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Mage Knight Kevin

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Everything posted by Mage Knight Kevin

  1. I'm in the "unbalanced and fun" camp. My party has an Ironbreaker/Mercenary, Pit Fighter/Swordmaster, Hunter/Assassin and Initiate/Thug. As a team, these guys absorb and dish out tons of damage and can mitigate stress and fatigue like crazy. It doesn't matter. We have a blast. And when the Ironbreaker needs a little down-to-earth reality check, I load him up with disease. Of course, they all have a tough time with incorporeal undead...but who cares. The fun is there.
  2. Our group is 4 players. Our sessions are 90-120 minutes each. As such, we always work to plow through a lot of role playing in a limited amount of time. Resolution speed is of the essence for us. Now, ours is an epic, very heroic game, and there is a big emphasis on combat. The rule set is actually very condusive to this style of play. Using the henchman rules, the players mow down mountains of enemies at a time, but every encounter includes a boss and few sub-bosses, which keeps the challenge up for the players. It becomes a thinking-man's game...how does the tank, melee dps, ranged dps and support character optimize his actions to overcome each encounter while keeping stress and fatigue from spiraling out of control. Because of the high success ratio implicit in the dice system, each player's initiative activation is seen as an opportunity to maximize overall success. The drama in dice rolling comes from the occasional failure, rather than the numerous success outcomes. In order to facilitate play speed, everyone has access to their own card sets, and the dice reservoir on the table is enormous...we bought a lot of dice. The players know their characters and strategize their approach to each round...as such, dice pool creation is quick and action resolution is fast as well. I think the most important thing is that the GM must make quick calls on the fly as to how chaos stars and comet results unexpectedly change the encounter environment. Sessions aren't exciting unless there are unexpected twists in how everyone thinks an encounter will play out. We leverage unexpected dice results to create funny, tragic and/or surprising changes in an encounter. The key is to make snap decisions on the fly and just roll with it. The GM must be fair and consistent, and he should want to work with the players to create an interesting narrative with an inspired dose of crazy. Keeping players on their toes and enforcing quick decisions in a changing tactical environment actually speeds up the perceived passage of time and keeps everyone engaged. Essentially, the GM must train the players over a few sessions that quick decision making is important and will be rewarded with whatever mechanisms he's using in his game. Chaos stars and comets are the best thing to ever happen to role playing...
  3. Human Pit Fighter -> Swordmaster Dwarf Ironbreaker -> Mercenary Elf Hunter -> Assassin
  4. I've posted this link a few times...but what the hell. Here is the campaign setting we use for WFRP 3rd ed: http://mageknightkevin.blogspot.com/2010/10/middle-earth-rpg-campaign.html Enjoy.
  5. Cal, Each of your questions is dealt with in other threads on the forum. But to kind of boil it down in one place for you: 1. Rules are "becoming complete." There is a suppliment put out every 3 months or so. Each suppliment adds more carrers and actions and so on to the game. Major item arriving soon: mounted combat. Major item not on the horizon yet: Halflings. 2. Tough question...really you want a good portion of the material that has been put out so far. An expensive proposition. For sure you want: a) Core Set, b) Adventurer's Toolkit, c) Creature Vault and Guide, d) LOTS of dice packs (in our games, guys are regularly rolling around 15 dice per check...you'll need lots more white/black dice than provided in the game.) e) Winds of Magic, f) Signs of Faith. That's just for starters...once you're into the game, you'll want more of the expansions. 3. You'll want Witch's Song to get the Witch and Warlock character sheets. Otherwise, you can probably get by without the other boxed adventures if you don't want them. 4. There are a couple of podcast guys on the forums here (Gitzman and Strolling Bones, et al). They, plus all the other GMs seem to be happy to help out with game questions (see the rules and GMs sub-forums). Good luck! Kevin.
  6. Nathaniel, I run WFRP 3rd ed for my Middle-earth campaign. Campaign background here: http://mageknightkevin.blogspot.com/2010/10/middle-earth-rpg-campaign.html Works great. Kevin.
  7. Joshua and others... Hmmm, it seems really hard to make a point on this forum. Our group has been playing since last year. We play weekly. The players aren't Rank 3 yet...but they will be. Once they're through Rank 3, we'll need more game material. The campaign is "heroic," because it's fantasy, and that's the way we like to play. I play WHFB 8th ed and I have some army codex books; I know there are some really powerful heroes in the Warhammer universe, so I know it's not a low-power world. We don't want coping mechanisms or apologetic work-arounds that muddle our role playing experience...we want to advance like legions of other fantasy role players out there in the real world. There should be nothing shocking or wierd here. All I'm saying is that our group...and I'm sure there are others out there...will be in a position to consume products with higher power levels soon. Are they on the production schedule? Will we be supported in our efforts to continue to play this excellent RPG system? It does not seem like FFG is treating WFRP 3rd ed like a fire and forget system...there continue to be many excellent products put out there to support it. I just got my Witch's Song in today, as a matter of fact. Will one of these upcoming products be a core system expansion for Ranks 4+? That's all I'm asking. FFG...tell us we are investing our role playing time wisely and will continue to be able to enjoy this game experience, with our current heroic characters, for years to come. Thanks, Kevin.
