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CoyDK

How to Fix "the WFRP mess"

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I was more imagining a reskin of SWRPG and ditching 3ed completely! Basically renaming all the Skills and Talents from SW, reworking weapons mildly and job done.

 

This.

 

The SWRPG benefited from WH3's experience and it is much better for it. Is it too soon to release WH3.5? I always thought the career system of previous WH's was shoehorned into the new narrative dice system. Include the old careers, but toss the old system for one actually created to go along with FFG's narrative system. It wouldn't take much to simply reskin the SWRPG for Warhammer since it is already the 2nd, more polished, edition.

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I must say I liked the special effects on the action cards that could be activated with that action,even if I didn't like the action cards themselves. And the Reckless/Conservative system is quite cool, but the Specialisation trees are so much neater in SW that I think the trade off is worth it. I do think WFRP 3.5 would work well with prestige classes that attach to a Specialisation in the same way as Signature Abilities.

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3rd edition has always gotten a lot of flack for not adhering to the Old School gamer sensibilities but to me it was, in typical FFG fashion, way ahead of its time.

 

I'm as old school as they come, I'm old enough to have purchased 1st edition of D&D from a novelty store. I still have my first edition D&D books on my shelf and with that here is what I think.

 

Nostalgia in role-playing is an impassable mountain, an embodiment of a staunch resistant community that despises change.  If there is one thing role-players can't do its embrace modern design and as such every company who has ever dared to try to create something different is immediately shot down by an overwhelming mob of role-players holding up their 1st editions like its the holy bible.

 

The reality however is that if you look past the nostalgia and examine 1st edition versions of classic role-palying games like D&D and Warhammer for example... they are absolute, objective ****.  These games may have been first and as such innovative for their time, but by today's standards they are just outright horrible game designs with awful writing and miserable quality.  The only redeeming quality these games have is the fact that old school gamers just can't let it go because doing so means leaving their childhoods behind.

 

As time passes buy and new generations pick up the torch the same thing happens but it happens for older games.  Today for example 3rd edition D&D is the reigning holy cow, going so far as supporting a company that photocopied it, called It Pathfinder and rose to the top of the food chain and pushing one of the largest gaming companies (Wizards of the Coast) to abandon modern design (aka 4th edition) and re-invent the system to compete with designs that rightfully should have died 10 years ago (5th edition D&D).

 

I guess what I'm saying to the OP is that... Your Old.  Really.. really old. I get it, I'm also ... well lets just say "Ancient Dragon"... But I assure you that if you take a modern game like Warhammer 3rd edition or Star Wars Edge of the Empire and introduce it to a bunch of youngsters.. then flip the page and ask them to play 1st or 2nd edition Warhammer... They will not suddenly become "old school gamers".  They will immediately recognize the better version of the game.

 

Role-playing has changed but the gaming communities really have a hard time changing with it.

As for WFRPG 3.0.  Here is all I have to say about it.  No one in any of my groups wants to play it... its because everyone in my group is OLD.. really really OLD.  But I have kept it because my son is 12 and I catch him cracking those books and opening that box full of cards with interest and delight.  This is a game for the next generation and maybe it came a bit early and ended up not being the success it should have been, but I have no doubt in my mind that some day soon this game is going to hit the table of a new generation and they will discover the joy of role-playing and I personally can't wait.

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As for WFRPG 3.0.  Here is all I have to say about it.  No one in any of my groups wants to play it... its because everyone in my group is OLD.. really really OLD.  But I have kept it because my son is 12 and I catch him cracking those books and opening that box full of cards with interest and delight.  This is a game for the next generation and maybe it came a bit early and ended up not being the success it should have been, but I have no doubt in my mind that some day soon this game is going to hit the table of a new generation and they will discover the joy of role-playing and I personally can't wait.

 

In this case, your old friends aren't missing much. 3e has the eye candy appeal, but once your 12-year old son gets under the hood and runs a few sessions he'll probably find it a chore.

