Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay - 2e vs 4e

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Trippy

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It's not just the colour. To me there was a clear style in the early Warhammer Art that really captured the griminess of the setting. I don't actually see much of that in the 1e cover. It's not that you couldn't do the same thing in colour. I feel that the Symbaroum art is along the right lines but a little too romantic perhaps. The 4e Warhammer art is just, I don't know too colourful, too bright,

View attachment 32965
It's just lacks mood. It could easily be D&D.

This is somewhat better:
View attachment 32967

It at least looks like Warhammer, but it's a bit too soft, a bit too realistic, a lot of the earlier art was spikier, a bit more exagerrated, and the black and white style helped to catch that stylised exagerrated aspect of it.
Well, they have a different set of artists, but I think you are being harsh nevertheless. I do think the modern edition books capture the right mood. Of course, people can judge your examples for themselves but they are selected pieces - there is a lot of art in the books, as you might expect and it wouldn’t all be the same.
 
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Trippy

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I’m not sure what point you think you are making. He had lots of black and white art for WFRP, but he also did colour art for WFRP as I have already provided examples of.

The original point I made was that the choice of black and white art for the interior of WFRP1e books was for budgetary reasons, not because they felt colour art was not of the right style or tone. The fact that they did provide colour art on the covers is enough to demonstrate that point.
 

TristramEvans

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IThe original point I made was that the choice of black and white art for the interior of WFRP1e books was for budgetary reasons, not because they felt colour art was not of the right style or tone. The fact that they did provide colour art on the covers is enough to demonstrate that point.

I don't think it demonstrates that at all, especially as WFB 3rd edition, published concurrently, had colour interior art. I think it was a graphic design choice. the same as when individual artists deliberately choosing to work in black & white instead of colour, such as Ian Miller.
 

Trippy

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I don't think it demonstrates that at all, especially as WFB 3rd edition, published concurrently, had colour interior art. I think it was a graphic design choice. the same as when individual artists deliberately choosing to work in black & white instead of colour, such as Ian Miller.
You don’t think having full colour art plates included in the books as well as all the covers demonstrates that there was no graphic design policy against using colour art? You don’t think that barely any RPG books made at the time WFRP1e came out had the budget to include full colour interior art had anything to do with anything? You don’t think that Ian Miller actually did colour art for WFRP - even though I have provided examples of them?

OK. Great argument, Tristram! :thumbsup:
 
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Ralph Dula

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* I would note that 3e did make an 'Enemy Within Campaign’ supplemental box set, but it bore little resemblance to the original, from memory.

You’re quite right: i was rather infuriated by thr final product, as when it was first announced a writer on 3e noted on their blog it was to be a redo of the original campaign, rather than what we got. I imagined a box set without the usual bits and bobs 3E to accommodate all of it in one box set, more fool me.
 

TJS

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I have to say, when Ian Miller uses colour, it tends to be much more moody and gloomy and restrained than the modern colour Warhammer art also.

Even so, I'm not sure his art doesn't really work better without colour.

In any case, I don't see why it matters if the original black and white art was of design or necessity. It was what it was.
 
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Trippy

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I have to say, when Ian Miller uses colour, it tends to be much more moody and gloomy restrained than the modern colour Warhammer art also.

Even so, I'm not sure his art doesn't really work better without colour.

In any case, I don't see why it matters if the original black and white art was of design or necessity. It was what it was.
Well you did start off this discussion point by arguing that you couldn’t get over 4e’s full colour art and that you preferred the B&W art of the original. That is fine, but I was just pointing out that 1e actually had full colour art too. B&W interior art was typical of its time, just as colour art is pretty much of the time now. If it is more a case of preferring the specific artist’s work of 1e, then that is another thing, but it was decades ago now - there is no guarantee that the original artists are still active these days. Moreover, I think the art of 4e is excellent too.
 

TristramEvans

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I have to say, when Ian Miller uses colour, it tends to be much more moody and gloomy restrained than the modern colour Warhammer art also.

Even so, I'm not sure his art doesn't really work better without colour.

I wouldn't argue it's better one way or the other, but it's certainly a deliberate choice on the artist's part.
 

CRKrueger

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The art is the weakest part of WFRP4. GW’s always had some of the best artists around, and if C7’s license didn’t give them access to the GW vaults, they had to do their own thing. However, Zweihander’s main artist managed to do a better job on echoing GW art. Also the maps in WFRP1 and 2 were better.
 

AsenRG

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I seem to be the only one who only considers the rules, here:grin:! Obviously not a popular position...everyone else is paying a lot of attention to the art for some incomprehensible* - to me - reason!

