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Sneak Peek >> Player's Guide

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As we announced previously in our Sifting Through Shadows preview, there are several new products on the way that break up the Core Set materials into individual titles, giving fans new options in how they enjoy WFRP.

Now you can get your first glimpse of what's included in the upcoming Player's Guide. Download the sample spreads and see for yourself what's coming for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay fans.

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 I am also curious to see how they streamlined the rules to not have to use the components (I guess that would be a detailed Character sheet or something?)

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If the modes of play section is any indication, this is more than the rulebooks reprinted and more than streamlining.  This is a great deal more expansive than what's already been published.  It's a cleverly disguised revise edition called a reprint.  I mean, I know the boons/banes section on initiative has always been implied in the rules, but never as detailed or as defined as it is on that page, with specific examples.  Banes/Boons on initiative now matter.  It's enough information that in my opinion we could call it actually a "new" rule.  Not that that's a bad thing, but it is a huge difference to:  "if you have the core, you have all the information."  That's true, we do, but these clarifications (if the modes section is any indication) are more than clarifications, their straight up content.  I never once thought of doing that with initiative.  Never once.  If I had never read it, I would never have even thought of using it (and I am very explorative of the banes/boons mechanics).

Overall though, that addition makes me hugely excited.  I will more than likely be getting these if this is the type of info we can see throughout the books.  It's a huge step forward.  It still makes me hesitant as to the future of component play if they keep printing books like this.  I'll just have to wait and see. 

Great job though and I love the career layout.  I do not like the page layout on the action cards.  It's really hard to read and poorly organized.  It's certainly not how I would have done it if I was given the chance gui%C3%B1o.gif (lol).  Hopefully, it will be fixed before it hits the printers. 

 

 

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There's a small burning sensation at the back of my skull...

How will the game be changed to remove the reliance on cards and tokens?

If it works, count me back in!

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hogscape said:

There's a small burning sensation at the back of my skull...

How will the game be changed to remove the reliance on cards and tokens?

If it works, count me back in!

My guess...

copying down tables from books (action cards), copying down abilities from talent lists and lots of hatch marks in tiny boxes.  After all, they can't eliminate recharge entirely.  To do so they would have to overhaul the entire system.  So there has to be some mechanism to record it just as tokens record it now, which without them, leaves the old pencil to do the scratching.  I really don't see those going any other way.   

It is just my conjecture though.

Of course I guess you could look up an action every time you use it to check the corresponding chart for the roll.

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I notice the navigator still can't read his own maps. (i.e. basic read/write) so I presume that the Forger also cannot read or write to create forgeries either.

 

jh

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Emirikol said:

I notice the navigator still can't read his own maps. (i.e. basic read/write) so I presume that the Forger also cannot read or write to create forgeries either.

 

jh

 

Navigator can read his maps. 'this squiggle means hill, this squiggle means home.' ;) It's just maps written with words by others he has trouble with. 

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commoner said:

If the modes of play section is any indication, this is more than the rulebooks reprinted and more than streamlining.  This is a great deal more expansive than what's already been published.  It's a cleverly disguised revise edition called a reprint.  I mean, I know the boons/banes section on initiative has always been implied in the rules, but never as detailed or as defined as it is on that page, with specific examples.  Banes/Boons on initiative now matter.  It's enough information that in my opinion we could call it actually a "new" rule.  Not that that's a bad thing, but it is a huge difference to:  "if you have the core, you have all the information."  That's true, we do, but these clarifications (if the modes section is any indication) are more than clarifications, their straight up content.  I never once thought of doing that with initiative.  Never once.  If I had never read it, I would never have even thought of using it (and I am very explorative of the banes/boons mechanics).

It could be that they will release this kind of "new rules" as errata to the core set though. It would be new info, but still available for the original core set owners.  

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I'm just wondering when this and the rest of Guides & Vaults products will be avaliable? Jay, could You at least say as the month, please?