  8. Angelic and Spivo, I agree that players should be able to repeat careers...gives priests and wizards something to do once they are through their third career. However, what does the GM do when the player says..."Hey, I'm Rank 4, I'd like access to some Rank 4 spell action cards please." Obviously, the only answer is, "FFG hasn't put out Rank 4 spells yet, so just finish buying up all the rest of your spells in your discipline." This would work for a while, but "broadening" isn't "deepening". Players want to buy action cards that make them feel stronger. That's fantasy fulfilment. All I'm saying is that a product needs to get on the schedule that addresses the addition of new action cards (and careers...and monsters) for ranks 4+. Sure there are workarounds...but workarounds will only work for so long before players feel held back. Kevin.
  9. Angelic, I don't deny that there are a number of house rules that can be implemented to slow down or delay Rank advancement. We've seen examples of these on a number of forum threads. However, this is a coping or avoidance mechanism that just masks the root problem...that being, WFRP is essentially "level capped" at a relativeley "low" level right now. For long-term viability of this excellent game, I'm saying we need an expansion set to open up the mechanics for Rank 4+ play. What are the plans for this? When should we expect such a product? How long can you realistically stretch out Rank 3 play? Kevin.
  10. Monkeylite, That's a good workaround, and your players have happily adopted it. Very cool. However, in a situation where a Rank 3 Priest wants to move on to Rank 4, continuing his holy career...well, what's the GM to do?
  11. K7e9, What you propose is one option, but it reminds me more of Call of Cthulhu campaigning than what heroic fantasy RPGers are expecting from a long-term campaign. I know in my group, we're expecting to run these characters for some time. I don't want to tell the players that after they're finished with Rank 3 it's time to retire and start up new PCs. That would be very disappointing. Now I know a lot of people look at WHRP 3rd not as heroic fantasy, but as a low-powered game. However, because the system can be played as high-powered fantasy (and characters can be VERY strong in this game), the longer-term plans for development of the system should allow for high Rank play. And products covering Rank 4+ should be on the drawing board now...I'd hope! Kevin.
  12. Hi All, Is there and word on when we'll see player/GM material that takes characters past Rank 3? My group has been playing steady for a couple of months now, and Rank 3 is looming. After we get through that...where do we go? Even at mid-Rank 2, the players are quite powerful (feeling like, say, Level 15-or-so D&D characters). It's pretty easy for them to "consume" the standard game content at this point, since the bonuses they get from their actions and talents quickly & easily overpower the defenses that creatures can put up (even if they have a lot of Aggression/Expertise). Obviously, we'll soon be looking for stronger action cards (particularly defenses), much stronger creatures, bigger spells, and most importantly, new "Rank 4+" careers (e.g. where do the priest and wizard go after Rank 3?). What's the "word on the street" about this subject? Thanks, Kevin.
  13. Hi, While I doubt you'll get an "insider" response to your question, the problems you bring up with creature actions are very, VERY relevant to playing the game as intended. Other regular posters on this forum are about to roll their eyes, since this problem has been a crusade of mine that I've written about a couple of times. Essentially, there is no rules-verifiable connection between the action options you give a creature and the action symbols that appear on some creature cards. There is no definitive understanding of what cards should be realistically available to each creature you put into your game encounters. As close as can be understood, any creature your players run into has access to all basic and racial/profession-trait cards (assuming you have the vault) that you can find for him. It is a mystery as to what additional action card options might be available due to the presence of special symbols on the creature card. However, you should note as a game master that it is practically impossible to implement an "all-cards-available" solution during an actual game. There are too many options available to realistically run a smooth combat experience for players. That being the case, the game master is left to his own devices on how to proceed with developing good encounters for his players. It is likely everyone uses a different approach to this. Here's how I do it (likely wrong...but it works well when you're actually running a game): 1) Prepare any encounter beforehand. 2) Select enemy creature cards for the encounter and decide if any of them represent henchmen. 3) For each creature, 2 or 3 or at most 4 action cards that the creature will use during the encounter. These cards should have the basic or creature-type trait printed on them. 4) If the creature has a special "extra action" symbol(s) on it, then pick an additional action card to introduce more flavor or power to that encounter. The card may not have the correct creature-type trait printed on it...but what the heck, this is for flavor and uniqueness. 5) Quietly utter a curse to FFG under your breath for not making this system, which has excellent concepts and components behind it, more consistent and understandable. Kevin.