And it's complicated there. I like it that WFRP2e careers aren't balanced. They don't need to be!
I like the combat system in WFRP4e a bit better, though.
So, which one wins? Well, probably Mythras, to be honest:shade:!

*I mean, sure, art is part of the product...but actually, the art that's going to matter is the one in my head while running the game. And if I run Warhammer, that art ain't in any of the rulebooks...
This picture is closer...but the fact that it's black and white is probably quite accidental. I've seen quite good pictures in colour with the same tone. I just can't find them on a site that allows me to link to them:tongue:.
394a8929af79e21d39c9ed288d393058.jpg


The fact that colour art....exists...doesn't alter my opinion about that, and it seems to be predicated on the notion that colour art is in some way superior, which is a veryvery silly idea.
In fact, my late father would have argued the opposite position. He was a professor in photography, so I'd assume he knew better than me:thumbsup:.

(Just not when it comes to family albums. Everyone wanted those pictures in colour:devil:!)
 

Mankcam

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I posted a bit on WFRP only a month or so ago, here

I love the old school artwork of WFRP 1E, very evocative and sums up the gonzo grimdark perfectly.
WFRP 2E was also very good, but had a very different flavour, more like World of Warcraft mmo and the WFB minis-game flavour
The current WFRP 4E artwork is also excellent in my opinion, it feels like a bit of a nod towards both WFRP 1 E and 2E
Beautiful production, really lovely to have and to read. Very evocative, even if not quite as 'gothic' as the original artwork.

However I wish that WFRP 4E had some artwork from WFRP 1E included within it, even if colourised.
The current artwork is perfect for the front cover, internal title pages and centrepieces; but if some of the earlier artwork from 1E was interspersed throughout for more incidential pages, then this would have been excellent.

I miss the 'gloom' of the original edition - Zweihander certainly captured that feel (although didn't capture the eccentricity of WFRP 1E)

I hope some of the upcoming WFRP 4E products lean more towards the darker tone of the setting, and less toward the jovial side. I really like that both are prevalent, but for me I feel that the grimdark needs to win out for the current line to retain the gloom of the original edition, which is a great reason to collect The Old World material, it's very much 'Not-Forgotten Realms'

As far as rules goes, I will need to take a much deeper dive before in-depth commenting. Both rulesets looks pretty crunchy, and both look great to play. I read that some of the rules were tidied up, and some new ones added, so it will be some time before I am comfortable commenting on which is better or not.

Overall I prefer the 'vibe' of WFRP 1E, but WFRP 4E looks pretty good as well.
I'm in the proces of collecting all of it :thumbsup:
 
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Marktplatz

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Bringing up the art topic, I actually prefer 2e's generally more-grounded art. I can appreciate a lot of 1e's art, but general WFB art from that era doesn't really appeal to me. I never much cared for grimdark or gonzo aesthetics. At the same time I'm not a fan of 4e's art either, because to me it's a mix of being too cartoony and bright but too grimy and dirty. Most of 1e and 2e had cities in the Empire looking more or less like towns out of Renaissance Europe with a Brothers Grimm flair to some of it, but 4e makes the Empire look like a blend of 40k and Tim Burton, both extremely filthy and gritty but also bizarre and fantastical. I don't picture a street in Altdorf being an ocean of mud and sewage surrounded by a forest of 500-foot-tall rickety shanty towers with spikes and pastel skulls plastered all over them.
 
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Mankcam

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Actually 'Tim Burton-meets-Brothers Grimm' is just the kind of vibe that I'm happy to go with. A rickety-rackety grimey fantasy land of Fable qualities, something that you could almost find Hansel & Gretal or Baba Yaga in. Yeah, that works for me!

Perhaps throw in a bit of 'Terry Gilliam & Brian Froud-meets-'Joe Acrombie & George R.R.Martin', add liberal amounts of 'Lovecraftian' horror, then top it off with a touch of 'Cervantes' around the edges. I think it's got a good thing going on here, I kinda dig this scene :thumbsup:



Overview
 
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The Butcher

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Actually 'Tim Burton-meets-Brothers Grimm' is just the kind of vibe that I'm happy to go with. A rickety-rackety grimey fantasy land, something that you could almost find Hansel & Gretal or Baba Yaga in. Yeah, that works for me!

Perhaps throw in a bit of 'Terry Gilliam & Brian Froud-meets-'Joe Acrombie & George R.R.Martin', with a touch of 'Cervantes' around the edges. I think it's got a good thing going on here, I kinda dig this scene :thumbsup:



Overview
My pitch is usually simpler. “D&D and Call of Cthulhu had a baby, and Terry Gilliam raised it.”