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This question might sound confrontational, but I only know a little bit about 3rd Edition and I'm sincerely just asking:  what about 3rd Edition made it so much objectively better than 2nd?  I'm speaking here of things specific to the major changes; not things which could also have been fixed by updating the existing mechanics and bringing them more in line with the later 40K RPG's.  

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This question might sound confrontational, but I only know a little bit about 3rd Edition and I'm sincerely just asking:  what about 3rd Edition made it so much objectively better than 2nd?  I'm speaking here of things specific to the major changes; not things which could also have been fixed by updating the existing mechanics and bringing them more in line with the later 40K RPG's.  

To me it would be:

1. Narrative dice - so much better the linear d100; everything adds up, not only cancel each other out; with a little imagination, dice tell whole story; you can have great success and horrible disaster at the same time

2. Action cards - multiple success/failure lines that can be activated at the same time; no need to search rulebook, all is on the card; its so easy to make your own spells/actions with Strange Eons

3. Party sheet - gives deeper meaning to the party; players can share their talents

4. Location cards - environmental effects from rolling specific symbol on dice; bonuses/penalties tied to specific place

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This question might sound confrontational, but I only know a little bit about 3rd Edition and I'm sincerely just asking:  what about 3rd Edition made it so much objectively better than 2nd?  I'm speaking here of things specific to the major changes; not things which could also have been fixed by updating the existing mechanics and bringing them more in line with the later 40K RPG's.  

 

I don't think the system is better or worse, I think 3.0 re-wrote the book on how to manage games with a level of abstraction and visual management that makes the gameplay experience different.  You can think of it in terms of movies and books.  You could argue which version of the Lord of the Rings story is better, books or movies, but in the end they both tell the same story in a different medium.  I think 3.0 is just a different medium for Role-playing games, its one where the table top becomes part of the show and everything has a visual representation.  More importantly you have a much better view of what is going on in the game as a whole pretty much at a glance.

 

Some loved it, most hated it, but I stand by my opinion that the people who hated it, hated it because it was different then what they are used to but of course you could argue semantics and mechanics until you are blue in the face.

 

The only argument I would make is that the narrative dice alone make this version of Warhammer Superior in every conceivable way over a traditional (pass-fail) dice system. The caveat here is that you enjoy that way of handling the system.  In the hands of a good group you really can create magic that is physically not possible to do with a standard role-playing system.  This is also true for Star Wars Edge of the Empire, these two games re-defined role-playing for me.  I look at games with numbered dice at this point with disgust, there really is no going back for me.  At this point I have even converted D&D 5th edition to narrative dice system and its 1000% better as a result.

Edited by BigKahuna

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This question might sound confrontational, but I only know a little bit about 3rd Edition and I'm sincerely just asking:  what about 3rd Edition made it so much objectively better than 2nd?  I'm speaking here of things specific to the major changes; not things which could also have been fixed by updating the existing mechanics and bringing them more in line with the later 40K RPG's.  

 

For me the best parts of 3ed are:

  • The dice - Everytime I play another game I miss that the WFRP 3ed dice. Most games have some version of Fumble-Fail-Success-Critical scale. But in 3ed you can have a huge success and still roll chaos stars/banes, it makes for more dynamic and exciting results. Even with your best skills you cannot be certain of that there will be no bad side effects. It helps with the story.
  • Easy to teach - People totally new to gaming in general and roleplaying games in particular have had no trouble understanding the game.
  • The action cards - Most of the people I have played with have liked that "everything" they can do is printed on cards. It gives more dynamic combats where you don't just attack or defend as in many other games.
  • The other cards - The cards for  critical wounds, disease, miscast etc. helps give players and GM an overview. And it's more fun to draw a card than to roll on a table.

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As said above.

 

Far from being the "boardgame" some hysterical pre-release criticism was rumouring, WFRP3 implements a number of roleplaying design concepts pretty well.

 

The two best things are the dice system and the use of cards.