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gruntl said:

commoner said:

 

If the modes of play section is any indication, this is more than the rulebooks reprinted and more than streamlining.  This is a great deal more expansive than what's already been published.  It's a cleverly disguised revise edition called a reprint.  I mean, I know the boons/banes section on initiative has always been implied in the rules, but never as detailed or as defined as it is on that page, with specific examples.  Banes/Boons on initiative now matter.  It's enough information that in my opinion we could call it actually a "new" rule.  Not that that's a bad thing, but it is a huge difference to:  "if you have the core, you have all the information."  That's true, we do, but these clarifications (if the modes section is any indication) are more than clarifications, their straight up content.  I never once thought of doing that with initiative.  Never once.  If I had never read it, I would never have even thought of using it (and I am very explorative of the banes/boons mechanics).

 

 

It could be that they will release this kind of "new rules" as errata to the core set though. It would be new info, but still available for the original core set owners.  

 

Amen to that!

Even more puzzled about this hardcover books project...is really like this? the counterless/cardless experience is just "keep in mind/on paper how many rounds have passed from the last time u used an action and the result for x success, boons, banes"???! Again: is something FFG could have explained in a 2page pfd! c'mon guys!

On the contrary, if this book contains more substantial mechanical changes and rules,(as Commoneer and Others have brillantly pointed out) i hope FFG will have the honesty to collect the new rules on a pdf and distribute it for free on the forums or to ppl who purchased the core set (yeah the ones that have supported WHFRPG 3ed. on the first place, and gave the moneys to made this hardbook nonsense possible!!)

Otherwise, if is the latter case, FFG should call these books+vault WHFRPG 4th EDITION...to state clearly that if u want a more polished system u have to upgrade your books. Nothing to be ashemed for, except that ppl will start asking why they 100$+ equipment ran obsolete in less than a year....

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Calm down, chief :)

Compared to the core set, this book will have expanded examples and more ideas for implementation, including how to manage without using counters, and a better, clearer layout. I wouldn't expect anything further than that on the 'new rules' front. Not that I belittle new ideas and examples ... the number of times someone says something and you thing "What a great idea! It's so obvious! Why didn't i think of that". I've used boons and banes in initative before, mainly to give folks better/worse starting conditions ... but I'm know that Commoner has had lots of good ideas as well, that I've read on the forum and nicked. Hopefully some of the new content will make it's way onto PDFs, but even if not, it will make itself onto discussions on this forum.

As I see it, the main purpose of these books is to try to achieve market penetration into the people who are reluctant to play because of either inital cost (now you can buy one book to start), use of counters/cards (because ... I don't know. In recent years I found myself using counters more and more in RPGs, and transfering quick reference stuff to cards. I was shocked when WHFRP came out as it hadn't occured to me that a game would come like that, straight out the box. But not everyone is like me) and (and I really believe this is a big factor, amongst the roleplaying market) people who just like buying big colourful hardback books.

 

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keltheos said:

 

Navigator can read his maps. 'this squiggle means hill, this squiggle means home.' ;) It's just maps written with words by others he has trouble with. 

If he can't decipher written words, he'll probably have a hard time deciphering squiggles as well ...

FFG needs to fix it.

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Yeah of course!...on contrary i'm so calm that i cant see how new peeps could be excited by something like this.

Basically...what i see on this "preview" is a load of hard to read pages where the action cards where spreaded. Then i assume the players will have to memorize/note/flip forever the book everytime theirs PC want to attempt one action he spent point to acquire. I will not call this a brillant plan to play cardless nor a brilliant system to roleplay whit so to invite new ppl in.

I think that everyone GMstering here could come up whit a better plan to play cardless...for example forgetting the cards completely and simply making opposed checks where succes: u hit. Every succes +1 damage, boons for criticals, banes for whatever...

As for rule clearness: i think they are making a good job to describe better some forgotten mechanics, like what we see on this preview about story modes and play examples.

But about rules organization and accessibility...sorry not to much of an improvement! Based only on what i see on this preview, a pearl like "boon&banes on initiative check" is still enchased on a side note...i can only hope this would be referenced in the summary. And why something like "managing large (NPC) groups" is in the PLAYER's book?? i'm wondering if every GM would remember to even look to the player's book if he have questions on this topic. Furthermore, if this subject will be repeated in the GM's book, i will not call this a better organization!

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Ghiacciolo said:

Basically...what i see on this "preview" is a load of hard to read pages where the action cards where spreaded. Then i assume the players will have to memorize/note/flip forever the book everytime theirs PC want to attempt one action he spent point to acquire. I will not call this a brillant plan to play cardless nor a brilliant system to roleplay whit so to invite new ppl in.