Cervantes is welcome to join the party, though I’ll see your GRRM and raise you a Maurice Druon.
 

Moonglum

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2E was so good and so well supported with supplements and adventures that i'm not sure why i would ever want to toss it in the bin and start accumulating books for another edition. The only thing about 2E that always struck me as peculiar is the way the percent scaling of stats meant that a really strong human or dwarf fighter has a ST score on the same order of magnitude as a troll or dragon or something. Weird. Did that ever get changed in 3E or 4E?
 

Baulderstone

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2E was so good and so well supported with supplements and adventures that i'm not sure why i would ever want to toss it in the bin and start accumulating books for another edition. The only thing about 2E that always struck me as peculiar is the way the percent scaling of stats meant that a really strong human or dwarf fighter has a ST score on the same order of magnitude as a troll or dragon or something. Weird. Did that ever get changed in 3E or 4E?
In 4E, your Size affects Strength Tests. In an opposed Strength Test, a character that is one size smaller needs a critical (A successful roll that is also doubles) to succeed. A character two sizes smaller can't win an opposed Strength test. Trolls are one size larger than humans, and Dragons are three sizes larger.

Melee Damage is also multiplied by each step larger you are.

Creatures on step larger prompt a Fear check, and creatures two steps larger prompt a Terror Check.

While the core book has some serious editing issues, I really like 4E. There is a learning curve to get past, both for players and the GM, but I find it gives a better experience at the table than 1E. I'm running two groups at the moment, and I am very happy with both games. Like Mythras and DCC, it's crunchier than games I usually run, but I find the extra work pays off. I'm tempted to do a Let's Read on the book to cover both the issues with the book as well as how to make it work.
 

Baulderstone

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I'll give one important tip for anyone who wants to give 4E a spin. You have to use the Fast SL optional rule on p.152. Not only is it easier at the table, it's the way the game worked all through playtesting. All the Talents and the Advantage system assume you are using Fast SL. I'm not clear on the why, but someone decided to flip the way SL worked at the last minute, and broke a lot of the game.

When I was figuring out the game, I was baffled at is being an optional rule, as everything worked so much better with it. I felt I had to be missing some reason for the default rule. I was relieved when I found out from the designer, Andy Law, that Fast SL is the way he plays.
 

Acmegamer

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Great points and advice Baulderstone Baulderstone . When I read through 4e, I ended up putting it aside and then re-reading it recently again after I got the Beginners Box set and read that first. It made it easier to read through the core book. The core book feels a bit fiddly at times and the layout and editing don't help at all. My take of the system was that in the end I'd rather run Mythras/BRP or Harnmaster mechanics in the WH world setting. heh.
 

Mankcam

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In 4E, your Size affects Strength Tests. In an opposed Strength Test, a character that is one size smaller needs a critical (A successful roll that is also doubles) to succeed. A character two sizes smaller can't win an opposed Strength test. Trolls are one size larger than humans, and Dragons are three sizes larger.

Melee Damage is also multiplied by each step larger you are.

Creatures on step larger prompt a Fear check, and creatures two steps larger prompt a Terror Check.

While the core book has some serious editing issues, I really like 4E. There is a learning curve to get past, both for players and the GM, but I find it gives a better experience at the table than 1E. I'm running two groups at the moment, and I am very happy with both games. Like Mythras and DCC, it's crunchier than games I usually run, but I find the extra work pays off. I'm tempted to do a Let's Read on the book to cover both the issues with the book as well as how to make it work.
I know I would certainly appreciate your insights if you do a 'Let's Read' for the WFRP 4E corebook. The tip about using 'Fast SL' alone makes this worth the price of admission. I'm already hooked :thumbsup:
 

Séadna

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You have to use the Fast SL optional rule on p.152
I was just looking through the rulebook again after this and it's interesting how many things it simplifies. The "Damaging" weapon trait on p. 297 for example simply becomes that you get to choose the higher of the tens or unit die result for calculating damage bonus rather then the longer explanation there. I wonder why they altered it.
 

Baulderstone

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I was just looking through the rulebook again after this and it's interesting how many things it simplifies. The "Damaging" weapon trait on p. 297 for example simply becomes that you get to choose the higher of the tens or unit die result for calculating damage bonus rather then the longer explanation there. I wonder why they altered it.
I'm baffled by it.

I'll start a thread on the WFRP book and my thoughts on running the game soon.
 

Acmegamer

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I'm baffled by it.