 

Its dice system allows non-binary outcomes. Instead of failure/success or same but add critical failure and critical success, it has variable outcomes so you can fail but accomplish something, succeed but lose something. Much more interesting.  And integrated into the WFRP world in ways such as "you channeled the winds of magic and cast that spell magnificently with spectacular results but also suffered the twisting taint that is the corruption of Chaos", all at once.  Imaginative players can just use these to "tell a story".

 

From a physical design perspective, the cards for chaos manifestations from spellcasting, for criticals, for insanities combine "variability" (draw card) with efficiency (all key rule information on card).  Compare to Rolemaster for a system that had elaborate criticals, "oh I did a critical, roll on table, make a note of the effect" - instead it's "oh I did a critical, draw card - there's the effect, put card on table to keep track, keep playing".

 

The action cards are indeed great.  And so many other games have moved in this direction as well now.  It's a 'your mileage may vary thing' but I like the interpretation of "one of each non-basic card" being "only one PC can have that action" as it makes PC's unique and cuts down on min-maxing/killer combos.  There is the problem that "with actions in front of them" Players can become "prisoners of their cards" in terms of imagination, forgetting that all-mighty "Perform a Stunt" card which is the game designers' way of saying "it's a live-moderated roleplaying game - you can actually try to do anything you can describe as being appropriate to the fiction".

 

I credit the designers on both these fronts.  They never bragged about it to my knowledge but they used the design theory developed at places like the Forge and also recognized that roleplaying is not just "pen and paper tabletop" stuff, it's "physical tabletop stuff" and made the best of that too.

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I too found 3e the best system I've ever run for creating an immersive storyline. The dice really DO make the system shine and although it take a while to adapt to it, once you do it's sheer brilliance. Sure some times we just 'pass/fail' the rolls but other times we can create much more interesting outcomes based on the dice and not based on whim ("you succeed in kicking the table over in front of the onrushing goblins but you also trip over the chair next to table and have to catch your balance so you can't block the incoming arrows"...ie, I simply put 2 delay tokens on the Block card).

 

I admit that sometimes it's much more of chore to get everything out and preparation can be a bit more in-depth (finding the right action cards and stat blocks etc) but I find the payoff worth it once we get down to playing.

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The Reckless/Conservative mechanic is also fantastic, it works so well with the dice system.

 

My biggest problem with the cards is not in their use but in the enormous selection and the length of time it takes for everyone to choose one they want to buy with xp. I wish there was a short list of sorts for each profession. 

 

"Your a Rat Catcher, these are good choices. You on the other hand are a Watchman, take a look at these 5. And you over there with the long beard, grumpy mood, covered in tat's Trollslayer's only need these..."

 

I find the openness too overwhelming unless you have 3 hrs to sit down and choose. I think thats where the Star Wars system made it a bit simpler and easier, But I miss the specific methods of spending Success, Boon, Bane etc. that is in the Warhammer system.

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We are gearing up to launch the Early Access PDF, the adventure A Bitter Harvest and a few special surprises, which you'll find tonight, in the CrowdOx surveys!

 

However, the GM screen PDF is a bit behind schedule, as we want to make sure that it's up to the same quality as the Early Access PDF. We expect to have it ready next week at the very latest.

 

Keep an eye out this evening for an email survey from CrowdOx to help you understand how to input shipping, upgrade your pledges and reconcile shipping charges if you are outside CA, EU OR US or adding on additional books to your pledge.

 

While you're waiting, I wanted to show you the Table of Contents for ZWEIHÄNDER. The ToC is fully clickable (taking you to the page in the book from the header). We have also added a bookmark sidebar to navigate through our massive 637 page Early Access PDF. Take a look at the link here to preview!

 


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The Reckless/Conservative mechanic is also fantastic, it works so well with the dice system.

 

My biggest problem with the cards is not in their use but in the enormous selection and the length of time it takes for everyone to choose one they want to buy with xp. I wish there was a short list of sorts for each profession. 

 

"Your a Rat Catcher, these are good choices. You on the other hand are a Watchman, take a look at these 5. And you over there with the long beard, grumpy mood, covered in tat's Trollslayer's only need these..."

