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The Strolling Bones

Did the WHFRP 3e RD team know that they would lead the charge?

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It seems to me that Jay Little and the other RD guys for WHFRP 3e knew something about the market ahead of time. All these other came company's (Paizo and WotC mainly) have seem to be taking their respective games in a very similar direction to our beloved WHFRP 3e. Do you think that due to this fact WHFRP 3e will start to see more recognition and play on the wider market?

I was just curios because it seems funny to me that many people knocked WHFRP 3e for its core boxed set approach and now DnD and Pathfinder are taking very similar approaches.

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 +1 for what New Zombie said.

Scanning a rulebook, uploading, downloading, printing is easy enough with modern IT.

doing the same with the components, printing on cardstock, cutting out and glueing --> too much effort really.

Plus, I feel more satisfied when I get a good heavy box in my hands for 40€, compared with a single rulebook. That always felt a little like I was just ripped off legally :)

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You might be too young to remember this, but there was a time when many RPGs were sold in boxes. If you go back to the golden years of TSR, which I would define as the 1980s, they did pretty much all of their RPGs as boxed sets. West End Games also did some good boxed sets for their Ghostbusters and Torg RPGs. There were many more, as well.

I guess role-playing games are like fashion - everything comes around again if you wait long enough.

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Venthrac said:

You might be too young to remember this, but there was a time when many RPGs were sold in boxes. If you go back to the golden years of TSR, which I would define as the 1980s, they did pretty much all of their RPGs as boxed sets. West End Games also did some good boxed sets for their Ghostbusters and Torg RPGs. There were many more, as well.

I guess role-playing games are like fashion - everything comes around again if you wait long enough.

I started gaming when I was 14 (in the late 90s) but I'm pretty familiar with the history of the hobby and I was going to say the same thing. I think FFG, being a boardgame company, is uniquely suited to produce boxed games.

If piracy was an influence on the design then it didn't work. Everything important was scanned within a week of release and then they put out .pdf books with all the info needed to play anyway.

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Venthrac said:

You might be too young to remember this, but there was a time when many RPGs were sold in boxes. If you go back to the golden years of TSR, which I would define as the 1980s, they did pretty much all of their RPGs as boxed sets.

I still have Traveller's boxed set, D&D's white boxed set, and D&D's red Basic box. These didn't have the great tokens that WFRP 3e has though. The very popular D&D red box (at the time) included a rulebook, adventure, and a set of dice along with a grease pencil to fill in the numbers (really). These early boxed sets were for all of the pamphlets and booklets, possibly dice, they can't compare to all of the tokens and such in a modern WFRP 3e, but I still get what you are saying.

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Yeah, I don't think anti-piracy was an influence on the design.

Personally, I think FFG...

- Wanted to make WFRP3 different than other existing RPGs

- Was suited to producing box & components

- Wanted the game to be interesting and appealing towards a more visual audience

Thus, they came up with the concept of using cards ... then tokens, and so on.  From what little I know of having spoken with Jay Little (and later Dan), he was passionate about how the game played and was truly excited about the cards and components and how they worked. They greatly believe in the design, so I highly doubt it was motivated by anti-piracy.

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anti-piracy probably wasn't the starting point for the design decision. but it certainly was a by-product of the choice.

pre guides... not having the individual cards made the game impossible to play even with pdf versions of the rule books. i can't believe anyone went to the extent of scanning all the wound, action, talent, career, party, insanty, miscast, mutation, item, location cards and trackers. even if they did it would cost more to print the things than buy the game and they'd still need to buy the dice. i doubt that many people played pirated copies. compare this to non component driven games where you can play with a pdf of the core rule books.

then the guides arrived... i don't get these. i can't imagine playing the 'lite' version. i'm sure these have been pirated, but i don't think there would be many people who are playing using them in isolation. if anything it may have been a master stroke by FFG, get the game out there, pirates grab it - try it, realise it is a great game but hamstrung without the components so they make an informed decision to purchase the game with components.

 

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New Zombie said:

anti-piracy probably wasn't the starting point for the design decision. but it certainly was a by-product of the choice.

pre guides... not having the individual cards made the game impossible to play even with pdf versions of the rule books. i can't believe anyone went to the extent of scanning all the wound, action, talent, career, party, insanty, miscast, mutation, item, location cards and trackers. even if they did it would cost more to print the things than buy the game and they'd still need to buy the dice. i doubt that many people played pirated copies. compare this to non component driven games where you can play with a pdf of the core rule books.

then the guides arrived... i don't get these. i can't imagine playing the 'lite' version. i'm sure these have been pirated, but i don't think there would be many people who are playing using them in isolation. if anything it may have been a master stroke by FFG, get the game out there, pirates grab it - try it, realise it is a great game but hamstrung without the components so they make an informed decision to purchase the game with components.

 

I don't see how it's more difficult to put down flat cards on your scanner than slice up a book.

I can't imagine trying to play a pirated copy with printed materials but I'd assume that lots of people looking for this stuff have laptops at the game table and would use a fan-made dice roller or get the app. For lots of the components you could just write it on paper (like the lite version). As for tracking tokens, lots of gamers have tokens of various sorts lying around or you could just go to the bank with $1 and get two rolls of pennies.

Also a lot of pirates are just nuts. They don't do it because they want the game, they do it because they can.

I don't know if the guides were planned from the beginning or if they were a response to a vocal minority of the player base that doesn't seem to like the game anyway so I can't really comment on them. I don't see what purpose they serve other than being an out of date compilation of material, like an annual. I wouldn't want to play the lite version either. It seems like a hassle.

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Mousegaurd also has a similar dice mechanic, require specialized dice...and condition cards...and might as well be called micehammer.  kidding.  They don't have action cards.  Which may or may not be bad, depending on your POV about them.  I personally love them and used to rail on the recharge mechanic...until they released more cards, especially Omens of War which fixed many of my gripes about recharge.  It gives players tons of options....but I guess this thread isn't about that, so I digress, lol!

I HOPE it starts a new trend and Warhammer will get more love.  But Gamers can be whiney grognards and love to dig their heels in post a knee jerk decision.  So I have a feeling the other companies will be praised for their "innovations" while warhammer is left dwarfed in the shadows of titans.  However, I do see the rest of the industry adopting many of its principles and mechanics.  Because...

I don't care who you are and what you've played and how much experience or inexperience you have, these dice, these mechanics, are the best thing to happen to RPG's in a very, very long time.  It is innovation at it's finest.  Heck, a couple of groups (besides just me) have adopted many core features (the dice, the condition cards, wounds/insanity) into homebrews involving a wide-range of other genres and have found it has improved those games a thousand fold.  

The greatest success in that is what I have seen a crew around here do with the White Wolf old Storyteller mechanics.  Man, in their opinion it is what the white wolf system always intended itself to be  (you know about telling stories with real cost and gains), but never was before.  After sitting in on a session or two, I have to say I agree with them. 

The only limit for genre adoption is the visual lay out of the dice are very warhammer.  It sometimes just doesn't match the "feel" of other games.  But oh well, neither did a d8, no matter how sparkly it was.  It is a small price to pay for the quality of information they communicate.  

I really do hope to see more games designed in the scope of 3e.  I'd love to take a crack at it myself, if ever given the chance.  The possibilities are endless.  

Happy gaming,

Commoner 

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I think, without a shadow of a doubt, we will see something very similar to WFRP used in the star wars line....if they can.  It could be that GW has a lock-down on the mechanics since they are massive control-freaks when it comes to their IP.  I doubt they want their precious warhammer to float, even remotely close, to the giant of Lucasfilm.  So we may or may not see the exact same mechanics. 

I also have a strong guess that Jay being moved off of warhammer has something to do with Warhammer.  Sure he got a promotion, but I think he'll be directly involved. 

If they do go in the direction of warhammer, I am pretty sure they'll keep action cards.  They are a great way to get us to buy more supplements, after all and are a great resource/tool for the dice mechanics. 

The only part that might bug me is the force powers when it comes to recharge.  You don't want to have your jedi's being able to "force jump" once then have to wait four turns before they can do it again.  It would lose the cinematic feel. 

I'd rather have them take force powers in a completely different direction, about weighing the risks of an action versus the benefits gained.  The ability to push your power, but ever so greedily, face corruption by the dark side.  The cost is in some other mechanic or greater penalties for failure. 

But that's my two cents about that.

Happy gaming,

Commoner

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commoner said:

 

I think, without a shadow of a doubt, we will see something very similar to WFRP used in the star wars line....if they can. 

 

 

I certainly hope so. I think it would be nice if a new Star Wars RPG was designed with these 3e systems in mind from the start without trying to implement mechanics from another pre-FFG Star Wars system into them. There are a few mechanics in WFRP 3e that caused some clunkiness that may not have been if there wasn't a desire to incorporate old versions into the new.

As in don't try to model any old systems, just full on use the benefits of custom dice, cards, tokens, etc. even if it means throwing out old game mechanic standards such as hit points, defense/AC, etc.

Am I making any sense?

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The various Guides were not planned. At one point, there was a strong vocal presence on the boards here of people who loved the game but not the components, and they hollered and complained for books.  In response, FFG was kind enough to find the time in their already planned and busy schedule last year to generate the various guides.

In essence, the various Guides are a tangible result of player feedback.  They have some limited use, and admittedly will become more outdated as additional expansions arrive.

 

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commoner said:

when it comes to recharge.  You don't want to have your jedi's being able to "force jump" once then have to wait four turns before they can do it again.  It would lose the cinematic feel. 

I agree with everything you said except this one line.

One of the things that made the original trilogy so awesome was that there was some restraint: Luke wasn't bouncing all over the place and using the Force casually for fun. He used it sparingly.

Of course, one could debate that this wasn't intentional; that Lucas and the team were limited by technology and budget constraints. In my opinion, that made Star Wars BETTER, unlike the Prequels where there is NO RESTRAINT at all and there are freakin' lightsabers everywhere and grasshopper Yoda and video gamey nonsense. The same applies to Jaws - because the **** robot shark would NEVER WORK, you hardly saw it through most of the movie- another unintentional success story: that worked so well!

My point is that Jedi shouldn't be constantly doing the same things over and over and over again. I'd argue that this would make it LESS cinematic and more video gamey.

My 2 cents, heh.

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I think 100% of the elements were based on a sound business model.

Boxed set:  will sell to n00bs (although the price was an odd decision), the only way to do this presentation with bits is by boxed, prettier so better presentation
Cards for abilities: piracy-resistant, but moreover that's where the hobby was headed
Special dice: innovation and sound business model. Had they really been thinking, they would have had special dice released with each boxed set as well.
Piggyback with MMO:  good ability to get artwork
Knowing full-well that the 2e guys were not going to be on board: "a chance they were willing to take" and "this is how we at FFG do things."
"Collector" release schedule boxed sets:  sound business model and prettier presentation

imho

 

 

 

..

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