I agree completey. I fully believe that this roleplaying system has looked at how best to create a narative (as in the story comes first and the mechanics should not hinder that) fun game, and to assist players and gm's alike towards that goal. To that purpose they have re-thought from the ground up how the whole experience should play out, and designed the game accordingly. The reason why there is cards & counters etc, is because that is the best way to manage the mechanics and ensure they don't hinder the enjoyment. The more me and my friends play it the more we are impressed by what they have done - and they were very suspicious at first and came up with many issues that have never occured once we are actually playing. This is not to say there isn't problems and errors, but that's all the price to pay for something new.

I feel these books are there to try to entice the people in who won't try it because they have a blind spot about cards/counters, not being a hardback etc. Anyone who buys the books and starts playing because of them, will probably end up thinking "Actually, it would be better with the cards/counters etc". I do notice on these boards that the people who actually play it, are so impressed by how it all runs in actually play (takes a session or two to get your head round it, granted), whereas the majority of the negative comments come from people who clearly haven't tried it. Or done so very be-grudgingly.

Wait a minute - there is another category of people who this book is for. Those players who want a reference book to take home, when all the gaming stuff is round the Gm's house. I forget about this category as my gaming companions are as likely to put thier hands in thier pockets towards our hobby, as fly to the moon.

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keltheos said:

Really? I'm pretty sure illiterate folks have been making their own legible maps for centuries.

Really. "Illiteracy: The inability to understand and use a symbol system, whether it is based on sounds, letters, numbers, pictographs, or some other type of symbol." Illiterate is not just uneducated.

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Aladaab said:

keltheos said:

 

Really? I'm pretty sure illiterate folks have been making their own legible maps for centuries.

 

 

Really. "Illiteracy: The inability to understand and use a symbol system, whether it is based on sounds, letters, numbers, pictographs, or some other type of symbol." Illiterate is not just uneducated.

Well if an interpretation of a definition contradicts the reality of how illiterate people get by in life, then let's just go with the interpretation.

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Aladaab said:

keltheos said:

 

Really? I'm pretty sure illiterate folks have been making their own legible maps for centuries.

 

 

Really. "Illiteracy: The inability to understand and use a symbol system, whether it is based on sounds, letters, numbers, pictographs, or some other type of symbol." Illiterate is not just uneducated.

No. Illiterate means that you have not been taught how to read. It does not mean you don't know how to recognise symbols on a map.

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1.
a. Unable to read and write.
b. Having little or no formal education.


2.
a. Marked by inferiority to an expected standard of familiarity with language and literature.
b. Violating prescribed standards of speech or writing.


3. Ignorant of the fundamentals of a given art or branch of knowledge: musically illiterate.

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macd21 said:

 

No. Illiterate means that you have not been taught how to read. It does not mean you don't know how to recognise symbols on a map.

I'm aware of the general usage, but your blanket statements are wrong. Google it or something.

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Fabs said:

 

Wait a minute - there is another category of people who this book is for. Those players who want a reference book to take home, when all the gaming stuff is round the Gm's house. I forget about this category as my gaming companions are as likely to put thier hands in thier pockets towards our hobby, as fly to the moon.

 

 

Yes, that's me :). Looking forward to the book. And I love the component-based play.

Seriously, I don't get what people who like the original core box find so offensive about the new books. If you don't like how they look, don't buy them. We can discuss the merits of the component-based play and how boring standard rules are (or vice versa) all day long (and we already did in the preview thread) but it will all just boil down to "your mileage may vary".

Ghiacciolo said: Published on 9/28/2010 - 05:10:28

I think that everyone GMstering here could come up whit a better plan to play cardless...for example forgetting the cards completely and simply making opposed checks where succes: u hit. Every succes +1 damage, boons for criticals, banes for whatever...

(huh, seems I found a new way to quote stuff, cool)

I'm sorry, but that sounds quite boring to me. There is plenty of systems around that have abilities listed in a book, and players have to remember what they do (or write it down), it still works. Granted, I personally agree that having the abilities on cards is way better, but who am I to decide what other people want.

edit: also, could you please take the "illiterate discussion" to its own thread, this thread is for discussing the Player's guide preview.

