or high ACE budget, high ability scores). Absolutely don't forget to use the ACE budget, NPCs in story mode are allowed to use those dice in opposed tests to make things harder for the PC. Even a rank 3 fully trained noble will have problems persuading a, e.g., magistrate with WP:5, 2 ranks of discipline training and a 3/8/2 ACE budget. In my experience the system works fine but you really have to use all the tools.

Only roll the dice when there is a real challenge. I really think it's pointless to demand rolls on simple tests with no misfortune, in that case, just let the player succeed.  



#9 No:12

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:50 PM

Hi there,

Others have all made very good points regarding changes to the xp mechanics so I wont repeat them, i did want to suggest a thought that you may not have considered though. Is it always a good thing to have characters that last for decades?

Recently the group I play with have found that like many good stories, a campaign should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. We enjoy building characters to heroic levels of performance too, but at the end of the day there are many options to explore with different characters. Sometimes it is good to finish a good story with a fine ending, then start the next one wish a fresh crew. That way you canavoid the problems of power creep too.

Anyway, just a thought, hope it helps.



#10 k7e9

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:50 AM

No:12 said:

Recently the group I play with have found that like many good stories, a campaign should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. We enjoy building characters to heroic levels of performance too, but at the end of the day there are many options to explore with different characters. Sometimes it is good to finish a good story with a fine ending, then start the next one wish a fresh crew. That way you canavoid the problems of power creep too.

Agreed, my group have played through a large portion of the old Enemy Within Campaign, and when the campaign is over I plan to have their characters retire (probably the'll be at rank 6-8 at that point) and start over with new characters. If a GM is not planning a general campaign arc (i.e. beginning, middle, end) campaings tend to die out in an unsatisfactory fashion. I've experienced several campaigns where we had a lot of fun, but we never got to the end, we just ended up playing less and less frequently until it finally died out often in the middle of an adventure. It's better if the GM knows there's an end, since it's easier to keep GM motivation up and thus keeping the players interested in the story. A good ending should not be underestimated, as the campaign will be better remembered and more satisfactory if the players feel they were "done". It might leave a "hole" to reach the end, like a long series of good books might do, but it will be remembered with fondness.



#11 Glorian Underhill

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 02:57 AM

Houserules:

1 XP per session until 10 XP are accumulated. Then 0,5 XP per Session. Typical MMO Experience curve. :)

1 and 0,5 keeps booking and tracking to a minimum.

Fortune isn't learned for one characteristic but increase the pool of the fortune pool, the one starting with 3 dice. So it is max one white per session and not on every check.

Increasing Skill costs. Level 2 Skill needs 2XP, level 3 skill needs 3 XP. So it is easier for them to broaden their skills easier instead of being an expert in one specific.



#12 Jericho

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:21 AM

 My PCs are at rank 3 at the moment.

I give 1 EP per session but our sessions last 6 hours.

Also, I've decided that rank upgrades ONLY when you complete and change careers. If you go half-way through a career and leave for a new career, your rank doesn't change. This never happened anyways.

The idea is that your rank is equal to the number of career sheets you have in front of you. Simple. Career 1 = rank 1; career 2 = rank 2 etc.

This system has permitted me to have characters with 43 EPs that are still rank 3.

 

Now regarding challenges, I second previous comments about using all tools (skilled NPCs, high ACE pools etc).

For story mode checks, what I do is call for checks that normally I wouldn't have called for, but I make these checks Daunting or Heroic.

EX.: My Shadowmancer PC was at a meeting with masked conspirators, a Sister of Sigmar was making a fervent speech. I had him roll a Heroic Magical Sense to see through the glamour of the Sister. He succeeded! He discovered that the Sister was in fact a Witch nemesis in magical disguise! If my PCs had been rank 2 or lower, they wouldn't have had the opportunity to roll this check, I would have ruled automatic failure. But since my Shadowmancer PC is nearing heroic levels, I let him try, even though he had very little chance at succeeding this check.

To conclude, I give high level PCs the possibility of testing their mettle at truly daunting checks, which they will have a hard time succeeding at (but it brings challenge and thrills back into the game). Also remember that Daunting and Heroic checks very often cause Chaos Stars, giving you the opportunity to make each victory a hard one victory.

There is no such thing as a free lunch in WFRP.


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#13 reg

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:52 AM

 1/2 EP per session, also arrange for periodic 'purges' to clear out their good stuff. I also add outside influences - family, friends, vicious rumours to siphon off money, distract, confuse etc. Also, if you're away for a session things tend to happen to you - not bad, exactly, but hair-cuts, brazillian waxes, marriages, affairs with the local magistrate whilst under mind altering drugs (oh yeah, hit your homo-phobic dwarven giant slayer with that and watch the role playing!). Level isn't that important if they're ill/injured/drunk/stupid - play to their weaknesses and enjoy!



#14 Emirikol

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 11:19 AM

We're going 1xp per session. The faster characters level up to 3rd career or 3rd tier is fine with me.  I just start new campaigns when the old ones have leveled up too high.

 

Plus, when we finally get TEW (in my estimation, "February of when hell freezes over"), we'll have one last big campaign to play.  :)  I'd like for my players to be able to try out a couple different advancement trees.  Squire to Knight, Apprentice to Wizard, Watchman to uh…

 

jh



#15 gmanjkd

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:28 AM

 Thanks guys these are all great ideas!!!   I have been operating under the assumption that I had roughly 30 to 50 game sessions before characters became unplayable.  If I am understanding correctly all is required is a little creativity by the gm and those 50 sessions can easily accommodate 70 to 100 game session.?????     This reminds me of vampire the mascarade.  Characters can become godlike, however there is always stronger foes, more intrigue, and the man in the mirror is always a threat.

 

Thoughts?



#16 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:26 AM

The problem with any system that works "per session" is that everyone runs different session lengths. A group that meets weekly for 2 hours has a totally different advancement than one that meets monthly for 8, even though they play for the same amount of time. 

You may consider making experience a "per story" thing. Two or three XP per story has a nice fit in my mind. (And when I say story, I'm thinking the adventures in Gathering Storm as a baseline for length). It's much easier to regulate advancement that way, as well.


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#17 valvorik

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:34 AM

The session length thing was my issue.  I did a little poll here a while back and most folks were closer to 4 hours, I'm at 2.5 typically. (down from the glory days of 4 which was down from the university days of 6)

I am pondering something like "episode based" (e.g., every Full Recovery at end of Episode) but haven't really tested that for how long on average it works out to and it undercuts are more narrative evening's XP value.



#18 Theros

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:55 PM

I have got used to thing where I give rewards only at certain points (predetermined in adventure creation process).

Lets take an example…in other game, but still it helps.

We played Victoriana RPG and there rules are quite free for GMs to give experience for PCs. There are also luck points (similar to WHFRP points, but I don't remember the name of those atm)…

I made decision that in every "scenario", which is short part of the longer campaign, will be reward of 1-2 experience points (usually playing 1exp scenario took 1-3 sessions and 2 exp scenario 2-4 sessions). I gave luck point based on good ideas, good roleplaying, from the things that helped story go further etc.

Experience points basically were rewards to complete something, not just "trying to survive one game session". Luck points were rewarded after every session…but of course…if PCs have 10 luck points, then I am not going to reward…but things tend to go so that they used most of the points in every session…. (*grin*)



#19 Emirikol

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:29 AM

A "session" for my group is 4 hours (ok, well about 3hours of playing and 1 hour of totally screwing around). 

I know you run long campaigns, but I tend to kill off a character or two about every 4 sessions and race through our campaigns..and then say "OK, new campaign next week.  Roll up your character options."

 

Since The Enema' Wiff-in' is on such an unpredictable schedule for release, i intend to throw this campaign off the rails and see how bad things can get. So far we've got a graveyard of PC bodies piled up and we're going into the final stages of THE DYING OF THE LIGHT.  Bring on the Witch's Song next!

 






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