 

I find the openness too overwhelming unless you have 3 hrs to sit down and choose. I think thats where the Star Wars system made it a bit simpler and easier, But I miss the specific methods of spending Success, Boon, Bane etc. that is in the Warhammer system.

 

The Star Wars system definitely leveraged the experiences of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and applied into a much more refined game, but I agree that some elements of detail were lost in the transition.  I don't think Star Wars RPG suffered as a result though, as a Space Oprah too much detail would have taken away from the experience but you see quite a few complaints about the game not being griddy and real enough with too much abstraction in particular players coming from more in depth systems.  An advanced version of Star Wars would probably look very similar to what WFRPG looks like today.

 

I find it strange however that despite all of the complaints about all the cards and components more and more people are bringing those exact things into their RPG's anyway.  Spell cards for example for 5e are very common now, you see a lot of trimmed down character sheets down to index cards these days and if you look at the development of dice systems many are starting to lean towards more dynamic results as opposed to static pass/fail systems.  Its like I said earlier, WFRPG was a bit ahead of its time but the entire design and production of role-playing games are now heading in this direction anyway.

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If you like the 2nd edition, go back to it :)

 

There is no law that says you must play the newest edition rules, stick with what you like.

 

You're absolutely correct; and that is in fact exactly what every single person I know who played 2nd Ed did. 

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I think most people who dislike the system claim the dice are the biggest hurdle for them, but actually I think thats just an excuse and its the movement/range that throws most people who are used to the board game style of the D20 grid system of measurement. 

 

I always found it funny (odd funny not hilarious) that there was a "it's a boardgame" hysteria about 3rd edition when in reality it was moving away from "let's measure out things and have 5' by 5', 15' by 20' etc." to "express it all narratively because it's cooperative story telling".

 

BTW for those who want them the dice appear to be in stock on the FFG site for time being.

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Whatever the limitations of WFRP 3rd edition the dice aren't one of them and are in fact the singular strongest reason for me liking the system. It's all about personal preferences of  course but one of the biggest turn offs for me in RPG game design is the steadfast reliance on the pass fail d10s and percentile dice as sacred. The amount of number crunching that goes on in game is often so jarring that you'd think people were doing maths homework rather than sitting playing a game about heroic adventures.  So whatever happens to the licence in the future it would be a sad day if the game reverts back to the dice of old. 

 

So keep your number crunching, let the maths stay in the background and i'll keep my narrative dice thank you very much. 

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Although crazy pants expensive, cumbersome and indulgent, Im glad to have the complete line. I don't intend to lug the collection to anyone elses house again but I might grab a Player & GM vaults Ive been eyeing off as an "away set".

There's a lot I love about about v3, and its predecessor was not my mug of Bugmans but I'm glad that there is also v2 (and now retro-clone) to allow that Grim Dark goodness for a range of tastes..

Edition wars don't seem particularly compelling when the IP developer went full tabula rasa anyways.

What sucks is players of all stripes being unable to get pdfs of past adventures :-(

I wonder what the future holds...I doubt GW will treat the line with must consideration for the game's faithful.

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If there is a new Warhammer Fantasy RPG game by GW it will probably be in the Age of Sigmar setting. Now that don't need to be a bad thing and I think that it could be pulled off in an interesting way, but I don't think many of the old ones will follow to that setting.

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If there is a new Warhammer Fantasy RPG game by GW it will probably be in the Age of Sigmar setting. Now that don't need to be a bad thing and I think that it could be pulled off in an interesting way, but I don't think many of the old ones will follow to that setting.

Interestingly all the computer games are set bin the Old World I believe. Nothing I have read in Age Of Sigmar makes me think it will be an even POOR setting for a RPG.

 

If GW are touting around for licensees, it suggests that they don't want to deal with the RPG side of the business. However licensees will have massive fees to offset, so something new for everything will have to be done, to offset those fees. I am not sure anybody is going to want to take that on, particularly the fantasy, sad to say.

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