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gruntl said:

Fabs said:

 

Wait a minute - there is another category of people who this book is for. Those players who want a reference book to take home, when all the gaming stuff is round the Gm's house. I forget about this category as my gaming companions are as likely to put thier hands in thier pockets towards our hobby, as fly to the moon.

 

 

Yes, that's me :). Looking forward to the book. And I love the component-based play.

Seriously, I don't get what people who like the original core box find so offensive about the new books. If you don't like how they look, don't buy them. We can discuss the merits of the component-based play and how boring standard rules are (or vice versa) all day long (and we already did in the preview thread) but it will all just boil down to "your mileage may vary".

Ghiacciolo said: Published on 9/28/2010 - 05:10:28

I think that everyone GMstering here could come up whit a better plan to play cardless...for example forgetting the cards completely and simply making opposed checks where succes: u hit. Every succes +1 damage, boons for criticals, banes for whatever...

(huh, seems I found a new way to quote stuff, cool)

I'm sorry, but that sounds quite boring to me. There is plenty of systems around that have abilities listed in a book, and players have to remember what they do (or write it down), it still works. Granted, I personally agree that having the abilities on cards is way better, but who am I to decide what other people want.

edit: also, could you please take the "illiterate discussion" to its own thread, this thread is for discussing the Player's guide preview.

Well I am a player who has been very vocal about this new direction for the game.  It seems like this argument goes black and white for most people: you love it or hate it.  I am in the middle, on the fence. 

I am NOT against bringing new players into the game, the additional rule content it offers me, the quick reference style of these manuals, or anything else that this new edition brings to the table (sorry, it is a new edition imo...sure it updates old rules, but most new editions do precisely that...LO5R for example).   My concern is only for the longevity of component play and the future of the component play style after its release.  

There's a lot of ways I can see this shaking down, but as it stands now, if I had to inform a NEW customer to get into the game this is what it looks like:

Sales Pitch One:  

Sales Person:  Well you can buy these three hardback books that contain all the information and rules to play the game and these four dice sets and you will have everything you need to play.  Or you could buy this outdated rules set in the core manual plus all these additional box sets to get the same rules contained in these three hardbacks.  

Customer:  Why do I need the boxes. 

Sales Person:  Well the components help you manage what you can write down on the character sheet.  It is a faster, cleaner interface with the mechanic and helps you play the game that way. 

Customer:  Oh.  You said the rules in the core are outdated. 

Sales Person:   Yeah.  They are outdated.  FFG updated the rules system with the hardbacks, streamlining the system with better explanations and the addition of a few new mechanics. 

Customer:  And that's not in the core box? 

Sales Person:  No.  It's not. 

Customer:  Well, I want the cards, but I want the updated rules. 

Sales Person:  Okay, well if you want to go that way, I suggest you buy the three cores and these three vaults.  The vaults contain all the cards in the core box and you'll have all the rules from these other expansion boxes in this core book. 

Customer:  Yeah, but where do I get the cards from those expansions? 

Sales Person:  Well, you have to still get those other boxes.  The cards for the complete rules are spread out over those three boxes.  Though buying the two vaults will give you some of the components there. 

Customer:  So, what you're saying is, to get the complete component play, with fully up to date rules, I need to buy three hardback books, three vaults, and three expansions.   

Sales Person:  Yes. 

Customer:  Oh.  But the three hardbacks have everything in them, just no cards? 

Sales Person:  Yes. 

Customer:  I'll take the hardbacks then. 

Now, this conversation does mean that the sales person is familiar with what they are peddling.  They are also familiar enough to understand the difference between the two products and what it really entails to get the complete component set.  Because, for the new edition a component player has to spend:  80 dollars on books, 60 dollars on vaults, 48 dollars on dice, and another 130 dollars on past expansions to get all the cards.  Even though they already have the rules, the cards are in those other boxes.  So now a component player who already has everything from Winds of Magic has everything but the actual winds of magic action cards.  This measures in compared to the 80 dollars to get the same information you need from the hardbacks. 

I know this may be the designers vision of a great product and they think consumers will continue to buy cards because it is the "better" way to play, but honestly, looking at the price difference, 300+ compared to the 80 (plus dice) is a huge difference.

This is then exaggerated by the fact that places such as Barnes and Noble will stock the books where as they will not stock the boxes (as I have never seen them at either major book house).  Furthermore, stores will be able to cut their shelf space in half by simply stocking the cores, but not the boxes.  These two factors will make the hardback version more openly available to new players compared to the hardback. 

