Jump to content


Creature Actions and Action Cards

  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 gmanjkd



  • Members
  • 105 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:23 PM

 Hello, I have the Core Set, Hard Back Books, as well as the Creatures Vault. I am finding some semi conflicting info, please offer your advice based on your experience.  I think I have this figured out, but it seams very convoluted.  Or perhaps I am WAY off base.  Thanks in advance for any advice.  


Tome of Adventure pg. 44. Adding Action Cards.  The section states that in additon to the actions presented with a creature's stats, a GM can create flexibility  by giving creatures access to action cards.  As a general guideline, a creature can acquire additonal action cards equal to 1 + its Expertise rating.  This Appears to me that a Wargor as on pg. 51 of the Tome of Adventure would get, All basic action cards same as PC's + Savage Strike, Bestial Howl, Fearsome Charge, Undying Ferocity as well as 1+ his Expertise of 2, for a total of 15 action cards.   Then when we look in the creature guide things get a little muddier.

Creature Guide pg. 7, bullet point 11, Action Card Options.  This diagram depicts a Card Icon, stating that this creature in the example would get an additional Melee Action Card.  Obviousley this would apply to all creature cards with Icons displayed on them.  

So in this case, the wargor "Card" from the Creatures Vault, which displayes the Melee Icon would in fact get all of the 15 action cards listed above + an additonal Melee action card per the icon, of the GM's chooseing?

Next, and this is probably the most confusing aspect that I am stuck on.  If i were to play WFRP 'Lite", and just use the Hardback Books. having never seen an action card. The creatures guide does not in any way IMHO, list which actions a Creature would get.  There is a brief statement "Mixing & Matching" pg. 12, Creatures guide, stateing "This means that technically the GM can mix and match actions as he chooses-if giving a black orc an action usually associated with a Chaos warrior would make for an interesting encounter, the GM can certainly do so. The traits and Icons on the creature and action cards are guidelines to help a GM flesh out an encounter quickly".   This sounds to me that the obviouse Action Card selection would be based on Traits, I.e. Beastmen get Beastmen Action Cards, However in other books (sorry I can not currently find the reference) it is stated that these traits dont restrict the use of these actions by other creatures/PC's. 

Finale example.  If i were running WFRP lite, and grabed the Creature Guide to play out an encounter with a Wargor.  I flip to pg. 23 and find that they have Ambush, Unruly, Frightening, and Man- Bane as per the descripton, I then flip to pg. 93 to play out the encounter to find their stats.  There are Zero actions listed for any of the Creatures……Zero.  At this time I am lead to believe based on research that I would give our Wargor 8 basic actions, all basic Beastmen actions, any Beastmen actions specifcally listing "Wargor" as a Trait, and  3 actions chosen by me for expertise?  

If i am understanding this correctly, the total number of action cards our Wargor would recieve would in fact be inconsistent between the Creature Guide and the Creature Vault.  

To me this sounds very dependent on the Creature Guide and assumes that anyone playing WFRP "Lite" would have to purchase the Creature vault, defeating the purpose of playing the "Lite" version of the game LOL :)


Am i understanding the quantity of action cards delegated to Creatures/NPC's Correctly?

Am I understanding the Identity of the action cards correctly? i.e. Dark elves get Dark elf Cards, Beastmen get Beastmen Cards etc.

Does the "Lite" version of the game assume that you will only use actions in "Special" situations relying predominently on the Creature stats as depicted in the Stat Descriptions contained in the Creature Guide?

Was the Creature Guide not really designed to stand alone, and if so why does it contradict the Creature Vault?

Again sorry if this is convoluted, the layout of these books is very confusing to me.


Thanks All


#2 gruntl



  • Members
  • 461 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:20 PM

 You're certainly not the only one who finds this confusing. In my opinion it is one of the biggest flaws of the Creature guide/Vault that you do not get a list "recommended actions" for the creatures. There may exist some player-made lists like this, but I'm not sure.

