Esthetically, I don't really like games where the player characters operate under literally seperate rules than non-player charcters. Warhammer hasn't bothered me too much because most of the NPCs my players have been throwing dice at are monsters, but in this past session they were up against a bounty hunter and his crew sent to retreive some craftsmen the PCs had hired away from a rich merchant.
I wanted to make the encounter challenging, and I wanted the players to feel like the PCs were the only "PC" class personalities in the area, so I spent some time and made some characters using the PC rules and advancing them as though they'd adventured to get a few more advances over the players (since some of those advances would be spent inefficiently). The resulting conflict was one of the more interesting one that I've run. It stil ended in five rounds or so, but a lot of dice hit the table. The Ogre Veteran actually took some damage and a potentially permanent critical wound from the slumming Troll Slayer (who had only recently started the Slayer career, having gone through Iron Breaker and Shield Breaker, I think). Our dwarf sergeant had a few touch and go moments as the third rank Bounty Hunter shot at him with his pistols while the first rank Thug kept him busy in melee. The Celestial mage had less to do, but that was okay because it devolved into a fight immediately and the halfling thiefs scattered when it hit the fan.
All of which is a long way of saying, while interesting and a good challenge to the group, it was a hell of a lot of work and I re-appreciate the condensed monster mechanics, so I'll probably go back to just whipping up stats and powers on the fly and assign A/C/E to make up for not have talents and stuff. I'm wondering if anyone has or has found a decent system for making your own NPC/Monsters that mechanically feel close enough to the PCs that players will feel like thier engaging with other people, especially people who are experienced.
I'm imaginging something like choose a rank, give 'em an additional career for third and fourth rank. Take base stats for race, add one to everything and an additional 1 in each primary characteristic (for each career)… stuff like that. In fact, that stuff seems pretty straight forward. It's how to convert skill and talents to A/C/E, action cards and expertise which I can't figure out.
So, has anyone done any work like this, or seen something that has? Or do you have a thought on how to go about doing it in a way that's fairly quick and straight forward?