In the ends, all of the factors listed above may show an increase in hardback sales over the component play pieces.  This means, on paper, the hardback is preferred over component play.  In the end, one will reach a higher rate of financial return. 

Furthermore, I don't buy FFG's:  this is a one time thing line.  It won't be.  I don't know if it will be every year, but eventually, everything is going to get combined into hardbacks.  If hardbacks sell better than components, I can easily see them leading with them a few years from now, and components coming out later, if at all. 

Plus, if the hardback mechanism becomes the standard, component play becomes a luxury item.  It will cost way more than to just play from the books. 

Gamers are frugal first typically and they will go for what is cheaper. 

I also see the possibility that the book versions will not be very well received.  Already, people feel they could have been done better because they thought this version would not use things like action cards.  Well it will.  This will be the next level of outcry.  Yeah, I can get them in book form, but the system still sucks!  Personally, I find it insane to try to do this system without the cards and view it, from a pen, paper, and character sheet stand point to be worse than rolemaster ever was.  BUT I DO LOVE the system with components.  

I imagine these books may not be well received by the community as a whole.  What then, will THAT mean when the next wave of public outcry is over the mechanics itself, not over the fiddly-bits? 

I know that's gloomy and admit I will be buying the new edition, FFG has given me currently no reason to believe that the component play style is at all here to stay and will survive this financial maneuver (and I'm all for them making boat loads of cash off of this).  Until that time, I will be waiting for the next "BIG SURPRISE" they throw at me for how they are changing things now.  

Happy Gaming,

Commoner

 

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I think those are all reasonable concerns, however...

1. We're assuming that 'component-less play' means just that and nothing more.   It could mean that, but I hope they realise that 'component-less' means different rules: modifications will have been made to make this new play work.   I would imagine the possibility for clunkiness will still be there, as the system was originally designed to work with components, but I would be pretty disappointed if their advice for 'component-less play' consisted of nothing more than 'don't use components: write everything down on paper'.

My personal hope is to be able to remove some of the components from play, to leave the playing area less cluttered.   I'll always have the option of adding the missing components back in if I want.   But I do acknowledge that different rules would mean a different (and potentially more popular) way of playing.

2. If anyone is going to reprint anything, it makes sense to make corrections if they're found in time.   Taking the principle one step further, it makes sense to clarify wordings and add examples if it will make your product better.   Doing this to this reprint (or new edition, if you prefer) is a necessity.   The alternative is to say that 'we've found problems but aren't going to fix them'.

Those who don't want to buy the reprinted/revised rules will at worst be no worse off than they were before when it comes to the existing rules.   And I think FFG should make the component-less rules available free as a PDF to address to be fair to the game's fans.

3. If component-less play does become wildly popular and this way of play becomes more economically sensible for FFG to support than with-components there is no need for it to mean an end to components.   As the game is developed for use with components any modifications made to the game to allow for play without components is at this stage in the game's development going to be reversible.   I mean that if component-less rules can be made to work with all of the existing rules, I can't imagine anything so new and different will be invented for the game that it won't be simple to make work with components even if it becomes primarily designed to work for a game that does not use them.

And if that's the case, printed new cards and card-stock is going to be pretty much the only expense involved in supporting with-component play.   As long as the quality of these remains high, I can't see any reason why FFG wouldn't find it profitable to continue to bring these out (even if there's no fanfare).

4. Regarding the sales pitch; if you imagined that these hardback books weren't coming out, any new player would still be faced with the cost of buying lots of expansions if they wanted to be able to use all of the extra rules (whether they cared for the components or not).   RPG companies, including FFG could, in most cases, publish all of the rules in a single book/box if they wished and all of the background in another book/box.   Fact is, they make more money spreading all of that out over multiple releases and fans tend not to mind the excitement of periodic updates.

I wouldn't be too scared that the hardback books will put pressure on FFG to make the existing box-sets obsolete, as what would the alternative be?   The new WFRP (and the supplements in particular) are not very rules-heavy.   If FFG want to keep producing and selling new products for this line, I can't see that it makes sense to compile all of the supplementary material (whether rules - in the future - or components) into a single annual or bi-annual hardback.

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