I'll start a thread on the WFRP book and my thoughts on running the game soon.
Look forward to reading your thoughts on this. I said before that in the end if felt a bit to fiddly. What I mean is that some of the mechanics especially in character generation come off more convoluted and unclear. Feels like stuff was added in places just to make it feel more complex and deep. Hope I'm making sense here. Lol. I love the look of the book and art as an aside.
 

Baulderstone

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In preparing notes for my thread, I came across this quote where Andy Law discusses the difference between the SL systems.

What are the pros and cons of Fast SL vs Normal SL?

This is a question that comes up many times, often because I make it no secret that I play with Fast SL, the Optional Rule found on page 152. So, why do I do that? Simply, because I prefer a grittier, 'more balanced' game. Now, does that mean that the core 'Normal SL' rule (as also explained on page 152) is unbalanced? Kinda. Fast SL hard-bakes a maximum SL that can be scored into the rules. As a single example: If I have 5 Advantage and a Skill of 70, I have a modified Skill of 120. So, I can score, using the normal rules, between +12 SL (a % roll of 01-09) to +3 SL (a % roll of 90-95). With Fast SL, the maximum is +0 (a % roll of 06-09) to +9 (90-95) SL. This makes an enormous difference, not just to casting numbers (and similar), but to combat, where even a character with +20 Advantage, for a seemingly game-breaking +200 bonus, can easily roll 01-29 on a 1d100 (indeed, is likely to, as that’s almost a third of all rolls), scoring just +0 to +2 SL. As is immediately obvious to any WFRP4 player, that is a relatively easy total to beat, even by a lower Skill Character. In short: Combat is always dangerous, even for the skilled or those that have a silly Advantage total. For this reason and many more, I use Fast SL in my games. Indeed, most of the rules of a ‘balanced’ game are predicated upon using them. However, the core book is not ‘balanced’. Instead, it is built around more heroic play, representing the Warhammer games as a whole. WFRP is a Warhammer game, after all. So, 'Normal SL' is great for your Gotrek and Felix dungeon bashes, where Fast SL has the heroes, and everyone else, be stabbed, maimed, and maybe even killed a good bit more often.

To drill home why that's the case, let’s drop two example rolls on three Advantage amounts to show what each option does in different circumstances. I’ll also add a crude Total for each as a rough measure of each rule. So, for our example let’s use rolls of 06, 50, and 95 on Advantage amounts of 2, 4, and 10 with a Skill of 50. Let’s go! CORE 2 Advantage: +7 SL, +2 SL, -2 SL (Total: +7) 4 Advantage: +9 SL, +4 SL, -0 SL (Total +13) 10 Advantage: +15 SL, +10 SL, +6 SL (Total: +31) FAST SL 2 Advantage: +0 SL, +5 SL, -2 SL (Total: +3) 4 Advantage: +0 SL, +5 SL, -0 SL (Total: +5) 10 Advantage: +0 SL, +5 SL, +9 SL (Total: +13) So, the above kinda shows how Fast SL is much less 'heroic', or more 'balanced', than the Core rules using those numbers. That said, many prefer the swingy, massive Advantage plays of the Core rules. And that's cool, too. WFRP4 uses that as its core presentation, after all. Neither system is 'better', beyond what works best for your game being the 'better' option.

So, Fast SL for a more balanced game, and 'Normal SL' for potentially crazy outcomes and massive Advantage chains. 'Normal SL' swings wildly, allowing for Gotrek-like moments where entire armies of Goblins can be hewn, creating almost indestructible heroes once a few Skills are at mid-level and care is taken with combat encounters. Fast SL does not allow for that. It's tighter, combat is always dangerous, and individual Skill levels matter more. In general. There is much more to it than that (spellcasting alone!), but that's a good starting point.
 

Séadna

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Interesting, would Fast SL with the optional "Tests above 100%" rule on p. 151 rule give a similar effect to Normal SL's unboundedness?

So say the final example is a skill of 50, 10 advantage and a roll of 95. 10 advantage gives us a skill of 150 and thus +5 SL by the "Over 100%" rule. The 95 roll gives us +9 SL with Fast SL and so we get +14 SL which is in the same region as the most advantageous Normal SL case.
 
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Baulderstone

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Interesting, would Fast SL with the optional "Tests above 100%" rule on p. 151 rule give a similar effect to Normal SL's unboundedness?

So say the final example is a skill of 50, 10 advantage and a roll of 95. 10 advantage gives us a skill of 150 and thus +5 SL by the "Over 100%" rule. The 95 roll gives us +9 SL with Fast SL and so we get +14 SL which is in the same region as the most advantageous Normal SL case.
Conveniently, I have a quote from Andy on that as well.
Q30 @jmt - chaos pie asks:

There is another optional rules that gives extra SL when testing above 100. From memory this almost aligns fast SL to normal. Am I correct or am I missing / misunderstanding something?

You are correct. If you use the Options: Tests Above 100% rule, you almost align Fast SL to the Core SL rules. For example, if I use the same Rolls and Advantage comparisons I used in the last question, we would get these results (and I have not used the Optional rule on the Core SL tests, because that would be madness!) CORE 2 Advantage: +7 SL, +2 SL, -2 SL (Total: +7) 4 Advantage: +9 SL, +4 SL, -0 SL (Total +13) 10 Advantage: +15 SL, +10 SL, +6 SL (Total: +31) FAST SL 2 Advantage: +0 SL, +5 SL, -2 SL (Total: +3) 4 Advantage: +0 SL, +5 SL, -0 SL (Total: +5) 10 Advantage: +5 SL, +10 SL, +14 SL (Total: +29) So Fast SL starts much more lower-powered, then it goes crazy when it breaks 100. In my games, I do not do this. Instead, I use a modified version of the Optional rule I mentioned above if I'm using RAW Advantage:

Options: Tests Above 100 A successful Test gains a bonus of +1 SL for each full +10 an unmodified Characteristic or Skill you are testing exceeds 100.

That was the original intention of the rule, and it was written to combine with Fast SL. You can see this if you look at the example, which uses the Countess's unmodified Charm Skill, and makes no mention of modification changing her +1 SL bonus.

If someone wants to dig on their own, there is a vast, unofficial WFRP Q&A that Andy Law has at The Rookery Discord server. I'm planning to incorporate the most relevant parts into my upcoming thread.
 

SJB

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Conveniently, I have a quote from Andy on that as well.


If someone wants to dig on their own, there is a vast, unofficial WFRP Q&A that Andy Law has at The Rookery Discord server. I'm planning to incorporate the most relevant parts into my upcoming thread.
Is there any insight as to why Law was bumped out of Cubicle 7? It seemed a strange decision to dispense with the guy with rules mastery just at the moment the product needed a lot of clarification.
 

Baulderstone

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Is there any insight as to why Law was bumped out of Cubicle 7? It seemed a strange decision to dispense with the guy with rules mastery just at the moment the product needed a lot of clarification.
I'm not clear on that myself. It's interesting that the line has stayed away from more mechanical subjects, like bestiaries, new careers, books on magic, etc. It's not a problem to me, as I find setting and adventure books more useful, but they are conspicuously absent.
 

Séadna

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I played "Paths of the Damned" for 2E over ten years ago and was curious how it was regarded with respect to "The Enemy Within" (which I've never played) if anybody has experience of both. Or even just how it was regarded in general.
 
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Simlasa

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Is there any insight as to why Law was bumped out of Cubicle 7? It seemed a strange decision to dispense with the guy with rules mastery just at the moment the product needed a lot of clarification.
From those quotes it seems like he might have had a slightly different concept of how the game should play... the friction between 'heroic', as he puts it, and... grittier... though he keeps mentioning 'balance', which I don't necessarily equate with grit.
Reading the rulebook, looking at the art, it feels to be straining a bit against WFRP's reputation as a dark/gritty/dangerous game.
 

Baulderstone

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From those quotes it seems like he might have had a slightly different concept of how the game should play... the friction between 'heroic', as he puts it, and... grittier... though he keeps mentioning 'balance', which I don't necessarily equate with grit.
Reading the rulebook, looking at the art, it feels to be straining a bit against WFRP's reputation as a dark/gritty/dangerous game.
I think by balance he is talking about the opposite of highly random: results of character actions occur within a more predictable range. From what I understand, 4E is deliberately less-balanced than 2E. I never ran 2E, but I understand there was an effort to make all careers more balanced with each other.

Flipping the SL system to get more randomness strikes me as an odd decision. Even if you use Fast SL, Criticals and Fumbles happen at a high enough frequency that the game already has a lot of unpredictability.

I don't think this conflict lead to Law leaving the game. He wasn't made producer of the line until after the core book was released, when this disagreement was over and done.
 

Baulderstone

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Relevant to this discussion, The Rookery had a video discussion yesterday with the designers of WFRP 2E, 3E and 4E present. I've only watched half so far, but I am finding it's a good discussion of the tough choices you have to make in creating a new edition of an RPG. This is just a warmup for next week's discussion, where they bring in Graeme Davis to represent 1E as well.
 

Acmegamer

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Speaking of 2e Warhammer rpg, I just received an email about a 2e Humble Bundle.



Edit: Looks like it's a mix of 1e, 2e and 4e now that I'm reading down through it. Interesting. Fifty books looks like.
 
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