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.
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.