  14. Doc, Agil x2 works fine for our group...honestly, in most encounters we start encounters at long range. The characters or henchmen acting first have to decide if they're going to close all the way and thus take fatigue/damage to get the charge off, or sandbag it and wait for the opposition to make the move. This decision is made interesting since we have an Elf hunter in the group who gets off incredible initiative rolls and starts shooting before the charges go. This is certainly an incentive to close range quickly and take the penalty. For obviously faster animals, use common sense. If they can naturally run, allow them Agil x3 or Agil x4 moves. GM's discretion...as long as the decision is made and is consistently applied through all game sessions. Kevin.
  15. There is a lot of poo-pooing of using a grid and miniatures among players of this game. I believe this is because the RAW discourage the practice. However, our group uses...gasp...a grid and miniatures. Works awesome, of course. Using standard 25mm miniatures on a 1" grid, each character that makes a move maneuver during his turn gets to move his Agility x2 in squares. With the running skill specialization, we use Agility x3. Engaged: Adjacent squares Close Range: 2-6 squares Medium Range: 7-12 squares Long Range: 13-24 squares Extreme Range: 25-48 squares If you've done any roleplaying in the past, you likely have all the grids and minis you need. Don't be discouraged from using them for WFRP 3rd.
  16. I asked a question some time back around the same discrepancy. The example certainly does not follow the rule guidelines. When we've talked abou this in the forums previously, the concensus seems to be to pick action cards for your monsters that deliver on the flavor of the encounter you want to create. The more cards you make available to the creature, the more potentially challenging the encounter will be. The problem, of course, is that there is no taking into account what the action symbols on the cards are supposed to signify. I find this very frustrating. It's almost like the solution is left up to the GM creating the encounter, and you can just go ahead and igore these symbols, because they really don't mean anything. I suppose the best extrapolation from the rules is that each creature in an encounter gains access to ALL cards with that creature's keyword on it (Greenskin, for instance), and if there is an extra action card symbol on the card, find another action card that matches that symbol and add it in as well. As a GM for this game, I'd have to say that this particular interpretation is unweildy to the point of being useless. In the frantic swirl of events that occur during combat in a play session, the last thing you want as a GM or player, is for combat to get bogged down while the GM figures out which action of, say six available to Greenskins, should be used by an insignificant goblin in the encounter. It gets more absurd when you look at, say priest or wizard NPCs that are doing battle with the players. That a Wizard has only two spell actions available to him makes no sense. However, if the NPC has all spells available to a wizard of his rank, plus two more provided by the special symbols on the card...well, there's no GM in the world that can keep all of those options straight. In the end, as a GM, I just decided to followe common sense and make up my own guideline for monster/creature/enemy NPC action cards. Give each important NPC or henchmen group a selection of two or three of four cards that will make sense of the tone of the encounter (plan out beforehand!). If the creature card has a special symbol, throw in an extra "curveball" or "signature move" card that adds flavor and/or uncertainty to the encounter. Above all things, don't give yourself, as a GM too many options. Better to have a simple encounter than to let it bog down while your players are in the heat of the action. But really...FFG...there should have been better guidelines provided to handle creature action cards.
  17. I have a player who has the Parry specialization...I have him add a black die when he uses this active defense. I don't believe we have any guidance in the rules about how to handle these types of specializations.
  18. Why is it so hard to find these new products? I've been trying to get a hold of Witch's Song in the LGS and online...no luck so far!
  19. I'm running a heroic Middle-earth game using WFR 3rd ed. The henchmen rules are perfect for portraying Tolkien-style melees. My players plow through tons of goblin henchmen in short order and then knuckle under for the tough "feature creature" fights. Think about the movie portrails of the troll fight in Balin's Tomb or the Fellowship's fight at Amon Hen. With the henchmen rule you definitely get the feeling of wading through mounds of "trash" (Goblins or Uruks) and then squaring off with the really tough monster (Troll or Lurtz). Of course, not appropriate for all low-power, non-heroic, gritty Warhammer world games...but if you're inclined to running a heroic game, you can't do much better than the henchman rules. YMMV.
  20. Don't worry...you did the right thing with the core set. Great value for all the "bits" you got. Although it may seem redundant, I'd go ahead and get the Player Guide hard cover book anyway...there have been several suppliments released over the last year, and the Player Guide pulls all the game rules into one place, so it's a handy reference. So you have the core set...if you like it (and you should like the game, it's very good), I would recommend strongly that you get the Creature Guide and the Creature Vault. If you're running a game, these products are indispensible. Good luck!
  21. You guys are hitting your stride...this most recent podcast was much better than the previous ones. Excellent work. Please keep them coming...love the content. Kevin.
  22. Gitzman, I really want to enjoy the content on Feature 1...but that heavy breather you have in the group is super-distracting. Tough to listen all the way through the podcast.
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