There are, as you say, quite a lot of contradictions in the different books as well. This means that I can really only give you my interpretation of the rules. 

For starters, I think the Expertise+1 amount of cards for NPCs are meant as an upper limit for the total number of cards (except for basic actions). So even if you combine the different rules found you should never exceed that limit. So, a wargor (with 2 expertise) will not get all of the Beastmen cards + more, but rather 3 in total, which can be selected freely by the GM. I would also recommend that you use a print-out of all the basic cards (available at FFGs support site for the game) rather than actually giving the wargor a full deck of basic cards.

The traits given on the action cards can certainly be used as a guide, which makes it somewhat quicker for the GM to choose appropriate actions. But not all of the cards with a given trait might be appropriate so be careful (in particular this goes for Chaos power cards where the Daemons can be very different). And using actions with the "wrong" traits can also be a nice way to customize the NPCs.

The symbols given on the Creature vault cards can be used as a guide to what kind of cards the NPC should get (Melee, ranged, spells and so on), but the numbers given are generally lower than the Exp+1  limit. I tend to use the number given on the card, partly to limit the amount of prep I have to do, but also to make it simpler during play (fewer NPC actions make encounters easier to handle as a GM). But if you want to build a truly challenging opponent going for Exp+1 number of actions is certainly the way to go.

#3 dvang



  • Members
  • 2,243 posts

Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:46 AM

I will sum it up for you:

The GM has the final say, and everything you mentioned are only recommendations/guidelines.

- Yes, the traits on the action cards are not restrictions. They are, however, helpful to indicate which cards should typically be used for certain types of monsters.

- Give whatever action cards look appropriate that you want to a creature.

I would suggest, before each session, identify which enemies your group will possibly encounter, and go through the creature action cards and pull out the ones that you think are appropriate for those opponents. Then, if you decide or need to make the combat more difficult, go through the player action cards and give one or two of those. Do not worry about "restrictions" or a limit.

#4 gmanjkd



  • Members
  • 105 posts

Posted 06 November 2012 - 01:11 AM

 Thanks for clarifying guys.  I was hoping that I was reading it wrong.  This info helps a lot!  I'm used to games with rules a little more "set in stone" and consistent, spent a lot of my youth playing Rolemaster.  I like the idea of Basing a creatures action cards off of Expertise +1.  It seams like this would remain the most consistent with the "lite" rules in case I ever decide to go that route.  Thanks again guys. 

#5 dvang



  • Members
  • 2,243 posts

Posted 06 November 2012 - 11:39 AM

No worries.

One thing to keep in mind about WFRP3 … it was designed to be very "story-oriented", and very flexible for the GM. In most things, the GM has the authority, and is in fact encouraged, to do what they want/need to alter or adjust for his PCs.

One band of beastmen might be very different than another band of beastmen, simply by the actions the GM decides to give them.

#6 valvorik



  • Members
  • 2,040 posts

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:38 AM

There is indeed a player made but incomplete list.  There was a thread a while back that I contributed to and it was compiled.  I think it's on glitzman's site here:


That Creature Guide hardback is a disaster organization-wise (repeats oodles of content between its two sections in a way that is dreadful, you're paying for pagecount that doesn't add content, but then can't be bothered to give suggested actions as per Tome of Adventure style).

It's pretty clear a creature does not get "all cards with its type as a card trait", rather those are "considered thematically appropriate cards" for that creature type.  I sort the cards into "Chaos, Nurgle, Beastman, Goblin" etc. categories and use an old business card as placeholder when a card fits in two categories.  So when I do a skaven group, I pull out my skaven cards and choose which ones to give them.

I myself use "basic actions" + whatever a spread like Tome of Adventure said and then "eyeball it'.

I'm working on a "vampires by bloodline" breakdown with what actions and trained skills are appropriate to each of the five vampire bloodlines (based on the 2nd Edition view of vampires).

As said, the variability of groups from combat tanks to charming ne'er do wells means complete standardization doesn't work.

© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS