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Beren Eoath

WFRP 4e - how should it look?

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The best bet for my library at this point is for fan-made material, to be honest. The entire suite of 3e was a huge chunk of change. 2e before it was a decent investment as well. As much as I love the Old World setting I won't be spending money on another edition. It's that simple, really. There are so many fantastic games out there that I want to run or play. I simply can't justify buying the same setting over and over again hoping that someone will get it right.

 

If a 4e comes out I'll gladly roll up a character and play it if someone else offers to buy it and run it, but from a GM/Collector standpoint I have to move on and be content with what I have. I doubt I'm alone in that regard.

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One last thing, now that the line is dead, I can offer the scans of the cards for anyone who wants them (jpeg). I have all the cards scanned but those of the Grey Wizard pod and the Necromancers pod. Just for the feeling, if anyone wants to offer the scans of those cards I don't have it will be nice.

 

 

 

That sounds interesting! How would you go about that? Mail? DropBox? Do you have them sorted so that one could request a particular Set?

 

I have them on dropbox, more or less sorted.

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@RB

 

While I don't disagree with your solid layout on what we would need, I -Do- disagree with what you need to start it off. I think 2 or possibly 3 books would be enough to get you going again. A players guide, a DM guide and a setting guide. Even the Setting guide could be optional if you include enough fluff in the other two and replace it with a campaign/adventure book (or even duel purpose the book for fluff and an adventure)

 

If you wanted to Kickstarter/crowdsouce it, you could even reduce it all to one book with some aggressive decisions on what you should include in such a book. The advantage you have here is that the world is fully established, so ALOT of legwork is already done. I mean, Chaosism's Call of Cthulhu worked perfectly fine with just the core book for ages as there were the novels and stories to set the world up.

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@RB

 

I think 2 or possibly 3 books would be enough to get you going again. A players guide, a DM guide and a setting guide.

 

Agreed, the assumption that WFRP must include a dedicated Magic book, Religion book, Chaos book and Bestiary is a fairly new one (just ask anyone who played WFRP1e). Most WFRP groups don't even include a wizard or a priest, and if the corebook is beefy enough it should contain enough monsters for most adventures.

 

If the hypothetical publisher of 4e decided to give magic, religion etc. a basic treatment and instead delve into other topics in more detail (e.g. psychology & horror, investigation & intrigue, Greenskins, Elves etc.) I doubt most WFRP newbies would even bat an eyelid, meanwhile WFRP veterans would welcome the fresh approach IMO.

Edited by Herr Arnulfe

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@ Carcosa and Herr Arnulfe:    I hope you're right. I'd be happiest if you guys were correct. However, I image that too most potential publishers/licensees, it's not the most likely approach. From their perspective, it's probably easier to edit or summarize or recompile existing material then to create from whole cloth. Not just because there's less writing involved, but also because the approval process from GW is likely to be less extensive. I'll freely admit that's mostly idle speculation on my part. I think it largely depends on whether people pick up the license because they love the setting or because they think they can squeeze money out of it.

 

As to the bit about not needing a magic or religion book...The world is a different place now than it was in 1986. Gamers expect class-specific splatbooks for any moderately crunchy system, and most publishers plan to make money on sales of such things, but they didn't really exist in the heyday of 1st ed. You may say that most WFRP groups don't even include a wizard or priest, and I'd say that's almost certainly true of 1st and 2nd ed, but less so in the post-d20 world. I remember being surprised when, one to two years ago, I went poking through these threads trying to get a feel for what an average group looked like (especially for Enemy Within). It was informal and anecdotal, but what I observed was the recurring party composition in thread after thread rarely deviated from:

  • Some sort of wizard, most often a Bright Wizard
  • Some sort of priest, most often a Sigmarite
  • Some sort of dwarf-only career, most often a Troll-Slayer
  • And a fourth character that was usually less like a D&D archetype and more like the warhammer working stiff you'd expect of earlier editions

Again, like I said, I hope you're right. I want more material for the setting, and I'd love it if that material pushed the game further away from D&D tropes. I think the setting is at it's best when you're playing the dregs of the empire thrust into a desperate situation, rather than a group of professional adventurers killing generic monsters for fun and profit.

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I am going to make an assumption here, -most- of us I would say are O.F.G's (old fart gamers) that have seen quite a few gaming systems in our day, and not just RPG systems, but probably Eurogames and TTWG's as well.

 

I think the "big thing" for any new WFRP system is to concentrate on actually -making the system-. Now, that is pretty much a facepalm type comment, until you realise just how little work goes into systems like D20 for example. Get a base number, chuck in some mods, get a target number, roll, Pass/fail. That has hardly changed since 1st ed D&D, and is the basis for the vast majority of systems out there. No muss, no fuss, and for sure it can be a VERY attractive model, and easy to use because it is simplistic.

 

I -feel- that if you can create a more organic system (which is how I see the 3rd ed dice system) which is still easy to use, you will attract new and old players. If you can get that system working, I think you are most of the way there. What you then need to do is make sure you cover all your initial class bases in your core rulebook. Have all your speciality rules for your core races, Magic (wizard and Divine), and skills. If you take out all your descriptions and fluff that should really be no more that some 50 odd pages, and probably HALF that. That leaves some what, 200 pages in the plays guide alone to do Character based fluff, skill and spell descriptions and pretty pictures. You get that covered, you provide everything you need for a -player- to play the game and develop an interest in the setting. You do the same for the DM book, except you concentrate on the rules for DM's like corruption, Poisons, diseases, Madness etc. Again, some 25-50 pages of actual rules, leaving 200 odd for your fluff and stuff like basic monsters, an adventure and probably some adventure hooks as examples. You could also condense the 2 into 1 book if you desired and give everything you need to play in one volume.

 

IMHO, it was the breaking up of stuff into "bits" that really hurt 3rd ed because it looked and smelt like a obvious cash grab for FFG. Want rules for a horse, buy the Khorne box, want rules for social encounters, buy the Slaanesh box and it was downright annoying and insulting. People don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on getting the basic rules to the game they want to play. They WILL however spend hundreds of dollars to EXPAND the game that they enjoy. Class Splatbooks and Race Splatbooks were never "needed" to play D&D, Clanbooks were never "needed" to play oWoD, they offered -choice- and that's what sells the products. How many people here have the "gazateer" style books from Basic D&D, or 2nd Ed Forgotten realms? They were ALL splatbooks, but they were world splatbooks, with a few more options, and a lot of fluff information, and we gobbled them up, but we never -NEEDED- them, we WANTED them, and want will trump need any day in our hobbies. One thing any potential designer for the game would have to be is if they make a splat book, make it -complete-. Black fire pass was nice for an intro for Dwarves, but the Engineering rules were very basic, and the Runesmithing rules were incomplete. Make them complete, dammit!!

 

Last thing, and this is about cards, if you are going to have cards, make them OPTIONAL. having the vast majority of your rules on cards only SUCKS. If you loose a card, there go your rules. All the rules should be in the guides, just like the Apendicies in the Players Guide so if you loose a card, it does not matter so much. Making additions like cards should be an OPTION for the players, NOT a **** requirement. Some people like their cards, I did because it made life simple, some hate them, so why alienate some of your potential player base?   

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As to the bit about not needing a magic or religion book...The world is a different place now than it was in 1986. Gamers expect class-specific splatbooks for any moderately crunchy system, and most publishers plan to make money on sales of such things, but they didn't really exist in the heyday of 1st ed. You may say that most WFRP groups don't even include a wizard or priest, and I'd say that's almost certainly true of 1st and 2nd ed, but less so in the post-d20 world. I remember being surprised when, one to two years ago, I went poking through these threads trying to get a feel for what an average group looked like (especially for Enemy Within). It was informal and anecdotal, but what I observed was the recurring party composition in thread after thread rarely deviated from:

  • Some sort of wizard, most often a Bright Wizard
  • Some sort of priest, most often a Sigmarite
  • Some sort of dwarf-only career, most often a Troll-Slayer
  • And a fourth character that was usually less like a D&D archetype and more like the warhammer working stiff you'd expect of earlier editions

As much as I thank D&D for opening the RPG world to me and to many others back in the 80's, I always stay away from games that feel like D&D. Classes, levelling, awesomeness kind of skills... in that regard Warhammer 3 felt to D&D (3 or 4) to me, and this put me away. Of course, this is a matter of taste and D&D and Pathfinder have a huge community and for many young people it has been the entry point to the RPG world. For the later, I am very much grateful to this system.

 

That said, thanks god nowadays you can find out there excellent RPGs with healthy communities that stay away from the D&D model. A few examples (only fantasy ones) are The One Ring, Ars Magica, RuneQuest and Shadows of Esteren (still a small community on that last one, but growing fast).

 

So, I hope that the 4th ed of Warhammer, if ever happens, stays away from the D&D model.

 

Cheers,

Yepes

Edited by Yepesnopes

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On bits, I've accepted that I'll never be able to truly understand many of the folks here on that topic. A company known for components and expansions released an RPG that featured components and expansions.

 

On traditional/D&D tropes I feel we're getting back into the land of aesthetics, prior system burnout, and simulator vs. osr vs. new guard narrative again. We have a fantasy setting...we describe an event and then roll dice to help determine the outcome. Everything else is salad dressing.

 

My general impression with many gamers as of late is that there's little desire to deal with modifiers, ala D&D/PF or Shadowrun. The old guys are burnt from decades of play, the new guys can't be buggered with the math. Both camps seem to be sliding towards rules-light, if for different reasons. "Classless/Level-less" systems still have some sort of progression generally, although it might be wearing a different dress than the games we cut our teeth on. I can't agree that One Ring, Runequest, Ars etc are really these huge steps away from D&D they're just a different colored megaphone to tell the same kind of story through.

Edited by GMmL

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How do you see Ars Magica and Runequest different from D&D?

 

Ufff, where to start.

 

They are totally different. To start with, games like D&D put a huge stress on the character levelling up, getting better, with more powers, more awesome stuff, magical objects etc. In games like the ones I mention this does not happen. Characters progress at maximum by rising skills. There are no awesome talents that allow your dual sword wielding Halfling to perform a Whirlwind Diablo II style and hit all the engaged enemies (yes I talk about the Warhammer 3 card). Therefore, the players put the stress of the game somewhere else. On games like the ones I said, you will hardly ever find threads in their forums like "Dwarf Ironbroken", or "A player at my table is a munchkin", or "Soak monster", or "Paladin class overpowered" etc, because this things don't happen.

 

There is the issue of "Balance" introduced by D&D, I guess brought from PC games. It is a rpg, not a computer game, balance of what? The balance is found when all players have equal fun on the table and this won't happen necessarily because all the classes are balanced in terms of power. Balance of fun comes if players equally participate and intervene on the story narrated by the GM. Games like RQ don't give a @#&$ about balance, actually in Ars Magica the different type of characters are unbalanced in power on purpose, yet the guy playing with a grog will have equal fan as the guy next to him playing the powerful magician.

 

Buff, this is a loooong list of differences. I stop here, this is better discussed with a beer in a bar. It does not have too much sense to write.

 

Yepes

Edited by Yepesnopes

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I went poking through these threads trying to get a feel for what an average group looked like (especially for Enemy Within). It was informal and anecdotal, but what I observed was the recurring party composition in thread after thread rarely deviated from:

  • Some sort of wizard, most often a Bright Wizard
  • Some sort of priest, most often a Sigmarite
  • Some sort of dwarf-only career, most often a Troll-Slayer
  • And a fourth character that was usually less like a D&D archetype and more like the warhammer working stiff you'd expect of earlier editions

I wonder whether this is a case of people playing the game as the publisher "tells them to"? Considering the number of magic card expansions for 3e, it would certainly be understandable for players to assume that parties are expected to include a caster or two. ToS and RoS for 2e probably boosted the number of wizards and priests in adventuring parties too, although it still used random career tables so players would have to lobby the GM to play a caster or work it into their advance scheme. The 1e Realms of Sorcery supplement had comparably little effect on party composition, partly because it was released so late in the product cycle, and partly because wizards never survived long enough to cast level 5-6 spells, so players didn't plan for using Colour Magic. :)

 

Perhaps if a hypothetical 4e offered Rogues & Cities and Rangers & Woodlands splatbooks instead of rehashing magic and religion yet again, we'd suddenly see a spike in the number of scout and scoundrel type PCs?

Edited by Herr Arnulfe

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A revolution is comming to WFB - Nagash will rise once again! A new edition of WFB is comming and some timeline changes. And looking at some licence changes that FFG made for SW there is even more possibilities of a new Warhammer Fantasy game. Waiting for something official to show up but I can see it comming if not this year then next.

 If a WFRP 4e will come from FFG thaen looking at there expirience from WFRP 3e and SW RPG I can imagine that could be a cool game. I have written about the best part of WFRP 3e that I would love to see taken into 4e so I will not do it again. I do not care what other will say and think but I will keep my fingers crossed to see a new edition from FFG. And please FFG make it sooner then later!

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Yepes.

 

I would suggest that those differences are more an artefact of playstyle more than anything else. If your players want to play a high power game and only care about the next magic item or level, that's not going to change just because you use a different system. Sure, D&D is far more......geared towards powergaming  over more roleplay oriented systems such as Ars Magica, CoC etc, but It is entirely possible to not munchkin D&D if your players are willing to do it.

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5e has a non-escalatory skill system.  We'll see if it makes on iota of difference in a culture of "dungeon crawls=plots" idiocy.  I'm going to give it a shot, but I'm not optimistic.  Dungeon crawls bore me to flakkn tears and D&D hasn't had a non-dungeon crawl adventure in too long..and the basic set is just more of the same:

 

bandit attack

dungeon crawl

repeat

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@Yepes

Sure, I agree, D&D is more geared to hack and slash, but that does not mean you have to run it that way. Ravenloft and Masque of the red death were more geared to more RP than Dice rolls, and they used the 2nd ed rules fine,

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I recommend checking out Murder in Baldur's Gate if you'd like to see a great change-of-pace for the D&D line. I'm going to give 5e a GM-shot at some point next spring. Most of my tables have switched to New Guard Campfire Storytime gaming so I think they'll pick it right up. We'll see if it sticks or not. I'm mostly expecting it to be a small thing we do in-between WFRP and Star Wars campaigns.

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A revolution is comming to WFB - Nagash will rise once again! A new edition of WFB is comming and some timeline changes. And looking at some licence changes that FFG made for SW there is even more possibilities of a new Warhammer Fantasy game. Waiting for something official to show up but I can see it comming if not this year then next.

 

 

Don't get your hopes up just yet, Beren! Even if the speculation about the 9th edition of WFB is right think about what is being said about the new setting. Nagash reborn and apocalypse coming to the Old World! To me that does not sound like a good setting for a RPG, not unless your idea of a good RPG session is 95% killing or being killed by Undead. The last time that GW went down this route with WFB, was with the Storm of Chaos in the mid to late 90's. They also had the license for WFRP and they set that AFTER the Storm of Chaos when they did 2nd edition.

 

The problem with the above scenario is that GW no longer do WFRP, FFG have the licence for at least a couple more years. FFG are going to have to wait to see where GW go with the Nagash Reborn scenario before they can start planning for the aftermath. They then have to spin their ideas past GW to get their approval for canonicity. If GW go trully apocalyptic then there may be nothing for FFG to try and create a 4th edition around, in terms of setting, except one big, long fight. Remember GW are producing a setting for wargames not RPG's, so the result of the Nagash Reborn may not be conducive to RPG's. 

 

FFG are going to be busy with the Star Wars Trilogy of games and with the second edition of Dark Heresy at least until the end of 2015, maybe longer. By then they will also have to be making a decision on whether they want to continue with the license for both Fantasy and 40K from GW. Maybe by then GW will have decided on how the Nagash story unfolds and FFG can start to decide on how they want to proceed. The long and the short is that IF FFG do plan on doing a 4th edition, we will probably not see anything, even a Beta test, before 2016. And I am fraid that IF, is a very big one as I am not sure that FFG have any intention of doing a 4th edition in any shape or form 

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I think one thing that is clear (post Gen-con) is that FFG is, for the majority of its capabilities, focused on the Star Wars license. This makes sense given its uncertain future with new movies, Disney, etc, as well as given its success with X-Wing. What is interesting though is how they have leveraged other systems for their Star Wars games... specifically WFRP into Star Wars RPG (dice/narrative mechanic), and now Descent into Imperial Assault.

 

It seems like FFG will need to fully exhaust their Star Wars RPG line before they are able to turn and commit again to Warhammer Fantasy. Dark Heresy is the one exception... I'm not sure how or why they are continuing to support it but it clearly must be selling well. 

 

Warhammer Fantasy is my favorite license/setting, so I m holding out that they will find more ways to focus on it. They have flipped the Fantasy card game now into 40k, which is great (but not fantasy!). I would really love to see them revisit WFRP given their learning with Star Wars RPG's, or extend WF into mechanics like Descent or LotR Card Game.

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I've been watching the Fantasy board/card games for a while mostly out of simple interest. Invasion seemed to crash before it flew, and Chaos in the Old World gets high praise in certain circles but I'm curious how profitable it was for them. I recently grabbed a core box of Diskwars and that's alot of fun, actually. I suppose to a degree they can kind of gauge the interest in the Fantasy line by testing the waters with fairly low investment titles. Profit-wise the sci-fi angle really makes sense for them now. With both 40k and Star Wars under their belt they've not only got great, proven franchises but very little genre competition. They at the very least don't have to wrestle with Wizards or Paizo for the rpg sword & sorcery market. There's a small, devout, niche group of us here that love our WFRP but realistically we're a drop in the bucket compared to the masses that are buying into other properties. I think WFRP would best be served by a smaller production house at this point.

Edited by GMmL

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I actually suspect that the official announcement heavily implies that FFG is secretly working on a 4th Edition. The actual wording only lightly implies it, but what makes the heavier implication is just the fact that they actually announced an end to the 3rd Ed line. They went to the trouble of officially calling it done, and putting together a final errata and index, despite there being no money in that effort.

 

Compare that to some of their other neglected RPG lines. Fireborn and Grimm don't have official posts announcing that their dead, but neither game has had a new product release in a lot longer than the time frame that WFRP sat idle.  FFG's standard operating procedure is to never call an RPG dead. Why have they departed from their usual pattern after more than a year of silence? Have we really been flooding their customer service lines with that many "what's up with WFRP" inqueries?

 

As I see it, the only benefit to announcing this game's end now is that it softens the later blow if and when they announce 4th Ed. IIRC, 2nd Ed fans were very upset and alienated by the sudden transition from 2nd to 3rd Ed, so FFG may have learned a lesson there. This could be about smoothing that transition and retaining customers during the 3rd to 4th reboot.

 

Other than that, FFG doesn't really gain much by announcing the cancellation of 3rd. If anything, calling "time of death" on WFRP it will hurt their back sales of excess stock. The press release limits FFG's future publishing options: it's giving up on the idea of compilations, reprints, improved PDFs with the cards, PODs or Kickstarters. Basically, it's walking away with money on the table. (It's possible they've decided the money is too little to be worth pursuing, but again I ask why is that worth announcing for WFRP and not worth announcing for Fireborn or Grimm?) The press release is bad news for those who loved 3rd. The announcement itself doesn't earn FFG new customers. It doesn't particularly appease people who disliked 3rd, they're not going to suddenly buy more FFG product as a result of this announcement (but they might buy a 4th Ed if it were a big departure from 3rd). If the WFRP license indeed comes as a package deal (they get it alongside the WH40K RPG license, or attached to the license for Warhammer Diskwars etc), then this announcement gains them nothing.

 

They've got two successful alternatives to 3rd Ed waiting in the wings (Dark Heresy and Edge Of The Empire) so the heavy lifting of building a new WFRP is basically already done.  I'd be really surprised if they don't move on a 4th Ed within a year.

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Dungeon crawls bore me to flakkn tears and D&D hasn't had a non-dungeon crawl adventure in too long..and the basic set is just more of the same:

GMml mentioned it above, but I want to chime in too: Murder in Baldur's Gate is a Good Adventure, you should really check it out. That said, I saw your post on enworld re: D&D and XP, and Dungeon crawls...and yes, D&D is basically a skinner box for XP pellets via killing monsters. But I have seen (less of late, but certainly early on) posts here that try to steer people away from that mindset when playing WHFRP. I think that mindset is popular (because of D&D and video games, to be sure) and certainly a draw to large numbers. I think D&D 5E is doing a pretty good job of keeping the door open to other styles of play. Kill for XP mindset works for D&D...at first, but it does get old (as we get old) but I think there is enough there (or rather, a lack of hard-coding that makes it possible) to play a more role playing. The test will be the DMG and where the alternative play emphasis is. There will be a 4E-esque alternative which would be in a direction I think you would find bothersome, but as long as there is a pride of place alternative for more storytelling, I think thats enough for now. We need more DMs to "show the way" not WotC to hard-wire it.

 

Oh yeah, and WHRP 3? Bummer...But at least I got most of the stuff I wanted (missing the adventurers kit? the one with the rat catcher...) and some PODs, so I can always play.

 

My problem with WHFRP 1st-3rd has been: I buy the stuff, but I can't get people to play. So I have stuff I never use. Very frustrating. If 4th does come down the pipe, I would rather see something less canon-correct but more popular than canon-correct and unpopular. Those of you who would cringe at a witch being pals with a witch hunter might have to live with a version that, by RAW, allowed such a party, even if your table sigmar-hammered that to oblivion. If it meant more sales, more player, I think that would be a fair compromise (a big if, I know)

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